Monday, April 22, 2024


Bad and good? One wonders. 

I got a phone call today from some local medical organization. Sometimes when I get calls I remain clueless as to who exactly is on the other end of the line.

The lady informed me that my recent medical records were checked and she was horrified that the Livingston Hospital discharged me so quickly.

According to the records, when I first arrived my temperature was nearly 104, blood pressure was high - - and my blood tests revealed dubious bacterias. I told her to relay the information to my home care nurses.

The woman was outraged that I'm not currently hospitalized. I told her I was going to Cookeville for a CT scam - - which was true.

The dreaded day came. I had to wait for the transport service to come and get me. My expectations were very low.

I dragged my wheelchair down the front porch steps (very risky business) and waited in the front yard for the non-arrival.

It was a very beautiful day. Trees bursting with fledgling green, wildflowers, birds and bees everywhere.

While I sat in abject apprehension, the CHURA transit vehicle arrived right on time! After I regained consciousness I gave thanks to God. 

The driver was the same woman who refused to take me last February (because of the mud). She turned out to be absolutely wonderful - one of the best drivers ever.

I wore my contact lenses, so I could actually see. The scenery was glorious - -  endless green hills, forests, blossoming trees, cattle, horses. I wish I could share the spectacular beauty with you.

All in all it was a good day, except for the bad medical news. I have more dire health issues than I dare to reveal on this blog.

We arrived in (crowded) Cookeville on time. My outpatient appointment was for 2:45. I had to wait longer than expected.....and when I was finally called another long wait awaited me.

I was given a 20 oz. bottle of water to drink before the test, which was curious. I've had many CT scans, but none of them required consuming water. I kept hoping I wouldn't have to pee (I did, after the scan).

I had to wait 45 minutes for the new transport vehicle to arrive. The driver was an elderly man. He was nice but tired - - said he'd been working twelve hours straight.

Good and bad tidbits.

My huge box of frozen food arrived on time, but it was left on my car (!!!!) instead of the front porch. There was no way I could get it. Two days later I got someone to bring it to me. Thankfully the almost-thawing food was still good.

My Walmart deliveries are a week late - - delayed in transit. That means I'll never see them. Call to customer service upcoming.

I finally found a local man who will brush hog my property (secret hillbilly term). He will come on Thursday or Friday.

One of the nurses contacted a gravel company to get an estimate for putting gravel in my driveway (my request). Unfortunately I was hospitalized and don't know what transpired.

There was a hard frost last night. Had to turn the furnace on and use my winter blanket. At the end of April.

Go figure.

Yours eternally, Jon

 Photo from my front "yard"

Saturday, April 20, 2024


The past few days were hell. My edema was so bad that the nurse practitioner sent me to Jamestown Medical Center. They (eventually) sent me to the Livingston Hospital. Tests and medication. Went home the next day.

I initially felt good but within a few hours I started to feel alarmingly rotten. I suddenly had a fever of 103. I was sent back to Livingston. Tests and medication. No tangible resolutions, but most of the tests were basically good with no problems.

The entire ordeal was strange, since I was feeling fine for a long time - - and I haven't had a fever in years.

To be continued......

hopefully.          Jon

Tuesday, April 16, 2024



In my previous post, I subjected you to the notorious Polonaise Militaire - - my least favorite composition by Chopin.

To be brutally honest, I shared that video solely to show off my pianistic virtuosity. Which is impressive (*smile*).

On this post, I'm going to torture you with another composition that I dislike - - Clair de lune by Claude Debussy (1862 - 1918), from the Suite Bergamasque.

The piece (inspired by an 1869 poem by Paul Verlaine) is a lovely composition. The reason that it irks me is because it is mercilessly over-played. 

Every pianist who can sit upright at a keyboard has performed this piece, often to the point of ad nauseam. They sway and swoon in a saccharine trance, conveying their nightmarish interpretation of moonlight.

I'm not the swooning type. My interpretation is sometimes considered crude or rough around the edges. And too fast.

Many pianists take over five agonizing minutes to get through this piece. I take four and a half minutes.

Interestingly, I discovered a 1913 recording of Debussy playing this piece himself. He takes less than four minutes - - a little faster than me.

I was delighted that Debussy had nearly the same tempo as myself. Neither of us swooned.

The thing I dislike the most about my video recording is that the camera was too close to the piano, giving the audio a harsh tone.

(Video best viewed full-screen)


Here is Debussy performing his Clair de lune in 1913. His rhythm is refreshingly unique.

Thursday, April 11, 2024



Polonaise Militaire

A major   op.40 no.1

By Frederic Chopin (1810 - 49)

When I found this piano video in my files yesterday, I cringed. When I dared to watch it, I couldn't stop laughing.

First, I must establish the fact that I love Chopin's music and have performed many of his compositions. As a pianist/composer, he was a sublime genius.

It is with regret and abject humility that I confess there is one of his compositions that I intensely dislike - - the notorious Military Polonaise.

Chopin wrote at least twenty polonaises (give or take), most of which are superb. This is the only one that irks the heck out of me.


In a proverbial nutshell, it is too long and annoyingly loud. The massive amount of repeats makes it seem endless (some pianists skip the repeats, but I don't).

It is incredibly loud - - ranging from forte to triple forte. There is nowhere in the composition to insert a soft tone. The possibility of pianissimo doesn't exist.

On the positive side, it is technically demanding - - definitely not for wimpy pianists. Performing it requires courage, strength, fortitude, and large hands.

While watching this video, I remember some of the thoughts going through my mind as I was performing this:

It's endless....completely endless. I'm in Keyboard Hell.

I've never seen so many octaves in one place.

Earplugs! I should have worn earplugs!

I should have taken up the clarinet.

Please! Somebody - - shoot me!


That smile at the end was a smile of relief.

Cheers, Jon