my ukulele progress

I mentioned above that I bought a pork loin that was almost 2 cubits long and 10 pounds in weight, all for $16.

I cut off from the rib end of the loin a roast that I seared and roasted for my wife. The remainder of the loin yielded 31 pork chops. So we're all set up for meat for a while.

I tried an experiment which failed. As Ploverwing will attest, we pressure cookers often use the pot in a pot technique. In the pressure cooker we put water and then in the water we place another smaller vessel with its own water. That's how grains are cooked without burning. I tried heavily seasoning the pressure cooker's water to see if I could infuse that flavor into the inner pot's contents. It didn't work. The house certainly smelled good, but the rice I was cooking didn't receive the herbal essence.

Since the pressure cooker was out I made two cups of farro which I seasoned with some salt, garlic, Arizona Dreaming (a mild blend of taco-esque flavors that I have), zaatar, and baharat. I also mixed in the last of my chocolate velouté.

This evening I still have to attempt the totally stove-top kale chip experiment. But that is in the future. In the present I am picking and grinning.

What am I picking? The subtonic pentatonic shape which starts on the D on the 2nd fret. Using the B on the 11th fret, I am playing either the B phrygiran dominant or the dominant minor pentatonic shape.

Then I am moving to the B on the 7th fret and playing the tonic shape of the minor pentatonic and finishing on the E for a resolution.

Since I am playing in re-entrant that's the best I can do. If I were playing in linear I would also add the B on the 16th fret and play a Dominant minor pentatonic shape or a Lydian Dominant or a Dorian #11 or a Super Lokrian. As I re-read that sentence it really hits me full-force: re-entrant sucks!
 
Patty posted and rescinded a post about neo-Crusoes. I love the book she mentioned and if you are into that sub-genre, read James Fenimore Cooper's The Crater. It is another great instantiation.
 
This evening I still have to attempt the totally stove-top kale chip experiment.
At my school we make our kale chips in a dehydrator... Toss with a scant amount of soy sauce and sesame seeds and lay it out on the racks...

I got my dehydrator at a thrift store for $12. I see the ones that look like clear plastic flying saucers fairly often during my thrifting adventures. They are the easiest type to clean as well.
 
My brother and I used to love putting those 1/20 scale plastic models together... planes and tanks were our favorites. Remember those little tubes of glue that was used to join the pieces together? We would work on them for hours, and both of us loved the smell of that Testors model glue. A couple of junior huffers... I wonder how many brain cells that cost me...

And then: On to the painting with those tiny lacquer bottles! By the time we finished our room smelled like solvents for days. We loved it!

For years I sprayed lacquers commercially... the good old stuff with the pure BTXE solvents. A co-worker of mine used to walk into the paint booth from time and breathe deeply right as I was spraying. He'd say "It smells so good I needed to come in here and get a couple of good whiffs".

Why the heck are we hard-wired this way to love that smell?
Testors model kits are one of my favorite childhood memories. Now that I mention that, I suppose the thrill I got back in January 2022 from assembling the pieces that became Yowling Tom from a mail order kit re- ignited that dormant spark of imaginative fun.

Then, it took things a step farther when I could actually coax recognizable notes, chords and melodies from the finished product which never happened with a Testors kit!:D
 
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Patty posted and rescinded a post about neo-Crusoes. I love the book she mentioned and if you are into that sub-genre, read James Fenimore Cooper's The Crater. It is another great instantiation.
Rescind? I didn’t rescind it.
 
adventures in kale.

I was looking into stove-top kale. You can bake kale but I find that a bit clumsy because of the enclosed nature of the oven.

So I burst a bundle of kale, drizzled olive oil and a pinch of salt. Then in a wok, I put in a spoon of butter and made the wok hot enough to melt the butter but not so hot as to smoke.

It took quite a while to evaporate the moisture from the fat and the kale. By quite a while I mean more than 15 minutes but I wasn't watching the clock.

When the kale began to dry out and crisp up it had some carmelization and the butter had browned although it hadn't smoked. I dumped the excess butter and put the kale in a container, uncovered, to cool down.

As expected, things fried in fat turn out to be delicious. I'm not really worried about the fat because, aside from an avocado and egg, I'm not getting a lot of fat in this regimen.

The next time I try this, it will be without the spoon of butter. Obviously the flavor will be missed, but perhaps the cooking time will be shortened. The biggest factor probably will be the maillard reaction. Will the kale turn tasty brown with just olive oil?
 
I received a photo of my baritone's back:

IMG_2953.jpg

It doesn't have its cutaway yet. I suppose that's done later. I saw a thread about fret markers. I didn't feel I had anything to contribute to move the conversation forward. My thoughts on the topic are fairly mundane. I hate fret markers because why are they there if I cannot see them? Accordingly, my ukes don't have them. Well, my Kamaka does and that's another strike against it in my book. But the ukes I designed are fret marker free. I have side dots on all the pentatonic frets. I think it would bother me extremely if the dots weren't in the correct locations. It would be a deal breaker certainly. When I bought my tenor guitar I searched high and low for a brand that didn't engage in the lunacy of a marker for the 9th fret.
 
Wow, that's going to be a great looking baritone!
Thanks. I hope it turns out as nice as it seems. I've seen threads in the past in which people say they are holding off on getting a better uke 'til such a time as their skill improves. I don't agree. It isn't as if I don't buy expensive beer because I am not a good enough inebriate. So why wait for my skills to catch up to my uke? If someone is going to be struggling to find their inner voice, why do it on a Lanikai when you can struggle with a custom baritone? Since this final uke purchase exceeds what people would pay for a used car, I am certainly a bit self-conscious. So for my benefit, and for yours to a degree, I want to point out that I work two full-time jobs and I have a certain lifestyle (no mortgage nor children nor car payment), so that I can divert funds over a period of a few years to buy a de luxe baritone.
 
It isn't as if I don't buy expensive beer because I am not a good enough inebriate. So why wait for my skills to catch up to my uke?
Perfect analogy, Ron. Besides, getting a better sound out of your playing, simply because you’re playing a better uke, encourages a further reach, more playing, more practice, etc. And sounding better is much more fun.
 
Thanks. I hope it turns out as nice as it seems. I've seen threads in the past in which people say they are holding off on getting a better uke 'til such a time as their skill improves. I don't agree. It isn't as if I don't buy expensive beer because I am not a good enough inebriate. So why wait for my skills to catch up to my uke? If someone is going to be struggling to find their inner voice, why do it on a Lanikai when you can struggle with a custom baritone? Since this final uke purchase exceeds what people would pay for a used car, I am certainly a bit self-conscious. So for my benefit, and for yours to a degree, I want to point out that I work two full-time jobs and I have a certain lifestyle (no mortgage nor children nor car payment), so that I can divert funds over a period of a few years to buy a de luxe baritone.
I would be interested in knowin’ why you ordered a baritone. I’m kinda ‘eh about mine, and I fine the difference in tunin’ confusing sometime. How are you gonna tune it?
 
I would be interested in knowin’ why you ordered a baritone. I’m kinda ‘eh about mine, and I fine the difference in tunin’ confusing sometime. How are you gonna tune it?
why a baritone? That's a good question.

I'm a larger scale player. Let's just take that as a given. If I were to justify why I like larger scales, it would by default devalue the choices of my friends around here who gravitate towards the smaller scales. So let's just say it is what it is and I love larger scales.

That being said the baritone is a little bit larger than my tenors so that it takes their virtues one step further in terms of gravitas, of sombre sonority, of swampiness.

And I'd be a liar if I gainsaid that collectibility didn't play a part: viz., I want a baritone because I do not have one.

To test the waters I have wasted money on a cheap baritone and on a kala. I could tell that I would really enjoy it if I could have a better instrument which had all my requirements such as no fret markers, a cutaway, no guitar-style tuners. So I decided to commit to the idea and get an excellent baritone built to my specs.

As for tunings, my hope is to downtune it to BEG#C#. Of course, string choice will dictate whether that's possible or not. I like that tuning because if I play in what soprano players call C, I would actually be playing in E, my favorite key. If I play in E, as soprano players understand it, I'd actually be in Ab, the funkiest of keys. I like Ab because although its intervals are the same as any other keys, the notes seem to be ill-at-ease in doing their job. If you try to do something in Ab equivalent to C's C-F-G, Ab can do it but there seems to be a bit of strain or a hidden tension as if the notes are doing it under protest.
 
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