A Bit of This and That

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Friday, December 1, 2017 </b>

“The true patriotism, the only national patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation all the time…. loyalty to the government when they deserve it.” Mark Twain.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday. Sheila and I motored to Woodland where we enjoyed a wonderful Cajun Thanksgiving dinner with our two daughters, two wonderful son in laws,and our five grandchildren. It seemed like only yesterday Sheila and I spent our first Thanksgiving Dinner together in 1971. Through the years we often wondered what it would be like to be grandparents, be retired, own our home, be married for 46 years, all that stuff folks call LIFE. Well I gotta tell you it ain’t too bad. In fact I don’t think I would trade it for the world. A whole lot of things to be thankful for. And I am.

Tomorrow (Saturday) if you are looking for a bit of good vibes and great bluegrass music you can catch the new configuration of Red Dog Ash at the Barkin’ Dog in Modesto at 7 P.M. Jason and Gary have new band mates and I believe this will be their first public performance.New members are Tomas Enguidanos on bass, Julie Cooper on fiddle and vocals,Mark Peet on banjo, and of course the charming Gary Vessel on Mandolin and  noted Philosophy Professor Jason Winfree on guitar and vocals. The Barking Dog is a great place to grab a burger and brew and listen to some excellent bluegrass. Check it out. 940 11th Street Modesto.

And speaking of great bluegrass music. Back in October a group of folks met at Maria Nadauld’s 19th century Azorean/Victorian palatial home in the posh Hayward Highlands to spend the day listening to various tapes of California Bluegrass Bands in order to select five groups to become the California representatives for the Father’s Day Festival 2018.  After listening to all the submitted tapes and CD’S these groups were chosen.

AJ Lee and Blue Summit
The All Girl Boys
Windy Hill
Honeysuckle Possums
The Blue Js

A warm thank you to all the bands who took the time to put together tapes or CD’S for the selection process. A quick note on the positive side.I believe all the bands have musicians who are all under the age of 75 which bodes well for the future of bluegrass.

More music news. If you like all kinds of music and like excellent TV programming check out AMAZON. They are running the wonderful series TREME. The story line is New Orleans right after Katrina and how the local citizens respond.  About 1/4 of every episode features the various types of New Orleans music. And this is genuine music performed by real musicians. It is a wonderful program, well acted, great music, with a great story line.

January 9 will be the day I will receive the first of my new knee replacements.It is interesting how this works. I had an appointment with my  regular doctor just so he can give me a referral to the knee surgeon. The knee surgeon checks me out and tells me the surgery will last anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours. He tells me that after the surgery I won’t be checking in with him.Other Kaiser staff will do the post surgery appointments. He tells me a scheduler,A.J. will contact me and set up all the pre and post surgery appointments.  A.J.calls appointments are made and I am set.

You’re probably wondering to yourself how much does Kaiser charge for all this.The actual hospital bill for a 24 hour stay (or less) is $137,234. The surgeon is allocated $60 on the bill raising the cost to $137.294.(Sheila wants the reader (s) to know that her husband is well aware the surgeon is getting more than $60.)  My cost is about 2 % of the total. That is a good deal better that $137,294. I am concerned that they want me out of the hospital within 24 hours.

I can understand their worries. The hospital is no place to be after you have had surgery.There are all sorts of air born viruses etc. floating or flying around just waiting to enter into a weakened body. But making the 30 mile bumpy ride home on 99 just a few hours after having your knee cut open sawed, bored, scraped,bolted, and stapled back together again make me wince just thinking about it. Every bump, ouch! Well time will tell.

Until January 5 2018: Read a book, hug a child,pet a dog, stroke a cat, eat a bar of chocolate and say something nice behind someone’s back.

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