Tuesday, November 29, 2011

10 Years Have Got Behind You


...

And then one day you find

Then years have got behind you

No one told you when to run

You missed the starting gun

...

This is part of the amazing Time by Pink Floyd. Ten years ago a day like today I landed in Calgary International Airport. After going through customs and immigration, i simply went to an information both, asked a young girl where I could stay. I hardly believe if anyone in the past 10 years have come to this country the way I did. Everyone at least knew someone. The girl that I will never forget her help, made a few phone calls and eventually got me a room in Super 8 where I could go with no cab fair. I stayed over there and then found a shared accommodation in Calgary Herald where I stayed for almost 6 months.

I look back now and I see that I have lost so many opportunities, many will never emerge again. I don't have much time left. I have to use the few coming years and rebuild the infrastructure which is not made strong enough. A wind like yesterday's would knock everything down, probably!

(Photo: The cover of The Dark Side of The Moon which contains Time)

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Very Disappointing Coffee Experience

It was a long time that I wanted to try this Wave Coffee until we gave it a try on Sun. eventually: A complete waste of time and money and a total discomfort.This new coffee house that they have tried to make it something like Starbucks, Good Earth or Second Cup was a combination of low quality design and everything else that you would not want in a coffee shop that you usually go to to have a few minutes of relaxed time.
We went in a mild and dry day. Not cold, no snow or rain. Surprisingly the cafe was as hot as an convention oven! The floor was wet and slippery. I though someone had moped it but they usually put a safety sign around. Nothing could be seen. So I figure out that water has spilled from a jar that was there for customers!!
Who the hell serves cold water in a plastic Wal-Mart/Dollar Store jar any more? Am I living in Mogadishu or Karachi? Then they had this display with a few different types of pastries with totally unreasonable prices. A very thin slice of a regular cake for over $4! Are you kidding me! The idiots could not even provide a nice price tag. It was written on a dirty piece of yellowish paper with a grade 3 handwriting!
The stupidity does not end here. Two people came to us to get our order and each ask different questions and at times same ones! For a moment I felt like I am in one of those sessions that there are up to four people interviewing you and each ask a different question!
At the other side there were three young eastern-European fellas sitting talking very loudly in their native language and presumably enjoying a themselves after years of depression under a Communist regime. The coffee was a total disaster and the table that we were using was loose. I felt I am on a boat in a stormy day. It did not take more than 10 minutes that I hated there. Then this very tall guy came in with his Cowboy boots. He ordered something and started marching around the room! You could feel that the entire room was shaking!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Project Calendar

There was this big Print Shop on 8th St., I guess, that I had been to for my photocopy reasons a few time back to 2003 and 2004. I remember they had this sign out of the store saying that you could have your personalized calendar with your own photos. The sign would emerge of course early Dec. That store is not there any more. The business is gone or have been moved somewhere else, I'm assuming like many others in Calgary in the past 10 years. I was thinking to myself: Why don't I take a good photos this coming year from different places every month and make 2013 calendar out of them? I can send a few to different friends and family members.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yam Chips


Since everyone tries to combine some disgusting crap to sell it to the poor people and make money, I have decided to stay away from outside food and I do unless it is absolutely necessary to eat outside. One of the foods that you can find different types of it in the market is Chips. The best chips to my knowledge and experience is Lays. The rest I stay away, especially Pringles. They make different chips from different sources for example Banana Chips which has been the worst that I've ever had. Corn Chips and Potato Chips are usually OK but depends on the company and as said I prefer Lays. Apple Chips and other shit they all contain too much preservative and chemicals. So today I tried something new myself: Yam Chips!
All you need is Yam and Olive Oil, or any other kind of cooking oil but I rather that one as considered the healthiest. Just simply pour some in your frying pan and turn the hub on to low and then medium. try not to burn the oil. peel the Yam, wash it and cut it in thin layers and put them on the pan. Wait until they are golden or brown and then flip them. That's all. ready to eat. Doesn't even need salt or pepper! You may add a little ketchup but that is just for the time you are tired of the Yam's flavor and want to have a variety.
(Photo: A few of the pieces went too brown but I still like them. Don't overheat or over-fry them. Some don't like burnt ones)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Run in the Chill!


I decided to go for my regular jogging despite the fact that I had not have enough sleep last night, not more than 4.5 hours, at the most and also It was chilly. -17 C which was felt -29 C with windchill. So I went to a Sportcheck to buy a pair of gloves. I thought that would be the only thing I needed. I have to mention though that MEC is closer to me and I went there first but their parking was so crowded and I also had to pay a dollar for the parking, meaning parking, getting off the vehicle, going to the dispenser, buying, walking back to the vehicle, putting the receipt on the dash and walking back to the store! So I said fuck them. I drove for about 5 to 7 min. where there were lots of free parking spaces and bought a pair of Columbia Omni-Heat gloves. It cost me almost $52 but I assume I can wear them for as long as I live in Calgary.
Anyways I went and parked where CBC Building is and started my jogging alongside the slush Bow River toward west. This time the wind was not being felt I guess because it was so could that you would feel it everywhere but again I was generally OK and did my 20 min. and even a bit more very efficiently. The gloves though are not as good as I expect them. I could still feel the cold through the fabric but I think it helped to finish the job. Rather than that I had my ear muffs that I had bought them last Jan. or Feb. and my tuque from the previous work in B. C.
But walking then is different. I walked from the corner of 8th St. and 1st. Ave. SW to the Bankers Hall to take a photo and I did not have ear muffs and gloves on and I was about to die! Going and coming back did not take more than 10 min. I guess.
(Photo: The giant snow flake hanging from the structures in 8th Ave., between the 2nd and 3rd Street looks nice. The real snow flakes though are not 3 dimensional like this one!)

Appriciating Toyota



I wanted to pick up F. F. from work last night so I got the vehicle, parked on the street around 20:05 when it was almost -15 C or a little less. Turned the ignition on, boom! The first try and the engine was running! No block heater, no heated underground parking or shit like that!

Gave a couple of minutes while cleaning the windows from the light snow and drove it. No problem at all. Thanks Toyota! I hope It will run like this all 6 months of the winter.

(Photo: This is what the thermometer of the Corolla showed. The radio said it was -17 or around that. Not much difference!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Colder

I just came back from jugging. It was cold, almost -7 C and I had to wear a pair of gloves and a tuque. The gloves didn't help much and my finger were frozen on my way back. I did a 20 minutes jogging, a 10 min. to east and the second 10 min., without a delay, back to west. The return was harder because I had to run against the cold wind. generally I was OK. There was a little bit of flurries as well but just a few flakes. There were not many runners but there was a couple who caught up with me and I could not reach them to the end of my exercise. They were running like solid engines! Part of the river, Bow River, was frozen but not all of it especially around the Centre Street Bridge the water was running.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Edgar

We watched the new Clint Eastwood's movie, him as director, not actor, called Edgar, about the first director of the FBI. It was a bit tiring, especially for F. F. who doesn't know much about the States history. I had a little knowledge and could digest most of the movie. Eastwood's movies are usually good but at times I think he could do a bit better. For example Letters From Iwo Jima is an incredible movie, while Gran Torino is not what you expect from Eastwood after seeing that. Again Edgar was OK but not a kind of movie that I want to buy its DVD. DiCaprio as John Edgar Hoover plays well but during the movie a question arouse because he was saying that the Bureau needed more power to fight Communism and I wondered what Communists were doing there in the States in 1919! The Russian Revolution was ended in 1917 and I don't believe that the spread was fast enough to encourage people to start bombing and demonstrations in different The US cities!

Then after talking to my colleague an old Canadian gentleman who had been through all that shit, I realized that Americans would call anybody who opposed them a Communist! Like today that whoever looks like an Arab is called Middle Eastern and Terrorist! The US has to have an enemy all the time. They have to keep the people in a constant fear, so they can rule! That's what also Stone refers to in his JFK movie as well as Moore in his Fahrenheit 9/11.

Anyway it appears after watching the movie that Edgar is the one that the US owes him a lot for establishing the FBI that you can see today. That's all and the movie is an appreciation to him. However it is also revealed that many things that he claimed that he had done, actually had not been done by him but he took the credit. His homosexuality, I don't know if it was being hidden from the public or not, was the side subject as well.

(Photo: Eastwood directs DiCaprio and a young actress on set of Edgar)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Bussiness Called APEGA

I have written this N. P. P. E. of APEGA two times. Ones I had a very bad result because I was not prepared enough and the other time I was almost certain that I would pass it but failed again! I kicked (not kissed) it goodbye since that time. The exam is a hit now and on the other hand a big business. Passing N. P. P. E. and other requirements of APEGA and possibly other professional organizations in the other provinces does not necessarily mean that you're a good Engineer. It's not because I couldn't pass the damn exam. It's a hard exam to pass but it doesn't prove anything. And I have seen that at work. This asshole that works here, a chicken shit, he can not even write a simple report free from grammatical errors and is graduated from a 4th class university in Canada that I had never heard about it prior to knowing him. But he's a Professional Engineer. What a shame! The other ones are not much better than him. In fact the entire team is a bunch of ignorants who simply copy documents from previous projects and create new documents!
But the fact is this title, P. Eng., opens many doors and I have to write it if I want a better job with a better salary or if I want to stay in this business at all. So I have to stop being lazy and start studying but need to activate my file first. In fact I decided to do something else which is long time overdo, before that. I will write about it later.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Royal India

We decided to eat out last night so we went to a Indian restaurant in Downtown which was known to us from a classmate: Royal Indian. It was a disappointing experience. The food was not good compare to the little Indian restaurant we had eaten in previously and it was not hot. We decided buffet over the restaurant because going over the menu and reading all the explanations would not help in a situation like but that didn't change the result. It's $17.00 and something for each person and of course you'll add the tip. Indian foods are known for their hot and spicy flavours but out of 10 different meals that I tried at least 6 of them, there was not even one spicy food. It's like eating Sushi with no rice flavour or Hamburger when you do not have the taste of Beef in the patties! F. F. didn't like it at all and neither did I.
We went back home and because I was too tired I slept or better to say we slept early. We both were very tired, may be around 10:30 PM. So we woke up early this morning and I had a very bad feeling from the damn food from the last night. Stomach sickness prevailed the sleepiness in the morning. I had that feeling all the morning until I took a trip to the washroom around 10:40 AM and that was relief.
So in the nutshell if you want to try Indian cuisine, I suggest you not waste your time and money in Royal Indian, especially if you go early, you will have to pay for parking. Don't be fooled by the nice chairs and vase and good decoration and atmosphere. When I mentioned this issue the guy who was giving me the check he said that because most of his customer were Canadians from the offices around and they eat during the day, he had to stay away from spicy foods! He added that he and his family did not eat spicy food. What a nonsense! I should have told him, but didn't. I gave him a $2.5 tip for a little more than $40 meal for two. I, perhaps should have kept it to minimum. Another thing is that the waitresses would go to you and want to take your plate. Something that I didn't see in the other Indian restaurant. May be with the intention of preventing you from eating more. We ignored them partially, insisting that we wanted out plates or let it go and went and got a clean one!

The First Snow


Calgary received the first winter snow last Fri. It was just a few millimeters but made enough troubles from many. It was almost -8 C when we were leaving home around 09:35 AM and went up to almost 2 C when I was jogging in Glenmore. Surprisingly there were not many runners and joggers yesterday. I got the chance to discover around a little and see the trails and everything.
People are mostly rather to hang out inside, have a cup of coffee and do their choirs. Weekends are not usually for exercises in West, I guess.
(Photo: This hole, I found it in Glenmore Park, could let an animal at the size of a medium dog, let through. I have no idea what kind of animal lives in this and did not stay around to see what it might be)



Thursday, November 03, 2011

Keeping Up the 25 after Making Yogurt!

F. F. wanted to do a little shopping so I dropped her at Chinook Centre and drove to Glenmore Park. By the time I got there it was almost 07:30 PM and dark. I parked and got into the path. There were a few people there all with their light on the foreheads. I have one but had not put it on. So I started my jogging and although the night before that I had not more than 4 hours of sleep I was able to do my 00:25.
It was not as cold as the previous time. I guess the path beside the Bow River is felt colder may be because the water there is running and the weather in the reservoir is almost stagnant. May be the other night was simply colder.
But why i had not enough sleep is another story but the short version is that F. F. and also I, both are interested in Yogurt so that night it was decided to make some instead of buying as we usually do from different supermarkets. So we picked up a jar of Organic Milk from Co-oP for I guess almost $8 or more (for 4 L.) and a she made at a time that I had to wake up at almost 03:30 AM and put the pot in the refrigerator. I did put it in on time and honestly it was excellent Yogurt!