venerdì 26 maggio 2017

Your practice can let you down.

PBs practice tomorrow, though only 4 boys will be there.

So, are they ready? Who will call the shots?

Will the music of Mozart feature, as Robert seems to be the best prepared?

Will written parts (charts on music stands) be allowed?

Will most songs have a guitar intro?

Will bass notes be restricted to one per bar?

We will find out tomorrow.

Sometimes, when you need a break your parts can let you down.

domenica 21 maggio 2017

Life Is A Journey.

People ride the buses for many reasons. Some are just heading home, while some are running away. For others it represents the start of an adventure.
There were several buses at the central terminal on this wet afternoon. No queues yet. Anyway, anyone wanting to queue would not know where to start. One bus was sitting empty. Lonely for passengers. Another had its baggage doors open but there was no indication where it was intending to go. A driver stood nearby smoking a cigarette.
He waited. No point in rushing, old ladies always shoved to the front at the final moment. Rushing was pointless.
He'd try for a seat nearer to the front of the bus. He liked a comfortable ride and certainly wouldn't be putting up with anyone who was going to try tilting their seat back.
He'd sometimes been referred to as a grumpy old man but that didn't worry him. In reality he viewed the world through a reasonable set of eyes. Eyes, like a camera, that had built an album full of memories and experiences. He understood justice and he knew how to behave. For instance, he'd never consider sitting in the aisle seat and putting his bag next to himself on the window seat. That was just not cricket.
He smiled as he thought of that phrase. Those young dudes sitting in the bus shelter, just across the road, hats on backwards and sharing a funny looking cigarette wouldn't even know what it meant.
He allowed himself to think for a while about his blog. He could see a post here.
"The return trip." he thought. "Or heading up north for a while."
How would he start it?
He could take a pot shot at that bass bagging site - a little joke or two. Then he could talk about the writers' festival and how he sniffed the wine he had with tea and what he smelt.
A bus that seemed to come from nowhere had just pulled in right beside him. It's sign said Whangarei.

He quickly evaluated the situation, "I'm the closest and have only one carry on bag. I can start the queue up close to the door. Okay, allowing for one or two old ladies pushing past, I'll be third on and can pick a good seat near the front. Any young ones will instinctively head down the back."
He took his post and waited. The driver was behind the steering wheel and writing in what he assumed was some kind of log book. He noticed quite a busy queue in front of one of the other buses. It was two buses down the street and he was unable to see where it was going because the buses were parked tightly together. He could see a couple of old ladies trying to push to the front. Except for them, the queue seemed quite orderly.
Then his driver opened the door.
"Sorry mate, this bus isn't going anywhere for a few hours. Where are you trying to get to?"
"Two buses back mate."
This was not fair. Eventually he was on the bus. Last on.
The bus was nearly full. He noticed a spotty fat kid who had parked himself in the aisle seat while the window seat was still empty. He considered having a 'chat' but the bus was starting to move.
No pretty young ladies to sit next to. The only other spare seat was next to a guy wearing a mowhawk haircut and a studded leather jacket. No choice.
His travelling companion seemed to check him out and then he spoke.
"Hey, you're not the guy who writes that blog are you?"
He was stunned as he didn't think anyone except for Robert and Richard (of RBB) read it.
"Yes I am. It's nice to know that people are reading it."
"It's good. I really liked that series of posts you did on the Holy Spirit. Who is that Curmudgeon guy who keeps leaving stupid comments?"

sabato 20 maggio 2017

My son's first double bass gig.

George got held up in traffic and arrived late for his first double bass gig.
The boys in the band were getting anxious so I offered to sit in.

They were all very good young players. We played a Bb minor blues.

George eventually arrived and settled into some great playing. That boy has wonderful time.

George asked me up for the final tune and we did a two bass thing. 

We played Cherokee at 330bpm. Angry Jesus! That's fast! What great young musicians. I did an arco solo that seemed to go okay.

Just off to read The Curmudgeon's next exciting post. On second thoughts I might have a glass or two of Chardonnay first. It might be about planning his bus trip back up north. Please, Robert's God, don't let it be about being rude to pregnant waitresses in wine bars. 

mercoledì 17 maggio 2017

Richard (of RBB)'s WINE GUIDE.

Okay, so you're planning to purchase a nice wine to go with the great dinner you are cooking for the little lady using herbs from your little herb pots that haven't really been adequately maintained.

The wine will be extra important if the herbs taste like shit.

This dog is up there with The Curmudgeon's herb pots.
Rule Number One:
Your wine will need to be about 13.5% alcohol. It gives a percentage number on the back of the bottle, though I always assumed that, being booze, it is full of alcohol.

The best place to get wine is from your local supermarket. Though, if you are a nearly retired school teacher, it might be safer to buy your wine from further afield because those supermarket employees probably have kids at your school and will be taking note of how many bottles you buy. There again, don't forget that you're nearly retired and really don't need to give a shit what they think.

In the supermarket head straight for the Chardonnay section - trust me on this one.

You will soon notice that they are not all the same price.

Rule Number Two:
Don't buy the cheapest or the most expensive.

The real cheap Chardonnays are sometimes shit. Corban's White Label is one to avoid, expecially if you've got a full day of teaching coming up. You only need to buy it if you are in an RSA or in a place like Taihape.

Why not grab that $30 plus bottle?

Expensive plonk won't necessarily get
you pissed any quicker.
The answer is simple:
Two $15 bottles = more wine.
Even a child can work that out.

Okay, dinner is served and you open the first of your two $15 bottles. The little lady is impressed when you tell her how much the wine cost, and that there is a back up bottle if needed.

Make a big thing out of your first sip.*
Tell her that you detect flavours like honey, beetroot and banana. She'll be impressed and, since it's hard to taste much else besides the taste of the bloody wine, you won't be questioned.

Warning: If your wine looks red, like this, it's not Chardonnay.
Drink it anyway, but be more careful next time.

Make a point of mentioning that you grew the herbs in the dinner yourself, but don't overstate the point in case there are consequences later.

Though it's not totally silly to attempt to blame 
such occurances on the wine.

If you go to buy wine and don't really know much about which are the best, there are two points to consider:
  • Choose one with a nicely shaped bottle or a label that catches your eye or
  • Buy wine more often so that you build up some experience.
Well, there you have it. You are now a wine drinker, an apprentice connoisseur. Remember that, when you are taking that first sip, don't mention the same flavours every time. Stick mainly to fruit flavours, but chance your arm occasionally. Surprisingly things like hay, cedar and coal can work but don't use them too often. Avoid tastes like motor oil, concrete and sulfur. Some wine connoisseurs do use sulfur, but they're generally wankers.

Good luck with your drinking.

Just remember that it's not so cool to drink beer, unless you have a 
long flowing beard and it's craft beer. Just be careful there.

* if you get onto the second bottle, don't worry about doing this again because you'll be a little bit pissed and might talk too much shit

martedì 16 maggio 2017

7 weeks and 3 days to go.

I'm nearly free!

Though you never know what's in front of you.
Tuesday, with three 95 minute spells and a 40 minute one, is my hardest day but there are only seven of these left, and I'm away for one, so that makes six.
The boss hasn't announced to the staff that I'm officially going (as he normally does) but he has advertised for a replacement. I gave him a lot of notice so I guess it's not really my problem.

Anyway, there are 7 weeks and 3 days to go.

This lousy war is almost over (click here).

domenica 14 maggio 2017

Mother's Day = Chick Flick time.

We saw this movie called Sense of the Ending.

They referred to the main character as The Curmudgeon and he looked really similar to our famous well known obscue blogger who goes by the same name.

The promo for the film said something like This will depress you.

It was accurate.

They might bring out a sequel for next mother's day. Fingers crossed.

sabato 13 maggio 2017

Saturday Morning Live at Richard's Bass Bag.*

[As the opening credits roll Richard (of RBB) is deeply in discussion with two guests]

Richard (of RBB): Good morning devoted readers of the bag. While you were getting your coffee and having your first pee of the day I've been discussing important topics with my two guests Angry Jesus and Bin Hire.

I see that over on his blog Robert (Geremy/Geramy) HERE is having a bit of a go at Richard Dawkins and atheists.
Angry Jesus: Well those atheists are a bit of a pain in the arse. I don't like being compared to Zeus.
Bin Hire: Don't knock Zeus. He was a pretty good god who led a great team.
Angry Jesus: Not on the same playing field as me, Dad and The Holy Spirit! For fuck's sake!
Richard (of RBB): Let's watch our language. Robert is convinced that Catholicism is the only true religion. That means that all those people in India and China have got it wrong.
Angry Jesus: Well, you've never had Vishnu or Shiva on Saturday Morning Live at Richard's Bass Bag*! Why is that?
Richard (of RBB): Okay, I admit that you're a bit of a crowd puller.
Bin Hire: I just noticed that on my avatar there's a phone number. Do you know that the pope has his phone number on a bottle?
Angry Jesus: What?
Bin Hire: VAT 69.

Richard (of RBB): That's a very old joke Bin.
Bin Hire: An oldie but a goodie.
Angry Jesus: [Under his breath] My full name!
Richard (of RBB): Well chaps I think we'll have to wrap it up there. I've got to Skype an Italian friend this morning so I need to warm up with some Duolingo.
Angry Jesus: Why don't you just concentrate on talking bloody English?
Richard (of RBB): Speaking another language is good for you.
Angry Jesus: Why? I had to learn all those silly Middle Eastern languages back in the old days and I hardly ever use them now. I mean, what good is it being able to chat in Babylonian?
Bin Hire: Might be handy for a baby?
Angry Jesus: Well, aren't you just the funny man this morning!
Bin Hire: يسوع يمشي في حانة ...
Angry Jesus: Yes, I know, and I ask for water and the barman says, "What have you ever done for us?"
Richard (of RBB): Okay, okay. Have a good day everyone and thanks to my two guests.

* the original bass bagging site