Year: 2013

WURST Restaurant and Beer Hall in Calgary

WURST has reopened.  This authentic German beer hall has reopened after being damaged and closed from the flooding last June.  Get out of the cold and enjoy a beer made in accordance with the “German Beer Purity Law”.  (No additives and such.)  And good wholesome comfort food.  

WURST Restaurant and Beer Hall

Posted by faffyrd007 in calgary, german beer pub, wurst, 0 comments

Freedom of Speech

I don’t really understand why someone would get fired for having an opinion.  The USA and Canada both have freedom of speech as part of their basic freedoms.  And this is as it should be.  But recently some TV personality was fired, let go or some such – I didn’t read what exactly happened, other than he made some comment that the owners of the TV show were in disagreement with(apparently an un-politically correct statement) so they fired him.  I saw today another instance where a woman made a joke on Twitter that was in poor taste and got fired for it. This comment/joke had nothing to do with her job; it did not represent the company she worked for.

So, if I have an opinion that is different than yours about something and you get upset about it, should my boss fire me?

If someone is an ass, don’t listen to him or her.  Don’t give the stupidity credence. But an ass or not that person does have the right to an opinion whether it is idiotic or not.  If he or she is making a statement as a representative of a company I can see that would be a different matter but as an individual, no.

Posted by Martin Jones in freedom of speech, 0 comments

What’s in Your Beer?

More about Beer – and additives

It is not just beer any more.  It has been a long time since I was a fan of beer like Coors Light or Molson Golden.  I tend to like beer with more flavour though sometimes something lighter is desired.  Recently, I did some research as to what the major breweries mostly in North America put in beer.  Pretty scary.

There are numerous sites for research on this but recently (October 2013, I think) Food Babe ( a very comprehensive article covering most aspects of what is commonly used by major breweries.  Here is a list of what you will find in the beer you drink that is produced my the major breweries in the United States and Canada:

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Propylene Glycol (that’s the stuff that kills your dog in anit-freeze)
Calcium Disodium EDTA 
“Natural Flavors”
High Fructose Corn Syrup
GMO Sugars – Dextrose, Corn Syrup
Caramel Coloring 
FD&C Blue 1 
FD&C Red 40 
FD&C Yellow 5 
(The three ‘colors’ above are all petroleum products.)
Insect-Based Dyes
Animal Based Clarifiers
Foam Control – glyceryl monostearate and pepsin
BPA (Bisphenol A is a component in many can liners and it may leach into the beer. BPA can mimic the female hormone estrogen and may affect sperm count, and other organ functions.)

Not quite up to ‘German Beer Purity Law’ that allows only certain ingredients.

I have friends that would not be able to drink beer as they would get headaches and feel bad the next morning even after one beer.  When these people tried a craft beer that had no additives they could enjoy a beer without feeling like crap the next day.  I’m quite certain that the reason that advertisements for beer encourage one to drink it ice cold is so that you can’t taste it. Historically, people drank beer warm.  (See: Warm Beer )

I remember one of the best advertisements I ever saw.  It was a picture outside of an old English pub: “Beer is not only a breakfast drink”.  Great marketing.

With most craft beer, one can drink it a bit warmer and there will be some taste and flavor that is appealing.  Not so with beer from the major breweries – to my experience anyway.  Warmed up or at room temperature they taste like crap.  Really, though, this is not about taste. It is about health.  Alcohol can be damaging all by itself.  One should be temperate in drinking.  That said, if you are going to drink, make sure it is not full of all kinds of crap that is even more damaging to your body.  I know many people that will be extremely careful about the food they eat: no GMOs, etc but then they will drink a cheap beer full of the above ingredients.

Over the last number of years most grocery stores carry more and more ‘natural’ foods because of the demand.  Personally, I don’t mind paying a little extra knowing my health is at stake.  And the same with beer.  If I am going to drink, spend for a craft beer or micro brew to support them.  Then, hopefully, two things will happen.  One, those prices will come down and two, major breweries will have to change their tune and produce something that is a little healthier.


Posted by Martin Jones in additives, beer, craft beer, micro brew, 0 comments

I Guess it is not all about me…

My son Spencer dresses very nicely.  He is 24; wears nice shirts and often a tie, vest or jacket.  He has been staying with us on and off for the last 6-8 months.  He is getting me to dress better.  Buying nice shirts etc.  I do kinda like it.  Not that I dressed like a slob but…

He told me something a friend said to him – something like: dressing nicely shows your respect for the other person – the one that you are visiting or with.

This is so true.  Goes along with good manners, I guess.  Shop around and you can look quite respectable without spending an arm and a leg.

Add to this aesthetics.  It make for a much more pleasant environment if people are at least trying to look good.

Posted by Martin Jones, 0 comments

Name your pain

Below is a link to a great article.  I’ve always said to people that complain about a job or activity that they need to figure out what trouble, pain or difficulty you are willing to endure.  The roofer thinks that bricklaying would be the worst job in the world and the bricklayer thinks the same of roofing(not always but that is an example that I have heard stated from both sides).

Anyway, Mark lays it out pretty nicely here:

Mark Manson’s Blog

Posted by Martin Jones, 0 comments

Enoteca Wine Store Calgary – Christmas Beer

Gary has some great Belgium beers that have been made specifically for the Christmas season.  If you prefer beer that has some real taste try a beer from this country – Enoteca has a great selection.  I’ve tried a couple of the ‘Christmas Beers’ and they are superb.

Enoteca Wine Store

… and next week (Monday, I think) some great ciders will be available.  More info and more pictures then.

Posted by faffyrd007 in beer, belgium, christmas, cider, enoteca, 0 comments

Buying a blazer

It had been a long time since I had the need or desire to buy some ‘dressy’ clothes.  I work at home and when when I work at trade shows I have found it more optimum for sales to dress ‘nice casual’.  Well, more recently the girl of my dreams and one particular son have been wanting me to ‘upgrade’ a little.  In this ‘upgrade’ I decided that I needed a blazer or some kind of dressy jacket.  I’m not at the point of needing or wanting a suit yet….

While in Toronto recently I asked a friend where to go for this and he suggested Tom’s Place in Kensington Market.  (Just northwest of Dundas and Spadina for those who don’t know and are interested.)  I had day before I left and went for a walk downtown and wandered around Kensington so was able to manage to drop in and try a couple of jackets. The people there were incredibly helpful and intuitive:

I did not purchase one but am so glad that I tried a couple on!  There were high end and fit beautifully.  It has been a number of years since I had bothered to wear some nice clothes like that.  No wrinkles or tightness anywhere.  The jackets and suits at Tom’s were not cheap and I wanted to walk away before purchasing.

I did and came back to Calgary without purchasing.  The other day I went into a store that had new but much reduced prices and I tried on several and finally found one that looked good and fit as those high end Jackets in Toronto.  Turned out this one was quite a high end name brand, excellent quality jacket and I was able to get it for about 75% off.  Nice deal and perfect fit.  I would not have known what a perfect fit was unless I had gone into a proper clothing store. If you haven’t, try it.

…and since I’ve been back I’ve had to pick up some other nicer clothes to go with the jacket so the others are not so embarrassed going out with me:)

Here are are some pics of the area in Kensington, (Spandina/Dundas) in Toronto.

Posted by Martin Jones in dundas, kensington market, spadina, tom's place, toronto, 0 comments

Christmas and Tolerance

About 20 years ago we were in Charlotte, North Carolina.  It must have been Thanksgiving weekend as they were doing the lighting of the tree and we went and and it was a big deal with lots of people and all.  Quite fun.  They had a couple of choirs for the festivities and they sang some Christmas songs.  Please note that I said Christmas songs not Christmas Carols. Lots of ‘Rudolf’ and no ‘Holy Nights’.

I asked my sister-in-law about this as I thought it odd.  She said that as Charlotte was becoming more multi-cultural it was deemed that singing religious type Christmas Carols may be offensive to some and so they took them out of the repertoire.

The USA and Canada as well, were built, in part, on religious tolerance.  So, the way I see it is that if someone comes to one of our countries to be part thereof, they would want to subscribe to that value.  And anyway the essence of most religions is tolerance.

There are numerous stories about children being punished or scolded for praying in public schools.  There are actually rules/laws about this.  This is a government being intolerant of religion.  Actually, certain people in government pushing this type of agenda to be more specific.

Historically, governments interfering in someone’s beliefs has never been terribly successful.  And that is what this is – a government trying to tell a person what they can or cannot believe.

So, please in this Christmas season, be tolerant of others and their beliefs.  I don’t really care if you pray three times a day, once a week, or not at all.  You have the right.  But please be tolerant of others. Be kind. If you have the opportunity to help another person, do so, despite any trappings.

Posted by Martin Jones in christmas, prayer, punishment, school, tolerance, 0 comments

Ontario Beer Monopoly

I recently spent a month in Ontario.  I had lived in Ontario until about 20 years ago.  I like beer. I don’t drink tons of it but I like the taste and like to vary the

types of beer that I drink.  My heart goes out to beer drinkers in Ontario.  There is a monopoly of the beer market there(more on that in a minute) and this makes it very difficult for craft and micro breweries to market their wares.

While at the Royal Winter Fair last week I had a chance to speak to a representative of McAuslan Brewing based in the GTA(Greater Toronto Area).  It was a great conversation.  They were serving and promoting their beer at one of the licensed areas at the Royal.  To serve the customers properly she would, as any good server, ask what kind of beer they liked so that she could choose one that would suit the person’s tastes.  The problem was that many of the people that came there to have a beer were only familiar with the North American swill that is called beer.  The stuff that needs to be ‘ice-cold’ to be able to drink it.  Most of the time she would get blank stares even when she tried to reword the question.  She soon realized that many were only interested in cold and clean and not flavour.
(check out their product: McAuslan Brewing)

I’m sure if you surveyed, most Canadians would believe that The Beer Store in Ontario is owned by the Ontario government.

This taken from CBCNews Toronto(CBC News):
“‘The Beer Store’ in Ontario is owned by the U.S.-based Molson Coors Brewing Company, Sapporo of Japan and Anheuser-Busch InBev of Belgium which are all foreign based companies.  “

So, if you like to try different beers with some real flavour or want beer that is brewed without additives you pretty much have to buy it in restaurants.  Often smaller craft beer companies are purchased by one of the above conglomerates and they can then alter the product.

I might not have noticed this but for having lived in Alberta for the past four years.  It is quite easy to purchase a much greater variety of beer and wine than in Ontario.  So come visit.

Posted by Martin Jones in anheuser-busch, belgium, coors, molson, ontario, sapporo of japan, the beer store, 0 comments

Mostly Decent People

I must be terribly bored sometimes.  I get most of my news from news that I have ‘liked’ on Facebook.  I don’t read them all but do sometimes. And then I make the mistake of reading the comments.  Some of the subjects that I read about are pretty inflammatory.  So, the comments can draw people from very differing backgrounds and views.  If these comments are intelligent and informative, I enjoy them.  When they resort to name calling I get very suspicious.  I figure these people are probably paid hacks.

For example, although I do not own a gun, I’m pretty much pro gun.  I figure that the USA is a gun culture and there is no getting away from that.  I’ve worked at gun shows and spent time talking to people in parts of the USofA and Canada where people own a lot of guns.  By and large the people I have met are intelligent and well spoken.  All of them friendly and giving.  So, when I see many of the comments just name calling some anti-gun person, I suspect that these people are there just to make the pro gun faction look bad.  Works for both sides.  Happens the other way as well. Or when the winner of the recent Miss America pageant is attacked viciously on the internet.  I would be very surprised if the majority of people making these nasty comments are not paid to stir up trouble.  It could very easily be a handful of people trying to create friction.  Create distractions and upset.  That make more sense to me than that many stupid, ignorant people.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about here…the recent winner of Miss America is of (East) Indian heritage and was attacked for be a Muslim and whatever goes with that.  Really, who cares but the silly thing is that she is from India and a Hindu not a Muslim.  A lot of Americans may not know the difference but I’m sure that someone started the whole name calling thing just to create conflict where there was none.

I have met a lot of people. I talk to a lot of people.  I get in communication with many people.  I find out about them.  And most are really, really decent.  They have their problems and ups and downs but all feel bad when they do something wrong and most, by far, are willing to see another point of view.

Posted by Martin Jones in guns, hindi, hindu, miss america, muslim, pro gun, usa, 0 comments