I've seen a few good movies lately, including The Post and Darkest Hour. Okay, both of these movies lacked a shoot out at the end and the hero walking away and not looking back while everything blows up, but they were good movies. Except for one thing - they seem to like making movies long these days. That means I have to sit for two hours and my right knee gets sore. Maybe film makers need to make slightly shorter versions for pensioners.
Actually, when I named this post DARKEST HOUR, I wasn't thinking about the film but the state of blogging in our little community. There are three main blogs around here:
The Bass Bagging Hexagram
The Curmudgeonly Old Men's Club
Let's take a look at what each group offers.
1) The Bass Bagging Hexagram:
Richard's Bass Bag* was the first blog in our little community (though Man of Errors was already in existence, but that is more like a satallite blog) and was followed by two blogs - The Curmudgeon and a blog by Robert that has appeared under many different names.
Richard's Bass Bag* set up the now famous LINKS service,which made it easy for other bloggers to navigate their way around blogs. Many bloggers have gained readership and ease of travel from this service. A little later The Wine Guy came along. He lost a bit of popularity by insulting a pregnant waitress who tried to give him a beer, in a wine bar, when he was trying to show off that he only bought expensive wines. There is no truth in the rumour that the waitress was planted there by Richard's Bass Bag.* Many top class bloggers came along and joined the community. Stand out bloggers, who are still with us, are Bin Hire (who runs a bass bagging site), Akish The Philistine and the ever popular Angry Jesus. Richard's Bass Bag* became so popular that it expanded out into two new blogs - RBB2 and RBB3. Eventually, after coming together as The Bass Bagging Confederation, the six most successful blogs that this community has seen became The Bass Bagging Hexagram. The present policy is to feature each blog, so Richard's Bass Bag* is in a resting spell as these other five blogs spread their wings. Richard's Bass Bag* is managing the Hexagram.
The Bass Bagging Hexagram
2) The Curmudgeon Inc.
This group of blogs gets referred to by several names - The Elderly Curmudgeons' Tea Party, The Old Chaps, The Past It Guys, etc.
It was started by The Curmudgeon in a sad attempt to compete with Richard's Bass Bag* and his team mates who soon formed The Bass Bagging Confederation. Basically this group of blogs is just The Curmudgeon, The Wine Guy and another Curmudgeon for every topic you can think of.
They all pop up on The Curmudgeon's blog though, because he invented so many Curmudgeons, most have fallen by the wayside and never really post. Posts tend to be about obscure singers, wine, storms up north, windows, wine, paintings in TC's house, arty films, wine, swimming, wine. You get the idea.
Interpret this as you see fit but, to me, it always looks like
five buttocks and a poo.
Robert's blog has had many names and is famous for disappearing, then restarting. Posts are often deleted. He likes to write poems, talk about his daily life and attack evolution. At the time of writing he also exhibits a second blog called A composer's journey. There's a nice little tune on the blog that he has started to write. I'm impressed. I must say that this new blog overshadows his main blog that is presently titled Send feedback. Okay then. My feedback would be write something interesting.
An aging Paganini
* * *
I named this post DARKEST HOUR because I think that describes where this blogging community is at present.
Full marks must go to Richard's Bass Bag* for introducing the circulation policy with The Bass Bagging Hexagram. It just needs other people to get on board and travel around these great blogs.
Full marks too to Robert's A composer's journey. I'd seen a few earlier posts on this blog that didn't do it at all (whatever it is). Then I read his latest offering today and I was impressed!
Far less marks to all those Curmudgeons. We don't really want to read about your leader wallowing around in the water like a distressed whale that has come in too close to shore. There was a time when you brought us more interesting posts like the drama of an outside chair blowing over in a storm and The Wine Guy's fight with a pregnant waitress (mentioned above - what a famous post). These days it's just a circulation of different Curmudgeons who all seem to write in the same style.
Robert, I never thought I'd say this but, Send feedback has got to go! My advice - bring back a simple name like Robert, lose the poems, get that contraversial streak back. Bring back the dinosaurs! You're at your best when you're upsetting The Curmudgeon.
There you have my thoughts. May the sun come up soon.
Hard to believe that we're so far into January. The big Italy trip is closing in slowly (set for mid to late September). That means I'll be spending a lot of time in one of these.
To get to Italy requires a 1 hour flight to Auckland, a 12 hour flight to somewhere like San Francisco and a 12 hour flight to Milano.
I don't really have a fear of flying, more a fear of crashing.
People say that flying is one of the safest modes of transport in the world so my fear is a bit unreasonable. The thing is too, if I want to get to Italy, this is what I need to do.
Unless I go by canoe.
It's certainly a long way to water ski.
So, flying it is.
There will be a lot of people on those planes and not much room. The trick will be to get my head into a good space and keep it there.
We're all going to die in the end. Better to die on a grand adventure than to wither away in an old folks' home. I've seen enough people do that. "It's always now." That's a good thing to remember. When one lives in the moment everything else becomes secondary. The past and the future (ie. crashing) are no longer relevant. Bring it on.*
I don't think there will be any cows on the plane.*
One thing I've noticed about shorts is that they make peeing difficult.
If you open the fly, the leg parts of the shorts sort of stick out and you've got to try to hold them back so that you don't accidently pee on them. I remember that, when I was a boy and shorts were the norm, we boys used to pull up one leg and pee through there. This worked well. As summer school shorts didn't have a fly, this was a common proceedure used by all. I've tried this method and it certainly works better than using the fly. Maybe someone needs to invent a device so that it is easier to pee through the fly when wearing shorts.
Bicycle clips for shorts would be one solution, though the down side is that you'd have to carry them around.
Maybe a tube thing would work too - a thing like a hose that fits onto your dong.
Another option would be to sit down, but you couldn't do that at a urinal. Very tight shorts might be another solution.
I guess you could use one of those bottle things they have in hospitals.
Riccardo Testore has spent a lot of his life in the South
Pacific settlement he refers to as Nuova Lazio. In this little settlement the Italian
ways are celebrated many miles from home. Nuova Lazio also has a strong English
presence, the early settlers in this area, before the Italian presence arrived,
were stockmen and timber millers. As a boy Riccardo’s parents insisted that he
learn to speak English,
although Italian is the language he is passionate about.
The climate of Nuova Lazio suits the growing of olive trees
which seem to grow everywhere.
Riccardo studied the violin and became interested in a
brand of gypsy music that seemed to always be in his house. The music traced
its roots back to American jazz tunes and Neapolitan songs. Riccardo played an
important part in mixing the two styles and adding jazz influences to Neapolitan
music. He also studied the double bass and likes to use this big violin to play
some tunes in his trio.
The formation of his trio has taken many years and this
particular blend of two quite different styles has had a slow merging over
about twenty years. Riccardo is passionate about the style of music that his