Monday, January 29, 2007

Class 2

I just started a training course to get a class 2 driver’s licence today. The instructor started with pre-trip inspection and damn that was cold! We had to stand in the damn cold morning of winter at about 09:40 and see what’s behind the hood (or as it’s said in Britain the bonnet!) That was not too hard and actually was really good as you learn new things but imagine that you have to do this everyday in the cold early morning of winter and fall! I was apparently was shaking like a leaf and that was partially because I was a little excited and intimidated! She, then, showed us how to do the other types of pre-driving inspections and the other one are boring as well. Then we went for a ride. She was driving the big bastard very smoothly and continuously was checking the two big side mirrors called West Coast mirrors and the mirrors below them, the convex one. They act as the driver’s eyes as there’s no rearview mirror available on the bus. The vehicle is really long and extra caution should be taken when it’s being driven backward or turning at the intersections.
I then gave it a try and actually was doing really well. I was not excited and scared anymore and that was partially because the sun was shinning and it was completely up in the sun! Then we drove to a yard to practice a little of that cone driving thing. I was not practically very bad at that one either and that was it. I, unfortunately has lost my confidence lately. It's fucking because, first of all, of my own aggressive behaviour which leads to bad reasults. So I really have to fix this damn problem soon!
(Photo: You have to successfully pass a cone driving test like what you see here. That probably is part of the final road teat you're taking. You are not restricted by time but the bus is really big and you only can use your side mirrors. You have to do a kind of zig zag both forward and backward!)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Overqualified

I don’t fucking know how long should I keep this fucking shit going! I, again, went to a small manufacturing company called BRC Engineering through a recruiter called Randstad last Fri. This one was a completely different experience. First of all that’s a family business and one of the sons, Carter who claims he’s a P. Eng. on his business card, told me that he had gone through the website of Takestan! Then he directly took me to their small workshop. They had just a few machines and a small room for their inspection needs. There was a CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine) height gauge and a couple of calipers and micrometers, of course. He asked me if I know how to work with that and I immediately said no. That was obviously a negative impact. They manufacture precise parts for race car engines, medicine industry and oil and gas and all use CNC machines. I don’t know why the fuck they are so dependent on their inspection. They probably know nothing about robust processes, SPC, gauge capability and other new engineering concepts which help you to find the problem in your manufacturing process, before that’s too late.
Anyhow we went upstairs in a small office and he asked me a few questions. What he told me was weird. I think that was a waste of fuel to go there! He said that he was not sure if they wanted to hire someone and he also said that I was overqualified for the job. But he also said that he would inform the recruiter in the middle of the net week. Finally, in a nutshell, I think that’s a mistake most of the time to apply for a position through a recruiter. They always send you there because they hope you get the job and they get their money.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Obesity

Obesity is one of the major issues of North American people, including me! My situation is not so bad and I believe that I simply can get rid of a few extra pounds that I carry with me everywhere but that has several reasons. Before I explain the reason why I have the problem, I talk a little about the facts about eating habits here in Canada which I’m sure are similar to the US’s.
You see vending machines, fast food restaurants, cafes and supermarkets almost everywhere you go and as the prices are cheap compare to the other types of entertainments, mostly; you are continuously eating or drinking! Cups of coffee, bars or chocolate, cones of ice cream, cans of bear and many more is consumed everyday by people. Food business is actually a very good business. You see lots of commercials about different types of foods every day on TV. No matter how many times and in how many different ways you call fast foods junk foods, people are still eating it and enjoying! That’s also why cafes like Tim Horton’s are very unlikely to accept new franchises and the people who run these businesses are getting richer and richer everywhere. As my cousin’s husband and good friend in Coquitlam said once, they sell water! And that’s partially true. They brew coffee which is mostly water and sell a large cup of it for $1.60. Imagine how many cups are consumed every day. At the beginning I thought it’s because of the harsh cold of winter that people consume this much coffee. That’s what it is but that is not all. Even in a hot summer day of July you like a hot cup of coffee. It’s as Ali G. says is a addiction! But I don’t believe it. It has the same affect a cup of tea has. But the amount of caffeine is less. Yes it’s relaxing but it has other benefits as well. I’m going too far. I’m not only talk about the coffee here. I’m talking generally about the amount of food that is produced and consumed every day in Canada. Once I asked a Tim Horton’s employee about what they do with all the doughnuts, cookies, bagels and other baked goods which is left at the end of the shift. She said they simply throw them all out! Same story in the supermarkets. I was looking for carrot muffin in a CO-OP store a few months ago and noticed that one of the employees is collecting boxes from shelves. Those were expired baking goods! They are simply thrown out! Or they send it to the Food Bank which is much better. At least a poor guy can enjoy the taste of a carrot muffin. Chocolate bars, bottles of soft drink and bags of chips are sold everywhere, even if you go to Staples or Canadian Tire. The last two ones are completely different businesses from food. But as soon as people see them, they can control themselves, they buy. I, myself, was to a Canadian Tire today to but windshield washer and brush and bought a chocolate bar and chewing gum with them as well. That chocolate bar became part of my dinner tonight but not every one is as careful and thoughtful as I am. Actually I’m not that much careful! Last weekend when I was at Hodani’s I consumed 3 tall cans of Budweiser, each about 473 ml! God knows how much carbohydrate I received. And that was not all! I had lots of rice, pistachio and cashew as well. So I went to the gym yesterday and today and exercised a lot. I burned more than 330 calories in 30 min. today and that’s a good record.
Anyhow I have to be more watchful and get rid of this fat belt I’m having on my waist. That would be late to do that in a few years. The older you get, the harder to get rid of the fat.
(Photo: I tried to control my weight using a chart but that didn't help much because once a week or more I get together with my friends and we drink and eat. So it ruins mostly what I do during the week! As you see I went up once to almost 193 lb [87.3 Kg] and dropped to 186lb [84.2 Kg] and that was the time I got sick and I've already written about that)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Genesis

I'm talking about Genesis tonight. But not the Genesis with Phil Collins or without him! The Genesis with Jason and the other ones!
I had an interview today with a manufacturing company called Genesis Machining Services Inc. They are located in 52nd St. where many other companies and suppliers are located, Foothills Industrial Area. At the beginning the young fellow, Jason, said that I seem fitted to this position and I answered everything he asked very well. Then he took me to two small workshops they have and the room for quality control, where I’m supposed to work if I’m hired. They have tens of different tools and gauges, including calipers and micrometers. He, then, said a few things about the hours of operation, salary and benefit. Fortunately he didn’t ask any kind of silly questions that are usually asked! But at the end he said he had more interviews to come. I thought he would ask me to start tomorrow! But that didn’t happen and I sort of got a little upset. I was so confident about getting the job. It took about 30 min. and I left then. There’s still a chance as he asked me to be patient with him. What other choice do I have?!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

R. K.

I met R. Z. first time after she dropped Imari at my door. He’s a very nice guy, his father is from Kashmir, India and his Mom is from Shiraz, Iran but she doesn’t speak Persian. I called him a few weeks ago after almost four and a half year. He’s kind of the guy who helps in any way he’s able to, married with two beautiful kids, his daughter and son. He helped me to get that job in the airport which I lost in two weeks. I visited him again today and he helped me again. He told me about the way someone can get his licence for driving a cab. There’s a high demand for that in the town now and also gave me good advices about the time I have and how to use it while being paid. He said that I can take a program in a school and as long as it does not cost more than $10,000, the government pays for that, plus the cost of living during the time of education. Then I thought to myself: Why not? Why would I waste my time on shifty jobs while am being paid? I can just relax, study and do my job searching. I have one interview for a good position tomorrow at 01:00 PM. That’s a quality control manager for a manufacturing company in Foothills Industrial Area. I checked the location today so I’ll be fine tomorrow to get there. There are still chances for getting that quality coordinator job in Saskatchewan and also my CF position is in progress. So why the hell am I not patient enough? I really don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me! One reason for sure is I’m lonely. If I had a nice, lovely and kind girlfriend (A sweet girl like Kajaal) who lived with me or a good roommate (Not someone like Reza Chos Khor -Reza the Stingy- of course!) that would be different. I should fight until the day I win. And I have lots of time. There are too many opportunities and I’ll get one. I have to. R. Z. actually helped me a lot spiritually and thoughtfully. He’s a good friend. I should build stronger relationship with good people here. Just like the time I used to live in Iran. I had so many different good friends. But here for reasons I don’t have that many. As a matter of fact there are few which could be relied upon when I need them in different situations. It reminds me what my late dear Dad used to say as a Persian proverb: Thousands of friends are not too many. One single enemy is a lot. Especially here in Canada, that really is a must.
(Photo: it shows the area called Jammu and Kashmir and has been a point for struggle between India and Pakistan for years. It's a very beautiful place, attracting thousands of tourists every year. My friend just came back from there a few months ago after visiting his parents. I should talk to him about the history and what he feels about there, his parents and everything)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dual Citizenship

Double citizenship is not accepted in some corners of the world including Iran. But almost all of the people who live in the US or Canada are dual citizens. If you’re one, you can not fill the critical position of the nation. You can not for example be the prime minister.
Stephane Dion who just won leadership campaign of the Liberal Party has French citizenship in addition to his Canadian. He has to give it up in case he becomes the prime minister. Peter Mansbridge the chief anchor of CBC has been born in England. The fact I didn’t know and of course most of people didn’t as well until the day he revealed. The new issue for dual citizens, the Iranian ones is whoever has a US dollar account with the RBC his or her funds are frozen. RBC has just closed all the US accounts of the people who frequently travel to those dark parts of the globe. The new rule also restricts people from opening the US accounts with RBC.
The United States has asked RBC to do so as part of anti-terrorism act and restricting Iran. I, myself strongly believe that citizenship grant should be a longer and much more complicated process. When a person is granted Canadian citizenship, he or she is entitled with many benefits. What the fuck does he or she do for Canada? They don’t care. They just use the passport as an apparatus to travel around easily and even curse Canadians. So that was good lesson for them. Not every one deserves a Canadian citizenship. Fuck those motherfuckers who abuse that including the fucking Lebanese who just were trying to escape from Israelis in last summer’s conflict. Fuck ‘em all!
(Photo: Peter Mansbridge the top anchor of CBC has been born in England. He's the best in his job. I watch his show every night)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Good and Bad News



I e-mailed my file manager the night before regarding the position I applied and received his answer stating that my file is being processed. I just wanted to let them know that I am following, interested and ready to join. Then there was news on CBC indicating that HMSC Halifax could not go for her routine patrol in the Atlantic because of lack of fund!
Can you believe this? All the money goes to the fucking mission in Afghanistan! Motherfucker stupid animals of Afghanistan who don’t worth a piece of shit should be protected by Canadian Forces but the Ministry of Defense has no money to protect Canada from possible terrorist attacks, illegal fishing, etc. So if there’s not even money to run a ship out of dock, how are they going to hire new people? May be they send ‘em all to fucking Afghanistan instead of the Pacific and Atlantic!
(Photo: HMSC Halifax the frigate who usually patrols the Atlantic is sitting at the dock. Minister of Defence, O'Connor later announced that she'll do her job. O'Connor is among the ones in that shuffled card deck which I was supposed to write about but haven't yet. I will)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Guardian Again!

I was sent to a company in north eastern part of Calgary near the airport called Guardian Telecommunication Inc. more than 2 years ago by a recruiting agency. When I went there, a short tiny Oriental woman accepted me in her office and asked me a few questions and then said that she had asked the agency to send someone with electronic background and obviously I didn’t get hired. I never heard of that agency and never called them. Then there was an add. before the holidays and I applied for the position. When I received the call I noticed that I would be sent to the same company and I mentioned that.
The lady, who pretended she didn’t recognize me or may be she really didn’t, asked me to start the day after which was today and I did! She said that she did not like long interviews! I started there as a Quality Control Inspector and started with a batch of metal products used for telephone boxes and found 30 parts rejected! They were impressed and I guess that was a good start but rather that than I think there’s something wrong with this company. I guess they hire people and as soon as they deliver the orders, they get rid of them! Otherwise why would someone hire for a position two times in past two years? Beside it’s a boring job. Just checking the incoming material or better to say parts in a 100% inspection manner and most of the time stupid characteristics are chosen to be checked! No procedure of inspection plan. For example the Oriental guy, whom I’m supposed to help him so he’s set freed to take care of the finished product, showed me big boxes of capacitors and asked me to confirm the specification with comparing them with a purchase order binder! How dumb someone could be to do such a stupid incoming quality control check?!
That says it all. A grade ten school kid is able to do that job and I do not think there is any future opportunity in that company. So I may tell the recruiter everything tomorrow because I have to go back to the airport this Thu. again. At least in that job I have time for interviews and job search.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Saskatchewan Again


I had my second trip to Saskatoon last Thu. night. This time it was for a quality coordinator position with a mining company called Cameco, the exact same position I applied for almost 2 years ago in the exact same area: North of province of Saskatchewan where one of the biggest uranium ores of the world is located. This trip was a bit different. As I have started a job in the airport almost 2 weeks ago, what I did is I started my job, I finish it, I board the plane. I didn’t have to pay for the cab or the parking because I have a parking pass. And the same scenario again: I landed in Calgary International Airport, I got my baggage, I put it in my locker, changed, started the job!
Saskatoon just had its worst blizzard in last 50 years one day before my trip! So when I got there I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. Roads were so slippery and bumpy, full of snow and ice that not every car could drive around easily. I stayed in Radisson Hotel, a nice place in downtown at level 18! I still regret I didn’t have my camera on me. And in the morning I went to Cameco for my interview. That was completely different from what I had last time with Cogema and also different from what I was expecting in terms of questions. There were two guys, one young man of their HR department who simply read the questions from a paper and was writing down whatever he wanted and a mid-aged man who then introduced himself as the superintendent of quality department who mostly was just listening and noting down. Here’re a few questions they asked and my answers to them:

* Are you aware of safety in nuclear facilities and processes? (What a dumb question! Of course I am not!)
* Do you think documentation only makes bureaucracy a problem for the projects and have no advantages? (No absolutely not. It helps a lot for different reasons)

I really can’t recall anymore!

Anyhow that’s what happened and I unfortunately don’t feel good about that but may be the other candidates are not as good as me and I get the job. I think there’s something wrong with my interview-passing capabilities. Because I get good interviews but never pass them! It’s a permanent position with a week-on week-off rotation service and the salary is something around $66,000 as the HR guy said. I’ll wait ‘cause I already received a phone call from that fucking foam plant indicated I won’t be invited for the second interview and my job with a communication company is in jeopardy because of postponing the interview. I’ll write about that later.
(Photo: A scanned photo of Saskatchewan paper, The Phoenix Star, shows the severity of the blizzard in that province and its city, Saskatoon)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Real Canadian Winter


It got really cold yesterday and it’s going to be like this for a few days or more. But this is only happening to the west of the country, from B. C. to Manitoba. Eastern Canada is not affected at all. I guess I’m lucky that I saw the beautiful Stanley Park of Vancouver before it was hit by a few storms and looses as many as thousands of its threes. B. C. people have faced sever downpour, winds and snow storms which has been mentioned previously. Today I just had a short walk to the nearby McDonald's for a breakfast in the morning and then to Chinook Centre and God! that was so harsh. Not even one single person was seen in the streets because of the wind and cold. The temperature dropped down to -20 ˚C and the wind chill helps to go to -32 ˚C at the moment.
Just to add that lack of snow and cold in its traditional Canadian way, has made some people of the east frustrated. While many people are enjoying the warm weather in golf courses, the other are just waiting for cold to go to their favorite sports, ski, snow board and back yard hockey. Ottawa Canal which is the path of a winter skating festival is not frozen and cold enough to be considered safe for skaters. It should be at least 10 days with temperature less than -15 ˚C in the city. The whole apartment has been shaking like a cradle right from the morning! Although it’s a little late but I might go out for photography in a few min.! I didn’t have much exercise today in the gym and also yesterday but I’m tired as lack of work out for a whole week which I’ll write about that later.
(Photo: I took this photo from the inside of my bedroom in last week of Nov.06. Temperature dropped down to -40 ˚C considering wind Chill)

Give Someone Shit

I really feel bad about what I did to Reza the Stingy (Chos khor) a few days ago. I actually used up my entire patience for him. I really got fed up with all stupid behavior and gave him shit. He didn’t say much. I just wonder how the hell a stupid moron like that lives a married life!? He doesn’t even know how to make a cup of tea properly. He’s dirty and a real moron. Once we got home and the PC was off. He asked me if it is off or not?! I told him: “You tell me. You’re electrical engineer!” I told him whatever I could. I said how stupid it is to follow a damn religion which sends people thousands of years back to Stone Age. I said he does not even have a proper post-secondary education! I said he’s a village boy and doesn’t know much about city life! And more. But now I don’t feel good about that. Although he’s an asshole and retarded but he’s a nice and decent guy and he didn’t say back much. I used everything I know about him to ruin him. I even mentioned his escape from Toronto a few years ago.
After all he was my guest and my cousin recommended him but his stinginess, religious behavior, being filthy and knowing nothing about life pissed me off and I gave him shit.
But it's good to mention that the first time I heard this phrase or whatever it is, was when I used to live at The Brave’s. Ali Abadani’s room in there was right below mine and one night I was trying to sleep and he was on the phone, talking to his Mom in strong Southern Iranian accent. I couldn’t sleep and I had a big fight with him. Actually he didn’t say much back. The day after when I got home, The Brave asked me: “Did you give Ali shit last night?” I didn’t know what that means exactly at the time and I think I didn’t answer, but got a clue of what he was trying to say. Ali Abadani and The Brave were close at the time. Like friends. That was before their fight which led to Ali’s departure. All I said is how loud he was and didn’t let me sleep!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

An Interview After A Long Time

I was invited for an interview for the first time in 2007 and after a long time of stagnancy, last week. There’s a company called Vitafoam in Foothills Industrial Area which also has other branch in the other cities and as the name suggests is involved in the production of foam for mostly furniture industry. I found 3 positions as Production Supervisor in Job Bank. The reason is they run two shifts and one of their supervisors; an Indian guy has left to see his sick Mom so they are desperately looking for people. The good thing is the plant manager has just started 3 weeks ago. So basically he doesn’t know much about the industry and it’s easier to work with him. I don’t know my chances because I was asked a few question which I guess I screwed them up! But the good thing is that he learnt I have more than 4 years of experience in Canada, a certificate from a Canadian school and flexibility to join the company.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Reza the Stingy (In Persian: Reza Chos-khor)

Ali Goole (Ali, the fast) a cousin of mine who's a physician and has recently arrived in Los Angeles and is goin’ to start his school in USC told me a few weeks ago, online, that a friend of his called Reza is coming to the city I’m currently reside in and asked me to help him in case he needs anything.
The guy called me a few weeks ago and asked about different things. Then he moved in with me and is a roommate of mine now. He’s married and is waiting for his wife to come. The guy is an electrical engineer but not a wise one. He’s religious and kind of slow. He got his degree from one of government schools that you are supposed to work for them in return after you're graduated. What happened today morning is really funny. He was in the kitchen, washing the dishes I guess and his mobile phone rang. He rushed to the room and picked up. First he said Aloe!, in a way we say in Persian which it’s actually French. Then he probably heard someone speaking English and said Hello! He suddenly got very polite and disciplined. I heard that he was saying something about Fri. and he happily ended the call. Then turned his face to me and said: “That’s an interview”. He was very excited and also quite nervous. He didn't know what to do and was very likely day dreaming about a big job which conveys thousands of dollars to his account every months. Then he turned the PC on and started checking his e-mails to find out about the company offering the position. The idiot didn't even ask the name of the caller, the company or the opening! May be the lady said that but he didn't get it. After a few minutes of anxious searching I put my hand on his shoulder and said: “Just come down my friend. You have the address. Go there, see the company and then search in the internet” He accepted and got dressed and left while was very happy and hopeful. I asked him why he preferred Fri. over today for the interview and he said that he had to make himself ready and also he’s usually more relaxed and ready in the morning! Today’s interview was supposed to be started at 15:00.
Anyhow he left and I was doing my own stuff until the time my telephone rang. I picked up and that was him, the Chos-khor or the Stingy. He barely could help laughing. He said that phone call was from CO-OP supermarket in Downtown, at 11th Ave. and 11th St., very likely for a cashier position or something like that. I know how he felt after seeing the big building but what the hell? He has already started a job as a security guard just because he doesn't want to spend the money he brought to Canada. Now, is that a problem with working as a cashier or shelf-person in a supermarket? You’re getting dollars asshole! Isn't that fucking what you’re here for? There are too many stories about Reza Chos-khor who has been living with me since the last week of Dec. but I would like to finish this shit by just mentioning that he once lived in Toronto for a few months in probably 2004 and didn't last long obviously and went back home, got his previous job, married and is here again full of hope!

Monday, January 01, 2007

More on Ali A.

I’ve already written about Ali A. which points at his fight with my friend and former landlord D. H. The night before, I was at Hodani’s, and friend of him, an interesting guy who’s a sailor and is seeking asylum here in Canada told us a shocking story about his roommates which led to Ali A.’s. That guy whom I call him here Has, came once to my place with the other guys as he was interested in being my roommate but I rejected him as he's very demanding.
Anyhow the guy complained a lot about his roommate’s young son and his friends. He said that the guy is a major drug dealer in the city and based on the characteristic he was describing, I figured out that the friend of his roommate is Ali A. He said that he was just released from the jail because of possession of gun and violence. He threatened his wife (very likely to be a Black girl) with a gun and the girl reported on him and they threw him in a jail. Has also said that Ali A. had sent about $150,000 to the US, to his family and once his father was screaming at him asking how he got that much money and what he does here.
Ali A.’s family flee from Iran shortly after the war started in Sep. of 80 and Iraqi troops invaded Khoozestan province. He’s originally from Abadan, one of the very civilized and beautiful cities of Iran in Pahlavi era which was completely destroyed amongst the rest of the country during Iran-Iraq war and Islamic Republic reign. I know that people change in a period of 5 years but never predicted such a story for someone like Ali A. Last time I met him accidentally was the day I wrote my citizenship test. He was with a black girl as usual and I didn’t notice anything unusual.
(Photo: That might not be a good photo to post specially in the first day of the year but I'm just trying to picture the devastation caused by Iraqi criminals directed by Saddam and the pain the people of Khoozestan went through. Saddam got hanged a few days ago while never answered to the crimes he committed to the people of Iran and Kuwait. I may write about that later)