Loud Murmurs

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.“— Mahatma Gandhi

Month: June 2009

Fox News Has No Shame (as Usual)

When Governor Mark Sanford made his tearful Press Conference announcing that he had secretly left the US to visit the woman he was having an affair with in Buenos Aires (and left his wife and sons over Father’s Day – Classy move, dude), Fox News decided that this was reason enough to switch his party affiliation for him (notice the ‘D’ next to his name):

Mark Sanford Now a Democrat?

Mark Sanford Now a Democrat?

They later corrected it, but not after leaving this lie up a good long time.

Nice try.

Update: Apparently, they (Fox, that is) have indeed been at this a long time.

A Summer Full of People

Up until recently, many of the photos I’ve been taking this past couple of months have been of nature; flowers, birds, the forest, etc.

Then, Vancouver went all gregarious on us. The fact is, when the days are as beautiful and comfortable as they have been, you just have to get out, and everybody else has the same idea. So this month has been a series of festivals, meetups, tweetups (think impromptu get-together flash-mob via web messaging), BBQs and general get-togethers.

A couple of weeks ago was Car-Free Vancouver day, in which several sections of the city blocked off areas to automobile traffic and vendors (and others) set up booths. Pam and I went up and down a large section of Main Street, but didn’t get to the other streets that were participating, including Commercial Drive (where the movement started) and a large swath of Denman. We saw everything from Tai Chi:

Tai Chi - 1

to crowds and balloons nearly as far as the eye could see:

Crowds as far as the Horizon

Then, this past weekend, it was the Greek festival, which took over a stretch of Broadway to the east of us. It was an enormous crowd, and Pam and I chowed down on Souvlaki…

Cooking the Souvlaki

…and Baklava (Pam opted for a lemon pound-cake with almonds called Samali, after a Ugandan friend she has of the same name). I learned that my name in Greek is NTABINT (although phonetically it’s spelled ∆ABI∆ ). We also realized that this section of the city was full of great little Greek restaurants and delis, so now we know where to get the best pita and treats like Kourabiethes (sugar cookies), Kataifi (Baklava with shredded dough) and the nearly unpronounceable but delicious Galaktoboureko Rolla (Phyllo stuffed with custard).

Last night was the Meetup of all Meetups at the Ceilis Irish Pub downtown. A combination of the Third Tuesday Meetup, The Vancouver Sales Performance Meetup, Vancouver Blogger’s Meetup, Real Estate Technology Meetup, Young Professionals Meetup, WordPress Meetup and the Vancouver Entrepreneur Meetup Group all made for a huge crowd on the rooftop:

It was a very, very big Meetup

I was glad to see a lot of friends and fellow Vancouver bloggers there, including Raul, Tanya, Monica and Shane:

Raul, ?,Tanya, Monica and Shane

One fun part of this meetup was that there were door prizes, and by pure luck, I won one! Digital Smart Homes provided a Kanto Zed iPod Speaker system, and I’m having fun unboxing it today! Thanks, guys!

See, it wasn’t just a month of flowers, birds and trees…

Summer Days, Trips and Food

I haven’t been blogging much lately, partially because I am still somewhat busy with work, and also because those times when I’m not busy, I’m usually taking it easy. The weather has been so warm and sunny, and this time of year the sun sets so late (usually around 9:20 PM) that we are taking some walks after dinner, partly for weight control, partly because it’s just too good to miss the sunsets and light on the water.

With the good weather have come some trips that were a photographer’s holiday, notably one where we met my brother and his family at the tail end of Skagit Tulip Festival:

Skagit Tulips - 30

Skagit Tulips - 50

Skagit Tulips - 58

We also had a nice walk through the Rieger Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island (where we intend to go to pick berries in a couple of weeks):

Feeding a Chickadee

Duck Swimming in Dappled Sunshine

Finally, we took a couple of walks through Stanley Park and Pacific Spirit Park:

Near the Pavilion

Beaver Pond - 5

Beaver Pond Lilies - 6

Pam on Spirit Park Trail

Mushrooms in Spirit Park

As you might expect, with the laid-back weather and walks have come the summer fruits and vegetables. It’s been a great year for asparagus, and we heard that the strawberry harvest, due to the dry, warm spell, is excellent. The apricots (both orange and purple), sweet Donut Peaches (sorry, Mom and Dad, this time they were perfect – not like the ones you had), and Dinosaur egg plums are all appearing in the market, and today we saw the first of what we hope will be bushels of blueberries. Tonight, we decided to follow the cue of Edible Vancouver magazine and make this superb appetizer, Stuffed Apricots:

Stuffed Apricots

10 small, perfectly ripe apricots
2 oz.(55g) blue brie or other mild blue cheese
4 oz. (115g) cream cheese
10 small leaves fresh basil
20-40 pine nuts, toasted

Halve apricots and remove pits. Mix cheeses together until well blended. Fill each apricot half with cheese and garnish with one basil leaf and one or two pine nuts.

Here’s what it ends up looking like:

Stuffed Apricots

Thanks again, Dad, for the camera.

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