THE RAREST BIRD, THE ALBATROSS

By: joealaska , 6:34 AM GMT on April 09, 2012

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36 degrees. 40 mph wind. Sleet storm as I write.

It has not snowed for the last couple days, but today there is a very light snow falling. Yesterday we had a strong wind blowing and heavy rain, especially last night. The result is a significant melt of some of the snow piled everywhere. Big brown patches are appearing on the hillsides.

The heavy rain and wind last night did not stop the foxes from showing up for chow. Every night there are three or four who come by. NOSEY had been a regular, but have not seen him for a week or so.

Last night the wind gusted strong enough to suck out the cover that acts as an access port into the roof of my duplex. It is just a square piece of drywall that sits in a square frame. It is not attached, it just sits in a tight frame and has to be pushed up from underneath to open the hole in the laundry room ceiling. Well, that frame it sits in is about 4 inches deep, and fits that door tightly. A couple years ago a similar thing happened. The wind sucked the panel up. As it rose up it got slightly cockeyed and became jammed in the frame. I had to break off a corner just to loosen it up so I could get it out. Same thing last night, it was really stuck. I slept through the whole event. The wind was pretty loud all night, with various things blowing around. I guess it was just another noise as I slept.

Now the sun has come out, the sleet has stopped, and the wind is really whipping.

One thing we do NOT have here is a water shortage. When I saw that picture Dave posted of the California Aqueduct it reminded me of what they did in my old state of Arizona. They also built an aqueduct called the Central Arizona Project. It was 336 miles long from the Colorado River and Lake Havasu through Phoenix and on down to Tucson. The water was elevated 2400 feet by the time it reached the end of the line. It crossed miles of raw desert and lost a LOT of water due to evaporation.

One of the more interesting PBS series I have seen was Cadillac Desert. It covered the expansion of the Western US back in the good old days, and how too many people moved into areas where they ought not. At least where Mother Nature was not prepared to support such numbers. Places like Las Vegas, Phoenix, and LA to name a few.

The series covered all the angles. It covered William Mulhollands role in getting more water into LA as Water Bigwig.

Also covered was the story about The Colorado River and how it was basically divided up so much it stopped the flow at its far end.

I recommend checking it out, even by googling.

Things have really slowed down here, with all the big boats having left town.

I spent Easter Sunday watching The Masters. It was one of the best Masters in recent history. It included one of the greatest shots ever seen in that tournament, or any tournament. Turn on any sports show on TV and you will see it.

BUBBA had no trubba winning it.

Saw a humpback whale swimming below the duplex in the small boat harbor today. Too hard to photo. As I watching the Masters all day I just chilled out at my place. So I did not go out to0 see Crystal Serenity, the cruise ship in town today. Hope they are here in the AM, will document it with photos.

Last week my globe that UK gave me, the 3 foot diameter inflatable, fell from the thread that I used to hang it from my bedroom ceiling. Looks like it snapped. Maybe Dutchie attacked while I was gone. Funny coincidence, I watched the movie ATLAS SHRUGGED PART 1 the next day.

Save your money on that one...

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22. Rotty3
9:32 PM GMT on April 15, 2012
could also possibly be a canine that voids in the plants (if there is such a creature nearby).

Yikes on the homicide. I hope they find the perpetrator.

Glad to be back in WU land... WU hated me apparently for the week. Oh well.. I'm back (for now).
It's 81F/28C here, funny, heat index shows up at 83F/28C. Dutch Harbor? Close to 28, but 28F not 28C.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1606
21. iaotter
12:50 AM GMT on April 15, 2012
Ladyhomer, sounds more like a cat than a person. A friend had one that did that on occasion. Forgot about the litter box. Hope Dutchie and Fluff are better trained than that, or Joe is going to have houseplants that grow through the ceiling.
Member Since: March 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 272
20. ladyhomer
5:34 PM GMT on April 14, 2012
This was in the Unalaska police blotter------- Officer issued a trespass advisement to a "poorly potty-trained housemate" who routinely voided in the homeowner's houseplants----hahahaha!!!!!!! maybe he thought he was fertilizing the plants !!!!
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 119
19. calpoppy
8:59 PM GMT on April 13, 2012
They have a suspect, but not in custody.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4009
18. calpoppy
7:42 PM GMT on April 13, 2012
This is disturbing, they are calling it a double homicide with the shooter still loose!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4009
17. calpoppy
12:14 PM GMT on April 13, 2012
On the Kodiak shooting, it is possible it was a murder suicide. The base schools were closed and extra security at the base. I was pretty upset when I heard it on the radio!! Got a hold of my son, who was flying over Seward and my dil who was fine. She was upset that she had to stay inside, I guess it was the most beautiful day yesterday!

The civilian could have been somebody who worked for the Coast Guard.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4009
16. DHaupt
6:58 AM GMT on April 13, 2012
Heavy rain and lots of thunder and lightning all over the Bay Area and inland tonight. Livermore has been nearly in the middle of it too. Storms like this only hit us about once or twice in a decade! Current Radar (Hope that link shows what I wanted to show.) Rainfall just for today is at 0.80" and stlll coming down hard. Louie the Coon Cat still insisted in going out; he has fur like an otter though, oily.

We will just have to wait and see what happened Kodiak. Double murders are all too common, but to have it happen in a secure facility like a Coast Guard Station must be pretty rare: rarer than thunder in Livermore.

The first episode of Deadliest Catch, Season 8, looks like it will be a rough season. I'll just have to keep watching to find out what happened there too.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1075
15. ladyhomer
5:49 AM GMT on April 13, 2012
That's all I've heard to Joe!!!!! Proably more on it in the morning
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 119
14. joealaska
5:30 AM GMT on April 13, 2012
All I heard was the suspect was still at large.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 826 Comments: 687
13. Ylee
4:14 AM GMT on April 13, 2012
According to calpoppy, whose son is a Coastie stationed in Kodiak, one was a Coastie, the other a civilian. Don't know anything else other than that no one else was harmed.
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
12. MissNadia
10:44 PM GMT on April 12, 2012
Joe
Anything in the local news about the two Coasties shot to death in Kodiak?,
Member Since: July 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3003
11. iaotter
4:54 PM GMT on April 12, 2012
We've had below freezing temps for a couple of nights now and it sounds like a lot of the fruit crop is going to be damaged. Everything was blooming and beautiful when the frost hit so it kills the little apples and pears and grapes and such before they even get a chance to form.
I made a mini greenhouse with some plastic and small pvc pipe to cover my row of peas. Almost 2 inches high now and still thriving. Rain moving in for tonight and tomorrow, so no more frost predicted for a few days.
Odd weather. Up to 90 and then the next week down in the 20s. Most of Iowa set record highs during March and the first part of April. Now it is more back to normal, but still somewhat warmer than usual.
Member Since: March 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 272
10. dotmom
11:55 PM GMT on April 11, 2012
Brrrr, it is cold in Kentucky!!! Going down to 30 tonight, but this weekend - up to 80 degrees. Strange weather. Still sunny though.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1306
9. ladyhomer
5:25 AM GMT on April 11, 2012
Have had beautiful sunny clear weather here for the last 2 weeks temps been in the high 40's suppose to get in the 50's & stay sunny Our snow is really melting fast should be gone soon!!!!! I watched the new season of Deadliest Catch tonight they showed quite a bit of Dutch.
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 119
8. DHaupt
3:28 AM GMT on April 11, 2012
That albatross sailed right over my head too! Thanks for letting us know what JoeA was talking about. I thought maybe he was suffering from the weather.

We've got a long string bean of a storm going over us today. The clouds are just lined up for hundreds of miles along a front which is nearly stationary. The rain if coming up from nearly straight south and nearly all the way to LA. It's been raining now for nearly 8 hours and we only have 0.17". But, it may keep it up for another 8 hours.

Got to go watch the first two hours of the newest Deadliest Catch. More later.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1075
7. dotmom
3:05 AM GMT on April 11, 2012
JoeA got me on this one. I've been playing golf for 50 years plus and have never heard of the "albatross" relative to golf. Now I have. After talking with Joe tonight, found out there are several players in major tournaments who have had these on a hole. Obviously I have never had to put such a name on my score(s). Most of the names I use I cannot use in polite company. So the Double Eagle or Albatross scored Sunday at the Masters was a real rarity. So glad I saw it. Still wasn't good enough to score him a win.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1306
6. Dodabear
2:02 PM GMT on April 09, 2012
UK, you just never never fail to brighten my day with your wit and wisdom.

Thank you.
Member Since: July 28, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 2279
5. insideuk
12:14 PM GMT on April 09, 2012
Me again.

Forgot to mention, I found this time lapse video of the record snowfall in Anchorage. It's from the ADN.com news website.

Anyone who loves a snow plow will just ADORE this....

Link
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1478
4. insideuk
11:59 AM GMT on April 09, 2012
There is a film called 'Into The Wild' directed by Sean Penn. I watched it recently. That's another based on a true story type thing.

A young college student drops out of his normal life, gives away all he has and leaves home and family behind for a life on the road to the Alaskan wilderness.

Where he discovers an abandoned bus, parked in the middle of nowhere on a high plateau.

All this time I have been wondering how the hell that bus came to be where he found it. Now I know.

It was rented by 15 Japanese tourists off a cruise ship...

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1478
3. insideuk
11:44 AM GMT on April 09, 2012
That you have been able to sleep soundly for months with the planet hanging by a thread is strange enough, that you can continue to do so whilst your roof blew out, caved in and got jammed stuck is remarkable. I wonder how many tornadoes you have slept through on your travels? Where you arrived at the hotel after dark, checked in and zoned out – next morning you could have sworn there were some buildings across the road.

“Plenty of space for a golf course, don't know why the town planners haven't thought of it...”

And onto the next town he goes, in an increasingly bashed up $40 rental tuk tuk.

On a subsidiariness issue – are you losing socks each time your laundry ceiling heaves? That could be where they all go you know.

Yours, ours, theirs, everyones socks. Sucked up into YOUR roof space. Free insulation. You haven't even needed to put your heating on this winter have you? Little wonder he walks outside with bare feet.



The US Coast Guard took out that drifting tsunami ghost ship by the way, it floated on into US waters about 180 miles off Sitka and they reportedly pounded it with 'cannon fire' to sink it out of harms way.

How quaint. I had no idea cannons were still being used for anything other than making tourists choke on their lunches at Edinburgh Castle on the Queens birthdays. Plus, of course, cannon are used during field gun sessions by competing Royal Navy groups where they have to lug the hugely heavy artillery and its carriage over obstacles in a race to fire 3 cannon balls into the watching crowd. So popular a spectacle that tickets are very hard to come by. If you catch it your beneficiaries get to keep it.

As it turns out 'cannon' can also mean automatic large calibre guns, quite different. Which is, frankly, disappointing for me, I so wanted it to be the old gunpowder, smoldering material and swab stick version. Apparently the Coast Guard eventually switched to even larger calibre weaponry to get the fishing vessel to sink – that poor boat wasn't going to give up easily.

Which seems somehow fitting, given all it had been through over the last year. May she rest in peace with the Pacifical fishes for all eternity. Unlike the Titanic. Subs keep landing on her so often she's caving in, just like the laundry room at Joes place.

The 100 year Titanic anniversary has been marked by at least as many TV shows on the subject. The Oscar winning screenwriter of the very popular (and increasingly ridiculous) Downton Abbey, Julian Fellowes, penned a 4 part drama all about the social snobbery of the 1st class passengers on the voyage. There have also been reconstructions in 'fact' based drama documentaries. I've watched a few of them and ended up totally confused as to the true story, fact and fiction become blurred and everyone on board then becomes absurdly clairvoyant as to their potential doom. I'm sure one of these shows had it that the reason the ship hit the iceburg was because they had mislaid the ships binoculars? Short on lifeboats and binoculars? I'll bet the passengers knew they'd need more. One was seen to be carrying a cushion onto the ship – she knew those hard wooden lifeboat bench seats would be less than comfy. Mr Fellowes' version (which I think is about to be broadcast in the US in a few days) has the boat sinking within minutes of departing England, you'd think it went down in the English Channel.

Probably the cannon fire between Britain and France that did it, we barely stopped firing these last 1000 years. Target practice.

OK, so it's a pretty big target. That's why the Royal Navy added in the obstacle course bit first. Seemed too easy otherwise...

Historical inaccuracies abound. Fact and fiction blurred in the rush for an Oscar statuette.


Right, what else has been going on?

I did see some of the golf, the time difference means I only get to see the leaders 'bully off' (I'm down with all the technical terms now Joseph) before my bedtime, and frankly once my dear (fit) neighbour Mr Westwood had set off into yonder pastures I was ready for some shuteye. Rare albatrosses/ cuppla eagles not withstanding. Partying hard with my 92 year old grandmother on her birthday weekend has me struggling to keep pace. Even on a diet of pure Cadbury.


I loved the story in the Dutch Harbor Telegraph about the visiting cruise ship's 500 passengers and their crazy MASS entertainment demands. Seems the visitor bureau and convention centre is a little short on seating for the historic highlights tour, 94 seats and 406 spare arses – what to do, what to do?

Cushions?

And a group of 15 Japanese tourists wanted to hire a van for a drive-thru tour of the town – TRUBBA, since the biggest van for rent on the island only holds 14 people.

Roof rack + cushion?

Maybe not in a sleet storm. Gnu Guy will concur. Been there, done that.

Without the benefit of socks.


I was thinking about Hauptys idea for a new Hadrians Ditch, with which England could somehow both capture Scotlands excess rainwater AND maintain a safe border crossing post devolution. It could work. We may need something there as Europe insists its new member states (as a free Scotland would become) have open borders for all Europeans to travel without 'impediment' (read 'passport controls'). What better border control than a fast flowing ditch full of freezing cold Scottish mineral water?

After all, our ditch full of English mineral water has been doing a grand job of holding back the French these past 1000 years. The English Channel does all the work really.

The cannon fire is just for fun.


Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1478
2. Rotty3
10:05 AM GMT on April 09, 2012
Wow Joe, 36F. It was near 30 degrees here this weekend, but 30 Celsius, not Fahrenheit.

Thank you on the update (and the pictures) of the resident vulpine diners. Nosey may well be one of Hoppy's kits from everything I can see.

Anyone interested in a movie made in regard to the Los Angeles water project, check out Polanski's Chinatown. Starring a young Faye Dunaway saying one of the perhaps most iconic sentences in film (not just in the Neo-Noir genre). It definitely was a break with American film tradition as it touched several taboo topics.

Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1606
1. DHaupt
7:16 AM GMT on April 09, 2012
I had forgotten about the Central Arizona Project. It was built after I left the Desert Southwest. But yes, the dream of making the desert bloom and grow eggplants is probably not sustainable long-run. There is just such a biomass of humans feeding on the bounty of the Earth that we will sooner than later run out of...nearly everything.

My advice to young folks is to pack up and move to some part of the planet that could stand to warm up a bit and where it naturally rains and then fight like hell to keep it from being turned into a tar pit.

I recall the ban on freons that started back in 1978 with aerosol cans. Many people were in an uproar about it. Pointy headed intellectuals! Goddam gummint regulations! Blahblahblah.... Well, what harm is there in spraying my pits with Right Guard in the morning -- nothing. What's wrong with 400,000,000 people doing the same thing (along with hair spray, room freshening scent, mosquito repellent and a thousand other things -- a whole lot of things wrong.

By 1982, I had to take my freon degreasing tanks out of service at the Lab even. There are just too many of us doing whatever to allow people unfettered freedom to do it. I'm afraid that applies to burning coal and petroleum as well. I don't go around ranting and protesting all that much because I know for an absolute certainty that sometime in the future, probably when I'm not around to care, Mother Nature will take care of the problem without any help or urging from me.

Meanwhile, we just had the warmest day of the year. My front porch thermometer got up to 77.8C around 3:00. Then the wind picked up, a band of high clouds wafted eastward and the temperature dropped to 60F in less than an hour. More rain is on the way for this coming week and more snow for the Sierras which will end up in that big ditch headed south so the Angelinos can keep their pools full. Someday, someone will dynamite the Delta pumps.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1075

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About joealaska

On June 4th I left Kentucky driving my RV known as Leggs. The trip is mostly unplanned, it will be interesting to see where I end up. Let's GO!

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