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The Shelter Blog and Lloyd’s Blog

I’m changing the nature of this blog. I (we—Shelter Publications) are going to focus on building,
carpentry, homes, gardening, and the like on our brand-new — ta-daa:

https://www.theshelterblog.com

   It’s been up for a couple of months now, and
its look and function have been steadily improved by Mac Wizard Rick Gordon.
Evan’s doing most of the posting (I’m funneling my posts through him), Lew is
starting at 3 posts a week, and we’re encouraging builders to send us photos
and descriptions of their latest creations.

   We hope to build this up so it’s a player in
digiworld —we’re aiming for some major readership. We don’t think there is any
blog or website out there with the type content we are generating. Think of all
the buildings and builders in our books—now coming out daily.store appearances (a slide show and book signing
for Tiny Homes on the Move), and getting such good vibes. It feels like
we’re a tribe. We’re interested in the same things—doing stuff for ourselves
(as much as possible), having a warm, attractive, natural-as-possible
handcrafted home, growing some of our own food…

   Remember, it’s “theshelterblog,” not “shelterblog.” The “the” is necessary to get to the right
place. This blog—my own—will continue to follow my
idiosyncratic path through life. Wherever I go, I’m taking you, the reader,
along with me, riding shotgun. It gives me an extra incentive to explore, to
search, to inquire, to shoot photos—if I can come back and tell others about
it.

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Bob Dylan’s Interview with Ed Bradley in 2004

I saw this 10 years ago and just looked at it again. Dylan seems stiff and, as usual, unrevealing, not wanting to be pinned down or categorized—the Master Evader. He talks about destiny, and in the end, starts to smile a bit. Ed does a great job of interviewing a dodgy customer, and asks him why he still does it (touring, appearing) and Bob says,

Because I made a bargain with destiny…

…Ed: Who’d you make the bargain with?

Bob: With the chief commander.

Ed: On this earth?

Bob: On this earth and in the world we can’t see.

Poet for the ages…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKkZcgrec8A

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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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Up the Coast Yesterday/Blog Changes Coming/Secluded Driftwood Beach

The drive to Pt. Arena is about 3 hours. Usually takes me about 4. This time, leaving in the afternoon, instead of (as usual) early morning, it took me 8 hours to get to Louie’s. Did I have fun! I must have stopped, usually to shoot photos, 50 times…I’m thinking of changing the nature of this blog once we get THESHELTERBLOG up and running, maybe tie it in with Instagram, a photo+ caption a day. More like getting you to ride shotgun with me. For example:

Anywhere on this Pacific Coast, there are creek beds, rivers, canyons running perpendicular to the ocean. Water-carved arroyos. As you drive, you can look down and see if there is a trail down to the beach, and there often is. Just before sunset last night, I spotted the trail here. it was like going through a jungle. A pristine white (dirty white color — the best — sand beach, mountains of driftwood.

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Poppa’s Gonna Have A Brand New Bag

Full moon Friday night

Jim Morrison said that it wasn’t until The Doors released a record that he was free to get on with creating something new. Now that Tiny Homes On The Move is finished, I’m looking out on the horizon for what’s next. Right now, it looks like this:

Blogs Rick has almost got The Shelter Blog up and running (with a Word Press template). My son Evan is going to manage it. Lew, Evan and I will post stuff on it. All shelter-related, unlike my eclectic blog. The idea is to do online what our book Shelter did in 1973: showcase owner-builders and the lifestyle that a bunch of us share. Providing as much of our own food and shelter as possible (you can’t be totally self-sufficient; self-sufficiency is a direction). As opposed to Dwell magazine, homes rich in color, utility, and good vibes. We intend this to be station central for people of the owner-builder persuasion.

   We’ll post all the stuff we are now getting from people who have been inspired by our books to build something. In this sense it’ll be different from other blogs in that much of the material will be original and unique, not a pastiche of what’s floating out in the web-o-sphere.

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Publisher Floored by New Book!

This is the 29th book I’ve done in 44 years of publishing, and something different has happened here.

   Our output is slow because we put books together 2 pages at a time. Grown-up publishers get a book totally prepared — text and graphics — before starting production.

   I collected materials, for about a year, stored both on the computer and in old-school 5th-cut file folders. Once it got to a tipping point, we started production. I’d pull out the best stuff, do layout with a cheap color copy machine and scotch tape. Our artist-sometimes-in-residence, David Wills, would tune up the designs, whenceforth they went to Rick Gordon for InDesign/Photoshop preparation for printers. Lew Lewandowski unearthed a lot of this material, and designed a bunch of pages. Evan Kahn contributed in various ways. The book assumed its form, with categories, 2/3 of the way through its production.

   Bob Easton and I developed this seat-of-pants method of production out of necessity with Shelter in 1973: we only had maybe half of the materials ready, so we just started. I continued to shoot photos, write, and edit the book while it was in production. Photos kept coming in from contributors. Still our M.O.

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Out Into North Carolina Countryside

Once again, content way exceeds output here. Deek and I had a great time, building his tiny house, talking to hundreds of people. We did 2 presentations together that went over well. It was a total seat-of-pants operation, both in an unexpected building project (borrowed Skilsaw from hall maintenance guy, ladder from ladder display guy, tape measure & combination square from polypropylene panel guy) and dual slideshow/talks. Fun! We agreed that it was actually good the building wasn’t finished. It gave us something to do. Better than just sitting around all day.

   I ended up liking Charlotte a lot. Good vibes everywhere. Good people. They’re relaxed. It’s what I expected. There’s a big part of America out there in between the Almighty Coasts. And you know what, I don’t wave the flag, and am appalled by a ton of things America and Americans do and have done, but underneath I love this country and Americans for the good stuff (did you see Gracie Gold skating in the Olympics — wow!). A lot of kindness and simpatico here in North Carolina. I have a ton of stuff to report from the Home & Garden Show, but it’ll have to wait. Actually, I just got the idea to do a YouTube slide show with vocal description of this trip. “These two little buildings, abandoned, neglected, behind an abandoned house, both perfect in proportion…architects should study country buildings…”

 

 Once this new book is launched, I plan con making a bunch of videos, boy am I excited about this. Suddenly I realize that a lot of my compulsion to communicate can be done via vids.

   It’s Monday morning, am at a Starbucks. In the land of fast-food and characterless and interminable malls, a Starbucks can be a haven. (Had to come back to mall-land to get a motel last night.)

   After this song finishes, I’m heading out on some back roads. I took an extra 1-1/2 days to hunt and shoot (Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, mighty fine little camera).

Blues and Rock 'n' Roll by Sean Chambers on Grooveshark

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Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, Episode #1

Deek Diedrickson and I are here in Charlotte, North Carolina to talk to people about tiny homes. Deek is the affable host of Relaxshacks, also the maker of over 100 YouTube videos, and author of Humble Homes,  Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages…Deek desiged a tiny home for the show and it was supposed to he ready when we got here. Surprise! It wasn’t, and we’ve been working on it the last few days. Had to scrounge up tools, fasteners, polypropylene sheets. Borrowed a ladder from the Little Giant Ladder Company (fantastic ladders — see here — and have been running back and forth to the service room to cut plywood.

  Here we are this morning. More posts to follow. This is great town and this is a great show.

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