giovedì 30 novembre 2017

No post from The Curmudgeon Inc. today.

The old fella is buggering off to Auckland for lunch.


I imagine that a guy as old as The Curmudgeon
would travel on a bus like this.
We at Richard's Bass Bag* wondered what impact a day of no posting from The Curmudgeon Inc. would have on the good people in our  capital city. We sent a reporter into Wellington.

Jenny from the RBB news team.
Jenny (of RBB): Hi. I'm here in Wellington. I'm just outside the railway station and people are bustling to work in the capital. I'm here to see what people feel about the lack of a Curmudgeon Inc. post today. Excuse me sir. [a man stops] Are you aware that there will be no post from The Curmudgeon Inc. today?

Man: Sorry but I don't know what you're talking about.
[man walks on]

Jenny (of RBB): Excuse me madam, Are you aware that there will be no post from The Curmudgeon Inc. today? [a woman stops]

Woman: Is that a show on Netflicks?
Jenny (of RBB): No, it's a group of old men who have blogs.
Woman: No sorry I don't have any interest in old men and their ramblings. Except for my grandfather. He's nice. [walks on]

Jenny (of RBB): Excuse me sir, Are you aware that there will be no post from The Curmudgeon Inc. today? [a man stops]

Robert: Come on Richard, you can't use me as a character and put words into my mouth. That's not fair!
Richard (of RBB): [his voice comes out of nowhere, kind of like a god] Sorry Rob. I'll take it from here Jenny (of RBB). Thanks. See you back at the RBB office. Yeah sorry Rob. It's just that I realised that the chance of finding someone in Wellington who had ever heard of The Curmudgeon Inc. was zilch. In fact, I think that you and I are the only people who read these blogs by the old fella. Maybe he picks up one or two people from my LINKS service? Would it be okay to say that you sometimes find him interesting and/or funny but he has strange ideas about religion and believes in all that evolution shit?
Robert: Yeah, okay, but bear in mind that you could be wrong because it's not really me talking.
Richard (of RBB): Thanks Rob. Well, there you have it folks. It seems that the world, or at least Wellington, should get by without a Curmudgeon Inc. blog post today. 

mercoledì 29 novembre 2017

Tool update.

Here's the problem...

...and here are the Mark 2 tools.

Poles apart from the old tools.

Sander and upwards/sidesways thruster.

Watch out old paint, they're coming to get you!

Don't ever say that the posts on Richard's Bass Bag* lack variety.

* the original bass bagging site

The Occasional RBB Wine Advice Series.

Okay, people know that I drink wine and often I'm asked for advice.
What type? How much should I spend for a good bottle? Is cask wine best?

There are really three reasons why people drink wine:
  • To get a bit pissed for general reasons
  • To get a bit pissed before writing a blog post (not advised)
  • To taste things like fruit, veges and other stuff without actually eating them.
I'm going to keep this brief and to the point because I have a busy day ahead.

The cheapest wine can usually be found in a supermarket. No point spending too much, unless The Curmudgeon or The Wine Guy is staying, because after a couple of glasses most people can't tell the difference.

I have a wine that is good for most occasions. Going somewhere posh? Just photo shop a label to replace the existing one.

The great news is that this wine is only $7 a bottle and it never seems to get more expensive.

Cleanskin Chardonnay 2017.
Okay, this tells you three important things about the wine and there is no other bullshit about tasting peaches or whatever because no peaches were involved in making this wine:
  1. The grapes have clean skins. In some places like France the grapes are crushed by dirty peasant feet. Not so in the case of the Cleanskin and the label tells you that.
  2. It's a Chardonnay - a white wine that's not too sweet. No further explanation necessary.
  3. It was made in 2017, so no chance of it being past the use by date.
Cask wine is okay but a Cleanskin is a step up!
Often very expensive wines have simple labels like this. Cleanskins are hard to spot in supermarkets because they are right down on the lowest shelf, well below your knees. Take one to a dinner party full of people from Karori and they'll probably think it's some expensive brand.

Good luck with your wine drinking and remember not to drink and post.

Learn Italian with Riccardo 1.

Buongiorno (Good morning).
Come sta? (How are you?)
Parlare l'italiano è facile. (To speak Italian is easy)

Una barca

You simply need to learn lots of words and lots of grammar and how things are pronounced.
It's that easy!

Just remember that many things are harder than learning Italian. 
Here are some of them:
  • Painting the high bits on a house
  • Counting The Curmudgeon's blogs
  • Playing Bach cello suites on the double bass
  • Water skiing without skis
  • Walking through the tiger enclosure at the zoo
  • Playing for the All Blacks
  • Removing stigmata marks from your body, especially if you made them with my upwards thruster tool.

Okay, let's get going. 
Verbs in Italian come in 6 forms.
I...  io
you... (informal)   tu
he, she, you formal...  lui, lei, Lei
we... noi
you... voi
they... loro (informal), Loro (formal), essi

So the verbs that follow these words will have different forms.
Let's take the verb to do (to make) which is used a lot in Italian:
io faccio
tu fai
lui fa
noi facciamo
voi fate
loro fanno

You can leave out the little word at the start and just say, facciamo (we make).

Here's another important verb, avere (to have) - note, the 'h' is silent.
I'm going to leave the little front words out this time.

Okay, just two more sets of verbs for today.
Essere (to be - permanent)

Stare (to be - temporary)
stiamo state stanno

* * *

So, when someone asks, Come sta?
You can reply, Sto bene. (I am fine - notice how we use the temporary form of the verb to be because you may not be fine all the time)

To finish off here are some handy words you could use with these verbs.
male - sick
fantastico - fantastic
alto - tall
pratica - practice
un gatto - a cat
un panino - a sandwich
grasso - fat

Now see if you can work out what these mean.

Sono grasso.
Sto male.
Ha un gatto.
Sto fantastico.
E` alto.
E` un panini.
Faccio pratica.

Ciao and see you next time for more Italian.

martedì 28 novembre 2017

So you've got to prepare and paint that high bit, but you don't have a head for heights.

Here are two new tools from RBB Tool Devision that you might be interested in.

The upwards thruster
Let it stab into that old loose paint. There's no paint too strong for the upwards thruster.

The downwards grubber
Scrape off those stubborn bits of old paint that you need to get at from above.

What a team!
Both tools are on a long pole so that you can stand on the ground.
The upwards thruster even comes with a blade cover for your personal safety.

Available in the two tools discount package or both tools sold seperately.
Paint brushes on a pole and sander on a pole also available.

Wife says, "I thought you were a bit of a chicken but you've
painted that very high bit of the house! You're my hero!
Come to bed early tonight and bring some Chardonnay."
Husband thinks,"Thank you upwards thruster and
downwards grubber!"

How many Curmudgeons does it take to change a lightbulb?

There are now so many Curmudgeon blogs that Robert had to consult his dictionary to find out what topic The Cummudgeonly Luddite, the latest addition to the stable, would be posting about.

You can read Robert's research on his comment HERE.

I'll be honest and admit that we here at Richard's Bass Bag* actually found Robert's clarifying comment helpful.

Don't expect many posts from this new blog. Despite the fact that we here wonder how much can be discussed about luddites, he will be standing in a long line for his turn to blog.

Our main concern with all these sub-blogs of The Curmudgeon's is that our LINKS service is getting a bit weighed down and the staff in this department are complaining of being over worked.

Imagine ten buses at this stop because that's how many
Curmudgeon blogs there are.

Unless something is done to cull some of these blogs, we could finish up with a blog for every immaginal topic.
  • The Fish Scaling Curmudgeon
  • The Shoe Shop Curmudgeon
  • The Tyre Fitting Curmudgeon
  • The Curmudgeonly Dog Breeder
  • The Walk To The Letterbox Curmudgeon
  • The Go To The Supermarket Curmudgeon
You get the idea.

We at The Bass Playing Confederation don't want to look like spoilsports but we've taken our concerns to the RBB Blog Police.
The matter is now in their hands.

* the original bass bagging site

lunedì 27 novembre 2017

I now have two hoses.

No penis jokes please.

Hose no 1, old faithful, around the back of the house.


Hose no 2, at the front of the house.
I've named this hose 'Old Uncle Jock'.

Old Uncle Jock is a very long hose who can even water neighbours' gardens.
I took his name from that old rhyme that we loved in primary school in the 1960s...

Old Uncle Jock had a mighty long cock
And he showed it to the lady next door.
She thought it was a snake and she hit it with the rake,
Now it's only four foot four.

Found this on Facebook - the great time waster.

My two children with Grandma in the background.
Their baby names were Nefanie and Judge - this comes from a time when one couldn't say Stephanie and one couldn't say George.

Judge says to his sister (Nefanie) on a recent grown up birthday:
Happy birthday Steph! Hope you have an awesome birthday. Looking forward to hanging out with you tonight! Thanks for always being there for me, and educating me on how to cower defensively against an attack from a bigger stronger, and much more ferocious sibling. I'm very pleased that Mum and Dad chose you over all the other monkeys. Love ya!

Ah, families!

New post over on RBB3.

The Curmudgeon can get to it by clicking - HERE

"I can't seem to work this out."

The poor old fella finds it hard to navigate his way around modern technology.

Others can simply use our Bass Playing Confederation special LINKS service.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

I don't like heights.
Actually, I'm not too keen on painting houses either.
Not liking heights makes house painting tricky.

I painted the part on the right last week - the right hand front wall and the wall to the side. For the high parts I use various tools (paint brush, paint pad, sandpaper) on a pole. It works pretty well.

Look carefully at the picture. There is a white strip just below the roofing iron. This is bloody high and needs serious preparation before I can paint it with my pole tools - sandpaper won't be enough because there are flaky bits of paint.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Today I will construct my new invention - the chisel on a pole.


The idea is that the chisel will slide up under the loose paint and remove it. After that sanding should be possible.
The tricky part will be to make sure that the chisel is very securely attached to the pole.
I hope to achieve this with masking tape and plastic ties.
Watch out high bit! Richard (of RBB) is coming for you!

domenica 26 novembre 2017

Back from gig.

This is me in Newtown. My daughter took the picture
while enjoying a glass of Chardonnay.

There weren't a lot of people there but I played my tune SMD and then played and sang Autumn Leaves.
A gig is a gig. That's for damn sure.
Actually this one was a blackboard concert.
Anyway, that's me doing my very best - or trying to.

Looking for something to read?

Take a moment and use our Confederation's special LINKS service to check out the great new post by Angry Jesus. It's called Mumbo Jumbo.

The author.


Though it could just as easily be Saturday as I will not be working tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that..
Today is the day that they have that blackboard concert in Newtown.

Newtown, an older part of Wellington city.
Anyone who wants to play gets two tunes. That's usually the way a blackboard concert works.
I have tunes ready but want to have a go at the gigue from Bach's first cello suite.
I think these pieces are harder on the bass (than on the cello) because you have to play them up an octave to get them into the same range as the cello.
I've put a lot of work into this piece because I (obviously) want to get it right.
I'll put in a bit more time on it today but, on the day of a performance, you don't really make much improvement.
The concert starts at 5.30pm. The best place in a blackboard concert is generally not first or too near the end - you don't want to be sitting around all night waiting for your turn and you don't want to play before most people get there.
Solo double bass has an advantage in that it is a novelty act.

Okay, so far so good, but Paddy couldn't
shake the thought that he was no longer 
a young dog and this was a new trick.
Quite a few of the audience will have mainly seen the double bass in a supportive pizzicato role. Some will carry the notion that the big instrument you bow is called a cello. The tone of the bowed bass is always a novelty for quite a few people.
I think I'll start with Autumn Leaves. I'll throw in a bit of vocal. I'll start off with a chordal thing. I'll play the Bach second (it's in G) and stick a G minor thing of mine in the middle before repeating the Bach - without repeats it's not very long. The whole performance will be over in ten minutes.
Performing is a good way to get direction into your practice.

I'll leave you there because I want to pop over and read the new post on Richard's Bass Bag 3.

Later that same morning...

I see there's a new post on RBB2 as well!

sabato 25 novembre 2017

Reading numbers skyrocket at 'the bag'.

Just reading some statistics our analysts have put together.

On this graph, the analysts tell me, 'Distance (m)' is a technical word for 'Readers attracted' and 'Time (sec)' means weeks - all very technical.  I think the graph speaks for itself.


Il sole è alto e io sono sveglio. Fuori dal letto.
Sto lavorando per la confederazione di borsa dei bassi.

La confederazione di borsa dei bassi
Tutti i blog sono aggiornati.
Leggi e divertiti.

venerdì 24 novembre 2017


the final frontier.

This joke was brought to you by


The Bass Bagging Confederation

So many exciting new posts...

...on The Bass Bagging Confederation blogs!

The Bass Bagging Confederation

giovedì 23 novembre 2017

Practice* day.

I have the intention of playing at a blackboard concert on Sunday, so I'm putting in some serious practice.

Sulla Gloria.
I'm working up two pieces. The first is a medley of two pieces - a gigue for solo cello by Bach and a little piece by me. They seem to work well together. The Bach is in G and my piece is in G minor.
Then I'll play SMD (Shelley My Dear), a piece by me in the fiddle style - inspired by years of listening to Richard Greene play Sally Goodin'.

Richard Greene

I'm just taking a short break and then it's back to the practice stand.

A little later that same day...
I'm also working on Autumn Leaves. I might play it instead of SMD, and there again I might not.
Good to have an extra tune.

* notice the spelling of the noun The Curmudgeon

mercoledì 22 novembre 2017

Great to see new posts from both RBB2 & RBB3!

Use our special Bass Bagging Confederation special LINKS service, just to the right, to check them out.


Bas doesn't make the grade for The Bass Bagging Confederation.

You might have noticed that, for a while Bas's Bag was listed as Bas's Bass Bag on our LINKS list.
Unfortuunately this blog was deemed inappropriate by The Bass Bagging Confederation and the blog is now relisted as Bas's Bag.

The Bass Bagging Confederation - bringing you great reading!

I see that AJ has updated his blog with a treatise on morals. Quite interesting.

Read it HERE.

martedì 21 novembre 2017

The Bass Bagging Confederation - we were here first!

There has been a lot of hot wind lately coming out of an outfit called The Curmudgeon Inc., which is directed by a retired old man called The Curmudgeon.

Mr The Curmudgeon
Basically his blogs sits in the middle and posts are sent out to a variety of other Curmudgeons.
A new concept?


For a long while now readers have been happily jumping to and fro between five blogs that have really set the standard in this rapidly growing blogging community.
These essential blogs are:
  • Richard's Bass Bag*
  • Richard's Bass Bag 2
  • Richard's Bass Bag 3
  • Angry Jesus
  • Bin's Bass Bag.

Readers are probably wondering what all the fuss is about with this The Curmudgeon Inc. thing because they have been so busy enjoying the above five blogs that they haven't really had time to look anywhere else.
However, just to concrete our readers' wonderful experience, we will now be known as The Bass Bagging Confederation. 
What does this mean for you as a reader?
Really just more fantastic reading experiences within the confederation - AND WE'LL UPDATE YOU ON THE LATEST POSTS  - as we usually did before this Curmudgeon outfit came along. (Check on Richard's Bass Bag* - always your first port of call!)
So, what's different at 'the bag'?
Well, the quality will obviously remain high but we've added a special LINKS service that only contains confederation recommended blogs. 
Our traditional LINKS service is still there, but the new one is for the discerning reader who wants to avoid lesser blogs.

Just look out for this picture.

The Bass Bagging Confederation
Use this LINKS service and you'll only be reading the best blogs available.

We, at Richard's Bass Bag*, are happy to be here for you.
No need to thank us.

* the original bass bagging site

Life can be cruel.

Yeah, whatever.
Most mornings I follow the same ritual. I get up, have a pee, turn on the jug, fetch our elderly neighbours' newspaper and throw it over their fence so that it lands by their back door, make a coffee and sit at the computer.

Here I am writing today's post.
I normally have a quick look on Facebook, just to check what other people had for dinner last night.

Go easy on the brussel sprouts and spuds pal!

Then it's onto the blogs.
Firstly I re-read my comments from the night before (just to check I didn't get too excited) then I check to see if Robert's blog has gone.
Then it's over to that variety of blogs of mixed quality that come under The Curmudgeon Inc. umbrella. To be fair, there is usually something that is worth a read.
Not today.

All I get is The Bloody Wine Guy!

Okay, I drink the occasional wine, but generally only to put me in the right mood for commenting on blogs. I'm capable of going to a shop and buying a wine but, when I do this, I don't need to write a bloody book about it!

I think you're supposed to drink the bloody stuff.

The Wine Guy's post could have been shorter - much shorter.
It could simply have said, "I had a good wine last night, now I'll talk about something else."

"Let me tell you about these."

"Pour the fucking wine and shut up!"

A good wine bottle label should say, 
"Drink up and shut up."
There's an old saying - Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.

Well, talking about wine is like putting a picture of your meal on Facebook.

Next time I'll be talking about the fingering and positional changes I have made to how I will play the gigue from Bach's first cello suite.

My old fingerings.

I'm feeling better already.