Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Settling Back In At Home

Chopping ice, the violin concert, taxes, sorting old mail, getting the car tuned, arranging some home repairs, have all kept us busy.  We only made it to the Thai Kitchen tonight for the first time, and only now saw our first moose since we got back last week.  But the light has been spectacular.

Here's a view from in front of our house last night as the sun was setting behind me.  I never get tired of this.  

And walking through the Helen Louise McDowell sanctuary on the way back from dropping off my car.  

Anchorage's first mail only election ends April 3.  Waiting for my granddaughter to arrive so she can help me fill in the ballot and take it to one of the drop off centers (an option if you don't want to mail it.)  At five she's a sponge, absorbing everything she touches, so I'm trying to give her as much to experience as I can.  Need to find some little cross-country skis cause that's what she was most enthusiastic about when I asked what she wants to do here.  


  1. Glad family life is good, Steve, and the light plays nicely.

    Thought I would send a note about our experience using the Anchorage mail-in ballot from overseas. It’s a lesson in transnational differences in postal systems.

    We completed our ballots two days ago, signed the envelopes, sealed and then posted at our local Royal Mail. I was concerned that our mailing address was printed on the same side as the MUNI return address, but the clerk wasn’t too concerned.

    Today, I got BOTH of our envelopes back in the letter box. As the letter had only been delivered a few minutes earlier, I ran after the postal carrier. I showed him the problem and he helpfully suggested our address should state FROM. Okay. But what about right now?

    In the UK, a sender's address goes on the BACK of a letter, not the front. The MUNI had already printed our UK home address on the same side as their RETURN address. As the carrier is the only person who can vouch for this delivery error, he agreed to bring it in and remail it (after writing TO: before the Muni address).

    We don't know if it will make it or not as the postage has already been cancelled. We won't know if we should just do an email ballot as international delivery isn’t too swift at times. So, I will call and talk to Muni officials today (at my expense) and try to get them to note this as a change to their return envelope design. On top of this added expense, it costs over $3 US (each) to mail these via AIR MAIL.

    So much for easy, cheap, or certain.

    1. I remember trying to vote from Thailand, knowing that it would take too long by mail (they had to send it to us and then we had to send it back in a short period). So we worked on faxing it, but the time difference was such that when they were open, it was night in Thailand. Ended up borrowing a fax machine and the head of elections - Lupe Marroquin at the time - went to the office early (6am Anchorage time) and we faxed it at midnight (Thai time.) We used the Skype phone call feature - a couple cents a minute - to talk to her to make sure everything came through ok.
      We talked to our mail carrier the other day because our online stop mail order didn't get through to him. He gave me his phone number and told me to call him next time. :)


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