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Old Lincoln Continental

Saw this soulful vehicle in San Rafael yesterday. Lew says it's probably a painter's vehicle.

Backwoods compound in Alabama

Art Shapes a Rural Alabama Compound

Article by Penelope Green in NewYork Times
Published: April 7, 2010
Photo: Robert Rausch
"Like a medieval village, Butch Anthony’s 80-acre family compound is a self-contained universe, and every inch of it is an expression of his prodigious creative spirit.…"
Re. above photo: "He began building his log cabin (in Seale, Alabama), in 1988 and is still tweaking it. It is made from heart pine salvaged from an old mill in Columbus, Ga., and put together with the help of his home-made rigging — cables and pulleys strung from the branches of pine trees. Mr. Anthony made the chandeliers on a screened porch from twigs and cow bones; the 1930s quilts came from his Possum Trot auction."
-Sent us by Tracey Quigley

Bikes hauling big loads in India

Godfrey Stephens and Megan Parris are traveling in India. Here are a couple of Godfrey's photos. The fish was on the Cochin Malabar Coast.

Crispy Hippie revealed

In December I mentioned that the cafe/coffee roastery at Small World Coffee in Princeton, NJ, did a name and logo for a new blend based on my surfing and skateboarding and I guess, long hair — calling it the Crispy Hippie roast. To tell the truth, I've never thought of myself as a hippie, although I guess I am compared to all my friends from high school and college who didn't smoke dope, get immersed in rock and roll, and drop out (back in '65). "I'm proud to be a hippie from Olema…" Small World owner Jessica Durrie just sent me this t-shirt.

Barnwood available free in Iowa

Doug Coppinger wrote us recently, saying that the barn buildings on his family farm in Central Iowa are going to be torn down and he'd like to find someone who can use the wood. Phone: 425-398-3843

When a Phillips is not a Phillips- chart of over 100 screw drive configurations

From Instructables. com:
"For each screw drive type, from ancient Slot through to space-age Lox we present a quick view of the screw head, the drive name, a picture of the appropriate drive bit, followed by an explanation of the type. Also presented are the advantages and disadvantages of each drive type. Slot type are also included because that is where the screw began and a double slot becomes a cross drive, and the Robertson or square drive enter the story with recent combined Phillips/Square drives. The Allan, Spline, Torx etc drives are not included and maybe neither should the Uni-Screw, it is just so darn new and interesting.…"
Chart here: http://is.gd/ba8t0
Explanation here: http://is.gd/ba8rX

Even Among Animals: Leaders, Followers and Schmoozers

I'm in Berkeley now, just after 7 AM, at a cafe on Shattuck. I'm so excited to get into a real city; my brain goes into overdrive. Here are some rambling caffeinated thoughts:
This article in the NY Times April 5th is on a series of animal studies that find they are more and more like humans the more research that's done. The article is by Natalie Angier, a wonderful writer.
"…the burgeoning field of animal personality research, the effort to understand why individual members of the same species can be so mulishly themselves, and so unlike one another on a wide variety of behavioral measures. Scientists studying animals from virtually every niche of the bestial kingdom have found evidence of distinctive personalities — bundled sets of behaviors, quirks, preferences and pet peeves that remain stable over time and across settings. They have found stylistic diversity in chimpanzees, monkeys, barnacle geese, farm minks, blue tits and great tits, bighorn sheep, dumpling squid, pumpkinseed sunfish, zebra finches, spotted hyenas, even spiders and water striders, to name but a few. They have identified hotheads and tiptoers, schmoozers and loners, divas, dullards and fearless explorers, and they have learned that animals, like us, often cling to the same personality for the bulk of their lives. The daredevil chicken of today is the one out crossing the road tomorrow.…"
Researchers "…sought to learn why when certain barnacle geese would start moving, others would honkily follow."
I got out of shape over the last few years. With a knee injury and operation, carpal tunnel surgery, and at the same time, fascination with my work and the world, I wasn't getting out on the trails and in the water. Now I'm running again, 3 times a week and trying to paddle or surf once or twice a week. Everything in my world goes better when I'm take the time to move through space by my own propulsion. I run on most Saturdays now with a group of very fast mountain runners. Although I'm the slowest, I follow them on harder and longer runs than I'd ever do alone. Saturday we ran about 10 miles and visited a rushing cascading waterfall in the woods.
Our new revised 30th anniversary edition of Stretching has sold out its 1st 20,000-copy printing and we're reprinting right now.
Three digital items I am crazy about:
1. My MacBook Pro 13" laptop is a joy. Apple continually refines. I don't miss the 15"'s larger screen at all (keyboard is same size), and it's small and sleek and works slickly and is easier to carry around.
2. My Canon PowerShot S-90 point-and-shoot camera. I like it way better than my previous G-10. Right now I'm using it for 90% of my shots. I have a new Panasonic Lumix G-1 for more serious stuff. Reviews here.
3. The GoPro’s HD Helmet HERO: a wearable 1080p HD video and still photo camera. Tiny camera you mount on head or chest to film surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, running. Incredible little camera for action. "Professional quality 1080p / 960p / 720p HD resolutions record at 30 and 60 frames per second (60 fps in 720p). Record up to 2.5 hours on a single charge and up to 9 hours total on a 32GB SD card (not included)." Here.
Time to get to work…

Nicely-lit house in woods of White Mountains, New Hampshire

Although I'm immersed in our forthcoming book on tiny houses (under 500 sq. ft.), this home, with curved roof and nestled into the slope (overlooking a pond) looks appealing. Designed by Smith and Vansant Architects of Norwich, Vermont.
Details and more photos of above house at: http://is.gd/ba6Xh

Reader feedback on Builders of the Pacific Coast

Lew just discovered an interesting website called Goodreads, with reader book ratings and reviews; it's tied in to Facebook. For one thing, it's a way to cross-check Amazon customer reviews. Here's a comment on our last major building book, Builders of the Pacific Coast:

"In a time when more people are thinking "green" and "sustainable," this book is even more fascinating. "Sustainable" is not a slick, well-marketed, over-packaged solution you can buy at a local big box store and get delivered - it is noticing and respecting the woodgrain, the type of stone, and the stories of the place. There is so much room for quiet reflection in this book, it took much longer to read it than I expected from a large format, photo-heavy "coffee table" book."

I looked up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and there were 28,000 reader ratings.

Rustic owner-built home on remote Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

20-foot-wide rustic owner-built home on remote Prince of Wales island in Southeast Alaska. The nearest town is Coffman Cove (about 50 air miles from Ketchican). I like the design, 1-½-stories, big 2nd-story dormers, big covered porch for taking off wet and muddy gear in winter, sitting around or sleeping on in summer (with mosquito nets). This and other practical small house designs are at: http://www.countryplans.com/

-More photos of this home (950 sf to 875 sf of living area) at: http://countryplans.com/cowan.html

-Plans for this home from:

-From Lew Lewandowski