Friday, May 25, 2018

More Mansfield, Texas Pics - Linear Park and Nature Park

We'll Start with the Walnut Creek Linear Park:

Click here for a little birdsong 

Lots of great bridges

Loads of cool fungi

Next up is the Elmer W. Oliver Nature Park

A trail to a beautiful place

Click below to see this hawk flying away with breakfast

Hey, it's Mesquite Hugger - I had to include it!


If you find yourself in Mansfield, they have some great places to get away without even leaving town. May you find yourself surrounded with natural beauty!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Simpleton Seeking Less - Sort of...

My office mate has been going home at lunchtime lately and watching Hoarders. Then she starts purging -  clearing out closets and corners and boxes that were never unpacked. It's become a bit of a hobby for her, and, while I have no desire to watch Hoarders, I understand the drive for less stuff.

It comes up once in a while around here – the idea (not the reality) of less stuff. I am owned by stuff more than I own stuff. And it’s a bit overwhelming. It may be because most of my stuff is partially broken, but I don’t completely believe that.

I grew up believing that a bigger house and a nicer car and more shiny stuff were natural pursuits. I’ve spent the last decade getting over that. But I grew up in a DIY family which means that shiny stuff is supposed to start out as non-shiny stuff and you are supposed to shine it up before you can enjoy it. And what I was slow to learn is that it's the shining the stuff up that makes it worthwhile - having shiny stuff is not nearly so satisfying. My biggest project regret is that I focused on the acquiring rather than the building. When you get down to it, a lot of this blog is about seeking new projects in times when I'm not working projects

So, in wealthier times I found myself bringing lots of projects home. LOTS of projects. And in the meantime, life has gotten busier. And I'm finding the stuff less and less important compared to the people and the responsibilities.

So, there has been a little progress in the purge:
a few scooters have left
the Mercedes wagon (intended to run on veggie oil)
the old Econoline (intended to be electric and solar powered)
the electric pickup project rolled away (on someone else's trailer)
the garden is much smaller this year
the worn out old Dodge left and was replaced with a used but nicer hybrid (I now drive in luxury!)

There're still things needing to leave:
my high school hotrod
the electric boxster
the Voloci electric cycle
a lot of bicycles
lots of stuff in boxes
Vespa parts

And there are projects that I still hope to finish/upgrade
more power/speed for the electric Vespa (28mph is just rough in Lubbock traffic)
the electric pigeon
solar charger in the garage
the electric minibike (which never quite worked)
the electric klunker (which is so close!) 
the electric Motobecane (which is so close!)
a functional folding bike for travel
a less messy backyard for family relaxation
better rain capture/utilization

and there are more projects that I want to pursue
solar/battery building (darn you, Micah Toll!)
learning how to utilize a Raspberry Pi / Arduino
learn to sit quietly without yearning for a phone/tv/music/distraction

But mostly these days, I want to spend time with my wife, the family, the dogs, and the handful of friends that I'm blessed with. I want to spend more time in study, in worship, and in being thankful. And I want to find ways to encourage environmental stewardship. I'll let you know if I get any of it sorted out.

Maybe I need to find a show about project hoarders.

May you get it all figured out and have a wonderful day/year/life!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Brief Walk in Mansfield, TX

On a work trip this week, I snuck out of the hotel for a quick walk. Here are some photos:

A huggable mesquite!

 May you sneak away often!