Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cirque Peak, Not a Bad Hike

I and The Hope had this discussion as what hike we should do this weekend and although he's a little bit, maybe more than a bit(!), crazy, I wanted to go with him. This time he said he was about to rent out his house, sell his car and go back to the old country(!) and for that reason he could not bring his car! Fair enough. I drive mine this time, I said. After all he has driven his BMW X1 every time we went for a hike and I think he felt a little abused, maybe! Then we got into my vehicle and hit Highway # 1 to get ourselves to Icefield Parkway and do Cirque Peak hike and he goes: I forgot my wallet! I knew right away that it was a plan. He probably thought he had spent too much every time we went out and now wanted me to compensate! 
Anyways we left his place in NW part of the city at about 07:35 and by the time I pulled into the parking lot for the hike, it was almost 10:00. We geared up quickly and the place was almost full. Icefield Parkway is a beautiful road and attracts lots of tourists, especially if it's a long weekend. We crossed the road and there was a large group which we later found out was ... . A group which mainly consist of Oriental, old fart Caucasians and refugees from Africa. They, as the fucking name suggests, are slow and create a mess in the area they arrive by making noise, load laughing by ridiculous accents which you barely understand them, littering and other stupid stuff which is expected from this type of people. However I'm not too concerned about them. We put them behind and started our hike at almost 10:10. The trail has a fairly easy start and then becomes a little steep. That's were you finally reach meadows and you can see Dolomite Peaks, an amazing mountain seen on your right when you're going to west on the trail. The trails was not very busy but there were a few people ahead of us and surprisingly a small group of Chinese! The Hope was a little behind and I waited for him when I reached this pothole called Helen Lake! Majority of the people end their hike at this place and sit for a lunch. The Hope, looking at his GPS system on his telephone told me that it was not the lake but I told him I had seen holes smaller than that in Canada being called lake! 
We then continued and got ourselves to the ridge.
This was taken form the true summit of Cirque Peak, looking almost at north. All that could be seen was a sea of mountains. It stretches to Highway # 11 or David Thomson Highway which we enjoyed being there a few weeks before this trip. 
When you get to the ridge you realize that this is probably the only hard part of the hike. The ridge is pretty steep but easy to walk on until the last, perhaps, 100 meters to the summit. I looked back and realized The Hope was way behind but I didn't want to stop, not even for photography. It would be much better opportunities on the top, I told myself. I finally reached the first summit and checked my watch: 03:02 hours. Not bad, I assume. The true summit which is only a few feet higher than the false summit is only a few minutes away. I then went there and took a few photos. Then I returned to the false summit and waited for The Hope. He arrived 15 minutes after my arrival. We didn't spent too much time there and headed down after only a few photos. He didn't even go to the true summit which is not a big deal but I always want to reach the very top, if I spend 3 hours on a trail. We headed down and he was behind again and after only 10 minutes the storm started. It was first light rain and then turned to thunder, heavy rain and finally hail! I waited for The Hope at the main stream and when he reached me, we continued together. Sun came out but it didn't last long and hail and rain started again! This time we were socked! Water reached my underwear and I couldn't do anything. This happened once again and by the time we reached the car, dogs and cats were coming down! We didn't even got the chance to change and slid in the car! 
I stopped at a cafe in Lake Louise based on his request, for a cup of tea. I wondered why he insisted so much by saying: Let's go to Tim Horton's in Lake Louise! I knew there was no Tim Horton's there but quickly grasped that he wanted me to pay for a tea, so he can drink it with a sandwich he had made the night before. We got to this place called Laggan's Mountain Bakery, located at the main plaza when you turn to Lake Louise main road. It was not packed but not bad for a long weekend. They have pastry, cookies, coffee, tea, sandwiches and stuff like that. I got two large cups of tea for $5 something and he had it with sandwich. I got myself nothing but the tea but the tea, a green one, was good. We were not comfortable because our cloths were wet and the doors of the place at both ends were wide open and breath were blowing to us. In addition to that sitting in a cafe with all mouth-watering but not-so-healthy food, after a 6.5 hour hike is not very appealing! 
If I,m asked to rate Cirque Peak hike, I would say it's a nice hike, worth trying. It's a bit far away from Calgary and for me it would have been a waste of time, had I stopped at the pothole, called Helen Lake and not hiked to the summit. The view are amazing, probably one of the best I have ever seen in Alberta. In addition to that I found Dolomite Peaks trail-head and I'm hoping one day I can do that as well.
(Photo: Cirque Peak seen before getting to the ridge. I guess it's probably 1 hour and a few minutes from here)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Foxcatcher, Difficult to Watch

It was mid-2014 when I first noticed that Foxcatcher would be released soon and wanted to see it immediately. I didn't know anything about what had happened to David Schultz, a member of USA Wrestling team unless being murdered back in early 1996. I resided in the old country at the time and was a wrestling enthusiast. Competing in 74 Kg class in the university, I once was among the 1st two people but never got the chance to compete nationally. Even if I had, I would not have gotten anywhere because the stupid system allowed national and Olympic champions to enter a university without passing entrance exam or checking their high school grades and we had to compete against them! Imagine you're an engineering student who has to work hard to pass the damn examination and you get a chance to work-out 3 times, sometimes only 2 times a week and then at the national university student championship you would have to compete against a recent Olympic medalist!!! Stupid as fuck like many other things in the old country!
Anyways I remember David Schultz competed against famous Iranian wrestlers at time but I don't remember much about the results because it was almost 20 years ago. I really enjoyed wrestling in those days but that affected my studies and my graduation very much. I was so excited when I first joined the practices that I thought I could be going all the way to become a member of the national team! I was young, ambitious and naive those years and despite the fact that I was good, I didn't know that no one would be a national team member in a country where there are thousands of wrestlers, by only practicing 3 times a week for an hour and a half!
I have good memories from those years but there's no position for them here. I'll go back to Foxcatcher.
I have to say first that it's a sad story. I felt bad for all of the 3 main characters of the movie and what they had to go through in their lives. Mark is David's younger brother. Their parent's separated when Mark was only 2 and he was raised by his brother, mainly. They moved around a lot, as he indicates in the movie for obvious reasons and after 1984 Los Angles Summer Olympics, Mark receives a telephone call one day from a representative of John E. Du Pont, inviting him to meet with the heir of wealthy Du Pont family, in his property, Foxcatcher Farms in Pennsylvania. Mark goes there and upon his arrival receives an offer from Du Pont to move to the little dwelling on the property and train for the upcoming World Wrestling Championship. Mark, who was struggling at the time, accepts the offer and moves to the farm. It is there that John Du Pont develops a relationship with him, according to the movie, although it is said that the two men's relationship had never been as deep as what's shown in the film. For that to be found out, I would have to read Mark Schultz book or talk to him directly! I had a rough idea of John Du Pont before watching the movie but when I finally had the chance to see the film, I realized how brilliant Steve Carrel's act was! He depicted the poor man very truly and genuinely.
Foxcatcher cast from left Tatum as Mark Schultz, the director, actress who played John Du Pont's mother, Steve Carrel as Jon Du Pont and finally Ruffallo as David Schultz. They are seen in Toronto International Film Festival and with all due respect how disgusting it is to appear in a international; film festival and in front of cameras in flip flops?!
Apparently John Du Pont was a lonely man for all of his life. When a child, he said that in the movie, that his mother paid their driver's son to be his only friend and then I read in his short biography that he barely had any relationship in his life but for a short time which ended only after 6 months. So did loneliness drove him to mental instability or did he become lonely because he was mentally unstable?! Regardless of the fact that what caused John Du Pont's insanity, you feel really bad for the guy. In the movie it's shown that he funds a wrestling championship for seniors and in there he wins a match only when his opponent who has been paid by his aid, give up and loses intentionally. This shows how much the man was looking for attention, to become the best, to become the first. He then calls himself a coach and gathers a bunch of guys around Mark and they together make Team Foxcatcher. This is despite his mother's dislike. His mother, who lives with him in the mansion, expresses her deep concern about John and tells him that she does not like wrestling because it is a low sport and she does not like to see John being low! It is of course a low sport for a millionaire family who has probably more than 30 horses which each worth thousands of dollars but I have to find out what average American think of this sport. In Iran which is one of leaders in sport of wrestling, it is definitely considered a low sport. This sport is mostly popular within poor families because it does not require special gear. In addition to that it's not a very technical sport and there's no progress in it. Consider Skiing, Archery, Swimming and even Running. There has been so much improvement in technique, gear, attire, you name it. Wrestling has the same techniques that people used in 1950's! They have been trying to make it more exciting to attract more people and more audience by, for example changing the length of each round or change the number of rounds per match, but they haven't been very successful. That's why they wanted to remove wrestling from summer Olympics but seems they haven't succeeded yet because I saw that it is still in the list of sports of Rio 2016.
John Du Pont in Foxcatcher exercise suit
It then appears that John had been after David Schultz and in fact used Mark to get his brother to the farm. A series of silly things happens then in the movie that I later read that in actual life they had not happened to Mark, such as the scenes that he does Cocaine with John and the times that John tries to separate him from his brother by saying things such as " It is the time to come out of David's shadow! " And in the movie Mark seems convinced!
John later uses an excuse to humiliate Mark in front of the other wrestlers and bring David in. David comes in and starts coaching the wrestlers. At the same time he realizes that this guy is crazy as he tries to impose himself to them as their coach and mentor! A few disturbing scenes are shown which indicates John does not like, at times, the things David does. In the meantime Mark realizes that there is no place for him on the farm. He consults David and David in turn requests a meeting between him and his brother at one side and John and his manager at the other side. David indicates in the meeting that if John wants him there, he also have to pay for Mark who would be leaving the premises soon. John agrees and Mark leaves the next day.
John now feels lonely. Mark's gone. His Mom has passed away and David and the rest of Foxcatcher wrestlers in general do not seem to be any type of healing. When I was reading about the whole story somewhere else, I also found out that a few foreign wrestlers were also being supported by John Du Pont, including at least a Turkish wrestler and a very famous Bulgarian Valentin Yordanov who, himself could be the subject of another post, but they're not mentioned in the movie although the second individual inherited a huge part of John Du Pont wealth after he died! In the movie it seems that Mark's exit has a big toll on John. It's shown that he's setting all by himself, watching a movie that had been made about him. Mark's shown talking about him and calling him his replacement for his Dad and then Mark's shown giving him a hug right after winning a match and stuff like that. The movie ends and he asks one of his guys to warm his vehicle up. Apparently he's upset that Mark's gone. He, alongside with the same guy, drives up to David's residence on the property. David's fixing something in his car and when he sees John's car, stops the work and walks up to the car. John rolls down the window and after asking " whether he has a problem with him " shoots him in the chest. He then shoots him two more times and leaves.
He later is arrested by the same police officers that he supported for years. Apparently there are differences between the movie and the book. The book is written by Mark. I liked the movie although its disturbing and I will buy it. I borrowed the book and started reading it. I will have another post about the book and the comparison. I also intend to contact Mark to see if I can ask him a few question and even meet with him. I will then have another post for that.
(Photo, top: David, on left and Mark Schultz compare their medals. This photo is probably from 1984 Los Angles but I'm not sure)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Summer, After All!

I went for jugging today shortly before noon. It was warm but not intolerably hot. People were out in hundreds but it was not disturbing crowded, at least not were I was jogging! After more than 10 days of rain, cloud, hail and storm, it became summer a few days ago. It even went up to 28 Degrees C one day but didn't bother me much. I had set my alarm for 05:00 and wanted to go for hiking to Kananaskis but I couldn't. I was too tired due to lack of enough sleep. It's been 3 weeks now, I guess. In addition to tiredness and laziness, this fucking job searching is making me very uncomfortable. I haven't gotten anything and it doesn't look like it will improve soon. I'm not going to the field of job searching. I have started going to our local gym as well. One of the bars was missing almost 2 months ago and I was not able to do biceps. I noticed just the other day that it had been put back. I did 4 sets and also other exercises. My hope is to get in better physical shape in case any law enforcement job opportunity comes up. 
(Photo: I took this picture using my telephone camera and that's why it doesn't have a high quality. People are enjoying themselves in a floater on Bow River. Further up, near the bridge, a few are practicing surfing, something that I have written about earlier)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Outcry over Air Miles

There are a number of reward programs in the country. From the Optimum Card of Shoppers Dug Mart to McDonald's beverage sticker. The one that people like a lot is Air Miles. I've been a collector for a long time now but didn't collect many points for a long time. There was a time that lived in Squamish and there is no Safeway or other major retailer, to offer Air Miles points, except for Rona that I never shopped there for myself. So in that period I earned basically nothing. Then I moved to the Lower Mainland and lived from Coquitlam, Surrey, White Rock and then Surrey again and barely went to Safeway. When I returned to Alberta although we mostly went to Superstore for our grocery shopping, we occasionally went to Safeway and in addition to that I purchased gasoline mostly from Shell. I accumulated a total of 3960 points, I guess.
There was this in the news a few weeks ago that whatever Air Miles you have collected in the past year, if not used by the end of 2016, will be cancelled. I always wanted to use them for plane tickets like most of the the people but then this shitty situation came up and I'm kind of stuck here now! So what I did was I went to their online items list and ordered a few items. To be specific I ordered a Sleeping Bag and a pair of Celestron Binoculars. The confirmation number indicated that I would receive them in about a month. I received them both this week, within a day! 
I guess it was a good deal for me who enjoys outdoor. There are other items available that you need to purchase them by using a combination of Air Miles and cash but I didn't want to. So this thing that people say that they're having a hard time using their points, might be true for the people who don't have any use for Binoculars and Sleeping Bags but there are many other things that you can order and enjoy. Just have to spend a little time. 
(Photo: The Celestron binoculars that I ordered and received today. I've got to try it one weekend to see how it is)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Another Kick in the Butt by the Gogernment

I had an interview for a Government position a few days ago. This was coincided with the time that maintenance guys were in the unit! I had to leave and sit in the car to answer the questions! I came to this conclusion that Government jobs are toughest to get. In addition to their lengthy process and numerous stages that you have to pass, normally dealing with the people who perform the interviews or coordinate the examinations in tough! Some of them are real bastards and if they realize, which is very easy to happens, that you're from the part of the world that they don't like, they make sure that you don't get the job at all and create every possible obstacle for you. 
This sun of the bitch who interviewed me for a short 15 min., I guess, could even talk properly, motherfucker! He sounded like one of these Eastern European assholes that poured to this country after the Balkan War and others who allegedly ran away from Communism. At times he was not even able to make a sentence that makes sense! He questioned my work experience! He suspected that I worked for two companies at the same time, or at least this is what he said he saw in my resume! I'm sure I never make a mistake like that and I had never been asked a question like that but maybe I misrepresented myself this time but the way he was talking and his tone was disgusting. 
Anyway I received an e-mail from them last Fri. indicating that I was out. I still keep looking and applying every day.
(Photo: I use this cartoon and Government's logo. I hope none of the owners of them is not upset. This was the second Government job that I was turned down from in the past 2 month)

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Whole Wet Week

It's has been raining off and on since last Sat. What a pleasure for Stampede goers! I think neither the tourists nor the business owners in Stampede and Calgary in general are very happy! They say rain is OK but the majority of the activities take place outside and when dogs and cats are coming down, you can't even walk, not to mention that none of the rides would be enjoyable, nor the food would be available. I don't care about this. I went to Stampede with The Lady last year and we had a good time. I would probably not go for the next 5 years or so if I'm still here! The wet weather also has taken away any chance to hike or scramble within 200 Km from Calgary! Would not be fun if went in a foggy and rainy day. I've done it before and didn't like it much.
These tiny flowers are so nice that I couldn't help taking a photographing them although I only had taken my small camera with me. 
I decided to have a walk in the afternoon because I was fucking bored. Although I went for jogging in the morning I didn't want to stay home any more, at least for part of the afternoon. When you have no work all you do it sit at the desk and do job searching, sending e-mails and receiving them, watching clips and wasting time in general. I went to South Glenmore Park to walk by the reservoir and it was not bad. The rain had stopped when I was there but I was too tired. Sat at one of the donated benches and relaxed for a few minutes and went back home.
There was warning about storm, tornado, rain and hail for almost everywhere in Calgary! So I guess tomorrow will be fucked up as well! There was also news of Stampede making its admission only $5, if you go in the afternoon between certain hours but who the hell's going there?! It's lost its magic for me! Maybe tomorrow I do only job searching and then wandering around a little bit! There's not much to do when you're unemployed and the weather is not cooperating!
On the way back to the vehicle when I was taking photo of the tiny pink flower, in fact when I rose up, I noticed an animal running! I also realized that the Crows were making too much noise and screaming! I looked and it was a Coyote, I guess. I took a shot as quick as possible but it obviously didn't turn out very well! It could have been a Fox too. I'm just not sure but it was more likely Coyotes because they frequent the City and I had seen them before a few times. In addition to that the animal didn't have the long and fluffy tail. I'm not going to post the photo here because it's too small and not very appealing to a keen eye.
(Photos: Heavy clouds over Glenmore Reservoir. It was said today that Bow River's level had come up in a way that the City officials may consider opening the reservoir's hatches to let some of the water go, probably preventing something similar but maybe not as bad as flood of 2013)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Good First Aid Course

I decided to renew my First Aid certificate a few weeks ago and checked Canadian Red Cross website. I was then referred to Titan Health & Safety, an educational small group which operates in a small community center and I registered for the course. I didn't check any other organization. So I can't say whether their price is reasonable or not but apart from a few small flaws, which you can find in any instructor, their course was pretty good.
We were as many as maybe 25 to 30 people from different age groups and backgrounds and there were two instructors: A British woman and a Canadian guy. Making silly jokes, which are not funny mostly, maybe not to me(!), is part of education here in Canada and I guess they do that to make the course and teaching less boring but the problem is if you don't chose your wording wisely, it's sometimes ridiculous instead of funny! 
I hardly remember the first time that I took this course that was in Brit'SHIT' Columbia but I don't think the instructors as good as this fella. Perhaps it's now so many years because it was 2008-09 when I did the courses first and barely remember anything. 
Nevertheless if you want to learn something about First Aid, Titan is the place. You participate, you ask question and you practically do things. The course seems easy. The fact is would you be able to do what you learn and practice, in real life and death situation? I doubt that many can. There was an old woman who was not even able to kneel! So how could she help someone who is injured and dying!? She needs help herself! The fact of matter is these guys don't care! They wanted her money and then handed her a card at the end but shouldn't be a minimum physical capability for someone who provides First Aid? Perhaps not. Not in a society that everything ends in money! Greed is what runs the wheels of this society. The rest is just a show, a play, a motto and similar! 

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Rare Environmental Phonemena

Canada is the country of different environmental phenomena which I had not seen them before my immigration: Blizzard, freezing rain, summer hail storm and maybe more. This one that I'm telling is not among them but interesting. The Lady told me that she had seen snow on her way to work around 19th St. NW in summer, a few years ago. I didn't believe her! Not that I thought she was laying. I thought she had mistaken something else with snow until I finally saw that last year! She was right! Snow on the grounds in July and there hasn't been any snowfall! 
This year I got the chance to shot it. I was in that vicinity and I will tell what for on the weekend of July the 2nd and 3rd and I saw it and realized why it happens: The snow is on the ground and there's a pile covered by a tall tree's shadow. During the day the sun rarely shines on it and doesn't melt it. At night it goes down to 13 or even single digit and melting stops. It might be gone by now because it has been two weeks and there were a few times of rain and hail but it survived all the hot days up to first week of July! 
(Photo: This pile of snow is seen on 19th St. SW where West Hillhurst Community Center is located and as I said it was taken on the 2nd day of July)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

McDonald's Goat Burger

I went to see The Chef this past weekend mainly because I was almost out of money and in the past 2 trips we had together I had paid for everything and he just enjoyed! He also wanted me to print the photos of the trip for him but I didn't because I certainly don't want to pay and not get paid later! I always call him and he rarely does. So when I called on Fri. he said he would be busy because he has a tenant to come and settle down. He added that he would call me later. I was doing LPI practice on Sat. and heard the telephone ringing. That was him asking me to join. So I saddled up and rode my bike to him. It's very boring and tiring to go all the way to his place because it's almost 22 km! So this time I rode to Whitehorn Station, which used to be the last LRT station in Calgary when I first came to Calgary, took the train to Westwind Station and then rode again to his place. 
We had a little chat and then we went to a nearby London Drugs and in there he ordered his photos. Then on the way back to his place he said: Let's go to McDonald's and have a Hamburger and Coffee. OK, I said. So we went in and I ordered 2 12s and two coffees. When we finished our meal I grabbed one of the boxes and showed it to him: Do you know what it was we just ate? I then pointed at the French part of the box (pictured) and said that it was Goat. Of course he's dumb enough not to know that Gout is the disease and Goat is the animal! He looked at the box, took his eyeglasses out and read it: It's Goat! I said: Chef! They fed us Goat, man! Goat! He had a hard time believing that but being so dumb, he still was in doubt! He said: That might be even Pork! He's so concerned about eating Pork! He drinks Wine, Beer and hard liqueur like someone drinking water, Soda or Coffee every day but when it comes to Pork, he becomes conservative! I said we are going to do something: What if we ask from the guy at the counter? He said: Yes. Go ask him. So there was this young Caucasian fella maybe 17 or 18 with a Cowboy hat (at it's Stampede time) and I showed the box to him. I asked: My friend here is concerned whether we were eating Chicken or Goat. Do you see what's written here? This poor idiot is not much smarter than The Chef! Instead of saying that Gout is the illness and Goat is the animal and this cannot be Goat meal he looks at the box and tries to read French and then he says that he doesn't know French
That was one I decided not to bother him any more and told The Chef that the young fella believes that we had Chicken but kept giving him suspicious all the way to the house and in! 
(Photo: McDonald's recently offers a Chicken Burger called 12. It's $5.99 for just the sandwich and tastes OK. Who knows what shit they use to make it tasty! This is its box made out of 100% recycled paper)

Friday, July 08, 2016

Alan Kane in MEC

I was in the MEC the other day, just killing time and looking around as didn't have anything else to do(!) and while in books section a little note caught my eye about presence of Alan Kane, a well-known scrambler and hiker in western Canada in MEC on Fri. His book Scrambling in Canadian Rockies was also available there for $34 and even me who never pays for stuff like this and relies on available information in the web, wants to buy it. In fact if I was not unemployed, I wouldn't mind paying that much for a book which guides me through trails to reach summits. It is very goof particularly for me who like to hike solo. 
I won a little money this week as a result of my contributions to a volunteer work I do. I thought the best thing I can do with that money is buy a few books or similar valuable things that every time I use them, it reminds me of my volunteer work. Alan Kane's book could be one of them. 
Anyways today I went to MEC to see him. I was expecting to have a crowed sitting and Kane at a tribune talking for them and answering questions but it was not that! 
He was sitting at a small table with a rack of his books at his side and as many as 7 people, maybe, had lined up to get their books signed and have a little chat with him. I am not a fan of signed books. This is part of Western culture and as much as I value a book and its author, I don't see much in having a signature on the first page. I like to have a photo of him sitting at the desk talking to people but I was not sure whether he would be OK with that or not. So I cancelled the whole meeting(!) and went to GPS section! Over there I had a chat with one of the guys over a Garmin handheld GPS for $119. It would have been a good purchase for me, If I had been employed but I'm not. Perhaps I buy it later although I always like the challenge of route finding in mountains. 
(Photo: This little Garmin GPS in center is the cheapest they have in MEC and is quite useful. That would help me to prevent from getting lost in forest and mountain)

Thursday, July 07, 2016

The Winner and a New Interview

For someone who has been out of work for 9 months now, even a little good news lifts his spirit. It was exactly 9 months ago that the bastards called me to the office and gave me the kick in the butt!
Nevertheless I received an e-mail from the manager of the volunteer job I do yesterday indicating that I had won the monthly prize for my contributions to the organization as a volunteer. There is a little money involved here but the fact is the spiritual lift of that is very important. Just a few minutes before reading the e-mail, I had a chat with a lady from the same organization for another volunteer work which is more time-consuming and more serious. If I get that, that would be awesome and I have something even bigger in my resume.
Then I had a short telephone interview for a Federal Government job this afternoon. This one is a hell of a job, if I can get it. The start was very disappointing. The minute he started talking I realized that he was not Caucasian. He sounded more like an East European guy: Aggressive, rude, bossy and careless! What could I do? He asked me to explain what I had done so far in my career and I told him about the last job I had, hoping to impress him. He interrupted me a few time during the phone conversation which is very odd. Caucasians, particularly the ones who work for governments, sit and listen to you carefully. They never jump in. Then he questioned me about other undertakings. I explained a little bit about the time I spent in British Columbia working in construction industry. That was when he questioned my work timing! he asked how I was able to work for two companies at the same time! I was not sure whether I have made a mistake in the resume or he was tricking me but I couldn't figure out because I had to leave the apartment and sit in the car to talk to him! There were workers in the unit, fixing things!
Then he asked one of the most awkward questions that I had never heard in any government position interview: What is your salary expectations? All the government jobs have a specific and pre-determined salaries. At times they give you a range or some call it a window. You never get outside that range. For this position the range was very wide, I remember. I didn't care. I'm not in a position to negotiate a salary, particularly after 9 months of unemployment! So I told him that since the job was exciting, interesting and challenging, I would have been fine with whatever is given to me. That was his last question. The total conversation took less than 15 minutes. I was expecting it to take at least 30 minutes and that probably is not a good sign. He said I would receive a message from their HR if I was selected to go the next stage. I don't think I have a good chance. He also asked me, and I forgot to mention it, that what I had done in terms of Industrial Engineering. I explained to him that graduates of this program work in different fields. He didn't sound to buy that but said nothing.
In a nutshell it was a very disappointing and extraordinary interview. I had never felt that way. I don't know whether they call me or not but I told the bastard that I worked with small manufacturing businesses and saw how they struggle. I told him I would be able to help. He was looking at me the entire time like someone who is being interrogated because of a wrongdoing! He was waiting for an opportunity to catch me saying something wrong! Very unprofessional! 

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Five Years Driving Abstract

There were days that I was writing because I didn't have much else to do. Or was not in the mode of doing anything else, perhaps! I  of course had things to do but instead of doing them, building a structure for my life, I didn't do them and wrote in this weblog! Then there was a time that I could make my life a bit easier but constructing a solid structure, late 2012, early 2013 and even 2014 but disagreement between me and The Lady prevented that. It's the history now but at times I'm writing here because I'm too tired and don't want to do anything else. Writing helps me to focus on something else than the things that I've done all day long and can't do them anymore. 
This short story is one of them. I had to get my 5-year driver's abstract for one of these positions that I had applied. It cost me some $28 and then I found out the only infraction I have had was the U-turn that I made once near Chinook Center and it appeared to be the time that a police officer was passing by and he caught me! I never knew that such a U-turn is a traffic violation and in fact The Lady had told me to do that and said there was no problem because there was no sign. The officer, though, said something else: Despite the lack of sign, which didn't have to be there, Traffic Safety Act clearly forbids that. So It means I'm a good driver. I would have not done that, had The Lady not said that it was OK. I actually challenged her but she simply said that I should not have argued her and should have gone. I did it once when she was sitting beside me and then the other time I got caught. Good that it was an honest mistake. I don't remember how much the ticket was but I paid it without any delay! 

Monday, July 04, 2016

A Good Bike Ride Around the City

The Hope is a moody and disorganized person. Not in appearance though! He's neat and well-dressed but when it comes to our common activities which is getting together for a coffee, hiking or this past one, cycling, he's always late or changes the plan in the last minute. That's what I hate the most but at the moment there's no one else to go hiking with. So I have to stick to this one! My guess is he's become this person because of all the jet lags that he has suffered in the past 10 to 15 years! I'm not joking! Sleep deprivation has serious affects on brain. It makes people impatient, nervous, you name it. I know he has sleeping problem. Just don't know how sever it is.
Having that said we planned for this 60 Km cycling in the city through its pathway system today and he was supposed to meet me at Peace Bridge at about 12:20. I'm there at the time and he's not. I called him at 12:21(!) and he says that he's on his way! In the meantime I detected a problem with the rear gear. It get changed by itself and sometimes when I change it, it doesn't get changed! I went to MEC and there was an Asian guy whom had a look. Didn't detect much! I told him that I'd bring it over later. Then he calls me! I said to myself: I waited for you and you wait for me now!
We eventually started at about 12:45, I guess, and rode toward west. We passed Fort Calgary and then headed south and that was when the heavy rainfall started. We continued until it turned to hail. We luckily reached an overpass on that time and sheltered from hail for about maybe 10 minutes. We then continued south. The Hope has a brand new Carbon bicycle and is well-equipped. I was riding my RoboBike and I was OK. I guess if he wanted to go really fast and leave me, he could do it and actually did it a few times. We passed Old Refinery Park, Carburn Park and continued to Fish Creek and then turned west and got ourselves in Weaselhead Natural Area which connected us to North Glenmore Park
We only stopped for a short break in that park and then continued on 37 St. The Hope was guiding us through his little GPS all the time until we reached Richmond Road
We headed further north from there towards Edworthy Park were he had parked his vehicle. He was worried about his BMW but we realized that the hail had not caused any damage to it.
(Photo: This is the only picture which was turned out OK and shows the rainy and haily(!) clouds in and around city which served us very well!)

Friday, July 01, 2016

(The Easy Hike of) Table Mountain

I and The Hope finally agreed on our hike after a long discussion a few days ago in a coffee shop. The Hope accepted to go to Pincher Creek area and hike up Table Mountain simply because it was considered a moderate hike. I believe now after we finished it, except for a short part, it is an easy one. Perhaps that's why they consider it moderate! He was supposed to pick me up at 07:00 as he never agrees to getting up early and I had accepted just get the free ride but he was half an hour late. Strike one! We headed south on Highway # 2 and then Highway # 3 and then in Pincher Creek we stopped for a coffee which got turned to have a Pancake as well, in the local A&W! We had already stopped once for gasoline. So Strike 3! Eat your damn breakfast enough and fill up the fucking tank the night before so you don't have to waste time on the road! 
We finally reached the trail-head near Beaver Mine Lake at around 11:00 and started the hike at 11:20, I guess it was! The fact is from where he picked me up in downtown to the trail-head was some 02:30 hours which we made it in 03:00 because of the time he wasted. 
It was an easy start and then got steep and we had to go up a scree after that. The Hope was confused although he had brought his bicycle's GPS! It seems these little machines are not as helpful as they're supposed to be. We got ourselves on the ridge where was in the middle of the mountain between the west summit and the east one. He thought we should have gone to the east side but I remembered from what I had seen that we needed to go to the east side. That was what we did! There it was an easy walk to the summit of not very tall mountain. I guess our hike to the top took some 02:25 hours, considering some waste for photography, short stops for catching our breaths and route finding of course. We had a short rest on the top and he, again, ate! This time a Roast Beef Sandwich he had bought from Co-Op! I just had a bottle of water. 
Four Deer were sheltering from burning sun beside this storage on this vast canola field and as soon as they saw me approaching, started jumping and running!
The hike down was a little challenging at the beginning but soon we found the trail and made it back to the parking spot easily. I guess we were there around 16:30, meaning we spent the total time of 5 hours for the hike. 
In a nutshell I think it is a little less than moderate hike and not worth driving 02:30 hours to trail-head unless you want to have an easy hike but the view from the top is nice. You even can see Crowsnest Mountain from there, easily.  
On the way back he wanted to take a few photos of the wind turbines and Canola field. He selected an access road and we drove close to the fields where we surprisingly a few Deer on the field! I and The Chef saw a few Deer, particularly 1 or 2 with big antlers on our way to Rocky Mountain House on Highway # 22 but missed the photography opportunity. This time I didn't want to miss because in fact it had been very long time since I had this opportunity to see them so closely but my Telephoto Lens was in his trunk and although he drove us to the road, he didn't seem to be so accompanying on this matter! Nevertheless I took a few shots from the beautiful mammals with my regular lens that you see one of them here. 
(Photo; Table Mountain's west summit with the trail which connects two summits together. On the bottom Beaver Mine Lake and its access road can be seen)