Archive for November, 2014

Meeting Robert and Patrick Godin in Singapore

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Every year my friend Patrick swings through Singapore on his big Asia trip for his guitars. Naoko and I love to catch up with him, so we met him in Holland Village for drinks on November 11th. This was actually my first time out after my back surgery, so it was a double treat for me.

On November 23rd, Patrick’s father Robert gave a guitar clinic in Singapore as well that I attended called “Tone Tasting”, it was great to meet him for the first time in over 20 years, and to meet his wife Janet. He also told some great tales about how guitars are built, and how the woods are selected for them. It was pretty legendary stuff.

I play a guitar from one of Robert’s factories, and so does Zen, so it was amazing to hear about this from the man himself!

Hanging out with Patrick Godin

Hanging out with Patrick Godin

Hey - it's Pat!!

Hey – it’s Pat!!

Hanging out with Robert Godin!

Hanging out with Robert Godin!

At Robert Godin's guitar clinic!

At Robert Godin’s guitar clinic!

This story has a part 2… On December 8th we were walking along Orchard Road and who did we see? Robert and Janet Godin, that’s who!! It was great for Naoko to finally get the chance to meet Janet, and to see Robert for the first time in 20 years!!

Meeting Robert and Janet Godin on Orchard Road by coincidence!!

Meeting Robert and Janet Godin on Orchard Road by coincidence!!

Singapore scenery

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Singapore’s such a beautiful place, I took a bunch of pictures on my walks over the past weeks, check them out.

Spooky colour-modified tree

Spooky colour-modified tree

IMG_6477

Spooky colour-modified tree

Spooky colour-modified tree

Bali? No - Singapore!

Bali? No – Singapore!

Bali? No - Singapore!

Bali? No – Singapore!

Snapped during heavy storm

Snapped during heavy storm

Snapped during heavy storm

Snapped during heavy storm

Misty mountain hop

Misty mountain hop

Misty mountain hop

Misty mountain hop

Where did Bukit Timah go...?

Where did Bukit Timah go…?

...oh, there it is!!

…oh, there it is!!

One of the things about Singapore… people seem to treat the sidewalks as their own turf and just fill it up with their own stuff.

Sidewalks… meant for pedestrians? Imagine THAT!!

Sidewalk decoration in Singapore

Sidewalk decoration in Singapore

Sidewalk decoration in Singapore

Sidewalk decoration in Singapore

Sidewalk decoration in Singapore

Sidewalk decoration in Singapore

I wonder how much it cost this guy to brick up the public sidewalk next to his driveway!!

Sidewalk decoration in Singapore

Sidewalk decoration in Singapore

Dinner with the University of Waterloo

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Went downtown today to have a check-up at the hospital. Met Naoko and had some coffee. Great!

After that I stayed downtown for a meeting the President of the University of Waterloo, in town to trade ideas about what the school can achieve in Asia. It was great to meet President Hamdullahpur again, and to have a lovely meal and great discussion with him, some other UW officials, and UW alumni living in Singapore. They picked a great venue – Salt, 55 storeys above Ion Orchard, with a great view of the whole city.

Me 'n' my baby!!

Me ‘n’ my baby!!

Best croissants in Singapore!!

Best croissants in Singapore!!

Wow!!

Wow!!

My baby, her latte and her pastry!!

My baby, her latte and her pastry!!

Oooohhhh... vinyl!!

Oooohhhh… vinyl!!

View from Salt, 55 storeys above Singapore, for UW President's dinner!!

View from Salt, 55 storeys above Singapore, for UW President’s dinner!!

University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur

University of Waterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur

Singapore at night from 55 storeys above Orchard Road!!

Singapore at night from 55 storeys above Orchard Road!!

Zen’s a teenager now!!

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Today we celebrated Zen’s 13th birthday, hooray! I was only back from the hospital for two days, so I couldn’t get up to much, but we still celebrated with a nice meal (Zen asked for his favourite dish – lasagna!) and some cake.

I played Zen’s favourite albums for him – Joe Walsh, But Seriously (it’s got “Live’s Been Good” on it), and the old Looney Tunes K-Tel collection.

Hooray!

Zen's favorite album!

Zen’s favorite album – Joe Walsh!

Zen's second-favorite album!

Zen’s second-favorite album!

Zen and Naoko

Zen and Naoko

Lasagna dinner!!

Lasagna dinner!!

Birthday cake!!

Birthday cake!!

My back: L45 spondylosisthesis

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Well, on the morning of November 3rd I had my back surgery to correct mis-alignment of two of my lower back vertebrae. Basically, I had L45 spondylosisthesis with bilateral lower limb weakness, requiring L45 transforaminal lumbar inter body fusion. Fun.

The procedure went smoothly, though, and after just two and a half days in the hospital, three hours for the operation itself and the rest for observation, strengthening and recovery. On the first day I just slept and slept and slept, the second day I tried out my first steps, and on the third day I went home. Great!

Everyone in the hospital was totally amazing, and I was treated very well indeed. Awesome!

Later on I got to see some X-rays, and they show my new spinal re-alignment: previously, vertebrae 4 and 5 were detached from the regular spinal curvature, but now after surgery they have been re-aligned and bolted into place. Eventually, the area between will calcify, and form one super-vertebra.

Before - mis-aligned...

Before – mis-aligned…

After - aligned!

After – aligned!

I must say that the hospital food was pretty amazing!!

I must say that the hospital food was pretty amazing!!