Safari with Joan

Months ago, Roger Hadley bought the Safari with Joan event at the Children’s Hospital Gala fundraising event. We all had a nice dinner at Joan Coggins’s home. Sean Bush was the guest speaker. The food was wonderful, and I also enjoyed seeing all the animal trophies from her past safari…

May Birthdays

For Andy’s and Aimee’s birthdays, we had several celebrations. First, it was at Cherry’s house. Then, we also had a surprise event at Delhi Palace.

Guqin sanding

I reached another major step in the guqin construction project this past Sunday. While both of the instruments have been put together, I decided to sand and finish one of them first—partly to experiment and make sure it turns out well. Applying color was tricky, because it was easy to…

Mothers’ Day Grill

There were all sorts of things from our garden that we put together for this grill event celebrating Mothers’ Day. The lettuce was fresh from the field, as was the rosemary for the potatoes.

Applying the guqin coating

I finally finished all the sawing, routing, planing, and chiseling for the guqin parts—except for the tuning pegs. It feels good to have reach this stage, as the next steps mainly involve assembling and finishing. Most luthiers adhere to the traditional technique of applying coats of lacquer from the varnish…

Black Canyon Kayaking

The past weekend was spent kayaking the Black Canyon just below Hoover Dam—the first day upstream for almost twelve miles and about four miles back to camp, and the second day all downstream pushed by a nice current and a tailwind.

Legislative Leadership Conference

A contingent of students and attendings went to Sacramento for the California Medical Association’s Legislative Leadership Conference. After a morning session of speakers, we spent the afternoon visiting with various members of the State Assembly. Photographs are courtesy of Linda Stratton.

Huntington Beach

We all had a great time just lounging around at the beach, enjoying the cool weather and the bright sunshine.

Buds and Blooms

So many plants are blooming or budding at this time. Our garden has come to life, after some dormancy during the winter months. Spring is in full swing now, and there is so much color all around.

Guqin assembly

Today was a major milestone in the guqin construction project. Between work and being away to the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons in Washington, DC, I hadn’t had much time to work on the pair of guqin. I spent much of this week catching up, and I got home…

Washington, DC

The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons met in Washington, DC. On this trip, I had the chance to visit Kandus and Brad Thorp and their office at the Hope Channel in the General Conference. It was very nice to visit. Another highlight was the chance to tour the monuments…

My Birthday

For my birthday, we made a simple meal of pizza topped with fresh and grilled vegetables. We also had grilled artichokes.

Guqin bottom panel

Guqin construction has been extremely slow. I carved out the peg pool last week. I also started cutting the holes for the feet. First, I drilled pilot holes. Then, I have to convert the round holes into square ones, which is why it’s taking so much longer. This afternoon, I…

Guqin peg pool

It’s been quite some time since I’ve worked on the instrument. Between going to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons convention in New Orleans the previous week and becoming sick two days after getting back in town, and having been on call for the past week, I didn’t get a…

Guqin panels

This evening, I reached another milestone in guqin-making. For the bottom panel, I had roughly cut out the outlines on a maple board with a jigsaw and finished the finer cuts with a router. Then, I finished carving out the inside. Now, the top and bottom pieces fit nicely together.…

Hollowing the guqin top

Today was a milestone in the guqin-making endeavor. After preliminarily hollowing out the inside of the top, I sanded the concavity. Then, I cut around the entire outline of one of the guqin and freed it from the original board. The next step is to plane and sand the convex…

Chinese New Year

Yesterday was Chinese New Year. Many of the plants in our yard are in bloom now, and all of it added to the atmosphere yesterday. We celebrated by having company over, and to finish off the evening, we had a dumpling-making party. I took a break from making the guqin…

Mount Woodson

A group of us drove down to Poway and hiked up to Mount Woodson. Near the summit, there’s an outcropping called Potato Chip Rock, which is completely fitting for its name. We had a nice picnic lunch at the top. Then, we hiked back down, and a few of us…

Inspired to recreate the guqin

For the last month, I’ve been practicing the guqin 古琴 a little more. In time for the Prunus mume that opened and faded, I finished learning 梅花三弄 (Three Variations on the Plum Blossom). Now, I’m working on 流水 (Flowing Water), which is significantly more difficult. Anyways, I got inspired to…

Salton Sea and Desert

It’s been so long since I’ve traveled out toward the southeast. The last time at Salton Sea was when we were all really young. The three of us went camping, and some areas were the same as I remembered, but the one thing that is now different is that the…

January Grill

Over Christmas break, we went to San Simeon and toured the Hearst Castle. There, I had picked up a brochure for their grass-fed beef, and because of the special deal, I ordered some tri-tip. Even though it’s January, the weather is perfect, and we had a barbeque. We grilled asparagus,…

New Year and Friends

So, it’s the first Monday of the new year, and it will be nice to get back to a regular schedule. The last several weeks have been filled with a lot of activities. For one, my dad had a major birthday celebration. It started out on the Tuesday before Christmas,…

Dad’s Birthday and Trip

For Dad’s birthday, we went out for dinner on the actual date. Then, we planned an extended vacation, revisiting some of the familiar places that we had toured when we were much younger. It was a big combined celebration, of birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.