Friday, December 24, 2010

Not quite old Ebenezer

Rudolph and Santa Claus Christmas Eve… a night for pondering GREAT mysteries, like how can eight reindeer pull a sleigh through the air and land so preciselyJesus & Mary on every housetop? That’s nine reindeer with Rudolph—and just what makes his nose glow? And what has made Santa Claus so endearing to all the Christian children, yes Christian children of the world (look it up—Santa mostly visits only the nations that are or were Christian!)? Yes, these are the mysteries of Xmas, but Christmas mysteries are even more profound: How did God become a human baby boy born on Christmas Eve? The Ancient of Days became an infant! What did the shepherds think of the spectacular angelic choir? Did Mary understand the uniqueness of the child she carried?
CN Tower lit up for Christmas Leave it to me to go from the sublime to the slick! What’s up with Tim Hortons’ holiday mugs this year? I love these holiday mugs! They are always a great gift for those who already have everything you could think to buy them. Every year it’s a new mug, so you can always do repeats ;) This year is a very nice Canadian mug with great Canadian scenes, but it’s only available in 9 not all 10 provinces! So have you heard about this controversy already? The Canadian scenes mug was apparently “too Canadian” for Quebec, so Tim Hortons dropped the CN Tower and other Canadian icons on the mug for Quebec and picked up the Chateau Frontenac other other Quebec icons.Prime Minister Harper getting the boot from Bonhomme? Maybe it’s just marketing and an attempt to cash in on Quebec, but it seemed a little odd for our national coffee chain to market a national holiday mug and also a Quebec holiday mug. What do you think about Tim Hortons’ strategy? Let me know and please be sure to watch the video… it’s close to being the first video on the Ken Symes’ YouTube channel to get over 2000 views :)


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Canada’s Winter Wonderland: Double Double

Winter has come on real strong in Alberta, the Maritimes and parts of Ontario with unusually high amounts of snow.  In less than a week, London received over 74cm, Alliston 83cm and an incredible 177cm in Lucan, Ontario! Oddly enough, most of the Greater Toronto Area didn’t receive hardly any snow, we were just surrounded by it. In the following video news clip, I was impressed by this very Canadian way of contrasting the amount of snow in Alliston versus the Durham region, east of Toronto, where I live. novideo

It’s going to be a better winter in the far north of Canada. Tim Hortons opened its first stores in our northernmost territory, Nunavut.IQALUIT: DECEMBER 3, 2010 -- IQALUIT TIMMIE'S -- Inukshuk and Michael use a traditional ulu knife to cut the ribbon and open the Iqaluit Timmie’s locations while flanked by Tim Hortons and North West Company management, associated charity heads and other dignitaries. Now Tim Hortons is in all 13 provinces and territories of Canada.

With Winter comes Christmas and for some that means stress, disappointment and grief. At Mere C.S. Lewis, I’ve been running quotes from his book A Grief Observed. I’ll be resuming the quotes from that book this week. I expanded one of these C.S. Lewis quotes with some of my own thoughts at Samartian XP, As empty as a Monday morning church: the grieving heart. I tried to find as much cheer and delight as I can throughout the season.

Did you already hear about what happened to poor Rudolph? A couple of weekends ago, during a Christmas parade in Virginia, a mega balloon Rudolph got taken out my a red light! Enjoy this great video with a Canadian humour track, and please don’t miss the irony of Rudolph being taken out by a red light!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ken Symes’ true coffee confession

I don’t sleep much these days. I NEED coffee. Sometimes I’m desperate for coffee. I gotta have it and I gotta love it. I’m as Canadian as can be so, of course, I drink Tim Hortons coffee (double double, even!). But I must confess to everyone now: sometimes I even drink McDonalds coffee—and like it!

McDonalds coffee appeals to my inner Scotsman. It costs LESS money, tastes good, and they’ll give me a muffin for only 20 cents with my coffee that costs LESS than a Timmies! Wow! What a great deal! But then, they went further… their coffee was FREE for the last couple weeks! Yes, FREE coffee! How could I resist? Barely seen Timmies for two weeks now, except for the occasional opportunity to get a donut for 49 cents with my coffee.

Too many donuts and muffins. Gotta get back to just coffee…


Blogs Update


Wow! I’m loving the great reaction I got to my blog post on PEI scrapping their remaining restrictions on Sunday openings of stores. I used the story as an opportunity to explore the meaning of Sabbath, rest, the significance of Sunday and the challenge for Christians to live Christianly everyday. I’d still love to have more people weigh in on that discussion.

Monday Morning Church But my favourite blog posting this week was one I did at Mere C.S. Lewis, matching up a great music video by Alan Jackson called Monday Morning Church with a reading by Lewis from his book A Grief Observed. Both the song and the reading present a husband grieving over the death of his wife. I was amazed by how well the two mediums blended and personally felt the impact multiplied by reviewing them together. As Lewis says later in the book, “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you” (A Grief Observed, 20-21).
Heart used to be full of faith, now it only hurts