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California-Styled Wooden House Truck in Wales


"Attracted by Folkestone’s connection with H.G. Wells, Heather and Ivan Morrison constructed a mobile Science Fiction library, Tales Of Space And Time in the style of a 1970s Californian House Truck.

Made popular in America during the Hippy movement, these house trucks, similar to Gypsy caravans, are a symbol of freedom and a nomadic self-sufficient lifestyle. Following this tradition the Morison’s version is hand built using Douglas fir from their arboretum in Wales onto a 1955 Green Goddess, ex army fire engine.…"

http://www.folkestonetriennial.org.uk/artist/heather-and-ivan-morison/


Handsome, But Poisonous Mushrooms


Sudden oak death is decimating trees in the hills, and chanterelles no longer grow where they were once in abundance. These robust mushrooms were growing on dead oak stumps. Not sure of name, but I was told they are quite poisonous.

Making Your Own Knives

When I was at the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania a few months ago, I bought a handmade knife from a mountain man—a guy who dressed in buckskins and made a variety of hunting, trapping, and outdoor tools. The blade was carbon steel, which I prefer over stainless steel. It's softer and easier to sharpen, even if you have to care for it so that it doesn't rust.

He told me that it was a Russell Green River blade, so I tracked it down, and ordered about half a dozen different shaped blades (from Track of the Wolf.com); they're pretty inexpensive, $9-$10 each. I made the first one in the last few days with some manzanita wood I gathered (and dried out) a year or so ago. It's a bit crude, but I learned a lot and am going to make handles for some paring and skinning knives.

Perhaps the best way to start would be to buy one of the kits, which include a blade, wooden handles, and rivets. I'd also recommend getting the pamphlet Basic Knife Assembly, by Ryan and Roger Gale.

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.


Bobcat With Snake

My friend Tomás shot this with his iPhone while out hiking on a Marin trail. He said that when bobcats get focussed on hunting they don't take much note of humanoids. 

"…As in previous years, bobcats were seemingly more curious than afraid of people. There are several reports of a bobcat walking up on a porch and casually looking at people inside the house. In one instance a bobcat looked calmly into a sliding glass door as a dog barked at it from inside. One bobcat approached within 4 feet of an open garage, watched the homeowner working inside, then continued on its way. One Seabrooker came out to walk her dog and saw a bobcat in the yard. The cat got up, crossed to the other side of the street, then sat and looked back to watch. Bobcats have also been seen beside the roads, watching as cars drive by.…"
http://islandconnectionnews.com/?p=2843

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

Deek Diedrickson's "Tiny House Builders" on DIY TV Saturday, December 20 Noon EST

Check out our good pal Deek "Whirlwind" Diedrickson's latest video:

New Brakes for Skateboards/Highway One Closed For 3 Months

If I could slide, I wouldn't need these, but I've never mastered the technique (you slide the board so it's skidding along sideways and it slows you down when you're going too fast). In the past I've had 2 boards with brakes that were activated by a cable,but they never worked well.

These brakes, from Australia, are a whole new deal:

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.

Very strong storm–perhaps strongest since 2008–will arrive in California late Wednesday

Californians, tighten your seat belts!

"…The numerical weather models are now in strong agreement that a powerful Pacific winter storm will slam Northern California later this week, bringing very heavy precipitation and very strong winds. In many ways the upcoming event is a textbook major storm setup for Northern California, with an impressive strengthening of the East Asian jet extending clear across the Pacific Ocean and driving a rapidly-deepening surface low pressure area off of the coast of far northern California.…

Associated with this well-defined trough and strengthening low is a rather impressive atmospheric river–or narrow region of highly concentrated atmospheric water vapor transport–a phenomenon that is often linked with extreme precipitation and flooding along the West Coast of North America when other atmospheric conditions are favorable. This week, it does indeed appear that all the ingredients may come together for a very high-impact storm event, especially across the northern half of the state. Preliminary indications suggest that wind speeds with the upcoming system may be of a similar magnitude to those experienced during the noted January 2008 event, which brought widespread significant impacts to a broad swath of NorCal. Precipitation from the upcoming system may be even more impressive than that experienced during the 2008 storm, as some of the models are spitting out very impressive 36-hour totals for California’s lowlands and urban areas.…"

From Lew Lewandowski today

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