I recently received this terrific review of 'No Problem, Mr. Walt' by Malini Seshadri of The Book Review Literary Trust magazine and wish to sincerely thank Ms. Seshadri for her generosity and kind words shared in her elegantly written article.
"A piano instructor told a student’s mother, ‘Madam, I have been teaching piano to generations of students. I have heard students play on the white keys, and I have heard them play on the black keys. But your son is the only one who can play in the spaces in between.’
Walt Hackman’s book plays all the notes between the keys, and often many at the same time. It produces music of a kind that defies a label. It scoffs at the concept of ‘genre’. It is the story of an in...
During my first trip to China, I traveled to Changshu (not far from Shanghai) to discuss building the Mei Wen Ti. When I finished with my meetings, I traveled up to Beijing for a few days of sight-seeing. My favorite stop there was visiting Forbidden City.
While walking around I took several pictures of many wonderful old Chinese window and door panels with beautiful designs that adorn the Forbidden City.
After the trip, while I was writing the detailed specification for the Mei Wen Ti, I remembered the beautiful window and door patterns I had seen in the Forbidden City and decided to incorporate similar designs for the covers of the interior light fixtures below deck.
The panel design I asked for in the specifications were...
I love to read about Chinese history and specifically about Chinese junks (also referred to as "chuan", there are many different styles, sizes, uses and origins). One of my favorite books in my library is 1421 The Year China Discovered America, by author Gavin Menzies. Looking through the book recently, I was reminded of an incident that happened early in the construction of the Mei Wen Ti that I thought would make an interesting blog post.
I was visiting the construction site one day when I saw a small group of kindergarten-age children gathered around the bow of the boat with their teacher.
I asked my translator what the teacher was telling the children, he said, “She telling them China used many thousands of boats similar to...