"Just Say No"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

A good number of years ago, the federal government commenced a program which targeted our school age children. Although, the "Just Sat No" program was commendable and hopefully it kept a few of our young people from experimenting with drugs. The "Just Say No" is now in our historical past although some schools continue to post signs as being "Drug Free Zones". However, the problem continues at epidemic proportions.

Over the years, we have seen a variety of programs established to protect our younger generation from themselves. The majority of these programs mean well, although their lifetime and effectiveness has been very limited. When raising my own children, I did not have all the answers. With modern technology and what our children have access to, I don't even understand the questions in this new era. Although, I do believe that all lessons in life must begin in the home. Quite honestly, I do not trust the bureaucrats and even the teachers in the school system to know what is best for our children.

Hi, my name is Stan and I am an addict to candy. I love candy, I have always loved candy, I will always love candy. I eat candy and even on occasion I dream about candy! Not always having time to eat a meal when I was working, I have lived on a candy diet for days. I graduated from high school in 1963 weighing 165 pounds at 6'1"in height. Today I weigh 160 pounds, wearing the same size of pants that I did in high school. I have never exceeded 175 pounds.
In the news today, U.S. schools with vending machines that sell candy and soda to students will become history if a new law is passed. In their place, we will see machines that provide "healthier options" to combat childhood obesity. Senators Tom Harkin and Alaska's own, Lisa Murkowski will introduce a bill in the Senate to establish "a common sense nutrition standards" for food and beverages sold in school vending machines, stores and similar outlets. Just that quote is scary, when did our bureaucrats ever exhibit "common sense"?

I know a lot of our schools have already dumped their vending machines to "protect our children". I know they know what is best for our children. However, they just do not know children. Children are much smarter than most adults give them credit for. Cutting off their supply of candy and soft drinks from a primary source to protect them from themselves is not using common sense. Go to their lockers and take a look inside, you will most likely find a very well supplied candy and junk food storage unit. Although, the elimination of the vending machines has taught some of the students the finer points of entrepreneurial spirit. They have found an increasing market without any tax liabilities for the goods that they sell.

I have a great idea for the war on combating childhood obesity. Shut off the television, computer, take away the cell phone, IPod, and give them a candy bar. Then go outside and play with them or something as simple as going for a walk or cutting a cord of firewood. It is amazing how a little exercise and even work will eliminate a few pounds. Following this brief exercise period, sit down, have a nice long talk and enjoy a candy bar together. Candy is good for the soul. I think I will go make a batch of fudge!

Overdosed On "Change"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I am just the average United States citizen, I love and believe in my country. I pay my taxes, I vote each election, make an attempt to set an example for others to follow. I try to keep myself informed on current events so in the event I am ever asked, I can render a logical opinion. I was taught by a tough old Boatswain's Mate when I was just a Seaman in the Navy. After, I had expressed a dislike for a Commissioned Officer due his lack of leadership and professionalism. The Bos'n put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Harrington, you do not have to like the man, you do not have to agree or even respect him as man, but you do have to respect the uniform he wears and the position that he represents".

I have a habit of correcting those that refer to the President by his last name, I remind them that his first name is President followed by his last name. Remembering what the Bos'n taught me, I will continue to refer to our current President as President Obama. Not that I agree with his policies or philosophy but out of respect for the office which he has been elected. However, I am about overdosed on seeing President Obama on the television several times each day. Someone needs to tell the new President that the election is over, he won, now he can quit campaigning. Wouldn't it be wiser of NBC, CBS, ABC, or MSNBC to just give him an evening nightly news program where he can be the anchor of the program. They also use teleprompters. He could even host a reality comedy show, he could use his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as one of his main guests, not to mention several of the other appointments that he has made.

Key words that I am really tired of hearing, "transparency" and "accountability". Right, several thousand screaming people fleeing out of the office buildings in New York City when a 747 started flying around "Ground Zero" and the Statue of Liberty followed by a F-16. It was a photo shoot to get pictures of "Air Force One". Cost to us as taxpayers, $325,000! Reportedly, President Obama did not know about it. It is his office that wanted the pictures, it is one of two airplanes assigned to him. If my luxury 747 was out flying around, I would want to know about it! At any rate it surely did scare a lot of people but quoting the President, "it won't happen again".

However, this really upsets me. Trust me, I am all for freedom of speech and expression but refrained with just a touch a class and common sense would be appropriate. This painting will go on exhibit at New York City Union Square today in celebration of President Obama's 100th day in office. Remember the lapel pin that he would not wear at the start of the campaign season, then changed his mind. Note his lapel.

This is our ole buddy Mahmound Ahmadinejad, President of Iran. You know that guy that is building the nuclear missiles, providing funds and supplies to terrorists groups around the world, want to drop a nuclear weapon on Israeli, and denies that the Holocaust ever occurred. With the warming relationship with the Secretary of State and the White House it seems that some type of foreign exchange has already occurred. This idiot (I refuse to respect his office) but he is preparing to run for re-election in Iran. I bet you can never guess what he is using as a campaign slogan unless you saw it on the news today. Yes, he also believes in "Change" and is using a very similar slogan that we saw splashed across America for the past year, "Change We Can Believe In". It is reported that he has been asked to tone it down a bit and change some of the wording. You have to love politics!

How funny is this? I just ran my spell check program, when you spell White House as one word
(whitehouse) the suggestions you get is Whorehouse!

Sunday Trip Into The Past  

Posted by Stan Harrington

What do you do on a very rainy Sunday afternoon? We decided to take a little trip from the comforts of our living room. Turned the television to some classical music and broke out the Kodak Ektagraphic Model 210 audio slide projector. Yes, an audio slide projector as it is possible to have 35 mm slides that can be adapted to audio. Since we have not used it in 25 - 30 years, it took a little time in learning how it functioned and how to load the slides. Next, we broke out our 35 mm slide collection that we have not looked at in about the same number of years.

What a trip it was! We traveled from Florida to Alaska in the 1960's. We saw family members before they were gray and their children were still babies. We saw our own children as babies. We traveled all over the Mediterranean Sea, seeing sights and sounds that had slipped my memory. We saw the U.S. Navy fleet in action and the ports of call that were made in the 1960's. It was amazing the number of beautiful, bikini clad women laying on the beaches of France, evidently one of my favorite photo subjects in my younger years. My wife had to bring me back to reality when she reminded me that some of those women are now in their 60's and 70's! We saw camping trips on the Anchor River, our little ones posing with fish. It was a great trip but I did take pictures of our journey.

This day and age, it is difficult to convert 35 mm slides into prints, but with the aid of our digital camera, we were able to capture some of our photos from the Kodak Ektagraphic slide projector. Not only does it have audio, it also has a built in screen which made it relatively easy to point and shoot. Some quality of the 35 mm is lost in the transition to digital, but well worth saving.

Left To Right (Spring 1980)
Shane Harrington, Jack Epperson, Heath Harrington
Terry Harrington, Shana Harrington
Back Row
Heidi Harrington, Dean Epperson

Before He Graduated To Snow Machines,
There Was Non-Motorized Sleds

Heidi Got Into The Action, Being The Youngest,
She got Stuck with the Inner Tube

Heidi Appears To Be Disappointed That
Her Tube Is Not As Fast As the Sleds

Shane and Shana Just Had A Collision,
Does That Surprise Anyone?

Little Sister, Heidi Taking Care Of
Little Brother Heath

How did Heath Get Hooked On Fishing?
Heath Posing With Two Kings Caught By
His Dad and Big Brother. In Time, He
To Would Learn to Fish For Kings.

It was a great day and with time, I will share more of our trip
into the past.

The "Teardrop"  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I take personal pride in myself in that I try to stay abreast of the news on the national and world level. Although, I am biased, opinionated, and hard headed pertaining to certain elements in the news I enjoy being informed. However, on occasion, I discover something that is "old" news, yet I have never heard about it. This was such a case today. I do not ever recall hearing or seeing anything pertaining to the subject that you can watch for yourself. Why it has been kept a secret, I have no concept. It is beautiful and considering the sponsorship country it speaks volumes for the need to continue the "War on Terrorism". Now that the name of the war has been changed, let's all pray that we will not once again be building memorials to the innocent.

I would strongly encourage you to click on the link "TEARDROP" below. Adjust your speakers to a slightly higher level and enjoy the most beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace" that I have ever heard. Clean your glasses (if needed) and read the words on the screens, it a tear should happen to wash down your cheek, you can tell yourself that you will never forget. At the conclusion, you may want to asked yourself, "Why have I not heard about this? Perhaps, there are those in our government that should visit this site, sit for a while and contemplate if their decisions and actions are in the best interest of our country.

Spring Time In Alaska  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Enjoyed the first real day of spring in Anchor Point, Alaska this date. The lawn area and yard is now free of all snow, with the exception of the large snow berms that I so carefully stacked over the winter months. Last evening, while sitting on my deck enjoying my evening cup of coffee, I could hear the cackling and then the shrieking of an eagle. Getting up from my chair, I wandered to the side deck. There is a large spruce tree on the bluff over looking our family campground, it is quite common to see an eagle roosting in the top of the tree. As I watched, the shrieking of the eagle became louder. It was only after several minutes of watching that I realized that there were two eagles, one was hidden under the other. Now what they were doing in the top of that tree I will leave to your imagination. I rushed into the house to get my camera, returning just in time to see one the of the eagles fly away. This one remained in the tree for a period of time, contented and resting. This afternoon about the same time of the day, an eagle returned to the tree and squawked for thirty minutes, assuming he or she was calling it's mate to return but after an hour, it gave up the wait. Tomorrow will be another day. Perhaps a "lucky" day.

Took my first cup of coffee on the deck this morning, under cloudless skis just as the sun was breaking the horizon. What a great way to start the day, the smell of spring in the air and Mt. Redoubt blowing off a little steam. This was the picture the entire day, the wind direction never changed nor did the eruption of steam.

This evening, I spent a little time on the beach of Cook Inlet to enjoy the sunset. Four of our major volcanoes were in clear view. Mt. Douglas was perhaps the clearest that I have ever seen it. St. Augustine, was as majestic as ever standing guard over Kamishak Bay. Mt. Iliamna bathed in the setting sun, blushed lightly with the clouds streaming from her neighbor, Mt. Redoubt.
As the tides of Cook Inlet inched their way up the beach at Anchor Point, Mt. Redoubt continued to let her presence be known.
Such sacrafices we have to make to live in this part of Alaska.

Busy Schedule  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I feel I owe those that visit my site on a regular basis an apology for not posting new blogs on my site on a regular basis as I have in the past. No excuses, other than I have been busier than normal for this time of the season.

As many of you know, I did need to make a quick trip to Colorado for a few days. Arriving back in Alaska on April 9th, I discovered my agent had been busy while I was absent. I had to return to Anchorage this past Monday and Tuesday for three shows. I had two late evening shows, one for a bridal shower and the second for a bachelorette party. Both of those parties got just a little wild but not as nearly as crazy as the third engagement. The third booking was scheduled by the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of a lady that was celebrating her 94th birthday. That lady knew how to drink, dance, and she had a fistful of five dollar bills!

On Thursday, I got a call to return to Anchorage and do an afternoon and early evening show on Friday for an organization of women in the banking industry in Alaska. I did see a couple of ladies from my local banks in the audience. I am assuming that each of the banks represented at the conference had received part of the banking stimulus funds as they had fistful of dollars to stuff. We had a great time until the police arrived and asked us to quiet down and insure we had enough designated drivers.

I am going to take a week off, but if you have any occasions coming up that you may require entertainment, please leave a note in the comment section and I will forward it to my agent. I do not do birthday parties, wedding showers, or any other type of entertainment for parties where the participants are under the age of maturity (21).

Tea Party 2009  

Posted by Stan Harrington

On April 15, 2009 citizens of small communities similar to Homer, Alaska to metropolitan areas similar to Washington D.C. gathered to have a "Tea Party" in groups of a few to mass groups of thousands in protest to higher taxes, government spending, and lack of representation by our elected officials. Whether you agree or disagree with this protest it was a voice to be reckoned with. The protests were non-violent and represented by citizens of all age, gender, race, and culture. Although, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives labeled the protesters as "radicals", they represented a very large block of the voting constituents. The career politicians that are planning on running for re-election this next cycle would best be served by listening to the voice of America, as they are speaking loud and clear.

I have posted several pictures of the "Tea Party 2009" that were taken across our great nation, however, I would have to give the picture taken in Anchorage, Alaska as the best picture that caught my immediate attention.

2nd Choice for Best Representation

I would predict that the party has just started, we will see more of these peaceful rallies occurring in the future. Perhaps our elected officials will eventually understand that the electorate is tired of the "politics as usual" despite the call for "Change"

Mt Redoubt ~ Easter Sunday  

Posted by Stan Harrington

On an Easter Sunday sunset, Mt. Iliamna continues remain dormant in the quietness of the evening, her last activity occurring over 56 years ago. Her last volcanic activity occurred on March 1, 1953. However,

just up the Cook Inlet coastline a few miles, Mt Redoubt continues her activity. She let her presence be known again on Easter Sunday. Although, the alert level has not been risen as there has been no dramatic increase according to the Volcano Activity Office. However, from the windows of our home, we have watched the small white steam eruption increase in size throughout the day. At 9:00 p.m. this evening, the white steam plume changed to light gray and then dark gray as it drifted slowly to the north.

As night descended upon the mountain, the plume was continuing to increase in size and color. One can only guess the additional energy that she has stored up to release, but when you consider the size of the plume in relationship to the size of the mountain it is a force to be reckoned with.

My Uncle Henry  

Posted by Stan Harrington

While on a recent trip, I had the opportunity to visit with the majority of my relatives living in Colorado. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with my Uncle Henry. Despite his advanced age of 97, his mind is as sharp as if he were twenty. In talking with him it is as if you are listening to a talking encyclopedia. The stories that he has of the past one hundred years of American history is taken from the prospective of an individual that lived that history. Several years ago, his drivers license was revoked due to his age and driving habits. He still enjoys visiting the local tavern for a few brews each day and to visit with his neighbors.

Not having a drivers license was curtailing this activity until he was finally provided a motorized wheel chair by the good folks at Medicare. Each day, he would drive to the tavern in his moving chair although the local law enforcement officers eyeballed him on a regular basis. However, Uncle Henry is a very smart man and learned that as long as he remained on the sidewalks, the jurisdiction of the law could not enforce any traffic laws or drinking and driving laws as long as he was not utilizing the highways. Having had a large number of traffic violations in his life time he was well versed in the law. Although his number of moving violations was much higher than the normal driver, only 21 of them involved alcohol.

Although his motorized chair provided him access to his favorite past time at the local tavern, the chair was not high enough that he could sit at the bar and enjoy visiting with his friends. After giving it some thought, he went to work in his garage and by stripping down his old Montgomery Ward lawn mower and borrowing a stool from the bar, designed his own motorized chair suitable for his needs. He refers to the new chair as his "recreational vehicle" and the only day he does not use it is on Sunday. Each Sunday morning, he takes his fancy motorized chair to attend church.

While there, he invited me to accompany him to the tavern but I would have to ride in a little red wagon towed by his motorized stool. I declined the offer, although, with the emergency flashers on my rental car flashing, I followed him down the street as he propelled himself down the sidewalk. At the tavern, we sat and I listened to his stories intently as he enjoyed a good number of his favorite brew. I look forward to my next visit, as he is considering patronizing a new tavern down the street because they have girls that dance there that actually take their clothes off. My Uncle Henry leads a good life.

Uncle Henry Is Not The Only Inhabitant
In Colorado that Has A Slight Drinking Problem.

Traveling To Colorado  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Having just returned from a quick trip to Colorado, I thought it appropriate to share a few pictures. At one time, our major airports were vibrant, living communities twenty four hours per day. That is not the case during this era, they are ghost towns. Arriving in Seattle just short of midnight and not being able to catch a connecting flight to Denver until 0630, I chose to spend six hours at the airport. That was my first mistake. With a ten minute notice, I can take a nap in just about any type of environment regardless of the noise level. That was not the case at Sea-Tac, I can now recite the security, parking, smoking, and unattended baggage warnings announcements by heart, they are broadcast in their entirety every 5.5 minutes, despite the fact there were only a half dozen people in the terminal. The only retail facility that was open was Starbucks, the two service employees that were assigned different shifts became close friends. The same thing occurred at the Denver International, however, there I was able to get acquainted with employees of Burger King as they were the only facility open between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

I had my lap top with me and it was my intentions to work on my blog sites since I could not take a nap, six wifi connections and all them were secured. However, for $19.95, I could connect for three hours. On my return flight, I got lucky and not finding a unsecured wifi site, I noticed a girl working on her lap top so I inquired as to how she got on line. She showed me a secret as to how to bypass and gain access. It was difficult communicating with her since she only spoke Spanish and lived in Denver.

In Seattle, after purchasing a cup of coffee, I walked out to a "polluted air zone" and was joined by a man of Asian decent. He sat down beside me and over a couple of cigarettes told he his life story. To some, it may have been boring but his story had me riveted to my seat. He was a former citizen of Cambodia. Following Vietnam, his family along with several hundred other Cambodians were taken from the city they lived in and taken to the country to work the government farms. Their type of farming was to produce or die by the hands of government firing squads. He and his family and sixty other Cambodians made an escape attempt to cross the border into Thailand. Upon reaching the safety of Thailand, only fifteen of the group had managed to escape, the remainder slaughtered by the hands of the Cambodian military. He was provided a sponsor and migrated to the U.S. Following his story, I encouraged him to write book of his life, perhaps someone in the U.S. would read it and not take our liberties for granted.

In Denver, I was notified by a TSA agent at the Security Check Point, that my drivers license had expired. I explained to him that it was April 8th and my license was due to expire on May 18th. I offered him other identification but he checked my license again to verify what I said was correct. He then asked my for my temporary license. Again, I explained that May 18th follows April 8th and there was no need to have a temporary license since the original had not expired. He finally accepted my explanation and as I left to go the through the metal detector, he reminded me to get a temporary license. I still not figured that out. The point being, airports can be very lonely places during the early morning hours. The two pictures below are at Sea-Tac at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. Looking in opposite directions, not a car, bus, or another human being in site. Surely do hope it is being monitored by security cameras.

Arriving in Denver, my bag was the first one out of the hole in the wall. Within 30 minutes, I was in my rental car with Denver in my rear view mirror. Although, I have made the trip from Denver to the Western slope of Colorado hundreds of times, I had never taken the time to stop at Lookout Mountain and pay my respect to "Buffalo Bill". His grave site is about three miles off the interstate on a bluff overlooking eastern Colorado. From this vantage point you can see the City of Denver, which is about fifty miles to the east.

If you want to learn a little more about "Buffalo Bill" and our government stripping him of his Medal Of Honor that was awarded to him, I did a brief history of him on my site American Profiles a year or so ago. In later years, his Medal of Honor was reinstated to him. You can learn more about William F. Cody ~ this link will take you to his story in American Profiles.

Herd of "Spring Mule Deer" in a Cottonwood thicket in rural Colorado. The western slope of Colorado remains as spectacular as it was when I was a youth growing up with the San Juan Mountains providing the backdrop. Main Street in the city of my birth is slowly dying, stores that were in business when I was a child closing their doors to business as large shopping centers and box stores of expanding the area south of town. It was sad to see, remembering walking the sidewalks and peering through the front windows of those same stores when I was a kid. The one highlight, the City of Montrose had never installed parking meters. They had a police officer walking the beat with a "chalk stick" marking tires to determine how long a car had been parked in a thirty minute parking zone. As I was looking at the businesses closing down, I could not help but notice the officer walking down the street with his "chalk stick", it was good to see that some things never change.