By: joealaska , 12:47 AM GMT on January 14, 2013

Filled up the Tahoe a few days ago and it was close to a hundred bucks. Looked at the pump and it said $4.75 a gallon. Felt like I was already paying to repair Kulluk...

The Deadliest catch helicopter (that one with the big camera hanging off its nose) was flying all around a few days ago. I knew those boats had to be nearby. I checked MarineTracker and saw a few on the screen. Northwestern, Time Bandit, Wizard, Ramblin’ Rose to name a few. Probably a new boat or two this year.

Yesterday that helicopter was buzzing around low at the new small boat harbor outside my window.
I could see Northwetsern docked there, and I am sure several others were there too just out of sight.
EARLY this morning, still very dark, the copter was flying very low between the local hills. Seemed a bit dangerous to me.

Then this afternoon I looked to my right out my other window and saw several crab boats way out in the bay near Hog Island. There was at least one small tug out there, I assume the copter was nearby.
The boats were certainly not fishing, but just posing for the cameras. At one point they seemed to be following each other in a tight circle. I assume there are some actual real time unstaged stuff they film too. “Cue the crabs!”

Besides our office lady we only have 2 warehouse guys right now along with myself. If someone takes a day off, it is very tight. Or if someone gets sick, like my #1 guy did this week. Flu. He missed 3 days. During that same time my office lady had to take her kid to Anchorage for minor surgery. One of those days we had a huge order to fill. My one warehouse guy kicked ass and we took care of business.

It was only two of us on Friday, our VESSEL DAY. Mid morning was calm, but when the first freight showed up an hour later it started snowing hard, big wet flakes. Then the blowing. Soon the dock was covered with 4 or 5 inches of wet snow. Our forklifts do not have special tires for snow conditions. Normally we try to plow the dock with a small plow attached to the fork lift. But we did not have the manpower.

My one guy made some deliveries of what just arrived, so it was Lonesome Joe manning the dock. A few small trucks came in with odds and ends that were not part of the full trailers. So I was on the forklift in 5 inches of virgin snow unloading a few fairly big crates. Slip Slidin’ Away. It was fun. I wish I was able to do it more.

That was two days ago. Temps in the low 40s and heavy rain have pretty well melted all that snow.

Yesterday I picked up a hitch hiker (standard procedure around here). He said he came to town trying to get a job on a boat. Coming to Dutch with no job yet is quite a gamble, at least he had arranged for a place to stay. But he wondered out loud if he was too old. When I asked him he said he was 40 years old. That is pretty ANCIENT to do the physical labor required on most of these jobs. Most of his co-workers will be half his age.

I dropped him off and wished him good luck. He will need it.

Some good NFL games today. EVERYONE loves football!

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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14. WunderAlertBot
5:03 AM GMT on January 18, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. Ylee
3:31 AM GMT on January 18, 2013
UK, this winter storm will present you with an excellent opportunity to take Betti out and pretend you are Joe driving the Tahoe! :')
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. dotmom
10:10 PM GMT on January 17, 2013
UK: That Whitby scene looks horrible. I read that last year was England's wettest ever. No wonder everything wants to fall into the sea.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. hanfyh
10:08 PM GMT on January 15, 2013
Hi all.

That forklift control is impressive.

Australia is fortunate in that it is floating on a sea of oil and gas. It will be a long long time before we will ever use it all. There are huge oil and gas fields that have had explorative holes drilled to see whats there and then the holes were capped and sealed until needed later. Under the Great Barrier Reef which is a marine park and has a ban on drilling that keeps them out is all oil but they cant drill there but they have drilled around the edges and theres heaps of oil under there too.
All our crude oil is light crude, they tell me, we just have to import our heavy oils.
Unfortunately successive governments have allowed the oil companies to close down their refineries here. That wasnt smart. Now we get the oil out of the ground here ship it to Singapore and they refine it for us and then ship it back to us. We dont have the cheap fuel that we should.
I have a Toyota van and it holds 75 litres of petrol plus a little in the reserve tank. That’s 20 US gallons. 4 litres equals 1 US gallon and 1 imperial gallon (for the English) is about 4.25 litres.
Yesterday I filled it up. Just over $100. I paid $1.45 Australian a litre for it. Thats $5.80 a gallon US. 1 Australian dollar is equal to $1.05 US.
We have been paying this sort of price for a few years now. We don’t like it either.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. Ylee
9:30 PM GMT on January 15, 2013
I couldn't see the video, but I've done the coin trick with a forklift! It's really not that hard! :)
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9. insideuk
8:22 PM GMT on January 15, 2013
A happy belated birthday wish for you Osdianna!

We've had very little rain since the New Year so the giant puddles had more or less started to recede, if not completely disappear. Though local rivers remained very high, almost outside their banks...and then the snow came and brought Jack Frost with it.

He has a habit of outstaying his welcome when he arrives from the east.

Yesterday we had several inches of snow, it came down in half house brick sized lumps during the middle part of the day. Fortunately it didn't last as long as the forecasters had threatened and we had a couple of hours of sunshine to help clear the roads a bit before the frost set in overnight.

As a result I now have an amazingly noisy thin pan crust of crunchy hard packed ice pizza – which is deafening when cars drive over it. I got woken up a lot last night. That Jack Frost is a loudmouth. He is likely to remain until the weekend, when we shall find out if the big wet mild weather front from the west can push back the big dry freezing weather front from the east. It's likely to dump mahoosive amounts of snow somewhere over the UK, and currently my vote is going with Wales getting lumped with it.

Though that may be just wishful thinking on my part.

That landslide that was threatening to tip a row of houses down a cliff side in the North Yorkshire town of Whitby is still making news. Another large section of hillside has slipped close to the same area, this time taking a chunk of burial ground with it. It's been raining human remains in the place that was the inspiration behind Bram Stoker's novel Dracula...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. osdianna
4:21 PM GMT on January 15, 2013
Forklift first thought same as DotMom's...way too much time being wasted. Funny thing, though; I had been wondering if Joe actually had to get in there and do hard labor or just move the clipboard...HA! I actually had this whole sequence of events go through my mind with the forklift in a storage container...weird.

Sunday was my 68th birthday, so off I went to a friend's house to watch the Seahawks game; I have to say it was a GOOD GAME, despite the outcome. I can hardly wait until next season, when maybe they can learn to score before being down 20 points in the second half. Russell Wilson is fun to watch!'s your all-over Lake district doing? Has the water finally drained into the soil?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. beell
1:15 AM GMT on January 15, 2013
I'm pretty sure not all of them are, iaotter!
A coin with a slightly raised edge to "catch" on the fork works well-as the end of the fork drops off the edge of the coin. Kinda like tiddlywinks. I am making an assumption that a sizable number of regular JA readers are familiar with tiddlywinks.

I would agree, dotmom. Note the lack of any faces, logos, etc. to ID the forker or employer.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. dotmom
3:46 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
Well Beell, something tells me that "master forker" has way too much time on his hands!
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5. iaotter
3:01 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
Beel, that is an awesome bit of video.
I had no idea they could be controlled with that degree of precision.

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4. insideuk
12:56 PM GMT on January 14, 2013
I've been paying MORE THAN DOUBLE the current Dutch Harbor fuel prices FOR YEARS NOW. I must have personally funded the original construction of the Kulluk, though you will note I was not given my preference in paint finish after the 2012 refurb. I did, however, INSIST ON the installation of a fully secured spice rack in the galley.

A team of 784 experts are currently assessing it's condition and are due to report back to Shell on any damage that might prevent a decent curry being prepared before their 2013 Peppery Permit runs out.

It seems you need a permit for everything in Alaska. Probably even for hitch hikers...

You after a prize for contributing towards taxi drivers hunger?

Your local taxi drivers seem rather disputatious according to the police blotter. I'll keep checking reports to see if a man fitting your description has been causing complaints.

Ooops, too late

2224 - Local taxi drivers have reported sightings of a man laughing maniacally to himself whilst tipping hitch hikers into a ditch off the end of his out of control forklift....without the necessary permit.

2232 - Loose man reported.

2237 - Request to borrow a large kennel.

2300 - Loose man found and turned in for adoption.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. beell
11:16 AM GMT on January 14, 2013
Master Forker

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2. joealaska
5:20 AM GMT on January 14, 2013
JUAN EAR is back after a 10 day or so vacation.

He took a couple bites, and now has retreated to the shadows.

He sits out in a new wet snow storm coming thru.

CHOLLA, I packed up a few fox, but no freight southbound. Plenty of air holes. Fox are coming...

Pretty sad commenting on ones own blog.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. Rotty3
4:54 AM GMT on January 14, 2013
Ouch on the fuel prices in DH! Sorry it's so high. I guess you ARE paying partly for the oil drilling?

At least, Joe, YOU can look forward to a slight offsetting check from the AK government. The rest of us can't. LOL

Here the prices are around 3.40/gal.

Thanks for the nice (rose-y) snow pictures. Temps here in the mid-to upper 70F (24-26C).

As for work, sounds like you need extra folks. But I DO remember how badly you had to fight for some decent workers in the past. Maybe the 'ancient' guy would be good to help in the warehouse?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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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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