July 18, 2006


if i ever wrote a tourist guide to the netherlands i would title it "going dutch!"

July 15, 2006

fiasco of july

some people make new years resolutions, i make 4th of july resolutions. this year i resolved to get some decent photos of "the country's oldest 4th of july parade"--something my town of bristol, ri, takes an immodest amount of pride in.

the weirdos never miss a chance to come out in full force. just walking down the parade route before everything starts is an feast of people-watching. going into town you walk through a number of different phases. first there is the area of the people who show up late and didn't get good seats. then there are the houses who have set up those portable bleacher seats and invite a hundred people to their house. then, my favorite, the motorcycle/trailor people--they claim the 1/8th mile region of parking lots on the way into town. and if we are very lucky, set up inflatable pools on the sidewalk, perfect for drinking in public if you are an easily-amused overweight middle-aged guy with no sense of decency. despite the popular theory that they choose this area for the high concentration of portable restrooms, i get the impression that the pool folks aren't taking advantage of them.

from thereon the crowds get ritzier and therefore less interesting. the one thing they have going for them is that their behavior in previous years has caused bristol to pass ordinances prohibiting anyone from setting up chairs or blankets before 5 am. 5 am! the parade route is lousy with signs explaining this and the police enforce the rule with an iron fist. more important though is the obvious implication of this: a certain type of person will be there at 5:01. you can spot them yawning and lying down to "rest their eyes" in the early afternoon. my friend's mother was one such individual and awoke us rudely at 4:55 one year for the task--something for which i have never forgiven her.

unlike years past the sky neither unleashed gallons of rain nor cooked us from above and i got some decent shots.

one of the many aforementioned signs. the day before the parade.

it feels good to be on the right side of the civil war.

morning of the 4th. some tractors along the way.

ooo, look at my sensitive artistic perspective. what a keen eye i have.

longview of the bovine herd. note the red-white-and-blue center line. there are signs next to the road indicating that the line divides "two-way traffic" anyone who couldn't have figured that out on their own shouldn't be allowed to drive.

a strange sight. tribute to lafayette et al. perhaps?

this fellow doesn't seem very happy about my picture-taking. too bad, guy, this is america.

yours truly wishing i was a you-know-what.

guess who was up at 5:01?

here's a judgement for you: you're not as clever as you think you are.

i should have just set staked-out this guy's house all day.

members of an umbrella-based cult.

this man is a hero.

the boat people.

en garde!

"finally, a chance to wear my tricorner hat in public!"

a sad, tired, man.

every year one of the last floats is the rocky horror group. i have no idea why they are in the parade. after 2 hours of applauding firemen, marching bands, miss rhode islands, and aged war veterans the crowd isn't quite sure what to do with a flatbed full of scantily-clad weirdos.

there is no question on whether or not to applaud a cup like this.

the remains of the day in balloon and non-balloon form.