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07/06/09
Early Summer Vacation 2009, Part I
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 10:01 pm

fireworks

The Fourth of July has come and gone.

Here it had been raining off and on all day, with the rain sometimes getting heavy. People were celebrating the Fourth indoors or under canopies. It is good that my town did its fireworks on the day before, when it was not raining.

The fireworks were done at the town park. This is a vast area, roughly a quarter of a square mile, because it was once the site of the county fairgrounds. The park proper takes up a slice of the north; the local elementary school is crammed along the west end; and the rest is largely baseball diamonds and a hugh grass field. It was in that field that Madre parked the van in the late afternoon in order to avoid the hassle of trying to find a place to park later. She needn’t have bothered this year: As late as eight o’clock there was still plenty of space, and in the end there were not as many people there as there were in the past.

The fireworks themselves were fun to watch, and even had a couple of new ‘jelly-roll’ spiral bursts among them. But in all they were short and intense this year. Evidently the fire department did not collect much money for them.

The damp holiday did not stop my neighbors across Buckeye Street from celebrating on Fourth of July evening. They had practically every relative over because one of their relatives was off to a new job in Arkansas. They were shooting their own fireworks that evening. The ones next were also celebrating the night before, because I had to clean up the cans that got tossed over the fence.

park

I drove Madre back home after she parked the van; then walked through the park to the van later. I rarely go to the park nowadays. The changes it has gone through were slow at first, then picked up the pace in past couple of years.

When I was a teen, the park had your standard-issue set of swings, roundabout, and see-saw; a shelterhouse where groups could meet, next to the only baseball diamond; a ‘Scout hut’ building for Scout meetings, next to some tennis courts; and even a place for horseshoe tosses.

Today only the shelterhouse and baseball diamond remain. The Scout hut was long torn down. The tennis courts were converted into a skateboard park; but vandalism and growing lack of interest forced the town to tear that down; and on the site of both hut and courts a giant pavilion was built. There are smaller pavilions next to the new playground, which even has a handicapped swing. One of the pavilions was named after a late editor of the local paper. And on the horseshoe toss area is now a maintenance shed/public restrooms.

sports

Sports really has become the focus of the town, as there is little else to do here. Summer becomes really lively with all four baseball courts (the original and the three in the vast field on the south end) in use during the summer, and the baseball courts of the old high school gymnasium during the winter.

This focus on sports is the reason why there was so much acrimony last year, when a children’s sports league was forced to dissolve when the town refused to renew its contract over spending irregularities, then sold its equipment to pay off its vending machine account. The townsfolk believed (wrongly) that the equipment belonged to the town; the town said otherwise, and wanted the equipment out in any case so that the new league could start fresh; but many refused to believe that, and acrimony remained through last summer.

my cat?

I had hoped to bring to my house Isis’ sister Thyme, and had even brought the carrier to the house of my sister the teacher to pick the cat up. The problem is that Thyme tends to hide in out-of-the-way corners of the house. Of the five cats in the house, Thyme is at the bottom end of the status ladder, pushed around by the other cats, and seeks to hide from them as much as possible. I may assume that, if I manage to get her here, Thyme will come to like a house all to herself.

People keep telling me, to the point of irritation, that Thyme is an old cat. I am aware of that. She is Isis’ sister, after all. People also do not seem to realize that Isis passed away from disease, not old age. Thyme is not a sick kitty, although I will not know this for sure until she visits the vet sometime soon.

wiring project

After a closer look at the house and a visit Monday to both Fry’s and Menard’s in Fishers, I am being to realize just how big this task of running sheathing and wires will be, and that it will take awhile to get it done. At least I am assured that fitting ends to TV cables is not as hard as fitting ends to thinnet coax cables. There is no soldering involved. I have found nowhere that sells Winegard SS-2000’s or combined phone/net/coax outlets, and it looks like I will have to order them offline.

my home box

At least the trip to Fry’s Monday yielded other goodies. I found replacement memory modules for my main box, Madoka. I had one two-gig DDR2 module; I now have four one-gig DDR2 modules for a total of four gigabytes of memory. I tried out Bioshock after the new memory was installed. It works even better.

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