Monday, September 30, 2002

Gigs and computers

Actually, if I play only the remaining gigs I have booked for this year, I will have played fewer gigs than the past 2 years. Really! Last year, and the year before, I played 62 dates. This year, if I don't book any more, I'll only play 58--down 4 gigs! No wonder I have so much free time!

You may say "Why is B.R. posting at 10:30pm?" Well, I'm helping a friend with a computer, and it's having a fit. I'm beating it into submission. I've got to have it done by morning. So I'm here at the office. There's a good work space, and all of my computer tools are here. Thus, I am here.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Guitars, drums, a poem, and my weekend

Here is an old WFL twin strainer snare. Oh boy! Going to keep my eye on this one. (Though my wallet will get no where near it!)

I went to see Medeski, Martin and Wood on Saturday. While I was in Portland, I picked up some stuff that I ordered on my last trip. I picked up some vinyl--titles included Cookin, Steamin, and Relaxin by Miles, and Chet by Chet Baker. Haven't opened them yet. I also picked up a nickel hoop for the floor tom of the WFLs. All I need now are 6 nickel t-rods, and it will be completed.

About the concert... I know MMW from their work with John Schofield. So I figured that's what I'd get--minus the guitar, of course. Kind of a funky organ jazz trio. Well, they also do some free jam Dead/Phish type stuff, and that's what they played. It was a lot like Miles' Bitches Brew album. They would start very free, droping sounds where they fell, unstructured, but moving towards whatever composition was next on the set list. Then they would just look at each other and jump on it. So it was a good concert, but I don't need to go see them again. If they were backing John Scofield, I'd go in a minute. Billy Martin played one of the most musically interesting drum solos I've ever heard--a solo that included a duck call. And Medeski was like a mad scientist on the keys--jumping on this, adding a little of that, just to see what happened.

The Pink Paisley Telecaster. Perhaps the prettiest guitar ever.

"Flowers for Those You Love"
--Richard Brautigan

Butcher, baker candlestick maker,
Anybody can get VD,
Including those you love.

Please see a doctor
If you think you've got it.

You'll feel better afterwards
And so will those you love.




According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Nice snare

Sonor Signature Makassar Ebony/Rosewood snare

This drum is either Macassar ebony or bubinga. According to the catalog I have, rosewood was only available in the 6 1/2" depth, not the 8". I think it's the bubinga. (BUBINGA!!!) Either that, or the ebony is very light. It's a very nice snare.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

The Friday 5 on Saturday

(Stolen from Triffles.)

1. What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind?

Sit on couch. Have a little taste of bourbon. Neat. Once every three months, have a cigar. Once every six months, just sit and cry like a baby. A good cry is very refreshing.

2. What do you do the moment you get home from work/school/errands?

Kiss Susan. It's a little something I picked up at the marriage conference Susan and I attended. Always kiss your spouse first. Put them first in the human pecking order--kids come next. One of my favorite catch phrases is "How do you show your children that you love them? Love their mother."

3. What are your favorite aromatherapeutic smells?

Coffee and bacon. Ok, not really aroma therapy. Salt sea roses. Lavender. Lemon.

4. Do you feel more relaxed with a group of friends or hanging out by yourself?

By myself, for the most relaxation. However, time totally alone usually doesn't happen. By I can relax ok with just the family.

5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don't?

Not much, really. I guess I like the textbook relaxation stuff. Jazz, a little bourbon, a really good meal at S. and my favorite restaurant. I find driving relaxing, and some don't like driving, so maybe that's it. I find working on drums relaxing, but it's work. So I do it and enjoy it, but if I don't have to do it, then that's fine.
5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don't?

Not much, really. I guess I like the textbook relaxation stuff. Jazz, a little bourbon, a really good meal at S. and my favorite restaurant. I find driving relaxing, and some don't like driving, so maybe that's it. I find working on drums relaxing, but it's work. So I do it and enjoy it, but if I don't have to do it, then that's fine.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 27, 2002

Drums, and weekend plans

Did you see where the auction for that Pink Oyster Pearl snare ended? I knew it was rare, and would bring some coin, but that's crazy! A regular Downbeat/Be-Bop would go $400-500. A rare finish would go maybe $750. So, I thought this would go for about a grand. Guess I was a little low.

So what am I up to tonight? Well, my next door neighbor has a hard drive on the fritz. So, we got her a new one, and I am ghosting the contents over to it. She's a financial planner, so losing a hard drive is a serious problem.

Tomorrow, I'm pulling the Saturday shift. Pat and I are coming a little early, and we're going to whip up some SPAM and eggs. Man, do I love SPAM. It's like a ham and bacon had a baby. Yummy. It's good fried. And Dad tells me that back in his younger days, Ma would but cloves and pineapple on SPAM, just as if it were a real ham. Sounds OK by me.

Then, tomorrow night, Jim and I are going to see Medeski, Martin, and Wood. There a kind of jazz/funk bass, drum, and organ trio. I don't have any of their stuff, but I do have a John Schofield album that they are the rhythm section on. I like it. A lot. It should be fun. We're going with Chris and Dan from White Man's Overbite. And tickets were only $20, so it's not killing the pocketbook.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Strange, yet sleepy, dream

And I had this crazy dream last night too. I dreamt I was falling asleep at the wheel. I knew it was happening, but I couldn't stop it. Susan was in the passenger's seat and I woke her. "What's wrong?!" she screamed. I was slamming on the brakes, and falling asleep. "I falling asleep, and I can't stop myself!"


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Oyster Pink Pearl snare--$1500???!!!

Did you see where the auction for that Pink Oyster Pearl snare ended? I knew it was rare, and would bring some coin, but that's crazy! A regular Downbeat/Be-Bop would go $400-500. A rare finish would go maybe $750. So, I thought this would go for about a grand. Guess I was a little low.

And I'm still having a hard time keeping this Mac running. Yesterday, I shut it down for my lunch hour, and when I came back, it ran fine the rest of the day. Today, I left it on, and it shut itself off arounf 5pm. I wish I could figure out what's doing it!


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

My Johnny A CD is gone

I've seen Johnny A in concert a couple of times. He's from Mass, so he's fairly local. I saw him open for BB King and Robert Cray. I liked him so much, I bought his CD. Now I've lost it. I still have the liner and jewel case, but the CD isn't in it. I've no idea where it is. Bummer. Maybe Jim will let me burn a copy of his disc. After all, I did pay for it once.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, September 23, 2002

Patience, mobsters, and drums.

My mobster nickname is The Butcher, Baker and Candlemaker. Get yours here. Stolen from Biz.

Here's something strange. Ask Susan about my patience. I have none. Look at the family tree on my Dad's side--the Battys and the Elwells. They have no patience either, so I get it from both sides. Yet the last two weeks, I bet I've had a dozen customers comment on my patience. If they only knew... :-)

I've also come to another decision. LIfe's too short to play cheap drums. On Sunday, Pastor Ken was talking about a handymans job he was doing, replacing a piece of 5/4 cedar trim. This piece of trim cost over $100. He mentioned something about that being a real piece of expensive wood. And I thought "That Mahogany snare of mine is a real nice piece of wood too. To bad no one sees it." And I thought it's a shame no one sees, and hears, that drum. Even if no one appreciates it but me, it should be played. So, I think I'm going to make the Gretsches my new road kit. But that's today. I could change my mind in a week. I could change my mind today.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 20, 2002

Nice

Whew! I've been moved to a new server. Some things got hairy, but I think I've clubbed them all into submission. Did you notice the changes? The Wop's link is gone. :-( I've added some links to some other pages I visit, and Ron hooked me up with this cool "last referers" script.

Man, if I were any busier, I'd be a bee. I put about 50 hours in this week at the office. I taught 2 classes for the local Adult Ed. I've got a gig tonight, and Sunday afternoon. Susan's gone to a conference, so tomorrow after work Julia and I are going to clean house.

I'm sleepy.

So my Mac here at the office keeps shutting down. I think it's a heat thing. I'm going to leave it running overnight, and see what happens.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

A crazy Mac wielding wacko

Here's a fun thing that happened today. This guy brought his Mac in to us. It was having some problems. Scott took a wack at it the first time. It worked fine here. So the guy gets it home, and it still doesn't work. So they decide to give me a turn. I download some modem scripts and what-not. While I'm doing that, I notice that there are some free upgrades for this guy's OS. So, while it's on the bench, I figure to add the upgrades as well. (And, it was missing some core components that I thought should be added.) So, all goes well, and everything's working here. Then today, the guy calls up. I can tell by his tone he's mad. "You changed my operating system." (Actually, I didn't change it--I installed the updates.) "Now, I can't get my email, my printer doesn't work, you installed some modem stings for an iMac, and I'm going to have toHere's a fun thing that happened today. This guy brought his Mac in to us. It was having some problems. Scott took a wack at it the first time. It worked fine here. So the guy gets it home, and it still doesn't work. So they decide to give me a turn. I download some modem scripts and what-not. While I'm doing that, I notice that there are some free upgrades for this guy's OS. So, while it's on the bench, I figure to add the upgrades as well. (And, it was missing some core components that I thought should be added.) So, all goes well, and everything's working here. Then today, the guy calls up. I can tell by his tone he's mad. "You changed my operating system." (Actually, I didn't change it--I installed the updates.) "Now, I can't get my email, my printer doesn't work, you installed some modem stings for an iMac, and I'm going to have to take this to the local Mac dealer to have it straightened out, and you're going to pay for it!"

OK. Mac modems in the new machines are all the same. Yes the script says it's for an iMac. But it's the same script as a PowerMac G4, the eMac, or any other recent Mac with a built in Mac modem. And I called the Mac dealer, and spoke with their head Mac tech. "Early versions of OS 9 weren't great on the Internet," he said. "They fixed those problems with OS 9.1, and really refined them with OS 9.2." (That's what I installed.) "Have you ever seen an update like this cause this kind of alleged damage?" I asked.

"No," he said. "It shouldn't have anything to do with any of that."

I felt better after venting to my friends here a work.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, September 16, 2002

Another post about drums, DJ stuff, and computers.

A Ludwig Downbeat in Oyster Pink Pearl!!! The drum size itself is pretty rare. Oyster Pink Pearl was only listed in the 1959 catalog, I think. The two together? Priceless.



What is your Alter-Ego
Personality?

I recently bought a Behringer DX-1000 DJ mixing board. I got in online from a source I will not name. (Why won't I name them? Out of love and respect for Northern Kingdom Music in Rockport, the greatest music store in the world. I tried to buiy one from them, but they're not a Behringer dealer.) This thing is fantastic! It completely smokes my old board. Of course, my old board was a piece of junk. This one has adjustable gain for each channel. That's soooo nice. What that means is I can set the lever for each channel before I play it. In theory, all CDs should be the same volume. But they're not. Some are louder than others. The gain control allows me to make sure all the levels are level. (That's one too many levels, baby!) The board also has long throw faders. Faders are like the volume control. After I set the gain, if I slide the fader to "zero," all the other sliders set to zero will be the same volume. Well, with the big faders, there's lot's of room between soft and loud. With my old board, a little wiggle went from too loud to too soft. Now, I have more wiggle room. And an assignable crossfader is the cat's meow. It makes fading between two sources effortless. And it has adjustable talkover. And a subwoofer out with adjustable crossover and level. And a great headphone section. And. And! AND!!!

I'm now running OS 10.2 on my Mac here at the office, thanks to a friend. It's worth it. It's faster. It's prettier. I can search ebay right from Sherlock. Text edit has a spell checker. Mail has a spam killer. More report later.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Raspberry whip? Raspberry whip? (Makes circular motion w/finger) Three raspberry whips!

A couple of days ago, Susan bought some fresh raspberries. I mentioned how much I loved raspberry whip, but that I hadn't had it in years. Well, yesterday, me mum made raspberry whip with Cool Whip over angel food cake! All right! Then, at church last night, my cousin by marriage twice removed made raspberry whip in a merengue base on yellow cake! Two differenet types of raspberry whip in one day! What more could one man ask for. And, all on a Sunday. Coincidence? No! Raspberry whip is roof God exists!


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

This post was from yesterday...

I forgot to post this yesterday. Thus, you will find reference to today as tomorrow. Tomorrow is now today. Are we clear on that?

This is a very rare Gretsch snare in Carpathian Elm. Why so rare? For it's 100 anniversary, Gretsch made 100 drum kits with an outer veneer of Carpathian Elm. The snare was only available with the kit. So, this snare has been seperated from its set. (Ironically, Mike Curotto of Curotto Drums just sold a Carpathian Elm set sans snare.) I wonder if they went together at some point.

Another beautiful snare--a Tama quilted maple in purple. Purple is a non-standard color. You can get them in natural, red, and black. It sure is pretty.

You are 40% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.


You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!


Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!


You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

I like what Maria said about September 11th. There's already so much being said. Some of it just doesn't need to be said. I'm not going to say it. It will be business here as usual tomorrow. It's not that I'm not thinking about it. Or don't care. It's just that you're going to be inundated. My wife's addicted to the stuff. Me? I saw enough a year ago. I need not see those images again. So you can just come here and look at drum stuff.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, September 9, 2002

Where have I been all weekend?

I'm fine. Thanks for asking.

What was I up to this weekend, you ask? Well, Saturday I DJd Kyle and Kims wedding. (Congratulations, you two!) It was crazy long! They booked me for 6 hours. Four is the norm. You can do it in three if you really hustle it up. Five is plenty. Six is long! (The longest I ever did was a 25th wedding anniversary. 7 1/2 hours!) But they loved it! Non-stop dancing. The room was broken into halves. One half wanted disco, and the other half waned more modern dance stuff. Either way, the dance floor was hoppin'. So that ended at 9pm. At 9:30, I was supposed to be on stage at the Black Bull, playing for Blind Al. Man, was I draggin'! I could barely keep my eyes open. And that gig was uneventfull.

And speaking of Blind Al... Here's something that bugs me a little. Blind Al has his own style. You may like it, you may not. But I think it's a little incongruous for musicians who aren't playing gigs to shoot him down. I mean, he's out there doin' it every weekend! I played 64 dates with him last year, and the same number (ironically) the year before that. How many did you play? 10? Then sit down and shut up. When you're out busting your hump like I am every weekend, then you can criticize me for what musical projects I decide to work with, ok? Until then, I'm getting paid $100 a night to play with the man, so I guess he's doing something ok.

I may have mentioned it before, but I don't remember. Michelle has got a link to me on her page. That's pretty cool. It seems we both like to visit Michelle's page. (That's a different Michelle.) I think a thank you link fromme should be popping up around here soon. And some other links (read: The Greasy Wop) will be comming down. I love the wop and all. Truly, I do. But he hasn't posted in over a month. That's the cutoff. I gotta pull him down. I hope he updates soon. I'd love to put him back up.

Do you know what my dad told me the other day? That he doesn't click on any of the drum porn links I put up. What? What else is there to do here. On a serious note, you could not ask for a better set of parents than mine. That's all there is to it. They grew me up right, got me into the world, and I haven't been back. Is that not the parents ultimate goal? And, we still love each other. If I need a little help (usually financial--it happens from time to time), they're there to toss me some coin until I can get it back to them. Never do they make me feel bad about it. Never do they ask me when I'm going to pay it back. Never have they hinted to me that they would like a payment a little faster. Nope. It's always "here you go, don't worry about it." And as grandparents, they're pretty awesome too. I have to make sure Julia doesn't ask them for anything. Grampy especially. She would say "I'd like the moon," and they'd get it for her. Once, Mom convinced Dad to drive to New Hampshire (a 3 hour trip) to get Julia a pet frog. (See my post of April 16 last year.) This Sunday, she asked Gramps to get her a Luke and Leia playset like the one they got for my nephew Eben. Gramps was all "Ask Grammy where she got it, and we'll get you one." I'm like "Dad, don't let her ask you to buy her stuff. We're trying to teach her manners."

And, for my nephew Eben. He would like the world to know that Jesus is going to give him a baby, and it's already in his Mommies tummy! Of course, what Eben doesn't know is that most of the world has known for 2 months. In any event, congrats to my sister and brother-in-law. They're thinking about Hannah or Elizabeth for a girl, and Connor (I think) for a boy. I'm rooting for a Hannah. Especially since Susan and I had already picked out Elizabteth Grace for our girls name. But Emily Grace is in the running for us too. For boy's names, I really like Zachary Pierce, but Susan thinks we need another William Batty running around.

Maybe we should name a boy Ringo! (editors note: Upon re-reading this post, you may get the idea that Susan and I have biscuits in the oven. That is not correct. However, if the bread boy were to drop some rolls off at the house, we wouldn't send them back, if you catch my drift.)


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 6, 2002

Crutchfield pictures

I mentioned a while ago about getting my picture in the Crutchfield catalog, perhaps. They want to use a quote I sent them on my comment card.

"I had installed car stereos in the past. Based on that experience, I had a shop do my last install. But with all the brackets, spacers, and wiring harnesses provided to me at no extra cost, I know I'll never pay someone to do my install again. I'll just go back to Crutchfield."
--Bill Batty, Jr*Rockalnd ME*Musician, DJ

So, I have to send them a photo, preferalbly showing off the gear I bought. So, JP took some shots of me with his stinkin' honkin' smokin' digital camera, and I'll have them printed as photos. Ta-Da! I give you shot 1 and shot 2.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Quizes and stuff

Here's my theme song of late:

"But all I can do, is all I can do and I keep on tryin
And all I can be is all I can be and I keep on tryin
There's always a mountain in front of me,
Seems I'm always climbin and fallin and climbin
But I keep on tryin"




I Am The 3rd Party:


The American Heritage Party: A Christian Theocracy Party, you wish to make the ten commandments law and scriptures the inspiration for governance. Nobody seems to like you...

Find out what 3rd party you are!



.
.
.
What is my spectrum?

I am green: My main color is green. I like to have fun and comfort. Happiness is the marker of a great life.

.
What is my spectrum?

Book Worm Meter

Shut In 71%
..
29% Out Of The House
Intellectual 59%
..
41% Moron
High Attention Span 95%
..
5% Low Attention Span
Bookitude 70%
..
30% Book Burner
Book Worm 73.75%
..
26.25% Bug Stomper
Take your bookworm readings.



According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Last Friday's audio roadtrip

So Jim and I took and old sckool audio road trip last Friday. Back in the day, when hi-fi was new to both of us, we would take a day, drive to a big city (usually Portland, but occasionaly Bangor, and more occasionaly New Hamster or Mass), and check out the audio shops along the way. And when I was restoring the Gretsches, Jim did some woodwork on them for me. I asked if I could repay him somehow, and he said 'Yeah, take a hifi trip with me.' So we did.

We left Rockland at 8am. I picked up some plain chocolate donuts from Willow Street bakeshop, and we were off. First stop: a clothing store in Portland. I bought a hat for my zoot suit, and a purple tie with martini glasses on it. Jim bought nothing. Then we went to a record store. We looked through the stacks, and found a few ok things, but nothing much really. When we were about to leave, the shop keeper said "Were you looking for something in particular?" So I gave him my list: Dexter Gordon's "Go"; Sonny Rollins' "Saxaphone Colossus"; "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" by Sinatra; "Pop Pop" by Rickie Lee Jones; anything by Miles on Prestige; and Chet Baker's "Chet." Well, he had "Go" and "Colossus" out back. Sinatra was hidden under the bins. He didn't have Miles, or Chet, but he could order them for $10 each. The only thing he couldn't get was "Pop Pop," but that is an out of print import, so I didn't hold out much hope. So I bought "Go" and "Swingin' Lovers." I passed on "Colossus." I ordered "Chet," as well as Miles' "Cookin'," "Relaxin'," "Workin'," and "Steamin'." And while I was buying, I also picked up Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane, and Springtein's "Nebraska" still sealed.

Jim bought 1 album.

Next was a kitchen supply store. Jim has started making sandwiches for his sister's shop. He picked up a bunch of stuff here. I bought nothing.

Next up: The Drum Shop. I had gone with the idea of purchasing a Zildjian K Custom Dry ride. But I already have 4 rides. (Still not enough, though.) So I asked if they had any used china cymbals. They had a Zildjian A Custom Swish for $100. I snagged it. Jim? Nothing here.

Lunch. The Macaroni Grill. I had some kind of pasta with chicken and pancetta that I love, and Jim had Canelloni. Yummy, as always.

Next stop? Tweeter. The only "hi-fi" stop of the day. Neither of us bought anything. After that, it was a quick trip to the Bible Bookstore and Sams Club. (I needed to pick up some things for Sue.) Then, to Target.

I was looking for some cool storage ideas at Target. There low-end furniture stuff is really pretty good, and the selection is good too. I found some modular units that I thought Sue and I could use as nightstands. So I picked up two 2-drawer units, and two 2-shelf units. That means each of us would have a nightstand with 2 drawers and 2 shelfs. Next, the mall.

What was at the mall? Nothing really. Oh wait, there was a Cambridge Audio, so we made more than one hi-fi stop. There was some Orange Chicken eaten at Panda Express. There was a copy of "Pop Pop" on CD. There still was no sandwich spreader.

Then, the day was done. I got home around 10, and set to work building the nightstands for sue. I was done around 12:30 or so.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Where do you find a sandwich spreader?

Just a short post for now. This weekend, on our massive boys day out excursion, Jim and I hunted for a sandwich spreader. You know, the kind for smearing egg salad on bread? The fat looking butter knife kind-o-thing? We looked everywhere. We found one at Williams Sonoma. It was like $15! And look at this: Dean from Textism was thinking the same thing! On the exact same day Jim and I were looking for one!


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

 
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