Sunday, November 28, 2010

My New Lens

Yay, I got a new lens. My cousin, Donna, bought a new lens for me. It's a 50 mm f/1.8 Canon lens. In the U.S. it was advertised for about $95. Up here in Canada it ranges from $130-$140. Though I did see it on sale at one store for $120 not too long ago. Anyway, I asked my cousin to buy it for me. After tax it ended up being $103 (U.S.). With our dollar being as strong as it is now, it was almost at par. My eldest cousin, Zena, brought the lens up this past week when she flew here to visit.

I had always wanted a fast prime lens to add to my collection. I only have two other lenses that I use. My 10-22 mm f/3.5-4.5 and 24-105mm IS f/4. This new lens should be good for portraits and other shots where I want a really shallow depth of field. Joy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Back row: Johnson, Anthony, Sang Hee, Steve, Sang Woo
Front row: Me, Winnie, Andrew, Rupert, Wendy

Tropicana... that's the name of our Gym Night/Sports Night team. Grace (who's not actually in the picture because she had to leave early because Sopheak hurt his ankle) suggested that name and the team picked it. We have orange coloured shirts, so it seemed appropriate.

Gym Night is organized by the folks at Cornerstone Church up in Markham. They're the same people that organized the Ultimate League I was in in the summer.

I've been going to Gym Night for at least five years now if I remember correctly. I think we've been up at the Unionville High School gym for at least three or four years now. We play different sports over the course of the winter. The three main ones are European handball, volleyball and floor hockey. Often we'll throw in dodgeball and sometimes soccer or badminton. It's fun and you get a little exercise for a couple of hours once a week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm really dumb sometimes.

Yes, it's true. Sometimes I'm just a big dummy. I've done this enough times, you'd think I'd have learnt by now. You know... talking about someone behind their back when, all of a sudden, they walk by or come into the room or whatever. Oh, the shame.

And it's never when you're saying something good about the person. Like, that Anne from accounting is such a smart girl. She found a way to save the company $100,000 last year. Oh, hi Anne, I didn't see you there. Yes, we were just saying how smart you were. Would I like to go out on a date with you? Oh, yes please.

No, it's more like, Mr. Wilkerson has to be the dumbest person ever. If he were any dumber you'd have to water him. Oh, Mr. Wilkerson, I didn't see you there. Gee, I was just telling the guys what a great boss you were. That's the way it is with me. (sigh)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grandma's 99th Birthday

We celebrated my grandmother's 99th birthday last night (November 18th, 2010) by going to dinner at a Chinese restaurant at Market Village (Kennedy and Steeles).

I believe her actual birthday is either on the 20th 0r 22nd. My sister couldn't remember which day either. My mother's birthday is on the other day.

My aunt, Betty, and uncle, Cheuck, from Long Island, New York drove up last Saturday. My aunt, Angela, from France flew in on Monday. My eldest cousin, Zena, and her daughter, Nicole, flew in on Wednesday. Betty is my grandmother's eldest daughter, Angela is the youngest. My mom is in the middle.

Also joining us for dinner where my father, my uncle, Jit, my sister, Karleen, and my two nephews, Avery and Aaron.

Pictured here are my grandmother and her daughters.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lawrence's Father

My friend Lawrence's father passed away this past Thursday (Remembrance Day). He had been battling diabetes among other things. I knew he had been unwell, but I didn't know to what extent. So it was surprise to me when Lawrence phoned to tell me the news.

The viewing was on Sunday. I went in the evening with my friend Daphne because I had to go to the boarding home to volunteer in the afternoon. We met many of Lawrence's relatives from various parts of the U.S. there. They're all very nice. I also saw a number of my church friends. Some from CPC and some from RHCCC. A few of us went to dinner afterwards at Congee Queen (pictured above - from left to right: Jason, Dickie, Steve, Big John, me and Perry).

The funeral was yesterday (Monday, November 15th, 2010). It was held at the Turner & Porter Funeral Home, Butler Chapel on Dundas Street West, near Burnhamthrope Road. I took the TTC there. It's not much more than 5 minute's walk from Islington Station.

I had never met Lawrence's family (parents or sister) before. From what the presiding pastor said, David Chui, was a really good man. He was a social worker who volunteered in helping with the less fortunate whenever he had the opportunity to do so. My condolences go out to Lawrence, his mother, sister and relatives. I know Mr. Chui will be missed by many.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

100 Years at CPC

Sid Ingham giving his testimony with Bill Mak translating. Pastor Kan and Eng sitting behind them.

We had our 100th Anniversary at our church, Toronto Chinese Presbyterian Church, this past weekend. To celebrate we had a special Saturday service in the afternoon followed by a dinner in the evening. We also had a combined service (English/Cantonese) that was similar to Saturday's on Sunday for those who didn't make it that time.

Our church was started back in 1910 to cater to Chinese immigrants who were new to the city. The did outreach to those people too. We weren't always at our current location on Beverley Street. This building was built in 1960. We used to be located on University Avenue when we first started. Our first pastor was Reverend Ma Wou (I believe). Currently our pastors are Tom Eng (English service) and Joseph Kan (Cantonese service).

I've been attending CPC since 1986. It's been a great experience over the years. I've met a lot of wonderful friends. I have to admit many of them have moved away. But, I still see some of them on a semi-regular basis. Especially the close ones.

Here's to another great 100 years!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We Are Family Fundraiser

We held the 2nd Annual We Are Family Fundraiser supporting Project 417 at the RBC auditorium in their building on Front Street this past Saturday (November 6th). They were generous enough to let us use their facilities at no charge just like last year. Kathi, Kara, Darlene, Jenn, and Patricia and Joe did the bulk of the organizing. They pulled everything together in a few short weeks.

Like last year there was a silent auction and we had hors d'oeuvres to munch on. The M.C. was Andrew Craig from CBC Radio 2 "Canada Live". The Lester McLean band provided the music along with guest singers Carlos Morgan, Toya Alexis and Gary Beals. In between breaks DJ Jude Kelly kept the music going.

It was a nice evening with proceeds going to a very worthy cause.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Out of the Cold, 2010-2011

John, Mike, Harim from last year.

The Out of the Cold program at Knox Presbyterian Church started again this past Tuesday. We provide hot meals to underprivileged young people (under the age of 26) every Tuesday evening from the beginning of November to the end of April. As well as the dinner we have a food bank where they can grab stuff to take home with them to supplement their groceries for the week. There are also some activities they can do like half-court basketball, there's an old video game console and Darlene runs her sewing table were kids can do some crafts or mend their clothes. Bill will start his hair dying clinic at some point too. We even have a three lanes of 5-pin bowling that we open every now and then.

For me, I help with the clean up. Specifically washing all the dirty dishes. Last year I had Michael helping me. Sometimes his now wife, Nicole, would assist as would an older gentleman named John and once in awhile Trevor would show up. Michael and Nicole are gone now. After they got married this past summer one of the ladies here, Helen, mentioned they moved to London, Ontario where I believe Michael is doing his residency.

We'll see who my helper ends up being then. Yesterday Harim helped me out by putting the clean dishes away. This is her second year here. She was a really big help. Very efficient since she already knew where everything goes. Things can be really crazy in the second kitchen where we wash everything. The dirty dishes come in so quickly you barely get a chance to breathe at the busiest point. I have a system worked out though. As long as no one comes in and gets in the way it seems to work pretty well. The dishes from the gym (plates, cups, cutlery) get first priority. The pots and pans and utensils etc. used in the preparation of the food get second priority. They can soak in the sink (if there's enough space) or we'll leave them on the stoves until there is space. There are three trolleys. I commandeer all of them. One stays in the gym for the dirty dishes. One stays in the second kitchen ready to go out to replace that one when it comes in. One is used to transfer the clean dishes to the first kitchen. That's it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


@ Scruffy Murphys on Eglinton

Sunday started off like any typical Sunday for me. I went to church, had lunch in Chinatown after service and visited the guys at Terry's boarding home at 103 Tyndall.

Pastor Tom spoke about helping people with depression. It was a good sermon. I think he gave some useful advice. Lunch at Rol Jui was good as usual. I had chow mien with assorted meat on top. It's part of my regular rotation of orders.

The boarding home visit was alright too. It was Kate's birthday. She's Rodger's assistant. She goes to the various homes with him on a regular basis. She kept getting Facebook notifications on her phone from people sending their best wishes while we were there. Robert (I just forgot his last name) was feeling a little odd though. Rodger offered to take him somewhere if he wanted to get some treatment, but he declined instead deciding just to get a bit of rest.

After we finished the boarding home visit I went to see Auntie Mary (Ko Bong) at East General. Tony mentioned she was there after having a fall last Sunday. She wasn't injured. I think just a bump on her head or something like that. I suppose they were keeping her there for observation. She's pretty frail at the moment.

I stayed for around 3 hours just chatting with her. I was there over her dinnertime too. Tony mentioned she wasn't eating a lot. So I was trying to encourage her to eat as much as possible. Still she didn't put away very much food. Just a few small bites of this and that. Truth be told, the food they served looked pretty terrible. It was bland-looking, puréed mush. From what she told me it didn't taste very good either. Anyway, she appreciated the visit. I'm sure it must get pretty boring there by herself. Over the weeks she's been there she did have roommates from time to time though. Some of them were alright while others were kind of annoying.

After visiting Mary I met up with a couple friends at Scruffy Murphys for a beer. It's a local pub in my area that we like. We went there once or twice before. They have a live band performing at one point in the evening. They let people go up and sing or play musical instruments with them. It's sort of like live Karaoke. Except that everyone is pretty much a professional. I'm sure most of the people that went up are in bands of their own. Anyway, it was fun. And since it was Halloween people quite a few people were dressed up in costumes which was cool too.