HAPPY 2013

By: joealaska , 5:08 AM GMT on December 29, 2012

The Shell boats continue to be in the news.

AIVIQ is towing KULLUK, but is having engine trubba near Kodiak Island. The Coast Guard vessel Alex Haley is on site to assist if needed. Right now they are 48 hours from the nearest land.

I just got a couple emails from Alex Haley and they are due in Dutch January 5th.

Just before the Aiviq had engine problems Kulluk broke free in a last dash for freedom when the tow line snapped in heavy seas. But the connection was re-established.

Meanwhile NOBLE DISCOVERER made it to Seward, but has been held there by the Coast Guard for inspections regarding pollution and safety issues.

We did indeed have a white Christmas. Right now there has been two snow / melt cycles since then.
There are about 6 inches on the ground forming a nice base coat for now until July. I am sure the pass is closed, but may check it out one last time.

Foxless for several days. Too bad as I had a nice buffet set up.

Will post the 2012 final weather numbers after the end of the year.

Fireworks are scheduled for 11:59 PM New Years Eve. It will be dark for 5 hours at that point. What the...? I will be there as usual, filming the flashes of color reflecting off the snow base. Pretty cool.

My new camera is due here at any minute. Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Looks good on paper.

My manuscript will be submitted no later than this weekend. May be done as soon as tonight.


Photos are in the hands of the customer in Ohio. Waiting to hear the final word in a week or so.

2013 seems to be starting out with a quick start.

Quick as falling off a cliff.

Thanks to everyone for the participation and notes.

Happy prosperous and joyous NEW YEAR. LUCKY 13.

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42. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
7:06 AM GMT on January 03, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
41. beell
2:29 AM GMT on January 03, 2013
Four months before the containment dome that would cap a well in the event of an emergency "breached like a whale" during final testing.

Shell touts blowout cap as response in Arctic disaster

Finally, thanks for the space here, Joe. I enjoy your blog. Hope you didn't mind the unsolicited contribution. I'll give it back to you now, lol.
Best wishes!
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 158 Comments: 20175
40. beell
2:06 AM GMT on January 03, 2013
Shell Oil Delayed in Arctic Departure
Popular Mechanics Nov 7, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell is finding that getting out of the Arctic Ocean can be tougher than drilling wells in it...

...the rig was quickly secured for transport, but the operation faced several hurdles. First, there were 83 men onboard, a number that was supposed to go down to just 17 for the trip south. By Alaska standards, the weather remained stable, yet flights between the rig and the company's facilities on land at Prudhoe Bay were delayed for days at a time. Shell had contracted with PHI, Inc., a helicopter services company that is ubiquitous in the Gulf of Mexico. But the company's Sikorsky S-92 helicopters had not been prepared with de-icing equipment, and the pilots I spoke with lacked experience flying on the North Slope.

A second issue concerned the Aiviq tug's fuel reserves. Shell had committed to laying a containment boom out on the ocean surface during vessel-to-vessel refueling, but the seas had been too rough to do that. The tug needed to refuel before starting to haul the Kulluk.

Finally, the Kulluk was required to offload its wastewater to another vessel for eventual disposal on land, but those operations also proved vulnerable to disruption by rough seas...

...The company made several technical missteps this season. Most importantly, the Arctic Challenger barge and the oil-spill containment system the barge carried were not ready in time, and, as a result, Shell was not allowed to drill down to potentially petroleum-bearing layers of rock. However, regulators then allowed the company to prepare top holes on two wells, drilling to about 1400 feet...

================================================= ==

Emails say Shell containment dome crushed like a beer can in test.
Alaska Dispatch-Nov 30, 2012

The beer-can observation belongs to Mark Fesmire, head of the Alaska office of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). It and other details about what went wrong with the testing are included in emails obtained by KUOW through a Freedom of Information Act request.
KUOW.org-94.9FM Seattle News and Information

...The containment dome test was supposed to take about a day. That estimate proved to be wildly optimistic.

Day 1: The Arctic Challenger's massive steel dome comes unhooked from some of the winches used to maneuver it underwater. The crew has to recover it and repair it.
Day 2: A remote-controlled submarine gets tangled in some anchor lines. It takes divers about 24 hours to rescue the submarine.
Day 5: The test has its worst accident. On that dead-calm Friday night, Mark Fesmire, the head of BSEE's Alaska office, is on board the Challenger. He's watching the underwater video feed from the remote-control submarine when, a little after midnight, the video screen suddenly fills with bubbles. The 20-foot-tall containment dome then shoots to the surface. The massive white dome "breached like a whale," Fesmire e-mails a colleague at BSEE headquarters. Then the dome sunk more than 120 feet, saved from crashing to the seafloor by a safety buoy. Recovering it took 12 hours...

...Environmentalist Todd Guiton lives on Sehome Hill in Bellingham. His condo overlooks the Bellingham Shipping Terminal, where the Arctic Challenger has been under construction for a year now.

This has to be a very beefy operation to do what they claim it'll do, Guiton says.

It failed under very calm, tranquil conditions in the best time of year up here in the Pacific Northwest. If it can't handle the best we have here, I really have my doubts it can handle even a little adversity in the Arctic...
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 158 Comments: 20175
39. PedleyCA
12:45 AM GMT on January 03, 2013
They just mentioned the Kulluk on CH-9 In Los Angeles. So it is still being shown on the News. It sure isn't going anywhere.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 8457
38. cholla
11:58 PM GMT on January 02, 2013
Thanks for the update, Calpoppy. Coast Guard Alaska (and the U.S. Coast Guard anywhere) are "tops" in my book! Just one hour from now we'll be watching their latest series on the Weather Channel again.
Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 190
37. calpoppy
9:22 PM GMT on January 02, 2013
Hi Cholla! My son was flying Friday night into early Saturday morning, so no pics of him :(( It has to be really crazy to do what he did in that bad weather at night. As he told me it was 'scary cool'.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 92 Comments: 5780
36. cholla
7:38 PM GMT on January 02, 2013
CALPOPPY, is your Coast Guard Kodiak son in any of these photos from the Anchorage Daily News?

Link here.
Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 190
35. Rotty3
5:44 PM GMT on January 02, 2013
osdianna: I'm with you, I have grown attached to that Christmas tree w/ the fairy lights :)

Sad to think that Shell (intentionally?) endangered the Kulluk. Somewhere on NPR I think I heard they were trying to do some maintenance, but from what I read here, it's b/c of tax ummm.... evasion.... backfired, I s'pose, just like the DWH disasters.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1685
34. beell
5:30 PM GMT on January 02, 2013

Despite the Reuters logo, this appears to be a video from a Coast Guard overflight per the opening few seconds on the video from this link:
anchoragedailynew's videos
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 158 Comments: 20175
33. osdianna
5:09 PM GMT on January 02, 2013
That Reuters video (I thought it was Coast Guard) is painful to watch; I must have gotten attached to the Kulluk, or at least have a vested interest in the ship as we followed it's story here on Joe's blog. (I am having a hard time thinking of this ship as a "she".) It's definately gone national, Joe.
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32. beell
12:33 PM GMT on January 02, 2013

Kulluk Tow Incident-Unified Command Webpage
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 158 Comments: 20175
31. beell
12:40 AM GMT on January 02, 2013

Waves crash over the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk where it sits aground on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, Jan. 1, 2013.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg-U.S. Coast Guard


Unified Command map of where Kulluk ran aground

Weather Obs/Obs History-Kodiak (PADQ)
Southcentral and Southwest Alaska Forecast Discussion-NWS Anchorage
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 158 Comments: 20175
30. hanfyh
12:34 AM GMT on January 02, 2013
Theres been nothing on the news here, but thats not surprising.
The Rose Bowl is on. The Badgers are hanging in but Im not full of confidence.
Happy New Year all from the lurkers.
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29. cybersuze
12:23 AM GMT on January 02, 2013
Hoppy New Year Joe! CNN also has a story on the Kullik
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28. cholla
11:43 PM GMT on January 01, 2013
Joe asked:

Anyone hearing the news on national networks, or on your local stations? It is a daily story out of Anchorage, just wondering if it is really known to everyone else what is happening...

Tucson's KVOA-TV had a 30-second clip about the Kulluk as a part of their 4 PM news this afternoon. There was an aerial view of the HH60 Jayhawk helicopter hovering over the Kulluk.
Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 190
27. cholla
10:53 PM GMT on January 01, 2013
The Weather Channel has one-hour weekly programs "Coast Guard Alaska," on Wednesday nights at 6 PM Mountain Time. They film rescues by Coast Guard Station Kodiak and Coast Guard Station Sitka. I would guess that they will have the operation that Calpoppy's son was on. They recently showed one filmed by Sitka just a couple months ago. Here's a link:
Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 190
26. calpoppy
6:49 PM GMT on January 01, 2013
Hi Dotmom! My son is in the Coast Guard stationed in Kodiak. He is a Flight Mechanic which is the one who controls the hoisting device they use on the HH60 Jayhawk helicopters. He actually went out there that night to start picking up the crewmembers of the Kulluk but it was way to dangerous and ended up taking the tug the much needed parts to get it going again. Better weather the next day allowed the rescue.

Shore, the good thing is I don't know he is out there until the deed is done! Panic after the fact! LOL!

Have a Happy New Year, Joe and all!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 92 Comments: 5780
25. iaotter
4:03 PM GMT on January 01, 2013
npr is reporting on the Kullack. I woke up this morning to the news that it was grounded. Like everyone else I come here to see what the latest was.
Not a good start to the new year for them.
I can't believe they moved it just to save a little bit on taxes. That can't even come close to what they have already lost in trying to move it and the bad PR they are getting.

6F here and 32 in Dutch. It's not fair. We are expecting well below 0 tonight and wind chills that I don't even want to think about.
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24. Dodabear
2:29 PM GMT on January 01, 2013

By Kim Murphy

January 1, 2013, 2:46 a.m.

Days of efforts trying to guide a mobile offshore drilling rig through stormy Alaska seas hit a crisis Monday night when crew members were forced to disconnect the rig from its last remaining tow line and the vessel went aground on a small island south of Kodiak.

“The first priority was the safety of the people,” said Darci Sinclair, spokeswoman for the unified command of U.S. Coast Guard, Shell Alaska and drill ship owners who had been trying mightily to avoid just such an eventuality ever since the Kulluk rig first ran into trouble Thursday night.

The 266-foot conical drill barge first broke free of its lines last week while being towed back to port in Seattle after a summer season of drilling off the coast of Arctic Alaska. Troubles mounted when the tow vessel, the Aiviq, lost all four of its engines due to possible fuel contamination, and the drill rig was briefly adrift.

Over the weekend, the Aiviq’s engines were repaired and a second vessel was able to join it in towing the Kulluk toward safety in Kodiak. All 17 crew members on the Kulluk, which does not have its own propulsion system, were evacuated. But though the Kulluk was attached to two different towing vessels by Monday afternoon, high seas and strong winds continued to pose problems.

A line to the first tow vessel was separated at about 4:40 p.m. Then, with winds gusting to nearly 70 mph and swells of up to 40 feet, incident commanders were forced to disengage the last remaining line connecting the Kulluk to the second tow vessel, the Alert, in order to protect the Alert's nine-member crew.

The rig was about four miles away from land at that point, incident commanders estimated.

“Once that final tow line was released, about 45 minutes later, it ran aground,” Sinclair told the Los Angeles Times.

The Kulluk struck the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island, which Sinclair said appears to be largely uninhabited.

The main concern now is potential for leakage from up to 150,000 gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel on board the Kulluk and about 12,000 gallons of combined lube oil and hydraulic fluid also on board.

“We don’t have any reports yet of discharge. The Coast Guard has done a flyover, and once we have daylight and weather conditions permit, we’ll do a further assessment,” Sinclair said.

She said the drilling rig stores fuel for generators and other uses in the center of the vessel, encased in heavy steel.

Environmental groups which have been battling the opening of U.S. Arctic waters to offshore oil drilling quickly warned that the crippled drill rig is an example of the problems that can occur in the harsh weather conditions of the far north.

“Shell’s Arctic drilling season has been plagued with problems, missteps, and near disasters. We are fortunate that this latest incident happened close to the Coast Guard station in Kodiak. Response equipment was nearby,” the conservation group Oceana said in a statement. “If this had happened in the Arctic Ocean, Shell could have been on its own, 1,000 miles from the help it needed. The rough conditions that prevented a rescue today could be compounded by darkness and ice in the Arctic.”

Lois N. Epstein, Arctic program director for the Wilderness Society, said the incident suggests Shell’s equpment is “no match” for the Alaskan winter seas.

“Shell’s costly drilling experiment in the Arctic Ocean needs to be stopped by the federal government or by Shell itself given the unacceptably high risks it poses to both humans and the environment,” she said in a statement.
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23. shoreacres
2:10 PM GMT on January 01, 2013
I'd completely missed this story about the Kulluk, but woke up early this morning and heard "grounding" and "Alaska" on the radio. Under such circumstances, I know exactly where to go for information. MSNBC? Fox? CNN? No way. Joe's blog is it!

Thanks to you all for the good information - and good grief, calpoppy. While some folks worry about their kids getting home safely from the New Year's eve party, you worry about... well, some extraordinary things. I'm glad he's safe, and I hope all continue to be while they try and resolve this mess.
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22. insideuk
8:21 AM GMT on January 01, 2013
The Kulluk has grounded on rocks at the north end of Ocean Bay off Kodiak Island.

Which raises the question - if a 2% of value state tax was due on all vessels in Alaskan waters on Jan 1, is it still payable on those vessels now perched on Alaskan rocks?

If so I think in this instance we are now talking payment in loose change...
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21. juslivn
7:02 AM GMT on January 01, 2013
Member Since: August 20, 2009 Posts: 97 Comments: 10764
20. insideuk
6:05 AM GMT on January 01, 2013
Kulluk has broken loose and is just 4 miles from going aground nr Kodiak.
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19. joealaska
3:26 AM GMT on January 01, 2013
Kulluk is back under tow and will ride out near hurricane conditions for now, no end in sight.

Anyone hearing the news on national networks, or on your local stations? It is a daily story out of Anchorage, just wondering if it is really known to everyone else what is happening...

Camera is here, lots to learn!

Wind is picking up, midnight fireworks are iffy.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 974 Comments: 1044
18. dotmom
1:34 AM GMT on January 01, 2013
Calpoppy - pretty interesting about your son having a hands on job with the saving of this rig. What does he do on a regular basis? This is all very interesting and I do hope when everything settles down, the working staff and boats are all safe and moving forward.
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17. Arbie
8:43 PM GMT on December 31, 2012
UK, thanks for the heads up. I agree, that must have been quite a ride. I wonder if they are used to this sort of thing? This is my favorite picture:

DH, I hope you continue to feel better.

Can't wait to hear Joe's book is final.

Happy New Year, everybody!

PS. And I have to wonder, is it really cheaper to haul the Kulluk around like this than to bring the workmen and materials to it? Especially if they end up losing it.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1217
16. MissNadia
7:18 PM GMT on December 31, 2012
Quoting calpoppy:
The harbor master in Kodiak has denied a safe port for the Kulluk. My son spent most of Friday night on the 60 helicopter in 50 mph winds and ocean swells to 35' to hoist down 2500#s of diesel injectors to get the tug moving again. At one point his pilot called out abort while my son had 400#s of equipment on the sled 75' down on a cable. His shoulder is still sore from the effort to keep the sled from spinning out of control. They were going to drop a mechanic down. But deemed it to risky. The tug was not only going up and down at 15% but also sideways. Very difficult and dangerous maneuver for the 60 helicopter.

Glad you son is back safe and sound .... Happy New Year
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15. osdianna
7:02 PM GMT on December 31, 2012
Whose decision was it to remove the Kulluk from the specially built dock there at Dutch...in December? DOH! There goes the cost of our gasoline again; somebody has to pay for this stupidity and I'll just bet it isn't the owners/boardmembers at Shell who made the decision.

Great reporting by the Joebloggers, especially UK.

Happy New Year all...stay safe and warm.

Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 765
14. calpoppy
6:05 PM GMT on December 31, 2012
The harbor master in Kodiak has denied a safe port for the Kulluk. My son spent most of Friday night on the 60 helicopter in 50 mph winds and ocean swells to 35' to hoist down 2500#s of diesel injectors to get the tug moving again. At one point his pilot called out abort while my son had 400#s of equipment on the sled 75' down on a cable. His shoulder is still sore from the effort to keep the sled from spinning out of control. They were going to drop a mechanic down. But deemed it to risky. The tug was not only going up and down at 15% but also sideways. Very difficult and dangerous maneuver for the 60 helicopter.

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13. insideuk
5:25 PM GMT on December 31, 2012
They have had a few hours of slightly better weather and managed to reattach two lines to the 290 million bucks worth of Dead Duck Kulluk - just before the next mahoosive storm system is due to reach them.

Meanwhile there are 250 EXPERTS gathered together to 'evaluate the next step'...

What is the saying – 'all hands on deck'?

I doubt 250 pairs of hands will be enough to hold on to it but it's one of the few options left open to them at this juncture...
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12. iaotter
3:26 PM GMT on December 31, 2012
happy new year to all. Iowa is 'enjoying' weather that includes -15 degree (F) windchills. Even the half husky dog is not too keen on going outside for more than a potty break. If dogs could be litter trained, I think she would be signing up for the course about now.
All the Christmas company has left and the house is blissfully quiet and dog has the sofa to herself. I have time to check out weatherblogs again and there is no noise but the wind, the radio and the washing machine.
Here's wishing you all a fun, interesting, and wonderful 2013 and thank you to JoeA for all the great photos and blogs and to the rest of you for such interesting commentary! This is a fantastic blog community.
What's the insurance on Kulluck if it is 'lost' at sea? Their decision to move it in the worst possible weather with only one boat makes me wonder if the pretty Christmas tree and all its fairy lights might be worth more as a decoration for the fishys.
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11. dix608greys
3:22 PM GMT on December 31, 2012
What a mess with the Kulluk and it's "rescuers". Thanks for the recap, UK.

And Happy 2013 to all the Joe contibuters.
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10. dotmom
1:41 PM GMT on December 31, 2012
CHEERS for a Happy New Year! The best of health to all for the coming year.

"Leroy" how are you feeling? Here's hoping you are getting back to normal. And the rest - stay healthy and happy. xo
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9. insideuk
5:28 AM GMT on December 31, 2012
The Kulluk has broken free AGAIN and in violent storms is drifting 20 miles south of Sitkinak Island...
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8. Debbie56
5:07 AM GMT on December 31, 2012

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7. insideuk
4:45 PM GMT on December 30, 2012
I had been wondering how many crew are left on board the Kulluk whilst it is under tow. Now I have found out, since on Saturday a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter had to rescue all 18 crew members off the rig in extremely heavy seas.

Why the hell did they need 18 crew on it whilst it was under tow?

Did it really need to be towed back over Christmas anyway?

Why in mid summer did they use 4 tow vessels to bring it to Dutch Harbor but in deepest mid winter (with a very poor 5 day weather window) did they decide the Aiviq could go solo? What was the back up plan in case of emergency?

This is Alaskan waters. Not known for mill pondage in December.

The story has gone from bad to worse over the last few days, and this sequence of events has been cobbled together from reports available online – I've done my best to get this straight...

Last Thursday the Aiviq lost it's tow line when a big heavy new buckle snapped in 25 foot seas. Then on Friday the Aiviq tow ship lost all four of its engines due to contaminated fuel. So both were drifting in heavy seas. The Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley was on patrol nearby and quickly arrived on scene, connecting tow lines to both vessels. But with 40mph winds and 35 foot waves it hadn't the power to hold them both and all 3 were slowly drifting towards the Trinity Islands.

Then the tow line from the Alex Haley snapped and became entangled in its own propeller. Now the Coast Guard boat had little option but to limp back to Kodiak alone. Two more Coastie cutters were launched, the Hickory from Homer and the Spar from Kodiak.

Meantime the Aiviq crew ordered a few spare parts to come by helicopter, a small 2000lb prize package, and they worked on getting engines at least partially restored using an uncontaminated second fuel supply and duck tape.


The now renamed Dead Duck Kulluk, having no ability to control its own movement (a condition now renamed as a Leroy?), was left violently tipping about in heavy seas. At one point my Christmas tree was just 12 hours from grounding, still with 18 crew bouncing off it's internal walls/ trunk. Seas were too heavy to attempt rescue at this point. It must have been SHEER HELL. Shame they could be fired if they recount the story for us.

Shell called in its nearest tugboat, the Guardsman. It arrived Saturday morning as the Aiviq engineers restored power to 2 of its 4 engines and got the eggs and bacon going.

Probably. I'm sure it's hungry work mending boaty type stuff but I'm no expert, despite appearances to the contrary.

The Guardsman got lines onto both the Aiviq and the Kulluk but it hadn't the power to prevent yet more drifting. Too much PULLAGE. At this point the Jayhawk helicopter arrived to lift the crew off the Kulluk “as a precautionary measure...to mitigate any potential issues with that crew (being) onboard”.

Like spilling their coffee on the carpet?

But guess what happened next – the Guardsmans tow line snapped! Surprise!

Now the Nanuq arrived, having been sent out from Seward at the first sign of trubba (when the media found out). It, together with the now functioning and breakfasted Aiviq towed the Kulluk OUT TO SEA to weather another big storm front that will cross their path today (Sunday).

Joining them for their trip OUT TO SEA into deep water will be a third tugboat, the Alert, which is chugging out from Prince William Sound. That tug was brought up to Alaska in 2000 as part of the Alyeska Pipeline disaster response system. Only the Aiviq and this new arrival, the Alert are capable of towing the Kulluk alone (assuming the engines are firing, obviously).

And so the saga continues, way out at sea, away from prying eyes, under a unified command assembled in Kodiak by Royal Dutch Shell, the Aiviq's owner/ operators Edison Chouest, the state Dept of Environmental Conservation, the Coast Guard and local officials.

They are preparing for any eventuality.

Which is comforting, is it not?

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6. happytoberetired
2:30 PM GMT on December 30, 2012
DH, you should definitely report your side effects ( that seems too mild considering what happened to you)

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/m edwatch-online.htm
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5. DHaupt
7:13 AM GMT on December 30, 2012
Leroy has been "out of it" for the past few days. I had a bad reaction to a muscle relaxant called BACLOFEN --BAD BAD BAD BAD DRUG! Much of my neck problem can be attributed to the drug; it relaxed my neck muscles to the point that they couldn't support my head any longer, Much worse, potentially was that it put me in a state of narcolepsy: I would start to do something, like type in a blog, only to wake up 20 minutes later with my fingers on the keyboard and nothing on the screen. Always, my tongue would be between my teeth but not bitten. Still....

Last night it really came to a head, I woke abruptly to find three tablets including Baclofen, my insulin pen injector set to 22 units and the cap off the needle; Thank God I hadn't taken any off it. The insulin was correct, so I did that. Two of the pills were for drugs that I have taken before without ill effect and trusted, so I took those. But, the Baclofen went back into the jug and into the closet.

There is a concern with stopping Baclofen abruptly; it can trigger mild seizure and hallucinations. This is especially a problem for MS patients who have been on it for years sometimes. The recommendation is that if you experience any sort of withdrawal effect, just take a small dose of Baclofen.

So, I've been off it for 24 hours now, no problems. Though the neck has been a little more tender, the Norco is well up to that. AND, I have been able to keep my head up nearly all day!

Too bad that Kulluk isn't topped with the "All Seeing Eye"
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4. Rotty3
3:41 AM GMT on December 30, 2012
Happy (and lucky) '13 to all Joeblogger fiends and friends!

All the best to the Kulluk and the crew aslong w/ everyone else out in the bad weather.

Thankfully we "only" have scraped the freezing (down to -3C/26F) so far. But the flip-flopping of deep spring weather one day and semi-winter weather the next followed by more spring-y like stuff is not fun. Wished it could make up its mind. Stay chilly for a while.. then warm up. And not 1 - 2 inches or more of rain every few days. Alas, good thing I don't control the weather controls lol.
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3. Ylee
6:22 PM GMT on December 29, 2012
Big game today....:)
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2. ladyhomer
6:15 PM GMT on December 29, 2012
Just heard on the news about The Kulluk being in trouble 50 miles off of Kodiak said the coast guard was going to rescue the crew off of it , We have had some very nasty weather lately & it is still nasty out there in the water. It has been up to 40 here & raining we got 2 feet of snow but the rain has melted almost all of it now also very icy out.
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1. insideuk
1:56 PM GMT on December 29, 2012
The Coast Guard is throwing lots of resources towards all this winter time to-ing and fro-ing of Shell equipage. Can the Alex Haley tow both the Kulluk and the Aiviq to safety at the same time or will they need to send for more RESCUE TUGS?

The first boats Shell should have invested in were rescue tugs, but that would have been bad PR wouldn’t it?

Nothing to see here, move along please, women and children first…

You’ve blown the annual new camera budget this time Joseph. It looks like a very swanky upgrade from what I’ve read on Amazon, though the REBEL T2i may yet meet its match once local weather/ first time user conditions kick in. No longer will you have to concern yourself with ‘hot pocket’ loose burning batteries trubba either. You’ve gone lithium power pack.

The clinic staff will be much relieved. They can cut back on cooling unguent freight.

The low light performance of the new REBEL will revolutionise filming the fireworks if it arrives in time AND you can figure out how to open the box…

You will remember to tell us where to look for your book won’t you. Assuming you didn’t accidentally delete it during submission?

It sounds cruel to even suggest such a thing but at this point I can guarantee readers that there is a man in Dutch Harbor, Alaska breaking into a run across his living room towards the computer to check if the iMac monster isn’t already feasting on all his memoirs. It too, has a nice buffet set up.

I had a lovely fun Christmas, lots of laughter with a 2 year old niece who thought all her Christmases had come at once. They had. She had to have a nap in the middle of present opening, it was all SO EXHAUSTINGLY EXCITING.

I have a story to share...

In preparation for adult life my sister decided this year to gently shift her 2 teenage sons into the GIFT BUYING scenario. Up to now they have had gifts FROM THEM bought for them, wrapped up for them and delivered for them. As kids do.

Over the last 18 months or so both boys have started to gain a bit of independence by being allowed to go shopping with friends, or sometimes just being left to their own devices in the mall for an hour whilst my sister goes off and visits shops she wants to look in. Strangely she doesn’t get a thrill out of sports wear and computer game shops like they do – it makes sense to split up for sanity’s sake.

Up until now they have spent every penny they have on THEMSELVES. Indeed, when their mother had her birthday back in November, they had still failed to spend any of their own money, instead they wrapped up her own chocolate bar – from her own secret chocolate stash, and presented it back to her on her birthday as a gift. They then ate it for her.

You can see they needed some further guidance on this GIVING malarkey.

So, in December she took action. She took both boys into town, took them right up to the door of a clothing store and pointed out a shelf inside with some brown fluffy novelty socks on display. They had a moose face on them. This, she told them, was what she wanted for Christmas this year. She told them the price, gave them the cash from her own purse, and sent them in together to make the purchase ALONE.

On Christmas morning the boys proudly presented her with her gift. They had purchased an entirely different pair of brown socks that lacked a moose face, but they were at least SOCKS. She hid her disappointment and thanked them profusely, desperately trying to instil a bit of the ‘joys of gift giving’ into two self absorbed teens.

Later that day my sister looked forlorn as she saw her sister in law parading around in the very same brown moose faced socks that she had requested from her sons. She quietly explained that THOSE were in fact the ones the boys were supposed to have purchased, pointing from the moose faced socks to her quite plain facially unadorned pair of feet in exasperation. The boys didn’t seem overly concerned about their mistake.

Whilst we all gathered for our festive meal the topic of conversation returned to said socks, as my sister said she hoped the shop would still have some moose socks left, perhaps now reduced in the sales, and that she planned to try and get a pair the next day. The boys asked her why she needed 2 PAIRS of socks? Like it was an unwarranted expense during times of recession.

She pointed to the heel of one sock and said they had inexplicably already developed a large hole.

“Oh”, said her youngest son looking slightly sheepish, “that might have been me with the scissors when I was wrapping them…”

There is always next year.

Happy New Year all.
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1815

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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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