Thursday, July 29, 2021

A Quiet Place: Love and Family

I watched A Quiet Place for the second time in a row last night! I was amazed by the movie. Everything is great and what surprised me the most and admire that a lot is the kids' performance. Young actress Millicent Simmonds is so great that I couldn't keep my tears from coming down. Her hearing is impaired and that's what makes her performance so great as how someone at such a young age (I think she was 18 at the time of the movie) can act so well. I had heard about the movie a few time but never cared enough to get it and watch it. 
I had seen Emily Blunt in Secario and she was amazing. This time, surprisingly she performs besides her husband who by the way is the director as well. This movie is 3 years old and is before the pandemic. So I think most of the movie-goers have watched it. The second part of it is in theaters now or maybe the last days. If you haven't, make sure you do. 
I'm not going to spoil it as some might not have seen it but be careful! It's an scary movie! I had trouble handling it at points! What I liked about the movie very much is the concept of family and love. That's something which I've been deprived of most of my life and I don't think I will ever feel it. It reminded me of the high school days that all the four of us would eat lunch in the kitchen, every day. I was usually the one who would reach home from the school and when I went to the kitchen, everyone was already there and everything was ready. It was mostly good but we had issues at time as well. Like any other family. But even that didn't last. My father died and the family was devastated. And then there was the university and then work and it was all because of my mother or I wouldn't have been able to accomplish whatever tiny thing that I did. We never sat at the same table altogether again, sadly! Father was gone forever and there was no and still isn't any connection between me and my brother. So when I got home from work or exercise or wherever the hell I had been to, Mom and Farzin had already had their supper. Farzin was watching the TV and Mom was doing the home chores. We would have a little talk and then the next day ... and the next day and same thing would go on until I moved out and came to Canada.
East Hasting Street, Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the darkest and nastiest place on the face of the earth in a so-called developed country! This street is occupied by drug-dealers, drunkards, drug-addicts, prostitutes and all the poor people who somehow have hit hard in life. I drove by only once and I was scared. My poor wife had to somehow get close to this city on her daily life when she left me. Robert Pickton's story has a beginning here
In Canada despite the 2 times that I've had roommate, I lived mostly alone because none worked the same time as I did. So we barely spent time together. From late 2001 to mid. 2009 that I had my partner, I lived alone. And then when I started living with my wife, It was a true struggle. It was just not possible to have someone else around al the time! The poor girl suffered a lot and I'm sure if she had somewhere to go, she would! She kept saying " You're not grown in a family! " and now that I think about it, I realize that she was right! I ruined her life and mine and although after a few years it was easier to handle " married " life, now that I think about it more, I believe that it was not a " married life "! She did two jobs, one full-time and one part-time to spend as  little as time as possible with me! And I didn't care! She was at work making money and saving it and I was wasting time at home on computer or other shit! We even didn't get intimate for many years before she moved out and of course it never happened after that either although we met a few more times. That, however, was her fault and now that I admitted it was my fault that the marriage went to garbage and became 7 years of waste, for both of us, I have to say that it was her fault that we didn't get intimate for more than 5 years! Yes! As stupid, silly and crazy it sounds, it is true. Once she said something like go wash your mouth or something like that which I barely remember because it was years ago and that was it. It was a complete turn-off and then she said " I will do that with someone whom I love! " For me that was it! I was locked! And although she pointed at this problem and having a child once or twice again, I couldn't go back to it. I was hurt and it was not possible to heal. She even made fun of me and I said nothing and the funny thing is she came back to the city from " British Columbia " where she used to stay with a friend, in a very cold winter day and forced me to go to a notary public and then the court to file for divorce! Our divorce was like our marriage! Fast and quick! And she went back to Vancouver where she was sharing a small apartment no so far from Hasting with another woman. 
The last time we spoke I think I was in CFLRS. She said " It is expensive here " and she added that she didn't have any choice but to go back to the old country. I told her where I was and she said that I finally got what I had wanted. Neither me nor her didn't know that I wouldn't be able to finish CFLRS and that 5 months was added to another waste of time. 
When I came back from CFLRS I had to stay with Mom for a while until I get a job but even then I was alone and now it's 11 months that I've been living alone in this house. Seems that it's my faith. The concepts of family and love are not much with me. 
(Photo: The four main characters of the movie. In fact there're only 2 more actors who have brief roles and the rest is done by this small group of four. The young British actor, Noah Jupe is phenomenal as well)

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Project IV

This post is about a funny set of events, funny in my view, that was supposed to help my friend M. E., in the old country, for the project that he was working on, or perhaps he still is working on! I'd call it Project IV and in case you wonder what has happened to Project I and Project II, and also Project III, I will write about them in separate posts as they all were with the same person. None has led to any result! 
M. E., my friend from the university days (we used to hang out mostly after we were graduated) told me about Project IV, and that's the name I've given it, nearly two months ago. He said that they were negotiating to fabricate a Cryogenic Tank, or maybe two for a client in the city of Basra in Iraq. For the ones who don't know much about Basra, I will explain this part of the world a little bit. 
Basra or Basrah, is a major city in south of Iraq and close to Persian Gulf. It's a majority Shia city. Shia is one of the two major sects of Islam. Basra was aimed by Iranian forces during the last years of Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) but they were never able to capture the city despite the fact that the majority of Basra people are Shia and it was expected that they rise against Iraqi Army to help Iranians. It is nearly 30 km (19 m) away from Iran-Iraq border. The catastrophic Operation Karbala 4 in December of 1986 was designed to attack southern Iraq, push the Iraqi forces back and hopefully capture that city but the operation was blown before it was started and the incompetent commanders insisted that it should be taken place! Yes! The Iraqi Intelligence, with the aid from Americans and Iranian traitors of MKO had discovered the reediness and preparation of Iranians for the operation and the Iranian commanders were notified of the upcoming disaster. The commanders ordered the volunteer forces of Basij whom many were frogmen, to attack. Many of them were killed and many more were captured alive and executed! No one has ever been charged and prosecuted for that in Iran
Iranian volunteer Basiji frogmen participated in Operation Karbala 4 to capture the city of Basra but many were killed and many others were captured alive and executed by Iraqis. This is the remain of one soldier whose hands are, as you can see, tied with barbed wire and executed
But why now after more than 35 years Iranians are getting active in Iraq, the country that they were brutally fighting against?! After Saddam was ousted by Americans in 2003, the country went into a ciaos which still continues. Iran has had the biggest influence in Iraq and that's what the Americans never liked and still don't. And that's why the former president of the US, Donald Tramp ordered Qasim Soleimani to be killed as he was the Iranian commander who did everything for the favour of Iran in Iraq. Other countries have been trying to have their share in Iraq in this situation. For the renovation and reconstruction part, Iranians, mostly have paired with Shia and Turkish and other countries of alike have stepped forward to work with the Sunni. That's why M. E. has been able to enter the negotiation to fabricate a Cryogenic Tank for the city of Basra. My role in this project was to find a company which designs the damn thing. I contacted 7 or 8 company and not one, not even one, stated that they would do that! One idiot, from Saskatchewan, responded to my call after almost a week(!) and stated that they would be happy to help. When I send the information about the project and the specification, with this twist about the location of the project because I knew they'd be freaked out, she said that they were only interested in projects in Canada and North America! I had told them that the project location was somewhere in Persian Gulf and the morons still freaked out! I told her that there was no project in Canada and North America and wished them success! There were companies that they didn't even respond! Their telephone was out of service. I was expecting this in the devastated economy of Alberta and generally Canada but not to that extent. I also contacted a former colleague, an old Caucasian fella, in his 60's, whom I call him Toby here. Toby is an experienced welder and QC Technician who has worked all around the world. He could be as friendly and as pleasant as your closest friend at times and as big as a colossal asshole at another! When I called him to consult on the project, he was very friendly and helpful. He sent me the contact information of at least 5 companies and I appreciated him regardless of the fact that none of them worked. Then I asked him if he would have been interested to go to the job site for the Quality activities, of course when the fabrication is in progress and he stated that he would have been. Then after a few e-mail and call exchanges, he turned to the asshole he is at times! He didn't respond! At the same time M. E. was gone and there was no contact with him for about two weeks! So I wondered if following up with Project IV would be a good idea. The only potential designers for the tank were an Italian company that M. E. had introduced them to me and he knows them from a previous project in the old country and a major fabricator in Canada who was introduced to me by Toby and they indicated that they would only design if they would be given fabrication. 
Location of the city of Basra in south of Iraq. You can see the major Iranian cities close to the border including the city of Khorramshahr, or Khorram-Shahr which was occupied by the Iraqis in the first year of the war. Basra is shown with a big red dot
Now I'm waiting for M. E. to tell me what to do! My main goal of this project has been to, first, learn something, help my friend and then probably have a trip to Iraq! Yes! As much as it might sound crazy I really would like to go to Iraq and particularly Basra to see the city but I have no idea if this ever happen. I will wait for my friend to see what he has done with Project IV so far.
(Photo, top: A Cryogenic Tank is used to store materials, a combination of liquid and gas, mostly liquid in a very low temperature. It looks like a crude oil tank but it is designed and fabricated under a slightly different standard/code, API 620)

Monday, July 26, 2021

From Heat to Filth and now Drought

The nasty, dark and suffocating blanket has covered most of Alberta for the past 3 weeks so far, I think. This is the first summer but this one is the worst. It's been the worst as far as I can recall. It was like this 3 years ago but not as bad. Before that it was extreme heat which prevented me from good night sleep. Temperature at night didn't go below 27 degrees Celsius. I could've actually go to the garage(!) and sleep there comfortably but for that I would have needed a comfortable bed in there and there was no way that I can take the damn bed from the second floor to the garage by myself. So I stayed and suffered! I can handle the day heat. It's no problem. It's cool and comfortable at work and then I drive to home. I don't spend much time outside! I don't even go for a walk these days! And after the heat went down, the smoke from freaking Brit" SHIT" Columbia started which still is lingering around. And then the worst is upon us now: Drought. 
This will have serious consequences: Food prices are going to go up, food exports will shrink, wildlife, mostly waterfowl birds will suffer, water shortage will threaten citizens and the price will mostly go up and many more shit that I don't think it's necessary to name. Add all of these on the top of the damn Corona-Virus which has not ended yet! What a pleasant summer!
(Photo: This map of the Province of British Columbia shows the wildfires at different parts. Winds are blowing to east so it's not a surprise that Albertans suffer the most. I had a nap after work yesterday because I start very early on Sundays. When I woke up, the first thing I noticed was the strong smell of burnt wood in the air!) 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

It's Easy to Spend when Someone else's Paying!

I convinced The Chef to go to Food Bank a few days ago. Now that he's fired from his job of 15 years and without much money (Still receiving E. I. tough) and without a vehicle, he usually volunteers for any out-of-home activity! So I called on his behalf and scheduled for an afternoon pick up. We were there 10 minutes early and we didn't see much action. It was not as busy as what we had expected. Unlike the usual procedure that you go in, present your I. D. Cards and then go to the pantry, there's a person who checks you in, using a tablet, and then after a few minutes another one brings a cart full of supplies.
This time it was a whole lot of items. From Cheese, Crackers, Vegetables and Ground Beef to Body Wash, Toilet Paper and cans. We headed back home and there The Chef asked me to take a few things despite the fact that I said I didn't need anything. He insisted to take as a gift for me driving him all the way down to the place. There were items that I wouldn't normally eat but I didn't wanna hurt his feeling. So I took them. Amongst them were Cinnerolls, Nutella and other junk food! So I thought what I should do with these? The best way was to leave them but we didn't know that we have been given these so I took them to work and presented them to the workers without them knowing it was from me! I just left them on the counter, in the refrigerator or in a cabinet. 
There was only one item that I put there and people saw me and that was a box of Cinnerolls. They thanked me one after another and I was not happy that I was given credit for that but what could I have said?! The next day there was only one left in the box! That was when the great Persian poem came to my mind:
خرج که از کیسهٔ مهمان بود
هأتم تائی شدن آسان بود
What basically it says is: It's easy to spend, when you're using someone else's money! Of course there's no money directly involved but that food belonged to The Chef because he's not in a good situation and then he gave it to me and I gave it to other! Again, I should not have gotten get the credit for it.
(Photo: Persian literature is amazing. There's no other one which even gets close in the entire world) 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Easy Come, Easy Go

I was at work on a break the other day when my telephone rang. I was playing chess! The name was not familiar and I picked up. There was a man with strong British or Scottish accent who wanted to talk about the position that I had applied the night prior to that! It was less than 24 hours! 
He started to explain about the position and I tried to understand him! It was not very difficult but at times I had to really focus or simply pass! I also realized that he uses different terminology at times. For example for " Overlap " he used something else and I understood from the entire sentence and the previous part of the discussion. He added that they'd pay $30 per hour to their " Building Inspectors " and it is for a long time. He also said that the incumbent would be given a company's vehicle to drive to the job-sites and home. 
It sounded not too bad although I'm familiar with the term " Long Term "! 
Now what I say to him is I'd have liked to see the " offer " so I can think about it and respond in a day. He either doesn't understand me or pretend not to because he goes: " Can you come for an interview? "!
We eventually agree on 11:00 today and of course I'm working! Besides I had an appointment at 09:00 for a physician. So I woke up at around 06:00 and was ready to send a message to the supervisor to tell him that I would be away because my car had been broken and I'd need to fix it! But then I thought to myself that it was not a good idea! I have a good working record, except for the injury time and I don't want to scratch that by going to a physician appointment where I can make up any story and re-book it and then to an interview for a position that is defined for a " Long Term "! I personally don't think that the long term is longer than a few months, particularly because he said that the current person is leaving. So one might ask the question of " where the hell this guy is going in this ruined job market ? ".
So I didn't text the supervisor and went to work, on time. Then around 09:50 I sent a message to the interviewer indicating that the physician (whom I had not seen!) has asked me to do a few tests! I added that I would be available this Tue., which is my off day, of course and he said that they might hire someone by then! This actually was the last nail on the coffin! The positions who hire fast, fire fast too! They have some shit job that the average guy, including the guy who is currently there(!), doesn't wanna do and the job is done quickly. So they try to get a desperate guy, such as me. Pushes him toward the job and make him work like a machine and then kick his ass out! 
When he used the term " Building Inspector " a few times, during our phone conversation, I was imagining a guy walking in dirt and pieces of metal, in hot summer and cold winter, going from this corner to other corner, measuring, looking closely and shit like that!
I still sent him an e-mail and repeated my availability for Tuesday but he hasn't responded yet. These Caucasian guys are all similar to each other! The minute it's the time they believe they should leave work, they will and drop by at the closest bar! I'm not sure about him but he could be one as well!
(Photo: A steel building should be similar to one that I was supposed to inspect!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Cost of Energy

Buying home in although it brings comfort in a way but there are disadvantages to it as well. It is true that only families should go through the hassle of borrowing money and pay monthly fees for their home. It's not difficult if the couple work but for a single man, it's not easy. 
I have tried to keep the cost to minimum but it's not easy. I don't have air conditioner, I don't put heat so mush high in winter, I don't use microwave oven, I don't have a dryer, I wash my cloths, as there aren't many, perhaps once a month, I don't have a TV, I don't put many lights on when it's dark(!), I don't fill the refrigerator and the top, freezer part, so it doesn't consume too much electricity, I don't have a fan of any kind, no ceiling fan and no standing one, I don't park in garage! So the garage opener and the light aren't used at all! However I do have a coffee maker, I cook at home on my stove and in the oven and I even do have a bread maker! The energy company has sent me reports of my usage. One is seen on the top and it's for electricity and one one the bottom is natural gas.
Natural gas consumption is compared between three types of homes in the city
As it can be seen in the gas graph, month of Feb. has the highest amount of consumption but what I know for a fact is these homes are not properly isolated because if they were, we wouldn't have to pay this much for energy. Or perhaps I should correct it to " they shouldn't have to pay this much for energy "! These are cheap homes and they're sort of " Build & Sell " homes. If the financial situation improves, I will do something about this damn house. I will probably get solar panels and do a good isolation if I can find a good provider. Until then I will have to keep the costs low using the same manner.
(Photo, top. The graph shows the electricity consumption in the first 6 months of 2021 and the comparison between three types of homes in the city)

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

The First Interview of 2021

 The first six months of the year is gone and no good thing has happened! Just work and then the injury and extreme heat which prevented me from a comfortable sleep a few nights! That was it! The only positive(!) thing that came out of the injury was having the opportunity to apply for a number of positions.
One of the employers contacted me last week and said that they wanted to talk to me about the position. He called yesterday and we talked for about half an hour. He asked me to tell him about myself, as usual and asked me a number of questions by reading parts of the resume I had sent him. I really can't say if he liked the result or not but he asked what I thought about compensation. I told him that I was sure a company like theirs would compensate their Quality person in an acceptable manner, or something like that! He eventually named a number between $80,000 and $90,000 and I know it's not such an attractive figure for someone with a resume such as mine, I called it fair. He said he would most likely contact me next week but if he wouldn't I should ask him, something I hate to do. 
The only question I asked him, after he asked me if I had any, was about the duration of the job. He said that " it was not a project based " position and they wanted someone to do the job regularly but I don't remember he ever mentioned the term " permanent ". 
How do I feel about this job? Not so good. It seems a small company with limited work and I didn't believe this guy but if I ever was offered the position, I would try to keep my current job on weekend and do this one for the other 5 days! There's no other way to survive in this society! 
(Photo: The position is directly or indirectly works in construction industry. How could it not be a project-based position, then?!)

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Six Days

I knew basically nothing about the siege of
Iranian Embassy in London in 1980 before I saw the movie 6 Days last night. Good movie which shows everything about that event in less than 2 hours. What happened almost 41 years ago is a number of filthy Arabs whom their leader was an Iraqi diplomat(!) smuggled guns and ammunition to England and then stormed the embassy in the morning of 30.Apr.1980
These people were campaigning for the liberation(!) of Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran and claimed that belong to Arabs! I personally have been to that province. I have been to Ahvaz. We had suppliers there when I used to work for EIED. My first wife is from Ahvaz. So I went there and I actually had a good time. It was a nice city at the time with lots of places to see in and around and good traditional food including an excellent Bison Milk Ice Cream! Unfortunately I have not heard good things about the city lately. Air pollution, poverty as a result of the corrupt government and other issues have made life difficult for the inhabitant of the city. I also have been to Abadan, Khorramshahr, Shush (Susa) just to say that yes there're minority Arabs in that province but not as many as Persians and do they get oppressed? I can't say but I know this for a fact that when I traveled to Ahvaz to talk to the suppliers, and I admit that it was a lousy project at the time(!), many of the counterparts were Iranian Arabs and we didn't have any issues with them. Ali Shamkhani, one of the commanders in Iran-Iraq War is an Iranian Arab as well. So I don't know what more there people want. Their stupidity and silliness has been extended to even these days. They attacked innocent people in Ahvaz in 2018
Iranian Arab Commander Shamkhani is seen here in Iran-Iraq War days, on right, next to the former President Hashemi (wearing white turban) and Mohsen Rafigh-doost, the Revolutionary Guards top Commander. Look at the emblem hanging from his shirt pocket.
Back to the movie, there's a negotiator who is in touch with the terrorists through phone and that is Mark Strong, the same guy who has a major role in Body of Lies. He, wisely, was able to get more time from terrorists which made the British Government able to discuss the matter with the then Prime Minister, Margret Thatcher and also gave enough time to SAS team to practice different scenarios of attacking either the embassy building or the bus which were supposed to take the terrorists and their hostages to Heathrow. I didn't want to give the whole story but this is different from watching the movie, meaning you still can enjoy it. SAS (Special Air Service) team eventually gets an opportunity and they go inside and free all but two of the hostages and kill all but one of the terrorists. 
Members of a military band who had participated in a parade, are hiding in a narrow channel during the attack by Arab separatists/ISIS terrorists in Ahvaz, in 2018. The attacked claimed 25 lives
The funny thing is Saddam has the same dream in mind when he attacked Iran a few months after this! He wanted to include the province of Khuzestan! Not to mention going all the way to the capital. Despite the fact that the war was useless and did nothing but destroying two countries in Western Asia (which some stupid call it Middle East!). 
Anyways the movie is highly recommended. Good story, good directing, good actor and good cinematography. Enjoy. 
(Photo, top: SAS team members are trying to enter the embassy by using ropes from the roof. One of them got stuck as seen here and he had to be cut down by his fella comrades. he sustained injuries to his thigh but continued and finished the mission)

Saturday, July 03, 2021

The Second Needle

I got my second immunization shot this week, finally. It was different this time. I got Pfizer which in comparison with AstraZeneca didn't have any effects on me rather than the soar shoulder! I had not ask for that but when the pharmacist handed me the paper, I saw the brand was different! This time, unlike the last time, he handed me an ice pack and asked me to put it on my shoulder! This and no affect at all, made me think that he could have cheated me by simply giving a, say, Flu vaccine! 
Some might ask why would a pharmacist do that? There are reasons for that although I cannot prove that's what he did! They could sell that Pfizer doze to, for example, people who are travelling to the countries that receiving vaccine requires longer wait. This came to my mind especially when I put the pharmacist name, which I'm not reveal here, next to the other two factors! Call me crazy but when it comes to greed, especially in Canada, and by people who come from countries that buying a pair of shoe was a dream, people do anything to make a few more bucks! 
I sat there for about 10 minutes and held that ice pack on the spot. I noticed a Canadian woman walked on the pharmacist with her passport in her hand! I couldn't hear everything they said but I heard the fat pharmacists goes: We don't do that! It was obvious that the woman, in shorts and in her late 50's to mid. 60's wanted him to indicate in her passport that she had been vaccinated! What a great country with so many genius people! I've heard that we might need a third dose and even more, some say, every six months! It might happen because these greedy companies never stop bringing money to their accounts!
(Photo: An American passport, a medical mask [which is useless and is for show only!], and a vaccination record card. It seems that two more things are added to our list if we're going on a trip, these days)