domenica 30 aprile 2017

Ten weeks to go.

Some would say that coming into the final straight (running talk) is a bit early to celebrate, but what the hell!
I started doing this job forty years ago, maybe with a couple of years off doing different things, but forty years is a long time.
So, sixty eight days from now I'll be standing in front of my last real class. Okay, I'm going to need to do quite a bit of relief teaching for about a year, until my ticket (marine engineer talk) runs out, but that's really babysitting. I can handle that.
The only complicated paper work I'll still have to do will be in the bathroom. 
(Go on The Curmudgeon, do your worst with that last sentence! I don't care.)
68 days. They'll fly by pretty fast once I'm back at the front.
Ten weeks to go.
Chi va piano va sano e va lontano 
tra il dire e il fare c'è di mezzo il mare.
Choose the phrase that best fits you.
I'm going for the first one.

sabato 29 aprile 2017

Richard (of RBB) apologises to his bass for not doing enough practice.

"Sorry The Gloria."
Richard (of RBB) and The Gloria might play a couple of tunes at a folk club 'open mic' concert in Newtown in a couple of weeks, but Richard (of RBB) better get his act together first!

Off to practise now.

martedì 25 aprile 2017


Two gigs done - two dawn parades.
The green trumpet did a very good job.

The last gig is at 11am. The last The Last Post for today and also a violen duet, with an ex student, for the laying of wreaths. We're doing a medley of Abide With Me, Hine E Hine and Now Is The Hour. We had a practice yesterday - very short notice after the local choir pulled out.

Later that samwe day...
2.07pm. About to head off to do Last Post No 4. This will be the last Last Post for today, and not the one at 11am.

That's the Petone rugby team in the background.

domenica 23 aprile 2017

Caution surface may be slippery.

We went for a walk on the Wellington waterfront today. This sign read, "Caution surface may be slippery." "Caution surface may be very wet." might have been more accurate.

However, it was a beautiful day and we walked for over an hour - very pleasant. I took a few pictures. Unfortunately there are no pictures of windows, but WGAF.

There's a ship out there somewhere.

Then we went to a little Italian wine shop in Petone. Really great people and a fair bit of Italian was spoken.
I bought this bottle.

Now I am a little bit pissed. Ma chiva piano va sano e va lontano.
Buonanotte aimci.

sabato 22 aprile 2017

A message from our CEO - Richard (of RBB).

Richard (of RBB)
Hello and welcome back to the bag. It's been quite a busy week. During the week I helped my son George (of RBB) check out a motorcycle. 

Suzuki 250
I told George (of RBB) that I was happy to drive the bike down to get a warrant and later drive it home. I reminded him of my vast riding experience (back in the 1970s). I got on the bike and found it a bit different to those great bikes they made in the 70s. He was following behind in my car and was not impressed by my riding skills - indercators going left, right and centre, a wobbly bike that moved in jerks and was holding up a lot of traffic. I gave up and headed back to the vendor's house. Fortunately he was a gay guy and I suspected he'd be more sympathetic to my bumbling skills than some big macho biking guy. He was very nice to me, though I did suspect a smirk or two. The vendor finished up riding the bike down for the warrant and I was relieved of duty. I suspect it was the bike's fault.
For the last two days, since my return to riding motorcycles, I've had very sore legs and have struggled to get into my car. Old age, as they say, is not for sissies.

Here's a window to keep The Curmudgeon and Robert happy.

I've just fitted this into the back of our house.
Well that's it from me on this sunny Saturday afternoon.

venerdì 21 aprile 2017


There's been a fair bit of pressure put on us at Richard's Bass Bag* to share the trend started by that old fellow The Curmudgeon and do a post on windows.
Sorry to anyone who dies of boredom. I promise that this will be a one off post.

Okay, here we go...

If I sit at my computer and turn my head to the left I see this window.
Windows have two main functions:
  • You can look through them and
  • They let light in.
This is a one function window.

It has a 'I belong to this house' feature in that it is similar to the window in the bathroom.

I'm talking about the little bumpy bits on the glass. The bathroom window has an added feature in that it can open to let bad smells out. Handy.

This next window is also near the computer.

It's a handy window because, if you're using the computer, you can simply look up to see if it is night or day, raining or sunny. Uncle Steve put this window in when we converted the garages into much needed rooms.

The laundry window is also a very handy window because the pipe thingy from the dryer dangles out through its opening.

The plants in the picture probably have some complicated Latin name like Geranus Verusbiggus.

This next window is the window to use if you want to view the Richard's Bass Bag* company vehicle.

If you look out the front window of the Richard's Bass Bag* offices, you see vegetation.

This is why it is often referred to, in conversation, as the vegetation window.

I'm talking now to anyone who is still awake.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of some of our windows. If for some reason you have a windows fetish, you might find relief by visiting The Curmudgeon's bleak little blog - HERE.
Or, I suppose, you could get help - HERE.


* the original bass bagging site

giovedì 20 aprile 2017

Nearly that time again.

Anzac day is the day I do three trumpet gigs. My only other trumpet gig is on that day celebrating the end of one of the big wars - I can't remember what it's called.
Anyway, on these two days I get to play the Last Post & Reveille in Nuova Lazio.
This year I'll be using my plastic trumpet with Nuova Lazio colours.

I only really practise when one of my two gigs is approaching. It's a solo gig in front of quite a few people, so it's nice to get it right.

lunedì 17 aprile 2017

My two double bass bows.

I've changed my older bow back to French, so I now have a German and a French. Life is fun!

Good Monday.

The final day of Pasqua for 2017.
All credit to Jesus, as Sean used to say, for getting a lot of people the day off work.

"All credit to Jesus."

I'll continue with my slow bass practice today and will also try to put in a bit of quality time on my violin. There's a jazz jam on in town and I'm tempted to go (con violin).
We'll see how the day pans out.

731 consecutive days of Duolingo today - that's two years (including one leap year).

For those of you who don't know, Duolingo is a language learning program.

I can now say things like...
Egli dormi per più di diece ore   or
Approfitteremo della loro assenza.

Well, I'm off now.
Ciao, ciao.

domenica 16 aprile 2017


Buona Pasqua.

300 to 350bpm is the aim, with an eighth note solo. I've done 1 3/4 hours this morning with a slow metronome and will try to do this afternoon.

I'm talking double bass here.

I think I set the metronome at crotchet = 88. The numbers are very small and I find them hard to read. Really it doesn't matter, as long as the tempo is slow.

At first it was pretty boring practising like this but then I pretended I was playing really fast, but in slow motion. Then it became kind of fun - I'm heading back to do some more practice shortly. It'd be great to get to 3 or 4 hours and then do the same amount tomorrow.

350bpm is pretty fast so it would be good to get Cherokee up there after about 10 hours of practice (I've done some practice over the last few days too). Maybe I'll make a video with my son?

Here's Winton doing it...

He's at about 300bpm.

Well, I'd better get back to Cherokee.
Ciao, ciao.

sabato 15 aprile 2017

Oh shit!

Have a look at this...

Okay, maybe I'll hold off on becoming a Catholic again.
I blame Joey.

He seemed like such a believable guy in Full House.
When I saw him on that cross (picture posted by Robert) I thought, "This has just got to be true!"

I guess it's back to talking about music practice and Italian language.
At least that means that I don't have to go to Mass today.

Okay, I've seen the light!

Okay, Robert on his famous reasoning blog currently titled 'Geramy the lesser' has converted me to Catholism.

Go here to get saved too...

I like this image of my saviour because it is something I can relate to.

I like this picture because Jesus (my saviour) looks just like Joey from Full House.

You have to imagine a beard and a crown of thorns.
Is it coincidence that their names both begin with 'J'? I think not.
Joey was such a nice guy in Full House and demonstrated all the qualities that Jesus (my saviour) has.

Before I returned to the one true church I used to often wonder what became of Joey after the show was wrapped up. Now it sort of all makes sense. Joey will rise from the dead tomorrow. Maybe he'll get the Full House cast back together and they'll start making new episodes.
Now that would surely be Heaven!

Ah, chucks!

venerdì 14 aprile 2017

On this fairly good Friday I'm moving.

Moving my son and his partner to another location.
With age some things cease to happen and some things happen less frequently but the good news is that you never get too old to move your children.
It's pissing down outside so jacking up the hire of a moving truck was a good idea - it'll feel almost like the old days at Murray Roberts.

As everyone knows, today is a special day on the calendar. It's my 33rd wedding anniversary. I've now been married longer than I've been single. It's too early in the morning to get all sentimental on you. Let's just say that it was a bloody good move (well, it is moving day).

It's pissing down outside as I sit in the main office at Richard's Bass Bag.* I hope I'm not held up by flooded roads.

George is doing his first ever double bass gig on Sunday and I'm taking my girlfriend to it.

He said they're having a few guests up to play and asked me if I wanted to play bass on Cherokee. Now Cherokee is a very fast tune and can be a bit of a test on the bass. I suspect he might be feeling a little uneasy about playing it. I said yes.
Things could change and I may not get called up but, to be on the safe side, I'll use every available hour this weekend to practise Cherokee. I've started with very slow practice because that's what Rachmaninoff would do.


It felt good to be back behind the wheel of a truck.

Only one load was needed with a truck this size.

Oh and, Rob, these are the parts for Miles of Texas. I'll play the top part. The tune is in the second part - in the first version.

* the original bass bagging site

giovedì 13 aprile 2017

Just plain stupid!

"The New Zealand Rugby Union has agreed to allow Sonny Bill Williams to continue covering up the logo of a major bank sponsor of his Super Rugby side the Blues.
Williams taped over the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) logo on his Blues jersey in his Super Rugby comeback on Saturday night, causing some to question whether he could face a misconduct charge.
But in a statement on Wednesday the NZRU said it had agreed to a request from Williams to cover the logo up permanently on the grounds of his Islamic faith."

Exhibiting a very similar physique
to Richard (of RBB)

"He objects to wearing the logo because Islam forbids financial institutions charging interest and fees on loans."

Maybe he should just play for free, for the joy of playing the game? He could use his skills to celebrate his god rather than using them to make vast amounts of money. I bet that doesn't happen.

mercoledì 12 aprile 2017

Last day of Term One tomorrow.

One term to go.

Ten weeks.

Term 2 ends on July 7th.

Okay, I'll have six weeks before I hit 65 and can get into my Kiwi Saver, but I should be able to save enough to cover that period. Plus I'll have some holiday pay coming.

I will be happy.

Very happy.

domenica 9 aprile 2017

A sunny day in Nuova Lazio.

Okay, this sunny Sunday looks like being quite a busy day.

It'll be a day that involves some violin playing.

Robert is popping around at 11am and we are going to sort out some PBs tunes. I also intend to put in a bit of quality DB practice, like I did yesterday, and then I'm heading over to a Bluegrass jam.
I might even try to get the lawns done in between.

Tame and Tamer.

It's interesting to witness that, in these times when Richard's Bass Bag* continues to take things to new heights of interesting, The Curmudgeon seems to have lost direction altogether on his blog.

Door stops, for Christ's sake!

First we got a tour of the windows in his house and then he moved onto...


His latest effort shows pictures (around the house again) that they love so much they even take them on holiday!

Yes, you heard me correctly, they take their paintings on holiday.
"These are really nice pieces of original art and are generally about 1m x 75cm so, with the vibrant colours, really stand out. She likes them so much that when she went to Canada and UK for 2 and a half years she took three of her favourites with her."

I wonder how many pictures they would take on a trip to, say, Napier? Remembering that most motels already have pictures on their walls.

"Hello, yes, the name's Curmudgeon, first name The. I'd like to book a double room in your motel for two nights in August. 4th and 5th, to be precise. Can you tell me how many pictures we would expect to find on the walls of our unit? No, you see, we'll be bringing out own paintings and would like to hang them for two nights. Yes, I realise it's a rather unusual request but we have paintings by
Harold Coop. What do you mean, you haven't heard of him?"

Harold Coop, Harold Coop,
Looking at his paintings
While I drink some soup.

* the original bass bagging site