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Buffed 66 Year Old

The bar girls at the brewery told me about open air music in the park, so I walked down. As I scanned the crowd, here was this beautiful man. His name is Grant. He was born on 6/16/46 and is now 66 and thinks all the 6's are significant. He works out 3 times week, a combination of stretching, weight lifting, and meditation. Maybe 2 hours he said, emphasizing the meditation part. "Body, mind, spirit," he said. He's a serious rugby player and has some banged-up body parts, but has never broken a bone. He has an aura of energy and health. OK, you 50 and 60 year olds, here's some inspiration for you. Body. Mind. Spirit.

San Louie Oh Bee

Above protest scene at Malibu yesterday.
I never travel around California in the summer, so I was surprised and bummed by the tourist/zoo vibe in Pismo Beach. No thanks! (It can be deserted and restful in the winter, plus there are those cinnamon rolls). So onward, and the beach was everywhere overloaded, it being a warm gorgeous blue-sky California day. Knew I had to get inland.
   In all these years, I've never been into the actual town of San Luis Obispo, since Hwy 101 skirts it. It was a relief. No tourist madness. It's a lovely town, a bit of Ojai, a bit of Santa Barbara, a bit of Santa Cruz. Cal Poly has always been my favorite of the state colleges. A tradition of hands-on. Architectural students have to learn how to draw (by hand).

Wish they all could be California girls, well, sort of…

The Beach Boys actually meant Southern California girls. After all, these are SoCal boys singing. Also, listen to the different harmony in this early practice session, such as the harmonic triplets on the words "wear" and "right."

Darth Vader Lands in LA

I like this place. (Yes I do.) Gutsy architecture. Wonder what it's like inside. I've shot pictures of it a few times before.
I'm about to head north, maybe to Pismo Beach tonight.

Malibu Architecture

There's so much hideous architecture in the rich parts of LA, it's a pleasure to see the art as practiced here, with these 2 beachside houses.

Mansoon in Malibu

The 1st time I came to LA was with Dick Zanuck in 1953 in a 20th Century Fox Ford convertible. We'd gotten semi-drunk and left Stanford around midnight, got into LA at dawn. Vivid recollection of pie shelf in LA coastal diner, mirrors behind slices of pie, 2-for-1 visually, my 1st taste of LA graphics.
   On the radio as we swung into the garage of his big Santa Monica beach house: Loop-de-loop Mambo, by the Robins. Loop-de-loop —da-ooh!—Mambo, on the Dick "Huggy Boy" Hugg late night radio show. You shake like a rattlesnake, and you make my head go loop-de-loop…
   Northern California rube falls in love with southern sister.
Weather was warm and overcast Wednesday. Fringe of Baja California Chubasco. Malibu Surfside News headline: "Monsoonal Mood." Did a little Malibu shore break bodysurfing (more like body dropping). Warm water. Ooh-la-LA!

Innermost Limits of Pure Fun*

Yesterday was one of the most extraordinary days of my life. I had agreed (after some reluctance) to give a talk at the funeral of my college buddy Richard Zanuck in front of 500 mostly Hollywood people in a Beverly Hills Episcopalian church. I got there early and got a program. There were a total of 5 speakers and they were, in this order:

Dean Zanuck
Tim Burton
Sherry Lansing
Clint Eastwood
Lloyd Kahn

Holy shit! I started to hyperventilate. Vision immediately popped into my mind of a singer going to his gig and upon arrival learning that Otis Redding is the opening act.

Well, a fuck of a lot happened yesterday, every bit of it good. In a nutshell: the family told me to tell the real stories, and I let it rip. True tales of 2 punk pranksters in the '50s pedal-to-medal in pursuit of pure fun. Trips to Baja and Mexico, surfing, our exploding car at Malibu Colony, fights, practical jokes of fiendish intensity, the pure F-U-N of it all. Once I started with the stories, they were with me. Channeling fer shure.  They loved hearing about this side of him. This was a much-loved guy. It was a sweet spot in time.

More later. I've got to digest it all. What a day!

I am so loving Southern California.

*Title of George Greenough in-the-curl surf film

SunRay Kelley's New Lightweight Electric Bike

Hi Lloyd,
This is the video link http://youtu.be/ulFSefQuOLo to SunRay's latest project. It is pretty cute. We are taking a trip to Seattle this week to get Ray the materials he needs to finish the sexy body shell for the SunRayzor.

SunRay just got a motorcycle wheel with a hub motor in it from this amazing designer builder Mark Gelbien and his company EnerTrac Corp. SunRay is conspiring to use this new hub motor to power a multi-person runabout electric vehicle. We will keep you posted on his progress.…

The San Joaquin Valley 100 Years Ago

There are 3-4 places you can eat at the Harris Ranch. I like the the coffee shop best. It's filled with pictures of the Valley around the turn of the century, as well as farm and carpenter tools and implements. Descriptions of this valley in the old days are heart-breaking. It was so beautiful, not over-farmed, before million-year old aquifer water started being mined to support crops that shouldn't be growing in the desert. Some of the first grain crops were said to grow 6' high. Driving down yesterday, things weren't looking good. Where there were miles of lush fruit trees, you'd know agribiz is sucking unsustainable amounts of water from ever-deeper wells. Ah me. California you were so beautiful.

On Swimming

The pool here at the Harris Ranch is spectacular. Olympic size, not chlorined, perfect temperature. If I had a pool like this available I'd swim every day. I swam about 10 laps yesterday, crawl and breaststroke, exulting. I watched a little boy with his dad. The kid was a water sprite. He loved it.
   It reminded me of teaching swimming (when in college). I specialized in kids who were deathly afraid of the water. There was a skinny little say 6-year old kid in Santa Cruz, and he'd probably had a water trauma, because he trembled when in the pool, wouldn't get his face near the water. His mom really wanted him to get over it.
   I started him blowing bubbles, then harder and harder until his face was getting splashed. Then floating a short distance to pool's edge, face down. Progress. OK Eric, I said, I want you to ride on my back and we'll swim around. After I got him to relax a bit and loosen up on his choke hold on my neck, I started swimming. Then blowing bubbles as we swam. He got comfortable. OK Eric, I want you to take a breath and close your  eyes and we'll go under water. We dove. Then under water with his eyes open, and voilà, Eric became a swimmer.

Wind Turbines On Road Yesterday

Pretty spectacular eh? Electricity without oil, gas, or coal burning. This is on Hwy 12, around Rio Vista, "…the Montezuma Hills of eastern Solano County" Details: http://bit.ly/windgens

Wheels & Water Book Underway/Channeling Dick Zanuck

Our next book (on nomadic living in the 21st century) is underway. The last few days I layed out 4 pages. It really feels good. It''s clicking, from the git-go (you never know until you start).
   If you've got great photos and /or stories of nomadic living in these challenging times, send it to us. We're rolling. The follow-up book to Tiny Homes.
   I'm writing this from the Harris Ranch, a beautiful hacienda-style Spanish hotel and restaurant about 2/3 of the way south of San Francisco on Hwy 5 to LA. I took off mid-day today driving my truck to LA, for the funeral Thursday of my college buddy Dick Zanuck.
   For almost 3 hours I cruised without the radio, a blended iced double-shot latte as well as light sativa cannabinoids to enable right brain function.

Root Simple Blog/The Urban Homestead

I got a Google Alert about a video on our homestead and office that had been posted on http://www.rootsimple.com/. The blog is by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, authors of the very fine book (which I originally discovered on Boing Boing), The Urban Homestead, about raising food in a big city (in this case, LA). I enjoyed scrolling down the blog, seeing the eclectic mix. These guys are all over the place, like me.
   Check out the swarm of bees on the Harley, and the swimming pool in the bed of a Chevy S10 pickup truck on a hot night (in LA, of course). The vintage photo at left is titled: "A member of the Woodmen of the World with his ceremonial axe…" 

Blue Spirit Energy

One of my swimming hole in the hills. A peaceful place, with swallows swooping and dragonflies hovering, surrounded by cattails and beams of setting sun.
Swimming here makes me rejoice in being alive. Joy can be so simple.
Plus this little blue luminescence showing up in the photo. Lens flare or visit from the spirit world? I'll go with the latter.