This I Where I Work

Originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen
Well, okay, I don't work too much onboard the ship. . . and no, I don't work in the building to the left. . . it's all about the pier for me, baby.

This is Balentyne Pier in Vancouver, B.C. For those of you who have been wondering what I'm doing with myself when I get to travel to Vancouver now you have a frame of reference for where I am. Of course this doesn't show any of the hectic activity that goes hand in hand with a vessel on a turn around day. . . this shot is taken before she's even tied up to the pier.

Thirty minutes after this picture there are multiple cranes and conveyor belts unloading luggage from the vessel. A minimum of three shell doors (just large doors on deck 1 which is just below the level of the pier at the tide shown here) will be open and either off loading luggage or loading provisions and other stores. My job? Open a fourth shell door and shove a bunch of mattresses inside. Sah-Wheat.

This last weekend was a blast. Plenty of sushi to be had in the VNC and the work went smoothly enough. Only loaded two-hundred and ninety-eight mattresses but that's only cause we never found a way to dispose of them in Canadia. Got myself a spanky new Sonata with a sun roof and took to the hills a bit. Vancouver is definitely a city that'd be worth exploring at some point. The real kicker is that Victoria is just a ferry ride away and most of the people I've talked to seem to like it even more.

Back in the oppressive heat of Southern Florida. Roommie ad I are gonna have to have a chat pretty soon cause she still ain't showin' the love for the A/C. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to never run the air conditioning. . . . . . . if we lived in a place where you don't need air conditioning. I think my sleep in starting to suffer. The other day I thought I was funny. . . and I knew my sleep was starting to suffer.

Well, the end of a long corporate day. Worked on expense reports, pounded out a couple applications for Port IDs and wrote a couple dozen emails. Only made one international call today, and that was to Canadia (which probably don't really count) so it was nice not to be on the phone a lot. Maybe this weekend I'll get crazy and actually call people that I don't have to work with. What'll they think of next? Fun? Probably not, I hear that'll never be invented again.

Time to trade industrial a/c for automotive a/c.
a/d out.


So Much For Forties

No, I'm not talking about the fine malt beverages sold at your corner store. And now that I've gotten rid of half of you I'll get down to business for the remaining two.

There's no rest for the lazy (is that how that saying goes?). Here I thought I might actually get two weekends in a row in Florida to hang out with all my new friends (just let that one slide wouldcha?) and instead I'm getting shipped back up to Vancouver for the weekend. So much for my forty hour weeks. Not a bad gig really. We'll see what kind of rental car I get this time. Hell, the step up I took last time from my car to the GT was big enough that if I made that step again the thing would have to fly!

It seems that the mattresses will not be defeated. The latest battle is once again with disposal. Seems Canada has a law which prohibits importing used mattresses in any way shape or form (short of them being fumigated while they are still on the ship, which ain't gonna happen). So the ship will now take on two-hundred less mattresses than we (and by we, we mean I) planned and they'll have to stash the old ones all over the ship (passengers outta love that, "Oh look, Honey, the galley is through this door. What do you think the galley looks like?" Lady, the galley looks like the floor has been covered in old, stained mattresses. Get out.) and then finally dispose of them in Juneau. Who woulda though that it'd be cheaper to get rid of hazmat in Alaska than it would be in Canada?

Actually, the only way I could make this weekend better would be to hitch a ride on the ship from Vancouver to Juneau (only three days) in order to watch only three-hundred mattresses get disposed of. Probably one of the only cruises I'd really be interested in. That can't happen though cause on Monday I have the first meeting for the Quest drydock in Hamburg next fall. Kinda looking forward to seeing the scope of the work.

Hope to get more regular again. Bought some powdered fiber yesterday.


B.C. Wheels

'Stang Me
Originally uploaded by A Ditlefsen
Just wanted to show my pretty little "compact" rental car that I drove in Vancouver. Not too shabby. Unfortunately the weather didn't hold up and I didn't get to drive around with the top down too much. But I suppose I got a lot of work done and had some amazing sushi so the weekend wasn't a total loss. I gotta admit that I was pretty juiced to drive a Mustang. It's a GT no less.

Back in Florida finally and don't have any immediate travel plans. . . we'll see how long that holds up. The weather here is what some people would call warm and what I would call ludicrous. It's gonna take some getting used to. I figure a dip in the pool at least once a day is probably mandatory and the air conditioner is gonna have to come on at some point at the house, condo, apartment or whatever the heck that place is where I live.

This is my first week of puttin' in a regular forty-hour work week. Guess I better get to it. With a little luck maybe I'll actually have my own cubicle in the farm here with my own extension and my very own handy little business cards and maybe a new computer, etc., etc., shall I continue.

Things aren't perfect but I can't complain about this life.
Hell, who would listen?



Got into Vancouver around midday. Customs took forever but I was rewarded with a rental car that was a little above what I'm paying for. I'm not gonna spoil the surprise before I can get a picture posted. It's something stupid. . . but not as stoopid as a Hummer.

My hotel is in a rather unsavory area. Think Tenderloin, E14th St., and certain parts of West Oakland and then just add a couple thousand more addicts to the mix. Good times. I'm probably gonna punk out and drive most places. . . especially considering the car I've got.

Did a little work today but the bulk is tomorrow and then I can try to enjoy the city. I'm off to see if I can enjoy game one of the NBA playoffs at the moment. As usual I can't get internet access in the hotel room and workin' in the lobby of this particular establishment leaves just a bit to be desired.

Wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who made the effort to see me in the Bay Area this last weekend. Most likely I'll be back late summer or sometime in fall but you never know. I could move to Guam.

Oh, and if you're bored and like bikes check out the new and improved(?) Drunkcyclist site linked to the right.


Big Surprise

Of course the title is supposed to be dripping with sarcasm, but I don't think they've created a font to express heavy sarcasm yet.

Big surprise that I haven't posted for a week and chances are that the time between posts will increase with the passing of that same time until I end up somewhere completely foreign again in time. Right.

Big surprise was what my mom got when my brother (from the W.I.) and I flew in to California last Friday to help her celebrate her 60th birthday. She wasn't expecting it and after a weekend of celebration things are winding down. After a few days of camping in the redwoods of Northern California a lot of things can be seen with proper perspective.

Big surprise that I'm flying up to Vancouver for a one day job on Thursday.

Even bigger surprise that the one day job involves loading MATTRESSES on board a cruise ship.

Biggest surprise is that I fly back to Florida on Sunday and that I don't have any more flights planned for work or for pleasure at this moment. We'll see how quickly that changes now that I've identified it as something possibly good in my life. Truly I'm not really sure what I'll do when I get home, sit down and realize that I don't have a packing deadline for my next trip. Jinxed myself again.

I should be in Vancouver on Saturday with no work to do so hopefully I'll get a few pictures and maybe find time to post again. . . assuming the hamsters in my laptop can keep up.