Friday, December 13, 2013

How to capture time laps video of car ride or my drive to the office in one minute

Yesterday one of my friends in Azerbaijan posted a picture in Facebook, how was awful to drive in snowy conditions in Azerbaijan and called it hell. It gave me an idea to show him how my daily drive is. And I do not call it hell. Hell might be too hot, it is COLD...

video

For information road is 22 km and takes me 25-30 minutes to drive. I take back roads, therefore what you see in the video is rural areas. It was -18 C in the morning.

Now is the way how I did it. When I decided to do that I thought about a camera to capture a time laps. But after seeing the price I changed my mind. It was over $100. Then I remembered that I have an iPhone with camera))). Started looking for an app. And found different ones. Decided to go with the cheapest one and choose Miniatures which is for free. Then an issue for me was to mount my phone in the car. I was not going to buy it. Googled it and found that I can mount my phone to rear view mirror by rubber bands which you can find in every office. So, having an iPhone with the app and rubber bands in hand I took this time laps. Just do not forget to switch your iPhone to air plane mode to avoid disruptions. Let me know if you have any questions. And sorry for the quality, it is my first time laps.

A disclaimer: DO NOT DO THAT IF YOU CANNOT DRIVE WITHOUT LOOKING AT REAR VIEW MIRROR!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How I found my fifth job in Canada or Declan Bird my recent hero

Usually most of immigrated bloggers write down how they managed to find their first job in Canada as I did before. However, now I am going to write down about my fifth job hunting in Canada)). One of guys moved to Calgary from Azerbaijan told me that I am hero as I managed to find 4 jobs in Canada when he was not able to find one. But last two years I was struggling to find a permanent position. For junior position I was overqualified and for senior positions my Canadian experience was not enough. Meanwhile I was not unemployed for long term. In summary I was unemployed in Canada only 3,5 months. And first month I decided to take a break after Ernst and Young. So actually I was 2.5 months unemployed, which is very good for a newcomer. During 2 years in Canada I changed 4 jobs, 3 of them were temporary and one permanent position which ended with being laid off. 

My last employer was Servus Credit Union which caused me to move back to Edmonton. My contract with them was until end of November 2013. They informed me in advance that they are not going to hire me permanently as I am overqualified for Senior Budget Analyst position they are going to open. So, I started looking for a job in early September. From my past experience I was aware that submitting my resume directly to companies is useless if you were not referred by a powerful "uncle". As I do not have such uncle here in Canada I decided to work with recruiters. Actually, I was employed through a recruiter, David Aplin at that time. It was my second assignment through them. In addition to David Aplin I met with several powerful recruiters in Edmonton market. All of them were highly interested in my profile. However, as David Aplin knows me better than others I was expecting them to arrange my next employment. At the end I was sure that I made a right decision by relying on them. Actually Doug Bristow, National Practice Leader assured me that he will not let me to be unemployed, at least he may arrange for me a temporary position. But most interesting discussions I had with Declan Bird, Senior Consultant. He actually arranged for me an interview with an oil & gas company in Nisku, AB. The interview process was so long... I had three phone interviews and two face-to-face interviews. But I had very positive feelings. Finally this company, which is Ironline Compression (formerly Exterran) offered me Manager, Financial Planing and Analysis position at their Nisku, AB office. And I accepted the offer. As I live in south part of Edmonton it takes for me 22 km or 25 minutes to drive to the office, which is acceptable. It is a reorganizing company which makes it extremely interesting for me.

If you are interested in David Aplin or would like to know Declan Bird, below is his video from youtube. I will highly recommend him as a recruiter to any company. In accordance with feedback I got from my new boss candidates provided by Declan were most professional ones. For myself I am pretty confident that if I need someone to hire I definitely first call to David Aplin!



How I purchased a DSLR camera in Canada or my new Canon T3

As I mentioned in my previous posts I was looking for a new camera long time. Buying a new digital camera was not a case. I decided to go in SLR shooting. As market of DSLR cameras has no so many choices, I was deciding between Canon and Nikon. I decided that I do not need expensive camera as I have no experience in SLR shooting. So my choice narrowed down to Nikon 3100 and Canon T3 which are starting points in SLR cameras. Another factor for me was image stabilization. Nikon 3100 with 18-55 mm VR lenses was for $480 and Canon T3 with a similar lenses was for $499. I decided to wait for discount season. Discount season in Canada and the US differs. Therefore, I had two chances: Black Friday of the US and Boxing Day of Canada. From my experience I know that Black Friday deals are more favourable for customers. So, I waited for Black Friday of 2013 which fell on November 29, 2013. Actually most of the retailer started offering discounts from Monday. Walmart offered Canon T3 with DC (non-IS) for $300 starting couple weeks before. However, I was looking for IS lenses. With IS lenses the price was $380. Decided to wait. The next offer came from Staples they were selling Canon T3 with 18-55mm IS lenses for $350. Price of Nikon 3100 with the similar lenses was $380. I decided to act. I visited Staples and bought a camera and additional 50 mm lenses for $130. 50 mm lens is good for portrait shooting. Do you believe my story ends here? No, not at all. As an accountant I decided to look at prices and see any fluctuations. When I came back home I noticed that amazon.ca sells 50 mm lens for $110. I printed the web page and went back to Staples for a price match. Staples refunded me $20. The next day afternoon when I checked price of the camera at the office I noticed that amazon.ca sells it for $330. Again I printed the web page, however, when I left the office the price went up to $350. Anyway I decided to give a visit to Staples with my proof in hands. What you think? They refunded me $20. So I bought Canon T3 with 18-55 mm IS lens and 50 mm lens for $440. My saving is $180 or 35%. Is that amazing?! So wait from me for pictures with better quality!

And here is some picture I took on this camera:

Forest at our neighbourhood 
My son Murad

Find me))

Still life
Finally got their Christmas tree
P.S. December 13, 2013 received Target's flyer at home. Canon T3 with IS lenses are for sale $300. Price match at Staples is 14 days only and as I bought my camera November 27th, 14 days was not working for me. However, I decided to make a visit to Staples. I said to manager that I am aware that 14 days passed but Target sells the same camera for $30 less. She said sorry but we cannot do anything. My next question made her to think. I asked : "Would you prefer me to return the camera and buy it from Target? Staples has 30 days return policy!". So, she decided to refund my $30. So, my final cost of  Canon T3 with 18-55 mm IS lens and 50 mm lens is $410. Is that cool?!))) Looking at offers from other retailers as my 30 days is still valid)))

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Our new purchase or Apple forever

Last evening UPS delivered following beauty to us:



This is MacBook Pro. It is not secret to my friends here that I am Apple fun. And last years Windows with it's slowness and bugs made me to decide purchasing MacBook Pro as a home computer. My old one was Asus Ee PC, which is netbook. It served me more than 3 years and it is still working, but now it reminds me last days of old man. Slow, hardly breathing... RIP.

The new MacBook will allow me to be more flexible in editing family pictures and videos. Unfortunately with my old one I was limited to it's abilities. But the new one is very strong machine. 13.3-inch MacBook Pro, 2.6GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5, 8 Gb RAM with Retina Display. Cool! I am excited!

I used to believe that switching from Windows to Mac is painful. Not at all!!! Mac is more comfortable and fast than Windows machines.

So, after purchasing a DSLR camera you will get more quality in my future posts. By the way above pictures taken on my iPhone 4s.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Scam city or pharmacy in Canada

I already mentioned about medical services in Canada here. Today I would like to write down about pharmacy in Canada. First I would like to mention that it differs from pharmacies in Azerbaijan or other post-Soviet Union countries. If you are free to by any medicine (except some strong analgesics and addictive drugs) in Azerbaijan, in Canada you need to have a prescription for most of medicines (except usual analgesics, sprays and etc.). And my frustration is coming from prescribed medicines. I had several times visited pharmacies here. Pharmacies are not usual drug stores that post-Soviet Union people are used to know. Pharmacies in Canada employs several pharmacists, who are extremely "busy". What they do? They do nothing to add value.

Let's cool down and be clear. I will write down step by step. First you get you prescription from your doctor and visit a pharmacist, where you leave your prescription, contact details at drop-in. After an hour you get your medicines with with fancy sticker on it and a paper with information about a medicine. Sticker has your name, doctor's name, dosage, expiry date on it. Do I need them? Not at all! Am I so stupid that, I cannot read prescription and remember what my doctor advised me? I do not believe so!  Can I get an expiry date from package of the medicine? Exactly I can! Do I need a paper printed from Internet about the medicine? Not at all! If I need more info google is more helpful!

You may ask why I am so angry to pharmacies. Because they make money on me. I am overpaying for a medicine for several times. For example, during my last visit to pharmacist I bought Nasonex spray from them for $44.20. Below is copy of the receipt:


As I used to buy this medicine in Azerbaijan, I remember that it costs not more that $20. And here in Canada you can find the same medicine online for $24. As I needed the spay as soon as possible, waiting my order to be delivered from online shop was not an option for me. So I had no choice but to buy it from the pharmacist. And a question, why it is almost twice expensive? Why I should pay twice more? Because pharmacist is making money on me! 

During my previous visit they sold me anti-biotic which cost not more that $30 for $70. They opened the medicine and mixed it with water for me. Am I an idiot? Cannot I read the instruction of the medicine and mix it myself? We used to mix our medicine our self and you do not need to be a genius to make it! In honest language it called SCAM. I understand that some old people may need help with their medicines. And let pharmacists to help them. Why I have to buy their service? WHY? I should have a choice. I should not pay for a service do not need and overpriced...



Monday, September 23, 2013

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

Microsoft just introduced next generation of its Surface tablets. I am Apple consumer, but I like idea of having normal windows environment in tablet mode. And Surface Pro2 looks cool. I like it. I may consider it in my next choice of laptop/tablet. Below is commercial of the new tablet.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Getting older or today I am 31

It does not mean that my new goal is purchasing a plane)))

I am getting old. Today I am 31. As I wrote a year ago, I usually have mixed feelings on my birthdays. I try to look at the past and make some kind of analysis. A year ago I was satisfied that I reached to my two major strategic goals (CPA and Canada). But now I am looking back and thinking "Did I set right gaols?"... Before immigration I never thought that I am so patriot... But here patriotism became stronger. My friends and my wife noticed it several times. I am always proud that I am a Turk. But never valued customs and culture we have. Started feeling that I am turning to a very conservative person. And that is major sign of old ages...)))
Now is the positive part:

"Today is my birthday, a special day,
 Just for me, just for me,
 Today is my birthday a special day,
 So come everybody sing with me.

 My friends will come, we’ll dance and play,
 And have a lot of fun,
 The sun is out
 And I am glad,
 My day has just begun!"

It is a song from BabyTV my kids love it and we listen it very often. Singing it from this morning...))))

P.S. Today Morning I got an e-mail from Ernst&Young again. It made me happy. Eighth time they congratulate me on my birthday! Amazing)))) Thanks to great company made by great people!