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Old 07-25-2008, 01:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
bennelson
EV test pilot
 
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
90 day: 78.16 mpg (US)
Thanks: 17
Thanked 661 Times in 386 Posts
Why I ecomod. (warning - deep stuff)

In the last week I have been presenting at an Electric Vehicles meeting and a Hybrid Car Show.

I have degreased a forklift motor and lugged it into an economy car. I built a rear cover for my pickup truck and now I am driving around with my engine off most the time. I have edited several videos on all these things I have been working on.

And now I am up all night thinking about these things and typing to you about it.

So what drives us to do this? What compels me do these things people consider "odd"?

What drives me to ecomod?

Because I can. It's something I can do.

Too many of us feel out of control of our lives. We work jobs we hate, but can't quit, because we need the health insurance.

We have bad relationships with our spouse, with our families, and just can't learn to change.

We vote for our leaders, only to find our voices not heard.

I have found that when I have felt the worst in my life, it came down to control, to power, and that I didn't have any of it.

Growing up, there really were times when I went hungry and cold. Times when I was abandoned. My adolesence included more psychiatric drugs than I would care to admit.

Those were the bad times. The times where there was nothing I could do, no matter how hard I tried.

My wife's mother died of cancer six weeks before our wedding.
When her father was dying of cancer two years later, I did something about it. I built a camper.

No joke. There wasn't anything I could do about the cancer. But I could put some of my energy into doing something, anything. I built something I had never done before, my self esteem. My ability to create. To make something beautiful while the world crashed around me.

My wife loves the camper. It's cute and gets attention. Everyone always tells me what a great job I did on it, even if I see every scratch and seam and mistake on it. I still feel good every time we take it out.

I'd still rather have her parents though.

When I was a kid, we had lots of farm fields and marshland. Now, it's all filling in with subdivision developments. Farmers get old, they can't make any money, their sons don't want to take over. The farm gets sold to developers..

The wetlands get filled in. Corporate parks go up in their place. We value the concrete buildings more than the sliver of green and blue they took the place of. The rivers are still too high from the floods we had a month ago. Some houses still are underwater. Too bad we didn't value the wetlands more.

It's too late in life for me to stand around and do nothing anymore. We all have to do something. It's too easy to say that "that's just how things are"

That's not good enough.

Our cars aren't good enough. Our energy use isn't good enough. Our food supply isn't good enough.

Mod your car, put in solar, plant a garden. Just do something!

I've got my electric bill down to $30 a month. I ride a Zero-Gasoline vehicle I built myself. I am running my own business. Maybe not doing a great job with it, but I pay the mortgage.

I really feel I am finally doing something with my life. I try to teach about what I know when I can, not that I'm an expert.

We're all in this together.

Let's keep building, keep helping, keep healing.

And yes, I will Keep Modding.

-Ben

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