Saturday, June 21, 2008

Welcome to the world.

Born June 20, 2008 at 12:01PM was Noa Quinn Tang. She was brought into the world at the BC Women's Hospital after a sixteen hour labour.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

It has been months since I last touched this blog. I think the shock of moving back to Canada was part of the reason why I basically stopped communicating with everyone. Re-integrating hasn't been as difficult as one would expect but I guess my reluctance to change was hit hard by the sudden shift. Slowly but surely things will improve.

Well, now I'm living in Vancouver in a basement suite which isn't too bad. My preference would have been in an apartment or main level/top level of a house but the market has few vacancies. I have a job where I like the people I'm working with but the hours are dwindling. Our old Hyundai Accent has been traded in for a 2007 Toyota Matrix because the upkeep was getting to be expensive, and more costly than the value of the vehicle.

As for the baby, we are pretty sure it will be a girl. We have decided on Noa [のあ], which in Japanese is a girl's name. For those with excellent Kanji skills, we are excepting suggestions on which Kanji to use. Her middle name will be Quinn, a close approximation of Quynh in Vietnamese.

In so few words, I have summed up the events of my life. Lots of details were over looked but I wouldn't want to bore you with small details.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A place to stay

We got into Vancouver and we started staying with our friend Colleen. Out of the blue my friend Grady asked me if we wanted to house sit for a friend of a friend. I told him yes, as we were couch surfing anyway. He gave my number to a woman named Brenda. When we met her I assumed that she was the apartment owner, but she was actually the neighbour. Brenda gave us a key but told us that she also had a key in case of any emergencies. Upon opening the door we met this mystery woman's boyfriend getting ready to leave.

So even with a neighbour with a key we were there to look after the cat and the place. Well, it was kind of strange but being the good Samaritans we are, we took the key and stayed. The place was very nicely decorated and cozy. Brenda has mentioned that the cat wasn't very cuddly but the cat turned out to be more so than she had made out. The cat's name was Doctor Hoffman and she was a cute black cat. One night I let the Doctor out and a black cat walked in after I heard some screeching and hissing outside. I thought the Doctor looked a little odd but attributed it to the fact maybe she was scared by something outside. Her hair seemed fluffier and she was very cuddly and loved it when I petted her tummy, which the Doctor normally doesn't like. Anyway I brought the cat into the bedroom to ask Jamie if something was wrong. Something was wrong, as the cat I had was not the Doctor! It was another black cat but with longer hair. As I was taking the cat to the back door when the Doctor waltzed in and they hissed at each other.

In the end all was well and we left the apartment and went back to Colleen's place.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Look back, but move forward

In the year 2007, I experienced a lot of firsts. Some good some bad. I visited Thailand for the first time, and had my first warm Christmas there. It was also the year I got screwed by a failed company. Like many others who had worked for the Nova Group of Japan, I am now waiting to apply for my lost wages. The new company who took over seems to be having problems hiring all the old employees back. For those still with the defunct company, I wish them luck. I hope they all find more stable jobs this year.

This year was also the first year I bought used items and got a bad deal. Roger came and visited and gave me his old Canon Digital Rebel camera body so in my haste I went out and bought a used Canon EF-S 18-55mm F4-5.6 IS USM lens. It was a great deal at 40000yen (down from 70000yen) so I rushed out to buy it. Well, for the first week it worked like it was designed. One night I was taking some pictures of junk around the house and noticed the lens having problems with autofocus. It still hunts for a focus lock at all focal lengths of the lens, especially in lower lighting conditions. I tested the lens on my friend's camera and it exhibited the same problem. Hopefully back in Canada I can get it repaired.

This year was also the year I got Gout. As odd and funny as it sounds, it hurt like heck. So a warning for all those who do not get enough water in their diet: Drink more water!

This year has been good for lots of things though. I got a free DSLR and for the first time in years I have a hobby other than mucking around with computers. 2007 was good for computing as well. It marked the first time I got server/workstation class hardware.

This year I got a girl pregnant for the first time in my life that I can recall. Yeah, she is my wife. So we have to go home. It looks like 2008 is starting the next big chapter in my life. One where I'm once again a responsible citizen with a regular job and living in my own country, but this time with a family of my own.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

A big Happy New Year goes out to everyone.

I hope you all had or have a great New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Even though internet has been easy to get while on vacation, I have been a lazy poster. So here is the obligatory Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year post. So here it is.

Merrrrry Christmas from South East Asia!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The last month has been very busy.

We have decided to move back to Canada. It was a tough decision but we had to make it. Leaving the new job was difficult as it was very enjoyable and I was only there for a short time.

The Nova situation is starting to clear up but no time frame for closure is available. The new company called G.Comm has opened up some branches and the MMC. So for friends still staying at least their immediate situation has improved.

Coming up is our trip to Thailand. We should be spending three weeks there. This was planned and paid for before we had made the decision to return to Canada.

Our friend Stephanie is slated to take over our ridiculously cheap apartment in Osaka and we are madly packing things to send home.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Roger does Osaka

Our friend Roger from Atlanta came over to visit on his trip around Asia. He flew in from South Korea on Friday and we proceeded to do the right thing and we took him down town. We went sightseeing around Amemura before heading for drinks at Kasuga. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately we didn't have our camera with us.

The next day we slept in and then went to Den Den Town. This was a big thing because we ended up in Den Den for five hours and Roger left with a slightly used Canon 40D digital SLR camera.

As a reward for our hard work he gave his venerable Canon digital Rebel DSLR. It looks like I will be a Canon man from this point onwards. Who could refuse a free DSLR body? If I get my back pay then a lens and flash are in order.

The only sightseeing we did was in Nara. Lucky for us the weather held out and it turned out to be a nice day outside.

As usual we hit Todaiji and Nara Park. You can see Jamie and Roger in from of the big temple in this picture.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hello Engrish

In all our years of living in Japan, our leasing company had always dealt with us in Japanese. Well, when Nova went under they sent us a letter asking us if we were staying. The best part was that it was in English. Well, Babelfished Engrish but that was better than nothing. So I guess it takes the fall of the largest chain of Conversation schools to get things done in English. Cool.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Halloween at Happy Blow

On the actual night of Halloween we went over to Happy Blow, the house that Louise, Ryan, Adair, and Tracey live in. Louise and Ryan planned to leave the house by the start of November so they had planned a sayounara and Halloween combo event. To replace them, Tom and Paul were moving in as well as Adair's friend Sarah. I think Sarah was only staying until she can find a job and a place of her own. As you can see everyone dressed up nicely and got somewhat drunk.

The police came and the girls made sure they left with a smile. With much cleavage who could say anything bad?

We had to leave because we had to work early the next day but more than one person reported a nasty hangover so I guess it ended well. Adair even got his mohawk back!

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