Tag Archives: Ukulele

Posts mentioning or prominently about ukulele

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.

The first product of two I’m offering

This is the first, and the second one will be a limited edition. Ain’t that posh?

As you may well have noticed, musicians have been deemed “non-essential” by the powers that be.

(And don’t get me started on that one. The old saw about “never waste a good crisis” is still being practiced by the aforementioned “powers that be.”)

Personally, I believe that music and other artistic endevours are essential. Of course, I might just be biased on this view.

Meanwhile, I’m unable to earn any money. After a while one becomes weary of depending on one’s significant other to support all of one’s expenses. And, no doubt, they grow a bit weary themselves.

Luckily for me I have a former and now current ukulele student who is a “patron of the arts” (not related to Patreon.com) who has paid me (very well, thank you) for lessons in a video and document format. He has kindly agreed that I can sell them on for a lesser price, to help me survive the current crisis.

So, I am currently offering the “Two Fingered Mack” lesson for a mere $15 (or more, if you’re feeling like being a patron of the arts yourself). This is an arrangement of Mack The Knife that I was inspired to create by Sting’s version of the song, which featured a more accurate translation from the German than Bobby Darin’s watered down version, and didn’t have all the ridiculous key changes between each verse, causing you to memorize a whole bunch of chord progressions for just one song. Not to mention being able to sing in all those keys.

You can pay for this two ways. If you have a PayPal account you can use paypal.me/howlinhobbit

If you’re not a PayPal member, you can use this link (and remember, you might need to reset the default amount): https://ko-fi.com/howlinhobbit

Please realize, I’ve not been able to figure out a way to automagically send the file when you pay. I’m living in the United States Eastern Time Zone. The minute I discover the payment, I’ll send you a link to the file.

Lastly, this is a large zip file, containing two separate videos and two documents. It’s about 1/2 a megabyte. It will take a bit to download and you need to download it to a computer/device that has room for that size of a file.

It’s May And My 5th Video This Year

May’s video is Peanut Envy’s take of the Jimmy Cox tune, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out. This jazzy blues was written in 1923 and made its way into the “Great American Songbook” during the depression. I thought the current situation may well echo that era and, since was just released into the public domain this year, I decided to add it to the video selection as well as putting it into regular rotation on my live set list.

It tells the story of a fella who was doing just fine during Prohibition, but fell on hard times along with nearly everyone else as the Great Depression settled in.

Since I’m one of the surviving members of the Bongwater Horns, the solo for this is taken on the kazoo. This is exactly how we do it when Peanut Envy is busking.

This was actually recorded in the same session as March’s video, so the usual disclaimers re: video editing learning curve apply here.

(But I am learning. Slowly.)

Enough chatter! On to the video itself…

Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out

Leave a comment if you’d like, but remember that Sharing Is Caring.

April’s new video (and barely under the wire!)

This is the second of the two “short story songs” I wrote late last year. You can check out the other one here if you haven’t already. It makes 4 months in a row that I’ve put up a new vid. (Though I’m definitely just barely squeaking this one in on time!)

(However, I do still have one “in the can” for next month.)

As usual, I’m experimenting with what I can do with LumaFusion. Still don’t have the color grading and such down very well, so the two cameras don’t exactly match. I suspect that better lighting will fix some of that.

I did learn that I could–after jumping through some hoops–use my 10-year old Canon Vixia cameras with LF on the iPad. That’s good because they were bloody expensive when I bought them new and I hate to have them simply hanging around collecting dust.

(Come to think on it, I had to jump through some hoops back when I was using an old version of iMovie on an elderly Mac desktop.)

The next test I do will be adding in my Zoom H2 to up the audio quality. Plus, if I want to, I can throw my phone camera into the mix and do a three camera shoot. That ought to keep me confused.

So with no further ado I present…

Hemoglobin Overload

If you like it, please share it! Sharing is caring.

New Video! Peanut Envy covers a Beck tune

Peanut Envy performing “Old Shanghai” by Beck

Old Shanghai was the first “teaser” song Beck released out of his 2012 book, Song Reader. The Song Reader is basically a bound collection of old skool style sheet music, like you’d buy in the pre-radio days to play in your parlor for your friends and family. His whole idea was to release songs that were meant to be played at home by the likes of you or me, rather than by “pros in studios” and he encouraged folks to put their own versions up on YouTube or SoundCloud.

This video is one of two that sal and I recorded last Wednesday, both of which were “one take wonders.” I don’t believe I’ve done two of those in a row before, no matter how long it was between them.

It also marks the 3rd month in a row that I’ve released a video, something that I also think might be a record for me. I’m going to immediately start editing the second song so as to try and get ahead of the game before April rolls around.

While there’s still some “artifacts” in the video, due both to me still on the learning curve with my video editor, LumaFusion, and to the fact that my phone’s camera somehow being set to “focus on faces”–a setting that I can’t seem to find how to turn off–which causes weird little glitches whenever I move and the camera refocuses as the light changes–I’m relatively pleased with the editing here.

For one thing, it’s the first two camera shoot I’ve done since acquiring LumaFusion. I can do that because me and my sweetie both have the same cellphone and she loaned me hers. Editing it is a bit of a kludge in LF, but I’ve learned how to do it.

For another, it’s the first time I’ve added a sound effect since my first ever release back in 2000 (on a 4-track cassette machine!) that featured an analog door slam.

There’s only one weirdness in the recording itself. I decided to leave it in because the rest of the performance was fine. If you spot it while listening, let me know in the comments.