September 2009


...And that bastard Bin Laden is still at large; we're still mired down in Iraq, a war that never should have been waged, and we're not doing so well in Afghanistan, a nation that has no national identity, only tribal...where are the Snowdons of yesteryear?* We particularly remember the 343 firefighters of the FDNY who lost their lives that day trying to save others, and the members of the FDNY PIpes and Drums who memorialised them in hundreds of funerals in the following months - a Band of Brothers indeed.

While we're on the subject of Osama Bin Shitheel, we'll wax poetic from Arab curses: may he die alone and untended in the desert; may vultures pick his bones clean, and the sand wear them away to dust; may he be forgotten by Allah, and cast forever into the can take it from there....just let's make sure that the Marines take it directly to the bastard.

For those of you who came by our booth at Pleasanton, it was great to see you all, I just wish you'd had more money to spend. The coffers here aren't exactly overflowing, but we're grateful for the business we did. This marks the last commercial trip for the year; several games people have asked me to come to their event (including the Angel of Death, who seems to be back in town - oy), but the truth is they're too small for our operation to make any money. Gone are the days when a pop-up and a few rickety tables could encompass our wares, and I have neither enough tents nor a trailer to haul everything around in. So we'll next see you at Woodland in April, unless you come by and see us here in San Leandro. Call 510-569-1689 or email for an appointment and directions.

A few new things in the offing: 'On The Day,' the new documentary by John MacDonald of the Spirit of Scotland's 2008 entry into the World's - a 'superband' made up of gold medallists and other outstanding band players who marched off at Glasgow Green with only one week's practice together. It's REALLY GOOD. Were not sure when we'll have copies, as it's being entered in several film festivals. We also hope to get a set of Tim Gellaitry's pipes here in hand before too long - !

propos of nothing in particular, there's been a lot of mention lately in the news media about Tiki Bars, and one in particular, the Tonga Room at the Fairmont Hotel over in Ess Eff. It's a quiant little place, where the band floats on a raft in the lagoon (former swimming pool), there's thatch roofs, polynesian idols, and umbralla'd drinks galore - all of the kitch that came from James Mitchener's Tales Of The South Pacific and Gardiner MacKay's 'Adventures In Paradise,' all products of the post-war craze for all things Polynesian and Hawaii's statehood. Point being, they want to tear down the Fairmont Tower, where the Tonga Room resides, and put up condos instead, and there's a Movement (with a capital M) to have said Room declared a National Landmark, and thereby preclude its destruction. So, 'PETITION!' we say, petition your congressman, hell, petition Gavin Newsome if you think it will do some good, and go spend your hard earned bucks on a Zombie or two at the Tonga Bar before it's history....

Black Part Speaks:

Ahoy!  Remember when I warned that the Dark Side was still waiting....lurking....scheming...?

The current scuttlebutt has it that not all of the contest sponsors have been required to end in sanctioning fees to the WUSPBA, as required by the bylaws.  This is particularly true if the contest sponsor happens to be a member band or one of the branches.  Now this 'ol pirate can remember when member bands and branches DIDN"T have to send in sanctioning fees, and there was an exception written in the bylaws concerning this.  But somewhere along the way, in one of the many rewites, this exception was left out.  So as the bylaws now are, everyone pays! 

Well...some that haven't paid, don't want to pay, and want to have a "closed door" discussion about this at the AGM, excluding the contest sponsors that have been paying, particularly the contest sponsors that have been putting on the larger contests.  Well mateys.....this just ain't right.  Some years ago we made all of our contest sponsors members of the association.  That makes our association their association.  So I says.....No Closed Door discussions; no Secrets; no Smoke; no Mirrors! There can be no exceptions, no exclusions.  All of our members should be in on this and our other topics of discussion. 

And any contest sponsor who hasn't paid the sanctioning fees...SEND IN THE MONEY and abide with our bylaws!   Ahrrrgh!

Ol' Black Part


(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)

* a 'Catch-22' reference


back to Notes