Labor Day Weekend Wrap-Up

Friday night, and I didn’t have a gig. That felt really strange!I don’t thing anything spectacular went on; I just spent an evening home with the family! Susan didn’t feel like cooking, so we had Chinese. I think after that, it was some “Spiderman and his Amazing Friends.”

Saturday morning, and I was up at about 6:30. Susan implored me to sleep later, but I couldn’t. I left the house at 9am to get some errands done, then I was off to my 11am gig. That gig got over at 2pm, and afterwards, I headed to Blind Al’s house to pick him up for my second gig. Gig one was in Waldoboro, and gig two was in Portland. It didn’t really make sense to head home, only to leave again in three hours time, so I picked up the Blind Man. We went to P-Town, hit The Drum Shop, Buckdancer’s Choice, and Guitar Center. The Drum Shop had all kinds of stuff I wanted. Guitar Center had nothing but teens beating on the electric drums, making noise just to hear themselves make noise, I guess. I bought nothing at either place. Buckdancer’s is a guitar shop, so there wasn’t much for me there. My gig that night was at Brian Boru. It was hot and humid, even in the evening, and I played like dog meat during the first set. By the time the third set rolled around, there was a breeze, and I was plenty hydrated, so my playing improved. I think I had four pints of water! On the drive home, we complied with the sheriff’s road block “safety check,” and I crawled into bed at 3:15 Sunday morning.

It seemed like only moments until I opened my eyes at 7:30 Sunday morning. Coffee! Church had a really light turnout, as many people were out of town. Pastor Dave and I provided music for Sunday School on guitar and bass respectively. Having had so little sleep, I had a little trouble putting together cohesive sentences. We all had a good laugh about it. After morning services, we had leftover Chinese for lunch. My Mom was away on vacation (thus the need for me to provide church music instead of her usual piano), so we didn’t have lunch at her house.  Then, NAPS! Yeah! Church in the evening, then home again.

This morning, I slept late: 7:30. I made some raspberry/chocolate chip pancakes for everyone. I worked on a website for a little bit in the AM, and made lunch for the kids. In the afternoon, we went to Beth’s and went crazy! We picked up a flat of blueberries, some strawberries, leeks, corn, and beet greens. Oh, and cider. And beans. They had so much good stuff, we’re planning on going back again this Saturday! On the way back to the house, we stopped in a local antique shop I like to frequent. Once back in Rockland, we walked to the grocery store for a few more things. Supper was steak, grilled/braised leeks, corn on the cob (super sweet and yummy!), and mashed taters. The boys, dutifully washed and teeth brushed, are up in bed now. Julia and Susan are bagging blueberries for the freezer. I just finished some more web work, and took some time to post.

Jay’s MI-5

Jay says: “It’s that time of year – back to school with the kids (that’ll learn ‘em to complain about being bored during summer vacation!).  Look back to your high school years & answer these questions five:”

1. Think back to the soundtrack of your high school years – what were you listening to then?
I was big into The Beatles then. Also, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. I can remember what albums I used to put on to play the drums along with: Skynyrd’s “Second Helping” and “One More From the Road,” Clapton’s “Best Of,” Peter Frampton’s “Frampton Comes Alive.” I was in a band, and we would listen to David Lee Roth’s “Eat ‘Em and Smile” all the time. Bob Marley’s “Rastaman  Vibrations” saw much play, as did James Brown’s “Gravity.” It was in high school too that I was first introduced to Tull.

2. It’s an average Thursday night– what’s on TV?
The Cosby Show, I guess. I don’t really remember the line-up.

3. What was playing at the local Bijou then?
Susan and I saw Arachniphobia in the theater. Really, in my home town, there wasn’t much happening by way of movies. The Strand had yet to be restored, and the big box movie house had yet to come to town. So if you didn’t like either of the two movies the Strand had, you had to wait until the following Thursday for two new ones. As a result, I don’t remember seeing many there. Movie rental places were all the rage then. I remember when you had to be a member before you could rent movies, and membership required money! I can remember a former girlfriend putting in reservations for “Dirty Dancing,” and having to wait for it to be returned.

4. What character from “The Breakfast Club” best described you during high school: Judd Hircsh, the brooding rebel without a cause?  Molly Ringwald’s pampered princess?  Ally Sheedy’s freak in need of a bottle of Head & Shoulders?  Emilio Estevez’s varsity jacketed jock?  Or Anthony Michael Hall’s dweeby dork?
I guess I was the dork. Not really, though. I think I was generally well liked, but I wasn’t the real popular kid. I was into music and drums, of course. (It was in high school I got the nickname “Billy Rhythm.”) I also did work in what would now be called the A/V club. We didn’t really have that back then; we had 3-4 guys who liked lights and sound.

5. Does looking back at your junior & senior high class pictures cause you to cringe, wondering why nobody stopped you from walking out into public looking like that?  Why?  Mullet?  Poodle perm?
My clothes were pretty normal, but I had some hair issues. I used to wear it way too long. It looked ok enough when short, but it didn’t stay that way for long. I used to part my hair in the middle, and did until about five years ago. Is that too ’80s?

Friday Fill-Ins #87

1. When I’m sick I’m a bear. (I don’t get sick very often, and when I do, I just want to be in bed.)

2. When I take a walk, I think about the architecture of the buildings around me.

3. Money can’t buy happiness but it can sure help making sure the rent is paid.

4. Cotton makes me comfortable and leather makes me wonder who’s clothes I’m wearing, ’cause I don’t own any leather.

5. The strangest person/character I’ve had lewd thoughts about was actually so forgettable, I can’t really think of any.

6. My favorite color these days is purple because it’s been my favorite color all my life.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to an evening home with the kids, tomorrow my plans include two (!) gigs and Sunday, I want to just relax!

I’ve Put In a Bid

I placed an absentee bid on that painting. Why? I’ll tell you. Last year, at this same guy’s auction, I found a French dry sink with a marble top that I really liked. Susan’s been keen on dry sinks for some time. Since we don’t have a big enough bathroom for a hamper, we put dirty clothes in a basket at the top of the stairs. I’d rather we had some piece of furniture that would hide the clothes, but haven’t yet found a piece the right size and quality. The dry sink would’ve worked just fine. The estimate was $500 – $800: too rich for my wallet. The selling price? $172. Now that’s in my budget. With that little bit of experience, I decided I’d put a sort-of “low ball” offer on the painting. I’m thinking of it this way: if it sells for an amount equal to (or less than) my offer, and I didn’t put a bid in, I’d be kicking myself in the pants. Now, I feel covered. If I win it, I win it for a price that I would consider a good deal, possibly even a bargain (depending on where it ends). If it goes over that, well, then it just wasn’t meant to be.

Weekend Wrap Up

My weekend started rather early. I left the office at noon on Friday. My Friday night gig started at 4pm, and I needed time to get my drums out of my car, and get them into Quick’s van. (We all car-pooled down to save gas.) The Jazz gig went until 7pm, and the crowd seemed to appreciate us. Hans, the German drummer who sat in last time we played this venue, was there again, as well as some other “regulars” I remembered from the last time we played there. After the gig, we stopped at Moody’s for supper. Hot turkey sandwich for me! Unfortunately for Susan, the cream puffs were sold out, so I wasn’t able to snag her one.

Saturday morning came along, and I whipped up some blueberry pancakes for everyone. Then we took a walk downtown; the boys and I went to Pirate Days, and Julia and Susan did some shopping on Main Street. In the afternoon, I took a nap before my gig. Here’s where things get funky. I was supposed to play Saturday night in Bar Harbor. (For those of you in Canada or California, Bar Harbor is 2 or 3 hours away, depending on traffic.) Blind Albert wasn’t able to make it, so he found a substitute. I figured “Hey, maybe I should get a sub too!” It was ok with the bass player, so I made arrangements to have the drummer who played Friday night at that club play Saturday too. So instead of playing in Bar Harbor, I played right here in Rockland, and I was all done at 8pm. I went to the grocery store to secure some flowers. As I pulled in the driveway, I shut the car off, and coasted in. I figured I really surprise Susan. Well, what a surprise it was, since she’d already gone to bed! Rather than just walk into the bedroom, possibly inciting a heart attack, I called softly from the bottom of the stairs. She was, of course, happy to see me, and mentioned that she thought perhaps I had something up my sleeve. Apparently, I’d been acting a little strange.

On Sunday morning, I made breakfast for everyone again: sausage, eggs, toast. Then off to church. We had lunch at Mom’s as usual. In the afternoon, I took a quick 1/2 hour nap or so, and hung out with Susan a little. Then back to church in the evening, and to Subaway to purchase a sandwich for Susan and Julia afterwards. Then off to bed, after a little Olympic volleyball action.

Initial Thoughts on Word Press

Amy (as in Amy and her Bad Groove) commented recently, asking about how I like my new installation of Word Press. Well, here’s the good news: It’s very easy to use. It’s not unlike Blogger in its ease of use. The control panels are easy to use, and things like adding to your blog roll, doing simple text editing (like italics and whatnot), etc. are easy to do. The downside? I don’t like not being in control. With my old Greymatter installation, my templates were all designed by me. This template, which I downloaded off the Internet somewhere, has only limited edit-ability. And, I’m noticing it doesn’t render properly in all browsers. I also don’t like how the link order of my blog roll is randomized. I’d prefer them to be in an order I set, not whatever Word Press decides. I think what I may end up doing is finding a simple Word Press theme, and then hacking it to do what I want. For the next few weeks, though, I think I’ll just stick it out with this theme.


Billy Rhythm says: “This five has been inspired by my recent purchase of an i-Pod Touch.

1) Do you use some form of PDA (personal digital assistant)/MP3 player/smart phone for contacts and calendar items? If so, what is it, and what do you use it for? If you don’t use some sort of digital calendar, what do you use?

Years ago, my friend Paddy bought a Palm Pilot M-125. For some reason, he decided he didn’t like it, and offered to sell it to me for $50. At that time, my “gig book” was a little yearly paper calendar. I decided I’d buy the Palm, and start keeping my gigs in the digital realm. It served me very well, but I began to want things like a color screen, the ability to play MP3s, and stuff like that. I’ve been “lusting” after an iPod Touch for some time. When I found refurb units for sale for $100 off the regular price, I bought one. I’m very glad I did.

2) Do you use any sort of MP3 player? If not, do you use anything for “music on the go”?
Well, now with the iPod, I have an MP3 player. I didn’t have one before that. Around the house, and for music on the go, my Mom bought me a boom box for my XM radio. It was inexpensive, and works well.

3) Do you have a favorite application you run on your PDA/MP3/smart phone? What is it? If you don’t use one, how about some cool application you like on your computer?

I have a couple of new apps for the Touch. They’re both weather related, sort of. I got a tide application that will show me high and low tides for any day you plug in. I also downloaded a moon phase app. They were both free apps.

4) How about a favorite game on your widget? If you’re non-widget-ized, what games do you like to play on your computer?

I like Bejweled. Dave “Quick” Clarke introduced me to it a long time ago, and it still remains a favorite. I added that to the Touch right quick! My old Palm also had cribbage and a few other games on it.  Spy Hunter, Sub Hunt, and Joust didn’t see much action; it was mostly cribbage and Bejeweled for me.

5) Most little gadgets have a way to personalize them, like a cover or faceplate or something. What’s on yours? If you don’t own one, tell us about something else you’ve personalized.

My old Palm had a faux wood burl face plate on it.The new iPod Touch has a simple rubber cover, just to protect from scratches.

Friday Fill-Ins #86

My answers are in bold, of course.

1. Dancing to the sounds of Jobim while holding Susan close in the kitchen makes me want to leave the kids with someone and head out on a exotic vacation alone with my wife!

2. The last time I went to the dentist I nearly floated out of the office on a giddy cloud. (The hygienist was very pleased with the condition of my teeth. I’ve been very diligent with my brushing and flossing.)

3. When I drive I always try to use my turn signals–even in parking lots.

4. I saw the murderer standing next to the grave.

5. Give me a long weekend in the fall, give me a convertible with a full tank of gas, give me Susan and three Beds and Breakfasts. (The result? The dream getaway I’ve been planning for years!)

6. Next week I am looking forward to nothing in particular. (It’s just another busy week.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to supper at Moody’s Diner, tomorrow my plans include a gig and Pirate Days, and Sunday, I want to catch that mackerel that’s been avoiding me all season!