Monthly Archives: December 2010

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A Year in Review: Top 10 in 2010

Today is the last day of the first decade of the 21st century.  How quickly 2010 has gone by!  Here are my top 10 events in 2010:

10. Departure and Arrival of Boones

Boone, aka Dan, moved out at the end of October this year.  Boone was his other first name.  Dan sort of came with the house when we bought it in October last year.  He moved up island for a bit when we first moved in, but came back in December 2009.  Dan was our first tenant and has been a great friend.  He also taught me how to play songs like Stairway to Heaven and Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You before he left.

Boone Barber moved in the suite in November shortly after Dan moved out.  Anya and I have been greatly enjoying Boone’s company.  We watch Modern Family when we have dinner together.  We had a few rocking house parties with friends this year.  I hope Boone stays longer so that we can have summer backyard parties next year!

9. Anya’s Trip to the East

Anya and I don’t live apart often.  The last time we lived apart from each other was when I was on my co-op term (four months) in Vancouver working for TK Shipping back in the Spring of 2006.  October this year, my mother-in-law, Lydia, planned to visit her family in Whitby, Ontario, and Anya really wanted to visit Liz in New York.  Anya decided to go on a week long trip visiting family in Ontario and then fly south to visit Liz.  I was going to tag along, but school got in the way.  I wouldn’t say it was a big adjustment for me to live alone, but I did have to get used to living by myself at first.  Cooking for one was difficult, so I ended up just having same dish for a couple of days in a row.  I think towards the end I just started ordering take-outs.  I did, however, enjoy the freedom of doing whatever I want after work.  I was being very sociable, hung out with friends, and went to Steve’s gig at Rehab.  After seeing all the pictures from Anya’s trip and hearing all the awesome places she visited, I really wanted to go on vacations more often.  Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to travel around the world with Anya.

8. Weddings

May 1 – My cousin Cheryl was married to her boyfriend in Changde City, Hunan Province, China.  Unfortunately, Anya and I weren’t able to attend their wedding.

May 8 – Seamus and Jana read their vows to each other at the Sleeping Dog Farm in Victoria, BC.  It was a beautiful wedding and a great day to spend in the sunshine for these two beautiful people.

July 10 – Mike and Tanya became husband and wife after a long term relationship.  Chris and I crashed their after party at the Four Points by Sheraton Victoria Gateway.  Oh the memories.

September 3 – Ehsan and his wife Sheiva got married in one of the gorgeous golf courses in North Vancouver.  Anya and I felt honored to be invited to their wedding, and the food was fantastic!

Oct 6 – My cousin Dong Dong and his fiance, Zhang Zhen, got married also in Hunan, China.  Another wonderful event Anya and I couldn’t go due to the distance.

Oct 9 – Ryan and Sara tied the knot and got married at the Malahat Mountain Inn in Victoria.  The couple were looking gorgeous as usual on their special day.  A bunch of us stayed in the crazy-looking motels across the highway so that we could all go for brunch in the morning.  Fun times!

7. Nathan on Blackwood

Nathan came back from South Korea in February and stayed with us in the basement for six months.  Anya had never had a roommate before, so this was an interesting experience for her.  Overall, we enjoyed Nathan’s stay, and things like sharing groceries and noise control worked out with appropriate compromises.  Like Lydia says, it’s difficult to live with someone when you just get married.  However, Nathan has been friends with Anya since high school, so it wasn’t too difficult to work things out.  Plus, if anyone can be Anya’s roommate, Nathan would be her top pick.

6. Baby

Anya was pregnant for three months this year from August to October, but before we could hear the heart beat, the baby had left us.  We kept this quiet since it was a touchy subject.  Anya was really sad when the doctor told her the news.  I might have shed some tears, but I had to be strong for her.  Late October this year was not a good time for us.  I was sad mostly because Anya was sad.  Had I heard the heart beat I might have been more attached to the baby, but at the same time, I had to fill my husband’s shoes and encourage Anya that things will work out in the near future.  To me, everything happens for a reason.  Since the miscarriage, I have asked God multiple times on what the reason was for this to happen to us.  I guess, when the time is right, we will eventually be parents.

5. Graduate School

I got accepted into the Masters of Health Informatics program at UVic in August.  I was ecstatic because I had wanted to start my graduate studies since last year.  I got my BSc in 2007, and I felt like the longer I waited, the less I wanted to be a student again.  Therefore I was really excited to start my research and become an expert in a specific field in health information.  I really enjoyed the first term from September to December.  Being a graduate student is very different from being an undergraduate student because studying now has a self-motivating purpose.  In undergraduate school, most of the learning I did was just to get good grades.  I’m hoping by the end of 2011, I will have a research topic narrowed down so that I can conduct my thorough research in 2012.  Just recently I found out that I got accepted into the the BC Provincial Pacific Leaders Scholarship Program.  It is my first scholarship I have ever got!  I was so excited because it’ll help us financially in a great deal.

4. One Year on Blackwood

October 30th, 2010 marks the one year anniversary of Anya and I owning our first home.  However, it was a very uneventful day.  We were supposed to go to Aunt Vanessa’s Dad’s funeral, but Anya wasn’t feeling very well so we decided to play it low key at home.  Although RBC owns most of our house, it feels great to be a home owner.  Paying the bills, cleaning the yard and running all kinds of chores around the house made me feel more like a grown-up after owning a property.

3. Vegas Trip

Nick, Rob, Victor and I spent four days from April 23 to 26 in Vegas.  It was the guys annual trip.  Since no one in the group was getting married this year, Nick decided to hit Vegas.  The three of us flew down, but Victor took a longer vacation and drove his Honda down and met up with us in Vegas.  It was my first trip to the U.S.A., and boy, was that ever an eye-opening experience!  There was so much entertainment in Vegas.  Beers were so cheap!  Food was so unhealthy!  No one recycles!  It wasn’t just a big city.  It was a big city which provides entertainment 24/7.  I think visiting Vegas once in a life time is good enough.  Not sure what benefits I would gain if I go there again.  I’m glad I went though; especially glad that I went with my gang.  It was a perfect guys trip.

2. Portland Trip

Jessa, Doug, Anya and I took a relaxing road trip down to Portland from July 16 to 20.  This American trip was very different from my trip to Vegas.  Oregon was a lot more beautiful and friendly than Vegas.  Portland reminded me a lot of an older Vancouver.  I was glad to see the city’s green initiatives, no sales tax(!) and numerous daily events happening in downtown Portland.  Their beerfest was definitely better than what we have in Victoria.  The trip out to the Multnomah Falls was one of the highlights of our trip.  We chatted, laughed and bonded in the long drive between Vancouver and Portland, which made the four of us closer with each other.  Both Jessa and Doug are wonderful people in our lives.

1. Chinese New Year in China

The biggest event to me in 2010 was the trip to China for Chinese New Year.  Peter, Lydia, Anya and I spent two weeks in China from February 4 to 19.  This was my first time spending Chinese New Year in China with my parents since I left China in 2000.  I wish I could have spent Chinese New Year in China every year in these ten years.  Time sure flies when you are having fun.  Being as organized as usual, my Dad made an itinerary for us and outlined all the places they would take us to and all the different styles of Chinese dishes we would have.  I freaking LOVE Chinese food.  The Rodenburghs are also big fans of Chinese food, so we would just stuff our faces with yummy food all the time.  This trip made me want to spend Chinese New Year in China every year.  Man, how I wish I could do that every year.

2010 was an eventful year for me.  A lot had happened in my life.  There were ups and downs, but mostly ups.  I feel like I’ve grown to be a man more and taken on more responsibilities in life.  2011 will be an exciting year also.  I fully look forward to the challenges and adventures 2011 has prepared for Anya and I.

Health Care Transformation in Canada

I just watched a video from Dr. Jeff Turnbull, the President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) on the CMA website.  In this video, Dr. Turnbull explained that CMA is launching a web-driven national dialogue on transforming the country’s health care system.  Three questions were proposed to all Canadians:

1. The law underpinning our system – the Canada Health Act – dates back to the 1980s.  It covers only doctor and hospital care. Do you think it should be broadened to include things like pharmacare and long-term care?

2. It is important for citizens to feel they are receiving good value for their health care. What would you consider good value?

3. Patients and their families play an important part in their health care. What do you think Canadians’ responsibilities are, now and in the future, in regards to their health?

This is a great theoretical idea on taking the democratic and everybody’s-opinion-counts approach to resolving a multi-billion-dollar question.  Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) has announced earlier this year that health spending in Canada was expected to hit $192 billion in this country.  Although other facts have suggested that Canadian health expenditure in 2010 has been the lowest in 13 years, how much more money do we need to pump into our health care system to satisfy this country’s unique health care needs such as aging population, chronic disease management, remote health care delivery, to name a few?  Not that I’m suggesting our health care system is hopeless.  I’m just worrying how effective this national dialogue will be, what the data collected from the dialogue can contribute to health policy planning, and how many of us really care about our health care system being as efficient as it can be.  Spreading the word helps I guess, eh?

If you are interested in participating in the dialogue and helping to improve the Canadian health care system, instructions can be found on the CMA website.

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