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In Praise of Safety Gear

Back in the '60s, due to the influence of my friend Paul Wingate, I started wearing earphones any time I used electric motors, especially saws. But through the years, I haven't been all that conscientious about safety equipment. Two recent incidents changed my attitude: first, a log rolling down a steep hill cracked a rib and banged my head on the ground. Second, I fell skateboarding in San Francisco a few months ago and hit, um, my head on the pavement.
   I bought a loggers helmet to use when chainsawing; it has earphones and a metal mesh face screen. Today when I was chain sawing firewood, a chunk flew back and hit the helmet, saving me an indeterminate injury. Skateboarding in San Francisco at night a few weeks ago, I had on all my safety gear and when I hit  a deep crack in the pavement, my board went backwards and me forward and I skidded along the pavement on my hands and knees, protected by respectively, gloves with hockey pucks for palms, and sturdy knee guards -- no skin lost.
   A 3rd thing I'm doing is using MacSpeech Dictate (Dragon Naturally Speaking for Windows) more frequently all the time to cut down on wrist tension from computer work. Two years ago, I had carpal tunnel surgery. The physician, Dr. Robert Markison, is a remarkable man in many ways (write me if you have wrist numbness etc. and want details on Markison); he recommended the software and it's surprisingly good . I also switched my mouse to the left side and have taught myself how to use it. All of which is cutting way down on computer-generated tension/stress on hands and wrists. (Fits safety equipment category in the sense that it prevents injuries.)
  I'm getting more conservative. I figure I've been lucky for all these years and injuries at my age are no joke.

A New Generation of Recreational Park Trailers

"Recreational Park Trailers are recreation vehicles designed as temporary living quarters and vacation rentals at campgrounds and RV Parks. They are built on a single chassis, mounted on wheels and have a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the set-up mode.…As RPT’s are defined as recreational vehicles, they are considered a similar use at campgrounds and RV Parks. This is a great benefit, as a certified RPT with a VIN may be towed to a campground and parked – no questions asked!"

Article on Tiny Homes

"…There is something oddly alluring about smartly designed but freakishly small spaces. I know this because enough other people must be into these things to warrant the steady stream of them flowing from my Twitter feed. I also know this because I have never met a link promising a teeny tiny home that I was not compelled to click on.
   So what is it about these places? I’ve got no interest in slide shows of the world’s most palatial mansions. But show me a studio the size of my kitchen, and I could stare at it all day.…"
Emily Badger in article titled: I Can't Stop Looking at Photos of Absurdly Tiny Homes: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/03/i-cant-stop-looking-photos-tiny-homes/1443/

Time Lapse of Polyhedral Building Construction

It doesn't work to click on the below arrow. You have to click on this link: http://www.noncomdesign.com/videos/802-ecosolo

Attention Deficit Not Necessarily a Disorder

If  I was a kid (kindergarten and up), growing up in these Enlightened Times, I would have been diagnosed as having ADD, Ritalin prescribed. (Of course my mom, being a Christian Scientist, would have never allowed any medication.) I read about the prevalence these days of drugging children and can't help but think that many of them may just have a lot of energy that doesn't fit conveniently into a classroom situation.
 Whether "attention deficit" is a disorder or not depends upon just what it is you are supposed to be paying attention to. Teachers who are b-o-r-i-n-g? Political speeches? Too-long movies or performances or lectures?
 It shouldn't routinely be called a "disorder." It could be due to high spirits, an inquiring mind, an interest in the world in general. I wish parents would resist concluding there's something automatically wrong with lack of attention, and chemical"solutions" to same.

Papa's Cookin' With His iPad

Translation of text from the German:
Daughter: "Tell me Papa, I haven't even asked you yet. How are you coping with the new iPad we gave you for your birthday?"
Papa: "Good!"
Daughter: "Are you managing all the apps?"
Papa: "What kind of apps? Can you move aside..."
Papa: "What"

 Reminded me of another wry (Norwegian) video,"Monk Needs Help Opening a Book," which I think I posted a few years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xmTTzCAALc

Beach Art #3

University of Iowa Farm Machine Music

This turns out to be phony. Thanks to Chris D for the comment (see below)."This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machine's components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft Iowa, yes farm equipment.
It took the team a combined 13,029 hours (6.26 years) of set-up, alignment,calibration, and tuning before filming this video…
It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian."

New Uses for Shipping Containers in a Postmodern World

"There are over seventeen million shipping containers in the world. Have you ever wondered where they go when their time is up? There are several amazing ways one can utilize these steel structures at the end of their voyaging life. The abundance and relative cheapness (some sell for as little as $900) of containers during the last decade has made them attractive to architects, artists and designers worldwide."
Above: "This is a traveling eco-exhibit and restaurant conceived by artist Joost Bakker, and it aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible, made from shipping containers and straw bales. It even grows some of its own food on the rooftop. This restaurant stays true to the spirit of it's containers by traveling from city to city all around the world."
By Lauga Oskarsdottir, MTS Logistics
Sent us by Godfrey Stephens

Night on the Beach

I spent last night at the beach. These 24-hour expeditions are rewarding. Quick out and back. Set up my campsite (got a new Osprey backpack, a great design (way improved from my 20-yr-old Gregory pack). Then started worrying. What will I do from dark until bedtime? No internet/TV/electricity/other humans/book to read, etc. Well I needn't have worried. Roasted mussels on fire, made freeeze-dried teriyaki chicken w. rice. Bit of tequila. Looking into the fire, listening to waves, checking the present unique skies, Jupiter and Venus and their gavotte with the moon, Mars rising later in its rosy redness, Orion, the Pleiades, my man Taurus. Civilization dropped away. This morning I found kind of cave, or grotto that was facing the morning sun, I scootched back into it, lay on my back on the sand, watched the waves and a couple of cruising seals, sun was warm, felt a great contentment.

Build Your Own Damn House!

Part of a bulletin board at Trouble Coffee in San Francisco

Buddy Guy, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Garry Clark, Jr. at White House

Individual dolphins identify themselves to new dolphins they meet

"…Quick and Janik recorded the calls of swimming dolphin pods using underwater microphones. From 11 such recordings, they worked out that dolphin groups use their signature whistles in greeting rituals, when two groups meet and join. Only 10 per cent of such unions happen without any signature whistles. And the dolphins use their signatures nine times more often during these interactions than during normal social contact. The signature whistles clearly aren’t contact calls, because dolphins hardly ever use them within their own groups. Mothers and calves, for example, didn’t exchange signature whistles when travelling together. And they’re not confrontational claims over territory, because bottlenose dolphins don’t have territories.…"

Blues at the White House

Last night we watched "Blues from the White House," a PBS special. Buddy Guy, BB King, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Trombone Shorty, Shemekia Copeland, Susan Tedeschi, to mention a few, in recap of February 21st concert as part of Black History Month at the White House.
   Oh that a president of the USA would love (watch his face during this song) and understand* music like this! Catch it if you can find it. (A bunch of the songs are on YouTube.)

This one was a stunner.

(See Etta James and Dr. John doing the same song many years ago: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2011/12/etta-james-dr-john-bb-king-id-rather-go.html

*He starts out talking about Allan Lomax and Muddy Waters in his short intro: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/02/21/remarks-president-performance-white-house-blues-event

Another Photo of Yogan's Carpentry