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View Full Version : 1,000th Post: Personal reflection



sam13
08-19-2015, 08:02 AM
Playing the Ukulele has brought me so much joy, I wanted to take a moment to write something special and personal for my 1,000th post since joining in Feb 2014.

During the fall of 2013, I was looking for something to help restore joy in my life … I was diagnosed with Severe Sleep Apnea in Oct 2013 and I was exhausted and joyless.

I remember feeling down and kind of offering up a prayer … God/Universe send me something to fill me up with joy again, please … I had the feeling it was a stringed instrument but thought it was Flamenco Guitar … never played a string instrument but was getting vibes … and was open to whatever showed up.

Well, I ended up seeing a video of Jake Shimabukuro “My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Hallelujah” and sat and wept.

The beauty of this instrument, Jakes playing and the songs hit me in the heart and I felt an almost immediate urge to start playing. I just couldn’t get enough of it.

(Just this year, I shared with Jake the effect of his videos and music and got emotional. He is a lovely, humble gentleman. And I tower over him … it was funny to take a picture with Jake.)

I looked on eBay and found a Mahogany Baritone Pono strung GCEA and ordered it … and loved the quality of Pono.

Soon after I found HMS, and UU and I was addicted to it the Ukulele and UAS. Thanks to UU for fueling it!

I realized I really wanted a Tenor size. In February 2014, one late evening 10:30 pm EST Andrew posted this video of Kimo Hussey playing an ETSH5 Pono Pro Classic ... I fell in love with it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FikKhJ2glww

I immediately called Hawaii Music Supply, got ahold of Andrew and bought it … and went to sleep dreaming of this Uke and so excited about it. I still have it, it is amazing and I use it re entrant with Oasis Warm strings with a Wound South Coast third.

I have bought and sold others … some of you know I love radius fretboards (although have 3 Soprano Ukes without them) and am a self declared Pono Fanboy … to date and have as many Ukes as fingers now … and yesterday, I played them all. Playing is the first and last thing I want to do each day. LOL.

Whether its jazz or pop songs, by myself or at The Scarborough Uke Jam playing the Ukulele has brought back a desire to sing again. The joy has returned and I feel blessed to play beautiful instruments and the chords and vibrations I hear and feel.

Also, UU has been a wonderful group of people to connect with and I have met and made great friends (DownUpDave) other Uke jammers and some I hope to meet someday whether they be in Canada, Florida, Switzerland, Australia, England, USA, California, Hawaii or where every you are.

Reading your posts and sharing daily this passion with you enriches my life and brings fulfillment.

Thank you for your friendship and Mahalo my Uke brothers and sisters.

coolkayaker1
08-19-2015, 08:04 AM
Now you've got me blubbering, Simon!

Thank you for being you.

DownUpDave
08-19-2015, 08:43 AM
Great post and meaningful reflections big man. It has been a happy accident that we met on line.......who knew UU ran a dating service. To clarify we are both married (not to each other, not that there is anything wrong with that :o) but got to know each other through UU and quickly found out we lived 10 minutes away from one another.

You have become a great friend and are always a source of good advice, LfdMs come to mind. There is nothing like living close to someone who is suffering from UAS as bad as yourself. If people eavesdropped on our conversations we would be committed to the straight jacket farm. We verbally disect, purchase then cancel the deal on many ukes in the MarketPlace. It is fun to call up soo excited about something new on line that we just have to get it, but then come to our senses. I always refer to Simon as my "Ukulele Partner In Crime".

I wish you many years and 1000s more posts of ukulele joy.

stevejfc
08-19-2015, 10:36 AM
Just simply beautiful

Dan Uke
08-19-2015, 10:50 AM
Well said Simon! Glad you're part of the community

bbycrts
08-19-2015, 11:27 AM
Wonderfully said, and absolutely spot-on.

I'm a few posts past my 1,000th, but I love UU and the people here as much as I did back when I hit my first milestone. I count many UU folks among my very very best friends. This crazy little instrument has brought people together from all over the globe. I still count myself very much a hack on the ukulele, but that doesn't seem to matter among the open and accepting people in the uke community.

Keep on ukeing (?) and thank you for your beautiful thoughts!

Camsuke
08-19-2015, 11:36 AM
Great work mate, I always enjoy your posts and will look forward to many more!

deschutestrout
08-19-2015, 01:19 PM
I don't know you, but already like you :-). Great post, keep ukin'!

warndt
08-19-2015, 01:23 PM
… some of you know I love radius fretboards... LOL.



If I recall correctly...most of those 1,000 posts were regarding radius fretboards. LOL.

Andy Chen
08-19-2015, 03:03 PM
Thanks for sharing. I cannot say the uke has changed my life like it has yours, but it's been a huge part of my life for the last two years.

Hippie Dribble
08-19-2015, 03:16 PM
This place wouldn't be the same without you, Simon. You win the internet for the day brother.

If it had a radiused fretboard that post would have been perfect. Love you man.

Nickie
08-19-2015, 03:37 PM
What a great post Simon. I love your Avatar.

You brought tears to my eyes. The uke has changed my life too. No more TV, no more video games. And something to cheer myself up with when I think life sucks. I have at least a dozen people that I've met that I consider real friends that I didn't know before, and literally about 100 acquaintances that are potential friends if we ever meet, or spend time jamming.

Taking care of dying people for a crappy corporation is no damn fun, the stress is about to kill me, but I won't let it because I want to retire next year and start a Ukes for Kids Program here.
That's REAL purpose.

sam13
08-19-2015, 04:27 PM
Ah thanks everyone ... group hug, group hug!

This really is a wonderful instrument ... simple, yet complex, offering wonderful spacial complex chording that offers enough harmony without too much to over power the ear. It is joyful, and begs to be shared with others ... I just love it! Can you tell?

@Steve You are still the man. Glad to have met you, and your wise advice.

@DuD Dude, you are a great friend and really glad we met ... nothing better to have a friend to talk Ukulele porn all day and night. And between us, we have QUITE THE COLLECTION. Even if just two years lol.

@stevejfc and nongdam. Thank you. I have enjoyed reading your posts on others subjects ...

@bbycrts Um ... what? 48,354 posts?!!?? That is crazy, high! thank you for sharing ... I agree with you ... from hack to another ... many people on this forum have the spirit of joy and love, and friendship that I know we would hit it off when meeting ... guess why the jams and festivals are so much fun. I might make it to the Indiana one next year ... drag Dave and the wives and kids along!

@Camsuke ... any time says "mate" they get my attention, and I have enjoyed your posts as well ... thoughtful, supportive and interesting.

@deschutestrout ... You have me at "I don't even know you ... " ... thank you, we should jam next time I am out on the west coast ... love it out there.

@warndt ... there is always one wise acre in the group ... eh? (That was my compulsory Canadian accent coming out ... oh, and I am sorry to point that out ... its true we are apologetic us Canucks) ... You KNOW IT ... Sam I am, the Radius Man ... thanks Dud!

@Andy Chen ... some time I want to have a collection like yours ... I enjoy your posts in the forum.

@Hippie Dribble ... right back at you, John. I have enjoyed your wit, posts and most of all your playing ... you are one talented dude ... when I grow up, I want to play just like you ... okay, maybe better but that might take me a full life time brother! LOL! You did notice I mentioned the radius ... so perhaps it did have the radius fret board in it ... lol.

@Nickie Congrats on your recent marriage ... very happy for you! Sorry for the tears, had to express myself ... great to see that the Uke has changed your life so much as well. Any time you think life sucks just remember me and I will strum right along with you to bring joy back to your heart. The joyful nature of the Uke can't help but bring love to the world and create an opportunity for friendship. You let the joy of the Uke carry you through the next year to get your pension ... perhaps you can bring it on the floor and bring some joy to those you are carry for. Congratulations on Ukes for Kids ... I have a similar project I am looking at with a Boys and Girls Club local to where I live.

We might not be able to heal people, but we can bring them joy.

Ukulele Eddie
08-19-2015, 06:07 PM
While I'm closer to Jake's size than yours, I will no longer fear you. If I ever really piss you off, I'll just appeal to your emotional side, you big ole' softie! And if that doesn't work, I'll run like hell. ;-) Haha. Seriously, it sounds like it really filled a need in your life which is awesome. I hope it brings you constant joy through at least your 10,000th post!

It appears we discovered ukes by chance about the same time (though for me it scratched an unknown itch) and it appears we've both been bitten pretty hard by the jumping flea. I sometimes think it would be hilarious to time warp back to moments before it hit me and have another of me say, "I'm Eddie of the Future and your life is about to be changed by ukulele." The Eddie of the Past would've probably looked at the Eddie of the Future and said, "You're out of your effin' mind!". ;-)

mds725
08-19-2015, 06:43 PM
Thanks for posting! Anything that prompts such genuine self-reflection has to be good, right? I'm glad you're getting so much from your ukulele journey, and thanks for sharing some of it with this ukulele community.

Rakelele
08-19-2015, 08:44 PM
What a warm and heartfelt post, Simon! Having met guys like you and Dave (you ARE quite the couple!) means so much to me, too, and I only wish you'd live closer to me. It has been so nice to discuss ukes with you and to share our excitement (LFdM, Pono, and Southcoast come to mind), and I'm looking forward to many more of that. Thanks from the other side of the planet.

VegasGeorge
08-20-2015, 02:00 AM
How beautifully said! And, how true it is that music, and for us especially, the Ukulele soothes the soul. I have a wife with dementia and need to stay home just about all the time to care for her. Not getting out and having no friends coming over gets very depressing and lonely. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have my Ukuleles. They keep me sane. I look forward to your 2,000th post!

Purdy Bear
08-20-2015, 04:30 AM
Sam - Congratulations on your 1000th post. I'm another one who has been 'saved' by the Uke. Up until late last year I was my fathers main carer, he was bedridden with a stroke and dementia, and I was doing an average of a 19 hour day, with little sleep. He passed away, and everyone told me to rest, relax etc before thinking of going back to work. The stress of looking after Dad, doing the probate and dealing with stroppy relatives was getting to me, until I stumbled on Jakes cover of 'My guitar gently weeps' and well that was me hooked, then I saw The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britian and haven't laughed so much in years.. Anyway I ended up finding there was a local group, so I got my first Ukulele and here I am. Just one month into playing and loving every minute of it and yes I've called my Uke 'Serenity' - very apt don't you think!

TexasRon
08-20-2015, 05:10 AM
Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm only 995 posts behind you.

PeteyHoudini
08-20-2015, 01:10 PM
Nice post. I like those precious moments in life when unexpected new things bring significant change.

I never would have imagined that I would go to Berlin (3 times) or the Netherlands to hang around other ukulele players. The ukulele is a very social instrument.

Petey

sam13
08-21-2015, 04:45 PM
While I'm closer to Jake's size than yours, I will no longer fear you. If I ever really piss you off, I'll just appeal to your emotional side, you big ole' softie! And if that doesn't work, I'll run like hell. ;-) Haha. Seriously, it sounds like it really filled a need in your life which is awesome. I hope it brings you constant joy through at least your 10,000th post!

It appears we discovered ukes by chance about the same time (though for me it scratched an unknown itch) and it appears we've both been bitten pretty hard by the jumping flea. I sometimes think it would be hilarious to time warp back to moments before it hit me and have another of me say, "I'm Eddie of the Future and your life is about to be changed by ukulele." The Eddie of the Past would've probably looked at the Eddie of the Future and said, "You're out of your effin' mind!". ;-)

LOL.

If you ever piss me off start to run and leave just one of your Ukes behind ... I will stop pick it up, play it and forget what I was upset about. I agree with you the random nature of coming across an instrument like the Ukulele ... and looking back at it Simon of the Past would start to laugh ... and perhaps not stop. Good times!

sam13
08-21-2015, 04:46 PM
Thanks for posting! Anything that prompts such genuine self-reflection has to be good, right? I'm glad you're getting so much from your ukulele journey, and thanks for sharing some of it with this ukulele community.


I agree with you meds ... just had my fill after putting my sons to sleep ... and now, I too shall retire but filled with peace and joy.

sam13
08-21-2015, 04:51 PM
What a warm and heartfelt post, Simon! Having met guys like you and Dave (you ARE quite the couple!) means so much to me, too, and I only wish you'd live closer to me. It has been so nice to discuss ukes with you and to share our excitement (LFdM, Pono, and Southcoast come to mind), and I'm looking forward to many more of that. Thanks from the other side of the planet.

Rainer, Dave and I feel the same about meeting you as well. Your knowledge, sharing of information and support is tremendous and we value your friendship. If we lived closer I am sure we would have a great Kitchen jam ... and often. Sometime we should do a Uke Skype Jam. We do share a number of similar Ukes and strings in similar come to think about it. LFdM, ETSH, RBSH Spruce, strings to name a few ... Yes, we hope to discuss many more Ukulele purchases and notes with you ... thank YOU from this side of the planet. ... funny just re-read your comment about us as a couple ... I just wrote the string saying "we" ... lol. It is my luck to have a good friend like Dave, for sure. Heck, everyone needs a DuD ... lol.

sam13
08-21-2015, 04:55 PM
How beautifully said! And, how true it is that music, and for us especially, the Ukulele soothes the soul. I have a wife with dementia and need to stay home just about all the time to care for her. Not getting out and having no friends coming over gets very depressing and lonely. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have my Ukuleles. They keep me sane. I look forward to your 2,000th post!

I am sorry to hear of your wife's dementia. I am sure the isolation of continual care of your spouse can be depressing. I hope you find more joy from your Ukes, and that they fill your bucket up ... I look forward to your 1,000th post ... keep strumming.

sam13
08-21-2015, 04:59 PM
Sam - Congratulations on your 1000th post. I'm another one who has been 'saved' by the Uke. Up until late last year I was my fathers main carer, he was bedridden with a stroke and dementia, and I was doing an average of a 19 hour day, with little sleep. He passed away, and everyone told me to rest, relax etc before thinking of going back to work. The stress of looking after Dad, doing the probate and dealing with stroppy relatives was getting to me, until I stumbled on Jakes cover of 'My guitar gently weeps' and well that was me hooked, then I saw The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britian and haven't laughed so much in years.. Anyway I ended up finding there was a local group, so I got my first Ukulele and here I am. Just one month into playing and loving every minute of it and yes I've called my Uke 'Serenity' - very apt don't you think!

So happy to hear you have been "saved by the Uke" as well. It is such a joyful, and fun instrument ... we were hit in the heart by the same Jake cover of "My Guitar Gently Weeps" ... how cool. I wonder how many others have had the same experience.

Thanks for mentioning The Ukulele Orchestra of GB ... I haven't spent a lot of time watching their videos and will as I too like a good laugh.

I think Serenity is a wonderful name, and all the best on this journey. May your Uke and companionship from your local group bring you peace, joy and laughter.

sam13
08-21-2015, 05:01 PM
Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm only 995 posts behind you.


You are welcome Ron, welcome aboard and there is no rush to get to 1,000 ... my friend DownUpDave hit it a long time ago before me. I look forward to reading your posts as well.

rappsy
08-21-2015, 05:01 PM
Beautiful sentiments, Simon. There goes the speech for my upcoming 500th Post. Would anybody notice if I lifted a few lines?

You are there for me when I need advice and I thank you.

UKE ON.

sam13
08-21-2015, 05:03 PM
Nice post. I like those precious moments in life when unexpected new things bring significant change.

I never would have imagined that I would go to Berlin (3 times) or the Netherlands to hang around other ukulele players. The ukulele is a very social instrument.

Petey

Petey ... from Ottawa ... it is so cold up there in the winter! Must humidify for sure! Thank you for your comment, and I agree with you .... very cool to travel to Berlin to hang around and play the Ukes ... maybe Dave and I will do a road trip to come up to Ottawa and hang out in Bytown Market and put a hand down to play for beer/coffee money.

I have enjoyed your YouTube videos ... very instructional and entertaining!