Sunday Morning Bits and Pieces

Politics: I cringe somewhat when posting political stuff, but I’ve never been good at sticking to one subject. I just happen to be all over the place. Once in a while something in the political arena strikes me. I don’t claim to be right and in fact, have a record of naiveté and even polyanna-ish hopes, but these thoughts and observations are all part of my world. Give me Obama, disappointments and all, over any of these dangerous creeps visible in the Republican media circus. I don’t have time to get into dialogues on “comments.” Just puttin it out there…

Music de este Domingo: Jimmy Reed, “Big Boss Man”

Big boss man,

Can’t you hear me when I call?

Big boss man,

Can’t you hear me when I call?

Well you not so big,

You just tall, that’s all…


It’s a great crab season. At night there are a dozen or more lights out in the ocean. Pulling crab pots. Think of the competence and resolve of these fishermen, out on the black ocean at night, getting knocked

around if seas are rough, hauling in heavy traps. tossing under-sized ones, and dumping the rest into boxes, then back to port, Not for the faint-hearted. San Francisco crab dinner: cracked crab, salad, sour-dough garlic bread, red wine.

   It was a much better year for fish in general. Salmon, halibut, rockfish. Great to see all these guys getting wild local fresh food.

Local Oyster Farm Controversy

The Drake’s Bay Oyster Company is being threatened by the same well-heeled “environmentalists” that recently forced the shutdown (in the next 5 years) of all trailers parked at Lawson’s landing. See my photo-report here:

“…Some observers see a David versus Goliath struggle, with a federal agency and moneyed environmental groups picking on a family-run business.…”

For a very complete refutation of the National Parks Service’s bad science and underhanded tactics (in cooperation with the Environmental Action Committee) in an article by John Hulls and Todd Pickering, see:


They’ve Made a Better Rat Trap (2 of ’em):

The big problem I’ve had for years is that unless the bait is tied to the trigger, these cunning critters will spirit it away sans springing trap. I was sheet-metal-screwing a ½:”copper plumbing cap to Victor traps, but they would come off. Both these traps have got little cup/triggers you fill (I use Skippy peanut butter) and voila! The springs are also strong. (Got 2 rats last night.)

Woodstream M144 Power Kill Rat Trap

Ortho 0321210 Home Defense Max Secure-Kill Rat Trap

On this subject, here’s an article I wrote a few years ago on critters on the homestead for The Mother Earth News:

Homemade Sauerkraut

I got the book Wild Fermentation due to a Cool Tools review:

Then got this Polish-made crock:

It has a lip you fill with water to keep unfriendly bacteria out. Note: If you want weight (recommended), get the 20-liter stones, not the smaller ones. Anyway, sauerkraut (great for digestion) is composed of — cabbage and salt, nada mas. Simple! First batch worked great. Centuries-old low tech.

Is The Old New Again?

It’s not so much that “…the old is new again,” but that some of the old is mighty relevant in this day and age. To wit, Otis now singing “I’ve Been Loving You For Too Long (To Stop Now),” on a vinyl record, live in Paris, 1967, just sent a chill through me…

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:

11 Responses to Sunday Morning Bits and Pieces

  1. Lloyd: my life here in the demi-monde and tiny house world of trailers means that rats must be, uh, handled. And that Ortho unit works! It is indeed the proverbial better mousetrap and I hope the world is beating a path to their door.

    The oyster/trailer park thing? The rich will always put the poor (service) people in one place and as soon as the hardy and resourceful poor make that place look warm and fun and inviting the rich will take it away from them. I think it is called gentrification. That's why I live in a trailer park. They leave us alone. Except for their blue minions but they are so weary of our third world shenanigans they mostly just pull in and flash the lights and leave again.

    The Prez? What disappointments? After eight years of horror disguised as buffoonery I would take Dick Nixon's dog as President. A checkered decade indeed and we'll all be wearing cloth coats before it is over. Mr. Obama is like that breath of air a drowning man gets before he goes down for the last time. He doesn't care what it smells like, he just wants a breath of air.

  2. Politics is all posturing, I wasted way too much life energy following it. I changed my focus to business and investing news but that can be just as spirit killing.

    But this here is all good! The growling Omar Kent Dykes and the understated Jimmy Vaughn and with a tribute to the Big Boss Man himself. I didn't know much about Jimmy Reed but immediately realized I have been listening to his music my whole life, it underpins so much of blues and rock and roll. Great album for the truck on a country road.

  3. Mark, Yes. Stones are 10" diam, so you have to angle them to slip into pot (6" opening). You wouldn't be able to get them in if the pot was full. However I first got the smaller stones and they just didn't have enough weight to press things down.

  4. It sounded like something huge scraping under my floor a few weeks ago, I was hoping it wasn't a skunk. I took out 4 roof rats in the crawl space with a standard victor trap tied to a dive weight (one crawled out of reach with the trap years ago) and baited with Skippy. They just can't lay off that peanut butter. But amazingly one time they thoroughly cleaned the peanut butter off without springing the trap so now I make sure to smear it on real tight.

    I love animals but between the Acorn Woodpeckers, ground squirrels, gophers, moles, rats and skunks they can really do some damage to a place. I built some Barn Owl nesting boxes and put them up, they have taken a lot of gophers since then. They are huge and beautiful birds and most welcome even though they can be pretty noisy.

  5. Lloyd, likewise, this is a great find, thanks. I am downloading that album as I type. I wish I'd had enough sense to listen to the roots artists back when I was young, but they were hard to find or hear back then compared to today's internet age. But it's loads of fun to 'discover' them today! The Rolling Stones etc had better sense and they just ran with this sound, didn't they?

  6. Have you experimented making sauerkraut with seaweeds instead of salt like you mentioned in the Fair Companies documentary?
    I am wondering if it would change the taste noticeably. It would probably add nutritional value though.

  7. hey Lloyd – thanks so much for the fermenting crock post – I've been wanting for a while to produce/consume more stuff like sauerkraut and kimchi – did sauerkraut in a big crock years & years ago, but this one looks like a great design & ordered one for myself last night. and then today, totally lost in the site you posted from Godfrey about junks, I came across this page – take a look at the whole fleet of "kimche jars" by a korean temple – pic is near the bottom of the page: kind of looks like the polish crock, too. its a small world and a big world all at once!

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