Friday, May 26, 2017

Confused Alarms

So it's been ages since I last posted. I have too many pictures to sort through and write about. From April. But it's all good. Life is what it is.

But I did run across something that was cool to me which I wanted to remember. I have been doing a lot of fiction reading lately. It's always been something I enjoy, and it's good to have space in my life to read just for fun. In one of the books I have read this week, there was a reference to the poem "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold, written in approximately 1851. The last stanza was quoted:

Ah, love, let us be true
to one another! For the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Pretty cool, no? But as I read the words "confused alarms of struggle of flight" I knew them. From another source. How cool is that?

Sometimes the spirit is too strong
Or the flesh is too weak
Sometimes the need is just too great
For the solace we seek
The suit of shining armor
Becomes a keen and bloody sword
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

A refuge for the coming night
A future of eternal light
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

Confused alarms of struggle and flight
Blood is drained of color
By the flashes of artillery light
No one gets to their heaven without a fight

An excerpt from a RUSH song. There's a reason I like this band so much. Great song with a hidden tribute that I just now learned about. It makes me smile.
 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sky Bling

Last Saturday I went to a shooter's school for display fireworks. Pretty cool stuff. I learned a lot about display fireworks, heard some stories, and I got to set off a couple of 3 inch shells. Interesting day. If I wanted to operate a show of display fireworks, I would need to have experience at two more shows (the "show" at the school counted as one of the three needed) and then pass a test to receive an operator's license.

I love fireworks. I love the big booms. I love the sparkles. Makes me smile every time I see them. But . . . to set off display fireworks I would need room I don't have. To store the product until the show I would need a magazine and enough clear space around that magazine that I just don't have. To transport the product I would need appropriate equipment and an ATF license which I don't have. And, fun as it was to set off the 3 inch shells, setting off the 1.5 inch shells was just as fun. And 1.5 inch shells qualify as consumer fireworks - no special licenses, no special equipment, no special storage facilities.

So while I could get an operator's license, I am not going to pursue it. Too much work for too little gain. A bigger budget for consumer fireworks is all I want. But . . . I wonder if I should shoot fireworks at all.

Mr. Wonderful asked, "Why not, if you love it so much?" It's not a "being frugal" issue for me. Tightwads say it's a waste of money, might as well just burn a $100 bill. No, I enjoy them. This is what I spend my "allowance" money to purchase. I don't buy $7 venti lattes. I don't buy designer clothing. But I do love fireworks.

No, the issue for me is more humanitarian. The sponsor of the shooter school explained that he gets his product from China, because it's a lot cheaper. France, Italy, and the United States do manufacture some display fireworks, but China's are much cheaper. And consumer fireworks are almost all of Chinese manufacture. I am not convinced that Chinese workers are treated well. I am not convinced that Chinese manufacturers regard environmental issues as worthy of concern. I am concerned that the reasons Chinese fireworks are so much cheaper are reasons I do not wish to support.

But my little ones love fireworks as well. And they are everywhere in our neighborhood during the 4th of July celebrations. Will one person ending their fireworks purchases make a difference? It will to this person's children, but as far as the manufacture of fireworks in China, my purchases are nothing.

So I will probably buy fireworks this year, but begin cutting back some. Much as I love Sky Bling, I just can't justify spending as much on it any longer.