Friday, February 25, 2005

Jimmy's Buddy List MI-5

1. If you had your wedding to do over again what would you do differently? If you haven't been married yet and you were going to then how would you envision your wedding? This question is dedicated to Cam.

Hmm. Well, I'd really like to have had dancing at the reception. My father-in-law is a pastor, and he and my mother-in-law agreed to pay for the reception, but only if there was no dancing. In reality, the reception was pretty boring. Susan and I once thought we'd do a big party for everyone for our 10th anniversary. Guess we gotta do that some other year...

2. Do you believe that there is one person in the world that is your mate or do you believe that many people could be a suitable mate? This question is more philosophical rather than personal. This question dedicated to Jim.

No, I don't believe there's just one special person. I do believe in love at first sight, but there could be several people that you just click with. I loved Susan at first sight, and spent many months trying to get her to go out with me. When Mom and Dad met at that ice skating party years ago, she went home and announced to her family that my Dad was the man she would marry. I think she was about six.

3. Would you rather have a great car that didn't run very well (needs repair monthly but let's say other than that it is your dream car) or would you rather have a crappy car that runs great and is very reliable? This question is dedicated to Gina

Give me reliable crap. Cars just aren't my thing. Practical is where I'm at with transportation. I've never owned a coupe in my life.

4. If kids didn't cost anything how many would you have? This question is dedicated to Bill.

Does this also mean that the house grows as the family does? And the car? If so, I could see going up one more: 4. I'm realizing that time means more to a healthy family than money. So even if money were no object, time still would be. I think more than four and I just wouldn't have the time needed to give to each child.

5. You have $1000 to buy a TV. You can add personal money to this if you want to get something really high end or spend less than this and keep the change. You have many choices. They all have general advantages and disadvantages. Traditional style tube TV's are very affordable but have lower quality pictures and are older technology. Rear projectors are more expensive while still being affordable but they are very large and again the picture quality doesn't match some of the new technology. Front projectors give you great picture but require a dark room and tend to be expensive. LCD TVs are the flat panel style that hang on the wall so they are large with great pictures without taking up a lot of space but they are very expensive. Plasma are much like LCD but they tend to be a bit more expensive and offer even better picture quality. There is also some debate as to whether Plasma lasts as long as LCD. So the question is which one would you get and why? This question dedicated to Barry.

This question is great! Of course, if you know Barry, it's even greater! For me, it would be CRT widescreen. I can't put a TV on the wall, as then you'd have picture behind the speakers. Not good. So plasmas and LCDs don't really do anything for me. I don't think there's much good in a front projector at that price range. (If cost weren't an object, I'd go front projector.) So a regular tube will do for me, thanks.

Listening to: Robert Randolph and the Family Band

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Great News!

Northern Kingdom music has the new Tama drumkit with 24" (!!!) kick drum in Red Sparkle Fade!!! I own five drum kits, none with a 24" kick. Hmmm... I am going to design a website for them. Trade of services, maybe...

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Web & snare work done!

OK, you wanna see that other site I've been working on? Check out I'm really pleased with it. I think it may be one of my better sites. Nice stuff he makes, huh? Nothing I'll be getting into any time soon, but it is really good looking.

I also added a bunch of stuff to Blind Albert's site, including a Nam Diary (blog) and photo gallery.

The other day, a drum friend stopped by to talk to Paddy and me. He mendioned that his two snares (one a 14" and one a 10" popcorn snare) weren't really what he wanted. The 14" wasn't high enough in pitch, and the 10" was all crack and no body. I said "I've got this 6 1/2" X 13" snare that's higher in pitch than your 14", and yet the depth will give it some body too. You can borrow it if you like." So he did. He loved it! In fact, he offered to buy it! So I sold it to him. He bought the first Rhythm King snare. He didn't like the white satin flame, though. It doesn't match his ice birch blue DW set. So I recovered it for him in black. It looks pretty good, I must say.

Eating (just about to): Cheesesteaks
Watching: American Chopper

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 18, 2005

In memory of Keith

I found out today that my friend Keith Burgess died yesterday. He was 54. He'd been battling cancer for a while. I played with Keith in a local band called Straight Shake, later called Smokin' Hose. It was the band I was in before Blind Albert, so this would of been over 10 years ago. I made good freinds with a couple of guys in that band, notably Henry "Hank" Dugan and Keith. For some reason, I gave Keith the nickname Fishbone. I don't know why. But he was a really good harmonica player. Arguably, he's the best in the area. He had this crazy hip shakin' thing he would do when playing. He was as skinny as a rail, and looked so funny--I of course being the drummer seeing him most of the night from behind. I remember this one time at band practice... I had this idea of segueing two songs together that were in the same key. Keith looked at me with this kind of "shock and awe" look. "Segue?" he said. "Yeah," I said, "you know, when you put two songs together with no break in between?" He'd never heard the term before. So the next week at practice, he said "Let's practice those two tunes that we, you know, um, hedgehog together." Now, when talking with musicians, I always use the phrase hedgehog instead of segue. And sometimes, musician friends will use the term back at me. Keith's legacy.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Gina's MI-5

1. When a recipe calls for you to “season to taste”, besides salt and pepper, what are your favorite seasonings?
I like garlic a lot. And rosemary. And cilantro. And cumin. I guess it would depend on the dish, and I season with what's appropriate for that region. Just as you don't see cumin in Italian dishes, you wouldn't put capers in your tacos. And I almost always go off the written page when cooking. In fact, other than baking, I rarely use a recipe.

2. You’ve just heard a “juicy” story about someone. Do you tell it to someone else? Or do you refrain? If you do repeat the story, to whom would you most likely tell and why?
If it's personal juice, I try not to tell. If someone says "This is a secret," then I don't tell. The only deviation from that is if my wife asks. I don't keep secrets from her. So if you say "Bill, I have three heads," then I don't tell anyone. If Susan asks me "Does so-and-so have three heads?" then I tell her the truth. So if this secret can't be heard by Susan, you need to remember this caveat.

Then there are times at work where we have "discussions." It's not really gossip, because we're not swapping unfounded stories. But we'll say "What do you think of Jim getting that $500 bonus because he washed the bosses car?" (Totally fabricated--that didn't happen. But that would be a topic of discussion around the office.

3. What do you see as being your biggest challenge to maintaining (or achieving) happiness in your life?
I was actually thinking about this last night, as I was leaving the house to go work on Julia's loft bed. What good does it do to have children, and then not be able to spend any time with them? I either need more time, or more money so I can spend less time working. For the past several weeks, my evening hours at home have been spent building websites, and time for just hanging out with the family is hard to come by.

4. Scientist say that the sense of smell can trigger powerful memories. Tell us about a time when your memory was jogged just by smelling something.
Whenever I smell the cologne Grey Flannel, I am reminded of the night Susan and I saw Shawn Colvin in concert at Bowdoin. Why? I was wearing it that night. But I wore it many nights, so why should that matter? I don't know. Maybe it was the first time I wore it.

5. Have you ever been touched by the kindness of a stranger? If yes, please share your story here.
I once had a flat tire on the way to a Christmastime DJ gig, 1/2 ton pickup truck loaded with gear. I've changed many a tire in my day, but changing a tire on a pick-up is a pain. This guy came out of his house and offered to help. We tried to get the little bottle jack to lift the truck, but it just wasn't happening. He allowed me to use his phone (this was WAY before cells), and allowed me to wait in house until help arrived with a hydraulic lift jack. (Even after we got the tuck up, we couldn't loosen the bolt that held the spare on. This truck's spare--as with most trucks--was under the bed. So all kinds of dirt and salt and muck had welded the nut in place. I ended up using my grandfather's truck to get to the gig, and he and pastor Steve Bennett stayed behind to work it loose. If I recall, they had to loosen the nut with a torch.)

Feeling: About the same
Listening To: Mindy Smith

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Jimmy T, the Truck, Valentines, and No Job

OK, back to what I was talking about two days ago. I finished the MSAD #40 Adult Ed website a week or so ago. So be sure to check that out. They were nervous about the whole building a website idea, and likened it to childbirth! OUch! I also finished up another site just last night. I'm still awaiting final approval from the owner. As soon as I get that, I'll let you know where it's at. I like it a lot, so that says something. Maybe.

Valentines wishes. Well, it's all over. I didn't get back to that one, but I still want to wish a happy Valentine's day to all, but especially to my two favorite girls: my beloved wife Susan and daughter Julia Valentine. What did we do for Valentine's day? Well, I didn't do any web work. I made Susan a lovely dinner of pork chops and roasted potatoes, with chocolate mousse for dessert. And we're planning a special evening in May--once we can get all three kids outta the house!

Thanks to Jimmy "T" Thompson for helping me with my truck this weekend. I took White Lightnin' in for a tune-up on Friday. When it came back, it was runnin' like a top! Until I went to start 'er off in the parking lot. She acted like she had a low battery. So when I parked, I restarted to see what would happen. Just a slight crank, then nothing. Well, I figured I hadn't driven it around much in a while, maybe the battery was low. I figured I'd jump it, drive it around for an hour, and all would be well. So on Sunday afternoon, I called Jim to see if he wanted to go for a ride. We have one of those portable battery jumper things at the office, and I thought I'd use that, get her started, and go for a ride with Jim. He mentioned he had a battery charger thingy, and we could just use that. Great. So I picked him up, went to the truck, threw his charger on, and nothing. "Strange," said Jim, "whenever I've used it, it just fires right up." So, I had some jumper cables behind the seat, and we pulled them out, hooked them up to Susan's minivan, and waited five minutes. Nada. So we figure maybe the battery is plumb wore out. So using my leatherman and a pair of vice grips, we get the battery out. Off to Autozone. They have to charge it to test it. So we go back to his house to wait the 20 minutes for them to charge it. They call back, and pronounce the battery fully charged, and working fine. So we grab some of Jim's nice tools, get the battery, and install it back in the truck.


So one tow and $200 later, we find out it was the starter. Crap. And after I just dropped $100 on a tune-up. Bummer. Totally not in the budget. Good thing I had some socked away.

Job. Well, no time for this now, as we've got to go back to the original Hebrew. But I've got the answer. Do you care about hearing it?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentines Things To Remember

Hi all. Just a quick lunch time post. Things I want to tell you: A) one new website is up and running; B) Valentines wishes need to be posted; C) The King James version of the Bible mentions that Job is a "perfect" man--how can this be; D) Serious props need to be doled out to Jimmy T; E) (maybe) Grammy wrap-up thoughts.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 11, 2005


Courtesy of Maggi again, who's so egocentric she can't give up the glory.

1. do you have a favorite animal?
Sorta, I guess. I like tarantulas. Humpback whales are cool. Hemit crabs are always nice.

2. do you have any stories regarding suicide?
What kinda questions are these? Alright, I'll answer, but nobody should wig, ok? Sometimes I think about if I were to commit suicide, how would I do it. I'd want to do it in a way that wouldn't freak Susan out. Right. Husband dead but not freak out--it doesn't make much sense. But what I mean is I wouldn't want her to walk into the bedroom and find me with my head gone. So here's my plan. Go down to the Co-op in Spruce Head, and borrow one of the local lobsterman's skiffs. Row out somewheres. Tie a cement block around my ankle. Better yet, use chain. Throw that over the side, but don't go over with it. Just let it dangle. Sit on the gunwale of the skiff. Lean seaward. Shoot self in head. Sink to bottom. See the plan here? Quick death from the shooting, and yet no mess to clean up later. How thoughtful.

3. what are your drug habits?
I'm going to have to use the loose definition, as I don't really have a "drug habit." I like coffee. I drink maybe four cups a day, fewer on the weekends. I sometimes enjoy a beer, maybe a sip of bourbon after a really hard day at the office. I've never been drunk, and I've never been high. I have no intentions of ever doing either.

4. do you sing along to music? dance?
Yes. If I don't know the words, I just make 'em up.

5. would you spell it "hoe" or "ho"?
It depends. Garden impliment is "hoe," streetwalkin' purveyor of naughty-joy is "ho."

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Just some thoughts that don't fall much into any category...

I was taking Julia to school this morning, about 7:50. I guy goes by me, windows up, smoking a cigar. Now I like a cigar every now and again, but 8 in the morning? In a car? Yuck!

Susan and I have decided that we like eating a late supper. LAAAATTTEEE supper. Last night it was 9pm. The kids were all in bed. There was quiet. We could eat together in peace. It was very nice. Steak (again--good sale at Shaws), cheezy rice, and, no, not Szechwan vegetable medley. Instead, we had frozen peas and pearl onions in a light sauce, as made by Bird's Eye. Let me tell you, Mr. Man, these were the best peas I ever ate. I ate frozen peas before. (Canned peas are abysmal!) But I never really liked them. These peas I liked! I raved on and on to Susan, and she just sat there with a bemused smile, as if to say "My husband's fallen of the edge."

Counting Crows (one of my favorite bands) had a free-view concert on the satellite dish last weekend. I Tivo'd it, and found it contained footage of two other bands. Both of the other bands had front-men who played steel guitar. Not your regular country steel (which I love, BTW, and which my Uncle Ted played long ago), but hot blues steel. So I need to remember to check out Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.

Joe Cat-a-lan-o (wew-wew-wew-wew-WEW-wew) wants to know about Cheesy Rice. Well, Minute Rice used to make the rice in cheese sauce that was soooo good. Real good. It was so good, I commanded to my lovely wife that the Batty household should never be without a box in the cupboard. But then, they stopped making it. But Susan picked up some other cheezy rice side-type dishes just to try. Well, the Rice-A-Roni "Cheesy Pleasers" Four Cheese variety is just as good as the Minute Rice version. I bought 4 boxes last night.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Sorry For Lack of Posts

Like I've mentioned before, I'm working on a couple of websites. I work on them in the evening. And once I'm done in the evening, I just shut the machine off, and forget you--my loyal readers. Anyway, it's 9pm, and I'm just starting supper. Cheezy rice, a nice steak (good sale on strip steaks at Shaws), and szechuan vegetable medley. Yum! So of off to finish. I'll get back to you tomorrow night. :-)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, February 5, 2005

The Friday Night/Saturday Morning Post

So last night, Christian Funksters (doesn't that just sound strange???) Mack Economy and the Exchange played in Freeport. About 30 or so 16-22 year-olds showed up to listen. I was playing my copper snare and new Saluda 19" crash/ride. (I ordered the crash/ride directly from the owner of Saluda. I explained that I wanted a dry, washy, thin ride cymbal that had good crashability. What I got was a dry, thick cymbal that you have to hit hard to get a crash out of. It sounds ok, but it's not even close to what I wanted.) Anyway, I didn't wear earplugs for the first set, as I wanted to hear how everything sounded. I haven't played a gig without plugs in a long time. Bad news. I have a wicked sound hangover this morning. I didn't sleep well, my head hurts, and I feel all blech. I've gotta wear the plugs!

One of the two websites I'm working on is awaiting final approval. Maybe next week I can show it to ya!

Reading: Job
Listening to:

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 4, 2005


Courtesy of Maggi Blue. (Ooh-Ooh Maggie, Maggie Blue...)

1. Your biggest fear? (and I don't mean....spiders)
Losing one of my children. I don't know what I would do. I'd be a complete basket case. Heck, losing anyone in my family is not looking too cool, really. Not that it does for anyone, by so far, I haven't had a lot of experience with death.

2. What is one of your strongest passions...something that would make you crazy if you could not do?
Playing the drums. It's funny, as I don't really play as much as I should. I give 2 1/2 hours worth of drum lessons each week, and play on the weekends when I have gigs, and usually have some band practice somewhere once a week... Ok, I guess I do get some playing time in! I guess it's just practice time I don't do.

3. What is your most most sublime moment? (if any)
Julia's birth. I remember I stood by Susan's head for the vast majority of it. I made a conscious decision at a marriage conference we attended years ago to put her first in the family pecking order. So my job was to be there for her--and let the doctors worry about the baby. Anyway, and soon as she came out, I burst into tears. It wasn't one of those cries that you feel coming on. It was just instant crying. With the boys, it was different. After Nathaniel, there was still Matt left in there, so again, needing to be there for Susan, I kept my wits about me (mostly--though I still cried--just not as hard).

4. What is one thing you are very confident that you are good at?
I can play a basic shuffle with pretty good feel, and can swing it.

5. What is a one part of your personality that you are very secretive about?
Well, it's not really a secret to those who know me, or those that read here with any regularity, but I have this very melancholy/macabre side that comes out every now and again. Sometimes, I just like to be a little blue. That's the weird part. Sometimes, I like it.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Web designs and Designers

Crazy, man. That's what it's been. Today, I got the firm "go ahead" on two websites. One client wants a really simple page, but they don't understand the process. There's quite a bit of hand holding. But they're not computer heads, so they just don't know. I just need to keep reassuring them. "It's gonna be ok. I know what you want. Don't worry, let me do my thing, and it'll be fine." I think we got over the hump today. What had been two weeks of hemming, hawing, and deciding, ended today.

"We can keep all these things all little slippery, right? We can change when we need to, yes?"

Well, yes you can. But every time I need to change that button, I need to make a new graphic. And that's time, and that costs you money. So if you know ahead of time what you want, make the decision, and tell me for sure, than I can save you money by not having to double-back and re-do stuff. So they finally said "Here's what we need, now do it." Good. It shouldn't be too hard.

The other site seems like it will be a breeze. The guy is an artist, his wife a former graphic designer. They liked the template, colors, fonts, everything, first time through. Yea! But it's a big site, with lots of photos that are going to need cropping and whatnot.

I'll show you both when they're done.
Maggi Blue sent me this: Weight Watchers Recipe Cards from 1972. Yikes! What's with all the mackerel?

Maggi is a local web designer (read: friendly competitor) whose been doing some business with MIS recently. There's a local business networking group that she's gonna work with, and I saw her at a couple of meetings. Anyway, she's gonna do the MI-5 for tomorrow. Oh, and we're not really competing. She eats much higher on the food chain than I. I'm the little bitty designer. She's the big fish designer.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

I'm still here

Just busy. I'm working on three sites, so when I get online at night, I'm not much for posting. I'm working. That's just how it is. And, not much interesting going on. So, hello all, and here's hoping I come up with something interesting soon!

Reading: Job (how appropriate lately!)
Hearing in my head: Steel drum music

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: