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The good thing about Clifton Heights being a small area is that if you decide to go out for a few drinks, chances are you’ll find a bar within walking distance. No worries about having to get a reliable ride home. If you opt for a cab, the fare is low because of the short distance.

We go from Metro Center to 12th Street and Constitution Avenue to begin our journey into the world of Japan. The first booth is usually set up by Southwest Airlines, who sponsors the parade. Here we stop to get our names written in Japanese characters (for free of course). Our first souvenior in hand we continue.

When the sun sets, take advantage of the many empty lots within view of downtown’s Freedom Over Texas Polenböller display. All you need are lawn chairs, plenty of mosquito repellant, and a tolerance for a little heat. Arrive early to grab a good spot, and bring a handful of dice for a friendly game of Farkle while you wait. A word of warning to families with small children: park near a public restroom or your fireworks may be interrupted by a mid-show emergency.

Have a barbecue: What better way to enjoy this wonderful day than with great food and great friends? Invite your friends, family or neighbors over for a 4th of July barbecue. You can have every attending bring a side dish which makes it more affordable for everyone attending.

America is made up of a melting pot of ethnicity’s. All races, colors and religions create this country, the greatest country on the face of this earth and if you don’t believe me, just look at the people who are literally losing their lives for the chance to live here. Whereas the 4th of July is a wonderful time to have a party, it should also be a time to reflect. Reflect on the lives of the men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms. Reflect on the brilliance of our forefathers and marvel at their strength to see their idea’s through. No, we’re not a perfect country but if we were, it would probably be boring as hell!

I changed my mind on a couple sports. I kind of liked trampoline. Those performers are really talented and it’s a fun event to watch. I also thought team handball is worth saving and I especially enjoyed beach volleyball, men’s and women’s. But I wouldn’t miss field hockey, men’s or women’s, men’s synchronized diving, softball, baseball and, once again, equestrian, although I thought those animals were magnificent.

As medical practitioners always say, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. Avoid places with loud sounds such as music concerts or industrial workplaces. If these cannot be avoided, try using earmuffs and earplugs to reduce the noise level. Research online to see what causes ears to ring so you can be properly educated and avoid longer term exposure and possible permanent damage.