Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gina's Harry Potter MI-5

Gina says "Sorry it's late.....This week's Friday Five has to do with ALL THINGS HARRY POTTER"

1. Hagrid took care of some unusual creatures while at Hogwarts. What was the most unusual "creature" you've ever taken care of?

I've owned many hemit crabs in my life. I also used to keep salamanders when I was younger. And Julia had an African clawed frog for a while.

2. If you were given magical powers for 24 hours, what would you do?


3. The Hogwarts Express has a major part in the series. Have you ever been on a train? Where did you go? Share with us your experience.

I've been on small trains at fairs and amusement parks and what not. You know, small gauge stuff. I've been on a real train twice. Once, I was an actor on a haunted train ride. The train pulled into the junction, and a bunch of us in costume got on and scared some kids. Then, since I had to get home in time for church, I got off the train. The other actors stayed on the train, and rode back.

4. Why do you think the world has gone so crazy for All Things Harry Potter?

I'm really not sure. I've read none of the books, nor seen any of the movies. So I'm not really sure while all the fuss.

5. And finally, describe a "magical" moment in your life.

Probably the days my children were born. I remember when Julia was born, as soon as she came out, I burst into tears. I didn't feel it coming on or anything. It just happened. There's a photo of me holding Julia just minutes after she was born, and my eyes were still red, as were my cheeks. It's one of Susan's favorite photos. The boys? They were another story. I cried, yes, but I remember more all the bustle. Of course, Nat was born, but that wasn't the end. We still had Matt to go. I remember him coming out in the caul, and the doctor holding her hand in front of her face to sheild herself for when the balloon that was his amniotic sac blew! Instead, she had time and cut it open. As she's cleaning Matthew up, the umbilical cord and some other stuff starts coming out, and my Mom cries "There's another one!" The look of shock on every one in the room was priceless! Mom may be a little embarrased by the whole thing, but it's something I'll certainly remember!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Weekend Wrap Up

I left the office on Friday, and headed right to my gig in Portland at Brian Boru. Nothing of an major interest happened, but I did call Paddy and Shatema to let them know I was in town. They came and heard a set, and that was nice.

Saturday morning I slept nice and late: 8:30am. I did some little stuff around the house; I mowed the lawn, ran a few errands, and fixed the wallpaper in the boys' room. Around 4pm, I left for my gig with the steel drum band in Camden. The bugs ate my legs for two hours. I have the bites to prove it! I was home well before 9pm--an early Saturday night for me!

Sunday morning I woke up and made breakfast for the fam: Plain pancakes for Nat, raspberry pancakes for Susan, and chocolate chip pancakes for Julia, Matt, and me. Then church, and lunch at Mom's. I had an appointment with a plumber at 2pm, so we raced out after eating lunch. When we got home, the answering machine had the plumber's cancellation call on it. So, I was able to get a nap in after all. We had a potluck supper at church in the evening, and I made a "salad" of grilled sausages with roasted onions and peppers. I thought it was really good, and there wasn't much left of it at the end of the night. Then I came home, and watched a little TV with Susan. What I completely forgot was that Paddy was here in Rockland playing a gig on Sunday night. He invited me a few weeks ago, and reminded me when he came to my gig on Friday. Yet by Sunday, I had forgotten. Sorry Paddy!

Watching: Nothing
Listening to: the traffic drive by

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Drumming, Christianity, and the Current State of the Union

I just ran into this story on a drum message board I frequent. Why I missed it, I'm not sure. Back in January, one of my fellow posters/drummers/Christians was handing out Bibles with the Giddeons. You know the Giddeons, the ones who put Bibles in hotels? Well, they were on a public sidewalk in front of a school. They went to the principal, and asked him where they should stand. He told them, and that's where they went. So from this public sidewalk, outside the school, they were handing out Bibles and talking to students and pedestrians. Apprarently, the principal changed his mind about the whole idea, and called the cops. The police came, and asked the Giddeons to move. Though they have the legal right to stand on the sidewalk--a public way--the Giddeons are trained to submit to law officials. So they were moving, but apparently not fast enough. The cop decided to arrest them. And he did.

He was arrested, and not given the charge, nor read his rights. Later, they charged him with trespassing. That didn't stick, as he was on a public way. Then, they charged him with "loitering within 500 feet of a school." Recently, that charge was dismissed.

Here's the real point of my post. Do you think if this guy were handing out condoms in front of the school, in the same spot, that there would've been a problem? What if he was handing out Quorans? My thought is no one would've said anything about the condoms. Heck, if he was handing out Quorans and got arrested, the media would be all over it, talking about religious bias and the rights of Muslims. Since he was a Christian, though, then he's fair game.

What are we doing when we spend time and money prosecuting Gideons???

If you'd like to read the thread on the drum message board, and make up your own mind, it's here.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, July 27, 2007

Snare Quiz--Humor Me!

I'm playing two gig this weekend. I'll be playing a different snare at each venue. Which one will I be using at each location. I know, it's stupid, but play along, would you?

1) Tonight I'll be in Portland, inside, in a small room. I'll be playing a drum that's not too loud. Which one? Hint: It doesn't get played very much.

2) Tomorrow, early evening, I'll be playing an outside gig--a wedding reception. This gig is the steel drum band, so I'll need something loud to be heard over the din, and something loud so the band can hear. Which snare is it? Hint: It's probably the loudest snare I own.

OK, leave me a comment with your answers. There will be a prize.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Kids are Home

The kids spent the last two nights at Grandma and Granddaddy's. Susan and I enjoyed the time off. We hit up a few local restaurants, and spent a little quality time together. Not a lot, as I still had to work. Susan spent most of her time cleaning Julia's room. They're back now, and I'm glad. I did miss them.

I had my drum lesson just as I always do on Wednesday, and Susan was able to go with me to Bible study on Tuesday. Since we have our new pastor, I'm no longer leading the study, so that lifts my load a little.

Tonight I went over to Barry's to help him to write a little code. It didn't take as long as I thought, so that's nice. I'm planning on cooking some chops on the grill tonight, and Susan's got some corn in the steamer. I've got to play in Portland tomorrow night, so I hope to get a long sleep tonight.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Kid's Birthdays

Since all three kids are born in July, we usually have one big family party for all of them. The photos are in the gallery. Some are from my Mom's camera, and some are from mine. (You can tell which came from which, as Mom's camera prints the date on them. Also, she is apparently really fond of the vertical format.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, July 20, 2007

Antiques Roadshow MI-5

This week's MI-5 is based of the most recent "Antiques Roadshow" I saw on PBS. They were in Portland, I think.

1) For the kid who brought in the Summer, Winter, and Fall figurines (Spring was missing): Do you have something that you've held onto, even though it's missing some pieces, or may even be broken? What is it? Why do you hang onto it?

I have some old Star Wars toys that are missing pieces that I still hang on to. My nephew Eben is into Star Wars, and he's been known to play with the Hoth Playset even though the entire droid is missing. And, I have four tires and rims in my garage that were for my old '85 F-150 (the Blue Turd). I haven't thrown them away because it costs money to throw away tires. If you can use them, they're yours!

2) For the guy who brought in original transcripts from the bombing of Pearl Harbor: Tell us a story about something that happened to you, or something special you remember, that happened on a historic date. If you can't think of anything, fall back on the "Where were you when Kennedy was shot" sort of thing.

I was born on December 7th, so I carry that with me every birthday. When the Challenger blew up, I found out about it after leaving Mr. Hanc's math class. Someone told me in the hallway. I didn't believe them. With Shuttle Columbia, Susan and I were watching it on TV while on vacation in Florida.

3) For the lady who had her great-great-who-knows-how-many-greats grandmother's clothes from the Bahamas: What's the oldest piece of clothing you own? Do you still wear it? Why do you have it?

I think the oldest piece of clothing I have is a shirt from my high-school band days. It's a white polo with a tiger on it, and I think it says "RDHS Pep Band." I also have my letterman's jacket.

4) For the guy who brought in a working model motorboat: Tell us something about an interesting toy from your childhood.

Uncle Roger gave me and old CB radio. It wasn't a little thing like you might have in your car; it was a huge base station thing. I spent lots of time playing with it. When I played "war" with the other boys, it would come with us, a valuable piece of equipment. I also would take it apart, play with the pieces, and put it back together. Maybe thats why, even today, if I have a piece of equipment go bad, I won't hesitate to take it apart and see if I can fix it. In fact, I fixed the door on my laserdisc player not even a month ago.

5) One lady brought in what she thought was a Native American fish hook. Turned out it was a Polynesian cannibal "brain pick'! Have you ever owned something that you thought was one thing, and it turned out to be something else? If not, how about something in your house that you don't know what it is?

I once bought a "canteen" (essential for playing "war") at Arlene's antique shop. Turn's out my canteen was a flask!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Ludwig Victory

I've posted here before about my love for WWII era drums. (Actually, search the archive. I've posted a lot about WWII era snares. The quick plot? Metal was rationed, and normally metal parts on snares were made out of wood. Well, a few months ago, I won one on ebay for about $150. It was a Ludwig "Victory" snare that had been refinished. The normal look of these drums was a solid color lacquer. I wanted something that was period, but maybe a little dressier. A guy over at drumforum.org had a set of Leedy "Dreadnaughts" (Leedy's WWII line) that had a creme and gold lacquer duco finish. So I thought I might try that.

I think the results look pretty darned good!

(Incidentally, many drummers think duco means "dual color," since most duco drums have two colors--a base color then the stripe in the middle. It's really from "DuPont Company," and is just the company that made the solid--not see-through--lacquer. You could get duco drums that were only one color.)

OK, enough snare history!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Mario, the WWII Drum, and a Small Update

Mornin', all. No major post here, but I wanted a quick mention of a few things. Cooking show "Molto Mario," which was dropped from FoodTV, is now on the Fine Living Channel. That makes me happy. Why does TV make me happy? Well, this show is on everyday. Susan has about 2000 shows she tapes everyday. So there are times where the Tivo will have tons of stuff for Susan on it, but nothing for me. This will allow me to have at least something!

I've also been working very hard (of late) on that WWII era Ludwig Victory snare I bought. It looks, in my opinion, really good, and I'm quite pleased with the results. I should be able to show you the before and after in the next couple of days.

The MI-5 is on me this week. I have a tentative theme: antiques! Interest piqued?

Reading: 2nd Macabees
Watching: Mario Batali

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, July 16, 2007

Jim's MI-5, Very Late

Jim says "Well I didn't realize it was my turn until Bill told me the other day. Oops. Last week I had my mind on other things. Sorry everyone! So here is a 5 that I was thinking we could use for this week."

1. Tell us a story about something that happened in your childhood. I recently remembered something from my childhood and that inspired this question.

I once opened a bag of Doritos, even though I was told not to. When the bag was found opened, no one would admit to opening them. My parents made all three of us kids stand in the hallway until someone admitted to opening the Doritos. After standing there for quite some time, I admitted it was me. My siblings bring this up every now and again, to remind me of what a jerk I am.

2. Did you have a favorite story as a child?

How young? I remember Mr. Pine's Purple House, as well as Gus Was a Friendly Ghost. I was also into the Billy and Blaze books.

3. Have you ever been sold on effective advertising only to find out the product was less than you expected?

I'm sure I have, but none spring to mind.

4. Do you have any vacation plans this summer? Weekend away plans?

I've had my vacation already. See my previous post.

5. Do you have any summertime traditions?


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vacation 2007 Photos

Now available!

Listening to: Matthew cry
About to eat: Supper!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, July 9, 2007

3BD on 207

Just a mention: My jump/swing band Three Button Deluxe will be preforming tonight on Maine's own TV show 207. You Mainers may want to watch. You people from away can probably see the video on Tuesday.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Vacation Wrap-Up

Here's the low down on last week's vacation, day by day.

Monday: Susan had a doctor's appointment in the morning, so no major plans until afternoon. Said afternoon was spent at the Maine State Aquarium. We had lots of fun, though the aquarium itself is a little small. There were six or eight displays that were for viewing only. The shark touch tank was fun, though the boys not quite brave enough to try. The tide pool touch tank was also a hit, especially with me and Julia. Towards the end, Nathaniel got a little brave, and he held a starfish. He also asked to hold the sea cucumber, but as soon as it hit his hands, he tossed it back into the water. We explained he needed to be easy with the animals. Matthew didn't touch anything, as I recall.

Tuesday: In the morning, we decided we'd go to the local toy store, and then walk up and down Main Street. At the bottom of Main St., in the wholesale antique shop in what was the First Baptist Church, we spied a hoosier. We've been looking for a hoosier for a couple of years. The thing is, we have a smallish kitchen (which is why having something so practical appeals to us), so we need a smallish hoosier. Most were 48" wide--too wide for the space we have. This one was 40"; just right! And, the price was right too. In fact, it was the cheapest hoosier we'd ever found! So, we bought it. (It's in the garage now, waiting for a nice weekend so I can repaint it.) After looking the hoosier over, we stopped at the Rockland Cafe for lunch. In the afternoon, we went to the beach in Spruce Head, and climbed around Kings Island. Nathaniel increased his bravery, and would hold the little green crabs that we found. Matthew? Nope. Julia? Yes, although she was a little more timid than Nathaniel.

Wednesday: It was hot! We spent most of the day in Bangor at the children's museum. I hadn't seen Gary from Summit Sound since he got his new shop, so I made a stop in there. He has a beautiful Victorian kitty-corner to his shop, and I mentioned how Susan and I loved the style. He said "Have you been on West Broadway?" West Broadway is where Stephen King's house is, as well as a host of beautiful Victorians. It was just a couple of blocks away, so we went over. Stephen's fence has bats on it, but if you aren't watching closely, you won't catch them. So, I like the house, like the fence, like the neighborhood. Mr. King, wanna trade houses?

Thursday was the big travel day. We went to York's Wild Kingdom. Julia loved the butterfly house, as well as feeding the elephant the ice cream cone full of cake scraps. The boys wouldn't touch the elephant. BTW, the elephant had much more hair than I expected, and it was extremely rough. Thursday was the only day that we had any real rain, and both times it happened we were in the car traveling. It rained not at the zoo.

Friday, I had a gig in Ellsworth, so I just kicked around the house mostly, spending a little time on the WWII era drum I won recently.

And there you go!

Feeling: Like I need a Fresca!
Reading: 1st Maccabees

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Billy Rhythm Burger

More fame for me and my burger. Thanks Lynn!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Lisa's MI-5 (Way Late!)

Lisa says...

"I know. I know. Just what you wanted. An MI-5 about scrapbooking! As you all know, I am a scrapbook consultant for Close To My Heart. Our summer catalog features five new paper collections. I will give you a brief description of each collection, and you tell us a story, a thought, a song, or whatever else you can think of that somehow ties in with the collection (title, theme or color)."

1) “Route 66”. Travel themed paper with plaids and polka dots. Colors include Clover Meadow, Cranberry, Moonstruck, and Sunflower.

Susan and I have always had the idea of driving Route 66 in a convertible. Of course, most of 66 is gone, so driving from Chicago to Los Angeles on one road is no longer an option. We still think maybe someday we'll drive all of Route 1.

2) “Majestic Blue”. Nautical themed paper with sailboats and compasses. Colors include Bamboo, Crystal Blue, Desert Sand, and Outdoor Denim.

I think of the band The Ocean Blue. I saw them in concert with Kevin Risch at Colby. I think the album they were touring for was Marigold."

3) “Expedition”. Safari themed paper with leopard print and leaves. Colors include Autumn Terracotta, Bamboo, Olive, and Sunflower.

A Ford product. That's all I can think of.

4) “Let’s Get Together”. Picnic themed paper with flowers, stripes, and dots. Colors include Breeze, Buttercup, Cranberry, and Garden Green.

I think of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." It's my and Susan's song. (How sweet!) A couple of weeks ago, on the way to a gig, I was singing and drumming along, when I looked up just in time to see a police car pull over to the shoulder. I was busted! When the blues came on, I pulled over immediately. I was polite and honest; when he asked why he pulled me over I said "I was probably going a little too fast, but to be honest officer, I'm not sure how fast I was actually going." He gave me a warning, he said, because of my record (no speeding tickets--no moving violations, really) and my attitude. I didn't tell him I was jamming to Al Green, and thinking lovingly of Susan!

5) “Floral Tapestry”. Very feminine floral theme with flowers, stripes, and dots. Colors include Garden Green, Orchid Bouquet, Twilight, and Vanilla Cream.

Another song thing! Back in 2001, I ordered a special edition of Carol King's famous album. I've been waiting for the perfect autumn evening, when I can be alone with a little red wine and that album. It hasn't happened yet. Six years, and I haven't listened to it yet!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, July 2, 2007

My Computer Is Back

I'd like to give you a big post about vacation. And, I also have the MI-5 to do. But let me say this: Smartfood Popcorn is the best cheese popcorn there is!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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