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Dan Brown does pushups when writing

From interviews with Dan Brown, author of The Davinci Code:
“For me, writing is a discipline, much like playing a musical instrument; it requires constant practice and honing of skills. For this reason, I write seven days a week. So, my routine begins at around 4:00 AM every morning, when there are no distractions.”

Why start at 4 a.m.?  “Otherwise I feel like I’m missing my most productive hours.…

From another interview: In addition to starting early, I keep an antique hour glass on my desk and every hour break briefly to do pushups, sit-ups, and some quick stretches. I find this helps keep the blood (and ideas) flowing. I’m also a big fan of gravity boots. Hanging upside down seems to help me solve plot challenges by shifting my entire perspective. Okay, I guess all this does sound a little strange.


Connie Mery's art

This is really a nice blog of Connie Mery's paintings, many with apt quotations:

By nature, my old friend on East Mountain
treasures the beauty of hills and valleys.
Spring now green, you lie
in empty woods still sound asleep under a midday sun,
your robe growing lucid in pine winds,
rocky streams rinsing ear and heart clean.

No noise, no confusion—
all I want is this life pillowed high in emerald mist.

Li Po


Richie Sowa's floating island in Mexico

One nagging doubt: what happens when the fishnets holding the bottles disintegrate? Could he go underwater every 10 years and install new nets? One could argue that the bottles are from this area in the first place, and he's only rearranging them. Other than that, it's a unique venture. Plus (girls), Richie is buffed!

Kat's blue housetruck in New Zealand

"Kat and her 'One Of A Kind' 1956 Austin WFK home on wheels, Roma Stone"

Blue Victorian in Berkeley

Berkeley and Oakland (California) are filled with wonderful houses, many of them nicely maintained. This was about 7AM yesterday morning.

Return of the Hippies Rally this October in New Zealand

From Keith Levy's Flying Tortoise blog in New Zealand:


Caterpillar bulldozers: Made in the USA!

Saw this powerful looking machine yesterday.

Baby chicks arrived this morning

Went down to the post office early this morning to pick up a box containing 30 baby chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery in Iowa. We've been getting chickens this way for 30 years. We've switched to bantams, and this time got 20 Auracnas (green eggs) and 10 Silver and Golden Sebrings. The Sebrings are beautiful birds. McMurray's birds are top quality. Their catalog is a delight to look through: http://is.gd/c33K9
I still can't get over the incredibleness of these little creatures coming halfway across the country on an airplane. They're shipped when one day old. When they arrive we put them in a box under an infra-red light and get them to drink water fortified with electrolytes. They start eating ground-up grain right away.
A lot of people are suddenly interested in backyard chickens. There's even a magazine: http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/

Kastrup Sea Bath

"A sculpture to walk on. And dive from. My idea was to achieve a sculptural, dynamic form that can be seen from the land, from the sea and from the air."
Kastrup Sea Bath
Design Team: Fredrik Pettersson of White Arkitekter
Location: Kastrup, Denmark

Perky starling

This little starling was hopping around when Jack and I were having coffee at an outdoor table at the Java Beach Cafe out at the beach in San Francisco last week. This guy had kind of a punk haircut. He was probably young. He had poissonality, plus excellent selection of colors.