Category Archives: Family

There will always be sunsets

Years ago, at my grandfather’s funeral, my dear neighbor Munzer gave an impassioned account of their relationship. His speech ended something like this:

Every time we had a bad day, Ed would say to me “Sure, but we have this beautiful sunset! And now, there will be no more sunsets.”

I paraphrase grotesquely. But it was a beautiful and sad notion. And he was right. Growing up, we had some unbelievable sunsets, and each one really was the signal for a fresh start; a new day.

There will always be sunsets.

A photo posted by Joe Lewis (@sanbeiji) on

Relaunch of Yingwen’s website

I finally got around to finishing the upgrades on Yingwen’s piano teaching website last Sunday. Talk about taking one’s time…

Anyway it looks fabulous. Used the Piano Black theme by mono-lab, and hacked it up good at Open Web Camp for the mobile audience. Try it on iPhone or Android.

Yingwen has quite a growing studio. With her better students now winning competitions, she’s building up quite a demand for piano lessons. Most of her piano students come from Danville and San Ramon, particularly from the Blackhawk and Windemere areas, but some drive an hour or more for lessons now. Crazy… Check her out at yingwenlewis.com

Taking a little break

The past three years have been grueling. Working full time, taking classes towards a masters degree, and being a dad all at the same time was taking a toll. The last few months were especially interesting since I was working on a book project on top of everything.

Well, life has returned to a new kind of normal for the past couple of weeks, and it is good to have a little free time again. The masters degree is done – I am now a graduate of of the University of Denver in computer information systems, with concentration in web design and development. And the book is done – an introductory guide to standards-based web development. More on the book details in a later post…

So it is nice to experience a little rest for a change. I actually have had time to relax a bit and get back in touch with cooking, taking the kids on excursions to places like zoo and the Exploratorium, reading a geek book or two that I actually want to read, and of course practicing.

Hey, perhaps I’ll even have more time to post items here in the ‘ol blog! But don’t hold your breath… 😉

Reverse Psychology

This is how I get Max to practice:

Get my bass and his violin out. Ask Max to help me learn his pieces on the bass (i.e. Suzuki book 1, ABCs of Violin, Fiddle Magic, etc…) Play the piece he’s working on and ask him to point out any mistakes. Intentionally make many mistakes. He points ’em out, with much giggling. Ask him to play it for me so I can hear it. And voilà – he’s playing it just fine. Repeat, simply making mistakes where he needs to work on it.

Bonus points: I get to work on my thumb position technique and treble clef reading at the same time.