Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Admit It: I Love Halloween

Trick or Treating
Down to the Sea
In Ships

Richard Brautigan
From Revenge of the Lawn

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As a child, I used to play Halloween as if I were a sailor and go trick or treating down to the sea in ships. My sack of candy and things were at the wheel and my Halloween mask was sails cutting through the beautiful autumn night with lights on front porches like ports of call.

Trickortreat was the captain of our ship, saying "We are only going to be in this port for a short time. I want all of you to go ashore and have a good time. Just remember we sail on the morning tide." My God, he was right! We sailed on the morning tide.

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See also Brautigan's The Pumpkin Tide.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chocolate Bacon

I first joked about chocolate covered bacon on my very first blog ("Time Requires and Argument") back in March of 2001. I joked about it again while discussing the patty melt. The joke about me and chocolate covered bacon has been running around the office for some time, then. Well, Jim (my chocolate pusher) recently bought me a Mo's Bacon Bar. Yes, such a thing really exists! Applewood smoked bacon, alderwood smoked salt, and 41% cacao chocolate. How's it taste? I haven't tried it yet. I'm a little scared, on one level. Another side of me, though, says "Hey, I like bacon and chocolate chip pancakes, so maybe it's crazy enough to work." I'm not totally convinced. I'll let you know when I try it; I've promised Jim I won't eat it until he can see my face when I do.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Spirit of Radio King

I don't remember if I've mentioned here, but I'm building a snare drum. The Slingerland "Radio King" is famous for drummers. It featured (usually) a solid ply of maple, steam bent into a circle. No plywood here. The snares went all the way across the bottom of the head--not the norm for most snare drums. The bad part is, I'm not really in the position to buy a real Radio King. The style I want is found on ebay, and usually sells for around $600. Heck, Ned at Vintage Drum Center is asking $1100 for his! Too rich for my blood. So here's what I did...

Reproduction Slingerland style "beavertail" lugs are available. I bought some. I found a solid ply maple shell from Vaughncraft. Slingerland style "Stick Saver" hoops are available, so I bought those. Slingerland three point strainers sell for $100, and that's a reproduction--just for one side! I bought a new Leedy "Broadway" strainer AND butt for $75. So I'll have all the features I want, but spend about 1/2 what a true vintage Radio King would sell for.

For the last couple of weeks, my drum student Ian and I have been working on the project. Last week, we laid out the lines for drilling the holes. This week, we did the drilling. Next week, we'll apply the wrap, and finish it up. But here are the results so far.

1) A picture of a gorgeous 1930's Radio King

2) A picture of the Spirit of Radio King

I'm really pleased with the results so far. Ian thinks it looks good too.




According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How Manly Am I?

Popular Mechanics has made a list of 25 skills every man should know. I'm going to bold those I CAN'T do, to show you how manly (or not manly) I am. Ladies, you're welcome to play along here, too.


1. Patch a radiator hose
2. Protect your computer
3. Rescue a boater who has capsized
4. Frame a wall (I'm not good with carpentry.)
5. Retouch digital photos
6. Back up a trailer (I should really learn this.)
7. Build a campfire
8. Fix a dead outlet
9. Navigate with a map and compass
10. Use a torque wrench
11. Sharpen a knife
12. Perform CPR
13. Fillet a fish
14. Maneuver a car out of a skid
15. Get a car unstuck
16. Back up data
17. Paint a room
18. Mix concrete (I suppose if I had instructions.)
19. Clean a bolt-action rifle
20. Change oil and filter
21. Hook up an HDTV
22. Bleed brakes (Cars and carpentry are hand in hand with me!)
23. Paddle a canoe
24. Fix a bike flat
25. Extend your wireless network

How'd you do? Oh, and read the comments on the P.M. site too. Some suggestions to editing the list are pretty good. I, for example, would vote off "extend your wireless network" for "jump start a car." "Changing a tire" seems like it should be on there too. I laughed at "flossing"!


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, October 22, 2007

Buying a New Car Dream

I will try to blog about the weekend soon. I did want to get this dream down, though, so's I don't forget it.

Susan and I were shopping for a new car. Not much was catching our fancy. Then the salesmen said "You won't believe this. We have a 1987 Pontiac (some model--I don't remember). We took it in trade. It's been in inside storage all this time, and we forgot about it. If you're interested, I can let you see it. It only has 24,000 miles on it!" We took a look at it. It was 1/2 mini van, 1/2 station wagon, and 1/2 SUV. It was pretty hideous looking (as far as the style was concerned), but we both fell in love with it. We bought it without a test drive.

Having left the lot, we drove four or five miles. I noticed the temperature gauge kept rising. Susan noticed it too. "Perhaps the thermostat is stuck after sitting so long," I said. "Maybe it'll pop open in a second, and it'll start to cool down." No luck. The red temp idiot light went off, and I pulled over to the side. I pop open the hood, and there see half the engine is missing! There's no fan, no cowling, no radiator, no water pump. There's basically no cooling system at all!

Luckily, the spot we pulled over at was also the outside lobby of some hotel. I walked to the front desk, and asked to use their phone. I called the dealership, and demanded to talk to Everett Spear III--the owner of the dealership. (In real life, Ev owns the local Ace hardware store.) I was waiting on hold when I woke up.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, October 19, 2007

Melanie's Very Deep MI-5

1. What story are you writing with your life right now?

It's not really a story. It's more of a press release on mediocrity.

2. If you could ask God for one thing, what would it be?

Solomon made out ok asking for Wisdom. I think I'd ask for the same. In fact, I ask for it almost every day.

3. What does your heart long to be involved in?

Less.

4. It is said you learn something new everyday. What are some things you’d like to learn to enrich your life?

Greek, Hebrew, and Latin.

5. Everyone has a mantra even if they don't outwardly express it - time to make yours public.

It's probably what I always get in my fortune cookies: "You have a beautiful and wonderful wife." Either that, or that country song: "There's always a mountain in front of me, seems I'm always climbing, and falling, but I keep on trying."


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bible Teachings, Still Applicable Today

During my work day, these parables came to my mind.

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Other things on my mind today? How can you show your boss you appreciate him, without it looking like you're trying to suck up? Also, I miss my Dad. I would really like to talk with him today.


According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Weekend

The Weekend

Yes, here it is Thursday, and I've yet to blog about what went down. Here's the sum-up.

  • I really don't remember what happened Friday night. I didn't gig, so I must've been at home.

  • Saturday morning was big breakfast for the fam. I think I did some housework. In the afternoon, Jimmy T and I went to Portland. Jim needed something at the Maine Mall. I picked up some parts at The Drum Shop. (Harv, if you're reading, these were parts that my favorite music store in the world doesn't carry.) Then, we went to check out Maine Roller Derby. My old friend from high school, Deserae, is Miss Creant. Also, performing live at the show, a group who appeals to me for some strange reason, Meantone.

  • Sunday, I spent the morning at the Owls Head Transportation Museum, as midcoast.com is the sponsor of the foreign auto fest. In the afternoon, we had the company picnic. Jason took photos at the museum and picnic, and Ron took photos of the picnic. I particularly like this one.


    According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

    Friday, October 5, 2007

    My Sister's Traveling MI-5

    My Sister Asks:

    1. My sweetie and I are going to Bar Harbor on an overnight. If you were to plan a realistic overnight getaway for your sweetie or a best friend, what would it be? Where would you go? Where would you stay? Where would you eat? Any special activities?

    For years, I have had a dream. Some Sunday morning, in Maine, in Autumn, Susan and I wake relatively early. In the cool morning air, we hop in a car, and start driving. We head to Castine, where we look at the beautiful fall foliage. We then drive back, and have brunch at the Samoset. Now, having just come from a weekend gig on Isle Au Haut, I could expand that trip to a weekend. How about we leave Rockland on Friday night, and stay not too far away at the Blackberry Inn. (We stayed in the "Hidden Garden" once.) After breakfast on Saturday morning, we'd tool on down to Deer Isle and Stonington, hitting every antique shop along the way. There must be a nice B&B in Castine we could stay at Saturday night. Then Sunday morning, we could sleep in, even, before making our way to the Samoset for brunch.

    Anyone wanna watch three kids next weekend?

    2. My family and I are going to Virginia for a long-weekend. If you were to plan a realistic long-weekend getaway for your immediate family, what would it be? Where would you go? Where would you stay? Where would you eat? Any special activities?

    Twin three year old boys don't make good long-weekend traveling companions. Where would we stay? A Motel 6. Where would we eat? McDonalds, for sure. Where would we go? I have no idea.

    3. Have you ever read a novel set in an exotic locale? If so, tell us a little about it. Would you like to visit there?

    No, I've never read a novel set in an exotic land. I only read novels about New England. (end sarcasm) The Sun Also Rises is set in Spain. I'd go there. Wuthering Heights is set on the moors of England. I'd go there. I read The Cay a gazillion times when I was a kid. That's set on a tropical island. I'd go there.


    4. When I go away, I really look forward to eating at restaurants that are not here where I live (Golden Corral, Sonic & Cracker Barrel). Are there similar restaurants that you like to frequent when you are away?

    When I "go away," it's usually Portland. So yes, I do like to eat in those restaurants. I like the Macaroni Grill and that other Italian place. I'd love to go to a Cracker Barrel sometime. Sonic, sure I guess. I've never heard of Golden Corral.

    5. I have only been to one Broadway show (“Cats”), and I would like to go to another. However, it would consist of quite a bit of travel to get there. Since I probably won’t be attending anytime soon, tell me something about a Broadway show. Have you ever been to one? Have you heard about one that peaks your interest? Is there a Broadway show that has music of which you are particularly fond? Do you hate even the thought of Broadway? Why?

    I've seen Les Mis and Miss Saigon. Oh, and Nunsense. I would love to see Les Mis again. Oh, I read that novel, too. It's set in France. There's another answer to #3. Of course, it would be so much better to visit if it weren't full of French people. ;-) There are no current shows that I can think of that I'd really care anything about, I don't think. Then again, I'm not sure I even know what's running!


    According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

    Thursday, October 4, 2007

    The "Crashing the Borrowed Fire Truck" Dream

    I had a dream I borrowed someone's fire engine last night. I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but somehow I ended up parked on a hill, facing up. When it came time to take off, I couldn't get the clutch/emergency brake thing figured out, and I started to roll down the hill. I stomped on the breaks, but didn't have enough strength to stop it. I was rolling backwards, out of control, trying to steer with the mirrors is a borrowed fire truck. At one point, I sang "Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hands!" OK, not really. But I did pray. I ended up cutting the wheel hard, and I ended up on my two side wheels! When I came to a stop, I was on Gilbert Post's front lawn in Spruce Head. The fire truck had a small dent in the top of side rail, but other than that it was fine. Unfortunately, somehow, Gilbert had suspended something over his lawn--some kind of awning or roof or something. I came in under that while on two wheels. Since I was tipped when I came in, I fit under the roof on the way in. Now that I was upright, though, I was too tall to drive out. I was contemplating how to get out, and how to explain the dent to the owner, when I woke up.


    According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

    Monday, October 1, 2007

    Weekend Wrap Up (Sick)

    I've been on vacation. Everything's been fine. I was able to get the garage painted. On Saturday, I took some time to paint the window sills too. Even the ones on the second floor. I headed out to Brunswick for my gig. I had to stop by Target first, and Blind Al and I grabbed supper at Arbys. When we got to the gig, I commented how sleepy I felt. Sometimes at a gig, around the third set (say just before midnight), I start to drag a little. It seemed odd to me that I would feel so draggy before I even started playing. It was obvious, though, as the night wore on that something was wrong. My joints felt really sore. I could hardly lift my arms. I couldn't keep my eyes open. I fell asleep on a break. I was miserable. I didn't bother to stop for gas or a snack on the way home. When I got home at about 2pm, I took my temperature: 100.3.

    I stayed home from church on Sunday. In fact, I slept until 12:30pm! I didn't go to church in the evening, either. I was still running a fever. I went to bed last night at 8pm. At around 3am, Susan said to me "Are you ok? Can I help you with something?" I said "No, why?" She said "Well, you're moving around a whole lot." I got up, went downstairs, and took my temp: 100.4. I knew at that point I wouldn't be going to work, even though I'd been on vacation for a week! Rather than go back to bed, I decided I just stay up, and not bother Susan. (This morning she reported she doesn't even remember our conversation.) I watched some great TV, including a documentary on the Knights Templar, and an infomercial on some blender thing call the bullet something or other.

    It's now about 2pm, and I'm feeling much better. Who knows, maybe this evening I'll go into the office, just to try and get caught up.


    According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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