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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.