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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