Monday, March 29, 2010

Interesting times here this past weekend.

Two days into spring break, five area teens were killed in an early morning (1 AM) single-vehicle wreck. Four of the five were 18 years old, and the 15 year old sister of one of the boys was also killed. According to the coroner, speed was a factor, alcohol was a probable factor, and drug paraphernalia was found in the truck.

Most of me is terribly sad for the families involved. But there's a part of me that doesn't feel quite so badly, considering how they died, and the time of night that it happened. What's happened to parental responsibility?
There was a rally at the State Capitol on Saturday. This is why I love living in Montana:

Seriously, I would not be surprised if there was a vendor nearby selling beer...
Symphony concert was quite wonderful, but not without tension. Not at the concert, but for the three days before. Without boring you with the details, suffice it to say that boards of directors of non-profits (particularly arts non-profits) need to keep their noses out of the operations. In my case, the concert. There was a great deal of bad blood being spewed, with the Board trying to bully their way. Ultimately, a compromise was reached, with the Board actually backing down, but it was like pulling teeth. I'm afraid we haven't heard the end of it all.
Did you know that Easter Sunday is next weekend? And April? How did that happen?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Jen & Larry

I hate to disappoint some of you, but there's no huge secret to the "8". But there is a story!

I've been doing this blogging thing for over five years, and HNT almost that long. There's been hundreds of people who come and go through this whole interwebz thing. Some pass through HNT literally unnoticed. Some have been around almost from the beginning. And some make a brief appearance, yet make lasting impressions.

Back in the old days, one such person made that impression. She went by the name of "VirgoJen". We followed her on her runs (that race up the skyscraper still sticks in my mind--40 flights of stairs!), her family, her divorce, and just about anything else she could come up with. And her HNT pictures were always quite sexy, without giving away the goods. And her smile--oh, that smile!

She closed down her blog a couple of years ago, though she had pretty much neglected it most of the year before that. She got heavily involved in photography, and started showing us her life over at Flickr. She got involved with the "365" project over there, which allowed us to see even more of her life than blogging did. She used Flickr as her pseudo-blog. So it was like she hadn't left at all. Then an unexpected thing happened. She met a guy...

I honestly can't say that I know the precise history, but I think they "met" on Flickr. He, too, has a thing for photography. They clicked (pun intended). She sort of introduced him to us in May, 2007. Now, almost 3 years later, they're getting married today (Friday) after a variety of twists and turns. Through it all, they've been able to keep their focus on this day.

As for the significance of the "8", it's better in her own words...
"Okay Facebook and Flickr all know (well those that "know" us) what "8" means to L and I. I would personally love if you could post an "8" photo of some sort on Friday. It would mean alot to me (us!). I want to make a slideshow!"
and another quote, when not everyone knew the significance...
"It's actually infinity, and it's quite a sweet and long story, but basically when we first met we would type it by using 8. We both got infinity tattoos as well. We still use it to this day... It's our "thing." :)"
So to Jen and Larry: Congratulations on this day! May the Force of "8" be with you!

Click for my "8"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"8" HNT

This week's picture may not make sense to many of you (if any), but it's by request. I won't go into details here, but I'll write about it on Friday. But it's got to do something with keeping your life in focus...


It is not how old you are, but how you are old. ~ Marie Dressler ~

The age of a woman doesn't mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles. ~ Sigmund Z. Engel

One of the many things nobody ever tells you about middle age is that it's such a nice change from being young. ~ Dorothy Canfield Fisher ~

You're only young once, but you can be immature forever. ~ John Greier ~

Forty is the old age of youth, fifty is the youth of old age. ~ Victor Hugo ~

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball. ~ Doug Larson ~

Live your life and forget your age. ~ Norman Vincent Peale ~

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. ~ Muhammad Ali

It's important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle. ~ Author Unknown ~

The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth. ~ Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958 ~

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. ~ Chili Davis ~

This week's Mystery Guest/birthday girl will be revealed late Thursday afternoon.

My apologies for not getting around to reveal the MG caught me off-guard. Of course, the MG is Evening. Her blog is private, but you could probably leave a comment here requesting an invite. I'm sure she'd see it! Happy Birthday, young lady!

Still continuing to get some great submissions from your fellow HNTers over at "...the Other HNT". You should go check them out. Be sure to leave some comment love over there, too. And as usual...NSFW.
A new stop on the OsShirt tour has been documented. Be sure to check it out! Only a couple of more posts and it'll be almost current!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blog Pimping and Other Selected Shorts

Stop by and check the blog that Cher started for the family chihuahua. If you've got a pet, or just love animals, this blog should tug at your heartstrings. Go down to the first post to read all about what's been going on. And then do what you can...
Got some sad news on Polt's site yesterday. For those of you who don't know him, he's one of the longest-running HNTers among us. He's hanging up his HNT camera after 4 full years (200+) of HNT. He rarely missed a week in all that time, and rewarded us with 2 HNTs the next week when he did. And not once did he show his privates. Very definitely one of the old-skool HNTers. Go check out his final regular HNT.
Did you see the OsShirt's appearance yesterday? Go visit Chickie to see it! I really do wish I had that shirt's life...
The University of Montana lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament tonight. The 14th-seeded Griz lost by 5 points to the third-seeded New Mexico Lobos, though the the lead was back and forth most of the night, and they were only down by one in the last two minutes. Well played, boys. Now I don't care about the rest of the tourney.
Speaking of tourneys...the Masters starts up in a few weeks. Despite my negative feelings towards him (long before his current tribulations), I'll go out on a limb right now and predict that Tiger's gonna win again this year. And I sorta hope he does.
The symphony played a youth concert this afternoon (which is the reason for my general absence here for the past couple of days). "Peter vs. the Wolf"--getting the Wolf's version of what happened in Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf". It's educational, and the kids love it, but I am totally beat. Quick set-ups/tear-downs and numerous changes to the stage. I should be in bed right now...
One of the best things about this concert is that the stage director (this was a stage show--the courtroom trial of the Wolf) was one of our lead singers from the band! We "retired" in Sept. of '07, and we both realized that we hadn't seen each other since then! She'd never seen me with the shaved head (and wasting away), and I hadn't seen her since she went from blond back to her natural brunette. We've promised that we won't go that long before seeing each other again. We even broached the subject of starting up a new band. Something to think about...
The "Great Formspring Experiment" seems to be a fizzle. The box is right over there in my sidebar. Ask me anything. Anonymously, even!
I miss my Irish-themed template already. I sort of liked the color scheme with the shades of green.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day HNT

I've always been one to celebrate my Irish heritage on St. Patrick's Day. In spite of not having that outward indication that I've got any Irish blood in me. No O'Hara or Flanagan or Faherty as my surname. The Irish part of my family comes from my mother's mother's family, so the surnames have gotten buried. The Milligans and the O'Hearns.

Sadly, I've never really dug into my heritage. Mom started years ago, and was able to go back a couple of generations, plus some references to being related to "John, the Warrior" from the 11th century. No one famous, that we could tell, but there were a couple of ministers that popped up.

I've always wanted to go to Ireland, though I'd have to do some real studying of my ancestors, so that I could really enjoy the history of my lineage. I'm hoping that, somehow, that lineage includes the Guinness family. To that end, I celebrate each year with my favorite Irish drink. And while I don't quite do the presentation as well as last year's SPD Mystery Guest, the sentiment's the same!

I hope that you all had a great St. Patrick's Day!

The Aries:

"Aries is the first sign of the western zodiac - untested, unsophisticated and genuine to a fault. Aries charges through life, bumping into obstacle after obstacle then getting bravely up, only to wonder where the lumps and scrapes and bruises came from."

This week's Mystery Guest will be revealed Thursday afternoon. It's her birthday this weekend too!

The birthday girl this weekend is Stealth, who's come back after a long time away. Stop by and wish her a happy birthday (Saturday)!

Something had to give way today amongst all the things going on (see my previous post), and "...the Other HNT" is it. It'll still be going up, but not until later tonight, and possibly not until after midnight sometime. But be sure to check it out! Your fellow HNTers would appreciate it! Definitely NSFW this week.

Another adventure of the OsShirt has been posted. It's slowly getting caught up over there!
I've got that "ask me a question" thingie over there in my sidebar. So much easier than coming up with a new meme! Try it out--it's anonymous, too!
As a special Irish treat, we've got a second Mystery Guest! Enjoy!

"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time --
a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic."
~~Adrienne Cook

This week's second Mystery Guest will also be revealed on Thursday afternoon. But if you know her, you might be able to see her with even a little less green!

This Irish lass is Minority Report! Be sure you stop by her place too!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

If all goes as planned, I'll be sitting at O'Toole's at 8:00 this morning. Continuing my nearly 20 year (with only a couple of misses) tradition of getting the first green beer out of the tap. In years past, that's also meant that I was really in no condition to go to work, but my bosses are cool that way. Of course, they put the beer down pretty well themselves! But this year, I'll have a limit of 2 green beers. No shots of Jameson or Bushmills. No Guinness or Killian's Red. Damned new lifestyle puts a crimp in that.

Just as well, since I've got a symphony move, including loading the truck before heading to O'Toole's. And heading back to set things up after work. And rehearsing until about 10:30 into the night. No reason to go through the day in an alcoholic haze (though that hasn't stopped me in the past).

But I'll be wearin' the green. My Irish heritage allows me to do that. I'll have Pandora tuned to "Irish Pub Favorites". I'll try to sneak in some corned beef and cabbage. I love St. Patrick's Day! May the luck of the Irish be with all of you!
Had a great link emailed to me from my boss yesterday. For those of you with iPhones, be sure to check this out. "Thirty Super Secret iPhone Features and Shortcuts". There's some great stuff here that I'd never known about. Some of them are fairly popular. But most of them were new to me, and based on the comments on the site, new to most people. Why doesn't Apple publish these things?
Got a different email yesterday from Cher (remember her?--and no, not that Cher...). There's been a terrible thing that's happened to her sister's dog. A cute little chihuahua. Yeah, it's a request for a donation, but when you go to the site she's set up, you can hardly say no. At least stop by to check it out.
As mentioned above, it's a busy day in the land of O'sbasso (like the Irishness of that? must be late). I won't have computer access for most of the day, but HNT will be scheduled at its regular time. OHNT, however, will not go up until sometime after midnight, since I get so many submissions on Wednesdays. But fear not! It'll be there!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Random stuff

I suppose I should write something... As mentioned before, inspiration has been lacking over the past few weeks. Anyone know exactly what an "ides" is??
My week is shot to hell this week due to symphony duties. Enjoying the St. Patrick's Day festivities will be curtailed this year because of it (and some due to the diabetes). But I do plan on being at O'Toole's to get the first green beer out of the tap again! Just have to limit myself to two beers and NO whiskey shots. Then I have to load in for a rehearsal. We're performing a youth concert for all the 4th/5th graders in town on Thursday. Then I have to pack the whole production up an move to a local church for rehearsals for next week's concert. Like I said, the week's shot to hell.
My Grizzlies made it to the Dance! They won the conference playoffs to earn an automatic bid. Unfortunately, my interest in the basketball team is fairly low. I couldn't even tell you what their record is. But they have a somewhat easier bracket this year than in previous years that they've made it (no Duke or KY or any of the powerhouse teams in the first round). Unlikely that they'll make it to the Sweet Sixteen, but I'll be sure to brag if they do!
I finally broke down and bought my plane ticket to NYC last week! That's for BTExpress' pool party in August. All the travel sites said that deals could be had through the end of the weekend, so I figured I'd better jump on them. Still pricey, as anything out of MT is, but better price than if I'd bought them last fall. So it's on, boys and girls!
Speaking of Irish...the pictures in the header are from the most Irish movie ever made, "The Quiet Man". Starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and directed by John Ford. Must be watched every March.
Have you checked out the new adventures of the OsShirt?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Soft Blue Glow HNT

I'm not sure what happened, but I woke up on Saturday like a man possessed. After taking care of the morning man-ritual, I walked into my back room. Ah, the back room... In other apartments, it would be known as the master bedroom. Not that it's that big, but far more room than the second bedroom. Where others might have seen where to put their bed and nightstands and how to arrange the walk-in closet, I saw music room!! I have collected mucho crap in that regard. I have a spinet piano and two electric pianos in there. And a synthesizer. And my entire desktop set-up so that I could use my music programs to write fantastic arrangements for the band. And still had room to spare for a small desk, a small bookcase and elbow room to use it as a practice room. And the closet could hold my file cabinets, my boxed-up LPs, and all the stuff that I'd collected professionally from my teaching days.

As the years have gone by, the room has changed. The pianos are still there, but they're not used (the main drawback to apartment living--no chance to bang on the piano as stress relief). The fake Christmas tree is in its box on top of a microwave cart that I somehow inherited. Stacks of papers that should be in file cabinets that I've never gotten around to organizing. More little bits of furniture from the family that has somehow made it to me because they think I might be able to use it, rather than get rid of it for $10 at the spring garage sale. Think "Hoarders", but not quite that bad. And the iMac that has been pretty much unused since buying the laptop in 2007. It's much more efficient to surf the web in the living room using wireless while I'm sort of watching TV. As a result of all this, my music room became the storage room.

Back to Saturday... I walked in for some reason, and it just hit me. I had to clean that room out. Ignore the fact that it was going to be a gloriously nice day outside--I wasn't going to leave the apartment until that room was clean! I went to the store to buy some milk. ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON!

It's simultaneously disgusting and uplifting to do a major overhaul like that. I packed away instruments. I found long-lost treasures. I tossed stuff out that day that, on any other day, I would have kept. I went through 3 different cleaning rags. I took three garbage bags out to the dumpster. I made no headway into the closet, though. Baby steps, people. Baby steps!

But best of all, I've reacquainted myself with my iMac. It's been far too long. My Powerbook and I have been having issues with each other, primarily because it's just gotten filled up. And no, it's not dirty pictures! So I fired her back up, got her loaded with all the pertinent updates, and have been spending more time in the back room with her. I even bought a new router for her!

I've decided that I'm going to become a two-computer geek at home. Pictures and music, as well as blogpage work will stay on the iMac. Chatting and surfing (for the most part) will be on the Powerbook. Hopefully this will work out well. I did find out Tuesday night while uploading OHNTs that I prefer to work in a dark room, with only the glow of the screen lighting the room. And it offered the opportunity for some new pics!

"Life is a cartoon. The trick is knowing when you are the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, the road, the cactus, the desert, the canvas, the brush, the paint, or the artist. After all that, remember to smile, it is a cartoon after all."
— KC Anton

This week's Mystery Guest has chosen to not reveal herself this week. But if you might be able to find her somewhere else!

There's some great pictures over at "...the Other HNT" this week (just like any other!). You guys are getting better about leaving comments. Thanks! I've been hearing back from some of them with their appreciation. Keep it up! Also as usual...NSFW!
You may have noticed that I put up one of those Formspring thingies over there in my sidebar. It's a way to anonymously (or not) ask me questions. I won't answer them here. You'll have to click the link for the answers. I've been less than inspired here recently, so hopefully someone might spark an interesting topic. And please...try to come up with something more original than a sex question. I'd like to think you guys are a tad more cerebral than that!
You might check out the OsShirt site, too! The shirt is apparently planning its summer schedule, and should be seen around a good number of blogs soon. The blogsite is still behind, but catching up! Should be current by the middle of Spring, though!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Ask me anything...

Because lots of the cool kids are doing it...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Roy G. Biv HNT

As any good kid in school knows, the title is the mnemonic for the colors of the rainbow. Or, in a broader sense, the sequence of hues in the visible spectrum, in order from longest to shortest wavelength. Sir Isaac Newton came up with the colors, originally only five, but adding orange and indigo to come up with seven, which matched the musical notes of a major scale. But, as usual, I've strayed from the path here...

It's only early March, and I know there's at least one more good snowstorm to dump on us, but it's hard not to think of spring. I'll save the overly optimistic "springtime" post for a later, more appropriate date, but let me just say that it's been really nice here this week. I think it started during my symphony days last week, where I was stuck inside all day. No, the trees haven't started budding or anything like that, but the temperatures have been in the mid-50s range since Sunday. After a winter of bitter cold that we had, that's a nice change.

(Stick with me here...I'll get back around to Roy...) In my living room window, which faces due east, I still have a snowflake ornament hanging. I only found that out when I opened the drapes on Sunday to let in the glorious sunshine we've been getting. It's a cheap plastic, but sentimental thing, and it's got six crystal hanging around a larger center crystal. All of which act as prisms, bouncing their miniature rainbows off the walls. I remember back about 3-4 years ago when a particular lady (hi, Samantha!) did a series of HNT pics with the rainbows in her living room. Aha! I could do the same thing (but not look near as good). So I plotted for a Tuesday morning photoshoot...

Well, this is one of those great ideas that just didn't work out. Tuesday morning was slightly overcast, so the mini-spectrums that appeared just weren't that well-defined. The plan was to take a picture of them somewhere on my body, turn it black & white, and then bring out just the rainbow colors. Couldn't even do that. I did learn some things, however, and hopefully sometime in the future I'll give it another attempt. In the meantime, imagine a rainbow on my cheek, just under my eye. It's there. Really!

"Like a flower
Waiting to bloom
Like a light bulb
In a dark room
I'm just sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on

Like the desert waiting for the rain
Like a school kid waiting for the spring
I'm just sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on

My poor heart
It's been so dark
Since you've been gone
After all your the one who turns me off
You're the only one who can turn me back on

My hi-fi's waiting for a new tune
My glass is waiting for some fresh ice cubes
I'm just sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on
Turn me on"

"Turn me on"~~Norah Jones

This week's Mystery Guest turns 35 Thursday! She's back to blogging and HNT after being away for far too long. Helpful hints--she's Canadian, she's a photographer, and a lover of winter sports. She'll be revealed Thursday afternoon!
Our Canadian birthday girl is Phynixbell, one of our long lost HNTers from way back when! Be sure to stop by and check out her new digs (and new cars!). She'll be back in the full swing of things soon! And don't forget the birthday wishes!

We're getting some newer participants over at "...the Other HNT", along with some of the more regular ones. Be sure to stop by and leave a comment or two! I know they appreciate it! Oh, yeah--it's NSFW.

I know that many of you only stop by once a week, which is fine, so let me take this opportunity to direct you over to the OsShirt site. New posts have gone up this week (after being neglected for over a year!). And why is it getting started up again? Because the OsShirt (v.3.0) is making the rounds again! Go check it out. If you've never been there, start at the bottom and work your way up to get the full history! I'll keep going until I get it current!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Olympics 'n Things

Not sure why I watched as much Olympic coverage as I did, but I think I watched just about every day (except the days I was busy with symphony stuff). Interestingly, I didn't catch the US/Canada hockey match until the last two minutes of regulation. Which, of course, was the best time to jump in! And as usual, I have a couple of thoughts...

Ice Dancing--most of the pairs seemed to be lusting for each other on the ice, and frankly, looked good doing it. Until they mentioned that there were numerous brother/sister pairs in the competition. Not sure how I feel about that, but it made me a little uncomfortable... (but the Kerr siblings from Great Britain did nicely!).

Curling--U.S. men certainly choked. And Canada's female skip, Cheryl Bernard is certainly bendy!

If you didn't shed a couple of tears during/after Joannie Rochette's short program, you're either a big fat liar, or a cold heartless person.

Did you see Lindsey Vonn (and other US Olympians) in Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition? Whew!

I thought the Closing Ceremonies, which rarely match the pageantry of the opening ceremonies, were well done. I thought they were humorous, a bit PG rated for the IOC, and starting them by bringing in the handyman to fix the fourth leg was great! But I think that not having Bob & Doug McKenzie around to take part was a mistake...

I also can't believe that British Columbia native Diana Krall wasn't part of the musical talent. What a shame!

NBC continues to show its incompetence. Breaking out of the ceremonies to show off their new show "The Marriage Ref"??? Apparently those in charge at NBC are completely intimidated by comedians whose egos need to be stroked. And yet, they allow Bob Costas to continue on, even embarrassing himself as a piano "player"? The only consolation we get out of NBC is that we don't have to listen to Brent Musberger!
We had our symphony concert on Saturday night. Not the most exciting for me (I just don't care for Brahms...), but the Shostakovich piano concerto was spectacular (in spite of not using any trumpets or trombones. Odd for a good Russian). No injuries or blood, for those keeping score, though our soloist had a stomach flu. But the show must go on!
Time for a bit of honesty and introspection. How many of you followed the news coverage of the tsunami warnings on Saturday? And how many of you were just a tad disappointed by the lack of destruction by the tsunami when it hit Hawaii?
There's a new remake of "Clash of the Titans". Is that really necessary? How can you do better than Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Ursula Andress, Burgess Meredith or Harry Hamlin??? Or the wonderful stop-action special effects of Ray Harryhausen? The only "name" in the new version is Liam Neeson, and the the effects will all be CGI. Depressing.
Same thing goes with the remake coming out of "Nightmare on Elm Street". Though the role of Freddy will be played by Jackie Earle Haley, the kid who played Kelly Leak in the original "Bad News Bears" (another one badly remade). Always wondered whatever happened to him!
A couple of items relating to the OsShirt. There's a couple of short posts on the OsShirt site. Trying to get caught up after a couple of years away. Why the sudden interest in getting it going again? Because 13 Messages posted a couple of pictures with it (including a special guest, too!). And I understand that it's now on it's way to an undisclosed location in Florida! Be sure to check both links! I'm certain we're going to be seeing more of it in the weeks ahead!