Plain dumb fearlessness. That's exactly what you'd expect from a guy who's spent a good part of his young life globe-trotting between war zones in places like Burma and Rwanda. Doug Fine is all that adventurer, journalist, comic observer, NPR commentator, Alaskan mountain man but he now wears the shoes of a rural New Mexican locavore who's methodically working overtime to remove his carbon footprint from the face of the earth. And he's doing so, yep, without fear.
The story of how Fine, a Long Island kid who admittedly appreciates his laptop, accomplishes that is the point of his funny new memoir, Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living, in which a young man buys a remote ranch and two goats, converts a monster truck to run on vegetable oil, installs and relies solely on solar power, battles coyotes and grows as much of his own food as he can. It sounds like a lot of work, but Fine calls his life on the Funky Butte Ranch a "carbon-neutral paradise."
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"It's okay to laugh at me when you read this book," he jokes, and the laughs are all there, right along with a fully recyclable load of inspiration to anyone interested in following suit: Hear Fine speak and sign copies of Farewell, My Subaru tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street; for details, call 303-436-1070. To read his continuing Funky Butte Ranch blogs, go to www.dougfine.com.
Mon., April 7, 2008