Monday, March 31, 2003

Don't let Jim have coffee

Here's the story:

Jim was working at a friend's house. (It's a new construction.) There were no stairs between first floor and basement--they were using a ladder. Friend and Jim are both on first floor, and Jim starts down ladder. Something happens, and ladder goes down. Jim lands on cement basement floor. Since there are no stairs, friend can't get to Jim, so he goes to another section to try and get down to him. The other door is locked, so friend has to jump down to him.

Tibia and fibula are both broken. They were cast last night, but have since shifted, so they will need to be pinned. Shoulder is possibly separated/dislocated. Also has fracture in knee and ankle. Since they weren't hard breaks, those two should heal well. Break in elbow with a piece of bone floating around. Drs. are going to determine how to best fix that part.

He's in room 13, and scheduled for surgery on elbow and leg on Wednesday. Rock on, Jim! Now that's a site for coffee geeks. In fact, they recently rated espresso tampers. You know, when you get your espresso, the barista tamps the grounds down to create more pressure? Well, apparently some tampers work better than others.

I also learned about the ristretto. Take the coffee you use for an espresso shot. Cut the water in half. Do it again. Viola! Never heard of it before. Apparently, only real coffee snobs know about it. Supposedly if you ask for one at most cofee houses, they give you a short shot--but that's not what it's supposed to be. One barista from Washington state, who has been working at this one coffee bar for three years, has only had oneperson ask for one. Anyway, I should try one sometime. It sure looks good!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Props to the WOP!!!

Crazy flailin' props to the WOP! Why? 'Cause I like him, and I don't need no other reason. Also, because I made him feel bad. And, also because I threatened to pee in his lasagne. So there.

PS--I'm playin' Brian Boru in Portland tonight. Hope to see you all there!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

I got this before Random Abstract did!

Girls Eating Sandwiches! Some fetishes are real weird.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, March 28, 2003

Dolin' Out Props!

Let's start dealin' the props.

First, to my wife. You rock, and I love you.
Next, to my buddy Jim. Thanks for the use of your woodworking tools and supplies during the recent drum renovation project.
To Paddy, who has a new Blog: Double Taps. I'll get a permanent link up here right quick.
To Charles, who gave me a free drum set. I know, this is like the fourth time I've mentioned it. But the guy gave me $300 worth of drum stuff for free.
Harvey, my main man at the best music store in the world, Northern Kingdom Music in Rockport Maine. He's going to hook me up with some free drums too, and that rocks Neddick. Also, no matter what I need, he tries to hook me up with it. Loyalty, my friends. Harvey's got it. (As do all of those listed above.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, March 27, 2003

The best laid (drum) plans...

I told you about this drum set that Charles gave me? And how I decided to modify the floor tom into a bass drum. Here's what I've learned from this experience:

1) The lugs are not the same size on a bass as on a floor, so 16 extra holes had to be drilled. This was not too bad.
2) The spacing of where floor tom legs go, and where bass drum spurs go are no where near the same. 8 more holes drilled. (This was a pain.)
3) The floor tom lugs are much closer to the rim of the drum than bass drum lugs are. Result? Bass drum t-rods are too long to use with new bass hoops I bought. Old floor tom tension rods are too short. Luckily, they make a size in between. Too bad I don't have any.
4) Since distance between lugs and rim are closer on tom than bass, bass drum claws are also too long. Luckily, I do have some extras of those around, and they were short enough to fit.

So the only original parts that I won't get to use are the bass claws. Not a huge deal. Especially for a free kit.

But today wasn't all bad. :-)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, March 26, 2003


This is funny! It's a little under a meg, so dial-up users beware.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Cool News, Bad Day

I'm having a heck of a day. A real gasser. Can I go away somewhere and never be found? Too bad.

At least they're honest. It should have included "crap" in the auction title. No paypal or checks! These people just scream "Let us do business with you!"

It's official, and I can mention it now. Rob Cook of Rebeats has published a book on the Ludwig drum company. Now in the late 70s, Ludwig bought the rights to build the GHOST drum pedal. I, of course, have the best online GHOST pedal resources. So in the section of the book discussing Ludwig's bass drum pedals, on page 238, he references my website. Also, I'm listed on page 297 as an "other Ludwig resource." Does that make me an acknowledged professional?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

What's in my pockets and other thingys.

What are you carrying around? Well... Left front pocket: two business card holders full of my business cards. Two receipts. Two business cards from other businesses. $1.49 in change. RIght front pocket: keys. 9 regular keys, one drum key. One set of nail clippers. One Shaws Rewards grocery saver tags. All hung on a Guinness caribiner. Left rear pocket: real beat-up eelskin wallet. $5 cash. Various coffee club cards, license, check card, yada. Picture of wife and daughter. Receipts and stuff. Right rear pocket: comb. On belt: Palm 125, Nokia cell phone, and a Victorinox multi-tool (Leatherman).

Speaking of Palm, I just had a close call with mine. It done did just froze up. Even a hard reset didn't fix it. Paddy finally did fix it, by removing the face plate. Why would the face plate have anything to do with it? Exactly.

A Quiz. Taken from Maria.

1. Poetry or prose?
Ack! Both. It depends on my mood. If I'm feeling melancholy, then poetry (Plath, Dickenson, Sandberg). If I'm feeling particularly amorous, poetry (ee cummings, Song of Solomon, Chinese poems by Li Po et al). Times other than that, prose.

2. Funky modern art or the older, "classic" variety?
Classic stuff, particularly impressionist stuff.

3. Sculptures or paintings?

4. Theatre: exuberant musical or serious drama?
Serious drama. I'm a huge Eugene O'Neil fan.

5. Ballet or modern dance?
Ballet, I guess. Not too much of a dance fan. Break dancing is cool, as is tap.

6. Movies: major studio or indie?
Major studio, usually.

7. Authors: Shakespeare or Dr. Seuss?
Dr Seuss. But Will is good too.

8. TV: PBS or A&E?
I like them both, but will give the nod to A&E.

9. Music: Beethoven or Beatles?
The Beatles are one of my favorite bands.

10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You are a contributing member of your favorite art museum, and visit on a regular basis. They announce a new, temporary special exhibit by an artist surrounded by controversy...this person's work and/or political views offend you. Do you stop supporting the museum, or just stay away during the time the exhibit is there?
Just stay away during that exhibit.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Final Beer Review

Well, it's been over a year since Jim gave me a gift basket of 9 fine beers for my birthday. And I finally finished them! I forgot to post an update about beer #7 and #8, the Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout and Bellhave Scotch Ale. They're good. I''ve had them several times before, and they're always good. Then last night, I had the last beer: a Hennepin. It was ok. It's in a corked bottle, and has lots of yeast in it. The bottle says it will cellar well. (Most beers are made to be drunk fairly fresh.) The flavor screams citrus. It was quite lemony. It was a big bottle too, maybe two glasses worth. I got through 1 1/2. I found it drinkable, but it wasn't a brand that I would buy for myself. But if a friend offered me some, I'd drink it. So the final tally: 7 good beers (Bass, Pilsner Urquell, Sam Smiths Oatmeal, Sam Smiths IPA, Sam Smiths Tady Porter, Paulaner Hefewiezen, Bellhave Scotch ale), one ok (Hennepin), and one not good (Warsteiner.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, March 23, 2003

You do get an update after all!

Up early this morning. Susan alarm went off, and I had to go, you know, so I just got up. She's whippin' together some nice baked thing for some guys at the trade show. You see, last year Harbor Millworks made this huge desk as a display. It had one little imperfection in it, so they wouldn't sell it. But they didn't want to drag it back to the shop. So, they gave it to me, and Susan uses it as her scrapbooking headquarters. I think she's making them a bannana bread to say "thank you."

My I vent a little? You see,I know some things about certain subjects. Let's for example say drums. (It really is just an example.) Let's say you need to buy a drumset for some non-profit organization you work for. So you call me up, and hire me to address your needs, figure out a budget, and buy the right equipment. Great. I do my job, and present you with my findings to get the ok before I really spend the money. Now let's say in your organization, there's a person involved with music somehow, but not a drummer. But, you know, they kinda now that there a things called "drums," and Ludwig is the name of one company that makes them, and that's about it. How should I feel when this other "expert" gets into things and starts telling me what I need to do different? I mean, they hired me for what I know Why won't they listen? If they want what this other person has to offer, fine! Pay me for the work I've done, and I'll get off the project. But if you want what I can offer, why don't you take it when I give it to you! Argh!

(I got so riled up over this last night, I had a little taste of my Booker's just to calm down.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, March 22, 2003

By the way...

I had to ask who Mike Patton is. I'm still not really sure. Paddy knew who he was, but no one else in the office seemed to. I guess he really is overlooked!

Off to the tradeshow! You probably won't hear from me until Monday.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, March 21, 2003

A Flimsy Friday Update

Here's a Tama rosewood piccolo. Funny, but my desire for one of these has crashed since I bought my Bearing Edge. I hope it gets here soon. My four week wait for it is going on 12.

You are Mike Patton.

Which music god are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

So this weekend, I'm doing a trade show for work. It's a home and garden show. I know, an Internet company is a bit out of place there, but they get a big draw, and we get to see a bunch of "regular" people. You know, not biz people who attend trade shows, but regular folks. I'll be there 9-5 tomorrow, and 10-4 on Sunday. Then, back to work on Monday. I'm gonna be draggin'! At least I don't have a gig this weekend.

Look at this! Final meal requests for death row prisoners in Texas. Those good ol' boys really pack it away at the end. I'm sure I'd be the one to request "nothing." If I'd ever killed anyone, that is.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Nothing of interest today

Just not much going on. Well, lots going on, but all boring.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

For my wop-ish friend

When we were visiting Disneyworld, we went to Epcot. In the culture world (or whatever it was called) around back, we stopped to watch the masqurde in Italy. At one of the shops, there was an employee from Genova, Italy. I thought "Too bad my buddy Mike Genova couldn't see this." So, I asked if I could take her picture. She seemed very flattered--as if no one ever presented such a request. I explained that I had a friend whose last name was Gen-O-va. "GEN-o-va" she corrected. "Well, now that he's here (and has been for three or so generations), they've changed how they say their last name." In any event, here she is. If you see her at Epcot, be sure to give her Mike's phone number.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Cool English usage site

Check out this site! All kinds of common English errors, with correct usage noted! Boy, I'm gonna have fun here! (Note: I realize "gonna" is not accepted [excepted? :-)} English. Since I know the rule, I can abuse the rule.) The ones that always trip me up? Further and father, and less and fewer. E.g. and i.e. trip me up too.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Pink Sparkle?

You know that set that Charles gave me? I got all the hardware and the fiinish stripped off it yesterday. Now I need to get it all polished. As for the color, I've been leaning towards pink sparkle. Crazy you say? Dig this kit. Classy, no?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Universal Axioms

I developed some universal axioms/theories over the years. There's the Bill Batty Pendulum Theory, for example. I've come to realize another axiom recently. A 4 1/2 year old girl, when she climbs into your bed, will exist in a space 300% larger than her actual mass.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Drums, Charlie Manson, Drums, and Webmaster stuff

Word from the drum maker came today: my Bearing Edge snare should ship next week.

You've not heard funny until you've heard an Australian ask "Would you toast my gobbler?"

Last month, I wrote an article for The Midcoast Review dealing with computer operating systems. I ended the article with a cliffhanger: I said a particular OS was direct from Satan, but didn't name it. In my follow up this month, I used the phrase "pit of Abaddon." My editor didn't know what that was. For those of you not familiar with the demon who rules over the pit of locusts from John's Revelation, chapter 9, you can see it here. (Incidentally, Charles Manson thought that the Beatles, in their song "Revolution 9," were quoting from the bible, and telling him that he [Manson] should raise "Helter Skelter" for them [the Beatles]. More here.)

Crazy props To Charles here in the office. He installed my wireless years ago, at no charge. (I was going to take him and his lovely wife, Lindsay, to dinner at Cafe Miranda, but we never got around to it.) Now, he's given me a drum kit! I know, I know, just what I need--another drum kit! It's a Pearl kit. It's not in very good shape. The kick drum is trashed. But the two rack toms and floor tom are ok. So I'm going to convert the floor tom to a small bass drum, and make a little travel/practice kit out of it. Now I need to pick a color. What would you pick?

I've been doing a little web master work too. See what you think of this.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Front Page

I took my Dad's advice, and added just a splash of color to the front page. I think it looks really snappy now.

Off to teach my ebay class tonight. It's part two--selling! I'm actually going to list some stuff. Well, maybe. It depends on if the class can keep up or not.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Trying something new

I'm looking for a new layout for the navigation of the site. I had the table on the left side. Now, I've put it at the top. But I don't really like it. Have you got an idea?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

New Front Page

Have you been to the splash page? Try it.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Friends, Jazz trip, VCR, palm pilot--a Neddick rockin' long post

Friends? I got 'em. Tons of them. Let me explain...

Jim. My buddy. He wants to do somethin' nice. So we went to see the Mingus Big Band at the Regatta Bar in Boston. We tooled down late Saturday morning (I had a gig the night before) around 10:30. The drive to Boston was fine, which is pretty good, as Jim can make me pretty car sick. :-) We parked at the hotel in Cambridge, and took the T into Boston. Red line to green or something like that. From there it was to the Prudential Center, and lunch (at about 4pm) at the Cheesecake Factory. (Good food, horrible web site.) I had pasta in pesto with roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and chicken. Jim had what Jim always has: steak. Jim loves his beef, and he's not ashamed of it. ("If God didn't want us to eat cows, then why did he make them out of steaks?") I couldn't eat it all. But I had to order desert. I got the Godiva limited edition cheesecake, and I got a piece of Dulce De Leche Caramel cheesecake for Sue. Jim had strawberry cheesecake, I think. Then to the concert. It was a really good concert. Mingus was all about making music. Making music. You know, improvisational stuff. The band had a chart of what the tune was "supposed" to do. But the solo sections were all improved. The leader would just cue everyone in to whatever section he yelled out in however many bars he yelled out. Example: sax player is taking a solo. Just blowin' to beat the band, so to speak. Other sax player stands up. "Go to "B" section in 4 bars, 3, 2, 1, go!" I've always loved bands who's leader just shouts out directions to the band. Louis Armstrong used to do that, as did James Brown. I just think it's cool.

So crazy massive props to Jim who bought the tickets, paid the gas, bought my lunch, and a beer at the concert.

Next up: Paddy. Patrick threw me the gig I played the night before the gig. It was a fun, pick-up style gig in a band called "Spork." We played good old bar type music: Honky Tonk Women, Mustang Sally, Brick House kind of stuff. The place was packed. There was a beer rep there from Guinness. He gave a bunch of prizes away, and held a little contest to see who would get them. He called it an auction, but it was more like a dare kinda thing. One woman said she would take off her shirt to try to win a bike. She won. Another girl said she would take her bra off. She won a snow board. Where was I when this whole thing went down? On the other side of the room, getting away from the crowd and smoke. I saw none of it. Jim, on the other hand, saw a booby from the girl who took her bra off. (She showed it to him on purpose--it wasn't some voyeur flash of skin thing.)

Also, Paddy drew this caricature of me.

cartoon (25k image)

I think I'm going to use it in a site redesign. And, he sold me his Palm Pilot. He bought it, and decided he didn't like it. So he sold it to me for less than he just paid for it. Quite a bit less. This thing rock's Neddick. I can't believe I ever lived without one. It keeps my schedule, and I can sync it up with my home and office computer. Way better than a paper calendar. Way.

(Ever wonder where I got the phrase 'rocks Neddick'? I stole it from Biz Stone. Of course, Natick is in Massachusettes, and Neddick is here in Maine.)

Next up: Harvey from Northern Kingdom Music, the best music store in the world. He's got all the juice--I have none. In a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" world, Harvey scratches me all the time, and I can't help him at all. I need to do something, but I can't figure out what.

Dude, this is one long post!

A new VCR arrived yesterday. As you may remember, I got a $50 gift certificate Susan and I decided to buy a new VCR. The Mitsubishi HSU-580 wasn't cutting it anymore. (There's something wrong with the head alignment. Tapes made on the machine are ok, but store bought/rented tapes usually sound horrible!) Crutchfield had a JVC S-VHS VCR on sale. On top of that, they had a scratch and dent model. So I paid about $50 out of pocket for this baby, and it blows away the $350 Mitsi. (Of course, I've owned the Mitsi for 5 years.) The remote is awful, and the programing is very non-intuitive. But the picture and sound rock Neddick. Too bad the chassis is plastic--it gives it a very cheap feel. So far though, I really like it.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, March 10, 2003

Turn on the hot light, let it shine wherever you go!

Here's the highlight (pun intended) of my Florida trip!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, March 7, 2003

Friends, Wontons, Countrymen

Man, do I have some great friends. Jim got me a special Christmas present. He said he'd buy 2 tickets to whatever jazz show I want, drive there, buy me dinner, two drinks at the show, and stop at a Cinnabons on the ride home for 1/2 dozen. Then the other night, just because he's a friend, he presented me with My Funny Valentine, a Miles Davis piece of vinyl he bought still sealed for me, just because I love the title song so much. Hard to beat that, huh? Then, Harvey called this morning. He said something that meant so much to me, I could hardly believe it. (Sorry I'm not at liberty to tell you what, but it was very, very nice.) And of course you all realize how wonderful my family is--including both sets of parents. It's all just a blessing.

Last night, I made homemade wonton soup. My Aunt Jo used to have me up to cook Chinese food with her when I was, oh, 10 maybe. I learned by wonton rolling method from her. Last night, I of course used no recipe--just throw stuff in the pan, baby. It was awesome, if I do say so myself.

Tonight I'm playing a bit of a pick up gig here in town. In addition to two drummers, we also have a bass and guitar player here at the office. So, were playing someone's birthday party at the local hot spot. A bunch a folks from around town are coming, so it should be fun.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

See ya in a few days!

Won't be much for updates the next couple of days. I'm teaching a class tonight until 9pm. Then tomorrow, I'm working at a trade show until 7pm or so, so I'll be going straight home to bed. So this may be it for a couple of days. Bye!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, March 3, 2003

One last post about my beloved

14 years ago yesterday, I asked Susan to be my girlfriend. We were juniors in high school. I would have been 17 at the time. I'm 31 now. In just a few years, we'll have been together half our lives.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Another Julia Milestone

Julia is, as we speak, taking her first big girl shower. Of course, when she was little, we just threw her in with which ever of us was handy. When she was old enough to sit up, she started taking her bath, naturally. She wasn't big on showers--she was kind of scared. Tonight though we told her it was just like standing in the rain (which she likes). Now she doesn't want to get out! She even washed her own hair!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

KFC and drums

I've had a wicked craving for some KFC recently. So tonight for supper, we splurged. They had buckets and meals and whatnot. They also had something called the "Mega-Meal." "What's that?" I asked. It was eight pieces of chicken, two mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, four biscuits, and a chocolate cake. And it was onsale! $15! Deal! And, they had Susan's favorite: honey bbq wings. So I picked up a few of them too.

Back in the 60s, most drum makers made a wooden six lug "student snare." They were usually the same wood and finish as there professional eight lug bigger brothers; the only differencewas sometimes the snare strainer, and the number of lugs. For example, the Ludwig Jazz Festival (eight lugs) and the Ludwig "Pioneer" model. Same drum, just two lugs different. Rogers had the eight lug Powertone, and the six lug Luxor model. This guy is trying to collect one Luxor model in every color. And, to show the epitome of a wonderful wife who understands drum collecting, here's a shot of extra drums stashed under a living room table. (At least I keep mine hid!)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, March 1, 2003

Moulin Rouge--Simply Awful!

I just lost this post. My browser crashed. Dang it! Now, I must start over. I'll do it in TextEdit, though!

Susan called me before I left the office last night. "You wanna pick up a movie?" Sure. First choice: Robin Williams' One Hour Photo. Sold out. Darn. Next choice: K19, The Widowmaker. Susan's not a huge sub movie fan, so I skipped this one. I finally decided on a film we had both expressed mild interest in: Moulin Rouge. I had completed the task for which I had been charged.

The director of this movie, however, should be charged with stealing two otherwise decent hours of my life.

I guess I have to agree with what others have said about this movie. The cinematography is beautiful. The colors are nice. The sets are over the top. The story is good. Too bad the direction is dreadful. It tries to be campy. But campy needs something to go along with it in order to make it work: humor. Campy without funny is just stupid. This movie was stupid. (I told Susan as we were watching it "This is like "Rocky Horror," but not funny!")

I did like the way modern day music is woven into the movie. It was quite fun trying to figure out what lines came from what tunes. I do think that Kurt Cobain is rolling in his grave for what they did to "Smells Like Team Spirit," but I did laugh out loud on the rendition of The Police's "Roxanne." Unfortunately, that was the funniest part.

The ending is good. The camp is gone, and the end production of "Spectacular, Spectacular" is all right. But I didn't do something I always do with a movie--watch the credits. I was just glad it was over.

Moulin Rouge. Horrible movie, right up there with Boxing Helena and Stealing Beauty. I encourage you to watch only to see how unbelievably bad it really is.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

I'm glad I don't collect guitars.

What is it with guitar players? I know drummers are gear heads, but poor guitar players! How can they do it? Lemme 'splain. I got this copy of the Musician's Friend catalog. (Actually, Northern Kingdom Music in Rockport, the greatest music store in the world, is the best friend a musician could want.) The first spread in the electric guitar section is for Gibson Les Pauls. There are 11 different Les Pauls on that two page spread. 11 versions of essentially the same guitar! There's the Les Paul Studio, the Les Paul Special, the Les Paul Custom, the Les Paul Classic, the Studio Limited, I think I'm gonna hurl! How does a poor guitar player keep track of the differences?

Drums. Each drum company has several lines. Let's take Tama, as that's what I play. There's the Starclassic line, the Rockstar, the Artstar, the Swingstar, and a couple of others. But each line is distinctly different! There's no Artstar Classic, Artstar Limited, Artstar Special, and all with different options. Starclassics. You want birch or maple? Maple limited? Maple Studios? No. Crikey, I have CD ROMs of old drum catalogs to help me. What's a guitar player do? They must have to have an entire library of stuff!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: