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Apple's Magic Trackpad & Application Grab

I suspect most people know about these two tools, since I'm not exactly on the forefront of technology out here in the semi-country, but if not:

Apple's Magic Trackpad works beautifully. I'm using it more and more instead of a mouse due to mouse/wrist problems. Here is Apple's hype, which is pretty much true:

"The new Magic Trackpad is the first Multi-Touch trackpad designed to work with your Mac desktop computer. It uses the same Multi-Touch technology you love on the MacBook Pro. And it supports a full set of gestures, giving you a whole new way to control and interact with what’s on your screen. Swiping through pages online feels just like flipping through pages in a book or magazine. And inertial scrolling makes moving up and down a page more natural than ever. Magic Trackpad connects to your Mac via Bluetooth wireless technology. Use it in place of a mouse or in conjunction with one on any Mac computer — even a notebook."

The other thing, and I guess all Mac users utilize this, is Apple's application, Grab, used to take screenshots. I use it daily, when I can't download something, and I want an image. It creates only TIFFs, which must be converted to JPEGs, at least for my blog postings.

T. L; D. R.

Meaning "Too long; didn't read."
This really caught my eye. It was in a NYTimes article a few days ago about a 17-year-old who sold his company to Yahoo for 30 million dollars. What was way more interesting than his youth and all the money was his idea: "…his algorithmic invention…takes long-form stories and shortens them for readers using smartphones, in its own mobile apps…"
"…he started coding at age 12. Eventually he decided to develop an app with what he calls an “automatic summarization algorithm,” one that “can take pre-existing long-form content and summarize it.” In other words, it tries to solve a problem that is often summed up with the abbreviation tl;dr: “too long; didn’t read.”
   I've now got a sign, TL; DR posted by the computer. Like keeping videos under 2 minutes. And it's a new world coming, with pocket sized screens the norm for young people. Keep it short & sweet, I keep reminding myself…

Beautiful 300 Sq. Ft. Tiny Home

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "325 Sq, Ft. NYC Apartment Mockup": 
"Not bad as most of these go…but…my favorite of all time is still Quietude, at 300 sq feet, full bathroom, kitchen, laundry…he has it covered… And every time I look at the pics…i am reminded anew how much heart and soul and practicality can fit into 300 sq ft." 

Shelter's Publications

Tiny Homes On the Move Getting photos in from all parts of the world is slow going. Right now we're trying to get large enough photo files on the Vaka Moana sailing canoes from the South Pacific. Three of these 66' catamarans sailed into our bay here in 2011, and we're doing the story of our local fishermen going out to visit them, and of their mission with the Pacific Ocean. They're navigating by the stars.
   I'm also working on a story on The Moron Brothers, two good-ole-boy Kentucky bluegrass musicians who drift along the Kentucky River in a shantyboat, fishing, eating, telling jokes, and playing some really good bluegrass.
   This morning I just put together two pages on a 54 sq. ft. gypsy vardo with beautiful wooden interior; it's on a trailer and can be moved at speeds up to 60mph.
   Right now we've done rough layout on about 40 nomadic units -- on wheels or in the water. Slow moving, but the more days that pass, the better it gets.

The Half Acre Homestead I'm doing presentations on this subject at the Maker Faire in San Mateo this May and at the Mother Earth News Faire in Puyallup, Washington June 2nd. It will cover all the tools we've settled on after decades of building and raising and preparing food on a small piece of land. Also photos to give you ideas: kitchen setup, raised garden beds, bantam chickens, foraging, etc.
   You needn't own a piece of land to utilize some of these tools or techniques. You may live in a city and want to grind your own grain and make your own bread, or carve a wooden spoon, or grow chives in a window box.
   These are tools for people wanting to use their own hands in crafts, or in providing some of their own food and/or shelter. Country, suburban, or urban. There are a lot of things you can do yourself.
   We're working on URLs for each tool or technique, and we'll post them on our website. If I really get organized, I'll pass out cards at my talk with the our website URL and QR code.
  Lately I've been thinking of making this into a book. Right now I can't see what form this one will take, but it should be smaller and cheaper than our color building books. Black & white? I've been looking at Sears and Wards catalogs from turn-of-century.

Music de Jour Marian Janes: "I Know a Good Time;" Magic Sam, "I Feel So Good."

Powder Mountain Heliboarding With Mike Basich

Mikey (the lead builder in Tiny Homes) and buddies floating through the snow with their GoPros. Check out how they film themselves with cameras on poles held out in front. Check out how much FUN they're having.
From Evan Kahn

12 Year Old Tiny House Builder

From Tiny House Blog
"My name is Ben Norton. This is my tiny house story. A neighbor of mine was all excited about your blog and showed me lots of really cool tiny houses that people have built. I was hooked. I just said, “That’s what I’m going to do,” and I just started; buying materials as I had money. I don’t think anyone really thought I was serious because I was eleven years old at the time.…"

Authorities Want To Demolish Straw Bale House

Three people sent us this in the last few days.

"Pembroke-shire says this home is 'harmful to the rural character of the locality' and must be demolished."

Swedish Woodworkers Making Spoons, Shoes, Chair, 1923

From: http://villagecarpenter.blogspot.com/ A great resource!

Check out also Swedish woodworkers making shoes, a spoon, and chairs here.
The shoe making is fantastic. Check out the way he lodges the two shoe blocks in the log with a wedge.

I Know It's Only Rock n Roll But I LOVE It!

I heard Johnny Cash doing "I Will Rock and Roll With You" on the radio last week. He's in beautiful voice even if he in't sure he loves rock n roll in this collection of songs by him, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison (+ John Fogerty). Check out also Carl Perkins' "Birth Of Rock And Roll."  Had me (secretly) dancing in studio this morning. Gimme some piano son!
Click here.

Benefit April 1st Drakes Bay Oyster Farm in Petaluma

This event is to help this wonderful local food operation stay in business while they are being persecuted by uber-environmental groups such as the West Marin Environmental Action Committee (one of the Tea Party type environmental groups -- well financed, politically connected, and heads up their ass), and misrepresented with blatantly false scientific reports by the National Park Service.
   I heard that a petition with some 50,000 signatures was obtained in favor of closing the operation down. I'll bet 95% of these were city dwellers and 98% of these people had never been to the farm. My first-hand and native Californian assessment is that is a triple-win food production system, and it will be a tragedy if it is closed own by what the Italians call the talibano dell' ecologia .

From sananselmofairfax.patch.com: "…If they lose, the Lunnys will be forced to demolish buildings, remove and destroy an estimated $4.5 million worth of oysters, and put 30 people currently employed at the farm out of work.…With thirty full-time workers, many of whom live on the property, the farm is currently the second largest employer in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Oysters harvested from Drakes Bay make up nearly 40% of California's yearly shellfish production, some 500,000 pounds of oyster meat annually, marketed exclusively in the Bay Area. The farm is also the last operating oyster cannery in the state.…"

Other stuff I've written about this in the past here.

Emerald Mossy Fairy House

By Sally J. Smith

"…The Emerald Mossy Fairy House was a relatively large construction built on a woodlands trail. It took a week to build... 2 of those days were spent gathering the stones and bringing them in to the site. The large mossy boulder-cliff already looked like a house in Sally's eyes..."it just needed a little encouraging to bring it out!" A Weeping Willow twig branch was twisted and woven to make the large window. A shelf fungus was found nearby and used as an awning to protect the entrance-way. A small dormer room was added later. The stone walling portion is approx 30 inches high.…"

Click here.

Thanks to Fred Weisenborn

Debt-stressed Architect Builds Her Own Tiny Home

Update: See 1st comment below regarding inaccuracies in the referenced Huffington Post article and a link to Macy's website.

For many people, living in a tiny home is a choice. But for architect Macy Miller, it was a necessity. At 27 years old, she found herself divorced, unemployed and in the process of foreclosure, which forced her to rent, leaving her without a space she could really call her own. She needed to make a change that would help her feel alive and also ease the burden of her debt. "I didn't know how to find a solution to all this, but [these problems] sat in my mind for a while,” she told us. Then in 2011, she woke up from a dream where she lived in a tiny house. At the time she had no idea that small living was actually a "thing." She didn't know there was a whole community of tiny dwellers that would help make this vision become a reality. "It didn't occur to me that it had been done before -- building a tiny house just made sense for me and for my situation, in every way…" Click here.

Drawings of Vernacular Homes Circa 1900

"Hi. My name is Anne Smith, aka Marguerite Turnley. I am a writer and an artist. I thought you might like to use these pictures on your website or to encourage drawing. They are from an old book called Inquire Within, which I have inherited.…These pictures are from old homes in many countries at the turn of the century. The pictures have been scanned from the old books and I thought you might find them useful..… Regards, Anne Smith"

Fin Whale & Killer Whales Off Haida Gwaii

 From an email from Aija Steele to her dad, Godfrey Stephens: "Thought you might like to see some whale pictures Jim just sent from the Whale Scientists who were following Off Shores around Haida Gwaii and beyond.
The first is a Fin Whale, second largest next to the Blue.
The others are the rare 'Off Shore' Killer Whales whose teeth are worn down due to their choice of cuisine; sharks!"

325 Sq, Ft. NYC Apartment Mockup

By Sally Augustin, March 22, 2013

"I dropped by to visit the “Making Room” show at the Museum of the City of New York, which features a mock-up of a 325 square foot apartment. I was curious to see the “micro-studio” with its handy tuck-away dining table and chair that turns into a ladder to reach high-up storage and fold-down to a full size Murphy bed that fills the space otherwise taken up by the couch. The visit confirmed, at least for me that living in a small space can be a good experience, if certain criteria are met. I took these photos at the exhibit.…"

Click here.

The Farm From Afar

Editorial, The Rural Life, The New York Times, March 21, 2013
Last week I got an e-mail from one of the two young farmers living at my small farm in upstate New York while I’m teaching in Southern California for the semester. She mentioned “green spears” shooting out of the ground. The thought threw me into a vernal prolepsis, a mental flash-forward to spring, for which there must be a German word or a Chinese poem.
   I imagined the barn with the woodchucks beneath it stirring. I can picture the horses shedding winter, and their hair drifting across the snow.
   There’s plenty of spring in Southern California. Spring comes every time it rains, and it seems truly protean — herbs, trees, shrubs and flowers jostling one another, a mob of blossom, a fog bank of pollen. But I find myself missing the intensity of expectation that spring brings to the farm, the sense that the weather is rushing to meet deadline, a linear thrust toward the heart of May. The cues come in sequence. One day it’s the hellebores, then snowdrops, and then unruly forsythia.
   None of the real farmers in my family have been very good travelers. They went to war — World War II, Vietnam — and when they got home, they didn’t do much leaving again. Once, I met an old farmer who told me he hadn’t missed a milking, morning or evening, in 40 years. It was more than just a sense of duty. It was a worry that things won’t go right — the corn won’t grow, the calves won’t fatten — unless you’re watching.
   In a small way, I know how that feels. Of course, the goldfinches will brighten without me. And the wild mint is already expanding its empire, I’m sure. The barn-loft door stands open, ready for the swallows. I’ll be along soon enough, just behind them.
   -Verlyn Klinkenborg


"In 2002, the government of Norway launched a program to attract more visitors to their 18 scenic highways designated as “National Tourist Routes” by building a variety of architectural overlooks and rest stops along the way. The 18-year project has already built nearly 120 sites that have been designed by…  
   Shortly after moving to Sweden I visited my new neighbor, taking a drive along the west coast of Norway to visit several of the sites. That trip left such an impression that it still inspires me to this day. Here is a selection of photos from that trip to encourage you to put Norway high on your travel destination list. "
-Brian Jones
Click here.

Straw Bale Gardening

In today's New York Times:
"…Are you ready to learn about a transformative garden technology that could change your life — for less than $100? No? I wasn’t sold either when I first heard about a peculiar food-growing method called straw-bale gardening.
…a straw-bale garden is a garden that has been grown in a straw bale. Really. It was Mr. Karsten’s clever notion to condition the bale with a little fertilizer and water, creating a kind of instant compost pile. “The crust of the bale decomposes slowly,” he said. This is the vessel. The inside, which decays faster, “is our potting mix.” Stick a soaker hose on top, then plug some tomato seedlings into a hole gouged out of the straw. Time to wash the taint of barnyard off your hands: you’ve got a vegetable garden."
Article by Michael Tortortello, photo by Tracy Walsh/Poser Design
Click here.

Retrospectives on Iraq War

There were three very good articles on America's debacle in Iraq in yesterday's Op-Ed page of the New York Times (3/20/13), byAhmad Saadawi (here), John A. Nagl (here), and Thomas L. Friedman (here). Retrospectives of the monumental blunders and continuing disaster. (I'm not sure if you need to be a NYT subscriber to get the articles in their entirety.)

Sliding Barn Door Hardware

From Mike Litchfield:

"Just came across a site that you might find interesting, that makes high-quality sliding door hardware--aka barn door hardware. Of course, sliding doors require less room to operate than hinged doors in space-starved houses, especially if it is an oversized door. Problem is that most barn door glides aren't precise and can jam. These guys feature a lot of stainless tracks and all the wheels have ball bearings. Looks like cool stuff."

Click here.


Thursday night, Louie, Titsch and I went out for drinks and food at St. Orres, an upscale restaurant near Gualala. Louie had heard that they had a new bar menu (dinners are in the $40 range), so off we went. We had a great time. Wild boar tacos $2.50 each. Big seafood quesadilla $10.00. Good! We each got a drink, then a bottle of red wine (there goes our low-cost night out).
   It's a great building. Redwood, lots of light, some unique doors sheathed in copper. Attention to detail. They rent little cabins in the garden for around $150.

Titsch is a Welshman, last name Jones. My mom's maiden name was Virginia Jones, so we're distant cousins. (I once heard that there were 350,000 Jones's in Wales, as well as a separate Jones phone book.)
   For the toast to our first drink, Titsch said, "yaccudda" — pronounced "yakki da." (On Google it comes out as "yachydda.")

We started talking about the Welsh language and Titsch said the longest place name in Europe was a Welsh town, which he recited, much to our delight: "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch:"

He said the name meant something like "St. Mary's church at the foot of the hill beside a willow tree next to whirling brook and a red cave."
Wikipedia details here.

Miniature of Shaker Living Room Circa 1800

Lloyd, My love of exquisite craftsmanship and all things small came together about 50 years ago when I first saw the Thorne Miniature Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. Thought you might enjoy this. Mike Moore
Click here.
(Shaker living room, circa 1800. 9" x 21 3/4" x 24 5/8." Scale: 1 inch = 1 foot)

Stunning Photos of Arctic Animals

"Wildlife photographer Florian Schulz has made a career out of visiting some of the coldest places on earth and documenting the wildlife and incredible beauty of these extremes. His work has come together in To The Arctic, a 3D IMAX film and companion book featuring over 150 photographs. Here, we are highlighting some of the best of his incredible work, which shows us the splendor and yes, cuteness, that we can find in the Arctic."

Music on Highway One

Can we talk music? Rolling north on Wednesday, I got to Jenner where the road climbs so you see a big expanse of ocean. Sunny on the road, with a bank of fog just offshore. Nice light. When things are right, on the road, and the music's good, I pretend I'm a camera, filming the landscape with songs a la serendipity.
   Here's what the Garage station on Sirius played:
-On the album Elvis Live in Memphis, "Trying To Get To You," a lovely version, Elvis strong in voice, the band great, the crowd screaming. I suspect this is a great album.
-The Ramones, "It's Gonna Be All Right." Remind you what rock n roll is all about.
-Arthur Conley, "Sweet Soul Music." Written by Arthur and Otis Redding, I always thought this was Otis singing. This led me today to Same and Dave, James Brown, and Gladiators (reggae) versions of this great song.
-Herman's Hermits doing "Jezebel."

Old Carpenter's Bench

In Louie's shop, this old carpenter's bench from a high school woodshop. There's another vice kitty corner on the other side.  It's made to be utilized by two students. There's a swing-out stool on each side; you can just see the hinge on the right leg here. I'd love to find something like this, but can't locate anything either on eBay or craigslist.

The Chrysler Farmobil: German-Greek Agricultural Machine

"The Farmobile was a simple, low-cost agricultural truck, originally designed by agricultural machinery maker Fahr (in the early '60s). They used the BMW Isetta’s 697 cc engine (0.7 liters), and a Porsche-patented four-speed manual gearbox. Mark Bird wrote, 'The Farmobile actually has more in common wtih BMW’s 700 car than any other vehicle, sharing its entire engine and transmission, brakes, wheels, and transmission shift lever mechanism, supplied to Fahr by BMW.…'”
Click here.
Sent in as a comment from Gill 

Louie's Shop

I brought up my wood carving tools (shown here laid out on Louie's workbench) and we spent some time carving out a spoon from some (halfway seasoned) plum wood. Here are a few photos: Louie's strap for carrying cases of wine, made out of upholstery strap and drilled-out branch handle; his band saw (a powerful tool); Louie using a "slick," a large chisel used by ship builders -- the blade is slightly curved, it's a pleasure to use it.

Will try to put up more photos from trip if I get the time.

Trip #46 to Louie's/Roadkill Deer

After doing the symposium at the Art Institute (Wednesday, 3/13), I took off for points north. I haven't been up to my pal Louie's for some time, but now with shouder recovered (partly) and new Honda Fit, I headed up Hwy. 101, then cut across to the Russian River, to Jenner, and up the coast. This vehicle is a wonder. Drives like a dream; nimble. Even good on country roads. And it's like a clown car; you can get amazing amount of stuff in it. (You're just going to have to bear with me when I rave about this car.)
  Now the next part of this story is for country people, OK?

Tiny Home in Ireland

"…It’s a move from mass-consumption. When you live in a small space, it forces you to think what you need and don’t need.
   Noel Higgins will raise a glass to his tiny, wooden house-on-wheels on Mar 17 to mark the first year of a radical lifestyle change.

Cartop Camping on California Coast

Hi Lloyd, Love your blog. This guy has been living in the Five Cities area on the Central Coast of California for the last year or so in this setup. Often parks at the beach. Here he is yesterday cruising across the border of Arroyo Grande and Grover "City" Beach at Grand and Oak Park Blvd. Really well built structure atop 1980s volvo. Haven't seen smoke from that chimney yet but...if its black we've got ourselves a new Pope, if white not? I dunno. Best to you, Matthew Eames

The Preußen, 5-masted Cargo Sailing Ship, Built 1902

Yesterday I did a symposium on publishing and photography at the San Francsico Art Institute, arranged by my long-time friend and photography teacher Jack Fulton. I had a bit of time to kill and went into the maritime museum at Aquatic Park and again marveled at this model of  "…the only five-masted full-rigged ship ever built (in 1902).…
   The Preußen was steel-built with a waterline length of 124 m and a total hull length of 132 m. The hull was 16.4 m wide and the ship had a displacement of 11,150 long tons (11,330 t), for an effective carrying capacity of 8,000 long tons (8,100 t). The five masts were fully rigged, with courses, upper and lower topsails, upper and lower topgallant sails, and royals. Counting staysails, she carried 47 sails (30 square sails in six storeys, 12 staysails between the five masts, four foresails (jibs) and a small fore-and-aft spanker) with a total sail area of 6,806 square meters (73,260 sq ft)…
Above from Wikipedia
The Preußen was rammed by a ship in the English Channel and sank in 1910.

12-year-old tiny house builder

"Having graduated from the pink playhouse stage, 12-year-old Sicily Kolbeck is building a 128-square-foot solar powered abode as a place to 'bake cupcakes, to read and to hang out with friends.'…" Here.

New Tiny Homes Documentary

"…Tiny houses aren’t just houses – they are a movement. A vibrant online community attests to this movement, more visibly perhaps that the tiny houses themselves, which are often hidden in backyards or rural outcroppings where code enforcement can’t find them. Apparently, county and city codes commonly establish a lower limit for allowable square footage of homes, with 600 square feet being a typical minimum. To get around this constraint, “tiny home” dwellers – including Smith – tend to build on wheels, so that their abodes fall under RV rules rather than those for buildings with foundations. These houses are often constructed with reclaimed materials; outfitted with gray water systems, composting toilets, and solar panels; and designed by creative, forward-looking architects. As such, their selling points rest comfortably in a nexus of affordability, sustainability, and aesthetic appeal. They tend to be darling, almost like tiny Disney cottages; they also tend to allow the natural landscape around them to take a starring role.…"
Click here.
And click here for info on the new documentary "Tiny: A Story About Living Small," by Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller.

Hot Motorcyclists on Road, Moaning Foghorns at Sea

For some reason there were a bunch of really fast, really good motorcyclists on Hwy One last night. Not in a bunch, but one by one. One guy passed me (over double line) like a rocket. Zoom! Out of sight in a blink. Another passed me, then took the corner leaning halfway off the bike. They were at one with their bikes, and at high speed.
   The fog was creeping in from the ocean and every foghorn was going off, all different tones, like they were talking together. Moaning. One night, I slept in my truck down by the Palace of Fine Arts, close to the GG bridge, and the foghorns were astoundingly deep and loud. Window rattlers. Somehow comforting.
  Yesterday Lew told me he went for a run by a local creek, heard splashing, and came around the corner to see a huge female salmon spawning, and 3 males jockeying for insemination position. Pretty good for such scant recent rainfall.
   This garden figure along my hike last night.

Sign Painters Video

See Mark Frauenfelder's Boing Boing post on this here. (2-minute videos are the way to go these days.)

Tiny Building On Rock in Middle of Serbian River

"This tiny home may not look like much but it stands as a true powerhouse, braving decades of abuse from the most unrelenting natural elements. It's perched atop a rock in the middle of the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, and neither weather nor water has been able to knock it over.…" From Inhabitat here.

New Moon Today

Man was I depressed yesterday. Will spare grim details. Today, it's been pointed out to me, is the new moon. Sure enough, the fun factor is back. Koko Taylor singing I'd Rather Go Blind right now, the cold fog has lifted and sun's out, espresso crema with bit of agave nectar, power plant vapes, the wonder of passion flower architecture (by neighbors' house) -- ridiculous!
   More music del día: Howlin Wolf doing 300 Pounds of Joy. Hoy hoy I'm the boy…

Forgot to post this yesterday. For Google passion flower images, click here.

Schoolhouse Home on Coast in Nova Scotia

"Owning a school has been an important goal for my teacher/prof partner for many years. We moved closer to her dream when we acquired this lovely 55 acre property in Nova Scotia. Then, our search for a movable school led to this 1875 school house. The school house had been turned into a store and later a storage shed. It was located a few miles away. The photos tell the story of the tear down, move, rebuild and the now nearly finished schoolhouse. Note, the school house, in 1875, cost $750 completely constructed and furnished! It is now a treasure beyond measure to us.…"
From Tiny House blog here.

"An Oddly Modern Antiquarian Bookshop"

The Monkey’s Paw owner Stephen Fowler, with an atlas of Korea published in 1967.  Photo by Andrew Rowat
Article in New York Times by Jody Rosen, March 7, 2013:
"…The Monkey’s Paw specializes in oddities…printed matter that has fallen between history’s cracks and eluded even Google Books’ all-seeing eye. There are Victorian etiquette handbooks, antique sex manuals, obscure scientific treatises. There are forgotten 19th-century travelogues with sumptuous chromolithographs and leather-bound correspondence courses on fingerprinting. There are medical books (“Hewat’s Examination of the Urine”), how-to guides (“Safety in Police Pursuit Driving”) and historical studies: “Drug Adulteration: Detection and Control in 19th-Century Britain,” “The Water Closet: A New History,” “The Puppet Theatre in Czechoslovakia.” There are books whose accidentally poetic titles alone are worth the asking price: “Prospecting for Uranium,” “Magnetic Removal of Foreign Bodies,” “South Australia From Space.” A sign in the Monkey’s Paw window dryly sums up the inventory: “Old & Unusual.…”
   The result, packed into the store’s shelves, is a dizzying jumble of titles, genres, eras, ideas. Fowler arranges his displays to accentuate dissonance. An outdated work of political philosophy sits beside an edition of Sherlock Holmes written in Pitman shorthand and a trippy 1970s book about holograms. It’s a transfixing, bewildering mix. In 2013, it is also familiar. The book industry is under siege by digital technology, but the Monkey’s Paw has made peace with the Internet — has, in its dowdy analog way, replicated it.…"
Click here.
Thanks to Christie Pastalka

Homestead Shack in Montana, 1912

"Olga Wold and her stepfather, Norman Wold, stand outside her homestead shack at Marsh, Montana. Photograph taken on December 28, 1912 by Evelyn J. Cameron. "
From: http://freecabinporn.com/

Handcrafting on a Homestead in the UK

"Hello :) I'm passionate about sustainable land design/management and live a low impact lifestyle with my partner Leo, in a yurt on an incredible Exmoor smallholding that is a mosaic of diverse habitats.… We care for Shetland, Hebridean & Castlemilk moorit sheep, dairy goats, Cuckoo Maran hens and ex-battery hens, black indian runner ducks and a collie called Willow.
   I'm co-founder and run www.saveourwoods.co.uk. Save Our Woods was central in stopping the public forest estate sell-off in 2011 and continues to work closely with government and organisations to achieve the best outcome for the woods and forests of England, public or private.
Click here.
Sent us by Alan Whittle

World Travels in Renault 4 CV

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Photos of 5 Minicars":

"My favorite is the 'Renault 4 CV'.' My parents bought a secondhand model with their savings in 1960 - our first car - unfortunately, they didn't have enough money to pay an insurance policy and the car remained unused for some months... my sister and I spent hours in it, playing imaginery drivers & travellers ! the 4 CV was the first popular post-war car - very tiny but we loved it. When we left for holidays, it was crammed full - a funny and exciting expedition.
   Steven Weinberg travels all around the world with his vintage Renault 4 CV (a new adventure is coming soon). Pictures of his travel in USA here."

The Library at Hearst Castle, California

 Click here.

Making Wooden Spoons

A year or so ago I got knocked to the ground by an oak log  that I was cutting up for firewood. It rolled down a steep hill and sideswiped me, cracked a rib etc. Months later I took a piece of the wood up to my friend Louie's and we milled out a couple of 1" thick, maybe 10" X 14" pieces on his big band saw. I thought I'd make a little box, since I had a special relation with that tree, but recently decided to make a spoon.
   Posted the spoon (embarrassingly amateurish) on my blog (here) and got some great feedback, including a comment by Richard, whose blog 52 Spoons (here), got me inspired to get more into spoon making (spoon at left by Richard).
    I'm crazy about spoon making. Perfect for me, since I'm not a finely-crafted carpenter type. I like the eyeballing-it process. I keep wandering out from the computer to the shop and chopping on different pieces of wood with my new Roselli hatchet. It's one of those tools that opens up new horizons -- holy shit, is this fun! Also an antidote to spending too much time at a keyboard. Get those hands working at something physical.
  When I get farther along I'll write something about what I've learned, but for now here are some links from early research:

Porch Made From Pallet Wood

"…The planning stage is my favorite part of any project, and this porch was no exception: I thought about an upgrade for some years before we finally decided how we wanted to fix it. When someone gave us a slue of pallets, we had our solution: Fix the porch with pallet wood. Most folks, when they first see our pallet-wood porch, think we just laid whole pallets on the porch. Well, no, that's not how it happened: My husband laboriously and patiently took the pallets apart and de-nailed the boards. Then he planed them.…"

Click here.

1934 McQuay-Norris Tear Drop Test Car

Photo here.
Info here.

Downsizing With Tiny Homes

"…The beginning of the real estate downturn was one of the biggest catalysts behind the small home movement, says Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design. People began facing the challenges they had in housing and affording houses.
   'A lot of people who are retired are looking at tiny homes as a way to downsize,” he said. 'Younger people are interested in it as a way to get a foothold on homeownership, and a lot of people like the environmental aspect.'
   And, adds Janzen, not only do smaller homes cost less, you can also build a tiny home yourself. 'It’s an empowering movement,' he said.…
   While there are resources and plans to build your own tiny home, it’s also possible to buy one currently on the market.
   Above: Updated cottage: 2444 3rd Ave N, St Petersburg, $74,900. 560 square feet Although it measures less than 600 square feet, this St. Petersburg home makes enough room for 2 bedrooms and a bath. The home is move-in ready with recent updates, including renovations to the kitchen and bathroom."
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52 Cars From Concours d'Elegance Shows

From Godfrey Stephens -- Click here.