I slept in until almost noon, despite only being at the cocktail party at Scott's apartment building until 1am. So, I had time after lunch to cut the grass, but not undertake the painting project. I cut the grass using a lower than usual setting, because it's July. I want to stunt its growth. I'm not going to water it, and it's just going to turn brown for the next two months, anyway. Along the back edge of the lawn, the mower stalled, so I disengaged the blades, started it again, engaged the blades, and it stalled again. So, I rode it down to the carport and raised the deck to see why the blades were in a bind. I found that I picked up some rusty barbed wire in the blades that must be about 100 years old. I spun the blades backwards by hand to loosen it, and used wire cutters to remove it all. There was about 6 feet of the stuff wrapped around both blades. There are a few nicks in the blades, so I'll need to grind them again. The mower ran fine subsequently, and the lawn once again looks like civilized people live here. Not the best mow, because I got too close to a rose bush and my left leg looks like a cat mauled it. I cursed and bled. Oh, and there's a nice dirt line along near the back fence where my poor mower unearthed the barbed wire, but only the dog goes back there. And the mower. Now I understand the recent flat tire. I've been rolling on a bit of protruding barbed wire.
In a coffee table book called Kansas City, Then and Now, I saw an aerial photo of my neighborhood from 2000 next to an aerial photo of it in 1962. Yup, my house was here in '62, but without the carport, back porch, deck, or barn. The most striking difference was the lack of stadiums at the end of 43rd. That was a field. Blue Ridge Mall was there, however. It had cars in the parking lot in '62. Not in 2000. The Jones Store sign was the same in 1962 as it was in 2000. There were no trees in my yard in the '62 photo. In the 2000 photo you can't even see the house for the trees. What a difference 40 years makes.
I went to my brother's house to celebrate the 4th with food and fireworks. They bought some fun fireworks. Their neighbors had a nice party going, replete with funk music and lots of fireworks. Overkill, really. It was literally a blast. There was a grand finale, where almost everyone went out into the street and lit the fuse on some obnoxious whistling, popping, and sparking thing at the same time. When the whistling and popping stopped, there was cheering, then the push brooms and garbage bags came out. Aside from a few scorch marks on the pavement, it was surgically cleaned. I stayed and watched a movie. Now, I'm ready to crash.