What the heck?

Mostly what is on this site is documentation on the building of ukuleles. There will also be some other woodworking projects, and possibly some info about whatever plastic scale modeling is going on at the bench. It isn’t organized, but I’ll try to tag posts with keywords or categories so you can find stuff. In other words, it’s a straight up old school blog. (As much as a blog can be old school, I guess.)

Why are there no photos of the corporate headquarters on the site?

Because it’s embarrassingly ugly. You think federal government architecture is bad? Or Soviet housing projects? Our building makes them look like the Taj Mahal. Plus the roof leaks.

What are all these departments you keep talking about?

I wasn’t talking about them. Who told you? Anyhow, the ones you’re probably mostly interested in are the Brain Control Project, which is overseen by the Mind Control Division. This is in alignment with one of the directives in the Corporate Plan for World Domination, which is kept in a secure location behind the Tupperware. There are also the Economic Leverage (marketing); Special Projects (kind of a catch-all); and Creation of Stuff (physical as opposed to soft products) Divisions. And maybe some others I haven’t heard of. That’s all in addition to the regular stuff like Payroll, Human (and other) Resources, IT, and Catering.

Can I see the Corporate Plan?

Unfortunately not. They built a flowerbed over it and the Vice-President for Landscaping won’t let us dig there. We’re trying to get the Food Disposal and Odor Detection crew to help us out, but they never bury the bones in the right spot.

How many people does Slumco employ?

Let’s just say we’re a bit understaffed right now. We’ve got enough bodies, but somehow we came up short on thumbs. Employment also implies paychecks, which we don’t want to deal with.


They tend to fall off.

Do you just have really lazy saw operators, or are you hiring zombies or something?

Um. . . maybe.

Are you hiring?

If you’re capable of asking the question, you’re probably overqualified. And almost definitely too expensive for our budget. On the other hand, we could use someone to repair our Nakashuma Mark IV. (One of the parts is bent, and it’s been discontinued.)

What artists use Slumco products?

I wouldn’t call them artists, as such. . .

Okay, famous people I may have heard of?

Probably no one. Our best-known clients actually pay a fee to us in order not to publicize their use of our products. (Rumor has it that we have our own Extortion and Blackmail Department.)

Are you going to eat that?

No, help yourself. It’s got waffle in it.

Why aren’t you located in Sugar Land?

We were, until the Instantaneous Spatial Displacement Project got their funding approved. The rest of us don’t know exactly what happened, and when we ask to see the department head, he’s always ‘indisposed.’ However, his left knee has been identified sticking out the wall in one of the storage closets, and if you tickle it, you can hear laughter from one of the air ducts in the cafeteria.

Why is your website so out-of-date and terrible?

Because someone asked Human Resources to hire code monkeys without clarifying that they didn’t want actual monkeys. It’ll be some time before we can get the smell out of the software development lab.

Is this for real, or a joke?

Does it matter?

Let me rephrase that. If I place an order for a uke, am I just throwing away my money, or do I actually get something?

Okay, I’ll be serious for a minute. First of all, you can’t order anything yet. I am trying to build the best musical instrument I can, using designs based on the mainland ukes of the early 20th century. Each instrument is built by me, personally, mostly with hand tools. Every one is slightly different in dimensions (wood thickness, weight, etc.) depending on how that particular piece of wood behaves. Even within a species, the density and flexibility will vary, and this effects how the final instrument will sound. I measure the physical properties of the wood, with tools, ears, and fingers.

Once the construction is completed, instruments are finished using shellac, applied by hand, in a very old technique known as French polish. Pores in the wood are filled using pumice. This is probably the most labor-intensive method of wood finishing known to man, but it is also considered to be the most desirable for the best sound. You’ll see some places that aren’t perfectly smooth, or some swirl marks. They aren’t intentional, but they serve as reminders that an actual person applied it, not a spray gun and a robot.

However, you are the final judge of whether I am doing a good job. If you like the instrument, tell your friends. If you don’t, tell me, and I’ll do what I can to fix it.

And as far as the overall tone of the website – well, you probably play the ukulele. If you don’t have a sense of humor, you wouldn’t have read this far in the first place.