July 4th is here! While I am a bit concerned by where my country is at right now, it’s still the USA and it’s my home. I’m a Romans 13 type of guy, and I also take Exodus 22:28 with all seriousness —

Do not blaspheme God[f] or curse the ruler of your people

What? Did God say not to curse the ruler of your people? God DID say that. What that says to me is that I don’t invoke Brandon, no matter if I agree or not with the president or governor or anyone in authority. God does not say I have to agree, but I have to respect any leader, even honor them.

Time off almost always means opportunities to ride my bike. This holiday was a rare four day weekend, with both Friday and today as paid time off. My company is saying thank you to it’s employees, grateful for another fantastic business year and all the hard work that has gone into it. So, needless to say, I have taken advantage of the time away from work to ride, three out of the last four days, and it’s been great. There haven’t been any epic rides, just two hour bashes on the singletrack at my favorite trail system. Even though it’s July, I am only just now beginning to get my riding legs, and am feeling good on the bike. Today, even though I hit everything hard, I felt at the end of the ride that I could have (and wanted to) ride a whole lot more. I wanted to get home, though, get some things done around the house, give my third child a bath (including a toothbrush scrub), clean up the cars, spend some time with Lisa. Tonight, we are going over to friends’ for snacks and time with them, then walk over to the city fireworks display with them. It’s going to be a good time, if the weather cooperates. It’s overcast right now and threatening rain. As I write, a downpour just started. Guess maybe it will be dominoes with friends, rather than fireworks. All is good, as one might be able to deduce from the pictures below, the therapy of the woods was fantastic this morning. It’s got me itching for more (literally — I picked up something on my right calf that’s given me a rash). And I get time with my wife and friends, maybe even my son, who called a few minutes ago and might come over to be with us tonight, as well.