Friday, November 30, 2007

The Christmas MI-5 (by me!)

And it's not even December yet!

1) Name five things you will eat with gusto this holiday season.
Chocolate pie, preferably made with cooked pudding. (Instant is no where near as good. The texture isn't there.) Wal-Mart peanut butter bon-bons. I hope Aunt Ginny will continue the Reed Recipe eggnog, and if so, I will drink no less than three glasses on Christmas Eve. (We get it once a year, and it is so far and away superior to store eggnog I cannot even italicize this enough for you to realize!!! I kid you not! Susan, Lisa, Sizzle, anyone who has tried it will agree. This is the eggnog that made Milwaukee famous.) Stuffing, and of course, turkey.

2) Name four places you'll be traveling to in the next month. It would be nice if they were somewhat holiday related, e.g. you're going to see "The Nutcracker" or something.
I hope to be going to see the Boston Pops Christmas concert. I'll be going to the Salvation Army Christmas program, and I might even play Santa Claus. I'm taking a ride on the Polar Express tomorrow. And on Sunday, I'll be playing the holiday concert at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.

3) Name three gifts you are buying for someone else. Of course, don's say who they're for!
Hmm. I'm buying some jewelry for someone. I'm buying something from someone's Amazon wish list. I'm buying something train related for a couple of twins I know.

4) Name two Christmas carols you really like to hear.
Ooh, that's hard! (And I wrote the questions!) I really like Sting's "Gabriel's Message," and "Coventry Carol." And church, I like to sing "How Great Our Joy," or what some people call "While By My Sheep." OK, that's three, I went over, and I didn't even mention Duke's "March of the Sugar Rum Faery" on the Martha Stewart CD my sister gave me.

1) Name one gift you'd really like to receive.
Some new garbage cans.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Let's Actually Talk Chairs!

"The Philosopy of Chairs" is not about chairs. Well, it's usually not about chairs. I've told you before about my want for a corner chair. In fact, I posted about it as early as June of 2001. (That was back in my way early blogging days, when I was still using Blogger.)

Well, after 15 years or so of looking, I finally found one. This is not the actual chair, but it's darned close. So, here's the Billy Rhythm "hard to find but actively seeking out things" wish list:

Tama Rosewood Snare Drum
Corner Chair
Copy of Wyeth's "Sailor's Valentine" (Actually, since I found one for Lisa, I'd like to find one for me, so put that back on the list.)
A copy of Reynoso's "La Gorda" (I need to blog about this one.)
A fire truck

The list is getting rather small!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weekend Wrap-Up, Still the Weekend!

Yup, I'm getting this up early! Seems like my weekend wrap-ups have been posted on Tuesday lately, but this one is a little more timely. And, with the long weekend, it's a big one!

Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course. It was here at my house this year, with Susan's family. Uncle Hound Dog, Dawn, and Grace weren't here, but Mom, Dad, Great Nana, and Josh showed up. Everything was really yummy, except the sweet potato casserole Susan made. She accidentally set the dish on a burner that was on, and it burnt on the bottom. I think it would've been very good though. The turkey was delish, and the chocolate cream pie was awesome!

Friday. Hmm. What did I do. I think in the morning, I did a bunch of web work. I took a nap in the afternoon. In the evening, I played my "once a year" gig at the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor. I was home about 3:15am, I think.

Saturday morning, and Susan went to some craft fair with the pastor's wife, Josie. Julia spent some time at Grammy-Nan's house, so the boys and I went to Wal-Mart for supplies. I think we watched "Monsters INC" in the afternoon. In the evening, we went to Rockland's "Festival of Lights" parade. It's gotten really big over the years. I was the P/R man at Wal-Mart for the first one, so it used to be my baby. (Well, not my baby, really. The manager at the time, Jeff, said "Do it." I did. Wal-Mart decided they didn't want to keep the tradition up, so the Chamber of Commerce picked it up.) After the parade, we came home for cocoa.

Matthew woke me up around 7am this morning, which is late for him. I made French toast for breakfast, and he ate three pieces, and the rest of what Nat didn't eat. He ate more than Susan or me! Even stranger than that, he had a fever! So did Nat. And Julia complained last night (well after the parade) that her head felt "heavy." For that reason, Susan kept them all home from church today. After church, I went to the Chinese restaurant for lunch. I fell asleep at one point with Nat in my lap, and now a picture of us together, me looking like a doofus, is in cyberland, somewhere. A little after 3pm, I headed back to church for the new pastor's 4pm induction service. It went well. Now, I'm home, doing more web work. I'm upgrading a bulletin board for a client, and the first thing to do is back everything up. And that alone is going to take some time, backing up all those messages. So while things are downloading, I'm posting!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Seven Random Weird Things

Amy took her badgroove wand out, and tagged me to play this meme. Here are the rules.

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My 7 Weird Things About Me:

1) I like to pull the dry skin off my heels. I probably should use some kind of crack cream, but I just pick the skin off in chunks. Gross, huh?

2) I'm wearing an apron as I post this. A McDonalds apron. No joke.

3) I like thinks dark, macabre, and spooky, but I don't like scary movies.

4) Most times, at meals, I'd rather eat the main course and side dish over the dessert.

5) I can't grow a beard. I don't have enough facial hair. I tried a goatee once, and failed. I had just gotten past the itchy stage, and someone said "I don't really like the way that looks on you." I went home and shaved it right off.

6) Right next to my 17" flat panel monitor, and my Canon photo printer, and my Windows XP machine with a gig of ram, is my 1955 Western Electric rotary phone. It's my favorite phone to use.

7) I can put my foot behind my head.

Ok, not really.

Um... I like to take my socks about 1/2 way off, and leave them there. The ends just dangle off my feet, like some kind of floppy clown shoe. I don't know why I do it.

Now, for the tagging. I can't come up with seven. Heck, do I even have seven readers? How about Susan, Lisa, Aunt Ginny, and Jim.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, November 16, 2007

Melanie's MI-5

Melanie stole these from the Live Journal Friday 5. She thought the questions appropriate, so she passed them along to us MI-5 players.

1. What is one food (or meal) did you used to hate but now love?

Onions. When I was a kid, I wouldn't even eat foods that had onions in them. Mom would make to meatloaves--one with onions, one without. Now, I am an onion fiend! Green, red, sweet, hot, scallions, leeks, I love 'em all!

2. If you had to give up one of your favorite foods (or meals) for good, what would it be, and why?

I would give up McDondald's Cheddar Melt hamburgers. They are my favorite fast food burger, and when they come around, I gorge myself silly on them. But since they come out only every couple of years, I guess I could give them up, and not miss them too much.

3. Which food seems like it should be healthy and isn't, and do you eat it? Why?

Iceberg lettuce seems like it should be healthier than it is. Though I'm no expert, I understand lettuce doesn't really have much going for it. I once knew a lizard owner who told me lettuce is really bad for lizards. Apparently, it takes more resources for them to process it then they get back from it. The result is a net loss of nutrients.

4. If you were an item of food, personified, what would you be and why?

White yeast rolls. I'm soft, white, round, and cheap!

5. You've seen tomatoes and pies used for this purpose... now think of a more inventive item of food one could throw at someone. What is it and why would throwing it at someone be hilarious?

How about a live chicken? The person throwing it would look funny. The chicken, wings flapping and feathers flying would look funny. The person trying to get out of the way--that would be funny. Of course, I wouldn't like to see either recipient or bird hurt, so it's probably not a good idea. How about cheese doodles? They're light, and wouldn't hurt. Of course, they're so light they'd be hard to throw. How about a live cheese doodle covered in feathers?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Salt Sea Roses

What exactly are salt sea roses? Well, google them! Turns out, I'm apparently the only one who calls them that. It looks like the more common name is salt spray roses. And what, exactly, are those? They're wild roses that grow all over the coast up here in Maine. They grow on big bushes, and the have a more open, less dense looking flower than your traditional red rose. And, they're incredibly fragrant. Of course, you can read more about them on Wikipedia.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Religious Ice Cream Cake

Two things.

1) For some reason, I got a ton of religious email spam Monday and yesterday. I got so much, in fact, I started keeping a list of the subjects. I got: "How are we affected by sin? Was Jesus crucified on a cross or a stake? Should we baptize infants? How old was Jesus when he was crucified? What is original sin? Who or what is the anti-Christ? Why do we pray to to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?" I must say, I found the subjects extremely intriguing. They were all selling drugs, though.

2) Ice cream cake is sold by how much ice cream is in the cake (a fluid measure), and not by how much the cake weighs (total net weight). I lost a bet on that. I figured that since ice cream weight varies (depending on how much air is mixed in), and since an ice cream cake doesn't readily fit in quart, 1/2 gallon, or other such volume related containers, I figured it would be sold by weight. Nope. I was wrong, I admit it, and JP will be getting a lunch out of me.

Reading: Popular Mechanics Debunking The 9/11 Myths
Listening to: A new Jazz CD (I can't remember the artist!)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, November 12, 2007

Easy Reader, That's My Name!

rock on easy reader

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

From my Sister

This is from my sister, who snagged it from my Aunt Suzie. I think I did this once before, but that may have been via email.

1. Were you named after anyone?

Yes. Convention says that after a "Sr." dies, the "Jr." drops the "Jr." from his name. I'll not be doing that. I'm proud to be Bill Batty, Jr., and I'm proud to have my father's name.

2. When was the last time you cried?

I don't remembers, but I'm sure it wasn't too long ago.

3. Do you like your handwriting.


4. What is your favorite lunch meat.

It would be a toss up between pastami and corned beef.

5. Do you have kids?

I do.

6. IF you were another person, would you be friends with you?

Of course!

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Who me? Never touch the stuff.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?


9. Would you bungee jump?

I think so. I know I would parachute or hang glide.

10. What is your favorite cereal?

Count Chocula or Grapenuts (hot).

(The rest is in the "Get More Here" section.)

Set this day by the hand of Billy Rhythm [Link] [Get More Here]

Friday, November 9, 2007

Susan's MI-5 From a Book

My beloved wife Susan says "These questions come from a book I bought at Julia's book fair a couple weeks ago. The book is called 'Coke or Pepsi? 1000 questions to ask your friends'."

1. Which appointment is worse: Doctor or Dentist?
Dentist. Though I brush twice daily, floss every morning (well, Monday through Friday), and rinse every night, I still have way too much plaque. I go to the dentist every six months, and still I bet 50% of the hour I'm there they're descaling my teeth. Thankfully, my hygienist uses an ultrasonic descaler. I find it's much easier on me than all those metal hooks.

2. Which would you pick: An extra $50/wk or one 3-day weekend per month?
Being a Dad, and the main financial provider of my home, I looked at this from a purely mathematical standpoint. $50 X 4 = $200, or more than I'd make in one day. So I'd opt for the extra cash.

3. Small talk or deep conversations?
Small talk. While I like deep conversations, I find I can get over my head real quick, especially where "feelings" are concerned. A deep conversation about politics, or religion, or music, or literature? Great! Why doesn't my girl like me anymore? Um, check please! I'm just awkward in those situations.

4. Which is worse: No TV or No Music?
Oh, no music, for sure. There are many times when I'd actually like to get rid of the TV. In the past, when money's been tight, Susan and I have put our DirecTV service on hold. And I really didn't mind that much. It gives me time to read, do chores, and watch DVDs and LDs we hadn't watched in a while.

5. Do you read the ending before you finish a book?
Never. Ever. Nope. I just don't. To me, reading the ending doesn't make sense. First, you don't know what the heck the story was all about, so how do you figure out the conclusion? Second, lots of books have their "climax" slightly before the last chapter. Frequently, that last chapter is a sum-up kinda thing, so reading it first doesn't really give you the end of the story, though you've read the end of the book.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Halloween Treats

Yes, it's a week later, but here are a couple Halloween treats I found at my house. See, Amy, the shirts do look like the one you got for Roxy!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Last Week's Weekend Wrap-Up on This Week's Hump Day!

I actually wrote this yesterday, then forgot to post it!

I've been doing the week-end wrap up less and less. Since I'm on a computer eight hours a day at the office, I've been trying to stay off it at home. (Even my web design business, which I used to do religiously in the evenings, has been slipping by.) In any event, two days or so late, here's the weekend--for what I remember!

Friday night? Don't remember. Well, I remember Susan prepared a smothered beef and noodles that I could just go on and on about. Susan didn't really care for it.

Saturday. Breakfast. That's pretty much the usual for me on the weekends. Eggs, roast beef hash (for me and Julia), bacon, toast, coffee. Dishes and other assorted household chores. At noon time I went to a rehearsal for "Anything Goes." That lasted until about 3pm. We started to get the leftovers of hurricane Noel about the same time. Mostly wind at this point. My late lunch was leftover smothered beef. Did I mention it was fantastic?! Julia ditched us here at some point, heading to Grandma's for the night to facilitate seeing a matinee of Cinderella on Sunday afternoon. After the kids went to bed, with Susan in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled down to watch Always and listen to the storm. Oh, and unlike my friend Jim, we remembered to change the clocks.

Sunday came, and proved to me my boys have the same internal clock that I do. At 5am, they were up. Of course, one day earlier would've been 6am--their regular wake-up time. And I had already been awake an hour, since I woke up at 4am--about one hour before my normal wake-up time. We (the boys and I) made our way downstairs, letting Susan get more sleep. Blueberry muffins were made. Coffee was drunk. We headed to church. We had lunch at Mom's. (You could almost write this yourself, by now.) The boys didn't take a nap, thus I didn't take a nap. When Susan got up from her nap about 4pm, I went downstairs to finish building the Spirit of Radio King. (Pictures will follow.) Church in the evening. Leftover smothered beef for supper. (Did I mention how awesome it was?)

Listening to: Jennifer Knapp
Just finished: 1st Samuel

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, November 2, 2007

Amy's Mish Mash MI-5

1. Do you like roller coasters? If you do what is your favorite part? If you don't? Why not?

I do like roller coasters. Well, I like "normal" roller coasters. What's that mean? Well, if I get in a car, sit down, and race up and down on a track, I'm in. I'm not particularly fond on the coasters where you hang below the track. And, I didn't ride the Disney Space Mountain while I was there, as I understand it takes place mostly in the dark. I want to see where I'm going. The biggest coaster I've ridden is probably the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens VA, then the Super Duper Looper at Hershey PA. At Disney, I rode the runaway train coaster, but it has no loops. Still, Susan clung to my arm and prayed the entire time.

2. What is your favorite traditional treat you find in a halloween bag?

Mallow Cups! Somebody always gave them out every year, though I don't remember who. I haven't had them in a while.

3. When was the last time you went to the dentist? Was it routine or was something bothering you?

Routine. I go every six months. My job has some dental benefits, and I put money in a cafeteria plan for it. Even with all that, still my teeth aren't in great shape.

4. What was the last book you read that you would recommend?

I'm trying to remember the last book I read! I have two that I'm part way through. Gina lent me one, that I started on a ferry ride. I'm about 1/2 way through. Pastor Dave lent me one, and I'm about 1/2 way through that one, too. I try to read my Bible a little every day. I just finished Ruth, and now I'm in 1st Samuel. And of course, I recommend Bible reading! :-) I think the last fiction book I read was "Evans of the Army," and old book from grade school. Oh, and I red Blaze and the Forest Fire to the kids the other night; that's a good one!

5. What is the theme song to your life right now?

I don't really have one. I do have one song that I'm enamored with right now, though. Lazarus, a bluegrass tune.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Book Win from Amy

I need to take a moment to shoot some props out to Amy and her Bad Groove. She ran a little contest: "If you were to win a book, what would you like." I entered, and won! And so Amy bought me a book that had been on my Amazon wish list for some time: Wisconsin Death Trip. I heard an interview with the author on NPR, and if you know me, you know I was taken by it macabre reality. Well, the book arrived last week, and last Saturday, I had a moment or two to thumb through it. I'll admit it: it may be too depressing for even me! The book is reproduced news articles about dark things that happen in one particular town in Wisconsin. I was shocked by the sheer amount of bad stuff that happens in one town! Just glancing in, I found multiple suicides, barn burnings, and people going mad. Seems like it will be the perfect winter read!

Just finished: Ruth
About to start: 1st Samuel

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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