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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

House and Garden on Different Pieces of Land

This is one of those comments that I like to bring front and center:


david stanley has left a new comment on your post "Treehouse Builder Busted in Germany - Looking to Move":

I have a suggestion. Can you separate the house from the land in your mind? You can live in a small house in a town or village and buy or rent land to grow and do your other projects. This is what we do. I have a tiny 150 year old terrace house in a historic town in England and I rent a workshop with an acre attached 3 miles away. I work and grow most of our food there. It costs me £100 per month as I share the workshop and there are no services. I use a generator and solar/wind to charge gel batteries. My food growing is integrated into my working day making furniture. But of course we cannot live there as there is no permission. It is within easy cycling distance of home so the commute is very cheap. Our house is entirely heated with burning off-cuts from the workshop or free from skips. Now the mortgage is paid we can live as a family of three on less than £1000 per month ($1300?) That leaves us plenty of time and funds to go off for wilderness trips if we want but most of us can't cope with long term wilderness living. I love what you have built but I can guess that maybe your neighbours had some fears and that they notified the authorities. Will they need to be demolished if you move out? I hope it goes well anyway.

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.;"

100' Wave Surfed in Portugal Yesterday


From Anonymous

Smiley Lewis: I Hear You Knockin

I Hear You Knockin' by Smiley Lewis on Grooveshark

A Magical Hand-Built Cabin of Re-Purposed Windows for $500

"Hand-built by photographer Nick Olson and designer Lilah Horwitz, the charming little structure was built with a front wall of old, repurposed windows in varying sizes and when completed cost an amazingly low $500 (plus a LOT of scrounging).…"
Click here.
From Kevin Kelly

Spray foam insulation can make some homes unlivable


A CBC Marketplace investigation has found that for some homeowners, a “green” way to make their houses more energy efficient has left them out in the cold.
   The growing popularity of spray polyurethane foam insulation may be creating an emerging problem in Canada. While the majority of spray foam installations occur without incident, problems can be costly and difficult to repair, and have led to a string of lawsuits in the U.S. as homeowners attempt to recover costs.
   When installed incorrectly, spray foam insulation can result in a strong, unpleasant fishy smell from off-gassing that has driven some people from their homes, some complaining of difficulty breathing and other health problems. When contractors fail to address installation problems, homeowners can have little recourse.
   “We thought we were doing something to improve our home and instead basically destroyed my home,” one homeowner tells Marketplace co-host Tom Harrington. “They ruined it. We can’t live in it anymore."
Click here.
From Anonymous

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." 

 

Tiny houses create new green community

Washington
Lee Pera is a government employee who worked right on through the shutdown. Not at her day job as a geographer at the EPA. Instead, she spent her days building a tiny house. It is not even 200 square feet, but the house turns heads in her neighborhood off North Capitol Street.
   As you might imagine, Pera and her EPA co-workers are passionate about the environment. That is why during the shutdown, they have teamed up to help Pera build her environmentally-friendly house. She has been working on it for over a year now, but mostly on weekends. The shutdown has freed up some extra time. They are sawing, drilling and hammering things together. "It's nice to get outside of the house and it's actually nice to be helping. It's helping a friend. And it's also a great community effort," says Monica Shimamura, an EPA colleague.
Click here.

20 Of The Tiniest Homes In The World

Huff Post slide show here.


This one is by Deek Diedrickson at  Relaxshacks.