I may have seen a small or young mountain lion across the street last night, calmly walking down the sidewalk to where the road turns right over the I-5. Straight ahead, a trail of a city sidewalk is obscured by dense conifers and barricaded by two ties of guard rail. Once down a steep dirt trail, it runs parallel to the freeway over-grown with wild chicory, fennel, sweet pea, ceanothus, elderberry.Read More
Alan Feng, my contact for Penjing in China, notified me they will be having an exhibiton 19th-23th November, 2014, at the International exhibition center, Dongguan, Guangdong, China. I have offered to help them organize a tour from the US. Stay tuned for more details!Read More
Long term Unemployment-- What about it? I know a little about being unemployed. In the 80s I was out of work for eight months when Microsoft dropped PC DOS on the market and everyone in the computing industry either adapted or dropped out of business. Couple that event with an untimely exit from my employer, something which unqualified me for unemployment benefits. So-- I scrambled.Read More
I've been laying low since I returned to California from Beijing, and just now have uploaded my book, Beijing Abduction, to Amazon.com for Kindle! An unexpected delay at the last minute has been infuriating to wait, but I now have a Chinese editor in Beijing who has proof read my manuscript. The quality of the product is worth the wait!Read More
I look up to see a tall and handsome conductor sternly saying something to me and implacably shooing me and all the passengers in the car out onto the platform and up the stairs to the exits. I emerge into the dark somewhere I don't know where I am. I beat past the illegal cab drivers looking for a legitimate one.Read More
Last day of the old year is sunny and warm, not smoggy, riding to Beijing Nan Zhan Railway Station, going in another, new direction. My little leaf boat swirls in the current, drifting with the tug of tide! Faintly I detect the salt tang and morning mist in Qingdao.Read More
At the moment my plane is landing at Beijing Capitol Airport PEK in the late afternoon, the smoggy haze begins lifting. Feng and her husband SUN Libin find me in the Korean restaurant in the recreation building opposite my wing, the only place open at this late hour of 8pm for me to eat. We exchange gifts. They have brought me a ceramic bottle of Korean miijiu, 51% alcohol. Whoa baby! Back in my room we open it and have a little welcome home party. It feels great to be back in the big city and seeing my friends again. J
Out the window on my first morning in Beijing, I see it is clear and breezy. A magpie greets me, against the pale blue morning sky, standing on the roof of the adjacent building in the courtyard of the Xijiao Hotel complex. This hotel is affiliated with Tsinghua and is located off campus in Wudaokuo, very convenient. In Beijing today 42F / 25F and clear or 5C / -4C. In Dunsmuir, it’s also clear 32F / 17F or 0C / -8C.
After meeting Eunice WU for breakfast in the big dining room in the main building, I ride to campus and meet TONG Pei at the East Gate. She rides me sidesaddle on the back of her bicycle to the center of campus where I rent a bicycle for the three weeks I will be staying in Beijing. 100Y or $16.36. Later, I get my hair done at the Jiasuo Guest House salon. The ladies remember me! 180Y for cute cut and L’Oreal color or $29.45.
The Qinqi Fitness anmo clinic proprietor also remembers me. Her face lights up. We hug and air kiss. At the tailor in the basement of the TusPark building, she also remembers me. I buy a short, plaid corduroy, pleated skirt, also 180Y. Her business has grown, and she now has an apprentice. At the TusPark ATM I see for the first time the VISA/Mastercard logos.
By Thursday, it’s colder 34F / 18C or 1C / -7C and clear but windy, feels like 21F or -6C, riding my bike to campus to have lunch with my former colleague SONG Peijing. The former Overseas Office building is empty. All the buildings in a row north of the library are deserted and surrounded by a construction fence. The long anticipated expansion of the library is underway. The huge bauhinia trees that once shaded the bumpy parking have been dug up and removed to another location. SONG guides me to the new offices in refurbished dormitories next to the gymnasium.
The Centennial Park, where 100 world university presidents planted friendship trees the first month I was at Tsinghua in April 2011, commemorating the centennial of Tsinghua University founded in 1911, looks good, even now in winter. I think I see some hulking carcasses of transplanted bauhinia trees, wrapped in burlap and rope, and cut way back. I take a picture of myself in front of the UCLA pine tree and send it to Chancellor Gene Block. Here’s the link to my blog from April 24, 2011 .
In Dunsmuir today, it’s 50F / 29F or 10C / -1C and clear. In Pyongyang, my next destination, it’s 25F / 10F or -4C / -12C and snowing.
I'm sitting in a tiny coffee shop behind Dongsi subway exit in the Dongcheng District, home to the Forbidden City, known as the National Palace, and Tian’anmen Square, with a kaffei Americano 20Y or $3.27. Traveling here from Wudaokuo train station is mei wenti, no problemo. I take Line 13 to Xizimen Station. Wo zuo 13 haoxian qu Xizimen zhan. Then I transfer to Line 2 for only one stop before transferring to Line 6 and going all the way to Dongsi. Ranhou wo huan 2 haoxian yizhan zhiquian wo huan daodi 6 qu Dongsi. A single subway ticket is 2Y or $.33. The Puffee Café has a secure network with a password. Today is 35F / 17F or 2C / -8C brrrr! It is not windy and seems pleasant in the warm sun.
A new friend from the conference, xin pengyou, Mike ZHANG is meeting me here. He is Senior Editor at Commercial Press Shangwu Yingshiguan, founded in 1897, the first modern publishing house in China, currently employing approximately 600 persons.
We walk to the nearby National Art Museum of China NAMOC to see the new shows of contemporary traditional huahua painters
on the main floor before going upstairs to the fifth floor where the breakaway contemporary artists from the 80s exhibition. When China was opening to the west and their artists were exposed to outside ideas, all western art from the Greeks through Renaissance and Impressionism to Expressionism was promoted through a small art magazine called Translations of Fine Arts. The first issue was launched in 1980 by the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts and is still in circulation. The publication reprints articles in English on all the styles and major movements in western art.
With a massive body of traditional Chinese art going back millennium, contemporary artists are at a crucial juncture—to carry traditional styles and ideas into modern themes and techniques or materials OR to breakaway entirely into new directions. It is difficult to discover originality for ALL artists, Eastern or Western. Everything seems to have been done already—and better—by someone else before. Along comes the digital camera to further reduce the artist to a collector of artifacts.
Next, we walk to his place of business located on the trendy Wangfujing Daije shopping street, on the south end that is mainly commercial businesses. The Commercial Press, CP, produces paper books and nothing in e yet, although they do publish American bestseller authors. We tour the gift shop and sip tea. Mike has to run upstairs to meet with his colleagues, so I walk around, buy a Beijing street map 15Y $2.45 and visit a mezzanine art gallery of calligraphy before he returns and takes me to see his office and meet his co-workers. He’s working on the latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary in English with equivalent Chinese words. He’s on “P.”
At 5pm we leave and walk up Wangfujing Daijie to the fashionable retail end to meet his wife Xiong Jie and her friend Mei LEI. His wife, Jane, is an accountant for The World of English, a monthly magazine of English learning and a subsidiary owned and run by CP. This means they can commute together from their home in Haidian District. Mei LEI is a Senior Partner and Attorney at Law in the Beijing office of W&H Law Firm with offices in Asia, Canada and San Francisco. The women are waiting for us when we arrive.
The restaurant 西贝莜面村 (Xi Bei You Mian Cun) is famous for its northwestern style Chinese food, specialized in making noodles, oat noodles. It was established in 2001, headquartered in Inner Mongolia (a region noted for its top-quality mutton), with branches in many cities around China.
1. 果蔬拌菜 (guo shu ban cai, salad mixed with fruits and vegetables)
2. 凉面 (liang mian, cold noodles)
3. 豆芽炒河粉 (dou ya chao he fen, rice noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts)
4. 自制酸奶 (zi zhi suan nai, home-made yogurt)
5. 自制蜂蜜 (zi zhi feng mi, home-made bee honey)
6. 羊肉串 (yang rou chuan, mutton kebab)
7. 功夫鱼 (gong fu yu, Kung Fu fish)
Going down through the mall by escalator, we pass shops Bulgari, Rolex, Zara and more. To get to the exit we walk through a large, children’s toy store to the street. Under a waxing moon, no stars in the velvety night sky, people are out in the evening on the brightly lit walking street. At the Wangfujing subway station we say byebye to Mei. I travel a few stops with Mike and Jane until I get off and transfer to Line 2 heading north, getting home about 9:30pm.
Hou tou jian
San Francisco Bay Area
Bruce and I drove to Palo Alto, CA for his annual checkup at Stanford. His doctor, Harcharan S Gill, MD from the Urologic Oncology Program, commented: “Excellent!” Dr. Gill credits Bruce’s great attitude for much of his outstanding recovery. Bruce had a chest X-ray and blood test at Stanford before leaving. We still have to get a CT scan up in Mt Shasta to complete the tests. Bruce will have to continue with these annual checkups for ten years. One down, nine to go. J
The Penrod northern California family has suffered the loss of beloved Vera, wife of Jay and mother of JP (Jay Pierre), Brian and Trudy. The beautiful memorial service was arranged by Trudy at the Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Castro Valley, Vera’s neighborhood parish. At the beautiful and inspiring service in the vast sanctuary with stained glass windows glowing like jewels, it was interesting to see the many friends and family from Vera and Jay’s sides of the family.
Afterwards, we gathered at the Willow Park Golf Course event center, also in Castro Valley. Flocks of ducks were busy ducking and swimming in the pond near the putting green when Bruce, Parker (my young cousin and son of Michele), and I drove up. Again, Trudy arranged the dining room settings and buffet of fruit salad, cheeses and basket of breads, escarole salad, rotini and grilled chicken. I got to meet Vera’s exercise group; she led the class only two weeks before her passing. A young cousin made a slide show of many images of Vera from a young woman in bathing suit to bride to grandma, set to music like Frank Sinatra singing “My Heart Belongs in San Francisco.”
Tuesday night Feb 12, I drove to Palo Alto from Livermore where Bruce and I were staying with cousin Michele Hively and son Parker. At Renzo's I met members ofBayCHI, a group dedicated to the human element in computing. About fifteen people, half men and women, shared an excellent meal before the main program. I met many interesting younger people who had worked with the speaker, Jason Kunesh, on the successful Obama social networking digital campaign. I had Sicilian Chardonnay with stuffed sautéed calamari and minestrone soup.
Jason was the first director of user experience in US Presidential campaign history. He flew from Chicago to meet with BayCHI. He sat next to me at dinner. He’s very outgoing and an excellent communicator, as were all the BayCHI members I had a chance to meet. He says, “He takes very seriously his efforts not to take himself seriously. SERIOUSLY!”
After dinner, we met at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center formerly known as Xerox PARC) in their comfortable auditorium seating about five hundred. At the start of Jason’s presentation, "True Believers, Geeks and Kool-Aid Drinkers: Tall Tales of Design Chicanery from Inside Obama for America HQ", he asked “How many people here are looking for work?” I turned in my seat near the front to see maybe a dozen hands out of a group of about three hundred. Next, he asked, “How many people here are looking to hire?” Twenty-five or thirty hands show. I had heard that the tech industry had unfilled positions. This is the first time I witnessed that fact.
Returning home after the long visit in the Bay Area, all the berries are gone as well as most of the snow. I gardened a couple of days in the sun, trimming roses and planting dark red grasses, miniature conifers and Japanese maples in two large pots near the front steps in the sunny weather before the next passing snowstorm. My friend Linda is having a big sale at the Boxcar Gallery.
James sent me a darling picture of granddaughter playing with the puzzle we got for her at the McCloud Mercantile.
Snapshot: One Year Later
Over the Spring Festival holiday, I heard from many of my friends in China, young people I met in 2011 while I was working at Tsinghua University. We had cooking parties, visited the art district 798, and painted huahua.
I met Bruce at the lotus pond at Tsinghua while I was brush painting one Saturday in late summer. He was in Beijing doing an internship year at Beijing University in the Total Immersion Program. He is an instructor in the program and is called LaoLi or Teacher Li. He has a BS in molecular biology from Shanxi Agricultural University. We gave Bruce a sendoff when he left Beijing for his hometown where he planned to start his own English Language School. Jerry was in graduate school at Beijing Language and Culture University, studying to be an English teacher.
I wanted to know if Jerry was doing anything fun for the holiday. He answered:
“Yes, I went to Atlanta see the dolphin show, St Augustine, Miami the south beach, Key west sunset, Orlando the Disney world, have a great time there, it's very different from where I live in Kentucky, and this helps me have a overall understanding of America. Hope everything goes well, I miss you.”
Jerry has spent the past year in Bowling Green, KY, teaching Mandarin through the Confucius Institute. He writes to me:
“I'm happy staying in touch with you, too. Now I have met a nice student teacher in my school， we are having fun get together every weekend with some other friends, playing desk games and I go to church with them on Sunday. By the way, is Eunice coming to US this year?”
Eunice shared her holiday with us:
[Eunice’s hometown is Gan zhou in the southeast of China.] “The climate is very good, we have very short winter, just a week ago it reached 82F. These days it's about 60F, but soon the temperature will go up. Unlike big cities like BJ, environment in my hometown is among the best at least in China, my city has the title of garden city. Since we have good climate and good geological location, we can grow many things, every time I go back home I will be fatter, many yummy food can't be found in Northern China.
Today is Chinese New Year's Eve, the most important festival in China, tomorrow will be the first day of 2013 in lunar calendar. I hope everything goes well with you in 2013, big sale of your book, wish you happy and have good health^_^. Love you!”
Eunice and Claire were graduating seniors at the Beijing Language and Culture University in Wudaokuo, classmates of Jerry. She wants to study in the US, but for now she is studying for an English translator test in May. If she passes, my boss at Tsinghua said she would hire Eunice to help translate my novel into mandarin. I understand it is very difficult test.
I asked Jerry: “What about our other friends? Claire and Bruce?”
Jerry writes back: “Claire is now in South Carolina Confucius Institute the same work as me. Bruce is now running a small English Training Company with his friends in Taigu , a county in Shanxi Province and they are doing now much better than the beginning. There is a photo of him.
“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Petty tai tai : )”
Snapshot: Dustin Song Tao Zhu
One of my first friends at Tsinghua was a young man my department found for me through the Student Organization. He and his friends in the Chemistry Department met with me several times for dinner or to have a cooking party in my apartment. I was very happy to hear from Dustin over the holidays. After graduating with a BS in Chemistry, Dustin is altering his educational course, pursuing a degree in finance for his MS.
Dustin wrote to me: “Hi , Petty: It's a long time not to talk to you.
“These days is the biggest festival in China, and I have come back to my hometown in Jiangsu. Today is the first day of new year, I wish you good luck in new Chinese year of snake! GONG XI FA CAI(Chinese old saying: wish you make much money in new year)
“I am still studying finance, and will graduate [from Tsinghua with MS] in 2014 summer. The first picture is one of my photos which was taken when I was an host in our new year festival. I find to be a host was so interesting. And the second one is shot when I participated in the concert and I was dressed in ethnic costume. These ethnic clothes look so beautiful.”
Snapshot: Chinese dumplings jiasuo
Li Zhang and I met at the coffee shop on campus near where we worked. Li was a research assistant for my friend Sara Sterling in the Anthropology Department that year. Li accompanied me on a trip to the Beijing Botanical Garden to translate for me and photograph the penjing collection. Li taught me a lot about Chinese cuisine. She wrote to me this holiday from her hometown in Jiangsu Province, near Shanghai.
“Happy Chinese New Year! I took some photos of Jiaozi made by my grandfather and parents. It's my family's tradition to make dumplings on the New Year Eve. You can see my grandfather's hand in the picture.”
Snapshot: Book Corner
My philosopher friend Daniel A Bell (see Thanksgiving Nov 23 breakfast letter) crossed my radar last week. I want to share the link to this recent Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-a-bell/chinese-nationalism_b_2603116.html
New Ways to visualize and Make Sense of Data
By Hunter Whitney
I met Hunter at the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of ACM (Assoc for Computing Machinery) SIGCHI (Special Interest Group on Human-Computer Interaction) dinner at Renzo’s in Palo Alto, on University Avenue, before the program. This book is an in depth and at the same time broad reaching compendium of ideas relating to visualization of data ideas, including some diagrams by Hunter such as Figure 6.2 Data analysis, the Yin and the Yang.
310pp with many illustrations on every page in black and white and color. You can find this jewel of a book at Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Data-Insights-Ways-Visualize-Sense/dp/0123877938/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1361406540&sr=1-1&keywords=data+insights
See you later
Yong hoy fat choy! Xinnian hao! On December 20 I got the manuscript back from my editor Kathyrn Robyn. I can’t remember any longer what revision I’m on, but the filename is now BA ver.6.1. Not finished yet, but getting very close to it…J
Cedar wax-wings are getting into the Boston ivy berries. Little, teen-aged, gray squirrels pop up from under the snow at tree wells or edges of the house—sooo cute, like Chip’n’Dale...
Chip'n'Dale are two chipmunk cartoon characters created in 1943 at Walt Disney Productions. Here's a link to Utube cartoon that must be fifty-years-old, just like cartoons I watched when I was little. Apologies to my China friends who can't access Utube.
... they scamper over the snow or slide down with little feet sticking out—wheee! Stay safe little squirrels, the fox is nearby …
On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2012, gray foxes track through the back yard, tripping the motion sensor light. In early morning, Bruce saw a pair of them, with bushy tails as long as bodies, walking together down the street, boy and girlfriend.
We've had tons of snow this past month, and I am not exaggerating. The city was plowing at midnight on Apple Street at one point. Click on Cornerstone Bakery to see hilarious pix of the Explorer after we dug it out, still had at least two-feet of snow on top!!
Friday night, January 18, artist friends of mine were hosting a reception of their new work at the Liberty Arts gallery in Yreka, that’s north of Dunsmuir by about an hour driving. Yreka is the county seat of Siskiyou and is surrounded by cattle ranches and agriculture.
New China Style
My son, James, is sharing a Willamette 360 project he worked on two years ago for a very good developer in China. There were four homes in the package for which they designed the elevations, but the plans were really designed by the Chinese client. The style is one they've been developing for the last several years that is quite popular. It's a mix of neoclassical and Mediterranean styling they call the "New Chinese style."
China Culture: Laba Day
Zhoumo wo hezhou le … This weekend I drank porridge
January 19 is Laba Day, celebrated in China on the 8th day of the 12th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s a traditional Buddhist practice to offer rice porridge to the poor to show faith in Buddha and pray for the coming year: good weather and good harvest. At the time of the Ming Dynasty, in the 16th century, it became a royal food. The practice spread throughout the country. The porridge today is a nutritious mix of yellow rice, white rice, glutinous rice, water chestnut, chestnuts, peeled Zaoni with Shuizhu Shu, tropical red peach kernel, almond, melon seeds, peanuts, hazel Rang, pine nuts, sugar, brown sugar, raisins, red river beans, millet, Chinese sorghum, peas, dried lotus seeds.
Anyone know what zaoni with shuizhu shu?
Eunice Woo shares with us:
The word "La" is another way of saying December of Chinese Lunar Calendar, "Ba" means the 8th day of this month. the festival is originated from ancient emperor's sacrifice to God, dried fruits and grains are used to celebrate harvest - thank God for last year's harvest and pray for the next year's harvest. Most important tradition of La Ba is making and eating "La Ba porridge". every family's hostess gets up really early to make the porridge, the first family gets the porridge done will have the biggest harvest the next year. when you have the porridge you'll find different kinds of grains and dried fruits and nuts, many people think there are 8 kinds of them because the word "Ba" in the name of this festival, but it's not true, it's definitely more than 8. as to what Chinese people use specifically in the porridge, i'm not sure, different regions have different features. generally speaking, people from Northern China like sweet porridge without any meat in it, while in Southern China people like salted porridge with meat. in ancient times, the Emperor would serve his people porridge made by the emperess, today many big well-known temples still serve porridge freely to people. having La Ba porridge is super good to one's health too, although our ancestors don't know today's scientific theories, they decided to do this more than one thousand years ago.
Selected Poems of Zheng Min
This statement from the Publisher’s Forward of this slim book of verse is strangely prescient of the announcement of Nobel winner Mo Yan. “China is a country with a history of over five thousand years, rich with ancient cultures and civilization. China is also a country of poetry. China's poetry is recognized for its great achievements in art. Nine sessions of International Poet's Pen Club have taken place in China. The World Congress of Poets (WCP) frequently meets in China. Chinese poetry will surely be linked more closely with world poetry, thereby giving impetus to the further development of Chinese and world poetry.”
In November 2011 at Tsinghua University I was privileged to attend a reception for Zhen Min, a 91-year-old poetess who was writing before New China, was a member of a writers group called the ‘Nine Leaves,’ but who was suppressed during the Cultural Revolution. From 1948 to 1952, Zheng Min studied in the Department of English at Brown University, receiving her MA. This little book is of several of her later poems, nineteen poems on the subject of death. 71 pages, English and Chinese on each page.
See you later
The last week of November, Bruce and I drove to Dorris to have Mexican lunch. By the time we arrived at noon, the freezing fog was burning off a ridge of mountains to the north, near the Oregon border where it spills over from Lower Klamath Lake.
A series of warm storms from the Pacific, called Pineapple Express, blew through, dropping a lot of rain, but no flooding here. A seasonal stream runs past our house, down Apple Street, from a spring higher up on the ridge behind the house. Wet, black, crinkled bark on oaks is fuzzing over with fresh, velvety, green moss. High 50-degrees F Low 43. 10-degrees C/6C.
Between squalls a ruby crowned kinglet flits about the Boston ivy berries.
Fresh and white, Mt Shasta, Baise Shan, dominates the sky, overlooking nearby McCloud while Christmas shopping for the baby granddaughter. Bruce found mantles for an Aladdin lantern. Happily, I found licorice shoelaces for the mouse tails, wound in a flat spiral.
McCloud is an unincorporated town, population 1,101. Hudson Bay trappers were the first documented white men to arrive at this location in 1829. Others followed, and in 1892 a lumber mill was built, combined with the construction of a railroad, and the fortunes of the locals improved. The mill closed in 1963, starting a gradual decline in jobs for families; it is now home to remaining locals and retired émigrés from the San Francisco bay area.
That night we spied on a sleek, Gray Fox Urocyon cinereoargenteus in the backyard. Standing in the warm in the kitchen nook, we watched the fox zigzag from the compost pile across the railroad tie stairs and back up the grassy hill, disappearing into inky, green-black shadow. The common gray fox has been crowded out of its habitat in the eastern US but is dominant in the west. An noteworthy trait of the gray fox is its ability to climb trees, something it shares with Asian Raccoon dog. This allows it to escape predators such as domestic dogs and the coyote. They mate for life.
Tree-lighting in downtown lasts only a few minutes. The Garden Club decorates a tree and provides cookies and cocoa. Santa (Big Dave our neighbor and city councilman) and Mrs Claus (Tammy) entertain the children while we try singing Jingle Bells in the freezing cold.
BREAKFAST LETTER TRAVELOGUE
Feng, from Beijing, was attending a meeting in Guilin in Quangxi province last month. She’s sharing her images with us.
“the pic which looks like meat are some stones, haha, it is very Realistic, the next is Longsheng terraced, there is some water , Yangshuo Yulong River rafting Guangxi scenery - Hongyao long-haired woman I want to recommend,u can see some pics: http://www.17u.com/blog/article/1049748.html good luck! expect for see u again here! Fh”
This link is to a 23 minute long video from the tourist bureau in Yangshuoren, amazing and gorgeous production values preceded by 30-second animated trailer or ad in Chinese.
More fun for Chinese culture fans:
click on Christmas card from Feng. If you have your own QQ account, click on the orange buttons. If not, click on blue characters below orange buttons.
I’m skipping the book feature this month, instead attaching files of Duncan the Steam Engine stories Bruce made for children to enjoy at Christmas over the years. We’re calling this collection The Best of Duncun. 2013 production is scheduling an international theme with Duncan visits cities of the World. The scenes are shot on Bruce's HO layout.
See you later
Driving around town, through Tauhindauli Park, I saw the historic marker: Upper Soda Springs Campsite of Indians and Hudson Bay Trappers and Popular resort on California-Oregon trail 1857-1920 although research reveals the HBT were operating in the area as early as 1834.
My son James, wife Amy and three-year-old daughter Maddie visited, and we had a snow day at Bunny Flat. Only a scant few inches to make snow angels, enough for us to have fun. More snow to come…
While waiting in line at the pharmacy, I met Prof. Don Eads. We were pleasantly surprised to discover: he taught at Peking University at the same time I was working at Tsinghua University in Beijing last year. What are the chances…
Dr. Don is a complex renaissance man, born and raised in Hawaii, childhood chum of Barry Barak Obama. Dr. Eads has an impressive profile if you’re interested: International coordinator at Tony Robbins Foundation. He’s in Mt Shasta to record a CD of his contemporary, Hawaiian-style music. Recorded in Beijing
Dr. Don’s organizing Global Aloha Day for 12-12-12. The idea is ‘hanging loose with your ohana (family) Hawaiian style, talking story, being kind, sharing and eating. Deeper reflections are encouraged. Aloha is a way of life.”
Thanksgiving dinner started at 2pm at Lynn and Linda Price’s house.
Conversation nibbles: crackers, cheese, marinated artichoke hearts, spiced Sicilian olives
Nutty textured cranberry-orange jello with citrus sauce
Yukon gold mashed (not whipped) potatoes with turkey gravy, of course
Homemade (in two homes) whole wheat croissants
Mashed yams with pineapple
Artisanal apple (from Petty's tree), pecan dressing
Green bean casserole with crunchy onions
Pumpkin pie made with jam
Champagne, wine, and power aid
After dinner we went downstairs to look at Linda’s Store, Boxcar Gallery. I tried on a vintage blue/purple leather dress by Bill Morgan of North Beach Leather with a short, circular skirt, padded shoulders and long sleeves. Don Eads was attracted to the vintage 60s Fillmore posters, looking for bands he might have played with. Then he sat at a 1926 Brambach Baby Grand Piano, previously owned by Sam Mazzei, local Dunsmuir musician. Linda and I were astonished Don had heard of the Hottentot Band of Sam Mazzei’s from the 40s.
I’ve got 2 books for this blog. The recent unsettling developments between Israel and Gaza are more understandable since I read The Spirit of Cities by Daniel Bell. Jerusalem is the first of nine cities revealed in a personal consideration of the ethos or values in this scholarly travelogue.
The Spirit of Cities
Why the Identity of a City Matters in a Global Age
Post on amazon
By Daniel A. Bell and Avner de-Shalit
I met Daniel Bell online last year when I was applying for a job at Tsinghua University. Mr Bell was referred to me by my alma mater UCLA’s Chinese Studies Center as a contact at Tsinghua in the Philosophy Department.
This book, 346 pages, challenges reader to remember favorite cities and to match impressions and memories with Bell and de-Shalit’s personal and analytical abstracts of nine great cities and their distinguishing ethos: Jerusalem (religion), Montreal (language), Singapore (nation building), Hong Kong (materialism), Beijing (political power), Oxford (learning), Berlin (tolerance) and New York (ambition). It is available from Princeton at http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9544.html at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Cities-Identity-Matters-Global/dp/069115144X.
Rise of the Red Engineers
The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China’s New Class
Post on amazon
By Joel Andreas
The history of Tsinghua University and the history of China are closely twined. One of the last things done by the old dynasty was to deed a portion of the royal Summer Garden to Tsinghua and other universities in 1911. Since then the fate of the country and the university unfolds ensemble. As such, it provides an opportunity to view events within a context. It starts with the building of socialism: the formation of the political foundations of class power beginning in December 1948 as Communist troops advance on Beijing and arrive at Tsinghua University. Cadres take over control and a simmering conflict emerges between the old elites, professors and students, and Mao’s politically connected veteran soldiers. Who has political and cultural capital and who doesn’t, who has what kind of credentials of family origin or educational status, who is a party member and not: all this combines into a fascinating, high-stakes story revealed in painstaking academic research and impeccable survey results.
344 pages, the book is available from Stanford at http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=16889 and at Amazon.com
A synopsis of the book is attached. Red Enginers synopsis
See you later
Artwalk last weekend was a huge success from the number of visitors estimated at over 400. I got to exhibit with two friends of mine: Joy Price-watercolor http://siskiyouartscouncil.org/joy-price/ , and Dorthea Schoenstien-oil.http://siskiyouartscouncil.org/dorothea-barlett-schoenstein/ You can see us in the city council chamber for the day.
Birds are on a feeding frenzy: hummers, their fat little bellies pressed against the feeder rail, sucking down the sugar water. Blue and scrub jays call out to Bruce, “peep-squawk” “feed-me-peanuts.” The scrub jay can carry two nuts at once if they are small. It thinks it’s being clever, burying them on the edge of the compost pile in deep duff. I’m watching the whole time from my cozy nook in the kitchen.
Finches arrive in a cloud of fluttering, peeping wings, harvesting every last seed from the gaunt, bent sunflowers.
Everyday Bruce and I pick a 5-gallon bucket of apples and process them for our freezer. That means Bruce runs the ingenious hand-crank, mechanical peeler and slicer. We pack the apple slices into freezer bags with a little sugar, ready to make strudel or pie all winter. We have flats of whole, perfect apples in the shed where they should keep a long time in the cold. Mind you, these aren't any old apple. These are artisanal apples that hail back to the day when Dunsmuir provided fresh apples to the burgeoning population in San Francisco during the gold rush of 1849. The fragrant, juicy fruit have a faint blue tinge to the red, prominent now it has frosted, making them a deep purplish-red compared to the sunny golden red of summer and a delicious, apple-flavor that reminds you of what apples tasted like when you were a kid.
The first big winter storm swept through, Mt Shasta Baise Shan is white down into the tree line. Sixteen inches of snow fell at Crater Lake, Oregon. http://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm
In Dunsmuir today the sun is shining, its 50-degrees F (10 C), kids are walking home from school past my house.
Black-headed Oregon juncos have arrived. During the summer, they live high up in nearby mountains. The snow drives them down to Dunsmuir for the winter. They’re picking through the remnants of the dry, sunflower stalks.
Leaves on the oaks and maples are still mostly green with patches of gold. Here and there a red flame of dogwood or ash. The dead-looking, dry grass has sprouted fresh, green blades overnight.
In China the Golden Week and National holiday, Guoqing jie and Huangjin zhou, has passed. On October 1 Chinese celebrate the founding of their Peoples’ Republic of china in 1949, marking the first day of the week long vacation. Many Chinese travel to visit local and distant attractions during this most beautiful time of year. Forbes says Chinese consumers are shifting from luxuries to camping. Chinese media reports more than four million people visited the nationally monitored scenic spots, a rise of 23.7 percent from last year. Campsite tourism and scenic drives are a new trend for re-balancing their economy as the Chinese lurch towards a more sustainable growth factor.
Remember this summer, when I visited southern California? I got to see my family and a friend from Beijing, Feng, and her son, Alec, and her husband who was attending a conference in Anaheim. This woman befriended me at Tsinghua campus. She worked in the housing office and would help me with things because her English is very good and because she is good hearted. I was sorry to leave Feng and the many Chinese and ex-pat friends I made in the short ten months of my tenure. Writing this blog helps me massage that sore spot in my heart where Beijing sticks like a dart.
Feng tells me about her Golden Days outing with her family. She says, “The holiday is very relaxing and casual. I have a lot of fun chatting with friends, barbecuing outdoors, enjoying good scenery and delicious food. I love staying in the outskirts of town and didn't want to come back.”
These are Feng’s recipes for her family camping barbecue.
1. Lamb skewers Sheep hindquarters, the best little fat. Appropriate cut into small pieces (2 cm or 1-inch) marinated. Marinade: onion, white wine, salt, sugar, a little, put some dry chili marinade if you like spicy food. Add to the Marinade Drizzle a little oil. Generally marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Before grilling, sprinkle meat with some chili powder and cumin powder. Brush with any favorite sauce or dressing.
2. Grilled chicken wings Wings can be marinated with a ready-made barbecue sauce, pickling spices and mutton. Brush a small amount of honey on the outside skin will be crispier. You can use the Drizzle oil or not according to taste.
3. Grilled vegetables
Vegetables good to grill are mushrooms, beans, eggplant, garlic, leek, peppers, sweet potato slices, and potato chips. Brush a little cooking oil while they grill will cook them faster, but not easy to paste. Brush with any favorite sauce or dressing. Fast Flavors: butter + a little oil + a little sugar, spice powder, sprinkle on the vegetables some for the fragrance. Do not buy meat with flesh attached off-the-shelf. Some people like to buy chicken gristle + Chicken already skewered in the package for convenience.
Feng adds “The barbecue is very happy, but the photos are very few, people only enjoy the food!!! Ha-ha, it is very cold now, how fast this fall passes!”
Tao Te Ching Philosophical Interpretation By Feng GuangXing and Ms. Feng Jingwen
I received a book in the mail from my friend Feng. Holding the white and green bubble cushion China Postal envelope with red stamps, I was excited with anticipation at seeing her father and her sister’s book on Taoism had arrived.
Feng’s father was Dean of the Administrative Law Department at Northwestern College of Law and has published numerous academic books and journal papers. This book about Taoism is his first attempt to capture that elusive quality of the Tao. Also an author is Feng Jingwen, his daughter, who currently works as a faculty at the Law School of ShanXi University of Finance and Economics. Ms Feng is distinguished for having studied law, receiving a BS at the University of Shaanxi and a MS from the Law School at Shanxi University where she now works; she has published articles in the Social Science Journal.
I asked Feng, what is it about? Water: The best of humanity is like water, which benefits all things and does not contend against them, which runs in places others disdain, abiding within flow. 上善若水。水善利万物而不争，处众人之所恶，故几于道。
348 pages, this book can be purchased from Shaanxi people's Publishing House ‘issued section.’ Feng says, “In XI'AN my parents’ apartment has some books, if someone want to buy one. They only provide books, but can’t provide receipt. The publisher said because these kinds of books are professional, too bad sales, the author may sell books, but does not provide the invoice. He-he, Sounds a bit complicated.” If anyone wants to get a book from Feng, let me know and I will forward your request to her.
After the first strong rain, Oregon stream fairies can be glimpsed standing in ditches next to roads looking ephemeral.
See you later