Vagabonding/Summer of Love/Natural Building Materials/ Green Building Materials

Vagabonding — Slow Travel

The other day on the radio, Rick Steves interviewed a guy named Rolf Potts, who’s written a book about slow travel, called Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel. The concept is to stay around long enough — wherever you travel — to tune into the people and the land. One great thing Rolf said was that when you end up in a town and have no fixed idea about what to do: “Walk until your day gets interesting.” Also: “Time is your most valuable asset…”

Summer of Love Horseshit

It was over by the “Summer of Love.” Anyone who was actually in the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood in say 1963-66 knows that the SOL wasn’t the death knell…the unique love and energy was already long gone (departed, not dead). The San Francisco Chronicle just did an article on the 40th anniversary and they trotted out the usual ’60s experts. Wavy Gravy, Peter Berg, Peter Coyote (can you imagine someone naming himself after a sacred animal?) I always thought the Diggers sucked, with their hipper-than-thou concepts. They brought hard East Village NYC vibes to gentle California. Their “everything is free” hype drew losers to San Francisco.

Canine-powered Skateboarding

The other day I saw a guy on a skateboard in San Francisco being pulled along at a pretty good clip by 3 dogs on leashes. He looked pretty happy.

Natural Building Materials, Green Building Materials

The difference between “natural building materials” and “green building materials” is, I believe, that natural means that it is used as it comes from the earth. Wood, adobe, straw, bamboo. Green materials include “natural materials,” but can also include processed materials, such as roof shakes made from recycled plastic bottles and wood fiber. Green in the sense of minimum impact on the earth and its systems…

Builders of the Pacific Coast/Book Expo America

I’ve done rough layouts of 160 or so pages, maybe 2/3 of the book. It’s starting to assume its own form. I saved meisterbuilder Lloyd House for last, because I have such a mountain of material on his work. The day I started was sunny and no one was in the office and I alternated between the computer (printing out pix for layout), the layout table, and playing my fiddle and then the jug, along with ’30s Texas swing music by Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies. Fun! The book is looking good, but it’s taking me a lot longer than I anticipated — (what else is new?). We are in the midst of preparing about 14 mock-up pages for me to take to Book Expo America in New York in early June.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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