Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Last Two Crucial Steps

It was a quite surprise for me when I saw an e-mail from my potential employer asking me to announce my readiness for the last two stages, before the end of the year, last Fri.! The majority of companies, organizations, you name it are closed in the last few days of the year. Who would be there to see my response? Nevertheless I prepared the requested document and sent it to them yesterday. I'm also supposed to contact them to provide a few pieces of information personally. I dialed the number and I got the machine yesterday. I thought there might be people working on a Sat. morning. I will try that again on Mon. It looks like everything is planned. If I'm successful in the next stage, which will start in a day in Jan. and I will have a month for that to finish it, I will start the last stage in early Mar. and then it will go, if I'm successful until early Jul. That would be the time that I'd start my career. It doesn't seem to be very easy but I think I can do it. I think the 1-month stage is crucial because I will have to do that while I'm employed at this miserable job of mine. I think the best thing to do would be contacting my buddy A. F. to see what you says. He passed this stage once years ago and he told me that I'd do that with others as a team-work, which would be much better if it's true. We'll see.
(Photo: The Last Steps Memorial Arch in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This was built to address the sacrifice that more than 350,000 Canadians made during the First European War, which in general public is known as the First World War. This, in fact resembles the last steps that soldiers took before leaving Canadian soil. My endeavor is nowhere close to theirs. However I wanted to use this picture for my post as it is a good memorial site) 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Boxing Day Walk

After disappointment over my walk in Christmas Day, I decided to walk on Boxing Day to test myself for the possible upcoming hike. This time I went out in the evening and selected Downtown. Boxing Day is a spending day for the majority of people in Canada. I only shopped grocery though! 
I started my walk at about 18:18 and waled towards east on a major road. I don't spend any time in Downtown as I hate traffic, noise, pay parking, homeless and such. For that a number of changes in the area was a surprise to me. Many businesses have been shut down and many more have been replaced. Most of the closed businesses were restaurants. With the minimum wage now gone up to $15 and average people making less money, no wonder restaurants are having a very hard time surviving, particularly the independent ones. I changed my direction and headed south after a while to reach Elbow River. It was not very cold but I think people were tired because of all day shopping and were all home. I managed to walk for 02:00 hours but was tired in the last 20 min. or so. I felt a little pain on my knees and tendons, they were, I believe. 
I was told that there was liquid in my knees when I was examined once in CFLRS clinic. I was told that no surgery would be essential but the knees bother me at time, especially if I sit on the floor and stand up. I don't think I will go anywhere far in New Year's Day but I might exercise a little. I haven't had much chance lately as a result of this disgusting job and laziness as well!
(Photo: This bridge is a replacement for the one which was destroyed during the 2013 flood. It is over Elbow River in Mission neighbourhood of Calgary) 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


I have been wanting to check this place out for nearly a year now: Cathouse. We finally went there last week. We were there around 20:15 which was early by the way. Upon arrival, and I'm explaining to the ones who intend to go, to your left, there's a booth, perhaps I can call it, and a lady in there asks for admission. The admission to the place is $10 and must be in cash! Fair enough. Then a feet away from there you'd a guy, who by the way in the first glimpse looks he's a bouncer and he kind of is, asks for I. D.! So I wondered: Am I getting on board a plane to fly to New York? Or perhaps I'm being admitted to a National Defense building! 
This step is actually for the time that anyone causes trouble in the place and then it would be a matter of minutes to find him or in rare cases her. The I. D., in most cases, Operator's Licence goes in a machine and your picture shows on a small screen and your information gets recorded in the system. This shows that the place has been in trouble for so many time and they eventually have decided to come up with an idea to help them get the control a little bit.
You go down a few steps after that and there's the stage and seats and booth all around. The waitresses emerge at your table within the matter of a second. The Chef was hungry but they don't have a freaking menu! All they offer is two type of Pizzas: Hawaiian and Pepperoni. I understand this. It's a strip bar not a bistro. We ordered a Hawaiian Pizza and two Beers. The Beers came right away and then we were told that we had to wait 20 min. for the Pizza. The first show started at the same time. There was this beautiful tall girl with milky and silky skin that you could feel the smoothness from what we were sitting! The show was not bad and the girl was pretty, as I said, but there was nothing new. I had seen that years ago in French Maid
Our tiny Pizza arrived. We wanted to sink our teeth in it but there was not much! Just a tiny Pizza that we politely shared. The taste was not bad but don't order a Pizza in there unless you're starving! 
The Chef then started becoming a pin in the ass just like sometimes he becomes. I think he wanted to get more Beer but with the cheque we immediately received he decided not to! Two bottles of Molson Canadian cost $8.5 each! I have to add that every time you order something, the cheque comes right after that mainly because there have been many bastards who drank and/or ate and left without paying a Penny! We sat for the second show and here was The Chef who wanted to leave. I told him he could leave if he wanted but I wanted to stay! He was a little surprised and stayed! The place now was getting busy and more girls. They started to wandering in bikinis and dancing at two corners. The second show was not bad either. A brunet tall girl with beautiful body and a little belly which by the way I don't mind at all. The waitresses checked on us off and on but we, like a couple of cheapskates, refused service! We sat for the third show and watched part of it which by the way was different from the first two and kind of better but left before it ended. This place is not as bad as others say. You have to consider all the costs they have to encounter: Bouncers, waitresses, strippers, other staff, risk of dealing with as*holes, you name it. Would I go there again? I probably would but not with someone like The Chef or if I go there again with him, would tell him in advance to shut up! Our cheque for the night was a total of $25.5 and we neither drank a lot, nor tipped much! A good night in there, excluding the ladies, would not cost lest than $100!
(Photo: Since taking photo of naked dancing girls might have led to trouble[!] I'm just using a copy of our receipt as the picture for this post but I promise that I would post a nice photo if I go there again) 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

My Christmas Day Walk

Weather has sucked, generally, in the past 1 month or so! We barely have seen the real winter of Alberta except for two or maybe three times and they didn't last long. The first time I was in Nevada and wasn't affected at all. This Christmas was not entirely white as everyone wanted. No snow on Christmas Eve. No snow until the evening and it was not much either. 
I decided to have a little walk in the morning and selected Fish Creek Provincial Park. After my disappointing experience in last summer, it sounded not to be such a great choice but I just decided to actually walk on the pathway next to the park, partially parallel to Canyon Meadows Drive.
It appears that someone or possibly a group has spent quite a long time on building this teepee-like shelter here next to the pathway! 
It was cold but not unbearable. I realized that I'm weak now and that's because of the damn job I have, partially. I can't walk as much and as comfortable as I used to. I'm surprised that I did the hike of Telescope Peak with no difficulty! Perhaps the temperature is a factor here. It was almost -6 ℃ during the walk and I was lucky that there was no windchill. It's different from the mild California weather that we had during our hike! The entire walk didn't take more than 01:15 hours while originally I wanted to do at least 02:00 hours. Maybe the next week or New Years Day I can do some good walk or hike.
(Photo: A beautiful view of Fish Creek Provincial Park in winter. I like winter and I like winter walking and hiking)

Monday, December 24, 2018

Unexpected Christmas Gift

I saw an envelope when I came from work one day last week. There was a very nice Christmas card in it and a folded cheque, something that I had not expected that. When I unfolded the cheque the surprise turned to disappointment! You know when sometimes you're hungry and you eat a little and feel more hungry! It was the same feeling! A cheque for $... is just pathetic! I'm not going to reveal the amount but I think it would have been a much better gift, if they had not included the cheque! The amount is so low that you wonder what to do with that. I know it's a nice gesture and Don't look at the gift horse in the mouth but it's similar to teasing someone when give that to him or her. Many don't even receive that. So I perhaps should be grateful. 
(Photo: I, of course, do not celebrate Christmas but regardless of the fact that it has become totally commercialized I like it because it's the time of happiness, holidays, gifts and food and drink!)  

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Mule: Worth Watching

I and Farzin watched The Mule yesterday. I didn't want to miss another Eastwood's movie and we didn't leave disappointed. I would say it's a fairly good movie but similar to the last few movies of him, the story mainly revolves around his character and how well he plays. Remember Gran Torino? He plays almost the same character and he's gone at the end. The difference is in Gran Torino he's killed. In the new movie he's jailed!
The other characters in the movie just have minor roles and probably less famous actors would be as good! Bradley Copper, the second character of the movie, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) officer, demonstrates an OK performance. Eastwood's daughter (don't know from what relationship!) performs the role of the main character in the movie. Eastwood has this habit of bringing family members to the set and use them. Andy Garcia who was once very famous for his role in The Untouchables, and I haven't seen him in any other movie, plays the Mexican cartel boss and like Eastwood performs well but again since he has a minor role and appears in only a few scenes, I think anyone else would perform as well. 
Overall I think the movie worth watching once and you'd enjoy. It has a suspend built in it that makes you follow and it's good. Do I buy the DVD to enjoy the movie for a few several more times? Not with so much passions but maybe.
(Photo: Eastwood and Copper on the set of movie)

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Asian Buffet (Calgary)

The Brave contacted me last week and invited me to join them for their Christmas gala. This was the second time that I had been invited by him and since I didn't go the first time, I thought that would be rude this time and accepted to go. Besides I didn't have anything to do. The only problem was that I had a big plate of Pasta that afternoon and the supper would start at around 06:00 at Asian Buffet
I, at first, had a difficulty to find the place but eventually reached there at around 06:20 and the reserved table was full. 
The place is actually not nice but it was packed considering being buffet and it was not just Asians. People from every background, almost, were stuffing themselves! The food is actually mediocre. Despite the fact that it was a weekend and on weekends food finishes faster, none of the food tasted fresh to me and they were mostly deep fried in multiple time used disgusting oil! 
I, at first, didn't feel hungry at all and thought I should just have some Ice Cream. There's a big Ice Cream section in the buffet. It didn't taste bad but again it could be cheap Ice Cream. Ice Cream, most of the time tastes good because all you taste is just sugar, most of the time! However there're brands of Ice Cream in the market that I don't buy and I used to make and I will soon. 
I sat and chatted after the Ice Cream and then this fact came to mind: There're engines which start late but when they start, they work well! I felt hungry after a few minutes and I think that was the damn sugar kicking in! I went to the buffet and grabbed some food. One thing you should know, if you're going there is that they also cock for you on the spot. There're raw ingredients that you can select and give it to the chef and he cooks them for you before your eyes. That however is not appealing to me because I hate Noodles! The Brave got something from the raw section though. 
The place is a rundown building with Asians staff, of course, eating and drinking while working! The decor is hideous and the place is drowning in garbage and filth! I haven't been to any of those nasty Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and such but from what I've seen in video clips, the so-called Asian Buffet is no different but hey who cares! Poor people who tend to give themselves a leg up on a weekend come and stuff them with these type of trash and of course The Brave who was hosting more than 25 people couldn't find a better place to gather them all and not to pay too much. Do I recommend the place? Only if you want to go for the above reasons! Will I go there ever again and spend money? Most likely never! Just looking at the people there makes me sick! Not to mention the disgusting venue and the bad food!
(Photo: The food, deceivingly[!] look good but the real goodness would come out after you ate it! Many criticize me for complaining too much about food and I guess they're right. There're many other factors involved in one's health. Food is only one of them) 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Caucho Brazilian Grill

My employer invited all of us to join for an early Christmas dinner last week. Considering that I had not gone last year, I decided to go this time to see what this restaurant is about: Gaucho Brazilian Grail. I, first, didn't find the place. The address simply states the building number and then MacLeod Tr. I parked and walked around. There was a little snow but it was not very cold. I realized that the restaurant's main entrance is not parallel to MacLeod Tr.(!) but I finally I got in and people were there, majority of the ones I had expected.
I had this thought in mind whether I should wear suit and tie or should I just go nice and neat. I eventually decided to ditch the formal dress although I used to wear that. I surprisingly realized that no one had suit and tie on! Everyone was nice and neat (except a rube who came at last!) but even the manager had a very usual shirt on! 
Going back to the dinner, the restaurant offers a Salad Bar which is great for me. The interesting thing was none of the Salads contained Romaine Lettuce! In fact before going to the restaurant I checked both Safeway and Co-op and none of them had either Romaine or even Iceberg! Romaine has caused illness for people due to E-Coli contamination but why Iceberg? Their salad contained everything but Lettuce! They had Salads containing Mushroom, Parsley, Arugula, Green Been and several other ingredients. I enjoyed two full plates of Salads. Drinks were also available. Colleges ordered a sort of Brazilian cocktail but I went with my usual: Vodka on the rocks and a Lime wedge. 
The waitress then came and announced that the meat was coming. So basically different guys come holding a vertical skewer with pieces of meat still sizzling on them. They have a knife and a sort of small plate. They put the plate next to you, on the table, after they get the confirmation that you need that kind of meet and they cut a piece for you. You're supposed to catch the piece with a small tong which is been put next to your plate as part of the utensils. The pieces are not very big but are reasonably cut and taste fresh and delicious. There are different types of meet and I can't remember all but they have Parmesan Beef, Chicken Heart, Chicken Wing, Beef Rib, Pork Sausage and a few other types which also includes Lamb. I tried a few of them. Dessert is special as well. For dessert I only ordered an Americano Coffee but people all ordered fancy dessert which mostly couldn't even finish them! I still had room for both food and dessert but didn't want simply to eat more. 
When the bill came, since I was next to the boss, I noticed that it was $1190 for the 10 of us. Of course he would add tip, I assume some %20. $119 per person and with the tip some $140, would feed me for at least 2 weeks! 
It was a good experience, in terms of seeing how the colleagues are outside work environment, a new eating culture was seen and a good food was consumed. Would I recommend that and would I go there again? If I have enough money, I would certainly go and it's recommended if you're not worried about your bill.
(Photo: This little green cow, which is made of cardboard, if is facing up means that you still would like to have meat and when facing down, and is red, indicates that you no more like food. This, however, is not being applied because guys cannot go to everyone's seat and look for it. It's much easier to ask) 

Sunday, December 09, 2018

The Never Ending Rejections!

I wrote that I went to this company, the size of a two bedroom apartment(!), where everyone stuck to everyone like Sardine in a can(!) for an interview. The interviewer was a young small town, former landscaper Caucasian fella in his early 30's who apparently was lucky to have that job and leave his previous miserable job by becoming some sort of manager in the tiny company! 
The interview, as I explained earlier, took only 30 freaking minutes. Even such a miserable place didn't hire me! This is the third interview in the past 12 months and I have been turned down by all the freaking bastards! 
I need to figure out what the hell is wrong or I will be stuck to this miserable life forever! What bothers me the most is the people who interview me. When you look at their profile, you see that they're nothing! Absolutely nothing! They at most have a B. Sc., which by the way everyone's got it these days and disgusting and foolish certificate such as PMP!
With the price of Canadian crude plummeting last month, and all talk no action, the future of the country doesn't look very promising although an analysis in Maclean's, that I just had a look at yesterday indicates a good position for the Liberals who have been running the country since late 2015 
I need to get to refresh my resume with a few certificates and similar educations. I hope I can do that in 2019 or at least am invited for the training of the job that I had its first interview back to March! I was hoping to join these bastards, particularly when the guy said that they would need someone to start before the end of the year but the as*holes didn't even invite me to the second freaking interview! That would've been a perfect step-stone position in this freaking bad economy but I didn't get it! Price of Canadian crude is around $20 these days and GM has just announced the closure of its Ontario assembly plant in Oshawa. So there's no good news.
(Photo, top: GM is closing its assembly plant in Oshawa after nearly 112 years! The result would be devastating, not only to the town, but also to the province and consequently Canada)

Saturday, December 08, 2018

A Low Blow by (or to) Loblaws!

Loblaws Inc. one of many a human-killing machines amongst many in Capitalist North America was accused of price fixing earlier this year or late last year, in Canada. Now price fixing was a term that I heard it for the first time when this issue was revealed. The term basically means maintaining the price of a good at a certain level by agreement between competitive sellers! As vague and funny this term is, I don't understand why this could be a problem! Companies do that all the time in North America!
Look at the price of gasoline everywhere in town. You reach at an intersection and there are three gas stations from three different companies and they all have the same price with one or two cents difference. Take the intersection of 37 St. and Richmond Road in SW quadrant part of the City of Calgary.  There's Shell, Husky and Esso, three major providers of gasoline in the world, I could say, probably. Check the prices of the three the next time you're at that intersection and tell me if that's not price fixing.
The problem was revealed or discovered(!) by some organization and I guess a class action suit was about to start. Then the bastards of Loblaws Inc., who were about to receive a low blow (or perhaps received that!) panicked and decided to give everyone a $25 gift card to be used in any Loblaws Inc. store, mainly the Real Canadian Superasshole! The only thing that this store is not is Canadian. The food is not mostly Canadian(!), the employees are not Canadians and the customers are not mostly Canadians! 
I do not shop at Superasshole frequently due to distance and its long disgusting checkout lines but when I heard that I said why not? There's a saying in Persian which goes: It'd be a privilege, if you could even take a hair from a bear! It literally means that if you can get a little from a big one, even that is worthwhile. So I gathered the documents they wanted and mailed them to Vancouver, where they had assembled an office to handle this business. I received it after a few weeks, I guess and then spent the most of it in bags of Quinoa and a few pieces of fruit. 
So now who the winner is in this game? For sure it's not the customers, the poor refugees, immigrants and Canadians who go there for their daily grocery shopping. The real winner is the assholes of Loblaws Inc. or they wouldn't send the card to whoever applied!
(Photo: Riddick Bowe, a former professional American boxer, is seen in this photo in his bout against the disgusting and dishonor Polish boxer, Andezej Golota. He is on the floor and in pain as a result of a low blow he received form Golota. Golota, the asshole, was disqualified and lost. Loblaw Inc., however, did not suffer as much as neither rivals! The consumers are the real losers in any fight against Capitalist companies) 

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Christmas Time: Not a Good Time for Everyone

There's this East Indian (from Indian sub-continent without identifying the country) guy who joined us at work almost 6 months ago. A slow guy, both physically and mentally. He was a nice fella though. Spoke English with difficulty after living in Canada for 10 years which is not a surprise. People live in the country for 40 years and still are not able to say more than Hello and How are you! Besides that if you work for Wal-Disgusting-Mart, what else do you need? He was nice enough to let me know of two positions within the disgusting and nasty company: One office job and one floor job. For the floor job I had a telephone interview and then a verbal job offer. I, of course, turned it down. For the good job, I'm sure, the good guys(!), most likely the Caucasians were given the job! 
He was notified by the manager today that he would no longer be working here starting the next week. While I feel bad for him, I should say that's his own fault. Always slow. Always leaving 5 minutes left to the end of the shift to get to his second (or first) job, having difficulty understanding orders and having difficulty, at times, to communicate. But East Indians are generally liked in Canada. Why? Simple: Cheap labour and no talk. In Persian there's an expression which goes: He wouldn't say anything even if you shit in his head! That's how all East Indians are and that's why Canadians love them! Cheap Labour! 
Anyways he was quite upset after he heard the news. I would be. He was upset because I just had told him earlier that he should talk to the manager and ask him why they have not made him an employee yet. He also was upset because he just got himself into a contract to buy a property! This is even worse. These East Indian guys, all of them, due to the overpopulation that they have in their countries and difficulty buying homes, the first thing usually do is purchasing a property and then they go for the second or third. He, I assume, is an exempt. A newly married guy who has been sponsored by a sibling, first was saying that he didn't want to purchase a home or something but then, happily, told me that he had purchased a new condominium and is under construction and would move in next spring. I don't think his dreams(!) are all gone but he will have difficulty. However he will remain in Wal-Disgusting-Mal for good. I, jokingly told him that there would be a property tax hike next year and that's true. There will be 3.45% increase in 2019 and I guess they intend to keep doing that for the upcoming years. That was in response to him saying that there would be no condominium fee for him for the first two years, he had been told and he would move out after that! This is where you see that a poor and desperate person always remains a poor and desperate! The only difference would be that he can eat and doesn't have to live in a slump! His or her life, would all be work, work and work and of course once in a while pushing her mate and perhaps throwing out(!) one or two kids!
(Photo: A factory collapsed a few years ago in Bangladesh, a pool of cheap labour, and killed as many as 200 workers, I believe. The factory was a supplier of clothing in the US and Canada, one of a popular brands. Sorry for not being able to provide a photo of cheap labour in Canada! I would have probably been accused of something! They always find something!)

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Palliser Again

I went to Palliser for the first time since 2014 again. Not that it's a big deal or anything but went there to see if I can enjoy good food and a few drinks or not, as I have. The answer is not much! 
It was good though and I met a few people. This time I had been invited by the organization that I have been volunteering for more than 2.5 years. The invitation indicated party and there was no mentioning of dinner or anything. I, first,wanted to be there exactly at the time that they had indicated the party would start but then ended up there nearly hours and quarter (not that it's important!) after the start.
Upon arrival I realized that every guest gets only a ticket for one drink! Of course the hosting organization intended to save money but one drink only?! What's the point? You might as well don't drink at all! I got in and there was no familiar face! I walked around to see if I know anyone and checked out the food. The food, honestly, mostly, were horrible! Spring Roll which tasted like it had been rolled weeks ago! Cheese of different type. Seafood. That was kind of funny and it reminded me of what The Chef had told me once. There's a piece of Shrimp or Fish covering a lump of Rice! If you don't know the history(!) you might mistake that for a whole Shrimp or a piece of Fish! There were piece of Sausage wrapped in pastry which didn't taste bad but of course not healthy! That's what they probably call it Sausage Roll! I ate a little and then decided to get my drink. I got a shot of Vodka on rocks with a wedge of Lemon but that was so small that didn't do it for me(!) particularly because I was eating at the same time! I then saw the organization's president. I recognized him from his photographs that I had seen previously. I approached him and I must say that he made the same move at the same time and shock hands with him. I guess most of the people, in his position, would do the same  or you wouldn't have been the president! We chatted about something that we both have in common(!), sort of, and he at the time introduced his niece, who was a young girl, to me. I then took off and headed to the other end (who needs this much detail!) and that was one I was approached by the V-Work manager. We chatted for a while. Most of the people were there with their with friends, colleagues or people who they knew somehow. I was probably the only one, at the beginning, whom knew no one. So when the manager approached I felt a little better.
Then I was introduced to a couple, by the manager. The lady was in our gathering and after a little chat I realized that she was someone worth talking to! The husband was talking to one of the manager's team members. I was disappointed at the food. Therefore I decided to go and get some dessert and coffee. It was good and felt good too. The rest of the evening was spent on chatting and I took of 10 minutes before the official end, although I doubt such a thing existed. Overall the food and drink was a disappointment but it was good to get out of home and have chat with a few people or as they say socialize.