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Bamboo scaffolding Hong Kong

YWCA Hotel Tonight

In contrast to the two luxury hotels I've been in, here's my simple room for tonight. It's a matter of location, location. Just up the hill from the teeming Mong Kok district, where I went today with Trevor and his friend. To tell the truth, I'm happier in a simple room like this. Feels better. Can open the windows. This is my last night. I've got a ton of photos and experiences, maybe I can get some posts done when I'm waiting for my (1AM) flight tomorrow night. It's 9 and am heading out to eat and be dazzled by sights, sounds, smells, and people. Going to try out my new 1.7 f-stop Panasonic Lumix (G1) lens; everything so far shot with Canon Powershot S95 pocket camera. Is this an exciting city!

Exotic Harley Lady, Exotic Cat, Bamboo Scaffolding in Hong Kong

Stayed on 18th Floor This Slick Hotel Last Night

Going to be skipping around in time a bit here.
Impossible to find hotel in city, so ended up way out here at this "resort hotel" last night. Man! For someone living in a house built of recycled lumber, pretty exotic, eh? Been eating in restaurants where nary a gringo (farang) in sight. That's the way I like it. Abalone soup for breakfast this morning. Hot pot lamb and spring rolls for dinner last night, along with v. high alcoholic Chinese beer. Wandering around in shiny mall-land this morning, these two very polite, very skinny boys said, Sir, can we take picture with phone? Guess I look pretty different in this locale. Tons of stuff to report, will do so when there's time. Adventures every minute…

Unique Hong Kong Fishing Technique

This in a section of Hong Kong built over the water. Don't know what he'd do if he got a big one. I have a lot of stuff to post from the trip, will do so soon. (Book printing is done!) Stayed last night in a big hotel way out on the outskirts of HK, going to walk out to check nearby wetlands area now.

New Video of Our Homestead + '60s Revisited

I ran across Kirsten Dirksen and Nicolás Boullosa (from Barcelona) via Jenine Alexander, one of the builders in our new book. They had done a great video of Jenine talking about the 2 tiny houses she'd built in Healdsburg, California. We ended up using some of the stills from the video on the 4 pages we did on Jenine.
So when Kirsten and Nicolás came to California a few months ago, they came to visit. They've made almost 500 videos, many of them on tiny homes, and Kirsten is a journalist after my own heart. Within 2 minutes of arriving, she was asking questions, filming, and getting the essence of our work and lives. Immediate rapport. Here, several months later, is her take on our work, the homestead, the background of west coast publishing a la the '60s and '70s, the Whole Earth Catalog, Stewart Brand and the influence that the WEC and Stewart had on Steve Jobs when he was in high school. Yes, it's all tied together in a wonderful way.


Surplus, Salvaged & Green Building Materials in Maryland, USA

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The true cost of owning a home":

Lloyd- I can't find a link to email you, but thought that if you didn't know about this great place, you should:

Cheers, Enteecee

Tiny Eco-houses of Recycled Materials in France

From Christine Durand in France. Note: these websites are in French.
Bonjour Lloyd,
Here's another beautiful story about a community of professionnal recyclers:
Blue, red, yellow, orange... these tiny eccentric houses are giving cheerful colors to Ossau Village (80 inhabitants), a self-administered village built by ex-homeless persons in the French Basque country.
Ossau Village is at the heart of a community of 130 members which has been accomodating homeless, excluded, or unemployed people for 30 years. They collect, refurbish, and sell second-hand clothes, household appliances, furniture and bicycles, and eat the products of their non-conventional farm.
While renovating its trailer camp, the community has created an eco-building workshop, open to all. Six tiny, ecological and economical houses have already been built with wood, straw or reused materials.

Sunset on beach the night before I left

On the way home from Ed and Marilyn's barbecue:

Builder Ed Stiles

Skipping around a little in time here: Ed Stiles and his wife Marilyn live in a secluded hidden canyon in Marin county, just 25 minutes from San Francisco, but it feels quite remote. Ed has a wonderful shop with big used factory sash windows looking out into the trees. They had a party the day before I left on the trip. Below: shop, house, Ed, and an old treehouse.

Steve Jobs' Last Words: "OH WOW! OH,WOW! OH, WOW!"

From Rick Gordon:
A Sister’s Eulogy for Steve Jobs
Published: October 30, 2011

Post from Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific is as good an airline as RyanAir is a bad one. The new 777 300 is a marvelous machine. Better than a 747 in myriad ways. More legroom in economy class. TV screen for each seat. 100, that's 100 movies to choose from (I watched 4) and the 15 hours flew by. The airline just has a different approach from United, Delta, etc., which seem intent on pushing the cramped space, bad food, and overall mediocrity to almost the breaking point. All right, all right…
Made my way to the Royal Plaza Hotel, where I thought I had a reservation, but somehow did not. After 20 minutes, they gave me a room on the Executive Club floor. Woo-woo! I have seldom been in such a luxurious place. It's excessive, and a bit embarrassing. The breakfast buffet is unreal. The towels are giant. A button opens the curtains. 4 huge pillows. TV, radio, CD player, game player, on and on. This is Corporate World International. OK, OK… Am I beginning to rant in my old age?
The printing plant (Paramount) is wonderful. From the first whiff of ink, the noise, the hustle, fork lifts flying around, the stacks of paper and printed jobs stacked on pallets, I'm in heaven. And here was the tiny homes book. We made a few adjustments on the first 8-page signature (backing off on the red), and from thereon the press men nailed it. I signed "OK" on each signature and by 10 PM last night I felt confident enough in the process and the guys to get a partial night's sleep. Checking out of luxury headquarters this morning, will spend tonight in a small room at the printers and watch the signatures roll today and tonight. Oh boy! It's good to be alive. I watch the incredible complexity of the process, in this case Mitsubishi sheet-fed 4-color presses, and the sorting, stacking, binding and trimming in disbelief. A big difference these days is the computer-controlled color adjustment.
Hong Kong is a spectacular city. Coming from San Francisco, I feel a kinship. Both cities on the water, both with a sparkle (although this is 7 times bigger). The verticality here is striking. The apartments are cities in the air. The subway stations are on many levels.
Lunch with 5 guys from the plant yesterday. Them to me: Do you use chopsticks? Hey, I'm a regular from Yee Jun's and Sam Wo and sushi bars as I reach for the dim sum. There's a difference between these guys and the press guys in mainland China (where I went for the printing of Home Work in 2004). They're happier. They smile a lot. The guys on the floor of the plant all wear these brown shirts with Chinese lettering front and back and I'm trying to figure out how to get one.
Time to exit hotel, ride the subway, try not to get lost, and meet my guide Trevor, a HK native, who is chaperoning me through the process. More to come…

3 Ways a Tiny House Can Help You Live Greener

by Adam Green

Is This the Tiniest Tiny House in the World? Tiny Houses as Punk Rock (Video)

From Treehugger.com, 28 Oct., 2011:
"From a young man building a tiny house so he can live mortgage-free to an off-grid home built for $2,500, we've featured some pretty impressive tiny house stories on TreeHugger before.
   But Derek "Deek" Diedricksen's backyard is a veritable cornucopia of tiny house ideas that he creates and sells as retreats, home offices and even primary residences. (See Relax Shacks for more details.)
   This self-described bizarrechitect may have created some of the tiniest tiny houses of them all. Using mostly reclaimed, recycled and/or sustainably harvested materials, some of his shelters are little-larger than a human body.
   This really is, as "Deek" says, tiny houses as punk rock.
Thanks to Fair Companies—the same folks who brought us video of a medieval ghost town turned Spanish ecovillage—for another great story!…"

Custom tiny home in Portland, Oregon

From OregonLive.com, 29 Oct., 2011, great article with 2 videos by Kelly House:
"Since she moved out of her parents' sprawling Texas home, Michelle Jones has downsized from a 2,100-square-foot residence to a studio apartment to a small house in Tacoma. (I think he must mean "Portland" - -LK)
   Nothing felt like home until Jones moved into an 8-by-14-foot dwelling with a trailer hitch and less square footage than a roll of toilet paper.
   Jones, 35, has lived in one of the Portland area's first custom-built "tiny houses" with her boyfriend, a cat and a 45-pound husky for just more than a year. She says she'll never return to a multi-room existence.…"


I'm off to Hong Kong

Ulp! A 15-hour flight and I can never sleep a wink on airplanes. I get in to HK 7 PM, and next morning at 9, will head out to printers via subway and shuttle. The book will take 3-4 days to print. Once the (Mitsubishi 3000 sheet-fed) press is rolling, I'll be doing press checks every 3 hours or so, probably staying in a room at the plant while it's rolling. I'm really excited to be at this stage, even with the weird sleeping pattern for press checks. I get to see two years' work flying off the press. "Can we up the red in here a bit..." and etc. It always makes a difference to be there.
I've always loved pressmen. I like the smell of ink and the hustle and the atmosphere. It's a highly-sophisticated skill. There's no room for mistakes. There's a definite brotherhood here, centered around putting ink on paper. I've been on the presses for the first run of every one of our color books. In the old days I did press checks on each 1-color book we printed, whether in Massachussets, Virginia, Indiana, or Tennessee.

Since I was going to be in that part of the world, I was  going to go to Borneo, or maybe to Hainan, an island off the coast of China, but a screwed-up shoulder scratched those plans. Seems to be a long healing process, so I need to get back and get it working again. Boy is it frustrating not to be able to paddle or swim. Can't even run. I'm always impatient, but the body (just about always) heals itself, it's always a wonder.

Norcal Beach Graffiti #3 (or is it # 4?)

Bedford motorhome for sale New Zealand $20,000

Hey New Zealanders: Posted Oct 17, 2011. Really nice!! See interior pics.

"1967 Bedford VAS Bus /7.5 Metres long /1993 4.2 Nissan Atlas Diesel Engine /Fully Automatic /Power Steering /All new front brakes

Fully Self Contained/Built for two people /Four Burner Stove & Oven /Fridge Gas/240 Volt /Shower & Marine Toilet …"


Settling into Smalltopia -- Tiny home

"…Making a dream a reality takes longer than expected and I think that’s a good thing. For instance, we’ve spent the last 4 years dreaming, designing, and saving for this little house. I’m glad we didn’t charge the house on our credit card.
   The culture of consumption makes it easy to buy now and pay later. I’ve often bought belongings in the moment because “I had to have it.” That type of process doesn’t offer a whole lot of time for reflection or planning. In the past, I seldom asked myself if an object would contribute to my life over the long-run, instead of just being a drain on my energy.
   Our little house has already brought us an incredible amount of joy and we’ve only been in it for two days! I expect we’ll grow to love it even more in the long-run. Waiting and planning has made this process a whole lot sweeter and saner.…"
   -Tammy Strobel at http://rowdykittens.com/2011/10/settling/
(Tammy has written an article on scaling back that will appear in our Tiny Homes book.)