Surgery! (Nov 2020)

This Thanksgiving weekend I am thankful for so many things. Right now I am so thankful for the ability to breath through my nose again! About a week ago I underwent surgery, a septoplasty to correct a deviated septum that had been blocking 90% of my nasal passage since birth or early childhood.
This was the first time I’d ever been ‘put under’ with general anaesthesia or been through any major procedure, and all I can say is wow! I am not taking anything for granted. I’m going to give a brief description of what it was like for me at the end of the email to spare anyone who doesn’t want to hear the details. Suffice to say I am doing fine now, feeling very grateful for science and medicine and Medicaid and the basic goodness of humans and the amazing power of the human body to heal.
I’m used to a pretty active lifestyle so suddenly doing nothing at all for 4-5 days after the operation was a big change for me, but I think the ‘new normal’ of the pandemic helped prepare me for it. At this point I’m doing almost nothing other than practicing and reading, cooking and going for walks, and it feels great.
Gobble gobble, y’all. In this email I just have a few tidbits to share:
– Concert footage from the G.A.R. Hall on Patreon
– Dec 4 Is Bandcamp Day
– Corn Potato Reissues…???
– Book Report


Concert footage from the G.A.R. Hall on Patreon
The concert at the G.A.R. Hall two weeks ago was the singular highlight of my performance career the past few months. It was truly an emotional and a musical high for everyone there, and I went into it knowing it may be a long time until I get to do something like this again, so I am glad it was recorded so nicely and I’m glad to be able to share it for my Patreon supporters.


If you haven’t joined yet please do! For less than the price of a cup of coffee you’ll get all kinds of sweet exclusive content and you’ll be helping me continue to spend time making music.


I plan to make parts of the concert public in the next month or so, so even if you don’t join me on Patreon you’ll still have the chance to see some parts of this fine concert.
Dec 4 Is Bandcamp Day
The benevolent lords of Bandcamp have decided once again to bestow upon us pitiful artists the bounty of the full amount people donate for our music, on this one day and this one day only.


SAVE THE DATE, Dec 4 is the day to buy CDs and downloads from Bandcamp! For reference, here, once again, is



Links with an *asterisk* have a physical CD option, perfect for stocking stuffers or coasters or roofing shingles!
Corn Potato Reissues…???
You may have noticed that the Corn Potato links do not include an option for physical CDs, and that’s because I don’t have any more Corn Potato physical CDs. I’ve gotten a request from TWO people so far to reprint the four CDs the band has made, but I will need to hear interest from at least TWENTY people before I feel confident I can fork over the dough to get the CDs made.


I was really counting on selling a lot of Mozart of the Banjo CDs this spring and summer on tour, and that didn’t happen, so I don’t have the cash (and storage space) I was expecting to have for things like this. However, if I hear from enough people that they would buy the set of four CDs (for, say, $60 + shipping?) I will go ahead and get them made. So if you are interested, please write me back and let me know!
Book Report
While I was in bed for four days I read Indivisible By Four: A String Quartet In Pursuit Of Harmony, by Arnold Steinhardt. This is a nonfiction book about the origin and story of the Guarneri Quartet, written by the group’s first violinist.


I’ve always loved chamber music since I was young, and the Guarneri Quartet has long represented the gold standard in string quartets. Playing in small groups has always been my favorite part of being a musician, and Steinhardt does a great job of describing the joys and difficulties of string quartet playing.


The book reads well, and I would recommend it to readers who love classical music or who have a special interest in small group dynamics, but for anyone else I’d say it’s a little boring. I enjoyed it quite well, especially the details on how the group conducts rehearsals and business affairs in such a way that they’re still playing together some 40 or almost 50 (?!) years later.


The book was mentioned by Dennis Lichtman at an early Lovestruck Balladeers rehearsal in reference to group dynamics and rehearsal practices, I made a note to self that I should read it some time, and now I have read it. Thank you, Dennis, and thank you Arnold Steinhardt.


That’s all for now
And thank you for staying with me and reading my missives. Keep in touch, stay warm, and you’ll be hearing from me again before long.





Everyone at the hospital was wonderful and I experienced no pain at all, only some discomfort here and there. I am still technically recovering for a few more days but I feel 100% with only a tiny bit of stiffness left in my nose.
The first few days after surgery were pretty tough as my nose was packed with big earplug-esque expanding-foam packing about the size of a lighter in each side, so I couldn’t breathe out of my nose at all, and my throat was sore from being intubated, so swallowing anything was very hard, and sneezing was a nightmare.
There was plenty of leakage the first few days as well, so until I got the packing out I wore a big piece of gauze taped under my nose. I had to keep my head upright so sleeping was tough, but I used some guided meditation sleep aids I found online and they helped a lot. I only left my bed to eat and use the bathroom, and I didn’t have much appetite.
I don’t think I’ve ever done so little for such a long time that I can recall, but it worked. When I went for my post op exam the doctor said I had healed up nicely. So now I only have a few more days until I’m once again allowed to resume normal activities like exercise and blowing my nose.