Newspapers, commentators, average citizens and know-it-alls across Canada are decrying the low voter turnout in our recent election.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Newspapers, commentators, average citizens and know-it-alls across Canada are decrying the low voter turnout in our recent election.
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
The Deacon's Bench: On preaching: "Through grace, it changes lives"
Monday, 22 September 2008
|1.||Philosophy. the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.|
|2.||extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.|
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
On my quest for the World’s Greatest Burger, I would be remiss if I didn’t include Weber's on Hwy 11 north of Orillia, Ontario. I have almost never passed by without stopping for a burger, fries and a beverage.
I have always thought there were only two reasons the Weber’s burgers tasted so good:
You’re on your way to great times so everything tastes better!
They grill them over live charcoal.
After my visit last week, I realized there are a few more reasons to include Weber’s (the original, not the full service restaurant in Barrie) on your burger list. Yes, those first two are true. But here are some other reasons to stop at Weber’s:
They’re organized. Outside order takers prowl the line, and those lines get pretty long, so you don’t have to wait to get to the front to order. It keeps things moving.
The staff is having a great time. They’re a bunch of fresh-faced young people (with a few older folks in the mix for maturity) who come back year after year to work at Weber’s. The music is loud, and they’re having fun! You can’t help but want to be part of the enthusiasm.
They’re so damned service oriented! On my visit I was the last customer of the night; they locked the doors behind me. As I sat out front eating my burger a family came to the door and tried to get in, then realizing they had come to late they went to the side to ask if they could just use the restrooms. Not 5 minutes later the family came out with a meal, thanks to the Weber’s team going the extra mile to satisfy – no small feat at the end of a long and busy day.
You can’t have a great burger unless the fries are great. Weber’s cuts them matchstick style (like McDonald’s and In N Out).
Great? The service and atmosphere
Good? The burger
Room to Grow? Please don’t – just stay on Highway 11 and keep on doing what you do!
The Ultimate Comment Card Question: based on this visit, would I come back? Count on it.
Sunday, 17 August 2008
I spent the whole day from before sunup to after sundown with Gord Henderson a couple of weeks ago. If you’re not from Windsor or don’t read the Windsor Star, you don’t know that Gord is Windsor’s one and only political columnist.
If you do know Gord’s writing, you know that on occasion it is very good. When Gord writes about something he has researched or knows well, he is second to none. Some of the time it’s pure gold.
We spent the day with the Reserves of the Canadian Armed Forces in Petawawa. Gord wrote a beautiful column about it. You should read it. I'd love to write about my experiences that day, but Gord wrote it better than I ever could.
Friday, 15 August 2008
Great - the burger. Grilled on a flat top. A zillion variations, but only if you're in the know. Apparently there is a "secret" menu, but for the rest of us there is nothing on the menu except three combos using the same great burger with or without cheese, single or double. Fresh lettuce, onions and tomatoes garnish a toasted bun. Some sort of thousand island type dressing. The fries are matchstick cut, fresh - the kid was slamming potatoes through the slicer into the water filled sink while I watched!
Thursday, 31 July 2008
Every year, sure as the sun sets in the west, my dog Molly gets skunked. The first year it happened was the worst. She took it full-on in the face. Apparently the skunk didn’t realize or care that Molly only wanted to play. So, there I was at 2 a.m. drenching my year-old puppy in tomato juice. The timing was horrible as I was scheduled to get up at five and be on the road by six to drive across the province.
The next year I was in Montreal when it happened. My wife had to deal with it. When Gloria Steinem famously said that “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” she obviously had never had to bathe her hound in tomato juice. Two things I have learned after many years on the road – first, don’t leave your wife at home staring at walls that need painting. Either take her with you or paint the walls before you leave. Secondly, when you’re on the road for extended periods of time, it is almost guaranteed your wife will need to deal with a crisis that should have been yours to handle.
This year the skunking wasn’t so bad as Molly is starting to catch on and she high tailed it away so that the skunk only caught the back end of her. High tailed it right into the house, up the stairs and under the bed. We just got our carpets cleaned less than three days ago.
At least I was home to crack open a case of Leamington’s finest.
Monday, 28 July 2008
And so bloggers are the only source of dissenting opinion, it seems.
That said there are a lot of very good things happening in our fair city. Although it is my profession to sell this city as a destination, even I forget the small wonders that make it more than just a great place to visit; this is a great place to live for most.
Last night I took in a concert at the Peace Fountain on Riverside Drive. The Windsor Optimist Youth Concert Band performed. The setting was beautiful, and the exuberance of the talented youth in the band was contagious. We don’t hear enough about them. They are an award-winning marching band that represents our city very well indeed.
While most of the audience was obviously parents and grandparents and family, my wife and I were there because we enjoy a good show in a peaceful setting in the company of good friends. Congratulations to the Windsor Optimist Youth Concert Band for being such fine ambassadors for and good neighbours in our city!
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
I suppose it’s possible that the Dealer drove 400 kilometers to bring in this dealer trade from Pickering and didn’t hear the chime. I suppose it’s possible that the latch malfunctioned right after my son left the dealer’s lot.
I also suppose that the reason they give you a full tank of gas with a new car is that you may need every drop of it going back and forth to the dealership for warranty issues. Let’s hope not.
Friday, 18 July 2008
Frank is a man of good faith who has dedicated the latter part of his life to helping the poor in Haiti. It's ironic that our Governor General, originally from Haiti, would forget the sanctity of life and recognize a man like Morgentaler, who with all best human intentions, has done great evil in our world with the taking of so many innocent lives.
I have never met Frank Chauvin, but I believe that whether or not one agrees with him on the Morgentaler issue, the man has seen the beauty of human life even in the most terrible of conditions in the slums of Haiti. He may not have carried a child in his womb, no man has, but this man has carried God's children in his arms and was moved to fight for the lives of the most unwanted of humankind, by our shameful societal standards.
Friday, 13 June 2008
Good - hearty breakfast, served very quickly (if you can get someone to take your order - read on...), kind of a 80's roadhouse type presentation, kind of like what you'd expect if a university area nightclub opened for breakfast (and this is not necessarily a bad thing)
Great - full menu with nice play on any word that starts with the prefix "ex" - like "eggspectation", "eggsuberant", etc.)
Growth area - service, service, service. The menu was "eggstensive" so I asked the server if they had any healthy breakfast recommendations. She told me there were lots on the menu. Unfortunately, they weren't marked "healthy choice" or something like that, so I asked her to recommend something. Her answer? "I'll give you a few minutes..." and off she went. I didn't need a few minutes, I'd already had a few minutes (quite a few), I needed the "eggspert" advice of someone who knew the menu.
I kid you not, in the time it took for her to come back the guy next to us had been seated, ordered and received his breakfast. Clearly I was being punished for being indecisive.
I suspect the amount of time I spent studying the menu in the meantime was likely longer than she had ever looked at it.
The Ultimate Comment Card Question (the only one that really matters): Based on this visit, would I come back? Frankly, yeah sure, the food is good and not too pricey, but I'm going to be looking for another place to meet my pal for breakfast in the future.
-- Jeremy Tyrrell
Sunday, 18 May 2008
So now a ton of money is being spent by both sides to propagandize their proposals, on top of the money already spent in consultants and lawyers by our city council.
Hey, I may be wrong, maybe this will work. All I know is that from where I'm sitting we're down to splitting hairs and waiting for the other guy to blink. And the meter is running.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
The service was the same - so maybe I'm the problem. I just don't get the feeling anyone really cares if I'm there or not, almost like they're doing me a favour by serving me. My server was friendly, but not attentive. For example, when I told him I wasn't sure which pizza to choose, instead of making a few suggestions (which I would have welcomed and tried to ask for) he did the Diner dash instead - "I'll give you a few more minutes to look over the menu." I'd already had far too much time between being seated, being acknowledged by the waiter, getting my drink and now being approached for an order. I didn't need more time, I needed some help from the expert - Il Fornello's waiter. I guess he had something more important to do.
Look - I'm really low maintenance. I will eat whatever a waiter sincerely suggests. I order from the menu, I don't complain, I keep a very low profile and I tip well when the service is great.
I really enjoyed the pizza, I'd eat there again, but I'm in no hurry. I think the feeling is mutual.
What are your expectations of a bar that clearly caters to, and probably does a lot of business from the tourist sports crowd on their way to a Blue Jays or Maple Leafs game? This place is about what you'd expect.
Trouble is, just meeting expectations isn't even the entry level for restaurants these days. I'm not in any way criticizing the place, and hey, if they're kick-ass busy most of the time, who cares what one guy's expectations are for creativity and great food?
The thing is, sometimes I go into a pub for lunch and the food is surprisingly outstanding. This was surprisingly banal. It wasn't bad, it wasn't all that good.
I had the Cobb Salad, which was a boring mix of ingredients readily available in the kitchen for other menu items. Romaine lettuce (iceberg in a Cobb makes more sense), chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, shredded cheese and a dollop of guacamole (hunnh?). These double as fajita/nacho/texmex ingredients, no doubt. Bacon bits, sliced egg (not chopped?) and cucumber spears finished Cobb. Boring and unimaginative, and it could have been a refreshing summer salad.
Good - the young lady who served me was keeping an eye on her section quite nicely, and there seemed to be some teamwork in getting meals out to the tables.
Great - I bet a nice cold beer and some wings during the playoffs would go down very well in this place.
Room for Growth - don't treat lunch as the necessary cost of being open for evening bar biz. Clean the place up, and present a unique and different menu.
The Ultimate Comment Card Question, the only one that matters: Based on this visit, would I return? Not on purpose. Don't get me wrong - the place was OK. But for the same price within a half mile radius you can get better than OK in easily a dozen other pubs.
Monday, 21 April 2008
I bicycled across the city, most of the way on designated bike trails. This city, this Windsor, has some very beautiful green areas alongside the Detroit River. They are well maintained and a source of pride for all who live here.
No matter what else may need fixing around here, it can wait. Today I thank God for my country and my community.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Good - I took the server's suggestion and tried a Chipotle Steak special of some sort. The steak was cooked perfectly, the presentation and accompaniments were perfect, and everything tasted great! I added a half-pound of Dungeness Crab legs to the order. Really good!
Great - Server was extremely knowledgeable and courteous. She gave us an overview of the menu, made a few suggestions and treated us with respect (none of that "can I grab you a drink?" or "are you still working on that, guys?" nonsense.) The Keg obviously puts a premium value on outstanding servers who give great service. Here's the coolest part - she asked if either of us had any food allergies, and as it turned out my associate has a severe allergy to scallops. If the server hadn't asked...
Room to Grow? I have no idea. Just keep delivering at this level, and the Keg's well earned success on York Street (the bar was jammed with the after-work office crowd) will continue. Congratulations to the Keg - I look forward to eating there again.
On an unfortunate post-script, it turned out I ate in the Keg's competition the very next night - you know that casual steak house chain with the Australian marketing concept. Wow - night and day for the same price. I'm going to stick with the Keg.
Sunday, 23 March 2008
I can also imagine being the victim of violence and rejection. I have imagined being the innkeeper, trusting that the Samaritan would be back to pay an extra costs, accepting a guest who was clearly going to be “high maintenance.” And occasionally I have wondered if I could ever be the Samaritan – on the fringe, unwelcome in good company, but forgiving and able to do the right thing when no one, not one person, would blame him for walking by.
What kind of neighbour am I to God’s people across this world, some as far away as the other side of my fence?
Not to simplify it, but the Pope’s writings tell us we're on the right track. The Catholic faith is under a lot of pressure these days. If there is some sort of "other" agenda in the Catholic church, I’ve yet to discover it. This Pope speaks of love, a love which transcends religious differences and is rooted in Christ. One doesn't have to be a member of the Catholic faith to agree with that.
Saturday, 8 March 2008
Good - atmosphere, thin-crust pizza, creativity. The Pollo Pizza was recommended by Barbra Streisand (it says so right on the menu) so I tried it. It was a nice light lunch; I liked it, but it wasn't so good that I'd have Il Fornello cater my food on my private jet to Boston, like Babs did.
Great - "all ontario" section on the menu (but who would have thought of putting potatoes on a thin crust pizza? I didn't try it, so maybe it's a good idea.) Nice to see some support of Ontario grown produce, apples, blueberries, locally raised chickens... Other restaurants should follow suit.
Room to grow - service. Less than attentive. Charlie's Angels was playing on the TV at the bar, so it took precedence over guests in the dining room. I waited a long time to have my order taken, my cheque delivered and I really could have used a refill on my water. The waiter just wasn't around much, and it wasn't because it was busy.
The ultimate comment card question (the only one that matters): Would you come back?
My answer: Yes
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Saturday, 26 January 2008
Amongst the many good points Kennedy made, I realized two things. First, that before he spoke today not one speaker or presenter that I heard had attributed anything to God the entire time we were here. That’s not unusual at these conferences, but I do long for the days when we began a meal with a prayer. Heck, I would love the chance to get to Mass on Sunday but usually the conference agenda fails to account for people of faith, whatever faith. That has to change.
And secondly, unless we give credit where credit is due, unless we allow God, we leave the door wide open to the evil one.