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Grizzly Trashes Toyota SUV

"There are no scratches on the outside of this car, but the vehicle is totaled! A man in Waterton Park, (south of Calgary), came out to find the inside of his 18 month old Toyota Sequoia trashed. A grizzly bear had somehow got a door open. Once inside it got trapped when the door shut behind him, probably by the wind. The Toyota was the Platinum edition, all the door panels were ripped off, the head-liner torn to pieces, all headrests, the leather seats, the dash shredded. The steering column was twisted sideways. Two of the six airbags went off, the other four the bear ripped to pieces.…" From yougottobekidding
Sent by Lew Lewandowski

Toots in Memphis

Back in the '80s I knew a guy working in a D.C. reggae record store who'd clue me in on good records. Vinyl. When I first got this I thought Toots was channeling Otis. Plus some Memphis Horns.
Here's an Amazon review:
Hibbert is widely revered as a reggae pioneer, but he's also a Caribbean cousin of Otis Redding and Al Green, which he proves on this collection of '60s and '70s soul covers. Sly and Robbie anchor the rhythm section of a crack band that also includes guitarist Teenie Hodges and Andrew Love of the Memphis Horns. Together with Hibbert, they reinvent Redding's "I've Got Dreams to Remember," Green's "Love and Happiness," and eight other classics (among them "Hard to Handle," "It's a Shame," and "Freedom Train.") The result isn't pure reggae or unadulterated soul, but a hybrid as appealing as both at their best.--Keith Moerer
   Last week I heard Toots doing "It's You," such a good song, I love the Itals' vocal harmonies. Who's doing vocal harmonies of this quality these days? Here (play the one on the album Pressure Drop).

WWII Tiny Prefab Homes

Christine Durand is our reporter in France and just sent us this story:
Bonjour Lloyd,
Seeing the foldable home on the cover of ''Popular Mechanics magazine'' (Gill's post) reminded me of the American prefab house where my grand-parents have lived for ten years. It's an old story but I guess it's one of the reasons why I love tiny wooden homes!
   This story begins at the end of Word War II on the French atlantic coast. The shipbuilding port city of Saint-Nazaire was the last city to be liberated in Europe. Entirely destroyed. In 1946, like thousands of war refugees, my grandparents were allowed to come back…be relocated. At that time, the Ministry of Reconstruction tried to provide emergency housing for 2 million of homeless. A huge challenge and a historic occasion for architects of all nationalities who design a wide choice of tiny prefab houses : cheaply and quickly built, ˆeasily transportable"!

Let the Good Times Roll - Shirley & Lee


Lost in the Eye of a Storm Last Night

I like running in the rain. Not at first, but after I get going and warm up, it's exhilarating. Plus the smell of the air and the negative ions.
   So I set out last night around 6PM, heading south along the coastal cliffs from Muir Beach. I had on my one layer of Maxit tights and a rain parka tied around my waist. The storm was just starting.
    By the time I got up to my lookout spot (a point of land projecting out into the ocean that feels very much like the bow of a ship), the wind in front of the storm was blowing at maybe 30-40 mph, and I put on the parka and faced into it, taking in the wind energy and the sweet smell of fresh storm air, leaning into the storm and it holding me up. The lights of San Francisco across the water.
   As I headed up on a fire road inland, the rain started. It got foggy and pretty soon it was like being in a tunnel, darkness all around and a six-foot circle of misty light in front of me. These small owls (actually, I've been told they're not owls, but related to whippoorwills) fluttered up from the sides of the road as I ascended; I think they wait for mice to cross the road.
   It was getting darker and rainier. I got to the top and started back down. I could hardly see. I was sending good thoughts to my Black Diamond headlamp, because I hadn't brought any backup light, and if I lost my light in this gloom, I'd be out there all night.

Shelter Publications World Headquarters

Photo on Friday by Bill Steen with his iPhone. (All the wood here came from torn-down Navy barracks on Treasure Island in the '70s.)

Five tiny homes with European flair

From Yahoo News

Sign Petition for Drake's Bay Oyster Company

If you believe in family farms, local food production, and -- yes -- environmental responsibility, I urge you to sign the petition to allow the Drake's Bay Oyster company to renew its lease in the National Park. It's the very best type of food production -- no chemicals, fertilizers, watering, soil or water pollution. Plus the oysters actually filter and clean the water. Go here to sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/secretary-of-the-interior-ken-salazar-renew-the-lease-for-drakes-bay-oyster-company

Here's something I wrote last December:
Local Oyster Farm Controversy The Drake's Bay Oyster Company is being threatened by the same well-heeled "environmentalists" that recently forced the shutdown (in the next 5 years) of all trailers parked at Lawson's landing. See my photo-report here: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2011/06/lawsons-landing-under-threat-by.html "…Some observers see a David versus Goliath struggle, with a federal agency and moneyed environmental groups picking on a family-run business.…" http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/12/10/norcal_oyster_farm_dispute_spreads_to_capitol_hill/?page=2 For a very complete refutation of the National Parks Service's bad science and underhanded tactics (in cooperation with the Environmental Action Committee) in an article by John Hulls and Todd Pickering, see: http://russianrivertimes.wordpress.com/
And something I wrote last November: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2011/12/national-enviro-group-smears-local.html

For Sale: 1900 Gothic Revival, North Carolina, $19,500

Click here.

Simple Office Workout Equipment

When Bill Steen was here Friday I was showing him some of my office workout stuff and told him I might do a YouTube video on the subject. Homemade and/or cheap/effective ways to get some physical benefit while in the office (or at home). Bill got out his iPhone and we shot this quick video. I need to show these things and a few others and have a link to where you can get the straps, or the Lifeline Gym. Coming attraction…

Visit From Bill, Athena, & Benito Steen Friday/iPhone Apps

Bill and Athena Steen are authors of The Strawbale House Book, which became a best seller and started the strawbale building movement in North America. The Steens live at the end of a road in the desert south of Tucson (not far from Patagonia, Arizona), a lovely compound of strawbale and adobe structures built of natural materials. I've been down there 3 times and this is the 1st time they've visited us in California. See their website here: http://www.caneloproject.com. Their work has been featured prominently in our books Home Work and Tiny Homes.
   Bill and I have gone out on a few photo shoots together in Arizona, he with his Nikon, me with my Canon. In recent years Bill has switched to shooting almost everything with his iPhone; he'd told me about it, but this time I got a chance to see it 1st hand. I didn't even realize that my iPhone had an HDR (high dynamic range) option (if you're shooting a scene with two sharply different contrasts -- like an interior shot of the kitchen, with light streaming in through the windows). HDR takes 2 shots at different exposures and sandwiches them togetherv -- right on the iPhone. Voila!
   Bill uses these iPhone apps:
-Photosync to load on to computer
-HDR3 which takes the pic
-Bracket Mode
-True HD
-SnapSeed (which he used to shoot this photo of Lesley and me):

"'Own a New Home for the Price of a Car"

…so Molecule Tiny Homes says on its website. "The Santa Cruz, Calif., company, a collaboration between a former professional ballet dancer and a builder, creates fully customizable homes on flatbed trailers. One house, for instance, was built for a surfer, and was "designed to take full advantage of the beauty of the Ocean and provide a constant connection to nature," the Molecule website says.…" From The Oregonian

Mongolian Yurts For Sale in USA

"Based in Seattle, SunTime Yurts imports Mongolia’s highest quality handmade Gers (yurts) to the Pacific NorthWest. The Mongolian Ger has been tested and tried for thousands of years in one of the most remote and harshest climates in the world. Over the years, the Ger has slowly evolved into a practical modern day living space.…
   During a 7 month stay in Mongolia I fell in love with the nomadic culture and the thousand year old felt home of the Mongols. After returning home to cookie cutter suburbia USA I decided to add some culture and sustainable alternatives to our neighborhoods by dotting them with the white felt tents of Mongolia."