I'm all for celebrating holidays. I love getting off work, and I love especially the excuse to have barbecues. When it comes to finding what's important in life, I really think barbecues are in the top ten "best in life", at the very least. Honestly. Surround yourself with friends, get plenty of food and drink, and you're good to go.

So when we were invited to a barbecue for the Fourth of July, let's just say I didn't have any second thoughts about accepting said invitation.

The Independence Day celebration is always an interesting experience, to say the least. Two of my favorite aspects are the hot dogs and the fireworks. Generally in that order, because there's nothing like a good barbecued hot dog. Delicious.

I enjoy fireworks too, however, and have been known to use them myself on such an occasion as this. Albuquerque law has for years only allowed fireworks that do not rise over 6-8 feet into the air to be used privately. I've always been cautious about following this law. Mostly because I'm not stupid. I live in the middle of the desert. A very dry desert. One that, under the best of circumstances, can still fuel a hefty fire.

So the Fourth, while fun, is also a fairly terrifying holiday. Yes, people love the excuse to party, and many of them like to become heavily intoxicated before driving home. Additionally, about as many of them feel compelled to buy illegal fireworks (which miraculously find their way into fireworks sales tents that, gasp, are within city limits) and shoot them off. While intoxicated. In their front yard. With nice trees and plenty of houses in the vicinity.

The other problem with the Fourth is that, while it deserves celebration, it often gets celebrated without deference to history. And antics from jerks who think they're cool, playing with illegal fireworks, tend to carry on for multiple days.

And without conclusion, signing off, yours truly,

Phil the Scrooge