Sunday, December 31, 2006

Shameless Christmas Begging, Year #2

I really wasn't going to do this again this year, but in a discussion or two over the past couple of days, I was encouraged to do so. A year ago at this time, I created the "Collection". You can go here to read the initial descriptions/origins of the "Collection". Basically, it was a call for booby pictures for me.

The response was remarkable, and the "Collection" grew quickly. It received some negative reaction as well, but I respect those opinions too. I still receive contributions to it weekly, but the focus has grown fuzzy. It didn't take very long for some of you to send more than boobies, which was an underlying reason for knowing that "...the Other HNT" would work. That's not a complaint, by any means! But then something else happened.

Some of you started to include pictures that would never grace your site. Pics of your kids. Pics of family activities. Pics that were more personal than your nekkidness. Some of you even (gasp!) showed your faces for the first time! Thank you to all for those!

So Year #2 has started, and I've been encouraged to call for submissions again. They're always welcome, but from now to the end of the year, I'll do the shameless begging again. Go read last year's descriptions, and then send me pics. Boobies, as always, would be appreciated!

The Highs and Lows of 2006 - The Highs

Sitemeter tells me that my 400,000th visitor came by this morning at 6:37AM Mountain time. They are from High Wycombe, which is somewhere in the U.K. It would have been 1:37PM local time. Unfortunately, I don't know much more than that. But thank you for visiting! If this sounds like it could be you, please let me know! It took over 9 months to hit 50,000 (Addict!), a little over a year to hit 200,000, and another 9 months after that to double to 400,000. Thanks to all who have helped. Sure, I know that 50% are people curious about HNT, and my traffic is high solely because of the "I'm up!" comments, but still--400,000!
Here is the opposite list of the one below--the Highs of 2006. It was a much better year for me, I think. Lots of good things to look at. So without delay...

"The 10 High Points of 2006"
(from less high to highest of the high)
    10. Blogger Babies - There were many blogger babies born during this year. Most notable ones were born to Aughra, Robyn, Crystal, and twins to Contessa. We got to follow the ups and downs of their pregnancies--the tummies, the hormones, the fears, the joys. As an old single guy, I appreciated hearing about all the process. I hope we get to hear a lot more over the years!

    9. Christmas '06 - For a number of reasons, the Christmas spirit came back to me this year. I put up a tree for the first time in 10 years. I actually enjoyed the season. I've been happy. That's a big deal for me! In years past, I've been so busy with symphony performances that there's been no time to enjoy the season. This Christmas was different. I regained some of the enthusiasm that I'd been missing. All in all, a very nice one this year!
    8. OsShirt and "...the Other HNT" - Right about this time last year, the OsShirt was in Nashville, partying and being abused. It was the first stop of a yearlong trip criss-crossing the country. It's got so much yet to see, if we ever find it...(see post below). The shirt has more of a life than I do! You guys have made the whole OsShirt experience alot of fun! I'll get the OsShirt updated better in the upcoming weeks. Many thanks to the blogger that made this button! It is FAR better than anything I could have come up with!
    The anonymous site is one that I suspected would work well. Sure, it's not for everyone, but I think those who have submitted pictures over there have gotten a rush out of it. While a few pictures have been considered "porn" by some, I have never censored things over there. That site will be up as long as people continue to send me pictures. My only request--the earlier the better!
    7. Blogger Meets - Once again, I had the pleasure of getting to meet some bloggers/HNTers face to face! From left to right: Aisha T., Redhead Editor, Pam, and No One Special. In all cases, there was too little time shared, but great joy in the meeting! Looking forward to lots more in 2007!
    6. World Domination! - This past year found HNT getting some international recognition by non-HNTers! Even though it actually happened in Nov. 05, we didn't get word until January about an article in "Business & Economy" magazine from India. There's a jpeg link of the article there. In May, X. Dell wrote a very nice post about HNT. One of the people who actually "gets" HNT without doing it! And in July, we got both newspaper and website mention from a columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. Not so flattering--more observatory. But he DID get HN at work!

    5. In Cahoots with the Mob Rules Horns - Yes--it's still a long-ass name. Once again, I had the privilege of performing with a great group of musicians/friends for our 9th year. All of us grayer that when we started! While we've had some really ugly, boring gigs this year, the fun ones more than made up for it! I haven't told you some of the details of what's happened in the band. Chris and Leanne (orange shirt and blue shirt) got married, and are expecting a boy in March, I believe. Kelly (dark blue Hawaiian) and his wife are expecting their second child in a month or two. And we were voted as the #1 local band for the second year in a row! Apparently people like us! (and really--who wouldn't???)

    4. Out of Town Friends -
    Moose came to town at the end of July for some quality beer drinking and camping time. Didn't get to see her as much as I would have liked, but we did get in our drinking time (with Rachel and others) at the York Bar. In August, I had the pleasure of running off to Sandpoint, ID with just.a.girl to catch Nickel Creek in concert. Along the way, I received my 6th ticket of the summer, documented so well here. We saw the concert (GREAT concert!), camped out between the lake and some railroad track, saw our lives pass in front of us when the first train went by, and stopped off on the way home to deliver the OsShirt to Crimson (still bummed we didn't get to meet...). Thanks for a great road trip, K!
    3. Caribbean Trip/50th Anniversary - For my parent's 50th anniversary, they decided to take their children on a week-long Caribbean cruise. My, what a fun time THIS was! Alcohol consumption of unbelievable proportions! You can check out all the pictures and stories here. The only real regret from the trip--not getting to meet Phain or Fame, who were in Miami on the same night I was. Maybe next time...
    2. Blogger Friends - This year is when I found a number of new friends through chatting. I'd done some during the year before, but this year brought a huge increase in the people I've met. The main chat of choice--gmail's little chat function. So many things done right with it. Sure, it doesn't have some of the bells and whistles of others, but it integrates incredibly well with gmail. Yahoo comes in a close second, and I usually have that open 24/7. MSN Messenger was the first I ever used, but I'm not there as much as the others. So what's my point? I have almost daily contact with a number of friends now that has been lacking in the past. And I consider these people to be closer friends than almost (almost) anyone I know in real life. They know me like the back of their hands, as I do each of them. So my thanks go out, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, to Jessica, Leesa, Beth, Robyn, Moose, Betcha, NOIP, Phain, Tish, Stealth, Jen, Fame, Bekah, and anyone else I've spent significant time with online. My apologies if I left someone out...
    1. The Future - This isn't intended to be a cop-out. I really am excited about what the new year holds for me. Especially since recent events have really been the high point of this year. I've tried to figure out how to express things, because you're not going to get any details. At least not yet. That's why it's a question mark over there. Things are changing in OsWorld! It's not something that I've openly shared, but some of you know. Some of it you'll get to hear about. Some of it you won't. But let's just say that the month of December has been very good. Only one other person, and one person alone, knows what I'm talking about here. This sort of came out of the blue, and that rarely happens to me. I'm usually prepared for this sort of thing. Nope. Not this time. Which is why it's so exciting to me. And why I am SO looking forward to 2007!
There you have it. The high points of 2006. Everyone have a great New Year's Eve, and I'll catch you on the other side!

The Highs and Lows of 2006 - The Lows

I did this last year, and it was a great way to go back and remember all the things that happened, or didn't happen, or what I wrote about during 2005. It was just as refreshing to do for 2006! The High Points will be in a different post...

"The 10 Low Points of 2006"
(from least low to lowest of the low)
    10. Three dead birds. Baby birds. One a day for three days. In spite of my best efforts to save their lives, I killed them. Was this a metaphorical example of what my whole life is? Nope. Just three dead birds.

    9. My continuing frustration with the musicians in the orchestra. No specific post about this, but the concept of commitment is lost on a lot of them. The good news here...things are much better than what they've been, and there's a lot let stress. But what's so hard about just honoring a commitment???

    8. Back in February, I had a bit of a meltdown, giving a rant that no one knew I had in me, including myself. To the point that I scared people! It felt so good, that I seem to remember doing it again a couple of months later. The result--I've cut some people out of both my real life and my blogger life. Due to bad timing, I also was apparently dropped by some that I really thought were close blogger friends. I AM happy to report that 2 of the 3 have reestablished ourselves, which is a great thing. The entire ordeal, though, showed me how fragile a lot of the relationships we establish here and in real life actually are! If you check out the link, be forewarned--it's toxic!

    7. In April, HNTers basically came under attack by a particular blogger. And then by the writers of a site that "reviews" blogs. And joined in by former HNTers who were pretty proud of themselves for being "recovering" HNTers (I don't mind people who drop out, but it's a bit hypocritical to criticize those of us who still do, especially since you were an avid participant). A nasty little fight ensued, and for a couple of weeks there was a great deal of animosity. Specific HNTers were singled out. The question of stealing pics from sites vs. common courtesy were debated. I'm guessing that many HNTers didn't want to deal with it, and dropped out. Which is too bad, but understandable. As I expected, it all calmed down within a couple of weeks, but things were tense for awhile!
    7b. A secondary thing here--I miss many of the bloggers that have dropped out of sight. For whatever reason. Some just quit. Some went to a password system. Some have moved to three or four different sites this year. Some changed their name/blog, but didn't tell a lot of people. Whatever the reason, I miss many of them. If you're out there reading this, let me know you're still alive!! VELMA!!!

    6. My personal financial situation came to light in June, due to some other events. Things aren't much better now than they were then, but I'm not digging through dumpsters for my dinner! Some things have changed, but there's still a lot more to deal with.

    5. As most of you know, June was not a good month for me in terms of my driving record, either. Go back and read yourselves, but the final tally for the summer: 7 tickets in 2 months (5 within 9 hours), $1000 in fines, another $500 to take care of the other things, and a 90-day suspension leveled against my car (bad car). For those keeping track--my insurance was renewed ten days ago, AND IT DIDN'T GO UP!

    4. I think we've all been affected by the lousy performance of Blogger, and Blogger Beta. I will NOT change to Beta until the day they pull the plug on the original version. Also noted for very poor performance--Castpost (still "upgrading"), Blogrolling (still not doing updated blogs), and just about any video hosting service, other than YouTube. PLEASE QUITE USING VIDEOCODES!!!

    3. Stop me if you've heard this--Macs never break down. But when they do, they do it up good! April saw my Powerbook die. Fortunately, I was able to resurrect the iBook at the same time, so I was OK. I even resurrected the Powerbook. For awhile. In October, its hard drive encountered a "fatal error". I was able to revive it to the point of accessing its files, but I'm still using a temporary hard drive to actually use the computer. Then there's that matter of the cracked screen...

    2. This will be news to most of you, but the OsShirt is currently M.I.A. I have no idea where it is right now. No one to blame here, other than the US Postal Service, or maybe the Crowne Plaza Manhattan. Still working on it, and being the optimist that I am, hope to get it back in circulation soon.

    1. The worst low of the year--my Dad's health. Right off the bat, let me say that he's doing fine. But it hasn't been a good year. In January, he had a pacemaker implanted, which took awhile to get properly adjusted. In the summer, it was determined that he probably had bladder cancer after tumors were found during a check up. Then his right arm was ripped out of his shoulder in a freak accident while golfing. Currently, his right arm is fairly useless. There are a number of movements that he can't do. Surprisingly, he can swing a golf club. He had the tumors removed earlier this month (malignant), and he still can't pee. So he continues to self-catheterize 4-5 times a day (shiver...), but that is scheduled to end soon. Just in time for Mom & Dad to spend 3 months in Hawaii! He should be fine while he's gone.
So that's the lows of the year. I'll get to the high points in the morning!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

New Drinkin' Buddy!/Da Count/Shameless Begging

I had a date Wednesday night! And that's what counts!

See the cute kid in those pics? (the young one--not me...) That's my oldest niece back when she was about three or four years old. Celebrating my 32nd birthday, and then again later in the summer. Note how she holds the beer can. She's a natural! (also note that I'm wearing one of the predecessors of the OsShirt--even back then!) Edit: The hair is NOT bowl cut, but it's curly. The details are blurred by the scan! Thank you to those of you who have emailed, texted or commented about that...)

She turned 21 in September, and I promised to take her out for a beer. She reminded me of that fact over Christmas, so she and a friend of hers met up on Wednesday. The girl drinks dark beer. And likes it! I'm so proud! And she apparently also likes Jack, SoCo and Jaeger. But not Kahlua or rum. I found out that my eldest niece, the apple of her uncle's eye, wasn't the sweet angel that we all blindly assumed she was, but she's still a great kid.

Her sister just turned 18 last week. I suspect that she's a beer drinker, too.

If you want to read more about "Da Count", click on the button below...


Read the post below about the Shameless Christmas Begging, Year #2. I'll only beg through the first of the year, though submissions are gladly accepted all year long!
No one mentioned anything about clicking on the MG picture yesterday...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Year End HNT Memories

Go to the post below this one and check out the Shameless Christmas Begging, Year #2! There's already been some response! Keep them coming in!!
It's been a pretty good year for HNT. There continues to be new people joining in, "...the Other HNT" continues to offer a more risqué outlet, and a modest blue Hawaiian shirt has been all over the country bringing happiness to all who wear it! There are many who have HNT'd (?) on a weekly basis without fail. There are others who have tried it, and then decided it wasn't for them. And yet others who have quit, but still come back on occasion. There have been tributes, attacks and parodies. Above it all, HNT is over 17 months old, and shows no sign of stopping. Well beyond anyone's expectations!

This last HNT of 2006 is a repeat of last year's ending HNT. Simply--repost your favorite HNT that you put up over the past year, and let us know why it's your favorite. Personally, I thought I knew my favorite. Until I went through the year's archives (now THAT was an eye-opener!). But I settled on one (two) that I think surprised even myself in how well they turned out.

It was at the height of fire season in Montana. Leesa was already experiencing some fires nearby, and the whole state was ready to go up in flames. As it ended up, there were relatively few fires. And only one really big one. It was this, along with a long fascination with fire, that brought me to these two pictures for an August HNT. I particularly like the flame's reflection in my eye in the top one. (click 'em to big 'em--they're better that way!)

I had some other contenders--the picture with Betsy; the fireworks picture; the "faces" picture, which spawned the animated gif and the "shroud". Now I'm looking forward to next year!
This week's Mystery Guest has been around for almost a year. In spite of his almost shy appearance here, he's not that way on his own site. And if you're one of the lucky ones with the correct password... He's on the road alot, and spends many a lonely evening in motel rooms. I'm sure he'd like to hear from you if you know who he is! I'll reveal his identity on Thursday afternoon!
Not too much mystery here for most of you. This is, of course, Semi-Celibate Man. Stop by and say hi!
"...the Other HNT" is still going full force this week. Definitely NSFW, as usual! Be sure to stop by, and feel free to comment!!! There's huge traffic over there, but relatively few comments! Give a boost to those who take the leap!
I know I said I wouldn't be doing this anymore, but Lil Bit posted early...
For those of you who don't come by on a regular basis, have a safe and happy New Year! We'll see you in '07! For the rest of you--you'll just have to wait!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Still in a coma...

Food coma, that is. Tons of food, lots of beer, plenty of laughs, and no real nap time. All in all, a great weekend!
Don't forget to click the link at the top of my sidebar for the description of this week's HNT!
Thanks for all the Christmas greetings by comments, texts, email or phone calls!
At this current time, I have no pictures for the Mystery Guest.
Or the anonymous site.
Don't forget to check the post directly below this one about Shameless Christmas Begging, Year #2!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Wish and Thanks

Merry Christmas to Everyone!!

I had hoped to get some Christmas cards out to people, but it's the one thing this season that I didn't get to. Some of you will get one, but it'll be a bit late. I had thought about sending out some ecards or personal Christmas wishes, but then it became quickly obvious that it's an impossible task. Just too many of you--which brings me to these thanks:
  • all of you who have made the Back Row a regular stop in your surfing. I have made a HUGE number of friends over the past year, and I thank you for your support, trust and general understanding of this very humbled man. You've made this past year a much better one that I've had in recent years!
  • those I've had the pleasure of chatting with at ungodly hours of the night. Or the ungodly hours at work. We've talked about all sorts of things, and it's made some of the nights and days pass quickly. And the subject matter!!!
  • those I've actually talked with on the phone. There's something about hearing a voice to place with the picture that is much more personal. Big thanks to the ones in my phone's contact list: Aisha, Beth, Exposed, Ellen, Jamie, Jessica, Kamey, Kelly, Lee Ann, Leesa, Lindsey, Lisa, Lori, Megan, Meghan, Melanie, Michelle, Nicolle, Rachel, Robyn, Samantha, Stef & Tish. Haven't talked with every one of you, but having your name there is nice!
  • the ones I actually met this year. That personal meeting is such a wonderful thing. Some of you I've met before, but I don't want you to feel left out: Nicolle, Kamey, Rachel, Aisha, Pam, Ellen and Lori.
  • ...special thanks to the two who have been friends with me the longest--Nicolle and Kamey. You still haven't abandoned me, so I guess we really ARE friends!
  • the one who drinks the most beer with me--Rachel. We're a little behind on that, though!
  • the one new friend this year that has become very close. Jess, I look forward to another year of phone calls and advice (both ways!).
  • the group of bloggers I must check out on a daily (multiple times!) basis: Leesa, Lisa, Kim, D., Lee Ann, Jessica, MG, Spitfire, QoA, Jen, Yoj, Lori, Robyn, Robin, and too many others to list...
  • the newest of the new friends. Meghan, Trixie and Teri--I hope that we continue to foster this new relationship.
  • the one person (sorry, no names) that has made this Christmas season an unexpectedly happier one. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I look forward to a long, happy year coming up!!
If you don't see your name listed, don't make a big deal about it. This was thrown together sorta quickly. I know I've missed someone... Merry Christmas to you and your families!!

Quick Dad Update

I've neglected you all in this area, and you've all been so supportive. This will be a two-section post.

He had his surgery to remove his bladder tumors. Initially, it wasn't going to happen, simply because he'd die from something else before he'd die from these. The complication arose when they didn't stop bleeding, so they reevaluated things and decided to go for it.

The good news--they've been removed. They stuck a rod up his hoohaw and scraped/yanked/cut them out. They were found to be malignant (as anticipated), but were only listed as Stage 1. That's a "good" thing.

You know, girls, how you always warn us when you're going into "girl talk" so that we can sneak out and not read about blood or yeast or PMS, etc...? You might want to duck out at this point....

The band news--now he can't pee. As I understand it, his bladder expanded to the point of losing elasticity. He can't squeeze anything out. So for another couple of weeks, 4-5 times a day, he has to SELF-CATHETERIZE himself to empty his bladder. SELF-CATHETERIZE, I say. I was so horrified by the visuals in my head that I didn't really listen to much else. I did hear something about a leaky bag, and a trip to the ER to replace it while dripping all over the place. I'm sure we'll get to hear about it again at the family gathering, so I'll report on all that later!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

2 More Lists

OK--after a break today, I'm ready to tackle two more lists. If you haven't read the ones below, please do that first!
    10 Favorite Versions of "Jingle Bells"

  • 10.- The Mills Brothers - Their harmonies are as perfect and tight as any group around. I think I like this one more for their reputation on earlier recordings, where they would break into "instrumental" sounds with their own voices. Simply remarkable.
  • 9. - Diana Krall - This would be her big band version. Anyone who has never heard her voice or piano talents is missing out! Canadian, blond, a golfer, a total knock-out. Her only possible weakness is that she's married to Elvis Costello.
  • 8. - Morton Gould - Probably a name that you won't recognize. "Jingle Bells" is one of the first songs a beginning band student learns. Just in time for the school Christmas concert. How do you go about writing an arrangement of it for highly-trained, highly-paid musicians? You do it the way that Mr. Gould did. Fast, complex, tricky. It's a difficult piece for the musicians, but a joy for the audience. You don't really get to hear it often, but it's a great version!
  • 7. - Swingle Singers - Probably the best a cappella version. The Swingle Singers were well known for their vocalizations of classical pieces. They also got into the jazz area, and were the singers during the chase scenes of the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". Very distinct style.
  • 6. - The Hollywood Trombones - OK--this is a geeky trombonist's dream. Read more about the album below. I can't begin to tell you how incredibly talented these guys are!
  • 5. - Jewel - This is just a cute, jazzy, a cappella version. I like it!
  • 4. - moe. - These guys are a jam group that infuses fun in their rock. Influenced by the Grateful Dead, they have played at Woodstock 99, and opened for the Who this past summer. Just a darned fun version!
  • 3. - Diana Krall - Yeah, her again. Before she released her Christmas album, she did a three-song EP as a promo product. This is the version found on that, and is the more recognized version of the two.
  • 2. - Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters - You can hear a snippet of this version in the movie "A Christmas Story" when they're opening presents on Christmas morn. At least that's where I think it is. Barry Manilow/Exposé have recorded a similar version recently. Jazzy, up-tempo and fun.
  • 1. - Jimmy Smith - Great version from the jazz organist himself. The Hammond B-3 has rarely sounded so good!

    10 Christmas albums that you should at least check out...

    First, the honorable mentions: I just found out this afternoon the titles of 2 compilation albums that I've been looking for since the late 90s. "Excelsis: A Dark Noel" and "Excelsis: A Winter's Song, Vol. 2". These are holiday Goth albums. Not my general style of music, but there's something about how these bands play the classics! I'll be ordering them come Monday! Another album is The Bobs' "Too Many Santas". Not much on the classics, but they're style of a cappella music is so incredible that I have to at least mention them. If you get the chance to hear their albums where they record pop classics, you'll agree! Lastly--I'm sorry, I love "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" by the South Park gang. It's crude, rude, nasty, but there's a couple of real gems to be found! Now to the list...

  • 10.- Deana Carter - "Father Christmas" - Only Deana and her superb guitarist father. Mostly jazzy guitar with her twangy country voice--it actually works!
  • 9. - Mark Mothersbaugh - "Joyeaux Mutato" - You might not recognize the name, but he was a member of DEVO. That means lots of synthesized sounds and just weird music. Very few of these are remotely Christmasy, but there's a Christmas feel to them, and you can almost tell what song it's almost sounding like...
  • 8. - Various Artists - "Merry Axemas, Vol. 2" - This is a follow-up to Volume 1 (duh) of guitar superstars from all types of bands. I believe there might have been a Volume 3, too. One can find Neal Schon, Trevor Rabin, Zakk Wylde, Robin Trower, Ted Nugent, Al Di Meola, etc., etc. No vocals--just instrumentals. Excellent compilation!
  • 7. - Various Artists - "Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas" - Top jazz artists playing Christmas songs. Better than run of the mill. Oscar Peterson, Jimmy Smith, Billie Holiday, Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé.
  • 6. - Hollywood Trombones - "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - About 20 of Hollywood's best studio and jazz trombonists get together to play jazz and standard arrangements of Christmas classics. Playing a full range of trombones from contrabass trombone to soprano trombone. Told you it was geeky...
  • 5. - Bob Rivers - "Twisted Christmas" - This is actually 5 albums. Bob Rivers is a radio DJ in Seattle. He's done song parodies for awhile. It was just natural that Christmas songs got the treatment as well!
  • 4. - Vince Guaraldi Trio - "A Charlie Brown Christmas" - This is the trio behind all that wonderful music. Very light, easily accessible jazz arrangements, plus the unmistakable "Linus & Lucy".
  • 3. - Spike Jones - "It's A Spike Jones Christmas" - First off, you need to know who Spike Jones is. No way to describe them other than you have to experience their style. Secondly, this isn't like any other Spike Jones album. Put together for family gatherings, it's more of the 40s-style large choral groups singing very tight arrangements. If you're looking for the glug-glugs, this isn't the album. But a very good collection.
  • 2. - Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass - "Christmas Album" - This is vintage early 70s HA&TB. They were very hot at the time, and this is a great collection of songs. My mother bought this album when I was a highly impressionable young brass player, and we played it repeatedly every Christmas. Thank God it came out on CD!
  • 1. - SHeDAISY - "Brand New Year" - Easily my favorite of all Christmas albums. Fresh arrangements of standard Christmas songs, with a couple of new, original songs. The impeccable vocal stylings of the ladies is unmistakable, and even though they are a country act, this album shows no real signs of that. If you haven't heard this one, it's the ONE album of the bunch that I think you should hear!
There you go--4 lists in on day. My fingers hurt. Hope you find something you like!

Favorite/Least Liked Christmas Songs

Dammit! Brico already posted his lists. I was planning to do this already. Really! Especially since Castpost has been wonky. If you want mp3s of any of these, I'll be more than happy to send them! I'll start with my least liked, and then my favorites:
    Least Favorite Christmas Songs:

  • 10.- Any Christmas song recorded by Michael Bolton - Well, that should probably read any song recorded by Michael Bolton.
  • 9. - Any Christmas song recorded by Mariah or Britney or BoyzIIMen or 'N Sync or Hillary or Christina, ad nauseum.... - Actually, Christina's Christmas album wasn't too bad.
  • 8. - "This Christmas" by anyone... - This song really wants to be this generation's "signature" Christmas song. Somebody needs to tell singers that it's not going to be this Christmas, next Christmas, or any Christmas in the foreseeable future.
  • 7. - Any Christmas song recorded in a "country" style - This does not necessarily mean I don't like Christmas songs recorded by country artists. But the country-fying of most songs just drives me up a wall.
  • 6. - "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney - Yeah, he was the "cute" Beatle. Yeah, he's written some of the best, most recognizable music of the 20th century. Yeah, everyone has an "off" day some days. Why can't we recognize that and just attribute this song to that, and scrub it? The world's greatest composers were smart enough to recognize a stinker and would toss their poor efforts into the fire.
  • 5. - "Merry Christmas, Darling" by the Carpenters - Don't get me wrong. I loved the Carpenters. The very first concert I ever went to was the Carpenters. In the midst of my hormone-ravaged junior high years. But this one is SO overplayed... And it's one of "those" songs that's rarely recorded by others, simply because it was so well done the first time. But once an hour???
  • 4. - "Last Christmas" by Wham! - The first words of this song are the ONLY references to Christmas in this song. It's about a failed relationship. Why does everyone want to record it??
  • 3. - "Because It's Christmas" by Barry Manilow - Because it's Christmas, I'll be gentle... What an overproduced piece of crap! I don't know exactly when this was recorded, but it sounds like an afterthought from the recording session for "I Write The Song". And some of the sheet music from that was left on the musicians music stands. They're like fraternal twins. So much alike, but different. Despite the fact that I consider Barry Manilow an overattacked, but brilliant musician/entertainer, this should never have been released.
  • 2. - "White Christmas" by anyone other than Bing Crosby - There are certain songs that should never, ever be recorded ever again, because the first one was perfect. This is one of them.
  • 1. - "Any Christmas song recorded by Celine Dion - Nothing more needs be said...

    10 Favorite Christmas Songs: (but I'm doing 20--it's my list...)

  • 20.- "Silver Bells" - The Bob Hope version. From the movie "The Lemon Drop Kid". As usual, the original version is the best, and that's no different here.
  • 19.- "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy" - Whoever came up with the pairing of David Bowie (in his prime) and Bing Crosby (just being der Bingle) has a special place in Heaven waiting for him. Yes, it's overplayed, but when the video hit the screens, you could hear a pin drop, regardless of where you were watching it. I miss Bing...
  • 18.- "Shimmy Down the Chimney" - This was recorded for a country Christmas compilation album a couple of years ago by Alison Krauss. It's a rare instance of her performing a style other than her brand of bluegrass (though she's sung background vocals on a number of rock-type albums). This song is a feel-good, pop-style, horn-infused, waitin'-for-Santa/love song. If you like Alison, you'll love this. If you don't, you still need to find it and listen to it!
  • 17.- "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" - The Russ Freeman (the "Rippingtons") version. I generally don't like this song, but it's harmonic structure lends itself to some great arrangements. This was one of my songs highlighted earlier when Castpost still worked OK. Check it out below from one of my earlier posts.
  • 16.- "And the glory of the Lord" - This is one of the movements from Handel's Messiah. A much better song than the "Hallelujah" chorus. I've never heard a bad recording of this song, even among the bad recordings of Messiah.
  • 15.- "Winter Wonderland" - Finally! A song that can be successfully recorded by just about anyone and still sound pretty good! And it has been... My personal favorite versions are one by Deana Carter and another one recorded by the Hollywood Trombones (see more descriptions of their albums in a future list). There's not many ways to screw this one up!
  • 14.- "Silent Night" - I really like the Mannheim Steamroller version of this, though the entire concept has been overplayed (same with Trans-Siberian Orchestra). Again, this song is ripe with different versions just waiting to be written.
  • 13.- "It Happened In Sun Valley" - From the movie "Sun Valley Serenade" starring Sonja Henie, John Payne, Milton Berle and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Not really a Christmas song, but deal with it. The version I REALLY like is by those South Park kids Stan and Wendy on "Mr. Hanky's Christmas Classics". Truly, it's very good. Except for the pukey parts...
  • 12.- "The Christmas Song" - This one's sort of on the fence, because everyone thinks they can record it. You really have to know what you're doing though... My favorite versions--Mel Tormé (the composer) does it in a way that's indescribable and in his signature style. Nat King Cole recorded the "definitive" version of it (many times, actually), though it's WAY overplayed. Chuck Brown and Eva Cassidy did a nice version. Christina Aguilera's version is the only one besides Cole's that made it to the Top 40 charts.
  • 11.- "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" - This song lends itself well to a large group style of performance. Which is why it just doesn't sound good when Sinatra records it. Or any other solo artist. When done with full choir and orchestra, it's rarely less than glorious. From a musician's standpoint, this is a great piece to play, too!
  • 10.- "O Holy Night" - To do this song correctly, you REALLY need to be good! Better done by large groups, but there's some good solo performances of it. And some incredibly BAD ones. Spectacularly demonstrated by Cartman on "Mr. Hanky's Christmas Classics". It's a favorite of mine because I specifically remember when I heard it for the first time. December, 1962 (shaddup) at Central School's (which looks EXACTLY like the one in "A Christmas Story") Christmas Concert, held in the 7th Avenue Gym (across the playground). I was a first grader, and I heard the 6th graders sing this song. I had never heard it before. I was blown away. For as much as a 5 year old boy can be blown away. I have always loved this song since that day!
  • 9. - "Jing-a-ling" - I have a recording of this song, but it's some thrown-together studio group. But the song kicks ass! It's done in a style alá the Andrews Sisters. Jazzy, up-tempo, and fun! I'd love to hear the original!
  • 8. - "All I Want For Christmas Is You" - Not the Mariah Carey waste of breath. This is the one hit recorded by Vince Vance and the Valiants. It is sung by a female lead in a late 50s triplet ballad style, with passion just oozing from the speakers. And a rough, raw tenor sax solo (like any good 50s song) in the middle. Again, one of those songs that was done so perfectly the first time that it's rarely covered by anyone else.
  • 7. - "Baby, It's Cold Outside" - I LOVE this song! Technically not a Christmas song, but usually associated with the season. The entire contrapuntal dialog between the woman and the man is a conversation that everyone of us has uttered at sometime in our lives. Trying to get the lady to spend the night! Her with the reasons why she can't. Him with the reasons why she should. And all the subtle (or not-so-subtle) undertones of other types of conversations! There's been alterations to the lyrics over the years, and pairings between some truly interesting duets! It appeared in the movie "Elf", sung by Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone. The current version of Natalie Cole and James Taylor is pretty damned good.
  • 6. - "Sleigh Ride" - One that anyone can do. Personally, I consider the original orchestral piece written by Leroy Anderson as the best (written for the Boston Pops--they seem to play it the best, even to this day!). Of course, there's the Motown version by the Ronettes, which is a classic in its own right. And one that's performed by bass guitar virtuoso Stu Hamm with some tasty B-3 in the background. Most recently, SHeDAISY recorded an altered version of it (find it down below somewhere as one of my Castpost offerings) that I like best.
  • 5. - "Let It Snow" - Lots of versions, but the one I like the best is one by Gloria Estefan. Not much of the Miami Sound Machine, but it's a great treatment of the song!
  • 4. - "I Believe In Father Christmas" - Recorded years ago by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, it's beginning to find it's niche in the Christmas season. Being a child of the 70s, and the prog-rock movement of the day, ELP were gods to me, so I automatically liked this song. It's actually been recorded by other bands recently, lending credence to the idea that this is a pretty good song.
  • 3. - "Carol of the Bells" - Another standard Christmas song that mesmerized me in my youth. Another one that lends itself well to variety. It's the cross rhythms of the 2 against 3, in case you're really wondering. My current favorite versions--Mr. Mackey's version on "Mr. Hanky's Christmas Classics" (how can such a vile album be so good??), and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's version as the basis for "Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24".
  • 2. - "White Christmas" - Only sung by Bing Crosby. Originally sung by Bing in the movie "Holiday Inn" (1942), it was again heard as the title song in 1954's "White Christmas". No one should ever attempt to record this song again. It can't be done any better.
  • 1. - "Jingle Bells" - And it's not even Christmas specific! But it's my #1. So many great versions that I'm going to do a separate list of the top ten best recordings of it!
There you go--about 4 hours of my day shot to hell coming up with the lists, researching them, and getting it written. And really--I thought of this before I saw Brico's!!! Be sure to look for a couple more lists in the very near future!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Da Count #15 & #16

Well, once again, my Count this week is this little community we've got. A vast majority of you did the Three Christmas Wishes HNT, and the diversity was wonderful! My thanks to those of you who gifted me--looks like OsTour '07 is a popular idea. Some of you went the humorous route, others of you were completely serious. Some readers got misty, others found new blogs to check. All in all, our little group got a little bit closer and a little more personal. As it should at Christmastime. And that's what counts!

If you want to read more about "Da Count", click on the button below...


This one ought to be the #1 Count. The birth of Jesus. The reason for the season.

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This is one of the basic tenets of my faith. Not that it's all that strong, but it's there. And no offense to those who don't celebrate Christmas, but that's what it's all about for me. No "Happy Holidays". No celebration of other religious beliefs. It's Christmas. And that's what really, really counts! For those of you who won't be back here until next week, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your friends, family and neighbors! If you're so inclined--I'll probably be around alot on Monday, so stop by and say hi!
--Two quick Public Service Announcements--be sure to go back and check "...the Other HNT". I made a late addition to the week's offerings.

Also--remember what next week's HNT is. No new pics! Choose the HNT that YOU'VE posted that's YOUR favorite. Click on the link up there at the top of the sidebar to get the details. If you feel the need to do a new HNT, you can submit it to the anonymous site! Regular new HNTs start up again in 2007!
She's not blogging anymore, but those who remember Lindsey (the good-lookin' redhead Lindsey!) might want to know it's her birthday today! Send her some party thoughts! Happy Birthday, Red! Wish you were still playing with us!
Hey! Guess what?? Days are getting longer!! Yippeee!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Three Christmas Wishes '06 (HNT)

Well, this was certainly a tougher assignment than I had thought it was going to be!! And from others I've heard from, you feel the same way! Which is what makes it that much more special!

When I did this last year, there were fewer people that I knew, fewer people that participated, and it was much easier to choose. Personally, my wishes for others included a spiked club for someone to beat me with, strong little swimmers so another could get pregnant, and 2 bags of fairy dust for a third who needed some happiness. The results? I didn't get beat, but we have an unspoken communication going on between us; the swimmers triumphed and resulted in a happy baby boy; and the fairy dust worked to bring twins, a new boyfriend, and a generally happy life. They all worked well last year!

Again--by doing wishes for the less obvious on your blogrolls, I hoped to avoid the disappointment that might come for someone who expected a wish from someone. It's hell to be #4 on a "Three Wishes" list... So hopefully you didn't pick close friend (since you'll probably get them a card or gift anyway). Just like a regular HNT, let us know you're up, and list your 3 bloggers, to let us know to come looking. It might not be a bad idea to email them as well, just in case...

To those of you who won't be back here before next Thursday, then I wish you a very Merry Christmas, or whatever other holiday you'll be celebrating. I hope you all come out unscathed on the other side!


To Teri: Teri is a relative newcomer to blogging, but is learning the ropes pretty quickly. Just this past weekend, she found out that her older brother's unit will be heading to Iraq. Merry Christmas, y'all. Regardless of your own beliefs towards the war or our government's policies, I think we'd all agree that peace is always preferable to war. But sometimes we have to do things we might not particularly like. To Teri, my wish for this Christmas is the safe and speedy return of her brother and his entire unit. Be proud of him, girl, but be sure to give him an extra hug or two this week!

To Firefly: Firefly hasn't had the best of years over the past few months. Without going into a great deal of detail, she is now single, and the absolute true love of her life is not with her. That would be the pup she's been raising named Utah. Utah is currently staying with the ex, since he's got the room, but FF is desperately looking for a place where she can be reunited with the ever-growing Utah. So my Christmas wish to you is to find a house where you can also put up a doghouse worthy of Utah's dogginess! (let me know if it's OK to link you, too. I wasn't sure...)
To Brico: By now, most of us know that Brico convinced the beautiful and ever gullible Tish to move down to North Carolina to be nearer to him. Brico himself has already noticed little things might be construed as "constricting". My wish for Brico is a few nights out with the boys, without having to sneak behind Tish's back. A free pass, as it were. I don't know if it can be done, but we can only hope. Good luck to ya, buddy!

At this point you might expect to see the post of a Mystery Guest. I don't have one. No more pictures left in the folder. It works out well since it's a special week this week, but if it's to continue, I need some more MG pics! Send 'em in!

With all the family holiday things going on, many of you must be breathing a sigh of relief that you don't have to be half-nekkid this week. But not all of you. There's a few people who have decided to post their half-nekkidness at "...the Other HNT" this week. Definitely NSFW! Be sure to stop by, and feel free to comment!!! There's huge traffic over there, but relatively few comments! Give a boost to those who take the leap!

Be sure to check out the theme for next week's HNT. The details are linked up there at the top of my sidebar. Post the favorite HNT that you posted in 2006. Regardless of whether you did almost 50 or only 5. Or if you started last week (certainly makes it easier that way!). If you want to tell us why it's your favorite, feel free. Remember, it's YOUR favorite, not your readers' favorite! We'll start up regular HNT stuff again in 2007!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blast from the Past!

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

It's been forever since I've seen this! Parts of this absolutely scared the hell out of me! I think I remember this before ever seeing Charlie Brown OR the Grinch. And how can you not like Jim Backus (Thurston Howell III) as the voice of Mr. Magoo! Thank you Cartoon Network!!!

Special Blogger

I just was made aware of a very special blogger who is no longer with us. Her sudden death was a cruel end to a remarkable life, fighting and defeating illness. Her name was Anu, from India, and her blog was titled Appreciate Yourself". What a simple and powerful title. "Appreciate yourself".

I was not a visitor to her site until today, and I did a quick perusal of what I've been missing. I don't think I've ever seen so much affirmation of life. Finding the best in the simplest of things. You really need to see for yourself. Two of "our" crowd were regulars, and have each posted their own thoughts regarding her death. Go see WDKY or Emerald Eyes and see what they have to say. They can both tell you a whole lot more than me, as well as tell you what Anu meant to them. Good people need to be remembered. Go check her site.

Tuesday Observations

I'm finding that the Three Christmas Wishes theme for this week's HNT is a whole lot harder than I though! Last year's was so much easier! Hope you've all gotten a chance to think about it!
A reminder (and shameless plug) that we don't do half-nekkidness this week. But if you feel the need to do so, feel free to send it to "...the Other HNT". The address to send it to is over there...
Just a general observation--people are either really into Christmas this year (me!), or they really aren't. Haven't seen alot of anything in the middle there.
Also have noticed that there's some really good things happening to alot of bloggers over the past week or so!
Castpost still sucks. Thanks, D., for the possible alternative!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Silly Christmas Lyric meme

Mark Leslie started a meme last week, and I feel it's necessary to keep it going, especially since Castpost still has its head up its ass and I can't post music.

The Rules: Pick a Christmas lyric that you've always had a question about and discuss it. Then either tag one or more people or either tag nobody and invite your readers to tag themselves and enjoy discussing the subject on their own.
    Up On the Housetop
    Up on the housetop, reindeer pause
    Out jumps good ol' Santa Claus
    Down through the chimney with lots of toys
    All for the little ones, Christmas joys
    Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
    Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
    Up on the housetop, click, click, click
    Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

    First comes the stocking of little Nell
    Oh, dear Santa, fill it well
    Give her a dolly that laughs and cries
    One that will open and shut her eyes
    Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
    Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
    Up on the housetop, click, click, click
    Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

    Next comes the stocking of little Will
    Oh, just see what a glorious fill
    Here is a hammer and lots of tacks
    Also a ball and a whip that cracks
    Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
    Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
    Up on the housetop, click, click, click
    Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick.
OK, first off,"reindeer pause...". I swear to God that I thought reindeer had paws. I first started doubting the whole Santa Claus story when I heard about reindeer hooves. Can't people get their stories straight?? Which is it? Paws or hooves??

"All for the little ones..." What about the big ones? Santa's sorta on the big side. Was probably a big one when growing up. Don't the big one's get some of the loot?

"Ho, ho, ho..." Yeah, we've all laughed at Santa for promoting the prostitution thing here, but does he have to bring them "down through the chimney", too? Hell yeah, who wouldn't go??

"...stocking of little Nell...Santa, fill it well..." What? Is this taken from Penthouse Forum? Santa's to sneak into the house and "fill her stocking" (wink, wink)? That's just ick... And to give her a dolly that just laughs, cries, opens and shuts her eyes?? No wonder girls didn't do well in science fields! This is what's going to stimulate their minds???

"...stocking of little Will (snicker)...what a glorious fill..." Little Willie must not be so little! Which you'd expect from guy who's getting a hammer, tacks, a ball and a whip. Sounds like the training materials for a great Dom. Little Nell needs to watch out!

Still haven't figured out what's clicking upon the housetop....

I don't tag people, so if you have some sort of Christmas lyric problem, then by all means, do it!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Alka-Seltzer, please

ALERT! "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is on right now!!
Christmas party/dinner last night. Beers at a refurbished whorehouse. All free. Home late. Slept late. No hangover. No motivation. I love it!
A reminder that this week is the Three Christmas Wishes HNT. Check the link at the top of my sidebar for details! It's intended to "gift" bloggers that you might not normally send greetings or gifts to. Let's you avoid that "left out" feeling that some might get.
Since this week's theme doesn't require half-nekkidness on your part, you might consider posting something for "...the Other HNT" this week! Just a suggestion...
Thank you for letting me know about the question I had about the background. I think it's an IE problem. To answer a question or two from my last HNT--Yes, I decorated it myself. Yes, I'll check into the oils or that "Father Christmas" candle.
FYI--giddiness abounds!
Castpost still sucks.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Da Count #14

Again, this is a simple one. The overwhelming response to the Christmas Tree HNT was wonderful! Even got some people involved who had been away! Many, both participants and commenters, mentioned that this got them into the Christmas spirit, or just made them feel happy. And I got to see what everyone's Christmas trees looked like! Thanks to those who included their trees. Thanks to those who did Christmas, but without trees. And thanks to all for helping boost the Christmas season! As someone I chatted with mentioned--it seemed like people were friendlier and flirtier than usual. And to me, that counts!

If you want to read more about "Da Count", click on the button below...


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Tree HNT

One year ago today, I was driving through a nasty blizzard on my way to Sioux Falls, SD (the butt-ugliest state in the union, by the way). It was the first stop on my trip to Nashville to see the Tennessee bloggers/HNTers. Oh, and to see a football game. For as stressful as that was, it was a much needed break for me, and I honestly believe that it saved my sanity last year. This year is much different. Primarily because of my chatting habits, I've made some great friends. My stress level in real life is far lower than it's been in a long time. And dammit, I've got me some Christmas spirit this year! So much so, that I decided to put up a Christmas tree for the first time in about 10 years! And, by God, if I've got the spirit, then you should too! And what better way than to show off your half-nekkidness with your own Christmas tree!!

In my case, I went the fake tree route. No time to get a real one, and I refuse to get one from a tree lot. My family used to go out tree hunting in the hills around town. Our trees were always better than our friends' trees bought from the lot. But this year, the fake tree was the way to go. And that's it up above. And here's a little bit of detail. (click it to big it!)

As you might imagine, little animals with horns, and golden trumpets and drums feature prominently. No icicles this year (bummer), since I'd have to remove it all when I took the tree down. I'd be finding that stuff all over all year.... The tree came from my parents, who have opted for a tabletop tree over the past couple of years. Rachel and I went out Monday night to Walmart (OMG--I've never experienced so much "humanity" in a long time!) to pick up some lights and ornaments. Also bought some candles to try to stink up the place like a fir tree. So far I'm somewhat unimpressed with that effort. And of course, I've got Christmas music going on. Granted, it's the South Park Christmas album, so it's not quite "traditional". Throw in a wonderful phone call to get me in the picture-taking mood, and the night couldn't have been much better!

So where's the half-nekkidness, you ask? Well, I wasn't quite sure how I was going to handle it. I think these came out relatively well though. Again, click em to big em (if you dare). No guarantees that they are anything you'll want to see!

Once again, we have a wonderful example of what can be presented as the Mystery Guest. You don't get to see her face, so she retains her mystery. You don't get to see her breasts, so you can't do any comparing there. We get her butt, however. Goose bumpy and all! Another longtime, but off-and-on HNTer. Not sure if she's going to reveal herself, but she'd probably admit it if you stopped by and asked!
This week's MG butt belongs to none other than the Queen of Ass herself from the Kingdom of Mean. Is there any wonder??
"...the Other HNT" keeps plodding along. Still need to get a few more of you involved!!
I need your help here. This current background--does the black extend all the way to the right edge, or do the ornaments start back up? Let me know what browser/version you're using, too. Thanks!
Start thinking now about your Three Christmas Wishes! Check the link at the top of my sidebar for details, especially about who to send wishes to.
Just to totally muddy up the waters--things are looking really good these days! :D

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Peter Boyle, 1935-2006

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Wednesday Wonderings and Other Things

Don't forget that this week is Christmas Tree HNT week! And a reminder that next week's HNT won't actually require half-nekkidity. It's the Three Christmas Wishes HNT, so be sure to give that some thought. It's not as easy as it sounds!
What's up with Castpost? Slow, slow, slow! Ooh--I think I just got my answer. An error message that said "too many connections". They should do something about that...
I've been remembering my trip to Nashville from one year ago. Couldn't afford it, but needed it. And still have wonderful memories from it. I should do something like that again.
I just checked my bank balance. I'm depressed...
I have run out of Mystery Guests. This week's MG is the last one, unless I receive some by Tuesday. Repeat MGs are allowed, but I KNOW there's some of you out there that have wanted to do one that haven't jumped into the water here, as it were... Might as well mention that I could use some pics for "...the Other HNT" as well.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Musical Monday #13 (on Tuesday)

I was a postin' fool over the last day or so. Be sure to check all the new stuff!
Here's the song from my last attempt to post music...

Just to let you know that I've got a bit of a hip streak in me, this is from an early release of a 7-song EP by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, sometime in the mid-90s. A few years prior to their appearance in the Jim Carrey hit "The Mask". Probably some sort of a fan club bonus. Titled "Whatchu' Want For Christmas?", it has 3 Christmas songs, and some early versions of songs that appeared on later albums. This particular one is called "Rock-a-Billy Christmas". Enjoy!


Maybe it was the white chocolate mousse...

Ever have one of those days when talking with someone special brightens your mood, makes your tummy do flip-flops and you look forward to the next time?

Yeah. Me, too.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Wrote That?!?!?

I stole this from Leesa's site last year. Time to do it again!

What was the first line from your blog the first day of each month in 2006.

January: Reaction--For the record, my Shameless Christmas Begging for boobies ended on January 1 with the "Newscast" post. ( I need to beg again this Christmas?)

February: It dawned on me that I hadn't posted any pictures of me and Michelle in quite awhile, especially with me in a tux (go to the bottom of this post to find out who Michelle is). (This was the beginning of a HNT post.)

March: The Rogue Performance Festival starts Thursday, March 2nd in Fresno, California. (Thanks to Lecram for getting HNT involved in this. Are we doing it again in 2007?)

April: I was going through my archives today, and this is what I wrote 1 year ago. (Seems I've always had some blogger block.)

May: After living a Buffett-like existence over the past week, I'm back in reality! (Just back from my Caribbean trip.)

June: I lamented the fact awhile back that I hadn't really played with the camera enough to get into the macro mode (close-ups). (Intro to the HNT where I took really close-up shots of my eyes.)

July: We did this last year for HNT, and it seemed to go over fairly well, so we'll do it again this year. (Canada Day/4th of July HNT theme)

August: It's Birthday Time, boys and girls! (Celebrating birthdays of Crimson and No One In Particular.)

September: Don't forget about the Labor/Labour Day theme for Tuesday! (Once again, plugging HNT themes!)

October: Don't forget to check out this year's 5th Annual Blogger's Boobie-Thon! (Plugging this year's BoobieThon. Same thing I did the year before!)

November: For however many years I've been living in my current apartment, I can count on one hand the number of trick or treaters that have graced my threshold. (Somewhat self-explanatory.)

December: PATIENCE - of others, that is. (This was my Count for the day.)

Not terribly exciting, but it was nice to go through some of the things I'd written! Please feel free to steal this and relive your own 2006!

Someone could have told me...

Why didn't someone tell me about KT Tunstall??

The Weekend

A very good weekend, overall. I'll give you the bad points, then the good points.
    • Weekend shot to hell with rehearsals, gigs and concerts.
    • Driving 3 hours after symphony rehearsal to get to the gig.
    • Load-in up skinny, icy steps.
    • Being told we'd play until midnight, then going to 12:45.
    • Getting to deal with the drunk who positioned himself literally within 6 inches of the lead singer, and not moving. As close to being passed out on one's feet as I've ever seen. The president/owner of the construction company who was throwing the party eventually took care of him. The guy may not have a job this week.
    • Rooms that you'd bitch about paying $30 for in a sleazy motel. Here, they charge over $100, and they're considered "quaint". No phone, TV or bathroom in any room. Community potties/showers are down the hallway (if you don't get lost...)
    • Not having access to the internet--which is probably a good thing.
    • Getting to bed at 1:30, and watching the digital clock say 3:47, and knowing that you haven't slept yet.
    • Getting up early to get back home to shower, change and get to symphony concert.
    • Getting to wear the bad shoes all weekend, so that your back, knee, foot and head all hurt.
    • Driving 3 hours after symphony rehearsal for a good paying gig.
    • Remember the company party we played at the lake where I was fortunate enough to take this picture with my phone? SAME COMPANY!! I don't know if she was there, though. Didn't see her face the first time, and there was no toplessness this time...
    • Free dinner--prime rib buffet, with EXCELLENT food! Dessert--white chocolate mousse with raspberry drizzle.
    • Open bar all night long!
    • Dress was casual for the evening--no tuxes or fancy crap for the band (no, we didn't have to wear either the sequined jumpsuits or the gold lamé).
    • Young, attractive and tipsy office girls shakin' their groove thang--without the guys.
    • The president/owner of the construction company throwing this little party handing us the check, with an additional $100 bill for each of us as a "tip". Must have been a good year...
    • Nailing my tuba parts in the symphony concert. It was fun, but I need to make it up to Michelle. That'll happen in January's concert, for sure!
    • Getting to kick back at home and realize that I don't have any musical commitment hounding me until January!!!
    • A bit of an unexpected, but highly welcome phone conversation. :-)
I'm way behind on checking blogs, and both Castpost and Blogrolling are acting up. Don't forget that this is the week for Christmas Tree HNTs (see the link at the top of my sidebar). Could use some more pics for the anonymous site, while you're at it!

Musical Monday #13

Not going to happen today. Castpost is being a big baby today (still...). I'll resume as soon as it fixes itself, or I find something as good. And free.

Friday, December 08, 2006


The Griz defense wasn't as tough as it needed to be, the quarterback lost the ball out of the back of the endzone for a safety, and the UMass punter pinned the Griz inside the 10-yd line all night. In other words--the Griz lost, 19-17. Oh, well. Time to start thinking about next year!
Really bummed that Yahoo IM was down last night.
BTW--the picture up above is another one of Leesa's. Be sure to check out the YouTube video she has up. Hilarious!
A very busy weekend ahead of me. I'm not going to have access again until Sunday night. I've got a symphony rehearsal in the morning until the early afternoon, then drive 3 hours to a gig, set up, play until midnight, tear down, spend the night, drive three miles home, symphony concert on Sunday afternoon until about 5:00. Then I'll finally be home. The good news? Big paycheck for Sat. night, and no more music commitments until next year. AND I've got a legal car!! I'll be in touch again Sunday night...
I figure I'd better leave you something to listen to since I'll be gone all weekend. Just to let you know that I've got a bit of a hip streak in me, this is from an early release of a 7-song EP by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, sometime in the mid-90s. A few years prior to their appearance in the Jim Carrey hit "The Mask". Probably some sort of a fan club bonus. Titled "Whatchu' Want For Christmas?", it has 3 Christmas songs, and some early versions of songs that appeared on later albums. This particular one is called "Rock-a-Billy Christmas". Enjoy! Well hell--Castpost is unavailable right now as it's going through "upgrades". I'll post it next week.