Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Youtube Finds

I'm not usually one for posting YouTube stuff, but I've found some good ones tonight:

1: Charlie Hunter playing Greasy Granny. Now, the amazing thing about Mr. Hunter is he plays the guitar and the bass at the same time! No joke! He's got an eight string guitar: he plays three bass strings with his thumb, and five guitar strings with his other four fingers. Check it out! You'd think his trio is a four piece band! You'd never know he didn't have a regular bass player.

2: A sweltering cha-cha by Poncho Sanchez called Besame Mama. I love this song, and never tire of hearing it.

3: Tito Puente on Sesame Street, complete with the "stick around the head" trick. Dig the faces he makes when he plays! I make some of those same faces!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Night Time, On the Computer

You know, if it's not the MI-5 or the Friday Fill-In, there really isn't much going on around here. In the evening, when I get home, I'm trying hard not to bother turning the computer on. Tonight, though, I'm covering for one of the guys in the office, so the machine is fired up. Of course, there's not much to say. I got home from work and mowed the lawn. I played a little "Ball Monster" with the kids. (That's where I growl and look angry and throw a ball at them in the back yard.) I grilled up some of my famous hamburgers. I washed the boys feet. (They played Ball Monster bare foot.) I answered some email. I looked at some drums.

I do have a post brewing in my head related to details in the Gospel records, but you won't get that tonight. Maybe some other night. Until then, keep it real.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, July 25, 2008

Susan't MI-5

My beloved says: "This week we will be celebrating all 3 of our children's July birthdays, so that is the inspiration for this week's questions."

1. What is your most vivid childhood birthday memory?
~None of them seem any more or less vivid than any of the others. As a kid, I always had great birthdays, but none really stand out as anything super special.

2. What is your most favorite adult birthday moment?
~Man, I'm not doing so well on this one. I don't really care that much about birthdays anymore. I like having birthdays for my kids, but for me, they don't amount to much. And, unlike a few adults I know, I still go to work on my birthday.

3. Does any gift that you've ever received for a birthday stand out?
~Since 1989, my mom has renewed my subscription to Modern Drummer. That's pretty special to me. When a was really young, Uncle Roger gave me some old CB radio to play with. I played with that thing for years. When I was playing "War," it was our communications base radio. When I got a little older, I liked to take parts out of it and put it back together. I think Mom has a picture of me playing with it, somewhere. I remember it was brown.

4. Did you ever have a theme birthday as a child? If so, what was your favorite?
~Most of my birthdays had themes. My sister blogged about one of my favorites: a skeleton party! We even played "pin the arm bone on the skeleton!" I also remember a "bowling" themed party at cousin Jason's house (we share the same birthday, him being one year older), and a Star Wars party.

5. Talk about a birthday milestone (e.g. 16, 21, 40, etc).
~When I turned 30, I finally felt like an adult. When you're in your 20s, you can fall back on that "young adult" title. Once you hit 30, though, it's full out adulthood. Of course, though I finally just felt like an adult, I had two cars, a house, a wife of eight years, and a three year old daughter! For some reason, none of that made me an "adult." No, adulthood started at 30.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Fill-Ins #82

My answers, as usual, are in bold.

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you allows you to keep living.

2. If you're good at something, feel content. There are people who are good at nothing.

3. Why so many of these questions are based on old proverbs, I don't know . I do know that I specifically try to answer with something other than the obvious.

4. Something is out there, it's got to be wet, since it's raining hard right now.

5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled "Eight Minutes 'Till the Kids Have You Pulling Out Your Hair." The title may have to be shortened.

6. Sitting on my back porch I see my fence, my garage, and a bunch of bushes I hate but don't cut down because they give us privacy.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to supper with my kids, tomorrow my plans include playing a wedding with a fill-in guitar player and Sunday, I want to give Susan a big hug!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm Finally Doing My Own MI-5!

Use this word equation, fill in the variable with each of the five words, and answer on your blog.

"If I were an "X," I'd be a (blank), and here's why..." For the variable X, insert each of these:

1) If I were a "snack cake," I'd be a Hostess lemon fruit pie, and here's why: I'm a little flaky, sweet on the outside, but in me lurks some bitterness. As a whole though, I'm quite like-able.

2) If I were a "car," I'd be a Honda Element, and here's why: I'm practical and frugal; homely, with an air of nostalgia. And, I'm good at lugging drums!

3) If I were a "kitchen utensil," I'd be a 10" chefs knife, and here's why: I'm handy in a kitchen, and I would prefer not to be dull. I'm also bigger than average, and that can make me a little unwieldy.

4) If I were a "famous rich person," I'd be Will Smith, and here's why: I'd be funny, yet talented. I'd be the kind of guy that, though famous, would still be down to earth. (A real low maintenance star, if you will.) All the girls would swoon over my good looks, yet I'd remain firmly loyal to my family.

5) If I were and "over the counter medicine," I'd be Alka Seltzer, and here's why: I'd tickle your nose, and make you want to burp! :-)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Fill-In #81

1. If I could be a fly on the wall I would make sure there were no fly swatters around.

2. Jealousy is is not in and of itself a sin. It's what we do with it. (Search the Archive for a discussion on that subject.)

3. When I see a shooting star my wish would be that Susan would love me forever. (I've also been told that when you see a digital clock, and all the numbers are the same, you get a wish. I always wish for the same thing. Just yesterday, at 4:44am, I wished that Susan would love me forever.)

4. I'd rather be a boy than a girl any day!

5. Certain songs when I hear them make me wanna reach for the XM dial and turn it as fast as I can! (This would include just about any song by Bob Segar.

6. If time were in a bottle then Jim Croce would've never written that song.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting home relatively early, tomorrow my plans include helping at St. George Days with the church crew, and Sunday, I want to play the bass!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Satan and Elephants?

I had this dream last night. In it, I was chasing some terrorists. Some radicals from the group "Allah Font" had killed Susan and Julia, and I was after them. (Some notes... 1) Doesn't "Allah Font" sound a lot like elephant? 2) The boys were not in this dream at all, neither did I wonder where they were at any time.) Anyway, Jimmy T and I are chasing the terrorists when there's a traffic jam. The traffic is so tight, you can't open the doors to the cars--we're really close. So Jim and I are scrambling out windows, and the terrorists are doing the same, and everyone is jumping from car to car. Eventually, we catch up with them, and I start working over the leader of the group with a world class pummeling. Strangely, the leader of this group is like a nine month old baby! Yup. I'm beating up a baby in my dream. I'm smacking his little head on the ground, and, though bruising, not much else is happening to the baby. I'm really mad at this baby; after all, he commanded the murder of my wife and child. So as I'm thrashing on this kid, he looks up at me and smiles. Then I start crying. I blubber over to Jim "I can't do it! I can't kill this little baby, even though he killed my family. It's just not right!" Then Jim says to me "It's not a real baby; that's Satan in baby form!"

Then I woke up.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Sister's MI-5

1. The weather has been way too hot for me this week. What is something you currently think is "really hot"? It could be a book, a movie, a song, an athlete, an artist, or anything.
~My wife Susan. ;-) Perhaps an Audi TT. A scooter.

2. Eben is going to camp this week. The camp focuses on games, arts, and cooking. Tell us about the last game you played, the last thing you created, or the last meal you cooked. For extra brownie points, tell us all three.
~The last game I played was either "Ball Monster" (where I throw a ball at the kids in the back-yard) or "Climb on the Daddy" (a game where I lie down on the floor, and the kids use me for a jungle gym). The last thing I created was music on the 5th of July in Camden. The last meal I cooked was steak and mushrooms on the grill for Susan when she came home from camp.

3. Caleb thought he wanted a swimming pool. We bought him an inflatable pool with a small slide and a built-in sprinkler. Caleb won't go near it. Have you ever wanted/needed something really badly, and then when you had it, you decided you didn't really want/need it?
~I had wanted a copper snare drum for some time. Tama made one for $600, but I didn't want to spend that much. Then they released one for about $300. I bought one sight unheard. I don't really care for the sound all that much. I keep it because it does sound so different from what I like. It's dry, and quite loud. I mostly use it on outside gigs--but I could sell it and not miss it.

4. I have been doing a Bible Study about idols (No Other Gods by Kelly Minter). Is there something in your life to which you give more time and/or attention than it deserves? Tell us about it. (This doesn't have to be deep and personal if you don't want it to be.)
~I spend too much time on the Internet. Heck, I'm in front of a computer for eight hours a day--why should I have to log in when I get home? I try not to, but sometimes those drum bulletin boards cry out to me, especially if Susan's watching that reality show about hair cuts.

5. Who or what is "Polycarp"? If you don't know, give us your best guess. Then, you can go ahead and google it if you'd like.
~My sister is getting me in trouble! She knows I know who Polycarp was. Lisa always says I know everything, but I don't really. It just so happens that on Sunday, the pastor read a little from the book of Revelation. Lisa had a note in her Bible about another pastor mentioning Polycarp in a particular sermon--but she couldn't remember who Polycarp was. Ironically, I had just read about him somewhere--so yet again to my dear sister it would appear that I knew everything. Anyway, Polycarp was an early church father who was martyred for not being willing to say "Caesar is Lord."

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Fill-Ins #80

My answers are in bold

1. Oh, I can't wait until I have a a weekend off with nothing to do.

2. More open space than normal is the first thing I see when I open my refrigerator.

3. I never leave home without my wallet and keys.

4. If I were a condiment, I would be hoisin sauce because I'm really quite nice, but perhaps a little off the beaten path.

5. Not using the turn signals in your car is really high up on my list of pet peeves.

6. The last thing I thought of before I went to bed was so inconsequential, I don't even remember what it was.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to supper with Susan (and the kids too), tomorrow my plans include two gigs and Sunday, I want to relax!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pray for Me

It's not even 8am, and already I'm having one of those days. Susan asked me this morning "What can I do today to make you happy?" I couldn't think of anything...

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Birthday, Julia

It's very hard for me to believe that my beautiful little daughter Julia V. is 10 years old today. Where has the time gone?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, July 7, 2008

In Praise of Definitive Technology

More than 10 years ago, I bought a pair of Definitive Technology BP20 speakers. (The photo is actually the BP10s, but they look almost identical.) I know it was at least that long ago because I got them before Julia was born. They have served me quite well over the years. I've been nothing but pleased with the sound of these speaks. I first bought a pair of BP8s back when Susan and I were renting the trailer in St. George. One day, while at Cookin' in Portland (a hi-fi chain now closed), Jimmy T and I ran across the 8s bigger brothers, the 20s. And, they had the real Oak accents instead of the usual black. To top it off, they were an open box return. I could trade in my 8s, and they'd give me full value for the 8s against the 20s. So I bought them.

Fast forward a few years. In 2001, while playing a rather loud auditioning of Top Gun, I noticed some of the speakers were really distorting. Upon close inspection, I found several of the woofers (there are four in each speaker) had separated from their surround. (That means nothing to you non hi-fi heads. Suffice it say, "They were broke.") I contacted Definitive, and they sent me out some replacements under their five year warranty program. Fine. All's well and good.

On July 3rd, while Susan and the fam were at camp, I decided to show my patriotism by watching a sub move. I'm a sub movie fan, and, of course, Susan isn't. So I only watch them while she's away. And since I was in the mood to celebrate America, I chose to watch U-571. I don't normally get to watch my own kind of movies anymore, especially now that I have kids, and I certainly don't get to listen at full "theater" volume (read: pretty loud!). During one particular scene, I heard this nasty rumble/crackle. "What's that?" I thought. I backed the movie up to see if it did it in the same place on the soundtrack. It did. I listened closely to see if it was coming from one particular speaker. It was--the right one. I took the "sock" off the speaker, and checked the drivers. Sure enough, all four drivers had the same issue as they had had years ago.

I decided I'd send an email to Def. Tech, just to test the waters. I didn't think they'd cover 10 year old speakers that were five years out of warranty, but I thought they might sell me some drivers at cost (my hope), or perhaps they'd hip me to what kind of glue to use in a repair.

They sent me a reply that said, basically, "We're sorry you had this problem. Back in the day, it happened more than we liked, and we stopped using that driver manufacturer. We now manufacture our own drivers. Let me send you four new ones, no charge."

WOW! Good show, Def. Tech! Not only do I like their product (did I mention all my home theater speakers are Def. Tech?), but their support is top notch too. I'd like to this moment to thank them for their excellent service, and post it here so that perhaps others might find how pleased I am to recommend Definitive Technology speakers.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Aunt Ginny's MI-5, July 4th Style

My aunt says: "This week's Five are inspired by the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, some directly and some indirectly. Thanks for playing and have a happy and safe holiday!"

1. AAA predicts a first ever decrease in travel for this Fourth of July due to the gas/oil crisis. Do you find that you are traveling less these days in an effort to conserve?
~I'm trying too. I know Susan is making a very active attempt to walk more--not only to save gas, but for health reasons. I've been seriously thinking about a different vehicle. I've wanted a scooter for a couple of years now, but the prices are way up this year. Used scoots are selling for almost as much as new. I've also been thinking about a different car. My current wagon (The Green Hornet) has a big-ish V-6, and gets 17-18 mpg in town, and only 22 mph on the highway. I'd like to find a car that gets 30mpg, yet is still big enough to haul a drumset. Not much luck so far. And, even if I did find such a car, I don't have the cash to buy it.

2. Many of the news shows have been showing pieces about backyard fireworks, and the dangers involved, in the past few weeks. Do you, or have you ever, staged your own fireworks on the Fourth of July? What did you do?
~I've never had my own fireworks. I remember about four times as a kid when someone had some bottle rockets or roman candles or something, but they were never mine.

3. The vote for independence from England occurred on July 2, 1776. Do you plan to vote in the November elections? What are your thoughts on exercising your right to vote?
~I try to vote whenever I can. I think, since I've been 18, I've missed one election--and that was a primary. I try to be an informed voter, but I'll admit, last month in the voting booth, their were two Republicans running for the House. I knew quite a bit about the six or so Dems running, but I didn't know anything about the two Republicans.

4. Do you have holiday plans / traditions for the Fourth of July? Tell us about them.
~Usually, my family attends the parade at Thomaston. Since they're at camp, I have no real desire to go. And, since I had things I could do at home, I stayed home and did chores (washed floors, cleaned the basement, did dishes, etc.). In the evening, Blind Al will be playing before the fireworks. I think this was our fourth year there.

5. Are you attending a parade this year on the Fourth? If so, what is your favorite part of a parade? Your lease favorite part? Will you be participating IN the parade? What will be your role?
~Oops. I should've read ahead! When I was in high school, I marched in many parades. Since I've had a family, though, I've really preferred watching to participating. I could've been in the parade this year marching with the Kiwanis club, but chores were calling me!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Fill-Ins #79

My answers, as always, are in bold

1. Holidays in the summer are a great excuse to make a three day weekend.

2. Sausages are my favorite things to grill.

3. My thoughts are focused on the day--with what will I fill my time?

4. My family returning from camp is what I'm most looking forward to this weekend!

5. My favorite book so far this summer is the one I'm reading currently: "In Case of my Untimely Demise."

6. Coffee, prayer, and a hot shower is the best way to begin a day.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to playing a gig, tomorrow my plans include cooking out with the family (and a gig), and Sunday, I want to do something fun, but I'm not sure what yet!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Family Is Still Gone

Not much to post. Everyone's still at camp. I've been keeping myself busy with chores and home improvements and stuff. Today, I mowed the lawn and fixed some wallpaper. I did another little project, too, but I can't tell you what until Susan comes home.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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