Saturday, November 30, 2013

Prairie Mountain

I finally hiked Prairie Mountain after 2 failed attempts! It was not because I physically failed! I was not able to find the trail. This time I did and finish it in an hour and half. Prairie Mountain in Highway 66 is an easy hike. That is why it should be done in winter to have a challenge added to it. You first claim up the road and then the first half an hour is just walking in woods. Then it becomes a bit steep and that is where you need your traction device. I stopped for a second and put the ones that had been given to me by the employer last year when I went to the site. I also bought a better pair from MEC and had them in my pack but didn't have to use it. You walk up for half and hour or a bit more, depending on your speed and the last 15 to 20 minutes is a vast area which is not very steep and takes you to where the cairn is. This area is not wooded but you see a few trees here and there. When I enter this part of the hike, I saw an animal from distance. on that height and the shape of it told me that it must be a Cougar. It could be a Wolf, Fox or Lynx but I do not think they come up that high in the mountain. Besides I don't think there are Wolves and Foxes in Kananaskis. I know Lynx is seen in Banff National Park. Unfortunately I didn't have a pair of binoculars or a good camera with a zoom lens on me and the photo I took doesn't show anything so I'm not posting it. The weather was pleasant and I didn't even had my windbreaker on! I only had a sweater and a jersey on the top. No tuque, scarf, gloves or mitts! 
I took a few photos and headed down. Descending was bit harder because the trail was covered in snow and I had to be careful. The problem with the traction devices is if you have them on and there is no snow, there is very likely that you slip on steep ice. The traction devices are good for site when the ground is frozen but not so good for steep hills, especially when there is ice or rocks. The plastic part of that on the sole makes it very slippery. For that matter I slipped and hit the ground two times! Fortunately there was no injury. For the last part I almost turned to a runner and made it back to the car in almost an hour. In general hiking Prairie Mountain is recommended in winter and no extra gear is required. Just have everything in your pack in case you need them. I didn't even have water or any snack. Very easy hike which does not require extra energy. 
(Photo: View of the mountains on the Southwest side of Prairie Mountain. The highest one which is almost in the centre of the picture is Mountain Glasgow. It looks like it is more challenging compare to Prairie Mountain, without a doubt)

Friday, November 29, 2013

The 12th is about to Finish

There are less than 5 hours to this day. 12 years ago this year I came to Canada. Time flies by. I have so many hard days and I'm sure so many more, even harder are ahead of me but will I go back to the old country? Maybe one day when I'm retired or even before that. It depends to many factors. What will be the situation in there? What will be my situation in here. What will be my family, friends and relatives situation here and there? In general the future does not seem very bright, either here or there. Ageing will be a problem which will appear in different shapes and forms. Place of living too. I have to work harder to get what I want in life. Year ago when I just graduated from the university, I wanted a job and got it fast and although I changed it a few times, I was never seek of a job as much as I am now. Then I decided to leave the country. I started shortly after the graduation and I tired scholarship once but it eventually took me 6 years to be able to get here and that was the start of a new challenge. And although I have accomplished a few things that I had planned, I still have plenty to do before I am physically and mentally not able to. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dr. Sleep

I bought The Shining DVD Set although I had downloaded the movie years ago, last week. I wanted a better quality. In fact it is one of my all time favourites and the set provides an extra disk which different people talk about this unforgettable piece of art. I also watched in old country years ago but with low picture and sound quality. There are still parts of the movie that I don't understand them. I guess that is the case with everyone who watches it, no matter how may time. The movie, as everyone know is based on Stephen King's novel of the same name but it has been changed in a way that King doesn't like it. He also showed his displeasure to Kubrick but I don't think it had any affect on him since he had purchased all the right of the book. 
I was doing a little search in the web about the movie and I realised that King has recently written a sequel to The Shining, called Doctor Sleep and now it is available in the stores. I guess everyone is waiting to see the movie, most likely with Danny Lloyd in his late 30s, I assume. Kubrick passed in 1999 and I remember watching Oscar of 2000 and there was tribute to him. So now the question is who would make the movie, if it was planned to be made, ever?! I'm not sure whether I should buy the book or just wait for the film because I just don't want to purchase it and put it in the bookshelf before finishing it like the other book
(Photo: Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance between takes in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. The new Stephen King's book, Dr. Sleep is about this character years after his struggles in Overlook Hotel)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Here but I'm Gone

How did I get so far gone?
Where do I belong?
And where in the world did I ever go wrong?

If I took the time to replace
What my mind erased
I still feel as if I'm here but I'm gone

The few above lines are selected from a very beautiful song of Eric Clapton called Here but I'm Gone. I'm not sure but it could be me singing the song about my life! I don't know who has written it but should not be hard to find for the interested people.
(Photo: Clapton is recognized as the third in the 100 best guitar players of all time by Rolling Stone after Jimmy Hendrix and before Jimmy Page. He plays the song I originally found along with Jeff Beck. I don't know the 4th person and I have no idea how the ranking works but they are all fantastic and I enjoy listening to them)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Flashback (26): The Pretender

I worked with this guy back to B. C. time for a short time. He seemed nice and simple but slow. He very soon became my fan and used to bug (you read call!) me almost every night. He tried to prove himself to me a religious and restricted man. I don't know why. At the same time when he was spending time with another buddy/colleagues of us, more specifically a former San Francisco Police, as he claimed, would insist to accompany him to a strip bar! A fucking stupid two-faced coward like many who come from that specific part of the word. R. K. is another example who I have lost connection with for a very long time now and will never see him, I'm sure. A married man with two kids from a religious family with religion symbols hanging in his living room and talking about building mosques and quoting religious leaders in his e-mails, slept with a girl once, that I know, and regularly searched for women on the net! Even introduced a website to me years ago! This one unlike the pretender didn't even hide his dual life from me but for sure did it from his wife, kids and possibly a few of the friends. 
So now at times I remember the time I spent with this guy. He ended up working for Air Canada as a loader once, I guess but then gave it up and was engaged in other activities. I guess he was receiving support from his father because I once met him in a fucking nasty office which he was sharing with a Punjabi guy in Surrey, where he lived. He said that he was doing accounting and booking stuff. You can imagine what kind of people were his customers! Nevertheless he was fine. Last time I saw him he was probably 30 pounds heavier which proved he was doing fine. he might have been married with kids by now!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Iron Ring

I attended the Iron Ring Ceremony yesterday or perhaps I should say I intended to. They had insisted several times that no one should be late. So I was there around 12:30 PM. I went to the north building, the same place I wrote the NPPE but I was directed to the south building. Soon I realized that I was very early, just like a few others and we had all to wait for about an hour. Fortunately the distribution of Iron Rings started way before the actual ceremony. People lined up based on their first letter of the family name. I hate lines so waited a few minutes and when I stood in mine, I only had to tolerate a minute or so. I was handed a small sealed envelope with my name, my title and the size of my ring printed on it. The lady insisted to try the ring on and notify one of the APEGA fellas of any concern. I went to a corner and opened the envelope. The ring and a small card was in there. I immediately after wearing the ring, realized it was too big for me. Nevertheless I put it on, on the designated finger, put the envelope in my pocket and walked to the exchange line. The exchange line was much worse than the first lines so I turned back and that was when I learnt that I was not wearing the ring! Crap! I said! I started looking on the floor. It was really busy and it would have been very embarrassing to go to one of the booths and tell them that I had lost the damn ring. I looked more and more and found nothing! I thought at the time that if anyone had found it, he or she would have turned it in. It's a shiny sparkling ring and easily seen on the floor. After a few minutes of running around, with a blushed face, I could feel it(!), I gave up and decided to go and tell the guys. I said I have paid $20 and that was the only reason I came. I will pay another $20 but I don't know what their reaction would be. I reached the pocket that I had put the envelope in and it was there! Apparently the ring had slipped of my finger when I sliding the envelope in and that was because of it's extra large size. It was a relief. 
I, then, looked at the exchange line and it didn't seem to be much better. I didn't mind waiting a few more minutes although one of the ladies constantly was saying that after 01:30 PM the doors would be closed. I knew they would not leave anyone without a ring and soon I realized that they had other booth open so I waited 2 minutes and exchanges mine with another which was 2 sizes smaller! It felt good. 
only a few minutes was left. I went in and noticed 3, maybe 4 lines. I guess it was for the people who wanted their rings to be worn by someone from APEGA, I guess a family member who was a professional or an official. The rest were sitting. I told myself: If I stay since I don't know how long this circus will be going on, I might be trapped for at least an hour. I better get the fuck out of this nuthouse. So I left! I don't know if people would be served any lunch but I'm sure that at least something was served but I didn't care. I got what I had wanted! To me the whole concept of Engineering and Professional Engineer is nothing but a business. After all carelessness and awkwardness that I have seen at work in past few years, I have no intention to believe in these stuff. How could you be a Professional Engineer without being able to write a short e-mail without grammatical errors!? How could you be an Professional Engineer and have no clue of basics of Engineering? How could you be a Professional Engineer and have no ethics?! These are and many other are the things that I have seen over and over and made me completely disappointed with practise of Engineering but did it simply because I wanted to say that I could too and I have nothing less than you guys who think you are better than others simply because you have a degree!
(Photo: Quebec Bridge wreckage which collapsed in 1907. I heard that the very first Iron Rings were made out of the remaining of the bridge as a result of wrong Engineering calculation but it sounds a myth! but it was after the disaster that the practise of Engineering became regulated. Has it any affect rather than making business, I'm not quite sure. It might have but not to the necessary limit)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Biggest Conspiracy of all Time

It was the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy the 35th President of the US yesterday. I read that a ceremony was held for the first time in Dallas, TX this year. I watched a kind of movie/documentary in yesterday afternoon called The Kennedys, partially. I had known a bit about him and what happened in the years before his assassination but I didn't know he had an issue and she left him. That was very disturbing to see someone who is under so much pressure, instead of getting support from his family, has to assign part of his brain to the new issue. He was with his aids discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis and in between talking to this and that he had to ask the operator to try his wife's in Virginia, I guess and there was no answer. 
Oliver Stone described what really happened in 1963 and who really was behind the assassination but there are still assholes who want to fool themselves and others by saying Oswald did it by himself! Lots of books have been published and many articles are available on the web. I have not had time and motivation to read majority of them but believe in Stone has said in JFK
This story is a bit similar to the killings of authors and opposition leaders in the old country almost 15 years ago. No one has been ever charged officially but a wise person knows that all of them has been killed by the direct order of the dictator and his aids.
(Photo: Kennedy and his wife in the backseat and the governor of Texas in the middle just shortly before shots are fired in 22 Nov. 1963, three years after he took office)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Warning for Co-op Shoppers

I've already written about The Company of Over-rated Pirates and how unreasonable most of their goods are. I try to stay as far as possible but at times we have to go there because it is close. 
A few days ago we went for a little shopping. We wanted chicken and I used to get a whole chicken and cut them up but F. F. suggested to have chicken pieces such as drums, thighs, breasts, etc because that becomes almost the same price and you do not have that much cutting and cleaning. So we got a pack of legs which seemed OK. All I though I would have to do was taking the skins off, wash them and pack them. 
The package comes in two rows. When I remove the first one, I realised that they had packed the lower layer in a way that lots of fat and skin is actually hiding beneath the meat. In this way these fucking cheaters scam you for up to 100 g of shit or maybe a bit more on every pack you buy. If I had seen the garbage on the above row, I would have made a decision either to buy or skip because I could see how honestly they had been packed because many people have no issue with skin and fat of chicken but in this sway the only thing comes to my mind is scamming the customers. I may have to check with the manager to see whether that's his idea of the meat department guy did that just simply because he or she was so fucking lazy to cut the big pieces of fat off. 
(Photo: You can clearly see the worst part of a chicken here in this photo that has been left by the meat guy. There is nothing but skin and pure disgusting animal fat in this section. Not to mention the skin and other parts which cannot be seen in this photo)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another Telephone Interview

I had a telephone interview couple of weeks ago. I was sitting in the office and the telephone rang. It was a lady from the H. R. of a big company, quite as big as the past two, I would say. 
We had a little chat. I answered the questions. If I got the position, I would be on the site(s) for half a time, travelling not stationed. I was clear. Salary-wise didn't seem to be significant but what if there is no choices. I'm currently studying for a certificate which I mentioned that in the interview and could help to get the job. At the same time if I get the job, that will boost the certificate to a higher level. But these are all hypothesis until I really get the job. She said she would forward my resume to the hiring manager and I would most likely hear from them by the end of Nov.
If I can get the job after we receive the year-end bonus, which no one knows if it will ever be handed to us, that would be a good slap to the face of these guys but I'm not leaving unless my salary is at least $1000 more every month. I think there should be a good reason and motivation to make someone move. We'll see. I'll post if I ever get the second call by the end of the month. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Heart Mountain (Not Finished)

It was very cold this morning and wind was blowing. I wanted to have a hike regardless of that so left the City around 11:10 or so. I needed to pay some gasoline so pull over to an Esso station. By mistake put my card in a Diesel pump and realized that in the last minute! Eventually got $20 and headed west on No.1 toward Canmore. My intention was to hike Heat Mountain across from Lac Des Arcs which seems to be a fairly easy scramble but maybe not in snowy weather. I was able to find the trial head this time easily and start ascending but time was my enemy! I had to be back to the City to pick up F. F. so starting at almost a quarter to 1 was a very bad idea. I went up and the weather was not as bad as they were talking about it on the radio. There was no footprint so I just hiked up toward the top which could be barely seen in the foggy surroundings. According to the information the trial is supposed to be made of lose rocks, or in other word scree. I didn't experience much after hour and 45 minutes hike. I then decided to descend because I for sure didn't want to be late. It was a very light exercise but now at least I know where to start my next scramble. I will have 4 challenges which I'm hoping to finish them by the end of the year. Heart Mountain is one as well as the one I missed last Sun., the one I spent more than 5 hours on and didn't finish and another one which when the time comes up, I will write about it. 
(Photo: Heart Mountain as seen from the south side of Highway No. 1. The trial starts just a few meters from where I took this photo. I only went up half of the way)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

We bought this little machine quite a while ago with the hope that we can make our ice cream and frozen yogurt at home to stay away with full of sugar and additive ice creams, I would say mostly, in the market. 
Regardless of the two times that I made Chocolate Ice Cream and F. F. didn't like it, the machine was just sitting in the storage room and occupying space. 
F. F. decided top to take it out a few days ago to make some Frozen Yogurt for us. I guess she referred to some eyepiece clips from Youtube instead of going to the manual! The result was good. We had Raspberry Frozen Yogurt which had been sweetened using a little Brown Sugar and garnished with Raspberries and Blackberries. She made another package later, this time using Bananas but the result was not as significant as the previous one. 
(Photo: The Raspberry Frozen Yogurt was awesome. I forgot to say that a little bit of Vanilla Extract, maybe half of a tea spoon is also required  We also added some walnut peieces which made it even better)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dark Side of the Moon: 40th Anniversary (1973-2013)

We are about to finish year 2013 but I almost forgot about one of the most magnificent albums of the all time: Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd. The British band released that in March of 1973 and in addition to be one of the most commercially successful albums in the history of music, it was in top selling albums lists for years. 
I bought it hear, I guess in 2003 but don't remember where, possibly from one of the stores in Downtown. I had a tape cassette, an original, in the old country which I can not recall how I obtained it because it has been years ago but I remember I used to listen to Brain Damage almost every day. This album, like other works of Pink Floyd, has barely anything close to it. I ordered their Live in Pompeii DVD back in 2005 and I still enjoy that especially the songs Echos and Echos Part II
It is amazing that the music that this band created 40 years ago hardly comes by these years.
(Photo: Pink Floyd members from left: Rick Right (deceased), Roger Waters, Nick Mason and David Gilmour. The other founding member, Syd Barrett is not seen in the photo as he had left or had been asked to leave the band at the time) 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Prairie Creek Trial

It has been a long time since I wanted to hike up Prairie Mountain and that is not because it is a special hike. I wanted to do that because it is in a different area than Canmore and Banff. Besides that considering the weather, it should be fairly easy. So I woke up at about 07:30 yesterday and look at the window. I had known the weather and seeing it kept me back from going. But bu 10:30 I realized I would have not been able to stay at home for a whole day. So I grabbed my gear and headed for Kananaskis Country in Bragg Creek area after buying a few liters of gasoline.The road was not as bad as I had thought. Was even better than the City streets. i don't know whether it was because that it had snowed less or there were more plows. I saw one going the opposite direction on Highway No. 8
I reached the Elbow Falls area around 11:45 and I was confident this time that I would find the trial head easily and go up with no difficulty as this was my second time I was there. The temperature was something around -12 degrees C but I had enough on, with no tuque and no gloves or mitts. I had everything in my backpack though. It was not snowing but the ground had anywhere from 2 to 5 cm of snow. The trial had been walked on so I did not have to exert too much energy by stomping on the snow especially when I was going up. There were a few vehicles parked but didn't see anyone around. I realized after a few minutes, maybe half an hour or so, that I was going down instead of going up. I thought perhaps I am getting close to the main trial but when I saw a guy with his dog and asked him if that trial was leading me to Prairie Mountain, his answer was a simple now! Apparently that was a loop which later on I learnt it was called Prairie Creek Trial and it's trial head is just a few meters from Prairie Mountain trial head! 
I though that would not be a good idea to go back and find the trial head especially because I was not aware of it's location at the time. At the same time the guy told me that the trial length was 12 Km and I would probably be able to go back to the road, Highway 66, before it gets dark. I didn't want to take the risk so I decided to make it a 4-hour round trip. 
I continued on the trial and I must say, its a very easy one. The fact that I was doing it in the cold winter and snow was on the ground made it a bit challenging. This trial would be child's play if I did it in summer or fall and only running make it worth trying. I saw a few other people who were well equipped with poles, Spikes, tuque and other requirement but I only had to put my gloves on on the way back as it was getting a bit cold. At the end of my going round after a sign which was read Prairie Link, the trial got a bit uphill and I guess it was leading to one of the mountains close by but I had to go back after 2 hours to be able to get to the vehicle because it gets dark. When the time reached a certain hour that I had been already on the trial for more than 3 hours I felt both tired and hungry, something barely had happened to me on more strenuous hikes such as Grotto Mountain. I did not have any water on me but i had two bars: An Elevate Me and a Nature Valley was home at about 17:00. I assume it would be an easy walk or hike, whatever you like to call it, in summer, good for kids and elderly. Looking at the information available on the Web, now I know what my mistake was and I'm hoping that I will be able to make it to Prairie Mountain one day soon.
(Photo: Winter view in Prairie Mountain Creek)

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Workplace Stories (9): The Cheapskate

With people coming and going to this shithole that I have had to call my workplace in past 2 years and a half, once we had this guy of South Asian origin who joined us and started to work. He was a nice and OK guy but seemed not fit. I realized that he was a kind of the guy who wanted to do what he liked to do not what he had to do. I didn't know much about him at the beginning because was not working with or for him but then I realized that he was quite qualified and experienced, may be just not as much as he thought he was. The thing that I learnt about him later and changed my opinion about him was that he was a fucking cheapskate like majority of South Asian. Do not accuse me of being racists or doing stereotyping because it is true. 
He had obtained a few different certificates in his line of work, years ago and never renewed them after! The guy earns probably more than, I don't know, but at least $150,000 annually but intends not to pay, for example, $80 to renew his certificate! What a fucking cheapskate, in my opinion. When I told him that I had paid around $800 for an ASQ CQE Premier, his eyes were about to pop out! These fucking animals do everything to gain money but when it comes to spend a little, it feels to them that they are going to give parts of their body! 
Another time I asked him a few questions about a certain topic. Instead of introducing useful material to me, he directed me to a shity British website which provides some information on the topic for free but the terminology they use is completely different from the North American's so it's very confusing and not informative and instructional at all! 
regardless of all the above he gave me a Bridge Cam Gauge for free and to this date I have not understood why he ever did that. I am aware that he had received it for free but still someone like him would not have given it away as easy as that!
(Photo: A Bridge Cam Gauge made by G. A. L. company in the US. For the information of those who might not know this gauge or gage as is written on it and both are correct, is used to do welding inspections and mine, the one that the Cheapskate gave to me, is not this brand. Hope G. A. L. does not mind me using their patented tool's photo)

Friday, November 08, 2013

Moong Split Bean Soup

Small bags of Moong Split Bean were on sale a few weeks back in a major supermarket so we got, I guess, two. There were sitting in one of the kitchens cabinet until last night that I decided to make a meal out of them. I looked in to the available recipes on the web, knowing it's an East Indian ingredient and found a few meals; picked the easiest one: Moong Split Bean Soup. I like East Indian food but it has its own issues. First of all they eat all of the vegetables in cooked format of course combined with lots of rice and white bread they call differently such a Naan and Ruti. Second of all everything is made with lots and lots of oil and that is not vegetable oil; it's kind thick butter they call it Ghee. I know there are many crooks out these days and sell every kind of garbage mixed together as vegetable oil but you still can get vegetable oil out there. The third problem with East Indian food is the amount of White Blanched Rice that they eat that is worse than anything else. In addition to all above, the amount of pepper they use has caused different types of Cancer in the country such as stomach and throat.
There was this guy as a colleague of us (I will tell his story later on) whom I asked him about East Indian food once and added as a compliment that I had thought East Indian food was a healthy one knowing they do not consume much meat aseptically meat. He completely denied the fact and stresses that many people in the community and country suffer from different diseases related to over-consumption of Animal-sourced Fats, Rice, Bread and other similar food. 
Regardless of all the stated facts I decided to make the soup and simply replaced a few of the ingredients I believed were not good for health. So here we go:

1- 2 Bay Leaves.
2- 1 cup Moong Split Bean.
3- 8 cups Water.
4- 1 table spoon Ginger (paste or grated).
5- 1 tea spoon Cumin Seed (or powder).
6- 1 tea spoon Turmeric
7- 1 medium Tomato, chopped.
8- 1 table spoon Cinnamon, powdered.
9- 1 dried Chili Pepper
10- 2 table spoon Vegetable Oil, preferably real Olive Oil
11- A desirable amount of cut vegetables of different kinds. 
12- Salt.

Wash the beans and set aside. Add Cinnamon, Bay Leaves and Salt to the Water and bring them to boil. Add the beans, lower to medium heat and cook until the beans are soft and tender a bit but not completely because you will have another stage of the cooking later on.  While the beans are being cooked at 1 table spoon of oil to a pan, heat it up and add Cumin, Chilies and Ginger, fry briefly and make a type of thick sauce/seasoning and set aside on low heat. Then add Turmeric and another table spoon of Oil to the boiling mixture, add the sauce/seasoning and finally add the chopped Tomato and cut Vegetables. I used a combination of Bell Pepper, Zucchini, White Mushroom, Celery and Carrot and the result was good. Cook the soup for about 15 minutes or until desire tenderness is reached. Add a bit of salt at the end if you like. If you want it less hot replace the Chili Pepper with Black Pepper and reduce the amount as well. 
This soup is good, considering the bad ingredients are replaced with less harmful ones, because you do not have to add any meat or fake commercial Chicken Stock or Broth to it to make it tasty. I tried it just by itself and I have got to say: It's really filling. 
(Photo: My plate of Moong Split Bean Soup. I sued orange Bell Pepper but using a green one could changed the look of the meal because I have also used carrot, the same colour. And I like to serve my soups in large, wide a bit deep plates because they lose their temperature faster and be ready to enjoy quicker)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Induction Ceremony

I had been invited to the Induction Ceremony of the Association of the Professional Engineers so we went last night. We were there around 18:05, I think and after registration we got a drink and sat. They gave us a booklet with the name, position and education of all the inductees. It was interesting to know who does what or what education he or she has. There were people from known companies such as Shell and AMEC while there were other ones form unknown companies. Everybody was given a Lapel Pin and a Statement of Oath. I had been expecting to get a very nicely designed pin, not that I wanted to wear it everywhere and everyday but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. After everyone was called to the podium and photos were taken we all rose and read through the oath. 
Then there was a old lady who gave a little speech and it was about significant work that some professionals, in any career, might perform. Then we went for buffet. The invitation indicated a light buffet but it was a full meal: Chicken, Roast Beef, salads, everything. F. F. was hungry so she got happy. So was my buddy whom I found in the middle of the ceremony and joined us. I was not that much hungry but enjoyed the food. We sat for a while and communicated with other fellas before we left. I also happened to see one of the guys who used to work for our company. A very quiet guy with a terrible English but a nice gentleman who had worked hard to get to this stage. He works now for an authority. He seemed happy. Overall it was a good night. I guess we left sometimes around 20:30 or so.
(Photo: This is the pin given to everyone who is either registered as a professional Engineer or Geo-scientist. In my opinion they could easily make this pin much nicer to look by simply adding to its length and using a better font, maybe. I don't think that is something that anyone would want to wear not only because now there are too many people who have this title also because it's not something special in appearance. I thank the Association for this and the entire ceremony, especially the drink and food, though! Maybe I let them know as a suggestion)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A Bad Sign

A couple of weeks ago we were going to the apartment and a pile of stuff caught our attention. I had a look, ignored it then and went in. Same thing happened the day after that and then eventually after 3 days, F. F. got curious as what it meant. Looking closely you could find different things in the stuff: Books, a pair of boots, a snowboard, other stuff in bags. It was clear to me that someone had been kicked out as a result of a break-up! I told F. F. what I had though it was and I guess I was right. I don't know the couple but had seen a young Caucasian girl going and coming to that unit a few times. She actually was the second resident of the unit. The previous one I guess was kicked out because of late rents. I guess they even didn't pay for a month or two. One days after that we saw a few more being piled up and just in a week everything was gone meaning the relationship was officially over. But was the girl a bad breaker upper as Elaine explains in Seinfeld, I'm not sure. We never heard any noise. It was a bad sign when I saw it and I immediately knew what it meant.
(Note: A photo of the stuff is available but I'm not looking for a trouble with the neighbours. So we forget about that!)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Workplace Stories (8): Newlywed, Nearly Dead(!)

There's this guy at work whom we bother a lot but just for fun only and he doesn't mind it. He comes to us to have a little chat usually at the end of the working day and we fill him with horrible stories about the situation of the company and how everyone might lose his job soon, which in a way is true! He and everyone else has been waiting for the annual raise as well as the year end bonus. It is too late to get the first one because we have passed two paydays without having it happened but people are still optimist. But really what else is available to hang on to! Just an empty hope, I would call it! 
The guy has gotten married recently and is nervous. He changes his shirt every day and tries to look neat and professional because well his wife is looking at him as a successful role model have achieved almost everything in Canada! The other day I asked him whether people of his faith ever pray. And his answer was they would every morning, if they are very religious. I told him he'd better start praying! He said he would pray to become a millionaire! I said, in reply, he'd better start praying that he will have a job in two month or more! I added: This guy (pointing at my body who is originally from the same country as he is) has saved enough money that he would be able to stay unemployed for a very long time. Besides he is well qualified and would be able to get a job in two months, max.! I have my ticket and I will jump on the plane and will go back home. What are you going to do?! You're newly wed! And my buddy added: Newlywed, nearly dead! And we burst into laughter, both of us. He was holding his head between his hands and bowed it! It was hilarious. He's a very simple and impressionable guy who believes almost everything he hears. I have had convinced many other in the company but I'm well known now. Although I'm still able to sell my bullshit but it's hard to happen! But this guy, as soon as he hears something, he listens with wide open mouth and eyes! Regardless of his innocence that you can easily see in him after spending a little time, there is also this silliness in him which make him immature and amateur! We were heading back to the office once about 7 or 8 months ago, I guess 3 or 4 of us, we were on Elbow Dr. where those huge mansions are located. He goes: I will buy one of these one day! He in a sense is a bit similar to Ali G. The difference is Ali G. found his way through and now works for one of the biggest municipalities of Canada with most likely a very good salary. He had dreams like that but it's more likely that he can get something close to these dream! 
(Photo: One of the streets in Elbow Dr. neighbourhood. I took this photo last May)