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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Gnome Dux

I tried but I couldn't watch the Gnome's utterances: just seeing the bobbing of that beaky nose and that awful Ro-Ventriloquist gashy mouth reminds me of Punch and Judy rolled in one.

On more serious matters, I was reminded by the June 25 edition of the BI Review what a soul-destroying trade journalism can be.

fatty picNot just the photos they have to print, such as the pic of that monied intruder clambering up to proclaim that, "Some day, all that gone be ruined, too", but the ghastly prose they have to eke out.

God help (and bless) Staff Writer Douglas Crist as he had to swallow back the bile to include in his Downtown shifting eastward article such abominations as

As I've apologized earlier for, it distresses me greatly that, with their financing, fellow Hong Kong folks may have encouraged this desecration.

Since they have, and I've been too late to arrange Black & Dekker interface with certain moneyed kneecaps, may I at least suggest "Shark Fin" and "Puget Opulent Vista" be added to the silly namings above as well as 'Sea Lion', 'Beach' and whatever else they come up with.

July the cruelest month

  • July!
  • Seventh month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days
  • Astrologically, sun in the sign of Cancer ending in Leo: sun begins in the constellation of Gemini and ends in the constellation of Cancer
  • Renamed for Julius Caesar but previously called Quintilis in Latin (fifth month in the Roman calendar which started March).
  • Also so named because for the month Caesar born.
  • Hear up, Mrs Leung - because of its origin, until the 18th century this month's name was pronounced the same way as the name "Julie".
  • In old Japanese calendar, is called fumi zuki
  • In the pagan wheel of the year July ends at or near to Lughnasadh in the northern hemisphere and Imbolc in the southern hemisphere.
  • So there.
  • I'm just a wild colonial boy so July spells good news and bad news - on the plus side, two precious birthdays - 24th and 28th.

    On the neg side, Hand back of my belovèd Hong Kong to the motherland (Jason Patton not to be confused with our last governor, the splendid Chris PattEn, whom God preserve.)

    Three days later, another little handback during which I try to keep the flag flying, so to speak.

    Speaking of which, let *me* play vainglorious overweening all-powerful blogger, and demand that my local grocer release a certain drum majorette on that most important of Mondays to do her baton twirling thang.

    My own plans vary not a jot:

  • Swathe m'self in the Union Jack, complete with bowler
  • Pimp up the château busker loo suitable for guests
  • Shove a half dozen bottles Moët in the fridge
  • Plate of thinly sliced cucumber à la Savoy etiquette manual
  • Endless loop of Mike Malloy singing 'Battle of New Orleans'
  • Privacy Issues

    OK, at the request of the lads and the lass, I've removed the photos of the "hard-driving business selling THE most delish lemonade and hotdogs ... with its master-mind entrepreneur ... and charming young lady whose freckle-specked smile will one day reduce the boys to knee-wobble."

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Blogs I read

    I can't wait to read Julie's take on Gnomedex - in fact, *everyone's* account, but La J has a style I find particularly readable, so even if I don't understand some of her techie stuff, I like the way she talks it.

    Meanwhile, I've been meaning to scribble something about that by-now-old-hat but v interesting post about Blogs people read or love, that I think came from the deliciously-named Scheherazade. (Deliciously named but the devil to spell if, like me, you think that first 'a' is an 'e').

    I've trimmed my own list considerably. Goodness it was a mis-mash, but here's what I aim for:

    Reminds me of my time in books when everyone mixed with everyone else in the book world and we were constantly rushing back and forth with dinner guest authors' books so they'd be there on the shelves when the scribe oh-so casually looked over the library .

    I could never be bothered so I'd have large cards printed onto which I could scribble "Lent to Sally, 24/8/1972" or "Oct 14 1997 - Lent to BBC for docudrama. Contact Simon".

    What made it trickier was that folks in the business tend to have inscribed copies so it was vital the writer not actually take his own book down from the shelf and see that it didn't actually belong to the hosts.

    But I'm getting off track, as I always do. I meant to say that the added joy of that particular "Etiquette" post was the feisty comments and added benefit of aggregators chat that I must *must* get up to speed on.

    In my nightmares, the perfect boss is about to offer me the perfect job and doesn't need to put me through any long interview spiel, so why don't I just chat for 2 mins about aggregators? How I use them, how I'd explain them to my daughter, that kinda thing.

    I wake sweating and cussing my procrastinating ways ...

    Right - one more phone call to one more bored-sounding HR jerk and then I can reward myself with close reading of La Leung's gnomic recollections.

    Post-script: Have now thoroughly read JL's report and all her links and all the comments.

    Super stardom couldn't happen to a nicer person.

    Articulacy isn't in huge supply in the tech world so people like J will be pounced on as spokesmen and ambassadresses for the cause.

    If J thought she had a busy life up to now, it's about to get busier and morepublic. She has reached a tide in the affairs tipping point fork in the river (and any other mixed images you can think of) where she'll have some decisions to make. It'll be to all *our* advantage and probably at some cost to Julie which, dammit, she's the sort of nice enough self-sacrificing person to make.

    I'll be watching her progress til the day I say "I actually know Julie" and have raspberries blown in my face for telling such a obvious whopper. Well *done* that woman ... and I trust her daughters are keeping notes for the auto-blography they must write one day about their remarkable raising.

    id card


    Gosh - the folks back home really *are* planning a fight against the ID card thing - there's even now a NO2ID organization opposing the planned ID card and the National Identity Register and determined to beat the Home Secretary's proposals in Parliament (already reported in the Guardian as described as "unsafe and inappropriate").

    protestI'm a bit of a wimp on th subject, having lived for so long under Hong Kong's ID-card régime in its last few years as a British colony.

    But it's interesting to see the almost tabloid web site that protesters put up for these occasions and causes.

    Looks well organized:

  • Local groups
  • Get-involved links
  • Its own blog
  • Rather good discussion forum
  • I wonder if good the good old British bulldog stubbornness will prevail - or, as I suspect, we've been poodled and transatlanticized just a little too long.

    Walk down any High Street and all you see and hear is backward facing baseball caps and idiots ^5-ing each other and calling each other "Guys" and going "Yo!" and "Dude!"

    I'm inclined to agree with the Spectator that it may be too late; that the national spine's gone.


    I love the pennanted poems en route to the ferry.

    Well done the organizers!

    Some real talent there, such as ...

    Turning Point

    Turning Point

    No Sadness

    No Sadness



    Sea Horses


    Sunday, June 26, 2005

    Talk to the Hand

    ~ Etiquette broadside ~

    Nice little article about Lynne Truss (of Eats, Shoots and Leaves fame) now taking on manners and etiquette:

    Scheduled for November in the US, Talk to the Hand is subtitled "The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or, Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door" - "a witty and colourful call to arms for everyone who's fed up with the boorish behaviour that many see as a matter of pride".

    LT herself says: "It will be more of a rant about the general rudeness of modern life."

    cruise and lauer

    Cruise versus Lauer

    I'm not interested in the scientology tosh or Ritalin chatter (although Ms Shields seems to concoct a good reply).

    If Tom Cruise's confrontation on the Today show gets the powers-that-be at NBC to pay attention to the consummate drubbing delivered to NBC froth fronter, Matt Lauer, all the hoo-hah will have been worth it.

    Alessandra Stanley got it bang to rights in her Talk Show Rarity piece in June 25's NYT Arts page:

    "Mr. Cruise seemed unbound, and perhaps even a little unsound, but there was something enjoyably bracing and bold about his outburst ...

    'Matt, Matt, you don't even - you're glib,' Mr. Cruise said ... and, actually, he had a point.

    Morning talk show hosts are facile and heavily scripted, and too often they recite streams of perceived wisdom as if they were undeniable facts.

    Mr. Lauer showed grace but not much intellectual skill as he was out-debated ...."

    I don't know about 'grace', but it unquestionably left Lauer the laughing stock of the industry. What little reputation he enjoyed might be hard to recover.

    This is a vaporous industry that prefers to quarantine failure before it mirrors their own performance and neuroses.

    Lauer and his equally unctuous partner in patter, Katy Couric, define those self-congratulatory hosts currently in vogue for the morning chat shows.

    Lauer himself is master of a particularly smarmy trick for handling the anxious or bereaved: having nudged them to the brink of tears, he murmurs some rubbish about "understanding how they feel" and how grateful everyone is that they've agreed to be interviewed. Then, instead of retreating in good taste and shutting up, he proceeds to ask them point-blank how they're feeling, and any other intrusive gaucherie the control panel can think up to whisper to his ear-piece.

    The Cruise confrontation was doubly damning for Lauer, first for coming out with drippy questions that confirmed him as a wishy-washy twit with no clue how to proceed once the going got choppy; next, Cruise is in such fabulous shape - puissant biceps straining 'neath taut T-shirt - that his sheer physicality and honest emotion left Lauer a non-starter.

    My suggestion is that Lauer keep very quiet about this disastrous encounter lest management - recognizing their golden boy as irreparably busted - cough politely and look elsewhere when the embarrassing question of contract renewal comes up.

    An all around pathetic display and devastating exposure.

    Saturday, June 25, 2005

    L. Ron's FBI File

    Master Cruise grows wilder-eyed and nuttier with each appearance.

    Meanwhile, thanks to all the media attention and his choice of hapless fiancée, tradespersons are once again able to spell my family name correctly.

    But I worry about cute Katie and rumors of her veering towards Scientology - I trust her chap has been up-front enough to share the skeletal FBI gems from the Hubbard cupboard.

    Friday, June 24, 2005


    With the Blog juggernaut now entering the pompous overweening stage, perspective is blurring and silly powers are being claimed and assigned in its sacred and all-powerful name.

    I liked Tom Murphy's comments on the usually sensible Steve Rubel's take on the silly Sally Hodge rabbiting on about the demise of press releases.

    There was another instance a few weeks back: some prolific blogger - Scobie? Scoble? - had decided that some big company had thwarted or contradicted him, or just had the nerve to express a differing opinion.

    I know what it was - Scoble was the name and he'd taken umbrage at a UPS executive calling our genial pastime of blogging a fad. Anyway, it's sort of explained here, and even better here by the nimbly ranting Rick Segal. First off, however, I have to acknowledge and give credit to Scobbers for withdrawing after readers convinced him it was a juvenile thing to do. I'm actually impressed that the readers did so, since it sounds exactly the sort of overblown idea that wilder-eyed believers would fancy themselves at. Anyway, the main thing is that an idea *quite* so above its station surfaced in the first place - I shudder at what new gaffes lie ahead, soon to dwarf it.

    Miffed at the UPS prefect's dubbing of our sacred hobby as a "fad", S rallied the troops to "link to FedEx with the word "Shipping". That way, the foolishly disrespectful suit would "see the business value in joining into the blog world instead of fighting it."

    The bit that earns my Overweener garland of the week is the lofty king-making summons to,

    "Let's link to his competitor and see if we can move FedEx up the Google list."

    What a laugh. No wonder readers pounced on this regal proclamation before news spread and matters got *too* giggle-worthy.

    I just love the preening assumption that, incur the wrath of La Bloggeria, and you may as well go back to selling matches on the streets.

    Hard to cap, but it's inspired me to keep a weather-eye open for other such instances of overblown nonsense.


    Time mag's 50 coolest websites for 2005.

    Potter jkt

    Harry potters on

    Advance sales top all others

    UK book scene report: "Nearly 1,000 outlets will sell Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the stroke of midnight on July 15/16 - far more than for any previous title.

    As if that wasn't enough, we've also got the usual silliness over guessing the title of the *next* and final Potter tome.

    All in all, the unstoppable Ms Rowling hits the national news and front pages once again.

    Wheels Wail

    I am hopeless with cars and at the mercy of mechanics. I just have to tell myself that what I'm charged is going in the worthy direction of keeping me mobile.

    In the last month, I've forked out a total of $806.33 for precisely nothing.

    Some months back, my venerable Volvo started acting up by refusing to re-start if left for too short an interval. Luckily I live in a isosceles triangle with Safeway and Silver Screen videos making up the other angles.

    madison avenue garage
    I took it into Madison Avenue Garage who of course could not get it to misbehave so they confessed bafflement and handed it back with no money changing hands.

    A few months later, I was having another car serviced and the cheery Mike remembered me and said he now knew what the problem had been with the Volvo - some 'puter malfunction - and if I wanted to bring it in, they'd see to it. Since the car was going OK, I didn't take up the offer. Fool me.

    Around June 23, it conked out again as soon as it revived (June 25) I whisked it back down to Madison Avenue Garage (motto "We do it once - and we do it right").

    Mike was no longer there, no one knew anything about his computer diagnosis - and of course they could find nothing wrong with it.

    After they'd had it a few more days, they called back to say I needed a new starter motor (along with other useful fixes) and the estimate was $603.52. I bit the bullet and told them to go ahead.

    Two days after collecting it, same prob. $600 bucks downthe drain and still a car I couldn't trust.

    M&M supermarket

    June 6, 6pm: Car behaving again, so I drove it down to the M&M opposite Island Cloggings, did some shopping, came out. Wouldn't start.

    Since my next stop was to collect someone from the ferry - and being the only other person in the galaxy apart from Defective Yeti not to wield a cell phone - I went back into the M&M and asked to use their phone to call madame en bâteau to say I'd be late and she should start walking.

    By way of explanation, I told the counter clerkette that my car wouldn't start but I don't think it registered because she was too busy being chatted up by some other customer.

    Next morning was spent on the phone in search of honest employ and by the time I ambled down to M&M the car was gone.


    When I protested to M&M: it was explained that the girl on the previous evening's shift wouldn't have been the one on duty next morning when Gateway turned up, hence the mix-up.

    The very apologetic manager allowed me to use the phone to check with Gateway that it had indeed been impounded.

    Down I strode to Gateway where, of course, it wouldn't start and needed pushing out of the compound and parked in some equally tow-worthy spot.

    Cost: $262.81.

    It took two days before it would go again, at which point I drove it home where it now sits, immobile and in disgrace.

  • What annoys me is, if the garage could come clean and plead bafflement the first time, why do I have to fork out 600 smackers for bad guesswork the *second* time round?
  • And I'm a bit fed up about being towed after only 14hrs overnight.
  • OK, I feel better now after that whimper.

    ^5 Bainbridge

    I'm beaming and brimming with the milk of human kindness, not just because of the gorgeous weather but from a thoroughly productive morning thanks to the courtesy and competence of our local traders.

    New glasses: As I posted elsewhere, no thanks to exquisite songbird Emily Gross singing so sweetly at Bagels and Beans, I Ieft Lisa 'n' John's in a haze and somewhere between there, Rite-Aid and château busker, managed to misplace my lunettes.

    Thanks to Island Family Eyecare, I was given a prompt appointment for eye-check and choice of new frames and am now the proud owner of even cooler and better-fitting specs.

    New monitor: Next misfortune was my ancient monitor suddenly deciding to ration the old hexadecimals. I tell you, there's nothing like the colors going wonky to make one appreciate working with the full color palate.

    Got on the blower to Bainbridge Computer Center and found myself speaking to none other than le patron lui-même - or should that be "il proprietario egli stesso" - Salvatore DeRosalia, who gave me an expert diagnosis down the phone which had me lugging in my PC in case it was the card and *not* the monitor.

    Weren't the card so SDR fixed me up pronto with a second-hand flat screen and within hours I was back in the saddle and blogging away with narry a trace of cold turkey.

    I'm a great believer in making friends in high places so today was a good day for a crash: not only was it my first visit to BBC but it was also the first day for Mr Josh Phillips - scion of THE Phillips technocracy - as Signor DeRosalia's right-hand geek. And get this, he actually *knows* the TBBH hirsutely goateed Adrian Simpson. In what safer hands could I have been?

    Fortunately for my current financial circumstances (and I'll be whingeing in detail later), the bill came to almost nothing, but I'm not going to let *you* know that because you'll flood them with business and the next time I go in there'll be a drat waiting list and I won't get such prompt and expert service.

    Finally, while waiting for BCC's lightning fix I had a perfect latte in next-door Bainbridge Icecream, served at exactly the right temp by madame manageress herself with whom I also had a really nice chat about movies, in particular those we'd disliked and those I'd actually walked out of from the Pav. I told her I'd draw up a list of my top 10 hates so I have an excuse to go back and sup more of their inestimable brew.

    Totally successful day so far - bravo Bainbridge.

    Thursday, June 23, 2005

    When dinner's not a winner

    Informative piece in the Guardian (UK) about eating out and the legal case for compensation if the experience doesn't meet expectations. No idea if the same rules apply in the US.

    Interesting pointer about the invalidity of notices containing disclaimers such as "all coats left at customer's own risk".

    Likewise, *deducting* the 15% from the total bill in the case of bad service - regardless of whether the charge is described as compulsory or optional.

    hermes logo

    Equal Oprah-tunist

    Typical tantrum tale of our times: Oprah Winfrey swans up to posh Parisian store Hermès 15 minutes after the store had closed for an in-house PR knees-up.

    On being refused entry, the chubby chat diva throws a spoiled brat fit, naturally using her blackness to best effect rather than accept that she arrived late and the shop too had plans, other than to bow and scrape and roll out the red carpet.

    Have the French even *heard* of this Châtelaine of the Twitter Couch.?

    Another press account talks of Hermès staffers not recognizing her. So what,why should they? It was gone closing time and their own soirée was afoot.

    Refusing to admit loss of face over failure to bully her way in, well-trained Oprah buddies are trotting out that knee-jerk scapegoat, Race.

    No less predictable, a spokeswoman says that OW "will discuss her 'crash' moment when her show returns from hiatus in September." How contemptibly vain and self-centred.

    Well ... that gives oprah lackeys plenty of time to build up a good head of ant-frog steam and ladle the color nonsense on with a - um - trowel. It should make for some very funny TV come September and I plan to be watching.

    The reference is to Crash, the movie - rather a good one dealing with race relations - and I'm annoyed at Winfrey debasing it this way, dragging it down to her own dishonest level of reverse racism.

    This is exactly the sort of thing that gives whatever it's called these days a bad name and undoes the good work of years.

    Hermès is a distinguished house whose clientèle of breeding and good manners must be sighing with relief over the lucky timing that saved them rubbing shoulders with the twittering Zulu.

    I trust their *own* spokesman will respond when the time is right with suitable hauteur and disdain, making it clear that madame is probably better suited purchasing her trinkets elsewhere.

    Classical note: Hermes, herald of the Olympian gods, was son of Zeus and the nymph Maia, daughter of Atlas and one of the Pleiades. Also, a minor patron of poetry, worshipped throughout Greece with festivals in his honor called Hermoea.

  • CJR Daily also has an opinion on this, which I ought out of honesty to include.
  • Time falling into step with the lady's PR machine, fast off the mark with a nice little diary plant in its July 4 People section, complete with arrogant bleat from Oppers to US Prez of Hermès that she'll never shop there again. Promises, promises. I trust the businessman saved his breath rather than dignify such nonsense with a reply. Next stop, her September show when she whines again and, I vow, ends up coming across an even bigger twerp.
  • In view of others' efforts to wring a racist note out of all this, let me at least quote Gawker on it being "nothing short of reprehensible when racism stands in the way of a journalist’s professional drinking duties."


    Amusing extracts from the latest Fast Company:

  • Top 10 Bosses from Hell
  • Is Your Boss a Psychopath?
  • Coping with Psychopaths at Work
  • Working for the Boss from Hell

    Also in the July edition, as relief from this grim topic, two cool sites that appeal to the gadget freak in me:

  • Gizmodo
  • Engadget

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    grad party

    8th Grade Graduation

    Rule Uno Unissimi: never post pics of ones belovèds for the easier preying of villains out there.

    Well ... daughter #2's grad fête was a gas and I've never seen so many finery-decked 14-yr-old sophistiquées on parade.

    My own Honors Student cherie looked like dynamite and rocked as if the party were in *her* honor.8th grade grad - Rose
    Left, my babe with a young chap who went very shy when he heard my Oxford tones and found I was actual *papa*, complete with bullwhip in my back pocket. Right, her best pal with un-nervingly handsome and self-possessed young man.

    Drat! I rather liked the photo that *was* to the right with The Gal looking faux surprised and shy young chap playing it respectful and cool. But She wanted it down so down it comes, leaving a horrid gap. I'll see what else I've got from the Schoolapalooza.

    But 'pon my soul, the young these days are a terrifyingly cool bunch.

    Hard for a parent to remember that they're still utter babes and need the requisite mix of harsh discipline, guidance, adoration and water 'n' gruel diet.

    Being totally under mamzel's thumb and entwinèd by her pinkie, I am pathetically unable to deliver a scintilla of anything from that list.

    trail for bainbridge

    Trail work party

    June 25

    Message from citizen-of-the-earth, Ed Hager, plus announcement of his new blog:

    If you didn't already know - and I didn't - most of the trails on Bainbridge are maintained by a group of volunteers.

    They meet the fourth Saturday of each month to do trail work, and really need as many people as they can get this week because they are wheelbarrowing rock to improve some very wet areas on the Fort Ward Hill trail.

    Work party - from 10am to 2pm - but they have lots of people who leave early or don't show up until noon.

    Saturday, June 18, 2005

    June 17: Bagels & Beans

    Bagels & Beans have hit on a winning formula.

    Where else can one see local top local talent in both solo and hot ensemble?

    Speaking of which, grab a copy of the June 22 Bainbridge Review and check out Dee Axelrod's excellent write up of the début jam on page A6, 'Have a little jam with your bagel' (Why can't I come up with clever headlines like that?).

    Or, pull up the paper's home page and keyword search 'bagels' in Story Archives.

    Great photo by Len Stern that reminds me of that classic 1950s snap looking down New York's jazz alley at the neon listings of the different clubs' offerings for the night: Bird, Monk, Miles and Dizzy, Trane, Coleman Hawkins - talk about a jazz buff's dream.

    Crooked Mile incl Matthew Moeller (left of photo)One day, folks will look back on Stern's photo and marvel at all those stars in one place - one such being Crooked Mile's Matthew Moeller, whose début CD and June 25 concert sound a 'must'.

    Lisa and John Williams have got it absolutely right - the best of the best in spacious congenial surroundings:

  • guitaristMusical jam every Friday, 8-11pm.
  • FREE, open to the public, anyone can sit in.
  • Genuinely friendly bunch. Bring your own instrument
  • Further info': 842-4050
  • I hope you enjoy these snaps of just one evening, June 17.

    Marvelous marvelous evening ... that photo of the quartet that heads this posting says it all: friends jamming with friends, everyone relaxed and generous.

    Le tout Bainbridge was there, everyone on top form and I know my guitar pals in the UK, Greece and Hong Kong will be jealous - not to mention those Bain-brigittes not lucky enough to have shared our soirée.

    Wonderful time, wonderful people, wonderful spacious venue.



    Eddie Jay Williams is one of the nicest guys I know, in addition to which he surpasses excellent on the guitar and wails the best harmonica I've heard live.

    Do yourselves a favor and check out his website. Or is it websiteS plural?

    I must have known Eddie as long as I've known Seabold. As I recall, he just came right up to me and introduced himself and made me feel at home.

    In fact, the whole of Seabold do that to you, but it just seems I've known Eddie forever.

    eddieI thought I'd fool around with sepia and make Eddie look like some authentic ol' blues picker from the 1930s - like they did in that Wag the Dog movie.

    I also thought I'd doll him up in this season's fashionable colors. Eddie's the least vain chap I know, so it's fun to tease him from the safe distance of my blog.

    somedaySee that illustration over there on the right? It's of Eddie's ace CD, Someday that no true collection of good singers is without.

    I must have burned at least 20 copies for pals passing through (but hush, not a word to EW) and there's a Radio Brighton DJ who makes sure she plays at least one Williams song a week.

    georgia and emily and Being a bitter 'n' twisted jealous type, my default sneer is that such-and-such a bloke doesn't deserve such-n-such a woman. Probably because I so singularly fail to attract any nice lady of my own.

    In Eddie's case, he *totally* deserves the lovely Georgia Brown (right of photo) - and she totally deserves him. Cupid got it right there (mutter scowl sour grapes).

    But I mustn't over-gush because the last time I did (actually to *Eddie*), he sent me a 16-page scolding email about how every dude in town was trying to lure Georgia away, etc. By all means be *polite* about her, but don't go overboard, at least not in Eddie's hearing.

    gaffneymike gaffney


    Met the very personable Mr Gaffney and complimented him on his cool guitar.

    mike gaffney
    Turns out he made it *himself*.

    Plays it pretty good, too

    Mike also builds kayaks and other clever things and will even craft you a guitar if you ask nicely. Or just give him oodles of money - that'll also do.

    linda slaterlinda slater


    Sat next to this lovely banjo player, who was the only one who knew what the heck chords Billy Forrester was using.

    *Plus* she jammed superbly on everyone else's numbers including a v nice solo for me on 'Traveling Light'

    Eddie and Billy


    I never really got to hear her strut her stuff but there was this loveliest of fiddlers with just the *sweetest* smile.

    She played so little I'd originally guessed her to be shy, but she and I have since exchanged emails and I now know that it was terror more than diffidence that held her back. Always good to keep these captions accurate.

    Triva note: I also find that Madame Fiddler took lessons from La Banjola.

    No such danger of stage nerves from the other two golden boys in the photo: Eddie Williams and Larry Dewey showing how it's done with their usual aplomb.

    Can't you just hear the driving beat?

    Man, I'm going to have get into .wavs and podcasting if this keeps up ...

    billy forrester

    Billy Forrester

    Together with Susan Welch, Billy Forrester is one of "Dusty Rose" whose beautiful "Eleven on Eleven" album was recorded by Rob Folsom and mixed and mastered by our very own genius mobile hobo, Eddie Williams.

    Billy plays with such a clear tone and takes such melodic solos I often wish the singer would shut up and let Billy turn it into an instrumental.

    He also writes some of the best lyrics and tunes I've heard - whenever his "Lighter Side of Blue" comes round, a silence falls on the Busker household.

    I was sitting to his right and every now and then he'd give a sharp glance round, not at me but at my left hand fingers on the fretboard.

    Guitarists out there will know that there is no politer or more effective way of expressing grave doubts about someone's correct chording. Or tuning ... Or just their fitness to be wielding a guitar in the first place.

    Eddie Williams

    tinted busker


    First-time Friday hootenanny ~ one of the happiest evenings I've enjoyed for many a moon.

    Some of the Island's sternest six-string maestros were there and we had a good time.

    I was pretty knackered (as the photos show) but the energy pumping from the room kept me aloft.

    busker with mike murrayThat burly chap on the banjo is the one and only Mike Murray.

    Mike is one of the grittiest authentic singers and banjo players I know and when he delivers the Battle of New Orleans I know I'm tinted pic
    hearing it the way it was meant to be sung.

    It was almost certainly men like Mike who sent Redcoats like me hotfooting it "down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico ... through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go".

    One of the few shots you have of me with my Taylor.

    It was the ever-friendly Georgia who offered me a slot to sing and with all those high-powered crooners and pickers there, I chose songs everyone could join in on.

    I also fitted in some own compositions that went down well and which the assembled company seemed to wrap their chords round sans problem.

    Good times.

    mike murray

    Two great guitarists

    Mike Murray, left

    Billy Forrester, below.

    billy forrester


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