Über mich

It is difficult to know what to put in here. I don’t want to say too much, or too little. I could insert my CV, but it would tell you next to nothing about me. Rather, you might learn about me from my book, movie and music reviews, and that would be more informative than anything else. You would also notice the comments regarding bike rides and hiking trails that I’ve done. Maybe you could be a part of one of my ventures. Remember, it’s really about you, and not me.
So, what makes me tick? First and foremost, I am a Christian. Of course, that can mean just about anything. For me, it means that I believe the Scriptures of the the Bible to be the inspired word of God in their entirety. This implies that my entire life must be informed by the word of God, and so I spend a time every morning in Scripture, usually reading through the Bible at least once a year. I read through the Scripture, since I consider every part of Scripture as equally relevant and important. Thus, I do not favor the New Testament, or any other book as being more important, or relevant, or applicable, than any other portion of Scripture. I grew up in an Anabaptist Amish-Mennonite style denomination, of whom I still have the deepest and fondest feelings. They enjoyed a better sense of community, though not necessarily of fellowship, of any group that I’ve ever belonged to. During residency, our family attended Moody Bible church in Chicago, and then a Southern Baptist church in Biloxi, MS. We were so taken back by the trite traditionalism and Southern mentality of that church, that I longed for either the church of my youth or something similar. But, my theology had changed to that of a Covenantal Reformed type thinking. It’s hard not to be Reformed if one is truly serious about the entirety of Scripture. We finally found our “fit” to a church in the Northwest with the Presbyterian Church in America, conservative in that they hold a high view of Scripture, yet are deeply Reformed.
Secondly, I love my family. There is nothing more enjoyable than being able to interact with the children, and with Betsy. As each of the children grow up, I find each of them as becoming quite different from the rest, but also developing personalities that I personally thoroughly enjoy being around.
Thirdly, I love the outdoors. I have long given up my greatest love, which was that of climbing. Hopefully, I could again stand on top of Mt. Hood, or possibly even Mt. Rainier. Yet, I get nearly as much enjoyment by hiking around those Mountains, which does allow more interaction with your friend or family that happens to be with you. Climbing forces a distance between you and me to maintain minimal slack on the rope. While I do some down-hill skiing, I mostly love cross-country, since it gets you out and away from everything. It is just another form of hiking. My ventures have recently entailed bicycle riding, which has been good at keeping me in good exercise shape.
I love to travel. Europe is my preferred location, though a trip to the Caribbean (Jamaica) is always nice and relaxing. I like Jamaica because it is not terribly expensive, and because the food and culture are just awesome. Even still, Europe remains my first choice. There are so many places yet to explore, so many places that scream history, places that are just waiting for me and Betsy to visit.  Hopefully, I will be able to combine Europe travel and bicycling, and am plotting out possible bicycle trips to Europe.
I love reading and music. My desk has a constant stack of books around it, waiting to be read. There is not enough time in the day to read. I will rarely ever read a novel or fiction. Usually, it it is either history, theology, or current events/philosophy. Most of the time, one can combine listening to music and reading. Not always. My favorite music remains classical, even modern classical, as it tends to be more complex, innovative, transcendent.
I love Medicine. Those who read my blog may think that I feel differently. I don’t like what medicine has become, impersonal to both doctor and patient, and focused on the financial bottom line. Not that the bottom line is not important, but the reason everything in Medicine costs so much is more a factor of government meddling rather than anything doctors have done. I love my patients, and the joy of interacting with them. Then, nothing is more thrilling than to tackle a complex surgical case, knowing that few people in the world could possibly do what I am doing.
I love you. This should probably be toward the top of the list. Regardless of what one may do, there is nothing more delightful than enjoying something with somebody else. You can do a magnificent solo hike, or travel solo to the ends of the earth, but all you bring back are fading memories and photos, which never show anything like seeing it in real life. Yet, having somebody there to enjoy things with you makes everything meaningful. Going to an opera is nice; going with somebody else is sublime. I believe that God created us for relationships, and that is what we should do, whether we are relating directly to Him, or to somebody else. There is nothing I value more than family and friends. When you come over to our place, I will often try to get you outside (I love the outdoors!) for a good brew (German beer, naturlich!) or wine (I really like Northwest, Spanish and Italian wines — California wines usually just don’t cut it, or are too expensive) and a nice cigar. While I never smoke, a rare occasional cigar with friends works wonders at slowing one down, and forcing one to interact with each other. One cannot enjoy a good cigar and remain silent. It is too good of an experience.


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