This tree is a guest tree from my past. I like this tree. I took this picture in April, 2014, walking near my place of work in Goyang City, South Korea. I was only 6 months out from the end of my radiation treatment after my previous cancer surgery. I remember feeling quite terrible, but slogging along with job and life.
Today was a long, unprofitable day at the gift store. I had to go buy a new tank of helium at Tyler, for our balloon operation. As a side note, a tank of helium is a very heavy thing – not what you’d expect from helium, to be frank.
I learned that our local competitor in helium retailing, the monopoly grocery store, sells their helium at less than half what we do. If they pay the same for a tank of helium that we do (and I’m confident they do – they’re an obvious customer at Tyler, the only place that sells helium on the island), they’re selling at a steep loss. I pondered the economics of being a monopoly grocery store in a small, remote Alaskan town. Maybe there’s some weird philanthropic helium subsidy from some “Keep Rural Alaska Balloony” foundation. Or maybe they’re just incompetent and forgot to raise their prices over the last decade.