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Understated sort of elegant #design, San Rafael, California


Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in morning, sailor's warning…

I finally looked it up.

"Usually, weather moves from west to east. In the mid-latitudes, the prevailing winds are westerlies. This means storm systems generally move in from the West.…

Red sky at night, sailors delight When we see a red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.

Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning A red sunrise can mean that a high pressure system (good weather) has already passed, thus indicating that a storm system (low pressure) may be moving to the east. A morning sky that is a deep, fiery red can indicate that there is high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain could be on its way.…

In the Bible, (Matthew XVI: 2-3,) Jesus said, 'When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.'”
https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/weather-sailor.html
Another source: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2009/09/14/q-a-sailors-delight-fact-or-fi/
Photo from: https://simple-pleasures.org/2013/09/05/red-sky-orange-sky/

Our New BlueStar Stove

This has been a life changer. No electronic controls or screen. For oven convection, you turn on the fan. It's such an upgrade from 25 years of a Jenn-Air. A lot of people prefer it to the Wolf Range these days, it seems.

With this model, when you remove one of the 4 ring grates, there's a well and about a 2" space down to the burners; a wok nestles down so you don't need a ring for it.

Both the burners and oven work better than any stove we've ever used.

It's easy to clean, and a relief not to have to mess with touchscreen controls. Made in America. A wonderful tool.

If you're a Bay Area person: I got it at CG Appliance Express in Daly City, CA (adjacent to San Francisco), the best place I've ever seen for appliances of all kinds.

Note: See Kevin Kelly's (more complete) review of the BlueStar on Cool Tools at: http://kk.org/cooltools/bluestar-range/

An American Tragedy

Article from today's The New Yorker news desk by Lee Remnick:
"The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.…"
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/an-american-tragedy-donald-trump
From my brother Bob
(Let me know if you can't get the full article. (Maybe you have to be a subscriber to The New Yorker (we are) to get the whole thing.)

Aminita caliptroderma Mushrooms



These.are grown-ups of the young #mushrooms I picked 3 days ago. Aminita caliptroderma. Good!

But be careful. Among the Aminitas is the deadly Aminita phalloides (the death cap) and other very poisonous species. Some mushroom experts advise against eating any Aminitas, for fear of getting the phalloides, which has killed more people in the world than any other mushroom, and melts your liver.

I only ate these after getting an ID from my botanist and fungi expert friend Tomas.

My America

This political nightmare we've been going through for some months now may have led me to choosing the subject for my next book,

I've been  trying to figure out what to do after Small Homes:
• 50 Years of Natural Building
• A book on my trips
• A book on barns

Some kind of context for the 10,000+ photos I've taken over the years.

The idea about a book on the USA popped into my head a few days ago. This would be my version of America. It would start with me riding the rails and hitchhiking from San Francisco to New York in 1965, along with a copy of Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous -- seeking enlightenment, if you will, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life -- as the cultural revolution of the '60s-'70s unfolded. (Upon return a month later, I quit my job as an insurance broker and went to work as a builder.)

I would show the America that I love, the people in every state who were kind and friendly and helpful, Pop's Diner in Page, Arizona; press men at Courier Printing in Kendallville, Indiana; squirrel hunters in Tennessee; the waitress in an Oklahoma diner serving me coconut cream pie with coffee at 2:30 AM; farmers, surfers,  skateboarders, lawyers and bankers (yes--there are some good ones); book lovers, musicians, builders; makers…This just may be the next book. The glass-half-full take on America.
Photo above: on a trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in 1989

Please VOTE!!!

I've scrupulously avoided politics on this blog for some years now, as any post of political persuasion seems to ignite passion and lead to endless discussion. Well, I've kept my mouth shut for long enough during these nightmarish months and I want to say a few things that are probably obvious to anyone who reads this blog (I can't imagine any Trump supporters finding anything of interest here).

I'm just stupefied that even 40% of Americans support this ugly, aggressive, lying bully. I have always liked (maybe "loved" is too strong a word) Americans. I've been in 45 states, made the 3000 mile cross-country trip by auto six times, and have had continuously wonderful experiences with Americans from coast-to-coast. Truck drivers, farmers, waitresses, gas station attendants, cops (yes -- a bunch of them), store keepers, people-in-the-street, invariably friendly and helpful.

I just don't understand how any Americans can support Trump. How can anyone look at him and not be repulsed?

Bill Maher had a wonderful program this week. He interviewed Pres. Obama at the White House, who was relaxed, insightful, and humorous. Graceful. I'm proud of him. Bill was passionate this time around. His opening remarks were carefully crafted and perceptive. Chris Christie as attorney general, Rudy Giuliani as head of the FBI… there wasn't much comedy in this episode.

I want to encourage anyone who doesn't intend to vote, or is thinking of a third-party candidate, to vote for Hillary. Period. Over and out. Please vote.

Surfers to the Roadside Rescue



Last night I was heading home after visiting friends in Mill Valley and saw a couple trying to flag down cars on Panoramic Highway, without success. I asked if they needed help; they were visitors from France, had a dead battery. I didn't have jumper cables. I spotted a car full of guys and surfboards and waved them down. One of them looked at mer and said, "Hey, are you Lloyd?" Sure enough they had cables and got the car started.