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Bar, PF Chang Restaurant, Charlotte, NC

You look through the bar into the kitchen.

Photo By Jack Fulton

Click here. Then click on left hand image.

Vernacular Architecture in Vermont - The Common Shed

Robert Van Vranken is one of the contributors to our forthcoming Tiny Homes on Wheels, and just sent us the link to this video. It's wonderful!
"A meditation on the vernacular architecture of the common shed. Shot during the winter of 2014 in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. "
Click here.

Robot That Builds Metal Sculptures

"Although the world of 3D printing is hurtling through milestones at the moment, to a large extent the technology still remains in its infancy. If you thought it was all Etsy jewellery and plastic toys, though, think again. Joris Laarman has created a free-standing 3D printing robot that creates beautiful metal sculptures with the graceful brush strokes of an artist."
Click on Gizmodo here.
From Ed Styles

Tiny Car Towing Teardrop Trailer

From Tiny House Talk here.

Robin on Lawn in Monroe Yesterday

There were a bunch of these hopping around on a lawn yesterday pulling worms out of holes. I love the eye decoration. He seemed to know I was there, hopped around, posing…I've started focussing manually instead of relying on autofocus. Takes longer, but pics are sharper.

Photos Yesterday in Monroe, North Carolina

Did I have fun yesterday! Breakfast at the Palace Restaurant in Monroe -- was turned onto it by young locals at the Bibi Restaurant the night before -- you want real local food? Well, yeh-us!…May have been best restaurant breakfast ever. Eggs scrambled in butter, creamy grits, crisp bacon, homemade biscuits and the capper: $3.80 + good coffee. Then I had a few hours before heading to the airport and I drove around shooting photos. The building are wonderful here, even the falling-apart ones. Learned that Monroe was THE big town in NC,before Charlotte rose to prominence. There were obviously some BUILDERS in Monroe in the day…I'm overwhelmed with things to do here, stuff to report from the trip, taking off for Hong Kong in 5 days…eek…

Barns, Sheds, Shacks, Homes, Churches, in North Carolina

Marshville, NC

Tiny Homes in Chiapas, Mexico

"Hi Lloyd, Looking forward to the release of the new book, Tiny Homes on the Move. My wife, daughter and I have been traveling in Guatemala and Chiapas Mexico since just after the new year and it really does give perspective of how most americans (personas de Estados Unidos) live. I'd say that many of the people here are already living tiny, though not by choice. Just a bit south of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico I photographed these tiny houses for sale (the little yellow one has a price of 24,000 pesos, I think that works out to about $2,000 USD). I have seen similar houses in use in some of the villages around here. There is a bit more forest here so are more wood framed structures, elsewhere pretty much everything is built with concrete and concrete block, though in less affluent places I've seen some adobe and mud. I've seen older places with something like waddle and daub just about everywhere I've gone, though no evidence of newer construction.
Keep up the good works, Rob (August)"

Out Into North Carolina Countryside

Once again, content way exceeds output here. Deek and I had a great time, building his tiny house, talking to hundreds of people. We did 2 presentations together that went over well. It was a total seat-of-pants operation, both in an unexpected building project (borrowed Skilsaw from hall maintenance guy, ladder from ladder display guy, tape measure & combination square from polypropylene panel guy) and dual slideshow/talks. Fun! We agreed that it was actually good the building wasn't finished. It gave us something to do. Better than just sitting around all day.
   I ended up liking Charlotte a lot. Good vibes everywhere. Good people. They're relaxed. It's what I expected. There's a big part of America out there in between the Almighty Coasts. And you know what, I don't wave the flag, and am appalled by a ton of things America and Americans do and have done, but underneath I love this country and Americans for the good stuff (did you see Gracie Gold skating in the Olympics -- wow!). A lot of kindness and simpatico here in North Carolina. I have a ton of stuff to report from the Home & Garden Show, but it'll have to wait. Actually, I just got the idea to do a YouTube slide show with vocal description of this trip. "These two little buildings, abandoned, neglected, behind an abandoned house, both perfect in proportion…architects should study country buildings…"

 Once this new book is launched, I plan con making a bunch of videos, boy am I excited about this. Suddenly I realize that a lot of my compulsion to communicate can be done via vids.
   It's Monday morning, am at a Starbucks. In the land of fast-food and characterless and interminable malls, a Starbucks can be a haven. (Had to come back to mall-land to get a motel last night.)
   After this song finishes, I'm heading out on some back roads. I took an extra 1-1/2 days to hunt and shoot (Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, mighty fine little camera).

Blues and Rock 'n' Roll by Sean Chambers on Grooveshark

The Thousand Islands

"The Thousand Islands is an archipelago consisting of exactly 1,864 islands that straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. They stretch for about 80 km on St. Lawrence Seaway, but the largest clustering of islands falls between Cape Vincent and Alexandria Bay in the United States and Kingston and Rockport in Canada. The islands range in size from over 40 square miles to smaller islands occupied by a single residence, to even smaller uninhabited outcroppings of rocks that are home to migratory waterfowl. The number of islands was determined using the criteria that any island must be above water level all year round, have an area greater than 1 square foot, and support at least one living tree."
Click here.
Photo on Flick'r by Bimoseno

Man in a Cube

Dave is a creative writer who lives inside the iconic Astor Place Cube in New York City. The cube's 8X8 panels add up to 64 square feet which adds up to 512 cubic feet. For Dave, who is 5'8", that is plenty of space to move around, write, cook, sleep, work out and even play guitar. Dave uses a bicycle generator to power up the lights and a handful of electronic gadgets.

Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, Episode #2

I brought along 1,000 of our mini (2" x 2") Tiny Homes book and we've already given away 3/4 of them. The kids are crazy about them. (We just had a big bump in sales (of the real size book) due to the NYTimes article on Tiny Homes on Friday.)

Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, Episode #1

Deek Diedrickson and I are here in Charlotte, North Carolina to talk to people about tiny homes. Deek is the affable host of Relaxshacks, also the maker of over 100 YouTube videos, and author of Humble Homes,  Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages…Deek desiged a tiny home for the show and it was supposed to he ready when we got here. Surprise! It wasn't, and we've been working on it the last few days. Had to scrounge up tools, fasteners, polypropylene sheets. Borrowed a ladder from the Little Giant Ladder Company (fantastic ladders -- see here -- and have been running back and forth to the service room to cut plywood.
  Here we are this morning. More posts to follow. This is great town and this is a great show.

Axes Ziggy Loves

"I spend perhaps an inordinate amount of time looking at images of axes. There’s just something about them. I think that axes will never go out of fashion, nor will they cease to be useful in their multitude of functions. Over the hundreds of thousands of years they have been in use by humankind, any number of styles, shapes, and sizes have been made to perform a variety of splitting, chopping, and shaping work. It’s the sheer variety, and the craftsmanship that I am most attracted to, I think. Of course I love using them, too, probably more than any other hand tool.
To celebrate the axe and the people who continue to make them, here is a selection of 26 modern day (steel) axes made by a variety of craftspeople that are beautiful, functional, and swoon-worthy.…"  
Click here.
From Cheryl Long, Editor, The Mother Earth News
See also "Ziggy's Cob Cottage," pp.110-113, Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

How to build a Timber Frame Sauna

"Just ran across this video. Some pretty amazing joinery here. No idea where this is..."
Mackey Smith, Pure Salvage

I turn off the music on a lot of YouTube videos; often it's just distracting.

Tiny Home Village For Homeless in Olympia, Washington

I'm on an airplane on my way to the Southern Spring and Garden Show in Charlotte, NC ($10 for one hour of Wi-fi -- harumph!) -- and just read this large article in today's NY Times, where our book Tiny Homes is called "…a dream book…the scale is humble, but the architectural detail is rich…" by writer Michael Tortorello.
Looks like you cannot access this unless you are subsribedto the NY Times.

Julie's Tiny Home

"Julie Olson needed a traveling home for her mobile dog training business. With no architecture training, she drew up plans for exactly what she needed and sent them to Jason Dietz of Molecule Tiny Homes Over a couple of months he built her home to her specifications: a fold-out porch, storage stairs, 2 lofts (1 for sleeping, 1 for storage or 2 sleeping quarters), a slim closet, and a bathroom with tub, composting toilet, tiny sink and escape window/door for viewing nature.” – Kirsten (Dirksen)"
Click here.

He CallsThat Religion - Maria Muldaur

He Calls That Religion by Maria Muldaur on Grooveshark

Album art by Neil Osborne

Pipeline Winter 2013

Pipeline Winter 2013 from Eric Sterman on Vimeo.

Found this on this great surfers' blog: http://wavetribecompany.com/

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Hummingbirds get into the office or studio from time to time, and I trap them in my hands, then go outside and open my hands. They sit there for a second, then realize they're free, and take off like a miniature helicopter. This one must have got into the  studio when no one was around, and we found it dead. They are so small that they mummify, with no smell.

The Subtle and the Not-So-Subtle Sky Tonight

WikiHouses: Frames Cut Out of Plywood With 3D Software

Good things come in small packages. Lacy Williams, an architecture student, and her boyfriend, Patrick Beseda, built a WikiHouse to live in during a field project in Utah

From: Jon Kalish
Subject: DIY Houses In The Internet Age: Some Assembly Required: NPR
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014
To: lloyd kahn
Click here.

Go read the comments. There's a ton of 'em, mostly skeptical. My fave is "I approve of this article. The Big Bad Wolf." :)

St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco

Coyote Scat, Horned Grebe Diving in Lagoon

When I lived in Big Sur, I found that coyotes shat where the view was great. Check out the hair (mice, gophers, etc.) and bits of deer bones here.

I was poke poling for eel (nada) in the lagoon yesterday and this little Horned Grebe would dive down for maybe a minute, then pop back up energetically, didn't seem concerned by my proximity.

Thanks to HighFidelityRob for identifying the bird.

Small Victorian House in San Francisco

This was on 20th or 21st Street, up from Valencia.

Sea Foraging Tours in San Francisco

At left: crab snare; you toss it out with a fishing rod, wait 15 minutes and reel it in. It snags crabs in the loops.
Yesterday I went on a 3-hour tour with Kirk Lombard on the shores of San Francisco Bay. He demonstrated catching crabs with crab snares, how to throw a net to catch herring, and how to catch eels. Kirk is passionate about the ocean, sustainability, and getting your own food. He leads tours of various types, takes people clamming or herring-catching, and has a seafood subscription service. He says there are numerous small fish in this area -- smelt, sand dabs, herring, sardines -- that are overlooked by commercial interests and perfect for the get-it-yourselfer.
   I've poked around on the local coast all my life and come from a family of fishermen -- all sport fishermen except for my grandfather, who had a bait and tackle shop in SF around the turn of the century -- but I learned a ton of things. There's a 300-foot deep channel under the Golden Gate Bridge carved out in old times by the Sacramento River. You can make a pudding from a type of seaweed. Fish that is touted as "local" often comes from boats that spend over a month at sea, with 65-mile long longlines.
   There were two 12-year-old boys in the group and he was the perfect teacher. He got them reeling in crabs, throwing a herring net correctly, and poke-poling for eels. If you've got kids in the Bay Area,this is a wonderful learning experience. If you're a city-dweller interested in bringing in some of your own fresh seafood, check him out. 6-star.

SunRay Kelley's Temple at Harbin Hot Springs

This unique building is weathering the years beautifully. It's a masterpiece of building with natural materials. It's documented on pages 66-69 of Builders of the Pacific Coast.

Friday Fish Fry

I did an an interview last night with Kevin Kelly on the Google+ “hang out” feature. I used my MacAir laptop with the camera and was a little nervous, but it went OK. Kevin, whose latest book is the sensational Cool Tools, guided the conversation. We talked about tiny homes, owner building, gardening, chickens, the myth of self-sufficiency, what you can do in cities, the Whole Earth Catalog, what I would do if I were building a new house now, the fact that I don't like shipping containers or Earth Ships or domes or A-frames as homes, and the virtues of self-publishing. The video of it is here…Next week I'm flying to Charlotte, NC, to talk about tiny homes at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show. Deek Diedrickson from Relaxshacks will be there as well, and we'll talk to people about the subject out in front of a tiny home he designed; if you're in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. I'll be handing out mini Tiny Homes books (2" by 2", 64 pages) and have proofs of our latest book, Tiny Homes on the MoveIn praise of real books and bookstores: I've read a few books on my IPad, and it's fine for reading on airplanes or trips, but in my reading for an hour or so every night before going to sleep, I don't want the electrons; I spend enough time at a computer screen as it is. The publishing business is obviously in turmoil, but books like our building books, although we've done digital editions, work best as hold-in-your-hands physical objects. And there's nothing like a physical bookstore. Sure, Amazon is cheaper, but money ain't everything. One of my very favorites is Bookshop Santa Cruz; it makes me happy to be there…Tiny Homes On The Move: Just about there. Yesterday Rick, Lew and I sewed up a lot of loose ends. About 3 knotty problems in design worked out. Often we'll start working on something with no idea how to fix it, and as we go along, things fall into place. Like I told this guy in the interview yesterday about building house: just START. You'll never get anywhere if you wait for everything to be perfect. Get going, and things will work out as momentum carries you along. When I was about to start building my first house in 1961, I asked my friend Bob what to do, and he said "This," and picked up a shovel and started digging the foundation trench…Spectacular sunsets of late, this shot with iPhone last night; tonight's the full moon, ow-wooo!

Old Building in Sonoma

Road Trip to Sonoma, Napa Valley, Harbin Hot Springs

Last week I went to Sonoma to visit Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, then to my brother's farm in the Napa Valley, then to Harbin Hot Springs. I'll post some photos from the trip as I get time. This is one of those farm buildings that's been added on to many times. The central part was obviously the water tower, with a room added at the top to replace the tank.

Lloyd, Kevin Kelly in Google Hangout Conversation Tonight


5 PM western, 8 PM eastern

Farm Building, Sonoma Valley, California

I know I've posted this before, but each time I see it, I'm struck by the perfect proportions. I love farm building architecture.

I Wish It Would Rain

We had a glorious storm, about 5-1/2" rain in our yard, almost as much as all the rain so far this year. About 13" total. We still need a lot more, but this was a good omen. The ground out in the woods is finally soaked. Don't know if the chanterelles have given up for the year, but we'll see.
A couple of rain songs:

I Wish It Would Rain by The Temptations on Grooveshark Love the Rain by Toots Hibbert on Grooveshark

Piece of Old Brick Wall From Beach

Dissing Authoritarianism

A friend of mine, an older runner, told me this story. He was heading south up into the coastal trail from the new Muir Beach parking lot last week. It was dark. He was heading on a route that he and his friends have been running for decades. There was a  new sign posted saying "No Entry After 6PM." He saw a ranger's SUV parked in the lot. Uh-oh.
   As he crossed the bridge, 2 rangers were approaching him with flashlights. As he got closer to them, one said, "Hey you can't go out here." He kept running. They probably expected him to stop, but as he pulled up abreast of them, he sprinted. "Hey, you, STOP!" -- shining their lights in his eyes. He flew past them and kept running. He felt good, like he was a kid again, as their shouts receded in the distance.
   He says he's tired of the increasingly intrusive and aggressive attempts at control by rangers. Sure, there are things you shouldn't do in a national park, like chain sawing or dirt bike riding or disturbing seals during mating season, but a solo runner leaves no trace, bothers no one.
   He says he's not going to submit to rangers' questions or follow their orders anymore. He's gonna run.

Beach Graffiti January 30, 2014

A Homesteader's Philosophical Dilemma

"Interesting article:
'I wanted to physically make the world a better place,' Janes said. With his family's help, he bought 40 acres of forested land on Denman Island. It came with two trailers. Janes and a girlfriend he's no longer with moved into one, and promptly sold the other -- 'a big, ugly, white vinyl doublewide,' he said. They planted a vegetable garden and got some chickens. Self-sufficiency 'was definitely an ideal,' Janes explained, 'but we were doing everything we could' to achieve it.
-Mike W"

Click here.

I realized in the ''60s and 70s that self-sufficiency is a DIRECTION. You never will get there, even remotely. In those years we were raising a lot of our own food, and when I planted some wheat and went through all the steps to get it from the field to flour for bread (unlike potatoes or corn, which you eat just the way it comes out of the ground), I saw that self sufficiency is a myth. BUT that's no reason to give up. The idea is to become as self-sufficient as possible. AND, we weren't really doing it to make the world a better place. We did it because whatever we could produce was better and cheaper and more tuned in than what we could buy.  Like building one's own house. AND in doing that, it turns out that it IS better for the world.

3 Girls Rip It Up On Loaded Skateboards in LA

Rolling With Simplicity in a Tiny House on Wheels

"In 2012 Alek Lisefski wasn’t sure where he would end up living, but he was certain that he didn’t want to pay a high rent. So the then-29-year-old freelance web designer took matters into his own hands and built a tiny house on an 8-by-20 flatbed trailer. In doing so he joined the tiny house movement — a growing group of people who live in houses around 200 square feet or less..."
Click here.

Shelter Is Everywhere

David Wills shot this photo in San Francisco. He says they are typically on either side of Muni bus stops.

Maybe they lead to spacious underground living quarters (for very small people).

Music on a Rainy Friday

This just knocked me out. I'm sitting here at ritual Roasters in San Francisco, and this gave me chills. For some reason the back of my ears was tingling:

"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post 'James Brown - Full T.A.M.I Show Performance, 1964"'"
   I'll have to watch this when I get home. But it reminded me of this great one too... did you ever see:
James Brown & Luciano Pavarotti - It's a Man's World ?

I've been on the road for 2 days, and here are couple of the songs I heard:
-"I'm a Rocker" by The Raspberries (A great band that never made it big-time. This song is such pure rock n roll, like Rod Stewarts "Hot Legs."
-"Johnny Sincere" by The Dead Poet's Society

In case you don't know it, you can click on any of the Topics (like Music" or "Homesteading" down on the lower right side of this blog and you'll get posts on just those subjects.

James Brown - Full T.A.M.I Show Performance, 1964

Slide Show of Barns

I love this! From Lew Lewandowski.

Wood Burning Cookstoves

Great selection of wood cookstoves. I like these 2 because you can see the fire.

We bought a soapstone stove from Vermont Castings (not with an oven) over 30 years ago and it's been a wonderful (and our only) source of heat ever since. These days I'd go for an oven.

Click here.
Sent us by Irene Tukuafu

I Guess IShowed Her - Robert Cray

I Guess I Showed Her by Robert Cray on Grooveshark
This is playing right now; I just finished my rough layout of the cover of Tiny Homes On the Move, half-way through the back cover….6/10ths inch of rain yesterday, halleujah…went paddling in the rain…

Jackie Wilson - Danny Boy

This morning from Rick Gordon

Deek Diedrickson"s Tiny House Workshop in Memphis in April