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Posting on Greenhouse Book from HomeGrown Evolution

How to become the chicken coop Frank Gehry
Haven't laid my hands on a copy yet, but it looks like author and publisher Lloyd Kahn has another winner, in this case a painstaking reproduction of a turn of the century catalog The Gardeners’ and Poultry Keepers’ Guide: Illustrated Catalogue of Goods Manufactured & Supplied by W. Cooper Ltd. Kahn says, on his blog,
"It’s hard cover, linen-looking finish, foil stamped, printed on off-white paper — a book lovers’ book — the kind that us bibliophiles love to touch and thumb through (and feel secure in the knowledge that no stinkin’ ebook will replace the “hard” copy). Also, it’s useful: it gives homesteaders, gardeners, builders, and architects still-practical designs."
I'll note one detail I like in the chicken coop in the catalog above, the "dry run." I included a small dry run space in my coop and the chickens really like it--a place for them to hide out when it rains.

Stewart Brand on Alan Weisman: Humanity's Impact, Nature's Resilience

Alan Weisman recently wrote the book, The World Without Us. Last week he gave a talk as part of the Seminars About Long-term Thinking put on by The Long Now Foundation. Stewart Brand summarized the talk in a brief piece titled Humanity's impact, nature's resilience, closing paragraph of which was:

"Weisman's message is one of reconciliation. Wherever humanity backs its impact off even a little, nature comes swarming back. From the new part-wolf coyotes taking up residence in New England to the rare and exquisite red-crowned cranes prospering in Korea's Demilitarized Zone, accomodating nature always rewards humans."


Unidentified Car in London

Shot this photo in September. I didn't take note of what type car it was, but it looks rare.

Skating Before the Storm

The storm is just hitting as I write this/ Earlier this morning I walked out to the cliffs and watched the dark clouds swirl in. The wind was blowing 30-40 mph. Yeah! The air was like elixir. This is what I call a beautiful day. Decided to go skating, since no one was in town. No surfers, fishermen, tourists. No cars. There's a section of cliffside road that's been closed to through traffic, so it's much safer to skate. I made about 3 runs; these days I focus on shifting weight from left foot for left turn to right foot for right turn. I've been thinking lately about all the automatic reactions in one's body that deal with the complexities of balancing. I never thought about this when younger but now being, um, older, I tend to observe my physical actions more. Skating helps me keep open the brain-body connection. On the last run I held my umbrella out to catch the on-shore wind blowing up from the beach and it pulled me up the hill (somewhat).

High-quality Macro Photos Shot on iPhone

"It is not so novel anymore that a cell phone comes with a built in camera; it's now the norm. But a certain phone fitted with a camera that produces high-quality macro images which rival those of stand-alone cameras finally prompted me to give up my Canon.

This slideshow is a compilation of some of my favorite iPhone shots, using its macro lens feature."
-By Trevor Reichman on February 25, 2010 on Treehugger

Kawasaki ER 6F Motorcycle

Saw this beauty in London in September (2010). Review of it: http://bit.ly/9EcGool

For Sale: Repurposed, Recycled and Renovated Atlas Missile Base

Worried about a nuclear attack? Got $2.3 million? Here's a "luxury home with its own private airport," built on top of a 9-story underground missile silo, with the top 2 stories converted into a 3-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath underground living space. It's in the Adirondack Mountains in N.Y. state. Here's how the real estate agent describes the underground structure:
"The Silo has a climate constant/approx, 58 degree earth ambient temperature. It is 52' diameter x 178' deep / 9 floor steel superstructure. Entire steel superstructure hangs from gigantic spring suspension system designed to absorb shock of a direct nuclear hit."
Just the thing for some wealthy Tea Party patriots awaiting the Rapture.
-Available from 20th Century Castles, LLC
-Originally discovered at: http://www.treehugger.com/, a great website

More Beach Graffiti

From last week

Rooftop Cooling in Turkey

"Passive ventilation, utilization of rainwater as a natural cooling system, and blending with the surrounding landscape makes this home ideal for outdoor living. Global Architectural Development designed the Exploded House located in Bodrum, Turkey."

What Can You Do With 1300 Pallets?

This is a pavilion that was built out of 1300 pallets for the nordic alpine skiing world championship in Oberstdorf, Germany in 2005. http://blog.bellostes.com/?p=1940

The First MacIntosh

Just ran across this again. No clue as to where it's from. Looks like it's signed "MS."
This is exactly what happened when we got our first Mac in the late '80s. Michael Rafferty, who was working for Shelter then, started doing everything on the Mac, while I was still using my Adler portable typewriter, and laying out pages with X-Actos and glue. Took me years to migrate over…
(Actually I still do initial layout manually.)

Spacy Treehouse in Portland

Wilkinson Residence
Portland , Oregon
Designed: 1997
Completed: 2004

"Located on a flag lot, a steep sloping grade provided the opportunity to bring the main level of the house into the tree canopy to evoke the feeling of being in a tree house.…"

100+ Photos of Huge Waves at Mavericks Contest

The S. F. Chronicle has 100+ photos of the contest last week.
"Ion Banner tries to catch a wave, but eventually wipes out on this one in the first heat. Surfers from around the globe braved the 50-foot-high swells at Mavericks Surf Contest in Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Saturday, February 13, 2010. Chris Bertish of South Africa was selected the winner."
Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle

Firewood For Next 2 Years

I continue my practice of picking up fallen trees and limbs from various roadsides. Sudden oak death has caused many oak deaths and a state botanist recently told me it's better to burn the stuff than leave it in the woods spreading the disease. This pile is mostly oak, & some cedar and eucalyptus. I'll chainsaw it up, then rent Mark's homemade splitter - about 2 years worth of heat (our only source) in house. In the office (separate building), I'll turn on a 660 watt radiant electric heater for an hour or two on cold mornings.

Cozy Cottage for Sale in Portland

"Lush front yard with driftwood art fence and edible landscaping. Portland, Oregon, Southeast. Charming cozy cottage on a quiet South Tabor street. 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with fir floors throughout and a woodburning fireplace. Vintage kitchen with bamboo floors – all appliances included. Freshly painted exterior. Organic garden full of fruit (apples, pears, peaches, currants), veggies and edibles. Bike trellis, chicken coop and run are all included. Wonderful location – quick jaunt to Mt. Tabor…"

The Gardeners' and Poultry Keepers' Guide

We thought this would be a snap, reprinting this 100-year old London catalog of greenhouses, chicken coops, and farm buildings. As usual (will I ever learn?), it had many complications, since we were determined to have it look like the original and capture the spirit of the times. We worked and worked on it (as did Toppan Press in China) and the result is wonderful. I’m thrilled; it’s a dream come true. I've loved this little book ever since I found it in an obscure used-book store in London in the early ’70s.

Gardeners' and Poultry Keepers' Guide
It’s hard cover, linen-looking finish, foil stamped, printed on off-white paper — a book lovers’ book — the kind that us bibliophiles love to touch and thumb through (and feel secure in the knowledge that no stinkin’ ebook will replace the “hard” copy). Also, it’s useful: it gives homesteaders, gardeners, builders, and architects still-practical designs. It’s now in stock. Yahoo!

More: http://www.shelterpub.com/_cooper/cooper-book.html

Communication From Me and Shelter in the Future

Ever since my high school journalism course (thanks, Jack Patterson!) I've been a communicator. I've developed a reflex action of telling people about what I run across in the world. In about 40 years of publishing, I've done maybe 40 books, as well as posters, pamphlets, booklets, flyers and now - - blogs and tweets.
I started the blog in 2005, struggling with such a different type of media, posting maybe once a week, whenever I got a bit of time. Finally, I'm getting at least one post a day up. I'm getting around 5-600 visitors a day. It ain't "viral," but it's sure fun! I get great feedback, surprisingly soon. Identification of mushrooms, correcting my mistakes (not infrequently), turning me on to stuff I'm interested in…

We'll keep producing hold-in-your-hand books in the future,** but also increase internet communication, and produce e-books. (I'm hopeful that the iPad will allow us to do 4-color Shelter-book-style layout. C'mon Steve, don't let us down!

*I love the haiku aspect of Twitter. You've got to write tight.

**Our book on tiny houses is assembling itself, right before my very eyes. Man it is lookin good!
Simplification in the 21st century…

New/Old Green Modular Home

"A glance at Lawrence Greene’s rustic colonial with wraparound porch in Livingston Manor, N.Y., might lead one to believe it’s a 150-year-old farmhouse. In fact, it’s two years old, one of the greenest houses in New York state, and built in a factory.
The 1,800-square-foot structure was constructed by New World Home, a company that offers environmentally responsible prefabricated houses in a variety of architectural styles."
-article from NY Times, Sept 2009: http://nyti.ms/bliw6w

Lesley's Gopher-proof Raised Garden Bed

Lesley designed and built this bed, which is 4' by 10'-6".
How-to: First lay ¼" wire mesh on ground, then stack 2 layers of concrete blocks on edge of mesh. No fasteners. Fill both bed and blocks with soil, gophers can't penetrate. Can grow strawberries, parsley etc. in blocks. Front of this bed is filled with salad greens; arugula, radicchio, etc., which we've been having along with wild miners' lettuce for dinner these nights.

Pigeon Hawk

Pigeon hawk (Falco columbarius) from the same book listed below.

How Sweet That Sound

The gospel people have got Jesus' message right.* Gospel has the spirit of life, of rhythm, of joy. Now that's the Jesus I admire. The true spirit of love. Thank you Jesus!
I just discovered Troy Ramey. What an incredible voice!

I've just been listening to the following fabulous CD; you can't hold still while you listen to it: Somebody's Gotta Do Something, Troy Ramey and the Soul Searchers

*What a contrast with organized religion!

Mom is 103

Mom, shown here with her caregiver/soulmate of 20 years, Clara Morales
My mother, born Virginia Essie Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 13*, 1907, was 103 this Saturday. She discovered Christian Science when she was in her 20s and didn't go to a doctor for the rest of her life (us 6 kids were also raised sans doctor). Her mother's grandfather, Johann George Krieger, was born in Pennsylvania in 1759, and fought in the American Revolutionary War from 1779-1781.
There was a birthday party for her on Saturday at her rest home (Aegis Assisted Living, Corte Madera, Calif.). Staff had hired acordian player Karl Lebherz. My brother Bob brought his banjo and I had my box bass. We played a bunch of songs and my mom and a few of the more lively ladies were tapping their feet and/or swaying to the songs. My mom and dad's "song" when they were young was "Hold me," and I sang the lyrics to her (first time I've ever sung with a "band"):

Hold me, honey won't you hold me,
Hold me, never let me go
Take me, honey won't you take me
Never to forsake me, 'cause I love you so...

*She claims 13 is a lucky number.

Ceramic Frog by Josh Churchman

Josh Churchman is a Northern California fisherman and potter. He makes lots of little ceramic frogs, which people put in their gardens. Each one is different.

New Moon/Valentine's Day/Year of the Tiger

Gung hay fat choi! (Happy New Year!) The Year of the Tiger starts today, which is both Valentine's day (celebrating love and affection) and a new moon.
"Tigers are physically powerful, gracious, independent and brave, they are extremely bold animals. They are friendly and loving but can also selfish and short tempered..…The Tiger flourishes by power and attention and takes advantage of all circumstances it gets itself into. The Tiger is a natural leader and loves to be the centre of attention. As a rebel it goes up against authority and speaks out about wrongs in society, and willingly puts up objections.…"
-from: http://www.yearofthetiger.net/

--photo from: http://www.onlineartdemos.co.uk/misc_images/on-easel/siberian-tiger-6.jpg

On the Road in Rain-Soaked Marin County

The hills, which are golden in summer, are a lush green this time of year. Shot yesterday on the way to Nicasio from Olema.

Got New 13" MacBook Pro

Boy, do I love it!

My old one was: 15" MacBook Pro (2006 version)/2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor/1GB RAM/160GB SATA Hard Drive/Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger).

The new one is: 13" MacBook Pro (Unibody; mid-2009 version)/2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor (different generation of processor)/4GB RAM/500GB SATA Hard Drive/Mac OS X 10.6.2 (Snow Leopard)

The keyboard is the same size as on the 15" and it's a pound lighter, and is it snappy! Apple continually improves things. The keyboard is backlit, v. big improvement; screen is brighter; it's faster; don't have to push button to open it…

Wilderness Fishing, Spinning Wool, Vintage Pics & Posters

This is a blog about the outdoors, crafts, making beer, fishing, etc.
"Upon reaching the summit of Mount Winchell in 1868, Judge E.C. Winchell wrapped himself patriotically in a flag, took a swig from a wicker-woven flask, and 'addressed formal salutations to the witnessing mountains and fired double-charges of gunpowder over the canyon and forest, arousing crashing reverberations that leaped from cliff to distant cliff, swiftly redoubling in the morning air.'”

What Are These Mushrooms?

Went running in the rain yesterday afternoon, man was it cold! (us Californios are wimps in cold weather). Storm blowing in from the south across the ocean, wind and rain pelting the hills. Chanterelles are in hiding, but I found these under pines. Cannot identify in any of my 5 mushroom books. Anyone know what they are? Sure pretty. There's just always something out there (away from the computer!) that makes me glad to be alive.

George Bernard Shaw's Writing Shack

George Bernard Shaw's writing shed was 8' by 8' and built with castors on a circular track so that it could be turned around to change the light.
Also, photo of interior showing his desk with old typewriter: http://bit.ly/bNLkT9
-Sent us by Kevin Kelly

Hot Rod Ford in Petaluma

I went to Petaluma yesterday to get some electrical work done on my truck. I rode my bike across town to a Peet's coffee shop to hang out while the work was being done and spotted this little gem parked by a kayak dealer. I don't know much about hot rods, but this little Ford has just got it. Vroom-vroomn!

Candy Cap Mushrooms

Found these candy caps while running on the mountain Saturday. They smell like maple syrup when dried. The kitchen is fragrant right now as they sit on a drying shelf and take advantage of heat from the fireplace.

Cosmic Cauliflower

The Fibonacci numbers (http://www.maths.surrey.ac.uk/hosted-sites/R.Knott/Fibonacci/fibmaths.html) are on exhibit with this magical looking vegetable, a Romanesco Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea). We had it a few nights ago and it was the best cauliflower I've ever had. Organic, natcherly.