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Finally, I Can Learn the Bagpipes

“It is sometimes difficult to determine if quotes found on the Internet are genuine or not” (Abraham Lincoln).

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I don’t know about you, but whenever I receive an email, I do enjoy reading any funny or interesting quotes the author decided to include in their sig (“signature”) on the bottom. Every now and again, I see one that I want to add to my own collection. I do try to be selective, but – even so – the quotation portion of my sig is now longer than the body of the majority of my emails. The reason I mention this here is that I just added a new one – the first in many months. Prior to this new addition, my sig quotes were as follows:
“If you want your dreams to be as fascinating to other people as they are to you, don’t mention it’s a dream until the end of the story.” — @TheWoodenSlurpy (Alexa) “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…'” — Isaac Asimov “Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.” — G. K. Chesterton “The mome rath isn’t born that could outgrabe me!” — Nicol Williamson “Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy when toasted and taste good with ketchup.” — Anonymous “It is sometimes difficult to determine if quotes found on the Internet are genuine or not.” — Abraham Lincoln.
Earlier today, I was posting links to my latest column on LinkedIn and Twitter when I saw a must-have quote from SparkFun Electronics. This quote, which has now been added to the top of my sig quote stack, reads as follows:
There’s a specific kind of unhinged individual who, in the face of crisis, thinks to themselves, “Finally, I can learn the bagpipes.” — SparkFun Electronics
What can I say, except “I resemble that remark”? The rest of the entry pointed to a column on Hackaday.com describing how to Build Your Own Bagpipes Using a Garbage Bag and Recorder. Happily, there’s also this video on YouTube.  
Even better, I have both a recorder and a garbage bag close to hand (my wife [Gina the Gorgeous] is going to be so pleased). Of course, just the thought of the bagpipes makes me think of this video of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers playing We Will Rock You and Eye of the Tiger.  
And, of course, this caused me to reflect back on this video of Darth Vader in a kilt, riding a unicycle, playing flaming bagpipes (and that’s not something you expect to find yourself saying very often).  
This reminds me of the saying that “A gentleman is someone who can play the bagpipes… but doesn’t!” In turn, this reminds me of a bagpipe joke as follows:
There’s a Scotsman who is part of a bagpipe marching band. Every Saturday afternoon, they march around the town center playing their bagpipes. After they’ve finished, they all retire to the pub for a few well-earned beers. On one such occasion, following the march, our man is sitting at the bar quaffing his pint when the color drains from his face. He leaps to his feet and races out of the bar shouting, “Oh my God, I left my car unlocked and my bagpipes are on the back seat.” A few minutes later, he returns a broken man. He got there too late. Passersby have filled his car with unwanted sets of bagpipes.
Try to control your mirth. It’s much better if (1) I’m telling it live and (2) you’ve already drunk a lot of beer. However, I fear we are in danger of wandering off into the weeds. If you would care to do so, I would love for you to share (a) your favorite sig quotes, (b) your favorite tidbits of bagpipe trivia, (c) your favorite bagpipe videos or cartoons, and (d) your favorite bagpipe jokes.

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Aubrey Kagan


Aside from learning the bagpipes, I know you have aspired to playing the ukelele. I was watching a travelogue on PBS hosted by Martin Clunes on American islands. The first stop was Hawaii where he presented a local artiste Tamaine Gardner.

Here is one performance of hers, but you should search out others as well

You’re going to need a lot of practice! Also probably a 5th string on your ukelele.


I love that video from Portland


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Tom Burke

A personal favorite quote from former president John Adams:

“The officers were very social, spent their evenings and took their suppers with such of the inhabitants as were able to invite, and entertained us with their music and their dances. Many of them were Scotchmen in their plaids and their music was delightful. Even the bagpipe was not disagreeable.”

I read this in the biography of John Adams by David McCullough. A most excellent read, by the way. I believe they pronounce plaids as “play’ds”

As for favorite piping quotes, how about “You’ve ruined me pipes!” from this Bugs Bunny cartoon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vHjjtzbR54

My sister uses a good sig quote: “I believe they talked of me for they laughed consumedly.” (Not sure who to attribute to — Lord Byron perhaps?)

Q: What’s the difference between a Scotsman and a Rolling Stone?
A: A Rolling Stone says “hey! you! get off of my cloud!” while the Scotsman says “hey! McLeod! get off of my ewe!”

David Ashton

Talking of Scotsmen. Old Scottish Sgt. Major goes into a chemist, and plonks a very worn toothbrush on the counter. “Hae much tae repair this?” he asks. The chemist looks at it and replies “Well, Sir, we don’t usually do that kind of work, but I’d say about 1/9d (one shilling and ninepence – this is an OOOLD joke). Scotsman thinks for a minute. “And hae much forr a new one?” “Well, we have these ones for 2/6d” says the chemist. I’ll get back tae ye” says the Scotsman.

A week or so later, he enters the shop again, plonks the same toothbrush down and, with tears in his eyes, says “The regiment have decided tae get a new one!”

David Ashton

Favourite SIG quote: “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” – George Bernard Shaw

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