Improvised Life » wheels http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:10:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Home is Where You Park It http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/11/13/home-park/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/11/13/home-park/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 09:56:23 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=35817

Home is Where You Park is an inspiring book that celebrates the joys of living a minimalist's life on the road, in camper or car, an homage to "people living really cool lives, doing things they love as opposed to the expected"…with Nature as their living room.]]>
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the tweet powered car http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/10/07/the-tweet-powered-car/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/10/07/the-tweet-powered-car/#comments Mon, 07 Oct 2013 08:21:07 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=33214


(Video link here.)  Under the guidance of innovative education organization MindDrive, thirty at-risk students in a Kansas City, Missouri neighborhood once called the “killing zip code” , built an electric car that successfully converted social media into fuel for a road trip from Kansas City to Washington D.C. A tweet was 5 watts;  a Facebook like, 1 watt; watching their YouTube video, 3 watts.

The car itself is a 1967 Karmann Ghia which the student team restored to working order from the exterior to the interior. The original drivetrain was replaced with an electric one, and they worked out the programming to incorporate the “social fuel” into the car’s operation. (more…)

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mobile motorized outdoor office (c. 1961) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/10/01/mobile-motorized-outdoor-office-c-1961/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/10/01/mobile-motorized-outdoor-office-c-1961/#comments Tue, 01 Oct 2013 21:34:02 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=33113

The great Retronaut‘s tagline is “See the past like you wouldn’t believe”, and it does indeed shift our view. We LOVE  this version of ‘going to the office’: a motorized desk on wheels, toodling down the street en plein air…the mobile office circa 1961.

Related posts: finding a clear work space + e.b. white on “stuff” one mid-century desk interpreted by two owners we test drive the pomodoro time management (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/10/01/mobile-motorized-outdoor-office-c-1961/feed/ 2 new american nomads: freedom with less and walmart http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/09/30/new-american-nomads-freedom-with-less-and-walmart/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/09/30/new-american-nomads-freedom-with-less-and-walmart/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 23:38:14 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=33099 photo

Nolan Conway for The New York Times

We recommend checking out the illuminating slideshow in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, about nomadic Americans who travel around in their R.V.’s, campers or cars, spending nights at Walmart parking lots, which apparently, welcome anyone with an R.V. or trailer. Photographer Nolan Conway has been taking pictures of Walmart’s ‘nomaic guests’ at several stores in central Arizona, and getting some of their stories. Their reasons for living without the usual home are compelling, an American dream of freedom, the road, and unexpected communities.  (more…)

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unexpected stripes: car + parking lot (before + after) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/09/24/unexpected-stripes-car-parking-lot-before-after/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/09/24/unexpected-stripes-car-parking-lot-before-after/#comments Tue, 24 Sep 2013 17:26:17 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=32995 Milo Vermeulen/flickr

Milo Vermeulen/flickr

Right after we posted  Gene Davis’ Fab Striped Street’,  Susan Dworski sent us this great before-and-after picture of a Rotterdam parking lot half painted with stripes. The with-and-without is  quite an example of the possibilites for stipes in unlikely places. Then we found another: a brilliant striped car spotted in New York Magazine recent The Urbanist’s Warsaw: (more…)

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design love: bauhausian bicycle http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/08/15/design-love-bauhausian-bicycle/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/08/15/design-love-bauhausian-bicycle/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 20:29:13 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=31016

We look at this Bauhausian bicycle and feel a visceral WANT. We love the way it looks and its moderne hecho-a-mano rusticity. Apparently it follows the principle of the golden section.  Beautiful.

… though you’d have to be pretty agile to get on and off.

More images and specifics on the Bau Bike: It It’s Hip It’s Here

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visionary hack: cargo bike with shopping cart + chainlink fence http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/04/29/visionary-hack-cargo-bike-with-shopping-cart-chainlink-fence/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/04/29/visionary-hack-cargo-bike-with-shopping-cart-chainlink-fence/#comments Mon, 29 Apr 2013 16:26:04 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=29630 Spotted on Claton Cubitt’s tumblr and worth checking out full size: “cargo bike incorporating a shopping cart and chain link fence, with a blood-red wrought-iron cowcatcher (and cup holder), New Orleans.”

The awesomness of the human imagination! This practical AND aestheric considerations here are stunning…

Related posts: clever shelving configured for bicycle storage bikes for hauling + great accessories danny macaskill’s new video: what he thinks as he rides sighting: (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/04/29/visionary-hack-cargo-bike-with-shopping-cart-chainlink-fence/feed/ 0 tiny: a film about living small http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/03/13/tiny-a-story-about-living-small/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2013/03/13/tiny-a-story-about-living-small/#comments Wed, 13 Mar 2013 08:45:44 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=20058

(Video link here.) About 6 months ago, we got an email from Merete Mueller,  a friend of a friend who was just finishing up a film about the Tiny House Movement.

The film, “TINY: A Story About Living Small” follows Christopher Smith and my attempt to build a tiny house from scratch with no building experience in the mountains of Colorado. It also explores the lives of other Americans who have downsized their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space. 

We’re interested in innovative design and environmental sustainability, but most of all, we’re interested in “Home”—how we find it and how we know when we’re there, the small, strong details that make us feel comfortable and at-ease in a place. 

Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about sustainability, good design, and the changing American Dream, and what we REALLY need to live well and happily. It’s also the story of Merete and Christopher embarking on a project without knowing what they were doing; they could LEARN what they didn’t know. And did. (TINY just premiered at South by SouthWest, an independent film festival. Way to go!!!!)

We already love the film for this wise nugget:

 For some people bigger isn’t necessarily better. The world gets a lot bigger when you begin to have more cash and time. (more…)

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Foraging Fallen Trees for DIY’s http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/11/05/foraging-fallen-trees-for-diys/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/11/05/foraging-fallen-trees-for-diys/#comments Mon, 05 Nov 2012 20:03:07 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=26538 fallen tree stump diy

photo: sally schneider

Not long after I dragged the tree sculpture home, I went back into the park to see what was happening with the huge, ancient 3-foot-in-diameter oak that Hurricane  Sandy brought down. The parks people had been cutting it up — terrible to see. They just sawed it apart into chunks to chip; think of the beautiful wide boards or public seating it could have made…

I had no idea what I’d do with a big rough-hewn oak log, but figured it would be worth grabbing one before they disappeared, while the Parks Department workers were gone and the police weren’t patrolling. I found one a foot wide to haul home that was so heavy, I couldn’t get it on the 12″ round 3-wheeled dolly// I had brought (having loaned my trusty folding hand truck// to a neighbor). As I was struggling, a West African man came up to help. He lifted the log onto the dolly, then said thoughtfully, “You need something to pull it with”. I rummaged through my knapsack and found a bungee cord. Sela figured out a way to attach it. He told me that over time the tree would dry out and become less heavy; then he went on his way.

(more…)

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danny macaskill’s new video: what he thinks as he rides http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/10/danny-macaskills-new-video-what-he-thinks-as-he-rides/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/10/danny-macaskills-new-video-what-he-thinks-as-he-rides/#comments Mon, 10 Sep 2012 09:08:53 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=25416

(Video link here.) The latest video from cyclist Danny MacAskill has an added feature: insight into MacAskill’s thinking and interior approach to his challenging stunts and excursions: JOYRIDE.

Related posts: joy ride: practice makes wondrous perfection danny macaskill’s joy ride danny macaskill’s bike lesson (setbacks + difficulties + perseverance = mastery) gifts + inspiration for bikers (and walkers) weekend (more...)]]> http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/10/danny-macaskills-new-video-what-he-thinks-as-he-rides/feed/ 0 bikes for hauling + great accessories http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/05/bikes-hauling/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/09/05/bikes-hauling/#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 21:49:50 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=25284

The mailman’s fahrrad.

We love this crazy hauling bike and wish we knew the story behind it. We spotted it on Dargelosblog in a post called ‘the mailman’s fahrrad’ (‘fahrrad’ means bicycle in German). Dargelos is an onliine store that sells great, intelligent biking gear, like the illuminating vest we posted awhile back. We have their Transporter knapsack, which we couldn’t live without: it’s light and holds a lot without looking bulky or feeling heavy: perfect for our long days wandering around town. (more…)

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the crazy brilliance of walmart parking lot improvs http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/06/12/the-crazy-brilliance-of-walmart-parking-lot-improvs/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/06/12/the-crazy-brilliance-of-walmart-parking-lot-improvs/#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 23:22:43 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=23820 car improvs

Our friend Margot Wellington sent us a much-passed on email of improvisations and hacks seen in the parking lots of Walmarts across the country. Being a parking lot, all are car related; we can only imagine what else these creative folks have cooked up in their everyday lives.

Most boggle our mind with their desperate brilliance, resourcefulness, and “I don’t care what anyone thinks…I’m doing my thing” attitude. The car above has a singular stylishness… (more…)

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skateboard in style! (1974) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/02/27/skateboard-in-style-1974/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/02/27/skateboard-in-style-1974/#comments Tue, 28 Feb 2012 01:05:32 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=21840

We love this guy dressed in a suit, tie shoes and hat, skateboarding his way…where?!!!!

What a chic way to travel (if you can manage it)…as liberating as our favorite “leap” pictures: (more…)

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sighting: extreme masking tape repair http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/02/16/extreme-masking-tape-car-repair/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2012/02/16/extreme-masking-tape-car-repair/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2012 01:16:16 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=21388 Our friend and resident oenophile Anthony Giglio snapped this picture of a rather bold and desperate masking tape repair. We see it as a fine example of what we are frequently told is the powerful effect of reading ‘the improvised life’ daily: gradually you’re vision changes. You not only ‘see’ and delight in found improvisations around you, but you also find yourself improvising solutions to all sorts of dilemmas.

Who needs an auto body shop?

This crazy repair eminded us of There I Fixed It, a blog chock full of desperate, uninhibited and sometimes brilliant fixes.

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