Readers will be aware that I’m recovering, slowly, from having my left knee replaced. (It’ll be three weeks tomorrow since the surgery.) The operation was actually a redo of the original job, last March, which turned out to have been botched.
Total knee replacement is major surgery — it inflicts a grievous wound, and the recovery is slow and painful. For several weeks the patient must take strong medications for pain. That makes it hard to concentrate without fatigue, and, for me at least, it made reading and writing productively all but impossible.
To pass the time, then, I found myself listening to the radio a lot. And the best thing about that, both this time around and last, has been listening to John Batchelor in the evenings. If you’ve never heard his show, I recommend it to you all; it’s on the air for four hours, six days a week, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern time.
Mr. Batchelor is something of a political conservative, but that’s not the attraction here: he is a cultured man of high intelligence, with a roving curiosity that seems to touch upon, if you listen long enough, just about every topic imaginable. (This isn’t to say he doesn’t have particular interests, though: he does, and they are history, global politics, strategic security, and space exploration.) He is joined every night by erudite guests, and the conversation is always entertaining and informative. It’s real, old-fashioned, grown-up stuff, and you should tune in sometime. You can hear him during broadcast hours by going to the WABC-AM website and catching the live stream, or download podcasts from his own site.
I’m grateful to John Batchelor for easing many weary and uncomfortable evenings. If there’s a bright side to knee arthroplasty, this is it.