Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Slingerland Rolling Bomber

So what's the big news for today? Well, I drove down to Portland to check out a Slingerland Rolling Bomber drum set. During WWII, metal was rationed. So drum companies were forced to make many parts that were normally metal out of wood. Of the four major drum makers of WWII, Slingerland made the best looking kits. And, Slingerland made their tom-toms with tunable bottom heads; the other manufacturers went back to using non-tunable, tacked on bottom heads. Well, knowing there was this kit so close to home, I made arrangements to go and check it out. Money's not exactly falling out of my wallet, but I got a little refund from another failed drum project (more on that another time). I also took my Leedy Black Elite with me, thinking I might trade that too.

I came home with a new pair of sticks.

That's it.

When I buy a drum, it's not just for collecting purposes. Everything I own gets played. Nothing sits in a display case. I wanted this drum set to play with the hip cats of 3 Button Deluxe. This set had all the original calfskin heads on them. And they were on there tight! Shane (one of the guys at the shop) and I struggled, even using a screwdriver, to get the top head off the snare. Then, I tried putting a modern--though slightly oversized--head on it. Even that was too small. It fit, but I had to push it on. Then in order to get the screws in to tighten the head, I had to lean on the rim and push down. Too tight. I didn't bother to check the fit of the other drums. I just couldn't justify the price, knowing that I'd need to recondition the set, buy a new set of heads for all the drums, and then not know if they'd fit.

So, that set didn't come home.

I figured I might then take a look at the Stanton Moore Wide Ride. They'd already sold it.

Ho hum!

Reading:Here Comes the Judge, GE Patterson
Listening to: Love Deluxe, Sade

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sup, yo?

My Mom is awesome. She's a really strong woman. You did the right thing, Mom.

News Flash, Hepsters! Three Button Deluxe is slated to play live on 207, a Maine magazine TV show on WCSH TV, NBC channel 6. The date is Thursday, January 5th. It's my understanding it'll be a live show! Stay tuned!

In other news, I'll be posting the Christmas Wrap-Up a little later. I'm on vacation this week. Posting may be spotty. Or, I may be downright chatty. Who knows!

Feeling: Relieved
Listening to: It All Must Go, Steely Dan (A gift from Jimmy T)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 23, 2005

"To Jesus on His Birthday"

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.

--Edna St. Vincent Milay

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

The MI-5

1. What's the best & worst pickup line you ever heard?
I think they may be one and the same. Of course, these weren't actually used on me, I've just heard them around. It goes a little something like this...
"Hey, what's your name? My name's Bill, and you'd better remember it, 'cause you're going to be screamin' it all night long!"

2. What is the worst date you've ever been on?
Well, I'm very fortunate. I meet the love of my life when I was 17, so I don't really have a whole backlog of bad dates. In fact, I can't really think of any. I only had two real girlfriends before Susan, and each lasted less than a year. So I asked Susan, and she couldn't really think of any clunkers.

3. What's your favorite thing to do that doesn't cost any money.
No money? Sleep I guess. I like to play drums, and the actual playin is free, though you do have to buy the drums first. Same is true of reading and listening to music; you've got to buy the CDs and books first. Or is this supposed to be a date type "thing to do"? If that's it, I'd pick going for a drive. I have this idea, that someday (when the kids are a little older) I'd like to take Susan leaf peeping down Castine way. From there, we'd make our way back to Rockport for brunch at the Samo. (The brunch part, though, will cost money.)

4. What is the most romantic thing someone has done for you?
Susan has done a bunch of very romantic things for me. You can see many of them here.

5. Name 5 key elements to a successful relationship.
Love, a little bit of lust (hey, it doesn't hurt!), trust, the same faith, and an ability to talk about finances without killing each other!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Earlier today, I sooo wanted to go to my Amazon wish list and see what had been purchased! I didn't though. It's too close for me to start being naughty.

In other news that isn't really news, I picked up some coffee at the local coffee shop/bookstore today. Columbian Supremo. We'll be having guests over the holidays, so I didn't want anything to stavin'. I also picked up some of that tea I like. I've been calling it "Lapdog Shoeshine" since I can't remember the name.

I'm so ready for bed.

Just so you all know, I bought four snare drums this year. And the year's not over yet! Who knows, maybe there will be time for me to snag one of these! (I need another drum set like I need another kid!)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Week-End Low Down

OK, here goes.

Friday night. It was raining. I left the office and headed for Shaws. JJ and I were ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. We've done it for years. I think one time in the last six years our schedules were such that we couldn't do it together. But usually, we do. The rain (and earlier snow) kept many away, I think. But we did our thing, I brought some coffee, and all was cool. I grabed some Swedish meatballs in Shaws for supper, and then went home.

Saturday morning I did my thing at the MIS offices with Paddy. I hit the dump a noon. In the early afternoon, I took my DJ rig to the Trade Winds, and set up early so I could attend Julia's ballet recital. She danced to the Russian Dance from the Nutcracker. As soon as it was over I headed to my gig. That got done around 11pm, I think, and I was home about midnight.

Sunday morning I was up early. I hit Mic D's for a breakfast burrito and coffee. I needed to be at church by 8:30 to practice a sermon. Our Interim wanted us to do this Christmas reader's theater thing instead of a regular sermon. I played the part of, no kidding, Jesus and God. For real. After church, I ran home, grabbed a quick bite, and went to the Owls Head Transportation Museum for a Christmas concert. That went well, even though I was just sitting in, mostly sight reading the music. One trumpeter turned around after a lively Jewish medley and said "You played that real nice." Thanks! While I was there, Ethan snuck me out back to view a 1925 Arhens Fox, the dream machine of all fire truck lovers. Then I went home, hoping to take a nap. But the boys wanted to play, so we wrestled on the floor for a while. Then evening church. Then home. We did NOT go to Subway, and I did NOT have a chicken/bacon/ranch sandwich. (I can hear Jane gasping now.)

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 16, 2005

Dreaming of Dad (again)

A few weeks ago, I dreamed Dad called me on the phone. I don't remember what he said, but I remember it wasn't anything deep. I looked back through the archive, but I don't see a record of it.

So last night, I had another dream about Dad. Again, he was on the phone. I picked up.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Hi." He said.

I didn't speak. I recognized his voice.

"It's Dad," he said.

"I know."

Now, in my dream, I thought How can this be? Dad's dead...

He said "I was just about to..."

And it was like he read my thought. He stopped. I woke up.

Twice now Dad has called me on the phone from Heaven. I wonder what he want's to tell me?

Feeling: OK, but having visions of playing in a cool funk band
Listening to: Macy Grey MP3 over very bad computer speakers

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Check out this letter of recommendation.

When you're posting on your blog, and you misspell something, or otherwise have some typo, I'm not going to come unglued on ya. I'll admit it, I'm a horrible speller. Scan this page, and I'm sure you'll find some spelling errors. But here's a teacher, sending a recommendation about one of his (obviously bright) students. Pronouns that don't match gender! Run on sentences. Sentences with no subject. Poorly worded sentences. Awful. A teacher!

I'm not just being a grammar Nazi, am I? Informal tone in your blog is one thing, but a business letter? I left a comment on the student's blog. I said "I correct that and hand it back to him!"

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, December 12, 2005

Snare Drum Madness, and They're NOT Mine!

Check out these snare drums!

That's a lot, right? You don't know the 1/2 of it. They're all Rogers Dynasonics!

I said that to Susan, and she said "That's supposed to mean something, right?"

Yeah! It's kinda like buying a Ford Escort from every year in every color! It's essentially all the same drum. Yes, to a collector there are differences between the Cleveland factory and the Dayton factory, but essentially, they're the same.

Yes, I own a Dynasonic, but I only own ONE!

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Weekend Wrap Up for Jane

So Jane says to me today "I really like reading you're blog. But you don't post as much as you used to."

"I know," I said. "But I'll post the weekend wrap-up tonight."

"Oh, right!" she says. "Did you go to Subway last night?"

"Um, know, I didn't. But what do I usually get?"

"Chicken/Bacon Ranch," Jane answered.

She does read here!

Let's back up to Thursday night. Every year, Julia and I sell Christmas trees for my Kiwanis club. We usually get chicken nuggets at McD's, hot cocoa, and enjoy the evening. Well, snow was predicted for Friday, so we were bombed! Ev Spear III was on the shift before us, and he appologized that there were so many holes in the stock. "I just haven't had a free minute," he said. Since we were working the late shift (5:30 - 8pm), I told him no worries. Julia and I would open some trees, fill in holes, and make everything ready for the morning. Well, that didn't happen for us. We were so busy, I think we made very little headway in filling in the holes. But the evening went by fast.

Friday, we did get the snow. It was slow at the office, and my classical radio rep brought us pizza. She brought pizza for everyone at the office! Nice. That evening, I was home.

Saturday morning I was back at the office with Barry. I left there at noon, and the fam and I made a trip to Wal-Mart. What a nightmare. A Saturday afternoon at a Wal-Mart before Christmas? Packed! Then in the late afternoon, I moved my DJ gear to The Trade Winds where I DJ'd the Shepard Nissan Christmas party--year number 11 for me with them. And for some reason, I just couldn't get them to dance. I don't know if it was me, or they just weren't in the mood. I don't think it was me, really. I mean, if I've done it for 11 years, they must like me. But it just didn't go well this year. I was home by midnight.

Sunday morning we were up early, getting ready for church. All went well there. We went to Mom's for lunch. Then home. I had a quick nap, then up to get ready for church in the evening. It was the kids Christmas pageant. They did a great job! To celebrate Julia's good performance, we didn't go to Subway (Jane), but to KFC instead. Home, then bed. And now, here we are!

Watching: Some show on ancient inventions on the History Chanel
Listening to: Harry Connick, Jr.'s Christmas Album

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Awful Book Quiz

If you take this quiz, be forewarned. There is some language in the questions you may find, um, questionable.

take the WHAT BAD BOOK ARE YOU test.

and go to not as good as reading a good book, but way better than a bad one.

Listening to: Martha Stewart's Christmas Jazz album

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Thursday, December 8, 2005

1971 Doesn't Seem That Long Ago

I'm not usually one for birthdays. For me, it's just another day. I thought it would be the case this year, too. On Sunday, we went to Moms. She made lunch for me, and there was an ice cream cake, and Lisa bought me a CD and a book. (And Mom renewed my Modern Drummer subscription, my present since 1989.)

My actual birthday was yesterday. And since I've been leading Bible study on Wednesday nights for the past few months, and since birthdays are no big whoop, I thought it only appropriate that I continue to be there. And the folks there planned a little party for me! There was cake and ice cream. And lots of gifts. I got some money, a gift certificate to the local Bible bookstore, some Chunky Monkey, Aunt Ruth's brownies, some socks, a Christmas tree ornament, some chocolates, and some other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting. And Jimmy T snagged me the Eggamuffin Toaster. Thanks to all for making it a very special birthday.

Oh, and the Eggamuffin Toaster is everything you'd think it is. It's wicked cool!

Reading: Here Comes the Judge: Finding Freedom in the Promised Land, GE Patterson
Listening to: Martha Stewart's Jazz Christmas Album

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Monday, December 5, 2005

Weekend Wrap Up

I was thinking... My posting has really gone down. You get the weekend wrap on Monday (sometimes Tuesday), the MI-5 on Friday, and maybe--maybe--one other post during the week. I'm a slacker!

Friday night was spent at home. Susan has continued to seek out new supper menus, and she's finding really great stuff! Chicken with apples and cider (good), green beans in balsamic with onions (very good) and noodles. Then, I think we hit the sack fairly early.

Saturday I had a gig in the morning. I needed to be there at 9am for the 10am start. So I got up around 7am, put the drums in the truck, showered, all that stuff. I hit BK for a crossaint and coffee, then went to the bank to pull out some cash to pay Clarke. (When I think the date is going to pay me by check, I try to pull my bandmate's pay out of my savings account. They usually appreciate being paid in cash that day. I know I do!) Gig was fine, and the people were very nice. Before we even got set up I had four people say "If you need anything, let me know." In reality, though, we needed nothing (though Paddy craved a three cheese omlette).

Gig was done at 1pm. To the grocery store to pick up some things for Susan. Home for a little bit. Just long enough to change clothes, really. I had to play in Portland that night, so I thought I'd leave early and do some Christmas shopping for Susan. Four stores and no luck. I don't know if I'm going to get the opportunity to go anywhere else to look. Maybe I'll have to get it online.

Anyway, Brian Boru Saturday night. The friendliest place to play in the world. Busy at first when the hockey game let out. Then it died at 11pm or so. And then, at midnight, it picked back up again. I got home around 3am, and expected to see Paddy pull in behind me.

Sunday morning was church. It was much less hectic in the morning than last week. Lunch was at Mom's, and we celebrated my birthday. I tried to get a nap in the afternoon, but only got about an hour. We had a missionary supper at church on Sunday night, and Susan made Tandori Chicken. It was an Indian themed dinner, and the chicken was great! If you looked at the recipies we were supposed to make, you'd think you'd go hungry. Many of us thought "none of this is going to taste good." In reality, I liked everything I tried.

Now it's Monday. I picked up the Green Hornet today! Yeah! I missed it sooo much. Sure, a $1400 repair will make you think, but then when I picked it up, I thought "Oh man, I sooo love this car!" Leather seats, heat, brakes that work well--it was a regular Duesenberg to me!

And, more "chocolate props" being shot out to Jimmy T. Today he picked me up some chocolate that has no milk in it at all. I'll let you know how it tastes.

Feeling: Quite Happy (tell you why later)
Listening to: Christmas Cookin', Jimmy Smith

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Friday, December 2, 2005

Props and Christmas

Let's shoot out some props, shall we? I haven't done this in a while. If I have forgotten you, please leave a comment so I can re-post your props.

First, to my beloved wife Susan. Yesterday, she made a lovely supper: pork roast with gravy (very yum), roasted potatoes (yum), and French onion casserole (super yum!). And she did all the corresponding dishes too! (And Susan HATES to hand wash dishes.) It took several hours. Thank you honey! While she was making me this fabulous supper, I got to play with the boys, and listen to some vinyl on the Thorens. (I listened to The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Donald Fagen.)

Props out to Mom. I'm playing a Christmas Jazz gig tomorrow, and I was going to pick up a hymnal at church so we could use it. I forgot to grab it at Bible study on Wednesday. So she dropped it off today for me at the office. And, she brought a dozen Dunkin Donuts for everyone. Thanks Mom.

Jim continues to enable my chocolate habit. In the last couple of months, he's bought me some really great chocolate, including some Scharfen Berger. Then yesterday, he hooked me up with some Hershey Extra Dark. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.


So, Christmastime is here, carols everywhere. If you're looking for gift ideas for Billy Rhythm, don't forget to check out my Amazon Wish List. Some things, though, just aren't on there. Here are some other ideas.

A moon phase watch. Something along the look of that one, but it doesn't have to be that exact one. I would like a model with a leather band, though, and not one with a bracelet.

So at that site, I also found this clock radio. Now another one, much like it but more expensive, has been on my Amazon list for a while. This other one does all the same stuff, but costs 1/4 the price.

A Bosphorus Stanton Moore Wide Ride. 20", and as thin as you can get it, please! (Only about $280! Heck, I should ask for BOTH sizes at that price!) You could also opt for the slightly less expensive Istanbul "Mel Lewis" 19" crash/ride. About $200 for that one. You could all go in together, maybe.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

Jimmy T's MI-5

1. If you had to give up all of your hobbies but one which one would you decide to keep?
Drums. It's my only real hobby anyway.

2. What is your favorite meal to have for your Christmas dinner?
Spiral sliced ham with brown sugar glaze.

3. Do you prefer a white Christmas or do you not care?
I could care less. It's nice if it's white, but it usually isn't, so no big whoop.

4. What one gift do you really want to get this Christmas?
The egg and muffin toaster. This is the only gift that if I don't get it, I'll go out and buy one for myself.

5. How do you usually celebrate Christmas? (location, meal, guests, traditions, presents etc...)
Oh, man! Christmas Eve Day (Saturday), we're spending it at home with Susan's family. Christmas eve we'll have supper at Ma's, as we've done for years. Christmas is on a Sunday this year, so we'll go to church in the morning. In the afternoon we'll have presents at Mom's. In the evening, back to church where, as of right now, yours truly will be delivering the sermon.

According to the prophecy of: Billy Rhythm [Link]

About me: