Category Archives: Et Cetera

Happy 186th Birthday Johannes Brahms!

Happy 186th Birthday Johannes Brahms! (1833-1897)

Brahms’ music is not only beautiful, often profound, and richly enjoyable. It also saves lives:

The author William Styron is one example. Deep in the pit of depression in 1985, Styron came to the point of carefully planning to kill himself, with a shotgun, in a secluded spot near his home. But when he was driving there, Brahms’** Alto Rhapsody came on the radio.

[**Note to grammar cops: I KNOW it’s supposed to be “Brahms’s”; but that construction both looks and sounds dumb to me, and I choose to ignore it here.]

Brahms-red-hedgehog

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Dog Days: George & The Cottonmouth

Dog Days Reading: George & The Cottonmouth

In Memory of My Uncle George Fager

cottonmouth-snake

The first thing I noticed when we drove into my Fager grandparents’ front yard in St. Paul. Kansas was not their small frame house, not the field behind it, nor the barn at the other end of the yard. The first thing I noticed was the outhouse. And I can still recall it clearly after more than sixty years.

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Dog Days Flashback: Enlightenment In A Canadian Emergency Room

Originally posted in July, 2009

In the current health-care melee, we hear much alarmist talk and Canada-bashing, aimed at their single-payer health system.

A few days back, I had an unexpected chance to observe the Canadian system up close. What I saw was very instructive.

Here’s what happened: on the last evening of a Toronto visit, I was invited to dinner by a young couple – let’s call them Hank and Sue, for privacy.

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