“Scotland the Brave” by the Isle of Cumbrae Pipe Band as they march out of Braemar

Aye, ’tis exactly what you think.

But the truth is you’re not limited to Scotland the Brave or Amazing Grace, you can play any tune you want on the Pipes.

Here, for instance, is Purple Haze

Though technically it’s played by a Bulgarian on a Gaida. There are other horrible and annoying instruments you can play Purple Haze on. An Accordion-

Electric Bassoon-


My point is not that Pipes are horrible and annoying, they don’t have to be-

Megawatt – Celtica

And it isn’t as complicated as it looks. There’s a Bladder you fill with air and some Drones usually tuned to A (440 – 485 Mhz-ish) and a Chanter for the Melody that’s fingered similarly to a Recorder, so basically if you can play a Whistle you can play the Pipes, no Embouchure involved. The mouth part isn’t any more difficult than blowing up a balloon.

Not that I’m encouraging it mind you, the neighbors will soon tire of Flowers of the Forest and The Barren Rocks of Aden (most of the tunes are really, really sad), and Pipes are not PianoFortes- there is no volume control.

No, my point is that they’re greatly misunderstood and even were they not calculated to set your cats conspiring to smother you in your sleep, the repetitive nature of the fresh new Hell John Oliver has unleashed on the FCC is appropriate punishment.

I take a great deal of care to preserve my pseudonymity not because I delude myself it protects me from Spooks. I know Spooks, they laugh at me, tell me I’m paranoid, and it doesn’t thwart them at all.

No, I do it to shield myself from the onslaught of friends, acquaintances, spam, and those trolls who wish me a compliant “pragmatist” instead of my Lefty firebrand self (didn’t think I had enough influence to be noticed). It certainly applies to Robocalls too. My landline rolls into my Caller ID and voice mail and if you’re not my pharmacy, one of my doctors, or a friend or relative I can’t ignore it’s the same as my email policy-

Yeah, when I get around to it.

My Cell is more strictly guarded, basically outgoing only and a record of incoming numbers. I am so far fortunate that my obnoxiousness is sparing me from more than 2 or 3 spams a week, those I know who are less aggressive in discouraging contact report they are frequently inundated with more than that an hour.

You know, I like Pipes just fine, I just don’t want to listen to them all the time.

ps. Winter Is Here!