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Circle Madness

I've wanted to build a curved roof for a long time. I finally did it, with help from Billy Cummings. For the 6 rafters, we glued together 4 pieces of redwood bender board -- 16' long 1" by 4", 3/8" thick, using a jig laid out on the floor, with Titebond wood glue, and clamping every foot or so. It was a pretty tedious process, we could only do one a day.
We got the rafters in place, Billy did the blocking on the plates, and we used 1x8 rough redwood fence boards for the sheathing. Yesterday we put down the flooring -- used shiplap pine from Heritage Salvage. It looks (and feels) great.
There's nothing like a curved roof, especially with a tiny home; it gives you a feeling of spaciousness. This is the roof shape in gypsy wagons —vardos.
This is 10' by 10'. If I did it over, I would make it rectangular, like 8 by 12 or 8 by 14.  I'm going to put a bed inside on wheels, that can be rolled out on the deck to sleep out under the stars. I'm still figuring out where to put windows.

Old guys at work. 153 years of age total here. Billy and I have worked together off and on for 47 years.

Tuesday Morning Fish Fry

 Last week I went down to my secret beach in San Mateo county for the grunion run. These little fish come in at the highest of high tides to lay their eggs on the beaches, about twice a month in Spring and Summer. In between waves, you scoop them up with your hands -- no nets allowed. It was a misty night, and there were two great herons down there for the feast. I followed the herons -- they didn't see me in the mist until I got very close, and they were invariably where the most grunion were.

I got 30-40 of the beautiful silvery little fish. I finally learned how to cook them. They're so small they don't need cleaning. Plus they don't eat when spawning so there's very little in their guts. I put them in a shallow bowl with olive oil, soy sauce and garlic, put them in a fish basket, and grilled on the Webber at high heat -- delicious.

This time I made some little fillets and pickled them -- haven't eaten these yet -- waiting a week or so.

2-Story Home in Fortuna, Calfornia

Shot this last month on my way to The Lost Coast, Nice carpentry details.

Steve Earle - "Waitin' On the Sky To Fall"


Casting Call: DIY Network Looking for Off-grid Home Builder

We just received this email.

Greetings, My name is Gwendolyn Nix and I'm a casting producer with Warm Springs Productions (www.warmsprings.tv) and the DIY network. I'm currently casting the third season of DIY's show "Building Off the Grid." I'm reaching out to you to see if you or anyone you know would be interested in this opportunity.

We're looking throughout the United States for folks who will soon be building an off-grid dwelling (i.e. starting within in the next few months). We cannot consider homes that are already underway.

All types of structures can be considered i.e. straw bale, earthship, tiny homes, yurts, container homes, earth-sheltered, log, stick-built, or whatever else your imagination comes up with! If you're chosen for this project there is generous pay involved.

If you're interested, please reach me at the contact information that follows my signature via either email or phone.

Please note, in order to be considered for the show, the home must be built on the land where it will ultimately exist (as opposed to being built in a warehouse and then transported to the land)

Here is a sneak peek link to the show:http://www.diynetwork.com/shows/building-off-the-grid Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Gwendolyn Nix Casting Producer & Social Media Manager
Warm Springs Productions
Cell: 406-214-6405
Email: gnnix@warmsprings.tv
Available 9am-5pm Mountain Standard Time

Country Art

North of Hopland, California, on Hwy 101. I think the skull is perfectly positioned; it makes the tableau.

Steve and Hank

After a morning of dealing with foreign publishers, legal matters, and the morning's email (sigh), I finally got around to working on the revision of the Driftwood Shacks book.The fun part of publishing.

I turned on Sirius radio to Outlaw Country, and heard Steve Earle doing Hank's "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive." True to the master. Listen to the steel guitar and the fiddles — channelling. And do I hear a tuba?
Great vintage photos. Way to go, Steve! Video closes with this quote by Hank: "If a song can't be written in 20 minutes, it ain't worth writing."
Then DJ Mojo Nixon followed up with Hank doing : "Hey, Good Lookin'", saying :
"Life would surely stank,
If there hadn't been no Hank."
True that.

Coffee, Food, Pubs in NYC

-Cafe Reggio on Bleeker
-Stumptown Roasters: 30 West 8th (2 blocks from Washington Sq.), and in the lobby of the Ace Hotel at 18, W. 29th (which looks like maybe a good place to stay)
-Blue Bottle: 450 W. 15th, 54 W. 40th
-Abraco, 81 E. 7th Street. All time great place. http://www.abraconyc.com/

-Saigon Kitchen, 114 McDougal Street
-Snack Taverna (Greek), 63 Bedford at 7th Ave.
-Periyali (which means "seashore" in Greek), 35 W. 20th  between 5th and 6th. http://www.periyali.com/
-Rosemary's, 18 Greenwich Ave. https://www.rosemarysnyc.com/
-Blue Ribbon Sushi, 119 Sullivan St.
-EAK Ramen, 469 6th Ave.
-Cafe Mogador, 101 St. Marks Place. http://www.cafemogador.com/
-An Nam, 234 W. 48th, Times Sq. district. Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese food. Normally this combination would make me suspicious, but this place, in an area I wouldn't normally eat in, was really good -- and inexpensive. I had a big plate of duck on brown rice, nicely cooked vegetables on a lunch special for $9.50. Plus delcious spring rolls.

St. Dymphna's, 118 St. Marks Place
The Blind Tiger Ale House, 281 Bleeker

NYC Greenery

Ivy on  side of building adjacent to the Jane Hotel, NYC. I wonder if it naturally shaped itself like the silhouette of a tree or if it's a landscape designer at work.

Stewart Brand and the 50th-year Anniversary of the Whole Earth Catalog

Last night I went to an event at Capgemini Applied Innovation Exchange in San Francisco, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Whole Earth Catalog. It was a 3-hour tribute to and lovefest for Stewart Brand, and the role he has played in shaping so many trends and affecting and inspiring so many people's lives. I got invited because I was the shelter editor of the WEC back in the day. About a dozen people gave 3-minute speeches, including Kevin Kelly, Orville Schell, Peter Calthorpe, Tim O'Reilly and astronaut Rusty Schweikart on Stewart's impact on their lives. Not to mention that Steve Jobs (now famously) said that in high school he was reading the WEC and it had a lot to do with inspiring him to get into building computers Wow!

This was a private event, but a prequel to a big celebration, open to the public, coming up on October 13th, 2018, at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco: https://www.wholeearth50th.com/

I'm going to write a bit about my experiences with Stewart next week.

#graffiti East Village

Motorized Offroad 4X4 Skateboard

Poster on wall at Fillipachi, 21 Prince St., NYC.  Boy, you 'd better wear full body armor when 4-wheeling it with power in rough terrain.

The Eyes Have It

There are a lot of street artists in the Times Square area and Central Park that do sketches with charcoal. They look like mostly Vietnamese artists, and it's amazing to watch them create these portraits with a bit of charcoal.

The Japanese Mini Truck Garden Contest is a Whole New Genre in Landscaping

"The Kei Truck, or kei-tora for short, is a tiny but practical vehicle that originated in Japan. Although these days it’s widely used throughout Asia and other parts of the world, in Japan you’ll often see them used in the construction and agriculture industries as they can maneuver through small side streets and easily park.
And in a more recent turn of events, apparently they’re also used as a canvas for gardening contests. The Kei Truck Garden Contest is an annual event…Numerous landscaping contractors from around Japan participate by arriving on site with their mini trucks and then spending several hours transforming the cargo bed into a garden.…"
Photos at: http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2018/06/06/kei-tora-mini-truck-garden-contest/
From Kevin Kelly

Quiet, Leafy Street in Greenwich VillAge

There are streets in the Village that are quiet, with little traffic noise. I know it's expensive, world famous, not a cutting edge neighborhood, like say, Red Hook in Brooklyn. It's hard to find your way around with the eccentric streets but it is — a village, and there are streets like this that are cool and quiet.

Notes From NYC #3

Wrapping it up this morning, am at Grounded Coffee in West Village with latte/double shot and bowl of oatmeal. Getting picked up by Supershuttle around noon, thence to Newark and flying the friendly skies, albeit in the cattle car section this flight. The business class via frequent flier miles getting here was a dream, but not enough miles for the return…I've got to say, I really like United -- service, airplanes, it's an intelligent giant. Plus the United terminal at SFO is as good as it gets. Fast wi-fi, recharging stations, great art exhibit.

New camera I bought a Panasonic Lumix DSC-ZS100 at BH Photo Wednesday,. It's small (carrying it in my fanny pack). It has a 1" sensor and a 25-250 mm zoom, an extraordinary range for such a small camera (about the same size as the Sony Cybershot RX-100). Kevin Kelly has been using Lumix's for years, and I've long been attracted to the zoom features. So I'm trying it out. Here are a few pics shot at maximum zoom.
Farm fresh food Last night I had dinner at Rosemary's in the West Village, (after watching the Warriors at The Blind Tiger pub). "Farm fresh," they don't take reservations, super popular, usually long lines, but last night, Sunday, rainy, a bit cold (temp drop of 30 degrees from previous day, lots of tables, I sat at the bar. Good food, not as expensive as you'd think, They have a garden on the roof.
Getting around in the city:
 (1) Uber works well, although the pool rides are sketchy. The drivers all seem personable compared to today's cabbies, who seem a sour lot. Almost all Uber drivers use the app Waze to navigate; I downloaded it (free) and it's really good for city navigation (for cars, not pedestrians).
(2) The blue CitiBikes are a huge success for going from point to point. No need to lock up at yr. destination, you use your phone to find drop-off point.
(3) Subways are in one sense a miracle, that you travel so fast under the city, but many of NYC's lines are in dire shape.
(4) On foot: I probably walked 3-4 miles a day, using the app Citymapper, which is brilliant.
Friendliness of natives: I can't get over it. I got into conversations with a ton of people in bars, restaurants, park benches. I invariably give people one of our mini books — a great conversation starter. Venues: The Village Voice is gone, and Time Out magazine has morphed into a free and lame advertising mag, so it's really hard to find music, among other arts. My friend Kim turned me on to Pollstar online, and it seems to be the best thing, but nothing like the The Village Voice was (or SFWeekly still is in SFO).
Photos: NYC is a photo wonderland for me. I'll post some in the following days.

Getting High Without Drugs

In Kinokuniya, a great bookstore, 1071 Ave of the Americas...

^The DTV Shredder

Another of the unique vehicles at Fillipacchi's "Action Sports Store."

This thing could work in some gnarly spots in Baja, incuding remote beaches.

Details on the unit  https://newatlas.com/dtv-shredder-on-sale/26135/

Notes From NYC #2

Yesterday had an early dinner at EAK Ramen (thanks, Mark), 469 6th Ave., rich ramen along with Kawaba Sunrise Ale. This morning I took the subway to the East Village and went to Abraco, thanks to tip from my friend Doug. Unique coffee shop, great coffee and pastries, long lines that never abated, no stinkin laptops allowed, wonderful place, good vibes, latte as good as it gets. When I left, I gave the manager, a cool guy who was moving around with alacrity and humor, a mini-copy of Tiny Homes. When I was out in the street, he ran out and said: "Lloyd, this is brilliant." So good when people get it.

I walked around the corner, and there was Do Kham, a Tibetan shop with elegant things in the window. Serendipity at work. I went in, and everything was just right. The owner, Phelgye Kelden, is a former Tibetan monk, who has assembled a shop of totally wonderful things. His specialty is Tibetan hats, which he designs, and which have been featured in Vanity Fair, Elle, and other major fashion magazines:

I had vowed not to buy anything on this trip, but, ahem…a beautiful wool scarf, a necklace of prayer beads, a rock carved with Om Mani Padme Hum: "Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying the mantra (prayer), Om Mani Padme Hum, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion." So as I walk around today, I'm chanting it to myself.

It's been hot and muggy this week here, like it usually is in August. (Global warming is a hoax, right? )Walking along St. Mark's place, I spied St. Dymphna's Pub, and it looked authentic, cool (in both senses), and I went in and had a pint of Guiness and talked to the bartender and the guy next to me, a director of plays, and a native of Philly about a variety of subjects as we watched Serena Williams in the French Open. A good restaurant? They recommended Cafe Mogador, across the street, Moroccan, and crowded, and good.
I've finally learned to overcome shyness when traveling and ask-ask-ask. I think 90% of the places I've eaten, visited, or had coffee at on this trip were by following recommendations of friends and strangers.