Monday, February 25, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

Good morning, everyone. It's 6:19 in the A-M, and you're watching "Perspectives." OK, not really.

My weekend started on Friday. I took the day off in order to take the family to the children's museum in Augusta. Too bad I had hurt my back on Thursday. Yup. I've entered a new age of adulthood: I hurt my back. And, in another new era of adulthood, I don't know how I did it. But I decided I wanted to take the kids anyway. My Mom went along with us, and we took her van. Getting into said van was a little iffy for me. Once I was in the seat, though, I was ok. The museum was ok, but not as good as Portland or Bangor, but nice enough, I guess. The kids loved it, and that's what mattered. Because it was going to snow in the afternoon, we left the museum about noon, and had some lunch at Friendly's. The home, where I spent the remainder of the day in Susan's recliner with a heating pad.

On Saturday, we went to Augusta yet again, this time to go to Kennebec Church's winter carnival. You see, our church is having a carnival in about three weeks, so I went to scope out how they run theirs. Again, what seemed like not much to me equaled unparalleled fun for the children. The next stop was a furniture store, looking for a couch. No luck. We went to Wendy's for lunch, then to Sams Club for supplies. Two more furniture store stops yielded no couch prospects. We were home in time for supper.

Sunday morning was the norm, with nothing special to report. Well, Susan was sick, so all the normal church activities, lunch at Mom's, etc., were done without her.

And so it went! The end.

Watching: The morning news

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Mostly Untrue Friday Fill-In

1. Driving is the best thing about traveling.
2. I love a good hot cocoa when I'm cold.
3. I often use people to my own advantage, leaving them wasted shells of their former selves.
4. I'm reading Dave Barry's "Homes and Other Black Holes" right now; I like it. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't read it.
5. Disembowelment is something I dislike talking about.
6. When I visited Baltimore I most looked forward to seeing Poe's gravesite. (Of course, that's all a fabrication. I've never been to Baltimore.)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sleeping, tomorrow my plans include being in pain all day and Sunday, I want to lie in bed all day, and do nothing! (Of course, that won't be happening. I've never been to Baltimore.)

Is question 7 always the same on these things?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Susan's MI-5

Susan says: "These questions come, once again, from the "Coke or Pepsi" book I bought at Julia's last book fair."

1. Are you always up-to-date on the news?
Sort of. I watch the news most mornings, usually the Maine news on NBC. In the shower in the morning I listen to BBC World News. And I listen to a little talk radio, so I would say I'm fairly on top of world events. I'm not a news geek, though. I don't have Google send me alerts when something bigs happens or anything.

2. What is your favorite hot beverage?
Coffee. Black. Strong. Locally roasted Jet or Dark Star are favorites. Honestly, though, JP and I were discussing this yesterday... Other than Indian Malabar, all the straight coffees at Rock City are terrific.

3. Would you rather go to the museum of art or natural history?
It would depend on the art museum. If it were modern art, I'd rather go to the natural history museum. If the museum contained a lot of art by European masters, then probably the art museum.

4. The best food comes from which country?
Italy. I think everyone knows that, right?

5. Would you rather bicycle through Europe or go on an African Safari?
I'd rather see Europe, but I don't think I'm fit enough to bicycle through it. How about a safari through Europe?

Feeling: Pain. My back hurts.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Little AM Discussion of Stardom

On Monday, at the office, Gina, Stacey, and I were talking a little about celebrities. I mentioned that some celebrities, just how they carry themselves, seem like they'd be really cool people. You know, you walk into the coffee shop, they're there, drinking coffee. You decided to sit near them, and strike up a conversation. Some stars seem like they'd be cool about it. Some seem like they'd give you the hairy eyebrow, get up, and leave. How about you leave a comment, and tell me who you think might fall into each category. I'll start. To me, Danzel Washington seems like a total down to earth guy. Same with Terry Bradshaw. I'll pick Queen Latifa on the ladies side. Who's on the other side? Axel Rose wouldn't give someone the time of day. Matthew McConaughey also stikes me as "high maintenance."

Who's on your two lists? Who'll have coffee with you? Who won't look you in the eye?

Listening to: Stone Temple Pilots

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pitney Bowes F352 Repair

At the office, we have a Pintney Bowes F-352 folder/inserter machine. It takes our invoice, folds it in thirds, stuffs it in an envelope, seals it, and spits it out. We paid big bucks for the machine. It seems like it's nothing but trouble.

Today, it was giving us grief. The rubber roller that "picks up" the invoice at the start of the paper train would just spin and spin on the paper. We squirted the roller with rubber rejuvenator, but that only helped for a minute or two. So I called PB to see if they had some kind of factory rebuild option. The lady who answered the phone didn't really know. She referred me to an in-the-field technician, and she promised he would call within two hours. He did. I explained to him the problem, and what I was asking about. (I didn't think the lady answering the phone really understood what I was after.) He explained there was no rebuild program, but there was some PM (preventive maintenance) he could do. I asked him the cost. $450 just for him to enter the building! Then he'd let us know what would be needed by way of parts and labor. I told him, politely, "No thanks."

I went to ebay thinking I could find some parts or something. I saw this guy Al Pepper from Postmarq. He had a bunch of P/B machines for sale, and his phone # was listed in the ad. "Prior to bidding, I would welcome you to call and describe in detail how you wish to use the machine. I have 13 years experience in sales, service and consulting regarding inserters,their function and application." I figured I'd call him, and see if he offered service.

He's got the part in stock, and will provide me with instructions on how to replace it. If I get stuck, he'll walk me through it over the phone. Cost? $105. And, while he had me on the phone, he gave me some other quick things to try. He gave me access codes to the function section, had me check a few things, and his tip seems like it really worked! And, before we hung up, he said "Thanks for calling! Now you've a new tech support person for your machine."

Based on my dealings with the guy so far, if you need help with a Pitney Bowes machine, call Al at (314) 849-5392.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 15, 2008

Amy's MI-5

(This makes two weeks in a row for the MI-5. Are we back in a groove?)

Amy says: "Next week I will be going on a vacation. These are vacation inspired questions."

1. What is the longest vacation you have ever been on?
Nothing longer than a week, I don't think. Well, unless you count school vacations!

2. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Something about this question seems to imply that you've vacationed there on more than one occasion. I've only been to Disney World once, but that's the vacation I'm really looking forward to. Some day, I hope to take my family there.

3. Name some place you would like to go on vacation that you haven't been before?

4. When you vacation do you like to plan out every minute or roll with the flow?
I guess I'm sorta in between. I'd like to plan some things to do, but also leave some time to do something unexpected.

5. Are you more of an ocean person or a mountain person?
Definitely ocean.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Fill In

1. Snowdrops are fun to catch on your tongue.
2. I'm going to go crazy.
3. Shawn Colvin's "Polaroids" is a song whose lyrics have meaning to me.
4. Just one sip and I decided tequilla was nasty.
5. In a vintage drum shop with unlimited funds is where I'm happiest.
6. I believe that music is a necessary part of life.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a birthday party at McDonalds, tomorrow my plans include going to a family fun party in Augusta and Sunday, I want to have a snag free billing day at the office.

Watching: Good Eats, a show about donuts

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Washing your Nose on Valentine's Day

Yes, it's Valentine's Day. Loyal readers here will realize that Valentine's Day is quite special to my beloved wife and I. If you don't recall, you could do a search, or just read here. Anyway, we decided we wouldn't buy each other presents this year. Of course, I "forgot" that! While we were on our way to Portland a couple of weeks ago, we stopped into an antique store. We were just about to leave, and Susan was looking in a jewelry case. The lady who was running the shop started chatting with Susan, and somehow the talk turned to cameos. The lady mentioned there were some lovely cameos in this certain other case. Susan looked them over, mentioned she found them all quite lovely, but found one or two that particularly fancied her. So the other day, when I was going by the store, I dropped in and bought one for her.

Why do I bring this up? Well, for Valentine's Day, Allison bought JP a neti pot. He wanted one. Cool? I'm not thinking so! He tried it out at the office. It was a riot! He was doing ok until the rest of us got laughing. Then he got laughing, and blew a nose full of salt water! He said it reminds him of swimming in the ocean. Gina thinks it would remind her of drowning.

Listening to: Real Jazz, XM chanel 70
Feeling: Fine

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Sister Resurrects The MI-5

I really hate to see the MI-5 “die”, so I’ve taken it upon myself to write the questions for this week. These questions are completely unrelated, and they should be really easy. Therefore, no one should have an excuse not to answer them!!!

1. Do you prefer crushed ice or ice cubes in your drinks?
Cubes. Crushed ice gets past my teeth, and my teeth are ever so slightly sensitive. I can filter cubes out with my lips.

2. Do you chew gum? If so, what is your favorite gum?
I don't chew gum as a habit. If someone offers me a piece, I'd probably chew it. Juicy Fruit is my favorite.

3. What book are you reading right now? Do you like it?
The only book I'm really reading right now with regularity is the Experiencing God workbook for Bible study. I do have a copy of The Annotated Alice that I started reading again next to my bed. I think this will be my third or fourth time through it.

4. What is the last thing you have done creatively?
Web page design, I guess. Of course, I create on the drums every time I play them. Nothing is ever exactly the same twice.

5. What song seems to be running through your head a/k/a an “earworm”?
Oh, Solo Mio. Of course, I sing my version with made up words!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Fill In

1. I'm looking forward to sleeping late tomorrow.
2. Texas is a place I always wanted to visit and haven't made it there yet.
3. I've fallen in love with Susan, and have been there since 1989.
4. Six of one, twenty five or six to four.
5. Addiction messes up more lives than just the addicts.
6. The antics of my children crack me up!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a lovely supper, tomorrow my plans include driving long distances in the snow and Sunday, I want to arrive home from my gig safely!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Get to Know Your Friends

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do... Copy this entire email and paste into a new email that you can send, change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you. Some of you may get this several times (that means you have lots of friends).

1. What is your occupation? Customer Manager, Midcoast Internet Solutions. Drummer.
2. What color are your socks right now? brown and blue argyle
3. What are you listening to right now? The hum of the computer.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A Tums.
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, and well, too!
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Cerulean!
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My beloved wife Susan
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Well, the aforementioned beloved wife sent it, so I guess I like her!
9. How old are you today? 36
10. Favorite drink? Milk
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? Live--basketball, TV-baseball
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? No.
13. Pets? I have a fish I care for at the office, but he's not really a pet. My daughter has a cat at home, so by default, I guess it's mine too. (I know the litterbox duties are mine!)
14. Favorite food? Pasta
15. Last movie you watched? Some kids movie about a bear, and hunting season, and I don't remember the name.
16. Favorite Day of the year? Halloween
17. What do you do to vent anger? Wash dishes. Slam around.
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? GI Joe and Star Wars figures
19. What is your favorite season? Fall
20. Hugs or kisses? Both!
21. Cherry or Blueberry? Blueberry
22. Do you want your friends to email you back? Sure, but most of them won't. They're busy, and don't usually participate in such foolishness.
23. Who is most likely to respond? My sister.
24. Who is least likely to respond? I don't think Blind Melon Chang will, but he may surprise me.
26. When was the last time you cried? I don't remember how long ago it was, but it wasn't long. I was buttering a biscuit for Nathaniel. (Ask me, and I'll tell you the story.)
27. What is on the floor of your closet? I don't use the closet, so I defer to Susan. Probably her shoes.
28. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? I guess Jim, whom I've known since high school.
29. Who is the friend you have had the shortest that you are sending this to? Pastor Dave.
30. Favorite smells? Lilacs, baby heads, salt sea roses, bacon and woodsmoke
31. Who inspires you? My wife, Mitch Mitchell, Jesus, and my Dad.
32. What are you afraid of? Getting my eyes poked out.
33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Spicy AND cheesy. (Sounds like me!)
34. Favorite car? Audi TT
35. Favorite cat breed? I could care less.
36. Number of keys on your key ring? Seven. If you count drum tuning keys, eight.
37. How many years at your current job? 8.
38. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
39. How many states have you lived in? Just this one.
40. Do you think you're funny? Oh, I'm hilarious!

Feeling: Angry, Frustrated, Sad, and a few other non-happy feelings
Listening to: Sarah Shannon

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, February 1, 2008

My First Friday Fill In, and Before Amy Even!

Amy does this meme called the Friday Fill-In. My other Friday meme is just about dead, so I thought I'd start participating in this one. My answers are in parenthesis.

1. Once I was (a child).
2. (I've never spent much time) being sick.
3. Today at work I (will probably want to cry).
4. What's (the GOP) all about? (Why can't we find a good candidate!?)
5. If I make a mistake I (admit it while moping around at what a hosebag I am).
6. When I woke up this morning, I thought (I'd like to sleep later, but I can't).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to (caucusing), tomorrow my plans include (a concert and a hockey game in Portland) and Sunday, I want to (have enough energy to work on the house)!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Stuff Everyone Knows About Me, Flossing, and Houses

Perhaps my postings are a little predictable. While at lunch Wednesday, JP asked me what I had done over the previous weekend. I couldn't really remember, so Jim started a typical "weekend wrap-up" post from Sadly, he was right on the money! My weekends are all the same! Wake up, make breakfast, do some web design, wash dishes, go to church, the end. Perhaps I'll forgo them for a while...

I went to the dentist yesterday morning. I've been rather diligent about flossing in the morning, and since Christmas (when we got a Oral-B toothbrush) I've been doing two full minutes with the brush, twice daily. I was hoping the hygenist would say "Wow, I see marked improvement!" Instead she said "How are you doing with your flossing regime?" I said, having not told her any of the above, "How do you think I'm doing with my flossing?" She said while there wasn't any deterioration, she things looked about the same as before. That was a bit of a bummer for me.

Also, Susan and I have been looking for a bigger house. Maybe I can post something about that later.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: