Monday, August 28, 2006

Is today almost over?

Oh, good... It is.

I started out ok. Work was fine. Paddy brought me a blueberry scone. Everything seemed like it would go my way. Then, it happened. I was on my wait to Kiwanis, when Pete hit me with a customer billing issue. OK, I can't deal with that right now, I've got to be at the meeting. Why? Well, the speaker at the meeting needed the club's new LCD projector, and guess which member of the two person Technology Committee has it? Right. So I get to the meeting, and plug it in. The speaker has a new laptop, and she's not familiar with it. So I'm trying to get this thing going, and everyone else apparently needs to speak to me right now, and no it can't wait until I'm done. Luckily, my brother-in-law Dwane drops in, and he's able to get the speaker's computer working so it will send a signal to the video output. Right after the meeting, I head for the MIS Newcastle office. I'm gone about two hours on that trip. When I get back to my desk, I have nine new voicemail messages. Nine. Needless to say, I left work today without finishing all of my work, and that's not like me. I try to leave with everything cleared up for the day. But today, there were other things that needed to be done, so I had to say "this can wait until tomorrow." (And in reality, it can all wait until tomorrow. I did the stuff that just couldn't wait.)

So, I got home a little after 5pm. Matthew's in the "time out" chair. Susan looks like she'd take shots of tequila, if she drank. But I haven't got time to sort it out. I've got a meeting at church, and I've got spreadsheets I need to get printed. It's while I'm printing the spreadsheets that I notice some people haven't gotten some figures to me yet. I look at what I've got assembled, and realize that the info that these folks haven't got to me could affect the outcome, and that's what we were going to discuss at the meeting. So, at 6pm I canceled the 6:30 meeting.

Now's the time to help Susan get the boys in the tub. Nat is crying his head off. Why? Well, because he got up about an hour earlier than he should of. So he's cranky. And I'm cranky. Argh! But now, as I post, they're upstairs in bed. They're quiet. I've got an evening free I didn't think I'd have. What can I fill it up with?


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Jim's MI-5

Labor Day is coming and for many people that spells a sort of end to the formal summer. This week we look back a bit at summer.

1. What was the best thing you did this summer as in most fun or most positive?
I had a lot of fun spending the day at Santa's Village with my familly. Spending the night in the hotel was a litter tougher, though.

2. What accomplishment did you want to make this summer that you wanted to make?
Well, I got the new door painted on the side of the house--the main entrance door. And the trim is painted on the front door.

3. Was there anything you wanted to do this summer that you were unable to do?
I didn't get the garage painted of the deck.

4. Is there anything you want to get done before the true end of summer in a few more weeks?
Well, I need to get the front door painted. And if I could get the deck painted, I'd really feel good.

5. Do you have any thoughts about next summer and anything you want to do?
No. I can't plan that far ahead. About next Saturday is as far ahead as I'm comfortable planning.

Just Finished Reading: Blue Like Jazz
Now Reading: potential pastor resumes

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Maynard Ferguson

When I was in high school, I really started to get into jazz. Mostly fusion-y type jazz, I would say, though I also go into swing too. I remember the first time I heard "Take 5." I was in the high school auditorium. That's the same place I first heard "Chameleon." Peter Orne, a trumpet player, suggested we play it in the high school jazz band. He brought a tape in (this was when CDs were WAY expensive) and played it for us. I was all up in that! I went out an bought the same tape. I mean, c'mon! "Gospel John" (another song we played in jazz band), "Chameleon," "Livin' for the City," and "I Can't Get Started" all on one tape? I used to listen to that tape over and over. Even in my early college days, that tape was in heavy rotation in the tape deck of the old Citation.

Rest in peace, Maynard Ferguson.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, August 24, 2006

You Had What for Supper?

I walked into the house last night after work, and was greeted by the boys. As of late, they've been quite excited to see me come home. So we hung out for a bit, waiting for my drum student to arrive (he never did). Julia was spending the night at Grammy Nan's. Susan and I had a discussion about what we should have for supper. She was planning on fajitas. I asked if the boys had already eaten. She said they had, so I asked Matthew what he had for supper. "Bread!" he said excitedly. Susan shook her head. "What else did you have?" I asked. "Butter!" he exclaimed. Susan said no again. "Matthew, what did you really have for supper?" This time he said "Toast... and broccoli!" Susan said "I wish you ate broccoli." Susan and I were laughing hard at this point. I called Nathaniel over. "What did you have for supper?" He said "Toast!" Nope. What they actually had were waffles.

Almost Finished: Blue Like Jazz (Only two chapters to go.)
Watching: NBC Morning News (local)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I was right!

I give it less than a week before (Matt) "teaches" Nat how to (climb out of his crib).

How's one night sound? Yup. Nathaniel was out of his crib this morning. That didn't take long.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

My Celebrity Look Alikes

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nothing New Under the Sun, Except Naked Climbing Boys

Hey. I'm busy. I haven't been posting much. Sorry. I need more hours in the day.

For those family members who haven't heard, Matthew climbed out of his crib this morning. Susan was in bed, listening to the boys playing on the baby monitor, when she heard the door knob jiggle. She jumped up, and went inside, and found Matthew playing with his fan, and Nathaniel in his crib naked. Oh, the fun! Apparently, Nathaniel has figured out how to get the safety pin off his zipper. So Matthew climbed out at nap time, and climbed out when she put him to bed for the evening. I give it less than a week before he "teaches" Nat how to do it. Time to hit the furniture store for some toddler beds!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Millinocket Post

I'm in the car, posting from Susan's laptop. It's apparenly got a somewhat common lcd scrren problem, so you can't move the screen at all, or it will go black. The gig last night was fine. The people in this place like to drink--more so than most places. First set we had a patron go face first into the floor. At the end of the night, another guy fell over. The bartender commented "He's shut off!" I think she may have been a little late on the call.

This morning, we had breakfast at a local dinner. The coffee was awful. The breakfast was good. I bought some socks at the local department store. I'm without my beloved Chucky Ts, and have these cheap lowtops. They're rubbing on my ankle bone, so I bought some ankle socks to prevent chaffing. Susan made me a beautiful card which I just opened, and the kids made me pictures. It's really nice to have a family that loves me so much. As soon as my phone is charged, I'll be calling them.

Plans for the rest of the day? Catch up on reading! I'm almost done with "Blue Like Jazz," and Susan snuck a gift of two new books into my suitcase.

Feeling: Missing Susan
Listening to: News on the Radio

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, August 18, 2006

The MI-5

I don't know what inspired this, but let's talk about pet peeves! You know, those little things that are really not important, but still drive you crazy. Tell me about your pet peeves:

1) At the office
Bees! (Just a little joke. We have a bee problem in our basement.) I guess I would say when someone leaves the office, and they don't send an email or note in on the staff calendar. Next thing you know, you're ringing their desk, paging the intercom, only to find out they left two hours ago but didn't say anything.

2) In the bathroom
Strange as it may sound coming from a guy, but I hate it when someone leaves the seat up. If you put the seat down, you prevent something from falling in when you reach in the basket/on the shelf above. If you put it down, you don't have to worry about the kids falling in. And it's just nicer aesthetically. I just don't think there's any good reason to leave it up.

3) In the kitchen
I'm a bear in the kitchen. My biggest pet peeve is having too many people in the kitchen. I need to be able to move around, and not have to worry about stepping on people. It's especially true in my house, where the kitchen is small, and counter space is at a premium. I actually would prefer not to have anyone in my home kitchen when I'm cooking. There's not enough room. Everyone out!

4) From someone important in your life
My beloved wife Susan is almost perfect, so I had to think hard. I guess I will say that when making a meal that calls for browned ground beef (tacos, spaghetti sauce, Hamburger Helper, etc.), she will occasionally not drain the fat off. That bugs me. Of course, the pan is heavy, the kids are running around, and it's cumbersome. So she just skips it. No big whoop, really.

5) On the road
People who refuse to walk on the sidewalk. Of course, I've posted on that before. I also hate it when people don't use their turn signals.

Listening To: Traffic driving by

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Comment Spam

Man, the last three or four days, I've been killed by comment spam. You can see most of the older entries have comments turned off. I just can't stand someone posting their porn links here. I'm trying to find away around it. I really like Greymatter, and it's easy to install, so I don't really want to move away from it. Plus, their's like five years of blog here. I've tried a little something that may help; I've set the page to hold only four days worth of entires instead of seven. And then, once items fall off the home page, you won't be able to leave comments. So, if you want to comment, you'll need to be quick about it!

Just heard: Level 42

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Maine Driving Notes

Here are a couple of driving notes for you people not from Maine. Here's a quick rundown on a couple of things we do in this state.

1) Sometime, on our streets, you'll see little white lines, painted in a rectangular fashion. We call those parking spots. If you're on a street with little white painted rectangles, then by all means, put your vehicle inside the painted lines, turn your car off, and leave. A couple of small notes, though. The places with yellow rectangles, with diagonal lines painted through them, well, they're not for parking. In fact, up here we call them "No parking zones." Crazy huh? Also, parking in the street beside someone who's already parked in a parking spot is called "double parking." Yes, they do it in New York all the time. We don't do it up here. In fact, if a Mainer sees you doing it, you're likely to be labeled a "jerk."

2) When you're driving down the highway, and an emergency vehicle (we designate them up here with red and blue flashing lights on their roofs) approaches you from the opposite direction, we slow down and move over to the side. Yes, we know they have their own lane on the other side of street. Still, move over, slow down, and give 'em room. Oh, and if they approach you from behind, we pull over and stop! Crazy! And then, after they've gone by us, we all pull back on the road in the same order we pulled over in! It's not supposed to be an opportunity for you to pass a bunch of people pulled over on the side.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, August 14, 2006

Weekend Wrap-Up

Do you want to hear about my weekend? Sure you do! If you didn't, well, you'd just move on to Yahoo or something.

At two o'clock on Friday afternoon, I cut out of the office early. The steel drum band was playing down at the Maine Boats and Harbors show. So I went down and jammed along with them. Everything was fine, except I had one slight (actually, fairly major) accident. They added a song to the set list, and I didn't have it in my book. So the leader counted the band in, and I jumped on with an up-tempo songo rhythm. About four bars in, everybody laughing, the leader stops me. "What are you playing?" Galo, the bass player, says "He's on Steven's Jam" (or whatever the song was). Everybody else was playing the swing tune "Jumpin' at the Woodside!" Yeah, you can't stick those rhythms together! (On a side note, on the last gig someone told me some new song we were playing was a samba. It was actually a bosa nova. Same deal: two cool rhythms, but hardly interchangeable.)

Saturday morning I pulled a shift at the office. After that I went to the dump, and did a few other errands. In the evening, after the boys went to bed, I made a special supper for some special ladies in my life. We had a couple of steaks, mashed potatoes (my famous buttermilk version), and green peas with pearl onions. We had ice cream for dessert. Then bed.

Sunday morning, I got up, made coffee, and picked up some donuts at Tim Hortons. Song leader (and my brother-in-law) Dwane wasn't feeling well, so I filled in as song leader. After church was over, I dropped Susan and the boys off at neighbor Zeke's birthday party, and took Julia to the hospital to hang out with Grandma. I came home, and took a little nap. I got up, and painted the trim on the new door out front. At 4pm, I had Click and Clack on the radio, washing dishes in the kitchen. Dwane, feeling better, got called into work, so I filled in as song leader at church. After that, Susan had a craving for a sub. She had her classic Subway BMT, and I had, can you guess???

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, August 11, 2006

My MI-5

Ah, yes, MI-5 time. And it's my turn to think up some sould searchin', earth shatterin' questions. I thought I would do some questions on stress, but I couldn't come up with five. So I figured I do a one through five theme. Here they be:

1) What one movie makes you say "I hope I never waste another two hours on that again"?

Two come to mind, well three really, immediately. But since I have to single out one, it would be "Stealing Beauty" with Liv Tyler. It was recommended by an Audio/Video magazine for its beautifully shot scenery. But the rest of the movie, was, well, stinky.

(The other two that came to mind were "Boxing Helena" and "Moulin Rouge." Susan and I watched "Helena" together years ago when we were renting the trailer in St. George. Occasionally, I think about re-renting it to see if it was as bad as I thought then. I posted about what I thought of "Rouge." A few months ago, I thought I would revisit it again. I got about 20 minutes in before I had to shut it off.)

2) Stretch your left and and your right hand out to your side. What two things do you touch?

The back of the chair at the desk, and the Marantz RC2000 remote.

3) You're being roasted at the Friar's Club. What three comedians are at the head table with you?

Steve Martin would have to be there. Not only is he funny, but he seems like a cool guy to hang out with. I'd also pick Steven Wright and old "Stand Up Spotlight" host Bobby Collins.

4) You're making supper for someone special in your life. What four things (entree, side, vegetable, dessert) do you prepare?

Well, that special someone would be Susan. Assuming it summer, I'd cook some rib steaks on the grill. (In fact, I'm planning on grilling a couple of those tonight!) I think she'd like a rice side dish, as she leans more towards rice than potatoes. Real Maine corn on the cob on the side. And dessert? Hmm. How about Creme Caramel?

5) What five minor things would you change about your current domicile?

We need new carpet all over. We need new wallpaper in the upstairs hall, and in the living room. I need to get the basement cleaned out, especially the chest freezer that doesn't work. We need a proper lav cabinet in the bathroom, and new vinyl tile in the entryway.

Drinking: black coffee
Watching: the weather on WCSH, local NBC affiliate

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Better News on the Mac Front

Well, I was able to get two of those three last Macs up and running. Only one ended up doing me in. I think it has a hard drive problem. One time in 10 it would boot. The other nine it would just look up at me and blink.

What other news? Well, not so much, really. My drum student didn't show tonight, so I helped Susan feed the kids supper and get them in bed. Then I went back to the office to work on, you guessed it, another Mac. This one was no trouble, though. When I got home from there, I made Susan and myself some burgers on my super griddle. (Thanks again, Mom!)

Oh, and I'm sorry to hear about Joe Liberman's loss. If ever there was a Democrat I would ever remotely consider voting for, it would be him. Certainly not my ideal candidate, but I will say that I do respect him, and I hope he wins in his bid as an independant.

Oh, (part 2) I should also tell you about my new snare drum.


Now Reading: Romans
Just Finished: The Ragamuffin Gospel

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, August 7, 2006

Glutton for Punishment

So we at the office got in on a deal for some used iBooks. They were used school models, so we had to take a little gamble: yes they were cheap, but they were "owned" by middle school students. We got most of them up and working ok, but two are being stubborn. And I don't know what it is about me and computers, but I HATE to give up. I'll get all wound up over "Why isn't this working!" And that happened today. I put in WAY too much time trying to figure out why these two machines won't work. They just won't. I should cut "my" losses. Here's the thing: they're not for me! I should just say "Look, guys, they don't work. You can buy 'em for $50 broken, or I'll sell them on ebay." But nooooo, I can't work that way. Instead, I try everything I can think of to get them working. Different OS's, different discs, loaded from firewire via DVD, booted from a CD ROM, you name it. But I just couldn't get them to work. Finally, at almost 6pm tonight, I threw in the towel. They're not working, and for the life of me it tears me up that I don't know why they're not working. But they're not, and I can't devote anymore time to it. Sorry Mac and Gamgee.

Feeling: mentally exhausted
Listening to: the boys chatter on the baby monitor

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Sunday at the Office with Mac

Happy Sunday all! Here's my rundown for the weekend, and it's not even over yet!

Friday night? Uneventful. Mowed the lawn. Steaks on the grill for the girls. (The boys ate before I was home from work.) Some TV, some web stuff, then bed.

Saturday morning we went to the Lobster Festival parade. Julia was on the church float. Susan and I watched with the boys. After that, we had a little cook-out with family. We had burgers, dogs, and what cousin Sarah's man Brian called a "Wheel of Meat." It was one of those giant coiled sausages. With some Pepper Trio Mustard, it was way yummy. Since I was mostly caught up on my chores, I took a little nap. I played my gig with the steel drum band at the festival from 6-8pm. After that, I caught a little of Blood, Sweat, and Tears who were playing on the Main Stage. I picked up some fried dough and cotton candy for Susan, and then home.

Sunday morning, and we got ready for church. Interim pastor Chris was gone again, so I prepared a little Sunday School lesson on demons. (Dwane taught a class two weeks ago on angels; this was part two, though he didn't know it!) The boys got feverish during church, so we had to leave. I picked up some Chinese food for lunch. After that, I got ready for tonight's church service. I'm doing a little "break out group" on Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. We'll see if anyone comes!

Right now, I'm in the office formating some Mac laptop hard drives. As soon as this last one is done, I'm headed home to wash dishes.

Feeling: Like I need more memory
Listening to: the whir of hard drives

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

My Wife Is Addicted

The '80s station on the XM radio has been playing old re-runs of KC Casem's Top 40 Countdown. She's been listening to it all weekend. Last night, when I came home from my gig, she had the TV and the radio on. She explained that when a song came on she didn't like, she'd switch to the TV. Um, wow! As I post this, Tiffany's remake of Tommy James' "I Think We're Alone Now" has just entered the coutdown at #28. Um, wow times two!

Interesting side fact, though: this same week, Billy Idol's remake of Tommy James' "Mony Mony" is also in the countdown. Two remakes of Shondells' songs in the countdown in the same week? Wow times three!

Listening to: Micheal Jackson's Bad

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, August 4, 2006

Lisa's "Don't Bring This Up" MI-5

"The �Things You Don�t Discuss at a Dinner Party� MI-5:

I really like upbeat, positive, easy MI-5 questions. This time, however, I thought I�d go with something deep, awkward, and thought-provoking. The topics are not my favorite topics to write about, but now no one can accuse me of only preparing �easy� questions. I will list the topic, and you can say as much, or as little, as you�d like. You can express your own view, or you can talk about the issue in light of today�s political climate, or tell some story that relates somehow to the topic. Here goes:"

1.Political Parties
Well, I'm a registered Republican. Everyone always tells you "I vote for the person, not the party." And you know, I do to. But here's the thing: the Republican party best represents what I believe in. Although, truth be told, I have a slight Libertarian bend too. I quite like Ronald Reagan, and would say he's been the best president of my lifetime.

2. Abortion
A woman (and a man, for that matter) has a choice. They (the man and woman) can choose to have unprotected sex. If an embryo is the result of that unprotected sex, well, I consider that a living being. I think abortion as a form of birth control to be quite sad. And, if human's would follow God's plan for such things (being--a man and a woman marry before they "get down," and then they stay monogamous to one another), it's amazing how many social problems would be of nought. Certainly STDs would almost be a thing of the past (accept those transfered through blood transfusions, perhaps), children would have Mommies and Daddies at home, kids would be (and feel) wanted, and all kinds of other lovely things would come to pass.

3. Gun Control
I'm a gun owner. I firmly believe that removing the rights of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms will only result in the criminals having guns.

4. Prayer in Schools
Honestly, I have no problem with schools not having a formal prayer time for students. There are all kinds of faiths represented in our schools, and forcing someone to say something they don't want to, well, I'm not so into that. BUT... If you're atheist, and don't want to say the Pledge to the Flag, that's fine. But don't stop the other kids from saying it. If a kid want's to say a prayer before a test, fine. But we don't have to involve everyone else.

That said, what's good for one needs to be good for the others. Lately, political correctness has said it's ok to not allow Christian kids to assemble for prayer, or wear certain t-shirts. And yet, setting aside time to allow Muslim kids to leave class to pray is ok. Or special "prayer rooms" where Muslim kids can go pray in quiet. We can't have it one way, and not the other. So let's pick one way and stick to it.

5. Katie Couric, Brian Williams, or Charlie Gibson? Someone else? (I needed to do at least one question that was somewhat �fun�!)
I don't watch network news. I think the most even handed news anchor, though, is Tim Russert. Kaite Couric drives me nuts.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Tim Hortons for Lunch

Lunch today was at Rockland's new Tim Hortons. I had the turkey club and soup combo. The sandwich was good, and came with a tasty honey mustard. The chicken noodle soup was good, with a flavorful broth, but the noodles were overdone. Not that I would expect al dente noodles in a fast food place, but that sure would've been nice. The coffee? Well, from what I'd been hearing, I expected better. It was full flavored and rich, but didn't have the kick and high-end overtones that I like. It was like french roast with no bite. Dessert was some sort of brownie. It was quite fudge-y, but not very brownie like. It was ok. I'll go back again, but I don't think it'll end up a favorite. Of course, the open 24 hours thing is nice, especially at 3am after a gig. We'll see how long that lasts, though...

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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