Archive for May, 2013

Perfect Summer Kick-Off

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A perfect summer-is-coming evening materialized for our first annual COGGS and Meteek & Co. "Psyched for Summer Cycling" event. After a five-day "spring hurricane," it was magical to see the sun, sky, and the bright-green beginnings of leaf-out on the aspen trees.

Good fun, good food, Rolf Hagberg's great Motivity bike photography series and the excellent DJing of James Larson rounded out the perfection of the evening. See for yourself!
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Thoughtful Wood

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by Peter Witzig

When I arrived at Meteek this morning, I walked around the side of the shop to greet the chickens but I was stopped in my tracks by a different sort of feathery creature. On the ground in front of the billboard-sized rolling door there was a pocket-sized songbird. Unfortunately, it seemed that it had met its end against the tall, clear panes of glass in the door. Upon reporting my discovery, nobody felt good about it and there were several ideas for marking the windows to prevent further losses.

This response struck me as quite conscientious, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized how thoughtfulness is a part of Meteek’s idea of best practice. I began to thinking about more examples of this and it dawned on me there was one literally right under my nose. The boards I was staining for a current decking project were made of thermally modified wood.

Thermal modification is one of several ways to process wood so it can withstand the elements and be used for exterior structures such as decks. The basic idea is to introduce the wood to heat so as to change its molecular structure—in layman’s terms, to “cook” the wood. In the last few decades this old technique, possibly used by ancient hunters to harden spear handles and also instrument builders to strengthen guitars, has been paired with computerized technology. According to Wood Magazine, “The technology has been employed for years in Europe but is only recently making its way into North American retail markets.”

Thermally modified wood is a thoughtful product choice because it achieves a weathered finish while being easier on the environment. Transforming the cell structure renders anything in the wood that might be tasty to wood-munching insects inedible and makes it less susceptible to decay while remaining structurally stable and resistant to warping. The end result weighs less which makes shipping more efficient. Of course, these energy savings may be offset by the energy needed to heat the ovens.

However, the most significant environmental payoff comes from not using chemicals to preserve the wood, the more common method in use. The chemical preservatives in pressure washed wood include arsenic, and other harmful substances. “Cooked” wood avoids any harmful chemical side-effects and functions just as well as pressure-treated wood.

Whether it is a thoughtful gesture toward the other living beings affected by the Meteek world, or making smart product choices, thoughtfulness is part of the day-to-day at Meteek.

Here is a link to the Wood Magazine article:

Psyched for Summer Cycling Event

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Join us and COGGS this Wednesday May 22 at Meteek & Co for a season kick-off potluck!
Psyched for Summer Cycling Kick-Off Potluck
Wednesday May 22, 2013
5:00 - 9:00 pm
Pot Luck! Bring something to grill
we provide condiments, green salad, and stuff to drink

  • bike movies
  • live DJ music by MAR
  • bike photography by Rolf Hagberg
  • contact John Morrison for pre-event ride
  • at Meteek & Co. in the Airpark
  • kids welcome!
  • questions call 218.343.7332

at Meteek & Co. in the Airpark: 4218 Enterprise Circle Duluth, MN 55811

Peter’s First Post

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Peter Witzig is with Meteek & Co. again after a year away at college. He will be blogging for Meteek - this is his first post! Welcome Peter!

I haven’t been a blogger in the past. Coming from a twenty year-old that might be a surprise because in our Digital Age it seems like every one under thirty, and their brother, is blowing up the “blogosphere”—if that’s what the kids are calling it these days. Again, I’m not a blogger. I wouldn’t know.

However, from time to time, I have pretended that I am a poet (it makes me feel good; try it some time, it might be soothing). As a Bard I have always admired and tried to live by Tennyson’s old lines “ ’Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all,” so, for Alfred’s sake, I am applying them to the twenty-first century: ‘Tis better to have blogged and failed, than never to have blogged at all. So, here I am, writing my first entry and, in the interest of a fair warning, here you are, reading it. Don’t worry, I’ll be quick.

I’ve just completed my first year of university in Atlanta and have rejoined the Meteek team as the snow finally has melted in Duluth. I could go on and on about what it means to return home, to slide into old relationships—family, friends, professional—and how all of that reminds me that nothing in the past seems to be irretrievably lost, but then I would have to break my promise to be quick.

Instead, I want to focus on one moment in the Porcupine Mountains and how I felt it connected to Meteek. Hoping for some early-season solitude, my older brother and I made the trek out to the Upper Peninsula (the UP, eh?) this past weekend despite the cold and threats of snow. On Saturday, as we hiked off a ridge down into a wide valley, it began to snow gently.

Tucked under a stand of old-growth balsam firs—like a huge sitting room—my brother and I perched on a rock and silently munched good-old-raisins-and-peanuts. Those beautiful minutes of quietness, camaraderie, and reflection were made possible by the sense of space the forest provided. In the same way, I sense that one part of what Meteek does is capture the essence of the spaces that create these moments for people, and incorporate it into their living space. It’s about making a house, a home.