Dec 18

For English only speakers, the title means, “It’s Christmasing a little”. Yes, it is Christmas time, that most happy time of year. We should be having all the children home, including Rachel, who originally thought that she couldn’t make it. We are cutting costs a touch this Christmas season, not so much because of the economy, but rather owing to my pending absence of salary for a year.
The week before Christmas is cookie time, and we have been baking cookies fast and furiously. It wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas cookies! Recently, I also made up a bunch of Jerky and smoked salmon. The stuff you get in the store is more like leather than good jerky, so I like making my own. Essentially, you cut of a 2 cm thick piece of tough steak into thin 3-5 mm strips. They then get brined over-night, in my own personal secret solution.

The pieces are then washed and dried, peppered, and placed on racks to insert into a smoker.

Finally, the jerky is allowed to cool, and then placed in Ziploc bags in the refrigerator, to help keep them very fresh.

The Krankenhaus continues to be built, and it slowly is taking form. The hospital administration is telling us that it will be completed in December 2010, though the construction workers tell me that it is more realistic that a June 2011 timeframe is more probable. Here’s a few photos for you.

Parking Structure

Main Building

View with old hospital in the background. It’s coming along fairly steadily. We wait anxiously. Meanwhile, I am cleaning out my locker. The photo of my locker at the hospital is on the top of this blog. It is the only locker in the men’s changing room that has any stickers at all. I will not miss my locker or Good Samaritan Hospital, but will miss my patients seriously. There are too many patients that I have had very close interactions with. Many are giving me a call in the last few weeks. I hope that I can come back to Puyallup as a surgeon, though I will never return to the situation of call and administrative arrogance that has been plaguing me for the last few years. We’ll see what happens…

It remains my duty to continue philosophizing. I’ve appreciate Udo’s comments on Ayn Rand, and remain to be corrected. Adam Smith remains the Grundlage of conservative economics, yet it is not surprising to learn that he was a very close friend of David Hume, of whose thinking we owe the downfall of Christianity in the British Isles. His statue sits right outside of St. Giles Church in Edinburgh where John Knox preached for many years. It was Hume who essentially stripped the Scriptures of any form of miracle, identifying reality as only that which could be known by sense or experiment. As a polar opposite to Adam Smith was Karl Marx, who oddly found his safe haven in Londinium, after being expelled from Deutschland and France. Marx’s railing against capitalism identified that capitalism alienated the person from his work and social environment. Oddly, Marx failed to realize that his thinking alienated the person from himself. The self, in Marx’s system, has no sense or meaning save for what is conferred on that person from the state. Neither capitalism nor communism succeeds in the end since it fails to identify the true object of our alienation in the world. Both capitalism and Marxism are systems of greed, with Marxism actually being a more perverse form of greed, since it concludes that because everybody cannot have everything, everybody will then have nothing. Governmental forced wealth distribution according to Marxian principles will ultimately lead to the vast majority of the population being poor, with only a few having all the wealth. It is interesting to note how few societies had a substantial middle class such as has been seen in the non-Marxist Western world in the last 200 years. As society becomes more socialist, we are quickly loosing our middle class with the increasing separation of the very rich and very poor and fewer people in the middle. Scriptures speak of personal capital, suggesting the error of Marxism, yet makes very clear that our personal wealth is a gift from God, and not to be hoarded or acquired by means that are either dishonest or at the unfair advantage somebody else.
Und so ich weihnachte. Time to think about Christmas, God becoming man, a totally unique event in the history of mankind, and irreproducible, thus undiscoverable by Hume-ian methodology. Yet, the incarnation remains the most logical event that ever happened, the event that defines all existence and meaning. This makes Christmas is a most joyous time of the year. No time for sadness or philosophizing, but of family, friends, Christmas cookies, and Christmas carols that honor the Christ-event.
Frohe Weihnachten und Prosit Neujahr!
My next update will probably come from Düsseldorf, where I will try to update on a weekly basis, and thus will not announce with each new blog that comes out. Stay in touch, and drop me a line while I’m in Deutschland.

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