Sunday, June 29, 2008

How do YOU say it??

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with someone about my license plates. As many of you know from past posts, my personalized plates say (are you ready?) OSBASSO. What was interesting yesterday, was not what it meant (which you can find here), but how it's pronounced. I've heard a variety of pronunciations of both parts of it.
OS - ohs (rhymes with close)
ahs (rhymes with cross)
ahz (rhymes with claws)

BASSO - base-o (rhymes with chase-o)
bass-o (rhymes with class-o)
boss-o (rhymes with cross-o)
So I'm curious--how do YOU think it's pronounced? I will tell you that the middle syllable is the accented one. There's a little poll at the top of the sidebar. For those of you who have actually heard me say it, don't spoil it for the others. But feel free to vote!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Morgy, Carlin, Supreme Court, In Cahoots

I promised Morgy over at Tres Bizarre that I'd pimp her contest she's got going over at her site. There's prizes and bribe-worthy judges and everything! If you've got an ounce of artistic/creative ability, this contest is for you. Even for those who don't--there's a special category for you, too! And how can you resist her invitation to go rummage through her archives for pictures? I know for a fact that you can find some half-nekkidness in there!!

Her contest rules are stuck at the top of the page through the duration of the contest, so you can't claim you didn't find it. While you're there, you really should check out the rest of her. Site.
NBC put out the following press release:

"SNL" Honors Legendary Comedian George Carlin, Re-Airing Its 1975 Premiere Episode with Carlin as Host

NEW YORK June 24, 2008 As hilarious and heartfelt tributes pour in marking the passing of groundbreaking comedian George Carlin, "Saturday Night Live" pays tribute on Saturday, June 28 (11:30 p.m.-1:00 a.m. ET), re-airing its premiere episode that featured Carlin as host.

Remembering Carlin, "Saturday Night Live" creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels noted: "You never forget the people who were there at the beginning. George Carlin helped give 'Saturday Night Live' its start as our first host. He was gracious, fearless, and most important of all, funny."

Typifying the show's "of-the-moment" sensibility that would continue throughout its over thirty-year history, Carlin was brought in as the first host of the groundbreaking comedy show. Carlin performed three individual monologues on the program that also introduced audiences to the now legendary "Not Ready For Prime-Time Players" Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Larraine Newman and Gilda Radner.

The 1975 episode also features musical guests Janis Ian and Billy Preston as well as a landmark performance from comedian Andy Kaufman.
I know that many of you weren't even born when this premiere episode aired. I, on the other hand, recall watching it in fits of awe, disbelief and many tears of laughter. As did the rest of the college students watching in the dorm lounge. It was TV like we'd never been exposed to before. Featuring the greatest line-up of "Not Ready For Prime-Time Players" in the show's 33-year history. The best excuse to stay home on Saturday nights, ever! Don't miss this one!
I rarely talk about "issues" on this blog. I rarely talk about them in real life. Mostly because I'm ignorant. And those who disagree with what I think will always come armed with facts and numbers and studies and reasons why I'm a moron. I'd rather drink beer and have fun than deal with that. Here's a secret for you--I pontificate from the heart, not my head. It's what I feel , and therefore I'm right. Either agree with me, or be wrong. :-)

The Supreme Court's two big rulings struck me differently. The reversal of the handgun ban in D.C. just made sense. Unless you ban handguns across the country, trying to do it in one area won't work, makes no sense, and in my mind, violates the Constitution. Then again, I grew up in an area where high school kids routinely drove to school with a hunting rifle in the gun rack of their pickup truck. We also, until about two years ago, could legally drive down the road drinking beer!

The other ruling that says that raping a child does not warrant the death penalty made me do some thinking. My gut reaction was outrage. Then cooler heads (the ones who have the facts and numbers and studies and reasons why I'm a moron) wrote their opinions. And I was swayed to their way of thinking. As much as these guys are the very lowest scum of the earth, the death penalty in this country is limited to killers (and traitors--how does that make sense?). It is not a penalty that should be taken lightly. Often times it's NOT applied to murderers. While it seems unjust that child rapists should be spared the death penalty, regardless of how horrific the crime is committed, the fact is that there was not a murder. There are plenty of other ways to punish the offender. Some much more satisfying to the public than the taking of their life! And chances are that a lifetime in prison with a "child rapist" tag is going to be the worst punishment of all.
And to end this on a less serious note, I'm beginning to realize how much I miss playing with these guys. For the newbies--this is In Cahoots w/the Mob Rules Horns. Yes, even today, that's still a gawdawful name. But it's the one we're known by. Or were known by. As of mid-September, we haven't played a note together. For the 10+ years prior to that, we were the best band in town (officially voted on and everything!). Which meant our summers were filled with weekend gigs and three-day weekends at the Lakeside Bar, and wedding receptions with drunk bridesmaids. And lots of free drinks!

It's not even the money that I miss (though it's a substantial hit in the summer). It's the camaraderie with my fellow bandmates. I miss it. And I miss the playing. I miss watching people dancing like fools. I miss the anticipation of knowing I had something to do on the weekends. Regardless of the bitching I usually did about lousy gigs, late nights, early mornings, too much drinking, long road trips, less than ideal conditions we sometimes played in. I miss the music we made. I miss the recognition on the streets or in a store ("hey, aren't you....?"). I miss writing arrangements for the band, knowing what I could and couldn't get away with, based on our individual strengths.

We still haven't "officially" called it quits, but there's been no real attempt to get back together, either. It could still come. I hope it does. I currently feel very much out of the loop of the local music scene. Unfortunately, it's much more difficult for an aging bass trombonist to bring his talents to a new band than it is for a guitarist or drummer. People have been asking about us. People miss us. I miss us. The best answer right now is to sit back, wait and see...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Workhorse HNT

It was the summer of 2004. I splurged, and purchased the best laptop that Apple had at the time. A 17" Mac PowerBook. Oh, it was heaven. And really, still is. It's gotten a bit fussy at times, but overall, it's worked just fine.

Some would consider using the same computer without major overhauls for four years as pushing one's luck. And I'll admit--I've looked at some of the new Macs that have been coming out recently, and I'd love to upgrade. But finances stick their nose into my business (or rather, lack of finances), and I keep the desire below the surface. Besides, I live in a Mac environment at work, and we upgrade every couple years. So I'm not hurting too bad!

I've come to truly appreciate the computer I have. I've learned to live for 2 years with a crack from one side to the other, and the gross impact point that started it. I have endured the burn on my leg from using it on my lap. I have dealt with the power adapter I had to replace. But I noticed something a couple of weeks ago. Three years of HNT have taken their toll and worn out the coating on my keyboard. And how do I know it's been HNT??? Here's your evidence...

Not sure why the 'T' came out unscathed, but no question about the others!
(click on the picture to see the cool back-lit keyboard, cracked monitor, and other things...)

Our Mystery Guest this week is a longtime HNTer. When I first was made aware of her, she had been one of those who snuck in under the radar. She wasn't aware of the "I'm up!" process. But we all got to know her. Then she disappeared! Then she came back again, but different. This time she brought along a playmate. And the two of them have been posting together for just over a year. It's a blog about real life, dominance, submission, and love.

She's going to be revealed Thursday afternoon, but if you know her already, stop by and say hi! She's in a bit of a funk, so she'll be happy to see you!
Well, this one was easy, since she cheated on her own HNT and used this instead! This is Mina from over at "At Longing's End". Stop by and say hi!
"...the Other HNT" emphasizes quality over quantity this week. One or two new participants to see over there. Stop by and leave lots of comments! Of course, NSFW.
Because I'm all for international peace and harmony...Happy Canada Day to my friends above the border! Becareful, be safe, and have a beer for me, eh?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Summer of My Geek

OK, I've been getting my inner geek on pretty good the past week or so. First, I mentioned the Discovery Channel's When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions, which chronicled the space missions from the test pilot days, through the current shuttle missions.

Then I geeked a bit with the pictures of Mt. St. Helens under the full moonlight.

Tonight, I'm geeking to the Discovery Channel's In the Shadow of the Moon. Similar to the previous shows, but this one was specifically about the first moon landing, and then a little about the subsequent ones. And finding all sorts of things out. Like the fact that Buzz Aldrin was the first man to pee on the moon. You don't often hear about facts like that. In any case, I've been soaking this stuff up pretty good, because it's going to be a geeky summer.

(follow me here...) You're going to hear me bitch and moan over the next 3-4 weeks about the symphony's summer concert in mid-July. Those of you who have been around will remember that this is the free concert attended by around 15,000 people, and we expect possibly more this year. The concert is themed "Out of This World!"--playing music that is associated with space and planets and the like. Yep, more geek! Alot of recognizable John Williams music, the fanfare from Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra! ("2001: A Space Odyssey" theme), and perhaps my favorite piece of music, Gustav Holst's The Planets. For this presentation, we wanted to get some sort of person that could perform a narration between movements.

We kicked around ideas last fall of what sort of concert we wanted to do, and settled on the space theme. And featuring The Planets, performing it with a narrator. There was alot of "what if" talk going around about whom to contact for that. While there was really only one choice we wanted for the position, we needed to run through some other names to fall back on. Who would we want to have narrate with impact? And be able to keep the space theme. Names on the short list:
(Edit--these people were NOT the first choice...)
James Earl Jones--who wouldn't want to hear that glorious voice?
Patrick Stewart--same thing, though maybe a bit dramatic.
William Shatner--that would be cool, but he tends to be a bit comical, which wouldn't fit.
Leonard Nimoy--he had some definite possibility.
Tom Hanks--would be good, but we could do better.
Ron Howard--has the same fascination with space as I do, but half the audience would be looking at Opie Taylor, the other half at Richie Cunningham.
Tom Brokaw--great voice, and lives in Montana.
David Letterman--too serious for him, but he also lives in Montana. Sometimes.
Sean Connery--has nothing to do with space, but who cares?
Sam Elliott--we'll keep him in mind for a Western concert. Beef. It's what's for dinner.
In the end, we were lucky to get our first choice. He was available (for a well-deserved, hefty fee), and we were able to get a couple of new sponsors to partner up with us to raise the money. This will be the very pinnacle of my geekness. This will be something I'll remember forever. This will be the chance to meet a true hero. Trust me--you're going to hear alot more about this in the coming weeks!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

On a lighter note...

As per my annual tradition, I was up before the sun on Saturday to watch the sunrise on the longest day of the year. The longest day. A day to do as much as possible in the allotted amount of sunlight. The most sunlight of the year. Wish I could thrill you with stories of all that I accomplished. Ain't gonna happen. At least it was a long day for me to waste!
Anyone who's read me here for any length of time knows that I have a "thing" for anything/everything doing with Mt. St. Helens (it's scary to me that some of you weren't even born when it blew...). One of the things I have on my Powerbook is the MSH VolcanoCam. A camera pointed at the mouth of the volcano from about 5 miles away. Operating all year (though if it goes bad in the winter, it's spring before they can fix it), 24/7. Most of the time, there's not much to see. Occasionally you can see an ash plume. Or watch a storm blow through. Or through the website's archives, you can see a QT movie of the effects of a total lunar eclipse against the mountain! These two shots were found on Thursday and Friday nights, catching the full moon. (click 'em to big 'em!)

This is what it looks like at this very moment. Sometimes the pics aren't all that great. Yeah, I'm a geek for these sorts of things...

Friday, June 20, 2008

There he goes again....

OK--let me clarify a couple of things right at the beginning here... I SO didn't want to write this post, but the more that I read 'out there', the more I felt I needed to say something. Secondly, I hold NO judgment towards anyone one I generalize about here, though I might point fingers and do a little name calling. I'm not sure. Thirdly, even though I usually close comments when I pontificate, I think I'll leave them open.

I'm not sure where to start with this. I originally thought of writing a fairy tale, but things are too serious for that. I don't want to come off as sounding superior than anyone, either, but I don't know where exactly this will all lead...

I have come to be much more aware of "community" in the blogger world. Within our own HNT community, some of us have witnessed some severe attacks on the whole concept. A couple of years ago, there were some very nasty things said about a particular HNTer. For the most part, they were made by 'outsiders' who had no clue about the nature or concept of HNT (either you get it, or you don't. That's still a bit of a problem today...). Unfortunately, there were nasty comments made by her fellow HNTers as well, and eventually, she closed down her site. But HNT persevered through that adversity, and today we are a pretty friendly group of nekkidists. Sure, there's still some people who think that HNT is nothing but fat people looking for an excuse to show skin, but after 3+ years, HNT holds quite a bit of credibility, whereas many of the naysayers have come and gone. Tenure is often a good thing.

One positive aspect of this community is the open-door feeling we have for new people to join in on the festivities. No membership, no applications, no registrations. You want to be half-nekkid? C'mon down! What I welcome from this is the chance to see what communities the newbies come from. And this is what my pontificating is about today (wow--only took 4 paragraphs to get to the point...). If you are unaware of what I'm about to talk about, then consider yourself lucky. I'm not going to link, or name names. You can be anonymously horrified, much like I was. If you DO recognize what I'm talking about, then I think you know where I'm going with this.

There's another community out there that I was not aware of until a couple of months ago. It might sound familiar (except the half-nekkid part). A community of bloggers from all points of the blogosphere. A community that had very specific 'favorites'. A community much like ours, in that you could find the same circle of commenters on everyone's sites within that community. Not a bad thing. But then "it" happened. Let's refer to it as the "Situation". The Situation involves flirting, adultery, deceit, desertion, back-stabbing, disappointment, and a variety of other words. And probably alot more that we'll never know about. At the core of the Situation were two of the more popular bloggers in that community. Three actually, but I can't tell how involved the third was within the community. Maybe even a fourth. Strangely, these two or three or four are not at the center of this story. It's the rest of the community. As I began to get a sense of what had transpired, I became acutely aware of blogger boundaries that had been crossed.

All of a sudden, sides were chosen. And if you were on one side two weeks ago, you might be on the other side now. Two-facedness (huh?) was running rampant. And the name-calling. Oh, the name calling... And the stone-throwing and the self-righteousness and the pontificating (trust me--I wouldn't last a day over there!). As I read dozens and dozens of comments, and then another dozen different blogs, each with their own take on the Situation, I came to realize that I didn't particularly like this community. True, there were some who tried to make peace and calm things down, but they were pretty much ignored.

The second wave of action came from those who looked at things over there, and decided that if this is what blogging was all about, then they were going to close things down, because the "fun" factor had been taken away. The inevitable third wave was the same people deciding that they wouldn't close down because calmer heads prevailed and talked them down.

So what was/is the outcome of all this (and there's really SO much more)? An entire community of bloggers who have stuck their collective noses into the real life business of 3 or 4 single bloggers. Noses that had NO business being involved. Noses that compounded and extended the stress and strife of those individuals. And, at the same time, attacked each other. Nothing is ever going to be the same over there. Friends turned on friends, strangers stirred the pot, things were written that can't be erased, fantasies turned to reality, and realities didn't match the fantatsies.

How does this affect our HNT community? In reality, I don't think it does at all. Maybe we're all insecure enough in ourselves that we know that we need to play nice. Maybe we just don't take ourselves too seriously. Whatever it is, I hope that we never get to the point that they did. There are a few from that particular community that also do HNT. My point to them would be that you're more than welcome here. We will welcome you with open arms, a smile on our faces, and without prejudice. I would hope that they have already experienced that.

Am I suggesting that the HNT community is "better" than this other one? Of course not! Let's face it. We have plenty of adulterers (sorry for the harshness...) who make no bones about it. We have a variety of bloggers who still think that HNT is a "sex thing". We have mommies. We have professionals. We have students. We are an equal opportunity community. We've learned how to play nice. But I know that we'd rally around our own if we ever were somehow attacked by the ignorant. And we'd be really nasty, too!

After looking back at three years of HNT, I think we're a pretty good bunch of people. Sure, we have our quirks, but that's a natural occurrence. So I say raise your hands high, and then give yourselves a huge pat on the back, and a high five to the person next to you. In the grand scheme of things, we're doing just fine!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Change of Plans HNT

I had the evening all lined up. I'd rented equipment, re-charged all my batteries, set up the entire back room--I even had a storyboard drawn up to guide me through the variety of shots I was going to take to make this week's HNT one of my finest.

Then I got the phone call...

Kamey was in town. Long-time readers will remember her as one of the first HNTers, known as Just.A.Girl. I mentioned her last month as having just graduated from optometry school. She'll be moving to Alaska next month for her first job. Not Alaska by the sea where the weather is not too bad, but Nome, AK. On the coastline, but only a hop, skip and a jump away from the Russian coast. And the second of my girls to move up there. But I digress...

She's in town for a week or two before heading up there, so the first thing she needs when she drives into town is to have her beer. Another recently graduate and friend of hers came with us. We'll call her Mary, for lack of a better name. We started at the Brewhouse, which is our standard beer-drinking place. Kamey had her Miner's Gold, Mary had one as well, and I made my way through a couple of different microbrews, looking for a new favorite (didn't find one). Mary was raised near a large town in the northwest (only two of them--take a guess...), so we decided we needed to show her what a typical Montana dive bar was like.

We ended up going to O'Toole's--the Irish bar that is still open, even though we thought it was closing down two St. Patrick's Days ago. Short story--the shots started flowing. Tequila, whiskey, funny fruity drinks with no name that the bartender made up on the spot. We drank until well past 1AM. The good news is that the bartender only charged me $8 for all the shots, beers and drinks! And he took the picture below:

I'm thinking the bartender was somewhat motivated by Mary...

Then Kamey grabbed the camera and took this one. It's her fingers circling the lens, and me. It may not be the greatest HNT of mine, but it certainly was a fun time! Now I'm waiting for the phone call to do it again tonight!!

towel towel i love you
for all the towel things you do
in the morning and in the night
towel towel you're just right

sorry--no reveal of this week's MG

"...the Other HNT" has a couple of new people stepping up to the plate this week! Be sure to stop by and check them out! As usual, NSFW!
Between sucking down beers, we watched the Celtics put a really big hurt on the Lakers. Yay!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Public Service Announcement

In general, drinking heavily with little food on a school night is rarely a good thing...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bugs 'n Critters 'n Varmints

I've found a show on the Discovery Channel that's quickly becoming one of my favorites! "Verminators"--have you seen it? In the "Dirty Jobs/Deadliest Catch/Ice Truckers/Cops" style of reality TV, we get to follow the guys from Isotech (geez, there's even a slow-motion, "Armageddon"-style clip of them walking up the street), a "pest management" company. Narrator, cameramen, interview with the guys, and the latest in state-of-the-art extermination equipment (and kick-ass toxic chemicals!).

If you haven't seen this show, you're missing a great treat. If nothing else, you will grow to appreciate exactly how well off you really are. Rats, pigeons, spiders, roaches, ants, termites, skunks--you name it, the grossness is beyond real. And this is all in L.A.! And the worst part--it's not all white trash ghetto houses. Many of these places are nice homes! But geez, some of these others... One cannot fathom that anyone could possibly live in such squalor.

And perhaps the best part are the tenants of these places. Not thinking that the pulsating mass behind the refrigerator is dangerous. Or that the rodent droppings falling into their little baby's crib might make her sick. Or that waiting 8 months before calling someone about the hole in the ceiling that's letting in the pigeon poo is normal. Trust me, if you ever need a boost in your own self-esteem and giving you a sense of superiority, you can't miss this show!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lots o' beer

Lots of beer this weekend. Nothing out of control or anything, but it's been awhile since I've had significant amounts of beer for three days in a row. Started out on Friday afternoon, having drinks and playing Keno with one of the high school friends I wrote about earlier (that caused all sorts of angst for alot of readers...). The company was great, the Keno was lucky (about $110 in winnings for me--I rarely win at Keno!), and the beer was cheap and cold (Ranier). All on top of a tummy that was ravaged all week!

Saturday I got to meet up with Rachel, who had come down for the weekend. We talked, we laughed, we cried, we drank something called a "Tight Snatch", we played Keno (different establishment), we ate mini-corndog things, we gossiped, we bad-mouthed, and generally had a lovey afternoon. Though I think her Tight Snatch made her a little loopy (I could you tell...?).

Yesterday was not only Father's Day, but Dad's 75th birthday. So, of course, that means getting together to BBQ! In our family, however, if there's a major golf tournament on, it also means that one poor schmuck gets to BBQ while the rest of us are kicked back in air-conditioned comfort watching TV. It was the first time in a long time that S2's and S3's families had perfect attendance (college, sports tournaments, etc...), so we were all here for Dad. Who was looking/feeling pretty good. I hugged him, congratulated him for still being alive at 75, and thanked him for siring me so that I could wish him a happy Father's Day. I think he was appropriately touched ("Get outta the way--I can't see him putt...!). Here's the tradtional post-dinner picture of Dad and the grandchildren:

Yes, the dorkiness runs rampant...
As mentioned, we pretty much disregarded the absolutely gorgeous (finally!) weather to stay inside to watch the U.S. Open. Personally, I dislike Tiger Woods. Rather, I dislike the media attention and hype on Tiger Woods. To the point that I usually root against him. Yes, he's phenomenal, but don't just hand him the trophy without acknowledging the rest of the field. Almost all of us were hoping that he'd miss that last birdie putt, yet I think all of us knew it was going in. It'll be interesting to see how his knee holds up today!
BIL3 and my nephew are huge Lakers fans. I generally am too. And I've made no bones about how much I dislike Boston-area sports teams (I despise the Patriots, hate the Red Sox, and would like the Bruins, if I liked hockey at all). But I do like the Celtics. And in this match-up, I'm all for them. We sat around after the golf and watched basketball. I don't think the Lakers can pull it out. It'll be nice for Boston to win the championship at home.
Has anyone been watching the NASA documentaries on the Discovery Channel lately? "When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions" Following the history of US manned space flight from the Mercury days through Skylab, so far. Hours of videos that haven't been seen before from inside the missions, the astronauts telling their stories (geez--they all look so old!), and just alot of reminiscing for this former astronaut wannabe. I think the series ends next Sunday with the shuttle missions. What I find amazing still is that it hasn't even been 40 years since we first landed on the moon, but we haven't been back since 1972. Nor has anyone else...
On a family pride level--I found out yesterday that S2 will be appointed to a position in the state government that will make her one of the highest paid employees of the state. She already makes more than the governor, I believe. It's a non-political position, so she avoids that whole mess. It's a very high profile, important position that she's been training for her entire career. She's risen from an entry-level drone, to the top. She's held the no. 2 position for about 8 years, so she knows what she's getting into. And her big brother couldn't be more proud!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Purple-y HNT

I've been complaining quite a bit this spring on how cold and rainy it's been. Frankly, it's actually been quite normal. It's just that we've had such warm and dry springs over the past decade that I've gotten more than spoiled. As mentioned last week, I had a plan A, that I had to drop. Plan A was dependent on the weather, and we had just enough sunshine this past weekend that I had to jump on it.

It's been noted in prior years on this blog about my love of lilacs (sorry, Juicy!). To me, it is the finest scent known to man. Well, maybe after airplane glue (mmmm....). And it brings back all sorts of childhood memories. Our front walk had lilac bushes on both sides, and at the height of the bloom, my sister and I would just stand out in front like a couple of coke addicts, snorting up the smell.

Plan A was such a simple plan. A picture with lilacs. But the damned things didn't bloom around here forever. Then last week, Dana posed in her front yard with lilacs, and Vixen posed with rose petals. So I determined that the time had come. The first thing I had to do was get lilacs. Unfortunately, I don't have any bushes nearby, so last Saturday, at 1AM, with a pair of scissors in hand, I snuck out to a place that I had scoped out earlier in the week. Huge blooms, great color, and the smell. Oh, the smell... For well over half an hour, in the darkness of night, I raped these bushes of a full garbage sack full of blooms. Yes, I had to "hide" in the bushes once or twice. Yes, a cop car actually slowed down in front of me (well, because of the stop sign on the corner, but still...). And I snuck back home with my sack of lilac goodies!

The next day, I staged the photos. Think along the lines of "American Beauty". Sort of like what Vixen did, but much more. A bathtub full of lilacs. And my nekkid self in the middle. And that's where things went downhill... Without giving the gruesome details:
the tub is too small for a shot like that;
I'm too big for the tub for a shot like that;
lilac blooms are too small to make a decent shot like that;
you can't take lilac pics without including lots of leaves and twigs;
the tub is to short to tripod a camera at the end for a shot like that;
lilac blooms fall off pretty easily and get into the most interesting places;
and, well, you get the idea....
The only positive thing that came out of all of this is that my apartment smelled wonderful for a few days! Thank God I was smart enough to take a couple of pictures beforehand!

This week's Mystery Guest is a relative newcomer to HNT. Not one to miss out on the fun, she's already participated at "..the Other HNT", and Vixen's "Tits For Troops"! She's sort of a late-night person, and sorta sneaky, too! Always hiding just below the surface... She's actually been blogging for quite awhile, but her current site allows her the freedom to do more. She does have a thing for the color blue, and can find that all over on her site. She'll be revealed late Thursday afternoon, but if you think you know who it is, be sure to drop her a line and ask!
This week's MG is the fun and goofy Covert Lover! Stop by and check out her blue rose!
"...the Other HNT" is filled with more of your favorite HNT friends! Be sure to stop by and check them out and leave a comment or two! Of course, it's NSFW, as usual...
Thanks for your concerns regarding my brief illness. I know I was sick--I had no desire to chat or surf or anything! Still not completely over it, and I'm not really sure what I've been suffering from, but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One of those days... (beware, this could be disgusting)

I had some cold fried chicken yesterday. I had that feeling all last night, and when I went to bed, that it didn't seem like things had settled into my stomach. Since then, I've experienced every sort of bodily function I could have, short of actually puking. Belching, burping, sweating, heartburn, etc., and I won't even begin to go into the excretory functions. Or the number of pairs of underwear I've gone through since midnight. I don't believe I've ever had an enema (at least that I'm aware of, and I think I'd be aware of something like that), but I do believe I know what the end result is like...

So I called in sick, have been in bed all morning, trying to get some sleep, and I'm awakened at around 10:30 by a monster clap of thunder, and rain dripping off the roof. I look outside--it's 37° and snowing! Hope you're all having a better day!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Weekend stuff

I seem to remember the old days, when I could write decent posts--witty, interesting, anecdotal. Wonder what happened...?
Received this link in an email at work this morning. I won't post it, but you should check it out. It might answer alot of what's wrong with teenagers with cell phones to their ears all day! It's on YouTube, and it's safe for work.
Dana posted her first vlog over the weekend. Actually a two-parter of her drive to work, pointing out the sights and attractions along the way. I figured that was a heck of an idea. Those of you who have been around may have participated in the "Come To Work With Me" theme of Labor Day 2006. But this would be uninterrupted video, with commentary by me! Well, I'm putting it off for awhile. The file was too big to upload in one shot, the tripod has a loose screw so the picture is jittery, and I can't be allowed to speak without a script. Or at least an idea of what I'm going to say. If you think I ramble and/or pontificate here, you should hear me onscreen! I'll do one later. I promise!
I actually have this week's HNT taken care of! Rather than the last-minute rush, I had to plan this one out. In fact, this is the Plan "A" that was mentioned in last week's. I could have gotten arrested for the pre-production activities even!
I made a decision, for no apparent reason, that I'm going to try to respond to your comments for each post. Except for HNT posts. It dawned on me that I really like getting a response from those who do the same. So starting with this post, I'm going to try to do that. Wish me luck!
I know the weather is unbearably hot for most of you. We didn't even hit 60 all weekend! We won't even get into the mid-70s until this weekend. From what I read on all of your sites, I should probably not complain and enjoy the coolness! Still, even just a 2 or 3 day stretch of sunshine would be nice!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tagged Once Again

It's Friday night, and I'm on the computer. Just waiting for House to come on. Damn, I live an exciting life...

I got tagged by Phaedrous (longtime blogger/former HNTer/generally a good guy) with this tag that many of you have already done. Hope I don't have the same answers as you did! Of course, there's the rules:
  1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning of the post.
  2. Each player answers the questions about themselves in their post.
  3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
  4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.
1. What was I doing ten years ago? - Not much different than what I'm doing now (sad...). I was manager of a CD store, playing in the Symphony and with In Cahoots, directing the pep band at the local college, and working on the production of the first Montana Summer Symphony concert (a highly questionable venture at the time--a highly successful (but different) endeavor ten years later). Then, as now--no wife, kids, girlfriend, or pets. Ooh--I didn't have any plants back then!

2. What are five things on my list to do today? - Well, this will be tomorrow's to-do list:
  1. Get out of bed (usually not a big problem. I've been getting up earlier these days with the sun. At this point in my life, I have a dwindling number of days left, so the longer the days, the better!).
  2. Join 7000+ of my neighbors for the annual Governor's Cup Race being held tomorrow. There's a marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and all sorts of extra-curricular events. Oh, wait. You don't think I'm running in this thing do you??? It's kind of fun to hang around near the finish line and watch everyone with that "God, why did I just do this?" look on their faces! In years past, I've set out a lawn chair with a cooler of beer along the race route. I'm sure the runners appreciate my support.
  3. Go hit the Farmer's Market. Doubt I'll buy anything--all that fresh vegetables and fruits, and not a frozen pizza to be found! But there's a good chance I'll run into some people, and I'm in need of seeing some faces (not that your faces aren't appreciated, but, you know what I mean...)
  4. Work on the stage set-up for the aforementioned summer concert. I have to squeeze many musicians into a limited, and confined space. Thankfully, I have prior years' designs to help out my planning.
  5. Stop by to see my parents. Dad's 75th birthday is coming up, and party plans need to be devised!
3. Snacks I enjoy? - Have you seen me? There's not a snack I don't like! Actually, I don't really snack much. But specifically--peanuts and cashews are never passed up. Potato chips with dill pickle dip (Nalley's--only one place in town to find it). Surprisingly, I don't keep sweets around, though Cadbury's Eggs at Eastertime are always in danger. And possibly a surprise--I love fresh fruit. Apples, pears, oranges. Unfortunately, I don't usually have them at in stock. Same thing with raw carrots and celery. If I have them around, they don't usually last very long.

4. Things I Would Do If I Were A Billionaire? - Well, first of all, there's all the "noble" things to take care, friends, charities, non-profits, scholarship endowments, my statue in the park, etc. Then invest some, or whatever it is that rich people do. Then I'd get my horn fixed--she's a little battered. Then a kick-ass stereo system. Then go in and get my body re-done. Lord knows there's plenty that could be fixed with enough cash thrown at it. THEN...I think I'd travel every weekend (as long as there wasn't a symphony concert planned, because I don't think I'd give that up...). Not week-long trips to exotic places, but weekends spent with you guys. Maybe longer. Yeah, I know that's corny, but that's what I'd do. Maybe throw an OsParty from time to time (on my dime, of course). Do OsTour in style! Did I mention the private jet?

5. Three of my bad habits?
  1. Procrastination. There's nothing that can't wait until tomorrow.
  2. Pontification. I have an opinion on almost everything, I'm almost always right, and I'm generally not afraid to let you know.
  3. Prolongation. I don't know if that's a word, but when I really get involved with something, I won't let go of it for a long time. Whether it's working on an arrangement, surfing the net, or playing sudoku--I spend WAY too much time on things. Yes, it seems to be in conflict with the procrastination, but that's the way it is.
6. Five places I have lived? - In no specific order:
  1. Helena, MT
  2. Wallace, ID
  3. St. Louis, MO
  4. Missoula, MT
  5. Ronan, MT
7. Five jobs I've had? - Again, in no specific order:
  1. CD store manager
  2. Music teacher
  3. File clerk
  4. Office manager (secretary/boy wench/whatever you might want to call it)
  5. Non-profit executive director
8. How did you name your blog? - Well, it refers to where I sit in the orchestra. The low brass all sit in the back row. And usually elevated on a riser. Much of the time is spent counting rests, or waiting for the strings to get their part right, or reading magazines because, in spite of the glorious sounds from the low brass, we are best experienced in short doses. It also gives me a great deal of time to think about all sorts of things, and the result is "Views From the Back Row". It's apparent I must think an awful lot about half-nekkidness, isn't it?

Now I'm supposed to tag 5-6 others. I normally don't do that, but I'm all for being abnormal, so I tag the Sassy One, Evening, Her (from Blissfully Wed), Cowgirl, and the Covert Lover. If you've already done this one, go ahead and steer us back to it. Have fun!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Post-Primary HNT

Once again, things didn't go as originally planned for my HNT. I had to resort to plan 'C'! And even then, I ended up playing with Photoshop (I really need to lock myself in a room and learn all the basics...). But I think it worked out OK.

Plan 'A' is still a secret--I might be able to pull it off for next week. Plan 'B' was going to be a semi-public bit of nekkidness. As mentioned earlier in the week, Montana was the last state to complete its primary election. Our polls were open for another hour longer than South Dakota's, thanks to time zones. Plan 'B' was going to be me, holding up the paper ballot half-nekkid, in my polling booth, with the curtain pulled behind me. Imagine my disappointment in finding that we didn't get that type of voting booth this time around. The mind raced to come up with plan 'C'. Even though I've done it for HNT a couple of years ago, I grabbed a couple of the stickers they pass out, just in case I could use them.

A wise and astute blogger emailed me today and mentioned that "fate had a plan as far as the primaries were concerned". She was right. A full 59 minutes before the Montana polls closed, the news desks had already proclaimed that Obama would be the Democratic presidential candidate. Pretty much rendering the Montana votes moot. I know that he was pretty much expected to win, and it's not important to know whom I voted for. But it happens all the time to the western states. The polls in the east close before them, and a winner is often projected, and the western states take it in the shorts.

I'm not going to get into the political arguments here, or rant about who should have won or lost. And I certainly won't debate the insanity of holding primary elections in the manner that they're currently handled. But can't all polling places have the same actual hours? So that all polls close at the same actual time? I came out of this election with absolutely no feeling that my vote counted for anything. Regardless of what my stickers say...

(click it to big it to read it!)

This week's Mystery Guest brings an international flair to the place. She has lived at both the top and the bottom of the world (or perhaps the other way around, depending on your location). She's sort of new at the whole HNT thing, but that hasn't deterred her enthusiasm for it (she's got the nicest bras!). She keeps us informed about the silliness of British lawmakers, but she's not English. She's a bean counter with a wide and varied work history. These days you can find her knitting (though having some trouble with that...).

She'll be revealed late Thursday afternoon, but as always, feel free to ask her, if you think you know who it is!
Many of you seemed to recognize today's MG as our favorite multi-transplaned Norwegian, Helga Hansen! If you haven't stopped by to see her, do it now and say hi!

Wow! I'm not sure what/who opened the floodgates, but I had about 7 people send in pics for "...the Other HNT" from points unknown. Somehow, it seems as though word got out that it was someplace that just anyone could send pictures into. Not to worry, though. They were politely declined, only because they weren't HNTers. I hate being any sort of moderator, but sometimes the line has to be drawn, or at least made a little more noticeable. The participants over there are definitely "us". Don't ever think otherwise! With that in mind, be sure to stop over and check them out. Of course, they're NSFW!
I'm sure there's more I could write, but it's been cold and rainy today, and my mind's just not into it tonight. Hopefully your HNTs will snap me out of it!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

More Mish-Mash

As mentioned over the weekend, Montana is the last state to close their primary elections this year. Still don't know who I'm voting for...
I'm watching the 2nd OT of the Stanley Cup right now. The fascination escapes me, much like how the fascination of NASCAR escapes me. If I were exposed to it, or was raised in an area were it was a big deal, I'm sure that I'd be a big fan. I'm fairly certain that any spectator sport involving mass quantities of beer would eventually interest me. But right now, I keep thinking I could be watching the rerun of In Plain Sight instead. Oh, goodie. Third OT...
Speaking of In Plain Sight--OMG, is she hot, or what?? I am SO adding this show to my summer viewing! (geez, I sound like Vixen now...) Seriously--if you are any kind of fan of crime type shows with a touch of humor, this one is a must-see!
Lots of changes happening in the land of blog this weekend. In one instance, we've found that you're never too old to have to be wary of family members finding your blog. In this case, everything was closed down. In another change, we find a blogger who has, in real life, moved in with another, and a second one planning to make the move to be with the one they love. Found out about three different bloggers who moved to different sites without telling many others. Closer to home, it looks like Moose will be moving to Fairbanks. She's pretty jacked about her interview there, and they've already offered her the position. I Google-mapped the drive from here to Fairbanks. It ain't happenin'! Though it would be a beautiful drive, I'm relatively certain that flying would cost half as much as the gas it would take there.
Two deaths over the past couple of days... One of the funniest men in television and movies, Harvey ("It's not Hedy, it's Hedley. Hedley Lamarr.") Korman died Thursday at the age of 81. And pioneering rocking/blues guitarist Bo Diddley died Monday at the age of 79.
Got a little hint of color on my face from my brief time in the parade. First time in 40 years that my forehead has gotten a little sunburn!