Archive for April, 2010
I finished reading The Knife Man, a biography of 18th-century physician, John Hunter, the father of modern surgery. It’s a fascinating portrait of an obsessive personality whose work was a vital foundation for subsequent giants like Charles Darwin and Edward Jenner. The subtitle of the paperback edition –“Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery”– hints at the historical setting, a time of religious orthodoxy when medicine was practiced without pain killers and gross anatomy studied sans refrigeration.
Some of our earlier bloomers, especially pulmonaria and rhododendrons, are beginning to show off. This is a bloom from a ‘Starbright Champagne’ rhoddy, tucked away toward the back of our property and rarely seen. It’s particularly beautiful this year.
One of the enduring effects of my tenure at Microsoft was a sore right index finger; the result of millions of mouse clicks over the past fourteen years. I had received cortisone injections a couple of years ago but after another flare-up last fall the hand specialist recommended surgery for a permanent fix. Microsoft insurance finally approved the procedure two months after I retired and almost five months after my last visit to the doctor. However, Friday morning it was off to the hospital for a remarkably quick, fifteen-minute procedure. I’m supposed to be functional again in a couple of weeks. I hope so; I have a golf trip scheduled for Desert Canyon on May 7th.
I’ve never been to an opening day baseball game so it became one of the things on my retirement To Do list. In spite of the Mariners’ inept offense and the 4-0 loss it was great fun. I got to Safeco Field early to see all the pre-game festivities highlighted by Randy Johnson‘s first pitch. Ivar’s fish and chips weren’t bad either. I began the day with a pleasant eighteen holes at Mt. Si. The weather was almost more fall like than springy. But the cool air and chirping birds provided a relaxing few hours and a reasonable 89 put me in good spirits for the rest of the day.
Who woulda thunk it? The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11,005 today, up 4,458 points from the close of business on March 9, 2009. I remember thinking around that time that it would be five years at least until we saw DJIA at 10,000 let alone over 11K. This all reminds me of the 1987 crash when the market dropped 500 points to close at 1,738. I was attending a trade show that day at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim and figured my tiny little savings and incipient 401k account would never amount to much. But here I am just a little over twenty years later planning on living on those savings.
After a record mild winter, we’re having a rather dismal early spring. We’ve had some rain or showers almost every day since March 21 and today… what a surprise! A dusting of snow decorated the trees –and surprised our ducks– early in the morning. Throughout the day we’ve had periods of bright sunshine, rain, sleet and snow. I did some yard work early in the day and then settled in to watch the first rounds of the Masters Golf tournament.