November 2008


Homer Alaska

Week ending 8 Nov Poll-watching - Election Day finally arrived - a little anticlimactic for us since we voted a couple of weeks ago, but it meant that the push was over and there would be no more ads on TV.  Bob had volunteered to be a 'poll-watcher' which consisted of looking over the shoulders of the poll workers, helping them clean up, asking a few questions, and generally verifying that our precinct was 'clean'.  His conclusion was that the workers were honest and transparent and the process was clean.

Election results - Of course we were happy that Obama won across the US, even though he lost in Alaska by a healthy margin.  Of more interest locally were:

  • US Senate seat - Too close to call
  • US House of Representatives - Close, but it looks like the Republican won, even though Berkowitz, the Democrat, won in our District.
  • Alaska House - Our Democratic candidate, Phillip Alderfer, looks like he will lose to the incumbent.

Clearing out - With the election behind us, the lease on our rented space expires and so we had a couple of days to vacate our furniture, equipment, and supplies.  We donated a bunch to the Salvation Army and will keep the rest to use another day.

Weeks ending 22 Nov

Greenhouse/Woodshed - Now, with lots of spare time we have finished the essential parts of the structure - it keeps the firewood out of the snow and provides some storage space for tools and the like, in the Spring (or sooner, weather and finances permitting) we will add siding and glazing so that it blends in with the house. So check the progress to date.

Wood cutting - And then comes the character-building part of living in a cold climate.  Since propane is $4.00 a gallon, and heating costs >$600/month on propane, we have taken to scouting the property for downed trees - and due to insects killing the spruce there are plenty, for a couple of years anyway. So, with Bob wielding a chainsaw and maul, and Judi loading and hauling the wood we have put a cord or 2 in the shed awaiting its turn in the wood-burning stove.

Week ending 29 Nov


Thanksgiving - We were fortunate to be invited to friends' house for Thanksgiving, and 10 of us showed up at Sean and Gerri's who live high on Diamond Ridge with a million $$ view.  With a 150 view that has Kachemak Bay on the left and Mt Augustine (an active volcano) on the right it is stunning.  About 10 of us shared turkey, stuffing, salads, wines, and desserts too numerous to mention.  Most guests had cruising experience so sailboats were a frequent topic of discussion - politics was not!. 

More firewood - And hunting and gathering for stuff to burn continued as temperatures dropped into the single digits.

Decision Time - Finally, after the State of Alaska counted all of the early and absentee votes we were thrilled to hear that Mark Begich has been elected to the US Senate to replace the 40 year incumbent.  We have met Mark several times, and attended a few of his fundraisers and really believe his focus is consistent with ours, particularly on environmental issues.  Time will tell how effective he can be in Washington, but perhaps he can help move the focus away from "how do we get Federal funds to subsidize our lifestyle" to "how do we change the the way we live so that all people need fewer resources?".