By: joealaska, 7:15 AM GMT on February 25, 2013

Weather continues here. Daily snow, daily thaws. Hard to keep up.

Had to have the Tahoe worked on, to get the 4 wheel drive fixed. I need that to get out of my driveway the last few days. The snow plow leaves a nice WALL of snow to blast through as I exit. But if I blast too boldly, I end up blasted in the other side of the road WALL. Each day I leave tire tracks to be used later. But they get filled with more snow..

Two of the larger boats who come to Dutch docks are in town right now. They do not always come to the dock, as they sit out in the harbor and various boats go to them. They are keeping us busy.

We had a 10 AM delivery scheduled for today. It kept being put back until now it is scheduled for 9AM tomorrow. Guys were on call for a few hours, until the boat made a decision. Not 3 PM. Not 5 PM. Not 10 PM. Now it is 9 AM. It is a BIG boat, and heading to Crowley Dock in view from my window. There is supposedly big weather later tonight (as usual) and Crowley dock is exposed to that. So they will just not come in until tomorrow.

Only after arranging KENNELAGE with OSDianna did it hit me she will have the cats for 8 months. At least THAT based on plans. I may have to go for a visit on the bigger road trip I will be taking in May. I hear there is GOLF in Ocean Shores.

OH yeah, the BOOK is DONE. I finished my last FREE edit tonight. I got up to 50 corrections for free. I used 49. Many of them were GAPS in the paragraph I submitted. Call it Publisher errors.

Search for THE ROAD TO UNALASKA. I need to charge $90 per paperback, factoring in my expenses compared to demand.


I am packing already. All my personal stuff. When I return I have no idea where I will be living.

Looking into the California Zephyr still. Most of the reviews say the train is not the best food or cleanest. But the scenery is awesome. SOLD. Service is spotty good / bad.. Will probably do it.

Crazy Sunday today. We had shipments via three different shipping companies this weekend. They arrived together just by bad luck. 145 pallets to receive and deliver (most of them). Plus a ton of air freight that was all backed up do to weather. Actually several tons.

Three hot deliveries first thing in the AM.



By: joealaska, 6:14 AM GMT on February 20, 2013

Just when I needed help, I got it. My appeal in the last blog was answered.

Long-time regular blog participant OSDIANNA to the rescue. THANK YOU.

I knew this was asking a lot for whoever would agree to it, and I was running out of time. I could not buy tickets or make plans.

Today I bought tickets. I rented a car. I looked into pet friendly hotels.

I leave Dutch on April Fools Day. Arrive in Seattle around 8 PM.. Pick up the rental after gathering up the girls. Then straight to the hotel. The cats will be hungry. Next morning we take a nice 2.5 hour ride southwest to the Pacific shore.

I introduce myself to OSDianna, then I introduce my cats to her cats and dog. Hopefully no fur will fly. She has been through this ACCLIMATION process before, sounds like she will do just what I would do. Segregate the cats for awhile, maybe a few days or a week. It will be obvious when it is time to let them mingle. Keep them inside.

I will stay in town for the night, then back to Seattle next morning. Catch a plane at 12:30 to Chicago, then to Louisville at 10 PM.

I fly back May 31st. Leaving Louisville at 7 AM, I get to Dutch at 5 PM. Almost unbelievable. No marathon this time, thanks to minimal layovers (1 hour in Anchorage) and one LONG flight from Chicago to Anchorage. Usually you have to see Portland or Seattle.

Yesterday we had bright sun most of the afternoon, temps around 50. I joked that we could be in a hurricane within a couple hours, such is the weather here.

I woke up last night with the sleet blasting my window with 65 mph winds. It was another slush blizzard.. Temperatures above freezing, but close. 6 inches of slush. Heavy and wet, easy to get stuck in it with any vehicle. It slowed down a couple times today, then re-started. A couple periods of bright sun, blinding with the snow.

Very odd right now. We should be very busy, but I had only one business phone call today. A decent day off. Same with this past weekend. Plenty of incoming freight to unload, but NO boats waiting. No late night crap. We left around 5 PM on Friday. May be the only time that has happened in my five years here.

Thanks to all the notes and emails regarding an interest in helping with the cats. And THANKS again to OSDIANNA.



By: joealaska, 7:04 AM GMT on February 18, 2013

It has reached the point of desperation, possibly.

Any cat lovers out there looking for a little company for a few months?

I got one fat older puss who sleeps to kill time in between naps. Then there is the opposite, Dutchie. Active, vocal, affectionate, playful,

Looking for a friendly home until November or October. I will pay for the food, and will make it all worth while to you.

In return I expect healthy and live cats at the end.

OH yeah, I will be pretty picky about who I trust here.

Send a private email.




By: joealaska, 7:48 AM GMT on February 15, 2013

The last couple days have been winterish in Dutch. 22 degrees with 42 mph winds computes to negative 140 with the wind chill factored in (rounded up). Or so.

We have one of our sales reps in town this week, so he has had the Tahoe to drive around. The Tahoe is about to be cliffed. Transmission issues abound, dollars are flowing to fix it. It has a band-aid fix right now, with a big fix soon to come.

So I am driving the old van again. Step back in time. Since then the drivers door has almost blown away TWICE in our wind events. It has been fully replaced once, repaired several times. Right now it usually closes completely, but not always.

Last night it was blowing and snowing pretty effectively. I glanced out the window looking for vulpines. Instead I saw the drivers door hanging both agape and akimbo. This morning I sat in a snow drift as I drove in. I elected not to shovel it out. Then there is the driving with that door loose.
It latches into a false sense of security, then at just the right moment it pops open. Slamming it shut will not actually SHUT it. It hangs open. Factor in 42 mph winds, curving roads, using the right hand to talk on the never-ending phone, using the left hand to hold the door shut so it does not open into a passing truck, and steering with.... Well Sir, you have Challenge Driving.

The Tahoe, the old van, and our old flatbed will be YOUTUBE fodder when they careen down Ballyhoo. Have to wait until that road opens again in early summer.

Foxes continue to queue at the porch. JUAN EAR is the regular and comes right up on the porch with very little enticement. JUANDA will occasionally accompany him, but she will remain in the background waiting for a special effort hand out. Like me throwing out wet cat food bombs over JUAN EAR to where JUANDA can enjoy. The logistics of it all is a bit stressful to us all. JUAN EAR goes to wherever the food is being tossed, so it comes down to timing on my end to have both fox feeding.

Then there is SNOW BLACK. Juanda brought him in a few nights ago. The rarest of the rare, COBALT FOX. He was very defensive, holding off Juanda from the chow with open jaws, but never actually biting. He was very nervous and ran around with with frenetic energy.

Film to be posted on youtube.

The next day he came back alone, but just ran around for a while and left.

My boss told me to go ahead and buy some tickets to fly away for April and May. I will. I may never see the duplex again. So I will be throwing out all the crap, and packing up all the personal stuff. I guessed I asked for this.

So the cats are outta here. Just not sure where we all will land.


Updated: 7:49 AM GMT on February 15, 2013



By: joealaska, 6:34 AM GMT on February 11, 2013

It has snowed off and on for three days. No real accumulation, a few inches at a time that melts the next day. Today the sun came out and it was a beautiful day in Dutch for a few hours, in February!
This winter we have had a few nice storms, but no big deal. Certainly no TV reporters watching a few flakes coming down and saying that this would be THE BIG ONE. That could go on forever.

THANKS to CYBERSUZE for her great question regarding the title of a recent blog. ANY IDIOT BAN BE A BUSINESSMAN ONLINE. Businessman includes women.

A few weeks ago I was approached by someone who saw my photos online. They told me THEY LIKED WHAT THEY SAW. Here I will emphasize they came to me. It would be different if I was trying to get them to look at my photos.

I do not want to name names (Christina Tracey at Organic Technologies in Coshocton, Ohio). I checked out their website, it was something to do with either fish oil or snake oil. Maybe both. It was pretty boring for me and I stopped. Funny thing it was oil from a company I work with daily. I still may talk to that company about this other “company.”

I spent a decent amount of time going through MANY photos to edit out and give them the best to look at. I sent them a disc with those photos, watermarked. When I sent them I emailed them and “Christina” (maybe it is CHRIS for all I know) said it would be a couple weeks for them to go through the photos. After three weeks or so I emailed them asking if they were still interested in my photos. Now THE GREAT COSHOCTON CONE OF SILENCE descended. No word since.

I am a huge fan of FOLLOW UP. If you do not follow up, you FOUL UP. THEY came after ME. If they do not like the photos I sent, be professionally BRAVE and say that. Just be PROFESSIONAL. If you are not, you cannot. If they had told me they were no longer interested, this blog would not be written.

It is a good thing I am not desperately waiting for a pay check, or it could be very different. How much is a bus ticket to Ohio? Or a TRAIN?

Finally, even I, Mr. Amateur Photographer saw a big flag right at the beginning of this debacle. The photos they wanted could be found at any one of a number of stock photo sights. For a lot less than they were talking with me.

OK, I was sucked in. I am looking for ways to market my photos, and this “opportunity” came along. It smelt of fish, but I proceeded. I learned.

OH YEAH, I am emailing “Christina” and asking her to check out this blog...

Back to reality...

This weekend was CRAZY even for Dutch. Our container vessel was late Friday. Instead of getting our first container at 10 AM or so, it was almost 8 PM. At first we thought no boats were waiting for their food, so we were going to ATTACK at 5 AM the next day. But two boats arrived and wanted that food.

So it was almost 8 PM when we started. The containers were coming in slow, so the first boat cancelled saying they were leaving at 12:01 AM. They were still at the dock at 2 AM. The second boat wanted a 2 AM delivery. We got the last van just in time to do that.

I went to bed after 3 AM. Back at 9 AM.

The next day we were working like zombies.

When we went home everyone was talking GOING TO BED. I went to bed around 9 PM.

I got a call at 10 PM for a delivery. So I called one of my drivers and got it arranged. It was taken care of and accomplished.

Funny thing. I do not remember doing that. NADA BABY. I questioned everyone, including my driver, and he said it was me

This is the GREATEST SLEEP DISCOVERY of all time. WORK WHILE YOU SLEEP. Imagine the increase in productivity.

I am confident I will take the ZEPHYR with no buses. The ZEPHYR is the headliner train. The buses are clearly mentioned if you look at the website. The ZEPHYR is advertised as a photo opp.
Frankly, if it breaks down, WHO CARES?

I may take the return trip from Chicago to Seattle. Those are the routes I want to see most.

Meanwhile it is 9:30 PM SUNDAY and we have a urgent delivery.

As usual.



By: joealaska, 5:53 AM GMT on February 06, 2013

A few nights ago I got a call at 3:30 AM. A boat we had delivered to a few hours prior was missing their eggs. 18 cases of 12 / 15 Dozen. They needed the eggs in an hour or two, as they were leaving.

I woke up one of our guys and it was done within an hour.


Today I was on the phones for some time, but I did not go in. I did go out to Summer Bay and took photos of the big boat new to Dutch.

While I have been told I will be off April and May, it seems to be up in the air a bit. But, stupid me, I am looking into taking the train across country. The CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR, from San Francisco to Chicago (possible connection to Louisville). It is called one of the better train rides around.

The trouble is it is a train. Never stops moving except for a few stations. It is advertised as one of the most picturesque rides on the rails. BUT...

BUT there is travel time at night. I do not want to see the best scenery at midnight.

Working out the schedule, but more important is being able to do this trip...


Updated: 6:18 AM GMT on February 06, 2013



By: joealaska, 6:44 PM GMT on February 03, 2013

Our weather cycle remains fluid. A few days ago I was stuck in my driveway for a day and a half after we got about a foot of wet snow. When I finally got out, they plowed my driveway

The melt began almost immediately. Quickly followed by freezing temperatures.

The result was a layer of slush that re-froze. Rough driving. Especially in the freight yard.

GNU-EST dropped a set of keys when he arrived, just outside my back door. They could not be found in the dark, next morning there was snow. It has been snowing since. No sign of keys.

Last night it was raining and blowing, even the deepest snow is melting away.

Today is the Holiest of Holy Days. Super Sunday. As of now, The Papal Mass is finished. The tailgating has begun. At some point everyone will look up and the game will be in process.

At Halftime we all get BOUNCY who will be lip-synching LIVE. Why not give a couple of close-up shots of the CD player? A couple weeks ago Bouncy was in a bit of controversy / publicity when she lip-synched the National Anthem at The Presidential Inauguration. Then a couple days ago she had a press conference where she showed she could actually sing The National Anthem live. I have to wonder why she did not do so in the first place.

I know what you are thinking, EVERYONE LOVES FOOTBALL.

My guess is that it will be a close game. I say RAVENS by three, with double murderer Ray Lewis leading his team to victory. 31-28.

Crazy world.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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