Off the gridding……..kinda like a hobby farmer farming

I am a HUGE proponent of living off the grid.  You know that.  (Mind you, I am trying to lose a bit of weight)…but regardless of my own personal BMI immensity, I will still be a vociferous supporter of weaning oneself from the corporate and institutional teats and tentacles that make up the real-life version of today’s MATRIX.

I’ll feel this way probably forever. The ‘way things are‘ just feels wrong to me.  And vulnerable-making.  The more I live free of all that crap, the stronger I feel about getting away even further from it. I am clearly a proselytizer. I am close to being a zealot. “Get out!  Get out NOW!”  is  my motto.

I am also a hypocrite.

We plan town days.  We still hate ’em……..but we plan ’em.  They are in our lives and feature prominently about twice a month lately.  I hate that.  Once every three months is OK.  That is just a ‘visit’.  Twice a month is way too much.  That’s being ‘integrated’.  Integrated is being ‘on the grid’.

I also covet a new Yamaha outboard (how crazy is that?).  And Sally is drawn to fabric shops like a moth.  We ARE still all-too-connected.  No sense pretending.

But I was somewhat comforted in that personal cognitive dissonance because of some article I read recently quoting Nick Rosen (author of several books about living off the grid).  He figures that the definition of living off the grid is in the mind of the doer.

His definition is pretty damn loose by any definition.  An urban home-owner who has solar panels with a grid-tie set-up qualifies.  If he/she drives a Prius or hybrid, they are really, well and truly ‘IN’.  ‘IN’, in this case, meaning OFF.

In fact, he even includes van-dwellers and full-time RV’ers.

I, personally, do not think that is ‘OFF’ enough but I agree with the point.  One does NOT have to be a hermit living in a cave in Alaska to claim OTG status.  One (like moi) is, in principle anyway, really just trying to ‘get away’ and get off the tread mill.

And that, really, is the point.  There is something about the rat-race, treadmill, system, establishment…whatever….that we all instinctively balk at.  In that sense, I am ordinary.  Mainstream.  Just a guy who is passively resisting the system….peacefully. From a distance.

But not tooooooo far………………

Well, not all people want out….but all who make any kind of effort do- including van and cave-dwellers – they are all saying, “I have had enough of this and I want out!”

Donald Trump is speaking those people.  And, by Rosen’s definition, that is a helluva lot of people.

In fact, Trump is kinda speaking to me!  I do NOT like the system he rails against.  I think it is corrupt and rotten at the top, too.  I want change!  And my definition of being OFF the grid INCLUDES feeling strongly about politics.  That’s ironic if NOT contradictory.  You’d think an OTG’er wouldn’t give a damn.  But I do.  Can’t help it.

I certainly don’t want the change Trump represents and that is the second point. Wanting CHANGE implies change for the better.  Sadly, the word change can also mean change for the worse.  Change is change in whichever direction it chooses to move.

I don’t like Trump’s direction.  Be careful what you wish for.  Or vote for.

In fact, I don’t like Just-in’s directions either (he is reneging on promises he made). Nor Christy Clark’s.  In fact, I don’t even like the official Opposition to them.  So, once again – the dissonance.  I don’t like what is.  I don’t like what ISN’T.  And I am only happy being far way from the bastards.

And then I go visit them every two weeks…………

Thank God for loose definitions.  And cognitive dissonance.

PS: I often ask Sal to read the blog before I publish it.  Then I ask her to tell me what I said.  She usually summarizes accurately.  It’s a good test.  Today, I asked her the same question.  She said, “Well, you said….. (then she stuttered for a few disconnected words and, finally)….I don’t know….you are a hypocrite?”    

12 thoughts on “Off the gridding……..kinda like a hobby farmer farming

  1. The mother Corp ran a a series recently called “American Redoubt.” Folks heading to wilds of Idaho, and elsewhere off the beaten path in the North-west, to live OTG and hunker down and have as light a footprint as possible. Guns, bunkers, home schooling, fundamentalism and generally non-conforming. The enterprising see opportunities to service the redoubters with supplies and real estate. This group has an apocalyptic vision of America’s future security.

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    • The ‘preppers’ referencing post was me. I just found the CBC item you mentioned and that woman is a lot like my neighbours but most are older and have been out here longer.
      It’s not new. But it may be growing. I call it the quiet revolution.

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  2. ‘Preppers’. I don’t think I am one but I kinda look a bit like them. I am not armed to the teeth nor do I have five years of black beans stored. But we figure we could go six months easy, a year if we cut back on the wine and chocolate. Horrible to even contemplate…..
    We otg’ers aren’t new, really. Amish. Idaho militia-types. Even biker gangs and cults of all kinds. Many people just don’t wanna live normal-style. In fact, many ex pats would fall into that group. The odd thing is so many deviants choose the same deviances….it is like another routine….a sub routine but still a routine. Real freedom is hard to manifest. It’s a blank page.

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  3. I guess OTG means different things to different people.
    A friend lives in booner-ville on the east coast. “Hermit like” with his wife.
    Solar power, wood stove, hunts, fishes, etc etc etc. And he LOVES Trump and seems to relish in the coming “armageddon” fantasy. All while he drives around in a gas powered quad runner………….?
    Both he and his wife are diabetics (amoung various other ailments) and have to fill various prescriptions on a monthly basis plus visit a doctor in a small town 30 mins away.
    When I point THAT inconvienient truth out to them and remind them that “When it all collapses” as they seem to so fervently wish…..
    No gas, No doctors, no medicine….
    They dont want to hear about it.
    While its obvious that you and your wife enjoy life “outside the rat race” you’re not in denial or angry at the world( most of the time). Plus you have a healthy community connection with the other folks either on the island or around the vicinity. (naked gardeners excluded) You’re not “hermitting”
    When I meet other people who claim to be OTG.
    Antisocial behaviour seems to be the “norm”?
    Survivalism, End of Days, Denial of facts seems to be a prerequisite.
    Its also a shame when you see how they drag their families into that paranoid world. I met an old friend a few years ago who was living a reclusive lifestyle in a rural area and his “home schooled” 19 year old son wrote a note for me that looked like the childish scrwawlings in a 7 years old. I think his real reason for moving semi OTG( still hooked up to Hydro) was avoiding bill collectors and the harsh realities of “growing up”.
    His son( now a man) is condemed to a life of low paying jobs, anger and frustration because he never stood a chance in the outside world thanks to his lunatic, lazy layabout father’s “home schoolin'”
    The attractions of an OTG lifestyle seem to be attracting a group of people who are more interested in hiding from(dealing with its daily complexities) society and its pitfalls rather than a conscious decision to avoid hydro bills and leave the grid.

    I live in a multistory building in Urbia but avoid TV, facebook and twitter like the plague and some people would consider me OTG

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    • I don’t agree with Rosen but I do NOT disagree either. Clearly it is a mindset and an attitude. And I likely had it before I left the city. But I left because I was fed up (negative). It wasn’t til after I got here that I discovered the benefits (positive). And now the positive so greatly outshines the negative, it is just self determining.
      But I get that fear and loathing can be the incentive to flee but, for me, I do not think I could live in that frarme of mind for the rest of my life. And I know Sal couldn’t. She is 95% sunshine. She needs things to be happy about. Hell, even a squirrel will do in a pinch for her. I need projects. .

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      • Agreed.
        The US political system( and most democracies these days it seems a la Brexit) is being shaken to its foundations with the rise of the internet and instant communications, instant information, instant verification of libeless statements, instant denials, endless information for a population that has less and less time to absorb it.
        Televised Debates?
        Pffffft.
        30 second TV sound clips are becoming old hat.
        10 second internet clips are what is becoming the norm on the news or the internet….instant gratification for the masses (voters)
        Where is it all headed/
        Hopefully a new type of politician that realizes those “closed door, back room deals” are over.
        There are no secrets anymore.
        Unfortunately it may take a generation of elections to clear out the manure that currently infests every level of a lobbyist controlled govt.

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  4. How one defines the term OTG, is highly variable. For census purposes it is binary connected to hydro or not. But juice is but one feature. We have a miriad of degrees of connectedness whether one lives remotely or not. Let’s start with the lucid person acting in informed self interest and making exemplary choices of where to live. In my hood many folks are in various stages of engagement with life, making life choices that work for them. Some times one wonders, “how is that choice working out?” Sadly, what one might see day to day is not a choice but a feature of uncontrolled circumstances. Homelessness, illness, addiction…! Clearly the world works better for the enlightened, the lucid, the engaged, those with vision and the capacity to fulfill it.

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      • NOTHING is confidential. ESPECIALLY Stats Can. If you did not give your name and address, then you have some confidentiality but the new algorithms can still identify you and do so with very little clear identification. I have established an ‘internet’ persona -complete with gmail account and PayPal that knows me as well as Sal does. It can find me easier, too.

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      • I filled out my stats can census form and agreed to the release of my personal info in 99 years…..
        i also left a personal statement to the reader in 99 years
        “How’s that global warming workin out for ya?”

        yes I am an a-hole. 🙂

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