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Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson Reflecting on Their Heros, Django and Jimmie, and Aging

"We'd have taken much better care of ourselves if we'd known we was gonna live this long."
Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson
Song "Live This Long" from new album Django and Jimmie

I caught Guitar Center interview on TV (Direct TV, ch. 239) with Merle last night, interspersed with songs from what looks like his latest band. Boy, are they good! Each song a jewel, each musician a master. Soulful sax weaving in and out, elegant pedal steel guitar…

Here's Okie from Muskogee . I've heard him say this song has many meanings.A bit tongue in cheek maybe?

Merle fans, try to find the other songs in this session, actually better than crowd-pleaser Okie.

Cock of the Walk here.

L-R: Cow Skull, Baja ; Horse Skull, Nevada

A Lot of Bullshit Going on In Tiny House Field

Last night I watched an episode of Tiny House Nation on TV. Or, rather, watched as long as I could stand it, less than five minutes. It had this nice looking young white couple with three kids being surprised by their newly built tiny house. The building was a mess. Crudely attached short pieces of “natural lumber,” slate roof (?), dumb porch (don't subtract from precious interior space), dangerous loft.

Worse was the amazement and delight of the occupants upon seeing their new digs. It all seemed phony and shallow. Reality TV comes to the tiny house movement. "Could you go out, come back in, and say 'awesome,' again, honey?"

I tell people that I'm not the tiny homes guy just because I did a book on the subject. I'm the build-it-yourself-guy. Do what you can for yourself with your hands—shelter, food, clothing, firewood, etc.— with the awareness and understanding that you can't do it all. Find the balance.

I don't know about other Tiny House Nation episodes, but this one was a commercialization and dumbing-down version of a concept that is very real in its heart for many people. Too bad.

Here's just one example of bad design in the TH field, and it's quite prevalent: Are those round steps with no banister actually the way you climb up into the cramped and dangerous loft? The ladder to loft is a bad design in all these gable roofed tiny houses.  The space is claustrophobic. There should be windows all-around at eye level  to expand your sense of place. And so on. Unfortunately this configuration is the poster girl for the tiny house movement.

What do I think is better? The gypsy wagon, or vardo design, with curved roof and bed at one end with drawers underneath. Lots of eye level windows. Heck, look at our last book.

I'm not one to bemoan the absence of architects, but in this field, good architecture could make a huge difference.

And by the way, a home is more than a house.

Photo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RijQcJTruek

Fur Coat From Roadkill

via Instagram: http://shltr.net/1IbPTBB

Just laid out most of my roadkill skins with an eye to making a coat. Problem is, I hate to cut off the faces, especially foxes, Bobcats. May just pin together, keep rearranging...just think, these were just all going to rot on road...

Kitesurfing Huge Waves at Peahi (Jaws), Maui, December 9, 2015

Maui's finest watermen including Kai Lenny, Jesse Richman, Robby Naish, the Porcella brothers, take on Jaws… Windsurf, kite surf, tow in, SUP and all while Dan maneuvers his Hughes 500D (helicopter) like a DJI Phantom to get the shot nobody else dares to get.
From Dick Ryerson via Bob Kahn

Rare, old photos of indigenous Sami people showcase their ancient and traditional way of life

"The Sami people (also Sámi or Saami), traditionally known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway.…
Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sami are connected to reindeer herding, providing them with meat, fur, and transportation. 2,800 Sami people are actively involved in herding on a full-time basis. For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in certain regions of the Nordic countries.…"
From Rick Gordon

Tiny Vancouver home listed for $20K, but it has to be moved

"Sometimes small is just too small, even in a city grappling with out-of-control real estate prices and a shortage of affordable rentals.
A couple of years ago, Ches Lam created a tiny, 250-square-foot house in his east side backyard as a guest cottage for visitors, but the Vancouver carpenter didn’t consider city bylaws when he converted his former workshop/garage into a living space.
Now it has to go.
Lam says his neighbours love the little cottage and have even rented it for their own guests, but someone has made a complaint and city inspectors have given him notice to get rid of the place.
'It’s kind of heartbreaking, said Lam, 39, who has listed the cottage for sale on Craigslist.
'People love it, except for the one neighbour. I really don’t want to sell it, but the city wants me to take it out.'…”
From Anonymous

35% Off + Free Shipping On All Our Books This Month

Shameless Commerce Dept:
Our books make great Christmas gifts: Go here —http://www.shelterpub.com —click on the yellow bar at top. and use code: gimmeshelter
for 35% discount.

SunRay Kelley's New Treehouse

Hi Lloyd and friends:
Just thought you might like to see some photos of SunRay's latest creation -- a funky little treehouse nestled in ponderosa pine trees, built during the recent 20th anniversary Natural Building Colloquium in Kingston, New Mexico. I have a bunch of images on my website here: http://www.theyearofmud.com/blog/
It's a beautiful structure, particularly the roof. Hope you enjoy!
- ziggy
p.s. By the way, I'm greatly looking forward to the next book!

Brian 'Ziggy' Liloia
Natural Building Workshops & more