my ukulele progress

speaking of Earl, Willie, and that entire classic echelon (I suppose Waylon should be included), my favorite story involves Chet Atkins and his brother-in-law, Jethro Burns. The two of them married identical twins as wives. Someone asked Jethro how they told the twins apart and he replied, I don't know; we never tried. That's one of those things I wish I had said.
Hey everybody,
I just wanted to confess to a jury which would be more receptive than my wife.

I came home around--between 11 and midnight--after driving trucks, slinging heavy parcels of biological waste, and driving forklift for a few hours. I was supposed to decompress and then go to bed. but it is now 5 a.m. I've been drinking some whisky, playing some uke, and watching music videos.

I'm in big trouble, but first the relevant stuff. I saw a thread about the underused pinky and I watched an oldy but goody video from the grammys. It was the White Stripes. To my eyes, they were lip-synching. The fingers didn't quite seem to be causing the music. Whatever. The thing to watch is the pinky. The music was fairly righteous, but when he dropped that pinky with the slide, things went up a level. I don't know if this would be germane in a thread about using the pinky in four-finger chords, but it was serenpiditious.

Now, for the bigger dilemma. It is 5 a.m., my market opens for my weekly shopping at 7 a.m. and then I need to squeeze in a nap. I have really painted myself into a corner. Oh my goodness! You'd think I would have learned by this point in time.
I made it to 7 a.m. and accomplished shopping for another week's comestibles. I want to thank everyone for the warm thoughts; it actually makes me a bit embarrassed. Before I hit the hay I want to say that Ukudancer's constructive criticism is on point. From the standpoint of narratology and audience reception my thread does leave much to be desired. I could offer a litany of explanations but as the ancient French said, qui s'excuse s'accuse--he who excuses himself accuses himself. I'll just say that I'll keep an open mind and once I have the emotional, financial, and personal capital to make a change, I will.
A made an investment in my kitchen. I have been using the same cutting board for 30 years and it isn't even a board. It is plastic. It was filthy. So I bought an acacia cutting board. This cutting board, like most, has a butcher block side and a side with a runnel. My plastic one was the same way but back in my youth I thought the butcher block side was the bottom and have never used it once in my life. That's why it was so stained. But this time around I am going to use the appropriate side for the job. Imagine cutting herbs or vegetables without them getting stuck in the runnel as they are scooped up.

After eating some millet and palak paneer (spinach and cheese) I am going to work early but I have been thinking about my uke. I was thinking of pairing up my Bach with a major scale such as a Hungarian Major. I'm sure that would sound good but then again I wonder. Perhaps some of the magic of what I'm doing is centered on modulating between major and minor sounds--like a Beatles song. Maybe if I get rid of the modulation it would become to buttery and bland. That's something to test out tonight
Making next week's protein and I chose chicken thighs (with skin with bones).

I opted for a pastrami topping. Granted I haven't had pastrami in decades so I don't know if this is accurate but here's the recipe I followed:

A couple pinches of brown sugar
quite a bit of black pepper (I use indian tellicherry)
two cloves of garlic
a pinch of baharat (or you could use cinnamon or garam masala)
quite a bit of paprika (I use ahumado paprika versus sweet paprika)
enough salt (I used butter salt)
olive oil, enough to make this a viscous paste)

I brushed on this paste to 12 chicken thighs and baked the thighs.

It is an easy recipe. And really you can't go wrong. Chicken thighs are the most forgiving piece of meat. You could boil them in water and they'd still be good.
My wife had the temerity to challenge my playing today. I should have thrown away her chicken thighs for her insolence...but I didn't.

We were watching some videos today while the laundry was drying and we happened across a tutorial for "dust in the wind" and the presenter gave the most convoluted explanation of the finger pattern and wouldn't even give names to the chords. I could see it was CΔ, CΔ7, C9. I was a bit catty about the presentation and for whatever reason my wife sided with the video and asked me if I could play it. Of course I could and did. Once you got past the presenter's otiose verbiage, the pattern was just an outside pinch and then some inside outside inside playing. The kind of stuff you can find on page one of any folk music book.

But in all fairness I had to explain to my wife that while I could play this for a while, it was like driving a steak through my heart (I'm a special kind of vampire who can only be stopped by impaling me with a porterhouse or t-bone). I know playing in the pocket is something that is key to music but it is something that I do not practice and which I'm bad at. Since the 80's I have trained myself to be a soloist. My fingers can't just stay in the background.

For example at times the little Bach motifs I have been plagiarizing don't sound like Bach at all because I am bending pitches and elaborating. I just can't play it straight. When I do it sounds very baroque. However doing it too much chafes my chaps. It just sounds so normal and it bugs me.

I think it just goes to show that there isn't a progression from strumming to finger picking. I pick but I find it very difficult to strum over and over again to support a song. I think for all my experience I would be taxed to go to a ukulele group and strum a three chord song like "stand by me" with 20 other strummers. So it isn't as if I graduated from strumming to picking. I just went to picking and strumming is difficult because I don't practice it.
I received my new cutting board and the acacia is beautiful. I want to cut things so bad, but I don't actually have a need. I suppose I could use it when I slice a lime today but that seems overkill. It is substantially larger than my previous one and a bit heavy. It barely fits in the cabinet. One drawback: my wife is afraid that the wooden cutting board will have bacteria so, to placate her, I will need to put a spoon of bleach in a gallon of water and have a sanitizing liquid to clean the board after every use. My old cutting board was so hacked up that if we were going to have bacteria we would have had it by now. But reasoning doesn't count. Happy wife, happy life.
My old cutting board was so hacked up that if we were going to have bacteria we would have had it by now. But reasoning doesn't count.
Yup. This. Are you using it for raw meat or just vegetable matter? Veggies, meh. Meat, yeah we do run our butchering cutting boards through a bit of a bleach wash when we're done.
I have to admit that I have been rather remiss in hygiene for decades. Even with raw chicken, I would just brush the board off or, at the most, rinse it under water and not necessarily hot water.
I decided to extend my plagiarism to beethoven. Those dudes have some good melodies. I lifted a bit from the 2nd movement of the 7th symphony. I think it is supposed to be in A but I naturally transposed it to E to play it more comfortably. I just played it by ear and I didn't check the original to confirm my ear and memory were correct. Whether I missed something or not, it is a nice theme.

The theme as I played it ended on the F of the G string. Then I just used that F and the D# below it as enclosures around the E, thereby obscuring the unseemly seam between Beethoven and myself. Then I went into the melodic minor for a spell. Eventually I resolved to the E whence I went back to Beethoven.
Yup. This. Are you using it for raw meat or just vegetable matter? Veggies, meh. Meat, yeah we do run our butchering cutting boards through a bit of a bleach wash when we're done.
A rinse and a trip through the dishwasher does it for me. … oh, but ours aren’t wood … :rolleyes:
I couldn't resist any longer; I had to use the new cutting board. The sound is glorious. The acacia wood is so resonant whether it is being struck by the knife or even if the knife is scraping the food into a pile. I really like it.

To justify using it, I made a frittata with finely chopped kalamata olives, garlic, shallots, tomatillo sauce, and pequin chili powder. I also made some rooibos tea because I had some decaf coffee yesterday and my guts were in turmoil. Maybe it was just a coincidence. Better safe than sorry
I was thinking along those lines, wondering if I shouldn't get some carrots and chop as fast as possible. But I would probably cut myself and not be able to uke for a week or so. Therefore I contented myself with other creative endeavors. I made a batch of my beard oil (I don't have a beard, but I do have other facial hair). My ingredients cost about $100 (jojoba oil, cedarwood, sandalwood, lavendar) but it lasts me about five years. Quite a bargain when you consider a little vial of store-bought oil is $10-$25. I am a bit shocked at how strong and minty all the oils are. Patently the stuff mellows out over time and since the stuff I had been using was concocted a bit before 2018, it had become very subtle by 2024. This stuff is quite a nosegay in the mustache; I need not bathe for a while.

Speaking of bargains, or lack thereof, my Snark's battery went out and I didn't know. Since I play rather gently I tune very infrequently and when the ukulele does detune, the strings seem to all detune so that I don't notice that I'm now playing in a different tuning. The store only had a four-pack of batteries which cost more than the Snark did. I am not, like many other denizens of this forum, bashing Snarks. I've had mine since 2017 and I think I've replaced the battery twice; I not complaining.

But I will complain about food costs. I thought I would have a little meatless treat and went to the local deli to get a simple grilled cheese sandwich provided that they use real cheese. However the price was $11.25! I could buy a loaf of bread and a brick of cheese and host a grilled cheese party for that much money. It is odd. I don't mind paying four digits for a uke but I shudder at laying down the majority of a twenty dollar bill for a sandwich that a child could make (my barber regaled me with a tale of an $8 PBJ sandwich as well)
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