Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Temporary Job

With the economy being f**ed up and not many jobs available, people, including me, these day try to hang on whatever they find. The Hope is back to the country and he told me about this safety related job that one of his friends has recently gotten. I went to the website and filled out an online application form. A person from the company called me shortly after the application was submitted and invited me to an information session. 
So I woke up with lots of hope in the morning and drove to a small town near the city. There were as many as maybe 20 people there, mostly Caucasians, an Aboriginal fat girl, a Black guy, who later we realized how dumb he was through the stupid question he asked(!), a couple of stinking East Indians, maybe three because there was a third one who were whispering with them, a few Caucasian girls including one with a tattoo on her back above ass which I saw when she bent over when sitting in the front row! 
The instructor showed a video clip first and said a few things about the job. It turns out to be the project that I used to work on before I got kicked out! K. M. A., the asshole from the engineering school days, work on that project as well but from the client side and he had told me that the project would end in July. So it appears that these guys were looking for a few people to take care of safety things in the last month of the project! I always wanted to see the project with my supervisor, the asshole jerk, not letting me go there and found that it was a good opportunity. 
He continued the session with a few questions from people. There were two disgusting East Indians in the front rows that started with: I'm an engineer and shit like that but he shut them up by saying that he was an engineer too and had been with the company since 1987! Disgusting! These East Indians here in the country, majority of them that I've seen, 99% I'd say, they just want to show off! Coming from a country which there's no clean running water, no 24 hour electricity and other infrastructure, these stinking pieces of shit, think being an engineer is a fucking big deal!
Anyways the guy, the instructor, explained a little bit more about the project and the job and indicated that if there was anyone who was afraid of height, anyone with blood pressure problem, hearing and vision aid and a few other health problems, he or she might reconsider joining. He also added that the job had been defined for a period of 5 weeks only without any chance of coming back to the city! The wage for this job is $15 per hour, he said. I looked at the form that they had given me and I realized that there were a few certificates that they required and I don't have. I also realized that looking at the date that the he had given as the starting day for training, I might not have enough time to register and pass the courses they wanted but stayed in the room. When his explanation was finished, a number of fellas left, clearly due to the issues they had. I thought to myself that if I successfully pass the certificates, training and medical examinations and start the job, how would that impact my EI? I guess it would be discontinued after I notify them that I got a job and what the hell would I do after 5 weeks
I went home and my decision was to decline the job. I checked my e-mail then and realized that I had been been selected to send my documents for a job that I had applied. According to the e-mail, a possible interview would be set up for Jul-18 which is the day that I would be at the site, if I was accepted. The job, with a provincial government in the country, is a part-time or on call but the wage is not bad it's a provincial government job which could be helpful with any further job later, although nothing is clear now. In the meantime when I called The Hope, he indicated that he thinks or his buddy who does this job now thinks that having the job, would not affect IE. I think I've made my decision. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Short Trip to David Thompson Highway

I first thought of going to David Thompson Highway area last year when I read about Abraham Lake bubbles in winter. Never got a chance until just past weekend especially due to unemployment. This motherfucker unemployed situation kills you. I hope no one ever sees him or herself in such situation. Nevertheless I talk to The Chef and we actually aimed for Red Rock Coulee near Medicine Hat but then I checked the weather and realized that would be rainy so we switched to Cline River and the area above. The Chef wanted to make some Kebab and asked me to join him for some shopping in a Safeway. While in there I told him to use the Lamb he had purchased when we went to Red Deer Lake Meats a few weeks ago. He agreed but he said he also liked some Chicken Kebab so he got a pack of Drumsticks and a few ingredients for marinating from Safeway.
I told him whether he wanted any help and he said he would have been fine! OK! Good luck with marinating a big piece of frozen Lamb and a pack of Drumsticks!
I set up the alarm for 05:00. My plan was to be at his place by 05:45 and go for a breakfast together and then hit Highway QE II. The damn alarm didn't go off for whatever damn reason and I woke up by myself at around 06:00! Dressed, jumped to the car a drove to The Chef's. I was hoping to have our breakfast in Airdrie but the GPS directed us to Highway # 22 instead so before leaving the city we had our breakfast in an A&W. I have to say here that A&W's coffee has recently been excellent, the last three times that I have tried in the past 2 month.
We then drove to Cochrane and from there to Sandre and further north to Rocky Mountain House and then west on Highway # 11. This is a very beautiful area and you see Abraham Lake shortly, maybe only half an hour after leaving Rocky Mountain House. It is an man-made lake and for whatever reason has incredible colour.
The Chef here has made three skewers ready. We even didn't have to blow air with something like a fan. The wind barbecued our meal for us!
The Chef was not in the mode of any hiking and in fact couldn't even climb up a short pile of dirt so we only took a few photos and enjoyed the scenery. Then we walked by the lake for a few minutes until he said we would have to find a spot to assemble or fire so he would make the Kebabs.
We pulled at the side of the road shortly before the trail-head of Pinto Lake looked for a good spot. He wanted to build a stone fire pit but I just found one on the top of a short rock, close to our car and showed it to him. He had purchased a big bag of Charcoal so he started making the fire and then putting the pieces of marinated meat on the three long skewers he had brought. In the meantime I realized that he had brought a bottle of favorite drink, Absolute Vodka and a big jar or 7-Up! I knew he would not have the lunch without an alcoholic beverage but when he poured me a small cup and drank it I didn't feel good in my stomach at all! He said that had happened because my Stomach was empty. He was right! We had our breakfast around 07:15 and it was almost 13:30 or so. I chewed and swallowed a piece of bread and a few branches of Cilantro to calm my stomach. It helped a bit.
The first set of Chicken Kebabs didn't come out well. The outside, the skins were burnt but the inside was raw but the Lamb was excellent. The Chef had marinated them in a mixture of Yogurt, Parsley, Onion, Garlic, Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil and maybe a few other things. For the second set of Chickens he scratched the surface of the Drumsticks and before putting them on the fire. I guess we each had at least three long skewers of Kebab! I was about to explode and suggested to go the the shore of the lake. We both had Vodka as well but I guess The Chef had too much because he started acting drunk! We collected everything and put them in the truck before walking toward the lake's shore which was not probably more than 20 min. walk but he couldn't do that easily.
On the way back I first thought there were people going to my vehicle and then when got closer I saw two trucks approaching. Looked carefully and realized one was RCMP and was sure the other one was from the Park Rangers. I was right! Damn! I saw one officer looking through binoculars! I don't know whether he was looking for something or it was just a random check on the people. For a moment I thought we'd be screwed because if he had tested us for alcohol or found the Vodka bottle, we would have been both in the world of shit! I put the camera in and went back toward The Chef and told him not to go to the car! He first didn't get what I was talking about because he was drunk! I explained to him again and directed him to a corner. I told him to wait there for me to bring the camera. " We're not going anywhere" I said! He saw me chewing a gum ( I had taken it out when I went to the car) and asked me why I had not brought him one to help him to snap out of his drunkenness!
I ran toward the car because it was a proof that I was not drunk so the police would leave me alone! Luckily both of the trucks left after a minutes and I sighed!
We saw this cub and its mother grazing beside Highway # 93 shortly after leaving Saskatchewan Crossing. Unfortunately I didn't have my telephoto zoom lens on me and I was in rush to get them before they're gone so the picture is not good. The strange thing was that they paid no attention to a few cars that were there and watching them. No reaction at all!
We then decided to leave because it was getting late. meanwhile The Chef, still under the influence of alcohol said that he had lost his cellphone! We looked for it and we found it. He put it in the door's compartment and then in less than 1 minutes again he said that he had lost it! I couldn't fucking believe it! I saw the damn phone slid to the door's pocket but it was not there! I pulled over and The Chef started looking everywhere! In the glove box, under the mat, under the seat, you name it! And then he got really paranoid! He started looking at side of the road in between the wildflowers and grass(!) although I totally do not deny that! When you're drunk, you do everything! So I thought he had thrown the damn thing out of the window! We didn't find it and then he asked me to try his number! What happened: No network coverage! He was disappointed then and asked me to drive. A few kilometers down we reached a campground, I think it was Kootenay Plains and there was a pay phone. He asked me to try the number again! I knew if there was no coverage it means the phone would not ring but tried it. No result. We continued on Highway # 11 towards south until we reached Saskatchewan Crossing and stopped for a break. I checked my phone and noticed that all of the bars are showing. I dialed The Chef's number and the ring was heard! The telephone was there somewhere! I thought it was in one of hi pockets and he had not noticed that because of being drunk and all but when we listened a little better we realized that the telephone is heard from the door pocket! Unbelievable! We had checked that compartment and everywhere else but had not found it! It was a relief for him considering he had lost his glasses as well! This is what happens when you drink too much! 
We stopped a few more times for photography on the way home including two times to catch Bears! I really don't know what drives Bears to go to the sides of highways but I saw two beside Highway # 1 in two separate days, both after passing Revelestoke but once a Grizzly and once a Black Bear like the one we saw on Highway # 93. I guess it was almost 22:30 that I dropped The Chef at his place and went home. Overall Davis Thompson Highway offers a variety of activities from camping and hiking, to fishing and scrambling and has great scenery. I hope I can go there at least twice once in summer for hiking and scrambling and once in winter for photography.
(Photo, top: Mt. Michener is named after one of the Governor Generals of Canada. Abraham lake and a bend in Highway # 11 are also can be seen)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Amazing Determination

I didn't watch the NBA Finals this year. I like watching what I like on a big screen and in a quiet environment, not where people yell and cheer unless it's an arena or wherever the game is played. I didn't have the chance to either go to Oakland or Cleveland. I just followed the results through the web. This is not a news-site but sometimes I like to write about the things I like and they teach me lessons. What LeBron James has done is by all means amazing and magnificent.  
He first started his career with Cleveland, the city which is about 50 minutes from his birthplace. After a few disappointing years he decided to leave the club. He joined his buddy Wade in Miami where the due worked together with Bosh and won 2 NBA championship titles in the total 4 years they played there. LeBron's departure from Cleveland at time caused a public outrage! Fans wrote banners and burnt his jersey! Crazy! Simply crazy! I don't remember ever any player had been treated like that! I bet there has been other players who left their team at their prime in the history of NBA. That is their choice and the club's decision. I guess people of Cleveland and generally his fans in the states had so much hope in hope to bring them the cup. So when he lost to the Spurs in his last year with Miami he decided to go back and bring the people's dream to reality. 
This year he finally proved that he keeps his promise. After falling 1-3 to the Warriors, I personally saw no chance for the Cavaliers. It reminded me of the loss of Miami 2 seasons ago. They never were able to get themselves together and they lost. This year was different. The comeback was strong and shocking and they beat the so-proud Warriors in Oakland in game 7. Amazing and incredible! 
(Photo: It is estimated that nearly 1 million took part in Cleveland Cavalier's championship parade in Cleveland, Ohio)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Damn F**ing Hypocrites

These people in West, mostly American and the British and as well Canadians are mostly hypocrites. Here's one example: I was in a local supermarket, I guess it was a Co-op when I was this chicken with a label on it reading: Certified Humane. Raised and Handled.
There's this new concern within the people of Canada about the meat they eat. They wonder whether the animal is treated fairly before it is killed and at the same time it is slaughtered. They expect the farmers treat their product like, maybe human beings! I don't know.
I personally don't think that even humans are being treated fairly here in this society or almost anywhere else for that matter but now you have let Muslims in and you let them whatever they want to do. Do you know who they kill animals? Do you have slightest idea that here under your noses Muslims put a very sharp knife to a chicken's, sheep's or cow's throat and slit it?! The blood splashes everywhere and they let the animal suffer because in this way, I quote, they believe the animal's meat is blessed and potable! I'm sure you didn't have an idea. Go watch Not Without My Daughter and there's a scene in the movie about this although there are many untrue parts. This movie is banned in the country which it is targeting but an audience thinks if that's what they do to animal, if that's how a man treats his wife, then the rest must be true as well. 
Nevertheless I guess you need to get a f**ing life. Instead of being sensitive toward small things like this look at the big picture and look from outside of the circle. You have destroyed the entire planet by cutting millions of trees here in Canada only and turning them to houses which are easily destroyed!! You create millions of tons of garbage every day in Canada by using plastic bags and all other non-recyclable packaging! Now you're concerned about chickens!!? You are emitting billions of tons of green house gases to the atmosphere every day by encouraging people to by big SUVs, trucks and other vehicles instead of providing a reliable, fast and affordable public transportation system! I can go on and on. 
(Photo: This is the packaged chicken I saw in a supermarket. The label indicate that this chicken was treated well before it became a ready-to-cook packaged meat!)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Lost in the Woods!

We headed to Sheep River Provincial Park to hike/scramble Mount. Burns last weekend. This still is considered Kananaskis Country but the approach is from the Town of Turner Valley and of course from there you would have to take 546 to west. The only reason I picked that trip was first that it is considered a long hike and a moderate scramble and then it was planned to be started early compare to the other scheduled trips.
Our group reached the trail-head at 09:00 and we started the trip almost 10 minutes after that. This was a really fucked up group. All walking like fucking grandmas and stopping every now and then for a fucking break.
Their first problem which was almost the most important one was getting in to the forest and destroying the shrubs and other plants, as the fucking idiots call it bushwhacking(!) instead of taking a trial. I could adopt myself to that. The good thing was we got out of the forest in a open ridge-like area after I guess almost 1 hour. We basically hiked on long ridges and went over two false summits after that which was not bad but these wimps were all behind me with at least half an hour distance! I eventually reached a scrambling area which looked a little problematic from distance first but that was not very bad when I got closer. I still needed caution and full attention there. I put my helmet on and saw the guys below shouting my name and asking me to wait. So I sat on a rock and told them that I was waiting for them there. There, although they had GPS and the track, became a little difficult for us to figure how to continue particularly because we had passed two summits or false summits and we were on the third one, but not on the top and must have continued to the last. One of the guys went up to see if there was any sign to show where the trail was going. Two others including the team lead, went to another corner to check that. This silly moron came down after almost 10 minutes and said that he was not sure whether the trial was heading that way but an old man, said his old GPS was showing the trail going that way.
I saw these two Deer in deep dense forest when I was going down the first descend. Didn't think it was worth taking the telephoto lens out as I have taken several Deer shots. If that had been the Moose we saw in the morning, it would have been a different story. Would have taken a photo for sure
We all headed up one after another and it appeared that it was the way. That was where the team lead decided to divert us all. A storm was on the way and he though we would have been in danger, if we had continued to the summit (main picture), particularly by lightning but I think if those silly, lazy, wimps had not wasted so much time on the way and also if they have had guts(!), we would have been able to get ourselves to the summit and come back safely in one piece, all of us hopefully. Although I realized a piece of shit had difficulty even there! That's why I hate large group with beginners getting mixed in!
I started heading back down and one silly, wimp was somehow walking down parallel to me and when I went down and reached him, he sat and started eating a fucking sandwich! So I said to me: Fuck it! and headed down. The guys seemed to be either stuck or whatever because I didn't see them for a long time, maybe 20 minutes or so. I finally reached where the forests starts, or if you are going up, it ends. I wanted to wait for them there and even waited for 10 to 15 minutes but there was no sign of them. I then started going down from between the trees and through the forest thinking that I would be fine reaching the trail and parking lot but I was wrong! I wen down for awhile, I don't even remember how long it took and I guess I even hit the trail and that was when I thought I should go further down to reach the parking lot but that was a mistake! I kept going without seeing any sign of the main trail or the parking lot and suddenly I heard the river, or the creek because in every map that I have looked at, there's no sign of what was there!
I filled up my little 500 ml bottle after drinking two of it as I had not drunk water for the past 3 hours, maybe and told me just following the stream would definitely get me to the campground that we parked beside it. Again a mistake. I just realized after maybe 10 minutes that I was going to the wrong direction! The cliffs all around the stream where steep, covered with moss and therefore very hard to climb on or walk down. For a minute I freaked out and I thought I'd never get out of there! I tried the fucking phone but there was no signal! I actually tried 911 a few times but the call didn't go through! I thought I should get help before it gets dark! At this point I decided to go up the clips and hills to first, see if I can get a signal and 2nd maybe I can find the trail. The first attempt failed. I couldn't get a signal but the climb had an advantage: I found that instead of getting close to the campground, I was getting away from it! I looked up and saw the third summit of Mount. Burns and that was apparently a different angle! I realized that despite the fact that I can see the mountain, it seemed that I had gotten around it, meaning that I was going the wrong direction! At that point I could go all the way up to reach the top and continue but that seemed very challenging because the bend of the creek that I had passed, had taken me to a very tall cliff which going up it, would require energy that I did not have at that time! Beside it seemed it would have been much easier just to follow the creek to the opposite direction (east) and find a spot that going up the cliff is easier and that is what I did by using my phone's compass. So when I entered the forested area, I learnt, that instead of going east, I went west and that was why I got away from the campground.
The cliffs around the creek have nice and interesting shapes such as this one. This was taken when I had found my way to east but still was at least an hour away from the campground I found. 
I started walking beside the creek, the same direction as water's and checking both sides for humans and sign of any trail. I even shouted as load as I could a few times! No response but what I once got from a bird! At one point at the left side of a creek (north) I saw a sign of trail but nothing more. I kept going until I saw footsteps and that was one I realized I was getting somewhere. Finally at one point I thought I had seen a trail going up the hill to the same side we headed to the mountain in the morning. I followed that but it faded after a few meters! I felt recharged after drinking enough water and walking beside the creek so I put one Date in my month, the first thing I had in 9 hours(!), and headed further up. I finally able to see the trail after a few minutes. I followed the trail to east until I reached a sign! I had accomplished a big part, it seemed. I had gotten myself out of the dense forest! I took the trail further east until I reached a three-way. Instead of going straight, I took the left turn where I saw a group of people around a small fire and a few tents. It was almost 19:00 I guess at the time. I explained to them that I had gotten separated from my group and was looking for the main road. They first offered me food and drink and even a place to spend the night but I needed to go. So the only think I got from them was direction. The direction they game took me to a different campground different from we had parked in the morning which meant that I had taken a different approach to the main road, 546. Now although not many days have passed I don't clearly remember whether where I landed, was closer to the the city or further!
There there was another challenge: How the hell am I going to get home?! I saw tow trucks parked beside the road and checking my compass I realized they were parked at the same direction that I would have to take to go back to the city. After a few steps I saw people emerging from the sides of the road and a few of them, young fellas where walking on the guards of a bridge! I approached and started telling them my story to them, young Caucasian guys in their early 20's all. They seemed suspicious at first but then we all hopped in their pick up truck and headed east. It appeared that I was lucky. They were from Okotoks and were going there at the moment! They were nice enough to go all to the back and give me the front seat! I guess it took us about an hour to reach Okotoks and there they gave me a taxi telephone number and took it to Somerset Station.
I had parked in Fish Creek. So got there and headed north on my car after that. I guess it was almost 21:20 or so when I finally got home! What a day!
The trip to Mount. Burns is a very recommended one. Sheep River Provincial Park is a very beautiful place especially in June. I saw a male Moose walking in between the trees in the morning when we were going to the trail-head but I we didn't stop for that. I also saw a couple of Deer in the forest and a few more on our drive back to Okotoks. The hike/scramble itself is a very good exercise but if you're not comfortable around rocks and near cliffs and also if you're not experienced and equipped enough, forget about it. We had a stupid piece of crap in the group who had put gaiters on!! Who the fuck needs gaiters when there's no snow! Another nut-job put a pair of mitts that usually put on when it's -10 C or below! That was probably my last time with those silly wimps. Whether I go to that  mountain or not? I don't think so. Maybe! I don't know! There were two things that I regretted in this trip: First not being able to reach the summit of course. Second not taking photo of the tiny beautiful flowers grown beside the trail to the main road after I met with the campers. However I think those flowers might be the same as the ones I saw in The Quarry almost 4 years ago! At the end of the day I realized the guys had contacted the local RCMP because a Constable contacted my family and when he realized that I was fine, they probably closed the file. 
(Photo, top: This is as far as we went. From this point it looks like it would have been at least another hour or so to reach the summit)

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Good Interview Does Not Always Brings You A Job

I finally got the response from that giant company that I had interview with back in late May: Zip! I believe that I provided good answers and I also believe I would have been able to present me much better, had they met me personally but that was a conference call between me here and the manager down somewhere in the US. In her e-mail the HR lady explained to me briefly that they had selected someone from one of their affiliate companies there. 
I check the main website of the company right after that and realized there were many positions in my field but in different industries and all in the US. I applied for one and I'm going to apply for more in the coming days. This is going beyond crazy now. It's been 8 months now that I'm out of work and passing or no passing interviews, I haven't been able to get anything!
In my opinion there are two possibilities usually:
1) The candidate who asks for less salary is selected in many cases.
2) There always might be a candidate who is more competent than you. In this case this person whom they say is selected from a US affiliate company, has most likely more experience in North America. For that reason they have more trust in him. He is considered a more competent person that me.
I had the same scenario back in 2013 shortly after the flood. This is is third anniversary coincidentally! I had two good interviews for two positions with the same company! One through a recruiter and the other one directly with the HR and the manager of the department.  None of them led to employment! The bastards of the recruiting company never even contacted me! They never provided a feedback. I guess I contacted the HR lady and she said that someone else had been selected! I don't know whether I would have been laid off by now or not, had I been hired by them back in 2013 because I heard they threw a bunch out but that would have been good to have in my resume working for a company which its revenue in 2015 was more than $20 Billion

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Chemically Poisoned Foods

I was in the mode of a snack a few days ago and decided to go to Wal-Nasty-Mart, as it was close by at the time to see what they got. I went to their Biscuit, Chocolate and Candy Isle and started looking at the ingredients section of the boxes and wraps, something nobody does, particularly in Wal-Nasty-Mart! People go to this place to find some fucking shit that they can fill their nasty stomachs with! They don't care what's it made of. Their biggest seller, as far as I've seen is: Soda, Chips, frozen food and shit like that but here's the funny thing: Is there any relationship between the way you eat and your health and longevity?! This question might sound stupid and some might say yes. There is but if that's so why the hell life expectancy is longer in North America, fro example to Middle East that people seem to be eating healthier? This should be the subject of another post.
Anyways I kept looking and there was barely any or maybe not at all packaged food that I found without shit such as artificial flavour, Sodium Nitrite, Hydrogenated Oil and all that crap. I had fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. So I decided simply to leave and buy nothing!  
This, of course, has nothing to do with Wal-Nasty-Mart but other stores at least stock other foods which you might find them less harmful but it seems that the further you stay from packaged, frozen and prepared food, the healthier you will be although other types of food, raw food, are not free from poison. 
(Photo: A tasty and popular biscuit in Canada that I've tried myself several times. You read the the ingredients and you will never want to try that again in your life, if you really are concerned about your well being. I never will)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Vulnerable Sector Check

I was rejected by a provincial government, late last month after a motherfucker who had been introduced as my reference provided bad feedback although I passed the interview which always seems to be the hardest part. This in fact was a lesson for me as not to give out every piece of shit's name as my reference, particularly when a permanent job by a government is applied, 
Government jobs are hard to get but once you're in, if you use your head and focus on your job, you'll be set for your life. That's what my buddy A. F. and his wife did. Both work for governments in different levels. Anyways I received a letter in regards to my Vulnerable Sector Check request a few days ago asking me to go to a CPS office after making an appointment. 
I went there this morning. The building seems to be one of the main buildings of CPS or maybe their headquarters now (Used to be in 5th Ave. or still perhaps is), used to be Nortel Networks Co. when I first came to Canada, I remember. The company tanked a few years ago, I heard that on TV and I guess CPS took over when the population of the City grew and they aimed to recruit more officers. In fact I saw a number of cadets when I was entering the building in the morning. I could be a police officer myself now but when I handed my application back in 2010, they failed me in the interview. 
Anyways there is no public parking in this place, I thought because when I approached from 50th Ave. I saw a sign indicating that but when I was leaving, I saw people are parking from a parking lot to the building. So I might have missed that somehow. 
I didn't have to spend much time in there. Their service is very organized and prompt. Basically for the jobs that you work with vulnerable people, you need a Vulnerable Sector Check. Apparently and I was sure of that, CPS has no problem with me but I was fingerprinted and that would be sent to Ottawa to check my status. According to an old lady who was doing this job, there's a registered sex offender whose his birthday is same as mine! They need to make sure that it is me! 
Today's technology has even provided this opportunity for the people to be fingerprinted without having ink on their fingers! There's a machine which basically works similar to a scanner, maybe with a little more sensitivity to moisture and temperature. They charged me $25 for that while I have already paid $30! I don't know why I was doing that because the job is gone but when I checked my e-mail half and hour after that I realized that I was invited for a similar job but in a different location! Although the fate of this new opportunity is not known but I think now that I can have this result available hopefully just a few days or maybe even before they request that, if I pass other stages. 
(Photos: Water fountains and pool in front of CPS building in NE Calgary where Nortel Network Co. headquarters used to be a few years ago)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

(The Stupid) Hike of Stanley Glacier

This past weekend's hike had been planned to go Stanley Glacier in Kootenay National Park. I had been to this most western part of British Columbia earlier, in fact last year when I hike to Floe Lake and I still have the bad memory of that: My camera broke down! I first didn't want to go but then thought would be better than staying home, especially because they had considered that a great hike and a moderate one as well. Nonsense! It is neither of them! I haven't the book Don't Waste Your Time in Canadian Rockies but I certainly believe that this trip should be added to this book! One other reason that I wanted to go with these guys was that I noticed their gathering time was 07:00, unlike most of the time that they gather at around 09:00 or 10:00 which is really stupid.
Anyways I was there at 07:00 and I realized that fortunately there was only 5 of us. So I hopped in one of the guys car and the others took a lift from the other fella. It took almost 01:45 hours to reach the trail-head which is located shortly after the Continental Divide, at the same side of Highway # 93. So we were gearing up and people, I noticed there that were putting gaiters, gloves, extra layers, holding poles, you name it! If someone had taken photographs of people when they were getting ready and would have shown it to the others later, they would have believed that this group was getting ready to summit a mountain in the Himalayas! It became clear later that you wouldn't need any of them, not even an Ice Axe that they had considered mandatory! I paid almost $82 for that shit which I don't think would ever useful!
This picture shows the trail when it comes up from the valley. In this position Highway # 93 is in front of you and the glacier in the back to the left. Back and to the left! Back and to the left. Reminds me of JFK!
As I stated earlier the only good thing about that trip was that we started early. So when we reached the parking lot, geared up and started our trip, it was almost 10:05, I assume. The first part of the trail is very easy and then after about maybe half an hour or 45 min., it becomes steep a little bit. The scenery is not bad although the only thing special after leaving the forest is the tall rock walls on your right which was not new to me. I had seen similar ones earlier. The trail is cut by a stream and that's where you see a sign indicating that the trail is not maintained after this point. Then you take a right and follow a visible and fairly easy trail. That part becomes a little steep and then you find snow patches. Here you're waking on a little ridge with a fall to your left. That's where you have to be a bit careful not to fall or you will broke your bones and perhaps die! We stopped there and a little explanation was provided to us as how to use our Ice Axe to go up the snow covered section. It was not bad but it was not a real challenge or we would not have been able to do it! A few minutes after that you reach the Stanley Glacier toe which is visible with cairns. These people wasted so much time there yapping nonsense(!) and when I was going to head down, they asked me wait and I waited! The hike to go back down is easy except for a few very steep spots. I guess we were back to the parking lot, which was full at the time, at about 14:10 or so. In a nutshell the hike to Stanley Glacier is not worth the trip for someone who's going from Calgary unless they mixed it with a nearby similar hike or stay in Banff or Lake Louise for a night or two. You need to drive for at least 04:00 freaking hours to do a hike of almost 04:00 hours! I have done stuff like this before but not for an average hike similar to this. I'm a big fan of mountains but I'm going to stay away from these ridiculous, childish hikes and focus on summits.
(Photo, top: Stanley Glacier from the ridge that you have to take to reach its toe. You basically go to that platform-like rock in the middle. It becomes dangerous and very technical to go further up)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

A Beautiful Accident

I went to The Chef's this past weekend to see him and also cook something together and eat. That was when I realized he's in worse shape than I had thought. Not that's I'm happy about it or I'm in a better shape but he said that he owed some $5000 on one of his credit cards and pays some $100 every months! I always thought he was doing well. He never buys extravagant cloths. Never goes to movies or trips. Has a steady job which doesn't pay him badly. Has two tenants who almost pay his mortgage but I know he drinks a lot and waste too fucking much on food! 
Our plan for the day was to get some lamb which I will have it in another post later but when we came back we cooked some Eggplant Stew which came out excellent by the way and enjoyed it. We had a little rest after eating that with some Whisky he had bought and he wanted to by something from a nearby shop. So we headed out. On 52 St. heading south I realized a congestion and thought something must have happened. When we approached I learnt that I was not wrong. There was an accident and luckily for us a beautiful one! There were police cars and fire engine and pieces of the cars and traffic light were scattered all over 52 St.! A big crowed had been gathered and it was obvious that it had not been long since the occurrence of the accident because police just started to tape the area around the scene after I parked and we got out to see what had happened. 
There were at least 5 firefighters trying to get one of the drivers out. I saw him a young man in a white shirt wearing a chain, one of these fake one that many wear these days and looks like a leash! It was very easy to figure out what had happened and I hope what I'm writing help the police although I believe our police here in Calgary, CPS, have awesome officers who possess every skill to investigate and find out the cause of accidents similar to this and put some preventive actions in to process!
The answer is very easy: The neighbourhood is the home to many refugees who come to this country from lives with no electricity, no education, no fun, no car, no nothing. The kids as soon as they grow up enough and get their driver's license, they buy a used car for $500 and since many of them or their so-called cousins have hands on car, they fix it and start driving up and down the road. What most of them do is they go to Pick N Pull and get pieces for the car and pimp it up! That's the term they use. They then buy a shirt from Value Village or Dollarama  and get a chain from I don't know where and That's all they need to ride their 1996 Honda Civic around the neighbourhood and show off! My guess is one of these millionaire refugee guys with his chain around the neck was speeding when an old car, as seen in the photo, probably an old Chevrolet or Cadillac was trying to turn and they hit it! Boom! 
It was written in a local newspaper that two of them have not improved since the accident day. We'll see whether they survive or not. Of course it was a weekend day and the road was not very busy and they decided to try their refugee Lamborghini-like 1996 Honda Civic (!!) but they forgot that the chain around their neck would not save them and had that accident. CPS please do something. I'm worried about the time that these guys might want to try that out of the Ghetto. That would not be so pleasant, I assume.
(Photo: Firefighters are trying to get one of the guys out of the crippled car. People were standing their with their cellphones in their hands, taking clips of the scene. I decided just to have a picture)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Malclom X

I and The Chef went to Red Deer Lake Meats one past weekend. That is the subject of another post but on our way, we noticed a Yard Sale and The Chef ordered me to pull over and have a look! There was an Eastern European fella who had some good items and some garbage on his lawn. The Chef's attention was immediately went to a pair of dumbbells and asked the guy how much he wanted for them. The guy stated that the pair would be his for $20. The Chef said that he only needed one! The guy laughed and said he would not sell only one! This has nothing with Malcolm X but when I checked a box full of movies I found Malcolm X on DVD. I asked the guy how much he would let this go. $1 he said! Great! I always wanted to see what has been said about Malcolm X in this movie especially because this is directed by Spike Lee.
The first question which comes to your mind, after a few minutes that the movie starts is: Why would people such as Spike Lee and Denzel Washington who have nothing to do with Islam, take part in a movie which advertises Islam and has many things against Christianity? It's obvious that Lee has always been against White people in his movies. At least that's what he showed particularly in Do The Right Thing and the other film of his Miracle at St. Anna, which was a big failure by the way. But these people are not Muslim! So this is the answer that I haven't gotten yet. In addition to that Nation of Islam which Malcolm X was a prominent member of it and then got booted out and assassinated by them is a sect of Islam like no others. I do not believe they consider themselves either Shia or Sunni. They are Black Muslims with their own believes and interpretations of Islam who contain only a small population of Muslims not only in the US but in the entire world. So this movie could not have been supported by many Muslims around the world.
The movie shows some shocking truth about Malcolm X and is apparently based on an autobiography written by late Alex Haley, the author of Roots. He, at the beginning of his life became a criminal who did everything from B&E to adultery, drug abuse, you name it and then was imprisoned for those crimes. He was then introduced to the leader of Nation of Islam at the time, Elijah Muhammad and became a Muslim. I have listened to some of his speeches and although I am no fan of Nation of Islam or Islam in general I have to say that I was surprised by his skills of him in delivering a speech. I wonder how a criminal who did drug delivery and other street crimes, became a great speech deliverer. 
But of course like many other sects of Islam when he is ejected form Nation of Islam, they didn't tolerate him and sent a few guys to kill him in front of audience and before the eyes of his wife and kids. A few people were arrested, tried and convicted of the crime but of course Elijah Muhammad got away. 
This is not a great movie. Washington delivers a good act though. It's simply just a biography for the people who want to know who Malcolm X was. I was one. Spike Lee has made a sub-par movie, I would say. There are scenes which make no sense. They are cuts which the audience would find hard to understand why they occur! Other acts rather than Washington's are OK. As the film is mostly focused on the lead role, the other's act doesn't matter much. Lee has given himself a role just as well but unlike Do The Right Thing it is not as major role as it was in that movie and his act has nothing significance and extraordinary. I would give 2.5 out of 5 to this movie and one reason would be that despite it's length, 3 h. 20 min.(!) it passes smoothly.
(Photo: I selected one of Malcolm X's quotes as the picture for this post. Just what percentage of people in the entire world do you think would stick to such advice?!)  

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Dangerous Drive Back to Alberta

I drove to Coquitlam to go to Highway # 1 and return to Alberta but due to closure of Patullo Bridge and me not knowing how to cross Fraser River and the GPS not being updated I guess I wasted some time because I went to Golden Ears Bridge first and then to Highway # 1! Despite this waste of time everything was going OK until I again reached a point when I had to make this decision as whether to continue on Highway # 1 or take Coquihalla Highway. The GPS directed me to the latter like the time I was going to Lower Mainland and this time I followed it and I don't regret that because it is a nice road that I had not been to earlier. 
The travel went well but soon it became dark and by the time I reached Golden it was dark out and I realized I might need some gasoline and all of the station were shut down but Husky. I purchased some gasoline from them and headed east. 
Yak Peak can be easily seen form Coquihalla Highway after a few minutes of drive from Hope. A perfect hiking trip could be planned for this mountain obviously approaching from the ridges and back
I was so tired that I fell sleep behind the wheel a few times and I was lucky that I woke up somehow, otherwise I would not have been here to write these lines! Even McDonald's in Golden was closed and I wasn't able to get a coffee to help me not to sleep. Earlier I checked McDonald's in Revelstoke and even they were closed! My mistake was not only that I had started late and stopped for photographs and breaks very often but also not getting any coffee from any other establishment in one of these towns! I was cursing at myself as why I started so late! I could have stayed in one of the towns on the way but one reason that I wanted to be home the next morning was the interview which had been set up for me. I wanted to be home and have my resume opened in front of me on the screen in case the ask something that I don't remember. I reached home at 03:30 and woke up at 08:00 and attended the phone interview without having an issue and needing the resume but that was the risk I didn't want to take at the time. This was not the first time I was driving back to Calgary from Lower Mainland but this time, specifically, I started very late and that, I repeat, became the problem. Next time I'm going on Highway # 1 to get to British Columbia or to go back to Alberta, I make sure either I start early or sleep on day on the way. 
(Photo: An avalanche tunnel or snow shed in Coquihalla Highway. This road is also called Highway # 5 and connects Hope to Merritt. Coquihalla in the local native language means Stingy Container!! There must be quite a story behind this naming) 

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park was the last place I visited during my recent trip to Lower Mainland. I knew there was a nice place in West Vancouver but never had the chance to go there in those years I lived there. West Vancouver is a nice neighbourhood or district itself. A city with multi-million dollar houses, nice gardens and beautiful shops. I haven't been to many places in West Vancouver but Park Royal, Ambelside Park and an East Indian restaurant which I didn't see it this time, called Handi. We dined there once with The Chef
Anyways we headed that way the day I was going to drive back to Alberta. I took Marine Drive and headed west but eventually after driving through narrow roads we ended up in Horseshoe Bay! We then turned back and this time I used the GPS and it appeared that we had missed the street which would go to the park. Lighthouse Park is a fairly big park and has several trails but due to lack of time we only took one and went to the end which although was steep, it was short. 
A few scenes from there reminded me of our Newfoundland trip but unlike over there it was a cloudy and gloomy day. We didn't spend much time there and didn't even go to the lighthouse itself. We decided to leave since I had to drive all the way back to Calgary
(Photo: Here I'm looking northwest from a viewpoint in Lighthouse Park. This is the end of the trail that is at your right side when you park in the main lot)

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Hiking in Alice Lake Provincial Park

The Lady was in a very active mode that day and suggested to go for a few hikes. I had been to Alice Lake Provincial Park before but never hiked or did any activity in there. I only had ridden my bicycle from Squamish to there which is not a big deal. We arrived in the park which is located on Highway # 99 just a few minutes after you leave Squamish. Fortunately it was not a crowded day considering it was a weekday. We went to the other side of Alice Lake, the other beach and decided to follow the trails and go to the next lake or maybe lakes. There are a few other lakes in this park but the park is named after the major one. The trail is very easy and not steep but it is beautiful, going through forest of big long trees. I'm not sure what types of tree they are though. 
We followed the trail and after a short walk in the woods reached the first lake and decided to go to the next one, Not knowing exactly how far it was. We should have had a map of the area. I could have taken a photo of map on the sign or printed one from the Internet but since it had not been planned to go to this park, we didn't have it. 
We followed the trail and there was not anyone around. We were going and it was getting darker because the trees were covering the trail and basically we were walking in a dense forest. 
I had not seen this beautiful flowers until I was in Alice Lake Provincial Park. There were a few of them there in white and blue/purple colour. 
The Lady was concerned that we might not be able to make it back to the vehicle before it gets dark and it gets dangerous. I knew both Bears and Cougars frequent the area. We were discussing this when we saw a group of 4 cyclists riding towards us. I immediately learnt from their speaking that the riders, all girls, were French and I hoped they spoke English. I asked them whether we were on the right trail to the lake and one of them said it was only a short walk. We kept going probably for another kilometer or so but there was no sign of the lake. We noticed though that there were people in the distance and as well the trail, or the road, makes a U-Turn and goes down! The Lady suggested to go back because she was, as I said worried about the daylight and she was right. We would have made to the lake but we had to come up the road and continue all the way back to Alice Lake and it took at least 1.5 to 2 hours. 
We turned back and walked towards the parking lot. On the way back we saw the silly fucking French girl who had told us it was only a few minutes of walk! She probably had thought that we would walk as fast as she riding her bicycle! We reached the parking lot just on time, grabbed our vehicle and drove back down Highway # 99.
(Photo: A beautiful stream in Alice Lake Provincial Park near Squamish)

Monday, June 06, 2016

A Good Phone Interview

I had a telephone interview with two fellas down in the US just the morning after I returned to Alberta. I arrived home at 03:30 and then woke up at about 08:00 to get ready for the interview which was a second step to another phone interview I had with a lady in regards to a position in Alberta. The person introduced himself as someone who had been with the company for 16 years. The other one had a similar introduction but don't remember much about him. 
They asked good questions and I think I answered them mostly with good responses. They didn't ask anything about the technical features of the product they make such as how much do I know about that. They also never mentioned anything about the software that the HR lady had asked about in her initial e-mails. I have very limited knowledge about both but I had made myself somehow to give a satisfactory answer. 
The interview took around 50 min. and at the end they had someone on the line whom was waiting for his or her turn. I could her them talking and I even could stay on the line, not sure whether they would have noticed or not because it was a telephone conference but I hung up! So what are my chances here? I don't know but it will make a very good career. It's salary is OK. It's a well-known company and it's out of Calgary. Everything sounds pleasing but I have to wait. They said they would decide by the end of this week. 

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Hike to Garibaldi Lake (and The Black Tusk)

I decided to have a hike in B. C. after the disappointing damn stupid examination that I wrote for the Federal Government job and they turned me down. So I set the clock for 06:30 while I was in Surrey with the aim to go to Squamish! I know it sounds lame but I was too tired to set it for an earlier time. So I woke up and by the time I checked out of the hotel and got out it was almost 07:05.
I headed east and drove towards Port Mann Bridge due to the closure of Patullo Bridge. As soon as I found myself on the bridge I saw an accident which at least 5 cars were involved in it! One of them were laying on its side and I'm not sure whether it was that or another one that its horn was honking. I continued because fortunately they had not blocked all of the lanes. It was obviously a fresh accident because I saw people running here and there.  I continued toward west and got on Highway # 99. By the time I reached Squamish Adventure Center it was 08:55! I wanted to double check my information with them about The Black Tusk. There was a guy there who said that I should not consider a hike in the area due to the amount of snow on the ground. I told him that I have equipment such as spikes and gaiter but to him there were not enough. I eventually decided to see how far up I would be able to go. So I got back on Highway # 99 and drove to the parking lot designated for Garibaldi Lake and The Black Tusk. It was almost 09:50 when I started a hike and there were a few other small groups who also started at the same time within a few minutes of difference. 
The trail is well-maintained and marked. There are even milestones every 1 Km or sometimes every 2 Km but the trail is mostly uphill. I caught up with a few small groups but I don't remember how long it took me to get to the lake, maybe around 2 hours. The lake was partially frozen and seeing many lakes in Canada that didn't impress me much. 
I decided to go higher to see how close I would get to The Black Tusk. So I headed up the trail after taking a few photos. 
The Black Tusk from the meadows after almost half an hour hike up Garibaldi Lake. This is almost where I stopped my hike
The trail after the lake was quite similar to the rest of the trail until I reached a meadows which was covered in snow. The snow was deep and in process of melting. I saw footsteps and followed them but I was not sure whether they were from days before or the same day. The snow was becoming softer and I was slipping and going through the melted snow. My hiking boot were socked because they are pieces of shit but I put the spikes on and they were very helpful. I guess I went up until it was around 13:30 or so. I basically was on the trail for 3 hours considering the breaks I had for photography or water. I got water from the stream around the trail. I then decided to go back down because I knew would get stuck in the snow further up and having socked socks and boots would not be very pleasant.
The hike back down to the parking lot was very easy. I encountered a few groups. Many people go to Garibaldi Park area for camping but I hate to sleep in tents and where people drink alcohol, smoke weed and laugh loudly until 02:00! My original guess was that I would reach back to the car by 16:00 but I guess it was even passed 16:30 when I reached there. I didn't even change my boots. I drove back to North Vancouver to check in the motel I had gotten the night before, Grouse Inn. I had read earlier that The Black Tusk should be done in July or after because of the amount of snow the area get but since I was there I wanted to get a little active and try the first hike in the area. I also knew that only the hard part, if there was no snow, would be the chimney or the summit block. I guess I would give it a try next time I'm in British Columbia
(Photo: Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park near Squamish. I had been to this park in 2007 or 2008. I rode my bicycle from Squamish to the south side of the park but bicycles are not allowed on this trail)

Saturday, June 04, 2016

An Opportunity with the Federal Government

I applied for a position with the Federal Government I received a massage from that department just a few days before a Sun., asking me to to write an examination in British Columbia! There was not much time left so what I did was I did a little search to find a hotel but I was not aware, at the beginning, that it was a US long weekend! Most of the hotels I looked at in major hotel website had a Sold Out note! I eventually found one and in order to prevent a screw-up by Internet, I called and booked for two nights. We went to Edmonton last night and while we had a reservation, when we arrived at the hotel we were told that there was no reservation under my name. I went to their computer and printed the confirmation they had sent me and they gave us a room. So this time I called to be sure that the same problem doesn't happen not knowing that they would screw it anyways. So I went to the building that they had sent its address to me in the morning and I arrived some 15 minutes earlier! The building's main entrance was locked but there were two security guards inside. I waved at them and one of them came out. I explained to him that I was there for an examination and he knew nothing about it! He even didn't let me in but after a 10 minutes or so conversation two guys appeared on the floor and they introduced themselves as examiners for that positions. They were very courteous and friendly and explained everything in detail and with patient. Two other guys, examinees, joined us and we started the test. It was a very easy and childish examination, mostly except the first part which has something regarding the things they would train us on, if we were hired. I did well on most parts but that specific one and I guess it took about an hour and a half and then they gave us a break for 15 min. 
The next half of examination was showing proficiency with Microsoft Office. We had two half an hours to answer two questions using two different MS Office softwares. This part was a piece of cake. So when I finally left the building I was sure that I would proceed to the next stage which would have been interview and they told me since I was from out of town, they would set up the interview for the next day. So with that in my mind and lots of confidence I went for a lunch in Downtown Vancouver and we sat in a Boston Pizza in Broadway! My joy didn't take long. We were waiting for our lunch to arrive that I received a telephone call. It was the examiner and he told me that although I had passed most of the section,because I didn't get a minimum in the first section, I would not be considered a candidate and he wished me luck with the other applications! It was unbelievable but there was no room for argument. 
Another factor was that they explained before the examination that it was a temporary position to cover for someone who had recently left for maternity leave! Unbelievable! The bastards had not indicated that in the job posting! Had I known that it was a shity temporary position, I would have not most likely even considered that. Anyways it was too late to complain. Beside what can you do to the Government. The majority of these guys have well-paid jobs with all the benefits, nice and comfortable office and good pension. They have easy jobs which becomes easier every year because there's barely any change to them. They all retire the same job and spend the rest of their life travelling and spending the money the have accumulated. 

Friday, June 03, 2016

A Long Drive to Lower Mainland

I was given this opportunity to write a test in Lower Mainland for a position that I had applied last week. I will write about the job separately but I decided to drive all the way there because there were stuff that I had to take with me. I woke up early and drove to Highway # 1 but before leaving the city, I stopped at the last McDonald's to get a cup of coffee. It was a little bit cold and foggy as well. I got the coffee and filled up the tank and then hit the road. Shortly after the start of the drive almost near Morely, which is a small Native community and part of Stony Reserve, there's a downhill and from there you could see that the whole valley was covered in fog. The first few hours of the drive was similar to the last trips I had earlier last month. Then I got to Sicomous and instead of taking Highway # 97 and heading south, I continued to east, parallel to Shuswap Lake until I reached Salmon Arms. Then a little north and again east to Kamloops where we had been earlier a few years ago.
Kamloops Lake and Highway No. 1 in the rainy day of my drive
That was where the damn GPS got confused. I tried to update before the trip it but it failed and there upon leaving Kamloops it directed me to Highway # 5, heading south to Merit while I wanted to continue to Highway # 1. I eventually listened to the damn machine but after a few kilometers, maybe 3 or so, I regretted that and turned back, got myself on Number 1 again! Then the rain started and by the time I reached the end of Kamloops Lake, it was heavily pouring down. From there I drove to Cache Creek and then Spenses Bridge. When I saw Hope I realized that I could still be hopeful to make it to Surrey before it's too late and dark. The rain was heavy and the road was busy being weekend and all but the traffic was continuously moving. Having an eye on the road and another one on the GPS, I noticed Toll Bridge on a number of big giant signs on the highway! That was when I realized that the bastards had turned all of the bridges in Lower Mainland area to toll bridge. I reached my destination without much difficulty though because I had a reservation in Days Inn in Surrey. I didn't have to cross Fraser River at the time. 
I then contacted The Lady as she was supposed to meet with me there. She got on the Skytrain somewhere in Vancouver but because it had been a long time since she had ridden the damn train, she got on the wrong one and headed to Coquitlam instead of Surrey! I had to wait a little longer in a nearby station for her to arrive. From there I we had to go back to Vancouver and that was when I realized Patullo Bridge, the old bridge which connects Surrey to Coquitlam was closed! We instead had to cross over Port Mann Bridge which is a Toll Bridge now but the hotel receptionist told us that a non-provincial plate wouldn't be charged! We'll see about that. So that basically was it. The hotel was not bad but my room was just in front of the Skytrain elevated railroad! The good thing was the train only operates until 01:00 AM or so and I was able to sleep after that. 
(Photo, top: Just a minute or so after I left the city, I entered a foggy road with limited visibility. This later was gone)