A window into the life of a professional geek, wife and mother (and nonni), stitcher/designer, bibliophile, old-school gamer, and whatever other roles she finds herself in.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Ah, the pleasures of a nice long weekend. I took Friday off to stay home with DD, and we had Monday off for Independence Day. DsS came over on Saturday, and with gaming buddy J we played LotRisk, which is always a lot of fun. We did Team Play, which we don't often do, with DsS and I as Evil vs J and DH as Good. As Evil, we got our collective orcish hindquarters kicked, but actually managed to pull out a win because we found the One Ring right before it went into Mount Doom. (I am your father, Frodo...give in to the Dark Side...)

Monday was, of course, Independence Day, and that means....fireworks!

Early in the afternoon, DD wanted to do some 'snakes' - little pellets that form snakes of ash when they burn. I personally find them a bit cheesy, but she loves them. I put foil on a cookie sheet, and lit the pellets on that so I didn't scorch my driveway (or pool deck).
In the evening I watched the Capitol Fourth presentation on PBS of the concert and fireworks in DC. The concert (and coverage) were quite excellent, with a variety of music including The Beach Boys, the O'Jays, and Gloria Estefan. It was nice to see the more classic performers instead of only the Pop Tart of the Month. Then there were fireworks around the Washington Monument, and the National Symphony did Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture", with cannon, which is a piece I definitely look forward to every year. Interesting, though, how a song about Napoleon's ill-fated invasion of Russia has become such a staple of American festivities.
Overall, the DC fireworks were pretty good, the concert was awesome, and the coverage by PBS was quite well done.

After watching the DC show, we went outside and did a few fireworks of our own. There are several fireworks wholesalers within two miles of my house, but I only bought the stuff that's actually legal in Florida. (Technically anything that flies and goes boom (ie bottle rockets, roman candles, mortars, etc..) is illegal, but exceptions can be made for 'agricultural purposes' (ie frightening birds), and it's this loophole that keeps the wholesalers in business. There was quite a bit of 'agricultural' work going on around our neighborhood!) Ah, but back to my humble stash.. I had a few sparking fountains, and some ground-blooms to do. We took the aforementioned cookie sheet and set fountains on that, which worked pretty well - my driveway cleaned up quite easily afterward. The cookie sheet itself, however, did not fare quite so well...one of the fountains was a rectangular block and it wasn't quite obvious which side went up. So it got set off upside-down by accident. It still looked pretty cool, but it succeeded in burning through the foil and tarnishing the heretofore indestructible cookie sheet. We only did a few fountains, and I did my requisite blue sparkler. DD watched from inside - the 'agricultural work' being done around the neighborhood bothered her.

Once inside, it was time for CBS's coverage of Pops Goes the Fourth. Some of you may remember my rant last year about CBS's abysmal coverage of the Boston show, and I was expecting another such fiasco, but I wanted to try anyway because I the Boston Pops. And I must confess that I was pleasantly surprised! It still wasn't anywhere near as wonderful as when A&E covered the Pops, but CBS obviously learned something from last year. No 1812, alas, but we did get the whole patriotic singalong and "Stars and Stripes Forever". And wonder of wonders, they covered the fireworks commercial-free! Granted, I could have done without the need to cut to crowd shots, but at least we got to see pretty much the whole show. Boston has some of the best pyrochoreography, and the newest fireworks, including shells that burst into smiley-faces, of all things! Wonderful stuff. One of these days I'd love to see the Boston show live.

I'd just have to get over that whole 'fear of crowds' thing...

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