Thursday, November 29, 2012

The 11th Year

Today marks my 11th year in Canada. There has been bad and good moments, like everyone else but one thing that I wanted to specifically address here in today's post is how many times I have moved so far. The list bellow show the places that I have lived so far:
1- North East Part of Calgary.
2- Downtown Calgary in the vicinity of 17th Ave. SW and 17h A. St.
3- In the neighbourhood of Hubalta Road in South East part of Calgary.
4- In the area of Queensland Dr. of Calgary in South East.
5- Around Chinook Shopping Mall in Calgary, just a few minutes walk.
6- In Coquitlam, British Columbia. That was a big jump!
7- In Squamish, British Columbia, another big jump but not as big as the previous one!
8- Back to Coquitlam, British Columbia for a very short time, may be a month or a little longer.
9- In Surrey, British Columbia.
10- Moved to White Rock, British Columbia.
11- Went Back to Surrey in the same province again!
12- Took a big leap and went back to Calgary lives for a week or so in 4th Ave. Northeast, Just a few minutes drive from Downtown.
13- Went up to the Northeast part of Calgary again and stayed around 2 months, I guess.
14- Returned to Downtown Calgary around 26th Ave.
15- And now I am here!
One would have gone crazy, if had not been as strong as I am but I admit that this much moving cost me many things. Not recommended!
(Photo: There is no celebration or any other ceremony and this cake is not here. I just like the photo and thought it was not a bad idea to use it here. Thanks to however that has taken it. May be I will have a celebration in the coming years if life shows me a better face)

Sleepless After Late Exercise

I heard many years ago that late physical activities, for instance sport activities or even sex prevents the people from sleeping. I never had such problem until recent days. The day before I went for my running and it was almost 18:30 and few degrees below zero. I was fine during the entire time but when the sleeping time came, my difficulty emerged.
Of course the state of mind is very important too, as well as what is eaten and when but this lack of sleep with all involved factors comes to me at times. I once wanted to try something to help me sleep but have not thought about that seriously.
(Photo: This is Memorial Dr. in Calgary at the north bank of Bow River in last weekend when I went for running. No problem with sleeping since an early afternoon time had been selected. I did not go today due to the issue explained above)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Automatic Computer

I guess there are features if set, your computer would automatically start and runs a program. I have never had one. I was asleep just a few nights back and it was passed midnight. I woke up hearing someone was talking in the living room. I guess it was 03:30 AM or something. I though F. F. was watching something on the computer but at that time of the morning!? No! She was asleep. So I went to the living room and I realized it was a clip of Seinfeld that I probably had watched it earlier last nigh and was minimized! I just do not understand how it had been started!
I stopped the clip, minimized the page and put the computer to sleep or turned it off and went back to the bed! I have not found the answer to why the computer started by itself and why the clip ran!
(Photo: The main characters of Seinfeld show. I found this nice cartoon on the net and I am hoping its artist does not mind me using it here. There are so much to write about this show. The only thing I would like to say is to me this is the greatest that has ever been made and I am big fan)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Animals in Winter

We all know that the wildlife get closer to the towns and cities in the winter for food. I experienced one last year in Glenmore Park. Last weakened I went to Nosehill and it was very cold, less than -10 °C and I wanted to have my normal jugging. I realized that it was a little late, not because it was getting dark; I was to pick up F. F. So I started walking up the hills. Just after a few minutes I noticed movement up over the hill. There were a few animals standing there. When I got a bit closer they looked like White Tailed Deer to me. I wanted to take a photo and this time I had my Samsung digital camera on me. This was my last resort because I had lost the Sony which had been with me for over 5 years, but I realized that the batteries were dead! I stated running because I was running out of time and I guess that caused the damn camera falling off my pocket and I lost the second camera in the past 6 months!
Anyways I got as close as I could because shortly after I started running up, they noticed and took steps back. I used my mobile phone and took a few photos. The best one can be seen below! Nothing is clear. You only can see three brown spots! Those are the hungry and cold animals!
(Photo: This could be a challenge for someone to find the deer in this picture as the camera is horrible but there are 3 brown spots on the top middle of the picture where the snow ends and sky starts)  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Risking Without Thinking

There is no doubt that in every business there is an inherent risk. At times I think to myself whether there is a secure job that the person actually can have ease of mind and live in peace!? May be years ago when the world was not in such mess and population was not this big. I can not recall anyone from my family, from both mother's and father's side, ever having any job problem until my generation. Even when I was graduated it was not so hard to find a job that you wanted to stay, regardless of the fact that the salary was barely satisfactory. Now the good jobs are scarce and the stable businesses are not seen easily.
A few month back I noticed this new coffee shop in Downtown on my way back home from work. The minute I saw it I realized that it was a bad step taken. A Tim Horton's is just 2 minutes walking distance from it and there is adjacent Mac's which everyone know that supplies coffee as well. Not to mention 17th Ave. where there are tons of coffee shops. From the independent ones that I saw it last Sat. had opened in place of an old Convenience Store ran by Chinese to McDonald's, Tim Horton's again, Wave Coffee, etc. So what were you guys thinking when you opened this place!? Have you had your brain with you when you decided to open up this new business!?
In addition to that the location is on a one way street were there is barely any parking spot available or the if it is available either is occupied by the locals or its  a paid parking spot. So rather than locals, who I believe have already made themselves with the other similar businesses in the neighbourhood, would anyone else go there for a relaxed time with a cup of Joe?
I guess the same story applies to the other one which you see a photo of this on the right. For years there was this old store at this corner. At least I remember 10 years of it! Now they have opened this new Analog Coffee Shop in there and quite surprisingly there were people in there but these businesses always send invitations to family members and friends to have the place occupied and at times packed for the first few days and even weeks just to attract customer and then if it is successful they go by the flow. Otherwise they shut it down. coffee shops here in Canada, some of them as I have seen, they are hang out place. So the people who don't want to get together regularly in a bar and drink alcohol as much, they gather in coffee shops, even for meetings and once a cafe is recognized in that way, it remains in the business. So may be that is why some of them come up with this idea of opening a new coffee shop. I used to spend a lot of time in Tim Horton's and even now I go to McDonald's whenever I get a chance to read my book because there I am away from movies and Internet! But still if it was me who wanted to open up a new business, I would try to bring something new to the neighbourhood. Something that people actually want to see differently from the other restaurants and businesses because if it is not unique it will end up like the one at the left!
(Photo: The coffee shop for sale which only survived a few weeks and on right the new one opened at one busy corner of 17th Ave. SW)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Clear and Present Danger

I watched a good movie on DVD after a while finally last week. One of Tom Clancy`s, Clear and Present Danger. Tom Clancy`s stories about a C. I. A. agent could be compared with Jason Bourne series. In the fist ones Jack Ryan is the character but unlike Bourne he's not the guy who has forced to fight against unethical C. I. A. guys. He is a C. I. A. hero who at the end even questions the President and testifies in front of the Senate. In fact I bought two movies: The Bourne Ultimatum and the the one made based on Clancy's novel with Harrison Ford.
You can not compare Ford and Demon because they play different roles in the two movies. Ford as Ryan is a PH. D. holder who is a director in C. I. A. while Demon as Bourne is a field operative. The style of the actors are also different and that could be because of their timing. Ford has played major roles in many movies and most if not all are commercially successful. I can not even imagine who much money he has made so far. I have only seen Demon as the first character in as Jason Bourne. His act in Saving Private Ryan was good too. I can conclude this way that both of the movies are recommended but they have different texture. I guess while Bourne movies are trying to show how dirty C. I. A. could get (we all know that!), Ryan's movie try to show the C. I. A.'s supremacy to the extent that they even are able to question the President. I guess in JFK, the C. I. A. didn't bother questioning him. They just got rid of him!
(Photo: A scene of the movie. Unlike this shot the movie is not an action/war movie full of fake explosions and torn apart bodies. It's a good movie!)

Friday, November 09, 2012

Freezing Fog

Alberta`s weather has different phenomenas at different times of the year. From the hail storms of the summer to the freezing fogs of fall. It is supposed to be fall now but snow is everywhere and the temperature has fallen to -12 °C. More snow is in the forecast and the weekend will be colder.
Last weekend we had a little ride in the Calgary and the visibility was very limited in the northeastern part of the city. This gives the area a mysterious situation.
(Photo: This shows the intersection of Memorial Dr. and 36 St. NE. Marlborough Mall is supposed to be seen from here but only it sign appears)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Camp Life (5): The Cells

The life in the camps resemble concentration camps, labour camps or Gulags, whichever you want to name it. Many might night be familiar with the last term. I am going to provide a little explanation here. Gulag in a Russian acronym for Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies or in case there are Russian readers: Гла́вное управле́ние исправи́тельно-трудовы́х лагере́й и коло́ний! Those labour camps where spreaded all across the former Soviet Union for almost 30 years. It is said that almost 1 millions were died as of the hard condition of those camps which were all closed in 1960.
Whether this these camp and the other similar camps will reach that death tool or not is a different question but the death of people would not be as a result of excessive hard labour, cold temperature and lack of food. It would be because of excessive smoking, old food contaminated with all sorts of preservatives and chemicals and obesity and it gradually kills the majority of the people who work there, lets say in the next 30 years!
Every building of the camp has three levels and every level has single rooms at both sides of course. These are small room with one single bed, a facet and sink, a wardroob, a small table and a small flat TV attached to the wall. At one side of you is a toilet and shower that you sahre with the next door guy and it works in this way that when you are using the bathroom/tiolet you luck his door from inside and when he or she is suing it, your is locked. The amount of noise is irritating but because it is not continious, it is not a bif problem.
On the other side you share a wall, avery thick one with your neighbour and in fact there is a very thick layer of drywall and cover is what separates your two beds! I had issues with both of the wall-to-wall neighbours. The first asshole would receive a telephone call every morning at 04:30 AM and we would be both up. Then he would put the damn TV on! He left after a week, I guess. The other fucker was a big quiet compare to the first one during the night and morning but talked a lot on the phone or with his friends very loudly. Basically people spend a little time in the rooms because just the feeling might make you sick. Some bring their laptops so can get busy in the room. The Internet service in the room is free compare to the 1 or two computers in the camp that you have to pay $6 an hour to use them! I don't believe anyone ever uses them. TV has good channels for the people are really into TV watching. I watched different programs while in there. Entertaining. The shower is so small that even for someone as small as me (only 5' 7" and very fat) is not comfortable to take a shower but I had to do that almost every day.
The entire building, I am nore sure if it is wood frame or what because it is only three levels, but is not sound proof. So when people are walking in their coridor you think that someone is going to step right in shortly! For all the above reasons sleepness is a big problem in the camp. Everyone I talked to said that he had not a good sleep the night before. When I got back to the town I calculated that I owed myself as many as 33 hours of sleep. For that reason I went to bed almost at 09:00 PM and sometimes sooner for the first week after my return!
(Photo: Inside the cell where the bed is. You can also see the table and window. The bedsheet is changed every week buy the housekeeping staff. It is highly recomanded to take your bed sheet, blanket and pillow case)

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Camp Life (4): Unbelievable Amount of Waste

One of the significant features of Western society, more specifically Canadian society is the amount of waste that you see on daily bases on almost every aspect of life. It was almost the same in the old country when I used to live there. I don`t know about now that people are mostly struggling for the end`s meat. One of the very popular ones that I actually heard it once with my own ears from one retarded was the car vomited” and they use it when they fill up the tank so much that gasoline actually pumps out of the gas and spills all over. The price of gasoline in the country which is one of the top 5 exporters of oil and gas products was very cheap. It is not that much now. Also it was amazing that how much bread people waste on daily basis, at least in the city that I was born and grew up. There were peddlers who practically bought those wasted, old bread from you and would sell it to farmers(!) I heard once. Strange flow of material! You spend millions of dollar to prepare the base food, bread and after years and years you still don’t know how to make it so a huge part of it is impossible to consume after a day of two. So you mostly dump them or feed your animals with it, that are going to be slaughtered for your food soon! Strange cycle here as well. I know that to date people still do not know how make healthy bread that can be kept for a few days.
With this preface we go back to Canada when recycling systems were introduced years ago but people still don`t feel that they must use them. As I explained in a previous post, food is free and available to a very unlimited certain to the Site crew. That causes a huge waste. In fact with the amount of food that people waste at a Site camp a country as big as Bangladesh`s population could be fed. I remember that once I was in the kitchen and this administrative old lady came and started cleaning up the refrigerator. By cleaning up I mean bags of food which were going to the big trash can: Pizza slices, tuna sandwiches, pieces of fruit, lasagna, chicken pieces, etc. There were actually food in there that could still be eaten but she did not care and got rid of all. Some I bet had been picked up the same morning! There was no room in the tall can anymore after that.
And then we move on and check the papers. There is a lot of paperwork in these projects, both at the Site and the offices. Every day we had pile of paper that would directly go to either garbage cans or recycling bins. Those were papers that people had printed and simply didn`t bother to go to the printer to take them! Why the hell would you print something that you don`t need. The printer once was out of order during my short stay at the site, simply because it was being overused for the paper that mostly would go to the garbage. And there was nobody to stop this! Nobody simply cared!
Another big waste at the Site is fuel. Fuel for trucks and buses and fuel for keeping the camp warm. The heating system continuously works without being regulated. So no matter if the temperature is as low is -5 °C or 10°C the same energy is consumed, people simply open the windows and door to let the hot air go!
Ford SUV. Buses are mostly 1/4 full when they go back and forth.
So I really don`t know how these projects are going to be profitable. But as one of the fellas told once this is people who pay for everything through the shares they buy and all other ways! May be the Project owner is just fine!
(Photo: Camp buildings in a partially cloudy afternoon. All these buildings have separate single cells that their temperature could be regulated individually. I will have another post about the cells soon)

Friday, November 02, 2012

1 to 1:63 Ratio

1 to 1.63 is the debt ratio in Canada now. It means for every dollar that people make, on average, they spend $1.63. It is more than 1.5 times. Too much but not me! It is said that when the economy collapsed in the US in 2008 the ratio was 1 to 1.70. We are close.
I don`t know what the role of Government would be here. Is this enough just to broadcast it once in a year in a TV news show like CBC which is barely watched by anyone? The Government is elected and appointed by people to govern them. That, I believe is the role of the Government. At least it is said in the Western democracy. The Government of Canada keeps saying that they have strong banking system. May be. May be not. What strong banking system it is that they give loan to someone after a year and half working to buy a $650,000 house! I do not know that system as strong. I know that system as unwise. There is no doubt that the greedy banks think of the money that they can make out of these guys but when the market collapses that houses value will go as low as $100,000 or less.
There was this Oriental guy who worked with us back to British Columbia. He told me a bit about what was going with the housing and economy in general a bit.
The government has the power and authority to prevent that from happening here but doesn't see to be doing its job. Just a few days ago the Minister of Immigration announced that around 260,000 more immigrant will enter the country in 2013! What a stupid policy! Where is those guys are going to work? Sure we have so many Fast Food chain restaurants, supermarkets and shopping centres here and all those greedy companies who bring their products from China hire on daily bases. So why don't we hire them all there. Sure someone can has a wonderful life with a $12 an hour salary. So we can conclude that we are on the right path!
(Photo: This little picture has nothing to do with the ratio but resembles the greedy companies that make their items in countries like Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, China and sililar for as low as $5 and sell them here in North America for as high as $120)