The Golden Gate Bridge/Honky Tonk Piano/LSD in the '60s/Wooden Boat Building Classes/Big Sur Homestead

One of my rituals is to get up before dawn once a week or so, and drive into San Francisco. I go south along the coast and then across the Golden Gate Bridge to the city where I was born. This morning, the rising sun’s rays and wind and mist painted the orange bridge over blue waters in sharp surreal light. It’s about an hour drive, one cd’s worth. This morning I listened to Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies, “Western Swing Chronicles Vol. I.” A pretty much unknown and incredibly swinging band from the early ’30s, with a 20 year old self-taught fiddler named Cliff Bruner, playing blues, country, blue grass, Texas swing. The Brownies recorded this music before Bob Wills started cutting records. Great vocal harmonies. Honky tonk piano. You can see the progression from these guys to Elvis. If you like old time music, take a listen to some of the tracks online.

Come here and tell me baby

Whose muddy shoes are these…

LSD in the ’60s

I was talking to a friend the other night. He told me he’d taken LSD back then, and it hadn’t been good. “What were the circumstances,” I asked. It turned out he’d done it with a bunch of other people, they’d sat around in a room… Well, duh! In the ’60s me + friends approached LSD with great care. The idea was to — ulp — increase consciousness. Yep. My first trip was with (pure) Sandoz acid liquid and I got up before dawn and went up in the hills to watch the sun rise. The first thing my enhanced awareness picked up on was the noise of the highway, audible from our house, but never as noticeably horrible as this. Later that day I saw flowers breathing. It wasn’t a hallucination. Flowers do breathe, we just don’t see it in our rushing around doing-this-doing-that minds. LSD ended up with a bad rep, it’s powerful stuff and lends itself to messing up people’s minds, but in looking back, the idea of expanding consciousness was (is) noble. More aware, more sensitive, more tuned into planetary forces and life in its many forms. OK?

Three-Dot Jots

I heard a guy talking on public radio in April, saying that by 2015 in Germany there will be more workers in the solar industry than the auto industry . . .The North House Folk School is wonderful institution in Minnesota with a huge variety of classes and seminars on crafts, building, music, doing stuff for oneself. Wooden boat building, making a kayak paddle, knitting, brewing, making a birch box and on and on. Wonderful for kids during summer months. North House Folk website . . . Huge billboard on 2nd or 3rd Street in SF with just these words: “Think ya used enough dynamite there, Butch?” . . . Memory is the 2nd thing to go. I can’t remember the first . . . It’s taking me a long time to get running again; a year off took its toll. I’m back to about a “C” level, I’m still slow up hills, but back with the A team on downhills . . . I’m going to NYC for the Book Expo in early June . . . Am giving a talk to the Big Sur Historical Society mid-June on the building of my house down there (Burns Creek, 2 miles north of Esalen) in the ’60s. Jeez I’ve become historical. The house was framed with used timbers, roofed and floored with local Monterey Pine, and covered with hand-split shakes. Gravity-fed water from a spring, owner-built septic tank, big garden . . .

Stretching At Your Computer (Dept. of Shameless Commerce)

StretchWare: Eleven years ago we developed software that reminds you to stretch at your computer. Every couple of hours, or certain number of keystrokes, a Tibetan bell sounds and a window pops up saying “Do you have time to stretch?” If you click “no,” the program goes away. If you click “yes,” the stretches appear on screen. Take a 5 minute stretching break.

It works on Mac and Windows and you can try it free for 30 days by going to:StretchWare website

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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