Jesse Collins, and then some.

A blog dedicated to those who would rather be at the cottage.

Archive for the 'Brogue Craic' Category

With a banjolele on my knee…

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

In honour of my Uncle Bert’s birthday, I had to post this great article I tripped over at

The first musical instrument I ever learned to play was the banjo-uke. My Dad’s a cabinet-maker, and one of his early projects was to make a couple of the miniature banjos for my Uncle Bert, who was an avid George Formby fan and damn good banjo player. Growing up hearing him play impressed upon me that it’s pretty tough to remain in a bad mood when you’re playing a banjo. I got my first one when I was twelve.

A banjo-uke is the near-cousin of the ukelele, which has been enjoying something of a renaissance on the internet of late. One of the weirdest, warmest and wackiest homages to the uke—as well as to music, to politics and to humour—is neatly wrapped in a “Benefit Concert for Warren Buffett”: two guys play every song in the Beatles library (164 songs, for the record—pun intended). Full details are available at this Ukulelia blog post but the best part is the dénouement. Our boys deliver a brown paper bag with bills and coins representing “hundreds of dollars” to Mr. Buffet, himself. The video of that exchange is a treat, and is reproduced below.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Bert.

The Good Ol’ Hockey Game

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Some moments are priceless. (more…)

My First Ride

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Murph dropped me a line about noticing a ’62 Plymouth Valiant on the road today and being struck by how ugly it was. It got me thinking about a post I’d been meaning to put up for quite awhile. A short tribute to the best car I ever owned. Flat-head 6, the last year of the 6-Volt battery and front-seat like a living room sofa: my 1954 Pontiac Pathfinder. The grill was a little dinged, and I was missing a headlight rim. Replaced that rim once from the Barrie Flea Market but hit a deer on Highway 12 and that was that the end of it.

It was a two-door coupe with a mint interior. What a beauty.

And it was also the perfect car to do bad James Dean impersonations in front of…

My First Car - 1954 Pontiac Chieftain

Wikipedia has a great entry about my first car.

Some of the more interesting optional items available for the first generation Chieftain included a radio with seven vacuum tubes, tissue dispenser, under seat heaters, and a Remington Auto-Home shaver.

Ah, those were the days!

Mind you – mine never looked this buff:

Back to Africa

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

As much as I’d like to make this an evocative epic post, I’ve only just finished packing, it’s late and I feel like the past two days have been pretty much a blur. And the fyorenol I took this afternoon is beginning to wear off. But at this time tomorrow—we’ll be in a 747 bound for Zambia.

My original intention was to make an elaborate post describing our itinerary, reminiscing about the previous three trips to Botswana, and waxing poetic on that special something that makes Africa unforgettable, inescapable and intoxicating. It is all those things but I am at the moment too exhausted to even try to describe them.


4-Ball in the corner. On Table #3.

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Since I’ve been too swamped to write a decent post, I thought I’d post a video of someone with too much time on their hands.


When I haven't been fishing, I've been looking at these on the dial-up: