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Shelter-inspired cabin in woods

Shelter (published in 1973) has sold over 250,000 copies. Here's an excerpt from our forthcoming tiny homes book by Maximillian Godino, who was inspired to build his $1000 cabin in the woods by Shelter:

"Since I was a little kid growing up in a house made of railroad ties on Tennessee Valley Road in Mill Valley I have thumbed the pages of Shelter. Before my dad died he presented me with the well-worn copy you see here and it has given me tremendous satisfaction to be able to construct something inspired to a great extent by your research and photos."

Shelter mentioned in New York Times article yesterday

on a straw bale builder in the Catskills. Penelope writes:
"Originally deployed by late 19th-century homesteaders in the Nebraska plains, straw-bale building techniques, though much refined, have essentially remained the same for the last century: hay bales are sliced into blocks, tucked into a frame and finished in plaster. (You can visit many of the early Nebraskan straw-balers, but not the first documented one, an unplastered one-room schoolhouse, because it was eaten by cows.)

Nobody paid much attention to this hardy Plains vernacular until the early 1970s, when Shelter, the building bible of budding counterculturalists, was first published. Included in its tour of zomes, yurts and treehouses was an essay on the “baled hay” houses of the Plains."

She's referring to the photo of a straw bale barn on page 70 of Shelter, BTW, Bill Steen, who co-authored the best seller The Straw Bale House in 1994 with his wife Athena and David A. Bainbridge, told me that this photo was what got him started with straw bale in the first place.

Click here for article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/garden/in-the-catskills-building-stone-by-stone-bale-by-bale.html?hpw
Photo by Raeanne Giovanni-Inoue for The New York Times

Lloyd in 1½ min AOL skateboarding video

You’re watching You’ve Got Lloyd Kahn. See the Web's top videos on AOL Video

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by AOL in New York. They wanted to do a 1½ min video on me skateboarding. I met the producer and camera man in Golden Gate Park on a hot Sunday (when the park is closed to traffic). We spent almost 6 hours, filming, talking, setting things up. Jon mounted a GoPro Helmet Hero HD video camera on my board, and at one point a microphone on the board to pick up wheel noise, and he shot tons of footage with a big Sony video camera. Above is the result.

Here's the direct link to AOL Video: http://aol.it/oz2Fkp

Rick Huffan, bike traveler extraordinaire

This is a followup to my post of July 7th:

When you look at Rick and his bike, you immediately see that something is right. It's so obviously a pared-down-to-essentials setup that it resonates.

"All you need are the bare necessities," says Rick. Firefighter's sleeping bag, 2-man tent, ground tarp, bike tools. Food: cans of tuna, kippers, bread, flatbread,His carefully-crafted setup is sleek and light.

Rick worked as a bike mechanic for 2 years. He now travels about 3 months out of the year, otherwise living in Washington. He designed the rack in front that carries his sleeping bag and tent. He sleeps in campgrounds or wherever he finds a good spot.

We had coffee and shared a sandwich in Pt Arena last week. I showed him Builders of the Pacific Coast and he studied it pretty intently. When I offered to give it to him, he didn't consider it for a minute. "Nah, I learned a long time ago, you pack your burden…it'd be more pressure on the hubs, the brakes, the bearings…."

He told me he'd passed a young guy that morning. "A brand new bike, new gear and equipment…it looked like 200 pounds…"

I said, "It's all in the weight,isn't it?"

"That's right. I want to enjoy myself, not kill myself."

"Yesterday I was way up on a hill, and I seen a red-tailed hawk take a dive, and he got what he was after. You don't see that passing through in a car, just the road ahead of you…"

Note: Oh for the ability to do layout in Blogger! It's a fabulous resource, but trying to position text and photos is like driving a car without a steering wheel.

Attention runners who speak Belorussian

The introduction to Jeff Galloway's book on running a marathon has been translated by Olga Skachko into Belorussian.

Here it is: http://sportsbettingspot.com/online/marafon-be

Or in English: http://is.gd/marjeff

Woman faces jail for growing vegetables in her front yard

From Daily Mail Reporter, July 8, 2011

"A woman who put a vegetable garden in her front yard has been charged with a misdemeanor and could even be facing jail.

Julie Bass, of Oak Park, Michigan, created the garden after her front yard was torn up to replace a sewer line.
But a neighbour complained and called the city, who deemed it unsuitable.
Every front yard in the area is grass.…"


From Evan Kahn

Salvaged water tank

This was salvaged from a wrecked ship and is now used as a water tank in Pt. Arena, California

Road vehicle with VW van welded on top

From the "Eco-hobby" website in Russia. Since I can't read Russian I don't know what or where this is.


Chicken tractors

"…here are over 180 pictures of chicken tractors I have collected! No blueprints, no descriptions, just pictures. I hope they inspire your own project. A chicken tractor is basically a bottomless cage or pen of some kind. This is so the chickens can scratch (a chicken's raison de etre) and eat off of the ground such things as grass, weeds, bugs, etc. In the U.K., chicken tractors are called chicken arks. You can drag or roll your chicken tractor around the yard if you want. They often feature wheels. Without a cage bottom, the chicken manure goes directly onto the ground and becomes fertilizer. Chicken tractors are perfect for a small number of city chickens. If you don't want to move your chicken tractor, just let the manure accumulate. Throw fresh straw or wood shavings on top of the poop to absorb any standing water. When a bunch of layers of litter and manure have accumulated, just move the tractor, rake up the poop with a hard-tined rake, and compost…"

From Lew Lewandowski

Fisherman in kayak and his dog

Coming down the coast Saturday, I went down to a cove on the beach. To get there you had to rappel down a rock face on a rope. Here was this guy fishing out of a kayak, with his dog waiting on a rock. I don't know how he got dog and kayak down there, but more power to him.  He waved, and in the 20 minutes or so I was on the beach, I saw him pull in a nice size Greenling rock fish. It was a beautiful day, clear water and good ocean smells. I'm going back to check it out for abalone.

New photos of Lloyd House's Leaf House

Lloyd House was the featured builder in Builders of the Pacific Coast. Michael McNamara, who introduced me to Lloyd in the first place, just sent me these really nice photos he took of Lloyd's Leaf House. Michael says: "…I had an occasion not long ago to take some photos of the interior of Lloyd House's Leaf House…. It has always impressed me as such a perfect little place. So complete. So minimal.

Right now it's uninhabited… But it doesn't feel empty or raw. Very peaceful and complete, even without the usual trappings of living. Just a few cushions and anyone could move in. It's being maintained rather well as part of the park.

Thought you might be interested in seeing a different angle."

(Note how the ridge beam (found on beach) cantilevers way past its supporting post.)