Congratulations Department of Fish and Game  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Although just a few days late, I have confirmed what I have known since early childhood. Santa Claus is a live and well! Finally, a governmental agency has had the nerve as well as spirit to confirm my belief regardless to the fact that it is not "politically correct" to do so. Kudos and well done to the biologists at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. By clicking on the "link" you can find out everything you wanted to know about Santa's Reindeer, so the next time you are asked by a little one you can tell them the facts.

Next year, this documentation will be provided to each school in Alaska and hopefully we will get "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" back into school's Christmas Concert instead of the continuation of the Winter Festival and dope smoking, hippie musical programs that have no significant social or educational redeemable value whatsoever in regards to Christmas.

I Believe! Way To Go Rudolph!

Grand Slam  

Posted by Stan Harrington

There are four species of wild North American Sheep. These include the North American Bighorn Sheep, Dall Sheep, Stone Sheep, and Desert Big Horn Sheep. It is every sheep hunters dream to score a Grand Slam. A hunter must take one of each specie during a twelve month period to be recognized as achieving this very difficult task.
I am on the threshold of accomplishing this task, in October I had the great pleasure in taking the Stone Ram and the North American Bighorn. On Christmas day, a dream of any hunter came true when I caught five Dall Rams hanging out together. At this point, I am contemplating a trip south to a spot northeast of Las Vegas. The largest concentration of Desert Bighorns that I have seen are in this area.
Although, if I do make this trip and am fortunate to take a Desert Bighorn, I will not be recognized of accomplishing a Grand Slam. Each of the rams that I have shot was with a camera and not a high powered rifle. Although, each shot I took was well within 20 to 50 feet of the subject, so even I could have dropped a subject at that distance. Twenty years ago, I perhaps would have rather had a rifle, but now I was content just to see them. Just having the opportunity to shoot them with a camera and watch them wander away was a elating experience.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn ~ October 2007

Stone Ram ~ October 2007

Dall Ram ~ Christmas Day 2007

"Christmas Rams"


Posted by Stan Harrington

Wishing All Of You A Very Merry Christmas. Hoping That It Finds You Surrounded With Loved Ones. May The Season Bring You Fond Memories Of Those That You Have Shared This Blessed Holiday With In The Past.

On this Christmas Eve, the weather man tells me, so it must be so, that we can expect more snow. Just to make sure, I have checked my list and going to check it again, just to make sure that the roads are clear on Turnagain. According to the man, he has posted heavy snow warnings, heavy wind warnings and even flooding on the Kenai. I know this is so as my doppler radar does show. Santa, has Rudolph to guide him through the snow, I will just plug in "Suzy" and hit the road. No problem with the weather, I will just watch "Suzy" and know when it is time to go slow. On instruments I will drive, through the blowing snow, over the hill and through the the vale, my trusty Ford and "Suzy" will not fail.


Posted by Stan Harrington

Senator John McCain  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Whoa, before you discontinue reading this posting thinking that it is a political advertisement or endorsement in the forth coming Presidential elections, it is neither due in part that I have yet reached a decision as to whom I will vote for. However, his story is a story that deserves to be told. At the same time, some interesting facts have developed that I found fascinating.

Senator McCain is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Upon his graduation and commissioning as an an Officer of the Line at the rank of Ensign, his twenty two year Naval career commenced. Following his graduation from the academy he was trained as a Naval Aviator. He volunteered to go to Vietnam. On July 29, 1967 he narrowly survived the first of many near death experiences during his lifetime. He was preparing to launch his aircraft from the decks of the U.S.S. Forrestal to conduct a bombing mission over North Vietnam. While preparing to launch, a missile accidentally fired from a nearby aircraft, striking the fuel tanks of McCain's aircraft creating a deadly inferno onboard the ship. He barely escaped the inferno that killed 134 men, injured hundreds and destroyed twenty aircraft.

Instead of exercising the option to return home following the Forrestal disaster he volunteered once again for combat duty. On his 23rd bombing mission on October 26, 1967 a missile struck his aircraft over North Vietnam. He ejected himself from the aircraft breaking both his arms and leg. On the ground, he was taken as a Prisoner of War and placed into the infamous "Hanoi Hilton". He would remain in solitary confinement for a number of years and was liberated when all of the American Prisoners of War were released a the conclusion of the Vietnam Conflict. Although, he had received little medical treatment for his wounds and interrogation methods, he continued his naval career and regained flight status. He retired form the Navy in 1981. His naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following retirement, he would seek election to the U.S. Senate, an office that he still holds.

Today, I discovered some additional information that I found most interesting and coincidental. I would refer to you a posting that I made on Friday, December 7, 2007 which you can see by scrolling down just a few days. As most of you know, the first ship that I served on in the Navy during my naval career was the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Shangri-la (CVA-38). On my birth date, May 18, 1945, the Admiral's pennant was raised on the U.S.S. Shangri-La making it the flagship of the 2nd Carrier Task Force. A few days later, under this Admiral's command the Shangri-La launched the first air strikes on the Japanese home islands. The Admiral of the 2nd Carrier Task Force was Vice Admiral John S. McCain, SR, the grandfather of Senator John McCain. Senator McCain's father, John S. McCain, Jr also served in the Navy during World War II as a Submarine Commander. He would later serve as Commander In Chief of the Pacific Fleet during the Vietnam War and period of time that his son was held as a Prisoner of War.

"Top Cover" Of Alaska  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The U.S. Air force has been providing "Top Cover" over Alaska for several years utilizing the F-16. Recently, more sorties have been flown due to the encroachment of Russian aircraft (Russian Bear) into the air space over Alaska. Unfortunately, due to their age and the stress that has been placed on them, the F-16 Fleet has been grounded leaving the Alaska airspace unguarded. However, today it was announced that our neighbors to the south have come to our aide and will provide "Air Cover" over Alaska until we can resume our normal operational control. The Canadian Royal Air Force has dispatched their first air wing to Alaska to provide this air cover. They have dispatched three of their best intercept fighters that they have and the remaining three aircraft left in their air force fleet will remain on the ground to provide back up in the event they are required to be launched. We do appreciate their assistance in this critical time. The first photograph of the Royal Canadian Air Force intercepting a Russian Bear over Alaska was released today.

Today, it was also announced that the U.S. Navy has grounded all of the P-3's used in surveillance and submarine tracking. It is reported that the Mexican government, although they do not have any aircraft in their military, they will dispatch their Navy to assist in tracking non-friendly submarines in the Pacific. It is expected that their entire fleet of four harbor tugs will get underway on Tuesday and put to sea. Rest assured fellow Alaskans, we are being protected.

Homework Assignment  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Knowing that the Christmas season is a very busy time in most households, however I do have a homework assignment for my immediate family and friends. For years, sitting around the fire pit at the Hole In The Wall, you have heard reference made to names such as Ranger Gus McCrae, Ranger Woodrow Call, Blue Duck, Buffalo Hump, Claire Allen, and Newt without really knowing and appreciating the names. On a couple of occasions, my own daughters have made the comment that they are going to have to take the time to watch a series of movies so they know what we are talking about.

The movies I reference is Larry McMurty's series of western movies that were originally mini series on television. There are several of these mini series and they were not released in a chronological time line. The first of the series released was the later years of the two Texas Rangers Call and McCrae. This particular series was a smash hit and now considered a classic. This particular series was "Lonesome Dove". The second series was titled "Return to Lonesome Dove". The next series released portrayed the rangers when they first joined the Texas Rangers, "Dead Man's Walk" . The last one in the series is, "Streets of Laredo"and portrays Ranger Woodrow Call in his retirement years.

The homework assignment is to locate these movies. They can be checked out at most video stores but due to the length it may be better to purchase them (Wally World) and watch them. The two critical series that you will want to watch is "Lonesome Dove" and "Return To Lonesome Dove". These two videos will introduce you to the primary characters. Your homework assignment must be completed prior to January 13, 2008.

On January 13th, Larry McMurty's next series will be aired on NBC for three nights for a total of about six hours viewing time. The name of this series will be "Comanche Moon". From the reviews I have seen, this should be a big hit for those fans that enjoyed the other series. This series will introduce you to all of the original characters, including Ranger Gus McCrae, resurrected from the dead. This series will also portray some of the characters never seen before but heard their names like Maggie, the mother of Newt and lady friend of Ranger Call. All of the regular characters including Pea, Blue Duck, and Buffalo Hump will also take part in this series. A name mentioned in the past but never seen is an Indian by the name of Quannah Parker. This should be an excellent series and if you can believe the reviews, it will be as big as the original, "Lonesome Dove". It will be well worth watching, prior planning as well as proper prepartion and previous previewing will prepare you for many hours of enjoyable entertainment ( Seven "P" Principal). A big bowl of popcorn, a sack of potato chips, a six pack and two boxes of cherry chocolates will add to the enhancement of your viewing pleasure. Please do not disturb me on January 13th, 14th, and 15th, I will be busy.

It Really Is Santa  

Posted by Stan Harrington

This Little Girl Is A Believer
She Even Wore Her Red Socks
A Red Barret In Her Hair
Her Eyes Sparkling
She Has Santa Under Her Spell
It is Really Santa,
Who Is This Little Girl?

"Watch Santa Fly"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

My good friend Santa has always been a mystery to me. He has never divulged his secret to me and I have never pressed him to talk about his nightly journey around the world. I am sure that there are a number of hostile nations that would like to know his secret so it is best that is is never divulged. However, with the advancement of technology and the assistance from "Suzie My Navigator" and Microsoft Excel, I have been able to partially divulge a portion of the secret of Santa, however, the technical aspects of his secret will remain just that, Double Top Secret!

Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Santa Clause's route around the world includes stops at 2.5 billion homes. Assuming that children of all religions receive a present from the jolly man. It is estimated that there are 48 people per square mile on earth and 66 feet between each home. So if Santa leaves his home and travels against the rotation of the earth, he has 48 hours to deliver the goods.

Putting these numbers into the equation, that means he has 34 microseconds at each stop. In this time, he needs to get through the chimney, drop off the presents, nibble some cookies and milk, back up the chimney and hop into his sleigh. Santa's reindeer must travel at a speed of 3,604 miles per second to make the trip on time which accounts why the U.S. Air Force can never keep up with him when they start tracking him.

I know you are busy Santa, but please have a safe trip and please buckle up for safety.

P.S. Don't forget to pack my present, your plate of fudge and spiced eggnog will be waiting for you.

"Tokyo Express"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Coincidental? Today, being the 66th Anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which destroyed the majority of our Battleship Fleet assigned to the Pacific Fleet by the Japanese Imperial Navy on December 7, 1941. Fortunately, the aircraft carriers deployed to the 6th Fleet were not in port and carried the war to the Japanese Navy. On April 18, 1942, the U.S.S. Hornet, equipped with Army aircraft trained by Jimmy Doolittle moved into the range of the Japanese Islands and launched an attack on Tokyo. This mission had been kept a secret, although not a devastating blow it demonstrated to the Japanese defences that they were vulnerable.

At the same time, it spurred a spark of patriotism throughout the United States. When President Roosevelt was asked by the news corps where the aircraft came from, he replied, "From Shangri-La, I guess" the mystical utopia of James Hilton in his book, "Lost Horizon". The daring raid created a spark of patriotism to build a great aircraft carrier to be named Shangri-La. The Shangri-La fund drive needed to raise $130 million dollars to build the new carrier. The fund was successful in raising $900 million dollars. The Shangri-La was commissioned by the wife of General James Doolittle on February 24, 1944 with author, James Hilton and 100,000 other Americans in the audience.

On April 25, 1945 the U.S.S. Shangri-La joined the Pacific Fleet. The words spoken in jest by President Roosevelt were fulfilled. On July 10, 1944, planes did take off from "Shangri-La" to make the first strike against Tokyo just as Jimmy Doolittle's band of B-25's had done in 1942. This strike earned her the nickname of "The Tokyo Express", a name she carried with pride until her decommission. I very proudly served on the last of the "wooden decks" when I served onboard the U.S.S. Shangri-La from May 1964 to October 1967. Now, the question is was it "coincidental that I just happened to come across a picture of this poster today as I was cruising the Internet? Might also want to consider a couple of the dates on this time in history, are these also "coincidental"?

If anyone should happen to see Santa or any one of his "little helpers", and they need a suggestion, a trip to the Mediterranean Sea would be great.

"Lest We Forget"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Take A Moment Today
To Remember Those That
Answered The Call To Duty
Following The Attack
On Our Naval Fleet At
Pearl Harbor
December 7, 1941
66 Years Ago Today

He Was A Hero  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I seldom read the LA Daily Gazette unless a particular article is brought to my attention. Such was the case this past Monday. Enjoying my "nooner" coffee break at the inn, a lady passed by and handed me a section of the Monday paper, her only remark was "Stan you need to read this". Although, I do not know who she was, but I am thankful that she brought the article to my attention. In recent years, the term "hero" has become a buzz word in both the printed and electronic media and most often does not reflect true act of heroism.
Silvestre Herrera, age 90, passed away on Monday at his home in Glendale, Arizona. You most likely have never heard mention of his name, he was just another man that you may see on the street or standing in front of you at the check out isle of the local grocery store. Although, he had artificial legs, most likely a lot of children took note and would remark to their parents, "why doesn't that man have real legs and feet", the parent quieting the child and distracting them to look the other way. It is sad that they perhaps never knew the real story about the man with no feet. The story of Mr. Herrera intrigue me enough that when I returned home, I spent some time in researching and verifying his story on the Internet. The article as it was written by a reporter from the Las Angles Times was accurate.
Silvestre Herrera was a Private First Class with the 142nd Infantry Regiment of the 36th Infantry Division. Private Herrera and his fellow platoon members were advancing along a wooded road near Mertzwiller, France on March 15, 1945, when they were stopped by heavy machine gun fire. As the rest of the platoon took cover, Herrera charged the enemy position by himself, firing his semi automatic M1 rifle from the hip as he ran forward, he then tossed two hand grenades into the machine gun emplacement causing eight of the enemy soldiers to throw down their weapons and surrender.
A short while later, he would attack yet a second machine gun emplacement, this one set up beyond an extensive "mine" field. Knowing of the mine field, Herrera used a 2 x 4 board to pushed ahead of him during his charge, however, this proved to cumbersome and slowed his progress so he discarded the board and charged the emplacement. As he neared it, he stepped on one mine and then another, the explosion blew off both his feet. "Despite intense pain and unchecked loss of blood, he pinned down the enemy with accurate rifle fire while a friendly squad captured the enemy gun by skirting the minefield and rushing in from the flank" as noted in the citation that that accompanied the awarding of the Medal of Honor.
President Truman presented him with the nation's highest award for military valor during a ceremony at the White House in August 1945. Of the 464 Medal of Honor recipients during World War II, there are only thirty two still alive.
At the time he entered the military service, he was a father of three children and expecting a fourth, he was working as a mechanic in Phoenix, Arizona. Private Herrera did not have to go to war. Silvestre Herrera was a Mexican National, not a citizen of the United States. When asked why he went to war, it is reported that he said, "I didn't want anybody to die in my place", adding that he felt he owed something to "my adopted country that had been so nice to me".
For his heroic actions, Private Herrera was also received Mexico's highest medal for valor which was awarded to him because he was still a Mexican citizen when he was fighting in Europe. He is the only person to have been awarded both of these medals. His story deserves to be told, he was a Hero.

President Truman With Private Herrera


Posted by Stan Harrington

With twenty three shopping days until Christmas, I still find myself contemplating gift ideas. Taking into consideration, my personal dislike for shopping, I decided that I would do all of my shopping from home, sitting in my shorts and sipping hot eggnog and rum. Always wanted to go shopping in my shorts. I have visited several web sites and look at numerous items, but strictly by accident I found the perfect site to do all of my shopping in one place. Having a wife, four children, four children in-laws, twelve grandchildren, and two great grandchildren I found the perfect gift for each. Being one that cannot keep secrets and since there is some legal matters to take care of to make the transactions, I thought it best that I reveal my Christmas gift to each of you early this year.

We have all lived in Alaska for many years and what better gift to give than a piece of Alaska. I have the opportunity to purchase a piece of property for each person on my list and will pay all of the real estate taxes for life. The only thing I ask in return is that you hold onto the property,not selling it to anyone other than those in the family. Each of the lots will be adjoining consequently a sizable piece of property will be "family" controlled. The "property" is located in Talkeetna, Alaska and has river frontage.

Now that I have peaked your interest, this is not your gift! I have done some dumb things in my life, but this is not one of them. Besides, if you remember, a long time ago, a bunch of us bought property in Homer to build a fire station. We got deeds but I am not sure I know where the property is at. I come upon this scam by accident, it is all legal however, the developer has a parcel of one acre of land in Talkeetna. He has divided the property into one square inch lots. Most likely, this particular acre of property is worthless to develop so why not develop it into something that can never be built upon or sold. Before you do the math, an acre is comprised of 6,273,000 square inches. Verify by going to the link and seeing all the great pictures, the one square inch lots are being sold for $19.99 each. Again, before you do the math, when all of the lots are sold the gross income received from this one acre is $125,397,270. A nice profit margin on a piece of property that most likely has a market value of less than $8,000. However, you do get a nice Certificate of Title to your property, cost of .25 cents but knowing you own land in Alaska is priceless.

However, it did peak my curiosity, not wanting to take advantage of anyone I came up with a concept that gives a prospective property owner something in exchange. The "Hole In The Wall" property is about three acres from east to west and from "Private Road" to the top of the bluff. By subdividing this parcel of property, we could reduce it to one square inch lots and sell them for $11.99 each with the guarantee that the property owner can camp at the HITW two days per year from October 1st through March 30th (I know March has 31 days). Now, when you do the math, once the lots are sold we have a gross income of $188,033,175.00 or $7,834,715.62 for each adult and child. We would never have to worry about Christmas budgets again!