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I've been sending out email newsletters called GIMME SHELTER for some years now, to a mailing list of around 600.The frequency is a lot less often now that I'm blogging. We post each one on Shelter's website. Here is the latest: http://www.shelterpub.com/_gimme/_2011-09-28/gimme_shelter-2011-09-28.html

Rory Gallagher: "I Wonder Who"

I never heard of Rory. Wow! This angel-faced Irish kid singing like a deep old Delta bluesman, with a singing, talking blues guitar.

Here's link to (audio only) earlier version of "I Wonder Who," part of a 1974 Irish tour.

Is living off the Grid now a crime?

"'It has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, all that.' Joey Gallo, a disabled vet facing homelessness under county orders, with his friend Lucky."

"Tough code enforcement has been ramped up in these unincorporated areas of L.A. County, leaving the iconoclasts who chose to live in distant sectors of the Antelope Valley frightened, confused and livid. They point the finger at the Board of Supervisors' Nuisance Abatement Teams, known as NAT, instituted in 2006 by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich in his sprawling Fifth District. The teams' mission: "to abate the more difficult code violations and public nuisance conditions on private property."


From Rick Gordon

New house for Lakiya by Habitat for Humanity

Lakiya Culley, homeowner candidate through Habitat for Humanity, stands outside of her future residence and the Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology's entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in Washington, D.C., Wed., Sept. 28, 2011. (Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Check photos from different years of this event (which continues through Oct 2 in D.C.): http://is.gd/lakiya

Music du jour: Dinah Washington singing "What A Difference A Day Makes"

Eustace Conway - Traditional Lifestyles of the 21st Century

Thanks to Phil Miano for this wonderful video. Eustace: "Most of the things people tell you are impossible really aren't."

Holy Cow! Check the lineup at this weekend's Hardly Strictly Blue Grass Festival

Free in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.( I just discovered the lineup…boy!)
Merle Haggard, Charlie Musselwhite, Emmy Lou Harris, Del McCrory, Ralph Stanley, Dr. John, Irma Thomas, Blind Boys of Alabama, Steve Earle, Robert Plant, Earle Scruggs plus all the bands I've never heard of…only in San Francisco!
I take my bike in the truck and park out at the beach, then ride to the park and ride back and forth between  the stages.

Bjork's island house

"This enchanting house is located on an island called Elliðaey near Vestmannaeyjar, a small archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. The house was given to singer, Bjork from her motherland as a 'Thank You' for putting Iceland on the international map."
Photo © Ivar Atlason
Thanks to Moon to Moon for reference

Captain's cabin - tiny house on high seaside cliff

Secret spot on Northern California coast. The tiny building, built many years ago by a sea captain, is like  the cockpit on a ship, on the edge of this ridge looking out to sea. (Cabin is just to the right of the trees; you can see the light colored stovepipe.)
Mussels and starfish on beach below

Free tiny buildings in Massachusetts

From Deek Diedrickson's blog 6 days ago:
"My brother spotted this FREE craigslist offer in MA (the town he lives in), but apparently somewhat too late (although some remain- MOVE FAST!) as he told me that he witnessed a crew, first hand, wrecking these storage lockers/sheds (at a marina/yacht club) and trucking the debris away. Oh the humanity! Windows, doors, perfectly good lumber- all being trashed. If you take a quick look at these little tiny sheds, they could easily be reconfigured into small guest houses or vacation cottages- in essense, aside from hauling them somewhere, its a FREE small house at your disposal- deck and porch roofing/canopy-framing included.…
   Contact Pete at 1-508-965-8181. "

The best book on anatomy in the world

Atlas of Human Anatomy [Paperback], by Frank H. Netter. About $100 new, but used copies are about $25.
A few years ago I had an operation for carpal tunnel syndrome by Robert Markison, a brilliant hand surgeon in San Francisco, to whom I will always be grateful for giving me back pretty full usage of my right hand. Markison is also a medical illustrator (not to mention that he designs and makes musical instruments and makes his own shoes, among other talents) and he recommended this book. From my years of editing fitness books, I've built up quite a collection of books on anatomy. But this book and the drawings therein are in a class of their own. It's hard to believe that one man -- Frank Netter --  could do all these intricate and exquisite drawings in a lifetime.
   I've meant to mention this book for some time, but it was an, er, accident two days ago that caused me to get it out. I was stepping off a ladder in the greenhouse and my foot hit a planter box and I found myself falling. (When I was in the air, I was thinking, this can't be happening.) I twisted around to avoid landing on my back and got my arm out to take the weight of the fall. Ugh! Sharp shoulder pain. I lay there wondering just how much damage I'd done. Long story short: two days of an ice bag and shoulder movement, and it seems to be mending. I really don't want to have shoulder surgery.

Off Grid Tiny House with two kitchens

"This is 12' x `12' cabin, it probably cost about $3000.…"

Pickle barrel house

On 9/23/11, Joshua Marker wrote in a message entitled: More watching:
Howdy Lloyd; I've been a big fan for some time, and You is my favorite mind-soothing reading. I live in SF. Link below to an interesting situation. A friend of mine lived in the harbor in Sausalito in the early 80s, is now a boatbuilder in Michigan where I grew up. He's a groovy fellow; took a brief break from boats to usher in this thing called the Internet to northern MI. But I digress - I wanted to tell you about his latest project, restoring the "pickle barrel house" in Grand Marais. It's a house made out of two enormous pickle barrels. . . big for barrels, small for a house. I thought you'd enjoy:
   I'll be going on the road in early Oct. To do repairs on the Pickle Barrel House in Grand Marais, MI. Should be interesting.
   Congrats on approaching the end line for the book! Looking forward to seeing it.

Tiny home = tiny (or no) mortgage

"Extra small is not a size that you typically think of when shopping for or building a home, but the economic times are causing homebuyers to downsize in a big way. It is not just a matter of selling a home with more square footage to buy and move into a house with less square footage either. In this case, it is about going down to the bare minimum of living space and bare necessities in life as far as your living space is concerned.…"
"…traditional mortgage lenders will not loan money on the home. With tiny home prices ranging from $16,000 to $40,000, homebuyers are choosing alternative methods to make the purchase. In many circumstances, they are using the proceeds of a home sale to buy the tiny home, which makes (it) a debt free home.
"Even if you do take out a …(loan), the payments on such a small mortgage amount will be next to nothing.…"

Boats at anchor yesterday

The last couple of years, with lousy fishing, there were hardly any boats anchored here. This year, the salmon and other fish have more or less returned, fishing is good, and everybody's back in the water.

Greenhouse gas emissions in producing different foods

"Two researchers at the University of Chicago estimated that switching to a vegan diet would have a bigger impact than trading in your gas guzzler for a Prius. A study out of Carnegie Mellon University found that the average American would do less for the planet by switching to a totally local diet than by going vegetarian one day a week....A Montanan who drives 40 miles to work might not have the option to take public transportation. But he or she can probably pull off a veggie stew.…" -Ezra Klein
Thanks to jhm for this

Los Angeles county using Nazi tactics to drive people off their land

At the end of the video, watch Supervisor Mike Antonovich refuse to answer an Antelope Valley resident about the county's "Nuisance Abatement Team." Hey, LA people, how about organizing to recall Antonovich?
"The Antelope Valley is a vast patch of desert on the outskirts of Los Angeles County, and a segment of the few rugged individualists who live out there increasingly are finding themselves the targets of armed raids from local code enforcement agents, who've assembled into task forces called Nuisance Abatement Teams (NATs).
   The plight of the Valley's desert dwellers made regional headlines when county officials ordered the destruction of Phonehenge: a towering, colorful castle constructed out of telephone poles by retired phone technician Kim Fahey. Fahey was imprisoned and charged with several misdemeanors.
   But Fahey is just one of many who've been targeted by the NATs, which were assembled at the request of County Supervisor Mike Antonovich in 2006. LA Weekly reporter Mars Melnicoff wrote an in-depth article in which she exposed the county's tactic of badgering residents with minor, but costly, code violations until they face little choice but to vacate the land altogether.
   'They're picking on the the people who are the most defenseless and have the least resources," says Melnicoff.…'"
  Sent us by Mark Anderson

Tiny building of scrap materials in Germany

I just wanted to send you a quick note regarding a little place I've been building out of scrap material. It's tucked away in the corner of the garden maintenance area of the Auepark in Kassel. Shelter 2 came in handy many a time during it's initial construction. Thanks! Knowing that you are traveling to Frankfurt for the book fair and that Kassel isn't too far by train. I thought I would drop you a line and invite you by for a glass of Kombucha.
   I hope to be stopping by the book fair myself, so, hope to meet you. Look forward to the new publication!
   All the best,
   Gareth (Moore)

The Smallest Hotel in the World

"So here's the story: it's 1728 and you live in Amberg, a little Bavarian town somewhere north of Munich. You and your lady friend really, really want to get married, but there is a little snag; the council laws permit only homeowners to marry, and you're still stuck renting a place. But all is not lost! You pick up a little strip of empty land between two other buildings - just 2.5 meters wide. You run up a quick wall on the front, another on the back, slap a roof on top, and presto - you're a homeowner. The council falls for it, and allows you to get married.
   But now what? Well, it's not liveable, so you head back to the rental place to live, but you recoup your investment by selling the Eh'häusl (Little Wedding House) to the next couple with the same problem. And so on, and so on ...
   There is no reliable record of how long the practice continued, but the building survived, and in 2008 it received a complete refurbishment, transforming it into a luxury hotel. Total size? 56 square meters. Maximum number of guests at any one time? Two.
   But there's more! According to an old legend told by the locals, couples who spend their wedding night at the tiny hotel are guaranteed "…to live happily ever after and never get divorced!"
Via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

Fast food is more expensive than home-cooked food. Duh!

From this morning's New York Times, by Op-Ed columnist Mark Bittman:
"…it isn’t cheaper to eat highly processed food: a typical order for a family of four — for example, two Big Macs, a cheeseburger, six chicken McNuggets, two medium and two small fries, and two medium and two small sodas — costs, at the McDonald’s a hundred steps from where I write, about $28.…"
   "…In general, despite extensive government subsidies, hyperprocessed food remains more expensive than food cooked at home. You can serve a roasted chicken with vegetables along with a simple salad and milk for about $14, and feed four or even six people. If that’s too much money, substitute a meal of rice and canned beans with bacon, green peppers and onions; it’s easily enough for four people and costs about $9. (Omitting the bacon, using dried beans, which are also lower in sodium, or substituting carrots for the peppers reduces the price further, of course.)…"
   "…'Anything that you do that’s not fast food is terrific; cooking once a week is far better than not cooking at all,' says Marion Nestle, professor of food studies at New York University and author of 'What to Eat.' 'It’s the same argument as exercise: more is better than less and some is a lot better than none.…'”
   "…Real cultural changes are needed to turn this around. Somehow, no-nonsense cooking and eating — roasting a chicken, making a grilled cheese sandwich, scrambling an egg, tossing a salad — must become popular again, and valued not just by hipsters in Brooklyn or locavores in Berkeley. The smart campaign is not to get McDonald’s to serve better food but to get people to see cooking as a joy rather than a burden, or at least as part of a normal life.…"