WHALES, VOLCANO, AND TRAFFIC

By: joealaska , 6:31 AM GMT on September 03, 2012

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It feels like we are over the hump. Still busy, but everyone is leaving Dutch and heading south. Three big boats doing so this weekend. Still, we are busy as usual.

The last few days have been rainy, with wind today. A couple of 57 mph gusts. Big deal.

Some volcano in Russia (?) is causing flight issues. You may know more about it than me.

The whale video seemed to be popular. I just posted a follow up with some video I missed, as well as some other snippets.

AND I just booked some tickets for the last half of October for a cruise featuring the SW USA. This includes Albuquerque to San Francisco. I will be trying to hook up with DAVE in Livermore, CA as well as THE CHOLLAS in Tuscon. Oh yeah, also doing some house hunting in AZ. Sounds like a working vacation.

OH YEAH, trying to play some golf. Landing in Albuquerque to see CASA and get some golf in. Then off to AZ. I want to play some private courses in Tuscon near CHOLLA that are letting some public play, as well as Lake Chabot near DAVE, a course I played a lot when I lived there 25+ years ago. Very hilly, with views of San Fran from across the bay. And a par SIX to finish. Mostly downhill.

Too much planning for me, where I want vacations wide open. Will see what happens.

There is a lot of work going on in Dutch. Road work. There are not a lot of route options here. Normally just one, in a rare occasion two. Well, all paved roads are getting repaved. Last week was a nightmare when it all started. They blocked the road and kept it blocked for 20 minutes as one lane drove through. Then the other waited. It was terrible. Our DUMPSTER was full and needed emptying. The company doing that was sitting in traffic all day. They finally got our dumpster emptied, and now it needs it again.

The traffic blockage seems to have been relieved the last couple days, maybe due to rain?

Meanwhile they are putting in the last breakwaters on the new small boat harbor. And they are ready to start lengthening our runway by a few hundred feet each way shortly.

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12. dotmom
3:00 AM GMT on September 05, 2012
Interesting blog and interesting comments. Really enjoy keeping up with everyone. Talked to JoeA tonight and he needs some rest and "away time." Let's hope it slows a bit for him. He has been working 24/7 for some time now.

UK: I hope you are finally out of the ditch - so to speak. Stay clear of flashing lights. The weather around the US has settled a bit. We need more rain although we did get some soaking. We'd be happy with more.

Stay well and happy and out of trouble! Sometimes it is hard to separate all those.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1221
11. cybersuze
2:57 PM GMT on September 04, 2012
Good for you Joe, glad you're getting a break and looks like an interesting lineup. Just hope you don't get delayed again, esp. like inside UK! Let us know if you'll make it to Boise! Curious to know the answer to Ylee's question! Phoenix or Tucsoon or elsewhere?

And Tony, insightful to hear the Aussie perspective!

Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 276
10. hanfyh
6:51 AM GMT on September 04, 2012
Hi again Joe, Im Tony. Just cant figure out how to change my log in. The wifes from Wisconsin originally. Her 2 boys live in Virginia. Ive seen a fair bit of the US. Things arent much different here to the US. We pay too much tax. We dont like our government. Next election they will be gone. Sound familar.
I have a few pictures in here if you even want to see some of the places I like to visit.
Will talk to you again. Thanks for your reply.
Bye.
Member Since: February 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 27
9. osdianna
6:40 AM GMT on September 04, 2012
Lake Chabot Golf Course is just a hop, skip, and a jump from my old stomping grounds in San Lorenzo where I attended San Lorenzo HS...go Rebels!...from 1958 until 1962...my formative years, as they say. Next month is my 50 yr high school reunion...and I'm not going; high school was awful for me, NO happy memories of those days! I was an outsider, no social skills, strict parents wouldn't let me date...on and on. I didn't come into my own until I turned 40...then I realized I really didn't give a rat's posterior what anyone thought of me, and finally got comfortable in my own skin. Took me long enough!

The celebration is taking place at the Four Points Hotel in...Pleasanton! See...had I gone I would also ask to meet Dave and his lovely bride, buy coffee or something exotic.

And no...I'm not homesick for California....too often.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 30 Comments: 512
8. joealaska
6:21 AM GMT on September 04, 2012
Good to hear from you hanfyh, would appreciate hearing the Australian angle to some of our discussions.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 797 Comments: 627
7. hanfyh
10:49 PM GMT on September 03, 2012
Hi Joe,
My names Tony and I live in Australia. I used to work on fishing boats here. Im a fan of the deadliest catch. I stumbled on your posts by accident and I have been reading your insights on your life in Alaska for awhile now. Ive neve commented here before now. Id like to thank you for your posts and pictures. I really enjoy them. Thank you.
Member Since: February 5, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 27
6. Arbie
9:45 PM GMT on September 03, 2012
UK, sorry about the bad experience. Every day I hope I don't get trapped in one of those situations where you sit trapped on the freeway for hours; even more so not be the victim.

I hope Louisiana recovers as quickly as possible from the storm. After Ike--another low category storm that caused a lot more damage than you would expect--we are still not ready to deal with another major hurricane still after 4 years. Really, it was the succession of Katrina, Rita, and several smaller ones in between. It gets tiresome. I don't know how people on those islands in the Caribbean manage.

I hope everyone in the US is enjoying their Labor Day holiday. It is hot as blazes here in SE Texas, so we are struggling to find ways to relax! 94F, with 99F heat index here; 89F with heat index of 104F on the beach. A bit humid. :)

I guess Joe will let us know if he is moving back to Arizona or house-hunting for/with somebody else.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1101
5. insideuk
3:00 PM GMT on September 03, 2012
I find it surprising that Dutchie and Fluff are willing to let you go house hunting alone. You will be under strict instructions to take lots of photos and video footage to show them the options for their possible future Arizonian living arrangements. As a guideline I'd suggest you measure small window openings for safe passage of the curvier feline derriere, assess the quality, quantity and speed of local bird life, and check for signs of foxes living in the area.

The cats have many messages to convey, on behalf of the foxes of Unalaska, to those of their relatives that had the bottle to wonder a little further afield.

Though most of those messages have to do with what a soft touch YOU are when it comes to parting with large cans of prime salmon fillet in return for politely listening to attempts at small talk. I fear the cats cannot necessarily be relied upon to pass the word around in the lower 48. Most especially Fluff, who was largely unwilling to be part of this whole Joealaska porch diner arrangement from the start.

She still has 76 small cans secreted about her person now. That's her personal emergency rations. You would never have known until you came to have her weighed for the flight out of Dutch and they asked you for $3750 for the excess baggage. You might consider borrowing Cholla's magic HOLDALL jacket, one pocket each for Dutchie and Fluff and 76 others for the salmon.

I doubt she'll agree to leaving without it.


I had some traffic trubba myself this lunchtime. The cars and trucks ahead of me on a dual carriageway (2 lanes each way) came to a sudden halt. I could see everything had stopped for about half a mile ahead up to the brow of a hill on the horizon.

I sat.

Then I sat some more.

The traffic news had no reports of trubba, this was obviously very new trubba.

So I sat.

It was warm and sunny, my air con was audibly slurping at the unleaded in my tank so I buzzed down windows and let Betti rest awhile.

We both sat.

It got hotter. My right arm was starting to suffer sunburn.

Then a helicopter flew low overhead and circled a few times before traffic was halted in the other direction and the helicopter was able to land on the carriageway. That is not good news for anyone. That means it is a very serious accident up ahead that requires the air ambulance.

Then I heard some horns tooting from behind. The traffic was snarled for several miles by now, and with a central barrier nobody had any escape route. So that's when a big fat fire engine and a giant recovery truck decided they wanted to SQUEEZE PAST.

Each vehicle in turn breathed in whilst they inched a wiggly centre line between us. I had a big truck to my left who could only breathe in just so far so I had little option but to pull into the weeds growing up against the central barrier. There was the most horrendous popping sound.

Those weeds had something nasty and possibly deadly to car tyres hidden within, and whatever it was snapped and crunched as Betti came to rest on top of it. It might have been a good idea to check my tyres but I couldn't. The fire engine had gotten stuck just ahead, leaving the recovery truck alongside me to my left and the drivers side door was wedged against the barrier.

We all sat, trying not to breathe out, getting sunburnt, and now bitten by spiders that were upset at having had their weedy homes driven over and climbed up the door to register their distress with me.

I'm pretty sure they bit me on my sunburn but I was too busy trying to figure if Betti was starting to tilt from air loss in her tyres or if it was just the soft verge giving way beneath us

An hour and a half had now passed and my bladder was starting to remonstrate.

I figured I'd got maybe 30 minutes bladder allowance left. I tied not to even think of liquid of any kind. Once you make that effort you are doomed to think of nothing else.

Eventually the helicopter took off, and the recovery truck inched forwards behind the fire engine which was bossing everyone about, as they do. The traffic began a slow crawl after them and we all slipped quietly past the scene which had been holding us back. A truck had rear ended a slow moving tractor, which had been hauling a rusty old tanker behind. Now the tractor had been shoved with considerable force into the trees alongside the road and the crumpled tanker had concertinaed the cabin of the tractor into the trees. The truck had disintegrated all across its front end, with several large parts of its engine having dropped out onto the road beneath it, such was the force of impact.

It all happens too easy. Take care everyone.
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1405
4. cholla
2:01 PM GMT on September 03, 2012
Joe lived in Arizona long enough to know about the summer heat. I'm sure he saw some record high temps in the Phoenix area. Tucson isn't quite as hot, due to being at a higher altitude. Our summer days usually range between 100 and 105. This summer we had two scorcher days in a row, 111F.

House prices vary depending on what part of the metro area one lives in. Like the rest of the USA, sales have been in the doldrums for many months; but prices have just started climbing in the past 3-4 months. I know Joe doesn't like HOA's. We have one here, and we tolerate it. Our golf course recently changed its name to "The Views." And where it used to be private, it's now open to the public. While owning a golf cart, I'm not a golfer; I hear it's a challenging course. The closest I get to it is to drive my golf cart along the trails early in the morning, before tee-times begin, and watch the rabbits, coyotes, flycatchers and herons.

Tucson is a great place to be a retiree. Medical specialists abound, due to the aging population. The many ethnic, steakhouse, and Mexican restaurants have on-going price wars. And we don't have to worry about snow shoveling. We know many retirees in our area who have part-time jobs; but the pay scale is a lot lower due to the availability of workers willing to work for less money, just to be able to enjoy our Sonoran desert sunsets.

Maggie and I are looking forward to Joe's visit, and we'll help him in any way we can. But we can't help him fudge his score card on our course.
Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 176
3. bearpaints
12:07 PM GMT on September 03, 2012
Joe moving back to AZ? Miss it here? You have to let us know how long we all have till the Dutch exist. I'm sure your excited to think about retiring I know I dream of it when I can move up north. It's almost 10 degrees cooler up there outside Kingman, Az right now. Just not really looking forward to living without power. We will have a small solar system what we can afford but not too expensive. Buying a place now and working on paying for it for the future gives a person something to dream about and to look forward to.
Member Since: January 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 262
2. DHaupt
9:08 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner, but Livermore has three classy golf courses: Poppy Ridge, Wente Vinyards and Ruby Hills: the latter is a Jack Nicholas certified course. Wente is probably the poshest, being owned and operated by our most distinguished local vintner. They also book top drawer acts through the year and run one of the swankest restaurants in the area -- very California Cuisine = large plate, little food. big check. I don't know how pricey they are.

But yeah, the Lake Chabot course is highly respected. Now, I don't know much more about golf than I do of cricket, but I know people who are really into golf and could ask around for you.

Hopefully our weather will settle down by late October. Friday, we topped out at 67; Saturday we topped out at 91! What we don't get is rain. Really haven't had much of a fire season locally; there's just not that much to burn this year because of last year's dry winter. But, at least we're not up to our asses in alligators like some folks in other parts.

I am glad that my house is at 445 feet above sea level and that California hasn't been hit by a hurricane in the past 100 years. Yet, our local planning commissions are actively studying options for a 3 foot sea level rise by the end of the century; it appears doable to protect things like airports etc, all of which are right on the Bay. But, nobody is betting on the Sacramento Delta. Louisiana's levy system -- forgeddaboutit.

The main effect of global warming is to put a few hundred gigatons of additional water into the atmosphere that is going to come down as rain where nobody wants it.
Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1019
1. Ylee
9:06 AM GMT on September 03, 2012
House hunting? Working on a retirement home, or are you forming an exit strategy from Dutch?
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 93 Comments: 15620

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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!