Landscape through the Zoom Lens

This morning, after my run, I took out my zoom lens and explored the yard. Summer season just started, and a whole new set of foliage and flowers are on display.

Montana and Colorado

Even though I had gotten up at 3:30 am and arrive at ONT on time, I’m too early; the plane has a mechanical problem, and the airline takes an hour to fix it. It would have been nice to sleep in. Luckily, I make it to Denver just in time…

School of Medicine Graduation Weekend

This weekend’s events, with the Baccalaureate sermon by Leslie Pollard and Commencement address by Jeff Cao, and the story of the Good Samaritan, were a wonderful reminder and challenge to live a life of service. Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked…

Post-Meeting Sightseeing in Istanbul

Part 3 I visit the church in Beyoğlu on Saturday morning, enjoying the fellowship and the lunch. I even tried out the organ in the balcony. Back at the Çırağan Palace, a wedding is taking place out along the Bosphorus while we party at the ABJS banquet. Ed hands the…

ABJS Meeting in Istanbul

Part 2 At the Çırağan Palace, we hold the first business meeting that afternoon and the welcome reception that evening. The sponsors introduce the new members. The next day starts the scientific session. I got my paper out of the way. Then, a group of us went on the Ottoman…

Istanbul Pre-Meeting Tours

Part 1 My first full day takes me into the heart of old town, Sultanahmet, to visit the Underground Cistern, the Hippodrome with the Egyptian Obelisk and the Column of Constantine, and the Blue Mosque. Originally, my plan was to visit the Hagia Sophia first, but the lines are too…

California Orthopaedic Association 2013

This year’s California Orthopaedic Association was held at the Terranea Resort and Spa. The COA sponsored two residents from our program: Jon Allen and Wendy Wong. Amy Ladd invited me to speak on Carpal Injuries and Hand Infections.

Birthday and Trip

This particular birthday started over a week ago. My family brings me to Mario’s Place for dinner before I head off to LAX. The trip takes me across the Pacific to Hong Kong, into China, and then up to the mountainous region in Yunnan, near the borders with Tibet Autonomous…

St. Anne’s Fugue

Because of the first theme’s similarities to the hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” Bach’s Fugue in E-flat Major (BWV 552/2) is known in the English-speaking world as St. Anne’s Fugue, even though this hymn would not have been known to composer. The contrapuntal form typifies fugue construction,…

Springtime 2013

Once again, it’s springtime. With the increased rainfall this season, the plants appear happy. Over the last month, I’ve been photographing the coming-to-life of the garden, starting with bursts of pink from the flowering peaches, then sparkle of yellow forsythia blossoms, and now the elegance of purple wisteria and red-fringed…

Thinking of an Old Friend

This piece, YiGuRen 憶故人, Thinking of an Old Friend, is a relatively recent composition. Although melodically simple, the tune is layered in complex meaning. It starts out with harmonics that set the mood before delving into the main section. This part begins abruptly, as if with a flutter of emotions…

Tune of the Sea Dragon

This melody has two titles: Tune of the Sea Dragon 滄海龍吟 and Night Rain on the Vast River 滄江夜雨. The former name is more well-known, and it is attributed to the Three Kingdoms strategist, Zhuge Liang 諸葛亮, who is also known as Kongming 孔明 and the Sleeping Dragon 臥龍. Originally…

Lament at Changmen Palace

This version of Lament at Changmen Palace 長門怨 is from the Mei’an Guqin Manual 梅庵琴譜 of 1931, but the melody is from centuries earlier. The accompanying story, however, dates from the Han Dynasty. When Liu Che 劉徹 ascended the throne in 141 BC and became Emperor Wu of Han 漢武帝,…

Photo Workshop with Jim

Jim Ponder, Publications Editor and Writer for Loma Linda University, ran a photo shoot excursion to Crystal Cove. Despite the cold weather, the clouds, sky, and all the other natural elements gave us so many subject possibilities.

Moon over the Mountain Pass

This piece from the MeiAn School 梅庵琴派, Moon over the Mountain Pass 關山月, alludes to the poem by Li Bai 李白 with the same title. This recording was made a few hours before the actual full moon, capturing its rise from behind San Bernardino Peak. 明月出天山,蒼茫雲海間。 長風幾萬里,吹度玉門關。 漢下白登道,胡窥青海灣。 由來征戰地,不見有人還。 戍客望邊邑,思歸多苦顏。…

Wild Geese Descending on Sandbanks

First published in 1634, the piece, Wild Geese Descending on Sandbanks 平沙落雁, became widely popular in subsequent centuries, existing in many variations and tunings. The music opens with an introduction of harmonic octaves partial scales, evoking the imagery of geese lining up, perhaps flying in formation through distant clouds. The…

Lake Mead and Black Canyon

The slowly brightening sky casts an orange-pink glow on our campsite. After Brad, I’m the next to get up. Suddenly, the car horn wakes up the entire campsite. Max, who slept in the car, had set off the alarm; Brad, who held the keys, was off hiking by the lake.…

Thanksgiving with Visitors from China

Thanksgiving lunch this year included new friends from China. Here, we stopped by the pond. From right to left: Chenhong Wang, Xiaoming Zhang, Suwen Yang, Zhongwu Jin, Mom, Dad, me, and Jack Tian.

Hollywood Sign Hike

The hike to the Hollywood Sign started at the end of Beachwood Drive, just by Sunset Ranch. The horses from the ranch dusted up the first part of the trail—not just from hoofs and horseshoes. After the fork to the left, it got much better. The midday sun was beating…

Leaving Hangzhou

As usual, I woke up early yesterday. Packing occupied most of the morning. Then, Cai Hongxin came to my apartment and we chatted for a little bit. He brought me and my parents to tour the other bank of Qiantang River, along the new developments. We had a wonderful time…

Church at MeiLiZhou

The MeiLiZhou Church is beautiful. After all, the name means “beautiful isle.” Sleek modern lines make up the contemporary campus, and stark natural maple decorate the inside. Engraved Ten Commandments hang on the front wall, illuminated by sunlight streaming in from the windows. Located as part of a resort, the…

Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital 7th Academic Week

Having arrived in Hangzhou on the high speed train Wednesday afternoon, which was delayed by a few minutes, Drs. Cai Hongxin and Liu Chao picked me up at the station and got me situated at the Foreigners’ Residence. My parents arrived from Hong Kong and joined us at the warm…

Visit to Huashan Hospital

From Shantou, I flew to Shanghai. Before coming to China, I had written Dr. Chen Shiyi, and I told him that I will be giving a shoulder talk at Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, which will quote a paper he published a few years ago. He insisted that I visit…

Ancestral Chaozhou

Sunday morning, on my first full day here, my dad and I walked around town and visited some of our relatives’ businesses. My mom’s older cousin is in the toy industry, and the younger runs a bicycle shop. It’s good to see that their business is really successful. My older…