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Robbie Caputo and I went to Iowa and picked up fireworks for the party on the 23 of June. Robbie bought $400 worth of stuff and I bought $200 so now I have an entire refrigerator full of enough explosives to do serious damage to a large building...not that I would. Back in April I bought about $300 worth and got an additional $200 for free. Mind you, this is not the kind of stuff you can just buy at the roadside stands in any state. You have to have a special permit to buy this stuff plus I have to sign a contract with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco an Firearms to even be able to transport it. So we are set on that side of things.

Robbie and I took Rob and Gwen's boy Evin fishing Tuesday night. Robbie and I each caught 5 bass, but of course, Evin caught the biggest one. 3 1/2 pounds. I had to help him bring it in or it would have pulled him in the water. Of course later he went bragging all over his neighborhood about how he had caught a bigger fish than Mark or Robbie. Worst part of it is, that was the fish his dad had been trying to catch for a couple years now. Won't his dad be happy when he gets back off the road? I took a picture just so he could use it to brag to his dad.

Then I made a mistake. Gwen had commented that she wasn't going to be able to get a sitter for Evin yesterday. Offhandedly, I said "Well I guess he could come with Robbie and I when we go pick up fireworks." I had not thought she would take me up on it but she did. Too bad since Robbie had been planning to stop of in Gulfport, IL just this side of the Mississippi and go to this biker bar where they have strippers. So now that was out although I'm sure an 8 year old kid would have gotten something out of the experience. I just didn't want to get blamed for it later.

Evin was pretty much a pain in the ass all day. He gets like that sometimes. He just can't resist getting on your last nerve and he did that well. I won't go into specifics but suffice to say, it was a nerve wracking experience. One of the things he did was - His mom had given me a check for $50 for her share of fireworks. She had told him he could spend $10 of it on things for himself. So I'm pushing this shopping cart around the inside of this concrete storage bunker and getting the fireworks I want. He comes up with about 5 items and asks me to add them up for him. The total comes to around $12 so I tell him he has what he can spend. He smiles and acts happy about it. Well, then I was an aisle over getting a super strand (a strand of 25,000 firecrackers) and while I'm over there, he takes all of his stuff back out of the cart and puts in new stuff. So when I get up to the check out it actually costs $25 instead of $12. So I go ahead and pay for it but I tell him right there. "OK, you get to explain to your mom why she only gets $25 worth of stuff when she was expecting $40!"

You could see the understanding dawn on his face. He had figured Mark and Robbie had money and would pay for the extra stuff he wanted. It was a little scary when he realized it was really going to come out of his Mom's money. He went right to his mom when we got home and said "mom I messed up!" and hugged her. I never heard the end of that conversation but hopefully he learned a lesson.

We stopped by my cousin's pizza place in Carthage on the way home and then Robbie and I cruised the square checking out all the chicks in shorts before we headed on home. Once I got back, I watered the landscaping, packed the fireworks away in the old fridge in the garage and headed back to Peoria with Jake the Dog so I could help Deb with the gardening here.

Deb has gone nuts lately buying flowering plants for the back yard. More power to her. She's transformed it into a really nice place just to sit and smell the flowers...literally.

In other news, Deb turned down the position in my department for photo editor. It would have been a promotion and she would have gone on salary like me but she decided to stick it out in the editorial department working hourly for awhile. She's been there 9 years and she actually makes more money than me because she gets overtime. She's an associate editor now and when she finishes her degree next year she'll be promoted to Editor. She's hoping some day to go for Editorial Director. I'm actually happy for her. I just wanted her to explore the options in my department and she has.

So we have a position for a photo editor available. Anyone want to live in Peoria, IL?

Back to work.

Peace,

Wander

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wander
Wander aka StoneBear
Bear Dancer Studios

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