I took Friday off. About midday I got on the train and headed to Chicago.
It was Two. Hours. Late. Mostly this is because of some stupid slapfight Norfolk Southern and Amtrak/the State of Michigan are having; the State is supposed to be buying the rail track to upgrade it but isn't doing so fast enough for NS. NS are imposing freight-train-style speed restrictions of like 20mph on Amtrak til they get what they want.
So, I missed my connection to Madison. Fortunately, there was another bus an hour later, and my internet-spaceship friend Shortspecialbus picked me up without further incident. We had a beer then I pretty much crashed having been travelling for 11 hours at that point.
Next day was Rhythm and Booms.Here's the music stage
. It was populated by a rather hilariously bad cover band doing 90s greatest hits. Still, was pretty good fun making fun of them.A Blackhawk taking off
. The festival was Army-sponsored, unsurprisingly I suppose. Was cool to see though.
After the music and helicopter, we went to chill out with some of SSB's friends including Mittani's wife, who is a really cool person who's writing some kind of thesis on 1930s German legal theory. I actually knew a bit of what she was talking about. I also ate ludicrously expensive cheese curds. At about 9 we wandered over to the fireworks show.Army parachute dude
. The Army have a stunt team called the Golden Knights, apparently, who do parachute stunts with little trails of flame behind them. The pic's not good but it was cool to watch.
Then, everyone stood for the National Anthem, followed by a rendition of I'm Proud to be an American. I don't begrudge y'all, it is your national holiday, but I have to say I felt a bit out of place.Then, fireworks! Some more!
I have to say it's the best fireworks show I've ever seen. After the show we hung out at a bar for a while, played some You Don't Know Jack on the XBox 360, and bedtime snore zzz.Bonus pic of ssb's girlfriend's dog, who is adorable
The next day we went to the range and did some shootin', with a couple of .22's, an M9 pistol, and the star of the piece, an M1 Garand
. The furniture is probably Korean vintage, the receiver is stamped 1943, meaning it very likely saw action in World War 2.I got to fire a clip through itSome moreClose up
I have to say it was fun. The M1 definitely has...authority when firing it, and is loud as hell, but actually had less recoil than I expected.
Then, back to SSB's place for drinks and chat. His idea of a suitable straw
Monday was pretty uneventful, he drove me back to Chicago since he had family obligations there anyway, I got on the train home (only an hour late this time), the end. I had a good time, though. Looking forward to the August goonmeet.