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Andres Serrano’s Signs of the Times


"18 Dec 2013

After noticing an unprecedented number of people begging on New York City's streets, Andres Serrano embarked on a project to collect some of the signs homeless people use to tell their stories and ask for change.

Mike W"

Click here.

Tiny Houses: Getting Rid of Stuff

"I can't wait to get rid of more stuff!…"
From Hacker News here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6973545
From Bill Pollock

Wooden Surfboards From Hawaii



 "AlaiaLite surfboards are constructed of local, sustainable or recycled woods as much as possible. The skins are 1/8 to 3/16″ thick with an extruded recyclable foam core, epoxy film finish and recycled plastic/milk carton and wood rails.
Alaia boards do work amazingly well in small surf, and I think AlaiaLites will help open up many areas of surf worldwide because they float and paddle better.
Not many get stoked on small waves, but these make it possible – no fins and no rocker make minimal drag.…
'faster than any finned board could have ever gone'"
Click here.
From Mike Mahoney

Large spring tides along the ocean coastlines in early January 2014

"With the closest new moon of 2014 coming on January 1, 2014, and our planet Earth sweeping closest to the Sun for the year on January 4, 2014, expect large spring tides along the ocean coastlines in early January 2014!

Two super new moons in January 2014
http://bit.ly/19ky2oc
…"
From Lew Lewandowski

Tiny Home Built From Scratch for $11,000 by Architect, 27, in Idaho

"In one small swoop, Idaho architect Macy Miller has opted out of paying rent or even a mortgage with her perfectly formed 'Tiny House' - that cost her only $11,416.16 and which she broke her back building.
Finding herself divorced, unemployed and losing her home to foreclosure two years ago, the Boise resident enlisted the help of her dad and later her boyfriend to start building her 196-square-foot dream home.
   The house which is built atop a flatbed trailer - made complete with sustainable materials - has the unlikely boast of its $2,000 compost toilet being the most expensive amenity or appliance in the whole cute building.…"
Click here.
Photo: Marcy Miller
Sent by Rick Gordon

Amazon Drones, Late Christmas Deliveries

What a dumb idea. A helicopter delivering your book or electronic gizmo or toaster within hours of your order? Come on. Who needs to get things that fast? What about the danger from the whirling helicopter blades, the resources used in making and operating these drones? Does the over-consuming American consumer need this kind of coddling? Bezos is a brilliant guy, true that, but this is a turkey of an idea. And 60 Minutes going along with what turned out to be an infomercial for Amazon. Where's Mike Wallace?
   In the same vein, there were stories all over the news a few days ago about—horrors—UPS and FedEx making deliveries a day or so later than expected. Our FedEx guy apologized yesterday, and Jeff, our hard-working UPS driver, was working on Christmas Eve. I apologized to them for having to work so hard. All I have to say is, so fucking what if you get your package a day or so later? Let's get some perspective here.

The Bourne Legacy

The opening shot is spectacular, especially when the helicopter swoops back and gives you the perspective of the wild canyon with rushing waterfall (and what looks to be a cave in the side of the rocky cliff). The photography, especially in the first half or so of the movie, is brilliant. I don't think it got great reviews, but the photography itself makes it worthwhile. It's sad to me that so many talented photographers are neglected in reviews of movies. Not only are the shots here great, but the angles, the lighting, and the juxtaposition of wilderness and urban scenes, back-and-forth, great pacing, visually stunning. Cinematography by Robert Elswit, film editing by John Gilroy.

Auchumpkee Creek Covered Bridge


Click here.
From Brad Lemley

20 of the best wooden spoons in the world


"Hi Lloyd,
Just wanted to wish you the best for 2014…
I can imagine you would be into wooden spoons, I just shared 20 of the best, it was a hard choice to get down to 20 but these are the ones that get most used in my home
http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/2013/12/26/20-best-wooden-spoons-world/

best wishes Robin (Wood)"
December 27, 2013

Friday Fish Fry

The Sky Ain't Cryin Big news around here is no rain, and none in sight. Dry dry dry.
The ground is cryin.
Mushrooms are hidin.
Creeks are dribblin.
Hills, usually verdant this time of year, are brownish green, oh my.
People I pass on my walks say, beautiful day, I grit my teeth and agree.
A beautiful day right now would be torrents of rain.

Foraged Firewood I rented a log splitter and Marco I split enough wood for two years in about 5 hours. Usually I pick up oak from the side of the road, but this year there was a ton of cypress and eucalyptus lying around, cut to firewood-sized logs, needing only splitting. Very few people around here get their own firewood these days; probably half the houses in these two small seaside towns are second units for city people who come infrequently. The do-it-yourself era around here ended years ago.

Killer Kayak The Hammer, made by P&H in the UK, is a new and uniquely designed ocean kayak. Check it out in the surf:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBNIKJEOBew
Note: you've got to put in a fair amount of time in order to maneuver around like this. If you live in the San Francisco area, check out the California Canoe and Kayak Co. in Jack London Square in Oakland. They must have over 100 boats in stock. If you're serious about buying a kayak and put down a $300 deposit, they will let you try out any number of kayaks over a three month period, keeping them for several days until you find the one that suits your needs.

Kindhearted Woman Blues - Robert Johnson
Kindhearted Woman Blues by Robert Johnson on Grooveshark

Covered Bridges of New England - Bridgewright Graton


From Brad Lemley

Waldorf School Portland, Oregon, Looking For Building Teacher


Hi Shelterpub People,
...My parents are wonderful craftspeople who raised me on a rural commune, partly in Berkeley, partly in Bolinas and mostly in Oregon. We had a couple of houses hand-made of recycled materials, and they were efficient and beautiful and made by real people. I feel so lucky to have grown up amid such profoundly human structures.
   Now, I teach 3rd grade in an urban Waldorf school. My class is almost all boys. They're strong and creative and awesome, and are going to LOVE Lloyd's book when we do our shelter-building block next Spring. We'll study shelters around the world, and of course, do some actual building. I plan to purchase as little as possible.
   ...Can you connect me with any resources, especially experienced men (role models for these boys....) in the Portland area who may be willing to donate some time to helping us with a building project?
   Thanks for your great work, and your help,
   Virginia Berg
   Gr. 3 teacher Portland Waldorf School
Virginia.Berg@portlandwaldorf.org

"Now This Is Natural Food" by Mark Bitman, NY Times

"A few weeks ago at the annual Prairie Festival in Salina, Kan. — a celebration, essentially, of true sustainability — I sat down with Wes Jackson to drink rich beer and eat delicious, chewy bread made from the perennial grain Kernza. The Kernza we ate was cultivated at the Land Institute, the festival’s sponsor and the organization Jackson founded here 37 years ago.
   At 77, Jackson is a big man with big ideas. Clearly he was back then as well, when he became determined to change the face of agriculture from being dependent upon annual monoculture (that is, planting a new crop of a single plant each year) to one that includes perennial polyculture, with fields containing varieties of mutually complementary species, planted once, harvested seasonally but remaining in place for years.…
 

Nina ATTAL & Philippe DEVIN feat. Benjamin SIKSOU - "FREEDOM - Django unchained" Home Session


From Mike W

David Shipway's Indian Clubs

"Lloyd, I was trying to figure out what to make my son for Christmas, and saw your post on Indian Clubs. Off I went on Google....and what a discovery! If Amazon's sold out, then I'm gonna make some! I got digging in the lumber pile this morning and found some dry Douglas Fir 4x4, and had this pair of 2 pounders buffed up by mid-afternoon. The big challenge in turning these is to make the second one exactly like the first.
   I've been doing a bit of boogie with them to the shop radio , make sure there's swinging room for sure, and I feel ENERGIZED! Maybe I should read the operator's manual?
   Behind the clubs on Santa's workbench you can see a new pair of Xantho-cypress salad forks, some 90" Sitka spoon oars ready for collars, and a couple of experimental Yuloh pivots for the catboat, one Locust and one Rock Maple dipped in cuprinol. Godfrey will know what that's all about.

~david shipway
   sutil point (Cortes Island, BC)"
(David is one of the featured builders in Builders Of the Pacific Coast.)

Water, Sand, Light


Armagiddion War by Culture

Armagiddion War (John Peel Sessions) by Culture on Grooveshark
Check out the bass line.

James Kelly in Gnarly Downhill Skateboard Ride


"'James Kelly-Unbound..
After a successful, but challenging year on the downhill circuit, James Kelly comes home to ride some of his favorite hills. What's captured here is James completely unbound; a freeride session as good anything we’ve seen in years. A day away from the pressures of racing, a day to remember why he started skating, a day to let loose and just ride fast…'"

https://vimeo.com/channels/staffpicks/80317575

-Mike W"

Night Shot, Stinson Beach

It was actually quite dark. This is the work of a Sony Cybershot DSC RX100, Zeiss lens, "Handheld Twilight" setting.

Fare Thee Well, My Honey, Fare Thee Well

"'Inside Llewyn Davis': Oscar Isaac, Marcus Mumford, and the Punch Brothers perform a song from the film"
http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/11/26/inside-llewyn-davis-clip/

Colored Ice Igloo

"Now there's a different type of tiny house!

Love your blog!!!

Jackie"

Click here.

Go to the post page…

"Hi Lloyd,
Seth here from Nelson Tiny Houses. I wanted to let you know we've started a building blog on our website. We are using it to keep people up to date on our builds, as well as share any information and tips we come across. If you have a chance, please share it with your audience. Thanks Lloyd,
Kind regards,
Seth"
Click here.

Russian Survives Freezing Weather In Tent For One Month


"Kosta has left a new comment on your post 'http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/12/calgary-man-living-in-tipi-despite.html —Calgary man living in tipi despite freezing temper...':

Loyd see as russian survived in tent from film in minus 28 degrees on celsius nearly month http://piterhunt.ru/scripts/forum/showthread.php?t=42267
And there is continuation beside this histories in that place..."

In Russian, but pics tell story.

Grandpa Launch

I just got this email from my friend John Hulls, whose dad recently passed away. Brought tears to my eyes.
"Hi, Lloyd,
One bit of sad news, Robin, who always enjoyed his visits to W. Marin, meeting you and reading your blog, passed away. He stayed alert till the end, and rather fancied what the children's author, Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass) did for his dad, which was to scatter his ashes by means of 4 Guy Fawkes skyrockets. Robin told me not to try it because of the huge fines in Massachusetts for illegal fireworks. However, I discovered a loophole in the model rocket laws, (private property/calculated flight plan, and stay out of controlled air space) and we scattered his ashes over his favorite sailing spot. The grandkids all got together to help build the rocket, which I modified, and you can see the results in this video. He would have been delighted to be on YouTube, too.
 - John"

Nature By Numbers


From Lew Lewandowski
(I turned off the repetitive music.)

Rocking Chair Built from Stump Of Rotted-out Cherry Tree With Hand Tools Only


From Godfrey Stevens/Steve Rankin

Tiny Apartments in Cities: Trending Concept

This is really a good video on the subject.



From Stewart Brand 

Two Videos From Deek Diedrickson


"…You see this tiny lil' place yet? I interviewed the guy for my book. So simple, and with a great locale....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uiKpXfqaTQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUoYe2YOpqspuGAOB1Epe7GA
   AND....a tree house I just built for a client near Boston....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMkfM5ldgJo

-Deek"

New GIMME SHELTER Newsletter

Click here for my latest GIMME SHELTER newsletter.

Two Great Music Documentaries

My favorite all-time music documentary is The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese's film about The Band's last concert in San Francisco.
   Just last week I saw two very different music documentaries that I'd rate right up there along with The Last Waltz:
1. The Inside Llewyn Davis Concert Film, which took place in New York this September, songs from the movie, which is just about to open, curated by T-bone Burnett. All acoustic, an incredible and wonderful concert. Look at the lineup. It was on Showtime.
Click here.
2. Blues And The Alligator: The First Twenty Years Of Alligator Records (2011) I found this in Amazon Prime by typing in “music documentaries” in the search window. (I find a lot better music of this nature in Amazon Prime than in Netflix.) The trouble with most music documentaries is that they're heavy on the talk and light on the music. Not so here. So good. Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, Hound Dog Taylor,  archival footage of Sonny boy Williamson, a charming bunch of 10-year-old kids singing the blues in a classroom…“Blues is a healing music!”, (Blues Iglauer) explains, “and as long as there’s a need to be healed, the Blues will live on.” PLUS, the photography is brilliant. Hail to Jim Downing, the creator! I just ordered the DVD.
Click here.

Old World Woodworking Tools

"Eric Hollenbeck is a master woodworker who owns and operates the Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka, CA. The Ox is a lovely short film about Hollenbeck directed by Ben Proudfoot…"
Sent by Kevin Kelly.
Also see: http://www.blueoxmill.com/ 
"Eric Hollenbeck, his family and staff welcome you to the Blue Ox Millworks, where the craftsmanship tools and techniques of the last century are utilized to produce authentic custom millwork for private homes and commercial buildings throughout the United States.  …"

11 Tiny Homes you can rent for a holiday getaway

Not all tiny homes are built from the ground up; the unique Wheel House near Kerikeri, New Zealand is actually an 85-square-foot cabin salvaged from a historic steamboat called the Minerva, and remodelled into a welcoming space with a double bed, fridge, plus other amenities that are just a short stroll away through the garden.… "
Click here.

The Longest Beard: Walking Across China

"In 2007 Christoph Rehage, a German native studying in China, came up with the grand scheme of walking back home from Beijing to Bad Nenndorf (Germany). He calls it ‘The Longest Way’.
   Christoph embarks on this mission taking a picture every day while growing a beard. And it results in a mighty kickass beard.
Although he only made it one-third of the way from Beijing to Urumqi, he went back home to get his degree, he did accomplish something extraordinary…"
Click here.
From E. L. Walker

Simply Yoav --His Yurt and Life

"Hi Lloyd I saw this and thought of you, it's a great film about a simple life with ace music.
   -Robin"

Film by Amit Schwachter
"Simply Yoav is a short documentary about a young man who lives a unique way of life.
Yoav lives in a structure called “yurt” and tries to maintain as naturalistic a life as possible.
 I followed Yoav for a few days around his home and tried to capture his 'life style' in a day.…"

Shellfish Quarantine in Tomales Bay NOW

CDPH Warns Consumers Not to Eat Sport-Harvested Bivalve Shellfish from Monterey Bay and Inner Tomales Bay  Date: 12/13/2013  Number: 13-058  Contact: Anita Gore, Heather Bourbeau (916) 440-7259  SACRAMENTO  The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is advising consumers not to eat recreationally harvested mussels, clams or whole scallops from Monterey Bay or inner Tomales Bay in Marin County. The latter includes the area between Millerton Point and Cypress Point. Dangerous levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins have been detected in mussels from these regions. The naturally occurring PSP toxins can cause illness or death. Cooking does not destroy the toxin.



Red Shouldered Hawk Here This Morning


This young beauty was here this morning, terrorizing the chickens, but he can't get to them due to our completely aviary wire-protected yard.

Moral Power for Climate Action

"The climate crisis is not an environmental problem. It is a human problem. Humans have caused it and only humans can act to avert catastrophe. Yet many of us continue to live as if this crisis isn't happening. Even those who accept the science, and care a lot. The time has come to go beyond the science, to a place of heart. The time has come to tap our deepest sources of moral courage and commitment.

https://vimeo.com/80328134

Mike W"

Another Beautiful Rowboat/Dinghy -- from Puerto Rico

"Good morning!
   Seeing the photo of the beautiful rowboat this morning made me think of one I saw yesterday evening at our local watering hole, what I thought of as a dinghy with sail-a-bility as well as a rowboat. In this case, it has a Seagull engine mounted on it.
   A friend sent this additional info: 'The sailing tender was built at the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center in Beaufort NC. Traditional wooden sailing and rowing vessels are made here by folks from around the world.'
   Looking forward to the new book!
  'Being good and kind, that will carry you through the world." ~ Alvin, gardener at Biras Creek

My blog here."
   -MJ (Island Woman)
(A great blog! - LK)

Calgary man living in tipi despite freezing temperatures


"Connor Ferster has been living in a teepee on the eastern outskirts of Calgary since Sept. 15. He made the choice to “have a better relationship with the natural world.”
Photograph: Gavin Young, Calgary Herald
Sent us by Anonymous

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Calgary+blizzard+brazen+mice+teepee+life+test/9243333/story.html
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgarian-living-in-a-teepee-despite-freezing-temperatures-1.2453049

Big Sale of Our Books December-January

Shameless Commerce Department
Shelter books make good Christmas presents!

Order any 2 - 4 books: 30% discount.
Order any 5 - 9 books: 40% discount.
Order any 10 or more books: 50% discount.

Ordering more than 1 copy of any book is OK.
Sale ends January 31, 2014
Click here: http://www.shelterpub.com/

BTW, Tiny Homes has had a big surge in sales in November and the first part of December.

Terrifying Hike on Steep Mountain Cliffs in China

"Redditor AdventurousHuman posted the photo of hiking China's Mount Huashan. The trail is one of the most dangerous in the world.
The trails up Mount Hua Shan involve steep staircases, vertical ascents, and a plank trail consisting of wooden platforms bolted onto the mountainside.…"
Click here.
Sent by Jack Fulton

Housetruck in Hebrew



From Mike W. This is translated from the Hebrew. I've left the text unedited.
House on wheels, free from cables
"Almost 50 animator Joseph Tayyar tired from the bustle of the city and cables property. He bought a new truck and made it with his own hands, to satisfy all needs, (including electricity and water) - and even expands a bit when it's parked. Now he dreams of building a village on wheels, the people who choose to live differently…(the idea was born in his mind four years ago. Years spent planning and construction of the house, where did it all himself. '' True, I gave up on a lot of things - books, clothes and other unnecessary things we all hamsters at home. But I gained freedom. Real freedom. Freedom of movement, that allows me to live near the beach, in the desert, in a beautiful grove or even a city. Freedom from property tax, electricity companies, cable and water corporations''
Photos: Ilan Nachum
http://tinyurl.com/nt5e256



Treating Allergies With Pills or Drops Instead of Shots

"A Stallergenes machine acts as a pollen vacuum cleaner. The pollen is used in the drug company’s immunotheraphy treatments."
Photo by Vincent Arbelet/Stallergenes

This photo caught my eye in yesterday's NYTimes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/business/treating-allergies-with-pills-or-drops-instead-of-shots.html?_r=0

Miguel Elliot's Cob Gingerbread House

"Cob gingerbread House
September, 2013

This House was built out of pallets filled with straw and then covered in cob. It has LED lights running through the stained glass."
http://www.livingearthstructures.com/

Rowboat With Beautiful Lines

From Godfrey Stephens.
It's at Oak Bay, Victoria, BC, Canada

Podcast of My Talk at Commonweal on "The Half Acre Homestead"

From a few weeks ago. The 1st part is mostly about local homebuilding, gardening, and farming in our town in the '70s. Also domes, building advice, discussion of the '60s and the Whole Earth Catalog, tiny homes and more. The last part, where I show slides of maybe 100 tools, doesn't work for an audio broadcast, but we're working on a a slide show with brief voiceover that we'll post, probably in a few weeks.
http://tns.commonweal.org/podcasts/lloyd-kahn-2/

Here is a list of the tools, with links to the manufacturers: http://www.shelterpub.com/_homestead/tools.html

UK Farmer Builds $250 Hobbit House With Used Materials

"It looks like something straight out of Middle Earth – and the story behind it is almost as fantastical.

This cottage cost just £150 to build, using only natural or reclaimed materials, and is now rented out for a fee of fresh milk and cream.
   And with no mains electricity, gas or water, the bills don’t come to much either.…"
More photos and a video here.
From David Wills

A Really Nice Dome

November 15, 2013

"Hi
have you seen this?"

Ladia (Ladislav Blaha)
http://shltr.net/1kbBPGc

Insecticides in Marijuana

Organic growers have been saying this for years. One grower told me (somewhat facetiously) years ago, "People are smoking Paraquat." Now the scientists are catching up. Lesson here: know your grower.
"…On the pesticide issue, Raber said it's important to remember that smoking a marijuana bud that's been sprayed with chemicals is far different than eating a non-organic tomato. First and foremost, he said, there are no controls over what's sprayed on marijuana crops. And, while most people would rinse off a tomato before eating it, they can't wash a bud before putting it in their pipe. The body also has filters in place for things that are ingested, he said, but not for what's inhaled.
   'You don't have the first pass metabolism of the liver,” he said. “You don't have the lack of absorptivity going through the stomach or the gut lining. It's a very different equation when you're inhaling.'

Austin to Shelter Homeless in a Tiny House Village

"In Austin, Texas, a project to offer affordable housing to some 200 chronically homeless citizens is on the move. Community First! Village, which has been in the planning stages for nearly 10 years, is set to soon break ground on a 27-acre property sprinkled with tiny houses, mobile homes, teepees, refurbished RVs, a three-acre community garden, a chapel, a medical facility, a workshop, a bed and breakfast, and an Alamo Drafthouse outdoor movie theater.…"
Click here.

Food From the Sea

I'm the dunce fisherman of my family. My grandfather had a bait and tackle shop in San Francisco in the early 1900s (and made bamboo fishing rods), my dad was a fresh and salt water fisherman, my brother Bob has for years had a Double-ended Monterey, my brother Carl fished commercially for a while. And me -- I guess I just don't have the patience -- if they're not biting, I'm outta there.
 
 BUT I'm trying to increase my seafood intake. Saturday went on long beach walk with my buddy Jack Fulton, picked up some mussels (had for dinner last night). Jack shot this pic of me heading out to the mussels.
   Then last night I managed to catch 4 eels and now I'm gonna prepare them to be smoked tomorrow.
   It's, um,  possible I've said all this before -- ah, me.

Inspiration To Build in California From Shelter Books

"Hi Lloyd,
I'm writing for a couple of reasons.  First is to say thanks for all the inspiration and information.
   In 2007 a friend gave us a copy of Homework. Thus began our quest to find our own little piece of the earth to create our idealized "artist playground."  Sometimes we would lose faith and moan "Why can't it still be the 1970s so we could just go out and find an old farm that no one wants anymore. If only we had a time machine!" Along the way we picked up a copy of Shelter and then things really kicked in. Our senses of belief, freedom and possibility where bolstered and we plowed on through the seemingly endless array of realty jargon, money questions and what-the-hell-are-we-doing moments.

Shellstar Pavilion by Architect Andrew Kudless

"…The form emerged out of a digital form-finding process based on the classic techniques developed by Antonio Guadi and Frei Otto, among others. Using Grasshopper and the physics engine Kangaroo, the form self-organizes into the catenary-like thrust surfaces that are aligned with the structural vectors and allow for minimal structural depths.…"
Click here.