Archive for the Humor Category

Making a Lagerphone

Posted in Carpentry, Design, Free, Gadgets, Home Studio, Humor, Lifestyle, Music with tags , , on 03/15/2016 by Baghead Kelly

 

I’d always harboured a desire to make a lagerphone and finally I’ve ticked it off of my bucket list. A lagerphone is essentially a tambourine type of instrument made from a broomstick and crown capped bottle tops. From the Idiophone family it is mainly used in folk music and is known by many names from many different cultures.

The first task was collecting the bottle tops, which required much merriment and the sampling of various types of lager which had different coloured bottle tops. I was clearly the right man for the job.

Another pre-requisite was my penchant for hoarding. During renovations I kept one of our old curtain rods, which was about an inch and a quarter diameter (32mm). It also featured a finial which with a nose added became the ‘Noddy’ head. In my research I discovered that it was commonplace to place a boot at the bottom to protect a venues flooring. It so happened that I’d kept one of my fifteen year old’s boots from when he was a toddler. Actually we kept all of them.

The next stage was punching holes in the bottle tops. For this task I used an off-cut from one of our veranda posts, which I had drawn diagonal lines from corner to corner and drilled a 5/16” (8mm) hole in the centre where the lines bisected. With a nail punch I could then line my bottle top up over the hole using the diagonal lines and with one tap I could punch a hole in the centre. The jig worked quite well although I had to manually pull off the bit off metal still left hanging.

Next I space out where I wanted the bottle tops which was basically a north/south/east/west pattern. I carefully drilled them and bought some screws with a clean shank to affix each set of twin bottle tops.

Additionally I placed a mint tin containing ball bearings into the boot which was simply screwed to the curtain rod between the tread of the boot. I used a bit of plumbing pipe insulation for the handle and the sock of the boot. Also on the large beer can at the top I placed a nut suspended from a bit of wire to act as a clapper.

I thoroughly enjoyed the process and the thought of terrorising my clan gatherings with my new lagerphone fills me with wicked glee. So if your interested in making a lagerphone here are a few name variations to Google as the various designs are as different and wild as your imagination.

a.k.a.

  • Boozaphone,
  • Mendoza/mendozer,
  • Monkey stick,
  • Murrumbidgee River Rattler
  • Teufelsgeige
  • Jingling Johnie
  • Stumpfidel
  • Ugly Stick

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The Inheritance

Posted in Art, Carpentry, Design, Family, History, Home Renovations, Humor, Lifestyle with tags , on 02/10/2016 by Baghead Kelly

JKS Toolbox

A few years back my father gave me, my grandfather’s toolbox, as seen in the photo above. I was chuffed, it was full of tools both old and new. Indeed as a youngster I well remember the odd occasion whilst in my grandfather’s care we would ‘stooge about’ at his workbench. My favourite memory, is when he showed me how to make hot air balloons that floated up to the rafters in his loft. At other times we would make secret compartments in his house. He was big on secret compartments. One in particular I wondered if after he died whether anybody knew of its existence except me. I guess I’ll never know. Anyways my memories of this toolbox were fond ones and it reminds me of a time that was happy and carefree.

Still that was an era when my grandad owned the toolbox and now it belongs to me. The first act of sacrilege that I committed was when I removed the contemporary tools that were contained within and replaced them with the antique tools that I had collected over the years. All of a sudden, Voilá, it was transformed from a toolkit from a bygone era into a mini museum.

The second act of vandalism was when I decided to paint a mural on the front. I had the idea of painting an English pub type sign with sawyers in a sawpit. When I started searching for photographs to base my design, I came across, a book called; “The Book of Trades or Library of the Useful Arts” from 1805. Volume 1, page 68 contained a magnificent illustration of “A Sawyer”, which I duly lifted for my own purposes.

Interestingly enough, the said book was a vocational guide for young people to compare occupations and indeed such publications dated at least 200 years prior to this one. Reminding me of my recent encounter with my sons teachers who seem to want to pigeon hole him into some dead end career at the age of fifteen. The difference being at the earlier time 11 or 12 was probably more appropriate an age to begin your working life but I digress.

Having finished the mural I have concluded that I ain’t much of an artist but one day my son will inherit his great grandfathers toolbox and he will be free to do with it whatever takes his fancy. At this point however just trying to entice him from his virtual reality to stooge about with his Dad is proving to be a new challenge in itself.

Finnished

 

 

 

The Grandfather of Rock & Roll ?

Posted in Humor, Music with tags , , on 03/06/2012 by Baghead Kelly

Music has been around since the dawn of time and is an integral part of every culture. Like language, it has an aural and written form. The written form however is not as old as the dawn of time, in fact it is relative new. It was refined in the 11th century by a Benedictine monk called Brother Guido d’Arezzo. He also invented the original mnemonic that parented do–re–mi-fa-so-la-ti (so we can also thank him for Julie Anthony and “The Sound Of Music”). God bless Brother Guido because he was responsible for defining the worlds first truly international language. A language enjoyed today by millions of people around the world.

My Life In Show Business

Posted in Humor, Lifestyle, Music with tags , , , on 02/01/2012 by Baghead Kelly

In some peoples lives music is inconsequential. Take my father for instance, he’s tone deaf and so to him music is mostly about the words and the story. As a child I was always amused at him singing in church in his flat baritone. Even my wife, although she likes music she would much rather engross herself in the latest episode of ‘House’ or some such medical drama. For her, music is something you listen to at parties or in the car. I am the opposite of that. Music to me is what I think about the most. It is kind of my default thought pattern. I have lots of other interests but the passion level is not even in the same ball park or is it conservatorium.

If I were a single man I would think that I would be somewhat hermit like, living in some isolated shack. There wouldn’t be a phone and there wouldn’t be a television. There would just be music all of the time….and beer. I would go out into my garage and teach myself to build guitars out of exotic woods and inlay them with mother of pearl that I scavenged off of faraway beaches. I would paint oil portraits of my favorite musicians all the while listening to more music. These paintings would be so brilliant that I could sell them at exorbitant prices to fund my newly imagined lifestyle. Mmmmmm…I digress.

The music industry would seem to be a perfect match for someone with my passion but not so, or at least not in anyway that I’ve been able to ascertain. Apparently the music industry was worth 24 billion dollars in 2008 so you’d think there would be room for someone like me. Or not, you see at my age I’ve come to the realization that one important pre-requisite for such a career is unfortunately a modicum or talent. Something that I’m a little light on. Now I can bang out a tune or two on the old geetar but like my father I’m somewhat tone deaf. Not as bad mind you but tone deaf none the less.

My attempts to crack into show biz over the years have included several forays into the world of busking. One time with my son, in toe and a belly full of bravery I asked a busker if I could jam with him – he wisely and politely declined. In disgust, I set up camp on the other side of the road in direct competition – me singing on the guitar and young Ben doing the ‘robot’.  As we went through the repertoire Benny would keep a running commentary on when the opposition had pulled a quid. My lad fondly remembers we blitzed him on that night and we made enough money to buy his next video game. Unfortunately as it turns out you need a license to busk and it’s illegal to exploit your children but that’s another story.

When your tone deaf it’s a handicap to sing but there are two methods that I use to keep myself on song. The first is the instrument you accompany yourself with – I know that it’s accurate so I try to follow as closely as I can. The other tell-tale sign that you’re off key is the funny looks that your audience gives to each other. I know that look well and when I see it I refer back to method one. Some nights I sing OK and on others I bomb. It doesn’t really matter much to me because I like music and I like to sing. There is something therapeutic about singing, like your releasing all your frustrations with each breath and each note. It’s good for the soul.

Now I’m never going to be rich from my musical endeavors but I’m told that artistic types have to suffer for their art; they have to pay their dues. I must be on track then and I’ll be content with that.

Ultimate Guitar

Posted in Humor, Music with tags , , , on 01/30/2012 by Baghead Kelly

The Baghead Signature (concept) model

When you were a kid, did you draw cars and motorbikes all over your school books? Or maybe it was ponies or band names. For me it was surfboards and tubes (boy was that a long time ago). Well anyway this big kid drools over guitars nowadays and Fender have come up with a little app just for people like me. Here before you I present my ultimate pin up girl complete with Floyd Rose bridge and 70’s headstock. Ain’t she a beaut? I might call her ‘Blackie’……nah Eric Clapton has already used that one – he’s also got a ‘Brownie’ and Neil Young’s got an ‘Old Black’. Stevie Ray had ‘Number One’ and of course there is ‘Lucille’ (the most famous reindeer guitar of all). So if your feeling a little frivolous then head on over and design your own masterpiece;

http://www.fender.com/en-GB/community/guitarbuilder/

The Zen Of Laughter

Posted in Humor, Lifestyle with tags , on 01/23/2012 by Baghead Kelly
Q: What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A: a stick

I don’t have a brother but I do have an uncle less than a year older than me which is a great substitute. In my childhood I would often go around to his house and he and his dad would be watching some old re-run on television and wetting their pants with laughter. I couldn’t see what was so funny about the lame jokes and one liners – to me they were predictable and the laughter canned. The memory and the lesson though have stayed with me after all these years; father and son were receptive to laughter and thus were bonded all the more so from that process. Now before I get myself into trouble here I should explain that my own father and I have our fair share of mirth although we were wired differently and our humor was quite different. I also used to have a high old time with my great grandmother watching midget wrestling although she didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Latvian.

 Worldwide most people would know of Dr. Hunter Adams from the “Patch Adams”  movie with Robin Williams. The good doctor sure understood the link between wellbeing and laughter, he established the Gesundheit! Institute in 1971 and in 1995 Indian physician Madan Kataria launched the first “Laughter Club” which has become a phenomenon in its own right. The cult of laughter is catching on but for me the revelation could be traced back to my childhood.
 
Now my own perspective is somewhat rudementary but I do know two important things; (1) that you have to be actively receptive to a good laugh and (2) that you have to nurture it in your relationships. I’ve certainly done that with my wife and I’m sure it’s one of the reasons that our marriage has survived. Its probably the key to any successful relationship. As for our own heir apparent, instilling the joys of laughter into his upbringing as been a wonderful experience. However he did  have to have the lesson that it was a fine line between having a good laugh at school and being the ‘class clown’.
 
I would really like to finish my little homely with a really fantastic joke but…..you guessed it, I can’t think of one off the top of my head. Anyway that would be contrived and it has to be more natural than that. Instead I think that I’ll sign off with a plea and a challenge. I would ask that you start your day a little more receptive to a good laugh and run with it. As for the challenge; see if you can bring someone’s mood up a few notches with humor, I’m sure your day will be more enriched for it.

Limericks

Posted in Humor, Poetry with tags , , on 01/18/2012 by Baghead Kelly

My Dad recites poetry to me and its the limericks that I usually like the most. Since I like the form, I thought that I would give it a crack.

Scottish carronade

Kaboomba!

 There once was a soldier from Adelaide,

who juggled for fun with his hand grenade,

He thought he was good,

More so than he should

and ended his life like a carronade.

There once was a thinker most odd,

Who denied the existence of God

and upon his death bed,

I’ve heard that its said,

He came back, in the form of a frog…………….ribbett