NOTES FROM PIPEY'S CORNER
Volume XV Number 6 - June 2005
I'VE BEEN SLAGGED
...By a Minor Hollywood Star, no less! ZOWIE! On May 10 I received a little missive from piping friend David Siegal in the Vale of Megiddo on the Golan Heights (that's Armageddon to you folks), saying he'd found one of my piobaireachd compositions on a competing website from Southern California. I contacted them in my usual sweet and meek manner and requested them to cease and desist. No, I didn't wrap it around a chocolate covered hand grenade, but maybe I should have...to make a long story short, in reply I was THREATENED with legal action for making my demand, and further threatened as a 'stalker.' Wow. I'm a stalker, no less - from four hundred miles away by email - and they say Hollyweird isn't populated by Delta-Minus semimorons. Proof positive that rich bitch 'actresses' with sticks up their butts really are different - 'nuff said.
Took friend Linda Anderson to the Pomona Games, which had an odd setup - clan tents INSIDE mixed in with vendors - and saw just about everyone I knew - EXCEPT Black Part! Met up with Chip and Patty Robinson, Connall and Patricia Bell, Jim Grant, Aaron Shaw, and John Allen, to name a few. See the Old Pirate's positive comments below - but watch out for the jet blast!
ALMOST NEW DEPARTMENT:
Years ago (sometime in the Last Millennium) the finest pipe bag available was kangaroo hide. Yes, mates, good old Skippy, the cute and cuddly (!) roo, hunted, trapped, and poisoned for years because they destroyed crops and ruined (bad pun) grazing lands down in Oz. Well, thanks to wildlife maintenance they're back, and under control, so they say. One of the best ancillaries of kangaroo control is the renewed availability of roo hide pipe bags. Soft, supple, last damn near forever (old Jock Sneddon claimed his was forty years old - which I doubt!), and able to give that resonance for which sheepskin is noted (without the cracking, seasoning-gobbling, sweating, and all those other great side effects), we will soon have them in stock, priced at about $120. These are shaped swan-neck bags with precut holes, in small, medium, and large sizes - we'll have a comparison when they come in from Oz, and get the product test up on the column as soon as possible.
HELP HELP HELP!
Just received a note from our longtime knitter, Joanne Hinmon, saying that she can NO LONGER produce kilt hose for us. This means that none of those spiffy patterns will be available UNTIL we find a new source. IF ANYONE out there can do production hand knitting, or knows anyone who does, we would be EXTREMELY GRATEFUL. We'll keep you informed on how things progress in this area. We do still have a limited stock of Pibroch, Kintail, and Fearg hose in several colours, so email us if you're in need....
BLACK PART SPEAKS - OR, IN THIS CASE, HOWLS:
The United Scottish
Societies' contests at Pomona have come and gone. The new venue
has some advatages and disadvantages over the old venue. For the
bands, there were great areas to set up between the buildings
with lots of room and lots of shade. The band contest, and solo
contest areas were a bit cramped, but these contests, for the
most part, (there was a 'hitch' which I'll get into later), came
off allright. There seemed to be a good crowd on hand for
both days so I'm pretty sure the USS did OK. For Ed Best, who handled the piping and drumming, a well earned, "Well Done!"
Now about that 'hitch' I mentioned earlier. During one band's contest performance, another, rival band assembled close to the contest area and struck up. As the band competing was smaller in numbers, and the band that struck up was larger, the larger band 'drowned out' the smaller. Now in them auld days, pirate cap'ns were known tae drown their rivals if'n they could git 'way wi it. Sae who be the pirate(s) here anyways? In all seriousness though, bands must show common courtesy and decency while at contests. If a band is on the line, or already competing, don't assemble your band so close and strike up to interefere. Pipe Majors and Drum Majors, when bringing your band up to the line, look around to see if there may be problems, or potential problems. If there are, hold your band at the line, identify the problem, or potential problem to the contest stewards at the line. Hold until the problem is resolved. That is what the contest stewards are there for. That's also what the WUSPBA is supposed to be there for. Oops, I forgot! The WUSPBA is 'invisible' so how can you find an official in an 'invisible' association to help your band when they need it the most?
While we're on the subject of the WUSPBA being there, or not, where was the new Southern Branch President anyway? MIA? Not like Ian [NOT Sherwood - I wuz there! - ed.] to miss a contest, especially one he was scheduled to judge at. So, Ian if you are ill, I wish you a speedy recovery. But, if the Celtic Traveller was off on the HIGH road again....well...I wish you a recovery toot sweet.
Also coming to my attention this past weekend was the Executive Committee of WUSPBA making another 'fuss' over local band membership. Seems a new Grade II band has been formed up. Alas, there are no other Grade II bands within the WUSPBA. So the new Grade II band joined BC Pipers. And, well...why not? This was probably OK until the new Grade II band decided to 'play up' in Grade I against two WUSPBA bands at a WUSPBA sanctioned contest. To do so meant that the new Grade II band had to, should have, joined WUSPBA. I understand there was quite a 'fuss' made by both sides, with both sides having points well taken. The new Grade II band joined WUSPBA, but is still a member of BC Pipers.
So now with two recent 'fusses' over band membership this year where are we as an association? The Executive Committee continues to insist that all bands within the geographical area 'claimed' by WUSPBA must join WUSPBA. All except one band. A Grade III band in Utah has been a member of BC pipers, and not a WUSPBA member for some years. This Grade III Utah band though continues to compete at WUSPBA sanctioned events. Why this inconsistency? Why chase Grade I and Grade II bands, but not this Grade III Utah band/ One possible explanation is that the Utah Grade III band sued WUSPBA some years ago. WUSPBA settled and paid costs and attorney fees to the Utah Grade III band. In other words, the WUSPBA LOST! Now the question is: As part of that settlement was the Utah Grade III band no longer required to join the WUSPBA? If so, this exception, once made, on or off the record, may no longer bind any band or solo member to be 'compelled' to join the WUSPBA. Is this the case? The Executive Committee must inform the membership now one way or the other. Did the Utah Grade III band gain the right to join, or not join WUSPBA? If the Utah Grade III band has that priviledge, why does not every other band and solo member have that priviledge? And if it is true, that one band, or member band, or member, then, every other member has this privilege as there can be no such discrimination according to the bylaws of the WUSPBA and the Code of Conduct.
Moreover, if this is so, then the recent activities of the Executive Committee may be actionable under the RICO Act. Will the Executive Committee answer the questions I've just asked? NO! The answers may expose them for what they are! If you've had enough of these underefficient individuals running OUR association, vote for someone who'll clean house!
Vote for John Eric Partanen, PhD, WUSPBA member # 0193PP, a professional piper for the past 44 years, for President of the WUSPBA at the AGM in February 2006, in Las Vegas. Thanks in advance for your support! See ya at the AGM!
The above is an unpaid campaign editorial by John Eric Partanen, PhD AKA 'Ol Black Part
(The management of Cuillinn Craft takes NO responsibility for the above. Any and all comments should be directed to BLACK PART)