September 28, 2011

Rainy Sunday, sunny Monday It's a sunny Monday morning. We had our first (bit of) rain yesterday in 4 months. Today is bright and clear with blue skies. Yesterday after the rain, I took off on my new mountain bike with air shocks and disc brakes -- such a pleasure to ride. Each time I get on it, I just go, Oh yeah! I hit the road potholes at top speed and it's like riding on a cushion of air. I headed up the mountain road, and it was alternately sunny and misty. The ferns were happy and glistening.

Spotted this barely-used trail and took off down it.

It's a whole other world when I quit racing. Way less stress, not to mention injuries. I'm having a lot more fun, seeing a lot of new spots, when there's no need to t-r-a-i-n. Yahoo!

Tiny Homes book 100% off to printers yesterday, Sunday Sept. 25.  Man what a relief! This has been the most complex book ever. 1000s of emails, many of the photos lacking in data. I started gathering info for this book about 2 years ago, part time, opening email boxes for each contributor as well as a folder for each contributor's photos. Plus, my ace in the hole: a 5th-cut file folder on each contributor with printouts of mainly photos. In a filing cabinet.

Then about a year ago I started pulling out the most interesting folders and putting pages together a 2-pp spread at a time. I did this with a color copy machine, scaling photos to size, then using removable Scotch Tape for a mockup. If they were good enough, they went to Rick for InDesign/Photoshop assembly. Others went to artist David Wills, who improved each spread greatly, then to Rick.

I like starting out with scissors and paper, rather than doing the whole thing on the Mac -- as I believe 99% of books are designed these days. Combining the old with the new in design. Lots of things like this going on right now: getting the vinyl sound in recording music; surfers riding classic longboards; weight lifters using free weights instead of machines; shooting film as opposed to digital...going back and looking at the technology that got superseded by digital. Hey, there are a few things from back then that we can use!

The Randomness of It All The book has about 150 builders, 250 buildings, and 1,300 photos. We put the pages together a builder-at-a-time and didn't get things into order until the very end. These books take on lives of their own, kind of like an author having a muse. Things seem to fall in place. In a recent issue of Publishers Weekly, author Patricia Volk wrote: "...There is no blueprint... I shovel in the coal and don't steer until I've built up steam. Pages pile up and I still don't know where I'm going...I learn en route..."

The cover and back cover were utterly last-minute. We worked for days and days until things clicked.

On editing: In a recent New York Times article on a New York City Ballet's performance of Stravinsky's "Apollo," the program quotes Balanchine as saying that the score of "Apollo" "...seemed to tell me that I could dare not to use everything, that I, too, could eliminate." Writer Claudia La Rocco adds, "That art, of leaving out, is hard to come by."

The Timing As I worked on the book, a lot of media coverage of tiny homes started up. Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny Houses went on Oprah, was in Time magazine, the New York Times and he proved to be a perfect spokesman. I thought, darn, we're missing this sudden interest in tiny homes.

Well, it turns out that there's been a 10-fold magnification of interest in tiny homes in the last few months. Our timing couldn't be better.

Reminds me of Shelter When we did Shelter, in 1973, we were in the midst of a counter-cultural revolution. People were looking for something different. It feels a lot like that now. A new spirit out there. Maybe it's the millennial generation picking up steam.

Tiny Homes production crew, l-r, Rick, David, Lew, Lloyd

Here's to Books We're going to keep making these color hold-in-your-hands books and hopefully they'll be beautiful and worth having in physical form. We don't know if they'd work as ebooks, but if it turns out they do, we'll get them out in that form too.

Tiny Tiny Homes Book We are going to print a 64-page miniature of our book. 1-3/4" by 2-1/4." I've shown Lew's mockup to at least 100 people and the reaction is invariably surprise and delight, You can actually see what's going on at this scale, and it's fun! I showed it to publisher Richard Nash at the Book Expo in New York. He laughed pretty hard and said, "Dude, that's publishing!"
We're printing 2000 copies, for promo.


Office Fitness
There's a lot you can do to combat computer inertia:
1. Download these "Online Stretches." print out and keep by your desk:
2. Download free our StretchWare: The Software that Reminds You to Stretch for 30 days.
3. These elastic straps are light, cheap, handy, and they work! I have them hanging from rafters in both office and tv room. Can take when you travel, hook in door jamb and get workout in hotel room.


I got filmed skating and interviewed for two different purposes:
1. Mike Shumann, sports director and news anchor for KGO (ABC) San Francisco is doing a 2-minute piece on me. Mike's an ex-49er wide receiver, was on Super Bowl team with Joe Montana. He's a great guy, was fun talking to him. Photo is of a little girl in the park when I was being filmed. I got her on my board for her first ride.
2. Sailor Jerry Rum is doing 30 short videos on people they find interesting and they asked if I'd do one. I asked for a bottle of rum, which arrived, and I liked it, so I did it. Four very cool guys from All Ages Productions came out and we spent 2-3 hours talking and skating. It'll eventually be on YouTube.

Music de Mois
Lyle Lovett singing "Stand By Your Man." -- boy! Bill Kircher -- "Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods," Johnny Winter's new album, "Roots," Fats Domino -- Boll Weevil...

My Blog
I used to send these newsletters out more often, but I've been blogging daily of late. I love doing it, it's a chance to blab about what I see going on in the world:

State of the state around here
To tell you the truth, this is the most interesting time of my life.

May good karma consistently flow past your wing tips.
-Anonamooseloose (comment on one of my blog postings)


"The mind and the body are the same thing. One is a reflection of the other." Ida Rolf (From Rolfer Andy Crow's new book, Stuctural Integration