comment 0

Fiddle Hack

My first fiddle is an instrument which was given to my brother by our grandfather when my brother was a young boy some 60 years ago. It’s a German copy of a Maggini instrument. It’s loud and brash and to not put too fine a point on it, this fiddle doesn’t sound great. I played it until I became good enough to realize an upgrade would be great. I bought a lovely old refurbished French fiddle which I really love, and now that I’m playing all the time, the “family fiddle” hasn’t seen much use.

I read recently that there something you can do to sweeten up the sound of a rough and ready screecher of a fiddle. The recommendation is to attach something to the bridge, such as a paperclip or a wooden clothes peg. I read many reports about how doing this can help tremendously, so I tried it.

I was really surprised at how effective this hack is. A single paperclip on the bridge sweetened up the sound of this fiddle tremendously. It still has plenty of volume but the paperclip seems to have done a great job of taking the edge off the sound of this fiddle. I haven’t messed around with different clips or position of the clips yet, but I will try different things to get the best sound I can out of this fiddle.

The strings on the family fiddle have not been changed in some time, so I’m going to try a set of synthetic core strings on it soon in an effort to optimize the sound even more. I doubt I will be able to make the family fiddle sound as good as my French fiddle, but as it stands now, the instrument is quite playable and sounds pretty good. What it means is I’ll play this fiddle a lot more over time. Great hack!

comment 1

Amazon Fail

What’s going on with Amazon? Recently 3 items I’ve ordered through them have disappeared. They have not been delivered and Amazon has been unable to tell me where they might be. With the shipper? Sitting in a warehouse? Lost or stolen? Who knows? I’ve had to ask for a refund 3 times. They offered to send out another item which might arrive in 3-5 days but having already waited several days past the date they committed to deliver, I’ve opted to simply get my money back. I expected a sense of urgency from their customer service. I had hoped they might say, OK we have another item in a nearby warehouse and we’ll have it on a truck for delivery tomorrow morning, but no, no, no. 3-5 days to deliver another item or 3-5 days to process a refund.

I feel I can no longer rely on Amazon to deliver reliably and on time.


comment 0

A Contest of Will

Listen to the new episode of The Agency Podcast right here or find it at all the good podcast places.

This week your Agents took a field trip to Toronto’s east end – to the patio at Murphy’s Law pub where we met up with the irrepressible poet and personality, Dr. K. Syinide.

Shout-outs to: Sweet Daddy Siki, Lopes, and the late great Nash the Slash.

Email the podcast anytime: We love hearing from you.

comment 0

Billionaires in Space

It says a lot about our society that there are people who have such a disproportionately huge amount of money they can piss it away making spaceships and launching themselves. Too bad. They had an opportunity to be heroes by using their obscene amounts of excess wealth to feed a lot of people or provide decent housing for people living in parks or fund drinking water improvements for our First Nations people or improve our hospitals or fund medical research or any number of really positive and worthwhile efforts.

comment 0

Bob’s Kingdom

This week:

  • More on The American Plague and The Little Things
  • Back to the movies: Roadrunner – the Anthony Bourdain doc
  • The Basil Smash
  • We do this ‘Til we Free Us
  • Bob Dylan’s Shadow Kingdom
  • Dungeons and Dragons today
  • Listener mail and more….

If you think The Agency is the greatest thing since sliced bread, you can become a Special Agent by supporting The Agency on Patreon.

We have great Agency merch available. Mugs, hip flasks, ball caps and coffee mugs. If need some, or if you just want to drop us a line, email:

Thanks for listening!