By: joealaska , 5:54 AM GMT on March 24, 2013

OK, I like Louisville’s chances in the tournament. I predict it. Rick Pitino will have won championships with Kentucky and Louisville. The Commonwealth will be divided. Either way, you win.

Gonzaga? Gonza. Sorry OS, they did not look good in either game. I like them myself. Georgetown. New Mexico. C-YA. I remember that EVERYONE will lose, except one. Many GREAT teams will lose. Except one. Whatever happened to Kentucky? Where were they rated in the pre-season? C-YA. I love KENTUCKY. But rankings are very ephemeral. This year had to be the most disappointing year EVER.

My brackets reflected few upsets. Wrong PLUTO BREATH. But I got Louisville winning.

KULLUK is still visible from my window. Although this afternoon it was almost invisible in a snow storm heading in. Today we had the first snow since THE GREAT BLIZZARD OF A CUPPLA THURSDAYS AGO. The season seemed to have broken, but it will be another month before it is sure. Even as I type the wind is increasing.

This job is unrelenting. My point all along. Long days? Bring it on. But after 5 months, SAVE IT.
Thursday, the day before CRAZY DAY FRIDAY, we were getting ready to leave on time. The phone rings. A boat has arrived and will need a large order delivered at 6 AM.. We stay, waiting for the order, receive it, then fill it. Well into the evening. We head home tired.

I start to prepare a meal and that phone rings. A boat that had a delivery from us at 6 AM tha same day needs a few more items. 16 hours later. We had a 6 AM delivery scheduled next morning. One of my drivers did a 6 AM delivery THIS day. That is when I do my thing and just DO IT myself. It is my turn. We were tod the boat was leaving at 7 AM, so we had to take care of this tonight.

Next day, that boat that gave us a late order was still at the dock until 11 AM. We could have filled the order in the morning versus staying late.

That boat leaving at 7 AM? Still here at noon. Being a good cook does not mean good management.

Our company is 24/7. (Saturday Night Live says 24 weeks a year, 7 days a month...). All calls are forwarded to my cell phone. But our customers are often not aware that we have ONE CREW doing that 24/7. Odd hour deliveries mean that driver is going on fumes. The obvious answer is going to at least two shifts.

All I can do is train my good employees to take care of business. I have good employees, very good. But when I leave, my phone is turned off. I started here with zero training and made it work. These guys have better. Hey, life moves on.

THE CATS are aware shit is happening. DUTCHIE is waking up every morning and wanting big belly rubs at 5 AM. She will take advantage of me sleeping on my side, jumping up and laying on my hip. Around 6 AM she is running around, jumping on the bed using me as a springboard (DOWN UK!) over and over, just as I approach REM.

Bottom line, little sleep.

FLUFF knows what cat carriers mean.

I will take them on a couple trial rides, where they are released back into their home surroundings. Before they know it they will be on the BEACH.

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9. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
6:12 AM GMT on March 25, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
8. beell
8:27 PM GMT on March 24, 2013
Joe's business is a service business. Good service is good for business where there is at least some competition.

I spent a few school summers working in the offshore oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico. If you asked anyone that needed anything, "When do you need it?", the standard answer was "yesterday".

Who wants to be responsible for a delay leaving the dock with necessary equipment and/or supplies because you wanted to give the service companies a break? You order the stuff, tell 'em you need it right now, and move that item to the "done" list. Better to have it on the dock a-waitin'.

A reputation for reliable and timely service is hard to obtain and easy to lose. Likewise for someone who understands this fact and has the work ethic to follow through. Joe will be hard to replace.

Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 158 Comments: 20175
7. dotmom
7:58 PM GMT on March 24, 2013
Dave: I like your style of imparting knowledge and experience. Couldn't have said it better myself. I suggested something to calm the traveling cats but got mostly boos. Maybe your suggestion will have more of an impact.

Also, your idea of a surcharge. Exactly - what are those people thinking. As long as you jump, they'll keep shouting the commands. You have to be in charge at some point. As far as I recall, I've never seen a big "S" across Joe's chest - or have even seen him wearing a cape!

And the two-shift idea is also a good one - it seems.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1671
6. beell
7:57 PM GMT on March 24, 2013
From Joe's entry:
"The obvious answer is going to at least two shifts"

Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 158 Comments: 20175
5. cybersuze
7:40 PM GMT on March 24, 2013
Just so's you know, the parents are outranking you on the NCAA brackets~!
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 334
4. osdianna
3:45 PM GMT on March 24, 2013
I'm right there with you, Dave, on those guys who tell you asap, then hang around. Hefty surcharge? you bet! "Go get it yourself at Safeway, Bucko!"

As for cats and carriers...yep, last minute...not to mention all the packing and stuff disappearing; cats hate change. They are radar-sensitive to "something's up".

I had to be somewhere else last night, so missed the game, and the Zags falling apart. I actually get TBS, the station on which it appeared...glad I missed it; now I can watch some interesting games...in between mucking out the future temporary home to Fluff and Dutchie...boxes of books, mostly. Books I meant to read when I retired (HAH!), books I can now read via Kindle if I get one of those (double hah!).

UK...what can I say? To use an old American west idiom, "It jest ain't right!" Rain yes, snow not so much. Maybe it's time to fly south for at least a while...but it may have to be by helicopter off your roof.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 35 Comments: 763
3. insideuk
12:25 PM GMT on March 24, 2013

This time last year parts of the UK had temperatures at 71f and we worried about the drought situation we were facing.

Fast forward a year and we have 15 foot deep snow drifts in some areas and major flooding in all the others, whilst we all shiver through the coldest March in 50 years.

Derbyshire has had snow falling almost constantly since Thursday evening – it is now Sunday morning. We have had around 8 inches of the white stuff in the urban areas, some melted whilst the new stuff topped it up, some froze whilst the new stuff got blown back up to where it came from in 40mph winds.

Last year my chocolate Easter egg was in danger of meltdown.

This year I've eaten it already.


Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1814
2. insideuk
12:08 PM GMT on March 24, 2013
Apparently the odds of filling out a perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 QUINTILLION.

That information was easy to find online but still required a bit of subsequent research on my part, since I had never heard of a QUINTILLION.

It turns out that a QUINTILLION is a 1 followed by 18 zeros IN AMERICA.

In Britain it is a 1 followed by 30 zeros - which is a NONILLION to you guys.

I, personally, had a 1 in 9.2 NONILLION chance of a perfect bracket.

But I can construct Ikea flatpack furniture with ease.

Go figure.

I predict an American team will win it...

I read that Shell's vice president for North American exploration, David Lawrence, has left his job “by mutual consent.”

Mr Lawrence is the chap that told a Dow Jones reporter last year that drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas would be “relatively easy” as oil in the shallow, low pressure areas of the Alaskan Arctic were “simpler to access than other deposits.”

What were the odds of him being right about that?


I have it on good authority that he is also crap at building drawer units.

To be fair the cats are suspicious of your intentions regarding the cat carriers with good reason. Last time Fluff was shoved inside one she experienced the road trip to end all road trips from which this blog takes its title, AZ TO AK. Last time Dutchie was shoved inside one she experienced major abdominal surgery and was told to sit still for 5 days.

Yeah rightio Dad.

She's not using you as a springboard over and over.

She's trying to squash you down enough to fit in that bloody cat carrier yourself.

I predict ODDS ON for trubba ahead...

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1814
1. DHaupt
9:20 AM GMT on March 24, 2013
Joe, how much competition does your company have in Dutch? If you don't really have any or even much, it strikes me that one way to deal with these thoughtless, self-centered boat captains and cooks is to hit them with a big fat surcharge on rush orders where they just forgot or had a bad hangover or whatever and expect people to go without sleep, meals or even a few hours relaxation because of their screwup. The old saying is: "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!"

I certainly wouldn't hesitate to tell them: "That's what you said the last time and you were still here at noon the next day. You need to get your Schtick together." It's really a question of common decency and showing some respect to your support people. I'm sure it can't possibly work, but there, I've said it and have wanted to for a long, long time.

Do you have any tranquilizer for your kitties? I've used Benadryl on our cats in the past; I don't recall the dosage anymore, but I'm sure you could find out. It's pretty short acting as well. I'd get them calmed down a little a few days early. You don't want one of them to do a runner at the last minute. We've had that happen in the past as well. Our policy is to keep the cages out of sight until the very moment of capture. They know what those things are for and that sometimes, fur-persons get put into them and vanish forevermore.

Just a few more hectic days to go. To hell with the cats, save the tranquilizers for yourself.

Member Since: March 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1282

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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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