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Showing posts from October, 2013

The Poor Hispanic Cargill Guy

I worked for Cargill for quite of a time. Working for that company and being me who is known as Troublemaker you bump to people who work there or used to work there once in a while, depending where you are going and when.  It was just a few minutes after I boarded the plane to Toronto and before sitting, I was putting one of my stuff in the overhead bag that I heard someone talking to me in Spanish ! The fuselage was dead quite because everyone was on his or her seat and I guess I with may be a few more people were the only one who were only on their feet. I immediately recognized him by his face: He was one of the Cargill guys. Everyone was now looking at me to probably see my reaction or response and I answered him back in English because I don't speak Spanish ! He kept going in Spanish switching back to English and vice verse and I was answering in English until I finished playing with the thing and sat down. I think people thought that I either was Hispanic but didn&#

N. L. Road Trip (18): The Costs

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I always wondered why people in Canada visit Toilet Mexico several time during their life while have never left the province of their origin or at the most visit a few neighbouring cities and that will be it. Travels inside Canada barely happens in compare to the number of the time people travel to Toilet Mexico and other shity Central American shitholes. There are several reasons for this, I learnt later on: 1- Travelling to Toilet Mexico is very cheap compare to travelling inside Canada especially with this All Inclusive packages. Most of people don't care about what they are going to eat as they visit fast food garbage places such as Tim Horton's and McDonald's on daily basis so being fed by Mexicans is not a concern for them. Imagine going somewhere that you can not even brush your teeth with the water! Forget about drinking it! But who cares? They buzz up until they can not even stand on their feet when they go there! Who drinks water!?  2- There a

Fiddlehead

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Living in North America gives you this opportunity to try things that you have never come across in your life. We were in a supermarket a few months ago and saw this strange but nice looking vegetable which later learnt is called Fiddlehead . Apparently this vegetable is grown in Atlantic Canada not the province that we have visited but Nova Scotia and also captivated in parts of Asia. We got a handful of them and simply cooked it or better to say steamed cooked it and served it as a side item with chicken breast. The result was satisfactory. It tastes a bit similar to another popular, easily accessible and less expensive vegetable that I have forgotten now because I tasted it early in summer or late spring and it was just a little amount. Price vise it is expensive mainly because of the distance it travels to reach us here in Alberta and also the limited amount and season it is cultivated. I never saw that in the supermarket after that maybe because of its limited customers or

The Pants

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I bought a pair of pants from one of the Hacoupian 's retailers more than, at least, 14 years ago and wore it probably not more than 5 or 6 times after purchased and then stored it in the wardrobe. A few months ago I tried it on and didn't fit! I had a major issue in the waist area, originated bu love handles! Then I tried it again last Fri. to see how it looks due to my, kind of torn pants and it worked! I means my diet has been working and I have to keep up with that. I have started a low carbohydrate diet which mean no White Rice  at all (unless it is whole grain and happily you can not get it here, I hope!), less Bread and only Whole Wheat and very rarely, no Pasta and no Potato and less Cake and Biscuit of any kind. I still have a long journey to completely get rid of ring of fat around my waste but I'm getting better week after another.  (Photo: Beans are good replacements for rice, bread and even meat but it's hard to make them tasty. East Indian food

N. L. Road Trip (17): Where Did We Stay?

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We stayed in total of four hotels during our week road trip to Newfoundland & Labrador : a- Night 1 and 2, Capital Hotel , St. John's . b- Night 3, Bridgeway Hotel , Placentia . c- Night 4, Harbour Lights Inn , Twillingte . d- Night 5, 6 and 7, Holiday Inn Express , Deer Lake . a- Capital Hotel is not to far from the airport. Yet not far from the Downtown , considering the size of the city. Rather than that, it is located on a street with all the restaurants around it. So we had no issue finding something to eat. It has a restaurant on the main floor which serve different meals but we never tried it. The place has nothing to offer in terms of view and it is not very clean. I remember that cigarette buts were everywhere in front of the main entrance. Yet it is an expensive place in my criteria. I find it hard to believe that unless you pay a big chunk of money in Canada , you will not have a nice place to spend your night in. b- Bridgeway Hotel , as its website in

N L. Road Trip (16): Robin's Doughnut

One of the places that we stopped at to get something to eat, and unfortunately there was not more than one location seen during the entire trip, was Robin's Doughnuts . This apparently is another franchise which only seen in the east, from Newfoundland & Labrador to Ontario . At least that is what we though because we had not seen it before. But then when we searched in the store location part of the website we realized that there are even locations in British Columbia that we never noticed when we lived there. We got coffee which was very good compare to many other coffees available in the country, in a way that even F. F. who is not a coffee drinker liked it, and a kind of Brownie in a small bowl which was very delicious but too sweet and we limited that to one. If you by any chance go to NL , don't forget to try this brand. In my opinion much better than Tim Horton's , Second Cup and Starbucks , the ones I don't even touch! 

Captain Phillips

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Captain Philips was another movie which probably had been waiting to see until last Fri. I was no exempt so we enjoyed it last night and happily it not only was not disappointing but also very exciting and interesting. I would definitely say that it was better than the movie we saw last week, Gravity , although they fall under two complete genre.  Tom Hank s presents a very good performance but better than him are the African guys who play the role of Somali pirates. They are with no doubt tremendous. I really feel bad for real Somali people and these piracy thing which has been part of the news in the past few years. No one ever points to this fact the real reason why the Somali people turn to piracy is what has happened to them by European s and Westerner s in generals in the past two decades. Their fishery has been ruined by the industrial garbage dumped in their shores and civil war has tron their country apart, the one that Americans had to run from with shame.  One i

N. L. Road Trip (15): N. L.'s Wild Fruits and Grown Vegetables

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One of the things that you may want to try in NL is its wild fruit and it limited to different types of berries. We saw them are being sold on the side of Highway No. 1 in big bags. As well we picked a few ourselves and I bought a jar of spread. A few other types were not available due to the season and also limited amount. I think because of the climate you can not find regular fruits that you see them in supermarkets every time you step in but at the same time we saw many different type of vegetables grown in here and there. We saw that at the sides of the major roads, for example NL 430 . There is a small lot which is fenced with ribbons and small wooden sticks and at times there is a scarecrow mounted beside it. Different type of vegetables, both leafy and roots are cultivated and sold in a little huts adjacent to the little field. Why bigger lots are not dedicated to growing vegetables I can see different reasons: First of all there is not a big population of the consumers

Gravity

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I, probably like many other, had been waiting to see this new movie, Gravity . It was not because of its actor and actress. It was because I like space movies. F. F. , very unexpectedly, agreed to accompany me. So I was relaxed! The movie was not what I was expecting. I guess the great emphasis on the Oscar winner stars and excessive commercials has made it very big. It is very real, from a technical point of view, especially because it is in 3D but rather than that and Bullock 's performance, the movie doesn't have anything to offer. The story is very cheap(!): Two people are in trouble and they are trying get themselves out of trouble. The one who is experienced and steps forward in providing a novel solution dies! The other one, a woman, with much less experience and training, survives. She even becomes able to navigate Russian and Chinese spacecrafts! The scenario cannot say something more than this and the scenarist lengthen this story for about 01:25 hour, the most

N. L. Road Trip (14): N. L.'s Wildlife

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One of the main reasons of traveling to Newfoundland and Labrador is to see the wildlife. As I stated earlier because of selecting a bad season we were not able to see much of the main animals that normally are expected to be seen in that province. The following is the list of what is considered to be attractive in NL : 1- Moose . 2- Caribou . 3- Different types of Whale s. 4- Dolphin s. 5- Puffin .  6- Seal . 7- Different types of wading birds. 8- Other birds. The list could go on but they are the major ones. Beside I don't know the name of many other different birds. We basically only saw a few types of birds including one from number 7 family, above. No sign of any other ones! However we managed to see a Black Bear and a Fox ! It was unbelievable because everywhere we went people warned us of Moose on the road and the signs were everywhere but the only ones we saw where the killed ones! As I said before I was told in one of the tourist information cent

N. L. Road Trip (13): In the Airport

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We were not very comfortable in Holiday Inn Express which will be the subject of a separate post. In addition to that having an early flight back to Toronto first and then to the west, made us to rethink of staying at the hotel for the last night. So after we had our dinner in Pinchgut , we filled up the tank in Deer Lake and went to the airport which was only 10 minutes drive. The funny thing was that the stupid G. P. S. recognized the road to the airport as Unknown Road! But I guess it was not solely the fault of the G. P. S. because it communicates with a satellite or other source and that source whatever it is, has the information similar to Google Map and other popular maps on the Internet and Google Map also does not have any name for that road! Anyways we went to the airport and there was people less than the fingers of one hand in there! It's fairly a small airport so I was not surprised. F. F. had two discrete(!) naps in the vehicle but I could not sleep and w

Grotto Mountain (Not Finished)

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I wanted to go to Cascade Mountain this weekend and downloaded a brochure from Parks Canada website about it. They make it so scary that I said I should change the destination. I was struggling all week long with the net to get valid, trustful information but was not successful. Then called Parks Canada office in Banff but never got through. So I said I should have had a Plan B and selected Grotto Mountain in Canmore .  I had this in mind to leave early considering the good weather, (I checked it through Weather Network , every day, all day long!) but then changed it to a time around 07:30. I found the Alpine Club of Canada easily with the help of the new G. P. S. (Not the Magellan one! Will probably write about that later) and I was about to park when I saw a small group. They recommended parking there and then there was this very nice guy who tried to help me. I have no good memory so could not remember everything! One thing that I based my trip upon it was the approxima

The Areospace Museum

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We visited the Aerospace Museum of Calgary today. It has been a long time that I wanted to do it. I have always been a fan of flying, planes and spacecrafts although I never liked flying in a passenger plane! When I finished high school for awhile I had this plan to join the air force but then shortly after I realised that it was not the place for me. Today I should be thankful that I never got in. I wouldn't be here otherwise. F. F. once suggested to go and learn to flight. It sounds a bit scary to me now. With the news of this small planes crashing at least once a month, I don't think it would be a good idea to do that. There is one air strip at the west side of Calgary when driving eastbound, I guess before getting to Callaway Park . I have seen small planes going up but I still think it's dangerous to do that. We'll see.  Anyways we went there and there was this gentleman, an old guy in his late 60s , I would say, a volunteer, who joined us and took us step

N. L. Road Trip (12): Southwestern Part, The Unfinished.

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I wanted to spend more time in Gros Morne but F. F. said we had to see other places. She was fed up with that, she said! So we headed southwestern part of the island. This country is so vast that you have to drive for hours to reach your destination. The other thing is most of the road in this part, from Deer Lake to Corner Brook and after looked like B. C. roads. In fact if you took photographs and show it to people, they would not be able to tell the difference. We first went to Stephenville but we wanted just to get gas because our destination was Burgeo . We had been told that there is a very big chance we see Moose on NL 480 so we decided to go. We said we would kill two birds with the stone: We see Moose and then will see the ocean and the park. NL 480 is one of two very quiet roads but what we were not quite aware of was the fact that many hunters had been camped there and were out with their guns! We of course didn't see a moose but saw lots of hunters with ful

N. L. Road Trip (11): Gros Morne National Park - Tablelands and Trout River

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Gros Morne is an ocean of fun so we decided to spend another day in there. First we went to a little fall shortly after the park entrance or the information kiosk. It was a hike of 25 minutes only but the lady in the kiosk introduced that to us, I guess mainly because I told her that F. F. would not want to walk very long distances! So it's just something below average in terms of scenery and fall. may be if you go in the forest and higher it gets better but the short hike itself is a child's play. Then we continued and went to the Tablelands. This is a nice place of the park. While you see everywhere green and full of trees, bushes, flowers and other plants, this looks like a desert with a few hills in distance. So we parked there and got ready. The trial is mostly flat not steep, not much challenge. After about half an hour we reached a stream with a place which looked like was for resting. F. F. was not willing to go further so I did not insist. On the way back to the

N. L. Road Trip (10): Gros Morne National Park - Western Brook Pond

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Gros Morne National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is a true title because it is just amazing. Although I've been to different parts of Alberta and British Columbia but they simply cannot  compete with Gros Morne . Unfortunately the weather was mostly cloudy during the two days that we spent our time in there. For that reason I do not have good photos specially from Western Brook Pond which was the main spot I wanted to go to and did not happen! So this is a story of failure: We went to the park which is almost one hour from Deer Lake and then headed north on NL 430 . We parked at the designated lot and walked toward the pond. The trial is a nice one going through bog, facing east. So while walking you are actually looking at two mountains with a deep valley in between them where the pond is. You reach a cafe and short pier and that is where the bout tour starts. Apparently that was the last tour for the day when we arrived but we had no plan for that. We de

N. L. Road trip (9): Deer Lake and the Surrondings

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Deer Lake became our base until the time that we left the province. We barely stopped on our way to Deer Lake unless a few short times. There is not much in between. The only place we liked a bit was Lewisporte and that is a small town on NL 340 before reaching Highway No. 1 , or as it is said in N. L. , Route 1 , but we did not spend much time in there. There is a small Train Park where a Plow Train is displayed. You can stop and have a look. As well the town has all the required services. We could have taken NL 360 and go to Bay Du Nord Wilderness Reserve but somehow missed or forgot it. I guess what had happened the night before kind of prevented us from going there. F. F. was very specific that we should not have to drive in the dark in unknown and scary roads especially if there is the risk of hitting a Moose. So our other stop before getting to Deer Lake was the Western Petroleum #14 at Hampden . We grabbed a Blueberry Pie for $5 which tasted very good and fresh.