An outsiders view of the situation we are in now. Obviously some of his sources are dodgy, but it makes for a very interesting read.
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I left breakfast quite late yesterday. Some might say very late. 4:15pm. And of course the place I wanted breakfast was closed. 15 minutes closed. But this is Canada, and this place is owned by a woman who has worked there every day, "except 3 or 4 days at christmas", for the last 13 years. She spotted me outside, and insisted on getting me what I wanted. She even remembered what I had ordered the last time I was there, 6 months ago.
Of course I don't expect this level of service, ever really. But it is the kind of thing that owner operated businesses are more capable of. I remember plenty of times keeping my shop open for customers too.
I would prefer a world with more of these types of businesses. A world that encourages self employment, and discourages takeovers, buyouts & mergers. A world where everyone has a chance to be their own man, and yet no one gets to be so far removed from their employees so as to become The Man.
For the record the business in question, which I would highly recommend is:
Lucky 88 Cafe
On the corner of Davie & Howe
In downtown Vancouver.
They make excellent breakfast from 7:30am to 4pm daily.
I have been making an effort to read more, but today I am between books and as a result not 'into' reading, so I have been wandering about the place actually looking around rather than sitting with my nose in a book, and I realised that I missed being the silent observer. Not that I have not enjoyed the reading, or felt mildly accomplished because of it, but I like to look out the window or watch my fellow passengers or fellow coffee shop patrons. In many ways reality is far more interesting than fiction, even the most mundane sort of reality.
Yesterday I drove. A boat. It was pretty awesome. There is a stretch of water called the Indian Arm that runs in an L shape away from Vancouver up to the north east. For the last 2 years it has bothered me that I have not seen this part of the world. There are no roads, and the shape of it precludes a good view of it without taking to the water. So yesterday we did just that, rented a motorboat, and set off. I was largely happy to let Darcy drive, but at the furthest point up the inlet we had a mini adventure. We came across 4 dudes in a yacht that had lost power. Thoughts of drug runners and hidden guns came to mind as we approached the stricken vessel. But it was just some rich thirty something dudes out for an afternoon. Luckily they were close enough to a dock that it wasn't the most epic thing in the world to tow them to safety. However it required that Darcy take the time to do knot work and look after ropes, so I had to drive the boat. I think I mentioned previously that it was awesome. I was reasonably good at it too, safely bringing our boat and the yacht into dock. Of course then I wasn't giving up the driving seat, so I drove us most of the way back to Vancouver. A very enjoyable experience, and replete with further insights into rural British Columbia... more on ruralness later as on Monday I head off to the Okanagan, a wine growing area, further north and east.
When I was growing up, my parents grew mint in the garden. This was used occasionally for making mint sauce for lamb and such like. Then down in the sweet shop there were Polo mints and XXX mints etc, and these tasted very different to what we refered to as 'mint' in the garden. There were also 'spearmint' varites of Polo mints and other sweet mint varietes. Later in life I discovered mint tea, but one mans mint was another mans spearmint or peppermint it seemed. So some investigation was in order.
Peppermint (mentha x piperita) , probably the most widely available mint in "mint tea", is actually a hybrid of spearmint (Mentha Spicata) and watermint (Mentha Aquatica).
Spearmint seems to be what was growing in my garden all those years ago, the spear in the name coming from its pointy leaves. However spearmint seems to have some wide range of flavours depending on its cultivation. The mint I like these days and most closely recalls the mint from the family garden is called Moroccan Mint. From what I can gather it is actually a cultivation of spearmint called 'Nana'.
Minty taste comes from an oil called R-carvone, present to a greater or lesser degree in different varieties and cultivation of mints.
There are currently recognised 25 pure species of mint and 6 hybrids (of which peppermint is one).
There you go... Wasn't that interesting? :)