CHOOSING Off the Grid

The Kindle edition of Choosing Off the Grid is now up on Amazon.  The ‘actual, real-life book’ with paper pages and all that, will be up and available in a day or so.  The paper version has some pictures in it.  Otherwise it is the same content.

Kinda ol’ hat stuff for you guys, tho…..

This second book is really just a more detailed look at the motivation and inspiration behind us moving off the grid.  Stuff you already know about from labouring through the blog.  It includes some of the mental hurdles and the adjustments that were made.  I included a bit on ‘how to do it’ but, of course, there are as many ways to go off the grid as there are ways to leave your lover. You can even Get on the bus, Gus or Get a new plan, Stan.  

Basically, it’s about Get yourself free.

Paul Simon could have written it.

It’s about 200 or so pages.  Not as long as OUR LIFE OTG.  Took awhile to crank this baby out, tho, I must admit.  It’s a bit of a ramble.  I don’t advise buying the damn thing but you might want to borrow it from the library some day.  Buy it if you are wondering when to make the leap yourself (answer: NOW!) or if you are young (under 50 is now considered young) and have time to ‘salvage’ (a portion of the book is on the merits of having a one-ton, 4×4 and some free time).

In this blog, you sometimes had to read about an event to ‘get’ what makes Dave and Sal tick.  In the book, we just come out and say it.  “This is what makes us tick and this is what ticked me off!”  It’s more revealing but, really, who needs more Dave revealed?

This blog post is also a smidge late………..been busy……the boat-haul-out is coming along nicely.  We are pleased.  Weird, tho…….the haul-out represents more work and effort than the planned work-on-boats it will allow us to do.  Still, it is good to have this amenity.  It’s almost a necessity, really.  Boats need repair and we need to repair ’em.  So, we are happy with it. Pictures soon.

A short anecdote: a community gathering and the person around whom the gathering was focused was not there.  Calls were made.  No answer.  Sal came to get me.  We went lookin’ for him…..’was our guy OK?’  We got to his dock.  Boat was there.  Then we got to his house and heard music.  Knocked.  He answered with a smile and a warm greeting.

“Didja forget?  Today?  You and the gathering?”

Blank look………”Yep.  Forgot completely.  Total blank.  Happening more and more lately. Want some tea?”

“No thanks.  Gotta run.  Glad you are good.  Got some calls to make.  We gotta do ’em while we remember ’cause we are forgetting more and more, too.  You might want to make a few calls, yourself?”

“Good idea.  Nice seein’ ya.”

So, the point:  Well, I am 69 and a half….that’s close to 70 by my reckoning….and my memory ain’t what it used to be (altho I remember everything better than Sal.  What planet did she live on these past 47 years?).  We are all getting older and, as my children imply with their raised eyes, getting stupider all the time. The other day, I was feeling so old and tired that, when I bent over to take off my shoes, I spent an extra second wondering, ‘since I am down here, is there anything else I can do?’

Can’t remember if I did anything extra or not while down there…but you get my point.

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About JDC

Late sixties. Short, thick, brutish, mildly amusing when not angry or depressed. Married. Two kids - both great! Twelve years in social work. Ten years in real estate development. Last 15 as a chartered arbitrator, chartered mediator, roving trouble-shooter (Have problem? Will travel), China volunteer, traveler and amateur handy-guy living remote and experiencing regular emergency medical care as a result. Fiscal conservative, cultural liberal, institutional anarchist and social pariah. Not to be left alone with the vulnerable, the stupid, the greedy or any member of any government bureaucracy.

37 thoughts on “CHOOSING Off the Grid

  1. Congratulations on the completion, and publication, of the new book David! Well done. Look forward to having another good read. Chin up re: the world situation, stupidity-wise! Don’t let the bas****s grind you down, as they say. Not the bas****s, but someone else said that….C.L. XX

    • Thanks, CL. Appreciated. I live in paradise with an angel so nothing gets me down for long. It WOULD be nice to get some hope in politics, tho. Don’t you think?

  2. Glad to hear the book is done. I know you spent lots of time during your suncation to Arizona working on it (when you should have been working on your tan). Wish we had made the decision earlier in our lives, but later is better than never. Been up at the cabin a lot lately so the internet activity has been very limited. We are biting the bullet and getting satellite service on Thursday. Hope eXplornet works for us. Our cell data bills are getting pretty high. – Margy

    • Well, they say you’ll be $60.00 a month but, by the time every tax and fee is added, you are at $80.00. And, if you use it for Netflix as well as all the usual crap, you will be on the plus side of $100. I think we are spilling over and running $125.00. In Hong Kong, it would be $50.00. In the US, maybe the same. In Canada, you pay twice as much for everything. In Arizona, avacados were 3 for a dollar and a pineapple was 88 cents. I paid $1.90 a gallon for gasoline. The point: do not try to budget in Canada. Just empty your pockets.

      • Heading south on a resupply run. Even my Verizon data now works in Canada, $115 for unlimited US/Canada talk and text (which I really don’t use) and 14 GB of data. But the data is so slow up the lake we decided satellite Internet would be better. The rationale? It’s cheaper than boat gas to run to town to watch a game on TV. You can justify just about anything. – Margy

    • Meant to add: extra work does not make for good writing. We dragged and heaved this second dull codswallop into being. To what end? It was a monkey on my back and now we are free of each other. Thank God!
      Sal and I will undertake a third writing when we have a real story to tell. But, for now, we are happy to live the good life unencumbered by literary aspirations. Our goals for now are limited to building and repairing, growing and harvesting, eating and drinking and maybe a little company now and again.
      Maybe not…….

  3. Macron is predicted to defeat Le Pen. The seeming move to the right by parties wanting to promote an extreme nationalism country by country in Europe, for the time being has been stopped in France. Some of the most extreme right wing views have been characterized as resembling a type of crypto-fascism. Will populism and nativism put on hold till the next time? What will this mean for globalism? What will happen in the German elections?

    • Not a clue……I suspect right wing populism to continue. They have the tools. I suspect left wing progressiveness has maxed out and will continue to decline. Utopia is clearly dead. I expect the rich to get richer and the poor to become more hopeless, exploited and addicted. And I expect that we will collectively enter a dystopic era of pollution and massive change on all fronts. And, while this tragedy plays out, I will expire and lament the passing of ‘these good times’.
      A new commenter will grow up and see ‘these times’ as good and will come to lament the newer, deeper, blacker dystopia that grows around them. Repeat until Gaiia ends, the species ends or we come to our senses and fix what is so obviously wrong. One thing is for sure: it’s not bad enough to change YET. But Hawking is right….100 years from now it may be.

      • Globalism calls for a level understanding that is not evident in a segment of the general population. Vancouver had a cooperage operating in the false creek area. It’s gone and the skilled jobs are gone. Barrels are made elsewhere but not here. So what did our coopers do? Those that were resilient moved on. Others took various off ramps that led to various degrees of success. Not sure how nativism and nationalism serves as a foil to globalism or is seen as an effective response by some.

        • The Cooperage was named Sweeney. It ended early 70’s. Around the same time as the Vancouver Iron and Engineering Works closed. They had the VIEW sheds. That was when False Creek got developed by the city under Doug Sutcliffe and Ron Gregg. I remember because, at the time, Sweeney was the only place that made anything. Everyone else, as far as the eye could see, pushed paper or plates. Only SW made stuff. Well, Morrison Steel made galvanized nails on Granville Island but you couldn’t see them.

          • On second thought I am not so sure his name was Ron Gregg. He was something-Gregg or Greg-something but my recollection is hazy.

          • Greg-Halsey-Brown? Don’t know where that came from. Maybe Alt-timers.

          • No! But you prompted the near dead synapse. Neal Gregg. How ’bout that! Dredged from the muck of the 70’s…Sutcliffes right hand man. What cerebral flotsam!

          • Near dead needed checking. Google says, ‘ Neil Griggs’. My cerebral algorithm was off.

  4. Great to hear your book is published!! A lot of work and we give you both great credit both, on the book and on getting it done.
    Can we get it using Kobo?

    • Yeah. This book proved trickier to actually publish (they changed the process some, said Sal) but is done. It’s on Amazon. Both and I’ll give you a signed copy when we get the first batch printed but Amazon prints on demand and their book does not quite have as ‘nice’ a feel. Kindle, of course, is cheaper. If you buy a Kindle version, please write a review. Nothing happens on Amazon unless there are reviews. And I sure could use a review on

  5. Minster of Defense Sajjan, four tours of duty, three in Afghanistan given letters of commendation, given the Order of Military Merit, one of the architects but not the only military planner involved in Afghanistan, nickname, ‘hard ass’ is accused by the Conservatives of “stolen valour.”

    • To my mind, he succumbed to his political ego and made a false boast. NOT good but hardly unexpected in a military-cum-political creature. Part of the bravado gene, methinks. NOT a big deal. They (Cons) are calling for his head on a platter but that indiscretion is well within my forgiveness area. And I am NOT a Liberal party supporter in the least. I think we should have Just-in’s head for the Kinder Morgan sell-out. We should stuff and mount on a bathroom wall Harper’s head. And Christy should be stuffed and mounted, too (the last remark was made partly in tribute to Prince Phillip’s turns of phrase).

      • I recall a meeting in the staff room with a uniformed individual at the school for Career Day. A staff member walked in extended his hand introduced himself to the recruiter as Luetenant Commander X retired. Why was it important to know one’s rank and accomplishments in the military?

          • Feelings of inadequacy?
            My father retired as a Commander in the Navy. He never mentioned it again unless he was drinking with his shipmates.
            I remember one lady at a dinner party introducing herself as Mrs. Doctor “Smith”…
            She introduced herself as the WIFE of a doctor….bizarre to say the least. and the fact that she was as pretentious as a wide brimmed hat at the Ascot horse race came as no surprise to me….
            I asked her if she had a first name, which brought a few laughs…..she moved across the room and glared at me for the rest of the night….hopefully saved myself no doubt from a boring conversation about her husbands resume and his accomplishments.

    • Good point. I confess to preferring them. I’ve even chopped wood in slippers a few times. And, I have cursed laces a few too many times as well. But here’s the worst part: I put on shoes and boots with laces and then wander around until I can find a stool or bench on which to lift my foot before tying them up. How pathetic is that?
      Good to see you back.

  6. Lastest poll has NDP winning by a narrow margin but we know what has happened to the predictions of pollsters in recent history. Green Party is being given lots of press reporting and praise but polling suggests that they might gain a few seats more than what they currently hold. The NDP is being characterized as angry. As if being angry about circumstances in BC is not justified. The New York Times has a story about BC Liberals giving money to foreign companies that the Cheshire Cat characterizes as false. What might be the outcome here is low voter turn out.

    • Wouldn’t surprise me. Feeling apathetic and resigned myself. What a horror show. Clark is a crook. An elitist, corporate toady, an aging, vacuous cheerleader without an ounce of conscience, ethics or honesty. And Horgan inspires no one. Not an ounce of faith. Nor hope. All I can say is, get out! Get out now!

      • It is evident that you might have been rendered insensitive to the “Virtue Signalling” (see Wikipedia) of the natural ruling party. They are signalling ‘jobs’ but a recent article in the New York Times, it suggests that many of these corporate head office jobs are being subsidized by the BC tax payers. Some of these subsidied corporations are earning billions but still need corporate welfare.

        • I have been rendered dull, unfeeling, unresponsive and zombie-like to whichever politician spouts the word, ‘jobs’. It is always a lie. They also DO NOT do the hiring so some of those so-called jobs are outsourced to fly-in foreign workers anyway. And many ‘jobs’ are part-time and low-paying jobs. More to the point: what makes them think they create jobs? They do NOT. They may create tax havens, money-laundering, corruption and sleaze (all obviously within their abilities it seems) but they do NOT create jobs. They best they can do is create ‘atmosphere’ and mood. And, so, how would YOU describe our collective mood these days?

          • Most are influenced by slogans and dog whistles or virtual signalling that ones political opponents are not like us. It is politics of vilifying the ‘other’ the not one of us types. Jobs is a great example of this. Going green will kill jobs or so the dogma states. Not true! But the buttons are there to be pushed and responded to. My objection is that the old labels are just a short hand way of dismissing meaningful debate and discussion. Extreme right wing views and extreme left wing views arrives in either case at totalitarianism. The level of discourse is too formulaic and toxic.

  7. A couple of questions and a comment

    Has the Salish Orca replaced the Queen of Burnaby yet?
    Will your book be in print as well as digital?
    Is Amazon selling it?
    When you were bent over down by your feet did you have an epiphany?
    Is the rainiest Spring since I can remember getting to you too?
    Have you voted yet? And where do you vote?

    I saw the polls today and I’m cringing…..4 more years of Christy Clark…….ugh.

    • I have not seen the polls but I am not surprised. No sizzle, no excitement, no strong feelings emerging from the campaign. Horgan moves nothing but bowels, Clark makes me heave, tho. Weaver…? Better than he was,……but NOT making Green great again. Woe is us. What a lackluster bunch o’ crooks, dorks and quorks. Ya know…. if ya want sump’n done, ya sometimes gotta do it yourself. Maybe we form the independent party and it simply recruits the most respected individual in the community?

    • Bent over, I did not have an epiphany but I did get a bit dizzy. And yes, this rain is relentless and verging on depressing. We vote in the ‘bunkhouse’, the old community-owned, house-sized building originally built for the kids who couldn’t get home after school. It’s rustic. No electricity or running water. But it is good enough for us. In fact, we all like and value it except when used to perpetuate the farce of government.

  8. Great book out now called, “Choosing Off the Grid.” Dave’s second book. I was a beta reader. It is a thoughtful narrative outlining how living OTG enhances one’s quality of life. The book describes many of the challenges of living remotely and describes the satisfaction of meeting those challenges. Life OTG is far from uneventful and each day has its predictable and unexpected events that must be met directly. The book draws upon personal experiences to illustrate the sort of obstacles common to remote living. Once one has left the cul-de-sac and trouble erupts then it is mostly up to the OTGers to step up. It is the joy of being personally on the line facing challenges that emerge in this lifestyle.

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