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...]

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.┬áIf 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...]

Redneck Sustainability: the Dirt Wash

windmillLet’s talk about the dirt wash. Working on the ranch one day, my wizened father showed me how dirt can actually make you cleaner. It’s true, and oh so sustainable. What cleanser could be more natural than dirt?

Anyway, we had just finished replacing spent rods in a windmill. It had been my first time as the “monkey man” on top of the mill (perched up on the top platform without safety gear in order to latch and unlatch the long wooden rods as they are pulled up and out of the ground). This might not need saying, but everything you pull out of a well is slicked with more gook than skinny dippers at Diaper Springs.

And after sloppin’ this stuff all over for a couple hours and taking in views of red-tailed hawks diving for twittering quail hidden in scrub oak thickets, the monkey man tries to climb down the metal rungs on either side of an angle iron windmill support without slipping off and dying. (Really mom, it’s not that dangerous.) [Read more...]

Redneck Sustainability: Rodeo as Bloodsport

Thunderdome from Burning Man 2005

Bloodsport is such a nasty word these days. And who would disagree with such barbarisms as dog and cockfighting making the news? In the wilder rural arenas drunk misogynists strap on paintball guns and hunt bikini-clad (or totally nude!) women for sport. I’m aghast too, believe you me.

But there is one bloodsport in the U.S. doing its best to give the whole misdirected genre its good name back –Rodeo. And once again, rednecks are leading the way. According to most on-line dictionaries bloodsport can refer to either a game or sport designed to end in death, or one typically involving the shedding of blood. While both of these are indeed bloodsport, today I’m referring to the gentlemanly tradition of risking life and limb for glory and entertainment. [Read more...]

Redneck Sustainability: Ferment for Health

Bolt bottle opener

[dropcap2]I[/dropcap2]nventiveness comes in two flavors: the evil genius sort and the practical necessity sort. I personally am a fan of evil genius, but like horseradish, a little goes a long way. The bricks between the mortar of everyday life must be built with practical necessity genius, or else everything sorta’ smushes together.

This is where The Green Porch takes a moment to highlight another redneck example of said practical genius, the bolt and board bottle opener. It is noteworthy, observant reader, that many occurrences of redneck genius involve beer, but not such a stretch to understand beer as a necessary precursor to continued and broader genius. Thus the correlation should shock only the most sheltered prohibitionist.

Perhaps this is the best moment to alert the un-lubricated public of the significance fermentation has played in human discovery. A big one. [Read more...]

David Mark Brown 2.0

[dropcap2]I[/dropcap2]n case it has been a while since you’ve visited the Green Porch, I thought I would extend a friendly invitation to drop by and check out the renovations. We got us some hot new trusses, trex decking and ceiling fans that don’t squeak (I swear).

I’m still getting all the rocking chairs in a row, so if you spot something off kilter let me know. So many mind-tweaking links, styles, .php, .css, widgets and plugins that I’ve had to double up my on my wine treatments just get my beauty rest. (The wife and the kids are fine! Don’t worry. It wasn’t that bad.)

Here at the Green Porch we’ve been enjoying tinkering with some new features, so when the weather gets too cold to work outdoors grab some BBQ and smear up your keyboard real good while checking them out:[divider]

*rss feeds for you favorite regular features, like Redneck Sustainability

*a new feature highlighting interesting book reviews from around the blogosphere targeting mostly independent and lesser known titles that I guarantee you’ll read without puking. If you want these review updates in your mail box reply to this email to let me know!

*increased bookmarkage for zipping the side-splitting blog posts off to all the friends and family (those that can read and have computers anyway. Sorry, Uncle Cletus.)

*an up and coming theme we’ve been batting around on the porch alot lately — some sort of Green Porch T.V. possible featuring a Dukes’ corner, a Firefly memorial, Simpsons wisdom and random T.V. related vulgaria. More on that later.[divider]

Until then, stay simple, my friends. You’re always welcome at the Green Porch, where rednecks wear green collars.

Redneck Sustainability: Chow-Chow

jars of chow-chow

sweat and spicy chow-chow relish

While not exclusively a redneck food, chow-chow (the relish, not the dog), is certainly championed most by the rural folk of America, and with no uncertainty, is one of the sustainable marvels of our day. Seriously.

For you see, chow-chow is indeed the kitchen sink of canning. For my rural-impaired readers I will need to pause here for some clarification. Let’s start with canning.

Canning, for you urban folk, refers to the practice of preserving freshly grown fruits and vegetables in glass jars for use throughout the year. It is in and of itself a very sustainable practice due to its reliance on local produce rather than off-season stuff shipped from Timbuktu via carbon-emitting yack. And don’t think for a second that the “vine-ripened” tomatoes you find in January are anything of the sort, unless you live in California or think ripe means something like “edible enough to withstand commercial harvesting, processing, shipping and retail sale over the next week). [Read more...]