Sunday, August 25, 2013

Flashback (24): Captain Morgan

J. M. A. K. A. Captain Morgan was an old fella that I worked with briefly back in British Columbia days. The poor guy was around 70 or looked like about that age and had worked hard labour jobs in Northern British Columbia for years. He liked to tell stories about the time he worked in saw mills in Huston or other small northern communities which their economy was solely dependent on forestry. May be still is, if any three is left up there! In general the economy of Brit-SHIT Columbia in the past decade or so has been heavily dependent on a few industries such as tourism, fishery, forestry, orchard and nothing else, may be different natural resources in north. We don't want to discuss that here because it will show how shitty this province is!
I felt really bad for the guy because according to him he had to work to make end's meat. His pension would not cover his and his wife's costs. But he was stupid too. In old days, in Canada, a labourer in forestry industry could make good money and with the prices of house so cheap and population so low, he could buy a nice house and in fact he did but somehow he later lost it or may be he lied about that. The other problem of his, like many Canadian men, was that he had fucked around with too many girl. The woman she was living with, was probably his third married gal. She was a woman who was suffering from emphysema and that was because she had been exposed to smokes during all the years that she worked in a bar. J. M. had a few child including a man who worked for kaltyre, if my memory let me remember, not that is a significant piece of information, and a daughter who was suffering from Leukemia.
He even was a cab driver for a while but according to his stories he has his nose broken two times so he gave it up! I don't know how that might happen to you unless you are a real dumb. Obviously he used to pick up the drunks and asshole at different corners of the town or around bars and nigh clubs without being careful enough. The job of driving a cab seems to be much securer these days as all of the drivers you see are foreigners from India, Pakistan and African countries but might not have been like this in the old days. Nowadays the taxis even are equipped with cameras and I don't remember I have heard any incident about a cab in the past 10 years.
Anyhow the Captain first lost his driving privilege because he was blind as a bat and then they ask him to leave the job and offered him something easier somewhere else. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Movies in Alberta

I had heard several times about all these movies being made in Alberta, big hits, Hollywood successes which brings millions of dollars to directors, actors and actresses and most importantly the producers. I had heard of Brokeback Mountain which I never watched. Perhaps I should. Until recently that I read in Calgary Sun that one of my all-time favorite, Unforgiven had been made here in Alberta as well!
So I was watching the movie the other day and I got to this scene that the tree guys are trying to shoot one of the Cowboys who is ironing a calf and hey wait a sec.! I know this place! The scene is shot in where is know as Dinosaur Provincial Park, where I was a few weeks ago! 
I never understand whether it is because making movies are cheaper here in Canada or it is on the account that you can get better scenery because Westerns are not the only movies made here. K-19, one of my other favorites, I know, that was made in Canada, somewhere in Ontario
F. F. told me just a couple of weeks that she had been told that the old gentleman who everybody was whispering about, where she was in that day, was a famous actor, according to one of her colleagues. With the sign that she described to me I realized that he was Donald Sutherland, who is a Canadian actor and was here for a movie. I always wanted to go and see places where the important events had happened for example I have it in my plan to go and see Burghof or places when my favorite movie have been filmed for instance the restaurant in New York where many Seinfled scenes were filmed Now I have been in one of them without even knowing! 
(Photos: [Top] Eastwood in the scene where the first Cowboy is shot. In the background the hills of the park are seen. [Bottom] I took this picture in Dinosaur Provincial Park in a sunny and beautiful afternoon)

Monday, August 19, 2013

PMP

I have already written about the pinheads that I had to work with from time to time. I also have said how expensive the education could be. I just want to address one of the most stupid popular certificates that I have ever faced in my life anywhere in the world: PMP.
This so-called certificate is provided by the Project Management Institute. I now doubt everything that I see in North America. I used to doubt everything in the old country because I had always been told that everything in perfect in West. Now with all these bullshit I see here I have lost the complete trust on anything. PMP by far has been the dumbest certificate I have ever seen. This ugly, ignorant piece of stinking Oriental crap who barely can say something without grammatical errors, still makes the same pronunciation mistakes she was making 3 years go and has no education, understanding and appreciation of engineering and science a PMP holder! There was this guy who used to work with us, a lad from this tiny little town in one of Ontario's neighbouring provinces. He had an engineering degree from this grade 5 Canadian university and he was a PMP holder too. He actually became one just shortly before leaving the company. In a way he was a punk, black earring on one earlobe, tattoo all over the one arm or maybe even other places, just like a fucking drug dealer! The fucker had a handwriting like someone who had recently learnt English from his native Cantonese or similar langue. 
On the other hand all of the manager and top executive do not even give a shit to these stupid certificates because being close to the C. E. O. or a good sucker are what makes them the project manager or similar. This fucking animal who does not even have an engineering degree and I bet if you give him a little bit complex drawing, who would not be able to understand it, is who has the role of project manager! 
This probably also is one of the easiest in the market because you see many people with that these days. It's like MBA that has become popular like cigarette in the past few years. Education is really fucked up and has become more of a business in the past few years. In Canada and I reckon in the States it is a big business because that is how the universities, colleges and school make money and the government loves it. Just a while ago an embassy of Canada in one of, I guess, Eastern European countries had some restrictions for student visa and all the schools across the country started crying. Vancouver is one fucked up city which has almost nothing to present in terms of jobs unless for teaching English to some fucked up losers who have got some money from their parents or work illegally to pay their tuition so they can fuck or get fucked and keep that as their life-time memory. 
There was this ugly Japanese whore who used to go to the same school as F. F.'s. The bitch was so fucking poor that had rented a room at the size of our toilet and was sleeping there but her fucking Facebook profile would be updated with new photos every few days. I guess she eventually found one fucked up Canadian guy and stuck herself to him like a parasite at least temporary for food and dick! She was here apparently as an English student. I never knew why someone would need to learn English if she or he is Japanese and lives there! It's understandable that you need to learn the language and I actually had a classmate in U of C from Korea who was here for that but what percentage of people work in tourism industry in every country!?
So in a nutshell if you're getting some North American education, PMP would be the one which you stayed away unless your brain does not have more capacity to take something intellectual and thoughtful!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Spy Nest, Robert Ode's Short Story

I met this colleague shortly before Christmas last year. By meeting him I mean although we work for the same company but we barely interacted. I do not recall clearly but in that time and during our conversation we talked a bit about the siege of Embassy of the US in Tehran in 1979. He happens to be a relative of one of the hostages who passed away years ago. Let's put it this way: He was a distance relative of a hostage at the time it occurred: A Robert Ode.
Robert Ode, the oldest of the hostages, 65 at the time and without a doubt the one with the worst luck had arrived in Tehran just a few days before the day the so-called students stormed the embassy. He was already retired and was supposed to do a little assignment and leave shortly after that but got caught. This fella colleague of mine said that his father and the late Mr. Ode both had served in the Pacific during the WWII. His father is still alive at 92, probably one of a few survivors of those years. I did not ask him about his father as it could be the subject of another meeting.
I happened to find his memories through Jimmy Carter Library and Museum but it's hard to trust that. I am not saying that he was a lair or anything but having all this stories written up under the hard condition that he complains about everyday seems impossible. In addition to that if we consider he wrote everything after returning home, it make the story almost unbelievable. memories are usually not good in the last half of your 60s! Nevertheless I feel kind of bad for this guy and the other as they all were victims of the politicians.
I add one memory to the story and end it: There was this close friend of mine who would take some sort of sport class in a sport complex pretty close to where the former US Embassy in Tehran located. The embassy was renamed to The Spy Nest after the raid. He said that he was on the bus one day going to his training and when the bus stopped at the embassy station yelled: The Spy Nest! As it is common in the old country to scream kind of the name of the station so the passengers know and don't miss it. So one guy, apparently a supporter of the raid turns to the driver and goes: But sir this is not The Spy Nest any more, referring to the embassy being turned to some sort of training centre for the Revolutionary Guards. The driver replies: It actually is The Spy Nest now!
But what I personally remember about the invasion days is surprisingly still clear in my mind. I have always been the person who had difficulty remembering the others. It has happened so many times that people walked up to me and claimed they had known me from here or there but with the events it is a bit different.
I remember one cold fall night on the street of the Embassy with my family. May father was an active person for years and that night he took his family with him to see around. Book vendors on the sidewalk were presenting anti-US and anti-Capitalism books, magazines and so on. I clearly remember that there was a little booklet full of cartoons of a South American artist. All the cartoons are drawn about words and terms (in Spanish) which contain the three letters of CIA consecutively, for instance AmbulanCIA. I don't know if the words are all correct in Spanish spelling but there were a lot of them introduced. For that ambulance word the cartoon shows an ambulance truck which was taking the victims of CIA operations! That booklet should still be somewhere within all my books and magazines in the old country.
(Photo: Robert Ode of Illinois. This photo is far away from his last years)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Workplace Stories (6): Incompetency

With too many dickheads and morons sitting around the workplace, I always wondered what the benefit would be for the company hiring these fools? Then it was known to me and the reason was brilliant: The company has a contract with a client and based on that provides a list of the so-called EXPERTS to them and gets man-hour. Clients most of the time, I believe do not check most of these experts background, experience and education and at times cases like this guy occurs. Anyways the company gets a considerable amount of money for each and every employee, let's say for example for a Process Engineer some $80 an hour. Then they pay him or her half of this amount and put the rest in their own pocket! The situation is even better for a few of the other positions because they can claim more and with today's tough market pay less because nowadays Ph. D.  holders are doing a drafter's job. 
This situation may not seem so odd for the company's which do contract job let's say the king of fools fucking Moody but for a company doing that to the employees seems a bit strange but I bet many of them don't know and even if they do, they also know that they do not have any other choice. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A Bad Experience in Downtown Calgary

I was in Downtown area yesterday to go somewhere from there and got myself a cup of coffee from McDonald's and started a very slow walk, window shopping, minding my own business. There were lots of Natives around as usual, many of them intoxicated, again, as usual but paid not much attention. I stopped for a second to see something and I was holding my coffee when I felt a push on my back and I was thrown forward! 
Under normal circumstances I would have landed on the ground with my coffee first and my nose and head after that and I would have broken my nose, maybe my forehead too! Also it was a great chance that I would have been burnt by that coffee. But none of those happened. I quickly got myself together and realised that a drunk Native man in his late 20s and early 30s was walking by saying I was in front of him! I swore at the guy and could easily drop him with a punch like a bag of dirt but felt bad for him and just scared him by showing him my mobile telephone and saying that I would call the cups on him and kept swearing! 
he took a few steps toward me but when he heard that he walked off while still being sworn at. 
I always knew these guys are crazy and I always avoided them but I never had a pleasant contact like that with them. Downtown Calgary and especially the east side of it most of the time crowded with Natives hanging out with shabby cloths and asking you for change. It is quite similar to Vancouver Downtown East-side, of course not that bad. There difference is that in Vancouver they are kind of segregated but in Calgary they are floating! 
(Photo: I decided to post a photo of the nice side of the Downtown instead of the homeless, drunk and addicted! This is a sort of sculpture installed on high as can be seen around Bankers Hall. Suncor Energy centre and a little portion of the Bow can be seen on the back) 

Sunday, August 04, 2013

After the Flood

It has been more than a month since the flood in Calgary and I have written enough about this and how incompetent and irresponsible these people who run the City are. In fact what pisses me the most is the bastard who originally approved of having such a stupid bridge over Bow River, the very fucking Bronconnier. The millions of dollars which was paid to that motherfucker piece of crap Spanish piece of dung could be easily used to rebuild the City and help the victims. It's just that I cannot get it out of my mind. Rather than that I just wanted to share these two photos which compare the time and after the flood.
(Photo: Louise Bridge which connects Downtown west end to Memorial Dr. and Kensington is shown on the top in 21st of June and on the bottom, in today)

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Patton

Patton, an autobiography of not very famous general of the US Army is an overrated movie. No story, not really a fascinating battle scene even with the standards of 70s and not such a considerable act. The movie only has two good points:
1- George Scott's act. Although I liked him much better in Dr. Strangelove.
2- This is probably one of the rare American movies in that era which does not lie. 
Rather than the above the movie does not have anything to present. There is not really a battle scene that you could say that the director, cinematographer and stunt team have worked hard to make it real and exciting. Generals Patton's role in the war only is limited to either watching through a pair of binoculars or from the side of the road and surprisingly he never gets hurt even when the planes attack and he is standing alone in 
the middle of the road shooting at them with his ivory(!) revolver of whatever! A typical American war movie scene in the 60s and 70s which only wanted to show that Americans are always the winners and the strongest. Happily this disgusting attitude was changed in the 80s and after by presenting movies like Platoon and Saving Private Ryan which shows the filth inside the American war machine. 
Nevertheless I paid less than 50 Cents, yes less than $0.5 for this movie and I am not disappointed. This and 2 other movies were paid by the VISA Gift Card that I received from my vehicle insurance company and for that I appreciate them! I bough the other Bourne movies with the card and completed my collection! Even if you want to buy this movie, I recommend it. It's only $5 and worth watching just has been given extra credit! The last word: Why a movie has been made about a general which has not as big of an affect as other generals in the history of numerous wars that the US ever was involved?!
(Photo: On the top you see General George S. Patton with his famous stick(!). On the bottom, George C. Scott portraying him)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Urban Noise Study

Imagine what changes would happen in housing market if Urban Noise Study is mandatory and every Realtor or builder has to provide it as part of the property information just like the Walk Score? To me noise is a big issue and although I live somehow close to a noisy and busy neighbourhood, I will make sure that I consider that next time I move to a new place. The most quiet place that I ever lived in so far was Balsam Way in Squamish. In fact if I had a good job in a small town, I would move there but well paid jobs are hard to come by. Most of the locals own their property which has been inherited and a few rental places are either rented by outsiders or maybe young ones. I have really no clue. I can only use Squamish as an example because that so far has been the only small town that I ever lived in.
Anyways It was so quiet and peaceful to live in that town and even here in Calgary you can find quiet communities but the good ones are either too expensive or too far from main spots of the City. Houses and apartment building could have a Noise Score and that could have a significant affect on their price. I know that for a fact that because the majority of the duelings are made of wood and not hard material they are not sound proof. In most of the offices if people are on the phone or talking normally you, in the next room, can here them easily. Application of Glass Wool between drywall is a common methods of sound proofing but it is costly because first of all a high grade isolating glass wool is expensive, second of all a labour cost should be added to that. So many builders don't bother with that. Noise pollution has recently become the major source of stress and other mental disturbances and it's worse in bigger cities. There is not great control over it. In summer motorcycles are the main source for that there little control over them as well.
(Photo: Balsam Way in Squamish, British Columbia after a rain. You can see the rainbow over the houses. I lived on this street for a period of time!)