Month: April 2013

  • Report # 996

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a wonderful weekend so far. I’ve continued going out with the dogs everyday, walking with Molly and running with Parker, so they’ve both been very happy with that. On Friday morning I had a job interview at a place that carries hard to find electrical products. It was fairly close by, though it wouldn’t be one of my favourite types of positions. That being said though, of course if I would be offered the job I would take it for the short term.

    When I go online and check out the jobs, some days there are a number of postings that interest me a lot, and other days there really isn’t much. I will continue to check everyday and apply for positions and hopefully one of these days I’ll get something as my life has been incredibly boring waiting around for months. As I seem to say every week, I still have absolutely no clue when I’ll receive any news about the visa authorization to work in Mexico, but I’ve never been living by that as since I’ve returned home I’ve always wanted just to do something here, at least while I’m waiting.

    I had no clue it would be so difficult to find something, and it certainly has been, as I’ve been searching, without much luck, for over a month. In the past it took me less than a month to find something, so I admit I’m certainly surprised that it’s been taking so long. I’ve had four job interviews in the last 10 days, so I have been getting out there at least, but either I haven’t been called back. I had one opportunity, but it just wasn’t worth it to go so far away to work for minimum wage doing something incredibly boring for 40 hours a week…. I should be able to do at least a little better than that !

    So I will continue just applying for more jobs, and hopefully one of these days I get something, or I hear news about the visa authorization. Both of those things have been a far more lengthy and difficult process than I ever could have imagined. One person who doesn’t have to worry about being bored in life would be Pep Guardiola, the former manager of Spanish soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona.

    Now I’m not an expert of European soccer, but I wanted to talk about Mr. Guardiola a bit as from what I’ve read about him in the past few months, it’s a very interesting story. Under the leadership of Pep Guardiola, FC Barcelona won the Spanish league Championship three times, and he was declared the most successful manager in FC Barcelona history. Last year Mr. Guardiola stepped down from his position as the manager of FC Barcelona, basically saying that he needed to take a break.

    There was speculation that after taking a year off that Pep Guardiola would look to go to England to coach in the English Primer League, even saying so himself that he would love to coach there. Surprisingly however, a few months ago it was announced that Mr. Guardiola would become the new manager of German soccer powerhouse Bayern Munich. Bayern Munich is definitely a powerhouse in their own right as they will easily capture the German football league title this season under their current manager, Jupp Heynckes.

    Bayern Munich is closing out their season in great fashion as well, as they have a huge 4-0 lead on FC Barcelona as they try to make their way back to the Champions league final, presumably against their German rivals Borussia Dortmund, who have a 4-1 lead over Spanish football powerhouse Real Madrid. So Mr. Guardiola has not even joined Bayern Munich yet, but they are doing just fine under their current manager.

    Speculation was in the media about why Pep Guardiola chose to go to Bayern Munich, though money doesn’t seem to be an issue as from what I read he could have got more money elsewhere. It is what I have read the other day that surprised me the most, basically saying that Mr. Guardiola wants to coach Bayern Munich from New York City next season. Mr. Guardiola has said the following:

    “I don’t think Bayern will need me physically present all the time, or you know, at all. I am enjoying life in New York and the amount of time I spend with my family, so I wanted to take a job where I wouldn’t have to change any of that or do any actual work. So Bayern seem to be the perfect fit. I plan to keep living here in New York and maybe I’ll Skype with the players every few weeks just to say ‘hi’ next season. Or I’ll have them put up a large picture of me giving the thumbs up in the dressing room. But even that’s not necessary.”

    “I’m hoping to become the first manager to win the treble while living on a different continent and never wearing pants on matchdays. I’ll probably read a book in bed during most of the games, but I’ve already set my phone to receive goal alerts. I would say that it will be a challenging experience, but it probably won’t be.”

    Sources: Future News: Pep Guardiola to coach Bayern Munich from New York next season. By: Brooks Peck. Dirty Tackle. April 23, 2013. Yahoo Sports.

    Now that I agree with ! A Challenging experience ? Of course not ! By taking over the team which seems light years ahead of the rest of the German league teams, that’s not really taking a challenge. Taking a challenge would be signing with one of the struggling teams and building them into winners over the course of time. Clearly Mr. Guardiola is not a fan of hard work and building something from the foundation, as he prefers to just sign with the top ranked teams in the world, and “guide” them to championships.

    With all of the money paid for players by teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, it’s not so much about managing, but about having the top soccer players in the world work well together and dominate like they should be able to. However after reading the comments by Mr. Guardiola, I don’t think it would be possible to find a lazier coach in the world if people tried.

    If he wants to live in New York and spend more time with his family, well then he should have applied to coach a soccer team in New York ! Obviously that’s not the same as European soccer, but he’s the one that wants to be in New York, so that’s his choice. The people at Bayern Munich who chose to make this hire, I don’t know what they were thinking. Clearly they are doing just fine right now, under the leadership of someone who is actually present and coaching, it will be interesting to see how they do next season under the “leadership” of an absent coach.

    I just can’t believe how stupid this whole story is. These coaches get paid millions of dollars, and here is a guy basically implying that he doesn’t even want to coach anymore and that he would just rather sit at home and Skype with players from overseas. All I can say is that Mr. Guardiola has set the new standard for arrogance and laziness. I have to applaud him though, he found a job that will pay him millions of dollars and all he will have to do is sit at home in New York and talk on Skype once in a while with the players…. no one can fault him for taking the job !

    Time will tell how his “tenure” goes with Bayern Munich, and ultimately if they win more championships, that’s all that fans will care about, but I just don’t see anything too cool about a team with such a history hiring someone who really can’t be bothered to even coach properly, taking in millions of dollars a year, doing hardly anything, especially when the economy in Europe is so poor right now. Just another example of such wasteful spending that is going on in this world !

    At the very least it’s a professional soccer team and not some university. Another thing that I can’t stand is reading about how many people can’t even afford to go to university, and there are so many big universities in the world paying coaches millions of dollars a year to coach university sports… what a waste of resources ! These greedy coaches should be in it for the students and helping them get better and enjoy themselves, not for fattening their pockets with huge cheques every season.

    Anyways, thinking about all of this makes me kind of mad so I’m done ! For the next question:

    What sort of wasteful spending is taking place in your area ? Are there people there making too much money for doing too little ?

    Here there are lots of government appointed CEO’s who make tons of money each year, and they walk away with huge severance packages…. of course funded by the tax payers. A lot of time most people don’t even know what on earth these high priced executives even do !

    That’s all I have for today. I wish everyone all of the best with everything. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Wednesday, bye for now.

  • Report # 995

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve been all having a fantastic week so far. It’s been a super nice spring week, with temperatures around 17 C (65 F) and for the most part very sunny. I’ve been running with Parker everyday, and now I’ve been walking with Molly. Molly is such a big dog, she doesn’t really run much, so I don’t need to force her to run up hills for a long distance, as she prefers just to go for nice walks.

    Parker however continues to be full of energy and drags me the first part of the run before he slows down. Each time he sees any type of animal however he bolts into first gear and I have to give it my all to keep up with him. As we were running yesterday I thought that we would have to turn around because as we were going up the road we normally go up, there were two adult Geese with their duckling, and as I tried to get around them, one of them was approaching us and kind of hissing.

    I know that he was just trying to protect the little ducklings, but I didn’t want to get Parker into a confrontation with a giant goose, so I was almost going to turn around. Fortunately I was able to go down the ditch and pass the ducks and finish the run. In the afternoon I went with my brother to Tynehead park for a park. It’s a beautiful forested park which I’ve taken pictures there before and posted on here, though I think it was the first time I was there in two years.

    After the walk my brother and I drove to my grandmother’s house to pick her up and go to Ricky’s to have dinner. My grandmother made more peanut butter cookies so there was dessert as well. I really don’t like peanut butter, but I’ll eat the cookies and the Reese peanut buttercups ! Unfortunately none of the two jobs that I was interested in phoned me back this week, so they’ve obviously chosen other people. I could have had the third job, but it just wasn’t really worth going so far for minimum wage to do something incredibly boring.

    I applied for six jobs yesterday, and I have an interview tomorrow morning at 11:00 am with a place that carries electrical equipment. It would be a fairly simple job, though it pays a little more than that other job, the work would be more interesting, and it’s closer, so it would be a lot better in every aspect. I will see how it goes tomorrow morning. I’ve already vacuumed the house this morning, and I still will have to go out with the dogs and go grocery shopping with my brother later, so it’s a busy day.

    I was able to download a program that allows me to watch the videos that I couldn’t watch anymore of the telenovela that I was watching, Cachito de Cielo. I am super happy that now I will be able to finish watching the series. I’ve seen 36 episodes, so I have 74 more to go. Afterwards I will find another one to start watching. I really enjoy watching these telenovelas as I enjoy them and it’s great for me to get 45 minutes of Spanish television each day.

    I’ve been given a number of great language sites, so in the near future I would love to be able to start learning French and German. Maybe I will try doing both of them at once as they are different enough that I wouldn’t get confused. I enjoy learning languages, and I know if I can get myself doing something everyday I can make real progress. It’s great to learn more languages, I just wish I had done more in the last 10 years !

    So today I wanted to talk about something that while the story itself is not important, the way it happen certainly is. Actress Reese Witherspoon and her husband were both arrested recently. He was pulled over and arrested for DUI, and then she was arrested as well for her outrageous behaviour. Basically the actress was pulling out the, do you know who I am card, and blah, blah, blah.

    Now obviously it can’t be easy to deal with this type of situation publicly, but the only ones to be blamed for all of this happening in the first place are Reese Witherspoon and her stupid drunk driving husband. Now I don’t care about all the gossip stuff, but I am writing about this today because this story shows that there are so many people who think because of who they can get out of certain things or act in a certain way.

    Personally I think they should even charge Ms. Witherspoon with threatening a police officer, since she was implying that she would do something in response to getting arrested. Maybe it was the alcohol talking somewhat, but Ms. Witherspoon can’t expect that she or her husband are above the law or get any special treatment…. no one is better than anyone else, and we all should be treated the same. So in all honesty Ms. Witherspoon should have just shut the hell up and cooperated fully with authorities during the arrest of her husband.

    Not only did Ms. Witherspoon behave extremely poorly in the situation, I think as a mother she set a very poor example for her children, and really she has no one to blame but herself for all of the embarassing news that has come her way. Until certain people realize that they are not above the law, and are no better than anyone else, these types of situations will continue to happen, I just hope the courts can give these arrogant losers more than a slap on the wrist to show them that there is no place for this kind of behaviour.

    Most importantly in all of this is however that Ms. Witherspoon got into a car with her husband who was driving drunk and putting themselves in a position to cause a horrible accident, possibly killing other people. They both exercised terrible judgment by choosing to get into that car and drive, so if they are going to be charged with anything, I really hope the verdict emphasizes the drunk driving that took place that night.

    There is absolutely ZERO excuse to drive drunk, and I strongly support the strictest punishments possible on anyone who chooses to do that. I don’t care who the person is or what their reason is for doing that…. all people driving drunk must be punished equally ! Now Ms. Witherspoon has apologized for her actions on the day of her arrest, but really what else was she supposed to do ? Anything less than any sort of apology would just have been added more embarrassment to everything that has happened here and tarnished her reputation even more.

    Now of course no one is perfect and we all make mistakes, so I am not saying that Ms. Witherspoon and her husband should be taken to the cleaners and hung out to dry for their horrifically stupid and dangerous decisions that night, I am just saying that they need to be punished accordingly. They should both be forced to talk about the dangers of drunk driving, as part of performing 1000 hours of community service, at least then some good would be coming out of all of this.

    Hopefully this will be a lesson to other actors, singers, politicians, or anyone else who chooses to start bragging about who they are and making some sorts of threats if they ever end up in a similar situation. I honestly don’t think so though, as there will always be such arrogant people who truly believe they are better than everyone else, and that their positions in this world give them special privileges.

    They can think this all they want, but as Ms. Witherspoon and her husband found out, they will just end up dealing with extremely negative press, embarrassment, humiliation, and an image tarnished by their own selfishness and stupidity. And I have to say if that’s the road these arrogant losers choose to go down, I don’t feel sorry for them one bit. For the next question:

    What do you think of certain people who try and use their positions as ways to deal with certain incidents ? What sort of messages should the police and courts be sending ?

    I hope that everyone has a wonderful rest of the week and a great start to the weekend. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Sunday, bye for now.

  • Report # 994

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all had an awesome weekend and are enjoying the start to another week. I ran with Parker and Molly each on Saturday afternoon, and those were my last runs before the Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday morning. I was up a little too late that night, not going to bed until around 1:15 am. I woke up at 6:15 am on Sunday morning and my dad and I drove down to the Cloverdale Rec Center, where the bus came and took us downtown for the race.

    We got there by around 7:45 am, and with the race not starting until 9:00 am, there was a lot of time to kill. It was a wet and cool morning, though by the time we got downtown, the rain had stopped completely. This year I made sure I got to the front of the starting gate, and just waited around and kind of stretched a bit, waiting to start the race. Like the previous years there were bands playing music at the start, though this year was a bit different as there was also a minute of silence for the events of the Boston Marathon last Monday.

    The Vancouver Sun Run and the people there did a great job showing support for the city of Boston and the victims of the marathon bombings, as many people wore blue and yellow clothes, or ribbons, the colours of the Boston Marathon, and many other people wore Boston Bruins or Boston Redsox gear as well. It was great to see the show of support and not see such honorific acts of terrorism bring fear into people’s lives and ruin people from getting exercise and taking part in a wonderful event.

    A few of the people who did the Boston Marathon also were competing in the Vancouver Sun Run, so there was really a first hand experience for some of the runners here. After the ready, set, go announcement at 9:00 am, we all slowly started walking out for a minute before people got more space and were able to start running. I felt better this year as I wasn’t carrying my wallet or cell phone or camera, and for the first time out of the three years I did this run, I didn’t have to stop and pull myself over to tie my shoelaces !

    The sun came out halfway during the race, and it didn’t up just being wonderful weather for the run. As usual there were supporters lined up all the way through the race cheering people, holding up signs, and just being very supportive. There was also some radio stations blasting music, and some groups as well, so it is really a fun event. I have to say, despite all of the running that I’ve done in the last six months, the race wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

    Maybe it’s because I’m not used to running with so many people pushing themselves around me, or running up some steep hills at times, but I was definitely beat by the time I finished. I was able to push myself a little, but not as much as I probably could have. Originally I thought I finished the race in 45 minutes and 55 seconds, so I was very disappointed as I wanted under 45 minutes. Luckily I found out that wasn’t my official time and I really had finished the race in 44 minutes and 15 seconds, better than my 49 minute and 8 second finish last year, and my 53 minute and 31 second finish in 2011.

    So I am super happy I achieved my goal, though I have to admit to continue to lower my time I would really have to push myself a lot harder. I would have to run 10 kilometers every single day and really push myself to try and get a lower time. However for this year I’m happy and I’ll have to see what happens in the future. Remembering how challenging the 10 km race really is, really gets me super impressed by marathon runners.

    A marathon is 42.2 kilometers, and to be able to complete that in the desired time of just over three hours, I would have to almost keep the pace of what I did in a 10 kilometer race, for a race over four times as long. I could see myself pushing myself towards a half marathon if I really wanted to do that, but I don’t know if I would even enjoy trying to force myself to run for so many hours to do the full marathon ! I am definitely a bit sore today, but nothing too serious, really my arms more than my legs.

    After the race I headed over to a Tim Hortons and just had something to eat. I picked up a nutritional pamphlet there and found out the food that I normally order from there has 70 grams of fat ! So clearly another thing I could do to improve on my time in the future and feel better would be to eat healthier. Afterwards I walked back to BC Place stadium and found my dad with some other of the runners, and we just waited for the bus to come. My dad bought me a hot dog and soon after we were off.

    As soon as we left downtown Vancouver and got back on the freeway it started absolutely pouring again, and was raining all of the way as we got back home. It was cloudy and wet for the next few hours, and then the sun came out in the late afternoon; what a crazy day for weather ! From what the forecast shows this week though, it will be very nice and sunny all week until Saturday, so it will be great weather for running the dogs.

    I am hoping today or tomorrow I receive a call from one of the two jobs that I interviewed for last week. Preferably the job which is in my city not too far from here, but I would accept the other one too as it would be an interesting job. If I unfortunately don’t hear from any of those two places I can call back about the super boring job that pays minimum wage and see if they still need someone. Even if I think I could find something better and closer, if I just did that job for a month even it would be ok I suppose.

    I’ve already ran to Tim Hortons this morning, and I will run with the dogs a bit later. It’s super sunny Monday morning here and a great day for people to head outside and enjoy Earth Day. I just remember from elementary school that Earth Day is on April 22, though I really didn’t read anything about Earth Day this year. A month ago I read about Earth Hour, which was an Hour where everyone was encouraged not to use any electricity. I didn’t do anything for that occasion, but seeing as some cities had a drop in the amount of electricity used, obviously a number of people did, which was great news to hear.

    I think people, companies, and governments in general have done a lot more in terms of protecting the environment than they had done in previous years, but there is no question that we can always be doing more. Wherever I am out running or walking, no matter what city I’m in, there is always litter on the road. Clearly there are still too many disgusting losers walking the streets or driving by who can’t find themselves a garbage can.

    It’s too bad the police can’t catch these people a little easier. I am guessing if someone gets a heavy fine for littering they probably wouldn’t do it a second time ! A lot of time I’m running or walking by someone, people leave their outside lights on, and they are on all day. This is a tremendous waste of energy, and people really have to watch this ! Some companies continue to break the laws and dispose of certain things in an unsafe and an extremely hazardous and environmentally dangerous way… this has to stop.

    Once again I think heavy fines against the perpetrators would make any company think twice of continuing the same practice if they’ve already been caught. And clearly Earth Day needs to be a bigger deal. I am betting that a lot of people have no idea that today is Earth Day, many of them probably not even knowing there is an Earth Day. This sort of ignorance has got to change. Some years the media does a very good job of publishing articles and really going in depth about Earth Day and protecting the planet, but for whatever reason this year there has been little or no news that I’ve stumbled upon.

    So I have to say, that at least locally, the media really missed the boat this year, and failed to promote what should have been a much more important day. I think this constitutes as a failure as the newspapers in general, and the handful of reporters missed out on stories that really could have been beneficial and helpful to the cause of Earth Day. Now obviously most people aren’t going to be huge environmental advocates, and that’s ok, but it’s certainly not too hard to expect people not to litter, not to leave lights on all day, so if the most ignorant and careless people start caring at least somewhat, this world would be a lot better off.

    And while the world won’t necessarily end if there was no Earth Day and if no one cared, there is no question that our planet would be a lot dirtier of a place to live in, with worse air quality, way more pollution, streets covered in trash, and just not a pleasant place to live at all. So the fact that there is an Earth Day, and that there are people who truly care enough to make a difference, and are encouraging others, whether they are private citizens, politicians or corporations, shows that the day is of great importance. It’s only one day, but the meaning of what Earth Day is all about, is something that carries on for the whole year.

    As much as I would like to believe that people will change, I don’t see it happening, as there will always be slobs among us who have no problems throwing their trash all over the streets and in the parks. There will always be some corporations that continue to pollute and do absolutely nothing to be better corporate citizens, and there will always be some politicians who really don’t give a damn and rather work with lobbyists instead of those who want to truly protect this planet.

    All of those horrible realities show the importance of Earth Day and caring for this planet is greater than ever. In spite of all of the people who seem to make the planet’s problems worse, the efforts of those truly wanting to make a positive difference will not go unnoticed, and the planet will be a better place because of such people. Anyways, for the next question:

    Were you aware that today (April 22) is Earth Day ? Is this important to you, why or why not ?

    I will leave you all with a picture taken of me after I had finished the 2013 Vancouver Sun Run. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Thursday, bye for now.

  • Report # 993

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all had a wonderful week. After getting my last entry posted so early in the day, this is definitely a late post. My last few days have been pretty busy as I went to three job interviews. I had two job interviews on Tuesday morning, and my brother drove me to the first one, which would be an office type job for a bus company. I interviewed with a lady, and it had to have been the most thorough job interview I’d ever had in my life, as it was an hour long.

    The lady started out asking me questions about my past experiences, and general questions asking me to describe certain situations that I’ve been involved with in the past. In the later part of the interview she asked me lots of hypothetical questions of what I’d do in certain situations if I was working for the company, and we closed out with a period where I was able to ask some questions. It would certainly be a long ways for me to go for the job, but it would be an interesting type of job, and something that gets super busy during the summer, and winds down before fall, so it would be a decent temporary job.

    After the interview I took the bus, then the skytrain, then another bus to get close to my second interview. Seeing as I was super early, I stopped in at Tim Hortons and had some lunch there. Afterwards I walked to my second interview, which was a packing/unpacking job for golf balls and coffee mugs. The guy there didn’t really interview me so much as he had got me to do the tasks involved with that job. He said that I had an “awesome resume” and asked me if I was interested in the job.

    I told him I still had another job interview the next day and that I wanted to see how that went. The guy told me that they would call me back in a couple of days. I headed home after the interview, and I got home in about an hour, so the commute to that place wasn’t so awful. On Wednesday morning I took the bus to my third interview, which was being held in the White Spot restaurant. I was interviewed by a man and his wife, and they, along with two other partners, were the owners of a company that ships contact lenses around North America.

    The interview was only about 20 minutes, though I got to ask a bunch of questions as well. The job would probably be the best out of the three as it is the closest, and the work would be a lot more interesting then the 2nd job interview I had, as that would be a pretty boring job ! The guy told me that he would make a decision on Monday, and the lady from the bus company told me on Tuesday. I got a call back from the 2nd company I interviewed for, and she was asking if I was still interested, meaning that they would probably hire me if I just agreed.

    The job would pay minimum wage (which I’ve never worked for in my life) though it would be super simple, and a job that would be very easy to leave when I am ready. I told the lady that I had two other jobs which were closer, well one of them is, though I’d prefer even the further job over this job, and that they would be letting me know next week. So the lady told me that I can call back early next week and see if the position is still available.

    It would be a bit disappointing if I don’t end up getting any of the other two jobs, and then find out that this job just ended up hiring someone else, but the truth is I should be able to find something closer that pays a lot better, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I’ve continued running with the dogs everyday, though on Wednesday, Molly went into my brother’s car as he was out there cleaning it, and she wouldn’t get out, so she obviously wanted to go to the dog park instead. So for that day I just ran Parker, which was fine with me.

    I vacuumed the whole house on Thursday, and today my dad drove me to the Skytrain so I could head downtown and pick up our shirts and tag numbers for the Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday. Before heading downtown I got off at Metrotown and ended up seeing Oblivion in the movie theatre inside the mall. This was the first movie I saw since I left Mexico the first week of March, and the first movie I’ve seen in theatres here since last June probably. The prices just keep going up, as my price for the ticket alone was $ 14.99 !

    With the large popcorn and coke included, I must have paid almost $ 30.00…. over double the price I was paying while in Mexico. I think the large bags of popcorn here are larger than in Mexico, and I didn’t even finish all of the popcorn. The movie was ok, as it was another one of those movies set in the future after world destruction, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, and it was extremely confusing. After the movie I got back on the skytrain, which also seems to have raised prices, as I paid like $ 5.25 !, to head downtown.

    I got to BC Place stadium and inside was the place where all the people went to pick up their Sun Run gear. Surprisingly there were hardly any people there and I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. Before I got there I had visions in my mind that I’d be standing in long lineups and waiting like over an hour, but I was so happy that wasn’t the case. This allowed me to get back on the Skytrain to head back to Surrey and take the bus home, without having to buy another ticket.

    When I got home I just had some dinner which my mom had made, and I won’t really do much else for the rest of the day. I didn’t run the dogs today, but I will be sure to run them tomorrow and be in the best condition I can be in for Sunday’s race. Some stupid person removed all of the videos of the Mexican telenovela (soap opera) that I was watching online, so I’m extremely disappointed about that. I spent like an hour looking through so many sites, but I wasn’t able to find it anywhere.

    I’ve only seen 34 out of 110 episodes, so I have to finish watching the series in some way ! Hopefully I can figure out some sort of solution to this problem, but as of now I seem to be out of luck. It would be such a shame to not be able to finish the remaining 76 episodes, so somehow I have to figure out something. I just can’t believe stupid idiots have nothing better to do in their lives but remove videos that people watch !!! I’m kind of overreacting here, but I’m extremely disappointed !

    Seeing as I always like to talk to people from other countries, I’ve got to hear some fascinating things from some people. For the most part the people I’ve met from other countries here have been very friendly, though I have to say, some of them are complete snobs. I’ve met people who have told me they don’t like it here for whatever reason, and they’ve made some interesting comments. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I think it’s extremely rude and inappropriate for people to come from other places and talk about where they are staying (either temporarily on a vacation, for studying, or as a place they’ve moved to) in a negative way.

    Obviously some people will like certain places more than others, and that’s entirely understandable, but that doesn’t mean that people need to resort to being so negative and saying such ugly things. I’ve been to some places before that were a little more challenging for me to be, based on things such as the climate, but I still enjoyed my time in those places and appreciated the beauty as well as the places and the people around those cities. Why can’t everyone else be able to do the same ?

    Ok now it sounds like I am implying that everyone should be like me in that regard, but really what I’m getting at is that when people choose to go to another place, for whatever reason, they should be respectful of that place and the people who live there. It’s not cool to be bashing that place, and it’s not cool to be talking about it in a negative way….. especially if no one had asked them for their opinion ! As I’ve said time and time again, if someone does not like the place they live, they should shut up and leave.

    And to those people who choose to come from somewhere else to vacation, study or live in another city, they need to show a lot more respect than some people have been showing. Now I’m not suggesting that we all sugarcoat everything and bend the truth or outright lie about how we feel about a place, but I do think showing respect is key and if we don’t have anything nice to say about a place, we should just keep our mouths shut. And if someone from the city where a person is staying, visiting or living, well then if they want to spout out the truth they can go for it, but they should try doing so in a way that’s respectful !

    I also have to say the worst thing is for the people who just assume how a place would be or that they would not like it, and start talking negatively about a certain place, without even having gone there once before. These type of people are the worst. They have toxic personalities and they are just blatantly talking trash with no experience, and worst yet, no integrity. People like this just need to learn to keep their mouths shut and actually experience something for themselves before going off about something they no little about.

    So all I can really say, for the 10,000th time; If someone lives in a place they really don’t like, they should shut up and leave, no matter if they were born there, or just living there or staying there temporarily. And today I’m targeting the people from other places, because they are a lot worse with this at times. The world is a much better place do to immigration and people from different places moving around. It would be so boring if we all just lived in the same place we were born our whole lives, and no one moved anywhere.

    I’m very appreciative of all of the wonderful people who have moved from place to place and truly appreciate the place they live, or at the very least act respectfully, I am just speaking out against the small group of people who truly act in a snobby matter like they are too good for where they have moved to or visited, and implying how awful a certain place is in their opinion. I always enjoy visiting new places, and I don’t go off saying bad things about the places I go to. I guess it’s just a bit too much to expect some other people to share this way of thinking.

    For the next question:

    Do you think it’s alright to talk negatively about another place that you have visited or lived in ? How does one strike a balance between stating their opinion without avoiding putting down a certain place and upsetting the people who live there ?

    Well that’s all I have for another day. I hope that everyone has an amazing weekend. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Monday, bye for now.

  • Report # 992

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having an amazing weekend so far. I’m typing this up super early so I can get it posted right after midnight as I have a super busy day tomorrow. I have scheduled my job interview for the office job with the bus company this morning at 11:00 am and my brother is going to drive me there. Just before I got out of bed this morning I got a phone call for a packaging/un-packaging job (not sure exactly what that is) and I set up another interview for 3:00 pm.

    And yesterday evening, later than I would have expected as it was after 7:00 pm, I got a call for a shipping/receiving job and I have another interview set up for 11:20 am tomorrow morning. So after a month of not much activity, I’ll have three job interviews in the next two days. Two of them are in my city, so they won’t be super far, and the office job would be significantly further. While none of them would be dream jobs, they would certainly work well as temporary jobs to do while I’m waiting to see what will happen with my work visa for Mexico.

    So I have three opportunities, and I just have to get one offer, so I really want to do well in the interviews. I am thinking maybe I’ll see a movie after my second interview as I haven’t seen a movie in theatres since I left Mexico and it would be a good way to unwind after having two job interviews. The wages for all three of them are pretty low, but that’s to be expected. They are simple jobs that don’t require any formal education and/or training, and they are the type of positions that would be good for me, as I certainly wouldn’t want to find a job that would be too good to leave.

    It’s nice to have these interviews to look forward to, and until I hear any news about whether I have been chosen or not, I’ll continue applying for more jobs again tomorrow. Seeing as I’ll have to get up earlier today and I’ll be out of the house the whole day, I’m going to run the dogs this morning morning instead of in the afternoon. They’ve had runs on 16 days in a row, and I don’t want to end the streak until I really have to. So basically I’ll be waking up around 8:30 am, running the dog, coming home and having a shower and then heading out for my interviews.

    I didn’t really do much during the weekend, just ran with the dogs, continue finishing up my last Spanish book, watching Cachito de Cielo and of course having Tim Hortons everyday. So my life has been pretty boring, I definitely need to be doing something more. Just five more days until the Vancouver Sun Run, though I’ve thought a lot about what has happened at the Boston Marathon. For those of you who don’t know, a couple of bombs went off close to the end of the marathon race. Three people were killed and over 130 people were injured.

    I just can’t believe what the world is coming to anymore. People can’t even go enjoy themselves and go running without worrying about some horrific thing taking place. It’s not at all clear who planted those bombs, but whoever was involved in this is obviously an extremely sick person or people, and they need to be caught and punished ASAP. I have no sympathy for these sick cowards, and it’s senseless cold killing crimes like these where I really think the death penalty should be involved.

    Some people are probably thinking terrorists are involved, and all I can say to that is of course. Whoever did this… whether militant extremists from another country or an American citizens, they are sick people. So since there are no facts known about who did this, no one should be pointing fingers at anyone, but the truth is it doesn’t matter where the person/people who committed this heinous act are from…. they just need to be severely punished !

    And while I know in the grand scale, these sort of attacks are extremely rare, every time I read about them I really think that this world is just getting more and more dangerous all of the time. I can imagine that I do the Sun Run on Sunday myself and a number of the other nearly 50,000 runners will be thinking about these tragic events that happened in Boston yesterday. Of course people can’t live their lives in fear, as that is no way to live at all, but clearly we all have to be alert, and if anyone notices anything the slightest bit suspicious, the authorities need to be warned immediately.

    Obviously no one should get all paranoid and be going out of their way to find potential threats, but my point is we all need to exercise a degree of caution when we are out and about in public places, as certainly in some cases, it would be possible to notice something amiss. As of now I just hope that the strong team of investigators and police officers get to the bottom of what happened in Boston yesterday and that the sick coward(s) responsible for those bombs are apprehended and tried immediately.

    My thoughts are with the families who lost loved ones in the explosions, as well as with all of the people who suffered injuries as well. While unfortunately it would be impossible to stop all acts of terrorism from every occurring, clearly measures need to be put in place to make it as hard as possible for these horrific acts to be committed, and the punishments to the criminals need to be as severe as possible, hopefully discouraging people from thinking of doing something horrific.

    For the most part there haven’t been to many horrific attacks over the years, but of course even one is too many. No innocent person deserves to lose their life at the hand of a coward. So we must all continue being a little more aware when we go out places, and if something is suspected, or someone that a person knows has been acting incredibly weird or different, it’s definitely worth it to inform the police.

    While sadly it will be impossible to avoid every single tragedy and save every single life on this planet from acts of terrorism, a strong effort in doing some of the things that can be done at least will prevent some disasters and some deaths, and that is crucial. This attack shows us that there is still evil out there lurking among us, and we can’t just let our guards down and assume everything is 100 % safe, because clearly it’s not.

    If everyone does their part and is a little more aware, and the sick individuals responsible for these attacks are punished as severely as possible, I do think the likelihoods of future attacks would be a whole lot less than if nothing drastic is done. And creating a safer world and protecting the lives of innocent people is something that we should all strive for and do the small things that we can do to help with that. For the next question:

    Do you worry about an attack similar to what happened in the Boston Marathon occurring where you live ? Do you think anything can be done to prevent these sorts of tragedies from taking place ?

    That’s all I have for today. I wish everyone all of the best with everything. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Friday, bye for now.

  • Report # 991

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a wonderful weekend so far. The last few days have been just horrible here. It’s been rainy and cold, only around 8 C (48 F). I think the weather will gradually dry up and warm up in the next week or so, but after all of that super amazing weather that we had at the end of March, it just seems awful. I’ve still been running with the dogs everyday, and they’ve now both been out running 13 days in a row.

    It was raining so hard yesterday that I got soaked and I ran so much I was actually bleeding by the time I got back home as my soaked shirt rubbed against my skin too much. As I’m typing this up, it’s pouring once again, but I’m hoping in a couple of hours it stops and I can take the dogs for a much more enjoyable run. The Vancouver Sun Run is next Sunday and I’ll have to head downtown one day between Thursday and Saturday in order to pick up my shirt and registration stuff.

    It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already since the last Sun Run, but time just keeps flying. It will be nice to get this over with and beat my time significantly…. anything less would be extremely disappointing. On Wednesday afternoon I spent four hours mowing all of the lawns around the house. Seeing as I had no idea how to operate the riding lawn mower, I used the push mower for everything…. I believe this was only the second time in my life that I did everything in one day with the push mower.

    I got through everything but the last lawn fairly easily, but the last big section was super wet and the lawn mower kept plugging up. It was a super frustrating experience but I just forced myself to get it done. By the time I got inside it was almost 7:00 pm, so I had spent four hours outside lawn mowing. And on Thursday I vacuumed the whole house and cleaned up as well, so everything was perfect by the time my parents returned home on Thursday afternoon.

    Still no news about my visa this week, and I’ve continued to apply for jobs. I got an email for a job that I had applied for a few weeks ago asking me about coming in for an interview next week. I told them that I could come in on Tuesday and that if that doesn’t work I could come in another day. They’ll probably get back to me sometime on Monday. It’s kind of far away from here, but I’m not really getting many responses, so I can’t really just turn down opportunities get I get.

    I got my tax money back the other day and it was just over $ 1,000 so that was a very nice return. It might have actually been the largest I’ve gotten back before. I also have been dealing with my BC medical payments, and it seems the government has been over-charging me for some time, so I filled out a form that I will send out on Monday, and then I will call back and ask if there are any sort of refunds available, because they’ve been ripping me off !

    Over the last couple of weeks I’ve just been watching some probably one store horror movies online. I find them fun to watch sometimes, even though they can be pretty bad or utterly ridiculous. I’ve seen Home Coming, Anamorph, Forget Me Not, All of the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Teeth, My Bloody Valentine, Inside, Triangle, Walled In, and a few more I can’t even think of probably ! Maybe in another week or so I’ll start watching comedies or some different type of lousy movies !

    Today I read an interesting article in the Vancouver Sun about some former vegetarians who have gotten into hunting. They we talking about how these people were “recovering vegetarians.” I thought that was a stupid way to refer to those people. The article made it sound like vegetarianism was some sort of condition or disease and that the people in the article had overcome it. However it’s very clear that vegetarianism is a personal choice !

    It was interesting reading about how these former vegetarians had taken lessons and training and become hunters. They talked about how after eating the meat that they had hunted, they could never eat the packaged meat in stores, and that it is not real meat, but something that is trying to be real meat. The thing that surprised me most about the article was reading about how more young people had got involved in hunting, and specifically former vegetarians…. that was the most shocking !

    An article like this just showed me that a lot of things can’t be viewed in black or white and there is so much more to some people than one would think just be viewing them a little. Everyone has their reasons for being a vegetarian. Some people do it because they are truly passionate about animals and don’t want to see any animal suffer, others do it maybe because of some rules in their religion, others do it because they think it’s a healthier lifestyle, and probably some people do it because they just don’t like any meat.

    Now I certainly respect anyone who chooses to be a vegetarian for whatever their reason may be, however the ones who go out preaching to other people are certainly going overboard. No one should be ridiculed for being a vegetarian, and vegetarians can’t go overboard with trying to convert others to be vegetarians either. In this situation, the saying live and let live works perfectly.

    Some places in the world are a lot easier to be a vegetarian than others. Here for example, there are lots of vegetarian products in the grocery stores, vegetarian offerings in restaurants, and even restaurants that specifically cater to vegetarians. In many other cities and regions of the world there really aren’t many options for vegetarians and that is very unfortunate.

    It’s hard enough to be a vegetarian to get all of the essential nutrients, but living in a place where there is almost nothing available for a vegetarian would make the lifestyle very difficult, if not impossible to eat healthy. Clearly this has to change ! I’ve had soy cheese and soy milk before, and I enjoy both products, though of course I have no problem with milk and cheese, even if I’m not supposed to have it too often.

    I’m not a fan of steak, pork, or roast beef, so I suppose I could be a vegetarian to some extent, though I do enjoy hamburger, chicken and fish ! I could never imagine being a strict vegan, as it would be extremely hard to avoid eggs and cheese and dairy as well, but I’m sure if I absolutely had to do it I could find a way. There is always rice and potatoes and cereal and pasta and of course fruits and vegetables, so it could definitely be possible !

    There does seem to be a sort of stereotype that goes along with vegetarians though as being kind of urban young hippy punk people, but clearly this is a stereotype and there are vegetarians from all age groups, cultures and walks of life. And besides I could make the same case of there being a stereotype for some meat loving hunter as someone who is very country/hick, has a beer belly, drives around in a pick-up truck and blasts country music from the speakers.

    In the end these are all just silly stereotypes and people would be foolish to think of them as being 100 % representative of the true people in those groups. So while I don’t have any plans to become a vegetarian, I like that I’ve been able to enjoy some products and knowing that I really could get myself to do it one day if I ever had to or decided to for whatever reason. Most importantly in this whole discussion is the treatment of animals, and that is something that is of utmost importance to me and many other people.

    If any company is treating animals inhumanely in their practices, they should lose their licenses immediately and be fined heavily. Clearly the world has a way to go to start treating animals as well as they should be treated, and the ones who are raised for meat should be treated as well as they possibly can be treated…. no exceptions ! So my whole point today is that we should all respect people’s choices when it comes to what they eat, and we should be open to understanding people who choose to eat differently than ourselves.

    Increasing the options of vegetarian choices in many regions around the world should be a focus for companies, as they truly have an opportunity to take hold of a marketplace that they’ve been missing out on. And everyone should be open to trying some vegetarian dishes, even if they aren’t vegetarian. Some of the products like soy cheese and soy milk are very good, and I can imagine some of the restaurant dishes out there would be amazing !

    Anyways, for the next question:

    Have you ever tried being a vegetarian before ? Is it something you would consider, why or why not ? Do you think animals raised for food are treated humanely enough ?

    That’s all I have for today. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Tuesday, bye  for now.

  • Report # 990

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a great week so far. I’ve continued running with Parker and Molly each day, and they’ve both run 10 days in a row, so we’ve done great. There are just 11 days left to the Vancouver Sun Run, so I’ll be more than ready this year. I’ve applied for some more jobs though I haven’t heard anything yet. Apparently the economy here is not doing as well as I thought, and I just read the other day that we have a 15 % unemployment rate here…. I was really thinking we were only around 7 % !

    I sent an email to the lady from Teleperformance the other day explaining to her that I can’t get anyone from the foreign affairs department in Mexico to tell me any information about my visa case, so maybe someone from the company will be able to find something out. Otherwise I will just have to be patient and continue checking the page every single day to see if there has been any news. On Monday I went to my grandmother’s house and had sweet and sour chicken for dinner.

    My grandmother was going to make it last week, but my mom told her that she didn’t like it much. I knew before that my dad wasn’t a huge fan, but I didn’t know about my mom. My brother also isn’t a big fan of that dish either ! It’s just funny that my grandmother was making it for like 15 years and no one really said anything. I enjoy it, but it’s not my favourite dish in the world, but it certainly has a good flavour to it. I suppose it’s not the healthiest meal in the world, but who cares !

    For the most part it’s been a soaking wet week, though there was some sun on Monday afternoon, and today after it was pouring in the morning, the sun has been trying to come out. My parents will come back from Calgary tomorrow evening I believe, so I’ll do a little cleaning up over the next day. So really my life has been pretty boring in the month since I’ve returned home from Mexico. I really thought I’d be doing more by now, so it’s been a bit disappointing. All I can do is really stay positive and be patient and wait and see what will happen.

    A few weeks ago I was reading some stories in the newspaper talking about the 10th anniversary of the War in Iraq. As I’ve commented in the past, I’ve always been an opponent of that war, and I think now that we all know the results and what has happened in the last 10 years, that the US decision to invade Iraq along with the UK, Australia, Spain and some other countries, was a major mistake.

    I’ve always felt that Saddam Hussein was a horrible tyrant, and while no one can argue that it’s good he has been taken out, the question a person really has to ask…. was it really worth it ? Seeing as the whole argument of the invasion in the first place was that he had weapons of mass destruction, which was proved to be not the case, the most compelling reason people had to launch that war has shown itself to be deeply flawed.

    And of course there have been many costs of the War in Iraq, costs much more heart breaking than the potential $ 3 trillion price tag that the US is still stuck paying for. Almost 4,500 American soldiers died in Iraq, and almost 117,000 Iraqis who were not even involved in fighting died in an eight year period. Reading an article from the Vancouver Sun a few weeks ago really doesn’t paint a good picture of post war Iraq:

    A decade after the U.S. invasion, many Iraqis are emotionally and physically scarred, buildings and infrastructure bear the marks of war, and the country is the scene of often-bitter sectarian strife.

    Ten years after the start of the war, bullet holes still mark buildings, and towers wrecked by U.S. missiles and shells have not fully been rebuilt.

    (Sources: Grappling with the legacy of War. By Adam Schreck, Associated Press. March 23, 2013. The Vancouver Sun, Weekend Review)

    The article goes on to talk about how when the war started the Bush administrated hoped they could quickly locate the supposed weapons of mass destruction, dispose of Saddam Hussein, and start a democracy that would be friendly with the west. The article talks about how now Iraq seems to be closer aligned with Tehran rather than Washington and there are now terrorists operating in the country, though the attacks aren’t as often as they were in the past.

    A few people were interviewed in the article and they talk about the rate of change in Iraq. It’s certainly not come at a very fast rate, and after so many years of violence, the people see positive change, but no where near at the rate they had hoped and thought would be possible. Now obviously some things have improved, and Iraqi’s no longer have to live under a ruthless dictator, but I just can’t fathom the fact that over 100,000 innocent people have lost their lives, from the US, and Iraq, and other countries, and all this just to take out one man on an argument that proved to be completely flawed.

    (Sources: Grappling with the legacy of war. By Adam Schreck, Associated Press, March 23, 2013)

    As I’ve argued before, Saddam Hussein, while obvious a horrible dictator, was just one of a number in the world, and unfortunately countries can’t just be going and invading other countries, unless there is a true level of international cooperation and approval from the United Nations. Even a number of US soldiers became disillusioned with the government’s decision and came to realize that they were not in the right place and fighting the right war.

    I totally respect anyone in the military who puts their lives on the line to bring peace to people in this world, but it’s such a shame that politicians had led so many innocent people into an unnecessary war, and for their stupid decision they lost their lives. Of course former US president George W. Bush was not the sole person responsible for his deeply flawed and wrong decision, as he got support from the US senate.

    I still think a very good reason that Barack Obama was able to win the 2008 US presidential election was because his opponents, John McCain in the presidential election that year, and Hilary Clinton in the democratic primary, both had voted to give authorization to invade Iraq, while Obama was one of the smarter politicians to know that the war was a mistake. Both John McCain and Hilary Clinton though only paid the price of losing their races to become president, however that is nothing in comparison to the price paid by so many of the soldiers and innocent people who paid the ultimate price….. death.

    Recently I read a letter written by Tomas Young, who was a U.S. soldier who was fighting in Iraq. Mr. Young was paralyzed during the Iraq War and he doesn’t seem to be going to live for much longer as his situation has worsened over the years. He has written a very passionate letter that I think everyone needs to read.

    I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

    I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries.

    I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

    I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans — my fellow veterans — whose future you stole.

    Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

    I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East.

    I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history.

    It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.

    I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love.

    I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

    I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

    My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

    (From: ‘I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney’: Dying veteran Tomas Young to end his life after Iraq. March 28, 2013. By Charles Grodin, New York Daily News)

    I think a letter like this, while incredibly heart breaking, is very powerful, and something that not only Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney should read, but any of the politicians who voted to go to war in Iraq. Honestly I don’t even know how some of those people can sleep at night knowing that their votes have led to the destruction of the lives of so many people.

    Most importantly though, I really hope that people around the world have learned something from the war in Iraq, and that such a stupid decision that would be full of life changing consequences will never be repeated again. It’s horrible enough seeing the results of this war in the first place, but if no one has learned anything from this debacle and the same mistakes are committed again in the future, all of the blood-shed, tragedy, loss of life, and extreme waste of money, which could do so much more good in the world, would be even more devastating in the future.

    I want everyone to know I’m not some anti war protestor, but I’ve always believe that war needs to be a last resort decision, something that is carefully planned, and only acted upon if all other means of possible solutions have been exhausted. And then if all that has been met, the United Nations needs to give their approval. So I really hope so many people have learned some valuable lessons from the Iraq War, and while it’s too late to save the lives of over 100,000 innocent people, maybe some lives in the future can be saved if only some better decisions are made and the UN’s resolution is accepted.

    For the next question:

    Looking back on the Iraq war, what are your thoughts ? Was the invasion worth it ? Did you support the decision made back in 2003 ? Did your position change at all after seeing what has transpired in the last decade ?

    I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Saturday, bye for now.

  • Report # 989

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a fantastic weekend. For the most part it’s been soaking wet here over the past few days. Yesterday it stayed dry until the late afternoon, and it was even a bit sunny for a while, so after running the dogs I did a bit of lawn mowing. My parents are in Calgary for the week so I’ll have to do a few extra things. I’ve now been running with the dogs for exactly one week and both Molly and Parker are very used to going, and they expect to go.

    I ran one day in pouring rain and I got absolutely soaked, but the dogs want to run, they really don’t care what the weather is like. I knew last week was abnormally warm for the end of March, but fast forward a week later and it’s only been up to around 12 C (53 F) so it’s been quite a drop off. Sometimes I don’t get how it goes up or down so much and skips the more pleasant weather in between ! It’s certainly not cold for me, but just feels that way after having a week of such nice weather.

    I continued applying for more jobs, and I actually had an opportunity to go for an interview on Friday morning, but I didn’t go as it was just too far away. It’s a real shame because it would have been a super simple job that I would have liked doing temporarily, but there was just now way I could really get there. I would have had to walk 10 minutes to get to the bus stop, take a bus up almost 10 blocks, get off the bus, walk a few minutes to take another bus which would take me to a bus depot. There I would have to take a third bus which would take me somewhat close to where the job place would be.

    Unfortunately living where I do, there isn’t much for good transit, and it makes my options very limited in terms of where I’ll be able to work. I have certainly applied for closer jobs, but I haven’t heard anything back from any of them yet so it’s certainly been frustrating. Even more frustrating is dealing with the visa process. I called the foreign affairs department in Mexico City on Friday morning but the lady basically told me she can’t tell me anything over the phone, and I would have to go into the office myself to find out anything.

    I tried calling the Mexican consulate in Vancouver, but they don’t know anything, and they can only help me after the whole visa authorization process is finished. So I’ll have to write an email to the lady from Teleperformance explaining to her that I am at home now and that I’m unable to find out any information. Maybe someone from the company can call in and find out when exactly I could receive the authorization. So right now nothing is really working out too well and I’m incredibly bored and frustrated with so many things.

    I actually started playing Super Mario RPG for the Super Nintendo. Seeing as I hadn’t played it for 12 years it has been kind of cool to play it again. While I will never buy any new video games, it’s fun once in a blue moon to go back and play some of the old games that I really enjoyed so many years ago. And the games today are certainly much different than they were back in 1996 when this game came out; now they are all about fancy graphics. While the new games do look amazingly good, I think they miss certain charms from the old games.

    So over the next few days I’ll continue running with the dogs, keeping the house clean, and maybe do some more lawn mowing if it ever stops raining. Today I wanted to talk a little about the people on Xanga. Now I’m certainly not referring to anyone who comments on my blog, as everyone is great, but of some general Xanga users in general. Since I started this site over eight years ago, I’ve always enjoyed hearing from new people and reading new blogs, though I’ve certainly learned, a long time ago, that not everyone is like that.

    There are so many people on here who really couldn’t care less if there are new people commenting on their blogs, and have personalities on Xanga not much warmer than an ice cube. When Xanga had the “Meros” section a number of years ago I used to browse through different cities and places around the world and dropping by and leaving a comment on many sites. If I left 10 comments, sometimes I’d be lucky to get even more than one response.

    Very rarely I would get a comment back, and even  rarer would that person actually continue commenting. More often than not I would just get one comment, or even just a reply to a comment, and after that never hear from the person again. Now people can comment who they want, but I’ve always figured if people are out posting their material for the world to see, they’d be encouraging new people to drop by and leave a comment, and that they would enjoy doing the same thing with other people. For whatever reason, this is certainly not the case.

    I’m not sure why so many people on Xanga are such snobs, but there really is not another word I can come to describe people like that. If people seriously don’t care for other people reading their stuff, they should just type up their entries in a word document on the computer and stop posting them online. Now I’ve also had some people before who leave what I would consider pointless comments.

    I always write about something, but it’s like some people read like nothing that I write and they’ll just post something like “Awesome pictures ! Have a great weekend !” I mean if people are going to be that lazy and just write something so empty on thought and originality, I’d rather not have them post comments at all. I don’t go reading other people’s entries and leave one line comments that a 10 year old could have written better. I actually really read what people have typed up and comment on it !

    Now I realize sometimes, ok too many times, I write way too much, but the first part of my entry is just about my own life and what I have been up to. It’s more or less for me so if I want to check back one day in the future and see what I was up to at a certain point in my life I can. People can skip that part and just read the actual topic I have for the day. I mean I really don’t care if people read everything I type up or not, but at the very least, if they are going to leave a comment they should at least put in at least a few minutes effort on it.

    Some people might not like that I’m saying these things, but I just think it’s the truth and it’s important to say what one feels… a lot of people on Xanga are unfriendly snobs ! And a lot of the people who leave so called comments, put almost zero effort in doing so and I don’t get why they can be so lazy and empty on thoughts. A lot of these people have university educations, or are currently in university… they aren’t stupid, they just leave lousy comments.

    I don’t know what Xanga can do to improve the community they have on here, but they should certainly try and do something. For quite a while now I’ve just shared my blog with people who don’t even use Xanga, and they just leave me comments anyways. And if a lot of the people on Xanga choose to be walled off snobs then I might as well continue doing things that way as I don’t have to bother wasting my time with people who can’t type up any comment better than and with less thoughts and imagination than a 4th grader.

    I do want everyone to know that I very much appreciate all of the wonderful comments I do get from people here, and I do get some great ones. This entry was in no means directed to any of you, but to the Xanga community in general. If the people who run Xanga really want to keep people engaged, and encourage people to comment and connect more with one another, they should definitely come up with some new groups that allow people to do that.

    If Xanga continues the way it’s been going over the last few years, the site will get overrun by snobby self-obsessed people who have no interest in connecting with others and getting to know new people. This would be extremely unfortunate, but from what I’ve experienced over the last many years, it really won’t surprise me if things continue down this road. It’s truly disappointing, because the way Xanga is set-up, people have the chance to be much friendly and engaging, yet so many people on here would rather be snobby, cold, stuck-up and downright lazy.

    Anyways it will be interesting to see what people think of what I wrote today. I would even enjoy getting some comments back from people who severely disagree, maybe I’ll even get one or two nasty mean comments ! I actually enjoy when people disagree with me as it would be so boring if everyone just agreed. As long as people actually have an opinion and they take the time to share it, that’s all that matters.

    So hopefully somehow Xanga can improve the relationships between bloggers on here and get a real connection going that has been lacking for so many years. Honestly I don’t see this happening, but I would love to be proved wrong ! For the next question:

    What has your experience with other bloggers on Xanga been like ? Have you had the same sort of experiences with other bloggers on here as I have ? Do you think what I have talked about today has truth to it, or I really went overboard with my comments ?

    I kind of asked three questions, but oh well, I just want to hear what other people think ! I should browse some more sites to see if I can get some snobby people over here to hear their comments as well ! Anyways I wish everyone all of the best with everything. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Wednesday, bye for now.

  • Report # 988

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having an awesome week. After some incredibly warm and sunny days, the last few days have been cooler and cloudier, and today it is actually raining. It’s around 12 C (53 F) so while it’s a lot cooler than it was last week, it’s certainly not horrible weather. In fact I kind of like this weather for running as the cool air feels nice. I registered for the 2013 Vancouver Sun Run the other day, and I’m certain I will be able to beat my time of 49 minutes and eight seconds this year in the 10 kilometer run.

    The last four days I’ve actually been four three runs a day. I’ve ran in the morning to Tim Hortons, and then once each with Parker and Molly. It’s great for the dogs as they are getting so much more exercise than they had been getting over the last few months,and it’s great for me as they are pushing me and ensuring that I’m getting around my 10 km of running everyday. The Sun Run will be on April 21, so just 2.5 weeks more to go. On Monday afternoon my grandmother came over and made some Chicken Parisienne for dinner.

    I helped my grandmother a bit, though it ended up being a pretty dangerous task as the fat from the bacon that was frying was flying at me again and again. My grandmother had to run to the grocery store as she bought the wrong kind of chicken soup. She wanted cream of chicken, but she had bought some chicken noodle soup. We even had to open a bottle of white wine as the recipe called for some of it, though I certainly think it could have been made without it.

    It was a great meal and my grandmother had even made peanut butter cookies as well. I don’t like peanut butter, but the cookies I like. It’s hard to believe that the almost 50 cookies that she made were literally all gone by Tuesday night. That signifies that some people here had ate more than 10 cookies in just over a day ! There has been lots of leftovers from the meals in the past week, so there has been no shortage of food to eat. I even ate the chicken noodle soup that my grandmother had mistakenly bought.

    I’ve continued applying for jobs, though I haven’t had any luck. It’s been 10 days since I had my phone interview with one company, and a week since I had an interview on Skype with another company, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m out of the running for those two positions. I figured the process of finding something would take about three weeks, which it’s almost been by now, but it’s been more difficult and frustrating than I could have imagined.

    Never before have I applied for so many different types of jobs…. even the most simplest types of jobs. I just want to do something while I await the visa process. I have a few theories as to why I haven’t had any luck. Some people getting my resume probably wonder someone who graduated from university would be applying to mow lawns or work in a warehouse, thinking that if they hire me, I might just leave right away or something to that extent, and maybe some other companies are wondering why I haven’t worked since last August.

    I’d like to think that these people aren’t stupid and assuming things, but at the very least they could talk to me as I certainly would be more than qualified for the majority of the positions that I have applied for. I talked with Dora last night and asked if she could talk with someone from the migration department in Mexico to see if she could find out if they could give a general date of when they think I could get the authorization by.

    I sent an email to the lady at Teleperformance the other day explaining to her that I’m continuing to check my paperwork online, but that I still haven’t received any new news since February 1. She said that if I have time I could go to the migration offices and have someone explain to me why the process has been delayed. The lady doesn’t know that I’m not in Mexico anymore so I asked if Dora could try talking to someone today for me.

    If she can’t get any information I will try calling around tomorrow or next week, because I really would like to have a general idea of when I could get the visa authorization. Still I would like to find something to work here temporarily, and it’s frustrating that I haven’t been able to get something super simple and start working. My life has been incredibly boring and I just need something to do ! So I’ll continue applying for more jobs and try and get at least some sort of answer on my visa process.

    Seeing as Monday was April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d just share a few stories to do with that silly day. So today I will present you with some of the Stupidest April Fool’s pranks.

    1. A 20 year old woman from Virgina called the police and told them that the restaurant where she was working had been robbed. The police showed up and found out that there had been no robbery, and this stupid young lady ended up in big trouble. I’m sure she didn’t find her prank so funny after she was charged for calling the police under false circumstances.

    She could end up in jail for one year and have to pay a fine of $ 2,500. And to top it all off she was fired from her job ! (sources: Inside Tidewater. Hampton woman arrested for inconceivably stupid April Fool’s Day prank. April 2, 2013)

    2. A teenager from Oklahoma thought it would be funny to tell her boyfriend that she was pregnant. The boyfriend didn’t find this so funny, so for some incredibly stupid reason, ths girl pulled out a knife and threatened her boyfriend. The two even began to fight and the boyfriend was stabbed in the neck, and also bitten. The police were called and of course this incredibly crazy girl was arrested and now faces charges. (sources: Complex City Guide. April Fools’ Day Prank Turns Violent, Lands Teen in Jail. By Julian Kimble, April 3, 2013)

    3. Vancouver yoga company Lululemon  manged to disgust a number of their clients with an April Fool’s Day ad posted on their website. The company said they were going to start selling “lululeather” and they had worked with people who farm cows that are fed organically.

    But apparently people who read that they could be wearing pants from a cow did not find the joke at all funny, offending a number of people. Any April Fool’s ads that bring about controversy instead of humour clearly didn’t do whatever job they were intended on doing ! (sources: CBC News. April Fool’s ‘lululeather’ prank disgusts some yoga fans. The Canadian Press. April 1, 2013)

    4. So a woman from Tennessee told her sister over the phone that she had killed her husband and suggesting they should go bury him somewhere. One of this lady’s relatives called the police and they were soon over at her house, arresting her. She remained in custody until they saw that her husband was alive and it really was a joke.

    I would think people would know joking about anything where police could get involved is a terrible idea, and they are just wasting their valuable time. (sources: Susan Tammy Hudson, Tennessee Woman, Jokes About Killing Husband In April Fools’ Fail. April 3, 2013)

    So that concludes my little April Fool’s Day round-up. For the next question:

    Have you ever pranked anyone for April Fools’, or have you ever been the victim of an April Fools’ Day prank ?

    I’ve just joked about things, but very small things, nothing serious. And after like two minutes I would have said I was just joking. I certainly wouldn’t get myself put in jail like some of those lunatics ! I hope that everyone has a great rest of the week. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Sunday, bye for now.

  • Report # 987

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all had a wonderful Easter weekend. I’ve ate quite well over the last few days as there have been some very good meals. My mom made Shepperd’s Pie one night and last night we had hamburgers at home. On Saturday I went to my grandmother’s house and we went to Vera’s Burger Shack to have lunch. I enjoyed the burger I had, but my grandmother was not impressed, saying that the place would never be seeing her again.

    My grandmother can be hard to please sometimes, but she said that the chicken burger she had was cold, and the place was super expensive…. though I don’t think it would have cost anymore in another type of restaurant. My grandmother was expecting a fast food priced burger, but it was more of a gourmet type burger place, though it was just one of those places that just couldn’t impress her. Afterwards we went to Extra Foods and bought a few groceries and then I headed over to her house to help her make some Easter Eggs.

    We boiled 24 eggs and coloured them green, blue, yellow and red. Now there are only about five of them left, so they are getting eaten pretty quickly. There wasn’t any Easter chocolates this year, but that’s certainly not surprising as I haven’t been on an Easter Egg hunt since I was 17….. and even that’s a little old to be looking for Easter Eggs and chocolates. Every year when my brother and I were kids, my grandmother would hide Easter Eggs in her backyard, and inside the house if it was a rainy Easter.

    We both had Easter baskets, and aside from Halloween it was probably the time of the year we got more chocolate than any other day. I would always eat too much of it, so it didn’t last too long, but most kids probably act like that with chocolate. For many of those years we would have a big dinner at my grandmother’s house, though the last few years we haven’t had an Easter dinner really.

    The hamburgers yesterday were delicious, and today my grandmother is coming over to make a chicken dish, so I’ve certainly enjoyed good food this year, though we haven’t actually had a formal Easter dinner at the dining room table for at least a few years. The last couple of years I’ve been thinking about how so many families with kids just use Easter as a time to paint Easter eggs and hide chocolates, telling the kids that the Easter bunny did so. (Just another one of those lies that parents tell !)

    I certainly didn’t believe in the Easter Bunny like I did in Santa Claus….. for some reason I thought it was much more plausible that there would be a a man in a red suit who flies around the world in a sleigh pulled by reindeer than a giant bunny that goes to people’s houses and hides Easter Eggs and chocolates ! And while it’s great that so many kids can enjoy these fun activities growing up, I do think it’s important that people know exactly what Easter is about, so from Wikipedia:

    Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent,  a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. (repenting sins)

    The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) commemorating the Last supper and its preceding foot washing, as well as Good Friday. commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is follwed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecoast Sunday.

    (sources: Wikipedia: Easter)

    And some people may wonder when Easter is every year, as it’s always on a completely different weekend in March or April:

    Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First council of Nicaea established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox. Ecclesiastically, the equinox is reckoned to be on 21 March (even though the equinox occurs, astronomically speaking, on 20 March in most years), and the “Full Moon” is not necessarily the atronomically correct date.

    The date of Easter therefor varies between 22 March and 25 April. Eastern Christianity bases its calculations on the Julian Calendar, whose 21 March corresponds, during the 21st century, to 3 April in the Gregorian calendar, in which the celebration of Easter therefore varies 4 April and 8 May.

    (sources, Wikipedia: Easter, date)

    And of course Easter would be celebrated a little differently in many regions of the world, but if anyone is really that interested in how it’s celebrated all over the world they can do their own research ! Now I don’t associate myself with any specific religion, but I just think it’s important to know about these celebrations and how they came to be. I think it’s great that people are able to celebrate them in religious and non-religious ways and like Christmas and many other special days from certain religions, these events can truly be enjoyed by many people regardless of religious affiliation.

    I’ve continued my daily runs to Tim Hortons, though yesterday I got extra exercise as I took Molly for a good long walk, and then ran with Parker. They were both super happy as they hadn’t gotten such good exercise in a long time. Since my brother got injured at work he hasn’t been able to go out with the dogs, so it was their first day of getting a great workout in months. Molly ran for a bit and she did very well, though she was definitely exhausted after. Parker dragged me up the first hill, but he tired after a while and heading back he was definitely slower.

    I enjoyed taking them and they really got me great workouts, so I think I will try and take them regularly over the next few weeks as they can be great Sun Run preparation dogs ! Seeing as some places aren’t working yet today I’ll wait until tomorrow afternoon before I start applying for more jobs. I’ve already applied for like 33 positions, so it would be nice if I started hearing a little more news this week.

    The weather has been absolutely phenomenal here over the past week, and the last three days especially. Yesterday got up to around 20 C (68 F) and I actually sat outside by the pool and while of course I didn’t swim yet, I suntanned for a good hour… my face got a little read. Today is going to be about as warm, so I might do a little tanning today as well, especially seeing as it’s looking like it will be a rainy week for the most part.

    So that’s all the news I have for today, for the next question:

    Do you do anything for Easter ? What significance does Easter have for you ? If not what is a celebration that has special meaning for you ?

    I hope that everyone has a fantastic start to the week. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Thursday, bye for now.