Monday, July 5, 2010

Igor's 4th...

...was spent totally outside Belltown. First up was the Edmonds Fourth of July parade. I grew up there and have witnessed the patriotic spectacle scores of times. In recent years, however, I've missed it due to lack of interest among friends. Just going alone wasn't that amusing, so with the return of my friend Kris, it has once again become a fun group outing. Here are some of the highlights:

Ronald McDonald on a Segway. What's not to like? Except maybe for Ronald McDonald and the Segway. Here's some blatant flaggery:

I hope you're standing while viewing this photo. It's the patriotic thing to do. This is the unkillable Edmonds Chamber of Commerce float:

Every year, it's the same. That's not necessarily a bad thing. One time, though, it went around three times, I kid you not. There was also this band from Minnesota:

I have no idea what they were doing there other than not being in Minnesota. It was quite a change of pace from the usual bands, like these guys:

Note the slouching and muddled formation. That's what happens when you combine my former school (Woodway) with its crosstown rival (Edmonds). This arrangement benefits no one and makes the kids from Minnesota laugh at our band. Anyhow, for me this was the best act of the parade, the Star Wars guys:

So what if some of the storm troopers were kind of fat; I want these people to march in every Edmonds Fourth of July Parade until the end of time. Placing a close 2nd was the Sons of Norway viking ship:

Yeah, neat. Here are some lowlights. This is a band that was too lazy to march. They just sat on the back of a truck and played Souza:

And there were also some very unfunny Shriner clowns:

And finally, the Meadowdale High cheerleaders who won some state cheering award. This was the saddest thing of all:

Try as they might, these girls will probably not surpass that achievement.

OK, so that was the parade. They used to have this cheesy fat guy doing the commentary who would call everything a "unit." It didn't matter if it was a bunch of horses or the Dodge Viper Club or Christian mimes, it was a unit. He has been replaced by some old guy with a thin, reedy voice and a pronounced lack of confidence. You know, I kind of miss the fat guy.

From there, it was off to Lake Union to my aunt's boat for the fireworks. The weather was awful - cold and rainy. It could have been February. We hung out and drank, drank and hung out. After what seemed like days, the rain stopped, it got dark and they shot off the fireworks. Remember, if you will, the hue and cry when it was announced that there weren't going to be any fireworks this year. Well, they might as well have canceled Christmas. A few of Seattle's richer citizens came up with some spare change so that the show would go on. It's a shame that the setting wasn't better, what with the dreary conditions and all. After madly snapping dozens of photos, they can be classified in two ways:

1. As pretty shots of what are obviously fireworks, and;
2. Photos that look like semi-competent space photography.

What can I say? My camera has many limitations. Let's look at the obvious fireworks first:

And now, the weird space shots:

Do think maybe I can sell these as genuine original shots from the Hubble Telescope? Yeah, me neither. Well, those were the fireworks. I'll tell you something: I parked only about half a block away from my aunt's boat and got a huge jump on traffic. However, the Seattle Police were so horrendously incompetent in their traffic direction that it took forever to get out of there. I just sat in my car going nowhere for half an hour while the cops did God-knows-what. I don't mind heavy traffic if it moves every so often, but this mess didn't. It just stayed put. For what I can tell, they just stopped everyone in all directions for no apparent reason. It was the worst crowd/traffic management I've ever seen. And keeping in mind that the police are raking in double overtime and a half or some such, I feel really gypped. These guys are being paid to do a job. They were obviously poorly prepared for it. Sure, I got home eventually, but it took 40 minutes to go two blocks. Is that traffic management? No, that's laziness. Personally, I think those guys should be docked pay for doing such a terrible job. I've never seen so many guys do such poor work with such determination. And it's not like this is the first time there's ever been fireworks on Lake Union. For Pete's sake, it happens every year. Come on, cops, a little competence would be greatly appreciated about now.

Anyhow, that was my Fourth of July.


ruffhauser said...

Igor - You would have had a meltdown had you seen the traffic- directing incompetance by Seattle's finest during the Gay Pride Parade.

I was trapped like a rat in traffic thinking, "Christ, you have a gun and permission to use it; people will listen to you"

Anonymous said...

Not really a comment, but for fellow squirrel admirers see the neat article in the New York Times on Tuesday: