Redneck Sustainability: Urban Scrappers

scrap metalWhen I say “urban scrapper,” I’m not talking about some underground Sunday night fight club for hipsters with too much kempt up frustration, I’m talking about today’s savvy, entrepreneurial recycler of society’s droppings.

This duty has increasingly been taken up by the growing and noble urban class of redneck–the urban scrapper. And the rest of us, who wince or even shudder with disgust at the idea of getting intimate with the undoing of our daily cast-off (Cast-off: (n.) the dreck that ripples outward in the wake of a typical modern life on a daily basis) owe the scrapper a profound debt of gratitude.

You see, while I’m sustainability conscientious, like most of us, I’m dastardly lazy. [Read more...]

The West Needs More Western

The American West CowboyFor many, the contemporary icon of the Western genre is that of the semi-nomadic wanderer or the knight errant–the pale rider. While that is a Western motif, it’s usually shown in contrast to the frontier, societal enclave from which fate has removed the rider.

The larger motifs of classic Western literature and film revolve around the local social order maintained by personal codes of honor that are strictly enforced. Abstract law is for sissies and Yankees. Westerns grow organically from the fertile soil of independence and libertarianism.

With a hoe in one hand and a rifle in the other, tough men and women etch meaningful existences from the harsh wilderness environment using their wit and fortitude. Those desiring to exploit the land for easy gain or to pillage others are the enemy. Most simply, the Western is a morality tale caked with dust and manure. And this, dear reader, is what I think Western civilization needs a bit more of presently (both morality and manure). [Read more...]

One True Pants: Anniversary and Wake

bowed headWe’ve done it. The process has taken every bit of tensile strength OTP could muster. But the day has come. It’s official. OneTruePants are dead. Long live OneTruePants.

At midnight tonight it will have been 365 days that the same pair of hemp pants have adorned my blessed lower half. (Heroic music begins as OTP montage rolls.) We’ve had some great times together, and nothing less than the glory of the afterlife will be able to fill the drafty emptiness OTP will leave behind (in all our hearts). But the pants are truly spent.

Through summer heat, winter chill, dirty diapers, spit-up, diarrhea, dog bite, roofing, demolition, wine, chocolate, chili and BBQ, dancing, laughing, crying, two weddings and a funeral, my one true pants have been my rod and my comforter (wait, that sounds familiar). [Read more...]

Redneck Sustainability: Paint Glove Philosophy

Pipe corrals suppliesSome of my uninitiated readers may yet be ignorant of such things as paint gloves or paint mitts. But they’re essentially paint brushes you wear on your hands, used mostly for painting pipe and such. As a young redneck I spent much of one glorious summer gently caressing the underbellies of mile after mile of pipe while wearing said paint glove.

The job at hand was to freshen up the pipe corrals on the family ranch which consisted of enough lots, runs, gates, chutes and ladders to create a dozen life-sized redneck versions of the child’s board game. Lest you think I exaggerate, I’ve included a photograph of a stockpile of metal pipe of which I’m sure would be insufficient to represent the amount of pipe constituted by our corrals.

The six-pipe-high corral, (redneck maze of pipe) equalled a butt-load of rustoleum red paint and a couple dozen lambs wool paint gloves. If it hadn’t of been for the tinny, ranch truck radio set to 94.9 the EDGE and basking me in Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus, and Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend, I would have truly gone mad. [Read more...]

My Superhero for Climate Change

The last thing the world needs now is another Batman zipping around saving the world with his high-tech gizmos while driving a gas-guzzling batmobile. Sure he can come up with some expensive project to remove the CO2 from the atmosphere that his playboy lifestyle contributes, but how does this help joe-schmucks like the rest of us?
If you follow the sustainability buzz (which I know you don’t, because let’s face it, you’re not pathetic like me), then you would already be familiar with terms like “bright green,” “light green,” and “dark green” beyond their use as descriptors of hue. [Read more...]

Appraisals, Home Sales and Green Lies

McMansion under construction by merfam

Remember when people where trending on such topics as “downsizing” and “simple living?”  It seems like just yesterday.  With untold McMansions listing in their weed-infested suburbs across the U.S. it would seem that the time was indeed ripe for reason to reenter our housing market and smaller footprints and more practical usage of square footage to be valued and rewarded.  The only problem is that downsizing is easy to talk about and hard to do.

American’s love things big.  As my wife and I have listed our 4 bed 3 bath, 1990 sq. ft. home in SLC for sale we have discovered that it is too small to demand top dollar (in our current crappy homes market).  I thought such a home would be ideal for all the people who have been talking about downsizing from their 3,000 sq. ft. 3 bed and 3 bath houses.  But, apparently there aren’t any such people.  What there are, are people who are looking for their first home and finding that 2,000 sq. ft. just isn’t big enough. [Read more...]

Green Fads Inevitably Die, but How?

Yeti by Philippe Semeria

The only question in regards to the death of the current green enthusiasm is, “Will the new green fad die via popular adoption, or via wholesale abandonment?”  Well, I guess this is the first question, not the only.  The second one would be, “What will green living look like when it is either abandoned or adopted?”

An intelligent reader (I know you are out there!) would of course respond, “Well, economical solutions will be adopted while unrealistic and utopian greening will be abandoned.”  And while making sense, this sort of reasoning with the American people is redonculous at best and dangerous madness at worst.  Just look at corn ethanol, still going strong all these years despite its fairly wide-known economic unfeasibility.  And we all know that the milk of the female Yeti could be a financial boon for holistic medicine if someone would just put in the hard work to create a Yeti milking program, or at least learn to synthesize the stuff. [Read more...]