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French Carpenters Yogan and Menthe's New Dock/base

This came in a few days ago from Yogan, a carpenter in southwest France, whose treehouse is shown in Tiny Homes (pp 154-55).
"Lloyd, i see sometime your blog and i see that you make a new book "wheels and water." With my collaborator carpintero (his name is Menthé) we made a new shelter, the principle is a base from 15m² so you can connect 2 trucks (my mercedes and the volkwagen of menthé). The base serves as kitchen, office, bathroom …with a wood stove, and the truck serves as bedroom.…
If you come in france you're welcome
See construction photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/108938182056636113134/ConstructionCambane?locked=true&feat=email

New Small Prefabs From Ikea

"Swedish furniture company IKEA, has collaborated with Oregon architectural firm Ideabox, to launch its first line of prefabricated houses in the U.S., named the “Aktiv.” The IKEA-themed dwelling is a one-bedroom home centered around space-saving furniture and products. The hip and modern house was outfitted taking into consideration the demands from Pacific-Northwest homeowners, and is designed to be eco-friendly. It is equipped with facilities such as a dual-flush toilet and energy-star electronics. A combination of fiber-cement siding, corrugated metal, and a standing-seam metal roof make up the exterior of this all-in-one home.
…includes Tundra maple flooring, Pax wardrobes, and Abstrakt cabinets.… The Aktiv, Swedish for active, is expected to be priced at US$79,500.…"
I'm showing this, not because I love it, but because it's of interest. I believe it's 750 sq. ft.

Slide Show at Gravel & Gold Last Friday Night

This was totally fun. Unexpected treat: Aimee Kibbe, an artist/free spirit from Nevada City, presented me with this handmade Shelter doll. The embroidery on the left trouser leg is the Jaime de Angulo sketch from the first page of our 1973 book Shelter.

Photos by Lisa Foti-Strauss
See: http://gravelandgold.com/blog/ for more photos

Separated At Birth

I've been talking to a guy named Sandy Jacobs off and on over the past few months. We met because both of us have houses featured in a new Rizzoli book by Richard Olsen called Handmade Houses. (Mine was a house I built in Big Sur in the 60s and Sandy's is his ellipsoid/spiral big timber home on a steep Marin County hillside.)
  I visited Sandy a few hours ago and here's what we discovered:

Family of Four in 540 Sq. Ft. Home

"Located on Sauvie Island, just North of Portland Oregon, Jessica and her husband live with their two children in a mere 540 square feet of space. Yes, you read that right, five hundred and forty square feet! Their tiny house sits on 5 acres of property and the Helgerson’s remodelled it using only reclaimed materials, choosing not to add to its existing footprint…a daring choice for a family of four!…"

Stop Google From Tracking Your Web Activity

"March 1 is the day Google's new unified privacy policy goes into effect, which means your Google Web History will be shared among all of the Google products you use.
   Do you know if Google is tracking your Web activity? If you have a Google account (for, say, Gmail) and have not specifically located and paused the Web History setting, then the search giant is keeping track of your searches and the sites you visited. This data has been separated from other Google products, but on March 1 it will be shared across all of the Google products you use when Google's new privacy policy goes into effect.
   If you'd like to prevent Google from combining this potentially sensitive data with the information it has collected from your YouTube, Google+, and other Google accounts, you can remove your Web History and stop it from being recorded moving forward."
From Lew Lewandowski
I just checked my account and found that they had a record of every search I'd done.No thanks! I removed it all.

Maybe the Best Feedback on Tiny Homes Yet

From 73-year-old lady "I fuckin love it!"

Beach Graffiti Late February 2012

Pedal-powered Shanty Boat

Scan down the thumbnails for lots of good tiny homes info

Jim Richardson: “Heirlooms: Saving Humanity's 10,000-year Legacy of Food”

“…For 9,900 years,” Richardson said, “we’ve been building up variety in domesticated crops and livestock---this whole wealth of specific solutions to specific problems.  For the last 100 years we’ve been throwing it away.”  95% is gone.  In the US in 1903 there were 497 varieties of lettuce; by 1983 there were only 36 varieties.  (Also changed from 1903 to 1983: sweet corn from 307 varieties to 13; peas from 408 to 25; tomatoes from 408 to 79; cabbage from 544 to 28.)  Seed banks have been one way to slow the rate of loss.  The famous seed vault at Svalbard serves as backup for the some 1,300 seed banks around the world.  The great limitation is that seeds don’t remain viable for long.  They have to be grown out every 7 to 20 years, and the new seeds returned to storage.…"
-Stewart Brand's summary of Jim Richardson's talk in San Francisco last Wednesday: http://longnow.org/seminars/02012/feb/22/heirlooms-saving-humanitys-10000-year-legacy-food/

Friday in The City

Just before I did the slide show, along came 100s of cyclists down Valencia, turning on to 21st St. Boisterous, friendly, loud. I'd never seen "Critical Mass" before. Worldwide now, started in SF 1982.

"What is Critical Mass?
Critical Mass is a mass bicycle ride that takes place on the last Friday of each month in cities around the world. Everyone is invited! No one is in charge! Bring your bike!"

Doorway on 21st Street. I love wandering the city with camera. Country hick: "Wow! Look at that!"

I think San Francisco is culturally rich right now.

Back to the Blog

I have to admit I'm big on epiphanies. That said, this one was in recognizing that over the last year, with the accelerated work that always goes along with finishing (and printing) a book, I'd been checking email and blogging on weekends. Ulp!
   I've decided to knock off the the e-Stuff over the weekends, to get back to a better balance between the world of the Mac and the world of physical reality.
   I realized that in my email box there are continually deadlines, rushes, things that need attention tout suite. Also realized that one doesn't have to respond instantly. Been-there-done-that. So I'm gonna kick it down a notch. Doing book signings here and there in the next 3 months, but by golly on some of the days in between I'm gonna get away from the keyboard. More clamming, crabbing, and fishing. More sleeping on beaches. Get going on our Water and Wheels book in the summer.
   This weekend I got a lot of backed-up stuff done in the shop. Sharpened chainsaw, fixed clock, greased bearings of boat trailer, set gopher traps (the little fuckers got 4 of my six cabbages), cleaned up clutter on floor and benches in shop, etc.
   On Friday I'd gone into San Francisco and had a great day and night, more to follow…
Firehouse in South San Francisco on Friday

Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Post Independent Article on Treehouse in Tiny Homes

"…Kahn had seen pictures of Novy and Rasmussen's tree house online, and requested that it be included in his new book. Novy wrote the entry that's included in the 218-page book, stating:
   'In this modern age of architecture we have, by necessity, become focused on efficiency in every aspect of a building's design. So, it is a rare opportunity for an architect to be able to design a structure whose sole purpose is enlightening the spirit.'
   The tree house was designed “for fun, frivolity, and fantasy,” reads the book entry.
   Although the tree house is not designed as a living space, it does have electricity and heat, and serves as a “quiet, meditative, relaxing” place for kids and adults alike to hang out.…"

4A Suspended Wood Cabin Creates Extra Living Space in San Francisco

"In dense urban centers, it can be hard to find extra space for people to live: there's just no room left. But artists Mark A. Reigelman II and Jenny Chapman have found an unlikely space to install a rustic, wooden cabin: on the side of a San Francisco building, three stories up and suspended above a restaurant.…"
Thanks to Bob Massengale
From David Shipway