skateboarding (86)

Música de Semana Pasada

Forgot to post this last week:

Photo at left from:

Came into San Francisco on foggy coast at 6:30 this morning. The air was dense with negative ions from the big surf. Deep breaths energizing. As I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, there was a Bach cantata playing; then as I was on Union, heading to Cafe Roma in North Beach, Mamie Smith singing “Crazy Blues,” the first blues song to be recorded, in 1920, which, according to the DJ on BB King’s Bluesville, sold 1 million copies the first year.

Purpose for the trip was to get filmed by Channel 7 news, riding my skateboard. Mike Shumann, sports guy (and ex-49er linebacker) for KGO (ABC) local news, is doing a story on me skating. Plus I like an excuse to come into SF on a Sunday, when much of Golden Gate Park is closed to traffic, and one of the two big downsides of skating — falling on pavement, and cars — is removed. There’s a whole layer of stress removed when you can skate without worrying about cars.

Music du jour; “The Horizontal Bop,” by Bob Seeger and The Silver Bullet Band, pure 100% rock n roll a la say “Hot Legs” by Rod Stewart.

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Skating In Golden Gate Park This Morning

I got filmed in the park this morning for KGO Channel 7 TV. Mike Shumann, ex-49er wide receiver, the nightly news sports anchor, is doing the story. Abe Mendoza was the cameraman. After we finished shooting, I got this little girl, Maya Rose Wayman, age 8, onto my skateboard for her first standup ride (holding on to my arm, me walking alongside). Her dad, Wayman Lew, took the photo. More on Sunday’s adventures later.

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Skating the mountain at sunrise this morning

There’s a 1.3-mile stretch of curvy downhill road on our mountain that’s closed to cars from dawn to dusk. There’s been a local tradition dating back to the ’70s of kids skating it on full-moon nights. Since I can’t skate as well as the kids (can’t slow down enough on steep parts to avoid getting out of control), I use a Carveboard, a very large skateboard with pneumatic tires and a deck that tilts way over so that you can carve deep corners and slow down. I’ve done it before, but not for a few years.

Fall seemed to arrive yesterday, after months of fog, and skies were clear all day long. I got up at 4:30 and drove to the bottom of the hill. I tied a rope around the Carveboard and towed it up like a dog on a leash. The moon was one day past full (left of center in pic above), and going down over the ocean, as dawn lit up the hills. There was a cottony blanket of fog over the ocean and San Francisco. At one place the side of the road looked like it was painted a vivid yellow. I took off and immediately wondered why I don’t do this more often. It doesn’t cost anything. It’s just right here and available all the time, like the mountain trails and waterfalls and the beach.  Towards the bottom, a car was coming up and I was, um, on the wrong side of the road, but all was well.

I may get my GoPro camera more securely attached to my helmet and do it again tomorrow. Fun!

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A Thursday in the life

Things are poppin around here now. We’re approaching the finish line with the tiny homes book. pieces falling into place. It’s been a long haul, and still 6 months to go (Feb 2012) until books are in stores. This sure ain’t no instant book. Every day here is exciting right now. From our little recycled wood studio in the middle of a vegetable garden we’re in touch with the world via our many Macs and the web. Yesterday for example:

I did about a dozen emails preparatory to going to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. It’s a huge event, been going on since the 1500s, the super bowl of the publishing world. I stay in a small hotel in the elegant spa town of Bad Homburg, about 20 miles north of Frankfurt,and usually use my 3-wheel K4 scooter to go the mile or so to the train station from the hotel; thinking of taking my new Bhangra long skateboard this year. So far I have appointments with publishers or agents from Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Russia, mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, and South Africa.

We’ve been having repeated problems with our DSL connection, and may have, knock on the pine desk here, solved it yesterday when we talked AT&T into replacing the fiber optic card down the road. We’re really crippled when off-line. Thanks to Steve, our tech guy…

I feel like a juggler each day. Sometimes it feels as if things are skidding out of control. Permissions requests (mostly to reproduce drawings from Stretching), reprinting books when inventories get low, marketing, watching sales, trying to get the $$ to update our stretching software for Lion, and the big one: trying to figure out how to use the web to maximize publicity and sales.

Someone once said, at a publishing conference, that no one was in this business for the money. It’s true, and my publishing brothers and sisters know this: we’re doing this because we love books. We’re readers! And communicators. For some 40 years, Shelter has been tiptoeing through the publishing game, trying to get the money from bookstores in time enough to pay printers. We’ve always seemed to squeak by. In the old days, Random House would advance us money, Lately we’ve been making it on our own, but we’re approaching a very lean period, with sales down and the tiny homes book taking forever. We’re betting the farm on this new book.

Read More …

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New skateboard magazine in the works

Jack Smith is starting a new magazine, The Skateboarders Journal. Looks like it will be similar to Surfers’ Journal — high quality photos, old and classic along with new and rad, very few ads, classy:

“…The Skateboarder’s Journal will delve into all dimensions of skateboarding – culture, history, art, travel, technology and the future. We will also bring you photography from the world’s best skate photographers.Content is foremost. It will be presented in a clean, classic format that focuses your attention on what’s important, not on indulgent graphic design.

Readers will be able to access TSJ from their iPad, iPhone, other Internet-enabled mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer. Our goal is to make TSJ available to you no matter where you are, or where you may be going.…”

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Lloyd in 1½ min AOL skateboarding video

You’re watching You’ve Got Lloyd Kahn. See the Web’s top videos on AOL Video

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by AOL in New York. They wanted to do a 1½ min video on me skateboarding. I met the producer and camera man in Golden Gate Park on a hot Sunday (when the park is closed to traffic). We spent almost 6 hours, filming, talking, setting things up. Jon mounted a GoPro Helmet Hero HD video camera on my board, and at one point a microphone on the board to pick up wheel noise, and he shot tons of footage with a big Sony video camera. Above is the result.

Here’s the direct link to AOL Video:

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Skateboarding, the Whole Earth Catalog at MOMA, bread and sushi in Manhattan

Photo by Walt Denson

A blast from the west coast: today I’m sitting on the bus after a long (and productive) day at Book Expo America, and I check my email on the iPad, and there’s a message from my friend Hans with a link to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, showing me skateboarding in a weekly column called “Healthy Obsession.”

Yesterday I went to see an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art Library on the Whole Earth Catalog and other books from the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s, including our Domebook 2. It’s a nice exhibit, with maybe 50-60 books, and it’s a blast to look back at those days and see the newsprint books we were producing about what was going on. 1st photo below is an early WEC; 2nd photo is Domebook 2 at top and Steve Baer’s Dome Cookbook (which actually preceded the WEC) at lower right.

(See Wikipedia on the WEC.)

One thing about all my years’ running is, I can navigate city streets pretty well. I’ve always told my kids, “Watch the cars, not the lights. New Yorkers cross against red lights en masse when there’s a break in traffic. I saw a mother with a kid in a stroller crossing on a red light. (Kind of reminds of a time years ago when I heard a mother in a park playground here tell her kid, “If you don’t get over heah I’m gonna break yer ahm!”)

I love this chain of restaurants here called Le Pain Quotidien. A great bakery, and breakfast and lunch. A lot of the food is organic, everything is freshly baked, and tables are broad-planked pine with one 35-foot long community table, and motif of a French farmhouse kitchen.

Had fabulous sushi last night across from the Beacon Theater at Fusha. Four sushi chefs dressed in all black were putting sushi together with lightning hand speed. I said to the guy next to me at the counter, “They could make a movie of these guys,” and he said, “It’s better live.”

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Sporting-Sails for skateboarding

I just got one of these sails and tried it out for the first time skating late yesterday afternoon. It’s mainly used to slow down when skateboarding downhill. Fun! I’m still getting the hang of it, but I was able to go down some hills where I’d normally get going too fast and have to jump off.

Two women came around the corner when I had the sail deployed and one said, “Oooh that looks like fun!”

I also tried it out last week on my paddleboard, sailing with the wind.

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