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Guisepi Lives in a School Bus and Serves the Community and Tea

"Joe “Guisepi” Spadafora has been living in, building, traveling around in and serving free tea out of his converted short school bus for more than 6 years. This mobile free teahouse is a community building project and a living example of low-environmental-impact, high-social impact, small-scale, DIY, low-cost living. The bus itself is around 100 square feet but packed with all the essentials for living..."
Click here.

Caught 15 lbs. Night Smelt Last Night/Knocked Down by Wave

I went out last night with my new fishing guru, Kirk Lombard, netting night smelt. These are beautiful little fish. They come in to sandy beaches after dark during the quarter moon to spawn and there we were with our triangular nets (based on a Native American design). We hit it! I ended up with 16 lbs. Gonna fry some up for lunch. Only thing is, as I was rinsing them off, a rogue wave knocked me over—soaked to the skin, waders and all. This was like 9:30 PM, but I was so stoked I didn't care. Changed into dry clothes and off to home with my bounty.
   If you live in the San Francisco bay Area and are interested in fishing—or getting fresh fish—here's his website: http://www.seaforager.com There was a long article on him in the SF Weekly here.
I just read a really nice article he wrote on the Wiyot Indians of Humboldt county here. The guy can not only catch fish, but write!

You Got Me Dizzy by Jimmy Reed on Grooveshark

New Mountain Bike Park To Open in British Columbia May 10th - Sick!

"Hi Lloyd,
Here is the link to the project Dylan & Coastal Crew have been working on the last year or two...a new year round mountain bike park in Sechelt, overlooking Sechelt inlet, beautiful location, amazing ride!
Joanne/Roberts Creek"


Wonderful Morning/Blue Jay in the Office

There was something about yesterday morning. I don't know if it was wind dying down or phase of moon or planetary alignment or Spring rains making hills richly green, but it was exquisite. I'm not a fan of merely clear skies and warm sunshine (Isn't it a beautiful day? -- No it's not). But this was a California blue-sky, verdant green growth, good smelling fresh morning. Just a socks knocker-offer.
A blue jay — actually a California Scrub Jay — somehow got into the office and was knocking things over trying to escape and I caught him. He calmed down after a while and seemed copacetic in my hands. (I've practiced getting the right non-threatening grip with chickens; when you hold them gently and firmly, they relax.) Regarding me with an inquisitive eye — they're highly intelligent birds, members of the corvid family, as are crows and ravens. When my grandson Maceo returned from a walk with his mom, we let him go. He flew up to the roof, regarded us for a moment and then took off for his wild world.

Wind River Custom Homes, Chattanooga, Tennessee

"…More and more people are chasing after the American dream and they are falling into loads of debt because of it. With our business we would like to offer families and individuals a way to downsize and become more financially stable without giving up comfort, style and design. If this is a lifestyle that peaks your interest, my wife and I, along with each of us at Wind River Custom Homes would love the chance to work alongside you, develop a relationship, and help you build a home that fits your needs. Feel free to email us with any questions or project ideas you may have! - Travis Pyke"

Building a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening

"Growers in colder climates often utilize various approaches to extend the growing season or to give their crops a boost, whether it's coldframes, hoop houses or greenhouses.
   Greenhouses are usually glazed structures, but are typically expensive to construct and heat throughout the winter. A much more affordable and effective alternative to glass greenhouses is the walipini (an Aymara Indian word for a "place of warmth"), also known as an underground or pit greenhouse. First developed over 20 years ago for the cold mountainous regions of South America, this method allows growers to maintain a productive garden year-round, even in the coldest of climates.…"
On Treehugger, click here.

Rolling Buildings by Jason Maclean

From Sabrina Merlo at The Maker Faire:
"…Do you know Jason McLean - he's just outside of Tomales (Marin County, California) on Two Rock Rd.  These aren't very good pix, but he has a flock there of tiny houses on trailers that are awesome: http://jasonmcleanshop.com/rolling-buildings"

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.

The Most Amazing Beaver Experience

From Godfrey Stephens

Square Feet: 84. Possessions: 305

"From time to time, Dee Williams does a possession count. The last tally was 305.
   In many homes, that may amount to the stuff found in the kitchen cupboards, or the contents of one walk-in closet. For Ms. Williams, it included all of her worldly belongings, from her bedroom suite (a mattress and a quilt) to her home entertainment equipment (a laptop) to her jewelry collection (four pieces in all: two necklaces and two pairs of earrings).
   “That’s everything,” she said, adding that she recently ordered a book on house design, a big splurge. 'I’m constantly going through my stuff, figuring out what I should get rid of. Creep happens.'
When your house is 84 square feet, life gets pared down.…"
Dee Williams has just published The Big Tiny.
Photo by Stuart Isett
For this article, written by Steven Kurutz, which appeared in today's New York Times, click here.

Pro Snowboarder Mike Basich’s Off-Grid DIY Home in the Sierras

Mike Basich was our featured builder in Tiny Homes. This is his home built of rock, local timber, steel and glass in the High Sierras of California.
   Mike is the featured speaker at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif. on May 18th. I'm doing a presentation just after Mike on Tiny Homes on the Move (in which we show Mike's pickup truck/camper/snowmobile carrier).
Click here for an article last week on Mike and his homemade ski lift in Make Magazine.

Birds by Keith Hansen

Keith Hansen is an artist who does exquisite bird drawings. He did the illustrations in this book, recently published by the University of California Press. Although these are birds of the Sierra Nevada, this is also a very informative book on birds in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I stopped by to see Keith yesterday and we got into talking about hummingbirds we have found; they sometimes get inside (like a greenhouse) and if not discovered, can't get out, and die. They are so small and have so little body flesh that they will usually mummify. I told Keith I had one where the head had fallen off and he reached over and picked up this one.

Still Using (And Not Wanting to Give Up) Eudora Mail Program?

A couple of years ago, I posted something about finding a substitute for Eudora. It turned out there were a lot of people who didn't want to give up this superior mail program, but were forced to because of new operating systems. Someone wrote in a comment yesterday, and Rick Gordon replied as shown below.
"I'm currently trying Postbox 3.x, together with SpamSieve, and I think it's the best compromise for me yet, though it's a big change in working style from Eudora, though closer to Thunderbird (whose code it's based on) or even Apple Mail. The most Eudora-like program out there now, though is GyazMail. I doesn't handle HTML as elegantly as Postbox (which is essentially based on Mozilla/Firefox/Thunderbird) or Apple Mail (based on Webkit/Safari), but it's a lot better than Eudora, and it's got the separate window interface like classic Eudora.
   To get into Postbox, you need to export to Mail first, though, as it doesn't (any longer) support Eudora import."
To see all 13 comments,click here.

Custom Trailer For Sale in Colorado

Peter Pavlowich Is the proprietor of  Casual Turtle Campers in Fort Collins, Colorado;  one of his campers is featured in our forthcoming book Tiny Homes on the Move. Here is his latest trailer, built since the book went to press.
"The Terrapin is our new model series of trailer campers. Similar to the small trailers of the 1950s and 60s, these campers are a great platform for road trips, car-camping, or to haul to the lake. They offer a little more room than is typically available in the bed of the truck, and can be disconnected to set up base camp. When mounted to a trailer frame, the possibilities for small custom campers are nearly endless...

Bamboo Homes in Bali

"Green Village, founded by jewelry designer John Hardy and designed by his daughter Elora, is a community of sustainable and ecological houses sitting along the Ayung River in Bali. Each of the homes are made entirely of bamboo, from Bali-based bamboo and construction company Ibuku, from the window frames to the staircase, tables, chairs, floors, and even the cabinets and the walls. Did you know that with very little attention or additional resources, a bamboo shoot can become a structural column within three years and that house could stand strong for a lifetime?…"
Click here.

Tiny houses moving in on Charlotte

"They have all the modern conveniences you'd expect to find in a home, snuggly fit into a much smaller space. "It's typically between 100 and 400 square feet compared to the average American home which is about 2,600 square feet,"says Ryan Mitchell who organized a Tiny House Convention this past weekend in Charlotte. After Ryan lost his job in 2008, he realized housing would gobble up the biggest part of his tiny budget..."
Click here.

Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine by Carolina Chocolate Drops

Your Baby Ain't Sweet Like Mine by Carolina Chocolate Drops on Grooveshark

One of Our Youngest Fans

I met some nice young people on the beach yesterday and handed their 11-month old toddler a mini copy of Tiny Homes On the Move, which she promptly started reading. So what if it's upside down? Get 'em started young.

Chic Tennessee treehouse hideaway built for $1,500

"Perched around trunks or suspended in mid-air, treehouses are great lofty escapes for kids and young-at-heart adults. Nashville, Tennessee-based blogger and mother of two boys ModFruGal built this modernist but down-to-earth little house among the trees for less than $1,500. ModFruGal says modestly that she's "not a writer, photographer, or designer… just a gal with a vision who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty," and that she and her "Crafty Counterpart" husband worked together to build this gorgeous little retreat..."

Click here.