The state bird of Alaska, profiled in the Alaska Dispatch News: there are about 17.5 trillion of them. Read the whole article to find the answer to the question: Is the biomass of mosquitoes on the North Slope larger than that of all caribou? The accompanying picture is pretty accurate, too.
Tag Archives: alaska
We went to the AK Zoo for Father’s Day. Can you guess what this charming fellow is?
That’s right. It’s a climbing porcupine. Did you know they could climb? And with those teeth, do you think there’s anything in your house they can’t go through? Sleep soundly!
I posted about a dozen of my favorite pictures over on my Flickr page. Don’t miss Yoga Bear. (That’s yogA, not yogI.)
Last Frontier for Obamacare Exchange
A week ago I asked prospective Democrat candidate for governor Hollis French if he, as governor, would enter Alaska in the new Medicaid program. He replied, “Absolutely, yes.” (The argument he made is depressingly common among the people here: you spend $28M and the Federal government gives you a $1000M bridge to nowhere.) So Hollis French won’t be getting my vote next year.
In other Obamacare news, since Alaska doesn’t have its own exchange for nobody to enroll in, they’ve all not enrolled in the Federal exchange:
Enroll Alaska chief operating officer Tyann Boling confirmed that no one has enrolled as of late last week.
“Now things are looking a little bit better this week,” she said. “It’s not for sure we’ve enrolled anybody yet, but things seems to be functioning a little bit better, but as of last week, we had not known of one person that had enrolled in the state of Alaska.”
“This was not a boating accident!”
…well, actually, it was a boating accident, according to the Anchorage Daily News:
Two women are dead after their canoe capsized on Eagle River on Wednesday afternoon, police and fire officials said.
They had PFDs and other people were with them and still they died. Authorities are investigating.
Earlier this summer, I was trying to learn how to canoe in order to go for a float trip down the Gulkana. But I lost my enthusiasm for the project about the 117th time the canoe tipped me into Campbell Creek.
It’s not that it wasn’t fun. Even I, in my state of complete naivety, could tell it had the potential to be very fun. But not so fun I couldn’t walk away from it.
Twilight in Alaska
Alaska Note: Exxon Valdez Still Around
The Exxon Valdez (now known as the Oriental Nicety) is still around. It was headed to Gujarat, India, to be broken up. That’s on hold while the authorities determine whether it contains toxic materials. The Amoco Cadiz avoided this fate by doing its oil spill and breaking up at the same time.
The last part of moving happened today, when I bought a new old clunker to take the place of the old old clunker we unloaded back in Yucca Valley. Here it is:
And here’s what it looks like on the inside:
(If you click through to the pictures, you not only get the option of looking at higher-res images, but you get to read all the notes with which I annotated them.)
“Beater with a Heater”
It costs a lot to ship a car to Alaska, so we sold the older of our two cars when we moved here.
And now we’re trying to find a replacement. My price range is “beater with heater,” so if you know something in that ballpark, let me know.
I’m mainly using Craigslist, of course, doing a lot of searching for “AWD” and “Subaru” there. Most of the attractive cars vanish in a few hours, but I keep seeing one that’s pretty tempting, in a danger-will-robinson sort of way: a 1991 Subaru XT-6.
I asked a friend and he sent me a whole raft of cautionary emails like this one. But it wasn’t all warnings. There was an article in Car and Driver, which calls the XT-6 a winter beater:
“The XT6 is undoubtedly the best Subaru ever built,” we gushed in a July 1988 test. Well, it certainly was the most complicated, offering height-adjustable air springs, electrohydraulic “Cybrid” power steering, and a choice of two all-wheel-drive systems.
We went over and looked at this one, and it’s still tempting. The owner bought it a couple of years ago and has poured a lot of effort into rehabilitating it. But it’s a 20-year old small-production small car. Do I want a car, or a hobby? Hmmm.