News (9)

Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the Northern California Coast Is Available

We just completed my latest book, Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the Northern California Coast (82 pages, 8½″× 8½″). 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.

Post a comment

Surfing During Paleolithic Times

…Wanna see our pictures on the cover
Wanna buy five copies for our mothers
Wanna see my smilin’ face
On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

People of a certain, um, age will remember the song from the early ’70s by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

Well, I finally made it on a cover, 61 (ulp!) years later in the just-out copy of The Surfer’s Journal. I was wearing a shorty wetsuit from the Dive ’N Surf shop in La Jolla (pre-O’Neill). You sent them your measurements and they sent you the cut-out pieces and a bottle of Black Magic glue and some tape. You’d glue together pieces, glue tape over seams. Early wetsuits didn’t have nylon lining, so you’d rub cornstarch on your body so as to be able to slip the suit on. Underneath it I was wearing on old-fashioned wool bathing suit. A 9-foot Velzy balsa wood board. (This was just before foam.)

This was about a 6-to-8-foot drop to the water (at Steamer Lane), there was a ledge, and we did this when the tide was right in order to stay dry. We’d wait for a wave to hit the cliff, then jump as the backwash flowed outward.

Before wetsuits there wasn’t much of a crowd problem. I remember a foggy morning, 6 to 8 feet at the Lane, four of us out. Ah, me.

Post a comment (2 comments)

My America


On a trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in 1989

This political nightmare we’ve been going through for some months now may have led me to choosing the subject for my next book.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do after Small Homes:

  • 50 Years of Natural Building
  • A book on my trips
  • A book on barns

Some kind of context for the 10,000+ photos I’ve taken over the years.

The idea about a book on the U.S.A. popped into my head a few days ago. This would be my version of America. It would start with me riding the rails and hitchhiking from San Francisco to New York in 1965, along with a copy of Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous — seeking enlightenment, if you will, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life — as the cultural revolution of the ’60s–’70s unfolded. (Upon return a month later, I quit my job as an insurance broker and went to work as a builder.)

I would show the America that I love, the people in every state who were kind and friendly and helpful, Pop’s Diner in Page, Arizona; pressmen at Courier Printing in Kendallville, Indiana; squirrel hunters in Tennessee; the waitress in an Oklahoma diner serving me coconut cream pie with coffee at 2:30 AM; farmers, surfers, skateboarders, lawyers, and bankers (yes — there are some good ones); book lovers, musicians, builders; makers…

This just may be the next book: the glass-half-full take on America.

Post a comment (7 comments)

Sac State Students Think Small for Tiny House Competition

Sacramento State is one of 12 California universities entered in SMUD’s inaugural Tiny House Competition, to be held in October 2016 on the Sac State campus. The tiny house movement is all about living “green” in 400 square feet or less, and SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) is capitalizing on the smart-living trend by challenging collegiate teams from throughout the state to design and build small, net-zero energy homes on wheels.…

Post a comment (1 comment)

Millennials Cannot Afford Homes


I co-teach a freshman seminar at the University of Texas called “Debt: the Good, Bad and Ugly” that examines the different ways consumers borrow and spend. Do they reflect wise investments in the future (the good), unnecessary or frivolous spending that should be avoided whenever possible (the bad), or spending that can ruin your life (the ugly)? Virtually every person in the U.S. will end up in debt at one point or another, and understanding the ins and outs is essential for all of us. It’s also the reason I focus my seminar and research on the topic of consumer debt.

–Mechele Dickerson…

Post a comment

San Francisco, NYC Lead in 10 Most Expensive Cities for Rentals


While San Francisco was again the most expensive market this April, the real story continues to be the rise of rents across the entire Bay Area. San Francisco proper saw the median rent for a one bedroom rise 1.8% in the month, tying the record from February at $3,460.

At the same time, San Jose apartments had a 10.3% rise in the trailing quarter, and is now tied with Washington DC as the fourth most expensive city to rent in the US at $2,040. Oakland remained flat in the prior month, but is up 6.4% in the past quarter to a median of $2,000.…

Post a comment (3 comments)

Tiny Home News – April 22, 2015

Tiny House On Wheels In Calgary Gets A Reprieve

Tiny house on wheels in Calgary gets a reprieve.

Huffington Post Canada
Tiny House on Wheels in Calgary Gets a Reprieve
This week, she found out she may not have to move the tiny home after all. Shadlock built the home, which she calls “Margo” after her late…

Asheville Citizen-Times
Brevard OKs tiny home initiative
BREVARD: A city council in western North Carolina has approved a resolution endorsing a tiny house initiative as a way to increase the amount of…
South Side could see Syracuse’s first tiny homes for the homeless
Syracuse nonprofit, A Tiny Home for Good, has modified the design of its tiny homes for the homeless since this rendering was made in late 2014.

East Brunswick Sentinel
Tiny homes seen as way to address homelessness
For each tiny home constructed, pilot municipalities would receive two credits toward their fair-share housing obligations required by state law.
Students help build tiny houses for the homeless
(KING): As he looked at the tiny home coming together on the back lawn of Seattle’s Franklin High School, Tai Jordan swelled with pride. He saw more…

Post a comment

Tiny Home News – April 21, 2015

Tiny House Inspired by Japanese Minimalism

Tiny house inspired by Japanese minimalism

Jetson Green
Tiny House Inspired by Japanese Minimalism
Architect Todd Miller of Oregon Cottage Company recently designed this awesome Japanese architecture–inspired tiny home. The client it was built for…
Chesterfield man’s tiny home met with big resistance
CHESTERFIELD, VA: Michael Brown says his Chesterfield home has everything — from the perfect kitchen, to the comfortable living space, to the…

AOL News
Couple forced to leave their “tiny home
Michael’s dream home however isn’t the four-bedroom, two-car garage home you would expect. His home is a tiny house, built in the backyard of the…
Students build tiny houses for homeless
SEATTLE: As he looked at the tiny home coming together on the back lawn of Franklin High School, Tai Jordan swelled with pride. He saw more than…

MetroNews Canada
Calgary tiny home allowed to stay on R2-zoned land
Nancy Shadlock, whose world was turned upside-down last week after her tiny home was nearly booted out of its northwest neighbourhood, has…

Hefty 224 sq. ft. little house doesn’t feel tiny at all
Be they salvaged trailers, gypsy-style caravans, modernist or Japanese-inspired, we’ve seen a real diversity coming into the once quaint world of tiny…

Californian tiny home (Video): This woman architect’s tiny home has a light-filled living room that incorporates a great workspace.…

Post a comment