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Shipwrecked While Sailing Around the World

"Rimas Meleshyus was born on Russia’s Black Sea some 60 years ago. In 1988 he escaped the Soviet Union through the American Embassy in Moscow. Living in America he discovered sailing, and recently he’s set off on some very ambitious small-boat cruises.
   In June 2012 Rimas crossed the challenging Gulf of Alaska in an old San Juan 24 (generally considered a near-shore weekender). The tumultuous voyage included striking a whale, a harrowing capsize, and his nearly being run down by a freighter. As a result of the near collision, Rimas didn’t sleep for three days, trying to stay alert for shipping traffic. A month into his journey, 50 miles from Unalaksa, the groggy skipper struck a reef. After trying in vain for several hours to free the boat, he fell asleep. When we woke many hours later he was beach in remote Sarana Bay.…" http://smallcraftadvisor.com/our-blog/?p=3487
More detailed story here

T-R-O-U-B-L-E by Travis Tritt

This is such a good album, I stuck around to hear it out this afternoon.
T-R-O-U-B-L-E by Travis Tritt, from 1992. Here.

Is he still this good? I'd go see him if he ever came to NorCal. Rockin country roll!

My New Honda Fit!

I've been driving 4x4 trucks for over 30 years. The trade-off for the weight and truckiness being that I could pick up firewood, haul lumber, sacks of concrete. and go anywhere, any time. I spent 12 years 4-wheeling in Baja. Many trips to the American Southwest (always in spring). 3 long trips to British Columbia, shooting pics for Builders of the Pacific Coast. 4-wheeling it across the river to my friend Louie's house in Mendocino county. I've been a truck guy forever. The latest, for my last 10 years: a 2003 Toyota 4-cylinder, 5-speed Tacoma  4 X 4 with metal camper shell, pull-out canopy, all-time classic tough, dependable vehicle. 140,000 miles, good for another 140. Desert Roamer. (I may sell it, and get a beater truck for local hauls.)
   But there came the time, several months ago, when I realized I was through with the long truck hauls, the 3,000-mile trips, and hauling the truck over the windy roads homewards from my weekly trips into San Francisco was a chore.
   I embarked on a study of cars, and ended up settling on a Honda Fit. Other contenders (in this field of scaled-down, aerodynamic SUVs) were the Toyota Yaris Liftback, Mazda 2, Scion XD, Prius C model, VW Golf diesel. The Cube too cartoony, the Scion xB too boxy. I didn't do extensive reviews, but in the end settled on the Fit largely because of its ingenious cargo space in the rear — 4 by 5 feet with rear seats folded down. 20 cubic feet of space vs. 15 for the other cars. 4 doors and a hatchback so you can get into the rear from all sides. Like a small truck bed. (I could get into my truck bed camper shell on all 3 sides.)
   I wanted to see how the Fit did on curves, since a winding mountain road is about half of my driving. I talked salesman Murray Cherkas of San Francisco Honda into letting me take a Fit across the city and then down the winding block of Lombard Street, "crookedest street in the world." I took the 8 hairpin turns fast, and the car behaved beautifully. Sold.

Stewart Brand's Summary of Chris Anderson's Talk on "The Makers' Revolution"

We’re now entering the third industrial revolution, Anderson said.  The first one, which began with the spinning jenny in 1776, doubled the human life span and set population soaring.  From the demographic perspective, “it’s as if nothing happened before the Industrial Revolution.”
   The next revolution was digital.  Formerly industrial processes like printing were democratized with desktop publishing.  The “cognitive surplus” of formely passive consumers was released into an endless variety of personal creativity.  Then distribution was democratized by the Web, which is “scale agnostic and credentials agnostic.”  Anyone can potentially reach 7 billion people.
   The third revolution is digital manufacturing, which combines the gains of the first two revolutions.  Factory robots, which anyone can hire, have become general purpose and extremely fast.  They allow “lights-out manufacturing,” that goes all night and all weekend.

Oldest Straw Bale House in Europe For Sale in France

From Christine Durand, our correspondent in France, who has turned us on to much good material:
Bonjour Lloyd !
The oldest known straw bale house in Europe is for sale !
   The ''Maison Feuillette'' was built in 1921 by Feuillette, an engineer who was looking for solutions to construction problems. The house - still inhabited and perfectly preserved - is acknowledged globally as a unique, innovative and exemplary building:
-timber frame structure with straw bale infill - modular construction, lending to pre-fabrication
-use of varying local materials.
  Despite certain features of its era (single glazing in particular), the house presents energy efficiency standards equivalent to the 2005 french ones!
   All good reasons why the RFCP (French straw bale building network) launched an international campaign to save the house. ''This building proves the durability of straw bale construction and it is a precious tool to give weight to recent straw bale construction building code'," the network says.
   No doubt about that!
   More (in english) : https://sites.google.com/a/compaillons.eu/feuillette-house/Le-projet-Maison-Feuillette

Portable Beach House in New Zealand

"On the shore of an idyllic white sanded beach in New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula rests an elegant hut. Closed up, the rough macrocarpa-cladding blends into the landscape and perches quietly on the dunes, as passersby wonder how it could possibly function for a family of five. Designed to close up against the elements, the hut measures a mere 40 square metres and rests on two thick wooden sleds™ that allow it to be shifted around the beach front section. This innovative portability is a response to the ever changing landscape that line the beachfront in this coastal erosion zone.…"
On Little Diggs, a sort of Dwell magazine type architectural website; most digs are spare and bare, but all in all, a good location for those interested in little homes. Lots of other pics of this place.

Running, Music, Driving Along the Dark Coast

My friend Roger and I went on a 1-1/2 hour run—well, swift walk—in Frank's Valley last night. Bitterly cold on the coast, but as we got deeper into the valley, and got circulation going, it got warmer. We're about the same age, both recovering from shoulder surgery, and both San Francisco natives, so we have a lot to talk about. Last night we reminisced about the theaters on Market Street in the '40s. The Fox (a movie palace), the Orpheum, the Warfield, the Golden Gate, the United Artists, the Esquire, and in an alley behind the Esquire, the Tivoli. Then on to the neighborhood theaters, like the Empire, The Parkside, the El Rey…
  This is a photo shot with my iPhone on the way home, driving along the coast, the red lights being an approaching car. I discovered that if I touched my brakes, I saw the road reflectors light up red in my rear view mirror. So I'd touch the brake pedal every once in a while, see the string of red lights in the mirror, then focus back on the road in front. It was like a light show, with this music on Sirius Radio: Meet Me in the Morning by Bob Dylan, Rambling Man by Waylon, then Bring Back Joe by Scotty McCreery. Fahhr out!

Great pleasures can be so simple.

Now listening to Frampton Comes Alive, a great live recording made in San Francisco (at Winterland, 1975) in front of 7000 fans, when the musicians forgot they were being recorded. Frampton said they were all amazed when they heard the recording afterwards.

Portland Loves Tiny Houses

"Small homes come in many shapes and sizes. There are super cute bungalows, tiny homes on wheels and accessory dwelling units (ADUs), which have become quite popular since the City of Portland waived about $12,000 worth of development fees for these small and independent living units. Don’t worry, thanks to City Council, the waiver doesn’t expire until 2016, so you still have time to design your dream cottage for the backyard.…" Click here.

Pipeline + Bodysurfing Hawaii

I picked this website up from Xeni Jardin on Boing Boing this morning.
Click here for Pipeline December, 2012.

Click here for bodysurfing at Sandy Beach (a little more my speed).

Lake Retreat in the Yukon

"Keep up the good work - we love your energy and wisdom. We live in a small log home and built one for guests. Take a look and I too have a blog - Dunroamin' diaries. Hope to see you in the Yukon someday! Suzanne Picot Dunroamin' Retreat Box 169 Carcross, YT 867-821-3492" www.dunroaminretreat.com

Schlemiel and Schlimazel

Louie and I were talking about the wittiness of Yiddish words. What's the difference between a schlemiel and schlimazel? he said — pause— "A schlemiel spills soup on a Schlimazel."

From Wikipedia:

schlemiel: an inept clumsy person; a bungler; a dolt (Yiddish שלעמיל shlemil from Hebrew שלא מועיל "ineffective") …

schlimazel also schlemazl: a chronically unlucky person (שלימזל shlimazl, from Middle Dutch slimp 'crooked, bad'—akin to Middle High German slimp 'awry', or schlimm 'poor or lacking'—and Hebrew מזל mazzāl 'luck', cf. German Schlamassel) … In June 2004, Yiddish schlimazel was one of the ten non-English words that were voted hardest to translate by a British translation company.[10] In a classic Vaudeville skit, the schlemiel spills the soup into the schlimazel's lap.

Time Lapse Sculpture Wooden Fish in France

 "Published on Jan 25, 2013 Alvin de sardine marseillaise. Sculpture réalisée dans un tronc de poivrier, à l'occasion de l'expo "sous le signe des poissons". Retrouvez là dans le cadre de Marseille Provence 2013 à la maison de l'artisanat."
Sent us from Warsaw by Julien Croisie. (Wonderful to have sympatico connection in Poland -- Julien sent us a bunch of good links. It truly is the "world wide" web.)

Boogie Woogie Sunny Sunday Morning

Pinetop Perkins playing boogie woogie now. Years ago I walked by the Sweetwater bar in Mill Valley and there was a sign saying "Tonight -- Pinetop Perkins." Yeow! I was there. He was in his '80s, slim, wearing a purple suit with lavender tie. It was rare, like getting a chance to see Muddy Waters (who he played with). He flirted with the ladies. "Put on your high-heel sneakers, wear your wig hat on your head.…"
  Last night saw Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie. I loved it. A bit overlong, but very enjoyable. Sly tongue in cheek plot w. references to the old Bond movies. Great photography, stylish graphics, good acting. Now here's a good mainstream American movie.
  Such great stuff now coming in for our new book on 20th century nomadics. It's kinda like I'm a spectator watching all these great stories, adventures and photos come in. Book as living organism.
This Delta radial arm saw must be 50 years old. Bought it used in the '70s. Has worked flawlessly ever since. American made. At left is a Back Revolution machine, sold by Stretching Inc. Use to invert and stretch spine. You hang upside down by yr. hips.

Time to venture out into the day. This afternoon, old friend Don Manoukian coming by. Don played for the Oakland Raiders in the late '50s, was a professional wrestler known as "The Bruiser." From a big Reno Armenian family, his mom was a great cook.


A Toot in San Francisco

Several times, when I was maybe 11, my grandmother took me on what she called a toot. No, not that kind of toot. We'd take a streetcar down to Market Street (San Francisco), walk up and down past the movie houses,and then go to two movies, one after the other. A toot.
   Thursday, my friend Louie and I went on a toot in San Francisco. Two old guys-- 78 and 84 -- country boys at that, in the Big City. I can't believe Louie's that old. He lives farther back in the country than I do, so the sights of the big city are a treat for him.
   We went in early in the morning, first to Trouble Coffee, out by the beach. I showed Louie the v. cool restaurant Outerlands, just up the block from Trouble. Then we walked -- sunny bright morning -- over to Mollusc Surf Shop on Irving, a great place -- surfboards, fine selection of books, wetsuits, surf clothes, then checked out the Cajun Pacific Cafe, with its colorful mural; unique restaurant. Then down to the big Flax art store on Market.

"My Way," Tribute by Andre Rieu To Frank Sinatra

"My Way" by Andre Rieu

1937 RV

 From David Shipway. Great fun browsing around in the '30s on this link: here.