Who do you cheer for?

A hearty congratulations to the Houston Astros and their loyal fans. They outplayed my Cardinals and Roy Oswalt is indeed brilliant. But that Game 5 was still the stuff of legend.

So, now. It’s the White Sox and the Astros in the Series. Which to root for? Neither, really, for me, but I do know that the Chicago Cubs are the arch-rivals of the White Sox, and White Sox fans generally don’t see eye-to-eye with Cubs fans, ergo I will cheer for the White Sox. I also know that the great Chicago-based snare drummer, Jim Sim, is a Chisox fan. Jim’s a great guy, so he’s waited long enough for baseball glory.

Both the Astros and White Sox have marathon histories of also-running. In pipe band terms, the Astros are like Boghall & Bathgate: probably the best band never to have won a World title despite their consistency. Gotta have a soft spot for them.

The White Sox would be akin to, say, Polkemmet. While Polkemmet is currently a Grade 2 band, they’ve been around forever and have only touched on big-time success for a few fleeting moments. I have a lot of time for loyalty and determination, and White Sox fans, just like the Polkemmet band, have stuck with it through thick and thin.

While we’re making analogies, SFU would be the LA Dodgers (deep organization and the world’s most glamourous place to play); FMM is the Atlanta Braves (consistently rebuilding and making the grade); Shotts would be the New York Yankees (get or keep the best at any cost; the band a lot of people like to dislike); the 78th Frasers would be the Oakland A’s (always trying to do things just a bit differently and usually successful); and SLOT would be the Toronto Blue Jays (often seen as being a guest team at another nation’s games). I could go on.

It will be a great World Series. Go Polkemmet, er, I mean, White Sox!


Just remembered

For some reason I only just remembered now that Paul McComish about 18 months ago inquired if he could purchase Piper & Drummer Online.

After enjoying a few stunned moments of flattery, I told him that I had no interest in selling it, no matter what the price (okay, you know what I mean). Since the whole thing is not-for-profit and simply something that I enjoy doing (most days), selling it or profiting from it have never even crossed my mind. He then started his “news” portion of the Band Room’s Web site, which quickly became woefully out-of-date when it didn’t lift content from P&D Online.

Perhaps what he wanted was some sort of site that the Band Room surreptitiously owned and could therefore control for its own benefit. Right.

Just think, if I’d struck a deal with him you wouldn’t be reading this or about Gary Corkin or copyright issues or, of course, the Band Room shenanigans. You’d be reading sob-stories about how the Band Room and RG Hardie things failed despite best and honest attempts and courageous battles to the finish and other absurd claims that have appeared on Web sites and in print magazines. I wouldn’t have written them, though, but I would probably still be waiting for my money.


The Great Pujols

Awesome. I’ve been a die-hard Cardinals fan ever since the first game I went to in 1971 at Busch Stadium when my sister, Clarissa, was born. Back then the Cardinals would send out a set of tickets to the whole family of a newly born St. Louisan. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the addition of my sister (I am now), but those seats to what turned out to be a match-up between Tom Seaver and Bob Gibson got me hooked for good. The Cardinals marketing ploy sure worked.

Last night’s fifth game of the playoff series between the expansion Houston Astros (a team named after a stadium that they don’t even play in) was great drama. Cardinals fans must have felt the opposite of Astros fans, who went from loud euphoria to shocked silence in one swing of The Great Albert Puljols’s bat.

I know this has nothing to do with piping. But, damn, what a game.


Hey, B

The B gracenote in grips, taorluaths and crunluaths from D make no sense and without doubt started as a practical joke by someone who could only talk, and could never actually play, a good tune.

If Scotland’s Joint Committee, which meets on October 30, wants to do something really positive for piping, they would decree that said technique from D will now require not a B gracenote, but a D. Settle it once and for all. Put the B back where it belongs: in the 20th century.

The treacherous B gracenote is an asinine convention that does nothing for the music and serves only to provide an easy excuse to put a piper out of a competition.

Ban the B.



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