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Great Day in Santa Rosa!

At the Rebuild Green ExpoThis has been an extraordinary day. By now, I'd say 20 people have come up to our booth about the influence of our books on their lives. It's not us, really, it's the people we show in our books. Readers are relating to these people and their lives, and it resonates with them. For example, this guy hauled out an old copy of Domebook 2, and this tattered copy of the original printing of Shelter and told us how important it was to him. A couple of guys told me they'd come across Shelter in their teen years; they were now in their 60s. Wow!
I've had meaningful discussions with landowners about septic systems, building codes, construction methods, building materials. It's great to talk to people about real things.
I think this is a real story here. 8,000 homes destroyed, the clean-up, and in the future, rebuilding. People here are motivated to do things better. Sun-heated water and sun-powered electricity. Building materials that cost the planet the least in pollution from their manufacture. Structural systems that are efficient and economical. Somebody could do a video of the rebuilding as it unfolds in coming months in Santa Rosa.

The Rebuild Green Expo in Santa Rosa


We set up a table with my open letter to homeowners rebuilding after the fires, as well as our books. The event started slow, but by 1PM, the place got (and still is) jammed. Here's an overall view, and Evan and Em-J at our table.
It's just unbelievable how many people have come up to us today and told us how the book Shelter influenced their lives. I've talked to 10-12 people who were inspired by this book. Another guy came by, a timber framer, and said that he's using our book Small Homes for building ideas.

Art on wall of guitar shop in Petaluma




Reefer madness



Reefer madness

Wednesday Morning Fish Fry

I seem to be in a period of dicking around with extracurricular pursuits. I've been playing the jug and my box bass today along with a CD of The Memphis Jug Band, recorded in the 1920s. These guys preceded Robert Johnson. Jug, kazoo, harmonica, vocals. It's all there, blues in rudimentary form; I play the jug with sliding notes, like Jab Jones does here:
Usually I play the jug like the Mills brothers did with their voices, with a plucking sound.…hey, listen to the next one, Blues in the Bottle by the Jim Kweskin Jug band.…My friend Louie got me started with a blowgun he made; I bought some darts and have been practicing with a target outside the office.…The little book we just did, Driftwood Shacks, opens up a whole new octave for me with books; I don't think they're very saleable, but they are fun to produce, and can be done at a reasonable cost. I love giving books away, not having to sweat marketing, etc. If we can keep the machinery rolling here, I think I can do a couple of these little books each year.…I am looking forward to doing one on my 12 years exploring Baja California Sur…
Been gathering seaweed, drying it, grinding it into powder/flakes, and putting it on just about everything…Am starting to go clamming seriously, both for littleneck clams (cockles), and the deep-in-the-mud horseneck clams; clam broth, steamed clams, clam pasta, and (with the white meat of horsenecks), clam cakes…I'm working on a garden chair made out of old split fence posts…Also fiddling around making abalone shell neck pendants; dust from the cutting, grinding, and polishing of abalone shell is a serious lung problem, so I've got a dust collector that attaches to my shop vac, and just got a grinding wheel with a water trough from Grizzly Tools…Our homestead is working pretty well; we've been on this half-acre for 47 years now; new batch of baby chicks coming in a couple of weeks; this time, Rhode Island Reds and Auracanas, both heavy layers; I've had enough of the beautiful, but not-so-productive birds. Will however probably keep the little Silver Seabrights, they are so beautiful…Taking off tomorrow for the Rebuild Green Expo in Santa Rosa Friday, Feb. 23rd., for people rebuilding after the fires…Over and out…

Nice architecture, 41st. Ave., Santa Cruz




Subaru Baja pickup truck in Santa Cruz


First one of these I've seen. They were manufactured from 2002-2006, all-wheel drive, Pretty rare these days.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subaru_Baja

Above my workbench. So true..Go to rcrumb.com



Above my workbench. So true..Go to rcrumb.com

Michael Kahn's Sculptural Village in Arizona

I've just been going through old photos and came across photos from 2002 of my cousin Mike's place in Arizona, which he called Eliphante. Mike was one year younger than me and we hung out when we were kids. We looked a lot alike.
He was an artist all his life, painting and drawing from an early age. After high school, I went off to Stanford and he went to UC Santa Barbara (where he threw the javelin on the track team), and we didn't get back in touch until the '60s, when we both were caught up in the cultural revolution, psychedelics and all.
By then, he was living New York, where he did portraits and sold paintings on the sidewalks around Washington Square. Then he moved to Provincetown, Cape Cod, where he worked as a waiter to support his painting habit.
In  the '70s he moved to the Arizona desert and, and partially based on seeing Bob De Buck's wild creations in Shelter (pp.144-147), he started building what turned out to be a series of buildings. The windows in the room above are auto windshields he got for free, and stained glass applied inside with silicone caulk. There is a section on Mike and his wife Leda in our 2004 book Home Work (pp. 121-129).
Mike passed away 10 years ago, but Eliphante lives on.
http://www.eliphante.com/
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/garden/31elephante.html

Lift Weights, Eat More Protein, Especially if You’re Over 40

Article in NYTimes Feb 13, 2018 by Gretchen Reynolds
People who would like to become physically stronger should start with weight training and add protein to their diets, according to a comprehensive scientific review of research.

The review finds that eating more protein, well past the amounts currently recommended, can significantly augment the effects of lifting weights, especially for people past the age of 40. But there is an upper limit to the benefits of protein, the review cautions.

On the other hand, any form of protein is likely to be effective, it concludes, not merely high-protein shakes and supplements. Beef, chicken, yogurt and even protein from peas or quinoa could help us to build larger and stronger muscles.

Stevie Ray Vaughan Acoustic Guitar Solo- RARE Video Footage

Kristen Dirksen's Latest Videos


Kirsten Dirksen continues her amazing repertoire of videos. She must have made hundreds of them by now, many of tiny homes, nomads, and hand-built housing.
https://faircompanies.com/author/kirstendirksen/

How We Got From Twinkies to Tofu

HIPPIE FOOD How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat By Jonathan Kauffman 344 pp. William Morrow. $26.99
Review in today's NYTimes by Michael Pollan

For a revolution that supposedly failed, the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s scored a string of enduring victories. Environmentalism, feminism, civil and gay rights, as well as styles of music, fashion, politics, therapy and intoxication: In more ways than many of us realize, we live in a world created by the ’60s. (Though, as our politics regularly attest, some of us are rather less pleased to be living in that world than others.) Jonathan Kauffman’s briskly entertaining history, “Hippie Food,” makes a convincing case for adding yet another legacy to that list: the way we eat.

Kauffman has more in mind than the menu items that the ’60s served up: the tofu, tempeh and tamari, the granola and yogurt, the nut loafs and avocado sandwiches on whole wheat bread with their poufs of alfalfa sprouts that “smell as if a field of grass were having sex”; hard as it is to imagine now, all of these foods were radical novelties before 1970 or so. But the counterculture transformed much more than the American menu; it also changed the way we grow our food and how we think about purchasing and consuming it. “Eating brown rice was a political act,” he writes, just as much “as wearing your hair long or refusing to shave your armpits.” How this curious idea came to seem right and true (and to outlast the hairy armpits) is the historical question at the heart of “Hippie Food.”

Kauffman, who was born in 1971, comes at his subject as a child of children of the ’60s: He grew up on brown rice and quite likes it. A former line cook and food critic in the Bay Area, Kauffman is now a reporter for the food section of The San Francisco Chronicle, and his book is the work of an enterprising journalist who has interviewed many in the cast of hippie farmers, cooks, communards and food artisans who together forged what Kauffman asks us to regard as a new and “unique, self-contained cuisine.”

“The food Americans were eating in the mid-1960s resembled nothing that any civilization on Earth had ever eaten before,” Kauffman reminds us. By then, a series of food-processing innovations developed during World War II — powdered soups and juices, cake mixes, dehydrated coffee, etc. — had infiltrated American food culture, which lacked the deep roots that might have allowed it to withstand the influences of marketers, faddists, kooks and ideologues of every stripe. Americans, Kauffman notes, have long displayed “a queer eagerness to abandon the culinary wisdom of the generations that preceded them.” In the ’60s that meant eating things your parents had never heard of; if they ate white bread, you ate brown.

Old Farm Building in Nevada

I've been going through old photos. This was taken in 2002 in Nevada, on a trip with Jack Fulton. I  like the proportions of this little building (not to mention the color of the wood).

Nice Little Home in San Francisco


Note details: curved-out section above upper windows, little overhang at midway point, curve at bottom of rafters. Needs to be reshingled, but the bare bones are there. Architects take note: the elegance of simplicity.

A Sidewalk of One’s Own


On the sidewalk out in front of the Castro Theater in San Francisco

Coit Tower, San Francisco

Coit Tower, 230-foot Art Deco monument built in San Francisco in 1933.
It’s at the top of Nob Hill and built of unpainted reinforced concrete.

Graffiti San Francisco alley, Soma district today


Three-Dot Wednesday Morning Fish Fry

Came across the ever-beautiful Golden Gate Bridge 6:30 this morning, in my 19-year-old incredibly luxurious Mercedes E320, latte at my favorite North Beach cafe, listening to my fave DJ, Michael de Barres on Sirius radio (forever indebted to Lew for Sirius), the Underground Garage station, Michael an English rocker (and musician) who plays bad-assed rocknroll…Bon Jovie: Runaway; Aerosmith: Walk This Way; Billy Idol: "Rebel Yell;" Dire Straits: Money For Nothing.…The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) is really marvelous. The first 3 episodes are radiantly funny, Rachel Brosnahan is brilliant…it can't maintain that level, but the other 5 episodes are still worth watching…A few nights ago, we came across a White House event: "Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In performance at the White House." I looked at the Obamas and almost cried. This elegant, soft-spoken, soulful man, and his strong, beautiful, soulful wife.…On the drive in this morning, I thought about seeds. Years ago, in planting carrot seeds, I thought: I'm putting these seeds here, information packets that tell the natural world how to organize ands coordinate soil, water sunshine and air and  – voilá – carrots. Milagro!…Through our building books, we  have lots of fans. I try to think how big a group this is. Smaller, for sure, than the minimalist, sterile Dwell magazine crowd.…Probably, what we (our group) have in common is the desire to use hands in creating shelter, and (some) food. Maybe we're the Handmade Homemade group…I'm kind of excited to start a blog on the '60s. What didn't work as a book may work online. Think about it: you read a book right-to-left -- it's linear. Online you're going up and down; you can hop around at a click. This may be the way to convey my take on the '60s. Tossing things out there in not necessarily linear order. Feedback could be great. Hey, family of kindred spirits out there, send comments with your '60s experiences (blog should be up and running by early March)…Fun to practice 3-dot journalism. Non-linear…Now out to make the rounds in this vibrant and beautiful city…Leather store for copper rivets/plumbing/hardware search for 10MM tubing for blowgun/art store for pen to do hand lettering on our next short-run color book, Pop's Diner -- stay tuned; delivering 12 copies of our new Driftwood Shacks  book to Mollusc Surf Shop, to Trouble Coffee, check out Outerlands restaurant/go swimming in cove (Aquatic Park)/Irish coffee, watch surfers through windows at Cliff House…Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Great White now playing…

Gordeeva & Grinkov - Russian Figure Skaters in 1988 Winter Olympics

Simple beach shelter. A sheet, 5 pcs driftwood, and 4 tie-downs, instant shade...

Space-Saving Ideas For Tiny Homes

Admittedly some of these are spacey ideas, but maybe they can stimulate some creative thinking.
From Lew Lewandowski

Monday Morning Fish Fry*

Right now I'm working on:
1. Redesign of my blog. Rick, who doesn't think much of templates, is writing code to achieve our new look. For one thing, I'll be able to go wide screen with good photos (a la http://cabinporn.com/) and have more control over layout than I do now in Blogger.
2. My book on the '60s will be on the new blog in its own category (a blog within a blog). Here, I don't feel the need to adhere to the linear necessity of a print book. I can post things out of sequence, and people can chime in.
3. We're going to the Rebuild Green Expo in Santa Rosa on Friday, February 23rd. We'll have a table and be passing out my "Open letter to Californians Building New Homes After Recent Fires, and selling copies of Shelter II (which contains a manual on stud-frame building) at a 50% discount. The idea is that we can do things better this time around. It's at Santa Rosa Veterans' Hall, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa. Come see us if you're in Sonoma County. I'll be there along with Evan and Em-J.
4. We continue making videos -- a couple a month. We're working on one on me skateboarding last week, and going to do one on office workout equipment.
5. We just completed my latest book, Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the Northern California Coast (82 pages, 8" by 8"). It's the first in a series of short-run digitally-printed small books. This is a way for me to publish some not-ready-for-prime-time books, ones that we may just sell via mail order.
We're using Ingram's Lightning Source, and for a variety of reasons, I'd recommend them over Amazon's CreateSpace.
I'll post details on the new book within a week.
The next book in this series will be Pop's Diner -- America Is Still Out There, Folks, a 48 page hand-lettered scrapbook with color photos that I put together after a 2-week trip to the southwest, April 1-15, 1989. Hot springs, barns, canyon backpacking, 4-wheel drive, Log cabins, Valley of the Gods…
6. I continue roaming beaches. Yesterday it was spooky warm for this time of year.
7. I gave up on making chairs with a tenon cutter. I'm now going to try making chairs out of driftwood, using grabbers for connections.
*San Francisco columnist Herb Caen used to have the occasional "Friday Fish Fry" column, using 3-dot journalism to write a bunch of unrelated short bits.

Woodrat Nest.

These nests are pyramidal, about 3 feet tall, all over in the woods around here. Woodrats are kinda nice critters, compared to disgusting Norwegian city rats. They’re like big mice, live communally, are craftily smart at getting bait off traps without springing the trigger. The ones around here are dusky-footed woodrats, often called "pack rats," have bigger ears and eyes than city rats.