mercoledì 30 novembre 2016


EBU24 is back on the road after it's rather expensive addition of a new fuel pump. Evidently it's a mechanical pump - the expensive kind.

I've played 10 concerti for Pam now - it seems she's hanging in there, although there wasn't much sign of her as I played yesterday.

Twelve more days of work, but a lot of paperwork still to be done.

Bass practice has been sparce because I've been using Signore Violina to play to Pam. It has been very windy and the violin is a better bet, with its high notes, for getting the sound from house to house.

I'm having trouble adding pictures to this famous blog at the moment. I tried to post one of my violin with its golden Olive E string - that string certainly packs a lot of power when you're playing solo. It's a good feeling sending those notes out into the Grove.

Time to visit il bagno, then deliver mia figlia to Wellington. After today there will be eleven days left.


That was a substitute for a picture.

domenica 27 novembre 2016

Fixing things.

I'm not too bad at fixing things. I'd say I'm much better than The Curmudgeon, who asks people like a girl (see HERE), but I'm nowhere near Robert's league.

I have this little thing I do - if a job seems too hard, I just put it off and put it off and put it off.
That's what I did with our kitchen cupboard doors in 2004.
There is nothing holding the doors shut and the cupboards all open up if a strong wind blows through the window. Yesterday I noticed that Shelley had used elastic bands around the handles to try to keep them closed.
I had absolutely no plans for the day so I decided to fix them.
Unlike that old girl The Curmudgeon I went to the local hardware shop and systematically searched each aisle in the shop until I found what I needed. It cost $25 to buy the parts that would fix a twelve year old problem.
I watched a YouTube 'how to do it' video while the drill charged up and then decided to use a modified Richard (of RBB) approach to do the job.

All fixed!

* * *

Look who's back! HERE

You can reach TSB through our famous LINKS Service.

sabato 26 novembre 2016

Saturday Update.


Could this be a lemon too?

I was driving to school on Thursday and a thing appeared on my dashboard.

It turns out that this light is telling you there is something wrong somewhere in or near your engine. An auto electrician, for just under $200, can tap into the car's computer and tell you what is wrong.
Exidently it told the people I take my car to that I have a $1730 job coming up.
Oops. I bought the car a few months ago for $2850. That's nearly the price of the car again.
Oh well, such is life.

My old mate Christine, she who can tell you the difference between a conservatory system and a plate system oboe, is having a hip operation on Monday. All of us here at Richard's Bass Bag* wish her well and a very speedy recovery.
All our love Christine!

Can you see the difference?
I can't.



I consulted the web but couldn't really find a simple answer. Perhaps it's sort of a secret among oboists? I guess that most of you will get through life never understanding the difference between these two oboe fingering systems.

I'm about to perform my 7th solo concert to Pam very soon. It's very windy, so the violin might be the better option.

Oh, and happy 10th birthday Eleanor!

* the original bass bagging site

venerdì 25 novembre 2016

Day 6

5 'concerts' done and Pam is still hanging in there.

I'm actually really enjoying doing them. It really does take your playing to another level.

I'm planning a new career, commencing in August 2017. I'm going to become a musician.

I don't know if I'll get many gigs because:
  • There are a lot of hot young musicians out there and
  • I don't do late nights too well anymore.

I'm thinking that solo gigs might be my thing - solo double bass, solo violin. I could also organise concerts and bring other musicians in. The world is full of oportunities.

Right now though I'm planning for 'concert' number 6 with Pam. I used Signora Violina for the last two, so maybe I'll go with La Gloria this afternoon.

mercoledì 23 novembre 2016

Day 4.

She's hanging in there - brave lady.
I think I'll present a programme of jazz standards this afternoon.

Signora Violina carries well on a windy day.

martedì 22 novembre 2016

What really counts.

I have a neighbour who seems to like my playing.
Before you kick in with the double bass jokes, let me tell you that she is dying of cancer - last stage.

She is a very special lady with a very special family.
On Sunday evening (her bedroom is close to us and there was an open door) Shelley instructed me to play for her. I opened our front door and played arco double bass tunes. I played for about half an hour. I really gave it my best and I felt a little weird - in a good way; like all the bullshit about playing music didn't matter anymore. They (the family present) said that Pam had enjoyed it. It was a good feeling.
Though I did hear that one of the feral kids in the neighbourhood had asked, "What's that noise?"

I played a double bass set again yesterday and a forty minute violin set this evening.
My intention is to keep playing every day that Pam has left.
Hey, these are the most important gigs I've ever played.
Well, that's how it feels.

sabato 19 novembre 2016

Richard of Richard's Bass Bag's* Saturday Morning Update.

Good morning and welcome back to the bag.
Christmas is little over a month away. Five weeks.
Almost exactly to the day.
If you've just arrived from another galaxy, but now have a good command of English, let me tell you about Christmas.
The main part of Christmas lasts for one day and is called Christmas Day. It involves decorations,



and lots of food and booze.

Some relatives stay at your place.

Old relatives may need to be picked up.

Not everyone at your Christmas Day celebration will necessarily be the best of buddies. If you're not the one picking up elderly relatives, you can get around being with tiresome people by getting a bit pissed.

Just be careful with this one though. If you get too pissed, you'll probably talk some shit and may say things that could cost you in the future.
Remember: Christmas is not a blog post that you can delete the next day.

* * *

We have a toilet spray called Clean Linen.

It smells like, you guessed it, clean linen.
How did someone think that up? How did they make the smell?
Did they fold a huge pile of linen and then capture the air around it?

I hope the Clean Linen holds up on Christmas day when the bathroom use is at maximum capacity.

* the original bass bagging site

mercoledì 16 novembre 2016

If Jesus does come back...

There are aliens among us!

Shapes like this are often seen in the night sky.

Let's be honest, the ancient Egyptians didn't just build pyramids because they liked moving extremely big bricks or because they liked praising words that are hard to spell.


No siree! These huge pointy things are the outlines of a huge landing strip for giant aliens who were scaring the shit out of the Egyptians.
Egyptian explaining to his wife about the huge landing strip
they needed to build to keep the giant aliens happy.

Giant alien stealing Egyptian cow.

There is documented evidence, written by Egyptian scholars, explaining all of this.

"Now read this carefully people of the future..."
There have been aliens among us for thousands of years. They try to blend in.

They always wear business suits.

There are no women aliens.
Just men aliens in suits.

There you have it, that's the whole story about aliens.

martedì 15 novembre 2016

Earthquake, flood and cancer.

We, as a family, survived the big quake. There are stories to be told - I've talked to many people and everyone has their when the thing happened story. It's quite a nice bonding experience.

Today was flood day. People wondered when they would get home. Shelley decided to stay the night at Daryl & Fran's in Johnsonville. She slept in her clothes last night because she was worried about another big quake. I don't really understand how wearing your clothes to bed would help.
Perhaps it's a woman thing?
I remember that The Curmudgeon, and a guy named Noel, did that quite a bit in the 70s, but they never got anywhere close to women. They certainly tried though.  

A neighbour, a friend, is dying of Cancer. She really is a special lady. A special family really - lots of kids and grandkids. I popped over tonight - she's very frail, but she smiled and turned over to greet me. We held hands. I think she's hanging onto life.
Hanging on.        
She has a lot to hang on for, but the cards are stacked against her.
I hope she goes somewhere happy. Somewhere great.
Maybe a place where there are no earthquakes, or floods.

Life is complicated and sometimes makes little sense.
Cuddle someone you love tonight - if you can.

I'll try to play some double bass.


sabato 12 novembre 2016


This morning I will be talking with Antonio. We've been talking on Saturday morning for quite a while now. We use Skype. We talk for about 40 minitues in Italian and then we talk in English. Antonio lives in Verona. Usual Antonio gives me a Youtube clip to watch during the week and then he asks me questions in Italian.

La scorsa settimana sono andata al cinema con il mio ragazzo a vedere un film. Lucrezia tells us.
Esistono due tipologie principali di biglietto. C'è il biglietto intero o il biglietto ridotto. Il biglietto ridotto è per bamdini, gli studenti e gli anziani.


So, America has a new president. I must admit that it came as a bit of a shock. I've read quite a lot of opinion since the event and obviously a lot of people are unhappy.

I find the presidential election system quite difficult to understand. It seems that it all depends on these things called college votes. I turned to Wikipedia for some clarification:

The United States Electoral College is the body that elects the President and Vice President of the United States every four years. Citizens of the United States do not directly elect the president or the vice president; instead they choose "electors", who usually pledge to vote for particular candidates.

The explanation on Wikipedia goes on much longer than that, but I sort of get the idea.
Well, I guess everyone in the USA knew that was the way it was going to get done. Just let's hope that everone is sensible. Let's hope.

I've got to go and get ready for Antonio now. Enjoy your Saturday.

martedì 8 novembre 2016

Well, that's life I guess.

I remembered this song (from the 60s) today. My brother used to sing it when I was young. Now I'm actually reaching retirement. Slightly prophetic after a few minor recent events. Beh, ma chi va piano va sano e va lontano. Credo.

lunedì 7 novembre 2016

As tight as a duck's arse.

My new shoes were tight, but no water got in.

They were this tight.
It has been pissing down in Nuova Lazio all day. No let up.
I'm home now (just after 10pm) from NLHS prize giving and my new (tight) shoes are off.

They're probably the only shoes I have at the moment, besides sandals and gumboots, so I'm going to have to wear them to school tomorrow.

It's my mother's birthday today. Happy birthday Gloria.
She'd be 95 today.
I think I'd better salute her with a Chardonnay (or two).

Tonight's prize giving was very long - over two and a half hours.
I packed up my (music) gear, but it was far too wet to take any back to the department.
A job for tomorrow.

It's funny how, when your parents have been gone a while, you realise how old they would be if they had survived until now. As Billy Connolly once quipped, "They tell you that if you do this or that you can live longer, but they don't tell you that it will be the bit of life at the end when you are pissing and shitting yourself."
Well, he said something like that.

A lot of popes seem to live for a long time.
Is it because they get together with their cardinals and dress like this?

Sorry, I stole this picture from Robert's blog.
These men who don't marry women seem to like extravagant colours. Cute hats though.
Why do they meet in such a big room? Maybe they get horny if they get too close to each other?
Maybe the room just has very good acoustics? Looks like it probably does.

Up to three Chardonnays now.

This is being silly because I will be very tired tomorrow.
I know, I'll get up a little later!
It'll make the morning seem like a rush but that way I can still get enough sleep.

I think I'm smart enough to be a cardinal!
I did have some purple pants in the 1970s.

Tonight will be was my last senior prize giving, as my plan is to retire in July next year.
I've got to say that it is a bit of a thankless job for a music teacher.

God (a name for someone you make up and then try to adore because he tells you to) I love the rain! It's really pissing down right now.

I was born in August - winter.
I suspect that it was raining when I was born.
Gloria would have been 30 years old then. Younger than my daughter is now.
Her life would have been full of future hope. Three more kids were in the future.

My life is still full of future hope.
Well, I'm not yet 95.
I don't piss or shit myself too often.

Time for bed soon.
Sleep before facing other people's children tomorrow.
Oh, and carrying the gear from prize giving back to my department.
Good exercise though.

Sleep well.

New Shoes

Not a big investment by anyone's standard.
How are they made so cheaply?

My feet got soaked today because of holes in the cheap pair of shoes that have served me well through winter.

Senior prize giving tonight at NLHS and I need dry feet.
It doesn't say on the shoes where they were made. They cost the same price as a reasonable supermarket Chardonnay. Except that, obviously, you can't drink a pair of shoes.

Well, maybe you can.

I can't help but wonder that something is wrong with the world when you can buy a pair of shoes for prize giving for $15.

Still, I needed shoes, and quickly.
I don't have the answers.

sabato 5 novembre 2016


It looks like a nice day out there.
Well, nice enough for a section clean up.
A spring clean.

Lawn mowing will feature in the tidy up procedure.

I also must deal to a few budding Sycamore trees.

These little buggers seem to pop up everywhere and grow so fast.
It seems that there are many of varieties of trees that use the name Sycamore.
Sycamore is a name which is applied at various times and places to several different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms. The name derives from the ancient Greek συκόμορος (sūkomoros) meaning "fig-mulberry".
Well, there you go.

I see on Robert's latest post that he's starting a political party.
He's going to legalise evolution, whatever that means. Also some people will be forced to go to church and those lazy teachers will only be paid when they are actually teaching.
He is also pushing for musicians to be judged and paid for their skill levels.
That's an interesting one. Maybe musicians will have to improvise in awkward keys or learn a really hard piece of music?
One worry is that those lazy teachers count a few music teachers in their ranks. Will they start using their non-contact time to practise up clever musical tricks and put musicians out of work? When evolution is legal it stands to reason that a lot of those lazy teachers will start evolving.
On second thoughts being forced to attend church might take up some of their free time. With a little streamlining church services could be shifted to times when teachers have non-contacts to stop them spending too much time practising musical instruments. I think he's also planning a 10% tax for everyone. Since lazy teachers will now be payed less, they will pay less tax. That seems unfair.
I hope that God will be the head of our state.

God of nations at thy feet
In the bonds of evolution we meet.
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our church going folk.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of lazy teachers,
Pay them only when they teach,
God defend New Zealand

Men of every musical genre

Gather here before thy face,
Judges will determine their place,
God defend our slightly free land.
Make them play arpeggios,
In the keys that no one knows,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Later that same day...

These ducks are enjoying finding treats in the freshly cut grass.