1Yeah, check it out.  A half kilo of pure, unadulterated Greek Gold, a.k.a. roasted lamb.  None of that cut, oven-baked stuff you’ll find at other Greek Fests.   This is the real deal: savory, spit-roasted, and served with absolutely nothing.  Want sides?  They’re extra!

In addition to my meaterific hit, Akemi scored a somewhat dry chicken souvlaki.  And to top things off, perhaps the most cloyingly sweet dessert in existence:


And those golden balls of delectable doom:


The only true Greek Fest in Vancouver continues through Sunday, July 7th: http://vancouvergreeksummerfest.com/

I’ve had a bunch of people inquiring about my plans for this year’s Comicon.  Alas, sadly, I don’t have any.  Akemi and I had a fantastic time last year, at the con itself but mainly out on the streets with the crazy costumed people (Akemi felt right at home).  My aim was to make another appearance this year in support of Dark Matter, but the planned t.v. series has been in a holding pattern for months.  All the pieces are in place and all the partners want the show – only one partner wants the show for “later”, thus putting a pin in production plans and the kibosh on my San Diego aspirations.

Ah, well.  There’s always next year.

Hey, have you voted yet?  We’re giving our resident film critic, Cookie Monster, a break from sitting through crappy superhero movies – in favor of crappy other movies.  We’ve narrowed down the nominations to…

Cast your ballots.  The polling stations close midnight, Monday July 8th!

So, how are your 4th of July celebrations coming along?  How are you commemorating the day?  In tribute to our American friends, I picked up a bottle of Kentucky bourbon this afternoon and am sitting on on the back porch with the dogs, enjoying a glass of 12 year old W. L. Weller as I write this blog entry.

Travel day tomorrow.  Akemi and I are L.A.-bound for Golden Boy Marty G.’s birthday bash – and a few memorable meals.  Akemi is especially looking forward to checking out Top Chef finalist Stefan Richter’s restaurant.  That and the shopping.

FireWorks, Animated Fireworks, Animated Graphics, Independence Day, Fourth Of July, 4th Of July, Keefers photo Keefers_Fireworks187.gif

32 thoughts on “July 4, 2013: Scoring half a key of the good stuff! Yes, we have no bananas…or plans for Comicon!

  1. We watched Independence Day which is a tradition for our family and had hamburgers. My sons are at a youth group party now so it is quiet here.

  2. Awww, poor little lamb! It got all eaten! The rest looks pretty tasty – beats the peanut butter and jam sandwich I had for lunch.

    Sadly, since I am not of the American persuasion, I actually had to go to work today. Since practically every one else in my section was either off or sick, I was pretty much there on my own. Luckily, a lot of the REST of the office was off too, so it was pretty quiet in IT.

    How frustrating about Dark Matter! Can you just give that other party a swift kick in the butt to get them moving?

    Travel safe! I have a 10+ hour drive ahead of me tomorrow to go to Bromont, PQ, so I’m not really looking forward to that.

  3. A quiet day here (after I was breathing fire yesterday with the new dentist/bitch that had a Dr. Phlox in “Singularity” complex), getting ready for steaks, frites and salad. Bought a bunch of carrots and apples and went to feed some donkeys and goats that live on the way to my daughter’s work, and the baby giggled the whole time, so that was kind of cool. 🙂 It’s been raining most of the day, but I know fireworks will be on no matter what, so we’re home taking care of the pups. Cody’s first 4th of July – no telling how he’ll react. Riley barks a bit, but that’s about it.

    The Stargate convention is a little over a month away, and I read yesterday that this will be the second-to-last Stargate convention Creation will do. Come on guys, find a way to go!

    Enjoy the rest of the night!

  4. We are watching Live Free or Die Hard ’cause nothing says America like Bruce Willis blowin; stuff up, We had grilled bison burgers with fresh sliced tomatoes, blue cheese and caramelized onions for dinner. And we’re having DP’s Cobbler with mixed berries and ice cream for a red, white and blue end to the day.

  5. My husband’s aunt makes the best baklava. She has a personal commitment to make sure a tiny bit of something goes between each layer. That’s dedication!

  6. i never heard of loukoumades, but looked them up and they seem interesting.

    quoting Deni:
    A quiet day here (after I was breathing fire yesterday with the new dentist/bitch that had a Dr. Phlox in “Singularity” complex)
    well, that’s kind of frightening.

  7. Hubby is driving this evening, so we sorted camping stuff early this morning. I’ve been working on a collage inside a small wooden chest. Went out and turned on the back sprinklers after the fireworks drifted in from the neighbor’s yard. Annoying parachute things.

    I make excellent baklava. Hubby and I work together, as I brush each layer with melted butter. Finding the orange blossom water is critical. Mmmm. Haven’t tried it in years though.

  8. Re: the washington monument gif. Reflecting a still shot in moving ripples is non-sense. And pretty.

    4th of July. We didn’t do much. Sparklers, snakes, smoke bombs. It’s very cloudy so we didn’t bother going to a show.

    We were going to go to the Children’s Museum in a neighboring state and pick up the good fireworks on the way home, but we were lazy. That’s an Ohio thing. The unlazy people bring illegal fireworks in and bet on a non-adversarial relationship with the police because their illegal activity is easy to track considering they’re practically firing signal flares all day. The unlazy people. Not me.

  9. @archersangel: Scary wasn’t the half of it! She was very full of herself and more than a bit “off”. All I needed was my temporary crown replaced with the permanent one, but she wasn’t having any of that. She didn’t like the fact that my regular dentist used a certain kind of anesthetic (and I didn’t want her new and improved stuff or her nitrous crap – for this?) and went off the deep end with it. Never mind what my doctor ordered! I’m really nice until I’m pushed too far. She pushed. I pushed back. She stormed out of the room all pissy and now my crown is there (or in the trash, who knows) and I’m stuck, at least for a bit. Apparently, my regular dentist quit because she felt the same way about Dr. Whackadoo, but she never bothered to tell me, and I’d just been there last week! Oy…

  10. The lamb looks delish! I’m jealous. 🙂

    golden balls of delectable doom

    Wait. Are we still talking about Marty G. here? ‘Cause even if we’re not, I’m pretty sure I’ll think of that line now everytime his name comes up. 😛

    Today was a busy one for us. Firstly, a nice breakfast at a new joint in town. Very good! I had bacon and eggs and yummy red skin potato home fries and a nice bowl of very fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, and honeydew melon). We’re very pleased with this place (the only drawback is that they do not have grits…yet. 😉 )

    Secondly, a trip to the shoe store for Mr. Das (since I’m about the only woman in existance who would rather go barefoot than wear shoes). Hubby picked up a pair of sneaks…like, his 5th pair, or something. He’s a real shoe hound, and sometimes I think our house is really just one big closet for all his bigarse shoes. 😛 (When we were first married he worked at JC Penney…in the shoe department. So ya seein’ a pattern here?)

    Thirdly, a quick stop into the neighbouring Five Below junk shop, where everyone thought Mr. Das and I were employees because we were both wearing All Blacks (NZ rugby team) jerseys…which are, of course, all black, just like the employee’s uniforms. I helped some guy pick out a USB charger…as if I even knew what the thing was. Amazing how people will trust you if they think you’re an employee. 🙂

    Fourthly, we stopped at the local hardware store to buy a Weber charcoal grill…on the 4th of July…in the heart of a seaside resort. I totally failed the ‘stupidass things locals should know better not to do on holiday weekends’ test. 😛 We took the floor model (10% off helps!), bought a couple bags of charcoal and wood chips and a charcoal starter chimney thingy. I’m happy! 🙂 We’re ditching the old gas grill that was just one problem after another, and that I couldn’t light because I’m terribly afraid of gas anything (because it might blow up!). We did this in an attempt to eat at home more this summer, since between the high prices and my gluten-free regimen, it’s just not a practical to eat out anymore.

    Fifthly, after running out for some stuff to actually cook on the new grill, we fired that puppy up and cooked burgers, zucchini (sliced in half, brushed with olive oil and dusted with seasoning), and corn (in husk) on the cob. Ended up over-cooking the hockey pucks burgers because we were used to the slower-cooking gas grill, but the zucks and corn came out just fantastic!

    Sixthly…took a nap! 😀

    Seventhly…I think I’m making these numbers up now…after evening services (our community fireworks were last night) ended the day at the local ice cream parlor with a big bowl of java chip! Woo! A nap AND coffee ice cream? I am totally wired!! So now I’m off to read. 🙂 Hamish Macbeth is visiting a place called Eileencraig…which makes me think of a certain someone around here… 😉 I really love these books…light, fun reads, just what I need right now at the end of the day. 🙂

    And it has been a good, long day. 🙂 I even managed to be productive by stopping at the office after buying the grill, just to figure out the payroll for the week. Working on a holiday? Talk about dedication! Or…ya know…stupidity. 😛


  11. I spent the evening with neighbors eating pizza and watching “The Man Who Came to Dinner” with Bette Davis. Not very patriotic, but a great flick. Now I’m listening to all the fireworks echoing throughout the Valley.

    I was all set to enjoy a much needed four day weekend. Luckily we get Friday off. And boy do I need it. Working two jobs is getting harder and harder. And I’m endlessly having to go to doctors to deal with medical issues. But instead of my day off, I’m forced to go to f**king jury duty in a really seedy part of downtown LA tomorrow. I just can’t get a break.

    I can’t even imagine how much fun you and Akemi will have at Martin’s party. Tons of laughter for sure, and cake. We want pictures. 🙂 And thankfully it’s cooled down from the 100 degree plus weather we’ve been having. Good luck with the meal hunt, and I hope you get a chance to relax this time. Wishing you both a safe trip.

  12. I made a leg of lamb on Sunday – marinaded it in garlic,rosemary, white wine, and lemon juice – it was wonderful! Independence Day was slow around here – however, I did make a nice beef roast and fingerling potatoes for dinner and my youngest daughter showed up to eat. Also, fresh strawberry shortcake for dessert.

    I must warn Cookie that the Fifth Element has one of my favorite movie scenes – the dive singing. If it is on, I will tune in just for that scene! I could easily buy an album. Yes, I know that it’s “enhanced” and not just the singer’s voice, but it is still awesome.

  13. I love baklava, haven’t MADE any in a few years… hmmm, may be time.. . except we have this superb middle east deli not far away that does a nice job of it. 🙂

    One of my fave recipes is called (translation) Upside Down. It is basically eggplant that is salted, pressed and most water removed, fried, then cooked with layers of rice, meat, eggplant, rice, meat… etc. I like beef but lamb is good too. Add sour cream or homemade yogurt and it is heaven.

    Dang on Dark Matters.

    Travel safely.

  14. G’day

    @ Das – yes I much prefer to go barefoot as well. Well mostly in summer, too cold at the moment, might get frost bite. lol
    We do not BBQ much as hubby turns everything into hockey pucks.

    @ Deni – scary for sure.

    Safe travels Joe and Akemi.

  15. Hey Joe
    Have a safe trip.
    And pictures, lots of pictures, for us living back east in all this 38 degree humidity.


  16. Deni: Is there another dentist where you live? Are you in pain?

    Ponytail: So TSA let you take a baby tornado on board and they make the rest of us throw our cupcakes away? Loved your post yesterday 😆 . I hope you had a great trip!

    We worked around the house and watched movies during the evening. I’m planning a mom trip tomorrow morning. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it because of the crazy atmosphere my brothers have created around my mom. They put her in the middle of all their problems. We will only be there until Sunday afternoon though. I made one of JeffW’s cheesecake for my SIL/myself and picked up a sugar free Key Lime Pie for the diabetics (my mom & 1 brother).

    Gotta put on my “man pants” and get the visit over with. Over there, you can get ticks from sitting on the couch! I am NOT kidding. (Packed deep woods bug spray.)

    Safe trips to all! I hope your trip is successful Mr. M.! I hope you have fun Akemi!

  17. I have a sad announcement to make for all Stargate fans, Creation Entertainment has announced that this year’s Stargate Convention in Chicago will be their second to last. Next year’s Stargate Convention in Chicago will be their last Stargate Convention ever!

    You know “All good things must come to an end” is really S***TY!

  18. Yummm.. I love Baklava… no such thing as *too* sweet… it was my must-have dessert as a kid… now it’s cheesecake. I actually dropped half a cheesecake on my foot yesterday, kinda messy and kinda broke my heart 🙁

    Have a safe trip, and wish Marty a Happy Birthday for us!!


  19. @Time for a good old-fashioned fan-driven Stargate con!

    I agree Joe, though I think it’ll take a lot of work. Such as someone/someones being able to put something together, and a Stargate community website such as Gateworld getting onboard and spreading the news.

    Infact I would say a community website would be the heart of such a campaign, even if it was just to raise awareness, or point people in the general direction of a fund raiser.

  20. @Tammy: Oh yeah, plenty of other dentists, it’s just that I keep getting the CRAZY ones. 🙂 I’m not in pain, it was just a temporary crown that had to be replaced with the permanent one that’s been ready for a week. Hopefully it’ll happen next week with somebody else. Just hoping the temporary thing doesn’t fall out before!

  21. @Joe:

    Have a safe trip to L.A.! And wish Martin a Happy Birthday from us!

    Time for a good old-fashioned fan-driven Stargate con!

    I know of a certain Westin Hotel Conference Center near Chicago’s O’hare Airport that will be available come 2015. 😉 It’s got great access to the airport and the CTA trains to downtown…who’s in?

  22. @DP:

    I’m finally making your cobbler…a peach one and a mixed berry one. They’re for our post July 4th pool party tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    @Tam Dixon:

    Good luck on the family visit tomorrow! Barb and I have had difficult family members too. Are the cheesecake and key lime pie preemptive peace offerings?

  23. to stargateatlantisseasonsix:
    that’s a shame that they’re stopping it. it’s probably harder to get big-name guests that people want to see.
    i think creation is combining stargate stuff with other sci-fi things for what they call a grand-slam con on los angeles.

  24. Gforce–I am of the American persuasion and have worked this holiday for decades now. I hope you made it to your destination safely.

    Joe and Akemi–I hope you had a good trip.

    Blech. Lamb. (turns head and barfs).

    What I did yesterday besides work was catch up on some of my DVR’d shows. Watched independence Day piecemeal twice,so I guess that added up to one full movie. Was about to go to sleep when I had to take care of the boy who then decided that he wanted to remain up until 3:00 am. Listened to my neighbors shooting off prohibited fireworks and hoped this year they had the good sense to aim them towards their own house and not mine in this horrible drought. No kidding one year Jeff was cleaning off pine needles off our roof and found an unexploded one up there. If you don’t feel it is safe enough to point the exploding rocket at your own house, chances are pretty good aiming it at someone else’s house makes even less sense.

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