I’m not sure turning into a fireworks hater is a sign of the approach of curmudgeonliness ... or just greater common sense mixed with irritability. 

It is now a week of pesky noise that keeps us awake, causes me to have to put on pants and go outside once in a while to make sure the neighborhood is not on fire, and trying to keep track of a scaredy-dog (first, we look for her in her crate; second, the clothes closet; third, the shower stall).

Looking back on my childhood ... I can’t believe what we used to do around the Fourth of July. Some of the fireworks we played with a few decades ago were incredibly dangerous, in retrospect, and we fired them off willy nilly starting a couple weeks before the Fourth and for a good bit afterward. 

How did we not start any major conflagrations? Pure luck. How did we not kill ourselves and everyone in a one-mile radius? Who knows. Except, well, there were fires started and lots of injuries ... just none caused by me and my cousins and all the neighborhood brats. 

I do have the notion that most of us my age or older all knew of at least one kid who had burn scars or a squinty eye or worse from fireworks accidents.

I didn’t grow up in a wooded area. That worked in our favor. But I’ve lived in wooded areas where the kids were just as stupid as we were. 

Finally, firefighters, health professionals, and law enforcement ... as well as a great part of the adult population ... had enough and started clamping down on what was legal and what was not. Some parts of the country now ban fireworks in general.

Frankly, we’re about ready to support that cause here. A lot of local citizens are still enamored with fireworks and stick up for the cause. “It’s just one day a year and it’s in celebration of our nation’s birth.”

Well ... it’s not just one day ... it’s well into the night, it involves lots of big-time fireworks that are illegal, as well as the safe and sane fireworks that are legal. And there are all sorts of ways to celebrate our nation’s birth ... hot dogs, kids parades, public concerts, baseball games, horseshoe tournaments – any number of ways of celebrating that are more fun than lighting fireworks and are not life-threatening.

That’s me as an adult talking; I would have argued the opposite many years ago. Now, I’m over fireworks. Susie the Dog agrees.

Our communities should consider bans; and should also consider investing in insurance and professional services for a topnotch fireworks show that the whole bunch of us can get together and ooh-and-ahh about ... and then have it over.

The only drawback we see is that fireworks sales has evolved into a very big-time fundraising source for churches and nonprofits of all sorts. We’ll have to work on that one.

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Thumbs Down: A quote from an article in The Sacramento Bee about a city council move toward providing more access for homeless people to public toilets:

“Advocates for homeless people recently have pushed for expanded access to public bathrooms. They have noted that restrooms for homeless people are few and scattered, especially in the downtown area. As a result, they said, homeless people often relieve themselves on the streets.”

It would be worth watching to see what develops in Sacramento. We have the same problem, different scale. We’re disgusted when we see or find evidence that someone is soiling alleys, sidewalks, nooks and crannies ... or open space. But what’s their alternative?

The problem with public restrooms open round the clock becomes maintenance, cleanliness and vandalism. Somewhere along the line the cost of dealing with all that evens out with the effects of human beings having to “go” wherever they’re at at the time because there’s no other choice.

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Ugh: Stole these ... they weren’t well-guarded ... for good reason:

– What do toads drink on hot summer days? Ice cold Croak-o-cola.

– What do you give a puppy on a hot day? A pupsicle.

– What kind of clothing are people like in the summer? Sweaters.

– What do you call ice cream on a hot Yuba-Sutter day? Cream.

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