Sunday, December 31, 2006

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!

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