Monday, February 16, 2015

Post Super Bowl Depression and Building Electric Cars

Photo by S. Monte Kase

It's been a long time since I've done a post and I owe you one. If it wasn't for Kathe Frahm's "Seattle Seahawks and Old Women" pieces (scroll down and read them, please) nothing new would be up here.

Kathe got right to work after the Super Bowl expressing her feelings about the loss. I could scarcely handle my emotions about it and clammed up.

But let's settle this. About the interception. Certainly running the ball with Marshawn Lynch was the highest percentage choice, but everyone new that was coming. I'm okay with attempting a pass to surprise the Patriots. On second down with one timeout, you can run or throw. If you run on second down and are stopped, you use the time out and then have to pass or risk running out of time.

I'm not okay with throwing an inside slant. Risky move. You need to throw something that either a Seahawk catches or it goes out of bounds. A fade to the corner or something high in the back of the end zone. Preferably with a run fake and a roll out so Russell Wilson has the choice to run. Too many things can go wrong with a pass in the middle of the field. Something did go wrong.

Anyway, I can't change that. Still a good team with a bright future that was a couple feet away from winning the Super Bowl.

Now about my blogging. It's not that I haven't been writing. I just haven't been writing here. I've been busy with Bright Hub and Writer Access. Through WA I connected with a person building a website about electric and hybrid cars. I've done a lot of work for that site and have become passionate about the subject.

Check out work by me and others at Best Green Cars.

I have become pleasantly surprised that the electric car future is actually getting brighter. Sure, powerful and greedy forces are still pushing gasoline like crack. Yet great green vehicles are on the horizon.

Hate to wait? Build your own. While BGC is primarily about new and future vehicles, I have been trying to shine a light on the fascinating world of EV conversions. A number of creative and ingenious people are gutting gasoline cars and installing electric power-trains.

I hunted down some interesting cars and people, primarily through, and received a strong response. Maybe too strong. I was hoping for one interview and ended up with several. Now I'm hoping to get the green light to put them all on the site, but it isn't up to me.

A couple profiles of converters are on their way to BGC already. I'm not sure exactly when, but I'll let you know. Because good people took the time to answer my questions and share their stories, I'm going to mention them here and now.

Ben Nelson's Electro Metro

Ben took a $500 Geo Metro, removed the internal combustion parts and sold them for $550. Then he installed a forklift motor and a dozen batteries. It ain't fancy, but for less than $1500 it gets him down the road with zero emissions.

Photo by Benjamin Nelson


S. Monte Kase has been disemboweling and electrifying gas-powered cars since the seventies, despite everything the government, oil companies and auto makers can do to stop him.

Photo by EV-Concepts

Randy bought a previously converted Pontiac Fiero. He has done repairs, upgrades and very technical interior work to make it better than any Fiero ever was.

Courtesy of

This Frenchman has built is own electric vehicle completely from scratch. It looks like nothing on the road. It's an amazing project.

Photo by Jean-Yves Belet

To compete in the 24 Hours of LeMons (a wacky event for cars costing $500 or less) John converted this Datsun convertible to electricity. He is one of the only EVs to ever race in this series.

Courtesy of

Dietrich has converted a Scirocco and built a very detailed blog about what he has learned. To build your own EV, you have to do a lot of learning. Start by learning German.

Courtesy of

What I've learned about EV conversions is that the resulting machine is simpler than what it was before. It takes some study and some tinkering, but you can do it. It can be street legal.

I don't have the time to do it, but I could if I wanted to. If my eldest son was older, we'd be building his first car. He's certainly smart enough to do it and I have a wrench. We'd make a great team.

More on my feelings about green cars coming soon. Until then, investigate Best Green Cars. The man behind the site is passionate, honest and deserves some support.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Seattle Seahawks and Old Women: One Last Yard

(Editor's Note: We all deal with Post-Super Bowl Depression in a different way. The wrenching, shocking finale inspired Kathe to get her feelings written down almost instantly. My reaction was to think about the game as little as possible for several days, hence the late publication of this post. Please enjoy the last "Seattle Seahawks and Old Women" until September.)

Contributed by Kathe Frahm

One old woman was not in the rec room. She did call and say she was in Maui and would forgo the waves and beach and sun to stay inside and watch the game. The old women appreciated her sacrifice for their Seahawks.

The snack table was loaded with every kind of food. None of it real expensive and most of it homemade. The Hawk blue and green cake did not get made. The old woman in charge of that had a painful attack of shingles and just couldn't bake. There was plenty to eat though. One old woman put a big 12 candle on her toffee cookies.

Everything was laid out carefully with all the spoons, forks, plates and napkins so no one had to get up to get anything during the game.

Old women watch TV. A lot of TV. They work to keep up with the predictions, point spreads and Vegas odds making, but not understanding all that leaves them unsure of just what is going on. Listening to explanations from some of the more informed old women doesn't much help. They just want the game to be on, their boys to win and the snack table fully stocked.

A highlight is always the million dollar commercials. The most giggles were for the Viagra spoof for Fiat and awwws for the Budweiser puppy and Clydesdales. 

The National anthem and fighter jet fly-over always brings cheers from the old women and the scene of our troops far away brought a few tears.

The game was everything the old women hoped it would be. Losing hurt. Their boys played so well with all they had and as was typical of the season's games, it all came down to the last few minutes. It seemed so easy for Russell to just hand off the ball at the Patriots' goal to Marshawn and win. That didn't happen.

The old women picked up the leftover snacks, put the couch back in the hall and just went to their apartments. This was one loss they all shared. They have had many other losses much worse than that of a football game. They still hope for the best.

One old woman said that the Hawks will see to it that many of their boys will get much bigger contracts for 2015. So many of the players are all still under 30 years old and have good prospects for their future football careers.

It is the nature of old women to look toward better times. Some have left the bad days behind. Others carry them around. But for a time, the rec room was a place for shared screams, laughter and really inappropriate comments on the nature of watching beautiful young men in tight pants.