Monday, May 31, 2010

So very busy...

...and "Dirty Harry" is on. Damn. Speaking of...that movie came out almost 40 years ago. Damn! And a final bit of trivia...the guy who played the creepy villain--the greaseball that kidnapped the busload of kids--played the Cardassian "Garak" on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" for its six-year run! Damn! I hope you all appreciate the additional time wasted on this segment.
Lots happened in the past week that will be best done in bullets (geez...back to Dirty Harry!):
  • Found out some interesting facts about the McDonald's that was being torn down last week. As anticipated, they're going to build a brand spankin' new one there with an outdoor coffee patio and dual drive-thru lanes. On a more historical note, the old building was the VERY FIRST in the nation to have a playground built as part of the restaurant! All those dirty, germy play areas that have grossed out parents for decades exist because the people of Helena made it a success!
  • S1 was in town for the weekend. Meaning the family getting together a couple of times. My youngest niece was the only grandchild participating, so she got to sit in on the adult discussions. The highlight of Friday night was when Mom took out the boxes of "old" photos from the 80s and 90s. I think it was the first time she'd ever gotten to see her parents in their youth. Lots of dark hair, skinniness and goofy faces. It was actually the first time I'd seen many of them too, since I was out teaching in the day, so I missed out on her high school/college years. Amazingly, there were pictures of both me and S2 that we had to take second looks at because we weren't sure if they were really us or not!
  • Went to the Brewhouse for beer on Thursday night with Kamey, her brother and his fiance. Kamey is one of my beer drinkin' girls (when she's in town from Alaska), and was one of the earliest HNTers. She and I drank too much. My condition doesn't really allow for that sort of thing anymore, but I didn't even come close to my prior "normal" consumption. I might have to give up my title as beer drinkin' champion.

  • I met with her brother and fiance again tonight (only had one beer--even that made me feel a little loopy...). They are going to have the band with no name (remember us?!?) play for their reception over Labor Day. Putting the band back together just for the occasion, so we went over song lists and requests. Definitely looking forward for that gig!
  • I apparently did such a good job with April's opera that the Symphony wants to hire me for next year's opera in the same capacity ("Madame Butterfly", for those keeping score). Unfortunately, there's no rest for the wicked, as we've had a couple of production meetings for it already. We have a sponsor waiting to drop all sorts of cash on us for next year's show, so we have to have our Ps and Qs and Ts and Is all properly taken care of soon. Sort of hoped I wouldn't have to think about it for a bit.
  • Also on the meeting front has been production meetings for our big summer concert in July. Fortunately, there's not much to worry about there, as we've been doing it successfully for quite a few years. Still, it's another "thing" to take up my free time.
  • You might remember I mentioned a project in the wings for the summer. Well, it's taking off! I was asked to join a soul band. Lots of Temptations, Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, etc. What I wasn't officially asked, but had anticipated, was to write the horn arrangements for this band. Not a really big deal, but our first four rehearsal happen between now and Sunday. There's no way I'll have everything done. I just have to plug away on them when I can (during my free time that isn't Symphony related). I'm looking forward to it, but...
  • ...I spent the better part of almost 10 hours today in front of the computer as my music writing program crashed on me while trying to boot it. Add to that my ongoing router/wireless problems, and it was a frustrating day. Good thing it was raining all day so I didn't miss any activity!
  • It's been cold and rainy now for too many days. While I appreciate the fact that we need the moisture, this is getting really old.
  • The "Operation: Phain" project has gotten the short end of my stick. I'll come up with a plan, I promise. Fortunately, everything has been working out fantastically well for her, so that sense of urgency isn't there. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't do something!
So, to recap...rehearsals will be happening all this month; music writing will be happening all this month; opera and symphony meetings happening all this month; computer is being pissy; weather is crap; three-day weekend was shot to hell. It's June!
(really, it's not all as bad as that!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Phain Update, and Requested HNT

PHAIN UPDATE! - I started out last week's HNT telling you about Phain's apartment going up in flames earlier that night, and a post the next day with pictures and everything. Well, while things are bad, they aren't as bad as they could have been. Far more "stuff" was able to be salvaged than ever thought possible. Mentally and emotionally, it's been a horrible week for her, but she knows where her faith needs to be placed, and she's getting through it. In her own words:
"There has been such an outpouring of support from everywhere – church, school, work, friends & family. We are so blessed to be a part of an amazing community and I know without a shadow of a doubt that God’s hand is on all of this.

Our immediate short term needs continue to be met - above and beyond our expectations. We do not need any additional clothing or toiletry items and are requesting local folks to direct anything they intended to donate to us - to take it to the Salvation Army (who, btw, along with the Red Cross have been AMAZING). We will hopefully move into the new condo this weekend and have donations of furniture arriving at that time and probably throughout few days after that. If anyone feels led to donate, even small amounts of $10 genuinely are appreciated and helpful - gift cards are probably easiest at this time: Target, Walmart, Lowes, Sears, or the universal Visa/AmEx gift cards are great and can be used anywhere. We've even gotten a few Starbucks and McDonalds gift cards that the kids have been really excited about. Well...I'm probably more excited about the Starbucks than they are, but you get my point.

All that to say this: We are doing good. Really good. Better than I could have fathomed last week as I sat and watched that building burn. God is good. God is faithful - and He has me and my children in the palm of His hand. Yes, I've been sad and I've cried - hoooo boy have I cried - but one thing I've never experienced throughout all of this is dispair. Because I KNOW that God is taking care of my family and will continue to take care of us - through the love and support of our friends, family, and community." /endsermon
So there you have it. If you are so inclined, gift cards are the way to go. I haven't thought this through yet, but I think that any gift cards should be sent to me, to forward on to her. She's not gung-ho about letting everybody know her name/address. Friday's post will have details, but think about it now. Can gift cards by purchased online? I think they can... Ten, twenty bucks? More? Seems like a no-brainer to help out one of our own!
I'll keep this short and sweet. I was emailing with someone last night, and they said that they wanted to see a picture with my hands. In exchange for an OHNT picture. Terms of the agreement have been met.

Anyone who's been around for a decent amount of time should be able to recognize this week's Mystery Guest. Is it because of her legs (that never seem to end)? Perhaps it's the pink cowboy hat that has appeared in so many of her HNTs? Or is it because she has once again gotten her hands on the OsShirt (more than anyone else so far!)? It could be any/all of these reasons! While the view here ain't bad, I think my point of view is much, much better!

If you know how to find her, be sure to drop by and say hi! She'll be revealed late Thursday afternoon.
This shouldn't have been too hard to figure out, except for the newer people here. Of course, it's Q from Hooked on Quack. Once again, she had to abduct the thing. She's got a nasty mean streak, I tell ya! BTW--her site is invite only, so if you need to, you can go to her profile and ask her to let you in!

Be sure to check out "...the Other HNT" and see what your fellow HNTers have been up to! Leave them some comment love, too (right now, less than 1% of all visitors over there leave a comment. And that isn't a number pulled out of my ass--just last week (Wed-Wed), that site got 13,424 page loads, and 5,982 unique visitors, resulting in a whopping 31 comments. That's a .518% rate of comments. In other words, roughly 1 in every 200 visitors leaves a comment. But that's skewed as well, since those who DO comment, generally leave multiple comments. People are looking, but they're not talking! Do something about that today! Oh, yeah...NSFW!
If you want to see more of the OsShirt adventures, stop by the OsShirt site! New pictures are up, and a fancy new map that shows where it's been and who's been seen in/with it! And best of all, it's almost current!!
Getting some interesting questions submitted through that formspring box over there in the sidebar. Keep them coming! Anonymously, even!
If you didn't see it mom made the local paper (no, not the police reports). You can check it out here (they captioned the picture incorrectly--Mom's on the left).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oh, what have I done??

Since leaving the hospital, I've been to McDonald's only once, and that was in Indy. So imagine the guilt I now feel as "my" McDonald's, the one just down the street from me, looked like this today. Had I only known that they depended upon my patronage to keep their doors open...(click it to big it to really see the carnage).

Monday, May 24, 2010

It was a dark and stormy night...

This is the result of a cold rainy weekend. This map is embedded at the bottom of the OsShirt site. Follow the zigzag journey of the OsShirt(s) to date (click on the link to go to Google Maps to get the full effect). To be updated as it goes!

View the Journey of the OsShirt in a larger map

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hey! Mom's in the paper!

Go check it out here!

Friday, May 21, 2010

This day at work seems to be just dragging on, so why not write a post?

Part of me thinks I should wrap up this whole 5th anniversary thing up with one last post. I was thinking I should do a "state of the union" sort of thing, but was told in no uncertain terms that I shouldn't. It was suggested that I pick a few of my favorites of my own HNTs over the past five years. But I do that for the year-end thing anyway, so nothing really gained there.

I could write about how wonderful it was to see some names from the past join in for the anniversary theme (I guess I just did, didn't I?). Same thing with the Favorites post from the day before. I was really impressed with the number of people who did join in with the theme. Even the ones that didn't have to go too far back. As expected, most of them were on the tame side, simply because most of us took a tentative step in our initial HNT. Some of you took to a variation of your first, which was cool too.

I could discuss the good and the bad about HNT, but I want to maintain a positive tenor here. (I know! What's wrong with me?!?) Besides, the bad stuff is the same stuff we've dealt with for years. The good stuff? You can't get enough of that! But I'm not sure what I'd discuss.

I guess what I should focus on would be thanking all of you. There was a lot of "Thanks, Os" sort of sentiment among the posts this week. I guess I feel it's misdirected. It should be "Thanks, HNTers!" Because ultimately (and I've said this before), HNT is not about me. It's about YOU. If it were about me, it would have died within the first week. Yes, it might have been my suggestion, and yes, I push it and publicize it and promote it, but it's not me. It's YOU. So thanks to all of YOU!
Good news on the Phain situation! She was allowed back to her apartment to salvage what she could. And surprise! surprise! She was able to salvage quite a bit. Water-logged, but definitely not ruined. Enough that a friend brought over a big box truck to move it away. Much better than a pick-up truck! So, even after my heartfelt post below this, I'm still going to organize something after I talk with her. And GREAT news...the cat was found hiding in the closet!
Hey! S3 just came to visit me at work!
Ooh! Shiny thing...!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Imagine this for a moment. It's early in the morning. You wake up, but don't quite recognize your surroundings. You walk into the bathroom to take a shower, but when you step out afterwards, you have no towels to dry off with. Your toothbrush and basic toiletries are also missing. You put on the shirt you wore the night before and head to the kitchen for a bowl of cereal. But when you open the cupboards, you can't find any dishes. And no silverware in the drawer. Or any cereal, for that matter. Instead you opt for scrambled eggs, but can't find a pan anywhere. Which doesn't matter, as there's no eggs in the fridge. Or milk. Or OJ. In a daze, you head to the living room to check your email. But there's no furniture. Or computer. You look around, and notice that the walls are bare. No pictures. No artwork. You decide to watch the morning news. But there's no TV. And it dawns on you that you can't read a book, because there are none to be found. You go back to the bedroom and put on the rest of your clothes from last night. Then it dawns on you that you've been awake half the night, unable to sleep. And then reality hits...

Does this sound like the beginnings of a bad novel or what? Well, it's happening in real life, right now. I mentioned on my HNT that Phain's apartment burned to the ground. It happened early last night. She has lost everything. Neither her nor her kids were at home when the fire broke out, so there was no chance for an heroic attempt to save anything. No pictures of the kids, parents, grandparents... No heirlooms. No clothes. No valuables. No toys. Still don't know if the cat made it. Everything gone. Wrap your mind around that for a minute and what that really means... Not damaged in a flood. Or some things stolen. Everything but the clothes on their backs is G-O-N-E. Burned. A pile of ashes. Non-existent.

Except the iPhone. How do I know she was awake all night? We texted for a bit, and it was well past 1AM my time. And she's on the east coast. At that point she was still in that suspended place between disbelief, grief, and exhaustion. She just needed to talk (not sure why she just didn't call, other than I would have kept her up for another hour or so...).

Based on what I've read on her FB, she's got a huge church family rallied around her. A generous outpouring of food and clothing donations has already come in. People have already offered furniture. No place to put any of it yet, but she's working on it. As she wrote, she feels quite blessed, and hasn't felt any despair. She's confident that God is going to take care of things. She's staying with her best friend, and her kids are staying with their father (one of those times that joint custody is a real blessing). They at least have some stuff over there, including clothes and "things".

Many of us were friends with Phain when she was HNTing. And even after she quit. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I have to organize something. While her short-term needs are being taken care of, it's going to take months to re-stock an apartment to its previous condition. I'm thinking of some sort of PayPal thing, and buying gift cards for her. I don't know. Any ideas that you might have--I'd love to hear them. I'll be calling her over the weekend to see what we can do for her. I have no doubt that her friends in the church will be taking good care of her, but I hate feeling helpless from afar. I hope that you do too, and would be willing to fork out a few bucks to help her out. Some of you more than others--you know who you are...

I leave you with pictures from the fire, and this morning's aftermath. Pictures of the fire from someone I assume was a neighbor, or possible tenant. The aftermath pictures (click 'em to big 'em) were taken by her daughter...

We should all start the day like this...

5th Anniversary HNT!

First off...say a little prayer for Phain (Remember Phain? Longtime HNTer/OHNTer/two-time MG/two-time OsShirt recipient). Just got word that her apartment building burned to the ground today. She and her kids are safe, but they have lost literally everything. I'll let you know what, if anything, we can do.
Be sure to check the post below this one too. A list of my favorite HNTs. A great blast from the past, with a new one just added today!
OK, on to the business at hand... It was five years ago that this little venture started from such humble beginnings. Thousands of pictures, and hundreds of participants later, it shows no sign of stopping. To start off this long post, I'll repost the Guidelines for HNT. These haven't changed since the day they were written. Granted, some of them are unneeded or outdated. But I keep them in anyway. I know that there are many of you who have never seen these. Please take the time to read them! As always, you can click on any of the HNT badges/buttons and find them, too!
The Guidelines

I offer these guidelines for "Half-Nekkid Thursday":
  • In that North American, Puritanical way that most of my readers think, "Nekkid", or its variations, somehow insinuates sex, or its variations. WRONG!! The purpose of "Half-Nekkid Thursday" is not to see sex acts! It is the celebration of exposure. Of your big toe. Of your breastbone. Of your knuckles. Of your uvula. Whatever. Of course, sex acts can qualify, so if you want to post those.....
  • "Nekkid" is not the same as nude! Again, nude qualifies, but it is not a requirement!
  • Pictures should be taken of you or by you. Don't be going to some internet site and downloading "Half-Nekkid" pics. And don't use Uncle Bob's pictures from Spring Break '72, either. Let's try to keep this fairly "real".
  • You don't necessarily have to be the subject of the picture. By the same token, if you're not, then the subject(s) should be known to you. No fair going to the beach and snapping pictures left and right. Yes, they might be "Half-Nekkid", but they don't follow the spirit of "Half-Nekkid Thursday".
  • While animals can be included in a "Half-Nekkid Thursday" picture, they are not the focus, therefore cannot be the subject. If an animal is all that keeps your picture "Half-Nekkid" rather than "Full-Nekkid", that's OK.
  • You are allowed a very limited number of cute-kids-in-the-tub type of pictures. We're interested in YOU!
  • Use some originality with your shots. Facial shots should be limited. Artsy body landscapes, conversely, are highly encouraged. If a partner/family member is needed to take the picture, that's OK.
  • Props can help you with creativity, and their use is encouraged, but not necessary.
  • As we get into this, you may find that you want to post more than one picture for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". I would discourage this practice unless absolutely necessary. You should hold some pictures in reserve, in case you find yourself without a new picture down the road.
  • While I can hardly control when you post pictures on your own blogs, let's try to keep "Half-Nekkid Thursday" special, and post "Half-Nekkid" pics only on Thursdays. If you feel the urge to post them more than once a week, I might recommend just emailing them out, rather than posting.
  • Tattoos are certainly an acceptable subject, regardless of location. Scars are also acceptable, but please respect the others who visit "Half-Nekkid Thursday" on a regular basis. Spread out the scar pictures over a few weeks' time, please!
  • Speaking of scars--If you use a picture of a scar, it must be accompanied by some sort of humorous anecdote as to how you got it. For a long, but good example, go here.
  • Other skin conditions might not be acceptable, due to good taste. These include, but are not limited to warts, zits, lesions, ingrown hairs, boils, open sores, peeling skin, scabies, rashes, or any other assorted gross things. I'm not saying that you can't post them. Just use your best judgment, for the sake of the rest of us.
  • When referring to "Half-Nekkid Thursday", please spell it correctly! Not Naked, not Neked, not Nakid. It's "Half-Nekkid Thursday".
  • It's very important to not be dissing other's submissions! We're all going to have half-hearted entries from time to time. None of us is better than the other. One the other hand, it's completely acceptable to heap praise upon those that deserve it!
  • IMPORTANT!--Remember to visit my current "HNT" post and leave a comment indicating that you've posted a picture for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". Consider my blog as the informational kiosk for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". You'll be able to see who is joining the tradition. Commenting is much easier for all concerned, rather than updating my blog each time someone posts their picture. I will try to keep the Blogroll in my sidebar updated each week.
I hope that these guidelines help all of you. Get those cameras going!
Back in the simpler days, when all I thought HNT would amount to was a tummy, or a bare shoulder, or an earlobe, this was the sort of half-nekkidness that we expected to see. I even started out by pushing the limit! I sort of hit the gross factor right off the bat! That's a nasty blister that formed and popped during a round of golf five years ago. But for what it's worth, it's the very first official HNT picture. To the right, the same heel and the same parking lot, but sans blister. You can click 'em to big 'em, but that would just be weird.

I love to touch her skin.
Soft, delicious skin on legs, belly, erect breasts, succulent lips.
I love to touch her skin.
Our mouths, with gentle suction, pulling and drawing.
Our tongues, entwined in rhythmical dance,
sliding, swirling, simulated movements when united.
Thick protrusion enters her skin,
Her skin, I love to touch.

The first time we touched, I held you so tight
that feeling I felt only felt so right.
Things were moving kind of fast and I wanted more
You made me feel so comfortable and said once more
We are miles apart and I wonder when I will see you again,
I can't wait till I kiss you, hold you, and just see you....
My sexy mystery friend.

This week's Mystery Guest will be revealed Thursday afternoon. Thanks to her secret admirer for the words.
The MG this week is Crystal, but it seems like many of you had that figured out! Stop by to say hi anyway!

Based on the early returns, it's going to be a little sparse over at "...the Other HNT". I offered it as a place for former bloggers to join in on the festivities if they wanted, but I haven't heard from any of them yet. I hope they're not all waiting until the last minute! So I don't know what's going to be over there, but let's assume it's NSFW like usual!
I've been getting some interesting questions over there in the formspring box in my sidebar. Keep them coming! Anonymously, even!
Go check out the OsShirt site in the near future. OsShirt v.3 will be showing up there soon. It's been quite active as of late, and will be taking a trans-continental vacation this summer! You might even get to see it somewhere among this week's HNTs, too!
Many of you might have received some lovely spam from my gmail account. Gmail even shut me down and made me jump through hoops to get back into my own account! And then last night, my ability to send emails was temporarily suspended (it's back now) because "I" had sent out too many undeliverable emails (that would be the spam filters on your end). Some research shows that if you clicked the link provided, your computer was not infected at all. Just urged to by Viagrow. If you received this link from me, please consider buying some Viagrow. I'm hoping I can get a commission from the sales. (I also hear that Daniel from "29 Pearls in Your Kiss..." got spam sent out under his name, and I got one last week from Roximoon. What's up with Gmail???)
OK, I only had one person who wanted to send their anniversary tribute to OHNT, so I'm going to put her here. This is from MamaKBear:

Here are my very first HNT was in Oct. 2005, and was a picture of my hand with my baby daughter's hand in it. I took a recreation, and the anniversary HNT pic is of my hand and my now 5 yr old daughter Meghan's hand. :) How fitting that she is 5 now also!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

5 Years of Favorites

Be sure to check the post below this one, too. It's a love story!

I'm going to do something that I've avoided for five years and come up with a "favorites" list of what I think are the best HNTs that I've run across. I have mentioned on numerous occasions that I hate having people list their favorites. It makes HNT become a competition. In that first year of HNT, there was even a site called "Blogging Hotties", which lasted for a few months, and caused all sorts of bad feelings by the time it sort of faded away. While it wasn't strictly limited to HNTers, a vast majority of them were. I was asked in the early days to do a "best of the year" post. My first thought--why would I be qualified to come up with something like that? Had I seen every single HNT ever posted? Did people know they were entering a competition?

Even today, there are those who feel like HNT has definite competitive aspects to it. Personally, I don't understand that, but I've heard it enough to know that some people feel that way. The feeling that someone has posted something spectacular, and that's what everyone should strive to "beat". Of course, there's been a progressive increase in the amount of nekkidness over the years, and even a subsequent decrease in it. But for awhile, that was the competitive aspect--who would be the first to push the envelope?

There's at least three bloggers who do a weekly "favorites" list of HNTs. And I inevitably feel that they leave someone out each week. I don't know what criteria they use, and frankly don't really care. It's interesting that, for the most part, the three of them rarely agree! And only one of them even considers looking at the male HNTers!

Anyway, after five years, I figure I can indulge myself. A one-time thing. After all, we ALL have certain ones that we consider "favorite"! The following are what I consider my favorites (notice I'm not saying the "best") of HNT. I tried to keep it at ten, but the list went to twenty 21 22. So sue me. And since I'm doing something I said I'd never do, I'll do it twice. There are a couple in here whom I didn't get permission from. I don't think they'd mind, but I hate doing that. And there's a couple that, because I didn't get their permission yet, I didn't include, because they would mind! So here we go (in no particular order). Click 'em to big 'em!

Leela Lamore
Remember the MG from a couple of weeks ago? The birthday girl with the gorgeous long blond hair? Well, the hair was even longer back in the day, until, unannounced, she posted this picture. Shaved it all off. For as shocking as that was at the time, there was also something quite striking about it. More power. More attention to her than to her hair. It made a huge impression!

Jinsane's pictures were always quiet and sexy and a pleasure to look at. This particular day jolted us into realizing that she had a feisty side, and was someone you wouldn't want to cross! She obviously was having a bad day that day, but good for us...!

Hippigirl was among the first HNTers during those initial early days. I seem to remember that it was a particularly hot summer in her neck of the woods, and she'd had HNTs of her laying face down in a shallow creek, and other methods of cooling off. This was probably the first HNT picture that ever showed a full face. Just a fun pic that happened to be half-nekkid! This picture is just so "her"! The hat, the trough, the beer--this is a woman you'd want to party with!

She was one of a handful of superb photographer/models that participated in HNT. She took all of her own pictures, and at this particular time was really getting into the use of shadows/light. She used a minimum of Photoshop, but got some wonderfully creative shots. And how can you not be drawn in by that subtle come-hither invitation?

This diminutive young lady made a splash with her HNTs from the very first one. She had some distinctive tattoos all over her body that she made no attempt to hide. Got her her own stalker, unfortunately. In spite of that, she pushed the limits with her poses and settings, and challenging traditional perspectives. Her series in the stairwell had people wondering if the stairs led up, or led down!

Everything Nice
Occasionally, someone would join HNT with no apparent connection to anyone else. Actually, that happened quite a bit in the "golden days" of HNT--when there were hundreds doing it each week. Anyhoo...EN was an established blogger with a decent-sized following. I just didn't realize that. Or her particular brand of blogging. I learned! This picture is just cool. Maybe it appeals to the bassist in me. Maybe it's because it's her first official HNT. I'm not sure, but I like it!

Up until a week ago, I would have included Chickie for an entirely different picture. But this one came out last week, and is just too cool for words. Natural smile, candid, and cute as a button!

Not to be confused with Chickie. Another early HNTer who did more than just snap a picture of her half-nekkidness. She had a number of great pictures, but there were a couple where she really played with depth of field and focusing. This one is remarkable for the detail showing through the water glass. Some of you people must take a half day to get the right shots!

Brisen sort of disappeared on us without warning. For the most part, her pictures weren't all that spectacular. Though there was a sort of boondocks feel to them. Then she gave us this one. Looks like the Garden of Eden in the early morning. Be sure to big it and note the cat's tail!

Brico and Audra
This was a fun couple. Our first cross-country love affair. He lived in the southeast. She lived on the west coast. He had some truly creative HNTs involving ironing boards and lava lamps. She had a tattooed mother that got her involved with HNT (hi, Emily!). We watched them shamelessly flirt with each other over their blogs. Then, to everyone's surprise, we find out that he flew out to spend a week with her! This picture was taken within hours of his landing out there. The picture sort of says it all. Needless to say, this affair didn't last too very long...

Ann got into HNT thanks to her sister Shannin. There were two of her pictures in particular that could have made this list. The one that didn't make it was one of her laying nude on a log in the midst of the forest in the Pacific Northwest. Spectacular shot. But this one stole my heart. Ann had longer hair than anyone who's ever done HNT (with one possible exception--hi, Triple L!). This particular picture took my breath away when I first saw it. About 4 months later, she hacked it all off for Locks of Love.

How can you choose only one from so very many? Vixen has set the bar so high for herself that you just know that next week's picture is going to be better than the last. But this picture really showed a different side of her than most people were aware of. Her entire series of this shoot was quite erotic. Without showing off the goodies!

Another one who has given us so many great shots, yet two of which stand out in my mind. Her very first HNT is burned in my mind (she'll be using it this week, so I won't). When she joined in the festivities, I knew that we'd hit the bigtime. I'd followed her for awhile, but never imagined that she'd actually do HNT! And she's never disappointed, other than not being regular about it! This is another one of those shots that, even though posed, doesn't have that sort of feel to it.

I haven't ranked any of these yet, but I can say (and often have) that this is the best HNT that we've ever had. We had read about Sam's dad dying of cancer (right?...geez, I can't remember). This picture was taken just an hour or two before he died. And she posted it the next day for HNT. To me, this is as nekkid as you could get. Father and daughter bonding in the last minutes of his life. There have been others since who have done a similar thing, but this was the first that we'd been exposed to as a community. And still sends chills up my spine.

Ms. Inconspicuous
Ms. I wrote some of the best stories out here. Her way with words, her experiences, her photography--all made her a favorite of many of us. Her job took her across the country, and a majority of her HNTs were taken in the many hotel rooms she found herself in. She was also quite successful at protecting her anonymity, as was definitely necessary! This particular picture always caught my fancy, as it's very much a tease. And she did that better than just about anyone!

Minta lives in the desert southwest, and constantly reminds us that she's out by the pool during the dead of winter... A couple of years ago, Heather (see below) came to visit and they went out to take pictures amongst the rocks. Might have even been the summer solstice (which would be right up their alleys). Nekkid in the desert at twilight. Pretty cool shot.

No One Special
This girl has gone through a couple of different name changes over the years. Her HNTs were primarily b&w pictures at first, and had sort of a darker edge to them. Then all of a sudden, she posted this picture with her amazing smile. Imagine my glee when I found out that she only lived a couple of hours away! Yeah, we've had beers together!

I have, on numerous occasions, said that Crimson is the undisputed and only Queen of HNT. She was sexy without showing off the goodies (OHNT was a different matter...). One week she might be in a flannel shirt, and the next week in some very hot lingerie (and lord, did she have an assortment of lingerie!). And almost always with at least a small glimpse of her hair. But you never knew what to expect. As was the case when she wore this collar one week. Who'da thunk it?

Britni is a trailblazer in HNT lore. Prior to one of her HNTs, the nipple/breast picture had only been hinted at. Britni blew that out of the water with an arm's length away shot of her breasts. Shocking at the time! Anyone who's been to her site over the years knows that's her style. But only recently has she done anything that I'd consider a "favorite". The hotel series from not too long ago is exhibitionism at it's finest. While I like another one from this series too, this one has the added bonus of the M.C. Escher-like feel to it!

This pixie is another one of those that took her own pictures, and never anything that was quick and easy. Her home had a definite feng shui to it, and she would take HNTs in just about every room in the house. Always one to try new things, she used props, lighting tricks, and interesting angles. This one has always been a favorite of mine.

One day, out of the blue, a woman started posting HNTs, many of which were somehow related to knitting. And not to afraid to go topless while hiding behind her latest creations. Then one day she posted this one, and I was smitten. This is also the first picture she ever posted on her site that showed this much of her face. She has since done a number of themed HNTs, but in my mind, this is the best of the bunch!

I would have included this one with the original 21, but I just found it again. This was shortly after Moose's mother died after a long battle with cancer. She was feeling very much sad and alone, and it shows here. One of my favorites, not just for the emotion, but it's my best friend (and one of the original six HNTers) nekkid!

So there you have it. Twenty-one Twenty-two of my absolute favorites. There's a couple more that I would have like to have added to the list, but I don't know how to get ahold of the person. Hope you enjoyed this look!

30 years ago today...

A repost of my May 18, 2005 entry:

Twenty-five years ago, at 8:32 AM PDT on May 18, 1980, a 5.1 earthquake caused the north face of Mt. St. Helens to crumble in the largest landslide in recorded history. As a result of this landslide, the pressure that had built up inside the volcano caused a lateral blast of volcanic gases, steam, ash and rocks that flattened hundreds of square miles of timber, destroying virtually anything in its path.

These images were captured by a camper about 10 miles to the northeast of the mountain.

It spewed ash tens of miles into the sky, turning a bright, sunny day into night, and causing all sorts of problems. As far away as Montana, the ash fell. State government in MT closed for a couple of days. And they barely got a dusting. While the ash that fell in eastern WA measured in the 2" range, northern Idaho actually bore a significant brunt of the ashfall, with some areas receiving up to 5". I was just finishing my first year of teaching there.

Volcano Girl and I were on our way to Spokane, WA, to see jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie in concert. We had heard that the volcano had erupted, but didn't think anything of it. I could write dozens of pages of stories from that day. The short story--by the time that we realized that the snow-like flakes that were falling wasn't snow, and that virtually EVERYTHING was canceled, it was too late to turn around. The nice highway patrolman told us that we'd never make it home before the visibility was zero, and that we should go on into Spokane, and find a place to stay. I think we got the last room in town. VG and I had never even dated before this, and now we're checked into a motel with a single bed. We drove around to find the essentials--toothbrush, maybe a t-shirt for her, something to eat/drink. Unfortunately, it was a ghost town. Everything was locked up, ash was piling up, and she was a little scared. We finally found a place open, got our stuff, and went back to the room to watch everything on TV. And she called home. It took about an hour to get a line. I talked to her dad, who told me not to worry about getting her home right away if it was going to be dangerous to drive. I'm not sure, but I think I heard the distinct sound of a shotgun in the background. I contacted my superintendent to tell him I was stuck in Spokane and wouldn't be in to teach the next morning. He replied that school was cancelled for the week. Excellent!

This series of pictures show the mountain from about 5 miles away, NNW. It is near the site of the Johnson Ridge Observatory that opened about 8 years ago. If you want to see more about it, go here for facts and information, or go check the live volcanocam site.

I behaved myself that fateful night. But I fell in love. Hard. VG was my first true love. We lasted a couple of years, then grew apart. But we have remained friends since then. As well as the rest of her family. The whole week remains vivid in my mind. Every detail, every picture, every emotion. I note the passage of time by the date of May 18th. The first of my sisters was married on May 18th (VG came to that wedding too). Two of my former students were married on that day. Another former student had her first child on that day. It's become a mystical day. It's the day I really first fell in love.

Ooh! New this year! Check it out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thoughts about HNT

As part of the "Week of HNT", I'll be reposting some things. This particular excerpt was from the 1st anniversary of HNT, back in 2006. It still rings true with me today. Current comments will appear in yellow...

...Earlier during that week, I had chatted with both Rachel and Moose about posting half-nekkid pics. They were skeptical, to say the least. And who could blame them? That first HNT found 5 participants. Rachel, Moose, Juliepatchouli, Darrel and myself. All tame, all done in fun, and I fully expected that the next week would see the end of it. By the third week, our numbers had more than doubled! And by the end of June, the blogroll was getting to be unmanageable.

Obviously, we've all experienced HNT to its current incarnation. HNT is constantly changing. It certainly isn't anything like what I envisioned a year ago, but then again, who could have imagined this! If you look at the blogroll over there, there's 638 links displayed. 638!! (That number, if it hadn't been weeded out a time or two, would be around 1500 right now!) While many of them are dead links, or have otherwise left HNT, they all joined in with HNT at one time or another. Some for only one time, others for almost all 52 HNTs to date. With all the memes, games, polls and such that are out there, HNT has lasted a full year. Imagine that for a minute--a full year! There's not many other things on the internet with that track record!

I've tried to keep HNT as "open" as possible. There is no "administration". There are no hard and fast "rules". There's no memberships to buy or fees to pay. Anyone can do it at any time. Sometimes that means that you get more than you bargained for. Both from pictures that you see, or in comments that you get. That's the glory of being that open. I get asked how much money I make on this. Not a dime. People think I'm nuts. For a variety of reasons, but because of that as well. I think that by tying money to it, it changes the whole feel of HNT. Above all, I don't want to see HNT becoming a sexblog. I don't think it will be thought of in that manner, and even the sexbloggers who join in on HNT are more HN than what they do on their own sites. They see the value in "half".

Looking back, what has HNT meant/done for me? For all of us? I think it's got to be the community that has developed. We've had deaths in the family that we've mourned. (and a nasty death within HNT) We've had the pregnancies and births that we've celebrated. (I mentioned to someone yesterday how I've just noticed that, with the longtime HNTers, we've gotten to watch their kids growing up--sort of like watching Little Ricky or Joanie Cunningham!) Cancer has struck, job promotions have been offered. We've seen people come and go. We've seen people come and go and come back again. Granted, HNT isn't for everyone. Some people see it as just a skin thing--exhibitionism. Others see it as cheap soft-core porn, and are generally disappointed. Still others see it as a thing for losers to do because they can't find a life. These people just don't get it. It's not about the skin--it's about nekkidness. Of the soul, of the emotions, and yes, even of the skin. The picture of a woman's hand cradled in the hand of her father on his deathbed, literally just hours before his death, is one of the most nekkid, most beautiful pictures we've seen here (still my absolute favorite of all time).

But HNT is also about fun. We can't deny that. Rachel was the first to post a picture of her butt. Thank you Rachel! Soon after that, butts were poppin' up all over. Femi-mommy took it another step with her remarkable tattoos and poses. Crimson and Firefly both have shown us what can be done when you are your own photographer! Paul made a couple of series of HNTs. Kalani came up with the Mystery Guest concept when my camera was stolen. Lecram made movies and plays, and even took us to an arts festival! And HNT made the international press! (I'll have to link those later in the week) How cool is that?? For me, the HNT highlight of the year was the trip to Nashville. Eleven people, none of whom knew more than 2 or 3 of the others, together for a great party! Well worth the trip! And the highlight of meeting other HNTers across the country--I highly recommend it if you get the chance! (and I still highly recommend it!)

I don't know where HNT is headed. I'd like to think that it could go on indefinitely. That's up to you guys, because ultimately, HNT is all about you. So celebrate it! Continue to have fun with it! Make "half-nekkid" mean whatever it needs to mean for you! It's been a great year--let's keep it up! Party on!

A week of HNT!

Well, not quite. But to celebrate HNT's 5th anniversary this week, I'm going to do something HNT related each day. Favorite's, history, guidelines, etc... Of course, it's past midnight (sorry Julie...heading there now), so I'll have to do my first day's post in the morning...

Don't forget to find your first HNT for this Thursday! If you can't find it, or don't remember what it was (which I'm hearing is a common problem), then go back to the earliest one you can find. We won't kick you out!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What the Buzz?

I met Col. Buzz Aldrin two summers ago when he was the narrator for our summer concert. I was even fortunate enough to get his autograph (and he doesn't DO autographs!).

Imagine my dismay when I heard he was going to appear on "Dancing With the Stars"! Don't get me wrong--he's in better shape at the age of 80 (yes--80!) than most men half his age. But really. For one of America's true heroes, one of (what?) ten men to walk on the moon, a man who has traveled higher above the surface of the earth AND deeper below the surface--this is about as low as he could get. Right?

Wrong. He is the guest host of WWE's Monday Night RAW this week. Buzz, we hardly knew ya...

Random list

Performers I've seen in concert
(no particular order, multiples shown with - *, and probably not complete):
Earth, Wind & Fire
*-Tower of Power
Nickel Creek
Wailin' Jennys
Britney Spears
Norah Jones
Doobie Brothers
Shania Twain
Pure Prairie League
New Riders of the Purple Sage
Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen
Paul Winter Group
Dizzie Gillespie
Peter Schickele (P.D.Q. Bach)
Stan Kenton
Woody Herman
*-Buddy Rich
Harry Connick, Jr.
Sara Evans
Martina McBride
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
*-Chuck Mangione
The Carpenters
Dave Matthews Band
Jazon Mraz
Diana Krall
Ella Fitzgerald
James Taylor
Blue Man Group
Willie Nelson
Rascal Flatts
Alan Jackson
Uncle Kracker
Elton John/Billy Joel
Elton John
Bob Dylan
*-Asleep At the Wheel
*-Alison Krauss & Union Station
*-John Hartford
Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Jonny Lang
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Jethro Tull
Aaron Carter
*-Béla Fleck & the Flecktones
Spro Gyra
*-Maynard Ferguson
*-Richie Cole
*-Mission Mountain Wood Band
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Seals & Crofts
Shaun Cassidy
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Rolling Stones
Mötley Crüe
Pearl Jam
Neil Diamond
Manhattan Transfer
The Nylons
Marshall Tucker Band
*-Allen Vizzutti
Huey Lewis & the News
Let's Go Bowling
Doc Severinsen
Head East
Average White Band
Deborah Henson-Conant
Four Freshmen
Leann Rimes
Los Lobos
Mel Tormé
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Boston Pops Orchestra
Count Basie
Louie Bellson
Gary Burton
Chick Corea
Edgar Winter Group
The Moody Blues
Mannheim Steamroller
Reckless Kelly

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Letdown HNT

THEME ALERT! - Next week, on May 19/20, we'll celebrate the 5th Anniversary of this thing we call HNT! I solicited ideas for what we could do, and a number of people came up with the same idea. For that week, post your very first HNT photo. May take some research on your part to find out what that one was. ALSO, post a second picture re-creating the same shot to the best of your ability! No fair using an outtake from that photoshoot! Post them both for your HNT of that week. Even if you're a newbie! Be sure to mention it on your sites too! Got a question? Shoot me an email.
I had a doctor's appointment this morning. My three-month look under the hood. I've been feeling pretty good. A bit more active than I've been in years. Eating the right foods. Keeping my blood sugar levels in a good range. This should have been a great checkup, right?

Things started on a low note as soon as I was called back. I got weighed. About six pounds heavier than the last time, and maybe 15 pounds more than I though I was at. I blame the faulty scales. The nurse then sits me down and tells me she needs a urine sample. Wish I'd known that before I left home. I wasn't expecting the need to pee. I politely asked if I could wait to the end of the appointment so I could get something worked up. Then I asked for a glass of water. Things got worse, as she took my blood pressure. While it wasn't high enough to sound the alarms, and not anywhere near as high as I've had in the past, my delicate condition doesn't like the higher blood pressure. Then she left. At which point, I snuck in my HNT with that "now what?" face...

I'm the first one to admit that my first checkup in February was quite remarkable. Especially considering how close to death I was. Unfortunately, the bar was set high, and I thought I was keeping close to it. Apparently not. For the past three months, I've been living off the glow of that checkup. This one tells me that I have to continue working on it. On the positive side, there were no alterations to my meds, other than the blood pressure one. And while I didn't get the full labs to get my blood chemicals this time around, there's no reason to think they've changed a great deal. The one blood test (A1c) that was taken showed a result that was identical to my last visit, and that was excellent. So all is good, though not stellar. Something for me to work on over the summer...

Oh, at the end of the appointment, I did get to pee into a cup so they could check for proteins in my urine. Only after drinking one more glass of water, running the water in the sink, and flushing the toilet a couple of times. The pressure was phenomenal! Performance anxiety struck to some degree, but apparently not before I squeezed out enough for them to test. Good news--my kidneys apparently work just fine too!
This week's Mystery Guest almost passed us by! Not too terribly long ago, she shut down her blog. But as suddenly as she shut it, she opened it back up with a new outlook on her life and relationships. What she's showing here is almost more than she's ever shown on her own site! For those who like geography, she's looking forward to wearing stockings again. Both for keeping her legs warm, and for those moments when she might need to tie someone up... But she's quite a vision. Like the petals of a flower. Always a thing of beauty!
If you think you know who she is, be sure to leave a comment on her site! She'll be revealed on Thursday afternoon, so be sure to stop by and check her out!
The MG this week that yummy mummy Petal! Be sure to stop by and say hi!

There's some great contributions this week over at "...the Other HNT". Be sure to stop by and check out your fellow HNTers over there! They do appreciate the comment love, too! Of course, it's NSFW.
Speaking of OHNT, you'll be able to find the OsShirt over there this week! And as I understand it, there was a hijacking of the OsShirt today. It was about to leave the Dallas area when another HNTer wormed his way into getting it. And is wearing it, as I'm typing this, on! His show is over by the time this post goes up, but you should check out his show in the future! I don't know his schedule, but I'm sure he'll comment here and be happy to give it to you! A great mix of rock, both old and new! EDITED TO ADD: I should probably mention that the fiend is the lovable Shumpy!

Got questions? Something not covered in the two "100 Things About Me" tabs up there at the top? A math problem? Go use that formspring box over there in the sidebar and ask me! Anonymously! So far I've answered every question asked of me. Some silly, some not. Go give it a shot!
Last bit of unexpected news today--I don't want to jinx anything, so all I'll say is that it involves a soul band, gigs solidly booked, some of the top musicians in town, and a limited shelf life. More details when everything is firmed up!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dad Update and Mother's Day

Well, Mother's Day didn't turn out quite like planned. Which is an awkward segue into my dad. So that's where I'll start. Dad has been doing better since the last time I did a Dad Update. He's playing cribbage with the boys. He's been doing physical therapy. HE TOOK CARE OF MY MOM WHEN SHE WAS LAID UP AFTER KNEE SURGERY (oops...that would be a Mom Update--she was scoped and scooped, but wasn't really up and around for a few days). A year ago at this time, he was pretty much stuck at home with a vacuum pump sucking all sorts of nasty infection and stuff from his lower abdomen. Really quite gross. That has essentially taken care of itself, though he's still retaining fluids, and the doctors don't know why, or where it's all coming from. So he's had to go in a couple of times to get it sucked out.

The latest time was last Thursday afternoon. How much are we talking about? Two and a quarter GALLONS. I'll let the picture to the left help you with the visual. Two of those milk jugs, plus well on the way to filling the third. Eighteen pounds worth of liquid. 8400 cc's. The doctor was so kind as to describe the fluid's color in beer terms. The first color described as being a stout, then to an amber, and eventually as Coors. They sucked him dry and sent him home. The short story after that--he's leaking from where they stuck the sucky thing in him, and he's also developed a bulge. Spent 4 hours in ER Friday night trying to figure out why, and to be sure it wasn't blood (it wasn't). He showed up for brunch on Sunday morning and noticed he'd started leaking again. So Mom stayed for brunch (they drove separately), but opted out of the golf with her children and grandchildren. So I don't have the pictures of Mom at the golf course like I had hoped to get.

After golf, we all met at S2's house and had a fabulous buffet of take-out Chinese. Dad made it there, and was in good spirits. Still leaking a little bit, but not as badly (He looks fat and jolly like Santa here, but that's the towels that are bandaged to his sides. He's actually nothing but skin and bones!) Tales were told of the golfing adventures of the afternoon, as most of us haven't played in awhile. My nephew (8th grader) consistently outdrove both his dad and I (and we can both hit the ball). He can't putt worth a darn though! N2 and N3 both outplayed their mothers (which isn't much of a surprise). Here's the dog, Mom and N3 (I'll let you figure out who is who). BTW--N3 informed me that this is a "horrible" picture of her. Uh-huh...

And after three years of not touching a golf club, I shot a 90. Mostly because I couldn't putt worth a darn either. Up until about three years ago, I'd play at least twice a week or more, and at my prime, would be upset if I didn't break 80. So after three years, the 90 I shot was quite respectable. But if I decide to play alot this summer (and I should, just for the exercise), I need to reacquaint myself with my putter (and who among us couldn't use that one-on-one time with their putter?). And to bring this around full circle, back to Mother's Day, here's me and Mom. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!