4-1/2 Hours in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

If you can make it to Carmel, California by 11 am, there is no doubt you will have an enjoyable day in one of America’s most exquisite and storybook towns, which is also responsible for the inception of modern bohemian California culture, poetry, art, theater, and… van life.

11:00 am – After an easy 1-hour drive from Santa Cruz we found street parking in the village just a few blocks off Ocean Ave. We walked to our primary destination, the Carmel Art Association, where a special 95th anniversary show was getting set up featuring some art by my great-aunt Moira Wallace (1910-1979).

11:45: Exploring and flipping through the stacks of paintings and illustrations at the gallery made us hungry so we walked two blocks to the Little Swiss Cafe, which smelled like the hearty breakfast-all-day establishment we were looking for. That was confirmed by the packed house, so we put our names on the waiting list and spent 15 minutes circling around the block to window browse the countless art galleries.

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8 more Weeknds ‘til 2023, might as well spend them here

I started this blog almost 15 years ago, before there was a Twitter, before there was Instagram, when the World Wide Web was a wild frontier of invention and exploration.

Weekndr.com was my little piece of virtual land with a URL missing just enough vowels to slot me right into the universe of Internet personalities. I was here to document the Weekndr family adventures (anonymity was still a thing back then) and share our view of the world with anyone who I could convince to look.

My niche was based on an idea that life was just a countdown of weekends until you die, and humans were put on earth to make the most of all of them.

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Raising the Family Ghosts

Earth is the Greatest Haunted House. Hourly you walk among crowds of semi-conscious gaseous “ghosts.” To them you are the gaseous folk, while they are the visible and substantial realities. Men’s ignorance of this fact does not change the fact.

—With our thanks to you, who are our Ghost Writer.

This message is written in thick black pencil on a scrap of paper that I keep in a handmade wooden box near my bedside, along with various keepsakes and good luck charms. It was written by my great-grandfather Grant Wallace (1868–1954), who in every sense of the word was one of history’s most famous ghostwriters.

Growing up in my conventional family household in the 1980s, my siblings and I lived in blissful innocence when it came to the otherworldly accomplishments of our mom’s dad’s dad. We did not know much about him being a spiritualist philosopher and medium to past lives, alien life forms, and spirit worlds. We mostly knew of him by my mom’s description—a famous newspaper man who collected a famous circle of friends.

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How the tiny town of Markleeville survived the terrifying Tamarack Wildfire

It was just after 6:00 p.m. on Friday and an orange sun was setting on the tiny Sierra mountain town of Markleeville, Calif.

Walking down the main street of Highway 89 past the historic buildings and the county courthouse, a surreal and unsettling feeling persisted. The streets were packed with cars and people, which is an uncommon sight for this remote town of 200 residents. But this weekend more than 2,100 long-distance cyclists were staying in town or at the surrounding campsites and cabins for the annual Death Ride bicycle race.

Up ahead fine dinners packed the outdoor tables at a local farm-to-table restaurant, chomping away on their oven-fired pizzas and garden salads. Across the street, motorcycles lined up out from the Cut Throat Bar while patrons inside sucked down their IPAs.

And meanwhile, a raging forest fire was bearing down on town, approach fast and just a few miles away.

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SK8 Art: The Completed Illustrated Guide to Skateboard Design

Seven years after publishing my first book “The Handmade Skateboard: How to design and build a custom longboard, cruiser, street deck from scratch” I’ve submitted the final edits and updates to a new revised edition of the book expected to hit bookstores this fall.

You may not know, but in order for a published book to earn “revised” status, the author and publisher have to update a substantial portion of the content. And so that’s just what we did.

The revised version of The Handmade Skateboard includes new techniques and lessons learned from the dozens of skateboard-making workshops I’ve run with students of all ages over the past decade. I’ve pulled together interviews and photos from breakout handmade skateboard makers from around the globe who are pushing the envelope.

But perhaps my favorite addition to the book: Colorized updates to my “complete illustrated guide to skateboard design.” In this section of the book, I break down all the design decisions and parts that you’ll need to sort through when you’re designing and building your own custom skateboard.

Because I love them so much, I compiled a selection of drawings from the book into a poster-sized version that I’m offering for sale for a limited time via the on-demand print service Pixel.com.

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