Winter Photo Safari  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Alaska, under clear blue skis, the spruce trees glistening in the sunshine with snow laden branches, the contrast of the dark green branches aginst their white tipped branches makes a wonderful back drop for photography. One does not fully realize the variety of game animals that inhabit the woods just outside your door until you spend a winter day tramping through the snow. Perhaps, the variety of game animals in Alaska is one of the best kept secrets in the free world. The majority of the Alaskans do not even realize that some species of these animals are native to the area or just visiting the area in pursuit of food. One of the most photographed animals is the moose. This awkward appearing animal can tie up traffic for miles during the summer months as "tourists" clammer for their camera to get that once in a life time shot of a Moose.

In my walk about, I did see a animal that appeared to be laying down
in the snow. The coloration and size, appeared to be a Moose in the sleeping position so I decided to see how close I could get to it. Much to my surprise, it was
not a Moose. I thought someone was suppose to be watching our borders, how did this guy sneak through and find it's way to Anchor Point, Alaska?

Hearing that a good concentration of Moose and Eagles were collecting in the Homer area, better known as the "Little Village on the Slough", I ventured forth to see what I could see. Although, I did get some good Eagle pictures, I did not see any sign of Moose in the area, especially around the high school. A known habitat for wintering Moose. Venturing into the bush, a squirell chattering got my attention. Not having a good picture of this specie, I started searching the branches overhead, much to my surprise, I found a specie that I did not know existed in Homer except during local elections.

In all, it was a great day to get out, enjoy the feel of spring and get some good shots.


Posted by Stan Harrington

You are cordially invited to visit a new site
that I have developed to share
my views which are only mine and
really do not mean a whole lot to anyone but me.
But it is my site!

Photo Journey  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Took a little "walk about" today with high hopes of capturing a few shots that were respectable enough to post. The first subject that I encountered, a young Bull Moose, was securely bedded down in the willows with no great desire to be the subject of my amateur art form. Despite, by best efforts, wading through the snow, yelling at him, and getting up to within twenty feet of him, he ignored me completely. Content in snubbing my intentions to show his masculinity.

My next subject were two Bald Eagles, huddled together to remain warm. They to were quite content to just sit and stare off into the distance, not moving and letting the icicles build upon their beaks.

My next subject, was active, perhaps a little to active. Unfortunately, I was not close enough to get the shot of the Crow that decided he wanted to play chicken with a Bald Eagle. I was close enough to see a puff of black feathers as they scattered to the wind. The Crow had played his last game. Returning to his perch, the sign of victory clearly visible on his beak and white chest feathers.

Running out of "wild subjects" I returned to shoot one of my favorites, my buddy "Dutch". He is always ready to pose for the camera, a buddy will do anything to help out another buddy.

This particular picture of "Dutch" appears to be "free hand cropped" along the bottom edge, I would like to take credit for it but it was quite an accident. Dutch was just topping a snow berm when I took the shot. In my amateur artistic way, it is pretty cool.

"Call Us Champions"  

Posted by Stan Harrington


"Call Us Champions" authored by Steve Wolfe is now available on the Internet and at most of the local bookstores. This is the second book that Coach Steve Wolfe has written pertaining to his career as a wrestling coach and football coach at Homer High School. Although his first book was good, a reader that was not familiar to the stories it was difficult to navigate since fictitious names were used. However, his latest book, "Call Us Champions" is well written and actual names and times were used to enhance the story line. For those not familiar with Coach Steve Wolf, he has a long history in the sport of wrestling, not only as a coach but also as a national champion in a variety of styles, and weight classes of wrestling. He is a dedicated wrestler as well as being a dedicated coach. Throughout his writings, he also gives you a glimpse into his personal life as a husband and father. The trials and tribulations of living, teaching school, and coaching in the small town environment of Homer, Alaska.

The book cover is a picture of the one of his wrestlers, John Neland, following the winning of his State Championship in his senior year at Homer High School. The book is filled with stories of dual, multi-school tournaments, regional tournaments, and state tournaments. As a Coach, his stories are filled with individual matches and what moves were used to earn points in winning or loosing a wrestling match. At the same time, his stories gives you the insight of some of the wrestlers and their personal development throughout the program. He also shares the humorous side of traveling with a group of teenage boys as well as cheerleaders. This particular book gives a person an outstanding insight on the development of the Homer High School wrestling program from the start until coach Wolfe retired. During this time frame, some of the greatest wrestlers in the history of the high school wrestling in Alaska rebuilt the wrestling reputation of Homer High School. Through the efforts of their coaches and themselves, they established themselves as one of the best teams in the state of Alaska, they were Champions. If you were on scene when some of these stories occurred, the author was able to reestablish this link and take you back in time to that particular moment in time. In this multitude of athletic stories, you also see the insight of some of the wrestlers and their development of young men to manhood and the inspired dedication that they achieved by being supported and trained by their mentors, the coaches. The book is well worth reading and if you have an inspiring young athlete, it is a must book to read as it shows that anything can be accomplished by dedication and the desire to succeed. Well done, Coach Wolfe, Darrell White, Al Poindexter, and Stan Eller.

It Beats The Mini Skirt  

Posted by Stan Harrington

To keep all of you ladies informed in the current fashion trends, a new look will be coming soon to your favorite Walmart Stores, J.C. Penny's and the GAP. Although, I have to admit to myself that I will enjoy this new look, I just do not want to see my daughters or grand daughters walking around in this latest trend in fashions. Currently, this line is the "hottie item" in Japan so we can expect to see it appearing on our streets by early spring. For some reason, I can foresee an increase in the number of car wrecks and neck injuries incurred with this "new look". Those communities and schools that have been trying to prohibit the showing of the top of the panty or boxer shorts are going to have a tough time with this new look.
Relax, if you have not seen these, the skirt or jeans are colored to represent the showing of the panties. It is just an optical illusion, however, who will ever know for sure except for the female that is wearing the outfit?

"6:20 To Yuma"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Since early childhood, I have been a western movie fan. In adult life, the Western is still my favorite movie genre. Recently the movie, "3:10 To Yuma" was released and became an instant box office hit, surprisingly the western genre is not that popular in the modern box office. The last western that was awarded an Academy Award was Clint Eastwood's, "Unforgiven".
Being that it was doing so well at the box office, I was surprised to see "3:10 to Yuma" appear in the video stores as rentals and for sale in most outlets that market videos. A few days ago, my oldest daughter called me, she was raving about what a great movie that "3:10 to Yuma" was and that it was a must see movie. She had already watched it several times. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to purchase this movie on DVD to add to my collection of classic westerns. As I was leaving the store, I happened to stop by a "discount video" display just to see if there were any "old"movies that I may enjoy. Surprising to me, a copy of "3:10 To Yuma" was on display, however they only had one copy. The new "3:10 to Yuma" is a remake of the original movie which was released in 1957, fifty one years ago. The first version of the movie starred Glenn Ford and Van Heflin. The story of "3:10 to Yuma" was based on a short story written by Elmore Leonard. For those that were not around during the 1950 and 1960 era, Glenn Ford was
one of the more popular male actors, especially in the western genre.
I spent Tuesday evening, watching both of the movies. First watching the "new" version starring Russell Crowe followed by the black and white version of "3:10 To Yuma" that was made a half century ago. If you get the opportunity, you will want to watch both of these movies. I will not reveal which one I thought was the best, however, watching both movies was a very good. Watching both of these movies, gave me a new prospective of the difference in our "social" and "cultural" values of this era in comparison to the 1950's. It also gave me insight as to how far Hollywood can and will deviate the screen play from the original book. As well, it also demonstrated how Hollywood adapts to meet the current market trends in the industry to meet the public need for faster horses, bigger guns, and increase in violence. A great lesson to be had by watching both movies and making the comparisons.

New Car  

Posted by Stan Harrington

A week or so ago, we traded in my "good" truck for a less expensive model and one that is environmentally friendly. I have made a previous posting of this car. It is a great car, however, I did have some personal issues with it. It is made in India and did not have all the safety features that I enjoy in a car. I do not think that one windshield wiper is acceptable based on the annual rain fall in Alaska. However, my other half really liked the car because the little "black bra" came as standard equipment.

Because of the residual funds that we received in the trade in of my Ford F-150 and the inexpensive model of "Tata" we were able to take the remaining balance of the residual funds and purchase a second car for my personal use. Although, not available at a local dealer, I was able to order one on the Internet from the car show that is currently taking place in Detroit. I think I will be pleased with this particular car. It is also environmentally friendly being that it is all electric so I will no longer be held hostage by the large oil companies. "I will leave no carbon footprint behind". The other thing I like about this car, although it is also foreign built, it comes from a country that is known for their quality workmanship and safety standards. There is no "lead base" paint used in this product so my grandchildren will be able to lick it anytime they want. My new car is made in China. I will have to take the plow truck to town today and pick up a dozen 2' x 4's" and four sheets of plywood so I can build a garage and recharging station for my new baby. Although, this car also has only one windshield wiper, it is a big one! Has great visibility which is a great safety feature for watching for moose along the highways and byways of our great state.

A Cold Winter Night  

Posted by Stan Harrington

With an almost full moon overhead, I could not resist "shooting the moon". These shots were taken at 7:30 pm using the night vision feature on the new camera. Hopefully, in a few nights when the moon becomes full, we will have less cloud cover and I can experiment with some different shots.


Posted by Stan Harrington

Since September 11, 2001 I have set back and watched America as a nation. On that date the soil of America was attacked, not by a nation but by a group of terrorists. This devastating attack killed more Americans than the attack on Pearl Harbor which escalated us into World War II on two fronts. This time, the target was defenseless civilians and not a military target. The days following the aftermath of 9/11, I was filled with pride in the way that America came together as a nation. The symbol of America, our national ensign was flown with pride and as a sign of unity. Within a few days, American flags were "sold out" nationwide.

Being a Vietnam veteran, I was renewed with optimism that our nation could unite as one against a common enemy. Although, my optimism was guarded, in my heart I knew that in time we would once again return to the philosophy that many held prior to 9/11. I would not be disappointed. I recall, President George Bush standing amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center, spontaneously responding to a retired fire fighters comments about not being to here him. His response was, "I can hear you and soon, those who tore down these buildings will hear from all of us". The nation rejoiced upon hearing these words of a leader. Simple words, that he would support and dedicate his administration to, the War on Terrorism. After a safe period of time, memories have faded. Since that time, the President has underwent a barrage of abusive names, even the news media has reverted to calling him "Bush". His correct name is President Bush and he is the Commander In Chief. It is your right not to respect him, but you respect the office.

Now that we are entering the political season, we are once again seeing the dirtiness of politics and how the "war monger" got us into a war for a variety of reasons other than the original reason, the War on Terrorism. The Democrats are blaming the Republicans for waging this war that was not needed nor required to confront terrorism. Perhaps they should explain that to the familes of several hundred thousand Iraqis that lost loved ones under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. They insist that the lost of thousands of American servicemen men and women was a needless waste. Trust me, no one weeps more than a military person when a brother or sister is lost. However, the Democrats theory that the Republicans are war mongers got me to look at some past statistics.

World War I (1917 -1918) 116,000 Casualties, President Woodrow Wilson, Democrat

World War II (1940 - 1945) 406,000 Casualties, President Franklin Roosevelt, Democrat

Korean Conflict (1950 -1955) 55,000 Casualties, President Harry Truman, Democrat

Vietnam Conflict (1964 - 1975) 109,000 Casualties, President Lyndon Johnson, Democrat

Desert Shield / Storm (8/90 - 3/91) 148 Casualties, President George H. Bush, Republican

Iraq (5/03 - 1/08) 3,926 Casualties, President George W. Bush, Republican

In this election year, one particular Democrat candidate is quick to point out the success of her husbands tenure as President of the United States, the prosperity that transpired across the nation and no major military conflict and the world was at peace. For some reason, they forgot to mention "Black Hawk Down", when the terrorist won and we retreated. Nor do they mention, the U.S.S. Cole, when 119 sailors were lost on an attack against one of our naval vessels with no reaction from the White House except two missiles that blew up a warehouse. Disregarding this, if they measure the poor job that President Bush has done and his mounting numbers of casualties it is best to compare the numbers of the Clinton era of peacefulness. I looked at the total number of deaths of service members during both administrations. These totals include all deaths and not just those that have died from combat. During the the peaceful administration of President Clinton, 1993 - 2000 a total of 7,500 service members were killed. Since President Bush has been the President, a total of 8,987 service members have been killed of which over half have been combat related in the War on Terrorism.

In summary, being a retired Navy Chief having served under the leadership of six Presidents from President Kennedy to President Reagan, I would have liked to serve under the command of President Bush. His popularity polls maybe down in the civilian populace but he is one of the most admired of the Commanders in Chief in the enlisted ranks of our military. It is for you to decide on election day, but keep in mind that we are at war with a group that will go to any means necessary to kill Americans, men, women and children. We need a President that is willing to make the tough decisions despite the popularity contest. As Commander in Chief, it is their sole responsibility to protect our nation or cut and run, hoping that we can negotiate at a later date. We have a choice, we can elect a leader that will stand up to the terrorists and use the military for which it is intended or we can retreat and hope that the terrorists do not follow them home.

Moose Shot  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Although not a good shot, due to distance of having to make the shot, but it was a nice Bull Moose that I encountered on today's hunt. He bedded down right after I got this shot, there is no doubt that I could have made an stalk on this animal and got a close up. However, looking at the picture and the size of this Moose, if you look at his legs you will note that you do not see any legs as the snow is up to his belly. If you think, I am going to stalk this bull in my tenny runners, I am sorry you are mistaken. I estimate that his legs are slightly longer than mine and I am not wading in any snow that is crotch deep on me! I also have to wonder, who the winner would be if I were to encounter this bull on the highway and take him head on in my new car that I posted earlier in the day. Tomorrow, I go back, don't think he will wander far. Perhaps, I will catch him in a little better conditions.

New Car  

Posted by Stan Harrington

We spent the day on Sunday shopping for a new car. It is a great buyers market out there right now! Looking out my window and seeing the piles of snow and now the minus degree temperature readings on my thermometer we decided that perhaps this "global warming" trend is for real. Our Ford F150 has been a great truck, as comfortable as driving a car but the "foot print" that it leaves on our environment has us concerned as well as the mass amount of fossil fuel that we utilize. Although, it is only three years old, we felt it best to reduce the impact and move into the "green" world.

Our new car is smaller, but I am sure with a little adaptation we will be quite comfortable and still be able to utilize it on long road trips. If Dutch continues to travel with us, we may have to get a small trailer and install a kennel on that for Dutch to ride along. For the first time in my life, I was able to trade in a vehicle for a new vehicle and receive a cash refund because my trade in had a higher value than the new vehicle. In fact, I could have bought three of them just from my my trade in value. Considering getting a second one for Lady Eagle, then we will have matching cars.

The amount of money that we will save in fossil fuels will pay for the car in less than a year, although we may have to make a few more trips to the grocery store. Right now we can go shopping once every ten days or so and still have plenty of room after we load our groceries. With the new car, we may have to go to Safeway about every other day due to storage area. But, knowing we are doing our part to save "planet earth" makes it all worth while.

Dug Out  

Posted by Stan Harrington

What appeared to be an insurmountable task was finally accomplished after four hours of plowing time. Lessons learned: (1) One should never have a long driveway that intersects with a state highway; (2) One should seriously consider wintering in Southern Mexico; (3) Enjoy the snow removal task as you have no other choice; (4) One should have a dog with real long legs. Proof is in the photos:

Did Not Plow Area ~Adhered To Warning Sign Post By Grandchildren

Opened The Back Door This Morning

Cannot Get The Snow Piles Any Higher

"Ole Homestead" Cabin

"Dutch" Breaking Trail

(Note Trail Behind Him)

End Of The Trail, Thank God

My Master Plowed The Driveway

The Hole In The Wall Recreational Area Remains An Unknown

Check It Out Tomorrow

Is It Snowing  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Don't know about the rest of the world outside of Anchor Point, but it is snowing here! It did not show up on the Doppler Radar, therefore all this white stuff is not snow. Don't know where it came from, but it did dump on us. I plowed this morning, had about seven inches on the ground. Before I finished plowing, it started to snow again and has been snowing since. We are now snow bound and I doubt that I will be able to find my plow truck, should have tied a string to it!

In the event that you were planning on attending the 1st Annual Snow Games at the Hole In The Wall Recreational Area, this weekend. Please make alternative plans, all games have been cancelled due to snow and the potential for avalanches. All of you know that my professional deck and sidewalk snow remover is a fanatic when it comes to removing snow. She did a great job this morning, however, the picture below was taken about fifteen minutes ago, the hump you see in the snow is the hot tub on our deck - don't know where the deck went since it is 24 inches inches lower than the edge of the hot tub. As I sit here, I wonder how the HITW Fire Pit Gazebo is fairing and if I will ever be able to break a road into the area again this winter.
As a side bar, this evening I was watching the Republican Presidential candidate debate in South Carolina. A debate was going on as to the "surge" in Iraq and how slowly the democratic form of government was taking hold in that country. The question was posed by a very far left liberal hoping to spark a little controversy with the Republicans. Senator McCain probably gave the best answer that I have ever heard pertaining to this subject, as quoted by him; "Democracy in Iraq is going to take time, there are no Thomas Jefferson's in Iraq, Saddam Hussein killed all of them."

Terror On The High Seas  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Perhaps the time has arrived to swat that annoying little fly that keeps begging to be swatted. On Monday, January 7th a task force of three U.S. Naval vessels attached to the 5th Fleet were making the transit through the Straits of Hormuz between the Gulf Of Oman and the Persian Gulf. The lead vessel was the cruiser U.S.S. Port Royal (shown) followed by a destroyer and a fast frigate.

The Straits of Hormuz is twenty miles wide and considered to be international waters. Making a single file transit through the straits, their radar picked up five fast moving vessels coming from the shoreline of Iran. Radio communications picked up indicated that the Iranian Navy clearly announced their intentions to "blow" up the naval vessels. As the Iranian Navy approached to within several hundred yards of the these ships, they discovered that the task force took them seriously and all guns and missiles launchers were trained in their direction. Wisely, they broke off their engagement and headed home. Although, the Iranian's would later state that the gun boats only went out to identify the ships. One has to wonder, why the message was sent about "blowing up" the vessels and whose fleet did they expected to identify. The 5th Fleet of the U.S. Navy has been operating in this area for decades. This was strictly a harassment procedure, hoping to create an incident.

Or was it it dumb leading dumber, this is one of the five boats (right) that was sent out to intercept this task force of three naval vessels. I wonder how this fire fight would have ended, perhaps if we got them all aligned at one time, one missile could take them all out. If not, I am sure a couple of missiles, several burst from the reciprocating deck guns would have ended the engagement rather quickly. Even the Iranian navy has to realize that three U.S. Naval vessels of this class do not travel far from the mother hen. Oh, did I fail to mention what was on station just over the horizon and within five minutes of the strike zone. The U.S.S. Harry Truman is the flag ship of the Fifth Fleet and can launch attack forces at an alarming rate. They got away with the attack on the U.S.S. Cole from the former administration, I would not recommend that they try it again.
Had I been the Commander of the 5th Fleet, I most likely would have used the same restraint, however, I would see no harm in putting one across their bows just to get their attention and give them a moment of pause to reflect on their poor judgment of taking a "rock" to a gun fight.

Snow Day  

Posted by Stan Harrington

What a great day, I just love the snow! It snowed on us steady for a twenty four period! The total snowfall was less than six inches, just enough to make shoveling the decks, walks, and plowing the driveway. Of course, I was a little short handed being that my partner had fled to LA on a shopping spree which she extended one extra day. That is alright, her new furniture arrives in the morning and I will have the couch nap tested before she ever gets home.
Spring is on the way, moved into the Hole In The Wall Recreational Area to do some preliminary work after I finished plowing the three acres. However, I did see the first sign of spring, a trailer load of firewood waiting to be unloaded. Now don't you guys feel bad, I unloaded it by myself in the cold and snow but your comfort next summer is very important to me. Worked out a deal with our "local wood dealer" . He will cut the wood, load it and deliver it to the HITW, all I need to do is unload. He said we can expect two shipments per week, I figured at that rate by spring we will have enough wood for two years, at least! While poking around the site, I did note that "Butch" and Sundance" must be wintering in the area, little tracks all over the place. I also saw the sign of the rabbit, so perhaps we have a new guest. I did see another sign, however, that will have to wait for another posting on the dedicated site since I just noticed I once again got on the wrong site for this posting. I figure that once the moose do move down and discover that the hole is being kept plowed, it could be a great area for them to "winter". Perhaps a couple bales of hay and a salt block accidentally stowed in the area may help.

I did mentally prepare a "To Do List" for spring, there is allot of work to get done in time for the annual rendezvous. I will wait to see if you can spot some the work that will be required once you have viewed the pictures.
Finally Busted Through The Snow Drifts
First Load Delivered

The Engineering And Construction Of The Gazebo Appears
To Handling The Snow Load

No One At Home At The Duck House

North Fork Technology  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Protect Your Investment
Protect Your Automobile From Theft
Lower Your Insurance Rate
By Installing The New
North Fork Model
Automobile Alarm System

Looking For Models  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Since the day after Christmas, I have now logged 104.7 miles in pursuit of "wildlife shots", being somewhat restricted in this area to Moose. I have visited all of the local winter feeding areas without even seeing a track. Today, for the second time, I drove the North Fork Loop Road. Believing that the snow may have driven the Moose into the river valley. My assumption proved wrong. I have driven the Beach Road a dozen times, this time of the year there is always a minimum of twenty moose wintering in this area. This year not a track. Today, I ventured into Homer and went east as far as Millers Landing and doubled back on Kachemak Drive, known for centuries as being the winter feeding area for moose. I did see one Raven sitting in a Spruce Bark Beetle killed tree, even their habitat is being eliminated. I now believe that all of the Wolves on the Kenai Peninsula have disseminated our Moose population and have now moved to Anchorage in search of dogs.

In frustration, I headed to the Homer Spit to get some Eagle shots. Something that I swore I would not do, but I did find it enjoyable and will go back. I found one prop, I may have to take a lunch and sit on it several days in row, but eventually I will get a Eagle to roost. When I do, it will be an Eagle picture that you have never seen before. I have learned already, patience is the name of the game.

This is a majestic American Bald Eagle
This is the same Eagle, proving that even the majestic can have
a bad "hair day"