Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Birthday to me

Today we went for high tea at the James Bay Tea Room.

We wanted to go for high tea since we have never done this before and being in Victoria and all, it is the thing to do.

The Empress Hotel also has high tea but it costs $75/a head. That's a lot of money for tea and crumpets. I know high tea has a lot more than tea and crumpets, but did we really need to spend that much money? Nope.

We were very pleased with the James Bay Tea Room, and the service was excellent.

I had tea and Fred had coffee.

My tea was in a real tea pot with a cozy on it. And you know what? The tea was actually hot. It seems that something as simple as boiling water is difficult for many restaurants and coffee places. I don't know why it's difficult. All they have to do is put the water in a kettle. Plug it in. Wait until bubbles appear and like magic the water is hot. Simple.

So. The tea was hot. And the goodies were amazing.

First there were two croissants with egg salad, two homemade cheese scones with smoked salmon, and two tiny quiches. The egg salad and croissant was exceptional. Didn't taste like the egg salad I make. And the cheese scones were light flavourful and fresh, with a good slab of salmon, my of my it was good.

Then there was the scones with clotted cream and jam. I didn't have these but had a bite of Fred's. (I did bring what we didn't eat home though). I've always wondered what clotted cream was. Fred said to me well maybe it's like the unpasteurized warm milk you used to get on the farm that was warm and straight from the cow and used to make you gag? I said no I don't think so.

Turns out it is sort of like thick whipped cream that isn't too sweet but probably has a ton of calories.

The scone again was excellent.

And the dessert was little baby carrot cakes with cream cheese icing and little custard tarts. And the best? Sticky toffee pudding cake. Oh. My. Goodness. It was to die for. Maybe even better than chocolate. I can't believe I just said that.

We did walk around for about 45 minutes after lunch, I mean tea. Which was a good thing. So many carbs. So little time.

And all of this (tax and tip included) for less than half of what it wold have cost us for the two of us at the Emperor Hotel for high tea.

I don't know but I think Ottawa should do high tea. Very civilized.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Capitalism is not the enemy

The fact that Pope Francis is a strong critic of capitalism bothers me. Matthew Lau says:
In another speech in February, Pope Francis said that “capitalism continues to produce discarded people” — an ill that, according to him, is thankfully curtailed by taxes which promote “solidarity” and “mutual care.” He then told the over 1,000 listening to his address that “we must work toward changing the rules of the game of the socio-economic system.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with capitalism, and many things right about it. Greed and excess etc.--is a product of man not capitalism.

For over fifteen years my husband and I owned and operated a small business. We created jobs for people, we provided goods and services, we provided our children with a good and honest work ethic, we contributed to the economy of our country. This is all good and healthy. It is not evil.

After those years of running our company we both took jobs for the next fifteen years in the government. The amount of money wasted and squandered in government was horrendous--those taxes Francis talks about are frequently mismanaged and wasted. The way many people were treated and abused in government was horrifying. Managers on power trips, and employees too lazy to work sprinkle themselves throughout the bureaucracy. Managers who couldn't manage produced "discarded people", not capitalism.

As business owners we never wasted money, we worked hard and didn't abuse people, we added to the GDP. There was nothing nefarious about the fact that because we lived in a capitalist society, we were able to make a good and honest living as well as provide people with jobs. All because of capitalism.

I would argue that communist governments like Cuba, are evil. The people there suffer from low wages, lack of goods and services, lack of motivation, lack of basic property rights, lack of something to strive for. These kinds of living conditions do not occur to this extent under capitalism.

In third world countries where there are very poor people, is it capitalism that's at fault, or is it corrupt leaders, wars and terrorists that are at fault?

Certainly there are greedy and evil capitalists. Just like there are greedy and evil people in dictatorships, in socialism, in communism, and in terrorists.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Thank God for St. Michael the Archangel

I was able to go to Mass while in Toronto to the newly refurbished St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. Such a beautiful building. A fitting home for God in Canada's largest city.

Bishop Michael Power originally built the Cathedral in 1845. He never saw its completion because he died of typhus, from the Irish who he helped when they more than doubled the size of Toronto:
"Bishop Power did not live to see the completion of the building he had spearheaded. In January 1847, Power had departed on a six month-month trip to Europe to recruit priests for the growing Diocese of Toronto and to raise money for the Cathedral. The trip took him to Ireland where he witnessed the Great Famine (1845-1851) that would result in the emigration of so many Irish to Canada. Prior to his return, Bishop Power sent a pastoral letter read in all Catholic churches in and around Toronto, urging congregations to be prepared for the influx of Irish Famine victims. Between May and October 1847 over 38,000 emigrants arrived in Toronto. With a population of only 20,000, the influx strained local resources. Upon his return to Toronto, Bishop Power administered to the sick and dying, many of who were suffering from typhus. He contracted the fever and died on October 1, 1847. During Bishop Power’s Episcopate, the number of Catholics in the Diocese of Toronto approximately doubled from 25,000 in 1842 to 50,000 to 1847. During his short term, Bishop Power provided energetic leadership to the Catholic community. 
He is remembered for his contributions to the new Diocese of Toronto including the establishment of its operational framework. The construction of St. Michael’s Cathedral and his compassion to the victims of Irish famine. Although the funeral of Bishop Power was held at St. Paul’s, he was buried in the crypt of the unfinished St. Michael’s Cathedral."

 I'm glad St. Michael he Archangel is out there protecting us all from evil. Of which there is a lot.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

False gods are alive and well

A lot of celebrities died in 2016. People get all weird about these deaths, of people they don't even know.

Then there are sports people. People get all weird about them too. Games have throngs of screaming fans who go crazy over their favourite team and or sports person.

Sports people and celebrities--these are the new gods of the 21st century. People are looking for some kind of transcendent meaning to their lives but can't find it. They don't believe in God anymore, or if they do, God doesn't play an active role in their lives. Their search finds what they are looking for in the hero worship of humans, humans they look up to, humans who are famous, humans who are fallible, humans they don't even know.

And then these fallible imperfect human celebrities die, and those who don't know them, mourn them. It's all so weird.

St. Augustine of Hippo famously said in his book Confessions
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
If Jesus Christ appeared at a hockey rink instead of the usual hockey players, I wonder how the crowd would react to him. Would they cheer him? Would they give him a standing ovation? Would they adore him? If Jesus was tortured, humiliated, spat upon, nailed to a tree to and died, would they mourn his death? Would they even know who he was?

Maybe I'm the weird one. Maybe everyone else knows something that I don't know.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Lies from the father of lies

For anyone who thinks Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church did nothing about Hitler read this:
The Pope, Christmas, and the “Fake News” about Hitler

The author ends with this:
"So why does the myth persist of the “silence” of the Church? For the same reason that other anti-Catholic myths have found a place in our culture. In this case, it’s more than just “fake news,” because when the Church’s heroic efforts at rescue are ignored or even transformed into their very opposite, it’s out-and-out lying prompted by the Father of Lies."