Friday, February 26, 2021

Ukulele for the Serious Musician

A ukulele

A ukulele is a nice instrument to play. Some people like to strum it, some like to use a flat pick. Some like to pose with one and sing silly songs. (Anybody remember Tiny Tim?)

I often sit in the evening and finger-pick old-time tunes on mine, or maybe some blues. It is easy on the fingers, not too loud, and whatever I learn on my ukulele is easy to transfer to my guitar. 

There are some pretty famous people that have enjoyed playing ukuleles. George Harrison was a big fan. Eddie Vedder has a ukulele album. Other players include Zooey Deschanel, Katie Micucci, and the overachiever, Jake Shimabukuro.

Try it, you'll love it!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Mechanical Pictures

Picture of a robot

My grandboys love to play Minecraft and build things with Legos. When I was a boy we had Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys. I really enjoyed Tinkertoys. My brothers and I could build different contraptions, and if my brothers messed with me, I could make a sword and give them a poke in the ribs. 

Creativity for humans isn't about making something from nothing. Creativity is making something new from spare parts. I made this picture of a robot with a Sharpy marker on paper that somebody else made. I scanned it into my computer with a scanner and computer that somebody else made. I colored it with Affinity Designer, and added some text with a font that somebody else made.

Thanks to all of the people that made the stuff that helps me make stuff!

Friday, February 19, 2021

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Lady sweeping dust under a rug

It's nice to be tidy, but tidiness is temporary. Eventually a rug can only cover so much. After a while, it's time to roll up the rug, take it outside and thoroughly clean it.

My brain is the same, dust accumulates. I'm not sure of the best way to knock the dust out of my head. There is plenty in there. 

Sometimes the dust in my head takes on a life of its own, like dust bunnies under the sofa. I'll keep on accumulating, sweep it under the rug, hide and keep if for later, then hope for the best!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sight Seeing From Space

Spaceman in space

In my art school days, our teachers encouraged us to squint our eyes when we looked at our work, blurring our vision to check for overall compositional balance, contrast, that sort of thing. My good friend and room mate Bill wore glasses. He would wear them on the end of his nose, so he could quickly switch from blurry to sharp when he looked at his work. Later, my friend and teacher, Morrie Green would encourage people to do the same, he even had a cool name for it: the bi-lateral squint.

It seems sometimes the best way to look at things is to back up and view things from far away. That may be the best way to look at political events lately.

Maybe mom and dad were on to something when they sent me to my room to think about what I had done.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

My Career in Football


A running football player
When I was in the seventh grade I joined the football team. I was not a large person, but the coach thought it would be a good idea for me to play in an offensive tackle position. I was run over on nearly every play, and that was just in practice sessions. 

I learned then what my formulating teenage mind had already suspected, coaches can be clueless and mean, sometimes nothing more than older versions of the bullies they probably were when they were in seventh grade. 

I didn't play organized football after that, I traded in football cleats for running shoes. Cross country better suited my scrawny self. Out on the race course, or training run, I didn't need to worry about the opinions and advice of seventh-grade football coaches.

I have never been a big football fan, but I will be watching the Super Bowl today. I hope there will be some great commercials!