Archive for April 2019

Who Will Build Roads If Not Government?   3 comments

Who would build the roads? How about companies that benefit from access to markets?

aurorawatcherak

An argument is often made that if you did away with government, you would have no roads, or very poorly maintained roads with expensive tolls because private industry wouldn’t take care of them. BS!

Image result for image of alaska marine highway

There is money to be made in moving stuff around, so roads (and other means of transportation) would still exist, just funded by the people who want and use them.

Consider Alaska, which has a unique transportation system because 80% of our communities are not accessible by road. Thus, the State of Alaska operates the Alaska Marine Highway System and Federal Highways treats it like a highway for funding purposes. The argument is made that, should the State of Alaska stop operating the AMHS, the communities that currently rely on it would have no access to the outside world. BS!

Image result for image of coastal transportation, incLast week, AMHS announced that the Tustumena was delayed at the Vigor Ketchikan Shipyard for two…

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Posted April 30, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

What It Really Costs   Leave a comment

They claim this generations is falling behind their parents financially, but is that really true?

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My brother’s wife is a CPA and something of a fiscal conservative. My husband’s sister was a business major who works for a big Internet firm. I got into two separate conversions with them recently about the same topic. They’re approximately 30 years apart in age, which may explain some of the disagreement. The younger one lacks mature perspective and trusts experts more. One was raised all over the world in a different era when Third World countries really were Third World countries and the other was raised in New England, where she resides today, but I don’t think that’s the issue, really.

Are people better off or worse off than our parents?

The CPA says we’re suffering from a failure to know history. The Internet marketer says we’re sliding toward the poor house. Which is true?

Image result for image of 1959 televisionI grew up in a working class home, so I know that for myself…

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Posted April 29, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Alaska is Weird   8 comments

What’s the most unusual expense you’ve had?

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Well, let’s start by saying I’m ducking the finer point of this assignment. My most unique expense is not for public consumption. I’m a pretty honest person as a rule, but there are some aspects of my life that I don’t want to share and they involve other people and I’m choosing not to invade their privacy. Anonymity has its purposes and I choose to exercise them on this topic.

But —

Alaska is a weird, weird place, so a lot of our activities are probably unusual to folks in the Lower 48.

Typically, our summer spray-on insect repellent bill runs about $50.

We spend about $70 on ice when we catch our annual quota of salmon in Chitina.

I don’t know how many people buy sap taps and berry buckets – snow sleds with Kevlar glides for towing behind a snow machine – an electric chainsaw for cutting up moose – an Army poncho circa 1970 — saddlebags for our dog.

I own a personal body alarm. Not to scare away rapists – I have firearms for that — but to scare away bears. If you shoot a bear, you disrupt territory, which means you end up starting all over with a new bear that doesn’t know you’re scary. So, instead, we use the personal body alarm to convince the bear who hangs out on our cabin site that he doesn’t want to get too close. And once he’s learned that lesson, we want him to live a long and bearly happy life because training a bear to fear you is something you don’t want to do that often.

According to the IRS, an unusual expense might include a one-time charge for something – like the patent filing fee I paid for my husband’s utility patent on his advance in the art of heating.

Posted April 29, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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My Obamacare Nightmare: Yes, the Government Can Terminate Your Healthcare | Brenton Smith   Leave a comment

For the people stuck in-between the politics—the self-insured—the Affordable Care Act is an ongoing nightmare and a caustic warning for anyone dreaming about Medicare for All. I know because I’m one of them.

Source: My Obamacare Nightmare: Yes, the Government Can Terminate Your Healthcare | Brenton Smith

Posted April 26, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Cottonpatch Wisdom   Leave a comment

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Alaska has a really pretty invasive weed called bird vetch that will grow pretty much anywhere and strangle just about every other plant.

The thing is, it’s very pretty and delicate-looking, so people don’t recognize the problem until it’s too late.

Image result for image of bird vetchI had never encountered it in all my years in Alaska until about 12 years ago when I decided to plant a wildflower/perennial meadow along the road next to my house. The former owners had neglected this area because it was outside of the fence, and I didn’t want to work very hard at it, so I raked up the couple of years worth of leaves, mixed my perennial/wildflower seeds with top soil and hand-broadcast the results.

For the first couple of years, I had fireweed, yarrow, bluebells, lupine, and many others, plus wild rose and raspberries that had already spread through the fence from our yard and just…

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Posted April 24, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Behold, Spring   Leave a comment

Magical World Web

April 22, 2019

Many of us wax poetic at the end of winter and the return of spring. Let’s swap that around. What’s the one thing about spring that you can’t stand?

Raindrops on Tulips and Wind against my Forehead…

Oh, wait.  I’m not supposed to be poetic.  But how can you not be poetic about the spring or fall?  It’s nice outside.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Well, those things show up during transition, but not for long.

I love the spring.  It’s the season of my plants.  Look at my babies.  Look at them!  Lillies and I have this thing now.  I am also partial to Hostas.  We dig each other.

IMG_6041.JPG

But anyway.  To the point.  I don’t like the allergies of the spring.  I’ve had a sore throat for two weeks at this point.  I’m not fond of the whole drippy nose, itchy throat, weepy eyes…

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Posted April 22, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop – 22nd April   2 comments

Stevie Turner

This week the topic is:

Many of us wax poetical at the end of winter and the return of spring. Let’s swap that around. What’s the one thing about spring that you can’t stand?

Like most people I love the end of winter and the promise of long summer days to come.  The trees begin to sprout new leaves, we can all leave off layers of clothing, and Sam and I can head off down the A3 and drain up our holiday home.  However… I know full well that one thing is going to spoil my fun and put me on permanent guard.  What is it?

Aaargh!  It’s bees, wasps, and any other stinging insect.

As soon as the sun comes out, then so do the bees and wasps.  If I’m stung, I can feel my neck begin to swell on the inside straight away, and I have to run…

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Posted April 22, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Don’t Complain   6 comments

Many of us wax poetic at the end of winter and the return of spring. Let’s swap that around. What’s the one thing about spring that you can’t stand?

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It’s considered a sign of mental illness, the equivalent of a “red flag” situation, to complain about spring in Alaska. We have six months of winter. Snow fell in October and in April. Some of those six months the temperature never rises about 0’F.

So, when the sun finally gets high enough in the sky (March) for the snow to start melting and for you to feel some warmth when you lift your face skyward – you’ve got NOTHING to complain about. You survived another winter and soon the days will be 22 hours long and everything will be green and growing.

But that’s not the blog assignment, so ….

At the risk of my neighbors deciding to call the mental health center to report a seriously unhinged individual –

I hate mud and spring in Alaska is mud season. Our mud isn’t normal mud. Our soils are very fine and they don’t have a lot of organics in them, so they cling to everything. You WILL track it into the house where it WILL dry on the floor and get sucked up by the heating system, which WILL circulate it throughout the house, so that you WILL be dusting it for the next six months.

There! Complaint made. That said, shhh, it’ll hear you and decide it ought to be winter again. Snow in May sucks worse than mud in April.

Posted April 22, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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Good Friday Sacrifice   Leave a comment

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What’s the one thing you look forward to most on Easter?

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Easter is the high holiday for evangelical Christians like myself. While Christmas gets all the flash and bang by society, Easter is the pivot point of our faith. The entire life and work of Jesus Christ, right up to and including His death on the cross, means nothing outside of Easter. None of it would have had any effect had He not risen again.

Image result for image of the Lord's Supper

For me, Easter starts a couple of weeks before the actual date. Baptists don’t celebrate Lent … actually, I’ve never really understood that word “celebrate” in connection to Lent, which is a time of self-deprivation. I tried it one year with some friends as an experiment and, while dealing with the sudden cravings for chocolate that I’d never had before I chose…

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Posted April 18, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Non-Believers Misconceptions of Heaven Part 2   Leave a comment

aurorawatcherak

“Heaven is a place, just as much a place as is New York or Chicago.” Charles Ferguson Ball

Everyone wants to know about heaven and everyone wants to go there. Nearly 80% of Americans believe there is a place called heaven and most people expect to go there when they die. That 80% includes a lot of people who do not attend church or align with the New Testament definition of a Christian.

Don’t you wonder why so many non-believers in the Biblical God want to go to His heaven?

Something deep inside the human heart cries out for something more than the pain and suffering of this life. They hope for something more than 70 or 80 years on Earth, of being born, living, dying and being buried. C.S. Lewis talked about a “God shaped hole” in the human heart, but even in an era when many Americans claim…

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Posted April 17, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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