By: joealaska , 8:14 AM GMT on February 15, 2012

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Today was supposedly my day off, but I was on the phone all day. Had to recharge twice.

They were very busy at the warehouse. It looked like a typical day, busy but nothing unusual. But it became unusual, and GNU guy took control. First delivery was at 7:30 AM, last was at 10:30 PM.
Pretty steady in between.

My only quality time was having dinner at the Aleutian with some good customers. Good to hear them talk about life on the boat. The Fishmaster was from Norway and he was telling us the inside poop about that nut who shot all those kids last year. The nut will get off easy.

We got a lot of snow a few days ago. Then it melted to slush. Then it froze into ice that was the shape of slush. Hard ridges where tires formed a trough. Now it is melting again. When I walked into the Aleutian I had to walk through a foot deep lake for a hundred feet.

When I left dinner, I espied the new 2012 Visitors Guide on display by the front counter. I grabbed a few. This was where I entered in the contest for the front cover photo. I do not want to sound bitter, but I was disappointed in that front cover. I felt I had 5 or 6 photos better. But THEY are the judges, and I accept that. Dutch Harbor offers many spectacular phot opportunities. I felt the winner was just average. No offense to the winner. I bet HE had better options.

I know it was hard for the judges to evaluate all the entries. Glad I was not the judge. But I feel there was a first choice somewhere out there. The winning photo was a shot of a dock at sunset / sunrise with the silhouettes of boats in the shadows. I am sure politics are at play here, so I give up.

But, I still made the grade. One of my photos made it. A photo I liked from the beginning. A vessel heading out of Unalaska Bay hard against Split Top Mountain with snow highlights. It was cropped down a bit, but I knew it looked familiar. They give me credit, but my name is barely visible in the photo amongst the snow on the mountain.

Fame at the minimum.

It is the best I got.

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11. Rotty3
5:45 PM GMT on February 19, 2012
Dave, I agree, gorgeous vulpines. Other shots are good too lol.

Thank you Joe. Definitely looks like Hoppy Jr.

Dave, you're lucky, around here, you have to be sending electricity to the co-op's net for a year before they give you credit (that's what they said at first though). My regular bill is about $60-75/month, so it's not too bad, but eventually, I want to put solar on the premise, too. Just gotta wait for some green to manifest first. (In the meantime, I'll shoot you some private message when I have more "air" time... )

Around here, we had a two hour storm. Oh, lots of fireworks and disco day reminders. And 4" of massive hard rain. Didn't let up at all. Several lightning strikes very close by, but never lost power (amazingly).

Well, back to trying to wade through those 650+ comments over 250 pages. I can't wait to finish this degree and get the heck out of that line of study. I'm so sick 'n tired of it, but too close not to finish (defense set for 12 March). I could use a few good thoughts and positive vibes for that day. Oh yea, when that's done'n over'n gone... no more whine from me about any school projects. LOL

Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1618
10. DHaupt
8:53 AM GMT on February 19, 2012
What a pair of stunningly beautiful foxes! Go buy them the good stuff -- Fancy Feast or better.

Not much rain here in the Bay Area. Funny thing though: a two day storm (if it can really be called such) drizzled 0.08" on us last week. It was followed by a ratty little cold front about a day later the dumped another 0.07" on us in 20 minutes well before dawn. Everyone, that is the commuters, not me, woke up to a surprise, wet windshields! I didn't even realize it had rained until I noticed, along about 10 AM, that somebody had been messing with my digital rain gauge.

Naturally, I really want it to really rain. But when it doesn't and the sun stays out, I am making lots of free (sort of) electricity. I just got my first post solar PG&E bill. The electricity part has dropped from $227 last month to only $40 this month. We're still a month from the Vernal Equinox. The Summer Solstice will be an exciting day.

Wonderful photos, Joe, including the ones with no foxes in them
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1172
9. MissNadia
10:07 PM GMT on February 18, 2012
A Saturday Night Bump for Joe!
Member Since: July 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3003
8. Arbie
6:50 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
That was an interesting link UK and I'm glad you posted it. Nice to know what is going on. I have to say that I think there is a little more to the story though. For one thing, losing your freedom and ability to live a normal life through incarceration is what it is, even if the bed is a little softer and one has one's own TV. What I see when I look at Norway's prisons is a pretty clever way to keep the prisoners more calm. Although I agree also with the idea that if you treat them like good humans, they will probably act more like good humans, and hopefully continue on in that fashion after their sentence is up. But, I also don't think you can directly compare Norway's crime rate as a whole with the US or UK crime rate as a whole. It would be more valid to compare rural US or rural UK crime rate with Norway's crime rate. Part of the reason why their crime rate is so low is because they are rural. Crime is always lower in rural areas pretty much anywhere in the world. And conditions like sociopathy are neurological conditions that are PARTLY affected by environment like culture, but sociopaths exist in all societies and each society needs to have a way to deal with them if they are to survive. Norway has fewer sociopaths because they have fewer people. And sociopaths are probably better dealt with in rural areas too, where people are keeping closer tabs on each other. They may be stopped before they get out of control. Now the business of the ladies ending up in jail because they can't pay their fines--in the US it is poor people in general because they can't afford decent attorneys and the government-supplied ones are usually not very good--that is crap, isn't it? Criminals are made where they don't need to be. It is beyond disgusting. OK, off my soapbox and back to work...
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1135
7. insideuk
4:31 PM GMT on February 17, 2012
THE NUT was found criminally insane on first assessment, which meant that he was unlikely to face terrorist charges and would serve out any sentence given in a psychiatric hospital environment, not a prison environment. The Norwegian people were angry about that and he is undergoing more testing (without his cooperation) to see if they can’t find him just a bit more sane.

The longest sentence available in Norway is 21 years, but that can be extended indefinitely (in 5 year blocks) for high risk prisoners. He is unlikely to be freed, but his life will hardly be a ‘living hell’.

That sentence is reserved for those who lost loved ones to his actions.

Now in the US, as well as in the UK, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to hear calls for him to face a harsher form of punishment. But in Norway they have a very different system of ‘punishment’ compared to ours, and aspects of it would appear exceptionally soft, their prisons are quite unlike anything you have seen before.

Theirs is a system which emphasises the need to treat people with respect and rehabilitate prisoners back into society, ours is a lock ‘em up and gain retribution by throwing away the key…. It’s not always what we get, but in crimes that receive a heavy media spotlight there will always be someone baying for a punishment to ‘fit’ the crime. Often that’s impossible.

Can he be slaughtered in cold blood 77 times over?

The following is a link to a great article from The Economist – ‘Norwegian v American justice’. I had seen a TV show about the Norwegian Halden prison mentioned here last year, and I also saw the documentary by Louis Theroux for the BBC about jail time in Miami it talks about. The differences could not be more starkly portrayed.

Norway’s low crime statistics, and even lower prisoner re-offending rates put the rest of the world to shame.

Their system WORKS in a way ours never now can. No politician here could get elected on a campaign of ‘softer’ criminal justice. No money will ever become available to fund it. I will continue to see overcrowded British jails filled with a majority of female inmates whom are there ONLY because they didn’t pay their fines.

That the Norwegians wish to see Anders Behring Breivik get the maximum punishment available is completely understandable. He committed a uniquely rare crime against his entire nation on that fateful day.

But I hope they don’t lose the bigger picture of all that they have achieved, and how they achieved it.


Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1634
6. dotmom
12:39 AM GMT on February 17, 2012
The "nut case." Will he get off easy because he is a "nut case?" Maybe spend the rest of his life confined - but not necessarily in a prison.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1460
5. Arbie
9:41 PM GMT on February 16, 2012
So why is the nutcase going to get off easy?

Joe, I see the museum has an online gallery and some of the pieces are slide shows. Maybe you could put together a photojournalism piece. You have lots of first-hand stories to tell.

It was warmish and rainy here in SE TX, now it is chilly and rainy.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1135
4. Ylee
7:53 AM GMT on February 16, 2012
Joe, maybe you should have sent them a picture of GOLDEN ROD with the caption "Even the foxes are happy at Dutch Harbor!". :)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 110 Comments: 18988
3. dotmom
1:39 PM GMT on February 15, 2012
That's okay Joe, your photos are front page covers for my Guide. Keep up the good work. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and most especially those judges. It is all subjective.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1460
2. insideuk
12:58 PM GMT on February 15, 2012
When you recharge yourself twice daily do you have to stay close to the wall socket or do you have a long cable extension that allows for bathroom breaks and the like?

Perhaps I'm making wild assumptions with the charge point location, but it must be a right pain in the arse for you...

Thank goodness for quality time spent with friends over a meal. I suspect just the novelty of eating off plates is entertainment enough for some.


Even with soaking wet socks.

Possibly knees too.

I've just got my copies of the 2010 and 2011 Unalaska visitor guides out. Clearly they have some restrictions on the type of layout they need (within the subject matter) to fit the brief for the front cover photo. Its an A4 portrait shape for a start, and most landscape pictures are the other way about (landscape – DOH!) – so the elimination process of entries must be based firstly on that one very limiting criteria. Most shots would need cropping to the point of oblivion, unless they were taken with this requirement clearly in mind.

Maybe the main problem they have with this whole selection procedure is that they have many hands doing the work. You don't get a selection 'committee' without a bit of politics going on. Even if they have this wonderfully utopian, idealistic and thoroughly democratic thing DOWN PAT around the judgement process you still run the risk of a watered down, staid and 'safe' option coming out on top.

Which has an inherent risk attached.

2010 cover – CHURCH with snow dotted mountain and clear blue sky.

2011 cover – CHURCH with snow dusted mountain and clear blue sky.

They must have been repeating a mantra to themselves over and over, 'don't pick the church again, don't pick the church again...'

In this sense at least they appear to have succeeded.

Hell, they could have gone with a silhouette of the church with a slightly snowy shadowy mountain beneath a clear orangey blue sky.

It's all about the clear sky.

Mustn't frighten the big softy, southern visitors away. They already think the daylight stops just short of the Canadian border.

2012 cover - Silhouettes and shadows.


Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1634
1. Rotty3
11:22 AM GMT on February 15, 2012
hopefully that nutcase won't get out, ever.

Norway is a lovely place - in the summer (if you can deal with B-52 bomber sized skeeters). In the winter? Not necessarily so much. But I did love it. Have still fond memories of midnight sun "sunsets" over empty fjords.

sorry your pictures lost out again, Joe. I think you're right. Maybe you need to get to know the judges and see what they like so you can select better for future contests?
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1618

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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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