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View Full Version : UAS...more rambling thoughts on an incurable disease



Hippie Dribble
07-11-2012, 02:14 AM
hey gang,

well I've been laid up sick for the past week, unable to sing nor play. But the ol brain has kept on ticking...

Last few months I've mainly been playing my cheapo painted mahalo ukes, just occasionally getting out the mya moe soprano, and the collings a few times. Why you may ask? well, just to see if I enjoyed them as much as the others. Answer? yep, I sure do. I've bought lots and lots of ukes over the past 6 years from these cheapos, through the 200-400 price ranges, up into the 800-1000 bracket and above. The most expensive one I bought was around 2000 bucks. Then financial probs hit and one by one, I sold em all.

But the UAS in me has never been cured. As I've paid bills over the last months I keep scrounging pennies together to keep on buying...cheaper ones instead of expensive ones...but buying nonetheless. Now I have bought 3 more in the past 2 months, and been gifted 2 others through incredible generosity.

The thing is, it don't matter the price....I used to kid myself I was only buying in search of the perfect sounding instrument. But UAS aint about the tone either (after a while they all start to sound the same. My ear isn't flexible and dynamic enough to appreciate subtlety anyway), or even the maker in the end (as today's favourite will likely be tomorrow's forgotten luthier), it's just about the buying, the thrill of it, the anticipation of trying an unplayed instrument, the waiting for the delivery, the opening of the box....only to find out that this new 250 dollar uke sounds pretty much like that old 900 uke which sounds pretty much like that 180 dollar one which plays same as the 600 one etc. Then I'm left strumming a C chord on my painted blue 25 buck mahalo which is a little smile machine and thinking what was all the pain for...

Sure, one occasionally finds a uke where the bonding is instant and you just 'know' straight away. This has happened with 2 ukes I've owned, one which I still have and another which I so regretfully sold. But these are very few and far between. I've come to realise that UAS is simply an existential state of malcontentment. Never satisfied. Never will be. Embrace it. Salute. Cry. Smash the computer. Shake your head. Cuss. Buy a ukulele shop. Rejoice. See a therapist. Or a pastor. Just do what you gotta do and keep walkin...

luluwrites
07-11-2012, 02:29 AM
Sorry you're feeling so poorly.

In testament to what you said above, I immediately wondered which uke was the one you loved but sold and then how hard it would be to track down the current owner and . . .

mm stan
07-11-2012, 02:43 AM
Aloha Eugene,
Sorry to hear your health issues and you are not feeling well either... I understand what you say about ukes...I have reached that stage too...I can play any ukulele and be happy....it's
funny that you get to a point where satisfaction out weighs cost...I too have gone through many ukes too as you know... I know one of your favorites is your Mya Moe Mango soprano...not sure what
the other is...Yes I've had regrets too selling some ukes as favorites don't come around much often and is usually by chance...I have more fun out of my 25.00 soprano rogue than ukes costing
over a 100 times ....yes satisfaction sums that up for me.... You know life is funny, we go through problems, then one day the suns shines again....I know your health will improve just as mine.
One day we will have that special surprise day....I promise... thank you for sharing you story....yes the thrill of searching, buying and waiting for it to arrive...Happy Strummings
Hope you get better and feel better soon too...sending the coolest get well vibes from waikiki to Delantys Road...

v30
07-11-2012, 03:07 AM
Yep I hear ya. I think (at least in my case) its malcontentment or boredom. I do the same thing with a couple of different hobbies I have (not UAS specifically for me). Just breaks up the monotony and gives me something to look foreward to I guess. You can be sure that the moment I'm feeling bored, I'm surfing ebay etc looking for the next pick me up.

vanflynn
07-11-2012, 03:29 AM
Hi Jon, Wow, not singing or playing. You must be sick. Hope you feel better soon.

As far as UAS, of the few different instruments I've played, the uke has the most character. Each one is unique and special in it's own way and something as simple as different strings can change that character. In my case at least, if you add the fact that I have more time on my hands then brains in by head and it's a dangerous combination.

Hope to hear you singing soon.

Hippie Dribble
07-11-2012, 03:37 AM
Sorry you're feeling so poorly.

In testament to what you said above, I immediately wondered which uke was the one you loved but sold and then how hard it would be to track down the current owner and . . .
hey Linda,

the other uke was this one:

4009440095400964009740098

I sold it to a fellow member here. Um...I think he likes it too...he he.

And sorry folks, didn't want it to be another sob story, just needed to get some thoughts off my chest about the ol' UAS compulsions. I do find it interesting sometimes to take a microscope to things, to coldly analyse what is actually going on within...sometimes it's not healthy but when you come out the other end occasionally with a clearer view then maybe it's been worth the effort.

Doc_J
07-11-2012, 03:39 AM
Jon, you are not alone my friend.

Cheer up and feel better soon. My father used to say to me "each day you wake up on the green side of the grass is a good day". :)

Hippie Dribble
07-11-2012, 03:41 AM
Aloha Eugene,
Sorry to hear your health issues and you are not feeling well either... I understand what you say about ukes...I have reached that stage too...I can play any ukulele and be happy....it's
funny that you get to a point where satisfaction out weighs cost...I too have gone through many ukes too as you know... I know one of your favorites is your Mya Moe Mango soprano...not sure what
the other is...Yes I've had regrets too selling some ukes as favorites don't come around much often and is usually by chance...I have more fun out of my 25.00 soprano rogue than ukes costing
over a 100 times ....yes satisfaction sums that up for me.... You know life is funny, we go through problems, then one day the suns shines again....I know your health will improve just as mine.
One day we will have that special surprise day....I promise... thank you for sharing you story....yes the thrill of searching, buying and waiting for it to arrive...Happy Strummings
Hope you get better and feel better soon too...sending the coolest get well vibes from waikiki to Delantys Road...
hey mate, been missing you. Thanks for the clarity and insight Bruddah.

Hippie Dribble
07-11-2012, 03:42 AM
breaks up the monotony and gives me something to look foreward to I guess.

So true mate, so true. I think the lesson of being content is a lifelong one, eh

Hippie Dribble
07-11-2012, 03:47 AM
Hi Jon, Wow, not singing or playing. You must be sick. Hope you feel better soon.

As far as UAS, of the few different instruments I've played, the uke has the most character. Each one is unique and special in it's own way and something as simple as different strings can change that character. In my case at least, if you add the fact that I have more time on my hands that brains in by head and it's a dangerous combination.

Hope to hear you singing soon.
yeah vf, my daughter picked up a virus similar to whooping cough and I managed to grab it too. With my smoking history and insulin dep. diabetes it has hit me pretty hard. Could hardly breath there for a couple of days. But it's all good now...turned the corner yesterday mate and feeling much improved. Funny brother, I suffer from that dangerous co-existence of those phenomena too...too much time, too few brain cells. He he...cheers for the good humour J, blessings to ya!!!

Hippie Dribble
07-11-2012, 03:50 AM
Jon, you are not alone my friend.

Cheer up and feel better soon. My father used to say to me "each day you wake up on the green side of the grass is a good day". :)
that's a great one doc. what is it with dad's and their laconic, dry wit...my dad has similar sayings like that. anyway brother, sure glad to be on top of it than under it he he

Gmoney
07-11-2012, 03:58 AM
Brother Jon. I can relate entirely to your "affliction". I took up the uke in the middle of a long medical battle my wife was enduring. She almost died in the ER three times in less than 18 months, & sometimes the only solace I could find was the sweet sounds of "music self-made". In the still of the night, when the many blessed friends & church members left for their own homes, strumming my little ukes took me away from the dreadful weight of my soulmate's suffering. UAS was a release for some of the same reasons that you mention.

Now its not so bad, the wife is 1 year since her last surgery, I've got a "stable" of ukes that I think I might hang on to for a long while, & only occasionally am I really tempted to add another one.

This week my wife finally sat down at her long neglected piano & filled the house with her beautiful playing & voice! I silently sat in our den sobbing in joy for the restoration of HER joy in making music.

You sir, have blessed our souls with your music & your heart. And I think that C.S. Lewis might have an angle or two on that universal "longing" that manifests itself in our yearning for yet another beautiful sounding instrument.

Keep hanging on, bro. Mahalo!

tattwo
07-11-2012, 04:02 AM
I hope you feel better soon Jon

Mandarb
07-11-2012, 04:39 AM
Sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Seems like you really struggle with UAS since you have posted about your issues with this several times. Hopefully you can get the help you need. Take care.

kvehe
07-11-2012, 04:47 AM
Amen, thank you for your most helpful post, and feel better.

Kathryn

janeray1940
07-11-2012, 04:51 AM
it's just about the buying, the thrill of it, the anticipation of trying an unplayed instrument, the waiting for the delivery, the opening of the box....only to find out that this new 250 dollar uke sounds pretty much like that old 900 uke which sounds pretty much like that 180 dollar one which plays same as the 600 one etc.

Get well soon, Jon. And thanks as always for sharing your thoughts on UAS. I think what you just described is pretty deeply ingrained in human nature, and definitely not limited to ukuleles - which is why we live in a world of big-box stores, massive consumer debt, and status symbols.

Tootler
07-11-2012, 04:54 AM
Sorry to hear you've not been so well. Get well soon and keep enjoying those ukes.

SailingUke
07-11-2012, 05:02 AM
Jon,
I wondered why I had not seen any posts and/or videos, hope you fully recover soon.
I am really enjoying your cds. I believe we have similar taste in music. If you ever decide to put together a song book with chords and lyrics, let me know I will definitely be a customer.
Meanwhile, wishing you and your daughter a speedy recovery and look forward to more great videos.

ksiegel
07-11-2012, 05:12 AM
Good to see you back, Jon - I'd been wondering where you were.

Life is a roller coaster ride, that's for sure. After having my arm surgery postponed twice, I went in Monday to have it done - and the surgeon decided that I didn't need it after all.

He wants to talk about "pain management" now - and I'm not terribly thrilled with what he is suggesting, so I'll be talking to my lawyer to find out if I can get a second opinion with Workers' Comp.

I understand about the UAS - mine has pretty much stabilized - especially after getting the Sceptre and the Vita Uke at the same time - but I still lust after different instruments, and interestingly enough they still don't all sound the same to me when I play - the same thing with my guitars, when I was playing them , although I only have 4.

There is, of course, always one more ukulele on the horizon... (g)

My best to you - I will be listening to the CDs and watching the DVDs this week.


-Kurt

PoiDog
07-11-2012, 05:17 AM
Like others, I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well, so definitely focus on getting better.

As for your (and others') UAS, I can kind of intellectually understand, but I have to be honest and say I just don't get it. I mean, I do understand the allure of the "other" and how one can covet that really pretty or interesting instrument we see in a shop or in a video or online. But I don't get that compulsion to continue to acquire. Mind you, this is not in any way a criticism or judgment of getting multiple instruments, just a personal thing.

When I had two ukes (the Kanile'a and the aNueNue), I ended up playing the Kanile'a almost exclusively. I justified having the aNueNue as well by telling myself that it would be the linear tuned one, and the Kanile'a would be the re-entrant. But I soon found myself feeling really guilty because I would have to force myself to play the aNueNue. Eventually I just thought that it was wrong to play a uke out of guilt, and I ended up gifting it to someone. Maybe I just don't appreciate the subtle differences among various ukes, or maybe I just am too much a musical peasant to understand how different situations call for different models/sizes, but I haven't had the slightest inclination to buy another uke.

Anyway, like I said, I don't mean this as a criticism, because if you have the desire, the appreciation, and the ability you should buy as many ukes as you want for whatever reason you want.

And yeah, for now maybe you should just concentrate on getting better so you can get back to playing and buying :)

WhenDogsSing
07-11-2012, 05:23 AM
hey gang,

well I've been laid up sick for the past week, unable to sing nor play. But the ol brain has kept on ticking...

Last few months I've mainly been playing my cheapo painted mahalo ukes, just occasionally getting out the mya moe soprano, and the collings a few times. Why you may ask? well, just to see if I enjoyed them as much as the others. Answer? yep, I sure do. I've bought lots and lots of ukes over the past 6 years from these cheapos, through the 200-400 price ranges, up into the 800-1000 bracket and above. The most expensive one I bought was around 2000 bucks. Then financial probs hit and one by one, I sold em all.

But the UAS in me has never been cured. As I've paid bills over the last months I keep scrounging pennies together to keep on buying...cheaper ones instead of expensive ones...but buying nonetheless. Now I have bought 3 more in the past 2 months, and been gifted 2 others through incredible generosity.

The thing is, it don't matter the price....I used to kid myself I was only buying in search of the perfect sounding instrument. But UAS aint about the tone either (after a while they all start to sound the same. My ear isn't flexible and dynamic enough to appreciate subtlety anyway), or even the maker in the end (as today's favourite will likely be tomorrow's forgotten luthier), it's just about the buying, the thrill of it, the anticipation of trying an unplayed instrument, the waiting for the delivery, the opening of the box....only to find out that this new 250 dollar uke sounds pretty much like that old 900 uke which sounds pretty much like that 180 dollar one which plays same as the 600 one etc. Then I'm left strumming a C chord on my painted blue 25 buck mahalo which is a little smile machine and thinking what was all the pain for...

Sure, one occasionally finds a uke where the bonding is instant and you just 'know' straight away. This has happened with 2 ukes I've owned, one which I still have and another which I so regretfully sold. But these are very few and far between. I've come to realise that UAS is simply an existential state of malcontentment. Never satisfied. Never will be. Embrace it. Salute. Cry. Smash the computer. Shake your head. Cuss. Buy a ukulele shop. Rejoice. See a therapist. Or a pastor. Just do what you gotta do and keep walkin...

Very well said Jon...!!! I know the feeling...!!!

Steedy
07-11-2012, 05:29 AM
"UAS is simply an existential state of malcontentment."

That's it in a nutshell for me. Glad you're feeling better. Hang in there and have faith.

janeray1940
07-11-2012, 05:33 AM
When I had two ukes (the Kanile'a and the aNueNue), I ended up playing the Kanile'a almost exclusively. I justified having the aNueNue as well by telling myself that it would be the linear tuned one, and the Kanile'a would be the re-entrant. But I soon found myself feeling really guilty because I would have to force myself to play the aNueNue. Eventually I just thought that it was wrong to play a uke out of guilt, and I ended up gifting it to someone. Maybe I just don't appreciate the subtle differences among various ukes, or maybe I just am too much a musical peasant to understand how different situations call for different models/sizes, but I haven't had the slightest inclination to buy another uke.

Loved everything you said, but especially this. I've re-homed several ukes that were not right for me, and the ones I have kept - yes, ones, plural - have specific purposes: main uke (the new one, reentrant), low G uke, beater uke (I bring a uke hiking and to the beach all the time), and... well, formerly main uke that is of huge sentimental value. It's that last one that worries me: since the arrival of the new one, it hasn't been out of its case. I hope it doesn't end up only getting visited out of guilt.

luluwrites
07-11-2012, 05:35 AM
I didn't see this as a criticism at all.
I'm curious, Poi Dog, if you are acquisitive in any other realm of your life.
I do think that some people have the collector's impulse, while others don't.

I tend to jump into a new enthusiasm with both feet. That sometimes means going through an overly-enthusiastic acquisition stage as I discover what about that enthusiasm is truly important to me. Usually, this fiery initial passion cools and my interest either becomes an integral part of me (in which case I buy less stuff and less impulsively -- As a knitter, I now buy yarn as needed rather than building up a stash. Ditto with quilting and fabric.) or I ditch the interest all together and gift away that which I had collected.

(Thankfully, I collected a number of "raising sheep" books before I got around to buying a small flock. They would have been harder to wrap and ship at Christmas time.)




Like others, I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well, so definitely focus on getting better.

As for your (and others') UAS, I can kind of intellectually understand, but I have to be honest and say I just don't get it. I mean, I do understand the allure of the "other" and how one can covet that really pretty or interesting instrument we see in a shop or in a video or online. But I don't get that compulsion to continue to acquire. Mind you, this is not in any way a criticism or judgment of getting multiple instruments, just a personal thing.

When I had two ukes (the Kanile'a and the aNueNue), I ended up playing the Kanile'a almost exclusively. I justified having the aNueNue as well by telling myself that it would be the linear tuned one, and the Kanile'a would be the re-entrant. But I soon found myself feeling really guilty because I would have to force myself to play the aNueNue. Eventually I just thought that it was wrong to play a uke out of guilt, and I ended up gifting it to someone. Maybe I just don't appreciate the subtle differences among various ukes, or maybe I just am too much a musical peasant to understand how different situations call for different models/sizes, but I haven't had the slightest inclination to buy another uke.

Anyway, like I said, I don't mean this as a criticism, because if you have the desire, the appreciation, and the ability you should buy as many ukes as you want for whatever reason you want.

And yeah, for now maybe you should just concentrate on getting better so you can get back to playing and buying :)

PoiDog
07-11-2012, 05:57 AM
Loved everything you said, but especially this. I've re-homed several ukes that were not right for me, and the ones I have kept - yes, ones, plural - have specific purposes: main uke (the new one, reentrant), low G uke, beater uke (I bring a uke hiking and to the beach all the time), and... well, formerly main uke that is of huge sentimental value. It's that last one that worries me: since the arrival of the new one, it hasn't been out of its case. I hope it doesn't end up only getting visited out of guilt.

Thanks for the compliment!

As far as your sentimental uke, I would probably classify that as something entirely different, along the lines of a broken watch handed down by a grandparent or that piece of cheap jewelry your favorite (and slightly crazy) aunt gave you. It's a different beast than a functional tool that you play for fun. So, something tells me that you may end up keeping that one exactly because it is no longer a regular player than in spite of that fact. Happily, I didn't have any sort of sentimentality to the one I gave away.


I didn't see this as a criticism at all.
I'm curious, Poi Dog, if you are acquisitive in any other realm of your life.
I do think that some people have the collector's impulse, while others don't.


Mahalo for understanding!

I suppose I'm not really a collector at heart. I may have been at one time (I had the absolute killer HotWheels collection when I was a kid), but not so much any more. Nowadays, my multiple purchases only seem to happen when I am trying to find the "right" thing for me. I went through a couple of different bikes before I found the right one. Ditto ukes. Maybe that's why I just don't get the compulsion that others here seem to celebrate.

Again, just because I don't share in this doesn't mean anything more than exactly that. So for all of you UASers, go out and buy and be happy!

RichM
07-11-2012, 05:58 AM
I do think that some people have the collector's impulse, while others don't.


Exactly this. Some of us tend to be hunters, while others tend to be nesters. Nesters look for that one ideal instrument, and once finding it, stop looking. Hunters like to keep hunting. In each of the four instruments I play, I've found my "lifetime" instrument (Allan Beardsell guitar, Peter Coombe mandolin, Peter Lieberman Ukulele, Deering banjo), but that doesn't mean I don't get great joy from trying and having other instruments. They have different voices, different feels, and different mojos. I play music a lot, so I like having a lot of choices.

To Jon's original point-- it's not about never being satisfied. It's about always being curious. Curious people are awesome. :)

luluwrites
07-11-2012, 06:02 AM
To Jon's original point-- it's not about never being satisfied. It's about always being curious. Curious people are awesome. :)

I'm going to tell my husband this.
(Although he already knows: he's a camera and fountain pen guy. And he's awesome.)

Freeda
07-11-2012, 06:07 AM
I didn't see this as a criticism at all.
I'm curious, Poi Dog, if you are acquisitive in any other realm of your life.
I do think that some people have the collector's impulse, while others don't.

I tend to jump into a new enthusiasm with both feet. That sometimes means going through an overly-enthusiastic acquisition stage as I discover what about that enthusiasm is truly important to me. Usually, this fiery initial passion cools and my interest either becomes an integral part of me (in which case I buy less stuff and less impulsively -- As a knitter, I now buy yarn as needed rather than building up a stash. Ditto with quilting and fabric.) or I ditch the interest all together and gift away that which I had collected.

(Thankfully, I collected a number of "raising sheep" books before I got around to buying a small flock. They would have been harder to wrap and ship at Christmas time.)

Ditto that times a million! That describes me perfectly.

GinnyT11
07-11-2012, 06:07 AM
Hi Jon,

That UAS is a bad jones, so your struggle is with a formidable opponent. Illness takes away your spark, sort of like the stove's pilot light going out. I hope you're heading upward soon.

Here's a thought experiment to do while you're lying low:
Imagine you're alone on a desert island and a waterproof uke box washes up, holding one of the fine ukes you've had in the past. Close your eyes and recreate (in real time, if you can) the fun of receiving and opening that particular uke, imagining how it looked and felt when you first held it.
Then, in your mind, tune it up (what tuners did it have?) and air-play several songs (all the verses!) you used to play on that uke, keeping time with your foot. Hum along. Smile. Acknowledge an imaginary audience. Make this part last a while. Then kiss or salute this remembered uke goodbye and let it float off into the universe.
Let your mind's eye go back to the beach of your island, and oh look...here's another waterproof box washing up with another remembered uke. A different size this time...


-Ginny

peewee
07-11-2012, 06:25 AM
http://youtu.be/XeA-X-esmFY

[C]It's an existential state of malcon[G]tentment.

Never satisfied. Never will [C]be.

Em[C7]brace it. Sal[F]ute.

[G7]Smash the compu[C]ter. Shake your head.

and you just[G]'know' straight aw[C]ay
_____________________________
Feel better, and get your French on!

quiltingshirley
07-11-2012, 06:36 AM
Hey Jon,
I understand. I've never met a ukulele I didn't like.

tigersister
07-11-2012, 06:48 AM
I didn't see this as a criticism at all.
I'm curious, Poi Dog, if you are acquisitive in any other realm of your life.
I do think that some people have the collector's impulse, while others don't.

I tend to jump into a new enthusiasm with both feet. That sometimes means going through an overly-enthusiastic acquisition stage as I discover what about that enthusiasm is truly important to me. Usually, this fiery initial passion cools and my interest either becomes an integral part of me (in which case I buy less stuff and less impulsively -- As a knitter, I now buy yarn as needed rather than building up a stash. Ditto with quilting and fabric.) or I ditch the interest all together and gift away that which I had collected.

(Thankfully, I collected a number of "raising sheep" books before I got around to buying a small flock. They would have been harder to wrap and ship at Christmas time.)

The above sounds familiar with a family history of depression and addiction thrown in; I have to be careful of my obsessions getting away from me.

bluesuke
07-11-2012, 06:56 AM
Get well soon Jon

OldePhart
07-11-2012, 06:57 AM
Hey Jon, sorry to hear you've been under the weather.

I think there are probably two strains of UAS - one based on some form of hoarding disorder and one based on a bizarre need to find the best playing, best sounding, instrument in spite of having little talent or skill. I suffer from the latter, it sounds like maybe you suffer from the former. :)

For me it matters a great deal how playable a uke is and how it sounds (not to be confused with it mattering what it cost - if I can find a $10 uke that plays well, is in tune with itself, and has a pleasing voice then I'd be all over it)!

Since I've purchased nut files and started getting all my instruments properly intonated I find that I have a lower and lower tolerance for anything that isn't at least in tune with itself. This manifests to the point that it is almost painful to hear out-of-tune chords and I have bailed out of watching a number of videos from UU folks who I admire because the uke they were using in the video was either not tuned or didn't intonate well. In some cases (maybe all) they had far more talent and skill than I ever will but I just couldn't bear the sound. It's like that dolphin I used in the setup video. Out of the box I literally couldn't stand to hear it. After some work I was able to make it better but it was still just bearable after the work on it and tuning it up to D. (On the plus side, fooling with it taught me that I can indeed play a soprano scale and led to my purchasing better sopranos. :) )

I used to feel sorry for a friend of mine who has perfect (absolute) pitch. There is a lot of commercially recorded music I was able to love and he just couldn't bear because he heard every little imperfection. I'm not as bad as him but I'm headed that way...I'm not even sure if that's a good or bad thing at this point!

I spent a couple of days with him on the way back from UWC and we were sitting around the living room and I was strumming a uke when suddenly I said, "yech, something's slipped." I got out the tuner and sure enough one of the strings had drifted off about two or three cents. He was laughing so hard he about fell out of his chair - "two years ago you wouldn't have noticed that," he said.

The one thing that I haven't really developed yet though is knowing "what" is off - I still need a tuner or a quiet room and plenty of time to work each string up from below pitch to get it right. I kind of envy the guys who reach over and fiddle with the tuners in mid-song to correct a tuning issue - I'd be as likely to make it worse as better. :(


John

mds725
07-11-2012, 09:58 AM
Hey Jon,

Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. As an asthmatic who tries to stay active, I can appreciate your frustration with respiratory distress. I try to be very protective of my lungs, but things happen.


..... The thing is, it don't matter the price....I used to kid myself I was only buying in search of the perfect sounding instrument. But UAS aint about the tone either (after a while they all start to sound the same. My ear isn't flexible and dynamic enough to appreciate subtlety anyway), or even the maker in the end (as today's favourite will likely be tomorrow's forgotten luthier), it's just about the buying, the thrill of it, the anticipation of trying an unplayed instrument, the waiting for the delivery, the opening of the box....only to find out that this new 250 dollar uke sounds pretty much like that old 900 uke which sounds pretty much like that 180 dollar one which plays same as the 600 one etc. Then I'm left strumming a C chord on my painted blue 25 buck mahalo which is a little smile machine and thinking what was all the pain for....

This hit me where I live. I justify my ukulele collection by thinking that they're like shoes in the sense that since I wouldn't wear athletic shoes with a tux, why would I play a Hawaiian song with a twangy sounding ukulele. (I also tell people that ukulele acquisition is my midlife crisis and it's a lot cheaper than a Maserati.) The truth is, though, that I tend to play a few of my ukuleles all the time and the rest of them not so much. This much I do understand: When I was a kid, my parents tended to demonstrate their affection by giving stuff to me and my siblings, and that as an adult, I often buy myself stuff on days when I can use an emotional boost. (I ordered my Mya-Moe tenor, for example, at the Wine Country Ukulele Festival, two weeks after a bicycle accident in which I broke a finger on my strumming hand, and while I was still feeling sorry for myself about it. I don't regret the purchase -- I play my MM all the time -- but I understand that I was motivated at least in part by emotional needs that were not really related to my ukulele needs.) I'm currently signed up to get a custom VanPelt, but I'm thinking "Should I get a tenor? No, I already have several. Should I get a baritone? Well, I have a few, but an 8-string bari would be cool." So at least on the surface, I try to identify a hole in my ukulele lineup before buying. And there are some ukuleles that *do* serve specific functions. I have a travel ukulele that I actually use when I travel, and a Big Island Honu Tradition tenor that I played outdoors last Christmas when I didn't want to take my Kamaka out into cold and misty weather. But I do feel bad for the ukuleles that just sit in their cases, and I'm trying to untangle my sentimental attachment to them so I can sell or gift them to people who will not only love them but also play them. I guess my point is that for me, UAS, at least in part, is a manifestation of acqusitive aspects who I am applied to a relatively new activity that I love. Your description of looking for and finding a new (or new to you) ukulele, and then anticipating it, having it arrive, and getting to know it was profound and hit home. And it's true that this feeling is the same regardless of the price of the uke. I was thrilled when I bought one of those Mahalo smiley-face ukuleles, although I don't play it as much as my MM. :)