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Rain, sun, doves, Dipsea, tiny homes book rolling…

•A (sort of) warm rain started falling around dusk yesterday. Rain has become a treat for me. I love everything about it. I just got a pair of rainpants at REI so now am prepared for walking out to the cliffs during big storms that roar in from the south. The air is sweet, fresh, electric. As energizing as getting head under waterfall. Simple joys.
•Solar light bulbs - For 50 years I've made skylights with flat ("Filon") fiberglass, just interleaving it like a big shingle (on asphalt shingle roofs). It's so simple. and solar-lights the room, free of charge. (I've found translucent, not transparent, provides best light.) I mention this because a young builder was here the other day, and this had never occured to him.
Eatin local - I had 2 doves for dinner last night. One was roadkill, the other I shot. Yes, I do some small-scale hunting, OK? My dad was a serious duck hunter and my brother and I hunted for ducks and doves when we were about 12. Wild duck is my favorite food in the world. We have finally gotten around to eating a lot of local and/or wild foods. Crabs, fish, the occasional abalone, chanterelles, Yerba Buena tea… artichokes, beets and beet tops, chard, salad greens, tomatoes…from the garden. We started out to do this 30+ years ago and it's all come to pass in the last 10 years or so. Local. Well, duh!
•End of a running (racing, that is) career - Bottom line: I've damaged my knees (20 years of fast downhill running) so at this point I'm knocking off the speed stuff. Oh I am so mature! Dumb fuck, I should have pulled out earlier. I should explain that there is a local race, the Dipsea, with tradition and romance and agony all wrapped up in a 7-mile course over the flank of a magic mountain. Me and my running friends (them even more so) have been obsessed with this great race. I'm starting to run differently. Once I give up on speed as a goal, it opens alternative paths. I'm fascinated with "chi running." Trying to land more on mid-foot than solely on heel, flex knees more for shock absorption, better posture, and the greatest thing: FEELING the trail with my feet. Running as an art, running like an Indian…

•Tiny Homes book - is rolling. Rick, Lew, and I (with page design by David) have this week started turning out pages. 10-12 so far. We're watching the book put itself together in this early phase. I've been laying out pages at random, just grabbing what looks exciting. Every day new material is coming in. Good stuff! There's going to be way more than enough for one book.
•Rain and firewood - Rain is like, if you'll excuse the expression, money in the bank. I feel secure when there's been enough rain and the earth has enough moisture for the year. Same with firewood, we've got maybe a 2-year supply now (all roadkill trees), it's comforting.

Book layout old-school

A few days ago I wrote about doing my original layout of books on paper, not on the computer. Owl posted this comment:
"One of the aspects I enjoy about the LK books I have is the ease of reading them. I find my eye travels quite naturally around the page and there is a flow to the whole book. It doesn't surprise me that they are laid out on paper during the assembly/construction after all, if the intention is to produce a physical book I would have thought it is best to design the book as close to the finished piece as you can. In the same way if I was putting together an e-book I would want to design it on something that is going to give the feel of the reader most likely to be used.
While a computer is a powerful and useful tool I feel they can only simulate a physical medium and hint at the tactile qualities."
(Above layout is very rough.)

Shipping container house for 2 in New Zealand

This is the Port-a-Bach system from New Zealand's Atelier Workshop.
"Costing around $55,000, Port-a-Bach sleeps two adults and two children comfortably, in a dwelling that folds up into a fully enclosed steel shell. It comes with large internal storage cupboards and shelves; a stainless steel kitchen; bathroom with shower, sink and composting toilet; bunk beds and dressing room. Fabric screens allow you to shape internal space, as well as shelter the outdoor deck area.
Bach (pronounced Batch) is Kiwi slang for 'Bachelor Pad…'"
From: http://is.gd/i6uo8

Leaf dummies in Edinburgh

Thanks to nruojos for this pic shot last week in Edinburgh by jules2view. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jules2view/5201998992/in/photostream/

Roadside dummy

I was on a bike ride Sunday, came across this tableau. Your guess as good as mine. No one was around the car, just the dummy in the chair.

Tiny Homes book is taking shape…

I post stuff here on daily observations, but the most important thing going on in my life right now is working on our tiny homes book. By the time we get it out, it will have been 3 years in between major building books, the last having been Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008).

For a year I gathered info, filing it away in 5th-cut files folders (one thing I learned in my 5 years as an insurance broker was the importance [and technique] of filing). For the past few months, I've been doing layouts, 2 pages at a time, in no particular order. I grab a folder, print out pics, write or get text from contributors, and do a rough layout by taping down pics (which I size on a Brother DCP-9040CN color copy machine) and text with removable scotch tape.
This is old school, to say the least. These days, designers lay out picture books on Macintoshes, for Christ's sake. My method is way slower, but I'm not locked into a digital process in the creative stages. I think you get a different product this way (kind of like rice tastes best when cooked slowly on a wood stove).
Next, our art director David Wills refines the pages, doing a new layout. This then goes to Macmeister Rick, who builds files for the printers (in inDesign). Rick has just done 4 rough 2-page spreads to get us started, so we can see what the book is going to look like.  (In pic above, top right spread is of Lloyd House's van conversion on an island in British Columbia.)

Another of Lesley's quilts

Quick shot of quilt during Lesley's Open Studio weekend.

More of her quilts (see below): http://www.lesleycreed.com/

2 more beach pics last night & this morning + surfer's vintage panel truck

"Let me walk in beauty…"
-Chief Yellow Lark, 19th-century medicine man of the Lakota Sioux


Josh and Robbie heading out to check crab pots

It's a phenomenal year for crabs. Lots of them, lots of big ones. These guys that go out through the surf have my utmost respect. Both going out and coming back in are not for the faint-hearted. Skill and experience required. They have to know where the (shifting) channel is, and make a lot of right moves to prevent being turned upside down by the waves.

Sunset behind tower last week

Shakes by Bruno, shaking by Billy