“Failure to thrive” and my college classmate


During the weekend of 9/15, I heard the term “failure to thrive” over the radio. It reminded me of the first time when I learned of this term. That was from a college classmate of mine.

That’s what the doctor told my classmate about his infant son, well, during the baby’s first year of life, because of the baby’s mother’s negligence. Years later, I saw the boy’s picture, a very cute one only too little for his age.

When my son was about 10 months old, we went to New York and met this classmate who liked my son very much and commented “He is too good for you” I know he meant it to be a compliment, or a strange way of complimenting.

For some reason, I feel sorry for his boy, a miniature in my memory.  All because the mother was having her fun and neglected her maternal duty.



Listening to Public Radio in Waco, Texas in 1984


I liked listening to NPR National Public Radio and that was in 1984 when I first came to the States. At that time my English, especially listening ability, was far from being adequate. I would ask people to repeat at least once before I got it.

At first I got a small black and white TV, not a new one, trying to expose myself to more English. Later, since I spent so much time away from my apartment, either in school or in library, I spent $20 getting a Radio Shack radio. A very solid one. I still have it now. I would plug in for news and other programs of NPR whenever I got a chance. I wasn’t able to follow the news at first but I did get better as years went by.

Of course, I also listened to music and songs like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and a better one “We Are the World” and country music “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” I can still sing some of the songs that I learned back then.

To this date, public radio still keeps my company when I walk in the morning or when I am cooking at home. Thanks, public radio, a great service!



My good old Chinese language


On 9/14, Friday evening, a friend of mine called from China, asking me to help her with some translation. That I gladly did.

However, in the process of doing it, I found myself labor through the Chinese version, trying to figure out what it actually means, so that I can put the meaning in English.

I found myself grasping for meaning more so when I read Chinese than reading English. I guess it is because I have been exposed to English language much more than to Chinese. Shame on me.

I thought of an old friend of mine who asked me many times why I didn’t write in Chinese and it would be a pity if I did not write in Chinese, as if I could still write well.

I remember writing da-zi-bao or some kind of bao for the class when I was in high school. For some reason, I was often picked out doing that type of writing task. In fact that seems the only thing that I was asked to do. It must have come easy for me as I don’t remember ever rebelling against it.

Why I don’t use Chinese as much as I did before. I think I need to trace back to the time when my son went to first grade, when I decided not to fight with him over his Chinese lesson, when I found it necessary to write in English so that my children can understand, when I found it helpful with their English essays, and when I have read and written so much English that my Chinese began to give away.

Hopefully, my excuse can hold water and can excuse myself of the real cause, if there is.



When the CEO is leaving the company…


On 9/11, the second head of our company before merger made an announcement about the departure of the CEO of the company. I thought it was nicely written.

“Please join me in wishing …, Executive Director of Community Network Development, success in his new endeavor. … will be leaving the University of Kansas Hospital in the next few weeks for a new opportunity.

— was previously the Executive Director for the company for 12 years and was instrumental in the growth and advancement of our company as it built 5 community cancer centers as well as other cancer related programs.

— has served on numerous healthcare and cancer association boards both locally and nationally, educating others, as much as he was exploring for new programs and services that would position our physicians and staff to make the greatest impact on patients. His philosophy in evaluating the merit and value behind anything new has always been – ‘is it good for the patient?’



When the monitor is an MD…


On 8/30, we had a monitor from San Diego. She handed me her business card which I didn’t pay any attention. But my colleague noticed that she was an MD. “She is an MD. What does she do here doing monitor work?” came the question.

We could tell from her foreign accent that she is not a native here, even though she sounds very smart. Next I heard some negative comments and gossip about her, like she got her education in a foreign country and is not good enough to become a doctor here, so she ended up doing monitor job. She is actually a senior CRA for early phase clinical trial.

She reminds me of a friend of mine who got her education and work experience back in China, came over, took the needed courses and passed all the exams to become an MD, but couldn’t find residency in three years. Last time I heard from her, she is a medical monitor for a clinic trial.

While I feel sad for people like this monitor and my friend, I can also identify with them in that both of us are over-educated for our position, which, in a way, is a waste of time and life. This is something I hope my children can avoid in their lives.

You do not really need a PhD unless you go to the world of academia.



Relationship: it’s all about feeling good being together


When my son was home early this month, I mentioned this to him. In the long run, good relationship depends on one element, that is, feeling good being together, instead of the otherwise. It is this good feeling that binds the two together.

You don’t face big issues everyday. It is many trivial minors that very often ruin this good feeling. Such as, what would you say when someone just wins a medal or achieve something extraordinary, at least in that person’s eye?

You could buy a bunch of roses to confirm and enhance her happy feeling or you could deprecate the achievement by saying “No big deal. Anyone can do it easily.”

Another occasion when your partner is already feeling upset or mad about something, you could either calm him down and try to alleviate the anger with some soothing words or you could rub the wrong way by saying “I told you so. Serve you right for not listening to me before.”

I told my son a rule of thumb is to always put yourself in your partner’s shoes and always decorate the beauty and never add salt to the wound.



Don’t play with life-threatening disease


When I read Time magazine, Sept 7, 2012 issue, an article about Tig Notaro who has cancer in both breasts, I felt like writing something about this.

The 41-year-old Tig Notaro first noticed a lump in her breast a year ago but did not seek medical attention until this July when she got her first mammogram.

“The doctor came in and her tone was very scary,” she said. “She said ‘OK, so, we have found something in both breasts.’… I was stunned… After all the explanation I said, ‘Wait a minute, are you telling me that I possibly have cancer?’ and she said, ‘Well, we have to get biopsies done but from what I can see with all the testing we’ve done today it is very probable that you do in both breasts, yes.’” Notaro added, “I am not saying that I have cancer. I am saying I got not-great news yesterday.”

The delay is a very costly mistake. There are quite a few breast cancer patients at our clinic who are in their 30s. In fact we see more young cancer patients now than before. I wish Tig Notaro knew that her chance of survival decreased as she delayed taking care of the fatal lumps in her breasts.



A childhood neighbor reminds me of the good old days


During labor day weekend, while chatting with my sister over the Skype, she mentioned a neighbor of ours during our childhood.

He was a few years younger than I am, but passed away a years ago of liver cancer. The talk about him reminded me of my childhood days, pre-teen years to be exact.

I don’t remember anything other than play during these years and how upset I was when I was called in to do household chores.

That boy always followed me around, asking me to make this or that toys for him. As we didn’t have the money to buy toys, in fact I don’t remember ever possessing any toys from the store.

I told that boy to keep an eye on this or that materials with which I could make some toys for him. I made slingshots using the hard wire that he picked somewhere. I carved a small boat with a rudder and watched it flow in our bathtub. We exchanged the homemade toys with other kids for marbles that we could not make.

I seemed to be busy all the time, catching dragonflies and other insects, making toys,  doing anything but study.

In my memory of those days, the sky seemed specially blue and bright. The sun was always cheerful. And when my parents were not at home and when I was outside, I was always as carefree as a lark.



Tai-chi, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, part III


11. Back. With shoulders resting on the back of the chair, push your  body forward so that your back is arched; relax. Be very careful with  this one, or don’t do it at all.

12. Butt. Tense the butt tightly and raise pelvis slightly off chair;  relax. Dig buttocks into chair; relax.

13. Thighs. Extend legs and raise them about 6″ off the floor or the  foot rest–but don’t tense the stomach’ relax. Dig your feet (heels)  into the floor or foot rest; relax.

14. Stomach. Pull in the stomach as far as possible; relax completely. Push out the stomach or tense it as if you were preparing  for a punch in the gut; relax.

15. Calves and feet. Point the toes (without raising the legs);  relax. Point the feet up as far as possible (beware of cramps-if you  get them or feel them coming on, shake them loose); relax.

16. Toes. With legs relaxed, dig your toes into the floor; relax.  Bend the toes up as far as possible; relax. Now just relax for a  while. As your days of practice progress, you may wish to skip the  steps that do not appear to be a problem for you.

As you’ve become proficient on your tension areas (after a few weeks), you can concern yourself only with those. These exercises will not eliminate  tension, but when it arises, you will know it immediately, and you  will be able to “tense-relax” it away or even simply wish it away.



Tai-chi, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, part II


1. Hands.  Tense the fists, then relaxed. Fingers extended, then relaxed.

2. Biceps and triceps. The biceps are tensed (make a muscle–but  shake your hands to make sure not tensing them into a fist); relaxed  (drop your arm to the chair–really drop them). The triceps are  tensed (try to bend your arms the wrong way); relaxed (drop them).

3. Shoulders. Pull them back (careful with this one); relax them.  Push the shoulders forward (hunch); relax.

4. Neck (lateral). With the shoulders straight and relaxed, the head  is turned slowly to the right, as far as you can; relax. Turn to the  left; relax.

5. Neck (forward). Dig your chin into your chest; relax. (bringing  the head back is not recommended–you could break your neck).

6. Mouth. The mouth is opened as far as possible; relaxed. The lips  are brought together or pursed as tightly as possible; relaxed.

7. Tongue (extended and retracted). With mouth open, extend the  tongue as far as possible; relax (let it sit in the bottom of your  mouth). Bring it back in your throat as far as possible; relax.

8. Tongue (roof and floor). Dig your tongue into the roof of your  mouth; relax. Dig it into the bottom of your mouth; relax.

9. Eyes. Open them as wide as possible (furrow your brow); relax.  Close your eyes tightly (squint); relax. Make sure you completely  relax the eyes, forehead, and nose after each of the tensings–this  is actually a toughy.

10. Breathing. Take as deep a breath as possible–and then take a  little more; let it out and breathe normally for 15 seconds. Let all  the breath in your lungs out–and then a little more; inhale and  breathe normally for 15 seconds.

To be continued…



Tai-chi, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation


Progressive muscle relaxation. I learned of this concept during one of the health webnar offered at office. This is like tai-chi and yoga but more flexible than both of them. Sit in a comfortable chair, as comfortable as possible, with loose clothes, and no leg crossings.

1) Take a deep breath; let it out slowly.
2) Alternately tense and relax specific groups of muscles.
3) After tension, a muscle will be more relaxed than prior to the  tensing.
4) Concentrate on the feel of the muscles, specifically the contrast  between tension and relaxation. Recognizing tension in any specific muscle helps reduce that tension.
5) Don’t tense muscles other than the specific group at each step.
6) Don’t hold your breath, grit your teeth, or squint!
7) Breath slowly and evenly and think only about the tension-relaxation contrast.
8) Each tensing is for 10 seconds; each relaxing is for 10 or 15 seconds.
9) Count “1,000 2,000…” until you have a feel for the time span.
10) Each step is really two steps–one cycle of tension-relaxation  for each set of opposing muscles.
11) Do the entire sequence once a day if you can, until you feel you are able to control your muscle tensions.
12) Be careful: consult your doctor first, if you have problems with pulled muscles, broken bones, or any medical contraindication for physical activities.

The entire sequence from hands to toes
1. Hands
2. Biceps and triceps
3. Shoulders
4. Neck (lateral)
5. Neck (forward)
6. Mouth
7. Tongue (extended and retracted)
8. Tongue (roof and floor)
9. Eyes
10. Breathing
11. Back
12. Butt
13. Thighs
14. Stomach
15. Calves and feet.
16. Toes

To be continued…



You will get there as long as you don’t give up.



Last weekend, I went to Costco, where I met a Chinese couple. About two years ago, they were certain their son would be accepted by MIT, but that didn’t happen. The mother was very upset and the son felt hurt. The incident reminds me of this Chinese poem.

I didn’t ask them about their son as I was not sure how they felt about it now. Much as I was anxious to share with them some of my thought on college education, I did not say anything to them. I thought it a good policy not to offer advice when I am not asked to.

If the boy were my son, I would tell him to work hard during the first year of college at KU, then transfer to MIT with both your high school and college achievements. That is, if MIT is the place of his dream.

If that doesn’t work, get your bachelor in three instead of normal four years, graduate summa cum laude, apply for MIT graduate program.

I am sure there are more than one roads leading to Rome. You will get there as long as you don’t give up. In the long run, being resourceful, resilient and persistent will help you more than anything else.



Take off extra weight before chronic disease develops


On 8/29, I read an article “Secret to Active 80s? Fitness-Heavy 40s” by Drs. SHARI BARNETT and SWATI SHROFF. It reports the result of a study on being fit at 40 and the quality of life at 80.

“This new study observed men and women older than 65 and enrolled in Medicare, and found that those with higher midlife fitness levels had fewer chronic diseases decades later in life.”

“In general, we saw if you increased your fitness by 20 percent, you would decrease your disease burden by 20 percent.” “The benefit of fitness persists to the end of life,” Berry said.

Higher midlife fitness also appeared to delay the development of the chronic diseases; those with a higher level of midlife fitness spent a greater proportion of their final five years of life with a lower burden of chronic disease, suggesting an improvement in not only quantity, but quality of life.

“The best time to take off extra weight is before chronic disease develops.”



Security and stability do not sit well with me


On 8/29, a monitor from Dallas said she would see me this time next year since our patient is in long term yearly follow up. I was thinking to myself “Oh mine, I would go crazy if I were still here by then.”

From my own experience and from what I heard at clinic level, it is getting somehow rather difficult for people to make internal transfer after the merger.

When I mentioned about my intention to move back to the IT field away from the clinic, I was asked if I would get paid more. “Not sure,” I said. “What’s the point of changing your job if you don’t get pay increase?”

I cannot even begin to mention this topic. This all ties back to the purpose of a job, which, to me, is much more than paychecks. I would move if I see no room for growth or individual development or no challenge at all. Of course, I would not accept a cut just for that extra challenge. For some reason, security and stability do not sit well with me.



Exercise, nutrition, injury prevention


On 8/29, I attended a webnar offered at office on exercise, nutrition and injury prevention. Here are the notes from it.

(1) Proper footwears can help reduce:
–back pain
–knee pain
–hip pain
–achilles tendonitis
–shin splints (leg pain)
–injured toes
–damaged toenails
–painful blisters

(2) Tips for buying shoes
–identify your foot shape
–shop toward the end of the day (when your feet are biggest)
–bring your workout socks
–don’t count on “breaking in” If it’s not comfortable at the store, it’s not going to get comfortable as you wear it more.
–buy bigger
–replace often
–stride analysis

(3) Proper clothing
–proper fitting
–breathable
–layers, outside exercise in winter
–reflective
–not rubbing your skin

(4) General outdoor safety
–traffic rules
–limit distractions
–safety in numbers, for women
–daylight if possible, for women, never venture out in dark alone
–always bring your phone/ID
–watch for critters and dogs
–change your route every once a while and avoid being watched and followed by predators

(5) Bicycle safety
–Helmets (size, secure, level)
–Bike fit (size, height, and seat)

(6) Injury Prevention
–Warm up–5 to 10 minutes cardio
–Proper technique–muscle engagement; balance muscle groups
–Increase gradually
–Vary your routine

(7) Listening to your body
–Normal pain– dull, achy, general soreness over large area
–Abnormal pain–sharp and specific, indicatinb more serious injury
–Don’t push yourself too much Common injuries
–sprains and strains
–achillies tendionitis
–shin splints
–back pain
–knee pain
–tennis elbow
–rotator cuff

(8) Proper nutrition
–Hydrate
–Proteins
–Carbs
–Fats, not too much of it
–Quality– protein, carbs, and fat
–Quantity
–Timing



Inaction and procrastination are at work everyday


On a normal no monitor day, I would start the day reading online, current events, news on politics, health, technology, or anything that catches my fancy that day. If I find something that I like to read more or write about later, I would save it on a notepad for further work. Most likely I will forget all about them and never touch these files again. This reminds me of the practice of drinking tea over newspaper at many Chinese offices.

All the time I know there are books that I need to read and work that cries for my attention, though not urgently. Still, I postpone doing everything just for this online reading.

Such random browsing lasts about one to two hours or even longer. I think sometimes inaction and procrastination are at work, especially when I push back some work which I shouldn’t have.



Almost half of students fail to complete their college degree in 4 years


On 8/26, Sunday afternoon, while at Barnes & Noble’s with my daughter, I read this piece of information, which I might have read before but without paying attention.

Almost half of American college students fail to complete their college degree in four years. Almost a third of them drop out of college.

I am no longer surprised now after I learn from my son that many of his high school and college friends graduated this year instead of last year. Many college students, without helicopter parents, fail at least in time management, self-regulation and self-control.

I think of my son, which took seven required classes in his last semester, plus a trip to Europe and job interviews. Whoa! What a crazy life! Something for my daughter to think about.



Happy birthday, once again!


Got to think of some fun thing to do on this day.



Work is an honor, laziness is the real shame


When I was at DMR back in 1998 and ’99, I worked with a lady whom, for some reason, I cannot forget. She tried to play the role of manager, even though she was not. She used to work for KCPL. I remember she was panting heavily when we walked fast.

At that time we lived at Corinth apartment. Once, on the way to a Sprint building on Ward Parkway, while chatting randomly, I mentioned that I washed my undergarments by hand. I forgot what brought up this topic but I do remember vividly the shock on her face.

“You wash your clothes by hand!?” she exclaimed. “Yes, we live in an apartment and use public laundry facility. You never know who used it prior to you and what they put in that washer.” I explained.

“Oh my! We never wash anything by hand. We have laundry washer, dish washer, and all kinds of this stuff.” she said proudly, though not without contempt. Indeed, her hands were well-preserved, like those of a baby’s.

I didn’t know what to say at that time and I even forgot how I felt then. Now, when I mention this to my daughter, I want her to understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of. Work is an honor. Laziness is the real shame.



When my daughter went to a friend’s birthday party on 8/24


On 8/24, a Friday evening, my daughter went to a friend’s birthday party. I had my laptop back the whole evening.

By the way, her Mac laptop was broken since her summer program trip to CM. I postponed buying a new one for her because she would ask for a new one for her college. Not again.

While waiting for her late in the evening, I wrote seven blogs in one sitting. I know I can surprise myself by this unpaid high productivity. By about 11 PM, my daughter called letting me know that the party was not over and she would call me when she needed me to pick her up.

So, here I am, one hour after midnight, burning night oil again, like I often did in my younger years. Luckily I did not have to get up early the next morning.



My son went back to New York yesterday


By now, going to the airport has become a familiar experience for me. This month we went to the airport on 9/5 to get my son home, then again drove there on 9/9 to send him back to New York.

There are always a trip to get him back home and a trip to send him away. On the way back home with my son in the car, we are always excited, endless talking and laughing. I am trying to find changes in him. I am always amazed at his level of maturity and depth of thinking. We are always so happy to see him back.

On the way to the airport sending him back, we are often quiet. I feel like everyone is too sad to talk. I do not wish for the day when he will not go away any more. That’s too unrealistic. I only wish he can get back safely and he is doing well, no matter where he is.



Time to go home on September 9th


The song expresses the feeling of those who venture out of their hometown, seeking fortunes or a better life and how they miss their home and loved ones, especially on 9/9. Today people are supposed to get together with their relatives at home, yet they are still on the road…

Both of my children have a full taste of the song via me. Poor kids. The first time I heard this song was in Fairfax, Virginia in 1997 when we attended a huge Chinese gathering. I am wondering how I can remember the song so clearly.



A good night sleep is better than any health maintenance supplements


On 8/24, when I talked to my mother over the Skype, she told me this. Knowing I often burned midnight oil, she said “Without adequate sleep, it is useless to take those health supplements like fish oil and calcium. Very often when you don’t feel well, a good rest will help you get better. It is the best medicine when you are tired.”

Do I believe that? Of course. Actually I have already experienced the benefit of a good sleep now. When the children were little and when I had a lot on my plate, the only way to get things done was to cut short my sleep time.

At that time I seldom went to bed before 12 midnight. In fact, I often worked till 2 or 3 in the morning. During daytime, my eyes were wet all the time from constant yawning.

That’s how I worked and got my degree when my son was little and how I learned Oracle when my daughter was two years old. That’s how I worried my head off through my children’s school years. Well, blame my worrisome nature.

I think I have shortchanged my body during those years. I hope I don’t have to pay for it now. Of course, my biggest hope is my children will have a lot easier time than I once did.



My neighbor expects me to move back to China


Life is never bored with diversities like America. On the morning of 8/24, one of my neighbors joined me on my daily early morning walk. While talking about her children and grandchildren, she asked about mine. Next she asked me when I would move back to China.

I told her I didn’t know yet, even though I was puzzled by her question. She further asked if I ever wanted to move back to China. I told her if I could get a job and have medical insurance in China, I might consider moving.

I told her healthcare was the largest expense for seniors. If I stay here, I can at least benefit from Medicare. She told me Medicare would not be enough, etc. That is, don’t expect to stay here and get this benefit. How straightforward is this!

By the end of that day, I was still wondering why she expected me to move back to China. I am still as puzzled as a first-grader holding a James Joyce’s fiction. One thing I know about her, she is a republican. That helps, doesn’t it?



When it comes to your health and your life, always do your own research


Here’s another one on health. On 8/24, I read this report “Vital Signs: Risk for Overdose from Methadone Used for Pain Relief — United States, 1999–2010” by Leonard  J. Paulozzi, MD; Karin A. Mack, PhD; Christopher M. Jones, PharmD,  carried on Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. 2012; 61(26):493-497.

Here’s the highlight of the report.
“In 2010, methadone accounted for between 4.5% and 18.5% of the opioids distributed by state. Methadone was involved in 31.4% of OPR deaths in the 13 states. It accounted for 39.8% of single-drug OPR deaths. The overdose death rate for methadone was significantly greater than that for other OPR for multidrug and single-drug deaths.

Conclusions: Methadone remains a drug that contributes disproportionately to the excessive number of opioid pain reliever overdoses and associated medical and societal costs.

Implications for Public Health Practice: Health-care providers who choose to prescribe methadone should have substantial experience with its use and follow consensus guidelines for appropriate opioid prescribing. Providers should use methadone as an analgesic only for conditions where benefit outweighs risk to patients and society. Methadone and other extended-release opioids should not be used for mild pain, acute pain, “breakthrough” pain, or on an as-needed basis. For chronic noncancer pain, methadone should not be considered a drug of first choice by prescribers or insurers.”

Even though the guideline says methadone should not be used for mild pain, some physicians will still prescribe it. I shared with my children about this. The take-home message is some doctors tend to prescribe the more powerful medicines than necessary. This applies not just methadone but all medicines. Do your own research when you need to take any medicine. It is your life. It is too important to simply trust the so-called medical experts who very often have other agenda than your life.



Watch out for your daily salt intake


I love topics on health. Here’s a scary fact about salt intake in America: 9 out of 10 Americans eat too much salt, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). U.S. guidelines recommend that most people get less than 2,300 mg of  salt a day.

Those who are aged 51 or older should eat even less, keeping intake to 1,500 mg a day. That’s just over 1/2  teaspoon of salt. But the average American eats about 3,300 mg of salt daily. Isn’t that horrible?

Here’s the link from high salt intake to the risk of heart disease. Our body works to maintain a delicate balance of sodium and water. Too much salt (sodium) in our body pulls in or holds onto extra fluid to keep this balance. The extra fluid increases blood volume. The extra circulating blood volume raises blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk for a heart attack or a stroke.

Salt is everywhere — pizza, soup, poultry, meat, sandwiches, cheese, salad, pasta, and dishes. If you have developed a strong taste bud, consider adjusting it to a lighter one, for the health of your heart and
head.



We know where to live…


On 7/29, a hot Sunday, I read this one “10 Worst States for Women’s Health” written by Anne Harding, out on 7/26/2012. Here are some interesting facts about women, health, location, and their implications. One step further for research: check the state’s education level.

The 10 worst states for women’s health include —
(1) Mississippi for its obesity, smoking, inactivity, and chronic illness.

(2) Arkansas for its high rates of obesity, smoking, sedentary living, heart disease, and diabetes.

(3) Idaho ranked last in the percentage of women over 49 who had a mammogram in the past two years (68%).

(4) Kentucky for having declined life expectancy between 1987 and 2007 for women.

(5) Louisiana as second-worst, after Mississippi, on its 2010 women’s health report card. .. rates of sedentary living, obesity, unhealthy eating, and smoking are high.

(6) Tennessee — women’s life expectancy declined from 1987 to 2007. Tennessee women also have the nation’s highest stroke death rate, and the third-highest breast cancer death rate.

(7) Oklahoma — only one place in the U.S. showed a state-level decline in women’s life expectancy between 1987 and 2007.

(8) Texas ranked dead last in the percentage of women receiving first-trimester prenatal care in 2006, and the percentage of women with health insurance (31% had no coverage in 2008-2009. Women in TX had the third-highest rate of chlamydia infections.

(9) West Virginia –in 2010, 36.8% of women living in West Virginia got no leisure-time physical activity at all, up from 31.3% in 2007. Obesity rates increased to 32.6% during the same time.

(10) Wyoming, female workers made about 64 cents per dollar made by men in the same job—the largest wage gap in the U.S.



Their third anniversary together


Today is the third anniversary for my son and his girlfriend. I guess they started dating on 9/3 three years ago. My son delayed coming back because he wants to mark the day with his girlfriend.

It is indeed something to celebrate when you consider the fact that both of them were really young at that time, one being 19, the other 20, and they have moved from college to New York. After three years, they are still together! Sounds amazing.

I once wrote to my son “open communication and understanding are the key to a good relationship.”

Neither of them know if they can be in the same place next year as both plan on making some career change within the year. One might go to graduate school; the other might move out of the area. Indeed, there is no urgent need for any long term plan as both plan on change and that means so many uncertainties. Still, I wish them happy when they are together.



My son’s coming visit


Yesterday I said I loved September, especially this one. My son will come back on 9/5, which is two days after his third anniversary with his girlfriend. He will need to go back on 9/9.

I have been looking forward to his visit since this spring. We talked about it in summer. I know he is always busy either at office or back to his apartment in New York. It has been this way since his high school days. I know it is a good thing and I wouldn’t want otherwise.

Hence, I am going to take some days off, stay home and enjoy his visit as much as I can. We will take walks down to the Overland Park Convention Center, and chat all the way like the old days.



Live a simple and happy life



I can’t believe it is already September. Then again, I love September. This came from a friend of mine. I would think the message fits senior folks more than the younger ones. The message reads like this.

(1) Live a simple life: within one’s means and without being a burden to others. This calls for not having too much desire for material possession.

(2) Go with the natural flow. Don’t force yourself. The boat will straighten itself when it reaches the bridge.

(3) Happy with yourself and with what you have. Keep the child in your heart and understand the tao of the world. Let cheerfulness be your company forever.

What a cheerful one!


Today I Learn… is proudly powered by WordPress and themed by Mukka-mu