sabato 30 settembre 2017

Off to Rotorua today.


Both bows are packed.

Both German and French will feature
in the Rotorua gig.
We will travel in the Batmobile.

Angey Jesus and his assistant The Curmudgeon are in charge while I'm away.

Angry Jesus
The Curmudgeon

mercoledì 27 settembre 2017

I decided to sleep in this morning.

Then the phone rang.

My reaction was somewhere in between these next two pictures.

The end result was that I had about an hour to:
  • drink coffee
  • check the blogs
  • use the bathroom
  • organise breakfast and lunch and
  • get to Nuova Lazio High School.
Fortunately Wednesday is a short day at NLHS but I think I'm back tomorrow.

Friday is preparation day for the big trip north.

Saturday is the big driving day.

In reality an older car and an older bass player.
While I'm away I've appointed Angry Jesus and The Curmudgeon to keep the blogs ticking over.

I hope they'll be mature about it and not get into too many fights.

martedì 26 settembre 2017

Wet old day in Wellington today.

It's a wet old day in Wellington today,
It's a wet old day in Wellington today.
Hoping that the phone won't ring,
I'd rather stay home than get some pay,
It's a wet old day in Wellington today.

Wellington on a better day.

I've always liked the rain, I suspect that I was born on a wet August day. However, I've had my fill of wet days this year. It's impossible to walk on a day like this - very heavy rain out there.

Last Sunday Shelley and I went for a walk in Lower Hutt, by a river. I noticed this sign.

I looked at the buildings. They were all shut up and there was a barrier across the entrance. It just goes to show that you shouldn't believe everything you read.

I'm going to start reading this book today.

It says on the inside of the jacket, "Questo volume nasce dunque da un vivo attaccamento alla propria città ed è così attento ed efficace ad interpretarne i fatti e le persone che finisce per essere un esame psicologico, un ritratto, o, più ampiamente, una rappresentazione del suo spirito e della sua fisionommia."
I think it's going to be about Firenza, but I haven't read it yet.

Well, that's it from me for today. Don't forget to check out Bin's Bass Bag and the many other exciting blogs available on our LINKS Service.


lunedì 25 settembre 2017

Once on a windy Monday.

Once on a windy Monday
Richard sat at home
Typing out a little thought
And waiting for the phone.

Would it ring or would it not?
He'd wait for a little time
Because he knew that in that line
He'd find his final rhyme.

Actually I'm not a great fan of poetry. For me the need for an occasional rhyme gets in the way of what one is trying to say.
We had a good practice yesterday for the Rotorua jazz gig. I've put quite a lot of work into how I pluck the bass and I feel I'm getting a better sound.

Plus there's the two bows being used for the first time on this gig.

I know The Curmudgeon (an avid reader of the bag) likes to keep up with how my planning for gigs is going. There's not too much to do up in the far north. I'm expecting a new blog from him shortly. Maybe it's windy up there too and a chair has blown over?

Not the actual chair, but it does serve to
remind us how bad storms can be way up north.
Maybe he's planning a series of posts on different cars that have driven past his house? One thing you can count on, it'll be exciting reading. Questo è maledittamente certo!

Robert's blog is blank again - no posts. The good news is that Angry Jesus is busy writing another post. I'll look forward to reading that.

domenica 24 settembre 2017

What happened?

So it comes down to Winston.

There are still special votes to be counted.

It seems that 2,169,802 people voted.
National got 998,813 party votes, Labour got
776,556, NZ First got 162,988 and the Greens got 126,995.

It seems that a lot of people didn't vote - our population was 4,818,981 this morning.
A guess babies and children can't vote.

Personally the saddest thing is that the RBB electorate has gone to National.

The only good thing is that the Greens are still there.

sabato 23 settembre 2017

Election Day.

We've received a lot of mail this week at Richard's Bass Bag.*
People are asking us about the NZ political elections. They're asking about the parties and how they should vote.
Okay, let's see if we can clear the fog.

To understand political parties you need to understand bass bows.

The German and the French bow basically do the same job but they bow have subtle differences. The German can produce more power but the French is a quick string crosser who can produce a sweet tone. A coalition between these two bows would be a good idea, but not many bassists use both bows. These two bows could be compared to the Labour Party and the Greens. The French bow, while maybe not being as loud, would bring up environmental issues. The German bow would be concerned more with housing.
I hope that clears politics up for you.

So it's Saturday!
I have some charts (music) to check out today because next weekend it's off to Rotorua for Shelley and I. (and La Gloria and my guitar Jim Dandy) The Rotorua Jazz Club evidently likes happy music and singers. Jazz clubs these days seem to attract an older audience that is not necessarily that keen on jazz. Funny that.
We've got a few people in the band who will sing and hopefully we'll all be happy. My contribution is to sing Autumn Leaves. I've sung this tune quite a bit. I'm thinking of starting it off with bowed bass (French bow) and a bit of Mongolian throat singing. Why? Well, if nothing else, it will take them by surprise. I think it's good to surprise them. Almost as good as being happy. 

"Those autumn leaves drift past my window..."

* the original bass bagging site

domenica 17 settembre 2017

No news on the bass yet.

I thought I'd have heard by now.

You can't rush  a  luthier (especially an older one) or annoy him with constant phone calls.
So my much loved double bass spends another night in Upper Hutt.

Upper Hutt.
Rotorua jazz gig 2 weeks away.

Un sonaglio.

My bass has had a rattle.

Not one of these.

A rattle in a bass can be very annoying and hard to track down because there is a lot of wood and a lot of joins.
I took La Gloria to un liutaio on Friday. He was very good at his job and found the problem.

Not this sort of problem - this is a maths problem.
He said it wouldn't be hard to fix and should take a couple of days. I was hoping it would be done by today, but no phone call yet.
I have a practice for the Rotorua jazz gig this afternoon and will have to borrow a bass guitar, unless I get a ring this morning.
Now you all know that, as a relief teacher, I don't look forward to early morning phone calls.

Today is different. 

Anyway, schools don't ring on Sunday mornings and I'm already booked up for every day this week.
Time will tell.

venerdì 15 settembre 2017

Let there be bass bags!

Exciting new posts on RBB2 & RBB3. Gosh, you readers are so very lucky to have four bass bagging sites running at full steam.

Richard's Bass Bag*
Bin's Bass Bag
Richard's Bass Bag 2
Richard's Bass Bag 3

* the original bass bagging site

Time for a party (vote).

I think I'm going to give my party vote to the Greens.

I'll still be voting for our local Labour candidate, but we can't afford to lose the Greens.

I plan to vote today.

Friday morning at Richard's Bass Bag.*

I know, I know, many of you will be agasp and saying, "Shouldn't it be Saturday morning at...?"

Well, today feels like Saturday because I won't be going to work.

"Why aren't you relief teaching today, Richard (of RBB)?"
I'm not relief teaching because I have to take La Gloria to the doctor; well the string instrument doctor actually - the luthier.

She has had a bad rattle this week and, although she seems to be feeling better, I thought I'd get it checked out. We have an important gig together on the first of October in Rotorua and I want her to be well for that.


Welcome back Bin Hire

and Angry Jesus.

Having you two dynamic bloggers back in action has certainly reignited enthusiasm in our blogging community. There is also refurbishing going on at RBB2 & RBB3 and these two sites should be back in action over the next few days so please use our LINKS service to keep an eye on them.

* the original bass bagging site

mercoledì 13 settembre 2017

Okay, you win!

We've been receiving literally thousands of requests to get some of our old blogging mates, who have been a little quiet lately, back on their feet.

We've decided to start by helping Bin Hire to restart his blog.

You can catch upwith Bin Hire HERE.

You might also want to keep and eye on RBB2 & RBB3 because we intend to have them both up and running again soon. Use our famously popular LINKS service.

The National candidate in our electorate.

Before he entered parliament.

martedì 12 settembre 2017

German or French?

 No problem with the two bow holder.

Richard of Richard's Bass Bag's* guide to the NZ election.

Okay, I'm no expert on politics and often avoid serious political discussions because of this.
I do try to listen and get a feel for what might be best.
I've always voted Labour or Green because overall they seem to have ideas that appeal more to me.
Don't ask me to list them but my main interests politically are:
  • The best possible deal for everyone.
Gosh, that's only one point!
I guess it comes back to everyone needing food, love and shelter.

This is not really what I was looking for - I
can't even read the top bit.

I don't feel like I'm doing very well here.
I got more interested in the election when this lady came along.

I guess Labour needed someone with a bit of carisma and she certainly has it. I have a feeling she'll do her best to help everyone.
So, who needs helping the most?
  • People with lousy living conditions
  • People who are hungry
  • Young people who can't get jobs
  • People with health problems.
Labour won't be a magic bullet, but they're getting my two votes.

As you know I've been doing a bit of relief teaching lately. Schools in the country are given a decile number.

10 = very good (high income catchment area)            1 = bad (the opposite)

I spent the last 12 years in a decile 3 school. Lately I've been in a decile 9 and a decile 10 school.


There is so much difference that cannot be possibly missed.

DECILE 9 & 10                                                                               
Everyone wears the correct uniform               

Students do everything they can not to wear the uniform - wrong shoes, hoodies, hats, etc.

DECILE 9 & 10
Every classroom is well heated and well maintained

Some classrooms are badly heated and in need of maintenance work

DECILE 9 & 10
Students are on task

Many students are off task and seem to struggle to concentrate

DECILE 9 & 10
Not many needy kids

A regular flow of needy kids to the councillors, plus kids who refuse to work

DECILE 9 & 10
School is tidy

Litter everywhere, kids visibly smoking cigarettes

* * *

Okay, I could go on. You might say that uniform is not important, and you'd be right. I think having a uniform at the decile 3 school is an attempt to make it look classy and a lot of work goes into trying to police it. The decision to have a strict uniform code is made by the board of trusrees (representitives of the parents). I think they've got the wrong priorities.

So, what works well in a high decile school?
(This is just my opinion)
  • Children have parents who place a strong emphasis on education
  • Parents are financially secure
  • Children get better food
  • Children are taught how to behave
  • Children develop positive goals that seem attainable.
So where did I get to?
God (Robert's friend) only knows.

I did say I don't know much about politics.
If you're on the shit heap, I don't think National will help you much.
Go with Labour.

* the original bass bagging site

lunedì 11 settembre 2017


 The ability to stretch proved a huge advantage in the inaugural rug race. It seemed that Small Note Book had done the hard centimetres and that this would be enough to take out the race. Selfie Stick got off to a very slow start and was stuck at the back of the field with Invisible Plastic Ruler. In the end though it was shown that a note book will always struggle to beat a device that has the ability to reach out. After the race Small Note Book was obviously disappointed but philosophical about coming in second. "I guess I'll just get back to having salient points written in me." He said.


6.56am and hoping this won't ring this morning.
Good PBs practice yesterday.
I have a jazz gig in Rotorua in three weeks - it would be nice to get some bass practice done today.


I guess I'll know, one way or the other, in about 30 minutes.

My alarm just went off. I'd forgotten that I set it.
I thought it was the phone.
False alarm. (no pun intended)

It's raining.
No big surprise there.
It's just that can see blue sky and was thinking about the possibility of mowing the lawn(s) today.

I'm not going to lie to you, this is not my tractor.
The next 15 minutes are the vital time.
The closer the time gets to 7.30, the safer I am.

If I do get a ring, it'll be NLHS and probably PE.
Balls flying everywhere.

I'm not expecting Decile 10 school or Decile 9 school today.
I'm at Decile 9 school on Wednesday and Thursday this week.
With an early finish on both days as they don't need me last period.

I hope you're finding this post interesting.
Anyway, it's nice of you to keep me company as I wait.

We're in the middle of the danger zone now.

There's always a chance on a Monday that some lazy teacher will ring in sick.
They'll justify it by calling it a mental health day.


No message on mobile.

If there is nothing by 7.30, I'll go to the toilet.
A sort of celebration.

But not on this scale.
My violin tone sounded better at practice yesterday.
I was careful not to push the bow too hard and thought about my vibrato.

I've also worked on my double bass pizz. approach - I'm right down at the end of the fingerboard where the string is more taut.

3 minutes to go.



I'm off to celebrate.
Though one can never be sure.

Ciao, ciao.

domenica 10 settembre 2017

Inaugural obects across the rug race.

From left - Small Note Book, Selfie Stick, English Dictionary, Hole Punch
and Almost Invisible Plastic Ruler.

It should be a close thing.

875 Day Streak Ends on Duolingo.

I forgot to do Duolingo yesterday!

I awoke to find that I'm on a 0 day streak.
After 875 days!
A bit of a shock, questo è maledittamente certo.  
Time to move on, I guess.

sabato 9 settembre 2017

Saint Richard's Bass Bag.*

I dont want to blow my owm trumpet

My own trumpet

but I had a dream last night where Jesus came to me and suggested I add the word Saint to the title of this blog.
I tried to explain (in the dream) that I didn't buy into religious shit but he was pretty insistent.
I seem to remember saying that I'd give it a go on my Saturday post. It's sometimes hard to remember dreams and I'm not sure if I should be taking accolades from an outfit that promotes slavery.
Anyway, that explains the title for today.

I've been reading Jack Reacher in Italian.It's pretty heavy going because, as any Reacher fan knows, he gets into a lot of technical explanation.
There is a phrase that the big man uses quite a lot. In Italian it comes out as - Questo è maledittamente certo. 

I spent all of last week relieving at a decile 10 girls' school in Roma.


The girls were very well behaved and got on with the set work quietly. So, there I was standing in rooms full of studious girls for five hours a day. Boredom was my biggest problem. Questo è maledittamente certo. 

I'll have to go back to NLHS for a reality check some time soon. Questo è maledittamente certo. 

So, Robert wants to do a Westlife song with thePBs.

Guy 2nd on left, "I hear the PBs have five boys."

What next? Boogie Nights?

"Got to keep on dancin', keep on dancin'.Yeah."

Well, at least we're moving on from string quintets.

Better go.

* the original saintly bass bagging site