Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Letter

So that image is a letter dated 17 October 1996, I was parsing though some old documents and discovered this.  It is from a woman I met and got to know -- Kim Hwan Young, Miss Welcome (a fairly famous tv personality English teacher) -- who  I met in Korea, in the preceding month, and it's a fax.  Does anyone remember those?

Here is an except from my response:

You thought I might have forgotten you?  Fear not, for you are most memorable, energetic, beautiful and witty.  I was sure that I would be the one forgotten, just another American enchanted by your charm, that you might not remember the lemon tea in that cafe, or singing Frank Sinatra songs, or asking me if I wanted to hold your hand, me wondering , "Is she serious?," and hoping you want to hold my hand as well. 
There are two stunning things abut this.  One, I was a brilliant writer.  And two, I was so in love with this woman.

Kim Hwan Young, If you were part of my life today, I would be incredibly happy.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014

Clay Formula

30 Kentucky Old Mine #4 
30 Lincoln 60 Fire Clay 
5 Bentonite 
10 Custer Feldspar 
15 Grog 30 Mesh to Fine
10 Mullite 
5 Sand 30 Mesh 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hong Kee Restaurant, Chueong Chau Island

6 x  17 cm Film.  This is like Edward Hopper goes to China to eat seafood.  Enjoy! We ate something like a conch only small.  I think it was a sea snail.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tai O Fishing Village, Hong Kong

Tai O Fishing Village, Hong Kong.  This is taken with my Pentax 67 and 55mm lens. Prints are available. 

Bai Performance in Dali

This was a extravagant performance in Dali by the Bai people.  Allegedly this was directed by  Zhang Yimou, the director of the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics.   In the background is the Jade Dragon Snow mountain. 

Shehe Old Town, Li Jiang Fire

Here's what the Shuhe old town in Lijiang is like on a sunny day in March:

And here's what it looks like on fire: 

And in English: 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bird Flu? Or not?

Yesterday, I went to the doctor at Kaiser Permanente because I was feeling sick.  After leaving China on the 26th, I noticed an itchy scratchiness to my throat, which I largely attributed to the wonderful and pleasant environment inside the plane.  As I gradually recovered from the jet lag, the symptoms gradually started to appear -- first a sneeze or two after a chill, then a slight headache, then a runny nose,  and yesterday morning a cough.  Normally I wouldn't probably go to a doctor for this kind of illness.

However, after seeing multiple warning's regarding the avian flu H7N9, in the airports both in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China, I decided to follow the advice I found on the Center for Disease Control website, which says
  • See a doctor if you become sick during or after travel to China.
    • See a doctor right away if you become sick with fever, coughing, or shortness of breath.
    • If you get sick while you are still in China, visit the US Department of State websiteExternal Web Site Icon to find a list of local doctors and hospitals. Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website (www.jointcommissioninternational.orgExternal Web Site Icon).
    • According to a messageExternal Web Site Icon issued by the US Embassy in BeijingExternal Web Site Icon, patients with fever and other symptoms of flu will be sent to designated hospitals for evaluation.
    • Delay your travel home until after you have recovered or your doctor says it is okay to travel.
    • If you get sick with fever, coughing, or shortness of breath after you return to the United States, be sure to tell your doctor about your recent travel to China

I did this exactly.  I went to the doctor armed with the advice and told him that I had travelled to China and had visited farms with pigeons, chickens and other animals being bred for pets and for food, and that I went to the Qing Ping pet market.  The doctor said, "well we won't even test for bird flu unless your hospitalized.  There are very few cases.  This flu is not pandemic.  I will give you some cough medication with Codeine."   This seems to completely ignore this advice, from the same document: 

Clinician information:

Clinicians should consider the possibility of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus infection in persons presenting with respiratory illness within 10 days of an appropriate travel or exposure history. Although the majority of H7N9 cases have resulted in severe respiratory illness in adults, infection with this virus may cause mild illness in some and may cause illness in children as well. Influenza diagnostic testing in patients with respiratory illness for whom an etiology has not been confirmed may identify human cases of avian influenza A virus infection or new cases of variant influenza in the United States. If patients are infected with H7N9 virus, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing will be positive for influenza A but will be unsubtypeable. Clinicians suspecting H7N9 infection should obtain appropriate specimens and notify their local or state health department promptly. State health departments should notify CDC of suspected cases within 24 hours. For more information, see the Health Alert Notice issued April 5, 2013.
Because of the potential severity of illness associated with H7N9 virus infection, it is recommended that all confirmed and probable H7N9 case-patients and H7N9 case-patients under investigation receive antiviral treatment with a neuraminidase inhibitor as early as possible. Treatment should be initiated even if it is more than 48 hours after onset of illness. Laboratory testing and initiation of antiviral treatment should occur simultaneously. For more information, see CDC’s interim recommendations on the use of antivirals in treating H7N9 influenza.
So, there are several possibilities, I have the bird version of the flu, which means I am not contagious to other humans, and I will possibly get much sicker, or I have a common cold, am contagious to others and will get better in a few days.  There is a third possibility, that I have the version of the flu that I was vaccinated for.   

Being sick is making me grumpy, and right now it's not getting better.  My illness has been progressive increasing now for 7 days, and there has been no real sign of improvement. After going to visit the doctor at Kaiser, I often feel that the care I receive is quite a bit less then good, and the first effort is always to send you back home and wait. Since I won't take the codeine, I am taking over the counter expectorant.  So the net result of the visit is the reassurance of a doctor who isn't following the advice of the CDC that I don't have the bird flu.   

What I think is the more interesting question though, is whether or not the doctor has a responsibility to report or test on a possible case.  Organizations like the CDC and the World Health Organization are tracking the various flus at they spread around the globe, I am ,pretty sure they would want to know if I appeared in the US with a case.  The statements above claim that all confirmed and probable cases should be reported and receive treatment as soon as possible. 

Clearly, I haven't appeared to have enough of the symptoms to merit further investigation, much less be "confirmed" or "probable".  It's sort of  implied that I will have severe symptoms within ten days, so we'll know in a couple of days.   

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I have returned from China and the result is generally good.  Twenty something days travelling in China and I feel good, I lost weight, and the dry mouth I was experiencing is completely gone.  I think I may have lost as much as 15 pounds.  This is not because I did not eat.  I wonder with the utmost fascination why every chicken in America tastes the same and every one in China tastes different.    I think that we Americans have somehow broken our meal plan in some significant way. 

Since my last camera failure in China, I took three camera setups to China.  My 20D with two lenses, and the Pentax 67, plus my 4 x 5 with the 6 x 9 back and the Shen Hao 6 x 17 cm back. The tally looks like this, 12 rolls of 120 film, and 25 gigs of digital images from my 20D.

The casualties were significant.  The Pentax broke in 3 different ways.  I was still able to shoot several rolls of film.  One -- It was unable to be adjusted by time value due to loose set screws.  If you need mini screw drivers try the street market in Hong Kong ... Two -- the mirror froze which was easily fixed by replacing the battery.  Three it now won't advance film.  It will need to be serviced.   it was mechanically damaged during shipping.

The 4 x 5 took a couple of significant hits.  The 6 x 9 cm back was taken out of the game by having it's winding mechanism ripped off.  Additionally, one of the lockdown levers (for the swing), fell off.

The 20D lost a lens filter when I managed to tip it's backpack over.  Shattered glass everywhere.

I drove my car today.  Well yesterday actually.  It was a bit weird.  I haven't driven a car since March 3.  In China it is really urban ... even in places you feel are less than urban there is concrete.  And street lights.  The government does this.  Even in the seemingly ancient village of Mishi, there were concrete roads and street lights, belying the ancient feel of the place.

I was carrying my cameras in a backpack.  The several women helping me were complaining because I was carrying the backpack -- it was too heavy.  They decided I needed a rolling bag.  So in one of several fishing villages in Hong Kong, we moved all the camera gear from the backpack to a rolling suitcase.  It was a brilliant move.  From that point on I hardly touched the bag.  They pulled it along ... and brought it to me when I needed it. 

So the take down from the trip is good. I had a great trip.