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» Monday, July 04, 2011
Ah, yes, stocking up on those sleep-ins before end-of-fiscal-year. We were slug-a-bed, as Mrs. Latham would have said in Johnny Tremain, until ten o'clock. After a leisurely breakfast, we went to Publix to pick up a couple of things, and bumped into an old co-worker of mine. He used to work in procurement and transferred to IT and is still there. So we spent some time chatting (and almost forgot the one thing we had specifically gone to Publix for).
Once home, we got into comfy clothing, grabbed some lunch, and settled down to patriotic viewing. We'd left Schuyler watching John Paul Jones with Robert Stack, but when we got home The Scarlet Coat with Cornel Wilde was showing.
After a brief tussle with the Blu-Ray player, which had somehow become disconnected from the network, I exiled ol' Cornel to the frontier by putting on Disney's "Ben and Me," which can be found online. This is the whimsical story of Ben Franklin, as told by his good friend Amos the Mouse (adapted from the Robert Lawson book by Bill Peet).
Next, of course, was our annual viewing of 1776. I love this film, not just because of the enjoyable story and music, but because it brings back good memories of Bandit. I would put him on my finger and we would "dance" during "He Plays the Violin." I daresay he never figured out why we were doing it. But he did it every year for nine years. (We used to dance during "You Make It Christmas" from Remember WENN, too.) Schuyler's not up to dancing, but she did get bouncy when the song came on.
Following, I put on the "Making a Revolution" episode of the Alistair Cooke's America series. It's a crying shame this isn't available in Region 1! (To think Jersey Shore is on DVD and this isn't! I'd gladly pay for a nice restored Blu-Ray, thank you, with a nice bio of Cooke and any behind-the-scenes bits! I love this series!) My copy came from Amazon.co.uk—thank God for hackable DVD players! I followed this with "Inventing a Nation" and am about to put on "Gone West," which is one of my two favorite episodes.
(Er...those interested might try here. For some reason, "Firebell in the Night" is missing.)
James was planning to grill our Italian sausage, but just as he got ready to go out to start the grill, it started to thunder, and then came some bright lightning. We'd had a five-minute shower about two hours earlier, but this was a more serious rain. He cooked inside instead, the sausage and some garlic-flavored rice.
[Later: A grand night for fireworks it was. We watched A Capitol Fourth on PBS. One of the first things we saw was astronaut Jim Lovell in the crowd. Nice music and a good fireworks show. Then we changed channels for the Centennial Olympic Park fireworks, but they must have been rained out—it was raining most of the evening, aborting James' plans to set off the fireworks we'd bought at Publix—so they were showing the New York City celebration instead. This was outstanding, shot into the air from six barges on the Hudson River. They had fireworks colored like watermelons, pinky red on the inside and green on the outside, and ones shaped like mushrooms. Also lots of hearts and smiley faces. Finally over to CBS for the Boston Pops and fireworks. The camera work is slowly getting better, although there were still a couple of shots of the crowd. Don't care about the crowd. I did like the new-this-year shots of the fireworks over Boston landmarks, like Fenway Park and the Massachusetts State House. They also had the mushrooms, the hearts, and some whitish fireworks that looked exactly like an impressionist painting. The fireworks feed, for some reason, though, didn't look like it was in HD. Lots of pixellation!]