Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

"You're probably wondering why we're standing here with a pile of money and no pants on." - Officer Barbrady, South Park


My brother and his wife, from the pen of The Boy. This has nothing to do with the post, but cracks me up.

“As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens.” That’s the theory, at least. From what I see, it’s still pretty warm. The temperature most mornings has been about –25F here at the Wilder Ranch for Unwed Poodles. The fire has been keeping us warm and toasty inside. We’ve been using about a wheelbarrow full of wood each day.

Yet, we still get out and about. If it gets much colder, though, I’ll have to start zipping my jacket up when we go places.

Coping with the cold is not too bad, most days. My gloves did finally wear out, though. It wasn’t that the gloves were torn open (though they were a bit) but that the insulation was smashed flat through a year of use, and hence no longer insulating my fingers. By the time I’d gotten two loads of wood for the fire (ten minutes of work, maximum) my fingers would be numb and pale white. So, despite being good enough for most conditions, my gloves won’t work for work this cold.

I also try to get The Boy and The Mrs. out to see actual sunlight from time to time. There isn’t any at the house, now, but if you drive on certain roads, you can see actual sunlight during a few hours of the day.

The Boy: “What’s that glowing thing in the sky?”

Me: “The Sun, son.”

The Boy: “It’s wonderful. I’ve had dreams that it existed, but, wow.”

The one feeling I get, though here at the house, is peace. I have The New Boy in his cage play pen behind me, The Boy watching some mindless drivel on the Cartoon Network, The Mrs. slumbering after a night spent writing after I conked out on the couch, and a warm mug of coffee. It helps that we moved the furniture about the front room and now my computer monitor is immediately adjacent to a 3 foot by 8 foot picture window where I see the still, frost covered pines in a panorama outside. There is no motion. It’s a still life.

Of course, that’s not to say I wouldn’t mow the whole lot of them down and drill, drill, drill if I thought there were a few hundred thousand barrels of oil down there . . . I am an Alaskan, after all.

Being Alaskan, I just got a set of forms from my state. The ticking of the calendar lets us know that once again we hear, like most folks in most states across the country, that their Department of Revenue has forms for them to fill out. Then there’ll be a check.

If you’re Alaskan, though, the check comes to you not from you.


This shows some moose that were standing in line to apply for Permanent Fund money, despite having no thumbs to fill out the application.

For individual Alaskans, there’s no income tax. In many places, there’s no sales tax, either. And, come October (if you filed online) or November (if you filed on paper) you’ll get a nice fat wad of money (say, $800-$1000) just for being Alaskan. And that’s not for the family, that’s per person in your house.

We get that from the interest on the money that we’ve saved over the last twenty five or so years. This comes from the royalty on oil and taxes on the profits of the oil companies pumping sweet, sweet oil. This fund was also set up so that when Alaska’s riches were extracted, that the state government wouldn’t be poor and have to resort to panhandling on the street to get money.

Now, if you’re in California, your state is struggling under the burden of a massive debt, and your state senators are attempting two things:
  • Ways to buy more votes.
  • Ways to get more money to pay for the votes they bought.
In Alaska, though, the state budget is in significant surplus, and one of the state senators is attempting to send even more money back to Alaskans so the state government doesn’t get all bloaty on the money that’s flowing in. I think that in some places in Juneau (our state capital) that they’ve actually erected dams to prevent people from being injured by the avalanche of cash that’s flowing down there.

What do people spend all this money on? Well, milk costs about $500 a gallon, so, many people will spend this money to purchase voles so they can milk them and not have to pay for milk.

Others will spend it on cases and cases of duct tape, that sweet savior of all that is broken but maybe still sort of useful if bound tightly in that silvery (though the last roll I bought was black) binding strap of the gods.

Me, I think I need to buy some more coffee. I’ve got to get motivated to milk the voles.

9 Comments:

Blogger Duck Hunter said...

and still others will build radio active devices in their garage with that money. They even saved money by not having a permit.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Wild*Hen said...

Christ on a Crutch!!!
I'm moving to AK!
I love the cold, I love to fish, I love money...I'd fit in perfectly.
I got breathing issues though, whats the elevation? :^)

Seriously though, it sounds like a nice peacful life you got there. As long as that baby stays in it's cage...

4:18 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

OK. That picture takes top prize, funnier than the picture of Skinny Dick's. There is a little bit of canine in all of us.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

I was all pumped up to apply for the Permannet Dividend Fund - but no one told me it would take two years of residency. Man, if I stay here that long, I'll be eating Spam out of a can and collecting snowmachines. Oh well - I guess the wait is one way to separate the real Alaskans from the tourists, eh?

9:43 AM  
Blogger The Mayor said...

The Boy is an arist!!

I was wondering about the money in AK, I've heard tales, but wasn't sure it was true!

Ah, I still want to move there...now even more so. I have 2 kids, and if we could get all 3 stepkids to live with us, we'd be rolling in the dough!

9:44 AM  
Blogger John said...

duck,
Yeah. See, that's the best, no Mammastate looking over your shoulder. Did I show you my reactor?

lungfung,
Move it on up! Elevation of Fairbanks is 475'.

As to the baby, well, there's a reason that we bought the one with the A36 Carbon Steel frame . . .

woof,
Like I said, cracks me up. Wait 'til John sees it . . . har!

jill,
Not two years, just one full year, starting at January 1.

I'm very saddened that you mentioned not duct tape. Ahhh . . . duct tape. Which you could use to tape the spam to the snowmachines, so you could tour and snack at the same time . . .

mayor,
Thank you, Mayor! I'll relay that.

Money=true. But, would it be worth it for three grand to have the stepkids????

7:53 PM  
Blogger The Mayor said...

John,
Let me just say, the boy is an "Artist" not an arist, whatever that means, hello, spellcheck, jeez!

The money: NO, not worth bringing the stepkids, now that you mention it...;-)

6:41 AM  
Blogger Lady Luck said...

What?! You are buying coffee now instead of beer? Did someone take over your blog?

11:13 AM  
Blogger HP said...

It seems that either brother or sister in law has horns in the Boys drawing. Which is it?
He is quite the artist!

1:04 PM  

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