Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The "Best"

Ok... Pet Peeve Wednesday.

We’ve been over this theme in general, but this specific version makes me nuts. When posting publicly on forums and such why is it some people insist on asking for advice on the “best” whatever it is without any context?

For example:

“What’s the best amp I can get for $x?” or “What‘s the best uke for a beginner?” Or my favorite “best stringz??” with no qualifier of any kind.

Although I know our readers understand it – I’m compelled to reinforce… “Best” is totally subjective and largely meaningless without a great deal of limiting parameters. There is no such thing as the “best uke for a beginner”, or expert for that matter.

If you find yourself typing the word “best”, try this instead:
Tell people what you want to do (I need it to be able to blaablaablaa…), tell them what you like (I prefer amps that blaaablaablaa) tell them what you DON’T like (I hate plain looking ukes that blaablaablaa) and then ask what type of X may fit well. That’s context. That’s asking for help with some hope of actually getting advice you can use. That’s actual communication between humans.

Asking for the “best” without specific context of any kind is the equivalent of a football coach trying to tell his team how to win the game by standing on the sidelines an yelling “SCORE SCORE SCORE”. It doesn’t help anyone and it's very unlikley to get you what you want.

Monday, April 26, 2010


As UWC 2010 draws near it is interesting to see just how popular this thing is becoming. I blogged about the dangers of events becoming too popular back in July, right after the 2009 UWC, and looking back now I think I underestimated just how big this thing would be. Regardless it was still a damned fine blog. Aside from the popularity though, I hope I was wrong about potential problems said popularity might bring...but in case it all goes to hell I want to be able to say "I told you so", so here is that blog...

(but just to hedge my bet, I could be completely wrong...I often am)

Damned Ukulele Playing Hippies

I was lying in bed last night thinking... (as I tend to do when I should be sleeping) and my mind wandered back to the Ukulele World Congress. I don't think anyone who attended could possibly have anything but great memories from that weekend. The location the atmosphere and the hosts were absolutely perfect. As I was laying there thinking about how great it was I couldn't help but begin to worry about how its awesomeness could eventually be its undoing.

I have heard many folks who were not at The Congress talking about attending next year. In fact it seems there are many more non-attendees getting excited about next year's event than there were people who actually attended. And in my opinion, popularity can be a double-edged sword...


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Negative Nancy...

I was in a shitty mood all week. This didn't help, but it did render me speechless for a while. I still can't feel my tounge.

Uking the Vows

Groom plays his uke for his bride during vows. In other news, prom dresses can now double as wedding dresses.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Uke + Mando + Vag = Pure Magic

Okay, so this is usually Alan's thing but I thought I'd share a Youtube video that I found particularly entertaining.

Yes, they're a novelty act, but if you watch and listen they're really good.  The song is clever and they both sing and play their instruments very well.  Coyote will especially like this because the chick with the vag on her head is rocking a mandolute. I guess it is possible to perform at an open mic without uttering the words "Hey There Delilah" or "I'm Yours".  I hope to see more from these two, music-wise.  Although this isn't their channel, so I'll just have to keep my eye out for any uke performers with pink headgear.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Song for Today

She would like some subscribers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Great way to build up your immune system

Hate, in all its wonder and glory, has often been a topic or general mood here on some of these UCB blog posts.  I was reading the paper the other day (go ahead and take a guess where I was reading it) and this short article caught my attention.  It was regarding a homeless man in Berkeley called "The Hate Man".  If you climb to the top of the mountain to look for the wise man with the answers, this might just be him.

article here:

If you want real hate, check out the comments on that article.  Yikes!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nuts in your mouth, not in your hand

I was just in the kitchen enjoying a bag of pistachios.  I say "enjoy" because I truly enjoy the whole process:  dumping a pile of salty pistachios on a sheet of paper, shelling them one at a time and popping them in my mouth, coming across the occasional nut that isn't fully opened so i try cracking it with my molars sending shards of pistachio shell all up in my gums, folding that sheet of paper in half and carefully walking it over to the garbage can to dispose of the shells, slipping on a banana peel and cartoonishly falling feet up in the air while tossing all the shells airborne until you land flat on your back with a hard thud and the shells fall in your face with a few landing in your mouth and then you spit them out while saying some amusing catchphrase like "Aww, nut again!".  You know, the whole shebang.

Well I was halfway through the bag when I bit into one of the nuts and cringed at the bitter taste and unusual texture.   What did I just bite into? a bug? a bug turd? did the nut shart itself? is that even possible?  It only took a couple of seconds to realize that I didn't really want to know what it was I bit into.  I just had to keep eating more nuts to get that taste out.

What would you do in that situation?  Do you stop eating or keep going?  Do nuts shart?

By the way, I played ukulele today.  It was delightful.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Pronounced Oooookooooolaylay.

I haven't bitched, I mean "blogged" in a while, so I've been holding a lot inside. But "DearOldNutjob" made a comment on Russell's last blog which brought up something that's been bugging me for a long time. That is the "'s pronounced ____" thing. As in her name is Sade but "it's pronounced" Sharrday. Or his name is Favre, but it's pronounced Farv. WTF? Here is a good one...Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski....Mike What? Well duh, its pronounced Sha-chef-ski. Well I'm not playing that game anymore. To me, Sade will always rhyme with "made."

BTW....My name is Kevin, but it's pronounced "Bite me".

Son of Guitarra

Judging by the age of my Youtube channel, I've been fussing around with the ukulele for a little over two years now. Not really fussing though, but it's been my primary means of making noise for that period of time.  I would pick up my guitar now and then but soon be right back to the four stringed bugger that is the uke.

Over the weekend, I decided to sit down and play as many songs as I could on my dreadnought guitar.  One thing I'm happy to report is that playing uke hasn't confused any muscle memory I had from playing guitar for the ten years before I got a uke.  The chord shapes still came out the way they were supposed to without mistaking a D for a G. Playing the two instruments back and forth wasn't much of a problem but I'll freely admit, I was completely sober at the time.  I'll have to try this test again when I'm three shits to the wind.  That is the term right?  Three shits?  No?  Well to hell with you then!

One thing that was a little funky was that I found myself doing ukulele type strums on the guitar and it certainly didn't sound or feel right.  Wasn't "Chunk" the name of that fat kid on Goonies?  I can't think of the last time I had a Baby Ruth, or a Mars bar for that matter.  Do they still make those?  Oh yeah, this kid in my elementary school used to sell individual Pixie Stix in the schoolyard like it was crack.  And lets admit it,  that's basically what it was.  I used to chew on a whole lot of sourgrass and that was free.  After I realized how many dogs probably peed on it, I reduced the amount from "a whole lot" to just "a lot".

LOST is on at the same time as both American Idol and Glee tonight.  Life ain't fair.

Wait, I'm not on twitter right now am I?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Let's Hope the Marriage Lasts....

...otherwise they'll both start to heave whenever they hear Iz's "Somewhere over the Rainbow" or "I'm Yours", etc.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The world is full of assholes...

...rude assholes.  Just wanted to put that out there.

Actually, I just caught some lady letting her dog shit right in our yard and then walking away.  I yelled at her asking if she planned to pick it up and she casually replied "I don't have a bag" and then kept walking.  No "sorry", no remorse, no fucking manners.  Well i told her to hold up and handed her one of the little plastic bags we use for our small dog.  You see the thing is she had a big ol' golden retriever.  I just stood there and watched as she struggled to pack a lot of dog shit into a tiny bag.  Probably got some on her hands, deservedly so. What kills me is the whole air of innocence she maintained the entire time.  Like she had done nothing wrong and that asking her to pick up her dog's filth was a huge inconvenience for her.  C word!!!!

And if you want to know what this has to do with ukuleles, the soothing Hawaiian ukulele music in my head was probably what kept me from strangling her with her dog's leash. 

Anybody else have a pleasant day?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ohana Vita Resonator

Mostly to get Adam Ant to start scrolling off screen, but also because this thing is a monster I want.