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By: joealaska , 5:14 AM GMT on August 07, 2012

I am happy UK won / is winnning the medals. Do not sell your country short, though. Sports Illustrated (in the USA) projected UK would win 23 GOLD, 23 SILVER, and 19 BRONZE.

They knew YOU were good.

A number of Coast Guard boats have been in And out of Dutch recently. Alex Haley, Munro, and now Healy. I personally dropped off some light freight to Munro this past weekend. (This reflects on how busy we are. If I am delivering freight, we are swamped.) This was early morning Saturday. I never thought about my dress code of the day. But I always wear some type of baseball cap. I have a lot of them, and I rotate the hats. THAT morning I was wearing a cap from BERTHOLF, a new USCG cutter that came through over a year ago, and recently came through again.

All I know is that when I pulled up in the Tahoe with 15 small packages, everyone was saluting me.
Even before I left my vehicle. When I stepped outside I saw a sailor leaving the vessel. He saluted the bridge, the flag on the stern, and ME. It was embarrassing. So I removed my hat.

One of my recent hirees abandoned his position about a week ago. One day he was working for me, the next day he was working on a fishing boat. I understand this happens. But it was ugly the way it happened. There was no warning. He actually called GNU and said he would be leaving the island for a while as one of his kids in the lower 48 had been shot. They never call me, as they are afraid. Very afraid.

And afraid of being caught lying.

Next morning I continued to try reaching him (on the company cell phone he had) to find out what was happening. NOBODY has an emergency in Dutch one night, then leaves next morning, unless they have a private plane. He did not, and I knew there was something funny (not HA HA) going on.

Later we heard he had taken a higher paying job on a fishing vessel. I would have understood if he had called me late that night saying he was leaving next morning. But no call, just a lie.

I had personally loaned this guy the money to fly up here (paid back), and spent time arranging the flight. I guess that made no difference.

Yesterday he called me from the boat. He apologized and said he made a mistake. Now he was on a boat and unable to work as he was seasick. Along with his brother, who also left a good job to FISH. Now he wanted his job back. Me, I just wanted our phone back. That was all.

I have found new employees who want to work, who I believe will not leave.

Most of the Shell boats are leaving Wednesday, August 7. Mid August and they are heading to drill while the weather is good in Northern Alaska. Not a big window.

Dutchie is spending a big amount of her time birding. OUTSIDE KITTY, as weather permits. Now I am seeing bird carcass under the porch with no heads. Even worse than that is running into the fore-mentioned heads

Newer guy starts tomorrow, GNU leaves for a week. I have mostly new folk and one regular.

Beautiful night tonight. Going to bed early.

Welcome back Rotty.

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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17. osdianna
4:35 AM GMT on August 16, 2012
That was really great, UK! I very much enjoyed your take on the whole thing, especially loved watching Mo Farah take the stadium (and those of us watching at home) by storm; now THAT'S what a champion is all about...sheer unadulterated joy. I have to say, Eric Idle was one of my favorite closing acts too...Monty Python remains the funniest thing I have ever seen.

You all have great reason to rejoice...you pulled it off in grand style! Kudos to all Brits!
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16. MissNadia
9:47 PM GMT on August 15, 2012
Just a friendly Wednesday bump !
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15. Arbie
5:51 PM GMT on August 13, 2012
I also thank you for your wonderful commentary, UK. It was quite noticeable to me, even through the TV screen, that the crowds were really enjoying the games in a way I have never noticed before in any other location. You all are great hosts and hostesses.
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14. iaotter
3:05 PM GMT on August 13, 2012
Yeaa for UK's coverage and for the way the United Kingdom managed the Olympics. No catastrophes, no terrorists, not even any big glitches. Just fun and games and cheering folks having a great time.
Thank you to all those volunteers who made it possible! And thank you UK for giving us such great commentary!
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13. dotmom
10:55 AM GMT on August 13, 2012
Wow UK - what a great recap. At the end, I was feeling emotional with a tear right there ready to roll down my cheek. Really, a nice piece here. I was reviewing the events as you went along. Thank you.
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12. insideuk
8:50 AM GMT on August 13, 2012
A lesson in unabashedly joyful flag waving by those who don't normally go in for that sort of thing...

Part 8

Send us victorious

I've caught short sections of a large number of events this last week. It really was hard to know which way to look, big shiny horses danced to the music of The Great Escape in dressage. Little kayaks whooshed past on flat calm lakes like they'd been hiding a jet engine in the back. Usain Bolt gave us a charismatic royal wave as he became the new, and now undisputed, Superman - powered by copious McNuggets and a few late nights with a certain tall blonde volleyball team. I watched Michael Phelp's poor mother hide behind her hands during his events before bursting into tears at his unparalleled success, together we saluted his amazing one man, several necks, medal haul with near pandemonium breaking out in the aquatics centre.

In fact watching the parents of the competitors became a new spectator sport in itself. They alone have watched their child get to this place from DAY ONE. When a big gruff South African man by the name of Bert le Clos was interviewed by the BBC immediately after seeing his son snatch a win over Phelps, he simply pointed across the pool saying “look at my beautiful boy”. No other words could have better conveyed a parents pride.

This final week saw the very start of the games in some sports. The north of London county of Essex surprised all of us with any local geographical knowledge by hosting MOUNTAIN bike events. That had me scratching my head – it was quite flat when I was BORN THERE. Turns out they ordered in several thousand tons of rock from Derbyshire and built some lumpy hilly stuff. Ingenious.

I'm expecting the Derbyshire Peak District to have levelled out somewhat as a result. I'll go check ASAP. Might have to rename it as the Planed District.

Next came the grown ups on kids bikes – BMX. Now they really do look ridiculous pedalling around purpose built furrowed tracks. They start by tearing downhill, barely able to keep their giant size feet on iddy biddy pedals, then they fly through the air over grassy knolls and bank sideways before coming in to land on a series of stomach churning bumps. It's not sport – it's playtime with crash helmets.

The strangest sport award has to go to the modern pentathlon. They start with multiple bouts of fencing, they ride a horse over a series of jumps, swim a short stretch then shoot guns whilst jogging the streets. Sounds like a box set of the TV series '24' to me. Jack Bauer should get gold every time and make his poor mother proud.

My final event was the basketball. Team USA beat Team Spain 107-100. It was a thrillingly close game, leapfrogging by just a few points until the final few minutes where USA finally took charge and made it their own. It had at no point been a done deal for your DREAM TEAM – they got rattled in ways they hadn't expected but they rose to the challenge. It was the final made for spectators who weren't any relation. It had gotten brutal by the last quarter, fouls dripped off both sides like a monsoon off a ducks back. A quite deliberate poke in the eye delivered to one of Spain's best players, 7 minutes from the end, shouldn't go unpunished. Is all I'm saying. Play hard, play fast, play fair. All but one of Team USA can hold their heads high today. They had to be better than any US Olympic basketball team that went before to earn their place on the podium yesterday.

Despite everything, IN SPITE of everything, this GAMES is done and dusted and it exceeded all OUR expectations. As a nation we indulged in a fortnight of hitherto unknown patriotism, casting aside the stereo-typical images we allow others to see. The excess of medals was a big bonus, albeit mostly in sitting down events – finishing in 3rd place overall was HUGE. Mr Putin has steam coming out of his ears right now, though probably not as much as the French. Their famously sour grapes are percolated to a veritable pulp, you understand Paris bid against London to host these Games? Before the Olympics even started we had lined the Champs-Elysees with Union Jack flags for OUR Tour de France winner. They didn't enjoy that much.

Never mind.


What made London a big success was PEOPLE. There were 70,000 ordinary folk from across the nation who volunteered as 'games makers' – they took part in the ceremonies, they welcomed visitors with wide smiles, they pointed people in the right direction from almost every street corner in the capital, and took good care of the athletes, their equipment and their elite horse shit. They kept it all running smoothly. They came from every walk of life, they got paid nothing – not even expenses, and they gave up their annual leave to take part. I hope they are handed GOLD medals – their enthusiasm was infectious.

Then we had our service men and women. Standing in at the last moment to ensure that everyone stayed safe inside and around all the venues. Their very presence changed the tone of the Games, with polite professionalism they searched rucksacks and pockets. In return ordinary civilian Brits got a chance to shake the hands of those true HEROES and say a simple 'thanks' for the job they do. It was good to see the rows of uniformed soldiers, relaxing in their break times by watching the sporting action. They all seemed very keen on ladies beach volleyball, ladies gymnastics and the lady swimmers.

And then there were the spectators.

They had jumped through hoops to get tickets and they were there to PARTICIPATE. I have never witnessed an entire stadium on their feet and screaming for the full 13 minute duration of a 5,000m race before. Our man, Mo Farah, had won the nations hearts getting gold in the 10,000m a couple of days earlier. When he returned to win a second gold the PEOPLE carried him round the final lap of that track with Olympic record breaking decibels. They did the same thing in the velodrome, the equestrian arena, the pool, the lakes, the seashore. They lined road race routes up to 20 deep for mile after mile after mile – for 26 miles of a marathon, for 150 miles of cycling.

Come rain or shine.

The closing ceremony was just as bonkers as the opening was barking. Truck loads of music, light bulbs on policemen's helmets and Freddie Mercury leading 80,000 people in a sing-a-long 21 years after he died...

Monty Python's Eric Idle stole the show with his rendition of Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life surrounded by roller skating nuns, dancing Roman centurions and marching Scottish bagpipe bands. You had to be there.


For the British people, FOR ME, these games have engaged, endeared and enraptured beyond all measure.

Whilst our athletes surpassed themselves, we surprised ourselves. Bring on the PARA-OLYMPICS. Two weeks and counting...

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11. dotmom
5:06 PM GMT on August 12, 2012
UK: Sounds like you have had good reason to be "out of touch a bit." Hope Step-Dad is much better and he should probably stay away from flying windows. Not fun! He won't win gold for it either.

Thanks for the update and we'll be waiting with baited breath for your take on the closing ceremonies. I am going to tape them - then I can go back and take a second look.

London is getting lots of accolades for their handling of the Olympics. From what we have seen and what we have heard, seems like things went "swimmingly." For that, we are all thankful.
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10. insideuk
9:35 AM GMT on August 12, 2012
So let me see if I've got this right - what you're saying, JOE, is that there is some kind of sports related WORDY element hidden within copies of Sports Illustrated?

Surprised you noticed.

I've had a busy week. It was designed and planned as a busy week long before my step Dad (and business partner) had a freak mishap whilst opening a window which rendered him almost completely immobile for the last few days.

So I'm using today as a catch up day for all the stuff I was supposed to be doing starting from 5 days ago. My plan is to stay up late to watch the Olympic closing ceremony tonight, and tap away on the laptop at the same time to catch you up on this past weeks sportage events. Hopefully it'll get posted here sometime on Monday.

Unless I fall asleep.

Tonight's DO is said to feature iconic London landmarks (the countryside theme of the opening ceremony gets switched to a cityscape) and is a celebration on British music, with many famous names performing.

Oh, and the Spice Girls...

I heard they will ride into the stadium STOOD ON TOP of London taxi cabs. One can only hope they are driven fast so that we may get back to the PROPER musicians of which we are proud. After his poor performance at the opening ceremony I believe the Queen has had Sir Paul McCartney locked up in the tower. So it should be OK.

I have fallen way behind on my usual Dutch Harbor stuff. I haven't checked the newspapers or the police blotter. It may be they have all had a quiet week in the Harbor View Bar...

Probably not.

I have 2 long episodes of Deadliest Catch to, er, CATCH. I saw the teaser for the first of those episodes and they gave a warning of real and close up footage of an amputation in the show. Dangerous business.

Frankly, I'd choose Joes banana storage area over a fishing boat any day.

I might invite my sister round to watch DC with me, it'll save me texting her the gory details. I did manage to win a round of BSO (bones sticking out) last night by being the first to text her with news that a German guy appeared to break his collarbone whilst diving off the 10m (32.808399 feet...) high platform live on TV, late last night. The rules of BSO clearly state that misshapen bones count, they don't need to actually break skin.

Speaking of misshapen things, good luck with the test results Haupty. I've not much idea of how big 2 stacked nickels is, I'm hoping they are quite small coins – or alternatively that your ears were suitably huge to start with? Taking the skin graft from the neck area seems quite mean, that's a tender part to await repair. I suppose they choose the graft area with care.

Nobody wants to have to shave the back of their ears on a daily basis.
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9. dotmom
2:59 AM GMT on August 12, 2012
OK - UK - what's the word?
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8. dix608greys
9:23 PM GMT on August 10, 2012
Nice to hear the surgery went well, Dave. After you turn 60 it seems like it is patch, patch, patch on the old bod. Be sure and let us know the final results.

I've been reading but not writing mostly due to the fact that I am closing on a home in FL on Aug 30th and attempting to sell our house in SC NOW. Have a few interested potential buyers but as they said in that movie- "Show me the money".

Trying desperately to re-home my 4 cats as the community we are moving in to only allows 2 pets. Think I have good homes for 2 (thank you Rotty and Lindsey) but the two old gals are a problem. No one seems to want 11 yr olds. :-(

Just like in lots of other places, SC has endured a horrendously hot summer. However we have had lots of showers so this is our first summer in 7 years when our lawn has stayed green.

I'll have to back track to find out about Joe's personnel problems. Doesn't sound good though.
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7. MissNadia
8:27 PM GMT on August 09, 2012
Afternoon, The Greenpeace Ship has left Arctic Waters for places unknown.
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6. dotmom
11:45 AM GMT on August 09, 2012
Dave: Listening to your recap on your surgery reminds me of one that JoeKY had a few years ago. He had a spot on his ear and the doctor explained how they would be doing this "Mohs" procedure. Taking layer after layer - biopsying as they went along until it would finally be clear. They got him in there, he took a second look at it and took a big hunk out of his ear lobe. Done! He too had a huge patch and honestly, I can't remember how long it was on, etc. He healed nicely. His one lobe is smaller than the other - only I would notice it. Everything turned out well. I am sure it will be the same for you. We are keeping our fingers crossed.
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5. DHaupt
9:40 AM GMT on August 09, 2012
Howdy everyone. I survived the operation just fine and thank you all for your best wishes. They did it under a local with very light sedation. In fact, I said I wanted to watch. I couldn't do that, but I did have a very interesting, wide ranging conversation with the surgeon for the nearly two hours that it took. Even though the growth was fairly small, about the size of two stacked nickels, there were a number of tricky parts to it including a full-thickness skin graft; it went all the way down to the cartilage.

He took the skin graft right where my neck and shoulder join. There are twenty tiny stitches there. Behind the ear where the growth was, it is hard to tell, because there is a protective blanket stitched down with a good dozen "mattress" stitches. There must be many more attaching the actual graft to me. The stitching looks a little like a small spider's web. I've got this neat app for my iPhone called Lumin which allows me to take close-ups even in places that I can't see. Photos on request.

I took the big bulky surgical dressings off this evening and everything looks right and oh, is it more comfortable! I just have to keep things clean now and apply an antibiotic ointment several times a day. Plus, I can now shower and shave. Still don't know what the fool thing is exactly, but will find out soon. I'm still hoping for fat.

Hope Joe gets some new dependable staff. I have definitely gotten the impression from watching Deadliest that good help can be hard to come by in Dutch. The police blotter strongly reinforces that conclusion as well. The old New England whaling captains would never put into any port where their crews might escape or even find life preferable to being back on the boat. They must have been pretty awful places.
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4. dotmom
6:15 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
Good luck Dave. Hope it is a simple procedure and you are "good as new" - well at least almost! Always something.

Rotty: Glad you survived your academics and sorry about your animals. It is difficult. We treat them like our children and it is always hard to give them up. Hope the healing is happening.

My son is so darn busy that I can barely take his time to talk with him. He needs some hands up there and - now! Hope he can find some reliable folks.

I believe the failed fisherman has made JoeA SICK! Live and learn. I always say - learn from the mistakes of others because you won't live long enough to make them all yourself! Feel for the guy, but he dug his own grave.
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3. miyuki
5:30 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
Dave, good luck, hopefully it is just a lipoma, they are very common and harmless.

Joe, hope you get your phone back. I think his groveling is rather humerous, what a loser.

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2. Rotty3
12:21 PM GMT on August 07, 2012
Thank you Dave and Joe for the welcome back. It's good to be back. Still little time (sneaking on the 'net while I'm supposed to work lol). Been pretty busy at work, so I get little time to just have fun. Not what summer was supposed to be, but that's okay. Makes days go by faster lol.

Dave, all the best w/ the surgery. You may just have an alien getting ready to pop out of your ear LOL. No, seriously, keep your chin up (I can tell your spirits are up, and I don't mean the bottled ones) and keep us posted when you get back.

Joe, that bites about the guy. Some people sadly are like that. Act before they think. I hope and wish for your sakes that you will be able to keep the new employee(s) longer. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished, but you had a fair share of employee problems.

Have a great day / week!
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1. DHaupt
5:55 AM GMT on August 07, 2012
You snuck up on me Joe.

Welcome back Rotty. I'm glad that you haven't been through too much of a ringer, just life's little messes in more concentrated form.

I have a big adventure coming up tomorrow. I've got this nice plump something growing on the back of my left ear. I first noticed it a couple of months ago. Thought it was just a pimple. But it didn't go away and it has gotten to be about the size of a dime. I was seen by a head and neck surgeon who biopsied it. Various pathologist haven't been able to figure out what it is, so: "When in doubt, cut it out!" They will have to bite off another small chunk of me for a skin graft and, of course, the lump will now get sliced and diced and pondered by more pathologists. I'm not supposed to be alarmed, it is definitely not something super nasty like melanoma, but, as I said, so far, no one can really tell what it is. I'm hoping for fat!

At any rate, they plan to knock me out thoroughly so that they can play with me to their hearts content. I'm going to have to go about 24 hours without any solid food, not that that will do me any harm. But, I did go out for a nice decently sized (and rather tough) steak. Between Kaiser and Medicare, I haven't had so much fun for $50 since my last trip to Disney Land (which gives you some idea how long it's been since I went to Disney Land).

More later.
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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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