lunedì 26 giugno 2017


Days to go.

domenica 25 giugno 2017

800 giorni, ogni giorno, duolingo.

Okay, maybe not as exciting as The Curmudgeon's post about beautuful days. 
I jest. What was he thinking?
Read the world's deadliest blog post HERE.

Are you still with me? I'm even sorry for linking to it. Somehow I feel dirty.
The mere act of 'linking' has pulled Richard's Bass Bag* through the mud.

"I don't believe that post!"

I guess the question for The Curmudgeon's blog is where to from here?
Home and Garden magazine might see his blog as a threat.
Alistair Cook will be turning in his grave!

Well, I'm off to complete my 800th consecutive day of duolingo.
Maybe some Italian will get that Perfect Day post out of my head?

* the original bass bagging site

sabato 24 giugno 2017


Lettuce pray.
The All Blacks play The Lions this evening. One team will win and one team will lose. It won't be a draw. That's for damn sure.
My guess is that it may come down to forward power. This Lions team seems to have worked out a way of shutting down the more open running game that the ABs (and other kiwi teams) like to play and you certainly can't blame them for wanting to win. Coming second, while it might be okay in athletics, just doesn't work in rugby.

Old photo
I don't have Sky TV so my dilema is do I go and watch the game in a bar?
That would mean a wine or two, which would mean taking a bus, which would mean being a bit cold.
I have a mate who is flying to Auckland at 5pm, watching the game, sleeping in the airport and catching the 7am flight home.
Now that's keen!
Makes me feel guilty if I don't make that cold bus trip into the night.

Nuova Lazio bus
In the old days there was the RSA just down the road. You could walk stumble home after the match and a few wines. They even put on a van that would take you home for $5.
Come to think of it, jazz festivals were better when they held them in RSAs.

Nuova Lazio RSA - shut now unfortunately

They had these big concerts where everybody got to play. Unknowns and stars in the same concert. It was a good way for a musician to get seen. 

Anyway, it's Saturday and the school term is running out. The end of term also means the end of a salary, but I have a trick or two up my sleeve. One of these is relief teaching (a bit like babysitting), which pays well and it seems they're short of relief teachers.

The dream would be to do lots of gigs, but that's not really realistic. I certainly will try though - maybe some solo violin gigs could be the answer?

Talking of gigs, the PBs have two coming up in July. One in Upper Hutt and one in Petone.
That's a good way to start retirement.

Time to go. There are things to do. Enjoy your Saturday (if you're not working).
Ciao, ciao.

venerdì 23 giugno 2017

giovedì 22 giugno 2017

11 days to go.

Think the number in a cricket team...

...or a soccer team.

Or, of course, the Apostles after Judas scuffed up and was kicked out.

"Welcome to The Apostles Keith.
We don't want to be mistaken for 
a soccer team."

mercoledì 21 giugno 2017

12 days to go!

"Well done Richard (of RBB) but don't forget that we worked
better without Judas Iscariot, so eleven days to go will be better."
A nice message from Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus and Simon. They still aren't talking to Judas Iscariot. Anyway, he's in Hell.

"Morning Satan."
"Morning Judas."
"Looks like it's going to be another hot one."
One sad thing about the Apostles is that some of them had the same name and, since surnames maybe weren't compulsory at this time, you had to add an explanation like 'the son of'.
Somehow being known as James the son of Zebedee is a bit of a mouth full and a little hard to distinguish from James the son of Alphaeus.
I work with another guy named Richard and we both just call each other Richard, though sometimes I call him Riccardo.
Maybe James the son of Zebedee was called Jim?
Judas has a surname - Iscariot.
I think that got mentioned because, sometimes when you are unpopular, people call you by your surname.
"Hey Simon, I heard someone talking about Iscariot today, that sell out prick!"
Maybe all the other apostles had surnames but it was friendlier not to use them?
Peter Brown, Andrew Becket, James McCarthy, John Smith, Philip Reynolds, Bartholomew (Bart to his friends) Bartelloni, Thomas Johnson, Matthew Shite (unfortunate name) , James Bradson, Thaddaeus Short and Simon Farquar.

We know that Jesus had a surname. God the Father doesn't seem to have one. Though I guess that God is more of a title like Prime Minister.
God probably has a name. Maybe it's Sean Thompson, or Jimmy Christ?
Maybe the Holy Spirit has a name too and being a holy spirit is like a job description.
Dave McCarthy, Holy Spirit. Two lines on his door.

Or maybe it just says 'Holy Spirit' on Dave's door?

martedì 20 giugno 2017

"Hey Richard (of RBB), what's your favourite number?"

Well, right now its 13.

"Sorry but isn't that an unlucky number?"
Unless you're the Holy Spirit and were expecting there to be three of you but, anyway, Chris told Robert off for going on about the Holy Spirit and people being anti-evolution when sending emails about PB things.
Chirs is a little bit like God the Father.

...and Robert knows not to lock horns with Chris.
Jesus Chris(t) no!
Anyway, 13 more days at school.

They could be the longest 13 days of my life.
Only time will tell.

lunedì 19 giugno 2017

14 days to go.

Though, the way it's going, it could seem like a lifetime.

Everyone on the management team seems keen to see me teach.

I just want to wind down, but we have an Arts Faculty audit next week as well.

Still, fourteen days will pass.

domenica 18 giugno 2017

PBs in training for gig.

Robert finds time to attend practice
despite needing to be at an American
Civil War fancy dress party.
PBs are almost ready for their latest gig. That's Daryl holding the bass. He gave Robert some advice on background percussion playing. Looks like the boys are ready to go.

sabato 17 giugno 2017

15 days to go.

Then a gig in Upper Hutt with the PBs.

Rumours have been circulating for some time of a possible PBs reunion concert. All five brothers have now categorically confirmed that they are putting their individual music careers (and any past differences) on hold to come together for a one off concert at Mainly Acoustic.

The PBs’ first introduction to music was at St Mary’s Convent in Hill Street, Wellington, but the brothers soon grew tired of sitting Royal College music exams and headed off on their own individual musical journeys. The journeys were varied. Chris discarded classical piano for a guitar and a Beatle wig, Richard up-sized from violin to double bass, Robert tried out the drums but rightly returned to the violin, Rodney swapped Mozart minuets for any song by The Band and Daryl learnt to play another thirteen instruments besides piano.

The PBs perform a blend of their own individual music, with each brother usually getting a turn up front (this keeps everyone happy). So expect lots of different instruments, perhaps some country, perhaps some swing, and even some folk.

giovedì 15 giugno 2017

16 days to go.

3 weeks and one day.

16th to 30th June

3rd to 7th July

Then it's all over.


Unless Robert (Brother Ass) goes ahead with his plan to take up the drums again.

Stick with your violin and Italian lessons Rob.

mercoledì 14 giugno 2017

17 days to go.

A lot will happen in those 3 weeks and 2 days, but time always passes.
That's for damn sure!

martedì 13 giugno 2017

18 days to go.

Tuesday is always a long day for me at Nuova Lazio High School and today was no different. We have 1hr 35m spells four days a week and, on a Tuesday, I get three of these plus a 40m manaaki spell (what used to be called a form class).
I get my big year 9 class last. This class has enough idiots to make it very hard work.

Our school should have banned disruptive students and
kept the dogs (see my last post).
Anyway Bad Tuesday will only happen three more times.
This is a day when Robert's Holy Spirit could have helped out.

I'm waiting on the Holy Spirit
Thumbing for a ride
Waiting for the Holy Spirit
I hear he will provide.

"Sorry old school teacher
Keep your nose to the grind
Even Holy Spirits have limits
We don't go near Year 9s."

Well, thanks a lot Holy Spirit!

"Those Year 9s are fucking trouble.
The old boy's on his own."

lunedì 12 giugno 2017

Some things make no sense.

The place where I work banned dogs today. It sort of came out of the blue. I didn't know that we had a dog problem. I've seen the occasional dog around our school, once in a blue moon (and I really do mean 'once in a blue moon'). I've seen no sign of dog shit and there have been no known incidents involving dogs. I know the caretaker has a dog that is locked up in his office for most of the day. Don't jump to conclusions that he treats it badly - he is the most caring dog owner you'd see anywhere. One teacher used to have a dog that slept in his car for most of the day - he's a fitness guy and would take the dog for huge adventures after school, hence the dog needing to sleep. One of our guidance counselors brings her dog in about once a week at most.
I didn't know that we had a dog problem and I spend pretty long days at school; and I walk around quite a lot.
The reasons put forward for the ban were:
1) Health and Safety - caused by dog shit
2) The risk of attacks
3) Work time lost.
None of these three things seems to be a known problem. To be honest, you'd have to find a dog first; I mean you'd have to look really hard for a dog before you got upset.

It seems that someone must have simply thought, "We don't want dogs around here." The question is, what prompted that thought?

19 days to go.

Twenty days to go!

Oops, the dangers of early morning blogging - after ten hours of sleep!

I just deleted this post by mistake!

Worse than post Chardonnay blogging!
Maybe it's the coffee?

Hey, where's the milk?

sabato 10 giugno 2017


Oggi aiuto mia figlia a trasferirsi a Newtown. Ho un furgone.

La pioggia non è veramente un problema.

About 15 minutes later...

I just looked out the window and it's not raining. The rain-like sound I heard was actually our new heater.

The move...

Almost rude number plate on the truck.

mercoledì 7 giugno 2017


Quattro settimane e due giorni per andare. Quindi la libertà.
La libertà!
Ho ancora bisogno di lavorare perché chi no lavoro non mangia.

The British, Irish and New Zealand Lions play the Auckland Blues tonight.

Funny how everyone seems to have written them off after one game - a narrow win to them. I remember that people did the same thing to the 1971 Lions when they lost a game (was it to Canada?) on the way over. Do you remember the All Blacks in Samoa a couple of years ago?
This has the potential to be a very strong Lions team. Okay it's a tough itinery but remember that, after the Crusaders game, the NZ Super Rugby teams will be without their All Blacks. 
I wish the British, Irish and New Zealand Lions well. It could be a very good contest as things move along and, of course, go the All Blacks!

lunedì 5 giugno 2017

Happy Birthday to the Queen.

Happy birthday to the queen,
Longest rein we've ever seen.
That's the story, ha!
Even longer than Victoria.

(poem dedicated to Robert for doing Italian on duolingo)

Good old Lizzy has done 65 1/3 years so far.

* * *

I went to the Nuova Lazio jazz jam yesterday. The audience got up to four when Shelley walked in.

I played guitar because we had no rhythm section - just two tenor saxes, a blues guitarist and me armed with guitar and fiddle. The blues guitarist couldn't read the charts so he just played pentatonic scales over everything. It was an interesting challenge to try to make the music work. Good for my guitar playing, I guess.

My son altered the above picture
  • to get the blues guitar player the right way around and
  • he added a capo so that it looks like he's playing chords behind me.

They'd be very trebly chords.

* * *

So Robert and I are now following each other on duolingo.

I thought it would be fun to have a little challenge. Here's what we have to do.
Write a sentence or two for the other boy to respond to.
  • Keep it simple. The object is not to catch the other boy out but to communicate.
  • Don't use Google Translate but a dictionary (book form) is okay.
  • The object is to help each other and mistakes are fine.
So here goes.

Caro Roberto,
E` buon che tu fai practica l'italiano. Buona fortuna. Noi andiamo insieme.

Robert can either reply in a comment here or on his blog.

domenica 4 giugno 2017

Those damn atheists are robbing our dairies!

Typical damn atheist.

A comment was left on The Curmudgeon's seldom read blog in response to a well written post about people robbing dairies in Auckland (and other places).

Okay, the comment was probably written after a beer or two and I can symathise with that since I've been known to write one or two comments after a chardonnay (or, very rarely, two). So what I am about to write is by no means an attack on the comment's author. I thought I'd just answer the questions the comment asks. Feel free to leave a comment here if you have different thoughts.

The comment reads:
A society that rejects morals? Which I hate to repeat are of Christian origin.
How many of these robbers are atheists?
As an expert in atheism you have never addressed this.
Why should an atheist care about robbing a dairy?
What code governs an atheist?
What single thing does an atheist believe that has work to the betterment of those we love.

So here goes:
1) A society that rejects morals? Which I hate to repeat are of Christian origin.
From what I know, religious people before the Christians pushed similar ideas. If you look for Christian morals you can't really go past the 10 commandments, three of which are about 'obeying' the author and are not really morals at all. Generally Atheists don't go around murdering each other because they understand the principle that being less extreme in your dealings with others makes life better for everyone, including yourself. Atheists don't do things to win favour from a god figure, they are able to see others in the same boat as themselves and feel empathy. Atheists also feel love, anger, sadness and happiness. These emotions are not owned by religious people. Atheists (except for the ones who are naughty and rob dairies) follow a strong moral code based on what is best for the common good so that everyone can live the best possible lives.

2) How many of these robbers are atheists?
I don't know but I would guess that there are at least as many Christians. You'd really have to do a survey in a prison. I have know quite a few Christians who were complete arseholes so I don't think they can all be completely rulled out from the group of people who rob dairies. I'm sure that some  atheists rob dairies too.

3) As an expert in atheism you have never addressed this.
This statement was really meant for The Curmudgeon but he was off at the rugby in Whangerei last night and is probably still in bed, so I'll answer for him (I qualify because I am an atheist).
I don't see myself as an expert Atheist, though I do study things and listen to those wiser than me. I also try to keep an open mind. I think, with this statement, you are talking about the numbers of dairy robbers who are atheists. I tried to address this in question 2.

4) Why should an atheist care about robbing a dairy?
Empathy. Honesty. Unselfishness. I have never robbed a dairy.

5) What code governs an atheist?
Empathy. Honesty. A love for our fellow human beings and other animals. Looking for honest answers.

6) What single thing does an atheist believe that has work to the betterment of those we love.
Empathy. Kindness. Sharing. Not believing silly shit that can lead to bad decisions.

sabato 3 giugno 2017


Learning a language is tough. You've got to know a lot of words and you need to understand what order they go in.
Verbs are not easy. In Italian there a heaps of them and they seem to come in many different forms.
The verb fare is a pretty important one. It means to make.
An Italian would say, "I make practise the violin."

"Faccio pratica il violino."

I did something really weird on May 18th - I stopped recording my practice.

I don't know if it was a good thing or a bad thing.
I just thought, "Lo farò." I will do it.
I've recorded my practice for over 30 years.

"Please Richard (of RBB) practise me!"
I'm a little worried that my practice has gone off the boil, but I can't go back. Not unless I start a different type of practice book.

Tra il dire e il fare c'è di mezzo il mare.
Between the talk and the doing there is, in the middle, the sea.

Maybe I just need to take it one day at a time.
Chi va piano va sano e va lontano.
Who goes slow goes healthy and goes a long way.

I might buy some sort of practice record book and, then again, I might not. Trouble is, I like counting and recording things. Today is my 778th day in a row of studying Italian on a program called duolingo


The new practice recording book (and special matching pen).