April 30, 2024


Knowledge is paralyzing. What to do?

These quotes on knowledge may help. 

Or if you are a person of action and can't take the risk of being slowed down by metaknowledge, skip it and do something active instead.

I recommend cleaning the kitchen if that is not already done. That's what I am going to do.

Then I will plant some peas.

That's all I know.

Quotes on Knowledge

“The Seven Social Sins are:

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.

― Frederick Lewis Donaldson

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” 

― Socrates

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” 

― Albert Einstein

“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.” 

― Friedrich Nietzsche

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” 

― John Locke

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” 

― Daniel J. Boorstin

“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” 

― Carl Sagan

“I mean, you could claim that anything's real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody's proved it doesn't exist!” 

― J.K. Rowling

“Quiet people always know more than they seem. Although very normal, their inner world is by default fronted mysterious and therefore assumed weird. Never underestimate the social awareness and sense of reality in a quiet person; they are some of the most observant, absorbent persons of all.” 

― Criss Jami,

“Humour can get in under the door while seriousness is still fumbling at the handle.” 

― G.K. Chesterton

April 29, 2024

Ultra-Processed Phoods

"We don't know what it is, but after adding a bunch of industrially formulated edible substances synthesized from organic compounds, the consumer won't be able to resist." 

What is the difference between natural, minimally processed, and ultra-processed foods?

An example is illustrative of how one of these is not like the others.

Natural Food - Corn on the cob

Ingredients - corn

Minimally Processed Food - Frozen or canned corn

Ingredients - corn, water, salt

Ultra-Processed Food Phood- Flavoured Corn Tortilla Chips

Ingredients - Corn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, And/or Sunflower Oil), Maltodextrin, Salt, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Monosodium Glutamate, Buttermilk, Romano Cheese (Part-skim Cow's Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Whey Protein Concentrate, Onion Powder, Corn Flour, Natural And Artificial Flavour, Dextrose, Tomato Powder, Lactose, Spices, Artificial Color (Yellow 6, Yellow 5, And Red 40), Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Skim Milk, Red And Green Bell Pepper Powder, Disodium Inosinate, And Disodium Guanylate. 


Making what you eat yourself out of natural whole food ingredients is time and labour intensive. That is why more people don't do it more often.

However, eating ultra-processed phoods has its drawbacks, too, and they are much more dangerous then spending more time in the kitchen.

UPF are the result of industrial processes and include some nasty ingredients you otherwise would not find anywhere else except maybe a chemical factory.

Many of the ingredients in fake phoods can be harmful to your health. Very harmful in many cases.

These industrialized, hyperpalatable, ultra processed foods are the main source (60 - 70%) of calories eaten in places like the US, UK, and Canada.

Big Phood is using the strategies Big Tobacco perfected to hoodwink the public because in both cases they know their products are harmful.

Their use of misinformation and disinformation is rampant (who is going after them?), and their discrediting of science and researchers that produce data that runs counter to their lies is straight out the Disinformation Playbook.
"The results of independent science don’t always shine a favorable light on corporate products and practices. In response, some corporations manipulate science and scientists to distort the truth about the dangers of their products, using a set of tactics made famous decades ago by the tobacco industry. We call these tactics the Disinformation Playbook."

 - Union of Concerned Scientists


It is no coincidence that Big Tobacco once owned phood companies. What these companies also had in common with the tobacco pushers is that they both sold products meant to addict consumers.

They make products addictive in the phood industry by making them "hyperplatable".

Such extra-tasty UPFs are purposely tempting combinations of salts, fats, sugars and carbs that are so pleasing they trigger addictive responses in the diner/addict.

Remember "bet you can't eat just one"? It's not just a slogan for an addictive phood. It is also a promise, and a threat. 

Key Facts:

  1. Tobacco-owned foods between 1988 and 2001 were up to 80% more likely to be hyperpalatable compared to those not owned by tobacco companies.
  2. Despite tobacco companies divesting from the U.S. food system by the mid-2000s, over 57% of fat-and-sodium and 17% of carbohydrate-and-sodium hyperpalatable foods were still prevalent in 2018.
  3. Hyperpalatable foods excessively stimulate our brain’s reward system, disrupting fullness signals, leading to overconsumption and related health issues.

Source: University of Kansas

These products are best avoided altogether, or used in strict moderation.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out there is collusion between Big Phood, Big Medicine, and Big Pharma.

Eating these phoods in excess could lead to poor health outcomes. The consumer/victim then turns to Big Medicine, which in turn will lead to doctors prescribing harm-aceutical products. It is the perfect trifecta of profit.

Everyone wins, except us, the people eating all this non-food phood.

In my house we have been eliminating industrial, chemical-laden phoods from our diet, and replacing them with healthful foods we make ourselves out of mostly organic, whole ingredients.

As a result, we have control over what we eat, and because of that, control over our health. 

I guess it is a luxury to be able to make almost everything we eat from scratch.

However, if we as a society don't have the time to eat healthful, homemade meals, we should question what it is we are doing that is more important than healthful eating.

After years of effort, Linda and I are almost 100% off the crappy stuff, and challenge the corporate pushers with our own slogan - 
"Bet you can't make us eat even one."

Ha! Don't even try. 

Take back control over your health and say NO to ultra-processed phoods.

April 26, 2024

10 Ways to Reclaim Our Lives in Simplicity

The easiest way to reclaim our lives is to go back to the tried and true ways of simplicity. 

"Simplify, simplify, simplify," is even more relevant today than when Henry David Thoreau recommended it in the 1800s.

However, as Thoreau discovered it will be hard. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Hard work pays off.

Choosing the easy way has not worked for us - just look at the state of our world today.

Obviously we need to do things differently. 

Why not try simplicity? It worked before, and will work again.

This list will sound old timey, and it is. 

Perhaps progress, this late in the game, means going back to what worked, instead of choosing the failing alternatives that brought us to this momentous time in our brief history.

How to Reclaim Our Lives in Simplicity

1. Go offline. When you go online, use the computers in the library. Or, buy an old computer and run Linux on it.  

2. Use cash. Get rid of debt, then don't accumulate more.

3. Get around by walking, biking, or public transportation. Carshare. Rent. Taxi. Rideshare. If you have to own a car, choose something basic, and keep it for as long as you can.

4. Grow a garden. Raise as much of your own food as possible, and what you can't raise yourself, buy from farmer's markets.

5. Support local. Try to source as much of what you buy locally.

6. Leave your phone behind. When at home, leave your phone turned off, and check a couple of times a day. Or not.

7. Spend time in nature. Much of our current predicament is due to an artificial separation from our environment. Our liberation will require fewer digital experiences, and more analog ones.

8. Cook your own food. Cooking food with your own hands and wholesome ingredients is the way to extreme numminess and optimum health. Enjoying food you've raised and cooked yourself harkens back to a time when we were more free and self-sufficient.

9. Stick close to home. It is enjoyable and beneficial to know your own area, and the people in it. Good things happen when one is committed to a place and getting to know it intimately.

10. Only buy what you need. Why buy things you don't need? Advertising, propaganda, cultural brainwashing. In simplicity, we ignore them all knowing that chasing happiness via stuff is a losing game, no matter what they say.

Avoid the rush, and simplify, simplify, simplify today. 

We have freedom, peace of mind, health and happiness to gain, and nothing to lose.

April 22, 2024

Giving to Our Mother on Earth Day

"Hey! You're right - this is way more fun than the corporate jet."

Today is Earth Day. If you are thinking of a gift for Mother Earth, I have the perfect thing.

The most awesome, most needed gift that you could possibly provide your planet, IMHO, is to live more simply.

The best thing is that anyone can do it. Anyone, and everyone can give this gift. Any act of simplifying your life will be gratefully accepted by our fair mother.

Imagine the positive impact of giving up your private jet, even if it is just on Wednesdays. Or pairing down the number of homes you own to just two or three.

How about selling off that car collection and riding one of your motorcycles more often? 

Or sell off your motorcycle collection, too, and ride one of your bicycles more often.

Even cutting down showering to just once per day will have a noticeable impact on the environment. 

Giving up meat in favour of more lentils, beans, and rice is a good one. I figure that 276 million Indians can't be wrong. I'm with them.

Everything any one of us does in our own personal offering pays off in reducing mom's stress levels. 

Providing the gifts nature needs might be tough, and that's alright. Remember, if there's no component of sacrifice, it's probably not a deeply committed gift.

Living more simply gives the present of reduced resource use and waste. You decide the size of your gift. All efforts are appreciated and matter.

Our giving back in this way will make sure there is more to go around for everyone, including all the other life forms with which we share our beautiful planet.

The Great Mother loves you for it, and will shower you with life-sustaining gifts in return.

Everyone's a winner, folks, and that is true (I fact checked it myself).

And don't forget to visit your mother regularly. We would all benefit from reconnecting with her, seeing that she loves us, and realizing that we are an important part of her family.

Happy Earth Day.

Love ya, mom.

April 20, 2024

The Three Stages of The Quest


The word elicits a deep felt call to challenge, adventure, and an improvement in the human condition.

Across the ages, it has been a commonplace thought that those that seek visions and insight must go apart from others and spend time in the wilderness. 

The quester is stripped to the bare essentials in a moment or life lived at the most simple. 

And the most natural.

Simplicity and nature nurture intentions. They are tools waiting to be used.

Both allow us to break our selves down without the usual distractions so we can remove the ultimate distraction - that which is within. 

As Suzy Kassem writes, "If the mind is in the way, the heart won't see anything."

At the end of the quest, this extreme simplification conducted in nature? 

Kindness, compassion, and a better world. 

Happy questing! 

May we all grow, develop, and evolve individually, and together, in simplicity and nature.

Three Stages of The Quest

1. Sudden jolt. Something tweaks you to begin your quest, and leave everything behind.

2. Down the rabbit hole. Your adventure takes you within, simultaneously curious and bewildered.

3. Understanding and acceptance. The quest ends with the seeker sensing a deeper connection to everything.

Repeat if necessary.

April 15, 2024

Freedom From Owning Things

Most humans see owning stuff as a good thing. The more stuff, the better. 

But is that actually true?

"Other animals don’t anguish with such existential troubles," wrote Walt Whitman. 

"They are so placid and self-contain’d," he said. "They do not sweat and whine about their condition. They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins… Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things.” 

Viewed this way, material things are only a burden. The possessionless free animals have it better than we do.

I would like to be a raven for a day, to be completely liberated from the mania of owning things. And I don't own much.

But that 24 hours would be enlightening.

It takes time and practice, but eventually we can attain a more natural and beneficial state where we too are free from being demented with stuff.

As usual, living simply helps, and is a great start.

You still won't be able to fly.

But you will feel a lot lighter, and your spirit will soar.


April 13, 2024


Greedy companies have many different ways of gouging consumers.

There's inflation, shrinkflation, skimpflation, and crapflation, to mention a few.

Another one that has come to my attention is trickflation. Or you could call it sneakflation, or shiftyflation. 

You can file all these shady business practices under the overall category of greedflation.

In the example above, different packaging, exactly the same amount of product, and a new much higher price.

They are sneaky, and they hope we won't notice. 

But we are noticing, and we are getting tired of such dishonourable practices.

So tired, that we are quitting buying crappy products for good.

Demand destruction is always a possible outcome for greedy operators. People stop buying from you, and they never come back.

You can trick some of the people for a while, but you risk them finding out and deciding to keep their money in their wallets as a response.

We're not buying anything from dishonest entities.

And that's most of them.

Good riddance. We will do just fine without your trickery, and without your products.

April 11, 2024

Now You're Cooking With Cow Patties!

Cooking with gas used to be a good thing.

Starting in the 1930s, the phrase "Now you're cooking with gas!" was all the rage. 

Advertisers ran campaigns to get people to switch from wood or coal stoves to newer, cleaner, gas alternatives.

The marketing campaign worked, and millions of indoor natural gas appliances were sold.

Over time the phrase "now you're cooking with gas" was being used as an idiom meaning "doing something very well", or "making excellent progress".

How things have changed. 

Today, not even one hundred years later, governments, including my own here in Canada, are trying to ban gas cook stoves. 

That is right. They aren't banning military activity and war (one of the biggest contributors of green house gases and death globally), they are banning something that accounts for .06 percent of Canada's total emissions.

I am therefore thinking about coining a new phrase more appropriate for our new world order.

Here are a few I am trying out depending how far back we need to go as we replace our centuries long obsession with progress for our new obsession with regress.

"Now you're cooking with electricity!"

"Now you're cooking with coal!"

"Now you're cooking with wood!"

And my personal favourite,

"Now you're cooking with dung!"

Drying cow dung to be used as
cooking fuel in India.

What "modern" people may not realize, is that many people around the world have always used wood and other biomass as their primary fuel source for cooking. 

Half of humanity today still cooks over biomass fires, from China to Kenya, and Guatemala to India. 

Many of those burn dung as in many places it is the only fuel available. 

No bull. It's true.

The burning of dung is a smoky and inefficient process, but it gets the job done.

In our more simple future, those of us used to a gas or electric range in the kitchen, may benefit from having knowledge of alternative forms of cooking.

Otherwise, after the grid goes down, we risk the danger of not being able to cook anything.

Let us today recognize the dung burners. 

We know not what they live with every day.

And that lack of knowledge might become very detrimental in the dung days to come.

Get ready for it.

"Now you're cooking with cow patties!"

Note: new job opportunity - dung delivery dude.

April 9, 2024

Flowers Smile

Blue pines and green bamboos

Shade my window.

Flowers smile;

Warblers sing by my hermitage.

As I climb the stone steps,

I feel the strength of cedars;

At the pure cool mountaintop,

Buddha is bright and vivid.

- Deiryu 

"Deiryu (Kanshu Sojun) was a remarkable figure of the Japanese Taishō period (1912-1926) and Shōwa period (1926-1989).

In his painting and calligraphy, Deiryu displayed the humor, strength, and inner vision that made him one of the outstanding monk-artists of the twentieth century." 

April 6, 2024

The Monk's Secret

The monk's secret is very simple.

It is so simple that most modern people can not understand how it can even be possible.

The Monk's Secret

As a monk you have a lower standard of living.

Despite this, you have a much higher quality of life, and are therefore happier.

Go figure. That is what happens when one lives simply with a higher purpose that rises above the work, buy, die model of consumerism.

That little truth makes all of consumerism, and the myth of progress, a bunch of self-serving lies meant to enrich the few while enslaving the rest.

It's not like we are all blissfully happy with the way things are now.

We could wander off in any direction totally aimlessly and probably find something better. 

But we don't have to wander the wilderness when there is a better way right in front of us. It has been there all along, waiting for our awakening.

You don't have to be a monk, but it might improve life to live like one.

The true gifts of life and luxuries are not "out there", but can only be found while reducing distractions and desires and going within.

We have little to lose by trying the age old simplicity solution, and much to gain.

The monk's secret is only a secret because it has been actively suppressed for so long by vested interests determined to keep us bound by harmful ways.

I don't know about you, but I am breaking free of it all, and finding vastley improved happiness as a result of this epic adventure called the simple life.

Highly recommended for any human - monk, or not.

April 3, 2024

Not Buying Anything As Protest

There are three ways to approach a problem. Accept it, change it, or leave it. When it comes to consumerism, our choice has been to change it by leaving it.

The more simply one lives, the less they feed the beast.

Over the decades Linda and I have continuously simplified, which is synonymous with buying less and less of what consumerism has to offer.

We have removed our support for the system as it has descended from bad to worse, and have quit almost everything that is part of a normal life where we live.

The status quo has never appealed to us. We see it as the source of decay we are presently experiencing.

What we need as tyranny takes hold, is a form of protest they can't shut down and destroy.

It has to be something everyone can do, but without a central command or hierarchy that the powers that shouldn't be can target.

Considering that, our diffuse form of protest has been enjoying sticking around the neighbourhood, and not buying into all the stuff and services we've never needed. Or even wanted.

Our lifelong form of protest has been getting along just fine locally and without all the extras.

We just said no, and escaped the wheel of consumer life. 

China's lie flat movement is a current example of a mass opting out.

If active protest is squashed, and it is in most places, not just China, then a passive response is inevitable. 

People are choosing to opt out in greater numbers as the lies and resulting horrors continue to pile up.

What if, along the way, we found we were happier with life outside of the system?

I wonder if that would get anyone's attention?

They can stop us from doing something, but what can they do if we choose to do nothing that supports their corrupted system?

Don't work for them, don't buy their useless narratives, stuff or services.

They don't really care about our ballots.

The same can not be said about our dollars.

April 1, 2024

Silent Spring

Your blog host on a pilgrimage to an old growth western
red cedar tree on Vancouver Island, BC Canada, 2012

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 


― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring