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By: joealaska , 5:50 AM GMT on July 03, 2012

It all hit just as I came back.

Just before I left for the reunion it was still a bit slow. Now, crazy.

Plus, we had to let a couple of people go, including my office manager. Now I work two jobs. I used to come in later and work into the evenings. Now I come in early, and still do the evening thing. Friday was your basic 17 hour blitz.

We had 8 container vans. I cannot remember that in my 4+ years here.

And we had UNUSUAL freight. Too heavy for us to handle. We had to unload what we could, then move the container to another venue. Extra steps, extra time.

I got the typical call at 6 AM. Wake up call. A boat need a delivery by 8 PM. Not a big order. If they called at 5 PM it would have been plenty early. But I am now UP. For good.

We had a group of boats waiting for their order to be delivered once we got it. It included a CUPPLA big boats. 58 pallets of food between them.

Our wing truck holds about 20 pallets. We loaded it up and went to the dock. It took two hours to unload. The dock was also slammed, so they had trubba getting to us. Another variable out of our control. The wing truck can be unloaded in 20 minutes, usually.

The whole process was backed up. We now had to slip in other deliveries before we went back to that slow dock. I was a juggler.

We started to deliver to those two boats around 10 AM. The last trip was done at 10:30 PM, a final pallet stuck in a van driven by me. My crew was stretched out and I was the only option. My phone rings too much. Talking as I listen to a another call beeping in. But I can function as I drive and get stuff done. I made the final delivery personally. Joked with the captain high up on the bridge. It was fun. Wish I could do it more.

We started at 7 AM, and we stopped at midnight. Good thing to get home, as there was a big day Saturday.

During the big rush, there was an eagle event.

I noticed MANY eagles swarming. Normally this means someone is cleaning fish somewhere. All I know was I saw swarming, diving, fighting among themselves, and one eagle diving to hit on a metal strap laying on the ground like it was food.. The action was too widespread to catch it on the camera, even though it was centered on the freight yard. I gave up trying to capture it and went back to work.

I was on the phone outside on our dock (it was a beautiful sunny day!) when I saw a flash of an eagle rocketing down and into our warehouse door. I almost did not believe what I just saw. So I hung up the phone and pulled out the camera. Filming, I walked into the warehouse door with no idea what I would see. At first, I saw nothing. Then some movement on the far wall... Now the wings were extended and here he comes. Nothing like being between a trapped eagle and his only means of egress. At this point the film gets very shaky as I YIELD. But the eagle avoids me completely by trying to escape through a one square foot window off to my side. He slammed up against the glass, dropping the fish head he was carrying. Evidently he was trying to hide in our warehouse to enjoy a meal by himself. Now he was in a panic trying to join his buddies back outside.

He stumbled and bumbled , trying to get off the stack of toilet paper cases he was trying to walk on. These birds need a little room to get started. And he did. Panic flying off into the wild blue. Yonder.

Leaving the fish head for us to fight over, as we had no lunch yet.

Film will be on youtube.

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

Reader Comments

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11. dotmom
4:46 PM GMT on July 08, 2012
Arbie, I think you are "spot on" in your analysis of what a company will do to make more money. In Joe's case, they had enough bodies to do the work, but unforseen things happened and now the fun is in finding replacements. Even still, I feel Joe can't work day and night - phone ringing at all hours of the night. If he has a heart attack - then what. I know he is trying to find more help, but it isn't easy because of the isolated location. Something has to give sonner or later. I guess I am overly concerned as his mother and I do appreciate your take on the situation.
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10. Arbie
3:06 PM GMT on July 08, 2012
By the way, the WU sale worries me because they appear to have done it to get more money. Does that mean more advertisements to slog through on the site? On the other hand, it seems the weather channel isn't planning on moving in--just giving and taking money.

We are getting lots of rain in SE and East Texas so far this year. Good thing considering last year. The puddle in my back yard from the last rain is filtering into the earth as we speak. So far, I think people are still not in any mood to complain about rain!
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9. Arbie
2:51 PM GMT on July 08, 2012
I can relate to Joe's predicament at work. We lost a large number of people recently (they quit), and the company quickly realized they were making more money this way. I think you have to decide what you are willing to put up with, i.e., how many hours you are willing to work, and stick with it. Let the company deal with work not getting done because they don't have enough people. I decided they probably aren't going to fire me because I refuse to do the work of 2 or 3 people; they'll realize they need to hire more people. Of course, if you WANT all those extra hours on a permanent basis--go for it! Hopefully Joe's company is not the kind of company that takes advantage of people like that. If it were my company and Joe did what he did--they would just leave things like that and not hire any replacements. When he got tired of working all those hours, he would quit. (Our company has very high turnover--did I tell you I was looking for a new job LOL.)

I was curious about Greenpeace, since I don't really know all that much about them. They have an office in Houston and have openings. I suppose I could go apply if any of them were my bag--they aren't. They have full-time jobs with full benefits. Paid sabbatical after 5 years. Interesting. This is what they say about themselves. "Greenpeace is the leading independent environmental organization that utilizes bold action, cutting-edge research and creative communications to protect the Earth. We expose global environmental problems and promote the solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. We investigate, document and expose environmental destruction in a peaceful manner and promote open, informed debate about society's environmental choices. To ensure our independence we do not accept donations from corporations or governments. To learn more about us, please visit our website at www.greenpeace.org"
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8. insideuk
9:40 AM GMT on July 06, 2012
The messages coming from Dr Masters re the sale of WU to The Weather Channel group seemed mostly hopeful of great things but still quite ill informed as to any fine detail. I have no experience of TWC, but one of the stated plus points of this link up is that they have much greater expertise in developing new technology – such as creating mobile phone (cell phone) websites with full user interactivity. WU already has a mobile website version – it’s pretty light on features and could do with some geeky IT resources to take it forward. I excitedly logged on to my iphone browser and pulled up the supposedly snazzy mobile version of the weather.com page.

Which, it turns out, is not available to users located in the United Kingdom.

Oh bloody hell Doc…

I noticed the Greenpeace ship is at anchor out in the bay – rather than dockside. Good idea Mr Harbourmaster, if warrior princesses want to come to battle on dry land they must have their official TWIC’s to hand.

Not sure where she’d put it – under a leather strap somewhere I suspect. Doubtless there’d be a line of men helping her retrieve it.

Joe is too busy.


You will just have to lob the organic lima beans order out in that general direction, I’m pretty sure they float…

I do like their pea green boat. The owl and the pussycat are presumably safely onboard and perusing the restaurant menu?

It has rained pretty solidly for the last 3 months here. Today the main headline news is that we must prepare ourselves for another 4 inches of rain in the next couple of hours – it’s here, it’s falling, big splodgy lumps of it battering the ground into submission. There are over 90 flood warnings – the rivers in my area were mostly field shaped prior to todays droppage. I’m on high ground, but it’s possible I have acquired a moat type arrangement in all directions.

I promise not to go and look…
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7. Debbie56
8:01 AM GMT on July 05, 2012
I know many on wunderground don't venture far their favorite places. I read this on Jeff Masters blog a few days ago...Here is a writeup on it
Hope things stay mainly the same.
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6. osdianna
4:45 PM GMT on July 04, 2012
I always wonder at the management decisions, such as "letting people go" at crazy times; does that mean business is off, or does it mean they were not performing up to snuff? I can understand if their work was unacceptable; it places a heavier burden on the rest of the crew. I'm glad I am out of the work force...crazy times we live in!

As for weather issues...we are finally going to get some summer weather here in coastal Washington state, mid-70's maybe. There is an old joke here, summer doesn't start until July 5th.

A long-time friend of mine was visiting from the Wash., DC area...left there on the 29th BEFORE that nasty storm; has been here since, with no power in her home and temps of 105. Neighbors emptied out her refrigerator and freezer and are keeping the food in theirs...they have a generator. She's trying not to worry, as she is out here thru the 8th, and she has a serious garden...hired neighborhood kid to water.

All of you in the various parts of the country (and the UK) are much in my thoughts as I bask in our PNW version of summer. Take care.

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5. dotmom
9:09 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
It wasn't a Catfish head - says InsideUK
Ho, ho, ho! Good one!

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4. insideuk
6:14 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
A man who can juggle so many deliveries in such a way deserves a special job title...

'The Presiding Prestidigitator of Pallets'

Sadly there is no pay rise involved. Though I might run to a new baseball cap if I can find one wide enough to embroider the new job title, possibly you may need to learn to pirouette for full effect. You know, just so people will be able to tell how important you are to the smooth running of the whole operation you've got going on the docks there. Pale pink multi-layered tulle tutu entirely optional.

Interesting fact #1:

It is said that animals with whiskers use them to determine if they can fit the rest of their body through any given gap – their whiskers should be about the same span as their body, though it has to be said that Fluff is testing that theory to the max.

Interesting fact #2:

I was reading the arguments for and against the installation of wind turbines recently and one of the most common misconceptions is that they are a danger to bird life. The 'experts' stated that birds have an inbuilt 'sensor' whilst in flight, an accurate estimation of their wingspan and speed of travel, meaning they can easily avoid coming into contact with the spinning turbine arms.

Interesting fact #3:

Your eagle thought it could fly through a one foot wide closed window with its fish head.

Only conclusion I can draw from facts 1 thro 3:

It wasn't a Catfish head.

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3. Arbie
5:30 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
Happy 4th, everybody! insideUK--just keep enjoying your summer. :)

I think Joe can handle the work.

I bet not many people can say they had a bald eagle in their warehouse.
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2. cybersuze
5:17 PM GMT on July 03, 2012
I'm with mom! Hope you get the 4th off as a holiday and enjoy a nice meal somewhere! Maybe a fish head?
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1. dotmom
10:24 AM GMT on July 03, 2012
I am just hoping you can get a little rest. You can't work like this all the time. This is a mother talking!
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