THE PASS IS OPEN

By: joealaska , 7:30 AM GMT on July 20, 2012

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Today we had an official high of 70 degrees, just short of the record high since I have been here: 72.
The thermometer on the Tahoe suggested a higher temp of 73.

I heard yesterday that the pass was finally open. Last night the weather was awesome, and I had a chance to cruise. GNU was still busy working, so I went solo and stopped many times for photos. Good to be up and over. The drifts that were blocking the road just over a week ago were now much smaller after meltage.

Last week we found the road up Ballyhoo also open. All is now accessible in Dutch now, just no time to do so.

We have been very busy. I have been doing two jobs, as I have been Joeofficegirl for a few weeks. It is a lot of paperwork. Especially when you have other stuff to get done. Now we have hired a new Office Manager and she is doing great. But it is even more work to train someone right now. A new warehouse guy starts this weekend. Still looking for one more person.

Noble Discoverer has been moved off to the far side of the bay, about 5 miles from where she lost a grip with the anchor. I have been wondering if the crew was distracted with that 300 pounds of red king crab we delivered to them the morning of that fateful day...

Kulluk is back at home in the special concave dock custom built for it at OSI. That BIG BUMBLEBEE tug TOR VIKING is due back at any time.

I have a window open right now and I just smacked my first mosquito.

Hoping UK gives us all ongoing local insight on the upcoming Olympics. As I write I am watching highlights of The British Open at Royal Lytham. Tiger is in the lead. Must be getting a few night rounds in.

Mount Cleveland? A few hundred miles west of here. Any ash could come our way, just like Makushin could erupt, just as THE BIG ONE could hit. If it happens we will deal with it.

We will prevail.

Now please put away your texts, there will be a quiz.

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13. Dodabear
10:15 AM GMT on July 25, 2012
Thanks UK. I might have missed it otherwise.

; ]
Member Since: July 28, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 2279
12. iaotter
11:59 PM GMT on July 24, 2012
poor UK. This too shall pass. Hopefully your family members get to their events and home again without incident.
Our town just got done with RAGBRAI.. something called the Register's (a newspaper in our capital city) Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. The group always starts at some point on the Missouri River and ends with them dipping their tires in the Missippi on the other side of the state. They always wait til the last and hottest week of July to hold this event. In my opinion they have to wait that long for the corn to get high enough to serve as privicy screen for roadside pit stops. 10,000 (That is 10,000 registered riders and about 5 or 6,000 who just tag along.)bicyclists puffing and panting their way across the state, mostly on hilly back roads that go through every small town available. Each small town tries to out do the others in providing food booths, ridiculous decorations and home made pies. We were one of the towns on a special loop that made for a "century" day. 100 miles of biking between sunup and sundown.
I am always amazed that many people want to ride bicycles in 100 degree heat across Iowa and this year I was even more surprised at how many of that crazy lot decided they needed an extra 30 miles of torture in order to make 100 miles. All for a bitty patch to sew on their jerseys. We had folks stopping at our booth from at least 10 different states. One who had a 13 hour drive in his car to get here so he could ride his bike all week in the hottest weather on record.


Member Since: March 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 272
11. dotmom
5:35 PM GMT on July 24, 2012
All I can say is - WOW! I think the best way to enter the area(s) would be in your birthday suit. That way no danger of any oversized essentials concealed on your person. Sounds like a nightmare. Wonder who will rush in to want to host any future Olympics that haven't already been decided.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1308
10. insideuk
12:00 PM GMT on July 24, 2012
The STRICTLY UNOFFICIAL GUIDE to the UK Olympics (yeah, it's THIS year Do-dat-bear...)

Part Two.

Security.


It is THE priority for the games.

The police and the military are obviously heavily involved, battleships are moored on the Thames and missile launchers are in situ on the rooftops of several tall buildings. Much to the surprise of folks living in them. No doubt British special forces will be mingling with the crowds, probably a few US ones too. They don't need to tell us, they don't put this stuff on Facebook as a rule.

LOL

But the Olympics is spread over 46 venues, and not all of them are in London. We needed many more pairs of hands trained up to search bags and man security check points. So a private company was contracted to train 10,000 people for this task. A couple of weeks ago that company announced that it had only got 2,500 staff ready. Approximately. They can't really tell for sure...

OOPS.

They had 100,000 applications – they FAILED to get it done in time.

Thankfully there was a back up plan. This involved calling up British armed forces from across the country, plus some based in Germany. Some who only just arrived back from long periods of active duty in Afghanistan. Talk about being over qualified to frisk my sister and nephews when they arrive at the athletics stadium...

But thank God we have them.

I'm very sorry for their families, who now won't have them close this summer, or available to take family vacations. I want them paid HUGE bonuses, but the top brass in the military say that might make the troops left in Afghanistan jealous.

OK.

Lets give all of them a HUGE bonus. Let's have the inept private security contractor pick up the bill (that same contractor gets £1b a year from government contracts – don't cry for them).

So bags and pockets WILL be searched and ALL non official products will be confiscated.

That's what they are aiming the rooftop missiles at – people who disrespect the SACRED SPONSORS. Respect the FRANCHISE. Pepsi t-shirts are not welcome – or advised. Snack on a Whopper inside the park and it won't be just your Adidas shoes dangling from the giant golden arches...

My sister has tickets, she went through the whole RIGID 2 year process – registered an interest in buying tickets, put in several bids for random events, waited several months to be told what she'd won/ paid for, took a gamble that she might be able to get time off work, booked a hotel for twice the normal price, bought the cheap advance purchase train tickets hoping the train drivers won't call a strike (they have, but thankfully it starts the day after she travels home) – and is now due to be sat in the main athletics stadium a week on Friday.

She received her tickets a couple of weeks back, they arrived with a list of instructions almost as long as her arm:

Spectators cannot enter venues with liquids, aerosols or gels in quantities greater than 100ml – includes drinks, cosmetics, sprays, toothpaste(?) contact lens solution(?) and hand sanitisers.

You can take an empty water bottle (helpful), but not one made of glass. You can bring up to 10 containers, each under 100ml. The exception being sun cream(?), 200ml allowed in its original container.

No large flags (max 1x2 metres). No oversized(?) hats. No golf umbrellas. No large photography equipment. No excessive(?) amounts of food. No balls, rackets or frisbees. No horns, klaxons, drums, vuvuzelas or whistles. No clothing bearing political statements or overt(?) commercial identification.

No alcohol in any measure or container (except bloodstream?). No demonstration items such as placards and spray paint and tents(!). No walkie talkies. No private wireless access points. No laser pointers and strobe lights. No bicycles. No pets. No knives or bladed items. No offensive weapons. No CS gas or pepper spray. No firearms or ammunition. No fireworks. No hazardous or toxic materials. No controlled drugs.

Nor any items that resemble any other prohibited items.

By which I'm assuming they mean UNcontrolled drugs.

Please arrive at the stadium at least two-and-a-half hours before the beginning of the event to allow time to get through security.




That arrival time is what has raised my sisters eyebrows and blood pressure. The first event starts at 10am, and its one she wants to see. Her hotel is in central London (as are vast majority). Public transport during rush hour in London is a nightmare, and this summer the rush hour started yesterday and lasts until September. It is expected to be so bad that many companies and public sector staff have been told to work from home for the duration. She has planned her route, avoiding the worst snarl up areas. It will involve a couple of long walks, but that will be quicker than the alternatives. It still means she and her boys will have to set off at DAWN and skip the breakfast they already paid for as it isn't available early enough!

Incidentally, London now has 'Olympic VIP ONLY traffic lanes' . Here, the chosen few dignitaries, IOC members and athletes can be chauffeur driven straight past the gridlock between central London/ Heathrow airport and the main Olympic park. Ordinary cars/ taxis/ buses/ cyclists must not use these lanes or face huge fines. They must sit and look at largely empty lanes waiting for the official BMW Olympic limos to whizz past...

There is NO spectator parking. Don't be silly.

Even delivery trucks have to be in and out between midnight and 4am – and that applies across the entire area of central London, games related or not. Logistics firms are tearing their hair out – it's not as if London was accessible prior to the games, they've long since had a 'no stopping' rule. Don't even think about needing a rest break inside the M25 corridor – NOT ALLOWED.

The idea of those VIP lanes was controversial from the start, but organisers were keen to avoid the kind of traffic chaos that arose in Atlanta 1996. If yesterday was anything to go by then the VIP lanes will ensure that the dignitaries and athletes get where they need to be, EVERYONE and EVERYTHING else may not.

My pathetic internet provider has had a message on its telephone customer service line saying that outages of services since June have been due to record rainfall across the UK. I'll check next week but I suspect it will then be faulty due to excessive world records in London.

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1482
9. Midmid1
1:12 PM GMT on July 23, 2012
Joe

One of your neighbor's videos was picked up this weekend. Prior to viewing it, I had a strong feeling that it was in Unalaska.

Link
Member Since: November 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 221
8. dotmom
3:44 PM GMT on July 22, 2012
UK: Thanks for the running commentary going into the Olympics! Should be fun for some - at least the gold medal winners. We'll all be watching the opening ceremonies. No doubt a spectacular display. It will be hard to top China's opening night. Good Luck with all the visitors.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1308
7. Dodabear
10:44 AM GMT on July 22, 2012
Are the Olympics this year?
Member Since: July 28, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 2279
6. insideuk
10:16 AM GMT on July 22, 2012
The UK Olympics

PART ONE

No sport yet.


For the rest of the world the London Olympic Games will begin this coming Friday (or possibly Saturday for those on the dark side of the date line). For anyone living in Britain the Olympics have been in the news CONSTANTLY since it was officially announced that David Beckham had won the bidding process. That was all the way back in July 2005.

We've been doing this thing 7 years already.

You must forgive this nation (and me) if anything about the way we refer to any aspect of the 2012 GAMES seems a little cynical, weary, nay exasperated. It's been a mahoosively lengthy build up, during which we had a small economic BLIP.

The one on which we still choke.

You may have noticed it yourselves?

They told us this GAMES would cost 2.5b (near $4b) - peanuts for all that we could collectively gain. Reality bites back with a bill nearer 10b ($15.6b).

NUTS. We could have bought most of southern Europe for that kind of money.

I will avoid getting into the whole 'only London benefits' argument, whereby the nationwide taxpayer foots the bill for regeneration of a small area of downtrodden London. EXCEPT TO SAY THIS. Through my tax, proffered since 2005, I have personally paid for the deep cleansing of a few hundred tons of deeply toxic soil.

I prefer to imagine I paid for a tube of glue to hold the new Velodrome banked cycling track in place. Maybe added a tile to the bottom of the new swimming pool. Or funded a sapling, planted in the newly landscaped Olympic park...

But I probably just gave an exotic spa treatment to some mud.

Strangely that same mud, MY MUD, will now feature heavily in the opening ceremony. Whether it rains or not. I don't wish to provide a spoiler for those of you that will settle down next Friday afternoon (4pm EST, early lunch PH) to enjoy the spectacle that the great film director Danny Boyle is preparing for your delectation. Besides which he hasn't actually told me what he's doing, so that would be a bit tricky.

However I do know its not the traditional marching (ant size) people type theme, it's more story book. It's the modern history of Britain - and the countryside features heavily. As do LIVE FARMYARD ANIMALS.

In the official blurb it is described as "a salute to our exuberant creativity" and they hope it will be "as unpredictable and inventive as the British people"....

I have a feeling it'll be the animals that are unpredictable. Should be worth a little bo peep, if only to see Paul McCartney getting upstaged by a herd of prima donna Holstein Friesian's.


Full dress rehearsal starts tonight.

But all 4 billion of us will have to wait and tune in on Friday to see what Posh and Becks are wearing...

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1482
5. insideuk
4:43 PM GMT on July 20, 2012
I tried several times to embed that Nobbled Discoverer Youtube video over here in the usual manner – seemed like someone who Shell remain nameless had the power to stop me sharing? I possibly tried enough times to register 70 new viewings all by myself though. My copy and paste function was working harder than your HOT Tahoe. Which I strongly suspect you parked too close to the grill. Either that or it got giddy with all the excitement of ALMOST needing its air conditioning to work for the first time in years.

(Incidentally - that particular function on your car must be pumping out 100% pure bacteria in deadly airborne spore form by now. Unless you had it health checked recently? Stupid question. Little wonder GNU found other work to do…)

I have had a busy sporting week already – of the sort that requires me to sit on my arse and snack a lot whilst others get all hot and sweaty – OBVIOUSLY. The Tour de France is coming to an end – with BRITS powering all the way to the finishing line in first and second place! That’s NEVER HAPPENED before, and I’m very happy about it. I’ll celebrate it with pain au chocolate on Sunday.

As is the GREAT tradition.

That I’m starting, as of this Sunday. Final day in the saddle – I deserve it.


Last night I settled down to play some PIP.

That’s ‘picture in picture’ to the uninitiated (Joseph). It meant I could watch both THE Open and THE basketball at the same time, on the same TV screen. I was kinda hoping the golfers would crack another shot into the crowd and knock out some more kids, as Rory McIlroy had previously managed to such pleasing effect – but sadly no. I take my amusement where I find it – and a comically overly bandaged head on a THRILLED looking teenaged boy made me giggle. He knew full well there’d be free stuff in it…

And so over on the other side of my TV screen I had the treat of watching GBR v USA – the pre Olympic FRIENDLY game of basketball. Your team spent half their time swinging off the hoop in celebration. Either those hoops are VERY strong or your players are all hollow. We all knew it was going to be a one sided affair, with a telephone number of a score before it even got started. But they still showed up and put some work into it. Surely your chaps know it’s rained for 4 months solid here? We don’t need them to be dropping THAT MUCH sweat, thanks very much.

Our on court floor mop specialists could hardly cope with the deluge. And they’ve had at least 15 minutes training for that role. Though 14 minutes of that was trying on the uniforms.

It ended 78 – 118 (or 118 – 78 as I noted in the American online press version, can they not accept that a game played on British soil would rightly have our GBR team as the home team? Huh?). Could have been worse I suppose. Turns out the British team were quite strong swimmers, who on occasion got brave and ventured into the DEEP END.

One interesting point to note. As I have told you before, basketball is VERY small fry in the UK sporting scene, but our Olympic team has managed to rustle up a sponsor for their shirts. But EVERY other element of the sponsorship visible onscreen last night was American through and through – companies and products UNHEARD of over here. Do I ‘got Chocolate milk’? Ask more politely and I’ll check the fridge…

What’s more, although the broadcaster was the BBC (and they don’t do any advertising of any kind) they had helpfully allowed a full two and a half hours air time to fit in all those stateside commercial breaks that you don’t need. The whole caboodle was put together for your viewing pleasure. I suspect I was forming a good portion of the British contingent for viewing figures all by myself, and I only had it on half the screen. Does the dog count? She was snoring a bit.

The Olympic basketball arena in London is only a temporary structure, a semi inflatable plastic building - as we don’t have the need for one post the games. The ‘Legacy’ people (hired to ensure we don’t build stuff just for the Olympics and then let it fall to ruin without “lasting benefit” to the British taxpayer) have plans to fold up the arena and use it as unbreakable governmental mailing pouches for the next 250 years.


So that was my sporty week. I just hope Joe managed to hire someone in time to watch it all for him, and then report back about it. I’m not qualified to do that last bit, since I get distracted by teeny tiny insignificant details that have nothing to do with the sport itself.

Your chaps all wear teeth guards whilst playing basketball which they must seemingly pull out of their mouths every 10 seconds. It just adds drool to the pool. Also, their shorts appear a little too large around the waist, they do a lot of hoisting up.

If you can get a message out to them - I have a sewing machine, live locally and can make myself available at very short notice.

And I can get chocolate milk if you give me a bit of notice and ask nicely.


I’ll cover the rest of the Olympics for you JOE. My pleasure.

All the technical stuff in fine detail. You may need to hire an interpreter…
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1482
4. OGal
2:30 PM GMT on July 20, 2012


Yea Tiger, maybe this one will be yours. Happy Open Pass. Enjoy before it closes again. More pictures of the church please. I just love it. Got more pictures of Russian Orthodox churches on the last trip to Homer. Love their crosses ..the bottom bar on the cross means one foot in Heaven, the other foot in Hell.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 72 Comments: 19224
3. cholla
2:11 PM GMT on July 20, 2012
I'm guessing Shell management, their legal team, and their insurers made over half of those views.
Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 180
2. Arbie
12:21 PM GMT on July 20, 2012
Dave, I enjoyed Simon's Cat so much I bookmarked it.

Looking forward to seeing the pictures from the first ride over the pass. :)

UPDATE: I see Joe's youtube video Noble Discoverer On The Beach has had 422 views! Maybe this is Joe's big break. :)
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1105
1. DHaupt
8:31 AM GMT on July 20, 2012
Very pleased to hear that you are getting more crew on deck. We aren't that much warmer than you are so far this week. And, we have been getting fog, or rather marine layer, at night so we only get down to about 55F just before dawn. The cats love it; they sleep all day and go on the prowl all night. So, we get to sleep all night and prowl all day.

For anyone who has missed it, there is a great animation called Simon's Cat that is one of the funniest things I've come across in a long time. There is also a Simon's Cat on YouTube. I highly recommend it. The creator is definitely a cat person.

Gotta go. The gang will be singing opera at the screen door wanting their kibbles in a few hours. Mt. Cleveland, eh. Makushin? Oh please, no way. That would be a very bad omen for Shell.

Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1077

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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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