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How To Self Publish a Book by Kevin Kelly

From Boing Boing: "I like to say it is self-published for all the right reasons — not because I could not find a real publisher to back it, but for three other important benefits. I’ll describe those below and I’ll also tell you how the economics of self-publishing work for this book. Finally, I’ll include a few of the cool tools used to create this huge book with only two of us on staff. The first benefit of self-publishing was speed. I finished writing and assembling the book in September and by October I had the book listed on Pre-Order status on Amazon. It will be available to customers (in bookstores, too!) the first week of December. If this book was being published by a New York publisher I’d still be in negotiations to maybe have it available next summer."

I 'm tremendously excited by this forthcoming book (available December). I saw an early PDF and couldn't stop turning pages. Read about how Kevin put it together here.

"Constraint inspires creativity."

Article in New Yorker (here), 10/21/2013, about Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter:

"…He is a techno aesthete in the manner of Steve Jobs: Dorsey, too, is a college dropout, a taker of long walks, and a guy whose father liked to tinker. And, just as Jobs, with his Issey Miyake turtlenecks, tried to embody Apple’s sleek functionalism, Dorsey’s tastes are self-consciously in synch with the design of Twitter. “Constraint inspires creativity” is one of his credos.;"

My Sharona by The Knack

My Sharona by The Knack on Grooveshark

Monday Morning Fish Fry

The wind blew like mad last night, felt like gale force. Clouds moved in, we were hoping for rain, but by this morning, the front had skipped to the south. It's really dry; the weatherman said the other night,  driest January-October since 1865. On the other hand, SF Chronicle outdoors-writer Tom Stienstra said the bears have full coats now, sign of a robust winter. We can only hope. The first rain I'm gonna be out there with face uplifted, feeling the drops, smelling the moistened soil, bring it on!…Last week went up to my brother's farm in Napa Valley and picked a bucket of olives, they're now immersed in water with salt and vinegar. No lye. The olives from last year are still in brine, still very good. I like to have them with a glass of red wine before dinner…Got new skateboard, a Tesseract from Loaded Boards, it's great. Goes maybe 10-15% faster than any other of my boards, and turns maybe 10-15% better, inspiring me to skate more; check it out here -- look at the video -- hi-speed downhill sliding, on long boards with soft wheels no less!


Photos shot in Napa Valley last week; beautiful old house, elegant, spare…but just a little bit too fixed up, too fussed-over, a trophy house. Some of the billionaires' wineries on Highway 112 are embarrassing: money, yes; taste, no. Too many vineyards, monocropping requires chemicals.…

I'm trying to find the time to write something about the wrong-headedness of GMOs; Verlyn Klinkenborg has a wonderful writeup on GMOs in his excellent book, "More Scenes From A Rural Life." 

 

Kite Surfers Last Week at Waddell Creek


Greenough 17' Surfboat For Sale in BC

A surfer I know in BC is heading for the warmer waters of Baja and selling his Greenough surfboat (somewhat reluctantly). Built by Anderson Custom Boats. They're the Maseratis/Jaguars//Beamers/Teslas of surf boats, rare to find used these days. 27K or best offer. I told him I'd post it here. If you are interested, send me yr. email address, and I'll put you in touch with him. (Hoping someone buys it and I can hitch a ride once in a while--dis da bomb! Hey Santa Cruzeans, how about being able to zip down to Big Sur?)
 Here are some specs from him:
"-09 Suzuki…purchased/mounted/pdi/rig... http://www.sherwoodmarine.com
-09 trailrite trailer…made for hull
-inboard 60 gal tank
-teleflex steering w. tilt helm…
-needs seating…
-compass,nav light, gps, vhf…led deck lighting
-27K obo… If a person is real interested and serious I'm happy to work a deal…with delivery/mola etc..."

Mother Earth News' Natural Builders and Green Homes Directory

Mother Earth News is just starting this up. TMEN has something like half a million copies out per month, so this could be a good way for natural builders to get local work.
"If you are a natural or green builder, please add yourself to the map. The map is for anyone who builds green homes, such as passive solar homes, or builds using straw bale, cob, cordwood, timber frames, logs, earthbags, or other natural materials.…"
Click here.

Dolphins and Whales and Birds, Oh My!

Thursday morning I went surfing at Pleasure Point

Dolphins and Whales and Birds, Oh My!

1928 Dodge/Cabin Camper

"…These are the wandering writers June and Farrar Burn and their sons North and South in their homemade camper in 1928."
Photo from Shorpy here. Sent in by Anonymous.

June's book Living High is listed in the upcoming Tiny Homes on the Move bibliography.
For details about their wonderful lives, including homesteading on an island in BC, see The Skaggit River Journal here.

Bruno Atkey's Steel Sailboat in British Columbia Waters

From Godfrey Stephens:
"Bruno and Mecea's s/v Ola Suerte
 'engine'/sailing up the coast…"

Bruno was one of our star builders in Builders of the Pacific Coast. He welded up this spiffy sailboat out of sheets of steel, using the "origami" technique  of boat building, pulling the sheets into shape with come-alongs, then welding. Over a period of 12 years. He also welded up a tiny stainless steel wood stove for the boat.The deck is split cedar. Bruno is an awesome builder, master with many materials, also surfer, fisherman and adventurer of "The Wild Coast" of British Columbia. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Thursday Fish Fry

Got up at 4 this morning, got rolling by 4:30, heading down the coast to Santa Cruz. An almost-full silvery-bright moon was reflected in a broad path of shimmering light on the black ocean; called moonglade, nice word.
   Around Pacifca, the moon was about to set on the western horizon, and it was as orange, well -- as an orange. I've seen lots of orange rising moons, but never a setting one. Stunning. Free.
  BB King and Ruth Brown were doing a spirited version of Ain't Nobody's Business, Ruth's voice like a blasting-off rocket. Then the new Devil's Slide tunnel, which took forever to build. Made me think of the new Bay Bridge, which overall, sucks. The central tower with cables is sort of elegant, but for like a mile before it, there are 100s of dumb looking lights on white poles maybe 50' high. Ugly.
   Andrew Loog Oldham has a great program on Sirius Radio's Underground Garage channel. Very knowledgeable, has creds (early Stones), is funny, plays a lot of 60s music I've never heard.
   Now fortified with excellent Verve latte and apple pastry, am heading out into a beautiful Santa Cruz day. Ah, Southern California!

Monday Fish Fry

It's an impossibly beautiful morning, just exquisite. California blue skies. Fields on ridge have blush of green -- early rains. Nights getting colder. Stars. Moon a week away from full. Red apples in trees, blue in sky, green on hills, warm morning sun. I'm taking a break from (the final stages of) Tiny Homes on the Move (I swear it's getting better by the day) to write this.
More reggae I'm listening to "Train to Skaville," archived on http://www.dancehallreggae.org, thanks to a comment by Gill. I missed out on most of this music back in its day. It just feels so right. I love it. Makes me happy. What a great site. Free.
On this morning's SFGate:
"S.F. man lost in woods, survives on squirrels, lizards
A 72-year-old San Francisco man was recovering Sunday after he spent 19 days lost in a remote canyon of Mendocino County, surviving on squirrels, lizards and berries, and wrapping himself in leaves and grass to stay warm.…"
Techies in San Francisco I hear (and read) a lot these days about the rich techies pricing out the less affluent in SF.
From Socketsite:
"The average rent for a studio in San Francisco is now $2,312 a month, up 8.7 percent year over year … The average rent for a San Francisco apartment in general is $2,899 a month, up 3.4 percent from the first quarter of 2013 and 6 percent higher year-over-year, with one-bedrooms averaging $2,782 a month and two-bedrooms with two baths up to $3,791."
I wonder what % of these people are techies. What about lawyers, financial wonks, other corporate fat-checks? Whatever, it's too bad. $3k per month rent is 100K in 3 years. Tiny homes, anyone?
On being native I was talking to a Mill Valley cab driver a while ago. He was thinking of leaving. I said, Look, you're a native, you've got to use your knowledge and experience to figure out how to stay. You know your way around. Don't give up. Be creative. Hang in. Whenever I meet a native San Franciscan, I say so am I -- we're an endangered species, always gets a laugh.
Bounty from beach These days if I'm not getting mussels, I gather seaweed and crab shells, stuff into plastic bags in my daypack, throw on compost pile when I get home, chop up with machete, turn into compost -- which I've finally got figured out. This pile (5'x5', 2-3' high) is steaming, worms are thick. Every single scrap of food (that doesn't go to the chickens) from 40 years is in our soil, which gets better each year. Speaking of which:
Symphony of the Soil, DVD by Deborah Koons Garcia
Was reviewed in NYTimes last week by Jeannette Catsoulis here. "Infused with an infectious love for its subject, 'Symphony of the Soil' presents a wondrous world of critters and bacteria, mulch and manure. Maintaining this layer in all its richness and diversity is, the film argues, perhaps our most critical weapon against climate change. At the very least, you will leave with the profound understanding that feeding our soil is the first step in feeding ourselves."

"We don't grow plants, we grow soil. And the soil grows the plants."
        - A farmer talking about composting

Real Reggae, Mon…

I get some wonderful comments on this blog from time to time, and this, from Bruce, was a gem. Regarding WFMU out of Jersey City:
"… a terrific reggae show every Wed night, which, like all of the shows, is archived, so that you can listen any time you like. 'The Pounding System with Clay: Five decades of roots reggae, dancehall, dub, and ska.' - http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/PS
   This is SO good. Praise Jah. I just pledged to the station. My only reggae listening lately has been "The Joint" on Sirius Radio, and it's pretty mediocre. Unlike other Sirius musical stations like B.B. King's Blues, Outlaw Country, Bluegrass, Underground Garage, the '50s, etc., all good quality.
   I knew nothing of reggae until 1973, when word was out about a band from Jamacia playing in San Francisco, so one night we drove into the city to Mother's nightclub on Broadway. The place was packed. No chairs or tables, just a square room with a band at one end. People shoulder to shoulder. Well, pause for effect … it was the Wailers -- the singer was Bob Marley, who was of course great -- but it's the band that I remember most. Just never heard anything like that. What power! (They were just about to transition from underground to mainstream.)
  In the '70s I made friends with a guy at a reggae music store in DC and I'd call him to get recommendations, then order the (vinyl) albums.
   It's good to be back on the reggae track again.
   "Praise Jah and all hees creations mon."

Mississippi River Houseboat Circa 1906

From Eric Light via Godfrey Stephens.
Eric says to check out …"loo on poop deck."

Supposedly on Shorpy, but couldn't locate it. However lots of great vintage pics on Shorpy.

Ray Charles Live Montreaux '97- Song For You

Song For You by Ray Charles on Grooveshark

Tiny homes let people live freely, pragmatically…

"Greg Parham of Durango says his tiny house has all the necessary amenities – a loft for sleeping, and a kitchen with a stove and water heater that operate on propane. Parham, like others, has found a way to have more freedom, a simpler lifestyle and not be bound to an unmanageable mortgage.…"
Click here.

Hummingbird in the Hand…

Maybe once a month or so, a hummingbird gets inside the greenhouse, or kitchen, and flutters cluelessly against a window. It's easy to gently trap them in your hands, whenceupon they lie motionless. You feel this warm, soft creature against your palms. V. peaceful. Here (about 5 minutes ago), it lay still for maybe 5 seconds after I opened my hands, then took off buzzing like a mini-helicopter, iridescent green flashing in sun. (Smudges on hand from finger-caulking tin roof holes yesterday.)

Monday Fish Fry

(So titled after San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen's Friday columns, called "Friday Fish Fry;" Herb was master of 3-dot stories. I started reading him at the bkfst table at age 15. In the '70s, he answered a couple of my letters with his Underwood upright typewriter. Wonderful man…
Sunny Monday Morning We've had 3 days of real hot weather, now cooling. Blue skies, glassy ocean. Swam last night… Once in a while I try to throw together fragments revolving in my mind, a la Herb C…
Tom Clancy on Writing  “I tell them you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf,” he said. “You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn't divinely inspired—it's hard work.”
That's why I'm so slow at posting stuff…
Now listening to The Abyssinians Super reggae vocal harmonies. Gimme that old time reggae! "Jason White" here. (I only like about half the songs I hear on "The Joint," Sirius Radio's reggae station. A lot of insipid or preachy stuff or songs you've heard 100 times.…
Great Music on KWMR Our local station has really good music programs around 7-9 PM (West Coast time). Blues, bluegrass, reggae, cajun, R&R, eclectic mix of DJs. I listen to it on radio while doing dishes (and sneakily dance when no one's around), but think it can be streamed…
Free Books to Prisons We have always sent free books to any prisoner who writes us. Letter received a few days ago:
"Shelter Publications,
I wish to thank you for your gift of books. they have been a blessing, not only for…me, but to the many I have loaned them to who are trying to dream and create a future as they leave prison…Thank you for your gift and the many hours of studying, dreaming and contemplation these books provide.
   -J.M., Palmer Correctional Center, Palmer Alaska"
   Thrilling feedback.
   I wish there were some way to get our (fitness and building) books into prison libraries (if there are such). Any researchers out there who can find a list? Or if you know someone in prison, let them know they can write for free books.…
Tidelog Tide Tables I have this posted over the sink and look at it every day. A lot of surfers and fishermen do the same. A graphic view of tides, with art by M.C. Escher. For east and west coasts, including BC. Here

Blues on the Canal Rich Jones sent this link to houseboat moving along an English canal with blues band playing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc5abi78GxU

Tiny Homes On The Move We're gettin there! About 90% complete. This has been the most complex book ever, the most people ever to deal with, in many parts of the world. USA, Canada, UK, France, Australia, China, + sailboats cruising the high seas. Two main categories:
Wheels: vans, trucks-with-camper-shells, housetrucks, house buses, and trailers
Water: sailboats, houseboats, and tugboats
There are some 90 of these units in the book, either rolling on the road or floating on the water. They are used as either permanent residences or for trips of varying lengths upon life’s highways and waterways. Book should be out in May 2014…

I love the life I live,
And I live the life I love.
   -Muddy Waters

SilverFire Clean Cooking

Original alert from Tiny House News.
Every day over 3 billion people in the developing world cook food on open fires or inefficient cook stoves fueled by coal or solid biomass, jeopardize human health, contribute to household & community air pollution, and impact environmental devastation by depleting forests and increasing soil erosion. 4 million premature deaths occur every year due to exposure from toxic smoke emissions. Consequently women and children are disproportionately impacted by household air pollution.
Click here
Mike W

Tiny House Workshop in Massachusetts by Deek Diedrickson and Bro


Deek is multi-facted in the tiny house field:
-Author of Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts: And Whatever the Heck Else We Could Squeeze in Here
-Proprietor of the Relaxshacks blog
-Featured in Tiny Homes (and the upcoming Tiny Homes On The Move)
-Creator of a ton of videos on tiny homes
Here's a workshop he's doing next month:
"HANDS-ON BUILDING AND DESIGNING- TINY HOUSE WORKSHOP #5 (with an emphasis on budget and recycled-material building)
WE WILL ALL BUILD A TINY STRUCTURE TOGETHER!
November 15-16-17 Canton, MA
-Deek Diedrickson"
Click here.

Made My Day

The weather is beautiful here in the fall. Our best time of year. A lot of the nights are clear and dry, not too cold. Good for sleeping out under the stars. I was in San Francisco yesterday; Golden Gate Park was spectacular. They're getting ready for the (free) Not Strictly Bluegrass Festival this weekend. I looked at the lineup in SFWeekly, got excited by all the great groups, then realized that it's gotten too big for me. I used to park my truck out at Ocean Beach, and ride my bike over to the park, then ride around between the 5 stages. But the last time I did this, the whole thing was over-regulated. Can't ride your bike here, must cross street here, lots of people telling you what to do, where to go. Just too big (500,000 + people.) Like Burning Man. The downside of success. I'm skipping it.
   Anyway, coming up to Golden Gate Bridge on the way back home from the Presidio, past the parking lot, a 20-something-year-old guy on a rented bike with a kid in a seat behind him yelled out something to me as I turned left. I pulled over and he rode up and said. "Aren't you the guy who does the books on homes?" Turns out he was from British Columbia and he said they all loved the books. Small world.

Amish Cabin Company in Kentucky

"Shelter Publications,
 Hi, we love small well-built houses.  Actually, we love small well-built cabins to be specific.
   Our Amish-built cabins are built in a custom off-grid facility on a Kentucky Amish farm, approved as modular homes, built to international residential codes, and are delivered prebuilt and placed on permanent foundation, as deeded real estate with traditional 30 year mortgages available at around 5% annual rate currently. We're seeing monthly payments of about $225 per month on our prebuilt deluxe 14'x40' cabins with 2 lofts that add another approx. 300 sf of floor space. They include bathroom(s), kitchen, porch, all electrical and plumbing fixtures, exposed post and beam timber frame construction, exterior/interior doors and cabinetry built by Amish, with beautiful white pine from floor to ceiling including all doors/walls/cabinets. Energy efficient 3Ht insulation with energy star rated insulated double pane windows. Heat/air option available, as well as 2 off-grid solar power options.
 Linton"
http://www.amishcabincompany.com
www.facebook.com/amishcabin 

Logarithmic Spirals From the Garden

For lunch today.
"…Romanesco broccoli resembles a cauliflower, but is of a light green colour…with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the broccoli's shape approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. The vegetable is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and carotenoids.…The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number.…"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanesco_broccoli

This Girl/The Punch Brothers

This Girl by Punch Brothers on Grooveshark

Domes - Hostel in the Forest - Chris McClellan

"Hey Lloyd…My wife and I went on a road trip last month to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We found this place called the Hostel in the Forest on the coast in Georgia with a couple cedar shake domes and a bunch of treehouses you can stay in with dinner for $35 per night plus a clothing optional warm lake and cold spring fed pool in the forest. The shower house has 2 walls facing the path so you walk in and your private shower stall is the rest of the forest. It reminds me of a cross between Bill Castle's place and Breitenbush hot spring.…"
-Chris McClellan

War and Peace, Wolf and Wolf

Article in Sunday New York Times, "Are We Hard-Wired for War?" By DAVID P. BARASH September 28, 2013
…concluded with:
"…There is a story, believed to be of Cherokee origin, in which a girl is troubled by a recurring dream in which two wolves fight viciously. Seeking an explanation, she goes to her grandfather, highly regarded for his wisdom, who explains that there are two forces within each of us, struggling for supremacy, one embodying peace and the other, war. At this, the girl is even more distressed, and asks her grandfather who wins. His answer: 'The one you feed.'”