My Fourth of July this year went swimmingly (pun intended – at least in part).
It started out slowly with me waiting on my wife and daughter to get ready to go out (you know how that goes fellas).
There is a new IHOP in Simpleville (well relatively new) and she wanted to go there to have a late breakfast. So she and I and my oldest daughter went. I thought the service was excellent but I was less than impressed by the food portions. Especially when weighed against the price. I told my wife that we could have gone to our favorite restaurant in town, O’Charleys, and eaten for only slightly more and had much bigger portions. But that’s what she wanted so I gave it to her. The IHOP is also on old Moovies (video rental store) that is it is the same video rental store we used to go to in town. After it went out of business IHOP bought the place and renovated it turning it into the restaurant. They really did a nice job of the renovation, but it was odd to me to go in there as I distinctly remembered the video store it used to be, and how it once looked.
After that the girls did some shopping and then we went and got my youngest daughter from a friend’s house (where she was staying) and had a nice little visit with the family while we waited on them to fix pizza for my daughter. A fun, relaxed visit. They also have done a really nice job with the front of their house, creating almost a little Zen garden.
After leaving there we went to another friend’s house so that my daughter could pick up her friend to come stay at our house overnight. That family has a pool and while standing on the deck it looked so tempting to me that I decided to dive in with all of my clothes on (I had no swimming trunks). Which I did. (Well, not all of my clothes, I first took off my socks and shoes.) I swam around about 15 minutes or so and enjoyed it immensely, though swimming in blue jeans eventually feels like you’re swimming in lead. Nevertheless I would have stayed in longer but my daughter had to get home to go to work – the last day at her crappy job (I’m very glad she quit).
So I got out and dried off on their deck and while I was drying off the father came up on his tractor and we all ate ice cream together (their family and our family). We yakked awhile and had fun and I examined a bat they had found dead in their pool as well as a baby snake they had found nearby and preserved in alcohol. At that age and size I could not tell the species but Steven thought it was a Highland Moccasin.
Then we came home and I cleaned the house a little and then took a short nap. After I got up I watched the Brazil-Colombia game which was a very exciting match and excellent game. (So many of the games of this World Cup have been absolutely awesome, and this may end up being my favorite Cup of all time.) The post-game display of sportsmanship between Rodriquez and the Brazilian team was superb as well. Seeing Neymar get his back broken though was hard for me to watch. I knew instantly that his back had been broken by the way he hit the ground acted afterwards. Having had my own back broken I know what that is like. So Godspeed on his recovery, and I hope and pray it is full and complete. He’s an excellent player and broken back is a tough thing indeed.
After that I read over and studied the New Basic Game D&D Release. I happen to love what I’m seeing so far and I’ll say more on that later as I’ll write a full review on my Gaming Blog once I’ve had time to finish reading the whole thing and play test it a bit in a couple of weeks. If you’re interested in the new D&D Basic Game release then click the link embedded in this sentence.
After night fall I went outside. The night was cool (more like an Autumn evening than July the 4th) with a clear sky and a half moon. I heard fireworks and is my wont every July 4th (when I’m not shooting off fireworks) I went looking for local displays. We live way out in the country and so many people shoot off fireworks and the sound and light shows can carry for miles, though because of heavy tree cover they can be hard to see sometimes.
Anyway I grabbed my binoculars and got in the car and rode around in about a five mile radius from my house. Found a really good show near Fork Shoals elementary where neighbor horse and cattle ranchers were having a contest against each other. That lasted about half an hour to forty-five minutes or so.
Rode around some more, crossed the river and found a really good display off Terry Road. They were lighting up pretty good and it went on for a long while. So I pulled over on the side of the road and listened to music and watched the show.
By that time it was getting late and on the way home I decided to ride down to McKittrick Bridge where as kids and teenagers my friends and I had many hour’s long bottle rocket and firework fights trying to take and control the bridge. I really miss those fireworks fire-fights, they were immense fun and I remember we’d make launchers and carry out attacks and just blow the hell out of each other on warm summer nights under a full moon. I can still recall the thick clouds of exploded gunpowder that would hang across the bridge and river as one side or another would launch an assault and try to dislodge whoever was holding it. God we had fun! If only we had drones back then, huh?
Now that was really living for a young boy, and about as much fun as you could have as a kid, and the memories were sweet as I recalled them. That was a youth well-spent.
By the time I got home it was midnight and I waited up for my daughter to get home and then I went to bed.
All in all a truly superb Fourth of July.
I hope you had one as well.
I’m gonna have a ball this weekend. First of all my wife and I (and maybe my oldest daughter) are gonna have our Idea Sabbath together tomorrow as well as enjoying our Fourth of July. It’s also my wife’s birthday so we’ll have a real throwdown.
Later this weekend my wife and daughters are leaving for their annual summer camp. Meaning I will have part of the weekend and most of next week entirely to myself. I plan to spend that time cutting brush, clearing land, hauling dirt, exercising, talking with God and writing my novel (the Basilegate), on which I expect to make great progress.
I also plan to spend at least an hour or two each day relaxing and entertaining myself. I have some films to watch, a new Batman graphic novel, and several new fiction books to read, including The Pagan Lord (Cornwell), an interesting looking new science-fiction book called The Dark Between the Stars (Anderson), and the Western Ragtime Cowboys (Estelman).
I also picked up a new copy of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (my favorite symphony by Schubert), Blood on the Tracks (Dylan), True Believers (Rucker), and the Best of the Doobie Brothers as CDs to listen to as I work.
I’ll finish up my lecture on mathematics by Bloch of Wheaton College, and listen to some more of Mythology by Edith Hamilton on CD. I haven’t read Mythology since college and it’s very interesting to listen to it instead of read it. Listening to it gives me different idea sets than reading it.
Of course I’ll also watch any Cup games being played.
Then finally I was able to download and print out the new version of the Dungeons and Dragons Basic Game (which is free) and once I put those papers in a notebook I’ll read over it this weekend. I’ve only made a cursory examination so far but the game looks very, very good to me. Simple to play, logical, efficient, and interesting Old School goodness.
When my wife and girls return I’ll have an adventure already made up to play. If it works as good as it looks then we should all enjoy it.
By the way you can find the download link the the Basic Game on my new Gaming Blog, Tome and Tomb. Just hit Tome and Tomb here and you’ll find the link. My gaming blog doesn’t have much content yet but I’ll be building it up soon.
If I don’t get back here until after the Fourth then have a Great Independence Day folks.
Enjoy yourselves, stay safe, don’t forget our military friends and family still in service, and be very grateful for your liberties.
I seriously doubt it as no-one should wanna be anyone but themselves.
I did choose the Odyssey though, but it was a toss-up between it and Beowulf. After that I’d likely go Hamlet, Frankenstein, Old Man and the Sea, Walden, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (though I preferred Ulysses), The Great Gatsby, and Brave New World. Probably in that order. The Red Badge of Courage should also be up there. As should Dracula, a Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables, and the Idiot.
I actually liked Ethan Frome. Lotta people who know me may think that’s kinda funny but I did.
You got: “The Odyssey”
You have always enjoyed a challenge and are really, really competitive with everyone. You have a drive that everyone envies and possess the amazing ability to zone in on a goal without wavering. Basically, everyone kind of wants to be you.
Just for fun… and you have to click the title to get the original link.