Cold: The Final Frontier before Malaysia

One of the many advantages of an unexpected layoff is the freedom to choose your own vacation days and not asking your boss for two weeks off when everyone else wants the same thing.  Concluding the longest year of my life, Diane and I are off to her family’s homeland for the holiday season. With an approaching cold front promising minus 20 degree temperatures by Christmas Day, a tropical holiday with margaritas by the pool is not in the cards this year. Disclosing our plans to sell the house in March and file for an MM2H visa is part of the mission since Diane chose to keep her parents in the dark until now. (No, I don’t know why; I think it’s an Asian thing to keep secrets or something like that).


The Saddledome: Home of the Calgary Flames

Other plans include outdoor ice skating, a Calgary Flames game against the defending Stanley Cup Champions (L.A. Kings), watching my favorite annual junior hockey tournament not available to Americans and rediscovering the fun of an Alberta winter. Radically different from what we plan on doing next year somewhere in Southeast Asia, we figured one last blast of cold should remind us why Canada was not an option for early retirement.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season, please follow our holiday posts these next two weeks but please forgive any delays in responding due to our “hotel accommodations”. As first generation immigrants approaching their 80th birthdays, Diane’s parents are not likely to embrace the concept of home WiFi this season so we’ll be relying on Starbucks, the mall and eventually my sister-in-law’s house for New Year’s Eve.

Alberta Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to all !!


23 thoughts on “Cold: The Final Frontier before Malaysia

  1. theoldfellowgoesrunning

    So tough of a hole to climb out of for the Oilers. Heard there are lots of empty seats at Rexall Place on some games, but these full page ads show they really want change. And such top draft picks they have had. Pretty well every recent loss of the Flames has been very close, could very easily been the other way. That would have been awesome experience in 2006. Too bad they didn’t get to hoist the cup, but definitely made the city proud! 🙂


  2. theoldfellowgoesrunning

    Watching Hockey Night In Canada, with the Leafs and Flyers on television as I write this. Not a good night for Toronto (currently 7-3 Phillie). 😦 But how wonderful to get to see the Flames live in the future.
    There will be huge changes over the next year. Really looking forward to reading. Thanks.


    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Well the Leafs may be the Laughs but at least they are not the 30th team in a league of 30 with no hope of ever climbing out of their hole like the Oilers. Unless Kevin Lowe finally gets kicked out there is no hope. I read some fans and even sports writers paid for full page ads and billboards asking people to petition the owners and kick him out.

      Now the Flames are another story. As the surprise team of the NHL, we are not surprised. Did I mention my sister-in-law is the director of human resources for the Flames and we spent six seasons with complimentary tickets during the Darryl Sutter regime. And that includes all four rounds in the amazing cup run of 2006. Now they seem to be falling apart at the seams and their current losing streak is even more than the Oilers current one. Of course that’s because the Oil were lucky enough to get the Sharks who are notoriously bad versus bad teams. Did I also mention I was an original season ticket holder of the Sharks ? Sat through an 11 win season at The Cow palace and everything.

      That was way before marriage when I pissed away my cash and lived on minimum payments. Thankfully I married a Chinese woman and that was the end of that. 🙂

      Looking forward to seeing an entire IIHF tourney for once without having to run back to work for “year end processing” that was a requirement in my old industry of being a peon in financial services. Enjoy the game !!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Thanks; I’m not sure if Alberta is as cold as The Netherlands or other Nordic countries but it will feel cold enough for us. Forecast is almost hot (0 to +1) upon arrival but deteriorating down to highs of -10 by mid week; cold but not brutal.
      Thanks for the comment and happy holidays


  3. Mabel Kwong

    Happy holidays and a great festive season, Rob and Diane! Sorry about the unexpected layoff, but so heartening to see the two of you to embrace life as it comes. I think you are making a wise decision to get away from the numbing cold 😀 An Asian thing to keep secrets? Now there’s a topic for me to write about!

    Travel safe and have a great time with the folks!


    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Hey there my favorite Asian (kind of) in Asia 🙂

      Thanks for the good wishes. Don’t be sorry; the layoff was one year ago and now feels like five lifetimes ago. I hated every single thing about the company except for the exceptional benefits and the only reason they gave that was because the parent company is Japanese (ie: sorely out of touch with America as evidenced by the wimpy decision to pull a movie release due to hackers).

      AS for Asians keeping secrets, I’ve found it to be a cultural difference. I’ve noticed Chinese families don’t like to burden each other with problems, even to the point of keeping an illness from their spouse or something like that. Conversely, white Americans are the exact opposite, usually tweeting the whole world their family issues, posting on FB if they have financial problems with some tragic illness and need to raise money that an insurance company won’t pay for, expressing their deepest psychological issues etc. Maybe it’s different on your side of the world? Anyway, please do post on that; I’ll always read your stuff !!

      Happy holidays to you also


      1. Mabel Kwong

        Glad that things are working out on the work-retirement front for the two of you. It’s so competitive in the working world these days. But as long as you keep busy and have a set of skills, you should be okay.

        That is true that many Chinese don’t like to bother each other with their problems. Westerners tend to be more outspoken on the other hand, so many that’s why they like to talk about their problems so openly. I do think there’s more to this, I’ll need to have a think about it!!!

        Have fun this festive season the two of you!


      2. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

        Hi Mabel
        Thanks for the comment
        Work is nowhere on either if our radar skills unless there is some phenomenal crash in all world markets that’s even worse than 2008 and 1929. Diane could always go back to nursing but really, why would she? My idea of retirement is to spend the second half of life doing anything we did not do in the first half.

        Can’t wait for traditional Edmonton Chinese restaurant Xmas dinner (watch for my post on why Jewish people eat Chinese on Xmas on the 24th)

        Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season !!


        Liked by 1 person

    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Hi Tim and Joanne
      Thanks so much for the holiday wishes and the same to you guys. I also thank you for supporting my blogging since I had no idea if anyone would want to read our stories. I hope we get to meet someday
      Cheers !!
      Rob and Diane

      Liked by 1 person

    1. rodi (Rob and Diane) Post author

      Thanks Eric and of course best wishes to you and your beautiful wife. Looking forward to 2015 with much anticipation and hopefully we will be neighbors by mid summer !! See you on the drive up to Canada in June



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