Thursday, September 30, 2004

Julia Reads Shrimp

A couple of things I'd like to mention this evening. One thing goes back almost week. Last Friday night, I made broiled shrimp with lots of garlic and Ritz crackers. And it was really good. And here's why it's important. In the past, when shrimp season in Maine rolled around, I'd buy a bunch--say five pounds--pick them out of the shell, and freeze them. When you do it that way, you get a big clump of frozen shrimp. So, you can spread the picked out shrimp on a pan, and then freeze them. After the individual shrimp are frozen, you can put them in a bag and have individual frozen shrimp. But you have to have a freezer big enough to hold a sheet pan, and two freezing sessions takes more time.

So this year, I tried something different. I picked the heads off the shrimp, but left the tails in the shells, and froze them that way. And, I promised Mom and Uncle Roger I'd report my findings. Well, the shrimp had been frozen since what, January? And I'm pleased to report it's a quick way to get them frozen, and the quality is great. In the future, I'll freeze all my shrimp that way.


Next up, Julia. She's starting to read. She read to me tonight. It was amazing! Reading is something that's very important to me. Julia's been very interested in books since she was little. But she didn't seem all drove up to read. She was just as happy to make up her own stories. At the end of Kindergarten, her teacher told us she was on the verge of getting it. She just needed to get a handle on her vowel sounds. And now, to sit next to her on the couch and have her read me her homework, it's just fantastic.

Know what else is great? She loves Bible class. It's her favorite class. In it, over the course of the year, she'll need to memorize the order of all 66 books in the Bible. They're starting with the Old Testament. Last week, she brought home a list of the books of history: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 + 2 Samuel, 1 + 2 Kings, 1 + 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Neimiah, and Esther. (I think I got em all...) She announced tonight that, without us having helped her with them yet, she had them all memorized. To proove it, she rattled them off to us. Great stuff!

Watching: the presidential debates
Wanting to watch: anything else!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Help Me Pick A Drum Color

So I won this drum in a contest, right? I want this kind of finish on it. The guy who did it gave me the recipe of how to do it (thanks Steek!). Only problem is, with Fall coming on, and with new twins in the house, I just don't have time to do that kind of finish. So I figure I'll wrap it, and then refinish it in the Spring maybe. Your job is to vote what kind of finish I should put on it. Your choices are:

White Satin Flame

Abalone Pearl (Scroll down to see the picture of the snare.)

Black Sparkle

Turquoise Sparkle

So what do you think? Leave your choice in the comments section.

Just tasted: Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Listening to: Kick, INXS

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, September 27, 2004

Universal Axioms of Doom

I have several theories or axioms. You may of heard me mention them before.

For example, there's the Bill Batty Pendulum Theory. It goes something like this... For every argument you make about why something will/should happen, there are an equal number of arguments that will prove the opposite. Example: I think there will be a great turnout at the company picnic today because it's so nice out. The pendulum theory says no, because it's so nice, people are going to want to to their own thing, and turnout at the picnic will be low. Sorta like that.

There's the Bill Batty "Kid-in-the-Bed" axiom. A kid that crawls into your bed will take up 300% more area than their actual volume dictates.

There's and axiom that says the higher quantity and more heavy the equipment a musician has to lug through the door is directly proportional to the number of people who feel they should stand in the way between the door and the stage. I'm polite the first two or three times through. But if you can't take the hint that I'm loading a metric butt-load of heavy stuff, and you're right in the main path, then I'm just going to start running you over.

Lincoln Blake turned me onto the "Like a/As a Dog" axiom. That is, whenever you need simile, no matter the reason, you can use "as a dog" or "like a dog" and it will work. "I was sick as a dog." My kid cried like a dog all night long." Those guys shooting black powder pistols at the picnic were loud as a dog." See, everything works!

And it was a spin off of that that's leads me to my next theory. If you add "of doom" to any product/group name, it will be cooler. "The Rolling Stones of Doom." "The Big Mac of Doom." "Windows XP of Doom." See! Maybe I'll call it the "Bill Batty of Doom Marketing Theory."

"At Midcoast Internet, we offer high speed DSL of doom service, as well as dial-up of doom and web hosting of doom."

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 24, 2004

Photos of Kids

Ok, we're taking requests. This one's for Aunt Linda and the folks in the business office of Machias Hospital (or wherever Dad visited last week.

Couple of shots here of Nat and Matt sleeping in the crib at the same time. (Very rare.)

It was a little cool the other night, so Susan thought the boys should be bundled up well.

And in order not to show favoritism, here's Julia on her way to school yesterday morning.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

MI-5, ND-5

So Clarke was in charge of MI-5 this week. Last time he did one, he asked a bunch of music related questions. That's fine for me and Paddy, who are musicians, but you others didn't really care too much about that one. Now he's served up this week. And what is it? Some rehash of 5 questions some other site started! In fact, Jim answered them two weeks ago! Dave's questions are verbatim! (Note to self: don't ask Dave to do MI-5 unless you're desperate.) Nonetheless, here they are.

1. What is your favorite summer activity?
I'll break this into two parts. My favorite summer activity is canoeing and swimming. However, I do very little of either. My favorite summer activity that I actually get to do would be cooking out on the grill.

2. What was one great thing you did this summer?
Had twins.

3. When you were a child, what was your favorite summer activity?
We liked to play a lot of "guns" in Spruce Head. We'd take lobster trap laths from Uncle Ted's shop, and nail us together some machine guns. One time, my cousin "Little Roger" fired up Uncle Ted's table saw, and actually cut himself a stock for his rifle. It was nice! He was older than the rest of us; we would never think of turning on Uncle Ted's table saw.

4. What has been your favorite summer vacation?
Well, my two favorite vacations have come in the winter. But favorites would include trips to New Hampster with the folks, and canoeing the Alagash with Susan before we were married.

5. Summer goes well into September, but when do you feel like it is over?
First time I need to turn the heat on in the house.
Also, today has been declared Neil Diamond day at the office. So here's the ND-5

1) There are so many classic ND songs. If you had to choose one, which would it be?
"Love on the Rocks." I actually like that song. Something about seeing The Jazz Singer when I was a kid.

2) Name your favorite ND acting role and movie:
He acted in something other than The Jazz Singer?

3) Give us a little known trivia fact about ND:
His tour bus once broke down in Spruce Head, and he and his whole band had to stay in my grandmother's house. She treated them to haddock and pork scraps. Neil had two plates full.

4) Tell us a special memory that ND's music played an important role in:
I remember DJing this anniversary gig once. They insisted that "Sweet Caroline" be played. I still have the CD of that burned MP3 in my stash. (An since I was downloading tunes, I copped "Love on the Rocks" too.

5) What ND disk are you buying next?

Listening to: anything but Neil Diamond

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Another Quiz, Johnny A is MIA

discover your jack-o-lantern face @ quiz me

Man, I've lost my Johnny A CD again! I lost it for a few months a while ago. I finally found it in the glovebox of Susan's car. Now, I've lost it again. It's not in the rack. I don't have a CD player in the car, so it's not in there. I don't remember loaning it to anyone. I wonder where I put it...

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Silly Quizes

You are Betty Grable!
You're Betty Grable!

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

discover what candy you are @ quiz me

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I'm Sick

I had a DJ gig on Saturday that took up the better part of the day. I had another one on Sunday that did the same. I decided to reward myself for my hard work with a day off. Due to other things going on, I had no drum students on Monday. So I really didn't "have" to do anything. (Well, I did need to design a web page, but that's a pretty lite day for me.) Anyway, I woke up on Monday morning, and I would of guessed I had the mumps. My throat felt a little sore, and very closed up. My legs were very sore, which I chalked up to standing up so much at the DJ gigs. But I went about my day, took Julia to school, made breakfast for Susan and me, and installed a new light in the drum studio. Around lunch time, I threw the web site together. About 3pm, I felt really tired. I fell asleep on the couch until 6pm. Even after that nap, I was still tired, and ended up going to bed "early" at 10pm.

I woke up to cranky babies at about 2am. Susan asked if I could help her get them downstairs so she could nurse them both in the La-Z-Boy. I could barely stand, my legs hurt so bad. And then I started to shiver. My ears were very hot, but I was very cold. Once downstairs, I took my temp. 100.3. I knew I would be home again today.

So here I am, posting, and it's the first thing I've done all day. Well, I packed Julia's lunch this morning, and I watched the boys for a little bit while Susan went to Wal-Mart. At 9am, I went back to bed, and watched a movie. After that, I slept on and off until about 3pm. I still have a slight fever, and my throat is still closed up. I hope I get back to the office tomorrow, 'cause I don't want to burn up a bunch of vacation time on this.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 17, 2004


I opened a Fark account today. For those of you not familiar with it, Fark has a lot of funny/useless stuff they post on a web site. One thing they do is post an image, and then ask people to do something strange/funny with it. For example, this rocket ship. I made it into this.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]


MI-5, Family Flavored. If you'd like to play along, and don't have a website, leave your answers in the comments section here.

1. Do you have a special relationship with a particular aunt/uncle/cousin? Explain.
This is not about favorites, mind, just about a special bond. My Aunt Ginny and I have always had a special bond. And I have a special bond with my sister (although for the purposes of this question, that's not really what it's about).

2. Currently, who is your oldest living relative with whom you have a significant relationship? That would be Ma. She was born in '26, I think.

3. Who is the oldest relative you can remember? Not some 3rd uncle thrice removed from Calcutta you've never seen, but someone you remember.
Grammy was my father's paternal grandmother. She was 94 when she died I think. I too, like my sister who left the comment, remember how hot she kept her home. She had a wood cookstove in the kitchen, and it seemed like it was always running.Yet the dogs always curled up under it to sleep. Grammy also made gifts for everyone at Christmas time. I think a red afghan she made for me is still kicking around somewheres.

4. Tell us about a particular memory involving a relative older than you.
I remeber this one time I went with Uncle Roger to cut trees on his property in Union on Sennebec lake. Dad had me cut trees behind our house with loping shears, and I was pretty handy clearing brush. So I went with Uncle Rog to help him out. We stopped at South End Exxon, and he bought me a cup of cocoa from the machine. At that point of my life, I had not yet developed the ability to ride in a car with a cup of hot liquid. I ended up getting it everywhere every time he hit a bump in his firmly riding pickup. He gave me his vinyl jacket and spread it on my lap to keep me from suffering any more 2nd degree burns.

5. Tell us a special time spent with a relative younger than you.
Hmm. This is harder than I thought. Nothing really stands out in my mind, though I did have fun with cousins David and Sarah at many BBQs. On Mom's side of the family, all the boys are older, so they don't count in this question, although I do have many memories with KC and Tommy--building tree houses, riding dirt bikes, shooting .22s and stuff. Again, though, they're older.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Thoughts on Uncle Rusty

I'm fresh back from Uncle Rut's funeral. Fresh. Like, came back to the office, grabbed some coffee, and came out back to get my thoughts together before I hit the desk.

Pastor Mitch Ross asked if anyone had anything they'd like to share about Rusty. And though I didn't go forward, I have been thinking back. When I was a kid, there was a triangle of houses, with ours on one apex, Uncle Rog and Aunt Dee-Dee on another point, and Uncle Rusty and Aunt Karen on the third. Though I don't know why (perhaps because it was the most centerally located), Uncle Rusty's house was where all the cousins would hang out and play. When I think back to my childhood days, many memories are centered around Uncle Rusty's house. Kick the can, hide and seek, collecting horse chestnuts under his big tree. Suzy Baines and Kelly Kinney once tried to force me to eat a worm over at Uncle Rusty's. I remember throwing apples on the end of a lobster trap lath in the Post's back yard, and when somebody stopped and starting backing-up to see what was going on, we bolted to behind Uncle Rusty's house and hid. And not one time do I ever remember him yelling at us. We were in, out, running, loud, and he never said boo... never told us to go on home.

Having been in the Army, Uncle Rusty had a flag folding ceremony, and taps played on a small tape recorder. That was good for a lump in the throat.

Eldest daughter Melanie read a poem. (How she maintained her composure is beyond me. I'd have been a wreck.) I don't know the title, but it reminds me of Alfred Lord Tennyson's "When I Cross the Bar." Though it was not the last poem he wrote, he asked that it always appeared last in any collection of his poems. I may like to have it read at my funeral.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there by no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Movie Stuff

Ron asked me the other day if I were going to purchase the Star Wars DVDs. Meaning, of course, the classic trilogy on DVD. I told him I wasn't, as I already had the Special Edition on DVD, which included the "new" footage and a Dolby Digital soundtrack. I knew the new DVDs included a documentary, bu read on the web that that was going to be broadcast on the History Channel or something. (It was--I Tivo'd it, and watched the fisrt little bit this morning.) Well, I actually found out there are a bunch more featurettes, as well as audio commentaries on all the films. I also found out that Lucas has made more changes for this edition!

Of the changes I've seen, none are really major, except the one where they change the end shot in Jedi, and have a different actor in place of the dead Anakin. Why this change?

"Finally (and this is a big one), when the Force ghosts of Ben, Yoda and Anakin appear to Luke at the very end of the film, actor Sebastian Shaw has been replaced with Hayden Christensen (as he'll appear in Episode III). "

Sup with that?

"Lucas' rational is that when Vader joins the Force, he's able to retain his original identity as he was when he died as Anakin Skywalker (in Episode III). Since Yoda and Ben retained their good identities until they were old, that's how their Force ghosts appear."

Dumb. Leave it as is.

Also dumb. Columbia House DVD is not carrying either the Star Wars DVDs, or The Passion. Yeah, we wouldn't want to carry two titles like that, now would we!

Just Finished: wrap-up DJ meeting with bride and groom
Watching: Everyday Gourmet

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 10, 2004

A silent post for Uncle Rut

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday MI-5, compliments of Paddy

JT had the MI-5 last week, and asked me this morning if I would do this weeks. Sure. Before I could do it, though, I breezed by Paddy's site, and see he's already got one up from somewheres else. Well, rather than do two, let's just do Paddy's this week, and I'll take the MI-5 for next week. For those of you who want to play along, but don't have a blog, just put your answers here in the comments section, ok?

1. What are you looking forward to this fall?
I love fall. October is my favorite month. I'm looking forward to a cool evening in the back yard with a cigar and a bottle of red wine. (It probably won't happen :-) ) I'd also like to take a leaf peeping trip, and fall brunch at the Samoset is always nice.

2. What do you regret in the past year?
Hmm. Not much, I guess. I regret not spending as much time as I should praying. I regret not being home much, but I understand I've got to do it. I regret not buying Engine #4. I should've just forked over the $3000.

3. Who was your favorite teacher?
I don't really have a favorite, but I have a few that made major impressions. Marlene Hall and Dick Walton of the RDHS music department. Tim Dresser in Biology, and Roz Costa in English.

4. What was your favorite subject?
I pretty much enjoyed everything but math. I did ok in math, but I certainly didn't enjoy it.

5. I've handed you $500 that you must spend new clothing for the fall. Tell us how you'd spend it.
I need new oxford shirts, new pants, and a new winter coat. I really need a winter coat. I didn't have one last year. This year, I'm going to spring for a toggle coat.

Wacthing: Far too much CSI
Listening to: Bizet's opera

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Vinny Ts, DJ Gig, Headphones, Northern Kingdom

Ok, so here's that other stuff I wanted to talk about.

First, Vinny Ts has come to Portland. Jim and I ate there two weekends ago. My goodness, it was good. They start you off with yummy bread. If it's dinner time, you get roasted garlic to go with it. If it's lunch time, you can request the garlic. Salad comes with your order, and for an extra buck you can get a Caesar. I did. Jim ordererd the fried mozzerella, and got 1/2 dozen or so of the golden disks. When my fetuccini came out, I was dang near full. I took most of it home, and actually got two more meals out of it!!! And that was the lunch portion! It was all very good, and I recommend it. It may be my new favorite Italian chain joint.

So Saturday, I DJd this wedding. It was an old friend from high school, and his new bride. They booked me for five hours--an hour longer than the normal reception. When we met to meet to go over their plans, they mentioned they weren't having any meal. They would have canapes and hors devours,but no real meal. I thought there'd be no way it'd go five hours. In fact, I called a client I was supposed to meet with on Sunday to fix his computer, and asked if I could be there Saturday night.

Bad move.

Not only did it not end early, but they booked me for two more hours! A seven hour reception. That's a long one! Not a record breaker--I did 8 1/2 hours once for Daren and Janet, but seven is plenty long. But they were havin' a good time. Oh, and instead of champagne, they served mead. The groom was of Nordic descent, and supposedly they drink mead for one month after getting married, until the next full moon. Thus, honeymoon. So I tried it. It was nothing like what I thought it would be. To raisins taste like grapes? Sundried tomatoes like fresh tomatoes? Nor does mead taste like honey. It's reminisant of honey, and you can taste it in there, but it's very faint. At least the stuff they served.

So on Sunday after the gig, I'm loading my equipment into the garage. I only have one pair of headphones, so I set them on the bumper of my truck, so I would remember to take them inside and put them downstairs in the drum room.

Bad move.

I forgot them on the bumber.

After I was done moving gear, I drove my truck to its parking spot at the MIS data center in the south end of Rockland. I drove the green hornet wagon home. It was about 9pm when I remembered. I looked at Susan. "Are my headphones on the dining room table?" They weren't. I drove to the data center to see if by some miracle they were still on the bumper. Too bad. So I went to Northern Kingdom Music, and bought two pair of acceptable headphones for about the price of one. They gave me almost 50% off list. NICE! So one will stay in my DJ case, and one will stay in the drum studio, so I won't have this problem again. They're not as nice as my Koss's, but they were 1/2 the price for two pairs! Can't go wrong there.

Drinking: old black coffee
Listening to: some disco mix tape

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

I won a snare drum!

I entered a contest at a drum site I hang out at, and I won a snare drum! Cool! Well, it's actually the parts to make a snare drum. It's the unfinished shell, rims, strainer, lugs, the whole bit. I just have to put my choice of finish on, and assemble it. Thanks John!

And thanks to Northern Kingdom Music. They rock like a wicked Neddick. I'll tell you why later. See, I need to tell you about this weekend's DJ gig, my headphones, Vinny T's with Jim, and some other stuff.

Just finished: Ben Hur
Listening to: Nathaniel crying

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, September 4, 2004

New Web Page for Jim, Bass Guitar Auction

Made a new web template for Jim. Check it out here.

Also, put a bass guitar up for auction. That's here. There was a bid on it before it had been up an hour. Too bad that bid didn't meet reserve!

After I leave the office here in a minute, I'm off to a DJ gig until 6:30. After that, I go to work on a computer, and then home. Sunday and Monday I don't have much scheduled. I'd like to wash the cars Monday with Julia, but we'll see how she goes.

Eating: Egg McMuffins that Jim used to pay me for his website
Listening to: Some freaky German techno

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 3, 2004

MI5, kept hostage this week by Jim

1. Do you have any creative type hobbies? We are talking things where you build or create things.
Well, sorta. I play the drums, and that uses my hands, and is creative. I also like to recondition drums. I like to find one that's old and nasty, give it some love, and bring it back to its former glory.

2. Is there any kind of hobby you always wanted to get into but never could for whatever reason?
I've always wanted to take up target shooting. I like to shoot now, and my grandfather bought me a beginner's target rifle. But it takes money and time--two things I need more of! (Especially the time.) I've also wanted to learn to fly.

3. Do you have any traditions for Labor day?

4. Do you have any special Labor day memories?

5. Describe a perfect Labor Day.
Lotsa sleep. Some kind of cookout on the grill. A chance to relax. I hope to get all my chores done this weekend, so I can just blow Monday off.

Watching: Ben Hur

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Julia's New School Year

I know you guys will be clamoring for photos, so I'm dedicating my coffee break to you. Julia starts first grade today--her first all day class. Kindergarten was only a 1/2 day. Susan surpised herself by getting a little teary. She thought she'd be too busy with the boys to get emotional. But, she wondered who'd grab her a granola bar when she needed a snack, and who'd hold Matthew when Nat needs a change. Julia's been a big help, for real. And, I'm sure she was (as I am) a little sad about how fast her little girl is growing up. Seems like just yesterday I was announcing her birth with a happy dollar at Kiwanis.

Oh, and right after I snapped this photo, I sensed that Julia's friend Rachelle wanted to get in on the act. Notice her hand? She'd fit right in being a big sis!

Singing: Neil Diamond's September Morn. How awful!
Eating: coffee and pudding

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: