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Everything posted by Gluestick

  1. All this talk about hurting fingertips reminds me that when I pick up my big jumbo (Echo with Gibson Sonomatic strings), it is tough to fret for a bit, after the Strat or the Les Paul or especially the Hayman 1010, since this was carefully rebuilt by a local guitar doc some years ago and has the lowest action ever.


  2. Will:

    'Twas me that mentioned Chas: Freight Train springs to mind, in which Chas dueted with Nancy Whiskey. I still like that celebrated finger picking riff...................

    Many thanks for that info re Burns. I will do some more research. Yes, it is very much like the Gibson. Didn't Joe Brown use a Gibson semi-accoustic?

    One of my heroes, Mr Brown. Has one of George Formby's ukele banjos. Another star now forgotten.

    My late father had a number of George's 78s: my late mother reckoned they were "Vulgar".

    I still like the words to Mr Wu and the double entendre concerning ladies' blouses![:D]

    Turned out nice, again.

    I say it again: there seems to be a lot of musicians on this forum!


  3. The last time I went to Milan, the food (in the not cheap) hotel was dreadful. Both dinner and breakfast. Lucky they had lots of good Barolo....................

    When the same mob of Italians came to London, I took them to the new carvery at the old Great Eastern Hotel, just after it was revamped.

    Amazing! One guy went back for thirds and they all went back for seconds. You'de have thought they were starving! Piled into the roastbeef like rescued seaman after ten weeks on a raft.

    And one of the hungriest, was a very wealthy man. Strange. He didn't eat like that in Milan.



  4. Paul:

    Like the Burns story! Were you copying Pete Townshend?[:D]

    I had a Vibrasonic too, brand new. Sold that to a work colleague and bought a used decent Alto sax in Shaftesbury Avenue. Good old days.

    By the way: what do you think of the sound of your Strat?

    Personally, I can honestly find little if any difference between my early 70s re-issue and the original 60s job I had, which was obviously a real US made Dr Fender job.


  5. This will make all the guitarists here larf! And Beryl, too, I hope.

    At school I played violin: the techniques (in terms of the left writs and the "Swanneck" arch of the wrist are not too dis-similar).

    I bought my first guitar when I was fourteen: my cousin found it in a junk-antique type shop: that would be circa 1955 and unlike today, guitars were actually quite rare, particularly secondhand.

    I purchased the de rigeure Weedon guide (although I seem to recall my first self-tutor was by someone like Chas McDevitt, repleate with some songs!).

    Having struggled manfully, till my poor little digits were red raw, one evening an older chap, can't remember whom, came round, looked at my box and pronounced "Oh! No wonder you're having problems! This is an Hawaian guitar!" (For the non-guitarists, the strings sit miles above the frets and are stopped by use of a "Steel", which is a solid polished steel plate.).

    After repairing, as we used to say, to the nearest friendly music shop of note, I purchased a new top nut (which is the bit at the end of the fingerboard the strings sit on) glued it in and voila! Chords!

    At last I could actually stop the strings!

    I still find it funny, all these years later on.


  6. When I was 16, flick knives were banned: no shop could sell them and anyone caught carrying one was immediately liable for a prison sentence.

    Since that time (so long ago), various acts have been passed endeavouring to dis-persaude people from carrying concealed weapons.

    Once again, however, the core problem is that police and jurisprudence have not bothered to implement extant law; now that the problem has escalated, authority realises they have do actually do something: sadly I fear, as many UK streets have now become anarchic, solving this problem is nigh on impossible.

    Imprison offenders: where? What about the costs? What about the liberal bleeding hearts and the do-gooders? What about the Human Rights Act? And so on....................ad infinitum.



  7. Absolutely right, Kathy.

    Drinking moderately for my group was a part of social intercourse; not an objective in itself.

    Sure, we all once or twice became hammered when young, but 99.999% learned various lessons from this.

    I personally believe now, that underlying personality traits, where in reality people are basically unstable, emotionally and mentally, emerge once they have, as the Irish put it so well,"Drink taken."

    Of course, there were violent people when I was young: but they were very much a microscopic minority: and avoided by most. As were the places they haunted. "Nice" people didn't go there.

    The worrying reality today, in the UK, is how so many otherwise respectable town centres have been turned into civilian no-go zones after certain hours and days: and how mindless violence and social disorder has become almost accepted as the norm.



  8. [quote user="Matt C"]a competetively priced,reliable,friendly,conscientious plumber [/quote]

    I gather, Matt, that from your avatar, you are a Martian and totally unused to life on Earth!

    Seriously, ask in your local bar ar at the marie, as a start. Must be a bloke locally that the French use and recommend. Best of luck with this.


  9. Thanks, Pip: and yes I know.


    Iceland is a very interesting place for a number of reasons. Only a few years ago, its GDP comprised circa 90% fishing. Now it is less than 10% and reducing all the time.

    Education right up to doctoral level is completely free: thus it is no surprise that they are a very highly educated race. Healthcare is first rate and totally free, too.

    Like many Scandanavian and Nordic countries, they did have a problem with drinking, particularly in the dark months of the Winter. This was addressed by a process of public education. Drink driving is now very rare and their laws are completely intolerant of it. The drink-drive limit is zero. Wine costs circa £7-9 per glass in hotels and bars.

    Most people speak excellent English: and many other European languages too.

    The standard of living is on par with Switzerland. They have no natural energy resources, other than geothermal, which has been very well applied. Weird when I first showered, however! I thought that the drains were dodgy: which would have been strange, as it was a very new and very splendid hotel. It was in fact the hydrogen sulphide in the hot water. They pipe the water directly up from the geysers.

    All gas and petrol, derv and aircraft fuel has to be imported. They have no wood, as they chopped up the trees years ago for building and fuel, thus they import costs are pretty high.

    The place is spotlessly clean; no litter and no graffiti. Reykjavik airport was very busy and a wonderful place, in terms of design and cleanlyness; as were the loos.

    These days, the economy focuses on high technology, finance and banking, amongst others. Interestingly, they are very keen to encourage inwards migration from suitably qualified younger people.

    Have PMd you re article.



  10. [quote user="KathyC"]When you get to a certain age, you often look around you and it all seems to be going to the dogs. T'was ever thus; you can read similar comments made about society, going back to the ancient Greeks. I think part of the appeal of moving abroad when you're older is that you become less conscious of it happening, partly because of the language but also because you didn't know the country that well before. Older French people will be aware of things going downhill, but for an incomer, at least it's not the world that you know and love that is collapsing before your eyes. (NB.Must remember to watch Grumpy Old Men/Women tonight.)[/quote]

    Obviously we must all accept that with increasing age, Rose Coloured Glasses Syndrome comes into play, Kathy. No, Summers in our schooldays were not in reality cloudless blues skies and warmth from sunrise until sunset. Personally, I believe that this is a part of our value-set. We all try and apply the archaic value-set we have become used to, to comtemporaneous events, which is always an error.

    However, I track the decline in social behaviour simply by things like the way kids behave and respond to their parents, how they besport themselves in mixed age company, how they behave in the street, how they stand and walk and so on.

    My time as a county council co-opted school governor (large secondary) was a sobering experience, a few years ago.

    In particular I track the events in my local town's "Club" area every Friday and Saturday night. Club in this sense seems to mean beating one another over the head with heavy blunt objects when drunk!

    It is a few years ago since I stayed in Ventnor (about 14), but driving around the whole island, it was definitely in its own timewarp then: circa mid 1950s.

    My most striking recent experience was in Iceland on business, a few years ago. The comparison was immense. My colleague and I drove to Heathrow in her car and when we returned, she went somewhere else and I came back by train. In fact I wrote a comparison for a local paper on that subject. The massive social, economic, structure and cultural differences between Iceland and the UK: and in particular, my train journey through London (the economic centre of the World: if you believe the PR guff, which I don't!) and home.

    Many thanks for your kind comments, davieszak.

    Pip: I agree, of course. However sadly, to me, the dross, these days far outweighs the odd good stuff.

    Personally, I feel that BBC TV went to the dogs during and after the era of Janet Street Porter and her focus on "Yoof" TV. As a public service broadcaster, BBC has a duty to promote two things: integrity in factual news reporting (and that in itself is a laugh, post the Andrew Gilligan affair, as BBC is now a sort of apologist and PR organ for Blair and his cronies, simply because the slavering wimps at the top didn't have the guts to face up to government and put their sinecures on the line!) and quality in culture. To me quality in culture is not following the arguments of Melvin Bragg and trying to promote rap as culture, yes it's street culture, perhaps, but then so is graffiti!

    Perhaps Lord Bragg can practice as he preaches and encourage graffiti artists to "decorate" his house.

    I believe that institutions such as the BBC ought to be trying to raise people's vision and potential achievements by example and inspiration, rather than pandering to the lowest common denominator, or if you like, dumbing down. Glorifying the scattological exploits of Tracy Eman doesn't hack it for me, I'm afraid.


  11. Matt:

    The ony comment I can make is extortion!

    When I calculated potential costs earlier, I assumed that the TVA was already included!

    Unless yours is a relatively new house, surely the TVA ought to be only 5%, still?

    Find another plombiere!


  12. Agree with most of it, 3XK, except the honey roast carrots and cauliflower cheese; yuk!

    I have never understood this one: fresh wonderful collie to me, is best cooked al dente, with the young fleurettes separated and the stalks chopped. And as for carrots, young carrots are best simply boiled quickly and then that wonderful sweet flavour comes through.

    Agree about the gravy and the custard, though! Simply the juices from the meat, some water from the veggies some plain flour and some wine. Custard for us does not come from tins or packets! It comes from cornflour, evaporated and full milk and real vanilla pod castor sugar. Wonderful![:D]

    My best mate loves it: his wife, sadly cannot make anything with boiled milk: makes her heave.

    So when we go round for dinner, we usually take a massive bowl of proper custard and leave the rest. He simply spoons it down and grins rather a lot! He is something of a gourmand by the way.


  13. Yes, there does seem currently to be a reaction to all this new wave foodism and I too, am delighted, Dick.

    A dear chum of mine, a Yorkshireman, was taken a few years ago to Anton Mossiman's place in the West End at the height of the Noveau Cusine era. Like so much of this today, it was a corporate bribery event.

    The next day I asked him what he thought. Apparently it was very pretty food: a few bits on a large white plate. On the way home, his group stopped at a handy pub and ate sausage egg and chips because they were still hungry!

    One reason I used to like Keith Floyd and his earlier programmes. Good natural food not mucked about.

    I have been very fortunate in my business life, to have eaten at some wonderful places in various countries and, of course, particularly in London. My greatest disappointments have been in fabled spots of the moment: the Mirabelle in Curzon Street, springs to mind, in the late 70s.


  14. Couldn't agree more, Dick!

    We have some great regional dishes, too, which are often ignored.

    Problem seems to be that far too many people bought into two realities from the mid-sixties onwards: an easy life and the "glamour" of ethnic foods, particularly as cheap charter jetliner travel opened up Europe to British holidaymakers seeking sun.

    To me, much of this glamour has been myth: a waiter called Mario, red checked table cloths, chianti bottles covered in candle wax, nets and glass fishing floats hanging from the ceiling and plastic grapevines climbing up tatty plastic trellis don't make real Italian food!

    There was little wrong with the good old British institutions of transport caffs, with a decent full English breakfast, with edible bacon, well cooked eggs etc. with a couple of good hunks of bread and a large mug of tea. They always used real sausages, too, instead of those tasteless skinless wonders of today!

    Same goes for the working man's cafe, with a decent lunch like minced steak and onion pie, mash, cabbage lashings of good gravy and a filling pud.

    Motorway places are a joke in comparison; as are fast food joints.

    I still have fantasies of hotel food in my far gone youth! Brown windsor soup with wonderful crusty rolls; poached turbot or halibut in white sauce; a good entre; a toothsome pudding; cheese and biscuits and finally, coffee. And this was after a good breakfast and dinner to follow; and if you were really lucky, there was tea in the afternoon, with tiny cucumber sandwiches, seedy cake, bread and conserve (which with country hotels was made from fruit from their own garden). Don't know where we put it all, now!

    Last time I experienced anything like it was during a weekend, with a client, at Brown's Hotel in Dover Street, London, W1; it's just off Picadilly near the Ritz. Sitting around a roaring fire, on a cold damp and unpleasant Winter, being served with English tea and all the trimmings and one of those wonderful EPNS cake stands, which the waiter merely flicked and all the shelves opened up. I gather that Browns is presently undergoing a re-furb. Bet it won't be the same.


  15. Thanks, Paul and yes, you are right. Accepting responsibility, to me, is part of the dynamic: nothing is for nothing, rights do not stand alone; there is always a corollary.

    Miki; yes, of course I do accept what you say. All systems (and society is simply a dynamic system of human interaction) tend to evolve over time.

    What does interest me with these areas, as I said at the beginning of my previous post, is how France will react; particularly to the extraneous social influences? Particularly consumerism and Americanism?

    Will France allow the tail to wag the dog, as the UK has?

    To me, the dire enemy of social stability is globalisation, where foreign mega-corporations march in to states and their executives are blind to ethnic and social differences and are determined to force-feed new markets with identical products to those sold at home and worse, use identical sales and marketing strategies in a completely cynical and non-ethical fashion: and hang the local social consequences!

    If one stops and considers it all for a bit, the vast majority of current Western social problems, have been created by apparently innocent things: pop music; sport; celebdom; the media; keep on going.

    In fact, all these driving forces are now only big business and social brainwashing, with a single end-game objective: making vast sums for the corporate participants.

    It is very interesting for me, to compare French terrestial TV to UK terrestial TV. UK TV (even the so-called morning "News" programmes), are almost exclusively devoted to celebdom, football, Big Brother, music (if one can call it that!) and glorifying soap "Stars". In other words, the main public service TV broadcaster, BBC, is in thrall to big business. Yet we still have to pay for the license!



  16. For me, the big question is how will the French government and Police/CRS, deal with such problems: and what will be their lead-time into firstly identifying that there is a problem and secondly, taking positive action?

    The problem with the UK I believe, is that all responsible authorities, (i.e. government, police, magistrates, probation officers et al), have been walking around for the last thirty years wearing blinkers.

    In dynamic project management terms, if you like, they have failed to even begin any trend analysis.

    None of this is new: the present media panics about binge drinking and now the knife culture are a natural evolution of lack of control of various social situations: plus, the impact of various do-gooder legislation, such as the Human Rights Act.

    Failing to teach young children a number of sovereign social virtues, such as the difference between right and wrong, respect for others and their property and perhaps above all, the need to either respect higher authority or fear it, mean people, today, have almost free license to do whatever they want, with no real fear of retribution or punishment.

    Thanks to American concepts of consumerism, marketing, advertising and perhaps money above all else, much of the UK is now a wholly Godless and amoral society, with the only criterion of importance being self. To me, the present phenomenon of grown men driving around with four little flags draped around their cars and/or walking to their local pub dressed like football players demonstrates quite clearly a worrying level of immaturity and compliance with externalised crowd hypnosis. More worrying still is that they can vote: and have children.

    None of the current crop of social problems experienced in Britain, today, surprises me, as I have been forecasting precisely this sorry state for over twenty five years, as I have noticed various social trends growing in affect.

    Society is fairly simple, actually. In the earliest days of human population of the planet, people naturally learned that a gregarious existence was preferred, as it made life safer and more fulfilling. Once people lived in groups, however, they then had to develop social mores to avoid conflicts. From this sprang laws, relating to and governing human behaviour.

    What's gone wrong, as far as I am concerned, is the body of law governing society has not been applied and implemented. Instead, modern politicians, particularly Thatcher and Blair latched on to the PR-friendly wheeze of passing new laws to solve problems! Rather than using extant law effectively.

    Any society can only work, where everyone knows that jurisprudence both effectively protects them from the malfeasance of others: and effectively punishes them for their own malfeasance against others.

    The anarchy in most educational establishments, at differing levels, demonstrates much of this quite neatly.

    As teachers have been deprived of effective sanctions and as kids and their parents fail to value education and knowledge and have zero respect for academia and its incumbents, the resulting loss of control spreads out in ever-wider circles and impacts on society more deeply as time progresses.

    The end social effects are thus predictable and hardly surprising.



  17. Nice Strat, Paul. Same colour as my first original 60s job, rosewood neck and all. Wish I still had it!

    Bought an early 70s re-issue about 8 years ago. These days I'm down to an Echo jumbo, an original Hayman 1010 (which of course was used by Hank in the early 70s), a Les Paul Gibson and still trying to find the time (and money!) to rebuild a very rare beast indeed: a very early 60s Burns sunburst jazz guitar, similar to Gibson et al, semi-accoustic, double cutaway, twin humbuckers. It is not even listed on the Burns site! Needs a new neck and a re-chrome and will eventually be completely re-built and re-finished.

    On books, I still have my late 1940s copy of Eric Kirshaw's "Chords for danceband guitar": great if you have thin hands with digits about five inches long! The inside shapes taught me lots, though

    There does seem to be quite a lot of musicians in France!


  18. Many thanks for your assistance, Dick.[:D]


  19. Wonderful memories![:D]

    Both Lonnie and Bert Weedon, of course, were originally banjo players and changed to guitar as the new era opened. Who still has their copy of Bert's self-tutor and chord reference?

    For fun, a reunion meeting in circa 1999 of the Ailsa Five, the first group I formed in 1957. (in those far off days bands were large amounts of people with all sorts of different instruments, which they could actually play and tended to be sight readers!).  One of the five missing was a bloke called Ian Gregory, my close mate at school and in fact the only one to actually cut a disk and reach 7 or 8 in the UK charts! Which was interesting as he was tone deaf and couldn't sing! He was Blondel the minstrel in a prog called Ivanhoe on TV amongst other things. These days an eminent ceramicist.



  20. I agree, Dick, and did include a caveat as you know.

    The only factor may well be a far larger electricity supply, thus entailing a complete re-wire back to the tableaux. Might also be a pulse switch being fitted etc.

    However, extending and changing the end route of the cold and hot pipes and the waste is not exactly rocket science. Just seemed dear to me........................

  21. Matt:

    The quote sounds dear to me. A new 200 Litre tank is circa € 180,00 and the fitting kit is circa € 30,00 inclusive of TVA. (Brico Depot).

    Since this is a replacement, you already have the wiring, the cold water feed, the waste and the hot pipes in situ. Ergo, it is € 577 for labour, ex TVA. Even at 7 hours work (which is a bit steep, even for a French plumber! [:-))]) that equates to € 82,42/hour! [:@]

    The whole job, unless there are hidden snags or facts which you have not told us, should take no more than a morning. Four hours @ € 35,00/hour or so.

    Obtain another competitive devis, if I were you.


  22. Having the misfortune (Grin![;-)] to have been deeply involved in technology for many years, I am becoming quite sick and tired of the same old dumb excuses. "Computer error", oh yes; sure. Digital systems tend to either work or not work.

    One of the main problems is what I call the Monkeys in Charge of the Rocket Syndrome; i.e., take pretty smart tech kit and then give it to idiot users like local authorities. It has never changed since the mid 60s.............

    Smart filters are customisable as Contextual Filters, otherwise (as the early attempts found) any county such as Middlesex, Essex etc was blocked. Any user who claims lack of control is thus either an idiot or a liar or plain lazy! Or, of course, all three.[:P]

    One of the best early stories (true) was about the bloke who went abroad to work for six months and closed up his house; having firstly advised all the utility people. It was the happy days before standing charges.

    When he returned, he found loads of rude letters from the electricity board and a summons.

    Try as he might he couldn't quite see how he could pay a bill for £ 0 0S 0D.

    Eventually in final desperation - having had endless telephone conversations with them and having written endless letters and having achieved absolutely zero, he sent off a cheque for £ 0 0S 0D and some moron entered nothing as £ into the system, whereupon it chuntered out a receipt and cleared the account!

    Clever bit of programing![:-))]


  23. Muppet TV as far as I am concerned.

    Sadly, the programme focused only on what the would-be buyers thought and gave them little real help and advice.

    At present, of course, UK TV is awash with property programmes and far too much rubbish about buy-to-let. Thanks Sarah Beaney et al.............................

    Personally, I would very much question the "advice" given by the "Expert" consultant. The buy-to-let market is very soft in the South, now and rent rolls are actually falling, as more and more people buy-in to the dream. I know from a chum's portfolio, that if we had invested the same capital sum in the North, we would be earning just over twice the gross revenue.

    If (when) UK interest rates rise, then just like the early 70s and late 80s/90s, a whole lot of over-borrowed investment property will be for sale or foreclosed. As has already been pointed out, there are a number of hidden costs and problems on the downside to being a landlord; none of these were mentioned. As far as the "Expert" was concerned, it was all assured forward profit! Huh!

    And, of course, if (when) the UK property bubble finally bursts (just like early 70s and late 80s/90s), a whole lot of buy-to-let property will be liquididated and leave an awesome debt overhang; particularly where people have leveraged and re-leveraged their portfolio to buy even more at even larger inflated prices!

    Anyone else also pick up on the lawyer's fees estimate? Bit high, I thought.

    How many forum members actually had a full structural survey before buying? How many French (older) houses would pass?

    At the end of the day, where people carry out zero research, cannot speak a word of the language and have ambitions based on rose coloured glasses, tears are bound to follow.


  24. Ian has provided a majority of the answers to your problem.

    In a call centre, the equipment which initiaties the random dialling process, is called a Predictive Dialler. We used to refer to them as Call Stackers. The sequentially plough through the "Stack" until all the numbers have been called and have failed to "Mature" (or be answered) or have in fact been answered. Thus these dreadful devices persist for a set number of attempts until they Wipeout. And try again the next day!

    This all a result of what is called CTI (Computer Telephony Integration), which is a buzzy way to express telephone systems being controlled by computers.

    Call Centre system use what is called Data Mining: which simply put, is a software process to correlate names with a task. Thus the system trawls through the core database for customers or prospects and aligns these with the service they are offering.

    As systems progress, what is called Consumer Profiling should help both businesses and consumers, by more accurately aligning offered products/services to potential customers.

    The optimal way is what is called Opt-In Marketing; i.e. only pitching to people who have agreed to receive sales calls.

    The telephone service providers just love this stuff, as with each matured (answered) call, they earn a line revenue, even though the caller fails to reply.

    All modern telephone exchanges are now digital: they are fully capable of tracking every called number and every calling number (Number Recognition), even where the caller opts for non-revelation of their number.

    If you pressurise FT enough by complaining of nuisance, then they can take action: the hard thing is to persuade them to do so!

    Non Caller Response calls from call centres is probably the greatest annoyance to residential subscribers: as are overseas call centres where the operators cannot adequately speak the mother tongue of the country they are calling.........................

    Complain, vigorously, to FT and maintain nuisance is being caused. As it is, in truth.



  25. [quote user="Patf"]I asked this question - "deleting Google topics" in the French Satellite TV etc forum last November and got 9 replies. Look on page 18 of that forum, if you're interested, last posting 13.11.2005. Sorry can't do fancy tricks like giving a clickable reference. Pat.

    Just shows how some answers were correct; some were partially correct; and some were plain incorrect, Pat!


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