Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lake Moraine, Alberta Canada

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Mossy Foot Charity


Please support this cause to help unfortunate people in Ethiopia who are suffering with a horrible disease called Elephantiasis. You can find more details on the disease here -

They really need our help. A small act of giving will go a long way in improving the sorry state of these people. You can donate through this website:

More details of the charity can be found here -


Memorable Quotes from The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

“She was struggling against a current that brought her inside herself.”

“It seems an obvious thing to say, but you should not imagine that we Pakistanis are all potential terrorists, just as we should not imagine that you Americans are all undercover assassins.”

“Darashikoh was inside, for all the world a tastefully dressed patron of the shop, but he carried death in his undershorts and hunger in his heart. ”

“As a society, you were unwilling to reflect upon the shared pain that united you with those who attacked you. You retreated into myths of your own difference, assumptions of your own superiority. And you acted out these beliefs on the stage of the world, so that the entire planet was rocked by the repercussions of your tantrums, not least my family, now facing war thousands of miles away.”

“The poets say some moths will do anything out of love for a flame

“You're never rude,' she said, smiling, 'and I think it's good to be touchy sometimes. It means you care.”

“One ought not to encourage beggars, and yes, you are right, it is far better to donate to charities that address the causes of poverty rather than to him, a creature who is merely its symptom.”

“In a subway car, my skin would typically fall in the middle of the color spectrum. On street corners, tourists would ask me for directions. I was, in four and a half years, never an American; I was immediately a New Yorker.”

“She attracted people to her; she had presence, an uncommon magnetism. Documenting her effect on her habitat, a naturalist would likely have compared her to a lioness: strong, sleek, and invariably surrounded by her pride.”

“When the uncertain future becomes the past, the past in turn becomes uncertain”

“The ruins proclaim the building was beautiful.”

“Maximum return was the maxim to which we returned.”

Saturday, November 19, 2011

H1-B visa stamping in Calgary

Easy Breezy !!

Completely hassel-free. It was easy to book the appointment, as the appointments were available. I think nobody really goes to Calgary consulate, because it is in the middle of nowhere. And because of that the crowd is less and eventually you get the passport next day. Yes, next day, of course if everything goes well.

So here we go, booked the appointment at:

Paid the initial fees, and then you have the option to use the payment code in multiple forms ( for different consulates). With a little computer knowledge you can login and check for available dates as per your convenience. I did the same. Booked the appointment, got employment verification letter, and then booked the tickets. Here is an issue with Calgary, it is a little expensive to fly there, which, I thought would be a much better option, then dealing with delays and stress at other US consulates in Canada.

I was lucky to get an appointment in Calgary after 13 days, and after login in checking after few days, appointments were available in the next 7-8 days. That just shows how much less crowded the Calgary consulate is. I stuck with my old date which was after 2 weeks.

Flew into Calgary on a Sunday, I was asked at the Canadian Immigration why I am visiting? I showed them the interview appointment letter and it was all good. No major hassels. Reached there on Sunday night, checked into a hotel. Hotels are an another hit on your budget, as they are expensive in Calgary. I was not surprised as it is a Canadian boomtown, thanks to the discovery of oil.

Interview was on Tuesday ( Monday was public holiday - July 4th). Arrived at the consulate at 7:45 for a 9:00 AM interview. There was no line. Few peoples ( may be 2-3) showed up for 9:00 AM appointment. The guard opened the door at 8:30AM. Remember not to carry any backpacks, as they dont allow. You might have to make a trip back to your car, incase you carried a backpack with you.

At precisely, 8:45 AM we entered the main building, after few security checks. The process is so streamlines, that you feel like a components that is moving on an assembly line. They check your documents first, then finger prints and then a brief interview. Asked me few question may be for 3-5. Remember to know your job well. They will def ask you what you do. I am a FTE hence had fewer questions. Doesnt mean if you are a contractor they will ask you more. I wouldnt know :). After few questions, I was told congratulations your visa is approved, and you will receive your passport tomorrow ( at the DHL location). I was expecting to be there at least 4-5 hours, but was out in 25 minutes, at 9:25. The consulate is in the downtown, but everything was closed that early, hence I had to drive back to the hotel.

So next day got a call from DHL at 6:45 PM that my passport was ready for pickup. I said I will be there in 15 minutes, and the morons said : sorry we will be closing at 7PM. I think they get the passport at 5:30-6:00 PM ( next day of your interview), but they dont call you until the end of the day. I wish I had known that earlier, I would have gone at waited there, and got my passport the very next day of interview. This way I could have flown back to the US in 3 days . Oh well, it still was better than many other places.

There isnt a lot to do in Calgary, except if you go there in the Summer. Beautiful place, and even more fun in Banff (1.5 hrs drive west of Calgary). Def plan to go there. Its worth it. From Banff drive may be 30 min more to Lake Louise.

So overall a pleasant experience.

Monday, November 07, 2011

"Compare With" Vs "Compare To"

when you are comparing two like items use 'compare with'

when comparing two unlike items use 'compare to'