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30 January 2013

The Game of Thrones - Series 1 (2011)

A couple of months ago I bought Mrs Uke some books by George R R Martin. They belong to a series called "A Song of Ice and Fire". I didn't have a clue what I was buying to be honest; I guessed it was something to do with her beloved World Wrestling Federation, but no, these are in fact the novels that have spawned the HBO TV series "A Game of Thrones". Still none-the-wiser? Neither was I until I shelled out for the blu-rays of the first series. "It's a little bit racey," was the only warning I got from Mrs Uke. Blimey! What on earth had I let myself in for?!?!

Tyrion Blackadder... erm... Lannister
Game of Thrones, HBO 2011

27 January 2013

How to Scan Sheet Music - Update

A couple of years ago I had a go at scanning in some sheet music I own. I had some great ideas about going digital that never amounted to anything. I even shared with you a run-down of what I'd learnt in doing my little trial. Reading it back, I see that I was bogged down in the nuts and bolts of how I'd physically do it; The post is full of mind-numbing technical detail that I wasn't able to properly try out due to lack of eReading devices.

Despite a plea for someone to buy me an iPad... nobody ever did. :-(

"Sampling: Theft or Tribute?"
Is sharing scanned sheet music legal?

Time has moved on. I now own a Kindle and this weekend I booked in some time on Mrs Uke's iPad to give scanning another go. Here's what I learnt...

24 January 2013

The Book of Eli (2010)

I've been getting myself all confused again. I bought the DVD of The Book of Eli thinking that it was a film adaptation of Walter Miller Junior’s book: A Canticle for Leibowitz. Yeah, I know that the name is very different, but I wasn't really paying that much attention at the time. A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic novel involving a monk obsessing over a picture from the past. The Book of Eli is a post-apocalyptic film involving Denzel Washington obsessing over a book from the past. How different could they possibly be?

What have we got here then?
The Book of Eli, Warner Brothers 2010

A lot :-D

15 January 2013

Argapa Ukuleles

Argapa Ukuleles is a gentleman by the name of Sven Nyström, based in Sweden. I ran into Sven just before Christmas on Google+'s new sparkly Ukulele Community. I don't know how it happened, but I see that I'm one of the moderators for that community. Rest assured that I will use my new-found powers only for good. Having seen some of Sven's beautiful ukuleles I'd threatened that I would do a post on him and here I am doing just that!

Argapa Ukuleles... One size löuder!

12 January 2013


This week I have mostly been listening to...


Mark Everett of eels with beard

8 January 2013

Skylark Ukulele Artwork

I have this crazy idea to pimp a Skylark ukulele. I'm not really sure what that means just yet, but I'm thinking along the lines of fitting proper machine heads, real frets, reconditioning the body and adding a Yusaku Hanakuma print on the front.

Skylark brothers side-by-side. Top is my 'old' one and bottom the new
kid on the block. I found that felt plucktrum inside - a secret surprise!

I've been trying to get hold of a cheap Skylark for ages for this project and finally secured one sight-unseen over Christmas for £13. Not bad.

6 January 2013

Maccaferri "T.V. Pal" Ukulele

It was apparent when I last spoke to Mike Simpson about his collection of plastic ukuleles, that we still had a lot of unfinished business to deal with. In my previous post we concentrated on the Maccaferri "Islander", but there were a heap of other ukes that Mike owns that also deserve a mention. As you can tell, I'm quite taken by this influential and interesting era of American Ukulele history. I've called this post T.V. Pal Ukuleles, but as before, you'll find me jumping all over the place. Most of the ukes mentioned in this post were manufactured in the US in the 1950s.

T.V. Pal Plastic Ukulele

5 January 2013

Zombie A-Rockalypse!

Today's post is inspired by a link Daz from Briz posted on the bottom of the Maccaferri Islander ukulele photos. The link was for a Kickstarter project called "Pet Zombie Rock - Welcome to the Zombie A-Rockalypse!"

Sponsor "Pet Zombie Rock" and you too could own a... pet zombie rock.

If I've got this right, a group from Kansas are raising money to paint rocks as zombies. It all seems a little bit mad to me, but that's exactly the sort of thing that you know I like! Ha ha.

4 January 2013

Monster School by King Uke

Today the kids were tasked with cleaning up their rooms. Look what my daughter E-Uke uncovered! I can't remember when I did this.

This is a small comic I created starring my son J-Uke. He has never been a fan of school and I guess this was a way of cheering him up. I know that I'm biased, but I think I did a pretty good job! This is actually stapled together in a tiny comic... You have to turn the pages to read it! What a pro!

I showed it to J-Uke just now and he can't remember it from the first time round. BUT... Even he says it's pretty good and you know what a harsh critic he is! I feel a bit like J K Rowling... only with a beard. Ha ha. Enjoy...

1 January 2013

Ancora un Pò

One of the projects I've had up my sleeve for a while has been to do a cover of Enzo e il Cattivo Tempo's beautiful Ancora un Pò. I've threatened that I might do it on a number of occasions without ever having tried to play the song. Actually, the bit I was most worried about was reproducing the lyrics; I don't speak a word of Italian and the song is completely in Italian! :-O Am I losing my tiny mind!?!?! Ha ha... I think that I am!

King Uke and the Bad Weather