Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Grouch family visits Pompeii and the Space Shuttle all in one day!

The Missus, Young Son, Ladybug, and I journeyed to the California Science Center to see both the traveling Pompeii exhibit and the space shuttle Endeavour.  The weather was beautiful, especially for a day in late December.  We grabbed a snack to fortify ourselves and then plunged into the crowd to start our time travel back into ancient Pompeii!


Young Son and Ladybug enjoy their snacks outside in the warm sun.  


  The seagulls and pigeons resting on the retired F/A-18 enjoyed the high ground advantage for swooping down on dropped tidbits.



This is the video shown prior to entering the Pompeii exhibit complete with hot winds and gut shaking low frequency vibrations and loud blasts.

I found the art to be of amazing quality and in equally amazing condition

The products of this civilization appear to be machine-made they are of such good quality

I am a sucker for gold jewelry

Another item that looks like something that we might buy at pottery barn.  Amazing!



Ladybug found it to be very interesting

Water valves - who knew that this level of technology existed then?

Medical instruments - or at least they seem to be.  What items of our current civilization might be mis-identified by some future group of archaeologists digging in the ruins of one of our cities?



One of the unfortunate residents of Pompeii, encased in hardened ash.  They say that they died instantaneously and didn't suffer.  We can only hope that is the case.

A Pompeii villa that would be right at home in Malibu or some other tony SoCal location.

The Missus and Ladybug waiting to create a virtual volcanic eruption

According to Young Son, one of the four persons in this photo is Older Son!  Taken on the day that the Endeavour was flown over L.A. before landing at LAX

The building is in this photo

The Endeavour - massive and majestic!

Almost at the end of a fun day!

Outside of the Science Center

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A taste of Pink Martini for New Year's eve

The Missus and I treated some friends to a New Year's eve concert at the Disney Concert Hall.  I am a big fan of the eclectic group "Pink Martini" and they were appearing with "The Trapp Family Singers" at the very beautiful Disney venue.  The Missus and our  guests were a little wary of Pink Martini having never heard of them.  Older son saw both PM and the TFS in concert and felt that they were ok but nothing special.  I was a bit nervous being the motivating force behind the outing.

Fortunately I didn't have to worry because the concert was great!  Pink Martini was wonderful and funny.  In addition to their own ensemble, we were treated to the Japanese Businessmen including the uncle of the co-leaders of the group, three Iranian musicians, a Julliard graduate, trombone players (we especially like trombones since Young Son plays one), an NPR correspondent, and the Trapp Family Singers!  I was really impressed by the TFS, four sibling scions of the famous Von Trapps who were very, very good.  I was so impressed with them that I downloaded their album.

If you ever have the chance to see either or both, go to see PM and TFS.  You will not be disappointed!

We heard both of these songs performed at our concert.  We loved them.





Thursday, January 8, 2015

Older Son, Girlfriend, Ladybug and King the wonder puppy all come for a visit!

Older son and his girlfriend and his new puppy all journeyed west to visit us here at Grouch estates for Christmas.  It just so happened that Ladybug was also in town for Christmas with her father so she got to visit with us for a day or two.

The weather was nice and the puppy was bored so we traveled to the local dog park to let King the wonder puppy run free.  Even though he is only about 4 months old he held his own with the other dogs in the park. He is a husky/German shepherd mix and is very smart and learning fast. Plus he seems to like me so he gets plus 10 points in his favor. 



Ladybug learned that eating a bagel at the dog park might not have been the best decision.  King was polite but an adult Husky was determined that it would get some of Ladybug's bagel.  The owner of the husky was completely and totally oblivious to the ongoing bagel drama. 

Older Son and King with a friend.  Older Son doesn't want his picture on the internet so he can only be seen from the back.

Ladybug still working on the bagel.  She looks so much like her mother!


King on guard and ready to rumble

King and Ladybug 

A pit bull mix that let King beat him up endlessly

A bulldog wanted to get in on the fun but was breathing so heavily that he just couldn't keep up with the action!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wild Kingdom

So, I have about 6 blog posts that I need to do so I will start out of order with the most recent one.  This past Monday I was on standby to take Older Son, Girlfriend, and new puppy to LAX - more about all of that later - so I decided to take an early morning walk through the neighborhood while waiting for them to get organized for the trip.  It was about 0630 and just transitioning from night to first light.  As I walked down the street near Grouch Estates I spied an animal the size of a large dog crossing in front of me.  However it wasn't a large dog but a large bobcat!  It didn't even glance at me but crossed the street and disappeared between two houses and was gone just like that.

No, I didn't have a chance to take a picture so the Missus says it didn't happen.  I'll add the bobcat to the mountain lion and bears that I've seen since moving to California.  I won't even mention the raccoons that peer at us from the storm sewers, the coyotes that stalk us on our walk, the hawks that circle overhead sometimes as though to swoop down and carry one of us off!

Who knew so much of the wild kingdom lives amongst us!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hey Grouch fans!

Never fear, Citizen Grouch is still here!  I have many updates to share and I will do so in the next couple of days.  It's been a busy month for me and I'm just beginning to slow down.

Check back  soon for updates!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Truce 1914

A TV commercial that captures the essence of the Christmas Truce 1914



Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Day of Infamy - Pearl Harbor 1941

A moment of silence and the flag at half staff at Grouch estates for the memory of the day of infamy, December 7th, 1941.

I worked with a Pearl Harbor survivor some years ago.  Art was a young Marine and a bugler aboard a ship on that day.  The memory of the day was vivid for him and he shared those memories with me several times.

A salute to all of those who gave their lives that day.



A six minute film worth a watch.  I saw the Japanese two man sub captured at Pearl Harbor when it was on display at the Naval station in Key West sometime in the late 60s when I visited as a kid.