Monday, July 6, 2009


Guess what I did on Friday and Saturday of this holiday weekend? Residing the house. That and only that. Well, except for the music, cigar and tequila Saturday night on the Fourth of July.

A very unusual beginning to the summer, almost daily thundershowers that bring heavy rain. The pattern repeats itself each day this weekend: partly cloudy in the morning, clouds build, blossom into full fledged thunderstorms and the downpour begins by mid to late afternoon. In years past there was always the danger of fireworks igniting brush or forest fires, but this year everything is so damp that one would find it very difficult to start a fire. A good year for the sale of fireworks.

Friday brought one of the heaviest rains I've seen in the 10 years living in this house. So much that the rain gutters flooded and the water came pouring straight off the roof. For the first time in 10 years the wind forced rain into to the house, drips falling off the wood paneled ceiling of the living room. It's entering the house through a section of siding I have yet to replace. The rain washed gully's through the gravel in the driveway. It was really intense to hear the heavy drumming on the roof.

The same pattern repeated itself on Saturday, Independence Day. Like clock work the storm built and dumped on us, lacking the wind and intensity of the previous day. But the storm was heavy enough to cause runoff to form a creek in the drainage running through our property. Frigid water that had fallen from thousands of feet, if not a few miles, above us in the thunderhead.

All this rain has turned the landscape a vibrant green. The trees are very healthy looking. The grass needs to be mowed again. The weeds are loving it.
All this rain is interrupting my ability to get in a full day of work before sunset. With heavy downpours like what we had these last two days, there's no way to continue working afterwards because everything is soaked. Progress slows.

But the storms passed by sunset, allowing all the planned fireworks displays to proceed without interruption. My wife and son disappeared without my knowing it, having gone down to Parker to see the show. I'm not into professionally done shows. I'd much rather dig out my big box of fireworks and put on my own show, something forbidden in years past due to fire danger.

I step outside and am surprised at the sound of explosions all around, both near and far. Like a war zone, a firefight happening nearby. Around 9 PM I drove out to my party spot out on the prairie, far away from homes to crank up the music on the truck stereo. Bursting fireworks lit up the sky over Denver, star bursts of colored light, spheres of red, green, yellow and white. A brilliant moon overhead. I brought some fireworks of my own to play with once solidly inebriated.

Nirvana kicked off the nights show, performing live at Nakano-Sunplaza, in Tokyo, Japan on February 19, 1992. Excellent recording of some of their best work. I noticed that Kurt Cobain's voice was a bit rough from the beginning. Turns out that he was experiencing a bit of the flu. This is what he says to his audience:

"So about two days ago I got sick. I got this really bad cold, you know, like a flu, an illness, whatever. And uh, the doctor gave me this stuff to drink and I think its Chinese herbs, and it has cow sperm in it and its got, like, lizard penis scrapings. And uh, I still feel really sick but it makes me feel good to know I've been drinking cow seaman."

Lord of the darkness
Alone in the firmament
No one dares approach

Self absorbed millions
Their two dimensional lives
Their world is still flat

A world that burning
It's everyman for themselves
Drinking the Kool-Aid

Download it here:

Next up was Van Halen, appearing live at the Selland Arena in Fresno, CA on September 22, 1978, the warm-up band for Black Sabbath. At this early stage in their career they were becoming seasoned musicians, having been on the road performing almost continuously since March of that same year, including a tour overseas to Europe and Japan. Dave is perfecting his routine. Eddie burns down the house with those fingers. A good recording of their show on their home turf in California. I have another recording of the same show, but which includes Black Sabbath that follows Van Halen. I'd love to see the contrast in their live performances.

By the time I was done it was close to midnight. The fireworks were largely done, the only bursts of light being shot locally from homes on the surrounding prairie.

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