Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Cereal MI-5

I'm going to force myself to write an MI-5 this week. A little writer's challenge, perhaps. And here's how I came on the theme. Apparently, cereal was on sale this week. Susan, a big cereal fan, decided we should stock up for the winter. So I'm going to take the boxes of cereal which sit across from me right now, and base a question on each one. Here we go!

1) Blueberry Morning. What's your morning routine? Let's say from the time you get up until you hit work (or 9am, whichever comes first).

I get up at 6am, plus or minus five minutes. I hit the bathroom and shower. Usually, the mirror is fogged, so I don't brush my teeth yet. Then I make Julia's lunch. If Susan has to get up early to babysit Maddox, then I put some coffee on. At about 6:30 I wake Julia up. Then I make her breakfast. After that, I head downstairs to put a load of laundry in the dryer, and one in the wash. Grab my clothes for the day, and back upstairs. Then I might watch a TV show from the day before. Or, I might read some from my Bible. It really depends on if the boys are up or not. If they're up, reading is right out. At about 7:15 I put my clothes on and brush my teeth. At 7:30ish, Julia and I are out the door. I drop her off at school, and arrive at the office at 7:45.

2) Berry Krispies. Snap, Crackle, and Pop have been around a long time. Who are your three favorite cereal characters? Why?

Tony the Tiger is a classic, so I dig him. (Why not dig the frog from Sugar Smacks? Remeber him? Diggem!) The cowboy from Sugar Corn Pops was also quite cool. My favorite, though, was Count Chocula. First, I loved the cereal. Still do. Second, he's a frickin' vampire! I love that creepy stuff. Of course, a cereal vampire isn't too creepy, but still, it fits in.

3) Eggo Maple Syrup Cereal. "Leggo my Eggo!" What item do you have from childhood can't you let go of?

I don't really have that much from when I was really young. My blanket still survives: Paly (or Paley, or Pal-y, or Pallie, however you spell it!). Susan now keeps him in her hope chest. (Incidentally, her hope chest is my old toy box that Father built for me.) I still also have the purple Duncan yo-yo that I bought at Arlene's antique shop. And, I still have my Hot Wheels Ahrens Fox.

4) Banana Nut Crunch. You're feeling a little bananas, and you have 15 minutes to clear your head. What do you do?

Usually, I'd listen to some music. If I'm at home, I might put some music on downstairs in the studio and play some drums.

5) Cracklin' Oat Bran. This one came with a free mail-in offer for a DVD. What was the last DVD (or movie) you watched? Why did you pick it?

Actually, it was a drum instruction DVD, Steve Smith's "History of the US Beat." I watched it because my drum student Ian lent it to me, and I need to watch it by next week.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Benefits of Being a Christian


That's right. The pig is off limits to Jews and Muslims. I'd never make it! :-) In fact, on Tuesday, I had sausage in every meal! And on Monday night, it was pork chops. Susan made this meal: pork chops dusted with sage and baked with apple and onions; roasted buttercup squash; baked apples for dessert. Man, do I love fall meals! Tuesday's breakfast has sausage in it. I had some of the leftover sausage soup for lunch. And supper? Baked beans (with molasses and, what else, bacon!), sausage, and homemade biscuits. Can it get more New England? And for lunch today, a leftover pork chop with leftover beans! Oh wow! Thank you God for the pig!

(No disrespect intended to Jews or Muslims.)

Listening to: Sarah McLachlan

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekend Wrap Up

So, how was my weekend? It was ok. Why don't I run it down for you?

I came home Friday a little early. I picked Julia up at school at 3pm, and decided to take some time off. When Julia and I got home, Susan and I decided we'd take them downtown to have a little fun. So we went to Planet Toys, and then down to The Grasshopper Shop and Sage Market. After that, we decided to have supper at this little Italian place I know. I had the lasagna, which was good, and Susan had a chicken Caesar. The kids had chicken fingers. We ordered dessert to go, then went home and put the kids to bed.

Saturday morning, Jim had invited me to attend men's breakfast at his church. So I went to that, and then we both needed to work at the office, so we road in together. It was raining all day, so I didn't put the outdoor furniture away, nor did I mow the lawn. I washed some dishes in the afternoon, and I can't remember what else. I made some of my yummy sausage soup.

Sunday morning started off with cinnamon rolls and coffee. Then off to church. We had lunch at Mom's. In the afternoon, it was still raining, so still no outdoor chores were done. I took a little nap on the couch. Once the boys woke from their naps, I did some vacuuming--lampshades, ceiling fan, stuff like that. I went to put on the new toilet seat Susan had bought, and fount the holes on the lid stripped, so the provided wood screws wouldn't hold it on. So that didn't get done. Church in the evening. After church, I ran to Wal-Mart to exchange the toilet seat. And that's where it ends.

Listening to: Music from Big Pink The Band

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jim's Autumn MI-5

1. Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that you like in the fall?
Oh, man, do I! I love fall. It's my favorite time of year. I much prefer fall food to summer. I love cider, hot or cold. Maybe a hot buttered rum. And the Cocomotion will be broken out soon. I've already roasted a squash, and have another one on deck. I love stew, and I have this sausage stew I make which is awesome. I just love the heavier style of fall/winter cooking.

2. Do you have any favorite activities that you do in the fall?
I love leaf peeping. Usually we'll take a Sunday afternoon and just go for a drive. I have this dream that someday I'll take Susan leaf peeping down Castine way, and work our way back to a brunch at the Samoset. I've been planning this for years. Some day, it'll happen. And, as you can see from bellow, we've already been apple picking. Oh, and I love Halloween too.

3. Tell us of a favorite memory or even a few from fall.
I have some very fond fall memories, like my first big deer hunt with Uncle Ash. I have many good Halloween costume memories, my favorite of which was the "Ghost With Necktie" costume. (Mon insisted that the ghost costume fit securely on me, so she made me wear one of Dad's neckties.)

4. Do you have anything you want to accomplish this fall?
I already have. I wanted to do the apple picking event with the fam.

5. Tell us one thing you love and one thing you hate about fall.
I think I've told you enough things I love. Things I hate? All the yardwork I need to do to get ready for fall. You know, put Stabil in the lawn mower gas, put the pool and kids toy's away, take the raked leaves to the dump, trim all the brush, that sorta stuff.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, September 18, 2006

Weekend Wrap Up

Man, did I have a nice weekend. Friday night, I made some pork chops and roasted potatoes for supper. I don't think we did anything too cool. I think we basically went to bed early to get ready for the fun!

The boys had me up about 6:30 on Saturday. I let Susan sleep in. Once she got up, I started painting the front door. In between coats, I took down the pool, and went to the dump. The boys were ready for their nap quite early; I think they went down before 11am. Once they got up we headed out to a "surprise trip." We went to a farm where they had all kinds of activities: apple picking, a corn maze, a small petting zoo, and a farm stand. We stopped at the farm, caught the hay ride to the orchard, and picked some apples. After riding back, we spent some time with the cows, sheep, and pigs, and did some shopping at the stand. We bought some cider, some little gourds for the kids, and a squash for supper. I roasted the squash, roasted some more potatoes (they were really good, and I improved my recipe on the second night), and had pork chops marinated in soy on the grill.

Sunday, I had to work a little in the morning. At lunch time, I went to Mom's and met up with the rest of the family. We were home by 2pm, I guess. Susan and the boys took a nap, so Julia and I went as washed the Green Hornet at the car wash, and then went down to Snow Marine Park for some bike riding. We had a blast. I went to church that evening, and was home around 8pm. I haven't had a weekend so nice in a long time.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

The Wonder of God's Creatures

I've always been a big fan of spiders. I don't want them in my bed, nessecarilly, but I like them. Ask Mom or Lisa; growing up, I wanted a tarantula as a pet. In 6th grade, my science project was on the major parts of spiders. So I dig 'em. And we've got spiders around the Batty household. I'm not sure why, but wolf spiders LOVE my garage. They're all over the outside--and they have been since we bought the place. (Wolf spiders don't build webs--they chase after their prey. They move very fast. They look almost like the hop from place to place.) And we've got some big spiders this fall!

Dig this...

This spider is the new family friend. And here's what really impresses me. His web is in that light circle area. It's anchored by points A, B, and C. His little spot to hide is up on the roof line (point B). And of course, it's anchored to the top of the lawn chair at point A. So here's the kicker... On Saturday, one of the kids moved the green chair at point A. It broke the web. Sunday, when we got up, not only was the web rebuilt, but it was anchored back on the chair again! How does this little guy (he's a big spider, but he's still a small creature) get to all these points in one night? And then, how does he get the silk from one corner of the web all the way over to the chair? To me, it's quite incredible.

Just Finished: Iron Chef, Battle Chicken Eggs

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Morning Post, Waiting for Paint to Dry

I'm blogging from the living room. I'm painting the new front door, and I'm waiting for the second coat to dry before I put another on. The first coat went on with a foam roller. Let me tell you, mister man, foam rollers stink! Painting these two doors has been my first experience with foam rollers. The first door tool like six coats, and still I wasn't happy with the coverage and smoothness. Today, after the first coat, I went an bought a regular nap roller. I should've done this long ago. The second coat was much better than the first. Once I get it done, I'll post some pictures. For now, suffice it to say, stay away from foam rollers!

Something else interesting (ahem) happened today. Wednesday, on the way to do laundry downstairs, I smelled something, well, funky. I wasn't sure what it was, but it didn't seem too normal. My basement's not totally dry, but it's dry enough to keep stuff down there. Heck, I've got drums down there. But sometimes when it rains hard, we get a little water, and things will smell a little musty. This wasn't must, though. When I came down that evening to give my drum lesson, it was even stronger. It kept getting stronger, and yesterday I decided it must be a dead mouse. So this morning, since I was in my yucky painter's clothes, I decided to find him. So using my "super schnoz," I hunted around until I found the area. It was near the Christmas storage. I moved some boxes, and sniffed. I couldn't find it. When I smelled towards the floor, the smell was lesser, not stronger. I seemed the strongest when I stood up near my congas. What was going on? Susan had this laundry basket with some stuff in it, and I looked in there. And there it was, "staring" me in the face: a bag of hamburger. Yup. Susan had rearranged the downstairs freezer, and in so doing, forgot a bag of meat. Oh my goodness, this was one of the grossest things I've seen in some time. Try leaving a bag of ground meat out for a week, and see how you dig it. Better yet, take my advice: stay away from room temperature week-old meat!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 15, 2006

Fire Engine Stuff

Yup. It's the one I almost bought back in May. It sold at the OHTM auction. And the guy got the $1000 he was looking for. You can see why I thought it too big, though. This one seems to fit my style--but not my price!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Everyone Knows, It's...

This is meant to be fun. Yes, it's sexist, yes it's predjudiced, yes it's stupid, but it's just a fun little thing, ok?

This is for the guys. You have a choice. You are going on a blind date. You have to choose which one of the girls is "hotter." One girl is "Wendy," the other is "Windy." Who do you choose? In a few days, I'll let you know what the informal results of the office were.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 8, 2006

Aunt Ginny's MI-5

1. Discounting immediate family and teachers, who had the biggest influence on your life as a child?
Wow! No family or teachers? Who else did I have as a child? I guess I would have to say Steve Bennett. He was the pastor at my church for many years. He lead the Boys Club at church, and he was involved with scouts too. We went camping at his house; we raced pinewood cars; we shot rockets off in Bob Polky's field. As I get older, I recognize what a great example of "servant/leader" he was. Steve would drop anything to help a friend--from helping me change a flat tire on the way to a gig, to helping me install a grounded receptacle.

Help me family, am I missing someone more obvious?

2. Who do you hope to have positively influenced in your life?
My children.

3. Who was your favorite teacher and what was it about them that made them memorable?
It's hard to pick one. The music staff at SAD 5 are all pretty important to me: Mrs Chamberlain, Ms. Hall, and Mr. Walton. The latter are still employed there! Dr. Faxon was tough, but he was a great teacher. In college, Jill Reubenson-Fenton and Terry Plunkett were very supportive English professors. In grade school, Mr. Borgerson was a fav.

4. What was the last book, other than the Bible, that you read that made you sit up and take notice of the world around you/ your own life?
I just finished "Blue Like Jazz," which I found quite thought provoking. I also read "In Harm's Way," a non-fiction work about the USS Indianapolis--the bought that delivered one of "the bombs" in WWII. They were torpedoed on their way back, and the boat sank in like 10 minutes. Due to the classified nature of their mission, no one missed them when they didn't show up anywhere. It really gave me, someone too young to remember WWII, some of the best perspective of what sacrifices where made for freedom.

5. Speaking of influences, tell the truth, have you ever driven "under the influence" of anything, a song, a thought, a sermon, refreshment, etc.?
Who hasn't!? I driven under the influence of songs, sermons, cheeseburgers, and--most terrifyingly--lack of sleep. Have you ever had one of those moments where your head snaps back, the adrenalin pumps, and you realize you were just asleep at the wheel? There have been several times that I was too tired to be behind the wheel. Now, I'll take 15 minutes, pull over, and get a power nap. That little nap will really help.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Back to School

It's back to school today for Julia V. Susan is taking my car today, and dropping her off. Usually, taking her to school is my job, but Mom wants to do it on the first day. Why isn't she going in the minivan? Ah, that's another post that will be coming soon. But I wanted to report in; Julia is up, and she's had a lovely breakfast (waffles and sausage). Lunch is packed (roast beef on bagel bread, popcorn, mellon, and a cookie). The boys are up, Nat having only fallen out of his new bed once (maybe twice--we're not entirely sure). Matthew, we believe, is unscathed.

Listenting to: Matthew singing the You Are a Pirate song

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, September 4, 2006

The Boys in their Beds

Head on over to the Gallery to see it full size. And thanks to Heather for finding us another toddler bed.

Listening to: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, September 1, 2006

Amy's Burnt MI-5

This is day 12 of me working with no days off. It has me burnt out...I never realized I cherished my weekends so much- until I didn't have my last one. So this is the burnt out edition of the Mi-5!

1. What is the most "burnt out" you have ever been? Why?
Well, two things come to mind quickly. Once, before Susan and I were married, we spent a week on the Allagash. I remember the last day. We were very tired. We had run slightly out of food. Breakfast was fruit cocktail. There was no lunch. We were tired and hungry. I had a great time, and I remember it fondly, but I was pretty burnt out. Also, when I was first working at Wal-Mart, they were "grooming" me to become the department manager in hardware. They had me run inventory with the department manager to get the feel for things. I worked long hours, all inside, for many weeks. About two days before inventory day, I had a migraine like you wouldn't believe.

2. Tell us about a humorous time your burned something food related.
I can't really recall anything here. I'm a pretty good cook, and don't usually burn anything. I did, though, have some chicken breasts get overdone on the grill this year. They were quite dry, and Julia said "I don't want this again."

3. Ever do a burnout in a car? Why?
Sure. When you're a kid, you do those silly things. You think it's cool. It's really just stupid.

4. Tell us about at time you got sunburned.
Ah, my sun burned back story. When we went on the cruise, my brother-in-law Dwane and I went snorkeling in Jamaica. Having your back to the sun at noon in Jamaica is not good on white Maine skin. The diving was awesome. The burn was painful.

5. If you were gonna burn me a mix cd right now...what is one (or three) songs you would put on it? Why?
Hmm... What did you lose in your ipod fiasco? I guess I'd put some music that I'm into right now. I'm diggin' "Black Horse and Cherry Tree," for some reason. Also, Prince's "Mellow" and a song called "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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