Sunday, June 30, 2013

The most profound and the silliest....

It is a slow week in Grouchland and not much to post about.  So, I was thinking today about the most profound rock song and the silliest, both by major artists. 
For your viewing and listening pleasure I offer Kansas performing "Dust in the Wind" and Jackson Browne with "Lawyers in Love"   You decide which category the music falls into.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Gentler, kinder Citizen Grouch?

So, the other day at work I had to attend four hours of diversity training.  The instructor was an earnest fellow and did his best to enlighten and entertain us while making us more sensitive and less judgemental which the Missus says I need to be more of and less of to be a better person.

The instructor told us that we shouldn't judge a person and be impatient; the example he used was two cars at a red light:  the light turns green but the car doesn't go.  the second car's driver blows the car's horn to get the first one to go but he doesn't because....there is a child walking in front of the car!  Of course that is why the first car didn't go and that is probably why when this happens to me that  the car in front of me doesn't go when the light turns green until the light is turning yellow and it zips through stranding me at the red light again.  It has nothing to do with the driver texting or whatever.

So, this morning when I was out driving and I was the second car in line at the red light and the right turn green arrow illuminated so we could all make a right turn I remembered what the instructor said and didn't tap the horn because who knows, maybe a small child was walking in front of the guy's truck?   So anyway I waited patiently until the guy behind me blew his car's horn, quite rudely I thought.  But, what do you know, there was no small child in front of the truck, and the driver was texting, or fiddling with his cell phone or something and he made the turn and drove off at high speed!  Image that!  Good thing I wasn't judgemental and impatient like the driver behind me who gave me a dirty look as he swerved from behind me and zoomed past after we all made the turn.  Too bad the cars behind us didn't make the light because the first guy in line was fiddling with his cell phone or texting or something instead of paying attention to what was happening and delayed so long that they didn't get through the light.   At least I  wasn't judgemental.  I even felt more sensitive for a couple minutes.

The Grouch's visit the Big Stick U.S.S. Iowa

So, Young Daughter and the Missus took me to see the U.S.S. Iowa, known as the Big Stick, for Father's day.  We went on Saturday and the ship wasn't crowded at all.  YD and I both got a military discount, yay!  Not much of the space below decks is open yet but they are working to open up more of the ship as they can get to it.  YD toured the U.S.S. Alabama a couple years ago and said that much more of that battleship is open for sightseeing.   Back in the 70s the Missus and I (when she wasn't the Missus yet, but on her way to being that) toured the U.S.S. Olympia in Philadelphia.  On that ship, at that time, you could go all the way down to the bottom.  I remember how cold it was since it was the winter.  When we visited Pearl Harbor in the late '90s the U.S.S. Missouri was tied up and being prepared for tours but not open yet so we only got to see it from the outside as we traveled to the U.S.S. Arizona memorial.  

Before boarding the ship we were overcome with the urge to celebrate VJ day just as these two had done.  Two German tourists thought we did such a good job that they had us do it again for their cameras!

Young Daughter 

Big Guns!

The Missus in her patriotic finery.

Looking towards the bow of the ship.

The Admiral's cabin which has the only bathtub in a U.S. Navy ship, installed for the use of  President Roosevelt

Part of the Captain's quarters with his own bathroom.  The commander of the ship is a  Captain, equivalent  to an Army  Colonel; the Turner Joy was commanded by a Commander, the same as an Army LTC

Contrast this with the Captain's quarters on the U.S.S. Turner Joy, a destroyer
The XO's cabin
The XO's cabin on the Turner Joy.  Looks like it pays to be on a battleship!
YD on the bridge

The helm inside the armored conning tower
Look how thick the door is to the conning tower!

The CIWS or "R2-D2"
5" secondary battery
Harpoon anti-ship missle launcher

Port fire boat having some fun!
At the end of the tour.  We'll have to come back again to see more of the ship!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Whose tune was it first?

So, there I was sitting in church this afternoon half listening to the hymn that was being sung when I realized that the melody was familiar...actually very familiar and not because I am a connoisseur of ecclesiastical music but rather because it is the music from "Lordship of the Isles" by Steve McDonald!  Now, I don't know who cribbed it from who but I was smiling and singing "will you go lassie go"  along to myself while the music played which made the Missus suspicious because I rarely smile in church.  Now if I could only remember the title of the hymn!

Crazy dog owner!

So the Missus and me were walking the dog pack last night.  We had  two clipped to one leash with a nifty device that works this out and the youngster on her own leash.  We were walking through a neighborhood when we spied three adults, two small children and a medium size dog in a yard.  The dog was not on a leash but no worries, we crossed the street and proceeded on our way.  Since the street was a dead-end instead of following the sidewalk around which would put us on their side of the street we reversed course at the end of the street and came back up the same way we had passed before.  That's when the trouble started.

The unrestrained dog came bounding out of the yard and charged over to us.  The owner called out "he just wants to play!' and made no move to call the dog back.  Our dogs didn't know if this fast moving dog was friendly or not so they started backing up and as the loose dog circled us they kept turning to keep it in view so you may get the image of the canine confusion that was going on.  The owner sauntered over and told us again, "he's so friendly" and again made no move to collar the dog.  I dragged the two I had on the one leash and started off when the dog again charged at us. I had enough and called to the woman to please restrain her dog.  Her reply?  "My dog has a right to be in its yard for cyrin' out loud".  Excuse me?  The street is its yard?  I dragged my two on as did the Missus with the pup when the loose dog made yet another run at us!   At that point I was getting frustrated and said quite loudly "come on, that is enough!"   By this time the lady decided to call her cute, friendly, just wants to play dog over to her.   As we walked away the adults were huddled and glaring at us as they whispered together.  

Sorry lady but your dog isn't as cute as you think.  What is it about dog owners who think everyone unconditionally loves their pooch?  Maybe it is a friendly dog (and it wasn't barking) but what if ours weren't and took a bite out of it as it charged us?


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Even more old iron!

Spotted this beauty near the base that I do my weekend drill.  No idea what make, mode, or year but I want one!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June 6, 1944

Remember today that 69 years ago that the combined land, sea, and air invasion of France began which ended the 1,000 year Reich of  the Nazis and Adolph Hitler.

The survivors of this endeavor are dying by the thousands each year and soon none will be left; remember their sacrifice for even those who survived this battle and the war gave a large piece of their lives on that day.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Spitfire 944 and time travel

Time travel is the stuff of science fiction or so it seems; actually we time-travel constantly when we see events from our past once again now in our present but also in the future that we couldn't have guessed at back when the event happened.  Seeing myself in a movie or video recording from the past sometimes gives me a chill.  I couldn't have begun to imagine what was in store for me and the world way back when the visual record was made.  

A recent documentary describes the time travel for a man now in his 80s who meets himself as a young man...via movie footage shot by a flight surgeon during WW2.   He was unaware that the movie existed and when he sees himself seemingly looking at him from the past he is astonished.

It is a short film, only 15 minutes long and worth seeing for aviation buffs and to see a man who gets to relive a time that he had mostly forgotten until it came back to him via the determined efforts of some film makers who set out to find someone who appeared for only a minute in the stash of films shot more than 60 years earlier.

Citizen Grouch recommends: Thunder and Rain

The best book is the one you didn't go looking for but instead just happen to find it on the shelf at the library and take it home thinking that you'll give it a couple pages to prove itself worthy of reading.  I found Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin this way recently.  It's a story about a third generation Texas Ranger now retired due to injuries received in a gun battle living in west Texas on this ranch with his son and an ex-con helper.  His wife?  she couldn't cope with the stress of being a Ranger's wife and isn't around.  'Cowboy' as he is known literally bumps into a woman and her young daughter when he is on his way to visit his wife in a detox sanitarium.  The woman is fleeing from a child molester who happens to be a policeman too.  The action starts from there but also the story between Cowboy, his son, his wife, and the woman Samantha and her daughter Hope. 

The story has John Wayne movies, a Les Baer 1911 .45 worn on the hip, horses and diesel pickups, target shooting and  a real can feel safe reading this.  It also has the pain of relationships and growing love and love lost, so women can read it too.

I found it to be a book that I just couldn't put down and if you read it I hope you feel the same way too.

I'll be looking for other books by this author.  Highly recommended, I give this five stars out of five!