communication (22)

Three-Dot Wednesday Morning Fish Fry

Came across the ever-beautiful Golden Gate Bridge 6:30 this morning, in my 19-year-old incredibly luxurious Mercedes E320, latte at my favorite North Beach cafe, listening to my fave DJ, Michael de Barres on Sirius radio (forever indebted to Lew for Sirius), the Underground Garage station, Michael an English rocker (and musician) who plays bad-assed rocknroll…Bon Jovie: Runaway; Aerosmith: Walk This Way; Billy Idol: “Rebel Yell;” Dire Straits: Money For Nothing.…The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) is really marvelous. The first 3 episodes are radiantly funny, Rachel Brosnahan is brilliant…it can’t maintain that level, but the other 5 episodes are still worth watching…A few nights ago, we came across a White House event: “Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In performance at the White House.” I looked at the Obamas and almost cried. This elegant, soft-spoken, soulful man, and his strong, beautiful, soulful wife.…On the drive in this morning, I thought about seeds. Years ago, in planting carrot seeds, I thought: I’m putting these seeds here, information packets that tell the natural world how to organize ands coordinate soil, water sunshine and air and  – voilá – carrots. Milagro!…Through our building books, we  have lots of fans. I try to think how big a group this is. Smaller, for sure, than the minimalist, sterile Dwell magazine crowd.…Probably, what we (our group) have in common is the desire to use hands in creating shelter, and (some) food. Maybe we’re the Handmade Homemade group…I’m kind of excited to start a blog on the ’60s. What didn’t work as a book may work online. Think about it: you read a book right-to-left — it’s linear. Online you’re going up and down; you can hop around at a click. This may be the way to convey my take on the ’60s. Tossing things out there in not necessarily linear order. Feedback could be great. Hey, family of kindred spirits out there, send comments with your ’60s experiences (blog should be up and running by early March)…Fun to practice 3-dot journalism. Non-linear…Now out to make the rounds in this vibrant and beautiful city…Leather store for copper rivets/plumbing/hardware search for 10MM tubing for blowgun/art store for pen to do hand lettering on our next short-run color book, Pop’s Diner — stay tuned; delivering 12 copies of our new Driftwood Shacks  book to Mollusc Surf Shop, to Trouble Coffee, check out Outerlands restaurant/go swimming in cove (Aquatic Park)/Irish coffee, watch surfers through windows at Cliff House…Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Great White now playing…

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Friday Night Fish Fry

Last (rainy) Friday night, 5 of us (Dipsea running friends) went over the bridge to San Francisco and had dinner at the R&G Lounge (specializing in deep fried fresh Dungeness crab). then to Vesuvio’s bar next to City Lights, which has had like 70 years of good vibes; Patrons that night looked like good people. Pic below is of a little tableau on the wall with miniature figures, maybe 26″ wide by 16″ tall (can you see the ghostly image at top left?) (Photo by Jakub)

I’m sort of taking a month to get reorganized with my work and at the same time reintegrating myself with the physical world, after a couple of years of being injured, then recovering from shoulder surgery — let me tell you the details — just kidding. Suffice to say I’m hiking more, clamming (tuning up my 12′ Klamath boat with vintage 15 HP Evinrude outboard for saltwater exploration and fishing, trying to remember to stretch. It’s so easy to get sucked into sedentary pursuits, like sitting in front of screens and neglecting the body in which the mind is, after all, housed.

I’ve done very little blogging in recent years about what’s going on my life, partly due to Instagram and partly because after 5000+ blog posts, I realized it wasn’t bringing in any income — so I slacked off on blogging.

I’ll be spelling out my future plans, including a new blog — my take on the ’60s –in my forthcoming GIMME SHELTER email newsletter, something I send out every few months to about 600 people. If you want to be on the mailing list, send me your address at lloyd@shelterpub.com.

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Gimme Shelter — Late, Hot Summer 2017

I started writing GIMME SHELTER email newsletters about 15 years ago, maybe one every month or two. They were originally intended for sales reps (first at Random House, then Publishers Group West), to keep them apprised of our publishing activities, and then later, I added friends to the mailing list. As I got into blogging, the frequency of the newsletters dropped off.

Here’s the latest one. If you’d like to be on the list, send me your email address.

Water tower near Prineville, Oregon, on my trip last week to see the eclipse

I’ve written less and less of these newsletters recently, as I’ve been blogging and now doing Instagram regularly. Made me think about all the different forms of communication I’ve employed over the years. My high school year book, running an Air Force newspaper in Germany for 2 years, then working the Whole Earth Catalog, and then — books.

Followed by, over the years: booklets, pamphlets, flyers, posters, 20-30 handmade books, mini-books, magazine and newspaper articles, videos, interviews … I’m a compulsive communicator.

These days I put up posts on my blog, but not as often, or as in-depth as a few years ago. I do Instagram almost daily and all these photos automatically go onto my blog, and to my Twitter and Facebook pages. You can check my Instagram account here; it’s a summary of posts: www.instagram.com/lloyd.kahn

Three New Books

The ’60s

I decided to do a book on the ‘60s, since there’s been so much attention given to the “Summer of Love” lately, and because as a person who grew up in San Francisco, went to high school in the Haight-Ashbury, and watched the ‘60s unfold first-hand, I don’t agree with what’s being presented all over the media; these accounts don’t coincide with what I saw happening at all.

“The Haight-Ashbury was a district. The ‘60s was a movement.”  –Ken Kesey

I started the book tentatively, to see if it was going to fly. I thought I’d give my background, what San Francisco was like in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and track my life — a kid growing up in San Francisco, college, Santa Cruz, Big Sur, the Monterey Pop Festival, building domes at Pacific High School, the Whole Earth Catalog — so readers would know where I was coming from. Rather than starting in 1960.

I started getting into it, recalling things that had been buried in my semi-consciousness. This was fun! And I realized that the ‘60s completely changed my life. In 1965, I quit my job as an insurance broker in San Francisco and went to work as a carpenter.

I’m going to illustrate it with black and white photos I took doing those years.

I’ll start posting parts of the book on my blog as I go, to get some feedback. Read More …

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The Gag-Me-With-A-Spoon Summer of Love

My annoyance at all the lame krap floating around now about 1967 in the Haight-Ashbury district, “The Summer of Love,”just about turned to repulsion of late. Yeah, strong word, but man is it bad! We went to the deYoung Museum in San Francisco (an architectural catastrophe) Friday for their exhibit. $25 entrance fee! Most of the exhibit consisted of posters and yes, the posters were magnificent, but the exhibit was mostly ’60s drivel.

The “hippie clothing” was awful. No elegance, no simplicity. People with bad taste and too much time on their hands; bad colors, mishmashes of design. A truly awful crocheted bedspread commissioned by Bob Weir. Two rooms of flashing video montages of blurry dancers — senseless, dumb; not trippy — sloppy.

And the clincher: when you leave the exhibit, they funnel you into The Summer of Love Gift Shop. I kid you not. T-shirts, hats, trinkets, a poster of lame buttons — all made in China.

These curators are giving the ’60s a bad name.

The “Hippie Modernism” exhibit at the Berkeley Museum was way better.

As is the exhibit at the California Historical Society. Really good b&w photos, tracing the ’60s from the Beats-on. $5 entrance fee.

There was a conference this weekend, some 45 presentations on the era, mostly by college professors.

Sorry, I’ve been brooding over all the distortions, all the weren’t-there, don’t-get-it pontificators.

“The Haight-Ashbury was a neighborhood. The ’60s was a movement.” -Ken Kesey

PS The “Summer of Love” (1967) was in actuality a disaster in San Francisco.

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SMALL HOMES Now Available

Our new book Small Homes: The Right Size is now available at independent bookstores, and Amazon — as well as from us: www.shelterpub.com/building/small-homes

Shameless Commerce Dept. This is, I think, the best building book we’ve ever done. (Yes, I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it keeps reoccurring to me.)  Shelter is everyone’s favorite; it captured the times, it inspired thousands of homes. Builders of the Pacific Coast is in some ways, my best book. It’s an odyssey of discovery where the reader rides shotgun with me over a 2-year period. Cohesive and focused.

BUT Small Homes is so useful to so many people in this era of astronomical home prices and rents, that I think it’s hugely important. It offers alternatives to people looking for rentals on Craigslist or homes on Zillow. Here are 65 very different homes, of different materials, in different parts of the world. The idea, as with all our building books is to use your hands to create your own shelter.

Two things I’ve discovered about this book (after seeing the finished product):

  1. There are a lot of homes out in middle America – Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, more so than in any of our other books.
  2. It sparkles. Largely due to Rick’s considerable Photoshop skills, a motley assortment of photos from contributors have been rendered in colorful detail. I was stunned when I saw the first book off the press. The photos draw you in.
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