Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New Folks on the Blogroll!

Check out the new links down to your left, there. Aunt Ginny and her "Rest of the Story," her daughter (and my cousin) "Sizzlin'" Sarah, and her boyfriend Brian who claims "Han Shot First." Interestingly, Brian's a Libertarian, and Sarah's a card carrying Democrat--dang near socialist. One says "Less government," the other says "More!" What will happen to them come November?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Another Fire Engine Out Of My Life

Well, I don't think it's going to happen. I was trying to keep it a surprise. This weekend, I checked out a 1969 American Lafrance 900 series fire engine, much like this one. When I actually checked it out, I thought "Oh, man, this thing is just too big." It's actually bigger than the one in the photo; the one I looked at is taller in the back--probably because it has a 1000 gallon water tank. Well, the guy was only asking $1000, so I figured I'd at least check into insurance and what-not. Jim Raye of Raye Insurance found me a policy for $64 for a year! So then I start thinking "Maybe I should snag it." As of last night, I thought I was going to.

Then today on my lunch break, I called world renowned fire engine restorer Andy Swift. He knew the engine in question. In fact, he has one just like it if I ever needed parts. And he said "What do you want to do with it?" And I said "Take the kids for ice cream in it!" And he said "That is so not the right truck for you."

He went on to give me some really great advice. Like, on a truck that big, the hose bed is six feet up. What if a kid falls off? Heck, the rear bumper is so high you have to hoist yourself up! And gas. He said "This thing's a PIG!" He thought I might get 5 mpg. That means taking a drive to Mom's house would cost me over $10!

Instead, Andy said he'd keep his eye open for me for something small, open cab, and fun. Maybe like a Model A or something. Jim thinks I'm crazy, and that I should snag the big guy. My brother-in-law Dwane said "If I had a dream like you, and that truck came around, I wouldn't have left without buying it. What do you think?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day

Oh, stinky. I'm a day late. I wanted to post this yesterday. In fact, I made plans on Saturday to post it on Monday, and still I forgot. Oh well, here it is.

Four generations of Batty men served their country in the Coast Guard (or one of its former incarnations). My father was a Coastie, as was his father. My great-grandafther was a member of the US Lighthouse Service, and his father-in-law was a member of the US Life-saving Service (I believe). The service of Batty men to their country along the sea ended with me. And, if I had to do it all over again, I'd give my country four years of service in the Coast Guard. Alas, that won't happen.

In honor of those Batty men, here's the Coast Guard Prayer:

"Almighty and Everlasting God, Whose hand stills the tumult of the deep, we offer our prayers for those who serve in our Coast Guard. We are mindful of their traditions of selfless service to the seafarers who make their ways to appointed ports.

Employ their devotions of good ends as they track the weather and search for the seas for those in extremity of storm, shipwreck or battle. Make their soundings and markings sure that safe passages may be found by those who go down to the sea in ships. Encourage them, O Lord, as they stand guard over our coasts and the bulwarks of our freedoms. Graciously deliver them from threatening calamities in all their perilous voyages.

Bless the keepers of the lights and be Thou their close friend in lonely watches. Keep the beacons of honor and duty burning that they may reach the home port with duty well performed, in service to Thee and our land.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Nice Tiling Backgrounds

I know this won't matter to a lot of you, but it was a nice find, so I post this in hopes it may be useful to you. Have you ever wanted to spruce up your web site with a background? Something so your site isn't plain black or plain white. Well, I've had need for a nice background now and again. The problem is, nice backgrounds are hard to find. Hideous ones, though, are everywhere. So today I was looking for a site with nice backgrounds, when I found this: Free Backgrounds For Bloggers. FINALLY! Tiling backgrounds that make sense, and look good! I'll be using this site a lot in the future, I'm sure.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Amy's MI-5, one day late

This is mi-5 can have long answers or one or two word is up to you

1. What was the last song you listened to?
Just before I got out of the car I heard a live version of something by South Side Johnny and the Asbury Dukes. To be honest, though, I don't know what it was. The last song I remember hearing before that was, believe it or not Amy, "Black Betty" by Ram Jam.

2. What was the last show you watched on television?
This Old House Classics. I finished the last few minutes of an episode before work this morning.

3. What was the last book you read?
The last book I finished was "An Unfortunate Woman" by Richard Brautigan. I'm currently reading "Treasure Island" and "The Raggamuffin Gospel" (which Gina lent me).

4. What was the last concert you went to?
ZZ Top with Paddy and Jimmy T. I think.

5. What was the last job you had?
Before this I worked for Wal-Mart. I started off stocking shelves. I then managed the P/R department, then became their P/R director. Towards then end, they got this new manager who didn't want a P/R person. He said to me, honest he said this to my face: "If you're not stocking a shelf or running a cash register, I don't need you." So under that tutelage, I moved over to the pharmacy. The pharmacy is a different division in Wal-Mart land. Employees in the pharmacy report to the Pharmacist, not the store manager. I was a pharmacy tech for about two years. I was good at it, too. The pharmacists keep trying to convince me to go to pharmacy school. Since my English credits wouldn't really transfer over, and since I didn't really want another degree, I just kept doing my thing until the P/R position opened at I will say, though, that I do miss pharmacy work sometimes.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Blogging Forward

Amy "Blogged Me Forward" today. What's that all about? Dig this:

"For those of you who are new to this, let me 'splain. The rules are really quite simple. All you have to do is pick someone (or sometwo or somethree) from your blogroll and post (on your site) just what makes them linkworthy. I mean, there's obviously a reason that you allow them to take up that valuable real estate on your site, right?

Ahh, but who do you pick? Well, how about a brand new site that gives your funny bone a good ticklin' every day? Or how about one of those oldies but moldies that you just can't live without? Or maybe it's someone that you know is great but just isn't getting the kind of traffic that you feel they deserve."

OK, here are my choices.

First, Amy and her BadGroove. Why? Well, a couple of reasons. First, she's got fresh stuff usually every day. Second, she's one of my few true "Internet friends." What's that mean? Well, we've never met. We don't live near each other. And yet, we've burned CDs for each other, bought stuff from each other's wish list, stuff like that.

Next, my buddy Jim. We've been best buds for a long time. Maybe sending some folks his way will inspire him to put some fresh stuff up. He's an interesting guy, and he's interested in everything. He should post more.

And, how about my sister. She's relatively new to blogging. She's a faithful poster of our MI-5 meme, but I'd really like to see more stuff from her, too.

OK, let's see you guys put up some "Blog Forward" pages on your site!

Listening to: 99 1/2 Just Won't Do, Wilson Pickett

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I Am The Grass... Let Me Work

I've got some grass props I gotta get out, here. With it being so rainy here the last two weeks, I hadn't been able to give my lawn a proper mow. It was sunny enough to mow like twice, and both times I had to be somewhere else. Add to that my mower hadn't been running, and my lawn was starting to get awfully tall. Well, when I pulled into the driveway on Sunday, neighbor and friend Michael was mowing. He knew that I'd been busy and had mower troubles, so he helped me out. Thanks!

Then today I did a little more work on my mower. I drained the tank, and borrowed some gas from my other neighbor David. No good. I had changed out the plug before, and that didn't work. David thought we should try it again, this time with his fresh gas. And while we were at it, he gave it a couple of good shots of carb cleaner. After that, she fired right up. So, it was either bad gas and bad plug together (as I had changed both before, but not simultaneously), or it was the carb cleaner that did it. Either way, thanks for the help David.

Of course, neither of them read here, but here it is for posterity. And here's an interesting side note: both Micheal and David are always Michael and David. Never are they called Mike or Dave. Hmm.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gina's Quiz on a Sunday Evening

Full Name:
William R. Batty, Jr.

Who were you named after:
William R. Batty, Sr.

What do you like most about yourself?
I don't know. I'm funny, I guess.

When did you last cry?
I can't remember for sure, but it hasn't been too long, that's for sure.

Have you ever sung into a hairbrush?

Do you like your handwriting?
You gotta be kidding. My handwriting stinks.

What is your favorite lunch meat?
Pastrami or corned beef. Honey roasted turkey is nice too.

See the "Get More Here" section for the rest.

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

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Television MI-5

Brought to you by me. This week's 5 is based on key phrases from my favorite TV shows. I then developed the questions from the phrase.

1) Discovery, Deadliest Catch: "Sig Hansen is on the crab!"
What's the craziest thing you've ever been on? A horse? A jury? The lam?

I think the craziest thing I've ever been on would be a mechanical bull. My Kiwanis Club had a "Cow Drop" fundraiser. You sell numbered square feet of field, turn a cow loose, and let her, um, make patties somewhere. Whoever purchased the ticket for the square foot she drops the first one on is the winner. And at that event, local rodeo rider Bill Grierson put on a demonstration, and let people try his mechanical bull. I did pretty well. But it sure does shake you up!

2) Outdoor Life, Shooting USA: "Shoot safely, and share your sport!"
What was the last organized sport you participated in? Expound.

I guess that last "organized" sport was the church softball team. We'd play on Friday nights over in a field provided by the late farmer Bob Polky. It was a pick-up game, with no real teams, but it was organized in the sense that there was a set time and place for the weekly games. If that doesn't count, then I was on the junior high soccer team. I was in the band, and not so much the sports.

3) FoodTV, Good Eats: "There's room in my kitchen for only one uni-tasker."
Is there something you do that you MUST uni-task? Something that you have to be so focused on you can think of nothing else?

Um, just about everything. I'm not a good multi tasker. In fact, Charles Jones gave me the nickname "Mr. Single Task Man." They still drag that name out at the office every now and again. The big one, though, is reading. If I'm reading, that's it: I'm reading. Nothing else goes on. Don't talk to me, don't ask me to watch tv and read, none of that. It needs to be me, the book (or the screen), and nothing else.

4) HGTV, This Old House Classics: "And I'm (insert host name here), for This Old House."
What's the oldest thing you have in your house? Tell us about it.

The heirloom Winchester 1894. Mine was made, according to the serial number, in 1897, three years from the introduction of this historic firearm. My serial number is less than 100,000. I think there are more than 10 million total now; they're still in production! Mine has a crescent shapped metal butt plate, an octagon barrel, an nickel steel receiver. The original (we believe) owner sold it to my grandfather, who handed it down to my dad, who handed it down to me. Whichever of my boys shows an interest in firearms, well, it will go to him. And when you get it, you have to promise to never sell it. If you're ever strapped for cash, and need to sell something, well, this is off limits. It stays in the familly. My Dad told me that if I ever needed some money, I could sell it back to him. Let me tell you, that never entered my mind. Who could ever think of selling something like that? Ask Paddy, the man known four buying and selling just about anything. The familly guns, well, they just don't go on the block.

5) Trinity Broadcasting, G.E. Patterson: "Let's go into the message."
Are you planning on going somewhere cool/exciting/neat this year? Where? Why?

Towards the end of June, we're all going to New Hamster to go to Santa's Village. We hit Story Land last year, and these two attractions are just down the road from each other. So this year, we go see Santa. I think the boys are old enough to enjoy this trip a little more. Last year, they basically slept through everything. But hey, they were only a year old.

Reading: Treasure Island

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Susan's Birthday @ The Samoset

As always, it was fantastic! we arrived at 6:30, and there was no one else in the place. We sat down front, near the windows, overlooking the golf course and the ocean beyond. We started off with some rolls, and they had a yummy roasted red pepper compound butter for them. I'll have to make some of this. I can see how great it would be, puting a pat on a freshly grilled strip steak. Next was the amuse bouche. It was a dainty crab cake with aioli and warm roasted pineapple. Some things to note: 1) Susan and I are not crab lovers, and 2) I'm not big on pineapple. Boy, were we surpised! It too was delicious, crispy on the outisde, a light, essence of the sea flavor, not overpowering at all. And the warm pineapple really complimented the crab. I wouldn't have thought it would work, but it certainly did.

Having eaten a large lunch, I skipped an appetizer. Susan, having not eaten lunch in anticipation of a big supper, ordered a salad; some exotic tossed number with a mango dressing and ginger crouton. She had it last time we went too, and loved it then as now. Something I love about dining at The Samoset: the little touches. Things like the aforementioned amuse. And the palette cleansing lemon sorbet that arrives before the main course.

Susan's entree was also what she had last time: filet mingion with a blue cheese reduction au jus. I try to eat around the menu, and try something different. I went for the "Marcel's Trio": a stuffed 1/2 quail, a lamb chop, and a buffalo short rib. The quail stuffing was exceptionally tasty, and the buffalo rib was a new favorite. I have tried buffalo before. I had some buffalo burger at a gig I played in Bar Harbor. I suppose that's not the best way to eat the real essence of buffalo. The rib fell right off the bone, and had a texture of pot roast. It had a more intense flavor than beef, though. It was like "super beef" Along side our meals where mashed potatoes, a sautee of mushrooms, and asparagus.

We were a little unsure if we'd order dessert or not, but we decided we would. I had, guess what, Bananas Foster. Susan had apple bread pudding. Could you guess? They were both yummy Finally, as we ate dessert, another couple came in for supper. An unusually slow Wednesday night for them, they said.

Everyone there on staff were very nice, and super attentive. The Maitre D' recognized me, and welcomed us back. When we left, he invited us back, and we informed him "We'll be back for our anniversary next month!"

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Typing Text in Dreamweaver Causes Crash

Um, yeah. That didn't work. I've tried everything I can think of to get Dreamweaver to work. I'm running Windows XP, and whenever I type plain text of any particular length (say 2-3 sentences), everything freezes on my computer. Everything. It's always plain text. Never when I'm making links, never when I'm adjusting table widths, never when adding images. Only when typing. Why is that? Ron thinks it's a memory issue. I hope to try some new RAM, and we'll see what that does.

I won't be home this evening. I'm taking my beloved wife out to supper for her birthday. This will probably be the only post you get today, so enjoy it.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lunch Posting From Home

I don't normally post from home during lunch. I don't have time, as I usually spend it eating lunch. Today, though, I had to take an early lunch, and I'm just not hungry.

Yesterday, Susan wasn't feeling well. She asked if I would stay home with the boys in the afternoon so she could get some rest. So I did. Of course, I didn't sleep much this weekend either. (The weekend wrap-up will be coming at some point, dear reader.) I ended up falling asleep on the playroom floor while playing with the boys!

I finished up the web site for Oyster River Lobsters. The guy I'm building the site for--the owner of the business--already had purchased two domain names from his previous designer. They had a falling out. The designer put his in all the registrant info--not the name of the guy who actually owns Oyster River Lobster. He's holding it hostage for cash. So, we just got him a new name. The old site wasn't much (just one page), and he hadn't been marketing it, so it was no real loss. Anyway, the new page is up.

Still, though, my copy of Dreamweaver is crashing. My entire machine just locks up. And all that I can do is reset. No "ctrl-alt-delete" thing; that doesn't work, as the keyboard is locked up. She's just all bound. I think I'm going to have to upgrade to something newer. I tried a couple of free HTML editors, and they just didn't cut the mustard. I'm hoping to try Dreamweaver 8--quite an upgrade from 4.01.

Listening to: Blues and the Abstract Truth, Oliver Nelson

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, May 12, 2006


1. If you had to change your last name to something else what would you choose?
Three choices come to mind. Here they are in order of importance:
a) Dancer (my wife's maiden name)
b) Luxuryyacht, but it would be pronounced "Throatwarbler-Mangrove."
c) Smith

2. Name three landmarks you drive by on your way to work.
a) Dunkin' Donuts, with cars overflowing into the streets
b) McDonalds
c) Burger King

3. Tell us about the last time you drove out of state.
Sunday. I drove three hours each way to Conway NH for a steel drum gig. I played three songs, and drove three more hours.

4. What kind of summer activities do you enjoy?
I like cooking on the grill. I like taking a cool shower while drinking a cold beer on a hot day. I like going on vacation with the kids. I like it when friends invite me to the shooting range.

5. Tell us something new you would like to try or are going to try this summer.
I'm going to try shooting my Dad's M-1 Garand for the first time. And in that same vein, I have my Grandfather's .22 that I'll shoot for the first time this year. That is, if I can get a friend to invite me to the range! :-)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fresh Postings

It's been pretty dry over, huh dear reader? Well, it's because I've started posting over on my MySpace page. No, not really. Office humor.

I didn't do the weekend wrap-up. I know, I know. Here it is, Wednesday, and I'm just getting to it. Let's do this, shall we? Let me just hit the highlights.

First, Julia had her last ballet recital on Saturday. She was the "bluebird of happiness" in Cinderella. I thought she did a marvelous job, and she was very cute. She's decided, though, that ballet takes up too much time. She's got other things she wants to try. And that's fine. I'm cool with her wanting to be well rounded. She wants to take swimming lessons next.

Second, I had a gig in New Hampshire on Sunday. I drove six hours to play three songs. And guess what? I played awful! And with only three songs, there's no way for me to show the audience "Hey, I'm really not this bad!" Nope. Instead, all those people think I stink. Now, many will tell you I'm my own worst critic. And I am. And some will tell you that I think less of myself as a drummer than I should. I
don't think so. And even I didn't think I would play that badly. But I did, and there's no chance to redeem myself.

Third, I bought an XM satellite radio. For years, I've been fairly anti-satellite-radio. Why should one pay for something you get free? Then, I went to lunch with Kyle from Balance Communications. He had a Sirius radio. And on the way to lunch, I heard The Cure, The Sugar Cubes, and all kinds of other groups you never hear on the air. Then, when neighbor Michael took me to get the new mattress, we listened to his XM radio, and I heard Kool and the Gang, Ray Parker Jr., and Yes. Man, the more I heard it, the more I thought I'd like it. So, with a six hour road trip to New Hampshire looming, I decided to splurge. And I love it. I don't know why I waited so long! Six hours, and I only heard one song repeated. It was Sade, and I heard her once on the love song channel, and once on the adult alternative channel. And hey, repeating Sade is no crime in my book! As much as I used to think paying for radio was stupid, I now see the error of my ways. All music lovers should get one!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, May 5, 2006

Susan's MI-5

My wife Susan is a legal TV addict. She thought up this weeks questions:

1. What is the worst legal trouble you've ever been in?
I don't think I've ever been in legal trouble. I try to behave myself, pretty much. I once reported that I knew where a stolen cymbal was located. It was a 16" medium thin Zildjian suspended cymbal. It's a concert cymbal, and Rockland High owned it when I was there. It was a beautiful cymbal. Someone saw it in a music store, and turned me onto it. It was beat up and cracked. I called Ms. Hall to see if she knew about it. She told me it had been stolen, and I told her where she could find it. The cops called me, and kinda tried to intimidate me a little bit.

"How did you know it was there?"
"Someone told me about it," says I.
"How did you know it was the schools?"
"An A Zildjian medium thin suspended? In Rockland? C'mon, it could of come from only one place."
"Tell us who told you about it," the cop says on the phone.
"No, I don't need to tell you that."
"If you don't tell us, you could be arrested for (some aiding a crime charge I don't remember)."

I called his bluff.

"If you want to arrest me, a local citizen, for trying to do the right thing, you go ahead. And I'll call Dagney (arts reporter from the local newspaper) and let her know how this all goes down. If you think arresting me is the right thing to do, you go right ahead."

And that was the end of it.

2. Do you have a lawyer and what do you use him for?
My sister used to work for Jim Brannan, so I consider him "my attorney." In reality, though, Lisa does my legal work. She did my will and my living will, and I'm quite sure she did all the real work on purchasing my house. But if I'm ever arrested for something, I'd probably call Jim.

3. Have you ever been called for jury duty? Did you serve?
I've never been called, and I want to be! I want to serve so bad!

4. What's your most serious traffic infraction?
I've been pulled over for speeding twice. Neither time I was speeding excessively--say maybe 10mph over. Neither time did I get a ticket. I've never had a ticket for a moving violation. Parking? Yeah, I've had one or two of those.

5. Have you have any funny legal incidents?
This is one of those speeding incidents. I was on my way to New Harbor for a gig. I was going through Waldoboro, had just come down the big hill, and was on my way up the other side when the blues came on. I pulled over, and reached into the glove box for registration and insurance. It was dark outside, and I rolled down my window as the cop approached. I was looking over at the glove box, and just turned back towards the window when the cop stuck his head inside and kissed me on the cheek! I was shocked! He took off his smokey bear, and I could finally see who it was. It was my friend Jeremy from high school! He was laughing like crazy--he must've seen how confused I was by the darkness and the shadows of his hat. He told me to slow down (I was doing 55 in a 45), and all was cool. It was something crazy I'll never forget. Of course, Jeremy was (and still is) crazy!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Quiz, Web Site, Across the Globe Snare Selling

Hello, there! Did you take the quiz yet? See below. Debrosky did very well. He got a 100. Or so one might think. How did he do so well? I wonder... Why don't YOU take it, and see how you do.

What else is going on? Well, I finished the website for Balance Communications. They do phone installations, paging systems, inhome wiring, and that kind of thing. So hey, if you need an extra jack put in, or if you need fiber optic cables run, they can do it. And tell Kyle you heard about here.

Oh, and speaking about hearing about stuff on Billy Rhythm's site... Some guy from Washington state called Northern Kingdom Music. He asked about ordering a snare drum. He mentioned that he heard about them from here! And, he said he heard they were an honest, trustworthy place to do business, and they offered good prices and great service. Isn't that cool! Somebody here in Maine got business from the good word they got right here! Bruce, if you're reading this, drop me a line--I'd love to talk to you!

I have more Northern Kingdom Music news I want to post, but not right now. Maybe later, or maybe tomorrow.

Feeling: Better than this morning
Currently Reading: Treasure Island (For real! I didn't read it as a kid.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, May 1, 2006

New Quiz, Please Play!

OK, the secrets thing kinda didn't work so well. Susan won, and rightfully so. But here's another quiz. I think it's a little more even keeled. Why? I think all of the answers are on my blog. So check the archive, and do some diging, and you should be able to find all the answers. The winner gets a prize. Here are the rules:

Your first time through the quiz is the score that counts.
Please don't cheat. The quiz keeps track of IPs. Please don't make me use nslookup to track you down.
I'm the judge. I reserve the right to throw out any and/or all entries.
If you don't want to use your real name, shoot me an email with an alias. Then take the quiz. As long as your email is time stamped before you take the quiz, you may use that alias.

OK, all for fun, right! All of you who just read (Debro, Cappucino, etc.), get in and play the game! Harv, I haven't seen you lurking here much. Let's go!

Take the Quiz!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: