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Basque Shepherd's Trailer


I went to the 65th (!) reunion of my class of 1952, Lowell High School, San Francisco, on Friday. About 80 people out of a class of 250 attended. Even though I've taken a different direction (wealth, politics) than most of them, I still love seeing these friends of 70+ years.

It was held at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco, and this wagon was parked out in front. The curved roof, with bed at one end is, I believe, an excellent configuration for a tiny home, far better than the poster boy for tiny homes, the steep gable roof with ladder to loft for sleeping -- a bad design, in my opinion, for many reasons. Here you can have drawers under the bed, and the curved roof gives you a feeling of spaciousness, as opposed to the claustrophobia of many tiny home designs.

This is also the basic design for the vardo of the Roma people in Europe.

At first glance I thought it was a funky BMW 2000, but it turned out to be (I believe) an Alfa Romeo Giulia, built 1962- 1978. On 46th Ave. in SF. Soulful little car.

Go to the post page…

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen celebrates after the Pirates victory over the Baltimore Orioles 5-3, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Pittsburgh. Look at that elevation! (And joy.)

Photo by Keith Srakocic/AP

I picked this up from here, a great blog:
http://tomclarkblog.blogspot.com/

Driftwood Beach Shack


This is from a 64 page book I'm just finishing laying out: Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the California Coast. It's a new format and if it works, I'll be publishing a bunch of smaller books on various subjects. Limited print run. not one of our major bookstore distribution books.

Red-shouldered hawk got trapped in netting box over strawberries this morning. I let him out after a few photos.

The California Fires, October, 2017

By Lloyd and Lesley Kahn
Saturday morning October 14th
We went to bed last Sunday night with no inkling of what was happening. About 3 AM, a fierce wind started blowing and we smelled smoke. At daybreak we learned that it came from fires some 60 miles away, mostly in neighboring Sonoma county. It’s been a grim week.

Everyone seems to know people or have relatives that have lost their homes. My brother was luckier than most with his farm in the Napa Valley: he lost a barn, tractor, Toyota Tacoma, and an accessory building, but his house was OK. He has 2,000 olive trees and they were not burned, but he’s not sure if they’ll be ruined by the smoke. It was his biggest crop ever.

Local radio stations have devoted large parts of their programs to the catastrophe; this morning there are 21 separate fires. There’s speculation they could have been started by 50 mile per hour northeastern winds knocking trees down onto power lines, exacerbated by a long drought, which weakened trees, followed by a wet year, a lot of vegetation and dry hot weather in recent months. The winds catapult embers along, and fires are said to outrun humans.

Refugees have flooded south. Many of them await news anxiously to see if their homes have been destroyed. This weekend looks ominous. Sunrise was a deep red this morning. We can smell smoke inside our house, and it's coming from 60 miles away. The sky this morning looks like a science fiction movie of the apocalypse.

Fire and earthquakes have always been part of the California cycle. It’s the other side of our paradise of warm weather and fertile soil. In the old days, fires happened regularly, burning out underbrush periodically. The Native Americans incorporated it into their cycle, sometimes setting fires to clear brush so grass would grow and attract animals to hunt and to clear land for planting. These days we’re so good at preventing (most) fires that forests become tinder boxes of fuel.

While big storms can be tracked and predicted, fires strike with no warning—no time to plan, to get ready. Saving lives is of utmost importance, but homes, records, papers, and belongings will have to be resurrected or replaced in months and years to come.

Having worked for over 40 years in helping people build their own homes, our thoughts are with all those who will have to start rebuilding their lives. I wish there were some way we could communicate our experience in building small, simple homes to those who will be rebuilding. For those who do not have adequate insurance, it seems especially important to consider the advantages of scaling back and simplifying.

The effort of first responders continues to be truly inspirational. Even those who have themselves lost everything are participating in fighting to save the homes and lives of neighbors. Aid is being rushed in and will be needed for some time to come

Evacuees have been pouring into the small towns of West Marin. Local homeowners have taken people in, made soup, donated clothing and are helping in many ways. It’s heartening to see such actions.

The people will survive and new homes will rise out of the ashes.

Whale Skull on Beach

Skull of 79 foot blue whale that washed up on local beach 5 months ago. This is about 8 feet across. These creatures are enormous; this one probably weighed 150 tons. The tongue weighs 3 tons. Baby blue whales gain 200 pounds in weight every day when growing.

Fishing Shack in Italy

In 2003, after the Frankfurt Book Fair, I took a RyanAir cheapo flight from Frankfurt to Pescara on the Adriatic coast of Italy. From there I took a train south, then a ferry to Isole Tremiti, an archipelago of islands. I came back to the mainland and drove along the coast and spotted this shack, called a trabucco. Said to have been invented by the Phoenicians, trabucci allowed fishermen to cast nets without being tossed around in boats in rough weather. (Just ran across this in going through old photos.)

Footwear of Cinderella's ranchero boyfriend

Santa Rosa Fires

Fountain Grove, near Santa Rosa yesterday. We're not in any danger (so far), but it makes me realize how vulnerable we are in this part of the world. 15 dead so far, Santa Rosa devastated. Winds down today but air still smoky here, 60 miles from nearest fire.
Photo: Ken Porter, The Press Democrat

#beach bunker

Skeleton on Beach Yesterday

 Don't know what kind of animal. Harbor seal? Beautiful warm late afternoon, I swam out, harvested fresh seaweed, then picked watercress next to robust beach waterfall for dinner. If you're willing to walk a mile or more, you can get to beaches with no other people.

Primitive Technology: Tiled Roof Hut



Be sure to read the 'SHOW MORE."

Photo of Earth From 106,000 Miles Up

"The first image taken by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft after completion of its Earth Gravity Assist maneuver on Sept. 22, 2017, cropped to show in greater detail the spacecraft’s view of Earth from 69,000 miles (110,000 kilometers). The image has been rotated so that Earth’s north pole is located at the top, and the Baja Peninsula is visible above and to the right of center. Cloud cover and the Pacific Ocean dominate most of the image, but Hurricane Maria and the remnants of Hurricane Jose can be seen in the far upper-right portion of the image, off the east coast of the United States. This image was captured by NavCam 1, a black-and-white imager that is one of three cameras comprising TAGCAMS (the Touch-and-Go Camera System), which is part of OSIRIS-REx’s guidance, navigation, and control system."
Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona"

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/osiris-rex-snaps-pictures-of-earth-and-the-moon

Note: you can see the outline of the Baja peninsula, delineated by the narrow black band running at an angle, up and right of center. The black is the Sea of Cortez.

So Long, Tom

Asian Vitruvian Man



Leonard Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man:

Isetta 300

This is a 1-cylinder Italian microcar built by BMW that got 94 miles per gallon in the '50s. There were a lot of them in Germany when I was stationed there in the USAF in the late '50s. This one was being refurbished by Ricky J in Prineville, Oregon, when I was there for the eclipse last month. Ricky has a fleet of old cars that he's restoring, each one a gem by the time he's through..

Chainsaw Octopus by Jeffrey Michael Samudosky

Carved from a redwood stump

Step-by-step of carving: http://mymodernmet.com/jms-sculpture-octopus-chainsaw-carving/

Artist's website: http://www.jmswoodsculpture.com/

Discovered by Evan Kahn

Fairport Convention - Liege & Lief - 1969

https://youtu.be/dMrW46qP4mw

In my study of the '60s, I've been reading a fantastic book on '60s music: white bicyles: making music in the 1960s by Joe Boyd. Fairport Convention is one of the many bands he managed. I missed these guys back in the day.

The 3rd song, Matty Grove, triggered my Celtic roots (my Mom maiden name was Jones—Welsh) and I've been clogging (don't I wish!) (in flip-flops) around the office. (Only because no one else is around.)

Piece of wave-worn concrete with multi-colored aggregate on #beach yesterday

The Passionate Photographer

Just wrote this today for my book on the '60s (which also includes the years leading up to the '60s):

I was the Information Services Officer at Sembach Air Base in southern Germany in 1958-1960. In addition to running the base photo lab and editing the base newspaper (The Sembach Jet Gazette), I was in charge of public relations and dealing with the press.

There was a German photographer, Helmut Haak, who photographed troops on American air bases. He contacted me about setting up photo shoots. I would line up a fighter plane down on our airstrip, and benches for the military personnel, arranged by unit. There might be 30-40 men and women in each photo.

Helmut made a ton of money selling the photos. Practically everyone bought one. He drove a big Mercedes and lived in a small castle overlooking the Mosel River.

We hit it off. One night he invited us, along with my secretary Inge, over for a light supper. He served white and pink champagne in bottles with his own label. He took us up into a small turret at the top of the castle. As we looked down on the river in the mist, he showed us an exquisite little music box with a moving mechanical bird.

Helmut had a 4-seat Cessna airplane, and he made friends with our base commander (Colonel Simeral, a pilot) by taking him flying. It was a spiffy little plane, and the colonel loved flying it.

One day at the base he took me up. We took off, and were still in the flight pattern when we heard on the radio: “F-86 dogs scrambling,” which meant that at least two of the base’s fighter pilots were taking off in a hurry. Shit!

Helmut was sweating. I was worried. The F-86’s were like rockets with cockpits on top—fast and powerful. Pretty soon, the planes roared past us—phew!—and we came back in.

 Helmut told me that one time, when his girlfriend was sailing back to America from Bremerhaven, he swooped down when the ship was leaving port and dropped a bouquet of flowers for her on the deck.

Before I left Germany and returned to the USA, I got word that he had crashed in the French Alps, not seeing Mont Blanc in the fog. The notice said that he had missed clearing Mont Blanc by 3-4 meters.

Poster from 1885


California's Housing Crisis

A 2-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $4300 a month (vs. $2300 in Oakland, $3300 in NYC). This is a very informative article on what is certainly a crisis:

https://calmatters.org/articles/housing-costs-high-california/

Notice snail shell on top


Gimme Shelter — Late, Hot Summer 2017

I started writing GIMME SHELTER email newsletters about 15 years ago, maybe one every month or two. They were originally intended for sales reps (first at Random House, then Publishers Group West), to keep them apprised of our publishing activities, and then later, I added friends to the mailing list. As I got into blogging, the frequency of the newsletters dropped off.

Here's the latest one. If you'd like to be on the list, send me your email address.


Water tower near Prineville, Oregon, on my trip last week to see the eclipse
I’ve written less and less of these newsletters recently, as I’ve been blogging and now doing Instagram regularly. Made me think about all the different forms of communication I've employed over the years. My high school year book, running an Air Force newspaper in Germany for 2 years, then working the Whole Earth Catalog, and then — books.

Followed by, over the years: booklets, pamphlets, flyers, posters, 20-30 handmade books, mini-books, magazine and newspaper articles, videos, interviews … I’m a compulsive communicator.

These days I put up posts on my blog, but not as often, or as in-depth as a few years ago. I do Instagram almost daily and all these photos automatically go onto my blog, and to my Twitter and Facebook pages. You can check my Instagram account here; it’s a summary of posts: www.instagram.com/lloyd.kahn

Three New Books

The ’60s

I decided to do a book on the ‘60s, since there’s been so much attention given to the “Summer of Love” lately, and because as a person who grew up in San Francisco, went to high school in the Haight-Ashbury, and watched the ‘60s unfold first-hand, I don’t agree with what’s being presented all over the media; these accounts don't coincide with what I saw happening at all.

“The Haight-Ashbury was a district. The ‘60s was a movement.”  –Ken Kesey

I started the book tentatively, to see if it was going to fly. I thought I’d give my background, what San Francisco was like in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and track my life — a kid growing up in San Francisco, college, Santa Cruz, Big Sur, the Monterey Pop Festival, building domes at Pacific High School, the Whole Earth Catalog — so readers would know where I was coming from. Rather than starting in 1960.

I started getting into it, recalling things that had been buried in my semi-consciousness. This was fun! And I realized that the ‘60s completely changed my life. In 1965, I quit my job as an insurance broker in San Francisco and went to work as a carpenter.

I’m going to illustrate it with black and white photos I took doing those years.

I’ll start posting parts of the book on my blog as I go, to get some feedback.

Dragon Bench Carved With Chainsaw

This was carved by Igor Loskutow, an Estonian now living in Southern Germany and working for Husqvarna Chain Saws.

http://www.boredpanda.com/wood-chainsaw-carve-dragon-bench-igor-loskutow/

From Fred Weisenborn

My wife Lesley's 12" square for a fundraising quilt to benefit local affordable housing, being made by quilters of our town.


Based on a local building.

White Buffalo & Company McDermitt, Nevada

In a town of about 30 people just over the border from Oregon is Joe Van Eeten's rock, bone, sculpture, and fossil spread.



Joe, who's a charming raconteur

She bought this for $125.

Joe was going to fix this old hotel up as a home for Viet Nam vets, but ran out of money and now it's for sale.