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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Puyallup, Washington
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 42,678

About Me

I truly believe that we will all live in peace and brotherhood someday. And so that I don't lose my faith in humanity, I will live my life as if that day had already happened.

Journal Archives

Senators Cantwell and Murray, and my rep Denny Heck are supporting or co-sponsoring legislation

to end the separation of families of immigrants.

I was very glad to hear that when I called their offices.

Friday Night Wine Buzz. Ask me anything.

Couple of shots of Absolut Lime to help it along...

How's everyone doing tonight?

Relaxing on a Sunday evening with some Lagavulin on the rocks. How is everyone doing?

Just had a patient dream up every reason in the world why I don't need to treat his hypertension.

I tried to tell him how bad high blood pressure is for his health.

He didn't care. He told me he's not having any symptoms.

I told him patients rarely do, until right before it's about to kill you.

He didn't care.

I told him treatment is simple and convenient.

He didn't care.

So I gave up.

A patient has to consent to his treatment, and he didn't want it.

If he comes back and tells me he's changed his mind, I'll give him 100% of my ability. But if he declines treatment, there's nothing I can do...

Leaving broken glasses and plates of half-eaten food in their wake, the Devil's spawn grandkids

go home tomorrow...

Hold me...

I have to face a sad truth: YouTube is running out of tank videos for me to watch.

I've seen thousands of them, ranging from a 15-second clip of the auto-loader in action on a Russian-made T-72, to hours-long documentaries about famous tanks.

There are videos with museum curators offering dry lectures about the tanks they're standing in front of, to exciting tours of tanks offered by former US or British Army tank veterans, with exhaustive examinations of the most minute details of famous, and not-so-famous tanks.

And I'm coming to the end of the available content. There are only so many tank types and models in the world. Is it possible that I've seen all there is to see?

One interesting factor in online tank video production is the easy availability of information to share. When I was in the Gulf, a number of captured Iraqi armored vehicles were brought back from the front, and we US Army tank crewmen clambered all over them, getting a first-hand look at the tanks we had been studying from afar, in some cases for years. They were a mystery no longer, and everyone who had a camera (this was before camera phones, remember) took pictures of the interior and the points of interest.

Not long after, MP's circulated among us and confiscated every camera and every roll of film, citing military secrecy as their reason. I don't know why it was considered such a hush-hush thing that the photos not become public, especially since it was not our own technology that was being featured. But that was that.

Nowadays, there's not a tank in the world you can't get a good look at, interior or exterior, just by logging on to YouTube. Times sure have changed.

Anyway, I'm now having to re-watch old tank videos since I'm running out of new content...

The Trumpster in-laws have come and gone. No troubles, thank God.

Now just counting the days until the crazy-making grandkids leave...

Sitting in a Starbuck's waiting for my car to be fixed.

Walked in on a group of old farts spewing conspiracy theories about the Middle East.

I parked myself as far from them as possible, so I didn't have to hear the bullshit.

I know our fellow liberals warn us against developing our own little information bubbles. But there's a difference between letting in substantive opposition, and letting in ludicrous nonsense.

Richard Wagner, master of the very long piece, was also master of the very short. This is it:

The coda of this short piece has an interesting provenance. It is known as the 'Redemption Through Love' theme, or motif, and it appears at the very end of the final opera in Richard Wagner's four-opera masterpiece, Der Ring Des Nibelungen. Despite its importance to the finale, the theme had appeared only once before in the saga, near the end of Die Walkure, the second of the four operas.

I won't go into the complexities of the story, but suffice it to say that the theme heralds the end of a world-shattering quest for power, and points to the possibility of a world in which love rules, instead. It took Wagner around twenty-eight years to compose all four operas, and at times, scrambling for funds, running from debt collectors or from jealous husbands whose wives Wagner had seduced, or being kicked out of various countries due to his revolutionary fervor, it seemed he would never finish.

He finally wrote the last few notes of the score, featuring this theme, on an afternoon in the early 1870's. As is common after the conclusion of an emotionally draining experience, Wagner lashed out emotionally, picking a stupid quarrel with his wife, Cosima, daughter of Franz Liszt, and the former wife of one of Wagner's admirers. She was very hurt by this naturally, and so Wagner attempted to atone for his behavior by writing this piece.

He had their children perform it for her on Christmas morning, and the short piece concluded with the Redemption theme Wagner had penned on the afternoon of their fight.

Quite a moving way to say 'I'm sorry'...

A short article on the Redemption theme:


Since I'm on the subject of Wagner's Ring cycle,

Does anyone one know of any cycle in which Siegmund and Siegfried were played by the same singer?

I can't imagine that there would be; Siegmund's tenor role is much more baritonal than Siegfried, who is a true heldentenor. And Siegfried needs to stay fresh for his debut, and not exhaust himself the night before singing Siegmund.

Still, I'm curious to know if this has ever happened...
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