I need to face the facts. I look at a computer screen more than i look at the sky. Sometimes i wish i would remember to at least check the Aurora Forecast page at least daily just in case there is a good chance of a strong display. But i don’t. And believe it or not, they don’t have an rss feed to show the forecast on your newsreader. So i made one.
Last summer i met the guys behind the podcast Alaska HDTV. They were interested in information about SEAtrails so they did a quick little interview with me while i showed them around town for a few hours.
Don is in town for the funeral of Michael Weeks. One thing don and i do often is go to the thrift store. We hit Salvation Army and i bought a small pile of these Alaska Marine Highway place mats. Since there are only three boats listed, it is probably from the mid 1960s. Click on the thumbnail for the full size scan (i had to make two scans and cobble them together). The large image makes a neat desktop background.
The library has a bookshelf full of free books just outside their doors. Yesterday i borrowed the BBC version of The Office (season 1) and i snagged a few books on the way out. One was Almanac of the 50 States 2003 Edition. Here is how Alaska ranks on some of the more interesting statistics as compared to other states (and D.C.).
#1 for total area in square miles (616,240) and more than double the size of Texas.
#4 for federally owned land (behind NV, UT and ID) which is a good reason for getting the pork.
#51 for population in 1970 and yet #47 for population in 2002 (more than ND, VT, DC and WY).
#51 for persons per square mile (1.1 which is five times #50 – WY). DC has 9,313 people/sq. mile.
#2 for average cost per day in the hospital ($1,341 in 1995).
#1 on expenditures for public schools per capita ($2,165 in 2001).
#1 on highest unemployment rate in 2000 (6.6% – but the bush can be a hard place to find work).
#1 for median household income ($57,363 average between 99-01).
If you’re familiar with Alaska then you probably know that since the 1980’s every man woman and child has received a check from the state that comes from oil revenues and the investment of those revenues. There is no state income tax and the Permanent Fund checks are taxed by the U.S. government. This year that check is expected to be just a bit over $2,000.
The state just passed a measure that will increase the Permanent Fund Dividend by $1,200 to help Alaskans cope with the increasing costs for heating and automotive fuels. So a family of four is looking at a potential $12,800.
That kind of money sure makes the federal stimulus checks seem wimpy.
Today I was interviewed by the guys behind alaskahdtv.com. They were coming through town from Wrangell to LeConte. They are thinking of giving SEAtrails a plug on one of their productions so gave me a few minutes to promote the system.
I showed them around town a little but we only had two hours so barely scratched the surface. Hopefully they’ll be back for a longer visit next time.
I had to buy a few parts for one of my DJ lights. $8 total in parts. They only ship UPS. The bill to ship them up here was going to be over $40. These two parts can fit in a padded envelope. I swear, i could make a small fortune doing freight forwarding in Seattle to Southeast Alaska. Just take the package and put it in the mail. So i had them mailed to Kevin (they are being mailed from Los Angeles to his address near Los Angeles). Here’s the final amount.
On Saturday and Sunday I worked on a Lego piece for Lux Boutique’s window. I ran out of roofing pieces so the dormers are not represented and it has an opening on both sides so you can see down into the Hall. I thought about making Fishermen’s Memorial Park (next door) also. Perhaps next year. Last year I poured Lego onto the floor of one of the windows and divided the colors to look like a Norwegian flag.