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“It Only Yurts When I Laugh”

Great aesthetics, not-so-great cieling insulation. Brrr!
Photo posted February 4th, 2010 by Ryan Mitchell at: http://www.thetinylife.com/

Maxit Workout Tights

Bob Anderson, the author of Stretching, has been using (and selling) Maxit Athletic Wear for years. Bob lives in the Rocky Mountains and runs in the snow and rides his mountain bike, often wearing just one layer of Maxit. This spun polypropylene material is worn by NFL players under their uniforms in cold weather. At left is the outfit I wear when running around here (hat is also Maxit) in winter. The shirt zips up into a turtleneck. I may be cold in starting (say in the '40s), but after 5-10 minutes I'm plenty warm. Just one layer. I generally wear almost all natural materials, but make an exception for cold winter runs. The tights are also great for not getting legs scratched in thickets looking for mushrooms. Check it out via Google, or on the Stretching website: http://stretching.com/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=7
-Photo yesterday by Lew Lewandowski

What Are These Mushrooms?

Went running in the rain yesterday afternoon, man was it cold! (us Californios are wimps in cold weather). Storm blowing in from the south across the ocean, wind and rain pelting the hills. Chanterelles are in hiding, but I found these under pines. Cannot identify in any of my 5 mushroom books. Anyone know what they are? Sure pretty. There's just always something out there (away from the computer!) that makes me glad to be alive.

George Bernard Shaw's Writing Shack

George Bernard Shaw's writing shed was 8' by 8' and built with castors on a circular track so that it could be turned around to change the light.
Also, photo of interior showing his desk with old typewriter: http://bit.ly/bNLkT9
-Sent us by Kevin Kelly

Grammies vs Coal Miner's Daughter

Remember in Crocodile Dundee when a hoodlum pulls a knife on Mick in NYC, and Mick says "You call that a knife (noife)?" as be pulls out his much larger knife with practised ease. Well I thought of that when watching the Grammies the other night. You call that music? Most of it was overblown, garish, and grating on the nerves. Maybe it's because I live in the country and don't have the high-frequency contact of urban living, but some times I feel totally disconnected with mainstream culture. Beyonce,who's certainly uber-talented, did the weirdest song, backed by 40 guys dressed like swat team goons — a la Madonna. The MUSIC sucked. Later in another bit of weirdness, Taylor Swift was painfully flat in some of her notes while doing a duet with Stevie Nicks. Poor Stevie. A few of the acts were OK, but most of it was bizarre and overlaid with techno-trash. Grrr!
The next night we happened to run across Coal Miner's Daughter, which I somehow had never seen. From the opening scenes on, it was REAL. Sissy Spacek can really sing! What a relief after the smugness of the Grammies. In fact it's a masterpiece of a movie. Here I am having to go back 30 years to find something genuine.

Stone Masonry on Irish Coast

Shot in September

Inversion Coffee House in Houston

This was created by artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck for a coffee house on Montrose Boulevard in Houston in 2005. It's since been demolished. Details here.
-Sent us by Jan Janzen, whose work can be seen here.

Hot Rod Ford in Petaluma

I went to Petaluma yesterday to get some electrical work done on my truck. I rode my bike across town to a Peet's coffee shop to hang out while the work was being done and spotted this little gem parked by a kayak dealer. I don't know much about hot rods, but this little Ford has just got it. Vroom-vroomn!

Out Your Backdoor: Cheap Adventure, Thrifty Culture

Jeff Potter runs the adventurers' website Out Your Backdoor: "…thrifty independent action culture since 1991, offering 1000+ hard-to-find stories, links, books and goodies (luggage, too!) that offer the Vision Thing that anyone can afford. Hard times aren't new."

Candy Cap Mushrooms

Found these candy caps while running on the mountain Saturday. They smell like maple syrup when dried. The kitchen is fragrant right now as they sit on a drying shelf and take advantage of heat from the fireplace.

Cosmic Cauliflower

The Fibonacci numbers (http://www.maths.surrey.ac.uk/hosted-sites/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fibmaths.html) are on exhibit with this magical looking vegetable, a Romanesco Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea). We had it a few nights ago and it was the best cauliflower I've ever had. Organic, natcherly.

Old Shed For Sale in Wales

Feb 14, 2010
"The Gardener’s Shed, The Coombe Estate, Near Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales SA33 5HP
Of interest to self builders and developers
Situated in a rural idyllic setting. A detached derelict house on a large plot with previous planning for multi dwellings – Vacant…"

Soulful Old Log Cabin in Canada

The Lafleur House, a historic stopping place on the Bonnechere River in Bonnechere Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
-Photo by Padraic Ryan -http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lafleur_Homestead.JPG

Round Barns in Iowa Built With Local Stone, Recycled Lumber

Dick Schwab built this round barn on his 90 acres near Solon, Iowa. This photo is here on flickr.
There is another larger round barn on his land, described here:
"The 'Celebration Barn' is 100 feet in diameter and 50 feet tall to the top of the cupola. The exterior is round, made of limestone cut from quarries in Anamosa and Stone City. Inside, celebrants will see 24 straight walls along the circumference. The lumber is almost all recycled, as are the paving bricks that line walkways connecting some of the barns and that will encircle the big barn when it’s finished."
Above quote from here.
Dick says he was inspired by the book Without Right Angles: The Round Barns of Iowa by Lowell J. Soike (Penfield Press, 1991), of which there are still a few copies floating around out in the bookosphere; I just ordered one.
Info on round barns sent me by Lew Lewandowski from our office, presently on his way to visit his Mom back east; Lew reports: "Waiting for my flight from Boston's Logan (6 degrees, 25 mph winds, on my way to Lowville (-14 degrees, snowing)."

Stone Farm Building on irish Coast

About an hour after seeing the building below, we passed this old stone building with a slate roof.

For more postings from our trip to Ireland last September: http://bit.ly/cH4onq