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Man-With-Mule Bernie Harberts Builds Tiny Home On Land

Bernie Harberts was featured in Tiny Homes (pp. 188-89), documenting a 2,500 mile journey from Canada to Mexico, with a mule pulling a 21-square-foot gypsy wagon. Recently we got a letter from Bernie, as reproduced below. A month or so later he sent us 2 jars of apple sauce cooked on his wood stove in a box stuffed with straw.


Brandy, A Great Song, A Powerful Waterfall

So much is going on in my life right now, I haven't got around to many posts of late. I need a clone (or maybe an apprentice), then I could keep the pub biz running, go fishing/clamming/crabbing, surf and paddle, hunt mushrooms, make knives (with Russell made-in America carbon steel blades and madrone handles, do the maintenance around the homestead, go on a kayak adventure I've got planned, walk the 10-mile sandy beach in Pt. Reyes, spend a week in Santa Cruz…it goes on…

Monday night on the way home I bought a bottle of Germain-Robin made-in-Ukiah brandy, then stopped off at the Sweetwater nightclub. It was local musicians night and there was a couple on the stage, a guy with acoustic guitar and a curly-haired girl, singing a duet. Jeez, did they sound good. They were doing "Let's Stay Together," one of my all-time faves, by Al Green, and they had it right. They were at the same time both channelling Al and giving it their own beautiful interpretation. The guy hit Al's high note "I just cain't see-ee-ee…," the girl sang beautiful harmony. They were called Come Around Babe. I think they're a brand new group, can't find this song anywhere online. Here's Al:
Let's Stay Together by Al Green on Grooveshark
It was around 10 when I started home and I went to my magic waterfall, took a couple shots of brandy, clothes off, and ducked under it. What's usually a trickle was a pounding torrent, the full power of the mountain. It's such a simple thing to do, the cold shock gives way to elation as soon as you're out…oh boy am I glad I did this…I didn't even play the radio on the way home, as "Let's Stay Together" played over and over in my head…

The Shields - You Lied

You Cheated by The Shields on Grooveshark

Crab Fishing From A Kayak


This guy brought this unusual shaped kayak to the beach on top of a compact car. He paddled out through the  surf, dropped off his (collapsible) crab traps, picked them up in a few hours, and went home with 4 nice crabs. In a small car.

Rain, Rain, Wily Coyote, and Al Green

Rain, rain, go away -- just kidding -- it's wonderful. More rainfall as of this date (December 17th)  than in the last 10 years. 20-1/2" so far, and TOTAL rainfall for the past 3 years has been 23-24" per year (June is end of season). California (at least coastal) is starting to pull through. The big boy, Shasta Lake (visible from Interstate 5) is 32% full as compared to normal of 52% this time of year; it's a good start. Come on low pressure, stick around, keep on keepin the storm track open…

Last night I was driving home about 9:30 in the pitch-black rainy night along the coast, Billy Boy Arnold playing a blues song, when a coyote appeared, trotting along the left side of the road. I pulled alongside him, rolled the window down and turned up the music full blast. He ambled along, glancing over at me, seemingly unconcerned, for 20-30 seconds before veering off into the coyote (sic) brush. Wily, mos def…

Old Time Lovin' by Al Green on Grooveshark

Model Boats in San Francisco


These are remote controlled model (tug) boats at a lake in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The large one is maybe 14-16" long.

Handmade Obsidian Knives by JJ Stone Craft

One-of-a-kind, handmade obsidian knife by flint knapping artist JJ Heo. See selection of knives here: http://www.jjstonecraft.com/

Eliphante: Michael Kahn’s Sculptural Village in the Arizona Desert

In 1989, I drove my Tacoma truck to Arizona to visit my cousin Mike, who had created a sculptural complex in the desert near Sedona. Mike and I had hung out together as kids; he was a year younger, and we looked a lot alike. He was an artist from early on. We'd each gone off with our different lives, then got together in the mid-60s when we were both feeling the stirrings of the cultural revolution, and this was the first time I'd seen him since then.

He told me he'd been influenced and inspired by our book Shelter in building what he called Eliphante. I stayed there for a few days, visiting Mike and his wife Leda and shot the pictures that appear in our book Home Work, and here on our blog: http://www.theshelterblog.com/eliphante-michael-kahns-sculptural-village-arizona-desert/#wrapper.

He created the room shown here out of used automobile windshields, with stained glass glued on with silicone caulk.

Garden Visit From Great Egret

This guy has discovered the fish in our pond. Strangely enough, he's hard to chase away, letting me get to within 25-30 feet. These birds, along with great blue herons are usually very wary and suspicious. Look at the long black legs!

Monarch Butterfly Magic


Swarms of monarchs used to pass through town on their southerly migration, but in recent years there have been hardly any. This chrysalis appeared in our garden a few weeks ago and when it got knocked off the plant, Lesley tied it back and put the pot in the greenhouse. (Note the gold dots.)

We kept watching it and a few days ago, the transformation had taken place. (The second shot is a bit blurry.) Within a day or two, it had taken off into the wide outside world.

Ultra Long Dodge Xplorer Camping Van

Saw this in San Francisco out by the beach last week. I believe there are outfits that do conversions like this. In this case, they went horizontal and not vertical with the addition, the former more aerodynamic than the latter.

When It Rains,It Pours/Oak Firewood

5-1/2" in the last few days. There are those of us who are overjoyed. The woods are alive, creeks are bubbling, mycelium are searching for healthy oak roots. BIG storm forecast for mid-week. Low pressure seems to be predominating, allowing the storms to come in off the ocean. There will be flooding, trees down --  speaking of which I got about a year's worth of nice oak firewood by the side of the road this weekend.

Every Drop of Rain by David Byrne & Fatboy Slim on Grooveshark

Rainbow in San Francisco Yesterday Morning

Shot from the Cliff House at Ocean Beach

My Last Slide Show/Book Signing in San Francisco Tomorrow Night

For Tiny Homes on the Move, at Gravel & Gold, an intriguing eclectic store of diverse items in the Mission district, 3266 21st Street, S.F., 7 PM Tuesday December 2, 2014.

http://gravelandgold.com/events/lloyd-kahn-shelter-slide-show-iii/

Homemade Wooden Pickup Truck Camper Shell

Photo shot in San Rafael, Calif. by Dave Covey

Six Gambrel Roof Barns in Oregon

I'm starting to do posts like this on TheShelterBlog.
"These are barns I photographed in the Willamette Valley in Oregon in September, 2014. The gambrel is a distinctive and common barn roof shape in this part of the world, as is the curved roof barn…"
http://www.theshelterblog.com/six-gambrel-roof-barns-oregon/#wrapper

Birds of the Week

Lew found this hummingbird in the kitchen. It had probably been trapped in there a while; it was catatonic, its chi was ebbing. Its wings were fluffed up in an attempt to get warm. Hummingbirds are perpetual motion machines; they need to be constantly moving and eating to keep up with the high metabolism.

We mixed some agave syrup with warm water and we dipped its beak in it several times. It tilted its head back each time to swallow. Then we put it on a chair in the sun;as it warmed up, its feathers started unfluffing and when we looked a few minutes later, it had taken off.

The scrub jay is so unbelievably blue.





The Four-Masted Ship Pamir, 1905-1957

“'Pamir' was originally launched in Hamburg in 1905, she had a steel hull, a tonnage of 3020 gross, an overall length of 375 feet, a beam of 46 feet and a loaded draught of 24 feet. Her three masts stood 168 feet above the deck and the main yard was 92 feet wide. She carried a total of 50,000 square feet of sails and could reach a top speed of 16 knots, while her speed on passage was often better than 10 knots.

Pamir, a four-masted barque, was one of the famous Flying P-Liner sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz. She was the last commercial sailing ship to round Cape Horn, in 1949. By 1957 she had been outmoded by modern bulk carriers and could not operate at a profit. Her shipping consortium's inability to finance much-needed repairs or to recruit sufficient sail-trained officers caused severe technical difficulties. On 21 September 1957 she was caught in Hurricane Carrie and sank off the Azores, with only six survivors rescued after an extensive search.…"
Photo: http://i.imgur.com/GYNzpLS.jpg
Text: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamir_(ship)

Bye-Bye Blues by the Phoebe Babo Trio

I just ran across this. I put it on the blog about 4 years ago, but the link got scrambled, so here it is again. (My mom lived to be 103.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FJ0_8mBqnA
"I was at my Mom's rest home a few weeks ago and walked in on a little lady sitting at the piano playing for the old folks. (This is in the wing for elderly and challenged residents.) It was ragtime music and great. I learned who she was and called her up. Did she want me with my bass and my brother with his banjo to sit in with her? "Oh, yes, that would be great!"

This is the 2nd time we've played together. Lew taped this last Tuesday, and the joint was rockin'. (We haven't even practiced together yet.) These are songs that I used to play with my quartet in high school, a lot of them from the '20s, so I was right at home. I'm working at my bass playing and Bob is pretty good on the banjo.

Phoebe is actually thrilled. I told her we're just enhancing her. I'm calling us the Phoebe Babo trio. She says when she was a girl, she played the drums. She started on the piano later on in life, and she's just got it. She is a grand lady. The 80-90-year-olds love us. On Tuesday, as soon as we started playing, people came in from all over. The caregiver women were dancing, my mom's caregiver Clara was shakin' it. A lady named Jane knows the words to every song. Peggy was 88 that day and celebrating with wolf whistles at the end of each song."

In Praise of Eudora (and in Sorrow at Its Non-Availability Today For Mac Users)

Two and a half years ago, I did a post on Eudora, and it has generated 19 comments over that time. There still seems to be no solution for anything near as good that will run on the new Mac operating systems. I'm still using Snow Leopard (10.6.8) on my office MacPro for the sake of Eudora. I occasionally give silent thanks to Steve Dorner for developing Eudora back in the '90s. He thought so many things out so well.
Old article on Steve Dorner: http://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/week/012197eudora.html

Why doesn't some venture capitalist put up the money (hire Dorner?) to create a mail program as good as Eudora that will run on new Macs? There's a huge gaping hole in quality still.

The following comment came in today and I think it's interesting enough to bring it to the forefront:

Lloyd’s Camping Vehicles, Part 3

In 1988 I bought a 4-cylinder, 5-speed Tacoma 4×4 with the Xtra cab (meaning a 6′ bed). Then in 2003, I got a new one, same model. The engine is a bit gutless going up long hills, but will run forever.
By this time I knew exactly what I wanted:
A metal camper shell made by Tradesman in Winters, Calif. It opened on all three sides, was way stronger than plastic shells. I bought an aluminum rack from Hauler Racks. It came disassembled via UPS and I bolted it together and mounted it. It rests on the truckbed sides, not on the camper roof.
At Campway’s in Santa Rosa, Calif., I got the inside of the bed sprayed with a waterproof membrane to protect the metal. Also a “carpet kit,” with storage boxes along the sides and sliding middle panels inside the bed.
You can see the pull-out drawer and side storage boxes. I shot this photo on Hornby Island, BC on one of my four trips to Canada shooting photos for Builders of the Pacific Coast. I remember one afternoon collecting oysters way out on a reef (beyond the commercial guys and cooking them for dinner on a beach fire with aluminum-foil-clad potatoes, red wine, AND just-picked blackberries with …(ahem)… heavy cream and brown sugar.
More on TheShelterBlog here.

Light at End of Tunnel Has Faded

Someone sent me this a few weeks back and, although I didn't agree with everything (like the internet being mostly evil), it hit a lot of notes compatible with what I've seen going on. Since the depressing elections, Don Hazen's summary seems even more true.

I usually don't publish political stuff here because I don't have time to engage in political debate, but what this guy says is pretty much what I see going on.

"…we progressives, liberals, common-sense people, are losing badly to the conservative business state, the tyranny of massively expanding tech companies, theocratic right-wing forces and pervasive militarism, home and abroad. By virtually every measure, things are getting worse. And things are trending much, much worse in ways we can easily measure, like inequality, climate, militarization of police forces, etc., and in ways that are more psychological and emotional.…"

"…the four especially powerful and pernicious overarching economic and political mechanisms operating in our country that are fundamentally responsible for the situation we are in. They are privatization, financialization, militarization and criminalization, which together are producing a steadily creeping authoritarianism—a new authoritarianism—to fit our times.…"

Apocalypse Now: Seriously, It's Time for a Major Rethink About Liberal and Progressive Politics We are losing badly to the corporate state. Here's what we need to do.
By Don Hazen
October 25, 2014

The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11

Just out. Boy is there some good stuff here (also, some half-finished, raw songs). These guys were having fun!
Like an Amazon reviewer wrote, "This is history, babe…."
Photo I took of Dylan with Robbie Robertson in one of his first concerts with rock and roll, in Providence, RI, in Fall, 1967. Full account of this concert here.
http://grooveshark.com/s/I+Don+t+Hurt+Anymore/78dLLs?src=5 http://grooveshark.com/s/This+Wheel+s+On+Fire/78dKfg?src=5

Lloyd’s Camping Vehicles, Part 2

These days I'm doing less posts on this blog and more on TheShelterBlog. I realized that I had a lot of build-garden-homestead-forage experience (and assemblage) to communicate and liked the idea of putting it all in one place.

I'll cross-reference some of my posts on the new blog with this one, such as this:
I bought it used from a builder friend. It didn’t have the “Xtra cab,” so the bed was 8′ long.
Tarp for Shade:  I had a Yakima Rocket Box on racks on the camper roof, with a flea market tarp (12’×14′) folded up inside. The frame was 1″ electrical conduit, with special connectors tightenable with wingscrews. The tarp was aluminized fabric. It was weighted down with canvas bags filled with sand and hung from each corner (ingenious!). Took maybe 45 minutes to set up. I’d place it butting up to the truck bed.

I'm Doing Tiny Homes on the Move Presentation Tonight in Pt. Reyes Station, Calif.

It's sponsored by Pt. Reyes Books and will be at 7:30 PM, Friday November 7th at the Presbyterian church in Pt. Reyes. I'll also be talking about my early years in building and publishing, and passing out copies of our Tiny Homes on the Move mini-book (2" x 2").

The above photo is in the November 6th issue of the Pt. Reyes Light, along with a description of our greenhouse and my background.

I was lucky to have master photographer Art Rogers shoot this photo. Art works with real film and large-format cameras.

My Camping Vehicles, Part 1


This is a 3-part series I'm putting up on TheShelterBlog here.

Coyotes Singing in Full Moon

Actually 2 days before the full moon, but it was bright last night. I headed out on my usual Tuesday night solo run—well, vigorous hike is more like it. Beach beautiful, with a 100-foot long glistening inland pond in moonlight, no one there, I had one of those almost chilling moments, surrounded by such beauty, alone, waves breaking, negative ions up the kazoo, super energizing of chi

I started out in a down parka and gloves, brrrr…I don't feel like going out into the cold night, but as always, the heart likes to pump, and pretty soon I take off the parka and gloves and climb the hills in a t-shirt. Circulation, circulation, circulation…

As I came back down into the valley, a coyote startled me. It was so close, and so beautiful. There were 2 of them close by and another at a distance. They were singing. Totally. One did a yodel, starting high, then breaking voice down to lower sustained note. Then a distant coyote would respond. Oh my!

I heard this about Australian aborigines: the smoke signals don't contain the message. Rather, they're a notice to a group maybe a few miles away to tune into psychic forces and get a telepathic message. Wow!

On the way home, moonlight streaming across the ocean, on Little Steven's Underground Garage (Sirius): "Beautiful Delilah" by the Kinks, followed by Chuck Berry doing same (his) song. http://grooveshark.com/s/Beautiful+Delilah/2725La?src=5

Skulls Exhibit, Academy of Sciences in San Francisco

"The skulls on display in the Academy's 4,000-square-foot second-floor Forum Theater and Gallery range from an enormous African bull elephant to a tiny bat, from frogs and fish to giraffes and walruses. There are interactive displays that simulate the vision of predator and prey, and allow visitors to be hands-on with cast skulls. Another part of the exhibit shows live dermestid beetle larvae cleaning delicate bones (the larvae can scour the flesh of a small skull in three days). And there is an interactive 3-D display developed by Google that allows visitors to view skulls from various angles.
"A skull provides important information about a species' evolution and reveals secrets about that individual animal's life," said Moe Flannery, collections manager of ornithology and mammalogy at the academy.
Walking through the exhibit, Flannery added, "By searching for clues written in the bone, we can follow the story of an animal's life, from birth to old age. We can learn what the animal ate, how it defended itself, communicated, interacted with its environment, and often how it died - all by looking at its skull.…"
  -SFGate
 400 sea lion skulls mounted here are "…only a fraction of those in storage…"





Another Toot With Louie in San Francisco

No, no, a different kinda toot: see http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-toot-in-san-francisco.html.
Louie and I went over in the morning, went to the Cliff House Bistro at the beach. got a couple of Irish Coffees at the bar, then a great breakfast sitting at an ocean-view table AND the surf was big. There were maybe 50 surfers out, peaks everywhere, and everyone was getting rides. "We're in 'em," said Louie as breakfast was served, a salmon fishermen's expression for being in the midst of a school of salmon.

We went into the unique vintage camera obscura (anyone see "Tim's Vermeer" documentary?), then to the Academy of Sciences in the park to see the spectacular "Skulls" exhibit, then dinner that night at Camino, the wood-fired restaurant in Oakland. For desert we stopped at Mel's on Lombard, split an, ahem, chocolate malt, and played Otis Redding on the juke box. We're so bad.


"Heritage Salvage: Reclaimed Stories," New Book by Michael "Bug" Deakin

Michael "Bug" Deakin grew up in British Columbia, one of 10 kids in the family. He built his first house in 1970 out of used materials and these days runs Heritage Salvage, a large yard in Petaluma, Calif., filled with hand-hewed beams, flooring, barn doors, and all kinds of salvaged building materials. I love roaming around his yard. There are treasures there, as there are in this book.

He's an irrepressibly dynamic, cheerful, funny guy (disclaimer: I know him) and this is a scrapbook of his colorful world and history. There are stories: building homes, gardens, furniture and movie sets (including for McCabe and Mrs. Miller), planting trees, tearing down old buildings all over America, a touching (and happy) tale of first meeting his daughter when she was 40 and their immediate rapport, of hanging out with Tom Waite…

He's a dynamo for all good things and this a charming introduction to Bug's World.
Links:
Bug's website
Google Bug
Video: "Bug Visits Kahn Compound"

Tiny House Workshop With Deek Diedricksen & Friends - November 22-23, North Carolina

Deek is the artist/author of Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts: And Whatever The Heck Else We Could Squeeze In Here, prolific designer, builder, video maker, media prankster, musician, and has been featured in our books Tiny Homes as well as Tiny Homes on the Move.
http://relaxshacks.blogspot.com/

Old International Scout

This was in San Francisco, out by the beach. I thought it had integrity.

Brown Sugar by -- Little Richard

Brown Sugar by Little Richard on Grooveshark
Never heard this before. The whoooos are still tremulating here. Not sure of date -- '71?

Some years ago, Little Richard was called upon to introduce Paul McCartney at I believe, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At that point, I don't believe L.R. had been inducted. I was watching it on TV and was surprised and pleased to see him come up to the mike and say "I am -- the architect of rock n roll!"
Well, all right…moment of truth. Who should have been introducing whom here?

Heard this on maybe my favorite radio show, Michael Des Barres' program on Sirius' Underground Garage channel, preceded by the Stones original. Michael plays such good stuff, incl. many bands from the 60s to 70s I've never heard of.

Two of my favorite Little Richard songs (not so well known) are "Bama Lama, Bama Loo," and "I Got It," where he says
It ain't what you eat,
It's the way how you chew it…

Our Next Book: SMALL HOMES

Our book TINY HOMES has sold over 60,000 copies and with a recent surge of interest in the subject, is selling over 1,000 copies per month. We are getting a lot of inquiries from reporters and film makers about the subject; they want to contact people living in (or building) tiny homes.

I've taken to telling people I'm not the tiny homes guy, I'm the build-it-yourself guy, and that the important thing about the tiny home "movement" is not that all people should be living in tiny homes, but that the size of new homes should be getting smaller, rather than continuing to grow in size.

Bring it on Home - Sonny Boy Williamson

Bring It On Home by Sonny Boy Williamson on Grooveshark

New Book of Godfrey Stephens' Art Just Published

At long last a book documenting the art of Godfrey Stephens has been published, and it's stunning. Godfrey has been painting, drawing, carving, and assembling all his life (he's now 70), and his niece Gurdeep Stephens has performed a Herculean task of sifting through a blizzard of Godfrey's art to assemble this collection. Oh yes, he's also built over a dozen sailboats.

I'm hardly an objective observer: I've known Godfrey and his art since meeting him on a Mexican beach in 1964, and he's a dear friend. I've never been able to figure out why he isn't world-famous. The quantity and quality of his output is staggering. And his energy: there are almost 800 emails in my "Stephens" mailbox, over 600 photos in my "Stephens" photo folder. How Gurdeep ever prevailed to assemble this excellent collection is beyond me. High five!

It's best to let his art speak for itself, but I'll just point out something about his carving: when he was 12, he hung out around Mungo Martin, a famed Kwakwaka'wakw chief  who was creating totems and building a "big house", at Thunderbird Park in Victoria. Godfrey's best friend, Tony Hunt was Mungo's grandson, and Godfrey and Tony started out carving little bears to sell. Godfrey has always been close to the native "First Nations" culture,  with many Indian friends, and it shows in his carving. It seems to me a blend of the powerful north coast indigenous art and wide-ranging abstract and representational artistry. Godfrey doesn't drive and he's never had a "job." Just art.
http://woodstormswildcanvas.com/
http://www.godfreysart.com/

Wood Storms, Wild Canvas: The Art of Godfrey Stephens will have a first book-signing at Munro's Books in Victoria, BC, on November 1st at 1 pm. Both Godfrey Stephens and the author Gurdeep Stephens will be signing copies at Munro's between 1-2 pm on Saturday November 1st.  The book will be available for sale at local independent book sellers in addition to online.  For each copy sold, the publisher will plant one Native tree species locally in BC.

Homemade Teardrop-type Trailer

Note bike locked to trailer yoke and tire lock so someone can't tow it away. Parked on 48th Avenue in San Francisco out by Ocean Beach