This and That on a Tuesday Morning

Lightweight tent: Nemo Obi Elite 1P, reviewed by Kevin Kelly on Cool Tools, this is an ultra-light, elegantly designed, one-person tent. I think it’s a breakthrough design.

Lightweight rain gear: 02 Hooded Rain jacket. Another item I discovered as a result of a recent backpack trip (with outdated gear), also on Cool Tools (here). V. light, waterproof, highly compressible, cheap. I got pants as well.

Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers – “Vagabond” They don’t look like much, but these are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had. A few months ago my son Will and I were visiting old surfing friend Richard Novak and longboard maestro Wingnut at Rich’s office in Santa Cruz, and all four of us had on the same shoes.

iPhone 5: OMG! Just incredible. Seri alone (which people seem to bitch about): I can say “nearest gas station,” or “nearest pizza,” and lo and behold, there are lists in order of proximity. Camera functions are fabulous: clear videos, panoramic mode. Haven’t even begun to explore possibilities, which seem endless. I want to get more up to speed on a smart phone, because that’s the way the (young) world is going, and important for me to understand as a communicator. Also thinking about shooting photos on phone and blogging on the spot. I’ll be such a modern guy.

Looking for new car  I’ve been driving 4×4 Toyota trucks for about 25 years, much of the reason being trips to the Southwest desert, as well as Baja. These days I’m on to other areas of the world, and no longer loving long road trips (too much sitting), exploring wild areas closer to home, so looking for a smaller car, maybe something like a minivan. I want a flat storage area in the back, would take out rear seats, for skateboards, running gear, bunch of other stuff I haul around. I’m looking at the Nissan Cube, Honda Fit. Scion XB or XD, or even a sedan where I could remove rear seats and partition to trunk. Back in the ’60s I had a BMW 2002, such a wonderful machine. I could drive a long ways and get out (say to shoot pics) and not feel at all tired.

Reacher Rolls Again Just finished “A Wanted Man,” Lee Childs’ latest Jack Reacher book. Not as good as previous Reacher novels, but this is still one tough MF of a guy and a page-turner. How Tom Cruise is going to portray Reacher, who’s 6-5″ and 250 lbs. I have no idea. Out of your league, Tom.

Fermentation The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor Katz, forward by Michael Pollan, is the hard cover big brother to Katz’ paperback Wild Fermentation — much like David Arora’s hardcover Mushrooms Demystified is to his paperback All That the Rain Promises and More. So far I’ve made sauerkraut and olives, and plan on pickled ginger, and a bunch of other pickled vegetables. Simple, healthy, fun.

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:

16 Responses to This and That on a Tuesday Morning

  1. LOL, they'll have Tom Cruise stand on a box to play Jack Reacher.
    I read what you said about the iPhone 5, and thought maybe I should think about getting one. I don't have any kind of smart phone. When my husband was in hospital he decided to send me a text, to which I had to reply. So labor-intensive with my little phone. I only did it because he'd had surgery. Normally, I do NOT text, but maybe I'm just determined to be a dinosaur.
    Curious about the wet-weather gear now, too, for travel.

  2. Yeah we were thinking of someone more like Josh Brolin for the role…I mean the guy has to be l-o-n-g, for heaven's sake. No smirky cute boy stuff. Horrible casting choice. It really wants an old-style movie star from another era, but they don't make them like that any more, at least in the US.

  3. Hey Lloyd,

    I can't find an email for you, but I really wanted to turn you on to this BBC documentary I'm watching by Kevin McCloud called "Man Made Home."

    He buys 2 acres in the country and then builds a tiny house on a trailer on it. His rules are everything has to be either made from things on the property (he has a wood), or waste.

    It's pretty amazing so far. He mills his own wood, makes his own glass, glue from rabbit skins and urine, makes his own wood burning stove.. You name it.

    You can download it from your usual piratey places, if you don't have access to it from Netflix or whatever.

    Cheers – love the blog.

  4. Just took my Yaris on an almost 12000 K trek from BC to Michigan down the old Route 66 (whats left of it) up the California, Oregon, Washington coast back to BC. Cost just about right on $700 in gas. Not long enough to sleep in comfortably but could in a pinch. Carries plenty of stuff…once I even got 14 five gallon pails of seaweed in it.

  5. Check out the lens attachments for iPhone camera. They make it possible to do about anything. You can find them all over, including amazon. And they are cheap.

  6. Regarding cars, it might be bigger than you need, but I love the Honda Element that we bought slightly used a year ago. We can get 2-3 road bikes inside. The front and rear seats fold flat to make a bed so two can sleep comfortably. They even make a couple of tents that fit on the tailgate. And with all-wheel drive I can get up rough roads to fly-fishing spots or to less traveled beaches.

  7. here's a car idea: toyota previa alltrac. they're not brand-new (91-97 only), but if you can shop around and find a low-mileage alltrac version (full time four-wheel drive) it's a great vehicle. good in snow, decent gas mileage, comfortable, super-reliable, and you can build a simple bed in the back to continue your stealth camping lifestyle. probably around $5,000 for a really good one. here's what my bed conversion looks like. i was pretty happy with this design (full-time single bed, third passenger seat, convertible from single to double in a minute…until my friend came up with better, simpler and cheaper way to do it. (i don't have a photo of that but we can get it to you if you want)

  8. Always enjoy your "this n that" posts Lloyd. : ) Just a word about Scion – it's been a totally reliable car for me. I checked Scion out after reading an article in Mother Earth News. Got a 2006 XA and still love it as much as the day I bought it.

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