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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.

$500 Backyard Cob Cabin in Reno, Nevada


"Hello, Mr. Kahn.  I was recently reading through your latest book while at my friend Coenraad's place in Oregon and feel he (and his homes) would be a good candidate for your next book.
   Coenraad Rogmans (click hereis a great natural builder who has built dozens of cob and bale homes and other structures for the past 15 years or so.  He runs House Alive (click here) and in addition to being a fabulous builder is a fantastic teacher with a great philosophy on building and design.  He's also a good friend and mentor.
   Also, if you're ever in Reno swing by our place to see what we're doing in the urban environment.  Right now we're putting the finish plaster on a 200 sq foot "cob-board' cabin in our backyard and an earthen floor after that.  It's stick framed with all salvaged wood, infilled with cardboard kept on with wood lathe and covered in earth and straw.  There's also a cob nook.  Clay from our property, sand from the desert up the road, total cost about $500 (mainly gas to get the wood and roofing). The pic is older but I can get a newer one if you're interested.  We live without electricity (nor fossil fuels or a car) so taking a pic takes me getting a neighbor/friend with an i-phone over.
   All the best and thanks for doing great work.
   Kyle Chandler-Isacksen"
Look what you can do in a city backyard! - LK

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!

18-foot oarfish discovered off southern California coast


"(CNN) -- A marine science instructor's late-afternoon snorkel off the Southern California coast last Sunday was first met with shock and soon excitement when she discovered a gigantic oarfish, a deep-sea creature that remains little known to the science world and people outside.
Jasmine Santana was about 15 feet underwater when she found the 18-foot-long, silvery fish with reddish fins and eyes the size of a half-dollar staring at her from the sandy bottom. Realizing it was dead, she snatched the fish's tail, and using buoyancy and low tides, powered her way back on shore.…"
Click here.

Gillian Welch -- Tear My Stillhouse Down

Tear My Stillhouse Down by Gillian Welch on Grooveshark

Fishing Village/Artists' Community/Tiny Homes On Slough in BC, Canada

Hello Lloyd,
I've been following the progress of your next book with interest, and the other day found a funky little community made of artists that might fit in well with the subject material. It's this little fishing village in Richmond BC (Canada) left over from the old days, it's called Finn Slough, and apparently it's there illegally and is embroiled in a legal battle for whether the residents can stay. All the shanties are built on stilts over a marsh, and they're all shake-covered, hand-made, and definitely not to code! I walked past it and thought it looked like something out of your previous books. They have a website http://www.finnslough.com/, but it doesn't have the best photos of the shanties. It might be worth contacting them? I remember one place had an upside down boat as the veranda, and what look liked salvaged stained glass windows.
Cheers,
Kai Watkins

Timber Frame Building Near Fargo, North Dakota



October 7, 2013
To Shelter:
A quick photo update of a project I've been working on all summer. My role nearing completion.
-Owner builder frame, cut on site near Fargo, North Dakota
-Fluctuating itinerant crew of Tom Cundiff, Sean Struntz, Jayson Wilson and me
-Joinery and frame design by Andrea Warchaizer, Tom Cundiff, and me
-Architectural design by Andrea Warchaizer
-Timber supplied by Bruce Lindsey at Evergreen Specialties

Hope everyone is well…
Uh…am I unemployed now?
Peace,
Adam Valesano
651 332-3925

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

Tiny Homes of Recycled Materials in Maryland

These look really nice to me; they remind me of Tiny Texas Houses, featured in Tiny Homes. Look at the curve in the little roof over door -- nice!

 "In an age when homes include four car garages, media rooms and man caves, one Maryland company is bucking the trend.
   Hobbitat, a construction company not affiliated with "The Lord of the Rings," specializes in tiny houses made of reclaimed and reused materials. Each of their houses—called hobs—are around 250 square feet and can sleep up to four people. Each hob takes between six and eight weeks to build and can be moved to its new site in a single day.
   The only design rule: the structure must be able to fit out the door of their shop.
'It takes a special kind of person to live in a tiny house,' said Sue Thomas, co- founder of Hobbitat.…"
Click here for story.
Click here for Hobbitat home page.

Slabs of Lumber, NYC

"More than three years ago, I began hauling logs on my trailer from NYC to Liberty, NY, where I have a mill. Every week was an adventure looking for wood and logs.
   I started out very small, going from tree cutter to private residences and municipal facilities to get trees. Loading them on my trailer and hauling them from Boston to Washington D.C., I was called 'black lumberjack.' The first time I heard it I was suprised but six months later I was completely fine with it.
   I have ventured into many back yards to retrieve fallen trees. Sometimes I am helped by the home owner or perhaps a neighbor with a loader helps out.
   I try my best to get as much info as I can about a tree from the owner and/or the tree cutter. I often have pictures and addresses for documentation."

Click here.
From Jon Kalish