It’s coming… better fill the stash

I can’t go more than a week before someone I know tries to convince me the world is coming to an end. Usually it’s the result of poorly informed speculation on the orbit of the asteroid Apophis and its impact hazard, imaginary planets by people who know nothing of orbital mechanics or someone misreading (and miscalculating) dates in holy texts.

The other day, I think I finally came face to face with the evidence of doomsday it and I can’t ignore it any longer.

WTF, Merriam-Webster?!

I can understand parkour being in there, since the phenomenon has been around in one incarnation or another for a very long time. I can also accept “tweet” since these little excepts of our psyche have influenced world events, but “fist bump”? Boomerang child? Helicopter parent?!

You know, the Goths — the term originally defined lack of sophistication, culture and an abundance of vulgarity — attacked Rome (after being invaded first) and it’s said that with this begin the of the fall of the Roman Empire. Well, here’s the proof as I came across it at Walmart. I was convinced this chain will be at least partly responsible for the apocalypse somehow.

But that’s not what I wanted to write about…

Soap, even in Walmart, is starting to get pricey like everywhere else and I didn’t feel like spending $8+ on a bottle of laundry detergent even though I use very little of it. Which got me thinking… can I make my own laundry detergent? Turns out, other people have asked the same question years ago, and lo and behold, they’ve been doing something about it for just as long.


You may notice the Anger Management Ring has switched hands in the pic above. Since it was on the right index finger, it was becoming a problem when I open doorknobs and such.


House for 3 in 320 square feet

And we’re back in the States! Boy, it felt like a year since I left, but it’s only been a short while. The apartment wasn’t on fire, and this time, there were no earthquakes.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff to catch up to and post, but until I unwind a bit, take a gander at a video I found in my inbox. I.E. Back to my ultimate goal.

10ft x 10ft x 10ft Cube House

And I thought my college buddy’s room was tiny!

This cozy little cabin — part of the Cube Project — will definitely fall under the “tiny house” label, but it has all the basics.

Considering a lot of college kids already live in rooms just as small (except with no privacy), I think it’s definitely worth persuing as an alternative housing method rather than cramming 8 – 12 people into one communal house.

Note the induction cooker too. I’ve been a fan of induction cookers since the first time I saw them years ago and (precluding anyone with a pacemaker) it’s a much cheaper and effective alternative long term than other electric cooker types and even LPG.

Some of the older induction cookers had some issues, but newer models are energy efficient, extemely space saving, and above all else, safe. You’re only heating the cooking container, if it’s made of ferrous metal — which a lot of cooking utensils already are — so no energy is wasted heating the ambient air.

All the basics of living are included in a very neat little package at 10ft x 10ft x 10ft (or 3m x 3m x 3m for you metric folks).

And here’s how they built it.

Check out the interior/exterior breakdown animation that shows everything in perspective.

Certainly appropriate to mention this quote :

If we’re all destined to live in boxes, why not build better boxes?

Whole Earth Catalog: A roadmap to humanity

I found this volume at a tag sale some years ago and thought it was just a curiosity at the time. I bought it for a few dollars and took it home only to forget about it until recently (moving does that to you sometimes).

After getting another chance to go over everything I’ve been missing, I have to say… This is by far one of the best resources on simple living, sustainability and even our own peculiarities (I.E. there is no censorship). The Whole Earth Catalog should be in everyone’s library. If anything it can really open some eyes that are sewn shut with self-centeredness these days.

It’s one of the more revolutionary publications that will sorely be missed today.

Subtitling this "Access to Tools" has to be one of the biggest understatements in publishing. It's oh-so-much-more


The catalog is a year older than me! And it really does cover the Whole Earth!

Published October 1981


The map has changed a bit since this edition, but the topics it covers — vast in breadth and depth — goes from “Understanding Whole Systems” which include Laws of form, Space, Eco-ethics, Evolution, Natural history, Plants as well as “Community” which includes Recycling, Rural emergency, Home nursing Women’s health, Childbirth (in graphic detail), Sex (also in “detail” of sorts), Consumer reports and everything in-between. It’s a who’s who and what’s what of basic and enhanced living.

The list of topics covered is copious as it is astoundingly fascinating.


While browsing through this time, I came across an article on Sri Lanka! Specifically the concept of “Shramadana” which is a contraction of Sarvodaya Shamadana Movement in Sri Lanka. The article goes into a specific example at work, however considering this was published before the civil war, I don’t know how many of these people are still around. Hopefully many. Their example will be one of the few things that will keep the country going.

"It does not require oil, gas coal or nukes; it empowers people not machines; it is shramadana. Literally meaning the giving (dana) of human energy (shrama)"


The concept can best be summarized as using human equity toward completing projects for the community. Anyone can grab a tool and participate provided you’re of able body and sound mind. It doesn’t matter what your social status is; a banker and farmer are equals in terms of what they can contribute in human energy.

Habitat for Humanity is probably the closest Western counterpart


What really got me interested are the aspects of environmental consciousness that and examples of “better” and “wiser” living that we could really use right now. It really drives home how much this was ahead of its time as only now are we starting to understand the consequences of our actions.

"The Man Who Planted Trees and Grew Happiness" - Brilliant!


Then there are the creative aspects of what we can actually do about this. The sustainability pointers in this are, I think, invaluable today more than ever.

Building a house using telephone poles as raw material. How creative is that?


The book is full of examples like these for simple, sustainable living as well as creative solutions to real world problems that are oddly still applicable by and large today.

Then there are also aspects of humanity that some of us still wouldn’t dare discuss openly or honestly. It’s amazing testament to how much popular publications censor themselves on real issues while advancing pointless topics. Talk about being hypocritical prudes.

I had to cover the naughty bits. This being a family-friendly blog and all ;)


Did I mention there’s no censorship in this book? Can you imagine a popular publication making mention of something like this today?

And that, boys and girls, is why I keep thinking I was born a few decades too late.

Site of the Week: Kevin’s Micro Homestead

I’ve always been a fan of simple living and tiny houses in particular really pique my interest. Imagine my surprise when someone actually went into details of building a small, but oh-so-livable and lovable, cabin on a budget.

I’m totally building this cabin as soon as I can buy some new land!

Simple Living Small Space Living Freedom

Kevin goes into the details of not just this cabin, but the basics of construction including insulation, framing and foundations, which are applicable to most homes. He also has a YouTube page where he shows step-by-step instructions and check out his Facebook page for updates.

So far he has made 15 videos as of this post on building a simple cabin and there’s no fancy production or showy stuff. Just a guy who knows what he’s doing and showing the rest of us.

Update January 19th

I had linked a whole bunch of his videos (15 in fact) on this page, but it was really starting to slow down my blog. I’ve left a few of the videos here as a small cross sample so please visit and subscribe to his YouTube page instead.

Tiny house 3

Tiny house 4

Tiny house 5

Tiny house 6

Tiny house 7