Volcanic Lightening  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The Title Of This Posting Is Not The Original Title
While making this posting we were taken by surprise of a spectacular lightening show. The volcano, Mt. Redoubt, erupted once again tonight after 11:00 pm. As I was working, my wife happened to wake up and noticed flashing out of our window at 1:00 a.m. My writing was interrupted as we sat in the dark and witnessed a spectacular displays of lightening coming from the area of Mt. Redoubt. Speculation on my part, I am assuming it was due to the cold air masses butting against the warmer air coming from the volcano. Regardless, it was was a spectacular show and missed by most. This fact reinforces my belief, that if you take time to sleep, you miss so much. Flash: Just checked the AVO site, there was an eruption at 0120 this morning which blew ash to 50,000 feet which reinforces my concept that the lightening we witnessed was created by the hot air and cold air mixing.

The Rotarians Have Went Nuts
The Oakdale, California Rotary Club is preparing to have the annual "Testicle Festival. It should be a great deal of fun. They are advertising that everyone is going to have a ball. This is an annual event in Oakdale as a fund raising project of the local Rotary Club. On Monday, they will fry up 400 pounds of the "private parts" of bulls and serve them to diners who pay $50.00 apiece for the sit-down meal. Last year they raised $28,000. I have no concept why they refer to these jewels as "private parts", I have never seen a bull that tried to keep anyone from seeing everything. I understand that you can have your choice of drink, either a pale beer or if you prefer a non-alcoholic chilled Mountain Dew will also be served.

This Jerk Had His Trial, Now Hang Him
Dale Hausner was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona as the Serial Shooter that plagued the Phoenix area from 2005 and 2006 prior to his arrest. On Friday, he was sentenced after being found guilty by a jury of his peers earlier this month. He was convicted of killing six people, which he proudly demonstrates to the court. He was also convicted of another 19 random shootings.
The court system did their job, they sentenced him to death, six times. Just to make sure, the court system will sentence him on Monday for an additional 74 other convictions.
He preyed on pedestrians, bicyclists, dogs, and horses during his 14 month spree. His brother and his former roommate also participated in the shooting spree occasionally. They called their shooting game, "RV'ing", Random Recreational Violence. I only wish the State of Arizona still utilized a firing squad for capital punishment crimes. Six shooters, six bullets, one shot at a time.

Ideal Aquarium Fish
With this fish, you can go on vacation for months without worrying about who is going to feed the fish. This is a robotic fish in the London Aquarium. It was developed by British scientists. It is their intention to release these fish into the sea north of Spain to detect pollution. The carp shaped robots costing, $29,000 apiece mimic the movement of real fish. They are equipped with chemical senors to sniff out pollutants. The actual robotic fish are larger than those on display in the aquarium. Their actual size measures nearly five feet long roughly the size of a mature seal. My only question, don't sharks and killer whales feed on seals? I surely hope that they also installed some type of sensor to tell the robot when they are sniffing the gastric fumes of a shark or other larger predator. Do fish fluff underwater?

President Obama's Stimulus Plan(s)
It is my understanding that under one of the several stimuli programs that has been adopted, you can be the proud driver of this car. Under the stimuli plan, the government may assist you in the purchase of this vehicle. You do have to agree to dismantle any other vehicles that you currently own. The concept has merit, with the amount of money that is being "loaned" to the auto makers, President Obama thought it would save money if he just bought each of us a new car. It will greatly enhance the recession in India and solve the problem for the American automotive manufacturers. At the same time it will fit well into his environmental plans. Surely a 2 cylinder engine puts out a smaller carbon foot print than our big, awkward eight cylinder engines in our "Made In America" gas guzzlers. It is reported that Al Gore provided the technical assistance to the President regarding this plan. Before I get one, I want to insure that they put a couple of doors on the passenger side.

Mt. Redout Dumps On Anchor Point  

Posted by Stan Harrington

My Buddy
"Dutch" On the Upper Kenai River
March 17, 2009
Add Image

Today, we saw nearly clear sky's in Anchor Point, except in the northwesterly direction of Mt. Redoubt where the sky's were overcast from the latest eruption. Slowly the clouds moved toward the direction of Anchor Point. The movement blocked out the sun to where just just a small patch could be seen. Within thirty minutes the sky was dark, as if it were late evening and slowly the fallout ash from Mt. Redoubt begin falling to earth. The clock on the wall said 2:00 p.m., but to the human sense it felt like it was late evening. The fallout fell for about 35 minutes and passed onto the southeast of us. Our clear skis returned but the landscape including the spruce trees were a ghostly gray in color.

Enjoy A Good Movie  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I do enjoy watching a good movie, although I have to admit that I have not seen any of the latest releases. I prefer some of the older movies, a good western, action, historical military, and comedy.

I came across an article tonight posted on the Internet by Yahoo News. The title was "100 Movies To See Before You Die". Just the title caught my attention because I surely do not want to miss out on something I should have done. In order to insure that I had my "Bucket List" up to date I counted the number of movies on their list that I should watch. I surely do not want to miss something this important in my life.

Keeping in mind, the genres of movies that I enjoy I was really disappointed that only one of John Wayne's movies made the list, "The Searchers". A good classic, "Bonnie and Clyde" made the list, it was a good movie for the time. It brought back memories of when it was first released. I was the Leading Petty Officer at the Fire Stations at the Naval Station on Adak, Alaska. My firefighters always had a movie in the evening. After they watched "Bonnie and Clyde", I took the movie, projector, and screen home. We had a house party with several friends and had a great time watching Clyde and his machine gun. I was also very surprised to find only one of Clint Eastwood's movies on the list, "The Good, Bad, and Ugly". He is still making movies and some great ones not only as a actor but also a director.

At any rate, I carefully counted the movies that I had watched from the "Top 100 List". I have a bunch of movies to watch, I only counted 34 movies on the list that I have watched. Fortunately for me, I have an excess of 20,000 movies in storage, surely the top one hundred is in one of those boxes.

How many movies on this list have you seen?

"The Golden Years"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Since my retirement, I am often asked what do you do to stay busy?
In my Golden Years, I would enjoy wandering the rivers from spring
through the late fall in pursuit of a salmon or trout.
There is nothing better than a good morning on the river, sometimes it really does not matter if you catch a fish. Just enjoying the pristine beauty is reward enough.

However, in reality I also enjoy working. As part of my spring ritual, I sat down this evening and prepared my "Spring To Do List" with an appendix titled "Summer To Do List" and a sub-appendix titled "Before it Snows To Do List" The way, I have it figured I have 131 days to accomplish my seasonal goals.

"Spring To Do List"
Complete interior finish work on one cabin.
Complete exterior trim, steps, and deck railing on one cabin
Supervise same projects on second cabin.
Complete material list for two additional cabins.
Submit material list for bidding by suppliers
Finish drainage field excavation work
Build and install cofferdam for drainage pit.
Build and install "childproof" deck covering drainage pit.
Compete roofing on Recreation Hall
Compete interior of Recreation Hall
Build wooden deck / sidewalk to Recreation Room
Level and expand parking area.
Gravel surface parking area
Grade Bronco Lane
Re-gravel Gazebo area with p-gravel
Cut four cords of firewood
Build water tower deck
Spring maintenance tasks.
Order material for two new cabins.
Landscaping and flower planting at home.
Plant Flowers with my Granddaughter

"Summer To Do List"
Move two temporary dwellings
Excavate and level two building sites
Arrange to have building material delivered
Start construction on two cabins.
Cut three cords of firewood
Start construction of landscaping project
Plant landscaping project
Cut more firewood.
Complete construction on two cabins.

"Before It Snows To Do List"
Stow all equipment
Take down cooking tent
Stow excess building material
Cut "Spring Firewood"
Check oil on plow truck
Take a Break

Where did the summer go?

Follow the Money Trail  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Like the majority of the Americans that make an attempt to stay abreast of current events, I will be the first to admit that my patience has diminished with our current leadership. I did not vote for President Obama, however, I pledged to myself that I would give him the opportunity to govern without criticism. However, my patience is also growing very thin with his lack of leadership and judgement.

This week, I watched the Congressional hearing in regards to the bonus payments paid to employees of American International Group (AIG). I was embarrassed by the attitude and grandstanding demonstrated by our elected representatives. The tone and attitude of their questioning of Edward Libby, CEO of AIG was to say the least, very poor examples of leadership and representation. The controversial situation was the announcement that AIG would pay out $165 million dollars in bonus payments to their employees. AIG was the recipient of $170 billion dollars from the Stimulus Plan passed in February. Mr. Libby did not deserve the line of questioning that he received nor the rhetoric grandstanding and name calling. At the request of our government when it was announced AIG was in financial difficulty, he assumed the CEO position at a salary at $1.00 per year. The contracts for bonus payments were in placed at AIG prior to his assuming the position of CEO. They are legal binding contracts with no way to cancel them. Due to the stimulus money contributions, our government owns 80% of AIG.

The funding for this Stimulus Package was from that 1,100 page package that was passed in a matter of hours, without being read by those in the Senate or House of Representatives. That is where the money trail starts.

Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner who was appointed to this position by President Obama. In his confirmation hearings, it was disclosed he had failed to pay federal income taxes on a large portion of his income over the past several years. However, this was overlooked and he was confirmed to the office. Prior to this, he was the Chief Executive Office of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and had direct dealings with AIG.

Senator Christopher Dodd, (D-Conn), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee has been a recipient of $223,000 in campaign donations from 2003 - 2008 from AIG.

During the conference hearing held by the Democrats on the $787 Stimulus Package, several members of Congress were present, including Senator Dodd, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev).

Included in stimulus package was one single paragraph that permitted the payment of bonus funds out of the stimulus loans if the bonus payments had been contracted prior to February 11, 2009. In the case of AIG, the contractual agreements had been made one year ago. This paragraph had been inserted by amendment by Senator Dodd. The stimulus packaged was adopted by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama.

During the 2008 Presidential campaign President Obama received over $100,000 in campaign contributions from AIG.

When the announcement was made that the AIG bonus payments would be paid, a firestorm started across the country. Senator Dodd immediately denounced the payments and said he knew nothing about them in advance. He later, recanted his story and admitted he played a role in having the paragraph inserted but affixed no date to the limitation. He admits that he acted at the "behest of the Obama administration". Speaker Nancy Pelosi is placing the blame on past President George Bush despite that he had left office 45 days prior to the concept of this stimulus package.

After treating Mr. Libby like a piece of trash in the Congressional hearings, the House hurriedly put a bill together and in less than a day passed a law that 90% of bonus money paid to executives of AIG would be taxable if they did not return the money. This law, is unconstitutional on two counts according to the lawyers versed in Constitutional Law. Those recipients of the bonus money could take this to court to contest the law. In the event this happens, it will cost the tax payers more money than the $165 million paid in the form of bonus payments. Although, I am not in favor of bonus funds that are excessive, in this particular case, if I were a recipient, I would choose to keep the money and challenge the government.

In this case, there is enough blame to go around.

Some of the blame has to be passed on all of our elected Representatives and Senators that voted in favor of the Stimulus Package without reading it. A total of $767 Billion dollars contained in 1,100 pages of documentation with less than eight hours to read and understand prior to voting.

The blame also must be placed on the desk of the President, he signed the bill into Law and it was through his crisis management leadership that pushed this bill through Congress. Was that single paragraph inserted as payback for political contributions?

Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner who also had a conflict of interest due to his past positions as CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He was not acting in the best interest of the American public, for whom he took an Oath of Office to represent. Speculation on my part, but he was the go between person between the President and Senator Dodd.

Senator Dodd, has no excuse. First he denied any knowledge, then he admitted that he had inserted the paragraph permitting the payment of the bonus funds prior to February 11th. His campaign contributions from AIG and pressure from the White House most likely influenced his decision.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid, they can claim stupidity of the paragraph, however, they were leading the conference hearing on the Stimulus Package and according to their press reports were the primary writers of the bill.

The American public can be upset with the employees of AIG and even the CEO, Mr. Libby pertaining to the Bonus Payments, however their anger should also be aimed at those that permitted the situation to escalate and hold their elected officials responsible.

In summary, the payment of this Bonus Money is not the fault of AIG and especially the current CEO, Mr. Libby. It was a legally arbitrated contract between AIG and their employees prior to the decline of the economy. The actual payment of the bonus money could have been stopped by our Congressional Leaders and President stipulating in one small paragraph that the Stimulus Funds could not be used to pay Bonus Payments. The fault lays at he feet of our elected representatives, they are accountable.

Someone Is Smiling  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Under sunny skis and a steaming volcano, I have just a sense that someone is displaying that big smile today. Lance Mackey showed a lot of dedication and heart to win the third Iditirod in a row.

"Life In the Den", March 5, 2008 9:46 a.m.
Posted by Shane Harrington

"Jeff is still being driven by sixteen dogs, this seems good, but I wonder if Lance's 12 are lean and mean, and very fast! Plus I have a feeling that Lance actually has more than 12 dogs, because if he smells that "clean coat" behind him, he will run the last 150 miles himself!! He is most comfy out front and I see him having an advantage right now.
However I think I may have jinxed Aaron and Mitch, so I will not take a guess at who will win. What a amazing race, with amazing athletes. I feel proud and happy to root for all 90? mushers."

"Friends, Countryman, Romans"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

"Beware of the Ides of March", the name of the date in the Roman Calendar for March 15th. Ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October. It occurred on the 13th day of the other months.

During the Roman Empire, the Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars. Today, we know it as the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. William Shakespeare's famous writing "Julius Caesar" is still read today. In fact, Mark Anthony's speech in this play is the only works of Shakespeare that I put to memory in school.

The word "ides" comes from Latin, meaning half division. Julius Caesar had declared himself dictator of Rome for life. Reportedly, Caesar summoned the Senate to meet in the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March. A soothsayer had warned Caesar to beware of the Ides of March. On his way to the Senate, Caesar passed the soothsayer and greeted him by saying "The Ides of March has come". The soothsayer replied, "aye Caesar, but not gone".

As the Senate convened, Caesar was attacked and stabbed to death by a group of Senators who called themselves the "Liberatores". They justified their assassination of Caesar in that they were preserving the Republic from Caesar's alleged monarchical ambitions.

It is strictly my personal interpretation of the writings of Shakespeare, however the term that the Roman Senators used to identify themselves as a party was "Liberatores", is it coincidental that this word is a root word for Libertarian or Liberal. Don't we have a bunch of Senators that are Liberal? Just something to think about on the "Ides of March".

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears. I have come here to bury Caesar not to praise him. The evil that man does lives after him, the good is is interred with their bones, so let it be with Caesar". All I can remember of Anthony's speech or words to that effect, it has only been 46 years ago that I put it to memory.


Posted by Stan Harrington

If you suffer from Friggatiskaidekaphobia or Paraskavedekatriaphobia, you cannot expect to have a very good day!

If Friday the 13th is unlucky, we can expect that the year of 2009 will be an unlucky year! Last month, we saw February 13th fall on a Friday. Today is Friday, March 13th and we can expect to see a third Friday the 13th in November 2009. Having the 13th of the month fall on a Friday three times in one year occurs only once every eleven years.

Fear of Friday the 13th is called Paraskavedekatriaphobia as well as Friggatiskaidekaphobia, however, if you have the fear of the number 13, then you suffer from Triskaidekaphobia. If you suffer from all three, I really feel sorry for you.

In fear of this day, many hospitals do not have a room 13, while some tall buildings will skip the 13th floor, and some airline terminals will omit Gate 13.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host thirteen guests at a dinner.

There is also a popular belief that the reason the number 13 is unlucky is due to its position following the number 12. According to numerologists who consider the number 12 to be a complete number: there are 12 Months in a Year; 12 Signs of the Zodiac; 12 Gods of Olympus; 12 Labors of Hercules; 12 Tribes of Israel; 12 Apostles of Jesus; 12 Days of Christmas; and 12 Eggs in a dozen.

Since I do not suffer from Triskaidekaphobia, I have no problem stopping by the bakery and purchasing a Baker's Dozen of fresh, warm donuts. If I can then consume them before anybody catches me, then I consider myself lucky!

For those of you that work for a living, it might be a good day to take off from work. Just call your boss, supervisor, or anyone that cares and tell them that you will not be in for work today. Just tell them that due to your Triskaidekaphobia you are having an adverse reaction to your Paraskavedekatriaphobia and your Friggatiskaidekaphobia. By the time they figure it out, it will be Saturday the 14th and you will be enjoying a three day weekend. Who is going to argue with you?

Prattling News Notes  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I came across several news articles today that I thought was interesting. To some, it is just more news that you most likely are ready to tune out or ignore. However, someday one of your grandchildren may ask you, "Grandpa or Grandma what was the news on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 when you were little". Now you will have an answer for them and won't have to make up a story to appease their inquisitive little minds.

Stock Market Report
The stock market has shown a little improvement over the past couple of days, but the "Bull" is still somewhere out in the pasture, he has not been seen for several months. We are still in a bored "Bear" market, but soon we will see the stimulus packages having a positive effect. Right.

(Extracted from API 3/11/2009 9:12 p.m.)
The big news on this date is that President Obama has signed the operating budget for the last half of this fiscal year. No fanfare, no press, no questions, and behind closed doors. This was the bill that was postponed by the Democrat controlled Congress until after the election. By the time the earmarks or "pork" had been attached to the spending bill the total cost was 410 billion dollars.

This was also one of those bills that President Obama campaigned against in that he would go line by line and eliminate any and all "pork". In this particular spending bill, he missed some of the lines. Like all of them, which is perhaps the reason he signed it behind closed doors. Our great State of Alaska did quite well in the "earmark" department being ranked as number one on the list of states.. On a per capita basis, the State of Alaska was awarded $209.71 per capita for special projects. The State of Arizona, home state of Senator McCain came in at the bottom of the list. At number 50, their share of special projects was $8.41 per capita.

The State of Kennedy, I mean the State of Massachusetts did quite well at the trough. One out of every five dollars going to the State of Massachusetts is for "Kennedy Projects". The bill includes 5.8 million dollars for the planning and design of a building to house a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate. The construction costs will come later. The bill also includes 22 million dollars to expand the facilities at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. An additional 5 million dollars was allocated for a new gateway to the Boston Harbor Islands on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a park system in downtown Boston named after Kennedy's mother. A total of 32.8 million dollars to ensure the legacy of the Kennedy family.

Those members in the Presidents Cabinet, that were previously in Congress prior to their election or appointment also did quite well on their "special project" list. The group of six amassed a total of 155.9 million dollars with Vice President Biden taking top honors by locking up 52.1 million dollars of "pork". You can be the judge of character in this process of spending our tax dollars.


Employees of Legacy Auto Sales in Scottsbluff, Nebraska had a surprise when they came to work on Tuesday. None of the bosses came to work, it seems that the top three executives, including the owner failed to show up. Employees were quick to discover that each of their three offices had also been vacated including all of their personal belongings.

Not only were the three executives and their personal belongings missing, a quick inventory also revealed that 81 Fords and Toyota's were also missing from the sales lot and showroom. They were valued at 2.5 million dollars. The vehicles were loaded aboard transporter trucks and disappeared in the night. An arrest warrant has been issued for the owner, controller, and general manager.

Now I have to speculate as to how difficult this mystery is going to be in order to be solved. I would guess at a minimum, eight to ten transporters would be needed to move this many cars. Commercial trucks leave a relatively easy trail to follow, they are required to stop at "weigh stations" on a regular basis where they are checked in and out, bills of laden checked, and a variety of other government requirements are met. Then of course, you have to find some place to unload them to an unsuspecting car dealer. Someone is going to get a good deal on a new car.

(Extracted API 2/11/2009 am)
Retired auto worker John Demjanjuk of Cleveland, Ohio has a slight legal problem. Demjanjuk was charged on Wednesday with 29,000 counts of acting as an accessory to murder. The 88 year old man worked as a guard at a Nazi death camp in occupied Poland during World War II. He was assigned as a guard at Sobibor from March to September 1943.

The U.S. Justice Department says that Demjanjuk was a Nazi guard and can be deported for falsifying information on his entry and citizenship applications in the 1950's. The U.S. Supreme Court chose last year not to consider Demjanjuk's appeal against deportation, clearing the way for his removal. The case that led to Wednesday's arrest warrant is based partly on recently obtained transport lists of Jewish prisoners who arrived by train at Sobibor during Demjanjuk's tenure as a guard.

He emigrated to the United States in 1952 and gained citizenship in 1958 but was extradited to Israel in 1986 after the Justice Department said it believed he was a sadistic Nazi guard at the Treblinka death camp and known as Ivan the Terrible. He spent seven years in custody before the Israeli high court received evidence that the Nazi guard was in fact another Ukrainian and freed him. His citizenship in the United States was restored in 1998. Munich prosecutors said Demjanjuk will be formally charged in front of a judge once he is extradited to Germany.

Black and White  

Posted by Stan Harrington

"The Lone Tree " ~ Capital Reef, Utah ~ 2007

"Stone Ram" ~ Toad River, British, Columbia ~ 2007

"Monarch Of The Mountain" ~ Chugach Moutains ~ 2007

"Winter Ram" ~ Chugach Mountains" ~ 2007

"Christmas Rams" ~ Chugach Mountains ~ 2007

Saved 4,971 Words In This Posting!

Signs Of Spring  

Posted by Stan Harrington

When you look around, there are signs of spring to be seen! Preseason professional baseball games are now underway. Each day a few more eagles show up in the Anchor River valley, just waiting for the river to break open and the commencement of the salmon runs. After midnight tonight, we switch to Daylight Savings Time which has always intrigued me. At the peak of the summer season, we get a couple of hours of twilight. Is there a great need for daylight savings time in Alaska?

Another sure sign that spring is slowly evolving, the gas prices are slowly increasing a few cents per week. Come first leaves, the prices will be at the level that the oil companies desire. I have really been surprised that the new administration has not decided that the oil companies need some stimulus funding.

Today, I took a sampling of gas prices in several locations. The dates that these prices were posted were either March 6th or March 7th. To analyze the data in an unbiased format, I priced Regular/Unleaded priced at the low end of the search data.

From the four locations that I chose for sampling:
I found the least expensive gas in Montrose, Colorado. On the low range gasoline prices were fixed between $1.81 ~ $1.96 per gallon.

The second location, Lincoln, Nebraska low range gasoline prices were fixed at $1.83 ~ $1.95 per gallon.

In Anchorage, Alaska gasoline was being priced at $2.36 per gallon for the same grade.

In Homer, Alaska you should be prepared to see an increase per gallon. Gallon prices in Homer ranged from a low of $2.77 to $2.88 per gallon.

As of this date, the average cost per gallon in Anchorage is $2.359 while the national average of the remainder of the United States is $1.937 per gallon. One year ago on the same date, the national average was set at $2.761 per gallon. On that same date, the average price in Anchorage, Alaska was $3.208 per gallon of gasoline. A slight disparity in average prices.

I have no intentions to ever changed from the fossil fuels that I utilize today. Priced per ounce, it is still cheaper than a bottle of Pepsi-Cola or even "glacier fed spring" water.

However, I was recently reading a news article that came across the AP on March 3rd. According to this article, the super tankers that move the oil around the world in an attempt to satisfy the unquenchable thirst for oil, are now parked off shore, fully load, anchors down, their crews killing time. It seems that the vast storage farms in the United States are filled to capacity. Iran and other oil producing countries in the middle east have pumped millions of barrels of their own crude oil into idle tankers, effectively taking the crude off the market to halt declining prices.

The sprawling storage facility for crude oil in Cushing, Oklahoma is nearly filled to capacity, the quantity is a closely held secret. The storage facility in Cushing, Oklahoma is the delivery point for the oil traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. So the closer Cushing gets to full, the lower the prices of oil.

Storage facilities are not holding their full capacity to assist in increasing the oil prices for crude. The tankers are being used as temporary holding tanks until the price of crude increases to the desired profitability of the oil companies and traders. More than 30 tankers, each with the ability to move 2 million barrels of oil now serve as floating storage tanks. Tanker companies charge an average of $75,000 a day which is three times a much as last summer. The hoarding of crude oil has also had a negative impact on oil exploration and drilling. The number of oil and gas rigs operating in the United States has decreased 39% since August.

You can be the judge at what the gasoline prices will be this summer.

Glimmer of Hope  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I fully realize that I am just at that "age", but whenever I see a young man or girl for that matter with purple hair, piercings all over their face, ears, and presumably other body parts; dressed in baggy clothes highlighted by chains dangling from them; I tell myself that surely their mother and father must be proud of them. At the same time, I tell myself that the "younger generation has went to hell in a handbag" and there is no hope. I remember my parents saying that when that long haired, punk of a Elvis Presley came on the scene, I was not yet a teenager. I really did not want to go to hell, especially in a handbag! But, despite their prediction that generation has done pretty well.

This posting is also quite coincidental. Earlier this evening, I completed a posting for one of my other sites, Harritage. Upon completion, I linked over to my news service web site. The first story to come on line is the subject of this posting. The news story was dated March 4, 2009.

A week ago, a young lady, age 19 went to a music store in New York City with her boyfriend Stevin Tyska. Her name is Sydney Rector. After leaving the store, they were playing around in some type of plastic tunnel with cascading water on the exterior side. Typical of their age, they were acting silly and goofing around when the boyfriend notice something sticking out of a crack. They picked it up, read it and Sydney placed it in her purse.

On the dog tag was the name Joseph Farish, Jr., a serial number and address in Florida. That evening, Sydney looked up Farish and found a telephone number for his law firm in Florida. She left a message for him. The next day, the 87 year old World War II veteran called her back.

Farish was stationed at Camp Kilmer in New Jersey in March 1943. At that time he says he went to New York City twice. Farish was waiting to ship out to North Africa. "That dog tag meant a lot to me" Farish told the reporter. He was deployed to North Africa and then to Sicily with the Big Red One (Infantry Division). On D-Day, 6 June 1944, he made the landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy. Their invasion force crossed Europe ending up in Czechoslovakia where they met the Russian Army advancing against Germany from the east.

Where the little dog tag has been over the past 66 years is anybodies guess. Sydney returned the dog tag to Farish. Receiving his dog tag, Farish said "she's a very kind and patriotic person to recognize that. To get it back to me is very dear to my heart". Sydney replied "thank you, that's sweet, no problem, like it cost us a phone call and stamp, you know?"

Just a glimmer, but perhaps there is hope!

Prattle On Line Auction  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Very recently, within the past six hours, I have come into possession of a very rare and difficult to find object that has the potential to become a family heirloom. To keep my reputation beyond reproach, I won this object in a recent contest. This is the first time I have ever won anything, however, this prize was well worth waiting for. To the very best of my knowledge, I have the only one in existence in Anchor Point and possibly in the State of Alaska. Only a limited number of this object was ever made.
Personally, I would not sell it, however, being on a fixed income and the current economic crisis, I need to come up with some financial stimulation in order that I can continue to receive electrical services to my domicile.
Although not pictured, a custom quality velvet covered case is included to protect the object. As well, the item itself is enclosed in a plastic case to protect the value of the object from scratches and finger prints. A Certificate of Authentication as pictured is also enclosed to insure the value remains authentic and registered.
Attached are scanned pictures of the object, although the pictures have been enlarged to enhance the quality and demonstrate the pristine condition of the object. It is not a sign of inflation. Although, I have not had the time nor funding to have the object appraised, I have been assured that the object is gold.
The bidding will commence from the time that this posting is posted until 11:59:59 PM, Alaska Standard Time on March 4, 2009. The seller reserves the right to refuse any and all bids as well as maintaining a secret minimum bid.
The bidder that is fortunate enough to purchase this item will be notified via the comment section of this posting. All bids will be reviewed after the closing time of the auction. Payment must be received by the seller in the form of cash, certified check, or U.S. Postal money order. I am sorry but no personal checks, debit cards, and especially credit cards will not be accepted. Good Luck to each of you in the auction.


That is not a tear falling from his right eye, evidently my scanner has a speck on it as the Certificate of Authenticity is clean and in pristine condition.

Operation "Wetback"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

While I was taking my morning coffee and watching Fox and Friends, an interesting news story caught my attention. A business in Bellingham, Washington was raided by the Immigration Service, in their sweep they detained twenty eight illegal aliens that had counterfeit social security cards. The following morning 100 to 150 Bellingham residents were standing in line for the job vacancies.
The illegal alien situation, despite stricter enforcement on the southern border continues to be a serious problem. It not only has a very serious impact of funding for education, medical, social services, social security, and law enforcement it also poses a serious threat to our national security. It is likely that the financial difficulties in the Great Bear State would be greatly reduced if the cost of maintaining programs for those that are illegally in the United States were eliminated. Currently it is estimated that there are 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in the United States. Just that estimation figure indicates that no one knows how serious the problem has become.
Fifty six years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower (R) became the 34th President of the United States. President Eisenhower was the Allied Supreme Commander in Europe during World War II. At that time, it was estimated that there were three million illegal aliens in the United States stemming from our southern border. The President acted quickly and decisively with only 1,075 Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement agencies. He appointed General Joseph Swing as the new commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. General Swing and the President had attended West Point together and were close friends.
There was some resistance to "Operation Wetback" led by Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson (President Johnson) due to the cotton farmers in Texas that depended on Mexican labor.

With the small force of agents, they swept across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. In mid July, on the first day of the raids, over 5,000 illegal aliens were picked up. In the following days of the operation an average 1,000 illegals per day were detained. It is estimated by INS that 1,300,000 illegals were returned or fled back to Mexico to avoid apprehension during the operation. During "Operation Wetback", those being returned to Mexico were not taken to the border and released. They were placed on trains and taken to the interior of Mexico. A portion of those retained were placed aboard ships and taken to southern Mexico.

In our era, it would not be political correct to call an operation modeled after the "Operation Wetback" the same name. Perhaps, it could be called "Operation Re-Patriotism" because we are returning them to their roots and their host country. Personally, I think it would have more impact if we called it "Operation Wetback". When they came out to march in our city streets, waving the Mexican flag, they could be easily recognized, and checked for residency. Those not in compliance with our citizenship requirements would be immediately returned home to their loved ones, in Mexico. I have to wonder how many jobs that would create in the United States and the positive effect it would have on our national budget.

A Moment To Pause  

Posted by Stan Harrington

U.S.S. NEW JERSEY (BB-62) IN 1985
"The Most Decorated Ship In The History Of The U.S. Navy"
Nineteen Battle Stars

Although this posting desirability belongs on the American Profile site, the attached pictures were to much to pass up. I came across them last evening while completing a research project for the American Profile site which I have posted.

"A Moment To Pause" is just about how long the target had to contemplate what was about to transpire. Although, I never saw the U.S.S. New Jersey in action, I have been told by World War II veterans that were on the ground during a shell bombardment that the sound of the battle wagons shells going overhead were sweet music to their ears.
The U.S.S. New Jersey (BB-62) has a fascinating history. She joined the fleet during the closing months of World War II and was used for shore bombardment at several landings by the U.S. Marines.

She once again saw action during the Korean War, dropping her shells inland to provide cover for our ground forces. Following the Korean War, she was decommissioned.

She returned to active duty and went to the South China Sea, cruising Yankee Station again to provide shore bombardment operations. Following Vietnam, she was once again placed into the reserve fleet.

She returned to the fleet on active duty once again and participated in the Lebanese Civil War, where she once again used her big guns to intimidate those in her sights.

Her last active service was in the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War following the invasion into Kuwait by Iraq.

The U.S.S. New Jersey was finally retired. She now rests in Camden, New Jersey. The U.S.S. New Jersey Memorial and Museum. The U.S.S. New Jersey is tied up across the river from where the commercial airliner recently went down in the Hudson River.

Did she have the fire power to be as intimidating as she looked to the enemy. Her armament consisted of the following:

Nine ~ 16 Inch 50 Caliber
Twenty ~ 5 Inch 38 Caliber
Eighty ~ 40 mm 56 Caliber Anti-Aircraft
Forty Nine ~ 20 mm 70 Caliber Anti-Aircraft
In later years, she was outfitted with missiles, but her big 16 inch guns were intimidating.
The reason that those on the ground could hear the incoming during a shore bombardment, each one of her 16 inch armor piercing shells weighed 2,700 pounds with a target range of twenty miles.

U.S.S. New Jersey (BB-62) Firing A Broadside
on Yankee Station in 1968

U.S.S. New Jersey (BB-62) Firing Port and Starboard
Lebanon Civil War 1984