Paulano Gets Cool E-Bike just in time for Earth Day

Bikes equipped with an electric motor are green alternatives to cars

Bikes equipped with an electric motor are green alternatives to cars

If you don’t know already, tomorrow will be the 40th annual Earth Day.   Hoo-ahh!

Easy to Install, Fun to Ride

Easy to Install, Fun to Ride

Earth Day is a good time for us each to do a quick self evaluation, to see what changes we can each make to be a little greener.

Not quite yet a candidate for eco-Martyrdom, but not a total eco-jerk either, Paulano has been seen riding around Livermore lately on his new electric bike.   By cutting down on car trips and using the electric bike instead, I’m making headway towards being leaner and greener.  A little bit anyway.

Zap your Bike into a new Eco-friendly Commuter Vehicle

Zap your Bike into a new Eco-friendly Commuter Vehicle

Originally, Paulano was supposed to build an electric cupcake car for his daughter, Parker.  (Don’t ask)  The e-bike idea was conceived as an intermediate step once Paulano realized that he didn’t know much about batteries, or electric motors either.

The plan was to cut my teeth on the electric bike, and then move up to the cupcake car.

Ultimately, my e-bike quest ended with the successful installation of an Ampedbikes.com kit on a 2009 Electra Townie Original 1 Women’s Frame.   With no pedaling at all, I can maintain 20 mph, and get 13.5 miles per charge… more than enough to get me around town.   If I make the effort to pedal, I go a little faster, and I can easily double my range per charge.

My daughter rides the Electric Bike all the time too.  After all, the bike was supposed to be for her.  Remember?  At 90 pounds, she gets well over 20 miles for each battery charge with no pedaling.

By the way, the re-charge time on my 36V 10 AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery takes 4 1/2 hours.

And that whole cupcake car idea???   … virtually forgotten… Thank God.

Cupcake Pillbox? Yes.  Cupcake Car?  Not so much...

Cupcake Pillbox? Yes. Cupcake Car? Not so much...

As long as I am discussing E-Bikes, I should mention that I highly recommend the product, price and service I got from Ampedbikes.com. I also can not say enough good things about the entire product line of retro-sleek Electra bikes.  Check them out. And in case you are wondering, those are both unpaid, unsolicited Paulano endorsments.

All things considered, I wish now that I had gone with the Townie Original 7, Men’s Frame.   The seven speeds would lend added versatility, and the Mens’ frame would give added strength.  Live and learn.  But still, the Women’s Townie One frame fits my

Riding a bike to work is good for business

Riding a bike to work is good for business

daughter better, so it was a great choice too.   Ultimately, it is entirely likely that this e-bike will elimate or at least delay the need for another car in the family.

Happy Earth Day.

Many of the images in this blog post can be purchased at Kyle Designs. Kyle has gift items for the eco-friendly person in your life.   She offers over 300 original, unusual designs, in dozens of colors on Hundreds of Items that you use every day, from wall switch plates to business card holders.   She offers engraving and Monogramming too.

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Skunk Removal Remembrances and Suggestions

This cool skunk vitamin case is a great gift for skunk fans.  Click on the picture to get one of your own.

This cool skunk vitamin case is a great gift for skunk fans. Click on the picture to get one of your own.

Over the last couple years, the feral animal problem in my back yard has gotten worse and worse.  So last spring, I bought a Have-a-Heart Trap. For several weeks, I carefully set the trap with bait, eager to catch a opossum, a raccoon, or even a cat.   But day after day, the trap remained empty.

After a while I lost interest.  The trap sat for months, alone and neglected, just outside my wife’s office window.

This Heart Design Wood Jewelry Box with Glass Insert is too small to hold a skunk, but makes a great gift anyway.  Click on the picture to see more.

This Wood Jewelry Box with Glass Insert Has-a-Heart but is too small to hold a skunk. It makes a great gift anyway. Click on the picture to see more.

Then early one morning, a strange muffled clap alerts my wife to the fact that something has been caught.   She peers out her window and gleefully runs upstairs to give me the news.  “Wake up, O intrepid trapper!”

The title of this blog post pretty much gives away the contents of my Have-a-Heart Trap. I have to say, it works great.

So now the problem becomes what to do next.  I’m in no hurry to startle my new pet, or to test his patience in any way.   If he sprays, he is sure to hit the house.  It’s time to call in the experts: Livermore City Animal Control.

“We don’t handle skunks”, they tell me.  “Call the County”.

OK.  So I call Alameda County Animal Control. “We don’t handle skunks”, they tell me.  “Call the City”.

“But they just told me to call you.  What do you suggest I do?”, I ask politely.

“Try the Yellow Pages sir”, is the curt reply.

Money Managers, Investment Bankers and Trappers will enjoy this Business Card Case with Dollar Sign Design

Money Managers, Investment Bankers and Trappers will enjoy this Business Card Case with Dollar Sign Design

I soon discover that the yellow pages do indeed have listings for people willing to handle skunks.    I call a few and each quotes about $125 for skunk removal. “Too expensive.  Thanks anyway”.

I hang up and decide that Paulano can handle this himself.   As I “strategize” about how to do this, I realize that because of the bushes and plants, maybe I can get a better look at the trap from my neighbor’s backyard.  Normally, my neighbor and I keep our distances, but when he finds out why I’m knocking on his door at 8:00 in the morning, he’s very accommodating, and gives me access to his yard.  He even offers to shoot my skunk for me.   “Thanks for the offer”, I say, “but I’ll pass”.

After a fair bit of reconnaisance and thought, $125 is starting to look pretty cheap.  I get back on the phone.  “Hello, AAAA Varmit Removal?  How soon can you get here?”

In less than an hour, a guy pulls up in a truck that you can smell before you see, making me thankful for my

Vegetarians and other healthy eaters will enjoy the Vegatables Design Retractable ID Badge Holder by Kyle Design

Vegetarians and other healthy eaters will enjoy the Vegetables Design Retractable ID Badge Holder by Kyle Design.

decision not to put my Mini-Van in harm’s way.   Ten minutes later, the guy has left with my skunk and my money.  Nothing and nobody got sprayed.

At this point, the trap is empty of the skunk, but still full of dirt from the skunk’s effort to dig his way out.   I shake it clean, and place it on the other side of my yard, rignt next to our vegatable and herb garden.   And then, for reasons completely unknown, I re-set the door of the trap.  In so doing, Paulano made another $125 mistake that didn’t become apparent until the next morning. As I took out the garbage after breakfast,  I noticed that another black and white had found his way into my trap.

“Hello, AAAA Varmint Removal?  Do you give quantity discounts?”

After my summertime skunk experience, I have this suggestion for skunk capture and skunk removal:  Before you set your Have-a-Heart Trap, be sure to partially wrap it in several plastic garbage bags, and position them in a way that will easily allow complete wrapping after you catch an animal. Good Luck. You’ll probably need it.

Good Luck will follow you for the whole day with your Four Leaf Clover gift items by Kyle Design

Good Luck will follow you for the whole day with your Four Leaf Clover gift items by Kyle Design

If you, your friend or your pet has had a recent run-in with a skunk, if you are a skunk lover, or if you just like skunks a lot, be sure to check out Kyle Designs. She has dozens of skunk themed gifts and gifts with skunk images that will be a great way to remember your last skunk experience.  Kyle offers engraving too, to give an extra personal touch to your treasured skunk memento.