Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

July 4, 2008

Happy July 4th!

Upon moving here 9 years ago, imagine our surprise to find out that fireworks ("boomies", as we call them) are legal in Washington. Some towns, like Federal Way, do have complete bans on them, but here in East Pierce County, anything goes. Technically we are only supposed to buy and use the "safe and sane" boomies sold in town under the many TNT tents that spring up in parking lots all over the place. Fireworks found there consist of sparklers, small cakes, Saturn whistling missiles, smoke bombs, small Roman candles and my personal fave, parachutes.

However, if you really want some serious firepower, go to any Indian reservation and the heavy duty stuff is readily available, like mortars, large and heavy cakes, large Roman candles, firecrackers, and if you know the right way to ask at the right booth, M-80's and half sticks of dynamite. The State Patrol really doesn't do much to enforce the ban on these so-called "illegal" fireworks, because there is no way to enforce it. They cannot possibly stop every car traveling on the Puyallup Reservation on River Road, this being my fave stand b/c the name and illustration crack me up....

.... or on the Auburn-Enumclaw Highway going thru the Muckleshoot reservation. Before the Puyallups built their monstrous Emerald Queen Casino, it used to be a large vacant lot which transformed itself each June into "Firecracker Alley" with hundreds of stands.

Brian, being a boy at heart, got really caught up in having as many boomies as possible. We'd hear the sound of firecrackers and bottle rockets during the day and he'd spring up out of his chair, look out the window and go, "THEY'RE PUNKIN' ME OUT!", then dash outside and light off a string of 100 firecrackers. I would actually start saving money in January, a little out of every paycheck, to cover our boomie expense come July 2nd or 3rd when we'd go shopping.

Our most expensive year, and what was actually one of our final years buying fireworks, was 2002. This is the stuff we got on the Puyallup res:

The "Predator" package contains mortars. There's a launch tube inside that you put on the driveway w/ weights to keep it from tipping over, then you light the mortar ball, drop it in the tube and it shoots high in the air, with multi colored explosions and effects. Just think of a professional firework but just on a smaller scale. We'd usually light those off last, when it was finally pitch dark at 11:00 pm. Our driveway is such a fantastic launch spot, because of the openness, but we always kept garden hoses at the ready both in the front and back yard.

This is the stuff we bought at the TNT stand in town, after we left the res. As you can see, the "safe and sane" items are much smaller than what you get on the res. Still, many of our fave cakes came from the TNT stand, so it made a nice mix of legal and illegal. Or Ill-Eagle.

Here's a pic of the combined items. I should have taken a photo on July 5th of the huge mess in our driveway, especially teeny bits of paper that stayed around through the winter months. And lots of parachutes or bottle rockets on our roof too.

Let's just say that we don't need to leave our home and deal w/ crowds to watch the professional fireworks displays in Tacoma or Seattle, we can just sit in the front or back yard and watch our neighbors. You have no idea how loud it gets around here once night falls, especially now that kids have discovered how to make the "sparkler bomb" which rock the house every time one is detonated nearby. It sounds like a war zone. And living on the hill, the echo factor is unreal.
We tapered off on the fireworks after we got Pepper in 2003. We'd buy a few and use them, and as long as she was in the house, she was fine. Now that we have Sagie, we just don't buy them at all.

So I was on You Tube, trying to find the Schoolhouse Rock video from 1976, about our Independence Day. I found and watched it, but when I went to embed it in Blogger, it wasn't an option! You can post it to all these other things I've never heard of, like "Oorkut", "Fark" and "Digg", but NOT Blogger. I am really bummed. Any kid who grew up in the 70's watching Saturday morning cartoons could sing all of these dities by heart.

But here's the link, it's SO worth a watch and only 3 minutes long. The line "...and the pursuit of happiness" yields an extremely amusing, if somewhat sexist, scene.

Happy 4th of July Everyone!! Happy Birthday America!


  1. Aren't your doggies petrified? I always feel sorry for the wildlife, too. Not to mention that there's always some shitty teenage boy looking for a kitty to tie a firework to. Ban 'em I say.

  2. Sagan's down at his annual 4th of July summer camp and spa weekend at Sumner Vet. Pepper prefers to be here w/ us and is OK as long as we don't react to the sound of fireworks, which we don't. Late tonite will be bad and we'll have to give her a pill to calm her down.

  3. And a happy 4th of July to you also!

    (All fireworks are legal here in SC-- people drive a long way for what they want, too.)

  4. As you can imagine, with two- 20 something guys here, we will be doing fireworks. They are fairly tame for the most part (excepting the tampered with homemade boomers). Crystal has been out with us every year starting when she was 4 months old. They have never bothered her at all. But Mia is 7 months, so we'll see. I will hold her and act like it's no big deal and she'll see Crystal running around like normal. If Mia freaks out, I'll take her indoors.
    Happy 4th Everyone!

  5. Happy 4th Jojo.We are not allowed big fireworks in NC,you must travel to SC (no way) to get anything hood.Besides,Kol is deathly afraid of booming anything,so no fireworks here!

    If you want a helpful piece of freeware for videos,go get Miro.You won't have anymore issues with Schoolhouse Rock.

  6. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Oh, fireworks.

    ... that's all I can probably get away with saying.

  7. I HATE Fireworks! As I've said before....Why don't you just set your money on fire? What a waste..

  8. i thought of your fur kids this weekend also, wondered what they thought of the fireworks. we spent all of $5 on ours this year, which is actually more than we have in the past(!) we usually just go watch the town display and buy sparklers for the kids. oh, and snakes, rememeber those??

  9. Tess - I do feel the same way about lighting your $ on fire, but I saved up to buy them. Brian got such a charge out of them and it was endearing to watch his excitement.

  10. Kris - yes I do remember snakes! I think they sell them in town. It's 12:30 pm and we can still hear lots of fireworks.

  11. Sorry Jojo, my comment wasn't directed at you. I'm angry with my neighbors who kept me up until 1:30 Thursday night and 2:30 last night. I'm sure you and Brian didn't keep your neighbors awake.

  12. That's true, b/c all the neighbors were also lighting off fireworks. And we always finished up by 11 pm at the latest.

  13. Anonymous9:21 PM

    I set off some of those carbon snakes last night! It was the first time I'd seen them, haha.