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This weekend marks 7 years, more or less, of perhaps the most pointless regular diary series on DK, with the appropriate title of Saturday Night Loser's Club.  So how to mark this "occasion", such as it is?  Well, not with anything to do with this "anniversary", since 3CM is a loser, after all.  Instead, something short, but not so sweet, about a report of a Stradivarius violin that was lost in a particularly loser way, but which was initially reported to have been recently recovered.  However, closer examination of the recovered instrument revealed that the violin in question wasn't what it seemed.  More below the flip.....

This mess began back in December 2010 when violinist Min-Jin Kym was buying a sandwich at a London train station, and left her Strad unattended for a few minutes, as reported in this article in the Telegraph:

"[Pret A Manger] worker Hafid Salah told of Miss Kyms [sic] panic when she realised her violin had vanished.
He said: She and her friend were on computers and iPhones and not looking at their bags.
She came up to me at the counter and said Have you seen my bag? Call the police. Can you get the CCTV? You have to do something.
She was really upset and panicking."
Granted, if you're carrying around anything that valuable, you should never leave it unattended, not even for a second, which is the subtext of the 2 snarky/harsh comments left on the article.

There was a recent report a few weeks back in the Telegraph that Bulgarian police had apparently recovered the instrument.  However, the newest report from the Telegraph says that this is not so:

"However, although the violin was marked with the master’s name, examination by an expert revealed it to be a copy which is less than 100 years old and of limited value."
The story essentially got "retweeted" in long form in this article from Time.

Losers abound here, it seems, not least of whom is the thief, of course, one John Maughan, as noted in this article also from the Telegraph:

"The court heard Dublin-born Maughan is a serial thief with over 40 different aliases, 26 different dates of birth and over 65 convictions, mostly for theft."
There's also Kym herself, for her inattentiveness regarding the violin, even though this does come pretty close to blaming the victim.  But it says something about human nature that you can't automatically assume that your possessions are safe if left unattended, i.e. that people are jerks by nature and not automatically nice and respectful.  Or something of that sort.

It is possible to read the most recent Telegrapha little confusingly and infer that the original violin was actually a fake Stradivarius and not a real one, if you hadn't followed the story from the beginning.  However, it seems reasonably clear to me, upon reflection, that:

1.  The Bulgarian authorities recovered a violin, but not the one that was originally stolen from Kym.
2.  The lost violin is still at large somewhere.

It's an incredible long shot that she'll ever recover it.  It would be nice, and fingers crossed.  But I'm not holding my breath.

With that, on to the start of year 8 (!!!???), of SNLC, and time for the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week.  However, anyone who stops by here should know that I'm not around to monitor the proceedings, and thus can't reply to anything or mojo comments.  If one of the regulars wants to take on the task for the evening, feel free.  It'll be pretty light duty :) .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:00:10 PM PDT

  •  and the Gardner museum paintings (8+ / 0-)

    are still missing.  I sometimes feel like screaming "Leave the arts alone!"

    But I do think you need to keep an eye on your computer, just as you need to keep an eye on your Stradivarius.  I hope sometime it does get recovered.

    I am a loser tonight because I seem to have gotten hives on my face -- the cats might be sleeping on the pillow.

  •  My Musical Field is Irish Trad (8+ / 0-)

    and on 3 sides of my keyboard lie artifacts from that field in evidence of my Saturday Night Loserness within a handspan.

    Strads are almost as common as PT Cruisers compared to instruments our field, where the global count for many prior to 1900 or 1800 run in the single digits under 5.

    Surely this is true for more antique instrument niches than are easily counted.

    I know of three US performing tours that were canceled because of airlines requiring separation of irreplaceable instruments from their passenger owners. It's technically possible to replace a Strad. It's not physically possible to replace 2 of these 3 instruments.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:22:44 PM PDT

  •  not complaining (8+ / 0-)

    This is the first time in 47 years that we don't have to get in the car and drive for over an hour for Easter dinner and it feels good.

    Just the chance to relax is a good thing.  We will see the grandbabies next month.  

    For those who celebrate the day...Happy Easter!

    Best wishes to all here!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:25:12 PM PDT

  •  Congrats on the 7th anniversary of (7+ / 0-)
    the most pointless regular diary series on DK
    I have been here 7 years myself. My loser self looks forward to this most every week. My loser story this week. We have been rehabbing our upper RV sites. Wanting to upgrade them to 50amp instead of 30amp. The main RV park panel is a 3 phase panel. So hubbie is working w/an electrician who stays at the park but hasn't been around lately. And we've ordered parts and pieces. The electrician shows up Friday and goes - yeah, that's a 3 phase panel but it's wired single phase. So the only thing we can figure is the hubbies dad got a smoking deal on a 3phase but wired it single. This means that none of the parts we ordered will work, we need new wire etc.... sigh. I think we win loser of the week.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 08:35:29 PM PDT

    •  That's unfortunate and likely expensive. (6+ / 0-)
      •  Thankfully, not as bad as we originally thought. (6+ / 0-)

        The bought pieces can be returned. And the electrician says that we can use aluminium wire for the service entrance. 700 bucks -vs- 3k for copper. Copper has just gone stupid. We had copper in stock (thank dog) for the RV sites themselves. The big deal was the conduit we laid for running the service wire. Copper would have required 1.25" Hubby being the overkill guy he is.. ran 2". Aluminum will require 1.75" That would have been a real suck to run new conduit.

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:00:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I cannot imagine traveling the world (6+ / 0-)

    w/a Strad. What's to stop a potential thief from offing the violinist. Plus the artist bio in the program often identifies the artist's valuable instrument, which is often a loaner.

  •  Congratulations, CCCM. (7+ / 0-)

    Perseverance in the face of adversity.  

  •  congratulations! (6+ / 0-)

    here's to another 7!

    •  I expect if I'm still doing this 'gig' in..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shari

      .....another 7 years, I'll have lost all my hair by then.  I'm well on my way there now, sad to say.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:44:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not celebrating passover/easter (5+ / 0-)

    stuff, any of that, here.

    I did buy some Scotch, though.  MacCallan's 10 year.  It's pretty good, smooth and tasty as candy, but it's not the smokey scotch flavor I was looking for.  Still, I'm making a dent in it.  

    Also bought, a bottle of cheap rye from Trader Joe's, which sometimes gets great deals, called Bulleit, 95% rye mash.  It has that spicy rye bread taste, but I've had better.  I don't think I'd buy that again.

    I've decided to become an alcoholic.  I've done everything else, so, it's about time, right?  Actually, I drink too slowly to be a good alcoholic, but I can sort of identify in a misplaced ethnic way now, like white people who go to Indian pow-wows wearing goose feather headbands.  "How!  Or whatever!"

    Still trying to figure out which scotch to get after the MacCallan's is gone.  I find out, now, after the fact that it has a reputation as being unsmoky.  

    I've also started my own stitched together version of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet.  I read the instructions for the real one and said, well, fuck if I'm going to live that way.  But I've stocked up on fish oil capsules and olive oil and nuts.  Being very cheap, I got the cheapest fish oil caps they had at Costco.  

    A question this made come to my mind, though, is where does whiskey fit into the anti-inflammatory diet.  This is a good question!  The Dr. Weill site (which I'm mostly ignoring) says to avoid alcohol, and that has a nice Puritan ring to it.  Yet, when I google up whiskey and anti-inflammatory, I get a bunch of sites touting aged whiskey's anti-inflammatory effects and anti-oxidants, many of them coming from the wood of the oak barrels that flavor them.  I'm a bit skeptical, because part of me suspects that there might be a bunch of raging drunks out there trying to bolster up each others' lifestyle defense with specious arguments.

    •  McCallan's 30 year is exquisite--I think. Three of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita, shari, chingchongchinaman

      Tasted a exceedingly small pour in County Wicklow.

      Do you like Laphroaig?

      •  I've never tried Laphroaig (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oculus, shari, chingchongchinaman

        and don't think I will soon just to see if I like it.  It's one of the pricy ones and my ambition is to be a cheap but discriminating drunkard.  

        I read some reviews of it, though.  It has a reputation as one of the smokiest, but it's also mentioned that it was one of the few whiskys not banned during prohibition because they couldn't seriously conceive anybody drinking laphroaig except as a remedy.  Funny if true.  I'd hate to get a $60 bottle of that and find out I don't like it when I don't even have money to have my cataracts fixed.

        I see the Laphroaig 10 on sale for $44 plus shipping.  Something to consider, though.  I'd rather work my way up the smokiness ladder, first.

        •  Here's a strong recommend (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dumbo, chingchongchinaman, shari

          from my connoisseur brother:

          Despite the Scots having nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day, I celebrated by opening a new bottle of The Laddie Ten. Very nice dram. It’s an Islay, but unpeated, so more of the flavors come through. The Bruichladdich distillery had been mothballed before it was bought by a guy in the London wine trade in 2001. This is the first result. They have been experimenting with aging their scotches in 1st Growth Bordeaux barrels. It’s made from barley grown on the island, aged at the distillery, cut with spring water from a neighboring farm, and bottled locally. I’m a fan.

  •  Not exactly a loser story (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cfk, oculus, shari, chingchongchinaman

    but much of today at work felt like a clusterfuck.

    My favorite coworker called in sick.  So I've got this n00b (second day on the job) plus an employee from a nearby store who has already worked a ten-hour shift and is ready to drop.

    It wasn't as busy as Friday, thank FSM, but busy came in waves.

    And the n00b kept wandering away.  Or the woman from our sister store.  Or I would start to do something and have to run over and show n00by how to run the lottery machine, or get change or -- whatever.

    Finally n00by left, and exhausted worker and I were there until another worker from sister store showed up to close with me.  By this time we're kind of behind on a bunch of tasks.

    We DID manage to play catch-up, mostly b/c it wasn't as busy as Friday, but oh, my stress level was through the roof for all ten hours.

    I wish I had some of Dumbo's whiskey.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 10:52:48 PM PDT

  •  Hey everybody! Check this out: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oculus, shari, chingchongchinaman

    It is the most incredible version of a Billie Holiday classic I think I've ever heard:

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 11:59:07 PM PDT

    •  not very subtle juxtaposition with..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita

      .....the 'preamble' to "Strange Fruit".  But RM does indeed have quite the voice.  You could actually argue that her voice is more "beautiful" than BH, but with a song like this, vocal beauty isn't the point.

      "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

      by chingchongchinaman on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 07:49:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It wasn't just her voice, 3CM (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chingchongchinaman

        I mean, the production values alone were much better, but it's not that, either.  It's the arrangement.  BH's version is, of course, the gold standard.

        But I loved the arrangement here -- and her vocal skills didn't hurt either.

        Definitely could have done without the "preamble," though.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 11:12:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  sidebar; the label that RM has recorded for..... (0+ / 0-)

          ......in the past (and maybe even still now), MaxJazz, is locally based, in Webster Groves, MO.  Webster Records used to be next door, until the last owner kind of badly managed it into the ground.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 10:39:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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