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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…

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Shelter Looking for Apprentice or Part Time Employee and/or Website Designer

The paradox is that we’re getting this incredible feedback, now daily, and sales of our books have dropped off. We want to:

1. Redesign our website

2. Get Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and our blogs working to reach people. We have tons of “content.”

3. Produce more short videos

4. Consult with internet-savvy people

5. Get word out more broadly about our books

6. Get theshelterblog audience large enough so we get income from it.

Ideally we’d find a person who who understands blogs, “social media,” and how to build a new website.

Contact us if you or anyone you know might be interested in working with us: shelter@shelterpub.com

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Will, Lloyd and the Rainbow Girls

I went to see the Rainbow Girls Friday night and thought they were fantastic. Great vocal harmonies, and they all kept switching instruments. After they finished, my son Will (a drummer) and I were talking to them outside the bar and Will mentioned that I had published Tiny Homes and one of them screamed, “Oh I love that book!” Pretty soon we were hanging out with all 4 of them. They all knew at least one of our books.

Check them out:

People in Oregon: they’ll be there August 26th-30th: https://www.rainbowgirlsmusic.com/

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Hands Off! MacSpeech Dictate

I started having problems with circulation in my hands years ago and eventually had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand in 2009. The surgeon, Dr. Robert Markison, in San Francisco,* recommended that I get MacSpeech Dictate and a Sennheiser ME3 microphone. I did it, started using it, amazed at how well it worked, but gradually got back into keyboarding by hand.

In the last year I’ve started having circulation problems in my right hand again; my fingers are cold a lot of the time, like default for the right-hand is cold. So I’m using gloves (the best ones are rabbit-fur-lined leather ones), moving around (hiking gets the circulation going in all body parts just fine), and getting into MacSpeech Dictate much more fully. I’ve just had to work at it (and basically be alone, so I’m not disturbing others), and it’s getting smoother all the time. It’s a brilliant program.

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In Praise of Eudora (and in Sorrow at Its Non-Availability Today For Mac Users)

Two and a half years ago, I did a post on Eudora, and it has generated 19 comments over that time. There still seems to be no solution for anything near as good that will run on the new Mac operating systems. I’m still using Snow Leopard (10.6.8) on my office MacPro for the sake of Eudora. I occasionally give silent thanks to Steve Dorner for developing Eudora back in the ’90s. He thought so many things out so well.

Old article on Steve Dorner: https://www.nytimes.com/library/cyber/week/012197eudora.html

Why doesn’t some venture capitalist put up the money (hire Dorner?) to create a mail program as good as Eudora that will run on new Macs? There’s a huge gaping hole in quality still.

The following comment came in today and I think it’s interesting enough to bring it to the forefront:

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New Octave

I’m easing up on the one-a-day posts on this blog. Change of course in my life.

Finishing Tiny Homes on the Move was sort of a punctuation point in my work. And now, having finished a couple of months of promo (I love being out there, meeting tons of like-minded people, seeing old friends, exploring new territory, but getting there and back is the problem — air travel and too many hours of driving/sitting).

I knew an artisan dope grower years back in Santa Barbara and he said that his plants would be almost dormant for a while and then, in a burst, would grow. Ideas are like that: you’ll think about something on and off, now and then, and suddenly—Eureka!—breakthrough. You’ve put it all together, a new level of, um, consciousness.

Likewise I was in the Gasser photo store in San Francisco once and a hip tattooed bike messenger was telling the counter guy that he’d just had his first kid. “It’s a whole new octave, man.”

Body and Soul Plato had it right: balance intellect/mind with the physical. I’ve gotten too far away from the body of late. Now that I’m back home, I’m swimming a little, running a little, about to cycle and kayak. I have 15 lb Reebok dumbbells at the computer, by the TV, and you can do a lot of light weight training this way. (I’m going to do a short video of office workout equipment soon.)

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Poppa’s Got A Brand New Carry-on Bag

I’ve always had backpacks for airplane travel, eschewing suitcases and wheeled bags. I figured it was a good workout to have the weight on my shoulders, and I always walked up the stairs instead of using escalators, and never took the moving walkways. BUT on my last trip, I had so much weight, it wore me out. This time I got an Osprey rolling pack (with day pack, wheels, and shoulder straps), a new Da Kine day pack, and cut down on clothing as much as I could. Much improved.

   Even though I have a (11″) MacAir laptop, a bunch of camera gear, couple of books, and on this trip, a digital projector, the weight is on wheels — such a relief. Well, duh.

   Airports are stressful enough as it is. I’ll get my workouts in other ways. The strap is for a fairly aerodynamic camera bag, in which I have my new Olympus OM5-D10 with 3 lenses — gonna carry it in my city explorations here. The vest is a Columbia Omni-Shade — lightweight, bunch of pockets Also, stealth vaping — heh-heh — works in airports.

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I’m Doing 2 Presentations on Tiny Homes on the Move at the Maker Faire in San Mateo This Weekend

This thing is huge — 50,000 people. And fun! Surprising to me because I’m hardly nerd-oriented. There’s a wide range of things going on here, from ultra-geeky to downhome funk. This’ll be the 4th time I’ve gone and I always have a great time. It’s savvy, friendly, interesting, and very well run. I wander all over the large fairgrounds with my camera. It’s great for kids, all kinds of robots wandering around, ingenious mobile vehicles, 3D printing (hot right now), the “HomeGrown Village” hall for gardening, homesteading, building, food preservation, etc.

   I’m doing 2 presentations on Tiny Homes On The Move:

    -Saturday May 17th, 3:30 PM on the Maker Square Stage in the Homegrown Village

    -Sunday May 18th, 3:00 PM on the Center Stage. Click here.

-Kevin Kelly will be talking about his best-seller Cool Tools at 1:30 PM Saturday on The Center Stage.

-Snowboarder Mike Basich (our star builder in Tiny Homes) will be talking about his remote mountain homestead and homemade ski lift at 2:30 Sunday on The Center Stage (just before me).

One thing: traffic is heavy. Check out the Faire’s suggestions. You can bring a bike and park a mile or two away. General Faire info here.

Finally: Lew and Evan will be manning a Shelter Publications booth in one of the maker halls on how we make books. They’ll be giving away free copies of the Tiny Homes on the Move mini-book and selling copies of the full-size book for $20 apiece (cheaper than Amazon).

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