Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Difference Between Good and Bad Employee

I worked hard for more than a year and half on this damn project and dealt with every fucking fool inside and outside  the company with the hope that:
1- I could get my contract extended and become an employee.
2- The concepts of Quality and roles of Quality Department is known and understood to everyone so I can apply the theories I had learnt or the ones that I was in process or learning.
3- I would have job satisfaction.
The motherfucker ignorant who is my superior officer, at the beginning helped me a bit but then appointed someone else with no knowledge and experience as someone that now I have to listen to in the new project! I gained the first goal but know I am so fucking bored with this new assignment that in the past two weeks alone I just simply passed on the works without even looking at them! I thought to myself what the difference would be? They only kept me because 3 people had quit and 1 had been kicked out. They did not keep me because I know things better than all of them in the department or speak and write much better, they simply kept me because they thought I would be more beneficial than a newly hired guy. And now everything that we built in the previous project is ruined. We work less productive, we create more crap and we have more rework! That is a great management. I knew that for a fact that a company would evolve after doing a few projects, learn from the past mistakes and would have better outcome but seems that is not the case with this company and its dickhead management. So what's the point of getting so excited? Now that we are a point that the project is at its final steps and we don't have that much to do, I spend most of my time on my studies with the hope that I can beat this upcoming exam of ASQ for CQE, just the way I did the recent one, unless I get a new position. If there is really no difference between a knowledgeable, experienced, dedicated employee and a useless fool and people are selected to work based on their nationality and closeness to current employees, why would I work hard for nothing!?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Accuracy and Inaccuracy of Hollywood Movies

There is always discussions in the media about the accuracy of the movies that Hollywood makes. At times the critics claim that the filmmaker altered that part from the book or exaggerated this part from what had happened just to have better impression on the audience.
I share my experience in that regard:

1- Papillon - 1973.
Papillon has been always one of my top favorites. I watched a censored version years ago in the old country and then bought the book. Here I rented the DVD in 2006 when Blockbuster still existed and eventually bought it a few months ago. What attracted me the most was not only the great performance of Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman but also the efforts that the real character of movie Henri Charriere made to free himself. After all these year, the news is very disappointing: The story is completely fabricated and Henri Charriere might have even been somebody else! There are big questions in the movie as how he survived all of the miseries in all those years. He survived two long-term solitary confinements,  a two-year and a five-year(!) while his much younger buddy almost died after the second one. He survived after visiting a leprous colony, being shot at by guards several times, being shot by native Central Americans using a Blow Gun and many more incidents. The funny thing is even the author of the book, whose his identity is not confirmed, claims that 75% of the story is true. So you can easily conclude that most of the stories in the book and movie as well is nothing but what a prisoner who had nothing to do, has made up! You know how boring could get in the prison, have nothing to do but talking about nonsense! What if I make up stories and publish them after I got out of here, he must have said to himself. I can make lots of money. Many books actually are written in jail time. Hitler wrote his My Struggle when he was doing time. The book is kind of forbidden in North America and may be Europe and other countries as well and I can't tell what he has written because I have not read it but it's a book. Anyway I'm going far away. Hitler is the subject of the next movie! Nevertheless it's very strong and touching movie.

2- Valkyrie - 2008.
Valkyrie is based on a failed attempt to kill Hitler just less than a year before he commits suicide when Berlin was surrounded. It's probably one of a few movies that there are as little exaggeration as possible in their story. However in my opinion the movie could be much longer than 01:50 hours. If it was Oliver Stone who had made the movie, he would have made it longer for sure! Valkyrie is a good movie overall and I enjoyed watching it. I guess Tom Cruise is the only one whose act is a bit shaky! All the other actors which are mostly British veteran ones, deliver excellent performances even the one who briefly appears as Hitler. But the story, editing, music and direction takes over the acts. I mean what makes the movie attractive is not only because Tom Cruise is in it. It's everything else and most importantly it is true. Another thing which could add to the value of the movie was having the actors and actresses speaking German. As I said most of the main characters are portrayed by British and Americans actors and actresses and there are a few Germans and other Europeans as well. If the movie had been dubbed in German and had English captions, it would have been much stronger in my opinion. The same I had with Das Boot. This movie is available both in English and German and when I put it in German, it just sound more natural, I would say.

3- The Shining - 1980.
This movie is probably one of the most controversial ones, at least to my knowledge. It is based on one of the most famous writers/novelists Stephen King's story of the same name  but has been changed so much that it's almost unrecognizable! King showed his dissatisfaction about the movie. Although it is not based on a true story and doesn't require accuracy or inaccuracy but there are parts in the movies which you practically don't understand what's going on! Are does people ghosts or the main actor, Jack Nicholson, recalls memories? Nicholson, by the way, delivers an awesome act. I almost didn't understand what Kubrick wanted to say in this movie. Is that the same message that King wants to convey or he is trying something different? I need to read a few reviews on that but the movie is great, the direction, sound and music, acting and story except for the scenes that ghosts-like creatures are seen. We know that Danny has this power of seeing things in advance or seeing things which has happened before and that's what the Black fella, the chef, who actually was a great actor himself, calls Shining but even that explanation does not help to understand what Jack sees because we know Jack does not have the Shining power. One of the weirdest reviews I once saw (not read) about the movie was a clip in Youtube which claims that The Shining is about the fake moon man landing by the US! The narrator points at several signs which if put together, in his opinion, show that Kubrick wanted to say the Apollo 11 Mission was a hoax! So I don't know! 
(Photo, top: The main characters of the failed attempt to kill Hitler in the summer before he commits suicide beside his wife, in Berlin. Von Stauffenbug, the Colonel who loses his right hand, left eye and two finders on the left hand is portrayed by Cruise) 
(Photo, middle: One of the several strange scenes in The Shinning: Shelley Duvall, as Jack's wife, desperately looking for help, opens the door of one of the rooms and encounters this: a creature  in a sort of bear suit and with an animal-like face is having oral sex with a man in a suit, looks like a hotel staff(!) What the hell does this mean?!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Night in Flooded Calgary

I wanted to have a walk in Downtown to see what was going on after 2 days so I left home at around 22:45 hours. I first wanted to get on the train but I was not sure if the train was in service. Besides that I wanted to have a walk because I have had so much during the day. 
So the west side of the downtown was almost OK and the closer I got to the east the darker it got. Police cruisers were seen here and there with the officers watching for the opportunists, the fucking looters. 
When I got to Eau Clare Market I the entire area was blacked out and I am not sure if residents were in their  apartments or not. There was a police car parked at a corner and I guess as soon as they saw me they directed their light at me. I quickly rouse my hands and started walking the other direction but the car started coming to me so I turned around and walked toward them. After greeting they asked me what I was doing there. I told them that I was checking to see what was going on. Then he asked me where I worked. My prompt answer was a good sign that after a few more minutes I said goodbye and added that I was going to a train station to go home.
Water is being pumped out of the residences adjacent to Bow River. This was around 23:45 hours last night
Just 3 blocks away from where I saw the first pair of officers another cruiser just stopped in front of me and after exchanging a few words and answering a few questions I carried on. It is really good that CPS has everything under control because there are lots of people who are just waiting for something like this to loot the evacuees belonging. Just remember Katrina in New Orleans a few years back or the recent disaster in the US where looters took people's belonging and looted stores. By the time I got home it was almost 00:20 hours.
(Photo: On Louise Bridge looking at west, it's easily seen that half of downtown is experiencing a power outage. The C-train is not in service and will not be for the next 2 weeks or more due to damages to two or more station in McLeod Tr.)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Good Beef

When we went to Innisfail, we also wanted to get Peas and Organic Beef. Peas, we were told that would come up in July but Beef was available. A heard of cattle was grazing in the little woods nearby, in the farm. We tried to get close to them but they seemed not very friendly and ran away. We expected to get fresh, not-frozen Beef but what they had at the times was in their freezer and looked OK so we got two pack.
We fixed the first one, the Ribs a few weeks back and the bigger piece just last night and it was really good. It, as can be seen in the above photo, is a big piece, mostly meat, not much bone and we paid some $18 for it. It makes four meals if it's eaten with side items. It's an oven roast piece but this is how we cooked it:
I made a few holes at both sides and filled them with cloves of Garlic. Then chopped two medium Onions in our pressure cooker, added salt, pepper and a little bit of herbs and secured it. When the steam came up and I turned the heat down, the meat was half-cooked so we added 2 cups of pre-soaked White Rice to it, turned the heat all the way up and let it steam and then turned the heat down to minimum and let it cook with the steam.
The result was fantastic. Of course it would have been much better, if I had used Red Rice because it's whole grain but F. F. doesn't like that. I had made some Aubergine meal earlier so together they all made a very good lunch.  
Cows can be seen in trees. This little wood is adjacent to the farm  but separated  by  fence to keep the animals away from crops. I guess they are not used to see human being as this was as close as possible we could get.
(Photo: The Main picture shows the big chunk of meat out of the pressure cooker. I will be soon chopped after this and makes four really tasty meals)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Flood in Calgary: Night 2

The second day of flood alert has passed peacefully but there are still road closures in the City. I wanted to go for jogging and considering the situation I thought I'd be better go to Nosehill but then I reconsidered going to the Bow River Path. So I crossed the river over the Louise Bridge and parked somewhere at the north side of closed Memorial Dr. and went to the path.
parts of the path at both sides of the river were still under the water but I managed to run for a few minutes. In the afternoon we had a stroll around the east side of Downtown. Most of the roads were closed and most of businesses or may be all were closed as well. There was no electricity for the traffic lights and I assume for the residential and commercial buildings as well.
We checked both Safeway and the Company of Over-rated Pirates. They were fairly empty of customers for a Sat. afternoon. Some of the sections in Co-oP were half empty meaning they had not received their supply. We were there for fruits mostly but found nothing worth spending money on but a couple of Pears, a few Royal Gala and pair and Bananas. Some jackasses were seen carrying bottled (tap) water but City of Calgary has indicated that the quality of water is good and there would be no need for boiling water. So the situation seems going back to normal gradually.
(Photo: Memorial Dr. and Downtown Calgary in a beautiful sunny day is shut down. You can clearly see that the level of water is so high. A cruiser can be seen at the westbound blocking the traffic)

Flood in Calgary

The amount of rain in Alberta this year has been significantly increased compare to the all previous years that I can recall. It started even before we went to Innisfail. I wanted to have a post and say how it looked like B. C. here but postponed it until all the rainfall resulted in flood. 
So at work today more than 80 per cent of the people were missing. The level of water both at Bow River and Elbow River was so high that the City ordered mandatory evacuation in many neibourhoods around the two rivers. I got a chance to walk by Bow River shortly after 01:00 PM yesterday (Fri.) and it was amazing how fast and up the river was. Memorial Dr., Crowchild Tr. and many other roads to the Downtown were shut and the C-Train service was cancelled. I guess we are among a few Downtown neighbourhoods which were not included in the evacuation plan. 
High River I heard has been even worse and in the City again it is said that the Saddledome and the entire Stampede Park has been drowned! I try to see what I will see this morning. 
What shocked me the most was not the flood or the amount of rain. It was the way that people were reacting to that. At work people sending e-mails and had the radios turned on. One of them sent a map of the City indicating the road closures! My answer to that was that I would be paddling my Kayak back home and neither of the road closures and flood would not affect me.The other one was talking about storing clear water and in fact I saw an idiot with plastic bags full of bottle bottles when I came back to the apartment!  I eventually told one of the colleagues that they just were making too much of it and I added that I never had left were missing were landing in my hometowns years ago and this flood was nothing compare to that. 
(Photo: Bow River, the bank where Memorial DR. follows it and Louise Bridge. You can see the set of stairs on the bellow left of the photos. The stairs leads to the pathway where I usually run and it is completely hidden under the water in this photo. The photo was taken between the hours of 13:00 and 14:00 of yesterday)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Strange Coinsedences

I had an interview today. It was with a recruiting agency. I explained my situation and talked about myself until the person got the chance to introduce the hiring company to me! It appears that is the same company that I will have an  interview with next week! The is a different position though. However I am not sure whether I have applied for that job or not. The recruiter was very optimist but I know this guys will grill me when I go there. I will give my best though to get out of this shit. The compensation package that was discussed is attractive and the position is staff but even if that happens and I join, I have intention to spend the rest of my life in that city. The very same thing happened a little while back. A few differences.I applied for a job and received a call from the company and in a week after I had been turned down, I received another call from a placing agency in regards to the same job!
Now I will have to see what's going to happen. Everything should be clear in a month or so.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Over-Drinking Experiment

There has been hundreds of thousands if not millions of books, articles, commercials, etc about the affect of alcohol on different parts of body but I would like to share this experience of mine.
We had this sort of meeting in this fine classy hotel which started according to the schedule at about 16:00 hours on one of the working days of last week. (no matter how little information I give, you simply can go to the hotel's schedule and find out every little about it)
The opening day for us was the bar. So I walked up and I got a beer, one of the unusual ones because I couldn't tell by looking at the bottle what brand it was. So I had that and obviously the event was going on! We had a few more minutes to go to a speech. I tired a few pieces of appetisers which were good and took another trip to the bar. This time I ordered Whiskey on rock. The guy two container. He had a sort of funny looking small scoop which would be used every time he wanted to fill my glass. I don't know what it's called. It looks like an upside-down pyramid which it's tip has been cut off! 
Anyway the first one I tired and it was not so bad and I talked to this guy who always takes photos in our meetings and events and then one of the managers came and we three were standing. I barely could hear the guy and was just nodding when he was giving a piece of his brain to the manager. To be not only a listener I gave a manager a short lecture by saying how happy and proud I was working for the great company! 
Then I tired to get another drink and this time I got the same and squeezed a slice of lime to it myself. Much better. I don not know how many more time I tried the same but it must have been at least 2 more times because when we all sat to listen and I think it probably took about 45 min., I could not understand a word of it! Apparently it was about safety but I didn't get anything. Then it was the dinner time. The meal was good and then after that we all left. I was not feeling very bad. I walked to the train station and then from the destination station walked home, for about 15 min., maybe.
It was at home that everything started. I had this constant feeling that I wanted to use the restroom and my mouth was so dry. I tried several time to remove the dryness by drinking glasses of water but did not help much. Then I said I should do something because being active helps to overcome hangover. So I started doing chores around the kitchen area! I was good as long as I was moving but the damn affect never went away the entire evening. 
I know for a fact that consuming too much alcohol damages the brain cells and a good example of it is Hodani. He is a constant drinker. There used to be piles of empty cans and Absolute Vodka and Whiskey bottles in his balcony. I guess he has lowered his consumption but years and years of drinking alcohol has made him practically a fool. He still is alert enough to perform his job, where he has been working since 2006 but his memory is completely gone. He tells you something today and tomorrow forgets about that completely. If he sees one person two days in a row and sees the second one in the third day, he still calls the second person by the first person's name for awhile, at least until he realises that he is a new person! Once I took him to a clinic back to the time that I lived in Squmish and he was visiting me there. he was complaining about stomach ache and the doctor diagnosed that as Ulcer
I must add that I was sober all the time but could not concentrate on the subject during the speech for example. Talked to the people, walked there and here without any problem. Hodani's one major problem was getting violent and I guess this is with many people. Some just get really dangerous. On once case we got into arm wrestling years ago and in another he was choking a buddy of ours! 
I guess enough has been said about my experience. The good thing is I do not drink regularly. So there is a very little chance that something like above happens to me. For that reason all the misery after the drinking worth the fun of it! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Suggestion for Workplaces

I was thinking of this fella and his obnoxious behaviour on daily basis. I have called him Screamer. He is a repulsive turd, I would like to call him that as well! He erupts at least a few times a day. You're sitting and everywhere is quiet. everybody is busy with what he or she is doing and all of a sudden you here someone scream! It probably reminds you of that commercial for Alien where it goes: In space no one hears you scream
Anyways my suggestion is to slip him a mickey early in the morning right after he arrives at the office! If the proper dose is used, it should keep him calm all day long, possibly to the afternoon. Now the question is should it be done with his consent or without because I know people who actually take downers to be able to work. Some people drink alcohol just to make it easy on them. The later would consider illegal but how about the first? If it is supervised and a medical professional confirms that, the guy does not even have to  know it. It could be only said to the H. R. people. After all this is for the benefit of the company and its employees so there should not be a problem!

Saturday, June 08, 2013


Last Thu., June.06 was the 69th anniversary of D-Day, the day that allied forces landed in northern France and started an invasion which led to the defeat of Germany a year later. Allied forces at the time consisted Americans, British and Canadians, mainly. Unlike what I had expected there was nothing on the news or no especial ceremony in the country.
Americans entered the war simply seeking opportunities and they got that later. Their gift to Europeans was Marshal Plan. Based on that plan the US provided a total of $13 Billion in terms of economic and financial help to the European countries which their economy had been destroyed as a result of the long WWII.
Many call this as the most unselfish act of helping but there is no doubt that the US benefited from a lot by simply accessing the European markets for years even after the plan was ended!
In military terminology the letter D simply stands for Day and D is the day of an operation. The days which come after that are called D+1, D+2 and so one while the days prior to the military operation are named as D-2, D-1 and similar. So D-Day is general term but since it signifies the most important invasion of all time, everyone who thinks of D-Day immediately thinks of the day that invasion started in Europe to pass the Atlantic Wall and liberate France, rest of occupied Europe and eventually defeating the Nazis. Discussions about the WWII are so long and broad and there's no room and time for it here in post. I just have to point at two post-war occasions: First, The Nuremberg Trial, the most ridiculous juridical event of the all times! You are in fight with someone and he defeats you and then he takes you to the court and sentenced you to be punished to this much! There is no doubt that what Germans did during the WWII was evil but didn't Americans do even worse in many corners of the words in the past 60 years!? Did anybody condemn them? Did anything happen to them? No! Did any of those who killed civilians ever go to prison? How about the bombs on the two Japanese cities? Did anyone take the Americans to the court, especially the Japanese?
With thousands of pictures available on the net these days, it's  hard to find a reliable one . This apparently shows  what is left from the Fuhrer's residence in the southeastern part of Germany but to be sure, I will go there to see it with my own eyes one day soon.
The other one is the destruction of Berghof, Hitler's residence in south east Germany. Berghof without a doubt is the most beautiful residence that someone ever resided in. The Americans blind from jealousy bombed the place and wiped it out while it could have stayed to become a museum. There is nothing actually, absolutely nothing left from the villa, I would call it but just the location is amazing. I would love to see it, if it still existed.
(Photo: This map shows the stages of the alliance invasion in Normandy started in 06-Jun-1944)

Monday, June 03, 2013

Edgar Farms, Innisfail

We had planned to go to Innisfail in central Alberta to see an Asparagus farm and we did it yesterday. The weather has been miserable in the past 2 weeks, I would say, continuously pissing but we wanted to go anyways especially because I checked Weather Network and realized that unlike Calgary, Innisfail was only cloudy with chances of light rain in the afternoon.
So we left the city around 11:00 hours with the hope to reach there by 12:00 or 12:15 hours at the most. It was rainy, cloudy, sunny every few kilometers of the Queen Elizabeth Highway but it was so beautiful too. It around 12:05 we finally exited the highway from number 365 but I guess I took the next road by mistake and  that cost us at least extra half an hour! That's why having a G. P. S. is very good for the road trips.
Anyhow we got there when there was a light rain and we paid the admission which I had known from their website but later was a bit unfair but I'm not too concerned about that.
There was a good crowd over there but it was obvious that the weather has a huge affect on the festival. Picking was not available but we walked to Asparagus field under the light rain and it was beautiful. There was a lady over there, an old Dutch lady who was volunteer and welcomed us. Seemed that parts of the field had been harvested and the other parts were being done on the day. I had assumed that the Asparagus would be picked by simply walking on the field, cutting them and putting them in a bucket but the system is more advanced. The Farm had hired temporary Mexican workers and they would ride a kind of small rover, driving between the lines, picking the vegetables up and putting them in the provided baskets. It's much faster and if rains, the workers do not have to walk in the mud and under rain. It's interesting to know how much the Farm pays these poor guy. There's no doubt that's a win-win situation. The Farm gets the harvest done and supplies the market and the Gringo gets a few hundred dollars in their pocket after traveling more than 4500 Km! We were encouraged to walk beside the row of Asparagus, pick a few by snapping on the side and try them. We picked a few and it was not bad. I had tried steamed ones at home and liked them. Here there were raw and still edible but a bit sandy. 
The rain became heavier so the lady left us on our own to take as many photos we want and eat as many pieces we like! We always thought the the thin Asparagus is better than the fat ones. Fat sounded old to us but on the field we actually realized that there is no difference and in fact the fat ones are a bit tastier and juicer. So if definitely is a mist to pick the thin ones at a supermarket. 
We knew the Farm had Angus Beef and we could see them from there in the woods. So we walked up to them to have a closer look. All the cattle and calf were gazing at us and as soon as we got a bit closer, they started departing. A row of barbed wire and fence was separating them from us and there was no gate. So we could not get any closer and I don't think the owner would have liked it, if we had done it.
At the time we were almost soaked but it was fun and we walked back to main building while passing by a Rhubarb field on our way. It looked like Zucchini in the first glance but the sign said something we had not known. The leaves are quiet similar. Rhubarb is one of the vegetables that you see them here a lot compare to what we use in the old country. They even make pie out of it. We male a sort of stew which is sour and tasty. In the main gathering area people were busy with different things and in places like these kids are the happiest. We wanted to pick some Green Peas but we were told they would be available in July and then we asked about fresh Beef and realized recently frozen is only available. We bought two packs of frozen Angus Beef, one Short Rib and another one which I don't recall. We'll make them soon to see how different they are from the Beef purchased from supermarkets. After adding a pack of Asparagus to our basket we realized we had better be gone before we catch cold or anything like that. 
Overall it was a fun experience and would have been much better if the sun had been shining and we could pick what we wanted but things do not go the way you want them all the time! There are so many other exciting things to discover in the world! 
(Photo: Asparagus on the field. The distances between the pieces is more than what I imagined. The green stuff you see is a kind of weed which was called by the Dutch lady but I forgot and it's not so important but it's important for the owner because it's weed!)

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Incredible Gas Price

I was going through the news the other day and I realized that the price of Crude had been dropped. The tumble in China's manufacturing sector had been blamed for it. I don't know what is that these guys are going to use as an excuse to either soar the price or bring it all the way down to the basement!
But then I went out and I was about to pass out! The damn price of gasoline, I realized, had been up, significantly. Just a few weeks back we notice a $0.99 per litre but ¢129.9 and even more than ¢131 is outrageous! 
The Oil market in Alberta is completely messed up. This Bubble Effect which actually is caused as a result of lack of transportation equipment, more specifically pipeline, has caused a significant deficit for the Province and many of the oil and energy companies, I heard, have started laying off many of their employees. There is absolutely nobody who questions these giant companies as while their major product price has gone down, why their other product's price has jumped all the way up. However It could be analyzed this way:
The oil company produces its crude oil which it's total cost of production is, let's say, $10 per barrel and adds overhead costs and profits and sells it for $80 per barrel and compare it to the time that it's sold, for example $110 per barrel. Now this gap, caused by the drop of price of crude, should be compensated by selling the end product, gasoline, with a higher price! Makes sense? If the cost of extraction or transportation drops,  the profit goes up but do the companies ever reduce their price? In most cases no! The price is reduced based on the market demand and stability on different corners of the world. But really what does have, for instance, moving a mobile missile launcher from one end of North Korea to the other end have to do with the price of Crude!? But they use FEAR to control people and drag them from here to there and then drug them with cigarette, alcohol, marijuana and other legal and illegal substances to obtain what they want form them: The maximum profit!
(Photo: A Shell gas station's sign, on 14th St., Calgary, reads ¢129.9 per litre, this morning)