RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

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Alphaville
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Alphaville »

damn that was nice of you helping the homeless guy

what kind of pot is it? can i [try to] help? :D

(material, size/volume, etc.)

eta: i can supply good theories. and what do you have in terms of refrigeration?

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Thanks, I do what I can.

I think the pot is stainless steel, not 100% sure. Around 12" diameter and 8" height. I have access to a refrigerator and a freezer.

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

I think it's difficult to take a one-month snapshot of spending on food as a target, because of the issue of spending on bulk items skews it. In a month you have to re-up on bulk items, like a drum of olive oil and a pallet of lentils, your spend is going to be high, but there's no way you're eating all the food you bought. The next month, you're cruising on all that bulk food and only spend thirteen dollars on some spices, or whatever.

It's a pain in the ass, but doing the calc on how much $ in food you *consume* in one month is the quickest way to dial your eating spending habits, so you actually know what your "spend" is. $/mo spent on food is only really meaningful when looked at as at least a 3 month trailing average, in my opinion, especially when you're getting caught up on bulk food purchases.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

That's a great point; I will have to come up with a better metric for my food spending.

A while ago I remember reading Jacob saying that at a certain points, spending must actually increase in order to keep moving through the Wheaton Levels, as one will start investing in tools and other things. I think I may be at a point like this now—I have my own place, so I'm having to put time, effort, and money into equipment, and spending more in areas that are important to me long-term.

Alphaville
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Alphaville »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 10:15 pm
I think the pot is stainless steel, not 100% sure. Around 12" diameter and 8" height. I have access to a refrigerator and a freezer.
i calculated the volume of such a cylinder and that’s almost a 4 gallon (!) pot (-905 cubic inches), which is *ginormous* for one person... big stock pots for domestic use are 10 or 12qt. it’s also unusually shaped because stock pots tend to be taller rather than wider... so i’m a bit puzzled by this one. did it come from a restaurant? my huge sautée pan (6qt) is 12” diameter but less than 3” tall. and it’s huuuuuge!

anyway, beyond the fact that it’s your only pot, the size is a challenge in itself. that kind of volume is used to brew beer, that sort of thing. even if you keep it at 25% of the volume (which would tend to evaporate things rapidly due to broad surface relative to volume) you’d end up with one gallon of food which for one person is *massive.* 16 cups. say it’s rice. that’s 5 days for 3 square meals of the same.

if you cook for a bunch of people in a shared house (e.g 8 roomies) then no worries.

anyway what i was going to suggest originally was batch cooking single ingredients, rather that one-pot meals.

the problem with *giant* one-pot meals is that you end up eating the same thing with the same flavor over and over and over. especially with a huge pot, there is pressure to eat it all before it goes bad.

batch cooking lets you cook (and refrigerate or freeze) different “preparations” that you can then combine into meals and season ad-hoc. hot sauce, soy sauce, oils, yeast flakes, ferments, and some of the preparations in themselves, can add variety and nutrition.

if you think of chinese food, there is a lot of very tasty stuff served over a blank rice canvas. there is a lot of variety but rice sits quietly at the center of every meal.

you can expand and your “canvases” to fit nutritional and flavor demands. these can be rice, pasta, quinoa, potatoes, barley, couscous, breads of many kinds (wheat, rye, etc), oats, millet, “neutral“ beans like garbanzos and white beans, grits/polenta, masa, pancakes/crepes, etc. etc. etc.

you could season these things upfront but then it’s going to be the same music all week.

then once you have your canvases you can make a stew type thing, something like a ratatouille or tofu in peanut sauce or tomato sauce or spicy lentils or (you’re vegan yes?) and dispense/combine as needed. this is where you’d load the flavor.

some beans are best seasoned well from scratch, like red beans, which go great with rice. same thing with chili beans. a neutral batch of garbanzo otoh can fortify a soup or a salad or get blended into hummus. farinata is a kind of flatbread made with garbanzo flour. white beans are so damn bland! i blend them with salsa verde for a dip.

what you want is contrasts and options with minimal effort, so that you can keep things interesting, but also “lazy.” no use in cooking all day unless it’s a profession.
...

pot size:

when i lived alone my most used pot was a... 2qt pot. looked like this https://www.ikea.com/us/en/images/produ ... 215_S4.JPG

i’d make oatmeal in it, beans, rice, etc, and there’d always be leftovers for a day or two. it’s really a handy tool. i did not refrigerate much and never froze things but oats cook in 5’ rice cooks in 15-20’

now with 2 people that’s still our most used pot to cook something fresh, even for popcorn (we make small popcorns with lots of flavor). also does duty as a teapot, brews 1 qt at a time. makes the breakfast oatmeal, makes rice, and cooks small amounts of short pasta.

if i want to batch cook then i’ll use something larger (6qt pot, max fill is 4qt), and that’s *a lot of food* for 2 people.

i think a 2qt saucepan for fresh and a 4qt stew pot for batch cooking would be a good fit for a single person and prevent waste & spoilage. add cheap carbon steel frying pan (8” maybe?) and you’d be set...

Alphaville
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Alphaville »

just for fun i went looking and discovered ikea has cheap kitchen basics

i’ve had this one one like this for 20 years
https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/oumbaerlig ... -90286418/
assuming you do too, $13/20 = 65¢ per year

this you’d use for soups, stews, boiling potatoes, etc.
https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/annons-pot ... -20366809/
there are better pots oit there, but for $10 new?

this is for your fried tofus and stir fries and fried rice and home fries and fritters etc
https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/kavalkad-f ... -00267706/
$3.50 WAT!

total $26.50 plus tax

then again you could request in freecycle. i would not get teflon on freecycle, but stainless steel or carbon steel or cast iron yes.

carbon steel: https://www.webstaurantstore.com/french ... FSFP7.html
(i’d get that over the $3.50 teflon because you can cure it and it’s basically forever. and unlike cast iron, you can flip your fritters without breaking your wrist.)

eta: curing carbon steel: https://omnivorescookbook.com/season-carbon-steel-pan/

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Food

@Alphaville: I likely gave you bad measurements; I was eyeballing it. That sounds way to big. The pot looks exactly like https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/annons-pot ... -20366809/ the one you linked, but maybe an inch or two shorter.

I will need a better strategy for food spending. Originally, I had just set an arbitrary limit for myself ($100) and was trying to stay within that limit. I was not acting particularly strategically, nor was I thinking of creating a long-term quality strategy for eating. The good news is that my housing and transportation costs are at 0, and it won't be practical to start growing food in my area until spring, so I can essentially spend the next three months optimizing my cooking and eating habits.

Food is so central to life that it is an area not worth compromising in any area—taste, health, affordability, or ecological sustainability. The best solution would be to start a permaculture food forest, but that is currently impractical, so I will have to find a way to balance all of these within my current circumstances.

Rather than following a strict monthly limit, I will keep a running tally of money spent on food until the end of the year. Expanding the time period will make my mean and median spending more resistant to outlier spending (like $30 of olive oil when getting started). Additionally, not keeping a strict limit will allow me to better take advantage of sales as they appear, and will let me approach things from a "What is the optimal strategy?" mindset instead of from an "I am willing to starve myself to decrease my spending" mindset.

My main barrier to developing a better food strategy is lack of information. I have a friend who really understands the local food scene; I'll give him a call to get a run-down. I'll write updates on further developments.

Job

I signed my first contract at my new gig, and have learned that I have a fairly natural knack for sales. The pay is pretty good, hours are flexible, and it seems like I'll have some good opportunities to learn useful skills, particularly to really hone communication skills. However, there are a couple issues. The first is that if I stick with this long-term I will need a car to make logistics work, which is heterotelic to all my other goals.

The second has more to do with the industry itself. I am working for a public adjuster company, which essentially represents homeowners before the insurance company. The whole system is inefficient, and I think my job would squarely fall into David Graeber's category of "Bullshit Jobs." Two inspectors come, one from the public adjuster, and one from the insurance company, to do the exact same job. The insurance company can't be trusted to be honest in damage assessment, so instead of creating some sort of neutral, state, or community-run insurance system, public adjusters act as a counterweight. The whole system seems to be a mess of wasted resources. I really don't want to get sucked into doing this as a career.

I still want to do some dirtbagging—I have an ever-increasing list of reasons to get to do a West Coast trip from Canada to Mexico, and I want to get to India as well.

Lights

The outlets in my room don't work, so I don't have any source of light. I'll have to find a good battery-powered setup so I can read in there.

Alphaville
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Alphaville »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:48 am
Food

Food is so central to life that it is an area not worth compromising in any area—taste, health, affordability, or ecological sustainability. The best solution would be to start a permaculture food forest, but that is currently impractical, so I will have to find a way to balance all of these within my current circumstances.
oh, good, you’re set for one pot meals already.

yah, don’t eat crap. for vegans, the 2 basic blocks for protein + calories are grains and legumes.
then add vegetables and fruits for vitamins, nuts and seeds for protein and oils, spices for fun and medicine—that covers most?

grain and legume examples, with supplemental elements:

peanut butter sandwich, with apple and cinnamon
bean burrito with spinach and hot sauce
tofu and rice with cabbage, with sesame seeds and soy sauce
hummus and pita (sesame tahini is the seed), with pickled veggies
pasta e fagioli with tomato (southern)
lentil burger with mushrooms and crispy onions
red lentil soup and chapatis
split peas with potatoes (potato is not a grain, haha, i cheated)
bean and quinoa salad (quinoa us not a grain but a seed, i cheated again lol)

but get the idea? ez hack!

there’s tons more, like grains + nuts, or potato and ?, but i gotta zzzzzz..

basuragomi
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by basuragomi »

Do the outlets not work because a breaker is shut off, because they're not wired in, or something else? The former is a very quick fix.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Food

Food Challenge is going well. I bought a $4.05 bar of dark chocolate the other day, but that has been my only additional food expense. I have been eating fairly well despite still not having a full set of kitchen equipment, mainly some variation of lentil soup (true ERE points XD). I've also been having dinner with my family a couple times per week.

I do really need to get a chef's knife. The other day I literally peeled an onion and tore it up with my hands because I didn't have any knives present. Is this an area worth investing to get a sharp, high quality one that will last a long time? Or should I just go to Goodwill and get whatever I find?

I've been reading stuff other than Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. I need to get back to digesting that tome!

Laundry

I am considering investing in a miniature washing bag, as recommended by Rob Greenfield. I have very few clothes but have been using a friend's laundry machine because my place doesn't have one. I think this would be a good tool to allow me to save on clothes, water, and electricity throughout the rest of my life. I want to do a little more research on the specific product, but it's on the table. Anyone have experience with one of these?

https://thescrubba.com/

Cashflow Quadrant

I finished Robert Kiyosaki's Cashflow Quadrant the other day. I wasn't a huge fan, as he seems to want everyone to become a billionaire and is a big fan of laissez-faire capitalism, but I did think the main idea was useful. It is similar to Jacob's diagram of working, salary, Renaissance, and business. Additionally, his analysis of the levels of investors is similar to the Wheaton scale.

Nevertheless, I think his advice that one should be a business owner to get good business sense before one becomes an investor is useful. Lastly, he had an interesting anecdote about how the market forced him into making decisions he didn't like, such as moving jobs overseas and doing layoffs. He expressed empathy during this part, and I thought it was a great illustration of how capitalism can be systemically flawed without necessarily having evil capitalists.

Millionaire Next Door

Starting reading The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanely. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, though it is a fun read. I do wish they would go into more detail about the difference between the wealth of individual millionaires vs. the incredible resource concentration of corporations and billionaires, but that's beyond the scope of the book. I also wish they would comment more about racism and systematic exclusion from wealth.

Small Business

It seems a lot of older people who get into ERE already have been established in a career, whereas I am essentially starting from scratch. My college experience has convinced me that college is a scam for most people. Not for everyone, but definitely for me. I am seriously thinking about taking an entrepreneurial/permacultural route to ERE instead. I have always been more of an autodidact and think I could make this route work. My inner anarchist isn't a fan of becoming a businessperson, but I think I could run it in such a way that supports social and environmental justice. I'm not even looking to become a millionaire; I just need enough capital for ERE, which is very little.

Rob Greenfield's list of sustainable businesses: https://www.robgreenfield.org/sustainablebusinesses/

General Thinking and Planning

Here is my current plan, though it's hugely subject to change:

Phase 1: Present-December 2020
  • Wriggle out of superfluous responsibilities that are taking up my life energy
  • Continue working
  • Dedicate significant amount of time to reading and autodidactic study. Focus on the ERE reading list, as well as books about small business ownership. Begin formulating plan for an eco-business. Allocating additional funds for books is allowed.
  • Maintain healthy habits—work out, meditate, eat well.
  • Continue improving my cooking and kitchen setup.
Phase 2: January-April 2021

Rob Greenfield will be doing another year of growing and foraging food in Ithaca, NY. Apply as a volunteer and learn from the master.

Phase 3: May-June 2021

Do a West Coast trip from Vancouver to Baja California. There are a bunch of people on the West Coast I want to meet, and my list of reasons to get out there keeps growing!

July 2021-Indefinite

Continue studying ERE, small business, permaculture, etc over the next year. Start some eco-business, possibly in a quaint town I find while traveling.

Obviously all of this is hugely subject to change, especially due to COVID. The pandemic really turned my life upside down, and I have felt incapable of long-term planning due to the uncertainty of the world. However, I think it's time I stopped wringing my hands and started getting my life back on track.

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

During all this time, I will continue my meditation practice and retreats. I've reached a place in my practice where I'm comfortable, meditating every day out of habit, but I need to keep pushing myself and stay dedicated in order to keep growing.

mathiverse
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by mathiverse »

Why buy that bag over washing by hand in the sink or in a bucket? Maybe I'm underestimating the benefits of the bag, however my first thought was it's probably not necessary to buy a specific product for hand washing your clothes.

EDIT: After looking into the bag, I think I see the benefit. It's easier to use if you are on the road when you may not have a sink to wash your clothes in. Looking at your plan, that doesn't seem like it will be the case except maybe during your road trip. Maybe it's worth holding off on the purchase until you definitely need it? You're in one place with relatively easy access to a sink right now, so there's no immediate need for that lifestyle upgrade. Maybe you'll find you need it when you start living a more transient lifestyle or maybe you'll find you don't need it because you crash on people's couches often enough that you don't need to wash your clothes on the road or you find that you're van living and have a bucket that works, etc, etc.

Sounds like a fun plan! Good luck!

Alphaville
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Alphaville »

i have a scrubba. i use it weekly for merino. it’s convenient, it travels well, i bought it in an amergency, but not essential for washing at home and at $50 it’s a bit too much when you can hand wash in a zip lock bag or the sink.

and you dont need a pricey chef knife, but you need a shap knife to prevent accidents.

an 8” carbon steel knife will be sharper than stainless and cheaper too. eg see https://www.amazon.com/Winco-KWP-80G-Ca ... 07BWHKNTH/ it’s not a cleaver though, don’t whack things with it like a sturdier knife.

julia child used to say people these days obsess about a knife that can keep an edge, but what you need is a knife that can *take* and edge. carbon steel does that best.

and you ned to hone it regularly. otherwise it’s like a tire you can’t pump: https://www.amazon.com/Winware-Stainles ... 001N0ULJG/

you can find these at a restaurant store if you shop local. beats the crap you find at the supermarket.

generally speaking, winco is cheap and well made restaurant gear. consumer brands tend to ne all about... symbols, fashion, looks, and absurd notions. commercial brands give better utility and value.

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fiby41
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by fiby41 »

RoamingFrancis wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:24 pm
I've reached a place in my practice where I'm comfortable, meditating every day out of habit
Nice progress. Definitely worth emulating for me. Thanks for reporting. Do you measure duration or meditate at the same time daily?

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

Got a toilet plunger for $1 from the dollar store and scored a free bucket by asking at the right bakery. I'll be borrowing a drill to put in some well-placed holes. Laundry is mostly solved!

I've had cravings for carby/sugary/starchy foods. I've been eating foods with pretty low glycemic index and glycemic load—celery, onions, spinach, lentils. I've basically eliminated junk food since moving out, so I'm wondering if I'm going through some sort of sugar withdrawal. I did cave and buy a $1.79 loaf of French bread while at the bakery.

Also got a chef's knife and can opener from the dollar store, $1 each. Hopefully they're not pieces of shit.

@Alphaville thanks for all of your culinary guidance. I am reading and taking note of everything you say, even if I'm not directly addressing your points. I appreciate your insights :)

@fiby41 I meditate first thing in the morning after stretching and brushing my teeth. I do "micro-hits" of 3-5 minutes throughout the day when I feel unfocused, frazzled, or stressed. I am trying to get more in the habit of doing an evening practice, as I find that it prevents me from googling random shit and staring at my laptop.

My practice has fluctuated up and down in terms of duration over the last 2 years. At its strongest point I would do an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, and at its weakest point I would do something like 10 minutes. Recently I've been doing around 30 minutes in the morning, plus micro-hits and a short evening practice.

Alphaville
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by Alphaville »

alright! i’ll keep adding if i spot a need then 🍻

ertyu
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by ertyu »

how long has it been that you've been meditating?

RoamingFrancis
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by RoamingFrancis »

I started by doing a Goenka retreat on a whim on December 5, 2018. It was much more powerful than I had anticipated and I sensed the importance of sticking with it long-term.

AxelHeyst
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by AxelHeyst »

Loving following your journey RF, and the unique path you're making up as you go along!

I love knives. I recommend acquiring a honing stick, and a whetstone, and considering those essential co-tools to knife ownership*. You can keep even a shit knife going for longer with those - and then when you get a "good" knife, you'll have the tools and the know-how to keep it prime from day 1.

*the honing stick is essential because you should be using it ~weekly. You could just find a friend with a whetstone every once in a while and avoid ownership.

ertyu
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Re: RoamingFrancis' Path to ERE

Post by ertyu »

Some googling reveals goenka is a type of vipassana. what is it that makes it special or different from the pop-buddhism you'd get in any mindfulness book?

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