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100 year-old man completes marathon, started running at 89

"The most impressive performance at a Toronto marathon Sunday was turned in by the man who came in last place - and is 100 years old.
   Fauja Singh completed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in approximately eight hours, making him the oldest person ever to finish one of the 26.2-mile races.
   It was the eighth marathon for Singh, who was born India in 1911 and did not start running marathons until he was 89, after he moved to England following the death of his wife and son. He says not smoking or drinking alcohol throughout his life, combined with a vegetarian diet and up to 10 miles of walking or running per day are the secrets to his health.…"
Discovered by Rick Gordon

Tiny home on wheels in BC, Canada

"And just like that, after many long days and nights, we are ready for the rainy season,... and not a minute too soon. As we apply the final pieces of siding, on our brow lay the first signs of the autumn rains. This is the true feeling of exultation. In this moment, life is bonded with the 4th dimension,... invisible, yet like the power of the wind, undeniable ... easily missed, rarely found,... this is the way of intimate feeling and experience. …"
Discovered this at: http://www.tinyhouseliving.com/

Building Smalltopia: We’ve got a roof!

Tammy Strobel wrote an essay on downsizing that will appear in our Tiny Homes book. Here's the latest (October 16, 2011)from Tammy:
"{Every week, I post a short essay about the little house we’re building. Enjoy!}

We only have 8 more days until the little house rolls into Portland! It’s hard to believe we’re going to move in so soon! Last weekend we got to hang out with Dee and Katy and while Katy was in town she had a chance to pick up our roof (pictured below) and kitchen counter."

Roadkill his sole diet

"English taxidermist Jonathan McGowan has made roadkill his sole diet for the past 30 years. At the age of 14, he tried a dead adder and while it didn’t taste very good, it made him curious to try other roadkill finds.
The taxidermist lists fox, venison and deer among his favourite meats – but he has eaten everything the countryside has to offer over the years.
With thousands of animals being found dead at the roadside every year, Mr McGowan has varied if – on the face of it – slightly unedifying pickings.
He has eaten mice, moles, hedeghogs, squirrels, rats, foxes, badgers, hares, rabbits, deer, stoats, weasels, polecats, otters, wildcats, pheasants, finches, thrushes, ducks, geese, pigeons, owls, crows, gulls, blackbirds and cormorants.
He says many animals taste much better than people would expect."
Thanks to Kevin Kelly

New video on natural builder SunRay Kelley

Lew discovered this. It stalls periodically, maybe something wrong in the encoding. We found it best to turn off sound and let it load. Once it's in the cache, you can play it straight through. (Seems somehow fitting that that the electronic world gets garbled around SunRay, who is a magician of the natural world.

Inspired By... SunRay Kelley from Shwood Eyewear on Vimeo.
"Growing up in the wild hills of the Pacific Northwest, it seems like SunRay was always building something. His favorite source of inspiration and materials is the woods around him, "God's Hardware Store" as he calls it. When working on a project it is not uncommon to see him pick up a saw and head off into the woods looking for the right piece of wood to present itself. If he says anything, he'll mumble 'I'm going shopping.'
Filmed by Gary Tyler Mcleod & Austin Will; Edited by Gary Tyler Mcleod"

Knock on Wood - Creative works by Jeff Uitto

"Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:48:25 -0700
To: lloyd@shelterpub.com
From: jeffro uitto 
Subject: my work inspired by your work

I love and appreciate your books, I flip through often for inspiration. I was hoping you would take a moment to check it out some of my stuff. www.jeffrouitto.com


Wow! And he's from Tokeland, Washington!
Info on Jeff: http://is.gd/jeffro

Mark Twain quotes

“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
  -Mark Twain
Every once in a while I Google this to get the words right. So true. I'm really a slow writer.
Here are a lot of other great MT quotes. A guy after my own heart. http://thinkexist.com/quotation/i_didn-t_have_time_to_write_a_short_letter-so_i/338386.html

Supercharged Japanese 4X4 minivans

Lew just dug this up. Looks almost too good to be true. Sure worth checking out.

Are these cute or what?
"The Bulldog All Terrain Truck is the most versatile off road vehicle on the market.
• At 4.5 x 10 ft and only weighing around 1400 lbs, these mini trucks haul easily to the hunting camp, farm or the trail ride. The truck is around 5 1/2 ft tall so it provides a comfortable ride while being able to ease around the trails and backroads.
• All models are right hand drive. Most models have a powerful 660 cc, 3 cylinder gasoline engine that will get over 40 mpg while running in excess of 55 mph. An 8 gallon gas tank has never provided so much.
• Models come with 4, 5 or 6 speed transmissions, automatics are very rare but available in limited quanitity. We are able to provide you with the best service, all parts and accessories that you would need for these trucks."
We now offer Custom Extended Cab Trucks. Starting at $7300
Shreveport, LA: 318-402-8834

Latest GIMME SHELTER newsletter

Before blogging, these newsletters were my main means of communicating (other than the very occasional book). This one is primarily for book people, mostly about the Frankfurt Book Fair as well as our plans for the future: http://www.shelterpub.com/_gimme/_2011-10-18/gimme_shelter-2011-10-18.html

Stewart Brand on Laura Cunningham's paintings and studies of ancient California ecology

A reconstruction of San Francisco around 1300 A.D. from Nob Hill, looking east across the bay toward Oakland. © Laura Cunningham
"California ecology used to be much more driven by floods and fires, Cunningham said, showing with her paintings how the Great Valley would become a vast inland sea, like a huge vernal pool progressing each year from navigable water to intense flower displays to elk-grazed grassland. Lake Merritt in Oakland was a salt water inlet. On the Albany mudflats grizzly bears would tunnel into a beached humpback whale for food, joined by California condors. Every fall at the Carquinez Strait a million four-foot-long chinook salmon headed inland to spawn.
Only 300 years ago the whole Bay Area was grasslands, routinely burned by the local Indians. There were oaks in the valleys, redwoods in the Berkeley Hills, and extensive oak savannahs inland. The hills were greener more of the year than now, with fire-freshened grass attracting elk, and native perennial grasses drawing moisture with their deep roots.

Love letter to people who comment on this blog

When I got back from Germany (a week at the Frankfurt Book Fair), I reviewed all the comments (on various posts) that I've received recently, and they're quite wonderful. I'm learning a lot. People are amplifying (and correcting) the info in the posts, as well as letting me know when I'm connecting. Inspiration to keep going.

I have about 1000-1500 visitors a day. Not exactly viral, but a nice-sized community. I love doing this, to tell the truth. Blogging is foremost in my mind when I come into the studio each morning, even tho it's non-remunerative. I'm excited about what I see in the world, and want to tell others. It's communication, pure and simple, which has fascinated me since my high school course in journalism. I'd love to work on a newspaper, but I can't write that fast, and my stomach wouldn't handle the deadline pressure. So I publish the (very) occasional book, and now try to get out a blog post each day. I don't have time to respond to many comments, and could never take the time to do Facebook as it's being done. But this, a daily shot or two, works for me. The web allows me to broadcast.

This blog community reminds me a bit of the booklovers in Fahrenheit 451, who were semi-outlaws on the outskirts of the regulated society and dedicated to books and the earth and freedom.

Five-fold symmetry

Three more antique books, pics shot this afternoon

Photos around Bad Homburg tonight

Sunday late afternoon I stepped outside the hotel, for the first time in a week without a heavy backpack, and felt light as a feather. Got my mo-bility workin, was able to move along smartly in the 2-mile walk into the town center, and shot photos. If I haven't mentioned it before (probably have), the Canon Powershot S95 little pocket camera is in a class by itself. I have it with me almost all the time.

A pretty spiffy live-aboard van (Not a VW, couldn't see any indication of maker.)

Electric solar bike at Fair

Literary Agents' Centre

This is the most intense place at the Book Fair. There are about 500 agents from all over the world and the demand (for their services) is way greater than the supply (of willing agents). Luckily, much of it dating back to my Random House days, I have some wonderful agents. But with Japan, for example, I've had very little luck in even getting a meeting with agents. They're already overbooked.
Access to this room is guarded. It helps to walk past the Monitors of the Gateway as if you belong. Agents have meetings every half hour, so you need to move along smartly. It's a very exciting place.

Himmel und erde

Dinner last night at the Kartoffelkuche restaurant in Bad Homburg. Himmel und erde, Heaven and earth: mashed potatoes, chopped liver, bacon und blutwurst, mit apple sauce. The name means, I take it -- couldn't get any better. Delicious and hearty. With two glasses of (dry) apple wine. Felt like I should have spent a day working in the fields to justify this.

So long, Steve

He may have suffered fools badly, but he left us with a legacy of elegance. The photo on the cover of this future blockbuster book included.