Tall ships are just around the corner!

It looks like Kenosha’s 4th of July Festivities were a huge success this year. No major incidents or accidents, 200 fireworks calls–but those were normal for the holiday though, and no major problems reported at the fireworks, which reportedly attracted 19,000-20,000 people to the lakefront to watch. Just like our little home-based event, everything went off without a hitch for the most part. It’s actually a relief to see something nice reported on the front of the newspaper for a change.

I regret missing the Patriotic Pooch contest though–that would have made for some pretty cool photos for the site I think. And if Kevin were able to ride his bike well enough, we would have even participated in the Kids Bike Decorating Contest and Parade that they had. He’s just not to that point yet, but we’re working on it. Hopefully he’ll be good to go for next year’s event. We’ll keep him “in training” for it until then. And if we could just get Socks to keep a stars and stripes top hat and coat on for a few minutes he’d certainly win the Patriotic Pooch Contest walking around like that on two legs! The Tall Ships Festival will be here next month! (August 4th-8th) So we’re anxiously awaiting another good time.

In other news, Louie got a very perty new toy to play with! I was going to post the photos on my site, but since Pam did it already, I’ll just point you over there, since it’s their new toy anyway. There are very few RumbleBees made, and each one is individually serialized, as you’ll see in the photos. They also cost a pretty penny more than the “simple” Ram 1500 that they’re based on, based on the info on DaimlerChrysler’s website. Zoom zoom. Whoops, wrong vehicle ad… Gotta Hemi?

Independence Day 2004

We hope everyone had a great and safe 4th of July! WE certainly did, and all without leaving the house. We had a small assortment of fireworks I picked up from Extreme Fireworks on I-94. It’s a great fireworks store with a nice buy-one-get-one-free deal every day. I only spent $20 on the fireworks, and it was still way more than we could do in an evening ourselves. We ended up giving some away to the neighbors after we were thoroughly exhausted ourselves, and we still have a ton of bottle rockets, Yellow Rose Texas Rockets, and Snaps left over! We especially enjoyed the colored torches–they’re just like sparklers, only they come in various colors like red, blue and green, and they look closer to road flares than sparkers. They burn pretty much the same though, and Kevin had a blast with them. I got a few nice shots of everyone enjoying themselves, so take a peek if you want.

We didn’t want to bother with all of the traffic and hassle of the big show at the lakefront, so we stayed home and had our own little show here. As it turned out, watching all of the neighbors shoot their fireworks off turned out to be very exciting anyway! We were surprised by how many there actually were, and they were going off in all directions from our house, so we were never sure where to look next. We had some minor ground spinners, a couple of parachutes, sparklers and torches, but a few of our neighbors seemed to have the real deal–they sounded like cannons going off, and then there would be a full bloom or several blooms above the houses. Really neat.

Oh, and don’t forget the Fireworks For Fun link in my links list if you’d like to play around on the computer with your own fireworks.

Yard work and steaks

I spent a few hours working on the yard yesterday evening. I know, that doesn’t sound like me, and you’re right, it’s not. But I needed some time away from the technology, even if only for a few hours. So I grabbed my laptop and portable police scanner and headed out back… Just kidding… No laptop, no scanner, just me and the weeds (and two obnoxious Chihuahuas trying to bark a Briggs & Stratton lawn mower into giving up).

The yard was a bit out of hand. I realized this the other day when I came home from work and found some weeds over 3 feet tall crawling up the side of the house! I swear they popped up overnight, I hadn’t even noticed them before this, and I walk just inches from where they were growing every time I come and go from the house. I managed to rip most of them out by the roots, but some broke off, so I know they’ll be back soon. Time for a chemistry experiment I guess.

I mowed the lawn, then pulled weeds for awhile, and cleaned the back yard. Kevin helped out too, which was nice. After that, we practiced riding his bike for a bit. He seems to be underdeveloped in this area. He’s 6 years old and can’t ride yet. I don’t think he really “gets” it yet, and he’s still trying to grasp the whole pedaling and balancing concepts. But I explained how much more we’ll be able to do–ride to stores and buy toys, ride to McDonalds, ride to the park, and all over the place–and that seemed to help him put forth more effort. He asked if he could get a bag or basket for his bike to hold the stuff we buy, and I explained that first we need to learn to ride, then we’ll work on that stuff.

While I worked in the yard, Sandy cooked an awesome steak dinner on the grill. I can’t remember the kind of steak she said it was (it’s the CRS kicking in again, I’m afraid), but it had string wrapped around it. It was awesome though, very good steak! She also cooked me up an awesome “garbage plate” for a breakfast over the weekend. I told her to write down the recipe because it was very good, but she said she just threw some things together, and didn’t really remember. (she’s probably picking up my CRS through osmosis)

Anyway, I work with all sorts of weird and hazardous chemicals at work all day, and I’ve spilled my share on my hands and have had to scrub them off several times a day. They always look clean when I’m done though. But after working in the yard pulling weeds last night, I can STILL see black dirt embedded in areas of my palms and fingers! How can simple dirt possibly be harder to clean off than the chemicals and indicators from work?!? I was certain that an Iodine stain would be more stubborn to come off than our backyard dirt… I guess I was wrong. Even after all my testing and washing several times at work today I can still see the dirt. That’ll teach me. I’d better stick to repairing and building computers, it’s a lot less damaging to the body parts.

Tombstone

Well, today we went on a Wild West Adventure! We went to Tombstone! We had a great time! Tons of little shops and still some of the original Saloons! We even had a famous Bloody Mary at the Crystal Palace! That was where the “Cowboys” and the Earp’s had many encouters. It was right across the street from the Oriental Saloon (the Earps were partial owners of the saloon). We saw a reinactment of the famous O.K. Corral gunfight (the video is in the pictures)! It was alot of fun and very interesting. Boot Hill (the famous graveyard of Tombstone) was also another infamous spot to see. If anyone wants to see more, we have the map of the town and a book on Boot Hill. Just let us know.