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By: joealaska , 7:48 AM GMT on February 15, 2013

The last couple days have been winterish in Dutch. 22 degrees with 42 mph winds computes to negative 140 with the wind chill factored in (rounded up). Or so.

We have one of our sales reps in town this week, so he has had the Tahoe to drive around. The Tahoe is about to be cliffed. Transmission issues abound, dollars are flowing to fix it. It has a band-aid fix right now, with a big fix soon to come.

So I am driving the old van again. Step back in time. Since then the drivers door has almost blown away TWICE in our wind events. It has been fully replaced once, repaired several times. Right now it usually closes completely, but not always.

Last night it was blowing and snowing pretty effectively. I glanced out the window looking for vulpines. Instead I saw the drivers door hanging both agape and akimbo. This morning I sat in a snow drift as I drove in. I elected not to shovel it out. Then there is the driving with that door loose.
It latches into a false sense of security, then at just the right moment it pops open. Slamming it shut will not actually SHUT it. It hangs open. Factor in 42 mph winds, curving roads, using the right hand to talk on the never-ending phone, using the left hand to hold the door shut so it does not open into a passing truck, and steering with.... Well Sir, you have Challenge Driving.

The Tahoe, the old van, and our old flatbed will be YOUTUBE fodder when they careen down Ballyhoo. Have to wait until that road opens again in early summer.

Foxes continue to queue at the porch. JUAN EAR is the regular and comes right up on the porch with very little enticement. JUANDA will occasionally accompany him, but she will remain in the background waiting for a special effort hand out. Like me throwing out wet cat food bombs over JUAN EAR to where JUANDA can enjoy. The logistics of it all is a bit stressful to us all. JUAN EAR goes to wherever the food is being tossed, so it comes down to timing on my end to have both fox feeding.

Then there is SNOW BLACK. Juanda brought him in a few nights ago. The rarest of the rare, COBALT FOX. He was very defensive, holding off Juanda from the chow with open jaws, but never actually biting. He was very nervous and ran around with with frenetic energy.

Film to be posted on youtube.

The next day he came back alone, but just ran around for a while and left.

My boss told me to go ahead and buy some tickets to fly away for April and May. I will. I may never see the duplex again. So I will be throwing out all the crap, and packing up all the personal stuff. I guessed I asked for this.

So the cats are outta here. Just not sure where we all will land.


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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13. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
7:04 AM GMT on February 18, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
12. ladyhomer
12:07 AM GMT on February 18, 2013
See where they had a small plane crash in Dutch Harbor a small Grant Airlines crashed on runway it came from Akutan no one hurt thank goodness!!! looked like soething happened to the landing gear or wheel . The news article said it was a little bit windy when it arrived--Duh!!!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. dotmom
10:10 PM GMT on February 17, 2013
Oh, oh Cybersuze, I think I saw Dutchie perk up her ears!!! Actually, Spec had a bit of a far-away look???
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. cybersuze
4:07 PM GMT on February 17, 2013
Here kitty kitty!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. DHaupt
9:42 AM GMT on February 17, 2013
Thanks Joe.That clears things up in my mind a lot. You would be basically working 2/3 time on an annual basis. It's pretty much the plan you described some months back. It also helps me understand about the kitties and where to pile your stuff. It somewhat resembles the annual work schedule of the fishermen that you serve. Well, good luck with it.

We've been enjoying an early Spring, but not for long. Serious rain is back in the forecast for next week. We need at least an inch this month even to maintain our drought status; so far we've had 0.05"!

A friend in Moscow tells me they didn't actually see the meteorite, but that is all they have heard about on the news since it happened. It was pretty awesome. I am waiting to be convinced that this rock wasn't some sort of travelling companion of the asteroid that missed us.

I'm not at all surprised to see the size and density of the thing being revised upwards. I thought it was very funny that some of the video was marked: "WARNING THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE". Of course, it was all in Russian which I don't speak. Nonetheless I understood every word of what some people had to say! Strong language was entirely appropriate.

One asteroid impact could really ruin your whole day!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. joealaska
3:51 AM GMT on February 17, 2013
Hey Dave, here is the "plan"...

I am off April and May. I see my Dad for his 90th birthday.

I am thinking two seperate road trips, one 2 weeks, one longer. I will have a TURN AROUND policy. See something interesting, TURN AROUND and photo it.

See the family all the rest. Oh yeah, and a big train trip.

I will take one to two million photos, and an equal amount of video.

I return to Dutch for the next season, and look to take off November and December. I will continue this schedule as long as is needed before I step down.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. insideuk
2:49 PM GMT on February 16, 2013
I will leave you to peruse the official Kulluk towing plan FACTSHEET in this linkage Link

It talks of the THREE TUG TOW actually requiring a fourth tug to 'escort and observe' and the Nanuq will also be on scene 'as a precautionary measure'.

Allow me to translate.

One tug to tow.

Four more tugs to hold up the privacy screens.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
6. insideuk
2:35 PM GMT on February 16, 2013
I enjoyed an open Alaskan Pollock and salad sandwich for my luncheon. However I have come to believe it is not just the fish around there which are CERTIFIABLE.

This losing doors thing is becoming HABIT with you Joseph, be it the north porch door to the wind, the hatch door to the laundry ceiling or the old white van door dropping off.

I’d be worrying about you losing your grip if I didn’t know it left Alaska without you some time back and hasn’t been seen since.

Hence a 2 month long vacation to try and find it.

Have you had much practice with train travel or should we notify Amtrak in advance of your booking? I’d hate to think you could end up innocently uncoupling the carriages whilst strolling to the buffet car for a snack.

However, being the practical person I am I may have some helpful transport ideas to tide you over until more sensible solutions present themselves locally. Or until your mollycoddled sales rep hands back the Tahoe luxury ‘all surrounded soundly’ executive level transport. What is a small transmission issue when you have full latching capability on all corners?

He doesn’t know he was born that lad.

Perhaps you could call in some help from the neighbours and have your loose and dangly bits WELDED back on? This is a bit of a permanent fix but you still have the passenger door and windows to exit from in an emergency. It seems altogether a better idea than to exit involuntarily into the path of oncoming traffic every time you are presented with a curve in the road.

For that would surely cause you to spill hot coffee and splash your granola to the ground, and all during a very important business call too.

Think what damage that might cause to the desktop computer and printer you wear strapped to your frontage. Heaven forbid you might accidentally tear your computer listing paper outside of the permitted perforationage. The local clinic would charge hideous amounts to suture your invoices back together.

Alternatively you could lose the van door altogether in exchange for a plastic flap. Take a pair of scissors to that big cold room curtain you have in the warehouse, cut a door sized shape out. Then have Gnu Guy lie across the van roof to hold it in position whilst you drive.

OR - buy yourself some waterproof trousers and forego the Gnu flappage. We had a groceries delivery man when I was a kid and he had taken the obvious solution to this problem – he’d deliberately ripped the door off his transit van to enable him to hop in and out easily after every 10 yards of driving. In fact he could leave the van running slowly towards the junction and nip into the shop for a pack of cigarettes and a newspaper, before the traffic lights had turned to green he’d be behind the wheel, taking back command from the trusty brick.

But since you are already at genius level in terms of time-motion studies yourself, I think you should go the whole hog and order a proper electric milk float for business use. Our old milkman had one for his daily rounds, it coped with any weather, pulled huge loads and provided easy access to his milk bottle crates. His young ‘helper’ would just hop onto the back between deliveries. Plenty of room for Gnu. Just remember he’s there before you reverse it right up to the loading bay and crush his legs.

Have him beep loudly, or scream loudly, or something.

I’m sure these days they make milk floats with Bluetooth too. This really is a feature you should INSIST upon for any new vehicles. It is essential that all drivers give their full attention to the road and other users upon it, and with Bluetooth you and all local road users could be on a hands free conference call with each other and thereby avoid any possibility of accidents…

Plus, if you could continue your business without holding onto the phone that would free up another shoulder and chin combo to accommodate the fax machine. Just be cautious about where the thermal fax paper is held - that stuff is notorious for causing paper cuts.

Maybe get Gnu to run alongside with it on a spool?

Assuming you haven’t broken both of his legs on the loading bay. Obviously.

Just note it down in the accident report that you would have stopped reversing sooner but you thought it was nothing more than a paper cut...

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
5. DHaupt
5:26 AM GMT on February 16, 2013
As much fun as it might be to contemplate, I think it is a very bad idea, sending three vehicles hurtling into space off the Ballyhoo cliff. I hope you are on vacation should anything like that occur. It is an even worse idea to provide the prosecution's key piece of evidence in the form of a video posted on YouTube!

I also read, many years ago, I think it was a Darwin Award, of a fellow who decided to rid his life of an especially detested old clunker by sending it off a cliff on the Oregon Coast. Unfortunately, as he was about to exit said vehicle after starting it on its roll to eternity, his belt got caught on a door handle sending both offender and offendee off to heaven where they could cherish one-another for all of eternity. In other words: JUST DON'T DO IT!

Snow Black is such a wondrous animal. I suspect that he has every reason to be nervous. He has a price on his pelt. Nothing draws attention like a moving black spot against an endless vista of show. The Finns and Russians instinctively understood this in WWII; the Americans and British did not. No one can know how many men died because of such colossal cultural stupidity.

I am still not understanding what your future plans are. You talk about running vehicles down a mountain in June-July and also of checking out on your vacation, cats, bags and baggage perhaps to never return. I can't help wondering what the odds are one way or the other.

Dix608greys, so sorry about your friend. We just said good-bye to a ten year-old boy who died of the complications of leukemia. His name was Henri, a boy originally from Brazil whom our daughter, Kathy, and her husband unofficially had adopted as a grandson. We only met him once at their place. His bone marrow transplant went horribly wrong and he died of GvHD -- Graft versus Host Disease. I was going to include a photo of Henri, but for some reason WU won't upload it and won't say why. I marked it as "Portrait" several times.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. beell
2:18 AM GMT on February 16, 2013
Well, It's a story a mother would probably never find funny or amusing, but the van story got a nice lol here.
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3. osdianna
4:58 PM GMT on February 15, 2013
Jeez, Joe....it IS time to leave! It's like the Universe is now pushing you out of town...time to listen up. Do you remember what it is like to not have a cellphone ringing all hours? or being warm (except of course for vacations)? Getting a real night's sleep? I think it will take you a long time to get back to "normal"...might as well start sooner than later.

Russian meteor...good thing no one had their finger on the nuclear trigger...thinking it was an attack. Weird that it happened on the same day the asteroid hurtles by the earth.

It will be interesting to see where you land this next time, and I hope we get to continue the journey with you. Stay tuned....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. dix608greys
3:24 PM GMT on February 15, 2013
ditto, Dotmom! Gosh what if you got hurt? Then it would cost you AND them so much more. Just TRY and be careful.

Although you may not feel the same, I am almost sorry to see you leaving DH. I have so enjoyed the blog and learned so much about a place I will never get to. However, life goes on and we will all be looking forward to the next part of yours.

I lost a friend of 46 years the other day to leukemia. Weirdly it was very sudden. She had been feeling badly for a few months but was diagnosed with leukemia on Thursday and died on Tuesday. I was with her until 3 hours before her last breath. It was very hard to sit helplessly with someone whom I loved and not be able to ease her suffering.

Love the new photos and look forward to the newest video.

Hope everyone had a fun Valentine's day.
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1. dotmom
2:18 PM GMT on February 15, 2013
Good grief! Can't your company provide some safe equipment?
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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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