By: joealaska , 4:18 AM GMT on April 02, 2012

Last night we got 6 more inches of snow. Of course, the big wind has creatively piled it up here and there. The huge piles of snow that were created when the plows finally widened the snow covered roads are now smoothed over with a fresh coat. There is a two foot drift around the Tahoe that was not there late last night. And while the wind is picking up NOW at 7 PM local, the sun has exploded above. So it is BLINDING and BLOWING, perfect conditions for taking pictures. I still try, and open the storm door. It almost blows away as I try to grab from the other side. Not that THAT has ever been a problem. I could use some new photos. Today I somehow deleted a lot more photos than what I wanted. Maybe a couple hundred. I save a lot after I put them in my movies. But today something happened that I did not want.


I was off today as much as possible. That means staying at home, but on the phone a lot.

Spent time watching a fox on the side of Haystack Hill. He was meandering the steep hillside looking for food, I assume. He spent hours snarfing in the snow with his nose, digging deep for whatever. Finally he would pull his head out and look around, his face covered in snow. I could see it easily from my window, but used binoculars for some good details.

I watched OFFICE SPACE, pretty funny. TPS Reports. Staplers. Flair. Now I watch FROZEN PLANET of Discovery. Good stuff, especially the scenes of hundreds of white Beluga whales using rocks in shallow water to rub against to shed old skin. Been there, done that...

I have a couple of plant pots on my desk where I throw random seeds in and pray something grows. There are a bunch of green things growing, but I have no idea what it is. Until now. Less than 5 inches tall, I have some red and green peppers coming in. Maybe1.5 inches in diameter. Bite size.

BANGUN PERKASA, the RAT BOAT is still here unclaimed. After a worldwide search, authorities have been unable to find an owner of that vessel. They were caught fishing illegally, using a drift net over three miles long. This WALL OF DEATH catches anything and everything as it passes by. It scrapes the water bare.

Nobody knows what to do with the boat. Federal law allows scuttling the vessel far offshore in deep water. It could be a target for Coast Guard gunners in training. But the wording in that law makes it impossible to use. Too many qualifications which cannot be met. Politicians are squabbling.

OH YEAH, the rat issue? Again it was overblown, maybe the government over-reacted. YES, there were rats. 20 of them. Maybe a couple more. Following procedure, the boat was kept offshore and teams were sent out via tugboats daily to eradicate the rat menace. It cost $200,000 for those 20 rats. Do the math. I want to be an exterminator. Add to that fact Dutch Harbor has rats. Plenty of them. It is not like we are protecting virgin territory.

All the details can be seen in my link regarding local news in Dutch...

I did not know BANGUN PERKASA was still here. It is only 140 feet long, not huge. I will get some long overdue pictures tomorrow.

Finally, BIG BLUE is poised to pounce. Sorry Kansas, not talking about you. Louisville played a great game dressed in their Cardinal Orange. But the better team won. Kansas surprised Ohio State at the very end, the most important time for surprises.

Kentucky will win the battle between two of the biggest names in college basketball. KY by 10.

DAVE!! Watch the game.

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21. Rotty3
7:38 PM GMT on April 08, 2012
Hippity, Hoppity, Happy Easter everyone! Hope y'all had as great a weekend as I did. Will post to my own blog tomorrow probably.

Let's say, sunny, mid70s, low humidity, trail ride w/ a friend, gardening and just plumb fun time. Yea, that's how one should spend a weekend lol.

Arbie, thanks for the NGS Titanic recap. I think the biggest thing that everyone was saying was "why didn't they see the iceberg..." well, that cold water mirage would 'splain it.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1623
20. Arbie
2:52 PM GMT on April 08, 2012
Happy Easter, all!

The foxes are so cute. I just want to reach out and give them a hug. It is nice to see them around again for a spell.

I'm waiting for spring to come to Dutch. Love to see that bright tundra green.

I also watched some TV. I saw a favorites of Deadliest Catch show. I don't get to see DC that often, so that was fun. I find myself liking that captain of the Northwestern more and more, despite the fact that he looks like he could fall over dead at any minute. He's a very decent guy and a good captain.

So, I guess the Cornelia Marie went bankrupt the season after the Dad died? It seems the boys just didn't have the experience to make it work (and of course the one has the minor drug problem, which is a big problem in a dangerous job like that). Sad.

I also watched another far north show about solving the final puzzles of the Titanic. It was one of those things that once someone put it together, it all makes sense.

It turns out the conditions were right that night for what are called cold water mirages, and it was supported by a number of written accounts from ships logs and survivors/rescuers notes and journals. Along with some science and research.

Such mirages, which are supposedly well known by ships captains who operate in the far north, distort the horizon upward. It makes the horizon fuzzy; it is hard to tell where sea ends and sky begins, and it hides big things in front of the horizon since they melt into the distorted horizon. So, they figure that was why they didn't see the huge iceberg until they were right on top of it.

It was also why the captain of the Californian was certain he was seeing a much smaller cargo ship. The same mirage effect made the Titanic much smaller and superimposed a second image on top of it, making it look nothing like a passenger ship.

And it was also why the Titanic never saw the Californian's morse code signals. They would have been lost in the distortion of the mirage effect.

But, of course, the final judgement was that the captain was certainly aware that they were having one of these nights where these mirages were happening, knew visibility was very poor, and knew to slow down. But he didn't, and they were going way too fast for the visibility conditions.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1163
19. juslivn
4:25 AM GMT on April 08, 2012
Member Since: August 20, 2009 Posts: 94 Comments: 10651
18. dotmom
6:19 PM GMT on April 07, 2012
And I say Blessings for a wonderful Easter. Wish I knew how to transfer these great images - like some of you can do. Nice day here in KY - around 69/70 degrees.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1537
17. seflagamma
4:29 PM GMT on April 07, 2012
Hello Joe and friends,

Have a Blessed and Happy Easter Weekend!

Hallelujah Egg image
Easter Christian Graphics
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 309 Comments: 41110
16. iaotter
2:44 PM GMT on April 07, 2012
I was listening to the radio this morning, public radio... weekend edtion, and the police blog from Dutch Harbor was featured. The chief of police said she was looking for the perfect crime to make the perfect palindrome and for one that would work as a limerick. The editor mentioned that there were readers all over the world and that his internet hits went up significantly on the days the police log was included.
It is nice to know Dutch Crime brightens the day for viewers world wide.

It sure doesn't look like Easter egg hunting weather in Dutch. Unless you equip the kiddies with a snow shovel.
Member Since: March 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 272
15. happytoberetired
4:33 PM GMT on April 05, 2012
Your weather may present some interesting issues for the Crystal Serenity due there on the 8th. Only 500 passengers this segment. Well, who knows, perhaps Spring will be Sprung.....uh, I doubt it! LOL!
Member Since: January 29, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 267
14. dotmom
2:03 PM GMT on April 05, 2012
The tale of the California Aquaduct is quite interesting and mysterious. Dave has a real knack for the description and Ylee's take on deciphering it makes one smile. UK's descriptions are nothing to be snickered at. Well maybe just a little. Good contributions by all.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1537
13. Ylee
7:58 AM GMT on April 05, 2012
Let's see; the the way Dave described the California Aquduct, you'd think it was made by Apple! "new!" Efficient!""low turbulence"!

Introducing the iduct! "It'll make you cry!" ;-)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 119 Comments: 20740
12. DHaupt
7:14 AM GMT on April 05, 2012
UK, think of the California Aquaduct in terms of a Hadrian's Ditch. If Scotland votes itself out of the United Kingdom, it might be a desirable project.

The aquaduct is quite an engineering marvel and not just a simple ditch. It's all concrete lined with a cross-section that maximizes flow. It is capable of quite swift currents with very little turbulence. There are access roads down both sides with chain-link fences to keep people away from danger but it only works with the faint hearted.

Lots of people sneak in to fish but that's a dangerous proposition. The sides are steep and smooth. If you fall in, you don' have a very good chance of surviving especially because there is a significant undertow below the surface. It has long been a favorite place for dumping bodies, stolen cars, stolen cars with bodies in them with an occasional suicide and not a few deaths my mis-adventure.

Every now and then they close the gates and clean out a section of several miles length. It is not unusual to find a dozen vehicles, some with skeletons inside. It always generates fresh news on old unsolved murders and disappearances.

I know that you've had the Thames for such purposes for a very long time, but you folks over there really need one of these new, efficient things!
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1234
11. dotmom
11:41 PM GMT on April 04, 2012
Just trying to recover from all the basketball fever around here. UK took the big prize in grand style. Their "ace" so to speak, took multiple personal trophies home. I hope he takes that "pacifier" he has hanging out of his mouth home for good. (Some people call it a tooth protector.) We had no doubt that UK would pull it off all the way around. FranKY and Dotmom both went to bed at half time assured that Kentucky would win handily. JoeKY, the newly crowned 89-year-old stayed up to the bitter end watching. He reported as Haupty did that Kansas was coming back, but they ran out of time. There has been much celebrating - especially in Lexington - some with a little too much exhuberance and alcohol. I have been out and about here in Louisville and there are many, many blue shirts imprinted with KY's win numbers. Lots of fun for everyone. UL just says - just wait 'till next year. Of course - we say that every year.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1537
10. insideuk
5:55 PM GMT on April 04, 2012
That's really cool Haupty, not sure we've got that kind of land to spare! I love how the water has time to hither and thither but the cars have got to get there in a much faster straight line!

Oooh - this is comment #1000 from me! That decides it, I'm having that vanilla cupcake NOW!
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1709
9. DHaupt
5:04 PM GMT on April 04, 2012
UK, here is a better idea: it's called the California Aquaduct and runs from near San Francisco, down the Central Valley, all the way to Los Angeles. It provides much of the irrigation water for the entire Valley, one of the greatest agricultural regions on earth. The Sierra Club considers it to be an environmental disaster, of course. Los Angelinos consider it an important source of swimming pool water.


"Whisky is for drinking; water is for fighting over." -- Mark Twain

I got to watch the entire KU/UK game! I was at a rather dull family party where everybody sat around noshing on pizza, dips and chips far exceeding my carb ration. So, I went into the living room, disturbed the cats and watch the game. It was quite exciting. The first half was pretty much a UK runaway, but the second half might have ended up very differently if it had only been 10 minutes longer.

We had another piddly 0.05" of drizzle last night. Now there is nothing in sight until next week. The Sierra snow pack is alarmingly low and not expected to improve. We may be spraying our lawns with green dye by July.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1234
8. insideuk
12:25 PM GMT on April 04, 2012
I think it was the flying trucks that attracted the British news editors attention so quickly, normally we hear about tornadoes sometime AFTER the event – this time they had something to SHOW us within minutes.

How lucky that there was a helicopter flying so close to all the huge airborne debris...

I'll bet the pilot was wearing a cowboy hat.

And yes, large sections of eastern England are facing water restrictions now. It's a hosepipe ban, gardens and cars must now be wetted only with buckets and watering cans until further notice.

It follows 2 years of very little rainfall, particularly during the winter months when the water table and reservoirs should have been topped up. River water had been diverted to ensure the reservoirs are refilled where possible, but that has left the rivers alarmingly low in places. What we need is a good 3 months of solid drizzle, slow enough to soak in, and for long enough to make a difference.

Oh, and a big pipeline running from the sodden west to the parched east. It's not rocket science is it? It's only a couple of hundred miles, it could go down the centre of the bloody motorway. I'm going to email the Prime Minister a photo of the Alaskan oil pipeline – see if it gives him any 'ground breaking' new ideas.

Last week the UK (Scotland in particular) was experiencing record high temps for March, 74f on the beaches near Aberdeen. That's hundreds of miles further north than Dutch Harbor, where Joe has seen little demand for his gallon bottles of sunscreen and pineapple print parasols.

That's what he keeps UPSTAIRS in the 'special' warehouse. And marshmallows. Lots of marshmallows, he loves 'em....

A week later and several inches of snow has blanketed swathes of Scotland, Wales and northern England. There was a blizzard outside my window when I got up today, it continued for 5 hours – plumply lumps of white, driven sideways in a strong wind. Today the best I can hope for outdoorsy is a windchill of -4c / 25f.

I see it as mother nature exacting revenge for my shortening several pairs of trousers to cropped 3/4 length whilst the sun shone last week. She wants me to have cold ankles, obviously. Ankle socks look plain daft with cropped kecks.

I do not bear a grudge.

At least my trucks are grounded. In fact they can't go far at all. You may have heard we have a fuel shortage (as well as water). That was caused by the Prime Minister panicking the country into hoarding fuel before potential strike action by tanker drivers. The pumps have run dry in many places, 50% of filling stations are still awaiting deliveries a week after they got swamped by motorists filling any container they had to hand, including jam jars and paint cans. Cos the 'Minister for Jerry Cans' ensured all petrol containers sold out too.

The strike won't actually start for at least another 7 days, if at all.

But the PM and his ministerial 'helpers' started a nationwide crisis all of their own making. It detracted attention from his other recent failings, of which he has a great many in my opinion.

The least he can do now is head onto the central reservation of the M4 and start laying pipe.

I hope there is a helicopter filming when the passing truckers start to recognise him.

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1709
7. Rotty3
11:16 PM GMT on April 03, 2012
UK: you can bet when a large amount of 53 ft. lorries (semi-trucks, 18-wheelers) are being tossed like toys, it turns into bad news. And considering how many devastating tornadoes the US was hit with not too long ago, it is making even bigger headlines.
Tornadoes are not unusual in and off themselves. But the severity and frequency of them as of late is making them super newsworthy.

This afternoon we had two bad thunderstorm cells hit in short succession. A total of 15 severe weather warnings in under 2 hours. NOT common in an area that is accustomed to lots of stormy weather, even w/ hail.
I guess yesterday's new record high of 90F (29 C) set off the sprinklers? The previous record was set in 1935. Day before, we tied 89F (29C), also set last in 1935.

I hear you guys have water restrictions due to excessive drought. No more watering gardens, washing cars or any of that stuff?
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1623
6. insideuk
7:16 PM GMT on April 03, 2012
The tornado trubba in Dallas / Fort Worth must be big - its being reported over here as a breaking news major weather emergency!

They are making this sound very bad.

And there was me asking if a big one had ever hit a city....

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1709
5. Ylee
11:50 PM GMT on April 02, 2012
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 119 Comments: 20740
4. insideuk
1:49 PM GMT on April 02, 2012
Was it not more of a question of what immunisation programs the Bangun rats had perhaps missed out on? One assumes they didn't bother with the usual exotic holiday vaccinations, or at least they could not be fully relied upon to finish their course of tablets once their cruise was over. Maybe the powers that be suspected the foreign rodents had themselves been targeted by foreign fleas carrying foreign disease, such as the bubonic plague.

Is that $200,000 starting to sound like better value?

Thought so.

There must be ways to claw back some money from what is left of the vessel?

Three miles of drift net would make lots of hammocks, maybe those 50 extra security officers being brought in to keep the peace won't be housed on draughty old warehouse floors after all.

The ship itself could be used for 'target practice', though I'd suggest that any Coast Guard gunner that couldn't manage to strike a 140 foot dead in the water vessel might be better off making an appointment at an opticians.

I know in Florida and the Caribbean they deliberately sink specially prepared old boats to create interesting places for scuba diving parties. Perhaps the old pirate ship might attract some hardy iron man types to come along and cut holes in the 6 foot thick ice in order to dive down into the infamous Bering Sea. There has to be some extra kudos involved in taking part in that activity in this locality – surely?

After all, if Joe likes taking advantage of the shallow waters and volcanic pumice stones in the area like the Beluga whales then surely others can be persuaded to follow suit?

Maybe not immediately after him. Perhaps wait for the tide to take the surface scum out to sea...

Speaking of surfacing, they have announced plans to spend some $300m on floating the Costa Concordia. They will work 7 days a week for a year to seal up the gashes and create air tight compartments. They will use cranes to lift her and then pump her full of air. Once they have it straightened up and floating they plan to tow her back to Genoa – where they will decide what to do with her.

Giant barrage balloon rides from the sounds of it.

I see some naughty students in Lexington, Kentucky could not contain their excitement after the basketball win and set about rioting. With 27 arrested for being general idiots with no particular skill, special mention should go to the 2 charged with arson. Having filmed themselves setting light to furniture in the street they then posted the footage on Youtube.

Potential summa cum laude students, obviously.

You should post some video of your Alaskan winter crop of red and green peppers, growing on your desk, with a 40 foot high wall of snow showing outside. Just don't make the camera work too smooth – or they'll all accuse you of faking it.

Lord only knows what they'd make of that banana plantation you have at the warehouse...

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1709
3. Arbie
11:09 AM GMT on April 02, 2012
I'm going to have to get it together and at least see the final four.

I missed seeing all the pretty green in winter CA. I know those who lived there missed it even more.

Joe, let us know if you actually get to eat home-grown peppers. Hard to picture bees and other pollinators surviving there on that island at this particular time, but I know I have seen flowers there. :)

I am attempting to grow a few things in containers on my south-facing kitchen windowsill and deck. This is my first attempt for a few years. I was really disgusted when I first moved in here. I have never lived in a forest before and had no idea. Our whole yard is root-bound like an overgrown flowerpot, and also very sandy like a big dirty sandbox. It is hard just to get anything physically in the ground, even those tiny plants one buys at a nursery, with all the roots to chop through. Then they all die, because the soil is all wrong. I'm finally getting over it, and ready to do what I have to do. :) I am starting small, very small.

For some reason I can't get excited over the idea of being a rat catcher.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1163
2. Rotty3
10:17 AM GMT on April 02, 2012
Second? Cool... just when I gotta go to work. sigh.

Hope the exterminators made a killing. No surprise governments go bankrupt.

Seeds: You can have a ton of them if you want, Joe :) I got lots of spare seeds here. All edible stuff. And some nice spicy ones too lol.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1623
1. DHaupt
7:12 AM GMT on April 02, 2012
Thanks Joe, I will try to watch it. I did manage to watch the second half of the UL/UK game. It was pretty exciting. I thought Louisville had a chance for a short time but ran out of steam. Then, Kentucky got is mojo back and it was all over.

All quiet here now. The rains have departed until? The models had been showing more rain in early April, but that seems to have vanished in a puff of flying bytes.But, we did double our winter rain total in the month of March so that we will have green hills for another month and just enough dead grass for a modest fire season this summer. God's Promise of the Rainbow is replaced by smoke in California.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1234

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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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