ANOTHER GOOD FRIDAY PILGRIMAGE ON CALVARY HILL ARIZONA

Today, I did my annual Good Friday pilgrimage on Calvary Hill Arizona.  It is a 6-mile hike with an elevation difference of 1,600 feet, plus another 6-mile bike ride (see the map).

It took me 3 hours to do this bike-hike–bike round trip pilgrimage from my Scottsdale home.  The temperatures were in the upper 80s, which is normal for this time of the year.  But for some reason I felt quite tired at the end.  It must be that darn desert pollen this year and the allergies that it is causing.

Anyway, I paid my respects to Yeshua as I do on every Good Friday.

“This is my church service,” I explained later on to my son-in-law who is visiting here from Vienna, Austria, with my daughter and their four children this Easter week.

Four years ago on Good Friday, Master Sananda (Yeshua, Jesus) took me to a place in the McDowell Mountains above Scottsdale that resembled the Calvary Hill in Jerusalem on which he was crucified two millennia ago.  And he left for me to find there some very special sacraments (see my 2013 Desert Quest (PDF))

Ever since that Good Friday 2013, I have been returning to this holy place in the Arizona desert whenever I needed Yeshua’s counsel and guidance. Over time, I identified on this rough mountain trail the 14 stations of the cross. In the fall 2013, I even created the music I play while on this pilgrimage.  It is timed to coincide thematically and geographically with each Station of the Cross.

 

On my way down, I also stopped and prayed at this beautiful Pachamama rock that resembles a Native American shaman with a buffalo spirit inside. I discovered it originally in 2008, just under the Calvary Hill summit.

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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.

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/

AN EXTRAORDINARY SUNDAY

STRONG WINDS CAUSE STATEWIDE INTERNET FAILURES, FIRST EVER FIRE AT HOME, JAPANESE SILKWORM ART,MAUI POPS BROADWAY CONCERT, RAINBOW BOOKENDS

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea how eventful this day would end up being. It had everything – man-created and God-made events. And all of that was bracketed as if by bookends by this pair of beautiful rainbows – one in the morning, and one in the evening.

INTERNET AND POWER OUTAGE

Strong winds which started during the night brought down the internet today for almost 18 hours. Not just at the Rainbow Shower. Or even Maui. This was a STATEWIDE outage by Time Warner Oceanic Cable, according to their posted message.

The power had also failed at one point during the night. All of my electric clocks were blinking unhappily when I woke up. But at least they were on.

Yesterday, my email was also down most of the day. That was my bad – a man-made problem. I was transferring four of my older websites to a cheaper hosting company. So it was to be expected that some disruptions would happen. Guess today God decided to give me another day off the net by blowing in this storm. 🙂

FIRST FIRE EVER

The strong winds also brought in colder weather. I know, some of you folks in the northeast, midwest or Alaska would laugh at what we consider cold in Hawaii. The temperature inside the house was about 65 at noon.

Our climate here is such that most homes don’t have either a heating or A/C system. When it gets “cold” like this, we just put on an extra layer of clothing (like my cardigan – see below). And still keep the windows open.

Well today, for the first time ever, I decided to light a fire in our fireplace. Until now, this has been merely a piece of decorative furniture. It did not generate much heat. It was just newspapers and kindling. But it looked pretty.

Elizabeth texted me that she wished she were here.  Guess Arizona is also having a cold spell. But at least the folks there have proper heating and A/C in most homes.

INTERESTING DRIVE TO KAHULUI

I like seeing Broadway musicals live in New York. But I am not so crazy about concerts just the hits from musical.  So it was only late last night that I finally decided to buy a ticket and go to today’s Maui Pops matinee concert at the MACC (Maui Arts and Cultural Center).

“Why not?” I said to myself. It’s not like I have some other pressing engagements on a Sunday afternoon.

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On my drive to Kahului, I was amazed to see a couple of windsurfers braving these strong winds over about 10 foot waves at Ho’okipa Point, one of the world’s most famous surfing spots. There were no other “regular” surfers today. Guess most of them had more sense than that.

Sun, strong winds, mist and tourists undaunted by weather challenges were also all present at the same time in Paia. I just shook my head.

“Guess I am becoming a wimp living in Hawaii,” I mused.  When I was doing my shamanic rites of passage for ordinations in Peru we camped at 15,000 ft elevations in the High Andes and even swam in icy lakes. So icy, in fact, that surface ice cut the skin on my shins as I was walking into the lake.

AMAZING JAPANESE ARTIST’S SILKWORM ART

An unexpected pleasure, and actually the highlight of my visit to MACC, was an exhibit which just opened at the Shaeffer Gallery. Which is right next to the concert venue. Akihiko Izukura, a Japanese master of dyeing and weaving, works primarily in silk by transforming thread into “wind-like” fabrics. He hand-dyes silk with subtle colors made only from natural materials following a process that is over 2,000 years old.

Take a look at some of these amazing creations…

You can find out more about this artist if you click here…. http://mauiarts.org/exhibit-detail.php.

MAUI POPS BROADWAY CONCERT

The concert featured two award winning Broadway stars – Christiane Noll and Doug LcBrecque, along with the award-winning composer and producer – Jason Howland, who conducted the Maui Pops orchestra.

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The music was good and the singers excellent. But as I said, not exactly my cup of tea when it comes to music. So I left during the intermission.

EVENING RAINBOW COMPLETES BOOKENDS

When I came back home, I was greeted by an evening rainbow.

“Oh, so today, God is gracing us with rainbow bookends,” I thought as I grabbed the camera to capture this memory.

I was about to get in my car and drive to Pukalani Starbucks where I was hoping to connect to the internet. I had already disconnected and packed my laptop. But something made me go back to the office to double check on the status.

Bingo! The internet was back. Which is why you are now able to read these lines and see these pictures.

But the wind is still battering the windows which face the northeast. So who knows, maybe we are not out of the woods yet. But thank God for small mercies. Aloha!

 

 

CANCELING THE “UNLUCKY” FRIDAY THE 13th, SUNSET FIRE CEREMONY FOLLOWED BY BLACKOUT

CANCELING THE “UNLUCKY” FRIDAY THE 13th

Today is Friday the 13th.

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. It occurs at least once every year in the 2010s. In 2017 it is on January 13 and October 13.

When I did my morning meditations and incantations, I became aware of the fact that today is supposed to be such an unlucky day. So I set about to cancel this superstitious myth, first in my prayers than in deeds.

As the day unfolded, the three potentially unlucky matters turned in my favor. Like magic.

friday-13th-canceled

ANNOYING NEIGHBOR BECOMES BENEVOLENT

First, with help from my spirit guides, an annoying neighbor turned into a benevolent one this morning. I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say that what this neighbor did this morning reverses a 4.5 year trend.

FREE CAR WASH

Then as I drove into town, I thought I’d give my “Leaf” (electric car) a wash at the only car wash I know in Kahului. It’s one of those where you sit in the car the whole time and the machines just wash the outside. Meaning, you still have to clean the interior. But after weeks of rain and the last 12 days of dry weather, I thought that maybe it was time at least to get the dirt off the outside of the car.

Alas, I was not the only one with that idea on a sunny Friday with temperatures in the mid-80s. The line of cars waiting to get into the car wash parking lot stuck out all the way to the street.

So I turned around changed my tack. I drove to my Nissan dealer and asked them to check my tire pressure. And to wash the car while they were at it.

They did a super-duper job, inside and out. I could not have washed it better myself. And then when I offered the car jockey a tip for a job well done, he refused.

“That’s okay, Sir,” he said. “You don’t need to do it.

So it ended up a FREE car wash despite my efforts to pay for it.

FREE PANCAKES

Next, I decided to finally cash in on a free short stack coupon the IHOP had given me at some point last summer. I have been trying to cut back or eliminate the glutens. But since my weight this morning was lower than it had been in months, I decided it was time to try my luck with that, too, on Friday 13th.

And it all worked out perfectly. I just had to pay for a glass of milk. And leave a tip for the waitress. Who did not refuse it. 😃

So that was my way of debunking the myth and canceling the unlucky Friday the 13th.

Of course, there are still a few hours left in the day. So I’d better not gloat. 😊

PS: There is one more possible reversal of fortune that I set in motion today. But I won’t know if it will turn in my favor for another day or two. Meanwhile, I am keeping my fingers crosses. Superstition? Of course. But why not? Just for tun, 😁

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SUNSET FIRE CEREMONY: HONORING FULL MOON, VENUS’ ZENITH AND ORTHODOX NEW YEAR’S EVE

But it was all about GRATITUDE

This evening sunset I did a fire ceremony to honor the full moon, the zenith of planet Venus, and the Serbian (Orthodox) New Year’s Eve. It was a ceremony of gratitude – gratitude for two weeks of badly needed dry weather, gratitude for the new friends the spirit has brought into my life this week, gratitude for turning the unlucky Friday the 13th into a lucky day. Until MECO entered the scene… 🙂

VIDEO: SUNSET FIRE CEREMONY: HONORING FULL MOON, VENUS’ ZENITH AND ORTHODOX NEW YEAR’S EVE – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 13, 2017

Direct Youtube link: https://youtu.be/8DfPCmLIzRE

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PHOTO ALBUM FROM THE FIRE CEREMONY

 * * *

Unlucky Friday the 13th did rear its ugly head in the end

LONG POWER OUTAGE

working-by-candlelight

Eating and working by candlelight – 21st century! Welcome to Maui Electric Company “service”

Tonight, I had my dinner by candlelight.
I know, it sounds romantic. It was not. First, because I am alone. Second, because I was forced to light a candle by a long power outage.
I had just finished a nice sunset fire ceremony honoring the full moon, the zenith of planet Venus, and the Serbian (Orthodox) New Year’s Eve. It was a ceremony of gratitude – gratitude for two weeks of badly needed dry weather, gratitude for the new friends the spirit has brought into my life this week, gratitude for turning the unlucky Friday the 13th into a lucky day,
Until it became unlucky. When I cam back up to the house, I recorded a new version of AMAZING GRACE, a tune I also played on my flute during the fire ceremony. And then I was sat down to edit the video and write the story about how AMAZING GRACE MUSIC cause a lot of blue smoke to rise from fire, the power went out.
And it is still out – over 2 hours and counting. So I am writing this also by… I was tempted to say by candlelight, but actually it is by a battery-powered flashlight.
So Friday the 13th did rear its ugly head in the end. Good thing I said in my original post about canceling the Unlucky Friday that the day is till not over and that I had better not gloat. Sure enough…
By the way, there is no wind. There is no rain. There is no high surf. Nor volcanic explosion. No earthquake, either. Just MECO! (Maui Electric – our public utility).
What makes this outage even more abominable is that our solar system produces more electricity than we consume. Unlike other utilities, like with my Arizona solar system, MECO pays me nothing! They just take my CLEAN excess electricity, mix it with their dirty (coal and diesel powered) energy, and resell it at retail rates to their other customers. And to top it off – adding insult to injury – they force me to suffer from their power failures like everybody else.
MECO have the system figured out… to suit themselves and skin their customers. This is not new news. But this long and completely unnecessary power outage reminded me of it.
PS: The power came back right now – more than 2 hours after it had gone out. Want to know what I was doing at that moment? Meditating. Lying on the floor with my eyes closed in total darkness. I remembered that way back, when I was in Peru being taught by the Apus (mountain spirits or angels if you like) during my first ordination as a shaman, that they said that’s what we should do once in a while in order to access them. Lie still in total darkness for a long time.
Wonder if MECO have some connection to the Andean mountain spirits? 🙂

REKINDLING SACRED FIRE

About half an hour or so into a 2.5 hour power outage last night, I went back down to the gulch. By then, the fire was almost out. I piled up the remaining logs on top of each other and started blowing to rekindle the fire. It worked. A new fire emerged after a couple of minutes.
The moon had not yet risen so everything was pitch dark around me. I then spent the next 15-20 minutes in meditation and prayer sitting on the Haleakala “kulla” (big rock inside the sacred place) and facing the fire.
Later, I surmised that the spirits must have turned off the electricity for over 2 hours to make me do just that – and contemplate what life without modern technology would be like. I learned two things…
1. It was very peaceful. 2. But after 2 hours of darkness, I could not wait for the lights to come on so I can carry on my 21st century work.

Guess I still have ways to go before I reach the state of Nirvana – my New Year’s resolution.

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UPDATE JAN 14, 2017

TONIGHT’S SUNSET: AN EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING BAD AND BEAUTIFUL

Here’s an example of how something that most people thinks is a “bad” can become something that everybody will agree is beautiful.

This is tonight’s sunset as seen from my lanai. The close up provides a glimpse of the West Maui Mountains in the hazy background.

Beautiful, right?

Well, want to know what makes it possible?

Volcanic emissions. In other words, air pollution.

You see, we have been experiencing in the last week or so what we call here in Hawaii VOG. VOG is air pollution resulting from sulfur dioxide emitted by the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island. Kilauea emits 2,000–4,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) every day!

The so-called Kona winds (from the southwest) then spread the VOG across the other Hawaiian islands. Maui is the closest and the first to get it. This happens rarely, but when it does, it makes for spectacular air shows at sunset and sunrise.

Don’t worry. We are not in danger. By the time the VOG reaches other islands, the sulfur dioxide has largely dissipated, leaving behind ash, smoke, sulfates, and ammonia,

See how a BAD thing can also be BEAUTIFUL? 🙂

UPDATE JAN 15, 2017

“AMAZING GRACE” AT SUNSET FIRE CEREMONY [music video]

HONORING FULL MOON, VENUS’ ZENITH AND ORTHODOX NEW YEAR’S EVE – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 13, 2017 – with aerial views of the Rainbow Shower and the Anahata sacred place
 
Direct Youtube link: https://youtu.be/A-BatJjC6GA