Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dealing With A Flat Tire

This buddy who I went to Food Bank with last year wanted to get a little more food so I went to his place to go together as he said he needed help. I arrived at his door at 09:30 AM and as soon as I knocked he showed up at the door dressed and ready. We walked toward his old car and there it was: A flat tire. Normally it should not be an issue having a problem as simple as that but it's a challenge for this buddy of mine. His immediate reaction was: Call and cancel the appointment! I asked him to wait a minute. We shall be able to fix this. I got the jack out and put it under the vehicle to boost it. Luckily it was a warm day, probably around 2º C, otherwise we would not have been able to work outside without warm cloths and gloves even for 5 minutes! Despite the warm winter weather, there was a thick layer of ice on the street, probably as thick of an inch. He tried to crank up the jack but because of the ice, it was not secure and the side of the road that he had parked was higher than where the jack was put. It made it difficult for him to crank. He was sweating like a pig and that's because he has become fat in the recent years and does not have enough activity. So all those food have made a big lump in front of him. He cranked it up a little bit but because it was an old jack and there was ice beneath, the jack gave up and the car landed on the wheels! 
I told him that we should have probably stop and ask for help from one of these tow companies. They come and lift the vehicle easily and boom; Put the new wheel in, screwed back in and done. But he said that he wanted to give it another try. 
He lifted the vehicle high enough in order to take the wheel out but when it came the time to put the new wheel back in, it was not working. I guess it was because of the car being old, a 1996 Honda Civic! I asked him to be careful but this time again the jack gave up and the car landed on the street! There was no way to get it fixed and I had to call the tow truck guys. The first one responded and said the would be there within an hour but then called shortly after and said he had a flat tire. I though he found the place too far to drive and considered not worth doing it! 
The second one was a stupid East Indian with a ridiculous accent that I hardly understood him! He wanted me to call someone else and read me a telephone number. I pretended that i was writing it down and hung up! I finally called City Wide Tow and the guy came in about 45 min. I guess and changed both front tires as that was what my buddy wanted. It cost him around $150! I don't believe anyone buys that car for more than $500 now but it moves him around and he keeps it!
Anyways we wasted more than 3 hours and finally the vehicle was drivable again. We left for the goal shortly after that. 
(Photo: The car is sitting in a pool of slush with no front wheel at the passenger side. The spare tire is seen and also the jack which is left at the spot it gave up and caused the car to land on the street. I used a shovel to remove ice and snow and make room for ourselves and make us able to move around and work)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Effects of Sleepness

For two night in a row I had difficulty sleeping. It was mostly due to eating too much, too late. Or maybe eating items with bigger than usual digestion time because not chewed enough! Whatever the reason was It had a very bad affect on me. Then this damn Gout Attack accrued. This time on my left elbow. It was so bad that I was not able to basically do anything with my left hand. I could not raise the hand or bend from the joint. For example if I wanted to scratch my eyebrow, it was impossible. I don't know what triggered that but it could have been some damn sugary false/fake fruit juices! I normally don't get this stuff and I was not aware that their bad effect was that significant. The pain was excruciating but I remember that a physician told me once that no matter I watch I eat, the attack occurs. It took probably two weeks, maybe more. Today and yesterday I feel a little better. Just more than a week ago I had the same feeling but it came back harder. 
Lack of sleep has significant affects on daily life. I tactfully experienced what George Orwell has described in his book Homage to Catalonia. It is about the Spanish Civil War where he was a volunteer and got wounded and magically survived. He says in the book that lack of sleep as result of long hours of being up and watching the trench and surrounding causes dumbness and slowness! Orwell is excellent in the way he explains what he experiences and it is not just in that book , or for that matter another similar book of him, The Road to Wigan Pier, it is in other books of him such as 1984 and Animal Farm.
Orwell is seen here, the tallest almost at the center, with his comrades during Spanish Civil War in 1930's. A wonderful writer and a wonderful man, he volunteered fighting against forces supporting Spanish dictator at the time Francisco Franco. He seriously was injured and as he has written in his book Homage to Catalonia, a physicians told him that the bullet has gone past his aorta within a milliliter. I have to read that book again as well as Spanish War but do I have time? I have to make some. 
Anyways I was not able to focus and I was not able to get my thoughts together and it was very annoying and frustrating. The annoyance was piled up when the pain was extended and I had simply to drop everything and just sit! Even sitting was not convenient but sleeping was worse. I barely could sleep on my left side and sleeping on the right side was not much easier. turning and tossing was another painful thing. I tried a pill that I had been prescribed long time ago. It had never been touched but the bottle is empty. Drinking water and Baking Soda resolved in water was other treatments. Some think toothache is bad but I believe that Gout is more sever. I hope people learn from this and avoid too much Red Meat, Seafood and Alcohol as well as stress because these are the main causes of Gout but people's body is different. Mine is just apparently producing too much Uric Acid which is the cause of Gout. My father had excessive Uric Acid too but no Gout as far as I clearly remember. This gores to show that one item acts differently in two different bodies.
(Photos: This has happened to me many times that I was not able to sleep)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Continuous Decline

That's how it's going down. These photos are all taken from the same Shell gas station, 4 days in a row in late last week and early this week. From 75.9 went to 71.9, 70.9 and eventually 69.9 cents for a liter of regular gasoline. Shell is considered one of the highest gas prices among the companies but I regularly go there because they offer Air Miles and have convenient locations. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Degraded Position

I had an interview in mid-Dec. and before that I had been informed that my resume was considered for a position lower than what I had originally applied. I said: What the hell. I take anything to get out of this unemployment shit! I attended the fucking interview the way I described and today I received a telephone call indicating that they considered other candidates! We had so many good candidates, she said and asked me to keep my eyes on their website! 
I had never received a telephone call saying that I would not be getting the job! They normally e-mail or don't even bother contacting until you get in touch. So when I received the call I thought she would be telling me when to start but it was instead Zip! OK! I guess I have to work harder to get a good position.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Newlywed's Plans

Newlywed, and maybe it's not a valid nickname for this fella since he has now been married for maybe 2.5 years but compare to others he still is a newlywed person, was so proud that he had his job when they threw me out late last year and in a meeting we had he said this and that how he has this plan and that plan. He received the same treatment as mine, shortly after! The only difference was that they gave him a longer time because they wanted him to work on thing which had been assigned to him. I told the idiot not to put so much effort to it now that they were going to toss him out but he said he liked what he was doing and he wanted to finish it.
After he was out, he first moved out of his apartment and then told me that he wanted to go to British Columbia, more specifically Vancouver to relax a little bit! I was quite surprised because I know his was was pregnant and he was not taking her. So I wondered how he could leave his pregnant wive and have fun and relax in Vancouver.
A week after he called as I had left her with now contact and he complained as why I did not contact. I claimed that I was busy. He, this time, suggested to go to Las Vegas! I always wanted to go to Las Vegas and that was not because of its casinos and other adult entertainment. It is because Las Vegas is the closest city to Death Valley National Park and there are lost of wonderful hikes and other things to do there. Also Lake Mead is close and offers different sources of entertainment. But I never make rush decision about a trip. I have to plan way ahead before I go. Besides Newlywed would be the last person on Earth that I wanted to go with! The stupidity of him does not end here! He wants to go to Las Vegas for some fun, according to him and then to another city and I quote here to talk to some recruiter and give out his resume! He wants to do all that in 2 to 3 days! This absolutely insane particularly when he says, and I quote again, we go to Las Vegas and then New York and it will not cost more than $500 or a little more. I told him that Las Vegas was in central and New York in East Coast. Besides there's hardly any job that we can find in New York in a 2-3 days trip, if any is available! This guy has never been anywhere but his homeland and a few cities in Canada and think going from here to there is as easy as getting a coffee from Tim Horton's! 
However I didn't want to disappoint him. I didn't say I would not be going with him. I said that I would be working on a plan and will get in touch with him. Who knows? I might need him one day. Maybe I travel to his homeland. My father used to say: 1000 friends is not too many, one enemy is

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mein Kampf (My Struggle) is Republished in Germany

My life in Canada did not start very badly or maybe I feel that way now! I had to wake up at 05:00 AM in order to be able to catch the bus and get to work on time, starting at 07:00 AM(!) and that went on for 6 months, not that it got much better after that. Just got a little easier. D. H. helped me a lot and I quite enjoyed staying at his place and all those unforgettable memories which I have posted some here. One of the things that he showed me at the time was Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf. To this day I have not been able to understand the type of mental sickness these English-speaking people are suffering from that make them to avoid an English title for that book, say My Struggle or My Battle or something similar.
Anyways he handed me the book during one of our conversations that I don't remember what it was about and asked me to read it in order to find out why Hitler didn't like Jews! I only read a few pages, I guess and that was the time I had taken an English course at U of C. The instructor at the time, an Austrian lady, who had come to Canada when she was about a year old or so, according to her, said that it was a very difficult book to pick for that course and I agree. 
Mein Kampf version that D. H. gave me and I never return that. It has been sitting in my shelf for almost 13 years now! I realized that you can even easily download the PDF version of the book in different languages. I hope one day I am determined enough to read this book
I never read any other page of that book in the past 13 years or so unless a few times that I attempted and was discouraged by its complexity and difficulty. The book is written in 1930's German and then translated to modern English. For sure hard for someone who English is his second language. In the old country I remember there was a time that this book was in the window of many bookstores, I remember. There was a big photo of Hitler extending his arm on the cover page. Of course I never bought it but I guess anti-Semitic environment of the country, particularly from the government and of course some people, encouraged publishing and distributing of such book. 
In Canada everything is monopolized, even books. So the Jewish woman owner of the major book-store in Canada, Indigo has banned the book from his stores. I learnt that once when I checked with a store clerk and then read that in the news. 
Last week I read in the news again that the book had been republished in Germany and it was sold out quickly! I personally believe that people should not ban other ideas. So publishing this book in Germany is supported because if people don't red it, people don't know if it is wrong or not. But the book being sold out is another problem. I guess anti-foreigner way of thinking is growing in Germany. The country let more than 1.1 million Syrian  refugees in and around 5 millions Turks have already been living there for generations! I guess in a few years, there will not be much room for original Germans! Perhaps people are reading the book to find out the answer. 
(Photo: The new edition of Mein Kampf is shown here in this German bookstore. According to the news it was sold out shortly after it was put up)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Would Have been 5 Years Now!

If those motherfucker, animal, nasty, bastards had not kicked me out of work last Oct., it would have been 5 years since I stared that job, yesterday. More than 3 months has passed and I got nothing but a phone interview a few rejection e-mails and one interview which led to nothing.
Time is flying so fast. I can't believe I have been out of work and with no income for more than 3 months now. Many who could, have already left the province and the city, some even the country. The brother-in-low is out of work but has so much money that doesn't need any but being out of work sickens you. So when he contacted the old country, he was told, according to The Lady that there are a few jobs available " I even assigned jobs to a few guys from Calgary " he was also told. If you want one you need to hurry. He hasn't gone. I guess with the life style he has in the US and money he has saved, he can easily afford his life and even join or start a kind of business. I, on the other hand, am screwed! I'm busy with this damn online certificate I am doing and at the same time I do job searching. I have to see how long I can keep it up but first I have to get rid of this damn course! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cheap System for Cheap and Deceiving Person

We seldom visit a local Wal-Nasty-Mart and that's only because at times you can find fresh vegetables and fruits in reasonable prices although that is not the case always. This past weekend we went there and luckily it was not very crowded. While entering there's a glass box for money donation. I don't know whether it is custom in all Wal-Nasty-Marts or this location only provides that but at the corner of my eye I saw a foreign bill which looks a little bit similar to Canadian $5! Apparently one of these asylum seekers from a nasty shit-hole who make up any possible story to come here and use the benefits had felt funny and said to his cheapskate fellas that he wanted to have some fun. So he felt like a hero and dropped a 20 whatever bill of his nasty, cheap, fucked-up hole in the box. This money if it was useful, had not been dropped by this piece of shit! a 20 something in a Caribbean or South American country is not even worth receiving spit in the face, this animal knew but he's lucky that he was let in and contaminate Canada by his silly jokes. 
But there's no surprise in the whole story here. The moral of this short encounter is that no matter who the final receiver of this money box is, a cheap and deceiving system, attracts a cheap and deceiving person. Wal-Nasty-Mart probably has the highest rate of shoplifting among all the stores in North America because you mostly wouldn't go there unless you're underpaid, broke, a felon or cheap. A system who employs mostly foreigners who have absolutely no other option and pays them $10.5 an hour, attracts people at the same level of thinking and same moral. 
(Photo: I took this shot from the top of the box which shows the 20 currency bill almost at the center with a $5 Canadian)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Disgusted by McDonald's

I used to go to McDonald's a lot. I remember even there was a time that I was there every single day but that was for breakfast or coffee only, not that they are much better than the other sandwiches! For the past 5 years or so I haven't gotten anything from McDonald's but it's coffee, maybe a sandwich or two and at times a piece of pastry from it's McCafe locations.
Now that I am kicked out of work I need somewhere to sit in and do my online course that I will write about it later, as staying at home all day long makes me agitated and bored. All the McDonald's restaurant in Downtown, which are three, even the ones a bit further are disgusting. They are mostly occupied by homeless, drug addicts, drunk and disorderly Natives, etc. I have nothing against these poor people and I hope all of them get back to normal life one day and I know that would not happen unless they want to and it's very tough to do but they make the location very uncomfortable to enjoy. I like McDonald's coffee and I like the fact that you can get a free refill but they emit a very unpleasant odor most of the time, they bug you for change and even a few poor ones suffer from mental issues so they approach you and sit at your table and start a conversation.
I don't believe there's any law in Canada that forbids people from going to a business simply because they are not well-dressed or stink unless there's a disturbance that makes the staff to throw him or her out or call the police, which rarely happens. The fact that McDonald's food is the cheapest and it has locations throughout cities, makes it a rest spot for the homeless people who make their trip during the day and night, similar to what George Orwell describes in his book Down and Low in Paris and London. So if you're in a McDonald's in winter and that location is either in Downtown or quite close to it, there's a big chance  that the door opens every few minutes and a person with a backpack 
This person was enjoying a late morning nap when I entered this location of McDonald's on 17th Ave. and 35 St. SW shortly before noon!
and shabby cloths enters. I have to say that I have nothing against these pour people. They are people who suffer from a mental break-down. Just a few days ago I was sitting in a McDonald's in Downtown and I saw a guy with backpack going to different tables and checking left-overs. In one tray he found a bunch of French Fries and got them all down. Then he suddenly sat in front of me at the table and start saying something by mumbling a few words while squeezing a Calgary Sun! At first I didn't realize that he was crazy. I thought he had asked for change or something but then I saw that he was whispering and mumbling at the same time and had no option but displacing! I now have to limit the number of trips to McDonald's or avoid crazy location and busy hours such as lunch.
(Photo: McDonald's in MacLeod Tr. north close to 39 Ave. C-Train Station is a gathering point for homeless as well as Chinese. The later frequently visit there, mostly on Sun. because a Chinese church is just a few minutes away. All four booths seen in the photo are occupied by homeless)

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Skating in Shaganapi Park

We went to Shaganapi Park for a little skating today. I discovered its rink during one of my nigh walks before the New Year but we haven't had the chance to give it a try until this afternoon.
When I woke up and checked the temperature, I realized it was around -22º C and it is without considering the windchill. We wanted to go for a little breakfast because The Lady had a few Starbucks gift cards. We went despite the weather and roads conditions and it was quite disappointing. I have never been a Starbucks fan. Their coffee is too strong and unreasonably over-priced. Their pastries are goo but very expensive so overall I would not go there. Their cafe is very clean and usually there's no junky or homeless and if someone is looking for date, I guess they go to Starbucks. I had a chance to try their Americano and I happened to like it. Besides their latte is good too. So we said: What the hell. We don't have to pay. We have gift cards. We got a small coffee, a large mocha and two small pieces of pastries for over $12!! This is insanity. Under normal conditions, even I had a $150,000 salary job, I would not pay that much for a breakfast for two that you're not even satisfied with the service and the quantity of the product you receive! 
Starbucks normally hires well-groomed and polite staff but their customer service is not always the best. When I went to get cream for my coffee I realized that the jar was empty! That's what I hate to see in a cafe where they charge you over $2.5 for a small cup of coffee. With that disappointment in mind we went back home and we took a little rest and headed out to Shaganapi Park
There were a few people playing hockey. What I like about this park is they have 3 rinks, however small for the people who like to enjoy hockey and then a path-like rink for skaters. They also have fire pits, similar to Bowness Park's but we didn't got close to that because that is for the community members. 
I had not been on the ice for over 2 months or so and The Lady had not practiced probably since our last course in Aug. in Olympic Oval. She's not in favour of outdoor rinks but this one felt fine. There was not many grooves and large scratches and you didn't have to circle around similar to Olympic Plaza. So we enjoyed skating but not for more than 0.5 hour or maybe a little longer. It was not so bad because the temperature had risen up to -10º C which is not considered cold in Alberta! The Lady felt a little discomfort in her skates after a while and we decided to call the day off. Normally outside rinks are not as comfortable as the inside ones due to the ice irregularities and you cannot maneuver as freely as you do inside but it's fun. We have to do this again before the temperature goes up and the rink disappears. 
(Photo: A view of the skating path in Shaganapi Park with the pedestrian overpass over Bow Trail. This overpass bridge was the subject of a problem for the municipality at the time of installation because it appeared to be short in spans! Not the subject here. So I drop it!)

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Fucked Up in Calgary, Again!

... Well this is the truth. We all have to accept. Today is the seventh and nothing! Once again I was thrown to the starting point! I don't know how long it will be but seems its long!
Many have left the city, went back to their towns and countries of their origin. I don't think I have this choice. Lots of empty rental units and house for sale, of course. Wondering who would buy! I saw Keiv today. He surprised me by sending a text message and I joined him during his lunch break. He's doing' OK. He played smarted and just at the same time that I joined my previous work, he got a position with a client company and has been there since.
Lots of positions are seen on the web and I have applied for a few and will apply for a few more but who gets these jobs? Lots of people out of work!
Triple T, or as I named him in a post earlier, Y. Z. was out of work as well. Contacted him before the New Year and that is what he confirmed. Of course I had heard that from The Mumbling Guy earlier. He is the one whom would be looked at person who unlikely get's laid off but seems no one is immune. Just like the people who lost their job shortly after I did, in the company. 
(Photo: Lots of signs are seen all around the city offering rental prices. I just spotted 6 in one street a while ago. This is a good advertisement for the owner of this property! Give it a call and see if you like to move. I bet it is still available!) 

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Fido's Ending after 9 Years

I ended my relationship with Fido after 9 years toady. It was not a bad service but The Lady got a service from another provider and I got mine too. This was being used by her in the past 4 years or so. The hardest part before cancellation was when I wanted to use the $100 Fido Dollars I had accumulated. I soon realized it's nonsense!
First I went to Fido booth in North Hill Center, of course after calling and making sure they were open, yesterday. I wanted to get a flip phone with that. I was told I had to go to a " corporate " store as that wasn't! So it was a waste of time and gasoline going there, although the guy might have lied just because he didn't want to give away phones without getting money! I don't know and I don't care know! Then I went to Fido store in Chinook Center. I was told I had to pay a $25 " administration fee " for a stupid flip phone and that cannot be paid by Fido Dollars! That was there that I said puck it! I don't care about a fake perk provided by theses guys. I called their customer service and they were closed! So today calling them was the fist thing I did after waking up! It took about 10 min. and that was it. I don't even owe them a Penny. That was it.