July 06, 2002

I can feel the vacation slipping away... Monday the 8th I have to be back at work.

I've had a good time though. Yes, there has been comicking: the buffer peaked at 37 (a new record high) for a whopping 3 minutes (a new record low) and I ought to be able to hold between 30 and 35 if I don't completely slack in the coming weeks.

I took my daughter to see Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and got some unpleasant surprises. First, it's a musical. Second, it features the music of Bryan Adams. Third, the horses don't actually talk to each other -- they just whinney and neigh and chuff, and we're expected to empathize with them. Fourth -- the white guys aren't the heroes. I mean, what kind of movie is this where not only are the cowboys the bad guys, but the HUMANS are considered suspect as a group?

What kind of movie indeed? Well, my daughter loved it, but the only political message she took home was "horses like to run." Oh well. I'm sure I can find other entertainment fare with which to convert her to the school of "Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Interest of the Advancement of the Cause of Man." Besides, if the best that the green movement in Hollywood can do for music is Bryan Adams, us ENRIACMers have little to worry about. Throw another log on the fire -- these steaks aren't cooking themselves.

Speaking of steaks cooking themselves, they don't. I spent the fourth of July cooking assorted meats (including, but not limited to steak -- I'm an equal-opportunity carnivore, feasting non-predjudicially on steak, pork, chicken, and shrimp) at the 9th Annual Great White Clutter Stadium of Cheapskates Tailgate Picnic. It was tasty and tiring. I spent the afternoon of the fifth grilling up the leftovers, at which point I discovered that meat really does taste better if it's allowed to marinade for more than a mere 24 hours. After two days the chicken was perfect. I suspect that beef and pork need three or four days to properly absorb all of the teriyaki goodness.

Anyway, the fireworks show was great. It was a full 20 minutes long, with LOTS of multiple-burst volleys that rattled the air and a finale that would send PTS-sufferers into the nearest foxhole. We were close enough to the launchers to hear them go "whump" as they threw flaming powdered goodness skyward, but we were far enough away that we were not threatened by any of the six misfires that threw fountains of sparks instead of shells (note: nobody was injured -- apparently even in Utah they've done away with the low-paying job of 'match-guy' and now trigger the mortars from the safety of a control panel inside a bunker). Sadly, we were upwind, so the 'battlefield brimstone' aroma headed off in the wrong direction. Oh well.

My son did not enjoy the show as much as I did. "Scary stars" was all he had to say on the matter before hiding his eyes and ears for the whole thing. Both my daughters loved it, though. Then, halfway through the show, my youngest daughter fell asleep in my lap with a smile on her face, and shells that were setting off car alarms could not rouse the somnolent baby.

Mmmm... vacation.