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July 4, 2007

Fourth of July
Posted by Patrick at 12:19 PM * 28 comments

Off to the traditional festivities! Take care of yourselves and blow something up.

(Whisperado, live on August 23, 2005, at Kenny’s Castaways, NYC. “Fourth of July” written by Dave Alvin. If your browser doesn’t show you a little player widget above this paragraph, go here instead.)

Comments on Fourth of July:
#1 ::: Joe McMahon ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 07:23 PM:

I will be thinking a lot more about the real meaning of the Fourth of July this year than in many previous.

Not so much YAY US this year for me.

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 08:53 PM:

I usually drive down to the Bay Area for the 4th, but this year friends and family down there were away or busy.

So I went to see a stupid summer movie ("Transformers" . . . a lot of fun, honest!) and walked the dog early so she could do her business before the firework noises drove her into the closet.

In a few minutes I'm frying up a Hebrew National, putting sheets over the windows (hot and blazingly sunny in Portland) and starting a LOTR movie marathon. The apartment below is empty so I can run my subwoofer for a change.

And at 10pm or so I'm setting off $50 or so worth of fireworks with the neighbors.

#3 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 08:55 PM:

No celebration here -- I can't find any reason to celebrate our independence. The king even has the same name.

#4 ::: O.G.N ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 09:01 PM:

I must say I'm touched that you hard working republicans over there makes such a fuss over the queen's birthday :-)

Seriously, happy Fourth of July America.

#5 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 09:12 PM:

I took some pictures of my fireworks stash. This should all go up tonight:


This is all legal stuff. You can buy it from stands set up in supermarket parking lots. There isn't anything that flies into the air or explodes, but still . . . there's more eye candy here than I had in my entire childhood.

One piece deserves it's own picture. I bought it because the title is just so damn inept:

Puppy Love

Yes, it's decorated with pictures of happy dogs. Dogs from some planet where dogs are not reduced to quivering, eye-rolling, carpet-soiling wrecks by the sound of a single lady finger going off.

#6 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 09:29 PM:

Our city's fireworks are going off now -- I just went out and watched for a while. I could even smell the powder. I guess the thunderstorms didn't keep them off!

#7 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 09:30 PM:

My beloved and I spent the afternoon hanging pictures and other things. Now I've got a map of the West Indies to one side of me, and Gentile Bellini's portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror on the other (which means, inter alia, that I've got Grand Turks facing each other), and I can look up every morning and see reproductions of both La Grande Jatte and Bathers at Asnières, while she gets to look at two reproductions of van Gogh, and we both get to admire a Spanish princess above the laundry basket....

#8 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 10:37 PM:

This morning I played the 1812 Overture (Telarc version) while visiting friends.

I spent the afternoon, most of it, making a flag with a skull and crossbones on it - the bones cross behind the skull on this one. It isn't quite finished yet, but almost.

(Technical talk: two layers of a black polyester silk-like fabric, with one of white nylon organza between them. Reverse applique intended, resulting in see-through skull and bones. Freehand drawing and sewing, and anyone trying this should use a hoop or fabric stabilizer. The silky stuff is slippery and not easy to handle. But the result is nicely drapey.)

#9 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2007, 11:28 PM:

Listened to Bach all morning, cleaned the living daylights out of my apartment all afternoon (more contemporary music for that), watched Elvis movies all evening. The usual Fourth for me. Git yer stinkin' cookouts and fireworks and patriotism away from me!

#10 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 01:07 AM:

Hope Teresa got to blow some things up! Danny and I were reminiscing over explosions past. We went to see Live Free or Die Hard today, as our nod to explosions. Then The American President at home, with the booms of fireworks over the bay echoing in the background.

Happy 4th.

#11 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 04:50 AM:

Stefan (#5)

They really do pick some strange names. One in
the UK was "Blue Ass Flies", complete with
illustration of an apparently rocket-propelled

I think that was a product of "Men Shun"
fireworks.... anyone with any sense would shun
that particular brand, as they were utterly penc.


#12 ::: Avedon ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 07:09 AM:

The trouble with that little widget is that it slows down the page load. I'd stick it on a separate page with a link to it, or "below the jump", so that it's not on the main page.

#13 ::: Avedon ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 07:10 AM:

The trouble with that little widget is that it slows down the page load. I'd stick it on a separate page with a link to it, or "below the jump", so that it's not on the main page.

#14 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 11:04 AM:

As our contribution to celebrating US National Day, Sydney is hosting around 7,000 American Naval personnel until Tuesday. They arrived today with the USS Kittyhawk & her carrier Battle Group, cruising into Sydney Harbour — sound & slides; news story pages with links to video, webcams, etc. — after engaging in Exercise Talisman Sabre/Saber 2007 off northern Australia with the Royal Australian Navy

#15 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 01:16 PM:

We grilled hamburgers, and discovered that the gas bottle had finally gone empty after 2+ years, just as we were melting the cheese.

It had been raining off and on all day, and we dithered about going out and seeing the fireworks until we left it too late. Watching it on TV with a bunch of not-quite amateurs from a local all-news channel is not the best way to see it.

#16 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 02:00 PM:

On our second or third day over 100 degrees (not all that common here in central AZ, a mile up), I watched more Wimbledon tennis in-between their rainstorms. In the evening, I caught most of the NYC fireworks on TV -- wow, that was some serious extravagance! -- then went out to the little parking lot beside our Gulch to watch the local show. More modest, but still more creative than the fireworks when I was a kid, and live viewing is still the only way I can see anything in 3D, more or less HD.

The cat wasn't happy about the booms, but he didn't freak out totally. What bothered him more was the calendar that kept falling off the kitchen wall -- in what *seemed* like the work of poltergeists but was probably some function of the day's high heat interacting with the twister I'd used to attach it.

So for me it was a typical Fourth of watching soggy but interestng tennis, then a sparkly, noisy bit of night.

#17 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 02:09 PM:

I had no fun. I went to the gym and back. I went to the corner store to buy some heavy cream.

Other than that, I didn't go out. I spent the bulk of the day surfing the web, a complete waste of time as it turned out.

#18 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 08:03 PM:

As our contribution to the US National Day celebrations, Sydney is hosting around 7,000 US Navy personnel until Tuesday. They arrived today with the USS Kittyhawk & her carrier Battle Group, cruising into Sydney Harbour — sound & slides; news story pages with links to video, webcams, etc. — after engaging in Exercise Talisman Sabre/Saber 2007 off northern Australia with the Royal Australian Navy.

Oops, this is a bit late now, I crashed & slept right through a night, a happy but rarish occurrence. Xopher (@16); had hols like that. Sometimes it's a precious gift to have peace & simplicity for a day, even without extra 'fun'.

You might have fun with food or film (or philosophie?) for Bastille Day, coming up soon. (I did have maple syrup for Canada's day, & also wore my fuzzy tartan scarf, in honour of Tartan Day, out to the ABC 75th Anniversary celebrations on the First of July)

#19 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 08:44 PM:

A (late, as I always am) happy Fourth of July to all.

[Insert expletive of choice] I miss this place. The high concentration of active brain cells (and I'm not even talking depth and width of connections) could make a zombie write verse fanfic about Chopin's dreams structurally based on Mendeleïv's periodic table. And it would be utterly brilliant and enjoyable too (yes, I do know flattery will lead me nowhere else), sporting a tatami as main protagonist, some citrus, and an OST lovingly crafted by The Future Sound of London and Tim Buckley's ghost.
Not to mention the complete blueprint of a molecular disassembler juice making machine inserted for hard-tech fans' sake.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who misread "If your browser doesn’t show you a little player midget above this paragraph, go here instead".
At least I hope so.

#20 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 09:13 PM:

Hi there, MD^2...I was just thinking the other day it'd been a while since I'd seen you here.

#21 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2007, 09:35 PM:


I guess you missed the LOLcatz (the Iliad in Lolcat - only on ML), the new verses for 'Old Time Religion', ... . I'm still wondering what Mike would have done with the 'pygmy giant pandas' in the news recently.

#22 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2007, 12:52 AM:

In the afternoon, with the horses, a pair of F-16's went by, in close trail.

I had a flashback to Kuwait, (it might have been the drop tanks).

They headed over Griffith Park, hit the notch in the hills, pulled up, rolled right and ran along the ridgeline.

Later went and saw the show 20th Centry Fox put on.

Day before I worked a show in Altadena; 220, or so, shells lobbed to make pretty lights and healthy booms.

Was ok, apart from the flashback.

#23 ::: Camilla ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2007, 02:04 PM:

Off topic, but I thought you might enjoy this meme that's been going around LiveJOurnal...

My Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom is:
Ron Weasley is turned into an ice cream cone by Voldemort in a passage written by Salman Rushdie
Get your Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom

#25 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2007, 05:08 PM:

ethan @ 23

I don't know if it's spam, but it is weird.

Besides, if Voldemort turned someone into an ice cream cone, he'd either eat it or let the ice cream melt.

#26 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2007, 05:56 PM:

Wow ! Not only am I remembered, I've even been tought about.

I... I'm touched.

Glad to see things haven't changed a all: second thread scanned and, already, a complete, interesting derailing.

@ P J Evans: thanks for the heads up, need to look for that. As for what Mr. Ford would have done with "pygmy giant pandas", I vote it would have involved cinnamon.
And a whole bunch of Mongolian ophthalmologists.

(Upon re-reading: No irony was used in the making of this post. I really am touched. I mean, this is the internet. I thought I would have been long relegated to nothingness.)

Edit: not sure it's spam myself. If it is, it's one of the most creative I've seen.

#27 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2007, 07:13 PM:

Ethan & PJ, did you see the edress she put under her name? Clearly spam.

#28 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2007, 12:35 AM:

I think it's comment spam. It's that poster's first contact with ML, and, as such, a particularly inauspicious way to say hello to our community. I did some digging, and all of the email addresses I could find used pseudorandom generated account names.

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