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Lesley's Quilts #1


My wife Lesley has been making quilts for many years. They haven't been on display anywhere for a few years, but we're working on a web site. they're wonderful to look at. What I've always liked about her quilts is the randomness that she allows to take place. She has a geometric pattern, but doesn't carry it out like an engineer. If she runs out of fabric in the middle of a pattern, she'll let the pattern be asymmetrical. Someone just wrote her today (which prompted me to post this):
"…I always loved the vitality and quirkiness of your work. I am a HUGE fan of that; so of course I love Kaffee Fassett as well. I love your little hand cut pieces, and your wonderful stitching and the odd bits of whimsey e.g. beads, and of course, best of all, the color…."
I'm going to post her quilt photos now and then.

Joni Mitchell Live -1970 -Song: California


This is a lovely piece, her voice hauntingly pure, accompanying herself on a dulcimer. Boy!
I met a redneck on a grecian isle
Who did the goat dance very well
He gave me back my smile
But he kept my camera to sell
Oh the rogue, the red red rogue
He cooked good omelettes and stews
And I might have stayed on with him there
But my heart cried out for you, California
Oh California Im coming home
Oh make me feel good rock n roll band
I'm your biggest fan
California, Im coming home

Tiny Farming Blog


This is a wonderful blog: "Organic micro-farming with two acres and some tools ~ a daily photo journal..." http://tinyfarmblog.com/

Urban Gardens

"This disconnection between the production and consumption of food has deepened over time. Now, we, the non-producers, don't trust ourselves to grow food. We don't trust our soil and our rain. We've surrendered one of our most basic needs to strangers, corporations, and advertisers. As a result, we eat food that isn't food: prepackaged, preservative-soaked material; pre-cooked and frozen meals re-heated and served at overpriced "casual dining" restaurants. We eat vegetables, if we eat them, that have been processed beyond recognition. Most often, we can't even see, much less touch or smell, the food we're buying until after we've purchased it and removed layers of plastic and cardboard packaging. Our ignorance is so complete that we do not even know what food is supposed to taste like. We eat meat from degraded animals killed in filthy conditions, and it doesn't even taste good.
Gardening, even just window gardening, can take place in the most densely-populated urban areas.
The farmer's market cannot replace the supermarket, especially for those of us who live in areas with a limited growing season, but if we can grow food that we share or even sell to each other, then we are more likely to be aware of where our food comesfrom-and what can go wrong with it along the way."

Jay Baldwin's Quickup Camper


Jay Baldwin, long-time Whole Earth editor and toolmeister, has designed a lightweight (800 lbs.) pickup truck camper that folds down for aerodynamic travel. Jay has built just one prototype. It's not in production. To my question of getting investors, Jay wrote:
"I am not looking for investors (though I'll listen to any decent ofer), as I do not feel up to starting a new company at 76. What I need is someone to make and distribute them., and send me the modest royalty. I designed it to be a a truck "conversion" in the same way that dealers sell van conversions with striped, big windows and  a French Bordello interior. Feel free to tweet it, and say that we will suitably reward anyone who gets this going. I have talked to many RV makers (Airstream sat on my proposal for three months before saying no, even in aluminum). They all say pretty much the same thing is so many words: "It's a great idea, but if we put it in our catalog, it would make everything else we sell look obsolete." …  I've had it in five shows and also featured it at Art Center school of Design in Pasadena. and two Dwell conferences and three years of the MAKER Faire,  to much acclaim."
Pix of camper at: http://www.quickupcamper.com/

Remodeled 1906 Earthquake Shacks San Francisco


After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake devastated the city, some 5000 earthquake shacks were built for citizens. Jamie Meltzer, a Stanford professor, had two of the shacks remodeled into a house with a total of 650 sq. ft. "…pretty spacious for me because I had lived in the East Village in NYC in a 359 square foot place." Design by Klopf Architecture, construction by Javier Claudio. More pix at: http://bit.ly/2Nxmo1

Boeing 727 Jungle House


A refurbished 1965 Boeing 727 hotel suite in the jungles of Costa Rica: http://bit.ly/JZ4J

Mind, Listen to Body!

After all these years of not only running, swimming, paddling, etc., and editing a string of fitness books, I still get immersed in work and tend to put off getting out in the physical world. But (often) a small voice says, Get out there, you know you'll feel better, and sure enough. I always come back exhilarated. Monday I forced myself to grab my paddleboard, went down, and with a high tide, paddled into the channels of the lagoon. Boy, this felt good. I beached the board on a bank, and swam. Came back to the town dock, talked to the fishermen, got home reenergized. Last night I ran with Tomás along the coast to Pirate's Cove and we jumped into the ocean. Had a pint of local pale ale at the pub with the boys, then drove home along the coast as the light of the day faded.

Galloway's Book on Running - 9th Printing

Our book Galloway's Book on Running will soon be in its ninth printing.

Septic System Owner's Manual - 8th printing

Our Septic System Owner's Manual will soon be in its eighth printing.

Quail Sentry in Garden


California's state bird. The males (with topknots) are almost always the sentries. This guy was sitting on a beanpole in the garden yesterday, watching over a brood of chicks scratching around on the ground. Quail colonies have been steadily increasing here over the years. They are all over the place now. They're members of the pheasant family (Phasianidae), as are chickens.

Make Sparkling Water At Home

We got a Sodastream Home Soda Maker a few months ago and it works beautifully. Brad Zebal, who reviewed it for CoolTools, wrote: "Aside from reducing our plastic/aluminum waste, we don't have to lug heavy bottles back from the store. I also like to think about all the energy we will save annually by not buying water that's been shipped from one part of the country to another."
This a glass with a small amount of pomegranate juice added.
http://bit.ly/1ptYo5

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Frightening Info on Global Warming

Article in June 29 New Yorker by Elizabeth Kolbert on scientist James Hansen's conclusion that the threat of global warming is far greater than expected. Quotes from the New Yorker abstract:
• What is now happening, Hansen said, is carbon dioxide is being pumped into the air some ten thousand times faster than natural weathering processes can remove it.
• Hansen argues that the only way we can constrain the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to drastically decrease the use of coal.
• In order to stabilize carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, annual emissions around the globe would have to be cut by something on the order of three-quarters. So far, there’s no evidence that anyone is willing to take the necessary steps.

http://bit.ly/8z2Ow

New Free (Pdf) Book: New Liberal Arts

Parts of this book are very good, like below.
"In this age we are surrounded by stimuli, messages in our environment clamoring for a little piece of our awareness. Advertisements are designed and sold with the simple premise of stealing one small mote of your attention. Your technological devices, designed to assist you in your life and work, beep incessantly with updates, alerts, and alarms. Cars become more and more like the cockpits of fighter planes with their heads-up displays and data readouts. Even our relationships take more maintenance; lovers separated by such a small obstacle as a day at the office stay in constant contact through email, instant messaging, and social networks. In our new digital world we’ve finally started to run out of one of our most precious resources: Our own attention In the distant past, educated people worked for decades to train their brains to retain information. Greek bards had to be able to recall the story and rhythm of, if not the exact words of, either of Homer’s epics at the drop of an Athenian dime. Monastery-confined monks would construct vast “memory palaces” in their minds to store and recall data in photographic detail. Starting with paper and pen, technological advances began to make that sort of rigorous mental dexterity obsolete. But in our rush to modernity, have we gone too far? Have we given over too much of our brain power to the devices built to boost our productivity? Are our brains now just tasty mush for our zombie progeny??"
Free download from: http://www.snarkmarket.com/nla/
See Kevin Kelly's take on this: http://kk.org/ct2/2009/07/innovative-publishing-model.php

Shelter Inspires Tattooer Matt

We just got an online order for Shelter, HomeWork, and Builders of the Pacific Coast* from Tattooer Matt (aka brassknucklebreakdancer) in Oregon, who wrote:
"Shelter from the 70s was a gift this past winter and after reading it, i have since moved my 2 kids out to a yurt i built on 20 acres 40 minutes outside of portland, maine.....its the best book i have ever read."
Boy, does it make me feel good to hear that the builders in our books motivate people.
*Shameless Commerce Dept. You can get 40% off if you get all 3 books together: http://bit.ly/StHl3:

How to Build With Grid Beam Book

"Think of it as a giant Erector Set. Grid Beam is a great way to make working prototypes of furniture, experimental vehicles and even small buildings. If your idea doesn't work, you can change it until it does. If you don’t need it anymore, Grid Beams are easily demountable and ready to use for the next project. I find the ability to try ideas quickly in analog form to be a huge advantage. With nothing simulated, you know for sure it works, not merely that it should work. A drawing can lie to your client or worse, to you. Grid Beams never lie. The book illustrates a remarkable array of projects, all real, and many actually at work. Inspiring!"
-- J. Baldwin
From CoolTools: