Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lovely tiny house

Consider watching this with the sound off if the voices enrage. This a beautiful little house. What do you like? What do you question?


Michael Haz said...

Let's see.

First of all, I'm a fan of small houses. I like the concept, although I'd be stressed to live in a home of less than about 800 square feet. I need a bit of space.

Second, as a home builder I can say several things about the home in the video. It was very expensive to build. It has a very high level of fit and finish. Wood beams, wood ceiling, careful plastering, wood floors, Kohler plumbing fixtures, stone fireplace, etc.

It has running water, and no rain barrels to catch water running off of the roof, so there's a well somewhere. And electricity to run the pump. And there's a septic system somewhere.

The food she was preparing was all store-bought produce. You can tell by how it looks that it isn't garden produce. Besides, there is no garden and no refrigerator and no place to store preserved vegetables. Living in her small house is car-dependent. There is a car parked somewhere on the property, probably in a shed that also houses the tools necessary to maintain the place.

Her dress and speaking mode are affectations. Look at her hands - they are not the hands of a woman who is living off of the land. Her nails are too perfect for that.

This little retreat is just that - a retreat from wherever she actually lives. It's nice work, though, very high level of craftsmanship, far beyond a do-it-yourself project. And I doubt that it is fully compliant with the CABO One and Two Family Residential Building Code.

KCFleming said...

Eco-slumming, Buddhist blackface, Marie Antoinette redux.

Affectation, indeed.
Excellent eyes, Haz.

KCFleming said...

Nice place.
12x12 would be good for one.
But two? Not full-time.
A weekend retreat, maybe.

deborah said...

I should have added this from the 'about' section of the video:

"Seven years ago Diana and Michael Lorence moved to a 12-foot-square home without electricity in the coastal mountains of Northern California.
They're not back-to-the-land types- they're not growing their own food, nor raising animals-, but, like Thoreau, they were looking for a place where they could get away from the noise of society and focus on their inner lives.
For nearly 30 years they have lived in tiny houses, often in guest homes, though their current abode is the smallest and most fitting their needs. It was designed by Michael based on their experiences living in nearly 20 tiny homes across the country before finally settling here.
They don't have electricity nor any other type of alternative energy (i.e. solar power). They don't have a refrigerator so they eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts.
There's also no oven, but Diana says she doesn't bake anyway and she cooks their meals with their one cast iron pot over the fire. The fire is also their source of hot water, heat and light (in addition to candles).
The Lorences are a private couple, but recently they have begun to speak out more about their lives in hopes of showing others that options such as theirs exist.
Until now, the couple has turned down requests appear on video, not wanting to be categorized as simply another couple choosing to live in a tiny space. So I was pleasantly surprised when Diana and Michael agreed to let me visit their home with my camera."

My biggest question is how do they run the pump to get the water with no electricity at all? A small water tower near-by to which they have water delivered? A pipe to a water table at a higher elevation? City water?

virgil xenophon said...

And wait until they age and acquire arthritic knees and/or hands.. That trip up & down that vertical ladder won't be much fun, will it?

I saw a TV piece back circa 1999 about a women subjecting her children to that sort of Colonial-style living--drawing water from the river, using large black pot in fireplace for cooking/hot water, etc. They interviewed her 90s-somthing grandmother who had grown up in much the same circumstances of necessity rather than as a trendy experiment. "Not me," she exclaimed. "Never again. I've got every electric labor-saving appliance in my kitchen and house known to man!" (basically, from her tone of voice, she thought her grand-daughter a goddamn fool, lol..)

XRay said...

Could be a year around spring tapped off to a cistern above the house. Not much pressure coming out of that faucet.

Living small has its advantages and as mentioned this is a well built and lovely home in which to do so. But all in all other than as a 'retreat' of some sort I wouldn't want to live there full time. Don't have the temperamate for it, especially with another person in such small surroundings.

Oh, I did leave the sound off, sounds as if it was a good choice.

The Dude said...

These stories are all battle space preparation for when living in shanties will be deemed luxury. LUXURY!

Give up, middle class, you have been defeated. Now return to your shack and know your place.

It's propaganda all the way down.

XRay said...

And what virgil said. Once electricity reached the backwoods of southern Georgia my farmer granny wasted no time in aquiring the accoutrements of modern civilization.

deborah said...

Virgil and X, you remind me of the time I was at a party where the decor was gray, weathered barn board paneling with old rusty farm tools, such as a bowed two-man saw, affixed to the walls. A seventy-something guest was not impressed as it reminded her of the bad-old days.

On the other hand, in my mom's basement there are two old laundry rinse tubs (I don't think either have an agitator) with an old door over them as a work bench. She knows I want them one day. She's like, 'really?' I just like them.

bagoh20 said...

Humans have the capacity to find beauty and satisfaction in and endless number of things both simple and complex, new or old. If you are not finding enough of that, then just keep looking, testing, tasting. Maybe that search itself is the thing you were made to savor.

As to the house, I just always need more space. I live alone (for 4 more weeks) in a 4 bedroom house, and it's still too small. Maybe that's because living in a big city, you always feel that you are crowded.

Similarly, although I love the woods intensely and that setting looks beautiful, I need to see space around me, wide open vistas, distant horizons. It's just a personal aesthetic I have. I think it's a need to know what is around me, what is happening out there, what is or who is coming. I'm one of those guys who is always preparing, watching, planning for trouble. It completely consumes me a lot of the time.

"Life is what happens when you are busy making plans" perfectly describes me.

deborah said...

Sixty, I don't think so. I'm sure there's a parallel somewhere, but some people are just attracted to this. I know I am.

The Dude said...

People can live in a hovel if they care to, just don't push it as a "lifestyle" - these stories are part and parcel of the anti-private property movement, the general desire of large government to control the lives of people all the way down to making them think that a cardboard box in a hole is glamorous. The press is just doing its part pushing this agenda.

Progressives are opposed to progress. Their most profound desire is that society regresses to a degree that power and warmth and physical security are no longer within reach of the common person, and that the elites live lives of ever greater wealth.

Now get back into your government project housing and quit whining.

deborah said...

"Similarly, although I love the woods intensely and that setting looks beautiful, I need to see space around me, wide open vistas, distant horizons. It's just a personal aesthetic I have."

Yeah. I've thought this over, and my dream cottage, not tiny house, would be near a semi-swift stream, surrounded by trees, but just past the trees would be open field.

"I think it's a need to know what is around me, what is happening out there, what is or who is coming. I'm one of those guys who is always preparing, watching, planning for trouble. It completely consumes me a lot of the time."

Once my sister's husband was setting up a kids' swimming pool in my mom's back yard. It came with an electric filter pump and all. I watched. Waited. He got done with setting up the pool and started putting the boxes away. One of he kids asked, 'aren't you going to set up the filter?' He nodded over to me and said, 'do you think she'd let me put electricity near water?' I laughed because he knew me.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Where to begin?

First. It is a nice little retreat cabin. Pretty and tastefully done. It gives me some ideas for the little sitting house/cabin that we are planning to put into a nook of the garden. Ours is going to be more rustic and basically a spot where we can sit, read, listen to the birds and will be mostly open to the rest of the property and view.

I sincerely doubt that they actually LIVE in the place.

Haz pretty much nails it.

The pretentiousness burns. Her itty bitty soft voice philosophizing while surrounded by a VERY EXPENSIVE play cabin makes me want to punch her face.

Food: obviously they do not garden or do any REAL work, as observed by Haz. They drive a car to the store probably every few days that they are there. It must be garaged close by and is probably an upper end vehicle. Beemer.

Water: as the wife of The Dumbplumber who's business is wells, pumps and water system delivery, the first thought was no electricity??? Really....then how are you getting water out of a well or even out of a surface source like a running stream. Unless they have a spring above them and use a gravity feed storage tank there must be electricity. She didn't seem too concerned about wasting running water which tells me it is an easy and unlimited (in her mind) source.

Books: all for show. I doubt that she has read any of them.

Laundry? Soap? Candles? Matches? Tools?

I also object to the Northern California designation. Probably somewhere in Marin County or Santa Cruz looking at the trees and vegetation. That is NOT Northern California.

deborah said...

"Progressives are opposed to progress. Their most profound desire is that society regresses to a degree that power and warmth and physical security are no longer within reach of the common person, and that the elites live lives of ever greater wealth."

Progress, to progressives, is streamlining efficiency.

The Dude said...

I hear that DBQ - when I lived in Santa Clara I was amazed that was considered Norcal. If that is Northern California what is Weed - southern British Colombia?

Does Norcal begin in Big Sur? Morro Bay? Monterrey? Mission Viejo? San Ysidro?

Mumpsimus said...

More stuff for the rest of us.

deborah said...

The 'about' info indicates they live there.

DBQ, good question about the laundry. If all the water is heated on that little fire burner, or even if they hang a large pot over the fire, it would take a long time to fill the bathtub to do laundry. Maybe she beats her clothes on a rock the river.

What bothers me most is the 'perfection' of the book collection worked into the decor. Maybe they are making their way through the ancient classics, Shakespeare, the modern classics, and an encyclopedia or three.

Shouting Thomas said...

My cabin in the Catskills is 800 sq. ft. Perfect.

Paid for, too.

Trying to convince my girlfriend to retire there. Minimal expenses and upkeep, so we'd be free to travel.

She isn't ready to quit work.

lemondog said...

A play on naturalist Henry Beston’s The Outmost House

The Outermost House presents us with a time, a place, and a man. The time and place, Cape Cod in the mid-1920's: a wild, windswept outpost of the land. Dominated by ocean and weather, this landscape has been long inhabited but never domesticated. Here, to a tiny house set alone on a dune above the sea, a man has come in solitude to watch, and listen, and bear witness. He watches on winter nights as fishing schooners, last vestiges of the age of sail, move slowly beyond the bar, or come to frozen grief upon it. He listens to the myriad voices of the surf, and attempts, in words, a faithful notation of the music he has heard. He bears witness to the comings and goings of constellations and tides, the nightly patrols of the coast guardsmen who walk the beach; he ponders the dark imperatives that lie behind the migrations of birds and fish, the mysterious "peoples of the sea." Into the vast bright days of autumn he goes, and we go with him, gathering driftwood against the winter nights; in spring we walk inland over the greening moorland, off to meet the alewife run; in summer we kindle our cooking fire on the beach, and sleep between sand-dunes as the constellations wheel above us.

Is this not the life we all dream of?

In 1925 Henry Beston wrote:

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

lemondog said...

Scroll down for Innermost House response on laundry and other things.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Similarly, although I love the woods intensely and that setting looks beautiful, I need to see space around me, wide open vistas, distant horizons. It's just a personal aesthetic I have."

I'm with you on that. Before moving to where I live now, I was in an area that was beautiful piney forests. Lush greenery. Literally Paradise. Ca. However you couldn't see past your yard and it was lush because it rained all the effing time. Now I live in an area where you can see for miles. Whenever I get back to our area and open to the wide spaces, I feel the tension leaving my body and breath a big sigh of relief. Here is the view from my deck

Winter sunrise

Give me land lots of land. Don't fence me in

I HAVE lived in very small quarters. When I was a child (until about 4th grade) our family of four lived in a single wide travel trailer 35ft x 8ft (280 sq ft). This was our HOUSE. We traveled in it and lived in it for years while my parents worked all over the country. (Printers).

My first house that I actually owned was about 850 square feet. Three of us. You must be organized and neat to keep from being cluttered. Nothing can be out of place.

Small houses, may be appealing in theory but in reality......they suck. No matter how pretty, expensive or well appointed, to permanently live in such a small space is very difficult.

The Dude said...

A fluff and fold service.

What a bunch of phonies. Bums, too. Fucking schnorrers.

And for the record, I have a 12x12 building, very tastefully appointed, but I use it as a shed.

Chip Ahoy said...

Deborah, exactly. The books are a bit overly too twee, and yet just perfect for the little nob who does not know what Luddite means. Wasn't that perfect?

Good thing Northern California doesn't have any bears. [bears northern california] Oops. Hey, there's a bear on their flag.

Because a bear could rip through that shack in five seconds flat. Possible exaggeration. So where it the rifle. Oh, she has no use nor room for such things as nasty weapons.

News item: woman found mauled in tiny storage shed.

I know a guy who owns a small house.

But he rented that and lived in a shack on the same property instead, so landlord in the shack, renter in the house.

I visited the shack. 1 minute and clausterphobiaxxx closterphobiaxxxxxx a feeling of unease sets in. Plus it is cold. Bathes at the Community Center. Eats elsewhere.

I said, "This is worse than David Thoreau." A big fan, he smiled broadly and goes, "Huh. I honestly did not think of that. "

No. You acted it out without imagining, "I saw this done somewhere."

virgil xenophon said...


Or how 'bout a fire extinguisher (or seeming lack thereof) for the inevitable fire that comes with using all those candles everywhere around the "house?"

deborah said...

Chip, I deleted my Luddite sentence to give her the benefit of the doubt. We all have words we don't know, but most other do.

Which reminds me, I was watching a Bloggingheads recently and a young politico was pronouncing a common word incorrectly. Can't recall the word, but it didn't matter, because it happens to us all occasionally.

deborah said...

She very well may have a firearm. I see nothing to suggest otherwise.

And a cell phone.

deborah said...

I'm certain she has a brass-finished fire extinguisher displayed artfully somewhere.

The Dude said...

She might chip a nail handling a firearm.

She is a pacifist. The "Siddhartha" reference is the clue.

No worries, faux poor person, the police will be out at your place in an hour or two. You will get the same response time as real poor people.

deborah said...

Lemondog, thanks for the beautiful quotes, I will check out your links :)

deborah said...

Good point, Sixty. Also a vegetarian. I wonder how genteel folk handle massive flatulence in a tiny house?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

She very well may have a firearm. I see nothing to suggest otherwise.

And a cell phone.

They should have a gun in the area. Wild animals, mountain lions, bears Oh My! abound.

How is she charging up her cell phone?

The little cabin IS lovely. The pretentious sanctimony is not.

Methadras said...

Effete neo-luddites who shun electricity and drive their car to their tiny home somewhere in NorCal so they can get away from it all for a while, so they can drive back to another tiny home with no electricity. Gosh, they are so zen.

The Dude said...

Thank you DBQ for the proper summation.

deborah said...

"How is she charging up her cell phone?"

I doubt they're but 30 minutes from the nearest electrical outlet...Starbuck's, Barnes and Noble's, etc.

But maybe she does want to be in complete pseudo-isolation.

"The little cabin IS lovely. The pretentious sanctimony is not."

Pretentious yes, sanctimonious, meh. "I would have the whole world live as the wish, but for me..." (paraphrase)

Methadras said...

Actually this entire video is just one giant pretentious ass-hat-ry showcasing more pretentious ass-hat-ry.

The Dude said...

I have a hand cranked cell phone recharger, but then again, I am rustic and know how to do things, so maybe I am closer to some sort of Waldenesque ideal. Yeah, I am not, but then again, I try not to spend time in jail, either.

My manual arts skills came in handy during the recent ice storm - I was able to keep the cell phone working when all else was not, and I was able to use a chainsaw to remove all the storm damaged trees that fell on my land.

Good luck to her should so much as a branch fall in her pristine wilderness.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I'm not interested in attacking these people. Live and let live.

But questions? Here we go:

1. Where does their income come from? Do they work? Live off accumulated wealth or pensions? It's certainly possible to earn a living that doesn't require electricity, but not many people can do that.

2. What about hospitality?

3. What about children?

There are only a limited number of places where someone could make this work. "Northern California" is probably one of them, assuming they neither face high summer heat or heavy ice and snow, nor tornadoes nor hurricanes.

In other words, as she says, this life isn't for everyone. To say the least: it's likely only possible for a narrow slice of folks.

All that said: living simply and not seeking happiness in stuff is divine wisdom.

The Dude said...

Fr Martin Fox wrote: "All that said: living simply and not seeking happiness in stuff is divine wisdom."

Well stated. But forgive me for finding happiness in a warm chainsaw, just sayin'. ;^)

Fr Martin Fox said...

Also, the diet looks extremely boring.

No meat. No fish? No baking (no mention if they buy baked goods). No mention of dairy. No mention of fresh fruit. I suppose one can get a balanced diet out of a pot of vegetables every day, but not easily. Vitamin C & D? Protein?

No mention of any spices or herbs, but vegetables-in-a-pot only yields so many options.

Nothing sauteed or fried, although they could do that over the fire.

Do they have beer or wine? Whisky?

They could have refrigeration of a sort for part of the year, if they have an area that is protected from animals, yet not heated. If there's a stream nearby, they could cool their beer there, although hauling bottled beer up there would be a pain.

Also, do they have a shower? We saw a toilet and a kitchen sink. A shower takes up a lot of room. And how do they heat water for a shower?

Where do they store things like towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, broom, mop, tools?

These are the sorts of questions I'd have asked had I done the interview.

The Dude said...

They are schnorrers. Beggars. Nothing wrong with that, so long as one is upfront about it.

Around here beggars are licensed and have to wear a reflective vest. Or run for office as a democrat.

deborah said...

Okay, I need to get a hand cranked cell phone charger. I keep losing my charging cord.

Martin asks the best question: What about hospitality? If there's a town a reasonable distance away, they could take people out to dinner. But I wonder if these are two people so completed in each other, they are a dual-recluse? But no. They spent 30 years often staying in people's guest houses, so the must have friends.

deborah said...

Scotch. Lots and lots of Scotch. And some primo weed.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Looking again, I did see some fruit and cheese sitting on the kitchen counter, so I guess they do eat those.

Still, it looks like a very dull diet.

And, from the tape: "no hot water."

Bathing options?

deborah said...

I'm pretty sure it said they heat their bath water over the fire.

virgil xenophon said...

Where does their income come from? Fe, fi fo fum, I smell the presence of trustafarians...buys LOTS of "serenity."

Christy said...

I was most struck by this tiny woman's shoulders barely clearing the bookcase as she walked by. Doubt EMTs could get into that space, much less a stretcher. I know from personal experience that I get squirrely when my movement is so restricted for any period of time. I don't panic in small spaces, I just get mean when I must maneuver carefully through space. Lab rats get violent when crowded, I've heard.

deborah said...

Meth, the narrator's voice killed me. Sounded like she was doing her best to imitate Terry Gross of Fresh Air(NPR).

deborah said...

Christy, the first time I watched, that bothered me. But when I looked again, I think it might have been trick of camera angle. That is, I think there's enough room to go comfortably though between the book case edge and the wall jut.

Fr Martin Fox said...


RE: bath water.

OK, well, let me think out loud about that...

1. There seems no room for a bathtub inside the cottage. So maybe they have an old-fashioned tub they pull out onto the porch?

2. How much water can they heat over that fire at one time?

3. I suppose you could fill most of the way with tepid water, then add boiling water and get something reasonably satisfactory. Does anyone here have actual experience with this?

4. All this assumes being fairly flexible and not too tall or wide. Most bathtubs I've ever seen are designed for people who are under six feet tall.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Like I said. They don't really LIVE there. It is a nice place to visit and get away. Relax. Meditate. Just sit outside, listen to the wind in the trees and the sounds of birds. Take long afternoon naps. Walk in the forest and drink in the smells of nature.

Live there all the time. Nope. They don't do that.

Rabel said...

It's coded as a guest house. It's on someone else's property. That allows them to bypass several otherwise restrictive residential zoning requirements which would make the whole set-up illegal.

They don't have a bath or shower. They sponge bathe in front of the sink. This means that they stink most of the time. The vegetarian induced flatulence is probably a relief from the normal odors of two unwashed people living in very close proximity.

Federal prison regulations for a two person cell require 35 feet of unencumbered floor space (free of furniture or fixtures) with at least a seven foot run in one direction. This is to prevent the inmates from going stir crazy.

Their little slice of heaven fails this requirement. It is too late for the smelly lady with a gas problem.

virgil xenophon said...

PS to Sixty@10:12 & 10:35am/

TOTALLY agree with you about the Govt & media "prepping the battlefield" propaganda bit..

deborah said...

Martin, I can't see them using a tub on the porch, but maybe inside. I'm positive they have a small, tasteful porcelain tub in which to sit, if not recline, and just keep the boiling water coming. As I said above, they probably have a bigger pot for sitting directly over the fire (on a rack.) Failing that, a shower stall that contains water heated by the sun, or some such.

One way I heard of taking a quick 'shower' is to fill a gallon milk jug with warm water. Pour just enough water to wet yourself and your washcloth. Shampoo and wash all over. Use the rest of the water to rinse.

Lydia said...

I followed the link provided by lemondog @11:09 AM and found two interesting tidbits:

First, this:

"We have moved many times, and have never owned a home. My husband is a private confidant and friend to people in public positions. Men come to him for the special kind of conversation he makes possible. Innermost House was built for us on the land of such a partner and friend. Many local building ordinances allow for small guesthouses."

hmm...private confident and friend to people in public positions

And then this from the owner's blog:

"For seven years my husband and I lived in an unelectrified, twelve-foot-square house hidden in the woods, in a world lit only by fire. Our life in the woods answered my deepest need for something the world has left behind. But the house was hidden in a way I could not openly share. Now we have gone to seek a new Innermost House where we may offer a wider hospitality."

So, they're no longer living there. Sounds as if they moved on to a bigger house, for "wider hospitality" and all.

Rabel said...

They moved out in 2011.

They're now either in a yurt on the Mongolian steppe or a Motel 6 in central Florida.

The Dude said...

I think his job was the "fluff and fold" service mentioned in the piece. Or at least the fluffing.

Lydia said...

The lady's husband is now working as a "tailor out of time." Here's his website. One word: precious.

Aridog said...

Okay, I watched the video and read the comments. I think Haz and Pogo nailed it in the first two. Call me a cynic.

Father Fox said... simply and not seeking happiness in stuff is divine wisdom.

While kind of cool, that place reeks, just screams expensive stuff. Not a cheap knob in the place. None.


I suppose you could fill most of the way with tepid water, then add boiling water and get something reasonably satisfactory. Does anyone here have actual experience with this?

I have actual experience with this kind of tiny tub bathing .... while I lived in Asia, in rural Korea I had a well, but not hot water...and bathing was in a stainless steel tub that also served as a laundry tub. A bath took about 2+ hours to manage start to finish. Not something I recommend..say in January and February.


1. How many people do you know who have enough friends who would let them squat on their property for a dozen or two years all over the place?

2. When does BLM and sundry federal services decide to raid the place because they don't own it? :-))

Summary: I guess I missed the "purpose" of this semi-gypsy lifestyle. I am a poor reader, however :(

deborah said...

Oh, wow, lemondog, my apologies. I missed that you were making a point about the name of their house, and pointing to her blog. I didn't click the second link because I wanted to explore Beston later.

Now all shall be answered. Sheesh.

deborah said...

"Leah, last week you asked about my husband's experience of leaving Innermost House. You wondered if it mirrors my own or if there are some subtle differences.

Michael and I are two sides of one life. It is only that I am this side of us and he is the other side. In many ways it was stranger for him than for me to leave Innermost House. To the visiting world of our guests, he was Innermost House."


Dust Bunny Queen said...

Having looked at her blog, which reads like a mooney teenager's diary, and the husband's website, which says absolutely nothing......I can confirm that if I were ever so unfortunate to be attending function or at a party that they were attending, I would run away as fast as I could.

Another example of: when the shit hits the fan...these are the types of people we must throw over the cliff if the rest of us are to survive.

Lydia said...


About the mechanics and purpose of this "semi-gypsy lifestyle" -- there's this from the husband's website:

"Michael’s search wasn't over. It kept him moving until he finally moved right off our geographic map, finally breaking through to another world where he lived for years, hidden away in a secret mountain retreat. There he focused entirely on a very intense, private kind of cultural work with his chief executive guests who valued him above all just for his conversation."

It wasn't just the two of them all by their lonesome. There were guests. And paying ones, I assume.

deborah said...

If the shit hits the fan these types will die in droves.

This reminds me of what you-know-who used to warn about when he talked of cults and whackos.

Rabel said...

"...these are the types of people we must throw over the cliff if the rest of us are to survive."

Hey, a good tailor could come in handy.

Fr Martin Fox said...


So the original video is basically a con.

Had the narrator (narratress?) said something like...

Michael and Diana can only live like this because...

Oops -- then no one would have taken much interest then, huh?

ricpic said...

Ah, But There Was A Motive, Inspector

Complete emptiness --
It's what's for supper.

The ax in the shed
Was for to kill her
When the stress
Of deadend bliss
Lived cheek to jowl
With perfect Miss
Made him up fed.

Fr Martin Fox said...

His "tailoring" website is exceedingly strange.

Did it ever show anything of his work? I didn't find it.

Curiously, there was a glancing reference to Atlas Shrugged. Was that one of the books on the bookshelf?

Quick Quiz: which characters from Atlas Shrugged do Michael and Diane most remind you of?

Lydia said...

Hey, don’t knock it – just look at what a conversation with Michael can do:

“Amazing! That was one of my all-time favorite experiences! To have someone that wise, with so much understanding, guiding in such a casual, gentle way, is just heaven to me. It doesn't get any better than a conversation with Michael." — Mr. Rob Morrow, Actor and Filmmaker

A wee bit too much Northern Exposure for Mr. Morrow perhaps?

bagoh20 said...

I have to admit that the description of his clients is very appealing to me. Never heard such a description of men before, and though it may prove me less than humble, I imagine myself something like that, or at least aim to be. It's a pretty novel approach to my experience.

Our clients are the solitary men who bear the weight of their worlds. They are honest. They are courageous. They have made their way in the world by seeing clearly the truth of the way things are, and the possibility of the way things might be. They want facts, not fantasy. They want the truth.

In a world so diffuse as ours it takes a long time for a man to mature. It requires all the cumulative force of his years to negotiate the great opportunity of middle life today: the evolution from the sphere of worldly power and wealth to the sphere of authentic personal culture.

Most of our clients have held the contemporary world of high culture at arm's length for most of their lives—not for incapacity, but because they have too deep a respect for reality to be impressed by names and appearances. They prefer anything real, however lowly, to anything superficial or false, however apparently high.

They generally do not regard themselves as well educated or "cultured," nor do their families. They are sometimes a little rough around the edges. They are distinguished not so much by their refinement as by their solidity. They are men of substance. You cannot pass your hand through them lightly.

Our clients are chief executives or professionals, often founders of their own enterprises. They accept responsibility for their own actions and for the wide circle of people around them. They know most of their employees by name, interest themselves in their personal lives, and do their judicious best to guide them.

They are bold but realistic, generous but just. They do not gladly suffer fools and are not easily fooled themselves. They value honor above gain and exertion over ease. They would rather give than receive. They keep their promises. They pay their debts. They say less and do more. They do not complain, though they often have good reason to complain.

In earlier times they were the chieftains, hunters, heroes, gentlemen. Today they have no name and no honored role in the world. They are leading men, but they lead quietly, often in out-of-the-way places, keeping themselves off stage. They live under siege in a world that values novelty over maturity."

ricpic said...

Cheek to jowl. That's almost as bad as not knowing what luddite means. Cheek by jowl, dammit.

bagoh20 said...

Still, I have no idea what it has to do with clothes.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"...these are the types of people we must throw over the cliff if the rest of us are to survive."

Hey, a good tailor could come in handy.

Not if he talks incessantly like his wife and makes twee little holistic suits when what we really need would be some sturdy hunting gear, work clothes and aprons. Not interested in deep conversations, (when TSHTF) more interested in getting stuff done.

I can sew ;-)

These people are baggage.

bagoh20 said...

Or conversation. I don't want to talk to him.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Reading all that about Michael's astonishing power of "conversation" reminded me of this:

bagoh20 said...

He understands his target audience well.

The Dude said...

Thanks for posting that, Fr. Martin - that was one of my favorite Star Trek movies (I know, I know), but I read the novelized version of the script and I like the concepts laid out in the story.

Scottie, naturally, relates Sybok to the Scottish legend of "pain eaters", and I liked how when they reach their goal in their quest, the learn that fences have two distinct purposes.

I am sure some may see hints of other stories contained in that one. I shall leave that work to others.

Christy said...

The carefully modulated voice of the wife is one I associate with educated abused women. So very careful not to offend. YMMV

MamaM said...

So the original video is basically a con.

The Innermost Hoax.
Lovely and contrived.

On the other end of the scale, I'm still having difficulty wrapping my mind around Giant Jenga as an indoor, coffee table game. Seems better suited to outsized outdoor picnic tables where eroding trust and compromised structure can be discussed, and those who need a whack on the side of the head can receive one.

I'm tired of hoaxes.

Methadras said...

I'm really surprised that pretentious, affectation lady hasn't learned about non-electrical refrigerations via evaporative cooling methods. Simply pacifistic and she could the earthen pots from cruelty free, fair trade, non-conflict areas. /sarcasm

Methadras said...

Non-electrical refrigeration

Amartel said...

It's a teeny tiny cult.

Methadras said...

deborah said...

Meth, the narrator's voice killed me. Sounded like she was doing her best to imitate Terry Gross of Fresh Air(NPR).

Exactly. Thank you I was trying to pin her particular affectation down and you nailed it. I HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE NPR PRETENTIOUS VOICE DOUCHEBAGGERY!!!

ricpic said...

Blood pressure, Methadras, blood pressure! They're not worth it. Be calm and majestical like me ha ha ha ha ha.....

Hey, I grew up in NYC where the impossible ones are thick on the ground. At a certain point you come to, if not accept it, be resigned to it.

Fr Martin Fox said...


I'm actually more put off by the video than by the people themselves.

The Lorences may seem rather odd, and precious, but that's their business. And whoever provided the land, and all the other forms of assistance, that's their business.

But the video paints a picture of a couple who are living simply and if on their own. And that's a lie.

The Lorences aren't (necessarily) liars; whoever made the video is.

deborah said...

Meth, once we were in the car and my daughter heard, 'I'm Terry Gross, and this Fresh Air,' and my daughter commented, 'sounds more like stale air.'

deborah said...

lol Amartel.

Rabel said...

The shit-don't-stink pretentiousness really touches a nerve, doesn't it.

Maybe they're just better people than me and I'm envious and defensive and unable to accept their superiority.

Or maybe they're just self-possessed twits who put a lot of effort into a particular style of stroking their own egos.

I think I'll go throw the main breaker and have a conversation about it. In the master bedroom closet for extra authenticity.

ndspinelli said...

Ted Kaczynski approves.

Synova said...

I like small and simple... wouldn't do without meat. Wouldn't climb a ladder to bed. I didn't really like the house. It seemed sterile. And it did seem like playing house... playing-acting simplicity. Like the SCA but higher class and far less fun.

It *was* weird that the books were all of the obviously not-read category.

Agree that the guy sounds like a cultist... no one gets given houses and places to live built like that because they're great at conversation. I can't help but assume that he's "selling something".

Only they know the truth, I suppose. And I suppose it's possible that the guy is just a really good listener and what he "sells" is benign.

I would love a cabin in the middle of nowhere... really in the middle of nowhere and not just around a corner to give an illusion that no one is near, though an illusion is better than not. It's not that I find the *idea* unbelievable or unappealing.

As for the food... I'm thinking that they eat at other people's tables, often.

Oh, and obvious phone-charging opportunity is in the car on the way to Whole Foods three times a week.

Synova said...

I mean... are there no poor people who would benefit from the sort of counsel that this amazing man provides?

Aridog said...

Let's hope this pair doesn't gather a larger group and move to Guyana.

Just saying....


Unknown said...

I was talking to a professional painter the other day. He was charged with painting all the front doors at a complex in the steelyards. Anyway, he poked his head in the door at my aunt's old place. It's looking really sweet now that we have it emptied, cleaned, painted and staged. It's about 800sq ft.
Anyway, he told me he does a lot of work to help our WWII and Vietnam veterans. Many of them are living in really horrible living conditions. They have money coming in from Social Security and VA benefits, (as much as 2500/month) but the government takes most of that money and then provides them decrepit housing. Typical government scam. Often these old men are toothless and hooked up to morphine. Their end of life care is miserable.

I asked him where some of these VA housing saturations were located. He rattled off a few cross stress in Denver. Colfax and Grey. I remember that one. I plan to go down and take a look. I find it gut wrenching to hear of this. It pisses me off. It makes me think of all our of government waste and Obama's comments on - hey - "just take a pain pill."
What are the democrats in power(they are in power) doing for our Vets? Jack squat.

Unknown said...

saturations = situations.

Amartel said...

April-it's a preview of what's in store for all of us under Obamacare.

Amartel said...

I had a look at the video last night and the voices don't bother me that much. The narrator/"film maker" is a bit NPRish in her precise enunciations but is not one of those annoying overenunciators. (I can't stand overenunciators. Also unexpected random ambush accenters.) There is a space between the words which is refreshing for a Californian who is used to words and sometimes entire sentences blending into each other. I also note that the subject of the piece specifically says she's not trying to convert anyone, just be an example for people like herself who don't feel at home in greater society. Okay then but isn't that everybody at some point. Should we all move to the woods and live in a twee house? (She would probably say yes.) She's like Joan Baez in the Joan Didion story "Where the Kissing Never Stops" about some disaffected hippy children who visit with Joan Baez at her "ranch" in Carmel and they sit around talk about their feelings and how they are bruised by the real world out there. Except all her "children" write in on her blog. The husband seems like a long con man. Teeny tiny cult.

deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

"And I suppose it's possible that the guy is just a really good listener and what he "sells" is benign."

I keep picturing that Nick Nolte movie 'Down and Out in Beverly Hills.' Living in tiny quarters on other people's properties, comforting them.

The thing bago quoted sounded in a way like finishing school for men who grew up in a non-classy way.

Perry said...

So many presumptions about people folks here have learned known for six minutes. That's a sad commentary on humanity. Michael Anthony Lorence has built something for himself in a way that suits him. That's what his website tells me. What's more, leading men (and women) admire, appreciate and PAY for what he's developed. So much so, if you have to ask "how much" you can't afford his words....let alone his tailoring services.

Folks here may not realize: oftentimes made men consulted their service people: cooks, caddies, TAILORS as a source of unconventional wisdom. Lorence is carrying on that tradition with great success. His partner is his other half. A perfect fit if you ask me. Disparaging comments about their lives, their choices and their written words (which I find stunningly deep) only go to show how little people here understand what they are doing and how they are living. They both march to a different drum. I for one agree with that and find it refreshing in the extreme.

Amartel said...

Perry, you're making presumptions, too, right? Many of the presumptions that have been made by other people here are based on observed data, not just the words of the Lorences. Those presumptions are not invalid simply because they do not agree with your presumptions. It's true that "made men" (what a phrase to describe the successful) consult with people of lesser means for perspective. It's also true that there is a long and ongoing history in America of charming con men (and women ... Oprah) selling salvation, spiritual or in a bottle or with words.