Bioluminescence and cello music

2024 Jul 7

Melanie was talking with a friend about the bioluminescent microbes that are in the waters of the Puget Sound. On a whim, she checked our favorite kayak tour guides. They had a nighttime tour for Sunday from Bowman Bay at Deception Pass State Park! New moon was only the day before, so it would get quite dark and the viewing would be good.

I booked for two people not knowing if the time would work for Melanie’s friend. It did. But then when I went back to see if I could add myself, there were no more empty spots.

Melanie and friend ready to go paddling

With our long summer days, it would be a late start and a late return home. Driving so late would be difficult for Melanie, so I offered to take them. I brought along things to keep me busy while they were out: books, a bike and my cello.

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Cello Recital - Anthem

2024 Jun 1

I am always on the lookout for cello music that is intriguing and includes a challenge. Through a YouTube video I found this very interesting cello quartet by Andrea Casarrubios.

Four cellists at start of performance

She wrote about the piece:

"Anthem (2022) was commissioned by the University of Iowa and Anthony Arnone for the 20th Anniversary of Cello Dayz. It is an introspective work conceived as a personal anthem. This music evokes the process and, ultimately, the acceptance of letting go of what is not in my control. I was inspired by the idea of an anthem as a way to provide solace and guidance, and it is my hope that those playing or listening can use this music as a release."

The music is slow. However, this does not make it as easy as it might seem to be. The slow tempo was actually part of the playing challenge and part of the enjoyment for listening. It has very close harmonies that require careful intonation. And it uses the full range of the instrument.

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Making Worlds

2024 May 15

What does it take to create a world? In thinking about this question, we could look at worlds made by writers of fiction and those made in video games.

Literature worlds

In the literature genres of fantasy and science fiction there are writers that make complete worlds. When this is done well, it is very impressive because it is not simple and not easy. The author must think deeply about how everything works, and how it works together. They design the world and all its contexts so that everything is functional and follows the rules of the world. This work makes the world believable to the reader.

By the power of their words, they create matter, energy and places and the beings that live there. As they work, they can modify things, going to what had already been written and change it. They might write different weather, or remove characters. They might bring new characters to life.

Essentially the writer functions as the god of the world. Their words create, and bring both life and death.

Imagine that a book character is written as becoming aware of their author. How foolish would it be for such a character to disbelieve that they were authored? But of course we know this because characters in a book are directly dependent on the author.

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Kayak Camping: Shaw, Lopez, James Islands

2024 Apr 21

My general plan was to do a circumnavigation of Shaw Island. I had three days for camping, but Shaw would not take that long so I included a spur out to Lopez Island. I walked onto the early ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island, pulling my wheeled boat.

The first day’s route ended at Shaw Island County Park:

track around Shaw Island

The view of the Olympic Mountains from the campground.

mountains in sunset through island gap

It was unusually warm weather for April. The parks reservation system doesn’t open until May however, and kids are still in school, so even with the good weather very few people were out camping. This first night I was the only one at the campground (and subsequent nights I saw hardly anybody in the evening either).

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Exploring the Olympic Pennisula

2024 Apr 8

I had made plans for us to go camping out to the northwest end of the Olympic Peninsula. Melanie hadn’t been feeling well the days immediately before, so I went by myself and ended up exploring more than if we had gone together.

In Port Gamble there is a kayak shop and a wool-forward knitting shop. I stopped there for a break and I ended up buying a knitting project for Melanie. She Facetimed in, picked out her yarn colors and was already anticipating my return.

I had a reservation for camping at the Sol Duc Hot Springs campground. A private resort runs the hot springs facility. You get access to the pools in sessions (by pay). There was enough time before my session to hike to Sol Duc falls. It is similar to Deception Falls (on the west side of Stevens Pass Highway) because it falls dramatically into a cleft of rocks and makes a 90° turn.

water pouring into rock crack and exiting away

The Hot Springs were nice: two pools of different temperatures, and an unheated swimming pool. They were quite a few people there. A couple times when it got too warm, I jumped in the deep end of the cold water pool and then got immediately out. It was cold enough that it hurt!

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Cello Recital - Vedro con mio Dileto

2024 Mar 16

I performed an opera aria on the cello. I played in a combined recital for the studios of Ellen (my teacher, center below kneeling) and Lianne, her long-time good friend and collegue.

Recital cellists in a group

Where does math come from?

2024 Mar 9

Where do abstract things such as math come from? Since they aren’t material things, you can’t go to the store to buy them. You can’t get math by growing it or by digging it out of the earth. And are they real and/or true?

Although the ideas for abstractions might start from things in the material world, abstractions are mental products and exist only in the mind. We see the similar color of trees and emeralds and think of greenness. We observe similar shapes in the outline of an egg and the ripples from something dropped in water and think of roundness. We hear a gentle speaking voice or feel plush fur and we could think of softness.

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Is Christianity exclusive?

2024 Feb 26

Is Christianity exclusive? Maybe.

Christianity is very inclusive because it includes all people and all ethnicities and all cultures.

However, what is distinctive about Christianity is what it offers. The promise of Christianity is a relationship with the God represented by Jesus.

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Kayaking trips 2024

2024 Jan 21

Shaw, Lopez, James Islands; April 18 - 21

Blog: Kayak Camping: Shaw, Lopez, James Islands

  • 17 mi from Orcas Island to Shaw Island County Park
track around Shaw Island