Breakfast Letter Redding Book Party April 29

Sha Li at Westside Wines launches New Book April 29

Wine, hors d’oeuvres and music in Redding

Escape into adventure at the book launch of Wounds of Attachment by Sha Li at Westside Wines, 1872 Buenaventura, Wednesday April 29, 2015.  Writer of political thrillers located in contemporary Beijing, Sha Li invites you to meet her characters, enjoy wine pairings and Asian goodies by Café Maddalena in Dunsmuir.  The renowned musical duo, Victor and Allison, bring their romantic and tuneful beat.  Everyone receives a signed copy of the book.


Call 530 235-2133 to get your place reserved.  Tickets at the door $20 include a book.  No host bar.


I spent last Christmas in Pyongyang, DPRK.  This is the first of several more clips from that trip.

Christmas 2013 Pyongyang-First Day Around Town


Departure Beijing to Pyongyang

After the Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 personnel have loaded numerous, huge, boxed parcels, they now start with the luggage.  We're already late taking off.  I can see my tao hongsede bag sitting on the tarmac.  

A distinguished Norwegian man and I visit for several minutes.  He shows me the DPRK page in his diplomatic passport.  I end up sitting between him and a young Austrian man.  We chat between us for the hour trip.  

The Norwegian man, who remains nameless, is met by two ladies from the Swedish Embassy.  19:09 Beijing time, 8:10 Pyongyang time.  Max, the Austrian, is staying at the same hotel as I am, the Yanggakdo International.  I'm on the fortieth floor.  We eat dinner together in the mainly deserted dining room.  It's off season for tourism.

Maximilian is 24 years old and is going to business school in Thailand.  He's also going on an independent tour, but with another travel agency.  

The menu tonight is beer, kimchee soup, salad of shredded carrot, spinach and potato followed by noodle soup with chicken slivers and green onion, mifan rice, fish filet, pork cutlet with pickles, baby potato fries and shui water.  Vinegar and hot pepper flake seasoning is on the table.  The beer is 6Y, $.98, EUR .5.



Mike Zhang, Chinese editor of An American in Beijing series.

Today, we are starting the first working day after the Spring Festival holiday. Everything returns to the normal busy state.

My son Boli is still studying at Univ. of Oregon, and he will graduate this coming March. Hope he will be able to find a job over there.

Attached is a picture taken at a Beijing suburban ski ground, which is amazingly situated at the foot of the Great Wall.

Skiing at Great Wall

Here's Mike in his office at Commercial Press in Beijing.

Jane Zhang joined a dancing club, and recently, at a year-end gala party launched by the publishing company, she presents as a girl of Miao ethnic group. In the picture is Jane, her teammate and their dancing teacher.


The Age of Insight, The quest to understand the uncousious in art, mind and brain, From Vienna 1900 to the present, Eric R. Kandel, Winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on memory storage in the brain.

“In this painting Klimt abandons the attempt of painters from the early Renaissance onward to re-create with ever-increasing realism the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional canvas.  Like other modern artists faced with the advent of photography, Klimt sought newer truths that could not be captured by the camera.  He, and particularly his younger proteges Oskar Kokoschka and Egron Schiele, turned the arti’s view inward—away from the three-dimensional outside world and toward the multidimensional inner self and the un-conscious mind.

“In addition to this break with the artistic past, the painting shows us how modern science, particularly modern biology, influenced Klimt’s art, as it did much of the culture of ‘Vienna 1900,’ or Vienna during the period between 1890 and 1918.  As the art historian Emily Braun has documented, Klimt read Darwin and became fascinated with the structure of the cell—the primary building block of all living things.  Thus, the small iconographic images on Adele’s dress are not simply decoratiotive, like other images in the Art Nouveau period.  Instead, they are symbols of male and female cells; rectangular sperm and ovoid eggs.  These biologically inspired fertility symbols are designed to match the sitter’s seductive face to her full-blown reproductive capabilities.”

Rostel History

Beijing Abduction at Dunsmuir ArtWalk 2014  

CWP Publishing released a short video clip in February about Dunsmuir ArtWalk at Rostel-Pusher Building on Sacramento Avenue of the Arts.

The original Rostel Building was built around 1894 featuring pressed sheet metal and cast iron elements in the Beaux Arts style.  Ron McCloud, owner of the Dunsmuir Hardware Store and town historian, has published an historical monograpph of the building on his site here.

Recent works by artist Cheryl Petty hung on the brick walls of the historic building.  The first piece, leaning against a bench outside the main door, is ‘Time differential or U R Here’ from the Vortex Art series.  ‘Solstice’ the drawing and ‘Solstice’ the painting reflect Petty’s fascination with Surrealism in general and Max Ernst in particular.  Verging on themes in her literary works, political satire spoofs with ‘Moon over the Sea at Wright’s Beach with Shahab-3B Missile’ and ‘Moon over the Zagros Mountains with Clock.’

More video here.