Friday, February 28, 2003

Harvey and Mr. Rogers

I felt so stupid today. I had this equalizer I got for my DJ rig. I got it from the greatest music store in the world, Northern Kingdom Music, Rockport ME, 207-236-8721, ask for Harvey. (Mac would work too, and to a lesser extent, Jarrod.) I got it home, and plugged it in. Nadda. So, I went to another outlet. Nope. Tried a diiferent power cord. Zip. The different power cord in another outlet. Still nothing. So I called them. "I think it's broken" I said. "Bring it back, and we'll take care of ya" they said. (They always take care of Billy Rhythm.) I took it back in today. They tested the fuse. It was ok. Harv went to put it back in, and said "Hold on a minute..." The eq works on both 220 (European) and 110 power. How do you switch between the two? By pushing a little switch like most pieces of equipment? Nope. You flip the fuse upside down. And, though the box was marked for 110 volt, the unit I had had the fuse flipped for 220. Thus, when I plugged it in, it didn't get enough current to power up. Harv flipped the little fuse cradle over, popped it back it, fired it up, and all was fine. I felt like a dweeb. "Don't worry," said the lovable Harv. I've been doing this 15 years and I never seen anything like this."

Goodbye Mr. Rogers. Mr. Rogers was part of my after school TV Regiment for years. 4-5pm was Sesame Street. 5-5:30 was Mr. Rogers, and 5:30-6 was Electric Company, or, after that was canceled, 3-2-1 Contact. I was never a huge fan of the show, but being the mid to late 70s in Spruce Head, we had no cable. So, you watched what came in. And since the PBS station on channel 10 was located in Augusta (50 miles away--the closest station), it almost always came in with the antenna. So, that's what we watched. I particularly remember Cornflake S Pecialy and X the Owl. In fact, I wouldn't mind naming my son X. Susan won't let me. (Anyway, here's a list of puppets on the show. I'd forgotten quite a few, like Donkey Hodie and Harriet Elizabeth Cow.)

Also, Mr. Rogers had a rippin' band. I remember one show where Mr Rogers came down off the set, and showed how the show worked. There was this little trio there. They just dropped music in whenever they needed to. It was mostly unrehearsed. The pianist's name was Johnny Costa. He's actually quite a piano player. Branford Marsallis said Mr Rogers had the best jazz on tv!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Ebay class last night

I taught part one of my two part ebay class last night. I've taught this adult-ed class for a couple of years, and it's very popular. One semester, I taught it three times! (In fact, last night, the director asked me to teach this class in two other school districts!) So last night, I had a sold out class as usual. Not one student had ever bought anything on ebay! Not one! They were complete beginners. At the end of the class, a student came up to me. I recognized her--she had taken a beginner's Internet class with. She explained that she wasn't really interested in ebay that much. She really wanted to take the 8-week "Computers for Seniors" class, but is was full. So, she figured she'd take whatever computer class was available, and at least learn something; at least pick up some lingo or whatnot. "And," she said, "I like you as a professor." It felt very good to hear that.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Dick Trickle's website is down?

Julia can make me cry pretty easily. And, I've mentioned before that she prays for wonderful things. She did both last night. She thanked Jesus for daises, daffodils, cupcakes, fruit roll-ups, and "all sweet things." Susan and I both lost all control. It was wonderful.

My webserver had some issues this morning. I had two people call to ask me if I knew about it. That's kinda nice. It was fixed by 8:30, but still, two people noticed and called me. Thanks Dad and Jim.

Dad, you can apologize by taking me to breakfast. Here's the web site for NASCAR driver Dick Trickle. I was thinking I could get mom and dad matching Dick Trickle t-shirts!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, February 24, 2003

Strange dreams, strange contracts

I had the weirdest dream last night. It started out with me clocking in for a shift at a McDonalds. It was breakfast. People were running hither and yon. I was talking to the manager about whether she was able to schedule someone to help me with salads or not. She was, but she needed me to make some Egg McMuffins right then. So I walked to the main part of the kitchen, and the place was trashed! If you know me, you know two things: a) I love to cook, and b) I can't work in a messy kitchen.

Cut to next part of dream. I'm trying to kill a cat. Why? I don't know. I do know I wanted to do it humanely, though. So, I was using a .22 black powder rifle. Strange. If you know anything about black powder, you'll realize that they don't come in such a small caliber. Anyway, I load this black powder deal-y, powder first, then wad, then bullet. I put the muzzle to the cat's head, and pull the trigger. Nothing. No, I reload another round, on top of the load already in there! Now I've got a double charge in there. Again, I pull the trigger. Nothing. The I realize I'm using a percussion cap rifle, and didn't put a cap on the nipple. How silly of me!

Then I woke up. No actual cats were injured in the dream.

Check this out. They're ridders from contracts from rock stars. ZZ Top's is pretty weird, with some special recipe cocktail weenies needed. Lots of performers want white socks. Lot's also request Solo name brand cups. I'll have to let you know what I want on my ideal rider. I'm pretty sure I'd want KFC Original Recipe. What would you choose?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 21, 2003

Citizen Kane and stuff

If you look at this guy real quick, does it look like me? I think it's the hair.

This is an original Ghost pedal--the first incarnation. And it went dirt cheap! How come the cool stuff shows up when I'm broke? (In case you don't know, Billy Rhythm is the foremost online authority on the GHOST pedal.)

It's Back! This guy just bough this drum on Feb 12. Maybe he now realizes it's as ugly as the pictures.

So you know what I did last night? I watched Citizen Kane. Props to my buddy Jim for lending it to me, along with Lord of the Rings. Since Susan went to Caleb's baby shower, I was alone. "Which movie would you prefer I watch without you?" I asked Susan. She said she didn't care anything about Kane, so I watched it sans wife. I loved it! In fact, I was so enthused when Susan got home, I convinced her to watch it! So I watched it again! Twice in the same night! It's that good. If you haven't seen it, you must. If you can get the remastered DVD, get it. It looks so good! It doesn't look like a film from 1939. It looks like a film made yesterday, just shot in b&w. The blacks are black, and there's no film noise. And if you don't know what Rosebud is, don't look it up. Don't search the 'net. It's better if you don't know. It was priceless last night when Susan found out what it was. (I already knew--I think I learned it from playing Trivial Pursuit. I would have preferred not to know.) When you watch, look for the use of light and shadow. See how many "deep focus" shots there are--shots that have very close up, and very far away, all in focus. It's really well done. And it's even more fantastic when you realize Wells co-wrote the screenplay, produced, directed, and starred in the film. He was only 25 at the time, and it was his first movie!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Some Pictures and stuff

It started with some pictures that Michelle had about the snow. Here's some snow! That's Susan's car. That wasn't this storm. This was January, I think.

Well, while I was scanning those photos, I took some more. Here's Julia with Mary Poppins and Bert. Here are two photos of Julia and her favorite princess, Cinderella. The dress Julia's wearing was made by my Mom, or Julia's Grammy-Nan. All the princesses commented on it.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Hello, kiddies

Just a post to let you know I'm alive. I did the taxes last night, with much groundwork having been laid by the beloved Mrs. Batty. We're getting back a tidy little sum. We thought about tearing down the old deck, and replacing it with a smaller one. (A smaller deck would add some precious yards to the, ah, yard.) Susan thinks we should ditch the new deck all together. Of course, I'd like to have new siding on the house.

Not only did I do the taxes, but I made supper too! Pork enchilladas. Yum. Tonight, Susan is making a lasagne soup. It smells great!

Coming up in a few minutes: Disney pictures!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, February 17, 2003

8:56pm. Off to bed.

After work, went to fix computer. After computer fix, went to grocery store. After store, came home and checked email and voicemail. Ate bowl of cereal. Going to bed. Still have headache. Wazup wi dat?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Up at 'em early this morning

Already got a jump on the day. Still have the headache I've had since I woke up Saturday morning. Julia woke up at about 4:30 throwing up. Boy, stuff like this makes you glad you don't have a new baby! :-)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, February 16, 2003

That's one fast baby!

The first time I mentioned my my sister was pregnant was also the last, I think. Well, last night was the big night, and now Caleb William Jarrell Wight is here! Susan was in 28 hours of labor with Julia. Lisa was 6 1/2 hours with Eben, her first boy. Caleb? From the time she said "I think I should go to the hospital to be checked," until he was born, was a little over 3 hours!!! That's insane! When they let me in to see her, still in the delivery room, she looked great! Didn't even look like she broke a sweat.

Technically, he's a month early. But Lisa thought that they messed her due-date up by 2 weeks anyway. And then, it's normal to pop 2 weeks on either side of you due date, so I wasn't really worried. I think he looked fine. But the "doctors" (there were no doctors there, I think--just a midwife and nurses) said they could tell. He didn't have enough wrinkles. Susan also said he had a lot of white goop on him, which would have come off if he were fully cooked. Still, he was around 7 1/2 pounds. They said if he had gone full term, he would have been 9 1/2. Lisa's glad he came a litte early after hearing that!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 14, 2003

My Other Valentine

I should mention my other Valentine. My wife and I love her so much, we named her after the day. Julia Valentine. Here's the valentine list:

When I first started getting really into Jazz, I was in High School. (I played Jr. High jazz band, but I wasn't really into it hard.) One of the tunes we played was "My Funny Valentine." Loved it since then.

Then, I bought Shawn Colvin's Fat City album. Loved it since then. Dig this lyric:

"But I had a dream last night
Of lovers who walked the plank
Out on the edge of time
Amidst ridicule
They laughed as they rocked and reeled
Over the mining fields
Coming to rest on this ship of fools
But he just took polaroids
Of her smile in the light
Of the dawn of the menacing sky
And before they went overboard
She turned and held up a card
And it said Valentine"

Then, as below, we were engaged on Valentines day.

One day, whilst looking for a present for Susan, I walked into my local framing shop, Sparrow Framing. (They do awesome work, by the way.) I saw this beautiful print by local artist Greg Mort. (He's also well known world wide. Probably his best known work is Floating Apples.) The print I saw was of an apple on some white lace, the lace being on a white shelf. To the stem of the apple was tied a red ribbon, which floated gracefully across the print. "I like that" I told Eileen. "Yes, I like it too. It's called Valentine." I bought it on the spot!

Then of course, while discussing baby names, Julia Valentine came up. I believe that Susan and I agreed on it immediately. (Sue will help my memory here.) After that, there was no other discussion.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

She said yes!

It was 10 years ago today that Susan Dancer agreed to be my wife. It seems only yesterday. I've not regretted a single day.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Happy Valentines Day!

"You have a beautiful and wonderful wife"
--Every fortune cookie I've got in the last 5 years.

Man, is my sweetie fantastic. First, she puts up with me. That's hard enough. On top of that, I'm a musician, which means I'm frequently not home in my "free" time. Take tonight. Valentines day. I have to play at a club 1 1/2 hours away. I won't be home until 3:30 or so tomorrow morning. So how did we celebrate Valentines? We celebrated last night! She made me pork roast with rosemary and garlic, roasted potatoes, and mushrooms Provencal. Boy, where those mushrooms good! Mushrooms sauteed with onions and parsley, then tightened with some bread crumbs. It was like stuffed mushrooms ina casserole. And she made me home made chocolate truffles in a chocolate heart box! Some with coconut, some with white chocolate chunks on the outside, and some with mini chocolate chips on the outside. Fantastic!

And what will I do for her? Other than telling the world on the web what a wonderful woman she is, I am cashing in a favor a local restaurantuer owes me, and taking her to dinner tomorrow night. Kind of an apres Valentines celebration.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Mostly drums, but some other stuff

Ugly new snare drum.
Uglier butchered Rogers snare.

The people who did this will be shot.

I contacted the guy building me my Bearing Edge BUBINGA!!! snare drum. He say's it's all done, and he's just waiting for a part from Greg Nickel, designer of the great Nickel Drumworks strainer. Check out this other Bearing Edge kit the man himself is selling on ebay.

OK, maybe prick was a bad choice of word. But I was mad at the time. And besides, I'm really not that bad. If I were a real prick, I'd tell everyone about the business, what they did, and other badmouth stuff. Instead, only my wife and people involved know. So maybe I'm not that bad.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Flowered Lunchboxes

I'm ready for spring. I want to take Julia out on a warm spring day, with a little bit of a breeze blowing, to go pick some flowers. All because I started looking at lunch boxes, and found this one that my sister used to have. (Edit: I started this post yesterday. When I got home yesterday, I found my wife still has her Holly Hobbie lunch box. Julia uses it to keep her Barbie clothes in.)

Busy night here at the office. Same two ladies calling back to report that what I'm trying isn't working. Oh great. The day just keeps getting better and better.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Fair Warning

Here it is, right from the horses mouth. Listen up, folks... I can be a prick. If you want to burn bridges with me, then cool, that's your choice. But I remember. And I try very hard to keep my word. (Ask Julia, she'll tell you that Daddy says what he means.) Stereophile screwed me on a subscrition years ago. I vowed to not only cancel my subscription, but to never support their magazine again. I've never bought another Stereophile since. A certain Percussion dealer in Portland tried to screw me over once. I vowed to never shop there agian. I've not set foot in their shop since that day. Today, a certain business asked me about a product they had. I gave them my honest answer, and suggested an improvement to their product that was already very good (and I told them so). Their response to me was, succinctly, "if our product isn't good enough for you, you can use our competitor's product." Ok. I WILL. I'm a prick.

On a brighter note, there will be a post later about lovely things, about little girls, and flowers, and things that make life worth living. That will make me feel better, I'm sure.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, February 10, 2003

Songs and Fire Engines

Paddy at work sang this to me today. Sing to the tune of "Mr. Sandman."

"Mr. Batty, you're such a guy
You are a drummer who doesn't get high.
You are a lover of chocolate and Jesus
He even covers his face when he sneezes ."

Nice Seagrave fire engine. Well, nice for the price. All it needs are, um, brakes.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, February 8, 2003

A Saturday Update

Here's a real nice old rosewood Sonor kit. Beech shells with rosewood in and out. A nice little jazzer. Also, a Slingerland Rolling Bomber kit. I love those drums. They just look so nice, and the history is so cool. (Remember, during the war years, drums could only be 10% metal.)

Stiff neck this morning. I slept on it wrong. The good thing is, I'm taking Julia roller skating later today. That should help! :-)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 7, 2003

I'm having a bad night

Crazy ways to die all portrayed in Legos! A real hoot.

I'm working on an old Apple laptop. I need to learn to say "no" to fixing computers. I always figure "it'll take me x hours to do this if nothing goes wrong." Something always goes wrong! What was supposed to take me 2 hours is going on 5. And I can't in good conscience ask my customer to pick up that tab. If I were a car dealer I could, but I'm not...

Here's an old style Tama Bell Brass snare. These babies are expensive! And rare. And an old one like this is too much for me to bear. Especially in the condition I'm in right now.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, February 6, 2003

The Florida Post

We headed out Saturday morning. We left Portland at 9am, I think. The Portland jetport was nice. They had an Xcelerator hand dryer--the first of the type I've ever used. It's a powerful beast! Anyway, we flew on some jet. It had 3 rows of seats on the right side, and 2 on the left, so whatever model that is. Lots of horsepower. I didn't like flying. I had flown in a little one engine machine with an ex-boyfriend of my sister. And my cousin used to fly the plane for the governor--a 9 seater twin prop. I liked that--I think because I could see what was going on. Going up and coming down on the big jet was not fun. Once we were up I was fine.

Cincinnati airport: nothing to report, really. It was clean. My first moving sidewalk. A Cinnabons. Eh.

Miami International. The Delta terminal wasn't even connected to the main airport; you had to take a monorail to get to the main airport. There was a fountain right in the middle of the thing. (The main airport, not the monorail.) This lead me to Florida axiom #1: Floridians like fountains.

Drive to the condo. Condo has four fountains (see axiom #1). Condo is beautiful! Two bedrooms, two living rooms with pull out couches, a kitchen, and a kitchenette. Two bathrooms, each with whirlpool, one whirlpool big enough for a family of three.

Sunday we slept a little late. Then we went to the Holy Land Experience. It took me a little while to get into it, in all honesty. I mean, the Goliath burger, the Byzantine Bible gift shop, that kind of thing. It made a little too much light of faith, I thought. But the Center for Biblical Antiquities changed my mind. In it they had a John Wycliffe Bible. He was the first man to translate the Bible from Latin to English, so common folk could have God's word, and not depend on a priest to tell them what God said. They also had a portion of a Guttenberg Bible, the first book to be published with moveable type. I enjoyed that a lot.

Monday was MGM Studios in Disney. They had the Disney Villains store (the best Disney shop I went in) and we had lunch with Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale. That night was the Mickey's Imagination closing show--my favorite closing show of all the parks.

Tuesday was Epcot. Epcot is divided into two almost separate parks: Future World and World Showcase. On this day, we went to the World Showcase. My office mate, Art, was on vacation in Florida the same week, and Epcot is his favorite park. High lights included the comedians in England doing sorta improv sketch comedy, and the Taiko drummers in Japan. (Also there was a good band in Morocco. The bass player was awesome, and the belly dancer was pretty good too. :-) I preferred the bass player. For different reasons of course.) The gymnasts in China were good, and Julia loves the masked street theater in Italy. She watched this one particular female performer in a purple and black velvet dress very intently through two shows. The fireworks display here was very good. The park closed at 9pm--a long day.

Wednesday was Animal Kingdom. This was my least favorite park, although the barbecue was very good. This was the only park at which Julia ever had a meltdown the entire trip, and both were late afternoon after she couldn't have her way. Nothing major, but I bring it up because otherwise, she was such a well behaved child.

Thursday was Magic Kingdom day. For visiting with a kid, this is the park to see. It has a good mix of kid and adult rides. Julia liked the Dumbo Flying Elephant ride. (Honestly now: this is the ride that had the longest line I had to wait in at four days in Disney.) I liked the Big Thunder Railroad roller coaster (funny how I love roller coasters, but not flying...), but Susan did not. The Haunted Mansion is a classic, and one of Disney World's oldest attractions. Too bad I didn't notice the busts that follow your movement. Well, it gives me something to check out when I go back.

The highlight of the trip was breakfast Thursday morning. I'll admit, my eyes got a little watery when Julia threw a hug on Cinderella. She's quite the Cinderella fan. My mom has even made her two beautiful Cinderella gowns. Julia wore one to breakfast, and even Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Belle complimented her on it. I'll post a picture of it later.

Friday, we went to Epcot in the morning, and rode the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon. That gave me an opportunity to buy the souvenir I wanted. Here's the story on that:

As I mentioned, MGM had the Villains Store. They had a coffee mug with Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty on it, both in human and dragon form. But since it was the first day of my trip, I didn't want to commit to it right off the bat. Then Thursday morning, I found it again in the back of Cinderella's castle. This was the last park, and I had seen all kinds of other shops, and this was still what I wanted most. So, after the fireworks Thursday night, I went back to the shop to buy the mug. (It's only $10 at Disney, BTW, not $20 like on the web.) The shop was closed. I was sad. So we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom on Friday to shop--so I could pick up the mug!

OK, Axiom #2 for Florida: Floridia water has a funky odor. All I could think of was rubber tires. Not real strong, but you could smell it. I noticed the same smell in the condo, in Disney, and in the fountain at the airport, so I think it's an Orlando water table thing.

Axiom #3: hot Krispy Kreme donuts Rock Neddick! But they have to be hot! They also have a cream filled chocolate frosted that's pretty good, 'cause it uses cream instead of custard, and I prefer that. But still, with the exception of the hot glazed, I prefer Dunkin' Donuts. DD gives you cake donuts and raised donuts. KK only had one cake donut that I saw.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Silly quizes

The Wicked Queen
You are The Wicked Queen and you ARE the fairest in
the land. Or else the Snow White chick gets it!

Which Disney villain are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Your new name is... Lumpy Toilethead!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, February 3, 2003

Youthful Indulgence

I don't know why, but for some reason tonight I put Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Second Helping" album on the Thorens. I listened to this album a lot as an early teenager. I played drums to this album hundreds of times in my parent's basement. On a record changer, no less! And even though a changer is a horrible thing to do to a record, after a quick vacuum on the Record Doctor II, this album sounded soo full of presence! I'll need to go through the old stacks and pull out stuff I haven't heard in 15 years. Like Zepplin 4!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Glad to be back!

It's nice to be back in the land of ice and snow. There's only so much 70 degree weather a Mainer can take in January! :-) In any event, I'm home safe. I'll have a big post about my trip in the next few days. I'm just too tired tonight. Who knew relaxation could be so strenuous?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: