• Subscribe to
    Lloyd’s Blog via RSS.
  • Check out TheShelterBlog.com
  • Tools for the
    Half-Acre Homestead

Tiny Texas Houses Makes Tiny Homes Tiny Book

A totally unexpected treat came in the mail a few days ago: a tiny (4" x 4") handmade book by Brad and Bryl of Tiny Texas Houses. It was made with a paper bag and has 6 pull-out tabs. Incredible.
There are 6 pages on Brad's Tiny Texas Houses in Tiny Homes. All built with salvaged material, designs based on local shacks and farm buildings. The cover of (our) book is one of TTH's buildings with a rainbow, and they used it as a cover for their mini-book.

To the left of center here is a thin chip of wood that pulls out. Best holiday card ever. Everything about our about-to-be-launched book is feeling good!

Music Este Semana

A great week for musical discoveries:
1. Unannounced, a CD arrived in the mail from Pepe Alvarez: I Have to Paint My Face: Mississippi Blues 1960. Makes me want to move to Mississippi! Acoustic recordings by Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records, bless him for all his good work, these are bluesmen who never made it into prime time. Blues fans, I heartily recommend this one; you'll love it.
2. Marion Williams, Remember Me. I've had this gospel record for years, just pulled it out. Marion had a 4-octave vocal range. I listened to it driving along the coast a few days ago. What power! Black gospel singers get the message of Jesus right. What joy! Another of my gospel favorites is Dorothy Love Coates.
3. On The Jimmy Reed Highway Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmie Vaughan, along with guests like James Cotton and Delbert McClinton, are channelling Jimmy here. Baby What You Want me To Do, Bright Lights Big City, and a version of Big Boss Man that's had me dancing (when no one's around), and has been rolling through my brain for days/ You ain't so big, you just tall that's all… Thanks to bayrider for the tip on this one. More good music from Austin…

Deek's Stunned by Tiny Homes

On his Relaxshacks blog yesterday, Deek Diedricksen, artist, author, builder, blogger, and prankster, upon receiving his copy of Tiny Homes. Deek brings fun into the tiny home movement.

BBC Video on Tiny Homes

To: "'Lloyd Kahn'"
Subject: RE: Tiny House story
Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2011 18:57:02 -0000

Hi Lloyd,
This story on BBC news today:


I met Louie about15 years ago when a mutual friend brought me over to his shop. As we drove up to about the prettiest building I'd ever seen, Louie came out through the door with an old tattered copy of our 1973 book Shelter, told me to crouch down with him in the doorway. "Look,' he said, pointing to the Mandan Lodge on p. 4 of Shelter, "I built this building from this painting in your book." Wow! He turned out to be one of my 2 favorite builders in the world (the other is Lloyd House) and one of my very bestest of friends. He is the featured builder in HomeWork.
   Louie's a master craftsman. Everything he does is finely crafted. He's a constant inspiration to me to do things better. It's a treat for me to come up to his place. We walk along the riverbed, look for mushrooms, go out on his sailboat, drive along the coast (one day along the ocean listening to Leonard Cohen), have wild duck dinners, visit interesting people, and have whatever adventures we can conspire up.
This is where I stay when I visit; it's a a circular room adjacent to the shop, desk on the left for my MacBook Air. I set up my Sirius radio and get in some writing while looking out at the vineyard, apple orchard and redwoods. Fire burning in little woodstove right now this cold sunny afternoon.

(Photoshop junkies: The Photomerge function didn't work here, so I just pasted them side by side.)

Note: This is getting posted out of sequence. Such is life.

OLD Friends

I bailed from my job as an insurance broker in San Francisco (and from my generation) in the mid-60s. In 1964, I bought a lid of weed (really a tin Prince Albert can) from a tattooed sailor in Mill Valley, smoked a bit that night and went totally on to the right side of my brain. Boy! My days in the business world were doomed.
Things were happening in SF, the world was changing, and after a trip riding the rails and hitchhiking to the east coast, I returned home, quit my then-well-paying job and went to work as a carpenter. 1965. What a relief to quit wearing suits, which I hated, and to now go to lumber yards and drive around in a pickup truck scavenging building materials.
I left the culture of my age group and dove into the cutural revolution. People 10 years younge -- what they were into resonated with me. My high school and college friends stayed on the business track, with its attendant economic rewards. I'm the only long-haired guy from the Lowell class of '52. So it's with interest I go to the occasional luncheon reunions. Here were maybe 15 guys and I felt a genuine affection for a bunch of them, in spite of economic and political differences. Some deep roots here. When we grew up, we thought the whole world was like San Francisco, the whole world like California. (Were we wrong!) Next year in October we're having our 60th (ulp!) reunion.

Tiny Home For $7000

All My Blog Photos in One Place

Pintarest is an "online billboard." Somehow it's got all (most?) of my blog photos from the last few years, organized like a scrolling poster. I don't remember if I signed up for this, but I think it's great. (Many photos are posted numerous times, probably because I went back and corrected certain posts.)

Also check out the "architecture" category: http://pinterest.com/all/?category=architecture.

Thankful Yurt

"We are a French-American family with two little ones, building our eco-home in the Dordogne countryside. Kevin is French, a carpenter and green builder (as well as a translator), Elizabeth is American and a full-time mama and formerly a psychotherapist in California. We have a delightful 3 year old boy and baby girl. We are very interested in sustainable living and growing, permaculture, meditation and community. And you!
*please note: We would love to host volunteers with building skills, especially skills in carpentry, wood-working and roofing!"

Tiny Houses in Texas

(Brad Kittel's Tiny Texas Houses are featured in Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter.)

Story by Ray Bragg, photo by Billy Calzada in San Antonio Express-News, December 25, 2011
"LULING – Although Brad Kittel runs a construction company, he's really in the deconstruction business.
As owner of Tiny Texas Houses, located on hilltop that overlooks Interstate 10, he builds homes that are a fraction of the size of the modern McMansion. His basic sales pitch: sometimes a little is more than enough.

Keith Levy's "Flying Tortoise" housebus in New Zealand

"Keith purchased his 1977 Bedford Bus back in 2007 with the idea of living in it off-the-grid full-time. Living off the grid is nothing new to Keith. He has been at it for the last 21 years, living mostly on boats and finally making it to land with the purchase of his bus named “The Flying Tortoise.”
The Flying Tortoise has a slew of unique features to help make living on his 131 square feet bus more comfortable and certainly more interesting. After looking at some of the images of Keith’s bus, it’s apparent that alot of thought and creativity have gone into his tiny home.…"

Keith's bus is featured in our new book (set to hit bookstores late January), Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

Mighty Fisherman: One Horseneck Clam

I went clamming a few days ago and after an hour of shoveling, returned home with one horseneck clam. (The limit is 10.) Anyway, it worked out pretty well. I've learned that if you put horsenecks in a bucket of fresh water, they die right away, and within a few hours you can just peel the skin off the neck, leaving you with a nice piece of white meat similar to calamari. I chopped this up finely with a knife and added cocktail sauce, lime, worcestershire sauce, it was really good, like a shrimp cocktail. Then I cleaned out the body of the clam, and steamed it in a little water, parsley and garlic, and that was good too. The soft parts of the clam tasted like oysters.

Good Book on Barns

I discovered this book at Builders' Booksource in Berkeley last week. What's unique is that there are scaled drawings with each barn shown, so you can tell just how each one was built.

If you haven't discovered it, Builders Booksource is the best bookstore anywhere for books on, well, building. They're on 4th Street in Berkeley.

Etta James. Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, BB King -- Ooo-wee!

Spooky 25 On Road Tonight

Video of Lloyd by Hold Fast Video

A few months ago I got an email from a producer working on a series of short videos on "authenticity," wanting to come and shoot some video here. It was for Sailor Jerry Rum. Hmmmm. OK, can I get a bottle of the rum? Well yes, and it arrived a week later. It was a spiced rum -oh oh - but I was surprised that it was pretty good. Reasonably priced and I made a great version of rum and coke, with the rum, spicy ginger beer, and lime juice. OK, I said, and 4 v. cool guys from Hold Fast Video (SoCal) showed up and we had a great 2-3 hours. Fun. Here's the result; I like the snappy editing:

Small -- Not Tiny -- House by Pepe Alvarez

This is just a perfect little house, situated on a NorCal hillside, with a balcony facing south, looking down on a grassy downslope meadow, and out further to the blue Pacific. Pepe and his wife Pam live here. I love the dormers. They make an upper story way more livable.

This is about the last of my photos from last week's trip.

Big Surf Sonoma County, Big Crabs Marin County

 Last night I traded a building book to fisherman Todd  for these 2 beauties. How about that Pacific Ocean?

Documentary about a barbershop and bluegrass

To conclude this good Sunday's morning, from David Pescovitz on Boing Boing:

Killer Boat

This belongs to UC Davis. According to a fisherman we talked to, it's an enormously expensive boat.

Double-Ended Monterey in Bodega Bay

Wednesday morning, these are beautiful little boats. I'm not sure if it's called a schooner, but it's a classic fishing boat for this part of the Pacific Coast.

(My friend Godfrey gives me shit if I don't get all of the mast(s) in any boat pic.)

Here's a great State of California report on Fisheries dated 1954, with vintage pics: http://is.gd/calfish

And you water people, here's a fascinating photo-essay of a tanker getting bashed by a horrendous hurricane in the North Pacific in 1977, but staying afloat: http://is.gd/stoltsurf

Ocean People

I was born in San Francisco. One day after a high school swim meet at Fleishacker Pool (out at Ocean Beach)  a guy named Jim Fisher* got me to swim out into the surf with him. I was stunned. The blue (cold) water, the waves, it was sunny afternoon, it was paradise. That clinched my attachment to this powerful body of water. I'm so in love with the Pacific Ocean.

I've travelled the coast from Vancouver Island down to the tip of Baja California, and found a similar spirit, brothers and sisters of the beach (you know who you are) everywhere along this coastal waterway. We share a lot. There's a theory that the coast was settled by Indians in canoes. Could be. After all, the First Nations people speared whales from canoes made out of hollowed-out cedar trees.

*A powerful swimmer, Jim went to Hawaii in the '50s and rode some of the biggest waves ever at Makaha.

My Little hand-Pump Espresso Machine

I bought this little Olympus Cremina machine many years ago for $250 used. It quit working and I bought a used Rancilio Silvia. A while ago I took the Olympus in and got it fixed. I've switched to using it now. I like the industrial look. I'm working on my crema. I've looked for them online today and the only one for sale (new) was $3850!

On Sirius "'50s on 5" radio now:

…I'm like a one-eyed cat
Sleepin' in a seafood store…
   -Shake, Rattle and Roll, Big Joe Turner

Louie's House With Redwood

You get to this place on a 500-foot cable over a river (in winter when river is high). It was Thursday night and Louie was cooking a wild duck dinner for 4 of us. When I approached the house, it was lookin good. Louie insisted I get a photo with the big redwood tree and I got him to stand on the deck.

Louie's House on Cold Winter Day


Louie's House Based on Sketch in Shelter

Louie built his house based on the sketch at bottom right of page 20 of Shelter, titled "Lashed-frame house in southern Japan," shown at left.

Can We Talk?

It's a drippy grey Sunday morning and I'm looking over my photos, I love doing this -- it's like hunting, but with cameras not guns. So goldarned much going on everywhere I go in the world. It's just a matter of seeing it.

When I first took acid (1964), I could see flowers breathing; it wasn't an hallucination. Flowers do breathe, we just usually don't see it. So I'm looking around in this absolutely interesting inspiring fascinating world. (You'll have to pardon me if I'm not incapacitated by all the evil, greed, and shitty politics afoot.)

I wish I could do a decent layout of my trips upon return. My HTML skills are not up to doing it right now, so will just keep throwing photos out in this limited format. "I'm Jimmy Reed" playing now. You Got me Dizzy. Cup of espresso sweetened with agave nectar, whole wheat toast with marmalade, vapor by Volcano, stylin'…

I'm going to throw a bunch of photos out from the last 3 days, not necessarily in order:

Rivers in NorCal low right now. Gimme some rain!

Back Home

Just unloaded photos from 3 days on the road. 
Elephant Mountain Wednesday morning:

Breakfast With Pepe and a Great New Little Camera

Louie's friend Pepe made us a great breakfast of French toast and bacon and barista-quality coffee this morning. Pepe is into elegant design. He turned me on the my Canon Powershot S90 (and 95)camera, my coffee roaster, a couple of lenses for my Canon 20D, shocks for my Toyota 4x4…. Today he showed me the Fujifilm X10. Looks like the first thing better than the S90-95-100 in years. It's bigger, but looks like it might be the camera for me to travel with, rather than having the limitation of my Powershot (as good as it is), or the weight of my serious camera and assorted lenses (Panasonic Lumix G-1). Going to check it out.

Pepe's pics of Louie and me:

Road Trip Up The Coast

I met my friend Louie in Bodega Bay yesterday. We went out in his homemade sailboat to pull up a crab pot. Only one crab. Then north along Hwy 1. The pic below is of the beach at Jenner, the mouth of the Russian River, where it was churning with life of seal and bird persuasion. Then  over the next 10 or so miles of winding often-hair-pin cliffside highway to the Timber Cove Inn, where we had (great) hamburgers and dark draft beer and looked out at the ocean, where whales were spouting, on their way from Alaska south to Scammon's lagoon and other warm water bays for calving. Sun setting just before we got into Pt. Arena. Really a nice day, blue water, a nice swell, surfers out (mostly getting stuffed by straight across 8-foot waves) at Salmon Creek. I feel so lucky, being able to take off for a few days like this, recharging psychic batteries…

Jay Shafer's Tiny House Into Manhattan Tomorrow

12:30 PM Monday
I just talked to Jay, who's in Nantucket. He said they're going to take it (model shown here) into the East Village tomorrow, He said hooking up with the Occupy folks turned out to be too complicated. "It'll be a tiny house protest…" -- against McMansions, heavy mortgages, high rents, overconsumption, energy and material wastage in housing as it's been practiced in America in the last 20 years.
For New Yorkers: Jay will be speaking in Manhattan at 1-4 PM tomorrow. Details: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/see-a-tiny-house/tiny-house-in-manhattan/

Tumbleweed Tiny House Press Release

PRESS RELEASE -- For immediate release
Presenting an Affordable Solution to the Housing Crisis
Since the bank bailout, over 5,000,000 US homes have been foreclosed. Can you imagine what our economy would look like today if we built smaller, more affordable homes 10 years ago? The housing crisis is at the crux of our failing economy. The bottom line is that bank lending policies created a housing market fixated on larger and larger homes while ignoring the long term impact to our economy and environment. Unfortunately, we don’t see any indications that change is coming.
   We understand that Occupy Wall Street is divisive and many in the Small House Movement disagree. We also believe that Occupy Wall Street provides the world’s largest stage to bring awareness to a real alternative. Our message is too important to ignore – which is why we continually embrace the opportunity to spread the word wherever we can; from Fox Business News to Al Jazeera TV, and now Occupy Wall Street. On December 13th, 2011, Tumbleweed Founder and Small House Advocate Jay Shafer will go to Occupy Wall Street with a tiny house in tow to suggest a true alternative.

Moon Shots

From Lew Lewandowski

Sunday Morning Bits and Pieces

Politics: I cringe somewhat when posting political stuff, but I've never been good at sticking to one subject. I just happen to be all over the place. Once in a while something in the political arena strikes me. I don't claim to be right and in fact, have a record of naiveté and even polyanna-ish hopes, but these thoughts and observations are all part of my world. Give me Obama, disappointments and all, over any of these dangerous creeps visible in the Republican media circus. I don't have time to get into dialogues on "comments." Just puttin it out there…

Music de este Domingo: Jimmy Reed, "Big Boss Man"
Big boss man,
Can't you hear me when I call?
Big boss man,
Can't you hear me when I call?
Well you not so big,
You just tall, that's all…

It's a great crab season. At night there are a dozen or more lights out in the ocean. Pulling crab pots. Think of the competence and resolve of these fishermen, out on the black ocean at night, getting knocked
around if seas are rough, hauling in heavy traps. tossing under-sized ones, and dumping the rest into boxes, then back to port, Not for the faint-hearted. San Francisco crab dinner: cracked crab, salad, sour-dough garlic bread, red wine.
   It was a much better year for fish in general. Salmon, halibut, rockfish. Great to see all these guys getting wild local fresh food.

Local Oyster Farm Controversy
The Drake's Bay Oyster Company is being threatened by the same well-heeled "environmentalists" that recently forced the shutdown (in the next 5 years) of all trailers parked at Lawson's landing. See my photo-report here: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2011/06/lawsons-landing-under-threat-by.html
"…Some observers see a David versus Goliath struggle, with a federal agency and moneyed environmental groups picking on a family-run business.…" http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/12/10/norcal_oyster_farm_dispute_spreads_to_capitol_hill/?page=2
For a very complete refutation of the National Parks Service's bad science and underhanded tactics (in cooperation with the Environmental Action Committee) in an article by John Hulls and Todd Pickering, see: http://russianrivertimes.wordpress.com/

They've Made a Better Rat Trap (2 of 'em):
The big problem I've had for years is that unless the bait is tied to the trigger, these cunning critters will spirit it away sans springing trap. I was sheet-metal-screwing a ½:"copper plumbing cap to Victor traps, but they would come off. Both these traps have got little cup/triggers you fill (I use Skippy peanut butter) and voila! The springs are also strong. (Got 2 rats last night.)

Woodstream M144 Power Kill Rat Trap

Ortho 0321210 Home Defense Max Secure-Kill Rat Trap

On this subject, here's an article I wrote a few years ago on critters on the homestead for The Mother Earth News: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/Protect-Your-Home-From-Critters.aspx

Homemade Sauerkraut
I got the book Wild Fermentation due to a Cool Tools review: http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/005221.php
Then got this Polish-made crock: http://www.amazon.com/TSM-Products-Fermentation-Liter-capacity/dp/B002UUT4CI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323633345&sr=8-1
It has a lip you fill with water to keep unfriendly bacteria out. Note: If you want weight (recommended), get the 20-liter stones, not the smaller ones. Anyway, sauerkraut (great for digestion) is composed of -- cabbage and salt, nada mas. Simple! First batch worked great. Centuries-old low tech.

Is The Old New Again?
It's not so much that "…the old is new again," but that some of the old is mighty relevant in this day and age. To wit, Otis now singing "I've Been Loving You For Too Long (To Stop Now)," on a vinyl record, live in Paris, 1967, just sent a chill through me…

Sunday Morning Fashionista Revue

Last night (thanks to neighbors Patty and Nick), we watched this documentary. 83-year-old fashion photographer Bill Cunningham rides a bike all over Manhattan and sometimes runs like a kid when stalking camera subjects. "We all get dressed for Bill", says Vogue editor Anna Wintour (Wikipedia). He has a joy in life and is irresistibly good-humored. Toward the end of the movie he says: "He who seeks beauty shall find it."

Bill Cunningham New York Trailer from Gavin McWait on Vimeo.
(Click on "Vimeo," lower right, for larger size video.)

Which reminded me of a unique fashion photographer, Scott Schuman, who documents homemade fashion all over the world:

Builders Using Made in America Building Materials

"If every builder used 5% more American materials, it would create 220,000 jobs right now." http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/0_04vzdsr5/uiconf_id/5590821
From Brendan O'Connor

News Flash!! Jay Shafer Taking His Tumbleweed Tiny House to Occupy Wall Street NYC

Jay is kicking it up a notch. He's on his way to NYC. Brilliant! 
'When I found out that living in a tiny house is illegal, I just had to get myself into one. This is the coziest form of civil disobedience I’ve found. It’s the tiny Trojan horse with curb appeal'.…Jay Shafer is headed towards Wall Street, fully cognizant of the pepper spray and billy clubs that have increasingly intimidated those who have chosen to freely assemble. He knows that when a society puts consumption over safety, it not only depletes bank accounts, causes citizens to face possible disclosure, but risks residences with enhanced dangers of earthquakes, floods and fires, one of the unfortunate by-products over larger houses. It is the time for him to speak out. The Small House is coming, Wall Street. Viva la tiny revolution!…"

(There are 6 pages on Jay's Tumbleweed houses in our Tiny Homes book. He's been on Oprah, the Today show, was the subject of a New Yorker article last month.)

Unbelievable Skateboarding

Thanks to D. B. Day IV

My MacBook Air and 77-year-old High School Friends

It's early morning and I'm in San Francisco, with my 11" MacBook Air (the single most beautiful tool I've ever owned), with a latte at Caffé Roma. Ex-mayor and uber-politico Willie Brown is being filmed here, at another table. Talking about something or other. Willie dresses impeccably.
   At noon I'm meeting friends from Lowell High School, Class of '52, for lunch at Schroeder's 100-year old German restaurant. San Francisco natives, an endangered species… Next year will be our 60th reunion, ulp!

Relativity and Tomorrow Night's Full Moon

Yesterday late afternoon, when an almost-full moon had risen over the ridge, Lew informed Rick and me that if you have somone hold a quarter up and view it from a distance of 8 feet, it will be the same size as the full moon. Sure enough it worked.
In the Chinese Zodiac, this is the year of the Hare. Next year, ta-da! -- The Dragon. Who knows, maybe things will get kicked up a notch. Maybe things need to get kicked up a notch.

Beer, Sausages, and Aretha

Last night I drove over the mountain to meet with my running friends for our semi-annual-or-so sausagefest. I took Lesley's Mini, and played "Aretha's Gold," a masterpiece of an album produced by Jerry Wexler. "Respect" at high volume oh yes! You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman, Chain chain chain, chain of fools...a beautiful dark cold moonlit night, gemütlichkeit inside a cozy cabin…

Water Towers from Around the World


Milano's Vertical Forest

"Did you know that Milan is one of the most polluted cities in Italy? Apparently urban sprawl and increased emissions are major causes for slumping air quality in the international fashion capital. So Italian architect Stefano Boeri has formulated an unusual plan to give the city back what it’s lacking: namely, some greenery.
Bosco Verticale is Italian for 'Vertical Forest.' The project took inspiration from traditional Italian towers covered in ivy. Boeri has simply multiplied the amount of foliage to a dramatic degree, envisioning residential buildings that resemble tall boxy trees. Each apartment unit has a balcony attached, with a lush garden enveloping the structure. The two towers will provide roots for 900 trees, as well as plenty of shrubbery and other floral vegetation. Their footprint, when flattened, is equal to 10,000 square meters of forest. Bosco Verticale provides a plan to make reforestation possible within the confines of a developed city.…"
(The above is a rendering, but the project is well underway.)

Low Tide, Mud Flats, Seaweed

Beach Art

Just ran across this photo, a detail of beach art, from a few months ago. I've got tons of photos I just can't get to.

From Fair Companies: Tiny, portable, prefab cube shelters in medieval French town

From Fair Companies of Barcelona, which has a ton of great videos of tiny homes, and people doing real things: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/tiny-portable-prefab-cube-shelters-in-medieval-french-town/

Chance Encounters of Good Music

Last week I was driving home around midnight through San Rafael. Checked out 4th Street Tavern, no one there, then into Fairfax, went in through Peri's swinging wooden doors, . No kidding, just like a western movie. This rockabilly trio, The Continentals, was playing -- really good.. Two other people at the bar. One woman in 40s, the other maybe 60. And me, audience of 3.

Years ago, I was in northern Massachusetts on a press check, driving a rental car on a rainy night. I got some fish and chips and saw a bar on a corner that said "Live Music." $3 cover charge. Maybe 20 people in audience, and an absolute kick-ass little rock 'n roll band. One guy had a bad complexion -- not darling boys like the Beatles, but they were musicians in a groove. Channeling the Stones, raw and pure.

I treasure these unanticipated moments of good music. Little bands. Obscure bars. No stress. Oh yeah, there was that night at a bar in Victoria, the sun hadn't even gone down…

Obama Comes Out Swinging

I just happened to hear him on the radio while driving around yesterday, and by golly, he was hot!. Talking at a high school in Kansas,  It was like Destry Rides Again, putting away the umbrella and taking out the 6-guns. This is the guy I voted for. Blast these greedy motherfuckers!

If I'm not mistaken, he was voicing the tenets of the Occupy guys. Can it be Prez got message?

The "…president’s starkest attack on what he described as the 'breathtaking greed' that contributed to the economic turmoil still reverberating around the nation. At one point, he noted that the average income of the top 1 percent — adopting the marker that has been the focus of the Occupy movement — has gone up by more than 250 percent, to $1.2 million a year."

Jeez, I hope he keeps it up.

Someone said to me yesterday, "People are rising up all over the world and saying "What the fuck?"

Elvis on the radio right now doing "Stuck on You."

Wondermill Grain Mill

For 30 years we had an electric stoneground flour mill. It finally gave out and I got a steel-ground mill, and is it great. I realize the stoneground is the better way to go, but the new mill is so fast (20 times as fast), it's a joy to use. We're grinding most of our own flour for bread etc. We grind organic California short-grain brown rice for cream of rice cereal. Easy to cook, delicious (a little butter, dark sugar, milk), and it's a meal of whole grains, freshly ground. I also use it to grind whole oats (called groats) into flour to make sourdough pancakes. No wheat. They're delicious, and thanks to the sourdough, chewy. Fresh ground whole grains. Easy to do. http://www.thewondermill.com/

Deek Diedrickson 's Next Book

Deek Diedrickson, the guy who puts the fun into the tiny homes movement, is working on a sequel to his charming book of tiny homes, Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts: And Whatever the Heck Else We Could Squeeze in Here -- a funny, inspiring, informative and friendly scrapbook of plans. He plans to draw up 60 cabins, shacks, etc. in the next 60 days (and worries that doing so is a death wish).

National Enviro Group Smears Local Oyster Farm

Posted on November 28, 2011, Russian River Times by John Hulls & Todd Pickering
"The National Parks Conservation Association’s (NPCA) campaign against the presence of historic Drakes Bay Oyster Company farm (DBOC) in Point Reyes National Seashore has a readily apparent pattern of inflammatory press releases and petitions timed to influence public input. The allegations in these press releases and petitions from NPCA and its coalition show a reckless disregard for the truth, using incendiary language such as, “threats to endangered species”, “repeal of the Wilderness Act”, “causing the deaths of harbor seals”, “wiping out endangered eel grass” and a host of other words and misinformation designed to shock the public into responding to public comment periods for National Park Service actions and to their legislators. These releases are distributed to a wide range of national and local environmental groups who re-release them, creating an echo-chamber of misinformation. None of their charges are true.…"
Long article with pics at: http://russianrivertimes.wordpress.com/

Old School Meets eBooks

It's true. I started out with hot lead. Editor of the Sembach Jet Gazette at Sembach Air Force Base in Germany, 1958-60. a twice-monthly paper, it was printed in Kaiserslautern using linotype machines, hot lead made into slugs, then stacked by hand in trays for the presses. I loved going in for press checks. It was medeival.
   Next came the IBM Composer (have I gone through this before? Well, if you insist…) It was a $10,000 "selectric" typewriter with those ball fonts. To go from Roman to Italic, you manually replaced one font with another. It had a 3000-bit memory. It was used by newspapers for maybe 10 years (as well as by the Whole Earth Catalog and our first 20 or so books). Pages assembled (pasted up) by hand for printers.

Then along came the Mac. And cut to…

eBooks. I was listening to some very sharp people discussing the new eWorld, 300% growth for eBooks, looking like another 300% growth this year -- whew!

Well, what can a poor boy do? (Except to sing for a rock 'n roll band…)

I'm listening to all the dire news for physical books, and the rosy future of eBooks, and thinking about the book we just finished, after 2 years' work. We keep looking at the few advance copies we have here, and it looks SO good. A lot of this due to Paramount Printers. The paper is high quality (and FSC etc.), it's got a sparkle. The builders come alive.

It's a journey you hold in your hand, a physical presence, a work of art. It's a a real …book!