Back in the act.

A long overdue “good evening!” to one and all. It’s been a long two years, hasn’t it? Worldwide Covid lock-downs and restrictions have pretty much kept the lot of us in our home countries. Quynh and I managed to sneak in a vacation to Italy back in November (JUST as the Omicron variant began to rear its head), but otherwise it’s been staying in-state. It’s good to pick up the digital quill again and see what sticks!

A few things have happened since I last wrote (2020, can you believe?!):

  1. Quynh’s mom busted out of the lock down in Vietnam and came to live with us!
  2. We went to Italy! It was awesome!
  3. The whole household got COVID (oddly enough, NOT from Italy!)
  4. We had a baby! Well, the royal “we”. Quynh had the baby… I just helped…


Quynh’s mom came back in July of 2021. At the time, Hanoi enacted lock downs that prevented most citizens from leaving their house without official paperwork. Folks caught without papers were facing pretty gnarly fines– thankfully mom had her paperwork in order and ended up catching one of the last flights out before more severe travel restrictions were enforced. We had her room readied and showed her around the neighborhood. Our borderline-rural suburbia is quite a bit different from the hustle and bustle of Mom’s old neighborhood, but she’s adjusted just fine. We don’t have any Vietnamese community here in Sykesville, but she gets on Zoom with her temple friends and family across the globe almost every day.

Now that Covid restrictions are easing here in the US, we’d like to take her around to the different temples and such; maybe fit in a few hikes here and there if she’s up to it! We have a few simple but interesting temples in the tri-state area she may want to visit. Pictures to come!


We went to Italy! A few posts ago (blow off the dust to 2020) I’d mentioned how VN locked the borders so we both had 3 weeks of vacation to do, uh, whatever! Welp, 2021 was shaping up to be much the same. Quynh surprised me with booking a 14 day vacation across Italy: Milan, Florence, and Rome close to my birthday. We’d gone back and forth on it, but knowing I’d never make a decision, she pulled the trigger and off we went. I spent the months leading up to it learning Italian on DuoLingo (best decision I’ve made in a long, long time!) and practicing phrases out loud. While I’m out on the remainder of my paternity leave, I’ll be putting stories and pictures, and “wish-I-haddas” on here… partly to help you, dear reader; partly to re-live the memories. Stay tuned!

Siemens has an office in Milan. Hmmm…..

Maurizio Rapiti street art out front of Buca Lapi in Firenze.


Boy, that was a hoot! Quynh and I had joked in Italy that we were so packed-in on the subway and in crowds at different areas that we had to come home with Corona. Thankfully we didn’t, having tested negative before and after (and several times after!). A few months later I was laying in bed and all of a sudden had a ton of warm, salty, mucus draining down the back of my throat. I didn’t think much of it as nothing persisted. Over the next few days, Quynh and her mom developed a cough and felt tired as could be. A couple of PCR tests later and surprise! The whole family has Covid!

I spend a lot of my professional time in local hospitals taking care of their air handling systems and generally assisting their engineering departments. As such I am often in the Emergency Department, or in the ICU’s, or anywhere else there are infectious people. In reality I probably brought it home, but they can’t prove it so I’m relieved of the blame! I was actually talking to one of my electricians in the hospital when my test results came in– boy, he looked at me like I was about to spew plague upon him!


Saved the best for last! Before we left for Italy, Quynh found out she’d become pregnant. The doc wasn’t thrilled about our traveling abroad, but it was early enough in the pregnancy that we felt it an acceptable risk. Now, in March, our little buddy introduced himself to us and the world!

Liam was born March 16th as a healthy eight pound baby boy. His pediatrician had mentioned on more than one occasion that he’s very healthy and super strong. We’re going to take him with us on as many of our travels as we can and expose him to as much culture as he can absorb. I’ll put in travel with kid caveats as I learn them, but what the heck do I know… I’m barely a blog writer, none the less an experienced parent!

I’ve missed writing here and may shift direction a small bit, but please keep coming back to keep me in check! I have four weeks remaining of paternity leave– I’m hoping to add some great stories here! Thanks for reading 🙂

Very gratefully yours,


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