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Off to Maker Faire Tomorrow

This is a huge event. The orientation is science/math/robot/gizmo (Burning Man lite), but there's a corner called the Homegrown Village, where I'll be doing Tiny Homes slide shows Saturday, May 19 at 5:30 PM, Sunday, May 20 at 5 PM.
The Faire is a photographer's cornucopia.
Gen. info: http://makerfaire.com/
Homegrown Village schedule (including gardening, coffee, beekeeping, backyard chickens, etc.): http://shltr.net/KZt0jS
Cool smartphone app for event by O'Reilly: Maker Faire

Bald Eagle Closeup

Richard Yenson's home on a British Columbia island has a large eagle fresco on its exterior  (which I photographed some years ago). Richard sent us an e-mail the other day, which included this photo.
"…As I came down the stairway and walked in front of the eagle fresco I looked over and thought someone was playing a joke. There was an eagle on the ground in the same wings-extended pose as the eagle on the building and it was looking up at the building. Surely it must be stuffed! Then, as I looked on in puzzlement it blinked."
    Turns out the eagle had been wounded in some kind of a fight, and it died a day later at animal rescue center.

In Praise of Barns

I've always loved barns. Whenever I drive in the country, I seek them out. I shoot photos from the outside, and invariably, since they are seldom locked, from the inside. Many is the time I've stepped inside a barn and been stunned by the beauty. The architecture of necessity. My kind of cathedral.
   For years I've been meaning to do a book on barns, and have quite a collection of barn books. (This isn't all of them.)
   I just discovered a drop-dead book of barn photos. I read it in bed last night and ended up putting about 20 markers in on pages with beautiful photos.
   It's Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana, by Chere Justo & Christine W.Brown, with photos by Tom Ferris. It's the best barn book I've ever seen (and all these barns are in the state of Montana!). See: http://shltr.net/tomsbarns for lots of photos from the book.

LK Radio Interview in Minnesota

When I was in Minnesota, I did a radio interview in Grand Marais at radio station WTIP; this transcription just arrived. I talk about the tiny homes book, the '60s, and the new generation (20 yr olds) who are discovering the Shelter book.
  I also did a GIMME SHELTER newsletter last week, which I send out to about 600 people at erratic intervals. It's here: I'm in this 3-month promo blitz (well, blitz for me), and I feel a little odd about all the self-promo, but by golly, it's just the way things work these days. My goal is to get people to pick up the book and look at it.

Nice Little Lightweight Trailer

In Grand Marais, Minnesota last week. (I'll be going through photos from recent trips and posting them once in a while.)

I like the awning here. All v. tidy.

2 Great Old Books on Building

Recently someone told me about these 2 books and I got both of them used. How to Build Your Home in the Woods by Bradford Angier (1952) is on building a log cabin (and rustic furniture and details like door latches etc.). The Sunset Cabin Plan Book is a gem from 1938, with drawings and floor plans for very small homes. It's like the predecessor of Lester Walker's (also excellent) Tiny Houses. Check out Amazon and also Abebooks (which is often cheaper than Amazon on used books).

Banner Year Expected For Local Salmon

Janny Hu, May 6, 2012, SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle): http://shltr.net/KnjCUX
"…Now, thanks to better water management and ocean conditions, biologists are predicting that as many as 820,000 fish - the most in at least seven years - will return to spawn in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta this year.…"
It's so great when there's good news like this. Drawing is from one of my treasured books, The Fishes of Alaska, printed 1907 by the Bureau of Fisheries, US Department of Commerce and Labor. The pen and ink drawings are delicately hand tinted.

Foggy Coastal Sunset Last Night

On my way home from running last night, I nosed the truck over to a little pull-off spot on the edge of the cliff.

Anyone Have Recommendations on Hearing Aids?

I need to get one (my latest road trip proved that), but I'm reluctant to get a $2000-$3000 one because I know I'm going to forget about it and jump in the ocean or in a creek or wash my hair. I just don't have the constant presence of mind to remember to take it out when I get wet (which is often). At the other end of the price scale are $39.95 hearing aids (well, amplifiers), so I figure that there must be hearing aids in the $300-$500 zone that are in between. Anyone have any experience?

Renovated Barn on Long Island, NY

"Dear Lloyd,
…Attached are some photos of our barn that we renovated back in the seventies inspired by you and the Whole Earth Catalog. At the time there were very few books that showed do-it-yourself builders how to construct anything and perhaps that was partially the reason I started writing how-to books on building things based from my own experience.
   The staircase that you see in the photos was built from one oak tree that I cut down. The fireplace stones were carried by my wife and I up from the beach and cemented in place around a heatilator…"
   -David Stiles

"We throw most plastic things away. Most plastic lasts nearly forever."

A seminar on Long Term Thinking by the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco next week, hosted by Stewart Brand.
"Plastic is a miracle material that needs better time management.  To do that, we need to examine what plastic has been superb at and what it's lousy at.  We need to understand how its highly stable giant polymer molecules really work, and how some toxicities play out.  From there we can sort out how to get the benefits of plastic's amazing durability while reducing the harm from its convenient disposability.  The matter requires close and respectful coordination between short-term experts (businesses) and long-term experts (governments and nonprofits).
   Managing plastic well is a microcosm of managing civilization well."

Susan Freinkel is the author of Plastic: A Toxic Love Story and American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree.
   Seminar: "Eternal Plastic: A Toxic Love Story," Susan Freinkel, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, 7pm, Tuesday, May 22, 7:30pm.

Tiny Books for Tiny Persons

Loved the slideshow on Denman Island, my daughter loves the Tiny Tiny Homes book - thanks Lloyd!
Tony Goodwin

Interview of Lloyd on Boing Boing

Making Shelter Simple: An Interview with Lloyd Kahn By Avi Solomon at 1:07 pm Tuesday, May 15.
It's a pretty long interview, along with an audio track. It's nice when a journalist gets it right. Here's the beginning:
Avi Solomon: What do you see in your childhood that pointed you onto the path that your life took?
Lloyd Kahn: When I was a kid I had a little workbench with holes in it, and the holes were square or round or triangular. And you had to pick the right little piece of wood block and hammer it in with a little wooden hammer. And so I'd hammer with it, put the round dowel into the round hole, and hammer it through. And then maybe the most formative thing was when I was twelve - I helped my dad build a house. It had a concrete slab floor, and concrete block walls. And my job was shoveling sand and gravel and cement into the concrete mixer for quite a while. We'd go up there and work on weekends. One day we got the walls all finished, and we were putting a roof on the carport, and I got to go up on the roof. They gave me a canvas carpenter's belt, a hammer and nails, and I got to nail down the sheathing. And I still remember that, kneeling on the roof nailing, the smell of wood on a sunny day. And then I worked as a carpenter when I was in college, on the docks. I just always loved doing stuff with my hands.…"

Click here for the whole interview: http://boingboing.net/2012/05/15/making-shelter-simple-an-inte.html

Photo in Garden This Foggy Morning

Colors are best in the fog. I shoot collages, rather than using a wide angle lens setting, because the proportions look about right to me through a 50 or so mm lens. Click on it to enlarge.

Lloyd Talking to Tim O'Reilly

New Yorker Cartoon by Paul Karasik, May 7, 2012
Thanks to Lesley

See also:

Will the Owner of This Housebus Step Forward?

I've misplaced the email that came with photos of this doubledecker during my rather hectic time on the road the last 4 weeks, and I'm hoping the owner reads the blog and will contact me. I'm just starting on the Wheels and Water book.

Tiny Home in Colorado

"Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller have built a tiny home on land near Hartsel, Colorado. The couple were at their new space on Thursday, May 3, 2012. The exterior of the home is 19 feet by 7 feet."
Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post

51 Baby Chicks Arrive Today

Got a call from the post office at 8AM this morning that they had arrived, airmail from the Murray McMurray Hatchery in Webster City, Iowa. All bantams: 30 Golden Seabrights, 10 Auracanas, 2 Partridge Rocks, 4 Rhode Island Reds. 4 Japanese Bantams, 1 "free rare exotic chick."
  I picked them up and we put them in a box under a warm infrared light and dipped their beaks into water for their first drink. The Seabrights are quite tiny, quite beautiful, and fragile. 6 have died so far -- par for the course. They can't sex bantams, so we order twice as many as we want in in order to get the right # of hens. We'll keep one Seabright rooster to eventually hatch more of them. Excess roosters will be offed for barbecue. We'll use the Rhode Islands as setters (the full-size Rhode Islands never set, but the bantams retain the setting instinct).
   I spent the weekend building a separate yard for the babies; otherwise they would be attacked by the grown-ups when small.

Treehouse in Canada

"…It took months to find the right tree to build on, and when he did the spot was on public land looking down on a row of multi-million dollar homes. But that didn't stop Joel Allen - he just built this incredible egg-shaped treehouse in Canada anyway, without telling anyone.
   The computer technician-turned-carpenter started off by creating a scale model of his design to test its strength and durability, before beginning the months-long quest to find the perfect tree…"
Thanks to Susie


I'd just about quit surfing over the last six months. Shoulder and rib injuries. Once I went out and could hardly get from prone to standing position. Depressing. I thought maybe I'd reached the point where I just couldn't ride a surfboard (standing) any more. Last week, a few days back from chilly weather in Minnesota, it happened to be a sunny blue-sky, warm California day, and I went out. There was a nice little swell in the easy-wave spot where I surf mostly these days. Suddenly the fog came in and pretty soon you couldn't see shore. There was only one other guy out, and we looked at each other like, hey we're all alone out here.
   Well, I got some rides and was thrilled.  I was rusty and getting up was awkward, but once I got into green water, I was stylin'. Well — stylin' for an old guy.  I'm — as they say —stoked.

Thunderbird Park in Victoria

Victoria pays tribute to British Columbia's original people with Thunderbird Park, right in downtown Victoria. The present totems were carved by master carver Mungo Martin in the 1950s, chief of the Fort Rupert branch of the Kwakwaka'wakw (commonly referred to as Kwaikiutl) tribe. My friend, artist Godfrey Stephens, hung out down at the park with his childhood friend, Tony Hunt, grandson of Mungo Martin, and it was there that he (and Tony) learned to carve.