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Showing posts from 2021

The 2022 Resolution

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When it comes to the New Year's resolution some say it does not work and ignore it. Some say that you always can have a resolution. It does not have to be before a New Year. I like the idea. This year's resolution was very easy and it's accomplished. The next year's won't be as easy: 1- Get the hell out of this shithole that I have been calling workplace for a little more than two years now.  I've had it with these fools. Get a real job. 2- Enter in a long-term and meaningful relationship. 3- Travel outside Canada at least once. 4- Buy a new vehicle. 5- Practice calm  6- Do as many hikes as possible. Less than 8 hours left to 2021. Happy New Year everyone and tell me if you have anything in mind in regards to this post (Photo: There're losers in the world who even for a simple picture such as above, would go after you, if you use it for yourself! Copyright infringment!)

An Incident just before the New Year

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I lef home this morning almost at the same time as every day. By the time I reached the main road, I had three lights on my dash! Check Engine , which had come up earlier and I've written about it, ABS and Hand Break !! I check my hand break and it was not engaged and my car isn't even equipped with ABS (Anti-lock Breaking System) but because it's an standard Toyota dash, the light is there and it proves that it only is a mulfunction. Two of the lights were turned off after a few soconds and I continued with the only one on. The drive seemed normal to me but when I pulled into a spot in the parking lot of work, someone called me and pointed at one of the tires! The rear pasenger tire was completely deflated! How didn't I feel anything? And why didn't the car's dash show anything?! Another proof that the dash ssytem is mingled up!  When I pulled into a spot in the parking lot of work, I was shown the back of my vehicle! What did I see? A flat tire!! How the hel

Is this the most Wonderful Time of the Year?!

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The temperature has gone down so much in the past ten days or so that my Check Engine light came up for the first time in the past 11 years that I have been driving this car! The worst was yesterday that when I started the engine it was -28 ℃ ( -18.4 ℉ ) and I let it run for a few minutes to warm up, something I normally don't do if it's not this cold. Then I head to work and while I was only couple of minutes from the highway, I looked at the thermometer and it was showing -34 ℃ ! ( -29.2 ℉ )! I guess it was where the light came up! All these years living in Canada I have never experienced something like that.  At the time I had no choice to drove to work. I know if I take it to a dealer the first thing they ask for is a $90 or anything around that, just to look but I know I need to do that. If it breaks down on a road, it would not look pretty in this weather. I think it's probably the time to get a new car.  (Photo: The car thermometer showing the outside temperature r

Useless Phone

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One of the things that bothered me at the first day of travel, after I landed in IAH and got my rental car, was that my telephone was not working! It was working but I wasn't able to make any calls! There was this stupid message on the top: " Emergency Calls Only "! My plan is a good one which enables me to call and text all across Canada and the US without any limit, for a little money! Now I was in the US and the telephone didn'r work! I went to my hotel and then from there I found an AT&T store clsoeby and talked to the guy about my problem. It appeared that a simple phone, with a handset would cost about US $75 . I went back to the hotel and I realized that there was no long distanc call available!!!! I had never seen something like that! In fact when I was in Munic I had a similar situation, not quite teh same: There was no telephone set in the room! Anyway I got on a chat with my service provide through my notebook but he was not able to do anything. A m

A Difficult Interview

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I had a very difficult interview yesterday. I had not thought it would be as difficult as it was! I had applied for this Government position, I think, back in June or July and received a couple of e-mails in regards to that in my Spam folder! I was lucky, I guess I should say that I checked my Spam because I normally don't!  It was written that the interview would take place through Microsoft Teams , a sort of software that I had not even heard of prior to that! I have heard of Zoom but apparently Teams is more professional. So I had to purchase(!) a headset and a Webcam because the damn Chromebook was not able to handle the program! Every time I would click on Join Now, it would crash!  The good thing I was able to get help from friend, Newlywed , although he's no more, until I find another nickname for him, I'd stick to that. His daughter is now 6 ! I called him and he said that he had experienced working with Teams and sent me an invitation. I got connected with him t

The Weird Florida Lad

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I bumped to a strange fella on my drive to western Texas during my trip. I stopped at a resting area to stretch my legs and have a little walk. The weather was nice. Not too cold, not too hot. no wind. Just a breathe. I snapped a few shots, as usual and then noticed someone was backing up towards my parked rental car very slowly. I first paid no attention and kept getting away from the car and looking for photography options.  When I came back I saw someone kneeling in front of my rental car doing something to the grill! That was the driver of the backing car! His car was parked a few feet away from mine. I asked him what he was doing and he jumped up and walked to his car and got in! I didn't realize what detrimental act that was at the moment! It could've been deadly! I was in the States! Everyone could be armed! I could've been lying dead there even now after a few weeks! So I chased the guy and asked him what he did to the car. He said nothing and I threatened him that

The Gulf (of Mexico) Area

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I drove to the gulf area, or to be clearer, the Gulf of Mexico is in the south part of Texas on my second day of the trip. The major point in the south is the Town of Galveston which is about an hour south of Houston . You know how every province or state has a town (or two) which is very attractive to tourists. For example Banff in Alberta , Whistler and White Rock in British Columbia , Aspen in Colorado and many more. I think Galveston in a way plays that role in Texas : Lots of restaurants and hotels, endless beaches, nice shops, etc.  A structure in the middle of the sea which looks like an oil rig but no activity can be seen from here. I used a telephoto lens to bring it much closer The road to the gulf area, after I found myself on Gulf Highway was just amazing! Another US highway that you cannot stop anywhere until you reach your destination and if you make a mistake, you'll either lose your vehicle or your life and maybe even both! I really wanted to stop and sna

Hilton DoubleTree, Austin, TX

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I stayed one night in downtown Austin . Don't be alarmed! I payed that with Air Miles ! I drove to the gulf area, Gulf of Mexico or to be exact the T own of Galveston on my second day of my trip to Texas and it was not such a wise idea(!) because I had to be in Austin the same night and you can't see much of the gulf area in a few hours but I went anyways and will have a post for that. My destination on that night was a luxury hotel in downtown Austin , called Hilton Doubletree . I reached Austin when it was dark and considering the autumn (or as they say here, fall) it must not have been later than 18:30 because there was still traffic in the area. I pulled in front of the main entrance and tried to find a spot to park. I was told that only Valet Parking was available! I asked about the alternatives and I was told by the receptionist that I could park a block away, on the street but I would have to feed the meter as early as 07:00 next morning! Imagine you're on vacat

Strolling in Austin

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I had two days in Austin, TX before heading back home and although it became a bit stressful because of the damn PCR Test that I had to take, in order to be allowed on the plane, I had a chance to check a few places and I gotta say, I liked the city and if any chance presents itself in future, I'll visit the city again. The thing is I was supposed to see the Little Pika  in there but he was on a trip to the old country and despite the fact that he gave me his son's and his wife's number (which was his own number but she was using it at the time) I changed the entire plan which basically was paying for two nights hotel! I told him that I was not going to the city and that was because I sensed and I'm sure I was right, that he and/or his family didn't want me to go there while he was away. I tried the damn number of his a few times and his wife never picked up!  Nevertheless I went to a park in downtown and take a few photos on the first night. The interesting thing

2021's Christmas Party

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My employer decided to have the  Christmas party on the premises this year and for that, they did a little decoration, put chairs, tables, speakers and even a screen in the main work area! That, of course seemed ridiculous but imagine how much money they saved in comparison to renting a venue! But that was not it! We were expecting at least edible food but it was beyond bad!  Then snacks were brought in and added and we were told that food would be provided as well. But what was the food? Food from a food truck! I have never tried a food truck in my entire life but I didn't know it could be that bad! I'm the kind of person who barely eats out because I don't believe majority of restaurants provide healthy, nutritious and delicious food and I have to say the food provided by this food truck, which is not necessary to say its name, was one of the worst that I have ever had in my entire life, anywhere in the world! And I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks tha

Wild-dead more than Wildlife!

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One thing that I noticed a lot during my long road trip in Texas last week was the number of dead animlas on the state's highways. It was aweful. At times I couldn't say what it was because it had been hit so many times and some badly that nothing was left to recognize but from the numerous pieces I saw there was anything from Deer , Armadilo and Rakoon to other smaller annd bigger creatures.  I do, however, came across a few beautiful wildlife including a mammale with long, sharp horns, Zebbra (!) and a few more but unfortunatrely there was no safe spot, mostly at the side of the road to pull over and snap a shot or I was in a hurry! I'm sure that I'll go back to Texas one day agaion and I will make sure I will look for good opportunities to catch wildlife. What I'm not sure about is whether the State of Texas does anything to prevent this masacre or not! Everywhere I drove, every road, it was fenced but animals do jump to go to the other side. This problem, a

Release of 50 Million Barrel

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The price of gasoline was a hot topic when I was in Texas last week, all across the US , of course. It was Thanksgiving  week and many people were on trip, either flying or driving. President Biden decided to release 50 Million  barrels from the US strategic oil reserve to fight the soaring crude price! It was obviously a dive in vein and I heard that on the radio that this action was criticized because that much of oil only equals to the US 's total consumption for only 2.5 days ! It was also said that the Biden  administration had engaged in negotiations with allies(!) to find the solutions to the problem. This map show the approximate location of storages. I might have driven pass one because of went to Gulf of Mexico area The US created the reserve in response to oil supply shortege/blockage of 1975 . The major oil suppliers turned the tap off to the world after the US supported Israel in their fight with Arab countries in 1973 , Yum Kippur War . The blockage was led by

20 Years Now

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Yesterday, the 29th of November was the 20th anniversary of my immigration. No celebration. No regret either. I wanted to go to the cafe that I sent my first messages home to tell them I was safe but was too tired as a result of the trip.  There won't be any celebration at all, not even this weekend because I have not achieved my goals in these past 20 years. My past 20 years have been mostly full of failures. One after another. Big and small. costly and cheap, in terms of money, of course. A failure is a lack of success, lack of accomplishment, reaching something that you had planned for. It's always costly because you have lost the most valuable thing: Time!  My marriage fell apart and I'm single for nearly 6 years now! Not that my marriage was so good when we were together but I know we loved it each other and now that we're not together, I miss her a lot and I know I won't be able to find someone like her again. The women I have met in the past 6 years, I can&#

Austin to IAH and the Return

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I reached home last night and I was so tired that I barely could walk! I think it was almost 22:20 when I got home and dragged myself up. I'm still tired and my right ankle and right knee hurts like crazy! I think it's the result of sitting still for hours. The drivbe from Austin to IAH and then the flight from IAH to YYC .  What I did was I left early because I didn't want to take any risk when I was flying back to YYC . I left around 07:45 , got some gas from a nearby Shell and headed east on InterState 71 . The road was not bad, in terms of usuall crazy American drivers(!) and I only made a very few short stops, although I should've made more for a number of good photo opportunities, untill I reached Houston area and basically after Katy, TX where I stopped for the last gasoline and it became really crazy! I must add that instead of my GPS , I used my phones GPS which looked more accurate and more updated but still I was nervous and uncomfrotable on the road

Stress in Austin

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I'm back in Austin and I'm going to settle down here until I fly out of the US because this processes of getting a room, checking in and checking out and carrying your stuff, is stressful and exhausting. When I first arrived in the vicinity of the city, I decided to find a place. The useless, stupid GPS directed me to two wrong addresses! I think I'd need to update the damn thing when I get back. Then I found a hotel and tried to book for Covid-19 Test because I apparently need that to go back. I tried Target and Wal-Mart pharmacy and both said they didn't have. An urgent care center, close to the hotel offered the test for $300 ! I then went to a Walgreen and there I was told that I had to book online.  Booking online, after I got the room was a disaster because the online questionnaire is designed for a resident of the US not a Canadian ! I eventually was able to register by going around some parts or altering answers(!), with the hope that I'd not affect the

Guadalupe Peak, TX

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I'm heading back east again after doing the hike of Guadalupe Peak . I'm staying in Fort Stockton, TX , tonight. Very tired and both of my knees hurt! It was an easy hike overall for a summit which only stands 2667 m. and the elevation gain is roughly 914 m. but what happened was I, first, when I got there, I had a little difficulty finding the trail-head and the visitor center was closed. So I referred to my phone and the GPX format file that I had downloaded and I found it. Then I realized that there's a campground just at the trail-head where many people are about to start their journey(!) from there. I head up the trail and I passed 3 or 4 parties when I realized a fella is approaching really fast. I turned back twice and he was shoulder to shoulder with me. A taller man with all white beard but he was very comfortable and relaxed. We started talking and going up together which was very good for me but I think perhaps that's why I have painful knees now because I

766 Km (476 Mi) in one Day!

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I'm in Carlsbad , NM now and back to Mountain Time ! It was a very tiring day because I decided instead of flying to Albuquerque and coming down NM and reaching Pine Springs , TX , approach from west! That was because there's no direct flight from Calgary to Albuquerque . WestJest goes to L. A. and then passes you to an American airliner and they fly you to that city. Air Canada flies to Denver , CO and then pushes you further south. The latter is more expensive. I realized that the second option was better now that I have driven 776 km in less than 9 hours ! Between the tiredness, road safety and cost of gasoline and food, it'd much better to take Air Canada option but that's lesson learnt too late!  The drive was actually not bad because  Texas   Inter-State 10 West is wide and there was not much traffic. The problem started when I hit 289 North which is under construction and particularly the last 40 minutes which got dark and the road was reduced to 1 la

Crazy Driving Day!

I'm writing from the second reserved hotel in Texas , in Downtown Austin now but I made a bad mistake! I thought I'd be okay to drive a long distance but I was wrong! I'm not a US driver! Some of these guys are really crazy and they have no respect for speed the posted speed. Besides there's not much enforcement on the roads! After checking out of Staybridge in NW Houston , I grabbed a breakfast, as they had nothing and then headed to Downtown Houston . Driving to any downtown in North America is not a wise thing because you either would not find a parking or the available space is usually unreasonably expensive. I parked on the street close to Toyota Center and went to the visitor information which was quiet and no one was there but the two fellas who were working there. Toyota Center , on the other hand, had a long line of youngsters all around it! Apparently a concert had been planned for the night. Here's the crazy thing I did: I drove all the way to Galvest

Not such a good start for a Trip

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I'm writing from a hotel in Houston , TX and I gotta say, it hasn't been such a pleasant trip so far! YYC was fine. No problem at all. At the CBP counter I had a chat with a Black officer who was very friendly and nice. No issues at all. I don't even see a stamp on my passport. Then WestJet flight was a usual. enough legroom, couple of cheap drinks(!) as usual and nothing else. My stress started at George Bush Intercontinental . No check or nothing at the airport and I went to the designated spot for the Rental Car Center shuttle. It must have been at least 20 shuttles and buses passing by and none stopping, which made me nervous that I would miss my reservation! A bus eventually came and I got on! The car renting process was easy with this difference that firstly they gave me a Camry , instead of Corolla and then the guy asked for coverage which would cost another $130 ! I declined that and said that I would come back a few days before the actual return day and would

The Chinese-Vietnamese in Canada

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  Canada has developed itself to be the garbage can of the world(!) for decades now. Everyone who has an issue finds their way to this country and is accepted easily. Why? Because the country needs more people. More cheap labour, more population to consume the junk food and buy cheap houses and more people to bring revenue to the government! Therefore it's not a surprise to find: Child molesters Corrupt cops and military officers (even engaged in genocide and war crime)  Slum prostitutes and drug dealers Professional thieves Sex offenders  Fundamentalists and extremists Wife Abusers And other sorts of evils in this country. Do the government and society care? No! The Government knows and doesn't care and the society looks at all of the foreigners with the same eye! They dislike them all! To them it doesn't matter if a person like me came as an immigrant after 5 years of sending documents, doing medical tests and such or a filthy pig who comes from slums of The Philippines

The Signs

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I haven't written anything here for a long time because there's nothing to write! It's just the disgusting work and then coming back home. Work at the side of the former nasty residents of slums and then coming home, eat, do a few things and go to sleep and again the same! Over and over. The only difference is that now I work 5 days a week which is much better. Less torture! Almost the same money. My plan to date the Blue-eyed Lady hasn't materialized, though! I tried to go to her office several time and she seemed to have a visitor every time! I eventually had an opportunity to have a little chat with her and she was very nice and smiling all the time! I think something very good had just happened to her because she usually is not that way. She said that I could go to her on Fri. afternoon and I thanked her.  I dropped by on the day and she was on a sort of telephone conference. She even didn't here me knocking twice and finally a few minutes before going home I

Canadian is a Culture not a Citizenship

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I went to my neighbourhood supermarket a few days ago for a little shopping. I only got a jar of Organic Milk , and a bag of Raisin and Cashew , each. I went to the cashier who happened to be a phony Indian woman in her early 50's. This was a perfect example of a phony person: Fake smile, if I could see that at all and forced(!) greeting and useless chit chat! As soon as she saw the bag of Cashew the man attribute of East-Indian people, jealousy, emerged! I barely have seen any people as jealous and cheap as Indian s and I'm stereotyping. This is based on my observations throughout all these years living in Canada . The bag worth more than $10 and she wondered how I can pay that much for an unnecessary food! So she asked me where I was from. I told her that I was from Rajastan , which is a state in India! She looked at me and first, for a moment she was about to believe that. I added that I was from Jaipour which is a main city in that state! She didn't buy it and now

A Call after more than a Year

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One of the things that people, who come from poor countries, think about Canada , I repeat, think, and this thinking is not rational(!), is its health services. They think it's a good system, in comparison to the US 's and of course their own. When I first came to Canada , I remember that there was a monthly amount, a premium, that everyone had to pay, based on the size of their family, to benefit from basic health services. They made it free a few years later. I always resisted paying and when I did it was with delay. I don't remember if there was a penalty for the delay or not. My point was I am always careful about my health. So why should I pay for the health services which take care of drunkards, drug-addict, crap-eater, etc?! The system actually encourages irresponsible people to do whatever they want to do and eat whatever they like(!) because they say: What the heck! If something bad happens to me, I'll go to the doctors and they'll fix me!  I don't know

A Different Type of Massage

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I, at times, go to massage places. I mean real places where you can get healthy massage not the fake ones with sexual purposes. This time I found a place which is only 5 minutes drive from my home. From the get-go I realized the person is from Eastern Block . Yes! It is still considered Eastern Block because those people are different from Western European s.  Anyways I reached there with a 5 minutes delay(!) because I, the silly(!), had to go to a bank and get cash. I was not sure if she had a machine. So it was a must to avoid an argument with an Eastern European woman who barely speaks English ! It was a very nice and big house. Clean and organized and part of the house was turned to a little clinic with office stuff, bed, equipment, basically whatever you need to run a business. As I had guessed it was a woman from one of the three countries which used to be part of The Soviet Union and they were the first three which became independent. Now I have no idea what the relationship

Alfons Chickens Out!

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I contacted my buddy Alfons down in California to discuss our hikes in Nevada . We were supposed to hike Boundary Peak and then Mt. Charleston , both in the State of Nevada this month and then when my supervisor said that I needed to give him a 30 days notice, I suggested to Alfons to postpone the trip/hike to October but he chikened out!  He indicated the cold and his lack of ability to do a hike in winter. I was aware of that but since he's the one who always brings the vehicle(!) of need (a 4WD ) and is a good company, I was hoping I could convince him this time as well! I really didn't care if he'd be able to reach the summit! Now that he has stepped back I'm left with a delimma! Should I stay or should I go? I'm not really worried about the trip cost. Neither I am worried about the ricks on the mountains. What makes me think twice about a trip of such is the stupid restrictions that the US Government has still in place! I, as someone, who intends to do a