July 4th

Every year in the neighborhood in which I live, there is a nice fireworks display over Lake Montclair on the 4th of July.  We’ve been here since 2002 and the location is exactly 1.6 miles from my house.  The fact that we have always driven our car to this event says a great deal about the role of the automobile in American culture.  To be fair, we planned on riding our bikes last year but decided on not attending as thunderstorms were forecasted.

So this year had a bit of excitement to it as I fitted headlights to the family’s bikes and my wife (who has taken the moniker, “Diesel” due to that engine’s ability to keep chugging along) loaded some blankets and bug spray into a backpack.  We pulled up to the local golf course where we usually view the show and parked our bikes on the edge of an area reserved for members of the country club.  Of the hundreds of people present, we could see only about ten bicycles.  The only excitement occurred when some children accidentally ran into the bikes, sending my son’s and Diesel’s onto their sides.  Both bikes survived the incident.

“Diesel” and #3 Kid sitting in front of the soon-to-be-knocked-over bikes and the fleet of country club golf carts.

After a nice fireworks display, we turned on our lights and headed home.  The usual crowd of pedestrians trying to get to their cars and cars trying to drive through the pedestrians occurred.  We zipped through the congestion and arrived home much sooner (and sweatier as it was quite warm) than we normally would have.

My wife discovered the challenges of riding at night with a underpowered headlight (she used my backup light, good for being seen but not very good at illuminating the road).  If she is to do something like this again, I think it will be necessary to spend the money for a quality light.

I leave you with this self-portrait, taken during this morning’s jaunt around the Manassas Airport.  I can’t say very much caught my eye so I’m afraid this is the only picture I took.  I shall try to do better in the future.

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5 thoughts on “July 4th

  1. Happy 4th of July mate (If a little late), I could go into The evil British point of view, you know the score, it being only a Police action and we were more bothered about the French to worry about some minor Colonial issue, but I won’t. Anyway. we were fighting ourselves so we in fact won! 😉

    • Timing is everything, isn’t it? The “evil British point of view” isn’t the only contrarian position on the holiday voiced these days. There is an increasingly strident view that America’s founding is nothing special to be proud of, since it was founded by slave-holding racists and the country is now a source of problems for much of the world. It’s disappointing to me that even on the national holiday, it is difficult for everyone to come together.

      • Tell you what Steve, I know you could see my tongue planted firmly in my cheek when I typed that mischevious paragraph. Our two Nations share a problem I think. That of self inflicted institutional guilt by the left wing intelligensia (excuse spelling).

        They love to bleat and beat their chests about Britain’s Imperial past causing many of today’s issues, and in your country they do the same about the state of the world today.

        Whatever the truth (and in Britains case I always rail against judging past events by today’s standards) both of our countries have much to be proud of and in a typically human state, much, that in hindsight we could have better.

        I type this in a non ironic or patronising way when I say that I love the Americans, despite the above mentioned human failings that inflict us all, you have more to be proud of than to be ashamed of.

        Celebrate the 4th of July as hard as you can!

  2. Following Clive’s remarks above, I might add that there are many, myself among them, who are ungrateful and would like a little more independence for us from you these days. I like the self portrait and I am sure that you don’t have a yellow streak running through you in real life.

    • I would have hoped you and I would find common cause in the fight against English repression, what with hundreds of years of Scottish rebellion, devolution, and the current independence effort. Alas, it is difficult for my country to find much sympathy anywhere these days. 🙂

      As for the portrait, you are correct. The only yellow streaks in my life are on roads and athletic surfaces.

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