Monday Morning Fish Fry*

Right now I’m working on:

1. Redesign of my blog. Rick, who doesn’t think much of templates, is writing code to achieve our new look. For one thing, I’ll be able to go wide screen with good photos (a la https://cabinporn.com/) and have more control over layout than I do now in Blogger.

2. My book on the ’60s will be on the new blog in its own category (a blog within a blog). Here, I don’t feel the need to adhere to the linear necessity of a print book. I can post things out of sequence, and people can chime in.

3. We’re going to the Rebuild Green Expo in Santa Rosa on Friday, February 23rd. We’ll have a table and be passing out my “Open letter to Californians Building New Homes After Recent Fires, and selling copies of Shelter II (which contains a manual on stud-frame building) at a 50% discount. The idea is that we can do things better this time around. It’s at Santa Rosa Veterans’ Hall, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa. Come see us if you’re in Sonoma County. I’ll be there along with Evan and Em-J.

4. We continue making videos — a couple a month. We’re working on one on me skateboarding last week, and going to do one on office workout equipment.

5. We just completed my latest book, Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the Northern California Coast (82 pages, 8″ by 8″). It’s the first in a series of short-run digitally-printed small books. This is a way for me to publish some not-ready-for-prime-time books, ones that we may just sell via mail order.

We’re using Ingram’s Lightning Source, and for a variety of reasons, I’d recommend them over Amazon’s CreateSpace.

I’ll post details on the new book within a week.

The next book in this series will be Pop’s Diner — America Is Still Out There, Folks, a 48 page hand-lettered scrapbook with color photos that I put together after a 2-week trip to the southwest, April 1-15, 1989. Hot springs, barns, canyon backpacking, 4-wheel drive, Log cabins, Valley of the Gods…

6. I continue roaming beaches. Yesterday it was spooky warm for this time of year.

7. I gave up on making chairs with a tenon cutter. I’m now going to try making chairs out of driftwood, using grabbers for connections.

*San Francisco columnist Herb Caen used to have the occasional “Friday Fish Fry” column, using 3-dot journalism to write a bunch of unrelated short bits.

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Woodrat Nest.

These nests are pyramidal, about 3 feet tall, all over in the woods around here. Woodrats are kinda nice critters, compared to disgusting Norwegian city rats. They’re like big mice, live communally, are craftily smart at getting bait off traps without springing the trigger. The ones around here are dusky-footed woodrats, often called “pack rats,” have bigger ears and eyes than city rats.

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The People of Kau by Leni Riefenstahl

After our duck dinner Thursday night, Louie and Titch started looking at this book, which I had pulled out of the bookshelf a week before. We all started looking at it. The photos were stunning. We were fascinated. The photographer obviously had close and unusual rapport with these beautiful people. Used copies of the book are available online for $18-20.

Leni Riefenstahl was a very controversial artist — a dancer, swimmer, filmmaker, and photographer who is perhaps most famous for having produced The Triumph of the Will, which was used for propaganda by Hitler and the Nazi party in World war II. You can read about her on Wikipedia,

In a way, it reminds me of people I know, say high school and college friends who are Trump supporters. The latter fact doesn’t mean they are no longer my friends. People can be a combination of qualities. I can resonate with some people on many things, yet be on completely a different wave length on other subjects. Go figure.

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On the beach with Louie and Titch

Louie (left) is my separated-at-birth brother ( and the primary builder in our book Homework); he still rides a 500-foot zipline across a river to get to and from his home.

Titch and I are brothers in the sense that his last name is Jones, my mom’s maiden name — Welsh — and we were both born on April 28th. We had wild ducks and Louie’s red wine for dinner the night before. It was a spectacular day at the beach, after 2 days of rain. The 3 of us wander beaches whenever we get together.

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