Woke up this morning to -2 deg F; clear and crisp. Didn’t expect a paper this New Year’s day, but there it sat in the snow waiting for our morning coffee. Sunrise at 8:46am, sunset at 3:16pm. Another short day.
Our best wishes for 2009 to you, and yours, and all inhabitants of our suffering planet. We presume the rate of change will continue to accelerate and don’t have the moxie to make predictions of what will happen. Only that it will be unexpected. The best we can do is try to minimize the harm we do as individuals.
At our son’s urging, we drove with him to Auke Recreational Area beach out the road just past the ferry terminal for the annual 1:00 pm Polar Bear Dip – his ninth consecutive dousing. I chickened out – did it 4 years ago when it was a few bare degrees warmer. This year Bill was game and joined 70 others in making that short dash in and out of the frigid water to mark the passage to a new time period. [Video coming.]
The main page of today’s Juneau Empire focused on the housing crisis – it has barely spilled over into Alaska, the state with the lowest foreclosure rate in the nation. And Juneau’s rate is low even for Alaska, standing at 1.4%. Why is this? We talked about it last evening waiting for 2009 to poke its nose round our door. Seems like in this culture there’s little premium on the size or impressiveness of one’s house – and so there’s little pressure to upgrade to a bigger, more expensive dwelling. And anyway who wants to pay the utility bills and maintenance for such an upgrade, given our cool, (often cold) and wet climate? Besides, land is at a premium, and lots are small. There’s little room for big houses. not much market for them either given personal priorities which are more focused on outdoor activities and the spectacular setting than keeping up with the Joneses.