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71 year Old Skateboarder/Tightrope Walker/Kayaker/Juggler/Potter/Inventor

*As we age, many of us have a fatal flaw that can lead to a fatal fall -- we lose our balance, stability and coordination.
Stephen Jepson says he can change that for everyone. And as a bonus, he believes it can help you build brain cells, develop neural pathways and prevent or delay Alzheimer's and dementia.
What is his prescription? Play!
Stephen believes the key to never losing your balance -- or your mind -- is in the games and activities of our youth.…"
Sent me by my brother Bob a few moments ago

22-yr-old French Student's $650 Art Studio

Hi Lloyd!
My name is Richard, 22 years old; I’m a student in arts & crafts in France and a great fan of your work. In fact I think I owe you so much that I could never thank you enough for publishing Shelter, Homework, The Barefoot Architect, Tiny Homes… and so many great books.
   Then I allow myself to introduce you an artwork-workshop-cabin I’ve been building during that year with 500€ (around $650 I guess. It’s a project named “Le Château Suisse” (“The Swiss Castle” – an obviously ironic name), a utopian workshop I made in order to draw my comic books and do some woodworking inside. I built (and I’m still building) this in the yard of my school, as a sculptural project – in fact a living experiment and an exercise on carpentry. The main purpose, still, was to be inside and outside my school at the same time, and to re-invent the art school workshop with rules of my own.

A lilliputian approach to living

Published on Fri, May 25, 2012, in All Point Bulletin, by Margot Griffiths
"…Out in the garden I can see just how productive one eighth of an acre can be. A small greenhouse is filled with tomato starts, and around it are berry, melon and veggie plants. A cloud of real lavender covers the septic system. A beehive sits off to the side and most exciting to Jamie is the distinctive sound of the queen bee as she is preparing for her maiden flight, “her honeymoon,” Shawn says. Few would recognize it, but it sounds like “meep, meeeep.” “It’s called piping,” Jamie explains. “The first time I heard it was like a quadruple shot of espresso!”

Scrap Metal Fire-snorting Dragon at Maker Faire

Wonderful sculpture,Check out legs of old tires, look like muscles. A caveat, though, about this and the multitude of fire-snorting gizmos at the Maker Faire. They're burning up a lot of non-renewable propane. It's like the time for lighting houses with lavish Christmas lights is way over. Stop pissing it away.

Pic of Godfrey Stephens' Studio, Victoria BC, Canada

Going through some of my pics from recent trips…

Natural Curves: Organic ‘Wood Wave’ Floating Home Design

"Outside and in, from the curved wood cladding to the swooping wooden ceilings, this undulating houseboat design by Robert Oshatz evokes the dynamic movement of the river water on which it floats.…" http://shltr.net/JfDMPG

Tiny Skateboarders

From Termite Skateboards, a website with kids as young as 3 who skate:
Allysha Le Bergado/DOB: 6/25/96/Age: 10
About Me: My name is Allysha Bergado and I luuuuuuuuuuuvvvvvv to Sk8board!!!!!! I am 10 years old and I have been skateboarding for 3 years. I am mostly a vert skater but I can also ride street. I love to learn new tricks and I love to sk8 with all of my friends. I love to skate everyday and rock out on my guitar, I can also play the piano. One of my goals is to become a pro sk8er one day!!!!!!!

End of the Road: Mini-helicopter Film of Party in Remote BC

Jonaven Moore and friends having a party at his "caboose" in the British Columbia woods; shot by Jeff Patterson with a remote controlled midget helicopter:

GIMME SHELTER Newsletter May 15, 2012

GIMME SHELTER is an email newsletter I send out to about 600 people every few months, mainly to people in the book trade, but to friends as well. Here's the latest, on Tiny Homes and my relentless road tour:

Family Builds Tiny Home in Georgia

"BARNESVILLE -- Andrew Odom and his family raised the first wall of their tiny house Thursday, on a trailer in his dad’s backyard. It took three guys to pick up the whole thing.
We’re talking really tiny. Including its small loft, the house will be 258 square feet. But the plan includes all the comforts of home, including a stove for gourmet cooking, a baby crib and a Sleep Number bed.…"

Elegant Smart

Ocean Kayak Fishing in Santa Cruz

I saw this rig yesterday, and pulled over to shoot a photo. Steve told me he'd pulled the rig from his home to the yacht harbor at 8 AM, maybe 2 miles, gone out and caught 10 rockfish (stowed neatly away) and was on his way home. It was rigged intelligently, rods, rod holders, etc. Steve has thought it through.This isn't just fishing, it's eco fishing. He's going from home to the water -- no gasoline -- propelling himself around the ocean by hand (paddle) -- no gasoline -- getting back home with high quality fresh food. Perfect.

Incredible Evening of Music

OK, I'm not going to say it was the best musical event I've ever attended. (Even if it was.) No.
   I got back from skateboarding (on 2 new skateboards) on some nice down-sloping neighborhood streets in Soquel with a new friend, Tim (another story, was it fun!) about 6:45 last night.
   I saw in the local paper that Hills to Hollers, a group of three women, was playing that night at the Kuumbawa Club - - "American roots music." Moreover, it started at 7 PM, my kinda time for a musical event. I hustled over to the club and heard the sweetest 3-part harmony as I walked in. It was an utterly magnificent evening of music, a rare time when every single person in the packed room was on the same wave length.
   The women, (l-r in pic) Barbara Higbie, Linda Tillery, and Laurie Lewis are unbelievably skilled musicians. Fiddles, mandolin, guitar, banjo and a jazz/blues piano solo by Barbara (fiddler at left) above, that left everyone stunned.
   Bluegrass, blues, spirituals (as opposed to gospels), soul, every single song brilliant. Linda, at drums, grew up in Texas, said that when she was a little girl, her mom played Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" over and over, and Linda did a unique cover, channeling Hank's poetry and pain into a gorgeous rendition.
  There were times when the harmonies were so beautiful, I'd close my eyes and breathe deeply and feel like I was about to go airborne. Really.
   They talked about roots stuff. Like in the 1700s, hand drumming was outlawed (in every state but Louisiana), so the slaves transferred the rhythm of the drums to vocals. That spirituals quote the bible whereas gospel is a 20th century invention. Jesus is not referred to in spirituals. Then they did "Let Your Hammer Ring." The group is so new they're not to be found online. I don't know where they might play next, but there's an event in Berkeley on June 12th to raise money for Linda's knee operation, with Linda and a bunch of other musicians: http://www.freightandsalvage.org/linda-tillerys-new-knee-fundraiser
   I got out of there at 9, went to Bookstore Santa Cruz, then got a root beer float at the Penny Ice Creamery, was back at motel by 10 PM.

Surfrider Cafe

She Wants A Tiny Home!

This little girl stood there and went through every page of Tiny Homes (yesterday).

Shelter Booth at Maker Faire

Evan and Lew at our booth. Lew set the whole thing up by himself Friday afternoon. (I'm at Verve barista center in Santa Cruz Monday morning, going back over photos from last few days. all shot with my new Canon Powershot S100, as well as a Sony Cybershot panoramic-enabled Exmoor.)

Over the Hills and Out To the Sea

I did my 13th slide show yesterday at the Maker Faire, and, worn out by a lot of intense (and gratifying) encounters, I decided to sneak over the Pacific coastal range, and head to what is really, in heart of hearts, my town. Santa Cruz, I love thee still. Despite all the changes. I still feel relaxed and happy in Santa Cruz. (I was at Stanford in the mid-50s and ended up spending more time in SC than I did in Palo Alto.) The beaches and ocean are as beautiful as ever. There's a mellowness and laid-backedness that tells you you're south of big oh-so cultured San Francisco; SC is 15% of the distance to LA from SF, and there's about that percentage of LA fun and frolic vibes in the air. Kick back.
   I set my GPS for Half Moon Bay and went over the hills approaching coastal fog and lo and behold there were cars parked everywhere on the roadsides. I'd forgotten about the eclipse. People were out with darkened glass or other devices to view the eclipse. I had none of these, but lucked out in the fog out at the coast.
   I'm hiding out here for a couple of days, getting some writing done, going skating in the hills tonight with friends, getting some solitude to recharge.

Author Laments Having To Use Social Media, Refuses to Tweet

"…The publishing world is currently in a state of cluelessness and desperation roughly analogous to Hollywood circa 1970, when the counterculture was ascendant, musicals and epics were tanking at the box office, and the studio’s reasoning was, Let’s give some hippies a camera and a million bucks and see if they can make something The Kids’ll want to see…"
Article by By Tim Krieder in NY Times, published: May 19, 2012

Mini Books for Mini People

Is this fun! I've been walking around the Maker Faire handing out the mini Tiny Homes books (2" x 2") to kids. I search the crowds for kids with life, or light in their eyes, and hand them one. Bingo! Delight.
   This is Tristan, who came to our booth riding on his dad's shoulders. I asked dad if OK to put on blog and he said, "Sure, he's already a model for Pottery Barn.
   I also search out people who look alive, especially like surfer and skater dudes, or builders or gardeners. Everyone gets it.

Tumbleweed Tiny House a Hit at Maker Faire

There were long lines all day at Tumbleweed's tiny home. The Maker Faire (2012, San Mateo) has good vibes this year. Huge crowds, sunny skies, an instant village of creative people for 2 days. I had a great crowd for my tiny homes talk last night, doing another one tonight. The speakers before me were talking about backyard chickens and they had a sellout crowd. Who would've thought (40 years ago) that all these Whole Earth Catalog concepts would take such root today…

Mikal Jakubal's Strawbale Vault, Redway, California

Architect Bob Theis describes the structural details: "…gabions ( rock-filled heavy wire cages) as the foundation instead of concrete, and bracing his two story space with bale buttresses that are roofed over to create storage and social spaces north and south of the interior.
Heavy wire mesh on both sides of the bale walls and roof transfers the wind and earthquake loads to the foundation.…"
Above pic: http://shltr.net/MsMU99
Construction sequence: http://shltr.net/KqbHGd