Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Go Skateboarding Ukulele Day

Today, June 21, is Go Skateboarding Day. So, in honor of one of Southern California's best inventions, I rode the 5th Annual Sector 9 Poker Run. That's the Sector 9 logo on the uke. Sector 9 is a San Diego institution. In fact, my son spent a year running maple plys through their belt sander. Sector 9 throws this great ride along Mission Bay. It ends with an awesome party in Mission Beach that includes contests, games, music, Wahoo's burritos and lots of swag. It's a casual ride for skaters of all ages. I think this year they ranged in age from 5 years to well over 60! I rode my one-of-a-kind custom Galac LDP (Long Distance Pumping) deck. Although Galac is no longer producing decks it's still my go-to ride most of the time. Thank you Sector 9 for a great day and for giving my son a job. You guys are the best! And, if anyone is interested, you can find more info on Go Skateboarding Day and Sector 9 via these links:

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ukulele Busker Ukulele Boone

Here's another San Diego ukulele busker. You can find Boone all over town. I usually see him in Balboa Park sitting in the shade singing his favorite songs and playing his custom Fred Shields ukulele. He also plays outside of Petco Park when the Padres are in town. I once found him on the Pacific Beach boardwalk while I was out skateboarding. If you keep your eyes and ears open I'm sure you will find Ukulele Boone, too. If you don't want to wait you can friend him over at Facebook. In the mean time, as Boone likes to say, "Keep on smilin'!"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ukulele Mama

Recently my Mom came out for a visit from Alabama. She didn't have a banjo on her knee but she did have a chalkboard ukulele in her hands. For the record, she's not from the South. She's a Minnesota Swede through and through. She headed south from California to be closer to my sister and her family. Mom has been keeping a round robin letter going with her friends since they graduated high school. What started with ten ladies is now down to three. They are still keeping in touch although often via email. I miss having my mom near me, but she does come out for an annual visit. She's a great mom, too. Our visits always include a trip to Hodad's for the best burger in America. She loves hamburgers. And speaking of love, I love my mom. Thanks for being the greatest mom around! Here she is contemplating all things ukulele in the shade of the bodhi tree.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hard Travelin' Uke

One of my goals with this blog is to pay tribute to some of the people who shaped my life. With that in mind here's a little portrait of Woody Guthrie. Woody was an American folksinger, songwriter and guitarist. Although he died in 1967 his music is still influencing musicians and songwriters today. The list of those inspired by Woody Guthrie is much too long to list here. His songs are part of America as well as the rest of the world. "This Land is Your Land" was in my grade school chorus book. The song's author was listed as either anonymous or traditional. I remember thinking, "Don't the people who made this book know who Woody Guthrie is?" If you don't know who he is you can find out more at http://www.woodyguthrie.org/. Even if you do know who Woody is you might want to follow that link.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ukulele Busker Annie Rettic

One of the best aspects of being a ukulele player is meeting other ukesters. Case in point - Annie Rettic. Annie is a busker in San Diego's Balboa Park. She can be found on the Prado most weekends singing and playing guitar, 5 string fiddle, and, of course, ukulele. You can hear Annie and her music at http://www.annierettic.com/. Thanks Annie for being the first guest artist on the chalkboard ukulele. If you find yourself in San Diego look for Annie in the park, you'll be glad you did!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Here's the first image on the chalkboard ukulele. I've been a fan of Noah Scalin's Skull-a-day blog for quite some time. I've also been a long-time fan of skulls, too. So, as a tribute, my first drawing is a skull ukulele - a skullele. The skull was drawn with Prang Colored Paper Chalk. Before settling on the skull image I did a few test runs to see how the chalkboard paint handles the chalk. The Prang chalk is harder than the Crayola chalk but the colors are more vivid. The t-shirt I'm wearing is a stencil I designed. I used bleach in a spray bottle to lighten the black fabric. Thanks to the Mrs. for taking my portrait. If you haven't been to Noah's blog you can find it here http://skulladay.blogspot.com/

This Could be Interesting

For quite a while I've had this cheap ukulele I found at the swap meet. I've been trying to think of something interesting and/or artistic to do with it. While looking at art cars on the web I saw some that were painted with chalkboard paint and I knew what I needed to do. A quick trip to the hardware store and I was ready to go. I dismantled the little uke and gave it several coats of Rust-oleum Chalkboard paint. A trip to the toy store and my garage studio produced two boxes of chalk. We're off and running, I hope you like the results.