Posts

Showing posts from September, 2014

Frankfurt Airport

Image
We arrived at Frankfurt International Airport after 7.5  hours flight from Pearson International . I couldn't get any connection in Toronto although there were numerous iPad s available for free! Apparently restaurants have provided this service to attract customers. You can order your food and drink while reading your favourite news or checking the weather. I couldn't get to my mailbox though. There are only certain websites which are available for free for the customers. That's how Apps work. (Photo: Lufthansa plane is seen parked close to terminal building in this picture)

On the Way to the East

Image
Writing from Calgary airport after checking the damn bags in. The big challenge is to get to the fuselage with all these carry-on. Our first stop is Pearson International and then we will cross the Atlantic. (Photo: Took this photo from this 2-Engine plane with Nosehill Environmental Park in background while waiting for our flight)

The Imposed War (1980-1988)

Image
22-Sep.-1980:  I vaguely remember that day, as I was a child. We were out, all four of us in the family. Dad was behind the wheel of course. We saw long lines at gas stations and there was this rummer later that the Iraqi s had attacked the airport: This was the first day of the 8-year Iran-Iraq War. It was just two days before schools started again.  The coming weeks and months after that were filled with air attack sirens, power outages to prevent presumably Iraqi bombers to see their targets, military march on TV and radio and constant war news on TV: This number of  Iraqi tanks are destroyed today, that number of soldiers are killed and wounded (the number always would come in a combination!), this number jets are shut down and the enemy is basically defeated! But the real and complete defeat took 8 years (!) and only when Iran accepted the UN 's 598 resolution and was in a way defeated! Iraqi POWs captured during the last hours of Khorram-Shahr liberation operation

Alberta's Shaky Economy

Image
There's this guy who worked at the same company I'm working for at the moment and then he quiet. I see him every 6 months or so. A. M. a bit of a goofball but he thinks he's very smart. He, I believe, makes good money now and saves a tremendous amount monthly. He shares a small apartment with his brother-in-law and drives a fairly inexpensive car. No alcohol, no girlfriend, no hanging out, no gambling, no smoking, no hookers! Basically he does nothing but working. His hobby is talking to his siblings at the other side of the country and in the old country on daily basis and he changed his employment position from staff to a contractor just to save more money when he got this new job of his. So far so good.  His plan was to purchase a house and he was looking at something between $700 K and $800 K , I guess. I intimidate him every time we meet and this past weekend he finally mentioned that to me by saying: You always say the situation is not good, every time I see yo

Debt Free

I'm officially debt free starting today. Yesterday the last instalment of my car was automatically withdrawn by the financial company. 5 years ! The Lady told me to finance the damn car for only 3 years but I didn't listen at the time. Thought would be tough to pay it off. It's over now. I have reduced its insurance to minimum. That's another good thing.  I was thinking of a better car but with this shitty economy, unstable job market and the damp we live in, I guess, it would be much better if I could find a better residence for us.  The car now has a few issues that should be taken car of: 1- Break Pads should be replaced and I guess I have been told about them 6 months ago! 2- There's a rock chip in the windshield and that actually happened when I was going for a hiking on Highway No. 1 last winter. I don't know how much it would cost but it a damn thing.  3- One of the speakers in the back is out. This really hurts! These guys charge a fort

Is Keen a Good Shoe?

Image
  I bought a pair of Keen hiking shoes from MEC last year around this time. It's gone now! In fact I wore it in the past 3 or 4 scrambles of mine which were all tough ones and it was ruined! I never expected that to be out of shape this fast although the store names it Light Hiking Shoe . They have stuff for over $200 and $300 and that's what I should have gotten. They are Italian brand called Zamberlan .  In fact if I'm going to more serious scrambles, particularly over 3000 m. and in ice and snow and these regular $100 shoes especially when they are not Waterproof, would be useless. I contacted the customer service of Keen and they wanted me to fill out an online warranty form but I have not kept the receipt and they are asking all the information which you only can find them in there. I display the shoe photographs here and you be the judge! I will need another pair for my upcoming journey and I have not bought one yet. The Lady was saying to but anothe

All the Fallen Trees

Image
  There are lots of tree branches on the streets and sidewalks of Calgary these days. The municipality has asked people not to touch them, well not exactly that just move them away from where they block the roads and has said they would take care of it and in fact they have started. In most of the streets that I have been to, I saw a trucks and workers working on the trunks and branches or the area was taped off for future work.  Bow River Trail was partially covered by branches the day before when I went for jogging but that was not a big deal. It will all cleared up in a week or so.  What is the question here is what caused all these beautiful trees to lose their branches? It certainly was not the strong winds we normally have in Alberta and particularly Calgary and it most definitely was not the weight of the snow, as one oxymoron on radio was stating the other day! We have a few small vases in our balcony that they are always knocked down if a little strong wind blow

9-11-01 Seems Forgotten Now

Image
I remember the first anniversary of Sep.-11-2001 . I seems to far away now. I was working in this meat packing company and I was on a non-stop chain. They halted the production line for 1 minutes to respect the victims of the attacks which is said were more than 3000 individuals. It resumed immediately after that and that was the only year they did that. All the other years after that, there was not such a tribute as I worked another 3 years in there. I didn't say much in the news today and it seems a forgotten unfortunate incident in the history of the US and of course the world.  Lots have been said about that day, before and after it, whose fault it was and who did it. I'm not going to discuss them here but would like to point at Michael Moore 's movie Fahrenheit 9/11 as a good source for the ones who are looking for the truth. (Photo: A memorial site has been erected in the place of the World Trade Center towers in New York City, NY, a city that I will visit

Calgary's First Snow

Image
When I saw snow on Mt. Sparrowhawk trail the day before I realized there had been snowfall during the past week although it was a hot and sunny day last Sat. However I was not expecting any snow for today because weather forecast only was mentioning rain.  Then I woke up early morning from the noise that heavy rainfall made. It was around 05:15 AM, I guess. It continued when I was walking to work and then turned to horizontal , very fast snow and carried out up to 05:00 PM and later 06:00 PM. It's still snowing but it's not as heavy as before. The forecast says sunny and partially cloudy weekend but with this amount of snow in the city, I can easily imagine how bad the high elevation would be, making a long hike/scramble very dangerous. We'll see. (Photo: This picture was later taken the next morning. The snowfall continued with several breaks in between but because of not very frigid temperature and rainfall before that, not much is accumulated on the ground)

Mt. Sparrowhawk Summit

Image
V. J. showed his interest during the past week to team up with me for a hike. I accepted and promised him to pick something easy up. My goal was to go to Kananaskis and Ribbon Creek , take the trail and go all the way to Highway No. 1 ! That would have killed him! So our plan was to call him yesterday (Sat.) around 05:30 AM and wake him up. I woke up at 05:15 AM and after a few minutes gave him a ring. No answer. He had told me that he would be partying with his buddies and there would be lots of drinking. So I assumed that he had come home late and tired. I tried the number again and no answer and I left a message. He called me back in a few minutes and said that he was too drunk to go. After a few telephone call exchanges and stupid text messages from him, which showed he was drunk because he even couldn't spell correctly(!), not that he would have been able to, had he not be drunk(!), I let him go back to his nasty life and sat back because I knew I would not be able to go

Grotto Mt. Summit: A Hard Labour in Labour Day

Image
As I indicated earlier and many know the hiking and scrambling season is short in Canada for most of the people. Not many would want to go up a mountain or walk by a frozen lake when it's -15 degrees C and the wind is blowing to their head. I had planned for as many as 22 hikes/scrambles for this summer/fall and because I missed a few days I decided to do another one yesterday, Labour Day . For that I chose Grotto Mountain in Canmore , the scramble that I had tried 2 times previously and had not finished once due to the bad timing and kind of intimidation and the second time due to losing the route.  I didn't do any mistake this time or maybe I should say no major mistake. I left home at around 05:20 AM and everything was fine. Just when I was closing to Canmore I saw the sign for Exit 93 while I had to take Exit 91 ! That cost me at least 20 damn minutes if not a speeding ticket because I had to go to the town and this damn town is all covered with Max. 50 and Max. 3