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Last Updated: 1:33 PM GMT on May 17, 2013
— Last Comment: 2:21 AM GMT on May 19, 2013
|Posted by: joealaska, 8:49 AM GMT on March 31, 2012
First things first. JOEKENTUCKY celebrated his EIGHTY NINTH BIRTHDAY a couple days ago. Patriarch of the Kentucky Clan, Joe has done very well and is feeling good as of birthday time.
While I sat in a blizzard in the Tahoe on the phone, JK waxed poetic about 70 degrees and sunny calm in Kentucky. GOLF weather. The sad (for me) truth is that JK will probably kick my ass in golf AGAIN, as usual, when I drag him out to play in about a month. I can just hear it now... Hey son, how about playing for a little cash? DotMom needs a new pair of shoes. He just bunts the ball down the middle of the fairway, then doubles the bet before we hit our approach shots. He has collected my college expense twofold.
I kid. He has never taken a dime from me, nor I him. But the sad truth is that he will beat me again when we play, as usual. He taught me how to play and enjoy the game. And every time we play, he teaches me another lesson. See you in a month DAD.
We are hearing more details about this summer. 22 new vessels are coming through Dutch heading to Northern Alaska. Dutch is the last deep water port before heading north. Could be interesting.
The BIG GAME is tomorrow. It goes off around 2 PM local time. Right in the middle of day. I will try to take a two hour lunch and watch it. Hope THAT works out. I would like to see LOUISVILLE win, in a huge upset. I expect KENTUCKY to win by 8. Either way, I go to sleep with a smile. Ohio State will win and be in the finals. And the UL / UK winner will (obviously) win the National Championship again.
Dave, watch the second half of the final four games. You may enjoy.
Just finished my taxes. Normally I have my return by now, just too busy. I LAUGH at the forms we have to fill out. WHO designed this? I really think the US GOVERNMENT could fill out our tax returns form us at this point. Send it to us and ask us to approve or not. Such a messed up system right now. Hell, I graduated with honors and I have no clue. Last two years I sent the return in, knowing there was a return coming. Both years I got a notice I was due MORE than I expected.
Why not let them do the whole deal?
Today the city made a rear flank attack on the snow. The plows came up Haystack and widened the road . It was one lane in many spaces. Now the piles along the road are higher, but the road is wider. It helps. And it keeps us ahead if we get dumped on tonight. We are getting significant snow almost every day.
I have no doubt that VIRAL video about the cats, fox, and eagle is real. No reason to doubt it. How much more does VIRAL pay versus non viral?
Almost 1 AM, gotta go. Feel free to point out my errors.
Heard there was at least one WINNER in Maryland for that lottery. Maybe another in Dutch?
Comments For This Post
Updated: 8:52 AM GMT on March 31, 2012
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|Posted by: joealaska, 7:05 AM GMT on March 25, 2012
We are thinking this is the last BIG weekend of the season. A number of the big boats are already sailing south leaving the fishing behind. Many are on their last trip and will be heading south shortly. We have worked hard and got the job done.
Our big weekly container vessel has been late this season more times than on time. This week was the worst. Almost a full day late. At 6:30AM I got my first call. A big boat getting their order in today wanted delivery at 1:30 this afternoon. A few minutes later another call. Another big boat wanting their delivery at...1:30! Shortly I had another scheduled for 12:30. We needed to unload
4 containers by then to accomplish two of those deliveries. I was stuck on the phone for awhile but got into the warehouse at 9:30 AM. The guys were unloading the vans. I went to my computer and saw an email from a customer received late last night. A decent order they wanted pulled and delivered by 8 AM.... And that is how my day started.
I have been using the iphone simply to monitor late emails into the office. Now I get to go through a bunch of emails in the evening, possibly finding a hot message requiring action. Maybe not. More time working. I still use my basic cell phone for phoning. Easier to use, less expensive when I drop it. The email I missed last night for that 8 AM delivery was sent to my computer at my desk. The MAIN computer is where my assistant sits and watches for messages. I do not watch for messages all the time at my desk. Most people email to the main computer, and THAT is the email address I can see with the iphone. Emails to my desk computer can be missed after hours, and that is what happened last night. That customer had both email addresses, but sent a hot order to the wrong one.
It is not a perfect system when we operate 24/7.
Looks like an interesting summer coming up. For one thing, it will probably cease snowing! AND, there will be a number of interesting vessels heading through Dutch. Mainly Shell Oil and related vessels heading north for the first wave of Arctic oil exploration in some time. And Greenpeace right behind. So the 50 US Coast Guard cops will be sent up to keep the general peace.
Greenpeace staged a takeover / sit-on of a New Zealand oil rig heading to the Arctic recently. Lucy Lawless of Xena “fame” led the parade. Greenpeace is expected to protest the arrival of the northbound vessels. While the US Coast Guard believes in the rights of peaceful protest, they are sending up50 enforcers to maintain the peace in town. The 50 will stay in facilities like warehouses so as to not fill up The Grand Aleutian and inhibit TOURISM. Dutch Harbor is the last deep water port to serve these vessels before they head north to the Arctic.
WHAT A DAY FOR LOUISVILLE. The Cardinals have made it to The Final Four, a surprise even to many of their biggest fans. It is so hard to do, even for the basketball elite. UL is hot at the right time. Of course, I saw none of the game. I saw they were down by 8 at half time. Then I caught a few late scores and they were coming back! I heard they closed on an 18-3 run. Down by 11, they won by 4. It was a tough loss for Florida. The two coaches are closely related. Billy Donovan and Rick Pitino have a long history of working together. Pitino is 6-0 VS Donovan.
Tomorrow the soon to be NBA players at Kentucky will advance to The Final Four when they defeat Baylor easily. And next week they will play Louisville in The Final Four. The only thing that could be better would be that they would meet in the FINALS. Some day it will happen. It should. There are a lot of huge basketball programs and states. But I will argue Kentucky is the biggest. Adolph Rupp. Denny Crum. Rick Pitino. Rupps Runts. The empty green chair at Rupp Arena. Louisville Cardinals playing second fiddle in the big blue shadow, but a two time National Champ. This is a HUGE deal for the Commonwealth.
For many years KY and UL did not play each other. Finally they scheduled the Dream Game. It went to overtime and The Cardinals stunned the state and demolished UK after a very close game. I think UK will have their way this time, but who cares?
In a dream, I see UK playing UL for the national title. On that sunny day I choose to just record the game instead of watching, and going out to play some golf. Oh, I will watch it later, sometime. But I will just enjoy the solitude on the golf course knowing it does not matter who wins that game, but that it is a great day to be in The Bluegrass.
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|Posted by: joealaska, 8:12 AM GMT on March 21, 2012
Happy to see Kentucky and Louisville in the Sweet 16. Louisville has its hands full with Michigan State. I doubt I will see the game.
There was a St Patricks Day party at a nearby office building that GNU and I tried to attend. There were some late evening deliveries, but it looked like there was a gap of free time. They had cooked up an 80 LB pig for the event. The Kentucky / Iowa State game was on, so I sat down and saw a bit of it. Then the phone rang and I found myself taking an order outside in the Tahoe. They wanted the order early next day, so we had to go back. So much for the party, as well as having a chance to see Louisville in the late game.
Even when there is a chance to do something fun, I just avoid it when it is fishing season as I know it will not actually happen.
Speaking of Kentucky, Big Blue fans are getting a bit tired of that 20 year old Duke Miracle. You know, when Christian Laettner caught the long inbound pass, turned and hit that last second shot to beat KY? College basketball fans know the play. It still gets played for various reasons all these years later. Right now it is featured in a UPS commercial being played during the tournament. And last night on ESPN SportsCenter they showed it as a comparison to a similar play that happened in the pro game that night. If you google just LAETTNER, “laettner buzzer beater” comes right up.
It WAS a huge play in a huge game, so it will probably live on and on and on....
I did not go in today, but they were pretty busy. Two guys were there all day until 10:30 tonight. They had a pickup last night to get three pallets of frozen food to bring back for storage. We were told to be there at 1:00 AM. It was not ready, and the driver ended up waiting until 4 AM. Today we had a delivery scheduled at a certain time. They loaded up the truck and took it to the boat. The boat was behind schedule on their end, so we had to take the load back and wait.
REALLY looking forward to vacation.
Nosey was back last night. It was very windy. After he ate, he curled up and slept on the chow porch. Have not seen that since the Hoppy Days.
Yesterday the weather was BRUTAL. 45 mph winds with a 17 degree temperature. That converts to about -136 degree wind chill (approx). Blowing snow, 100% whiteout at times.
They used my yard as a place to pile up snow after plowing nearby. Now I got a 20 foot mountain that is part of the view. A pickup truck below my house is slowly being enveloped by the snow. Mirrors disappear overnight. The windshield is partially covered.
My grill on the porch is completely covered.
The drift outside my window seems to be shrinking, but I now see that the base snow is rising. Three feet deep where the wind cannot get to it.
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|Posted by: joealaska, 8:12 AM GMT on March 17, 2012
The snow continues daily. There is bright, blinding sun at times. But the snow continues. I can only imagine the snow depth at the pass or out on Summers Bay Road. At the pass I know it is at least 20 feet deep in the shadowed areas. Summers Bay Road goes along those steep cliffs where avalanches are probably a daily event. The road is closed and not plowed. Will have to wait for Mother Nature to melt it. She is a paid city employee.
It could be June first before it opens again. Seriously.
4 years ago when I came here that was the case. I arrived in April and had no idea there were roads out past the DUMP. THERE ARE!
The snow is drifting each day with the wind from different directions. Piles are moved around. The sharp tipped drift out my northern door has encompassed my porch. The porch is about three feet above the ground. The tip is a few feet higher. On the other side of my place there is a flat drift, just a bunch of snow. It is about 5 feet deep covering maybe 4000 square feet. The road below my place is redrifting daily. Wind scoured tongues of snow hanging out into the SINGLE LANE pf road now open. The road is rarely busy. If you meet someone, EVERYONE is backing up to make it work.
GNU and I have had an interesting week. Long days with a late phone call after we went home. I make the call based on what is happening. If it is 20 pallets to be delivered, I call the warehouse guys. If it is 20 items to be pulled and delivered, it is borderline. Maybe GNU, maybe the other guys. Depends on what happened the day before, and what is scheduled the next day.
I could have had the OTHER guys help, but GNU and I went back late three times in the last 5 days. We filled a decent order to be delivered EARLY AM by another guy. We had to figure out what was still missing from an evening delivery and deliver it. Done personally.
Finally, a late ADD ON to an order we delivered earlier last night...
Bear with me.
I had to set up a router at my house for my new i-phone. I did that successfully. It took a couple attempts. When it finally connected, there was a message from a boat we had delivered to earlier that evening. They needed some TEA and FISH SAUCE. Not a lot, but they needed it. It was going on midnight. I called GNU to see if he was interested in going with me. As always. YES.
It was a blizzard when we headed out, and when we got there. You had to be there. Always entertaining, even to us locals. Late night on the dock. In bad weather. In 99% of these cases, everyone is very polite. Easy to get along with. Just the case here.
We went on the boat to get a signature for our order of less than a hundred dollars, and we were invited to the dinner about to be served on the vessel. It smelled GOOD, ribs. I was the one to pass. It was a big day next day. Plus, I had my dinner in the oven turned way down.
My vacation is in 6 weeks. Rental cars are VERY HIGH when you go one way. In this case I leave Albuquerque and arrive in Louisville. I anticipate the charge around 600 bucks. For 10 days. It is a rip off when you go one way. Then I had to make a change. Now they wanted 1600 bucks. I spent a couple days trying to find a better option. Finally I found the RIGHT guy. I pick up at the END of my stay in Albuquerque instead of up front. NOW it is $400. Sounds like a racket to me.
More to say. After midnight, gotta go.
New fox chowing.
Big day tomorrow.
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|Posted by: joealaska, 6:52 AM GMT on March 14, 2012
With the time change (which I missed completely and was unprepared) we are having daylight until 9:45 PM. It now gets light here around 9 AM.
We got another 6 inches of snow last night. The massive melt is about equal to the reload. The road up Haystack was impassable to only those with 4 wheel drive and a sense of traction.
I heard early today one of my guys could not get up it to pick up GNU. I took a part of the day off, kinda. Eventually I had to go in to the warehouse to take care of business.
When I returned to the base of the hill, there was a truck in trouble. He was backing down, then stopped. He turned on his emergency blinkers, a complete retreat from going up. The guy in front of me went by and up. I went by soon after, but soon was losing grasp of the ice. Wet ice covered by fresh snow. Now I was the IDIOT backing down. A truck behind me was waiting patiently for me to end my sojourne. I backed down and waved him by. Then I was right behind him, now AWARE. Slow and steady was the task, but with the help of 4 wheel drive. I was driving the van, as the Tahoe was being repaired. I slid a bit, but got back to the nadir.
ROTTY gets the American Airlines $100 certificate. God bless the bankrupt. Customer Service has a certain degree of priority. Flying bankrupt into the horizon...
Basketball is kicking in. IONA was destroying BYU. In the second half, BYU came back from 25 points down to easily win. A new record for the NCAA.
I know what you are thinking... EVERYONE LOVES BASKETBALL, until football kicks in.
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|Posted by: joealaska, 6:44 AM GMT on March 13, 2012
Finally took down the Christmas lights.
Anyone booking a flight on AMERICAN AIRLINES, check this out. I have a transferrable voucher worth a HUNDRED BUCKS if you are booking a flight on American. I got it a year ago when they screwed up my flight plans, but cannot use it. Refer to my blog “Stress Free Flying is UnAmerican.”
I cannot use it with all their restrictions, but if you are booking with American YOU can use it. Anybody. Just send me an email and I will send it to you. It has to be used by 8-29-2012. American Sucks, would love them to pay your bill. First comes gets it.
Had a new 6 inches of snow a couple nights ago. The dirty drifts were covered over again, looking good. And the melt begins again... Tonight it is snowing big wet flakes, looks like stuck cars in the morning.
Tonight I was cooking a big chunk of salmon on the grill. I seasoned one chunk, and left the other chunk unseasoned for the cats. NOSEY and GOLDEN ROD were in the neighborhood, and they chowed down. Both of them are very friendly. Nosey comes right up to me like a big dog. Have not seen a fox for a few days. But there has been a lot of snow.
The injuries and fatalities continue with the fishing boats. A broken arm here, a cut off fingertip there (happened in the shower). 3 guys in a small boat had to abandon ship in the middle of the night a couple nights ago, and the USCG sent a chopper to pull them out. Another guy fell overboard near Sand Point and has not been found. Snapping cables have killed one person and badly injured another.
That cut off fingertip brought a 390 foot vessel in early. Severe injuries, or illness, require the dangerous medevac with helicopter. Lesser injuries require the boat to return. Costly either way to company and victim.
Louisville stunned everyone and won the BIG EAST. Their reward? Fly a couple thousand miles to play in Portland, Oregon. Vanderbilt stunned Kentucky and beat them to win the SEC. Really was a meaningless game. UK is still #1 seed in the tournament. Maybe will wake them up at the best time. I liked to see Vandy win the conference, actually. Give them their time in the spotlight. It was a good game and they won it.
Doing a bracket tonight.
The Miss Unalaska contest has been canceled due to lack of participants.
I am up for jury duty again. My vacation is right in that time period. If I have plane tickets, I think they will let me postpone it. Or not.
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|Posted by: joealaska, 8:42 AM GMT on March 09, 2012
Last night we had some decent wind and wet snow. The result was big new drifts across my yard. Drifts narrowed the road down the hill, hard to see the road with the white on white and lack of tire marks.
Yesterday we had a flat tire on our newer flatbed truck. When I went out to my vehicle, there was another flat waiting for me. I was able to drive it to the repair shop, where we had two vehicles at the same time being repaired.
Dutchie went outside a couple nights ago and I forgot she was out. She was outside all night. It was above freezing, and she would have been banging on the windows if she wanted in. Nothing. After it got light she would be usually be waiting to come in. Catless. Just before I went to work she showed up like nothing was wrong.
Have heard of two recent accidents regarding snapping steel cables on boats. One resulted in a fatality. The other led to a Coast Guard helicopter medivac, and that victim is OK right now.
LOUISVILLE keeps winning in the Big East conference tournament, beating Marquette today. It is a tough tourney. Hope they win, do not expect it. They will be in the BIG dance either way. The real threat is KENTUCKY. GO BLUE.
It is still my dream to see UL and UK in the finals. It was close a couple times...
Foxes are regular visitors. NOSEY has returned a few times. Very friendly. I left the door open a minute, and he was inside the mud room. No pictures, sorry.
Bought an iPhone for company business. ME with a SMARTPHONE.? I used to think OXYMORON meant a stupid teenager...
Watching The Learning Channel with back to back specials. 911 stories about Flight 175. Then right after a special about the Japanese tsunami. WOW. A really tough twin bill to watch.
Looking forward to vacation at the start of May.
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Updated: 5:16 PM GMT on March 09, 2012
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|Posted by: joealaska, 6:24 AM GMT on March 07, 2012
Greetings to JIM in Newport, WA up on the hillside. Right on RT 2, one of my favorite USA roads.
The last two weeks have been incredibly busy, especially this last weekend. SUPERLATIVENESS.
The regular weekly vessel showed up late, and we had the arrival of an irregular barge with 3 more containers show up at the same time. This barge comes in once a month or so. It ALWAYS hits with the weekly vessel. DOUBLE WHAMMY.
Over the weekend we were met with a freight log jam. It was because of the body of that soul that was murdered the week before. Evidently there is a lot more paperwork when a body flies out. We had to wait and wait to get hot freight out.
Boats were waiting for stuff off both vessels. We have 4 spaces at our dock, 5 in a pinch. We have to manage what shows up when. It is a juggling match. Then we are filling orders from the just arrived stock which is not “put away.” Temporary chaos. It lasted two days.
Sunday was particularly wild. It came to a crescendo at 2 in the afternoon when 3 deliveries were scheduled. The trucks were all out delivering elsewhere. I kept the communication open with the customers and we got past it with everyone happy.
Last night was “interesting” with 3 deliveries between 3:30 and 4:00. AM. Then one boat realized they did not get everything on their order they expected . So we had a 3:30 AM order to pull. My delivery guy, SUPERMAN, pulled the order by himself and delivered it. He was up all night with no sleep after a long day. Came back at 1:00 PM. THE MAN.
The tornadoes near Louisville were pretty bad, especially north in Indiana. Too many fatalities. I think the media talks up the warnings a bit strong. Me, I would be watching the window view, or at least listening to the sounds. The minute it goes TRUBBA, down the stairs...I suggested to Dot Mom a wine rack down there.
Last night I came home while then BIG MELT was happening. 45 degrees turned the snow and ice into water. The 10 foot pile of plowed snow was melting. As well as the four foot drift. I had to walk the last 10 feet to my porch in 5 inch deep water. Lake Haystack.
Dutchie went out a cuppla times, and I forgot she was out when I went to sleep. Hey, I was tired. She stayed out all night, and took her time showing up in the morning. It was about 40 degrees, so she was OK. She was back around 9 AM.
A few nights ago I opened the window to look for Dutchie. It was late night. She was out on the chow porch with Bengal Betty the cat, as well as Frank the Fox. They were out there chillin’. It was like I was intruding...
TONIGHT my buddy NOSEY showed up. He is very tame, which will probably be his demise. But I fed him. I gave him FOUR tins of cat food, any one of which would feed both Dutchie and Fluff. Plus he snarfed down a bunch of kibble. He was very open to photos. He actually came into my mud room at one point, but my camera was not handy.
RIP Davey Jones. The Monkees. For a non band, they had a few great songs. Pleasant Valley Sunday, A Little Bit me, A Little Bit You, and more...
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|Posted by: joealaska, 7:38 AM GMT on March 01, 2012
Another big week.
Last weekend the vessel we get weekly was actually early by about 8 hours. But it took forever to unload it, not sure why. It took a day and a half to get a couple of the 7 vans. Frustrating to explain that to customers. I drove by the container vessel and noticed the vessel was almost completely unloaded, which I have never seen. Only some of the vans are removed, usually. The vessel was just a frame of the racks where the vans are set and secured.
We had a change at our office where our office manager and us parted ways. She had a great attitude but was in a bit over her head. It is a tough job, and we all agreed it was not working out.
Gnu Girl started today, and is doing great. She worked for us a couple years ago, then moved off the island. Now she is back, and we are glad. I went solo a couple of days and the paperwork really piled up. First morning by myself the internet crashed, as well as our quickbooks system. Kept it interesting.
Last night I noticed from my window several emergency vehicles near Unisea Seafoods. Today I talked to a friend who lives right there. We actually had a rare murder in Dutch. A troublesome employee had been reprimanded a few times but was kept on board. But other employees were getting tired of this guys actions. Last night there was an argument between these employees. The troublemaker was confronted and beaten up. He went down, and was repeatedly kicked.
The confronters then fled, but there were witnesses. Police and medical showed up, but it was too late. They caught and arrested the attackers. The victim was DOA. Normally the ambulances plod along near the speed limit. But last night I saw the ambulance flying with an escort vehicle. I knew there was a problem. Not a lot of violence here. Normally...
The BIG MELT happened a few days ago with warmer temps. Then it all froze again in a thick plate of ice. We have had several vehicles get stuck in supposedly simple places to drive. A slight incline on that ice, and there is 1% traction. All it takes is a cuppla guys pushing.
Yesterday we 60 mph gusts that set up some nice drifts. Dramatic drifts. Sharp tipped drifts with irregular shapes. One 4 footer is in front of one of my doors. It has a 6 inch solid ice base, so I won’t be egressing there for a while. Another monster drift is extending out from my “yard” to the road below. A huge bulge that looks like a magma dome ready to explode. Tonight I got stuck in a small drift in my driveway. I was heading to the Grand Aleutian (STYX?) to have dinner with GNU and my boss who is in town. Just sliding in a few inches of snow. We got it out with a little pushing and supped.
Coming home it was snowing steadily. The road up the hill has grown very narrow. One narrow lane in places, as the snow is not getting plowed back. Now there are 5 foot walls of snow on each side of DEADMANS CURVE. That is the far point of the road seen in THE ROAD BELOW MY PLACE. A sharp turn. Even going at 5 mph there is a risk of a head on collision. It is a sharp curve with no real distance visibility. A second bad turn is a couple hundred feet down the hill, where I ALWAYS meet a vehicle coming the other way. I have yet to meet one on Deadmans Curve. Thus I live on. Gnu guy lives within one hundred feet of DMC.
When I returned tonight there were new drifts in the driveway. I plowed into the drive, and tried to turn around for a straight out departure in the AM.. I got stuck right away, but skillful maneuvering resulted in breaking loose. Now I am pointed out down the tire marks I created coming in tonight. But the snow is making it interesting. My footprints of an hour ago are now filled in. ALL the rough edges from the BIG MELT are being smoothed over with the new snow.
DUTCHIE went out for a while. She has gotten good at jumping up and banging on the window where I am sitting at (I think she chooses the window with light in it...) when she wants in. She did so, and when I opened the BLOCKED door a few inches, she approached in deep snow. The last 30 feet was entertaining at least for me. She was in deep snow, and tried jumping up on that big drift. You will learn kitty. Soft snow, and she was swimming to the door. She was never in trouble, just a new experience.
Wish I had my camera out.
I will tomorrow morning...
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Updated: 5:23 PM GMT on March 01, 2012
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