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#bmw #i3 #electriccar


Red-Shouldered Hawk in Tree This Morning

It was giving the evil eye to the chickens. (They're safely enclosed by aviary wire.)

I think this is a young hawk. I climbed up a ladder with my telephoto lens, was maybe 10' away from him — he wasn't alarmed. Come to think of it, maybe predators are more in attack than flight mode.

Last night I saw 2 different coyotes on the highway. One is there pretty much all the time; I hope it's not due to people feeding him.

The Washtub Bass Persuasion and Irene Tukuafu

A few days ago, I got an email from Irene Tukuafu, artist, musician, musical instrument maker, and kindred spirit, now living in Illinois. Here's her email and my reply:

On 12/23/16 at 9:15 PM -0600, Irene Tukuafu wrote in a message entitled
Fwd: Washtub bass:

Dear Lloyd, I just finished this last night.  Well, I have some more fun painting I'm going to do on this, but thought you'd like to see it.  I did some research on the different kinds of washtub bass's and when a gal let me play her one that had the handle of an axe....that worked better and can control the sound pitch better.  At least it did when I played her one.

Sooooooooo I'm in the market to find a better string.  Living is just wonderful when filled with fun stuffs to do.  My next musical instrument will be a TENNESSEE MUSIC BOX.  It's a dulcimer that was used more for the dance hall, so had to be bigger.  Not much to look at...........soooooo I'm making mine to Look at too. ha.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO THE MAX to you and all.

aloha, irene

Irene online:
http://irenetukuafu.blogspot.com/
http://harp4you.blogspot.com/

***

Johnny Ratcliffe, age 11-1/2, and his Dad Steve are surf buddies.


I'm Off To Minneapolis January 27th

I'm doing an author appearance at the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute on January 29, 2017. It's a reception at 5PM that day, where authors meet booksellers. I'll be talking about our forthcoming book, Small Homes: The Right Size, and handing out copies of Tiny Homes.  http://www.bookweb.org/wi2017/winter-institute

I'm going there a few days early to explore around the Twin Cities. Any advice on things to do there?

And, as of about a half hour ago, it looks like after the event, I'll drive the next day to Grand Marais and visit folks at the North House Folk School, and do some kind of presentation there.

***

I'm gonna get together a state of the state at our publishing company and of what I've been doing lately, now that the book is off to the printers. I've cut down a lot on my posts in the last year, what with now using Instagram, and finishing my 1st book in 3 years, but I have a bit of posting to do soon. Stay tuned.

Chris Thile and Mark O'Connor Play the Blues

#sunset in the #woods #wintersolstice shortest day of year, 4:58 PM



For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II

"The Lykovs lived in this hand-built log cabin, lit by a single window “the size of a backpack pocket” and warmed by a smoky wood-fired stove." 

"As the intruders scrambled up the mountain, heading for the spot pinpointed by their pilots, they began to come across signs of human activity: a rough path, a staff, a log laid across a stream, and finally a small shed filled with birch-bark containers of cut-up dried potatoes. Then, Pismenskaya said:
Beside a stream there was a dwelling. Blackened by time and rain, the hut was piled up on all sides with taiga rubbish—bark, poles, planks. If it hadn’t been for a window the size of my backpack pocket, it would have been hard to believe that people lived there. But they did, no doubt about it…. Our arrival had been noticed, as we could see.
The low door creaked, and the figure of a very old man emerged into the light of day, straight out of a fairy tale. Barefoot. Wearing a patched and repatched shirt made of sacking. He wore trousers of the same material, also in patches, and had an uncombed beard. His hair was disheveled. He looked frightened and was very attentive…. We had to say something, so I began: ‘Greetings, grandfather! We’ve come to visit!’
The old man did not reply immediately…. Finally, we heard a soft, uncertain voice: ‘Well, since you have traveled this far, you might as well come in.’"
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/for-40-years-this-russian-family-was-cut-off-from-all-human-contact-unaware-of-world-war-ii-7354256/?utm_source=keywee-facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&utm_campaign=keywee&kwp_0=277985&kwp_4=1099726&kwp_1=510127
From Rick Gordon

SMALL HOMES Book is off to Printers

We got the proofs back last week, and I almost cried when I went through it page by page. Sounds dumb, I know, but it was overwhelming to see all the pages, in collated order, full size, 4-color for the first time -- after a couple of years working on it. I'd only seen rather low-quality, reduced size printouts up until now. And you know what, it's ahem, a beautiful book.

People, home builders from all walks of life, a great variety of designs, materials, locales. It may very well be the most useful book we've ever done. Tiny homes are great for some people, but too small for most. Here are 65 or so homes in all, a cornucopia of ideas for people who can't afford high rents and bank mortgages, and want to build or remodel (or contract out) their own homes.

Check out the "sneak previews" on TheShelterBlog:
http://www.theshelterblog.com/?s=sneak+preview

Book due out April, 2017. More details to follow here.

I Really Love the Rain

We've had 1-1/4" already today. We're way beyond the last few years for this date. Everyone is worried that it could be like a few years ago, when we had a lot of rain through December, then practically nil the rest of the rainy season. But it feels like the low pressure systems are moving in regularly, not getting blocked by high pressure. May it continue. The soil in the woods is soaked, the fungi are lovin it.

I always think of this song when it's really raining: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u7YY-jQ0XU//

Another Toots song (look at these guys!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnGyU6y46VE

Bernie Harberts and His Lost Sea Expedition Series

Bernie Harberts and his mule Polly were featured in the "On the Road" section of our book Tiny Homes.

"I’ve sailed alone around the world, traveled across America by mule (twice), pedaled a ten dollar bike around Tasmania and walked across Newfoundland with a mule. Most recently, I sailed a wood ketch from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia Island, off Antarctica. From there, we sailed 3 weeks across the iceberg laced Southern Ocean to South Africa.…

For the Lost Sea Expedition series, I traveled 14 months across America in a wagon. Just as I did in North Carolina, I explored things that are particular to an area. This time around, it was horse breakers, Lakota elders, sod hut dwellers, ghost towns and a vanished sea that caught my eye. I filmed the whole voyage myself – a first ever for a cross-country wagon voyage.…"
lostseaexpedition.com/

Dwight Yoakam - Little Sister


Now check Elvis' version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSGGmOf_zdU

I'm sitting at Cafe Roma in North Beach right now. Here's Elvis with the same song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj0Rz-uP4Mk What a voice!

La La Blues -- Pokey LaFarge

Miracle in the Garden This Morning


Lesley's been watching the chrysalis every day. She just came in to tell me it had emerged when I was on an important phone call so I handed Evan my iPhone and he shot the pic. Note the shell of the chrysalis at right; how did the butterfly ever fit in that small enclosure? Stunning, and it's the kind of thing that's going on in the natural world every moment. As Leonard Cohen says, halleluja!

#monarch #butterfly #chrysalis yesterday. Note faint outline of wing.


San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast

This is the most informative I've found, a text report by the National Weather Service:

http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=MTR&product=AFD&

Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis in Garden


The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast

Anyone who fishes (or clams or collects anything from the California coast) will love this book. In fact, anyone on the west coast of the USA, from Baja California up to BC, will learn how to catch, gather, clean, and cook fish, clams, mussels, eels, crabs, and seaweed from this witty and complete fishing compendium. Kirk Lombard worked for 7 years as an observer for The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission before becoming "The Sea Forager" in the San Francisco Bay Area. He conducts fishing classes, does demonstrations, and sells sustainable seafood. IYou can get info on all his coastal activities and buy the book at: http://www.seaforager.com/

Full disclosure: I've been to one of Kirk's fishing demos, attended a seminar on making pickled herring, and went fishing with him for night smelt (caught 15 lbs. that night, netting them in the surf).) I've gotten a ton of useful info from him, including tonight, when I used his technique for getting the skin off horseneck clam siphons (slit lengthwise, soak in warm water for 10 min.) before making clam fritters (below, left).

He tells you how to catch salmon, halibut, rockfish, striped bass, and 8-10 other kinds of fish, how to gather 15 different types of shellfish, how to pickle seaweed (I've got a jar of pickled kelp in the frig right now, and I put ground-up dried seaweed on omelets, potatoes, anything hot). He's big on the small fish in the area — herring, anchovies, smelt, grunion, and mackerel — because they're low on the food chain, super healthy, and take pressure off the popular fish.

He's got a sense of humor, plays in a band (his oldest kid is named Django), and has fun with his work and teaching.

The book is very nicely illustrated by Leighton Kelly.

Rachel Pozivenec's Masks


Rachel Pozivenec studied mask making in Mongolia and has created a unique mix of human and animal masks - coyote, wolf, turtle , fox, hare - out of clay, acrylic, feathers and hair. www.rachelpozivenec.com/yearbook/

Posture Lessons Learned from Cats

From The Gokhale Method:
http://shltr.net/2fVSVxv

Note: Esther Gokhale has written a great book on posture: http://gokhalemethod.com/8-steps-pain-free-back

Lesley's Open Studio This Weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

Lesley is having an open studio this weekend in Bolinas featuring knitted wool scarves and woven Alpaca shawls. Info here: http://www.coastalmarinartists.com/2016-open-studios-thanksgiving-weekend/creed-copy/

Two of our favorite potters are among the 16 artists doing open studios: Patricia Yenawine and Mardi Wood. Info on all artists here: http://www.coastalmarinartists.com/ (Roll mouse over images to get artists' names.)

Helicopter Skiing in Bella Coola, British Columbia, with First Nations Imagery

Music: A Tribe Called Red - Electric Pow Wow Drum

#sanfrancisco #victorian #carpentry #architecturephotography #millwork


"I don't have to show you any stinking badges."

Famous movie quotes quiz (mostly vintage).
I have to remember, when talking to people much younger, that we don't necessarily share the same points of reference. These are all embedded in my memory, and I have to remember that there's a certain age requirement for them to have any meaning.
1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
2. "He vas my boyfriend!"*
3. "Here's looking at you, kid."
4. "We'll always have Paris."
5. "Round up the usual suspects."
6. "Made it Ma, top of the world!"
7. “Mussolini, Hitler—and now, Peterson!”
8. "I coulda been a contender."
9. "You talkin to me?"
10. "Go ahead, make my day."
11. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
12. " You just put your lips together and blow."
13, "Nobody's perfect."
14. "It was beauty killed the beast."
15. "The Dude abides."
16. "You're my baby, man."
17. "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille."

*in what is probably my favorite film of all time: 
18. "…just exactly what is it that you do do?"
19. "Put the candle back!"
20. "Don't put the candle back!"
20. " Do not open this door."
21. "Open this god dammed door…"
22.  "Oh, you men are all alike. Seven or eight quick ones and you're off with the boys…"

Hey, this is fun, but I gotta get back to work. We're putting the finishing touches on Small Homes: The Right Size this week.

Woodworkers Attention: J. B. Blunk's Handcrafted Wooden Home in the Northern California Woods

I visited J.B. in the early '60s, when I was just starting to build. I was inspired. It was (is) a magic house. Everyone who steps inside feels it.

Here's a great article and photos in yesterday's New York Times Style Magazine by Amanda Fortini, with photos by Lisa Eisner:
http://shltr.net/2fyLfRi

Into San Francisco Early This Morning

I left around 6AM, stars were out, it was cold. My MO for these early morning rides into the city: cup of fresh ginger tea, a bit of power plant in Ploom, the Michael Des Barres program on Sirius radio (for which I thank you, Lew!), iPhone ready for whatever pops up.

This morning as I drove the windy road, I counted 54 lights out in the sea, crab season just opened, and it might be a good one. Neighbor fisherman Todd pulled 35 pots the 1st day, got 700 lbs. dungeness crab (we had fresh crab with 1-hour-old porcini pasta, + my brother's deep red Syrah wine last night, ahem).

I was driving my Toyota truck (picking up lumber today) when, on a tight turn, a white Porsche, came roaring up behind me, didn't hesitate, whipped around me with a roar, crossing the double line, baby -- you go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ6akiGRcL8&list=RDlQ6akiGRcL8#t=0

It's always a thrill to go thru the tunnel and see the Golden GateBridge. This is my bridge; I've been to the top of it, and crossed under it in a kayak -- and this the city that I love to this day, 81 years later. I start the day with a latte and brioche at Cafe Roma, old-school coffee house in North Beach, spend a few hours writing, editing, blogging, listening to music on earphones before venturing out for the day's chores.

This was playing as I went through the tunnel:

Check Out Our Photos Now on Tumblr

Above: Caleb and Louise's hand-built home near West Cornwall, Connecticut, in the early '70s
Sean Hellfritsch gave us the idea of using Tumblr for good quality photos; he started it and now Brittany Cole Bush is continuing to put up photos, some old, some recent.
Click here: http://shelterpub.tumblr.com/

Cool Tools- My Favorite Website

As I've said before, this is the 21st century online Whole Earth Catalog. Same M.O.: People like us writing reviews of cool stuff for other people like us. It's embarrassing how many things I've obtained after reading about them here. These aren't frivolous purchases; all the stuff is useful to me, stuff I'd never have known about otherwise.

I must point out I have a massive conflict of interest here. I've written a lot of CT reviews, and these guys are good friends.

That said, I periodically want to turn people onto this rich source of ad-free advice. It's just madly useful. Take a look: http://kk.org/cooltools

Write a review and they'll send you an email of new tools weekly.

Photo of #super moon on TV last night behind Coit Tower in #sanfrancisco by photographer Drew Kass


Lost in the Woods

I've just (belatedly) started telling Lesley where I'm going when I head out alone in the hills or on the beaches. In case I don't get back and someone has to come looking for me. Yesterday I was taking off for a long bike ride and mushroom hunt, and I said I'd be home by dark. "In case I break both legs," I said. Ha ha.

So I got out, deep into the woods, left my bike leaning against a tree, and set out, finding nothing much but death caps (Aminita phalloides), but it was nice being in groves that contained, in addition to bay trees and conifers, healthy live oaks not hit with sudden oak death. I stalked and wandered for maybe an hour and decided to head back to my bike, and at that moment congratulating myself on my sense of direction. I usually can track my way back to the starting point.

Well, smart ass, after a few steps, I realized I didn't know where I was. Nothing looked familiar. I knew west because of the setting sun (yeah, brilliant, no compass), but I had no idea of the direction back. After 20 minutes, following various deer and coyote trails, I realized I had maybe an hour before it was dark. For some reason I had a phone connection, and I called and left Lesley a message, I'm OK, but lost and it's possible I may have to spend the night out here, so don't call in the troops...

I started jogging, decided to head for what looked like a canyon, because I figured it would run west and that would lead to the road. I was getting a bit worried, shit, it was gonna be a cold night. I finally got to the canyon and the opposite wall looked almost vertical.

BUT then I spotted some red banners. and started following them down to the bottom of the canyon,  and there was a faint trail going up the steep west side. Never been so glad to see trail markers.

AND at the top, I spotted telephone poles. Eureka! Bushwhacked over to them, then hiked a mile or so back to my bike, got home just after sunset, dog tired and happy. A great adventure.

Anyone have ideas for a good GPS app for an iPhone 6s?

"The Forgotten Victorian Craze for Collecting Seaweed"

Above: Selected plates from Margaret Gatty’s “British Sea-Weeds.” Biodiversity Heritage Library/public domain

"This woman…is one of… one of Victorian Britain’s many female seaweed hunters. Beloved by figures like Queen Victoria and George Eliot, seaweed-hunting became a popular way for women to tap into the enthusiasms of their era—and contribute to the burgeoning annals of science.…

…As the seashore itself gained a reputation as a restorative landscape, plenty of women found themselves there, either recuperating from illness or seeking family-friendly summer fun. Many of them were already diehard scrapbookers, and seaweed makes a particularly rewarding collage subject: not only does each specimen’s strange color and shape present a design challenge, its gelatinous inner structure means that, when pressed onto paper, it actually glues itself to the page.…"

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-forgotten-victorian-craze-for-collecting-seaweed

(Came upon this from following up on Kevin Kelly's tip for using atlasobsura.com for finding "…obscure, very offbeat attractions…" to wherever he is traveling. http://kk.org/cooltools/)

If you're not interested in seaweed, still check out http://www.atlasobscura.com.

Eating Seaweed

Lately I've been collecting it, drying it, then cutting it up into thin strips with a knife (powdering it in a coffee grinder makes dust that I'm sure is bad to breathe), then putting it on pasta, in omelettes, oatmeal, anything that's hot, as an infusion of the sea and homemade vitamin and mineral supplement.