Aug 05

The Woody Allen Collection Sets 1-3 ???

I thought that I liked Woody Allen more than I did after watching this set. Woody has some hilarious moments, and has some nice touches on his more serious films, though Woody tends to be quite mono-thematic. This main themes or thought processes are…

  1. a)gee, there might be a god. Maybe. Maybe not.
  2. b)sex is the only justification for marriage. Without sex, move on.
  3. c)outside of personal relationships, life has no meaning.
  4. d)the family is dysfunctional.


So, let’s run through the films…

  1. 1)Bananas – Woody becomes a revolutionary in a third world banana republic
  2. 2)Sleeper – Woody wakes up a thousand years later, to discover that the world is slightly different. One of my favorite films
  3. 3)Interiors – Woody’s first serious film about a dysfunctional family.
  4. 4)Love and Death – a film that I never saw before, but liked tremendously, a comic serious film of Woody as a cowardly Russian during the Napoleonic Wars
  5. 5)Annie Hall – A Woody/Diane Keaton classic that is typical Woody’s angst for life
  6. 6)Manhattan – A black and white version with a different twist of Annie Hall
  7. 7)Everything you always wanted to know about sex But were afraid to ask – slightly comic film about sex.
  8. 8)Stardust Memories – Woody plays a film-maker in a dog-eat-dog world.
  9. 9)Broadway Danny Rose – Woody plays a two-bit show-biz agent in some comic antics with clients.
  10. 10) A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy – Somewhat humorous film that vaguely resembles Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, of three couples together, sorting out who belongs to who.
  11. 11)The Purple Rose of Cairo – A character from a swinging twenties film walks off of the film into the life of a now depression area small-town girl.
  12. 12)Radio Days – Life in Jewish New York in the Depression era
  13. 13) Zelig – Woody and a person trying to gain acceptance by miraculously transforming himself into his environment. Another of my favorite Woody films.
  14. 14) Hannah and Her Sisters – Life in a now grown up three sibling dysfunctional family
  15. 15) Alice – Mia Farrow plays a disenchanted high society woman who eventually discovers life in Calcutta. I never saw this before but liked it much as a film
  16. 16) Another Woman – A typical Woody film about the crisis of defining one’s spouse.
  17. 17) Crimes and Misdemeanors –  Another of my favorite Woody films that is probably the best portrayal of the harshness of guilt in a person’s life. A prominent doctor has a secret mistress threatening to expose him, and so is “terminated” by the doctor’s brother, a hit-man. Other sub-themes with Woody seemed unnecessary in the film.
  18. 18) September – Dreadfully boring, a serious film about dysfunctional family dynamics.
  19. 19) Shadows and Fog – one of Woody’s strangest films, with him and Mia Farrow as the main actors. The film is entirely in black and white, in a fog, and maintains a surrealistic atmosphere of escaping vigilantes attempting to catch a murderer, but still including all of the theses of Woody films mentioned above. Woody’s biggest problems with the films that he writes is the ending. This one is particularly true of that, in that Woody escapes life by joining the circus. Knowing Woody’s real life, this film is probably autobiographical.


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Aug 05

Manchmal lernte ich Franzozisch mit «French In Action». Und dann, habe ich Onkel Herbert kennengelernt, und er sagte, dass ich sollte Deutsch lernen. Ich dachte, dass Deutsch war sehr schwer, weil die Sprache haben Zeitformen und jedes Wort eine Geschlecht, alles das ist nicht für mich gewöhnlich, oder leicht zu errinern. Aber, ich habe sehr viele Freunden und Freundinnen die könnte Deutsch zu mir sprechen. Und denn hatte Tochter Diane «Deutsch Perfekt» mir empfolen, und es macht spa?, Deutsch zu lernen. Werde ich wieder Franzozisch lernen? Vielleicht, weil «French In Action» mit Pierre Capretz ist wirklich wohlgetan, und die beste Sprachkurse noch dass ich erfinden haben. Bitte, wenn du kannst diese Schreibung lesen und verstehen könnte, schreibe mir nur auf Deutsch!!!


Since most of my readers don’t read either French or German, I will stick mostly to English. Please note that I have added a page that includes a number of writings (Die Schriften) that I have done in the past. So, far I have up a number of articles that I wrote which were published in the Pierce County Medical Society Bulletin. Much has happened this month, and so will have a bit longer blog than previously. Please note one thing…I don’t heavily re-read my blogs, and will find grammatical errors in my writing. Please ignore them, as I am also aware of them!


  1. 1)As a continuation of my language study, we were visited by a French student who is here in America to learn English. So, it was a crash re-learn of French. I can’t believe how much I forgot. I need to review French once in a while to keep my brain active.
  2. 2)Bicycle riding– on 02-04AUG, I did the Courage Classic, a three day bicycle ride across three of the higher passes in Washington. The details can be found in Kritik/Bike rides. It was 172 miles (277 km) total, and about 5000 ft (1500 m) climb every day, but went well, and mostly beautiful weather. I think that we last went across Snoqualmie pass this winter during the most harsh winter storm. And to think that Stevens pass and Blewett pass were barely crossed at the same time by several visiting relatives, the Dietrichs from Oregon and Mosers from Iowa. I’m sure they will see the posted pictures and fail to recognize anything with the snow gone and wonder how anybody could get across those passes on a bicycle!
  3. 3)Sammy had his 2nd birthday. Cool!!!!

  4. 4)Decisions, decisions… time for a Sabbatical. Hopefully, my group can adjust to a year’s absence. It has become clear to me that I must take a year’s break to prevent absolute and total insanity from hitting. See below for thoughts on this…
  5. 5)Diane returns home. That will happen this coming Saturday. Rachel comes in early next week. I’ll be taking a week off to do some backpacking with them. I am discovering more fully and deeply that my best friends are my own family (sorry, Ara and Petie!–you’re still my best friends.). And, I’ll be training to do the Portland Century on 24AUG. I hope to do this with Lucas Anderson, who was with me on the STP, goading me on. He’s a super rider and a super-guy, a real pleasure to spend time with him. This will all be in my next blog.


OK. That’s the month. What’s on my mind? There are several things that I would like to do in the coming year.  First is to do some overseas medical/mission work. I now have a number of opportunities arising. a) Bangladesh would be my preference, although it doesn’t seem to be sorting out well, for reasons I don’t know. b) China. I helped an Oncologist in town get settled into practice, and so he will be looking for a hospital in mainland China where I could spend some time. He will be back to China for the Olympics, and then touch base with a number of hospitals for a possible place for me and Betsy. Apparently, the Chinese are desperate for American trained surgeons to teach and instruct them, since they do not have Western exposure to our surgical traditions, and are trying to incorporate into the Western world. c) Thirdly was a possible opportunity to go to Africa.


I also would like to do some thru-hiking. What that means is when one hikes for longer than just a few days at a time. Considerations include doing the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and 2600 mile trail which goes from Mexico to Canada, and takes about 4-5 months. See the PCT websitefor details. The main problems with simple Mexico to Canada thru-hiking is that one never hits many of the most splendid sections of the trail at the right time of the year. The other possibility is to do sectional hiking, which is to do portions of the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest trail in order, hitting them at the right time. As an example, one of the most beautiful parts of the PCT is the high Sierra around Kings’ Canyon/Sequoia National Park, which you are hitting in early June when it is still under snow. Better to do it a little later in the year. I am looking for friends to do some thru-hiking with me, and I already am encountering a number of people my age in medicine or at church who have hit the “burn-out” phase of their life in their early 50’s, looking for a diversion like this. Sign up early at a discount…


I would also consider a long-distance bicycle ride, either across country, or from Mexico to Canada along the coast, or possibly in Europe.


The only thing that discourages me from long-distance hiking or bicycling is that Betsy would probably not do it with me, since that doesn’t seem to be her cup of tea. That’s okay, but, she’s the only person in life that I really enjoy being with for months to years at a time. If I do something long, I’ll probably try to get her to drive a car along as a support vehicle. That would work for either hiking or bicycling, and be a super support and make the organizational strategy much simpler. But, I haven’t talked to her yet about this, so give me a chance to break it in slowly with her!


Other news. I now am going off of Plavix, which is a drug which inhibits platelet activity. Multiple bruises and painful joints later, I can stop that cursed drug.  I’ve been given a SecurID from the hospital. I have no idea what to do with it, and it’s just another thing to tie up the multiple thingies that I need to constantly keep on my key chain. It’s that silly blue and grey thing in the upper left hand corner.

I’m going to need a larger pocket for my keys. I also gave up the regular cell phone and Palm pilot for an iPhone.

I got Betsy a white one, and me a black one. They are wonderful, especially since I use Macs, I am able to integrate my scheduling calendar, contact list, phone, iPod music, and everything into a small gadget that I toss in my shirt pocket and goes unnoticed.


Finally, I received notice that Aunt Dolly was fighting a fairly advanced gastric cancer. Since our family moved out west, we really never got to know our uncles or aunts very well. Dolly and Emma were the two that I remember most of the aunts, and uncle John, Raymond and Gus of the men in dad’s family, though I also have vivid childhood memories of many of the others like Alfred, Carl, and Paul. Apparently, after Dolly, there are only two uncles left on dad’s side of the family, and neither are in the best health. It is pause for reflection that sometime soon, as another generation passes, that we too will soon be a past generation, and that every one of us will have to give an account before God of our life on earth. I will end with a saying of the wisest of all men, found in Proverbs 16:1-9

The plans of the heart belong to man,

but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,

but the LORD weighs the spirit.

Commit your work to the LORD,

and your plans will be established.

The LORD has made everything for its purpose,

even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the

LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,

and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.

When a man’s ways please the LORD,

he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better is a little with righteousness

than great revenues with injustice.

The heart of man plans his way,

but the LORD establishes his steps.


So, Betsy and I carry on, these are our marching orders, plotting and planning, but trusting in God to so order our lives to please Him, giving thanks to Him for our life and health and for the life He gave for us.


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