"Legends Of My Childhood"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Red Ryder and his wonder horse "Thunder" was created by Fred Harman when he was on a ranch in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. He was well known for his ink drawings of western figures and the detail in his work. He moved to Hollywood and the first "comic strip" was inserted into the daily newspapers under the title of "Bronc Peeler". Because Harmon had bright red hair, it was determined that the name of the cowboy would be changed to "Red Ryder".

On November 6, 1938 "Red Ryder" became a syndicated comic strip in 750 newspapers with a national reading audience of fourteen million nationally. Globally, the syndicated comic strip was printed in ten languages.

In September 1940 it was developed into a "Comic Book" which was in print until 1957. In 1940, the Red Ryder would also ride onto the silver screen in local theatres. Between 1940 and 1950 a total of thirty movies would be produced. The Red Ryder was one of the good guys, he seldom had to shoot a villain, he would simply disarm them by shooting their weapon out of their hands. Being from the San Juan Mountain area, the Red Ryder had a young Navajo Indian boy that also rode with him as a sidekick.

Several actors played the role of this young Indian boy, if you can answer the following questions, you will be able to solve the "Prattler Trivia Mystery".

1. What active toy did Red Ryder series make popular and is still being produced today?

2. What was the name of the horse that Little Beaver rode?

3. Who was the actor that is most famous for playing "Little Beaver"? **

**Hint: He turned down the role of "Little Joe Cartwright" in Bonanza in 1959, a role that Michael Landon would accept.

In March 2005, he would be found innocent of murdering his wife.


Posted by Stan Harrington

It would appear that the Germany Space Program is lagging just a few decades behind the rest of the world in space exploration. In the early 1960's, the United States and the defunct power of the U.S.S.R. commenced their race into space. The early test shots used a variety of test animals to determine the the effects of space travel, these included a dog from the U.S.S.R. and a monkey from the United States. Evidently, none of the information gained from these test runs was shared with the rest of the world. Germany, has now entered the "space race". This country is either starting out with the basics or they have learned from the United States that "grant money" can be obtained for worthless projects.

A recent article happened to catch my eye the other day while cruising through the daily news of the world. The article is dated 2/17/08: "Seventy-two small fish were briefly launched into space by researchers on Thursday, hoping their swimming patterns would shed light on motion sickness.

German researchers sent the Cichlids on a ten-minute rocket ride that blasted off from a launch pad in northern Sweden, said Professor Reinhold Hilbig, who was in charge of the project." "They were happy, I think they want to have another flight, he said."

"The thumbnail-size fish were filmed as they swam around weightlessly in small aquariums during the unmanned space flight. The German team will now study the video to see if some of the fish swam in circles because that is what fish do when they experience motion sickness, said Hilbig, of the Zoological Institute at the University of Stuttgart."

"He said scientists hope the experiment can help explain why some people experience motion sickness while others do not. The mechanisms involved are similar for both fish and humans." "Hilbig said the fish landed safely and appeared to be in good condition. Cichlids were picked for the experiment because they are sturdy fish who were deemed to have good chances to survive the stress of space flight" "Goldfish are a little bit fat and messy, while the Cichlid fish is a well trained, sporty fish with muscles", he said"

Not being a person with a great deal of scientific knowledge, I wonder why "Flying Fish" were not used for this project. I have seen schools of these fish in every ocean in the world, flying above the waves and not one time did I eve see one using a "barf bag". Not being a fish biologist, but a very ardent sport fishermen I was happy to learn about the Cichlid specie and that it was a "sporty well muscled fish", I am going to put it on my "bucket list" as a specie I want to catch, it should rank right there with a Black Marlin or Tarpon. From what I gathered from this article, if it proves out that "space travel" had no effect on the Cichlid in regards to motion sickness it may prove to be beneficial. If you are one or have children that are susceptible to motion sickness when traveling, all you will need to do is swallow a couple of Cichlid's followed by several glasses of water to insure they are total submerged and you are safe to go. If you want to learn more about things that blow up or the behavioral patterns of fish, you may want to visit this site.

Treasure Hunting  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Sitting around the homestead, I got bored and looking for something to do; I decided to go on a treasure hunt! It is an easy game to play and it is surprising the number of “great discoveries that you can make. It is always fun to go through “old” photo albums and cardboard boxes covered with the dust of time. However, I found an area that holds the oldest of treasures, a place that each one of us see several times a day and never pay that much attention to the “valuables” that lurk inside. That place is the medicine cabinet in your bathroom! I found it to be so entertaining, that from now on whenever I visit someone’s home, I am gong treasure hunting.
Not wanting to spoil any future exploratory games within my personal home, I contained my search to just one location of this particular trip. The second bathroom is reserved for the next windy, rainy day. Purposely, I also passed on researching the cabinet under the sink; I know that there are going to be a bunch of artifacts lurking down there.

One of my great discoveries in the “guest” bathroom was a tube of “A+D Original Ointment Skin Protectant”. Where it came from and why, I have no concept but it is for “diaper rash” and it has been some years since we had that problem in our household. However, the collector value in this, which I just discovered, is that despite the label on the tube, there is no such word as “protectant”. According to my spell check, the closest match is “protestant”. Not placing my full faith in spell check, I pulled out that old fashion book called a dictionary. Daniel Webster supports the conclusion of spell check.

I then discovered the box! You never know what may lurk inside a “little tin box”. Opening it slowly in anticipation of what I would discover in my little tin of Maximum Strength Sucrets, I found one sore throat lozenge still wrapped in the original tin foil. What a great find! Now, I know this is valuable and possibly the oldest one in existence since the Expiration Date on the backside of the tin is September 1988, it was even made in the USA.

However, the last discovery was the best. I have an “original” tube of “Alberto VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing for normal, dry hair”. What a find, considering that about 50% of the greasy substance remains in the tube and it is still pliable, ready for use. I can provide a Certificate of Authenticity” concerning this valuable artifact. I personally purchased this product some time in 1982 – 1983, prior to my retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1983. Having to wear a hat as part of my uniform anytime that I was outside, I found that just a little dab of this would hold your hair in place when you removed your cover. At a minimum, this “treasure” is twenty-five years old!

After this little treasure hunting expedition, I wait in anticipation for the next rainy day. I still have more cabinets to explore; I can then turn my attention to the crawl space. Now, that is going to be at least a “three week hunting trip”, in those old cardboard boxes there is going to be an abundance of artifacts and valuable treasures.

Now, the three items that I have posted will be going on E-Bay in the near future, but since all of you are my friends, I want to give you the first opportunity to bid on them. In the comment section, please leave the name of the product that you want and your bid price. All reasonable offers will be considered.

Forty Two Years  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Forty Two Years Has Elapsed Since February 18, 1966
Computers Were Experimental, The Size Of A Bus
Man Had Not Yet Walked On the Moon
Gasoline Was Thirty Nine Cents A Gallon
Homer, Alaska Did Not Have Television
Rotary Dial Telephones Were In Use
Zip Codes Had Just Been Developed, But Not Mandatory
Microwave Ovens Had Not Been Invented
Super Bowl I Was Born
Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) Was Reigning World Champion Heavyweight Boxer
The Game "Twister" Made It's Debut On The Johnny Carson Show
Clint Eastwood Box Office Hit "The Good, Bad And The Ugly"
"Ballad Of The Green Berets" By Sargeant Sadler Was #2 Cash Box Charts
Richard Petty Won The Daytona 500 In A 1966 Plymouth Barracuda Won $28,150
(Terry And I Would Buy A Plymouht Barracuda A Year Later - Cost Less Than $3,000)

We would live in Philadelphia; Jackosnville Beach, Florida;
Adak, Alaska; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Durango, Colorado;
Grand Junction, Colorado; Montrose, Colorado;
Oak Harbor, Washington; Anchorage, Alaska;
Homer, Alaska, and Anchor Point, Alaska.

The Greatest Part Of The Forty Two Years
Is That We Would Have Four Wonderful Children

Shane S. Harrington
Shana L. Harrington
Heidi M. Harrington
Heath M. Harrington

"There Is No Greater Love Than That You Hold For A Child"

In Return, They Have Given To Us
Twelve Grandchildren
Two Great Grandchildren

"There Is No Greater Joy Than That You Hold For A Grandchild As They
Are A Mirror Of Your Child"

In Our Forty Two Years,
We Have Been Very Fortunate,
We Have Traveled The World
And Returned To Live Just
Seventeen Miles From Where
We Were Married.
It Has Been A Great Time.

Gigantopithecus Blacki  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I have always enjoyed the studies of Cryptozoology, with the majority of my research focusing on Sasquatch, better known as “Bigfoot”. My interest in the subject increased when on two different occasions I have personally had a sighting. The first occurred late one evening, our family campground was deserted, returning home, I walked to the edge of the bluff and looked into the “bowl” where the campground is situated. We have an elaborate, large fire pit where we spend many hours sitting on our lawn chairs around the fire. This particular evening, a large brown object was sitting in a lawn chair. At first, I thought it to be a bear and in an instant when he spotted me, he was out of the chair and lumbered into the alder patch and out of sight.

My second sighting was the following spring, while preparing my box garden for planting, I went to retrieve some items from our storage building which sits on an open meadow with scattered small spruce trees. It was at this time that I caught a glance of a brown figure, standing erect on two feet running through the trees. Although, on both occasions, the object was standing erect on two feet, about six feet tall and covered with hair. Because of the terrain, I was not able to discover any footprints. I am not sure what I did see; it could have possibly been my one of my neighbors.

In the United States, the first sighting of “Sasquatch” occurred in 1840 by early explorers to the northwest. When they discussed it with the resident Indians in the area, they were familiar with the specie. They referred to it by a different name, which translated to “salmon stealer”. Grover Krantz, a well-known cryptozoologist is convinced the figure is a Gigantopithecus blacki. His counterpart, Geoffrey Bourne also agrees to this since most fossils relating to the specie have been found in China. The Siberian forests are very similar to those we see in the Pacific Northwest. He also contends that many well-known animals migrated across the Bering Strait “so perhaps” Gigantopithecus blacki is the “Bigfoot” of the American continent and perhaps is the “Yeti” of the Himalayas.

Years of research has gone into the study of this creature with very few details that prove positive. Pictures have been taken; however, the majority of them are of poor quality and not definitive. However, thanks to my truck-driving brother, I have discovered where they actually live and it is easy enough to find. I am surprised that not one has checked out the area since it appears they are leaving clues for us to find them. I would like to disclose the exact location, but I want to get the first pictures, but I will give you a clue. Good Luck.

It Is Just A Dollar  

Posted by Stan Harrington

As parents, no doubt this has happened to each of us. One of your children approaches and asks, “Can I have some money?” reaching into our wallets we retrieve a single one dollar bill and hand it to them. They will often surprise you and say “thank you” but most often their reply will be “I only get a dollar?” It is just a dollar but they hold in their hands something that is not only educational but contains a wealth of history. Reach into you wallet and take a look at the dollar, then if you are fortunate to have bills of other denominations, look at them and you will notice a vast difference in their appearance compared to the dollar bill. All those bills in denominations above the one dollar bill have been changed in recent years to reduce counterfeiting and for security reasons.

The appearance of the dollar bill has not changed since it came off the presses in 1957, hopefully it will remain that way to remind us all of our “roots”. To the right of the picture of our first President, you will notice the United States Treasury Seal. On top of the seal, you will see a set of scales, I always assumed this was represented “justice”; however, it represents a “balanced budget. In the center, a carpenter’s square, a tool used for an even cut in regards to taxes and on the bottom a key, representing the Key to the United States Treasury.

On the reverse side, you will see two circles. Both circles together comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved. Look at the left hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. The face is lighted but the western side is dark. The country was just beginning; we had not begun to explore the West. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished with our Democracy. Inside the capstone, you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin’s belief that one man could not do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything. “In God We Trust” is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, “God has favored our undertaking”

Now look at the right-hand circle. This symbol appears on every National Cemetery in the United States. Slightly modified, it is also the Seal of the President of the United States. The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons. First, he is not afraid of a storm because he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown; we had just broken from the King of England. The shield on the Eagle is unsupported signaling that our country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield, there is a white bar signifying that Congress is a unifying factor.

In the beak of the Eagle, you can read “E PLURIBUS UNUM” which means “one nation from many people”. Above the Eagle, there are thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies. In his talons, the Eagle holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace and freedom. The Eagle wants to face the olive branch, a sign of peace, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows. They say the number 13 is unlucky. However, on the dollar bill reference is made to the 13 Original Colonies; there were 13 signers of the Declaration of Independence; 13 Stripes on our flag; 13 Steps on the Pyramid; 13 Letters in the Latin above the Pyramid; 13 Letters in “E Pluribus Unum”; 13 Stars above the Eagle; 13 Bars on the Shield; 13 Leaves on the Olive Branch; 13 Fruits and if you look very close, 13 Arrows in the Eagles talons.

When I saw this, it reminded me of something that I heard in a political speech by Senator Obama. In his speech, he highlighted the need to improve our schools and the need to improve the curriculum. He reeled out numerous classes that need improvement, including human behavior and the arts, out of all the classes that he named, no mention was made of History, Geography, Government, or Economics. All of which were my favorites. Our children are not being taught history in our school system, what little is taught is basic and only that which has occurred in the past forty years. That was yesterday, that is not history.

"You Have To Know When To Hold Them"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

During the winter months, to pass a little time, I enjoy attending a weekly Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament. Although I do enjoy the social aspect of the weekly gathering, I thoroughly enjoy playing the game. It is a great time to study human behavior and the personalities of those that sit at the table.

I am not a church going man, however, I believe in the God Almighty, as one cannot witness the miracles that we see on a daily basis without giving thanks to the creator. As you read, one would have to speculate what does playing poker have to do with religion and how are the two intertwined? Perhaps, my Wednesday night poker game is the same as worshipping on Sunday in church.

As a youngster, my only entertainment was achieved via the radio or attending a Saturday matinee at the local Fox Theatre in Montrose, Colorado. I was and continue to be a fan of the Western genre, in both classical western music and movies. As a child, we had so many great western movie stars and country western music singers. The western genre is unique to the United States. One of these country western singers who was also a movie icon was a gentleman by the name of Tex Ritter. Except for those in my generation, he has been forgotten. Today, you seldom hear his name unless it is associated with his son, John Ritter who starred in the TV hit series “Three’s Company”. In 1952, he won the Academy Award for “Best Song” which was the theme song to “High Noon” (“do not forsake me my darling …..”) starring Gary Cooper. Having a son that suffered from the conditions, he was one of the founders of the United Cerebral Palsy Association.

He wrote one particular song that was very popular when I was young; it was written and reached the Top Ten Billboards in 1948. After a long search, I have just found the words to that song.

It is a story of a young soldier in World War II that was attending church services. As the others read from their small bibles, this young soldier laid out a deck of cards in front of him. He was told by his Sergeant to “put those cards away”. Following the services, the soldier was taken prisoner and brought before the Provost Marshall who demanded from the soldier as to why he was playing cards during church services. In reply, the young soldier said, “Sir, I’ve been on the march for about six days, I had neither Bible nor prayer book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir with the purity of my intentions.” With that, the young soldier laid out his deck of cards:

“You see Sir, when I look at the –
“ACE”, it reminds me that there is but one God;

The “DEUCE”, reminds me that the Bible is divided into two parts; the Old and New Testament;

The “TREY”, I think of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;

The “FOUR”, I think of the four Evangelists who preached the Gospel. There was Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John;

The “FIVE”, reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps. There were ten of them, five were wise and were saved. Five were foolish and were shut out;

The “SIX”, reminds me that in six days, God made this great heaven and earth;

The “SEVEN”, reminds me that on the seventh day, God rested from His great work;

The “EIGHT”, I think of the eight righteous persons God saved when he destroyed this earth, there was Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives;

The “NINE”, I think of the lepers our Savior cleansed. And nine out of the ten didn’t even thank Him;

When I see the “TEN”, I think of the Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses on a table of stone;

The “KING”, reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven, God Almighty;

And the “QUEEN”, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is Queen of Heaven;

But the “JACK” or “KNAVE” tells me of the Devil;

When I count the number of spots on a deck of cards, I find 365, the number of days in a year;

Also, because there is 52 cards in my deck, it reminds me the number of weeks in a year;

There are “FOUR” suits in a deck, the number of weeks in a month;

There is also 13 tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter;

“So you see, Sir, my pack of cards serves me as a Bible, Almanac, and Prayer Book

He concludes the song with these words, “And friends, this is a true story, because I was that soldier”.

The "Great Depression"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The Great Depression was not a sudden total collapse of the economics in the United States. In early 1930, credit was ample and available at low rates. By May 1930, auto sales had declined to below the levels of 1928. Consumers, many of whom had suffered severe losses in the stock market the prior year, cut back their expenditures by ten percent. At the same time, a severe drought ravaged the agricultural heartland of the nation beginning the summer of 1930. Prices began to decline, but wages held steady in 1930, then began to drop in 1931. The U.S. Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, increased the tariffs on imports. Retaliatory tariffs in countries exporting to the U.S. helped strangle global trade, especially in the oil, rubber, and steel industries. By late in 1930, a steady decline set in as more companies went out of business and the unemployment rates increased. This decline would continue until it bottom out by March 1933.

While doing some research this evening, I was reading my father’s diary. At the time, he was living in the small agricultural community of Benedict Nebraska. His posting of March 4, 1932 came to my attention. It is quoted as follows, “First Day of U.S. Bank Holiday. Rain and sleet – shelled corn at Kealihers. Played 50th hand in game of Razzle Dazzle and gave up in despair. Stayed at Kealihers all night.”

Each day following that entry, he would write at the top of the page “Banks Still Closed”. At the top of the page on March 8th, he wrote Banks still closed, business at stand still.” On March 15th, in very large letters he wrote, “Banks Reopened”. The depression would continue for another year before the recovery would commence.

Seeing these notations made me stop and ask myself, what affect would it have on our current economics if our banks were to take a “holiday” and remain closed for eleven days? What would we do if there were no cash machines, no checks, no credit cards, and no debit cards for that length of time? Although, I do not know for sure, perhaps someone out there that understands the banking regulations could confirm my suspicion. Are the lessons we learned between March 4 and March 15, 1932 the sole reason that our banks today may not be closed for more than three consecutive days?

The Great Depression was hard times, any man that had a job that would pay $1.00 per day felt very fortunate. Today with $1.00 in your hand, you feel fortunate to get a few cents change when you by a candy bar.

A Cold Winter Dream  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Each morning I awaken to have five little eyes staring at me. This is a morning ritual for the three dogs to let me know that they have been waiting all night to go outside. Getting dressed, turning on the coffee pot, donning my jacket, gloves, and earmuffs I open the door to the crispness of the cold air. Although dressed for winter, the piercing cold is overwhelming and I ask myself, how can a dog produce so much water, walk five feet and produce as much as the first time. By the time the two males have taken their turns “high marking” each other at least a half dozen times, I give up and head for the house, warmth and hot coffee, while they curl up for a nap.

In an hour of so, they will awaken from their naps and once again, the five eyes will stare at me until I once again go through the ritual of putting on my coat, throwing gloves, ear muffs, and reach for the tennis ball. About half way through this morning ritual, “Dutch” starts his toller howl, while “Goldie” looks up at me with a trembling body and wagging tail, and “ole one eye” just lays on the floor and watches, reserving his energy for the ball game. The game begins, first a long throw down the driveway, that one is for Dutch since he is the fastest. The next one is a fake down the driveway, a quick turn, and a throw the opposite direction for Goldie and her slower legs. Ole One Eye “Ruger” knows the game well; he stays in the middle so he can break either direction so he gets a bounce pass in his direction. We are an equal player organization. The games continue for twenty to thirty minutes or until my throwing glove begins to freeze from the dog slobbers and wet ball. The game concluded a little early yesterday, considering it was ten below zero. The ball accidentally landed in the soft snow and the dogs commenced their sniffing and scratching, looking for the ball. After the four of us looked for ten minutes for the missing ball and numbness setting into my body, I called them off the ball. Dutch and Ole One Eye gladly followed me into the house, while Goldie was determined to find that ball. Checking on her several times, she had snow spread everywhere looking for the ball but still would not return to the house. Fearing that she would suffer a stroke or freeze to death, I finally took a second ball, when she was not looking I deposited the ball as if I were hiding Easter eggs. Goldie found her ball, she was happy and I was happy to return to the warmth of the house. Looking at the clock, I realized it would be just three more hours until the afternoon game was scheduled.

This break gives me time to reflect on other things that I could be doing other than freezing to death. How enjoyable it would be to sit on the deck and drink my morning coffee, watching the sun appear over the top of the trees. However, that will have to wait until May. The sun will not come to me; perhaps the best solution is to go to the sun!


Posted by Stan Harrington

With Super Bowl Sunday, followed by Super Tuesday, I am ready for a rest! I can only take so much excitement in my life! I have to stop and meditate, allowing my thoughts to settle down so I will be mentally prepared to sit at the poker table on my weekly Wednesday evening game. Speaking of Super Bowl, throughout the play-off season, I picked the Patriots to win. I wanted them to set that record of 19-0 and Tom Brady to pick up another ring. However, on Sunday morning, I awoke with an inner feeling that my pick may be wrong. On Sunday morning, I sent my youngest son an e-mail picking the Giants to win by three points. Now, I wish I would have spent the time calling the "bookies" in Las Vegas. However, all was not in vain, I did win $100.00 in local football pool on the game.

I will not even touch on Super Tuesday, I could prattle on that subject for quite some time so I will reserve that not my other site. My brother did pass a long a cut joke to me a couple of days ago. It is adapted from the original story of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Although the original story has been adapted to a screenplay on numerous occasions, the movie is not nearly as good as the book and should be included on your must list as a book to read. However, the joke follows the story. The Seven Dwarfs got up, had their breakfast and left the home that they shared with Snow White to go to work in their mine. A short time later, Snow White heard a rumbling sound and a small bird appeared at her window and whispered that the dwarfs mine had a cave in. Snow White rushed to the mine only to find that the entrance had been closed off from the debris. She tried to move the heavy rocks, but they were to big for her to move. She finally managed to carve out a small hole and putting her mouth to the hole she yelled, "Can you hear me?" She heard no reply. She waited and made a second attmept, "Can you hear me?" She still heard no reply. Making a third attempt, "Can you hear me, are you o.k.? She thought she heard a voice so she pressed her ear to the opening and in a faint voice, she heard a reply "Did Hillary get elected?" Excited, she placed her mouth to the hole and yelled back, "Thank God Dopey, you are alive".

After seeing the weather forecast last night when the National Weather Service posted a Wind Chill Warning" for the Matanuska Valley and Kenai Peninsula. I was releived to see them cancell the advisory later in the evening and assure us that the wind chill factor would remain above minus forty degrees. I found it so humerous, that I sent it to everyone that I know in the lower forty eight, both of them.

Now, I have a technical question to ask all of you tinkers out there. As you can readily see, I am a comma abuser and rely heavily on spell check. The spell check on blogspot.com has been down for several days. Reportedly, they are working on it. If you push the spell check button, which does not work then you cannot post a picture on the blog site. However, if you push the post a picture button first it will post for you but the spell check still does not work. In my limited knowledge, I am thinking it is a problem with the spell check button. Numerous notices have been posted pertaining to the problem and reportedly it is being worked on. So, how do the rest of you make your postings? Do you use the posting template on blogspot or do you use some other method. Enlighten me, bring me out of the darkness!

I did make a good discovery, knowing my son in laws it is likely old news. I am not a beer drinker, although at the HITW I will partake in a beverage on occasion, but have never really developed a taste for that particular brew except in small amounts, unless they buy it. However, upon seeing commercials about the "new" Miller Chill, I purchased a six pack for Super Bowl. It was very good, between my other half and myself we consumed the six pack before the game was over. Now, I look forwardf to this summer, sitting around the firepit in my sombreo "chilling out".

Safety Zone Of Danger  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The picture to the left is a Russian Class Nuclear powered submarine. The picture to the right is a Nuclear Powered submarine belonging to China.
Once again, the U.S. Navy is in the news. Evidently, we, as a nation have forgot the lessons that we learned 66 years and 70 days ago in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Two of the largest U.S. Naval seaports are located in San Diego and San Francisco, California. Each of these ports have a large naval surface and submarine fleet operating from them, including our aircraft carrier task forces. Unlike Pearl Harbor, these ports provide easy and fast access to the open sea where they can begin imediate operations in the event of an emergency.
Late Monday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ruled in favor of Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmentalist group. The National Enviromental Policy Act and a court imposed injunction created a 12 nautical mile no-sonar zone along the coastline of California. President George Bush signed a waiver on January 15th exempting the Navy and it's anti-submarine warfare policy from a preliminary injunction creating the no-sonar zone.
Even those not familar with sonar and anti-submarine warfare, one has to wonder how many nuclear powered submarines capable of launching nuclear weapons can be parked in a zone that is 12 nautical miles wide along our coastline. One submarine parked ten miles off the coast of San Diego could take out Washington D.C. and New York City with one launch. For that matter, how many smaller submarines can be parked in this area in wait for our surface fleet to sortie from port. For the U.S. Navy to comply with the NEPA, the surface fleet is sonar defenseless from the time they leave port until they clear the twelve mile zone. The U.S. Navy learned a valuable lesson in World War II and the development of sonar detection. Today, the sonar unit is activated on these ships as soon as the word is passed that the ship is underway. Until that sonar is activated, the fleet is blind from any danger that may lurk beneath the waves.
In the event you are asking yourself why was this zone was established? Simply to protect the whales which may or may not be affected by sonar, as there is no biological data available. However, the whales are protected only when they are in the coastal waters of the Great State of California.
The Russian and naval submarine fleets of China are not the only submarines lurking in our sea lanes. A large number of "old" diesel powered submarines were sold by all nations to smaller countries like Iran, Sauia Arabia, etc. If one of these were to fall into the wrong hands, putting a couple of torpedos into the hull of an American super carrier would be a coup. Perhaps, a terrorist torpedo into the hull of a super tanker off the coast of California would wake some people up.

Targets Beware  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Currently, if you are hiding behind a sand dune twenty four miles from a U.S. Naval vessel you are relatively safe in your hideout. The Navy's current MK45 five-inch gun has a range of less than twenty three miles. It goes without saying that their missiles have a much further range. If you so choose to make an attempt to intercept a Naval vessel making passage through the Straits of Hermoz, you may also want to reconsider your options.

On Junuary 31, 2007, the U.S. Navy test fired an incredibly powerful new gun that is designed to replace conventional weaponry aboard U.S. Navy ships. "The big gun uses electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to fire a projectile farther and faster. The railgun, as it is called, will ultimatley fire a projectile more than 230 miles with a muzzle velocity seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7) and a velocity of Mach 5 at impact. "

The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughhead is a man after my own heart when he was quoted as saying when asked about the need for a weapon of this type. "I never want to see a Sailor or Marine in a fair fight. I always want them to have the advantage"

Fur Bearing Beast Is Wrong  

Posted by Stan Harrington

It amazes me that with the modern technology that has been developed, we still rely on some furry rodent to project when our winter is going to conclude. Space stations hurtling through space, instant world wide commuinications, and doppler radar sites we still watch for a little furry beast to pop his head out of the ground. He did just that and instantly disappeared again, indicating that we still have six weeks of winter remaining.

I saw my shadow today, but even I know it is going to be much longer than six weeks before we see the end of this winter. My historically correct indicator, my log splitter, indicates that we have a minimum of ten weeks remaining of winter weather. In the past ten years, this is the first time that I have not been able to see the handle on my log splitter by this date. In fact, I do not even know where my log splitter is at! Somewhere under all that snow.

I would prefer to use the birds as an indicator as to how close we are to spring. In our feeding areas, we are still seeing hundreds of birds feeding on sunflower seeds however, the gross beaks have failed to show. They are normally the last of the bird species to start feeding in this area. On typical years, they start feeding heavily 31.4 days prior to the arrival of spring. However, over the past two days I have seen a bird indicator that is a little early. The American Bald Eagle are starting to show in the river valley. They normally do not show up until the rivers begin to break open in hopes of catching an early salmon. Perhaps they know something we do not or they are looking for a furry rodent to eat.

You can rely on the ground pig, for me I am going to trust the birds and my calendar, I will predict that on the Ides of April, spring will be here.