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The Invisible Craftsman Builder: An Inconvenient Truth / Richard Olsen

Hi Lloyd, Happy new year. I hope it's off to a great start for you and yours.
   I wanted to share something I wrote recently, something I suspect you'll find entertaining at the least. It's part of an important [yet unpopular] discussion that you helped bring to the fore long ago.
   Considering the scene here in LA, which has a newspaper whose arts section refuses to acknowledge anything other than Midcentury Modern, I guess I should expect some sort of blacklisting. Maybe my house will be egged? :) I'd have to be naive to think that they'd be paying attention anyway...

Click here.

All good things your way,
richard (Olsen)

New Corvette


Hushpuppy: "I like to have a party."

"PARK CITY, Utah — It was almost exactly one year ago that Quvenzhané Wallis, the star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” made her bad little self known to the world. After the premiere of the movie here at the Sundance Film Festival, Ms. Wallis, then 8, took to the stage with her cast mates and film crew. She received a standing ovation. Handed a mike, she introduced herself and announced, 'I like to have a party!' Cue the hearts melting of 1,300 audience members.…"

By MELENA RYZIK, New York Times. Published: January 23, 2013. Here.

Photo: Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images

The Power of a Hot Body

I've had this New York Times article by Diane Ackerman sitting around for a few weeks; it's on the subject of capturing body heat, as the French have done with the Paris Metro:

"…Savvy architects from Paris Habitat decided to borrow the surplus energy from so many human bodies and use it to supply radiant under-floor heating for 17 apartments in a nearby public housing project, which happens to share an unused stairwell with the metro station. Otherwise the free heat would be lost by the end of the morning’s rush hour.…"


Lloyd's Skateboarding on Russian Website

So much is going on in my life right now that I have a hard time sorting it all out, much less writing about it. I've started backing away from publicity ops because they take so much time, but I did one "media thing" last week before my shoulder operation because I thought the photographer and the project were so cool.
   I met Vladimir Yakovlev at Trouble Coffee in San Francisco. He was here from Moscow photographing people for his book The Age of Happiness, 70-100 year olds who are active and lively. The Russian version sold 5000 copies (a $50 book) in the first month in Russia.) Now he's about to publish an English version in the USA. It's a stunning book.
   This was such a great guy to work with. He shot a bunch of photos, and I loved his photographic-journalistic instincts. Now here is a journalist! (See Wikipedia on him here.)
   He and a friend came out here yesterday. A wonderful visit, to meet people from such a different part of the world, yet to be so completely in sync.
   Some photos and some of our conversation just appeared on Vladimir's website here. To see other people on the website, click here.
   For The Age of Happiness on Facebook, click here.

Photo: Vladimir Yakovelev

California High School Students Build Tiny Home

Story on Tiny House Blog here.

Wooden Spoons in UK by Barn the Spoon

Sent us by Bob Dow

The Modern Cabin Website

This website shows that there are, by golly, some very good residential architects out there: http://themoderncabin.com/
This building, called The Walkabout, by Nick Deaver and Stacy Pearson

GoPro on a Trombone

From Rick Gordon

Fishing Cabin

Look what was in this morning's email, from Jerry Young. What a beauty! And moreover, it's by architects (Miller Architects, Montana). Will wonders never cease? (Check out the red door on the interior of this place.) (I bet the architects have seen the Madonna Inn in Southern Calif.)
More pics of this place at Tiny House Swoon, which has v. tasty photos of tiny homes.

Red skies yesterday morning did indeed mean sailors' warning, for there's so much cloud cover this morning it didn't get light until 7AM. Hoping for some good rain. (So are mycelia.)

Música de día: I just put on Steve Cropper's album "Dedicated," where he collaborated with a bunch of singers. Check out these 3: "Dedicated to the One I Love" with Lucinda Williams; "Right Around the Corner"/Delbert McClinton; "Say It"/Bettye La Vette. I'm sure I've mentioned this album before, but I just rediscovered it. My kinda guitarist. Great way to start the day…

Things are poppin around here right now…

Mystic Roots, Great Cali-Reggae Band

I'm too out of it culture-wise these days, living in the sort-of country, to know the presently cool musical groups, but once in a while I stumble upon something, like this delightful band.
   California to the hilt. Singer at mike: "How many people here have smoked ganja tonight?" All hands in audience go up. A little band from the Sacramento Valley, they've got reggae right. "California reggae is pumpin…"
   Kind of special to me because I spent teenage years on my dad's rice farm in Colusa, a town of 3,000 people, and hung out with Colusa kids. My best friend in Colusa, Jim Davison, was a pianist, and I played the uke. A lot of boozing and singing. My first real sweetheart, Roxana. Parties, driving, swimming, cheeseburgers, root beer milk shakes, KGMS late night rock 'n roll from Sacramento… It was special for me, a San Francisco kid, to be accepted into teenage culture of this small town -- so I'm partially a Valley native.
   Anyway, Colusa's not too far from Chico, so to have hung out in this area 60 years ago, and now hear this Sacramento Valley/Jamacia fusion was a jolt. Here's some progress. Evolution. Seeds of Rastafarai have grown in NorCal farm country. To tell the truth, I find a lot of reggae boring, but these guys fresh and vital. Plus Katherine has got some chops. A rich voice, lots of power…
   Surfers, I guarantee you're gonna like this CD: http://shltr.net/mysticrts (There's also a DVD with this CD, haven't seen it yet).

Inauguration Photos

There was a unique 22"-wide B&W photo in the NYTimes this morning (p.A13) showing maybe 200 people at the inauguration, with inset captions ("Bill Clinton," "James Taylor," "John A. Boehmer," etc. By photographer Doug Mills…which led me to checking out Doug's slide show, 25 excellent slides of the inauguration (now here's a photographer!) You can go through it like a slow motion movie.

Now here's a First Lady!

French Protestors Build 50 Pallet Buildings to Stop Airport

Hi, i'm arthur, a french reader of shelter and homework and i do things with old paletts sometimes too. It happen something really great in france, near Nantes, in the village of Notre-Dame-des-Landes : the company Vinci want to build a second airport and destruct 40 farms and 2000 hectars. Ecologist movement, people who want to live free and activist have built a lot of wood houses to resist. Maybe it is 40 or 50 cabins and houses now. Police tried to stop it but they can't. I put some links of pictures : http://zad.nadir.org/spip.php?article636 http://www.flickr.com/photos/valkphotos/sets/72157632092769815/ http://www.citizenside.com/fr/photos/politique/2012-12-12/72306/notre-dame-des-landes-societe-de-sommation.html#f=0/627341
You can join them at zad@riseup.net

Red Sky This Morning…The 20/20/20 Rule For the Deskbound

It was vivid scarlet about a minute before this. (iPhone 5 panorama)
Good advice in NYTimes this morning for us keyboard users, article by Tara Parker-Pope: "…Jack Dennerlein, a professor at Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences in Boston who specializes in ergonomics and safety, suggests a variation on the 20-20-20 rule used to reduce eyestrain. In the case of the eyes, the rule is to take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away (instead of your computer), and repeat this every 20 minutes. But Dr. Dennerlein notes that this eye rule can be applied to movement as well. Every 20 minutes, walk 20 feet away for 20 seconds or more. Stop by a co-worker’s desk. Get a cup of coffee. Pace. Just don’t sit.…" http://shltr.net/XwKjMc

Lately (Ugh!) Around Here

Jeez, has this been a shitty week. And jeez, am I a big baby. Yes. Any body part goes wrong and I'm devastated. I look at friends like Sherm in his wheelchair, can't move a muscle or talk these days and he perseveres, and gets a twinkle in his eye when I give him shit. Or a bunch of my high school friends, who I saw recently at a 60th reunion. I should not complain.
  I had surgery to repair a rotator cuff repair a week ago,and it was only arthroscopic, for christsake, you know, "…minimally invasive." Well I'll tell you, my body does not like any kind of invasion. My arm's been strapped to my side,with the bladder for an ice machine inside the bandage, all week. Can't tie own shoes. Can barely sleep, have never slept on my back. After 3 days of the pain pills (oxy), I felt so groggy and shitty, I quit them. I don't understand people taking oxy "recreationally"). Makes me feel like I'm in a hazy, fuzzy tunnel. I'll deal with some pain in exchange for some mental clarity.
   Anyway, just started getting into gear last night. I had given Lucky Peach magazine several hundred of my photos to do a story in their next issue, which is on "the apocalypse." The angle on me being homemade shelter, gardening, foraging, stuff you can do for yrslf in tough times. They let me comment on the 6-page layout (turned out great, they used about 50 of my photos), and I went through it with them yesterday (Sunday), and this got me back into the communication groove. Issue will be out mid-Feb.

Gringo Sailing Little Proa (Catamaran) Along Gulf Coast of Mexico, Central America

"Two days ago was the most dramatic day yet. I saw a breakwater at the mouth of a river after a nasty afternoon´s pounding and waited outside in the crazy water near the sandbar whilst some fishermen in a lancha hauled a net from the muddy water, then I waved them over to ask for advice on entering. They were amazed at my appearance (I get this a lot) but took it in their stride and showed me which side of the entrance was best, and off I went. The waters rose, and after a short while we had launch commit, there was no turning back. I wish I could have filmed this, but the battery on the Go-Pro headcam had died and my hands were too full to hold another camera as we heaved inwards, the seas rising and breaking behind, me surfing at warp factors that would have had Scotty bitching about his engines again, the rudder hissing and throwing a tail of spray up behind us, me pulling on the tiller like mad to stop us slewing sideways under the brown wall chasing us. Then a mad crosswave struck and the boat went under the next breaker, but both hulls burst forth immediately and charged on , then the same thing  again, this time the emergency paddle is ripped from its lashings but hung on by a thread, and my sunglasses were gone but suddenly we were passed the worst and into calmer water and the lancha catches up and its pop-eyed crew say something like Jesus motherfucking Christ mate! and before I reach the pretty little town I am famous, the Gringo who came in from the cold.…"
Sent by Godfrey Stephens

1948 - 1950: Lustron Homes Post-War America Experiments With Pre-Fab Housing

John Kaay has left a new comment on your post "Demolition of 187 Low-cost Prefabs in UK Slated":

This reminds me very much of the Lustron home my family lived in around 1950 - 1955, in Evergreen Park, Illinois. Prefabricated, everything made of steel in a factory. Even the closets and cabinets were built in steel. Here's a link: http://architecture.about.com/od/periodsstyles/ig/House-Styles/Lustron-Homes.htm