Tonight I took my wife and daughter to the Fourth of July fireworks and symphony performance downtown. As the orchestra played the theme songs for the branches of the armed forces, the members of each particular branch were asked to stand.

It wasn't too long ago that I'd have been booing and hissing the evil military machine. Well, it was a long time ago if you're very young, but it doesn't seem that long to me. Now I feel a great deal of gratitude towards each and every person who served this country. It won't be too long, you know, until there will be no war veterans among us. This will not be a good thing. To have put your life on the line for this country is the only way many of us will ever appreciate what it means to have the freedom we enjoy here.

It was a different sort of evening in another way, too. My daughter met this guy recently at a two-week camp she went to (she's fourteen), and he had his parents drive quite a ways to be at this event. They went off and spent a couple of hours alone. It was very strange for me to see my little girl holding hands with a guy and kissing him goodbye. Not that I'm not aware that it's time for that sort of stuff: It's just that theory and reality sometimes clash.

Then, to top it off, I had taken my little Lhasa Apso down there with us and, on the way home, near our house, we damn near ran over a lost dog. I stop and pick it up. It's got a collar but no name, and guess what kind of dog it is? Yeah, a Lhasa. I'll just keep it and run and ad in the paper until we find it's owner.

So, what lessons have we learned here, dannye?

  1. Love your country.
  2. Let your daughter go.
  3. Be kind to small animals.

Is there more to life than that? I hope not, 'cause I'm about worn out.