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Blogger's Blues

Rainy morning, from Cafe Roma, North Beach, latte, brioche, MacAir. I asked the barista for wi-fi password, she said "I don't know." Meaning password is "idontknow." Like "Who's on first?"
Turns out I need shoulder surgery. After all these years of intense usage, I finally tore the rotator cuff muscles in my right shoulder. Skateboard fall. (Yes, yes.)  I've put off this type operation (in both shoulders) for years, since there's a long recovery period. But this time it's beyond a shot of cortisone and rehab, so biting bullet. One step back, two steps-forward. I want upper body function over the next 20 years. "Fall seven times, get up eight." - Japanese Proverb.
Scattershot of stuff going on around here:
Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels & Water I've probably got 60 pages roughed out. A lot of homes on water. 72-year-old Swedish sailor who is building a 10-foot sailboat and plans to circumnavigate the globe. He's already sailed around the world solo. Young woman living (and sailing) on own sailboat. Further adventures of Swedish welder Henrik Linstrom (in Tiny Homes), sailing with his girlfriend from Baja California to the South Seas and then (now) in New Zealand.
   On wheels: a family of four who sold their home (no more mortgage payments) and now live in a very spiffy self-remodelled school bus. A French circus wagon home on the road. Two ski bums (a couple) and their winter camper/home.A bunch of custom housetrucks. Surfer van/home. I'm getting a few pages done each day.
Travel I'm kind of travelled out for a while. Long periods of sitting in order to get somewhere great no longer seem as tolerable. More time at home means getting deeper into surrounding natural world. No longer having to train for running races leaves more time for pure exploration. What can I find out there, going on own power (no gasoline) from home?
Tiny Homes, the book Still selling well, people love it. Hopefully sales will keep us afloat while we craft the new book into existence.
Feedback From Our Building Books is phenomenal these days, seems to be increasing. I think it's that we now have a suite, or critical mass, of building books, connected in a very real way. People were inspired to build by Shelter, and their work appears in Home Work. Inspired by Home Work, appears in Builders of the Pacific Coast or Tiny Homes, and so on. Especially great are the 20-30-year-olds discovering Shelter (40 years after its publication).
Gun Control. Jesus, Mr. Pres, will you please kick some ass? Come out in warrior mode about controlling assault weapons and hand guns. Jesus!
Rolling Stones in NYC. They sound and look amazingly good. How about this duet Mick does with Mary J. on one of my favorite (for more reasons than one) songs?:

Primitive Living Skills Gatherings Coming Up

Photographer Cliff Volpe sent us this info about Primitive Living Skills gatherings and some "stone age" projects Cliff may do next summer:

These are week long events where instructors teach a variety of classes that focus on primitive technology, hunter-gather culture, and ancient ways. There are usually a very wide range of classes taught…from the more spiritual inclined to skills focused…such as primitive archery, atlatl manufacture, shelter building, wild edible plants, brain tanned buckskin, basket weaving, footwear/moccasins, felting, roadkill animal processing, diaper-less baby rearing, flint knapping, animal tracking, friction fire, primitive pottery, etc. Here’s a list of primitive living skills gatherings that happen on the west coast:

BUCKEYE GATHERING http://buckeyegathering.net/
Summary: Held in May in California, about 500 people attend, I’ve never been but have heard great things about it. Registration filled up early last year.

German Dumpsters Turned Into Living Containers

"German designer Philipp Stingl has fashioned homes for the homeless out of dumpsters. They’re actually pretty nifty, too. They have locks, trash disposal systems, even a little sewage system. Sure, they’re not spacious, but if they’re your only alternative — if you’re homeless, but also if you’re just trying to hide from marauders after the coming ecopocalypse — they seem reasonably cozy."
From http://shltr.net/designtaxi 


"Live world statistics on population, education, environment, food, energy and health. Interesting statistics with world population clock, population growth clocks, human population statistics, US population information, forest loss this year, carbon dioxide co2 emissions, world hunger data, energy conusmed, and a lot more"
From Godfrey Stephens

Bill Steen's Photos of Our Homestead

Bill and Athena Steen and their son Benito visited us a few weeks ago. They're the folks that started the  strawbale movement with their book The Straw Bale House, written in 1994. I'd been to visit them 3 times at their end-of-the-road compound south of Tucson, but this was their first visit here. We had a lot of fun. We have a lot in common. Bill shot all his photos with an iPhone.

George Greenough, Pioneering Wave Artist

In 1971, my friend Bob Easton and I had just finished putting together Domebook 2 and we were hanging out at a house Bob had just built in Montecito, an upscale neighborhood south of Santa Barbara. Bob said he had a neighbor, a surfer who had made some surfing movies. Bob's house had a room with large white walls, perfect for projecting films.
   That night a barefoot blond tousle-headed surfer dude showed up, toting a projector and reels of film. His name was George Greenough. Bob put on an Albert King blues album and we watched what was then revolutionary footage of George on his homemade kneeboard and with his homemade wide-angled camera powered by a motorcycle battery, inside the curls of waves. Breathtaking.

Renovation by Mike Litchfield

This is a book I wished I’d had when I started building, but it is also one that’s extraordinarily useful to more experienced builders. Mike Litchfield was the original editor of Fine Homebuilding; in 1982 he published the first version of Renovation, and it’s been updated periodically, this being the latest and 4th edition. Popular Science called it “The most comprehensive single volume on renovation ever” — totally true.
   What differentiates this book from others of its ilk is that the author has gathered all this information in the field, interviewing carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and contractors, finding out what’s important, what works, what’s new. These guys love to talk about what they do well, and in this sense, the book is one of collective wisdom. It’s at the same time highly useful to professionals, but also one that’s invaluable for homeowners and people of the fixer-upper persuasion.…
See Full review on Cool Tools here.

Video of Pirogue Carved From Cypress Tree

Hi Lloyd,
I know you have an interest in handmade boats.
   A friend passed this video along about pirouge making in South Louisiana, my homeland. The video was created around 1948-49 and depicts local craftsmen carving a local pirouge from a felled cypress with hand tools. The actual boat making starts at around minute 4:15.
   Pirouges were used by the trappers and fishermen in South Louisiana to travel through the shallow inland bayous. I'm sure there is a study somewhere that will describe how they were derived, in some way shape or form, from the dugout canoe but their shape and draft and size are much different. Current varieties are built of fiberglass but there was a transition between the dugout and the fiberglass versions that were built of marine grade plywood. Those are still being made by hand and are collectors items.