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Caffè latte art

Barista art sent us by Jan Janzen from Vancouver Island, BC

Happy sunrise on Lake Chapala

Photo from builder Bill Castle of Pollywog Holler ecolodge resort (in central Alleghenies, NY state). Bill is in Mexico this winter and just sent us this photo.

Bike ride up coast yesterday

I tell ya, when I get on my new bike, it feels like I'm on a motorcycle. Each time I take the first couple of cranks going down the road, I can't believe how good it feels. Here we go! Yesterday I headed up the coast off-road. The bike with its air shocks takes potholes and rocks with ease. Surf was up, tide low, air filled with sweet negative-ion-charged sea air.
Then I rode out to a secret pond in the hills, where swimming is great in the Spring:

On the way home as sun was setting, here was a herd of 14 deer. Never seen a flock like this.
Each day of my life right now seems so filled with interesting stuff I can only get a fraction of it down.

Beautiful woodshed by Swedish architect

"Good architecture comes in all shapes and sizes and this time in the form of a woodshed. The small building is well planned and designed so that the wood can be store airy and dry, and the layout makes the wood easily accessible, yet leaves room for sawing and splitting. The architect behind it all is Jonas Palmius."

Winter's Bone a sensational film

This film is so fresh and honest, it took my breath away. It made me realize what mediocre krap Hollywood turns out, with its super stars, special effects, and massive budgets. This low budget film is tough, real, and beautiful. There are several stunning camera sequences, like when Ree is searching for Thump (wait til you see this guy!) at a cattle auction. Hats off to director Deborah Granik; I'll watch every movie she directs from now on.
"With an absent father and a withdrawn and depressed mother, 17 year-old Ree Dolly keeps her family together in a dirt poor rural area. She's taken aback however when the local Sheriff tells her that her father put up their house as collateral for his bail and unless he shows up for his trial in a week's time, they will lose it all. She knows her father is involved in the local drug trade and manufactures crystal meth, but everywhere she goes the message is the same: stay out of it and stop poking your nose in other people's business. She refuses to listen, even after her father's brother, Teardrop, tells her he's probably been killed. She pushes on, putting her own life in danger, for the sake of her family until the truth, or enough of it, is revealed. (Written by garykmcd) "

Theo Jansen's Strandbeests: skeleton sculptures that walk on beach


Animaris Umerus walking - June '09 from Strandbeest on Vimeo.

Back on the sk8board!

Shot last week with a sensational GoPro HD Helmet Hero camera attached to my helmet.

Nearly 11 Percent of US Houses Empty

"…Homeownership is falling at an alarming pace, despite the fact that home prices have fallen, affordability is much improved and inventories of new and existing homes are still running quite high.
   Bargains abound, but few are interested or eligible to take advantage.
   More concerning than the home ownership rate is the vacancy rate. The Census tables don't tell the entire story, but they tell a lot of it. Of the nearly 131 million housing units in this country, 112.5 million are occupied. 74.8 million are owned, and that's only dropped by about 30 thousand in the past year. 38 million are rented, but that's up by over a million year over year. That means more new households are choosing to rent.…"

VW bug on steroids

Spotted this in a neighborhood is San Leandro yesterday morning. Baja, here we go!

Small stone hermitages in Northern Spain

Belgian photographer Sebastian Schutyser has spent the last seven years working on his his ‘Ermita’ project in Northern Spain: early christian and Romanesque hermitages in rural areas. Stunning photos.

South Carolina church built with 2-ft. thick rammed earth walls

"Church of the Holy Cross, also known as the Holy Cross Episcopal Church, is an historic church in Stateburg, in the High Hills of Santee near Sumter, South Carolina. It is located on land donated earlier by General Thomas Sumter, a resident of Stateburg, and its walls were constructed of rammed earth. Its 2-foot-thick walls were erected in 1852 by using wooden forms to hold local clay as laborers, probably slaves, tamped it down with a special tool, forcing out the water."

Dwell gets funky

Dwell, the magazine of mostly architectish soullessness, has come up with "…a map of resources across the United States for salvaged materials. Whether you’re looking for 200-year-old barn beams from Georgia or resurrected steel panels from the Pacific Northwest, we bet there’s a stockpile of goods in your neck of the woods. Let us know the place in the comments, and we'll add it to the map!"

"Mary Don't You Weep," Georgia field hands, Aretha Franklin

 From Boing Boing last night, posted by Xeni Jardin. It's a rainy Sunday morning; I managed to haul myself out of bed early and am now listening to Aretha's wonderful version of the song.

"'Oh Mary don't you weep,' an early film recording of unknown origin, found on YouTube with the description "Georgia Field Hands, recorded 1928-1935." More about the song, which was a sort of coded message of resistance in the American South, and seems timely today, with current events in Egypt. Thanks to NPR's Andy Carvin for the inspiration."

Lyrics here. There have been many great renditions of this song throughout the ages; Aretha Franklin's from 1972 is one of the finest to be found on YouTube."