Monday, July 28, 2008

Fireworks, kazoos, and Oregonians

I don't know if I'm going to fit in here.

Case in point: the 4th of July.
In California, it is drummed into you that you light fireworks, even illegal fireworks, on concrete or at least away from as many combustibles as possible.

In Oregon, I watched my neighbors light fireworks that shot up 60 feet (alas, not an exaggeration) ... from their nicely tree covered backyards.

A native tried to explain it to me. "Oh, you know, things happen. But if you set your neighbor's roof on fire, just bring the hose over and tell them you didn't mean to do that."

Oh, well, that's okay then. Good to know these things.

I've got odd neighbors anyway. Not in the same category as some people, but interesting none the less. My neighbors on one side, staunch red state rednecks, told me at great length about the neighbors next to them. Gangbangers, he called them, not once, not twice, about seven times. I kept wanting to quote Inigo from The Princess Bride. "You keep using that word... I do not think it means what you think it means..." But a quick look at the Urban Dictionary assures me that it is indeed a word for gangster. Learned something new.

Also, although this is quite definitely suburbia, one of my neighbors has a rooster in his backyard. That seems really bizarre to me. Probably the zoning laws were drawn up with the same approach as the fireworks. With luck, I will turn into a mellow person by hanging around these people.

And the town is trying to make something of itself. It's trying to become the city with the most Guinness World Records. “Hillsboro currently holds two official Guinness records: In 2006, 1,874 residents donned balloon hats to claim that record. In 2007, 3,459 people put on Groucho Marx glasses.”

If you're in town next weekend, stop by to help make history. They are going to try to set the record for the most number of people gathered in one place at one time... wait for it...
... playing the kazoo.

On the exercise side, I think that this stupid coughing situation is an allergy. Some days I can exercise (cycled to work twice last week, 10 miles each), and other days I'm so worn out that my To Do list is just breathing.

The good news is that the coughing fits are just an allergic response. The bad news is that one of the main triggers is talking to my co-worker. Kinda screwed there.