And it gets weirder …


On page 8 of his dissent in this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that same-gender couples have the same right to marry as do opposite-gender couples, Justice Antonin Scalia had this to say (among a lot of other things):

“Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.”

I’m not sure if Justice Scalia has any idea what a “hippie” actually is, but if you consider yourself one, give me a call and we can discuss whether or not marriage abridges “freedom of intimacy.”  I’d especially like to hear from you if you’re a hippie who’s intimate with the ukulele.

As for whether or not marriage constricts what one can prudently say, I’m not touching that with a 10-foot pole.


Bow Ties and Comments

First on the bright side:  Vancouver Canada’s wonderful Ralph Shaw publishes a great e-newsletter, the Ukulele Entertainer.  If you don’t already subscribe, you’re missing some wonderful stuff.  Ralph’s latest is entitled “The Bowtie Manifesto.”  Check it out here:

Regular readers of this blog and folks who come to my shows know that from time to time I wear a bow tie.  Thanks to Ralph, now I know why!


On the dimmer side, about 90% of the comments I get are spam (and are promptly “disapproved” and never posted here).  They start off something that seems plausible (e.g., “I found your blog while looking for something else and really like it”) but then spin off into weird-land.  And they’re always imbedded with hyperlinks to websites promising to sell you something at a price that makes it clear that the product being offered is either a forgery, or is downright illegal.  For reasons I can’t understand, the largest category of these links that the commenter is hoping I’ll approve is athletic shoes.  As in “cheap Nike,” “cheap Adidas” [sic – adidas is always spelled with a lower-case “a”] or “cheap New Balance.”  Hey, the genuine article is available to everyone around the world at low prices from legit sellers.  (OK, maybe not in places like North Korea or Rodeo Drive.)  Just who are you fishing (or phishing) for?

These uninvited comments are, I understand, not from actual human beings, but from trolling programs that are out on the internet hunting for potentially available entries onto legitimate websites.  So there’s no way to actually reply to the “commenter” and let them now just how little I appreciate the “comment.”  I just wish there were some way to swim back up the electronic ethernet stream and pop out in the home of the actual human who set the trolling program in motion, so that I could play a tune for him or her on my ukulele.  That’d stop the spam dead in its tracks!

Once in a while, though, I get a real kick out of a “comment,” like this one apparently from somewhere in Italy, with hyperlinks imbedded to try to sell me more shoes:  “This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!”  Hey, everyone likes a compliment.  Even if it does come from a computer program!

Bottom line:  Please send me your real comments, positive or negative.  Let me know what you’re up to in your musical life.  I’ll be happy to approve your comment and post it here, and even respond to it.  But please, don’t try to sell my cheap Nike shoes.  (Or worse yet, on-line prescription drugs that promise to improve my “love life.”  Hey, I already have something that does that.  My ukulele!)


Can You Find The Ukulele In This Photo?


A shot of the cast and crew for our most recent VerteFée Cabaret at the Green Valley Theatre, right after our exhausting final performance.  We had a heap of fun, and from the audience response, I think they did too.

Keep watching this blog for news about the next cabaret show.  Also coming up on the Green Valley Theatre’s schedule are (a) a two-woman touring performance of Joe Sears’, Jaston Williams’ and Ed Howard’s hilarious and award-winning “Red White and Tuna,” and (b) the amusing yet disturbing musical “Shockheaded Peter,” winner of a 1999 Critics’ Circle Theatre Award.  Information will be available soon at

In the meantime it’s been a fun couple of Wednesdays at the weekly acoustic Open Mic at the Torch Club.  (  Last week Sacramento celebrity Sal Valentino (leader in the 1960s of groups such as the Beau Brummels and Stoneground) showed up to test out some new tunes:


Over the years Sal has been a great mentor to many up and coming musicians, including Jackie Greene and our Open Mic hostess Sandra Dolores.

And last night I got a chuckle out of Sandra by covering one of her own songs, the fun “Impasse,” from her CD “Wait and See.”  Available at places such as Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby, and