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Everything posted by jdms

  1. Well, I'd certainly be happy to accept a slab of lucre. Oh, wait, you meant something else, didn't you? jdms
  2. An example: Doc Watson, a bluegrass/country/folk guitarist of nearly legendary skill (also plays banjo and harmonica), lost his sight as an infant and took up music as a traditional occupation for the blind--this was in the mountains of North Carolina in the 1920s...though when he was 14, his father did take him out in the woods and put him on one end of a crosscut saw to show him that he wasn't useless (professional musician presumably not being at the top of the elder Watson's list of good ways to make a living). As far as I know, the harmonica is the only free reed instrument he's ever played--no sign of concertinas anywhere near him...never having played the guitar or the banjo (and never having been blind), I don't know whether he'd have had an easier time of it if he'd picked up a Wheatstone instead of a Martin. jdms
  3. And then there's sapient pearwood... jdms
  4. Tombilly, if you reread Wim's post, I think you'll see that he's only saying a place on his waiting list may be sold to someone else before he's done his consulting. This page lays out his ordering process. He does say there that the customer should feel free to ask advice during the entire waiting list period, but the specifications are not locked in until he contacts the customer approximately a month before the construction start date. The implication, then, is that he's charging for the hashing out and confirmation of details that begins at that point. Never having ordered a Wakker concertina, I don't know this, but I would assume that Wim's responses to queries before that contact for specifications are along the lines of "these are options worth considering, and we can talk about it in detail when I contact you before starting work on your instrument." In other words, what happens before that contact is just conversations with general advice, and what happens afterwards is the actual consulting for which the deposit pays. That's not to say that you as a reasonable person can't look at this and disagree with Wim's approach--perhaps you feel that the earlier conversations should count as part of the consultation. I, as you may have gathered, don't feel that way, and anyway (not that you've said anything to contradict this last point), it's entirely Wim's choice what he does or does not charge to do. Joshua Mackay-Smith
  5. While it's true, as you say, that it's the nonrefundable deposit that creates the possibility of what you're calling queue-jumping, I disagree that it's a problem. If (as I may be before long) I were in line for a Wakker and someone ahead of me sold a spot, it wouldn't actually affect anything; there'd still be just as many people ahead of me, and it's unlikely my wait would be any longer (or shorter). It's true that someone will now have an instrument before several people who've been waiting longer and while that's not particularly fair, I don't see it as enough of an unfairness to merit attention. My reaction to someone who got an instrument ahead of me by these means would be "lucky you" rather than "cheater." [edit] I wonder if the manufacturers feel that the waiting list would grow to unmanageable proportions if it weren't limited by "earnest money" up front? The reason I said "what you call queue-jumping" is that to my mind, queue-jumping means that the queue-jumper adds to the number of people in the line, forcing others to wait longer--I'd certainly have a problem with that, but that's not what's happening here. I also hasten to add that I do not intend to call your objections foolish or invalid; it's simply that what clearly bothers you (and, I have no doubt, some number of others) does not bother me. I have just noticed your "at least not overtly" disclaimer. Whether those who feel as you do are many or few, I agree that it would be an improvement if it were possible to allow anyone interested to purchase an earlier waiting-list position discreetly so that the short-cut would not be so much in the face of those it bothered. How to remain discreet and yet reach all potential buyers is another question--maybe manufacturers could put links at the bottoms of their "how to order" pages for a waiting list waiting list, as it were? jdms
  6. Posting instead of emailing or PMing as your answer will benefit anyone interested: do you have/will you take pictures you can post (both ends and, if you're willing to take the ends off, the action and reedpans)? Also, where are you, and would you be willing to let people come by/meet somewhere and try the instrument out? Joshua Mackay-Smith
  7. My mileage did vary. Worked fine copying from the text in the code box. I even tried including the box itself when I did my copy, and there was no problem. The box didn't leave any "residue" in the copied text. I didn't get stretched into a single line either time. I wonder what's different in your system. Well, it's my work computer, which is ancient and creaky. Since it's different on yours, it's probably also different on my home machine--I'll have to check... jdms Edit: Ooh, I'm officially chatty now...
  8. I copied and pasted the ABC file and got the whole thing in a single line, which the ABC Convert-O-Matic doesn't like at all. I've removed the code tags in this response; testing from the preview screen indicates that it works much better this way (your mileage may vary). jdms Edited to add: works from the final post, too.
  9. I don't remember who it was, in part because I was too lazy to search through all the results of my search on the term "foot bass," that being what the lady in question had--it's not quite the same, since it's played (as you mention) by foot and I believe plays more notes than the sruti box does (this is my impression only; I'm far from being an expert on either instrument). Joshua
  10. Marien, I shall have to remember "t(h)reate(ne)d." It's a very apt description of misguided restoration efforts that my wife, an architectural historic preservationist, should particularly appreciate. jdms
  11. When last I checked, the Button Box's rental instruments were Stagis (I decided instead to spend money on a used Morse that they happened to have). This was long enough ago that Rochelles weren't available yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were renting them as well now. jdms
  12. jdms

    And This One

    Interesting that this guy's id is nutcocoa and Chris Algar's is cocoa111. Could this be a deliberate similarity to confuse the unwary? Meanwhile, I'd say posting an item to an auction site and stating in big flashing letters that he won't actually auction it indicates a certain amount of chutzpah. Well, it could be stupidity... jdms
  13. Contributing to thread drift, I would point out that ownership of a BMW motorcycle does not mean wealth or sacrifice of one enthusiasm in favor of another; I do not know what BMW Mikefule has, but I've seen nothing to establish that it is (or, admittedly, that it isn't) a new one. I own a BMW myself--a 1995 R1100RS, which I bought used in 1997 for a bit more than half the price of a new cheap workaday car. I had previously owned another BMW, a 1976 R90/6, which I bought in 1993 when it was worth about a quarter to a fifth the price of a new cheap workaday car (the seller was my cousin, who gave me a very good price) and less than most decent used ones. Older BMWs are widely available and often belong to people who are by no stretch of the imagination wealthy, but want a well-built machine that someone with a decent set of hand tools can maintain. My choice to own a BMW has no more effect than any other motorcycle on whether I have enough money go out and buy a Wheatstone or a Suttner--indeed, because I bought my current one nearly a decade before I took up the concertina, it has none except to the extent that I could sell it and put the money toward something fancier than my Morse Ceili if I so desired (I could probably get the value of a decent 30-button Lachenal for it now). I'm saving up for traditionally-reeded instrument in addition to the Morse--it's only my low income that's keeping my case of CAD in abeyance so far...but whatever the case, I am both a BMW rider and a concertina player, and neither fact by itself says more about my financial situation than that I can afford more than the bare necessities. Joshua Mackay-Smith
  14. (emphasis mine) I don't know whether that's a typo up there, but it's an error I've seen in similar contexts: it should be "formerly," as in "it used to be this way, but isn't any more." "Formally" would mean that C. F. Uhlig is still the name of the company, but they're calling it F. Lange when they're not trying to be as correct as possible. Not that such a thing is impossible, but "vormals" definitely refers to a previous time, not a level of, well, formality. jdms
  15. I was about to say something clever about the difference between buying directly from the manufacturer and buying from a retailer, but it occurred to me that you probably did buy directly from the Button Box, so even that plus UK import duties (and would VAT apply here?) wouldn't account for it. My theory is that there are two factors to account for it: firstly, that when you order an instrument from the BB, they then have to make it, so buying from The Music Room saves you a couple of months and any hassle you'd have with HM Customs & Excise, which is worth something; and secondly, that The Music Room feels that a little more profit than there would otherwise be is fitting and appropriate. jdms
  16. Thanks, Stephen (and Theo). Question out of pure curiosity: is it possible to replace the noisemakers with regular reeds, or can their chambers not be adapted for such a use?
  17. I don't know whether anyone's noticed this and pointed it out before--a search of the archives was inconclusive, partly because I'm lazy. Today I had occasion to look at the musical instruments display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I was disappointed at the lack of concertinas, and was in the midst of griping to my wife about the utter lack of free reed instruments when I came to the case marked (I think) European Folk Instruments, wherein my eye was caught first by what they're simply calling an accordion--maybe a flutina? I then saw--much to my surprise--a symphonium. Credit to Charles Wheatstone in the description and everything, and also an MP3 of someone playing it. It's a tiny little thing...the search that turned up the links above shows me that the MFA does in fact have two English concertinas they aren't displaying at the moment, a Wheatstone and a Cramer & Co--hadn't heard of that second maker... jdms
  18. What's this likely to be (besides a 34-button Anglo that might be missing the pad from one of the thumb-actuated buttons on the left side)? I think I see riveted action through the fretwork, so presumably it's not a Lachenal. Could it be a Jones?
  19. I expect the notes on the left-hand additional button would answer this question for those more clued-in than I, but is this a C/G?
  20. You don't translate word for word; instead, you try to keep the sense of the song while fitting the meter and rhyme scheme in the new language. Consider this, the first stanza of a well-known song by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill: Und der Haifisch, der hat Zaehne Und sie traegt er im Gesicht Und MacHeath, der hat ein Messer Doch das Messer sieht man nicht. A (rough) literal translation would be: And the shark, that has teeth And those it carries in its face And MacHeath, he has a knife But the knife one does not see. The actual translation you hear, either in a cast recording (or performance) of The Threepenny Opera or from Bobby Darrin, is: Now the shark has pretty teeth, dear And he shows them, pearly white Just a jackknife has MacHeath, dear And he keeps it out of sight. It's nowhere close to a word-for-word translation, but it's the same general idea as the original (I'm not sure, but I think Brecht had a hand in the translation). jdms
  21. Simon Thoumire has a twice-monthly podcast of Scottish music that sometimes includes some concertina music (such as his own); it's called the Ayepodcast (get it? Ayepod? Heh heh heh) and is available here. Joshua Mackay-Smith (just a touch of Scots mixed in with the Sassenach)
  22. To my ears there's nothing Scottish to this tune. Have you heard many Scottish country dance tunes? Reels, jigs and strathspeys often don't sound much like what you'd hear from Andy M. Stewart, Ewan MacColl or Jean Redpath... jdms
  23. "International Dispatch" is self-explanatory, USPS=United States Postal Service and ISC=International Service Center (according to a quick search at www.usps.com). It looks like that's one of the processing centers for international mail (others in NYC and Chicago)--I'd guess it arrived there from Birmingham on Saturday evening, and that no, it had not yet left these shores (but if it hasn't by now, it should soon). jdms
  24. Civilized? Does this type of activity look "civilized" to you?? But isn't that a heron? jdms
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