Hopefully by now all the neighborhood amateur fireworks displays where you live have stopped by this point, but who knows. I’ve never gotten the fascination with them, and at this point, I never will. With all of the noise I deal with regularly, I put the ear plugs in and go to bed anyway. My cats, unfortunately, do not have that luxury. I know, complain and complain. But I know it’s an issue for a lot of people...

•In any event, we’ll hit some sports topics before things go off the rails. The big business that is college football now has UCLA and USC joining the Big Ten, which I believe is up to 16 teams now. The Big ‘Sixteen’ now has teams on the West Coast, East Coast, Midwest and in states that border Canada. There are no geographical restrictions anymore, and apparently travel budgets are unlimited at this point. High gas prices? Skyrocketing hotel bills? Food budgets being doubled? Not an issue in big-time college athletics it seems.

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