My Vacation MI-5

I said:  “I’m going on vacation next week. Yea! I’m really thinking I need some time away, and I think this vacation will really do me some good. Here are 5 vacation inspired questions.”

1) Tell us a memorable vacation story you have from your childhood.

We were camping in this campground called Cathedral Pines. I think it was up near Moosehead Lake, but I wouldn’t swear to it. I remember we took a quick trip into Canada, just so we could say we went. While there, my folks bought me this deep sea diver toy. It would sink in the water, and then you would blow into this hose to bring the diver back up. We also brought my pet hermit crab along. We thought he died. I don’t remember if it was Mom or Dad who was holding him in one hand, and digging a hole with a spoon in the other, but it was at that moment the crab decided to show everyone he wasn’t dead, and it rather startled my parent.

2) Tell us a memorable vacation tale from your adulthood.

Before Dad died, he had this dream of taking his whole family on a cruise. He succeeded. It was on that cruise that I snorkeled in Jamaica. I spent two hours snorkeling, my back to the hot Jamaica sun. I got the worst sunburn of my life. I would endure that sunburn again for two more hours snorkeling in those crystal waters.

3) Assume you and your mate/significant other/best friend are going on a dream vacation. You don’t have to pay for any of it. Where do you go? Why?

Susan and I have this dream vacation spot we imagine sometimes. It’s a crescent shaped, sandy beach. Out in the deeper water, a local fishing boat puts out. Over the dunes to my left, a guitarist is playing a samba I can hear on the wind. There’s a wonderful cottage, complete with two servants. Felix is 6′ 2″, very thin, with white hair and a white goatee. He brings us drinks, and keeps the grounds. His wife’s name is Janice. She looks like an island version of Aunt Jamaima. She attends to our needs, hurries her husband about, and cooks wonderful food! Most days, Susan and I spend the day under white beach umbrellas, sipping cool somethings, and listening to the sound of samba and fishing boat motor rumbles.

4) Now, come back down to Earth, and tell us about a “dream” vacation that you think might actually happen some day. Where is that? How long until you think it becomes reality?

Another great family vacation we had was when Susan’s parents took their whole family to Disneyworld. I really loved it, and can’t wait to go back. We’d like the boys to be a little older, so they’ll remember it. Maybe five years? Of course, I’ve got to figure out how to pay for it all.

5) There are some missionary students on “working vacation” coming to my house for dinner tonight. If someone came to stay with you for vacation, what would you feed them that was really considered a “local delicacy”? What regional food would be a “must have”?

I was able to secure some Whoopie Pies for our guests. A Wasses hot-dog would be in order if they come to Rockland. Of course, they’d also need a Billy Rhythm burger from the Brass Compass. Blueberry pancakes and/or pie.

My Quicky-Roo MI-5

Assuming you must pick one:

1) Motorcycle or Jet Ski? Why?

I never driven a Jet Ski. I have ridden a motorcycle. And while I do own a scooter, and while I do love riding around on two wheels, I think I’d rather have a Jet Ski. It’s so much less practical, but seems like it would be even more fun. I’d use it less. It’s harder to find someone to repair it. I’d have to tow it everywhere. But still, more fun. (I think.)

2) Fruit pie or cream pie? Which kind? Why?

Cream pie. Specifically, chocolate cream pie, with homemade cooked pudding, ver ythick, very dense, and heavy on the cocoa p0wder. Schmear whipped cream on top, or even Cool Whip if you have to. And a regular crust, please, not graham cracker. I like graham cracker ok, but would prefer a real crust.

3) Book or magazine? How come?

I don’t seem to have enough time for books. A magazine allows me to read–which I like–but not have to devote myself to one style for a month. I can pick and choose the parts I like the best.

4) Hot beverage or cool drink? What’s your fav?

I’ve been a milk drinker for years, but if I had to pick only one drink, I think I’d have to take hot black coffee.

5) What’s on the grill on Monday–beef, pork, or fowl? What’s the specifics?

I’m a pork guy. For myself, I think I’m making Cheddarwurst sausages. Susan is a steak person. I like steak on the grill too (specifically bone in rib steaks), but would prefer spare ribs, pork chops, or some kind of sausage.

The Phone MI-5

Questions provided by me! We got a new phone system at my office this week. This MI-5 is inspired by that event.

1) When you answer the phone, do you say anything special?

When I’m at the office, I say “Good (Morning/Afternoon/Evening), this is Bill.” For some strange reason, people occasionally think I say my name is “Doug.” I’m not sure how they get it, but when people mis-hear my name, 70% of the time, they think I say Doug, and 30% of the time they think I say Phil (which is understandable). At home, I just say “Hello.”

2) Other than “Bye” or “Bye-Bye,” do you say anything else when you end a conversation? Do you ever use any other closing?

If I know the person I’m speaking to well, I might say something like “Rock on” or “Later.” I sometimes catch myself telling customers “See you later,” when in fact I probably won’t see them later. Just this week I said “See you later” to someone I’ve never even met!

3) How about your cell phone… Do you use a lot of minutes, or do you hoard them? Love your cell, or just a necessity/tool?

I use a tracfone, and I don’t use many minutes. It’s a tool for me. I need to have it for when I need it. Other than those times, I don’t care about it. I know someone who is always on her cell phone. She’ll be at her desk–which includes a very nice phone–and she’ll use her cell to make outgoing calls. I’d say 90% of the time when I see her around town in the car, she’s on the cell. I don’t like talking on the phone that much.

4) Is your answering machine message funny? Cute? Straight ahead, all business?

Susan records our answering machine message. Though I liked funny messages when I was younger, I like straight ahead now. I do like it when someone leaves at least one name in their machine. When the voice says “You’ve reached 555-1212,” and doesn’t say “the home of Bill,” or “the home of the Battys” or whatever, you don’t know if you’ve reached the right number. Even worse is the answer that leaves you no identifiable info. “Please leave a message.” Then, I need to hang up and redial to make sure I didn’t mis-dial the first time around. Privacy is one thing, but we’re not CIA operatives, for Pete’s sake.

5) What phone habit do you find annoying? People who return calls based on their caller ID? (“Someone from there called me.”) People who talk on their cell in the car? People without answering machines? What?

Well, I told you one thing in #4. I also have a pet peave of people who return calls from caller ID. We’ve got seven lines in this office, and about 15 employees. Some random person calls up and states “Someone from this number called me!’ OK. Now what? You want me to produce that person out of mid air? Wanna give me a little something more to work with, like your name? Let’s try this: If we need to speak to you, and didn’t leave a message, it either wasn’t important, it was a wrong number, or we’ll call you back. OK? Fine.

Lisa’s MI-5

My sister says: This week’s questions have to do with scrapbooking—well, not really, but kindda. I sell scrapbooking stuff, and three times a year, Close to My Heart creates five new paper themes. Today’s questions have evolved from those five themes.

1. BACK COUNTRY – Tell us about your furthest excursion from “civilization”. How far away into the Back Country did you go? What did you miss most about civilization? Can you give us a tip about survival?

Before Susan and I were married, we took a canoe trip down the Allagash. There were no hot showers. No bathrooms. We ran out of food on the last day. (Lunch was fruit cocktail that day–that’s all that was left!) I remember on the way out, we stopped at a McDonalds, and Susan ate a 20 piece nugget by herself! Survival tip? If you get lost, stay put!

2. MOON DOGGIE – This is a kind of a Hawaii/Surfing/Being Carefree/Relaxing kind of theme. Tell us about Hawaii, surfing, being carefree, or relaxing.

I’ve never been to Hawaii, and I’ve never been surfing. I did play gigs at the House of David Surfrider’s Shop in OOB. It’s a Christian surf shop that uses their proximity to the beach and free surf lessons to give kids a cool place to hang out. I wish that band was still together. I got quite a blessing playing with those guys.

3. ANIMAL COOKIES – Tell us about your favorite snack food as a child. Is it still around to buy today?

Hostess cupcakes. In fact, when CB radios were all the rage, my handle was “Cupcake.” They’re still around, and I still love them!

4. TINKERIN’ – Do you like to tinker with things? Do you like to take things apart and put them back together again? What has been your biggest tinkerin’ project?

I’m not really that much of a tinkerer, but I’ve never been afraid to open something up. Is the VCR broken? I’ll take a stab at it. In fact, I’ve fixed my VCR, my CD player, and my LD player. Just grab a screwdriver, open it up, and figure out what’s busted. The way I figure it, it’s already broke. If I screw it up, it’ll still be broke. If I fix it, I saved myself some money. I re-coned some speakers for a friend. I can build you a computer. I could restore a drum set for you, if needed. Is that tinkering?

5. BELLA – This paper is very feminine. Bella is also the main character of the “Twilight” books, which are very popular right now. This question will take us from one extreme to the other—first, tell us about something (or someone) that is very “feminine” and then tell us something about “vampires”. Extra points if you can weave the two themes into one answer.

Like my sister said, my daughter Julia is very girly-girl. She likes pink, dolls, dresses, jewelry, flowers, all that stuff. She doesn’t care for vampires. (I think vampires are sorta cool, especially the old school, Bram Stoker kind.)

Susan’s MI-5, a Few Days Late

Susan says: The rules are simple: You MUST pick one of the choices. You can explain your answer in more detail if you wish.
Would you rather:

1. Be able to stop time while you slept, OR Never have to do laundry?

I would rather stop time. If time stopped while I was sleeping, I’d have eight extra hours in my day. I certainly don’t spend eight hours doing laundry. Heck, if time stopped, I could do the laundry, iron, fold it, and put it away, and still come out ahead hours wise. I like this idea!

2. Hit every red light for the rest of your life, OR always be wrong?

I hate being wrong. I’ll take the lights.

3. Be debt free (except for your house), OR eleven years ahead of schedule on your mortgage?

I’m already mostly debt free, so I’ll take the eleven years ahead on the mortgage.

4. Always take a cold shower OR sleep an hour less than you need to be fully rested?

I think I’ll opt for the shower. That only lasts a few minutes. I’ll endure a few minutes of cold to get that extra hour of sleep!

5. Always have to say everything on your mind OR never speak again?

I’d rather not speak. Some of the stuff that runs through my mind is pretty depraved, and I’d rather not say it out loud. I’d rather control my tongue, and have to write everything to communicate.

Melanie’s 4/3 Asks 5

Melanie sayz:

“Mi5 – 4/3 asks 5 party themed questions and because its April 3rd, I am going to ask you to give 4 answers followed by 3 details”

1. Just recently I started holding a monthly ‘Game Night’ to help give friends an excuse to get out of the house and get together. We kicked it off with a Murder Mystery Party which was great fun, most recently we gathered to play a game of cards called “Bull Donkey” the laughter went on all night. Tell us 4 games you like to play and include either 3 things (memories, feelings, skills, commonalities etc.. related to them)

Four games, huh. How about Trivial Pursuit Star Wars edition, Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition, Jenga, and Life. Three things related… Well, I remember playing Star Wars trivia with Susan. The question was: What was the serial number of the Storm Trooper’s uniform that Luke wore in “A New Hope.” When I correctly answered “TK-421,” Susan said something to the effect of “If you know that, there’s no way I’ll ever win!” Jenga is a game I like to play with the boys, and Life is something Susan and Julia like to play. Susan asked for a new version of Life for Christmas, as her old version was getting beat up.

2. When thinking of throwing a party what 4 people are always at the top of your list and tell us 3 things about them that put them there.

Jim Thompson, Paddy Rowling, Pastor Dave, and brother-in-law Dwane. Why are they there? They’re my man friends–and I don’t have too many. Jim’s been by bud for a long time. Paddy’s a great mixer, and knows a lot about everything. Dwane’s got super energy, and would be the life of the party. I’ll be outside cooking, trying to stay out of the way.

3. Most parties include food, share with us 4 favorite party dishes but only 3 adjectives to describe each one

My sister’s cocktail meatballs are saucy, sweet, and delicious. Aunt Ginny’s ham casserole is cheesy, hot, and brown. Mom’s “cheeze mess” is bubbly, bacon-y, and tangy. Susan’s cheesecake is rich, heavy, and not made with enough frequency!

4. Think back over your years and pick 4 parties you have been a part of and tell us 3 things about those parties. (What was it for, what did you wear, who did you see, how did you feel, what did you eat, what made you laugh, what happened, why did you go etc..)

My bachelor party was attended by me, my Dad, my father-in-law, my pastor (at that time), and my boss. It was, in actuality, lame. My wedding reception was hot. That’s all I got. I don’t go to parties. I’m usually in a club/bar/restaurant with a some band every weekend. When I get time off, I usually don’t want to go party.

5. A popular ice breaker at parties is “The Guessing Game” where you write down words that describe someone and people have to guess who that is. Pick one person from the MI-5 list and give us 4 words that describes them. Then choose a person place & thing that reminds you of that person. (making a total of 7 words) We can all make our guesses during the week, just please let us know who it was by next Friday.

Sexy, silly, cute, smart. Place=a little park by a lake in Washington ME. Thing=cheesecake and kisses. Person? I need to think of a person that reminds me of this other person? I don’t know, you got me there. You can guess without that, I’d venture.

Lisa’s Shopping MI-5

I think it’s been three weeks since I did an MI-5. One of those weeks I was the author! I hope to get those weeks done at some point. This week, though, I’m back on the bandwagon!

Lisa said: I’ve been shopping a lot this week, so this week’s 5 is inspired by several of the stores I have been to:

1. TJ MAXX – I have no idea what the “TJ” in TJ Maxx stands for. Do know of someone who goes by his/her initials, instead of his/her full name? What is their full name? Why do they prefer initials? Tell us a little bit about this person.

TJ Kierstead was a guy I went to high school with. He played bass in a band I was in. I also remember going to Massachusetts with him in a small U-Haul to pick up some things at his mother’s house. We listened to Johnny Winter, AC/DC, and Van Halen all the way down. If I recall, TJ was short for Thomas Justin. Many people called him “Teej.”

2. TARGET – Tell us a story about target practice, hunting, or some sort of “shooting” activity.

I love shooting. I really wish I had opportunity to do it more. You can see some photos of me at the range here and here. (My boss, JP, took some GREAT shots at that second link.)

3. DOLLAR TREE – What’s the best bargain going nowadays? Is there anything you buy that is really only $1.00 (or less)?

The dollar menu at McD’s is cheap musician eats when your on the road. I’d really prefer not to eat there, but cheap is king to me.

4. BIG LOTS – What would your perfect house lot look like? Would it be big? Smaller, with less lawn care? Water feature? Stone wall? Fenced in yard? Wooded?

It would need to be near the ocean. Right on some rocky coast would be nice. Some woods is good, but not too much. Definitely put me down for a stone wall. Love ’em! And, I’d take an old graveyard on the property, too.

5. WENDY’S – When you have an “all-day” excursion planned, do you prefer to sit down and eat a meal at a restaurant, or do you prefer a drive-through type experience in order to save more time for other activities?

As per #3, I’d prefer not to eat at a fast food place. I’d rather go to a restaurant we don’t have around home. Since the kids are probably with us, it would probably be a chain restaurant like Bugaboo Creek, Macaroni Grill, or something like that. That way, the kids can get their chicken strips, but I can have something that doesn’t come in a box, or something I don’t have to unwrap. Hurray for plates!

Amy’s Springtime MI-5

1. Now that it’s warmer (or when it gets warmer if it’s still cold where you are) what are you looking forward to doing outside?

Absolutely! Scooter riding is high on the list, as if you haven’t read. (Maybe you haven’t read; read a few posts down.) Also, I’m looking forward to getting the grill out. Since it’s a little warm here today (about 40, I guess), I’m planning on getting the grill out of the garage, and having some steaks tonight!

2. Are there any special memories or moments that you associate with spring?

No, not really. We boys always got bolos from Ma on Easter, and that’s turned into a bit of a tradition.

3. It’s definitely greener here now. Is it green yet where you are? What are some of the first signs of spring you have seen or look forward to seeing?

It’s not green here yet. In fact, the snow isn’t even all gone yet. I did see someone putting daffodils in a vase today, so spring should be coming soon.

4. Do you have any spring cleaning rituals?

Only that we like spring cleaning, and it’s nice to open the windows and have the fresh air blow in. It’s rather dusty right now in the Batty household, so some spring cleaning will be nice.

5. Are you Irish? Do you take part in any special St. Patricks Day celebrations?

There probably is some Irish in the blood-line somewhere along the way, but I don’t really consider myself Irish. Ma usually makes corned beef and cabbage on the 17th, but I don’t really care for “boiled dinner.” I like corned beef sandwiches, and corned beef hash, but just a boiled dinner doesn’t appeal to me that much.

Mel’s Play Along MI-5

Here’s what you do. I start a story with five words. You continue the story with five more words. The next person adds five words, and so on, until we have 300 pages that will take Stephen King out of the best seller slot. Ready? Continue the story in the comments section.

“She knew the envelope contained…”