climate (8)

Some say the world will end in fire…

In the last few months I’ve experienced extreme cold (Minnesota) and warm weather (80’s here in Baja). It made me think of summers down here, which are just about unbearable, and the 2 extremes (as applied to being outside—I’m not talking about heaters in the cold or air conditioners in the heat). In the cold, you can bundle up to mitigate the extreme, but in the heat you’re out of luck. One time in August down here, my landlord Yuca and I would go across the dusty road and lie down in the shallow river in T-shirts and shorts, then come back to my room and stand in front of the fan while soaking wet for a few precious moments of coolness.

Fire and Ice 

Some say the world will end in fire, 

Some say in ice. 

From what I’ve tasted of desire 

I hold with those who favor fire. 

But if it had to perish twice, 

I think I know enough of hate 

To say that for destruction ice 

Is also great 

And would suffice.

-Robert Frost

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1st Presentation on New Book Small Homes

40-50 people showed up for my talk/slide show Wednesday night at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais. I’m amazed anyone came, it was so cold out. Kindred spirits fer shure.

Us born-and-bred coastal Caifornians are wimps when it comes to weather like this. It was minus 4 degrees F this morning. Sometimes it gets down to -20F, and if the wind is blowing, -40 wind chill factor. When you step outside, the cold attacks you, it’s all you can think of.

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Rain in Norcal on its way

SYNOPSIS:

Fairly dry and warm condition are forecast through midweek, except for a slight chance of rain in the north bay on Tuesday.  Chances of rain increase by Thursday and then greatly increase into this weekend.


DISCUSSION:

The week will start out dry with patchy morning fog in various locations throughout the county.  A light system far north of the county is expected to develop on Tuesday, but is not expected to produce very much rain.  Rain, if any, from this system will be only along the northern county border.  Fairly dry conditions are expected throughout most of county on Wednesday with a very weak system moving into the area late Wednesday night to early Thursday morning where very light rain is expected.  Then,  a much stronger storm is expected to move into the area by late Friday and will produce rain throughout the remainder of the weekend.  Precipitation amounts may range from 1.35-inches along the eastern side and southern portions of the county, and up to 2.54-inches of rain along the coast, higher elevations and along the northern county boarder.  This system is expected to produce heavy rain at times with strong winds throughout the weekend and into next week.

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Poppa’s Gonna Have A Brand New Bag

Full moon Friday night

Jim Morrison said that it wasn’t until The Doors released a record that he was free to get on with creating something new. Now that Tiny Homes On The Move is finished, I’m looking out on the horizon for what’s next. Right now, it looks like this:

Blogs Rick has almost got The Shelter Blog up and running (with a Word Press template). My son Evan is going to manage it. Lew, Evan and I will post stuff on it. All shelter-related, unlike my eclectic blog. The idea is to do online what our book Shelter did in 1973: showcase owner-builders and the lifestyle that a bunch of us share. Providing as much of our own food and shelter as possible (you can’t be totally self-sufficient; self-sufficiency is a direction). As opposed to Dwell magazine, homes rich in color, utility, and good vibes. We intend this to be station central for people of the owner-builder persuasion.

   We’ll post all the stuff we are now getting from people who have been inspired by our books to build something. In this sense it’ll be different from other blogs in that much of the material will be original and unique, not a pastiche of what’s floating out in the web-o-sphere.

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Friday Fish Fry

Dry dry dry. Day after day of no rain. I think the driest in history.

Saw Inside LLewyn Davis last night. Disappointing. I wanted to like it, because the concert put on in NYC in September by the musicians recruited by musical director TBone Burnett was terrific, and I have a lot of respect for the Coen brothers and their witty and fresh approach to film making. But this was just a bore. John Goodman’s character was overblown and weird, say like Jack Nicholson in one of his rare misfires as the Joker in the 1st Batman film, or Johnny Depp’s characters in the Tim Burton movies—sorry, I’m not buyin it…I don’t understand all the adulation for Llewyn. Music not even that good. Very little humor. Best picture of year, puhleeeze.


I cut down a 35-year old Weeping Santa Rosa Plum, the other day, was rotting from the inside. Interesting to see what was a pretty big (and productive) garden presence reduced to a couple of piles of kindling and to-be-split firewood

Yesterday we went to Flora Grubb, a large nursery specializing in palm trees and succulents in San Francisco. Great place, down near the produce market, with a Ritual Coffee stand inside. I shot a lot of pictures, we’ll post more when I get time. https://floragrubb.com

All Hail by The Devil Makes Three on Grooveshark

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Friday Fish Fry


The Sky Ain’t Cryin Big news around here is no rain, and none in sight. Dry dry dry.

The ground is cryin.

Mushrooms are hidin.

Creeks are dribblin.

Hills, usually verdant this time of year, are brownish green, oh my.

People I pass on my walks say, beautiful day, I grit my teeth and agree.

A beautiful day right now would be torrents of rain.

Foraged Firewood I rented a log splitter and Marco I split enough wood for two years in about 5 hours. Usually I pick up oak from the side of the road, but this year there was a ton of cypress and eucalyptus lying around, cut to firewood-sized logs, needing only splitting. Very few people around here get their own firewood these days; probably half the houses in these two small seaside towns are second units for city people who come infrequently. The do-it-yourself era around here ended years ago.

Killer Kayak The Hammer, made by P&H in the UK, is a new and uniquely designed ocean kayak. Check it out in the surf:  

Note: you’ve got to put in a fair amount of time in order to maneuver around like this. If you live in the San Francisco area, check out the California Canoe and Kayak Co. in Jack London Square in Oakland. They must have over 100 boats in stock. If you’re serious about buying a kayak and put down a $300 deposit, they will let you try out any number of kayaks over a three month period, keeping them for several days until you find the one that suits your needs.

Kindhearted Woman Blues – Robert Johnson

Kindhearted Woman Blues by Robert Johnson on Grooveshark

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Monday Morning Fish Fry

The wind blew like mad last night, felt like gale force. Clouds moved in, we were hoping for rain, but by this morning, the front had skipped to the south. It’s really dry; the weatherman said the other night,  driest January-October since 1865. On the other hand, SF Chronicle outdoors-writer Tom Stienstra said the bears have full coats now, sign of a robust winter. We can only hope. The first rain I’m gonna be out there with face uplifted, feeling the drops, smelling the moistened soil, bring it on!…Last week went up to my brother’s farm in Napa Valley and picked a bucket of olives, they’re now immersed in water with salt and vinegar. No lye. The olives from last year are still in brine, still very good. I like to have them with a glass of red wine before dinner…Got new skateboard, a Tesseract from Loaded Boards, it’s great. Goes maybe 10-15% faster than any other of my boards, and turns maybe 10-15% better, inspiring me to skate more; check it out here — look at the video — hi-speed downhill sliding, on long boards with soft wheels no less!

Photos shot in Napa Valley last week; beautiful old house, elegant, spare…but just a little bit too fixed up, too fussed-over, a trophy house. Some of the billionaires’ wineries on Highway 112 are embarrassing: money, yes; taste, no. Too many vineyards, monocropping requires chemicals.…

I’m trying to find the time to write something about the wrong-headedness of GMOs; Verlyn Klinkenborg has a wonderful writeup on GMOs in his excellent book, “More Scenes From A Rural Life.” 

 

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