Moon shot

Posted by jerry on December 19th, 2004 — Posted in Journal, Technology

We bought a Canon powershot A-75 digital camera to take with us to China and I thought I’d see how this one handled a moon shot tonight from my back yard in Canberra 🙂

Here’s the result, using manual setting and exposure of 1/250th sec the result sharpened once and cropped in photoshop and compressed in Imageready for the web:



Return from Beijing Tour

Posted by jerry on December 10th, 2004 — Posted in Journal, Music, Travel

The tour was awesome! I’ll have some more photos up soon – suffice to say the trip was exhausting and exhilarating. Beijing is a vibrant place with many surprises. We played five shows over a week and had a few days at either end to do some sightseeing and shopping.

Starbucks - Forbidden City

The weather was cool – similar to Canberra winter temperatures. The language was completely alien to us although by the end we had learnt some useful phrases – like the greeting: Ni Haou, yes, no, and No Way! But there were always enough people around who spoke English for us to be able to get around without problems.

The traffic is truly chaotic! Pedestrian crossings exist only to concentrate the targets, red lights are treated as ‘advisory only’ and they somehow manage to fit six lanes of traffic into four lanes of road! but for all the chaos we were soon crossing roads with care, and trusting to the skills of the taxi drivers. On the taxis – look for ones with low numbers on the side – they have been licensed for longer and are more likely to know their way to your destination.

The shows: The John Bull Pub was fun – I think they expected us to sit quietly in a corner and play wallpaper muzak – instead after about half an hour we looked at each other and said ‘nah – time to show our stuff’ so we launched ourselves at individual tables and played requests and did silly antics – and the crowd loved it – soon we had them singing along and a great night was had by all!

Full Circle band in Beijing

The Bookworm is like a Parisienne salon of thirty years ago – the place is lined with books – it doubles as a lending library for expats – the place serves excellent food and drinks and offers a wonderful respite from shopping at the Yashow market.

Full Circle Band in Beijing

The first time we played there it was a jam with some local celtic musicians – including an expert gallic linguist who sang some wonderful songs. We also met the piper who had been flown out from Scotland to participate in the St Andrews Ball – the highlight of our tour. Make sure you get good directions though – I wound up walking around a dilapidated hutong, or dingy residential back alley way for about 30 minutes before I stumbled on the place… scary!

Full Circle Band - St Andrews Ball Beijing

St Andrews Ball at the Great Wall Sheraton – a formal Highland Ball with piper and Full Circle playing scottish music for the dancers – we played until 0530AM – a full 12 hours from sound check to pack-up! Exhausting but fun:-) This is the first year they had brought out a band and I don’t think it will be the last! We were able to tailor the pace and the start-finish of the dances to suit the dancers – something a CD can never provide. We made many friends that night and I hope we get to do it again next year!

Sights included the Great Wall – a truly amazing structure! We also visited the Lama monastery, The Ming Tombs, the Forbidden City (need to spend at least two days there!) and the ancient observatory – one of the overlooked gems of Beijing!

Jerry on the Great Wall in China

We saw an acrobatic show at the Chowyang Theatre – truly amazing performers

Beijing is certainly a place to visit again before the Olympics!


Australia to Singapore

Posted by jerry on November 23rd, 2004 — Posted in Journal, Travel

After scanning the Moleskine page for the Wandering Moleskine Project I posted the moleskinskine No 8 to the next recipient. Then a final pack and we’re off on the first stage of our trip to Beijing – and Singapore has free internet terminals in the airport! Must dash 🙂


Wandering Moleskine Project

Posted by jerry on November 22nd, 2004 — Posted in Journal

A while back, on one of the Orkut Communities forums – dealing with the wonderful Moleskine notebooks – a suggestion was put out that several notebooks be sent out around the globe with each person contributing something on a page and passing it on to the next person. The project is called the ‘Wandering Moleskine Project‘ Ultimately these may be displayed in a travelling exhibition. Anyhow, mine arrived with a couple of days to spare before I head off to China – taking the band on tour. So I took moleskine No 8 with me to the Majors Creek folk festival and composed an entry, which I scanned this evening on my return – you will be able to see the scans via a link from

Moleskine notebook

It is an exciting and imaginative project – and one I am very pleased to be part of!


Fiddle case completed at last!

Posted by jerry on November 18th, 2004 — Posted in Journal

I mentioned a little while back that I was building a new fiddle case for the hardanger fiddle (hardingfele) and I showed you the frame… well it’s now finally finished! Just in time to go to the Majors Creek Folk Festival tomorrow and to China early next week – talk about cutting things fine! And here it is:

DIY violin case

Anyhow the case is clad in aluminium and has a lined compartment for the fiddle and a huge box area for the effects pedal, spare strings, rosin and shoulder rest etc,. It is designed to have a short footprint – so the bows run diagonally across the lid – like this:

home made violin case

And the box compartment opens like this:

DIY violin case

The trickiest part by far was the crushed velvet lining – and in the end I gave up and called for help from an expert – Sharon Boggon – who came up with the brilliant plan to cut a cardboard template and wrap the fabric around that and then glue it down. It looks great!

The finishing touches were to add a lid to the box compartment (complete with hinges), attach elastic across the lid corners for the bows, attach a strap (cut from the remnants of a $2 tie-down strap) to stop the lid from flying open and there it is – ready for the next gig – on Saturday night (er… that’s tomorrow night!)

Tonight I also made a camping table with screw-in legs in ten-minutes – but more on that one later!

time to get some sleep ready for a weekend of fun folk music and festival!