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Martinis at Jack O"Neill's

In the mid-50s there was a gang of us surfers here in Santa Cruz, maybe 20-30 in number. There were no wetsuits, and UC was not yet here. Nor was SiliconValley. In the winter months, there were very few people around. Other than the water being so cold, it was paradise.
   One of my great friends from those days is Betty Van Dyke, and when I called her yesterday, she said she was going over to Jack O'Neill's for martinis with some old surfing friends. I've known Jack for over 50 years, back before his wetsuit surfing empire, when he was selling firefighting equipment and I was an insurance broker -- in San Francisco. Both of us bodysurfed at Kelly's Cove. Early '60s. When he started his surf equipment business in about 1963, I was his insurance broker (before I bailed on that world).
   So here was Jack, holding forth in his cliffside house, and we had a delightful reunion. He's (real) hard of hearing, has only one working eye, and is 90, so it took me a while to my volume high enough so he could hear me, but I did, and sat real close and we got really rolling about the old days. It was like dragging dusty treasures out of old chests.
   Also there was Rich Novak, he of the NHS/Santa Cruz Bikes/Santa Cruz Skateboards empire -- twinkle in his eye --  and with an icy martini each, six of us had an hour of rare fun. When it got time to go home, everyone said, wow!
Photo by Dave McGuire, l-r: Betty Van Dyke, Richard Novak, Jack O"Neill, moi.


Improved Posture via Foundation Training

Bill Steen told me about this system months ago and I just got around to checking it out. Posture is an "issue" as one gets older, and this approach (and the guy) look totally right on and tuned in. I'm going to try some of these routines while watching TV. Right now I'm sitting (Verve Coffee in sunny Santa Cruz) in a more aligned position just having watched these routines.
"Foundation Training is a series of exercises based on integrating the muscular chains of the body. Our exercises begin with the Posterior Chain of Muscles to quickly stabilize your spine and core because our modern lifestyles leave most of these muscles weak and imbalanced.
   You can quickly learn the tools you need to fix many of the chronic pains plaguing our daily lives. Learning to connect the Posterior Chain will teach you to move naturally, evenly absorbing the weight of your body. Once you begin to move properly you will engage more muscles in every step you take, sport you play, and exercise you choose to do.
   All ages and fitness abilities can benefit from Foundation Training because it teaches your body to move as nature intended. You will reach new heights in physical health and feel improved control of your body. Many of our clients have broken longstanding plateaus by taking the time to master these fundamental movement patterns, and all of our clients have improved the way their bodies move.
   No equipment is necessary and you can do it just about anywhere. Your body adapts quickly to these natural movement patterns, so much so that you begin reinforcing them throughout your day without having to think about it. This is truly sustainable exercise.
   Live happy in your body. It starts with a solid Foundation."

2 MIN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-K7jtcJ0Dc
4 MIN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOgxWp0WyiI 
12 MIN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOTvaRaDjI&feature=player_embedded 

Seeking Advice on Wetsuits

I'm heading to Santa Cruz for 2 days to see my daughter-in-law and 2 grandsons (Papa has gone to Nashville on music business).
   I want to get a really good wetsuit (with built-in hood) that I don't have to struggle so much to get into (and out of), and doesn't feel like a suit of armor (like my custom made 5/4). Any suggestions? My friend Ray swears by his $500 O'neill suit which he says is really flexible.

Richard Olsen's HANDMADE HOUSES Journal

"Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest at Taliesin West, the Scottsdale, Arizona, campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. On one of those trips, I ventured out into the far reaches of Wright’s desert acreage to study the dwellings designed and built by the school’s students as part of their learning-by-doing education. Youthful creative energy, ideas, and confidence + small plot of land + trifling financial resources for materials + the ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright = ingenious solutions to small-space living?  Yes—mostly.
   Working within the safe zone of the campus, the students could laugh at common code restrictions, so pushing the envelope of design and construction was possible, if not a given.
   Architectural salvage stands out in the materials palette, and it’s frequently worth noting how much those rugged bits and pieces invigorate the students’ handling of the refined Wrightian design vocab and “desert concrete construction” system.…"

26-Year Old UK Carpenter Inspired by Shelter

I have just completed a structure that has greatly been inspired by the books you produce. I am a 26 year old carpenter/ designer from the UK and work using traditional techniques and local sustainable materials.
   I just thought I would share my creation with you, the Peach House was commissioned by a member of the Royal family and I was given free reign with the design and build, which was a very rare but amazing experience.

A Change on This Blog

This blog has been wonderful for me with feedback. There are a bunch of like minded people out there who to turn me on to things I'm into, and give me advice, leads, facts, and criticism. Totally great, especially out here in the boondocks.
   BUT I'm getting so many good tips in the "Comments" section here that I can't keep up with them all. I need to get this book done!
   What I've been doing is going to the link recommended and if I like it, make it into a post -- which takes time -- downloading images, selecting text, creating a link, then posting.
   I do this because I don't think many people read comments on old posts, and a bunch of these things are so great. It's got to the point where I have a backlog of referred URLs to post, and it stresses me out to look at them all in my (Eudora -- still) inbox in the morning
   SO! I'm going to start posting the comments (or emails) as they come in, au naturel, so you can check them out from scratch. Big time-saver for me. To wit:

Hey Lloyd,
A filmmaker friend of mine just completed a short film about a boot-maker in Pendleton, Oregon who is searching for someone to carry on his legacy. Thought you might want to help spread the word.

From Lynn Kading:
4-Year-old Girl's Vegetable Garden Must Go, Says USDA

From Mike W:
"....Have you ever felt trapped in a static life you didn’t choose? Ever considered just walking away from it all and creating your own adventure? When Josh and Jessa Works asked themselves these questions, they answered by loading their son Jack into an Airstream and launching into an exploration and rediscovery of America, not in search of a place to settle, but rather creating a new kind of home out of wandering...."
stumbled onto this on someone's facebook page..

From: CLL

Thanks for all your good work.  Been a fan for more years than either of us would want to admit <g>.

Liquid Salt -- Celebrating The Culture of Surfing

"We offer an alternative to the thruster and contest mentality that dominates our sport. We choose to cel­e­brate surf­ing for what it is: a joy­ful union between the surfer and the ocean. Our mission is to give voice to those people — surfers, shapers, writ­ers, artists, film­mak­ers, and photographers — who qui­etly keep surf cul­ture alive."

Tiny Homes in Sioux City, Iowa

Sioux City Journal Aug 23, 2013. Article by Brett Hayworth. Photo by Dawn J. Sagert
Dakota Dunes this ain't.
Carter Smith, 24, has downsized after moving out of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Vermillion, S.D. Downsized in this case means relocating into one of the smallest homes in Sioux City, fitting his possessions and two cats into 387 square feet at 1120 17th St.
   "I lost a lot of space," Smith said. "I like it. It is a good change of pace."
   Woodbury County Assessor Office records show there are eight single-family homes with less than 400 square feet of space in Sioux City. The smallest, in the 2500 block of South St. Aubin Street, is 312 square feet.
   Andrea Cook’s house, at 2325 W. 14th St., is about 40 square feet bigger. She moved in two months ago.
   "I just knew it was less than 500 .... This is the first time I've ever lived in a small house," she said.
   Cook, 48, said she enjoys the simple, one-bedroom rental home, which was built in 1925 and has an assessed value of $13,800. She’s had to use a walker since losing motor skills following a head injury, she said.…
Click here.

Surf Mats

I met George Greenough in Santa Barbara in 1971. He was the next door neighbor of my friend Bob Easton and one night he came over to Bob's house and showed us some of his surf films. At the time, George was riding a knee board and had a homemade waterproof wide angle movie camera powered by a motorcycle battery. He was the first guy to film inside the curl and it was breathtaking. Bob said that George was like a martial artist, crouching low, being part of the wave, as compared to standup surfers trying to conquer the wave. He ended up revolutionizing surf photography.
   These days George lives in Australia, and is a legendary waterman. For some years now he's been riding an air mat, which he considers superior to a knee board. It appealed to me. For one thing, it's way easier to travel with a foldable air mat and fins in your backpack than to lug around a surfboard. For another, as us surfers get older, here's a way to stay in the water. Plus they are fast as hell.
   I did some research and found that George gets his mats from http://www.surfmats.com/ ("Handmade in America by Paul Gross since 1984.") Over the years, Greenough has worked with Gross on mat design. I bought one, have not used it yet, but it's in my car with a pair of DaFiNs http://www.dafin.com/, small flexible fins from Hawaii, highly rated by lifeguards and bodysurfers. I'm going to take them on a trip in the Spring to Micronesia and Hawaii. Check out also http://surfmatters.blogspot.com/.

BC Floathouse Inspired by Tiny Homes

"Good Afternoon!
Tiny Homes was amazing and inspired us to downsize and simplify life. This 425sq ft floathouse sits on an 825 sq ft float. It is our primary residence and is permanently moored in Tofino BC on the Tofino Whaling Wharf.
   It is an extensively renovated Oyster Shack from the 1980's and has served as a residence since that time. Children have been raised in this tiny floating home over the years and it had a back room added on.   My wife, Kim, and I have had the house for 2 years now. It is a simple floating life.

Tiny House Magazine

Check out Kent Griswold's (relatively) new Tiny House Magazine here. Kent runs the exceptional Tiny House Blog here, which features a new tiny house every day.

Daily Flash #4 -- Heading Over the Mountains

Yesterday I left Pt. Arena, heading for the SolFest gathering in Hopland. I took a new route over the coastal mountains, from Elk to Philo on the Greenwood-Philo Road. Beautiful 17 mile drive through the redwoods, farms with v. old apple trees, always a rush to be on a road (I've) never (before) travelled. "Are You Drinkin' With Me, Jesus?," rowdy song by Mojo Nixon, then "Honky Tonk Women" by Travis Tritt, country road music.

Daily Flash # 3 From Sunny Coast -- Crystal Shimmer/New Camera

Doesn't show up that well here, but the hanging crystal here atop Louie's shop reflects sunlight in shimmering green flashes or reds,  depending on where you're standing. There are cases where a camera just can't replicate reality.

I'm pretty excited to be shooting once again with a honker Canon -- the T5i Rebel with super 18-135mm EF-S IS STM Lens, a poor man's 5D. The shutter lag of my smaller cameras just not acceptable. Already getting good people shots. This lens is smooth, fast, silent (although the shutter goes ka-womp, but hey, I'm a photographer…)

Daily Flash #2 From Mendo -- Swimming Hole

Very few people come here, path is overgrown, no one today for miles, no clothes, lying on warm sand, water maybe 64. Getting immersed in water anywhere is magical, you are now part of the creek/river/lake/ocean…

Daily Flash # 1 From Mendocino County

Coming down a dirt road at 7 this morning, heading into town for latte and wi-fi (+ ginger scone), Third Rate Romance playing on 102.3 FM, "Real Country," enjoying the real country surroundings, redwoods and tan oaks, then on Highway One from Pt. Arena to Gualala, Gregory Isaacs singing Tan So Back, reggae an integral part of Mendo culture, my Honda Fit continuing to be a nimble delight to drive, sunny morning on the coast, healthy kelp beds off shore, the ocean blue…

Louie and I went down to the Pt. Arena pier yesterday. This salmon boat was being hauled out of the water. Later we went into Franny's Cup & Saucer, one of the best bakeries anywhere, to get some almond croissants for afternoon tea; this sign in window, ain't it the truth…

   In a few minutes, I'm heading north along  the coast and will cut across the mountains to Philo, thence northeast to Hopland and this year's SolFest.

Daily Flash: Jay Nelson/Mollusk Surf Shop

Last week I met Kevin Kelly in San Francisco at Trouble Coffee to talk about his forthcoming book, Cool Tools (which looks sensational), and we walked a couple of blocks over to Mollusk Surf Shop. Artist Jay Nelson had just completed this cocoon-shaped loft, and below is a photo of the interior of his little 8-foot surf boat (see page 180 of Tiny Homes).

Monday Daily Flash #3 -- (One of the) World's Worst Sentence(s)/Not Mainstream

From Sunday's New York Times, "Open Book" by John Williams:
Delightful or Disastrous?
The Economist’s Prospero blog has suggested that some of the world’s worst sentences appear in Philip Mirowski’s new book, “Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste.” One offender: “The nostrum of ‘regulation’ drags with it a raft of unexamined impediments concerning the nature of markets, a dichotomy between markets and governmentality, and a muddle over intentionality, voluntarism and spontaneity that promulgates the neoliberal creed at a subconscious level.” On the flip side, the London-based Times Higher Education deemed the book a “delightful bramble,” though the author’s “own precise vantage point is deliberately impossible to discern.”
“I don’t think I’m mainstream. I think what I am is lots and lots of different cults. And when you get lots and lots of small groups who like you a lot, they add up to a big group without ever actually becoming mainstream.” — Neil Gaiman, describing his fan base to The Guardian

Tiny House Magazine

Check out this really nice magazine on Tiny Houses from Kent Griswold, maestro of The Tiny House Blog here. For iPad or PDF.

Monday Daily Flash #2 -- Bird Punks

In the last month, 3-4 young scrub jays have showed up in the garden. We've taken to throwing them bits of cracked corn on the ground. Whereas the grownups are very wary and circumspect, these punks squawk their heads off raucously when we go out to feed the chickens. Such noive! (I seem to remember a comment from one of the old Whole Earth publications about blue jays sounding like creaking door hinges.)
 Yesterday I sat still in a chair and got this guy to come to within a few feet. He would eat a bit of corn, then grab another piece, put it down, dig a hole, and bury it. THEN -- he would cover the hole with a leaf or twig. How he's going to remember where he buried all this loot is beyond me.

Monday Daily Flash #1 -- Purple Petals on Streets of San Francisco Last Week

Walked past this spot, got about a half block…hey, wait a minute, were those purple blossom petals? Went back.

SolFest On Again This Year -- Saturday August 17th

This event hasn't happened for several years. It was so popular and crowds got so large that it put a strain on the town of Hopland (California). Now it's back, for one day only -- Saturday, August 17th. We'll have a booth, selling books, and I'm doing my presentation,"The Half Acre Homestead" at 4 PM.
   Hopland is about 2 hours north of San Francisco on Highway 101. The Hopland Brewery is apparently closed now, but for great beer/dinner on the way back south, the Ruth McGowan Brew Pub in Cloverdale is a winner -- you can see the beautiful copper and stainless brew kettle and tanks from the bar, and can take home a growler or two of fresh brew.

For Sale - Off The Grid Converted Houseboat Parked on Land, Tennessee - $19,500

"1968 Owens cabin cruiser restored on land. No utilites involved. Rain water is collected and used for exterior use. Nearby spring used for interior water. Solar panels, wood stove, and propane used for other sources of power."
From Tiny House Listings

Daily Flash - Home For Sale in Detroit, $10,000

I can't tell if this will actually sell for that little, but check out prices for houses in Detroit here.

Go to the post page…

Sea Lion Jumped Aboard Godfrey's Sailboat in SoCal Waters, 1980s

In putting together two pages on Godfrey Stephen's little sailboat for Tiny Homes On the Move, I came across this photo (in the 600+ photos he has sent me over the years), and asked him about it. This happened in the '80s, when he was sailing down the Pacific Coast for Mexico.
Lloyd, after leaving Avalon, Santa Catalina…I anchored for the night off Dana Point.… Under way early in the madrugada (way way more beautiful a word for dawn), this little Merbeing, after several attempts, came bashing with a huge splat right under the safety pipe rails onto the steel deck. I raced  below looking for the camera, wood stove going, coffee on the make, self steering set, (my sailboat) s/v Mungo sliding toward San Diego. In the noise of looking for the camera, this creature (later told is a stellar sea lion by its ears ) found her way to the top of the hard dodger.
   On stepping into the cockpit, what greeted me was a growl and very bad breath!  After a while shooing her away because, if the boat jibed, the mains'l boom would have clocked her. Chasing her flopping up the deck to the starboard bow. She started sleeping. I stroked her incredibly soft fur.  Nothing to feed her.
   In the quiet of sailing, I could could feel her heart beat (faintly echoing) in the metal deck. She slipped silently over the side just off the Scripps Institute—amazing. Suddenly I felt so incredibly alone.

The Gospel Challengers: "The Storm Is Passing Over"