ALL ABOARD | The grand total of the numbers in this column is 19,732.7

One of the joys of the New Year is getting my new calendar ready.

First, I transfer all the birthdays.

That makes certain that if I was wrong last year, I’ll be wrong again this year.

Secondly, I go through to record the dates of all the shows that I had last year just in case those kind folks call me again.

Thirdly, I go through the new calendar to enjoy the statistics that often go unnoticed in the first and last pages of daytime calendar books.

My favorite day-timer book is “Today,” issued by World Book Encyclopedia.

The book costs about twenty bucks with shipping, offering these pearls of trivia, just in case you want to share some at your next caffeine gathering.

Do you like wide-open spaces?

Go to Alaska, The Last Frontier, where there is one person for every square mile.

That’s the same as one person for every 1,760 yards times 1,760 yards.

For me, I need another visual. That’s the same as 17.6 football fields times 17.6 football fields.

Wanna feel like a sardine? Try New Jersey; 1,080 people per square mile. Like a big Pay-Less on Saturday.

Square miles info led me to area code trivia.

Ever since our local area-code changed from 206 to 360 many minutes ago, I have been proud of the fact that our Whidbey Island area code, 360, was the first in the country with a non-binary digit in the middle, a “6,” hopefully honoring the history of the six-pack on Whidbey.

That is something they cannot take away from us.

It has always been interesting to me that the numerical sequence of area codes has little to do with the proximity of boundaries.

For example, one would expect North Carolina to be area code 910 if part of South Carolina is 864.

But why is Louisiana’s 985 area code so close in numbers to Michigan’s 989 when they are extremes of the center of our great country?

OK, so it’s not a big thing in your family.

But, when you are lonely, and it’s winter, your day- timer calendar can be your best friend.

Ohio has a 937 area code, just one door down from Puerto Rico’s 939 area code.


I am curious why there are no area codes 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777 or 999.

They sure would be easier to remember.

The only repeating three- digit area code is 888.

Be careful; 888 may be one of those heavy breathing area codes that cost a bunch of money.

500 is the area code for Personal Communication Services.

Things like how to order a microphone attachment for your phone or how to set a ring tone that has Fred Flintstone yelling “Yabba Dabba Doo.”

That sure cleared out my creditors.

If we have time, next week we’ll cover why the Colorado area codes of my birth, 719 and 720, were not allowed to go green to become 719½.

More in Life

Photo by Theresa Farage
A photographer captured the Northern Lights over North Whidbey Tuesday night. Theresa Farage went to Dugualla Bay Heights Road looking toward La Conner armed with her Nikon D5200 camera and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Northern Lights over Whidbey

The dazzling northern lights appeared in the skies across the state this week.

Rob Schouten's "Skyfall" oil painting is inspired by the San Juan Islands.
His etchings and paintings explore the mysteries of nature

You can Rob Schouten’s aquatint etchings and oil paintings at his gallery and art garden in Langley.

Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times
Will Hawkins and Dawn Smith officially took ownership of Rainshadow Nursery on Oct. 1.
Rainshadow Nursery welcomes new owners

Dawn Smith and Will Hawkins of Greenbank officially took ownership of Rainshadow Nursery on Oct. 1.

Penn Cove employees serve customers during the brewery’s grand opening celebration of its new location in Freeland over Memorial Day weekend. (Tyler Rowe / Cold Pizza Creative)
Drink This: Penn Cove opens its 3rd taproom on Whidbey Island

Brothers Marc and Mitch Aparicio opened a new Freeland taproom at The Barn over Memorial Day weekend.

Halloween happens on Whidbey

Spooky season is back in swing and there are plenty of events that promise a ghoulishly good time.

See caption
NBA star Isaiah Thomas travels to South Whidbey

South Whidbey teenager Jacob Ng recently got to live out a hoop dream.

Gabrielle Robles at Sunnyside Cemetery in a block house.
Coupeville woman offers haunted history tour

Gabrielle Robles is taking guests on a Haunted History Tour of Whidbey Island on Oct. 29 and 30.

Audubon is holding birding class for beginners Oct. 19

Master birder Whitney Neufeld-Kaiser will be teaching the online Zoom class 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 19.

See caption
Mr. South Whidbey reigns once again

After a two-year reign, a new king was crowned in the male pageant world of Whidbey Island.

Most Read