sabato 31 dicembre 2016


Last day of the year.
The lawns are done and practice is sort of up to date.
I've been working on "All The Things You Are" on my three instruments.

I don't know what the new year holds performance wise.
I do have a gig in October.

I'm not too sure yet when I'll finish work - it all depends on finances.

I bought this car twice this year.

I've also got a guy who is hopefully going to prepare and paint the worst two sides of our house.

Wrong colour buddy
So it all adds up.

I won't be hitting the town tonight, and that's fine by me.
Those days are over. Long gone.
Those days of going out with The Curmudgeon, Tony, Noel and Mike in the hope of picking up women.
We all have a regular woman now.
Anyway, that was the worst picking up women team ever put together.
I'm talking the 1970s here.

Today is my 624th day in a row of studying Italian with Duolingo.

I'm a slow learner.

New year's resolutions?
I have none.
No, that's a nun.
However, there will be more practice, more Italian and more jobs to do.
Don't worry, I'll keep you posted here on Richard's Bass Bag.*

Good luck for next year.

* the original bass bagging site

venerdì 30 dicembre 2016

Questa mattina il sole splende.

It looks like it's going to be a nice day in Nuova Lazio.

I hope that Robert is planning to do some violin practice in his time off work. I'm always available to run through a bit of Bach.

Good joke!

It is nearly 2017.
I have no new year's resolutions, and for a reason.
Every year I write resolutions in my diary.
"I will practise x hours per week and..."
I never do it.
I get close, and I try fairly hard, but I never do it.

This year we'll just see what happens.

* * *

TSB hasn't posted for quite a while.

And The Curmudgeon is looking forward to a drink.

He's getting tired of this
alcohol free stuff.
Thanks to Christine for her email regarding Shingo cream and it is good that her hip is coming right.

This guy is pretty hip.
Well, that's it from Richard's Bass Bag* this morning.
Don't sit at your computer all day - go and do something useful.

* the original bass bagging site

martedì 27 dicembre 2016

It's all about me.

Sometimes I get Shelley to take photos of me - like when I'm holding my bass or standing in front of my Italian flag. She is always very obliging and does her very best. She has many wonderful qualities and always amazes me with how genuinely caring she is for people. I have to be honest though and say that, when it comes to using modern technology, she is not a front runner.
Having her take a photo can be a little frustrating as you wait for her to answer the question,
"How does this thing work?"

On Christmas day we do a thing where everybody who comes brings a $10 present. These are given out to guests by pulling names from a hat. This year one gift was left behind.

Shelley's picture taking days may be over.
For anyone around my age who doesn't know, it's called a selfie stick. With this device you can just keep taking pictures of yourself.

You can do all angles, the trick being to keep your selfie stick arm out of shot.
For example, you couldn't take pictures of yourself actually playing a double bass.
You can see in the above picture how I have cleverly kept the selfie stick out of shot. People could easily be tricked into thinking that my right hand is empty and that someone climbed up a ladder to take this shot.
The down side is that people might think,
"Richard (of RBB) is a self centered bastard, and fancy sending poor Shelley up a ladder in a slightly dangerous location to take that photo!"
Well, before you jump to conclusions, I was in fact holding a selfie stick.

* * *

Hey, very sorry to hear that The Curmudgeon has been a bit unwell. All of us here at Richard's Bass Bag* wish him a speedy recovery. Take care old fella. You're in our thoughts.

* the original bass bagging site

lunedì 26 dicembre 2016

Aunty misbehaves at Christmas.

Aunty started throwing food at me. At 97 she should know how to behave herself. Maybe she was pissed off because I gave her lemonade instead of wine?

domenica 25 dicembre 2016

Christmas 2016.

My best Christmas present ever - INFLATABLE JESUS!
On the box it says, "Inflate him, play with him & pray with him."

What a guy Inflatable Jesus is!

Inflatable Jesus is an immediate hit, and a new friend.
Sorry about the hat.

"Worship me!"

Il capo.


sabato 24 dicembre 2016

Christmas Eve.

Some idiot A friend on Facebook asked if we would be having pizza for our Italian Christmas. Facebook is all about one liner replies. Eventually stand up comics will be replaced by Facebook.
Yes, we will be having pizza. Mia figlia is making an authentic base (not to be confused with a bass) - she got a recipe off a chef at her place of work.

I put up decorations yesterday. Wise old Italian sayings.

The wise old sayings of most cultures are actually very similar.

I also installed two outside 'placements' for my flag. FLAG POSITION I & FLAG POSITION II.


FLAG POSITION II is in the back yard where we will eat if the rain ever stops.
I can also hang the flag inside.

FLAG POSITION III - no installation required,
you just hang it over the curtain rail.
Here are some wise old Italian sayings for you to enjoy on Christmas Eve:

Chi va piano va sano e va lontano.

Ad ogni uccello il proprio nido è bello.

Tra moglie e marito non ci mettere il dito.

Tal madre, tal figlia.

Meglio tardi che mai.

venerdì 23 dicembre 2016

mercoledì 21 dicembre 2016

5 weeks off.

Liking it so far.
Yesterday I kicked off my fitness regime and got back on track with my bass practice.

Disclaimer: The staff at RBB take no
responsibility for the accuracy of this

I'm also pushing my Italian language study along.

Flag or burka?
Sunday 25th is a very important day because, after that, I'll have 4 weeks left.

It's all done with ropes.

martedì 20 dicembre 2016

Tuesday 20th December.

I saw the light yesterday.

Last time I saw the light it cost me $1730.
That wasn't long ago.
Cost of car = $2850 + $1730 + ?
It's going to be a bit tricky to find someone to fix it just before Christmas, or in early January.
If I were a religious person I'd feel really pissed off with my god.

"I'm not religious, I'm just inspecting the
mat for fleas."
* * *

Christmas is closing in fast. Christmas means different things to different people.
For Robert it's Jesus's birthday (he's 2016 this year). To The Curmudgeon it's time to relax up north with a 76 Pinot Gris and a bottle of Chardon which he found on special in the Whangerei Countdown. For TSB it's a chance to think up a new blog post - god (Robert's invisible friend) knows it takes him long enugh to post.

For Richard (of RBB) it will be helping to prepare lunch, taking Aunty home afterwards, drinking some vino, playing some music and thanking the Lord Jesus for the day.
Sounds good to me.

Later that same day...
Oxygen sensor $733.

lunedì 19 dicembre 2016


Robert (aka G Watkins III) did a decibel test on my statement that the G string on the violin is the loudest - HERE.
Okay, he may well be right.
I made the claim for two reasons:
  • I was told this by an experienced violinist and
  • When I play my violin through an amplifier, the G string is definitely louder.
I guess I'll have to do a decibel test too.
I'll be careful to play each string with the same amount of pressure and bow speed.

Here we go.
G string = 70
D string = 70
A string = 70
E string = 70
The needle flickered a bit, but all four strings averaged out at around 70.
Okay, there's no way to dispute that - Robert is correct.
Acoustically the strings do sound pretty even to my ear.
Though certainly through an amp the loudness on the G string stands out.

Make of it what you will. Well done Robert.

domenica 18 dicembre 2016

Christmas shopping

Nero d'Avola di Sicilia.

Nuova Lazio Violin Day.

Today is Nuova Lazio Violin Day. December 18th was chosen because it's not too close to Natale.*

Generaly on NLV Day people are encouraged to get their violins out and play. I intend to play for most of the day. Here are a few facts about the violin that 82% of the population don't know:
  • The chin rest is named after its own function and a Mr Chinrest.
  • If you buy a violin and it is in tune, it doesn't mean that it will stay in tune.
  • The G string is the loudest string on the violin. If you don't believe this, put a pickup on your violin and run it through an amp.
  • Making more violin bows will not mean that there will be lots of horses with no tails.
The violin is a very beautiful instrument and it is a shame that some people have to make silly looking electric violins.

Well, that's about it on NZV Day. Go out and play your violin.

* Christmas (the noun), not native (the verb)

sabato 17 dicembre 2016


Penso che sarà una bella giornata. Penso il sole sarà splendente. Ho una vacanza di cinque settimane. Bravo! Natale è vicino. Avremo un natale italiano. Ieri ho compratto vino rosso italiano, tre piccoli panettoni e alcuni pomodori in scatola dalla sicilia. 

venerdì 16 dicembre 2016

Having fun with my new flag.

I certainly won't flag my practice
over Christmas.

Flag fitness training.

giovedì 15 dicembre 2016


In my last post I got a little muddled.
Just to clear things up, this is Maggi

Four wise sauses.

and this is Magi.

Three wise men.

The Maggi visit the Messiah.

This post was inspired by Robert's comment on my last post:
"Have them read aloud Mathew 2.1 - 2.23. Appropriate for Christmas!"

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Maggi from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel. And he will bring instant noodles. ’”
""Yum!"" said Herod.

mercoledì 14 dicembre 2016

Old music teachers' saying...

When the music goes well at prizegiving no one says a word but, when it goes badly, queues of people are lining up to tell you.

Obviously music teachers try to avoid disaster. I chose two vocalists from a concert in term three - patted them on the shoulder and informed them that they had been chosen, from thousands, to perform at junior prize giving. They had sounded great. They both readily agreed.

I felt smug because here were two top performers. Junior prize giving is a hard one because, before the event, students go off on school activity days and you have a short time to pull them back into line.

We practised today.


They both saw the size of the new venue, caused by the old venue being out of action because of earthquake damage, and went into panic mode.
They both were nervous and sounded pretty terrible.

I have about thirty minutes tomorrow to turn things around.
It's a bit like being in charge of the Italian rugby team to take on the All Blacks.

Ma, ricorda, chi va piano va sano e va lontano.
At least, I hope so.