Friday, December 18, 2015

The Force Was With Us!

Young Son arranged for tickets for opening night of the new Star Wars movie for the L.A. based family.  Unfortunately Young Daughter was unable to make the show, so a friend of YS was more than happy to sub for YD.

The Missus arrived at the theater plex two and a half hours early and much to her delight was allowed into the theater to claim seats after only standing in line for half an hour.  The Grouch joined her by 5:30 and Young Son and friend by 6 p.m.

Anticipation mounted as the theater filled and by the scheduled start time of 7 p.m. the crowd was ready - when the theater lights dimmed a roar broke out from the assembled fans.

I'm not going to spoil the movie for my readers by revealing anything but I will say that it was a fun time and a great movie.  I well remember seeing the first movie in 1977 in Monroeville, Pa. and leaving the theater thinking 'wow'.  I was blown away by the experience.

I hope that some youngster seeing the current Star Wars movie will have the same experience and leave the theater thinking 'wow!'

I will comment that the new movie shows how far society has come in 30 some years.  The first movie had one female character of note and she was royalty.  I can't recall any other humans who weren't Caucasian and male.  Today's movie has main characters who are female and non white male but even more telling, female fighter pilots and even female bad guys -err- bad girls.  Some of the spear carriers in the background are also women and non white.  It's a good thing because our movies should reflect our evolving society.

Try it, you'll like it!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Grouches visit the Nethercutt Collection (at least part of it)

Recently a co-worker mentioned to me that he had tickets to attend an organ concert at the Nethercutt collection.  I had heard that the collection existed not too far from our happy little valley but I had never really looked into visiting it.  

When I expressed interest in the organ concert, my co-worker called the ticket office and got me on the waiting list for tickets and luckily for us, we got four tickets for a Friday show!

The Nethercutt collection is owned by the family behind Merle Norman cosmetics and as we were told the evening of the concert, the family wishes to give back to the country for all of the support their customers have given to them.  The collection is completely free and nothing is roped off. 

It consists of two buildings, one with the automotive collection, the other with more automobiles and a Wurlitzer theater pipe organ and a collection of mechanical musical machines.

The stand alone car collection was closed but we did get the chance to linger over the amazing cars in the music building before and after the concert.

I found the mechanical music machines to be fascinating.  In fact the whole thing was fascinating!  We were so very fortunate to have the chance to hear the organ play and to see the collection.

Many years ago when we lived in Grand Rapids MI a local pizza parlor had an identical Wurlitzer organ that they played in conjunction with silents movie screenings.  We loved attending the shows and hearing the wonderful organ music backing up the movie.

Young Son in front of his all time favorite car

The basement of the Music building

All of the cars in the collection run, and they are periodically taken out for a drive in the neighborhood

Looking down to the first floor from the music level

One of the many mechanical music machines that work and were run for us that evening

This one was the best: the circular device spun and the violins would move forward at the proper time to create the notes.  The circular device is the bow.  The machine is German from 1910 and is completely vacuum operated and works perfectly!

The happy attendees.  The Misus and friend were constantly mistaken for sisters throughout the weekend by various people
The organ controls

Half of the pipes for the organ

The Grouch at the end of an exciting evening.  Let's do it again!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015