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Home Sweet Ocean

I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin about half past dead…
This song recurs to me now and then when I'm on the road. In Puerto Jiminez on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, a kind of dusty border town, the song came to me. And here this morning in Kapaa, on the northern shore of Kauai, I've got only a half hour from the airport and I love the  place. It's got the big touristy hotels, but there's a healthy local gringo culture here, haven't been here long enough to suss out local Hawai'ian culture, been here less than 48 hours now, gotta check out of hotel soon, so will post some of yesterday's discoveries before the maid kicks me out:
My Daewoo beater, duct-taped sunroof, $25/day (30 w.tax), perfect, not being the new Avis/Budget/Alamo brand new tourist rental.

Found a place to lay my head, got into ocean, perfect temp., not too cold/warm, oh my! 3 times in water yesterday, each time with fins, once with air mat, which I'm finding difficult to control, squirrelly; a little body surfing;  the sand is rough and granular, fluffy, soft, nice to roll around when you come back in. Last night swam in rain. No one else at least here, doing anything like this. I'm like a starving man sitting down to a banquet, the Pacific so inviting and comfortable, unlike the 50 degree NorCal ocean.

Small Town Coffee
Annie Caporufscio set up shop in this converted Ford airport shuttle van with her partner Jeremy Hartshorn; Annie had run the shop for 9 years in rented space, but got tired of the landlords rising the rent and "…didn't want to be bullied in the lease." Great barista crema, the muffins make a good breakfast. Local hangout, good vibes…

Kauai Beach House Hostel
$40 shared sleeping room, $80 for a solo room (of which there are 3). Looks doable to me, especially in the land of 2-$300 hotel rooms. On beach, clean, wi-fi, young travelers, kitchen, shared baths, cool place.

Shared room.

Paul Iwai's Rooster Farm
How many roosters, I asked. 200?
More, Paul said. Are they beautiful! Had great visit with Paul, from a Japanese family, on family land, born here, I know chickens, and we talked shop. Oh my again! Look at these beauties; beautifully tended. You should hear the noise!

I asked Paul where I could buy a knife and he gave me two. We ate macadamia nuts from his trees, he gave me grapefruit, tangerines, I'm sending him 3 books. Kindred spirits abound here.

 That's part of what happened yesterday, gotta pack up and head north now. 

The Most Wonderful Day of My Life

I realize that I am afflicted with over-enthusiasm, especially when it comes to communicating my experiences as i move through life. That said, this was just about the most perfect day I've ever had.

I was a water person in earlier years, starting at 4 years of age when I fell in a lake and while underwater until my dad fished me out, enjoyed the experience. In high school I swam competitively and one day after a swimming meet at the great Fleishacker salt water pool out at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, a swimmer named Jim Fisher and I went out across the Great Highway to swim in the ocean. I couldn't believe it. The waves, blue water, invigoration. I was hooked.

Had my first surfboard ride at age 18, then changed my major at Stanford so I was through every Thursday at noon and able to head to Santa Cruz until Sunday night. I was a lifeguard, taught swimming, and then somehow over  the years, drifted away from the beach in comparison with my serious surfer friends.

WELL -- I've come to this small island of Kauai to get back in the water. Today I was in the ocean 3 times -- a little bodysurfing, mostly swimming (the last time in the rain tonight) and in a fresh water pool 3 times..

A barista coffee shop on wheels with wonderful coffee, muffins, and vibes. A hostel on the beach with rates (in this expensive resort area -- Kapaa --) of  $40/$80 per night for shared/solo rooms. A guy in the country with about 300 beautiful roosters and tangerine, grapefruit, macadamia and lychee nut trees.  A day of clouds and sun and clouds and rain. This island like a large boat in the Pacific Ocean. A Mexican restaurant that feels like you're in Mexico with delicious food and 3 TVs with Mexican soccer games.

I'll try to get around to writing it up (with photos) before long…

Super strong, lightweight cardboard bicycle costs $10 to make

"Israeli cycling enthusiast Izhar Gafni has created the coolest eco-vehicle to hit the streets in quite a while - a bike made entirely of cardboard! The sturdy cycle is cheap, eco-friendly, and certainly unique. Gafni first painstakingly bends and folds pieces of cardboard into what initially looks like a shipping package on wheels. He then dunks the design in resin, adds a layer of pearly paint and voila - his one-of-a-kind cardboard creation works and looks just like a beautiful bicycle, but it only costs $10 to make."

New Photos of Fit Old People

Russian photographer/writer/journalist Vladimir Yakovlev is doing a book on fit elders. Keith Levy of New Zealand sent us this link with photos of 8 of Vladimir's subjects: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/11343268/Life-begins-at-70-Pensioners-discover-extreme-hobbies-in-their-twilight-years.html

"For the past two years Russian photojournalist Vladimir Yakovlev travelled around the world, searching for people who have discovered new found hobbies and pleasure in their older age. With the series The Age Of Happiness, Yakovlev hopes to change the usual perception of life after retirement and promote positive aging. On his travels he met some extraordinary characters over 60-year-old - some very close to the 100 milestone - who enjoy each day and inspire others to make their lives equally fulfilling.

Yvonne Dole, pictured, had a car accident when she was 80-year-old resulting in serious concussion. Doctors advised her to hang up her skates. The 86-year-old - who continues to participate in competitions today - says, 'If I ever get in a bad mood, I look at my peers with their oxygen bags, put on skates and smile .'
Picture: Vladimir Yakovlev/REX

Duan Tzinfu, 73, demonstrates his amazing flexibility. He only started training when he turned 60. Before, 40 years of hard work at a glass production plant meant he could barely walk and was not flexible enough to reach his toes.
Picture: Vladimir Yakovlev/REX

Do You Have Hand Problems? Drink More Water!

I went in to see hand surgeon Dr. Robert Markison yesterday about the problem of my right hand getting cold. It's called "primary Raynaud's episode," and is due to restricted flow of blood to the hands. I mention this because I think it may be helpful to people with hand problems.

(I wrote about this, and Markison a few days ago here: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2015/01/hands-off-macspeech-dictate.html

The main thing he convinced me to do is to drink more water. He say 4 quarts a day, I'm starting with two (a half gallon). I'm going to fill a half-gallon container each morning and make sure it's gone by the end of the day.

He says that the body will divert water, especially if you eat grains and bread, to keep things moving through your digestive mechanism, and this leaves less blood to go to the hands. He does a "paleo diet" himself (meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit) and cooks in parchment to retain moisture. He thinks a lot  of physical problems come from dehydration.

Shamelss Commerce Department: Check out our program StretchWare, a software program that reminds you to take stretching breaks at your computer. Free 30-day download: http://www.stretchware.com
I'm getting back into using it regularly.

Let's face it: prolonged computer usage causes physical problems.

I'm Off to Kauai

I can't figure out why a Pacific West Coast native/surfer such as moi have gone only twice to Hawaii, and did no surfing and just a little swimming on both trips. Well, I'm off tomorrow early from Oakland on a $211 Alaska Airlines one-way flight to Kauai and I am excited! I intend to get back into the water in whatever way I can, and tune back into El Pacifico physically.

Whereas I've prided myself on not checking in bags for a few years, this time I'm taking a honker bag with wheels and about 35 lbs. of swim fins, air mat, tent, sleeping bag, soft rooftop surf rack, hiking boots + etc. What a luxury -- checking in  a bag! It's different when I was going to Southeast Asia and wanted to jump in and out of airplanes quickly.

I've got a bunch of people to visit, both near Hanalei and Waimea, and I'm doing a slide show/talk on Tiny Homes on the Move at the Princeville Public Library next Wednesday, January 21st (northern part of island near Hanalei).

Being away from the office and biz responsibilities, I'll be posting a lot more. I love doing the blog, but when in the saddle of running a publishing empire (hah!), there's only so much time. SO, stay tuned the next few weeks; come along with me and ride shotgun.

Asian Street Fashion

I know, who am I to be commenting on a book like this? Well, it's been sitting on a table in our house this week and I started looking at it. It's a beautifully designed book (other than the captions running vertically) and the photos by James Bent are perfect. (It's actually shameful that publisher Thames & Hudson did not give credit for book design anywhere.)

It makes me realize how seldom I see well-designed photo books.

The clothing is elegant, subtle, and stylish, and what the photographer chooses to shoot is a welcome relief from the weird big-time-designer stuff you see in Vogue, Vanity Fair, etc. (as modeled by anorexics with pained expressions).

It reminds me of The Sartorialist, a fashion blog by Scott Schuman, who wanders the streets of Manhattan shooting people wearing clothes that catch his eye.

Little Stevie Wonder, Live at Age 12, on Bongos and Harmonica

I posted this last April, and just listened to it again. It's so good I'm putting it up again, along with this description:

"Written and composed by Wonder's mentors, Clarence Paul and Henry Cosby, "Fingertips" was originally a jazz instrumental recorded for Wonder's first studio album, The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie. The live version of the song was recorded in June 1962 during a Motortown Revue performance at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois. Containing only a few stanzas of lyrics, "Fingertips" is essentially an instrumental piece, meant to showcase Wonder's talents on the bongos and the harmonica."

After this, I listened to Stevie much later in life, doing this duet with Ray Charles:

Hands Off! MacSpeech Dictate

I started having problems with circulation in my hands years ago and eventually had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand in 2009. The surgeon, Dr. Robert Markison, in San Francisco,* recommended that I get MacSpeech Dictate and a Sennheiser ME3 microphone. I did it, started using it, amazed at how well it worked, but gradually got back into keyboarding by hand.

In the last year I've started having circulation problems in my right hand again; my fingers are cold a lot of the time, like default for the right-hand is cold. So I'm using gloves (the best ones are rabbit-fur-lined leather ones), moving around (hiking gets the circulation going in all body parts just fine), and getting into MacSpeech Dictate much more fully. I've just had to work at it (and basically be alone, so I'm not disturbing others), and it's getting smoother all the time. It's a brilliant program.

Killer Beamer Motorcycle

On the street in Point Reyes Station California a few days ago. Yeah!