November 30, 2021

Adrift on a Sea of Ignorance




It is said that those who know they don't know, know, and those that claim to know, don't know.

In my lifelong observations of human behaviour this has been born out in the evidence.

Sometimes it feels like I am floating on a sea of ignorance, tossed and turned by my human limitations, which appear to as numerous as waves in the sea. 

Lately, it looks like the entire human race is in the same boat. We are blown from one calamity to another before we are blown on to two more. 

Even worse, no one appears to know what the F they are doing. Rudder-less, no sails, and no one wants to dip an oar into the dark, turbulent waters.

Civilization is adrift.

If our species can manage to gain even a small amount of humility, and combine that with a great deal more cooperation, we may finally find our way out of this storm of stupidity. 


"What is critical to gaining more understanding of the world is to learn to accept and appreciate the vastness of our ignorance, and to understand that one can only survive in a sea of ignorance by working with others to make our small lifeboat a little bit stronger.  
Only by embracing the fact of our limitless ignorance can one position oneself to increase the store of knowledge.”

- Bill Jameson 


Some day we may even live up to our sapiens sapiens designation and earn our right to be called "wise and intelligent". 

After 200,000 years our species is still in the dark, barely sentient. It doesn't have to be that way. 

We need to humble ourselves and admit that we don't always know better. That will open us up again to new and vital learnings that will allow us to survive.

That is our lifeboat that will safely navigate us across the turbulent Sea of Stupidity that we are currently stranded upon.




November 28, 2021

Appreciating Old Things




One of the official mottos of consumerism is "New Is Always Better". This lie is very profitable. 

What we have lost in the fog of "New and Improved" is an appreciation of old things. 

Experienced things. 

Mature things. 

Broken and repaired things.

Dependable things.

When I look around the house, some of my favourite things are older. Stuff burnished with time, that glows with experience and is STILL useful as well as beautiful.

The Japanese would say old, weathered things are very wabi-sabi, and age is an advantage, not a liability.

In wabi-sabi the focus is on finding beauty in the imperfections of life so we can accept peacefully the cycles of growth and decay.

"New and Improved!" should be met with a righteous amount of scepticism and hesitancy. 

Is it really improved? Is it really better? Does it actually represent progress?

Or is it only profitable?

Developing an appreciation for old things can save money, eliminate waste, and increase our aesthetic enjoyment of the cycle of being.

Do you have any wabi-sabi favourites in your home?

 

“...in repairing the object you really ended up loving it more, because you now knew its eagerness to be reassembled, and in running a fingertip over its surface you alone could feel its many cracks - a bond stronger than mere possession.”  
― Nicholson Baker


November 26, 2021

Buy Nothing Day 2021






Author Hazel B. West came to the conclusion that "a person without a cause is nothing, with nothing to look forward to, and nothing to work toward. They are lost, wandering in the darkest part of their heart to find a deeper, better purpose in life." 

Enter consumerism. It gives the purposeless purpose, and that is to shop

The lost are found. 

In a capitalist society shopping, buying, and owning are the highest purposes to which a consumer can aspire. This is celebrated and supported full time, non-stop. 

Shopping has become an activity unto itself, separated from all notions of need or value. 

When the cause becomes to "support the economy", shopping is the way to get there.

We have it backwards. At one time the economy was to support us, not the other way around.







It is hard to not be mesmerized by the constant hype. 

Buy Nothing Day is a brief moment one day a year to stop the hype, slow down, and consider that there is more to life than shopping. 

More to life than feeding the mythical demanding beast that we have created known as The Economy.

Buy Nothing Day is a day to not comply with orders and mandates to shop till you drop. 

They cultivate fear in us by letting us know that if we don't take the shopping pill, bad things will happen.

It is a time to ignore the narrative and reject the fear projections of the trillion dollar advertising/marketing propaganda machine, and to start writing our own more healthy stories.

Happy Buy Nothing Day. 

Or Not Buying Anything Day, as I call it in my home.




"As I'm paying I wonder at how we cling so relentlessly to the little conventions like commerce, as though they can save us." 
— 
Ron Currie Jr.







November 24, 2021

Save 100%




Just food.

Month after month we look at our banking information and see the same thing. Over the previous 30 days all we bought was food.

And we have had to buy less of that with this year's harvest put away in our pantry and our unheated garage/cold room. 

We are storing carrots (and beets, too, this year) in forest moss again. I will do a post on that soon. See last year's posts on that topic here and here.

Just food doesn't happen every month, but the fact is, once one has the basics of living, not much more needs to be purchased. 

If you buy quality items to start with, they may never need to be replaced.

The 66% of consumers that plan on going out and spending money this weekend, will hunt far and wide looking for the best sales.

The absolute best, unbeatable sale of all time is when you decide to not buy anything. 

"Truth in advertising" is an oxymoron. If it wasn't, you wouldn't want to buy much at all, except what you truly need.

The Not Buying Anything Sale is as true as it gets.

You save 100% every time. 

Guaranteed.





November 22, 2021

Grow Your Own



Has there ever been a better or more important time to start a garden? 

Or plan to start a garden? 

Or to start collecting the things needed to garden?

Or organize growing space with a neighbour or community garden?

Or to tap into local resources on growing your own food, such as books, videos, and expertise in your area?

Or how about lobbing seed bombs (water balloons filled with seeds) into abandoned spaces like the Green Guerrillas did in New York city in 1974?

Has there ever been a better time to do ANYTHING at all to do with gardening and promoting growing your own food?

Not in my lifetime.

I was checking out The Ice Age Farmer the other day, and saw the following information regarding food prices.


"As a billionaire supermarket CEO says food prices will skyrocket +10% in the NEXT 60 DAYS, the NSA/FBI/CISA are warning of Cyberattacks on food production and municipal water/wastewater systems.  
Our food and water are under relentless attack across all vectors: financial, cyber, supply chain, fertilizer shortages, nat gas prices are conspiring to create a perfect storm within the systems that feed most people.  
Only those who seek to grow and raise their own food will be unaffected by the storm ahead.  
Get ready."


See more here.

We do not want to leave decisions regarding food of the future to be made by corporations and their politicians.

Dependence on that system is fraught with problems.

I am growing as much as I can myself before people that grow their own food find themselves labelled anti-fake food terrorists, and dealt with accordingly.

Happy gardening. Tending the soil and growing your own food is the simplest, most joyful thing a person can do.

It may soon be the most radical, too.





November 20, 2021

Doing Good



"Doing Good is a simple and universal vision. 
A vision to which each and every one of us can connect and contribute to its realisation. 
A vision based on the belief that by doing good deeds, positive thinking and affirmative choice of words, feelings and actions, we can enhance goodness in the world." 

- Shari Arison


Me: "Plandemic."


Linda: "But, flowers!"


Me: "Energy crisis."


Linda: But, flowers!"


Me: "Food shortages."


Linda: "But, flowers!"


Me: "Flowers!"


November 15, 2021

Simple Living Reveals The Obvious





In simple living, it's not that life becomes easy or simple, but rather it becomes obvious.

The way forward is clear.

All actions maximally support one's passions and goals.

Life naturally flows, and balance is achieved. 

Harmonious living is happy living.

That, and more, becomes obvious with simplification and the reduction of wasteful things.









November 14, 2021

One Main Thing

This is one of my favourite regular rides close to home.


There is one main thing I have always wanted. 

It's not money, nor the things money can buy.

It's not a career.

Not fame or popularity or respect.

I did want to write a book, but that wasn't my guiding principle.

The only thing I have ever wanted in life, the only thing that was non-negotiable, was being in nature.

I would rather live material-poor, and nature-rich, than the other way around.

When I was working for money, I enjoyed outdoor work like gardening and landscaping more than anything else. 

Before I worked as a teacher I worked as as a gardener, and after I left teaching, I returned to it. 

When I lived in cities I always chose a rental somewhere I could walk out my back door and into green space.


This was the destination of the first backpacking trip Linda and I went on together.




Soon after Linda and I met, one of our first dates was a weekend wilderness backpacking trip into the backcountry of Glacier National Park, Montana.

As it turned out, it wasn't our last date, or backpacking trip.  

Our decades together have been spent communing with nature as much as possible, whether in the back yard, our garden, or in more remote places. 

Living simply allowed us to concentrate less on stuff and more on wilderness, and we have no regrets.

Experiencing nature is the one main thing we both love, without which, we would surely lose our minds.

Whatever you love you will do anything to protect. 

Imagine what kind of shape our world would in if a love of nature was everyone's one main thing.


Linda getting close to nature while nature gets close to Linda on our back porch.




November 10, 2021

Hey COP26! Bicycles Have To Be Part Of The Answer

Oh, the places I can ride.


If that logically-challenged group making decisions at COP26 were serious about making a difference they would be talking about bicycles, not electric cars.

Yes, there are many reason why "bicycles won't work", but there are more reasons why bicycles WILL work, the least not being that their continued use is supported by the laws of physics, unlike gas OR electric cars.

In my early life a bicycle was my main form of transportation. At 16 years I bought my first car. Walking and biking plummeted as a result.

The song "Yellow Bike" by the performer Pedro The Lion, sum up my feelings perfectly. This song makes my eyes leak a bit every time I hear it.

"But I remember what it was like
Astride my yellow bike
First freedom, second life
All the places I could ride..."


50-ish years later, a bicycle is again the only thing parked in my garage. Except now instead of a golden Mustang bike with a banana seat, I have a black mountain bike.

The thing that hasn't changed, is that I feel exactly the same about riding now as I did then. 

I would surely love for more people to discover the beauty and simplicity of the lowly and faithful bicycle, still the most efficient way in the known Universe to get from Point A to Point B.

Also, I would love for more people to experience the joy of not owning a car

Since giving up our vehicle officially a little over a year ago, I am grateful for the newfound mental space freed up by not having to take care of, worry about, and pay for vehicle upkeep.

I like to do a slow ride right through gas stations just to give the middle finger to Big Oil. I could call my mechanic and tell him how I don't miss him, but good luck and all. 

Oh, the sweet, sweet freedom from the tyranny of the auto industrial complex and supporting government regulations. It is priceless. 

But it is also priceful, because on average, a car owner is in line to save roughly $12,000 dollars a year that they spend just running and maintaining their vehicle.

And I haven't even talked about the carbon savings one gains by trading vehicle for velo. But the oilheads in Glasgow should definitely be discussing this important contribution.

And what about the mental and physical health benefits of riding? Both are significant. So significant that doctors should be prescribing bicycles as an effective treatment for a host of illnesses. 

Support by science. Real science. Not funded by Big Bike.

Post-car, and relying solely on my legs and bicycle for transportation once again, I am living "first freedom, second life" all over. 

Or does giving up a car and rediscovering cycling mean it is second freedom, and third life this time round?

Either way, bicycles have to be part of the answer. A fun, fun part.

Just ask these folks what they think. Or do we even need to ask?







Bicycles and programs (and volunteer operators) worldwide comfortably and safely transport aspiring cyclists that are unable to ride.








November 8, 2021

What Is Forest Bathing?


Go through here to clean your car.






Go through here to clean your soul.



"Forest bathing is the practice of immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way, using your senses to derive a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health. 

It is also known as Shinrin-yoku. ‘Shinrin’ means forest and ‘Yoku’ stands for bathing. The idea took birth in Japan in the 1980’s and proved to be a very effective tool to overcome the ill effects of a hectic life and stressful work environment.

Forest bathing in nature allows the stressed portions of your brain to relax. Positive hormones are released in the body. You feel less sad, angry and anxious. 

It helps to avoid stress and burnout, and aids in fighting depression and anxiety. 
  
A forest bath is known to boost immunity and leads to lesser days of illness as well as faster recovery from injury or surgery. 

Nature has a positive effect on our mind as well as body. It improves heart and lung health, and increases focus, concentration and memory."




November 5, 2021

Low Tech For The Global Energy Crisis




"A global energy crisis is coming. There is no quick fix", says a high-powered headline recently. Overnight we have entered yet another unprecedented, life-changing crisis. 

It's a crisis of crises, almost like someone is inventing these things. 

Because of all this, and all the other crises they are threatening us with, now is a good time to dial back energy consumption.

A lower-energy future awaits us. We can blame the WEF or we can blame physics, but the result is the same. 

We have to power down.

What will the future be like? 

Think broom, not vacuum.


November 3, 2021

Playing In The Leaves



I went to the back yard woods yesterday and spent some time playing in piles of lovely leafy organic matter. 

It was a perfect autumn day and the forest smelled duffy and rich.

When I was done, I had two bags full. I attached them to my rake and hoisted it all to my shoulders. 

After thanking the trees, I was off.

With the bags swinging in a stiff north wind, I hauled my mulchy matter to the front yard, where our raised bed garden sits.

Then I spent some time in in the garden preparing it for winter. 

While I planted two rows of garlic and set down a thick layer of hay overtop, a large flock of honking geese flew low overhead, on the way through patchy fog to a nearby lake. 

Later, one of the biggest murmurations of starlings I have ever seen morphed and mingled as it flew overhead. 

Back on task, I returned to the leaves. 




I dumped the two bags into a tower in the middle of the garden, and raked them out to cover the soil.

Finally, to complete my winter garden tuck-in, I put down three rows of chicken wire to completely cover the 8 X 16 raised bed.

The wire does double duty. It will keep the leaves on the garden, and will keep the local cat gangs out. 

I don't blame the cats, as annoying and unsanitary as poop where you grow your food is - a raised bed garden must, to them, look exactly like a dreamy super-sized litter box. 

In conclusion, don't get rid of those leaves! Get out there, play in them, then put them to good use as a natural fertilizer in your yard.

No supply chain problems there - the trees dependably deliver year after year.







November 2, 2021

Revenge of the Hermits

 

  • "Hermits have no peer pressure."

    - Steven Wright


"From Lao–tse and the Buddha, St. Anthony and the early Celtic hermits, through Rousseau, Thoreau, Ruskin, and up to the present day, certain gifted persons have shown a vocation for living alone and apart, finding in simplicity and attention to nature a spiritual space to be explored and rejoiced in." - source

Revenge of the Hermits is the new Revenge of the Nerds. 

Today, the long maligned hermit class is taking their rightful place in the world as the anti-system survivors that they are.

I have always looked up to these independent folks that are brave enough to reject a sick society and have a go on their own.

Often close to nature, and surely with a large garden, the hermit makes a life of living. 

Such an existence is bare and raw and real. It is a self-sufficient life, relying only on ones wits and skills. 

I consider it to be quite an accomplishment when so many today would (will) perish if stores ever ran out of food, or if the electric goes off, or if pharmaceuticals ever stopped flowing, or if there aren't enough doctors and nurses to administer to the people suffering the ill effects of living a modern consumer life.

Do hermits away from it all get COVID? No, partly because they aren't subjected to the relentless propaganda used to keep people dumb and dependent and with wallets open.

While relying on food they have grown and procured themselves from nature around them, do hermits get sick at all?

One man who lived the solitary life in the woods for 27 years said he did not spend a second in all that time bored or lonely. Or at the doctor's office. Quite the opposite.

"I felt utterly and intricately connected to everything else in the world. It was difficult for me to tell where my body ended, and the woods began. I felt this utter communion with nature and with the outside world."

When the consumer/pathocratic machine breaks, and wheezes it final dirty breathe, the hermit will wander in from the wilderness to witness the carnage. 

They will know they have been vindicated.

Shaking their shaggy head, they will turn around and head right back to the peace of the hermitage, lovingly embraced by Mother Nature.

Introverts are owning Peak Crisis. 

We are rocking the lockdowns (ongoing for free-thinkers), and the best way to avoid getting sick is avoiding people who are sick.

It is also good to avoid a society that is sick, as much as that is possible these days. You don't need to be a misanthropist to see that.

It's the revenge of the hermits, solitaries, and recluses. 

And let's not forget the curmudgeons.

I am cheering them all on.




 

November 1, 2021

Certainty Is Not So Certain




It is dangerous to be 100% certain of anything.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle explains that you cannot completely nail down the behaviour of reality at the subatomic level.

There is no reason to believe we can nail down anything with any certainty at a macro level at all anywhere at any time.

Therefore, it is best to keep an open mind, because this is where learning, growth, and change take place. It is also where the truth may eventually be found.

If we can't entertain the idea that we might be wrong, we have entered into dangerous and deadly territory.

As Robert Anton Wilson observed, 


"The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental."


So many today are 100% convinced their side is the correct one that they fail to realize what both sides have in common - a lack of ability to admit that things may not be as certain as they think.

Only time will settle this mess out. Then we will see who most resembles the totally stupid, and who had their thinking caps on firmly.

We will probably be surprised. 

I could be wrong about that.