Thursday, May 31, 2007

What I Did With My Long Weekend

vistassmall_228 (208k image)

Yup, drum restoration. And some of you may remember these Ludwig Vistalites from when I owned them before. I ended up selling them to one of my students. Honestly, I wasn't a big fan of their sound, so I didn't feel bad about selling them. Well, my former student doesn't play drums anymore. (In fact, he's gotten into the DJ business!) So his mom offered to sell them back to me. So, I bought them back. There's actually one drum not seen in this picture, though you can see it in the older pictures. The crack it had that I repaired got worse. In fact, it cracked all the way through. I've repaired it again, but I'm not sure if I'm going to use it. I may later on.

Oh, so you're probably asking "Why buy them back if you didn't like how they sounded before?" Well, the answer is "Groove Machine." The guys of Three Button Deluxe, the same guys who play in the Uptown Rhythm Kings, the same guys who play in Spork. We now have a 4th band, Groove Machine. We play all your favorite 70s funk, R&B, Soul, and Disco. "Brick House?" Yup. "Play That Funky Music?" Check. "Lady Marmalade?" Sho Nuff! Anyway, this kit is for that band. Dig?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cute Kid Things

I know my posting has been off lately. Last week was super busy, and I promise I'll post on recent church news and my computer woes. I did want to stick a quick update up here for you this morning of a couple of cute kid things that happened this weekend.

One: I was getting the boys up from their nap. They were in their room, playing nicely, acting out a little Dora the Explorer bit. Nathaniel asked me "What's 'pequeña' in English?" I thought it rather cute that he can remember the Spanish for "little," but not English.

Two: Julia informed me this morning my nose hairs were too long. Yikes! Julia has also been great at helping me with my Latin homework. Latin homework? Oh, I don't think I've told you about that either. I have a lot to catch up on!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Amy's "You Are" MI-5

The YOU ARE Mi-5 edition:

1. You are attending a professional sporting event. What sport? Do you go to a specific venue? Who do you root for?

The sport I like most to watch live is probably football. However, I don't really want to travel to Mass. just to see a game. We do have the Sea Dogs (minor league team for Boston) less than two hours away. So I would probably say I'd be rooting for the Sea Dogs, and I'd be happy I was close to home, that tickets were easy to get, and inexpensive. My guess is it's all the fun of a major league game, just without the "glamor."

2. You are quitting your job because your dream job just knocked on your door and fell into your lap. How long of notice do you give? What do you say to your current employer?

My dream job would probably be artist relations for a drum manufacturer. My boss already knows about my drum love, so I don't think he'd be surprised or angry. Since I'm the manager at the office, I'd probably give a months notice. It takes some time to learn our proprietary accounting software. In fact, I'm still learning it!

3. You are attending a costume party. What do you go as? Will people recognize you (assuming there are people there that you know of course)?

I'm probably going as something ghoulish. Everyone will recognize me, 'cause I'd still be talking with everyone!

4. You are going on a road trip. How long do you go? Where do you go?

I'm probably going to NH with the kids for a vacation to Storyland or something. Sometimes, though, I dream about driving a convertible with Susan the entire length of Rt. 1.

5. You are the winner of $15,000. Not enough to quit your job or move to Hawaii or anything crazy. What do you do with it? Are you sensible and invest it? Do you buy something you need? Do you buy something you want but don’t need?

At this point in my life, I'd say I'd use it to help buy a larger house, or to really spruce up the house we have now. With $15k, I could have new rugs, paint, and wallpaper all over. That would be nice! I could probably get all new furniture too. Hey, this sounds really nice. Someone get me a lottery ticket!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The XM Blackout

XM-Logo-2006 (13k image)

XM Radio went down for a day. Basically, any time I came near any tree, building, or any object over 6 feet tall, I'd lose reception. XM says a software upgrade caused the problem. Why they would do an upgrade at noon eastern (thus morning drive on the west coast) is beyond me. But anyway, it's back up, and I'm happy.

Well, happier, maybe.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, May 19, 2007


1) Brake DRUMS wear out on your car. How often do you take your car in for maintenance? Are you fastidious about it, or do you let stuff go?

I'm not really fastidious. When something needs to be fixed, I fix it. If it's something more annoying than anything else, well, I might put that off. My car has a warped break rotor, so it shimmies a little when breaking hard at high speed. But really, how often do I break hard from 55? So I'll just wait 'til my next break job.

2) A neighbor's house burns down in a FIRE. You have a hunch, but no proof, that the neighbor did it for the insurance. Do you alert the authorities?

Probably not "alert" them, but I might mention something if I saw a cop I knew or something. Maybe more of a "heads up" than anything.

3) Your ear DRUM is hurting like crazy. Do you bother to go to the doctors?

Probably not. I don't go to the doctors very often. I do have a problem with my ears, though, and as a musician, that concerns me. I get ear infections because I have a eustachian tube that doesn't drain properly. When I get an infection, I don't get any pain, but my ear fills up, and gets all plugged. So I can't hear. Not so good for a musician. The good part is, I get them so often, I can usually just ask my doctor to call in a prescription.

4) Think of song or movie with "FIRE" in the title. What is it? Why did it pop into your mind?

I like Jose Feliciano's version of the Doors "Light My Fire."

5) Remember Stephen King's "The Shining," and the whole reDRUM thing? Have you read much King? Seen his movies? Been by his house? Anything related to him at all?

I read a bunch of his stuff when I was in high school, but nothing newer than Pet Cemetery, I think. The Shining was my favorite. I know he lives in Bangor, and he's got bats on his iron gate, but I've not seen it. Oh, and his sister-in-law, Marcella, was my high school Latin teacher.

Bonus: What color FIRE ENGINE do you prefer: Red, White, or Yellow/Green? Why?

Red. I like the neon yellow ones too, as long as they're the right vintage. (Older trucks should be red.) I can't abide the white ones.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


For the last few days, I seem to be stopping on the country music stations on the old XM. There's a station called "X Country," which is alternative country that I seem to like. And, the bluegrass channel has been a favorite since I got the XM. This morning, I stopped on a song that I had heard yesterday; a female singer has a song called "Tim McGraw." Of course, since Mr. McGraw is a famous singer in his own right, when I saw a song named for him on the XM display yesterday, I stopped. Again this morning, I saw it on the display, so I stopped again. I liked it. But that's not the story...

The next song was a Brad Paisley tune called "Ticks." I thought I'd listen. There are a lot of ways that two people express love/interest in one another. However, "I'd like to check you for ticks" seems one of the most unromantic lines I've ever heard in my life! Maybe it's me, but a bad line, coupled with serious red-neck attitude says "Listen, bud, I wouldn't let you check my car for oil, let alone my body for ticks!"

Maybe I'm reading too much into this.

Good morning, all!

About to Start: 2nd Esdras
Just Finished: 1st Esdras

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Big Band

There's a local big band that plays on Monday nights: The Monday Night Jazz Orchestra. Every now and again, their regular drummer can't make it. They've called me before, and I've never been available. They called again on Sunday. I called them back, and gave them the scoop; I have a Latin class Tuesday night, as well as Bible study, and I had planned on getting ready on Monday night. But, if I was able to fit it in, I would come over. So I did!

I've never played with a proper big band before. There were four trumpets, three or four saxes, one trombone (one was missing, and they can't find a third), bass, guitar, and me. It was fun, though I had a bit of a hard time with some of the tunes. They had charts, but if I went awry, I was gone! On one tune, I missed a coda. (A coda is where you jump from one part of a song to another part.) I just plowed right through, and kept going. The result? Everyone was at the end, and I still had a long way to go. Still, they said I did well, and they liked how I played, and they invited me back. It certainly was a lot fun playing with a band that big. Of course, I need to be in another band like I need another snare drum!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, May 14, 2007

What Was In My Tea Cup?

The boys took a really long and late afternoon nap yesterday. They didn't wake up 'til almost 4:30! So Susan thought she'd keep them up, and thus they would sleep later. Thinking that, she herself stayed up until 10:30pm reading. Guess what happened at 6:15 this morning! Yup! Matthew was up and at 'em. The whole family was up by 6:30. Here's the funny part... Susan, in a fog, almost put cereal in her tea cup! She's so cute!

Reading: 1 Esdras
Feeling: Stressed

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, May 11, 2007

My Made-Up-Job MI-5

Actually, Gina was the inspiration for this. She asked me the first question for some reason, and I said "That would make a really good MI-5!" She didn't take the idea, but let me keep it. Here it is:

1) You have to preach a sermon this Sunday. What is your subject? Why?

Well, this is something I'm called on to do occasionally. And sometimes I'm called to teach adult Sunday School class. I currently have two unfinished Sunday School lessons, one on work, and one on giving. I probably would parlay one of those two over to a sermon. Unless, of course, the Holy Spirit moves me to preach on something else. Maybe fasting?

2) You're a lawyer. You somehow find out a client you represent really is guilty. Do you continue to defend him/her, or find a way to bail? Explain.

I'm not sure of the legal ramifications, but I'd prefer not to represent guilty people. If there was a way I could get out, I would.

3) You're a car salesperson. Someone comes in and wants "the coolest thing on the lot." What do you show them?

Depends what the coolest thing on the lot is! I think the Audi TT is a pretty sweet ride. Chevy has that little two seat truck that's cool. We had a purple one parked out front of the office the other day. Perhaps you'd like something that can carry a lot of groceries? Or maybe just something to take to the ice cream parlor? It would depend, see?

4) You're a doctor. One of your patients has a terminal illness. Do you tell them the truth, or lie to them thinking some positive energy on their part might prolong their life?

I'd rather hear the truth, so I think I'd tell the truth to my patients.

5) You're a chef. The president of Yukoclakia is coming for dinner. What do you serve?

Pork's pretty versatile, so I'd probably start with that. Or perhaps chicken, in case they're non-pig eaters. Maybe both! And who doesn't love great mashed potatoes? Perhaps some asparagus? And dessert, hmm. Pumpkin cheesecake sounds good right about now.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Seduction Quiz (Blush!)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, May 7, 2007

For My Friend Tim

I've been playing drums for Blind Albert for quite some time: about 14 years, I think. In that time, Blind Al and I have been the constant. The variable has been the bass player. We started with Jay Stevenson. Mike Chesk came next, and he still plays with us a little. Dennis Lindsey had a short stint in there, and the last person to be our sole, regular bass player was Tim Cousins. (Currently we depend on Mike and Glen Dubois. Whomever is available gets the gig, but we have two that we work with. Tim was the last "regular" bass player.)

Tim was a drummer's bass player. He was solid. He was in the pocket. He didn't want to play "lead bass." He wasn't a guitar player who settled for the bass to get a gig, but secretly desired to be out front, riffing away. Nope. Tim played the bass. He was foundation. He was captain of the low notes.

Many times Tim and I rode to gigs together. We were more than just band mates. We were friends. We'd been to each other's homes. I met his son, at his son's home. Tim installed my dishwasher. (He was a master plumber by day, teaching voc. rehab at the minimum security prison in Warren.) I think we saw B.B. King together.

Time moves on, though, and Tim stopped playing with Blind Al. He met a nice girl, and they bought a home out Augusta way, so we didn't really see each other anymore. A few weeks ago, though, a mutual friend told me that Tim wasn't well. He had a touch of cancer, which they found, and took care of. Or so they thought. Turns out, it spread, and they didn't give him much time.

He passed away at 3:30 this morning. He was 54. Rest in peace, Tim. We'll jam again when I get there.

Feeling: Sad

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, May 4, 2007

Susan's Word Association MI-5

Please write the first thing that pops into your mind after reading each of the following words. You may elaborate, if you wish.

Blue. There's this band I like called "The Ocean Blue." Kevin Risch introduced me to them, and we went and saw them at Colby.

Sand. Yup. I misread it. That was the first thing that came to mind.

Phone. My cell phone doesn't take pictures. I don't care. I don't need a phone that takes pictures.


5.Flat Tire
Shuffle. There's a drum beat called the "Flat Tire Shuffle." It's a blues groove, and when played properly, it sounds a little like a car with a flat tire.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Dream from Two Nights Ago

It looks like I'm back in my patter of crazy dreams. For a while, it seems like I couldn't remember any dreams. Now, I'm getting all kinds! Well, I don't actually remember anything fromlast night, but here's the dream from the night before last.

I dreamt I was buying a "new" car. It was actually an old Mercedes Benz. It looked quite a bit like a Volkswagen Thing, but with a trunk. The trunk was covered with a tarp and a couple of clips to hold it in place. In the back seat area, there was an integrated car seat, with some shelving all around it. It was a baby changing station! So there was one seat in the back, and the car seat. Whomever was in the back seat could reach over, take the baby out of the car seat, and change a diaper, all while underway! Of course, it doesn't work for two kids who need car seats, and only one adult would fit in the back. Still, it was cool. And, I was test driving it.

Along the way, I met Chris and AJ Donlin. They both remarked how cool the car was. By that time, I had decided not to buy the car, so I offered it to them.

"Feel free to take it," I said. "The only thing you need to do is top off the tank."

"Well," said Chris "you've already used it some, and I don't want to pay for your gas."

"I drove it from the dealership to home, then from home to work, and then from work to here. I've driven eight miles, maybe." I said. I took out my wallet, and handed him a fiver. "This should more than cover the cost of the gas."

Chris reached over and pulled another five spot out of my wallet. "That oughta do it" he said.

I took both bills back. "I'm not paying $10 to pay for eight miles worth of gas in a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon. And, I'm doing you a favor by giving you the car here at your house. Instead, I'll top off the tank. You can pick the car up at the dealership, if you want it."

And I woke up.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Trio of Crazy Dreams

I've had three dreams of late that haven't been blogged. They were all pretty strange. And, I don't really remember them that well, which is also strange. But, here they are.

1) I dreamt sometime last week that I was being chased by someone, though I don't know who. I was carrying a sword. Why? Search me! The strange part was I couldn't (in my dream) open my eyes. In my dream, my eyes were closed, and I couldn't open them. So I'm running from someone, but I can't see where I'm going. I could take my hands, spread my eyelids apart, and see a little, but as soon as I let go, my eyes would snap shut.

2) I dreamt I was a participant in a firing squad. I wasn't the recipient, I was a participant. Who was I shooting? Why? I've no idea.

3) Last night I dreamt I was in a car accident. I backed into someone. Who? I don't know. But I remember the person I backed into was admitting it was their fault. I knew it was of course my fault, but I let them tell the cops it was theirs. I just kept my mouth shut.

Reading: Habbakuk
Watching: American Idol with Susan

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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