It’s what it means to me

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After scoring a just barely passing score on the citizenship quiz over at NewMexiKen, I was starting to maybe feel a little, well, un-American.

But then on the drive home, I got to thinking a bit. And something came across the radio that changed my mind.

It was the pre-game show for the San Francisco Giants at the St Louis Cardinals.

As you know, before each baseball game, it’s mandatory to play the national anthem. On this first of July night, in that fine midwestern town, the Star Spangled was performed by some children from a local elementary school.

And as those kids honked and wheezed their way through our nation’s anthem, the kid on cymbals at least a half beat off bombs bursting in air, the rest of the children blowing notes resembling my car horn, I felt a familiar sense of pride.

I love hearing caterwauling children shriek out the Star Spangled. I love third grade bands lumbering through the difficult tune with all the heart and gusto of Francis Scott Key himself. I both giggle and get a sense of solemnity at the same time.

Hearing those final words, “…the home of the brave”, the ump call “play ball!” and I settle back in a plastic stadium seat with a beer and a dog, that always gives me a safe, satisfied, proud feeling of being an American.

I realize that there are people living under tyranny, people who can’t get a fair election, people who don’t know where a next meal comes from because their stuff was taken by their government. Sometimes I can’t even fathom how hard that must be.

And ok, sure, I totally blew that there are 9 and not 11 justices on the Supreme Court. And ok, I muffed that senators last six and not four years….

But damnit, as we head into this Independance Day weekend, I’ll step up and say I’m as much of an American as I need to be.

I know that’s true, all because of a bunch of kids from Missouri and the magic of AM radio.

So…what did YOU do for the Fourth?

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How was your holiday? Didja do something nice? Fun? Cool as heck?

Yeah, how did that bbqpoolkidsfamilymomanddadhotdogsfireworksinthebackyard turn out?

Good? Great, happy to hear it!

My Fourth? Well.

The day was mostly quiet. As the sun was setting, that’s when it got interesting.

The evening kicked off, well, here:

That’s the, uh, San Carlos Airport.

And those there are, uh, you know, your standard issue Cessna type aeroplanes.

See…our next-door neighbor is a pilot. He started in the military then had a career piloting the “vomit comet” for NASA.

These days he’s semi-retired, making money by piloting incredibly expensive Gulf Stream and Eclipse jets for the Bay Area wealthy.

So an offer was made to The Good Man and me…see, he’d rented a plane for the evening…wanna go see fireworks from up there?

Yes! YES WE DO!

And we did!

Our original course was the big show in San Francisco.

However, San Francisco being what it is…this is what it looked like up there.

Gorgeous sunset. But miles and miles of fog. Not so swell for watching fireworks.

We headed down the peninsula, intent on taking in the fireworks near the much clearer San Jose, at the Great America amusement park.

Problem is, Great America is in the San Jose Airport airspace, and they don’t think weekend fireworks cruisers are all that interesting. Humorless, they are, as they keep busy landing and taking off a near steady stream of commercial airliners.

So we headed back up to mid-peninsula in took in the smaller shows in Redwood City and Foster City.

You ain’t never seen fireworks until you’ve seen them from up there.

Wow.

Can’t offer much in the way of fireworks photos. Between it being dark and the motion of the plane, none turned out. But damn…it’s amazing to see!

Oh, and the ol’ “vomit comet” pilot showed us what just two G’s feels like (fighter pilots get up to 9).

Feels like getting out of the damn plane and walking around on the ground again, please!

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I had a cooler Fourth of July than you did….:)

Happy Fourth of July!

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How did it get to be July? How is it that the summer is blazing past me while I am starting to carry that palid glow of too much time under florescent lights? When did I get old and Fourth of July stopped being about fireworks and hot dogs and swim suits while I ran around in the sprinklers or went swimming at the local pool?

When did it all get so difficult?

Happy Thoughful Fourth to everyone. Stay safe and have fun!