Category Archives: Self-reliance

Retirement

The first time I encountered the notion of retirement and pensions was nearly twenty years ago when I was working at Worcester State College. I had just been hired, and although they only intended to give me full time hours … Continue reading

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Nutrient on the History Channel Show Alone

A central preoccupation of the show Alone is, naturally enough, how to get enough food to stay alive. The show has featured survivors who have made deadfall traps to catch mice, eaten slugs, and relied on seaweed to keep themselves … Continue reading

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Thai Red Curry Pumpkin

I never cook with a recipe, although I occasionally record what ingredients I have combined to make a dish. More often, I have no idea what it will taste like until it’s done, and by then I have moved on … Continue reading

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Travelling Without Geography

Most people around the world marvel when American television shows feature street geography quizzes and Americans cannot point to a single country on a map. The subsequent discussion usually centres around the failing American education system, the geographical ignorance that … Continue reading

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Shovels are the New Gold for the Survivalist

People who worry about the collapse of society are usually preoccupied with that they can do now to prepare for that—they imagine—inevitable eventuality. That preparation invariably involves hoarding of goods, for many of them are interested in shopping and come … Continue reading

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The Boatyards of the Azores and Hawaii

He’d heard rumours about the boatyards of the Azores and Hawaii. Some said that retirees who’d spent their working life dreaming of sailing away would sit at their desks gazing a wooden yacht until the fantasy became a certainty and … Continue reading

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The Dream of the Found Object

When I told my friend that I have a recurring dream in which I find stuff, she found it endlessly funny. In the dream, I am usually in a rush to go somewhere, and that rush has an extra push … Continue reading

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Buy a Book or Take the Train

Perhaps my friend’s trip to the bathroom inspired our question, or maybe it was evoked by the atmosphere of the Chinese restaurant in Boston. Our lazy hypothetical possibility was more than merely passing time, although at first I don’t think … Continue reading

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Losing the Brakes

I was in rush hour traffic outside Lévis, Quebec recently when the driver in front of me slammed on his or her brakes. I knew I had a weak brake line but I found out exactly how corroded it was … Continue reading

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What Hump?

In a short but provocative exchange between Doctor Frankenstein and Igor in Mel Brooks’ 1974 parody Young Frankenstein, Igor makes a profound statement about our lack of self knowledge. The doctor asks him if he wishes to consider a surgical … Continue reading

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