Dutch Harbor Dutchman  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Today, my best "Buddy" and I will celebrate his fifth birthday. Although he is registered with the American Kennel Club as "Dutch Harbor Dutchman", he is affectionately known as just, "Dutch". He was born at Dutch Harbor, Alaska on March 30, 2002. His father being , "Readventure's Artful Dodger" and his mother was, Nibiru's Molly. She graced the magazine cover of a national waterfowl magazine prior to the birth of Dutch. If you are not familiar with this particular breed, they are relatively rare with very few of them being in Alaska. The breed is the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Originally, they were bred in England in the 1800's to resemble the Red Fox which were very adapt at "tolling" or luring in ducks to a waiting fox in the bushes.
The "little red dogs" were bred and trained to go though a variety of antics, playing with a stick, or jumping around to attract the attention of the ducks. With their white markings flashing, the ducks would move in closer out of curiosity, only to find the hunter in the blind. Once the bird was down, then the "toller" is sent out to make the retrieve. The breed later migrated to the eastern shores of Canada and picked up the name of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. The breed is still very popular in this area of Canada.

My adventure with "Dutch" began in September 2001, my wife had acquired a new computer system and asked if I would download a screen saver containing pictures of puppies. I watched the screen saver for a period of time, this one particular puppy kept flashing before my eyes, it was listed as a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever but at that time I had never heard of the breed. I talked to bird hunters, but none of them had ever heard of the breed. It was through the Internet, that I learned of the qualities of this particular breed and each of them matched what I was looking for in a dog. I looked a t a variety of "Toller" kennels on the Internet, most of them in Canada only to discover that they were very strict in who was eligible to purchase a puppy. I filled out so many applications, it was very similar to adopting a child. I got a call from lady that

had a kennel in Oregon, I had visited with her on a couple of other occasions, but she did not have a litter due for several months. She called to let me know she had heard about a litter of pups that were due to be born in March at Dutch Harbor. She knew the breeder and both the parents of the litter. I immediately called them to introduce myself and built a friendship that has lasted over the years. They called me the night that Molly had her puppies and from then on we kept in constant contact as to how the puppies were doing. I learned allot about the Tollers from them, their temperament, talent and intelligence. "Molly" had a vocabulary of at least one hundred words that she understood - a fact that I know longer doubt. When it came time to select a puppy, several others flew out to Dutch Harbor to make their selection, I asked Jerry to select the pup for me since he knew what I was looking for. By chance, he selected the pup for me that he would have preferred to keep if he had not had the parents. His selection was perfect.

By coincidence, "Dutch" was weened from his mother and flew to Anchorage with his sister on my birthday. I met him at the airport, the owner of the second puppy was present and we let them out of the kennel together in the middle of the airport. It was love at first site! The sister he flew in with lives just fifty miles from us and stops by to visit a couple of times each year.

Was he worth the effort, time and money? Perhaps, Dutch was best investment that I have ever made. We have developed a very close relationship. Did he live up to my expectations? He exceeded those the first year and continues to amaze me at his natural talents and intelligence. Having no vast experience at training a retriever, he made it easy on me and before I knew what was happening, he was making triple blind retrieves by hand, silent, or vocal commands. To watch him work is a constant amazement to me, but when it comes to play it is pure joy. As I write, he lays at my
feet, we are best friends.

My Wish Came True  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I believe, Santa is the real thing, he answered my Christmas wish, a little late but still a very pleasant surprise for those who thoroughly enjoy the delicate, sweet nectar of the Cherry Chocolate . If you have never fully enjoyed a "Cherry Chocolate" this link will give you step by step instructions as the many ways to savor the sweet succulent flavor of the chocolate. By referring to the comments posted, you will also find additional ways to enjoy a fresh "Cherry Chocolate". My sole complaint was that the only time these fine candies were available was at Christmas. Santa heard my pleas and today, I received my first shipment of Queen Anne Cherry Chocolate Eggs! The ingredients are identical to the traditional chocolate, however, the new Easter Chocolate are twice the size of the ordinary cherry chocolate. The way to savor this tidbit is a little different than when enjoying the typical cherry chocolate, but with a little patience and practice, those same techniques will work on this larger variety. For those that are heath conscious, one "egg" is considered a "daily serving". I devour at least one box at a sitting so their concept of a serving is less than the average Cherry Chocolate Connoisseur. However, they really should be considered as a "health food", they only contain 90 Calories per serving and contain only 4% Fat and 8% Saturated Fat. For those of us that have a little elevation in our Cholesterol, these cherries contain 0% as well as having 0% Sodium.
However, there is bad news, if you live outside the area of LA you may have difficulty in locating these "new" cherries. I had to import mine from that fair city. For those that live in the LA area, I know of at least two of you that are as avid Cherry Chocolate eaters as I, but you failed to locate them or at a minimum let me know that they were available. If you were not aware of their existence, I will Share the Spirit and the Secret but it will cost you one box of Cherry Chocolate Easter Eggs. Way to Go Queen Anne - I wonder is she is related to Queen Elizabeth, I want to recommend her for Knighthood!

"Back In the Old Days"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Back in the "old days" when you got two people together standing on the street, one would look at the sky and say, "Yup, looks like it's gonna snow", the other would shake his head in agreement and reply, "yup, looks like out of the northwest, gonna be a good one" and they would part their separate ways. The following morning fresh fallen snow was covering the ground. Years have past since these precise weather forecasts, today we enjoy modern technology that tells us everything that is going to happen with the weather by tuning in our television, radio, and especially our computer systems. At a touch of the button, we can look at the weather a week to ten days out. We can scan live pictures coming in from weather stations, Doppler radars and have an immediate live time weather report.

"My name is Stan, I am an addicted weather watcher". This morning, I clicked onto the National Weather Bureau site to check my morning weather, much to my surprise the Kenai Peninsula was "yellow" indicating a "heavy snow warning". This cannot be, the sun was shining brightly through my office window. Fearing the worse, I hit the "refresh" button, but the "heavy snow warning" remained in affect commencing at 5 a.m. Monday through Monday night. I switched to the Doppler Radar site, the scope was clear for the Cook Inlet Region. I switched to the Doppler Radar site for the Gulf of Alaska, it was also clear. If there is a snow storm out there, I cannot find it! Perhaps the prognosticators know something I do not, which is very likely, however, unless conditions change overnight, there will be no heavy snow storm on the Kenai Peninsula while we are on daylight savings time!

As a youngster, I can remember sitting around and listening to the "grown ups" talk, we were forbidden to utter a comment or render an opinion. I fear the "freedom of speech" was not always adhered to in the 40's, 50's and early 60's. Come to think of it, it was just not us "young ones" that felt this infringement on our constitutional rights, but for the most part, adult women also fell into this category. I can still recall those words that make us all cringe, "Back When I Was A Kid" or "Back In The Old Days". However,the years have passed, we have all gained our birth right in the execution of Freedom of Speech, but I still smile to myself , when I hear myself repeat those words when talking to friends of my age or to my grandchildren, "Back When I Was A Kid" or "Back In the Old Days". It seems to come up in my conversation on a regular basis as each year passes.

I remember when they tried to ban Elvis Presley from performing on T.V. because he rotated his hips while singing, or referred to him as Elvis the Pelvis. Shameful, back in our days they would not let him do that! Rock and Roll, girls in bobby socks, screaming at their singing idols, little harlots, no girl acted that way back in the old days. Boys walking around with Duck Ass hair styles, greased down and long sideburns, punks, never worked a day in their life and would amount to nothing, not like the old days. Girls wearing pants even without a girdle on, how slutty can you get, "I'll bet she will be with baby before she is 14"! Drive in Restaurants, "by god if you can't sit down at the table and eat, you do not deserve to eat!" Look at those "long haired hippies from that foreign country, that ain't singing and what is with that dumb name, "The Beatles" they should get haircuts, go home and get a job". I could write a book and famous quotes of the 50's and 60's.

Compared to the days of "old" we have become an enlightened society. Ladies can now appear in public wearing shorts and bra less without being branded a "loose woman", children have achieved the status of being able to speak and render a conclusion without being slapped silly.
We have even granted the women the right to vote and allowed other ethnic groups to share a bathroom with us. We do not have to repeat the silly "old' Pledge of Allegiance anymore because it infringes upon our freedom of speech. We can burn our National Flag, after all we are just expressing our freedom of speech. We do not have to refer to adults as Mr. or Mrs. or even Miss because we are all equal regardless of age. Neither the news media nor us have to refer to the person holding the highest office of our land as Mr. President or President Bush, we can just refer to him as George Bush and if we are in a hurry to make a point, "Bush" will do. I love my "new" freedoms, there are so many things that I can now do that I never had a chance to do back in the "old days". The only thing I would really like to see changed, back in the old days, anyone could wander in off the street into any store and purchase a package of cigarettes. With our new found freedoms, even I have to prove that I am "old" enough and then it takes twenty minutes and three padlocks later for the clerk to retrieve you the wrong brand of smokes. Was not like that back in the "old days" but I got freedom!

Four Decades Of Service  

Posted by Stan Harrington

In October 1963, I enlisted into the United States Navy that continued for twenty years active duty. In November, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. In May 1967, the U.S.S. John Kennedy (CV67) was christened by the President's nine year old daughter, Caroline and joined the fleet one year later. In May 1967, I was a member of the ships company aboard the U.S.S. Shangri-La (CVA38) home ported out of Mayport, Florida. I left this area for reassignment in October 1967. Today, after nearly forty years of service, the commission pennant of "Big John" was lowered at Mayport, Florida marking the end of an of a proud and distinguished naval career. Affectionately know as the "Big John" the U.S.S. Kennedy was the "top of the line" for many years serving in a variety of roles in the protection of our sea lanes and providing military support whenever called upon. During her last major mission, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Kennedy and her air wing dropped 54,000 pounds of bombs on Iraq.
She was home ported out of Norfolk, Virginia for the majority of her career, transferring to Naval Station, Mayport, Florida for a few years to serve as a training carrier. The Captain's In Port Cabin was designed by the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy and eventually will be on display at the Navy Museum. Reportedly, it is the only room on a U.S. Navy ship with wood paneling.
Today, with the remaining ships company lining the decks of ship in dress uniform, bands playing the final tribute was made to this great warship, the last of her kind. For a sailor, that once walked the decks of these ships, it is always a bitter sweet moment to see these great ships tied up to a pier for the remainder of their lifetime or until they are sold for salvage. Although, never being aboard the "Big John", she had a reputation and it was honorable, she served our country well. The U.S.S. Kennedy was one of the two remaining fossil fuel-powered aircraft carriers, the one remaining is the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk will be decommissioned this next year. Our remaining carrier fleet which is vast and continuing to grow are underway on nuclear power.

Ice Free Anarctica  

Posted by Stan Harrington

My nightly read tonight was the continued devastation of our oceans due to Global Warming. The author made a point in his article with the giant iceberg picture on the left. It is his theory that because of Global Warming, the water volume in our oceans are continuing to decrease. A few days ago, I made a posting contradicting this statement because "their" indicators showed that the tidal flow had increased in Sitka, Alaska. However, to be "fair and balanced", let us disregard that discrepancy and focus on his theory. The picture speaks a thousand words. This is definitely a very large iceberg that appears to be high and dry on some sandy beach. Please note the six (6) small black figures in front of the iceberg. By enlargement, you will discover that they are those little "Happy Feet Penguins", they provide you a very good size comparable when considering their small size in comparison to this iceberg. Next thing you might note is the sand waves of the beach, those sand, snow, and ice waves are created by tidal flow. Not knowing the tidal currents in this area, I conducted a little research utilizing March 24, 2007 as a target date for the tidal data.
Time: High / Low
0056 6.75 ft
0655 .46 ft
1320 7.35 ft
1947 .72 ft
The tidal flow in this area is much less than we see in our area, however, it could be concluded that an iceberg this size grounded itself on the beach from prevailing winds and since that time, with a maximum height of the tides are not high enough to extract that volume of weight off the beach. Due to the "ice slides" along the side and base of the iceberg, this monster has been in place for some time and not a recent result of Global Warming. However, the photographer, did not pay the attention that they should have when they included the "Happy Feet Penguins" in the picture. Water is the life of the Penguin, they do not venture far from their escape route and feeding areas. I would venture to guess that any sign of water has been cropped from the picture or a simple airbrush job has been done. Beware what pictures you believe in this day and age, look for what is wrong with the picture instead of taking it at face value. In this particular case, it was "Happy Feet". Look for the release of Academy Award Winning, "Happy Feet" at your favorite video store on Tuesday, March 27th.

Wind Generator  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Had a long discussion with the "The Bear" pertaining to the Wind Generator project at the Hole In The Wall Recreation Area this summer. Based on his calculations, he can construct two generators and have them on line for Memorial Day weekend. Surprisingly, there is not really that much to the building them, running the underground cable and hooking up the batteries in parallel is the most time consuming part of the project. He estimates that he can assemble the base and mast in less than a day after the concrete sets up. Using his computations, based on the average wind speed on the horizon of the bluff, two generators will provide sufficient power to feed both the recreational area and the Eagle Nest. The even better news is that there will be an excess of energy generated, unknown to me but Homer Electric Association will purchase any excess. As well, they will provide a grant to build the project. In less than an hour, he assembled a smaller version of the generator and to prove how effective these are, he installed six batteries in my car. I am now utilizing "alternative energy" and am now "gas free", I feel so much better.

Aviation History  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Aviation history was made today, when the new "Airbus" made it's maiden trans-Atlantic flight. Eight hours after take off, it landed in the United States following the same flight course of Charles Lindbergh. The big "Airbus" is as the name implies. It has the capacity to carry 550 passengers and twenty three crew members. It also has two dining dining areas, including one that serves full course diners. We have all waited in line at airports, waiting to board an airplane, this morning it took 20 minutes to load the capacity of the aircraft. I have waited at Homer International much longer to load four passengers! Keeping in mind the effect this "Airbus" could have on "Global Warming", it only consumes one gallon of gas per passenger every eighty miles. I did the math for you based on 500 passengers, the flight covered 3,500 mile in eight hours. At that rate, it averaged 437.5 miles per hour, burning 21,875 gallons of fuel!

On May 20, 1927 at 7:52 a.m., Charles Lindbergh became airborne in an attempt to complete the first trans-Atlantic solo flight to Paris, France. The "Spirit of St Louis" made aviation history by landing in Paris on May 21st after being airborne for 33.5 hours. Compared to the "Airbus" he traveled at the speed of 104.48 miles per hour. For his flight, Charles Lindberg accomplish the feat on 451 gallons of fuel. For his comfort, he packed three sandwiches and two canteens of water. The "Airbus" has a total of four pilots, Lindbergh did it by himself. He had a compass, no automatic locating device, no GPS, and no communications with the ground, he did not even have a "in flight movie". You be the judge as to the whom the best pilot is, the "new era" pilot driving the "Airbus" or the guy with a lot of guts and will to survive that flew this route by himself eighty years ago.

Sorry, no pictures of this aviation story that was buried in the back pages of your daily news. On the same day of the maiden voyage of the "Airbus" . On a different airline flying the route between Deli to London, a gentleman in the First Class section was surprised when the flight crew seated a passenger next to him while they were in flight. She had an in flight upgrade from Coach to First Class. The only problem and quite upsetting to the gentleman passenger, she was dead! She had passed away in flight and not wanting to cause stress and duress in Coach, the flight crew thought it best to move the body to First Class. Her daughter was then brought forward and seated in First Class Section so she could watch her mother and begin the mourning process. Problems were encountered, although they strapped the lady in and braced her with pillows, she kept falling over on the gentleman passenger. If perhaps, you consider this as one of my prattlings. The name of the gentleman passenger was Paul Trinder, age 54 and flying on British Airways. Although, British Airways has apologized, I think Mr. Trinder will most likely have open tickets to anywhere he wants to fly for the remainder of his life. Stop and think for just a second, what would you do if you were in his position? For me, I think I would be spending the next nine hours locked in the bathroom!

Weekend Prattlings  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Another day of the Irish has been celebrated. Although, I was slightly disappointed that those of Irish decent failed to recognize the annual event. To keep this oversight from happening in the future, perhaps a little family history is in order for those in the Harrington / Riley lineage which includes all of my grandchildren. Before they grow, they must first know their "roots". The Harrington linage is of German and English origin and has been traced back several hundred years ago. However, the Riley lineage is much more difficult to trace. The reason for this is simple, the Riley side of the family is of original Irish descent. However, the original name was O'Riley, upon arriving in the "new land" a great deal of prejudices was focused on this minority group that was invading the United States. "Little Ireland" was established in New York City. To camouflage this prejudice, the "O" was dropped from the name to Riley, the birth surname of your grandmother and great grandmother. To further escape the prejudices and the big city, the family migrated to the Midwest and ventured into farming. By coincidence, the name "Riley" has been brought forward as names of two of my mothers great, great grandchildren, she would be proud.

Those folks in Chicago know how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the picture on the right is the Chicago River in downtown Chicago, Illinois. On St. Patrick's day each year they dye the river green, this particular year it was dyed "Kelly Green". Although it has no bearing on the subject what so ever, but makes a great trivia question, a river was dyed in the State of Alaska. Can you name the river, the color and the date that the river was dyed? As a hint, the first bank robbery in the State of Alaska occurred the same day.

SMALL TOWNS ARE GREAT: We often overlook some of the advantages of living in a small town. Recently, two of our neighbors were burned out when an exterior workshop caught fire. The workshop which contained a vast amount of wood and metal working equipment was a total loss and partially burned out the home. The community of Anchor Point with a lot of assistance from Homer came through with so much support. In less than a weeks time, a benefit auction was organized which was held last night at the Anchor River Inn. I conducted the auction, although, I will not divulge the amount that was benefited through the auction, there was no sign that the economy in Anchor Point and Homer is bad. It was an overwhelming success. Everything from brand new Toyo stoves, Norman Lowell artwork, to massages were auctioned off. As with any benefit auction, the home baked pies and cakes are always popular. One particular lemon meringue pie was auctioned off at $65.00. The proud owner, then had the waitress cut the pie and the individual slices were auctioned off. A slice of pie for $20.00 and it was gone! But not to fret, "we" will have a large Margarita Cheese Cake, delivered to us at the HITWRA on Memorial Day weekend. The reason "we" was used in the last sentence, to recoup my cost, slices will go for $25.00! Those under the age of 21 will be permitted one small bite with parental consent. The only problem occurred when the auction went late due to the turn out, the St. Patrick's Day dance and band started in the adjoining lounge so I had to compete volume wise to the music of the rocking 60"s. At one a.m. this morning we arrived home, the crock pot had done it's job and the aroma of "corn beef and cabbage" filled the house. I thoroughly enjoyed two very large helpings as a delayed midnight snack.

It Is Cold  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The first thermometers were called "thermoscopes". The Italian inventor, Santorio Santorio (parents thought it would help him remember his name) was the first inventor to put a numerical scale to the instrument. However, it was Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, a German physicist who invented the alcohol thermometer in 1714. In 1724, he introduced the temperature scale that now bears his name.
The reason for this short history lesson, a few days ago (3/7/2007) I made a lengthy posting pertaining to the subject of Global Warming. This popular "buzz word" theory is starting to get a little carried away. It is cold out! I don't care what anyone says! In the previous article, it was revealed that our beloved state is gaining altitude, the only reason that the professionals could contribute to the fact that the sea level in Alaska had dropped where as their other monitoring stations had indicated the sea levels were increasing.
Today, I come across a new article pertaining to the same subject, dated 3/15/2007 written by AP Science Writer, Randolph Schmid. The headlines read, "Winter Warmest On Record Worldwide" . Reportedly, the temperatures between December through February were 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit above average for the period since record keeping began in 1880. Global temperatures have increased at about 0.11 degrees per decade. This huge temperature change is contributed to greenhouse gases. If this was the case, then perhaps the Internal Revenue Service should enact a new tax category which will levy a tax on everyone that has a green house! I am sure glad that my house is natural cedar, I am not going to get taxed! For those of you, which includes all of us that has not seen the thermometer past 27.5 degrees in the past ninety days, you will be happy to know that a special notation was written about Alaska in this article . So as to not be accused of misinterpretation, the following quotation is extracted as it was written: "For Alaska, both February and winter were warmer than average but far from the warmth of 2003 and 2001 respectively". Now you have to read this sentence a couple of times to get the full meaning. First, when did February get moved out of the winter month category - I always considered February as the center of winter. Secondly, if were "far from the warmth of 2003 and 2001 respectively" that would indicate to me that we are on a "cooling" trend not the epidemic plague of global warming. Perhaps, Mr. Schmid should come north and spend a little time in our tropical climate, while he is here maybe he will help me jump start my wife's car because it will not start on these warm mornings that we have been enjoying in "February and winter". Give me a break!

Time To Go To Work  

Posted by Stan Harrington

With the arrival of daylight savings time, spring is sure to follow within a few weeks. This realization came to me as I was sitting on my veranda this morning, enjoying my first cup of coffee and watching the snow melt. Perhaps it is also the time of the season that we should be making plans for needed improvements to the Hole In the Wall Recreation Area. From the time the last of the snow disappears, there is only a few days remaining until the first onslaught of Clans move into the area for the recreational months of summer.

There are several projects that we should complete prior to Memorial Week that will greatly enhance the area and make our facilities user friendly. Taking into consideration that each of the Clans have some type of "speciality", I have taken it upon myself to assign the various tasks to individual Clans. As the "Grand Master" it will make my job much easier to supervise and insure that the assignments are completed in a timely fashion.

In the past, we have managed to provide electric power to the site through the use of extension cords from the Eagle Nest. However, when you lay out 1,500 feet of extension cords through puddles of water, it not only diminishes the amount of power, trip circuit breakers, it would also be considered dangerous when the connections are submerged in water. The affect on the electric bill at the Eagle Nest has no bearing on this project.

I have assigned the "Bear Clan" the task of formulating the plans, construction and operational control of the power plant. The bluff line surrounding the recreational area will be a natural place for the "Wind Generator". With the off shore breezes that is received in this area throughout the day, one generator system, should provide all the needed power that we will require and still keep the bank of batteries charged for those needed periods of no wind. During the "off season" the power can easily be diverted to the Eagle Nest so any excess power will not get stagnant. With PaPa Bear being a qualified electrical lineman and support from the remaining three Bears, they should be able to have power to each of the "home sites" within a short period of time. With their connections, I am sure they can find the proper equipment to lay the service lines underground so they will not diminish our pristine view from the area.

I have located a "used" caterpillar on sale as a fixer upper. As much leveling and dredging that is required each year, I thought it best to invest in the proper equipment. Fortunately, the "Buffalo Clan" has a very experience mechanic that can work on and operate heavy equipment. I am not quite sure what is wrong with the equipment, other than it won't start and oil is leaking out of all the fittings, but I am sure it will take very little time to have it purring like a kitten. I have assigned this project to the "Buffalo Clan" and if needed, the "Woodpecker Clan" can assist in operating the equipment. Prior to the big week, I would like to get the entry way graded and the the "bowl" area leveled, typar base and gravel spread throughout the area. This task should be completed after the "Bear Clan" has laid the underground power cable so as not to be repetitious in our efforts. During the grading operations, remaining members of the Buffalo Clan and Woodpecker Clan will be able to haul gravel from the beach so it will be on site for the final leveling and grading.

The entry to the "Hole In The Wall" should be improved and highly visible to all that it is a private area and no intrusion is invited. At the same time, it should be in good taste and fit into the theme of the area. This past year, a landscaping project commenced on the "Kroc Pond" and should also be completed prior to the upcoming season. I have assigned the "Moose Clan" to these two projects. While "Bull Moose" cuts, peels the bark, and erects the "Main Gate", "MaMa Moose " will have the time to complete the project on the Kroc Pond. I have taken the opportunity to lay out the blue prints fro these two projects since I do have some experience in both areas. The majority of the material is on site, including the rocks and the tree for the gate. I am sure all of you remember that one "big" tree that we have all been afraid to cut down that sits atop the bluff. That would make an ideal cross bar for the gate. Some coordination will be required between the "Moose" and Buffalo" Clan as the Caterpillar will be required to skid out the log as well as hoisting the cross bar in place. If additional dunnage is required to make the project easier, the "Wolf Clan" has a good supply of material.

One essential item that we have needed for our comforts is a steady and reliable supply of fresh, potable water. Fortunately for us, the Plumma and Alpha Male of the "Wolf Clan" knows everything there is to know about piping water in and out. His knowledge will be necessary in this project. If we can install our own "Water Distillation Plant" it will provide us a reliable supply of water throughout the season. I am sure that he has the required parts that he will need to construct the plant in the back of his work truck or his garage. During the construction period of the plant, the remaining members of the Wolf Clan can dig the trenches and lay in the water lines that will run to each home site. Once again, coordination will be required with the Bear Clan and Buffalo Clan to insure that all dredging and digging projects work in harmony with one another. Since the plant will be operating off the water supply created by the glacier which drains into the "Kroc Pond" coordination will be required with the Moose Clan to insure adequate water supplies are maintained for the landscape project as well potable water for the home sites.
I am sure with my advanced planning that each of the Clans will be able to gather the required material and have the majority of the projects completed on one weekend. During my supervision, I will insure that the fire pit is taken care of, coffee pot is on, and snacks are available for those that get hungry. Mother Eagle has volunteered to be the "beer runner" so as not to interrupt your work, just holler "BEER" and she will come a runnin. In your advanced planning, just remember the eight P's!

Pictures Of the Past  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Although various sites have posted pictures of our gatherings at the "Hole In The Wall", as I was sorting through pictures today, I did come across several that have not been posted. Perhaps there is a reason for this, I am not one to judge. You may not recognize some of the "visitors" in these shots but they seemed to be enjoying themselves during their visit.

This visitor stopped by Burger King on her way to the "Hole In The Wall" and complained the entire time that we did not have side tables next to the lawn chairs surrounding the fire pit. But, she discovered a great cup holder.

This guy was visiting the "Moose Clan", can't remember his name but he did forget that he was suppose to wrap a blue tarp around himself when utilizing the facilities. The only reason that I think he was a guest of the "Moose" as it appears to be their deck and trailer. Fortunately, the facility has been replaced with the "Duck House".

Global Warming  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The term, "Global Warming" is one of those buzz words that we hear on a daily basis. In recent months, we have seen and read constant daily references to this term. With the onslaught of the politicians vying for your vote in November 2008, we will continue to be bombarded by this term. Hollywood has endorsed this term to new heights. Through their support it has escalated the popularity of Al Gore to a position that he is once again considering to run again for the Presidency of the United States. All of this was based on a movie that he narrated pertaining to "Global Warming". Perhaps, the effect of "Global Warming" would decline rapidly if the politicians and others would just shut up. The omitting of their "hot air" could be a contributing factor to the warming change.

In recent days, I came across a couple of articles pertaining to this global crisis. One such article pointed out that the sea levels are rising due to the melt down of the glaciers. The data pertaining to this claim was taken from a variety of coastal areas. Test sites were utilized in New York City, Galveston, Texas, San Francisco, and Sitka, Alaska. These sites were chosen in order to represent the coastal zone of the United States. Based on these studies, the sea level is increasing .08 to .12 inches per year. EXCEPT, in Sitka, Alaska where the sea level is dropping .12 to .27 inches per year. Their conclusion on this discrepancy in the data was that the "land mass of Alaska is rising". Have you noticed an altitude change lately? If the glaciers are melting so rapidly, one would think that it would affect Sitka prior to the remaining test sites. However, I only base this on common sense.

We have all survived the onslaught of the dreaded Spruce Bark Beetle that devastated areas of forest throughout Alaska. The onslaught of the Bark Beetle was also contributed to "Global Warming" by several environmental groups. This day, I discovered that we now have a problem with our spruce forests as a result of "Global Warming". According to a recent news release, "rising temperatures fueled by global warming are causing spruce trees to invade Arctic tundra". A second quote, ""While in many places the idea of more trees is a good one, this Arctic takeover endangers species like caribou and sheep that thrive in the tundra". I am not positive, but I always thought that the caribou enjoyed a few tress to provide them shelter. Whenever, I see the caribou on the Kenai Peninsula they seem to be hanging around the trees. A second point, when was the last time that you saw any sheep standing out in the tundra, they are suppose to be hanging out on the mountains? Although, no conclusion was reached in this article, I can only assume that we should be logging the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in order to protect the tundra.

I am only one small voice, but I am in favor of "Global Warming" . I tire easily of the snow, ice and cold temperatures, I want to see some green grass, flowers and the opportunity to walk through my spruce forest before they have to be cut down to insure they do not spread and encroach onto the wetlands.

Weather Report  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Despite the fact that we have been feeling the effects of Global Warming over the past eight weeks, we once again saw a little winter again today. Eight weeks ago this past Monday was the last time I had to plow snow, however, that record will be broken come daylight. We got dumped on most of the day with near white conditions existing most of the day. Our total accumulation in the Little Village By The River is about ten inches and still snowing.

It is not often that I compliment our bureaucrats, however, this morning as I saw the snow falling on my clean driveway, I clicked onto the weather site. I was shocked at the new layout. It is really neat, the various weather forecast areas are color coded and if you slide your cursor over the map, it will give you a mini weather report for each area without having to go to the primary forecast page. The site is vastly improved and deserves a visit and added to your favorite list. From the side bar, you can click on "radar" to get a live read from the Doppler Radar by clicking on the area that you want to check. Next time you see a prognosticator, pat them on the back and let them know that it was a job "well done".

Piggy Exploitation  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Since my discovery of the Arctic Polar Pig several months ago, I have utilized this forum of communication to educate the general populace on the exploitation of the pig. Being that it is the "Year of the Pig" and birth year of Hillary Clinton, I feel that is of great importance that this campaign continue. With the exception of the Arctic Polar Pig, there is no great concern of them appearing on the "endangered list" anytime in the near future. However, their exploitation is of great concern. We have seen pictures of them dressed up in clothing, members of sporting teams such as track and field events, swimming, and high board diving. We have ridiculed them for centuries as being dumb, dirty, and the only purpose of their existence is to provide us daily rations of bacon, ham, sausage, spare ribs, head cheese, and pickled pigs feet. We have contrived stories of them building their houses out of sticks and mud as well as teaching our children how to count their toes. Hollywood has not assisted in the endeavors to stop this exploitation. How many years has it been that we have been subjected to seeing "Porky" on the big screen in various stages of nudity and laughed at because of his speech impediment.

The exploitation has now evolved into genetic alteration of the specie to further enhance the specie. This exhibition is in the infancy stage, it will slowly evolve to the point that through genetic alteration we will be seeing pigs with two additional legs to in order to provide additional hams at little or no extra cost to the supplier. In my continued research of the exploitation of the pig, it has been discovered that the genetic alteration experiments are being conducted in China's Shannxi Province. On March 6th of this year, this piglet was photographed. The genetic balance of this piglet has been altered enough that it has one head, two mouth's, two noses, and three eyes. I would encourage all of you to support me on this issue and boycott all pork imported from China. If we stand in one unified voice, we can make a difference and stopped the exploitation of these lovable creatures.

3/7/2007 11:21 pm: This picture has been added to the site since the initial posting. The picture just become available utilizing mirrors to "show off" the facial features of this piglet. Exploitation has to stop.

Antique Bulb  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I know not how others feel, but for myself I am getting awful tired of being treated as a third world country when it comes to shipments bound for Alaska. This is a problem that has transpired for years, catalog sales, distributors, and dealerships view Alaska as a foreign country. They do not even recognize the U.S. Postal Department, even though this self supporting former government agency still receives large subsidies from our tax dollars. Very few companies choose to utilize the shipping methods of the postal service, instead they choose the two majors, Fed Ex and UPS. Just a little prattle prior to the story behind the headline.

In the fall of 1967, my wife and I purchased the "state of the art" motion picture equipment, the superior model of the Kodak Super 8mm movie camera and projector. Thirty nine years has since elapsed, the camera still lays in some storage box in the basement but we do have miles of Super 8mm film. Prior to graduating to the new innovations, we captured many of our early trips, our children, family members, and historic events on super 8mm.

A couple of weeks ago, the Golden Granny took it upon herself to retrieve all of our tapes, set up a small dark room in the closet and transpose the Super 8mm film to her digital movie camera and eventually to a DVD. We had taken the time over the years to splice all the film ffrom the little fifty foot spools to the large 8 inch spools that hold 400 feet of film. We have fourteen such reels to transfer to digital film. In preparation, she retrieved the "old" Super 8 movie projector and screen from the crawl space and got her dark room all set up. Keep in mind that we have not watched this film or used the equipment for the past fifteen years. She spent the first hour, making an attempt to feed the film through the projector without success. Having a great memory, I took over from her and spent the next two hours attempting to complete the same task. Together, we finally succeeded, although it took only forty five minutes to remember how to rewind the film.

For those that are a little older and remember the Super 8 technology, the projectors do have one weak point, the projection lamp! We discussed the possibility of loosing the service of the lamp with as much film that she had to transfer. The first 400 foot reel was captured on the digital camera, although "jumpy" the pictures are priceless! However, part way though the second reel, her worse fears became reality, the bulb on the projector burned out.

Now the problem exists, where do you find a filament bulb that was produced for a projector forty years ago? The size of the bulb is a DJL , 150 Watt , 120 Volt and manufactured in Canada. After contemplating the situation for a few days, the only choice I could see was the Internet. Not expecting much to happen, I typed in "djl projector lamp" into the search engine. Much to my surprise, I had several thousand hits! Flipping through several web sites, comparing prices on my "antique" bulb, I finally settled on a photography company in New York City. Much to my surprise, they were only open six days a week, with Saturday being the day that they were closed! What is with that? The cost of the bulb was $24.95, in my mind that is pretty cheap for an antique!
We held off from ordering it until Monday, while enjoying my morning coffee, I recalled the last time I had bought a bulb for the projector was from a photography shop in Anchorage down on 4th Avenue, which was about twenty years ago. I put a call through to them, a very nice guy and I explained my situation about looking for an old bulb. He left the phone for a bit, upon returning he said, "yep, we got that!" In fact he had two of them. Contemplating which one of my daughters that I was going to call to retrieve the bulbs and mail them to us, he asked a simple question, "wanna know how much they cost"? Considering that might be a good idea, I consented to his question. "Well, the cost of the bulb is $53.00 but if you take them both you can have them for $41.00 a piece". Hey, that is some kind of markdown, only $16.05 higher than New York City. Not wanting to task my daughters in the retrieval process, I thanked him for his time and consideration. All of a sudden now, my antique bulb is not very rare.
Returning to the Internet, I commenced my order from the New York Company, cost of the bulb $24.95, no Post Office in Alaska, have to be shipped UPS 2nd Day, cost $22.50! Per bulb, it is still cheaper to shop in New York. Increasing my order to, two bulbs, the freight remained the same so I got a real bargain!
With 2nd Day Express shipment, that means that we will get the bulbs in about five days and she will once again be set to record some real history. This experience should teach us all, you should never throw anything away, I am sure finding a Super 8 Projector would be more difficult than finding a bulb for one of them. I am grateful that we did not have "throw away" technology forty years ago.
For those interested, when the DVDs are completed, the entire set will be on sale for $79.95 plus freight. We will not be able to ship to any post office in Alaska, however, we can deliver them by special courier for a nominal fee plus mileage.

Signs of Spring  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The sign of spring is airborne! Talked to brother, Ranger Bill this morning as he was motoring across the flat lands of Nebraska. Having escaped the winter wastelands of Minnesota and Iowa where all the highways were closed due to snow. This is a picture of his "home on wheels", some where east of Grand Junction, Colorado inbound for a mandatory layover in Beaver, Utah.
This trip is taking him on a westerly course to Fontana, California, he should be slowing down for another mandatory layover in Beaver, Utah come daylight in the morning. We should see something on his blog site today, evidently, they only place that you can blog in the lower forty eight is in Beaver.
The reason for his telephone call, as he was speeding down the interstate, the sky was filled with flocks of geese headed on a northerly route. Base on his observations, the current position of the jet stream and prevailing winds, I have been able to calculate that we should start seeing these same flocks of geese entering our air space on April 2nd. Those living in the LA area, will see them a little sooner since you have more paved parking lots than anywhere else in Alaska. Based on my calculations, you should start seeing your residential wild geese arriving in Anchorage on or about March 27th. Good hunting to all.

In Anchor Point, we have our first flower of spring, however, keep in mind that it is in our dining room arboretum. However, if you look in the center of the flower you will see the little bee feeding upon the sweet and succulent pollen of the flower.
With the bee already arriving on site and the geese inbound from the lowlands there can be no denial that spring is not to far into the distant future.

If you have recently driven down the main street of Anchor Point you have undoubtedly noticed the new addition to our community. If you are not aware of where Main Street is in Anchor Point, it is also often referred to as the Sterling Highway. I gave notice to this in an earlier blog, however, for those that have joined us late. Our small community is going metropolitan. We not only have an airport, but we also have a challenging and quality golf course and driving range. Our latest innovations is a cellphone tower in the center of town at the intersection of Main Street and the North Fork Road. Being that it was constructed during the height of winter, the two hundred foot tower leans slightly, approximately five degrees to the north. Being that my business is on the opposite corner, I have had ample time to study this structure and make the determination that the use of the structure as a cell phone tower is not the "highest and best use". Having discovered that the contractors had completed the construction phase of the project between Homer and Soldotna, they did have one remaining tower that was considered excess. In that, I permitted them the use of my parking lot to stage their equipment and supplies, I was able to acquire the structure. It took a few "toddies" but I also managed to talk them into moving their equipment into the "Hole In The Wall" and erect the foundation for my future recreational cabin. I have taken a picture of the tower and transposed a conceptual picture of my "summer" cabin, once it has been built and place onto the foundation, I will never have to worry about high water, bears, or visitors. With a small t.v. antenna, I should be able to get excellent reception and be able to do away with DISH network. I hope to have the cabin built by Memorial Day weekend so we can all be together for the "raising of the cabin" , it should be easier than moving the "Duck House".



Posted by Stan Harrington

These representatives of P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) were demonstrating at the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Colorado on February 24th.

I can appreciate their right to protest in the nude against those that prefer to wear fur. They missed a great opportunity in scheduling, they should have been in Anchorage for the Fur Rendezvous. With the temperatures ranging in the low teens to 15 below zero, they would have been able to better express their points.

I find this picture a little hypocritical, what is with the gloves? If you are going to protest in the nude, why cover your hands? They had best not be Virgin Wool gloves!

This is the same organization, a different model and costume. What is an exotic animal? If there is a difference in animals between being exotic and non-exotic, then it must be permissible to keep non-exotic animals in zoos. I would like to see a list of what may or may not be retained. Why is a leopard more important than a pig? Are they not all creatures of nature, just as we are? How many of our children can take trips to the exotic wilds to see the animals, they cannot even go to Canada or Mexico without a passport. The only time that I have seen a leopard laying in a tree and smiling is right after they have devoured a gazelle!

We can not wear the animal, we cannot place them into controlled environments, and now the same organization is telling us we cannot eat them! This demonstrator is wearing a "head of lettuce", wasn't it lettuce that killed several people last fall from being contaminated by e-coli? I forget but how many people died in the U.S. last year from mad cow disease - oh, now I remember there were none. I enjoy a good lettuce salad on occasion, but at least she could have accessorized it with a few cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, and a good wallop of blue cheese dressing.

I have several "thoughts to ponder" pertaining to these particular protest campaigns:
1. Why is it the models are always beautiful, sexy women?
2. Don't ladies in the mid thirties to eighties feel the same way towards animals?
3. Why don't we ever see nude or provocative posed man in these protest marches?
4. Where are the feminists advocates?
5. Are we not "exploiting" these women to protest the "exploitation" of animals?
6. Are animals more important than the female gender of the human race?
7. Why are they posing in the nude, women quite wearing fur undergarments a few years ago.

The next time you hear about a PETA protest in the buff, would someone please call me so I can attend and "oogle" the protesters!