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RayColey last won the day on October 22 2018

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About RayColey

  • Rank
  • Birthday November 28

Personal Info

  • First Name
    Ray Coley
  • Last Name
  • Gender
  • State
  • Country
    United States


  • First Cruise Year
  • Cruises Sailed
  • Days Cruised
  • Favorite Cruise Line
  • Favorite Shipboard Activity
    Ocean watching
  • Favorite Itinerary
    Mediterranean - Eastern
  • Favorite Port of Call
    Kusadasi, Turkey
  • Favorite Port Activity
    Walking & sightseeing
  • Places I've Cruised To
    Belize, Guatemala (first cruise); Stockholm (second cruise, on Baltic); Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Istanbul (third cruise, on Renaissance - now Oceania); Nassau, Key West (fourth cruise, on Royal Caribbean); New England, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia (fifth cruise, again on RCI); Lisbon, Gibraltar, Cartegena, Malta, Split, Venice (sixth cruise, RCI), Cozumel (seventh cruise, on Carnival); Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia (eighth cruise on Royal Caribbean)
  • Last Cruise Date
  • Next Cruise Date


  • Hobbies & Interests
    Music, Woodcarving, Ballroom Dancing, Church, Outdoors
  • Music
    Almost all classical and jazz. I perform some pop music, but I don't listen to much of it myself
  • Movies
    I'm a Trekkie!
  • TV Shows
    I don't do a lot of TV watching... but I did when the Star Trek series were running!
  • Sports
    Most team sports, but especially Nationals' Baseball!
  • Food
    I dote on great seafood. Other than that, I love middle eastern cuisine.
  • Pets
    3 kitties
  • Books
    History or sci-fi
  • Quotes
    All's well that ends.
  • Occupation
    Entertainer / Teacher

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  1. RayColey


    Sunday, 13 January, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! HYuki and I are both battling bronchitis now. We're both into prednisone and I'm additionally on ampicillin. It's beginning to look like we're coming out from under it, but progress is slow. Unfortunately, we did not escape the sneaustorm, so I'm afraid that I have to go out and clean the driveway - hopefully, all the meds will help me through that ordeal. On another topic, I called Shari yesterday and got the answering machine, but Marc called me back in the evening. Sadly, Shari has suffered a massive stroke that has left her without use of her right side, and unable to talk. The stroke required brain surgery to relieve a one-inch diameter clot, and she has been in the hospital recovering from the procedure. Her condition has improved to the point that she has been moved to a rehab wing of the hospital. Shari and Marc are strong in faith, and have put their trust in God and in the medical professionals, and Marc has requested that each one of us turn to God with our prayers for Shari. I have added their names to the prayer list at my church, and I hope that each one of us, whatever our faith happens to be, seeks the help of God for our friend Shari, and for Marc in this trying time. Have A Blessed Day, Crazies.
  2. RayColey


    Thursday, 3 January, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! Here it is, well into January and I'm just getting around to posting. I've increased the size of the studio from 12 to 16 students (still haven't heard back from 5 more prospects) and I have 1 more regular gig. Doesn't look like I'm going to have much more spare time soon. Good news is that I have a new laptop to help me with composing music, so that should save a few hours each week. Jackie, as much as I would love to jump on board for a Norway/Greenland/Iceland cruise, Yuki is not satisfied with the itinerary (foo!) She wants a day less in Greenland and a day or two more in Iceland. She's looking at the (more expensive) Viking cruise that goes all around Iceland... Jan, great advice on keeping the passport with you on the shore excursions - we haven't done that, but in the future we will. BTW, my favorite shore excursion was the Renaissance excursion to Ephesus from Kusadasi, Turkey. It was truly remarkable with a beautiful outdoor buffet lunch, a visit to the Temple of Zeus along the way, the tour of Ephesus and finally, a walk beside an olive orchard up the Acropolis to the temple of Athena on the way back. Too bad Renaissance is no longer with us (although Oceania picked up a lot of the fleet of small, under-1000-passenger ships...) Shari, I do keep busy, but it keeps me from giving up and becoming a couch potato!!! Kevin and Grace are here with us for a few more days, then back to Mpls to take up the teaching load again. Andi, we're beginning to think about Alaska these days, although the idea of the Adriatic in 2021 is still burning brightly. I know you guys have been there; how many different times, and on different cruise lines, hmmm? Miranda, nice to hear that you got together with Martina again! Maybe she will join you when you get to cruising in Europe again? Kevin and Grace will be leaving on Friday, and we'll take the tree down on Saturday. I've made a New Year's resolution this year - to NOT make any New Year's resolutions! I hope everybody is well and (NOT) keeping out of trouble... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  3. RayColey


    Hello Crazies! First, I ATEN'T DED YET! I have been bombarded with a totally unexpected number of requests for piano lessons, and I've been trying to fit everything in, alongside the holiday gigs and such. I see that everybody but me has been getting skinny. Congratulations all around, but David seems to deserve the most recognition. We're just bumbling along here, trying not to add excessively to our waistlines. We have the house decorated and the tree up, plus most of the presents wrapped. The kids are coming in on Christmas Day around noon, but I'll be off at some nursing homes dragging around a bunch of people from church to visit patients and residents whose families are too self-absorbed to even visit their "loved" ones. We've finished the bathroom remodel, so at least that's behind us, and I've cut a cord of firewood for the winter. Looks like we're just about ready. The arctic cruise sounds intriguing, and I have a bunch of points saved up on RCI - hmmm... have to see how that shapes up, 'cuz we both loved Iceland and Norway, been to both when it's winter and really liked it; never been to Greenland, though... I probably won't be able to check back in before Christmas; church services alone will take up a few half-days, and my students (for some unknown reason) don't want any time off over the holidays, so I'll wish everyone a Merry Christmas now! Have A Lovely Evening, Crazies.
  4. RayColey


    Saturday, November 24 2018 Good Morning, My Friends, I'm sorry to have been absent. My brother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and he lives alone in Winston-Salem, so I've been involved in trying to arrange for assisted-living care for him. As soon as I can get everything straightened out, I'll be back on the Dock. Have A Great Day, Everyone.
  5. RayColey


    Sunday, November 11 2018 Good Morning, Crazies! I'm about a week back in catching up on posts, but I'll try to get back to read everything. This cruise was particularly tiring, because Viking was scrambling to make sure that everything that was promised got delivered. For those of you who don't know what happened, the water level in the Danube was VERY low, so the riverboats (on all the lines) couldn't dock in many places. Viking provided buses to take us hither and thither, and we got to see a lot of the various countries, but even with the Mercedes Benz buses it was tiring. I'll get myself together and write up a review later, but I won't dwell on all the bus travel!! I'm also trying to catch up on missed gigs and lessons, so I'm doing double duty for a few more days. We had a major bathroom renovation going on while we were gone, and with a couple on hold-ups, the job wasn't finished when we got back, so Yuki's been dealing with sharing a bathroom also, not easy. Tuck (the cat) is back from boarding at the vet's, and seems to have benefitted greatly from the change of scene and the lavish attention (which he expects all the time now.) Jackie, sorry that the Melbourne turned out to be more or less local instead of on the other side of the world, but it gives you a good reason to check out the South Pacific cruises in the future! Shari, looks like the weather is holding for a bit up in the Tundra, and I certainly hope that you all get a mild winter this year. Jan, as usual you did a magnificent job of getting us a great cabin on a great line going to great places. Now, save some $$$ so we can put together a group Adriatic cruise in 2021 (the Coley group will be going to China next year, and we think Morocco the year after...) Miranda, sorry that we couldn't manage a stop in South Holland on our return - we wouldn't have been much fun anyway, since by the time we got back to Amsterdam we were basket cases... You would have enjoyed seeing me finally get up and dance on the cruise, though, and I played a set with the ship's entertainers as a sit-in, and even got a brandi snifter from the bar and coaxed the passengers to put a bunch of Euros in it for them! Andi, cruise away and don't think about what I told you not to think about! Now it's off to church, and a couple of gigs afterwards. Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  6. RayColey


    Jan, there are no ports missed, just a substitution of transport mode; an extra night in Budapest (a bonus!) and motoring to Belgrade instead of a nighttime transit by boat. We'll be able to cruise the Iron Gates and the lower Danube, too. The port in Romania is a bit further from Bucharest, but we get to see more of the Romanian countryside at the peak time for autumn colors! And the 25% Viking is giving us will actually allow us to get a suite on the Adriatic cruise instead of a balcony. I don't see any real minuses here... Well, we're off to the airport in five hours... I'll be checking in while we're away. TTFN
  7. RayColey


    Monday, 22 October 2018 Good Morning, Crazies! At last, all the packing is done. The weather forecasts give us chillier days than we were originally expecting, so we've beefed up the sweater department and we're taking somewhat heavier jackets than originally planned. And yes, I've put everything into one checked bag (my Kelty suitcase/backpack, which I love!) and one carryon. The water levels in the Danube are low, so there will be some port problems, which both Viking and Jan have already warned us about, so we'll spend a bit more time on a motorcoach, but it's not a matter of great concern to us. It's of great concern to Viking, however, and they're giving us a 25% discount on a future cruise (which we're planning to put toward the Adriatic group cruise which we've been promoting...) Today I have one gig and five lessons to wind up the work, and we leave tomorrow morning from BWI. Woo and his third cousin twice removed, Hoo! Shari, I am a firm believer in optimism (yes, even in these days,) so sunny days in Mpls are to be treasured and used as a backdrop for getting outside. I'm so glad that you were able to get to mass; my week always seems to go better when it starts out with services at church... Andi, As it happens, we have been to Peggy's Cove, about the most picturesque place we've ever seen. We stayed at a little motel right next to the lighthouse, and spent a delightful morning scrambling around on the rocks. That was some years ago, so I'm sure that they have paved walks now, and I'm sure that the gift shop is, shall we say, somewhat larger. Be prepared for a breeze or a wind. I think it's a bit windy every day! As a choice between the Titanic Museum and Peggy's Cove, I would bop down to the cove every time. The museum collects a lot of data on the victims of the tragedy, and some artifacts, but it's simply not in the class of Peggy's Cove. Miranda, Still thinking about Shanghai? I know a cute song by that title, and if we get together near a piano, I'll perform it for you... Jackie, I may have to pop down to Florida just to get that omelet... Jan, I'm not surprised to see the various lines hiking service fees. The margins are probably getting pretty thin due to lots of competition, so they have to raise more money somehow. In the case of Holland America, I think they provide some good bang for the buck, but in the case of Royal Caribbean I wonder why they don't just build a ship for 25,000 passengers and be done with it? Carnival is in a class by itself, based on our (only!) cruise with them, where the muster was done while everyone was partying on the pool deck and nobody paid any attention, and on their safety record, which leaves a lot to be desired... For now, we're really happy with two things - our number one cruise line, Viking, and our number one travel agent, you!!! And now it's time to get ready for a long work day. Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  8. RayColey


    Sunday, 14 October 2018 Good Morning, Crazies! A n easy Sunday, with just one lesson to teach this evening, no gigs to play. Looks like the root canal was a good operation, because my mouth feels "normal" for the first time in a few weeks. Fingers crossed. Shari, I don't sing the Hawaiian Wedding Song (can't handle more than a few words of Hawaiian) but I love to hear the various groups down in the islands perform it. Andi, I am now rooting for SOMEBODY to win the World Series. I think I'm safe in that wish... Miranda, Shanghai, eh? Wait till May of next year and Yuki and I might be able to meet you there for a cup of Pekoe tea. We're booked for a China cruise which ends up with a couple of days in Shanghai... And now, I gotta get me to the church on time... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  9. RayColey


    Thursday, 11 October 2018 Good Morning, Crazies! A frenetic couple of weeks, both past and upcoming - I had two root canals on the same tooth, and went through an entire bottle of painkillers, at the same time doubling up on lessons and gigs in order to make up for the things I won't be able to do when we're away. It's twelve days to go now, and we'll be off to Hungary, then onward to Bulimia. So far, I haven't had any time available to get organized and start packing; I only take one suitcase, a Kelty expandable and back-packable job which can go anywhere from St. Tropez to Kathmandu (love that bag!) Other than that one piece of luggage, I only take a small under-the-seat bag which contains my snacks (including miniatures, so I don't have to buy drinks - how cheap is that?) Jackie, I'm happy to hear that you didn't get the full blast of the hurricane... I feel so sorry for those poor people up in the Panhandle who did, and the poor folks in the Carolinas, as if they didn't have enough rain already... and it looks like we're going to get them on a much more regular basis, too! Shari, you may not know it, but the Hawaiian Wedding Song was originally a song of the last queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Queen Luliuokalani. I play that song frequently when I go out performing. Jan, I have to wish you a belated bon voyage (but I'm sure that you'll be lurking...) David and I have to get together some time to chat about musics (intentional plural.) I'm doing a lecture series on the history of jazz for Chesapeake College now... Andi, I obviously have no mojo left. I hope you guys can keep the rivers down in their courses. I don't know if anybody else has noticed it, but a decade ago, we could count on a bad hurricane once every three or four years; now, we're getting two or three every year. Oh, well. Climate change is just a hoax... Miranda, even if we can't catch up with you when we're in Europe, we'll be thinking of you when we're in Brasov, visiting Dracula's castle and having glasses of blood wine. And now, Yuki is pulling me toward Annapolis... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  10. RayColey


    Good Evening, Crazies! A typical Monday - two gigs to play and four lessons to teach (and Tuesday/Wednesday look about the same) but as long as I can deal with the dental pain I can handle that. Friday I go to the dentist to get some relief. My jazz lecture series seems to be going all right, which means I'm keeping one step ahead of the class! Cruise is coming up pretty fast now - three weeks. Jackie, I will be sure to allow a good, long time for a trip to South Africa. I may take a couple of excursions to other areas, where I have friends and where my church is doing work. We have been only to North Africa which, as you say, is quite Arab, but I absolutely loved Tunisia, and I think Algeria will be quite interesting in another few years (as yet, they aren't very used to the tourist trade.) We may do a sojourn through Morocco too, to get a taste of the larger souks and to cross the mountains and venture into the desert for a spell. As we get older, our bucket seems to be getting smaller! Shari, please! I don't even want to think about mountains of snow yet!!! Jan, I'd love to get David to bring a sax with him to the Shore. I have some lovely jazz songs that absolutely cry for sax solos! Next time you all venture into the DC area, let me know and I'll get necessary tickets to museums and locate the best restaurants for a midday snack. There is not one street in the city that I don't know (after seven decades, I'd better know them all!) Yes, you are right, I sure don't want a Bulimian dentist... Andi, I've called on my mojo (such as I have left) for the Cubbies - I sure hope it helps. The cruise is not the China one (that is next spring) - it's the Budapest to Bucharest (the one that the lady at church called our "Bulimia" trip) down the Danube. We'll be in Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania. Good luck with your presentation! Miranda, alas! we won't be seeing you on any of our upcoming cruises, and you can't imagine how difficult it is to be without a cheese hostess. As part of my book revisions, I have to account for highly increased yields of agriculture, especially wheat, and in my research I turned up the agricultural miracles that the Netherlands has been able to achieve. Next time I am there, I'm going to have to visit one of the greenhouse farms! And now, off to bed. Good Night, Crazies!
  11. RayColey


    Good Morning, Crazies! We've done our Dock Dance (out back on the dock, the day that the cruise docs arrived from the ever-thoughtful and thorough Jan) and we will be shipping out in twenty-three days. This time we chose a hotel next to the BWI airport that will allow us to keep our car there until we return, and so we'll get a good night's sleep before departing the next morning. Right now, we're slowly getting things organized for the packing spree we do three weekends from now - items are being ticked off the check list... I'm hard at work making final adjustments to the novel before tackling the strange world of literary agents. I even bought consulting services to help me with the query letters! Apparently, dealing with the publishing houses is similar to dealing with the mafia. I should be able to handle this, since I grew up in Washington, D. C.! At the same time, I'm getting an act together to pitch to local nightclubs and coffee houses. This will feature classic blues, which I am hoping will be regarded as something new and exciting in music by the younger crowds with all the money... We'll see. I have been troubled by a dental problem that seems to have no end. I won't bore anybody with the details, but the endodontist will be trying to take care of the last of it this coming Friday. In the meantime, I'm getting far too familiar with pain medications. It has to be taken care of in the next three weeks, though, because we'll be traveling after that, and on a cruise is absolutely the wrong time to entertain problems with the toothies! Jan, I'm terribly sorry that I was too busy to notice that you and David were coming to my back yard! Yuki and I love to show off the Washington area, and where you all were staying is less than an hour away. When I was growing up, we used to have an occasional Sunday dinner there on the wharf (restaurant is long gone now) and drive along the Mall or by Fort McNair to get back home. I'm sorry that you didn't get to all the museums you wanted to see, but you all will have to plan to come again and remedy that, and we can go down to the delightful little cafe between the two halves of the National Gallery, located on opposite sides of seventh street in two huge buildings! We like to go down there a couple of times a year anyway... Andi, I kinda figured that you would like the Rhine cruise (assuming that your knees held out - that stroll up to Marksburg castle can be a bit trying!) We did it in winter, and I'd like us to compare notes concerning cruising that in different seasons! We'll be headed out on another Viking river cruise, this time on the lower Danube, and we'll let you know all about the splendors of Bulimia. You may have time to visit the Titanic Museum in Halifax as well as taking a trip down the coast to Peggy's Cove. There's not a lot down there (at least there wasn't in 1989, when Yuki, Kevin and I were there) but it's an absolutely lovely, breathtaking spot, probably one of the most photographed in the world, so you'll love it. Just be careful walking around on the rocks... Jackie, that flight back to the US from (I assume) Jo'burg sounds like a test of endurance! We have at last begun to tackle Africa, but from the north... We visited Tunisia and Algeria a couple of years back, and we're planning on a trip to Morocco before long. We do have a photo safari in South Africa on the bucket list, though. Shari, I'm not entirely sure that we will have a proper autumn here at all this year. We may stagger into an early winter instead. The seasons are certainly playing games with us, coming early or late and lasting too long or not long enough! A body can't do proper planning anymore! I hope that you all don't have a brutal winter there. Kevin says that last year wasn't so bad, and he's hoping that this year will be similar. I like your idea about the long winter nights and possible grandchildren appearing on the scene, though!!! BTW, I write my post, go back and assign colors and sizes to the various parts of it, then boldface the whole thing. Works pretty well... Miranda, I'm sorry that we're not part of the Canada/New England group. We certainly intend to get back up there, but farther up the St. Lawrence, I think. And this year, guess where we'll arrive in Europe? You guessed it - Schiphol, but only enough time to change planes to Budapest. You may be interested to know that my latest revisions to the novel required a good deal of research into efficient agriculture and animal husbandry, which led me to what is being held up as the model for everyone else to follow - Dutch agricultural engineering! Now I am learning all sorts of things about mega-greenhouses and red LED lighting, micro-algae farming and other interesting ideas from the Netherlands. Keep it going!!! Yuki is making lots of noises downstairs, and I perceive that my presence may soon be requested... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  12. RayColey


    Wednesday, 12 September 2018 Good Morning, Crazies! Here I am, after being MIA once again! So far this fall, I have booked one more regular gig and signed up four new students (with two more coming this week for auditions.) That will fill up the studio - I won't take any more students if these two auditions sign up (sixteen is more than enough for me!) Our Danube cruise comes up in 41 days! I was talking to a lady at church before last Sunday's service about cruising, and mentioned that we were going to Bulgaria and Romania this year, and overheard her saying to somebody later on that "Ray and his wife are going to Bulimia this fall!" Really don't want to go there; they don't have much food on that cruise! Jan, the Rhine River cruise Yuki and I took a few years ago included excursions at every port, most of which were included in the fare. Two dining rooms on the longship (the Hlin) on two different decks, plus a buffet, and one of the dining rooms doubled as a lounge in the evening. No casino. Walking tours were easy, nothing much rougher than the excursion we all took to visit the stave church on our last group cruise (you guys were on that excursion, so you know it wasn't a back-breaker.) One day there was a light rain, and Viking had eighty umbrellas to loan out!!! There was local entertainment brought aboard every evening - no fancy shows, but nice, local entertainers. Hope that answers a few of your questions on river cruising! Sorry to be missing the Northeast-Canada group cruise, but next time we go there, we want to go all the way upriver to Montreal... Coming into Montreal is a special sight to us. Andi, we're going to stay on the bandwagon. Always had a soft spot for the die-hard and longsuffering Cubbies' fans... I didn't know that the two-for-one certificates were good on either river or ocean cruises. We'll be buying a couple of them on our upcoming Danube cruise! As far as 2020 is concerned, we're still looking at the Adriatic from Venice to Athens. Actually, the only "must" port for me is Dubrovnik, but I'd love to see Montenegro as well, and we'd go back to Venice as many times as possible, until it sinks! Anytime in the fall is probably good for us, as long as school has started and the Europeans are all through with their vacations! Jackie, it is sad to see poor Wilmington getting hit again - they just imported tons of sand to Wrightsville Beach, and now it's going to be washed away again! Having those hotels right on the beach is nice and scenic, but bulldozing away the protective sand dunes is usually a poor idea. Anyway, I'm glad that you guys down in Florida don't have to worry about this one... Miranda, it's so nice to have you back with us! on our first trip abroad together, Yuki and I went to Nordkapp, via train, bus and boat, then we went across the northern route to Finland to come back down. There is a desolate beauty about the land and the sky up there. As far as Puerto Rico is concerned, I want to go there, but actually I've never visited the place (that's why I'm so adamant about including it on any Caribbean cruise we consider! They got hit so hard, and the government did so little to help them, I just want to pump some money into their economy!! The place we have been (quite a few times, now) is Amsterdam!! When the group cruise met there, it was our fifth time there, and it began to feel like "coming home again!" Shari, we're getting our blast of weather now, until hurricane season ends in about a month, and you all on the prairie can begin to cease considering tornadoes in your weather-related planning. Snow is on the horizon, though! Kevin and Grace are now snuggling down into their new condo (I'm not exactly sure of its exact location, though...) Time to get ready for the day - a music teachers association meeting, one gig and three lessons today... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  13. RayColey


    Todd, I will not argue with you on any of your points, I will simply drop it.
  14. RayColey


    Sunday, September 2, 2018 Good Morning, Crazies! There has been a lot of activity in the area after the passing of John McCain. His memorial service was very touching, and very poignant. I hope that the legislators in attendance were listening rather than sleeping. Senator McCain was a man who lived a code of honor rather than politics. Annapolis will be very crowded today, as he is laid to rest at the small cemetery in the Naval Academy. I have prepared query letters for three agents who might represent my novel. I will be talking to my editor later on this week, seeking her advice. I am also trying to tie the novel into my performing. I'm talking to the manager at the local Barnes and Noble about doing my lecture series on Jazz History, perhaps on Saturday mornings in the fall, and I've auditioned a singer for possibly performing at clubs in Annapolis. We'll see if any of that comes to fruition - if it does, all of those things reinforce each other. Jan, any hornet nest you get rid of is a one less aggressive, nasty villain in Little Rhody. Go fer it! Hope you enjoyed the first of September - we didn't get the promised respite from the hot weather, but I bet we do get the promised rising temps this week! I had promised myself a walk around the block yesterday, and I took it; result was that I was soaking wet by the end of it. Church today, but no walk! Shari, my neighbor raises honeybees, and the hornets moved in and almost took over! Those hornets will chase away the honeybees if you let them! This is the time of year that I would enjoy visiting Kevin... I'll bet the weather up there is ten times better than here right now... Grace wrote a message to Yuki asking about how to rearrange space to accommodate a newborn - maybe I'll get a grandchild from those two after all! Church begins in less than three hours, so I'd better get myself in gear. Blessings to all the rest of the Crazies, whether cruising or beached... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  15. RayColey


    Tuesday, August 21 2018 Good Morning, Crazies! I got the editorial review of my novel back, with a grade of "B" - it looks like I need to do a fair amount of tweaking. We are sixty days out from our cruise down the Danube to Bulgaria and Romania, so the cruise dox came in and we slipped out back to do the Dock Dance. So far, I have eleven students signed up for the fall semester (twelve, if you count the one in Singapore that I teach by Skype) and there are two lurkers out there that have indicated that they intend to take lessons. I also have contracted for an additional gig down in Eastonbul, so I won't have any more free time than I did last year... Yuki is getting her bathroom remodeled, and we are supposed to sign the contract on Thursday. The design looks OK to me; I hope la Yuki manages to get the room she wants. Todd, I hope that the visa business works out for you and your wife. The Administration has expressed a desire for less Asian visas and more visas for people from Norway (who aren't crazy enough to want to come here anyway.) Two of my students are Filipino, and I must say that they do very well. both are playing advanced level music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Debussy and Poulenc. These boys are way ahead of all the other piano students on the Eastern Shore, by a mile. Jan, I know that you are enjoying Bermuda. Always a nice place to relax and lounge in the sun. Although la Yuki and I have time free in 2019 when you are planning the group cruise, that itinerary is one we have done, and of course we need to keep our pocketbooks closed so we can afford the Adriatic cruise nine months later! La Yuki says she is good with Princess, Celebrity or HAL if there is pushback against Viking. (But Viking is like Apple - they say, "Once you try Mac, you won't go back!" Andi, like you, we have an annual subscription to the symphony orchestra (in our case, the BSO.) The season starts in November, and we'll be going to a Mahler concert! It's interesting, having Mahler and Bernstein on the same program; they're about 75 years apart, and a lot of things happened to both composing and the instruments in the orchestra during those 75 years! We both absolutely love the Jeremiah Symphony, which we had the pleasure of hearing in Baltimore in April. As you can see above, we gave way on the Adriatic cruise insofar as cruise line is concerned, but I still want to get to Dubrovnik and either Slovenia or Montenegro... Shari, I am also one who collects old magazines. Mine are on photography, backpacking and woodworking. La Yuki wants me to get rid of all of them, and mostly she's right - the days of film and darkroom developing are pretty much gone; all the techniques I learned for getting the perfect photo are now things that the camera will do for you, so there's not much need to go back to old photography articles anymore. As far as backpacking goes, those days are behind me too. While I can still carry a backpack a bunch of miles, I'm certainly not going to go out and buy the latest backpacking accessories! I'll hang onto the woodworking mags, though; those techniques are pretty much the same now as they were seventy years ago. OK, now I'm happy. For the rest of the Crazies, I hope you'll drop in and let us know how you're doing. Otherwise, we tend to think that you've fallen overboard... Have A Great Day, Crazies!