Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another crazy dog owner!

So, there I was walking to work yesterday morning through a neighborhood when I spied a guy ahead of me walking his rat-dog on a leash.   Since he was in shower flip flops, a sagging pair of  shorts and a wife-beater shirt I managed to catch up to him.  He heard me coming, turned to look at me and as I passed him his rat-dog started barking furiously (squeaking actually) and leaped at the cuff of my pants and started biting me!   I should have fallen to the ground rolling and screaming but instead I just said something like 'hey, no biting allowed!'.   The guy looked at me with a goofy grin and said that his dog doesn't bite.  This of course while the dog was chomping on my pants cuff.  I pointed this out to him but he had nothing to say so I walked on.

What a crazy dog owner!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Since we're talking about Pittsburgh...

Another interesting video with Pittsburgh as the subject.

Pittsburgh time lapse

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pittsburgh - the movie

So, it seems the older I get the more nostalgic I become for the 'burgh.  This video mash up has scenes from many movies shot it Pittsburgh with locales that I know very well.



We are America too

Some of my regular readers (well one at least) said that they skip the political stuff at Citizen Grouch so be warned, this isn't Grouch family related.  

This is what I believe:

4th of July videos

I gave the camera's video capabilities a try at the 4th of July parade this year and this is what I got!  

The male part of the Bolivian precision dance group.  This wasn't even the best part; the show they put on for the reviewing stand was energetic and fun!

The summer Santa is always fun when the temperature is in the 90s!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Gas station bevavior

So I had the pleasure of visiting the large but cheap price gas station in town today twice.  Since it is Friday and many people are planning on heading out of town for the weekend, the station was pretty busy.  Both times when I went there (with two different vehicles) all the pumps were busy and a couple vehicles were hovering ready for someone to move.  So, one would think with this type of activity going on folks would pump fuel into their vehicle and move on, right?  Ha!  I say again, Ha! And once more, Ha!

I drive around and see a woman get into her SUV.  The pump handle is racked so she must be ready to go.  Nope.  She has to comb her hair for a couple minutes first.  I move on.  A guy is sitting in his truck.  The pump handle is racked.  He must be ready to go.  Nope.  He's texting.  And texting.  Still  texting.  Now he gets out of the truck and starts to fuel.  I move on.  Here's a car sitting at a pump, no one in it.  No one standing at the pay window either.  In fact no one on foot anywhere except at the other vehicles being fueled.  Is the person waiting for their paycheck to show up in the mail so they can come back and buy some gas?   I move on and find a space as someone pulls away. 

That afternoon I come back in the Missus' Escape to fuel it up before driving to the mountains to pick up Young Son at camp.  Replay of the morning.   Here's a vehicle with someone sitting in it.  Not fueling.  Not texting.  Just sitting.  Is he meditating?  Hoping gas prices will drop while he waits?

Last one...someone is over at the cashier buying cigarettes while her car sits blocking a pump.  Seems like she's buying one pack of every brand they carry.  And paying with loose change and single bills.  The only thing more aggravating is the person at church who starts to write a check for the donation when the collection basket lands in her lap.

Anyway you  get the idea.  Listen folks,  when you go to buy gas, buy the darn gas and drive on!  You are buying fuel not renting space in front of the pump.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Old guy, old Jeep

So, where I work we have a Willys MB Jeep, a real-deal World War II jeep that the city obtained way back in the day and used the heck out of it until it was retired to parade duty.  Now it only gets driven a couple times a year.  Today was a slow day for me so I thought I'd take it out for a spin and lubricate the seals by driving it around.   

I've driven M151s in the Army,  owned a CJ7, Wrangler TJ and now have a Wrangler JK.  I had a Suzuki Samurai that was about the same size as this MB but none of them were as hard to get in and out of as this thing!  

I'm not a real big guy, about 5'11" and 175 lbs.  There was hardly any room to clear the steering wheel and the distance between my gut and the steering wheel was minimal.  The leg room to the pedals was so short I had to splay my legs to either side to be able to operate them.  Braking is marginal,  steering is by armstrong and there are no power brakes.  The shifter throw is about 4 feet between each gear and 1st is non-synchronized.  It took me a few grinds before I remembered to first put the transmission in second and then 1st to line everything up.  Just a 10 minute drive was very hot, the exhaust pipe and muffler were radiating heat like crazy through the floor.  

How the heck did GIs operate these in wartime with web gear and bulky clothes on?  Sure they were shorter by a couple inches than me and about 30 lbs lighter but still!!   It was an interesting experience and none that showed me how far technology has come in 65 years!

So long Older Son!

Older Son and the Missus left Wednesday to drive to D.C. so Older Son can start his new job and new career there.  I wish I could have gone too but school, work, and the menangerie at home forced me to stay here on the left coast.  I am really going to miss Older Son but this new job is what he has hoped and worked for his whole adult life.  

Now we'll have even more reasons to visit back east!

Off they go!  

How'd he get so tall?  And who is that old guy with the grey hair?

Meanwhile at the 4th of July cookout....

After the 4th of July parade we had a cookout at Grouch estate.  One of the families brought the ingredients for root beer floats which everyone enjoyed immensely (thanks Rick and Debbie!).  Kerby and Molly wanted in on the floats too so they both got a taste.

Molly wants to get the last drop of sweetness from the cup.  Kerby is thinking that she has to get in on this.

Kerby's turn.  Yep, it was that good!

4th of July at Grouchland

As I have written before, the 4th of July is my absolute favorite non religious holiday.  It is fun and excitement from sun up to fire works at night.  

This year was no different; we started with the Rotary club pancake breakfast near the start of the city parade.  We claimed our spaces along the parade route right near the start by the reviewing stand so we could see the groups perform for the judges and make a quick getaway once the end of the parade passed by.

Our town's parade is eclectic....anyone who fills out an application can be in the parade.  No matter what the theme of the parade is, we always have the core elements that must be in the parade or its not a parade!

These are just a few of the many entries.

So, here we go!

Mr. and Mrs. Grouch and friends eagerly wait for the parade to start (I'm taking the picture so I'm not sitting there but my empty chair is present)
Got to have a Revolutionary war themed group!

And a marching band!
Smokey Bear always makes an appearance
Dogs are a must!

Then there are the 'just because' participants

If there aren't kids on bikes there's no point watching

Native Americans too (I'm a native American - I was born here)
Some guys who like to fly fish

Very energetic dancers from Bolivia

More Bolivian dancers.  This group was working hard!

Got to have horse and carriages!

Pretty girls are always part of the parade

And pretty ladies!

A miniature horse
More horses!

A yellow guy

Super heroes!

All sorts of vehicles

Imagine doing a high speed pursuit in that!

Antique cars

And more antique cars

And not so antique cars
You have to love a Jeep this ugly!

Whose bulldozer is bigger?

I think it is a tie!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Citizen Grouch recommends...

The Missus and I went to see World War Z last Friday.  I'm always up for a good zombie movie and this one delivered the thrills and chills although not always in a logical and coherent way.  Brad Pitt was the U.N. official who gave up the world trouble shooting job (and here I thought the U.N. only caused trouble and didn't solve it, but what do I know?) who gave it up to be at home with his cute wife and cuter girls.  Apparently Brad's new job with the U.N. pays less because he can't afford a haircut or a new blade for his razor.  Anyway he and family are out for a drive when zombie hell breaks loose right on the streets of Philadelphia!!  No one seemed to know that a mysterious infestation of zombies was breaking out in the U.S., let alone Mr. Brad I'm the very well connected U.N. trouble-shooter Pitt?  But anyway, many chills and near death experiences occur along the way.  I give points to Mr. long hair Pitt's character for not being a namby-pamby when a loaded Remington 700 falls into his hands but instead using it to save his wife.  Bravo!  I do deduct points for the incorrect French made helicopters standing in for U.S. Navy Blackhawks, the ArmaLite AR15 in the hands of a Navy Seal (the U.S. military doesn't use ArmaLite brand rifles - I saw the brand name on the magazine well in a close up), the Soviet era AN-12 that morphed into a C-130 and back again, and the very elastic time frame for the zombie spin up to zombiehood once a person was bit.  Sometimes ten seconds, sometimes ten minutes, and to spread a world-wide plague like the movie portrayed, a number of days from infection to full on zombieness.   But other than that it was $20 well spent.  The Missus said it was suitably scary but the children of Brad in the movie were bad.  She should know being a mom and all.

Saturday we watched Trouble with the Curve with Clint Eastwood as an old and very grouchy baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves.  Amy Adams was his long suffering and ignored lawyer daughter with her own life to lead who must accompany her father on a scouting trip of high school baseball teams.  I don't know much at all about baseball and when I go to a game it is for the snacks, but I enjoyed the movie very much and to my surprise Justin Timberlake did a very good job as the romantic interest for Amy.  Clint was suitably grumpy and reminded me of myself which wasn't a good thing so I decided right then and there to try to be less grouchy because if I am like that now what will I be like when I'm his age?   The Missus and I give it  four stars.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Uninsured motorists

So the Missus got rear ended in her Escape the other day.  The other driver gave the Missus her insurance information and her apologies.  All seemed well until our insurance company called to say, well actually the other driver didn't have insurance after all.  This is the third time this has happened to the Missus.  Once in a parking lot the other driver told her that not only did he not have insurance but no driver's license either.  A guy in a rattle-trap pickup rear ended me in my Jeep a couple years ago.  When I got out of the Jeep he popped out of his truck shouting Illegal, Illegal!  No driver's license!   That was apparently the extent of his English.  Since the jeep had no damage but the grill on his truck was pushed in I waved him off and drove on.  No point on calling the LAPD for this type of incident; they take forever to show up for a shooting so they don't even come for a vehicle accident.