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Inner City Kids Go Surfing

"…Tim Gras, who operates Gras Surfboards and works as a community organizer in underprivileged areas, came up with an idea along with Ian Glover, owner of the Big Dog Surf Camp. Using Glover’s resources and Gras’ access, they arranged a day-at-the-beach surfing trip for a bunch of kids from Sunnydale, the downtrodden San Francisco neighborhood near the Cow Palace.
   Warmington got wind of the project and documented the two men talking to young, inner-city kids about their difficult upbringing: the gunshots, the drugs, the general state of chaos that, as one kid said, “makes you feel like your head’s gonna explode.”
   None of these kids knew anything about surfing, but they happily joined a caravan loaded up with boards and wetsuits. The  result, beautifully captured 
on film, was a super-stoked session that would remind any seasoned surfer
 of that first time in the water, those first waves caught, a feeling
 that really can’t be matched in any other sport.…"
From SFGate, sent us by Bob Kahn
The Sunnydale Kids from Ripple Effect on Vimeo.

Daily Flash # 2 on Foggy Friday -- Beach Graffiti

Daily Flash #1 on Foggy Friday -- Twenty Steps From Stardom

Saw Twenty Steps From Stardom yesterday and is it great! I've been disappointed by a number of music documentaries where they had too much talk and too little music. Also by films like Cadillac Records, and Ray, which I guess (the latter) everyone liked but me; I thought both films were phony.
  I've always loved backup singers and this film not only honors these remarkable women, but has a ton of great music. I had no idea of the power and artistry of Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Merry Clayton, Tata Vega, and Judith Hill -- among others. The power of gospel backgrounds.
   It's a sparkling documentary --the filmmakers do everything right. The last number, with Darlene Love doing "Lean on Me," is stunning; the backup harmonies gave me chills. It's not playing at many theaters, so I'd try to see it soon.

Tiny House Hotel in Portland, Oregon

$125 per night, includes wi-fi. Click here.

Daily Flash -- Psychedlia Without Drugs

Last night I was coming back from a trip over the hill and decided to stop at Stinson Beach for a run. The sand is ever-shifting throughout the seasons, and last night there were large dead-flat areas (skimboarders' delight) at the south end of the beach. The tide was coming in, washing the flat areas with sheets of water that would then recede, leaving huge mirror-like surfaces.
  I got to the end of the beach and on the way back started running on the 1/2"or so of water. Yeow!
   Reflected below and out to the sides were the blue sky,white and grey clouds, even the trees on beach edge -- in 3D! I had stepped into an alternate universe, with dimension and movement -- like a (3D) movie. I was flying, looking down from a height of say 200 feet, at the clouds and sky below.
   I bow down to the Ocean (and the Universe).

Artist Jay Nelson's Tiny Houseboat

It's viewable at Mollusk Surf Shop, a great place to visit near Ocean Beach, San Francisco.
Click here to see more of Jay's creations. There are also two pages on him in Tiny Homes.

Tchaikovsky Delight

From my brother Bob this morning

140 Sq. Ft. Home on Wheels

Hi Lloyd, Just found a neat vid on a 140 sq ft mobile home: http://videosift.com/video/Tiny-Living-Couple-builds-and-lives-in-120-sq-ft-house Thought it might suit your blog or the impending book.Enjoy, John O'Brien  

Marvin Gaye, "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," A Capella

Ernest Thoreau has left a new comment on your post "On the Road July 2013":
Here's a music selection for you if you want it. Marvin Gaye on stage by his lonesome doing Grapevine a capella. It's haunting. He keeps great rhythm. Uses the silence as much as his voice. And throws down some killer smooth dance steps.
   Seems like they aren't making as many great pure musicians as they used to.

Nice Little Triumph Motorcycle

Fog/Afternoon Sun/Me & Victor Mature Getting Our Strength Back

After a lot of Spring and early Summer wind, the fog bank has settled in these days. Almost feels tropical of late. Went paddling last night, the lagoon was warm, over 60°. I'm back to 85% shoulder strength. After 6 months of no upper body activity, I can feel the strength coming back — such a rush.
    Funny, it puts me in mind of the epic film (1949), Samson and Delilah, where Delilah learns that the secret to Samson's strength is his hair. She gets him drunk, cuts off his hair, and he is blinded. (Samson is played by he of the agonized grimaces, Victor Mature.)
   A few years later, he is in the temple, being tormented by his captors. They don't notice that his hair has grown back. He is standing between the two main pillars of the temple and he starts pushing, the crowd jeering at him. Suddenly there is a crack --great sound effects -- and the crowd falls silent. More cracking and the temple collapses.
   A bit dramatic, I know, but I'm elated to have some strength back…

Tiny Home in Tropics


Tiny Home on Wheels With Mushroom Insulation

"Ecovative Design is best known for making sustainable mushroom-based products which can be used as an alternative to Styrofoam, but the company has now turned its hand to making a tiny house on wheels from fungi. At least in part, anyway ..."


Jack Fulton's Hammers

Stopped by to see my long-time friend Jack Fulton last week. Jack is by profession a photographer, also a builder. In the '60s, Jack and I learned a lot about building from Jack's uncle, Alec Fulton. A jovial Scotsman, Alec took the time to teach us novices. Among other things, he taught me how to join cast-iron drainpipes with hot lead (and oakum) — in the days just before ABS and PVC drain pipe replaced cast iron.
Anyway, Jack had just finished rebuilding the entire front wall of his house (termite damage, new continuous foundation), and these well-used hammers were lying around. The smaller has been my go-to tool belt hammer for many years. A Plumb 16" with fiberglass handle. I like the straight, rather than a curved claw: better for de-nailing as well as digging in the dirt. Aesthetically, I like wooden handles, but the fiberglass has a bit of spring in it which is comfortable.

Chainsaws — Can We Talk?

I've been using chainsaws for many years, have probably owned 5 or 6. These days it's a Stihl Woodboss MS270, 24" bar. Every year I pick up mostly wind-felled oak on country roads, haul it home, cut it into stove-size lengths, then rent a splitter for a day and stockpile a year's or more worth of firewood. I used chainsaws extensively in the '60s and '70s, cutting up redwood (from the beaches or windfallen trees in the woods) into bolts, and which I then split into shakes. Point is, I've had a lot of chainsaw experience.
   The other day I was sawing through a piece of wood on the woodpile and as I finished the cut, the blade hit a log below it and snapped back towards my face. It sent a chill of adrenaline that I felt somehow in my ears. Very scary.
I was wearing my Husqvarna helmet, which combines skull protection, ear guards, and a metal mesh facemask. (I've only been using the helmet the last few years, prompted by a log rolling down the hill and knocking me down — I should have had one of these helmets all along.)
   This time the blade didn't reach my face, but if it had, the mask would've stopped it from carving up flesh.
   I urge you chain saw users: get one of these. $50 or so. Play it safe, please. The more hours you've operated chainsaws, the more the chance of a freak accident. Experience doesn't make you invulnerable.
   PS I always sharpen the teeth after use, so it's ready when I next pick it up.