January 27, 2021

Busy Work

Busy work scheduled yesterday.


Busy work scheduled today.


Busy work scheduled for tomorrow.


Busy work scheduled for the foreseeable future.


Not that there isn't work to do, I have enough of that. But I don't need to invent more work to keep myself occupied. 

Our culture is so obsessed with avoiding the "evils of idleness" that it invents busy work. That's right - more work.


To give the appearance of doing something productive even though nothing but the appearance of work is being produced. 

Much of a modern life is taken up in busy work that does not add, but rather takes away from the enjoyment of life.

The less time spent servicing an needlessly complicated modern life, the more time for things that truly make us happy, like getting to know ourselves, and finding our place in the ecological order.

While we are banning things, how about banning busy work?

"We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so many diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve ourselves with so many people and cover so much ground that we never have time to probe the fearful and wonderful world within... By middle life most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves."

- John W. Gardner

January 26, 2021

Daily Activities

What is simple living? 

You might think there was a simple answer considering the subject matter, but no. 

Layman Pang, a lay Buddhist in the Zen tradition who lived from 740–808, wrote:

“My daily activities are not unusual,
I’m just naturally in harmony with them. 
Grasping nothing, discarding nothing. 
In every place there’s no hindrance, no conflict. 
How miraculous and wondrous: 
Drawing water and chopping wood.”

This is a perfect description of what simple living means to me.

Mostly just ordinary daily activities done mindfully, with a joyful attitude, and with the least amount of resistance to the moment.

How miraculous and wondrous to be drawing water and chopping wood.

January 24, 2021

Easy Honey Graham Wafer Recipe

Our first experiment with making our own graham wafers. We made a pie shell with the same dough.

I'm not sure there is a more simple and basic cookie than graham wafers. They are yummy and have a short and pronounceable ingredient list, even the ones you buy from the store. 

Graham crackers remind me of a similar cookie I found in the food store a few years ago. There were boxes and boxes of them in the 50% off bin. I wondered why the were there because the best before date was far off.

Then I noticed what they were called - Bowel Buddy. Maybe that turned cookie-loving shoppers away. Cookies aren't usually good for you, and that is part of the attraction.

These cookies were different. The small print on the boxes said they were bran crackers, and "help promote regularity, control weight gain, alleviate constipation, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease". 

I gabbed 5 boxes.

The Bowel Buddy cookies turned out to be a lot like graham wafers, and I have since learned that these kinds of cookies are easy to make. 

We filled the pie shell with dairy-free chocolate pudding made out of silken tofu.
Easy and yummy, but that crust could have been thinner and crispier.


2 cups whole wheat flour (the wholer the better!)
1 cup lighter flour (all-purpose works)
1 teaspoon baking powder 
½ teaspoon baking soda 
½ cup butter/margarine, softened 
½ cup packed brown sugar 
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
½ cup milk


Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.

In a bowl, cream together the butter/margarine, brown sugar, honey and molasses until light and fluffy. Amounts of sweeteners can be altered to suit your tastes, or an alternative like green stevia (1 tsp) can be used.

Stir in the dry ingredients, milk and vanilla into wet. 

Cover dough and refrigerate until firm. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

Divide the chilled dough into halves. On a well floured surface, roll the dough balls out into a rectangle. A thiner dough makes a crispier wafer.

Divide flattened dough into smaller squares or rectangles using a knife. Place rectangles onto ungreased cookie sheets. Prick with a fork. 

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven. We bake them as long as it takes to make them a little darkened around the edges.

Remove from baking sheets, cool on wire racks or countertop.

There it is. You have made your own version of the Bowel Buddy cookie.

These graham wafers may even be as good for you as the more obviously-named variety. 

Saving money, increasing flavour and control over ingredients, and the satisfaction of making them yourself are some other side effects you may experience. 

January 22, 2021

My Way

My Way

If their way is go,

my way is stop.

If theirs is stuff,

mine is spirit.

If theirs is greed,

mine is generosity.

If theirs is complexity,

mine is simplicity.

If theirs is war,

mine is peace.

If theirs is destructive,

mine is creative.

If theirs is me,

mine is we.

If theirs is deceit,

mine is honesty.

If theirs is car, 

mine is bike.

January 20, 2021

Extinction Acceptance

Did you know there is a group dedicated to an organized voluntary human extinction? 

They see humanity as so toxic that the Earth, or any other planet, would be better off without us. I am inclined to agree.

At first it seems outrageous, to voluntarily go extinct. But aren't we doing that indirectly right now?

Voluntary extinction is what I call having scientists warn us for decades of the dangers of things like overconsumption, biocides, fossil fuels, metabolic syndrome, and a sedentary lifestyle, and have us do essentially nothing in response.

Lately one has to wonder if the human race is knowingly committing suicide. 

It's not so much as Extinction Rebellion as it is Extinction Acceptance. 

We need to find out why the human race is so hellbent on this slow burn self-immolation.

I won't be around long enough to find out our eventual fate (I hope), but while I am here, I would like to see humanity embrace the reality facing us, and admit our multiple and grievous shortcomings.

The next step would be doing something about them, and finding out if we can live harmoniously with the other life on this planet, or if it would be better off without us.

"Phasing out the human species by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth’s biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense."


January 14, 2021

Escaping The Matrix: How We The People Can Change The World

Want to get an up to date, accurate assessment of humanity's current state of affairs so you can help change the world? Don't go to social media for answers, that's blue pill stuff. 

The place we need to go is BOOKS, because so many are red pill material.

Power brokers know we don't read books much anymore, and therefore have not been aggressively censoring them. 

Our attention span has been reduced to the size of a pea, consuming information in smaller and smaller bites, bits, and microbits. It is imposible to get a big picture look at things.

They think that if we are confronted by anything longer than a meme or tweet, we will lose concentration and wander off. 

But we can still read books, can't we? 

I am going to give it a go because you never know when they will stage real and/or digital conflagrations to eliminate inconvenient ideas.

I am leaving a link to a book that I have been looking at recently, because I am all about taking that red pill and escaping the matrix.

2021. The Year Humanity Escaped The Matrix, after 6000 long years.

Here's the link to a free online copy of Escaping The Matrix: How We The People Can Change The World by Richard Moore.


"We need a culture based on mutual understanding and cooperation rather than on war and conquest, a culture based on common sense rather than dysfunctional doctrine, on respect for life rather than the pursuit of profit, and on democracy in place of elite rule. 
After six thousand years of domestication, we sheep must finally cast aside our illusions, recognize our condition, and reclaim our identity as free human beings. 
In reclaiming our identities we will also be redefining our cultures."


- Richard Moore



January 13, 2021

Personal Protective Equipment

I have never considered myself an insurrectionist, although I have been rebelling against power my whole life. 

However, I am not out to storm anything, except maybe the pantry or fridge when I get hangry.

The picture is me in my PPE... 

... for a cold weather bike ride to the mailbox, and a visit to the ocean.

Up in the hills, at elevation where I live, there is a good cover of snow on the ground. I had to ride through snow before I got to the pavement, which was dry.

Down below, at sea level, there was very little snow to be seen. 

But I still needed my personal protective equipment to guard me from the elements (it was hovering around the freezing mark). 

And cars.

And authority figures.

It was a beautiful ride. 100% free and unobstructed.

Oh, I had mail. 

A letter from the federal government reminded me that I will be eligible to join the Canadian Pension Plan NEXT YEAR! 

What? Who am I? When am I?

That's for old people. 

Like me. I guess. Huh?

Did I mention I had a beautiful ride? 

Cycling out in nature is PPE against aging.

January 11, 2021

Whether All Is Really Lost Or Not

Illustration by Stuart McReath

Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost...

- Vaclav Havel

Vaclav Havel, a playright/human rights activist, spent four years in prison for his efforts. 

He triumphed to become president of the Czech Republic.

January 8, 2021

Before, During, And After Quarantine

What could go wrong? 

They turn off the internet.

They leave the internet on, but censor it like they are burning books.

We shrivel up from lack of touch.

Those that can't afford a device get no love, no education, no medical, no life.

Those that don't want a device get the same results as above. "Off-grid" takes on a whole new meaning.

Pop songs in the future lamenting the loss of analog love. 

Before long you find yourself encased in a goop-filled pod, hooked directly into a computer-generated, AI monitored, government-approved virtual world. 

Or is this the virtual world? 

It was hard to say what was real BEFORE computers and other screens came to dominate our lives.

What could go wrong?

We could lose touch with our humanity.

We could lose touch with reality.

Or have we already? Recent global events would indicate that this scenario has already come to pass.

We can make AQ (After Quarantine) better than BQ (Before Quarantine), if we are unafraid to make big changes, the likes of which have never been made before. 

If we can dream it, we can do it. 

This is a turning point in history, and if we do not act, the opportunity will be squandered. 

If we do not act, others surely will, and I guarantee you, we will not like the results.

January 6, 2021

Bean Day

Today is Bean Day, which I am happy to celebrate and share since I am a big bean booster. Humans have been bean eaters for many thousands of years for good reasons. 

One thing I have to get over is that when I hear Bean Day, I think of "been" instead. 

Been Day. 

What would that even be? 

Perhaps a day to meditate on your journey that has delivered you to this very moment in time. A day to think about who you have been, and what that means for who you are now. 

"Are we simply a composite of all our experiences?" is definitely Been Day material. 

I think that a little self-reflection would not be a bad thing for humanity. Things are already getting more contemplative as we find ourselves with more time with our thoughts. Why not make it official?

I wonder how Hallmark would exploit a special day recognizing our past, our present, and where we want to go in the moments unfolding before us? 

"It doesn't matter what you have been. What is important is what you are today... and you are GREAT!"

Getting back to Bean Day, what you will be today if you eat beans, is healthier. Enjoying legumes more often is a great way to save money and add delicious, healthy dishes to your menu. 

I am certain that humanity has been celebrating enjoying beans for as long as we have been eating them, some cultures more than others. We love making Indian and Mexican dishes that are bean based. Look for amazing bean recipes in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Beans are versatile, inexpensive, delicious and full of fibre, protein and other good-for-you things.

If you have been better, beans might help get you back on track.

January 3, 2021

NBA Public Service Announcement

Not Buying Anything Public Service Announcement Regarding The 5 Second Rule.

Please let it be known that as of January 1, 2021 the 5 Second Rule (also known as the 10 Second Rule), has been updated to reflect our new economic reality.

Henceforth it will officially be known as the 20 Second Rule. If you are brave enough, have an extra strong stomach, or are REALLY hungry, it can reasonably extended to 30 seconds, or more.

This change will allow more dropped food to be eaten, making more calories available to the hungry masses. 

This green practice (it may cause you to turn green) will cut down on food waste at at time when food is more precious than ever.

It does seem that our immune systems could use some toughening up, and eating a bit of floor bacteria might do the trick. 

Call it the George Carlin Method

"What do you think you have an immune system for? It's for killing germs! But it needs practice. It needs germs to practice on."

So enjoy that dropped food, and develop your own iron gut and immune system. 

Caution. Your dog will be envious, and will probably not appreciate the competition.

"Does your dog bite?" 


*Reaches for food on floor.*


"That's not my dog."

Note: Science does not support the 5 Second Rule, or 10 Second, or 20 or 30. As a matter of fact, research shows that dropped food can become contaminated in less than 1 second after hitting the floor.

But we have all eaten dropped food (haven't we?), and I don't know about you, but I have never become sick from doing so. That I know of.

Tough times have redefined the kitchen practice of asking ones self after flopping some food on the floor, 

"To eat, or not to eat?"

"5 seconds? 10? 20?...", and

"Will Fido get there first?"

These are some of the pressing questions we will be pondering during the Pandemic of 2020/2021/2022.

Stay safe out there, everyone.

January 1, 2021

Good-Bye 2020, Hello 2021

Welcome to the new year, which will probably be much the same as the old year.

While 2020 is finally over, humanity’s challenges will persist into 2021 and beyond, virus or no virus. 

Because of that prediction, in my home we turned the year of Virustime into an opportunity to hone our simple living skills even further. 

We adopted simple living a long time ago so we could be ready for moments exactly like The Great Whatever-That-Was of 2020.

As a result, we were little affected by what was happening around us.

No shopping? No problem. 

No restaurants, no concerts, no travel, no bars? 

No problem. 

We quit all that a long time ago in order to save money and reduce our ecological footprint. 

However, we did not free ourselves from vehicle ownership until this past year, making it one of the biggest changes we have ever made as we progress toward our ideal simple life.

How about social distancing? Being somewhat socially self-sufficient, we've got that dialed as well. 

Like everyone else, there were changes for us, too. Fortunately, most of them were beneficial. 

We joined a food buying club that gives us access to bulk locally grown organic foods. As a result, we got our pantry into fine form over the last few months.

This summer we expanded our garden, growing more food than we ever have before. We also preserved more food this fall than we ever have before. 

We can't wait to start the 2021 growing season. I guess we already have as there are a couple of rows of garlic under mulch under snow out there right now.

We used the year of disruption to replace several foods we used to buy from the grocery store.

That has meant fewer avacados from Mexico, bananas from Central America and oranges from California, and more kale, apples, carrots and potatoes from our garden. 

We replaced store bought energy bars, granola, yogurt, graham wafer biscuits, and plant-based protein patties with recipes we developed ourselves. 

With shaky supply chains, and the very real possibility of break down, we do not want to be dependent on foods that could stop coming at any time. 

We prefer homemade anyway for the improved taste, nutrition, cleanliness, and the cost savings. 

My favourite thing about 2020 is that it made me feel like I was living in a cabin in the woods far from the madness. 

Because of our quiet, rural location and simple routines, plus conditions resulting from the isolation of lockdown, over the past year my home has felt like an ashram, or monastery, or forest hermitage. 

And I have loved it. 

Living a quiet, simple, peaceful and isolated life away from the hubbub has been a lifelong goal, and 2020 was the closest I have got yet to living in such a situation. 

My wish is that 2021 is as quiet, peaceful, slow and deliberate as last year was, and that Linda and I are able to continue turning adversity into opportunity in order to grow as simple living advocates and as human beings.

I extend this wish to the whole human family.

Happy New Year to the readers of Not Buying Anything. May this be your best, most simple and satisfying year yet. 

Why not?

It could happen, even if 2021 turns out to be as tumultuous as last year was.

And it might. Best to be prepared.