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Mountain Bike Mounted on Motorcycle

"Here is one of the better autophotos Degfrip has to offer, Ryan Worcester is the man, in this series of photos he shares some of the moments that bicycle riding, and the off beaten path have taken him."

For my first encounter with Ratman and his naughty-named website, see: http://bit.ly/LJSoHS

Mountain Bike Mounted on Motorcycle

For my first encounter with Ratman, see:

Two Boats

The spiffy sailboat was anchored in Coupeville. The big boat is one of 1000s of boats in drydock in Anacortes, which is a boat wonderland. This morning I'm heading over to SunRay Kelley's place near Cedro Woolley to photograph the latest in his prolific building career, then tomorrow to Puyallup for the Mother Earth News Fair. James Brown now playing in the bakery, Poppa's Got a Brand New Bag. He ain't no drag…

Roadside Photos Yesterday

These guys were just landing a fish (in a lake near the spectacular Deception Pass Bridge). Check out the lines of the boat

Rock and Roll on Country Road in Washington

Above: tidy, tight, trim  building in Coupeville, Washington. I love the colors.
Get into Seattle around 11AM yesterday, go to pick up my Budget economy rental car and get upgraded to a blue Mustang since they are out of economy cars. Vawoom! I head to Mukliteo to catch the ferry to Whidbey Island, since I want to go to Anacortes to check out fishing boats. (I'm looking for an aluminum boat in the 15-17' range that can handle getting out through waves.)
   Pretty soon I'm driving down the road on Whidbey with all 9 of the radio stations preset to R&R and jazz. Brand new road -- nothing like it. Exploring the unexplored, hunting with cameras. The Stones , Thelonius Monk, a — get this  — reggae song in Spanish, within fiddles, on the French (Canadian) station, Da me ague, da me pan, da me fuero, da me amor,  terrific song, but can't find it anywhere…
   I ask a guy on the ferry about a place to get lunch and he recommends Toby's Tavern in Coupeville, a gem of a tiny town on the water. A 70-year-old good-vibes, good-beer, good-food bar looking out on the bay. I have a few (ahem) glasses of inky Black Butte porter (on tap) and local mussels with garlic bread. Visit the local bookstore, get a maple nut (homemade-style) waffle ice cream cone, crank the Mustang back up, crank the radio back up, and make my way to Anacortes. The elephant (of concrete) was just in a field all alone. Kinda perfect. Now it's Thursday morning, and I've sussed out the La Crema Cakes bakery in Anacortes, with an excellent apple turnover and a latte and wi-fi. Right now, Johnny Otis' band on radio doing Willy and the Hand Jive…
I know a cat named Way Out Willie
He's got a cool little chick named Rockin' Millie
He can walk and stroll and Susie Q
And do that crazy hand jive too…

Small (Not Tiny) Homes

"For the past 7 years Smallworks has constructed small, beautiful, affordable and sustainable lane houses in Vancouver, Canada. Working with licensed architects in practice for over 20 years, and exceeding the green building practices for Vancouver's Green Home Program, we offer a variety of pre-approved lane house designs as well as custom built lane houses and small homes"

Tiny Homes Now an eBook!

Rick Gordon has produced an in-house state-of-the-art, fixed-layout EPUB version of Tiny Homes, which accurately replicates the design and content of the print version. It is extensively hyperlinked, with zoomable images and text. I have not seen any ebook this complex (1300 photos) in all of the Apple world. We are thrilled with it.

It can be read on an iPad or iPhone that has iOS 5 (or higher) installed and a current version of the iBooks app (available for free from the App Store, if not already installed). Note: This is not a PDF nor an app.

It's available in the Apple iBookstore at http://shltr.net/tinyhomes-ibooks. You can download free sample pages (38 selected pages) to check it out. It is $13.99. If you get the eBook, you can get the print book for a 40% discount.

Recipient of the 2012 Nautilus Silver Award in the category of Green Living.

Dan Wright, Technical Manager for CircularFLO (the software Rick used) in an email to Rick titled "Your masterpiece…," wrote: "(This) is the most impressive Fixed Layout EPUB I have ever seen."

We'd appreciate you spreading the word about this if you can. Blog it or Tweet it or Facebook it. It's really good. I guar-an-tee it.

Monday Morning Musings

Off the Clock I ran -- well, ambled over -- the Dipsea Trail last week with my running buddies. I started real early. It was the first time in 20 years I've run the (7+) mile course without a certain amount of stress and a definite amount of pain. The upside, of course, is the beauty of the trail and the lore and romance of the race. We all had fine dinners at the Parkside in Stinson Beach (they have a knockout inky black porter on tap), gemütlicheit of all these healthy people.
  I was forced to quit by knees that would no longer take the hard downhills (where I had to make up for being a slow uphill runner). Being forced into racing retirement has huge benefits. Running, if I do now, for the joy of it. Off the clock. No hurry, no need to train, hey, there's a lot of other stuff to do!

Look Where You Want To Go This is what a pro mountain biker told me. Meaning when you're say, going fast downhill in rough terrain, look at where you want your front tire to go, don't look at the immediate foreground. Look ahead and your body will make the adjustments and get you there. Same principle in life. Focus on where you want to go and by golly, you'll usually get there. Athletes know this.

Our Next TWO Books I'm starting on Water and Wheels: Tiny Homes On the Move as soon as I get back from this (my last) PR road trip. I'm going to start the book with mobile units by one guy -- tent, dogsled, umiak, sailboat, birchbark canoes, road van -- all created from scratch by Mark Hansen, a prolific and remarkable builder living on the shores of Lake Superior.
  The second book, due to a flash yesterday, will maybe be on Small Homes, say under 1000 sq.ft. We're starting to collect info, so if you know of unique home in this category, please leave a comment with yr. email address and we'll be in touch. It's either a book like this, or a second tiny homes book. Just have to see what shakes out.

My Last Tiny Homes Roadshow Trip I'm leaving tomorrow morning for Seattle, renting a car, hoping to both go to a somewhat remote hot springs and then to SunRay Kelley's Sedro Woolley compound to photograph his latest works, if time, out to Anacortes, to check out aluminum fishing boats (in the 15' range), then drive to Puyallup to do a slide show at the Mother Earth News Fair at 4 PM on Saturday June 2d, then Sunday to NYC for the annual Book Expo America and a slide show at the v. cool Spoonbill and Sugartown bookstore in Brooklyn, Wed. June 6 at 7 PM. I'm so excited to be going to NYC; it's been a 40-year love affair. When the cab hits 2nd, 3rd avenues my pulse starts racing. Absolutely station central. I'll be blogging up a storm from there.

Tiny Home in Oakland of Recycled Materials- $5K

"The Oakland Tiny House is a 120 square foot dwelling on a trailer chassis in Oakland CA. The house will feature a full kitchen, composting toilet, outdoor shower, sleeping loft custom built in furniture and a fireplace. The siding is reclaimed redwood fensing and flooring is maple re-purposed from an old roller skating rink in Petaluma. total construction costs so far: $5000. Currently under construction, but almost finished!"

Secret NorCal Ocean Cave

NorCal Beach

On the coast last week, I stopped at the Chart House in Montara to have a look. It appears closed. I'd never seen the beach just below it.

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…

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:

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.)

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…

Off to Maker Faire Tomorrow

This is a huge event. The orientation is science/math/robot/gizmo (Burning Man lite), but there's a corner called the Homegrown Village, where I'll be doing Tiny Homes slide shows Saturday, May 19 at 5:30 PM, Sunday, May 20 at 5 PM.
The Faire is a photographer's cornucopia.
Gen. info: http://makerfaire.com/
Homegrown Village schedule (including gardening, coffee, beekeeping, backyard chickens, etc.): http://shltr.net/KZt0jS
Cool smartphone app for event by O'Reilly: Maker Faire

In Praise of Barns

I've always loved barns. Whenever I drive in the country, I seek them out. I shoot photos from the outside, and invariably, since they are seldom locked, from the inside. Many is the time I've stepped inside a barn and been stunned by the beauty. The architecture of necessity. My kind of cathedral.
   For years I've been meaning to do a book on barns, and have quite a collection of barn books. (This isn't all of them.)
   I just discovered a drop-dead book of barn photos. I read it in bed last night and ended up putting about 20 markers in on pages with beautiful photos.
   It's Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana, by Chere Justo & Christine W.Brown, with photos by Tom Ferris. It's the best barn book I've ever seen (and all these barns are in the state of Montana!). See: http://shltr.net/tomsbarns for lots of photos from the book.

LK Radio Interview in Minnesota

When I was in Minnesota, I did a radio interview in Grand Marais at radio station WTIP; this transcription just arrived. I talk about the tiny homes book, the '60s, and the new generation (20 yr olds) who are discovering the Shelter book.
  I also did a GIMME SHELTER newsletter last week, which I send out to about 600 people at erratic intervals. It's here: I'm in this 3-month promo blitz (well, blitz for me), and I feel a little odd about all the self-promo, but by golly, it's just the way things work these days. My goal is to get people to pick up the book and look at it.

Nice Little Lightweight Trailer

In Grand Marais, Minnesota last week. (I'll be going through photos from recent trips and posting them once in a while.)

I like the awning here. All v. tidy.

2 Great Old Books on Building

Recently someone told me about these 2 books and I got both of them used. How to Build Your Home in the Woods by Bradford Angier (1952) is on building a log cabin (and rustic furniture and details like door latches etc.). The Sunset Cabin Plan Book is a gem from 1938, with drawings and floor plans for very small homes. It's like the predecessor of Lester Walker's (also excellent) Tiny Houses. Check out Amazon and also Abebooks (which is often cheaper than Amazon on used books).

Banner Year Expected For Local Salmon

Janny Hu, May 6, 2012, SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle): http://shltr.net/KnjCUX
"…Now, thanks to better water management and ocean conditions, biologists are predicting that as many as 820,000 fish - the most in at least seven years - will return to spawn in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta this year.…"
It's so great when there's good news like this. Drawing is from one of my treasured books, The Fishes of Alaska, printed 1907 by the Bureau of Fisheries, US Department of Commerce and Labor. The pen and ink drawings are delicately hand tinted.

Foggy Coastal Sunset Last Night

On my way home from running last night, I nosed the truck over to a little pull-off spot on the edge of the cliff.

Anyone Have Recommendations on Hearing Aids?

I need to get one (my latest road trip proved that), but I'm reluctant to get a $2000-$3000 one because I know I'm going to forget about it and jump in the ocean or in a creek or wash my hair. I just don't have the constant presence of mind to remember to take it out when I get wet (which is often). At the other end of the price scale are $39.95 hearing aids (well, amplifiers), so I figure that there must be hearing aids in the $300-$500 zone that are in between. Anyone have any experience?

Tiny Books for Tiny Persons

Loved the slideshow on Denman Island, my daughter loves the Tiny Tiny Homes book - thanks Lloyd!
Tony Goodwin

Interview of Lloyd on Boing Boing

Making Shelter Simple: An Interview with Lloyd Kahn By Avi Solomon at 1:07 pm Tuesday, May 15.
It's a pretty long interview, along with an audio track. It's nice when a journalist gets it right. Here's the beginning:
Avi Solomon: What do you see in your childhood that pointed you onto the path that your life took?
Lloyd Kahn: When I was a kid I had a little workbench with holes in it, and the holes were square or round or triangular. And you had to pick the right little piece of wood block and hammer it in with a little wooden hammer. And so I'd hammer with it, put the round dowel into the round hole, and hammer it through. And then maybe the most formative thing was when I was twelve - I helped my dad build a house. It had a concrete slab floor, and concrete block walls. And my job was shoveling sand and gravel and cement into the concrete mixer for quite a while. We'd go up there and work on weekends. One day we got the walls all finished, and we were putting a roof on the carport, and I got to go up on the roof. They gave me a canvas carpenter's belt, a hammer and nails, and I got to nail down the sheathing. And I still remember that, kneeling on the roof nailing, the smell of wood on a sunny day. And then I worked as a carpenter when I was in college, on the docks. I just always loved doing stuff with my hands.…"

Click here for the whole interview: http://boingboing.net/2012/05/15/making-shelter-simple-an-inte.html

Photo in Garden This Foggy Morning

Colors are best in the fog. I shoot collages, rather than using a wide angle lens setting, because the proportions look about right to me through a 50 or so mm lens. Click on it to enlarge.

51 Baby Chicks Arrive Today

Got a call from the post office at 8AM this morning that they had arrived, airmail from the Murray McMurray Hatchery in Webster City, Iowa. All bantams: 30 Golden Seabrights, 10 Auracanas, 2 Partridge Rocks, 4 Rhode Island Reds. 4 Japanese Bantams, 1 "free rare exotic chick."
  I picked them up and we put them in a box under a warm infrared light and dipped their beaks into water for their first drink. The Seabrights are quite tiny, quite beautiful, and fragile. 6 have died so far -- par for the course. They can't sex bantams, so we order twice as many as we want in in order to get the right # of hens. We'll keep one Seabright rooster to eventually hatch more of them. Excess roosters will be offed for barbecue. We'll use the Rhode Islands as setters (the full-size Rhode Islands never set, but the bantams retain the setting instinct).
   I spent the weekend building a separate yard for the babies; otherwise they would be attacked by the grown-ups when small.

Thunderbird Park in Victoria

Victoria pays tribute to British Columbia's original people with Thunderbird Park, right in downtown Victoria. The present totems were carved by master carver Mungo Martin in the 1950s, chief of the Fort Rupert branch of the Kwakwaka'wakw (commonly referred to as Kwaikiutl) tribe. My friend, artist Godfrey Stephens, hung out down at the park with his childhood friend, Tony Hunt, grandson of Mungo Martin, and it was there that he (and Tony) learned to carve.

Mr. Sharkey's Housetruck

"When I am asked 'What will the inside of your new bus look like?', I always reply 'Just like the inside of my housetruck, only bigger.' For most people this is answer enough, but for those of you in Netland who are curious, I provide this photo essay to spark your imagination.
Inside, the living space is decidedly non-automotive. In planning the interior, I toured motor homes, travel trailers and yachts, and found the latter to be most appealing, although the end result would never be considered "nautical". "Early Twentieth Century Studio Apartment" would be the most accurate description. Nearly all of the furniture, fittings and fixtures are collectables. Wood, brass, natural fabrics and leather predominate. Use of plastics is almost non-existent. A Vermont Castings 'Intrepid' wood stove keeps away the winter chill, and multiple skylights illuminate my daily activities.…"

Private Island With Two Small Cabins For Sale in Maine - $229,000


Back Home

I love being in other parts of the world, but I hate getting there. The indignity of airport security, the air in airplanes; the stress level.
   Left: the Bay Area as we approached the airport
  I almost feel like kissing the ground when I get back to San Francisco (have in fact, on occasion). The smells of the ocean, of my own home. And wouldn't the moon be spectacular as I got to town…

Mama's in the alley and she's got no shoes…

When I was in Duluth, my friends Peter and Cindy were playing a (vinyl) collection of Bob Dylan titled "biograph." It has versions of a lot of songs I'd never heard. I ordered it the next day, and am playing it now. If you're a Dylan fan, check it out.
  I think in future ages, Dylan will be recognized as a poet on the level of Chaucer. When I really listen to some of those lyrics, even these many years later, I'm stunned.

Whimsical Playhouse

"Arthur Millican Jr., a former Disney artisan, typically works at a much smaller scale building tiny houses for fairies and gnomes, but this super sized fairy house has been scaled up and is ready for play!"

Master Masons of Duluth (Close-up)

Shed Roof Framework

This was by the side of the road on Hwy. 61. It's a good visual example for a novice builder of the framing of the simplest of stud-frame buildings: the shed roof. Looks like 2x4 studs, 2x6 rafters. Also looks like the builder is part-way through blocking the rafters.
  I'm in Duluth in a hotel room at the Fitger (150-year-old) Brewery/Inn, looking out at the foggy (and cold) waters of Lake Superior, getting ready to head back home this afternoon. I'm looking through the hundreds of photos I've shot in this somewhat remote corner of the USA. What to do with all this "content?"

Deadhead SUV in Minnesota

Carpenter's Carryall Truck

This is the working vehicle of builder Bryan Kufus of Vadnais Heights, MN. It's a 2003 Ford F350 he bought used from Home Depot. The body is a customized unit, built by Alum-line in Iowa. There's a heavy-duty sliding section in the back and multiple cabinets on each side, containing just about all the tools (+ caulks, glues, etc.) that any carpenter would want. Details will be in our next book on road vehicles and boats.

Mark Hansen - Prolific Builder

Mark is one of the original founders of the North House Folk School, and yesterday afternoon I hung out with him  in his shop, wood fire burning in stove. A working shop is a great place to hang out. There were spiffy models of boats and canoes hanging all over. Mark seems to be able to design and build just about anything (including 26 birchbark canoes, mostly in North House classes).
   I wanted to see photos of a number of mobile things he's built. Since he doesn't use a computer, I downloaded 381 photos from his camera and suddenly I have a passel of well-designed and well-crafted things for our next book, Wheels and Water: van, sailboat, shed, tent-in-snow, yurt, toboggan…
  I'd been noticing these little carved figures and asked him where they came from. Well, he carved them. More to come from Mark…