Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Returning To Oak Brook Games

We're registered to have a booth again this year at the Illinois St. Andrew Society Scottish Festival and Highland Games, in Oak Brook, IL, on June 19th-20th.

I hope we'll see you there!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Milwaukee Games

We had a great time two weeks ago at the Milwaukee Scottish Festival, helping out at the booth organized by Wisconsin Regent Ken Douglas and his wife Sheila, where we met Doug Jones and his family, notably including his son Wisconsin State History Day champion Benjamin Douglas Jones, here pictured with me in the parade of tartans (photos by Mrs. Jones):


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Next? Suppressing the Tartan Again?

It's the '45 all over again! European Union heath & safety regulations require limiting the noise output from bagpipes (H/T: Creative Minority Report):
THEIR high-pitched skirl has put fear into the hearts of Scotland’s enemies and sent sensitive tourists reaching for the cotton wool.

Now, however, the bagpipes are to be quietened by an edict from Brussels.

From this month, pipers must adhere to strict volume limits or risk breaking European Union health and safety laws. Bands have been ordered to tone down or wear earplugs to limit noise exposure to 85 decibels.

Typically, a pipe band played at full volume peaks at 122 decibels outdoors, noisier than the sound of either a nightclub or a chainsaw, which rises to 116 decibels.

The prospect of more subdued bagpipes will be welcomed by some, but musicians have warned performances will suffer.

Pipe majors claim it is virtually impossible to play quietly or to tune a band when the musicians are wearing earplugs, raising the prospect of a cacophony at showcase events such as the Edinburgh military tattoo.

The rules in effect limit practice without earplugs to about 15 minutes a day.

While piping schools have begun issuing students with hearing protectors, pipe majors are preparing to make a stand.

Ian Hughes, head of the RAF Leuchars band at an airbase in Fife, claimed the new legislation in effect outlawed bagpipe playing for the first time in more than 250 years.

The last time was after the Jacobite rising of 1745 and the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s clansmen at the battle of Culloden.

“These limits are far too low. If we have to go with these regulations, pipe bands won’t exist,” said Hughes. “Every pipe band in the world will be above the maximum volume level.

“Bringing in a law making pipers wear ear protection means the playing of pipes is outlawed. Earplugs take away the clarity of the sound and create a problem if you’re trying to tune a band up to a certain standard.

“You can’t play the pipe quietly; they haven’t got a volume switch.”

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Another Pic From Oak Brook

Thanks to Bill G. MacLeod!

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Iowa Games?

Is there any interest in doing a booth at the Quad Cities festival in August? There's no Iowa Regent for Clan Douglas, but it looks like fun.

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A Fine Time In Oak Brook

We had a excellent time at the Oak Brook games, Ken Douglas came down from Wisconsin to help out, I had some good friends there as well as the wife and kids, and a crowd of people signed the book, and many of them joined us for the parade.

They also promised to email me pictures; which I'll post here when I get them.

Meanwhile, my little girl had her arm painted, her big brother tried out a little highland dancing, and the youngest got cute with his mommy.

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Our Booth At The Milwaukee Festival

Milwaukee was a tad rainy, but Ken had set up a nice booth; I contributed a few attention-getters as well. Here's Ken with my wife at the booth.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Festivals

I was heartbroken to miss the Springfield games last week.

But on June 2nd, there's the Milwaukee games, where I'll be helping out Wisconsin regent Ken Douglas, and then the Oak Brook games on the 15th and 16th of June. Look for the big round blue & white tent!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Springfield Here I Come

May 19th, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Special thanks to Dennis Dickey and his family for setting up the Clan Douglas booth.