St. Patrick's Day party: playing tin whistle and flute

Henry and Franklin

Henry and Franklin and Abby

Abby and I went to Henry’s place for a St. Patrick’s Day party, for which I had promised to play some music.

Today was one of the happiest days in my entire life!

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Remembering my Uncle Steve

Today I got a call from my mother informing me that my Uncle Steve, husband of my mother’s sister Aunt Soo-kin, died yesterday. He had been sick for quite some time, and last year, in the hospital for something else, they found cancer in addition, so it was a very tough battle for him, and he was always a fighter.

I was very grateful for the opportunity in July 2010 to visit Aunt and Uncle in East Lansing when he was still very much active. I had not seen either of them in possibly twenty years; my parents and Abby and I went up to their home, and they got to meet Abby for the very first time (he was not well when we married in 2009).

Below is the only photo I currently have of him (my parents have the family photo album that must have a lot more photos from the past forty years since we’ve all been in the United States). (From left to right: Abby, my mother, Aunt Soo-kin, my father, and Uncle Steve.)

Abby, Franklin's mother, Aunt Soo-kin, Franklin's father, Uncle Steve

(Update: my brother-in-law André just sent me some more photos, from the wedding of my sister Linda and him in 2010 that he did manage to attend.)

Aunt and Uncle at Linda and André's wedding

What do I remember most about Uncle Steve, and how did he impact my life?

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For real geeks, today is not Pi Day, but Half-Tau Day

Say no to pi

Today, many of us geeks celebrate Pi Day, because π = 3.1415926535897932384626433… is such an important number in math and science. I have to confess that I have never celebrated Pi Day, but it was just last year that I found out there was a movement against celebrating Pi Day, and advocating the celebration of Tau Day instead, where the special constant (which a community has chosen to be denoted by the Greek letter “tau”, τ) is , which is 6.283…. Upon examining the evidence briefly, I had immediately agreed that indeed, we should not be celebrating Pi Day, and that therefore, today is simply Half-Tau Day.

If this is getting much too geeky for you, feel free to ignore the rest of this blog post. Otherwise, bear with me!

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Quitting the CMU All-University Orchestra: one of the hardest decisions in my life

It’s the Monday after what would have been the regular Sunday evening CMU All-University Orchestra rehearsal, except that there was no rehearsal because of Spring Break.

Surprise (or not)!

I have decided to immediately quit the CMU AUO that I had just joined less than two months ago.

I have already told everyone that I’m quitting.

I don’t like quitting. I don’t like being a quitter.

So what’s the story? And what next?

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Fascinating bushwhacking hike at PA State Game Land 51 (Dunbar)

John, Abby, and I went on a strenuous Pittsburgh Hiking meetup hike in PA State Game Land 51 (Dunbar). It was over 10 miles and quite exploratory. There were large ascents and descents and bushwhacking, rocks, mud, waterfalls, getting “lost”, finding the way back. Fun, but wow, totally exhausted afterwards! Starting off on the road: Cool rocks This is cool: holes in rock: Some unmelted ice! Read On →

Flute: loving it again, remembering why I dance, and how I met my wife!

Yesterday, after four days of not even touching my (modern) flute and having spent the time having fun with my Baroque flute instead, I felt the urge to return to the modern flute.

I still have not regained the inclination to continue working on the orchestra music I still have to improve a lot on in the coming week, but I rediscovered the joy of simply playing my instrument.

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Flute: taking a break while clarifying my goals

This is my first blog post in over a week. I’ve been very busy, and therefore have had to recently say “no” to blogging while saying “yes” to many other activities.

Another thing I’ve said “no” to in the past three days has been playing the (modern) flute. In my last blog post I was worried about flute burnout and injury.

Here’s a flute status update.

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Pittsburgh Geek Out Day #5: "Change"

Pittsburgh Geek Out Day Today was the fifth session held of Pittsburgh Geek Out Day. We met this time at Vivisimo. The topic was “change”. A summary of our topics is here. There are photos. Leaving early I was said that I had to leave early at 11 AM, the first time that I’ve left a Pittsburgh Geek Out day event early; I had to attend an afternoon birthday party with Abby. Read On →

Flute practice: dealing with burnout and injury

Franklin's left hand

Yesterday, I attended yet another rehearsal of the Carnegie Mellon All-University Orchestra.

I did this while feeling burned out and injured.

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Snowing means sambar at Coriander India Grill

Coriander Grill

Yesterday, there was snow in Pittsburgh (almost all melted today, of course).

Abby and I had originally planned to be going on a Meetup hike at Ohiopyle, carpooling with John, but on Friday we bailed out because of the weather forecast. We’ve done that hike a couple of times before, and will certainly do it again when it’s repeated in warmer weather anyway.

Snow, however little there is of it, always makes me want to eat sambar. I love Indian food, and for some reason, I especially like sambar. Once every month or two, I crave going to Coriander India Grill in Squirrel Hill, just a couple of blocks from where we live, to eat sambar and other good stuff. We’ve been to Coriander Grill several times, on different days and for lunch and dinner. There has been inconsistency, but I have reason to believe that lunch buffet on Saturday is a good time to go to Coriander.

Sambar

So the three of us went to Coriander for lunch.

(Update of 2014-01-13)

Abby and I went to Coriander Grill for a Sunday dinner buffet yesterday, because we were hungry after a long hike, and I thought it would be a good idea.

We hadn’t been to Coriander for a while. They restricted their buffet days and increased the price. What we didn’t realize was that they also restricted the selection severely. Also, they kept on running out of food and not refilling frequently enough. Finally, we didn’t feel too well afterwards. I had a sleepless night.

I was very, very disappointed, and can no longer recommend Coriander Grill for their buffet. It is, of course, possible that their regular menu is still fine.

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