Photos by MJ Klein, and others where noted.
It was almost a throwdown in some respects, but the party at the Blue Sky was more or less successful in that people had a relatively good time, and nobody got hurt, although the event was not up to my personal standards. First, let me thank everyone who ventured out on that cold windy evening to join us. Your company is what makes things like this worthwhile. Second, please allow me to apologize (more on that later).
Why I like Nikon cameras, reason #57: IR remote control. This shot was taken on a tripod from my seat at the table at the far end of the shot.
Many of Taiwan’s famous people were on hand at the surreal Blue Sky.
Notably missing was our good friend Mr. Michael Turton who was both very busy and also quite sick, and couldn’t make it.
I got to meet several new people. This is Hui-chen (right) with Flickrite Yu-fen.
This is Celine Liu, a Taipei businesswoman which whom I have corresponded for several years, but until this night had never met in person. She brought her friend Linsir and, well I hope they enjoyed being there as much as I enjoyed meeting them.
I had also met Patrick Cowsill on a few occasions, but never had the chance to speak with him. So, it was great getting a chance to talk with him on this occasion.
I met Boyd for the first time that night and also Joanna Rees. I didn’t get a chance to talk with either one. Joanna dropped and her Mother by later in the evening and Joanna politely introduced herself to me. “I know who you are, silly” probably isn’t the best way to introduce yourself to someone, but those were the first words out of my mouth. But of course I did already knew who she was.
The usual gang was there too, including:
Craig, (with Yu-fen),
Prince Roy and Spicy Girl.
OK, so what was the problem with the Blue Sky?
This guy got really drunk and was looking for people to interact with. One of them was Patrick. The drunk guy went to the restroom and came out with his hands wet (hopefully from washing them) and did some fake “massage” on Patrick which was, in effect, he using Patrick’s shirt as a towel. I did not see any of that going on myself. Not long after, Patrick left the table and then the drunk guy went back to the bar where he spotted Jerry and tried messing with him. Jerry’s Chinese isn’t up to the task of talking trash though, so Jerry just walked away.
Hui-chen was asking “Why did the drunk guy bother Patrick?” and the only answer that I can reply with is that Patrick looks like a friendly guy, and that the seat was open next to him. Target acquired.
My personal experience with this guy began by him beckoning me to take the above photograph. After that he kept saying “give it to me” in Chinese, over and over, while looking at it on the display. Apparently he thought my camera could print him a copy. It was then that I politely excused myself and went elsewhere.
The boss lady was on his ass several times. He was also bothering Carrie and just when I noticed things were getting out of hand and I was getting out of my seat, the boss lady ran over and grabbed him, taking him back to the bar and sitting him down hard.
So, the food was good. Better than most Thai places in Taipei, but definitely not better than Shao-hui’s. Feel free to verify this with anyone. The conversation was lively and interesting but the boss refused to turn the karaoke machine on for us. That ticked me off royally. It was hard to hear our conversation, and what really bothered me is that they had a new “DJ” (and I use that term loosely) who was playing a load of trash that attempted to pass itself off as music but fell far short. The Thai “DJ” was playing rap and hardcore hip/hop for a group of largely middle aged whites and some Taiwanese. The point is, the music didn’t fit the demographics of the audience. But because most of the audience (initially) was comprised of foreigners the “DJ” thought it was fitting to play “American” music. I told the boss that nobody liked the crap that the DJ was playing and he laughed right in my face. Seriously. He couldn’t believe I was saying that no one liked his “special” DJ. He staunchly refused to turn on the karaoke system for us. I’m sure that to him, being Thai, that hip/hop garbage was great. Another problem is that it was just too loud. Joanna Reeves showed up with her mother, and they had to leave in like 10 minutes because it was so freaking loud by that point.
One of the main things that I liked about the Blue Sky is that they had a large book of English songs and an excellent karaoke system. They made be out to be a liar and none of us got to sing. Well, one of us got to sing.
Carrie and I were talking and she was saying that the music was so bad that she and most of the others were going to leave in about 5 minutes. It was at that point that I realized something had to be done. I had called my friend Anune earlier in the week and asked him if we could play a few numbers together with the Blue Sky band and he agreed. By that time he had arrived and everything was set up. With nothing to lose and basically secure in the knowledge that no one could stop me, I went on the stage, picked up my guitar and started making some “dive bombs” with the Stratocaster, using the Floyd-Rose Schaller tailpiece. The others took my cue and came up to the stage. Finally the “DJ” turned that crap off and it was silent (except for some tuning up).
Anune kicked the band off with one of my favorite Thai tunes (sorry I can’t tell you the names of these songs). He started off just doing a few chords and singing solo, and then the band exploded with the opening lines. That was the first time I had actually performed that song with anyone and I had a blast doing it.
I’d like to present a few shots of the evening taken by others:
Recently I re-wired some of the electrics on the Strat. There was a useless cut switch that I never used (plus it was improperly implemented) so I rewired it as a phase reverse switch for the middle pickup. Phase reversing only effects settings with more than one pickup. The switch settings are:
- Bridge Pickup
- Bridge Pickup and Middle Pickup
- Middle Pickup
- Middle Pickup and Neck Pickup
- Neck Pickup
Therefore, the only pickup you can wire for the phase reversal is the middle pickup. When the 5-way selector switch is in positions 2 or 4, the phase reversal switch becomes useful. I was demonstrating this sound to Craig when he snapped this photo. Photo by Craig
Anune was singing and I was only singing backup that night. That in of itself was a riot. The boss and the boss lady were staring at me from behind the bar while I was singing backup harmonies in Thai!
Thanks to everyone who came to the Blue Sky. Be sure to check all the references blogs and photostreams!