South of the Border: A musical house call The other evening I was visiting with my good friend and patient Stephen. We enjoy sharing music together. “South of the Border" is a popular song describing a trip to Mexico, written by Jimmy Kennedy and Michael Carr and published in 1939 for the film of the same name starring country star Gene Autry. Great song! Such imagery and pathos! I would add that I’m always humbled by the fact that, besides being a great crooner, Stephen is one of the greatest chemists of his generation, and (among many other things) was the head scientist in charge of making sure that the thrusters worked for the first NASA landing on the moon! At 99 and still going strong, Stephen is an example for all of us. Enjoy, Dr. Weiss PS Be sure to listen for our vocal duet at the 2 minute mark!
Antiquum Farms - Organic Viticulture This is for all of you who appreciate wine. While visiting my son (who graduated recently from the University of Oregon) in Eugene, we had the pleasure of staying at Antiquum Farms, an organic farm in the Willamette Valley. Here I am out in the vineyard with owner Stephen Hagen talking about growing grapes without herbicides, and natural methods such as letting the sheep, geese and chickens do the grazing (the animals can clear 6 acres in 10 days!) This organic micro-site specific farming is referred to as grazing based viticulture. According to Stephen: “We use intensive rotational grazing to cycle nutrients from diverse cover crops to the vines. This intermitant grazing creates cycles of root die-off which release and retain microbial life and organic matter. Top dressings of consumed cover crops are carried back to the vine roots by these stimulated microbes and other creepy crawleys. Several years of this practice have lead to a vineyard that needs no fertilizer from outside the farm, creating a unique wine that is truly site specific.” In any case, we really enjoyed our visit and the wine! I hope you find this as interesting as we did! Enjoy, [...]
All of your comments regarding Dr. Weiss, staff, and your satisfaction The best! Explained every detail, answered every question, called after surgery to check on me. Truly gifted and caring. The staff is so kind. I felt I could call with any question or concern. They are amazing and love each and every one of them. Well run, friendly, professional office The office staff is very friendly and makes me feel welcome each visit. Dr. Weiss's caring and compassion plus enthusiasm for sharing his other interests/hobbies is a pleasant surprise in this day of "sterile" patient/doctor interactions. they are always kind and friendly Dr Weiss always makes me feel welcomed as a person and not just a client I really appreciate the good energy everyone in the office has. Everyone seems to be happy to be there. Everyone provides great service and make you feel welcome. Dr Weiss always goes above and beyond!!! I can’t say enough great things about this office. He is very friendly and has great bedside manner You do great work and I always looked forward to going to your office I am having my procedure on DATE REDACTED and very excited. So far I’m very [...]
99% of you had Excellent or Very Good procedure results and experiences! 98% of you have had an Excellent or Very Good experience with our staff! These results (and especially the next section which includes all of your free-form comments) have brought tears of joy to our eyes! We’d like to send a big thank you to all 106 patients who participated in the survey for helping us improve in providing the highest quality care. All of your comments regarding Dr. Weiss, staff, and your satisfaction The best! Explained every detail, answered every question, called after surgery to check on me. Truly gifted and caring. The staff is so kind. I felt I could call with any question or concern. They are amazing and love each and every one of them. Well run, friendly, professional office The office staff is very friendly and makes me feel welcome each visit. Dr. Weiss's caring and compassion plus enthusiasm for sharing his other interests/hobbies is a pleasant surprise in this day of "sterile" patient/doctor interactions. they are always kind and friendly Dr Weiss always makes me feel welcomed as a person and not just a client I really appreciate the good energy [...]
The Gift of Sight Written by Richard Weiss, M.D. for the “Chicken Soup” series, “Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul” I will never forget the look on Stevie Wonder’s face. In appreciation of Stevie lending his name to our One World Sight Project, an effort to cure world blindness, I was giving him a small token of our thanks. There is a blind sculpture garden in the Picasso museum in the south of France that publishes a book that recreates some of Picasso greatest works in relief for the vision impaired. The book is stark white, resembling the Beatles’ white album, and after several pages in Braille, there followed 15-20 embossed Picasso artworks. Because Stevie had always been blind, I was not sure that he would be able to recognize and appreciate drawings and symbols, a skill sometimes absent in people visually impaired from birth. I held my breath as I placed his hands on the book and he began to turn the pages, closely examining each one. “Wait a minute, let’s go back a few pages,” he exclaimed. The expression on his face at the sudden recognition of one of the previous pages was to me worth all of [...]
Today I couldn't decide which song to choose, so here are the two Weiss Music Minute finalists! (recorded 3/16/19) First up, we have everyone's favorite Irish song: Danny Boy. This song was first written down in an old Irish song book from 1855 when it was called “Londonderry Air.” Although I had seen this title before, I didn’t happen to know that an air (Italian: aria) is a song-like vocal or instrumental composition. Or also that "The Londonderry Air" is an air that originated in County Londonderry, one of the original counties of the Kingdom of Ireland from 1613 onward. [Courtesy of Wikipedia :-) ] This is my short arrangement of a traditional song with a non-traditional ending. “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover” was composed by Henry MacGregor Woods, who also wrote the music for "When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)”! Although Woods became legendary from this song, in modern times the song is probably most associated with Merrie Melodies cartoons (maybe that’s where I first heard it). It’s also a common tune played by the string bands in Philadelphia's Mummers Parade (a shout out to my home town, Philadelphia! Picture the Mummers strutting to this [...]
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Today's songs are all love songs, starting with "The Theme from Love Story" (about love in sickness and in health), and followed by three Weiss Music Minutes: "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "Waltz at Maxim's" (both about the exhilaration of newly discovered love) and "Gigi" (about love suddenly realized.) “The Theme from Love Story”, written by Francis Lai, kicks off our Valentine’s day songs. Love Story is considered one of the most romantic films ever by the American Film Institute (and the one that gave rise to the famous quote: "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Still can't understand that one!) This is the 1970 role that catapulted Ali McGraw to international fame. In fact, in 1972, MacGraw was voted the top female box office star in the world. I just realized that this timeless song may have been written in a classical fashion to coincide with the fact that MacGraw's character was a student of classical music. On this day in 1988 we lost Frederick Loewe, who composed the music for "I Could Have Danced All Night". This is a love song from the musical My Fair Lady, with lyrics by [...]
Today we honor the work Dr. King did in order to help transform the promise of America into a reality for more of its citizens. In my office I have two unique paintings of Dr. King and his wife Coretta. They are unique in that they're painted on cross-sections of natural wood; the bark of the tree still clings to the sides. I inherited the paintings from my father-in-law, who obtained them from the Canadian artist Hetty Fredrickson (Hetty's story itself is interesting as well - you can read a bit more about it from her son, who details her life and artistry: http://walraven.org/hetty/hetty.html). So today we'd like to join others around the country in remembering and honoring the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.
As you've probably read in the email (you ARE on our email list right? ), I sat down to record a version of "Waltz of the Flowers" last night, and completed the recording only to find that I already had a previous version of the same movement! Well, rather than discard a take, I thought it would be interesting to share both pieces of music with you. While they are similar, there are certain differences in the performance that I can hear. I'm curious - which one do you like better? There are also slight differences in the recordings - (and a couple wrong notes) but I'm interested in the difference in performances, rather than sound quality or notes. This contest also gives me another opportunity to spotlight Weiss Music Minutes! As you may recall, I have been trying to offer evidence that the essence of many complete musical ideas (and songs) can be distilled down to under 60 seconds. I'm hope you'll agree that you will recognize this piece of music by Tchaikovsky as a complete musical concept - in just a minute! Let me know which one you preferred, and if your opinion happens to land in the majority, you'll get [...]
Happy Thanksgiving week everyone! Since it's a holiday week, I've got an extra special treat for you - both a medical blog and a music blog! We're all busy and short on time - so I'm introducing 2 new continuing features: Weiss Medical Minutes and Weiss Music Minutes. Each Weiss Medical Minute is approximately one minute long and contains a concise medical discussion or explanation. With Weiss Music Minutes I will try to make the case that many complete musical songs or ideas can be fully expressed in 60 seconds or less. Let's see what you think. I hope your long weekend involves a lot of friends, family and love - things we can all be thankful for! Weiss Medical Minute - Eyelid Surgery Common Questions Eyelid surgery is fairly quick and relatively pain-free, but everyone has questions! Here are answers some of your most common questions about eyelid surgery. Weiss Music Minute - Tennessee Waltz Here's a one-minute cover of the Tennessee Waltz, one of my favorite songs, written by Redd Steward and Pee Wee King.