Caveat: Cruise Ship #1

Today was in fact a rather historic one, here on this remote Southeast Alaskan island. We were visited by our first cruise ship, ever. Although Jan alleges that in the 40’s or 50’s a cruise ship attempted to visit the island and ran into a rock trying to get into one of the harbors, and because of that the cruise companies became afraid to come back. That story has the feel of urban (rural?) myth, but it’s amusing.

The cruise ship that visited was actually surprisingly quirky. It was not one of your standard 3000-passenger behemoths, such as visit Ketchikan or Juneau each summer. Instead it was a “long-distance” cruise. I met passengers who had been on the boat for 3 months, having boarded in Sydney, Australia.

This unusual long-term aspect of the passenger list was very good for our little island – because unlike the coddled and generally pretty lazy passengers of the mass cruises, these passengers were curious and quite adventurous. During their 8 hour stop at Klawock, many boarded the small circulator buses that the tribal groups were running, and so despite the boat being parked in Klawock, our gift shop in Craig (7 miles away) saw over 50 tourists who we’d never have otherwise seen. So it was good for our business, and the passengers we met were all quite interesting to talk to.

It was an international group, too – as could be expected. I met more British, Australians, Germans and even a few Chinese, than Americans. I even met a posh couple from Mexico City, and impressed them with my Mexico-City-accented Spanish, which, though rusty, still serves me quite well, nearly 40 years after my having lived there. ¡El gringo achilangado habla de nuevo!

Driving north to Klawock after work (I went to pick someone up at the Hollis Ferry), I just happened to be driving by the Klawock harbor channel in the moment when the boat was departing. So I pulled over and took a picture.

A modest-sized long-distance cruise ship departing Klawock through the Klawock channel, with some silhouetted trees on the left and a treed island in the background

If this business of hosting cruise ships is successful, it could transform the island. I’m a bit skeptical that the powers-that-be (the businesses undertaking the enterprise is a consortium of tribal corporations) can pull this off. Our island is a bit too chaotically libertarian, in cultural terms, for such projects. But we shall see.

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Caveat: Tree #1925 “This’ll be the last daily tree”

This tree (I’d say you’ll have to select one on the ridge in the distance) was in Xalapa, Veracruz (Mexico). I took this picture in Summer, 2007.


In a few days I will begin a major journey. I will travel to South Korea (first time since 2018) and Australia (first time since 2019).

I have been feeling strongly that this daily tree feature has become stale. I am suspending the daily tree feature on this blog. I might resume it at some point, or I might not.

Given how poorly I’ve done with posting other material, that really only leaves my daily poems. I’ll stick to those – they feel like a habit that has a stronger long-term reward.

During this upcoming trip, I’m sure that I’ll post some other materials, in the strictly diaristic mode, when possible.

When I get back, I’ll think about new ways to change things around and try to help my blog enter its 3rd decade in reasonable health.

[daily log: walking, 3km;]

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Caveat: Tree #1924 “Ascent”

This tree was near the summit of Mount Halla (한라산), which I ascended with some coworkers on a “team-building excursion” in early 2011. It wasn’t a hard trip – there are groomed trails to the summit – but it is the tallest mountain in South Korea.


[daily log: walking, 2km;]

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Caveat: Tree #1923 “Under the bridge”

This tree is a guest tree from my past. I took this picture looking down from a pedestrian bridge near my work in South Korea in October, 2011.


Art and I went to our back-to-back dentist appointments. These were actual dental exams with the itinerant Southeast Alaskan dentist (the island has no dentist of its own). Visits with the dentists are always fraught with a bit of anxiety, for me, as my oral health is tied in with my post-cancer monitoring. And dentists are always rather amazed at the reconstruction and scarring in my mouth. Anyway, it all “looks good” according to the dentist – and impressive considering the radiation and cancer and all that being part of my history.

[daily log: walking, 4km;]

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Caveat: Tree #1921 “The stoic”

This tree stood stoically under partly cloudy skies.


“City Sanitation Dept Guarantee: Satisfaction guaranteed or double your garbage back.”

[daily log: walking, 4.5km; retailing, 9hr;]

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Caveat: Tree #1919 “The protector”

This tree is a douglas fir I planted two years ago. It’s not really doing that well, but it’s not dead. It’s being protected by a pink, plastic yard flamingo, which I’d placed last summer to protect it from Richard’s excavator.


“If a child refuses to take a nap, are they resisting a rest? Or are they preventing a kid napping?” – the internet.

[daily log: walking, 2km;]

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Caveat: Tree #1918 “Moon meets lake”

This tree (perhaps the one in silhouetted foreground?) was beside a lake under a full moon in the part of northwest suburban Seoul known as Ilsan (Goyang), where I lived for many years. I took this picture in June, 2011.

a view of a small lake in a large park with a full moon in the sky, moon reflected in the lake, a skyline of many brightly lit buildings in the distance, some faintly visible tree silhouettes in the foreground

I’m not happy these days. I feel too overwhelmed: the store (work), complicated family issues (mother’s health), my uncle’s cantankerous Spring restlessness…

[daily log: walking, 1km;]

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Caveat: Tree #1912 “Best at looming”

This tree was really good at looming.


“If you’ve been led to believe that you deserve free money for doing absolutely nothing… You may be entitled to compensation!” – the internet

[daily log: walking, 2km;]

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Caveat: Tree #1910 “전라남도”

This tree was on a mountain in South Korea. I took this picture while on a day-hike with a friend in southern Jeolla province, in August of 2010.


“I am as unmotivated as someone who is so unmotivated they can’t even come up with a colorful simile to describe their lack of motivation.” – the internet

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 1km;]

Caveat: Tree #1907 “From the north side”

This tree (the one photobombing from the top) was on the north side of the bay.

A rocky beach in the foreground, and the waters of a southeast Alaska fiord, with a steep green shore opposite, in the distance, where some structures can be made out, including a house, a dock (with a boat)

I’ve never managed this view before. There’s a wide spot in the road, where you can stop, and a little trail down to the rocky beach, and you can look across the water at the City of Rockpit, which is my home. Currently the City hosts 4 residents – double its population only a few years ago (which is to say, our neighbors Brandt and Kim moved in next door, about a year ago).

Humorous quote found online:

To all the people that always said I’d never amount to anything because of my procrastination: / Just you wait.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km; retailing, 9hr]

Caveat: Tree #1906 “Tax Day”

This tree failed to pay any taxes whatsoever.


Taxes stress me out so much. And I have to deal with taxes not just for myself, and the excitement of now being “self employed” and all the bonus paperwork that comes with that, but also, I have to make sure Arthur’s taxes are filed and in order. I’m quite annoyed with a thing called “DocuSign” – it’s a service used by accountants, financial institutions, etc, to do “online signing” of documents (e.g. tax returns). DocuSign asks verification questions to verify your identity. These are based on things like previously lived-at addresses, previously owned cars, etc. Well think about how this works for someone with memory issues (e.g. Arthur). It’s an accessibility nightmare! So for DocuSign, identity resides with memory, and loss of memory is a loss of identity. I’m not sure this is how it works from a legal standpoint, and it’s certainly not how we want things to work from an ethical standpoint, I don’t think.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km; retailing, 9hr]

Caveat: Tree #1900 “A fashionable address”

This tree has a fashionable address on C Street in suburban Klawock, Alaska.


I took the car to the mechanic today, while Jan watched the store. That went okay – the car needed a seal replaced on the transfer case, and I wanted to check the front wheel bearings and ball joints and such (weird noises sometimes on cornering, and it’s been a problem before). Plus oil change, and switch out winter to summer rims.

But overall it was a horrible day, with the trip to the mechanic being the only pleasant part. The store is stressing me out – ambushed by invoices, bookkeeping problems and overwhelmed by what feels like an impossible “more money out than in” scenario. I’m experiencing “buyer’s remorse” over this project to run the store.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 6km; retailing, 7hr]

Caveat: Tree #1897 “Jumping the gun”

This tree was near where I used to live in Ilsan, South Korea. I took this picture in October, 2017. It had a tendency to jump the gun on Autumn, always ahead of all the other sidewalk trees.


I experienced a motivational deficit, today.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 1km;]

Caveat: Tree #1894 “The cowering Jeep”

This tree was towering over my cowering, ill-used Jeep.

Looking downhill at a very tall old conifer, among others, with a snow-covered gravel area in the foreground with a snow-covered 90's Jeep cowering in the lower left corner

Elmer comes in the store. We are talking about who is native, who is not, among locals on the island, here. You can’t always tell who is “native” – there’s been a lot of mixing over the generations, so it mostly has to do with enrollment in a tribal group, appearance doesn’t always tell you a lot about a person’s status as a native. Anyway, somewhat out of the blue, Elmer says, “You know, Richard Nixon was Tlingit.” I said, “Oh really, how’s that?” Elmer, not missing a beat, says, holds his two hands up in the “double peace sign” and says, “I am NOT a crook.” This, somehow, proves that Nixon was a Tlingit.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km; retailing, 9hr]

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