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pinky

Despite the fact that so much of the news I read and see makes me despair for my fellow Americans, I heart the USA just as much as any flag wavin' jingoist. I was watching a citizenship ceremony on a news show the other day, and I'll admit it brought a tear to my eye.

All my stuff is here too. yes.

Phil

Joey Chestnut has reclaimed the hot dog eating crown for America. He downed 66 frickin' Nathan's dogs (with buns) in 12 minutes -- 3 better than reigning 6-year champion Takeru Kobayashi of Japan who beat Chestnut in 2006 (53-3/4 to ~52).

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=2925803

What impresses me is how the world record keeps jumping almost every year. In 1991, the 12 minute record was 21.1/2 HDBs (hot dogs and buns), held by an American. In the next 10 year, the record slowly moved up to 25-1/8 (with champions from Japan and the US). Then Kobayashi showed up and DESTROYED that record by eating 50 HDBs in 2001.

Kobayashi continued to set occasional new world records by marginal amounts through 2006 (when he got up to 53-3/4) but it took Chestnut showing up to launch them both to new heights.

3-minute mile, anyone?

Judy

I enjoyed this post IS. My guy had to leave for work at 4:25 this morning, so after he left I was coffeed up and looking for some blog time, and your 4th of July post hit the spot with the rising sun. I'm 90% with you. Except Las Vegas and the military. Last time I was in LV, it was crappy food, watered-down drinks, and seedy lodging. But this was 20 years ago and I hear things are a little more upscale these days...And while I agree having a military is conceptually good, the people who readily join have the oddest vibe. I work near a base, so I'm exposed to it. The vibe is similar to the kind of vibe I get from people who hunt for sport. Kind of chilling..
Thanks for Stevie and the Road Runner!

Marianne

As a naturalized citizen (or as I like to put it, a born-again American), here's a few of the things particular to America that I love (there are many more but these are superficial ones that just pop into my head)

a) The willingness to be goofy in public
b) The idea of the 1950s. Not the real one but the one seen in TV and movies
c) The idea of high school. Again, the movie and TV version
d) The idea of big Jewish or Italian families with the attendant drama and good food and hearty family gatherings. See b) and c)
e) Every incarnation of chocolate and peanut butter that Reese's produces
f) Freedom and liberty and give us your tired and poor blah blah blah

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