blogs (14)

The State of This Blog

I wish I had time to do more blogging. But the combination of trying to keep this publishing operation afloat, doing books, marketing (how I wish we could, as author Bill Pearl said to me once, “…just do a book and it would fly out and sell like crazy.” Well it don’t happen that way. Once you publish a book nowadays, you then get into a snarl of technical requirements. The almighty metadata. At times I wish I was an author and my publisher would take care of all the marketing and endless digital requirements.

Photo by Aubrey Trinnaman

I do a lot of Instagramming, because I’m most interested these days in the 20-40 year-olds. They’re a new ball game from their padres; they are picking up on our 47-year-old book Shelter, and saying this is what I want to do. Plus Instagram is ideal for photographers, just unfortunate that Zuck wormed into it (and piles on the ads). I do like posting photos, but with blogs, you can write.

Does anyone read blogs these days?

We applied for and got approval for a Paycheck Protection Program loan from the Small Business Administration that (if we do indeed get the funds) will pay for 2½ months of payroll. But things are still mighty thin. Bookstores are closed, and we’re trying to sell as many books mail-order as we can. We have a 30% discount for 2 or more books, with free shipping in the USA: www.shelterpub.com

I just ran across the below a few minutes ago. I had written something about our “tribe,” people who liked our hands-on approach to food and shelter, and who liked our cozy home, and the gardening, quilting, cooking part of our lives, and I had said how different our tribe was from the people who read Dwell, who I surmised to be in much greater numbers. I wrote that our people were like the book lovers in Fahrenheit 451, on the outskirts of the city, a small group of like-minded doers, but the masses were into another aesthetic. Minimal. Sleek. Expensive. And I got this comment on my blog:

This was before I started work on The Half-Acre Homestead (which is a few days away from being back in stock).

Anonymous
February 11, 2018 at 9:31 pm

Lloyd, I wouldn’t be so sure your tribe is smaller than Dwell’s … for a start, I’m pretty sure everyone on board at Dwell has read your books. More are probably following you. Your photos are abundant on Pinterest and Tumblr, and more have escaped into the wild, where they reproduce themselves in the form of strange little abodes in unlikely places.

And of course, all your photos have been seeds growing since the ’60s, every structure planting itself into a little crevice of a baby-boomer/genX/milennial/postmilennial brain … it might sit dormant for awhile, years of “normal jobs” and “nice apartments” and “valuable real estate,” until one day it sprouts through the rubble and we think, “Why not? Why not build it myself? Why not now?”

Please keep casting them far & wide … like most farmers, the principal reward for making the world a better place … is living in it.

–zolie

(Actually, it’s kind of zolie to say so, but I don’t think Dwell readers have our books or follow me.)

Post a comment (17 comments)

Three-Dot Wednesday Morning Fish Fry

Came across the ever-beautiful Golden Gate Bridge 6:30 this morning, in my 19-year-old incredibly luxurious Mercedes E320, latte at my favorite North Beach cafe, listening to my fave DJ, Michael de Barres on Sirius radio (forever indebted to Lew for Sirius), the Underground Garage station, Michael an English rocker (and musician) who plays bad-assed rocknroll…Bon Jovie: Runaway; Aerosmith: Walk This Way; Billy Idol: “Rebel Yell;” Dire Straits: Money For Nothing.…The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) is really marvelous. The first 3 episodes are radiantly funny, Rachel Brosnahan is brilliant…it can’t maintain that level, but the other 5 episodes are still worth watching…A few nights ago, we came across a White House event: “Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In performance at the White House.” I looked at the Obamas and almost cried. This elegant, soft-spoken, soulful man, and his strong, beautiful, soulful wife.…On the drive in this morning, I thought about seeds. Years ago, in planting carrot seeds, I thought: I’m putting these seeds here, information packets that tell the natural world how to organize ands coordinate soil, water sunshine and air and  – voilá – carrots. Milagro!…Through our building books, we  have lots of fans. I try to think how big a group this is. Smaller, for sure, than the minimalist, sterile Dwell magazine crowd.…Probably, what we (our group) have in common is the desire to use hands in creating shelter, and (some) food. Maybe we’re the Handmade Homemade group…I’m kind of excited to start a blog on the ’60s. What didn’t work as a book may work online. Think about it: you read a book right-to-left — it’s linear. Online you’re going up and down; you can hop around at a click. This may be the way to convey my take on the ’60s. Tossing things out there in not necessarily linear order. Feedback could be great. Hey, family of kindred spirits out there, send comments with your ’60s experiences (blog should be up and running by early March)…Fun to practice 3-dot journalism. Non-linear…Now out to make the rounds in this vibrant and beautiful city…Leather store for copper rivets/plumbing/hardware search for 10MM tubing for blowgun/art store for pen to do hand lettering on our next short-run color book, Pop’s Diner — stay tuned; delivering 12 copies of our new Driftwood Shacks  book to Mollusc Surf Shop, to Trouble Coffee, check out Outerlands restaurant/go swimming in cove (Aquatic Park)/Irish coffee, watch surfers through windows at Cliff House…Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Great White now playing…

Post a comment (3 comments)

Gimme Shelter — Late, Hot Summer 2017

I started writing GIMME SHELTER email newsletters about 15 years ago, maybe one every month or two. They were originally intended for sales reps (first at Random House, then Publishers Group West), to keep them apprised of our publishing activities, and then later, I added friends to the mailing list. As I got into blogging, the frequency of the newsletters dropped off.

Here’s the latest one. If you’d like to be on the list, sign up here.

Water tower near Prineville, Oregon, on my trip last week to see the eclipse

I’ve written less and less of these newsletters recently, as I’ve been blogging and now doing Instagram regularly. Made me think about all the different forms of communication I’ve employed over the years. My high school year book, running an Air Force newspaper in Germany for 2 years, then working the Whole Earth Catalog, and then — books.

Followed by, over the years: booklets, pamphlets, flyers, posters, 20-30 handmade books, mini-books, magazine and newspaper articles, videos, interviews … I’m a compulsive communicator.

These days I put up posts on my blog, but not as often, or as in-depth as a few years ago. I do Instagram almost daily and all these photos automatically go onto my blog, and to my Twitter and Facebook pages. You can check my Instagram account here; it’s a summary of posts: www.instagram.com/lloyd.kahn

Three New Books

The ’60s

I decided to do a book on the ‘60s, since there’s been so much attention given to the “Summer of Love” lately, and because as a person who grew up in San Francisco, went to high school in the Haight-Ashbury, and watched the ‘60s unfold first-hand, I don’t agree with what’s being presented all over the media; these accounts don’t coincide with what I saw happening at all.

“The Haight-Ashbury was a district. The ‘60s was a movement.”  –Ken Kesey

I started the book tentatively, to see if it was going to fly. I thought I’d give my background, what San Francisco was like in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and track my life — a kid growing up in San Francisco, college, Santa Cruz, Big Sur, the Monterey Pop Festival, building domes at Pacific High School, the Whole Earth Catalog — so readers would know where I was coming from. Rather than starting in 1960.

I started getting into it, recalling things that had been buried in my semi-consciousness. This was fun! And I realized that the ‘60s completely changed my life. In 1965, I quit my job as an insurance broker in San Francisco and went to work as a carpenter.

I’m going to illustrate it with black and white photos I took doing those years.

I’ll start posting parts of the book on my blog as I go, to get some feedback.

Read More …

Post a comment (3 comments)

Photos From My Latest Trip, Batch A

Colliding Rivers near Glide, Oregon, where Little River and the North Umpqua River meet head-on. There’s a photo on the bridge where I was standing showing the confluence looking like a maelstrom in the winter, with water up over the bridge (covering all the rocks you see here!). I went swimming a little downriver, it was co-o-ld, but refreshing on a hot day.

Birdhouse at Bellknap Hot Springs, on the Mckenzie River in central Oregon.

Cost $8 for an hour to use the facilities, mainly a large pool with temperature of 95-100F. A lovely place. The temp. of water coming from the springs is about 190F.

I’m trying to contact the guy who makes these, to get a few for our collection of mini houses.

Lew’s super catspaw tool, available online. This one is stainless, about $35. Amazon has a titanium one, about $80, for he who must have everything.

Ricky B, who does antique and vintage car restorations in Prineville, Oregon, has created a miniature ghost town. as shown in these 3 photos.

It’s a uniquely delightful place. Everything Ricky does, both autos and vintage building, is remarkable.

Norman’s Mom “…wouldn’t even harm a fly.”

Ricky has at least 30 cars, all immaculately detailed. Most are standard models, but this is a wicked hot rod, I believe a 1951 Mercury, chopped and channelled to perfection.


On the road southeast, from Burns to Jordan Valley, Oregon

I’m frustrated by having such a dorky layout, due  to Blogger.com parameters. I don’t have the skills (coding) or time to make these posts look other than awkward. So, for a while (until I can get my layouts together), it’ll have to be the singer, not the song…

Post a comment

My 5000th Post!

For some years I was really into blogging. These days I post a lot less, what with doing Instagram, contributing to theshelterblog, Tumblr, Twitter, and reluctantly, Facebook. A blizzard of internet activity.

The idea is to get our “content” out in digital form to compliment our publishing of hold-in-your-hands books. All this with “build it and they will come” approach. We’re working at having theshelterblog be more and more of our original material as opposed to stuff already on the web.

We’ve also upgraded our website in the process.

I’m also posting less because I’m immersed in production of our next book, Small Homes. Which is looking, ahem, incredibly good. This may end up being our most relevant building book ever, with a variety of simple homes and lifestyles that will give lots of people ideas and inspiration to create their own shelters.

Sure, tiny homes are wonderful and photogenic and a welcome relief from homes that are too big and expensive and rents that are too high. But small homes are relevant for way more people.

So far we’ve done 97 (out of approx. 200) pages. A sample we just completed today:

So onward I go with the book, posting less. But hey, 5000 posts is a body of work (along with all time history page views of 7,448,979)…

Post a comment (4 comments)

The More Probable Continuation of This Blog

When I wrote about ending this blog 2 days ago, I was in what you might call a state of mild confused desperation. These (warm summer) days, I’m:

• (joyfully) working on a new book

• trying to figure out how to get more of our books out in bookstores (where people can see them, and pick them up…)

• revamping our digital communications

• shuffling a ton of other things I want to do right now. 

Life is rich.

Thank you guys for the comments. I mean, really! Stephanie gets it. I love ya too, Stephanie. So good to hear I’m connecting.

With the process of iteration, here’s where I’m at this morning:

I’ll keep the blog going. Thanks, George, Rick, Sharkey, etc.

I won’t keep trying to do a post a day. Too stressful, and causing me to sometimes put up less-than-great stuff just to fill in daily gaps. I’ll do a lot less posting stuff from other websites, but put up original material, stuff I’ve done or witnessed, photos new to the internet world. If you were checking it daily, now check it weekly.

Blogs aren’t going to be eliminated by social media, any more than radio was eliminated by TV, or TV eliminated by the internet. They all have their function.

Other digital stuff In discussions yesterday with my two 30-something-year-old consultants, Sean Hellfritsch and my son Evan, we roughed out a plan: I’m going to do Instagram posts from an iPhone 6 (mostly when I’m out and around in the world). I’ll also start tweeting again (fun!). We’ll figure out how to coordinate our extensive home/shelter/building content on my blog, theshelterblog, Instagram, Tumbl’r, Twitter, linking back and forth. Facebook too. Sean’s going to come up with a plan, Evan’s going to do much of the posting. We’ll get the plan together when Rick and Lew are back.

Post a comment (29 comments)

The Very Possible End of this Blog

In the ’60s I had a friend is Santa Barbara, a highly-skilled gardener, tell me this about the growth of his pot plants: they’d not grow much for a week or so, then suddenly in 24 hours they’d grow like crazy. We talked about how knowledge was like that. You’ll take in information and ponder something over a period of time and suddenly—eureka!—you’ll get it. You get the whole picture. You see the way forward.

Well here’s my growth spurt of the last few days. It may be premature to write this, but I think I see a new way to get out our “content*”) out to (more) people.

I’ve been pondering mostly Instagram and Twitter, but also Facebook (ugh!), Pinterest, maybe Tumblr as a better way than blogging. I’ve done almost 5,000 posts now, some 7 million page views, I think it’s time to hang it up, or at least quit trying to do a post a day. I’ve been running it like a mini-newspaper, and I love doing it, but it’s taking too much time. Maybe I’ll just do my own material on this blog and not keep posting interesting stuff from other websites.

Small Homes

I’m laying out about 2 pages of this new book each day. Once I get the photos and text on the design table, it seems to assemble itself. Oh this fits here…I’ll put the pull quote here…Line this up both up and across…I love doing it—watching the birth of a book. A lot of material came in today—photos and stories.

I need to put more time into the book now, less on the blog.

Plus it’s occurring to me that blogs may be less significant these days, what with these super-sized phone screens and the fact that people are checking Instagram and Facebook daily whereas one has to go to a blog. I only look at blogs occasionally.

Lloyd’s Change of Direction

The iPhone 6 Plus! Holy shit! What a tool. I’ve run across 3 of them in the last 5 days. Yesterday my friend Jeff said, “Have you seen the billboards with photos shot on the iPhone 6?” I’ve kept saying I’d rather shoot quick photos with my many-featured Sony Cybershot RX100 II—raw files, tons of options not on any phone. But the camera seems v. good on the new iPhone and it’ll allow me to post stuff immediately, without having to shoot pix, load them on computer, use wi-fi, blah blah blah…Just zap from the phone. Immediate communication.

It’s gonna be fun, because I run across so much interesting stuff out in the world.

Looking forward to doing Twitter again. Forced to edit self.

*I have probably 15,000 (film and digital ) photos from 50+years—maybe half of them on homes, builders, building, architecture, most of it never used.

Live Broadcast of Small Homes

We’re going to try publishing excerpts from this book as we lay it out. Need to figure how to do so efficiently…hey, what about publishing quick photos of rough layout like this, along with a paragraph about the builder/homeowners? Would that work? The above layout:

“Jes Nelee’, musician and world traveler, designed and built her own small home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the help of her 80-year-old grandfather and friends.”

We could do that real simply. Get out on theshelterblog plus other social media.

Just sayin…

Post a comment (19 comments)

Changes In My Blog

Truth be told, I love doing blog posts. I find so much that’s fascinating in my everyday life that I want to tell (and show) others about it. (I have a large backlog of photos and observations that I never get around to posting—hey, how do I get a clone?)

I also enjoy the blog feedback.

Problem is, it takes time, and I need to shift gears now that I’ve started a new book. Also, I’m probably more useful to more people doing books than doing blog posts. We’re getting almost daily feedback on how our books are inspiring people to create their own homes.

I’ll try to keep the blog rolling, posting less frequently in the near future.

Also, we’re trying to figure out how to get our considerable “content” out via “social media.” We’re looking for advice on how to coordinate Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and our website (drastically in need of overhaul) and 2 blogs to maximize exposure.

I’m especially interested in reaching millenials because, if you’ll excuse the mixed metaphor, they’re a whole new ball game. I just love these guys—they’re looking at the world through fresh eyes.

I’ve done layout of 12 pages of Small Homes now and am in full gear with it. Contact us if you know of any practical, aesthetic, inspiring, economical and/or homey homes in the 400-1200 sq. ft. range: smallhomes@shelterpub.com

Post a comment (6 comments)

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.

<https://blog.farmrun.com/post/58742813729/in-search-of-succession>https://blog.farmrun.com/post/58742813729/in-search-of-succession

Best,

Sean

From Lynn Kading:

4-Year-old Girl’s Vegetable Garden Must Go, Says USDA

https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/4-year-old-girls-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….”

https://vimeo.com/71385845

stumbled onto this on someone’s facebook page..

From: CLL

FYI

https://www.pressherald.com/news/getting-into-living-off-the-land_2013-08-25.html

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

Post a comment (4 comments)