Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Gettin' a job, gettin' involved!

Man oh man. I'm glad the election is over, aren't you? I made some new friends last night at an election party downtown! It was a lot of fun. A woman there had won a free night in a suite at the Baranoff Hotel, and she and her fiancee hosted a Hawaiian-themed election party there. We were just shy of 30 people, and it was great to meet a bunch of people who seem to be on my wavelength. I bought a ticket for a fundraising dinner for the local trails maintenance organization, Trail Mix, from the executive director last night, too. I look forward to meeting more folks on Saturday and eventually get involved with Trail Mix because I love trail work.

picture stolen from Facebook

In other news, I LANDED A JOB! I start work next week at the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation!! I feel very fortunate to hit a homerun on my first interview here. Not to toot my own horn, but I've gotten every job I've interviewed for since I was in high school. That's just how I roll. I'm particularly excited about this job because the APFC is a highly respected organization in Juneau and while this is a low-level position there and I could potentially grow a lot there, having APFC on my resume will, at the very least, be very valuable. Those who know say that reputation counts for a lot in Juneau. I was advised not to apply at any of the Green/Eco-protection organizations here for that could hurt my chances elsewhere down the road. Who knows what the future will bring at APFC, but I'm sure it will only lead to good things.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation was established in the 1970's when a deal was made with the oil companies that said they would give a portion of the oil revenue to the state every year to establish a "permanent fund" for the state of Alaska- like a rainy day fund for if/when the oil runs out. The corporation is state-owned so I will be a state employee. They've got $42 billion in the fund now. The only important aspect of the permanent fund is the Permanent Fund Dividend. Every year, they take a portion of the fund and divvy it up among every resident of the state. The amount varies from year to year based on how the stock market did, but the average payout runs around $1,200. You have to be a resident for the entire calendar year so I will receive my first PFD in 2014. Many local businesses run PFD specials when the checks are sent out... like this one:

I also attended my first rehearsal of the Thunder Mountain Big Band on Monday night! This marks the first time I've played trombone seriously in a few years. My chops still need some work, but I did fairly well on Monday. It was a lot of fun. They rehearse on Monday nights, and there are three or four gigs coming up in the next couple of months. A very sweet 85 year old man, Ron, runs the band and plays trumpet like a boss. There are about 15 people in the band- 5 saxophones, 4 trombones, 3 trumpets, bass, piano and drums. I also volunteered to try my hand at singing with them, too. That would be interesting. Ron even pays us $10 per rehearsal, too! A paid gig! He says it's gas money. I say it's awesome. It sounds like he owned a bunch of businesses back in the day so now he's very retired and filling his time with things he loves to do. He has a music studio downtown that's fully-equipped for the big band rehearsals. It even has a couple of sweet animal skins on the wall- which Ron bagged himself, of course.

So now I'm enjoying my last few days of "vacation"and being in this beautiful place. It all gets real next week. 

View of the house from the beach

Fresh snow on the mountains this morning

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