Category Archives: Home List

Heat Candies

This past winter I accomplished a life goal that I didn’t even know could be a life goal. I can start fires in the woodstove without small pieces of wood for kindling. This pinnacle of personal achievement, which I enjoyed performing every day, dropped accidentally into my lap through a combination of hard work and laziness.
Continue reading

Revisiting the Home Electrocution Handbook

(Shed a Little Light)

A couple of years ago I was splitting wood when somehow I twanged something hard in my left arm. I’m still not sure what I did, but it was painful and it got worse before it got better. It was spring, though, so there was plenty of time to heal it up before I needed it for splitting wood again.
Continue reading

Contemplating the Thermal Properties of a Subarctic Home

(Or “Another blog post for insomniacs.”)

While we spend a lot of time and money working to keep the house heated each day from about mid-September through early May, if you only focus on that you miss some other interesting things that work more subtly on longer cycles.

One Sunday morning in early spring, Rose and I were sitting in the living room reading the newspaper. It was very quiet. The snow had melted, it had yet to green up, and few birds were back. We’d been too lazy to put on music, so it was quiet inside, too. We heard something fall with a clatter to the deck. Surprised, we got up and looked out the window to see a strange piece of metal lying there.
Continue reading

Kicking the Boombah’s Tires: The Borough Sets Land Values

The Fairbanks North Star Borough runs on property tax. It’s the only regular tax that we pay in-state (though we expect that will change soon given the huge state deficit). Every year the borough sends out a notice telling you what they think your property is worth. We’ve never had a problem with them before, but this year when the notices came with a 20% rise in land values, we were surprised.
Continue reading