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Home » Archives » May 2008 » The cost of Avalanches...

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05/09/2008: "The cost of Avalanches..."

Well, Aaron and I have made some changes at our house which is why I haven't been posting as much recently. For one thing, with a 500% increase in our electric bills (and the bills of all of the businesses in Juneau) and the state unwilling to help out, everyone here has had to make some serious lifestyle changes.

In order to pay our increased electric bills over the summer, we've had to give up cable TV and high-speed internet (we're keeping both the TV and computer mostly off during the evening) and since I don't blog from work, that has limited my options somewhat.

We are also trying to get rid of our storage unit (another bill we suddenly can't afford) so we've been making trips there and identifying a bunch of stuff we can sell at our upcoming garage sell. We're also having to sell the Opportunity, Aaron's 22" Catalina sailboat as we can't afford the slip fees.


Anyway, some good that has come from all of this, we are actually *doing* a lot more stuff, as we used to spend too much time watching TV (me) and surfing the web (him). However, there are a lot of cold, dark homes here in Juneau, as everyone hunkers down and tries to get through the next 3+ months on back-up diesel generators.

We bought an indoor clothesline (you can't dry anything outside as it's always rainy) and we've switched to low-flow shower heads, bought an insulation blanket for the hot water heater, and all of our lights are compact florescent.

I *do* hope to spend more time painting, possibly out-doors as it's too dark at our place to paint inside.

Replies: 125 Comments

on Friday, May 9th, marja-leena said

Geesh, sounds like the future for many of us! What's the source of your electricity and why the sudden huge increase in the rate - an avalanche? Though diesel generators aren't a green substitute! It's quite an adjustment but you sound like you are on a good track. What about next winter - what do you heat your homes with?

on Friday, May 9th, berry connell said

Sounds expensive but, light is more important.
Candles are utilizable for sketching and pen and ink, but, yeah. Your chices at actually painting are getting slim unless you go outside.
A tent, however, may be more helpful...Not a pup tent or a camping tent...rather, one of the tents you always see at fairs and such. 10'x10'
(which reminds me, your's was the 20' Cat and Arons was a 22" ?)
I'm thinking it was a clerical....

We got a sweet deal via the att folks...long distance was killing us (we live just far enough in the country to have a different area code for the city....) (stingy SOBs) so, now we get unlimited long distance AND dsl, broadband computer for a flat rate.
Still, other ways to get cheaper....
A magneto on a bicycle. I have no idea where to get one today, but, if it was 1980? I'de go digging in a Mother Earth Catalogue. Probably a good place to go look for stuff.
That is, if they haven't gone total yuppie on everybody.
ME had things to use to replace crap that has insidiously creapt into our lives and made us lazy.
Check 'em out.

I still think you're passing up a grand bit of income by not doing more sketches and such.
ask any dead artist if their sketches were worth anything later in life.
Picasso, van Gogh, Chagall, Homer.
Da Vinci!

Go on! Get a sketch book and try it.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, gal.

on Friday, May 9th, Elise said

Hi Marja-leena!

Yes, an avalanche took out our town's main hydroelectric power plant. Now the entire city is running on the small remaining hydroelectric plant, but mostly on diesel generators.

It is a big bummer, though we are investing in materials that will save us future electric bills once the power lines are fixed (give or take 3 months) hopefully rates will be back down by the time winter rolls around.

Berry, yes, there is enough light for sketching. Skylights wouldn't help too much here as it's overcast a lot. I need good lights for painting (full spectrum) but not so much for pencil or ink drawing...I will have to get into that habit again. It's been awhile for me!

on Friday, May 9th, Elise said

Hi again Berry...yes, Aaron's sailboat is a 22' (not 22") sailboat!
Mine (now "ours") is also a 22' Catalina...we have been meaning to sell one of them for awhile but now we are seriously motivated. Problem is, no one in town has any money to buy anymore!

on Saturday, May 10th,">AL said

Hi Elise!

Do you need me to send you any clothespins? :cool:

on Saturday, May 10th, Elise said

Hi A,
Juneau is totally sold out of clothespins but I just ordered some from ebay.

thanks though!

on Monday, May 12th, katéri said

Hi Elise,

Just thought I'd let you know that you're blog is my little escape while at work. Cheers!

on Tuesday, May 13th, berry connell said

didn't makew much but have the good sense to buy a book.
Richard Schmid.
Good one, too.
Alla Prima.

Y'know how some art books tell you to "put a line that looks like this over there" well
this book spends more time telling you why you want to put a line at all.
Good stuff....
Can read by candle light.
He deals with finishing a painting (and using 'tricks' as i call them) in ONE STAND.

You might be able to tag it cheaper through your school up there.

Hey! It's more reading than looking at pictures because IT IS more reading than pictures.
And, now that I've told you, I'm going back to the reading....

See ya! :D

on Monday, May 19th, Donna said

Hi Elise, I just followed the link here from the Redimat newsletter. How cool is that being featured in their article?!
Enjoyed reading your blog and really like the print at the top!
Sorry about the troubles - but it's neat how you can always find something positive in a hard circumstance.
Cheers :hehe:

on Monday, May 19th, Elise said

Hi katéri, thanks for stopping by, I *love* the idea of being someone's little escape at work!!!
And Berry, I get my books from the LIBRARY! After all, I'm a librarian, why buy books when you can get them for free!
And I've been reading a lot since the power has gone off...

And Donna, I wasn't aware that I was featured in the Redimat newsletter, but that is pretty cool. I just tried to subscribe to it but I just got a welcome email. Maybe you could forward it to me?

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