Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ever Been Driven To This...

Have you ever been driven to this?
Leaving your car in a dumpster because the ashtrays were full, it broke down or ran out of petrol?
Or you'd had enough of the grid-lock or, it was the only place left to park...
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In The Pursuit Of Happiness

In 2011, in the perceived pursuit of happiness, hapless New Zealanders spent $926 million on Lotto, the national lottery.
That figure equates to each and every man woman and child in this county spending two hundred and forty dollars.
Many don't have that sort of disposable income and go into debt to fund this weekly gambling habit or use their sickness or other welfare benefit.
And the greed driven executives at the New Zealand Lotteries Commission are exhorting them to spend more.
Next year...
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Samoa. What A Difference A Day Makes...

What a difference a day makes is a tune that might be sung in Samoa today as it misses out forever on Friday the 30th of December 2011.
The tiny island nation will skip a whole day to align it's date with New Zealand.
Now while I might change my diary to arrange a lunch date with Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep or Penelope Cruiz, I'd be a bit annoyed if I lost twenty four hours.
I hope Samoa gets some sort of compensation.
You know, some sort of cash refund, for being short-changed by a whole day...
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Lighting Up Your Life...

The ideal way to light up your life and your housebus. Maybe because it's a festive time, to make it easy to find in a crowded camping ground or the supermarket parking lot.
Or because you have shares in a LED lighting company...
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Friday, December 30, 2011

One Man's Dream...

There's a dreamer in all of us and
at The House Of Fallen Timbers, David Lottes is a man who lives his dream.
He's built this gorgeous little cabin from fallen trees that abound his property at Salt Fork on Illinois' Vermilion River.

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Tiny Abandoned Cabin In Iceland...

This delightful, seemingly abandoned asymmetrical tiny rustic cabin photographed by Oskar Steinn Omarsson is in Iceland's Straumsvik area.
Abandoned but not forgotten perhaps...
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

44,000 Year Old Tiny Neanderthal House Found In The Ukraine...

An interesting post on Michael Janzen's Tiny House Living today tells us that a 44,000 year old Neanderthal bone house has been found near Moldova in Eastern Ukraine.
It's 26 feet wide at its widest part and there's good evidence that these Neanderthals weren't stupid cavemen.
They evidently cooked vegetables, buried their dead, crafted their tools, produced jewelry and probably had language.
They seem to have disappeared about 10,000 years after modern man arrived in Europe.
Further evidence that these people were very smart but why did they wait so long...
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Zane Grey's Log Cabin In The Wilderness...

Zane Grey's tiny log cabin in the wilderness is built by the Rogue River in Winkle Bar, Oregon.
This prolific author loved travelling and fishing and even ventured to New Zealand's Bay of Islands for some big game fishing.
He's said to have fished more than three hundred days a year.
And I guess the fish were as tall as his tales...
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Christmas At The Field Lab...

John Wells over at The Field Lab way out there at his Terlingua Ranch in the Texas desert got all dressed up for Christmas.
Thought I'd show you sooner than later because it's only 369 days till next Christmas.
How time flies...
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Motorhomes From Yesterday...

I thought you might like these wonderful old character homes-on-the-road from yesterday. Well, not quite yesterday, perhaps a few days before.
Ingenuity has been alive and well since forever.
If you can dream it, you can do it...

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Living On A Shoestring...

A few more images of Shoestring.
See the previous post for the story of this little floating home.
She was launched amid much celebrations with my then partner Uschi having the well deserved honour of breaking the bottle of bubbly on her bow.
If you can dream it, you can do it...

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Living On A Shoestring...

As you know, necessity is the mother of invention.
When Uschi and I abandoned my dis-masted yacht Sofia after we'd rolled 360 degrees in the Pacific in '94 and were returned safely to New Zealand aboard the French Navy's Jacques Cartier, some invention was certainly necessary.
Shoestring, the 10 metre junk rigged live-aboard yacht was the result of a lot of dreaming well before the event that pre-empted her building.
Hard work, lateral and creative thinking followed with much goodwill and generosity from many wonderful people.
Sofia was uninsured and on my return, I had nothing except the clothes I was wearing. I had no money and no possessions. It was a wonderful state to be in. Nothingness. You don't need to paint it, insure it, nobody will steal it, it doesn't need cleaning or maintaining.
It was a totally freeing state to be in. For a while.
A plan was hatched, the criteria for this yacht was well established. It was based on 'Kiss'. The 'Keep it Simple Stupid' principle.
And too, the invaluable advice from Annie Hill's wonderful classic 'How to' book, 'Voyaging On A Small Income'. A life changing publication that I still refer to today.
Then I met the larger than life Gary Underwood, creative yacht designer, fellow lateral thinker and now, lifetime friend. Between us, Shoestring was designed.
Generous friends and friends I didn't know I had formed the 'Shoestring Club' and made the building of this yacht possible.
Shoestring is hard-chine, plywood on Kwila frame, shallow draft with very simple systems. Solar panels for power of course, an outboard motor in a well, and a simple and robust anchoring system.
The twin sinks in the galley are twenty litre buckets that lift out easily to empty over the side. The toilet is a simple porta-potty.
Water is stored in many ten litre containers.
She took a year to build with much assistance from the students at Auckland's Unitec Boatbuilding School who treated the project as part of their curriculum.
The result was a wonderful. spacious, fun, floating home that I lived aboard for six years.
And then I built my first housetruck.
But that's another story...

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Anyone For Tennis...

German photographer and artist Frank Kunert has a lot of talent and a wonderful sense of humour.
I found him over at recently.
Frank creates incredibly detailed miniature models of everyday situations with a humorous twist that could take weeks or months to complete.
Then he photographs these dioramas which lampoon modern society.
And as we know, society is ripe for lampooning...
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Living Simply In A Small Space...

It's pretty cute isn't it.
It's Diana and Michael's 'Innermost House'.
Kent Griswold featured it recently on his Tiny House Blog after he'd been to visit. He was impressed with his new friends delightful solution to getting away from it all.
It's only 144 square feet. The living room is 7 feet x 12 feet and is 12 feet high.
Don't you love all the natural wood.
There 's no electricity and all cooking and water heating happens in the fire place.
It doesn't look that efficient to me but evidently it does the job .
Diana is an 'inspirational speaker' on the pleasures of 'the simple life' of which there are many...

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Alone In The Wilderness...

Dick Proenneke spent the summer of 1967 in Alaska, exploring the Twin Lakes area and looking for an ideal site to build a cabin.
He then set to cutting up logs to be used the next year.
It's thought that this gorgeous old cabin, photographed by Emily, a geology student from Canada and featured recently by Kent Griswold on his Tiny House Blog, is the cabin that Dick built.
It measures 14 feet x 11 with a gravel floor, a dutch door, a fireplace and a moss covered roof.
Dick built the cabin and all the furniture using only hand tools.
He lived a solitary existence there for thirty years. A latter day Thoreau.
When he left Twin Lakes for the last time in 1999, he was 82 years old.
Before he died in 2003, he gifted the cabin to the Lake Clark National Park for all who visited to enjoy...
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Strawberry Fields Forever...

Strawberry Fields by Rob Carey.
I featured him here a couple of weeks ago.
His art is simply delightful...
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