bumble bass…

22 November, 2009

Chris just added some background history to an earlier post. Permanent Force, then Private File and the possibly-just-maybe reunion gig as Pension Fund. As i remember the band, their bass player – Jules – played one of those Höfner violin bass guitars, the famous Beatle Bass.

Just yesterday i walked into a collectors guitar shop, asking about the availability of this wonderful old instrument. It was a weird exchange.

The shop is located in the half lit bowels of the gorgeous St Georges Court building, corner K Road and Mercury Lane. The inside is lit up, and inside i see the proprieter with a client. I try the door, it’s locked. Proprieter looks up, strides toward the door, frowning. He unlocks the door, opens it slightly to stick his head out.

– What do you want?

– ..aah…, is this a shop?

– Yes.

– Are you open?

– Yes. What do you want?

– I ..aah… just wanted to come in and have a look around, but only if that isn’t a problem.

He opens to let me in, shadows me closely.
I ask about the Beatle bass. Are there any to be had? What do they go for?

– 1960.

– Oh, around two thousand dollars?

– No. A 1960 model.

He points at the one wall, mumbles something i miss. I look, nod stupidly, but actually don’t recognize anything.

– There, do you see it?

– Nooo…

– There, it’s a 1960 model, a guitar, built at the same time, original pickups, the lot.

– Oh i thought you meant the bass, the beatle bass.

– I’ll let you have a look at it if you’re serious. There’s an interesting gleam in his eye. It’s passion. There’s something blunt but honest beneath this queer bumbling back and forth. Of course, this guy is a collector. Cadenza Guitars the place is called.

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pay me what it’s worth to you…

2 November, 2009

A few months back i read about a restaurant in South Africa that did not charge fixed prices for their meals. Instead, the restaurateur was confident enough of his offering that the client was invited to pay for their meal as much as they felt it was worth. I wonder what happened to that lot?

I was reminded of this in early September, here in Auckland, without work and poor prospects for securing gainful employment anytime soon. I considered using the above story as inspiration, that is to offer various services that i am capable of to small or medium sized businesses using the proposal that they “Pay me what you think it’s worth”

They’ll think i’m crazy. They’ll be suspicious.

And yet, it seemed reasonable to me, better than sitting out unemployment inactive. I would be sharpening my skills, use techniques i know and believe in but haven’t been able to put into practice. I would broaden my exposure to various business problems, and of course would be developing that crucial network of contacts and (hopefully positive) references for the day when i do get a serious job interview.

Since then i have been networking quite actively (those of you that know me from another life as an almost recluse will be very surprised) and made a handful of good solid contacts, and one of them (Colart Miles) made the contract i am about to begin possible. God bless you Colt!

I haven’t yet been able to try out the “pay me what it’s worth…” model, it’s on the backburner so to speak. In the context of agile software development, specifically the priniciple of continuous, frequent delivery, it could make sense. When properly structured (and there’s the devil, i know) the client (or the development team) can walk away without calamity when they have enough or it no longer makes sense.


on the verge and over the moon…

2 November, 2009

Well done old chap!

Go Tell It on the Mountain!

On the verge of shouldering that shovel to go dig yet a little deeper into our dwindling capital to keep the kneebreakers at bay…

… when news comes through that i have been awarded an eight week contract to do business case development work at The Client.