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60+ Bricks Carried On One Bike

Whole bunch of loaded-to-max bikes and vehicles at:

Getting Out of the Stock Market

A friend of mine from college told me recently that he sold all his stocks, has the money in cash, and is thinking of getting FDIC-backed Ally Bank CDs.

I cut out these headlines from today's New York Times business pages.

Start Your Day With Billie Holiday


Black Oystercatchers

Around 6 last night I went to the beach. The tide was coming in, but part of the reef was exposed and I walked out on it. I saw these unusual birds, 9 of them, running around and pecking at mollusks and snails. I slowly moved to maybe 70' away from them and just watched. After a while I inched closer and when I got to 50', they took off, flying across the silver path on the ocean of the soon-to-be-setting sun.
   Reminded me of my first powerful connection to the natural world. When I was about 12, I was out in a hayfield near the Russian River, and I noticed some very small mice scurrying around. I stood stock still, and it turned out I was on the edge of Mouse City. They were running all over the place, going about their lives, unaware of humanoid eyes upon them. It was thrilling. I must have watched them for 10 minutes, transported into the unfettered natural world.
Photo above from http://www.rosssea.info/nz-bird-life-waders.html

Unique Gridshell Building at Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, UKhttp://shltr.net/gridshl

Hello Lloyd,
I'm an occasional reader of your blog and I recently visited a fascinating building that you might be interested in. The actual building definitely doesn't fit into the tiny homes category but I wonder if the technique could be modified to make a smaller dwelling? Or has it ever been used before on a smaller scale?
The building is located in the UK at http://www.wealddown.co.uk/ and there is a detailed description of the construction technique here http://shltr.net/gridshl
Keep up the good work,

Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

From the Environmental Working Group
"…The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce" will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables (e.g. strawberries, apples, lettuce, potatoes), and eating the least contaminated produce (e.g. onions, corn, pineapples, avacadoes) .…" http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

Kayak Fishing Safety Guidelines for a Successful and Safe Trip

Photo at left from: http://shltr.net/fishgkayak, © by John Bolivar
Kayak fishing is a thrilling and enjoyable experience but it is risky too. You get to be on the water, fish with absolute stealth, get a chance to witness the action from a much closer angle, take the kayak out for a short fishing trip and whenever you want. You do not have to worry about gas, insurance, strict maintenance rituals and many more. It is an angler’s delight in the truest sense of the term. But it is of utmost importance to not to compromise on safety when on a kayak. Below are some tips that you ideally should pay heed to in order to have a safe kayak fishing trip.

Honky Tonk Women by you-know-who

Boy! Give me the real thing any day. With tuned-in photographers as opposed to scripted "music videos." Look at the faces in the 1st 40 seconds here. This was in Hyde Park in London in 1969, just after Brian Jones' death. It's Mick Taylor's first appearance with the band.
   BTW, just ran across this lovely ballad, "Crazy,"  by Linda Rondstadt, in a full throated rich version that Patsy would approve of: http://www.youtube.com/user/john1948EightB
   I know, I'm so retro. To wit, check, as well: http://john1948.wetpaint.com/page/John1948%27s+Youtube+Index

Round House Cordwood Build Time-lapse

On 7/23/12 at 9:25 AM +1000, peter robey wrote…:
Hey Lloyd,
Hope you are well. Peter here from Tasmania in Australia. I bought your shelter books over a year ago and have near worn them out. You very politely showed an interest in our small cordwood cabin we live in.
   This is a quick note to send you a youtube link, a time lapse of the past 6 weeks of building a 16-sided round house - post and beam frame.
   It's just the missus and I building and we are not builders and wrapping our heads around funky angles and staying married has been a great challenge.!!
   That crane is an engine crane with a modified jib and a water tank bolted to the back for ballast. Cost me $12 in castor wheels.
   The round posts are around the 750-800 pounds in weight and about 18.5 feet high.
   The crane isn't safe but it works and we got through the 24 posts.
   Unfortunately the Aust. code book prevents us from doing anything remotely like the west coast builders in your books; however we have bent the rules where we can.
   All the best.

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.

Small Homes in Working Class Neighborhoods

I think small homes like these are a timely option these days. Working class neighborhoods (for lack of am better term) where people move in and give TLC to modest, inexpensive little houses. These are in Richmond, Calif., a city not exactly favored by those who want everything to be exquisite. I saw a block that looked alive today, with trees and what looked to be well-tended (by owners) small homes. 
   There was a 500 sq. ft. limit in our Tiny Homes book. But there's another whole category of small—not tiny—houses. Say max. 1200 ft. Maybe more realistic than tiny homes for most people.

DL Wooden Skateboards - Made in Brooklyn

"It's well known that hiding behind the facades of many buildings in Brooklyn, NY are an endless array of companies producing artisanal pickles and locally designed clothes but rarely can you wander down a street to find a product being made out on the concrete. DL Skateboards is a unique young company that makes custom, handmade skate decks on the sidewalk outside a Greenpoint apartment building and in a retrofitted box truck acquired in New Hampshire. The couple behind the brand, Lauren Andino and Derek Mabra, have been skateboarding most of their lives and their passion and love for the sport drive their small business forward, producing fantastic cruisers modeled after 60's classics. In our latest video we found the couple out on the street shaping decks for one of their final runs before moving to California." Vimeo video: http://shltr.net/coolhuntdl
Sent us by Evan Kahn

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.

Bigger isn't necessarily better

"…Another benefit of small house living is that it constantly forces you to edit your belongings. While our house can certainly get cluttered, there is simply less space for clutter to collect and it forces us to stay on top of it. We spend at least one Saturday every few months taking stock of our belongings and getting rid of what we don't use. If we haven't used it and there's not a plan to use it, we give it away or sell it on Craigslist.…" By Elisabeth Draper

Swooning Over Tiny Homes

"Fans of the Tiny House Listings site are no doubt familiar with Tiny House Swoon, a visual website geared towards highlighting some of the most beautiful, interesting and creative tiny houses out there. But more importantly, the website’s aim is to inspire its visitors and show them just how great a tiny house can be. If you haven’t visited the Tiny House Swoon site before, you can check it out here. It’s kind of like a highly concentrated tiny house Pinterest with larger photos and lots of original content.…Steven Harrell"
From Kent Griswold's Tiny House Blog

New York Art Community Dines on Rats

"…Twenty people, mostly friends of Ms. Ginn or the gallery owner, Ms. LaViola, nibbled on goat cheese bruschetta topped with rat leg tenderloin, and rat-pork terrine encircled with beef fat, prepared by a chef after much trial and error with his proteins. The rats were shipped from a United States Department of Agriculture-approved West Coast processor that supplies pet owners with humanely killed, individually flash-frozen rodents, in classifications ranging from “jumbo” to “fuzzy.” Seventy five rats were skinned and cooked — and broiled and smoked and grilled — for the dinner, and most guests paid $100 each to attend…" http://shltr.net/rattatouille