By: joealaska, 9:41 PM GMT on November 29, 2011

We have had some nice snow showers over the weekend that accumulated to a few inches. Mainly wet snow falling and sticking, but melting right from the start. Temps were around freezing, but often above. Right now it is 39. Yesterday the sun came out later in the day and it was beautiful.

I heard there was weather moving in later last night, but there was no sign of it. The wind measured between 0 and 1 mph. Sitting at zero for periods of time.

Late last night the rain woke me up. Not the normal horizontal stuff blowing against the window. Just a roar of heavy rain hitting the roof. May have been the heaviest rain I have seen, or heard, here. It wiped out most of the remaining snow. Now it is a dreary wet day- my day OFF!

There is still time for a change.

I am considering adding another chapter to my book... THE TRIALS OF SELF-PUBLISHING. Up until recently, the issue was re-writing the book. That is now done. Now it is just getting it published. I paid money for one publisher a year ago, but got a little tired of their flood of calls about more money needed for marketing. Meanwhile I heard about Amazon and looked into that.

Generally I have learned the chance of making a lot of money going this route is unlikely. My goal is to just get something out there and make a presence. A sequel is already in the works.

The book was written using Wordperfect on my laptop. Everyone wants it submitted in Word. It has been a hassle to convert it for various reasons, but that is now done. I downloaded it all into Amazon. They acknowledged it as received. The next step is too use a SIMPLE TOOL they have to edit and correct formatting issues. The manuscript was scanned by this TOOL, which came up with a few issues to address. I simply have to open this TOOL up and follow the directions and address the issues. TRUBBA. The TOOL does not open. It starts to load, then stops. My guess is the internet here is too weak, but I am asking Amazon to help out. We will see. I may have to wait until my vacation when I return to the real world for a couple weeks.

Two weeks from right now I will be in Tampa Bay.

Four years for CONrad Murray. My guess is the Sheriff will still give him a LOHAN and the good doctor will be sipping tequila on the beach shortly. Non violent as he is.

UK in the news today with their embassy being taken over in Iran. Sounds a bit familiar. Maybe Iran is a bad place for embassies.

(That news has nothing to do with I RAN, the hit by A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS.)

Still making movies using pictures and film taken in Dutch. Backing it all up with music. The music is getting a bit eclectic. Just did one with ECHOES by Pink Floyd, followed up with Tony Joe White doing POLK SALAD ANNIE. Another one starts up with ONE VELVET MORNING by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood. Good stuff.

Hoping the rain stops and I can get out later.



By: joealaska, 2:02 AM GMT on November 25, 2011

Bad news from my old stomping grounds. Arizona. From holiday to tragedy for one family. That plane wreck near Apache Junction took a dad and three kids, as well as 2 other adults. Dad was picking up the kids in Mesa and taking them back to Safford, near Mt Graham in the SE part of the state. They took off in the dark and headed over The Superstition Mountains east of Apache Junction. The Superstitions are visible from just about anywhere in Phoenix. A huge wall of rock coming straight out of the desert floor.

Hey Dotmom, remember FISH CREEK HILL?

This is so well known to EVERYONE in the area, especially PILOTS, that something must have really gone wrong. The plane did not hit that cliff that is visible to all points west, but got into the Superstition Wilderness. It ran into another cliff near Iron Mountain. There were plenty of pictures of the site and the ensuing fires. Even a far-off security camera caught the initial fireball.

The plane was a modern twin engine model.

Meanwhile in DUTCH, a little more on the lighter side.

I just put my turkey in the oven. Loyal readers know, I LOVES MY TURKEY. And it has been awhile since I cooked one. Usually I do 4 a year. Or so. So I really looked forward to this one. But I did not want to go crazy, that would be stupid. That is why I just got a 21.11 pounder. It has been in the oven for 30 minutes and I already had to snip a sample. Not real good, but HAS POTENTIAL. I hope I do not have a repeat of the 1988 debacle, where the fully cooked (at this point some say FOOLY COOKED) bird took a header onto the kitchen vinyl. OOPS.

Should be ready to eat around 9 or 9:30 PM. I will have a simple sandwich, some mashed potato and gravy, probably some cauliflower. The rest will be enjoyed for the near future. LOVE the turkey sandwich.

It all fits into my theme week. SALUTE TO EDIBLE BIRDS / FOWL FOOD. Last night I watched most, but not all, of GONE WITH THE WIND as I cooked up a batch of chicken legs.
Heavily crumbed. That is the way I like them. I hand crushed some CROUTONS to my own specifications. And used THEM. GOOD!

Add that to the chicken soup, we have a themed medly.

There will not be a lot of cooking in the near future, more like warming up. FINE!

Shed no tears for Joe. I have spent MOST Thanksgivings alone, and loving it. When I was lower 48, I would take many road trips. GOLF TRIPS. That was in the distant past. I am a loner and admit it. With familial exceptions, I can have a good time by myself. I really like to see the family over Christmas. So I never see them over Thanksgiving.

DARK BOY made his appearance. I agree, good! I put a pile of kibble on the OTHER porch. It was gone in the morning. A mysterious late night snack. Hopefully vulpine, but potentially feline. The size of the footprints scream VULPINE. Not going to just lay out food unless a fox is in the area.

Weather? Snow. Just a few inches, but we are seeing a lot of snow showers and sleet. The temps are keeping it MELTABLE. Borderline. I drove down Haystack today and almost lost it in slo-mo. Flying along at 20 mph I was skidding off on a long turn. The base remains ice, but the top is meltage and allows for skidding. Snow squalls moved through today several times. You never know when one is a 15 minute storm, or a 24 hour big boy. Right now 31 degrees.

I heard from RATTLESNAKE and it is all good. Welcome, the more the better.

The book is done. Working right now on the Amazon connection. It could be very quick. Will keep you updated.

I am nervous about the whole thing.



By: joealaska, 7:14 AM GMT on November 22, 2011

It has really dropped off here as far as boats in the area. A lot different from the last FOUR MONTHS. It is uniquely slow. I do not even order food this week as no boat sails next week. PLUS we are in a Holiday week. Usually that means nothing to the boats, and we oblige.

Now is the time we take on special projects we normally would not have time for. But those are looking good, as far as we can control.

Tonight, RIGHT NOW, I am having a FOX experience. Again, finally. It is DARK BOY. Back again, with his bad eye. REGULAR READERS know who I am talking about. The brown and black good looking guy, except for the eye. He is VERY skiddish. I saw him out my north window and struck up a conversation. When I went to grab a HANDFULL of chow, he was gone. I went to the other porch and he was BACK. He was circling for a mouthful. Dutchie was in the window, pondering a move.

Since then, the back porch facing west has been slurped clean. The front porch facing west is still ready for chowing. It was really good to see Dark Boy. First of all, I am not seeing the foxes I am used to. New or old. They are probably hanging in the gift shop, just as you enter the gift shop of The Grand Aleutian. Perhaps, just The Aleutian.

I almost hate to bring it up. But we are expanding with new readers as always. More like new COMMENTERS. I have found a good amount of readers do not comment, just as I would not do.
I WELCOME any new participants. As long as they do not antagonize others, FINE. It can even be a controversial issue. Whatever. Forget the ALASKA issue. I am past that. If there is a little give and take, like humans do, ANYTHING IS COOL. But I guess there are even exceptions to that.

There are exceptions to EVERY rule, including this one.

So I am questioning commenters doing there thing, but not really participating in this blog. Their only comments are responding to comments about THEIR comment.

SO, if you are a good writer and have good stories, I would encourage you to just start your own blog. Why not? My real reason to bring this up is I am hearing the SAME COMMENTS posted on MY blog are also being posted on other blogs verbatim. If this is the case, if you are a leach or a parasite, move on. There are MANY blogs. If you have the time, you can hit them all.

But I do not want a hitchhiker. NO RIDERS.


Thanks to all the long term participants. I bet you know what I am talking about. This is not Kool Stuff. I considered just blocking the person, but they were not abusing people.

But I feel the site is being taken advantage of.

Looking forward to FLORIDA and hitting the road. Three weeks from right now I will be in Anchorage waiting for my quick flight to Chicago. As far as I can tell, when I fly from Chicago to Tampa Bay, I will go right over Louisville.

I plan on doing the first turkey in awhile for me this week. Will probably keep it at 18-20 pounds. Hat to go crazy just for me. Thanksgiving has LONG been a solo Joe holiday. If I go home for a holiday, it is Christmas, like this year.

Tonight I made a BIG chicken soup. Made one a couple weeks ago and it was GOOD. Tonight I put a lot of breast meat in and cooked it up. Then I added a couple pounds of baby carrots. A head of cauliflower. A head of celery. A head of broccoli. A bunch of frozen peas, just for the hell of it.
A packet for chicken noodle soup. That should last until Thanksgiving, as it is about a gallon and a half.

Watching a good show on AMC, Hell On Wheels. It is about the building of the cross continental railroad. The GOOD old days.

I am down to about two pounds of red king crab.

These people camping out a week before Black Friday, as well as these OCCUPY WALL STREET folk...Do they have JOBS!!??

Finally, but not least, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Cybersuze. She is a fly fishing expert in Idaho in case anyone has any questions. Personally, I never knew flies could swim. And how do they make the hooks SO SMALL?

My book is about there. “The Road To Dutch Harbor.” Look for it on Amazon.

Thank you for your time.



By: joealaska, 5:54 PM GMT on November 19, 2011

Weather. Or not?

Interesting the last couple days. Two days ago we got snow in the early evening after the reports said little accumulation. It was coming down pretty steady, but it was in the mid 30s temperatures.
Basically it was slush. Barely hanging in there. It got to an inch or two, but was melting as I measured.

By dawn, it was gone.

Yesterday we got to 51 degrees. A beautiful day! The sun was out, and the wind was absent. I had tried to go up Ballyhoo the day before, and the gate was down. May not see that view until June. But yesterday I went over the switchbacks. No problem for now. Right now it is pouring and blowing, but is 43 degrees. Of course, the pass could be snowbound.

NEW (GNU) Knew guy left yesterday after a real challenge. He had a ticket for a week from now, but wanted to move up and leave sooner using standby. But there is no standby, per se. It is a different game. He ended up having to buy a new ticket, and was barely able to do that.

He will return to cover for me when I leave in mid-December.

I have a 12 inch TV, so I have access to some good stuff. Tonight I watched Flying Wild Alaska, have not seen it for a few months. They were flying into Little Diomede 2 miles from Russia. Ice Road Truckers? It has gotten Boring. How about Ice Runways? That was the deal at Little Diomede. Later I caught a little of GOLD RUSH, about a small gold mine and the guys working it. Always interesting to see the problems that come up in the bush and what it takes to get past them without a local hardware to run to..

For the 3rd week in a row our Friday vessel is a Saturday vessel. Not a big deal, we only have one container today. Next week, we have a BYPASS where there is NO boat. That time of the year. Not a good time to get a fresh salad in about 10 days...



By: joealaska, 6:06 PM GMT on November 11, 2011

A big week in the news. I have a TV and have kept up with the breaking news as good as possible.

Joe Paterno? Who would a thunk it? The top coach in the country falling from the TOP OF THE WORLD. (Do you feel better, TIGER?).

Then there is Conrad Murray. Guilty / Duh. He will spend just about as much time in jail as Casey Anthony. What does it take to spend time in jail? I guess I would rather not know.

Finally, RIP Joe Frazier.

Hell, the week is not over. Should be an interesting game with Penn State and Nebraska this weekend. I know EVERYONE LOVES FOOTBALL. But this is beyond the game. This will go on for a few years. More will be fired. It will get ugly. A top program that has fallen. The riots last night were stupid. College gone wrong. It was a knee jerk reaction to Paterno being fired, no thought about the real victims. This is only the beginning.

Crab season? I have no clue. I was too busy, and it went too quick. Buying crab locally is a hassle.
We order a few hundred pounds and need approval from the processor to sell it. We just took an order for one boat for 400 pounds.

I was surprised WU posted that picture of Fat Fluffer. Not really weather oriented, is it?

The red king has been turned in to snack food. Cuppla pounds here and there. Cooked some up and gave it to the cats. NOTHING. Too picky.

Miyuki, where are you at?

That big storm missed us. I guess it nailed the NW part of the state. We got some good weather a few days ago.

Done for now.



By: joealaska, 7:17 AM GMT on November 06, 2011

Weather has been interesting the last week. Big winds and rain. Then the sun pops out and is blinding. Then it all starts over again. Hard to take pictures. 50 to 70 mph winds. Getting them right now.

The temperature here has gotten down to 33 degrees recently. Tonight it will be -5 in Fairbanks.

One of our customers is a boat that changes from a catcher boat to a crab boat as the season changes.
It is an unusual transformation only a couple of boats make. And, this is a boat near to my heart. It was one of the first boats I boarded when I arrived in Dutch. The Captain is a very nice guy, YOUNG compared to the typical image of a CAPTAIN. Well, he walked in and gave me a box of red king crab a few days ago. Maybe 12-15 pounds. Here in Dutch it is selling for about $22.00 a pound. I would never pay that amount, but I will certainly enjoy it for free! Good stuff.

The big boats have been coming through. A quick stop in Dutch then on to Seattle, as the season has ended. They like to eat good on the way south, ordering that crab for a big dinner heading home. We have sold about 400 pounds to three boats. Do the math. Pricey.

Another customer made news lately. Not good. ALASKAN LEADER had an engine room fire. They were done fishing and heading here to Dutch. Then the alarms went off as most were sleeping.
FIRE. Evidently a fuel line broke and sprayed fuel on the engines. Not good. They were stuffing FLOATS into the air vents trying to snuff the flames. They set off a fire suppression system. It got to the point where they were putting on life support suits. But they got it under control.

Nobody was hurt.

They lost all power. Can you imagine real DARKNESS on The Bering? Well, they did. Eventually the engineer got one of the two engines running, and they limped into Dutch. They were about 200 miles out when it happened. A tug met them on the way in and helped them arrive. The boat remains in Dutch right now and is getting some basic repairs. Next step is a tow to Seattle for full repairs.

The rain is pounding on the window right now.

Should have a few pictures tomorrow as we deliver some freight.



By: joealaska, 1:16 AM GMT on November 03, 2011

Back like a bad dream.

After a few days and a bunch of nice email, I have reconsidered, sorta.

Instead of just stopping altogether, I am just backing way off. Will only check in when there is something worth talking about. Big weather, volcanos going off, earthquakes, yadda yadda.

Frankly, I am just tired of looking at a mostly empty home page.

Speaking of big weather, we are getting it right now and moreso this evening. 70+mph winds and 23 foot seas off the island. Been hearing about it coming for the last two days via the big boats passing through. Several made a big effort to get out ASAP in order to get ahead of the blast. I heard there were public announcements on the radio about staying home tonight.

Of course, we will be taking a customer out to dinner at The Grand Aleutian tonight. Buffet night.

Again, thanks for all those emails. I even got a private poem sent from UK today. Wow. There were words in it I never heard of, but I knew their exact meeting. I was by myself and still blazed a blush.

Thanks for the positive comments.



About joealaska

After moving back to the lower 48, I have bought an RV and have been living on the road.

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