Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dirk Flinthart Endorses...

"Cool Blooz" safety glasses by some corporation that uses "MSA" as a logo.

Back when I rode motorbikes a lot more than was actually safe, I got into the habit of wearing safety glasses because I was never really very fond of helmet visors. But there's a lot more it to that. These things possess many advantages over your standard fashion sunglasses, to wit:
  • They really are safety glasses. I get 'em from the hardware store. They wrap around nicely, and keep things like flying woodchips, metal flecks, bugs and bits of vegetation out of your eyes. You can wear 'em in the workshop with a fair degree of confidence.
  • They are also fully UV protective, in accordance with the Australian design standards for UV-resistant sunwear.
  • They're not actually ugly.
  • The frames are tough and flexible. You really can sit on these by accident, then wear them afterwards without any problems.
  • They fit really comfortably.
  • They're not expensive: these things retail at about $20 Australian. I don't know about you, but the last time I tried to find a pair of fashion sunglasses I could stand wearing, they started close to $100... and to get a pair with all the advantages listed above, you had to get closer to $150 or more.

So, there you have it. No: nobody has given me a pair of these things to review. I just like 'em. They're a good product, and I figured other people might find it useful to know about 'em.

In other news: plodding painfully towards year's end. The Ju-jitsu barbecue is done at last. It rained on us, naturally, but not too much, and the park has great shelters as well as really good electric barbecues supplied by the council. Many sausages and chickeny bits were consumed, and the attendees appeared to have a fine time. We kick off again February next year, so for a while, I don't have to figure out what I'm going to teach every Wednesday afternoon. Yay!

Medical Student Grace has returned Brizwards today. She was a fine guest, and will be missed. But Medical Student Chrissie is stepping neatly into the gap, so we're not short of guests, or in danger of loneliness.

Natalie gets back from Canberra today, in a couple of hours. She's been involved in some project to help the Fed Govt set policy on home births, midwifery, and Big Serious Stuff like that. Naturally, she's also on call tonight. Which is how it works around here at the moment.

Elder Son appears to have a solid grip on "Silent Night", to be played for the school assemby on Monday. A few more practices to smooth it out, and we'll be good to go.

Smaller Son will have his birthday party tomorrow. That will be my job, because Natalie has to take Elder Son to Launceston for his music teacher's end-of-year concert. Why do music teachers feel the need for such things? Ah, hell. Never mind.

I have made the error of letting Smaller Son play around with a beat-up old French Horn which was in the music room while Elder Son was having a cello lesson. The look of absolute glee on his face, coupled with a startling amount of control shown in producing tone... yeah. Okay. There are no French Horn instructors around Scottsdale. But we may have to look into this.

Okay. Must run. Time is up. Adios!


  1. Sorry I should know this, apologies

    but on what did Elder Son play "Silent Night" on?

  2. Hey FH - Elder son book gift idea for x-mas.

    A thing called the cello suites is out now on the shelves - Allen & Unwin. I read it in MS for the publishers and its a cracker -

    "One autumn evening, not long after ending a stint as a rock music critic, Eric Siblin attended a recital of Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suites. There, in a spine-tingling moment, something unlikely happened: he fell deeply in love with the music, and had to hear more, know more. So began an epic quest that would unravel three centuries of mystery, intrigue, history, politics and passion."

    If the boy likes a bit of a quest story, he'll love this.

    Ooooh - a French Horn - beautiful instrument, beautiful sound. If he is excited by the concept of mastering it, he should go there.

  3. Mr Barnes: I herewith manfully restrain the urge to tell you I've been training him to FART "Silent Night" on command, and respectfully acknowledge Hughesy's nudge in the direction of the violoncello -- or 'cello' as it is more commonly known.

    Hughesy... I love the French Horn too. But there's no goddam teacher out here! And he's already storming the violin!

  4. Yeah, know the problem - my cello teacher is now officially too far away for lessions since petrol went up.

  5. Actually - get him one anyway and let him figure out how to play it himself - it is only a machine for making noise afterall. He can pick up technique later on if he still gets the same buzz out of it..

  6. French Horn = Valves = Scales for dexterity. Tonality can come from listening a recording of himself and comparing it to the type of sound he hears on a professional recording.

    I always found that 'visualising' helps the sound.. is it 'dark and chocolate like', is it 'laser bright'

    ifn he's storming up the violin then I daresay he's got no problems with being able to tune a note. The fun part is training the lips to hit the note, valves only take you so close.

  7. I've been thinking along those lines myself, Hughesy. I mean - he can read music by now. And if we establish what the native scale of the instrument might be, that's a place to start.