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Off the Road Again/Wheels & Water Book Rolling

What a relief to be back home. Took my first hard bike ride in months yesterday. Going to start running lightly. I'm working out in a gym 2-3 times a week to build back upper body strength. I'm mainly trying to revitalize damaged shoulders. One thing that Bill Pearl said about weight training: within a month or so you  see results. The principle of progressive resistance. Muscle tone improvements are visible (and feelable). Encouraging.
   I'm cookin on the new book (click here). 6 pages laid out (old school style design before it gets MacIntoshed). I'm in contact with a bunch of road people and boat people. All kinds of rigs. Getting them to send in 250--300 word write-ups and pix. Lots of material coming in by end of August. Nomadic Living in the 21st Century.

Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones in 1981

I found this DVD video online after hearing Muddy and Mick doing Mannish Boy together. Man-o-man is this great! It goes up there on the top shelf of my music videos along with "The Last Waltz," and "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." It took place 31 years ago at Buddy Guy's club, The Checkerboard Lounge, in Chicago. It's just spectacular, it's like you're in the club. Mick sings great. Muddy is just awesome. Regal. Dignified. Every note is right. Plus he does a killer bottleneck guitar solo.
   There is brilliant guitar gun slinging throughout. A great Buddy Guy/Keith Richards section. Also, seeing Keith and Ronnie without Mick (and his sometimes a bit weird dancing), just the two of them, is revealing. Keith is a minimalist; it's as much in what he doesn't play, as what he does. Simple, rock bottom. Ronnie does some flaming work. They are totally tuned into each other. Guitar players speak a language to each other, and when it flows, it can be stunning.
   Also Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Lefty Dizz, two other great guitar players in the opening band.
   There's also an audio CD with this package.

Tiny Home Neighborhoods

"…If you want to make the move from a conventional, 2,500-square-foot home to one half that size appealing, you can’t do it with design alone or even with the combination of home and neighborhood design. The trick to living large in small spaces is to have great public places to go to – preferably by foot or on a bike – once you’re outside your private retreat. This argument echoes Scott Doyon’s pitch for balancing privacy and community. No problem feeding the private, nesting impulse with cottage living; but the smaller the nest, the bigger the balancing need for community. Big community. Bigger than a greenfield new town or village.…" http://placeshakers.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/livin’-large-in-small-spaces-it-takes-a-town/

Mother Earth News Article on our Tiny Homes Book

Great article on Tiny Homes in Mother Earth News (circulation 500,000 or so), August-Sept issue. "Owner of Shelter Publications and godfather of the hand-built homes movement, Lloyd Kahn brings us another great book on tiny homes, chock-full of examples of small houses anyone can afford to own.…"

1950 Flatbed Tiny Housetruck For Sale in Washington $7500

"1950 GMC Flatbed Truck with Custom Built “Gypsy Wagon” or “Hippie Shack” 80 sq. ft. floor space.
Small Block 400 with Turbo 400 Transmission, Lokar Shifter, rebuilt engine…1980 1 Ton Rear end with new wheels and tires. Custom built cedar camper. Whidbey, Washington." http://tinyhouselistings.com/1950-flatbed-housetruck/

Pelican Passenger on My Paddleboard

There were a bunch of 10-12-year-old kids down at the town dock last night when I went down to go for a paddle. I lowered my (Joe Bark 12' stock) paddleboard into the water and lo and behold, up flies this pelican. He lands a few feet away from my board. Sheesh! I've never gotten within 50' of a pelican.
   Then he jumps onto my board. I wonder if he'll stay on when I paddle, so I gingerly get onto the board, scoot up farther than usual, and take off. He stays there! Are we stylin or what?
   The kids love it and shoot pictures with an iPhone. He stayed on for maybe a hundred yards, then flew off.
Photo by Noah Shaw, emailed by Maya Young

Bug and Heritage Salvage Take Down a Barn

Straw Bale Workshop NY Catskills in August

Hey Lloyd,
Thought I'd let you know about my straw bale building workshop coming up August 10-12 in the NY Catskills. We still have room for a few more participants if you want to spread the word on your blog.
Mike McDonough

Skating, Beer, Blues, Hot Rods and Harleys

Sunday afternoon on my way home I stopped off in Santa Cruz at Verve Coffee, and who should walk in but my son Will. He had his 16-year-old niece-in-law with him and they were carrying skateboards. After coffee, we went out and skated along East Cliff Drive, from 41st down to 30th or so. "Do you realize Dad, that you're skating with someone 60 years younger than you?" Ulp.

   Then, on the way up the coast, I stopped off at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., got a beer, and listened to blues singer Pamela Rose, with a very good band. Here were a couple of vehicles parked outside.

Run/Swim/Fluttering Hawk/Dead Deer

Last night drove my truck up in the hills, went for a run. On the way, a red shouldered hawk was fluttering in the wind, wings outspread, just floating and scanning. It was foggy, bit of a breeze, I went swimming in a pond. No one for miles. On the way back there was a very large and very dead buck, with three turkey buzzards feasting, in a field. I ran in my Sanuk sandals, a very good option for barefoot runners. You can feel the ground with your toes. On the way home on the radio, Jon Cleary was doing Everything I do Gonh Be Funky.

Oso Sol Reggae Band

Good little local (Las Osos) reggae band, Oso Sol, was playing outdoors Saturday night in San Luis Obispo. They were at a large restaurant/bar that had a patio alongside a creek. Nice harmony. Good vibes. http://shltr.net/ososolslo

Surf at Malibu Pier

Still happening here, but I didn't go out. Just too many people.

Big Sur: You Can Go Home Again

What a trip! I love being on the road, the serendipity of it all. Except:
1. I miss home.
2. I run across so much stuff (shoot so many pics, make so many notes) that it's frustrating not being able to communicate it all. Fragments:
    I'm back home from a doozy of a trip. Left San Luis Obispo around 11 AM Saturday sunny morning, north on Hwy. 1. By the time I got to Cayucos, it was foggy. Ahh! Northern Californian consciousness kicks in. I like the fog (grew up in San Francisco).
My body adores Southern California.
My mind revels in NorCal.

Sirius music was on a roll. Just 2 examples:
-Jimmie Rodgers, Blue Yodel #3: http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Blue+Yodel+No+3/3WMJfN?src=5
-Muddy Waters backed by the Rolling Stones, Mannish Boy: http://grooveshark.com/#!/search/song?q=rolling+stones+muddy+mannish+boy Oh yeah!

Got to my house (built it in late '60s). near Esalen. Ehren, the caretaker was there, said I could spend the night. (He lives in a tuned-in tiny home on the road above.
   Ehren is a stone mason, in his 30s, surfer, fisherman, gardener, hunter, explorer. He keeps the house and grounds beautifully. He's like an extension of and extrapolation on all the things I did or wanted to do when I lived in Big Sur. Cross-generational soul mates.

   We went for a swim in the pool (creek-fed water, no chlorine). Later that afternoon I had a beer at Nepenthe. That night I had dinner at Deetjen's, by far my favorite inn in all the world, the ambience of the dining room with candles and chamber music as soulful as it was 50 years ago. That night I invoked former-resident executive privilege and got into the hot springs at Esalen. Mmm.
   I'm goin' home…home, bom bom bom bom bom-bom… 

Buffed 66 Year Old

The bar girls at the brewery told me about open air music in the park, so I walked down. As I scanned the crowd, here was this beautiful man. His name is Grant. He was born on 6/16/46 and is now 66 and thinks all the 6's are significant. He works out 3 times week, a combination of stretching, weight lifting, and meditation. Maybe 2 hours he said, emphasizing the meditation part. "Body, mind, spirit," he said. He's a serious rugby player and has some banged-up body parts, but has never broken a bone. He has an aura of energy and health. OK, you 50 and 60 year olds, here's some inspiration for you. Body. Mind. Spirit.

San Louie Oh Bee

Above protest scene at Malibu yesterday.
I never travel around California in the summer, so I was surprised and bummed by the tourist/zoo vibe in Pismo Beach. No thanks! (It can be deserted and restful in the winter, plus there are those cinnamon rolls). So onward, and the beach was everywhere overloaded, it being a warm gorgeous blue-sky California day. Knew I had to get inland.
   In all these years, I've never been into the actual town of San Luis Obispo, since Hwy 101 skirts it. It was a relief. No tourist madness. It's a lovely town, a bit of Ojai, a bit of Santa Barbara, a bit of Santa Cruz. Cal Poly has always been my favorite of the state colleges. A tradition of hands-on. Architectural students have to learn how to draw (by hand).

Wish they all could be California girls, well, sort of…

The Beach Boys actually meant Southern California girls. After all, these are SoCal boys singing. Also, listen to the different harmony in this early practice session, such as the harmonic triplets on the words "wear" and "right."

Darth Vader Lands in LA

I like this place. (Yes I do.) Gutsy architecture. Wonder what it's like inside. I've shot pictures of it a few times before.
I'm about to head north, maybe to Pismo Beach tonight.

Malibu Architecture

There's so much hideous architecture in the rich parts of LA, it's a pleasure to see the art as practiced here, with these 2 beachside houses.

Innermost Limits of Pure Fun*

Yesterday was one of the most extraordinary days of my life. I had agreed (after some reluctance) to give a talk at the funeral of my college buddy Richard Zanuck in front of 500 mostly Hollywood people in a Beverly Hills Episcopalian church. I got there early and got a program. There were a total of 5 speakers and they were, in this order:

Dean Zanuck
Tim Burton
Sherry Lansing
Clint Eastwood
Lloyd Kahn

Holy shit! I started to hyperventilate. Vision immediately popped into my mind of a singer going to his gig and upon arrival learning that Otis Redding is the opening act.

Well, a fuck of a lot happened yesterday, every bit of it good. In a nutshell: the family told me to tell the real stories, and I let it rip. True tales of 2 punk pranksters in the '50s pedal-to-medal in pursuit of pure fun. Trips to Baja and Mexico, surfing, our exploding car at Malibu Colony, fights, practical jokes of fiendish intensity, the pure F-U-N of it all. Once I started with the stories, they were with me. Channeling fer shure.  They loved hearing about this side of him. This was a much-loved guy. It was a sweet spot in time.

More later. I've got to digest it all. What a day!

I am so loving Southern California.

*Title of George Greenough in-the-curl surf film

SunRay Kelley's New Lightweight Electric Bike

Hi Lloyd,
This is the video link http://youtu.be/ulFSefQuOLo to SunRay's latest project. It is pretty cute. We are taking a trip to Seattle this week to get Ray the materials he needs to finish the sexy body shell for the SunRayzor.

SunRay just got a motorcycle wheel with a hub motor in it from this amazing designer builder Mark Gelbien and his company EnerTrac Corp. SunRay is conspiring to use this new hub motor to power a multi-person runabout electric vehicle. We will keep you posted on his progress.…

The San Joaquin Valley 100 Years Ago

There are 3-4 places you can eat at the Harris Ranch. I like the the coffee shop best. It's filled with pictures of the Valley around the turn of the century, as well as farm and carpenter tools and implements. Descriptions of this valley in the old days are heart-breaking. It was so beautiful, not over-farmed, before million-year old aquifer water started being mined to support crops that shouldn't be growing in the desert. Some of the first grain crops were said to grow 6' high. Driving down yesterday, things weren't looking good. Where there were miles of lush fruit trees, you'd know agribiz is sucking unsustainable amounts of water from ever-deeper wells. Ah me. California you were so beautiful.

On Swimming

The pool here at the Harris Ranch is spectacular. Olympic size, not chlorined, perfect temperature. If I had a pool like this available I'd swim every day. I swam about 10 laps yesterday, crawl and breaststroke, exulting. I watched a little boy with his dad. The kid was a water sprite. He loved it.
   It reminded me of teaching swimming (when in college). I specialized in kids who were deathly afraid of the water. There was a skinny little say 6-year old kid in Santa Cruz, and he'd probably had a water trauma, because he trembled when in the pool, wouldn't get his face near the water. His mom really wanted him to get over it.
   I started him blowing bubbles, then harder and harder until his face was getting splashed. Then floating a short distance to pool's edge, face down. Progress. OK Eric, I said, I want you to ride on my back and we'll swim around. After I got him to relax a bit and loosen up on his choke hold on my neck, I started swimming. Then blowing bubbles as we swam. He got comfortable. OK Eric, I want you to take a breath and close your  eyes and we'll go under water. We dove. Then under water with his eyes open, and voilà, Eric became a swimmer.

Wind Turbines On Road Yesterday

Pretty spectacular eh? Electricity without oil, gas, or coal burning. This is on Hwy 12, around Rio Vista, "…the Montezuma Hills of eastern Solano County" Details: http://bit.ly/windgens

Wheels & Water Book Underway/Channeling Dick Zanuck

Our next book (on nomadic living in the 21st century) is underway. The last few days I layed out 4 pages. It really feels good. It''s clicking, from the git-go (you never know until you start).
   If you've got great photos and /or stories of nomadic living in these challenging times, send it to us. We're rolling. The follow-up book to Tiny Homes.
   I'm writing this from the Harris Ranch, a beautiful hacienda-style Spanish hotel and restaurant about 2/3 of the way south of San Francisco on Hwy 5 to LA. I took off mid-day today driving my truck to LA, for the funeral Thursday of my college buddy Dick Zanuck.
   For almost 3 hours I cruised without the radio, a blended iced double-shot latte as well as light sativa cannabinoids to enable right brain function.

Root Simple Blog/The Urban Homestead

I got a Google Alert about a video on our homestead and office that had been posted on http://www.rootsimple.com/. The blog is by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, authors of the very fine book (which I originally discovered on Boing Boing), The Urban Homestead, about raising food in a big city (in this case, LA). I enjoyed scrolling down the blog, seeing the eclectic mix. These guys are all over the place, like me.
   Check out the swarm of bees on the Harley, and the swimming pool in the bed of a Chevy S10 pickup truck on a hot night (in LA, of course). The vintage photo at left is titled: "A member of the Woodmen of the World with his ceremonial axe…" 

Zanuck Talking About Spielberg's Genius and Jaws

Scrolling around for Zanuck stories today, I ran across this photo of him when he was producing "Jaws," and a quirky interview 2 years ago by a reporter with the pseudonym "Quint" (coincidentally the name of the shark hunter in the movie). They were supposed to be discussing the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp film "Alice," but perhaps understandably, Zanuck was more interested in discussing Jaws. http://www.aintitcool.com/node/45317

Richard Zanuck, 1934-2012

I'm just heartsick to hear of the death of Hollywood producer Dick Zanuck, who was my college roommate and best friend for several years at Stanford in the mid-'50s. We decorated our room at the Fiji house with African masks and spears and South Seas artifacts from the set lot at 20th Century Fox. We went to movies almost every night. We took a surfing trip in a Fox jeep to Baja California in 1954, and then a Fox Ford convertible on a surfing trip to Mazatlan in Spring of 1955. We partied hard, chased girls, surfed, cultivated sun tans, and weren't too serious about academic excellence.
   We both loved the beach, surfed, played volleyball, were the same size (not, um, tall) — and competitive (we actually got in a few fistfights). We'd go to a party, get semi-drunk, and take off for LA, arriving around sunrise. His family had a large house on the beach in Santa Monica, and my first experience surfing was riding a 12-foot redwood/balsa board owned by his brother-in-law Bobby Jacks at the Malibu colony. His family had a beautiful Spanish-style home in Palm Springs, built around a pool, where we'd go frequently, and John the butler would wake us up each morning with glasses of fresh orange juice from trees around the pool.
   One of our rituals was started by him when we were teenagers (60 years ago—gad!). He sent me a postcard from Hawaii showing a surfer, with the message "Ho!" (he was there and I was not). I started sending him "Ho!" postcards when I would be somewhere or doing something that would make him jealous, and he'd eventually reciprocate. In recent years I'd send him "Ho!" postcards of me skateboarding or doing well in races, and he'd call me right up.
   In recent years we'd talk about how all our friends were retired and we'd both say how we loved our work and were never going to retire. He never did. I'm so sorry to hear that he's gone.

House on 7-1/2 Acres in Oregon For Sale

Hi there. I'm a long time fan of the Shelter books. Builders of the Pacific Coast is like viewing a tangible form of my dreams. My husband, Rob Campbell, also recently reviewed the Tiny Homes book on his woodworking blog.
   This is a long shot and I apologize for the intrusion if it's unwanted, but it seems like you would know folks interested in a property like ours. We are trying to sell our coastal Oregon home. It's a pretty amazing place in a pretty amazing community. We made a website describing it and due to the unique nature of the property, are trying to sell it without a realtor since someone not familiar with the place could never really do it justice. Anyhow, if you want to take a look and share it with anyone you think might be interested, here is the webpage.…
-Xephaniah Fiddlehead Nubbinsworth http://logy.org/house

Perfect Little Marin County Farm Building

Shot this photo last night on my way back from radio interview in Santa Rosa. There are farm buildings here and there in the Marin countryside that make me happy. Like this little pump house (on the McIsaac Ranch near Tocoloma), they are perfect in their form/function practicality and grace. A (black and white) photo I shot of this same building over 40 years ago is on page 42 of Shelter (published 1973).

David Shipway's Rebuilt 23' Sailboat

Canadian master builder David Shipway was one of the featured carpenters in Builders of the Pacific Coast. Here's the latest:
"Hi Lloyd,
In between various small house projects I finally got this rebuild of a 23ft catboat finished and back in the water in time for a late summer on the Salish Sea. She was one of Bill Garden's favourite designs with a strong fibreglass hull which made the boat well worth restoring, a vintage 7hp hand-crank Volvo diesel, a cedar and fir double-berth cabin with a forward galley, a few choice bits of locust, nazareno and bronze, but more paint than varnish. A simple classic 3 ton cruiser for inside waters with a 10ft beam and a big centerboard, she can handle an insanely huge gaff sail that will get lashed on as soon as I've strung up some new lazyjacks.
 ~david shipway, cortes island"

Reclamation Road - Bug Visits Kahn Compound

Tonight Bug (Michael Deakin of Heritage Salvage in Petaluma) is interviewing me on his radio show in Santa Rosa (Calif.). KSRO 1350 AM with Jaxon and Bug, 5:30 PM tonight (July 10, 2012).

Crabs, Eels, and Salmon

Caught 2 eels Friday, plus these nice little rock crabs (with 20'-long bamboo poke pole). Then I got a 10-lb. salmon from local fisherman (who says there are salmon up and down the coast right now—yahoo!). I smoked salmon and eels.
   Went surfing Saturday, too many people for me. That's one thing that really was good about the '50s: uncrowded waves. Think 8 feet and glassy at Steamer Lane, 4 of us out. (Oh I gotta stop this!) So I did a lot of paddling Saturday, working on shoulder(s) rehab. It's always a plus to get in the ocean, in any manner. Surfing, paddling, swimming, diving…super energy gain.

House With Boat For Sale-$65,000-On Sea Of Cortez, Baja California

"Date: 2012-07-08, 10:12AM
Location: BAHIA DE LOS ANGLES BAJA MEXICO. http://bend.craigslist.org/reo/3126235481.html"
From Lew Lewandowski

Small Timber Frame Home in British Columbia

"Designed, built and finished entirely by M&L, 'A Wee House' is a traditionally-scribed frame made from local materials. Fashioned by the hands of Meghan's many friends and family, this carefully made home is intended to embody the notion of craftsmanship and community spirit." http://shltr.net/LHcYdH

Timber Framing in British Columbia

"Hey Lloyd,
…A couple years ago a friend and mentor of mine introduced me to your books and it totally turned my world upside down. I looked at building, sustainability both in life and in construction in a whole new way. Thank you for your documentation and sharing of ideas and images that I know has inspired many many people all over the world.
Drew Mosley
Below are some images from my time here on Vancouver island working for a local business: http://www.macdonaldandlawrence.ca/, which employs some of the best craftsmen I have ever met. I came to the Island specifically to work with this company and have found it challenging and rewarding. The owners Steve and Gord have build and restored some crazy structures, (Kinsol Trestle)."

Correspondence, Love Letters and Advice*

I love doing this blog. The perfect medium for me. I don't have time for Facebook, and seldom tweet directly.
   I often wonder about all the time I put into it, what with having to create and sell enough books to keep this publishing ship afloat. But lately I'm realizing the payback of getting comments on just about any subject I bring up. For example, the great comments I've gotten on home theater systems, music, where to go in Brooklyn, places to skate. Really, I've acted on lots of these comments, they've steered me in good directions. So thank you guys.
*This was the title of the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Rolling Stone newspaper in the '60s-'70s.

I'm Giving Out Mini Books Tonight in Pt. Reyes

The last (for a while) of the Tiny Homes roadshow will be tonight in Pt. Reyes Station. I'll bring along a bunch of our mini books (2" x 2", sparkling* tiny book of 32 pages) to give away. People absolutely love this little things. It's like giving away candy. We printed 7,000 and most of them are gone. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and pick up a few -- you don't have to stay for the slide show.
Point Reyes Station, California/Pt. Reyes Books-Thursday, July 5, 7:30PM, at the Point Reyes Presbyterian Church.
Photo: Godfrey Stephens
*Hats off to our printers, Paramount/Book Art, Inc., Hong Kong, for pulling this off. The binding is even sewn.

How Home Work Changed Alan's Life

Dear Lloyd,
Please find a short video of Scott saying how you changed his life:
And here is one of his yurt in Tiny Homes;
All best wishes,
On behalf of Scott Evans

Yurt Interior - Guided tour

"A low impact home made from natural materials whilst staying well within our comfort zone. Made with four layers of cotton, canvas and felted sheep wool. Situated on a raised wooden deck with running water, a wood burning stove, electric lighting and more. www.HandmadeMatt.com"

2-Part Review of Tiny Homes in Urban Times

Extensive review of Tiny Homes by Robin Tierney in this online magazine. There's even a short video (that I've never seen before) of our featured builder Mike Basich jumping out of a helicopter at 100 feet on his snowboard. http://www.theurbn.com/2012/07/tiny-homes-part-2/

Tiny Homes Slide Show/Book Signings Pt. Reyes Station July 5th

Thursday night I'm doing my 15th (and the last for a while) Tiny Homes slideshow, talk, and book signing in conjunction with Pt. Reyes Books, a community supported bookstore in Point Reyes Station, California. Thursday, July 5,7:30pm, at the Point Reyes Presbyterian Church. I begin these events by talking about all the things that were going on in the 60s in San Francisco (before the “Summer of Love,” when things were already falling apart), working on the Whole Earth Catalog, and starting my publishing career with two books on dome building, then show slides and discuss the builders and buildings in the book. I'll also highlight what I've learned working on this subject and this book, why I think tiny homes are so popular right now, and who I think they are appropriate for.

Ziggy's Timber Framing Workshop

"Hey Lloyd:
Our recent Timber Framing Workshop went amazingly well and was a huge blast. The students had a fantastic time. We got an incredible amount of work done on our new timber frame home, especially considering we used hand tools exclusively, and most participants had little or no prior experience. Wow!
   Here's a slideshow of the event that I wanted to share with you:
   We did everything from traditional square rule layout, to lofting with daisy wheel layout (just like illiterate French carpenters of old used), and everything in-between.
   Your books were no doubt an inspiration for us to do timber frame construction, especially Builders of the Pacific Coast.
   - ziggy"
See: The Year of Mud: http://www.theyearofmud.com
(Ziggy's Cob Cottage is featured on pp. 110-113 of Tiny Homes.)