Winter Wonderland  

Posted by Stan Harrington

What a wonderful scene, to look out my window and see endless acres of freshly fallen snow, the trees laden as if they were decorated with cotton, the birds snacking at their feed station, gingerly picking the seeds out of the snow where the north winds have blown them. Not only is it beautiful scene but it also brings a sense of peace and tranquility.
However, my greatest joy is that I do not have to plow snow today! What a great way to end the year, no more wind shield time and listening to Merle Haggard on my eight track sound system in my plow truck. If I spend much more time in that truck, I am going to have to upgrade my sound system or find some of the eight track tapes that I have in storage, Merle is getting a little old. Somewhere I have a eight track tape of Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" which would at least provide a little mood music.
I would get me one of those "eye pods" but with that thing sruck in my ear, I would not be able to hear the sound of my finely tuned engine and smooth transmission, of course it is a little difficult now that I have gaping holes in my muffler. The other snow plowers look at me with envy because they think I am driving a diesel. "Dutch" has always been my faithful companion, riding shotgun as I plow snow, but I think the gas fumes inside the cab have been getting to him as he is always begging to stick his head out the window, perhaps I will find time to work on that that so at least one of the windows will roll down. The old truck has a few minor problems, but we will keep her going since we will need to use it at the "Hole In The Wall", to do a little grading and leveling after the spring floods. Speaking of that, I have already reserved the snow machine trailer from the Bear Clan so we can move the new project into the campground as soon as all of you are available to be here to assist in the moving project. Would like to see you, but don't rush right down as I have not yet started construction. It is on hold until we get rid of all this damm snow.

Just Prattling  

Posted by Stan Harrington

On Wednesday, we had our second blizzard of the month, white out conditions and cancellation of a Christmas get together with the Bear Clan, lower peninsula family and visitors from LA. But, I did have the opportunity to plow snow for most of the day on Thursday.
This morning I woke up at 6:30 am and checked the weather conditions, the decks were nice and clean from the shoveling the previous day. Turned on the coffee maker, watched my morning news and by 8:30 a.m. we had six inches of snow on the decks. As the picture indicates, once outside, I had no problem seeing the house since it was the largest pile of snow, but it took Dutch and I an hour to find the snowplow and dig it out. We spent the remainder of the day plowing snow, again! It was falling as fast as I was plowing. Finishing up this evening it was still snowing and continues to plummet us, so I guess I will plow snow again tomorrow or give up and spend the rest of the winter watching it pile up. I love the snow so much! If you were wondering, the Hole In the Wall is not restricted to access by snow machine, snow shoes or skis - it will be spring before the plow gets in there again.

I did discover a new fishery that I think we should explore. A group of biologist in Japan have discovered the habitat of the "giant squid". They did get some very good photographs of them in their natural habitat. One of the biologist rigged up some trolling gear. It appears to be a flasher and he used squid as scent. They managed to hook one of the "giant squid" and get it to the surface. Upon reaching the surface, it died before they could get it released, it measured 24 feet long. Now 24 feet does not seem that great of a length, however, when you put it into the proper context, this squid was eight feet longer than the boat that the "Bull Moose" uses to troll in Cook Inlet. Remember that boat several of you spent the day on while fishing lower Cook Inlet for King Salmon last spring? "Giant Squid" and "Submarines", perhaps Jules Verne had a greater knowledge than he is credited. As for me, I am not going to fish with squid ever again!

As for the big news today, just watched the video feed of the hanging of Saddam, they did not show the actual hanging, just placing the noose around his neck - the only thing I have against this execution is that they used a "new rope", that was more than he deserved. As "Gus" (Robert Duvall) said in the movie Lonesome Dove as he was preparing to hang an outlaw, "It is a pleasure to hang someone like you, now go tell it to the devil"

In Loving Memory  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Today is the 1st Anniversary that you have not been in our lives, but rest assured that a day does not go by that you are not in our thoughts and hearts. We miss you "Big Guy"! Keep all the "angels" smiling and hopefully, you have been given a good horse and saddle to ride.

Thank You  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Terry and I would like to thank our families in Anchorage for giving us such a wonderful and memorable Christmas. It was very special to share this time with all of you. We appreciated your hospitality and all the extra work that you went to in preparation for such a large gathering. All of our love to each of you.

Happy New Year,
Dad and Mom

P.S. Please share the sausage!

Merry Christmas  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Wishing All Of You, A Very Merry Christmas. My Next Few Days Will Be Dedicated To The Full Enjoyment Of The Season. Wishing Each Of Well, Hoping That Santa Is Good To You, But You Have To Believe.
P.S. If You Are Waiting For My Yearly Christmas Letter, I Have Changed Traditions, It Will Be A New Year's Letter This Year.

We Believe  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Have you ever wondered, which Christmas carol is the most popular? It is interesting, that out of the top twenty Christmas carols, only four songs of the twenty were written in the last twenty years. The oldest Christmas carol on the Top 20 list was written in the 16th Century, "12 Days of Christmas" and it is #2 on the list. The #1 Christmas carol in the Top 20 was written in 1949. "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". Jingle Bells, #6 was written in 1857! The most recent carol to make the list was Mariah Carey's, "All I Want For Christmas (Is You) in 1994. One of my favorites, "Silent Night" is #7 on the list and was written in 1816.

While on the subject of Christmas carols, recently a copy of a re-written carol was delivered to me, which I would like to share with you but the young artist wants to remain anonymous, as she is afraid that it may effect future Christmas gifts from grandma.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer,
While walkin' the Beach Road
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But for me and Grandpa, WE BELEIVE!

She'd been drinkin' to much Zinfindel
And we begged her not to go,
But with her wine glass in hand,
She stumbled out the door and fell in the snow.

When the Park Ranger found her Christmas morn
She was layin' face down in the ditch,
There were tiny hoof prints on her back
and inciminatin' red paint marks on her slacks.

Chorus (Repeat)

We are all so proud of Grandpa
He's been takin' this so well
He is till watchin' football
Drinkin' rum and playing poker at the Inn.

It's not Christmas without Grandma,
All the family is dressed in black.
And we just help but wonder,
Should we open her gifts or will Grandpa want them back.

Chorus (Repeat)

Now the Turkey is on the table,
We are using Grandma's favorite china.
We will surely miss her,
But would someone pass the potatoes so we can eat.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
While walkin' the Beach Road
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But for me and Grandpa, WE BELIEVE.

$1,000.00 Dollars  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Have you ever stopped to consider if someone was to offer to sell you a little extra cash, especially during the Christmas season. How much would you pay for One Thousand Dollars?

Throughout this past fall, a specie of bird that was thought to be extinct has once again been spotted by a large number of people. This could be a discovery almost as important as the Arctic Polar Pig or the Arctic White Gecko that was recently highlighted on the blog site of the Plumma.

This is the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, thought to be extinct for the past several years. However, I believe that I have solved the mystery pertaining to the evolution of this beautiful bird. I believe that it was originally a native of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A review of historic Alaska artifacts revealed several ivory carving and tools that resemble the bill of this particular specie. It is my conclusion that the bill of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker was used as an awl in the sewing of animal skins to make kiyaks, parkas and mukluks. Due to the hardness of the ivory, it was most likely also utilize to inscribe scrimsaw carvings. However,the question remains why did this specie of birds leave the arctic wilderness? At times, we look beyond the simple solution in an attempt to discover the reality. The simple reason that these birds migrated from the Arctic was that all the trees died, a Woodpecker needs wood to peck and not that many trees are available in the refuge area since the concept of global warming. It is my concept, that the birds migrated inland into the region's of Alaska that is heavily timbered. The likelihood for their habitat was the Kenai Peninsula and upper part of the Alaska Peninsula. In the 1990's the Ivory Billed Woodpecker has handed a banquet when the Spruce Bark Beetle infestation swept through the timber at both of these locations. Although, the birds thrived for several years due to the infestation and abundant food source, over the past three years we have seen this infestation decline rapidly. Recognizing that their population had increased and their food source was depleting, the Ivory Billed Woodpecker once again started migrating out of the area in search of a new environment. Their migration route took them into Montana, Idaho, and Colorado as each state went through the same infestation that was experienced in Alaska, except in this case it was the Pine Bark Beetle. It was by coincidence, that large flocks of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker got caught up in the weather pattern of hurricane Katrina. Due to the prevailing winds, large numbers of these birds ended up in Louisiana only to find lush forests of good timber with a lot of bugs. The recent sightings of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker has been in that state and number in the hundreds.
Now some may not take visions seriously, however, as the reigning Grand PooPah, head of the Eagle Clan it is my responsibility to name the new clans as they enter the fraternal order of family clans. This past spring, with a lot of soul searching I experienced a vision, consequently my grandson and his family was granted the name of the Woodpecker Clan, in honor of this traditional Alaskan bird, the Ivory Billed Woodpecker. I am sorry, but I am forbidden to describe the vision that appeared to me from the beyond but it involved a bottle of rum.

Now that you have had time to contemplate the original question, how much would you pay for $1,000.00 Dollars? I am sure, most of us would make an attempt to purchase it as cheap as we could, that is only common sense. In fact, I am sure there are those among us that would try to get it by offering free coupons for all kinds of products. The fact remains, anything less than $1,000 would be a good buy. However, would any of us offer more than $1,000.00 for the item? Evidently, there are those out there foolish enough to do this. The fact is that one person paid $2.3 Million dollars for $1,000. Why would anyone be so silly. The item was a $1,000 Bill printed in 1890 and it is one of two known to exist.

My youngest daughter has a check for a $1,000 almost that old for a thousand dollars, I bet she would sell it a lot cheaper than 2.3 million!

A Very White Christmas  

Posted by Stan Harrington

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. As you can see from the Doppler radar picture that was downloaded just a few minutes ago. It appears that those of you living in the LA area are escaping it. I surely hope it moves north and gets you as well, we should always share at Christmas time.
It has been snowing lightly all day, but with the wind it looked like a blizzard. Currently, we are getting gusts up to 40 knots and snowing hard. We have snow drifts on the front deck that is four feet high, appears that Grandma has a lot of deck shoveling to do tomorrow. Hopefully, she will be up early enough to shovel out my plow truck while I have my morning coffee and watch the morning news. Will need a little extra preparation time since I will be plowing snow the better part of the day. The bad thing about it, I was planning on watching football all day! As I listen to the wind howl and the snowflakes hurl past my window, would someone remind me why we chose to live here?
It would be a great time to be camping in the "Hole In The Wall", can you imagine the fun of sledding the slopes at this time of the night, a big fire in the pit. A very large pot of hot chocolate spiked with cinnamon schnapps. We have plenty of Christmas trees to choose from, being outside we could even use real candles on it if we can figure out some way to keep them burning. Some day, in the future, we will need to try a winter camp out - the worse thing that could happen is that we would have to retreat to the Eagles Nest. Perhaps, some of you could do better inthe winter sports than you did the summer competition. I may be able to break through the snow and plow it out yet, if anyone is interested.

Safety First  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Anytime that you are doing something that could result in head injuries, you should wear a safety helmet. I am happy to see this guy wearing his safety helmet while strolling the streets in his ruby slippers. Although, upon seeing them I considered what great Christmas gifts that they would make for my grandchildren. I would just have to hope that if they had a pair, they would dress appropriately and not play around the area in which their father and Uncle Homer was cooking.

Merry Christmas From My Site To Your Site

Investment Opportunity  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Governess Palin announced on Wednesday, that she will sell the West Wind II Jet that past Governor Frank Murkowski purchased for his travel needs. According to the LA Daily Gazette, the new governor plans to sell the aircraft through E-Bay, although it has not been listed at this time. The sale price suggested by the Gazette was 2.5 million dollars, which is less than the balance owed on the aircraft.
However, when my laughter subsided after reading this particular article, the entrepreneurial side of me came up with a great business and lucrative investment concept. The "governors jet" would be ideally suited for the first of the fleet.

Right up front, I will tell you that I am looking for investors for this new business venture. No minimum amount will be refused, however, keep in mind that we need to raise 2.5 million in just a few weeks in order to be competitive on e-Bay.

The business plan is as follows: Flights out of any airport on the Kenai Peninsula is less than desirable for the traveling public, prices to LA is excessive and schedules do not always coincide with connecting flights out of LA. There are no direct flights from the Kenai Peninsula to any locations other than LA. Anchor Point is becoming a very popular destination point for the visiting public. This is due in part to the fabulous sport fishing opportunities and the new professional golf course that has recently opened. Currently, the Kyollnen International Airport, located adjacent to Hole 6 of the golf course is not being fully utilized with the exception of three private aircraft.

Recently, I have completed some research on two destinations that are not well known by the traveling public, however, with just a little promotion they could become very popular because they are not well known, subsequently are not tourist oriented. These locations include Wamsutter, Wyoming and Beaver, Utah.

My business plan would be to have direct flights originating in Anchor Point, a twenty two minute lay over in LA and then direct flights into Wamsutter with a three day lay over at their finest resort. From Wamsutter, the jet set would then fly to Beaver, Utah for another three days of western hospitality. The flight would then depart Beaver, Utah on the seventh day for a non-stop flight back to Anchor Point.

Some logistics will need to be overcome, however, they are only minor. Wamsutter and Beaver do not have an airport, however, they are adjacent to the Interstate Highway system so the roadway can be utilized as a runway. We will also need to hire a pilot and co-pilot as well as build a terminal at the Kyollnen International Airport. Flight attendants are not a problem, I have enough grand daughters to fill that position for many years. The ground crew is also no problem, I have a son that is an electrician (lineman) but close enough, a son in law that is a diesel mechanic (close enough to a jet engine) and another son in law that is a Plumma, I am sure he can figure out all the tubing and piping inside the aircraft.

Time is of essence in this matter, if you would like to be in on the ground floor of this solid business plan and sound investment opportunity, please contact me directly by telephone so I can provide you the information that you will need to make direct deposits into my account.

Sharing the Spirit  

Posted by Stan Harrington

In keeping with the tradition of Christmas, this 12th day before Christmas, I would like to share with you, my very first Cherry Chocolate of the Christmas Season. I acquired my initial seasonal shipment today.

The Cherry Chocolate is my favorite Christmas candy, by closure of the Christmas Season, I will have consumed several hundred of this fine chocolate morsels, filled with a liquid center and Maraschino Cherry. The way to my heart is a box of Cherry Chocolates.

There is an art to the consumption of a Cherry Chocolate, it is not the type of candy that you pop in your mouth and chomp down. To do this is like drinking a fine champagne out of a paper cup. If you have not indulged in this Christmas delicacy, I will share the secrets of properly finding the full savory satisfaction of a cherry encased in chocolate.

Savoring #1: With the chocolate at room temperature, locate the most pronounced edge of the chocolate. Keep in mind that you want to savor the flavor, so very lightly nibble at the edge until a small hole is created in the chocolate. The small hole will allow the liquid center to drain slowly into your mouth. Upon draining, enlarge the hole enough that the cherry will be accessible, retrieve the cherry, roll it three or four times in your mouth, but prior to biting down, insert the chocolate into your mouth and enjoy the mixture of the cherry and chocolate flavor.

Savoring #2: With the chocolate at room temperature, placed the entire chocolate into your mouth. Holding the chocolate in your mouth, recline your head backward to a comfortable position. Let the warmth of your mouth and your tongue slowly melt the chocolate, releasing the fluid center, cherry, and melted chocolate at the same time. During this process, the sense of taste is heightened by closing your eyes.

Savoring #3: I reference this method of enjoying a Cherry Chocolate as the "Finnish Method". The name used is in reference to the way that those from Finland enjoy their coffee by placing a sugar cube in their mouth prior to taking a drink of coffee. The Cherry Chocolate may be used in a similar fashion, place the entire Cherry Chocolate in your mouth and then take a drink of coffee, insuring that the coffee temperature is at a drinkable temperature to avoid scalding your mouth and swallowing the Cherry Chocolate which could result in choking. If you hold the coffee in your mouth, it will melt the chocolate subsequently giving you a flavor of coffee, chocolate, sugar and cherry. Insure that you have a sufficient amount of Cherry Chocolates, allowing yourself a box of one dozen per cup of coffee.

Savoring #4: This method of enjoying a Cherry Chocolate is what I reference as the "Shooter" method. Additional items should be acquired prior to enjoying this method. One of those is a legal hypodermic needle and several ounces of either Rum, Brandy, or Cherry Cordial. Draw one half ounce of your favorite alcohol into the barrel of the hyperdermic needle. I have found that if you heat the tip of the needle, prior to the insertion into the chocolate, it will easily penetrate the chocolate without breaking the chocolate and seal the hole when you withdraw the needle. Once, the Cherry Chocolate is filled with your favorite beverage, savor the flavors using the method as described in Savoring #2. It is recommended that you "shoot up" at least a dozen chocolates prior to consumption, by doing this you will not have to pause between chocolates. WARNING: After consumption of a minimum of six "shooters" you should not drive nor operate any type of equipment and if you are pregnant or nursing, you should refrain from enjoying "shooters".

To fully enjoy the Cherry Chocolate fantasy, it is recommended that you do so under low light conditions which makes the Christmas Season ideal with just the lights of the Christmas tree being utilized. To increase the mental sense as well as the sense of taste, a light musical background is also recommended such as classic Christmas music or a variety of classical music. You should never attempt to fully enjoy the savoring of Cherry Chocolates when other distractions such as the televisions, loud noises, and vacuum cleaners are being utilized in the background. Cherry Chocolates can also be a very enjoyable on long driving trips, however, I have found that on a 200 mile road trip from LA to Anchor Point, I will consume a minimum of six boxes. It is not recommended that you use Savoring #2 method while driving.

Although, I prefer Milk Chocolate style Cherry Chocolates, the Dark Chocolate are a very close second. Proper care of the Cherry Chocolate is very important. They should never be frozen and stored at room temperature. If it is not your intention to consume the entire box at one sitting, the remaining chocolates should be placed in a humadoir with a slice of apple to provide adequate moisture.

The great thing about the Cherry Chocolate, there are so many ways to savor the flavor, it is my quest to discover all of these fantasies.

Christmas Past  

Posted by Stan Harrington

This time of the year has always been special to me, the Christmas season. I was fortunate to have a mother that instilled those traditions and made them a part of our Christmas season. She was not a religious lady, but Christmas was special to her because it was time for family gatherings and festivities that could not be afforded the remainder of the year.

The culture of my youth viewed Christmas in a similar fashion. The merchants in our small town did not display Christmas merchandise until after Thanksgiving, today the displays start appearing as early as September.

The streets were lined with Christmas decorations of electrical lights and decorated trees, not tinsel bearing or cloth designed ornaments hanging from the power poles.
On the lawn of each church, appeared a manger scene with nightly entertainment of carolers singing.

The city, county, and state buildings were not immune from hanging Christmas decorations and also displaying manger scenes.

In school, we would start practicing for the Christmas pageant right after Thanksgiving and on performance night, it was standing room only. All the teachers were present and even those families in the community that did not have children in school. I recall that one of my star roles was that of one of the Wisemen that visited the manger to witness the birth of Jesus, I assure you it was not because I was wise but I was tall for my age.

The Holy Family played a very important role in Christmas Past, even though you may not practiced a religion, you respected the season for what it was intended, the birth of Christ.

Santa Claus also played an important role, a parade would be held for him upon his arrival into town and later he would sit on a "special" chair for hours as children came by to sit on his lap and tell him their secret wishes. The Fox Theatre in town would host a "free movie" on the Saturday prior to Christmas. Following the movie, each child would go up on stage to be greeted by Santa and presented with a "brown lunch sack" full of candies, fruit, and popcorn balls, all donated by the merchants in the community.

Sixty years later, our culture and traditions have changed. Today, there are those that are more concerned that we do not offend anyone in the celebration of Christmas. I do not want to celebrate "Happy Holidays", I want to celebrate Christmas and if it offends you, please do not feel that you have to follow my example. I assure you, I will not attempt to infringe upon you when celebrate whatever you desire to celebrate.

I want to see Christmas trees on every corner, in every store, government building, and school. I do not want to hear them referred to as "Holiday Trees"

I want my grandchildren to be able to sing any Christmas carol that they desire in their school pageant without the word "Christmas" being removed from the lyrics. In attendance, I want to hear the traditional Christmas carols, even those that include the word Christ, Holy, God, Mary, or Manger. At the same time, I want their program to be referred to as "Christmas Pageant" not as a "Winter Pageant", we can all tell that it is winter time.

I support any business that provides a service for a fair profit margin, but I will not shop with you if advertise " Happy Holiday" or forbid your customer service employees from uttering the word Merry Christmas or restrict the style of decorations that you display. If you want the Christmas "buck" then get a backbone and recognize the spirit of Christmas.

If your community decorates a Christmas tree and then refers to it as a Holiday Tree, I would recommend that the voters remember that on election day and award the community leaders with a holiday.

Christmas is just not for "kids", it is for each of us that want to celebrate in our own way and establish traditions. I am not a kid, but I will be looking at the heavens on Christmas Eve, hoping to catch sight of that single bright star marking the manger, at the same time, hopefully hear the distinct sound of sleigh bells piercing the darkness as Santa makes his rounds, because "I BELIEVE"!

Wishing Each Of You A Very Merry Christmas.

Salmon Secrets To Be Discovered  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Since I was just a kid, I have always been amazed how millions of small salmon smolt find their way to the ocean from the rivers in which they were hatched. They spend the majority of their young life in our marine waters then return to the river of their origin to spawn and die.
Where they travel until they reach their sexual maturity is unknown. Since the "feeder" or "winter "King Salmon" fishery has been developed in lower Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay, they have discovered that a large percentage of these fish are visiting our waters from Canada. The migratory pattern of the Alaskan salmon remains a secret.
However, in the near future perhaps these secrets will be discovered by electronic and mechanical engineers. An underwater robot, called the "RoboSalmon" meant to spy spy on real fish is being developed at Glasow University. The RoboSalmon has a built in camera to broadcast images of real fish back to the operators. A key feature is the propulsion system. Since the robot will use its fins and tail for movement, it will be able to move through the water in a way that is more natural for aquatic creatures.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has already issued an Emergency Order protecting the RoboSalmon, any RoboSalmon hooked, caught in a gill net, scoop up in a oversized landing net, or snagged must be released immediately without being removed from the water.
The U.S. Navy has also issued an Emergency Advisory, that if any RoboSalmon comes to with five nautical miles of any naval surface vessel or submarine, it will be immediately destroyed by any means necessary, including torpedoes and anti-submarine warfare missiles.

After discovering this research, I have given some very serious contemplation pertaining to the RoboSalmon and have developed my own personal opinion:

Ingenuity: I would give the engineers a high mark for the creation and development of the system.

Practicality: I would consider it a total failure and they should have spent their time and money on the development of a better iPod or faster internet modem.

I did not take these decisions lightly, however, after reviewing the picture of the RoboSalmon and with a little comparable data, the RoboSalmon silhouette and color looks very similar to that of a whale or shark. I can just picture the RoboSalmon moving into a school of salmon to view them, one sight of this monster and even though it swims like a fish, it looks like a predator. What do salmon do when a predator approaches - no RoboSalmon is going to match the speed of a salmon and all the biologists are going to see is a bunch of tails heading for deep water.

Some things are meant to be kept a secret, where our salmon travel is one of those secrets. Unlike humans, to find their way they do not need a road map, cell phone, or GPS unit. They are smarter than we are so let's leave them alone, they face enough dangers on the high seas, they do not need RoboSalmon checking up on them.

Terrorism In The Sky  

Posted by Stan Harrington

On a regular basis, you can pick up news breaking stories that the mainstream news media do not fully report. Although, Reuters News Service reported this terrorism story, I have not seen it picked up on by the mainstream media.

AP (Tue. Dec 5, 9:07 PM ET) An American Airlines flight bound for Dallas was diverted to Nashville after several passengers reported smelling burning sulfur from matches. All 99 passengers and the crew of five members were taken off the aircraft and screened while the plane was searched, the luggage was re-screened, and a canine unit brought in to assist in the search. The search concluded after a three hour time span, while being questioned by the FBI a "lady" passenger finally confessed. The passenger admitted she had struck the matches in an attempt to conceal a "body odor" created by a flatulent disorder.

"Since there was no malice involved and the incident was accidental, she was not charged with anything" according to a spokesman. The flight finally departed for it's original destination, however, the lady passenger was not allowed back on the plane and has been barred from flying on American Airlines.

In the event you are wondering, according to the news release, you are permitted to have four books of safety matches on a plane but cannot light them during the flight. I would have to question this policy: (1) You cannot carry a cigarette lighter aboard an aircraft. (2) Was not that one terrorist trying to light his tennis shoe bomb using safety matches? (3) You are on a no-smoking flight, why would you need four books of matches? (4) Would it not be safer as well as logical that matches are also banned, but made available to passengers that smoke when they depart the aircraft.

I really hope that this incident will not impact any future travel plans of "Homer" at

Merry Christmas To All

December 7, 1941  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Battle Ship, U.S.S. Virginia, Pearl Harbor Hawaii December 7, 1941

Lest We Forget, Sixty Five Years ago today, without warning the Imperial Navy of Japan attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. This single surprise attack, destroyed the majority of Pacific fleet with a loss of 2,300 individuals. Many of them still entombed onboard the Battleship U.S.S. Arizona, now a memorial within Pearl Harbor. The surviving portion of the fleet, consisting predominantly of our aircraft carriers and submarines held the line until surface ships could be repaired and new ships added to the fleet. Admiral Chester Nimitz, took command as Commander, Pacific Fleet shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He remained as the Commander throughout the war and was present for the signing of the surrender of Japan to the United States and allied forces onboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Christmas Gift Ideas  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Christmas gift shopping is most likely the most stressful time of the season. How do you find and can you afford that perfect gift for that special person on your list? As your friends and family gets older, the problem is compounded because they have everything they need, consequently the stress level is increased.

Having been a shopper for many years, I have discovered that the gift does not really count, it is the thought and if it brings a smile to the recipient of the gift, it makes it a worthwhile gift. While some shop with the concept that the more you spend on a gift, the more likely that it will be appreciated by the recipient. This is not necessarily the case, a simple, inexpensive gift can be appreciated more than the extravagant gift. As an example, several years ago I gave each of my loved ones a sausage, each sausage varied in size and flavor including one that I gave to my son in law that I had taken a bite out of. They do not remember the other gifts that they got that particular Christmas morning, but they all remember the sausages. A few years later, I gave each of my sons and son in laws, a miniature fishing kit, one that they could use throughout the winter until the spring fishing season commenced. Each kit contained a very small custom made fishing rod and a bag full of gold fish. By Christmas morning, the majority of the fish had died, however, they did remember their gift, especially when my grand daughters saw the four bags of water containing dead fish, the shrieks of terror was "Grand Pa killed the fish!", but after we explained to them that they were just asleep, the girls were content.

Between now and Christmas morning, I will keep an eye open for a variety of gifts that you may want to consider as gifts for your loved ones.

Everyone that has a pet, should also remember to buy a little gift for the animal in your life that brings you so much joy. Since we live in Alaska, my suggestion would be a fur parks - unless you have a large dog then it would be cost prohibitive.

For the ladies, if you have a man in your life that enjoys exploring remote lakes to discover new fishing spots, the problem may occur of providing transportation across the lakes. Some prefer to carry canoes, although they are very heavy and cumbersome to portage. Perhaps the "Port A Boat" would make the ideal gift, it comes in various lengths, however, the beauty of it is that it will fold into one single piece that does not exceed four inches in height and weighs less than 30 pounds.

Again, for the ladies, are you tired of nagging your husband or mate to assist you in the housework. Perhaps, if you made the daily chore of mopping or sweeping the floors fun, he would be more inclined to assist you. I am sure that this gift idea would be the ideal gift for those that enjoy playing with remote cars and for those that have aspirations of being a NASCAR driver.

For you men out there, perhaps you should find something entertaining for your spouse or mate. This particular gift may also provide memories that will set the mood for those late evenings while just the two of you are sitting under the Christmas tree. Although, this gift may not be purchased, it can be rented on an hourly or evening rate. Please contact me for details.

Merry Christmas To All Of You.

Fall Rains  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Those dreaded fall rains that turn everything into ice are now starting to show up on the lower Peninsula. What a great day to just sit at home, work on Christmas letters, watch a little football and the 4th Round of the National Rodeo Finals. My favorite two cowboys, roper Fred Whitfield is having a tough time, missed his first and second round calves and placed out of the money in the third. My favorite Bronc rider, Billy Etbauer is having similar results, through three rounds he has not completed a ride. Big Joe Beaver, is having a great season, he is one of the leading calf ropers and in the run for the All Around Cowboy title.

Currently we are having some very heavy winds which are expected to continue through the day. Right after daylight this morning, I could hear a dog barking in the yard, but Dutch and Goldie were in the house to I took a look see. The winds were so strong, that I found the neighbors dog in our yard. He is now home, safe and warm after his windy ordeal.

Make the Move  

Posted by Stan Harrington

It was just a matter of time until the "outside" news media picked up the story of Governor-Elect Susan Palin choosing to take her Oath of Office in Fairbanks rather than the traditional state capital of Juneau. The AP article that I scanned uncovered the plot to steal the capital and move it to a safe location within Alaska. The article indicated that Juneau is the "most inaccessible state capital in the United States". I wonder what consideration was given to Honolulu? Last time I checked my Goggle Earth, the state of Hawaii was comprised of several islands with the only access by sea or air, just like Juneau. I think we should be moved up the list and be the 49th most inaccessible capital.

The current state capital building is historical, funding for the construction of the building was approved in 1913, however, construction did not commence until 1929. The ownership of the building was transferred to Alaska upon our entry as the 49th state and since that time has been the center of our state government.

According to the news article, the folks down in the Seattle suburbs are concerned that this swearing in ceremony is plot to move the state capital. An editorial appearing in the Ketch-a-Can Daily news was headlined "Juneau beware; it's the first step". Of course, it does fuel the fire when it was revealed that while serving as Wasilla's mayor, she backed a failed voter initiative in 2002 that would move the legislative sessions to LA or the Silicone Valley. The Mat-Su Borough has already mapped out a location for a new legislative hall on 1,000 acres of undeveloped land.

Some of you may not recall, since you were not yet born or to young to vote, but I voted in the 1980's to move the capital out of Juneau to Willow, Alaska. The referendum was approved by the majority of Alaskans, but evidently the vote did not really count as the capital is still firmly planted where they originally built it 77 years ago. A legislator that represented the Homer area several years ago was ask the question, "Are you in favor of moving the state capital?" Her response was, "No, I am not because I think moving the building would be to cost prohibitive".

Is the swearing ceremony in Fairbanks a ploy to move the capital? I doubt it, but I would still fully support the movement of our capital to a more accessible location. I say this with some reservation, I would not like to see the capital in LA or the Silicone Valley, these two major population centers already receive the majority of the state revenues.

It would be a perfect time to inject a little economical growth into other areas of Alaska that could use a shot! My personal choice would be Ninilchik or Anchor Point. Homer would be a good choice, but they cannot control their own city government, what would happen if the state capital moved in and had to conform to the same building codes as Safeway or Fred Meyers? The City of Homer would plan it to death in ad hoc committees.

If you have driven through either Anchor Point or Ninilchik, you have to admit they could use a little economical development. Anchor Point is the logical choice as they already have a completed golf course which is essential for politicians. Neither location has a developed boat harbor or airport, consequently access is by the highway so every business between Anchorage and these communities would receive some economical benefit. Perhaps, the Alaska Railroad could even be expanded from Seward to Anchor Point. Those in favor please leave a comment and I will contact our state representatives. Anchor Point, the most Westerly Highway Point in North America now the most Westerly State Capital.

While we are moving things, I am also in favor of taking back the old Navy Base on Adak, closing down all of our state jails and prisons on the mainland, making Adak our Alcatraz! It would require only one guard on duty at a time, if they can escape from Adak, they deserve to be free. While we are at it, let's move all the courts and judges to Adak. If the judges were in a hurry to get back to LA, the trials will move a little faster. Guantamano, Cuba seems to be working well.

Snow Day  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Enjoying my morning news and coffee, mentally preparing myself to go plow our first measurable snowfall of the season. Just checked the weather bureau, it appears that those in the LA area are under an snow advisory until 2 p.m. today with accumulation up to six inches.

The same system moved through here last evening, according to my precipitation gauge, we have 6.3 inches of snow on the ground. The Doppler radar shows that the front has moved up the inlet with the southern edge currently in the Kenai area extending into the LA bowl area.

The great news is that the lower 48 is now enjoying the cold front that we put up with for the entire month of November. Denver was at 2 degrees this morning with a low of 34 in Las Vegas - today is the start of the National Rodeo final!

My snow plowing season has started off bad this season, took the old snow plow up to get a little petro so I would be prepared for today. Going across the Anchor River bridge, I heard a mini explosion, lots of smoke and my truck stopped in the middle of the bridge. Pulled a Ranger Bill, put one of those funny looking things that go up and down in your engine to make it go, well mine now goes sideways. I mean like this is beyond the duct tape repair job, so the old plow is down for a few weeks.

To be prepared for today, had to hustle around to get a replacement. Could not find a inexpensive 4WD pick-up to replace the old plow truck so I settled for a different body style and after a few modifications,the mechanic and welder devised a rig that I think will be sufficient for my use until I can get the hole patched in the engine of my good rig. With the price of gas going back up, the new rig will at least be a little more economical.

Time to go play in the snow, I am so excited - you know they do not get much snow in Mexico!