The Space Cowboy

I just returned from a performance by the Space Cowboy in the Byron Bay Community  Centre. I’ve seen him perform three times now. The first time was at the radio station. I was standing just two feet away when he bent a spoon that a woman was holding. He wasn’t touching the spoon. Just had his hand a few inches away. He makes spoons bend and twist. He uses spoons that the audience brings. It’s the real thing. Tonight he did it with a brandy snifter. A lady was holding it and the stem bent 45 degrees. He talked about a couple of the theories put forth by skeptics. He showed that those theories were incorrect. It’s the real thing, what he does. He does it all the time around the world.

Another example was when he started off the show with us tossing around a foam ‘brick’ to pick the participant for the trick. He then wrote a three digit number on a paper and, after, asked the guy to clear his mind and say the first three digits that came to mind. It was those numbers. As I said, I’ve seen him perform three times and he does these things easily. He makes you admit that there is more to reality than fits in the box.

He finished by swallowing a florescent tube with a mic attached to it’s end. You could hear his muscle adjusting as the tube went down and then his heart beating. Very dramatic.

He’s was born in Byron and gave his first performance at the monthly markets when he was eight years old. See him if you have a chance. He tours the world.

I’m off to pick a spoon to practice on.


Eating the Bay 4

Hotel San Remo, San Francisco, CA

When I had breakfast at the Venus Cafe, I was on my way with my bags to San Francisco. I had arrived in the Bay Area in the belief that I only needed the two nights couch surfing accommodation that I had arranged. The day of my arrival, I had received information that meant I needed to stay another night. A quick hop on the web and through a Fodor’s recommendation found and booked at the San Remo Hotel in the North Beach neighbourhood of San Francisco. Other budget hotels I had tried were booked out. I’m glad that was so.

The San Remo was built one hundred years ago by the founder of the Bank of America after the 1906 Great Earthquake.  It’s located a few blocks from Fisherman’s Wharf, occupying the second and third stories of the buildingl.  You are buzzed into small foyer on ground level and then ascend a one and a half person wide staircase to the first floor of the hotel. It is beautiful with restored Italianate Victorian fixtures and architecture. You will not find a phone or tv in your room. There is wireless in the main hallways. Some rooms have a sink but the showers and toilets are located separately from the rooms on each floor as in a European pension. Here’s a photo of one view inside of my room.

The View From My Bed, San Remo Hotel

You can see the period furniture and the light from the central air shaft. It was comfortable room. The hotel was very clean, quiet and tidy with a welcoming feel. The staff were a very happy group who obviously enjoyed working in such an establishment. When I think of the concrete bunkers that so often pass as hotels these days, I appreciate the San Remo even more. Sure, the walls are thin and you have to go down the hall for the WC but for at least one night, as a special treat, I would recommend San Remo Hotel to anyone who is looking for a unique experience in San Francisco.

An interesting history page.

2237 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA

Springtime for Kundan and California

I have gone through four or more drafts of my travel update without settling on the right format to describe my journey. However, the title was too good to pass up and if I don’t write soon, I’d lose the chance to use it.

Last week, I spent three days at Harbin Hot Springs ( ) in Napa county two and a half hours from my sister’s house in Chico, two hours north of San Francisco. If you have even the slightest chance of going there, please take it. It’s located up a fully wooded valley and is veeery relaxing. The centre is the main pool area. Six pools: a swimming pool that was a pleasant temperature for doing laps and fooling around. A heart shaped soaking pool. A cold pool. Sauna and steam rooms. Then, a large warm soaking pool about five foot deep. Next to it, the hot pool and above another cold pool. There are large decks for sunbathing and hanging out. The hot pool is 102+F (39C). The sign says to begin with no more than 2 minutes. I tend toward one minute. Then, off to the cold pool for a short dip. A pause for a long drink of my electrolyte enhanced water and back to the hot pool where I found that I was immediately enjoying the deep relaxing heat. I would do this circuit three or four times.

About timing of your visit. I arrived Thursday midday and left Sunday. The difference in population of the pools between friday and saturday was considerable. One way around it: I found myself awake at four thirty in the morning and went down to the pools. Only two other people there. After my rounds, I returned to morph into the most relaxing puddle of Kundan in my bed.

Other attractions are a number of varying degrees of difficulty hikes around the large property. Fabulous views. Many quiet spots. The restaurant is informal with a deck looking out on the wooded valley. I shared a table with some very interesting people.

There are events happening most nights and, of course, yoga, massage and other bodywork. I chose to have a Watsu session. This was a new experience for me. Watsu is described as “water shiatsu”, though, I would say that that is much more than that. The session happens in a shallow, maybe four foot deep warm salt water pool. I had a crick in my neck and a tight lower back, so, Patti, my practitioner, said that she would give me a gentle session. She put velcroed straps just below my knees to add floatation, then, I just lay back in her arms and let go. There was gentle massaging of my neck and lower back but mostly it was gentle movement of my body through the water stretching it in various ways. I felt totally supported. About three quarters of the way through the hour, my head lolled against her cheek and I suddenly felt like I was a babe in my mothers arms. My heart melted. Wow, wowww, wowwww.

And, it even released my neck and back.

On top of all that Harbin has to offer everyone, I also met up with a couple old friends. Sheelu was visiting and the Ramadeva lives there. Ramadeva teaches Feldenkrais classes twice a week and does other work. I first met him when he was the lead facilitator of the first Mystic Rose that I participated in. That day, he was walking the hiking trails looking for people who needed assistance. Nice work, especially on a cool spring day. Oh, and, did I mention how relaxed I was at the end of only three days. Truly and oasis.

So, that was the most recent treat of my journey in Californialand. Mostly this has been a time of enjoying being with my sister, brother and sister-in-law, as well as my nephews and nieces. I managed to bump into some friends along the way and make new friends as well. My sister Mary, in between quilting and playing bridge, has been attending a class about Rumi’s poems. I went along to a couple class meetings as well as a couple informal gatherings. The leader is a beautiful woman who is passionately absorbed in the poetry of Rumi and other Sufis. A great way to touch one’s heart. While in SLO town, I got to sit and chat with my brother John in the morning before he went off to work and spend time in the afternoons at the breakfast counter talking with my sister-in-law, Stephanie when she got home from work. It’s such a pleasure to just be together with each of them. John and Steph, had just bought a vacation home at Lake Shasta on the California/Oregon border. We loaded up a trailer and made a stop at Ikea on the way. Then, it was moving in and cleaning up (I am now an expert Ikea assembler). Next weekend, I go up to the Lake House again for Memorial day weekend and, then, head south to SLO again for the month of July.

In all, it’s just been a very cruizy time. Oh, yeh, there was the spring garden tour. I’ll be uploading some photos to my flickr pages.