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Caffe `Roma Early Saturday Morning

Got up at 6, came into city early (thru foggy coastal dawn) to hang out at Caffe `Roma before going to a 9:30 Rolfing appointment (am in dire need some structural integration). And here, folks, at this moment, is the essence of nerd-dom, I'm wi-fi'g it with a MacBook Pro (13") laptop and listening to first bluegrass, now blues via Sirius satellite radio playing on an iPad with earphones. A long time comin' but it's all working now.
The above pic is a combo of two panoramas shot with a Sony Cybershot in my favorite North Beach cafe.
I tell you, this is so much fun, to explore the world, shoot photos and broadcast them like this. Baby, I've come a long way since I caught the essence of journalism from Captain Jack Patterson, our Lowell High School journalism teacher. Get the 5 "w's" in the first paragraph,etc. The bug bit.
Two things:
1. The tiny houses book is already way more than I anticipated. The material is more diverse than a book of just my photos, and it's opening up new layout avenues. Got maybe 44 pages more or less ready. Putting pages together totally randomly. The book shapes itself.
2. The iPad is just a marvel. With 3G I can get on anywhere there's cell phone reception. The battery is 8-10 hours. 24-hour non-commercial music alone is worth the price of admission. As I am ready to hit "Publish Post," Junior Wells is singing his tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson,"Help Me," a beautiful song!
Greetings from San Francisco…

Linda's Treehouse

Great Afternoon at the Beach

Although I grew up in San Francisco, I never got INTO the Pacific Ocean until one sunny Spring day in 1952. It was after a swim meet at Fleishacker Pool, a huge salt water pool at Ocean Beach. Jim Fisher, one of my swimming team mates, was a powerful swimmer and he said "Let's go bodysurfing." We walked across the Great Highway and swam out through the surf. There were good sized waves, and to this day I get a chill thinking of the joy I felt out there. The blue water, the movement of the surface, the power of the waves. I was a goner. Surfing, beachcombing, running on the beach, being on that edge of land/water ever since…
Yesterday I'd been in the studio working on the tiny houses book since 7 AM, so I took off about 3 to walk on the beach. When I got down there, Josh and Kenny were about to head out to fish for halibut.
"Want to come along, Lloyd, we've got an extra rod."
Hoo-eee, did I! It was brilliantly sunny, a bit windy, a fog bank a half-mile out in the ocean.

Pretty soon we're heading out through the surf and I'm the only one in the boat who's nervous. We make it through the last wave and the boat slams down, and we're in calm water. How different the land looks from the sea. Such a different perspective. They fished for an hour and a half (only one bite) and I shot pictures and exulted in just being out there.
Back to the beach for a long walk, shot a lot of pix, click below on "Read more:

Grafitti at Beach Yesterday Afternoon

Machine-built Homes -- Yeh, Right

Back in the late '60s, architects at MIT were talking about a computer-controlled foam-extruding machine that was going to build houses. Horrible!

Now Contour Crafting, a company affiliated with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, is proposing basically the same thing. With their "layered construction technology," they are going to build a home in 24 hours! There's a sappy video with a sprightly chamber music loop playing, showing the construction process. I can't find any mention of material. Foam, concrete…?

"Conventional construction usually takes between 6 - 9 months to build a home, while Contour Crafting promises to build a 2,000 square foot two story house in less than 24 hours.
...No longer will structures be limited by rectilinear design, Contour Crafting will allow for architecturally interesting designs, including domes, arches, curves, vaults and even detailed patterns or designs…"
What horseshit! It'll never happen for a dozen reasons. Ask any builder.


Great Old House in Berkeley

Spotted this Tuesday morning. Could use a little TLC. Note brick fireplace/chimney.

Jesus — My Ribs

Yesterday afternoon I was getting gas in Mill Valley. A young guy pulled up to the pump behind me, got out and looked at the Velcro band I had across my chest.
"Bad back?" he asked.
No, I said, cracked ribs.
"Would you like me to pray for you to be healed in the name of Jesus?"
Sure, I said.
He asked my name, then came up to me, put a hand on my shoulder and said: "Lloyd, may you be healed in the name of Jesus."
Well I'll tell you what. I went for a slow shuffling run that night at the beach (the first in 6+ weeks) and no rib twinges at all. The day before I could hardly walk much less run, without pain.
Hallelujah, no shit.
Now Jesus — about my damaged knee…

6-minute Film of Lloyd and Home

SHELTER from Jason Sussberg on Vimeo.

In April, Jason Sussberg, a documentary film graduate student at Stanford, along with friends, made a 6-minute film of us and our home. They shot the film in 16mm film -- pretty unusual nowadays. I asked Jason why film, and he replied:

"It was shot on 16mm color celluloid and telecined (scanned/color-corrected digitally) and edited in a Final Cut Pro (a non-linear editing software). The 16mm color film fits the subject and architecture quite well-- both filmmaking and DIY homebuilding are beautiful artisanal crafts that are fighting for survival in a changing world. Film just looks better-- better colors, textures, motion interpolating and feeling!"

It has been shown at the Chicago International REEL Shorts Film Fest, San Francisco Documentary Festival, Big Sky Film Festival, Cinequest Film Festival and Nevada City Film Festival.

Dawn Patrol Into Berkeley Today/Greatness of NYTimes

Sirius Outlaw Country music as I drove south along the cliffs of the coast a few hours ago.
Cant get offa this LA freeway
Without gettin killed or caught...
-Jerry Jeff Walker
I'm just an old lump of coal,
But I'm gonna be a diamond some day.
-Billy Joe Shaver, what a great songwriter + singer
Then an old raspy cowboy voice comes on: "Any one a you lily-livered varmints want to slap leather with me?"

SolFest Solar Energy Festival: Sept. 25-26, Ukiah, Calif.

SolFest got so popular that it was too large for the small town of Hopland. It  was cancelled in 2009, but is back on this year at The Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah, Calif. Info: http://www.solfest.org/

Our book Aerobic Tennis back in print

25 years ago we published Aerobic Tennis, by Bill Wright — how to use tennis to get in shape, to have fun while working out. Instead of running and going to the gym, you use tennis to stay fit. The idea was ahead of its time, for in recent years what's being called "Cardio Tennis' is this very idea. We've just now reprinted the book; it would make a great gift for a tennis player. Bill was head tennis coach at University of California at Berkeley and later the University of Arizona. In 2006 he was elected into the Intercollegiate Coaches Hall of Fame. Available here: http://shelterpub.com/_aerobic_tennis/at_book.html
I hung out with Bill for about a year while working on this book and we had some great adventures. I flew into Vail to meet him and work on the book late one summer. He picked me up at the airport and said he'd entered us both in a race the next day, which turned out to be a rough ross-country muddy 7-miler in the rain (at 9000' elevation). And to make matters worse, he beat me! Bill's high-energy, and it's infectious.

Woven Bamboo Basket Boats of Viet Nam

Part of an emil from Eric Light to painter/carver/sailor Godfrey Stephens of Vancouver Island:
"Hey, did you see the article in the latest WoodenBoat mag about the woven boats of Viet Nam? Pretty darn cool! The author is a historian who is trying to record as much as he can before these boats disappear. Here's his site: http://boatsandrice.com/index.html — but go to the Woven Bamboo Boat page: http://is.gd/f4dRZ — maybe you've seen it already. This photo from that page is great—I like the oarlocks, or stanchions, as he calls them, the docks made with plastic barrels, the details on the cabins of the larger boats, and, of course, the weave. This boat must be quite light! I like that the teredos don't like bamboo!…"