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Curved Roof Barn in Oregon/The Largest Bookstore in the World

Barns and Books
There are buildings that have—for lack of a better word—a sweetness to them. Like a small abandoned cottage in an English field I once found, slowly disintegrating back into the soil from which all its materials came. Inside, I could feel the lives that had been lived there. Or the buildings of master carpenter Lloyd House. It happens most frequently in barns, where practicality and experience create form with function. No architects needed, thank you.

The unique feature here is that the roof's curve is achieved by building the rafters out of 1" material. 1 x 12's laminated together (I believe 4 of them) to achieve the simplest of laminated trusses. I shot photos here pretty extensively, and I'll do a piece on it when I get time. The barn is 24' wide, 32' long, 26' to the ridge. (Thanks to Mackenzie Strawn for measuring it;  he also wrote: "I have a carpentry manual from the 1930's with a short section on the Gothic arch barns, they suggest making the roof radius 3/4 the width. ")

We are about to build a small shed and I'm going to try to figure out how to do a curved roof this way.

Another building I've always admired is Nepenthe, the cliffside restaurant in Big Sur. Rafters and beams are strong triangulated laminates of one-bys. No two-bys in the main roof structure. (It was designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright protégé, I've heard.)

I had a great crowd last night in my presentation at Powell's, which is just the most super bookstore on the planet. An entire city block, 4-5 floors of books. I could spend days there. You wander around, looking at all the face-out books, and the hand-written staff picks, and realize the paucity of buying books at Amazon. If you love books, friends, hie thee to bookstore. You'll find tons of books you've never heard of. Support bookstores!

It's a warm sunny morning here in Portland, just a lovely, friendly city. I'm at a Stumptown cafe, getting ready to hit the road south, searching for barns on my way to Eugene.


Jeez do I love it up here. The first time I came to Oregon, in about 1969, I pulled in to a gas station and a guy walked up and handed me a joint (I had long hair).

I've been here about 48 hours and swam in 2 rivers, soaked in hot springs, met lots of wonderful people, and yesterday fell in love. With a barn.

I fall in love with buildings, and this little curved-roof barn just took my breath away. Hasn't happened in years. I walk inside and go (out loud), oh yeah! I'll post pix soon.

Book signing at Powell's tonight.  Maybe I'll slip some barn photos into my slide shows this week.

Photo: No one told me the Clackamas River was emerald green!

Tree House in Woods in Germany

Hello Shelter Team,
First all the books of you was a nice inspiration for me and my project. The last three years a was planning a tree house lodge here in my beautiful hood. I rent a part of a forest close to an old castle.
   For two weeks we had the opening and now you can rent the house and go for a deep walk in the forest. I’d like to share the pictures with you in hope that you will like it and we can get in contact to show to more people outside what we did here.
   Best, Peter
You can find more pics on our Homepage and Facebook.

Leopard Shark Last Night

The water is SO warm right now. Only one other time in all my time on the Pacific Coast. Especially when sun-warmed water is flowing out of the lagoon. 60, maybe even 65 degrees. We are stylin! Couldn't swim due to rib injury but I just went in the ocean and floated. Such a difference from normal. Oh, you guys that live where the water's warm -- ecstasy. To be able to swim relaxed, no tight wetsuit.
    A fisherman caught this little (3'-4') leopard shark. It had never occurred to me how beautiful they are. I mentioned this to a surfer friend who was there and he said, Yeah that's true. It had been hooked in a fin. The fisherman got the hook out and it took off out into the sea. There's just so much going on in the world every day!

Hell's Comin' Down - Primal Scream

Hell's Comin' Down by Primal Scream on Grooveshark

Saturday Morning Fish Fry: Salmon/Ribs/Portland/Timi Yuro

Left: salad with cucumbers, parsley from garden, cattail shoots
Salmon are biting. My friend Louie said there were 100s of boats out near Pt. Arena last week. Salmon and halibut are around these waters too. I keep being impressed by our local fishermen, who have to make it out a channel through breaking waves to reach the ocean. Not for the faint hearted; every few years a boat gets dumped. Certainly not like motoring out of a wave-free port. Now that I'm back on the beach a lot, I'm admiring the shore fishermen, especially those going after striped bass. Their gear and techniques, a zen-like skill. Hey with all the rotten news all over the world right now, the ocean right here is healthy; glass half-full…I'm pretty miserable (can I whine?); a bike fall didn't feel so bad until a few days later, I cranked down with a plumbing wrench on a 1-1/4" pipe union, pain like a hot knife in ribs. Shit! Turns out not to be broken rib, but tear in intercostal muscle. Like my friend Paul says about rib injuries, "Please God don't let me sneeze." Puts big dent in my plans to take a skateboard with me to Portland next week…Hey you people who know Portland: I've got an extra day or so, want to shoot photos of barns and farm buildings (my favorite architecture) within a few hours of the city; any tips?…I can't figure out how I never heard of Timi Yuro, the diminutive singer in the '60s with the huge voice; I gotta admit, I'm in love. She was constrained by Liberty Records but even with Nelson-Riddle type strings backing, she was a powerhouse. One only can wish that she'd had Jerry Wexler or Phil Spector arranging for her. The following song is with Phil:
What's a Matter Baby (Is It Hurting You)(12-'62N)stereo by Yuro, Timi on Grooveshark
She sings a little flat, which has a sweetness. On some songs, a lot of similar phrasing to Etta James."

Building Officials in UK Allow Couple to Keep House Built Without Permits

The Good Life goes on! Couple who spent five years building an eco-home in the country have been allowed to keep it despite not applying for planning permission
Matthew Lepley, 34, and Jules Smith, 54, left London five years ago to build their dream house in the countryside. They decided not to apply for planning permission because the process "uses too much paper and electricity." They used railway sleepers, lorry tyres, and scrap metal to build the house in Beaworthy, Devon, but no power tools. The home has an outdoor compost toilet, no power or running water, and an underground pantry instead of a fridge. The couple were told by Torridge District Council they may have to tear down their home after neighbours' complaints. But now a government planning inspector has ruled that the house may stay because of its eco-credentials. Angry local residents say: "It's disgusting how some people are treated one way and other people treated another way."
Click here for complete story and lots of photos.
Photo: SWMS.com
Sent us by Anonymous

Twenty Eight Feet - Life on a Little Woden Boat by - Kevin Fraser

Dear Lloyd, I made a short documentary about a friend of mine who lives on a small 50 year old boat and is one of if not the happiest person in my life. The movie is short but I think honest and hopefully a little inspiring. The movie has been touring film festivals but just yesterday I was able to upload it online and make it available to the world for free.… Kevin Fraser

Tiny Homes on the Move Slide Shows/Book Signings in Oregon Next Week

I realize this blog has been a bit sparse lately. Mainly because I'm funneling almost all of the building posts to http://www.theshelterblog.com. Also, it's kinda stressful to get something new up each day PLUS I'm starting to work on our new Stretching pocketbook.
   Next week I'll be in Oregon doing slide shows and book signings for Tiny Homes on the Move
-Portland - Powell's, 1005 West Burnside Street, Wednesday, July 30, 7:30 PM
-Corvallis - Grass Roots Books, 227 SW 2nd St., Thursday, July 31, 7 PM
-Eugene - University of Oregon, Library Browsing Room, 1501 Kincaid, Friday, Aug. 1, 4 PM. We'll be giving out some mini books.
   I'll be posting from Oregon, so things will pick up by next Tuesday (July 29th).

The Devil Made Me Do It the First Time - Billy Joe Shaver

…the second time I done it on my own…
The Devil Made Me Do It the First Time by Billy Joe Shaver on Grooveshark

Around the Homestead

It's raining, not pouring, but hey! It's lovely—highly unusual for us in summer…I finally got our well (for watering garden) going again yesterday. New jet pump, new 80-gallon pressure tank…it's a 15' deep well that we dug with a backhoe in 1980…put 8" pipe with saw kerfs (slits) in middle of hole, filled with rock…1-1/4" pipe goes down inside the 8" pipe…used the soil we dug out to make adobe bricks with a Cinva-Ram, and they form the back wall of our greenhouse…retains heat nicely…corn is 8' high, more vigorous than ever before…I've been collecting seaweed, last week got leafy parts of bull kelp, dried it, and it's really salty and flavorful…I'm a couple of years ahead on firewood…we end up with a lot of pallets from book shipments, and lately they're all heat treated ("HT" stamped on them), meaning they haven't been insecticided, so I cut them up with chainsaw, good addition to oak and euc picked up on road…we just added a new hoop greenhouse from Farmtek…"EZ Build Gro Cold Frame," very simple, quick to put up, metal hoops (a la quonset shape), 10' wide x 14' long x 7' high, UV stabilized flexible woven poly fabric, lasts 10 years…it's really warm, even on overcast days…tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers…

Friday Fish Fry

Swimming After decades, I'm back in the water. My 20+ year competitive running career ended with knees that needed to be preserved for old(er) age. I was swimming from age 4, competitively in high school,  teaching swimming to kids, then surfing, lifeguarding. Still surfing until the 80s, when I got into running. Looking back, I went from the ocean to the mountain—Mt Tamalpais—running its trails, including the Dipsea Race about 15 times.
   Like a dolphin, I'm back in the water, and realize how I've missed it. I'm wet about 5 days of the week now—ocean, lagoon, bay, rivers, ponds, or creeks (waterfalls). I love to swim, especially in beautiful spots, feeling the pull.
   I swam butterfly in high school, was never much of a freestyler—just didn't have the stroke down. Well, in the '90s we started taking our kids to the Ann Curtis School of Swimming in San Rafael. Ann was a gold medalist Olympic swimmer from San Francisco in the '40s, and all of us swimmers idolized her.
   One day, when the kids were taking their lesson,  I asked if she'd give me a lesson. Well, yes, something like $35. She gave me 3 exercises to do that she'd been taught by her coach in SF, Charlie Sava. When you take a stroke, leave that arm out until you bring your next arm around and touch it -- then take the stroke. Another trick was to have your thumb brush against your side as you pull past your body. My stroke straightened out in 15 minutes and I was stylin. She got really excited. Since that day, I've had a relatively smooth freestyle, and never feel better than when I'm swimming.
Left, Kirsten Dirksen of Fair Companies was here last week, filming our homestead. Click here to see her impressive lust of videos, many on tiny homes and owner-builders.
Close encounters with animals A cottontail was scampering across the trail Tuesday evening, so I froze. So did she. We stayed like that, eyeball to eyeball for maybe 30 seconds, then she scampered off with flash of white tail. Then yesterday I came close to a young strong buck on my bike, stopped, and more animal/humanoid eyeball contact. Admiration on my part. Deer rotate their ears, like sonar dishes. Finally he scampered into the bushes, where there was another buck about his size. Buddies.
Foraging I'm getting my kayak/clamming operation together. Got 10 horsenecks, 40 cockles. Boy, is it hard to get the skin of the necks of horsenecks—any suggestions? We Cuisinart up the white meat, add fresh corn kernels, dip in flour and egg, fry in hot oil. Last night I had a salad of crunchy cattail shoots along with our own cucumbers.
Irrigation I'm working on installing a new jet pump and pressure tank for our shallow (15' deep) well. It's been a hassle—haven't got it working yet, but determined to.

Hitting the Road

I went on a short bike ride last night and stopped for a few minutes. When I went to get back on the bike, I put my weight on the left pedal with my left foot, gave a push to get rolling, and swung my right foot over the frame to get to the other pedal. As I did so, my baggy shorts caught on the seat, and I couldn't get my foot across. Momentum carried me and the bike over to the right and I hit the pavement, taking most of the blow with my forearm. Man, did it hurt! (Now I know why cyclists wear tight shorts.)
   You know the first thing I do when I fall (usually it's when skating)? I look around to see if anybody saw me. No one was there, no cars on the road, so I just lay there for a while. Next in my sequence is to assess the damage; how bad am I hurt? I felt a real strong pain in my right lower ribs, and groaned really loudly. It seemed to help. I started taking deep breaths, still lying there, and the pain got better. Voila, I was off again, and lucky to just be a little bit sore today. Let's hear it for Ibuprofin (+ hot baths and Tiger Balm)!
Go Right Ahead by The Hives on Grooveshark

Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott - A House of Gold

We have a world-class radio station right in our neck of the woods, KWMR. I've taken to listening to it around dish-doing times of the evening, like 7-8 PM, when they play variety of music I like: bluegrass, country, blues, reggae, rock n roll, celtic…Last night I heard this, what beautiful harmonizing…

Red-shouldered Hawk Last Night

This young beauty (Red-shouldered Hawk) showed up around 6 PM last night. Shot this through the kitchen window. It's been circling at times of the day, with its kee-ah, kee-ah cry. We think it's a young one, and that its mom practiced some tough love and kicked it out of the nest to search for mice and snakes on its own. Kee-ah,kee-ah…

Toots Ain't Gonna Work on Maggie's Farm No More…

Maggie's Farm by Toots Hibbert on Grooveshark

The Shelter Blog and Lloyd's Blog

I'm changing the nature of this blog. I (we—Shelter Publications) are going to focus on building, carpentry, homes, gardening, and the like on our brand-new -- ta-daa:
   It's been up for a couple of months now, and its look and function have been steadily improved by Mac Wizard Rick Gordon. Evan's doing most of the posting (I'm funneling my posts through him), Lew is starting at 3 posts a week, and we're encouraging builders to send us photos and descriptions of their latest creations.
   We hope to build this up so it's a player in digiworld —we're aiming for some major readership. We don't think there is any blog or website out there with the type content we are generating. Think of all the buildings and builders in our books—now coming out daily.store appearances (a slide show and book signing for Tiny Homes on the Move), and getting such good vibes. It feels like we're a tribe. We're interested in the same things—doing stuff for ourselves (as much as possible), having a warm, attractive, natural-as-possible handcrafted home, growing some of our own food…
   Remember, it's "theshelterblog," not "shelterblog." The "the" is necessary to get to the right place. This blog—my own—will continue to follow my idiosyncratic path through life. Wherever I go, I'm taking you, the reader, along with me, riding shotgun. It gives me an extra incentive to explore, to search, to inquire, to shoot photos—if I can come back and tell others about it.

Wicked as It Seems - Keith Richards

Wicked as It Seems by Keith Richards on Grooveshark

Halibut Are Biting

This is a 12 pound halibut from fisherman Andrew. The orange stuff at lower right is roe. I wanted to prepare it for eating, but it didn't appear to be fully formed enough to use. Cooking with roe seems tricky. After filleting, we got six meals from the fish (4 vacuum sealed and in freezer).

Photographer Nina Glinsky

Great photographer! I just clicked through all the black and white photos on her home page: http://ninaglinski.com/

Home is Where You Park It by Foster Huntington

This is Foster's account of 75,000 miles on the road, a lot of it on California and Baja California beaches, photographing all types of homes on wheels: pickup trucks with camper shells, vans, trailers, and motorcycles. It's surf-centric, and a book that flows as smoothly as the waves in San Juanico. This is Foster's tribe of nomadic wanderers, beach-oriented and minimalist. Expensive, but short run color books in small quantities are expensive to print. NOT available thru Amazon.
Click here.
(Foster's latest vehicle, a 6-speed, Toyota 4x4 with expandable lightweight camper shell, is in Tiny Homes on the Move -- it's the best vehicle I've ever seen for serious beach/surf/desert/on-and-off-raod travel.)

Santa Cruz'n

We drove down the coast Wednesday afternoon; there were practically gail force winds flattening the waves, swirling the sand on beaches. When we got to Davenport Landing, the wind had dropped, and in Santa Cruz, it was glassy (and flat).
   I love Santa Cruz. Even with all the heavy duty changes since I lived there off and on in the '50s, it's still my kinda town. The temp and the water are 5-10 degrees warmer than San Francisco, just a touch of SoCal…makes me want to get on the beach, in the water.
   That evening, my son Will took his 3-year-old Maceo on one of his (Will's) longboards, and the 3 of us skated down a gentle slope. Will put a pic of us on his Facebook page, here. A couple of his neighbors were out watching us and Will told them, I don't know if I'm more worried about my 3-year-old son or my 79-year-old dad.

Englishman Ed March's Worldwide Adventures on Honda C90 Motorcycle

… Ed March is this kid from the sticks, down in south west England. He is a bit of a nutter, with a great attitude. He travels on a Honda C90. An old reliable tiny engined "step through" motorbike/scooter moped ? He has had a few adventures to bike rallies, then up to the arctic circle. Then -- he boxed it up and shipped it to Malaysia and rode it home. 14,000 miles across Asia, India and Europe. Its a truly epic journey.
   I watched most of it compulsively on youtube. Then he did a kickstarter/crowdfunding appeal and managed to raise enough to get the videos edited up and released as a DVD.
   To me he is a hero. Has great attitude and will go a long way.
   Check him out: https://www.youtube.com/user/c90adventures
   Rich (Jones)
Below is one of Ed March's adventures. If you click on the above link, there are a bunch more. This guy is out there!

Bob Dylan's Interview with Ed Bradley in 2004

I saw this 10 years ago and just looked at it again. Dylan seems stiff and, as usual, unrevealing, not wanting to be pinned down or categorized—the Master Evader. He talks about destiny, and in the end, starts to smile a bit. Ed does a great job of interviewing a dodgy customer, and asks him why he still does it (touring, appearing) and Bob says,
Because I made a bargain with destiny…
...Ed: Who'd you make the bargain with?
Bob: With the chief commander.
Ed: On this earth?
Bob: On this earth and in the world we can't see.
Poet for the ages…

Kayak for Fishing

I was all set to get a 12' Tarpon fishing kayak, a really nice boat, with lots of fishing accoutrements. But when I took it for a paddle, I discovered that a lot of accoutrements means a lot of weight, maybe 65 pounds vs. 45 for my old (trusty) 12' Ocean Kayak Scrambler. Too heavy for my not-functioning-fully-anymore shoulders. Also, the Tarpon has no rocker, as does the Scrambler; it's gonna pearl if it gets even near a wave. So I'll stick with the old guy on my clamming expeditions, but get a better paddle.

Surf's Up -- Big South Swell on California Coast

"Boogie boarders take a thrill ride Monday morning at The Wedge in Newport Beach, where waves measured about 10 feet high. The most powerful south swell of the summer have lifeguards on alert this week in Orange County, while surfers roam the coast in search of the best waves. The swell is mainly the product of a storm last week off the coast of Chile, with an extra kick from Tropical Storm Douglas last week off Mexico."
Photo by Mindy Schauer
Click here.

Downhill Skateboarding Spot in Northern California

Driving north along the California coast, heading north from Mendocino, Hwy. 1 crosses the mountains  north of Ft. Bragg (a way more real town than Mendocino) to join up with Hwy. 101. After you climb to the ridge top, there's maybe a 5-mile winding downhill until you get to the south fork of the Eel River. Looks like it would be great for experienced downhillers. Too steep for me, but for you guys who can slide and maneuver, it's a long downhill ride. How about full moon, 3 AM when traffic is scarce? Full safety gear including bright headlight and flashing red tail lights...
   Once you hit the Eel, it's a few miles to Smithe Redwoods State Reservation, which has:
-Big deep swimming hole
-Old growth redwoods that are truly holy


Paddleboarding…Mud Bath

I went paddling a few nights ago. Warm day, high tide. You can never tell what the ocean (or lagoon, lake, river) will be like until you get right there. So many variables: wind, tides, temperature, sunny or foggy or rainy, moon (and planetary) cycle, but the most important factor to me is the surface of the water. If it's glassy, I don't care about any of the rest of it. My (Joe Bark 12' Surftek) paddleboard skims across the water, I get a bow wave going, a joy to paddle.
   I ended up taking a mud bath, for the first time in months. It's one of those things, like jumping under a cold waterfall, that you're always glad you did, but that the part of your brain concerned with comfort, resists. I told a couple of friends at the dock that's what I was going to do, so had to do it. Paddled a ways…shorty wetsuit off (not visible to anyone), smeared as much of my body as I could reach with mud, which in this case had sand in it,…let dry in sun a few minutes, then swam in a channel a bit, then washed it off. Boy did I feel good.
   Got home, took outdoor solar shower, heated by nothin but sunshine…then shot of grappa…stylin…turned out to be exfoliating…spa treatment…skin really smooth afterwards…simple pleasures of life…so much you can do right around wherever you live…just look around…

Monster Truck

On Highway 101 near Garberville, Calif.

Highly Decorated African Mud Homes

"Burkina Faso is by no means an area frequented by tourists, but at the base of a hill overlooking the surrounding sun-drenched West African savannah lies an extraordinary village, a circular 1.2 hectare complex of intricately embellished earthen architecture. It is the residence of the chief, the royal court and the nobility of the Kassena people, who first settled the region in the 15th century, making them one of the oldest ethnic groups in Burkina Faso.
   I came upon these rare photographs of the village from a dedicated Flickr user Rita Willaert who traveled to Tiébélé in 2009 (see all her photos of the village here). The village keeps itself extremely isolated and closed to outsiders, most likely to ensure the conservation and integrity of their structures and to protect the local traditions.  There is interest in developing the site as a cultural tourism destination to generate economic resources for conservation but it is a delicate process.…"
Click here.
Photo by Rita Willaert

Travel Notes From Last Week

I'm frustrated by having so much material to post, but so little time to do so. So, rather than let it all slide, here are snippets from my trip last week to Mendocino and Humboldt counties:
On the road to Petaluma, Nicasio Lake is looking dry, and it's only June…the Russian River valley looks dry, except for the verdant vineyards, sucking all that river water up, there's widespread overplanting of grapes in California…A hand painted sign by the river said "Salmon can't drink wine."…On my way back from Arcata, I came down Hwy. 101, a lot easier driving than heading back down the coast…went swimming in the Eel River again…a lot of logging trucks on the road…a spiffy little Porsche passed me, it had a GoPro camera mounted on its roof…all these people cluttering YouTube with GoPro videos of whatever…then jumped into the Russian River (above) -- there are nice pools south of Hopland at Indian Rock -- the water is a nice temp this time of year, no algae buildup yet…then a pint of dark Monster Ale and fish tacos at the Ruth McGowan Brewery in Cloverdale…the next day I went out to Ocean Beach in SF, it was foggy, the surfers looked like ghosts in the mist…2 lifeguards in their trucks, reminded me of my lifeguarding years at Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz, and Stinson Beach -- what a great job!…fog on the Waldo grade, and a thin finger of white fog reaching into Mill Valley…saw some young people crossing street in MV, looking smug…young, rich, entitled:
"Dinner for 2 at the French Laundry, $700 -- yeah, baby!"
"Blinded by my Beemer's high-intensity headlights -- tough shit!" Sorry, they just piss me off…our local lagoon has 1000 faces, and Friday it was sparkling in the afternoon sunlight…I'm goin' home, bome, bome, bome-bome-bome, Home, bome, bome, bome, back home…
Music del Semana: On most of the trip I played The 2 Tone Collection, a kind of remarkable blending of ska and punk that went on in the UK in the '80s and somehow was never picked up on in the USA.
0602. Let's Do Rock Steady by The Bodysnatchers on Grooveshark

21st Century Socializing

At Ritual Roasters in San Francisco on Friday