Archives for February 2015

Seems like only yesterday

The article above about the Duluth Shipping News, and its publisher custodian  and head writer, appeared in the Winter, 2014-15 edition of the Port Authority’s quarterly magazine, North Star Port. Click the pic for a larger, more readable version.

Waiting and waiting

If UPS isn’t delivering that spare part you need for your refrigerator or the computer you ordered last month, it is probably in a container on one of these ships sitting at anchor off the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. I recently purchased an Apple IPhone to be delivered by UPS. They gave me a tracking link so I could follow its progress. Most of what I buy is sitting in a warehouse somewhere in this country, actually probably in an Amazon warehouse. This one started in China so I followed it while it waited at the dock in China, made a stop in Japan and then headed across the Pacific Ocean.
With West Coast docks off-line due to a strike by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) with port operators along the U.S. West Coast, industries of all kinds are preparing for the worst. And in a global economy, the worst can be anything; coffee prices may go up as importers move to use air planes to move the beans, cars you bought in Japan that will not get here and parts for cars built here that depend upon parts built there will not get off the assembly line. And it goes the other way too. Fruit, meat and many other commodities are not getting to countries that depend on US farmers for food. And that is just the cargo that is waiting to be shipped; there is a lot of cargo sitting in the containers on these big ships; some of it perishable.
Pictures courtesy of the LA Times; more here:

My Twitter feed, not so good

   Some years ago, I thought Twitter was kind of stupid. Then I started to read what David Carr of the New York Times was writing about it. Then I started to read most everything that Carr wrote. He alerted me to check my Twitter feed each morning, if I was a reporter or if I wanted to know what was going on in the world. So I started to do that and now i know everything that is going on in the world. Unfortunately, last night, as I was going through my Twitter feed, I read davidcarr2015-02-13_9-58-41that Carr had just collapsed in the news room of the New York Times and died in the hospital shortly after. As he promised, many read about his death in their Twitter feed last night before seeing it anywhere else. At first, I did not believe it, thinking it was just another internet false alarm. I went to the New York Times web site where his death was confirmed. Earlier in the evening he led a panel discussion. The picture here was taken then, just hours before he died. In reading about him last night, I found he was a Minneapolis guy and worked for the Reader many years ago. I read him there too, long before Twitter or the Internet was invented.
   Twitter lets you know on the side of the screen what topics are trending at the moment and it came as no surprise that David Carr leads the list today. He was only 58 and I will miss him greatly.
   We will soon lose Jon Stewart who may have been the only good source for real news we had, even if it was disguised as fake news. Stewart of course is still very much alive and pondering his next adventure.
   Bob Simon died Wednesday night in a hospital after a car accident in New York City. It was the same hospital where Carr would die the next night. Simon was a foreign correspondent for CBS and has been on Sixty Minutes for many years. He stood out from many news people with a unique style and insight. During the early days of the Gulf War in 1991, while he was on assignment to cover the war, he was captured by the Iraqi army, imprisoned and tortured for 6 weeks, taking his job of foreign correspondent a little too seriously.
During his imprisonment, CBS prepared an obituary tape to be used if he did not return. It took him a long time before he could look at his ‘obituary.’ Unfortunately, we may soon be able to see it now.
   I experienced a new, and somewhat strange, emotion after reading about Carr on Twitter. I of course never knew him but I read his many tweets every day and felt a little like I did know him. I lost a friend I came to know only 140 characters at a time but for a long time.

Some ice, some water and two sharks

On Tuesday, February 3, 2015. No groundhogs here so we settled for some dancing sharks on the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Here is a link to the full Katy Perry Super Bowl 12 minute show