Tag Archives: Just Plain Cool

Ukulele Ace T-Shirts

Important Notice!

I started this post way back in May, but stuff happens, y’know? So just ignore the bits that mention dates, like for instance, the next paragraph, and it’ll all be good.

I’ve been mentioning (ok… teasing about) this for a month or so on Twitter. But, due to circumstances I’m going to explain here, I can’t just have folks sending money to my PayPal. This is because these shirts are the first and may be the last of them. (More on that subject later in this post.) I have less than 2 dozen of them left and I don’t want to be issuing refunds because PayPal will have already taken their percentage and I’ll end up losing money on the deal.

(I don’t mind only making a small amount after all is said and done—initial outlay for the printing, packaging, postage, etc.—but losing money kinda defeats the purpose of having them made in the first place.) :-)

They’ve been in cardboard boxes a while. They’ll be ironed prior to shipping!

The Circumstances

I designed them back in 2016 and had the first small batch ran off. These were done by hand, on high quality (Port & Company, 100% cotton) tees, not thin, flimsy, machine printed ones like you get from CafePress and other sites of that ilk, but by friends of mine (Sarah and Steve Angell of Primal Screens) who worked at the Pike Place Market. They cut me a hella good deal, just because they’re nice like that. I was, and still am, trying to keep the cost as low as possible on these. (c.f. the Restrictions section, later in this post.)

Now I’m a couple thousand miles away from Seattle and unable (cuz pandemic, a less busker friendly city, etc.) to earn any money.

I came up with a whole strategy for releasing them, starting with trying to find one of my co-ukulele phreaks of the female pursuasion to model them for ads just like this one. There was some difficulty in scheduling and time was ticking. By the time I started thinking about other ways to do the pic much time had passed. Then came the “stuff” I mentioned in my Important Notice at the top of this post. A whole bloody series of stuff. Jeez!

The Restrictions

  • You must be a resident of the USA. Postage is extreme outside those areas and would bring the cost up to more than I’d be comfortable charging. Even sending it to our Canadian friends would force me to nearly double the price, never mind Asia or Europe, etc. My apologies to all of the wonderful Ukulele Aces outside of the US.
  • You have to realize that this is a limited edition, in that I’m not sure I can find such a quality source for them here in Kalamazoo. And I simply won’t charge the same price for lower quality products. More on this subject later in the post.
  • This is why I’ve come up with The Process.

The Process

Step 1: If you’re interested in one of these, send me an email with your desired size. At the time of this update (September 25, 2021) I have 2 in 2X, 5 in XL, 4 in L, 5 in M, and 4 in S. These are the “Adult Male” sizings and style. (See the photo.) Adjust your size preference accordingly if you’re a female Ukulele Ace.

I’ll be contacting folks in the order that I receive the initial email from them.

Step 2: If I have your size in stock I’ll send you an email to that effect. You’ll have 24 hours to send me the payment.

If I don’t receive the payment in that time I’m going to assume you changed your mind (which is perfectly ok, no hard feelings!) and move along to the next email on the list that wants that size.

Step 3: Within 24 hours of your payment hitting my PayPal account I’ll have it packaged up and mailed out to you. If it happens to arrive on a day the Post Office is closed, I’ll let you know that as well, so that there’s no misunderstandings. Communication is key!

The Price

Gad! Had to edit after posting because I forgot to put this in.

I’m selling these for $35. That includes shipping and handling.

Miscellaneous Info

Regarding further availability: If I get enough response that the size(s) y’all want are already sold out, I’ll look into the possibility of having the Angell’s ship me the original screen (assuming it’s still extant), and finding a local screen printer who can do the same quality job on them.

In that case, I’ll send you an email asking if you’d like to be notified if I can put such a deal together.

Agreeing to that will not put you on any other email list. I only send emails to those who opt in, or whom I’ve already established a relationship with, not just anyone whose email I happen to have. I’m funny that way.

Regarding updates to this post: I’ll try to keep the “sizes available” info updated here so that you won’t waste your time emailing me (unless you’d like to be put on the aforementioned mailing list).

Lastly: In the immortal words of Henry Ford, “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.”

Let the hip kids know what an ace you are! And feel free to email me with any questions.

Another cover version of one of my tunes

For only the second time (to the best of my knowledge) someone has done a cover version of one of my tunes.

This time the tune is He Might Be A Vampire and Molegrip von Mousetrouser (aka Lizzie X) posted her cover on Soundcloud.


Here’s my original version for comparison purposes.

I just love it when this happens. It’s why I post my free ukulele songsheets!

So go ahead and download one or more, make your own audio or video of it and make sure to send me the link!

A different Accidental Rhino

If I’m fronting an ad hoc band with two or more fellow musicianers, I call it Howlin’ Hobbit & Accidental Rhino. Accidental Rhino has played once before with the other two being Sketch and salamandir.

Today it was supposed to be just me and sal at the Ballard Sunday Market. But just as we got set up my friend Julie B. happened by. She’s jammed with me several times at the Pike Place Market. She plays delicious violin.

Et voilà! Accidental Rhino.

And it was a blast! Great crowds and applause and dancing babies.

We got a couple inquiries about parties (not bad for a band who hadn’t all played together before then) and a nice hat to split after a couple hours playing.

I think that’s a hopeful sign for my whole A. Rhino concept. I want to be able to take some of gigs I’m offered when playing solo that I have to turn down because they would really work better with a band.

Plus… I love it when a plan comes together!

(cross-posted from Google+)

You never know who you’re going to run into

Sunday before last (that would be June 24th) I busked at the Ballard Sunday Market. Not only was it the best busking day I’ve had in longer than I even want to talk about, but I also ran into an old friend, one Robert Rial.

Robert is the chief instigator of Bakelite 78. I first met him at the Blue Moon Tavern open mike a while back. He’d come in with his band and sat down near me at the bar. One of his bandmates (Erin Jordan) stared at me a bit and then asked if I wasn’t part of Snake Suspenderz. She’d met me some time back when the Snakes were just me and Thaddeus and we had played at a showcase sponsored by the local chapter of Just Plain Folks. I think I blogged once before about this, but it’s too late in the evening to look it up right now.

We got to talking and they invited the Snakes to open for them at the Can Can. Since then we’ve played that venue three more times, but I haven’t seen hide nor hair of Bakelite 78.

But there was Robert, on the northwest corner of the Ballard Market, working solo (with an awesome megaphone for his vocals).

He turned me on to their latest CD, What The Moon Has Done, and I’m going to pass on the favor now. You should definitely check out this music! And I’ve made it easy by embedding their album right here!

Don’t say I never gave you nothin’!

(And hey! Buy this music! You’ll be glad you have it on your CD/mp3 player every time you listen. Tell ’em Howlin’ Hobbit sent you.)

Singers on the bridge

Today I played two sets on the Joe Desimone Memorial Bridge busking spot at the Pike Place Market.

The first set was pretty good, hat-wise. The second set (at 4pm) not so much, though it more than covered my bus fares today. But…

…at the end of the second set most of the craftspeople were gone, there were about 6 or 8 left. There were hardly any “customers” coming by either. The ridiculous construction noise from across the street had ended—actually, the whole 2nd set was nearly free of it—and, since I’d replaced the diaphragm in my kazoo this morning, I decided I’d close with Cab Calloway’s Minnie the Moocher, because one more kazoo song is always in order.

Directly across from me was Matt, who agents for Das & Das (tie-dyed garments). Since I first met him when he was busking, I was pretty sure he’d catch on fast. I told him I had a part for him in this song and he’d know it when it came around. He didn’t even have to wait for it to come around. I did the intro to the song on kazoo and he was singing along at the start of the first verse. But then…

…I got to the first “Hi De Hi” bit and everybody on the bridge did the response. And they continued to get them all the way to the end.

It was a hoot! I wonder if any of the (very few) tourists even copped to what was going on?

Not that it matters. Me and my fellow Market Rats had a good time.

(cross posted from Ukulele & All That Jazz)