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RayColey

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RayColey last won the day on June 2

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About RayColey

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday November 28

Personal Info

  • First Name
    Ray Coley
  • Last Name
    Hobbs
  • Gender
    Male
  • State
    Maryland
  • Country
    United States

Cruising

  • First Cruise Year
    1969
  • Cruises Sailed
    8
  • Days Cruised
    54
  • Favorite Cruise Line
    Oceania
  • 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
    2014-07-13
  • Next Cruise Date
    ?

Details

  • 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. Thursday, November 7 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! This morning I have to run down to Easton(bul) to help the music director at another church get his piano back into playing shape. After that is a meeting with the as-of-now-retired Treasurer of the Music Teachers Association in order to straighten out the financials and temporarily take over the books. Fortunately, I only have one lesson this evening, so it won't be a difficult day after all... Shari, There have been conflicting predictions for winter this year - cold or warm? In any event they seem to agree on WET! I sure hope you and Marc don't get a lot of wet snow on the roof! I'm trying to figure out how to keep the roof clear down here. At least the sneau blauer started up quickly! Jackie, Nice to get a cruise in before the tax season starts. Yuki worked for H&R for three years, but she couldn't stand it when she had to tell old people that they owed a bunch of tax when they had always gotten refunds in prior years. I would have less compassion for them - after all, they voted for it!! Poor Yuki, she is loaded with empathy... she'd make a good counselor if they needed sympathy! Gotta head out for Easton... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  2. Sunday, November 3 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! Sorry I have been AWOL - lots of extra doctors' appointments and staying up too late because of baseball. It's all pretty much in the past now, however, and I will have a bit more time in the mornings before I have to run hither, thither and yon. First, Yuki's tests came back with all great results! They excised the mass and it was well-contained and they removed all of it. We're going to check in with a specialist to see if radiation will be on the table, and if it is, Yuki said I could receive the radiology since she had the surgery - seems fair to me. So the upshot is that we're able to get back to a "normal" life, whatever that is. For all of you - Jan, Shari, Andi, Miranda and Jackie, Thank You so much for your prayers! It has meant a lot to us. I have two recitals coming up in late November and early December, and my students are busy practicing holiday songs and carols. I have three students who are doing "Carol of The Bells" 😮! Oh well, its' what they want... Jan, it's nice to have an autumn with so much celebration! Congrats on all those birthdays, and pass along an ATTABOY to David for his work in the pits - orchestra, that is... Sorry if I'm the hangup on the 2021 cruise - it just seems so perfect to us, with new ports on an old route that we've cruised before... I really don't want to give up that one. Maybe we can take some votes for 2022? Please don't overdo the firewood stuff - backs are touchy things... Andi, it was indeed 100% away wins in the World Series - Houston won here and we won there! Amazing. Yesterday, we had the parade down Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues - I'll bet the President wishes he had such cheering crowds here!! Sorry to hear about your magnolia tree, those old trees are so majestic, even though they litter the driveway with pods!! BTW, I'm tired of winter, too. I always tell people that I get cold at the start of November and I don't warm up until end of May! Shari, thank you so much for your prayers for Yuki. I wish we were next door neighbors, so you two could hang out together - you're both sweethearts! Miranda, I wish you could have been here in Washington for the baseball championship festivities. The baseball crowd sure knows how to par-tay!! Well, Europe gets rain while we get snow. That was a shocking discovery to the pilgrims who came here in the seventeenth century, and they got a load of cold weather that only the hearty New Englanders can understand! Sorry that our cruising choices turn out to be pricey - I wish that Viking would cut single sojourners a break... Jackie, glad you're back safe 'n' sound from South Africa. We are trying to find ways to get that trip moved from our bucket list to our calendars. So many interesting places, and the years are creeping up on us... sigh. Oops! Now I'm late for church! Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  3. Hello, Crazies! This morning, sadly, we head down to Easton for an oncologist appointment. We've been through this before, and it's a long, tiring and depressing road. Fortunately, we make a good team and we'll come out on the other side even closer than we were before. We are encouraged by the way Marc and Shari have handled their challenges... Andi, it looks like the Nats will have to go to St. Louis and try to avenge you. Poor guys have been underdogs the whole way, but they seem to be pretty resilient, so we're hoping for the best... Here in the USA, we're fortunate that the conservatives have not eliminated Medicare as being a "socialist policy." I have followed the trend line, and I definitely think it's a target... Shari, in a word, it's wonderful to see you posting on CC again. As someone who is familiar with working with rehab programs, I know that it's a long and difficult road, but it's one that can be accomplished. I've done it twice. My prayers are always with you and Marc, and will remain so. Jan, sounds like your leaf peeping was more like mountain climbing! We've tried to outwit nature in the north twice - once for a fall foliage cruise (we saw only one tree that had red leaves) and the second time for the aurora in Iceland (that one was interrupted by an arctic ice storm!) Now, we'll take it as it comes, whatever it is. LOL We're back from the oncologist, and unfortunately we are again looking at surgery. Yuki is upset at the assault on her scheduling, so we'll be trying to get it done as soon as practicable. This was caught in the very early stages, so for the most part it's prevention. We'll appreciate prayers...
  4. Good Morning, Crazies! Today is my go-to-Denton-and-play-for-the-blue-haired-ladies day. There are three gigs there, but the ladies make for a really great audience, and they even like my corny jokes! In the evening, I only have one lesson to teach, so it's a relatively easy day. Jan, we do like smaller ships, not just because the atriums don't look like Times Square, but also because they can get into ports that can't accommodate the huge passenger ships. Especially in the Caribbean, the ports that can handle the large ships are getting more and more alike, year after year. The smaller ships can dock at the less-traveled places and we get to see places that are not row after row of tourist shops with tee shirts. I will check out the UnCruise folks. Also, I've found that Swiss Rail offers several packages to tour all or part of Switzerland, from Lake Geneva to the Eiger and Jungfrau and beyond. Lotsa stuff to look at... Gibber, you're in the right place if you like companionship on a cruise without feeling like a third wheel. We're very much into traveling as a group (with attendant group discounts!) Stay tuned... Andi, I think the Redskins may tell Mr. Gruden to take a hike pretty soon. Oh-and-Four is pretty dismal, don't you think? Now I have to get ready to go off into the wonderful world of entertainment! Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  5. Monday, September 30, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! Yesterday, after church services and a committee meeting in the morning, I had a couple of gigs at an Alzheimer's group home and a nursing home, followed by three lessons in the evening. Today, it's two gigs at the same type of places and five lessons. (Yes, you were right - I've taken on a heavier workload!) Andi, the Nats are in the playoffs, but they have a lousy record of trying to get past the division. I hope that they'll do well in the wild card game, but playing the Dodgers in LA is a lot to take on... Looks like the Redskins are doing what they usually do - lose! LOL I'm working on some plans for the 2022 cruise; Jan has been encouraging in that regard... Miranda, we are hoping that autumn will come here! This week, temps are supposed to go up into the 90s - not much like summer! The book keeps on getting bigger, as I run into areas where I think that the story line would go better with a different character's POV; so I add a chapter here, and add a couple of pages there... UGH! Jan, I will be doing research for 2022; it looks like there are dozens of different options, all of them breathtakingly beautiful... Gibber, nice to see you on the Dock! Now tell us what you've been up to, your innermost secrets, etc... And now it's time to get ready to head off to work... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  6. Thursday, 26 September 2019 Good Morning Crazies! We're off to an early start today because Yuki made an appointment with the GP for 7:30 (WOW!) We'll go out for breakfast at Cracker Barrel afterwards, then on to Annapolis to catch the Downtown Abbey movie. Just one lesson this afternoon, so I'll be able to turn on baseball in the evening. Jan, we're not so very much steaming here on the Shore as we are dry; no rain for a month, and lawns are cooking something fierce. I can see that you're doing a lot of hithering and thithering, and I'll try to get caught up on your comings and goings. Andi, it's not that we're only booking Viking (although we do love the line) but rather the ports of call that generally ropes us in. The Adriatic cruise, for example, even though it starts out and ends up in places to which we've been already, includes five new ports for us to explore! Yuki has a thing now about Switzerland's Alpine trains, so the following year we may see about doing a circle tour of Switzerland by train... I'm writing a bunch of music for the 2020 Chamber Music Festival, and in order to get finished on time I started early this year - going for a page a day, so I'd better get a few measures done before we're off to the medico... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  7. Hello to all my crazie friends on the Dock! I've finally got the fall calendar straightened out - I'm serving on the church Council and keeping their financial accounts up-to-date, I've doubled the number of students that I had two years ago (now at sixteen) and I'm doing seven hours a week playing gigs (income is way up, free time is way down) so that we can afford the cruising lifestyle (that includes no interior cabins!) We're planning on the Adriatic cruise in 2020, and I'll invite a few new people along (no guarantees there.) Everyone here is in good health except my brother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's earlier this year, and is now living in a group home in Winston-Salem. Jan, Andi, Miranda and the rest of the faithful, sorry that I haven't been on the Dock so much this year - it's just been near-impossible to find any free moments on a regular basis. Hopefully, I have everything organized to the point where the day will kind of run itself with me just tagging along... Right now, I'm headed to nearby Denton (Cultural Hub of The Western Hemisphere) to play for the Adult Medical Daycare Center, the Senior Center and the local assisted living group home there... Have a great day, Crazies!
  8. Tuesday, July 9, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! Cruising is so much fun, but it comes with a price - frequently, it turns out that all your friends are scattered around the globe on this sea or that river or the other ocean, and it seems that we are never all around the Dock at the same time!! My summer schedule has toned down a bit, so I only have four days of lessons and four days of gigs, and usually they are the same days of the week. Whatever will I do with all this spare time? Oh, the stress... Andi, the flies are still hanging around, but in a week or so they will move on to the east, where some of the people camping near the ocean will become acquainted with them. So, are you packing for the Adriatic cruise already? Jan, I am going to be gently prodding, so hopefully, we'll have enough of a crowd to take over the Viking Sea somewhere along the way. Avast! I already have my "sea days" planned out, so we won't be too exhausted at the end of the cruise. Now, who's planning 2022? Miranda, in the post-World Cup days are we still friends? HaHa, the Orange girls will certainly be a force to reckon with in 2023, and maybe they'll be the ones to get the gold medals in the Olympic games coming up! Jackie, our heat wave has broken, and we have more spring-like weather here on the Shore. I haven't seen too many Florida license plates up here, are Floridians staying at home this summer? Time to get out to play gigs. Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  9. Saturday, July 6, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! I didn't realize that it's been so long since I posted on the Dock! I have some sort of schedule for lessons this summer - it looks like they're down about 20%, which is not as much as usual, and there is no dropoff in performing. So we don't go broke this summer! LOL Yuki is spending hours every day sorting through her hundreds of photos of China and Tibet, so we're keeping busy. Andi, hopefully a number of our new cruising friends decide to opt in for the Adriatic cruise on Viking. It really looks like a great cruise at a great price, so although I'm not counting the days yet (my heavens, over 600 of them!) I am looking forward to it - and thankfully there should be room at the spa and all those great onboard restaurants! Miranda, Tuesday is the day! I'll be rooting for the US women, but I won't mind if Orange comes out on top... Jan, I will be nudging our new cruise friends toward the Adriatic cruise in 2021 - perhaps they aren't used to booking so far in advance, but this appears to be such a good deal that it might sell out... Shari, we're always thinking of you... Jackie, the heat wave continues up here in Maryland, with most days getting up into or close to the nineties... That, coupled with the biting flies, is enough to keep me inside most of the time. Yuki and I have become mall walkers!! Time to face the morning before it's gone... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  10. Daily Dock for June 2019 Is Closed.
  11. Saturday, June 29, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! I didn't intend to be working as much as I am between June and September, but a few more students opted to take lessons over the summer, and I don't like doing remedial work in September, so my teaching schedule is a bit more robust than I originally wanted. Well, that's OK - my students get better, and get a leg up on the rest of the world, and I have a little more income. Andi, it looks like we're all going to be dripping this summer. To make it worse, we now have to deal with little nasty black-and-yellow flies that land on you and take bites of flesh. They were supposed to have come and gone while we were on vacation, but it looks like they came late; they stay for about a month. Miranda, it's nice to see our women's teams advancing in the World Cup, and I'll be rooting for Orange today - but if they meet in the finals, well... I sure get your point in your weekend email! I see myself in all of those things! Jan, I think I got my sync issues cleared up yesterday at the Apple store - we'll see. In the meantime, we're looking ahead to 2021 and the Aegean Cruise, and a few of the nice people we met on our China trip also expressed interest. I've passed along the contact information, and I'll gently push... Shari, we're always thinking of you... Jackie, I hope that you're able to get some good walking time in the mornings. It always gets a bit steamy up here by nine o'clock, and I've been too lax in getting out early. My joints have not failed me so far (!) but I do struggle with COPD during the summer months... I have a makeup gig to play this morning, so I'm going to have to get myself cranked up... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  12. Hi There, Crazies! I'm just about back to "normal" (whatever that is) after ten days of ups and downs, plus catching cold and having that turn into bronchitis. Actually, I haven't missed any gigs or lessons, which probably contributed greatly to my going downhill over the past week, but this morning I got up feeling pretty perky, so I'm hoping that the rest is looking up! Andi, my going right back to work does not display any superior physical health on my part - actually it shows how my brain doesn't function properly. I've taken every opportunity over the last week to laze off on the couch! Be very happy to share some warmth with you guys - here it's in the 90s (30s for you, Miranda) and I'd like to shed a few degrees, if you'd take them. Miranda, it's easy to recognize Americans after they lose weight - they're the ones who look the same as before, but their scales have been damaged... I'd love to dance with you here at one of my gigs, but when I get up to dance, the music stops... Jan, I only have syncing issues because I need to transfer photos to the computer. As soon as I connect the iPhone, the syncing causes multiple copies of my contact list to propagate throughout my iPhone, iPad, laptop and desktop computers. This is not nice. I would have gone to the Apple store last week, but I was hacking with bronchitis, so I stayed home... (*sigh*) Shari, if you're lurking, I want to say a very warm "hello" to you (to me, you're the embodiment of "Minnesota Nice." Unfortunately, I do not go to FB anymore, so I can't talk there, but you're never far from mine or Yuki's thoughts... Jackie, I hope that you're getting some relief from the weather. At least you don't have much worry about being knee deep in flooded streets! I've been turning in early the last few nights, and this one is no different. Good Night, Crazies!
  13. Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! When we got back from Le Cruise Chinoise, I went to work the same day! I haven't had a major problem readjusting to the time zone change (12 hours) but somewhere along the way I managed to acquire some major congestion, which has worn me out. Egad! Looks like it will take us until August to get all the pictures sorted out and uploaded. Added to the normal chore of photo sorting is the additional problem that every time I sync my iPhone to the computer, I manage to get three or four copies of my contact list flooded onto the phone. For that reason, I'm not going to sync until I have a chance to get to the Apple store in Annapolis to get them to show me how to avoid it!! I found the Chinese people to be friendly and helpful, and some of them quite open in their efforts to be a global community. Of course, they don't feel free to talk about a number of problems with the government, but that's no different from Russia... On the Great Wall, one mom insisted on taking pictures of her three children (probably not the same family, due to childbearing restrictions still in effect) with me - due, I think to the fact that blonde hair and blue eyes are still a bit on the unique side over there. We were blown away by the size of the Forbidden City, the beauty of the Great Wall landscape (and there's a funicular now to help you get up to the wall!) and the scope of the Terra Cotta Soldiers museum. Chine sure does its museums well! Tibet was totally amazing. The religious life and the social life of the people are identical. They pray virtually all the time. There seem to be religious festivals and events every week, and the people from the countryside pour into Lhasa and make pilgrimages to the Jorkhan Temple, walking around it (two thirds of a mile) 108 times, praying, spinning prayer wheels, some on posts and some in their hands) and prostrating themselves in front of the temple and sometimes on the street itself! When we came down off the plateau, we were treated to the delicious cruise down the Yangtze River, making excursions to the huge dam project and into the three gorges, plus visiting unique pagodas and museums. We sadly said good-bye to the Emerald and zipped into Shanghai, where we finished the trip in a five-star hotel on the Bund. Now comes the "Let's see if we can get back in shape" part of the experience!! Jackie, I hope that your weather down there has gotten a bit better - I haven't been able to follow the weather reports for a while, so it seems a bit, shall we say, mixed? Hope yours is OK! Andi, I know that your weather has been a bit of a blister, with storms and swamps and what-all. It really does seem messy... Jan, from what I've been reading, you're still going around in sixty directions at once. Well, remember the beatitude, "Blessed are those who run around in circles, for they shall be known as wheels." Thank you again for the bang-up job you did in arranging our Fantastic Journey! Miranda, I've been sticking everything under the sun in my yogurt, from fresh fruit to nuts, seeds, grains and honey. It sure does get me through a work day!! Sorry about not joining the New England/Canada cruise, but we do have to spend a little time working now, to pay for all this stuff!! Shari, sadly I don't get on FB much anymore, due to their security issues, but it's nice to know that you're posting out there and getting better, even if it's not at a breakneck pace. Please know that you remain in my prayers and in the corporate prayers of my church. It's time to get ready to face the morning. Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  14. Hello Crazies, We are on the next-to-last day of the cruise ☹️ We have an extension in Shanghai for a couple of days, then we’ll pour ourselves onto another thirteen-hour return air trip. I’ve been learning a lot about how much I don’t know concerning chinese history and social structure... Andi, so far the cruise has been really nice, although we need to be picky about our excursions, cuz there are so many. Best news is that there have been no additional costs involved, including meals out - Viking has covered everything! Food is great (too great!) and the shows are quite nice. We’ve met some very nice people on board, and we’ve directed them to CC... Hopefully we’ll see some new cruisers on the Dock. Jackie, sorry to be seeing such crazy weather in the US as we catch news on TV. Makes us scared to come back! Miranda, you’d like the yogurt selection on board here, but you’d have to improvise for the granola - I’ve been using walnuts, pecans and pumpkin seeds... Jan, it’s all been positive so far, with a collection of interesting stops and excursions. The Emerald is nicely appointed, and doesn’t seem at all crowded, despite the 140 passengers on board. The dining room is never overloaded, nor is the lounge. Six decks handle all shipboard programs handily. Although we prepaid our gratuities, we (and many other guests) have decided to give a number of crew a 100% bonus because of the exceptional work they have done. Plus we have the world’s best cruise agent... There’s an upcoming excursion, so I need to get ready. Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  15. Hello from the Yangtze River, Crazies! We came dowm from Lhasa yesterday, looking like refugees, and poured onto the Empress, a well-appointed, five-deck cruiser which will take us down toward Shanghai. Jan, we were delighted to find the Welcome Surprise you had waiting for us in our cabin! We will be sharing that with the table that we are sharing with some really nice, new cruising friends from all over the USA, all of whom are now familiar with our CC group. We have also told them that we have the best Cruise Consultant ever!! Miranda, I’ve totally switched over to your gourmet granola-and-yogurt breakfast, just adding walnuts and berries! Great start to the day... We’re going to spend the next few days exploring the spectacular scenery along the Three River Gorges area, along with visits to some of the small villages along the way. Andi, Shari, and all the lurkers, miss you all! Time for breakfast - Have A Great Day, Crazies!
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