Thursday, October 30, 2014

Goodbye Roscoe

Roscoe took his last walk today with the Missus and Young Son before passing away peacefully while laying in the backyard with Young Son by his side.  Roscoe was a loyal friend, steadfast hiking partner, and champion agility competitor.  We called him the fun police because of his insistence that all dogs and humans be safe when running around in the yard.  He would show his concern by barking and trying to get everyone to slow down and be careful.

Roscoe loved to go on walks and hikes in the mountains.  He walked with me in the hills the day my father passed away as I sought comfort with Roscoe and Molly by hiking and thinking about my times with my Dad.   Today I walked with Roscoe on the day of his passing as I carried his limp body wrapped in a wool Army blanket to his final rest.

We will all remember Roscoe with great love and sadness at his passing.  

He will be forever young in dog heaven.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Spending the evening with "The Adventures of Robin Hood"

As a kid I watched episodes of "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and enjoyed it immensely.  A while ago I found the entire 4 seasons of the show on DVD at our local used book store and snapped it up for a pauper's price of $10.

The quality of the video image transfer is somewhat poor but the fun is still there and many buckles are swashed during just about every 30 minute episode.  It is all that I remembered and more!

Maid Marion is a toothsome damsel and Robin Hood a man of good humor and a steady aim with his bow.  A great way to spend a Saturday evening with the Missus still gone at her Fright Fest job.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gone Girl - the movie

The Missus is still working Friday nights and weekends so I took myself to the movies and saw "Gone Girl".  I read the book and thought it was down-right chilling and the movie was equally so.  It was true to the book so no surprises for me but it was done well and done right.  At the end of the movie the audience filed out quietly, pretty much stunned by the ending.  It was a bit too heavy for some I think.

It was sad and scary and though provoking.

Not a movie to take your date to see for sure!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Grouch Goes East - Part VII: A visit to the U.S.S. North Carolina

The last part of the Grouch's trip to the eastern seaboard ends with a visit to my brother and his wife in Wilmington N.C.   They live downtown in a genuine historic house that is big, beautiful, and full of southern charm.  We were there to visit with them and then to go to another family reunion, this time at the beach north of Wilmington.

I couldn't visit Wilmington without touring the battleship U.S.S. North Carolina, so I made some time to do just that!

Most of the ship is open to tour, from the bridge to the engine room.  It was hot inside in the July heat, but that was to be expected.  Be sure to allow at least 3 hours to see everything.

The Missus with my brother and sister in law on the waterfront at Wilmington

The Missus looking beautiful and charming as always!

The North Carolina, known as Showboat, nicknamed that by Walter Winchell.  

The ship is just too large to fit it all into my camera frame
Those are some big guns!  16" to be exact

Down below one of the 16" gun turrets

Looking down into the powder hoist
Looking up at the base of the turret

A sign that all of the sailors were sure to be interested in!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Musical interlude - The Lady of Shalott

Alright Grouch fans, time for some classical education and a beautiful song.  This song was my introduction to Loreena McKennett, a Canadian songstress with a Celtic flavor.  I first heard her being interviewed on NPR radio when I was driving to work at least 20 years ago.  After she was interviewed they played this song and I was hooked.

I hope you like it as well.  "The Lady of Shalott" written by Alfred Lord Tennyson and put to music and sung by Loreena McKennett

Lone Survivor - the movie

The Missus and Young Son are at their annual Fright Fest employment every weekend this month and I am on my own.  After dinner I rented "Lone Survivor" on pay-per-view.

 When it was in the theaters the Missus did not want to see it.  She said it was like "Titanic" and other movies made about a real life situation with a sad ending: you can't change what happened and it is too sad to watch.

The movie details a mission by Navy SEALS to capture or kill a senior Taliban officer.  The mission goes awry when the SEALS are discovered by Afghan goat herders.  The subsequent battle cost the lives of numerous Navy and Army personnel. The movie is factual in its overall content but of course it is a movie so some things may have been dramatized for effect.

The movie shows each wound and each traumatic injury suffered by the SEALS in the ridiculously steep and rugged Afghan terrain in vivid and excruciating detail.  The suspense, despite knowing how it ends, was agonizing and seeing each Sailor give his all for his teammates was heartbreaking.  Each American's death was not just his but like ripples in a pond, would wash outwards to strike sweethearts, wives, children, parents, siblings.

I am glad that I didn't see it in the theater or with the Missus at home because I had tears running down my face at the end of the movie.  I would have embarrassed myself.   Where we find such brave men and women who do so much for a mostly unappreciative country is beyond my understanding.

Everyone in this country should see this movie to see to what extremes we put our servicemen and women to.  Many won't, but they should.

If you are brave enough and want to see what they do for us, then see this movie.

"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men (and women) stand ready to do violence on their behalf"  George Orwell