Tag Archives: celebration

4th of July Fireworks can be Deadly

We often hear about accidents involving fireworks at this time of year. Inevitably, we’ll read about someone losing a home due to the many exploding rockets landing in places where they shouldn’t. However, we tend to think that it can’t happen to us. We’re cautious, right? We follow proper safety procedures. We don’t shoot them towards homes or businesses. The problem is, though, that not everyone cares enough to even think about these things. Such was the case two years ago when my Community Manager Kat nearly lost her home.

Kat was inside working on some things for me late that night just before the holiday when she heard a lot of popping noises outside. She sighed and went to check… seeing the kids from down the block once again shooting off various fireworks in the parking lot of the strip mall across the street. Sadly, Indiana doesn’t have a law against this. The police refused to do anything about it. About a half an hour later, she heard sirens that sounded awfully close. She opened the door to be greeted by smoke pouring from the roof of the buildings across the street. The pet store, fireworks store and tax service office were on fire.

As you can see from that video footage, this was a devastating fire. It was quite dangerous since there are houses (including hers) so close to where those stores stood. It was horrible due to the fact that there were more than a hundred animals in that pet store waiting to be adopted into loving homes… including new baby kittens. None of the animals survived. Since there was a fireworks store attached to the pet store, the fire chief felt it was too dangerous to send men inside to attempt a rescue.

In this next short video clip, you can hear the sheer terror and panic in her voice as the fire finally made its way inside the fireworks store. You can hear her yell that the windows are about to blow. Just a few seconds before that, she saw what she described as a “huge fireball” come from the back of the store… right out through the window she was facing. She saw fiery debris landing on her home, and was about to have a panic attack.

Thankfully, no one was injured and all homes in the area were spared – including Kat’s. It was later determined by investigators that the fireworks the kids were shooting off in the parking lot did, indeed, cause this massive fire. One of the rockets landed on the roof of the pet store, smoldering there and quickly sparking.

It CAN happen to you, no matter how careful you or anyone around you is. I urge you to use extreme caution and care when playing with fireworks. The next unnecessary explosion could be your home.

Have a happy – and SAFE – Fourth of July.

I Got Leid!


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One tradition in Hawaii is to present someone with a Lei – and a kiss on the cheek! Lei giving is a regular part of any special occasion such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and graduations. It is not uncommon for a graduating senior to have so many leis around their neck that they can no longer see!

There are, however, a couple of “unspoken rules” one should know when receiving a lei for the first time. A lei should be a welcomed celebration of one person’s affection to another. Therefore, always accept a lei, never refuse. The proper way to wear a lei is gently draped over the shoulders, hanging down both in front and in back. It is considered rude to remove a lei from your neck in the presence of the person who gave it to you, so if you must, be discreet.

Lei giving is a regular part of any special occasion such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and graduations. It is not uncommon for a graduating senior to have so many leis around their neck that they can no longer see!

I was leid not once, but twice! Have I mentioned yet that I love Hawaii?

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Happy Birthday Video


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When is your birthday? Mine was on Sunday, and a I had a few friends over to celebrate. We had some excellent food, great conversation – and tons of fun working on building my LEGO Death Star. What’s your most memorable birthday? What about your ideal birthday? I have to say this was definitely my ideal for a perfect celebration.

I was joined by a few friends for this auspicious occasion. Michelle has done a few game review videos for us recently, so I’m sure you remember her. Mona has been helping me and the rest of the team put things together for Gnomedex. Ellen is another friend who stopped by for a few hours.

And of course, I was lucky to have my friend Traci lead the birthday singing via Skype! Doesn’t she have an amazing voice?!

I won’t be telling all of you what I wished for, because then it won’t come true. Let’s just say… if it does, it’ll be awesome!

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My Birthday

Just like I wrote earlier… it’s my birthday. Birthdays are fun, aren’t they? On my fifth birthday, I got to fly around in a Cessna plane above the city of Des Moines, IA (thinking I wanted to become a pilot). On my sixth birthday, my parents hired a magician (thinking I wanted to become a prestidigitator). On my seventh birthday, I don’t remember much because someone spiked the fruit punch (just kidding, but wouldn’t that make a wonderful story for the grandkids). On my eighth birthday, I stopped keeping track of my birthdays as I was quickly becoming… an “old man.â€Â? Remember the days when “21” was old? Neither do I – and they say that memory is the first thing to go. The only thing I want this year is a bigger chest.