By: joealaska, 4:28 PM GMT on November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope you all get to spend a quality day with your family and friends. Here in KY it is a beautiful sunny day. Slight breeze. 25 degrees. My sister Barbnewmexico is flying in from Las Vegas, New Mexico right now. 27 degree there. My other sister CYBERSOMETIMESYOU DOFORGETHOWTORIDEABIKESUZE is in Boise with her husband and father in law. 29 degrees there.

35 in Dutch. Still dark there.

Normally the KENTUCKYS have a nice dinner on Thanksgiving at an odd time. A late lunch, mid afternoon or so. But I may be thinking of Xmas, as I was never home for Thanksgiving. I usually opted for Christmas for my trip home over the holidays. But today, with my sister flying in and arriving a little after 4 PM, we are having a typical dinner later on.

TURKEY! My favorite. Although it has been at least a year since I cooked one for myself.

Since I left Dutch I have been trying to organize my photos. Those 10,000 photos. They were only organized by date taken at that point. The 10,000 were already edited as far as SAVE or DELETE. But I needed to give them some quick name and categorize by general subject. It takes a lot of time and is pretty boring. Right now I am down to 7000.

Still would like to sell some of them. If you recall, last year I was trying to put some photos on Shutterstock. These stock photo companies sell to many customers, but almost all are commercial sales where the customer needs a specific photo for a certain advertisement they are producing. The photos are supposed to be technically correct. Snapshots are hardly ever wanted. They want someone who will take an hour to set up background and lighting to take a picture of a Gala Apple on White. Shutterstock wanted me to submit 10 of my “best” photos for them to approve. If they liked 10 out of 10, you are IN. Then you can post your photos among their MILLIONS of other photos. You set word tags that will allow people to search and find the photos. FOX PORCH DOG FOOD would lead you right to some Hoppy close-ups.

I am hoping that someone out there needs some fox, or eagle, or Alaskan scenery photos.

First time I submitted my 10 photos to Shutterstock I went 0 for 10. The photos were good photos, but I did no editing. I did nothing with contrast, exposure, definition, saturation, or sharpness. So I tried again and went 7 for 10. This is their way of keeping all the CRAP away. Anyone can take photos. After you FAIL with a submission of 10 photos, Shutterstock makes you wait 2 weeks to try again. I guess it all makes sense. I gave up for a while, then tried again. I had trouble logging in with that sight, so I tried another.

iStock. This one requires that you read their online training manual. There is a lot of technical info. A lot of it covers copyright issues. Forget submitting that picture of Cornelia Marie. There was a lot regarding technical areas of photography. There were photographic problem areas with names I never heard of. Then they showed a photo example that illustrated what each of these problems looked like. I had trouble seeing what they said was wrong.

Background noise. I know what it is, but when they showed me an example, it looked OK to me. I think every computer would show the photo a hair different. Bottom line, I feel if it LOOKS good it IS good. It does not need some techie with a microscope to stamp an approval. But that is what they do. This may not be the venue to sell my photos. But I am trying once more.

With iStock, after you read that manual, they give you a test. It was pretty tough! First time I failed. But I went back and took my time re-reading that thing, and I passed. I did miss a couple questions asking me to identify the “problems” of a few photos they showed.

Now that I passed, they want three photos to be submitted for them to approve. Still jumping through hoops. I submitted them last night and waiting for the big decision. I gave them a fox, an eagle, and a picture of the bay and mountains.

Meanwhile, TURKEY.



By: joealaska, 3:33 AM GMT on November 23, 2013

Maybe 4 nights ago I got up in the morning and opened up the patio door to see what we had going on. The cool morning breeze blew feathers in my face. And in the apartment. Dutchie had been out most of the night, and evidently she was hunting. Three feet in front of the patio, in the grass, was KILL ZONE #1. A pile of feathers. Six feet off to the right, another pile of feathers. KZ #2.

Another 3 feet right, was the killed. A decent sized dove lay there, a little chewed up. Dutchie came in and had breakfast as usual, and immediately went to bed. Meanwhile, I went out and disposed of the carcass. Later I swept the porch. But there is no escape. Four days later the feathers continue to return, even gathering again on the porch. Kind of a reunion. There are a bunch of them out in the yard. The wind just re-distributes them. Every day they return. Mocking me.

Tonight I saw a nice sized deer out my back door about 100 feet away. He looked like he was going to jump the creek. Not a problem. He could walk across it right now. Just a trickle.

Today was very dreary. I went to run an errand and returned at 4 PM and it was getting dark! The temps have been nice the last couple of days, but COLD is due any minute.

Played poker with the boys a few days ago. It has been a long time since I did that. I was down and up all night. I always had something to bet with. I won for the night ONLY because I hit the last hand, the BIG one.

When I was still in Dutch, Doug (Gnu) was asking me if I was watching a certain show on TV. I knew the show because I have seen the ads. For a few years. I had never seen it. The general theme sounded funny. Then I kept hearing it was winning awards and had a lot of viewers. Finally I watched one show. The one where they rob the train of 1000 gals of methlymene. It was pretty good. Brutal. Well written. The show went for almost 6 years, and ended by its own choosing a couple months ago. I picked it up in season 5 and watched it to the end. The big finale. It was huge. The finale tied up loose ends and left you feeling good. Remember the finale of LOST?

So I have taken advantage of NETFLIX and started watching the whole series. The story continues from one episode to the next. They bring in major characters at various points, and major characters get killed off just as often. The plot twists and turns are as good as they get. Usually the first scene sets up a question that gets solved at the end.

BREAKING BAD. I know, it has been done over and over...Nerd science teacher in high school gets incurable cancer, then stumbles on a way to make a ton of money quickly where he can know his family is set for life.

Set up a meth lab! It is a high quality product and he makes a bunch of it, and has other people sell it. Nothing is glorified. It is brutal. People get killed. Lots of blood. Like I said, it was a hit!

So there are 61 episodes total. I have now seen around 52. I hate to see it end. Check it out.



By: joealaska, 2:31 AM GMT on November 18, 2013

I woke up very early this morning to thunder and lightening and rain. Dutchie was outside. I checked the patio and she was laying on the chair enjoying the show. I listened to the steady rain and eventually went to sleep again. When I woke up it was getting light, and the rain sounded a lot heavier. So I checked outside and the rain was not the issue, it was the rushing water. Once again OLD MAN CREEK had overflowed its banks and was rushing by my patio.

I headed off to the weekly Sunday breakfast with the family. When I returned an hour later, the water had receded already. It surprised me, because it was cranking pretty good when I left. The stream itself was still a torrent, but meekly contained in its natural creek confines.

No matter, the good stuff is due later. Once again a line of weather is supposed to move through later with nice storm potential. Hoping it is not another false alarm. Bring it on. Still looking for my ultimate photo MIDNIGHT FUNNEL BACKLIT BY LIGHTNING.

Already having tornado watches nearby.

I mentioned in the last episode thta changes were happening up at Highliner Foods in Dutch. Mind you, it is just the word on the street. Nothing official. But it may as well be... If you may recall, we had two types of orders that we delivered to our customers. Some boats ordered weeks ahead of time from Seattle and Charlies Produce, our parent company. That order would show up on our Friday container vessel already pulled and palletized. All we did was unload it and store it at our warehouse until the customer needed it.

Then there were boats who came to town and ordered from Highliner in Dutch. They needed the food in a day or two. We pulled it from our warehouse stock and delivered directly to the customer.
My main job was to keep the warehouse stock full and be ready for any orders needed. Demand was very irregular. Our order cycle was almost three weeks, so if there was a big order that wiped out an item, we were going to be out of it for almost three weeks.

With the new changes, Highliner would only handle the larger pallet orders that arrived weekly. The warehouse would stock NO food. Any orders that need to be filled locally would go through our competition. Sounds like they and Highliner are going to team up in some way and split the pie down the middle.

Remember me making those 4 AM egg runs? Ice cream at 1 AM? Toilet paper emergencies? Under the new system I would forward that phone call to the other guys. It is a huge change. Frankly, they probably would not need to have my old position any more. If they did, I actually may have gotten some time off.

Change is constant.



By: joealaska, 5:55 PM GMT on November 11, 2013

Third Party Custodianship? Ring a bell with anybody?

Probably not. It was a huge situation with me, at least indirectly, the last few months I was in Dutch. Third Party Custodianship is where some person agrees to take into custody someone else who has been arrested and is awaiting trial. That person agrees to keep the criminal within sight and sound at all times, 24 hours every day. This is usually done by a friend or acquaintance of the CRIMINAL. If the criminal is caught out of custody, he goes back to jail to wait. And the custodian can get in trouble too. The custodian gets paid to do this. Forgot to mention THAT.

So about a year ago I came back to Dutch from one of my road trips. I walked into the warehouse and everyone was busy. I noticed an extra guy working. WTF? I went and asked GNU GUY (Doug), who was in charge while I was gone. OH YEAH, he says, he is a custodian of Neuthon’s. He had to explain it to me, as I had never heard about it until then. DOUGS thinking was we had a FREE employee. He was working for nothing. Mainly to keep from being bored.

I asked Doug if he had mentioned this to my boss. NO. Even though he talked with him every day. And of course, Doug did not mention it to me either, even though I called a couple times during vacation and asked WHAT’S NEW? Nothin’.

So I called the boss right away and told him. He hit the roof. The point was our liability. If that criminal got injured “on the job” he probably would have ended up owning the place.

So now I had a critical employee, Neuthon, who was still bound by his agreement with the courts. I could have told Neuthon just to stay home and play custodian there. But we needed him. Actually, we needed more. We ended up hiring BRANDON so he could work with Neuthon legitimately.

Brandon had been arrested for a road rage incident. A young kid cut Brandon off. Brandon followed him and confronted him. Brandon got in one good punch and broke the kids jaw. He was arrested for assault. Evidently Brandon had other issues with the police. We KNEW it was a risk. We felt like we were stuck with him, so we gave him a chance. If it did not work, we would get rid of him.

He turned out to be a hard worker. But we caught him trying to steal a case of Coke, and we let him go. He still had to be with Neuthon, so he continued coming to work and sat out in the parking lot.

Then after five or more years at the job, Neuthon started screwing up.

(NEUTHON was named after Sir Isaac Newton by his Dad. I cannot explain the change in spelling.)

He started coming in late, or just missing work. He would not call in. It got worse. I started to keep a written record of it. Every once in a while I showed it to him and asked him to initial it. It would have been easy to fire him, but we let it go. It was slow at that time and we hoped he got his act together. But he did not. So eventually we had no choice but to let him go. When we did, he was stunned like he did not see it coming.

He stopped the custodial thing with Brandon. I guess they just got tired of being with each other while Brandon shared an apartment with Neuthon and his wife and baby son. Brandon had to go back to jail and wait for his trial.

Months after we fired Neuthon, Brandon came into the warehouse and talked with me. He had been found guilty at his trial and he spent a little more time in jail. But now he was out. He bought a car and told me he was trying to clean his life up. He was crying like a baby, and was begging for another chance with us. Again, we did need help. I called my boss and asked what he thought. I was a bit surprised when he said BRING HIM BACK.

He did OK from then on, but that is when I left the island. After a while Brandon did not work very often, he was a part timer and was ON CALL. Eventually they let him go for the second time.

WELL, last night I talked to the guys in Dutch again. Some big changes coming. But the big news was the latest with Brandon and Neuthon. If you check the recent headlines in The Bristol Times (the link on this site that says LOCAL NEWS) you will see a story about 9 people being arrested for drug sales. Meth and heroin. Neuthon and Brandon are now in Anchorage behind bars.

The kingpin of the group was Brandons DAD. There were a couple more arrests, with the total people now involved at least 14.

AH, life in Dutch. I am sure this story has not ended.



By: joealaska, 2:06 AM GMT on November 06, 2013

I am sure at least one or two of you long time loyal readers (and I thank you for that!) may recall at least a couple of my rants regarding SUPERLATIVES. Extremes of something. Coldest, hottest. Windiest. It could be said that a superlative wind speed would be zero mph. Can’t get any slower than that. I just know they are out there and it is always interesting when I stumble on a situation where something extreme happens and you get to see what it is like. A new experience.

Well, this time I am talking SICKEST. This is the sickest I remember being. It has lasted about a week now, but it has peaked and is now mainly a cough and general pain. Saturday and Sunday were pretty miserable. I got hit by every angle. I had no interest in food for a couple days. I wanted to force something down, but the body said NO. There was a two and a half day period where I only ate Tylenol.

Tried to brush my teeth and I threw up.

I will spare you the rest of the details, as this is just not the place. Thank God I do not have anything pressing to do!

I guess my body is going through a general recalibration of sorts as I blaze into the second half of my life. Thanks for the birthday wishes! It was the WORST birthday I have had. Another superlative! I do not remember much about it. More of a dream state.

Thanks to DotMom for bringing over supplies. The soup hit the spot when I finally was able to eat something.

So I have gotten into looking for interesting web cams out there. Unique!! Anybody still checking out the Dutch weather cam link on this site? They have had some nice sunsets recently. Any good sites out there to suggest?



By: joealaska, 2:12 AM GMT on November 02, 2013

I kept watching the TV last night with way too much anticipation, waiting for some decent storms to roll through. After three days of talkin’, it was time to start chalkin’. But in the end, it was a dud. Oh sure, Texas had flooding. One or two tornadoes over that huge warning area.

We had some rain, but not so much as to make the stream leave its banks. The wind did not knock all the leaves down, either. I should have known better. Back to just opening the window and see what it looks like.

Have not been feeling very well last couple days. Cold? Flu? So I called off seeing my buddy sing Thursday night. He will be back, it is a rotation thing. So now I was stuck with no Halloween candy, as I thought I would not be home. But it was raining and tornado watches, so there was talk about calling off the holiday until Friday or Saturday. I think they made a change, just not sure what. Today I ran out and bought some extra strength Tylenol and some candy.

But there was a knock on my door last night, sure enough, TRICK OR TREAT! A little kid in a batman outfit, with a couple of lurking adults nearby. I was not sure what to say, so I just told them I thought the weather had canceled things for the night. I was candy challenged. I though about slipping him a popcicle, but thought better. No matter. I think he was more interested in showing me his costume.

So I sat here tonight and nobody came by. I was sweating it out as I only bought one bag of candy bars. If I ran out I would have to go to Blackout Mode. I am a bit out of touch on this holiday. In Anaktuvuk Pass I sat there until 10 PM and nobody showed up. I was going to bed and I looked out the window. It was a crowd of maybe 40 people coming all together. Anaktuvuk is not very big, but my house was off by itself a bit, so they had to really want it when they headed my way.

Other places I see very little knocking on doors. I say stop it. Neighborhoods can do what they want. Private parties. Too many nuts out there.

Not like the good old days. Ditch the parents, they slow you down. Just cut them in if needed. Study local maps and make a game plan. Look for cul-de-sacs with just a couple houses. SKIP ‘EM. Look for many houses jammed together. Start at 5 PM. If anyone bitches just apologize and say MOM IS SICK, WE HAVE TO GET BACK. Keep jamming until 11 or even 11:30. Cry if you have to. Forget neighborhoods, we are talking subdivisions. PLURAL.

Fan out. LETS GO!


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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About joealaska

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

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