Fourth of July in a Small Town

I have lived in my little town for several years now and although I was aware that we had a parade on significant holidays, I never attended any. This year I resolved to attend the 4th of July parade and I’m glad I did.

It was not a fancy parade, with shiny, big bands and Hollywood celebrities – no, it was just a slice of Americana in it’s most humble attire. Flags of course were everywhere and a few thousand of us (which would be most of the town) lined Foothill Boulevard to watch the official kickoff of the celebration under the hot July sun.

I found a perch outside the local Starbuck’s, ready with travel-mugged coffee and a bottle of icy water. Camera in hand and really feeling like a little kid, excited and proud.

The crowd donned all manner of headgear, carried mundane and imaginative seat options and vendors pushed carts filled with cotton candy, popcorn, ice cream and cold drinks.

I ended up taking almost two hundred pictures, so into it was I that I hardly knew which pictures to share. But after much deliberation I chose about 20 that should tell you how the parade proceeded:









Now, I don’t know about you or your town and whether you have a parade for the 4th but I have to say it was fun, even getting sprayed by the water truck was a hoot and I most decidedly felt proud to be an American afterward. We are a unique country and unique people who by and large are proud of their hard-fought heritage and parades are a fun and cheery way of showing it. Now there are studies that say if you attend such parades you run the risk of growing up a Republican – oooh, now that’s scary isn’t it? Puleez – on this day of all days we are simply Americans, one and all and celebrating the birth of our wonderful nation.

God Bless and Happy 4th –

I’m heading home to fire up the barbie.


Copyright 2011

National Thank You Day

Heads up! My dear friend Kelly who had a serious car accident a couple of years ago (you may remember her from this post) has started a movement called National Thank You Day.  The day is meant to honor first responders and to say thank you in whatever way you would like to those individuals who serve the public by responding to often dire situations – firefighters, paramedics, police officers, emergency room nurses and doctors, etc.  And it seems to be really catching on and on.

So get on over to BigTimeThanks and check it out.  You may find there is someone you want to give some big time thanks to yourself.

And this is just for you Kelly:

I put on purple socks today
which made me think of you
I walked them out into the day
and wished the sky to blue

I bought a box of chocolates
and ate them in your stead
I called up God and placed my bets
then uttered prayers in bed

I forced myself to belly laugh
and make it very loud
and gathered lillies along the path
to chase away your clouds

I tried to do the many things
that inform the world of you
in deepest hope that angel’s wings
will fly us back to true

Reaction or Response?

On Sunday night when normal programming was interrupted to await an important announcement from the president I was annoyed.  I am not typically interested in important announcements since they generally don’t seem all that important to me.  However, in this particular case it turned out I was interested.

Bin Laden had been captured and killed.  Color me stunned.  Putting aside all the politicizing and chest thumping by the media and others, I found myself reeling a bit.  Shock, yes. Stunned, yes. Happy? I don’t know.

I immediately went to Drudge to see if I could get any actual information since the newscast likened more of a lovefest for the White House than real information.  Drudge didn’t have a lot but he had some. I read quickly as though if I took my time the information would vanish and I would discover it was not real. I tweeted, facebooked and posted a quick post. I wanted people to know right now, as if hesitating would make the knowledge untrue.  Apparently others had the same idea – as I read somewhere that people were tweeting at the rate of 3,000 per three seconds. Yes, you read that right.

What I found especially notable for me at least were my feelings the next day -yesterday.  First thing, I hit the news sites and tried to learn what I could of what had happened. I spent the entire day listening to talk radio – again hungry for information – maybe even a little proof.  The thing that was odd for me was that rather than feeling celebratory I felt weepy. As though this end of a long vigil were not a happy moment but a sad one. Because it brought back the day that started it all. Brought back the helpless feelings of watching fellow Americans being killed.  Brought back the subsequent days of endless searches among the rubble.  Brought back the beginning of the change of the American way of life.

I cried a lot. I felt angry a lot. Yes, it was a good day for America because justice had been served – but I also knew it was not the end – just the end of one mission.  Not to lessen the significance of that action, nor the bravery and expertise it took for our amazing special forces to bring it about – I never could or would do such a thing.  Those dudes are in a phrase, fucking awesome.

We are not out of the dark days yet.  But I feel a little more certain that someday we will be.  I pray that I’m right about that.

But I’m wondering about others – how did you feel when you heard the news? Did you celebrate?  Did you cry? Did you do something else? Did you react or respond? I think I did both, how about you?

copyright 2011

Truth, Justice & the American Way – Meh…Not So Much…

Well it had to happen sooner or later, didn’t it?  SuperMan is officially a one-world-order-global warming-UN loving- drone. I think super heroes everywhere should be shaking their heads and rolling their eyes. Don’t you? I mean seriously what other country would super heroes have come from? Russia, China, Iran? Come on folks, superhero-dom is uniquely American – there is no other government on Earth that would stand for it, is there?

I had to laugh though, that StuporMan decided to make his announcement at the UN – maybe he’s more assured that he won’t get beaned with some rotten tomatoes there? Could be.  Oh well, Stupor Man go and be free and live in the one world order of mediocrity – in fact, take all  your p.c. friends with you – we Americans won’t mind one bit.

Gratitude – Books

This week I feel grateful for books. All kinds of books, text books, fiction, how-to, reference books, ebooks, print books, coloring books…

If you are anything like me then your world has a lot of books in it. Books that sit on shelves and collect dust, books that overflow on the nightstand and on the floor next to your desk. I honestly cannot conceive a world without books. They were my first real connection to the outside world. In fact to worlds that only existed within the covers of books.

Unlike most kids, I always had a long list of books on my Christmas wish list and birthday wish list. I didn’t care about barbie dolls or easy bake ovens, I wanted stories and histories and autobiographies. I wanted books that took me places I couldn’t otherwise go.

Think about the books in your life. Where have they taken you? To outer space, Africa, other planets, parallel universes? To worlds both better and worse. To new points of view? Inside the human body and up to the sky? They certainly have for me.

Most particularly I am grateful for:

Atlas Shrugged.   My most loved book – for no reason and every reason. Because it examines the heights and depths to which man can go. I never tire of reading it. I am never tired of that world.

Stranger in a Strange Land. How do we treat people who are different than us? How can one enlightened and disarming man be for frightening to so many people?

Kay Scarpetta, Alex Cross and Kinsey Millhone – heroes of mysteries I cannot get enough of in the endless quest to solve a puzzle. Oh and Odd Thomas and Garp and, and, and

How about you, what are your favorite books?

copyright 2011

Politics Moving

Hi Kids,
It’s been a while and truth be told I don’t know if any of you are still reading. My bad. Part of the problem is time constraints but mostly the problem is that all I’ve wanted to write about lately is politics. And while some of you enjoy those posts, many don’t. So, I’ve decided to move all my political opinions here. Yup, another blog – just what I need. Anyway, if you’re dying to know what I think of the current political scene feel free to wander on over.

And one more thing, Theme Friday is coming back, this Friday. Stay tuned.


Wisconsin Civility Part II

Well things have certainly progressed in Wisconsin, where ‘peaceful demonstrators’ are trying hard to bring about a win-win for everyone… Yeah, right.  Hot off the press, following is an unedited email sent to all the Republican state senators from a poor besieged worker being repressed by the big bad pubbies:

Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes
will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain
to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it
will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit
that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for
more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.

WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in
the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me
have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that
support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing
with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand
for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many
others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a
nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave
it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the
message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are
now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a
demorcratic process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed
in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t
tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are
not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided
to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s
necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making
them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families
and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you. Please
understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked
everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel
that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives
of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and
say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!

Source of this data comes from here.

So if I am to understand this person’s point of view, it’s he and his apparent 300,000 buddies who have a right to kill because their lifestyles are being threatened – but as for the millions of other Wisconsin residents, not so much?  It’s stuff like this that makes me glad I’m self employed.

Oh by the way, I read recently that the democrat legislators who ran away and hid supposedly on principle actually have been an ulterior motive – they have been working on getting all the republican legislators recalled.  It is also rumored that friends of the White house have been offering assistance in this plan.  So much for principle. Can you say vested interest?  Gotta love politics, especially when it’s for ‘the little people’ doncha?

So much for civil discourse

Just a few weeks ago, conservatives were being accused of spurring on the hateful actions of the Arizona shooter who killed six and injured thirteen.  There was an enormous amount of talk about being more civil.  So much so that a campaign to have Conservatives and Liberals sit together at the State of the Union address (no doubt later, holding hands and singing kumbayah) to show that we can all get along despite our differences.

Track up to this week – I think I’ll say it in pictures…



That’s right folks – we’re talking some serious civil discourse over disagreements.  Seems when it comes to contributing to one’s own healthcare and pension is on the table, teacher’s think the taxpayers are the ones to pay, not them. Clearly they are concerned about the economy and jobs – however, it seems it’s their personal economies and jobs they are concerned about.  Not yours or mine, or anyone else’s.  God forbid government employees should have to sustain a little bit of the hurt that the rest of us are feeling.

And like spoiled children who want to pout and not play the game, they called in sick so they could throw a public temper tantrum.

Oh yeah and while we’re on the subject – aren’t Republicans the ones who are the party of no?  Funny because all the Democrat state legislatures left town and are hiding out so they don’t have to vote on the governor’s bill.  At least we showed up and voted – and let our votes be counted.

Yes, we must all be civil, unless we’re government employees or or pissed off libbies.

Governor Walker, I salute you and pray you can and do persevere.   Wisconsin teachers…perhaps you should go back to work and do the job you are being paid for instead of whining about the public’s desire to reduce its indebtedness to you.  Many of us would actually like to have a job to go to, even if we had to contribute to our own health care and pension.  Maybe if you lose your jobs you’ll rethink your position.  We can only hope.


PS:  Note to the president:  You may want to pay attention to what is happening in Wisconsin and apparently stirring up in other states.  Many governors have decided to actually listen to the taxpayers and act accordingly – so choosing your side carefully could be a good idea.