It is once again the week where I prepare for a fireworks extravaganza at my place. And this year will be the biggest one ever because after we bought fireworks last year, we had such dry conditions that we couldn't light them off. Plus we had some left over from New Year's Eve. And of course, we still have this year's budget for the show. So, it should be impressive.

My daughter and I have a tradition where we get in my old car and go to the fireworks stand together. And we always buy from the same folks. Since she is the show's "artistic director", she picks out all the stuff that will be blown up on the night of the big show.

Some years on our street, a couple of other households will coordinate their displays. So we all start lighting everything off at the same time. We take turns until the end when have all saved our biggest ordnances in order to "out-finale" our neighbors. It's quite competitive.

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I am still hoping that the powers that be will let there be a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore again one day. I'd love for my daughter to get the opportunity to see that.

But apparently, the USGS took some soil and water samples and found a chemical called perchlorate which apparently is present because of fireworks in the past. That perchlorate is something that goes into fireworks to help them fly and blow up.

And perchlorate has been found to interfere with the human thyroid gland. But only in South Dakota. I also don't know how much of the contaminated dirt or water you'd have to consume to be adversely affected, but according to USGS, it's been enough to end the fireworks displays that ran from 1998-2009.

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