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Purple house in San Francisco

I wouldn't think that 2 shades of purple and orange-ish yellow would be a good color combo, but they are.

Winter springs back

No sooner do I exult about Spring and sunshine and blue skies and green grass than Winter kicks back in. Tuesday night Eric and I headed south, running along the coast from Muir Beach, up trails leading to ocean lookout spots. We could see bands of rain out on the horizon, moving in from the ocean. It started drizzling and suddenly got a lot colder and just as we got to the top (maybe 1000 ft. above the ocean) and started heading back, it started hailing. No trees for shelter. So here we are running down a fire road, high winds, getting pelted by hail, freezing water running down our legs into shoes…It may sound like I'm complaining here, but in reality, the discomfort was worth it when we got into dry clothes and in to the pub, and beer and hot shepherd's pie. It was an adventure! "If it doesn't kill you, it's good for you," invariably true.

The rain (1" this week) and new storms next week are good. Our local lakes are full, but Lake Shasta can use as much rainfall as it can get.

Then yesterday I ran down to the beach and found a bunch of new graffiti. I love this art form.

Cantilevered bridge with troll booth by Dieter Klose in Alaska

Dieter Klose is a designer-builder, sailor, skier, and mountain climber living in Alaska. We ran five pages on his building projects, van travel, and design philosophy in our book, Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008. A month or so ago, Dieter sent us these photos of a recent project in his present hometown of Petersburg, Alaska, along with the letter below.

It made me reflect on how innovative and tuned-in are all the builders in this book; they just keep creating wonderful and witty structures.

Greetings Lloyd! I'm sending you these pics just because I thought you'll enjoy the bridge. I offered the local park (my services) to design and oversee construction of a bridge over a 40 foot wide creek for free, and they let me have my freedom and got a grant for $10,000. I had an Eagle Scout get his big project by having him organize a big gang to move two 42' logs and two 26' logs — I did the rest and it was fun! The two wings don't touch, I wanted th cantilevers to bounce a bit when you walked across and they do just right! My version of a glorified log crossing. There's something for everyone — old ladies can make it to the troll booth to sit, or you can risk the no hand-rails bounce to get across — I've been getting lots of thanks which has been a blessing: it worked!
Thought you'd enjoy it too.
–All the best, Dieter Klose

Wooden bicycle invented by Lu Ban in China 2500 years ago

"Was this the world's first-ever cycle?
A Chinese historian has recreated what he claims was the first pedal-powered cycle ever invented - which he says was in use over 2,000 years before the first western bicycle.

Xu Quan Long (shown here) on his 'recreation,' Lu Ban's supposed wooden cycle, attracting suspicious looks from passers-by. Academic Xu Quan Long has taken his bizarre contraption to the streets of Beijing to show people his discovery - which has raised more than a few eyebrows with other road users.
'It is quite slow and looks like very hard work to steer and control,' said (someone) of the large, wooden device, which requires complicated gearing to allow it to even move.

Xu said he stumbled across the discovery while studying the works of legendary ancient Chinese inventor Lu Ban, who was born more than 2,500 years ago."


Sent us by Evan Kahn

Stunning pictures of sleeping insects covered in water droplets

"Dragonflies, flies and beetles also take on an unearthly quality as the water droplets form on them. These remarkable photographs were taken by physiotherapist Miroslaw Swietek at around 3am in the forest next to his home. Using a torch, the 37-year-old amateur photographer hunts out the motionless bugs in the darkness before setting up his camera and flash just millimetres from them."

"Mr Swietek said: 'I took up photography as a relaxing hobby two and a half years ago and I particularly like taking pictures of insects and lizards.…I photograph them in their natural environment in the forest next to my village.…They all are covered in dew because I go to the forest in the morning at around 3am.…At 3am to 4am insects are sleepy and taking photos of them is easy, but it is very difficult to find them.'

Photo Exhibit of Africans by Viviane Sassen, NYC

I spotted this this morning in the March 29 issue of the New Yorker. It's part of an exhibit by Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen at the Project Danziger gallery, 534 West 24th Street, NYC, that runs through April 10th. Stunning portraits, the photographer in tune with her subjects.

Amazing staircases

Jack Fulton sent us this link to a bunch of creative staircases:


Hard to tell where the originals are from, but this one had the caption: "Imagine the sawdust making this…"