Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
On the trail/road with the pups. It was warm in the sun but as soon as we got into the shade the temperature felt like it went down 10 degrees.
At the first water crossing I carefully removed my shoes and socks and waded through the cold, cold water. Same for the second one. By the third one I just rolled up my jeans and waded across. At about 2/3 of the way to the campground the stream and the road share the same space.
You used to be able to drive through here but no longer. On the way in I waded through with my boots on. On the way back I went barefoot. Man that water was cold!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Christmas eve we did the usual Grouch family tradition of dinner at Pizza Hut (how this got started I have no idea but it has been going on for years!) followed by midnight mass at 10 p.m. I guess the midnight part is that we got home before midnight. Both sons and younger daughter were present and everyone looked handsome and beautiful depending on the gender. The missus was particularly radiant which makes this grouch proud. We watched "Meet me in St. Louis" with Judy Garland when we came home which the Missus doesn't like but younger daughter did so that made it worth while. Tomorrow is of course opening presents, I will make scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast for breakfast (another tradition) and then we're off to see "True Grit" in the afternoon. The original movie is my all time favorite flick. My dad took me to see it at the theater, one of three movies that I remember him taking me to see (the other two were "The Longest Day and Von Ryan's Express) and I was captivated with the scenery in the movie which was filmed in Colorado. At the age of 15 I became determined to go to the Rockies which I finally accomplished in 1976 and then again when we moved there in 1981 for a year. I got to return a couple times on business with my previous employer in later years. I loved everything about the movie. I hope the remake measures up! We'll see, report to follow.
Everyone have a wonderful Christmas!
Monday, December 20, 2010
Clear weather is predicted for Thursday. Yea! Unfortunately Tuesday is to be the heaviest rain so far. Stay tuned....
Monday, December 13, 2010
The piper, an SMR soldier. The Missus absolutely cannot resist a man in a kilt.
I had a great time visiting and walking Moxie from one end of the neighborhood to the other. A couple pictures, one with the Grouch and one of my hosts:
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Next week the Grouch journeys to Fayetteville NC to visit older daughter and little ladybug the sweetest granddaughter in the world. Can't wait!
Today the sun is shining, the temperature is in the 50s, we walked 6 miles with the pooches, and the turkey is cooking nicely. Three of the four offspring are gathered for dinner and all is ok in the world, at least for the next 24 hours.
Enjoy your thanksgiving dinner!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
If you are a Connie Willis fan, get the book, stick with it, and tell me what you think happened on the last two pages and who Colin is!
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I will be thinking about this book for a long time. The book is ultimately an epic quest and the vision and sweep of the book is amazing. This one gets a Grouch thumbs up and an A+!
p.s. DO NOT read the forum at the book website unless you want the whole book spoiled for you. Many of the posts reveal the ending.
p.p.s. Read the book! The missus was in tears at the end and even this grouch was a bit misty-eyed.
Rent this one without hesitation.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
(click on the pictures for a larger view)
Carl Fredrickson from the hit movie "Up"
Costumes provided by a teenage friend of young son who is managing her mother's theatrical costume business. I particularly enjoyed having her majesty in residence at Grouch estates.
Friday, October 29, 2010
A husband of the missus' friend and his co-workers were called to the conference room several weeks ago to receive the bad news: layoffs. Bummer, but then we are all vulnerable these days. However, it is bad enough to get this news, but it gets even worse: they were told to grab their jackets and purses and clear the building immediately. Talk about a kick in the rear after you've already been knocked down! No dignity allowed, no time to get the mind around the sudden, wrenching change in direction. They were permitted to return at a later date to retrieve their possessions. What has happened to treating people with dignity?
Here's my second grouch: I went to the type of store that requires the purchaser to supply two types of ID to buy certain things that start with g and end with n unless there are more than one such item being bought in which case it begins with g and ends with s. So, I handed over my ID and did the deed. At the end of the transaction the clerk said I was done and being as I had an hour drive ahead of me, I hurriedly exited the store for home. Five days later I went to retrieve something from my wallet and realized that I had left both my driver's license and military ID at the store. My fault, but the store not only had the ID, they also had my phone number. Couldn't they have called me? So, I called them. They said they'd look around and call me back. Three hours later and no call. I decided to drive to the store since it is only 20 minutes from where I work. Got to the store, asked the girl at the register about the ID. She knows nothing. She directs me to the guy behind the counter. He says go talk to the girl, she has the lost and found. She knows nothing. The guy says he knows nothing but they'll look around and call me. I say how long can it take to look in this small store? They say come back later. I say I will have to file a police report for the missing military ID. They call the manager. He won't come out but says to look in the lost and found box that the girl at the register has. She looks and pulls out my DL. I ask about the military ID. She pulls that out too. I leave before I say anything I will regret. A week later I stop at the store on the way home from drill to pick up the thing that begins with G and ends with N. I've already paid for everything. They tell me I owe another $40 before I can take it. I say no way. I say their policy is that everything is paid in full when the transaction is complete. They say that is true but I owe another $40. I don't have my receipt with me. They tell me to pay up or too bad. I spy the guy who waited on me and drag him into the conversation. He says that he remembers what happened and reminds the manager that the information was entered into the computer wrong and he had to redo it which is why it shows me owing another $40. The manager looks really steamed. He gives me the thing and walks off. I thank him, the guy who spoke up, and the guy who is standing there watching the whole thing and leave. I vow never, ever, ever to go back.
Now I no longer feel grouchy.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
So now my son is grown up, with a real job and career and talking about buying a condo or a loft. Time marches on. I am very happy for him but a bit melancholy for me as I enter the home stretch for my working career.
I can't wait to hear his tales of the road, the places he will visit and the people he will meet.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain't it funny how the night moves
When you just don't seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in...
So true in many ways
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Rant #1 (not much of a rant; I will start off easy). So there I was on the crowded afternoon train. The conductor had just got done announcing that no one should take up more than one seat per butt. I spied a seat with stuff piled high; a sleeping man, a middle aged woman; a young female deputy (no, this isn't the beginning of a tasteless joke). I say to the three "anyone sitting there?" The man sleeps on. The woman says "it's not my stuff'" and say 'Sir' to the guy to wake him up to move his junk. He sleeps on (or at least keeps his eyes closed). The female deputy stands up and says "here sir, have my seat." I don't want her seat, I want the seat that has the guy's junk on it. I thank her but decline. She says she will not sit in that seat and I should put my aging behind on the seat cushion and rest my greying head (she didn't really say that but I knew that is what she meant). I told her that I would not sit in the seat and she should sit back down. She refused to sit in the seat and said that I might as well take it because she would stand all the way home before she would sit in that seat. While we were discussing it a young guy squeezed behind us and sat in the seat. The deputy walked over and sat next to a woman on a bench seat and the sleeping guy slept on with his stuff still piled up on the seat so no one could sit there. I ended up standing the whole way home. Everyone including me was too polite to give the guy's foot a good kick and tell him "get your crap off that seat before I take it off and throw it out the door at the next station." I swear I'm getting closer and closer to being Michael Douglas' character in 'Falling Down'.
Stay tuned for:
Rant #2: the produce train or Chiquita Banana and her sisters go shopping and come home on the train.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
The Missus liked the dog topiaries. She also liked the grey merle Sheltie that was up for adoption at the fair along with other dogs and could have been talked into bringing it home except someone had already got there first and claimed it. The dog was pretty cute and calm.
The Grouch and young son got to drive bumper cars which is a lot like everyday driving in L.A. except that the cars here are generally smaller than what is encountered on the streets.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
We're off to the L.A. County fair today, the home of the fried everything. They literally fry just about any type of food to sell such as Twinkies and Klondike bars. We are of course going for the chance to look at the 4-H displays and the like and not the deadly food. We're sticking with that story. A double bonus is that two of us get in for a buck apiece with my retired military I.D. The Grouch is also cheap, I mean frugal, so this gladdens my heart.
And, since it is 9-11 and Patriot Day.....never forget
Friday, September 3, 2010
It's on my wrist now. It is growing on me, actually.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
"500 Days of Summer" http://www.foxsearchlight.com/500daysofsummer/
"Orson Welles and Me" http://www.meandorsonwellesthemovie.com/
Both have much to like in them. I liked that the theater people in "Orson Welles" didn't constantly hug each other. It was a more reserved time in 1937 I guess. I also didn't see any fist bumps (thank goodness).
Check them out and let me know if you like them.
Monday, August 23, 2010
So far we've gleaned:
This doesn't count the pennies we've seen mashed down into the road surface but are not retrievable. I wonder if more pennies are found because those who drop them can't be bothered to pick them up and the found denominations decrease in reverse proportion to their value because of that value? I do know as I mentioned that found money is much less than before. I guess tough times makes folks value their pocket change!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
As promised we located the mighty Santa Ana river. The Grouch and Roscoe are standing in it. Back where the Grouch comes from this body of water would be called a crick. Out west any year round flowing body of water is automatically a river. The water was shockingly cold!
Molly loved the water as always. The Grouch could only stand in it for a couple minutes before the cold was almost painful. The air temperature was in the high '80s so it was an interesting contrast.
After enjoying the shade and the running water we set off to climb up the Clark grade trail. This started out pretty mild and not too steep. But, the higher we went the rougher the road got and the further the drop on one side became. Near the top the trail was only as wide as the trusty Jeep and the drop looked high enough to successfully parachute off of. I believe the trail was more than what the Missus had signed up for.
When we reached the top we found evidence that others had difficulties on the trail. The Grouch holds a broken tow strap and some vehicle trim that was shed by a vehicle in trouble.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
So, not too early today we loaded up into the trusty Aztek and set off for the coast. Young daughter has drill this weekend so she could not attend with us but she did get to see and hear some of the activities during the day capped by a ring side seat atop one of the base buildings as the Thunderbirds streaked over her part of the base during the finale of the airshow. Can't beat that!
So, now for some pictures. Click on the pics for a larger view.
The first interesting item we encountered was in the apron outside of the gianormous hangers. A bronze plaque inset into the concrete commemorating a visit by President Kennedy in 1963. Who knew?
This B25 is seen frequently at area airshows. Young son was going to tour it but the crowd was too heavy around it. However, he did tour it, but years ago! See the next picture.
The Grouch's dad flew in a plane much like this while working as a Norden bombsight tech in WW2. His was an AT11 but the planes are essentially the same.
Not something seen at many airshows - a WW2 Japanese Zero fighter! Its arch-enemy was also at the airshow - a Grumman Hellcat fighter. I think it was there to keep an eye on it.
The infantryman's friend: the A10 'Warthog'. This plane is incredibly maneuverable and did many aerobatic stunts that I had no idea it was capable of doing. It made several low passes over the field and explosions were set off on the ground to simulate bombs being dropped. The flame effect was pretty spectacular. The explosions made the ground jump and rattled the windows at the ANG base according to young daughter. Too bad they also set the grass on fire next to the runway and delayed the start of the Thunderbirds by an hour!