last year, i promised myself i would not have a fourth of july bbq: it is all the work, for some of the glory, and none of the fireworks. this year, i made good on my promise and, just as planned, did not host anything.

in fact, i was so busy being smug and pleased with myself for doing nothing at all, that i nearly missed the day altogether: 2pm rolled around, and there was not a social activity within a 4 block radius. the plan worked, but too well.

fortunately, mike g's warehouse proved the perfect sanctuary for those of us with nothing but time and beer on our hands. (as you can see, it was also beginning to make the perfect sanctuary for all manner of tree-loving mammal, too.)

our first activity was a stroll down the street about 50ft for a street-party chili cookoff at truck. a perfect idea: what gathering or celebration in life isn't made better by big bowls of free chili? none, that what. (unitarian church, take note.)

there were about half a dozen or more tables of competing chili, but this fancy recipe -- which had to be 'plated', then 'bathed' and 'fluffed' -- was the unanimous champion. (unanimous, as in, #2 in the official voting, but #1 in our book.)

while other enjoy socializing and making predictions about the coming year of nationhood, i try desperately to attract attention for 'mike-pony'.

julie makes a welcome guest at any party, but never more so than just after she's mugged a pensioner with poor taste in beer.

as day turns to dusk, the competitive flipping of cups is proposed. (we're all set to go, but we must wait for ian to download the official 4th of july iphone app.)

perhaps it was the stop for gas station champagne that delayed us just long enough to miss the fireworks. but we had a safe one, and there's nothing more worth celebrating than safety. thank you.