Monday, December 30, 2002

Bad night for pizza

Last night after church, I thought I'd like a pizza. Since it was late, and we needed to get some milk, we decided to swing by the grocery store (Dad, see the "Get More Here" section) and buy a frozen pizza. I felt like pepperoni, and that's Sue's favorite, so I grabbed two pepperoni pizzas. I got them home, and opened them. They weren't pepperoni--they were three meat. Yes, there was pepperoni on them, but other stuff too. It wasn't what we reall wanted. Oh well. We put them both on pizza stones, and started to watch Appolo 13. 25 minutes later, I went to look at the pizza. The stone my pizza was on cracked in three places! So I pulled mine out. Because it wasn't on the stone, the top was done, but the crust still raw. So, I put it on a cookie sheet, and back in the oven. I checked on it a few minutes later. And, while doing so, burned my finger enough to blister it. A few minutes later, I took it out of the oven. I turned to move towards the counter, and hit the edge of the pan on the fridge. This caused me to drop the pizza on the floor! 30 minutes of cooking that durn thing only to drop it. ARGH!

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

Proof I'm not a farm boy

I grew up near the ocean. I spent summers on the beach, hunting rock crabs with Jason Butman. Killing jellyfish with David Mahonen. Fishing for mackrel. Filling bait bags for Buzzy Kinney. I know nothing about cows, or chickens, or stuff like that. Here' the proof.

Little Nell Lollipop (our kitty) was wandering around the house tonight, her back all crooked. She was crawling on the floor, belly down, hind quarters up. It looked like she had broken her back. She wouldn't put her back legs down. If you pressed by her tail, she would swat at you. So we called the vet. He called us back. "How old is she?" he asked. About 6 months we said. "Is she in pain?" Didn't appear to be. "Is she vocalizing?" Only when you press on her back. "Has she been spayed?"

Light bulb!

You know how stupid I felt! I thought our cat had broken her back. No, instead she wanted to be on her back! We've always had our cats spayed. I don't think I've ever seen a cat in heat before. I saw a dog in heat once. In fact, I asked the vet if there'd be blood. "No, not with cats" he said.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Saturday Morning

Thanks to Paddy for working my shift today. He wanted some extra hours, and I wanted to sleep late after the gig. I got home about 3:30, and Sue was still up cleaning after Christmas!

Speaking of the gig... Some guy who comes to see us everytime we play this club was there, as always. He satyed about 3 hours, smoking Clove cigarrettes the whole time! Man, can they become annoying fast. One is ok, but three hours worth makes you want to gag!

Woke up this morning (ba-da-da-ba-da!), made breakfast for the girls (ba-da-da-ba-da!). Drank a great big pot of coffee (ba-da-da-ba-da!), and the next line won't rhyme!

Is it too early for bad blues?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Woking late

I'm working late. The regular late night guy is on vacation. The good news is I didn't have to come to work until noon. The bad news is I didn't get to sleep late, as I had to shovel the snow. Sue's car was burried. Literally. She took a picture of it--I'll post it when it's developed. Only the side view mirror could be seen. The drift at the front door was as tall as Julia. Lotsa snow...

Christmas was very good to me. Ma gave me some books, and a fleece jacket I'm wearing now. Susan got Julia and I each a lightsaber. I loved it! I played with it entirely too much. (Insert your "played too much with your sword joke" here.) Hers is the Obi-Wan model, and mine is the Qui Gon. Susan also got me the DVD of all the Schoolhouse Rock episodes. My parents got me a pocketwatch, a book on Gretsch drums, a book on Jazz singers, and a leatherman style tool built by the Swiss Army Knife people.

Don't forget to see the more section for a little something I found on a drum message board, of all places. It was a post about how things have changed over the years.

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

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Keep the Christ in Christmas

"To Jesus On His Bithday"
--Edna St. Vincent Milay

For this your mother sweated in the cold,
For this you bled upon the bitter tree:
A yard of tinsel ribbon bought and sold;
A paper wreath; a day at home for me.
The merry bells ring out, the people kneel;
Up goes the man of God before the crowd;
With voice of honey and with eyes of steel
He drones your humble gospel to the proud.
Nobody listens. Less than the wind that blows
Are all your words to us you died to save.
O Prince of Peace! O Sharon's dewy Rose!
How mute you lie within your vaulted grave.
The stone the angel rolled away with tears
Is back upon your mouth these two thousand years.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Pre-Christmas post

Man, I could not sleep last night. Tossing and turning--just not feeling sleepy. I was thinking about, and I'm not making this up, Slingerland beavertail lugs on a Radio King. And then I thought "Wait! Beavertails are on Rogers drums!" (Actually, both companies had lugs called Beavertails.) But why? I hadn't had this problem since a couple of weeks ago, when I felt the same way after a DJ gig. Then something hit me: both nights, I had had a can of Diet Pepsi Twist before bed. Coincidence? We shall see...

Here's the Christmas rundown for the Batty household. Supper tonight at my grandmothers (Ma). Candle light service at church. Back to Ma's for presents. Home. Read "The Polar Express" before bed. Sleep. Dream of sugarplums. (Actually, sugarplums dipped in chocolate.) Awake. Stumble for coffee. Sue's parents come to our house. Presents. My parents will stop by to see Julia's loot. Then, to my parents for dinner. More presents. Home. Collapse. I'm with Michelle from Trifles. Seeing people open the gifts you bought for them is the best part.

Have you ever heard the Christmas tradition of the "Meal of the Seven Fishes"? The WOP was going to post about it, as his Italian family does it at his grandmothers every Christmas. It's been a year, and he hasn't gotten the info to me yet. Perhaps fish and tumbleweeds don't mix.

I can tell you about that other snare now. I had someone email me about a Tama rosewood. I made him an offer of $300. He was looking for $500. He listed it on ebay while I was away at a gig, and couldn't make a counter offer. I emailed him and told him I'd give him $435 if he paid the shipping. He declined. Auction ended at $405. I sent another email--"My offer is still on the table." He decided to relist it again. Still no bids.

But don't feel bad I didn't get my dream snare. Perhaps I'll get a Bearing Edge snare instead. I'm already talking to the guy about a Bubinga snare with maybe olive ash hoops. How about an 8" deep bad boy?

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, December 23, 2002

Holiday Cheer from Maria

wreathsm (2k image)

Maria has asked we spread the cheer around. I have done so. (Maria: many here in Maine are interested in who you are. Feel free to leave a little info in the comments section, if you want. Or, of course, people can just follow this link)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Off to shop

I'm up early for a Saturday I don't have to work. And, I didn't gig last night. But I'm about to leave for the annual Batty Boys Shopping Trip. Dad, my brother Mike, and brother-in-law Dwane take a day to shop for the ladies every year. This year, honorary Batty Boy Jim Thompson is going with us. (Old friend of the family. My Dad and his were Coasties together.) Mike set the itenerary this year. I called Dad this morning to let him know I would bring a thermos of coffee, and I found out from Mom that Mike canceled. Nice. The wole reason we're going to Portland is because he wanted to go there. I could get my shopping done right here in town--I'm just going for the tradition, really. Well, maybe we'll get home earlier, instead of being gone all day.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 20, 2002

Curvy Jellybeans

Playboy centerfolds less curvaceous. (It's ok--it's not porn.) I'll take the curves, thank you very much.

For those of you who asked, I did some research. Ludwig offered Vistalites in what was called the Jellybean color scheme. A real Jellybean kit had the same colors for each size drum. Some people made their own "jellybean" kits, but they're really just kits with mixed colors. Here's what Ludwig offered in the catalog:
The quadra-plus (4 rack toms plus one floor) had a blue bass, clear snare, red, amber, clear and yellow rack toms (smallest to largest), and green floor tom.
The 5 piece Big Beat had blue bass, clear snare, red and green racks, and amber floor.
However! You could order a jellybean in whatever color you wanted. The true test would be to see if the serial numbers were all close together.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Quizes and drums

Nothing much to report today. This page has some great photos of the ultra-rare Vistalite Tivoli light up drum set, all lit up! Notice the hair of the guy playing them! Great. Also found yesterday: BUBINGA!!!

Here a couple of quizzes I got from that crazy cat page.

1. Christmas dinner: turkey or ham (or something else)? We usually have turkey. I would prefer a spiral sliced ham. We just had turkey at thanksgiving--can't we mix it up a little? My family doesn't eat lamb, though Susan, Julia and I do. My druthers would be turkey on Thanksgiving, ham at Christmas, and lamb at Easter.
2. Candy canes or chocolate? Chocolate. There is nothing else. Nothing comes close.
3. Fruit basket or fruitcake? Fruitcake. My mother-in-law makes a fairly decent one.
4. Mulled cider or mulled wine? Hmm. Not really a fan of either. My guess would be cider.
5. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Now we're getting tough. My uncle Ade used to make a mean eggnog. It was way better than the prepak stuff you buy at the store. So if it's his eggnog, I'll take that, 'cause hot chocolate is pretty easy to come by. If it's not his eggnog, I don't want it.
6. Holiday cookies: homemade or store-bought? Home made. (This question shouldn't even be asked. Store bought? A convenience only.)
7. Roasting chestnuts or popping corn? Corn. I don't know anyone in Maine who's ever roasted a chestnut.
8. On the buffet table: veggie platter or cheese tray? Cheese. Eat veggies only when absolutely needed.
9. Apple or pumpkin pie? Both. And chocolate cream.
10. Christmas Day breakfast: before or after gift-opening? We have a light breakfast Christmas morning, as lunch is always so big. We usually have some kind of danish or coffee cake. Once, my wife promised my brothers-in-law I would make them Eggs Benedict. (I'm kinda known for a mean Eggs Benedict.) I did, but that meant I spent most of the morning in the kitchen. There just isn't a good way to poach eggs en masse. I won't do that again.

If I were a wine I would be...

This quiz was created by Krazy K. Take it here!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Snares, tape decks, and relaxation.

Hello all! Updates have been pretty meager, I know. But from the DJ end of things, the Christmas season is over. So that will free up more time. And Susan and I had a "discussion" last night, and I'm going to start saying "No" to things. Like last night, I played Santa at the Salvation Army Christmas party. Yet Julia was home, asking when I was coming home. It was kind of bittersweet to hear her say "Daddy, I want to spend some time with you."

Funny story. Barry has a friend. This friend makes chips for Denon, the hi-fi company. So Denon offers this company (for whom Barry's friend works--are you keeping this straight?) special prices on gear each Christmas. Friend emails Barry; "Do you need anything?" Barry emails me. "Sure, I could use a new tape deck for my DJ business." Barry emails friend: "How much for tape deck?" Barry got an email today. "Here's the price, and one is on the way." Oops. Looks like I'm going to buy it, whether the price was good or not. (Actually, it was a really good price, but there's this snare drum I've got my eye on. But that's a post for another day. Remind me.)

Speaking of drums, ha-ha! Barry also is in need of a new snare. He doesn't think so, but he's going to be playing in a pretty heavy riff band. He's got a little 13" piccolo snare, which just won't cut the mustard. Instead, he needs one of these. Or maybe one of these Premier Heavy Rock Nines. Brass outside, with wood inside, and a couple of felt dampening strips. And 9" deep. That's deep, my friends. Ironically, I was just talking to him and Paddy about this drum yesterday. Today, one shows up.

Over a year ago, a Billy Gladstone snare showed up on ebay. I posted it here. These puppies are the ultimate in rarity. He only made like 50 snares or so. Now there's one on ebay. It was owned by a symphony, and they drilled holes in it!!! So much for the collectability. Since it's not original anymore, the price will be much lower. Perhaps some regular guy (like me) will shell out for it, and go out and play it! This drum needs to be played, shown around, and not kept in a glass case.

Here's another snare, that, on another day, I would've bought without thinking. It's my color, and it's my size. The price was really good. But I'm watching this other snare. But that's a post for another day. Remind me.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 13, 2002

Zoot drum computer clocks

Outrageous! Yellow double breasted zoot suit with peak lapels! The ultimate zoot!

Last night was the company Christmas party. Thanks to my boss, who presented me with a very nice Christmas bonus. He's a very generous guy. We're going to use some of it on bills, and some on our trip to Florida in January. I'd like to skim a little to buy a little something for myself. Practical things, of course. My DJ business could use a new tape deck--though it rarely sees use. An equalizer in the rack would be cool. I really need a CD storage unit for the house. CDs are in piles all around my hi-fi. Also, the computer at home needs an upgrade badly. Three years ago, it was top of the line: Pentium III, 450mhz. I've got a 40 gig hard drive on the way. I should upgrade motherboard and processor.

I DJ'd a wedding about 10 years ago for a couple. Then about 6 years ago, they sold their home, and Susan and I just happened to buy it. She passed away from cancer this week. She was 40, maybe. I knew her (and her husband) well enough to speak to them in the grocery store. They would always ask how the house was holding up. They were both pretty nice people.

BUBINGA!!! A Sonor Designer kit in Bubinga in Jazz sizes! Very rare. Most people bought these drums in thunderous sizes.

A Slingy Rolling Bomber set. Very nice. The price is too high, in my opinion. Also, the floor tom has been recovered. But is sure is purdy to look at.

Last night, I bid on this snare. Why? I'm 95% sure under all that crappy paint is a Tama rosewood snare. They didn't make an African Mahogany snare that I know of--and I would probably know. The Tama rosewood of the early 90s had gold hoops and tube lugs, as this one has. (For comparison, check it against this one from the Billy Rhythm archive.) But if I can get a pretty nice one for $300, I'm not going to spend all outdoors for one that needs tons of work. So I'm not really sad I lost it.

Check out the lighthouse gallery. In it is a picture of Boon Island, where my grandfather grew up.

Speaking of my grandfather... Years and years ago, the old schoolhouse in Spruce Head was turned into an antique shop by Arlene Drinkwater. When that shop first opened, my grandmother bought my grandfather a clock. She paid $8 for it. It's a marble shelf clock. I've admired it for years. The family knew that when Ma and Father passed away, the clock would go to me. A couple of weeks ago in church, Ma asked if I still wanted Father's clock. How could I not? She said "We don't use it anymore, so there's no reason you can't take it now." The next time I was over, I brought the clock home. It's not keeping time well. Sometimes I can get it to run for two days, other times it won't run for two minutes. Luckily, I do some web upkeep for a clockmaker. It's a very nice thing that she did for me.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Northern Kingdom is the best music store in the world!

Nothern Kindom Music is the best music store in the world. No doubt. Call them for all your music needs. Drums, guitars, PAs, whatever. They've got it. 207-236-8721. Why do I mention it? Well, because I needed a case for my DJ mixer. They're usually over $100, so I never bothered to get one. Now SKB offers a DJ case in a less expensive model. And Northern Kingdom got it for me for $1 less than the big national "friend to musicians" chain. And did NKM meet the price because I showed them a flyer. Nope. I just flat out asked them. They were already under. And Paddy reports that NKM has a Ibanez bass for $75 less that that other friendly place. See. Northern Kingdom Music on the Rockport / Camden line is the place you need to order.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Quick post while on lunch

Thanks to Maria. Not only is she a faithful reader and commenter, but she's also using my button on her page!

I want to thank others for their birthday presents. Mom and Dad renewed my Modern Drummer mag subscription, as they have since 1989. My aunt made me some mittens. Sue and Julia made me a cake and some home made cards.

Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, December 7, 2002

Oh, still need a gift idea?

A very nice, true vintage corner chair.
Reproduction (still acceptabele), thus less expensive, corner chair.
Late 50s Seagrave fire engine.
Ahrens Fox Phone!
Mack fire truck model.
Bearing Edge snare drum.
Snare drum string.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm...

Thanks to all of you who've already sent birthday wishes. Maria, the card was nice, and your new layout is fantastic! The Wop sent me a virtual martini. Paddy brought me some actual Nirvana Chocolate spread. What is this stuff? Well, are you familiar with Nutella? It's like that, but chocolate. Think of uncooked brownies the conscistency of frosting. Yum! You can spread it on bagels or pancakes or whatever. So far, I've just eaten it with a spoon! Thanks also to Lisa, Dwane, and Eben, who got me a gift certificate to Amazon! Cool!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Wallpaper, wallpaper, everywhere, and not a drop to drink!

The wallpapering is done. I'm waiting for a coat of ceiling paint to dry, and then I'll put a second coat on. Tomorrow, we're going to Portland to celebrate my birthday (actually on Saturday) and take Julia to see Sesame Street live. My gig on Friday night cancelled, and that's ok by me. Hope you are having as much fun working as I am not working!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, December 2, 2002

Vacation, all I ever wanted

I'm on vacation, so posts may be light. I spent the day re-wallpapering the hallway and stairwell. I also checked ebay and found this Tama rosewood snare. $300! Cherie from Repercussions bought it. That means she'll resell it at full vintage retail, or probably $475 or something outrageous.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

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