Friday, April 28, 2006

Melanie's MI-5

1. 5 favorite foods
Pasta, chocolate, sausage, milk, bacon. (Quite a list, huh?)

2. 5 favorite albums
Counting Crows August and Everything After, Sarah McLauchlin's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Harry Connick's Blue Light, Red Light, Abbey Road by The Beatles, and Dave Brubeck's Time Out.

3. 5 favorite books/stories
The Bible (King James for it's formal English flow), Richard Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn, an out of print book I have of Chinese poems written in prose, the unabridged Edgar Allan Poe, and the complete ee cummings that Susan bought me.

4. 5 favorite activities
Playing drums, eating, sleeping, target shooting, and something that will remain secret.

5. 5 favorite words
Hosebag, ecstasy, NICE!, mischievous, and heliotropism.

Reading: Treasure Island (Really, I've never read it before!)
Listening To: Music to Spy By

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Secrets Winner

Ok, the winner of the "My Secrets" contest is...

(Drum roll)


That's right. My beloved wife was the first (and only) person to guess all three secrets correctly. Well, Jim did too, but only after I told him his first guess was wrong. I left the contest open longer in hopes someone else would play. Debrosky, who reads here, and tried to get me to give some answers away, didn't bother to post. Oh well, Susan will get the prize. What? I don't know. I give her lots of surprizes. I just bought her a new mattress. I think I'll do a different contest, and I'll give a prize away for that one, ok?

The correct answers were:

2) I do have a Salvidor Dali print under my bed, waiting to be framed, where it's been for several years. There's also a Wyeth print under there awaiting the same fate.
3) I sometimes think I should sell all my snares, and give the money to the Bill Batty, Sr. Bell Memorial Fund at Harmony Bible Church.
6) I orignially wanted to play trombone.

Just Finished: An Unfortunate Woman, Richard Brautigan
Listening to: Nil Laura

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, April 24, 2006

Week-End Wrap Up

Week End Wrap Up

So you know what happened Saturday morning, right? Good. So we got the bike. It was a little 16" Barbie number. As soon as we got it home, we took the training wheels off. We went up to the high school to that big, paved, relatively flat parking lot. Before we left, she was riding pretty well. Susan's mom picked Julia up a little after noon for the weekend. So Susan, the boys, neighbors Michael and Erica, and I went to Rustica for lunch. My treat. Hey, they help us with the boys all the time. And their first child is expected any day. Everyone liked everything they had.

After that, we headed to Dow's Sleep Center to check out matresses. We've had our mattress for 12 years; it was a wedding present from Susan's mom and dad. It was time for a new one. With a pretty sizable tax return on the way, we decided to splurge on a nice mattress. We ended up with a Sealy Reflexion latex foam mattress. No springs, so it's quiet. It's got a soft pillow top on it that Susan likes, but it's not too soft for me--and I'm the kind who doesn't mind sleeping on a floor. So here's the deal. They didn't have a queen size in stock, so it would have to be delivered from Waldoboro. No big whoop. But they couldn't be here until Saturday. Susan didn't want to wait a week. So Kathy, the sales lady, volunteers "You could pick it up yourself in Waldoboro, have it tonight, and I'll give you an extra 5% off." Susan batted her eyelashes, and I agreed to go get it with Michael. Picking the mattress up in Waldoboro isn't a big deal; getting a queen size mattress up the stairs is! Well, the full size box wouldn't go up the stairs, even after I pulled the front door off. I called the Rockland store to see if they had a split box. They didn't. But they had a low profile model that was 5" high instead of 9". I took it, and with a little force, we got it upstairs. I've learned my lesson. The next mattress will have a split box spring. By the time everything was put back together, it was nigh on bedtime.

Sunday morning, the boys woke up at 6:15. We got up, made coffee, blah blah blah. Susan didn't want me to make breakfast; she wanted Munchkins. Fine. I went and got them. We then went to church. Song leader Dwane wasn't there, so I filled in. After that, we hit McD's for lunch. Man, why don't kids ever want anything else? After that, we went and picked up Julia. We got home, and Julia and I went to ride her bike some more. When it started to rain, I came home and worked on a website. Then it was evening church. I came home, worked on the web some more, swore (not really) at Dreamweaver for crashing, and gave up and went to bed.

The end.

Incidently, I finished up that website on my lunchbreak today. It's just a little thing for Littlefield Memorial Baptist Church. And like the cobbler's children, my own church doesn't have a website yet!

Reading: An Unfortunate Woman, Richard Brautigan
Listening to: Live at the Black Hawk, Shelly Manne

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Father's Milestone

I've got the weekend off. The whole thing! No need to go to the office, no gigs, no nothing! I'm stoked. I've already made pancakes for everyone--or as Julia calls them, pam-cakes. As soon as Susan is out of the shower, we're off to buy Julia a bike. It will be her first real bike. She's had hand-me-down bikes, but until this year she hasn't had any real interest in riding. Now she really wants to, and I want her to have something decent to learn on. If the brakes stick, and it's hard to pedal 'cause of a rusty chain, no one would want to ride. So I'm dipping into the "snare drum fund" (happilly, I might add) and going with her to buy a bike. I'm really excited! I remember my bikes fondly, and I remember my first real "new" bike. (Mike and I got matching BMX bikes.) I can't wait!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, April 21, 2006

Secrets Contest

If you want to be included in the secrets contest (see two posts below), get your answers in soon! There really will be a prize!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

The MI-5, as Made Up by Me

These are all crazy. They don't mean anything, and I just made them up. No real theme.

Hypothetically speaking...

1) You have to have some kind of surgery to have something removed. Strangely, though, you get to pick what's cut out/off. What do you choose?
--Well, my tonsils and appendix are already gone. I need my fingers for playing drums, but maybe I could do without the first joint of my little finger of my left hand.

2) You are only allowed to enter one store for the rest of your life. Your familly may enter wherever they want, and you may shop online, but physically, you can only enter one store. What do you pick?
--Northern Kingdom Music!

3) You must give up all your jewelry but one thing. What do you keep? A necklace? A watch? An heirloom?
--The wedding band my wife gave me.

4) You get only one type of breakfast item to eat for the rest of your life. It can be prepared different ways, but it needs to be the same basic thing. Eggs? Pancakes? Muffins? What is it? Why?
--Eggs. I can do a gazillion things with eggs. Poached, fried, scrambled, omelets, frittatas.

5) You must get a tattoo. What do you get? Where do you put it? Why?
--I'm not big on tattoos, so it needs to be small and inconspicuous. Maybe Susan's name on my hip, I guess.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Secrets (Stolen From Amy)

Below are six secrets about me. Trick is...only three of them are actually true. You mission is to figure out which are true and which are NOT. I will come up with a prize for the winner.

1.) I have a green thumb. If its got leaves, I can grow it. In my house currently I'm working on a splatter plant, some mini-daffodils, and some tomatoes (getting ready for spring).

2.) I have a Salvidor Dali print under my bed. I accidentally hit the Bid Now button on ebay, and ended up paying way too much for it. I didn't realize I was logged in, and I thought it would ask me to confirm my bid. It didn't. I haven't gotten it framed yet. It's been under there several years.

3.) Sometimes I think I should sell all my snare drums, and give the money to charity.

4.) I like to chew on the dry, cracked skin that I pull off my heels.

5.) I once thought that I would like to become a dentist. Good hours, good money, and not as hard as being an MD.

6).) I didn't start out wanting to play the drums. Originally, I wanted to play the trombone.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Weekend Wrap Up

Well, it all started on Friday night. Nothing. Nothing happened on Friday night. I went home. I think I made Susan my world famous hamburgers. Bed. No big whoop.

Saturday morning, before heading to the office, I whipped up a batch of French toast. Then the office until noon, which was fairly slow by Saturday standards. In the afternoon I did a big dump run. Gotta get it all thrown out before they start charging by the bag! Late afternoon we all went to the Chinese restaurant to celebrate Julia's awesome grades. After that, we did a quick Wal-Mart run, then to Home Depot to check out some doors. (With some of our tax return, we're going to buy some new entry doors.) Home. Bed early, as...

Sunday. Easter. I was at the church's sunrise service. Julia went with me. It was at 6am. Yes, technically, it was after sunrise. But it was so cloudy, you wouldn't of known it. We held it on the beach down at Elwell Point, right before Spruce Head Island. (Thanks Cousin Jerry for lending us the beach!) Then to the church for the little breakfast. When we got home a little after 7am, Susan and the boys were up. Church at the regular time was next, then lunch at Ma's. Oh, and there was an Easter egg hunt in there at Mom's house. I took a little nap in the afternoon; in fact, we all did! Then there was church in the evening, and supper at, where else on Sunday night, Subway. Anyone want to guess what I had? I think I was in bed by 9:30.

It's about quarter of nine in the evening now, and I've been working on a website. For some reason, though, while working in Dreamweaver, everything just freezes. What's up with that? I'm running a virus scan now.


Reading: John's Gospel
Listening to: West Side Story, Oscar Peterson Trio

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, April 14, 2006

Amy's Badgroove MI-5

1. Do you remember having a favorite cartoon or television show as a child? Which was your first favorite that you recall?
My first favorite that I recall would be either Scooby Doo or Johnny Quest. Scooby was, of course, pre-Scrappy. After Scrappy, I wouldn't even watch it. Thanks to my sister, I now own the Johnny Quest box set on DVD--all the original episodes! Obviously, my sister loves me.

2. Who is the first teacher you remember? What do you remember about this teacher?
I vaguely remember Mrs. Falla, my Kindergarten teacher. I have a pretty good memory of my first grade teacher, Mrs. Slater. She was tough--some might say mean. I vote for tough. We got along ok. I never had a teacher I couldn't deal with. I seemed to like all the teachers the other kids couldn't stand: Dr. Faxon (one of my favorites), Mrs. Slater, Mrs. Schwartz. Anyway, a story... Mrs. Slater is now married to my drum buddy Chick Bailey! And she's still "no nonsense."

3. Give us your earliest memory of a family vacation.
I guess that would have to be the time we camped at Cathedral Pines. (Is this the right one, Mom and/or Lisa? I thought it was in New Hampshire.) We took my hermit crab along with us, and at one point we thought he'd died. We decided to bury him there in the lot. I don't remember if it was Mom or Dad, but I seem to remember it Dad. He was digging a hole with a spoon in one hand, and holding the crab sorta upside down in the other. Well, hermit crabs don't like to be upside down too much, and the crab decided this might be a good time to stick his head out. Mom screamed, the crab was dropped, and I was ecstatic he was still alive.

4. Can you share a favorite childhood memory regarding a specific toy you liked?
Matchbox and Hotwheels were always favorites when I was young. Many of those cars are being played with by my boys. One of them holds a special place on my bookshelf. In fact, I had a dozen or so little metal fire trucks that I pulled from the ones I gave the boys, and I have a little fire engine collection. Old #5, though, being an Ahrens Fox, is my favorite.

5. What is your earliest recollection of music?
Well, it would probably be school related. Mom played piano, but it was something she did all the time, so nothing really sticks out. So things that I remember from grade school music with Mrs. Chamberlain would be "Have You Seen the Ghost of John," "Aiken Drum" (who "played upon his ladle"), and Saen Sans "Danse Macarbre." Interesting how one of these has "drum" in the title, and the other two are about ghosts and spooky things. Hmm... Did those have any influence on me, maybe? :-)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tattoos from Yesterday

About 30 seconds after I shut the computer down last night I remembered what I wanted to say. Have you seen the TV ads for Tractor Supply Company? The ones with the plastic dudes who look like farmers, and they have these funny little conversations? Yeah, those. I LOVE 'em! Susan had seen two of the three I'd seen. She hadn't seen the one where the guy asks his friend to pick him up a 20 ton log splitter. Well, I've been Tivo-ing "This Old House," and usually they play a TSC ad. We've been fast forwarding through the show, looking for the stupid commercial! No luck. Last night, we were watching "Miami Ink" on TLC--a show about tattoos, of all things. And there it is! The ad we've been looking for. Having a hardware store ad on HGTV make sense to me, but on a tattoo show? Whatever, I guess.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Quick Hello

Spent my day at a trade show, I did. I'm tired. I'm about to eat some supper. I think then I'll go to bed. I KNOW there was something I wanted to tell you, but I can't remember now what it was. I'm getting old I guess.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Want Something Offensive for Holy Week?

I'm listening to Terri (Terry?) Gross from Public Radio tonight, and she's got this band on her show, "What I Like About Jew." Apparently, it's some Reform Jewish guys comedy duo. And guess what? It was so totally offensive, even to me. And I'm not Jewish! Dig these lyrics from their Passover song:

"We were slaves to pharaoh in Egypt
The year was 1492
Hitler had just invaded Poland
Madonna had just become a Jew
Moses was found on the Potomac
Then he marched with Martin Luther King
He came back to free us from our bondage
'Cause S&M has never been our thing
They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat."

Their theory is all Jewish holidays can be summed up with that last phrase: They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat. Sad. Is it cool for Jews to poke fun of other Jews? I don't think so, but hey, maybe I'm not hip. Maybe it's really cool. Hey wait... What if some Christian said that kind of stuff? Oh right, hate crime.

Then I investigated their web site--to get the lyrics for the above. And then I found this great ditty... (I'm not going to post it on the main page here. If you're hard hearted, see the "Get More Here" section. Those who are tender and sweet should stay away.)

Listening to: Cab Driver's Blues, Mem Shannon

Set this day by the hand of Billy Rhythm [Link] [Get More Here]

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Tail Light

Do you want to hear the ordeal of the tail light? Sure you do! While I was away this week, I lost a tail light. Specifically, the blinker/brake light. And technically, I didn't lose it, but it blew. So on Sunday, I stopped into AutoZone, and they helped me select the "right" bulb for my application. Let's say it was bulb number 58857. So I pay for the bulb, take it outside, open the package, and drop it on the ground. It cracks, and a little piece breaks off. Nice. Still the filament is whole, so I decide I'll try to use it. I take off the light assembly in the parking lot, find the bulb, and pop it out. Guess what? It's not a 58857--it's a 58856. Nice, again. So I go back inside, and buy the "right" bulb. I go back outside, and put the bulb in. Guess what? The turn signal still doesn't work. What's up? Well, it turns out the original light they sold me wasn't the turn light, but the back-up light! So this bulb has no "blinker" in it. So I pull out the other bulb in the tail-light, and that's the one that's actually blown. As soon as I get it out, I can see it's all black and sooty on the inside. So, I put my original 58856 back into the back-up light space, put the new "right" bulb back in the package, and go inside to the real "right" bulb--which is actually bulb #AB324, or some other part number that wasn't even close to what they sold me the first time. So three bulbs and 1/2 hour later, I was back on the street.

Listening to: The Brand New Heavies
Reading: An Unfortunate Woman Richard Brautigan

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, April 7, 2006

The Right Now MI-5

This week the theme is now. All questions will be about right now as you
are answering them.

1. If I could get you something to drink right what would it be?
Something cold, and clean. Maybe a Sierra Mist Free.

2. If you could take a vacation right now (leaving in the AM) where would you want to go?
With family or without? If the kids are going, then Disney World. I can't wait to go there again. If it's just me and Susan, then Ireland or Italy. If it's just me, then Texas.

3. If there is one burden in your life you could have lifted right now what would it be?
Cash. I'd have plenty of it. If I had plenty of money, then I could work less, and have more time--which is the other thing I'm running short on.

4. The celbrity of your choice is in the other room right now. Who is it?
Ringo or Mariska Hargitay.

5. What time is it right now and what time do you wish it was?
It's about 5:30pm. I wish it was 8am, Saturday April 22nd. Why? That's the next full Saturday I have off--no work, no gigs.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

The Women That Love Me

There are a bunch. Let me touch on three today.

1) My beloved wife Susan. I'm going to be away most of the weekend. I have a gig in Waterville tonight, a meeting in Augusta tomorrow morning, and a gig in Auburn tomorrow night. Rather than drive home from Waterville---which is 20 minutes from Augusta--only to turn around and head right back, I decided I'd get a hotel room. So, Susan won't see me again until about 3:30am Sunday morning. It's not great fun for either of us. But to make it easier on me, she made me some chocolate chip cookies and her famous buttermilk banana bread to take with me. So tomorrow morning, I will have yummy banana bread for breakfast. (And let me tell you, her banana bread is something else! She has a secret method for the bananas that makes the bread oh so yummy moist... I want some now!)

2) My mom. She bought me a griddle. And not just any griddle, but a real he-man griddle. Susan bought me one for Christmas a few years back. Not anything major, just a fairly inexpensive job from Wal-Mart. After just a few uses, one of the handles broke. Ok, I'll live. A few more uses, and a leg broke. By this time, we can't find the receipt, and it was a special Christmas buy (so it's not even stocked anymore), so what to do? Toss it. But a griddle is a handy thing, especially for this cook. Breakfast is a specialty of mine, and the electric fry pan I have been using (also a gift from Mom) isn't quite cutting it. The sides are high, which make egg and pancake flipping unwieldy. I saw this crazy nice griddle on Alton Brown's "Good Eats" show (a favorite), and tracked down the model he used: the Broil King. I added it to my Amazon wish list. Today, Susan called. "A great big package arrived for you. Are you expecting something? Is sounds like it may be a drum. Did you buy another drum? The box is HUGE!" Actually, I didn't buy a drum. I haven't bought anything! What is it? I was a little concerned for her to open it--a big, unexpected package. There was a tracking number; I looked it up. "It's from," I said. She opened it, and found out it was from Mom. I called to thank her. I said "Is this because I fixed your computer?" She said "No, it's a 'just because' gift." My mom!

3) My daughter. She brought home her report card today. All As and one B. Fantastic job, Julia!

Listening To: Los Lonely Boys

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, April 4, 2006


So Susan ordered this book from the library. Or better, asked for it to be held for her. They called today and told her it was in. She asked if I might stop by and pick it up for her on my lunch break. I agreed. So I went to the desk.

Me: "Can I pick up a book for my wife? Someone called today and said it was back in."
Union Librarian: "Do you have her card?"
Me: "No. I have my card."
UL: "Um, we're not really supposed to. Can I see your card?" (I hand him my card.) "What's your wife's name?"
Me: "Susan. Susan Batty. Same address. The book is by Stephen King. I think it's called The Call." (Actually, it was called The Cell)
UL: "Well, I'll do it this time, but in the future, we'll need her card."
Me: "So it's not OK for me to pick up a book reserved her with my card, but it is OK for me to use her card, even though she's not me, and that's ok? It seems sorta six of one, 1/2 dozen of another."
UL: "Having her card, though, is like having her permission."
Me, in my head: "And knowing the book and the person's name isn't good enough? Instead, I have to present someone else's card, which for all you know could've been stolen? This makes no sense..."
UL: "Have a nice day, I'll be here making Union Scale for the rest of the day."

About to Eat: Susan's Famous Chicken Parm
Listening to: A New Flame, Simply Red

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, April 3, 2006

The Weekend Wrap Up

Friday: After work, it was straight to Joshua's Tavern for the gig. It was uneventful. Typical gig.

Saturday, I taught an Adult Ed class: "Preparing for the Computer Crash." That seemed to go ok. After that, I ran to Northern Kingdom for a minute. After that, the library and grocery store. Then home for a strange 1.5 hour lesson. (One of my students couldn't make his regular lesson, so he took one that was 50% longer on the weekend.) We thought about watching the new Wallace and Grommet movie in the evening, but it went by too fast. Oh, and supper! Susan made this April Fools supper. It was a total surprise--she wouldn't let anyone in the kitchen. When it was done, it was: a cake! Well, not really. It was a meatloaf! Yup. She baked the meatloaf in cake pans, put some tomato filling between the layers, and then frosted the whole thing with mashed potatoes. It was a treat, and I actually thought it was a cake. I figured she just brought dessert our first.

Sunday morning, and the boys were not totally over their croup. So I stayed home with them, so Susan could get a little church action. About noon time, I came down with a headache. It wasn't too bad, but it was bad enough. I tried ibuprofen, but it wasn't cutting it, so I moved onto the Fioricet and the bed. I tossed for two hours, not getting sleep, and not getting better. At about 4pm I called my sister, and let her know I wouldn't be at church. So I went the whole day with no church. Susan was hungry, so I bought her a Snappy's calzone. For those keeping track, Snappy's delivery charge is now $2.50, and that doesn't count the tip. So if you want Snappy's, figure an extra $5 for delivery. I know I won't be going delivery again. For $5, I'll drive the mile to get it. I went to bed before 9pm, still having the headache.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: