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Barrel House With Thatched Roof

"Dear Lloyd , I'm sending you a picture of our barrel house.  We are sending it in the hope you might want to include it in Tiny Homes 2…My husband Lee and I love your books and have been using them for inspiration and ideas for a long time…Our home is 14 ft. in diameter and has two stories, and we are currently building a kitchen downstairs. The barrel was made for making cider in over 100 yrs ago; it was also used for grain storage for 50 years.…
With love,
Rooh Star and Lee Love"

Martinis at Jack O"Neill's

In the mid-50s there was a gang of us surfers here in Santa Cruz, maybe 20-30 in number. There were no wetsuits, and UC was not yet here. Nor was SiliconValley. In the winter months, there were very few people around. Other than the water being so cold, it was paradise.
   One of my great friends from those days is Betty Van Dyke, and when I called her yesterday, she said she was going over to Jack O'Neill's for martinis with some old surfing friends. I've known Jack for over 50 years, back before his wetsuit surfing empire, when he was selling firefighting equipment and I was an insurance broker -- in San Francisco. Both of us bodysurfed at Kelly's Cove. Early '60s. When he started his surf equipment business in about 1963, I was his insurance broker (before I bailed on that world).
   So here was Jack, holding forth in his cliffside house, and we had a delightful reunion. He's (real) hard of hearing, has only one working eye, and is 90, so it took me a while to my volume high enough so he could hear me, but I did, and sat real close and we got really rolling about the old days. It was like dragging dusty treasures out of old chests.
   Also there was Rich Novak, he of the NHS/Santa Cruz Bikes/Santa Cruz Skateboards empire -- twinkle in his eye --  and with an icy martini each, six of us had an hour of rare fun. When it got time to go home, everyone said, wow!
Photo by Dave McGuire, l-r: Betty Van Dyke, Richard Novak, Jack O"Neill, moi.


Improved Posture via Foundation Training

Bill Steen told me about this system months ago and I just got around to checking it out. Posture is an "issue" as one gets older, and this approach (and the guy) look totally right on and tuned in. I'm going to try some of these routines while watching TV. Right now I'm sitting (Verve Coffee in sunny Santa Cruz) in a more aligned position just having watched these routines.
"Foundation Training is a series of exercises based on integrating the muscular chains of the body. Our exercises begin with the Posterior Chain of Muscles to quickly stabilize your spine and core because our modern lifestyles leave most of these muscles weak and imbalanced.
   You can quickly learn the tools you need to fix many of the chronic pains plaguing our daily lives. Learning to connect the Posterior Chain will teach you to move naturally, evenly absorbing the weight of your body. Once you begin to move properly you will engage more muscles in every step you take, sport you play, and exercise you choose to do.
   All ages and fitness abilities can benefit from Foundation Training because it teaches your body to move as nature intended. You will reach new heights in physical health and feel improved control of your body. Many of our clients have broken longstanding plateaus by taking the time to master these fundamental movement patterns, and all of our clients have improved the way their bodies move.
   No equipment is necessary and you can do it just about anywhere. Your body adapts quickly to these natural movement patterns, so much so that you begin reinforcing them throughout your day without having to think about it. This is truly sustainable exercise.
   Live happy in your body. It starts with a solid Foundation."

2 MIN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-K7jtcJ0Dc
4 MIN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOgxWp0WyiI 
12 MIN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BOTvaRaDjI&feature=player_embedded 

Budget Makeover of LA Houseboat

"A water-view home with a patch of grass just didn’t float Misty Tosh’s boat, but when the television producer came upon a 1980s three-story houseboat in Marina del Rey, she dove right in.
   'It was a giant hunk of slapped-together junk — dark and dank, chopped up into tiny rooms with ladders between the floors,' said Tosh, who bought it two years ago. 'People thought I was nuts, but I saw the potential.'
   Sure, remodeling a houseboat has its own challenges, but Tosh’s recently completed renovation is buoyed by space-saving solutions and decorative touches that could easily jump from ship to shore, translating well for small apartments and larger houses alike.…"
Click here.

Badger Shelter

Word spreads fast about Occupy Madison's tiny houses for the homeless

"News about Occupy Madison’s "OM Build" Tiny Homes initiative is spreading like wildfire, generating excitement and attracting donors of time and money, says project organizer Bruce Wallbaum.
   After news of homeless people beginning work on the first 98-square-foot house broke in early July, the initiative got its share of attention from local media. But a WMTV-15 story more than a month later — featuring video of the tiny house, nearly complete — sent coverage viral, Wallbaum recalls.
   Soon media from around the country, including Al Jazeera America and, more recently, a Minneapolis news site, were doing stories on the project.
   Several Occupy groups from around the country contacted Wallbaum asking about how Occupy M'dison runs the program.
   “Let us get the first house built and we’ll tell you,' he chuckles.…"
Photo by Mike De Vries - The Capitol Times
Click here and here.

Seeking Advice on Wetsuits

I'm heading to Santa Cruz for 2 days to see my daughter-in-law and 2 grandsons (Papa has gone to Nashville on music business).
   I want to get a really good wetsuit (with built-in hood) that I don't have to struggle so much to get into (and out of), and doesn't feel like a suit of armor (like my custom made 5/4). Any suggestions? My friend Ray swears by his $500 O'neill suit which he says is really flexible.

Mahalia & Martin & The Dream

"It was late in the day and hot, and after a long march and an afternoon of speeches about federal legislation, unemployment and racial and social justice, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. finally stepped to the lectern, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, to address the crowd of 250,000 gathered on the National Mall.
   He began slowly, with magisterial gravity, talking about what it was to be black in America in 1963 and the “shameful condition” of race relations a hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Unlike many of the day’s previous speakers, he did not talk about particular bills before Congress or the marchers’ demands. Instead, he situated the civil rights movement within the broader landscape of history — time past, present and future — and within the timeless vistas of Scripture.
   Dr. King was about halfway through his prepared speech when Mahalia Jackson — who earlier that day had delivered a stirring rendition of the spiritual “I Been ’Buked and I Been Scorned” — shouted out to him from the speakers’ stand: “Tell ’em about the ‘Dream,’ Martin, tell ’em about the ‘Dream’!” She was referring to a riff he had delivered on earlier occasions, and Dr. King pushed the text of his remarks to the side and began an extraordinary improvisation on the dream theme that would become one of the most recognizable refrains in the world.…"
By Michiko Kakutani, New York Times August 27, 2013 here.

Richard Olsen's HANDMADE HOUSES Journal

"Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest at Taliesin West, the Scottsdale, Arizona, campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. On one of those trips, I ventured out into the far reaches of Wright’s desert acreage to study the dwellings designed and built by the school’s students as part of their learning-by-doing education. Youthful creative energy, ideas, and confidence + small plot of land + trifling financial resources for materials + the ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright = ingenious solutions to small-space living?  Yes—mostly.
   Working within the safe zone of the campus, the students could laugh at common code restrictions, so pushing the envelope of design and construction was possible, if not a given.
   Architectural salvage stands out in the materials palette, and it’s frequently worth noting how much those rugged bits and pieces invigorate the students’ handling of the refined Wrightian design vocab and “desert concrete construction” system.…"

26-Year Old UK Carpenter Inspired by Shelter

I have just completed a structure that has greatly been inspired by the books you produce. I am a 26 year old carpenter/ designer from the UK and work using traditional techniques and local sustainable materials.
   I just thought I would share my creation with you, the Peach House was commissioned by a member of the Royal family and I was given free reign with the design and build, which was a very rare but amazing experience.

A Change on This Blog

This blog has been wonderful for me with feedback. There are a bunch of like minded people out there who to turn me on to things I'm into, and give me advice, leads, facts, and criticism. Totally great, especially out here in the boondocks.
   BUT I'm getting so many good tips in the "Comments" section here that I can't keep up with them all. I need to get this book done!
   What I've been doing is going to the link recommended and if I like it, make it into a post -- which takes time -- downloading images, selecting text, creating a link, then posting.
   I do this because I don't think many people read comments on old posts, and a bunch of these things are so great. It's got to the point where I have a backlog of referred URLs to post, and it stresses me out to look at them all in my (Eudora -- still) inbox in the morning
   SO! I'm going to start posting the comments (or emails) as they come in, au naturel, so you can check them out from scratch. Big time-saver for me. To wit:

Hey Lloyd,
A filmmaker friend of mine just completed a short film about a boot-maker in Pendleton, Oregon who is searching for someone to carry on his legacy. Thought you might want to help spread the word.

From Lynn Kading:
4-Year-old Girl's Vegetable Garden Must Go, Says USDA

From Mike W:
"....Have you ever felt trapped in a static life you didn’t choose? Ever considered just walking away from it all and creating your own adventure? When Josh and Jessa Works asked themselves these questions, they answered by loading their son Jack into an Airstream and launching into an exploration and rediscovery of America, not in search of a place to settle, but rather creating a new kind of home out of wandering...."
stumbled onto this on someone's facebook page..

From: CLL

Thanks for all your good work.  Been a fan for more years than either of us would want to admit <g>.

Liquid Salt -- Celebrating The Culture of Surfing

"We offer an alternative to the thruster and contest mentality that dominates our sport. We choose to cel­e­brate surf­ing for what it is: a joy­ful union between the surfer and the ocean. Our mission is to give voice to those people — surfers, shapers, writ­ers, artists, film­mak­ers, and photographers — who qui­etly keep surf cul­ture alive."

Hank Bought A Bus

Architecture student Hank Butitta and friends are halfway through a 5,000-mile road trip in a converted schoolbus.
Click Hank and buddies here and also Gizmodo here.

Tiny Homes in Sioux City, Iowa

Sioux City Journal Aug 23, 2013. Article by Brett Hayworth. Photo by Dawn J. Sagert
Dakota Dunes this ain't.
Carter Smith, 24, has downsized after moving out of a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Vermillion, S.D. Downsized in this case means relocating into one of the smallest homes in Sioux City, fitting his possessions and two cats into 387 square feet at 1120 17th St.
   "I lost a lot of space," Smith said. "I like it. It is a good change of pace."
   Woodbury County Assessor Office records show there are eight single-family homes with less than 400 square feet of space in Sioux City. The smallest, in the 2500 block of South St. Aubin Street, is 312 square feet.
   Andrea Cook’s house, at 2325 W. 14th St., is about 40 square feet bigger. She moved in two months ago.
   "I just knew it was less than 500 .... This is the first time I've ever lived in a small house," she said.
   Cook, 48, said she enjoys the simple, one-bedroom rental home, which was built in 1925 and has an assessed value of $13,800. She’s had to use a walker since losing motor skills following a head injury, she said.…
Click here.

Surf Mats

I met George Greenough in Santa Barbara in 1971. He was the next door neighbor of my friend Bob Easton and one night he came over to Bob's house and showed us some of his surf films. At the time, George was riding a knee board and had a homemade waterproof wide angle movie camera powered by a motorcycle battery. He was the first guy to film inside the curl and it was breathtaking. Bob said that George was like a martial artist, crouching low, being part of the wave, as compared to standup surfers trying to conquer the wave. He ended up revolutionizing surf photography.
   These days George lives in Australia, and is a legendary waterman. For some years now he's been riding an air mat, which he considers superior to a knee board. It appealed to me. For one thing, it's way easier to travel with a foldable air mat and fins in your backpack than to lug around a surfboard. For another, as us surfers get older, here's a way to stay in the water. Plus they are fast as hell.
   I did some research and found that George gets his mats from http://www.surfmats.com/ ("Handmade in America by Paul Gross since 1984.") Over the years, Greenough has worked with Gross on mat design. I bought one, have not used it yet, but it's in my car with a pair of DaFiNs http://www.dafin.com/, small flexible fins from Hawaii, highly rated by lifeguards and bodysurfers. I'm going to take them on a trip in the Spring to Micronesia and Hawaii. Check out also http://surfmatters.blogspot.com/.