Greenhouse on Our Homestead

Greenhouse as shown in our latest building book, The Half-Acre Homestead. Roofing is double-wall polycarbonate, which has a 10-year guarantee and comes from Farmtek Farm Supplies.

Windows are salvaged. Back wall consists of homemade adobe bricks. For these, I used a Cinva-Ram block press: one part cement to 12 parts soil (from when we dug our shallow well). With the Cinva-Ram, you compress each block. The cement makes them water-resistant. The adobe wall retains heat from the day during the night. The solar fan on the roof has worked flawlessly for over 10 years

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Peninsula South: Returning to Baja

Herbie and Nathan Fletcher: Peninsula South
from Nixon on Vimeo.

Nixon brings together larger-than-life surf legends Herbie and Nathan Fletcher for a road trip down memory lane in a new short film entitled Peninsula South, where the father and son team head down to Baja and revisit some old haunts from previous adventures. Director Riley Blakeway captures Herbie’s pioneering spirit and the close-knit relationship he has built with his son Nathan as they set out on an expedition they’ve not made together in over twenty years, reignites both their love for Baja and their deep appreciation for one another. By the late ’60s, Herbie had already begun exploring Baja in search of uncrowded lineups and adventure. As his life moved forward, he built a family who share his love of travel, and who have joined him countless times to explore the fickle southern peninsula. On this latest mission, Nathan discusses his father’s contagious, childlike enthusiasm for surfing and life, and shares how he hopes to pass those ideals down to the next Fletcher generation. See more at

From Gary at Tin Roof Ranch on the North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

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Poured Concrete Building in Sausalito

I’ve passed by this unique structure in Sausalito for years; it’s on the way to my mother-in-law’s house. I did a lot of poured concrete work in the early ’60s, so I always notice buildings constructed this way. Finally, the other day, I shot some pictures, and then looked it up.

It’s the rectory across the street from The Star of the Sea church.

Here is an article about it written in 1919:


Last Sunday, Rev. Father Chas. R. Baschab, pastor of Star of the Sea parish, announced to his congregation that the erection of a new church and priest house will be started immediately on the beautiful property at the junction of Bulkley and Harrison avenues, bought a few months ago. The buildings, when finished, is to comprise the Lombard style of architecture, a spacious church with a hall in the basement and a home for the pastor and assistant. The buildings will be of reinforced concrete. George J. McCrea of Oakland, the architect who prepared the plans and specifications for the building will supervise their construction. He is the same architect who planned a fine Gothic church and rectory, erected in South San Francisco, a few years ago, and who planned the splendid Mission church and rectory at Livermore last year. The builder in charge of the work is F. Costa, a well known builder of concrete churches throughout this state. He has built churches at Auburn, Crescent City, Livermore and Woodland.

The Lombard style of architecture was adopted as it is especially adapted for hillside construction. According to the sketch drawn by Mr. McCrea, the new Catholic church will not only be the finest building in Sausalito but one of the most beautiful in the state.

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Intense One-Minute Workout in Office


New York Times health columnist Gretchen Reynolds has had several articles lately (in the Science section) about the value of short-term intense workouts.

I’m doing this on a Versa Climber, but you can achieve the same thing by going fast up stairs, using a stationary bike or via other modalities.

You can get your heart rate up and blood circulating in a minute.

Also check out the new version of Stretching by Bob Anderson, which has stretches and tips for smartphone users to combat bad posture. Hold that phone up in front of you instead of bending down to look at it! Duh!

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