Sunday, August 30, 2009
My two managers that I recently hired for Wilmington DE and Atlanta GA are arriving tomorrow for 2.5 days of training at my office. The smoke, ash, and flames will be an interesting introduction to Los Angeles. Every day here is like living in an Irwin Allen disaster movie. Who was Irwin Allen? He's the guy responsible for the Towering Inferno and the original Poseidon Adventure.
Craig received his Life scout rank today. The next step is Eagle. Go Craig!
Speaking of Craig, he asked me recently where he could get sheet music for the theme 'Army Strong" that plays in the recruiting commercials. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSbCnWe6e1o&mode=related&search= (I dare you to watch this without getting a lump in your throat) and I said 'the Army band, of course!' I emailed them and much to my surprise and glee a nice SFC emailed me all the sheet music for the song including each section's portion (tuba, trombone, etc.). Now Craig needs to practice it for his upcoming band competition.
That's all for now!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Craig and his friends are having movie night at our place tonight. Non stop movies until midnight or so which is fun for them but Craig has banned the Grouch and the Missus from being anywhere near where they are. I guess us just being present is too embarrasing to bear!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
These type of movies inevitably have a secret base where all sorts of mayhem is planned and attacks are launched from. This movie had two secret bases, one in the Egyptian desert and one under the Artic ice. These places were as big as a suburban shopping mall. They had aircraft, water craft, subs, trucks, guns, ammo, people, training pools big enough to drive subs around in them, people coming and going...there was a lot of activity. I've been in the logistics field for some time when I see things like this I don't think "Wow, look at all that cool action gear!" No, I think "How the heck to they keep this place supplied?" The volume of consumables, repair parts, folks going on leave and returning, replacements, headquarters weenies... the sheer scale of keeping a secret base running like this would call for 24 hour convoys running 7 days a week. Besides the supply convoys the secret bases need a manufacturing support network to construct all of the gee-whiz aircraft, guns, uniforms, subs, etc. With all of that comes parts, manuals, upgrades, factory tech reps - the works. Now, all of that stuff is coming and going, contracts being let, meetings held - It's pretty hard to have a secret organization with a secret base the size of the Mall of America with all of this hullabaloo. And of course this stream is converging on the Egyptian desert and the Artic. Kind of conspicuous? I've thought that the best place to have your secret base would be in downtown Chicago or New York. Say a couple city blocks wide and 10 levels down. There is always construction going on anyway so no one would blink at a secret base being constructed there . You can have multiple entrances and exits so your super commandos could leave the facility, jump on a cross town bus and be out of the area in a jiffy. Your supplies can be delivered by a network of little Isuzu trucks with various company logos on them - no one would suspect a thing. Say...maybe this is why the downtown areas are always being torn up and rebuilt!
One other thing I noticed in this movie - the G.I. Joe uniform regulations seem to specify that the female soldier's uniforms are made without the top three buttons on the shirt, and hair must be worn longer than shoulder length and loose, whether or not it gets in the way of fighting the enemy Ninjas. Strangely enough the bad guy army had the same regs for their female soldiers too! How about that?
Friday, August 21, 2009
Only in L.A.!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I read today that Reader's Digest corporation is filing for chapter 11. The article stated that in this day of the Internet the compilation of articles of interest for readers is being usurped by search engines and the Drudge report. Ultimately I image that the Reader's Digest will pass into history along with their condensed books and the world will be a slightly sadder place for that.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
We got the ID card renewed in jig time. In the old days the process involved picking out individual letters and numbers to spell out your name, rank and SSN which were mounted on a board that you held under your chin while getting a picture taken ala the booking photo at the county jail. The picture had all the quality of the quarter a shot photo booth and Kennywood park. Today everything is computerized including the camera. However the picture still has the quality of the photo booth at Kennywood. Now Mary has a valid ID card and can enter any commissary she wishes around the world. It was a fun way to spend a day off from work.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I can't add much to what she wrote. According to Mary this was our 6th time at PoM but the first time we spent the weekend there. The previous 5 times was as guests of Allison Transmisisons (a little corporate graft and corruption?). The very nice guy who organized the event each year for his best customers passed away and although Allison did one more event after his passing I have the feeling that the annual boondoggle fell victim to corporate cost cutting. Mary asked for tickets to PoM for her birthday which I was very happy to oblige.
Laguna Beach is an interesting place, very artsy and very expensive. How expensive you ask? So much that there are no fast food outlets in town. The most reasonable place we could locate to eat was a pizza parlor which wasn't bad at all. Laguna Beach is so ritzy that we stopped counting Ferraris when we reached 5; it just wasn't worth the effort. We also saw 4 Lamborghinis, 2 Aston Martins, a Morgan plus 2, and and several other exotic cars. Walking from our hotel to the downtown area we came across a small art gallery that had both Asian artifacts and Andy Warhol posters - I didn't see the connection but who am I to judge this? We went in and saw Ming vases and Japanese horse statues that sold for $300,000 each!! It made me ill just to be in the room with them. The stuff was just sitting on pedestals begging to be knocked off and broken. The owner hustled into the gallery to check us out; I can only guess we set off some sort of rube alarm when we came in. I had to wait outside until everyone emerged with nothing broken.
The show was great, the art was fantastic and Craig almost talked me into spending close to a grand for two aircraft paintings. You may note that I said almost. Mary and I would like to go back again and spend two nights in town this time. I would even like to go to the beach at Laguna Beach!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday night was the BIG PARTY at Vogeley estates. This was Craig's high school marching band and color guard end of band camp pool party and it was held at our house! The stakes were enormous for Craig's standing in the band and the school. If it was a flop, he was a ruined man. If it was a success, well let's just say that his stock would be listed as a buy on the school stock exchange. Kurt being the most excellent brother and bonvivant realized that the plans needed to be juiced up and raced out to purchase tiki torches, super soakers, nerf balls, floating toys for the pool and appropriate dips for the chips. Kurt's touches were just what was needed to make the party a success. Over 60 kids showed up. They are all reasonably well behaved, polite, and kept the damage to a minimum. The noise level was high, the food was consumed in massive quantities, and I had to add water to the spa and pool twice to compensate for the water splashed out. The band director and his wife spent most of the party on-site and complimented us on: 1. Craig; 2. our other children; 3. our dogs; 4. our pool, house and back yard; 5. our parenting skills. After all of that we were ready to agree to pool parties once a month. Pretty much at the scheduled end time of 10 p.m. the kids started heading home, thanking us for the party and telling Craig that he has a cool pool and it was a good party. At 10:30 Craig had to go in the back yard and ask the last couple who found that the swing for two and the tiki lights provided just the romantic atmosphere if they were going home or what? Way to go Craig!
The next morning we left for Laguna Beach and the Pagent of the Masters...more on that later.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
And since we are talking about Kurt in Australia, here is another picture of a resolute soldier:
One Grouch to another: I was at the range today and noticed a guy about my age two spots over. I thought I'd comment on his rifle (in a nice way) but frankly he looked pretty...grouchy. so I didn't say anything. But, later we happened to both be walking to the targets at the same time and I thought 'what the heck, why not' and spoke to him. His face lit up and we chatted all the way out to the target, all the way back and then he gave me a friendly good by as he drove off. Just goes to show that you can't tell a grouch by the cover, or something like that.
Me, a cool Dad? Craig told Mary that one of his friends thought I was funny (I hope not funny looking) and nice to boot. That is tacking pretty close to being 'cool'. I knew cool parents when I was younger but I never thought I'd be getting close to that esteemed rank. Getting promoted to 'cool' would mean twice as much as being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
I had drill yesterday and it was a pretty busy day to the point that after 10 hours of that, 2.5 hours of commuting, evening mass and then dinner I was flat worn out. I collapsed in my snoozing chair and fell asleep until about 12:30 a.m. when Molly, concerned with my well being, started poking me with her cold, wet nose. I managed to wake up and saw her bright little eyes gazing intently at me to see if I was still alive or not. Who knew dogs cared so much?
I am off to Wilmington DE tomorrow for 4 days. This is the same trip that I was supposed to do the Monday after Father's day but got horribly sick and didn't make it. This time I am going no matter what happens. Anyway, this means no Grouch updates until the end of the week.
Upcoming events: The Saugus High School band and Color Guard will be having their pool party this Friday in our pool! The significance of this for Craig is beyond measure. We can only hope all goes well. Saturday and Sunday we will be attending the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. This is not a golf tournament. Stay tuned for more information on this.