Thursday, August 21, 2008

Every Whistle Survives a Day on The Street

Fabio from Italy sent the following report of his Every Walkabout's recent adventures. (In my mind's eye I see scenes from "Toy Story" as I read it.)

Here's a story you'd perhaps like. I'm still having the Parks with me wherever I go, as usual (this is not the story, that's coming).

Well, a morning of some week ago I was in a real hurry to get over a train - I was a bit late and that damn train has the very bad habit to begin running in advance, sometimes. To make the story short, I ran like hell and I did jumped over the train in time. The very first thing I checked was my pocket to see if all the three pieces of the whistle where there, as I usually paranoically do every now-and-then.


A single piece was missing. I passed the rest of the day blaming me. When I stopped and I started to think positively (it always helps) my toughs were like "that's not a wallet, that's only a plastic tube with three holes. Nobody will catch it, you'll find on the way back", which made sense indeed. And I found it. In the street, close to a car's wheel. But this is not the juicy part, yet.

The juicy part (I know, I'm a lot verbose) is that the tube was dirt, blackened and with the "sign" of a car's tyre. I can't be 100% sure of it, but it's not unlikely that a car completely rolled over it. BUT, apart some minor scratches which are there now (they are visible, actually, at a close look, but are external, away from the holes and *don't affect in anyway the sound*)... after a good wash my whistle was up and playing as if were hand new! With any other TIN whistle a good (I mean, bad) hit from the table to the floor can compromise the tone (I experienced that more than once).

This darn tube is very resistant, now I have an evident proof. Even if the car didn't rolled over it, it must have pushed it around or something like that to left that kind of "signature" on it, so this "demonstrates" how sturdy your whistle is. Congratulations.

Oh, I've also seen that now you're a lot into the flute stuff, what a nice chance (could I miss that?) to remind you of that beautiful idea of the fife head... that would sell ALMOST as the walkabout. Here, I hope.

About MUSIC itself, I'm learning "the rolling waves" jig, played the Kevin Crawford's way, but three times as slower. I'm enjoyin' my hard and slow improvements, although they cost a lot of efforts.Thank you, have a nice job making whistles!-- Fabio

Anyone else interested in a fife head for the Every whistle? I think I'll give it a try. I'll post the results here when I try it.



Fay Not So Bad Here

Tropical storm Fay passed south of us on Tuesday, which put us on it's better side. We only had winds gusting to 60 and less that two inches of rain.

Tornadoes and earthquakes are a lazy man's disaster. You just carry on as normal until it happens then see what's left. A hurricane comes with lots of warning and days to fret and carry stuff around, then after it passes, you have to put it all back again. Oh well, it's exercise.

Saturday, August 16, 2008



Thought I'd mention that I'm up to date on whistle shipments. Every whistle ordered has been shipped. I also want to let you know that we're preparing for a hurricane in a few days, so I might be off the air for a while depending on where it actually goes.

That island just north of the Tues AM (H) is Sanibel Island, and I am just northeast of that on the mainland. Not very far in however, there's a saltwater canal in my back yard. At the moment they are suggesting the winds on Tuesday will be 80 mph, but they are quick to add that there is so much land around and the gulf is hot (89 degrees) so a lot depends on exactly where Fay spends her time. Could be weaker, but could be a lot stronger too.

Here's the link to the National Hurricane Center if you want to watch our progress:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Flutes and Sessions

In addition to cranking out whistles in the shop, I've been keeping up with the sessions around here (see the new header photo and a YouTube vid here) and I've bought an old German "nach Meyer" flute. These flutes were sold between 1880 and maybe 1920 or so but all sorts of outlets such as Sears and Roebuck. A catalog from around 1900 has them listed for $4.95. But remember, they didn't even have gas stations then, so you can't stay the nice wooden flutes cost a little more than a gallon of gas.

If you want to follow the saga of the antique flute tweak, it's on the Chiff & Fipple Flute Forum. You do know about the Chiff & Fipple Whistle Forum don't you? If not check it out while you are there.

Most of the nach Meyer flutes you find these days don't play in tune with instruments tuned to the current concert pitch of A=440 Hz. So I'm going to see if I can "tweak" it into being in tune. It's a fun player, so it is worth the effort. And I'll no doubt learn something along the way. If you want to know more about the official Meyer flutes and/or the nach Meyers (the ones made "after the style of" the Meyer flutes) Google will lead to a ton of information.