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Down at the cove this morning as 2 storms approach coast

Above panorama down at the cove an hour ago (same place as the sunset shot on my blog header) as the storms approach.
We are just about to get blasted by a storm front, consisting of a tropical storm from Hawaii, which will hook in from the south, and an Arctic storm heading down from the north. 5 days of rain, they say.
I'm sitting in the Arena Market & Cafe in Pt. Arena, with a latte, a pretty good wi-fi connection, listening to the Sirius blues station thru earphones on my iPad, checking and answering email and blogging. Am I a modern guy or what?
By the way Franny's Cup & Saucer Bakery in Pt. Arena is a world-class gem. Run by a mother and daughter who are very creative and witty.

Tiny house shape



























Much of the fun I have driving is hunting the surrounding landscape for buildings. You can learn a lot from the simplicity and practicality of farm buildings. The proportions look perfect here.

Secret grotto on coast

Louie over at Pepe's for breakfast yesterday morning. Shot this with Pepe's Canon Rebel Vixia HF S 200, with EFS 15-85 mm zoom, a very fine less-than-ultra-expensive Canon.









Yesterday Louie and I took a hike to this spectacular bit of the coast. That's a tunnel through the rock on the right, with white water pounding through on each swell. Man, what a spot! The Pacific Ocean in its majesty and power.


Mama's little helper

Yesterday we visited a straw bale house SunRay built. This little girl's mom was mixing purple plaster for the walls and the little girl was trying to help. Look at those eyes!

SunRay & Lloyd

Yesterday I shot photos of SunRay's latest creation, a 12-sided yurt "man cave." It'll be in our tiny houses book. Here we are standing at the back of his solar-powered camper (in process of construction).

Abandoned farm house

Still life

Perfect little farm building

Girl with glow

I walked into a coffee shop yesterday along with another guy. The barista girl was standing there, and she was luminous. She had an energy glow. The other guy took one look at her and said, "Look at you!"

SunRay's temple 3 years later


The unique natural materials temple built by SunRay Kelley in the northern Californai hills 3 years ago (and featured in Builders of the Pacific Coast) is holding up beautifully. I checked it out yesterday. The cob walls are still smoothly sculptured and unpitted. Everyone who goes into this building feels good. It's a masterpiece.

Olive Harvest in Napa Valley/SunRay Kelley in Lake County/Louie's in Pt. Arena

Took off Monday morning for a 5 day road trip. First up to my brother's farm in the Napa Valley to watch the olive harvest, then up towards Clear Lake, and Harbin Hot Springs. From there out to see SunRay Kelley's "man cave," a 12-sided cob-walled wooden yurt, then over to hang out with my friend Louie at his place on the river.
I love starting on a trip. It's always an adventure. Rainy drizzly morning, and on my Sirius satellite blues station, Bobby Blue Bland singing, They Call it Rainy Monday, then Paula Nelson (with Willy Nelson) doing Have You Ever Seen the Rain. Over on the "Outlaw" station, Dale Gilmore: I'm a Ramblin Man…
Heading along the back road to Petaluma, it's misty and the hills are soft and green. God I love California! Ayreshire cows grazing. One of Clover Milk's billboards shows a cow lying on her side, relaxing in a meadow, with the words: "Amazing Graze." I still remember "Tip Clo Through the Two Lips."

Olive harvest: my brother made a deal with the (large) McEvoy Ranch for his (certified organic) olive crop. The McEvoy crew was there, 44 guys, and I shot photos. It was a bumper olive year; my brother resurrected a pretty neglected bunch of olive trees (over 1000) on a ranch he bought 3 years ago. This year they expect to get 12 tons.

Using Waste, Swedish City Cuts Its Fossil Fuel Use

Article 12/10 by Elizabeth Rosenthal in NYTimes:
Photo:Johan Spanner

KRISTIANSTAD, Sweden — When this city vowed a decade ago to wean itself from fossil fuels, it was a lofty aspiration, like zero deaths from traffic accidents or the elimination of childhood obesity.
But Kristianstad has already crossed a crucial threshold: the city and surrounding county, with a population of 80,000, essentially use no oil, natural gas or coal to heat homes and businesses, even during the long frigid winters. It is a complete reversal from 20 years ago, when all of their heat came from fossil fuels.…
Kristianstad has gone further, harnessing biogas for an across-the-board regional energy makeover that has halved its fossil fuel use and reduced the city’s carbon dioxide emissions by one-quarter in the last decade.
'It’s a much more secure energy supply — we didn’t want to buy oil anymore from the Middle East or Norway,' said Lennart Erfors, the engineer who is overseeing the transition in this colorful city of 18th-century row houses. 'And it has created jobs in the energy sector.'"

The (1895) Cliff House at Ocean Beach in San Francisco

The first Cliff House was built at Ocean Beach in San Francisco in 1863. On Christmas day, 1894, it burned to the ground. Mayor Adolph Sutro had it redesigned by architects (as a "…large and pretty chateau") and it was rebuilt in 1895 in its above reincarnation. This building lasted until  1907, when it burned to the ground. In 1909 a 3rd, much plainer version was built. This was remodeled several times, the latest in 2003, and the present version is disappointingly soulless and has none of the character or charm of its predecessors.

Hundreds of photos are at: http://www.cliffhouseproject.com/introduction.htm

Morgan cars made by hand of wood and metal

"The Morgan Motor Company located in Britain doesn't change in a changing world. Not only it is still independent, but it also makes each car by hand. A base model is about $44,000, but some cars cost up to $300,000. People wait for over a year to get their exclusive hand-built cars with the shell made out of metal and much of the vehicle made out of wood. Working on the wood interior, workers use metal shears to individually shape a hood because each car has to be different.…"
Here are step-by-step photos of car assembly, showing all the3 wood parts:
http://dalesdesigns.net/morgan.htm

Sent us by Pepe Alvarez