Arcosanti/Cold Weather/Finishing New Book

I’ve been in the obsession zone lately, finishing 3 years of (off-and-on) putting together my book Builders of the Pacific Coast. The last 10 per cent is the hardest. I’ve been working on the intro for a week now. I have a ton of things to post on the blog, I’ll mention them here rapid-fire and then get back to the book.

Recent adventures, thoughts, stuff, without further ado: I finally went to Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti in Arizona, shot pix some of which I’ll post, and found problems with the artist/genius concept of an “organic” city. Parts of it are OK, the people living there are very nice, but there are flaws. The older I get the less I think of leaders. Details later. Took my pal Sherm to good-vibes Ashkenaz nightclub in Berkeley last night to see the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, music of the ’20s and ’30s. Sherm somehow manages to flirt from his wheelchair. Great dancing, young and old.

It’s been co-ho-ho-hold. 30 degrees last night. Cold winds blowing in from the ocean. Last week it was 80 degrees on Sunday. Weird! I went to the beach and swam across the channel to Stinson beach. The tide was coming in from the ocean which has been cooled by weeks of wind and Lordy was it cold. We need more rain. I decided not to train for the Dipsea Race this year, just too much other stuff to do. My maniac mountain warrior running friends have all embarked on the heavy painful 2-months-to-go training runs. I miss Mexico. It’s been too many years since I’ve lain on my back on the beach studying the stars, too long since I’ve been in warm water. Next year I’m going to Baja for 6 weeks Jan-Feb to hang out with my friend Chilon, sleep on the beaches and in the desert arroyos, surf AND put together a book tentatively called DEEP IN THE HEART OF BAJA. I haven’t been running, paddling or surfing much at all lately, keeping nose to finishing this book, which reveals itself to me progressively day by day. At this point I’m shuffling pages, putting them in order, coordinating corrections from the builders, trying out all kinds of large-size graphics for the front matter (first 9 pages of the book), poring over the pages for the third round of corrections and changes. Got a new skateboard with a drop-down deck (Landyachtz in British Columbia, the same territory as my book). I love to skate even though I’m in the 3% percentile of skill (100 being the highest). It’s not like cycling, which has all kinds of skill levels. Skaters are one and all talented and graceful athletes. I work around the house on weekends, fixing stuff, building the compost piles, watering plants, fiddling with the chickens, getting firewood, doing a myriad of homesteading chores. We’re talking to 5 different printers for this new book. We want to print it in the USA, but it looks like it will cost us $12,000 extra to do so (on recycled paper) as opposed to non-recycled in China. A dilemma. Stay tuned. Back to the book.

Web stuff:

Stumbleupon, I found out about this on CoolTools (

Kelby Online Training, a great way to learn Photoshop. Light Room, InDesign, Illustrator, etc. The web at its best

The whalehunt, 3000 photos of present-day Eskimo whale hunt. Stunning web design

Music Du Jour:

-Twang Ditty, Young SF country band channeling Merle and Patsy Kline

-The Three Pickers, CD of concert in North Carolina of Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and Ricky Skaggs

Once this book is off to the printers I’ll get back to posting stuff more often.

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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