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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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Tiny Home Village For Homeless in Olympia, Washington

I’m on an airplane on my way to the Southern Spring and Garden Show in Charlotte, NC ($10 for one hour of Wi-fi — harumph!) — and just read this large article in today’s NY Times, where our book Tiny Homes is called “…a dream book…the scale is humble, but the architectural detail is rich…” by writer Michael Tortorello.

Looks like you cannot access this unless you are subsribedto the NY Times. 

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Friday Fish Fry

I did an an interview last night with Kevin Kelly on the Google+ “hang out” feature. I used my MacAir laptop with the camera and was a little nervous, but it went OK. Kevin, whose latest book is the sensational Cool Tools, guided the conversation. We talked about tiny homes, owner building, gardening, chickens, the myth of self-sufficiency, what you can do in cities, the Whole Earth Catalog, what I would do if I were building a new house now, the fact that I don’t like shipping containers or Earth Ships or domes or A-frames as homes, and the virtues of self-publishing. The video of it is here…Next week I’m flying to Charlotte, NC, to talk about tiny homes at the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show. Deek Diedrickson from Relaxshacks will be there as well, and we’ll talk to people about the subject out in front of a tiny home he designed; if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. I’ll be handing out mini Tiny Homes books (2″ by 2″, 64 pages) and have proofs of our latest book, Tiny Homes on the MoveIn praise of real books and bookstores: I’ve read a few books on my IPad, and it’s fine for reading on airplanes or trips, but in my reading for an hour or so every night before going to sleep, I don’t want the electrons; I spend enough time at a computer screen as it is. The publishing business is obviously in turmoil, but books like our building books, although we’ve done digital editions, work best as hold-in-your-hands physical objects. And there’s nothing like a physical bookstore. Sure, Amazon is cheaper, but money ain’t everything. One of my very favorites is Bookshop Santa Cruz; it makes me happy to be there…Tiny Homes On The Move: Just about there. Yesterday Rick, Lew and I sewed up a lot of loose ends. About 3 knotty problems in design worked out. Often we’ll start working on something with no idea how to fix it, and as we go along, things fall into place. Like I told this guy in the interview yesterday about building house: just START. You’ll never get anywhere if you wait for everything to be perfect. Get going, and things will work out as momentum carries you along. When I was about to start building my first house in 1961, I asked my friend Bob what to do, and he said “This,” and picked up a shovel and started digging the foundation trench…Spectacular sunsets of late, this shot with iPhone last night; tonight’s the full moon, ow-wooo!

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“Hi Lloyd,

Seth here from Nelson Tiny Houses. I wanted to let you know we’ve started a building blog on our website. We are using it to keep people up to date on our builds, as well as share any information and tips we come across.

If you have a chance, please share it with your audience. Thanks Lloyd,

Kind regards,


Click here.

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“Constraint inspires creativity.”

Article in New Yorker (here), 10/21/2013, about Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter:

“…He is a techno aesthete in the manner of Steve Jobs: Dorsey, too, is a college dropout, a taker of long walks, and a guy whose father liked to tinker. And, just as Jobs, with his Issey Miyake turtlenecks, tried to embody Apple’s sleek functionalism, Dorsey’s tastes are self-consciously in synch with the design of Twitter. “Constraint inspires creativity” is one of his credos.;”

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Monday Fish Fry

(So titled after San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen’s Friday columns, called “Friday Fish Fry;” Herb was master of 3-dot stories. I started reading him at the bkfst table at age 15. In the ’70s, he answered a couple of my letters with his Underwood upright typewriter. Wonderful man…

Sunny Monday Morning We’ve had 3 days of real hot weather, now cooling. Blue skies, glassy ocean. Swam last night… Once in a while I try to throw together fragments revolving in my mind, a la Herb C…

Tom Clancy on Writing  “I tell them you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf,” he said. “You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired—it’s hard work.”

That’s why I’m so slow at posting stuff…

Now listening to The Abyssinians Super reggae vocal harmonies. Gimme that old time reggae! “Jason White” here. (I only like about half the songs I hear on “The Joint,” Sirius Radio’s reggae station. A lot of insipid or preachy stuff or songs you’ve heard 100 times.…

Great Music on KWMR Our local station has really good music programs around 7-9 PM (West Coast time). Blues, bluegrass, reggae, cajun, R&R, eclectic mix of DJs. I listen to it on radio while doing dishes (and sneakily dance when no one’s around), but think it can be streamed…

Free Books to Prisons We have always sent free books to any prisoner who writes us. Letter received a few days ago:

“Shelter Publications,

I wish to thank you for your gift of books. they have been a blessing, not only for…me, but to the many I have loaned them to who are trying to dream and create a future as they leave prison…Thank you for your gift and the many hours of studying, dreaming and contemplation these books provide.

   -J.M., Palmer Correctional Center, Palmer Alaska”

   Thrilling feedback.

   I wish there were some way to get our (fitness and building) books into prison libraries (if there are such). Any researchers out there who can find a list? Or if you know someone in prison, let them know they can write for free books.…

Tidelog Tide Tables I have this posted over the sink and look at it every day. A lot of surfers and fishermen do the same. A graphic view of tides, with art by M.C. Escher. For east and west coasts, including BC. Here

Blues on the Canal Rich Jones sent this link to houseboat moving along an English canal with blues band playing:

Tiny Homes On The Move We’re gettin there! About 90% complete. This has been the most complex book ever, the most people ever to deal with, in many parts of the world. USA, Canada, UK, France, Australia, China, + sailboats cruising the high seas. Two main categories:

Wheels: vans, trucks-with-camper-shells, housetrucks, house buses, and trailers

Water: sailboats, houseboats, and tugboats

There are some 90 of these units in the book, either rolling on the road or floating on the water. They are used as either permanent residences or for trips of varying lengths upon life’s highways and waterways. Book should be out in May 2014…

I love the life I live,

And I live the life I love.

   -Muddy Waters

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Monday Daily Flash #3 — (One of the) World’s Worst Sentence(s)/Not Mainstream

From Sunday’s New York Times, “Open Book” by John Williams:

Delightful or Disastrous?

The Economist’s Prospero blog has suggested that some of the world’s worst sentences appear in Philip Mirowski’s new book, “Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste.” One offender: “The nostrum of ‘regulation’ drags with it a raft of unexamined impediments concerning the nature of markets, a dichotomy between markets and governmentality, and a muddle over intentionality, voluntarism and spontaneity that promulgates the neoliberal creed at a subconscious level.” On the flip side, the London-based Times Higher Education deemed the book a “delightful bramble,” though the author’s “own precise vantage point is deliberately impossible to discern.”


“I don’t think I’m mainstream. I think what I am is lots and lots of different cults. And when you get lots and lots of small groups who like you a lot, they add up to a big group without ever actually becoming mainstream.” — Neil Gaiman, describing his fan base to The Guardian

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