Note added Friday morning: the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has launched! Read all about it.
Not two minutes ago as I write this, I saw a a Perseid flash across the sky. Did you?
Don't worry. Friday night is good too. The Moon sets early, so go out around 1:00 or later. You'll see plenty.
Come to think of it, I'm not sure when I saw a Perseid meteor last. It was always cloudy in August in Virginia when I was kid. Always. I saw a good show once in college, in Michigan, with my friend Dan (who is now also a professional astronomer). And then in grad school, some friends of mine and I went out to the roof of the astronomy department to watch the shower, and I think we saw a few.
Now I can say I saw one this time. And Friday night, if it's clear, I think I'll get the Wee Astronomer out to watch a few more. It's a great way to spend time. Maybe the best way.