lunedì 22 gennaio 2018


Avalon Park was the scene of a return Mini Golf challenge by Shelley. This was a determined effort and, although Riccardo played consistently well, Shelley was just too strong on the day.

Richard (of RBB) showed good sportsmanship in defeat and only growled at Shelley once when she laughed too much on a difficult hole. However he did complain to the lady in the mini golf kiosk, suggesting that there might be something faulty with the club he was allocated. The lady promised her manager would look into it. Shelley was modest in victory and promised to wash Richard (of RBB)'s handkerchief.

Richard (of RBB) said, "All credit to Shelley she played well and was just too strong on the day. I guess that all I can do is regroup and be ready for next time. A rematch was always going to be a tough call, especially as I was suffering from tired leg muscles after a lot of walking and I hadn't slept too well last night because of the heat."

It is important to remember, when
reading score cards, that they only
give a snap shot of what actually
happened. If you had been there
you would have seen some excellent
putting form Richard (of RBB).

Humorous moment.

Brought to you by The Bass Bagging Hexagram.

Travel around our blogs for more delightfully humorous experiences.

The Bass Bagging Hexagram.

I'll be honest, I'm worried that people aren't visiting our other five bass bagging blogs as frequently as we would like. The number of comments left suggests this. Including this one, there are six star bass bagging blogs that you just can't afford not to be reading. Six points of a star, a HEXIGRAM (also known as a SEXAGRAM but we've avoided that name for obvious reasons). Out new name and avatar will be...


So, when you enter this site, remember that there are six points on a hexagram (aka a sexagram, but remember we're not using that one) and you need to visit each point.

Happy reading.

domenica 21 gennaio 2018


Here's a bunch of guys I've never heard of playing Cherokee - HERE.

Sounds good to me.

Here's some other guys playing Confirmation - Here.

The guy on bass is the one and only Stanley Clarke.

Nice solo Stanley and nice playing Mr Violin Player. If my first born had been a boy, should would have been named Stanley. Probably good that she wasn't. I don't know if it's wise for the children of aspiring musicians to be named after famous musicians.

Anyway, Stanley is a great player.

Robert: Hey you, with the small backyard that has no room for that jail like thing from Percy's Reserve, so what's the point of this post?

Yeah, sorry Rob. I was just thinking about these two tunes this morning because I plan to play them in the near future with my son - two basses.
Last year we did a two bass thing on a gig with a band he was playing with and we both soloed on Cherokee. It went pretty well but boy was it fast!

I'm off to do some double bass practice, so I'll keep this short.

sabato 20 gennaio 2018

Just a precaution.

What with The Curmudgeon poaching DTZ Bill and having his thugs running around threatening people, we at the BBB thought we better look ready.

Here's where people who mess
with us will finish up.

And just to show that it's not one of those downloaded pictures like The Curmudgeon uses...

Richard (of RBB) moves into shot.

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venerdì 19 gennaio 2018

Over the hill.

No, I'm not talking about The Curmudgeon Inc., though such a statement wouldn't be far from the truth!
Today I walked from our place and over the Nuova Lazio hill - a walk of 1 hour 40 minutes.

The last stage - a down hill walk to The Hutt.

That's Nuova Roma in the distance.

Lower Hutt.

Blogging News - Friday 19th January.

Good to see Robert back, even though it's only as a commentator.

As The Curmudgeon says, his popping in is almost like a godly presence. Or someone returning from beyond the grave. Sort of like in Star Wars when the old dead Jedi masters show up to give advice.

Thanks to Bin Hire for filling the void left by Robert's blog disappearing. Bin wishes to express that his new posting style is not an attempt to lampoon Robert (The Bible Basher). He just took some of Robert's ideas as a starting point - as an inspiration. That's a compliment to the success of Robert's blog and how it is missed.

I can't imagine anyone bothering to copy The Curmudgeon Inc. style.

The Curmudgeon who leads
a weird group of old men.
Do you remember how, at the start, all The Curmudgeons were taking a turn at writing posts. Then they all buggered off on holiday. It seems some came back but the rest are probably sitting around scratching themselves. This is a top heavy organisation, if ever I've seen one.

giovedì 18 gennaio 2018

It takes two to tango, except if you're a Curmudgeon - then it takes about twenty to tango.

So, as I said at the beginning of my last post, Robert's blog is gone and The Curmudgeonly Boys are trying to claim Different Time Zone Bill as one of their own - as if them haven't got enough members  already, and as if The Curmudgeon doesn't struggle to keep them all posting. The Curmudgeon needs to learn that good blogging is about quality and not quantity. He has this system going where all their posts (when they do post) show up on The Curmudgeon's blog. I guess his blog is a bit like a stage where different characters walk in one by one and say their piece.

"And next up we have The Tall Curmudgeon! Please give a 
round of applause for The Tall Curmudgeon!"

Robert's blog has disappeared before. I suspect that this time he is not happy with me. We had a few exchanges over the PBs - the band I started with my brothers (including him). Ironically the idea behind the band was to keep all the brothers in contact. I repeat, all the brothers. We've always had this thing between the boys that, if one brother upsets another, they both have to get over it quickly. I hope Robert intends to play to this unwritten rule and does not isolate himself.
So what went wrong with the five man PBs?
This band pulled together five people who had evolved their music in different ways. Some were music readers, some were not. Improvisation was an important part of the band. By this I mean you have to listen to the music and try to fit into the style of each tune. Some of the boys have done a lot of gigging and have a pretty good idea where the performance bar should be set. Because of experience, or lack of it, in various genres some music styles are not going to work with this band. Bebop, Funk, Barbershop and Chamber Music would be four obvious examples.
For a while the band struggled to find common ground and to gel, but things are pretty well sorted now and everyone in the band seems happy. Except that we are now a four piece.
Robert says he suffers from performance anxiety (I hope I represented what he said correctly - apologies if that is not so). This is probably the main reason why he has twice chosen to leave the PBs.
Fair enough.
You are supposed to enjoy playing music.
I guess I'm a bit protective of the PB's band. To me it is more important as a brotherly thing than any attempt to be the best band around. However, one should always strive to make things the best they can be. I repeat that some brothers have more gigging experience and ultimately these brothers will float to the top as leaders.

I love this! The poor guy who made it up didn't realise
that the stars are much further away than the moon.

Robert did take a few subtle pot shots at the PBs, and my replies were probably what upset him.
I hope he reinstates his blog because otherwise I'll just be reading about outside furniture blowing over in the wind up north and how many windows The Curmudgeon has in his house.
It takes two to tango.

mercoledì 17 gennaio 2018

My trip to the Wairarapa.

I go away for one night and two things happen:
  • Robert buggers off - his blog vanishes and
  • The Curmudgeon poaches Different Time Zone Bill.
But today I'll just deal with a happier occurence, my trip to the Wairarapa.

We headed off yesterday and had a look around Masterton and Carterton before going to our motel in Greytown.

Jim Dandy came along for the ride.

I parked the Batmobile outside our unit.

We'd stocked up on wine at the local supermarket. I told Shelley to get two Cleanskin Chardonnays but she must have thought I'd said Mission Special Reserve (at $20.99 a bottle) and we finished up having to drink those. Bugger.

We explored the main street of Greytown.
I noticed a caravan specially built for dwarfs.

I kept a lookout for my old friend Noel.

Then I saw a motel and misread its sign.

I thought it said 'Abort Motel' and
felt that the owners were not being
very positive.

Then Shelley and I had a game of big sized chess.

I won and Shelley threw her king to the ground.

Then she challenged me to a game of pool.

I won again.

And to think that Robert said God is great!

The next morning we visited Martinborough. We checked out the vinyard with the special Pinot Noir that The Curmudgeon had mentioned but they were shut. Never mind, there's a Cleanskin Pinot in Countdown in The Hutt. We had something to eat before leaving. I attempted to take a picture of our food.

I didn't get the camera up in time.
This has happened to me before
with other activities.

Next we had a look around Featherston. I found out that it was named after Dr Isaac Featherston.

It's not really a huge compliment to 
have Featherston named after you.

We had a look in the Upper Hutt gallery.

They have a wooden floor.
I wondered why, since there's no Mr Upper Hutt, they didn't upgrade Dr Featherston and name this town after him.

Then we drove to Avalon with the specific purpose of having one last challenge.

Richard 3 - Shelley 0.

She did improve over the second nine holes.

But she really didn't take it all on the chin like a man.

"Come on dear, I'm trying to take your
photo. You were second."

Well, there you have it, my trip to the Wairarapa.

I'd better go, I'm just making up the bed in the spare room.

martedì 16 gennaio 2018


We're off to the wire wrapper today.
(The Curmudgeon will remember that famous joke from Murray Roberts days)

The original 1970s joke was made
about brandy, but here's a champagne
that was made in the wire wrapper.
We're spending a night in Greytown.

An artist's impression of Greytown.

For those of you who are not familiar with these parts, the Wairarapa is an area just north of Wellington and the Hutt.

You go over a very big hill to get there, this hill is bigger than the Nuova Lazio hill. Much bigger.
Greytown is past Featherston and on the way to Masterton in an area that has lots of farms. Greytown has been made into a trendy little town with lots of clothing shops - The Curmudgeon loves clothing shops and shopping in general - read HERE.

We'll take a trip to Masterton and probably to Martinborough, where we he had lots of farming holidays when I was a kid.

* * *

I got an interesting email from Robert (the BB) last night. He'd probably had a few too many wines, but so had I, so no judgement there.
It was an unusual email but I won't go into detail. He was talking about the PBs.
My only gripe is that he misquoted me...
"Richard said "Life is easier without Robert and we do not miss him in the least!". "
This is not what I said. What I said was,
"It's easier for us too. A good decision on your part." 
It was written in reply to his comment,
"I hate to say it but  I was relieved to not have to attend a PB rehearsal!"
There was no reason for him to take a shot at the PBs as it was his decision to leave the band. I feel my reply was a justified retort.
There you have it.

lunedì 15 gennaio 2018

It's working! It's working!

That's probably a dangerous thing to say, but I've got the new modem (and the Wi-Fi) working!

Well, actually it's still being a bit dodgy. I just had trouble posting thosre pictures.

But I did get it done, as you can see.

Good PBs practice yesterday.

Next gig in March at a book launch.


Better go and do some practice.
It's very hot in Nuova Lazio. So hot, in fact, that I bought some shorts today.
That's not exactly as extreme as The Curmudgeon walking around without his pants on.

Sorry fella, I should have warned you that was coming.
It has to get very hot for me to abandon long trousers and shoes and socks.
Okay, let's get this practice done.

New Modem.

My internet is coming and going.

At the moment it's coming, but buggered if I can get wifi going. 

If you don't read this, just assume that my internet has gone down before I could save this.

domenica 14 gennaio 2018

PBs practice today.

This band did its first gig on August 17th 2012, if my memory serves me correctly.
It has had its ups and downs but for any band to be in its 6th year of existence is not too bad. 

The band is made up of four people with different musical backgrounds and experiences who have to find common ground in order to make it work. People have remarked lately that we're playing well together, which is good. Today is the first practice for 2018. We'll run a few numbers to blow off the cobwebs and maybe try a new one. After practice we always have a craft beer together. Maybe that is the secret of our success.

venerdì 12 gennaio 2018

Why pants were invented.

Pants come in many shapes, sizes and styles.

These pants are referred to as 'shorts'.
Normally underpants are worn under pants (the name sort of tells you where they should go).

A traditional form of men's underpants.
Pants serve a variety of purposes:
  • They hide bits that other people may not want to see
  • They offer some warmth and protection
  • They hide underpants
  • They are generally the first step in the process of dressing up.
Underpants have a variety of functions too:
  • They supply a bit of modesty if, for some reason, you need to take your pants off
  • They stop pants chafing
  • They contain any little drops of urine that might be left after a pee
  • They are the first line of defence if you accidently shit yourself.
In hot climates wearing short pants and underpants will cause minimum discomfort from overheating.

So, why am I telling you this?

Let me explain.

This is The Curmudgeon.

Here are a few things you notice pretty soon when you see him:
  • He is old
  • He is not attractive
  • You don't want to see him naked
Here is a pretty young woman.

Here are a few things you notice pretty soon when you see her:
  • She is young
  • She is attractive
  • What she chooses to wear, and how much, is her business. No problem.
Now, this is what The Curmudgeon needs to understand:

He confesses to walking around his house in hot weather with nothing on. One doesn't even need to see him doing this to get a very bad feeling. The mere thought is enough. It's something that you start envisaging even though you seriously do not want to. The mind can play very cruel tricks.
Also, what if he coughs without realising that he has a slight touch of diahrea from too much wine the night before? 
No undies to do their job - we have a serious problem here.
Especially if his house has light coloured carpet.
The Curmudgeon needs to realise that everyone has a lot to gain from him being slightly hotter.
Leave off the shirt, if you must, The Curmudgeon, but please, please, please just consider what you are putting others through. I'm not just talking about some poor unfortunate who might, perchance, catch a glimpse. Think of your readers in Alaska, think of those poor souls in other places who have their minds infected by an image. An image worse than putting your hand in fire. An image worse than mistakebly eating a piece of dog shit. An image worse than waking up and finding you're a devout Christian.
I guess I'm just asking, in the hope that you will take pity on those you don't know you're damaging.
Please leave your pants and undies on, no matter how hot it seems.

My baby is back.

I'm talking about my bow who started life as French, went to German, then back to French, then to German again, then back to French, and then finally back to German.
I call this bow G1. My other bow is named G2.

Meet the team...

G1 & G2
I had my first double bass lesson in 1976 and, a few years later, acquired my own bass and bow.
In the 1990s I swapped G1 (then French) off a brother for a bass guitar. My brother had changed from French bow to German and, a little further down the track,  I decided to give it a go too.
I had a luthier build a German frog (part of the bow) for me. He built it differently than I had expected.

Study this photo...

The frog is the black curved bit that the hair comes out of. You'll notice that each frog has a slightly different shape. When I got my bow back (from the luthier) I wondered why he had made it a different shape. I found out, a few years later, that it is all to do with balance - to accomodate a German Frog on a French stick. This guy had done his homework. 

I got a hankering, a couple of times, to check out the French bow again. Hence the change to French. Both times it became obvious that German suited me better - I guess I'm a bit of a slow learner, but it is good to try these things. For this change one luthier wouldn't do it because he retired (maybe because of all my frog changes?) and another said he was too busy (I suspect he was a bit tired of me and my bow changing). I was very lucky to find a new luthier in Wellington who performed the change. 

I bought G2, from a friend who has a music shop, for $100. G1 is worth a lot more than that! I think my friend had acquired G2 as a trade in and was keen to move it on. I bought it without really trying it and G2 turns out to be a very good bow. In fact there is very little difference between them both - G1 just seems to have a slightly sweeter sound.

Well, there you have it - the story of my two double bass bows.
I'm presently learning the tune to Confirmation on the guitar, so I'd better go.
All my instruments are waiting - violin practice is overdue and there is a PBs practice on Sunday.