Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day 2013

Happy 237th Birthday, America!!


Doug:  Since the Godfather of Soul came up in the Soul Music post a few weeks ago, here's a heaping dose of American patriotism for you:

25 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

237!? Doesn't look a day over 235 if you ask me... ;P

(Don't mind me, I'm just being a smart-alec because, as one of the overseas contingent, today is just another working day for me: no day off, no backyard BBQ, no fireworks...)

Anyway, enjoy yourselves, my fellow, albeit non-displaced, USAers.

Humanbelly said...

The one drawback about Independence Day in the DC Metro area(where the celebration is arguably the most heartfelt) that most folks probably don't realize is that the midsummer weather here is almost always brutally hot and HUMID. Those several hundred thousand folks you see on the National Mall every year at the concert & fireworks? Those are some DEDICATED American celebrants! My wife and I attended several of those concerts up until about 20 years ago, when we realized that the "enjoyment" factor wasn't anywhere near outweighing the "gritty endurance" element. . . *whew!*

I will admit that I'm probably the tougher-sell. My childhood memories of the 4th of July centered around going down to Diamond Lake in our little Michigan town, and watching the one-at-a-time rockets go off, usually about 30 seconds or more apart. Occasionally, a pontoon boat awning out on the water would get singed by a falling ember. But the night air was cool enough that you'd generally wear a long-sleeve shirt or light jacket. (Man, I do miss that summer Michigan weather. . . )

HB

david_b said...

OH, I'd prefer a Mr. Ray Charles belting out 'America the Beautiful'..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRUjr8EVgBg

He OWNED that song.., every time.

As for memories, not too many. Perhaps getting a couple of fireworks as a kid, nothing huge.

Usually being driven somewhere to watch fireworks. Bluntly, I recall staying up late and liking them before I was 10yrs old.., after that..? Eh.., wasn't a big whoop any longer.

Rip Jagger said...

It's going to be a rainy rainy day where I reside, so the barbecue is out.

We're going to celebrate America's birthday with some fried pork, taters, corn, and cornbread. Solid American staples, guaranteed to stick to your arteries.

William said...

Hey Rip, where I live we've had huge thunderstorms every single day since last Friday (and I mean EVERY day), but today they are predicting dryer weather, but it is supposed to be hot hot hot.

At my place we are celebrating a combination of America's birthday and my brother-in-law's birthday. We are having a little a party, and cooking up some steak and shrimp on the grill, with strawberry cheesecake for dessert. (So long diet, see ya tomorrow!!) Should be fun, if the weather cooperates.

Hope everybody else has a great 4th!!!!

themiddlespaces said...

My favorite "July 4th" song is "Black Man" by Stevie Wonder (wrote it for the Bicentennial - I should have mentioned it two posts ago!)

I wrote about it here: http://themiddlespaces.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/we-pledge-allegiance-all-our-lives/

But you can also just listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5NkSIgTl7E#at=267

david_b said...

Oh my, nearly forgot those glorious high school marching band years in the July 4th parades.

Hot wool uniforms on muggy days, anyone..?? They were alright at the Friday night football games come fall, but those hot July temps were murder. I recall a few gents dropping out on occasion.

Wasn't as bad as Kuwait in summer heat. I remember a couple of years ago, arriving in the base the first week of July at 4am, getting off our passenger bus. Even at 4am it was sweltering out; it was so surreal just imagining what 2pm would feel like.

Other than that, it was the mid-point of our teenage summers. The 'coolness' of summer was wearin' off, school was around the corner.

Garett said...

Happy Birthday Yanks!

Exciting finish to the vote--JB hung in there, about 10 votes behind JB!

Karen said...

David -you mentioned the your experience in Kuwait in July and I can sympathize. Even though this is my 8th year in Phoenix, I still can't believe the heat. I slept late and was just rambling around the house, so I didn't get outside to put the flag up (a long-standing ritual) until about 8:30, and it was already almost 100 degrees outside! After ten minutes I was drenched. Thankfully this weekend will not be as bad as the last one, but still!

Growing up, 4th of July (and summer) was a time of pure joy. Living in the central coast region of California, the weather was warm, a sort of Goldilocks perfect -not too cold and not too hot. We would run around outside from morning to late in the night. My brother and I were a couple of pyromaniacs and once we got a hold of some non-safe and sane fireworks, we couldn't get enough. Rockets, missiles, buzz bombs, artillery shells, man, we loved them all, and went to great lengths to get them. We'd put on quite a show on the 4th.

Graham said...

We have had a much-welcomed break from the humidity here in Mississippi over the last week, so it will be a nice, mild day in the upper 80's for most of us as we enjoy boiled shrimp and all the fixin's. Happy 4th to all!

Edo Bosnar said...

Wow, you guys have been hitting my 1976 memory buttons here lately, first J.A. with that Spidey Super Stories cover the other day and now Osvaldo with the link to that Stevie Wonder song - man, I totally remember that now, but I don't think I've heard it since 1976 (maybe 1977). Anyway, thanks for that!

And Karen, man, I miss those pleasant warm-to-hot but never humid summers of Oregon and California. From mid-May to mid-September, Croatia is humidity central: doesn't matter what the temperature is, it's always muggy (I guess I could get poetic and say sultry). I can't even take a short walk without getting drenched in sweat - I marvel at the 'natives,' who can even wear suits and ties July and August...

Karen said...

Edo, I know, I look back now and realize how wonderful that region was, climate wise. Might be a good place to retire to some day!

Just curious, how long have been living in Croatia? I sometimes wonder if I will ever get used to the heat here. Although if things work out the way we hope, we'll be out of here in a few years.

Garett said...

I watched a great documentary about the Statue of Liberty by Ken Burns a couple days ago. Fascinating to learn about it's conception, construction (including a hand from Mr. Eiffel), funding...great story! I didn't know it was made of copper, or about the artist Bartholdi.

Edo Bosnar said...

Karen, been living more or less permanently in Croatia since mid-1992, so over 20 years now (geez, where does the time go?). And I still haven't gotten used to the humidity. Not a bit.
However, my personal opinion is that it's probably easier for west-coasters like us to get used to the heat of the high desert than this swampy mugginess. My parents are retired now and living in eastern California (close to Merced) and doing fine - of course, they grew up over here so they have a bit of a different constitution. I remember having a conversation with my mom once a while back about comparative summer conditions, and at one point she said she really liked the summers in eastern Croatia where she grew up, because it was like you had this "wet, warm blanket wrapped around you all the time." Yeesh...

Anonymous said...

Karen, I didn't know you lived in Phoenix...wasn't it 119 degrees there last week? And I thought it was hot here in Saskatchewan! I have a friend who used to live in Mesa, but now she's in Las Vegas; a much cooler climate...only 117 there last week :)

Being Canadian, we already celebrated our independence 3 days ago, but for all the Americans on here, Happy 4th...I thought this was appropriate: http://ourvaluedcustomers.blogspot.ca/2013/07/happy-july-4th.html

Mike W.

Doug said...

Hey, kids -

I just got to DC a couple of hours ago and am happy to report that it's only around 90 and not 100 as it was last year! A couple of colleagues and I will be making our way down to the National Mall in a couple of hours. Just us and a million of our closest friends!

Doug

david_b said...

Oh, and not to sound self-serving, but thank someone who has served today.., to protect all our freedoms and protect liberties abroad.

Karen said...

"Wet warm blanket" -ewww! I agree, Edo, dry heat is way more preferable than hot and humid. The humidity went up to 40% here this week and people were complaining about "how humid" it was! I've spent a little time in the Deep South in the summer, where every breath is like being underwater and there's no way to get dry, and I thought they have no idea what they're talking about.

Mike W., it was indeed 119 here last weekend. Oddly enough, you can really feel the difference between 111 and 119. At 111, you are uncomfortable and don't want to be outside very long. At 119, something inside your head tells you, get inside. Immediately. The air is so hot it almost hurts to breathe. The first year I was here temps in July briefly went over 120. Thinking of David B., I recall reading that some of our soldiers in the Middle East had to deal with temps in the 130s. I cannot imagine how they could function!

david_b said...

Karen, I'd equate Kuwait's summer to the hottest days in Arizona.

It's just funny when I read on-line during deployments how folks were 'suffering' under A WHOLE WEEK of temps over 100.

I used to say to myself, "Jeez.., try March through November..."

Funny as it was, you always heard this big celebratory 'sigh' when temps finally got broke under 100, in the weekly forcasts. Typically it only rained 2-3 times each year, if that, and only in December-January..

david_b said...

Oh, and kevlar 'body armor' doesn't really breath....

Redartz said...

A very happy 4th to one and all! We Hoosiers are fortunate today, high of about 82 with a nice breeze. Grilling is done, sitting back to enjoy the evening.

Edo- I too am tripping back to 1976; a very memorable Independence Day spent watching the biggest parade I've ever seen. My cousin and I sat up on a wall so we could see over the crowd. Then there was that perfect song on the radio: "Summer" by War. Appropriately named; that song perfectly evokes that summer.

Karen- as a resident of Phoenix, any advice for newbies? My son and his new wife are moving there in two weeks; not sure they are ready for that heat...

Anonymous said...

Happy 4th of July/Canada Day to all my USA/Canadian friends up there!


- Mike 'wait did Karen really call me Captain Midnight a few days ago?' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Doug said...

Mike -

I'm in a different hotel this year in Washington. The T&T embassy is right around the corner. Got any messages I should relay?

By the way, you can't beat fireworks over the National Mall!

Doug

Karen said...

Redartz , my first thought was, "Tell them, don't move here!" But I know that many people do like it here, particularly folks from the mid-west, because they don't have to shovel snow any more.

My advice for them would be to drink lots of water, number one. It is very dry and it's easy to wind up dehydrated. You get used to carrying water around. Another thing is, the heat really wears out your car. We've found that our car batteries (good quality batteries mind you) die after a year, year and half, and usually go with no warning at all. Also, it's not unusual to see the highways littered with tire tread. I actually had the tread come right off my back driver side tire while driving on the freeway a few years ago; just stripped off like peeling an orange! I used to only see that happen to big semi's in California but here it happens to all sorts of cars, so plan on replacing tires more often. And remember -shade is your friend!

Although I miss California and really hate this heat, I will say Arizona has some really beautiful sunsets and sunrises. The colors are amazing.

And Mike in T&T, yes, I really did dub you Captain Midnight!

Redartz said...

Many thanks for the tips, Karen! I'll pass them along!

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