Two topics of discussion for this blog post: Electric and mental disorders. First, I get slightly annoyed when I tell people I “live off the grid” and I am met with loud exclamations like I’m a living martyer in a tent somewhere. Not that being a martyer is bad, but living without “the grid” certainly doesn’t make you one. After all the loud exclamations, I tell people “well I do have solar panels”. Then they seem to think this provides enough electric to run a laptop for an hour a month, or perhaps maybe even enough to run a dim lightbulb for a few minutes every evening.
I prefer to think I just have my own grid instead of a public one. You see, we have a washing machine, electric coffee pot, blender, toaster, two refrigerators, a water pump, and more. Since Tuesday of last week I have not turned my generator on once for the cabin. Yet in that time frame Marlene has done several loads of wash, I have brewed much coffee with an electric coffee pot, and we have run the lights all we wanted, pumped all the water we wanted, and even kept our food cold in not one, but two refrigerators. One is very large and 19 years old at that. Not once have we had to turn off the lights and go to bed early. So yes, solar does work. Now I do admit, if it is overcast for a few days, then we fire up the generator. And I’m sure we’ll need to use the generator more in the winter time. However I can run our generator all day on 2 gallons of gas, so if you do the math, that’s not a bad deal either.
Ok, back to the topic of mental disorders. We have already discussed P.A.D. (Post Alaska Depression). But we also need to talk about A.A.D., which stands for Anti Alaska Disorder. Some experts speculate that people with P.A.D cause other people to have A.A.D., since in many cases the two afflicted people are married to each other, or closely related.
It’s easy to spot someone with A.A.D. At the mention of the word “Alaska” they seem to stiffen up. If “Alaska” is mentioned a second time, nostrils will flare and quiver, eyes rolling back in the head. If pushed to far, the person will start ranting how terrible Alaska is, despite the fact they have never been there. They will make up “facts” on the spot, and prove very resilient against sound logic. For example the statement “Alaska has no personal income tax” will send them into fits, and they will claim you “just need to work harder” to pay the taxes in whatever other state they may live.
The conclusion I have come to is that P.A.D. is technically not a disorder, but rather an extreme case of honesty. For example, many people will say Alaska is nice, but then invent lies why their home state is better. They might say “It would be nice to not need a building permit, but I enjoy talking and giving money to government officials”. This is a defense mechanism to help them avoid looking silly for not living in Alaska. A person with P.A.D. might say “this is my property, and any government official that doesn’t like what I build can go howl at the moon”.
Unfortunately, A.A.D. is the exact opposite of logical thought. This is easily seen when a person with A.A.D and P.A.D. get into an argument. Quickly the person with A.A.D. runs out of arguments and starts acting like a chimp. If the two happen to be married, it can be a delicate situation.
The good news is there are treatments available for both P.A.D. and A.A.D. Both involve at least a 6 month stay in Alaska, preferably during the summer months, and in a house with running water and electric, over looking Cook Inlet.
And if you don’t ever live in Alaska, that’s ok, it would get crowded if everyone moved up.