Thursday, March 26, 2020

Thing's are Getting Worse

We were told that we would be working only 5 days, starting the next week. Many people have been laid off. So I think we should be thankful that we are still employed! Who wants to go through the process of E. I. get a little surviving money and live for the next 6 months with that!? 
With not many plane flying and not many people driving, the price of oil keeps going down
Two of the employees were asked to leave today at the middle of the shift. One guy had a relative who had just arrived in Canada. The other one is married to a guy who an infected employee has recently been found in their workplace. 
By 02:00 PM half of the employees were gone as there's no overtime anymore. In fact it was up to last week but people have ordered too much that they either have no more money to purchase or no room to stock!
(Photo, top: Downtown Calgary at about 17:05 on Thu.! Under no circumstance I have seen such a crowd! There is no vehicle until the next two intersection!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

School's Out Forever!

I was going to sit in a McDonald's after work yesterday but I realized that they had a sign on the door indicating that the lobby was closed. Not much surprised but sad because that's my only getaway! Sitting at a table, reading or writing or playing a game of chess. Even that is taken away! The simplest of funs!
McDonald's Canada has decided to suspend direct services, in their lobbies, until further notice

We still are working though but many have been ordered to work from home, including The Mumbling Guy, who called me this morning to check on me. Another surprise! MEC has sent a message that they would be closed until Mar.30. Not that I r canceled yesterday's showings because one of the home owners had indicated that they didn't want any strangers in the house!
Most of the idles are refilled (Compare this photo with a picture of two days ago) but there are still items that you can't get them easily including toilet paper and pasta! Both of them are unessential items to me but Canadians have grown great found of both, evidently! 
One other house that I thought perhaps would be a good choice is conditionally sold. I would have to wait until Fri. to see if the offers is accepted by the owner or not but what I was thinking was just to suspend buying because if we're asked not to go to work, then how the hell am I going to pay the mortgage?! 
I still have to go out today to buy some grocery. It's not much but I will need them. I'll see how the roads look like now that the schools are out and many work from home.
Crude price has reached the lowest in the past 17 years!
They say this issue will be continued until summer, if not longer. That is why the Government has introduced a $82 Billion aid package! The Mumbling Guy was a bit upset that he had spent $7000 on his family flight to India for the coming June and he had to spend as much as $500 on his daughter's seat from Atlanta to Alberta but he has no choice, he knows! He said that he would go to a " Court " to get his money back from airlines(!) if his flight is cancelled! I told him that airlines have already put a policy in effect that would allow you to get your money, or most of it, back due to this unprecedented situation. It's interesting that a cheap guy has always something to worry about and suffer from! 
(Photo, top: The cover of album Gutter Cat by Alice Copper. School's Out is a single in that album which was released in 1972) 

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Disastrous Disappointment at Taj Indian Restaurant (Airdrie)

I and this new buddy, whom I call him MumGuj (Because he is originally from Gujarat but lived in Mumbai before his immigration), went to Taj Indian Restaurant in Airdrie, a few days ago for the second time, this time to try their buffet and I have to say that I got completely disappointed. I would not recommend that to anyone who wants to try real authentic Indian (or as they say it here in North America, East Indian) food. I paid more than $21 for each of us, plus $2 tip and of course tax and it was a total waste of money and time! 
The was the most bland and distasteful Indian meal that I have ever had. One might ask what these idiots do that. It's simple: Caucasians are not used to hot and spicy food. So in order to attract more of this type of customer, particularly because more than 97% of the population of the town is Caucasian, they make the food that way! This is the same practice that some other Indian restaurants in Calgary follow. Namaskar in 16th Ave. and the pathetic Royal India are amongst the Indian restaurants that I would not step in them! They are just pathetic. What a waste! I will never go this any of these three, ever again!
(Photo: This is a type of Indian dessert that is basically made out of milk, white rice and sugar. The best cure for diabetes! That, with maybe a few other items, were the only original Indian meals/desserts and that is because Caucasians have sweet tooth as well. We have the exact same thing in Iran and it's called Sheer-Berenj which literally means Milk-Rice, the two main ingredients of this dessert. We add Water rose and a few other things as well. I didn't feel that in this one as they try to cut any possible corner. I had not have that for years as I'm trying not to end up in a doctor's office, clinic or hospital soon!) 

Friday, March 13, 2020

The Freaked out People

It was in the news that people have rushed to supermarket to purchase toilet paper, few days ago! I cannot understand why toilet paper and then today I surprisingly realized that the orders are bigger than usual! One customer who usually ordered 1 to 1.5 unit of product, had an order or 4.5 unit today! Then I decided to check supermarkets by myself but not just checking. I needed Milk, Bread, Broccoli and a few things. So I stopped at Beacon Height Safeway. I got surprised how stupid people could get! There was no 2% or 3.25% Organic Milk left! I had to get 1%. Some shelves were completely empty and some had a few items in them! I had to skip vegetable section because there was barely anything left! Just got the milk and bread. Fortunately there was no long waiting.
When usually there's a discount, people try to buy as much as they can but in this open freezer only one item is left!
In Beltline Safeway, though, it was different. It was both line ups and shortage of items(!) but that damn place is always busy. Not much vegetables were available there as well.
Canadians usually consume too much chips of different types and flavours. There is no day that I go to a supermarket and don't see a guy, a gal; or a couple looking around for chips or walking to cashier with a bag or two! Here half of the bags are gone!
So I got the hell out! I think the more the authorities say not to panic, the more people go to other direction. Things with this virus has gone to the point that both NHL and NBA have canceled all of the games. Schools are shut and even the House of Commons announced that they would suspend their activities. I hope things don't get worse. 
(Photo, top: Almost all of the vegetables are out in this section of this Safeway supermarket)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Buying a Property in Alberta

Housing market is really bad nowadays. They say it's a buyer's market but with what budget? I had two chances to buy a property and lost both and here I am now! Once I received a call from my bank and I was offered to go through the process and I denied. That was shortly after I had a job movement and I think I had lost the second one or something like that which made me not even go through the application. It was 2006.
The second time I, with The Lady, saw a Mortgage Specialist and she offered us a reasonable loan but The Lady refused it, citing the cold winters of Calgary as a reason for not staying here as well as the possibility of separation! She had planned for everything!
I saw a Mortgage Specialist just about a month ago and with this stupid job of mine he recommended not to go anything above $300,000! What can you get with that money in Calgary?! Nothing! Unless you don't mind living with drunkards and drug-addicts in a dingy apartment!
I decided to go out of the city limits and see places in nearby towns. Not much improvement! A small detached 3-bedroom house in a street so narrow that you can see your front neighbour's wife cooking in the kitchen(!) with a nearby school for $299,900 and it's built in 2009! Other places I saw worth not even to mention!
The funny thing is the Government has recently introduced a sort of incentive to help low income families to purchase a property. If you pay 5% of the cost of the property as down payment, they pay another 5%, interest-free but when you sell the property and if the value has increased, you would pay the increased percentage back. I'm not eligible for that because my plan is to put 20%-25% down.
Now after that disappointment, I have decided to either cancel the purchase or look further out! The next post will, most likely address that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

All SUVs and Trucks

I went to a Toyota dealer in the city a couple of month before the end of last year to look at a Prius. In the entire huge inventory that they have over there, there was only one Prius C which is a small hatchback and I hate those! When I asked the salesperson, who happened to be a Pakistani chimp(!), he said that trucks and SUVs were popular and not many people were interested in hybrids.
Some of you might accuse me of racism but I'm not a racist. I am a foreigner myself in this country and I admire honest and hard-working foreigners from everywhere but not the liars, cheaters, frauds and fundamentalists. I, as well, hate careless people. This is how he looked: Big fat belly hanging down, stupid fake smile, lack of communication skill, total lack of knowledge about the product and bull-shiting constantly! That's a salesperson in a major Toyota dealer in a major city of Canada!
Why is that? Because a knowledgeable and understanding person, regardless of his or her race, would not work for a dealer for such a low salary and that's the issue with many jobs in Canada and generally a Capitalist society! This ugly asshole talked to me about religious matters and shit like that instead of providing valuable information about the vehicle! Unbelievable!
Long line of vehicles at a Mobil gas station in the 70's. The US founded the concept of Strategic Resources after that. Automakers started to make smaller and more economically-driven vehicles after that, as well. 
However one thing that the guy said correctly was the fact about the SUVs and trucks and that was not hard to come by it! You could look around the showroom and realize that easily! I see that on the road on daily basis but never knew it was that bad! I was driving down Darthmouth Road in SE part od Calgary and it was once again proved to me. A row of vehicles, most likely all belong to the employees of City of Calgary as there are facilities there,but I'm not sure of, mostly big trucks and SUVs. I wonder what happens if one day the supply of gasoline and diesel is interrupted for whatever reason! What if there is another 1970 Oil Crisis?! It is the other way around these days! The price of oil is down as a result of Saudi Arabia and Russia's conflict as well as concerns over Coronavirus but Oil supply is not unlimited! It will end one day.
(Photo, top: SUVs and trucks parked at the side of the road)

Saturday, March 07, 2020

The Sequel to Sicario

It had been a long time that I wanted to see the sequel to Sicario and when I finally bought the DVD, something that people rarely do that these days, and watched it, I was surprised! It's actually a good movie! It's very rare that sequels become good movies but this one is.
The best part of the film, that I grasped(!) is its message: The should be no mercy when it comes to drug gang criminals! The fact is both the US and Mexican governments could put an end to this ongoing issue of drug years ago but they don't want to.
DEA agents are taking Noriega to a US plane to transfer him to Miami for prosecution. One of the nastiest and most disgusting creatures who ever lived on the face of the Earth, this guy, Noriega, had ties with the US intelligence community before known as a bad guy by the Americans! 
The United States and its allies entered attacked in 2003 and wiped out the Iraqi army in a few weeks. Iraqi army was the 5th strongest force in the world at the time. How is that the US and Mexico cannot defeat a bunch of Latino assholes who have turned that country to a graveyard?!
That is an undeniable fact. Do you remember Manuel Noriega? He was running Panama for a few years and once he did something that the Americans didn't like and it was with drugs. What they did was they captured him and put him in prison in Miami! He was moved back and forth between prison and hospital, due to his illness until he died in 2017.
The film is good and all the actors are brilliant including a young, pretty girl who portraits a drug cartel boss's daughter.
The main characters of the movie were played by, from left Benicio Del Toro, Isabella Moner and Josh Brolin
 Sicario: The Day of Soldado, which means the day of soldier ends in a scene which means there might be a sequel to it and I'm curious to see it. Hopefully it comes. The only disturbing scenes of movie is first the constant screaming and crying of the girl which while very real, bugs the hell out of me. In addition to that is the presence of a deaf person. The screen writer has put him in to somehow relate one of the characters of the movie to the stories of the previous movie but seeing him and the way he communicates and lives, in the movie, is a bit disturbing to me. 3.75 out of 5.
(Photo, top: Josh Brolin, as Matt is walking towards the Federalies while aiming at them in the final scenes of the movie. Jeffery Donovan and Benicio Del Toro, in this order, are seen in the back)