Between Beavers and Termites

hunting and gathering T-shirtThanks to PBS I’ve discovered that my humanly talents at home building reside somewhere between that of a beaver and a termite (the termite being more efficient, the beaver less). Said dreary program also informed me that “all homes are unsustainable.”

I mean, crap. Just because it’s true in a “we’re all going to die eventually” sort of way doesn’t mean I want to smoke it on a Wednesday evening. Then again, there might be something to this whole naked foraging/hunting and gathering thing. Maybe our ancestors gave up on that too easily.

But I’m not the kid of guy to take such a PBS pimp-slap sitting on the sofa. A termite? I’ll show you, Betty White, who can build a more sustainable home than a termite! (As long as no termites are around to mess it up for me.) [Read more...]

Build your Post-Apocalyptic Compound with Hemcrete

by Miroslavk82When acid rain starts to fall, mutant scorpions attack and marauding wackos try to eat your flesh you don’t want to find yourself holing up in a ramshackle farm house or an abandoned flat in NYC or London. You’re going to need a practical yet functional fortress to weather the decades of madness until the dove returns with the olive branch in its beak.

To build said fortress you’ll need to consider security, self-sustainability and endurance. The answer to all three is, you guessed it, hemcrete. (Start bugging your representatives to legalize the growing of hemp now, so you can start construction before the end comes.) Hemcrete is a bio-composite building material made by mixing specially prepared hemp shiv with a lime-based binder (Montana Hemp Council Magazine, Vol. 4, 2011).

Basically, this means hemcrete is made from cooked lime and ground up hemp stalks. But the result is as zombie proof, fire proof, mutant bug proof, bullet proof, mohawk proof dwelling. [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: Eating your Pets

Before you gag from the title of this blog, let me explain that my pets growing up included a pig, a few dozen rabbits, some ducks, a few¬†hamsters, an occasional cat, a dog, a calf and a guinea pig. I’ll let your imagination tell you which ones I ate and witch ones I didn’t. But why should eating pets be such a bad thing?

If anything is out of whack, it’s that we’ve manipulated animal breeding, not that we eat them. What’s worse? Eating domesticated animals or breeding them to belch methane into old age and die a pointless life? There’s a chin scratcher.

Natives to North America, First Peoples if you will, knew that we should have a¬†healthy connection with the food we eat, sometimes even asking the noble beasts permission to extinguish their souls. Now whacking a domesticated pet in the head as it stares up at you with trusting eyes might not be quite the same as hunting a noble beast, but none the less, it’s good to have an intimate connection with our food.

On that note, let’s take another lesson in sustainability from the redneck play book of life. [Read more...]

Extreme Home Makeover: Mud Edition

Earth Architecture, book by Ronald Rael

Earth Architecture, book by Ronald Rael

I have come up with yet another way for the humanity sucking institution of television to untether itself from its obligate parasitic ways and enhance our world at the same time it fogs our minds and contributes to hemorrhoids across the globe. (Even now I’m sitting on a donut. Oy vey!)

No, I’m not talking about having David Duchovny personally record his voice on thousands of voicemail boxes saying, “The truth is out there, so leave your name and number. I’ll call you back when I find it.” But I am of course talking about ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition… gone native. [Read more...]

Dukes for a Better Hazzard

poster for the Dukes of Hazzard

poster for the Dukes of Hazzard

Daisy Duke was as close as I came to a celebrity fetish as a boy. How can you resist the NASCAR driving temptress that fashioned a short-short revolution that looks good on less than 1% of the population? (of which I am proud to say I am still a part.)

But Daisy, Bo and Luke Duke were more than just hunky characters on the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard from 1979 through 1985, they were champions of community, social justice, civil liberties and simple living. I can still hear Waylon Jennings crooning about the good ole’ boys “fightin’ the system like a true, modern-day Robin Hood,” as the General Lee leaps a barn and flies off into the wild, blue yonder of freedom.

Sure, Bo and Luke ran moonshine in a Dodge Charger done up six ways to Dixie while Uncle Jesse supplied a tri-county area with white lightning, but who doesn’t jerk some hooch on the side these days? The times are hard, are they not? [Read more...]