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Camping on the Beach

Each time I do it, I don't know why I don't do it more often. Last week, coming down the coast, I parked and hiked for about 45 minutes to get to a secluded Sonoma County beach. I had a new super lightweight tent and I ended up like the Keystone Cops setting it up because I hate reading directions. It took me like a half hour to do something that should've taken four minutes.
   But it was a nice night. I roasted a local pigeon (from the freezer), and a potato and onion, both wrapped in foil, over the coals. Half a bottle of red wine. Sat around the fire for a few hours, surf crashing, no electronic devices.

Progress on Tiny Homes on the Move Book

Rick has been working over a month now on the 1000 images in the book, using Photoshop to enhance (and sometimes rescue) the photos. He's just about finished. As of a few days ago, we finished layout of the last pages. Next we've got a round of corrections, then proofreading, then printing out the entire book full size on Epson proofing paper.
   For the last week I've been fooling around with a title page showing people in the book. Here's the latest version, just finished this morning. Scissors and removable scotch tape at this stage.
    We're working on a bunch of ideas for the cover. Nothing solid yet. Subtitle: Wheels & Water.
   Target date is books in stores by May.
   We've had orders for 2100 copies of Tiny Homes this month, and the month isn't even over. Saving our bacon.

The Yurt Compound of William Coperthwaite

A sad and somewhat eery coincidence: Bill was killed in an auto accident yesterday (the day before this was posted), driving alone on slippery roads in Maine. I've known him for 40 years, stayed at his place in the Maine woods, and he visited our home last year. He was a grand man. Click here for news story.



Click here.
Sent by Lew Lewandowski

Floating Alongside a Feeding Western Grebe in the Blue Glassy Water

Late yesterday afternoon I went for a paddle. It was glassy, no surf, like Lake Tahoe. I headed out towards the reef, paddling directly into sun low on horizon. You never know with the ocean. It can be gnarly and unfriendly, or lovely and perfect. Which it was yesterday. No surfers at all.
   My paddleboard (Joe Bark 12' Surftek) just flew on the smooth water, it felt like the sun was pulling me, I had a wake. Ready to head for Hawaii. Well, not.
 
I got some seaweed at the reef, started paddling back. Up in front of me was a Western Grebe, floating. Elegant black and white head and neck. He didn't seem concerned as I got closer. Then he dove, just under the surface, completely submerged, spun around, then came up and gulped down the little fish he'd snagged.
   I got closer and closer and this dude was not concerned. I passed within a few feet of him and he just kept up swimming, diving, eating. I hung out with him for maybe 5 minutes. What a great end to the day.
   Occasionally an animal (or bird) lets me into their world. Field mice around my feet when I was 12, conversations with owls (several times), a loon that rocketed underneath my paddleboard one day, an elegant grey fox that used to show up when we barbecued, coyotes more than once with their penetrating savvy out in the hills…
   Dried out seaweed on woodstove last night, this morning turned it to rough powder in the blender, now putting on eggs, meat, potatoes. Salt + ocean flavors.
Photo: Wikipedia (no indication of photographer)

Nelson Tiny Houses in BC, Canada

These look like very well-built, tasteful tiny homes.

"…inspired by the mountains, forests, lakes and culture of this special part of southern British Columbia. As such, we view building tiny houses as a place where science meets art, where trade meets craft, where a shelter becomes a home.…"
http://www.nelsontinyhouses.com/
 

Quonset Home in British Columbia

"Was curious if any have used metal quonset buildings as residences.. Here's one in the Canadian Kootenays ( BC )…Flickr link for current photos…looks great..…

Mike W"

Cool Tools Sensational!

It's big, like the Whole Earth Catalog and Shelter (11" x 14"). That's just one of the brilliant things about this book, an analog-if-you-will version of Kevin Kelly's 10-year-old CoolTools website/blog. Cool. Tools.
   What's great about the website is getting weekly WEC-type perceptive reviews; it's embarrassing how many things I got from reading CT. A wrench, a light, a bunch of books, foldable reading glasses…It's pretty much my favorite place to visit online.
   But  having it all together (472 pages!) in color, big like this -- I'm happy as a pig in mud thumbing through it, opening to random pages, skipping back and forth, savoring the bookness. This kicks the ass of any possible electronic versions. Put down the iPads, Kindles, and smart phones, folks, and get a  Real Book!
   It's got a ton of useful, inspiring, wonderful tools;  the reviews are hip, tight, and informed.
   Disclaimer: a) Kevin is a friend, b) I've talked to him about this project on and off for years, and c) I wrote a bunch of reviews that ended up in the book.
   I need to digest it a bit before writing a review, but just wanted to tell you to get it. Trust me. It's a major cultural accomplishment.
Note: The 1st printing is sold out (in advance orders by booksellers). I'm guessing it'll hit bookstores around Thanksgiving.

Tuesday Night Moonrise After Storm, SF lights


Ah, the limitations of digital presentation.
Moonlight on water sparkling quicksilver.
I'm gonna print out these 4 pics and make a 3' long panorama.

Hmm -- might we be going into an appreciate-the-analog phase about now?
Lyrics to song here.
Shot with Sony Cybershot DSC RX100

1935 Avions Voisin C25 Aérodyne

"…The 1934 Paris show was a showcase for other groundbreaking French offerings, including the Citroën Traction Avant and the Renault Aeroprofil.
   Voisin was known for his exotic creations, but the C25 Aérodyne was the topper; it suggested the limitless artistic possibilities of automotive design, even though the extreme costs associated with bringing it to life probably helped to doom the company.
   By 1934, the handwriting was really already on the wall for Voisin’s somewhat quixotic dream of designing the world’s most perfect automobile. Chronically underfinanced — a condition worsened by the Depression — Gabriel Voisin had already let go many of his top people. He was unable to upgrade his smoky 6-cylinder sleeve-valve engines.
   But there was no scrimping on the design.Voisin’s cars employed construction methods, and lightweight materials like aluminum and magnesium, developed for use in aviation. The company used airplane-style fender struts to reduce body flex, aerodynamic wheel covers and a fastback profile with an integrated trunk.
Evolved from the C24, the new Voisin was brimming with revolutionary curiosities — a retracting sunroof, fold-down rear seats, a shortwave radio and even rudimentary turn signals.
Click here.

Crabs, Leaves and -- RAIN!

The crabs are hoppin,
Leaves are droppin,
and rain drops are starting to fall.
It looks like a monster crab season. Not only are there a lot of them, but they are both large and meaty. The sport fishermen have been hauling in limits (10 per person) for 2 weeks, and the commercial season started Friday…Leaves on trees finally dropping; we've got enough trees on our land that we have a local source for the compost pile. Nothing better than oak leaves in compost. Plus I've got a healthy population of hungry red worms transforming garbage into sweet-smelling black soil…And, after too much dry weather, we're finally getting R-A-I-N! "GENTLE ISENTROPIC LIFT SHOULD PROVIDE SLIGHTLY GREATER PRECIPITATION VALUES ALONG THE COASTAL HILLS WITH EXPECTED TOTAL PRECIPITATION ALONG THE NORTH BAY HILLS AND BIG SUR RECEIVING 1.5 TO 2.0 INCHES. THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA MAY SEE 0.25 TO 0.50 INCHES OF TOTAL PRECIPITATION…Yahoo!…The air smells sweet right now with the first drops, with the real action to start this afternoon…If I don't wimp out, I'm going to hike in the rain tonight along the coast…


Loop De Loop Mambo by The Robins on Grooveshark I have an affection for this song. The first time I went to LA, 18 years old,  in my roommate's Ford convertible, this was playing on the radio as we drove along the coast at Malibu at 5 AM. I've loved LA ever since.

Try a bigger breakfast


"When you eat a day’s worth of food really does make a difference, according to Daniela Jacubowicz, a professor at Tel Aviv University.  In a recent study, published in the journal Obesity, she randomized 93 overweight and obese women into 2 groups and followed them for 12 weeks.  Both groups ate 1400 calories a day, consuming a healthy variety of poultry, fish, egg whites, vegetables, fruits and whole grains.  The ‘breakfast group’ had 700 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch and 200 for dinner.  A sweet treat was included as part of their breakfast, such as a small chocolate bar, to stave off cravings for the rest of the day. The ’dinner group’ had exactly the same foods in reverse order - 200 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch and 700 for dinner.  I presume that their chocolate bar came with dinner.
   At the end of 12 weeks, the results were striking.  The ‘breakfast group’ lost an average of 19 pounds while the ‘dinner group’ lost 8.  Waist circumference decreased by 3 inches in the ‘breakfast group’ compared to 1.4  inches in the ‘dinner group.'"…
More here: http://sadjascolumns.blogspot.com/

Tiny Happy Homes

"Tiny Happy Homes is the second tiny house company launched by Joe Everson, currently best known for Tennessee Tiny Homes. Joe is moving to Denver.…
   'My parents just retired and moved into the 400 square foot tiny home in my backyard that we built for my grandma who spent her final years there. My brother and my father will keep Tennessee Tiny Homes running here with my crew while I go out west looking for adventure and to grow Tiny Happy Homes.…'”
 http://tinyhouselistings.com/tiny-happy-homes/

Monday Morning Fish Fry

Day at the beach Yesterday I walked a few miles along the coast, carrying my wetsuit, surf mat and fins in a backpack. I've had the mat for over a year and never used it. It was sunny, the ocean glassy, surf 3-4 feet, but breaking straight across. Suited up -- gotta bite the bullet sometime -- and hit the water. Two surfers out, getting creamed each time they got up…When I got out, surf had jumped to 4-6', breaking kah-wump with big thick lips…Bottom line: surfing a mat ain't as easy as I thought, or as easy as it looks. I had a hard time getting in the right place at the right time. I did get one ride, but also got pounded a couple of times. But you know, at my age, I ain't complainin, just getting in the water always generates chi…On the way back, there were these rock sculptures, hadn't been there a few hours earlier.

   Tiny Homes On The Move is moving, albeit slowly. Rick has been working over a month, doing Photoshop work on the 1,000+ photos, many of which need resuscitation; on some of these he's performing minor miracles, bringing out lacking color, depth and sharpness…I had a sort of breakthrough Friday when I cancelled a planned kayak adventure to Drake's Estero and stayed here and got the intro and credits pages done, had been putting off for weeks. Now that everything is laid out, we will spend a month or so making corrections, and coming up with a cover.
Half Acre Homestead: I'm doing a presentation on tools Friday here at Commonweal. Click here.


Pickup Truck With Custom Camper For Sale in UK

"Hi Guys,

I'm selling my handmade demountable timber truck camper cabin in the UK. It might be of interest for you to see.

It was a joy to make and own but like all things, it has to go at some point!…

Matt Hayman (Handmade Matt)"

Click here.

Custom Gypsy Wagon For Sale in Oregon -- $14K


"…the 'Ladybug' features custom antiqued copper accents on both interior and exterior, cedar interior walls with pine exterior, a real cobble wood floor hand laid piece by piece, and a hand built custom Dutch door. Ladybug can sleep two people however, it does not have a bathroom.
   This gypsy wagon, also known as a vardo wagon, is new – and was designed and built in 2013 in Salem, Oregon.…"
http://tinyhouselistings.com/gorgeous-homemade-gypsy-wagon/

My Dream Home

Louie pointed this out to me on Thursday; he pulled the truck over, somewhere south of Ft. Bragg on Highway One, pointed down, and said, "There's the house for you."

Totally!

I'd be in or on that water every day. I can only dream…



Homemade Gypsy Wagon For Sale in Oregon $14K


Up The River Last Week

Louie's house, the river, Titsch and Louie on our 3-hour river walk last Wednesday:






70 DIY Tips From Popular Mechanics

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "diy-crafted-seattle-micro-apartment:"

70 DIY tips, thought you might enjoy, from Popular Mechanics: http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/skills/know-your-stuff-the-110-best-diy-tips-ever#slide-1


"Hole in One
Enlarged screw holes can be quickly repaired, we said in March 1972, by filling the hole with a wooden golf tee. Use a hacksaw to saw the tee flush with the wood's surface, then sand and finish."

Dan Price's Underground Hobbit House


Dan Price's Hobbit House was featured in our book Home Work in 2004.

"He’s got no wife, no money, but he’s happy in his 'hobbit hole.'

Dan Price left behind a stressful life as a photo-journalist after his marriage fell apart, and he wound up in a meadow outside Joseph, Ore. He now lives in an underground hutch burrowed into the hillside. 'I like being able to do what I want to do,' Price told NBC. 'I don’t believe in houses or mortgages. Who in their right mind would spend their lifetime paying for a building they never get to spend time in because they are always working?'”
Click here.
Photo: NBC News

End-of-October Trip Up North Coast

Took off at 6AM Wednesday, dark, ultra foggy, it was like driving in a tunnel -- until I got to Jenner and it cleared. I stopped and trespassed to skate at Sea Ranch; there never seems to be anyone in any of those houses, maybe 90% unoccupied, just me and the propane guy…met my friends, Louie,Titsch, and Pepe for breakfast at Trinks in Gualala, great food, great wi-fi…that afternoon, Louie, Titsch and I hiked a few miles up the river to an old homestead and had home-smoked salmon, salami, Irish cheddar cheese, sourdough baguette, bottle of Louie's v. excellent 2009 Primitivo red…that night after drying out (had to wade thru river at various spots) and warming up, we barbecued a flank stake in Louie's new open hearth fireplace in the shop, my olives, a salad …yesterday another great breakfast at Queenie's (somewhere south of Medocino, prowled around Mendo town (awfully precious these days, then to Ft. Bragg, still a real town…on the way back we went to the very weird Garcia River Casino. just slot machines, no kraps or blackjack, a few morons sitting at machines, smoking, losing money, I just don't get it. HOWEVER, Louie got $1 worth of nickels and won $45 in the nickel machine and we quit right there and went to the bar in Pt. Arena cove and had beer on tap (mine Black Butte Porter) and fried calimari…now Friday morning and I'm heading south…can't post pix because I haven't got my rebuilt Sony DSC RX100 camera coordinated with my MacAir…

SURF MAT TURBO TIME II : NEXT LEVEL