Opera Katze

Our cat has developed an insane love for opera. Whenever I am playing a DVD opera, he will hop up on my lap, and just sit there, watching the entire opera. Here you see him watching the Verkaufte Braut by Smetana.
This has been a busy month, which has included a major trip to Moab, I did my first “official” Century, and have been quite busy reading and listening to music. For those activities, you can find reports in the Kritik section of my webpage.
I’m tempted to further chronicle my disappointment with how we were taught history in government schools, especially related to the history of Germany during the Second Thirty years war (WWI & II). I’ll be very brief. In Patrick Buchanan’s magisterial treatise on this topic (found in the book review section), he details, to my surprise, much of what I have said already in other blogs, about the real causes of the European conflict. Buchanan especially labors on the role of Great Britain, most notably Winston Churchill, as being a major, if not dominant factor, at creating the conflicts that have acquired the nomenclature of two world wars. I always thought of Mr. Churchill as being quite disgusting and horrendously evil, equal to that of Stalin and Hitler, and felt that the self-righteous British people were hypocritically quick to absolve themselves of all blame, claiming only to be acting for the moral good of human-kind by suppressing evil and promoting good. Yet, Britains’ duplicitous behavior instead created far more harm, evil, and suffering than if they would have minded their own business and stayed out of the wars altogether. It’s a lesson for Amerika.
One of the other three books that I have reviewed is titled “Hiking the Triple Crown”. I don’t believe that I would ever get the entire Triple Crown under my feet, especially since the Continental Divide Trail really is not adequately developed to permit safe hiking of the trail in a single season. Yet, the Pacific Crest Trail beckons, and perhaps the Appalachian Trail. Betsy might even be interested! We know a young man at church who did the PCT 2 years ago, between the time he got out of the military and the time he came home. Well, this is becoming a bit more appealing to me, especially since I am increasingly distraught with the field of medicine–if I don’t take a Sabbatical, or change what I’m going, I’m going to become a looney-tune or an ax murderer, or something horrible like that. If I wait another ten years until retirement, I’ll possibly be too old to do the PCT, or I’ll possibly come down with cancer, with all that poison I’m consuming to fix my blood pressure which is too high because of the stress of work, etc., etc. Onkel Herbert has pestered me on this point, suggesting that I need to slow down a little bit. It’s tempting to say that it is easier to do that in Europe, but that isn’t true. All one needs to do is to throw in the towel for a year or two, and reorient their life. Perhaps Betsy and I could also do some mission medical work in Bangladesh, as that has also been a dream, of serving as a surgeon in a third-world country. I am thinking about doing the dirty deed of the PCT in the year 2010 when I will be 20 years out of fellowship, and 28 years out from the intensity of being a surgeon. So, Betsy and I will be spending the next two years training and planning for hiking a 2800+ mile (4500 kilometers) trail.
Today, Betsy and I ran down to Portland to attend the memorial service of  John Revesz, who lived a good life of 97 years.

His wife is Betsy’s aunt. He will always be remembered by me as a most humble, loving, delightful, and godly man. There are many episodes where John and his wife have been special to me and Betsy, and he will be missed. The memorial service permitted meeting many old acquaintances, too many to list here. It seemed like a flashback in time for us.
Also notable is that today is Father’s Day, and my children went together to get me a cuckoo clock.

It is already hung in my room, cuckooing on the hour. Somehow, they knew that I really wanted a cuckoo clock, and was able to get Diane to pick up a nice Swiss Lötscher. I remember loving to watch Aunt Rose’s cuckoo clock but am not sure what happened to that clock. So….thank you children for a wonderful gift. p.s., I think you realize that father has gone cuckoo, and the clock has a little bird to remind me of that every hour on the hour.