Friday, March 31, 2017

Valley Song at Pacific Theatre

 Magnolia and Cherry Blossoms were in bloom today  After many weeks of rain the sun was shining again in Vancouver.  I’d been driving with the top down on my Miata.   Ladies on the street,   lighter without umbrellas and overcoats. sported jackets of spring fashion.  

Laura and I had heard from friends how much they’d enjoyed Valley Song by Athol Fugard. Tonight was our theatre night.  We have season tickets at Pacific Theatre.  

Set in the year following South Africa’s first free election 1994,  the play focused on the relationship of Abraam “Buks” Jonkers and his granddaughter Veronica Jonkers.  Buks is 76 and in love with the land, his valley, the village and the crops.  Veronica loves her grandfather, singing and is drawn to the city.  The story includes her dead mother, Caroline and the dead grandmother Betty. Buks spoke to the ghosts them when he was alone. Change was coming to the valley.  Buks was for the old.  Veronnica’s dreams and Johannasberg were the change.

David Adams played Buks passionately. Sereana Malani played Veronica touchingly.  David Adams also played the author, the white man who had come to the valley to escape the city.  Veronica broke into her own songs, remarkable feeling pieces of home, her life  and the valley, original music by Cathy Nosaty.

I cried. I laughed.  The acting and song couldn’t be better. Even the set by Drew Facey couldn’t be improved on. Director Jovanni Sy is incredible.  I was drawn right into the story with the fingers of the writing getting a hold on my heart, tight, the acting stirring my soul.  

I liked the talk of land,  planting pumpkin seeds and prayers for rain.  The play was full of metaphor. As spring was coming here to Vancouver  the play of change and renewal in another land and time..  A play of immense depth. It reminded me of the old plays that first fired my love for theatre, Death of a Salesman,  I Remember Mother.  Yes, I loved Shakespeare but it was the Chekov and Noel Coward that really captured my imagination.  I wanted to be a play wright when I was younger but settled for a love of theatre.  This play, these actors, this theatre, the director, the whole creative team made me thankful tonight again for live theatre.

The applause went on for a long time.  Laura loved the play as much as I did.  She'd been crying and laughing too. The last theatre we’d been to had been a few months back on Broadway in  New York.   In it’s own way this little theatre production was just as good.  We are truly blessed to have Pacific Theatre for it’s character and excellence.  

Thank you.


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Tuesday, March 28, 2017


I believe.  It is good to pray.  Prayer connects me somehow with the depth. “I am the bubble make the me sea.” is a Sanskrit chant taught by Yoganda.  Dr. Carl Jung described the ‘collective unconscious’.  I’m remembering St. Theresa’s Inner Castle.  This is life is the “Dark Night of the Soul’.  As Dr. Scott Peck said, “I am in God’s kindergarten’.  Now older I realize I’m more and more in the waiting room of heaven.

“I believe in an afterlife, “ she said. “I’m just concerned about heaven and hell”.  We were talking about of loved parents who had gone before us.  I told her about “Proof of Heaven” by the Neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander. Later I described the work of Dr. Moody with people who had had Near Death Experiences.  So many people saw a light or a being of light and met with people who were family or friends who had gone before them.  I like Rainbow Bridge myself. That’s the field where our pets are waiting for us to cross over with us into the real promised land.  

I am travelling from Old Jerusalem to New Jerusalem.

There can be no death as I know only life and rebirth.  If one day the world changed and I did not wake from sleep how much wiser would I be.  The moment of death is just another passing.  I know no true permanence except in consciousness.

In prayer i ask that God be forever with me. I am impermanent but God is permanent. I am changing but God is both changing and unchanging. There are the centre of the centre of the centre is this.  I love the psalm “Be still and know that I am God”.  It’s every word and phrase has the deepest meaning. 

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know that I

Be still and know that

Be still and know 

Be still and 

Be still


Be still

Be still and

Be still and know

Be still and know that

Be still and know that I 

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know that I am God.

Jesus taught “Do not be afraid.”  My friend, Willi says, “That wasn’t a suggestion, that was a command."

Late night in a meeting of doctors who had learned spirituality the hard way, going to hell and coming back, an old internist in his 80’s who’d started out to be a priest but loved women too much, sat with his daughter, a young woman and mother herself, and shared, “Anxiety is a measure of your distance from God and equally a measure of your humanity”.


I’ve dabbled in politics of late.  There’s so much squabble and struggle.  As the Buffalo Springfield of old said, “People carrying signs, mostly say Hoorah for Our Side!”  Of course it’s all rigged and George Carlin is right to be negative.  Even Leonard Cohen wrote, "Everyone knows that the dice are loaded”.

Yet we do the next right thing. Hitchhiking in the 60’s we said to each other, silly thinking of hikers and free loaders saying this but we did, “Keep on Trucking”.  

Life is a journey is a metaphor.  I must learn to love the walking and the process rather than be addicted to destination.  

God is in the now.  As a wonderful grand military man with shoulders the size of two men and arms like thighs said to me so often when he heard me talking, “Bill, you’ve got one foot in the future and one foot in the past, you’re pissing and shitting on your day. Get your head in the same room as your ass is!"

Be here now, the Babba Ram Dass book.

Be still.

Pray.  Dr. James Houston’s book on Prayer is so helpful.

Jesus was the servant God.  He was God incarnate.  The baby God. The inside God.  Not the top down God of Neitze’s Superman.  Not the great Zeus or the Egyptian God’s or Today’s Gaia and all those glorious grand others of greatness and power but rather this meek man who said,  the Kingdom of God is other.  

In prayer I seek the Kingdom of God as Jesus taught.  He said don’t be loud and proud but rather be humble.  Even he went away from his disciples to pray.  Alone. But not alone.

In prayer Jesus Christ taught, pray like this,

“Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done , on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day, our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen”.

I pray when I wake in the morning and before I go to sleep at night. I pray many times a day , some days more.  Martin Luther King would say, It’s going to be a hard day so I must spend more time on my knees. St. Paul taught us to pray unceasingly.  

Prayer is comforting.  It’s like a warm blanket in a storm. It’s like a cool drink in a desert.  We are not alone.  Martin Buber said there is I and Thou, that the sense is of I and it but the greatest journey is from I and it to I and Thou. Somewhere we leave off I and I to make the leap of faith to I and Thou.  

I am that is who I am was God’s response to the question of who he was at the burning bush.  YHVH.  Jehovah.  Adonai.  Elohim. All names of God.  The many facetted jewel.  

In the east they tell the story of the blind folded wise men introduced to an object and each of them touching this creature from different positions.  They argue later , some saying it was a wall, others a pillar, others still a snake and then the blindfolds are removed and they see the elephant as it is.

St. Paul said, “Now we see through a glass darkly.”  I am aware of Plato’s story of the cave and the shadows and the neoplatonism that runs through religion. There’s this idea of perfection and imperction.  There is this sense of substance and depth.  Einstein’s formula E=MC2 really ties energy and mass together, saying mass is but slow energy. There was once the Atomic theory. I liked that the At-OM was such a word and chanted “OM’ liking that this ‘AMEN” sound reminded me of comfort words like “MOM” and “HOME”.  Then the physicists dug deeper and deeper into more and more parts like the day I first looked at pond water in my microscope, the gift of my parents because they saw my fascination with things tiny.  Like God as the Baby Jesus. I later lay with my brother and my father and looked at the stars with my father high powered binoculars.  That divided the pins of light to multiply the already vast galaxy.  Now there is every more outward and inward.

I like my dreams often. The nightmares are less frequent these days.  Instead I dream of family and friends and this strange house and peninsula and water and boats and sometimes a tea party and old ladies and gatherings and dogs and cats.  It’s a Sunday picnic in the afterlife.  I wake feeling better as if I’ve had a visitation in my sleep. 

It’s all explainable in the language of arrogance but I like the sacred. I feel comforted in the arms of my creator. I feel in prayer I am talking to my mother and father and now my brother.  They’re dead but not forever.  I will go to meet them again one day. And that first friend of mine who died and I cried at his funeral aware of the loss. Today I will learn of more who have died. I’ve worked in the Valley of the Shadow of Death all my adult life.  

Always I have tried to comfort. I have to the best of my ability helped people in this world.  Like Victor Frankl I’ve tried to help them find meaning. I’ve found them wandering in disease and poverty and turned them around from the direction of death to life for a while longer, like the babies I helped turn in the womb so they’d find it easier to make their way out.

Now I’m just another on the journey.  I ask Jesus to be my Lord and leader. I am a follower of the child king, the servant king, the man who washed the feet of his students.  I am a lover of a man who died on the cross crucified by mistake or intent, betrayed, a God who came to earth and was killed because we can’t tolerate love. I am a killer of Jesus. I was there when they crucified my Lord. I am forever a part of that epic scene. I can be the potted plant on the stage. I can be any of the characters but when it comes to myth or theatre or story there is no greater story than this Good News. It says that Christ was born, Christ died and Christ will come again.  This is life, awakening, dying and awakening. No permanence except in God.  

And in prayer I seek the One.  

Be still and know that I am God.  

Be still


Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for your love and life.  Thank you for your sacrifice.  Help me ever to remember and be with you.

Christ before me. Christ beside me. Christ above me, Christ in front of me. Christ behind me. Protect me and heal me and love me as I love thee.  

I would know your Grace because I know my love for such a limited selfish sense. I would love you as my dog loves me.  I would learn to love with faith and courage and strength.  I would be nearer to thee. I would be with you always.

Thank you Jesus.  In prayer and thanksgiving I come to you.  Thou anointed my head with oil. Thou prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies. My cup overflowest.

Thank you.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Islamaphobia, Naziphobia, Yahweh and Jesus

There is only one true God and that God is Yahweh.  Yahweh means “I am that is who I am”.  I do not know what Allah means and do not believe Hitler was God.  I know that Yahweh, the God of the Jews was written as YHVH because his name could not be pronounced.  He was described in John of the New Testament as the Word, but really that Word was Jesus.  Jesus was the son of God.  We are created in the Image of God, that’s the imagination. Yahweh means ‘imagination’.  God is the create or. God is imagination.  God is Energy.  Matter is slow Energy.  We are in the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotentialiation of God.  God is the cloud of unknwing. I do not know who Allah is.

Jesus is the manifestation of God incarnate.  We are all children of God and Jesus is the first born. The Cosmic Christ is to Christianity what the enlightened one is to Hinduism and Buddhism.  Except where in their lexicon Man becomes God in Christianity God becomes man becomes God again.  Jesus was crucified and arose to sit on the right hand side of God in three days. Nothing like ‘day’ is literal since these words are godly words in the Bible.  Time is a human construct.

Jesus is Love.

I don’t know what Islam is.

I don’t know what Nazis are.

I know Christianity is the religion of my parents and grandparents and I know that Judaism and Christianity are the basis of Western Enlightenment, Secularism even, and all the basic values and ideas that I hold true today derived mostly from the Bible, like the 10 commandments and the message to Love God and Love your Neighbour as Yourself. I love the parables like the Prodigal sun. I love Grace and Redemption. I love Jesus. 

Jesus was a historical man born as Messiah, prophesied and died on the cross in the time of Rome when Herod was the violent barbaric leader of Israel.  Jesus was a jewish man, a carpenter.  There are all manner of marvellous allegory and myth associated with his life.  His life is the greatest story in the Galaxy, definitely the Greatest Story in the World.  His story is everything I like about Christianity and everything I find lacking in cold fish like Sarte. He is everything that atheists like Marx envied and rejected.  He is a man for all seasons.  He was the greatest lover of history.

I am a Christian because I have had the experience of Christ. I know God is present in all religions. I know that political leadership have used religion as a means to strengthen their political positions.  I like that Jesus was a rebel but that he said his Kingdom was in heaven, within, not without.  He speaks within to me now.  I can hear the wee small voice of God within on a good day. There are times when the monkey voice of myself is too loud to hear the music of God’s calm and peace. It is only in the quiet that I know God most truly.  

I have studied all religions. I know Jesus.  I know Christ. I know Yahweh. I know God.  I have met them in the heart of hearts in the inner sanctums of myself and I have had the joy of seeing their fingerprints on my life and in the world around.  

Everywhere I travelled in the middle east I saw that Islam had destroyed the temples and teachings of Christians.  Every Radiacl Muslim I have met wants to destroy all jews.  Islam has taught the eradication of Jews and all around the world the followers of Islam are persecuting Christians.  

I would be more afraid but I know that God loves me and Jesus loves me.  I know that my fear is of this world.  Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.  God is alive and well in Canada if only now hiding.  Our parliament is smoking dope.  Our leader is a dope head.  It’s apparent to me. Hitler was a drug addict too.  I am afraid around people on drugs because they are in a trance and don’t know they are psychotic.  It’s subtle. I once did drugs and when I did I stopped hearing the wee small voice of God and could only hear the cacophony of voices within my own head.  I became loud like Ottawa.  I am quiet today and I long to know God more.  

Jesus Christ means literally “God within, god will come again”.  I’m always playing hide and seek with God.  God is always playing hide and seek with me.   God is using Trudeau to wake Canada up to the terrors of totalitarianism.  All the Communists after the Socialism of Marx and Engels and Stalin eventually turned back to God as the Orthodox Church has risen again in Russia.  Muslims flee Muslim countries and convert on mass to the Christianity and Secularism of the west. They are naturally afraid of the radical muslims they escaped.  Just as communists escape the Iron Wall for Canadas as do the Chinese who leave Communist China and the Muslims who escape the countries of political Islam, Canada is a haven created by Christians of the European enlightenment. This is a product of the ideology of Christianity and enlightenment.  

The light will shine again in Canada.

God will come again. Yahweh. Jesus Christ.  Thank you Lord.  May I ever know you and trust in you.  All shall be well because God is good.  

Gratitude Wednesday

Thank you Lord for bringing me thus far in this week. Hump Wednesday.  It’s the last hurdle before the downhill stretch to the glorious weekend. I’ve worked on weekends and evenings for months cleaning up mess and chaos and finding so much damage I didn’t know had been done. But then I was distracted.  It’s always thus. I’m distracted by life and death and the details get lost. But you Lord are ever there redeeming. Thank you for your comfort and the little things, the treasure. What more could I be grateful than the smiles of little friends the joy of friends , the coming of spring. Thank you for the light this morning Lord. Thank you for my sleepy dog. Thank you for this routine. Thank you for the song of birds. Thank you for the river and the trees. Thank you that it’s not raining. Thank you that it’s not snowing. Thank you that it’s warming up.  

Forgive me Lord for all the nasty things I’ve said to those idiots who believe in more taxation for themselves and us and want the government to get bigger and bigger and control more and more and take away our freedoms what little we have and thank you Lord for curbing my speech. Forgive me Lord for my talk about our prime minister who I regretful think is a traitor to this country and is bringing deep ruination to this country with the corruption I left the liberal party over years ago and now it’s worse, so much Quebec serving and eastern serving to the detriment of Canada as a whole and westerners especially. Forgive me for the anger I feel to the divisiveness of this government playing racial and religious favourites then calling us victims offensive for objective to there favouritism and vote buying corruption.  Forgive me Lord for this distraction.

I know that you would have me focusing on healing. I know that you would have me caring for my patients but sociologically all these selfish political decisions are hurting my patients and increasing the disease.  All the fear mongering of Climate Change and all the violent speech and rallies of the undemocratic are persisting in creating an atmosphere of war and encouraging drug abuse and escapism.  Displaced people without jobs are prospects of homes are increasingly turning away from the world to their fantasy life.  The aetheism and narcissism offer no insight or altruism or enlightenment. At least Lord it may bring us closer to you. Thank you for being all healing, all loving, all present. Help me to know you more. Increasing the mediation and healing of my own intellect and emotions.  

You know Lord anxiety is a measure of my distance from you so help me to have more courage.  I know Jesus commanded  Do Not Be Afraid.  Help me to be strong in you Lord. Help me to be ever with you.

Thank you for my dog. Help his eye to heal. Thank you for my nephews and sister in law. Help them achieve in their studies work and relationships. Help me be able to give them more as my brother would want Lord. Help me ever remember my brother as the great and kind and loving man he was.  I miss his wisdom Lord.  Thank you for my Mom and Dad and their love and kindness and thoughtfulness and you know I miss them dearly.  Thank you for the loves in my life. Thank you for the wonderful memories of love making and conversation and holding on to each other through storms and in quiet times. 

Life has been such a chronic struggle against beurocrats using all their resources and their laws and their infinite time to stop me advocating for my patients and fighting every day to help them.  They would interfere with every action and have repeatedly insisted with their hypocrisy how they want people to act on the frontlines from the ignorant and arrogance of their safe distant inexperience stupidity.  Forgive me Father for focusing on the negatives and help me be thankful for thise glorious beaurocrats who daily help me to help others.  

Lord help me change my attitude. Help me focus on the positives and see the successes and see that we are all working together and that the horrendous waste of resources with the infinite appalling committee meetings in the downtown eastside and all the old ideas proved poopy and now just repackaged are again being used to promote a few individuals to the cost of all. Oh Lord help me see the positive if only to recognize that these people are going to make great fertilizer one day.  Stop me from feeling superior but help me to maintain an open mindedness and maybe they are going to redeem themselves because you are in charge. Stop me from focussing on the negatives and the little pictures.  Help me see the positives and be more loving and more understanding.

You have taught me to view these people as ‘sick’.  They hold power and authority and are terrified themselves for their cushy fat cat jobs far more than they deserve with their limitted education and low IQ and lack of anything but loyalty to kissing the ass of the person above them…..see Lord this is not helpful…this is the monkey mind…help me to quiet this thing of fear and attitude and instead see the positive and look for the goodness in these sewer rats.  Again Lord stop me from going there. Protect me from my own fears and guide me forward. Help me to focus on the positive. Help me to see your love and your hand in all that is happening.  

I have a judgemental mind at times and you know I am afraid as I grow older and realize that the end is near. Help me not project my own demise on the world and become and embarrassing thieving fool running about demanding billions and saying the world is going to end because of ludicrous climate change ideas of crazy baby boomers who are so grandiose narcissistic and pampered they can’t believe they are going to die individually so have this megalomaniac dream of world dominion and how they’re going to save the planet. God get this kids away from their fucking hollywood superhero movies. It’s more tortoise than rabbit. We’re plodding forward.  It’s the little things that matter.

Thank you for the fact that I have learned routines and daily shower and feed my body and please Lord help me exercise more and eat less and yet eat more wholesomely. Help me get the work done that has piled up because of the betrayals and negligence and lies.  Help me to get through this storm and let me know fair winds following seas and sunshine .

thank you Lord for my friends in program and in church and in this community. Thank you for the god kids and their parents. Thank you for Laura and the joy she brings Gilbert and I with his presence and care. Thank you for her humour. Thank you for the friends like George and Arch and Willi and Phillip and Sam and Tom and John and Phillip and Mac and Dave and Wes and Carolynn and Jackie and Vivian and Allison and Aim and Hannah and Mida and Dick and Peter and and Bill and Bill and Allan and Victor and Bill and Garry and Kirk and Jon and Nick and Vivian and Karen and David and more as I think of all these people that I know personally and have always enjoyed and they’ve always been there for me and for them. My social life is rich and I’m blessed to know these incredibly fine human beings who are doing so much good. Help me to spend more time with them and to avoid isolation and stop me from my tendency to self pity and focus on the loss rather than all the blessings.

Thank you Lord for this day. May I do thy will. May I serve you.  Thank you for the teaching of the Bible and the Big Book. Thank you for the wisdom of the men and women who have gone before me and have guided my path.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ballet BC Program 2 Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Both Laura and I are getting over spring colds.  Vancouver is experiencing  dreariness with ugly rain holding back the coming of the sun.  If it weren’t for season’s tickets to the ballet neither of us would have got off the couch and escaped from the tv to culture.  It never seems like a good idea getting dressed but history has proven over and over again that an evening of Ballet BC is an uplifting intriguing consciousness raising event. It even puts a smile on my face. Curmudgeon that age is making me.

And true to form this ballet did.  The  Queen Elizabeth Theatre is  a bright oasis.  Tonight  the young women were truly gala in the latest fashions.  Marvellous dresses and splendid shoes. I like best the gaggles of the  early teens with their aunt or dance instructor mentor  all fluttering and vibrant. But tonight it was the 20 year olds looking truly mysterious and captivating.  The young men in jackets and fancy shirts and well scrubbed faces were there as well.  

There is always the older crowd. Fewer tonight  compared to the surge of youthful enthusiasm with it’s obvious appreciation of excellence. Us older folk are main stay.  The City set.  Very uptown.  Banyan Books meets Nordstrom crowd.  Uniquely Vancouver.  But this night seemed mostly for the young and beautiful people. My favourite place in the whole world for people watching is the Ballet.

 Queen Elizabeth really is a fine little theatre.  Not the Lincoln Centre by any means.  Neither is it shabby.   I like the seats and the view.  I like too when Emily Molnar comes on stage and briefly describes the coming show. I was miffed though she didn’t mention St. Patrick.  There was however a swath of green dresses and jackets in the audience.  I was wearing my patch vest from Dublin.  Laura looked divine in her Ivanka. 

When the lights went down, the Anthem choreographed by Lisa Gelly and Josh Martin exploded on the stage, a minimalist background, with functional costumes,  a plethora of new moves and impossible bodies reached out to meet the industrial music of Colin Stetson, Sarah Neufeld, Ginzburg and Purgus. It was something never considered possible and yet it worked all together as one, a most incredible explanation of space and sound emotionally explored by human.  I truly loved the piece.  A World Premiere and somehow especially 2017.

I love watching individual dancers. I’ve known Alexis Fletcher, Peter Smida, Rachel Prince, Rachel Meyers and Gilbert Small now for several seasons so truly appreciate their interpretations and sophistication.  Each night a dancer might capture my attention as tonight Nicole Ward and Brandon Alley stood out for me.  It’s the troop though that astonishes,, like a flock of birds moving together in ultimate unison.  

I loved Swan, choreography by Wen Wei Wang,  music from Swan Lake, Alexis Fletcher and Kirsten Wicklund sublime and Christoph von Reideman, Andrew Bartee, Gilbert Small and Peter Smida so strong and robust.  Combinations and permutations so very modern and refined. Such a tableau of exquisite form.  Robson Street and Davie.  Kate Burrows costume design rippled.

The audience loved the Lesly Telford composition, “If I were 2” , an exploration of narcissism, especially the young people. A dance duet by Emily Chessa and Brandon Alley set to the words of Barbara Adler sounding like a poem played by nightclub turntable.  It wasn’t my cup of tea, like  the other time they brought a painter on stage.  I just wish for Nutcracker at such times despite my overall joy of the contemporary.  

But then as always Ballet BC redeemed itself  with the especially intimate Solo Echo choreographed by Crystal Pite to the beautiful music of Brahms.   It actually had me crying and laughing at the same time as the dancers together reminded me of the otters holding onto each through the night at Vancouver Aquarium or at other times they became like a mob of inquisitive meerkats.  I’ve never seen the like of it in all my years of ballet attendance such an original work of humans holding to each other, letting go and finding one another, then holding together as a group or family or community. Such delicacy and love.  The tablleaus of human forms were mesmerizing.  

The audience really loved it and we all leapt to our feet to give the performers a well deserved standing ovation. Then we funnelled back out to cars and taxis and the less dreary still raining city of Vancouver.  I even had a little bounce in my step.  

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vancouver Grows Greater Every Day


Vancouver  grows.  I look up and see all the cranes and that’s the sign of a successful city. There’s space for business here. There’s a wild west feel. What I don’t like is petty. It’s hard to provide excellence in health care at the bargain basement rates while paying top drawer costs for all services in the city.  But that doesn’t detract from the growth of the city.  Cranes everywhere.  Vancouver despite the mayor cutting down trees for bike lanes and all manner of other oddities is really expanding. There’s fuel lines flowing through the city bringing riches to all. There’s work for construction industry and tech is expanding. Vancouver is really attracting brilliant people. Our cancer research facilities are the best. I’m bitching and whining and complaining but UBC is magnificent in it’s achievements.  I’m loving the rapid transport advances made in the city. Of course it’s always been one of the most beautiful places in the world.  It’s a rich person dream destination. The police protect the rich here, not the moderate rich, but the very rich. it’s a place where the million dollar homes are worth a million dollars and the million dollar cars are worth a million dollars. It’s a rich city. It’s a place with the finest restaurants and all manner of toys and places to play really close by. There’s drugs and alcohol and nightclubs and shootings in the street.  There’s gangs, public and private. There’s a fast crowd. There’s an uptown wheeling dealing with outlandish markets and stock exchanges and back alley drug deals.  It’s got the street whores galore and the uptown underage girl and boy prosttitues going for thousands a night.  It’s Sin City.  New York and LA are clean towns compared to Vancouver. Hong Kong has nothing on this city. Surrey is infamous.  It’s that kind of rapid growth places. It brings a fast crowd. 

But then there’s the cranes.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.  Wood and mines and fisheries are still fantastic sources of abundance. We’re blessed with the riches here from land and sea. There’s cattle ranching in the interior but there’s also a hub where ships meet the land where railways and trucks unload. It’s everything. This increadible place.  

I’ve lived in the west end where parties went all night every night. I’m in Burnaby now. A suburb like Richmond, Kits, Westvan, and North Vanc. One of the inner suburbs as Cloverdale and Sqaumish become the new commuter suburbs of the ever expanding city.  It’s built on a peninsula and we live in fear of earthquakes and tsunamis.  But there’s no success without risk.  If you want to feel peace you vacation in Merrit or Oosooyos or Kelowna.  There’s tranquility there. But here is buzz. It’s big city in a beautiful location. it’s San Francisco with a whole lot more.  It’s 10 years ago and 20 years a head. it’s Vancouver.  City of cities.  Everyone from all over the world is coming here.  Our friends are every colour and every religion and they or their parents came from different conteninest or the furthest reaches of this once great nation Canada.  Now Vancouver is great and Canada is floundering like a fat gutted beast waiting to surface again when it’s re invented itself to somehow be with the times. Vancouver has the energy. Vancouver has the people. Vancouver has it all.  The corruption is it’s fertilizer.  

We manage here.  The rain washes away the tears.  The summers are fast. The beaches are packed and in winter we strap boards on our feet and laugh skiing and snowboarding down the pristine slopes of Grouse and Whistler. There’s hiking and sailing and swimming pools outdoors and in. A whole lot of people actually bicycle no matter how much we like to make fun of our mayor whose vision is to have the city a kind of Amsterdam on the west coast. There’s ideas galore here. Ted talks comes here. It’s Hollywood of the North.  There’s opportunities. The Chinese say, ‘may you live in interesting times’ Interesting times are times of great opportunity and great disaster. It’s that way here. Business go boom or bust. The downtown east side with itis’ drugs and disease are the dregs of thousands of once bright dreams.  The city is a hard city for those who are trusting and don’t recognize the thieves and killers in their midst. It’s not just the fentanyl but the drug dealers who know the poison gives a profit.  There’s risk here.  It’s with risk there’s potential for high finance.  People are coming from all over the globe for that risk and venture.  

Vancouver is a new city state.  Our airport is a wonder of modern fast technology and ancient West Coast aboriginal art.  The planes bring the businessmen to the conferences along with the writers and scientists. It’s a hub city. It’s a great city. It’s amazing. Really truly amazing.  The Aquarium is a wonder in the city’s huge park with the magnificent seawall and grand protected English Bay harbour.  It’s hard to believe that one day men in canoes looked on this pristine wonder and knowing that know that someday soon space ships will land where today planes do.  Intergallactic travel is years or decades hence and men and wearing redwood bark clothing could not know that in a mere century the sky rises would be coming to their land.  

It’s out of Vancouver flights go north and south to Alaska and the Yukon. The fishing boats to the northern pacific harbour here. The roads to Fort St.John and Fort McMurray depart from here. Vancouver is still the gold rush city of before but now the wealth is in everything, in people, and products and communication and transport and energy and commodities and people power and raw material. It’s a centre of centres. And everywhere there are cranes and this present government has helped business grow and prosperity arise.  

The life expectancy here gets longer and longer.  

The intensity gets more and more.

It’s a place where fireworks happen annually alongside the Shakespearean Bard on the Beach and Vancouver Folk Festival.  The BC Ballet Performs and the Vancouver Opera is world renown. And we all love our Canucks Hockey Team dearly. But there’s all the unsung sports and the Fringe Theatre and the cubby holes like Banyan Books that make Vancouver so unique and appealing. It’s got such character and charm with Granville Island and Londsale Key and Orcas sometimes sited in the harbour. There’s always Eagles and Seagulls.  Coyotes walk through the city.  Sometimes a bear or a moose even gets lost in the suburbs. it’s high tech and rural wilderness juxtapose in clashes and comfort. Harrison Lake so near and yet so far with hot springs and nearer still Chilliwack Tulip Festival taking off on the over the border Mount Verno Tulip festivals. We ride our Harley Motorcycles and sports cars down the seaside roads to Seattle and Portland and get a rush in another land and another country. Our near by Gulf Islands with all their charm are just across from the San Juan Islands with all that Yankee and southern spirit. We’re surrounded everywhere with specialness and precious adventures. 

Vancouver is fabulous.  Poetry readings and Soccer games and even cricket and lacrosse. And in the pubs they shoot billiards and darts and dance the night away.  Gay Davie street and earthy Commercial and uptown Robson and the Art Gallery and funky Granville and movie theatre complex and karaoke and everything the heart desires.  And less and less Ottawa and more and more Hong Kong and Washington. It’s a world city . It’s a great city.  It’s LA in the north. It’s Tokyo east. It’s Manilla in Canada. It’s Mumbai and St. Petersburg. it’s still italian and Greek and all the British are here as well. But it’s so much more.

Even now there are daffodils and crocuses hearkening a new spring.  Vancouver is always known for it’s early spring.  The winters are dark and wet and dreary and even cold sometimes but the spring comes soon and the cyclists and motorcycles come out and then the walkers and the hikers and the city that cocooned for a few short months becomes the outside city it really is.  The streets fill and the outdoor restaurant and cafe’s blossomed with conversation and laughter.  

Vancouver is a great city.  A really really great city becoming greater every day.

IMG 4452Bill and Gilbert

Friday, March 10, 2017

Selection Bias and Alternative Facts

Alternative facts is better termed ‘alternative reality’.  CBC News is a prime example though CNN is equally entertaining for these marketing strategies that are unscientific and commonly called ‘pseudoscience’.  An example is a left leaning poll, knowing that marijuana smokers sleep in , work from home, or don’t have jobs, pollsters will poll during the afternoon.  The right wing anti marijuana smokers by contrast are commonly early risers and at work.  Such a poll is then used by the CBC or CNN to support in a pseudoscience way their contention that the majority of Canadians want more access for themselves and their children and their pets to marijuana.  

Selection bias worked in the university regarding Climate Change. The UN IPCC mandate was to publish evidence of ‘man made weather changes’.  Strong the Canadian communist supported by his Chinese and globalist partners was against fossil fuels.  China has maintained fossil fuels but by demonizing them in the west Strong and the communists saw the undermining of the western military economy by hampering the west’s efforts to compete with the military build up of China and countries in the Middle East, specifically those agains the principle western ally, Israel.  In all these other countries they are using cheap energy to in military competition with the west who increasingly have found their ability to defend the west undermined at home. It’s long known that the American military won the War in Vietnam only to have it lost by the Media at home.  

Selective bias is to report Canadian carbon ‘footprint’ one of the best in the industrialized world and tax the already over taxed Canadians all the while countries like China continue to pollute massively.

The most recent evidence of selective bias and the alternative facts that follows from this alternative reality which excludes comparison is with the pipe line spills.  Pipelines are cheaper and safer than railways but corporate tycoons like Warren Buffet and the Trudeau government are heavily invested in the more costly and more dangerous railway transport of fuels.  By paying ‘activists’ and raising rallies these alternative corporate interests run a marketing campaign demonizing the competing industry. Oil will be carried but not by pipelines but rather by trains.  

The issue of ‘gun laws’ was the same with the exclusion of heavily armed Switzerland with it’s very ordered and safe society but instead looking at America and claiming that ‘guns’ are the cause of murder in the US.  What was further excluded from the debate was that 75% of Californian gang violence was by “illegal aliens’ but most importantly ‘legal guns’ in the US are simply absent in violence other than domestic violence where there are measures that have been taken in countries like Canada to reduce the likelihood of domestic violence without demonizing guns.  

The point is that the key to understanding the ‘alternative facts’ and the ‘alternative realities’ of the major competing ideologies of individualism of the right and collectivism of the left is to look first at the ‘terms of the reference’ of the research involved or the ‘study’ involved.  Then it’s critical to have an appropriate comparison group.

The place where I saw this was with ‘home deliveries’.  The Liberal government having taken all the tax payer citizen money for health care was attempting to keep it all for their own luxuries by schemes like as ‘deliver your baby in your home’.  They had this plan to cut costs and reduce the amount of money returned to the citizens for the medical care which citizens were willing to pay for.  So they also encouraged ‘mid wives’ to do ‘home deliveries’ and developed ‘dual’s.  These individuals were in direct competition with obstetricians whose work was the most scrutinized and regulated and subject to the highest costs in medical legal terms because of the demand for perfection.  Overnight the home deliveries were associated with deaths and difficulties but never subjected to the same scrutiny simply because it was ‘government approved’ and part of the main agenda.  The most important comparison was to use Britain and Holland as ‘comparison’ showing that Britain and Holland had home deliveries without problems. What was left out was that when I lived in London there was a clinic and hospital and life support facilities as close as pubs on every corner. The ‘density’ of the population allowed proximity to obstetricians and c sections.  By contrast in Canada the vast distances resulted in long delays from getting from the home to the hospital if anything went wrong.  

The key is to understanding the ‘terms of reference’. In the Downtown Eastside the agenda was to introduce costly ‘injection sites’ and promote the ‘culture of drugs’ but ‘control’ it and bring it into the same ‘marketing potential’ as the highly lucrative tobacco and alcohol industries with their lobbies and revenues.  There was no evidence that these incredibly expensive facilities did more than reduced a death per year at a cost of a million dollars. However by presenting a graph showing the drop of the deaths in the community which included the years before they were opened they ‘claimed’ success but now though there is a horrendous rise in deaths "as a consequence" of the injection sites, the very name SAFER marketing drugs increasingly to youth who no longer associate drugs with death, as they had after the Belushi death, instead we have a cry in the construction industry to build more empires.  This is an alternative reality to the proven success of street policing, abstinence baed treatment centres, methadone, suboxone, AA and NA.  The construction industry and other players are very keen on more bastilles which serve as a focus for spreading the ideology of ‘better living through chemistry’.  

The abortion industry is one of the most expensive and most highly paid and costly industries.  A simple comparison would be to consider as it was 30 years ago, what is the cost of abortion compared to supporting mothers and children.  The multi billion dollar abortion industry doesn’t wish to share it’s masses of money with mere women and children yet we could support well all the unborn babies if we had indeed presented the evidence without the ‘selection bias’ which came from the idea there are ‘too many people are the planet’.  What was never mentioned is that idea, that doomsaying, was first introduced in the time of Columbus.  Like Global Warming and countless other fear mongering ideologies, these serve to get people to give money to the organizations creating the problem.  

To understand all the squishy feel good promotions like save the wounded puppy campaigns understand that there is an industry behind everyone of these.  Pipelines debate isn’t about fossil fuel or not but about fossil fuel carried by trains or pipelines.  Look for the money that is competing and ask about the egos involved in the competition.  

George Soros who profits by bringing down governments investing billions in their downfall, buying up their currency before they rise again , all done artificially and by intention, is behind the black lives matter campaign which is a money making machine for black leaders and democrats principally.  In South Africa the blacks are persecuting the whites but there is no ‘white lives matter’ campaign there because in other countries there are no freedoms as we enjoy here.  Much of the terminology is based on this ‘selection bias’.  Asians with their history of success comparative to Caucasians are not demonized as whites are by the blacks because theres an agenda and ‘selective bias’.  Follow the money trails and ask who is profiting from this warm and fuzzy today.  

I am a researcher and I see such stupidity and wonder why people don’t go to university and study stats and research to know the fundamentals so they won’t be lead by the nose and turned into consumer slaves by the forces behind CBC and CNN.  I did my research training at the Masters level and this was simply 101. It's not new information but seeing Canadians vote and listening to Canadians discuss politics I'm quite frightened by the level of general ignorance about science and research. There's a tremendous pseudoscience and the new bullying of the brownshirt "identity politics' but a general ignorance about polls, democracy, socialism, communism, history, studies, bias that really is seriously troubling.  

Think alternative ‘realities’ and ‘selection bias’ and ‘terms of reference’. And polls are as limitted to who pays for them. Snopes for one is bought and sold.  


The best way to sucker someone too, is to bait them with a couple of truths so you can sucker them with the bigger false hood when their guards are down. That’s why these organizations are partially useful on the stuff that doesn’t really ‘count’.  Everything is grey.  Nothing is all bad or all good. It’s just where are you on the spectrum of naivity to intelligent discernment 


Also know that the search engines of the Internet are rigged. The queue of items is bought. The marijuana industry is so well funded and powerful that a recent research item about the harm of marijuana was 'buried' in the general search engines in the most sophisticated manner whereas it was front and centre in the scientific search engines. I liked the coffee mug, 'don't confuse your google search with my MD". It's increasingly tedious to explain to people the basics of marketing or sales and burst their bubble of overnight genius. Right now the 'left' is claiming to be the judge of 'truth'. Their new word is 'facts'. Beware. The best New Yorker cartoon showed a weather woman saying, "now we've given you the Republican weather report now we're give you the Democrat weather report." You can get a Jamaican, Saudi, female, gay or dog lover report now on just about any matter and mostly you'll be hearing the expensive monetarily back skewed view. One way to untangle deviation is to know a controversial story from the inside then watch how different media present the story. That gives a baseline deviation There will always be selection bias and alternative relations and social relativism will play a part but if you are aware of these forces you can factor them into your analysis. I know it's tough. I know you want the nipple of reason and the umbilical cord of facts to hang onto. Don't we all.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Gratitude today

Thank you Lord that the world has not boiled up as the climate change doom sayer cult promised. Thank you Lord that the world is not at War as the anti  Donald Tump lobby promised. Thank you that the earth has not left it’s orbit. Thank you for the sun today. Thank you for the world not being destroyed by floods because of the homosexuals on Davie street as the craziest of Christian’s promised. Thank you that we are all alive to day taking care of business as usual. Thank you for another mediocre Canadian Wednesday, the middle of another endless Canadian week. Thank you Lord it is not snowing in Vancouver today. That’s been a little unsettling. The Eastern Canadians are the bad ones and they are struck by months of frozen tundra for their evil ways but we in LA LA Land are good and holy and don’t deserve to be kept from Wreck Beach too much longer. Do you think this may be because there is too much dope smoking on the east that the world is tilted.  Aren’t the nuts supposed to roll to California. Thank you Lord for my dog Gilbert and may he have more shit and piss to smell today as that seems to be uplifting for him.  I’ll pass myself Lord. I’ll thank you instead for the smell of clean bodies, colognes and perfumes and the especially pleasant smell of Olay and Irish Spring.  Thank you Lord that I can still hear and that my smell remains .And thank you for my sight and help my little dog keep his. And thank you Lord for the sense of feeling.  And thank you Lord for the heart and brains and especially for the legs and arms and all the body parts.  Thank you for this day Lord. And thank you that Justin Trudeau has not bankrupted the country as I feared.  We are still solvent, rapidly approaching Third World countries in increasing poverty in the elderly but really Lord I’ve been personally catastrophizing.  My apologies to Justin Trudeau he hasn’t given away all our hard earned money as yet so forgive me for my needless worry. Even he can’t destroy a country so great as Canada in this little time as I feared. So thank you that the optimistic and hopeful are still winning today.  Thank you for the coming of spring. Thank you for life after death and thank you for waking me this morning. It was so cute to have Gilbert sitting beside me waiting for my eyes to open.  That was a thoughtful touch Lord and a great way to start the day. Thank you Lord for all your blessings. Thank you for this day.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Bellwether Hotel, Bellingham and My Birthday

My birthday this year is really special to me. It’s a culmination of a life time of work. I’ve always looked forward to this time with anticipation.  I never really thought to retire but I thought that this year would mean I’d really done my duty.  I felt when I became a physician I had a responsibility to use my training. I’d taken a limited space and felt that I had made a covenant with my community to serve.  Now I feel like I still want to serve, at least another five years or so but it’s a different sort of relationship.  I’ve done my time.  

I’ve always been self employed. I regret now in some ways that I didn’t work for the money or focus more on my self.  I could now be having more options but I’d not feel the way I have, that feeling of being  of service. I wanted to be a missionary doctor but I also wanted to pay my way.  I took Dr. Jack Hildes suggestion to work in the areas of ‘greatest need’. 

I’d bought myself a 2017 Ford F350 Lariat edition 4x4 crew cab and long box white truck, trading in my 2007 Ford F350 Harley Davidson edition. It was a gift to myself and served to anchor me. I wanted to just keep on working and this would keep me working to pay off the debt.  An anchor of sorts.  So often dealing with the bureaucracy I really want to run away to sea again.  In a few years but not right now. Gilbert loves the truck and a trip down to Bellingham would give Laura a chance not only to see it but to also appreciate it’s spectacularly smooth rise.  The sound system with Hillsong and Amy Grant is spectacular.  

Bellwether Hotel was another gift to myself.  Laura and I had not seen each other for a couple of weekends. She’s been working weekends as I have been.  We both live in tiny places and a weekend at a hotel gives us the reprieve from our own claustrophobic quarters.  

A Bellwether Hotel weekend was an oasis to work towards.  I’ve been literally exhausted each night falling asleep sometimes at 7 and other times waking with nightmares in the wee hours of the night.  I’ve needed the breaks to just survive the stress of work right now..

Laura and I enjoyed the drive down to the States with the magnificent little one eyed pirate of a dog.. Gilbert.   He seems to be adjusting better to his loss of sight and need to sit still three times a day while I give him drops for his glaucoma’

We had no difficulties crossing the border.  The American’s were inviting. Probably after all the nonsense of Canadian leftist liberals being stopped after arrogantly telling the American border crossing guards that they  want to go to the US to protest their president and start riots they were glad to have us.

"Where are you going?"

"The Bellwether Hotel in Bellingham."

“What is the purpose of your visit"

“We’re going down for the weekend to celebrate my birthday”.

“Well, have a great birthday."

“Thank you sir.” 

The Navigation System on the truck was awesome. it was dark and raining and we really would have missed a turn were it not for the clear directions. The navigation actually shows up not just on the central screen but also on the dash view directly in front of me where speed and gas usage are recorded. This is so incredibly safe.  I didn’t have to look away from the road once.

The staff at Bellwether were delighted to see us.  Lovely ladies. I left Laura and Gilbert and the luggage in the lobby  to drive off and park the monster truck. They have free underground parking but my truck is too big for that. .  There was parking nearby though and no problems all weekend.

The rooms were fabulous. So elegant. Spring and autumn colours.  Subdured. Luxurious. A balcony looking over the marina.  A fireplace.  Huge tv and huge king sized bed.  The whirlpub tub put Laurain heaven. I like a shower myself.  But we’d use every bit of the room by the time the weekend was done. I had reports to write and papers to read, a half dozen hours of work which I did either at the desk on my lap top or sitting on the balcony or in the soft lounging chair where I read.  They had a mat set out for Gilbert and food and water bowls.  He loved his stay.

We had room service dinner from their extraordinary kitchen. I can’t recall how long it’s been since I had such an awesome filet mignon. it literally melted in my mouth.  We loved everything about the meal.   It was a Mel Gibson weekend.  We love Mel Gibson.  These were the ones where he plays a cop with Glover.  The next day we had a delicious turkey bacon sandwiches with perfect fries for lunch.

Each day I walked Gilbert around the sea wall. It’s a great walk. Gilbert loved the lawns and bushes. Heather was already blooming.  A friend told us they loved Anthony’s restaurant nearby. I saw it but we were happy eating in the hotel room with Gilbert.  I really  enjoy the decadence of room service.  Giuseppe’s was another restaurant I saw.. There were several others all within walking distance. The area is  it’s a popular uptown sea side place. a bit like Granville Island,  right inside Bellingham on Bellington Bay..  

Laura had a cold too, cough and sniffles, so she really enjoyed the down time.

We did get out for a drive in my new Ford F350 Lariat Edition Truck. The sun had come out on the Saturday.  Lovely cloud formations but lots of blue sky.  We drove the Chuckunut Road , winding along the coast.  In the truck I thought how our drives in the Miata and on the Harley had been more suited to the narrow lane. With the sun roof drawn back, Gordon Lightfoot playing on the sound system,   it still was a delightful drive with the most beautiful views of forest and sea.   Laura got to enjoy them more because I really did have to pay attention to the road.  The daffodils in the fields beyond hadn’t blossomed but in weeks they and the tulips will be shouting spring.  I took the highway back as sleet began.  We were listening to the latest Paul Simon on the highway.  New York sounds that reminded us of our recent trip there. .  Back in the room se actually ordered a pizza which was perfect too.   A  pizza was what I really wanted and it was my birthday. .

I really felt that this weekend was just what the doctor ordered.  A special day and a reprieve from the excessive stress of office moves,January and February psychiatry. and the  fentanyl overdose deaths. It’s all  taking it’s  toll.  I feel like I’m working on the ‘front’.  The sad part is the enemy is oneself, and the drug dealer. 

Sunday morning I was up early and walked Gilbert. They had delicious coffee each morning in the lobby and in the afternoon ice cold lemon water.  There were all these thoughtful details at the Bellwether and the staff were always so caring.   

Laura is a beautiful companion too.. Even with her cold I enjoyed her presence.  Gilbert and I think the world of her.  We chat about the most inconsequential matters.  It’s just comfortable to be together. She spoils Gilbert with doggie massages and treats. 

All too soon we were packing up and on our way.  A snowstorm had hit the north while we were enjoying balmy weather by the sea.  Stopping at Gilbert’s favourite restaurant we got cheese burgers to eat on the ride north.

 I actually thought of not writing about Bellwether because it really is the sort of perfect little place you want to keep a secret.  It really is  like a great little fishing hole. Such a place for catch after catch after catch!

The staff at Bellwether made my birthday weekend unforgettable.  Laura and I had a wonderful time. Gilbert was so happy but he’s always so happy and especially happy when Laura and I are together.

At the border the agent was vigilant.  Justin Trudeau is encouraging terrorists to see Canada as their new safe house so I rather liked that the custom’s agent at least  was alert.

I dropped Laura off at her place, big fluffy snow flakes adding to the inch or so of snow already on the ground. Gilbert and I were sad to leave her.  Now we can’t wait till we get back together again.  

Thank you Jesus for this birthday and such a lovely hotel as the Bellwether. 





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Friday, March 3, 2017

Alright ,I am happy older

Normally I’m searching for an excuse to be negative.  Dr. Paul O said he could find a problem with a blank wall and if you didn’t see the problem it was an even bigger problem.  Dr. Philip Ney, the brilliant pro life psychiatrist and blue water sailor said, “There’s only one choice a man makes when he gets older, whether to be a bitter old man or not.  Bitter old men are common as weeds.”
Well, I’m happy.  Thank you for all the birthday wishes. Dr. Gary Horvath and the DocSide crew gave me a cake yesterday because I was wasn’t going to be there today.  It really was sweet and I am very glad they didn’t sing Happy Birthday.  It’s all kind of embarrassing when you get older.  My sister in law Adell and the nephews Alan, Andrew and Graeme called me saying they had bought  two tickets to the U2 concert coming to Vancouver.  “Take binoculars,” Adell said , “The best seats sold out fast."
I have been more than annoyed by the Facebook politics but today it really was wonderful.  All the birthday wishes from all over Canada, even Alaska, Australian and Saipan.  I really like that we ‘check’ in and take count. I felt like I was on this life boat earth doing this lifetime and everyone was calling out names like we did in Kindergarten on trips.  The trips back then were only down the hall to the washroom.  Now we travel the globe and some people are actually getting to be the first tourists on the next moon shot.  If I live long enough maybe it will be me or someone I know.  I have to admit there’s been many a time when I’ve been dealing the Borg bureaucracy I’ve wanted to say “Beam me up, Scotty.”
Earlier this week I had ‘sole food’ at  Chez Michel’s with my good friend George before attending a meeting of good cheer.  Misery loves company and were it not for the willingness of all those who come together to share experience, strength and  hope I’d not be as hopeful today.  Whenever  I wear the purple scarf Anna knit for me I remember with joy her and Kevin and the God kids, little Bea, Alex and Izack.
Looking back I can’t imagine how blessed I’ve been. The adventures have been incredible and this thing called medicine is something precious. I have also been spoiled by the incredible brains and beauty of the women I have known even the ones who’ve long forgotten me and those who said they hated me.  Maybe the latter were the most passionate.  It’s all more and more a blur with the resentments falling alway like leaves and more and more the past simply populated by a truly remarkable cast of extraordinarily gifted characters.  I’ve even been privileged like Sherlock Holmes to have enemies the likes of Moriarty.  Perhaps more sordid but certainly as villanous.
Now Laura and I have driven down to Bellingham in the new white Ford truck,  gift to myself, with the greatest little dog Gilbert. It’s been a truly great day.   Really, a blessed day.  I’m thankful to be alive  and feeling rather guilty because  there were times when was younger I would have welcomed death. I love the expression “Don’t stop till the miracle happens”.  In the 60’s we just said , “Keep on trucking” and now I guess that’s what I’m doing.
Here I am.  I  really am happy to have another day above the grass.  Only the good die young.  I know the very best have gone that I’ve known and I survive if only for a little darkness I carry inside. I worry about becoming too saintly.  The history of Christian saints especially most of Jesus’ closest apostles isn’t inviting to the cowardly.
Dr. Willi Gutowski, the great Christian psychiatrist , was quite famous for saying, “ Jesus said, “Do not be afraid!  It wasn’t a suggestion.   It was a command.”   Willie and Anita, intrepid missionary doctor and nurse.  are the two of the happiest of couples today.  I also look forward to seeing Sam soon as he’s a mensch if ever there was one. I have been  blessed by so many chicken or lamb dinners, rich in conversation, with John and his fine sons.  There really is so much to look forward too wealthy in friendship as I have been.
Now I have this uptown problem. I have to order room service before the Hotel Bellweather Restaurant closes.  There’s a steak with my name on it.   I’m also  going to have to choose a movie we can watch while Laura and I eat and Gilbert begs and gets treats.  What a rough life this is:)
Thank you all for all the wonderful birthday wishes.  Thank you God for all your blessings.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be grumpy again but today I will celebrate with praise and thanksgiving.  IMG 4385IMG 4384IMG 4327IMG 4396IMG 4397IMG 4398IMG 4400IMG 4399IMG 4403IMG 4404