"Mini Prattles"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

If you have recently visited the site of JD Plumma , you discovered that he is now playing with a new "toy" called a High Power Tesla Coil. Having never heard of such a thing, I followed his link to educate myself so the two of us could have an intelligent conversation while sitting around the "fire pit" this summer.

The advertisement caught my immediate attention, "Ideal for special effects, advertising, attention getter, and hobbyist familiar with high voltage". The High Power Tesla Coil can produce one million volts.

However, I did not know that the the Plumma had already acquired his new toy. He had a lot of success with his initial experiments with the Tesla Coil, that is until he turned up the power to "high". The picture on the left is the former residence of the Plumma and family. The electrical shock wave is clearly visible due to the electrical current generated, the smoke that you see at the base of the lightening bolt is their home going up in smoke. It was definitely an attention getter, it got the attention of the LA Fire Department, LA Police Department, FAA, FBI, Homeland Security, and both military bases. Elmendorf A.F.B. and Fort Richardson Army Base went on full military alert. Fortunately, Ms. Plumma and girls were on a Girl Scout Cookie drive so they were not home, unfortunately they now have no home to return to, fortunately they do have a small summer home located at the HITWRA that they can stay until the insurance company makes a determination as to if experimentation with a "High Power Tesla Coil" is covered in their homeowners insurance.

The first signs of spring are starting to show, a few weeks back, all the "boys" in LA went on my grandson's 21st Birthday fishing trip to the upper Kenai River. Having little or no luck, they have decided to do their fishing a little closer to home. I thought this was a great picture of Eric and Heath getting in a little "late season" ice fishing on Spenard Lake. Their success was similar to their experience on the Upper Kenai River, except they did catch one tire that happened to fit one of the their "chevies". They also caught a "Volkswagon Hood", but since none of them had a Volkswagon, they released it back into the lake. After two unsuccessful attempts at fishing, perhaps they will now be patient and wait just a few more weeks when the Anchor River will open to fishing on May 18th.

Fearing the worse in regards to the "spring runoff" at the Hole In The Wall Recreational Area, I took the advice of JD Plumma, who has been an advocate of Global Warming. The "Bear Den" is located at the base of the glacier and susceptible to the worst flooding. I spent the day, with the assistance from Golden Granny and my trusty plow truck to raise the "Bear Den" a few feet. It is unbelievable what a snow plow will do when you apply the hydraulics to the blade in other ways other than plowing snow. If Papa Bear will take a little time from fishing, I left enough overhang that he should be able to build a nice deck so he and Mama Bear can sit outside and enjoy a good view of the Inlet and sitting sun. At least Mama Bear will not have to "walk the plank" (Before Photo) after she has had a little fermented juice of the grape. Now, seeing Mama Bear crawling up the ladder (After Photo) to their den under the same conditions may be a lot of fun to watch. At least, Papa Bear will not be able to hide his personal stash of freshly cured salmon eggs under his den without us knowing.

The "Wolf Den" is already raised, although not nearly as secure as the "Bear Den" but perhaps with a little more dunnage, we can raise it a few more feet to clear the high water. We were also going to raise the "Moose Wallow", but after finding out all of the environmental impact statements that we would have to file, because "somebody" declared it a natural habitat area and named it the "Kroc Pond" , we decided not to open that can of worms and will hope for the best. After this last improvement adventure, I have to wonder why everyone built their homes in the low lying areas. The "Duck House" is the only structure that "run off" was taken into consideration and it was built built on high ground. Some may seem that this story is similar to the "Three Little Pigs", I prefer to refer to it as applying the eight "P's".

1st Anniversary  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Today, marks the 1st Anniversary of this site, Hyperbole Prattle. During this past year, there have been a total of 265 prattle postings made and a total of 11,542 hits to the site. I would like to thank all of you for stopping by to visit on a regular basis, it has been fun.

I would especially like to thank my children for introducing me to the world of blog, we have had a great time . Perhaps communications in this form has provided a little insight into ourselves that we have never shown before. Perhaps it is has provided us a little "historical" knowledge of the past, if not an opportunity to reflect upon the past and relive some of those memories. Perhaps, it has provided a little humor when we needed it the most or just a break in the daily routine. As for me, I have written articles for newspapers, several magazine articles, and a daily script for a radio program, however, the most enjoyment that I have had in writing has been in maintaining this site.

I especially want to thank my very own, personal "tinker". To date, I have no concept of how to set up a site so I turned this project over to my daughter, Heidi, to "tinker" with. Between herself and the Plumma, they designed the site as it is today, no changes have been made from the original site. It has served me well, so I see no great need to change anything.

To all that have visited the site, I thank you for your quest for knowledge with a good dose of hyperbolism and prattling.

Spring Cleaning  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Each spring, we go through the ritual of cleaning our yards after the long winter, even though they were nice and neat prior to the first snowfall. I have often wondered where all the stuff comes from between the fall and spring months. Last year, we were entertained during the month of April as JD Plumma went into great detail describing his "clean up" campaign and the sink hole that had developed out back of his abode. I was so entertained that I wanted to "link" his humor to this posting, however, I am assuming that the "sink" hole also et up his archives, as I could not access them. In less than forty days, he will once again begin his efforts at beating back the "sink hole" one more time, although it may seem like an endless task, he should feel fortunate that his "sink hole" is not the magnitude of this one. This particular "sink hole" devoured several homes. Perhaps, some type of alert should be made warning the neighbors surrounding the Plumma home that the potential exists where they may not have a home if the spring "plumma sink hole" expands the existing boundaries. One has to wonder if a person's home owners insurance will cover the loss of the neighbors house if your "sink hole" devours it. It will be am interesting topic to watch over the next several weeks. Hopefully the "hot tub" and "jungle set" will not be lost.

"We Were Soldiers"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

It was mid November 1965, when Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore and the men of the 1st Cavalry division, 7th Cavalry Regiment (the regiment led by General George Armstrong Custer at the Little Bighorn, "Custer's Last Stand") were dropped into the la Drang Valley called the "Valley of Death". The Vietnam War was escalating and this was the first time in the history of the Army that helicopters were utilized to transport ground troops into a "hot" zone and provide aerial support to them. This particular engagement was also the first time that the U.S. Army engaged the regular army of North Vietnam. The men of the 7th Cavalry Regiment faced overwhelming odds of two regiments of the North Vietnamese Army Infantry, "determined to overrun and annihilate them" according to documents of the U.S. Army.

Major Bruce Crandall was commanding a company of the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division consisting of 16 helicopters. Embedded with the ground force of the 7th Cavalry Division was Joseph L. Galloway, a war correspondent now with McClatchy Newspapers.

Several years following the war, three star General Hal Moore collaborated with Joseph Galloway in writing the book, "We Were Soldiers Once ...And Young". A few years ago, the movie "We Were Soldiers" was adapted from the book. The movie starred Mel Gibson as Colonel Moore and Sam Elliott as his Sergeant Major. General Moore and Joseph Galloway were technical advisers for the movie. I have watched this movie several times since it has been released to video and consider it as the best depiction of the Vietnam War that has been produced. It is important as it not only portrays the horrors of war but also the human side of the war including that of the families left behind. It is well worth watching.

The reason that this particular movie and event of the Vietnam War comes to my thoughts today is because it has been over forty-one years since that initial engagement in the la Drang Valley. On Monday, one week following his 74th birthday, Major Bruce Crandall, commanding the Assault Helicopter Battalion at the la Drang Valley will receive the nation's highest military honor from President George Bush, the "Medal of Honor". Bruce Crandall now lives near Bremerton, Washington, when being interviewed he stated, "I am still here, most of these awards are posthumous, so I can't complain". Forty one years following this unpopular war, a true hero is being recognized for going "beyond the call of duty". He was young once, but I am sure that a day has not passed since, that his reflections have not returned to the la Drang Valley and those that were lost in the "Valley of Death", they were also young.

"Hole In The Wall"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

With the majority of the winter behind us, it is now time to look forward to spring and spending some leisure time at the "Hole In the Wall" Recreational Area. For those just visiting or joining us for the first time, this name is used quite often on this site as well as a number of other family sites. The "Hole In the Wall" is a family campground that is slowly being developed as a gathering site for family members and friends. The name was derived from the popular western genre movie, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. The "Hole In The Wall" Recreational Area is situated in a large bowl area with only one access point leading into it. This entry way is usually guarded by the smaller outlaws that also inhabit the area while their elders sit around the "fire pit".

The name of our family recreational area is not unique, this same name is also a international name, that provides recreational areas and campgrounds for children suffering from a host of life threatening diseases. The Hole In The Wall Camps are located internationally with the majority of them being in the United States. Since their inception in 1988, an excess of 100,000 children from thirty-four states and thirty-one countries have visited these free camps. Funding for these camps is provided by donations. The "Hole In The Wall Camps" project was initiated by Paul Newman, who played "Butch" Cassidy in the 1968 Academy Award movie.
The "Hole In The Wall Gang" a.k.a "Wild Bunch" was the name given to a gang in the American Wild West, which took its name from the Hole In the Wall Pass in Johnson County, Wyoming. This area served as a hideout for several "outlaw gangs", with little interaction between the "gangs". It contained a infrastructure, with each gang supplying its own food and livestock supply as well as corrals, livery stable and numerous cabins for each of the gangs. Certain rules applied to the the camp, to include a certain way of handling disputes with other gang members and never stealing from another gang's supplies. There were no leaders, with each gang adhering to their own chain of command. Members included such infamous desperadoes as Jesse James, Frank James, Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid, Kid Curry, Black Jack Ketchum, and George "Flat Nose" Curry. The encampment operated with a steady stream of outlaws rotating in and out from the late 1860's to the early 20th century. By 1910, few outlaws used the area, one of the cabins utilized by Butch Cassidy still exists today and was relocated to Cody, Wyoming where it is on public display. Through the history of the Hole In The Wall, it was never broached by law enforcement officers.

Butch Cassidy was born in Beaver, Utah as Robert LeRoy Parker on April 13, 1866. His family was of the Mormon Faith and he was the oldest of thirteen children. It is reported that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in Bolivia as indicated in the movie. Following the release of the movie, reporters came to the home area of Cassidy looking for members of his family. They did find Mrs. Lulu Parker Betenson, who was Butch's youngest sister, she was 86 at the time of the interview. She told reporters that Butch Cassidy did not die in 1909 in Bolivia, but returned and visited her some 16 years later in 1925. His sister swore that Butch Cassidy, also known as Hiram Bebee, died in Spokane, Washington in 1937.
As a young man, he was called "Roy" by his family and friends. In his late teens he begin working for other local ranchers, one of them being Mike Cassidy who did have a shady background. By 1884, Roy was rustling cattle and his life as an outlaw commenced. He also worked at a butcher shop in Rock Springs, Wyoming for a brief time, while working there as butcher, he was nicknamed "Butch" He took on the name of "Cassidy", perhaps in honor of his childhood hero that he had worked for.
"Sundance Kid" was born Harry Longabaugh in Mont Clare, Pennsylvania in 1867. At the age of fifteen, he headed west with his cousin. By the age of 20, he had stole a gun, a saddle and horse from a ranch in Sundance, Wyoming. He was captured a short time later, convicted and served 18 months in jail. After his release, he worked as a cowboy before being implicated in a 1892 train robbery. In 1897, he had partnered up with Harvey Logan when they robbed a bank at Belle Fourche, South Dakota on June 27th. Although they were captured, they did manage to escape from the jail in Deadwood, South Dakota three months later. It was from this bank robbery that Harry Longabaugh become known as the "Sundance Kid". In 1900, the Sundance Kid met Butch Cassidy and joined the Wild Bunch at the "Hole In The Wall". On February 1, 1901 the two of them and a lady friend, Etta Place sailed from the United States to Argentina. It is reported that both, Butch Cassidy and the "Sundance Kid" were killed by soldiers in Bolivia in 1909, but like Butch Cassidy, there are some reports that both of them returned to the United States with the "Sundance Kid" dying in 1936.

The mystery of their death's may never be discovered, perhaps it is best that it be kept as a secret of the "Hole In the Wall".


Posted by Stan Harrington

"Stumpy" was born on February 17, 2007 at the Warrawee Duck Farm in England. The duckling was born with two extra appendages that are very important to a duck. I have several questions as well as concerns for this little duck.

1. Will the other ducks laugh at him?

2. Will "Stumpy" be able to swim faster than he other ducks his age?

3. Will "Stumpy" be barred from any swimming competition in the future?

4. Will his extra appendages affect his sense of balance so he will not be able to stick his "butt" in the air and feed from the bottom of the pond?

5. Will "Stumpy" require mental or rehabilitation counseling in the future?

Having never raised a duck, I have no knowledge in this area so I would appreciate any knowledge that you may have so I can stop worrying about "Stumpy".

February 18, 1966  

Posted by Stan Harrington

February 18, 1966 At The Methodist Church In Homer , Alaska. Our Wedding Day.

What a forty one year journey it has been. Looking back, our children will remember hearing a lot of the names that were involved in our wedding in some manner. I was on the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Shangri-La (CVA-38) our of Mayport, Florida. At the time of our wedding, we were in dry dock at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard going through a major overhaul. I took ten days leave and returned to Homer to be married. At that time, blood tests were required with a week waiting period, so I had my test taken by the Navy in order to get our marriage license.

Prior to my arriving, Terry had planned the wedding and sent out all the invitations. It was only after my return that someone realized that we had scheduled our wedding at the same time as the High School wrestling matches. Being that my Best Man, my brother Tad, was the Mariner Coach, they were wrestling Kenai High School, and the entire town turned out to the wrestling matches, we had to delay our wedding one hour in order to get the wedding party to the church.

Reverend Dahl was our minister, unknown to us until after the wedding, his mother had passed away that same day and as soon as the wedding was over, he left for Anchorage to fly stateside. Reverend Dahl passed away this past summer. The wedding party included my brother, Tad, Terry's brother Dean, and Dale Myhill. The Bridesmaids were Sandy Platt and my sister Patti.

The photographer for the wedding was Art Hawk, being that he worked for the Department of Agriculture, he had a professional camera so we thank the U.S. Government for our wedding photos as I am sure Art most likely developed them at their expense as some type of agricultural pictures.

Homer being a very small town, there was no doubt that we would not be able to hide out in the only hotel that was open, the Heady Hotel. Following our reception, we were sneaked out the backdoor of the Family Cafe, brother Tad had his car waiting and the two of us laid down in the back seat of the car so we would not be observed and followed. Milt Turkington and his family were not at the wedding as they had planned a trip to Anchorage, however, they graciously offered us the use of their home for our wedding night. Their refrigerator was empty, but we did share peanut butter sandwiches and an apple on our wedding night.

The following morning, our chauffeur picked us up and we had a joint family breakfast at the Family Cafe, the wedding reception party ending only a few hours prior. We did miss some of the dancing and excitement at the reception after we left. Jerry Anderson evidently had a touch to much of grape juice and decided he could whip anyone in the place. He made the mistake of making such an offer to my father. It was a fast altercation, one punch from dad and Jerry was on the floor, out like a light. In later years, Jerry become an Elder in the Mormon Church and did the memorial service for my father when he passed away. During his sermon, he made the comment that the one thing that he remembered about Vern Harrington was that he had "one hell of a punch". So, it left him a lasting impression, perhaps even showed him the errors of his way at the time.

Following the breakfast, Terry and I departed Homer on Pacific Northern Airlines en route to our new and temporary home in Philadelphia. Being married to a sailor, Terry quickly discovered that it is nomadic, but a good life. In the first seventeen years of our marriage (1966 - 1983), we lived in Philadelphia; Jacksonville, Florida (two times); Adak, Alaska; Vallejo, California; Pearl City, Hawaii; Durango, Colorado; Palisade, Colorado; Montrose, Colorado; Whidbey Island, Washington, and Anchorage, Alaska. Since my retirement from active duty in 1983, during the past twenty four years we have lived in Homer and Anchor Point, Alaska so we have settled down in comparison.

We have been blessed with four wonderful children, twelve grandchildren, two great grandchildren and as well we include our son's and daughters in law, although, we look upon them as our own children and not just by law. All of us living within 110 miles of one another, it gets no better than that. We look forward to all twenty four of us sitting around the "fire pit" at the "Hole In The Wall" in ninty days.

Saturday Morning Prattle News  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Knowing that some do not have the time to spend cruising the pages of the local news paper, so I though I would bring you some of the news stories that I feel deserves reading in a concise form.

One should never upset an elephant! "February 15, 2007. Abey, a four-ton eighteen-year-old elephant, threw off his mahout and American rider and went on a rampage destroying a vehicle before being subdued. REUTERS/Buddhika Weerasinghe "
"Who is your mama"
A two year old piglet approaches its adoptive mother, Sai Mai, a six year old tiger at the Siracha Tiger Zoo in Thailand. The "piglet" is dressed in traditional clothing in celebration of the Chinese New Year which will commence on Sunday, February 18th.
Political views expressed are unbiased and balanced.
The "Hillary Clinton Election Committee" wanting to take advantage of the forth coming Chinese New Year made a major announcement on Friday. From the list of those candidates that have filed as candidates for the Presidency of the United States, their candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is the only one of them that was born in the "Year of the Pig".
Do you plan on voting in your next election. Remember, "voting for politicians is like changing diapers, they should be changed often because they are full of _ _ _ _"
In 1972 a major environmental project was undertaken in the State of Florida. To relieve the pressure in their landfills, they created an artificial barrier off the coast of Florida using two million tires. The artificial reef that was constructed was a disaster. Coral and sea vegetation did not replenish the area. Since this construction project, the cables and wires banding the tires together have deteriorated due to corrosion. The sea floor is now covered with tires with some showing up on the beautiful sandy beaches of this fair state. Through the year of 2010, the State of Florida has budgeted a total of 3.4 million dollars to aid in the clean up effort. The U.S. Navy has also volunteered personnel, time and equipment to assist in the operation as a training exercise for their divers.
The movie, "Man of the Year" starring Robin Williams will be released to the video stores on Tuesday, February 20th. I personally reviewed the movie this evening and found it very entertaining, humorous, and reflective of our political system. If you enjoy the humor of Robin Williams, you will enjoy this movie. I will give it 3.75 stars.

Quckie Meal Recipe  

Posted by Stan Harrington

After working many 18 to 20 hour days at the Anchor Angler during the past 20+ years, I developed strange eating habits, often grabbing a quick bite when I have the opportunity. It was during this time that I developed the Quickie Grilled Cheese Sandwich. All you need is two slices of bread and a slice or two of Velveeta cheese. Pop the bread into a toaster, while it is toasting to a golden brown, boil a cup of water in the microwave oven. The timing will almost be the same, remove the water from the microwave oven and pour that into an instant cup of soup. Take the two pieces of toast, between the slices of toast place the cheese, and pop them into the micro wave for one minute or less. By the time the the grilled cheese sandwich is completed and devoured, the cup of soup is ready to eat. Total elapse time is three minutes or less.

Very recently, within the past two weeks, I have developed a new recipe for "Hot Dogs". There is no better way to enjoy a hot dog than over an open fire, however, when you are in a hurry or in the middle of winter and you cannot get a fire started there is great way to enjoy a dog which takes very little time. You do not need to heat it in a pan or water or attempt to roast it in the oven. This method is fast and comes very close to a dog cooked over charcoal or an open fire.

I prefer the Johnsonville Brand of "Beef Brats", the ideal cooking time is one to one and a half minutes. Take the "brat" or "dog" and roll it up in a moistened paper towel. I have found that four to five wraps is almost ideal. You can also wrap two brats by rolling them up on each side of the paper towel. Set the microwave oven for 1.25 minutes and hit "start". By the time that you have your condiments on the bun, although I prefer white bread, the brats are cooked and ready to be relished. They are also very good if you take a can of chili and heat it first, cook your brats in the paper towel, about one minute. Place the brats on a bun, smother with chili topped with grated cheddar cheese and pop back into the microwave oven until the cheese is melted. Total meal time, less than three minutes.
Give me a microwave oven, a loaf of white bread and I will survive!

Kenai River Fishing  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Since my last posting of several minutes ago, the following pictures was forward to me. Unknown to me, but my Brother In Law also fished the Kenai River this past weekend. He was fishing downstream from Skilak Lake in front of his "retirement home". Just thought that some of you might like to know that all the Rainbows do not return to the lakes in the winter. Nice fish, Jim.

Prattle Notes  

Posted by Stan Harrington

There are some fishermen that can even find joy when fishing in the midst of winter, recently we saw pictures of just such a trip, when the Plumma and other members of the family journeyed to the upper Kenai River. Although, they did hook a fish, at least they have a picture of a Coho Salmon that has made it's transition to the natural spawning colors. However, when looking at the fish you will notice some "white" showing around the edges of the tail. This is the unmistakable sign that the salmon has recently spawned and is now in the final stages of decay, but they still caught a fish.
This fisherman is a true fisherman, he loves his fishing so much that he takes a nap with his catch. This fish was recently caught at Lake Winnebago (yea, the same place that makes the motor homes that we dodge each summer) from his ice shanty. Although the fish was not caught on a rod and reel, but speared as he went swimming by the ice hole. This Sturgeon was 72 inches long and weighed in at 102 pounds.

It came to light today, that Bank of America is making it policy to provide credit cards to illegal aliens. To receive a credit card from Bank of America, they do not need to provide a social security number or drivers license. According to the news media, a major advertising blitz is offering this service to illegal residents. Reportedly there is no law against it, however, when all of these credit cards reach their limit and the illegal has disappeared, guess who is going to make up for the loss revenue by an increase in interest. Test the system and go to your bank and apply for a credit card, be prepared to produce the last three years of your federal tax returns.

Long haul trucker, Ranger Bill has recently made several new postings on his blog site. He had to make another "toilet paper" run from the Seattle area to southern California. He seems to get a lot of these loads whenever me makes a trip into Seattle. All of you that have followed his travels are aware of his favorite "pit stop", Beaver, Utah. Knowing that he does travel from coast to coast on a regular basis, I took it upon myself to do a little navigation for him. Regardless of where he is going, he always seems to go through Beaver, Utah. I have now mapped out a course that he can travel and have numerous places to stop. There is a community named Beaver in the following states; Alaska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Oregon, Utah, and Oklahoma. Numerous other places where Beaver is used in the name, i.e. Beaver Creek, Beaver Lake, Beaver Lodge, etc. also exists.

There was a scheduled Congressional Hearing today in Washington D.C. in regarding the issue of "Global Warming", however, it had to be canceled due to the ice and snow storms that have hit the eastern seaboard. Do you think that "mother nature" may have been sending them a little inside testimony?

If you check the "Money" section of Wednesday issue of the LA Gazette, the headlines read, Alaska Polar Bears Sue Walruses! I would hate to be a lawyer representing either side of this lawsuit, nothing worse than a mad Polar Bear or a Walrus that has lost a lawsuit. It also had something to do with "Global Warming". Which makes me ponder, how do we know it is just "Global Warming" and not the entire universe. If the universe gets warmer, then the earth will get warmer - something to do with the sun, maybe, I think.

Have a good day.

Happy Valentines Day  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Wishing All Of You A Very Happy Valentine's Day. Give Somebody Special A Hug Today!

Westminister Kennel Club  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Today, was the second day of the Westminster Kennel Dog Show. The "working class" of dogs were judged today to determine the "Best of the Breed". Being that, I am a "toller" owner and a big fan of the breed, I am always interested in how the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers do in these larger shows.



This gentleman was barred from entering the Dog Show as their was no category for Rabbits.

Artistic Talent Wanted  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Not having a lot of artistic abilities myself, in fact I find it quite difficult to paint a building, even with a paint sprayer. However, when you lack this type of talent, you make an attempt to associate with others that have these god given talents. I am fortunate, that I have an abundance of members within my family that display artistic talents in a variety of mediums.

I know most of you have driven the Seward Highway as it winds itself along the beaches of Turnagain Arm. It is a pristine area, with the sheer rock cliffs paralleling the highway on one side and the marine water of the arm on the other side. Even in the winter, it is beautiful as massive amounts of ice icicles start forming on the rock bluffs.

I recently come across a photograph, it was taken on the eastern seaboard, even though it looks like Turnagain Arm. The artist used common dye mixed with water to create his masterpiece. He carried the plastic gallon jugs of water to the top of cliff that supported the icicles and then poured the water over the existing ice. The water instantly froze to the ice to form his canvas.

The Turnagain Arm icicles cry out for this type of artistic impression. What a great Girl Scout or family project. I am sure, with the proper format in the form of a grant request, numerous art foundations, city governments, and Chambers of Commerce would provide the financial supporet. However, keep in mind that most likely the Alaska State Parks would require a Park Use Permit, an environmental assessment, and traffic impact statement. A lot of these lands in this area are also federal, so a duplicate of these permits would be required. The colorful ice formations would also create traffic jams worse than the Dall Sheep displays during the spring and summer, so no doubt Department of Transportation and the Alaska State Troopers would also be required to be in the permit process. Who said being an artist was easy - even the government makes it difficult. Of course, if it was carried out under the darkness of night, who would ever know - but it would make the front page of the La Gazette.

Full Service Throne  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The "Ultimate Toilet" produced by Rotor Rooter. This new bathroom feature has just recently come on the market. The modest bathroom fixture that we have all taken for granted is now a "user friendly" device. The toilet has remained unchanged for many years, however in recent months we have witnessed some drastic improvements in the "throne". First, as it was reported right here, the Aqua-Toilet came out, a fixture with a built in aquarium replacing the old cold porcelain tank. That device could be introduced as part of the "Ultimate Toilet".
Like a car, you can get a variety of options on the "Ultimate Toilet". The attached picture is of one of the deluxe models, containing an automatic toilet paper dispenser, Ipod, CD Player, DVD Player, Computer, Flat Screen Monitor, Printer, Television, Lighted Make Up Mirror, Refrigerator, Sun Lamp, AM-FM Radio, Bicycle Exercise attachment, small micro wave oven, and a tank warmer so the tank will dispense warm water. Cost of the "Ultimate Toilet" is dependent upon the options selected. For additional information pertaining to models, contact your local Plumma.


Posted by Stan Harrington

All good things must come to an end, as we close out the "old year" and prepare to enter the "new year". I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Very Happy New Year and thank each of you for the memories of the "old" year, those memories are priceless. The commencement of the "new" year marks the time that memories are stowed away for remembrance and new memories made. Our little ones, surely have many fond memories of the year passing that will last them a lifetime.

In a few days, the Chinese "Year Of the Dog" will conclude. Anyone that has visited the "Hole In The Wall Recreational Area" would have to conclude that we rightfully celebrated the "Year Of the Dog". With the gathering of the Clans at the "Hole In the Wall", the canine population was in proportion to the size of the Clans. We had little dogs, big dogs, ugly dogs, bad dogs, good dogs, mean dogs, pure bread dogs, street dogs, a one eyed dog, and one very well trained dog. We had dogs that had never experienced the wonderful experience of "roughing" it in an outdoor camping environment. There were dogs that had never experience the wild side of life, having never left the city lights of metropolitan Las Anchorage. However, the "city" dogs were quickly adopted by their "country" cousins and taught the way of the wild life in the bush. Such was the case of the two city dogs that were vertically challenged. They were immediately adopted by a Yellow Labador that was wise to the way of the wild. Within five minutes of their arrival, they were adopted and the Lab had them in tow to show them the wild night life of Anchor Point. Being a small community, there is only one location in town that is open to the public where you can go to experience a little night life and enjoy the company of others. It is located across the river and valley from the "Hole In the Wall", evidently the Yellow Lab had experienced this in the past, as he led the wiener dogs on the one mile trek to the night spot. The front door of the bar was open, so all three walked in, expecting to find a little action and listen to a few tunes. Upon discovering that the wiener dogs had disappeared, an immediate search party consisting of four cars and twelve people begin canvassing the area. Fortunately, an off duty bartender was present at the night spot and convinced the dogs to enter her car. Retrieving the information from the collar of one of the wiener dogs, she called the national hot line and an immediate "lost dog amber alert" was activated. The bartender used a little small town investigative initiative and discovered the name of the owner, having heard of the "Hole In The Wall" she returned all three dogs safely to the confines of the "Hole In The Wall". Although, there were new dogs, time was taken to place a few flowers, tears, and remembrance at the final resting place of a loyal and proud dog during the Memorial Day weekend.

Within a few days, the Chinese will celebrate the new year, the "Year Of The Pig". In keeping with tradition, the "Year of the Pig" will pose a challenge to members of the Clans that inhabit the "Hole In the Wall". If anyone reading this posting, has or knows of individuals that have members of the swine family, you might want to caution them to watch their piggies very close for the next few months, especially during the month of May as that will be the first gathering of the Clans. The "Hole In The Wall" is ideally suited for the members of the pig family, an established "pig wallow" is available for their enjoyment. Although, the "Kroc Pond" is inhabited by a rather large crocodile, I am sure he can be distracted long enough for the pigs to enjoy a good mud bath.

The Chinese has already commenced their celebration of the "Year of the Pig" by hosting a variety of demonstrations, shows, and sporting events featuring pigs. Being the site for the next Summer Olympics, the emphasis has been placed on sporting events for pigs.

In one track and field event, the one mile dash, the Gold Medal was awarded to Comrade Mi Chin Chin for running the distance with a time of 16.67 minutes. However, prior to the Award Ceremony he was disqualified from the competition for failure to "oink" when passing other contestants. The "Gold Medal" was then awarded to Comrade Yu Poo Tu for a timed run of 26.35 minute in the one mile distance.

In another contested event, the 300 Yard Obstacle Race, the apparent winner, Su Lin Sow was disqualified from the competition after posting a new world record with a time of 4.76 minutes and having a clean run over all obstacles. The Gold Medal was awarded to the second place finisher, Comrade Yo To Fat, who posted a time of 18.23 minutes and knocking down three obstacles. The reason that athlete Su Lin Sow was disqualified was because she of was the female gender and barred from all competition with those of the male gender.

The delegation of athletes comprised of the American Swine Association was barred from the competition due to not having the proper security clearance to enter the Republic of China. The American contingent of swine athletes was comprised of Arctic Polar Pigs from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They were expected to "sweep" the competition, especially in the swimming events including the "high board" diving competition. The State Department of the U.S. is contesting this ruling on the pretense that members of swine community are not required to have the same security clearance as human athletes.

The Chinese New Year, the "Year of the Pig" will commence on Sunday, February 18th, which just happens to coincide with the 41st Anniversary of the marriage between myself and the "Golden Granny". To celebrate our anniversary and in recognition of the "Year of the Pig", after 41 years I have decided to take Granny out for dinner. I have selected a fine restaurant in the "Little Hamlet on Beluga Slough" to celebrate this momentous occasion. The "special" menu has been arranged with the head chef of this fine establishment. Dinner will commence with a fine vintage of Boone's Farm Merlot with ordeavores comprised of a combination of "pickled pigs feet" and "miniature pigs in a blanket" this will be followed by a fresh green salad topped with "farm" dressing and bacon bits. The third course will consist of a fresh pinto bean soup laced heavily with pork fat and ham hocks. The main course will consist of three large platters of freshly prepared bar-b-que spare ribs and corn on the cob. For desert we will enjoy a large slice of Chocolate Mud Pie, topped with a wallop of whip cream with three more bottles of fine Boone's Farm wine. It looks like it will be a great night to celebrate our anniversary and the "Year Of The Pig".

Global Warming Warning  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I believe it was clear back On September 6th of this past year, I broke the story and the secrets of the Arctic Polar Pig. At first glance, they are a common pig, however these pigs have history. Through the generations they have adapted to the environment of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These pigs were introduced by accident to the area that they now inhabit by the early Russian traders that visited Alaska. Being carried onboard the trading vessels as a fresh food supply. Although, their existence was known only by a few biologists, this secret remained hidden in the volumes of survey work conducted in the Arctic for many years.

It now appears that the continued existence of the Arctic Polar Pig is in jeopardy and we must face reality that they may become extinct in the near future. In recent months, and even within the past few days an aerial survey indicates that Global Warming is having a drastic effect on their environment. Although, our glaciers will withstand several more years of Global Warming before they disappear, it is likely that the Arctic snow cover will not withstand the warming trend. The melting point of snow is much lower than ice, consequently large areas of their refuge is commencing the onslaught of meltdown. A pig is not known to be adaptable to swimming for long periods of time, the likelihood of their survival during the meltdown period is not optimistic. During the last monthly survey period, the following picture was taken of Kabuki Herd of Arctic Polar Pigs, their survival rate is unknown at this time. The Global Warming trend needs to be reversed immediately in order to protect the Arctic Polar Pig.

"A Good Day"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Sorry, there is no posting today. The tides is running, the sea is calm, the weather is clear, and a fresh salmon steak would taste good. "That is your sport fishing report for today, have a good day on the water and good luck with your fishing".


Super Bowl XLI  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Tis, the Eve before Super Bowl XLI (Forty One for Non-Romans), the most watched sporting event in the world. Although, some viewers do watch a little of the football game, a percentage of the viewers are only interested in the advertisements. The Super Bowl is most likely the only TV show that individuals watch in order to see the advertisements. The majority of the advertisements that you watch will be 30 second spots. Dependent on the placement of the spot, advertisers are paying up 2.6 million dollars for the spot, excluding the production cost. The top advertiser again this year will be from the folks that produce Budweiser Beer. General Motors expended the second highest budget for advertisements with Pepsi-Cola being third place on the list.

However, the emphasis should really be on the football game. Predictions run wild as to who will win the game between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears. There are several ways to pick the winner. If you notice the symbol of the Colts is a horseshoe. However, when you tip the Bears symbol of a capital C on end, it also represents a horseshoe. If you are of Irish descent, you will recognize the horseshoe as a symbol of good luck. For good luck, the horseshoe must remain upright, or the luck runs out of it. The Chicago symbol of a C resembling a horseshoe is laying on it's side, consequently the luck of the Chicago Bears has run out. Pick the Colts to win Super Bowl XLI.

In the polls:
79% of the women predicted the Colts to win Super Bowl XLI
51% of the men predicted the Colts to Win Super Bowl XLI
86% of the Baby Boomers (father and mother know best) picked the Colts to win.
93% of the Blonds (Mama Bear excluded) predicted that Detroit to win Super Bowl XLI


Spring Is In the Air  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I was totally surprised in the fact that no one acknowledged the fact that we have just past a very significant day on our calendar. Although, I do have to admit that it is not recognized as a national holiday and really has no redeemable value whatsoever, especially when you rely on a furry little rodent to prognosticate the weather. How all of you missed Ground Hog Day without comment, I will never know.
This is the furry little rodent, Punxsutawney Phil, after sticking his head out of the hole of his den today. With his appearance, the professional prognosticators have determined that we will have a "early spring". Personally, I do believe we should not rely on some furball from predicting our future weather patterns. Although, we have witnessed the temperatures in Alaska in the mid 40 degree range over the past few days, it is still to early to consider that spring has sprung.

A lot of individuals utilize animals to predict weather. If you have ever witnessed a herd of horses, when a storm front moves in, they will always gather in a herd and point their butts in one direction. This is a very good indication of which way the wind is blowing. The Buffalo Clan also utilize their young off spring to predict weather, as clearly indicated by this picture that I previously posted on this site.
Their prediction was correct, it was snowing!

Migration of animals are also an indication that changes of season are forth coming, the massive migration of the caribou or the flocks of geese overhead. This is instinctive to most animals including the human. The migration of humans in Alaska can be easily recognized just prior to the onslaught of winter by seeing the number of PFD checks being mailed to Arizona, Florida, and Mexico.

My cousin on my brothers side of the family, Billy Bob, who lives in Pochatoula, Louisiana says he can predict that the swamps are going to flood when the animals start moving to the highest point of ground to avoid having to swim or sink. Billy Bob did take advantage of this change in weather status, he was able to save his jon boat, however lost his cabin during "Katrina" but he did get a new "coon skin" cap out of the deal.

You can take all of these weather predictions, some are correct, others are just folklore, but I do have a method of forecasting the season's. When I visit Whiskey Gulch Beach and see this weather indicator, I know that it is summer and "hot".
When I see this same "lady" dressed in hip boots and carrying a fishing rod, I know it is spring. When I see her wearing carharts and a rifle hanging in the rear window of her pick up, I know it is fall and moose hunting season is underway. When she is wearing carharts, bunny boots and a parka, it is sure sign of winter. Of all the season's, I really do enjoy summer the most.