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Red Sky This Morning…

When a friend came over this morning, he said, "Red sky in the morning...," referring to the phrase:
Red sky at night, sailor's delight,
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. 
In other words, a storm is coming.
Caused me to think about this saying, familiar to coast dwellers and especially sailors and fishermen. So, why does a red sky in the morning mean a storm is coming? I looked it up here, on Wikipedia:
"In America:
Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.
In Great Britain and Ireland: Red sky at night, shepherd's delight, Red sky in morning, shepherd's warning.…
Weather systems typically move from west to east, and red clouds result when the sun shines on their undersides at either sunrise or sunset. At these two times of day, the sun's light is passing at a very low angle through a great thickness of atmosphere, the result of which is the scattering out of most of the shorter wavelengths — the greens, blues, and violets — of the visible spectrum, and so sunlight is heavy at the red end of the spectrum.

NorCal Beach Graffiti Dec 2012 -- #2

Eating Prickly Pear Cactus

Photo shows fruits in bowl, skinned pads (nopales) in plate. I was defeated by this plant a few years ago, just could not get stickers out, especially from skins of fruit. This time, with help from Nature's Gardens -- Edible Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer, I got more serious. Used tongs to hold, scrubbed with stiff brush, used heavy duty potato peeler on pads. Still difficult, but was able to eat fruit without mouth punctured with stickers -- nice mild sweet taste, lot of seeds --  and last night sauteed the pads along with garlic and onions, pretty good.
   Any one got tips on cleaning, eating? These are so abundant, at least  on the West Coast.

Surf Rack On Bike

Surfer Jeff and his homemade bike surf rack. He used a curved piece of scrap metal—can't see it here, it's on other side—covered with duct tape, strapped to side of bike. He can go from his house to the water all on his own power. No gasoline.

Your Amazing Brain

Paul Wingate just sent this:

7H15 M3554G3
53RV35 7O PR0V3
H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!
1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!
1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG
17 WA5 H4RD BU7
N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3
Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17
W17H 0U7 3V3N
7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,
C3R741N P30PL3 C4N
R3AD 7H15.
PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F\
U C4N R34D 7H15.
If you can r ea d this, you have a s trange mnid, too. O nl y 55 pe o p l e out of 100 can.
I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseaethe huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can raed this forwrad it…

Love the Rain

About 4" in the last 4 days. Creeks rushing, reservoirs pretty full. Can it be that there is some good news in these messed up times? I have about 18" of rain this year, about a third more than normal. Caused me to dial up Toots singing "Love the Rain."

NorCal Beach Graffiti Dec 2012 -- #1

Sailing Wind Wagon On Nevada Salt Flats

"Swedish adventurers test drive a self-made replica of an 1853 Wind Wagon before sailing it 500 kilometers across the salt flats of Nevada, United States." www.windwagonproject.se
From Bertil Klevner via Godfrey Stephens

The Day After Lots of Rain

Blogging is perfect for me, what with my compulsion to blab about everything I encounter in my world. It takes maybe a year for me (with substantial help) to get each book together, but here I can get things out daily. Actually I'm a frustrated newspaperman. I love the immediacy of newspapers, but  could never take the pressure; nor could I write well and quickly enough to work for a grownup daily paper. I don't tweet these days, and just can't join the FaceBook conglomerate. Blogging's enough. Finding the time to do it, along with getting books out in today's turbulent publishing seas, is a challenge.
Winter Solstice I felt something Friday, like a wakeup call. To get it a lot more together and quit moping because of an injured shoulder. I have so many friends with debilitating body parts, that I'm like a wimp. One body part goes wrong and I get depressed. OK, days are getting longer. I actually felt the first wave of Spring the other day, the new grass growing as the hills turn green, the call of a red-wing blackbird (lodged in my all-time memory from teenage years prowling my dad's rice farm in Colusa (Calif.). Come on, April!
(Above pic, Amanita Muscaria, bursting out of pine needles everywhere right now…

Customized Bikes From Recycled Parts

From Kevin Kelly on CoolTools:
Bicycle Builders Bonananza
"A fun and detailed guide to hacking unusual bicycles from old bike parts. With a bit of welding here and there you can take castoff bicycles and repurpose them in dozens of imaginative ways. Here are notes for customizing choppers, tandems, unicycles, and crazy stunt bikes with frames found at the dump. How to strip down a bike to its useful components, and what to keep in mind as you modify its design and performance. "

Off-grid Tiny Cabin NY State

"Scott Newkirk… spends every weekend living off the grid at his 300-square-foot house in Yulan, New York. There’s no electricity or running water, no TV, no computer. There he can slow down, sleep late, and take his daily bath in the nearby brook (weather permitting).

Newkirk had been living close to the land on the property already, in a wood-frame tent, but it burned down. Not long after, he came across the 1973 classic eco-architecture book Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher’s Art, which celebrated small, handcrafted houses constructed out of recovered and scavenged materials. That got him thinking about building a house on his property with the same innocence and integrity he was reading about.…"