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20 December 2011

King Uke on 2011


2011 has been a busy year for the Ukulele Blog. After a slow start, I gave the site a make-over and acted on my New Year's resolution to try and put together some quality material for you. I gave you bigger and better posts on a kind of regular schedule. Readership is up so I'm guessing that you like what you see! I'll try and keep it up for another year.

Here’s a quick reminder of the highlights…

King Uke on Technology...


In January I convinced myself that I didn’t want a Kindle. Of course, this was before the release of the colour Kindle Fire. All bets are now off pending further investigation of the new device! And after much umming and ahhing, I finally traded in my old Zoom MRS-4 recording studio for a Zoom R16. What a fantastic piece of kit! No regrets there. If only I knew how to use it!

In May I got frustrated at the cost of shoddy Wii Nunchucks and then depressed myself when I realised that I've bought seven of the ill-wired blighters. I found the time to learn how to scan sheet music but eventually decided against it, and in August I invented a new test for detecting Mutants.

King Uke on Films...


2011 was the year I discovered Nazi Zombies and rekindled my love of Mutants. Let the Right One In was the only Vampire film worth watching and martial arts made a comeback. But however you cut it, Zombies remained the only consistent theme for 2011. I started to get a real appreciation for the global appeal of the genre discovering a heap of fantastic films in the unlikeliest of places.

It's always a surprise what people like and what they don't like. My most popular film review of 2011 was a series I ran on The Warriors. Those posts have amassed close to 2000 hits to date and are still getting close to 80 hits a week. Only my review of Series One of AMC's Walking Dead could compare with about the same number of hits. And in case you're wondering... no it doesn't affect what I watch... no compromises...

King Uke on Places...


There was only one place that mattered this year! I visited New Zealand at Easter and shared an eclectic set of holiday snaps with you. It was great to be back catching up with family and friends and checking out old haunting grounds. Have I ever told you how much I love New Zealand? Oh yeah… and well done the All Blacks… World Cup Champions and chokers no more! Piri for Prime Minister!

King Uke on Music...


The Pen Cap Chew franchise restarted after a 10 year hiatus when recording began on the new Dream Theatre album. One year on and the alternative pop duo are still churned out songs. The Ukulele Blog got an exclusive interview with the band’s enigmatic front-man Adam Winship in January and has been posting each new song as they’ve been leaked from the Studio. The Cease and Desists notices are mounting!

There were no restorations this year, but I did buy two new ukuleles: a cheap and cheerful Skylark (that still stinks of incense from the hippy shop I bought it in) and my pride and joy: the beautiful Bowley.

Bucking the public trend and against my better judgement I started buying vinyl records again. Surprise additions to the King Uke collection in 2011 were the Police, Roxy Music and... wait for it... the Bee Gees!

King Uke on Art...


Being the Patron of the Arts that I am, it was a real thrill to discover Yusaku Hanakuma and Heta-Uma in 2011. In a rabid moment of inspiration I even knocked together some Yusaku-inspired ukulele designs and had a go at recreating the magic of Tokyo Zombie using Lego. The family think that I’m mad, but I know better. My prized ‘Zombie Highway’ print is still hanging in the bedroom! Beautiful!

In September I had my eyes opened to Yarn Bombing but to date I’ve not had the chance to see these wanton acts of vandalism in the flesh. I’m still patiently waiting for guerrilla knitting to hit the North of England. Balaclavas at the ready!

King Uke on Friends...


The hits to the blog shot through the roof in August and I proudly welcomed my 10,000th reader in November. It’s been pretty steady since so I reckon I’ve hit my ceiling; I've got to a heady 6 followers on Friends Connect and 3 on the useless Networked blogs. Must… try… harder! Despite getting loads of visitors, not many stick around or take the time to comment. A big thanks to those of you who do... you know who you are! Never underestimate the power of a odd word of encouragement. And for those who like a quicker posting tempo, check out my Google+ Account. Circle me! First impressions are that Google+ is better than Facebook, but there are lots of tiny things that still confuse me. Nothing new there then!

And that’s all folks... 

Have a great Christmas and a safe New Year!

Roll on 2012...


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