Posted by jerry on April 15th, 2005 — Posted in Journal, Writing

… so over dinner we were discussing how to spend tomorrow together, and Sharon suggested she might like to spend her voucher at the bead shop. Interesting concept: a ‘voucher’. I wondered if it might be Norman French perhaps derived from the morphemes: vous and cher – you and dear (in both senses of ‘valued friend’ and ‘your expense’. I wondered if perhaps, like computer the word originally meant a person – in this case who vouchsafed for something, provided a third party guarantee – and indeed it seems I was not far wrong. It does derive from the Old French, including versions of voch, vouchier etc which meant to claim or to invoke – ultimately from the latin Vocare, to speak or to call (hence giving one’s word). But the term is first recorded around 1325 – somewhat after the Norman invasion of England, but perhaps it took a while for the word to be absorbed into the language and customs of the time.

According to the Oxford Dictionary the voucher was indeed a person, who did the vouching and the vouchee was the one vouched for. This seems to have predated the widespread use of a written guarantee.

By 1531 the word ‘voucher’ was being used in terms of a piece of paper that provided a guarantee as solid as the thing itself – in that case the reference was to the revovery of a voucher which would stand as good as if the land it represented were recovered in payment.

So tomorrow, Sharon will present her voucher which will stand in place of the money previously paid as guarantee that the payment was made before any goods were exchanged, and receive in equal value the beads that were virtually purchased before she even entered the store, enacting a tradition of trade that predates the widespread literacy of the modern era.


Three items of news

Posted by jerry on April 14th, 2005 — Posted in Writing

Three items of news have gained some prominance today: the Indonesian volcanoes erupting in the vicinity of the recent earthquake and tsunami activity; a deadly flu virus distributed across the world in flu testing kits; and a first look at one of the oldest stars in the universe. Amidst all these cataclysmic natural forces and plagues, it seems almost churlish to remark on a politician breaking an election promise doesn’t it? Why should we be worried about an erosion in health care funding promises in the face of tectonic plates doing their bump and grind in the Sunda Strait.

The way the media has juxtaposed these items – the way the volcanic activity demonstrated precursor signs that perhaps might have given some warning – alongside a politician signalling a promise of further erosions to come, gives a kind of air of natural forces to the acts of our political leaders. Quite clever when you think about it!


New mouse

Posted by jerry on April 13th, 2005 — Posted in Journal, Technology

I’ve been using a Macally single button mouse with the iMac ever since we got the iMac about five years ago. Yes the mac is still going strong, and so is the mouse. But when my daughter discovered that the mouse worked really well in her Apple iBook laptop that she picked up second hand, there has been a bit of a bottleneck for use of the mouse.

So today we headed out at lunchtime, marched into the Apple store and took advantage of the curious salesperson who strayed too close to us and inquired whether we were just browsing… “No.” I said. That flumoxed him for a moment and he turned to leave us to browse. “I’m after a rodent” I declared. He regarded me curiously as though I might perhaps be looking for a pet shop before I rejoined “a simple mouse – USB please”. “well,” he started, “we have the apple white mouse at AU$50…” “Sounds fine to me” I said before he could tell me it had no visible button and there are various scrolling multi-button mice just over… “I’ll take one thanks”.

I don’t think he was used to people behaving decisively, but he managed to rescue his composure long enough to dig out a small box. The transaction was done in five minutes flat and we then had time to find a good eating spot.

The mouse is unusual – great looking as is all Apple stuff. The ergonomics are okay – once you get used to putting your hand’s weight on the back end. So much better than the infamous puck mouse served up with the original iMacs!

And now no more bottleneck!


Full Circle Band site update

Posted by jerry on April 12th, 2005 — Posted in Music

Well I finally got around to updating the band’s website a little to take account of the National Folk Festival and St Patrick’s Day.

Still a bit fluey from the festival lurgy but recovering well. learning some hardanger music, including a couple of schottisches and a ganglat! And a wonderful waltz called “Vals efter blinder Peter


National Folk Festival, Canberra 2005

Posted by jerry on April 1st, 2005 — Posted in Journal, Music

What an amazing festival!! This one has to have been the best yet – The only downside was that my attempts at moblogging failed dismally, so here are my highlights of the festival – after the event.

a most unusual instrument

Key highlights were some great concerts – Martin Pearson’s satyrical recitation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in two parts… Dingo’s Breakfast – especially the “Original Goon Show”; Nancy Kerr – an amazing fiddle player (My apologies Nancy if my anti-session caused you grief); Jane Brownlea’s band; the Wise Family Band (Scott Wise made my hardanger fiddle); and many more.

Other highlights included our ‘Anti-Session in the session bar – where we welcomed bodhran players and squeeze boxes, performed random stand-ups during the tunes, and then topped it off with literal musical chairs – getting up and wandering around and sitting down randomly where other musicians had been sitting – it was a no-frown celtic music session. Yes it was loud and raucous but everyone had a big grin and a laugh – after all music is all about enjoyment and never mind the odd random notes! Many came up afterwards and said it was the best session they’d ever played in – high praise indeed.


Other highlights included a couple of one-to-one sessions with Jane Brownlea – an awesome fiddle player; sessioning with Louisa Wise, Scott Wise and Jane Brownlea; performing a concert spot with the venerable Billy Moran – an Irish accordionist from Melbourne in his nineties and still going strong! Also jamming with some cayjun fiddlers; lots of guinness and sessioning until six AM most mornings.

jerry and Billy

One of the biggest surprises was finding another hardangerfiddle (hardingfele) – a genuine Norwegian eight string fiddle of the type mine was modelled on. So we played some Scandinavian tunes – and had the very great pleasure of Dave deHugaard joining in – and suggesting we all ge together for a spot of Scandinavian music at the next National Folk Festival.

hardanger fiddle

dueling hardangers
Dueling hardangers!

My own performances with Will-o-the-Wisp circus street performers (stilt walkers and associated characters) went very well and received a lot of attention throughout the festival – especially when we invaded the Session Bar!

Jerry and Julz - stilts

And finally, the many friends I caught up with from many years ago from Perth, Western Australia, and from Adelaide – along with the many new friends I met and the many new friends I haven’t met yet 🙂

It was exhausting, but exhilarating!

jerry flaked

The Festival flu I came home with was a small price to pay!