I am currently at central command post and have just a few minutes during which I can write.

Went up to northern Califronia last several days.

Got back last night.

i have been trying out something which Yamaha had dubbed "the silent violin".

I saw one in the window at Musik Hug's store which is next to the Grossmunster (which, just for the record, means the Great Minster, as in a place where people live;  across the bridge is the Fraumunster, which is the Women's MInster;  see if you can figure that one out;  and originally the chapel between the two minsters was in the river with bridge adjoining the Great Minster, the Women's Minster, and the chapel;  sounds very romantic to me;  but then, that's just me, a dyed in the wool romantic if ever there was one).

At any rate, I had seen a video which played at our local Fry's Electronics store over and over for months on end, in which three scantilly clad young (?) girls were playing three of these electronic violins for all they were worth, with a real live string section backing them up.

I thought it was interesting, except for the circus  atmosphere, which could not be less appropriate where people like me would be concerned.

I wondered how long it would be before we would see a fully electronic orchestra.

And whether I was the one stuck with the job of putting it together.

Blessings and curses.

Mainly curses, so far as I could see, as I looked at the proposition and wondered whether it was anything in which I would want to be involved.

The little handwritten sign in the window which said "Silent Violin" caught my eye.

I thought it was very catchy.

We have always called these "electronic" violins, as they has evolved over the years.

But the idea of a "silent" violin?

Well, as anyone knows who has tried to practice their latest bowing experimentations, you can easily find yourself murdered in cold blood, by any on numerous different persons in very short order.

Especially if you really start to "let it all hang out".

All piano players know about the sign which reads "Please don't kill the piano player".

Here, nobody is going to bother to make a sign because the poor would-be violinist will be long dead long before anyone has time to make the sign.

So, the idea of being able to practice with relative silence is something which will immediately strike someone who has ever had to deal with this problem.

Wow, talk about starting to have to think outside of the box.

There is no box, here.

Outside the box is all that exists.

My kind of place.

Well, at anyway, anyone who is around me much knows that I love to take my musical instruments out into the wilds with me.

Some of my fondest memories were of playing guitar for the trees in the high Sierras, in a high mountain meadow.

There is simply nothing like it.

After awhile I realized that a mandolin could be very useful for the same purposes, because of it's much smaller size, and easier portability.

But, the violin?

That's like taking your synthesizer with you when you go hiking.

It probably will not work out anything like you had hoped or expected.

You really have to concentrate with your full concentration (focus on the locus) on one or the other.

Trying to do both at once is simply little more than an fully orchestrated disaster in the making.

I can testify about this, having crashed and burned far more than once, when my eyes and mind were heavenward, while they apparently should have been earthward.

That #%$$**^& gravity gravity again, I tell myself as I survey the damage to my limbs - usually broken, at least sprained.

So, I have learned to pay at least some attention to the ground.

Like when I was standing on the cliff this morning, while standing above the waves which are breaking directly below me.

Now, practice bowing the song this way, then that way.

Now, open your eyes every so often and look down.

And remember as you sway with your eyes closed while thoroughly enjoyed the pleasant tune/s that you are standing one single inch from catastrophe.

Do not forget --- you are standing on the edge of a cliff, I keep telling myself, while being more and more amazed at our all-too-human capacity to neglect reality altogether.

It was a sobering remindder to me of how things can appear one way, but in actuality may play out an entirely other way than you ever saw coming.

Do I hear an "Amen"?

I'll bet I hear many of them on that score, whether they will ever admit to it out loud or not.

You must remember that in the world in which I have lived for many years lots of people do no make it home.

That's alive, or any other way for that matter.

Their day got short-circuited.

The plug got pulled.

I always wonder and wondered to myself, "What were they thinking that morning?".

A number of these persons were very close and dear personal friends of mine.

So I can only ask myself the question/s all the more, knowing the person intimately such that I wonder with a far greater deal of precision and knowledge, which just makes it all the more painful and intolerable.

But, inquiring minds simply must know.

Then, of course, "Did they see it coming?"


I have had a number of friends over the years whose very closest and dearest loved ones did not make it home that night or day which they will never forget.

For many of them it was very life changing.

And that in a horrible way to have to watch and behold.

And, of course, those of us who care at all, are full of survivor's guilt and the fear that this will happen to us;  first, because we think we derserve it, and secondly, just because.

So, now the effects are widening, like the ripples on a pond after the rock has been skipped across the water.

This is very bad.

Because, even I, who am no relative at all, am equally, and maybe even more, devastated.

I say more, because some people have had the same things already happen to them, and now they must, in effect, watch a replay.

This can be very disheartening, to say the least.

And so, there you have it.

Perfect discussion material for the very gloomy grey weather which is currently engulfing Ventura in it's darkening grip.

I am not sure whether a storm is coming in, but I suspect such is the case.

If so, we may see some waves on the seawall tongiht.

I mean right at my front door.

I really do not like it when they start pounding on the door.

Hope that doesn't happen again.

What to do?

Oh what to do?

To late now.

Swim for your life.

This, of course is what happens if you sleep while the tide rises continuously.

You wake up on an island.

And you are it.

Not good.

That's why we love our coast.

It is simply so exciting that you don't even know if you'll wake up on the land or out on the ocean.

Well, it's been fun.

Really gotta go now.

Aloha oe.

5:50 p.m. pst
Ventura, California, USA