And the New Year brings its own series of hassles...suffice it to say that there is a current flack between a reincarnated bagpipe maker and Sharp and Co. over seasoning - and I've been caught in the middle of it. Until this is resolved I'm not going to say anything EXCEPT 'Thanks a load' to the a-hole who's decided that I'm fair game to pick on in all this.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, many thanks to some people who made life easier last year - Jamie Cavin, Dexter Stevens, and Bryan Reynonds in particular, as well as Ol' Black Part, whose latest is below....this month marks our TENTH anniversary on the web, and as we begin our eleventh year online we hope to make many upgrades and improvements on the site. We now count as the oldest piping blog out there, at least AFAIK.

NEW PRODUCT DEPARTMENT: Pipe Cases in leather


with end compartments and shoulder strap, perfect for travel or just taking your pipe to band practice.

This is a quality case, NOT made in Singapore or other Asian clime, but made in Canada for Cuillinn Craft.

projected price is $209.95


Made of heavy saddle leather, this case is practically bulletproof. It features heavy duty combination locks, sturdy leather handle, reinforced corners, and velveteen lining in blue or crimson. It's a roomy 9"x10"x25" so there's plenty of space for you maintenance items and some music.

This is the case for your heirloom silver-mounted pipe. When fitted with a humidifier (extra) it will protect your pipe and be good-looking as well. Again, this case is NOT MIM, but made for us in Canada by a high-end luggage maker.

Available in dark brown or tan.


projected price is


Call 510-569-1689 or email for more information on these cases.

Well, Ol' Black Part went out to the WUSPBA AGM held in Las Vegas in November.  Here's what happened:

1)  My reception at the Friday Executive Committee meeting was....Chilly....!  But things had warmed up quite a bit by the end of this meeting.  Mostly, its not what I say, but the way I say it that has the Executive Committee on the defensive.  And in particular, they don't like me using CAPITAL letters, and BOLD letters in my emails.  so in the future I'll be using underlined italic letters, and different Fonts to emphasize my emails.   Ahrrrrrgh!

 2) Ol' Black Part wanted to see if two things could be made to happen:  To make the Music Board responsible to the membership and/or the Executive Committee; and to get more money to the branches for education.  It would appear that the Executive Committee has been listening, as both things have happened. First. the Music Board Chairman will be appointed by the President of the WUSPBA, and the chairman will then pick the rest of the members of the Music Board subject to Executive Committee approval. The Music Board Budget has been tripled this year so they'll have enough money to go out and get things they're supposed to be doing done.  And...from now on the Music Board will be told what to do, who should do it, how to do it if required, and when to do it by the President of the WUSPBA.  So, Ol' Black Part says...."Take the money and use!  Get to Work!  And take That..and That..And That!  Ahrrgh! Also appointed to the Music Board is Scott MacDonald as Adjudicator Manager.  This makes Scott the 'point man'....(Hmmm....Does this mean he's out on the bow sprit?  Be sure you're wearin' a raincoat mate.  If the seas get rough, and they will, we don't want ya to drown out there!)...for contest sponsors to contact when they're having trouble finding judges. 

Second,  The WUSPBA will be sending out about $120.00 more this year per band to the branches.  This will include associate member bands.  This money is to be used for educational purposes, with the branches given some discretion as to how it is used for education.  This means the Southern Branch, for instance, will shortly recieve an additional check for over $2000.00.  The support of piping and drumming schools given last year, and the scholorships as well, then will continue in 2008.

3)  The Branches are to have a WUSPBA representative at every contest, following the example set by the Southern Branch this past season.  Things happen at contests, and there needs to be visible WUSPBA representation, and sometimes immeadiate action, to sort things out.

4)  At the AGM, 7 bylaws and contest rule changes were acted upon.  These were posted 30 days in advance on October 17th on the WUSPBA website, and since there are 31 days in October, barely in enough time to comply with the bylaws.  A pamphlet was also mailed out detailing the propsed changes, though I'm told not everyone recieved it.  Proposal 1 concerning Drum Major Championship contests passed with minor changes.  Proposal 2 concerning players transferring from one band to another only once during the contest season was passed.  Proposal 3 concerning bands playing up in grade recieved no action as there were no members present to speak in favor of it.  Proposal 4 changing period of registration was passed.  Proposal 5 was a non-binding suggestion about Drum Majors not using 'symphonic style' conducting during massed bands will be added to the Piping and Drumming Handbook.  The Piping and Drumming Handbook will be updated by 'Ol Black Part, Lise Nelson, Martin Johnson, and Scott MacDonald.  The updated handbook should be on the website  by February.   ( you like the Font change?  Don't ask me why it happened 'cause I ain't no computer geek!)  Proposal 6 on Life Memebership passed.  Proposal 7 on the nomination of officers passed.  Members should review the updated bylaws and contest rule changes as soon as they have been posted on the website.  You're invited to copy them as well.

5)  Officers were elected:  Re-elected to President was andrew Morrill.  Elected to Executive Secretary was Jeff Mann.  Elected to Band Registrar was Kyle Tanner. The AGM was adjourned at 1:10 PM, followed by music workshops. Now here's some interesting statistics for some who care...and for some who don't:

I.  There were 47 competing bands in the 2007 contest season.  16 bands were required for a quorum.  18 bands were represented.

II.  There were 31 WUSPBA members at the meeting.  9 of the members present were from Utah, and 7 of these members were from the Wasatch & District Pipe Band.

III.  There are actually 54 bands in the WUSPBA, counting the ones that are registered but didn't compete, so actually, with 18 present at the AGM, there was still a quorum.

IV.  There are 417 solo pipers, 66 snare drummers, 27 tenor drummers, and 13 drum majors in the WUSPBA, and these members recieved only a couple of votes from those present, such that this large, and possibly majority of the membership is still no allowed to vote on bylaw, contest rule, and officers of the WUSPBA. 

V.  There are 7 elected officers of the WUSPBA.  As of the last elections, 4 of these officers are from Utah, and more in particluar, are members of the Wasatch & District Pipe Band.  Now, if it were that 4 of these officers were from....say....Prince Charles or L. A. Scots, we'd all be wondering what Bill Merriman or Scott MacDonald were up to.  And most of us wouldn't like it as this is to much control vested with one band, and as we all know...Power Corrupts!  Why it could be, that if the offices of Treasurer, Sanctioning Secretary,  and Vice-President are filled with members from the Wasatch & District Pipe Band, that:  The WUSPBA would become the WADPBA, (Wasatch And District Pipe Band Association).  The AGM will be moved to Salt Lake City and coincide with an annual gathering of 'Saints'.  We'd all have to Tithe, rather than pay dues.  We'd all have 'Temple Cards', 'cause after you tithe all our beer and scotch money will be gone, and we might as well all go pray instead of play. 

Finally, there was a visit from a Nevada State Senator and the President of the Las Vegas Events organization.  They wanted to know if a band contest very similar to the World's could be  put on in Las Vegas, for say...The North Americn Pipe Band Championships...?  Could be was the E C's response, and certain designated members of the EC will be working hard to put on a presentation to the Senator and Las Vegas Events this coming March.  It was indicated that a million dollars would be no problem to cover the costs.  Like Ken Sutherland said right away..."We should've said two million, or five million..."

Ol' Black Part, still kicking up a fuss.....

Here's John's take on Grenad-Oil:

Doctor's isn't oil for grenades cooked up by some mad scientest with a PhD.   This oil is made by the LBD Corp, from Lilburn, Georgia.  The oil is derived from the same family of trees, from which extremely expensive musical instruments, including genuine blackwood bagpipes are made.  Being from the same source of wood, this oil is extremely compatible with blackwood.  I was sent a 15 milliliter vial recently to try out.  So for my semi-annual pipe maintenance I used it rather than lemon oil.  First thing I noticed was that it did penetrate into the wood much quicker than the lemon oil.  After a few minutes there was no excess to wipe away. And no waxy after feel, which could be from some wax in the lemon oil.  The same luster was apparent after treatment.  The luster has lasted now since just before the end of the year, and is still apparent.  On the inside bores, this oil penetrated even faster, and left little or no excess to collect dust and debris.  What more could one ask for?  This stuff works.  Maybe a touch on the expensive side, are my it is well worth the investment.  I have enough for three more semi annual treatments from the one vial.  Many thanks, and don't stop making this oil because I really like it.  

John Eric Partanen, PhD 

(The management of Cuillinn Craft takes NO responsibility for any editorial statements made by John Eric Partanen PhD. Any and all comments should be directed to BLACK PART)


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