on the road (304)

A Whole New Octave

Years ago I was in the Adolph Gasser photo store in SF and a bike messenger came in. He told the guy behind the counter he’d just had a baby. “It’s a whole new octave, man,” he said. (He was a musician.)

I think of this phrase whenever I’m about to change directions, like about now:

I feel like I’ve finished a cycle with my 7 building books, from Shelter in 1973, up through Small Homes in 2017, each book with over 1,000 photos. I’m working on a new book, to be called something like Handmade/Homemade: The Half-Acre Homestead. I ought to get it out by the end of 2018. Then a new direction.

Small books

I have a bunch of maybe-not-for-prime-time books that I want to do. After publishing Driftwood Shacks, an 86-page digitally printed book, I realized that this and other books I want to do are for friends, probably not for bookstore distribution. I want to do these books without worrying about sales, “marketing.” The next one, a shrunk-down copy of a scrapbook I put together 25 years ago, hand-lettered, hand-bound, original 11″ by 14″, 48 pages, called Pop’s Diner, about a trip through the American southwest, hot springs — jeez, I’ve written this all before … us old guys…

I have 200-300,000 photos I’ve shot over the years. A great thing about Google Photos: you upload all your photos with Google Photos, then you can go in and do a search for “barns,” or “Baja” and Google Photos will come up with just those photos. Man! How does the computer tell a barn from a house? Beyond me.

Subjects of these books: barns, Baja California Sur, trips in Southeast Asia, motorcycles, facsimiles of scrapbooks I’ve put together over the years, and yes: architecture. Have I said this before?

I’m going to get the homestead book done and then do some of these smaller ones.
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More Driftwood Shacks

After breakfast in Boonville, Louie and I drove through the giant redwoods back to the coast and went out to Navarro beach, a driftwood mecca. Here’s the inside and outside of one of the shacks.

(I’m thinking of taking a two-week trip up the coast in May, including a 3-day backpacking trip along the Lost Coast beaches, photographing shacks — and doing a larger driftwood book.)

Louie collected select pieces of driftwood to make a chair while I ran around shooting photos. Before we left I jumped into the Navarro river for a moment. The rivers up here are beautiful right now, plenty of water, and emerald green in between the rains…

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3-Day Trip North Along Rainy Coast to Hang Out with Louie

I get inspired the minute I hit the road. The moving through space, the different places, different people. This time I’m driving my 19-year-old Mercedes 320E, a most unbelievably comfortable car that I bought for $3500, fixed it up, and am continually surprised and pleased by its features. I mean, I am not a Mercedes kind of guy, but mama mia, is this car great. I was on the verge of buying a Subaru Crosstrek, but have now decided to stick with the Mercedes until it dies. Luxury!

Hidden in the bushes along the coast

A friend who has a home at Sea Ranch gave me a pass so I’m legal there. I swam in the pool yesterday. It’s one of the good designs at Sea Ranch. Architecture can be so fine when done right. The pool is surrounded by a grassy berm, and water heated with solar panels (with backup propane). Dressing rooms wittily designed. No chlorine. No one else there on rainy day. Afterwards I skated for a while. I’m a bit creaky on the skateboard, still getting my chops back after a broken arm, then shoulder operation.

Titch’s greenhouse at sunset

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Solar-powered Schoolbus Cabin

Lloyd,

Like many, I scrounge the internet for building ideas. I came across a really cool dish-rack/shelf that was built into a corner in a kitchen. You could stand the plates up to dry between the slats, and still set bowls and mugs on it like a shelf. Brilliant! I saved the picture, and put it in the “barn-house” folder on my computer for future reference, when it comes time to build.

A few months ago, you posted a video of how you do dishes. I nearly leapt out of my seat when I saw the very same dish shelf… was in your kitchen! You have a long history of collecting and publishing all the good ideas you can find, I guess it shouldn’t be such a surprise that a design like that ended up in your home! https://www.theshelterblog.com/lloyds-dish-washing-method/

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Bernie Harbert and His Mule Polly's 2,500-mile Voyage Across America

Hi Lloyd and Lew,

I just wanted to let you know that Rocky Mountain PBS premiers the Lost Sea Expedition series January 4th. The series will also stream on Amazon and Vimeo. The story about this tiny wagon voyage across America featured in Tiny Homes (pp. 188–189). I think this info would really interest theshelterblog.com readers.
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