Sunday, September 25, 2016

Lemons for some, lemonade for someone else

So, awhile ago I was suddently courious to learn what the silver coins were worth that are stuffed in our safety deposit box.  I got them out of the box and took them to the local coin shop to learn that most weren't worth a whole lot but some were worth more than I expected.

I took the coins back to the bank, put them back in the box and went on my merry way to do errands all over town.

By the time I got home the safety deposit box keys were gone.  They fell out of my pocket at one of my stops.

I retraced my steps, no sign of the keys.  I spoke to each merchant, no one had turned over the keys to them.  I check back again a week later and checked the local sheriff's office, no keys.

Drilling out the key slots would cost us $150 but fortunately for me (if there can be a fortunately) I had recently sold some of my hobby excess stuff and had the funds.

The Missus made the appointment and on the set day showed up to have the box drilled open.   She felt that something wasn't right but the bank assured her that the box they were opening was her's.  It wasn't.

When the Missus opened the box and saw strange jewelry and a birth certificate from Cambodia she instantly knew one of two things was happening:  her husband's affair with another woman had just been revealed (the stuff of a chick-flick!) or this wasn't our box.  Fortunately it was the latter.

The bank proceeded to drill open the correct box and hand the Missus the new set of keys.

She saw the bank manager the other day and asked what the reaction was from the people whose box was accidentally drilled open.   The manage told her that they were ecstatic because they too had lost their keys awhile ago and couldn't get into their box and suddenly the bank gave them new keys for free!

Lemons for us, lemonade for them! 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Off Road Trip on Bundu Trek

Please visit Bundu Trek for the latest off road trip.

Visiting "Planes of Fame" museum

Older Son visited us starting over the Labor Day weekend, along with his GF.  He was able to set aside some father-son time so we took a day to drive out to Chino to visit the Planes of Fame museum.

We had visited this museum sometime in the early 90s along with my father.  I didn't remember much of the museum from that trip except that I remember that I was impressed with it then.

The museum is especially interesting, not only because of the rare aircraft in the collection but also because many of them are flown, something almost unheard of these days.

The museum was well worth the 1.5 hour drive from Grouch estates and Older Son professed to find it very interesting.

The museum has one of only two remaining inter-war P-26 'Peashooter' Boeing fighters left in the world.  A revolutionary aircraft when it was developed, it was outmoded in only 5 years or so.  It went on to see combat (briefly) in the opening days of WW2 where it only served to run up the kill scores of some Japanese fighter pilots.

And here is the other, at the Air and Space museum.  We saw it when we visited in 2014

A Vietnam war era O-1 'Bird Dog ' forward air controller (left) and a P-35 fighter from the late 30's that also was meat on the table for the Japanese.  The P-35 is probably the only one left in existence.  The drip pans on the floor are a sign that the planes are flown as engines all leak oil.

One of my favorite WW2 fighters, the Bell P-39 Airacobra.  A cannon armed bomber interceptor that never lived up to its hype but did hold the line against the Japanese in 42-43 and helped stop them at Guadalcanal and New Guinea.
Love the name on this P-51!

A Lockheed Constellation and used by Douglas MacArthur.  It is sitting in a no-go area but they made the mistake of leaving the gate open and when I expressed disappointment that we couldn't go see it, Older Son lead the way.  He gets his rule-breaking from his mother.

The aircraft name, alluding to MacArthur's early wartime service in WW2.

Another very rare WW2 aircraft, a P-51A Mustang as used by the UK in Europe and by the U.S. in the CBI theater by the 'Air Commandos'.  This must be one of very few still in existence.  It is being restored for flight.

A technology demonstrator for the YB-35 Flying wing, to prove that the concept would actually work.  This one was restored by the museum and is flown.

A Korean war era F-86 being restored to flight.

Nose art on a B-25 used for movie filming after WW2

Now this is what speaks to me!  An M4 WW2 tank

A Cold War era M114 recon track and a WW2 M3 halftrack

The aircraft sitting outside are unfortunately deteriorating in the blistering desert sun.  A Grumman F7F Tigercat.

A WW2 German BF109 that was shot down over Russia during WW2 and recently recovered.  It will be eventually restored.

Older Son contemplates the strength of the F100 that could take this damage and return to base.  This type of plane was heavily used during VN as a ground attack aircraft and recon plane.

One of my BiLs flew F100s in VN so hopefully he'll enjoy this picture.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Goodbye Poldark!

I finished the twelfth and last Poldark book last night.  When I read book eleven it said that it was the last book but the author managed to write one more before he passed away.

I looked forward to each book as I finished the previous one.  One or two were a bit slow and were obvious bridges to the next big thing in the saga but all were very worth while reading.  I would regale the Missus with the latest Poldark update on our nightly walks until she told me 'no more Poldark'.

I am sad that the series is over.  Obviously 12 books is enough and the story has to end sometime but couldn't we have just one more?  I grew to know the characters and the author would introduce another memorable person every couple of books who would become integral to the story line.  Winston Graham was a fantastic story teller and his historical detail was great.  His detailing of Waterloo made the battle real as seen from the company commander's viewpoint for example.

I hope someone that I know will take up the series so we can discuss them sometime.

As an aside, I was able to source all of the books from our two library systems.  Once again I say that a well stocked and well run library system is the best example of a progressive (and I don't mean that in the political sense) society.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Star Trek Opera redux

Yesterday we attended the Star Trek opera aka "The Abduction from the Seraglio"  at the John Anson Ford theater.

The Ford theater is an outdoor venue and across the freeway from the Hollywood bowl.  This was a first-time visit for us to the Ford theater.  It was recently renovated and is in a beautiful setting.  It seats only about 1,200 so it isn't a huge facility like the Hollywood bowl.

Regular readers of Citizen Grouch may remember that we attended the same opera with the same performers at a different venue a couple of years ago:

It was so much fun that when we heard that the Pacific Opera Company was taking the show big-time we had to go again.  The one night only performance was completely sold out and the crowd (and us) had a great time!

We went with three friends to Hollywood before the performance to an excellent Italian restaurant for dinner:

Miceli's doesn't look like much from outside but inside the food is great, the service fast, and you even get a singing waiter!  Highly recommended.

We caught a shuttle near the restaurant to the Ford theater.  Hollywood  was crowded when we left and twice so when we returned.  What were all those people doing out at 11 p.m.?  Looks like Hollywood is club central for the young set now.

Most of our group getting a picture with some of the cast

The lead could really sing and he was a ham of the first order

The alien slave girl chorus

Surely you Trekkies recognize these folks!

The Klingon chorus!

The happy ending.  The cast were excellent singers and could get lots of laughs too.