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...

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.


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 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 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!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Just a picture

Decided to share it. It brings lots of positive for me. I took this picture at Happy Acres U-Pick today afternoon. Hope will add some positive to your mood as well.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Skype vs Viber

As an immigrant living in Canada and having strong ties with Azerbaijan I am using mobile application to contact to my family there. I have iPhone 4s and it was interesting for me which free call application uses mobile data less. During a working day I have no access to wi-fi so I need to use mobile data for a call. The major players in the market is Skype and Viber right now. So I made small research and found out that Skype uses 4 times more data than Viber. Holy cow!!! I was shocked. This comparison is Skype to Skype and Viber to Viber voice calls only. You can check it yourself at Skype's official and Viber's fun websites. For me both have the same connection quality. Then why to pay more?! 
Everybody knows Skype. But Viber, it is a new application and it breathes down Skype's neck right now. They just introduced PC and Mac application for video calls. Hope to get video calls in iPhone app as well. Below is introduction of Viber Desktop.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Free admission to Edmonton's Recreation Facilities & Attractions for newcomers

As I noticed before I am swimmer by nature. I love swimming and trying to swim as much as my shoulder allows me. I used to swim in Calgary with my boss who is planning to attend triathlon in future. After our move to Edmonton I started looking for a swimming pool matching my needs. My first impression was swimming in Edmonton is expensive than Calgary. I used to pay $5.60 per drop-in in Calgary, here I am paying $10.50. You feel the difference? For an accountant it means 87.5% increase in sport expenses. So I started finding legal ways to reduce this cost. And during my searches I found Leisure Access Program which offers free access to leisure centers for newcomers during their first year. You can read about it here. Hope it will be helpful for prospective immigrants planning to land in Edmonton.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Edmonton then and now or history of Edmonton

Just found a website which has pictures of Edmonton from early 20th centure with comparision to current ones. History was always interesting for me. So, decided to share. Hope you will like it as well.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Servus Credit Union - my workplace

As I noticed before one of the reasons why we moved to Edmonton is my new job. Currently I am employed by Servus Credit Union. Being honest as a structure credit union was for me a new discovery. Before I have never faced with cooperatives in financial institution. I am not going to write down about credit union, so you can google it. But I would like to show you where I work.
Servus Credit Union headquarter
I am very interested in architecture and internal design and this building really impressed me. Everything in this building is designed to provide you with comfort in your workplace. And this my actual working space:

In addition to having fabulous building, our office located in one of the most green places in Edmonton. I am walking around during my lunch breaks and here is some picture I captured:

So you may notice that the office very close to nature. I am not posting picture of geese as they could be very aggressive. I try to avoid them here)).

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Changing Calgary to Edmonton or new job and new life

So, as I promised there was a silence before the storm in my blog. Actually our life totally changed during last three months. I will try to keep consequence and write down what has happened.

I always say that being an engineer is better than being an accountant. If your employer faces any financial difficulties an engineer will not feel it, but an accountant will. So, from beginning of 2013 there was obvious that everything is not going as was planned at the company I was employed. And in the middle of March I predicted upcoming lay-offs. As I was one of the highly qualified employees which company does not need to pay when there is no business case, I was aware that I will be one of the first laid-off persons. Moreover I was employed in the company less than a year, which made me more vulnerable. After long stressful waiting on April 09, 2013 I saw the president in my office along with HR. First time in my life I was laid-off. The most surprising things happened on that day. First of all when the president was passing me the letter he almost cried. I was not able to understand his reaction. I am an accountant and I was aware what is happening and I was ready to be laid-off. Based on his emotion I was expected to start crying and yelling. But for his big surprise I was relaxed. The next surprise was when I started handling paperwork to the CFO. Owner of the company asked him "what is this guy doing here? he just was laid-off, why he is here?". As a professional I always hand over my paperwork when I leave the company. I never left anything in half way. I do this because I respect myself at least. So, based on my first experience being laid-off, I was expected to cry and leave my office as soon as possible. I do not believe that job costs losing my face. Anyway, I will not accept Canadian rules of being laid-off and will keep my own ones in future ))).

The next step was a job hunting. Actually I started it before the lay-off. But was not lucky to find it before these processes. As I mentioned in my previous post me and my wife was somehow regretting that we moved to Calgary. That is why we decided to have a look at Edmonton's job market as well. Being honest I just contacted my old friends from a recruiting firm - David Aplin. I would with great confidence advice Edmonton team of David Aplin to anyone who is looking for a job in finance area. Doug Bristow, Patricia Gawlik, Declan Bird are really supportive and reliable members of this team. Let’s return to my job hunting. In Calgary I have contacted everybody I know and all major players of the recruiting industry. However, luck came from Edmonton. Doug from David Aplin organized for me several interviews and one of them was phone interview with Servus Credit Union. They were looking for someone to assist them during budgeting season. It was a temporary position with probability of turning to permanent. So they liked me and they offered me six months contract for a senior financial analyst position starting from June 24th. I accepted it with a great pleasure. So during this three months I was first time in my life laid-off and was my longest unemployment two and half months. Even when I just immigrated I found a job after two weeks of job hunting.

So as you noticed my new work place is located in Edmonton. The next important step was moving back to Edmonton. I hate moving, it is really hard process and I do not believe that I have right to have this process for my family often. But really big thanks to my wife who always support me. I feel her breath on my back always. I am very lucky person to have such good wife. So, I gave a notice to my landlord and started looking for a house in Edmonton. Being honest I was shocked when noticed that rent payments are so high for the separate houses. Therefore, I focused only on townhouses. There were two criteria for my search: south part of the city and new building. But I noticed an old townhouse in Millwoods, Edmonton which was just renovated. It is very close to my new job and area where our friends live. And it is very large which is good for my kids. Therefore, we decided to rent this townhouse.Here it is:

Finally on June 30, 2013 we moved to Edmonton. The moving day was birthday of my wife. Looks like I messed up her day. I always criticize myself. And such a major changes in our life usually hard step for me. I feel guilty that I cause such a discomfort for my family.(((

Anyway now I am employed at Servus Credit Union as a senior financial analyst and we live in Millwods, Edmonton. My kids are happy as they started playing with other Azerbaijani kids who understand them. We are happy as well. We do not feel alone anymore. In Calgary we had such feeling.

As regards Calgary, during the period we were busy by moving there was a flood in the city. Couple days before the flood the weather was stormy. I have never seen such a disaster. Almost half of the city was under water. The surprise for me was how city managed the situation. There was no panic or rush. Everything was planned ahead and acted perfectly. Great thanks to Naheed Nenshi for that. However, lots of people lost their houses=investments. Most of them had no flood insurance. One of my friends was also pushed out from his house during the flood. Fortunately his house was not affected by the flood. God bless Calgarians!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Calm before the storm

I took this picture here in Calgary
I am not writing long time here. It is the calm before the storm. Lots of things happened in our life last months. I will say lots of changes. And still happening. Will write them down as soon as everything will be settled. It is the calm before the storm!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Scam city or reality behind a gift card from Carinosa Portraits

One of my favorite TV shows is Scam City at Travel+Escape channel. It reminds me my home city - Baku, where you have to be awake all the time. Otherwise, you have a great chance to be victim of a scam. After immigration to Canada we became more relax and tried to forget stressful life we had in the home country. However, as I already noticed in my previous posts Toyota dealership tried once to cheat me and they lost the game. The recent scam was also coming from the same dealership. 
So once upon a time we received a gift certificate from South Point Toyota. The certificate was saying that we are entitled to have a photo session at Carinosa Portraits and a family portrait which totally values $700. Being honest I was thinking about having a family portrait and such a Christmas Gift was a pleasant surprise for me. So, in early January I went to the photograph's website and filled online booking request. After couple weeks seeing nothing happening I called them and asked about status of the booking. The photographer promised to call me back later as he is fully booked currently. So, he finally called me in early February and booked an appointment on February 24, 2013. He also mentioned that his contract with the dealership has expired and we may change the gift card with the new one with value of $700 and no more details he provided. Would like to note that the gift certificate we had was valid for 90 days, which means it valid until end of March. 
So on February 24th me and my family were at his studio. The photographer is a man in his 50s from Montreal who recently moved to Calgary. His name is Darryl McCall. He was really great during the session and we were really happy that we a going to have a professionally made family portrait. He asked us to visit him next day to make an order for the portrait. The main scam was planned to this day. We started by choosing pictures we like most. After we have chosen three pictures we started discussing size and price of the pictures. He noticed that the certificate we had covers his session of $300 and a portrait. By simple math price of the portrait makes $400. However, he declared that he does not print "cheap" portraits anymore and the lowest price of a portrait is $650. So again by simple math it means that we owe him at least $250. And if we desire to have an electronic versions of the picture we need to pay $300 per picture. We were in shock! I tried to take an electronic version of our family portrait which will make $300 for the session + $300 for the picture. But he refused it saying that our certificate covers only a session and a family portrait. For me as a guy from Baku it was obvious that it is a well planned scam. He keeps silence about details of the arrangement and make a surprise to you when you fall in love with the portrait. My spouse was asking me to leave the studio as she does not want to be victim of a scam. But I decided to order our portrait as I really want it. I also decided not to leave the situation like this, as feeling myself as a victim was not in line with my rules. 
After returning home I sent a complaint to South Point Toyota about the situation. However, my complaint was rejected by sales manager saying that this an issue between me and the studio. My response was a little bit pushy. I wrote a lecture about client satisfaction and noticed that if my issue is not going to be solved soon I am going to complaint to Toyota Canada and BBB. I also CC-ed general manager to the e-mail. And finally I received an e-mail from the general manager, which says that they will send me a cheque of $250 and they apologize for the incident. 
So as a result we received a family portrait at no cost from Toyota!!! Thanks TOYOTA!!! And here is the portrait:

Being honest I was not planning to write about this incident as decided that it may be an issue about me only. And making a conclusion that it is a scam will not be appropriate. However, last Sunday my old friend Ali visited us with his family. Showing him our portrait I started talking about the history behind it. Afterwards he said that he also received a certificate from RBC with the same content. It was the same studio and the scam mechanism worked as I was with us. They spent $600 there. So looks like he uses the same scam mechanism with everybody. God bless Calgarians! My old colleague used to say if to guy says that something wrong with you it is better to look at a mirror... So there are two cases where scam was in place, better to be aware when you receive a gift certificate from Carinosa Portraits.... Just keep in mind that the portrait above costs $950...)))

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Nowruz 2013

So today is the last day of old new year. And I would like to wish Happy Nowruz Holiday to everybody who celebrates it. About the holiday I have already mentioned here. I was so sad that was not able to make a traditional fire and jump over it. Condo does not allow to do it. However, I made a fire in my BBQ while cooking shish kabab. It looked like these:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday positive!

Just wanted to share a musical project which impressed me. Young musicians are playing the same music and singing the same song in different places. Then it was collected as a single song. It is national Azerbaijani song "Ay Lachin". Like a project "Playing for change" in the US. Thanks to them added positive to my tired Friday day. As they are singing/playing in different places of Baku it also added some nostalgia to my mood... Very talented guys and I strongly believe that it worse to listen! So, ENJOY!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Spring Holiday Ladies

One of the cultural differences immigrants face is holidays they used to celebrate in their home country and new holidays which feel strange first years. And one of the "old" holidays is today - International Women's Day. Europe celebrates it, but North America not. However, roots of the holiday goes to the US in early 20th century. You can google or read about it from wikipedia
Anyway I would like to congratulate all women surrounding us. They are sometimes look strange for our plain men's brain, however they add color to our life. I cannot imagine and do not want imagine how our life would be without them. 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Invention from HyperStealth or Invisibility Cloak - Quantum Stealth from Canadian company

Canadian company producing military clothes introduced invisible material - Quantum Stealth. Below is the video where CEO of the company, Guy Cramer talks about the material. As my dad is former military and I grew up with the military literature it is very interesting for me. For every kid  invisibility cloak was one of the most desirable thing. And it looks really amazing.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Calgary vs. Edmonton or our visit to Edmonton

Edmonton left in our hearts very good memories. We first landed in Edmonton. So, Edmonton has some kind of native feeling for us. 

Taking into account that most of our friends living in Canada settled in Edmonton, we decided to celebrate new year there. I called to friends and noticed that they are missing us as we do. So, I rented an apartment for 3 days(much cheaper than hotel), took a day off from my job and we headed to Edmonton on December 30, 2012. Visit to Edmonton was very interesting for me. I was trying to analyze whether we did right decision by moving to Calgary. And I wanted to compare this two cities once again. After living 7 months in Calgary our feeling returning to Edmonton was important. 

First time I tried to compare Edmonton and Calgary in my this post. But now I feel that I have something to add! In order to be more clear I will try to separate my comparison into two categories subjective an objective: 

Most of objective facts I already mentioned here. And I still believe that they are correct and do not want to repeat. In addition I can say that during our trip we felt that Edmonton is more mature city. There is no too much construction there, which results in less trucks on the roads. Less construction does not mean that the city is not developing, it is already done! Roads, neighborhoods are silent and clear.

By visiting our friends we noticed that we lost a lot by moving to Calgary. My kids were so happy... Most of our friends has kid(s) at the same age as mine are. Therefore, my son was so waiting meeting with his "Musu Qaqa" (actually his name is Huseyn and he is my friend-Farhad's son; "qaqa" means bro). During our visits we never felt that we are guest there. My mom-in-law who is visiting us these days (I am going to have a separate post on this) also confirmed that in Edmonton we had more friendly community than in Calgary. There some exceptions of course, but overall she is right. 

And my spouses question when we were driving back some kind of surprised me. She asked "may be we need to move back...?"...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Andrea Bocelli or Italian culture which affected my childhood

I cannot imagine my childhood without Italian movies and songs. Adriano Celentano was so famous in USSR. Most of his movies are translated into Russian which made them accessible for us. And Toto Cutugno's songs were usual for us. Then I started working at the factory producing Italian cheese. And my first meeting with Italians and their culture, food happened there. I steel believe that things made in Italy are made with love and quality. "Made in Italy" is sigh of quality for me! I am so excited with Italians that I was shocked when I noticed that no one knows Celentano in Edmonton, AB... that is called cultural difference or cultural shock.

I am sure where it comes from, but I cannot avoid listening Ave Maria when I hear it... It is strange, because it was not famous in Azerbaijan nor in my family. However, when I hear Ave Maria I loose my control and focus only on this song. And of course Italian tenors are best singers of Ave Maria. Andrea Bocelli is one of them. He is very talented person. Actually he is a lawyer and he is blind, but his voice astonishes me. So, enjoy, as I do!!!

RIM unveiled Blackberry Q10 & Z10 and new operating system BB10

Today RIM announced several news. First of all RIM renamed to Blackberry. And they have unveiled new phones and operating system BB10. Below is the video from the event:

Being honest the guy introducing the new phones and the system was awful. As I am aware this phones and the system is their last chance to stay in the business. With such introduction I do not believe that Blackberry will be able to gain market share. When Apple prepares brilliant show to introduce its most unsuccessful phone, iphone 5 and operating system, IOS 6 and sells millions of this devices, I am not optimistic that BB will have success with such poor event. Actually, I believe that they are too late with this introduction. But anyway I would like to see success of Blackberry as a member of Canadian society...

And here is Blackberry Q10:

And Blackberry Z10:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Elmar Aghayev - Person who believes in bright future of Azerbaijan

One of the main reasons pushed me to leave Azerbaijan is lack of believe in bright near future there. I lost my believe in tomorrow, which made me unhappy. It is very personal. Some of my friends asked me not to run away from problems and just fight against it, others told me that there is no issue at all just my mind created them. There was guys who shared my view, too. But today I am going to write down about a guy who is braver and more flexible than me. He believes that by trying everything can be changed. His name is Elmar Aghayev. His my cousin, elder son of my only and lovely uncle. Almost a month ago he left Ernst&Young and joined to Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park Ltd ("SCIP"). SCIP is governmental company and should assist in building the infrastructure for business activity and manufacture of chemical products. Oil-chemistry will be the priority of the new park. Why he is brave? Because he is very successful from high school to E&Y and decided to change his life for hope. He was a winner of Math Olympiads at high school, holder of presidential scholarship at university. He had a chance to study in the UK, where he was accepted by University of Liverpool. But he decided to be part of the processes turning in Azerbaijan. At E&Y within short period he became Senior Consultant and was able to handle complex projects. But he left for less compensation package for more junior position to help in developing manufacturing industry in Azerbaijan. Actually he is responsible for attracting foreign investment for the project. The guy believes in future! Amazing person who in ruins of the government still has hope. He is not one of the corrupted officers. Actually he remembers me Don-Quixot. 

May be he is right, may be he is too brave, may be he is crazy like Don-Quixot. But in any case he tries.

Below is a video prepared as a summary of visit Slovenian business delegation to Azerbaijan. And Elmar is talking starting from 8:48. He is young, which makes him to by uncertain in front of camera. But he is brave enough to believe in uncertain future. God bless him in his way!

Canada Over the Edge or Discovering Canada by TV

I love the nature! Mountains, forests, falls, rivers, lakes, seas, oceans are very interesting areas for me. And Canada has lots of things to offer. One of the my favorite TV programs - "Canada Over the Edge" can tell you where such beauties are located in Canada. New season of the documentary film "Canada Over the Edge" starts in EQHD TV channel on January 27, 2013. By watching this TV program I am planning where to visit in Canada. My goal is traveling trough Canada from coast to coast!

Have fun and enjoy by watching this documentary:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Barack Obama 2013 Inauguration Speech or Art of Public Speaking

I started interesting with public speaking when I used to be manager at Ernst&Young. And after making research I noticed that most talented people involved in public speaking train politicians. And timing of my researches matched with first campaign of Obama. So, I started listening his speeches and I liked him. Below is his speech from 2013 Inauguration Ceremony. I cannot comment his politic views, but I love his speeches! Very clear and well structured.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Canadian Health Services or My First Serious Injury in Canada

As you already understood my post is not going to be about good news. Last Thursday I fell and broke my rib. It happened in front of my house. It was late evening and I did not notice icy pedestrian path. I found myself in the ground after first step. Actually, I fell very successful))). Was able to land on my body only. Head and arms are OK. First hour I just felt uncomfortable, but after I started having pain, which still lasts. Thanks to Adil, who drove me to the closest emergency at South Health Campus. Actually, I was not so optimistic visiting them. They just opened and waiting at emergency was not acceptable for me. But I was pleasantly surprised. They even did not let me to register, they were so quick! Within very short period they did ultra-sound test, x-ray and then passed me "good news". I have broken my rib. It was very painful, so they injected my analgesic. And after an hour they I left the emergency. Now I am taking analgesic medicine. It is very hard to breath deeply, laugh, and climb stairs. But the most exiting part of this process was medical service at South Health Campus. So, my conclusion is that we have very good and quick medical service when it is actually emergency situation. If you are not going to die, so you can wait! I understand, accept and support such logic.

Take care do not get such injures like I did!

P.S. The funniest part is analgesic medicine they gave me. It actually works like drugs do. I am flying in cloud after taking it. So, it is also "funny" braking your rib!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Issues faced immigrants or good point from my old friend

Today morning read a post on my friend's blog who lives in Sydney, Australia. He moved there to continue his education and stayed there. His name Aydin Salimov and we used to work together at Ernst&Young. I remember how I was happy when heard that he decided to move out from Azerbaijan. He did it before me, which caused some kind of envy feelings for me. )))

So, in his post he describes a situation where I am in now. When you are starting limiting yourself in some kind of circle, which makes your adaptation very difficult. Aydin suggests to COMMUNICATE in order to have a chance to be part of the society where you live. Very interesting post for me and I believe that it may be helpful for other newcomers. Below is the text of his post named "Acute Ego or A Migrant's Adaptation":

More often than not, the migrants I have met dream of moving back to where they came from. A part of this stems from the nostalgic feelings about childhood, family and friends left behind, etc. But another – bigger – part comes from the alienation (or self-alienation) within the new location and new society. But believe me, it does not take too much to bypass this monster and make your way to a happy new life. Here are some suggestions for you.
First, let me say a couple of words on why alienation is a killer. There are people who think that living on solo is normal, since “it is not the place and society that they grew up in”. Others say “I am a loner by personality anyway”, and try to go on. Third category limits themselves to a circle of migrants like themselves. Tho a step ahead of the others, these fellows are running on a knife edge, too. And then, there are ones who consider the locals to be of a lower intellectual capability and would not want to decrement to their level.
In whatever category you are, believe me, you are massively risking your “migration career”. If you don’t believe me, ask the ones who moved back.
From my experience and observation, the key to a successful life in a new society, new country, new continent is COMMUNICATION. It comes ahead of finding a source of income, place to live in, a good school for the kids and a thousand other things that are considered to be vital. As a matter of fact, a good communication can help settle all of the mentioned, with much less stress. And it will ensure a long and happy migrant life.
Now, the question is where/with whom to communicate. I will give you some ideas below.
1. A student, or anyone who has anything to do with a university. You are the luckiest one. These days unis concentrate more on making the lives for the students easier, rather than academic excellence. If you are not in at least one university society, then… Well, you better be. Whatever your interest is, there are clubs and societies for you. At least, do some sports, or go for “social sports” on the weekends. Drop in your student union’s office at least once a week to keep a track of the developments. And read on :)
2. Clubbing/Pubbing. Pick one depending on your age. Drop by for a drink. That drink does not need to be alcoholic, mind you. Take a night out once or twice a week, instead of sitting on Facebook or Skype, or watching another TV show. Believe me, there is a plenty of people there who are in exactly the same situation as you. Just talk to anyone and everyone about anything and everything, and you will have a much better day the next day!
3. Get a job. Not minding the pay, find a sales or customer service type of job. It will benefit you much more than another buck an hour. A retail shop or a fast-food place would work perfect for a start. Your education level or work experience could be far above this kind of places, but, again, you are not there to make a career. You are there to kick-start a whole new life. And it is the best to start everything from foundations.
4. Religion. If you are religious at all, pay a visit to the local church/masjid/etc. You could introduce yourself to the organizers there, who meet tens of people like yourself and can easily guide you in the best direction for you. You could also join their activities, meet people, socialize, and again, communicate.
5. If you resist that none of the above is applicable to you, then, at least, join a book club. Or a charity/volunteering club. Or a local sports club. Or alcoholics group, or drug addicts group. Or pick up a bike and join the bikers club, for God’s sake!
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you go out there and COMMUNICATE! Leave your ego and complexes behind, you don’t want them to ruin that beautiful life full of sunshine that is lying ahead of you! You don’t need to make sense all the time, just cheer up! And talk
 The original of the post is here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The art of pick-pocketing: Apollo Robins

As a guy who grew up in a big city like Baku, I faced with pick-pocketing. 2 guys stolen my cell phone when I was 20. So, when I read an article about Apollo Robins I was astonished. This guy is a "professionalpickpocket. He is best known pickpocket in the world. But what makes him different? He is smart enough and he started making money on his abilities, but not by stealing. He made a show! He earns money by showing people how he is "professional" pickpocket... Smart enough! Why to risk by stealing when people pays you to watch how you steal?! 
Adam Green, a journalist at The New Yorker prepared an interview with Robin and published it. Below is a video, Apollo demonstrates some of his tricks and techniques, using Green as his victim: