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Aretha Last Night -- OMG!


From Rick Gordon

Jerry Brown's Tiny Home "In the Middle of Nowhere"

“…You know what I like?” Mr. Brown asked. “You get up in the middle of the night, the stars are very bright, the moon shining on the barn. It makes for a good balance between the intensity of the political and the serenity of the land.”
Photo: Jim Wilson/NYTimes
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/29/us/jerry-brown-california-ranch.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Jumping off the Cliff At Steamer Lane In 1956

That's me jumping (age 21). I'm wearing an old-fashioned wool bathing suit underneath my first wetsuit, a vest from the Dive 'N Surf shop in La Jolla, Calif., in 1956. This predated O'Neill's wetsuits. I sent my measurements to Dive 'N Surf and they mailed me the cut-out parts along with a can of Black Magic glue; I glued the edges together and then glued strips over the seams.

This was an improvement, but we still tried to stay dry as long as possible. On certain swells, we'd jump this 6 to 8 feet down to the water and if done properly, the upper body would stay dry.

 Chris Thompson is a filmmaker working on the story of Northern California surfing during the 50s and 60s (a far cry from surfing in the warmer Southern California waters). Recently I loaned him a bunch of my old photos, which he scanned; this is one of them.

A post 9 years ago about that time period in Santa Cruz: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2007/04/aloha-dave-devine_14.html
Photo by Spike Bullis


Scarlet ladies abound


Sacred in some circles, but require rather bizarre method of activating psychoactive properties. Fly agaric, amanita muscaria

via Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/_r_frKAMjJ/

Homemade wood-frame plane in UK cruises at 100 mph and is fully acrobatic

I herewith nominate this for my "post of year."
       -LK

Hey Lloyd,

Glad you've recovered from the initial shock of the wrist injury and seen sense to continue!

Thought you might appreciate a different wooden structure. It's a Flitzer Z1S, built with sitka spruce and birch ply (mostly 1mm). Constructed over around 10 years from plans, it flew for the first time at the end of August. Cruise is 100 mph and she's fully aerobatic. See YouTube G-ECVZ first flight and Z1S flight.

Best, Vic (Long, UK)




Want to go for a flight over the English countryside? All I gotta say is holy shit! Vic, you da man!

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Didn't It Rain

Ziggy Marley “One Love” Guitar Center Sessions

How about this to start the week? What about the reincarnation going on here? And those backup singers!

10,000 wax cylinders digitized and free to download

"This looks cool...

The University of California at Santa Barbara library has undertaken an heroic digitization effort for its world-class archive of 19th and early 20th century wax cylinder recordings, and has placed over 10,000 songs online for anyone to download, stream and re-use.

-Mike W"

Post by Cory Doctorow on boingboing:

http://boingboing.net/2015/11/08/10000-wax-cylinders-digititze.html

Did I say I was going to give up skateboarding? Well…

You never miss the hand until the wrist is broke…

I was in a state of pain, shock, depression and self-castigation when I decided to quit:

http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-day-i-gave-up-skateboarding.html

Update: I'll take 6 months or more to get the wrist break well healed, then devise some kind of right arm brace AND quit the stupid stuff, of which I did a lot. All my skating injuries have been while dicking around sans safety equipment.

I've got a state-of-art lightweight strong fiberglass cast, it's healing beautifully, am making and taking bone broth, calcium citrate, vitamin D3, and eating prunes (said to promote bone strength). Now out of a 2-week deep depression and feelin purty good. You can really appreciate the highs after abject lows. Whoo!

The human body is magnificent in so many ways. I mean bones (properly aligned) grow back together. We, the managers of those bones, set things up as well as we can, then just sit back and watch while the body knits itself back together. Milagro!

I'll probably skate 80% less but hell, I ain't giving it up. It's too god damn much fun! I've long planned to get pics skating on my 90th and 100th birthdays. I'm just gonna be a lot more careful.

Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson Reflecting on Their Heros, Django and Jimmie, and Aging

"We'd have taken much better care of ourselves if we'd known we was gonna live this long."
Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson
Song "Live This Long" from new album Django and Jimmie
http://bit.ly/1RwavYc

I caught Guitar Center interview on TV (Direct TV, ch. 239) with Merle last night, interspersed with songs from what looks like his latest band. Boy, are they good! Each song a jewel, each musician a master. Soulful sax weaving in and out, elegant pedal steel guitar…

Here's Okie from Muskogee . I've heard him say this song has many meanings.A bit tongue in cheek maybe?

Merle fans, try to find the other songs in this session, actually better than crowd-pleaser Okie.

Cock of the Walk here.


L-R: Cow Skull, Baja ; Horse Skull, Nevada


A Lot of Bullshit Going on In Tiny House Field

Last night I watched an episode of Tiny House Nation on TV. Or, rather, watched as long as I could stand it, less than five minutes. It had this nice looking young white couple with three kids being surprised by their newly built tiny house. The building was a mess. Crudely attached short pieces of “natural lumber,” slate roof (?), dumb porch (don't subtract from precious interior space), dangerous loft.

Worse was the amazement and delight of the occupants upon seeing their new digs. It all seemed phony and shallow. Reality TV comes to the tiny house movement. "Could you go out, come back in, and say 'awesome,' again, honey?"

I tell people that I'm not the tiny homes guy just because I did a book on the subject. I'm the build-it-yourself-guy. Do what you can for yourself with your hands—shelter, food, clothing, firewood, etc.— with the awareness and understanding that you can't do it all. Find the balance.

I don't know about other Tiny House Nation episodes, but this one was a commercialization and dumbing-down version of a concept that is very real in its heart for many people. Too bad.

Here's just one example of bad design in the TH field, and it's quite prevalent: Are those round steps with no banister actually the way you climb up into the cramped and dangerous loft? The ladder to loft is a bad design in all these gable roofed tiny houses.  The space is claustrophobic. There should be windows all-around at eye level  to expand your sense of place. And so on. Unfortunately this configuration is the poster girl for the tiny house movement.

What do I think is better? The gypsy wagon, or vardo design, with curved roof and bed at one end with drawers underneath. Lots of eye level windows. Heck, look at our last book.

I'm not one to bemoan the absence of architects, but in this field, good architecture could make a huge difference.

And by the way, a home is more than a house.

Photo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RijQcJTruek


Fur Coat From Roadkill


via Instagram: http://shltr.net/1IbPTBB

Just laid out most of my roadkill skins with an eye to making a coat. Problem is, I hate to cut off the faces, especially foxes, Bobcats. May just pin together, keep rearranging...just think, these were just all going to rot on road...

Kitesurfing Huge Waves at Peahi (Jaws), Maui, December 9, 2015


Maui's finest watermen including Kai Lenny, Jesse Richman, Robby Naish, the Porcella brothers, take on Jaws… Windsurf, kite surf, tow in, SUP and all while Dan maneuvers his Hughes 500D (helicopter) like a DJI Phantom to get the shot nobody else dares to get.
From Dick Ryerson via Bob Kahn

Rare, old photos of indigenous Sami people showcase their ancient and traditional way of life

"The Sami people (also Sámi or Saami), traditionally known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway.…
Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sami are connected to reindeer herding, providing them with meat, fur, and transportation. 2,800 Sami people are actively involved in herding on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in certain regions of the Nordic countries.…"
http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2015/12/rare-old-photos-of-indigenous-sami.html
From Rick Gordon

Tiny Vancouver home listed for $20K, but it has to be moved

"Sometimes small is just too small, even in a city grappling with out-of-control real estate prices and a shortage of affordable rentals.
A couple of years ago, Ches Lam created a tiny, 250-square-foot house in his east side backyard as a guest cottage for visitors, but the Vancouver carpenter didn’t consider city bylaws when he converted his former workshop/garage into a living space.
Now it has to go.
Lam says his neighbours love the little cottage and have even rented it for their own guests, but someone has made a complaint and city inspectors have given him notice to get rid of the place.
'It’s kind of heartbreaking, said Lam, 39, who has listed the cottage for sale on Craigslist.
'People love it, except for the one neighbour. I really don’t want to sell it, but the city wants me to take it out.'…”
http://news.nationalpost.com/homes/tiny-vancouver-home-listed-for-20k-but-you-have-to-move-it-out-of-the-city-where-its-illegal?google_editors_picks=true
From Anonymous

35% Off + Free Shipping On All Our Books This Month

Shameless Commerce Dept:
Our books make great Christmas gifts: Go here —http://www.shelterpub.com —click on the yellow bar at top. and use code: gimmeshelter
for 35% discount.


SunRay Kelley's New Treehouse

Hi Lloyd and friends:
Just thought you might like to see some photos of SunRay's latest creation -- a funky little treehouse nestled in ponderosa pine trees, built during the recent 20th anniversary Natural Building Colloquium in Kingston, New Mexico. I have a bunch of images on my website here: http://www.theyearofmud.com/blog/
It's a beautiful structure, particularly the roof. Hope you enjoy!
- ziggy
p.s. By the way, I'm greatly looking forward to the next book!

Brian 'Ziggy' Liloia
Natural Building Workshops & more

Man Quits His Job After Visiting Burning Man, Spends 10+ Years Drawing In The Sand

"Imagine if the art you spent hours making was destroyed soon after completion. For 44-year-old San Francisco-based artist Andres Amador, who creates sand-paintings up to 100,000 square feet (~35,000 M2) in size, this is a reality.
Amador received a BA in Environmental Science before joining the Peace Corps and then starting a regular career, but it was a visit to Burning Man in 1999 that changed him. He quit his job, and in 2004, in the hours been low and high tide, started doing sand art.…"
http://www.boredpanda.com/sand-paintings-earthscape-andres-amador/
From Anonymous

The Day I Gave Up Skateboarding (Yesterday)

Busted! Compound fracture of my wrist, that is. It happened just when skating was going so good. A great new board, a downhill section in town closed to traffic for a few weeks, my continued obsession with the sheer fun of skating. But in the back of my mind, I promised myself to quit if I ever had a serious crash. It wasn't at high speed or anything, it was just goofing around on the street in San Francisco and suddenly the board shot out from under me and I fell back and instinctively blocked the fall with my arm. I just about fainted when I  looked at my wrist; it might be the single most worst moment in my life.
I drove to Marin General Hospital in kind of a daze, shifting with my left hand, and they were incredible. I lucked out in getting a wonderful surgeon. I walked into the hospital in such a mess, and walked out about 24 hours later with everything put back together.
I've got two plates and pins in my wrist and it will heal up fine, but if I were to continue skating and damaged that arm again, who knows what could happen. I'm fond of my right hand.
Am I mature or what?
(This is being written by me speaking into a microphone with MacSpeech Dictate, which by the way, is a wonderful alternative to keyboarding.)

Superforecasting — Stewart Brand's Summary of SALT Talk by Philip Tetlock

Will Syria’s President Assad still be in power at the end of next year?  Will Russia and China hold joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean in the next six months?  Will the Oil Volatility Index fall below 25 in 2016?  Will the Arctic sea ice mass be lower next summer than it was last summer?

Five hundred such questions of geopolitical import were posed in tournament mode to thousands of amateur forecasters by IARPA—the Inatelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity--between 2011 and 2015.  (Tetlock mentioned that senior US intelligence officials opposed the project, but younger-generation staff were able to push it through.)  Extremely careful score was kept, and before long the most adept amateur “superforecasters” were doing 30 percent better than professional intelligence officers with access to classified information.  They were also better than prediction markets and drastically better than famous pundits and politicians, who Tetlock described as engaging in deliberately vague “ideological kabuki dance."

Small Quilt By Lesley


Vintage kimono fabric, 17"x24"
Lesleycreed.com

Tiny Homes For Rent, $350/Month, in Northwestern Washington

"Unique, off-grid, TINY Home located on a 46-acre agroforestry farm. Each beautiful, one room cabin has a wood-stove, built in double bed, writing desk and personal kitchen within its small footprint. Although tiny, each cabin is self-contained and have sufficient storage. The kitchen is equipped with a propane stove-top, open shelving and a counter-top water dispenser.

"We're off-grid, with no electricity or running water! Our rustic cabins use a wood-stove for heating. A hand-pump well and rain catchment provides for all of our water needs.…"
http://bellingham.craigslist.org/apa/5335695095.html 

Why So Few Blog Posts of Late?

1. Working on Small Homes.
2. Doing the "social media" thing. A lot of effort in these early stages, what with coordinating Instagram, Twitter, et al. Still some rough edges to smooth out. I'm not sure if this will pay off, but we'll give it a try in the next year.

Just rebuilt by Rick

Shooting on my new iPhone 6s Plus. What a tool!




Check this out on your phone:
managed bySean Hellfritsch

And, our new website, also by Sean (Squarespace format):

3. Riding my new "Overland" from my sponsors, Loaded Boards. Skateboard of my dreams. More on this to follow. http://loadedboards.com/

Gopher activity from last night (full moon).


Diana Nayad

I just listened to this wonderful woman on NPR, being interviewed by Michael Krasny. Just one of her accomplishments: two years ago, at age 64, she swam 110 miles from Cuba to Florida in 53 hours.
"I'm a way better athlete in my 60s than I was in my 20s…"
"Get your body ready…"
"Have your body be as lean and taut as a cheetah and then you can do anything in life."
"I like to live an epic day every day."
http://www.diananyad.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Nyad

Take a 2-1/2 minute break from your computer

I've put this up before, but did so again now because it's such a good break from the stifling physical effects of computer work. I should do it more often. I have it bookmarked.

Moon on ocean on way home from Berkeley


Small homes in Berkeley #5


Small homes in Berkeley #4


Small home in Berkeley #3


Small homes in Berkeley #2


Small homes in Berkeley - had half hour to kill , drove around on west side of Gilman, shooting pics.


Aluminum chassis Tesla electric car at Corte Madera showroom. Batteries under floorboards.


Huge structure on 2nd Street, San Rafael, Calif. sign says it's part of PGE cleanup campaign. PCBs?


The Steen Family's Latest Straw Bale Building Project

Bill and Athena Steen, the strawbale/earthen plaster maestro/maestra team from Arizona are helping build this home, which will be featured in our new book, Small Homes.

Bill writes: "Interior adobe wall in a clay plastered straw bale house we are helping our boys build in Sonoita, AZ."

(Bill shoots pretty much all his photos with an iPhone, has been doing it for a few years. I've finally come around to doing this. Both of us still use the big cameras (him a Nikon, me an Olympus OM-D) for serious shoots, but the iPhone for every day shots. The new iPhone 6S has a super new camera.)

Tile Mural on San Francisco Steps

This is a on short dead-end at the northern end of California Street at Lincoln Park golf course.

Why I'm a Publisher -- 3 Minute LK Interview By Yuichi Takeuchi

Last April, I was visited by Yuichi Takeuchi, an artist, carpenter and treehouse builder from Japan.

Yuichi said he'd been heavily inspired by our book Shelter. He was making a movie called Simplife and wanted to interview me.

Here's the result, 3 minutes long. In the last part, I say, "I like to tell people what I see going on in the world..." Yeah!

I've had a lot of Japanese people come here -- media, builders, artists, publishers --  in recent years and they've all been wonderful -- kindred spirits of the Pacific Ocean.


Yuichi's website and on Flickr:
http://www.treeheads.com/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/treeheads/sets/

Another corner of the production studio. I'm going to be putting up a bunch of posts, pix from around the homestead, to practice with Instagram.


via Instagram http://ift.tt/1kSGXWS

Portion of Our Office This Afternoon


Portion of our office. Note skunk skin on chair. I'm doing some posts to check various facets of Instagram.
via Instagram http://ift.tt/1LcGkgc

Old sled at Ed and Marilyn Stiles' home


via Instagram http://ift.tt/1MMCLyl

Cotton Patch Rag - Texas Fiddle Jam

Innovative Airstream Trailer Design

The vintage Airstream is making a hip comeback everywhere across the U.S., and it’s no surprise why. The adorable, quintessentially-American mobile trailer that’s been “selling like gangbusters” has become much more than just a shiny head-turning symbol for the open road. These days the adorable silver camper is being revamped into food trucks, hair salons, and even retro-chic hotels by enterprising folks who love its durable and iconic silhouette. We’ve rounded up seven of our favorite Airstream renovations that might just get you dreaming of a polished aluminum camper for yourself.…"
Article by Lucy Wang
(No photo credit on Inhabitat)
http://inhabitat.com/7-amazing-airstream-renovations-with-stunning-retro-chic-flair/

Love the Rain - Toots

Woke up at dawn to crashing thunder, it started pouring! A little over 6/10". It smells fresh, starting to rain again right now. There are so many good and gratifying things about this after such a long and horrible dry spell…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u7YY-jQ0XU

Chinese ‘Muscular Grandpa’ in Fantastic Physical Shape at 93 yo

https://www.rt.com/news/321063-china-93-grandpa-gym/
"A 93-year-old Chinese man is putting millions around the globe to shame by staying in shape and in excellent health. Dubbed ‘muscular grandpa’, he hits the gym on a daily basis and has even become something of a local celebrity.
Shen Hua likes to keep fit and it has become part of his daily routine. At three o’clock he heads out to do his hour-long workout, which includes chin-ups and various the upper body exercises. One might think there is nothing particularly extraordinary about this desire, except for the fact that Shen is 93 years-old!
A latecomer to the world of fitness training,  he only took up his ritual once he turned 70. For the last 20 years, there has been no stopping him as he does at least 10 standard chin-ups and suspension training, which helps to develop his physical strength. He also mentions that by doing high intensity exercise, this helps to slow his aging process, the People’s Daily reports.
Before becoming a fitness fanatic, Shen worked as a salesmen and was never interested in taking part in sports…"

French Carpenters Stop by Shelter On Their Way Home

Yogan and Menthé, carpenters from France, who have been featured in out last two books, stopped by here yesterday on their way home. They have spent the last 3 months hitchhiking and working on the west coast (Northern California up to Orcas Island). Kindred spirits, these two have had a wonderful time, working with a variety of people, trading work for room and board.

We'll be posting photos of their projects in the near future.

106-Year-Old Steel Bridge Over Mendocino County Creek


Mendocino County Architecture

Here's the local influence for Sea Ranch home design. Perfect. Farmer architecture.

Too bad most of the houses (over 600 of them) out there turned out to be such clunkers. Why do so few architects ever get it right?

The best thing about Sea Ranch is the landscaping, by Lawrence Halperin; he left it completely au naturel.

This is at Stewart's Point on Highway One.

Il Duomo -- The Great Dome of Florence

In the Florence cathedral, or il duomo.

"Fresco of the Last Judgement on the inside of the Dome by Vasari, begun in 1568, and completed by Federico Zuccaro in 1579 Duomo of Florence, Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, Firenza Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore Built between 1293 & 1436 Italy."

"Domes, which vault the crossing and altar of countless churches, lend themselves well to being transformed into paintings of the sky. The round shape above our heads seems to open onto a higher world, so that God and the things of heaven become visually present at the church holiest spot.

The Last Judgment in the enormous dome of the cathedral in Florence was painted from 1572 onward. Vincenzo Borghini had drawn up a learned theological program as early as 1570, Giorgio Vasari was responsible for executing it, but he died in 1574. Federico Zuccaro completed the frescoes in 1575-79. High up in the fresco in the dome, around the cupola, hovers a temple with the twenty-four elders of the Apocalypse; beneath this, on terraced registers, follow choirs of angels with the instruments of the Passion, then groups of saints, then personifications of the gifts of the Holy SXpirit, of the virtues, and of the beatitudes, and finally the regions of hell with various deadly sins. The composition of the fresco thus takes into account the architectonic form of the vault in its eight sections, hard upon one another. There is no attempt to dissolve the architectural structure completely by means of illusionistic painting.

The temple and the zones of heaven for four of the eight sections of the vault were completed under Vasari's direction."
http://www.wga.hu/html_m/v/vasari/2/13duomo.html

Photo: public domain


Stucco House, Prickly Pear (Nopal) San Anselmo Maybe

Stop and go traffic so got out camera. This is a driveby.