Friday, June 27, 2008

Vacation Photos Up!

In the gallery, that's where!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Vacation Week, Already Gone?

It's 8:30 in the AM. The kids are at Grandma's house, and Susan is taking the time to sleep late. I'll do a full vacation wrap-up, complete with pictures, a little later this weekend. Susan's leaving for camp tomorrow, so she's got some stuff she needs to take care of today. Then, I hope to take her antique-ing. We both love antiques, but shopping/browsing for them with three children--two of them being 4-year-old boys--is not feasible. So we're going to take some time to do it today.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Fill In #78

1. Birthdays are not that important to me.

2. Fall is my favorite season because I like the cool temperatures, the falling leaves, the fall colors, and the smell of wood-smoke.

3. I feel my best when I've had a good night's sleep and a hot cup of coffee on a cool fall morning. :-)

4. Just about anything Italian is my favorite food!

5. First impressions are are not always correct, but they sure are hard to change.

6. The best piece of advice I ever received was "The best way to show your kids you love them is to love their mother. (Although my Dad never specifically used these words, he demonstrated the principle to me every day.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to an evening with Susan and without kids, tomorrow my plans include an afternoon gig and a rare evening off and Sunday, I want to see how I handle being without my family for the first 24 hours! (They're going away to camp).

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gina's Poetic MI-5

Gina says: For this week's MI-5, let's do something different. Let's write a poem. About the person you should know the best. YOU !! I encourage you to take a moment or two to think about your responses. Reintroduce yourself, to yourself. Rediscover what makes you tick. And while I don't want to impose too many restrictions on this creative outlet, I would mention for those who post their responses to their blogs, leaving out the fine print written inside the parentheses will make your poem look and read better. So that's it. Everything else is fair game. Here's my entry.

I am a melancholy drummer.*
I wonder how my children will turn out.
I hear the sound of thunder.
I see not the big picture, the grand scheme.
I want more alone time with Susan.
I am a melancholy drummer.

I pretend to samba on the beach.**
I feel the warm sand under my feet.
I touch Susan's hair as we dance.
I worry we won't ever really make it to Barbados.
I cry when I visit my father's grave
I am a melancholy drummer.

I understand far too little, and I know I need more.
I say things in an unloving way far too many times.
I dream of dead girls in pink dresses***, and Tibetan monks disemboweling themselves****.
I try to do a good job, and set a good example.
I hope I can raise my children as well as my parents raised me.
I am a melancholy drummer.

*As an occasional writer of poems, I must say I found today's MI-5 really hard. I wanted so much to turn this into an actual, cohesive piece, but I couldn't answer honestly, and still have it all flow.

**Here's a good example of what I was trying to explain above. The first four lines seem like they might go somewhere, but I couldn't honestly make it fit with the "I cry" line. These four lines were inspired by Susan and me having a silly little dance in the playroom while listening to the Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto album. While we were dancing to the gentle clack of the bossa nova, our children were head-banging around us, running in a circle like a carousel of child rock stars.

***Dreaming of dead girls in pink dresses
****Tibetan monks pulling their guts out

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Fill In #77

1. A smile is a very effective weapon in the battle of nastiness.
2. Trivial Pursuit is my favorite board or card game.
3. I would love to have more sambas in my life and less distractions.
4. When I think of the Summer Solstice, I think of the days getting shorter. (So goes the pessimist in me!)
5. I just remembered I need to do something wonderful for my beloved wife.
6. One of my favorite song lyrics goes like this: Vacation, all I ever wanted--vacation, have to get away.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to sleeping, tomorrow my plans include selling out the Center Theatre in Dover Foxcroft, and Sunday, I want to play the bass!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jim's MI-5, a Few Days Late

Jim sayz:

As some of you may know I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan. Dave stresses debt repayment and saving. These questions were inspired by him.

1. What are your thoughts on the use of credit cards?

~I'd prefer not to use them. Sometimes, though, they can help you out of a jam. I recall an incident about two years ago when my car needed a head gasket. I didn't have the cash to pay for it. I put it on my card, and paid it off in a month or three. Though I try to keep the balance down, we struggle in my household with their use. Recently, Susan gave her cards to me in an effort to avoid temptation. They will be paid off soon; the amount of debt Susan and I carry, though it's higher than we like, is considerably less than average.

2. When it is time to get a new car will you buy new, used or lease and why?

~Used. I think I'm in the camp my sister wants to be in. My cars are used, but not used up. $5000 can really buy you a decent automobile. My wagon was $3000, and I paid cash for it. (Dave would be proud of me!)

3. Tell us something major in your life you saved up for and if you had to do it again would you save up for it or do it differently?

~The major things that I've saved for have required much thought. Because of that, I don't regret any major purchases. It's the stuff I didn't save for which I wish I could do over again.

4. If you had to watch your pennies a lot tell us one guilty pleasure you would not curb spending on?

~Good coffee. It's worth the extra price!

5. What do you think your retirement will look like financially and will you be ready?

~I've been asked this question before, and my answer it rather melancholy. Having lost my Dad just three years ago, and he being only 58, well, I'm not really holding out too much hope of "retiring." Instead, I will probably work until I die. I don't see any hope that Social Security will be around, so I won't be getting that little bit of scratch back. I do have a little in some IRAs, but it won't be anywhere near the amount we'll need. Wow. I feel so happy all of a sudden...

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #76

My answers are in bold

1. Preaching a Sunday sermon is high up on my bucket list. You can see the whole list here.
2. My favorite quote is "All things work together for the good for those who love the Lord"; it's from Romans.
3. Some guys at the office inspired me to start blogging.
4. Strawberries are best served over my homemade biscuits with whipped cream.
5. Almost being hit by a train was in the last dream I remember having. It was last night, and I actually woke up scared.
6. The most enjoyable time to go for a walk is in the evening, in the fall, with the smell of woodsmoke in the air.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to a gig, tomorrow my plans include a gig and Sunday, I want to not gig!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Susan!

Fourteen years, and I'm still crazy after you! As I recently heard in a Tom T. Hall song, I promise to "be true 'til our names are carved together on a stone." I love you!


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tal Wilkenfeld

Was anyone going to tell me? Watching the Eric Clapton "Crossroads Guitar Festival," you'll see Jeff Beck playing one of my absolute favorite songs: "'Cause We've Ended as Lovers." At the concert, Vinnie Coliuta is playing drums. And who's playing bass? It's some girl! She looks like, honestly, she should still be in high school! (I've since found out she's 21.) She rips out a solo that is absolutely killer! I mean, it's crazy good! Crazy good. You don't see too many females on certain instruments. The female drummers are starting to get some respect, but still, I can count the famous ones on two hands. Female bass players? Good ones? I couldn't name one. Well, I can name one now--and she's great, regardless of sex or age. But 21? Yowza! I'm not one for posting youtube links, but you should go watch this.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Weekend Wrap Up

There was a lot happening this weekend. I actually played in Portland on Thursday--and that's pretty rare.

After work on Friday, Susan and I went to Amalfi for our anniversary dinner. We loved the old place on Mn. St. Their new place, in the old MBNA building, is quite a bit bigger. I joked "They've got more staff here tonight than they had seats in the old place!" The food was good, but the vibe was gone. It was very slick--very big city. Susan and I prefer more "quaint."

Saturday, Susan and Julia had a hair appointment, so the boys and I hit the hardware store. I made some ribs on the grill for lunch, and did some pruning of the bushes out back. After I got the lawn mowed, we headed to Barley Joe's nursery to get some plants and herbs. I was going to make hamburgers on the grill for supper, but everyone was too tired. Most of the family had cereal. I had another prosciutto and pesto sandwich. Bed.

Sunday morning was church. Pastor Dave was visiting his new grandson in VA, so I led the adult Sunday School. We celebrated my sister's birthday at lunch. In the afternoon, we decided to beat the heat by washing the cars. At 3pm, my cell phone rang. "Bill, were you planning on coming to the gig today?" I completely forgot I had a 3:30 gig with the steel drum band at a local church. So I had to leave, Susan's van being 1/2 washed. After the gig, we headed off to evening church, where I hit quite a few clams on the bass. It was too hot to cook after church, so we all ate tuna sandwiches for supper. And now, the kids are in bed, and Susan's in the shower. I figured I'd get a jump on the week, and get this up.

Watching: Eric Clapton concert Great Performances

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, June 6, 2008

Lisa's Bucket List MI-5

My sister says: "I actually got the idea for this week’s MI-5 from Question 5 from last week. It’s probably not too original, and maybe we’ve even done it before, but---let me see your bucket list!! Tell me 5 things you want to see, do, complete, or accomplish before you leave this world. On second thought, give me 2 Bucket Lists---one list of 5 things that you are reasonably certain you WILL be able to cross off your list, and another list of 5 things that may be much more unlikely for you to accomplish."

Things I'm reasonably certain I can accomplish before kicking off:

1) Preach a sermon in a Sunday morning service. I've done a couple Sunday evening sermons, and I've led Bible studies and classes quite regularly. Those Sunday morning services, though, are a big deal. Though I've had ample opportunity over the last three years, I have yet to actually do it.

2) Buy a Victorian. Though my beloved wife has it on her "unlikely" list, that's probably more because of her desire to make it a B&B. I give us a 60-75% chance of owning a Victorian in our lifetime. It may be after the kids are grown, though!

3) Visit some foreign countries. On my list of places to visit: Bermuda or Puerto Rico, Italy, the UK, and Israel. I probably won't see them all, but I bet I'll get some of those in. Also, I want to see Texas.

4) Own a fire engine.

5) Go back to Disney World.

Now, here are the five I don't think I'll get around to:

1) Hang gliding.

2) Opening my own drum manufacturing business.

3) Play drums for Harry Connick's band.

4) Go out with Mariska Hargitay.

5). Meet Ringo.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Fill-Ins #75

My answers are thus, meaning, in bold

1. Idle hands are in danger of being cut from the payroll.
2. I love using my neti pot in the shower.
3. My favorite time of the day is when all the kids are asleep, and Susan and I get to relax.
4. The last tea I drank was iced, and from the iced tea machine Susan and I bought years ago. Now that our fridge has an ice maker, I hope to use it more often!
5. I like to cook on the grill in the Summer.
6. My mother always said "If you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to do anything else.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to an anniversary dinner with Susan, tomorrow my plans include mowing the lawn (if it will stay dry long enough!), and Sunday, I want to get that stuff listed on Ebay for Blind Al!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, June 5, 2008

On Sandwiches

A recent discovery by me... The entire essence of summer can be summed up in three letters: BLT!

Also, Susan checked a book out of the library on gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. The first offering we tried? Prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and fig jam. Well, no fig jam--Susan couldn't find it. I substituted pesto on mine, and Susan, after tasting the prosciutto, thought perhaps raspberry jam would work well. And work well it did! We decided that next time, a few slices of red onion would help offset the sweetness of the raspberry, but hey, pork and raspberries have been paired together forever! I shouldn't have been so surprised.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Epitome of the Coffee Culture, the Bane of the Coffee Drinker

I had a little time before work this morning, so I went to the corner coffee shop for a muffin. The guy in front of me said to the barista:

"I have something special I need you to make me. Take the biggest cup you have. Fill it with ice. Fill it 1/2 way with coffee. Add four shots, and a pump of vanilla. Then fill the rest with non-fat."

I'll have my coffee black, and in a mug, please. Hey, I like espresso as much as the next guy, but if your coffee tastes have you deviating off-menu, and if any of your coffee recipes include a "pump of vanilla," well, the purist in me cringes.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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