Thursday, November 30, 2023

Year 23 has just Started

This winter has been so disappointing so far. Today is the last day of November and I have not seen a day colder than-15 ℃ (5 ℉). It has snowed, I think, only 3 times. This means that we will have a hell(!) of a summer. It's about -8 ℃ (~17.5 ℉). Just came from jogging. It was good. I was going last night but became lazy. Then thought to myself: 22 years has passed since the day I landed in Canada, the country which has changed a lot. I know many refugees and poor people came to this country in the 60's and 70's but now it has been turned to a garbage of any country in the world which wishes to rid of its rubbish! There're so many problems: From high interest rate to affordable housing shortage to environmental issues. I'm tired. I also need to get ready for tomorrow. So I'm going to go. I was going to do something special yesterday but there was no time. Perhaps this weekend or any day in Dec.
(Photo: When Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in the 70's, they declared a new calendar and considered that year, the year zero! Kids as young as the ones seen in this picture played a major role in the regime's rule. For me the year I came to Canada was not year zero but was not much better than that! I aimlessly drifted and paid no attention to anything. Now I'm not much better off but I know what I'm doing and my plans are made)

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Meth Test (Not Lab.)

We, I and the BigHead, had to pass this math test to be considered qualified to attend an NDT course. There was another course that we already had passed so we are a bit close but the problem with this one was that we had barely any idea what would be asked because it says math! It is a very general term! 
I was angry and frustrated because I imagined what everyone would think if I failed the math test! An engineer who claims years of experience in different industry cannot even pass a simple math test! The night before exam I drank two cups of coffee and told myself that I would stay up even to 02:00 AM, if it takes to cover every topic that would be a question from it in the damn test. I could not go past 12:30! I went to bed as I was dead tired but could not sleep for another hour and then it was the exam day. 
The exam was held by some local proctors but it was not a normal and usual exam. start! We were asked to leaver everything in a locker and take nothing to the test room! I never expected that! Apparently there have been cheaters who used any means to get by even these new silly wrist watches! We sat at out seats and we were asked to sign in to our accounts. Here was my screw up. I kept putting the wrong ID number twice until realized that and after blaming it on the website! In the meantime poor BigHead was sitting tight waiting for me, so we can start and finish together. That was when a woman went to him and told him to " Seat properly "! Even now I can stop smiling when I think of that! Then she asked him why he had not started the exam. He said he still had three minutes (the exam was supposed to be started at 13:00). I was stilling cleaning up my own mess, without them realizing it was my own fault(!) when she came to me and asked me to keep my voice down! I swear that I didn't even care. I was so busy to get to the website and start the test that I didn't even responded to her and she left! 
I finished the exam quickly and then went back and answered question 6, that I remember exactly I had left unanswered and reviewed all. The who process took some 40 minutes. The result were out right away but I didn't share with anyone. A very easy test that got me stressed out and angry for a few days. 
Back at work the next day we realized that the BigHead had gotten 90%! Impressive! Ha? Maybe. Merely because it was an easy exam. I got 100%. Now we're ready to hit the road again.
Note: I know it's math test not meth but I thought it would attract more people if I used methamfetamin instead of mathematics! 
(Photo: The meth labs are considered hazardous. That is how law enforcement agents deal with them once they are discovered)

Sunday, November 26, 2023

A Widespread Lie

I'm not a liar but I lie to liars! I've said that to the face of people whom I suspected them of being liars. Some had strange reactions! At times I tell white lies. That doesn't hurt anyone but satisfies me.
With that said, my manager asked me where I lived, completely out of blue, last week. The good thing is the Retiring Fella has asked me how the road was a few days prior to that which it was snowing. So how the answers to these two questions will help me later!? This is how: My answer to the Retiring Fella was that the road was good until I reached Ponoka. He was surprised as he knows that I am not passing that town on my way to work. So I told him that I had stayed in Edmonton. That shut him up. I, in fact, was going to say Penhold but I don't know why I used the other town's! Obviously because both start with P! Then when the manager asked me where I lived I paused a little and went: Edmonton. Now my stories are lined up. It even helped me with another thing that the company wanted me to do early in the morning but I told them that I had to take care of something in Edmonton before leaving which prevent me from being able to get to work at the time they want me there!
The other thing is now that in a week or so when we're going for another training, I won't have to take BigHead! It's make a major inconvenience for him which is exactly what I want! I'm nobody's chauffeur. So now, you beaver-face, understand the meaning of discomfort when you have to get out of home and travel nearly 130 Km (80 miles) for your freaking course and came back the same way, on a Fri. evening! He doesn't know what I've prepared for him yet. He think he'd be picked up and dropped of, comfortably, like the last time.He wouldn't know until the last minute. In conclusion, you need to follow the following rules when you're lying, and I mean a white lie. Once again I'm not a liar:
1) Have a good and believable story. Start weeks, even months with related and detailed stories and feed the people gradually.
2) Tell the story and eventually the same lie to everyone and I mean everyone who might slightly be involved. 
3) You need to have the story kept in mind and develop it as it goes forward. That requires talent which I own it and proud of it!
4) Dr. Joseph Goebbels believed If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people eventually come to believe it. I, in no manner, condone what Dr. Goebbels and other party members did in the 1940's in Europe but I agree with him on this statement with this difference that the lie does not have to be necessarily big. You might get what you want with a small lie, in daily life, as well. We're not politicians! 
5) George Costanza, the fictitious character of Seinfeld once said: It's not a lie, if you believe it! 
I'm not going to say Good Luck, because luck has nothing to do with this! 
(Photo: This is a sad picture of Dr. Goebbels kids after they were all killed by their parent. I think they were given a sort of poison. Dr. Goebbels and his wife committed suicide after that. That shows how crazy this guy was. What did the innocent little kids have to do with your stupid ideology?!)

Monday, November 20, 2023

Revenge is a Dish best Served Cold

This piece of work, ugly creature who works with me, runs his mouth too much at times. An oriental from a place that I doubt he had enough food to eat at times before coming to Canada. Fair enough. Now you have, it means shut your mouth after eating! When we went for the course a couple of weeks ago, the asshole act weirdly. One two people from the same party go somewhere together, they stay together, eat together, study together and do most of the things together. He was sneaking to his room after the class, perhaps to sext, if you know what I mean, with his wife.
We're planned to go for for another course in a few weeks from now and I have a good plan for him! I'm all nice and friendly to him. When we're going back, I'm going to leave him at the side of the road with his stupid suitcase! I never brag about the things I do or I'm planning to do but I wanted to write this one because this piece of work does not even offer to drive to the course while I drove him the last time! I can't wait to see his stupid face with the giant suitcase next to him after I tell him that I have to go and he has to take a bus home! 
The other asshole that I have a plan for and I'm skeptical to see if I can execute that is a freaking asshole from the old country. I went to high school with this guy for three years and then we went to the same college, different programs. He had to drop out or was expelled, I'm not sure and it doesn't matter now because he was not able to pass Calculus 1 until semester 7 (the program consisted of 9 semesters, minimum at the time, a total of more than 152 credits, which I think has been reduced now!). He served military, I think, after that, because I was no longer in touch with him, or perhaps I shall say that he was not in touch with me and then he went to another school and finished a degree or masters in the field that he liked, successfully.
I was not in touch with him for years, even before leaving the old country until nearly 15 years ago that we exchanged a few e-mails and then again 2 years ago or so, I don't remember why(!) we got in touch. That was the time he told me that his daughter would starting studying a program in The University of Waterloo. Then about a month ago he said he was waiting for his visa to visit his daughter and would pay me a visit. I asked him if he could bring a few thing for me and I would pay him here once I see him. He agreed and told me not to be worry about the money. 
The last time we were in touch was about 10 days before the day which he had said that it would be his departure day. He said that he had not yet heard from the embassy about his visa. When I reminded him of the things that I had asked him to bring, this time, he sort of hesitated and said that he would check with his wife to see if they have room. I didn't like it.
The day that he was supposed to fly has passed. in fact it's been more than 10 days since he was supposed to be in Ontario and I don't know if he is there or not. He has not contacted me. Or perhaps he hasn't received his visa which I doubt because these days the Government of Canada issues visa to everyone who could set foot on Canadian soil. So now that he hasn't even told me what has happened to his visa, I have a good plan for him but before that I'm going to write a bit about the times that he would act like a total jerk when we used to hang out: We used to go to gym at times to work out together. I asked him to spot me a few times and he did a few times but once aggressively said: I'm not going to the gym just to lift your weights for you! This stupid sentence has been tattooed in my brain! Our relationship would turn to more  rivalry than friendship. He used to brag about the place that he had gone with his friends and so did I! There were time that he was ditched and it pissed him off. aside all the above, he criticized me a few times about the jokes that I had made about girls. There were not directed at anyone specific or too offensive and we were very young and ignorant but he took it personally, I think especially because she had a sister that he probably thought I had an eye on! She was a pretty girl and right for my age but who thought about getting in a relationship with his friend's sister on those years?!
My plan was that if he wanted to come to Alberta, to tell him that I would pick him up at YYC but when I talked to my Mom as she knows him, she didn't like it and said it was too harsh and even inhumane! There another thing that Mom said. She said that he has not contacted simply because I have asked him to do me a favour! That has scared him off, she added! I think she's right. And I don't think I execute my plan simply because Mom said that I shall not, although that would be a good lesson for him! We'll see.
(Photo: One of my favorite salads and I've made this one myself. So good. It, of course, is served cold but it tastes way better and is much healthier than my revenge!)

Sunday, November 19, 2023

A Pan Handler in the Gas Station

We were in a gas station in Leduc last week when I saw an old Caucasian guy with a toque on his head (it was not cold at all) approached our car while carrying a big bag. I immediately realized that what he was after: He was picking empty cans and bottle because I saw his hands in the trash bin. Then he asked my colleague if he had any cans and bottles. When he said he didn't the guy asked if he could give him some change! You see the nerve of some assholes here?! Of course my colleague's response was negative again but I cannot believe some of the people in this country!
Then I saw his car a few feet away: A black Nissan Altima with big blue bags of the same shit in the bag seat! His car, in fact looked better than mine! Some people have no shame. How could you drive a car like that and fill it with garbage? How could you approach people for money after they tell you they do not have any bottles or cans in their vehicles? I have seen foreigners do that. I've seen foreigners, mostly East Asians (Orientals) do that but they either walk the streets or have a bicycle. I've seen the homeless do that as well but they're on foot and not, in most cases, aggressive. Some blame the economy for that. It's the scapegoat for everything these days!
(Photo: The guy's car with the big bags on the backseat)   

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Japanese Food and Sake at Mikado

Now that I have been working this job for about 1 month and a half, I have worked with this (East) Indian fella who seems to be a reasonable person for quite a long time. I'm going to call him Éclair for the sake of easiness! He recommended to visit one of the suppliers so I can have a better understanding of their processes and consequently their products, a few weeks ago and it finally materialized this week. 
We left work in a way to be able to be in a restaurant, not too close to the supplier's facility, though, by lunch! Why a restaurant? I have no idea!  We could've simply gone to the company's facility and return to work but he wanted to have lunch. For that he had invited two other people from another branch! I don't know if he has some extra money from the company that he needs to spend within a specific time or what but we went there anyway: Mikado.
It's a nice restaurant with Japanese objects here and there for decoration. The waitresses are dressed in traditional Japanese costume although they might not be Japanese! Our waitress was a Filipino young lady who looked Japanese, a bit but I saw another waitress who had the beauty of a Japanese girl: Round face, fair completion, dark silky hair, beautiful eyes, everything that a pretty Japanese woman has. 
Since I was a guest I decided to try Sake for the first time, because I didn't have to pay! Sake is served both cold and warm but since it was not a very cold day, I decided to try a cold version. I think it was a 2 Oz. serve that I ordered. Not having any previous experience with Sake I can't tell how real it was but it had a completely different taste and affect from any other alcoholic beverages that I have had so far. It was good. I was expecting a little Rice taste but it was not there but the feeling came through shortly after the last sip and it was strong but I stopped there, despite the urge. The food was good and filling for the price, I'd say. I got a plate of different pieces and a small bowl of a sort of Soup, called Miso. The menu could not be entirely Japanese because there were many meals or parts of some of the meals that they had Avocado in them and I don't think Avocado is a native vegetable or fruit of Japan but I guess I will find out when I go there! The Soup tasted good and I would go for the second bowl but I didn't. I think I ate a little too fast because one of the guys told me, jokingly, that I was hungry! I told him that I had not have breakfast! 
The restaurant is decorated with items to resemble a Japanese atmosphere
It appeared that dessert has no place in Japanese eating culture because unlike most of restaurants, mostly Western I should probably say, there was no mentioning of dessert, not even tea which has a special place in Japanese cuisine ,I think. When the bill (check) came I think the total for the four of us was about $108, and some change, maybe, which is not bad considering we were all full, especially me! 
We said goodbye to the fellas and headed to the supplier's facility. This does not have anything to do with the title of this post but because it was the main reason for this trip and also it was a productive visit and an interesting one at the same time, I mention it here: We're there at the company and upon our arrival we're greeted by this very energetic and smiling fella who happened to be our host. We're sitting and talking about the aspects of our project and somehow the discussion was directed to hiking by him. Éclair, at this very moment, that he finished the word " Hiking " pointed at me! indicating that I was the hiker. We briefly exchange ideas about hiking until he said that he had done a hike in Costa Rica. I asked him if it was safe there. he said that Costa Rica was always safe (Bullshit! I checked the Government of Canada Travel Advisory, a very useful website and it say it totally is not safe, similar to most Latin/Central American shitty countries!) and he added that it was a very tall mountain, I think over 12,000' which is close to 4000 m. I asked him how long it took him to summit. He said he could not remember because he was in his 20's! He is now in his later 50's or so! Or at least that is how he looks! That was the lamest and stupidest bragging that I have ever heard from someone in my life, even worse than some of the bragging that mostly (East) Indians try!
(Photo, top: My bowl of Miso Soup. I have no idea how close it was to a real soup that one would serve in Japan but it was really good)

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Training Day(s)

I returned home last night. The training Days were so bad, I didn't want to write about them. Perhaps not as bad as the Training Day which was showed in 2001! Do you what training day I'm talking about? D. Washington., E. Hawke
We had a quiz in the second day which I got 12 out of 15. 80%. The passing mark for the course was 70%. So I was confident that I would be alright at the end. Then the topic of the day sounded very interesting to me. I was participating as much as I could. With fondness in the game(!) and the good percentage I had gotten from the first quiz, I went to Day 2 quiz which was held on the third day. The result was given, as before, after the lunch break: 11 out of 20! Only 55%! Now we have one more day of the class left and there is the final exam on the day four. Things do not look so good! There's so much shit to cover and every day I go back to the hotel, study a little bit and we go out for a crap food in the nearby establishments and then again go back to the hotel room and study as much as I can. The problem is the volume of the material to cover, as well as lack of sleep. I can't sleep well because I sit on my butt all day long. So, I'm not tired. Then there's the damn bed! It's mattress, pillow, sheets, pillowcase and blanket are all uncomfortable! I brought my pillowcase because I don't want to rest my head on a pillow that I don't know who has used it. But how about the damn sheet and blanket?! The only good thing was that it was not cold.
Now it's day 4 of the training and I know people have not done very well, mostly. Here're the people in the class: A Chinese guy who constantly nods like a bubble-head! He wore a baseball cap and was laughing at every stupid thing anybody said, which was mostly himself and the instructor, no offence! He also liked to show his big yellow pearls, often! He told me that it was his third time attending the course. I don't know if he was pulling my leg or he thought it was funny but he was the first one who handed his Answer Sheet, every time. Then there was this distinguishing, rude, silly Indian guy. He was the worst and I'm not saying because he was an (East) Indian. My best friends have always been (East) Indians. He was talking awkwardly, jumping in. Asking unclear and stupid questions and then apologizing! He was wearing a big winter jacket and toque in the classroom and in a nutshell he was a repulsive jerk! I shushed him twice! Once he was asking if I would take any course after that. The second time I was in a nearby business with my work buddy and he greeted me. I gave him a dirty look and that shut him up! There were a number of Canadian guys, who comprised the majority of the students, A Hispanic fat fella and eventually my work buddy, BigHead, who was a nervous rack after we got Quiz 1's result since he had done it poorly!
Now it is Fri. and the forth day. We went through Quiz 3 and 4 quickly but they were not for marking and then he reviewed the entire course and gave us a lunch break.
Final exam was held after the lunch. 35 questions. While seemed easy, it was completely different from all the quiz and the assignment we had done! For me it was not an issue because there were lots of Welding questions and I finished quickly but stayed a little longer to review. Now we were ready to leave for home and BigHead is upset and refuses to eat. He actually had something for lunch. He ate like a pig the entire time we were there just for the sake of eating but when I asked him for a Subway so we can celebrate(!) our accomplishment, he was not very happy but he did it. I eventually ended up in a Buster Juice and got myself a Very Berry and Chicken Pesto Panini. Now we're on the road, heading south towards home, he's playing with his damn phone and all of a sudden he goes: " Good news " And shows me his phone! The idiot doesn't understand that it's not easy for me to look at the tiny screen of the phone while driving on a busy highway! What he wanted me to see was the result of the exam! He got 74% which is a pass mark but he does not believe it! He calls it a miracle because he did so poorly in Quiz 1 and 2 but now it is over.
I dropped him at his door and now I'm nervous and at the same time I really badly need to go to bathroom! I'm almost 10 minutes from the workplace but I don't want to go there before I know my grade! I go to a nearby McDonald's and being Fri. and bad economy(!) the place is packed with people who are entertaining themselves with cheap food! What else can the majority of people do these days? I get myself into the bathroom after waiting a bit since there was a line and then set up the work laptop which I had brought. I am having difficulty navigating through the website because these guys have both my personal and work e-mail address. I go to my work e-mail address and there's nothing there and then find their e-mail which gives me the direction to where the grade is indicated! I go there and I'm nervous and it's not because I doubted that I would pass. I'm think that now that BigHead, who has no background in welding or anything material silence-related, has passed the course, what would everyone, including the guy who hired me would thing, if I failed! That would be a total and complete humiliation, particularly because I had requested to waive this course on the account of the 3-credit course which I passed 20 something years ago! 
I finally reach the part of the damn website where it is indicated that I can see my grade but not before doing a survey! At this point I recall what GigHead told me on the car after he got his grade: Maybe I got a little bit extra from them after I did the positive review! I start the review and I try to be realistic and positive at the same time and then here is my grade: I got 77.7%. It's a pass alright but it's mainly because of Quiz 2. I would have gotten over 85%, otherwise. Now I'm relieved at both ends(!) I head to work while I could simply go home! It was around 15:30. I see my boss there he engages in a conversation regarding the next step which will be another course!   
While I have not much issues with CINDE, the institution which held the course, now I can say it, there were a few mentioning in the course which was incorrect but I didn't want to cause a problem with the old instructor who was knowledgeable on almost all topics. I just recommended to the manager to allow us to register for the course at SAIT next time, not that I believe SAIT is a topnotch school! It's because I don't have to stay in a cheap hotel and eat damn junk food! I think he was convinced that despite the fact that SAIT's program is held in early 2024, we could hold off until then but he said he would discuss it on Tue.
I'm willing to do the course but my preference is clear. Who wouldn't want to stay in a hotel, get paid, eat for free and get a certificate which helps them in the career at the end? It's just the fact that staying in a nice hotel and having good food cost a lot. This time, no matter where I go, I would not spend any money on any damn fast food. I know what to do this time!
(Photo: A scene in the final moment of movie Training Day. Without spoiling the movie for the one they haven't watched it I must say that our training days were really disturbing and for BigHead probably very stressful but probably not as bad as what Hawke's character in the movie experienced!)