Thursday, June 30, 2016

What you are looking for...

"What you are looking for is not what you are looking for."

I was blessed this morning with a little time alone to read, write, and pray. When I opened my bible I found an old sermon note that had that line in my own handwriting.

You may have noticed a lack of activity on Mesquite Hugger lately. It has been a busy and miserable time lately, one of those times you plod through hoping to get to a better chapter. And I have been seeking distraction in worldly stuff like smartphones and televisions and refrigerators. And I have not been taking time to read, write, and pray. And I have not been taking time to experience the natural world.

So today's post will not highlight electric things with wheels, how to compost with worms, or how to make a solar oven out of paper clips and recycled bubble gum.

Today's post is a prayer for you, dear reader, that you may find time to reflect on who you are and what motivates your daily actions, that you may find peace and focus and joy, that you may seek better for you and for those who surround you.

Thank you, as always, for taking the time to read this blog.

May you be blessed!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fossil Free Friday: Electric Scooter Jones

Lots of years and smiles traveled on this scoot
I rode the old scooter to work this morning. I really enjoyed the ride to work this morning - sort of.

Part of it was simply the joy of a beautiful morning at 40mph. And part of it was the mirth of a vintage scooter.

Life is more fun on a scooter! (Find it here.)

People embrace vintage scooters in a way that they seldom embrace other forms of transportation that get noticed. People wave, smile, and ask friendly questions. The old bike doesn't carry connotations of entitled wealth, hooliganism (or wanting to be viewed as a hooligan), or an attempt at compensating for undersized appendages. Young men (not on a Harley) often yell, "Get a Harley," but that's about the biggest form of negativity we face. And it's not like a bicycle where drivers often resent your intrusion into their domain.

Find it here
[There is one weird little thing with driving a scooter - people in cars and trucks race you everywhere you go - there's some stigma about being seen going slower than a scooter, no matter how fast a scooter may be.]

Riding an old scooter around can be extremely enjoyable! But if you are like me, there's a big elephant in the room (or on the scooter). It's that gasoline and emissions thing. Old scooters may get great mileage, but they are very messy in the way they go about it. It's definitely not the vehicle for a Mesquite Hugger who wants to save the world. I ride mine very little and do not feel good about it when I do.

But I sure miss all of the good stuff that comes with riding one. Most of middle-aged life feels like obligation, busy-ness, and fixing things that break. It would sure be nice to scoot and smile guilt-free from one obligation to another. (Sigh)

I will get there one day. Until then, I keep my eyes open and do a lot of dreaming. I dream of building my own. (The Silver Pigeon twins). I dream of buying a new retro-vintage scooter.

Or picking something up that's cheap and readily available.
Do you think this electric scooter would make my butt look fat?

Do you think I could pull off this look?
And then there's this guy who really did build a green Vespa. Hmm...
How about you? What green transportation are you jonesing for?
May you find it, and may the having be better (for all of us) than the jonesing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Recycling - Dragging Lubbock out of the Dark Ages

JG sent me a happy pic this weekend - someone is offering curbside pickup for recyclables here in Lubbock again! She found this flyer on her door:

Sounds reasonable to me!
I am thankful to see this. Here in Lubbock we don't embrace recycling much. It seems like a good idea in theory, but very few people actually want to bother doing it. So,, thank you!

The City of Lubbock does offer rather limited recycling services, but they are not conveniently located - unless you live on the outskirts of town. They have satellite locations at a few local grocery stores, but those don't accept cardboard. And the city does not recycle glass, Styrofoam, or plastic grades 3-7.

Recently, Texas Tech has stepped in with vastly upgraded recycling services, but they only have one location, and it is definitely not the easiest to get to, even when you live near the campus. (But I don't mean to complain - Tech has stepped in and offered a great service that our city is unwilling to mess with. Thank you, Texas Tech Recycling, for making Lubbock a better place to live!)

Here's what they take at Tech, plus they have cardboard-only dumpsters.
I just wanted an excuse to use this pic again - love tiny trucks that encourage recycling!
I have been carpooling recyclables to Tech for my family and co-workers, and it is a bit of a pain, so I am very excited to see that someone in Lubbock is choosing to fill a great need that we have in our city. So, 123 Recycling receives the first ever Mesquite Hugger Be The Change Award this week.
(It's not much of an award. MH is a low-budget operation.)
Thank you to anyone and everyone who is working to make better choices easier to choose! May you live in a less trashy place!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lubbock on a Bike: Bike Challenge Update and a Cheap Cargo Bike in Town

Okay, let's get straight to the sexiness - there's a retro cargo bike on the Lubbock Craigslist Bike Parts section. It's simple, strong, and quite a buy at only $100. Act now - it can't stick around long.

Cooler than a shopping cart cargo bike! And already built!
As for me and my pedal-powered quest for personal carbon reduction, it's going pretty well:

Blue are the days I've ridden in June. I was out of town on all but one of the white days. It's progress.
The new (to me) mountain bike commuter is holding up well. The homemade panniers are holding up with a little tweaking here and there. The legs and lungs are doing better than ever. Most important, the Dodge truck is gathering dust most days.
And I am still happier on the days I ride. I may not be saving the world, but it's a pedal in the right direction.
May we all pedal something in the right direction!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Old News New to Me - Katharine Hayhoe on KTXT Radio (2014)

"It's no longer a future issue and it's no longer a distance issue." Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

You may have noticed on Mesquite Hugger - it's all about being an eco-dork. I love carbon reduction stuff and people who push for carbon reduction in lots of different forms.

Less obvious on the blog is that I love our local university's TV and radio stations, especially when they offer local content.

I also like lists and alternative music.

So I was really happy yesterday when I turned on the car radio and heard Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, my favorite international climate guru, on KTXT radio going through her list of 10 favorite songs on David Perlmutter's Top's Ten. Yep, I was very happy until I reached my destination and had to turn off the radio, snagit!

So today I jumped online and found Episode 15 of Top's Ten 88.1 KTXT. (Or go directly to the audio file here.) Woohoo!

May you enjoy her eclectic list and learn something along the way.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day Random Pics

A new bike rack in Lubbock:
The MH upcycled BMX at YellowHouse Coffee's brand new bike rack!

In front of the MH corporate office:
A ladybug punctuates tiny flowers

 Meanwhile in Waxahachie:
A Mayfly accentuates a plastic tub

Down in San Angelo, Texas:
This blue jay attacked JG repeatedly, much to the amusement of everyone who was not JG!

 Electric vehicles finally go Mainstream in Sweetwater, Texas:
It had to happen some time!

Douglas Adams invades a fortune cookie:

May your father's day be blessed regardless of who you are, where you are, and whether or not you are about to panic. Thank you for spending a little time here!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fossil Free Friday: When mini isn't mini - the Super 73

For me, minibikes (and go-carts) have always been the one that got away. When I was a kid, my grandparents always had a subscription to Popular Mechanics. Every time I opened one I went straight to the back looking for ads like these:

Whenever the new Sears or Montgomery Wards catalogs arrived, I'd go straight to the minibikes. Oh, how I dreamed. 
The stuff dreams were made of.
In a junior high science class, I finally figured out why I had never owned a minibike. It was Newton's Third Law - For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As desperately as I wanted a minibike, my parents desperately wanted me not to crack my skull open.
I was 30 years old when I finally brought a minibike home. I fully restored it, rode it up and down my street (illegally) a few times, and sold it a week later. I had outgrown the whole minibike thing.
Or so I thought.

This week I became aware of the Super 73. I have not outgrown the whole minibike thing, I just needed a bigger one with an electric motor, pedals, and cup holder. Yep, definitely wanting a (not-so) minibike. Maybe I want a maxibike (but that just sounds wrong).

Really, the Super 73 is more of an electric bicycle in really big minibike clothing. It even uses the same type of mid-drive electric motor I have been wanting for my next electric build. And it has 20" fat tires for a smooth ride - unlike the tiny squirrely tires on an old minibike.

What do you think? Would I look this hipster cool on a Super 73?

Honey, I'm quitting my diet - this thing'll haul 300 pounds!

Woohoo - disc brakes, a cupholder, and 30 miles per hour - sign me up!

As you probably already guessed, the Super 73 is currently running a Kickstarter campaign. To order yours, plan on spending somewhere around $2000 before shipping. Not bad money for a 48 volt/1000 watt electric bike with quality components. Lithium Cycles, the parent company, hopes to start shipping in November, so you may be cruising yours around the holidays, but the campaign has been wildly successful ($272,000 with 10 days to go) so don't be surprised if it takes them a little while to get them knocked out.
So, how about you? Have you outgrown minibikes, or did this post re-ignite an old spark?
May your green fun transportation be this quirky fun!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Saturday Two Days After Rain (Walking to coffee)

too busy to notice
a message
scribbled on concrete

"Why do you
hate your

flash flood carried news(paper)
to my feet
cartoon politic
worded hate
begets guns
begets guns

but rain begets seeds

to sprout
the unlikeliest places

Joyful Saturday, friends! May you find hope in the likeliest and unlikeliest places!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fossil Free Friday: Pedal Power and a Plow

 It's been a little while since we featured anything bike-like that's not really a bike, but this week, that seemed to be the theme of the internet meandering, so here goes.

Let's Plow

Have you found yourself thinking, "Man, I would trade all of these crappy old bicycles for a single carbon-neutral plow?" No? Is that just me? Oh well. This idea is still pretty cool. Click the link under the picture for plans and a video.

Whatever Floats Pedals Your Boat
So, maybe you're more of a boater than a gardener. Or maybe you're a tiny houser who lives near water. Or you just find yourself wanting to build something named after a French snail. If any of those describe you, check out the next creation:

Tiny Pedal-Powered Electric VW's

Y'all know me as a guy who wants a small electric car - the Citicar. [I had to bring in a Citicar somehow!] But my love for electric cars started at a very young age. And I hate to brag, but I owned scads of electrics cars as a kid. And they were awesome! (I still have most of them.) They were tiny electric slot cars like these:

Why am I reminiscing like this? Well, I was perusing Autoblog.Green this week and ran across a photo of VW's Electric Transparent Factory. One of the photos showed two people powering a pair of slot cars by pedaling electric unicycles. Are you finding it hard to visualize? Then click here: Pedal-powered slot cars at the VW factory!
I know a little guy who has a birthday in July - we may need to break out the old slot car track and build a few of these DIY Bike Generators from Instructables. I feel a carbon-free, pedal-to-the-metal car race coming on! (A mesquite-hugging dork can dream, can't he?)
May you find inspiration pedaling you to betterment!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lubbock on a Bike AND Arugula Gone Wild!

Super busy at the day job and life in general, so I'll keep this one short.

Yesterday marked one month down in the 2016 National Bike Challenge. I logged 130 miles in May, which isn't that impressive, but considering that I never ride over 5 miles per trip, not too shabby. That's about 9 gallons of gas not bought or burned. Striving for better! (Thanks, Spencer. for pushing me to ride more!)

The days I rode are in blue. Please join me in the NBC!
On to the garden:
See, arugula is taking over! Does anyone want some fresh arugula?

The stray red-leaf lettuce is trying to be arugula-rific!

Sweet peppers are almost ready - 4 so far.
For me, each attempt at consuming and releasing less carbon leads to a better life. I find that I love bicycling and I love gardening. Life is indeed better outside, and outside is better when you are not polluting it. Who knew?
May you find joy in things that make the world better for all.