4th of July Evening Fun!

July 4th was a success for us! The rain came early afternoon, poured for awhile, tapered off. Stopped for awhile, came again, pittered about after 8pm, but not too much, by 8:30pm I was setting off some fountains.

By the time the sky was darker we had no rain and were able to get all our major stuff up. We didn’t send up all our re-loadable mortars, but all the cakes were used. There are also Magic Crystals and a fountain or two left.

I used Live Free or Die and Vapor Trails together, and it was phenomenal!

I used a Sea Sparrow and 100 Saturn battery in conjunction with God of Fire, but the two little ones all blew out at once, weird. I had them setup right. I lit them properly with a punk, one after the other. By the time I got the God of Fire lit, the two little ones were done.

They are supposed to last a decent amount of time, they both blew their loads the same. Weird. So God of Fire was alone and I guess I’ve never seen it solo before. It really likes to have other things with it.

I used Preemptive strike with a Red, White and BOOM! … super nice together. I would have put off two of the RW&B but I couldn’t get it done, so I put the other one up when the first two were done. It’s a sweet little box. One of my favorites we get every year, at least two, usually more, but only two this year.

We sent up the Crown Brocade Classic box alone. It’s lush and gorgeous, all golden wonderfulness. God of Fire would work well with it, as I have done before. It was nice to see it unadulterated though.

Other things were nice. Those above were the highlights. It was so much fun!

Tested Once Again

My cat died less than two weeks ago. He was just 3 years old. It was shocking and still has me off-kilter.

Two days after he died, my 5 year old boy turned 6. That wasn’t fun. I tried hard, but still. It’s like you are a stuffed animal. Something takes the stuffing out of you. You’re just a skin with no filling. That’s what it feels like.

Sometimes I can forget about it now. But then I remember. So here we are, tomorrow is the Fourth of July. I have to make the day in my cat’s honor. I need to. Bang! Poof! Ahhhh! You know, fireworks..

Advanced Thought Process – Thinking Aloud about PS Vita

Today is February 10. It’s been a fast month so far, and that is solely because of February 15th, which is Vita Day! We’ve been looking forward to this day (without knowing for sure it would be this long at the outset) for just over a year. We watch the introduction of the NGP via Sony’s broadcast of their press conference on the internet in the browser, January 2011. Yes, we watched it ‘live’ but the exact date isn’t what I’m going for here.

We had planned for [ what became the PS Vita ] to be Christmas presents for me and my eldest son. All year we looked forward to that, only to be totally blown to pieces when they announced an early 2012 launch for the whole world, but a December 2011 launch in Japan. Oh well, we picked up the pieces and found other things to wish for, for Christmas 2011.

All in all, I was sold on the new device via the internet that January 2011. It’s sleek but not TOO sleek, it’s not skinny by any perspective. It has the nicest light heft feeling when holding it (I got to play around with one in December 2011 at a PS Vita Mall Event.) The OLED screen is bright, colorful, deep, wonderful.

My PSP is good. But it looks so dull, on any brightness setting, compared to the OLED PS Vita. I haven’t done a side by side comparison yet. I don’t have an actual PS Vita in my house. I didn’t carry my PSP around with me to compare it at the mall either. Having them side by side in less than a week will be nice.

Some people online are writing about getting their pre-orders of the PS Vita shipped already, but that was a mistake and halted. Lucky them.

In any case, we have them pre-ordered at a brick store. We’ll pay for them on the 15th. I’m hoping we can get some accessories and games too. There are not a lot of games we are interested in right away. There are a few.

In the 1st Edition Bundle there is a case, the PS Vita, a 4g Card, and Little Deviants game. That game isn’t one I’d pick exactly, but it’s not un-welcomed. For me I often just won’t play something unless there is a reason that I find out about it that will drive me to wish to play. Simply being “popular” isn’t the thing. Actually, that’s exactly a mark against something 🙂

The Vita will also come with 6 AR cards. It’s capable of playing AR games with those cards, and also can do WAR without the cards in AR games. With the PS Vita there are 3 free downloadable games officially announced to work with the cards, and I guess WAR as well.

Cliff Diving, Tabletop Soccer, and Fireworks.

I’ve seen others posting on blogs about how they are not impressed, the games look boring, whatever, cheap.

Well they aren’t impressed, that’s too bad. I know it’s cool to get things that are novel, for awhile. Is this novel? Yes. Is it something that’ll stick around? Well, it is already around. There are AR games for the PSP, for instance, with a camera add-on. Other things exist.

Kind of how 3D is not new, but still novel, not widespread, will stay novel … until holodecks arrive. AR and WAR will be more popular I think, and be a bridge to those holodecks. 🙂

I’m looking forward to the Fireworks game. I love fireworks. It’ll be fun. We’ll see how long that lasts. I’ll try and be sure to post my thoughts on all of this later, once the PS Vita and all that gaming is in my grasp.

The thing about the PS Vita that is really nice: Trophy support. Games for the portable now can have real trophies that sync with one’s true PSN Trophy List. Integration. Woo! Hoo!

What games will have trophies? That’s up to the game devs. I am interested in the AR Suite games, will they have trophies? No word on that, so either they do or they don’t. Either/Or with a hedged bet towards the latter.

There’s a game I’m interested in. It’s something that is fantasy and it’s just something I bet would have certain folks up in arms about it. So, I won’t say more than that.

I like the idea of Lumines & Sound Shapes too. The new Vita version, of Lumines, and Sound Shapes is a totally new game, I’ve been following it’s development some this past year.

MLB 12: The Show will have a PS Vita version that will work with the PS3 version, that is awesome, but it’s cost prohibitive. To do that in the beginning of March, when it’s available, it’ll be $100 for both pieces of software. Ouch. I want other games though. As time goes by there will be more published. I’ll be getting what I can from BB & Amazon with bonus points …

The Playstation blog has a list of compatible PSN games with the PS Vita, it’s not a final list, but it’s missing all the digital full PSP games we’ve bought, and lists SOME of the mini’s I got from PSN Plus for free, and some of the ones I bought outright, but not all of it, not by far.

I wanted to play Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake, as well as Savage Moon: The Hera Campaign. We’ll see.

Now a thing that would be necessary to have is Pixel Junk Monsters Deluxe. I’d prefer Pixel Junk Monsters Super Deluxe for PS Vita. Anyhow, the Pixel Junk Monsters Deluxe page from Q Games has a PSP –> Vita vertical symbol on the bottom right of the page. No word anywhere that I can find about it being re-done for the Vita or anything though. PJMD is not on the playstation blog list. I have also read about those with Vita’s already in the US cannot download PJMD from the Vita store, it’s not compatible, they are told.

There are also lots of apps for the PS Vita, a camera with video support now. I’m just waiting for a Get Glue app. I need to suggest that on their site. I’ve been spending more time in the PS forums of late, instead of doing stuff like that. FWIW

Playstation Site

July 4th 2011

The Fourth of July was a good day, though the weather was very uncooperative most of the day, in one form or another. It was sunny in the morning, then started to cloud over, and we had threatening storms, then massive rain, lightning, gusty wind, hail, etc.

Fourth of July Thunderstorm

There were MORE storms threatening to our West late afternoon, more beyond that first threat one, which was supposed to be really bad in the first place. All in all, it aimed right at our county, then just stalled, scrunched up, everything just stayed, and never entered our area.

So no more rain. Just clouds, high clouds. Fireworks Friendly.

    Battle of Yorktown Assortment 

  • We had a bunch of junk from an assortment Phantom Fireworks gave us. That’s something I want to avoid next time, or else just mess with that stuff mostly another time, really it was a waste of time, things that do this or that but nothing much, no whistle or bang of the flying things. Yuck.
    Magic Crystals - 16 wonderful flying regulars 

  • We buy Magic Crystals every year now (for a few years running, I guess) — they are awesome! Screaming, spinning, flying, sparkly things.
  • We like shooting Mortars too. We are totally sick of crappy shells though. The “Cherry Bomb Artillery Shells” kit (12-shots) we got at Phantom had the effect pictures on the side of the box. Yeah, right, not how most of them shot off. All big but nothing special.
    Bigger Mortar Kits 

  • The “Red White Blue Aerial Show” was a great mortar kit (12-shots). It had no pictures on the box, but was promised to be Red, White & Blue. It was good, some were OK, most were better than that.

We got some other stuff earlier than our “big purchase” and one thing we’d gotten then was WolfPack mortar kit. A smaller mortar kit, we’ve done it before. I wanted to get another, (Black Cat) that was there in the same price range, but the guy in the store belittled it … “same effect in different colors” when the WolfPack gave you multiple effects.

I wasn’t ready to quibble, so just left the subject alone and we got the WolfPack. I knew inherently I was wrong, and will not go there again. Next time I will trust myself and just get the Black Cat shells.

    Black Cat Firecrackers - THE BEST! 

  • Speaking of Black Cat, they make my favorite firecrackers. I got 2 bricks.
    Right Side of Fireworks 

  • We had also gotten War Birds with a coupon & gas receipt that day. Free. It was one of the best new ones we’ve seen. 7-shots, really good shots.
    500 Gram Cakes 

  • We had two 500gm cakes that we’d never done before: God of Fire, and Fortress of Fire.

God of Fire was really, really good. Fortress of Fire was good. God of Fire wins me over though as a “I’d surely do that one again” item.

  • We had a new thing (for us) in that we got two 3″ Racks of 500gm 9-shot finales. Gold Brocade, and Red, White and Blue.
    Finale Racks 

    The way I had them going on the 4th, it didn’t work out, so I didn’t really see either of them. (Really sucks, big time!)

  • We used Phantom Crackling Missile Bases with the finale (love those!)
  • We also used Saturn Battery 100-shot, and Sea Sparrow Missiles with the 500gm Cakes.
    Red, White and BOOM! 2 of them, first time 

  • A new little box we got was Red, White and BOOM! – 2 of them. Quite nice little guys. I’ll get them every year now (have wanted to get them before, but hubby never let me.)
  • We had a Broken Hearts box, that was nice, as usual. It’s usually add to our order as a bonus every year.
    Mortars, Shells, Tubes 

  • We also had prepacked tubes of Red White Blue with whistle tail, and Comet Cluster Shell (that one is my favorite!)

Anyhow, I made a plan of when we’d do what, and overall that worked well. I need to fine-tune what we do next time, and also get more support for wiring things together.

I’m pulling for more stuff for my birthday. I’d love to have something for every one’s birthday, and holidays like New Years, maybe Christmas too, Memorial Day.

I love silver glittery lovely fireworks for New Years. One year, some time ago, we had a pack of fountains from Costco, they are large fountains and filled the night with lovely sparkly stuff, but we’ve not seen that pack ever since. We do go to another place to get stuff now. It’s not something we look for in Costco anymore. I don’t look for packs of fountains either now. A few good ones are worth it, but the best is shot high to fill the sky with light and color and glitz and whhomp, bang, boom!

Happy 2011

The new year was greeted by us with some Black Cat Firecrackers, 1 cake Johnny B. Good (30-shots), and 1 other cake Thunder Mountain (33-shots).

Some neighbors shot off mortars here and there after dark set in, here and there, and more as midnight grew closer. We only had firecrackers for the entire night, with “the big show” with our cakes saved for midnight.

The weather was decent for fireworks, mild, a tad chilly, but not bad. Fairly good skies, thin clouds high above, plenty of room in the sky for fireworks. Light breezes now and then, most smoke cleared out from fireworks being shot off fast enough not to be an annoyance in viewing the show(s). Breezes disturbed some of the shots the neighbors had earlier in the night. I wasn’t aware of any distortion of our cakes, but they go so differently than the single mortars, they have an overall impact. Mortars are singular, even the double or triple break sort, IMO.

So we are now in another new year. I liked the sound of 2010. It wasn’t hard to get used to. 2011 isn’t so bad, just not as grand sounding, to me, as 2010. I’ve yet to write it out wrong, so maybe it’s an easy change. FWIW

My Birthday July 18, 2009

We did go to SC and get some fireworks 1 2 for my birthday, and to pick up milk from the farm yesterday.

I have my birthday cheesecake in the oven. (yes, I am making my own birthday cake, beats having one from a store …)

Frank had me open my presents already. A bunch of scrapbooking stuff from Target, the $1 stuff, but it’s good stuff, a cool throw he found in a store in Greenville, SC the other week, it’s a baseball thing, made of 90% cotton/recycled cotton, remainder virgin acrylic. I’ll have to get a picture taken & uploaded, or find one online …

My big gift was a Wacom intuos 4 graphics tablet. I’ve wanted on for years, and this is a nice one. It’s the S version, a start-up for me (he agreed, planned that already, that this would graduate to the children and I’d get a larger tablet someday.)

So now I need space to work in. More than ever.

Happy Birthday to me!

Best present comes later … setting off the fireworks linked above. Also have several Crackling Jets and Magic Crystals; as well as firecrackers left over from the 4th, which were part of what we bought and got “free” from Phantom with our purchase then, so they are NOT the ones I prefer. I like Black Cat firecrackers.

Fireworks 2009

On July 4th of this year (2009) we had our 2nd Annual Family Fireworks show, but previous years tradition really started it with fountains only, back a few years more. This year we increased what we did, hand picking each item ourselves, not getting any “pre packaged” things.

We go to Phantom Fireworks off of exit 1 on I-85 in SC. We ended up with 3 boxes that were awesome show enders. We had a bunch of different mortars, and some big and medium fountains, little things, and battery things, and some smaller boxes of things.

In particular the big boxes were Johnny B. Good, and Live Free or Die. Both were $109 and PF has a buy 1 get 1 free deal all the time, so both for the one $109 price. We also got a smaller box that sells for $79 (Motherload) free because of everything we bought added up … and we got firecrackers free, and a battery thing … and a medium small pretty nice little box show thing.

I wrote down in a notebook everything from the packages, and also have the detailed receipt still. This is the first year I’ve gotten this detailed about what we had, to go over it and have history and increase with what we liked and where we want to go from there better next year.

We also had started doing a fountain show on New Years Eve, but only one of them since 2007 was the first year for that, and 2008 we had gone to Michigan to see FIL and weren’t home on NYE. I am hoping we can do a decent mortar, box, and fountain show for this NYE.

My birthday is in a few days (Saturday) and I love fireworks and have wanted to have fireworks of all sorts on my birthday for many years. I finally got Frank to start getting fountain packages at Costco for July 4th in 2006, which started him on the road of actually enjoying what I’ve been wanting to do myself, get mortar and big “cake” shows going.

We had the Pyrotechnics Motherload box this year and WERE going to save it for my birthday, but after we did Live Free or Die, we ran into the house and got the Motherload box and set that off before finishing with Johnny B. Good.

So I knew I wanted something on my birthday still and Frank also kinew and said we’d probably do something, so here is the week. My birthday is on Saturday, we get paid today, and he said this morning

I need to figure out what I can do about getting an appointment in SC before the end of the week.

… which was code for we/I can go to Phantom Fireworks in SC, and I’d like to find a business appt. to make it a business trip which means, two birds with one stone, make the trip economical gas-wise. Old story with him, vacations never happen for the same reason. :rolleyes:


On July 4th we had our own little fireworks show. I love “fireworks” and really love shooting them off, not just watching them. Big shows I do love, but not the crowds, and so it goes that if we can do our own, I do prefer that highly over going somewhere to see them on a holiday.

Over the years we haven’t really done them until 2006. July 4, 2006 and July 4, 2007 we had a packages which we got at Costco, just some Fountains. Nice, enough for my DH to start with. I am the one with a passion for the stuff, and he likes it OK, but wasn’t too “into it” then. He couldn’t care less for himself if he goes to see fireworks or not. I love baseball and so does he, and so if we can combine the two (fireworks after a baseball game) I would choose that over “just a baseball game” every time. He does think about that sometimes, for me, not for him.

We really did enjoy the fountains on 7/4/2007 but wanted MORE. For New Years Costco had the same sort of fountain packages and we got an even bigger set of fountains. It was really, really nice.

I have always wanted to get our things in another state though, since our state doesn’t allow the sale of anything much at all. So the children and I were able to convince DH to finally stop at one of the stores in another state on the way home after a trip before this past July 4th.

We got a bunch of stuff, and could hardly wait for nightfall on July 4, 2008 to arrive. DH set all of it off, I helped get things ready (since we have a baby around again, I didn’t participate as much as I’d like to, but I did enjoy myself immensley, as did DH.)

This was experimental for us, the first time working with shells, mortars, etc. We had even better fountains than before, some really stupid fountain types that we’ll not make the mistake to get again, and nearly every “tube” and “mortar” we had was really great, some way better than others, and all of them useful in conjunction with something else. We mostly shot things off singly, some we did two-stage, but it was as I said in the beginning of this paragraph, experimental.

Here you can see the aftermath: the next morning, July 5, 2008

This next New Year’s Eve (’09) we’ll go and get more, better things, and plan a multi-stage sort of show, then be ready for a fantastic July 4th 2009.

Some neighbors up the street shot off some nice ones, and we had a few neighbors down the street that came out and watched ours and theirs, and at least one of them was interested in doing more themselves next time because of it. 🙂

It’s my desire to have firecrackers year round, just for fun any old time. For birthdays I always want fireworks too, but my birthday is in July, just two weeks after the 4th. Not a problem in my mind, but it is to others pocketbooks.

I did tell my DH I’d just prefer a Cake for my birthday, from South Carolina. I don’t know what sort entirely, just one of those that has a fuse and shoots up a self-contained show. 🙂

This year we won’t be home for my birthday, our niece is getting married on that day, –which is kind of conflicting for me. I’m a “Celebrate your birthday on your actual birthday” sort of person. I don’t like overlapping things, and deal with that every so often in November, when our daughters birthday fall on Thanksgiving.

I don’t besmirch our niece her day, not at all. It’s just that I had planned to have DH get me stuff for my birthday for sure this year, for longer than a year, and I’m a “Celebrate your birthday on your actual birthday” sort of person, yes, I am repeating myself. Combining these things is impossible, and so …