Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth!

Some random thoughts as I celebrate a fairly quiet Independence Day:
  • It's been a tradition for the past three years for me to go see the fireworks down the street at Firewheel, but my injury is keeping me from seeing fireworks of any kind, unless a neighbor shoots some out of their yard. But even if I were more mobile, I'd have to do my 'works watching somewhere else, as the city decided it didn't have the funds to put on even one day of a "Star-Spangled Fourth" this year. I knew that the fireworks were some sort of joint venture between the city and the town center, and while Firewheel is doing several things for the Fourth this year, fireworks are not among them. So here's hoping that, by this time next year, both my knee and the city budget are significantly better.

  • Of course, you can always make your own fireworks display if you want. (I"ve been linking to this little java app for years, and I'm always glad to see it every time.)

  • Ten years ago today, I was standing atop Rochers-de-Naye in Switzerland, while on a trip to the Montreux Jazz Festival. I was wearing one of those Old Navy flag T-shirts at the time, and that tradition continues unabated to this day (and unlike last year, I planned ahead and got one well in advance). I still get a kick out of thinking about all the schoolkids back in '99 who, when they found out I was spending my first Fourth out of the country that summer, asked me if "they have the Fourth of July in Switzerland." Their calendars, I'm happy to report, don't exactly skip from 3 to 5 or anything...

  • I'm not the only one sticking close to home tonight; according to the Dallas Morning News, a lot of people in the DFW area are "staycationing" this year.

  • Also from the DMN, a video profile of a local family, the Matzkes of McKinney, who operate several area fireworks stands. One of the things I found most interesting is that they also run Christmas tree stands at that time of year, and they're planning to try Halloween pumpkins as well. Entrepreneurship is definitely something that makes America great. (More on the Matzkes here.)

  • There are a lot of people out there today who love their country but are extremely frustrated with their government. Instapundit has a roundup of pictures from Tea Parties across the country. (If I were mobile, I might well go to the one up the road at Southfork, updating on Twitter all the while. Maybe next time...)
    UPDATE: Further scrolling finds an the one in Rowlett held yesterday. I probably would have gone to that one, too.

  • Amidst all the pageantry, it's easy to forget why this day is being celebrated. Scott Ott of Scrappleface may be a master of satire, but he slides into serious mode to do an eloquent reading of the Declaration of Independence; listen here. As he says on the linked page, "Let the children hear this daring Declaration. Refresh yourself with its boldness. Recommit today to its principles. Remember your heritage. Live the freedom."
May we all live that freedom on this day. Have a great one!

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