Monday, December 22, 2014

Should a video of a kitten being burned alive be allowed on facebook?

Recently I stumbled across an article talking about how Facebook would not remove a video of a kitten being doused with gasoline and then burned alive. Here is part of their response to calls for the video to remove.

“While we do not allow content that directly encourages violence, we try to create a safe environment that balances people's desire to express themselves and in some cases condemn what they see,” the response reads at one point. “Facebook's community standards say that graphic videos are shared on the site as a means of condemning the violence depicted, and raise awareness of instances of animal cruelty or atrocities committed worldwide.”

1.  "While we do not allow content that directly encourages violence..."

We live in a society where there are those who get a rush out of getting a negative reaction out of people online. We term those sad, pathetic souls as trolls.  The 15 minutes of negative fame that comes with posting a video of burning a kitten online directly encourage cruelty to animals to those trolls because it gives them the rush they desire.  They know because facebook will do nothing, all they have to do is be cruel to an animal on video, post it on facebook and watch people get angry.  Take away Facebook and social media would stupid still happen without a platform to share?  

2.  "graphic videos are shared on the site as a means of condemning the violence depicted, and raise awareness of instances of animal cruelty or atrocities committed worldwide.

Showing graphic videos of cruelty to animals is OK because it raises awareness does not fly with me.  Nobody asked the kitten if it wanted to be burned alive to raise awareness for animal cruelty.   The video wasn't about stopping animal cruelty.  It was two idiots thinking it is funny to burn a kitten alive.  People condemning the video in the comment sections is exactly what trolls want.  It gives them the rush they need and love.  

If facebook wanted to raise awareness about animal cruelty, a news article showing how the company helped law enforcement find and arresting the two offending individuals would do a lot more.  By allowing the video to exist and be shared facebook are not only condoning the action of burning a kitten alive but glorifying it by giving the two trolls the look at me fame they desire.  

If I could delete my facebook account I would.  I only have an account to run a few pages for businesses.  I do not use it to keep in contact with friends because I prefer to interact in more tangible ways.  After reading about this issue I look forward to the day when I can delete my account for good.  

Graham

BTW breastfeeding and giving birth images and videos still get deleted just not a kitten being burned alive.

Why does Arctic Glacier owned Polar Ice continue to pretend it is Alberta owned?

Columbia Ice is the locally owned Ice Company in Edmonton and area.  Polar Ice used to be Alberta (locally) owned when Jerry Antoniuk owned Polar,  however when Jerry sold his ice company to Arctic Glacier, Polar Ice Express, became American owned.  I do understand that when companies get bought and sold things like websites take time to be updated. It has been over two years since  Arctic Glacier  purchased Polar Ice which is more than enough time to update the website with accurate information.   Western Ice which Arctic Glacier bought just recently is forwarded to Arctic Glacier's main website.  Of all the ice companies in North America you would figure Arctic Glacier would of learned not to mislead people from its previous anti-trust issues in the US and lawsuits in Canada. 

You might think Arctic Glacier leaving Polar Ice's website saying Polar is Alberta owned is not a big deal.

Polar Ice is AMERICAN owned.

However for many small businesses like Columbia Ice, which compete against larger foreign owned businesses like an Arctic Glacier, locally owned which Alberta owned implies, is the one selling feature unique to all locally owned businesses or ice companies in our case.  To a percentage of the population locally owned is a big determining factor in deciding which company to use or products to buy.  That person could very well Google "ice companies Edmonton" and find Polar Ice Express's website.  They could call Polar, thinking it is a locally owned ice company and then when it comes time to deliver, it is Arctic Glacier doing the delivery not Polar.  It is the type of misleading bs that does not belong in business.

Locally owned matters to a lot to me.  I would never work for a business that was not Canadian owned.  I love the small business owner.  I believe strongly if you want people to support your business, you must do all you can to support those people by investing back into the local economy. Sometimes, like with our Vogt ice makers, it isn't possible because those you have to purchase in the US as there is not a Canadian manufacturer of industrial ice makers.  However when possible we try to purchase parts and services from local contractors and suppliers.

Sure I am biased against Polar and Arctic because they are our competition at Columbia Ice. Actually it is that exact reason I need to fire warning shots across the bow of the sleeping giant.  Locally owned is what sets companies like a Columbia Ice apart from Arctic Glacier and Polar Ice.  Unlike the #oilers, the Iceman is not afraid of giants.  I just look them in the eye, pop them in the nose and they will fall like Goliath to David's stone.
David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osmar Schindler (c. 1888)
Icemen fear no giants.

I am not asking Arctic Glacier to change the fact they advertise 7 pound bags ice even though I have not seven pound bags of ice since Arctic Glacier bought Polar Ice.  All I am saying is be honest.  Don't lie Polar, about the fact you are part of a large faceless US corporation.  Embrace the fact you are sucking money out of Alberta and sending it to our star spangled friends across the border.  Gas stations tried the same thing years ago when large brands pretended to be small individually owned gas stations.  It did not work then and it won't work now because people want transparency.  They are tired of being mislead.  Polar Ice you are proudly American owned, not locally owned.  

If you happen to come across this blog because you were looking for ice and not news from the ice industry. Ernie is the owner and I am who people refer to as the Iceman.  Together we make up Columbia Ice, Edmonton's ice company.  For all your ice needs give us a shout.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Reduce heat stroke with water and ice | Columbia Ice

Had to give a double take this summer when one of the managers of a company that does outdoor work said work would stop without ice.  I never imagined ice being so important, but it was to people who had to work under the hot Alberta sun.  I guess drinking warm water just doesn't quench the thirst and keep workers cool on a hot summers day like water cooled by Columbia Ice.  Made me smile hearing that work would stop without ice.  It also made me a little perturbed because the company I delivered ice to worked on weekends and if they needed ice to work, then I had to deliver ice on the weekend.  There is always a catch.

Paving crew working on a highway.
Ice keeps outdoor workers cool in the hot Alberta sun.

When you think about it logically ice isn't just a luxury.  Anyone who follows football knows that heatstroke can kill.  Of course that is the extreme example, a more reasonable one would be heatstroke can cause employees to miss work.  If that employee has to go on WCB because of work miss, employer WCB premiums go up.  Water does help with keeping the core body temperature cool.  Ice cold water likely works better.  I am not sure, just guessing here because they didn't let me into medical school which is a good thing for everyone   One of the 'cool' things about ice is not only does it help keep people 'cool' it can also help lower those WCB premiums.  If a company is proactive about safety, the people who run the WCB will lower your WCB premiums.

Ernie is the owner and I am who people refer to as the iceman.  Together we make up Columbia Ice, Edmonton's ice company.  For all your ice needs give us a shout.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to increase the amount of money you pay for large bags of ice in #yeg?

I hope it is food grade cause ice is food.
Icemen of Columbia Ice are grumpy folk.  We are prone to fits of turrets, random moments of road rage and have been known to throw garbage, the point being we are not exactly the most rational of people.  One of the big problems with having clients is you can't throw garbage at them without losing that client, which helps keep us in business.  It is a viscous cycle where we have to be nice to the client to keep the client.   This is where the Machiavellian lie "the customer is always right" comes from according to me, the Iceman.

What do you do when a client mistreats you as an ice supplier?  Not just any client, but one which you have had a good relationship with for years.  A client that has always ordered a great deal of ice.  Forget what you would do, what do we do when that client, stops ordering ice, starts making their own bagged ice from their restaurant ice machines and storing that ice in our ice merchandisers?  Ice merchandisers which have to make their value each year in ice sales.  They put the ice in what appears to be garbage bags which likely are not food grade.  When it comes to plastic food grades matters because bad chemicals don't leach into the food and ice is food.  Water is not but ice is.

What we did to the misbehaving client was charge rent on the freezers and for a year the rent will be reasonable.  We asked the people at the Edmonton Garrison if we could borrow a tank which they laughed at and said leave or we will shoot you out of a tank.  I stayed, cause it sounded fun.

We actually put a very reasonable rent on the ice merchandisers, too reasonable if you ask me.  Then because they pissed me off, putting ice, the true expression of water in plastic bags, using our merchandisers all summer without asking, thinking we were none the wiser, got the price per bag bumped a $1 a bag.

Frankly that is a temporary arrangement because one of you who reads this blog is going to call us and say I could use two big door double freezers full of your ice every week until the end of time.  It could happen because it has happened.  You never know with the internet how someone will find you or what is that one single variable that causes that person to press a button or dial a number if anyone still dials and say Ernie Iceman I need ice.

Ernie is the owner, I am the iceman and if you want to increase the amount we charge you for large bags of ice, now you know what to do.


only got a warning because they used food grade ice bags.
If you need big bags of packaged ice we are your ice company.

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


Previous posts:
Ice delivery Edmonton, who you going to call?
The competitive world of water and ice in Alberta.
Want a new ice merchandiser.
Bearded dragons, cats, lost dogs and the men of ice.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A soldier dies and Canadians lose a little bit of their freedoms

Terrorist and a soldier. 
I remember when a soldier use to die to protect our freedoms.  Now it is a soldier dies and Canadians lose a little bit of their freedoms.  Frankly it would of happened without Cpl Nathan Cirillo death.  I don't know the right answer to the question of "how to find a Tommy Terrorist that looks and acts like the person next door until a big boom?"  It is a difficult question that shouldn't start and end with more police and surveillance powers.  Losing more of our freedoms as Canadians cannot be the solution to a man with a gun who shoots a soldier.  As soon as we change who we are as Canadians and a people because of terrorists, ISIS wins.

The US didn't win the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq.  Osama won when he got America to over extend itself with two wars, on two fronts and lose themselves in the process.  The United States I grew up with was better than one that would resort to torturing other human beings.  Kill a soldier, hack any card reader on the planet, behead a journalist, turn our disenchanted into killers with a video and we are willing to go to war again.  We are willing to spend billions of dollars sending planes to drop expensive WMD and on computer programs that monitor all forms of communication online.    

I suppose my only refuge is an Iceman is too boring for any computer program to flag. I also bleed maple leaf and if I am going to die for any nation or cause it would be for Canada.  The thing that really gets me about the recent shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo is he would of given his life to save Tommy Terrorist.  

The Iceman

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Iceman almost loses it

Sometimes we have to pick up our ice merchandisers which we have brought out to one of our clients.  Moving a big two door beast isn't exactly the easiest of tasks which is why you rarely hear of people stealing ice merchandisers.  It is not a gentle process and often the big ones don't fit through normal door sizes.  Today me and the oldest man alive, Andy, and myself went to a client who shall remain nameless.  What happened today could of happened at any client site and frankly was my fault.  I am a hot head.  Always been rather emotional and so when something pisses me off I will tell you in a very blunt way.  

Obviously if we got the merchandisers which is just what us in the world of Edmonton ice call a giant freezer, in to the building, we should be able to get them out.  There was a big garage door with a big pickup truck in the way.  My coworker, the ancient one, Andy, asked who drove the truck and said we needed him to move it.  Asked twice and was told no.  I asked a third time before losing my fucken marbles on the guy because he was scared to back it in again due to the fact there is construction with a four foot drop near the edge where you pull out.  He wanted us to wait for him to finish his work which he didn't say how long it would take.  He just said no, I am not moving my truck.  

I think some yahoo who worked at the place got involved and tried to help the guy pull out.  That is when I realized I had made the guy driving the truck nervous.  He went too quick, didn't take the time to check his mirriors and put a huge dent in the right side of the truck.  I had to yell for the guy to stop because the spotter was clueless.  It was a glorious clasterfuck as we would say in the navy.  Mistakes were made at every level.  

The building we were at during the construction area should not of allowed trucks to back in.  You have one area where to load the stuff when it comes to big objects that don't fit through doors.  It wasn't safe to have anyone back in and really wasn't needed.  All the equipment was on wheels and could easily be moved.  It would of been 20 meters if that which I did pulling an ice merchandiser with a moving dolly.  From a safety standpoint you should not of been allowed to back up into the bay.  

The guy himself should of realized you can't block a shared entrance for any length of time and expect other workers to wait around for you to finish your work, especially if you don't say give me a few minutes.  Never in a million years imagine someone would say no.  It was shocking.  No I won't move the truck.  If you are pulling out, regardless who is giving you crap take your time and check your mirrors.  Maybe if it is really hard to back in you shouldn't back in.  

Then there is myself, the iceman.  I should of realized that the guy was simply nervous about having to move his truck.  Instead of reacting with anger I should of offered to help guide him out and back in after.  I could of calmly asked how long was he going to be.  There was a right way and a wrong way to interact with people.  In the end I am only angry at myself my dear friend, my bag of ice.  

I talk to ice.. at least I don't see dead people.  

Iceman

Friday, October 10, 2014

Did you know Polar Ice Express no longer exists in Edmonton?

Every year during the dead season in the ice industry I like to go through the various keyword phrases that matter to our business at Columbia Ice.  One of the things I have noticed this year when doing so is Polar Ice Express is still showing up in search even though Polar Ice has not existed since Arctic Glacier bought the company, almost a year ago.

This seems odd to me because a lot of people in Alberta used Polar Ice as an alternative to the American owned Arctic Glacier.  Now if they call the number on Polar's website, they get Arctic Glacier not Polar Ice the company whose notorious history led many to search for the alternative.   It has been a year and a bit since the sale.  At what point do you kill the brand of a company you bought?  
Google web page image showing Polar Ice still in search.
Polar Ice does not exist anymore


I don't know the right course of action when buying another company since I have never bought another company.  If you have gone through this process or have some insight please let me know in the comments.  I would also be interested to know what Google's policy on keeping defunct business listings in their search listing.

Image showing Arctic Glacier being sold with a Polar Ice price sign.
What is wrong with this picture?



Ernie is the owner and I am who people refer to as the Iceman.  Together we make up Columbia Ice, Edmonton's ice company.  For all your ice needs give us a shout.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161
Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places
Does google know your Edmonton liquor store exists?
How to use bagged ice Edmonton in anchor text?
Why we chose the name Columbia Ice for an ice company?
We deliver ice even in a blizzard. | Columbia Ice



Monday, October 6, 2014

White collar theft or frostbite on the brain? | Shaw cable

In Edmonton when it comes to internet the two companies that pop to mind are #shaw and #telus. A friend of mine recently got Telus and ran into all sorts of problems so I went with Shaw.  My mom had Shaw years ago and so I hopped online and using the internet, ordered internet.

When you go through the ordering process online with Shaw it has a few areas where you select different options picking the type of service, when and how to contact you, etc.. the usual type info you would expect from a cable company.  The reason I mention this is because the people on the ground who I dealt with, seemed to not have a clue about the information I entered online when ordering.

1.  I selected to be contacted by email and then Shaw proceeded to call me to tell me the technician would be coming by on Saturday.

2.  Shaw's website asked me if I wanted the person installing the cable to come in the morning or afternoon.  I selected Saturday morning, changed things around so I would be available on Saturday morning, only to be told by Shaw when I called wondering where they were, that they had set me up for an afternoon appointment.  I had to change things again so I could be home Sunday afternoon because I wasn't available Saturday afternoon.

3.  Cable man when he came asked me if I wanted TV with the internet.  I know it probably is just an upsell, but it still annoyed me because had I wanted TV I would of selected it online when I ordered Shaw internet.

4.  A week after getting everything set up I get a bill emailed me.  Apparently they figured out how to use email.  Too bad they didn't realize their own website said first month free with the following five months at $30 a month because they charged me for the first month.  Although they were good enough to solve this issue on twitter which was cool, the fact they didn't know I ordered internet online and I had to point it out to get the first month free makes me think they do it on purpose, hoping people won't notice the extra first month charge.  That makes me angry because they are counting on the fact a lot of people won't check the bill and will just pay.  It is white collar theft which nobody will answer for. It is either that or programming incompetence because getting the information from the web to an offline, client database is possible.  They knew my address which they obviously got from the web so why didn't the people I interacted with at #shaw know I signed up via the web?  Either Shaw plays ostrich when it comes to how you sign up to make an extra $30 off people or they are incompetent.  Which is it shaw?

Only free if you call and demand it.


5.  They seem to be wanting me to pay two months in advance.  I have no problem with that, just wish it was OBVIOUS when signing up.

To make a long story less long, I finally got my internet up and the whole billing situation sorted.  It might of been a pain but I am somewhat happy.  It just bothered me to be asked questions about how I wanted to be contacted, when I wanted the cable internet to be installed and then have that info ignored.  |I really did not like I had to make them honor their online deal.  I feel like a company like Shaw is big enough and has enough talented people where it shouldn't be so clueless.  Sadly this is the state of big mobile, internet and television companies in Alberta where the lack of competition has allowed companies like Telus and Shaw get away with poor service.  Yes I included Telus because what my friend went through was a gongshow also.

Luckily I am an iceman so I can get all the free ice I need to cool the melon down when the crazy hits.  Ernie is the owner, I am the iceman and together we are Columbia Ice, Edmonton's Ice company.

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

does local matter to liquor stores in Edmonton?
Does google know your Edmonton liquor store exists?
How to use bagged ice Edmonton in anchor text?
Why we chose the name Columbia Ice for an ice company?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pallet Smasher, an invention that will set the ice distribution industry on fire.

pallet smasher of Columbia Ice
Every couple of days a semi backs up a big refrigeration trailer, affectionately called a reefer, to the back of our main ice plant in Acheson.  Ernie hops on the forklift, Andy or one of our other summer workers on the pallet jack and together they start putting big pallets of ice on the reefer.  Usually they load between 18 and 24 pallets of ice at a time.  No big deal, easy breazy cover girl, except for the last two pallets which often need a little smash mouth encouragement to get all the way in the reefer so the doors can be closed.  In the past before the Iceman had his moment of genius, Ernie would use a regular old pallet which would work...sometimes, unless the pallet wasn't strong enough to push a pallet with ~2 tons of ice on it, and the pallet in front of it forward a few inches.  In that case the pallet would break, we would have to search for wood to make a brace, a time consuming activity while the cranky driver waited for us to finish loading the pallets of ice.

One day while watching such events unfold, the Iceman of Columbia Ice, me, had an epiphany.  For a first time ever a light went on inside my big round frostbitten melon.  Why not take one of the stronger pallets, get some wood, screws, nails and make one big, tough, man-sized pallet?  Then when Ernie needed to move the pallets of ice a few inches forward, all he would have to do is put the pallet on the forklift and go smash.  Smash is a little bit of an exaggeration but you get the drift.  More of a thud and then a scrapping sound as the two pallets of ice slide forward a few inches.  Not only will the Pallet Smasher save us time, it will also cut down on broken pallets which really isn't a problem but could be a problem if someone started smashing pallets.

The next question is how to patent the Ice Smasher since after this article there is bound to be a big demand.  There are numerous businesses that need to smash the last two pallets on the back of a truck.  It could be worth millions if I can get it patented before someone in China knocks it off.

Ernie is the owner and I am the Iceman.  Together, along with summer help we are Columbia Ice, Edmonton's ice company.

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

How to use bagged ice Edmonton in anchor text?
Why we chose the name Columbia Ice for an ice company?
We deliver ice even in a blizzard. | Columbia Ice
How is packaged ice packaged?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We are too distracted by our phones in Alberta to notice distracted driving is illegal.

In Alberta it is in theory illegal to drive and use your phone at the same time.  I say in theory because nobody, not police, not truck drivers, not everyday drivers follow this law.  If you were to sit next to a busy street on a lifeguard chair you would observe person after person texting, reading, emailing, talking and doing everything else under the sun when they should be paying attention to the road.  I would even bet that the very politicians who put this law in place drive while on the phone.  

The distracted driving law means well.  I have no doubt that people who use their phone and drive make mistakes which could lead to an accident.  When we drive, all of us including the police should focus on the road in front of us, not what is happening on facebook.  The problem is mobile phones have been shown to be as addictive as crack.  People need to be connected the way a junky needs their fix.  In the case of phones often this fix reaches the peak when you drive.  There you are behind the wheel, listening to music, driving safely and then the text message beep goes off.  OMG the heart starts to beat, anxiety builds, you need to see who texted you and what they said.  You know it is against the law but you can't stop yourself.  Your hands move to the right as your eyes follow.  You pick up your phone, enter the password and click on the texting icon all the while ignoring the road in front of you.  Then like the smoke of crack entering the brain the message feeds the addiction, your breathing begins to relax, heart rate lowers and for another few minutes the addiction is held at bay.  The road is safe, that is until you decide to text back and drive.  

Having a mobile phone in a car next to you is like putting some crack next to a crack addict and expecting them to not smoke the crack.  It is silly, illogical and the type of thing only a politician could dream up.  It is why the distracted driving law does not work leaving our roads full of unsafe drivers.  

Ernie is the owner, I am the iceman and together we are Ernie Iceman, two of the people behind Columbia Ice, Edmonton's ice company.  

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Not everyday you see a forklift on its side.

Was driving to the airport the other day to bring ice to the friendly skies and there was this forklift on it's side.  Armani, who makes ice and loads trucks was going to take his forklift course so I figured why not take a picture and show him why you need to wear your seatbelt.

If a forklift tips, your first reaction would be to step out on the side it is tipping towards which could end in there being two of you.  The correct procedure is to allow the seatbelt to hold your torso and lower body in place while you hang onto the steering wheel keeping your upper body in place.  Sure the bang will hurt however the bang feels much better than the squish.  Based on the lack of carnage at the scene I would like to believe the forklift operator was well trained and thus was wearing a seatbelt. 

Sadly, having observed many small businesses in my life I can't be certain the person simply did not just get lucky because too many people do not wear seatbelts when driving a forklift.  Apparently in Alberta some find it hard to reach over, grab the seatbelt and connect it.  Probably the same people who need the flight attendant on airplanes to show them how to put on the seatbelt on a plane.  For those who are not familiar with labour law in Alberta, it is actually a finable offence for not wearing a seatbelt.  

I have to shake my head at this because putting on a seatbelt is such an easy thing and it can save your life. You have to be a complete and utter idiot to not wear a seatbelt on a forklift.  Even though there is no cure for stupid, a stupid person generally is smart enough to use a seatbelt.

If you happen to be one of those people who are smart enough to wear a seatbelt while using a forklift then I am fairly confident you can manage to call 780-960-7161 or email ice@columbiaice.ca for all your packaged ice needs.  If you can't figure out how to use a seatbelt, well then the phone or computer will be too complicated for you.  I might suggest buying a blender and sticking your head in it.

The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161


Friday, June 6, 2014

I dislike having to lock our garbage at Columbia Ice


image of garbage bin.
Use your own garbage!!!
If you happen to be in Acheson, AB a week ago you might of witnessed flying garbage.  I, the Iceman of Columbia Ice lost it at seeing another company's garage in our garbage bin.  You might think it is just a little bit of garbage, what is the big deal?  The big deal is the offending party made a big deal about us never leaving our stuff on his company's area, yelling at one of our beloved summer employees.  The same company that has a much larger garbage bin which is rarely ever full.  The only reason that company's employees used our garbage is because they were too lazy to go inside and get a key for their garbage bin.  To the icemen of Columbia Ice this is hypocritical bullshit.  You don't come over, yell at our employees for leaving pallets on your property and then use our garbage cause you are too lazy to use a key and lock.

It made me mad.  We don't have a lot of extra space in our garbage.  When the dump truck comes every two weeks our garbage bin is full to the brim and usually our garbage cans inside are full waiting to be emptied.  We really do not have the space to be able to take another company's garbage, especially one that chose to have an antagonistic relationship with its neighbours.  Thus I lost it.  I started to cuss and threw the bags of garbage towards the offending company's property.  Usually I am a fairly mild fellow unless I feel pushed and provoked.  Lucky for me there wasn't anyone from the offending company around because I would of had some choice words.  Lucky for them Ernie was around to calm the iceman down by making me spend some time alone in the freezer discussing my feelings which a bunch of bags of ice.

A few days letter when I wasn't seeing red I emailed the offending company outlining the situation and saying it is a bit ridiculous that we have to lock our garbage.  We have not heard back and thus have started locking our garbage bin.  I guess it is expecting too much from the business to respond to an email if they can't even figure out how to unlock and use their own garbage.

Ernie is the owner and I am the Iceman.  Together we are Columbia Ice, the only Canadian owned ice company in Edmonton.  For all your ice needs give us a shout.

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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Are people searching #yeg in place of Edmonton in search queries? | Columbia Ice

YEG is the airport code for Edmonton's international airport.  It also has become a very popular hashtag which is a way of organizing social media into searchable categories.  This means I can search #yeg in google, facebook, pinterest, etc and see all the tweets, pins and shares that have #yeg in it.  The reason airport codes have become popular is they can be much shorter in length relative to the actual name of the city.  Might seem like a small thing, however when dealing with the limited characters allowed on twitter and/or sms messages smaller is better.  In general online shorter is better unlike the bedroom.  YEG is no longer just an airport code but now with the advent of social mediam, YEG now represents Edmonton as a whole.  This begs the question how does the popularity of airport codes which are being used more and more in social media in place of city names, affecting what people use for a geographic indicator for search?

For example, we at Columbia Ice, sell and manufacturer big and small bags of party ice to the Edmonton and area.  Most of our marketing relating to search engine optimization is done with Edmonton as the main geographic indicator.  ie. ice Edmonton or Edmonton ice.  However #yeg has become one of the most popular hastags used in Canada.  This begs the question, since social media has made the hastag #yeg popular, when will this popularity spill over into search where our target demographic in the ice distribution world would start using yeg in place of Edmonton.  ie. ice yeg or yeg ice

If you are a business owner or just a search nerd like myself I would very much like to hear your opinion on whether airport codes are going to replace longer city names in search.

Ernieis the owner of Columbia Ice and I am the Iceman.  If you need ice in yeg and surrounding areas, give us a call at 780-960-7161 or email us at ice@columbiaice.ca


The Iceman
Call for ice: 780-960-7161

Follow: @ernieiceman
Review us:  google places

Does google know your Edmonton liquor store exists?
does local matter to liquor stores in Edmonton?
Things I never thought I would hear a boss say.
How did we come up with Ernie Iceman?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The story of how Columbia Ice got its ice delivery truck.

A image of a cab forward ice delivery truck.
The Ice Deliver Truck
When Ernie Graveline purchased Columbia Ice from Peter Boyco the trucks used to deliver ice were in really bad shape.  Ernie, after making it through one summer driving the ice clunkers decided to purchase a 16 foot reefer box truck.  It might seem like a simple thing from the outside looking in to buy a reefer truck and it is if you have $90 000 to spend on a new one.  Call Thermo King and they will happily make you a nice pretty reefer truck to your specifications.  If you don't have 90k to toss around then used is the direction you have to go.  With Ernie already investing in building a new plant, used was the direction we chose to go.

The thing about Edmonton is even though our economy seems to be doing well, it does not have a plethora of used reefer box trucks.  Occasional you can find something on Kijiji but for the most part to get a quality used truck you have to go to Toronto or California.  The problem with buying a truck so far away from YEG is getting it to Edmonton isn't exactly easy.  The height of the truck makes it difficult to truck here, by train is too expensive and getting the company who is trying to sell the truck to deliver it is equally as expensive as the train.  This meant sending me, the Iceman of Columbia Ice to get the truck and drive it back to Edmonton.

At first after spending time perusing the web Ernie found a truck he liked in Toronto.  It had a tailgate, 16ft box with reefer and seemed to be in good shape.  The problem was the person selling the truck did not make a good impression and when you are selling a truck to a person over the phone, personality matters.  After debating whether Toronto was the right choice for Columbia Ice, Ernie went on Craigslist and found a reefer box truck in Vancouver.  Knowing the opportunity to get a reefer truck that close wouldn't come up often Ernie made an offer based on passing an independent inspection.  At this point Ernie said,"hey you, Iceman, find a flight to Vancouver cause you are going travelling.  Here is some cash for food and gas.  See you in a few days.

In a perfect world it would of been that easy.  Fly into Vancouver, get the truck and drive home.  In reality when I arrived the truck was still getting inspected.  There was the matter of insuring the vehicle and then settling on a price.  This took two days which was ok with the Iceman because Vancouver has good food and when your boss is paying, good food is much better.  Sadly all good things come to an end so after filling my belly, visiting with some family in the area, I hopped in the truck and headed for home.  If things had gone perfectly there would be no good reason to write this blog post.

The first issue I faced was I never drove a cab forward and man does it bounce when it is not loaded down. Drove out of the mechanic shop, went over one bump and it felt like I had achieved air under the tires.  Next was the fact I figured there would be a PetroCanada on the way out of Vancouver to Edmonton.  I was getting low on cash so it was vital I used the company gas card.  Sadly this was not to be as I had to use most of what cash I had left to fill the truck with diesel.  After that things were pretty smooth once I gave up trying to remember how to get to Edmonton and started using the GPS on my smart phone.  This brief period of calm was interrupted by beeping lights on my dashboard and a loss of power on some mountain road between Vancouver and Kelowna.  Luckily for me after pulling over and restarting the truck it seemed to work fine...that is until I made it to Kelowna where the truck decided it wanted to rest.  As in lose power, and not go anymore.  Again I was lucky in that it started and got me to my hotel.

The next morning when I awoke, I got on the phone and tried to find a repair shop that was open on a Saturday. There wasn't a shop that was open and I had run out of cash.  Ernie being the kind man he is told me to drop the truck off in front of a NAPA, go to the airport and he would get me a flight to Edmotnon.  It was either stay in Kelowna, in the winter with no cash or go home and visit my dogs.  Of course I flew home and then after the truck was fixed I flew back into Kelowna, hopped in the truck and drove home, arriving in time to go to a play with a friend of mine.  Two days later after we got the truck insured here the truck lost power again.  Luckily for us our ice factory is right next to PAG Automotive, best mechanic in Acheson, who waved his magic wrench and made everything better.

Since then the truck has been magic.  We have been able to deliver frozen ice, in a respectable looking truck that is bouncy and fun to drive.  The only issue left is to name our ice truck.  Was going to go with Betsy but Betsy was our old pallet jack which recently died.  That though is another story for another day.

They call me The Iceman and Ernie is the owner.  Together we are ErnieIceman in social media where we couldn't get the Columbia Ice vanity.  If you need ice in Edmonton give us a call at 780-960-7161 or email us at ice@columbiaice.ca.

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

Arctic Glacier buys Polar Ice.
Wedding ice Edmonton.
Want a new ice merchandiser.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Swimming in ice with Columbia Ice, Edmonton's ice company

A new fad that seems to be becoming more popular is the summer time obstacle course.  For some reason, adults young and old will actually pay money to be put through a variety of challenges which make up an obstacle course that makes the one at bootcamp seem like child's play.  I have been to bootcamp and there was no swimming in ice or playing in mud or even heavy breathing during the obstacle course in Farnham, Quebec.  Sadly it was made so the short pudgy looking guy who took the wrong turn and ended up in bootcamp instead of bandcamp could pass.

Last year was the first time we, at Columbia Ice was exposed to this type of event when a nice fellow from BC called us about bringing ice to keep beer cold at a mud and fun event at Rabbit Hill ski resort or hill or whatever you call Rabbit Hill.  This year another gentleman called for an obstacle course in Fort Saskatchewan called the "Frozen Chosen" who is taking ice to a whole new level.  As if it wasn't enough to run people through mud, sludge, hills and other things I have been sworn to secrecy about, they run contestants through a big huge bin of ice and water or water and ice depending on your preference.

image of men submersed in ice and water.
Being cool with Columbia Ice.
As you can see in the photo being in a construction bin full of water and ice is not fun.  Your body all hot and bothered from the previous obstacles screams no as you jump in and realize you are paying for the privilege of being immersed in a big bin of ice.  Lucky you because when you are out of the hospital for hypothermia you can tell your friends they may of walked over hot coals but you got to walk through a big tub of ice.  How many people can say that?  How many people can say that?  Not many so yes gents, here is a chance to make yourself sound more interesting to the opposite sex.  I say men because being female already makes women interesting to men, we don't need much more than that.  As for men, on the first date, when we are being judged on how well you can carry a conversation, swimming in a bin of ice could come in handy.

"What did you do this summer?" the beautiful lady asks.

"I swam in ice" says you sounding all impressive like a polar bear swimming in the Arctic sea where there use to be ice.

You are probably wondering if the Iceman himself will be entering the competition.. and the answer would be no.  Doctor says I already suffer from frostbite on the brain, if I suffer from anymore then I will be totally insane.


If your ice machine breaks down and you need ice give Columbia Ice a call.

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

We are Alberta's Ice Company | Columbia Ice
How is packaged ice packaged?
We deliver ice even in a blizzard. | Columbia Ice
Why we chose the name Columbia Ice for an ice company?


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What do you do when Hughes is too small for your ice delivery truck? | Columbia Ice

From time to time after driving the roads of the wild, wild west we affectionately call Alberta our ice delivery truck which we still need to name gets dirty.  In Edmonton as is the case in many other cities in Alberta when a truck gets dirty you take it to Hughes.  They don't have no automatic box or reefer truck truck washes in the city we know of.  Instead it is up to the Iceman, me to get out and actually do manual labour, something that should really be illegal.

Can you imagine having a job delivering ice and then being expected to clean your own truck?  Cruel and unusual torture.

The problem with Hughes is our ice delivery truck at Columbia Ice is just too darn big.  You can wash half the truck just fine but to wash the other half you would need to turn your truck around which in turn increases the number of tokens you will need.  If your boss only gives you a limited amount of tokens then you might not be able to afford to wash both sides.

What is an iceman to do?

In St.Alberta the city next to Edmonton

View Larger Map

which doesn't want to be a part of Edmonton there is an RV truck wash called Big Toy Wash Co Ltd.  The ceilings are higher, the hoses and brushes bigger, perfect for our ice delivery truck.  Perfect if you can figure out how to press the green button to start the pressure washer.  It might seem like common sense but with the frostbite on the brain which is common in the ice industry there is less common in sense.  Instead there is the dumbfounded look at the pressure washer starts squirting water at about the pressure of a water fountain you would find in a school.  At Hughes as soon as you put the token in the slot you can pick up the pressure washer, press the trigger and bam you got water flying out of the washer ready to remove dirt from paint.  At Big Toy you have to press a green button to get water under pressure.

That said after figuring out how to use Big Toy it is all roses and lillypads.  There is no more half a clean ice delivery truck.  One side white the other with a five oclock shadow.  Instead you got a nice, clean, almost new looking reefer truck waiting to be filled with bags of ice.  At least until you drive outside and get the truck dirty on the way back to the ice factory.

These are the tales of the Iceman of Columbia Ice.  Ernie is the owner and I am the Iceman.  Together we are Ernie Iceman.

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tim Hortons cares more about quantity served than quality of product or service.

Every morning I get up, hop in my frozen car, drive to pick up my friend and then we head off to work after getting a coffee at Tim Hortons.  The coffee or the food isn't great but the cost is cheap and generally speaking it does not take too long to get served, at least if you go through the drive thru.  Trying to get served in the store is another matter where the people who work there seem to do a good impression of a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off.  Half the time you have to remind the person at the till that you ordered a muffin or what you wanted on your sandwich because there seem to be a serious problem with short term memory loss working there.  As soon they take your money at Tim Hortons inside they forget everything about you.  You stand off to the side, waiting for them to forget your order or just get it wrong. Because of the gongshow that is getting served inside at Tims I have tended to avoid going in and stuck to the drive thru which maybe is why Tims sucks so bad when you go in to order.  They want to encourage people to use the drive thru as it likely makes them more money.  If you make the in-store experience even remotely decent it will discourage people from using the drive thru... Sadly after using the drive thru I can honestly say the service there is just as bad.

A banana is a long yellowish fruit that tastes like a banana, whereas a lemon is a round lemon fruit that tastes like lemon.  Most people know that a powdered donut filled with banana filling is not the same as a powered filled donut with lemon filling.  I say most people because the people who work at Tim Hortons don't seem to know the difference.  Twice now I have gone and asked very clearly for a lemon filled donut only to get banana filled donuts.  I don't even bother to order donuts anymore because you never know what you are going to get.  If that wasn't bad enough, this morning my friend went in to get some breakfast because she still is willing to brave the line and crap service inside to get food.  She came out with a coffee for me which was very nice of her.  Sadly when she said two cream, the idiot at the till made my coffee with two cream and two sugar.  I hate sugar in my coffee.  If I wanted something sweet I wouldn't be getting coffee.  I like the bitter flavour of sugarless coffee because it wakes me up in the AM and I need waking up.  

I can get over the crap donuts which no longer taste fresh because they are not made locally.  I can get over crap coffee because for $2 a cup for coffee I am not expecting much.  I cannot get over the fact Tims continually gets my order wrong.  I am 37 years old and when it comes to my morning coffee I know what I like.  I don't want to be up sold a cookie to go with it.  I don't want sugar put in it.  A medium coffee with two cream is all I want and even though it seems like a simple thing, it seems beyond the intelligence of the people they hire to work at Tim Hortons.  Guess the crazy man who called himself Jesus I met in the insane asylum was right when he said Iceman "there is no cure for stupid."  

These are the tales of the Iceman of Columbia Ice.  Ernie is the owner and I am the iceman.  For all your ice needs in #yeg give us a call or email.  

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

Previous Posts:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Did your boss make you work during the Canada vs US hockey semi-finals?

Image of the Canadian flag.
Canada beats US 1-0
If you were one of the unfortunate souls who had to work despite Canada playing the US in the Olympic semi-finals, then you have every right to call your boss an unpatriotic bastard who does not deserve to call him or herself a Canadian.  If this was the world cup of soccer or football and France was playing England in the semi-finals do you think there would be anyone working in those countries?  Heck no because pride of one's country supersedes pride in one's job.  In Canada for example you are Canadian before you are a worker at any company.  This means as a Canadian it is your duty to go to a pub, have a pint and cheer until you can't speak anymore.  If your boss says no, he or she should be flogged in the street and branded as uncanadian.  The company itself should be brought up on crimes against humanity because it is just mean to deny Canadians what is in their DNA which is a deep love of everything hockey.

For Canadians the Olympics are not really about curling, moguls or other such sports, it is only about winning hockey gold.  We could get gold in every event except men's hockey and we would still consider the Olympics a failure.  On the flip side if the only medal we won was men's hockey then the Olympics would be a success.  I am not saying it isn't fun to watch other sports and cheer on other athletes.  I am saying that there is something magical about seeing our best players in Canada put on the red maple leaf jersey, hop on the ice to take on the world.  We are not the best at a lot of things in Canada.  There are a lot of things we are good at but there are only a few things we are the best at and hockey is one of them.  It is something all true Canadians take pride in.  It is something that bonds us together as a nation and for the 60 minutes of a hockey game we are brought together by something much bigger which is pride in ones country, love for the maple leaf and most importantly BRAGGING RIGHTS.  

At Columbia Ice I am lucky because Ernie the owner took me to Hudsons at WEM, treated me to a burger, fries and Canada beating the US.  My boss is AWESOME.  If yours was not, my advice is to drop your pants, moon the unpatriotic bastard and then go find a new job with a boss who understands the importance of Olympic hockey.  

Ernie is the owner, I am the Iceman and for all your packaged ice needs in #yeg give Columbia Ice a call or email.  We are a Canadian owned company that bleeds maple leaf.  

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

Monday, February 10, 2014

No vanity plates for the ice delivery man in Edmonton.

I BOSSI
One of the new fads in Edmonton is everybody and their dog is getting vanity license plates.  A vanity license plate is when a person pays a little extra money to get some sort of unique word or variation of a word or words.

Apparently people don't feel there are enough tools with social media and mobile phones to express themselves so they have turned to adding a touch of personality to their cars.

The truck to the left is a picture of the phrase "I BOSSI"  which must be a warning to people that if they talk to the person in the truck is bossy.  Personally I think this is mighty kind of the individual in the truck.  If I were to stop in traffic, take a break from ice delivery in Edmonton and talk to I BOSSI I would be well prepared to expect I BOSSI to tell me what to do.  I am not saying I would do what I BOSSI told me to do.  I am saying I would be prepared for it.

A CHAMP
As for the license plate to the left on the Jag, it reads "A CHAMP" which is rather exciting.  If traffic was a little more conducive to getting out of the ice delivery truck I would of done so to get my picture with A CHAMP.  Not really sure a champion of what but you have to figure whoever was driving the Jag was a champion of something big to put it on his license plate.  It would be silly to just put a vanity plate on a car saying A CHAMP if you were not a champ.  Kind of like giving a person a participation ribbon.  Even though you finished last, you are still a champion for participating which of course makes a person feel warm and fuzzy.  Who knows the guy driving the Jag could be A CHAMP just for driving.  He is a champion driver on Edmonton roads.

These are the tales of an ice delivery man in Edmonton, Alberta.

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

Previous Posts:
Arctic Glacier buys Polar Ice.
Wedding ice Edmonton.
Want a new ice merchandiser.