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OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI

We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1.  For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area. Here are some shots of both…

First, my morning walk from our condo to the beach…

Our “final walkthrough” of the Rainbow shower taken midday…

And our late afternoon back at our Kamaole Sands beach.

UPDATE MAR 4, 2017

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 4

Mar 4, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
Here are some scenes from our morning walk along Kamaole Sands beach.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 5

Mar 5, 2017
On Saturday (Mar 4), we went on a whale watching sunset sailing cruise on the Gemini catamaran off the coast of Kaanapali. Alas, due to a technical glitch with my waterproof camera card reader, those pictures are still trapped on my camera memory card. I may have to wait to get to AZ to retrieve them.
On Sunday (Mar 5), Elizabeth made her final purchase at Kaahumanu Mall – a pair of Hawaiian earrings – which she asked me to record on camera. There was also a Hula show going on in the background.

And in the evening, we went to a lovely dinner party by our friend Rada Kovilic who has a condo in the same resort where we are now staying – Kamaole Sands. Her balcony provided a perfect vantage point for another beautiful Maui sunset.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 6

Mar 6, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
Here are some scenes from outside our condo and from our morning walk along the Kamaole Park shore. We discovered here what is probably Kihei’s best surfing spot, right next to the small boat harbor. It looked like a smaller version of Ho’okipa Point in our old neighborhood on the north shore of Maui.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 7

Mar 4, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
On Saturday, Mar 4, we went whale-watching aboard the catamaran “Gemini,” which we boarded on Kaanapali Beach in West Maui. Here are some pictures from that wonderful outing.

Elizabeth and I have gone sailing and whale watching many times before, but never, ever have we seen to many full breaches by these 20-ton (40,000-pound) giants as on Saturday afternoon. It felt as they the whales were waving their watery goodbyes to us.

Just to give you an idea of how bit the Humpback whales are, some of these guys you are seeing in the above pictures are as long as 7 African elephants standing next to each other.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 8

Mar 7, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
On Tuesday, Mar 7, Elizabeth and I drove up to the 10,000-ft Haleakala (volcano) summit for our final goodbye to Maui. We fly back to Arizona tomorrow (Mar 8).
The weather was perfect all the way up and during an hour or so we spent at the summit. And then just as we headed down the mountain, the clouds and rain moved it. They stayed with us all the way down till we got to lower Kula. We might as well have been driving through a soup, the fog was so thick.
We kept thanking God all the way down for this miracle – of holding off the bad weather until we had a chance to say our high level goodbyes.
By the way, Haleakala is the Fire vortex of Mother Earth and thus a very powerful masculine energy center. On Saturday, however, our wonderful sailing to see the whales and Watery goodbyes we received from them provided the counter balance – the feminine energy farewell.
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UPDATE MAR 8, 2017

OUR FINAL MAUI BEACH SHOT

 
I don’t know how we managed to do this, because it has been raining most of the day over most of Maui today, but if you look at our final farewell shot taken around noon at Kamaole beach in Kihei/Wailea, you would get the impression that there is nothing but sunshine and surf on this magical island.
 
Goodbye Maui! We love you.
Last Maui beach shot 3-8-17
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RAINBOW BOOKENDS, GREAT WHITE GIANTS RETURN TO MAUI

RAINBOW BOOKENDS REAPPEAR AT THE RAINBOW SHOWER, MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN EVER

Clear sky rainbows in the morning, first ever post-sunset rainbow in the evening

Also, TOPSY-TURVY WEATHER IN MAUI, EXTRAORDINARY CLOUD

It happened again today. Just like it did three days ago – on Sunday, Jan 22. Both ends of this day at the Rainbow Shower were bracketed by rainbows. Only this time, they were even more beautiful.

The first ones this morning were rare clear sky rainbows. The mist and sun kept dancing with each all day. By late afternoon, more rainbows started to appear. And this evening, I witnessed something quite remarkable, possibly for the first time.

The sun had already set. The Rainbow Shower house and lawn were already enveloped in darkness as you can see from the first two photos. Yet the sun’s rays were still reaching up high and the sky and setting the clouds on fire as well as the rainbow.

It was an awe-inspiring, amazing sight. Feeling blessed? You betcha.

So I ran into the house get the camera and share it with you. Enjoy!

MAUI’S GREAT WHITE GIANTS ARE BACK (select photos)

Today I had to run some errands in town. On my way, I could not resist and had to stop at Ho’okipa Point for another look at Maui’s Great White Giants that are pounding against the lava rocks at one of the world’s most famous surfing spots – Ho’okipa Point. But with the waves at about 25 to 30 feet, no one was crazy enough to try to surf on them.

MAUI’S GREAT WHITE GIANTS ARE BACK – a 1-min video by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 25, 2017

Here’s a 1-min video consisting of 25 “live shots” – with my background music – Banana Boat from the Caribbean. 🙂

https://youtu.be/7-QshdLAJyU [Youtube version]

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HOOKIPA PHOTO ALBUM

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UPDATE JAN 27, 2017

A 1-min video by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 27, 2017 – filmed around 4PM

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Just got back from a quick outing to Paia. Stopped at Ho’okipa Point on my way. Beautiful afternoon. What attracted me most of all was the scent of the ocean. Love it. So pure and healing especially with light trade breezes like today’s.

The surf is now “surfable” – about 6-10 ft waves. And there were lots of surfers starting their weekend on water.

Check it out…

Direct

Youtube link: https://youtu.be/XhrQqixcbdI

PHOTO ALBUM

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UPDATE FEB 5, 2017

TOPSY-TURVY WEATHER IN MAUI

Normally, we get trade winds blowing from the northeast. Today, however, we are experiencing strong “anti-trade” winds from the southwest.

No, this is not a political anti-TPP statement. 🙂 But who knows, it could be. You never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.

How strong are the winds?

Not very. according to the official Weather.com. Only 22 mph right now. But the gusts must be much stronger. Because for the first time ever (!), they have literally opened my bedroom sliding screen door. Twice!

At first, I did not believe it was the wind. I thought I had forgotten to close it. But when it happened the second time…

So now I propped it up a little – using my university crest as a door stopper. 🙂 No offense meant. It’s just that I needed something narrow to wedge on the track behind it.

The wind is almost never an event unto its own. Like an advance scout, it precedes the arrival of the main army. Tomorrow, we are expecting rain. So it goes…

FINALLY, AN OFFICIAL WIND ALERT

Better late than never?

Now they tell us… after the wind opened this door for a third time, and blew off the (heavy) top of my spa. And it also knocked down my wheel barrow. Here’s a weather update I just got:
“SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL INCREASE… REACHING 25 TO 35 MPH IN SOME SPOTS… WITH LOCALIZED GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH…. A STRONG AND FAST MOVING COLD FRONT WILL APPROACH THE ISLANDS TONIGHT… WITH INCREASING SOUTHWEST WINDS EXPECTED AHEAD OF THE FRONT.”
Talk about closing the barn door after the horse is gone, I could have told them this morning the winds were stronger than the 22 mph the Weather,com said.
I just hope and pray that we don’t lose power or internet. Knock on wood, so far so good (rhyme intended) 🙂
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UPDATE FEB 6, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY CLOUD HOVERS OVER RAINBOW SHOWER FOR ALMOST 2 HOURS IN GALE FORCE WINDS

I have never seen anything like it before. Last night, an enormous cloud that took up 2/3 of the sky, shaped like a giant whale or a blimp, hovered above my house for nearly two hours.

The head was pointing to the west. The tail was in the east. The light you see which looks like the whale’s eye is actually the moon trying to shine through.

I snapped this picture when I first saw it a little after 10 PM without expecting much. I had never taken a shot before with my new iPhone camera in complete darkness. Then I went back to watch the rest of a movie. When I came back out about an hour-and-a-half later, the cloud was still there.

What made this phenomenon so extraordinary is that at the same time we were (and still are) buffeted by gale force winds that blew off the top of my spa and opened the sliding screen door – 3 times! Eventually, I had to tape it down to the frame using masking tape.

Yet the giant cloud was still there, like a massive immovable object impervious to gale force winds. Amazing! Wonder what it meant?

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UPDATE FEB 7, 2017

LITTLE BLONDE “CRABS” PLAYING ON LAVA ROCKS

This morning, thanks to a real estate showing of my property, I did three things on a spur of a moment that I don’t usually do.

First, before I even cleaned up, I spent an hour raking and mowing the debris from the strong winds in the last two days have brought down on the lawn.

Second, I had breakfast. Well, I mean – a real breakfast, a veggie omelette at Colleen’s in Haiku town center – not my usual, a few grapes and half a banana.

Third, I drove down to Ho’okipa Point to watch the surfers on this beautifully clear morning. The forecast was rain, by the way. 🙂

You can see for yourself now how great the weather is this morning. It is rare that one can see the West Maui Mountains. Usually they are enveloped in clouds. The surf was about 10-15 ft with an occasional 20-footer.

 

 HAPPY FAMILY SCENE

But the most interesting scene was watching this family down on the rocks. Their two kids, a toddler and a baby still in diapers, played on the lava rocks like two little blonde crabs. 🙂

But one or both of the parents kept a close eye on them. The mother eventually took both kids into that little basin which the ocean had carved out in the lava rocks like a bathtub. Of course, she took off the diaper first. Not her own. 🙂

“EL JEEPO” BACK IN SERVICE FOR ONE DAY

Four new citrus trees planted

For over seven years, “El Jeepo” has been my work horse at our Rainbow Shower ranch in Maui. Last September, I had him shipped to Arizona for a well-earned retirement. Since that time, I have only used him for occasional joy rides through the desert. Until yesterday.

A part of my backyard looked pretty bare for someone who has been used to taking care of a 7-acre jungle property spread around a Hawaiian gulch. So I decided to add some more greenery to it. I mounted El Jeepo, and we went to a local store to get four new citrus tree saplings – two kinds of oranges, one lime and one lemon.

Now here’s a difference between El Jeepo’s and my work in Hawaii vs. here in Arizona. I hired someone to plant the saplings. I Maui, I would have done the whole thing myself. Over the years, I had planted literally hundreds of trees of various kinds and sizes. But now that El Jeepo and I are officially in retirement from farming, I decided to be like Martha Stewart and point instead of digging myself. 🙂

Donald Trump would be pleased. One more American job saved. Or created, if you wish. 🙂

DISCOVERING “STANDING STONES” AT PINNACLE PEAK… AND MORE

Expect the unexpected. That has become a modus operandi for me during my Arizona desert hikes. Today, I discovered the “Standing Stones” at Pinnacle Peak, a Scottsdale mountain I have hiked dozens of times over the last 30 or so years.

MY SPRING EQUINOX HIKE LEADS ME TO A SACRED SITE FOR THE FIRST TIME; PLAYING A GOOD SAMARITAN TO A SUFFERING TOURIST AND MEETING “COLIN FIRTH?”

Expect the unexpected. That has become a modus operandi for me during my Arizona desert hikes. Today, I discovered the “Standing Stones” at Pinnacle Peak a Scottsdale mountain I have hiked dozens of times over the last 30 or so years.

I had no idea they existed when I was guided to revisit the Pinnacle Peak trail. I had intended to dedicate the hike to the Spring Equinox which will take place in a few hours.

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – MY HOME TOWN AS SEEN THROUGH MY AND VISITORS’ EYES

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – MY HOME TOWN AS SEEN THROUGH MY AND VISITORS’ EYES
Scottsdale, Arizona is my home town. Well, as much as any place on this planet is, I suppose. I have traveled millions of miles around the world and have lived in so many places and countries that I feel I have earned the right to choose my “home town.” And I choose Scottsdale.
How can I be sure?
Well, my kids grew up in the desert. And because I have always returned to it.
I have tried to leave Arizona several times. First, in 1996 when I bought a beautiful 10-acre property in Western Australia (see the Bolt Hole – (https://www.facebook.com/BoltHoleWA/). It was pure magic that lasted 9 years. But I eventually sold the property in 2005 and returned HOME to Scottsdale.
The day after 9/11, when there was no air travel in this country, I hit the road in my 1992 Infiniti in search of a new home. I drove through 10 western states, and even looked in Alberta, Canada. But on my way back, when I turned off the I-40 at Flagstaff and heading down toward the desert, my heart fluttered. I was coming back home.
And so I stayed. Until 2009. That’s when Elizabeth and I moved to Maui – another Garden of Eden in Paradise on Earth. That adventure lasted 8 years. And only a few days ago – March 9 to be exact – we returned HOME to Scottsdale.
So you see… that’s why Scottsdale is my home town of my heart’s desire.

THE WAY VISITORS SEE US

Now, it is always interesting to see how other see us. Like the winter visitors to Scottsdale, for example, the veritable “snow birds.”
As if reading my thoughts on the subject, my longtime Canadian friend from Ontario sent me a link to this travel story:author-pic
Ten Reasons Why Snowbirds Need to Fly to Scottsdale, Arizona – https://goo.gl/Yg919V (by Amandalina Letterio)
To which I want to add the 11th – HEAVENLY SCENTS. But only during the month of March.
Citrus blossoms at this time of the year give Scottsdale a heavenly scent. There is nothing quite like it. You just have to experience it to fall in love with it, especially in the districts like Arcadia, where the citrus trees abound. And I guarantee you will want to keep coming back, year after year.
Cactus League? (which also takes place in March).
Nah. That’s for the baseball jocks. I used to like it decades ago when you can lounge around on the grass at the old Scottsdale stadium on Osborn St, and watch the likes of Barry Bonds do their magic only a few feet away from you.
But now, with the Talking Stick Ballpark that looks like a smaller version of a major league stadium, forget it. Elizabeth and I only go there when somebody buys us a ticket and a meal. Like my AZ bank did last year.
Anyway, Scottsdale is the place to be in the United States during the month of March. There is nothing quite like it.

RETURN TO PHOENIX SYMPHONY

Elizabeth and I did not waste any time getting re-immersed into the Arizona desert cultural life. Last night, we attended a performance of Beethoven’s 3rd symphony, the “Eroica,” by the Phoenix Symphony orchestra. It was another wonderful performance which the conductor, Tito Munoz, led without referring to any sheet music over the entire 48-minutes of its length.

But first, we had to endure – and I underscore ENDURE – you might even say suffer through György Ligeti’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.

LIGETI’S MUSIC: CACOPHONY OF DISCONSONANT SOUNDS

Who is Ligeti? (1923-206). Exactly. Based on what we heard last night, you didn’t miss much if you have never heard of him. His music was a cacophony of disconsonant sounds. Kind of like a bunch of mice in a drunken rage partying while cat’s away. Awful.

If that’s what passes as “contemporary” or “modern” music, I’d even take rap over it.

Anyway, here’s the official bio summary for this mice music composer: György Sándor Ligeti was a Hungarian composer of contemporary classical music. He has been described as “one of the most important avant-garde composers in the latter half of the twentieth century”.

BACKGROUND TO BEETHOVEN’S THIRD SYMPHONY – “EROICA”

And now, back to Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony. Completed in 1804 and first performed in 1805, Beethoven originally dedicated the third symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven believed Napoleon embodied the democratic and anti-monarchical ideals of the French Revolution.

Beethoven_Napoleon

In autumn of 1804, however, Beethoven withdrew his dedication of the third symphony to Napoleon, lest it cost the composer’s fee paid him by a royal patron. So, Beethoven re-dedicated his third symphony to Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz – nonetheless, despite such a bread-and-butter consideration, the politically idealistic Beethoven titled the work “Buonaparte”.  Later, about the composer’s response to Napoleon having proclaimed himself Emperor of the French (14 May 1804), Beethoven’s secretary, Ferdinand Ries wrote:.

“In writing this symphony, Beethoven had been thinking of Buonaparte, but Buonaparte while he was First Consul. At that time Beethoven had the highest esteem for him, and compared him to the greatest consuls of Ancient Rome. Not only I, but many of Beethoven’s closer friends, saw this symphony on his table, beautifully copied in manuscript, with the word “Buonaparte” inscribed at the very top of the title-page and “Ludwig van Beethoven” at the very bottom …

I was the first to tell him the news that Buonaparte had declared himself Emperor, whereupon he broke into a rage and exclaimed, “So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of Man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!” Beethoven went to the table, seized the top of the title-page, tore it in half and threw it on the floor. The page had to be recopied, and it was only now that the symphony received the title Sinfonia eroica.”

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UPDATE March 24, 2017

MOZART REQUIEM AT PHOENIX SYMPHONY HALL

Last night, Elizabeth and I attended a wonderful performance of the “Mozart Requiem” by the Phoenix Symphony and Chorus.

 

AN IMPROMPTU CONCERT AT COSTCO

AN IMPROMPTU CONCERT AT COSTCO

This is the first day of my post-Hawaiian life. And something quite unexpected happened at a most unlikely place.

Did you ever think you would see a $150,000-product on sale at Costco?

Never in a million years, right?

Well, today I did. And not just saw one. I actually played it.

In the world of music, the Bösendorfer pianos are what the Rolls Royce cars are in the auto industry. Top-of-the-line products in all respects, including the highest prices.

When we lived in Hawaii, before I bought my Steinway concert grand, we had traveled to Honolulu just for a chance to play a Bösendorfer (see the two shots). You can see below an excerpt from that story which – amazingly (!) – unfolded actually exactly 7 years ago (Mar 11, 2010).

Back to Scottsdale Costco this afternoon, I was stunned to see 5 of the Bösendorfers on display, ranging in prices from $110,000 to $150,000. A nice Japanese gentleman you can see in my photo also happens to be a pianist. So he invited me to try one.

I played two of them – the $140,000 and the $150,000-models. As soon as I started Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca (Turkish March), a crowd gathered around me. (But I did not know that until I finished playing and heard the applause).

I then played Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” including my own improvisations. The same thing happened… crowd, applause.

When I got up to leave, two ladies asked for an encore. This time, I played two variations from Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Paganini Theme.” An even louder and longer applause followed.

So don’t let anybody tell you that Costco shoppers are not culturally enlightened. One gentleman came over and said, “Bösendorfer should hire you to sell their pianos.”

“You are very kind,” I replied. “Thank you. But I don’t play to make money.”

Music is a passion for me which I am happy to share it for free with any audience that appreciates it. Like Kokopelli. Or Liszt.

PLAYING A BÖSENDORFER FOR THE FIRST TIME

“Elizabeth also surprised me when she took a picture of me playing on a true gem – a white 175-anniversary Bosendorfer piano adorned with 9,000 crystals (right). There are only three such instruments in the world. You don’t want to know the price.

But that was not the best piano I played. The best one was the black one which Ashkenazy also played (display model). Its keyboard had an incredible feathery touch, making you feel as if the fingers were playing themselves. And its sound brought tears to my eyes. Long notes seemed to reverberate forever. Soft tones soaked in deep inside the soul. The music seemed to come straight from the heavens. I felt as if God were speaking to me directly through this magnificent piano. In all the decades of playing various pianos, I have never experienced anything like it. Every time I would try out another instrument, I would be drawn back to that “black monster.” (see http://yinyangbob.com/HI2010/Mar/Mar_2.html).

ALL HOME REPAIRS COMPLETED

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UPDATE FEB 26, 2017

ALL HOME REPAIRS COMPLETED AT 894 E KUIAHA RD

Dear Martha,

Here’s an email invoice I received from my contractors for the home repairs completed at 894 E Kuiaha Rd – per our Feb 21, 2017 J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice. You can also see a separate invoice from the plumber who replaced the old water pressure regulator with a new one.

You should note that the Items 5. and 10. in the above contractor’s invoice (left) were NOT required per our Feb 21, 2017 agreement. I did these repairs voluntarily as a favor to Greg and Sophia even though their home inspector had evidently missed these problems. I have also repaired an additional spot on the deck close to the spa that inspector had also missed (see the photos below).

PHOTOS OF COMPLETED REPAIRS (in order of appearance in the Feb 21, 2017 J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice).

  • New Master Bedroom sliding screen door installed (Home Depot box and spare frame stored in shed). Screen door lock also replaced.
  • Garage door repaired inside and out
  • Missing or damaged rooftop shingles replaced, 15 leftover new shingles left in garage for new owners
  • Gutters and downspout cleaned and flushed, leaky joints repaired
  • Minor dry rot on the deck repaired, additional areas touched up and painted
  • Exterior GFCI switch under kitchen window replaced
  • Masking tape removed from one of the wall switches in the office (“right bedroom” per the report).

EXPLANATIONThere is nothing wrong with this switch. I put this tape on many years ago because the switch turns on and off the wall outlets to which our computers are plugged it.  I was tired of turning them off accidentally when I came into this room at night and then having to reboot them.  I had completely forgotten about it until I saw the inspector’s report. 

  • Water pressure regulator replaced, pressure turned down to 50-60 PSI
  • Kitchen and vanity sinks “voids” sealed with foam spray
  • Bottom portions of the master bedroom door pressboard casings replaced and repainted on both sides

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ADDITIONAL REPAIRS DONE WHICH WERE NOT PART OF J-1 General Inspection of Property Notice

  • Chipped wall in garage wall filled in with plaster and repainted (this was something we inherited the original owners)
  • Two interior electrical switches replaced in the family room (below left)
  • Minor dry rot spot repaired at the end of the deck next to the spa (above right)

PERSONAL NOTE TO BUYERS

Dear Greg and Sophia,

Hope enjoy your new home! I am turning over the care-taking duties of the Rainbow Shower to you with love and blessings.

May the Santa Tierras (land spirits, the fairies) be as kind and helpful to you in this enviable job as they were to me. It has been my honor and privilege to serve them and work with them for the past 8 years.

Bob

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Also see, RAINBOW SHOWER’S BEAUTIFUL OCEAN, MOUNTAIN VISTAS

https://www.facebook.com/rainbowshowersacred/