Well, I finally figured out how to outwit my netbook, I hope.

After my last post I went to bed at 2 a.m. and then got back out the door onto the street at 9 a.m. to go over to the Grossmunster (cathedral) for 10 a.m. Reformed Protestant service.

All of the city streets were empty.

The entire Bahnhoffstrasse had no one on it and just one very lonely looking trolley.

I have never seen such a thing.

It looked like something out of a science fiction movie.

I was in the Grossmunster for the first time about 15 or 20 years ago and was very impressed by the austerity.

If there are gold worshippers here, as you will see in so many of these cathederals across Europe, then they certainly are not showing it.

I remember from my first time seeing nothing but stonework.

And a gigantic statue of Charlemagne.

And that is it.

You want to talk about the protaganists of the iconoclastic controversies (i.e. no images in sanctuaries), then these would definitely be it.

The building itself has a fascinating history.

No one even knows for certain when it was built.

It is a known sacred site since the third century (200's).

While a smaller bullding was found beneath the foundations of the current building, the only dates known with any degree of certainty are in the 800's when Charlemagne was claimed to have visited the site.

He was said to have been on a very long hunt, beginning in Aachen.

As he was chasing his quarry for this very long distance it is claimed that his horse suddenly stopped and got down on it's knees.

It is claimed that this is something which horses do when they are on ground containing the bodies of martyrs.

In this case there were several very famous martyrs who were known to have been interred on the hill upon which the Grossmunster sits.

Charlemagne had his retainters dig around until they found the bones of the martyrs and then place them inside a building in order to house them in perpetuity.

More building was done, with some degree of certainty in the 1200's.

So, it is a very old building and it looks like it when you are inside.

They have a very nice pipe organ (with one more mediocre organist, I am sorry to have to say).

They had a 20-30 piece orchestra playing original ancient instruments and a fairly large choir (at least 100 persons).

The entire service went back and forth for two hours between readings from John's gospel, chapter 19 (the Christ stands before Pilate, in German, of course), and beautiful hymns from the 1500's and 1600's, and various pieces of sacred music from the same period and a few pieces from the 1700's.

Finally it culmnated with everyone standing and Praying the Lord's Prayer (in German, of course), and then a Zwinglian-style communion.

In this regard one should remember that the arguments at the time centered around "transubstantiation" (Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Catholic) versus "consubstantiation", versus "symbolic representation".

The Romans claimed to be turning bread into God.

The Lutherans claimed that while the bread doesn't magically turn into God, nevertheless, God is somehow magically present in the bread.

This seemed like a copout to many persons of the various Reformed faiths who claimed that is was a symbol only, and that there is no magic involved.

[As an aside, many historians believe that this is where the words Hocus Pocus come from, as Germanic peoples listened to the Roman priests mumbling while turning bread and wine into God, such that you must bow to it and worship it (on pain of death), and decided that what they were really saying was "hocus pocus".

And from there to the use of these words in a disparaging way meaning "nonsense" or "nonsensicalness", with all of the connotations of magic and sorcery which soon became attached to these words in our vocabulary.]

At any rate, I am not sure how the Zwinglians came down on this issue, off the top of my head, other than that they certainly did not subscribe to the ideas of transubstantiation.

I think they were really somewhere between Luther's consubstantiation and the Anabaptist's clear-cut position of symbolism alone.

The Romans and the Lutherans and the Reformers could all only agree on one thing and that was to kill every Anabaptist they could get their hands on.

This is why I am uncertain regarding what the Zwinglians actually believed.

Nevertheless, the communion service yesterday consisted of two piles of broken bread, each in it's own basket, and four goblets of real wine.

Everyone in the building walks up to the front while they are offered the basket of bread from which each takes a piece and then puts it in their mouth (with the utmost reverence), and then takes one of the four goblets and drinks from it.

I was in the very front row so that I was the first to have to go forward, having no idea what I was doing, or just exactly what they were going to do.

But somehow I managed to at least halfway look like I knew what I was doing, even though they were probably getting a bit of a laugh over my obvious uncertainty, while pretending to not be uncertain.

That is never a good thing, I think?

An interesting touch was a huge tree trunk with another piece of large branch forming a cross member, so that it is a tree in the form a crucifix, which is hanging directly over your head as you partake, while hoping that the strings that appear to be barely holding it up will not suddenly break.

It was a really moving experience.

I was very impressed as I watched hundreds of people coming forward and taking part in the most reverential manner conceivable.

I found myself unable to hold back the tears as I was deeply moved by the entire experience.

I am not a lover of rite and ritual by any stretch of the imagination, so that this is a very weird experience for me.

My religion is hyper personal and extremely private, and I typically worship anywhere but inside of a building.

I prefer mountaintops and ocean bottoms, personally.

I consider myself to be far more a son of Abraham than I do any modern religion.

Read in the book of Genesis how these pastoral persons worshipped out in the wilderness, in private, and you will begin to get an understanding of what I am talking about.

Right now it is 9:50 p.m. and the church bells have been going for the past five or ten minutes non-stop throughout the city.

It is such a beautiful sound, and one which I very much miss when I am at my home in California.

They go off all day long at different times, as a constant reminder to believers of all faiths and denominations to look up and to look outside of themselves.

So, following the service we went to get a bite to eat at one of the only restaurants which remained open, the Zeughauskellar.

It is right next door to the Heugumper, which was a favorite of my step-dad.

Heugumper means grasshopper.

And Zeughauskellar means the cellar of the city armory.

The building was built in 1487 and housed all of the weapons for the defense of the city.

It had a very colorful history and went through various different building programs.

Finally, after most of the building was destroyed the cellar of the armory was turned into this restaurant.

The walls are covered with different weapons from many different ages, complete with William Tell's bow, and an anti-aircraft gun over the entryway door.

They serve baby beef steaks which are pounded into thinness and then wrapped around a real sword and then cooked onto the sword, and then peeled off at your table (no I did not have one of these = too weird for me).

It is fun to watch.

After eating I gave the waiter a very generous tip.

No, he exclaimed, you cannot do this.

It is way too much (most Swiss do not tip).

He apparently did not know that I am fully conversant with the difference between Swiss Francs and Euros and dollars.

No, I told him, I want you to have this.

He very hesitantly and suspiciously took the money, wondering just exactly what I was up to (nothing, in actuality).

As we left I pulled him off to one side and told him that he was one of the best waiters I had ever seen, and that this restaurant was very fortunate to have him.

He beamed with a huge smile of gratitude.

To me, this is what life is all about.

We work very hard to take care of business over many years in order to be able to pass on some of the good fortune which has come our way and to share it with our fellow humans.

How can you put a price on this?

You cannot!

I made his day and he made my day.

It truly is more blessed to give than to receive, as any who have practiced this as a way of life will most definitely give witness to, though they be few and far between.

I believe that if you want blessing or to continue to have abundant blessing, then you had first better understand that you are a steward, and, in fact, own nothing, and that you can and should become a conduit for material blessing rather than become the pretended richest man on earth, or whatever ridiculous thing people will exchange for being a conduit.

Case in point.

After leaving I went over to the Bahnhoff (the main train station) which was lively as ever, in contrast with the rest of the city.

It was bustling with activity as many people were coming into town for the holiday four day weekend.

You can see a marvellous cross section of humanity in this train station.

And so I did, as I was walking along and saw a big white man pushing around a rather small and young black woman.

As I stopped to decide whether to intervene I listened and heard him talking on a cell phone to someone and telling whoever it was that this girl was not cooperating and was trying to escape him.

As she was apparently trying to break away from him as he continued to rough her up, right out in public, I decided I had had enough of this madness and walked up to him and told him to get his hands off of her right now and let her go.

He began yelling at me and threatening me and then told me he was going to call the police.

I told him not to bother because I would go and find one right now and return shortly to put an end to his assaultive behavior.

I then walked around to try to find the ever-present Zurich Kantonalpolizei, and for the first time ever could not find one anywhere in the underground area where we were at.

So, I returned to find him still battering her and stopping her from trying to get away from him.

Do you want to get away? I asked her.

Yes, she said.

Then let go of her right now, I told him.

Now he began yelling at me repeatedly, Are you crazy?  Are you drunk?

No, I answered, but you will let her go if she does not want you to be blocking her exit, and you will keep your hands off of her.

Finally, she spoke up, being visibly very frightened of this "man" and said, Just leave us alone.

Fair enough I said to myself, having seen this situation on numerous occasions where the abused (prostitute in this case)
simply does not have what it takes to stand up for themself.

Well, I told him, I cannot find the police, so I need you to call them for me, after all.

They both looked at each other with the fear of God on both of their faces as they both turned and scurried off as if being chased by I don't know what.

How sad, I thought to myself.

I would gladly have given her a plane ticket or train ticket back to her home, but she may not have a home to return to.

I had just been told by a cab driver several days before how the Middle Easterners who have poured into the city and set up houses of prostitution and strip clubs all over one part of town, are bringing girls in, especially from North Africa, on 90 day visas.

So, being a rather outspoken person at times (or is that most of the time?) I told the girl, that man is a pig and you need to get away from him.

And then I told him, You are a pig, and you had better leave that girl alone.

At least he stopped battering her and blocking her escape.

Only now she wanted to escape with him, instead of without him.

How much drugs and poverty are involved I can only guess.

But what a sad state of desparation to behold.

And what a contrast with the morning.

Welcome back to Realworld 101, I told myself.

As an aside, the last time I was here, right before leaving for Tahiti in December 2011, our travel agent booked me in the Sorrell Rutli Hotel.

You guessed it, right in the middle of the red light district, which just appeared out of nowhere during the last two years as all of these Middle Easterners, India people, and Pakistanis moved in, using the European Union treaties as their methodology.

The people working at the hotel told me their stories of woe as they had watched a nice part of town turn into a disgusting swamp of hard drug abuse and prostitution, being run by thugs.

Many of us cannot wait for these treaties to unravel, because of these types of things which you can only see first hand, but will never find in your local newspaper or travel brochures.

Needless to say, I was very #@##$$%% at our travel agent, whom we have used for many years, and told her not to be sending anyone else to this hotel.

I watched for close to two weeks out my window as all manner of disgusting behavior (very un-Swiss, I should add) was taking place and as the local gendarmerie was rounding up some of this riff-raff just as fast and aggressively as they were able.

The good news is that the Kantonapolizei do not like this any more than I do, and they are quick to let these heinous criminals know just how all of us feel about them.

The bad news, is that under the terms of the treaty there are even more of these people pouring into the city than there were several months ago.

My friends here complain bitterly of this.

On my last visit I was told that because Schwyzland is so democratically oriented it will take several years before this mess is straightened out.

In the meantime the complaints from the business community and the merchants community are being heard loudly.

We can only hope for better.

After this fiasco, and after wondering whether I will now be targeted by my new found "friends" should they see me in a back alley at night taking photos of street scenes, I was left a little bit unnerved so that I decided it was time to go to bed at 4 p.m.

Yes, I was really that tired that I went to bed at 4, woke up at midnight, just long enough to decide whether to post to the blog, and then falling right back to sleep before being able to get dressed, and then slept until noon today, without interruption.

Now, for me, that is extraordinarily tired.

It has been a very long past 12 months for me with numerous major accomplishments, but not without huge cost to me, emotionally, and physically.

Upon seeing how much grey hair one of my dear friends here has put on during the past four months and how much I have put on during the past year, I begin to realize just how stressful these unnecessary nightmares which have been created by the complete and utter clowns who seem hellbent on destroying the entire planet in several afternoons have been on us who have been trying to outmaneuver them and their evil machinations.

It's hardly the first time I have put on more grey way faster than I should be.

That is the price we must pay to do what we believe to be right, and so be it, where I am concerned.

So, this morning, or should I say about 1 p.m. this afternoon, we went over to Orell Fussli English bookstore, which I always try to visit when I am here, and my personal favorite Musik Hug.

Everyone has short hours today, and I lost about half of the day sleeping (a sin if ever there was one, but in this case completely necessary), so my first course of action was to find out how late these stores would be open.

Musik Hug is one of the only places outside of Wien (Vienna) where I can get ancient music.

Zurich and Wien seem to be two of the major publshing centers for ancient music (i.e. 800 to 1600 a.d.).

In Wien it is Doblinger's Music store.

They are a major publisher with a sheet music store second to none.

They have an entire building dedicated to choral music with an outstanding collection of Gregorian Chant and related music.

And that is only one of several huge music stores adjoining one another.

One store dedicated to Classic music and another dedicated to modern and popular music.

I went out of my way to find this store, and was sure glad I did.

While Doblinger's set the standard, Musik Hug (that's pronounced Hoog, it is the name of a family of music pulblishers, in business since 1807) is a close second.

They have a very good store in Lucerne, where I have spent numerous hours over the years, and and even better store here in Zurich, where I also spend many hours digging around looking for very rare gems.

As an aside, I came Europe on many occasionss over the years before it ever even occurred to me to search for sheet music over here.

I have not been sorry, since.

Found some interesting business and history books at Orell Fussli.

They are a major publisher of legal works and historical works and many other types of books, such that I always like to see what they are up to when I am in town.

They have one store which is all mainly in German, and then they have their English bookstore, in which I can find many rare books in my own native tongue.

After that, back to the Zeughauskellar, because they are the only good restaurant which is open today.

Got the same waiter again, and gave him an even bigger tip this time.

I was laughing to myself earlier, wondering whether he would complain again, or whether I had now corrupted him.

We both laughed together as I realized it was the latter of the two,'

Oh well ---

Now it is time for bed as I intend to return to Grossmunster tomorrow morning and join them in a celebration of the Resurrection.

Yes, there still are very intelligent people out here, and numerous persons of extreme wealth and means who continue to believe in such things, in spite of all of the ignorance which we are so sadly surrounded by.

As I like to say, it takes a lot more faith to believe that sand and dirt and cosmic dust swirl around in the wind and then turn into the numerous structures and machines of which our bodies are so fearfully and wonderfully made, because of radiation bouncing off of them, than it does to believe that there is something or someone way bigger than all of us who just may know what they are doing and guiding and directing all things.

As I like to say, do the math.

It's really not that hard, if you will just stop listening to the foolishness around you that passes for intelligence, and use your own senses and intelligence and abilities, instead of subscribing to the latest modern manmade mythologies which will stand the test of time just as poorly as all of their predecessors.

Enough said for now.

It has been fun, for me at least.

Here's wishing all of the best to all of our very precious loved ones.

May God be with you and yours as we celebrate regeneration and renewal.


Sorrell Hotel Seidenhoff
Zurich, Switzerland

11:30 p.m.