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Junk-rigged Sailboats

Pictures of old junk-rigged sailboats:

Pictures of The Junk Rig Association's members' boats:

From Godfrey Stephens

San Francisco Green Festival

Here are a few shots from today:

Ford Fiesta Hybrid

Dash Hemp Clothing Co. from Santa Cruz. These are very nice shirts, washed-out colors. There are a lot of organic, green, hemp type clothing stands. Many nice natural-looking women's' clothing outfits.

Off The Grid Converted Houseboat Parked on Land in Tennessee

Kingston, Tennessee, 250 sq. ft., $19,500.
"Do you love boat life? This is a boat conversion like none other. 1968 Owens cabin cruiser restored on land. No utilites involved. Rain water is collected and used for exterior use. Nearby spring used for interior water. Solar panels, wood stove, and propane used for other sources of power. Square footage is only an estimate."

Tiny Rustic Log Cabin For Sale in Texas

Sitting here at the Green Festival, ran across this little beauty.

Timber Framers, Barn Buildings, Cottages, Yurts in Pennsylvania

"M&M Timber Framing is a building and design company located in Northwestern Pennsylvania. We specialize in heavy timber beam construction. We design and construct a variety of unique buildings. Whether you are interested in residential homes, or needing barn building and repairs, or looking for a cozy cottage or cabin. We are a company that prides itself in innovative design concepts and constructing structurally sound buildings. Our approach in the building process actually reduces construction time and labor costs, which translates into cost savings for home owners.

We are seeking home owners that are looking for a building and design company that thinks outside the box. Our buildings are rustic and whimsical in design, we encourage home owners to partner with us in the design process. Many agree that the residential home market lacks creative and innovative designed homes. We ask why settle for an ordinary home, when you have an option to build a one of a kind home with us. Contact us."

Yurt in France

Yurt in France by Kevin Dancelme

Full Moon Thursday, "A Banjo Friday," & the Golden Gate Bridge

Last night the moon rose over the ridge. It's a miracle, what with all the harm humans are doing to the planet, that the full moon still rises, is still in orbit. I went down to the beach and got in the ocean a few days after getting back. Got under water long enough to feel the chill get to my bones, and voila! I was tuned back into home turf (surf).
Rain clouds this morning, it was blue grass music driving in along the ocean, program called "A Banjo Friday," Flat & Scruggs: Your Love is Like a Flower / Ned Lubernick: Owed to Earl, great banjo…
the waves are slow and full coming into the beaches, sort of luscious, a hearty n/w swell…
Doyle Lawson, white gospel, I'm finding Joy in My Saviour, beautiful singing / Ralph Stanley, The Girl From Greenbriar Shore -- I don't know what it is he has, but he has it. On one level it's a pretty thin voice, but he does something with the notes and it comes out unique…
Then John Hammond doing Nadine, a great song (one of the highlights of the Stones Get Yer Ya-Yas album) Nadine, honey, it that you?
Next time you cross this magnificent bridge, check out the corbled designs of each cross-strut. There's a great book called The Gate by John van der Zee, which describes the true lead designer of the bridge mathematician and Greek scholar Charles Ellis, not Joseph Strauss, as it was formerly thought.
Heard a great new Bonnie Raitt song with a cooking band as I got into North Beach…

Advance Books Here!

Yesterday Erin from FedEx came in as scheduled at 4:30 with 2 advance copies of Tiny Homes, and 100 copies of the tiny Tiny book. Do they look good! Here are a few poor quality snapshots:

Below is a copy of the tiny (2 x 2½") Tiny book. 34 pages, sewn binding, a first for our printers. We''re going to include one free with each order for the real book, and use them for promo.
We're off tomorrow for the Green Festival…

Tiny Hotel Rooms

From BBC.com article 08 November 2011 by Lindsey Galloway. (There is a 2-page photo essay of capsule hotels in Japan in our Tiny Homes book.)
"The Jane hotel in New York City started renting its cabin-like rooms to sailors as early as 1908. “Live large but sleep small” might as well be the motto of travellers choosing to stay in the latest crop of super-shrunk hotel rooms popping up across the world.
Rather than spend a lot of money on a sprawling temporary living space, travellers are bunking down in rooms that measure from just two to 10sqm.
Popularized in Japan, capsule hotels were first built in 1979 to accommodate Japanese businessmen who needed to stay close to the city centre for a few days or who could not catch the last train to their suburban homes. Some would even stay the entire workweek to avoid the long commute.  Barely big enough to lie down, the two-metre long space included sparse amenities like a television and a radio, along with a common restroom and socializing areas.… "

Route of Shipping Container Around World

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Way Different Hong Kong":
Lloyd, you tempt us to visit Hong Kong ! I'd feel confused and breathless in such a giant city but I'd love looking at the docks. You never feel claustrophobia in a harbor
Hong Kong was one of the layovers in ''The Box Project'' (BBC News followed a shipping container for a year to tell stories of the world economy - you can track the container all around the globe on :
Have a nice trip back home

Incredible Making of the 3D LEGO Chalk Drawing

"After one picture of a LEGO street painting was posted on Reddit, the Internet took over, making it a sensation online. Created for the Sarasota Chalk Festival in Florida, this amazing mashup of Legos and Terracotta warriors is magnificent in every sense of the word.
   After our first post about it, we dug deep, getting ahold of the creators, artist group Planet Streetpainting, to learn more. Founder and Director Peter Westerink told us that it took a team of four artists - Leon Keer (design and art production), Peter Westerink (himself), Remko van Schaik, Ruben Poncia - five and a half days to complete it. "We started on Tuesday morning November 1st and finished on Sunday November 6th in the afternoon," Westerink says.…"
From Rick Gordon

Kevin Kelly's 11" MacBook Air

Kevin was way ahead of me with this tool. He's decorated it with "…Random stickers I had around the office." Here's his write-up:

"I am loving my 11-inch Mac Air.
Since I previously did not have a laptop, I carried a first generation iPad for my travel device. I spent several months on the road with only the iPad in the US, and a several long trips overseas with only the iPad for my connection. I had trouble doing a lot of writing on the iPad so I got the nifty blue took portable keyboard -- which is a very fine piece of technology. I considered duct-taping the keyboard to the iPad to prevent the frequent inadvertent key activations which drain the pad's power, but then these new Airs came along to solve my problem.
The smaller 11-inch Air is about the same weight as the iPad plus keyboard, and just as cool. Battery will last a cross country flight. Instant awake (from sleep), compact, enough speed and power for non-game needs, it has everything I wanted except a touch screen. It's more of a working stiff, but it can play too. It has a full sized keyboard, and sits easy on the lap or knees, or even in your arms. Compared to an old Mac Air it feels light as a breeze, and feels like a zero compared to a MacBook.…"
Yesterday he emailed me the below link, along with the comment: "It would be perfect if it had an optional 3G cell phone connection. Lots of cities in the world have almost no wi-fi."
More at: http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2011/03/nice_air_book.php

Come See Preview of Tiny Homes Book at SF Green Festival This Weekend

This is a great event and even more relevant now that the Real Goods' SolFest is no longer happening.  The San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center is a soulful building with timber posts and beams and a retractable roof, quite different from most convention centers.
Shameless Commerce Dept.: we'll have a booth and be selling Shelter, Home Work, and Builders of the Pacific Coast at a 25% discount, and the 3 books together for a 40% discount, heh-heh. Stop by and get a preview of Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter, which was printed last week and being bound at the printers this very moment. (The sub-subtitle is Scaling Back in the 21st Century.) We'll have 2 advance copies on display -- it will be in bookstores in February 2012. Lew and my son Evan will be running the booth and I'll be there about half the time.
http://www.greenfestivals.org/sf/updates/ (This website doesn't do a very good job of conveying how good the festival really is.)

Back from Hong Kong

I left Hong Kong at 1:00 AM Monday and somehow got into San Francisco at 9PM Sunday night. My brain was slightly scrambled. Thanks to the individual screens in the 747 and 100 movies and 800 TV shows, the time went fairly fast. I never look at the time on a long flight. I've always loved movies. As a kid, my friends and I would take the streetcar down to (Market Street (San Francisco), get off at Van Ness, where the magnificent Fox Theater was, and walk 6 or 7 blocks down toward the Ferry Building, deciding which of the 20 or so theaters to go to. On the 2 flights I saw Goodfellas (had never seen, fabulous role by Joe Pesci), Killing Bono, a Clint Eastwood where he's a Texas Ranger, a runaway train movie with Denzel Washington, a lovely French movie about a bachelor dad and his daughter, and watched 2 episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which I'd never seen, piercingly funny, one episode with Rosie O'Donnell, another with Ricky Gervais; funny as all get-out.

The Green Festival is in San Francisco this weekend. A bright spot when I got back was these 15" x 22" blowups of pages from the tiny homes book for the festival, where we'll have a booth; Rick made these on our Epson Stylus Pro 4800. We're also putting up a 27" x 34" blowup of the cover.

Big news: Two advance copies of the book and 100 copies of the tiny tiny book are set to arrive by 4:30 today via FedEx. Our printers (Paramount in Hong Kong) are really on the ball. Am I excited!

Nigeria's plastic bottle house

Nigeria's first house built from discarded plastic bottles is proving a tourist attraction in the village of Yelwa.
   Hundreds of people - including government officials and traditional leaders - have been coming to see how the walls are built in the round architectural shape popular in northern Nigeria.
   The bottles, packed with sand, are placed on their side, one on top of the other and bound together with mud.
     "I wanted to see this building for myself as I was surprised to hear it was built from plastic bottles," said Nuhu Dangote, a trader who travelled from the state capital, Kaduna, to see the house. They were saying it in the market that it looks like magic, that you will be amazed when you see it, that is why I have come here to feed my eyes. The whole world should come and look at it."
Sent us by Cynthia via Andy Couturier

Sprung Steel Wheeled Bicycle by Ron Arad

UK-based designer Ron Arad created a bicycle with working sprung steel wheels as part of the WOW Bikes charity auction co-hosted by the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the W Hotel in London (see the smooth riding bike in action via Dezeen). The bike is one of six custom designed bikes that will be auctioned off on December 1.
via designboom, Doobybrain.com & co.design
photos via WOW bikes

Incredible Working Steam Engine Made Entirely of Glass


Hong Kong Airport a Great One

Just noodling around here at the Hong Kong airport. I got here 5 hours early, can you believe it? The supposed (free) wi-fi connection isn't working, of course. Jeez, such a drag that wi-fi can be so sketchy. At the last hotel, it only worked in the lobby; in the previous hotel it was like $18 per day. So I'll send this off whenever. Having a pint of Murphy's Irish stout and an excellent corned beef sandwich. This airport is really nice. The building is nicely designed and beautifully put together and there are a ton of restaurants.

The Curmudgeon Thang

Two things I catch myself doing as I get, um, older:
1. Ranting. Lots of things piss me off these days. Bureaucrats, the Republicans, lawyers, money people, our stupid short-sighted leaders regarding energy, transportation, and ethics...ooops, am I ranting about ranting here?
2. Telling stories about the old days. San Francisco when it was still a port, surfing in Santa Cruz before wetsuits, my 1950 Ford… It's all too easy when you get old(er) to bore people with the Good Old Days.

A Way Different Hong Kong

Took the bus to the airport and was it an eye-opener. My other trips to and fro have been on the train. The "Whapoa" district was so different from anything I've seen of HK. Sparkling, new, trendy. We pulled up to the Harbor Grand Hotel in Kowloon. Wow! I've never seen anything this posh. Looks like one of the $1600 per night jobs. Like another planet, so different from the somewhat grotty but characterful and of-the-people Mongkok area where I was staying. For the super rich. Two other reasons I recommend you come into HK on a bus from airport, not the train:
1. There is mile-after-mile of like 60-story newish apartment buildings, glittery and spiffy. The extent of these is awesome. Hard to believe.
2. The HK docks are awesome. Like 1000 times as big as any ports I've seen. 10s of 1000s of containers stacked 10-15 high Huge cranes. This must be where practically all of China's goods are shipped from. A number of bridges, one of them a beauty with spider-webby cables in diamond patterns supporting the 4 or so towers. Like yet another planet. The world is such a big place and it's changing so rapidly, I feel like a hick from a small town gawking.
There's a pretty good jazz trio playing here at the bar, they just did a great version of Five Foot Two...

Misc Notes From the Week in Hong Kong

…There's a juice stand in one of the busiest parts of the city that is 24 sq. ft. The rent? $30,000 per month…The night after I stayed at the printers' plant, I couldn't find a hotel room on the internet to save my soul, other than ones for $400, $600 a night. Trevor, a HK native, has a group of about 100 friends that are connected by an app called Whatsapp, so he put out a message. He got about 10 replies and I found a room…Sign on a bus: "No matter how far you go, remember where you are from." This could refer not only to geographical, but occupational…Hong Kong is vertical; they have just filled in a big section of the bay down by the convention center for more high-rises…The 3 most expensive cities in the world for real estate and rentals are London, Tokyo, and HK; a 1000 sq. ft. condo here is like $800,000…Food is actually cheap if you eat at local restaurants; just had excellent sushi meal for $15.00; dinner last night (slices of smoked duck in broth with rice noodles for breakfast, was $7…weather in summer here is hot and humid, but unlike Rome ("Dog Days"), the city stays as crowded as ever…Streets are actually pretty clean, although there are sewer smells; the city is growing too fast…There are tons of shoe stores; been wearing my Sanuk surfer shoes the entire trip…What they call "hot coffee," or HK coffee is strong dark coffee with canned milk, v. good…Yesterday I had soup with noodles and slices of abalone…I've got the subway figured out; you buy a card that you swipe upon entering -- when you exit, you swipe again and it knows how far you've gone and deducts appropriate amount; subway system is brilliant: clean, trains run frequently (every minute at rush hours), are clean, air conditioned. I got so I felt pretty clever making my way around…Had glass of iced coconut juice yesterday while roaming…

Hong Kong Last Night #2

Hong Kong Last Night #1