July 1: Exploring Jim's house

Jim's house is located in a hillside of UCI campus. A red roofed town house is one of four row house. The landscape from the house is great because the roofs of the other side are one step lower. Only red roofs are visible among green forest. Sunset is also marvelous, tall eucalyptus trees are swinging in evening cool breeze. I sometimes loose myself in admiration of the scenery.
The entrance is unusual as well. You can find hand-made Japanese style pond in which gold fish are swimming pleasantly beneath Hyacinth. The bridge making shade upon the pond leads me to the entrance. On one side of the entrance is a fence of Japanese slim bamboo and even a bamboo outdoor bench. Just one step in brings you to Jim's unusual world.
A tatami room decorated with tapestry of Nishijin in frames. You can see a miniature of old Japanese helmet and Arita China in glass case.
A luxurious "Step Tansu" is on the upstairs corridor. Jim purchased this in Yamaguchi city. Japanese wrapping cloths and Japanese towels are in the right position.
A tatami room of 4.5 tatamis. We use the room. There is a set of tea ceremonial tools on the staggered wall shelves. You can see a commission license of Orange county's tea ceremony authorized by Soushitsu Sen. On the right is a bow window with a shelf on which tools of Japanese calligraphy are decorated.
A fireplace in the living room. I am really impressed to find a set of Japanese tiered lacquer ware boxes. Lightning around the boxes is genuine as well. The lightning pole is painted in cinnabar red matching the color of the boxes. Jim's color co-ordination is marvelous. I am frustrated because I can't read a calligraphy on a hanging scroll.
Living room viewed from the fireplace. The table is Japanese style as well. Usually, a japan letter box and tray are arranged on it. But this time I remove them to put my computer. On the back is a counter-type kitchen.
Jim lives by alone and cooks very well. He swiftly prepared dishes for us. He also designed the kitchen according to his liking and constructed almost everything by himself such as hanging shelves and sink. He is now making wine rack on the trench of the built-in cupboards. There are some color sample of the kitchen wall which will be re-painted soon. I am impressed to find that Americans are really "do-it-yourself."
On the wall of the upstairs hall are beautiful old scores printed some 100-150 years ago. They are a part of his precious collections. Jim is a member of Pacific Chorale.
Computer room. A Macintosh computer is in the center of the room. On the wall are many awards and a ship model of yacht(American Cup) which was made by his son from a 3D computer model. I connect to the web using a phone line in this room.
do-it-yourself man's garage is equipped with all kinds of tools on the wall in order. The head of the garage is Matsuda RX-7 and an old Porsche, his proud retired car.
Since Jim joins local volunteers' meeting tonight, Ms. Y and I decided to prepare the dinner. We checked thoroughly the contents of the refrigerator and gathered various kinds of food to prepare Chinese dish: Fried shrimp and scallops, Corn-and-egg soup, salad, pickles of radish and cucumber. Jim returned and was very delighted to find the dish and said "Let's take pictures for COARA." It was a fun and we all enjoyed the dinner.
Now, dinner is ready. In the refrigerator, there are almost all necessary food such as dried Shiitake mushroom, chicken bouillon, seaweed, flakes of dried bonito, and potato starch. I could enjoy cooking Chinese dishes after a long time.

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