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B. B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone," performed on a Gayageum by Luna Lee

The guyaguem is  a " …Korean zither-like string instrument…" (Wikipedia).

From Rick Gordon


A Change is Gonna Come - Aretha Franklin

Rick Gordon just sent me this. When she hit the first"…come," it sent an electric shock to my brain. Pins and needles for lack of a better metaphor. 1967.


It's A New Dawn, It's A New Day…

This is the most vital, vibrant time of my life. A lot of things are falling in to place, or about to.

I look around these days, at the garden, or the book production process, or attempts to gather, hunt, or fish for food, or my workshop—and think, this is pretty good. A lot of it a long time in the making.



The book SMALL HOMES continues to unfold before my eyes. I'm in daily touch with, typically 4-5 contributors (as many as 25 emails in some of the folders), getting large enough photo files, editing text, doing pasteup. Not in any special order -- well actually, in the order in which it comes in.

I'm really excited about getting a new iPhone 6 (s Plus) (hoping tyo make my way through the AT&T maze so as not to pay full price -- I have another year to go on my present contract). I think Instagram will be perfect for my daily photos, I may be wrong, but it seems Instagram is replacing blogs -- at least with the millennials. BTW, there's a good article on this age group (11-33-year-olds)by James Wolcott (an excellent writer) in this month's Vanity Fair. I think I can get a journalistic flow going this way, and use blog for the writing impulse-- like here (and link them together).

We're revamping our website (being built in SquareSpace as we speak by Sean Hellfritsch) and it's lookin elegant. By the end of the year, we'll have a completely different looking internet "presence." It's important for us because we have so much"content" -- maybe 15,000 photos, a good portion of these on homes and building. We're also going to redesign theshelterblog and make good on my promise of getting mostly original stuff there, rather than recycled material that's already been posted (much of which, however, is great and worth sharing).We're going to build it, with the hope they will come.

I'm negotiating with publishers in Russia,China, and Brazil about foreign translation rights for our book Stretching (now in 24 languages).

Got my (12' Klamath aluminum) boat with15 HP 2-stroke recently rebuilt Evinrude motor working well and improving my lame backing-up-of-trailer technique.

Going to build a sleeping platform. I got really excited yesterday laying it out -- 10'x10', -- just putting 4x4's on pier blocks, 2x6 joists on top of them made me realize that I miss building. This is gonna be fun!

The Monarch butterflies are back in greater number than years, there are big flocks of quail patrolling every corner of the garden, a beautiful young fox appeared this morning, scaring the chickens, and them scaring him too. At the beach yesterday, windy, high tide, I got 3 weathered 2x4s, 3 bird skulls -- each a different bird -- a lot of dead birds the last month, big bag of seaweed for garden, and check out this bit of avian skeletal artistry, what is I believe the sternum with cortacoid/clavicle still attached by one remaining tendon.



Mountain Bikes

A bunch of state-of-the-art mountain bikes at a Marin county (Calif.) pub last night. Riders are affiliated with Tam Bikes of Mill Valley and are all kick-ass in the hills.
Photo by Hans Frey

1952 Flxible (Sic) Clipper Bus

Spotted on the road last week by John Rainbow

Multi-Story Used Wood Seaside Treehouse

Belgian designer Jean Paul Lespagnard built this tree house in collaboration with American artist Ethan Hayes-Chute at the Villa Noailles in Hyères, on the Mediterranean coast of France.
http://www.ethanhc.com/3d/048.htm
Photo by Ethan Hayes-Chute
Thanks to Peter Robinson and Peaspeculiars (see comments below)for tracking this down.

This is what a $350,000 house in San Francisco looks like

Listed (17 September, 2015) by realtors as a “distinguished home in need of work.”

In San Francisco, "…it’s clear that money has lost all meaning."
http://fusion.net/story/199332/this-is-what-a-350000-house-in-san-francisco-looks-like/
From Rick Gordon

Yogan Carpenter Meets SunRay Kelley

French carpenter Yogan and his friend Menthe have made their way up the coast to SunRay Kelley's compound in Washington and say:
"SunRay make a new crazy project , we work with him, very cool…"
Above: Yogan's photo of SunRay's solar/bio=fuel powered diesel truck
More on Yogan's trip: http://yogan.over-blog.com/
Yogan started his trip here a month ago; read about it here: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2015/09/yogan-carpenters-pacific-coast-journey_4.html

Malawi Vernacular Architecture -- 4700 Photos!

Thanks to E. Johansson for this wonderful website.

"I am a registered architect with a passion for African vernacular architecture. I wish to connect with others with similar interests to preserve African vernacular architecture before it vanishes. The overall goal is a database, which currently does not exist online for most African countries."
 
Normal_9xghm59xcumgtsuhbnbldr9bjrxz0d9mJon (Twingi) Sojkowski
http://www.malawiarchitecture.com/#!homes/csc8

River Rock Bottom - Pokey La Farge

2-1/2 Minute Posture/Stretching Routine You Can Do At Your Computer



I'm sure I've put this up before, but I just got reminded of it this morning, did it, and will try to do it daily. This time I did it while waiting for a Photoshop action to finish.

Harbin Hot Springs "…pretty well destroyed" in Central California Wildfires

From Rick Gordon this (Sunday) morning:

I've been tracking it mostly as rumors, but then this:

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4473490-181/valley-fire-devastation-during-the?gallery=4470892

"Harbin Hot Springs, a popular clothing-optional resort northwest of Middletown, also apparently was ruined, at least in part, from the fire. Cal Fire spokesman David Shew said Sunday of Harbin: 'It’s pretty well destroyed.'"

Go to the post page…

This has been on my wall for years. I forget where I got it, but thought I would share it. I can't get much info on Ferman Rodriguez, but believe he a Mexican artist residing in or near San Miguel de Allende.

https://valwebb.wordpress.com//?s=ferman&search=Go

New York Times Articles on New iPhones, iPads

Today's edition (10 Sept. 2015)  has two full pages in the business section on the new IPads, iPhones and other things Apple. For one thing there is a list of what sound like killer apps for iPhone panoramas. Tech columnist Farhad Manjoo says that the iPhone is “… directly a product of the savvy way Apple has designed and marketed the device to produce global lust.”

What’s wrong with shipping container housing? Everything.

Shipping containers (and this is merely my opinion), along with A-Frames, Earthships, underground housing, and narrow tiny homes with sleeping lofts reached by vertical ladder -- make for lousy housing. Here's the case against the former, demonstrable evidence that many (maybe most) architects have their heads up their asses:

"…It’s not hard to see the appeal. Shipping containers look exactly like building blocks, which is the primary medium (other than dirt) that most architects started working with. You can buy used ones for about $1,600 a pop, which seems like a steal for housing. Doing that also feels very environmentally conscious, because you’re taking something that already exists and reusing it for a different purpose. For these reasons, architects in particular are drawn to the idea of using shipping containers as housing for poor people — as is the case with this plan for a skyscraper made of them, which just won a design competition for low-income housing in Mumbai.

There’s just one problem: Shipping containers turn out to be a uniquely poor building block for human shelter. Mark Hogan, a San Francisco architect who has worked with shipping containers in the past, just wrote a succinct manifesto about why you should really, really not use shipping containers for housing.

For one thing: A building made of corrugated steel is going to be a miserable residence, especially in a place as hot as Mumbai. You could add insulation and a ventilation system — but that would make a box that already has awkwardly low ceilings even smaller. You could add windows — but that would require cutting through steel walls, which takes specialized equipment, and a contractor who knows how to use that equipment.…"
http://grist.org/cities/dear-architects-stop-trying-to-make-shipping-container-buildings-happen/
http://markasaurus.com/2015/09/01/whats-wrong-with-shipping-container-housing-everything/
Sent in by John Michael Linck

Green Snake and Neon Tetra Fish at California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco) Last Week

Snark snark: this place is vastly overpriced ($35 general entrance fee for one day), not very well designed, and compliments the weirdness and architectural absurdity of the De Young Museum across the way from it. Sorry, it just pisses me off. The old academy and museum were just fine and in harmony with the bandstand with its pollarded trees outside.


Less Blog Posts These Days

To tell the truth, it's a great relief, not feeling the pressure of getting out a post every day. Almost 5,000 of 'em -- time for a change

My main focus these days is on the new book, SMALL HOMES; I've got over 50 pages roughly laid out, am in daily contact with a slew of contributors. I figure making books is how I can reach the most people, the best use of my time right now.

We're plotting a new online strategy. Right now, I'm thinking of doingTwitter and Instagram, with occasional blog posts. Right now there are 5 steps to getting a photo out there:
1. Shoot photo.
2. Load into MacAir.
3. Fiddle a bit with it in Photoshop.
4. Find Wi-Fi (or be in office)
5. Post it

My intention is to shoot photos with an iPhone 6, post on Instagram right then. If this works out, I'll be able to communicate way quicker. Right now, am waiting to see what Apple's got coming with the iPhone 7, maybe the 6's will be cheaper.

Found a nearly deserted beach yesterday, clothes off, warm sand, swimming, the only time I've experienced NorCal water so warm was the last El Niño, so unusual to be in this ocean and feel comfortable. Gathered a big bag full of purple/green seaweed for the garden. Like my neighbor, surfer/fisherman Andrew said the other day (down at the beach), "We're so lucky."

"Sweet Home Chicago," Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winters, Robert Cray...

Yogan Carpenter's Pacific Coast Journey, Fall, 2015

Yogan came to California from France and is exploring (and working wherever he stays) along the Pacific west coast this fall. I  dropped him off in Pt. Arena (Calif.) 2 weeks ago and as he makes his way northward, he is shooting photos and posting them on his blog:
http://yogan.over-blog.com/
His website: http://www.yogancharpentier.com/
This photo from The Salmon Creek Farm in Mendocino County
He's now heading up to visit SunRay Kelley in Washington.