Magical Mystery Tour Lancaster County

On June 26 Craig, Duncan, and I traveled to the following locations to see the sites and some graves of my ancestors who lived in those areas.

The Postcard Bldg

Newcomer’s Corner


Jefferson / Thoreau Shelves

In my upstairs reading nook on a small pine double shelf that I made I have a collection of books about and by Thomas Jefferson and Henry Thoreau. In addition to the books on the shelf there are four Ephrata Cloister buildings. On the top (L – R) are the print shop and the academy and on the bottom shelf the Saron (sisters house) and Saal. A paper cutout of Thoreau stands behind the Saal. On the wall to the right is a tide clock with a face made from the nautical map of the Bath, Maine area.

Jimmy DiResta

Jimmy Diresta and Me
Photo from a couple years ago when I met Jimmy DiResta at the World Maker Faire in NYC and we compared “makers’ hands”. I was reminded of this recently and had to look for the photo so I could preserve it here. Jimmy DiResta among other great things, has a YouTube channel here

Ukulele Number 3

img_3666After taking Uke 2 to Massachusetts for the Thoreau Gathering I decided I needed something that could be knocked about more to travel, but I definitely wanted one to travel. There’s a Music & Arts store in Vernon, outside Hartford Connecticut where I found this little soprano Kohala cheap that sounded pretty good. It was difficult to keep from playing a new uke, so the next stop at a roadside rest provided some opportunity. Replaced later by a plastic uke for traveling, it now finds a permanent home at my training center for breaktime when I’m working there alone… not during classes.

Ukulele Number 2

img_0207My second ukulele was bought at Funky Frets in Boyertown, a great place for string instruments, but especially ukuleles. As I said in Ukulele #1 I actually stopped to get a new set up tuners for #1 but wound up buying the set of tuners attached to a uke.

It’s a Lanikai concert LKP-C with Koa top, back, and sides, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, and gold plated tuners.

The hat next to it came later. It’s as perfect a ukulele hat as the ukulele is a great instrument and just as fun. They both sit next to my desk in my basement office for easy access at breaktime.

Magical Mystery Tour Baltimore

IMG_3265We departed from our usual Monday tour and went on a Tuesday in order to visit the Museum on Industry in Baltimore and see the Linotype there. It was, in fact, a relatively normal tour, normal in the way that it was NOT like our usual… unusual spots tours. It was non-the-less a great day pretty much spent in two museums that are very much worth the visit. It was especially good visiting the B&O with Craig in tow, who has become a walking database of train history and who was able to answer our questions and point out unusual aspects of the collection even better than the local docents there.

We visited:

Ukulele Number 1

uke01I was recently asked how many Ukes I have. It’s a recent passion, but I decided my web site might be the place to send folks for the answer. I can build the answer as I go and if perchance there is another instrument added to the collection. I can also add it effortlessly.

This was the one that started it all. I built it from a simple kit and added the scrollsaw wren pattern and initials. The idea was that it would be a precursor to building a guitar, but it got me forever stuck on ukuleles I think.

It’s an inexpensive kit from Grizzly Tools that comes with the body already glued and all other parts shaped. I think I got it on sale for $25. I paid more for the carrying case I bought for it later. A trip to Funky Frets in Boyertown, PA to get geared tuners to replace the friction ones provided and better strings led to me instead buying just the strings and a second ukulele. It’s shown here in my shop for obvious reasons.

2016 Thoreau Society AG

IMG_3141I attended the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering once again in Concord, MA. Enjoyed a number of sessions and many of the special tours. Stayed with Ben & Erica in nearby Belmont and was able to take Ben on the Sunday morning paddle on the Sudbury.

2016 NAGT Eastern Section Meeting

Mastodon photo

Jolene poses with a Mastodon in the Paleo Lab at the Carnegie Museum.

Everyone was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Carnegie Museum at the 2016 Eastern Section NAGT meeting near Pittsburgh. Thanks to Mike Baer, who planned the meeting and outings with help from Amy Baer. Mike is now Section President (woo-hoo) leaving me as Past President.