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Great Day in Santa Rosa!

At the Rebuild Green Expo

This has been an extraordinary day. By now, I’d say 20 people have come up to our booth about the influence of our books on their lives. It’s not us, really, it’s the people we show in our books. Readers are relating to these people and their lives, and it resonates with them. For example, this guy hauled out an old copy of Domebook 2, and this tattered copy of the original printing of Shelter and told us how important it was to him. A couple of guys told me they’d come across Shelter in their teen years; they were now in their 60s. Wow!

I’ve had meaningful discussions with landowners about septic systems, building codes, construction methods, building materials. It’s great to talk to people about real things.

I think this is a real story here. 8,000 homes destroyed, the clean-up, and in the future, rebuilding. People here are motivated to do things better. Sun-heated water and sun-powered electricity. Building materials that cost the planet the least in pollution from their manufacture. Structural systems that are efficient and economical. Somebody could do a video of the rebuilding as it unfolds in coming months in Santa Rosa.

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The Rebuild Green Expo in Santa Rosa

We set up a table with my open letter to homeowners rebuilding after the fires, as well as our books. The event started slow, but by 1PM, the place got (and still is) jammed. Here’s an overall view, and Evan and Em-J at our table.

It’s just unbelievable how many people have come up to us today and told us how the book Shelter influenced their lives. I’ve talked to 10-12 people who were inspired by this book. Another guy came by, a timber framer, and said that he’s using our book Small Homes for building ideas.

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Monday Morning Fish Fry*

Right now I’m working on:

1. Redesign of my blog. Rick, who doesn’t think much of templates, is writing code to achieve our new look. For one thing, I’ll be able to go wide screen with good photos (a la https://cabinporn.com/) and have more control over layout than I do now in Blogger.

2. My book on the ’60s will be on the new blog in its own category (a blog within a blog). Here, I don’t feel the need to adhere to the linear necessity of a print book. I can post things out of sequence, and people can chime in.

3. We’re going to the Rebuild Green Expo in Santa Rosa on Friday, February 23rd. We’ll have a table and be passing out my “Open letter to Californians Building New Homes After Recent Fires, and selling copies of Shelter II (which contains a manual on stud-frame building) at a 50% discount. The idea is that we can do things better this time around. It’s at Santa Rosa Veterans’ Hall, 1351 Maple Avenue, Santa Rosa. Come see us if you’re in Sonoma County. I’ll be there along with Evan and Em-J.

4. We continue making videos — a couple a month. We’re working on one on me skateboarding last week, and going to do one on office workout equipment.

5. We just completed my latest book, Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the Northern California Coast (82 pages, 8″ by 8″). It’s the first in a series of short-run digitally-printed small books. This is a way for me to publish some not-ready-for-prime-time books, ones that we may just sell via mail order.

We’re using Ingram’s Lightning Source, and for a variety of reasons, I’d recommend them over Amazon’s CreateSpace.

I’ll post details on the new book within a week.

The next book in this series will be Pop’s Diner — America Is Still Out There, Folks, a 48 page hand-lettered scrapbook with color photos that I put together after a 2-week trip to the southwest, April 1-15, 1989. Hot springs, barns, canyon backpacking, 4-wheel drive, Log cabins, Valley of the Gods…

6. I continue roaming beaches. Yesterday it was spooky warm for this time of year.

7. I gave up on making chairs with a tenon cutter. I’m now going to try making chairs out of driftwood, using grabbers for connections.

*San Francisco columnist Herb Caen used to have the occasional “Friday Fish Fry” column, using 3-dot journalism to write a bunch of unrelated short bits.

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