In Loving Memory  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Dedicated To My Son,
Shane Scott Harrington

"Remember Me"

Remember Me in quiet days

While raindrops whisper on your pane.

But in your memories have no grief

Let just the joy we knew remain

Remember me when evening stars

Look down on you with steadfast eyes.

Remember if once you wake

To catch a glimpse of red sunrise.

And when your thoughts do turn to me,

Know that I would not have you cry.

But live for me and laugh for me,

When you are happy, so am I.

Remember an old joke we shared;

Remember me when spring walks by.

Think once of me when you are glad

And while you live, I shall not die.


Posted by Stan Harrington

I just finished making a posting, however, when I got back to my home page I found this on Yahoo News. A few nights ago while looking at some web sites on old shotguns, this popped up onto my screen. It looked very authentic and almost conned me into falling for it, but I stopped short and shut down the system without doing anything. Watch for it because it surely does look real.

Safe Return To Paradise  

Posted by Stan Harrington

We have once again made a trip to our favorite metropolitan area and safely returned to our little piece of paradise over looking the river, just in time to enjoy a few snow flakes this evening. Just like any trip to Las Anchorage, the trip was eventful. Did not realize it until a few minutes after our return home, but shortly after our cruise through Sears Mall it was locked down by the police.

From the news sources, evidently a premature withdrawal was made from a bank by a gunman and he escaped towards Sears Mall on foot. One news source, I believe Channel 2, described him as a man dressed in ladies clothing including a purse. Had I lingered just a few more minutes in the tools section enjoying the fantasy about a new "chop saw", we may have been caught up in the drag net as well as the lock down at the Mall. Glad I left my "man bag" in the car.

We did have the opportunity to meet the doctor that is treating our son for MS. Ironically, she and I played together on the beaches of the Homer Spit, the summer that her father started construction on Lands End. I had not seen her since the summer of 1955. Evidently, I did not leave a lasting impression on her as she did not remember me, but considering she was only five years old I can understand. I was much older, I was ten years old!

Although, way to short, we did really enjoyed our short visit with all the family in the LA area. It was good to see everyone and spend a little time together. I would like to thank my son in law, the Bull Buff for serving me my morning coffee while I was still in bed! Despite, it being 4:30 a.m. it was really good coffee. Just prior to going out the door to work, he even made a fresh pot for me to enjoy while I watched the early morning news with Fox and Friends.

However, the big surprise came from our granddaughter Taylor. She showed us her domestic side and made the most delicious Manicotti for dinner. It was great dinner, thank you Taylor, it was very special and very, very good. When can we expect a second batch? The dessert was very good as well, I went to get seconds for a midnight snack, but it was gone! I neglected to ask, but were those locally grown apples in the desert?

The next time I venture north, I am going to have a language dictionary. Stopped by Wally World on Bensen, a treat that I do not always look forward to. While shopping in the men's section, I was treated to along conversation between two employees that were stocking shelves and I did not understand one word they said. I so wanted to interrupt them, point to a customer and tell them that I thought the customer was an undercover agent for the immigration service. Although, they were within two feet of me and I had to reach around them to look at merchandise, they never offered to move nor ask if they could be of assistance. Evidently, the bank robber was smarter than I, he headed to Sears Mall and not Wally World. I would guess if a show of force of police cars showed up at Wally World, half their employees would head for the back doors. My last trip to Wally World on Benson.

The "Kodak" moment of the trip was on both the north bound and south bound portion of the trip, we saw more Swan's than I have even seen in the area. All of the ponds along Turnagain Arm had a few but the big marsh outside of Portage had large flocks. We also saw them at the higher elevations on Summit Lake. A magnificent bird but difficult to get them to pose for a good picture.

Lady Bug  

Posted by Stan Harrington

A number of years ago, the State of Alaska was heavily infested by the Spruce Bark Beetle. This small beetle devastated the majority of our "old" growth White and Sitka Spruce. Vivid reminders of this infestation is still visible on the Kenai Peninsula. Although the epidemic is now over, it will take many years for our forests to regenerate.

This past summer, did you notice an increase in the number of Lady Bugs flitting among the flora and fauna? A closer examination of the cute little Lady Bugs reveal that they are impostors, although they do look very similar. These little impostors have just started showing up in Alaska, but already they have made the presence known in our forests. There are several reasons for their migration north to Alaska. Two of the major factors being our open door policy on the southern border of the United States and Global Warming. What you thought you were watching, buzzing around your plants and trees, was not the traditional Lady Bug but the Mexican Bean Beetle. Below is the various stages of this little pest. The eggs, the larvae which turns "yellow" in two stages prior to transforming into a beetle resembling the Lady Bug. It is during the larvae stage that these beetles are the most devastating. They feed heavily on the foliage of our Spruce Trees during this stage, eventually killing them. During this stage, they are protected from detection as the tree will also turn yellow to protect their presence.
Unfortunately, several trees on my property have been infested and I expect them to drop their existing needles within days. Below is a picture of three trees on my property only a few feet apart, two of them have been affected while the third is yet to show any sign of infestation. The two infected trees did not show any sign of infestation until about a week to ten days ago.


"Ruger", "Dutch", and "Goldie"

Six Year Changes  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Dutch Harbor Dutchman "Dutch"

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
October 2002
6 Months Old


Same Spot, Same Dog, Same Bushes
October 2008 ~ 6 Years 6 Months Old

"I Am Trying To Smile"


Posted by Stan Harrington

Experience is one of our best teachers. In my personal opinion, there are two types of experience. The first being that in which you gain from education and the second that in which you learn by association. In less than a month, we will once again go to our favorite polling place to select an individual that will serve as our next President of the United States. Perhaps, the person that yields the most power in the world. Voting is very similar to interviewing a perspective employee for your business. You want to take a look at their resume in regards to education but to be effective but you must also seriously consider their experience in preparation for the job description in which they are applying.

In my lifetime, I have lived under the leadership of nine Presidents. In their role as Commander in Chief, I have served on active duty with the U.S. Navy under the Command of six of these Presidents. Because of social and economic concerns, we often over looked the term of Commander in Chief. The most important role of the President is that of Commander In Chief. The military services of our country is the first line of defense that protects our security and way of life. Most citizens of the United States view the military as a combative role and do not realize their mission statements. For instance, the primary role of the U.S. Navy is to insure that the sea lanes of the world remain open to permit free trade. The strength of our military services is also utilized by our Department of State in their diplomacy strategy. The collapse of the U.S.S.R. was a direct result of the strength of these services.

Does experience matter? I will allow you to be the judge of that based on a brief review of each of the President's that have governed during my lifetime.

Harry S. Truman ~ Democrat ~ President 1945 - 1953
Acting Vice President and assumed office of President upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Captain in the U.S. Army during World War I. Served as a U.S. Senator until assuming the office of Vice President. Completed his term as Commander in Chief in World War II and ended this war by ordering the use of atomic weapons. Korean conflict commenced between South and North Korea.

Dwight D. Eisenhower ~ Republican ~ President 1953 - 1961
Graduated from West Point Military Academy. Attained rank of five star General and assumed command as the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II. After being elected to the Presidency signed the cease fire agreement between South Korea and North Korea which is still in existence.

John F. Kennedy ~ Democrat ~ President 1961 - 1963
Navy Lieutenant in World War II, Captain of PT 109 assault boat which was sunk by collision with a Japanese Navy destroyer. Awarded Silver Star for heroism for rescue of crew member. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1953 and served until elected President. In October 1962, confronted the U.S.S.R. and placed a naval blockade around Cuba to prohibit the installation and activation of nuclear weapons from the U.S.S.R. on Cuban soil. Assassinated while in office in November 1963. (ed note: I entered the Navy just prior to his death, I would have like to have served longer under his leadership)

Lyndon B. Johnson ~ Democrat ~ President 1963 - 1969
Assumed Presidency upon death of President Kennedy. Elected to House of Representatives in 1937. Navy Lieutenant Commander WW II and earned the Silver Star for heroism. Elected to the U.S. Senate 1948 until elected as Vice President. Reelected to Presidency in 1964. Shortly after assuming office following the death of President Kennedy, he elected to escalate the Vietnam War. (ed. note: As Commander In Chief, I would rate him as fair to poor in his political decisions and strategy in conducting the war in Vietnam)

Richard M. Nixon ~ Republican ~ 1969 - 1974
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy in World War II. Elected to Congress and in 1950 elected to the U.S. Senate serving two years prior to be elected as Vice President to President Eisenhower. Vice President from 1953 to 1961. Lost presidential election to John F. Kennedy in 1961. Nominated and won the Presidency in 1968. During his term, he ended the draft and concluded the Vietnam War. His Vice President, Spiro Agnew resigned his office for legal reasons. House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford assumed the office. On 8/8/1974, President Nixon resigned his Presidency to avoid impeachment hearings pertaining to the Watergate Hotel incident. Gerald R. Ford assumed the Presidency. (ed note: President Nixon did a very good job as Commander in Chief, maintained a strong military service and concluded the Vietnam War. )

Gerald R. Ford ~ Republican ~ 1974 - 1977
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy in World War II. Elected to Congress in 1948 and served for 25 years prior to having to assume the office of Vice President. House Minority Leader from 1965 to 1973. Assumed the Presidency upon the resignation of Richard Nixon. (ed note: President Ford is often overlooked as an effective President. He brought us through one of the largest scandals in American politics. He was a very good Commander In Chief and maintained the growth and modernization of the military)

Jimmy Carter ~ Democrat ~ 1977 - 1981
Graduated from Annapolis Naval Academy and served seven years in the Navy, resigning his commission. Elected as Governor of Georgia. Elected to the Presidency with a narrow victory over President Ford, primary due to the decline of economics the last year of the Ford administration. Iran seized the U.S. Embassy and held 52 Americans as hostage for 14 months. Hostages were released the last day that President Carter was in office. (ed. note In my opinion, despite his early background, President Carter was the worst president in my lifetime. As Commander in Chief, he was a dismal failure. Morale in the services plummeted as well as the drastic cuts in the military budget and dismantlement of the U.S. Navy. President Carter is also the President that locked up 103 million acres in Alaska including ANWRA)

Ronald Reagan ~ Republican ~1981 ~ 1989
Two term Governor of California. Selected George H.W. Bush as his Vice President who was currently serving as Ambassador to the United Nations. Won the first election with a Electoral Vote of 489 to 49. Won his second term in office with an unprecedented number of Electoral Votes. President Reagan, realizing the importance of the military services and the dismantlement of the U.S. Navy. He pledged to build the Navy to a five hundred ship fleet which he accomplished in his term of office. Increased the national defense budget by 35%. Confronted the U.S.S.R. and taking advantage of their economic conditions and our strong military posture, brought them to the bargaining table in curtailment and establishment of the nuclear missile treaties. First President to take a stand on terrorism by enacting the War on Terrorism. Sent American bombers into Libya after evidence of attack and killing of American soldiers in a Berlin, Germany nightclub. Through his efforts, the collapse of the U.S.S.R. would occur as well as the Berlin Wall. (ed note: President Reagan was the best of the Commander in Chiefs during my tenure in the U.S. Navy.)

George H.W. Bush ~ Republican ~ 1989 - 1993
Youngest Naval Aviator in World War II, flying 58 combat mission prior to getting shot down and rescued by the U.S. Navy submarine. Elected to House of Representatives for two terms, nominated as Ambassador to the United Nations and Director of the C.I.A. Served as Vice President with President Reagan for eight years. During his term in office the Berlin Wall came down and the U.S.S.R. collapsed. Iraq invaded and occupied Kuwait, President Bush formed a coalition of allies after the United Nations failed to react and commenced Operation Desert Storm liberating Kuwait and forcing Saddam Hussein into surrendering. Economic conditions and pledging not to rise taxes, then going back on his pledge lost his reelection. (ed note: Although I had retired, I would have liked to served under his command.)

William J. Clinton ~ Democrat ~ 1993 - 2001
Elected as Governor of Arkansas in 1978. Lost reelection for second term and came back after four years and was again elected as Governor of Arkansas. He never completed his second term due to being elected to the Presidency. During his eight years as Commander in Chief, he concluded some deep cuts in the military services with a large number of military bases being closed. Because of scandals while in office, the House of Representatives impeached him however the U.S. Senate found him not guilty. Sent missiles into Iraq when Saddam Hussein expelled the United Nation Inspectors that were seeking evidence of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. (ed note: Despite his popularity, although I did not serve under his command as Commander in Chief, I would rate his at the level of Jimmy Carter. Several acts of terrorism, including the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole occurred with many losses of American lives with no retaliatory actions on his part.)

George W. Bush ~ Republican ~ 2001 to Present
Air National Guard, F-102 fighter pilot. Served a term as Governor of Texas. In the history of Texas, he was the first Governor to be elected to a second term in office which he was serving when he was elected President. A few months following his assuming the Presidency, the terrorism attack of September 11th occurred. Following the aftermath of 9/11 he propelled his role as Commander In Chief and took command of the situation. He set the example for each of us to follow. He initialized the original War on Terrorism and took the war to the combatants in Afghanistan and Iraq. Economic conditions hit historic levels during his tenure and has only recently started to plummet. He is currently serving out his second term in office. (ed note: Like his father, I would have enjoyed serving under his command, although his popularity currently is at record lows, he is enjoying high popularity with the military men and women. History will be grade his Presidency at a much higher level than he is currently being given credit)

That is a very brief summary for each of the past nine Presidents. In less than a month, the tenth President in my lifetime will be elected. After reading the experience of the previous nine, compare those with the two candidates that are currently seeking your vote.

Barack Obama ~ Democrat
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, currently serving his first term in office.

John McCain ~ Republican
Graduated for the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Completed flight training and assigned various aircraft carriers as a naval aviator. Flew combat missions over Vietnam, shot down and was held by the North Vietnam as a Prisoner of War for almost six years. Returned home following his release, went through rehabilitation and despite his physical handicaps regained flight status as a naval aviator. Earning the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous other medals. Served as the Commanding Officer of an aircraft squadron in Florida with several hundred men and women under his command. Retired from the Navy as a full Captain after 22 years. Elected to Congress from Arizona in 1982. Elected to the U.S. Senate from Arizona in 1986 to the present time.

Experience counts and your VOTE counts.

Summer Is Not A Fleeting Thought  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Hearing it from a reputable source, I understand the my family and friends in the Las Anchorage metropolitan area are receiving a little snowfall tonight. I am so sorry, that the fluttering white stuff marks the end of your summer. Now all you have to look forward to is six months of snow and cold. Gone are the days that you can walk among your flowers, pausing long enough to sniff the fragrance or take daily photos of the development of your apples. Although, our summer did seem a little short this year, the sights and fragrances of summer continues to linger in the little village on the river.

This past summer, my flowers were beautiful but I was disappointed in the annuals that we did plant. Partially our fault due to late planting because of landscaping changes but I blame the "cooler than normal" summer for the most part. But there is always a silver lining to every cloud. We are now enjoying what we should have been enjoying in August and early September. The Livingston Daisy is one of my favorite annual flowers. Their vivid color and sun tracking abilities can cheer the soul. Due to the lateness of the planting and cool summer, our Livingston Daisies are just now coming into their full maturity. Despite several nights of frost as well as several nights of freezing, the little Livingston Daisies have proven to me that they are not pansies.

These pictures were taken this past Sunday evening. Today, they were again in full bloom despite having an inch of ice on the puddles and ponds. To all of you you have awakened to winter this morning, I will will be thinking of you as I take my morning coffee on the deck, admiring the hardiness of my little daises and the continuance of our summer.

"Little Red Wagon"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

When I was a youngster, just starting school, our family lived on a small ranch in western Colorado. My father was a horse trader as well as operating a guiding business in the fall for elk and deer. During the summer months, he would operate riding stables in Aspen or Lake City, Colorado. In the 1950's, money was not plentiful and most often my mother would also work by cooking in local restaurants.

The Christmas holiday traditions that I still enjoy today were instilled by her. It was always a special time and despite the fact that money was hard to come buy, she would plan in advance to insure each of her children had something special on Christmas morning.
On one particular Christmas, I awoke to find a genuine "Radio Flyer" wagon under the tree as my gift. To me the little Red Wagon was priceless because even at that age I knew the sacrifices my mother had made to order that wagon from Santa. Behind our property, there were miles of barren abode hills, which was my personal playground. I had already made plans to roam those hills with my Red Wagon in tow.
Later in the day of that particular Christmas, my three older brothers wanted to borrow my wagon. Typical of siblings, the request erupted into a verbal altercation as there was no way they were going to take my wagon. The noise got the attention of my father, being the disciplinarian his voice got our attention. He looked at me and said, "Butch, Don't be a Tissy, Tissy Tight Ass" and allowed my brothers the use of my little Red Wagon.
Being older and faster, they headed to the highest abode hill they could find. When reaching the top of the hill, the three of them got into my wagon and started down the hill. Adobe is a soft dirt so with the weight in the wagon, it had not went far before the steering bracket that holds the tongue of the wagon dug into the dirt and brought the trip to a halt as it flipped them out of the wagon. Upon reaching my little "Red Wagon" I discovered the tongue, steering bracket and front wheels torn loose from the wagon. I was devastated. The first day, my wagon was ruined. In my adult life, the story of the wagon became a family story every time we gathered for social functions.
On my 60 birthday, my family hosted a surprise birthday party for me. It was a great time with family and friends. A special gift was delivered to me by my youngest sister and one of my older brothers that had destroyed my little "Red Wagon". A brand new, "Radio Rider" wagon! Neatly painted inside the bed of the wagon was the inscription "Don't Be A Tissy, Tissy, Tight Ass". Seeing the inscription, everyone in attendance had to hear the full story of the wagon and inscription, including two very close friends of ours that took great delight in hearing the story.
Three years have elapsed since then, last evening they presented me very nice framed picture of a little "Red Wagon" that they discovered while traveling. The picture will hang on the wall of my office as a constant reminder of my childhood and the memories that linger. Someday, I plan on seeing this wagon in reality, as it is a wagon that even my brothers could not destroy.

"Ultimate Red Wagon"
Al Pyhala Standing At Front Wheel Of The Red Wagon