Late January 2008

Well, Monday is Martin Luther King Day, and we try to maintain a tradition to help celebrate this great man, like eating fried chicken and watermelon. Unfortunately, I cannot talk freely about this day, since I am not of Negro African descent (there are Caucasian Africans–really!!!!), and fear any reprisal for not being politically correct, so I will eat my fried chicken in silence and reflection. My heart is right, and my lips are sealed. p.s. Our grandson may have a touch of African blood in him.
I had no intention of posting this blog so soon since I intend on posting only once a month. But, people tormented me, and I am condemned to publish this drivel for public review. Please note again the side comments for lawyers or litigious folk.
Several things are happening. One. I wrote a bunch of book, movie, and music reviews. You’ll find those under the subheading “Kritik” on my website. Two. Our medical office moved down the hallway to a larger office. We needed more space. It’s nice. Three. Struggling to re-invent medicine. It is intolerable in its current state. Four. Loving a new start-up church in Puyallup, called Resurrection Presbyterian Church. I’ll try an update on that in a few months.
I’ve gotten to talk over the phone in the last few days with the peregrinatious and dearly beloved daughters (Rachel and Diane) and am delighted to hear that they are both doing well. Jonathan is so way-out cool, at the U of W, and doing well. Sarah and Andrew remain just too wonderful for words. Andrew got a new bicycle, and so look forward to running him to death on the asphalt.
Meanwhile, stay cool, and keep your stick on the ice.

Long Distance Cycling

Long-distance Cycling by Edmund Burke and Ed Pavelka    ★★★★
A helpful manual on how to truly torture yourself on a bicycle. They offer help on how one can ride a bicycle steadily for 120 days (exaggerating a little bit) while sleeping only 2-4 hours a night. In actual fact, it is a nice book for familiarizing one with the thought of riding one’s bicycle farther than around the block. They offer helpful hints on how to increase your stamina, how to prepare for a long ride, how to remedy the most-common ailments of the long-distance cyclist, and how to maintain one’s composure while riding long distances, including what to eat and drink, and how to maintain ones’ well-being and sanity. A helpful read for anyone wishing to ride their bicycle more than 30 miles at a time.

Heimat series

Heimat, Heimat II, Heimat III  ★★★★★
The entire series is quite large but well worth watching. It is entirely in German, but you can get English subtitles from Get the Tartan Video edition, which is reportedly unabridged and best quality. The version you get from is more expensive, and reportedly of lesser quality. This was a television series in Germany, but would never make it in the US without exceptionally heavy editing of various scenes, though it would distract from the story. Heimat starts out in a fictional village of Schabbach in the Hunsrück region of Germany in 1919 and follows a family over the years. You observe as the family grows, deals with WWII and the aftermath, and deals with the various social issues that arise in Germany over the years. In Heimat II, you follow the life of one of the children in Heimat, Hermann Simon, as he leaves to München to attend the music academy during the 1960s and 1970s. In Heimat III, you follow Hermann’s eventual return to the Hunsrück area, his marriage to Clarisse, and the eventual demise of most of the Simon family to the pressures of modern life. Clarisse is portrayed in an almost biographical fashion (in real life, she is the wife of director Edgar Rietz), and Hermann was also biographical of the director Edgar Rietz. The entire series has a sense of realism that is unusually well done, leaving you with a feeling that you know the Simon family well. It is a must-see, especially if you are interested in Europe and its people.

Liebe Freundin und Feundinen

I have just been accused by Töchter Rachel of not updating my blog. Schäm mich! I nearly forgot that I was even running a blog. A friendly reminder once in a while helps.

Last week I completed my Re-certification exam in General Surgery. It was quite frustrating since I am specialized enough that I generally don’t remember much about obscure pediatric or vascular surgical problems. There were quite a few questions on ventilator management, which I haven’t done in years. I suspect that I passed, and will find out in mid-January.
Christmas time has been punctuated with an increased workload. I also have enjoyed working through Heimat II with Betsky. Heimat II is a continuation of Heimat I. Heimat I is the story of a family in the ficticious town of Schabbach, located in the Hünsruck area of Germany. It involves the time period from the end of the Great War until Maria’s death in about 1980. Maria’s youngest son is Hermann, who is an artist and musician that goes off to München to study. Heimat II is the story of Hermann’s life in München. The Heimat series would never make it onto American TV since 1) it is entirely in German, though the British version that we are watching has provided English subtitles, 2) it’s too sophisticated for average American tastes, like, lots of 20th century music, and 3) there are some risque scenes, that if edited out for American television, would ruin the entire sense of the film.  Pfui Teufel! Abscheulich! The greatness of the film is an ability to record in a very realistic fashion the various crises, joys, emotions, and angst that transpired among the various portrayed lives. He paints the life of an artist in a most realistic manner. It is almost as though you are sitting next to them as events transpire. It also reminds me of my years in college at Portland Stadt Universität. Anyway, once we finish Heimat II, we will still have Heimat III to go.
Every Christmas I try to listen to two pieces from two of my favorite composers. 1) J.S. Bach, the Weihnachtsoratorium. Absolute genius. I love the way he introduces his 3 hour Meisterstück with Kesselpauke (kettledrums). It took until the twentieth century to figure that one out and duplicate old man Bach. But then, everything new was first invented by J.S.B., so I’m not surprised by modern music if music it truly be. 2) Wagner, Der Ring des Niebelungen. We have a new DVD of Barenboim performing the Ring in Bayreuth. I’m not a real Barenboim fan, but apparently, this production is highly rated. It is also modernistic. Whatever gave stage designers the idea that principal characters should be dressed in overcoats? I think that it’s disgusting. Especially Wotan. Also, Die Walküre just don’t look right if they are not wearing horns and brass bras. Don’t tell Betsy, but I’m getting her horns and a brass bra for Christmas so that she could look like Brünhilde. She will need to also put her hair up in zwei Zöpfe, which I doubt that she would do.
It will be a delight to have Rachel and Diane home for Weihnachten. We’ll probably do nothing special, save for maybe a day of skiing.
Stay in touch, and Fröhe Weihnachten, und Gottes Segen in Neues Jahr.

New Blog site

This blog site is about as sad as the sad soul that appears above. Unfortunately, this will be the only page that keeps you up to date on current events with the Feuchtster.
Note: I have since had to move my files from Der Feuchster to feuchtblog. The style of the blog is different, but hopefully the person behinds the blog remains the same.