Daily Update: Saturday, November 5th, 2016

11-05 - Gunpowder Plot

Today is the First Saturday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. With no Saints to honor today, we recall the worst event to happen to the English Catholics in the 17th century, the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

The First Saturday of each month is dedicated to devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Turning to the early 17th century, since the time of King Henry VIII English Catholics struggled in a society dominated by the Protestant Church of England. On March 19th, 1605, King James I gave his opening speech to his first English Parliament in which he spoke of his desire to secure peace, but only by “profession of the true religion”. On April 24th a Bill was introduced in Parliament which threatened to outlaw all English followers of the Catholic Church. A group of provincial English Catholics led by Sir Robert Catesby thus devised a plan to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament. Guy Fawkes was given charge of the explosives. The plot was revealed to the authorities in an anonymous letter sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, known to be sympathetic to Catholics, on October 26th, 1605 warning him not to attend the Opening of Parliament. During a search of the House of Lords, early in the morning of November 5th, 1605, Fawkes was discovered guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder (enough to reduce the House of Lords to rubble later that day at the Opening of Parliament) and arrested. Most of the conspirators fled from London as they learned of the plot’s discovery, trying to enlist support along the way. Several made a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at Holbeche House; in the ensuing battle Catesby was one of those shot and killed. At their trial on January 26th, 1606, eight of the survivors, including Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered; at the time of the executions Catesby’s body was exhumed and decapitated, and his head was exhibited on a spike outside of the House of Lords. The discovery of such a wide-ranging conspiracy, the capture of those involved, and the subsequent trials, led Parliament to consider introducing new anti-Catholic legislation. In the summer of 1606, laws against recusancy were strengthened; the Popish Recusants Act returned England to the Elizabethan system of fines and restrictions, introduced a sacramental test, and instituted an Oath of Allegiance, requiring Catholics to abjure as a “heresy” the doctrine that “princes excommunicated by the Pope could be deposed or assassinated”. Catholic Emancipation in England took another 200 years. In the meantime, November 5th was celebrated each year in England with bonfires in which a public figure was burned in effigy. In an interesting development, a stylised portrayal Guy Fawkes mask with an over-sized smile and red cheeks, a wide moustache upturned at both ends, and a thin vertical pointed beard, designed by illustrator David Lloyd, came to represent broader protest after it was used as a major plot element in V for Vendetta, published in 1982, and its 2006 film adaptation. After appearing in Internet forums, the mask became a well-known symbol for the online hacktivist group Anonymous, used in Project Chanology, the Occupy movement, and other anti-government and anti-establishment protests around the world.

We woke up at 8:30 am at tthe Quality Inn in Denver , Colorado. I was hung over, with a headache. I did not go down to breakfast, but instead ate a couple of breakfast bars. I did my Book Devotional Reading and my Internet Devotional Reading, then did my Daily Update for yesterday, Friday, November 4th, 2016. We then ate roast beef poboys, and I set up my medications for next week.

At 1:00 pm we drove to the Tattered Cover on Colfax. I put in some comfy chair time and purchased Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking is Undermining America by Barbara Ehrenreich.

When we got back to the motel at 4:00 pm, my headache had turned into a migraine headache. I took my migraine medication and went to bed for the duration, and did not do my Daily Update. Richard went down to the bar and watched our #15 ranked LSU Tigers lose their SEC College Football game with the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide by the score of 0 to 10. Our Tigers will next play an away game with the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday, November 12th.

Tomorrow is the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the first day of National Vocation Awareness Week. With no Saints to honor, we note that tomorrow is the anniversary of when Pope Pius VI confirmed (rather than appointed) Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States in 1789. Tomorrow is also the ending of Daylight Savings Time. It is also the birthday of one of Richard’s grandnieces in Texas, a granddaughter of his Sister Bonnie in Texas, who will get her name mentioned in this weblog next year when she turns twenty-one (1996). We will leave Denver, I will do my Daily Update for yesterday, Saturday, November 5th, 2016, and we will go to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Montrose, Colorado, then head for Telluride. Meanwhile, our LSU Women’s Basketball team will play an Exhibition game with the Lemoyne-Owen Magicians, and our New Orleans Saints (3-4, 1-1) will play an Away NFL game with the San Francisco 49ers (1-6, 1-2).

Our Parting Quote this Saturday evening comes to us from Charlie Trotter, American chef and restaurateur. Born as Charles Trotter in 1959 in Wilmette, Illinois, he went to high school in Winnetka, Illinois, attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois from 1977 to  1979, then earned a degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982. He then started cooking professionally, and for five years after college, he worked and studied in Chicago, San Francisco (at the California Culinary Academy), Florida, and Europe. Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago opened in 1987. He made a cameo appearance in the 1997 film My Best Friend’s Wedding, screaming at an assistant, “I will kill your whole family if you don’t get this right! I need this perfect!” a parody of a stereotypical screaming angry chef. Trotter was the host of the 1999 PBS cooking show The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, in which he detailed his recipes and cooking techniques. He likened cooking to an improvisational jazz session in that as two riffs will never be the same, so too with food. He also wrote 14 cookbooks, starting in 1994, and three management books, and promoted a line of organic and all-natural gourmet foods distributed nationally. Trotter also was unusual among celebrity chefs for his outspokenness in matters of ethics, most famously when he took foie gras off the menu in 2002 for ethical reasons. In 2003 he was the subject of two class-action lawsuits pertaining to the compensation of his employees and alleged violations of labor law, both front-of-the-house (service) and back-of-the-house (cooks). The first, filed by former waiter Kurt Sorensen, alleges that rather than receiving the tips they collected, waiters were paid from a restaurant-wide pool, and their share was significantly lower than the amount they had collected, in violation of minimum-wage law. This suit was settled confidentially. A second suit, filed September 17th, 2003 by former cook Beverly Kim, alleged that cooks were required to work unpaid overtime. This suit was settled in 2005, resulting in a liability of almost $700,000, though of this only about $300,000 was paid out, as many eligible former employees returned their share. Trotter was involved with his philanthropic Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation and other causes. He was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award in 2005 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He invited groups of public high school students into his restaurant as part of his Excellence Program two to three times per week: after eating a meal, the students were told how the food was prepared and the motivations of those preparing it. Charlie Trotter’s was named as the 30th-best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine, and 5th-best in the United States in 2007. In 2008 Trotter opened his second namesake restaurant in Las Vegas known as Restaurant Charlie. The restaurant garnered extraordinary praise from critics and received the Michelin Guide One Star award in 2009. The restaurant also received the 2009 James Beard Award for “Best New Restaurant”. Within the restaurant was a smaller, private bar known as Bar Charlie in which diners were seated overlooking the kitchen preparation and receive a hands-on experience. It closed in March 2010. In 2010 Charlie Trotter’s was one of three restaurants in Chicago to be awarded two stars by the Michelin Guide. On December 31st, 2011, Trotter announced that the restaurant would close in August 2012, citing a desire to travel and to pursue a master’s degree. On June 13th, 2013, Trotter was sued by Bekim and Ilir Frrokaj, two wine-collecting brothers, who accused him of selling them a counterfeit magnum bottle of 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for $46,000 (died 2013): “There is only one way to be successful: you are never working for anyone else — you are only working for yourself. So your own standards have to be higher than those of your boss.”

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