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Saturday, 31 December 2011

My last entry of the Year 2011

At 5pm everybody is rushing to get money before heading home.
Before I get dressed for a New Year's Eve with my husband I wanted to share these two pictures I took yesterday from my iphone, while I was at my Gym the Total Woman on Brand Ave.  Right next to my gym there is a Bank of America automated teller.  A red 1960s Thunderbird got my attention.  I thought it was worth having the picture.  This year I thought there were a lot more Christmas decoration than other years in my hometown Glendale.  I wish you a HAPPY 2012.  watch more Xmas decorations in Glendale.

this is a house that I pass by everyday. It is located on Monterey Rd in Glendale.  They hire help to decorate the home every year.  I love their spirit. It is one of the most decorated homes in Glendale

this is a modest home on Verdugo Circle, a few blocks from my home.

 the iconic Alex theatre built in the 1930s

Friday, 30 December 2011

I received the following comment from a Friend...

After posting my story on Steve Jobs my friend Bob emailed me his memories of Mike Markkula who had helped Steve Jobs to launch the business.  Bob has been living in the same home on Pass Ave in Burbank since he was a boy.  He remembers Mike Markkula who was a neighbor.  When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were looking for funding Markkula helped them with the necessary funding to start their business. Bob tells his memories of Markkula: 

Hi  Catherine,

The  demises of Steve Jobs was a great loss.  He was brilliant.
 While Jobs & Wozniak were the brains of computers,  it took
 Mike Markkula who found them,  working in a garage -  who 
 know about money to help them into greatness.

 Mike was in my high school & lived just 3 blocks from my house.
 Mike's mom said if a computer is so great,  then what about
 a program to balance a check book.    So the first program for
 the Apple II  computer was - balancing a check book.

 After high school, we both went to Glendale College.
 Once the instructor told his mom,  that perhaps Mike
 should go to a trade school - forget college.    But Mike
transferred to USC.  He got a degree  in electrical engineering..

After many years running Apple,  Mike got tired & brought in the head man from Pepsi Cola  to run Apple.  Mike's name was never mentioned in newspapers, radio or TV per his request.   In early days he got many death threats.

 After leaving Apple,  Mike bought a cattle ranch in  California.  Second company he bough an jet airplane leasing business... My mom & his mom were friends. You may want to check the following links on Mike Markkula and Steve Jobs,

 Mike & I were in different social groups.   Mike was determined to make at least 1 million dollar by 35.   And He did.

Read the following story on Steve Jobs and how he perceived the Armenian Genocide.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Steve Jobs and the Armenian Genocide...

Steve Jobs the founder of Apple Inc.
When Steve Jobs passed away on October 5 of this year, there was a lot of discussion within the Armenian community, questioning why there was hardly any mention that Jobs’ adoptive mother was an Armenian and that he was raised by an Armenian woman. 

I was personally quite surprised a few years ago as I was reading his bio on Wikipedia and learned it. I asked my son who was and is a staunch follower of Jobs and even he didn’t know about the fact. 

In the last few days, among Armenian online sources, news surfaced about Steve Jobs’ attitude toward Turks and the Armenian Genocide.

The following is an account told by a Turkish tour guide, when five years ago Jobs visited Turkey on a luxury Boat from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to Istanbul where the journey was going to end. 

The following article is taken from
"What Turkish tour guide Asil Tuncer said, with respect to Apple Inc.’s founder, the late Steve Jobs’ visit to Turkey, caused great uproar in the country. The guide claimed that Jobs considered the Turks as enemies, and he did not even shake hands when bidding farewell to the tour guide.    
Tuncer noted that when they had approached the Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, and he had told that it was a church at first but then it was turned into a mosque with minarets, Steve Jobs had asked: “You, Muslims, what did you do to so many Christians? You subjected 1.5 million Armenians to genocide. Tell us, how did it happen?”  And the Turkish tour guide’s denials further infuriated Steve Jobs, who left Turkey one day early.

Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul
Note: In Steve Jobs’ biographical book written by Walter Isaacson, there is only a short paragraph saying that after the Armenian Genocide, his stepmother, Clara Hagopian, had emigrated from Malatya, Turkey.

I am intrigued that no media reported on the fact that Steve Jobs' had roots in Armenian culture.  During a recent travel to San Francisco where we had gathered to be part of a conference on the issues of Armenian women, I met an administrator from Yerevan Magazine, (an Armenian magazine) she told me that they had scheduled an interview with Steve Jobs, the very day he passed away.  Maybe this reflects a characteristic of Armenians: “Known to be late…” LOL... The legendary founder of Apple Inc. lost his battle to cancer on October 5, at age of 56.

The following link is about a story told by a Turkish tour guide in broken English (Turk-glish):

Here is a paragraph taken from the story told by the tour guide in Turk-glish:

“Jobs Hagia Sophia was the place where most want to see and wonder. We started the tour. Saw that we had yet to happen and eagerly asked the minarets of the Hagia Sophia. In return, I, while the former church converted to a mosque after the conquest, in the south-east corner of a brick minaret was added to the transaction told. Then the questions started to come straight to me: “This is what happened to the Christians?”, “You millions of Muslims in non Muslim, what have you done?” etc.. You open my mouth, “the genocide of Armenians seized 1.5 million. You tell us. How did it happen?” were asked the question, and this was the last straw.”

You can read more about Steve Jobs in my earlier posts. HERE is the link to a previous musing on Steve Jobs,

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Follow my stories on the Caribbean Islands...

After spending a week in the Caribbean Islands, I learned one thing: the best place is "HOME SWEET HOME" meaning I love my hometown Glendale. The picture is taken in Barbados. Ooh la la... so expensive! 

   You can get more BANG for your buck in the USA...
        Stories coming up... 

My sincere apologies for delaying to post my personal stories about the seven day cruise I took in the Caribbean islands.  I really didn't get a chance to put pen to paper to portrait the picturesque Islands. 

In short: St. Thomas is a mecca for shopping – browse the little streets and enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. Take a bus tour of the plush dominica have a bath in a mudd pool, Hit the beach in Barbados and Antigua. Try the nude beach in San Martin. And in St. Lucia make sure to visit the 120 years old silk screen factory and then enjoy the beach at Rex hotel.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Iran hijacked US drone... (Growing up in Iran I've learned Iranians are very intelligent – read the story)

How did Iran manage to capture a US robotic surveillance plane, which looks remarkably undamaged in an Iranian video? The US initially claimed the drone went astray over Afghanistan and blamed a malfunction, but Iran said it had brought the craft down 200 kilometres inside its border earlier this month.
Now the Christian Science Monitor reports that Iran jammed GPS signals and fooled the drone into landing at an Iranian base. "The GPS navigation is the weakest point," an unnamed Iranian engineer analysing the captured drone told a Monitor correspondent inside Iran. "By putting noise [jamming] on the communications, you force the bird into autopilot. This is where the bird loses its brain."
Once the drone lost its bearings, the engineer said, Iranians were able to reprogram its internal mapping system to think that its home base was an Iranian site at almost the same altitude. He added that the slight mismatch in altitude caused a rough landing that damaged the robot plane's landing gear and underside.

GPS signals are broadcast by satellites, so they are weak near the ground. That makes them vulnerable to interference from stronger nearby signals. Even military versions of GPS are vulnerable to electronic warfare, which usually seeks to disable key systems to bring down a plane. The Iranians claim to have taken that one step further by electronically capturing control of the remotely controlled robot craft.  A former Navy specialist told the Monitor that hostilely reprogramming a GPS to fly to a different home is "certainly possible".
Built by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the RQ-170 Sentinel craft is a high-flying surveillance craft, which uses stealth technology to elude detection. Although details are classified, some information has leaked, including photos which match those shown by Iran.
At the time the US lost control, it was operated by the CIA. With no US controller operating it, the unmanned aircraft should have crashed - yet the one Iran displayed showed only a dent, although its landing gear was hidden.
If that's what happened to the CIA's Sentinel, it's going to prompt some serious rethinking of how to wage robotic warfare. You don't want the enemy to be able to capture and reprogram your robots so they fight you. (story adapted from New Scientist Magazine)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Glendale Transportation Center Gets Larry Zarian Stamp

The Historic Rail Station was renamed Larry Zarian Transportation Center
On Wednesday November 30, family members and local officials unveiled a new sign at Glendale’s Transportation Center in honor of former Mayor Larry Zarian, who died in October. 

The Glendale Amtrak and Metrolink rail station at 400 W. Cerritos Ave, listed on the National Register of Historic places, was dubbed the Larry Zarian Transportation Center, honoring the former mayor who passed in October and was extensively involved in transportation issues and a staunch supporter of Public transportation.

Zarian brothers Vincent and Gregory embrace after the sign with their father's name was unveiled at the newly named Larry Zarian Transportation Center dedication ceremony in Glendale on Wednesday, November 30, 2011. (Tim Berger/Photographer)  

 I wrote the following tribute a week after the death of 
Larry Zarian

A week after the passing away of Larry Zarian, from an aggressive blood cancer, I am still in shock. I cannot imagine Glendale without him. He had so much energy and a bright attitude towards life, one would've thought that he would live forever. I would joke and say, "Larry, I'm not sure that I'll be around, but you're going to celebrate your 100th birthday."  He was a staunch Republican and I am a Democrat, and we joked about that too.

Larry Zarian was a pivotal figure in my life. I can't remember exactly when I first learned about Zarian, but I do remember the first time I met him in the early 1980s. I was at a grocery store buying fruit and he was doing the same.  I approached him, introduced myself and we started a conversation.  I told him how proud I was that we had an Armenian in our city's politics. He appreciated my cajoling and told me that we Armenians should work together and be involved in our community.  From that moment on, he kindled the fire inside me to become an active member in our community.

In 2001, I ran for the School Board, he offered great support and assistance to my campaign. I learned a lot about politics through him.  He was an admirable member of Glendale's Armenian-American community.  In his 16 years on Glendale's city council, (he is still holding the record) he advocated his time for many causes and served on many boards within our city and throughout the state. I always wondered how he could make time to be on the board of so many organizations.  According to City of Glendale, his public service was recognized by presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, and governors: George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Years ago at a time when there were no cellphones and no computers, when our only mode of communication was the telephone landline, he would answer his messages timely and not leave any message unanswered. He was known for that.  He seemed to have such great skills for time management.  I always looked up to him and and wanted to be like him.  

We remained in touch throughout the years; he was a good listener, always encouraging, and exuded a lot of energy.  I admired him for these wonderful qualities and the many others that shaped his character.  In recent years I didn't see him as much, but it happened that I saw him in July of this year and I had the opportunity to catch up with him.  We met at the 12th Annual Awards Luncheon for Women in Business at the Castaway Banquet Hall in Burbank.

The personable person he was, he mentioned that he hadn't seen any letters written by me in the opinion page of the Glendale News Press lately.  I thought to myself how rewarding it was to know that he had actually taken the time to read my past submissions and even he recalled them.

He also mentioned that lately he had noticed in the Glendale News Press an Armenian woman writing a column about Armenians.  He was not happy about the fact that she was pointing out to the negative elements of Armenian life in Glendale and in the homeland. Now that I'm thinking back I am so much more impressed that he took the time and effort while he was sick to read the newspaper.  

From my first conversation I had with him at the grocery store in the early 80s to the last one when I spoke with him at the Castaway's luncheon a few months ago, he had this incredible zest for life.  His death has definitely created a void in our city especially in the Armenian community, but his legacy will live on forever.  His tireless efforts set an exemplary  precedent for our new Armenian-American generation to become active in the city's politics. His love for Glendale and the Armenian causes was evident in the actions he took. He was nicknamed "The           People's Mayor," and indeed he was.

Larry Zarian always smiling.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Landmark Victory for Armenians... Justice Prevailed – U.S. House of Representatives voted to demand Turkey to return Armenian churches


Today, 12,13,11 the US HOUSE of Representatives voted to demand that Turkey return Armenian and other Christian churches stolen from villagers during early 1900s.  
A Good Reason to Celebrate..

The following is a little story by karine Armen about her grandmother, a survivor of Armenian Genocide.

Learn how Armenians were deported from their homes and villages in Turkey.

Victoria, a young beautiful Armenian woman, woke up screaming and crying.  Her nightmares were not surprising to her husband and five kids.  They lived in a modest home in Tehran.
Victoria and Alex got married very young. They were both survivors of a vicious genocide.  Their marriage was for survival purposes.  She was only 14 when she got married. 

The young couple were from an Armenian town in Turkey called Garin.  In the spring of 1915 the Turkish soldiers started calling the Armenian men to join the army during the First World War.  The Armenian men were leaving their homes believing they were going to serve in the Turkish army. Little did they know that was their march to be massacred.

A sudden silence fell over Garin.  It seemed that the birds had stopped singing.  For a few minutes there was no wind, no air, and no sounds.  Then, a loud knock on the door shook the world.  Hambo opened the door and two Turkish soldiers entered screaming, “Ermeni, yavour” dirty Armenian.  Victoria’s mother rushed to the door and saw the soldiers with their daggers on Hambo’s throat.  She screamed and begged the men to leave the house.  But the Turkish men started laughing and yelling, “You want to save your son? You have to dance for us.”  Victoria was hiding under the bed. She was shaking.  She was very young but wise enough to control herself not to make noise. Listening to her mother’s and brother’s cries her heart was pounding fast. Hambo got very angry seeing how these men were insulting his mother.  He tried to protect her and pushed the men away, running towards his mother.  The soldier got angry and slashed cut Hambo’s throat.  “Oh, no, God, please save my son.”  “Your son?” yelled the other soldier “I’ll give you another son.”  He pushed the woman on the ground and killed her. The men, exhausted and satisfied, left the house without entering the bedroom.

My grandmother, Victoria, was only 7 years old.  She was home playing with her fabric doll that her mother had made.  Her 6 month old sister, Berjik, was quietly sleeping in the bedroom.  Her 12 year old brother, Hambo, was playing with some pebbles.

Victoria came out of the bedroom and saw her loved ones’ bodies soaked in blood.  She wanted to scream but she could not. Perhaps she was afraid the soldiers might return.

She grabbed her baby sister and left the house.  There was commotion all over the town.  Women and children were running, screaming and crying.  She walked and walked and got very tired, hungry and thirsty.  She could not continue carrying the baby who was also hungry.  Victoria left the baby under a tree.  She put some rocks around her to protect her from animals and went to look for food.  After a few more hours of wandering and walking, she fell asleep out of exhaustion.  The next day she could not find her way back to her baby sister.  Where was she, under which tree, in which direction?

Victoria met some other women and started walking with them.  They went through the deserts of Iraq.  After weeks of walking they arrived to Iran.

  She connected with other genocide survivors from her town.  That’s where she got married at a young age. Her first son was named Hambo and her daughter was named Berjik to honor her lost sister.  Berjik was my mother. My grandmother had her own family but she could not stop thinking about her baby sister.  She always wondered what happened to her.  Did someone rescue her?  Was she eaten by animals or killed?  The guilt and nightmares continued to the next generation.  Her mental and emotional condition affected her kids and grandchildren. 

Karine Armen

June 13, 2009

Published in Inner Heaven

The villagers of Karakale are not keeping up with Kardashians...

A group of Karakale villagers are holding the picture of Kim Kardashian (Sun magazine)
Where do the Kardashians come from? Karakale, the home village of Kardashians, is situated in Eastern Turkey, close to the Armenian borders.  
Karakale was once an ethnic Armenian village.  

In July of 1896, Sam and Harom Kardaschoff — a Russian spelling of the Armenian name Kardashian — became proud parents to a little boy called Tatos — Kim's great grandfather. But in 1915 the Ottoman Empire decreed mass deportation and massacre of Armenian villagers.  Armenians had to flee their villages.  

Sam and Hurom Kardaschoff, with their son Tatos and his siblings, fled in the autumn of 1913 — just before the bloodshed and the "Great Calamity" as it is called, happened. The family moved to LA, Tatos changed his name to Tom and started a business in rubbish collection and married another Karakale girl, Hamas Shakarian.

Later the family moved into the meat-packing business, becoming hugely wealthy. The couple's son Arthur, and his wife Helen moved the business to another level.  Their son Robert Kardashian, father of Kim and her siblings, became a celebrity lawyer.  

Kim Kardashian and her siblings always flaunt their Armenian heritage.  Kim says, "My father taught us to never forget where we come from." She also says, "I was raised with a huge Armenian influence, always hearing stories of Armenia, and celebrating Armenian holidays."

Read another story on my blog about Kardashians.  "The Obamas are not keeping up with the Kardashians":

The above Story was adapted from Oliver Harvey's report of his travel to Karakale village.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Michael Jackson's kids...

Michael Jackson's Kids

"Michael Jackson's three children are growing up happy and well adjusted." Tells Kenneth Partridge.

Two and a half years after their famously eccentric father died, sources tell, MJ's kids are keeping up with school work while pursuing interests in entertainment. Paris, 13, was recently cast in the film 'Lundon's Bridge and the Three Keys,' while Prince, 14, and Blanket (real name: Prince Michael II), 9, are looking to get behind the camera.

"Prince and Blanket want to be directors," the musician Genevieve told People. "They make home movies together and recruit their cousins to act in them."

Since the King of Pop's passing in June 2009, all three children have been raised by the late singer's mother, Katherine. While Blanket -- who also likes baking cupcakes and cakes with the help of house staff -- is still home-schooled, his older siblings have gone on to private school, where they're said to be thriving.

"They love the social aspect of it," a source said, adding that Prince is already proving a ladies man.

Paris, on the other hand, is not yet dating.

"She's got too many uncles keeping an eye on her," the source said.

You may want to read my musing on the death of Michael Jackson on my blog: (click on the URL– below)

Twelve Days of Christmas... "meaning"

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled the minds. What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out
of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

Here is the answer:

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were
not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone
during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.
It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning
plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each
element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality
which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching,
  Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness,
  Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas pass it on if you wish.'

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone 

Charles Aznavour Greets Shahbanou Farah at Concert For Armenia

This is so dear to me: My beloved Shahbanou meets the legendary Armenian singer Aznavour.  I live for this...

Charles Aznavour gave a Jubilee concert for Armenia in Paris Olympia music hall on September 28 of this year. French President Sarkozy and Shahbanou Farah were amongst the honorary guests. 
Read more...(below)


French Armenian world wide famous singer Charles Aznavour in February of 2009 agreed to hold the position of Ambassador of Armenia to Switzerland. Aznavour told Public TV of Armenia about the change of his decision. “First I hesitated, as it is not an easy task. Then I thought that what is important for Armenia is important for us. I have accepted the proposal with love, happiness and feeling of deep dignity,” said the singer

Note that Charles Aznavour was granted Armenian citizenship in the end of the previous year. He is National Hero of Armenia.


Do You know Vladimir Putin wants to be Russia's President - again??

New Problems for Presidential Hopeful – Vladimir Putin

Learn about Politics of Russia and the charismatic 46-year old billionaire that is challenging Putin for presidency. (News adapted from AOL homepage)

MOSCOW — Mikhail Prokhorov, one of Russia's richest tycoons and the owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, said Monday he will run against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the March presidential election.
Prokhorov, whose wealth Forbes magazine has estimated at $18 billion, has been cautious not to cross Putin's path in the past. But the tycoon's candidacy may now pose a serious challenge to Putin, whose authority has been dented by his party's poor showing in Russia's Dec. 4 parliamentary election and allegations of widespread fraud during the balloting.
Putin's party only won about 50 percent of that vote, compared to 64 percent four years ago, and the fraud allegations have allowed opposition parties to successfully mount massive anti-Putin protests in Russia.
"The society is waking up," Prokhorov said at the news conference in Moscow to announce his candidacy. "Those authorities who will fail to establish a dialogue with the society will have to go."
On Sunday, President Dmitry Medvedev promised on his Facebook page that the alleged vote fraud during the parliamentary election will be investigated. But Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, predicted Monday the probe will show that little vote fraud occurred and that it had no effect on the outcome.
"If you take all the cases of these alleged violations or whatever was published online, the total will be less than 1 percent of the overall number of votes," Peskov told The Associated Press in an interview. "And even hypothetically speaking, if they are all appealed in court, it will in no way affect the legitimacy of the election."
Peskov's comment signaled that Putin – who served as Russia's president in 2000-2008 and only became prime minister because of term limits – is holding firm, despite the protests, which have been the largest here since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. On Saturday, tens of thousands of people in Moscow and smaller numbers in more than 60 other cities protested election fraud and called for an end to Putin's rule.
Prokhorov, 46, said he hopes to win the support of Russia's growing middle class, which formed the core of Saturday's demonstrations. However, he said he agrees with only some of the anti-Putin and anti-government slogans shouted out at the rallies. He also did not say whether he plans to attend a follow-up protest in Moscow later this month.
He is one of several candidates who have said they will oppose Putin in the presidential election, including Communist chief Gennady Zyuganov, who has finished second in past presidential elections.