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29 September 2013

Poobah, Bloody Poobah!!!

Today I've pushed myself to the absolute limits of half-baked lutherie. After hours and hours of work, I'm in a super-depression. I'm ready to give the whole bloody Poobah up as a bad job! I must have been mad to think that I could get this damn uke built!

Shaz sounds like a bit of a character. This message was on J-Uke's phone. I'm really going to have to start vetting his friends. 

28 September 2013

Wrestling the Grand Poobah

Today's update on my Grand Poobah ukulele build is one steeped in frustration. It's been a bloody battle since I last wrote about my exploits. I've had a number of mishaps and wrestled with all manner of problems (a number of which have been of my own making). This might take me a while, but let me explain...

In line with my wrestling comment above, I'm going to weave a theme into this post of "men in masks". What on earth am I talking about? You'll just have to read on to find out... 

26 September 2013

A Taste of Fountains Abbey

There I was trying to sort out my backlog of holiday photos from Lake Tahoe when I was encouraged to take a trip out to Fountains Abbey. The result was yet more photos! It's a nice problem to have. These are actually from a couple of weeks ago...

As we wandered up to take in the view from "Anne Boleyn's Seat" we passed the statue above. As I snapped a photo I joked that this must be a statue of Anne Boleyn making reference to the fact that she had been beheaded by Henry VIII. It seems that I'm only 250 years late in making this joke. See the following that I just pinched from TommyId:

"The name Anne Boleyn’s Seat was coined because paintings show that there was a decapitated statue on this spot before the acquisition of the Abbey by Aislabie in 1768."

Hold on a second. This can't possibly be a statue of Anne Boleyn. Google tells me that Anne had six fingers, a large mole on her neck... and three breasts! I wonder what Henry saw in her? ;-)

22 September 2013

Tahoe - Over and Out

This is it! My last post on Lake Tahoe! I can't promise to never mention it again, but perhaps I'll stop sharing holiday snaps with you? This post is all over the place. In it, I'll show you a number of photos that don't fit anywhere in particular, and a few others besides. Imagine the Bee Gees. Imagine Stayin' Alive. Let us begin!

Yep - King Uke has legs... and sexy marching ones at that! ;-)

21 September 2013

The Tokyo Fan Stroke

This is a continuation of a post I did quite recently on strumming at the speed of Formby. I've still got the banjolele bug. Talking of bugs... look at this fly playing a miniature ukulele!

I'm not sure who to credit for this photo. If it's yours... well done!

All Hail the Grand Poobah!

I know I said that I wouldn't do any ukulele posts for a while, but I lied! I need a break from holiday photos and I'm desperate to show you a little project I've been working on. This post is about a ukulele I designed recently that I'm calling the "Grand Poobah".

Here's the "Grand Poobah" concept art in all its glory. My inspiration is obviously the surfboard. I saw potential to get some beautiful curves and angles into the body shape in what I hope is an elegant little design.

When I mocked this up, I didn't really have any intention of making it; I mean, I have too many other ideas already. But a couple of the challenges I'll mention soon got me wondering if I could pull it off. That's all I needed to start the project. Will it be enough for me to finish it?

You can see that the mockup is piezo-electric. My current thoughts are that I won't me adding a pickup. I think I'm going to try something a whole lot more adventurous and foolhardy!

19 September 2013

Wake-up Tahoe!

I've stolen the name of this post from a show that's filmed in Tahoe. I'll reveal the inspiration and talk more about this shortly. First, I want to let you know that I'm coming to the end of the holiday snaps. I could go on and on, but I won't... I'm only planning to do one more set after this post. Normal service will resume soon!

Today's theme is loosely based upon people...

Always be vigilant!

I don't know who he was, or what he was doing... but it involved a bloody drill. HIDE!

15 September 2013

The Panoramification of Lake Tahoe

This has the potential to be my most boring post yet on Lake Tahoe. Today's collection of holiday snaps are predominantly of the landscape of this beautiful part of the world. Whilst it's impressive when seen with your own eyes, photos rarely manage to capture the magic. You've just got to go and see this for yourself! I'll try and mix it up a little to add a bit of variety.


While we were in Tahoe there were something close to 50+ forest fires burning across America. Forest fires are a fact of life in many places (including Tahoe), but this year has been unusual in as much as we haven't reached forest fire season just yet! Until this holiday I'd never seen "smoke" as an option on a weather forecast.

What it does mean, is that some of the photos in this post are not going to be what you'd usually see taken in this area. There were many days were it was impossible to see across the lake. Personally, I think it adds a certain charm to a couple of the shots I'll show you below.

13 September 2013

King Uke Talks to the Animals

I don't just talk to the animals... I talk to the birds and the bees too! and the trees! and all the pretty little flowers!

Welcome to one more installment in my series of photos from my recent holiday to Lake Tahoe. In this post I'm going to show you some of the local flora and fauna. It's at times like this that I really would have benefitted from a beefy macro lens. There are things that I just couldn't capture on my iPhone that I would have loved to have shared with you. Don't worry, I've still got loads to show you...

"Chapter 13: A Bloodsucker Lake Leech"

This would be my worst nightmare. I never made it out as far as Bloodsucker Lake and quite frankly, knowing how the lake gets its name, I'm really not that bothered that I missed it. Prior to going on this holiday, my son was worrying about all the wildlife that could bite/sting/eat him. Actually, there was nothing to worry about. It certainly didn't stop us from doing anything.

12 September 2013

Food, Gut-busting Food

Today's post continues my series of photos from my recent holiday to Lake Tahoe and environs. To be honest, I'm not sure that this one's going to be all that good. The theme is "Food and Drink". I've never written about food and drink before on this blog. I'm not sure I know where to start.

Don't expect wonderful pictures of swans made out of peas or other gastro-extravagance. This is everyday food found on the run... and WARNING! not much of what you'll see below is very good for you...


When I posted this picture on Google+ I said that I could neither confirm nor deny who these pills were for. I'm keeping shtum. There surely is such a thing as too much information!

8 September 2013

A Shot of Pioneering Spirit

Time for another post jam-packed full of holiday snaps! Today's theme is sort of an historical one. I cover some of what has made Lake Tahoe what it is. There's no way I can hope to do this theme justice, but here are a few observations to start the ball rolling...

I had my eye open for an unusual momento to bring back with me from this holiday. This figurine of a singing cowboy almost made the grade, but no, I left it for another.

7 September 2013

Right in the Altoids!

Here are a few more snaps from my recent holiday to Lake Tahoe. The theme for this post is "Music"...

Big pants or small ukulele?

I floated the idea of  taking a ukulele away on holiday with me. Mrs Uke instantly shot me down. This is the picture I posted at the time as I pondered ways of sneaking one along without her noticing. All was not lost! Perhaps this would be an ideal opportunity for me to buy a new ukulele once I got to America! Of course, I never mentioned this idea to Mrs Uke ;-)

My dream acquisition would have been some sort of vintage plastic American uke like a Maccaferri, but I vowed to keep an open mind on my travels ;-) Unfortunately, in the end there were no ukuleles to be had. I  think I only saw one the whole time I was in America... A Lanikai, in a hock shop in Carson City. I checked CraigsList and everything else I could think of and nothing! What on earth is wrong with you America? Perhaps I should have done my homework before setting off?

6 September 2013

American Zombie

I'm back from my hols in America! What a fantastic adventure! I have sooo many pictures to share with you that I'm a little overwhelmed by the whole idea. If you've circled me on Google+, then you've probably seen most of them already. Perhaps I'll only stick some of the more eclectic ones on the blog? We'll just have to wait and see.

I think that I'll start off with some silly pictures that are mostly zombie-related. You know that I have a soft-spot for zombies. It would appear that America has embraced the concept lock, stock and smoking barrel. Enjoy...

One last thing... not all these photos are mine. I've added some extra info here and there. Where I've done this, I've provided links to the sources.

Zombie - Post Apocalypse Playing Cards

If chess isn't your thing, then perhaps you can while away the end of the world with a few card games. Solitaire?