Sunday, September 25, 2011

Farmers' Market

For years I knew that there was a Farmers' Market in Calgary but never actually have been to. Farmers' Markets are common in Canadian cities. Even White Rock, the tiny town close to the US border, in B. C., has one.
So last week I was driving around in SE part of the city and I realized that there was a parking lot full of vehicles. I asked myself what they were there for? Obviously no company was open in that day. I turned back and I realized that I had found it. You can get fresh vegetables and fruits in there mostly from the farms of British Columbia close to Alberta border. The farms are mostly ran by Punjabi and Amish people. Prices are reasonable and quality is mostly good. I good delusions seedless grapes for the first time in Canada from one of them and that was the only one who had it. You can not get that kind of grape in any super market in the city. I had a little last night probably after 10 years! Good stuff! I guess it was some $2.4 per pond. Expensive compare to most of the fruit but worth trying. Then I got to pint of fresh, real Blackberry for $2.5 each. That type of blackberry I only picked them up in White Rock and Surrey from the bushes, not in the store. The store ones taste horrible.
Rather than fruit and vegetables you can get anything else from home made Ukrainian Pie to Humus, Baklava, used clothing, CD and DVDs, collectables, different types of honey, coffee, chips and many other things that if I wanted to list them I would need a whole posting. It's a complete fun! Try it if you think you're into those stuff. I didn't even know that there is a website for it but looks like these days everything and everybody has a web home-page. Check it out at Calgary Farmers' Market. You'll see the address too.
(Photo: A fruit and vegetable stand in the Farmers' Market. You can get as many as 10 different types of peppers in here. As well as all other types of fruits and vegetables, all good)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

First Neqab, Now Street Prayer

The French Parliament banned wearing Neqab (picture) in public place a few months ago. I think it should have also been passed by their senate. They passed it eventually, I guess. France has biggest Muslim population in the European Union. Most of them are from northern African countries, a few former French colony countries like Algeria. Also Morocco. Germany comes after that with mostly Turks. European Union countries have been struggling with the new wave of refugees with Greece having many Afghans and Iranians. That made the German Chancellor, Angela Mercer stating that multiculturalism does not work. The thing that did not sound very pleasant to many foreigners and also human rights activists. This multiculturalism thing as I pointed at also drove that Norwegian man to kill a few of his own kind! Harper also named Islamism the next danger which threatens the country.
Now following that ban, France also wants to ban street prayers, mostly performed on Fri.s. It actually is not a street prayer. It's a crowd prayer in a public place, this one that Calgary Herald is mentioning in an abandoned building in northern Paris. But the news sounded like the limited space and increasing number of prayers had forced people to go on the streets of that neighborhood.
The first question coming to the mind of a sane person is why in the first place you let them in? Don't give me bullshits like humanitarianism in the Western countries dictates that people who their life is in danger or are in need of any other kind, should be helped. If you let them in, you can't expect them to be like you. Even the second and third generations are under bombardments of their parents that they will never be a Westerner, most of them.
Look at the British Columbia or as I call it Brit"SHIT" Columbia here in Canada with the large population of Punjabi Sikh, mostly settled in eastern B. C. in cities and towns like Surrey and Abbotsford, you see many young men and women, and also teens who wear turban and their traditional dresses, eat their own cuisine, mostly and socialise with their own people. There's no way you can cut their roots, which goes back to 100 years ago when the first Sikh settlers came to B. C. So how would you expect the new Syrians, Algerians and Moroccans, even the ones speak French fluently, forget about their traditions and beliefs!?
(Photo: A Muslim woman wearing Neqab shakes her finger as a sign of threat(!) This type of Islamic veil is common among Muslim women but not very favorite. Not the majority of Muslim woman cover their faces like this)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

No Trust Anymore

When I came to Canada first it was a different society back then, if we're talking about trust, not TD Canada Trust though! I don't know if this is the new people who came here or uncertain economic situation.
When I bought my first car in 2003 although I had to put some money down, the monthly installments was paid by the cheques that I mailed every month. Now it's automatic withdrawal. I don't remember I ever had any deposit for electricity. I've paid $250 so far.
I received a telephone call from RBC once in 2004. The lady at the other side offered me loan to buy a property because I had a good history of paying my bills. Now I don't think that I will ever get a call like that. I don't think they will ever agree with my loan application.
Employers do not hire people that easy anymore. F. F. wanted to have a part-time simple job. It not only took an application form fill out and a post-fill out interview, but also they asked her to answer an online questionnaire in a limited time! I guess it was some 68 questions in 20 min.! Nothing has been heard from them yet! The employers want to hire someone trustworthy. You see security guards in almost every store now. Something that barely existed in the past. I don't know where is this going to go!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lylidale's New Challenge

Lilydale is one of the biggest food processing companies in Canada, with several different plants and hatcheries in different provinces. I have visited two of them, the Calgary one and the Port Coquitlam one. The second one in B. C. although have a few homes around it but most of the buildings surrounding it are commercial ones. This one in Calgary is located in a residential area with even a school across from the street. Most of the houses close to the plant remind you of abandoned houses in small ghost towns in the movies! I believe a few of them are purchased by Lilydale employees, mostly supervisors. I once saw one of them in work uniform and safety hat walking on the premises.
The area is subject to strong odor and high level noise. Big trucks have to go to the plant on daily basis and for a processing firm like that which runs 3 shifts a day, you can imagine how many trucks in a day go to the area, many of them in the middle of the night, I believe or early morning. In the winter the street that the plant is located in looks likes a battle field where mines and shell explosions have made numerous holes! If you have a Jeep, Hammer or a Tank, you'll be fine driving to and from the street. Anything else would not work! There is no doubt that the odor and noise does not bother the employees because that is part of their 8-hour work and then they go home and sleep it off but for the resident there's another story. They come home after may be a nasty day, because of the work or weather and face a new problem. Imagine you're sleep at 05:34 AM and you feel that you're bed is shaking! First you think there's another earthquake in Vancouver Island and that is how you feel it here. Then you hear a whining noise and that's the time you realize that a chicken truck has entered the neighborhood to deliver its daily load. The situation might not be as bad as I just narrated here but whatever it is that has recently made the people of the area to lunch a lawsuit against the company. People are demanding a huge chunk of money but Lilydale representative says that the company has not broken any law and will fight against the complaint.
It's a clear as crystal to me that these people know that they can not have the facility moved to another location so they are just trying to make some easy money for their retirement time(!) which is not a very bad idea but we will wait to see what they get!
(Photo: Lilydale Plant in S. E. Calgary in a Sun. morning. This does not look too bad now. Wait until winter arrives, employees vehicles are parked and 18-wheelers coming and going!)

Friday, September 09, 2011

Fast Food Eating Result

I had a McDonald's breakfast coupon as well as a few others for other meals. So I went to a local one and got two Sausage McMuffin with Egg. I had a bad feeling, like being in an oven or a furnace all day long!
Different people's body is different. I see men older than 70 at times in McDonald's and A&W eating sausage and bacon and egg and stuff like that. I can't! Some people either burn everything they eat or waste it. Some accumulate it! I suppose I am one of the accumulators and I do not do exercises in a week, at this age, I will have serious health issues, not that I don't have any now!
The good thing that I like about McDonald's is you can simply go to their website and check how much Fat, Cholesterol, Sugar, Salt, etc you absorb by eating every meal, drink or snack they offer. The amount of Cholesterol for that sandwich I had is horrible.
(Photo: Regular McDonald's coupons that come as flayers. I really don't know if that is possible to download and print one as it says here)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Navy's Big Problems

Just a while ago there was a discussion over the name or title to be used before the Canadian Navy. It was being said the the term Royal should be put because after all Canadians feel very close to the Royal Family. They have shown it in the past few years that the members travelled to Canada. It was being talked over and over without mentioning that how big really the main problems of the Navy are.
I was going through the local newspaper and realized that HMCS Chicoutimi which was in trouble in 2004 and had to be hauled a very long way back home, still is not repaired! It's been 7 years now! I'm not very surprised because the country and in a way the entire world has been struggling in the past 3 years but still 7 years is a long time.
Another question is why does Canada have to but used submarines from the UK? is that because Canadians, again, feel so loyal to the Royals that have to spend millions of dollars on these junks? Carrying on the report, I realized that none of the said submarines, none of the ones which were purchased from Britain, is operational at the moment! The reports stated that major repairs needed for most of them at the time they were delivered.
It makes no clear sense that Canada spends a good chunk of money on submarines while there's no serious treat to the country. And this is not the first time that the Navy is facing a problem. Reports of different issues come out off and on. Protection and defence is necessary to a point but where there's no good management and planning, things like this happens and $900 M required to have all the problems gone.
(Photo: HMCS Chicoutimi has been parked since the incident in 2004 which resulted in an officer's death)

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Apollo 18: A Strange Experience

We watched Apollo 18 tonight and I must say it was an extraordinary movie. I had expected a science-fiction because the little I read about it but not something like that. It was a horror-science-fiction, I would say and a different experience; something different from all the movies I've seen so far. The movie is shown in a way that you see the whole story through different surveillance type cameras. It's said that the forages are recovered, put together and the movie then was made.

Another thing is there's no website for the movie but there's a website which is referred to at the end and that is: . See what you'll see when you click on it!

Overall I liked the movie and I might even get the DVD. The story is an old one but the way it's said make the movie interesting. I never stopped following it or got bored. If I want to say how scary it was, I have to say that there was a scene that jumped up and back to my seat but different people may feel differently. After all it worth the time and money I spent.

Correction: I found this website for the movie. The stupid YAHOO Movies does not refer to it! Well ... YAHOO has been always my search engine. May be it's the time to change the way I look at things. I found the movie's website through YAHOO but I just don't know why it is not in the Movies section of it! The website is as wired as the other one, well in another sence of course, if not more strange! You check it yourself! Enjoy both the movie and the websites, and possibly its DVD or Blu Ray in future!

(Photo: This picture shows presumably how the Moon is seen from the orbit ship and is seen during the movie over and over)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Baader Meinhof Complex

I'm totally disappointed with this German movie about the most notorious terrorist group in the 20th century, The Badder Meinhof Complex.First of all this movie, which you see the FBI's warning at the beginning of i,t like all of the movies which are distributed in North America, has not been daubed. It has caption but the damn Germans talk too fast you barely can follow the subtitle!

Then how can you shrink the activities of a group like RAF which were active from 1970 to 1998 in a 02:30 movie without making it boring?! It's probably difficult. That is why did could not! It's always like this especially if the audience knows about the story. What I also did not expect was that the leaders of the group were captured and prisoned shortly after they started and then they got into fight in between themselves. How can you expect a group like that to reach its goals while there is no companionship and people are divided inside of it? Obviously they were not trained well enough to do those kinds of activities like setting bombs, robing banks and hostage taking and that is why as it's shown in the movie they go to Jordan to be trained but seems that it was not very helpful. One another big question is since when Westerners care about hungry people of Africa and South East Asia?! All Westerners have care about through centuries of civilization and before that was how to steal natural resources and cheap labour from the other countries. Going through history shows how Spanish, Portuguese and British cruised the oceans to find whatever they can take and no need to mention Americans slavery for years. Now all of a sudden, Germans, who had sensed that fell behind and initiated tow World Wars, have sympathy for the people who for decades were the Westerners' victim!A few scenes of the movie, the attack scenes are well filmed but the court scenes are really senseless and boring. I'm happy that I did not pay the full amount for this 2-CD case. But I'll keep that. Overall I the film changed my opinion on the group. I always imagines them as bunch of people who actually fought for something they deserved and were deprived of. The people who were well-trained and managed, with leaders who direct them through stages of operation. But the movies showed me the truth, just the way most of Westerners are: excessive alcohol drinking, smoking to death, cheating on your wife or husband, sleep with whoever is available because you have a great sexual desire at the moment, excessive use of profanity while talking to everyone even your spouse, parents or kids, getting angry and kicking at everything close and far(!) How is that other groups fights for decades and either gain something or remain alive but there's no sign of them now? According to the Web material they were active for almost 28 years what what had they gained during all those years? I am no supporter of ETA, PLO, Taliban or so but all these groups have been around for years and eventually forces their governments to either negotiate with them or at least accept part of their request. These guys of RAF got a big goose egg, may be only sympathy from a few number of their own people.

I once wanted to talk to one of Linde guys who was in the company that I worked for before my immigration, about the group but he was shocked and speechless for a moment and said nothing after all! No sympathy form him. He was really scared!

One last thing: Why the hell the movie was named a complex? There's nothing complex about them. There are questions but questions have answers. A complex is something made of interrelated and complicated parts. They were, the group members, where at times interrelated and at times apart(!) and there was nothing complicated about them. May be complex means something else in German. I should ask our German people in the company. I usually talk to two of them and there are more but they are kind of Nose in the Sky! One of them I like to see him a Nose Dive instead of Nose in the Sky! I will write if I get something from them.

(Photo: Andreas Baader, one of the founders of RAF, the group which is known as Baader-Meinhof. He committed suicide after his followers' attempts to exchange him with the hostages they took, failed)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

TV Out!

For weeks it was being announced the all the TV receivers which use an antenna instead of a cable would not be able to be useful after 31-Aug. We had our cable cancelled and we were using an indoor antenna, receiving a few channels including Global, CTV, CBC, City TV and CBC French.
Now they are all, as it was promised, gone and only the French channel is left! The one which is useless anyway!
So we have to figure out what we are going to do. We can buy a kind of tool which makes our TV able to receive those channels or we can buy a cable.