Friday, September 30, 2005

Out of the Office

Had to get a quick post up this morning to let everyone know that I'm going to be away from things for the next few days. We've got a couple of out of town gigs that will keep me away from home until Monday afternoon. This will be the most significant amount of time away from email and internet I've spent in years! I'm taking my computer with me, just in case, but I don't know what sort of access I'll have. It should be a fun weekend--we'll have some free time all day Saturday (I'll be golfing), and we'll have individual rooms (like I'll take advantage of that). I'd take pics, but you know the story there. Anyway, if you don't see anything new for awhile, that's the reason.
HNT was another smashing success. In spite of problems all day with Blogger. They were "down for maintenance" most of the afternoon and evening. Lots of new faces (or other parts) this week. Be sure to go back and check the bottom third of my comments to check out the late-comers. Many had problems getting posted. They deserve the love too! There's over 250 links in the Nekkid roll now. It needs to be cleaned up some--there's some who have dropped out, but I'd say that we're well over 200 in regulars/newbies. Yay us!
The whole Mystery Guest thing is working well for me. Hope you're enjoying it too! If you want to email me your entry, I'll gladly accept it! I might make a suggestion for improvement, I might not. So far, everyone's been great about revising their pics if I suggested it, and they've been for the better. Have next week's submissions to me by Monday night so that we can make changes, if necessary! Remember--if I get a camera before I run out of MG pics, I'll post everyone's at the end. Guaranteed!
Have a great weekend! Do something nice for someone. Pet a dog. Skip the coffee and put the change into a Katrina/Rita fund. Buy a hotdog at the football game for a stranger. I'll catch you on Monday!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

HNT Mystery Guest II

The committee has conferred, pictures were judged, and decisions were made. First off, many thanks to those who submitted Mystery Guest entries. As promised, all of them will be posted at some point. There's no news on my camera--I'll give it another week before I start looking for a new one. I received pics from males and females, from very sexy to very imaginative, with a wide variety in between. Thankfully, there were no entries involving lava lamps....

As for those who weren't chosen this week, you're already entered for next week. Those of you who are interested, you can certainly send me an entry for next week. And if you did send one in, you're certainly allowed to send more/new entries for the future! The outgoing MG and I both agreed that this week's choice exhibited imagination, and a nice change of pace for HNT. After all, it ain't all about the boobies! Other than mine. Hopefully this quick repair will take care of that!

Picture 010

Hope you have a great day tomorrow! Enjoy all that is HNT!
Be sure to check the comments on my prior post for some early ups, and the birthday tribute in the post below that. Go wish a belated Happy Birthday to Lizabeth!
This morning I paid a $75 fine for running the stop sign, and $25 fine for no seat belt. And it's a 30-day deferred sentence, meaning it's wiped off the books if I don't get another ticket in that time. Sounds easy, but these things seem to come in bunches for me, so I'd best behave! Oh--my car insurance DID lapse, and that sucker is a $540 fine for first offense, and loss of registration & license for the second! It's like they're really serious!

Pre-HNT Humor For You

Saw this on another site. Read it, laugh, then get to work on your HNT!

    Donald Rumsfeld is giving President Bush his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in an accident"

    "OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

    His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands. Finally, the President looks up and asks:

    ''How many is a Brazillion ??!"


Happy 24th Birthday to my very first fan!

Very early in the development of the Back Row, before I knew that anyone might read this thing; before I knew if I really wanted to spend time doing this; before HNT, there was Lizabeth. Imagine my surprise when I got my first comment from someone other than Moose (who's a real life friend)! And what a comment it was. I was lamenting the fact that no one was reading my blog, or I had blogblock, or some other trivial gripe that was making me re-think the whole blog experience. She gave me words of encouragement to continue, and to ask her for help if I ever needed it. She also had actually heard of In Cahoots! Well, that did it for me! My ego was generously stroked here! I had a fan! Who actually linked me! And kept coming back! So I offer this Birthday tribute to you--

Lizabeth was a competitive swimmer. She's a Cobber. Once a Cobber, always a Cobber. Here you can almost see her butt. And those shoulders!

Now she mostly rides her bike. And does some graphics work/web design. She made my first HNT button.

She's a staunch Republican, and not afraid to say so.

Like most attractive young redheads, she's snagged herself a boy. Eric.

She and Eric brew their own beer. How cool is that?

She knows how to party, and she knows how to relax.

I finally got to meet her face-to-face (very briefly) a couple of months ago (with Eric and Just.A.Girl). Other opportunities sort of fell through, but we'll continue trying.

Lastly, she looks damned fine in a bikini!

Lizabeth--in spite of your incessant reminders that I'm old, you are quickly approaching the same thing. Well, maybe not quickly, but your time will come! Thanks for giving me that extra push in the early days. It's your fault that I'm still around!

Everyone else--go to her site and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fate, and Last Call!

What if I didn't check out the last blog that I did this morning?
What if I had chosen a different route to work--taken a different side street?
What if the person in front of me had taken a different route?
What if the person in front of me had a clue that they were driving a little slowly?
What if the cop had turned around and chased that speeder earlier?
What if the cop hadn't slowed down to let the deer amble across the street?

Then I wouldn't have gotten a citation for not coming to a "full and complete" stop at the stop sign, or the secondary citation for driving without wearing my seat belt! I grew up in Montana, where it's still legal to drink and drive (until Oct. 1st, 2005). Where, when the rest of the nation was observing the 55 MPH limit, our highway patrolmen were handing out $5 "wasting natural resources" tickets. Where most students learned the correct way to proceed at a four-way stop (even the women!). I would put my driving record up against anyone's (one accident in 33 years of driving, even when drunk!). But he stuck me for rolling through a stop sign. Then, of course, the obligatory seat belt violation. At least he didn't ding me for not having my proof of insurance (*note to self--check to be sure it didn't lapse....).
I'm tired. Went 41 hours with no sleep (and could have lasted a few more, I think). I was named in the local paper as being first in line for Seinfeld tickets. Yes, everything I do in this town is newsworthy! Anyway, I got the exact seats I was looking for, the show was sold out in 5 hours, and "Jerry's People" (formerly "Jerry's Kids"?) agreed to a second show for later that night. I'm certain that one won't sell out, but at least Jerry will have enough money for jet fuel to get to California afterwards!
Last call for Mystery Guest submissions for my HNT this week! I've gotten a handful of very good submissions, but will accept others until tonight. Tonight the "committee" (me and the current Mystery Guest) will decide on this week's entry (notice I didn't say winner--they're all winners!). Just mail any submissions to me (see my profile for address). Looking forward to Thursday!
I notice that I excessively use parentheses and exclamation points! At least I don't capitalize everything! (DEAL WITH IT!!)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Quick Review

It's about 4:30 AM. I just got home from Spokane. I have to be in line to buy tickets to Jerry Seinfeld at 6 AM. Quick review, quick nap, and I'm outta here:
  • Sugarland--Fun band; enjoys what they're doing.
  • Sara Evans--Beautiful! Wore tight V-neck button-up blouse. Ample bosom forced the thing to gap all night (nice bonus!). Don't know how ample bosom didn't pop that top button right off!
  • Brad Paisley--Incredible guitarist; great show! Did "Whiskey Lullaby" (who would sing the female part????)--Had Alison Krauss on huge screen behind him singing her part (video-sync). Very cool.
  • Sweaty girls in tank tops (or less)--Sweet!
  • Drunk guys in the row in front of us--Assholes. Beer splashed everywhere. People falling over each other, literally. Wouldn't take off their oversized cowboy hats so that people could see around them.
  • Weather--Mid-70s; surprising!
  • Car--26.4 MPG
  • Gas in Spokane--$2.91/gal.
  • Cyrus O'Leary's--Great food; great service! Huge portions (couple of doggie boxes).
  • Return trip--only dozed off about 3 times. Megan was asleep in the back seat, so she didn't know :-)
  • Not having a camera at a concert where they were allowed--REALLY, REALLY SUCKS!
More coming later in the day---

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Submissions Wanted!

Just a reminder about the Mystery Guest feature for my HNT this week. If you want to be considered for this week's post, I'll need to have your submission by Tuesday night. I'll be sending them off to the current Mystery Guest that night for her input on her successor. I currently have 3 excellent submissions, but no one has the inside track yet. So if you want to get in on the action this week, you've only got a couple of days to go! Regardless of the number of submissions I get, or how soon I get a/my camera, they will all eventually be posted. Let your creative juices flow!!

Concert Time!

I'm heading off in the morning to Spokane, WA, to see Brad Paisley, Sara Evans and Sugarland in concert.

paisley sara_evans SUGARLAND

Going over with Megan, who lurks around here once in awhile, but doesn't have her own site. Yet. Unfortunately, she has to be to work at 8 AM on Monday, so she'll be sleeping in the back seat while I'm falling asleep driving back from the concert. (Hope she didn't just read that!)

I'll be sure to get plenty of pics at the concert!! Oh, wait. Nevermind.....

Friday, September 23, 2005


What a fine response to the "Mystery Guest" HNT! I know that she certainly enjoyed the comments, and was fully deserving of them! Curiously, no one commented about the "special treat" that we added if you clicked on the picture! Not until Tim mentioned it on a return trip at around comment #150 or so! So how good was it? This was Tim's reaction to it! He tried to blame it on coffee, but we know better! YES, IT WAS THAT GOOD!! Click on it all you want now--the "treat" has been taken down! But many thanks for the compliments! No, I'm not going to tell you who it was....
Reaction to the "Mystery Guest" concept has been swift and positive! Before the end of the day I received not 1, but 2 different submissions for next week's "Mystery Guest" HNT! Since I'm making up the rules for this as I go, I've decided that each prior week's "Guest" will have some say as to who their replacement will be. If we run out of interest, I'll try something different. If I get my camera back before we run out of material, I'll do a huge post of everyone's shots, and a list of participants. So if you want to get in on this, bring it on! My only request is that I look good (at least as good as I did in my HNT picture!). So feel free to ask me to send you a higher resolution file that will print well. Or to ask what's available. For those who are relatively new here, and are interested, you can find all of mine in the archives back to May, which is when we started all this.

I may have found my future wife.

I don't know which one, nor does it really matter!
There's just so much that's RIGHT with this picture!

I'm severely disappointed that no one left a comment on my audio post from a couple of days ago. I don't know if the music shocked you, or if you're afraid of Castpost, but no one commented. Twenty-one times it was listened to. I'll leave it there for a few more days.... More stuff later!
iTunes: Soul Vaccination, Tower of Power

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mystery HNT

**EDIT**--Because I think she is BY FAR one of the best and funniest writers out there, I've agreed to help out Crystal (Boobs, Injuries and Dr. Pepper). She's just gotten engaged, and now has the chance to win a FREE WEDDING! The downside--she got entered late and the voting ends tomorrow at midnight. It's one of those things where you have to vote for her and Chris. She describes it a little on her site too. SOOOO....go HERE to cast your vote! Tell your friends to vote! You should be able to vote at least once/day. Maybe more--it's hard to tell.... They are the couple towards the bottom--Crystal Ross and Chris McKee. Do it for love, do it for me, do it for a fellow HNTer!!

As you have all read by now, I have no camera. It's been a week, and I'm not terribly optimistic about getting it back. This, of course, poses a problem for posting HNT pics. What to do? What to do?

There were a handful of you who emailed me with some suggestions, and I appreciate all of them. But one suggestion stood out over the others, and that's what I'm going to go with. It was suggested that, for the time being, have some of you HNTers download a picture from one of my old posts, print it, and pose half-nekkid with it, email that picture to me, and that becomes MY HNT picture! Seems like a good idea! So this individual and I emailed wildly back and forth, and came up with a plan---

Until I get some sort of a camera again, I'll use a "Mystery Guest" to share my HNT post. Hopefully, this won't last too long. I won't reveal who the "Mystery Guest" is until the end, and then I'll do what my boy Ty does. I'll name everyone involved, but I won't name which picture goes with which name. If I get alot of volunteers, I'll post them all at the end. If I only get a couple, I'll use them until I run out of weeks, or until I get a camera. Whichever comes first.

So I put the call out to you. Anyone interested in helping me out here can either download one of my older HNT pics, or can email me for a high resolution copy. If you want to remain mysterious, don't let jewelry, tattoos or kids or pets or anything else give it away. If you don't care, then don't worry about that. Email me the resulting picture, and I'll submit it in the upcoming weeks. If you're really into it, like this week's Guest is, you'll send me a few pics to choose from!

And so I give to you my first "Mystery Guest" HNT picture. No hints, no clues. Other than the fact that the "MG" is female. Let the guessing begin. Even if you comment that you know who it is, I'm not going to tell. Have fun, happy HNT surfing, and take time to say a prayer for those living in Rita's path.

By the way, Binsk, Shannin, Robin, Sojourness, kb and Aughra all had early posts.

Don't forget to check out the new HNT buttons that are now available! You can find the codes for them in the "Guidelines" post (click on the blue HNT button in the sidebar).

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Use Me, Exploit Me, Let Me Help

I'm fairly ignorant when it comes to the geography of Texas, but I know that I have a shitload of blogfriends from down there. And it looks like they're about to get hit by another nasty hurricane. I'm far more attentive to Rita than I was to Katrina. I wish for all of you the very best, and that this thing doesn't turn as bad as it might.

I commented on one person's post, but it's something that needs to be said to all--if there's anything that those of us who aren't in danger can do for you or your families, please don't be shy about asking us for help. I think that most of us have found a new kind of friendship amongst fellow bloggers, and now it's time that we exploit that friendship! If that means needing clothing or food or housing, I think the rest of us can help.

Good luck and God bless all of you!

But First, A Musical Number....

I'd forgotten that I owned this CD. "Harsh Toke Of Reality" It's from 1993. The band is The Squirrels, from Seattle. One of the guitarist/vocalists was a student here in Helena when I was student teaching back in the day (way back in the day). The Squirrels acheived some pretty good success, though I don't know if they're still together or not. They covered alot of songs, giving them their own "special" twist. If you're a late-60s Beatles fanatic, you might not want to listen...

Powered by Castpost

iTunes: Lime In the Coconut Harry Nillson

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

New HNT Buttons!

I received two separate, unsolicited designs for HNT buttons. I originally thought that we should just stick with the original design that Lizabeth came up with, but I've since changed my mind.

This first one comes from Peter Pan. Small, animated, and it's about the same size as some of those other site feed buttons out there:


The other one comes from S! The Outlaw Torn. Actually a friend of his came up with it and offered it to the masses:


So now you have a choice! As usual, I'm always looking for ways to brighten the days of my HNT friends! If you decide to use any of them, please leave a comment with the appropriate blogger! To get the code, click on the blue HNT button in my sidebar. -->

Monday, September 19, 2005

Some observations

I didn't do much of anything today. I've found that I rarely watch any NFL football anymore. It just doesn't interest me like it used to. I'm sure that would be different if I actually lived near an NFL town, but MT is sort of out in leftfield in that regard (like the cross-sports reference? I don't watch baseball, either!). So I went to see Niece #1 (N1) play soccer for Carroll College. I've posted about her before. She's the hotshot soccer player. Gatorade's Girl's Soccer Player of the Year for MT. And an incredibly good kid. If I had my camera (read the prior post), these are the pics I would have taken:

Here she is making a great pass to start a scoring play. Note how much taller she is than the other players!

The bitch on the left got a yellow card after this picture.

N1 takes a penalty kick, which was perfect, until the wind caught it. It went just over the crossbar. That's OK. Carroll won 3-0.

I took the free time I forced myself to take today going through many of the blogs I've neglected this week. Now that things have settled down some, I plan to return alot of emails and check some more blogs. I can see where HNT could become a fulltime job. I have a new appreciation for the perverts who run their own porn sites! (not that I think that HNT is porn!!!)
Speaking of HNT, I used that nifty "SEARCH ALL BLOGS" button (another unrequested button from Blogger) just to see what would come up for "HNT". According to the button, it found 2,519 sites. I was pretty excited about that. Until....

Now I'm not one to feel particularly important for the whole HNT phenomenon. I don't blow my own horn, so to speak. Oh, what the hell. Yes I do, but that's not important for this next tidbit. I checked out the sites that Blogger found for HNT, ranked by "relevance". I CAME IN AT #72!!! What the fuck is THAT all about??? I'm guessing that no one has the letters HNT found on their site more times than mine! Whose site can be more "relevant" to HNT than mine???
While checking out the 71 other people ahead of me, I found that there are some HNT wannabes out there. My first reaction was one of mild rage--how dare they attempt to claim this? Then I noticed that they had theirs run for maybe a week or two, and have maybe 4 people playing along, then it died. So rest assured--those of you joining in on our half-nekkidness--you're linked in to the REAL DEAL!!!
Not much else to report on. I'll be responding to some of your emails, and checking out some more blogs. I recommend you go through the Nekkid roll in the sidebar. There's quite a few newbies that didn't comment on mine, so you might have missed some. The roll is still unedited, so there might be some up there who didn't join in last week. I'll try to get that taken care of in the next day or two. I also need to come up with a creative way to get around the no-camera situation for Thursday. I'd hate to resort to what I did up above! Have a great week, everyone!!!
iTunes: I Want A New Drug, Asleep At the Wheel

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I've had better weeks....

It's been since HNT since I've posted. I've just completed "The Week From Hell". I usually have this week prior to every Symphony concert, but this week was particularly difficult. Not only did I have the Symphony to deal with (and every person's petty problems), I had HNT and gigs interfering. There were some great moments, and there were some not-so-great moments. Here's a brief rundown:
    Every day since two Thursdays ago has had me involved either in a rehearsal or performance lasting a minimum of 2 hours. In some cases they overlapped. The only day off--last Thursday, which thankfully gave me time to look over the HNT pics.

    Wednesday--In Cahoots/Mob Rules Horns play for the last Alive @ 5 party in downtown Helena. A great turnout and a great day! Cold beer flowing, people dancing, everyone enjoying themselves. As darkness comes, that's when most people get out and dance. We've got them in the palm of our hand. During our last set, I started taking pics from the stage, like I always do. A guy asks if we'd like him to get some shots from out front. I said yes, and gave him my camera. He comes back after a few minutes and says he got a few, but the lighting was bad (which it was). We end the night with an encore, and as I'm playing, the same guy comes up and does that "camera" sort of pantomime--can he take more pics? I figure, why not? I'll tell you why not--THE FUCKER NEVER CAME BACK WITH MY CAMERA!!!! That's right--he stole it! Being the trusting soul that I am, I'm hoping he just "walked away" with it, and he's been trying to figure out how to get it back to me. But I may have to face reality next week. I don't want to hear from any of you about what a fool I was--I've had strangers take pictures of us for years and have never had a problem.

    And rather than hunt him down, I had to leave to catch the tail end of a Symphony rehearsal I'd been missing. So, what should have been a great night was reduced to a downer. What could possibly pull me out of that (besides more beer)? Why, HNT, of course!

    I still haven't been able to clean up the Nekkid roll yet. Maybe in the morning. I'm glad that I caught some of you off-guard with my HNT story! When I finally get links cleaned up, I'm guessing we'll be over 180 Nekkid people for the week. Lots of newbies! A few returnees. And a couple who have resigned/retired/given up. I have mixed feelings about that. While I've enjoyed the participation, I hate to see people go. Hopefully they'll make some guest appearances from time to time....

    From the time that I posted my HNT pic, to the time I came back to the comments (maybe 10-15 minutes), I had 46 comments! Plus the dozen I had on my prior post telling me they were up. You people are nuts!!! I love it!!! I'm clueless as to what I'm going to do this week--I HAVE NO CAMERA!!!

    Friday night--Another gig. This time for Oktoberfest. We had the 7:00-8:30 PM time slot. Not the greatest, since the drunks aren't out yet, but we had alot of kids and their parents out dancing, so that was fun. We play under a tent (about 150 yards long!!!) with lots of beer being poured, and food vendors vending. Again, we kicked butt, but then I had to go to another Symphony rehearsal that I'd been missing. No beer for me!

    Symphony--Rehearsals were a bitch. No one seemed prepared for this concert. A feeling like September is to be spent gearing up for the rest of the season. There were personnel problems--positions in the orchestra that weren't filled, or filled at the last minute. Which is my responsibility. So that's where the majority of my stress came from this week. No sleep, plus all this other stuff going on--I haven't been so happy to be done with a concert in my life!

    The concert was tonight. Played to an almost full house, which is unheard of in these parts! Overall, the audience liked it. From a player's standpoint, it was not a great performance. Lots of lapses of concentration, lots of uncertainty that comes from that, and just not one of our best nights. HOWEVER, the piano soloist we featured was phenomenal (and we DID play her concerto very well....). The audience loved it, but I know I'm going to hear about it next week about how unprepared everyone was. Personally, I played pretty well, but it wasn't a tough concert on my end (thank God). In fact, it bordered upon boring. I've provided short clips from the two biggest moments I had all evening. This isn't us playing, though. The first is Sorcerer's Apprentice (playing the trombone solo part that you can barely hear), and the second is the ending of Bolero (where everything is loud, and the trombones get to be obnoxious at the end!). CAUTION: You may want to turn the volume down on the player here....

    Powered by Castpost

    Well, hell. Problems with the Sorcerer's Apprentice. So I deleted it.... That's about par for the course! And a sign that I should go to bed! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

HNT w/Me & Michelle in the Tub

First things first--if you're a regular Half-Nekkid Thursday participant, or even if this is your first time, feel free to place the following button in a prominent place on your own site! It shows people that you get half-nekkid on a regular basis, and you're proud of it!! It also acts as a link to the "Guidelines" page. Lizabeth designed it--go tell her how good it looks! In the future, you'll have to get it from the "Guidelines" page. How do you get there? Click on the button!!

Simply copy and paste the following code onto your template:

(a href=""target=_blank)(img src="" width="100" height="66" alt="HNTbutton" /)(/a)

Be sure to replace all the parentheses ( ) with < and >
Need help? Email me!

I haven't discussed Michelle much on this blog. At least by name. Her picture has been up a couple of times, but I didn't ever identify her by name. I've been told that's a bad habit I've got. I first became acquainted with Michelle in late winter of 1980 (or was it '81?). In any case, I immediately knew that she and I would become very close. And we've been inseparable since shortly after that day. Even during the time that I was with Volcano Girl (see archives--5/18/05). While there was never an agreement to be exclusive to each other, she has stayed with me through thick and thin, first while in Idaho, then moving with me back to Montana. We spent alot of time together with friends during grad school. Late nights, beer drinking, football & basketball (GO GRIZ!!!), concerts--we did everything together. On a couple of occasions, I'd get to do a three-way with her and another. Not once has she ever complained. Other than a brief fling with someone else in 1990 (which I actively encouraged) she has remained loyal to me. I, on the other hand, have checked out others on the side on many occasions. Yeah, I know. I'm an asshole. Yet, I always come back to Michelle. No questions asked. There's a comfort level there that I've never felt with others. We just fit well together. Interestingly, I can do things with her that I simply can't do with others. I love her, that's all there is to it. Some people might find her a little on the large size--screw them. Even the friends I tend to hang out today with say that too, but they've got their skinny little bitches. They can have them!

Michelle has accompanied me to some of the most important functions in town, and been there for some of my most joyous moments. We still do the three-way thing, even more now than we used to. Still no complaints, but I'm beginning to feel a little bit guilty. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't always treated her well. I'd even go as far as saying that there has been some physical abuse. I know that's a side of me that you wouldn't necessarily expect, but I can't deny it. As she's gotten older, there's some signs of that abuse that we can't hide. But there's other times where we totally click, and I can't imagine my life without her. I probably should do something spectular for her, but I'm not sure when that's going to happen.

When coming up with an idea for HNT this week, it dawned on me that I could do something with Michelle! One thing I can say about her--when we play, we play dirty! And this summer has been particularly dirty! Every once in awhile, we'll do the bath thing together. Inevitably, she comes out of it with a renewed glow! Others have done the bathtub shot, so I figure that we can, too! I present, in our half-nekkidness, me and Michelle:

Some men name their cars. Many of you name your computers. Meet Michelle, my trombone. Note her slides being nekkid. And the tuning slides you can't see are having a jolly time under the water. A little wine, a little candlelight, bubbles and the one you love. What more could a guy ask for? Hope you all have a great HNT!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


No time to be substantial this morning. I just found this interesting (I know--I need to get a life). Three stories from the front page of the paper today. First--a couple relocated here from New Orleans. I know that's not a big deal to those of you in Texas or Tennessee or anyplace nearby, but they (don't know exactly who "they" are) had a press conference to introduce them! A press conference! Maybe to introduce the new black couple living in Helena (there's not many of those, ya know....). Maybe to make whoever called the press conference feel important. In any case, this poor couple looked like they wanted to be anywhere other than at a table answering questions. We Montanans will do just about anything to make the news!

Secondly--the Dalai Lama was in Idaho (which is like, right next door). Something about that is so cool! The man who is leads 20 million Tibetan Buddhists was just a few hours away! That's like having the Pope nearby! I don't necessarily know the ins and outs of Buddhism, but every picture you see of the man shows him smiling! And that can't be a bad thing, can it?

Lastly--and probably the most exciting thing to happen to Helena in, oh, a week or so--skateboarding icon Tony Hawk paid a surprise visit to the skate park in town (the only people there were the delinquents who were skipping school....). Came in unannounced, but thanks to cell phones, had a nice little crowd to watch him perform.

Any guesses as to which of the three got the largest acreage on the front page???

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Willie Was Wonderful!

Happy to report that the day was a total success! Rachel and I left in the afternoon for Missoula (about 115 west of here). This is us driving down the interstate at 80+ MPH, arm and camera hanging out the window, while passing the slow people, and not necessarily staying in the middle of my lane.

Had some time to kill once we got to Missoula, so we stopped off at the big mall in town. We went to Hoagieville to grab a bite to eat, stopped off at Universal Athletics, and perused the black bras at Victoria's Secret. I won't tell what was or wasn't purchased....

We get to the concert site--what a clusterfuck! Severely undermanned traffic control, two lanes of traffic trying to merge into one (complete with the jerks who would drive up to the gate, then try to merge). We end up about as far away from the entrance as possible. As we almost get to the gate, the "security" guy tells us that cameras aren't allowed, and there's nothing planned for confiscation. We would have to take the cameras back to the car (at the end of the lot....). All the while, the wind is blowing and the rain is....well....raining. Based on my last adventure with a camera at a concert, we decide to take them back. It's about 45 minutes before the concert is scheduled to start. All tickets are general admission (I heard 7000+ tickets were sold--no argument here!). No seats or bleachers. Just a flat field. There's a loosely packed group standing at the security fence in front of the stage. Short story--WE ARE IN THE VERY FRONT, JUST OFF CENTER, FOR THE WHOLE CONCERT!

First band was from Austin. Can't remember their name. Not bad. They were followed by Reckless Kelly--another kick-ass band from Austin. They sure know their music in Texas! Rachel is leaning over the railing for most of the concert, wearing a blanket we brought because it did get chilly and wet. The lead guitarist tosses his pick at her. She loses it, but finds it after the whole show is over.

Willie finally comes on. In spite of a life of ups and downs, he's looking good, and the guy knows how to play a crowd. I had heard that he doesn't say much to the crowd, and he didn't here. But what he lacks in conversation, he makes up for with his actions while he's playing. Since we were in the front row, Rachel went nuts with the screaming, the blowing of kisses, the clapping, the singing, the whole nine yards. In other words, RACHEL IS FLIRTING WITH WILLIE THE ENTIRE TIME!!! And what's worse, he was flirting right back!!! I'm sure it was more of a reaction than anything else. Wave at the crazy woman in the front row in case she really loses it! But there was absolutely no question about it--he played everyone in the front row, but he really did focus on her! In fact, at the end, he tossed out his cowboy hat (lame toss, and the wind took it). So he came down in front of us, took off his bandana, and aimed it right at her. Unfortunately, since the girl is challenged in the heighth department, the crazy bitch next to her grabbed it away. Think of a bunch of horny bridesmaids jumping for the bouquet. That's what this other woman was like. So anyway, after standing for well over 4 hours, and having only ONE BEER (we weren't giving up our spots!) we were tired, extremely sore, and quite pleased with the whole thing.

In hindsight, we should have stuffed Rachel's camera down her pants (don't go there...). There were plenty of cameras that DID make it in, and no attempt to keep people from taking pics. Another inconsistency in the security detail. The good news--she had her camera phone, and took quite a few shots. I'm sure that she'll be posting the best as soon as she crawls out of bed. Another observation--18 and 19 year old girls don't know how to smoke dope. They approach it the same way as they do beer--as much as possible in as short of time as possible. Then trying to mosh amongst old hippies (I felt somewhat young in this group!). Last observation for the evening--regardless of how well you know one of his songs (and he did all the biggies), it is impossible to sing along with the man. It can't be done. Nor should it, most of the time! You know you've hit the bigtime when the songs you sing sound absolutely nothing like the way they were recorded! And everyone still loves them!

A great concert, great company, and now the bed is calling.....

Friday, September 09, 2005

Freebie gift for you!

Here's my weekly post-HNT update--

HNT--It's become painfully obvious that I can't keep up anymore. I think it's important to be sure that newbies and returnees get moved to the top list, but right now I've got 178 sites listed there. I'll have to weed through those later. I just can't do it by Friday AM. Apparently, against my objections to the contrary, I have a life to deal with!

I mentioned yesterday morning that I might pass the 25,000 visitor mark during the day. Well, by midnight, you guys hit that, plus over another 200! Heather came in at 24,999 (sorry, babe!), and Bsoholic was 25,000. Congrats! Of course, I can't check it because the data is gone, but looks like that's the way it panned out!

Rachel and I leave for Missoula this afternoon to see Willie in concert tonight. Yes, I've remembered!

Thursday started a very long 10 days for me. I'll be posting sporadically for awhile. For those familiar with my blog, I'm back into "Symphony" mode. And the "Week from Hell". Very, very busy. And particularly frustrating this time around. I'll stay caught up as best as I can.

Finally, a present for the masses! As I mentioned a week or two ago, I was working on something. Well, it was actually Lizabeth, my very first blogfriend! She made me an official HNT button! Notice the classy font in front, and the "HNT" in the background. This serves two functions--you can display it on your own sites to identify yourselves as being proud to be half-nekkid on Thursdays, and when you click on it, it will take the reader to the guidelines page, so you don't have to directly link to me anymore (not that I didn't mind--in fact, I'll probably miss that.....) Anyway, there's the button, and the code you need to paste somewhere on your own templates. Display it prominently! And proudly! If you don't grab it now, it can also be found on the "Guidelines" page. Hope you all like it! Let Lizabeth know too!

Simply copy and paste the following code onto your template:
Be sure to replace all the parentheses ( ) with < and >
Need help? Email me!

(a href=""target=_blank)(img src="" width="100" height="66" alt="HNTbutton" /)(/a)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sartorial HNT

I was wearing one of my favorite Hawaiian shirts (of which I have many--ask Moose). I stuck a ball point pen into the pocket and got a little tear--barely noticeable. Being a silk shirt, it wouldn't just be done at that. Oh, no. That sucker ripped all the way to the buttons, and to the seam under my armpit. Every little movement opened that rip up to slowly expose my man boob. I could have posed differently here to really give you a thrill, but you'll have to wait for that day...

Today is Half-Nekkid Thursday! AT, Julie, and FatMike had to post early, so go check them out too!

**EDIT**--I just noticed that I could very well pass the 25,000 visitor point by tomorrow night!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hurricane Scenario from 2004

This was emailed to me this morning. I haven't checked the authenticity of it, but it appears genuine. If so, it's both amazing and condemning! I haven't been around the sites to see if this is cropping up all over, so I thank Leanne for sending it to me.

Dorky Tuesday A Success!

I hoped that dorkiness would come shining through, and you didn't disappoint! While the number of band geek pics were higher than I would have liked, there was a nice blend of past and present, young and old, and ample evidence that dorkiness is an inherited trait! And it was nice to see how truly dorky some of you really were, and how well you've turned out (for the most part...).

As originally publicized, Dorky Tuesday was a one-shot deal. This will not be a weekly event. For those of you who have more dorkiness to share, please do so! But Dorky Tuesday is retired for now. Thanks to all who participated!

Now get your half-nekkid picture ready!!!

Monday, September 05, 2005

It's Dorky Tuesday!!

Easter, 1971

This would be within days of my 14th birthday. Eighth grade. Let's analyze the dorkiness here (click on the picture for the full-size effect...):

--"Bowl-On-Head" haircut. Check.
--Full set of braces on the teeth. Check.
--Zits on chin. Check.
--Ill fitting blue blazer. Check.
--Handmade (by Mom) tie in abstract pattern with 60's neon colors (think "Yellow Submarine"). Check.
--Red, white and blue striped pants (complete with white stars). Check.
--Very plain Easter basket at my feet. Check.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this is that my mother actually allowed me to attend Easter Mass in this get-up. Maybe the dorkiness is genetic.

**EDIT**--There's alot of "Band Geek" pics today. So even though I somewhat make my living as a former/current band geek, I figured I'd better toss up one of the only pics of me in my uniform.
This was after marching in the Lilac Parade in Spokane, WA in May of 1975. Capital H.S. The clarinet belongs to my best friend, who is taking the picture. The girl is Susan Puckett. My girlfriend when I was a sophomore. She was new that year, and I was smitten. The girl who taught me how to French kiss. The girl who broke my heart when she moved back to Washington later that year. I was devastated. We reestablished contact towards the end of my senior year, and we met after the parade. This was the last time I ever saw/heard from her. Other than the kissing, my copping a feel of her shoulder here is as far as I ever got with her. What a dork I was!

So there you have it. Don't forget to comment to let me know your DT pic is up. Dork on, dudes!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Dorky Tuesday Reminder

I unexpectedly have a little time this weekend, so I figured I could post a reminder. Dorky Tuesday happens this Tuesday, September 6th! You know that picture that your parents took of you when you were a kid? Back when you were a dork? A nerd? A goofball? The picture that maybe 3 people in your entire lifetime have ever seen? Well, now it's time to show us! To those of you who have a "cool" image to uphold--BULLSHIT!! We all know that there's a dorky picture of you somewhere. To those of you who still are dorks--post it anyway so that we can see your dorky progression. Also important--give some sort of a story with it. If you want/need to post more than one picture--that's OK too! This should be FUN people!!

We'll run it the same way as HNT. I'll get something posted late Monday night, and you comment to let me know that you've joined in for DT. There won't be a separate sidebar listing for this. So warm up those scanners, find the best shot of you in your dorkiness, and let the fun begin!!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rants & Observations (this one's a really long one....)

Lots of stuff running in my mind this week that I didn't blog about, or didn't even write down. Think I'd remember any of it? Of course not. But Rachel took me to dinner tonight, which included beers, so my mind is in prime condition to spew forth its meanderings! It's been a tough week. My best friend is dealing with work changes, buying a house and a mother who probably won't live long enough to see any grandchildren. And I can't do anything to help. Katrina did her thing, and the effects are just now beginning to ripple throughout the country. A 50% increase (or more) in gas prices in the past year is immoral, unethical and unnecessary. And I can't do anything about it. I refuse to get sucked into the debate about federal aid and response. But I think that this whole thing's been an eye-opener on so many fronts. So strap yourselves in--I've got some things to say.... Let the pontificating begin!
  • The big news--Katrina. I have purposely said nothing, partially because there are others much more capable of writing about the good and the bad, and partially because my views might be considered cold and politically incorrect. Let me first state that this was/is a tragedy of epic proportions, and it's very difficult to watch the news and not get a tear in my eye. My prayers go out to anyone either personally affected, or who knows of anyone personally affected. But you know what? These people may as well be tsunami victims in Indonesia. I have no emotional connection to anyone there. I don't personally know anyone who lives there. I haven't been glued to the TV or phone waiting for news about friends or relatives. I feel badly for those who do, but I am detached from the whole event. As wrong as it may sound--these people chose to live in a hole in the ground that was 20' below the sea level all around them. As a society, we have become complacent and arrogant towards nature. If you live in an area where hurricanes blow, things like this are going to happen. Same with Florida. Same with Tornado Alley. Same with the people who build multi-million dollar homes in forest land or at the base of a volcano. At some point in time, Mother Nature is going to give you the finger, and there's not a thing you can do about it. The chances of the US being hit by more major hurricanes this season is 43%, according to some statistic I read. What if this wasn't "The Big One"? I thank God on a regular basis that I have the sense to live in Montana, where all we have to worry about are the grizzlies, the buffalo, a little cold and some forest fires!
  • The looters. First off, there was a thing going around from Yahoo News that showed two different pictures of people who were waist deep in sewage, each making off with items from a store. The captions for both (one black man, the other a white (Hispanic?) woman) were vastly different. Only one said LOOTER. You can guess which that was. Yes, friends, there is a racial bias out there!
    I hope that I will never know what it's like to be forced to break into an unattended store and steal food items. Quite frankly, if I was in the same situation, and no help was on the horizon, I probably would too. For food, clothing, medical supplies. THERE'S VERY FEW OF US WHO HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED SOMETHING LIKE THIS, AND WHO CAN JUDGE THESE PEOPLE!! On the other hand, if I see you coming out of an electronics store hauling a new plasma screen on your back, you deserve any bodily injury you might sustain, including death. I heard that the first busses to drive up to the Astrodome were school busses that were "commandeered". I think these people were doing what they had to do. Except the guy with the plasma screen. Just shoot that bastard.
  • Hurricane fundraising efforts--don't come to me on a regular basis and ask for money. I gave my AB+ blood. I wrote a very modest check to the Red Cross. That's about all I can do. But I'm going to be bombarded for months to give. If I lived in the south, I might actually volunteer to help. I don't know how, but I probably would. But I don't. Don't ask for anymore of my money, either. I can guarantee that a majority of my readers make 2-3 times more money than I do. Don't hit them up either. Go for those who make obscene amounts of money. Withhold baseball salaries for a day or two. Withhold a day or two of wages for the next blockbuster movie. Donate that money. I don't want to see U2 or Dave Matthews or Usher in concert, telling me that they've donated to the cause by performing in a concert for free. I want to see them cough up $50,000 for the privilege of performing, then go down there themselves and pick up a shovel or distribute water or nail a few boards. When I see them do that, then I might be moved to toss some money in the basket.
    Hilary Duff, who apparently has some sort of talent, pledged $250,000 to the relief efforts. Ignoring for the moment the rant about how a 20-ish young lady has the means to do that, compare that to Louisiana native Britney Spears Whatever-Her-Hubby's-Name-Is, who wrote a heartfelt note on her website that she was felt bad for her friends and relatives affected by the hurricane. Hilary--I might even buy your latest CD for what you've done. BRAVA!!! Most of the celebrities/athletes in the US should be ashamed. Where are the Olsen twins at a time like this? They've got zillions. They obviously aren't spending it on Big Macs. What's the total contribution from the Atlanta Braves' bullpen? I'm guessing it isn't close to a quarter of a million. The point being--get the money from those who have more than they could ever dream of using in 10 lifetimes.
  • Speaking of benefit concerts--In Cahoots will be playing on Sept. 11th for a local thing here called Lost & Foundation. It was started by musicians in town to raise money for specific charity cases in town. Eight hours of music on three stages, with 15 bands, auction items, etc. This concert's recipients will be the 3 young boys of a single mother who was brutally murdered by a guy high on meth earlier this summer. Yes, we all play for free. Yes, we all end up buying alot of the auction items ourselves. Yes, there's alot of businesses and individuals who donate time, merchandise and facilities. Yes, I am a thousand times more likely to support this than hurricane relief.
  • Bacardi & Cola commercials. I don't know what I specifically like about these commercials, but I find them hilarious. Must be the 70s flashbacks I occassionally have. Whatever it is--I think they're great! Anyone else?
  • HNT--The numbers continue to climb. Over 140 people this week that I found. With a little international flavor, too! Hope to have a treat for you by next week's post. And don't forget that Dorky Tuesday is next Tuesday, September 6th!
  • On the subject of blog comments--I'm looking for an opinion from the ladies. We're all having fun with each other's degrees of nekkidness. As we should. Certain commenters even go somewhat over the top, and we expect that, and we accept it and love them for it. But subtly, over the past couple of months, I've noticed that alot of comments, whether for HNT or not, have a sophomoric, college fratboy inflection to them. And not in a joking-type manner. From guys who I don't think are of college age. As a middle-aged guy (there, I've actually admitted it), I find alot of them offensive, not only to you, but to me as a guy. I can dismiss the overtly crude--those are obviously intended that way. But there's the second type. The type that Human Resources would call sexual harrassment if they were ever said in the workplace. Two questions: Do these guys think they're original or cute or somehow putting forth their best assets or that they might be lucky enough to get an internet date? Do you, as a female, get that "icky" feeling when you read them?
  • Missing In Action--Two fellow HNT participants seem to have up and disappeared. No blog left behind or anything... Does anyone know what happened to Bez (Musings of a Crazy Cat Lady) or to Skinny Dip (Here For The Party)? If either of you are lurking out there and reading this, know that we miss you and hope all is well. Let us know somehow, OK?
  • A request for some of you. Whatever hosting service you're using to post videos sucks! Castpost seems to be fairly stable, but there's a couple of others that gum up the works pretty consistently. I've had to force quit my browser on numerous occasions because the videos were hung up. Or I get a message saying something along the lines that I'm not going to get the video. I hate that! Anyone else have that problem?
  • Along the same lines--if you're going to post an audio clip or mp3, can you set it so that it doesn't automatically start without my say so? (again, Castpost is wonderful!) Nothing worse to be relaxing to iTunes, and have some poorly recorded death metal or rap mp3 blasting out at full volume without warning, waking every living being within a 2-block radius!
  • Nalley's Dill Pickle Dip. The greatest chip dip out there. Albertson's no longer carries it. I think there's only one place in town that does now, and they tend to jack up their prices. What to do? What to do?
  • Traffic lights--regardless of the route I took to work in the morning this week, EVERY light I came to was a red light. I even took one route that had one light the entire way--it turned red one car ahead of me. The traffic gods have it out for me....
  • Willie Nelson!! He'll be playing in Missoula next Friday. Rachel and I are going to go. If we both don't forget to go...
  • The I.R.S.--just got notice that they want to garnish my wages for not paying my fair share of taxes (1995 & 2001). I may not have reported all my income in those years. That's the bad news. The good news--I make less than their exemption amount! Now I'm just waiting for them to come for my car. That's good for about $125.
  • Busy month for my lips--We have 5 gigs in the next 2 weeks, plus a full rotation of symphony rehearsals, with the concert on the 17th. My lips will be in fine form by then. Anyone interested in confirming that? Didn't think so....
  • U of Montana Alumni--A blogger emailed me this week about a music file she was interested in. Noted that I had mentioned my mentor in grad school (she's a stalker--that was 2 months ago!). Anyway, she works for the alumni office, and asked if I would be interested in a profile on the UM website, where they have a photo rotation of alumni, students and staff. That should be kind of neat!

Whew! That's a little weight lifted from my shoulders! If you made it this far--you need to get a life! I hope I haven't offended many of you with my rants. Don't bother commenting if you're going to try to sway my points of view. I respect your views, and your rights to express them--I just don't want to read them! Have a great weekend! Drink some cold ones. Enjoy the last days of summer. Don't do anything stupid! And be prepared for Dorky Tuesday!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Well, maybe it wasn't THAT bad....

DAMN! I owe a huge apology to everyone! I had absolutely no idea I'd get that sort of reaction to my last post! And I would have posted this earlier, but I've been fielding phone calls from the concerned masses. I'm fine, no one is dying, things are OK all the way around. I just have my own stupidity to blame....

I left the apartment around 8:00 this morning. The short story (which I rarely attempt to tell)--work, go somewhere else, work, go somewhere else, work (that's right--I don't do the 9-5 thing in one spot). I had about 20 minutes before I had to run an audition for the Symphony, so I run home for about 5 minutes. I grab my camera, because I know that I'll see Rachel serving beer at the Alive @ 5 thing going on tonight. I run the audition, head over to the park, look for Rachel, don't see her, start drinking beer. The music starts, I'm talking to friends, drinking more beer, and it's about 7:20 or so. One of the friends comments on a guy standing under a tree--olive/Hawaiian print shorts, olive wool sweater, funky hat, and hiking boots almost up to his knees. My first thought is, "Gee, he must be from Missoula" (Missoula is your basic tree-hugging, liberal Democratic safe haven).


I have 2 tickets to see Crosby, Stills and Nash in Missoula tonight (115 miles west of here), and the gates opened 20 minutes ago! OH, FUCK!! For the next 5 minutes, those are the only words I could muster. OH FUCK!! My only consolation--I didn't spend $50 on gas to get there and back. That makes me feel so much better. That, and the numerous beers I consumed the rest of the time in the park. Oh, yeah--Rachel wasn't pouring beer tonight.

I apologize for the concern I obviously aroused. It wasn't my intent. It was the beer. I have been chewed out by the appropriate people. By the same token, there's something heartwarming knowing that you cared! I leave you a HNT of me and two worthless tickets to what was probably the finest concert of their careers---
Oh, BTW--for any of you keeping track--today is Volcano Girl's birthday.