Friday, November 28, 2003


My Thanksgiving post is somewhat lengthy, and as yet unwritten. But it will be here soon. I just don't have time right now.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday 5

1. (Do you like to shop? Why or why not?) Do I like to shop? Not really. I shop like a guy. Make a list, go in, get what you want, and get out. Around Christmas time, though, I like to think about what I going to get for others. Especially people for whom I find it hard to shop: Mike, Dad, and Mom. I like the though process of finding cool gifts. The actual act of going and purchasing the gift, though, is a pain.

2. (What was the last thing you purchased?) Some mittens from Sam's Club.

3. (Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why?) Online shopping is much easier, and stuff's in stock. You don't end up making a trip for nothing. But shopping in a store can be more fun, I think becuase you usually shop with friends at stores, and online shopping is usually done alone.

4. (Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it?) My parents tired it off and on when I was a kid, but it was mostly off. I think the going rate was about $.50.

5. (What was the last thing you regret purchasing?) Mittens from Sam's Club. I ended up finding my pair, and they're in fine shape, so I didn't really need a new pair.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Fountain Pen on sale

Remember on my Christmas list I had a fountain pen? Well, the sample I showed is now on sale--so long as you'll take the periwinkle color. So, If you'd like to save about 50%, order me this pen in periwinkle, and it'll only cost $24.95, not $49.95.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Reasons 4 Love #31

Reasons 4 Love #31

Every Wednesday those who are involved in a relationship with somebody share a few (simple but significant) reasons for their love. I love Susan because:

She let me show her how much I love her by letting me buy her a coat.
She said this really cute thing to me the other night. It was about 3:30 in the morning. I woke up to go to the bathroom. Susan said to me "Sacagawea." I said "I'm sorry?" She said "Sacagawea... Oh never mind, I was dreaming about pilgrims and Indians." I didn't bother to tell her at that time that over 100 years seperated Sacagawea and the pilgrims--it was too early on the morning. But it was cute.
She makes a mean stuffed mushroom.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]


There's this little game I like to play on my Palm Pilot called Bejeweled. It's like a tic-tac-toe / tetris sorta thing. Move gems around a board so you have three in a row. Those gems move out of the way, and those above them fall down to take their place. Anyway, about 4 days ago I came upon this theory. The theory was to move those pieces at the top of the board first. My thought was that if you move bottom pieces, you stand more chance of throwing possible moves above out of alignment. So I started testing this theory. Today, I broke 100,000 on my score. My new high is 150,860. My old high was 48,110. I beat my old score by more than 100,000!!! How cool is that?

I know. Not really.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Christmas Hearse

I don't know what got me thinking about hearses today. Wait, I do know. I was thinking about fire engines, and how one won't make a practical Billy Rhythm mobile. But a hearse really would. Decent milage, room for drums, smooth ride. I've always wanted a purple hearse with metallic silver flake in the paint. Why that color scheme? Well, years ago, when Laverdiere's Drug Store was up where Hannafords is now, they carried a plastic model kit of a hearse. It was a cool hearse converted to a beach wagon. Well low and behold, I came upon a picture of it today. Cool, huh?\

I've added some stuff to my Christmas/Amazon wish list. Some clamps would be nice. I need clamps when repairing drums, and I saw this neat spring clamp kit at Wal-Mart today. Also, a tool belt would prove handy. Nothing too big though, or the weight will haul my pants down! Two or three pockets, and a place for measuring tape and hammer would be fine. Fire truck models are scarce as hen's teeth. Still, Revel is offering a fire truck/police car two models in one kit.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, November 24, 2003

Mod Orange Snare, Holy Price!

Dig this Mod Orange Ludwig Pioneer snare. Bidding started at $29.99. Where'd it end? Yup, $1,136.11! Crazy! It's a six lug student model snare. But mod orange is a rare finish. And, since most Ludwig kits came with a metal snare in the 60s and 70s, wrapped wood drums are kinda rare. So, take a kinda rare drum with an ultra rare color, and you're off! ( Rumor has it the seller bought this at a lawn sale, and it sat in their garage for years. They're not even drummers--their just professional ebayers who buy stuff cheap and then sell it on ebay. How come I never find these at a lawn sale.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Susan's New Coat

Remeber how I waxed rhapsodic a bit ago about Susan's toggle coat? Well, this weekend we went to a Burlington Coat Factory to see if they had a toggle coat like her old one. They didn't. But, like the story of the old coat, we did find one coat, all by its lonesome. No others like it. It was the last of its kind. It was on sale, even. And, it was her size, too. Sound familiar? One coat, all alone, none like it, just her size, and on sale? So, I plunked down some money I'd been saving from drum lessons, and bought her this nice plum coat, with black velvet trim. It even has a hood she can wear in full jedi mode. This coat was made for her. And I didn't think much of the color until she put it on. Now, I think it particularly suits her.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, November 21, 2003

A new Billy Rhythm-mobile

Paddy made me a nice Billy Rhythm-mobile. Where he got the picture of me is unknown, but it looks pretty durn good, don't it?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

The Christmas List

It's come to my attention that some people could use some hints on what I might like for Christmas. Well, in addition to what's on my Amazon Wish List (linked all the time on the right hand side there), here are some other ideas.


8" Zildjian Splash

Nice chimes. (My sister bought me a set one year for Christmas. Unfortunately, I lent them to a school, and they were stolen.)

Cheap drum heads for my road kit.

A new wallet.

A fountain pen. If this particular model, the Tangerine color is cool. Not really particular about brand, but not something too small.

Speaking of tangerine, how about a Gretsch Broadkaster Be-Bop set in burnt orange lacquer? Maybe that's a little high on the price scale...

Grey, black, and blue socks. (No link provided, as I bet you all know what those are. I'm all set on socks in the brown/tan color family, thanks.) Boxers with buttons on the fly. (Gotta be careful with a little girl in the house!) A big terry bathrobe.

A corner chair has been on the list for awhile. Also, a wingback chair. I have a very informal home, but my tastes run towards very formal furniture.

How about a bright purple double breasted zoot suit?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

I'm very sorry

In my last post, I used the phrase "right off the bat" twice, and had several mis-spelled words. I'm sorry. But if you hacks don't lay off, then Billy Rhythm is gonna have to slap you hose bags around!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Five

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year. What? You're kidding, right. Well, I'd like to get my Christmas shopping done. I'd like to finish up some web maitanence stuff I need to do. I need to learn how to burn DVDs for a client. I'd like to buy a snare drum before the end of the year, and Susan and I need new coats before the end.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again. Heahter Armstrong, right off the bat. Haven't spoken with her since we graduated high school. Lindsay Zaltman, whom I haven't seen since third grade. In Jr. High, there was this dummer Ben. I've forgotten his last name. I'd like to know what he's up to. Pat Friedman from college. Also, Amy and David, and Jill Fenton from college. I'd like to see them again.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do. A one handed drum roll. Play jazz well. Fence. (Or better, swashbuckle.) Fly a plane. Play congas.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit). Give 10% to the church, right off the bat. Figure out what my dream drum kit is, and buy it. Retire, and live comfortable without never having to work again. Learn how to fly a plane while swashbuckling. Buy a 1929 Ahrens Fox, and use it for my daily driver.

5. List five things you do that help you relax. Listen to Jazz, notably ballads from Miles Davis, or Bossas from Stan Gets. Or anything with Paul Desmond on alto. Play drums while listening to Jazz. Take a hot shower. Have a tiny taste of a good bourbon. Read classic literature.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Pop Tart Quiz


Well lookie here my dear, you're the Frosted Wild
Berry Pop-Tart! Ah, the irony, you really are a
pop-tart. You enjoy all of the fine fads in
life and just like this insanely flavored Pop-
Tart, you'll give someone a tooth ache too one
of these days.

Oh what? You expected more of an analysis from this
little Pop-Tart Quiz? Yeah? Well there's not
much to tell about you from what kind of Pop-
Tart you like! Ha!

What kind of Pop-Tart are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I do like Pop-Tarts, but wouldn't touch a wild berry one with Jim Thompson's mouth! I like the classsics: brown sugar and cinnamon, raspberry, blueberry, and chocolate fudge. And Pop-Tarts are one of those things where you have to buy name brand. The generics just don't cut it.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Reasons 4 Love #30

Reasons 4 Love #30
Every Wednesday those who are involved in a relationship with somebody share a few (simple but significant) reasons for their love. I love Susan because:

She re-took (tooked?) my drum quiz from several months ago, and did worse this time around!
While sitting around after dinner the other night, I asked "Do we have any chocolate?" She said "Wait," and went and got a giant Special Dark she'd been hiding for just such a question.
She made a most excellent roast chicken last night, the remains of which she'll use to make a soup we'll eat with my parents tomorrow night.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, November 17, 2003

Chick Bailey

I've mentioned Chick before. He's sorta been grooming me to take over his drum collection. He's getting old, and he knows it. He told me that if something should happen to him, his wife wouldn't know what to do with his drums. So he's been giving me stuff. First, some parts. Then, a conga, and a snare, and a cymbal. Then, a vintage Gretsch catalog.

About three weeks ago, he called and asked it I would take a 20" oyster black pearl floor tom off his hands. It was one from his set, and he said he didn't use that big of a floor tom anymore. "It makes a passable tymapni drum in a pit band" he said. "I'll let you have it, and if I ever need it, I can borrow it from you." I told him that would be fine, but...
"This is part of your kit," I said, "and I don't want to see it broken up. So I'll keep it here, you use it whenever you need it, and, when the time comes you sell your kit or give it away or whatever, call me, and I'll give it back so it can go with the rest of the drums. It would be horrible to orphan it." He said that would be fine, and we'd make arrangements to pick it up someday.

He called me today.

"Would you be interested in my oyster black kit?" he asked.
"How much do you want for it?"
"You can have it."

He went on to explain that he found a white marine pearl kit in small sizes that he liked, and he wanted to buy it. Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich all used WMP, and he'd always wanted one. He figured now was the time to get one.

"You know, Chick, your set is worth quite a bit of money." I wanted to make sure he knew he was giving me close to $2000 worth of drums.
"I'll sell 'em to you for a dollar--that'll keep it all legal."

I wasn't worried about the legality.

I'm slated to pick them up tomorrow. They will stay with me until I die. Or until I can no longer play. At that time, I'll find a worthy drummer, who loves vintage gear, and who treats old instruments with respect. I will then sell him/her the set for $1. That's my pledge to Chick. I'll take care of that set until I can't anymore, and then I'll find someone who can. I can't give him what they're worth. I can only give him my word that his drums will be treated with the love and kindness they deserve, and my that I'll tell the story of Chick Bailey, and the wonderful gift he gave me that I could never repay.

Thank you Chick Bailey.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Show Wrap Up

Well, the show went very well. Too bad I missed so much of it. Being in a pit band, your back it to the stage. The piano player made the remark she only got to see the tango on the last night. I said "There was a tango???" Never saw it, but the two leads tangoed in "The Rain in Spain" number. Also, every night before the curtain, the director stood up and thanked people for their help, and every night he thanked the adult members of the pit band. On Saturday night, when he read my name, a full third of the audience went completely ape! I was shocked! Seems a couple of young people I know were there, and they had some of their friends cheer for me. It was a riot! Also, there was one scene with this kid playing a Bobby. On the last night, I finally saw that scene, and the kid had a donut onstage! Funny stuff. So I asked if that were the first time he'd done the donut gag. It wasn't, but I did learn that this same kid always seems to get rolls as a cop. Whenever there's a show with a cop in it, invariably he'll be the one playing that part. And, during the show's run, he'll slip the donut gag in.


I have something very important, and very moving to say. It's nothing bad, so don't worry. Should be able to get to it later tonight.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, November 14, 2003

The Barber of Lunchville

Lunchtime. Late lunch. Almost 2:30. I'm at the machine in the breakroom. Lunch was a yummy cheeseburger Hot-Pocket and a can of diet Pepsi Twist. I've got the tunes playing on the headphones. Want the list? Sure you do...

"I Will Survive" by Cake
"You Turn the Screws," also by Cake
"Never There" Cake
"Somethin' Somethin" Maxwell
"'Till the Cops Come Knockin" Maxwell
"Wrapped Around," Brad Paisley
"Sex and Candy," Macy Playground
"Organ Grinder's Swing," Jimmy Smith
"The Sermon" Jimmy Smith
"School Boy Crush," Average White Band
"Kid Charlamange," Steely Dan
"Skin Tight" Can't remember who. Some funk band.


I did something yesterday I haven't done in probably 20 years: I paid for a haircut. My Mom's been cutting my hair all that time, and it's free. (We always joke that I trade computer work for them in exchange for haircuts.) Anyway, my hair was in a bad way, and Mom is of course with Dad in Boston. I'd been thinking for several months about going to a barber, just for fun, and this seemed like a good time to do it.

The first place I stopped closed at noon, so no dice there. The next guy (Frank) was open, and there was no waiting.
"What's the going rate for a haircut?" I asked.
"Nine dollars" he said. Good enough, I thought. I have no idea how this compares to other barbers, but it seemed about right.
"I haven't been to a barber in 20 years" I confesed. "My Mom usually cuts it."
"Ah. You're a mama's boy."
Um, sure, whatever. He starts in. I was surprised how little he used scissors. He clipped the back of my ear.
"Why are you saying ouch for?"
"Well, those sharp clippers yo have in your hand? Well, when they clip my ear, it hurts!"
"I didn't clip you," he says. (The only other barber to ever cut me was Chet Hunt. He said the same thing when he clipped me.) Then he pulled my ear back. "Oh, look at that. I did nick you. Sorry about that. First time to a barber in 20 years, and the one you pick cuts you..."

Small talk ensues. He asks questions about how I want my hair. "You want this off the ears?" I have no idea what I want. I just want it the way Mom does it. Length? Again, I have no idea how to answer him. He's mostly done, and asks what I think. I told him I think the bangs could be a little shorter. He lops a little more off. "How's that? Any shorter, and you're going to have trouble."
"Well, I guess that's short enough, then."

I did miss some things from the old days. No talcum powder on the neck once it was all done. No comb from the vat of green liquid. No splash of tonic to make you smell "nice." Little things like that. I guess a lot of things change in 20 years.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Five

1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space. Cluttered.

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer. Caffeinated and quiet.

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime. Loud, rhythmic, fun. (For DRUMS, you dirty minded people! ;-) )

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day. Interesting, varied, long, and average.

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life. Loving, musical, spiritual, friendly, unstressed.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Reasons 4 Love #29

Reasons 4 Love #29
Every Wednesday those who are involved in a relationship with somebody share a few (simple but significant) reasons for their love. I love Susan because:

She takes Julia to school at 8am every morning.
She was the one who mentioned we should break out the cocomotion.
She's played Star Wars trivia with me twice this week, even though she knows she will be decimated.
She cares about my family.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Graves, Vets, and Dads

Forgot this on Veteran's Day. Thanks to my great grandfather (Fred, who died before I was born, but known to most as Grampy), my grandfather (Thornton Sr., whom I knew as "Father"), and my dad (Bill Sr., whom I know as "Dad"). All three served their country in the Coast Guard. (Grampy was in under the US Lighthouse Service.) Three generations of Coast Guardsman ended with me. I know Dad doesn't hold it against me, but some days I have regrets about not considering the Coast Guard a little more closely back in the day.

Dad's surgery went well, and the nurses are reporting that he's beig quite a trooper. Suposedly, all who have worked with him love him. How could you not! He comes home tomorrow, probably. We won't have the biopsy results until next Tuesday.

In something totally unrelated... I have a thing for grave yards. An aesthetic thing. I like 'em, and I like 'em creepy. Anyway, I've had this ieda for a photo project I've wanted to do kicking around in my head for years now, and now that I have a digital camera, I should really get off my butt and do it. One of the things I'm looking for is an unmarked grave in Camden/Rockport of an infant. Strange. Look what comes up in Google when searching for "rockport maine grave baby boy." Weird, huh.

(Edit: Even more weird--I'd already mentioned this in another post!)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


B00006IUU0 (4k image)

Chocolate. Oh, how I love it. Dark is the way I like to go, but milk's fine too. Bittersweet, semi-sweet, as long as it's decent quality, it doesn't really matter to me. Why, I even like to drink it. Hot cocoa I'm talking here. And who has the best? For me, it's McDonalds. Their hot cocoa is so rich and yummy. Too bad here in Rockland, the Mickey D's cocoa machine is continualy broken. Well, not really too bad, but it is yummy cocoa.

I think it was my sister Lisa who bought my brother Mike the Cocomotion. I know, it seems silly. A $35 machine that does nothing but make hot chocolate. I have one of those ice tea makers, and it doesn't see much use. But this hot cocoa machine is something different. Yes, it uses milk instead of water. And, that makes a difference, but to me, the difference was never enough to warrant heating milk instead of water. Water from the kettle was fine, and a little milk added richness if desired. The Cocomotion also uses 50% more cocoa mix. So, if you're making four cups of cocoa, you use six packets of mix. So, more chocolate can't hurt, right? But I think the magic of the thing comes from the mixing disc. It actually whips the hot chocolate into existance, not just mix. When it's done, there's this chocolatey head (for beer drinkers) or crema (for you coffee dirnker) or foam (for you uncultured) on top that is so fluffy and creamy, and the cocoa is so rich and chocolatey, you just won't believe you can make cocoa this good at home. Almost every night now, my family whips up a batch before bed. And it's not even really winter yet!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, November 10, 2003

Updates on Some Peeps

Dad is in Boston. He had lab work today, and has his biopsy tomorrow. I paid a sad dollar at Kiwanis today. My normally loud voice got very quiet. My normally gregarious self found it hard to speak above a whisper. Still, I know all things work to the best for those who love God, and I'm sure Dad does, so no matter what happens, it will be the best for Dad, and for others.

I wrote to Maria today. (Her site is Dazed and Confused, linked on the side there.) It's odd for Maria to go a day without posting. She did mention things were getting busy at work, but she hasn't posted in a while, so I shot her an email. Seems her host is having problems, and she can't get to her publishing files. Sounds like what happened to poor Keith (who's mostly back up now). Anyway, she sends her best to you all.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

My Beloved's Toggle Coat

I can't remember how long ago it was. It was before Susan and I were married--I remember that. She needed a coat. I decided a new coat would make an excellent Christmas gift. It was decided.

The day after Thanksgiving is of course the busiest day of the year. It was also the day that Nautica held its big warehouse sale at their outlet store in Rockland. So, o the busiest shopping day of the year, I spent my 1/2 hour McDonalds lunch break (that should help narrow down the year) in a giant mob of people looking for a great deal.

The old outlet store was on the bottom floor of a mill style manufacturing building. Big, open floor plan, with exposed wooden beams. I trod amongst the shoppers, hating shopping on this day. (I still do.) Still, a coat needed to be purchased, and this was a good opportunity for a working stiff to buy his woman a coat he could otherwise not afford. But in searching, I found nothing suitable.

I was leaving the store, and did a 360 scan of the area, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. That's when I saw it. On a support post, above the regular racks, was a lone coat. A toggle coat. Or, what the Europeans apparently call a duffle coat. It was the only one like it in the place. Honest. The only one. I could barely reach it to pull it down. I tried it on. It fit me, so I knew it would be big on her. No worries--nothing wrong with a winter coat that's a little roomy. It had the typical plaid lining, and a really cool hood as is typical of the style. Also cool, it not only had the flap pockets below, but two slash pockets higher up on the breast--perfect for hands or a pair of mittens.

But the coat is plum wore out, now. It's time for a new one. And, I'm due for a coat too, so I'm thinking on picking one up too. Something a little more rugged than my usual wool overcoat. And, the hood has that really cool Obi-Wan vibe going on.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, November 8, 2003

Fire Engine Madness

1960 American Lafrance. Open cab. Yummy. And here's a 1956 model. I like the beer tap on that last one. That may have to be equipped on Spruce Head Engine 1.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Citizen Keith

Keith, I don't know what's up with your server, but it's crazy! Down. Up. New address. New directories. Argh! I tried to send you an email, but it doesn't work. When things are all back to normal, will you let me know? My link back to you is continually busted.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, November 7, 2003

Wanna hear something terrible?

Last night, I got home about 7:30 after teaching my "Internet for Seniors" class. I had to get my DJ gear out of the garage, and into the truck. Between the door of the garage and the gear were a few bags of trash. So I decided to put the trash in the truck (not the gear), take my CD bins inside to fill with, um, CDs. Then, today I would go to the Rockland Tranfer Station (i.e. the dump), empty the truck of trash, and then fill the empty space with DJ gear on my lunch break.

So, I filled the truck up last night. I took the CD boxes inside. I went to bed. I woke up. I got dressed. I went outside to go to work. The back of my truck was still wide open! I'd left it open all night. Behind the trash was Big Pink the pink sparkle drum set, and two bags worth of brass (what non-drummers call cymbals). Total value of all that? Close to a grand. And I left it unlocked with the doors wide open, and went to bed! They sat there, free for the taking, overnight.

Thank God (and the trash) everything was still there this morning.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday Five

1. What food do you like that most people hate? Hmm. I love calamari. And I don't think most people hate it, but I think most are afraid to try it. I also like asparagus, but please don't overcook it. Also, I love spam.

2. What food do you hate that most people love? Hmm (again). I think the stuff I hate probably has a good following. Cooked cabbage doesn't really do it for me. I can't hold down a boiled carrot.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you? Julia Roberts does nothing for me. At all. Something about her mouth. The ratio of head size to moth real estate is way off on her. Her mouth would be the right size of she had a head the size of Bunsen Honeydew.

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find
attractive? I can't really think of one at this moment. I'll keep thinking, and let you know.

5. What popular trend baffles you? Any music in the Top 40. It's all beyond me. What isn't preprogramed computer driven dance crap with nary an analog sound to be found is music so angry you can't understand the lyric for the screaming.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Reasons 4 Love #28

Reasons 4 Love #28

Every Wednesday those who are involved in a relationship with somebody share a few (simple but significant) reasons for their love. I love Susan because:

Last year, she volunteered to watch a teenager while his guardians were away on vacation. She even decided to do it again this year.
She helped out with Julia's school book fair.
She let me keep the electric drums set up in the middle of the playroom for a few days.
She watched The Abyss with me last night, and even liked it a little.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Need a Cool Drum Photo

smallbr (22k image)

There are no cool photos of me playing drums. This is as close as it gets, and I'm in a frickin' pirate costume made from a woman's blouse! Photo courtesy of JP.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Baby Names and 9-Ball

9-ball. I'm great at it. How great? Here's the scenario. After lunch yesterday, Paddy and I visited the new toy store here in town. They had a little pool table set up. Somebody had stolen the 8-ball, plus a couple of others, so we didn't have a full rack. We decided we'd have to play 9-ball. Paddy racked 'em up. I broke. I sunk the 9-ball on the break--automatic win! I'm going to have to start snookering actual cash out of people.

Last night, somewhere, I heard a great name for a girl (should Susan and I have another child). What was it? I don't remember. Where did I hear it? Not sure. All I remember was that, like Julia, it's an older name you don't really see much anymore, but not so old it sounds dated (like Prudence or Mehetabel).

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, November 3, 2003

Music as a Language

Go to google. Search for reasons to love a person. See who comes up at the bottom of the page? See what post it's referencing? Cool, eh?

Let me talk to you a little about rehearsal for My Fair Lady. The music is a big departure from the last show I played. West Side Story had very difficult music. It was rhythmically complex, with lots of time changes. My Fair Lady is quite a bit easier. But still...

On Saturday I went to my first rehearsal. I had not played with the pit band before. I had never played the music myself. (I did have a copy of the music, and I did look at it quickly, but I didn't actually practice it.) The conductor started. I started playing. I was quite impressed by my own sight reading ability. We, as a pit band, could've played that show just like we did at rehearsal for opening night. It was that good. We were all together. No train wrecks. No problems at all, really. There was one song towards the end where there was this little rhythmic figure that the whole band plays together. And we did. Correctly. No one was out of place. And that got me thinking.

Being able to read and write music is almost identical to reading and writing a language. Someone I don't know can write something for me on a scrap of paper. I can then, by reading what they've written, play what they want me to. And I can do the same for them. In fact, when I played with Mac a week or so ago, I did just that. We figured out an ending for a song. It was a rhythmically complex, non-textbook example ending. I just wrote it out. That way, when we played the song a week later, we could all remember the ending. And we nailed it.

I can get across the emotional ideas I have for music by writing them down. Someone who reads music can then do exactly what I want. Like if I spoke Spanish--I could write Spanish down, and another Spanish speaker would be able to communicate with me. They could then write me back, and I could read it. Like a language, music can be used to communicate ideas through a series of agreed upon written symbols.

Why, then, a musician wouldn't want to know how to read and write music is beyond me. I teach all my students to read and write music.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Early Morning Photo Post

Here's an early morning photo post. First, here's the lovely Flower of Lovliness Julia Batty displaying the pepermint batty I bought for her Saturday and rehearsal. (Remind me to post on that...) Also, the Spork photos from Halloween are here.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, November 1, 2003

Halloween Gig

So, we played the gig last night. It went ok. No trainwrecks. Fun was had. Music enjoyed. Pictures were taken. (These were taken by my boss, JP. I'll post my photos later. Dave looked unreal!)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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