News Today  

Posted by Stan Harrington

As I enter my fourth year as a blogger, my site has a very new look. This is the first change in the appearance of the site since I started posting on February 26, 2006. I would like to thank my professional site designer for the all out effort that she put forth to get everything changed over in just a few hours. She prefers to remain anonymous, however, if you are ever looking for someone to design a site for you, I would strongly recommend her. Her rates are very reasonable for the quality of work that she does in a very short period. Thank you for your assistance, it looks great!


Two news items caught my attention today, especially since the stories were released on the same date. In reading one of them, I shake my head and wonder if we will ever learn from the mistakes that we have made in history. The President of the United States primary responsibility is that of Commander In Chief. You do not lead by playing to your political party, you do not lead by campaign promises, and you do not broadcast your intentions in regards to deployments and strategic plans when you have troops in the field. The first rule that should be applied is "lead or get the hell out of the way".

On Friday, President Obama announced "he will end combat operations within 18 months and open an era of diplomacy in the Middle East." "By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end" he further states. According to President Obama, he inherited the war. I believe he was in the Senate for a very short period of time, but there long enough to support funding the troops. Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, serving as Senators from the concept of the invasion of Iraq, approved the decision to go into Iraq. The same two previous Senators also voted in favor of the surge that eventually tipped the scales of success in Iraq. They each also criticized Senator Obama for his military stance during the primaries. Senator Obama voted against the surge. All of the troops will not be withdrawn from Iraq in 2010 it is planned to leave 35,000 to 50,000 troops. Although that sounds like a large number, the majority of these troops will not be combat trained ground troops but support personnel.

Right now, Iran on one border of Iraq and their puppet country of Syria on the other border, are making their plans to "annex" Iraq on September 1, 2010. Following that annexation, Kuwait is right across the southern border with no military. Iraq and Kuwait would provide Iran with the majority of the oil stakes in the Middle East. Between now and then, Iran will talk with our diplomats but we know how far they can be trusted. Since Iran is also one of the greatest contributors to the terrorists, ole Bin Laden is sitting back and smiling as he counts down the days to get his people back into Iraq.

This week, President Obama also made the announcement that Dover Air Force Base would once again be opened to the news media so they could take pictures of our military men and women being returned home in a casket. President George Bush stopped this practiced during his tenure in office. President Bill Clinton adopted the same policy during his eight year tenure as Commander In Chief. President George W. Bush upheld the same policy during his eight years in office. Thirty days into the new administration, President Obama changes the policy that had been in effect for twenty years. Perhaps, payback to the news media that supported his candidacy.

The second news item that got my attention today. After three and one half years, the National Guard is pulling out of New Orleans. Why haven't we heard the screams to withdraw troops from New Orleans? As quoted by a store owner in New Orleans, "I don't know if crime will go up after these guys leave. But I know a lot more of us will be packing our own pieces now to make sure we're protected." New Orleans had 210 murders in 2007, making it the murder capital of America, with the highest per-capita rate in the country.

So, within the past twenty four hours two major announcements of troop reductions were made. If you look between the lines it is relatively easy to see the concept. This year, the President is planning to reduce the Department of Defence budget by 10%. With the reduction of troops in Iraq in 2010, that will provide the second opportunity to justify the cutting the budget of the Department of Defence an additional 10 to 20 per cent. I was in the Navy when President Carter was in office and made drastic cuts in the military budget to the point that Navy ships could not leave the dock because they did not have enough personnel to man the ships. Believe me, from experience you do not want our national defense to lapse into this situation again. Not in this day and terror filled age.


Posted by Stan Harrington

Happy 3rd Birthday Hyperbole Prattle

Today, marks the 3rd Anniversary since my children talked me into becoming a Blogger. Three years ago today, I made my first posting. The site today, is the same theme that my daughter designed for me three years ago. I never was one that would discard something that was usable. The site has been just that. I have had a great time and do appreciate all of you for stopping by to read my verbose prattles.
In the three years that I have had the site, this is my 538th posting which averages out to a new posting every two days. In return, the little counter indicates 25,679 hits to the site or an average of of 23.45 hits per day. Again, I thank you for stopping by to visit.

Perhaps, this is the shortest posting that I have ever made, I am not known for my brevity, but just wanted you to know I have appreciated your support. Thanks.

Happy Birthday To My Daughter  

Posted by Stan Harrington

As a parent, several times each year we are reminded that we are another year older. Normally, one would think that this would only occur on our birthday, however each time our child has a birthday, you also have a birth year. Once again I am reminded of this on this birth date of my oldest daughter.

Happy Birthday Shana!

You Will Be In Our Thoughts Today,
Wishing Our Little Girl The Very Be
st Day.
Love You,
Dad and Mom

Wanted to Post A Nice Picture Of You As A Little Girl,
This Is As Little As I Could Find
The Day You Came To Live With Us

I Also Wanted To Find A Nice Card For Your Birthday.
After Looking At Dozens
Reading The Inscription Of Each
I Chose this Particular One,
Even Though It Is For A Granddaughter,
I Thought You Would Appreciate It
More Than Any Other Card I Could Find.

I Apologize That It Is An Electronic Greeting Card
And Did Not Scan That Well,
But, I Think The Words Will Mean
A Lot To You, Especially
The Last Three!



Posted by Stan Harrington

"The Farther Backward You Can Look, The Farther Forward You Are Likely To See" ~ Winston Churchill~

For a good number of years, about thirty years to late, I have been on a campaign to learn more about my historical past in order to pass it onto my children (4), grandchildren (12), and my two young great granddaughters. Yes I do have very productive children. I have been relatively successful in documenting my fathers side of the family.

Recently, I have discovered a great source for information pertaining to my Grandmother Harrington's side of the family, the Baker family. I would like to thank Dr. Roy Baker for his assistance and the valuable information that he has provided me in my search.

Currently, I am working several "family projects" at the same time. Consequently, my paper file system is becoming overwhelming. I will maintain a paper trail and documentation, however to keep me from having to write additional narratives for the book that I recently wrote. I will document the pertinent information on this new blog site. You will then be able to print it if you so desire and insert it into the book.

I am not at all pleased with the new site. However, after working on it for two days trying to download a blog template from another source other than blogspot, I finally had to give up in frustration and revert to a standard download template from blogspot. Perhaps, when the professional "tinkers" are in the area, I can get one of them to refresh the site with the template that I want to install.

I have found it a great way to release tension from the Stimulus Plan, Academy Awards, and Politics in general.

The address for the new site is: HARRITAGE.BLOGSPOT.COM

Simulating Posting  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I must admit that when our Legislative and Executive Branches of the Federal Government pushed through a $787,000,000,000 deficit bill in a matter of 48 hours, I was very concerned.

I must also admit, that when our elected delegations in the House of Representatives and Senate adopted the $787,000,000,000 Stimulus Bill after having five hours to read an appropriation bill that contained over 1,000 pages, prior to voting on passage, I was very, very, concerned.

I also admit, that I was very, very concerned when Speaker of the House, Nancy
Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) were the primary authors of this bill.

I was also very, very, concerned if not just a touched bit of upset that upon adoption of this bill, these same elected legislators spread to the far corners of the earth on "official visits" within a few hours following the passage of the bill.

I was also very, very, concerned, when this Appropriation Bill was past because it was a "Crisis" and then sat on the desk of the President from Friday through Monday.

I was also very concerned and really upset (better word for it but not quite appropriate to use) when I discovered that this 1,000 page appropriation bill that allocates $787,000,000,000 was being taken to Denver, Colorado for the President to sign into law. It really upset me when I considered the cost of launching Air Force One to fly to Denver for a signature and photo opportunity. Not only did this cost upset me, but the cost to the City of Denver and the State of Colorado also upset me. I figure that the President's trip to Denver to sign this bill cost the tax payers roughly $3.5 million dollars. What was wrong with a nice little setting in the Rose Garden or perhaps even the Oval office? The only justification that I can see in using Air Force One, a Boeing 747, to fly this bill to Colorado for signature is that it was the only aircraft that had the capabilities of hauling the sheer weight of the 1,000 page bill.

As you can see, I spent the better part of my last week, very concerned.

But on this beautiful, clear but cold Sunday morning I feel much better about the entire Stimulus Package, I now feel stimulated. In front of me, I have a copy of some of this Stimulus Money that will possibly affect the local communities of Alaska. As indicated, a total of 2,799 jobs are going to be created in our local communities from funds provided by the Stimulus Package. Presently, a total of $415,682,000 is allocated to community stimuli in Alaska. Using my little pocket calculator, I figure that is only a cost of $148,563.97 for each job created. That is a stimulating figure.

I am even feeling overly stimulated when I discovered the disbursement of these funds and the list of projects that are being requested. From the allocation of $415,682,000 dollars the City of Anchorage is going to receive only $415,682,000 dollars as part of their stimulating projects. Again, using my little pocket calculator, I compute that to mean that ~ oh no, there is zero balance for the remaining 731 communities in Alaska! Who is that new Democrat Senator that was elected last November to represent the State of Alaska? I am not sure, but I think he was the Mayor of Anchorage at sometime in his political career. What a coincidence!

Looking at just a few new jobs being created in Anchorage, there is an allocation of $318,000 for the Anchorage Domestic Violence Prevention Project which will create three (3) jobs. The Greenbelt Trail Resurfacing and Bridge Repair project that is allocated $3,000,000 but it is going to create 20 jobs. How about a new Bus Warm Storage for Expanded Fleet, that is only going to cost $20,000,000 and create 40 jobs. However, it will not be going to waste because $7,700,000 is going to be spent for bus replacement with zero jobs created. The list continues but just those examples are enough to stimulate me.

In my hometown of Anchor Point, we are going to also stimulate our economy, on Tuesday I understand we are going to have a cookie sale in order to raise enough money to buy a new flag for our school. Nothing more stimulating than a fresh baked chocolate cookie.

16TH AND 44TH  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Last Formal Photograph of Abraham Lincoln ~ February 5, 1865
President of the United States March 4, 1861 ~ April 15, 1865

Abraham Lincoln is most likely the most popular and most quoted President in the history of the United States. Abraham Lincoln was sworn into the office of the Presidency of the United States on March 4, 1861. The Civil War commenced early into his administration. The war between the states would conclude just prior to the completion of his term in office. The best estimation of the casualties from the Civil War is 620,000 Americans although some computations raise the total casualties as high as 700,000.
In the closing days of the war, an actor by the name of John Wilkes Booth developed a scheme to kidnap President Lincoln, holding him hostage in exchange of Confederate Prisoners of War. Booth was an agent of the Confederacy. Because of his popularity as an actor, he had easy access through the lines of defense. He used this popularity primarily to smuggle medical supplies from the north to the southern states. In his scheme to kidnap the President, he selected a group of eight individuals to assist him. On the evening of the planned plot, President Lincoln had a change of plans and the attempt was thwarted. President Lincoln would be elected to a 2nd term in office and delivered his Inauguration Speech on March 4, 1865, forty-two days prior to his assassination.

With the defeat of the Confederacy by the Union Army and the reelection of Abraham Lincoln, the hatred of John Wilkes Booth for the President escalated to new levels. He assembled the original group that he had picked to kidnap the President, however this time it was to assassinate the President. However, he also wanted to throw the country into chaos and perhaps revitalize the Confederacy. By accident while visiting Ford Theater, where he often performed on stage he was told by a stage hand that the President would be in attendance at a performance. Knowing the layout of the theater, it was an ideal place to carry out his assassination plot. This plot also consisted the assassination of Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary William H. Seward. He assigned Lewis Powell to kill the Secretary of State and George Atzerodt to assassinate the Vice President, who lived in a hotel. Each of the assassination were to occur simultaneously. History tells us that President Abraham Lincoln was shot in the back of the head from a 44 caliber derringer shortly after 10:00 p.m. on April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. Mortally wounded, he was carried across the street to a hotel, where he passed away at 7:22 a.m., April 15, 1865. Secretary William Seward was spared assassination, although he was stabbed before assistance arrived, several others were also cut before the assassin Powell escaped on horseback. George Atzerodt who was assigned to kill the Vice President arrived at the hotel as scheduled however after having a few drinks at the bar, changed his mind and left the scene.

Barack H. Obama assumed the office of the President of the United States on January 20, 2009. He announced his candidacy for this office on the steps of the capital building in Lincoln, Illinois. The home state of Abraham Lincoln. Throughout his Presidential campaign for the two years leading up to his election, he has compared himself to Abraham Lincoln. Taking every opportunity for photo ops involving statues or photos of Abraham Lincoln. At his Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2009 he took the Oath of Office of the President of the United States while his left hand was resting on the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln took this same oath. Since his Presidency has just commenced, it is still to early to see if he is tough enough to make the hard decisions that faced Abraham Lincoln. However, his first Executive Order as President was enacted within hours of assuming the office, the closing of the terrorists prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This Executive Order also halted all Military Tribunals that were currently taking placed or scheduled to commence. Perhaps, President Obama should read a little more American History pertaining to Abraham Lincoln and the plot to assassinate him.

John Wilkes Booth Booth would be found hiding in a barn on April 26, 1865 by Union soldiers. Booth's companion would surrender Booth refused to come out so the barn was set on fire, a soldier at the rear of the barn shot and killed Booth.

A large number conspirators were arrested and held for a period of time. Ultimately, the conspiracy narrowed down to eight individuals. Samuel Arnold, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Dr. Samuel Mudd, Michael O'Laughlen, Lewis Powell, Edmund Sprandly, and one lady, Mary Surratt. The eight suspects of this little terrorist group were tried by a Military Tribunal.

The trial lasted for about seven weeks with 366 witnesses testifying. The verdict was given on June 30, 1865 with all defendants being found guilty. Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt were sentenced to death by hanging. Dr. Samuel Mudd, Samuel Arnold, and Michael O'Laughlen were sentenced to life in prison. Dr. Mudd escaped execution by a single vote, the Tribunal voting 5-4 to hang him. Edmund Spangler was sentenced to six years in prison. Spangler had given Booth access to the back door of the theater. Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was also a conspirator in the plot to kidnap the President. He repaired the broken leg that Booth received when he jump for the Presidential Box to the stage. Mary Surratt owned the boarding house where meetings took place for both the kidnapping and assassination plots. Her boarding house was used to house the group, hold meetings, and store arms and supplies.

The four sentenced to death by hanging were executed on July 7, 1865. Mary Surratt was the first woman to be hanged by the U.S. Government.

Skull and Bones  

Posted by Stan Harrington

"Skull and Bones" is a secret society at Yale University although it is not affiliated with the university. There have been numerous conspiracy theory's toward this secret society over the years. Members swear an oath of secrecy about the group and it is comprised of the elite of the elite at the Ivy League school. Only fifteen Yale seniors are asked to join each year. Both Presidents Bush, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, and a number of other powerful government or industry positions are members of the society.

Chiricahua Apache Geronimo (Chiricahua Goyaale "one who yawns") was the prominent leader of the Chiricahua Apaches who fought against Mexico and the United States for their encroachment onto Apache tribal lands for several decades. Geronimo and thirty five of his warriors surrendered to General Nelson A. Miles near the Arizona - New Mexico border in 1886. Geronimo was sent to Florida, later being transferred to Georgia. He was eventually sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma and died at the Army outpost of pneumonia on February 17, 1909.


In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Geronimo's death on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 Geronimo's great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo filed a federal lawsuit in Washington D.C.,claiming that members of the "Skull and Bones" stole the remains of the legendary Apache leader. Harlyn Geronimo maintains that members of "Skull and Bones" took some of the remains in 1918 from the burial plot at Fort Sill to keep in its New Haven clubhouse, a crypt.

According to lore, members of "Skull and Bones" including Prescott Bush, grandfather to President Bush, dug up the grave of Geronimo when a group of Army volunteers from Yale were stationed at the fort during World War I, taking his skull, some of his bones, and personal items. Harlyn Geronimo wants those remains and any held by the federal government turned over to the family so they can be reburied near the Indian leader's birthplace in Southern New Mexico's Gila Wilderness Area.

Their lawsuit also names President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Army Secretary Pete Green as
defendants. Reportedly, part of the initiation process into the "Skull and Bones" society involves the kissing of a skull.

I only have two comments to the entire situation is that during the 2004 Presidential Election, it did not appear to me that President Bush and Senator Kerry were the best of "brothers" of a secret society. They surely did talk bad of one another. Perhaps there are some secrets between the two of them. My second comment being, didn't we dig up the grave of William H.
Bonney, a.k.a. "Billy the Kid" in New Mexico several years ago to see who was buried in the grave of "Billy the Kid"?

Corn Prices  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Corn prices, which usually means the price of corn futures are ultimately tied to energy prices, because corn is used to make ethanol, an additive to gasoline. Corn prices peaked in June 2008 with the Iowa floods with corn prices around $7.88 per bushel. The prices fell in the fall of 2008 as commodity prices, in particular oil prices declined as a result of the slowing economy.

In December 2008, corn prices are at a two year low and farmers are anxious about any sign of rebound. In the week of 15 - 19 December 2008, prices rallied to $3.89 per bushel. Although this is an increase of more than 30%, farmers say the prices need to reach $4.00 per bushel to cover the cost of producing the crop. Many farmers are putting their crop in storage rather than bringing it to market, in hopes of higher prices to come. The latest market price quoted at the close of business was $3.73 on Friday 2/13/2009.

Now you are wondering to yourself, why is he talking about corn prices? The primary purpose, it has to do with history, recession, and depression. The last two words have been used quite frequently as of late. The majority of us were born after the Great Depression. We have no concept of the hardships that the "Great Generation" went through during this period of time. Our historians can discuss it in great detail, however, it has little impact or importance to us because we cannot relate.

But when you hear it from the written words as it was being experienced it really has meaning because you can relate to it. Today, my cousin Dr. Roy Baker of Lincoln, Nebraska was kind enough to send me a series of letters pertaining to my family when my father and mother were first married. These letters covered a period of a couple of years and written by my Great Aunt Esther Black Baker. The men mentioned in her letters are my Great Uncles who were farmers in Nebraska. Unfortunately, I never met any of them, however, I grew up listening to my father and mother talk about my fathers uncles.

In a letter of 24 February 1934 she writes, "Will is going to borrow on his corn & stop some of his interest. I don't think Clyde or Wayne are going into it. I don't know whether you understand this business, I don't know much about it myself. But the crib must have a good floor & good roof. Then the Government agent inspects it, measures it, & seals it up (I don't know how) and you can draw 40 cents a bushel on it, If I get it right, if the price of corn gets above 40 cents you can shell & sell it & pay off your loan. If it don't get above 40 cents it belongs to the Government." She is talking price per bushel of corn.

She then writes in the same letter which is very appropriate today: "This is a good time to buy land if anyone has the money to invest, for land is bound to go up as soon as the depression lets up a little. Many have lost their farms, there are some farms listed for sale that were mortgaged while times were good and they mortgaged for more than the land is worth now. Some moneyed town guys are out grabbing up farms. I think it is disgusting, a sin & shame." Does that paragraph sound
familiar to anyone, despite it being written seventy five years ago?

For my children, she mentions your Grandfather in her letters often. One particular story she relates which I thought you would enjoy. Dad and his Uncle Earl had hiked to Iowa to husk corn. So many men showed up for work that no one made any money, but she writes "I don't know what Laverne made but he belonged to the hobo class, he would sleep anywhere, he laughed about going into a bakery when he got into Sioux City, laid a dime on the counter & told them that was all the money he had & asked them to give him as much as they could for it. He said they filled a large bag with cookies, doughnuts, rolls, etc., enough for 2 -3 days. The things were not fresh, but good."

From reading these letters I gained two things beside
additional knowledge of my family. The first being that the term of "Depression" is presently being over emphasized to describe our current down turn of the economy. The second being, despite the down turn we still have a higher standard of living than anyone in the world. Our current unemployment rate is 7.5%. When you relate it to the "Great Depression" the unemployment in 1931 = 15.9%; 1932 = 23.6%; 1933 = 24.9%; 1934 =21.7%; 1935 = 20.1% and 1936 = 17.0%.

Despite the scare tactics, we still have it pretty good, except a can of corn sells for .98 cents in the store and there is only 14.75 ounces of corn, not a bushel.

New Posting on American Profile: "Alaska's Aircraft Carrier"

Think Green  

Posted by Stan Harrington

This an a very early entry into the "Think Green" Program. This particular picture was brought to our attention by "John Da Plumma" in his research of vintage aged automobiles. However, this particular car was designed, developed, and marketed a half century prior to any emphasis on "Green". This is a Messeerchmidt Kabinroller and was developed in the early 1950's in Germany. It may have had a "four on the floor" but it only had three wheels on the ground. Has the design of this vehicle been compromised and once again appears in this era of fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness. I will let you be the judge.


This is a Aptera 2e. As quoted, "a soon to be produced electric vehicle whose shape is slipperier than a Teflon coated salmon on glare ice". You will not have to wait long to purchase this car, but I would suggest that you get on the waiting list as it is filling up rapidly. Reportedly Robin Williams is already on that waiting list. Four thousand (4,000) deposits have been received by the company. These cars are scheduled to roll off the assembly line in Vista, California this October for a yet determined price between $25,000 and $40,000. You can fuel this car up from an extension cord plugged into a 110 volt outlet overnight. It is claimed to have a range of 100 miles. With the rotary shifter clicked to D3, the most aggressive setting, you can expect 0 - 60 mph in under 10 seconds and 90 mph top speed.

Now, lets get serious. If I were a true believer in "Green" and purchased one of these cars. My normal four hour commute to Los Anchorage from Anchor Point, would take slightly over two days. In the vicinity of Cooper Landing, if I am lucky and have not been wasting my batteries by speeding, I am going to have spend a night in a Kenai Princess Lodge to charge my batteries.

Now, I have no concept an aerodynamics and quite honestly I still do not understand how an airplane flies. However, I can relate to sleek figures and curvy lines. This little death trap is designed to become airborne without wings. I can just picture running across the Kenai Burn, trying to make up some loss time on the straight away. With just a little headwind, you are going to catch air under your bow, where you land or how hard is not within your control. Never, never, ever stick your arm out the window. One wing does not work well when it comes to flying.

While driving this marvel that is going to save our planet, you must also be watching out for F.O.D. (foreign objects on deck) as you have probably noted the clearance does not permit you to crawl under the vehicle. At the same time, you may want to watch out for a wandering moose, for that matter a average size snow shoe hare, if you should encounter one while three wheeling down the Sterling Highway at 55.5 mph. However, do not be to concerned, it does have an airbag! How stable will it be when driving on snow or ice. Well, that could be a problem, that single rear wheel may try to pass you but not to worry. If you land in the ditch, it only weighs 1,700 pounds so I am sure someone can push you out, as long as your battery is charged.

O.K., so this car is not ideally suited for Alaska, I think we can all agree on that. It is designed and manufactured in California. Without stereotyping anyone, we know that is one of our "greener" states. Have you ever driven the freeways in California or even Interstate 5 in Seattle? Now picture yourself heading down the interstate or freeway in this stylish little "green car" at 70 mph. You glance into your rear view mirror, all you can see is the bumper of this big Peterbilt truck and trailer.

With trembling hands you grasp the "rotary shifter" and twist it up to D3 wanting to put some distance between your little rear end and that big chrome plated, fully illuminated front bumper of the truck. Reaching warp speed of 85.6 mph you can now see the smile on the face of "Bubba Billy Bob" the trucker in your rear view mirror just as he flicks on his turn signal and moves into the next lane to pass you. It is not going to be pretty. You have a long haul driver that has been popping pills to stay awake, passing you at 91.3 MPH in a rig that is at least seventy feet long with the tractor and trailer. Again, the theory of aerodynamics play a role in your demise. You are now into a wind tunnel with tornado force winds of which is going to propel you in any number of directions and altitudes.

But not to worry, most truckers are friendly and very courteous. I am sure "Bubba" will be on his CB radio, "Hey good buddy in that mobile gasoline station coming on at entrance number 24, you may want to be on the look out for flying debris in the shape of an aeroplane without wings, Bubba out" Shortly the reply is heard, "that is a big 10-4 Bubba, just saw it pass overhead south bound in the north bound lane, I've got your backdoor, let her roll, I will see you at Mabel's Diner for joe and pie".

I will let you be the judge. I only provide the "thoughts to ponder".

Happy Valentines Day  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Wishing All Of You A Very Happy Valentine's Day

One Of Several Legends Of The Origin Of Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine of Rome - I
According to one very popular legend, Valentine was a priest in Rome who lived during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Under his regime, Claudius is said to have engaged Rome into several bloody battles. To strengthen his army, the Emperor continuously needed to recruit soldiers. However, Claudius found that not many soldiers were keen to join the army because of attachment with their wives and families. In order to sever the bond of attachment, Claudius canceled all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine - a romantic at heart priest, defied this callous decree of Claudius by secretly arranging marriages of young men and women. When Valentine's defiance was discovered by the Emperor, he was brutally beaten up and put to death on February 14, about 270 AD.

For his martyrdom and dedication for the cause Valentine was name a Saint after his death. By Middle Ages, Saint Valentine became popular as the patron saint of love and lovers in England and France to the extent that Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as Valentine's Day on 498 AD and put an end to pagan celebrations. Thus, Saint Valentine's martyrdom day became an occasion to celebrate love.

The Golden Years  

Posted by Stan Harrington

When you enter the "Golden Years" of your life, some changes in your life patterns will slowly evolve. At first, they are alarming because you start thinking to yourself, "god I am just like my parents". Little things in life become more important. Like enjoying a cup of coffee with friends to discuss the daily politics, sports, and resolve most of the problems in the world in less than an hour. Sometimes there are disagreements, but the one thing that is always agreed upon is that "damm kids of this generation are going to hell, wasn't like this when I was a kid".

Other items that you find yourself enjoying, which to yourself you readily admit that you never cared about in your youth. You find yourself feeding the birds in the dead of winter, skipping the essential foods that you personally enjoy in order to off set the cost of the bird food. Looking up at the stars in amazement, as if they had just suddenly appeared in the heavens. All of a sudden, you discover the love of history, something that you may have detested during your school years. It is different now because you can relate to it. There are so many things to enjoy, like giving your dog a good massage or brushing, not just a pat on the head.

Then of course, anytime you get two people similar in age together, there are always the hot topics to discuss. For some reason, health is one of those topics. I normally shy away from this subject however do not get me on the subject of weather. I love weather and normally check my arsenal of weather gauging data at a minimum of a dozen times a day. I readily admit, there is nothing that I can do about it, but at least I may be prepared for something that might not happen. Weather is important, you need it to plan your day.

One of my favorite data recorders to see if I am going to have to plow snow in the next 24 hours or in the summer if I can go fishing without a raincoat, I check my Doppler Radar Site. As you can see from the picture posted, it is snowing on the west side of Cook Inlet, westerly of my location. Go to the next radar site out of Illiamna, that will scare you because there is allot of snow showing. Fortunately it looks like it will go west of Anchor Point and hit Los Anchorage

To see if I should put on a extra pair of long underwear, I refer to this site. This is a cloud temperature site. As you can see by the graph colors, a good cold front is moving in from the Bristol Bay area, right behind the heavy snow from the Doppler Radar. However, I am prepared, tomorrow I pick up a load of firewood for the Hole In the Wall. I would divert the load of wood to my house but I do not have a wood stove or fireplace. Having a wood stove would have a negative impact my "senior citizen energy allocation" from the local electric and fuel oil distributors. (I wish there was such a program)

Of course, no good weather bureau could operate without a satellite picture of the Pacific Region and those fronts that are moving in which could impact the temperature and Doppler site. I use this site to verify these sites. As President Reagan said about the Russians, "trust, but verify", I feel the same way about weather, don't rely on just one site and especially television weather reports.

This winter, I have one additional site to keep an eye on. Redoubt is always fun to check on, the web cams are great when it is not snowing or during the dark period of the day. But the center is doing a good job in keeping information posted. They are driving the national news media crazy, they want to see a big explosion so they have something to report on. I am sure that it will eventually do something, until then the merchants are loving it. They have had face masks sitting in their inventory for the past five years, now they have sold out. Redoubt has been a great "stimulus package" for merchants.

Ever need a local weather report, feel free to contact but please do not attempt to contact me between 2 PM and 4 PM, that is my nap time. Also between 4PM and 7 PM, that is my news time. On typical days I am also hard to reach between noon and 2PM because that is my "coffee clutch" time. The "golden years", I love them!

Updated To Check It Out, Click On The Below Link
American Profiles
U.S.S. Alaska (CB-1)

Something To Ponder  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Is It Just Numbers
For the past six months, when you tune in the evening news or scan the newspapers, you hear all of our politicians throwing out numbers from millions, to billions, and now it has escalated to the trillions. If you are like me, you have difficulty in relating any number over thousands let alone trillions. Recently, I did discover the difference. One million dollars is relatively simple, it is written $1,000,000. One billion dollars, you just add a few extra zeros, $1,000,000,000. To reach that one trillion mark, just add a few more zeros, $1,000,000,000,000. That is simple enough but what is the difference, to hear the politicians that have our best interest at heart, it is just money that will go onto our national debt.

Today, I discovered the difference and something that I can easily equate to. Surprisingly it is in a children's book titled "How Much Is A Million?" by David Schwartz. In this book it breaks it down so that even our politicians should be able to grasp the concept of the amount of the economic stimulus package. According to the author of this kids book, "One million seconds come out to be about 11.5 days". A billion seconds is 32 years. However, a trillion seconds is 32,000 years. Now, I have a good idea what I will be doing in a million seconds. I can even relate to a billion seconds, I will only be 95 years old. My oldest grandson will still be younger than I am right now. But, in a trillion seconds, I cannot comprehend that far into the future. I wonder if Senator Edward Kennedy will still be in office?

Double Standard
This past year, Mark Phelps made U.S. Olympic history in winning eight Gold Medals in swimming. Making him the first Olympian athlete to achieve this milestone. He dedicated himself and worked to achieve this honor. Immediately, the corporate world lavished huge endorsements on him to sponsor their products. I have no problem with this, he is deserving of being awarded compensation for his efforts in a sport that is not professional and non paying. His endorsements are reported to be worth millions but less than the amount that professional ball players make as an annual salary.

Let me be the first to condone the use of any type of drug or narcotic that is not prescribed by a licensed doctor. Very recently, Mark Phelps made the news again when a photo was snapped of him while he was taking a hit off of a bong. Within hours a clamour arose in the news media, his picture was flashed across the news several times a day showing him taking a hit on this bong. Mark Phelps, immediately admitted to being guilty and apologized for his actions and the message it would send to younger athletes. One of his largest sponsors which is the largest cereal maker in the world. Kellogg Corporation, announced that when his endorsement contract expires on February 28th, they will not renew his contract because of poor example he set. Although the contact amount was not mentioned, one can assume it was in the million(s) dollar bracket. A second company that has contracted Mark Phelps is also reviewing their contract and will possibly cancel it. The County Sheriff in South Carolina where the incident occurred is pursuing filing charges on Phelps, a misdemeanor in his county. His only evidence is the picture that was taken by an unknown individual. USA Swimming has banned Mark Phelps from any swimming competitions for the next 90 days commencing February 6th, which is justifiable.

A number of years ago, a Governor from Arkansas decided to run for President of the United States. During his campaign, under scrutiny of the press he admitted that he had smoked marijuana (but never inhaled). He received bushel baskets full of money from all sources, including corporate America to run his campaign. A political contribution is the same as an endorsement. He was elected to our highest office, President of the United States for two terms. Since his retirement he has made millions of dollars based on his Presidency. This past electoral year, a Presidential candidate admitted to a room of elementary students that he had smoked marijuana and even tried cocaine. He raised more money for his campaign from corporate America than any candidate in the history of our nation. Ultimately, Barrack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States.
I can only assume that this means a young man that worked long hours and sacrificed to excel in a sport has to set an example, where as the President of the United States is immune to guiding our youth.

Stimulus Package
Tonight, the U.S. Senate passed their version of the Economic Stimulus of $838 Billion Dollars. The passage was approved by one vote, with the final vote being 61-36. Passage in the Senate requires that for a bill to pass it requires at least 60 votes. Unlike the House of Representatives where a similar bill was passed on party lines, three Republicans moved to the Democrat side of the isle and voted with them. These Senators were Susan Collins and Olympia Snow, both from the State of Maine. Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania also crossed party lines. What is in that stimulus packaged for Maine and Pennsylvania?

However, even with the crossover the bill would have failed if it had not been for one Democrat Senator. I do not mean to make light of a very serious illness or to be unkind. However, to get this bill passed, the Democrat party insured that Senator Ted Kennedy was in attendance to vote. Senator Kennedy is battling a brain tumor and has not been in attendance in the Senate for many months. The last time he was in Washington D.C. was for the Presidential Inauguration. Following the inauguration he had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance after going into convulsions. He has not been present for any of the committee meetings or the floor debate concerning the Economic Stimulus Bill. However, our Senatorial Democrats needing that one vote to pass the bill brought him back to the Senate for his vote. Politics as usual in Washington D.C., I am still waiting to see the "change".

New Football League
Recently, our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-California) was holding a press conference. Her topic of discussion was the Economic Stimulus Package and the reason that there was such a rush to get it passed through both the House and Senate for the signature of President Obama. Time was of essence because just that same day, the unemployment figures came out and she announced that 500 Million Americans were now unemployed. Although she never corrected her statement, the media did it for her. It seems that our current population is only 300 Million Americans (refer back to first article in this posting). Now what does this have to do with a New Football League? I thought you would never ask.

Today, February 9th, Mr. Paul Pelosi, who just happens to be the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) divvied up a portion of $30 Million dollars to start the budget minded professional football league, which will be called the United Football League. This new league is scheduled to commence playing in the fall of 2009. His partner and founder of the new league is the best friend of Nancy Pelosi and political benefactor. This new league will be comprised of four teams sharing six cities. These host cities will be Las Vegas / Los Angles; New York / Hartford, CT; and Orlando, FL / San Francisco. Guess we should take a look at that Economic Stimulus Bill and see what cities are scheduled to have new football stadiums built to stimulate the economy. Come to think of it, didn't each of these states vote Democrat this last election? Just asking?

Van For Sale Cheap
If you want to bid on this one owner van, I am sure that you could purchase it very cheap. Currently it is parked slightly below the rim of the canyon in the Colorado National Monument out of Grand Junction, Colorado. I am sure their park service would like to get rid of it before the tourist season, as it does distract from the natural beauty of the area.
For those that often complain about the verboseness on my postings, I want you to know that I have cut this posting to curtail any criticism. They say "a picture is worth a thousand words" so I inserted the above picture and deleted one thousand words.

Car Trivia Quiz  

Posted by Stan Harrington

What Make Is It?
Earn Extra Points: Speed Of Car?
Earn Extra, Extra, Points: Year Manufactured?
Bonus Mega Points: Value of Car?

Concept Of Quiz Stolen From This Blog Site February 2, 2009 Posting

American Profiles
U.S.S. Cook Inlet (AVP-36)
U.S.S. Juneau (CL-52)

Happy Birthday  

Posted by Stan Harrington

In Loving Memory
Shane Scott Harrington
February 7, 1969 ~ October 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Son.

So Many Memories,
We Were Both So Young
May 1979

"Remember the Cole"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Seventeen Members Of The United States Navy Died On October 12, 2000. A Navy Vessel Was Visiting A Port Of Call In Yemen, When al-Qaida Suicide Bombers Steered An Explosive Laden Boat Into The Hull Of The U.S.S. Cole. A U.S. Naval Vessel Regardless Of The Location Is Sovereign U.S. Territory.

President William J. Clinton took very little action in retaliation for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. Temporary repairs were made to the U.S.S. Cole to stop the flooding. The ship was then loaded aboard a large salvage vessel and returned to the United States. Following an extensive "yard period" the U.S.S. Cole once again joined fleet and returned to the same operating zone. During the term of President George Bush, a terrorist from Saudi Arabia by the name of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was captured. This terrorist was charged with "organizing and directing" the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. He is currently being held in custody of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Forty eight hours or less after assuming the Presidency of the United States, President Obama issued an Executive Order to shut down the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay within the year. This Executive Order also froze all Guantanamo detainee legal cases. Over the next three months the President Obama administration will decide where or whether to prosecute the suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay.

Today, February 5, 2009 Susan J. Crawford, the Pentagon's senior judge overseeing the terror trials at Guantanamo Bay dropped charges against the suspect in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, upholding the order of the Commander In Chief. Two military judges granted President Obama orders. But a third judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, defied the President's order by scheduling a February 9th arraignment for the terrorist al-Nashiri at Guantanamo. I salute Colonel Pohl for his decision, in making this decision he has more than likely ended his military career. Susan Crawford's decision and following the orders of President Obama will halt all terrorist proceedings at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba.

Retired Navy Commander, Kirk Lippold, Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Cole when it was bombed commented, "We have already waited eight years. Justice delayed is justice denied. We must allow the military commission process to go forward."

One has to keep in mind that if theses terrorist's are transferred to a prison in the United States, they are eligible for all rights and protections under the law that we enjoy as citizens of the United States. They are terrorist's, they have no state! In Guantanamo Bay, they were facing a Military Tribunal form of court. This system is very similar to the court proceedings that the allied forces conducted in Japan and Germany following World War II.

Any terrorist associated with al-Qaida does not deserve the protection of the United States Constitution, an instrument that has been protected since it's inception by citizens and the military services of our nation. Several million men and women have given their life to protect these constitutional rights. I am sure they did not preserve these rights for the enemy that has vowed to destroy our nation.

There are those that feel that these terrorists are also afforded the opportunity of protection under the Geneva Convention. I carried a Geneva Convention card in my wallet for over twenty years. The Geneva Convention reportedly applies only to those uniformed members of a military service of a recognized state or country. All countries do not recognize or choose to ignore the Geneva Convention, Senator John McCain is a living example of that statement. al-Qaida is a terrorist organization, they have no country, no state, un-uniformed, and no rights under the Geneva Convention or the U.S. Constitution.

Today, President Obama will meet with the families of the U.S.S. Cole and Commander Lippold. Let him look into the eyes of these family members and the Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Cole. Let him tell them that the rights of Abd a-Rahim al-Nashiri are as important as their loved ones. As Commander In Chief, let him tell those on our front lines of security that the lives of their comrades are not as important as granting foreign terrorists the same rights of a United States citizen. While he is talking with this family group, which will also include representatives of the families of 9/11 victims, he may want to comment on when he decided that the "War on Terrorism" was concluded. As Commander In Chief, he has made the decision not to use this phrase. Being "politically correct" and creating a new image of the United States in the Middle East is commendable, however, there is a large terrorist group out there wanting to kill any American that they can, whether it be in the Middle East or the United States.

Alaska And The U.S. Navy  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The Territory and later the State of Alaska has played a very important role in the history of the U.S. Navy. In recognition of this role, the U.S. Navy has launched twenty-three (23) naval vessels bearing the name of Alaska or geographical locations and cities within Alaska. Four of these combatants proudly carried the name of U.S.S. Alaska. Currently, only one of these ships remain in the commission of the Navy, the U.S.S. Alaska (SSBN-732), a ballistic, nuclear powered submarine. In 2010, the U.S.S. Anchorage (LPD-23), will join the fleet as a amphibious transport docking ship. If you are Alaskan, you will recognize these names and a few will surprise you as it did me during my research.
U.S.S. Alaska
U.S.S. Alaska (No 3035)
U.S.S. Alaska (CB-1)
U.S.S. Alaska (SSBN-732)
U.S.S.Anchorage (LSD-36)
U.S.S.Anchorage (LPD-23) * Service 2010
U.S.S. Bering Sea (AVP-34)
U.S.S. Castle Rock (AVP-35)
U.S.S. Cook Inlet (AVP-36)
U.S.S. Great Sitkin (AE-17)
U.S.S. Juneau (CL-119)
U.S.S. Juneau (CL-52)
U.S.S. Kadashan Bay (CVE76)
U.S.S. Kamishak (AVP-44)
U.S.S. Mount katmai (AE-16)
U.S.S. Shelikof (AVP-52)
U.S.S. Sitka (APA-113)
U.S.S. Unimak (AVP-31)
U.S.S. West Alsek (ID-3119)
U.S.S. Wrangell (AE-12)
U.S.S. Yakutat (AVP-32)
USNS Yukon (T-AO-152)**
USNS Yukon (T-AO-202)**
(*Operated by Military Sealift Command and contracted to U.S. Navy)

The first naval vessel to carry the named of
Alaska has quite a history, none of which I ever remember reading in the history books.

The first naval vessel to carry the name of Alaska was a wooden hulled screw sloop of war, built at the Boston Navy Yard. The ship was launched on October 31, 1868. The area of Alaska was purchased the previous year, officially on October 18, 1867. The Alaska was placed into Commission as a Navy Man of War on December 8, 1869 with Commander Homer C. Blake in Command.
On April 9, 1870 she and the Colorado got underway from New York. The two ships soon parted company and the Alaska steamed independently to the Far East. In May 1871, the
Alaska joined four other ships of the Asiatic Squadron in a visit to Korea to secure a treaty in order to open the "Hermit Kingdom" to the west.
The five ships departed Japan on May 16, 1871 and arrived at Roze Roads near the mouth of Salee River. Due to her deep draft, the
Alaska was unable to ascend the river. Nevertheless, her Commanding Officer was placed in charge of the surveying expedition consisting of the sloops Palos, Monocacy, and some steam launches from the larger ships which did ascend the river.
The American vessels drew fire from a trio of Korean forts. Rear Admiral John Rogers decided upon punitive action to capture and destroy the forts in reprisal. Alaska's Commanding Officer Homer Blake took command, which was made up of 769 sailors and marines and seven 12-pounder howitzers. The navy ships, Palos and Monocacy provided distant, heavy support gun fire. The Navy force easily gained control of the first fort. The following morning, due to the heavy ordnance of Monocacy, the second fort fell to the Navy. The primary fort, was more difficult and had to be taken by hand to hand combat. Discipline and modern weapons triumphed over greatly superior numbers and by the end of the day all three forts belonged to the Americans. The following day the men of the task force reembarked in their ships to await the Korean government's response. By July 3rd it became apparent that the Korean government would make no official response to the action and that the treaty was not in the offing. The
Alaska and her escorts got underway to resume their duties on the Asiatic station.

Alaska departed Hong Kong bound for New York on October 28, 1872 and underwent a yard period until late 1873. The Alaska would operate in the Caribbean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, making several cruises to each area. She returned to the United States and on October 5, 1876 she was decommissioned at New York.

In my research on some of these vessels, I have discovered that each of them have their own story. They have contributed greatly to our national history and security. The naval vessels named in honor of Alaska and the men that have manned them have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. It is sad that very few Alaskan's know the history or even the names of those ships that proudly carried the Alaskan names. I have decided to re-activate my blog site American Profiles and publish some of these stories, they deserve to be told.

Happy "Dog" Day  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Ah, the first sign of spring! Happy Ground Hog Day to everyone. In the event you cannot remember how this prognostication is made by the Ground Hog. When he / she pops out of their winter den today, if they do not see their shadow we will have an early spring. However, if it does see its shadow we can look forward to six more weeks of winter. For those living in Alaska, this legend is really meaningless. If you count forward from this date six weeks, that will be the 16th day of March. I would love to see spring come to the north country on March 16th, but I have always wanted to win the lottery as well. The odds of either occurring is beyond my general math background. However, someone that has some great data on the topic of weather, global warming, ice age, and the greenhouse effect can be found at this link by clicking on it, he may know when we can expect spring.

A couple weeks ago, give or take seven days, a blogger challenge everyone to a "ugly fish" picture contest. It was a lot of fun. Being the plagiarist that I am, I am hosting a similar contest, but before you can enter any picture, someone has to properly identify this picture.

POST SCRIPT 6:20 PM 2/2/2009

Da Plumma almost guessed the correct answer to the name the above picture. His first guess was that of a monkey, which was not truly correct. However, his second guess came in a little closer, that it was the rear end of a ape. I will accept that as being almost correct. Technically, it is the rear end of a Celebes Crested Macaque. To some Macaque's it is quite a turn on, however ~
This is my entry into the the "Ugly Butt Contest"

Football History Will Be Made Today  

Posted by Stan Harrington


Whichever National Football League Team, Arizona Cardinals or
Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII, history will be made today.

It Pittsburgh wins, they will have won more Super Bowl Championships than any other team in the NFL. A win today, will give them Six Super Bowl titles.

If the Cardinals win, it will end a long streak of not winning. The Cardinals have not won a NFL title since they played out of Chicago back in 1947. Leaving Chicago, they became the St. Louis Cardinals, but still no title win after 61 years. Now that they are the Arizona Cardinals, they have an opportunity to win their first Super Bowl.

The only other professional team that has had a longer period of time since winning a title game is the baseball team Chicago Cubs. It has been 100 years since they won the World Series.

There is no doubt that the Cardinals have their work cut out for them. The odd makers and those in the know already have Pittsburgh winning the Super Bowl.

Considering that I was only two (2) years old the last time the Chicago Cardinals won a title game (even if it was not a Super Bowl since this concept had yet to be invented) I am going to pick the Arizona Cardinals to win.

The Arizona Cardinals Will Win Super Bowl XLIII By 6 Points