Numbers way off.  Down by 50%.  From 6 to 3.  Well, to be more honest, from 400 to 200.

That’s odd, don’t you think?  I mean, what makes a regular reader NOT read?

One idea might be worth thinking about…

We aren’t the real thing?

A recent book review from a stranger was not all complimentary (several of the book reviews on Amazon are from friends and they are notorious for that – being friends and saying nice things).  The less-than-glowing review was still OK.  They admitted to laughing (which was the main point of the book) but they felt that we were not hardy enough.  Not enough how-to-be-sustainable content.  Not enough grubbing about for grubs and that kind of thing.

This reviewer pointed out that we were not really off-the-grid.  NOT really.  It seems we are just pretenders.  We are just not self sufficient enough.  We rely too much on Save-On by way of the ferry service and other assorted cushy behaviours.  All of which is true, actually. We are still dependently connected by way of ‘forms’ of-the-grid even if you just count the ferry and the internet.  And, despite increasing our foraging and farming, we still need to buy most of our food from the store.

We’re pathetic, really.  It’s embarrassing.

So, in that sense, they are right.  We are not so much off-the-grid as on-the-cusp.  It is just that a book titled ON THE CUSP kind of lacks conviction, don’t you think?  Like, we are hesitating or reluctant or something.

Which, of course, we are.  We don’t really wanna rough it any more than we do.  It’s hard enough as it is out here on the cusp for two spoiled city brats. Neither Sal nor I are big fans of grubs as protein rather than rib-eye.  So the critic is right again.

Maybe I am losing readers because we just don’t represent the true off-the-grid lifestyle as defined by those who really know their stuff?  Because, let us be clear: we do not really know our stuff.  We are still learning stuff and we will likely be learning stuff even decades into the future even while we are still shopping at Save On.  Rustic-to-the-bone, we are not.  Hell, we might be still learning even then about how to shop at Save-ON better.  Who knows where the learning will take you?

So, for the record: we live off the grid but just by a few miles by sea.  We are remote but by city standards, not so much by rural ones.  We are hardy by city standards, not so much by rural ones. There are no roads we can use near our home but there is a logging road not too far away and we use it now and again.  Our own electrical and water systems are pretty independent, though, even by the critic’s standards.

We likely generate 10% of our own foodstuffs but that increases to 15% in the summer. Everything is cooked from scratch – no processed, packaged, frozen or restaurant meals for us!  Aaaarrgh!  There are no stores of any kind for ten miles and no stores that are full-service for 30 and it takes two hours to cover that distance.  We have no fire or police protection although the Coast Guard is pretty damn good when you need them.  As are the few neighbours around.

So, I should change the title?  Our Life On the Cusp?  Living Near Convenience?

Living Off Cold Camembert and Stale Crackers?

A Pizza Too far?

22 thoughts on “Poseurs!

  1. Off the grid, on the grid what the hell, we all enjoy reading your blog, in spite of one lone lousy reader has to have his say, which we don’t believe anyway. How does he live?


    • LOL!!! PCT is my father-in-law and very proud of his daughter (and me, I think – on this project, anyway) and so his comment is pure love. Rising to our defense like a good father. THAT’S GREAT!! Thanks, Pete. But we know that offense or criticism is inevitable when you put yourself out there on a literary limb. It is OK. And, as I said, they are basically right. We are NOT rustic as hell. If we were, we would have quit by now and be living in your basement!


  2. “A pizza too far”.
    It does have a certain cache that evolks the horrors of suddenly realizing you cant just pick up the phone and have something delivered in 30 minutes or less.

    For all the “nay sayers” out there that choose to critisize your book or the title of your blog.
    Well I’d like to see them walk a mile in your shoes so to speak.
    Deciding, planning and then building your own little piece of heaven on an island with no power or services is something that less then 1% of the population would even attempt let alone succeed at. And you folks are more than 10 years into your lifestyle.
    Awesome achievement that the jealous can only dream of.
    Then writing a book AND getting it published. Not an easy task.

    Now to the important topics.
    How big was the Full moon last night?


      • No, strangely. It is NOT you (I thought it might be you, too). Seems some of the readers actually like your comments. They LIKE to read your take on the blog, too, DC. Go figure?


    • Well, I know it was bright. I could see it streaming in the window. But every full moon I am busy catching, roping and keeping Sal locked in the closet as she gets all hairy, howls and scratches with wicked long claws. The next day I have to repair the door and closet. And you thought we moved out here to get away from it all?


  3. No matter how you slice it Dave, you live in the boonies or the toolies, or the back of beyond. “Off the grid” is a metaphor that figuratively expresses an aspirational way of living not a literal one. One hears of other metaphors such as the “one hundred mile diet” that aspires to eat only local produced foods which is not possible at all times of the year in a challenging climate. The concept of living off the land however in many parts of the world is a ticket to starvation. “Off the grid” in part involves having a lighter footprint.


    • Thank you. That says it succinctly and accurately. As I get heavier and denser in body, I try to make up for it by treading lighter on the planet. But I will never attain the standard that would get my critic’s approval. Nor will I ever be able to tiptoe lightly through the tulips so long as I wheel my buggy thru Save-On and Costco but I can – and we intend to – do better as we learn to live greener, simpler and somewhat more off-the-land. We will continue to try harder to be purer. But I ain’t gonna fuss over it!


  4. Well, I am not particularly interested in emulating your lifestyle – I’m older than you are by a fair bit. I have always been interested in self-sufficiency, so I like that part of your lifestyle. But what really brings me here is your writing style. It’s just a lot of fun to read what you write. I hope you don’t stop writing.


    • Dudes! I can feel the love! I think I have a tear forming……
      Seriously, thanks. It is nice to be defended but I meant what I said: when you write a blog (or a book) there will be those who disagree. I get that. In fact, I kinda like it…..(so long as my feelings aren’t hurt). What I find really GREAT is three new voices – all thinking much the same thing! Thanks for writing. Truly. And agreeing with: Rat race. Getting out. Being more independent. That kind of thing. I am honestly gobsmacked to know that an east-side house in Vancouver sold for 2.2M and property out here in paradise is getting cheaper! It is inexplicable. But I am glad you are out here with us joining us in the confusion. Welcome to the practical application of Chaos Theory. .


      • That East Van sale was a classic “bidding war”. The realtor dropped the price of the house to about 300k below market and let the “suckers” line up to bid it up.
        The Vancouver market is in for a verrrrry rude awakening very soon.
        US interest rates will rise within the next 6 months, Canada will follow suit after the election in the Fall. Chinese off shore investors trying to either legitimize their money or get it out of China before the crackdown are going to run smack into the new anti corruption guidelines imposed by their leader.
        Condo prices and sales are tanking.
        Boomers without pensions or money are beginning to sell.
        Vancouver housing isnt so much a Rat Race as a sucker show for people that assume house prices always go up up up. I remember the 80’s here when houses went from 240k to 80k within months……Ugly.

        Your doing just fine where you are.


  5. A solid 4 hrs have gone by as I became immersed in your writing. Not only do I enjoy the writing style, I also have taken many steps towards off grid living. The property is located near you, Quarry Bay of Nelson Island, on the Sunshine Coast, near Pender Harbour. When there, I live in a 30ft sailboat while I build and prepare the property, west coast off grid living in the purest form!
    The facts and recommendations you give your readers are accurate, the details describe OGL perfectly.
    Mostly, I find your opinions relating to the ‘Rat’ race and all surrounding topics to be the words I could only wish to find to describe my thoughts. An armchair economist myself, I have take the steps of a ‘reluctant prepper’ as well. Your thoughts are the most interesting and grounded that I have come across in the past years researching these topics, and all in one blog!
    I hope we could connect and even possibly meet some day, as I find many common interests shared.
    I am born in the early 70’s, raised in Alberta, about to start my 5th season in Dawson City, Yukon, working for M2 gold mines. This is also off grid, with Internet, out houses, generators, garden, quads and heavy machinery!
    Would you contact me on my e-mail? Maybe we could share some resources, I would definitely like to meet you and your wife in the fall, after the frost sets in up north. So good too of come across your site…. Glen D.


    • Of course! I’ll be in touch. And thanks for the kind words. Armchair economist, eh? That’s another curse, don’t you think? Watching the human species by way of the numbers they create? Wondering if you have all the important numbers – knowing that you don’t! Extrapolating from trends, inferentially scanning, trying to see the patterns? “The world is going to hell in a handbasket” is one of the few statements that seems to continue throughout recorded history…ironic in itself. Shouldn’t we be in a rapidly warming handbasket by now? Still, that is what I see…………so, welcome to the club.


  6. Your recent blog post from Ted is to the point. Your writing is appealing and while the off the grid stuff about needing to be resourceful constantly is a relatable theme it is Jacks of the scene and the passing parade of life around you that provide the needed contrasts to I replaced a gudgeon pin today.


    • Yeah….Jack (the bastard)…..haven’t seen him for awhile……we are starting to worry…..we all age. Even ravens. I’ll have to do something on him. Soon. Haven’t seen Liz, either. But ‘ti’s the season for rockin’ the nest away…………..so we’ll see. I just hope they are busy.
      ‘Replaced’ a gudgeon pin sounds to the uninitiated like plug-and-play. Replaced a lightbulb-kind of thing. But what it really means is ‘disassembled a helluva lot of crap just to get at the damn thing, pressed the old one out, replaced it and then reassembled all of it in one day!’
      I am impressed. I would take a week and I’d have parts left over and a few broken tools as evidence of my efforts.


      • Unless we are talkin’ gudgeon of gudgeon and pintle………in which it is still a job but simpler…?


  7. I’m definitely enjoying your writings. I appreciate your sharing of your life ” less connected” . From my view point you seem to be more in tune with the life your living.




    • Thanks, Dwayne. But I know you. I think you have been bitten and the curse is running through your veins as we write. I expect that you will be ‘out there’, too. You, my friend, have been converted. You are already one of us (God help you).


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