Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Visiting a Valuable Friend

I just came home. I met Mr. T. in the same gym and after that we went to a bar next to Marlborough and had wing and beer and talked about life in Canada. He gave me good pieces of advises. I felt a bit dizzy and drunk 'cause I usually don't drink. We had a couple of pints.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Beef Jerky

I remember the first days I came to Canada I used to go to a Mac’s convenience store with The Brave, where a Pakistani middle aged man, Tariq runs it. He's a good man, a geologist who had to retire early because of a problem with his heart. I saw things, packed and vacuumed, looks like fruit bar we have in Iran, called Lavashak and I also bought in Damascus once, but a bit thicker.
I found out what it was later but just tried some today, Beef Jerky. Andrew F. offered me some and it’s really tasty. It’s jerked beef and as I said vacuumed. Jerked mean it’s given sudden trust or push. You can find it with different flavors. The product is expensive as we found, almost $6 for a 80 g. pack but it worth it. I know it’s usual in Iran and may be some other countries to keep meat ready to eat while there’s no special place to keep it like a fridge. I’ll buy some next time I go to Safeway.
(Photo: I randomly selected this photo of vacuumed Jerky from Internet and put it here)

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Canadian Budget 2004: Will It Help The Liberals?

The Federal Government’s finance minister, Ralph Goodale, presented 2004 budget yesterday. The Liberals hope it helps them to win the incoming election. Many opposition MPs don’t buy it and say there’s no concern about Canada’s priorities.
The following is some highlights (Comments in brackets are from me):
• This is the 7th consecutive balanced budget, with projected surplus of $1.9 billion for 2003-04 which must go to the $510 billion debt.
• The government promises accountability and integrity regarding the recent scandals!!
• Government to identify $3 billion in annual saving within four years.
• Re-establishes a comptroller general to oversee all government spending!!
• Reduces debt-to-GDP ratio to 25% in 10 years.
• $7 billion over 10 years for cities by rebating GST.
• $4 billion is assigned to clean up contaminated areas across the country in 10 years. (It means the country must be really contaminated by different toxic and I don’t know may be chemicals)
• About $680 million for cattle producers hurt by mad cow crisis, as part of $1billion for cash-strapped farmers. (Probably wheat farmers, I’m just guessing)
• $665 million for public health, in two years.
• $605 million for national security in any kind, including border protection, cyber-security, etc. over 5 years. (It’s not gonna work! What r u gonna to with Americans?!)
• $270 million to provide venture capital for start-up technology companies.
• $250 million for Canadian forces missions in (f**king!) Afghanistan and prevent terrorism
• $248 million more for international assistance in 2005-06. (I can’t believe this!)
• Up to $2000 is provided for children of lower-income families and a grant of $3000 for the first-year post-secondary education of a dependent student for such families. This is for children born after 2003. (This is really good)
• Reduces air travel security charges for both national and international air travel. (This one is really good too)
• 1$ billion for roads and sewers repair, including $350 million for Toronto Transit (This is not fair. Why does everything goes to the east?)

Monday, March 22, 2004

Are They Too Optimist?

After a 4-0-2 series, the Flames was very hopeful to beat the Predators at the Saddledome, last Sat. but they lost to them 1-3 and Suter, the head coach and Oliwa, the Polish defence man, were suspended for 2 and 3 games, respectively.
Tonight the Stars was the guest and again the Flames was beaten 0-4. They are sixth in the western conference with 86 points from 75 games and have to face the Coyotes and the Sharks this Wed. and Thu. as road games.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Norooz (2004)

It's Norooz today here in this side of the globe and it was yesterday in Iran. I received e-mails from my cousins Mehrdad and Kamran but didn't send many to my friends as I'm so bored. I just sent one to that girl in Down Under, Parastoo and she replied very shortly. Also one was sent to my previous love(!), Sara in L. A. but haven't received a response from her yet.
In the afternoon sent e-mails to my grand-cousins (If I may say) F. R. in IN. and F. S. in Waterloo (In fact he's my double grand cousin!) and also one to my Canadian fella Andrew, describing a bit of Norooz to him.
I didn't even call home(!), my cousin in Vancouver and many other friends, around. Keiv, Hekmat (The Esfahani man) and also R. T. called me but I didn't pick the phone!
This is considered one of the worst Norooz that I've ever had.
Note: Distant cousin is the correct term for a son or daughter of a cousin. (Feb. 06)

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Unpredictable Weather

Calgary’s weather is crazy. If you pay no attention to the forecasts, you’ll be in trouble, catch cold and your time we’ll be wasted. Like last Fri. I was goin’ to grocery shoppin’ and had not enough on. Soar throat, headache, runny nose was the conclusion, which lasted to Sun. night. Keiv finally told me to get something from Safeway drugstore. A powder called NeoCitran, with different flavors for different symptoms. And that worked as Tylenol had no effect on me. (I might have needed a higher doze!)
It’s snowing right now while it was sunny and windy at noon and partly cloudy in the afternoon!

Monday, March 15, 2004

How Unlucky Am I? (1)

I received a letter from Quality Certification Bureau Inc. today, indicating that they keep my resume in their file for six months and if there's an opportunity, they'll let me know! the company is an Edmonton based, which I applied for a position in Quality field, last Feb.

A Good Lesson for Spinards

10 consecutive explosions concluded in nearly 200 people dead and 1600 wounded in Madrid, Spain, last Thu. Spanish government blamed Basque separatist group, ETA but the group denied that. Al-Qaeda is the second suspect, especially after arrasting 3 Moroccans and 2 Indians but no one still knows who did that. Spanish police says a video tape is found in a garbage bin near the largest mosque in Madrid(!!)which claims responsibility for the attack but I don't trust nobody in such stories. The Al-Qaeda related group, as it's said blames Spanish government for his support to war in Iraq. Spanish prime minister was the second person after Tony Blair, who announced Spain's support to war in Iraq, last year. I remember when the world was getting ready for the American led invasion to Iraq, last year, you could see Jose Maria Aznar standing besides George W. Bush and sucking up to him! Recent election ended his reign, yesterday I guess, and the new prime minister of Spain pledged withdrawal of Spanish troops. The bottom line is what did Spain get by supporting Americans in Iraq? Just some dead bodies and more wounded people and a lost reputation. That's not part of your damn business. What are you lookin' for in Iraq? Isn't that just financial support of the US? Not worth a damn.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

A Career in Qatar

I applied for a job in Qatar through a recruiter in Calgary, last Sat. and when I checked my mail box the before found a form that I was asked to fill it out for that position. And that was sent on Wed. So basically it means I’m one of the candidates for the position because obviously they reviewed all the resumes in two days and then sent me the form. I think this one is gone as I responded late and also I don’t have my PR card which will make problem when I leave Canada and wanna return.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

He Deserves It

NHL suspended Todd Bertuzzi for the rest of the regular season and also the Playoffs for attacking the Colorado Avalanche's centre, Steve Moore. But that’s not all. The Vancouver Canucks is fined $250,000 and Bertuzzi’s eligibility for next season will be determined by NHL commissioner before the start of trainings. He also deprived of $500,000 by losing at least 17 games, if the Canucks make the playoffs and go through the first round.
(Photo: Bertuzzi weeping during his apology to Moore and the public, yesterday. Is he crying for the poor guy or the punishment waiting for him?)

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Bertuzzi in Real Trouble

I wrote about Todd Bertuzzi, The Vancouver Canucks right wing and his violence. This time he did something that made me to doubt his sanity. Colorado Avalanche was in Vancouver, the night before as a regular game of NHL season. It was a one-sided game which ended to a 9-2 win for the Avs. Steve Moore, the Colorado Avalanche centre got a heavy punch on his neck, from behind, by Bertuzzi, which made him ended up in a Vancouver hospital with a neck fracture and concussion. Bertuzzi suspended from the game indefinitely. He made an apology to Moore and the public tonight, while standing with his wife and weeping.
NHL officials will announce their decision about him, tomorrow.
Bertuzzi, 6' 3" (1.90 m) and 245 (110 Kg) is originally from Sudbury, Ontario, started his career in 1993 with the N. Y. Islanders.
(Photo: This image, taken from TV shows the moment before Moore receives Bertuzzi's gift!)

Monday, March 08, 2004

An Al-Qaeda Family; Do You Believe This Story?

There was a documentary on CBC last week for two nights. Abdul-Rahman Khadr who came to Canada last Oct. and claimed he has been recently released by Americans from Guantánamo, Cuba, and denied any relationship with Al-Qaeda, told another story, a full long one, which took almost 2 hours.
A. R. (Stands for Abdul-Rahman from now on) said once to the reporters that he was trained not in an Al-Qaeda camp, but in an Al-Qaeda related camp!!! Obviously it’s nonsense and might just be used to fool Canadians and Americans and such people ‘cause everybody knows there’s no difference between these two terms.
The documentary sets in two places, A. R.’s Mom and sister (Zaynab) in Islam-Abad and A. R. in Toronto.
First of all he claimed that his father, who was killed by Pakistani troops, last Oct. was a very close friend to Osama Bin-Laden and they used to live in a compound with Bin-Laden’s family in late 90’s. He also said that his father fought against Russians in 80’s with Bin-Laden and other Muslims. Second he told the reporter that although he loved his father but he didn’t like what he used to do. His Mom and sister, mostly correlate with what A. R. said.
Shortly after Taliban got kicked out of Afghanistan by Northern Alliance and Americans’ effort, all Al-Qaeda members and families fled from major cities, mostly Kandahar, which was Taliban's capital as its closeness to Pakistan, and went to tribal areas in Pakistani-Afghan border.
The day Pakistani troops surrounded Ahmad Said, A. R.’s father and his allies, which ended to his death, two of his sons were with him, Karim and Abdullah. Karim got shot in his spine during that 12 hour firefight and now is in a hospital in Pakistan, paralyzed from the waist down. Abdullah escaped from the scene and he is still at large.
The other son, Omar was shot by Americans, lost one eye sight, is now in Guantánamo, Cuba. A. R. himself, as he said, was captured by Americans when Taliban regime collapsed and stayed in Kabul, helping CIA and showing safe houses and guest houses of Al-Qaeda. Then he was sent to Camp X-ray in Guantánamo to spy on other inmates. After months staying there, Americans found him useless and decided to send him to Sarajevo to track Al-Qaeda recruitment for Iraq. But he said he was sick and tired of doing this job, although was being paid fair enough by CIA. He came back to Canada after making CIA promise not to reveal what he has done for them and that’s the end of the story.
What do you think? I, personally don’t believe him. They put him on lie-detector machine and he passed but I don’t trust that machine. How could he reveal his role as a CIA agent while he promised them? Are they goin’ to let him go? What would be the reaction of Muslim community of Canada to this? Is he known as a traitor? Or a double-agent? What will Al-Qaeda do, after knowing his role as a spy for Americans in Afghanistan? How does his Mom and sister, his brother, Abdullah who is at large now, his brother Karim, who is in Americans’ custody in Guantánamo and the other brother Omar in Pakistani hospital react to his story? Do they forgive him?
(Photo: The map shows where the US naval base of Guantanamo is located)

Sunday, March 07, 2004


I watched Spiderman last night. It’s a good movie. The Base of the story is the same as Batman, Superman and other fictitious American creatures. Good against bad, Nice against evil. But the special effects and cool and calm characteristics of Tobey Maguire as Spiderman and beauty and jolliness of Kristen Dunst makes the movie an interesting one. I enjoyed that. It also reminded me of Spiderman animation used to be on Iranian TV when I was 8 or 9, before the Revolution. I barely remember the stories but the theme song and some scenes r still in my mind, clearly.
The second part will be in theatres on July.02.04. I’ll catch it.
(Photo: Kristen Dunst in a scene of the movie. She'll perform in the second part too)

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Turek on Waiver List

Roman Turek the No. 1 Czech net minder of Calgary Flames was put on waiver list last Wed. by the team after losing the starting goaltender job to a Finnish, Kiprusoff. He just appeared in 15 game this season with a record of 4-10. Turek's contract for this season is US $4.25 million, following by US $5 million for next year and US $5.75 million for 05-06. What the Flames is gonna do with this huge contract is not clear yet. The funny thing is Kiprusoff had a 5-1 loss to the Stars after being replaced! He only make US $880,000!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


Elena, the gorgeous Russian angel usu. writes me every day unless she’s not in her hometown, that's mostly when she goes to visit her grandma. I still don’t know where she lives. It could be somewhere close to Moscow. Today she responded to my e-mail, where I asked how her travel was and the interesting thing is she always writes from a cyber-café.
What is written by her is interesting and also strange. It’s indicated that they jump over bonfires and they believe that the bad things of them transfer to the fire by doing this. We, Iranians have the same belief and celebrate the last Wed. of our solar year and jump over bonfire exactly like them and say: I want your colour red comes to me and want my colour yellow goes to you, which colour red of the fire denotes health and wealth and colour yellow of the human symbolizes sickness, unhappiness and distressfulness. The said ceremony called Chahar-Shanbe-Suri which is 2 weeks from now.