Friday, March 30, 2007

My MI-5

Instead of a normal MI-5, I figured we try the MI-5 Treasure Hunt!

1) Go to Type your first name in the search box. What's the first thing that comes up?

*50 FOOTBALL CARDS: Buffalo Bills LOT*

2) Go to What's the second image that catches your eye? Why?

Like my sister, the roses were the second thing to catch my eye. By 12, get 6 free!

3) Go to Type in the name of that special pet you had as a kid. What was the third item that showed up in the search?

It's a book called "Spike vs. Dracula." My cat when I was a youngster was Spike Virgil Marmalade.

4) Go to Type in your name. What's the fourth result say? And, if you care to share, what was the name you typed in?

"Ancestors of LCDR Thomas William Saltmarsh Jr. USN (Ret)." I used Bill Batty Jr. Lt. Commander Saltmarsh had a relative named William N. Batty, Jr. Good thing his middle name is different than mine!

5) Go to your favorite news site, local or national. What's the 5th headline in? Comment on the story.

I went to Yahoo. "Brush fire erupts in Hollywood Hills." It seems there's a fire near Warner Bros. studios. I guess I really have no comment, other than "Don't go back for anything."

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Anyone Use i-Tunes?

I've been looking for some rather unusual songs recently, and I just can't find them. I don't really want to buy an entire CD of The Duhks, but there's one song I want. So I figure I'll use i-Tunes, pay $.99, and download them.

What's the deal?

It's taking forever to find anything, and most times, it doesn't. It just quits looking. What's the deal? Is there something going on I don't know about? If it's always this slow buying music, then someone needs to put some competition up!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday night found me behind the drum kit. Yup. Who'da thunk. I played a show over at George's Valley High School: The Pajama Game. Actually, I played it the previous weekend to. Oh, and Thursday night as well. Anyway, the show got over around 10pm, and I headed home.

Saturday morning, and I was up with the boys at around 6:30. Susan wasn't feeling well, so she got up for a bit, but then went right back to bed. I started work on a website that I've been working on since December. The client likes to make changes! I put in about three hours on that, maybe a little more. In the afternoon, I was at the Pajama Game again for the 2pm matinee. By the time it was over, I had about an hour and a half at home before it was time to head back for the 7pm show. So basically, after 1pm on Saturday, my life consisted of the Pajama Game. I was home about 10:30, and after consuming a Cheddar Melt, I was in bed.

Sunday morning, and I was up again early. This was a rare Sunday that I didn't make breakfast for everyone. The speaker for our church service called and said he wouldn't be able to make Sunday School. I told him not to worry, I had a lesson on Malachi that I hadn't finished. When the time came Sunday morning, I reached into my bag to pull out the old lesson. Too bad it wasn't in there! Yikes! I did have an old lesson from Labor Day that I hadn't finished, so I figured I'd just have to run with that--even though I didn't really want to. I asked if anyone had anything they'd like to talk about, and Mom mentioned something she'd read in The Daily Bread. I hadn't read it, but we spring-boarded off that, and, in my opinion, had one of the best classed ever. Well, at least that I've taught.

We had lunch at Mom's, as is our tradition. Raspberry whip for dessert. Yum! Once home (around 2pm) I took a little nap. I got up around 4:30, and took the boys out to clean the garage a little (Julia stayed at Grammy-Nan's to practice her piano), and then we went downstairs to play drums. Evening church, and then to Amatos for a real Italian sandwich. Then, bed.

Reading: Ezekiel
Listening to: The Decemberists

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, March 23, 2007

Jim's Super Long Questions MI-5

I decided to do a situational questions style 5 this week. Do your best
and I hope you enjoy!

1. You are at a busy clothing store and you take something into the changing room. You notice far under the seat in there a 5 dollar bill. Someone was just in the room before you and they are just outside. What are your thoughts of this situation and what do you do?

Are they close by? If so, I'd ask them if they'd lost anything. If they say "I lost $5," I'd give it back to them. If I get some other answer, I guess I'd keep it.

2. You and a close friend try this new restaurant. It is very popular and filled with people. The service ends up being slow, the order is wrong and the food is not cooked right and has to be sent back. Even when they bring it back it is not really right. There is no apology or effort made to adjust the bill. When they bring it (the check) you notice they have made a huge error in your favor. How do you handle this?

I think I wouldn't say anything. It's obvious they're not taking care of things, and this is the result. If everything went fine, I'd say something. But at this point, I'd probably be so frustrated I'd say "Forget it, they can't get anything right."

3. You are somewhere in public when you see a lady you used to work with a year ago. You recall that this lady was having children when you worked with her and it appears as though she is pregnant again. You say hi and then say "oh I didn't know you were pregnant again..." and her response is "I am not". What do you say now?

I wouldn't get into this predicament. I've learned, first hand, how saying something can get you into deep trouble. I was really so embarrassed by what I said to someone one time, I try very hard now to watch what I say, and try and keep my foot out of my mouth. It still doesn't always work, as I tend to be gregarious and a kidder, and so sometimes that's my downfall. I once kidded a friend about "wearing the pants in his family," only to find out he'd been divorced over a year! Whoops! And that was after the really awful event. See: lesson learned, but not always heeded.

4. You are parking in a tight spot and accidentally tunk someones car. You can't see any damage. Do you leave a note or anything?

Not if I don't see damage. Cars have bumpers and body moldings for just such things. If nothing's wrong, I see no need to open yourself up to a possible frivolous lawsuit.

5. A person you used to be good friends with shows up in your life again after having gone through a huge personal crisis over the past few years. They invite you and your friends to come hear their new band. You recall this person always played in great bands and you agree to this and talk up this person to all your friends. The night of the show the new band is
terrible and your friend seems to have lost their ability to play. You are embarrassed and your friends are all having a horrible time and want to leave early. The band is just terrible and they play music you all hate. The band takes a break and your friend comes down to see you obviously looking for some support and your thoughts on the band and music. You can see your friends are going to leave. What do you do now?

I think I hop over and explain that my friends need to leave, and perhaps say the music really isn't my cup of tea. Perhaps I could get my former friends phone number, and we could talk about it later.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Illness Has Entered the Batty House

Who'd a thought? This Sunday was the first Sunday in five weeks that we were all in church together. Just when you thought everyone was well, something other bug comes a knockin'. It started with Matthew on Sunday night. Stomach bug thing. He couldn't keep his supper down. Thrice in the night he was up. Why is it your kids are always sick at night, in bed? They never throw up outside. Never when they're near the bathroom. Always in the bed. Monday, he seemed ok. Last night? Sick again.

I woke up at 5am, and my stomach was churning. I got up at 5:30; I just couldn't take anymore. You know that feeling of "I wish I could just be sick"? That was me for most of the day. There was something going on at the office at 3:30pm that I needed to be at, and I figured I'd come home after that. No such luck. I did get word to my Mom though that I wouldn't be at Bible study tonight. I came home, and was freezing. (I'd been cold all day.) Temp was 100. So it's official: I'm sick again too.

And now, at about 8pm, Julia V is sick too. Her school day tomorrow is only a 1/2 day, so she'll be staying home. I really should go to work tomorrow, but we'll see what the rest of the evening brings.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lisa's Talent MI-5

1. What do you feel is your greatest talent? Tell us about it. (Yes—I want you to brag a little bit.)

I guess playing the drums, though in reality, I'm really not that great--despite my sister saying I'm the best drummer in the world. Heck, I'm not even the best drummer in my town! I also think I'm a pretty good cook.

2. What one talent do you not have, but really wish you possessed? Why?

I wish I really were a great drummer, I guess. I wish I could do the one handed drum roll like Joe Morello can, or do the cool stick trick that Buddy Rich did.

3. Of all the celebrities out there, living or dead, who do you consider to be the most talented? Why?

I'd call it a coin flip between Mozart and DaVinci. I think, though, I'd give the nod to DaVinci, as he seemed to be great at everything.

4. Tell us about the most talented individual that you know personally. They don’t necessarily have to be talented in the creative talents. Intellectual talent will work too.

Oh, man, I know so many talented people, I couldn't even begin. I have a bunch of family members that I think are quite talented, and the ones that pop to mind first (Susan, Lisa, Mom, and Aunt Ginny) are all female. Hmm. Paddy is also very talented, and when he sets out to do/learn something, he does it to his very best. My boss has a technical mind so freaky, sometimes he'll tell me something, and I'll have to back him up and break down what he said phrase by phrase, just to see if I heard him right, let alone then trying to being figuring out what he said. I know Ned Steinberger, inventor of the Steinberger guitar. (And his Dad won a Nobel Prize. Smart family, that one.) I know pilots. I know people who write their own music. I know painters. They're all so different, and they're all so talented, I couldn't pick just one.

5. If you watch American Idol, which of those talented kids do you think will win? Why? If you don’t watch that show, tell us anything else about talent that comes to your mind.

Susan watched Idol, but I don't really. So I guess I can't comment on that. (Then I was going to type something else here, but I've decided not to.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

I'm So Excited for Burgers

Our local McDonalds has brought back the Cheddar Melt. This is probably my all time favorite fast food burger from any fast food restaurant. Fair warning: I will be eating a Cheddar Melt at every possible opportunity. They're only here for a limited time, and in that time I want to make sure I get my fair share!

Is it too early in the morning to think about a hamburger on a rye bun with cheddar cheese sauce and onions sauteed in a teriyaki glaze? Maybe. But when I saw the banner outside McDs this morning, I cheered.

I'm lame.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Weekend Wrap-Up, AKA The Virginia Trip

Our church has been without a pastor for a little over two years. There's one gentleman that has expressed a serious interest, and it seems like he'd be a good fit. So this weekend, things worked that we (church Trustee and my brother-in-law Dwane) would go to Virginia. At first, we thought we'd drive. Then, on Thursday, Dwane was able to find some round trip tickets that fit the budget. So, it was decided we'd fly.

I left the house at 9:30am on Saturday morning. (Had we been driving, we were going to leave at 4am.) I picked Dwane up at his house, and we started to Boston. Dwane brought his Dad's GPS unit. Dwane didn't have breakfast, so we stopped in McDonalds in Damariscotta. I think from that point on, it was non-stop to Mass. At one point, I needed gas. Dwane plugged "gas stations" into the GPS, and it gave us directions. The first selection, a Cumberland Farms, didn't, in fact, sell gas. So, navigating to the second gas station, we found it had gone out of business. Third time is charm!

Back on the highway, we got to Logan without much difficulty. I still think driving in Boston is a two person activity. One person needs to watch the traffic, and the other needs to navigate. Having the GPS certainly helped, but it's not perfect.

Flying out of Logan was uneventful. WIFI is not free. I opted against the $8.95 or whatever just so I could post something. We had a "connection" in La Guardia. It actually ended up being the same plane. Still, we had to get off the plane and re-board.

We flew into Regan, and all went fine there too. Dwane had secured us a rental car, a full size sedan: Ford Taurus or like. They offered us three different models, and Dwane chose a Hundai. Car secured, and GPS firmly stuck in window, we proceeded to hotel without incident, though there was still plenty of DC traffic, even late on a Saturday evening. We got to the hotel around 8pm, I guess. We called Pastor Dave, and told him we were in town. We decided we'd meet at Chilis, which was right across the way. They already had had supper, but Dwane and I were pretty hungry, having not had lunch. After we got done with about two hours of chatting, we went back to the hotel, and set the clocks ahead. It was then midnight. We went to bed.


I woke up at 7:15, which is late for me. We showered, and ate breakfast at the hotel. We printed our boarding passes at the hotel business traveler's center, and checked out.

Church started at 9:15, and the sermon was on "Jonah's Justice." After church, we had a few hours to kill before we could meet with Pastor Dave again. Dwane decided to look for a mall in the GPS, and found one about 20 minutes away. So we drove to the mall, and got there about 11am. It was actually just before 11, as the stores inside the mall didn't open until 11. Everything was pretty much gated closed. We wandered for a few minutes until 11, and then did a little shopping. Dwane bought a movie, and we also stopped into some NASCAR memorabilia store. I also popped into some girly accessory store, looking for a pin for Julia. No luck. They also had a Guitar Center in the mall, so we spent a bunch of time in the music shop.

We went back to meet with Pastor Dave at 1pm at Popeyes. He was a little late getting there, as he had something more important to attend to. It seems one of the little girls who was in the church service got saved! So of course, we didn't mind waiting for that. She expressed an interest in being baptized, and the church already had someone else scheduled to be baptized, so she's going to be baptized on Palm Sunday. Popeyes was good, and I really liked the red beans and rice. Pastor Dave had a 3pm meeting, so we left about 2:30, and headed back to Reagan.

Again, the GPS served us well, and we had no problem getting back to the airport. Dwane was a little surprised that our $35 rental car cost $75 upon check-in. In why, it was determined there was and extra $30 or so in fuel surcharges. I told Dwane he needed to top off, but he just figured he'd have the rental place do it. Well, they're happy to do it--at over $6/gallon! Yup. Dwane didn't read the fine print in the contract, and they charge that much for gas. Yikes!

Our original flight was supposed to leave at 9:30pm, but Dwane thought perhaps we could get out "stand by" on an earlier flight. Well apparently, something happened earlier in the day with US Airways, and the terminal was packed. One plane bound for Pittsburg, I think, broke down, and they had to cancel the flight. So all of those people were in the Special Services line, trying to get rebooked. Dwane, being the "cute dweeble-goose" he is, spoke to someone at our gate directly, and was able to get us seats on a 5:15 flight. Of course, with all the other stuff going on, the flight left about 6pm, I think. The lady at the gate was like a drill sergeant; she took no guff from anyone. "Get out of the way of the door so passengers can get off the plane! You won't be getting on the plane until the other passengers are off, so let them through! Once they're off, I'm going to put a new flight crew on board, and we're going to clean the plane so you can have a nice flight. I'm going to make sure you're all on it, so just give me a few minutes!" she barked into the microphone. When she announced we'd be boarding, even people over at the next gate clapped. As we went through the line, I told her I appreciated her efficiency. Other passenger quipped "If they had you running this entire airline, we wouldn't have had all the problems we had today!"

We didn't have to stop in New York this time--just straight in to Boston. Not much do report on this flight either, except the young in-love couple in the row in front of me wanted to make out the whole flight, much to the chagrin of the passenger sitting next to them. You could just tell he wanted to yell at them "Get a room!"

The drive home from Boston was also uneventful. Again, the GPS worked well, although it did advise me at one point to make a "left turn," when what it really wanted was a U-turn. Dwane, who could watch the screen (it was Boston, I was busy watching the road!), let me know what the GPS really wanted me to do. And then we were on 95 north, and all was cool. It's been a while since I was in that part of Boston, and I hadn't driven the whole Big Dig area. (On the way in, we came on Rt. 1.) It was basically an entire freeway in a tunnel complex.

We stopped at the rest area around Kennebunk in order to hit Popeyes again. Alas, they close at 8pm. So supper was Burger King. And from there, of course, it was all smooth sailing.

I was home, and in bed, at midnight.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Pictures Up!

Fresh pictures of my weekend jaunt to VA are now up in the gallery. A big post about the whole thing will be up soon.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lord, was I born a travelin' man?

I'm in a Comfort Inn in VA. My brother-in-law Dwane are here talking to a potential new pastor. We just spent about two hours talking with them in a Chilis. I'll do a big update when I get home. I've taken a few pictures, so I'll post those too. Dwane hasn't driven me too crazy.

Susan, I miss you and the kids.

Good night, all. Don't forget to change your clocks!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, March 9, 2007

Aunt Ginny's Memory MI-5

1. What is the earliest thing/event/person that you remember. Why does that stick with you?
My earliest memory (I think) is of a circus. I seem to remember Aunt Ginny and my sister there, and a red and yellow tent. That's about it. I remember little bits about kindergarten, so that would make me five, I guess. I suppose I don't remember much before that.

2. If you could change just one thing, big or little, serious or silly, in past, what would it be? Why?
I would've like to have served my country in the Coast Guard. I sometimes wonder if there's any way I still could. Four generations of my family served in the Coast Guard/Lighthouse Service/Life Saving Service; it ended with me.

3. If you could relive one moment just as it happened, what would you like to do, be, see, etc.?
This is a hard one. Nothing really jumps out at me. Christ's Sermon on the Mount comes to mind. I would like to more fully understand what one goes through in combat, but would I really want to be there? I suppose if I could live through combat, and yet no one gets killed, that would give me a pretty good understanding.

4. Do you remember your first friend? Do you still see them? Do you have a relationship with them?
I seem to recall many first friends: Richard Lowell, Eric Godin, Jason Butman, and Denny Davis. I haven't seen Richard in a very long time. I ran into Denny at a club in Southwest Harbor I was playing in years ago. I understand he lives in Spruce Head now (my old home town, for those from away), but I haven't seen him around town. Jason and Eric I occasionally see around. I DJ'd Eric's wedding a few years ago.

5. What did your parents tell you always to remember, for your own good or the good of others?
"Be good, drive safe, I love you." They would say that everytime I left the house. Mom still does. Sometimes, before she even says it, I'll just holler out "I will! I love you too."

Just finished: A refreshing Tab soda (thanks Jim!)
Feeling: A little frustrated and angry

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, March 5, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday night, I was supposed to play at Bloomfields in Skowhegan. Of course, with the snow storm, the gig canceled. Actually, it canceled on Thursday. And in reality, I didn't mind. Two of the worst "coming home" trips have been after Bloomfields gigs. The weekend of the Ice Storm of '98? Yup, we played Bloomfields. And one other time I drove three hours in a storm home from Bloomfields, only to end up in a snow bank a mere five miles from home. So missing that gig? Actually, I was happy.

I got up on Saturday with the boys. I spent the morning putting together a new CD storage tower that Susan ordered for us. It had so many pieces, I thought it would be a nightmare. But actually, it wasn't. It went together easily, works well, and holds the entire collection. At 1pm, I headed to a rehearsal for The Pajama Game. I, of course, am playing drums for the production. The songs are quite simple--nothing really hard. The book (what we call the music), though, is awful. Songs have different titles depending whose book you're looking at. The font is hard to read. But, it'll go well enough, I'm sure. On Saturday evening, Susan and I watched Big Fish. I was a little concerned about watching a movie about a man dying of cancer, and his son talking about all the wild stories his father used to tell. I got through it ok, and it was better than I thought it would be. I don't need to see it again, though. It wasn't that good.

Sunday morning, and again the boys woke me. In the morning, Nat, Julia and I went to Sunday School. Matt wasn't feeling well, so Susan stayed home with him. This makes three weeks of sickness in our house. I skipped out of church, as I had a gig that I needed to be at at noon. The Camden Snow Bowl had a fundraiser called Burgers and Band. Steelin' Thunder, the steel drum band I play in, was supposed to play under a heated "tent." Actually, we played under a canopy: no walls. There was heat, but without anything to hold the heat in, it didn't make much difference. About three hours later, I had to pick up some stuff at Wal-Mart for Susan. Then, it was off to evening church for our North American Missions supper. Lisa always does a GREAT job with these. The food, and the study, was very good. I came home and went to bed.

Now, I'm at home, and I'm sick. I've got sore throat, mild fever (a little less than 100), and general tiredness. Probably playing drums in the cold didn't help! So I came today at about 11am, and have been sleeping and taking it easy. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Watching: The Upside Down Show (with the kids, of course!)
Reading: Job and Ezekiel

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, March 2, 2007

Jay's First MI-5

Jay is a new player with the MI-5. He thought up this week's questions.

1. What's the first movie that you can remember seeing in at a theatre?
Like my sister, the first movie I remember seeing was Bambi at The Strand. I'm quite sure we sat in the balcony. I don't really remember much from the movie, other than the fire scene. If I recall, fellow blogger Aunt Ginny took us.

2. What's your favorite movie & why?
Star Wars. The first one, the original one, the real one. I was very into Star Wars when I was a kid. I guess I'm still "into it" a little. Julia and I have our own lightsabers. :-)

3. What's your most truly hated, despised, detested, etc. movie & why?
Like my beloved wife, Boxing Helena get the worst movie nod from me. Sometimes I want to watch it again and see if it was really as bad as I remember it. I did that once with Moulin Rouge. I hated it the first time, so I decided to watch it again. The second time, I shut it off about 20 minutes in. It, too, is horrible.

4. What movie can you watch over & over again?
It's hard to pick just one. Star Wars, Citizen Kane, and Amadeus.

5. What movie was obviously based on your life & why do you think so?
I guess I don't really have movie about me, but I do sympathize with a particular character: Salieri, from Amadeus. His plight? Having enough talent to recognize genius, but not enough to excel at anything himself. Most days, I feel like that. And no, I'm not fishing for compliments. I really do feel that way.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Billy Rhythm, Alive and Well in China

You'll all be pleased to note that is not censored by the Chinese government. Is your site? Check it here.

(Stolen from Another Think.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

I love my wife!

It was 18 years ago today that I dated a letter to Susan, asking her if she'd like to go steady. Showing my true self, in that letter I quoted no less than, you guessed it, The Blues Brothers! Anyway, we consider March 2nd the begining of our couple-dom. And I haven't regretted a day! I love you, Susan.

"Everybody needs somebody to love... I need you!"

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The humble Farmer Can Actually Stop Talking?!

It appears the humble (sic) Farmer has gotten himself into yet another flap. Apparently, after being warned a third time that his "Jazz" radio show was basically just a platform for his left leaning ways, he's decided he'll continue to produce the show, but he just won't talk.

Good move, Robert. And I'm not being sarcastic.

I know Robert. In fact, Susan used to work for him. I used to listen to his show. Then, on the way to a gig in Bangor, I heard him compare George Bush to Hitler. I stopped listening at that point. Then, several months later, I was on the way to a gig in Waterville. As I was scanning through the stations, I hit on humble's show. This time he was raging on against nuclear power, and, again, George Bush. I haven't listened at all since that time.

Public Radio, I applaud you. It's fairly obvious you have a left-leaning bent. And really, I'm ok with that. But when I want a "Jazz" radio show, I don't want to hear humble going to bat for Al Gore. So you've done the right thing. Let humble have his Jazz show, or his political show. We don't need them together. Or, perhaps, MPR, you should consider the right-leaning Jazz Workshop. :-)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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