Monday, March 18, 2013

Making ice in Alberta is different than making ice in Florida.

One of the difficult parts of building an ice factory in Edmonton, AB is the only people you can get to guide you through the process are American.  Nothing against Americans but they have no idea what an Alberta winter is like.  Making ice here is a lot different than it is in Florida where the temperature is hot and hotter.  In Alberta the weather in the winter is cold and colder depending if you are driving a car or waiting a bus stop for a bus.  Nothing is worse than standing outside in minus 20 degrees Celsius weather with the wind seeping through you clothing.

It isn't the cold that is the problem.  If it was always cold we could calibrate our machines to work at that set temperature and then be done with it much like they set their ice machines in the States to a small temperature range and are done with it.  The issue is the changing of temperatures from one season to the next.  Instead of having to calibrate our ice makers for one season, we at Columbia Ice have to do it for every mayor temperature change.  Even more fun we have to do it through a process of trial and error because getting help from someone who has never danced in the white tundra of the prairies during the winter months isn't a lot of help.  Not like anyone from Florida can talk hockey.  The reason why the Panthers make so little money is because people in Florida look at hockey players and wonder why they are wearing so many clothes in the Florida.

Not that we at Columbia Ice can't handle adjusting our ice machines to handle the different weather.  We got mad skills here in Canada.  His name is Oscar and he is our refrigeration guy who likely could put the Iceman down with his thumb, but that is a story for another day.

Until then, do remember for all your ice needs give Columbia Ice a call.


The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161
Follow: @ernieiceman
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Science of biodegradable ice bags

I feel like I need a degree to explain the science of biodegradable ice bags.  Apparently plastic takes a long time to break down.  We have all seen plastic bags clinging to fences which tend to live longer than we do.    With Columbia Ice's bags this isn't such a big deal because we have added an additive which will cause the bags to breakdown many times faster than traditional plastic bags.  Instead of me trying to regurgitate the science behind these new biodegradable ice bags I am simple going to send you to a webpage of the company that makes the additive we add to the plastic of our ice bags to cause them to break down faster.  http://www.epi-global.com/en/how-it-works.php

There is no regulations saying we have to do this.  It does add some additional cost to the bags.  However we believe it is well worth the cost because a great many people in Alberta care about our environment.  In the ice industry the machines that make ice are fairly similar so it is hard to get a competitive advantage.  The one area we at Columbia Ice felt we could stand out above our competition was by being first to go biodegradable with our plastic.     
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If green and local matter to you then Columbia Ice is who you call for packaged ice in Alberta.  Our main delivery area is Edmonton but we do offer ice by the truckload anywhere in Alberta.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places


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Things I never thought I would hear a boss say.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Things I never thought I would hear a boss say.

The first day I started at Columbia Ice we were putting small 5lb bags of ice into bigger bags to make palleting and shipping easier.  The boss, Ernie, looks at me and tells me that I am working too hard.  I think time stopped in that moment as my eyes moved up to meet his.  Did my boss actually say you are working too hard to me?  Apparently he did.  Never heard him say that since that day.

What I did hear Ernie say or get an email from him saying was take the day off, WITH PAY.  This made me  do a double check.  Click the details on the email to make sure it wasn't spam or someone pretending to be Ernie.  What boss in his right mind says take the day off with pay?

Makes you wonder about spending so much time around ice.  Maybe working in the ice distribution industry causes frostbite on the brain.  Maybe frostbite on the brain leads to bosses saying take the day off with pay.

Wouldn't that be nice?

I must be dreaming, someone pinch me.. ouch..

For all your ice needs give Columbia Ice a call.  We are Edmonton's Ice Company.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161
Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places

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