• Subscribe to
    Lloyd’s Blog via RSS.
  • Check out TheShelterBlog.com
  • Tools for the
    Half-Acre Homestead

Weeping Cherry in Full Blossom

Beginner's Guide For Building Small Shed

This is a very good book on construction of a small building. The author is a good teacher; he walks you through the entire process of construction, from foundation to roof, in a way that's understandable to novices. The drawings are great: helpful and friendly. Ostensibly for kids building clubhouses, but it's also a very good starting manual for anyone building their first small structure.
From Storey Publishing here.

Ike & Tina Turner - On The Road: 1971-72

Big night for me last night. After months of study and procrastination, I finally have a computer hooked up to the house TV. A Mac Mini, wireless keyboard with trackpad, and I have, like a trained monkey, learned to go between computer, TV, and DVD player. I wanted the computer rather than a "smart TV," so as to have the full monty of options (not be limited by a smart TVs functionality).
Rick set it up and walked me through it, and last night I gingerly went into Amazon Prime and found: "Ike & Tina Turner - On The Road: 1971-72."
   It's grainy and handheld, like a home movie, and I was mesmerized. OMG! What a beautiful woman! Tina and the girls together - dancing and singing are just hi voltage -- stunning. The roughness of the documentary is comfortable, you feel like you're there. The photography is non-intrusive. The band, I mean Ike may have been a mean son of a bitch, but what a band! ("Proud Mary" is a great album of Ike and Tina's, with chronological order of songs.) Tina is shown cooking, talking, rehearsing with the girls, she's down to earth.

Sam Cooke, Bring It On Home To Me (Live, 1963)

Bring It On Home To Me by Sam Cooke on Grooveshark
This is what I think of as the real Sam Cooke. Live at a smoky nightclub in Miami, the crowd singing and cheering. "I can see everybody's with me tonight!" It's on "Live at the Harlem Square Club," maybe my most favorite album of all time:  It's live, raw, natural, exciting compared to his more popular, carefully recorded songs in later years. This song, well, "That's not all Sam will do for you..." You bet.

Rustic Cabin in Northern Ontario Woods

A beautiful little home in the woods shown in 4 photos from Deek Diedricksen, tiny house builder, designer, artist, musician, and impresario on his lively RelaxShacks blog here.

Barista Art

"You know my beans will be unbrewed,
You know that I would be a liar,
 If I were to say to you,
The caffeine content was much higher."

Barista art: http://baristart.tumblr.com/

Sent us by Richard Jones

Early Spring Poppy in the Hills

"Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" by the Persuasions

papa oom mow mow by The Persuasions on Grooveshark All vocal, no instruments! I've thought of these guys traveling for a gig. No instruments to carry. Compare to a standup bass player.

To the Beach With The Boys

And I do mean boys. The Plichta brothers, ages 9 and 11, are my youngest friends. Going on a hike with them, as I did last night, is like having radar and sonar for anything on the ground, in the air, or in the water. Like a heightened sense of perception. They notice everything, last night a beetle, a termite, a snake "Shall I catch it?" "No." "Look how the sunlight lights up this pine tree bud." What's this?" about innumerable objects. They're into bones and feathers and anything that moves (or used to move). Once they called me over excitedly in the parking lot to see a dried and squashed gopher. They joke a lot. Last night they noticed how the frogs stopped singing when we got close. Here they are inspecting the driftwood sauna structure built by Dylan on the beach.
They picked right up on this minimalist rock/wood project someone had left on the beach. On the way back we stared at the just-sinking sun on the horizon, hoping for the green flash, but it didn't happen.

The Olympics "(Baby) Hully Gully"

(Baby) Hully Gully by The Olympics on Grooveshark

Blossoms on Weeping Cherry

I'm shooting pics of it every few days as it blossoms up. Grass is green, wildflowers starting in hills, my time of year! Taurus and the burgeoning energy of Spring…

Alejandro Escovedo, "California Blues"


California Blues by Alejandro Escovedo on Grooveshark

The Compleat Blogger

I have to tell you, doing this blog is too much fun. Ridiculous. I am getting such good feedback. We were stymied by Blogger's (Google's) refusal to help fix something that was broken in Blogspot (couldn't make change on template, etc). So we put it in a post, got immediate feedback and as a result, I believe, Rick's got it fixed. Shame on Google, they are behaving like monopolists here.

Tiny Homes On the Move I realized the other day that for a month or more I have mysteriously been getting just enough material (photos and text) to do layout. It's coming in from contributors in a flow that's just about exactly equal to what I can handle in doing the rough 2-page spreads.
   I'm getting close to the halfway mark. Here's what just got finished:
-4 pages on the Moron Brothers, two Kentucky buddies who play bluegrass and fish, hunt, and trap on their shantyboat in the Kentucky River. These guys are fun! Check them out here.
-4 pages on Sisters on the Fly, a group of over 1,000 women who have vintage trailers and go fly fishing and horseback riding and sit around campfires in camp-outs, just us girls. They are also fun.
-A high-speed asymmetrical catamaran, a "Proa" that recently crossed the Pacific, from San Francisco to the Marquesas Islands.
-"Guided By The Stars," the 6 Vaka Moana 66-foot outrigger sailing canoes from Polynesia, which spent a few days in our bay in 2011. We've got photos of them here and in other parts of the Pacific Ocean. They navigate by the stars; wind is their only power.
-A beautiful little (54 sq. ft. floor space) Vardo, gypsy wagon-shaped, on a trailer that's a great spare movable guest room.
   The studio here is pretty out of control. A blizzard of notes to self. So going on right now. Hey, maybe this is the golden age of communication…

Panorama on Beach

iPhone 5 panorama. Distorted, but I like triangle of glassy water. You can never tell what the ocean will be like until you get there. It's a being of infinitely different moods.

Mobile Saunas

Mobile Saunas By Kārlis O. Kalniņš
A unique book with hundreds of photos and hundreds of (nomadic) saunas around the world. It's expensive, because it's a Hulu color print-on-demand book, but then again, $60 might not be too much to pay for an idea that could say, lead you to to turning an old VW bus into a portable sauna.
   Here's what they say:
"This is a collection of sauna trucks, sauna buses, sauna wagons, sauna cars, sauna bikes, sauna trailers, sauna boats, sauna floats, trail sweats, bastuflotten, bastubats, banya trucks, banya tents, and other mobile sweats. They are gathered from across North America, Russia, Europe and particularly Finland, where the annual Teuva mobile sauna festival attracts over 50 examples every year.
   After building several mobile saunas, Kārlis began a multi-year study of the mobile sauna phenomenon in form and culture. Collected here is the result of that study, including photographs, viewpoints of builders, commentary and notes on design. Students of culture and architecture, sauna lovers and mobile sauna builders will appreciate the variety of forms, designs, styles and ideas revealed in this volume."
Click here.

Black Leopard/Black House Cat

Picked this up on BoingBoing, posted by David Pescovitz. Cant get embed code to work, so here's URL: http://vimeo.com/62137814

Blogger Problem — No Response from Support

Rick, who handles tech maintenance for this blog has been unable make changes on the blog's template for the last several months. He's tried repeatedly to get in touch with Blogger support, with no success. (Blogger no longer offers any direct support — just a forum where users can commiserate and try to answer each other's questions).

The problem in detail is here. The quick summary is that every time he tries to get to the Edit Template page, it redirects immediately to a blank page, so that no edits can be made, and the template can't even be replaced with an older backup.

This has been going on since Blogger stopped access through the old interface several months ago. No support email gets any response, and repeated posts on the forum don't either. Many other reports can be found in the forums concerning people who can't get any help from Support.

If any of you have any suggestions, or especially if you have an inside track to some human being at Google who might help, we would really appreciate it. It's time to change the masthead and update the listings for our books.


Sunday afternoon, am listening to "America's Back 40," great Sunday afternoon program on KPFA by Mary Tilson. All my kind of music. A lot of pleasant surprises by Mary, who's obviously got a great collection.
   Also, our local radio station, KWMR has a unique selection of music.
A few days back, I drove north and took a long beach walk and returned with mussels and seaweed (for garden and food). These days I get the smaller mussels, big ones are pretty tough. If I'm in a hurry, I'll just steam them in a little water, red wine, and chopped parsley and garlic.This time the broth turned out purple from the wine. Infusion of ocean essence.
  Had a pigeon 2 nights ago. They've proved tough, so I hung this one for few days and it was really good. With red wine, rice, garden greens.
   I just read the chapter "Aging Game Birds" in Hunt, Gather, Cook by Hank Shaw, a very good book (Rodale) on obtaining and cooking from the wild. Also was reading about cooking pigeons in Chez Panisse Cooking by Paul Bertolli/Alice Waters. They serve a lot of pigeons at the restaurant, they say. They have a recipe for making broth from the bones, which are baked or grilled, then chopped up with big cleaver and simmered an hour in light beef or chicken broth. I'm going to try it in the next day or two, with the pigeon bones and duck bones. Got to be good.

Watermelon Trailer

Photo by Bob Marlow

From here.