Monday, April 30, 2007

OsShirt Returns!

Among the numerous highlights of my birthday celebration in Dallas, one that hasn't really been mentioned yet is the return of the OsShirt. Sort of. For those who haven't been in the loop (which would be most of you), the original OsShirt appears to be MIA (oh, the private joke that only one or two people can figure out here...). It was mailed to a major hotel in NYC just before Thanksgiving, hoping to get seen at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And all the other NYC Christmas sights. Well, after almost five months of checking with the hotel, it appears that it truly is lost. No one's fault really, other than the USPS. Everyone can now bow their heads for a moment of silence...

Fortunately, a replacement shirt has been found. Not quite as colorful, but equally tacky. It made its first public appearance as the new OsShirt at the Friday night function at Shumpy's. And while it was worn by a couple of people (even slept in, I believe...), the lovely Tara Tainton provided the official debut of the shirt. Sort of like seeing the white smoke at the Vatican. You can see the official debut picture on her site here. She even took it to the Grand Canyon, and had her mother get in on the action as well! And just to show you that it's an equal opportunity shirt, here's Mom, Code and Shumpy in the OsShirt. Sort of in a test run! Click 'em to big 'em!

The good news--the OsShirt will return to its previous itinerary, criss-crossing the continent to spread joy and good will to all that it meets! Look forward to OsShirt sightings, and for updates to the OsShirt site!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I’m a bass player...

This may be long—hope you can follow it…

I was watching some sort of jam band in concert on TV last night. Standard rock-type instrumentation: lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. And something that I’d given some thought to a number of years ago came to the foreground. How personality traits and musical instruments go somewhat hand in hand, and how my own choices seem to confirm that thought. Let me try to explain….

My primary instrument in high school was the bass guitar. I basically taught myself to play, got into a rock band that actually played paying gigs in high school (!), and for years felt more comfortable playing bass than any other instrument. I remember something a jazz clinician told my HS jazz band that has stuck with me throughout the years. He was discussing the roles of the instruments in the rhythm section in any ensemble. The guitars pull double duty—providing harmonic color, and occasionally soloing. Sometimes they’re split between a rhythm guitar and lead guitar. The lead guitarist is usually full of ego—they need to be. The rhythm guitar is sort of a throw-away role, unless there’s no keyboard. The keyboard player constantly pulls double duty—providing the same things, but usually at the same time. They’re always busy. The drummer’s primary duty isn’t to keep time, but to dictate the style. It doesn’t matter what the rest of the section is doing—if the drummer changes from a swing beat to a latin beat, the entire group will sound like it’s playing latin.

That leaves the bass player. Nothing flashy about the bass player. He keeps the time. He is the one who dictates the harmonic progression. He is the foundation. He is the one that the rest of the ensemble builds on. The bass sets up the entire tonal spectrum. If you’re not in tune with the bass, you’re out of tune. The bass rarely plays the melody, but doesn’t care. Bass players generally aren’t flashy—they aren’t interested in that. Sure, there are some phenomenal bass soloists, but that’s when they’re out of their element. A majority of the time, they’re in the background, setting it all up for the rest of the band.

I often thought that I was different than that. I always thought of myself as the egotistical type. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve changed that opinion. I AM the one that isn’t flashy. I’m much more interested in doing my job than making a lot of money. I’m not concerned about being out in front, with the spotlights on me. I’m very much a person who is more comfortable being part of the group. Being consistent. Keeping the tempo.

I’ve also found that with my brass playing. I’ve played them all. I settled on the bass trombone. The second lowest brass instrument. The same roles hold true here. The tuba and trombones don’t play that often in the orchestra, especially when you compare to the violins or any of the woodwinds. But when we do, it’s often at tempo changes, and often at the climactic parts of the composition. I have looked at what string players have to play during a concert. More notes than I can possibly imagine. But that’s idiosyncratic to the strings. They have the ability to play things like that. Bass instruments generally don’t. I used to think that meant I was lazy. Now I think of it as being secure on the limitations of the instrument, and playing to the best of my ability.

So last night I’m watching this band. And in the 15 minutes or so that I watched, the camera moved in on the bass player twice. Twice. Sure, you could see him in the background, doing his thing, with a smile on his face. He was filling his role in the band. And was happy doing it. He probably didn’t care that he wasn’t on-screen much. And that was OK with him.

All of us who blog fit one of the rhythm instruments. Some write about their sexual escapades—definite lead guitar material. Others switch from memes, to daily life, to political ranting—switching styles like the drummer. One of us sets up HNT and anons, does the occasional Musical Monday and Da Count, chats with a lot of others, and generally tries not to make waves or bring a lot of attention to himself (unless he’s turning 50). Hi. My name is Os. I’m a bass player.

I'm Jonesin' Here....

I am currently sans computer. I have the shakes. And a cold sweat. I am finally replacing my "temporary" 20G hard drive (from when things went sour last fall) with an 80G drive. The drive is in place, but there's been a hiccup in transferring files. My friend the computer guy has to come back in the morning to finish it up, so I've been without my baby since 10AM Friday morning, and probably won't get it back before noon on Saturday. I'm posting this from his shop before we call it a night. I'm not sure what I'll do in the morning. There is that sinkload of dishes....
Many thanks for the kind response about Stacie. I didn't quite expect it, since I mentioned that we really weren't friends, and hadn't seen much of her since high school. But you guys are just too damned kind-hearted!
I had planned on posting the official "contest" post tonight, but that obviously fell through. I've got a gig Saturday night, so I won't get to it before Sunday at the earliest. Good news, though! I've already gotten the first submission! Gotta LOVE the 80s hair! If you missed what I'm talking about, check out the bottom of this week's HNT...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Goodbye HNT and a Contest

Remember back to some of your high school classmates? The ones that you weren't necessarily good friends with, but you might have taken a class or two with them, or at least could say hi to in the hallways? I was that way with most of my classmates. Even though I was the band/chorus/drama geek, I had friends in most of the other cliques in school. One that has always stood out was Stacie. She was very much a tomboy in high school. But one of those really good-looking ones. Always greeted you with a smile. Never seemed like she had a care in the world. I think we were very much alike in alot of ways. Both members of the National Honor Society. Both had friends throughout the wide spectrum of students. Both always looking at the bright side of things. Both went to Catholic grade school together. Both had our First Communion together!

After high school, I ran off to study chemical engineering, then music, at Montana State. She ran off to the University of Montana to study forestry. I didn't see much of her after high school. Maybe a half dozen times in 30+ years. But still with the big smile, the laugh, and the twinkle in her eyes. We were similar, but different. Neither of us ever married. She stayed close to the Missoula area; I hopscotched around the region. There was a sort of "comfort" knowing that she was in Missoula if I ever needed to get in touch with her (though I don't know why I would).

Stacie was killed in the early evening last Thursday. She was riding her bike home from some friends' house when a 23 year old jackass, driving with a blood alcohol level of .185, intentionally swerved to hit her (according to eyewitnesses). I'm going to miss her.

It is merely a coincidence that the candle comes into play with both of our pictures. This week's Mystery Guest is a popular HNTer. How popular? How about over 1,000,000 visits popular? Not many of us can claim that!

Her site regularly features of herself, but this picture is a bit of departure from the pictures normally found on her site. She has alot of friends, all with the same interests as her. In fact, I believe she's even hosted a blogger party or two in the past! Not bad for a shy girl from the Great White North!

We'll be revealing her on Thursday afternoon, but you can certainly go by and ask her if she's the MG before then. The princess awaits her court!

Well, shoot. Forgot to do this on Thursday... The Mystery Guest this week is that Star Wars-lovin' Padme! Stop by and leave her a little spank!
"...the Other HNT" is fairly tame this week, and a bit on the sparse side. Be sure you stop by to check things out!
I told you a couple of weeks ago about a contest I was going to run. I'll do another post dedicated to it, but here's the basics: May/June is the time for graduations, both high school and college. For the next 3-4 weeks, I want you to send me a scan of your HIGH SCHOOL graduation picture. The official one. Not a picture of you from high school, but that dorky, posed, fake smile, big hair, peach fuzz-faced that ended up in your yearbook. I'll post the ones I get. Sometime towards the end of May, you'll have a week to figure out who is whom. I'll post a list of contributors, so you won't be totally in the dark. The one who correctly gets the most right, wins the prize (whatever it might be...). Of course, this means that we need to have seen your face on your site. If we never have, then it's going to make it difficult to place your younger face! Send the pics to
As I said, a more detailed post will be coming soon!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In case you missed it...

This is a little something for everyone, especially my friends in Tennessee!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Musical Monday #17

It's been a hectic 10 days. Parties and no sleep in Dallas. Symphony week. Concert and tear-down Saturday night. It was brought to my attention that I actually had some gchats that I had no recollection of having. I've been a total zombie. But I should be able to get some rest this week.

One of the things that sometimes happens after a concert like we had Saturday night is that my mind gets totally cluttered. Still thinking about the music. Wondering if I could have performed better. Running certain phrases over and over in my head. Add that to the clutter from the weekend before. What I need is a mind cleanse. Get something else into my head. I usually look for something fairly acoustic and slow. Soothing. Something I don't need to think about or analyze. Something that sounds nice. My favorite one to listen to is "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young. Couldn't find that one, but Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" is also a favorite. So here's my mind cleansing music from the weekend. Have a great week!

Image hosting by Photobucket

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Biscuit!!

Every once in awhile you meet a blogger online that you just "click" with. From the instant you land on their site, you just know that this is someone that you're going to get to know better. Biscuit is one of those.

I first heard of her when I somehow ended up reading about Klineapalooza in the fall of 2005. A fun-loving bunch of women, that group! When the Klineapalooza girls meet up, no telling what might happen! The whole OsShirt concept was born from one of their parties! I think the picture at the top left is one of the first ones I ever saw of Biscuit. It might be the impression I get of her most of the time--taking a break in the action to observe what's going on around her. Plotting her next move...

As you can see, she was an up-and-coming HNTer even as a little girl. Now that she's older, she's given us plenty to look at in her HNTs, but this one is one of my favorites. Beyond that, she gives us a look at her daily life, her passion for spinning, her love for her family, and the quirky little things that she deals with each week.

Today, Biscuit turned 40 years old. I had planned to post one of her sorority pictures, but quite frankly, she's looking a whole lot better now than she did then! Stop by and wish her a happy 40th! And check out why her crotch hurts!


Friday, April 20, 2007

Good Thoughts for Leela

This is Leela. She was born about 6 weeks ago. Laughing, giggling, making those cute baby sounds and those stinky baby smells. Foxglove (her mommy) just wrote to let me know that she had a temperature of 103.6 yesterday, and is now in the hospital. They've determined that she's got a UTI, and will be there for at least a week with IV antibiotics. Please stop by Foxglove's site and leave some get well wishes for Leela. Couldn't hurt to say a prayer, too, if you're into that sort of thing (and even if you're not....).

Da Count #19

Da Count this week (yeah, I know--it's been awhile....) is all about friends. My family was confused and questioned my sanity when I told them I was running off to Dallas for my birthday, rather than staying around here. How do you explain to non-bloggers that the people I was meeting are friends, not just some random usernames? So these are the friends that helped me celebrate. And my impressions (in alphabetical order).
    Avery's Mom - She brought Avery (my new gf), her little brother and Batman. I am SO glad to have met them! She's a knockout! Even with 2 kids needing constant attention, she was able to multi-task. Motherhood looks difficult. They only showed up on Sunday night, so I didn't get a great deal of time to talk with her, but Avery and I hit it off great! Sorta makes me wonder, what if....?

    BTExpress and Lori - These guys were there to party! BTE was pretty much what I expected, and was the oldest one there--taking the pressure off of me! I had no idea what to expect of Lori, but she's a fun-loving woman who has found happiness with her man. These two were made for each other! Thanks for the scrapbook, guys!

    Cold Hands - She is one of my very first bloggerfriends from way back when. She's gone through a couple of name changes since that time, most recently as Princess Stephanie. She's the one who brought Pixel along (see below), as well as The Boy! Her knowledge of strip clubs in the area was particularly helpful on Saturday night!

    No One In Particular - NOIP has been a good friend for a long time (I saw her face before any of you!). She took the bull by the horns and organized most of the weekend. I cannot truly express my appreciation to her for that. Unfortunately, she and her husband weren't able to join us on Sunday. She's a wonderful person with a huge smile, and a huge heart. Thanks for your work, NOIP!

    Pixel - Pixel isn't a blogger anymore. She used to be. I believe she might have done a handful of HNTs. Many of her exploits can be found on someone else's blog. It was good to see her. There might have been some flashing going on with some other guests, but I'm not going to say, one way or the other.... She was also in charge of the Jaeger shots. Oh, dear!

    Shumpy - I've wanted to meet this man for a long time. Possibly the little brother I never had. We had the BBQ at his place on Friday and was a truly gracious host. Even when most of us were more than fashionably late trying to avoid tornados and hail. The guy goes non-stop during the week. I'm glad we got to meet both him and his super secret, but really cute girlfriend!

    Stealth - Hard to say enough about Stealth. She picked me up at the airport, and delivered me back, in spite of her fear of driving there alone (may I say this right now--the Dallas area is not an easy place to drive around...). The striking thing I noticed at first was the smile. She doesn't do that much on her site. She really should. She's quite attractive! I spent a good deal of time with her--she was my unofficial escort for the weekend. And much better than a Yahoo map. Most of the time.... She also gave me one of the most personal gifts I've ever received (get your minds outta the gutter, people...). Thank you for that, and for a wonderful time, babe!

    Tara Tainton - Sexy, stunning, sweet, shy. All these describe Tara. I really didn't know what to expect here. Those of you who have seen her site--she's 10 times more beautiful! She brought her lover/partner/soulmate along as well, who was a kick in the pants, too! The two of them graced me with a few gifts--some naughty, some not (aarrggh!). Still waiting for that ftp info! She was as excited to meet us as we were to meet her! Something tells me that we'll be meeting again!
And actually, that comment holds true for most of us. Alot of new friendships were forged last weekend. The question now--where do I head to next....?

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


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Post-Party HNT


My butt's a-draggin'...

I turned 50 on Sunday, and I partied like I was in my 30s. I'm feeling it now. My lack of sleep has been compounded by the fact that this is symphony week. Compounded again by the fact that my stage crew has flaked out on me at the last minute. Leaving me to load a truck by myself. In the snowy rain. Under a drippy roof. Ah, that's why I make the big bucks.

Got music?

Wasn't sure if I'd get a Mystery Guest this week, but she came in just under the bell. I've considered this week's MG as a relative newcomer, but I went back and checked her HNTs, and she's been around for well over a year! She's got a unique style of writing. Finding questions and humor in her job and everyday life. And her best friend. She's too shy to reveal herself, but not too shy to join us here!
"...the Other HNT" is a little on the light side this week, but certainly acceptable! And guess what? It's NSFW!
I promised that I'd let you in on the contest I'll be running, but it'll have to wait a week. Until after this weekend, at least. It's gonna be fun!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Random Thoughts About My Trip To Texas

  • Ticket agents and TSA employees are highly underpaid, no matter what it is they receive. More often than they should, they have to deal with idiots (i.e.--the general public), and do so in a courteous and professional manner. And at ridiculously early hours of the morning. Some even doing so in a cheery manner! Thumbs up to the ticket agent in Missoula, and the two in Helena who got me in air, and to the cheery TSA man in Dallas who, at 5:00 in the morning, told me I was going to get preferential treatment. Sure, that meant the near-strip search, but he made me feel good about it!
  • Two people were late for their flight out of Helena Friday morning. There's a reason that you can't walk in 15 minutes before your flight leaves. Especially in a small airport where the ticket agents also have to load the plane and do the hand signal thing. One kid--not yet thirty, yelled a string of expletives very loudly to anyone who would listen to them. Unfortunately, that was me and the TSA crew (who eventually called the cops). Because he had to buy a same-day ticket on a different airline, it cost him over $700! And the ticket agent tagged him for the full search (that's what you get for irritating them). A woman and her boyfriend, both in their mid-40s, at least, were late because his ex-wife slashed the tires on their car and they had to load down a cab with her huge amount of luggage. She was a tad more personable, but had no problem stringing the words together too. The bottom line--I was nice to the airline people at that time of the morning, and they were more than happy to reticket me to Salt Lake City and on to Dallas. They even went as far as marking my tickets so that I didn't have to get searched on the trip down, and got me window seats on both flights. These people are just doing their jobs, and can't help it if you're too stupid or ignorant to get there early. And you sure as hell can bet that the people already on the plane didn't give a rat's ass about why you were late! The moral of the story--be nice to others, and they'll be nice to you!
  • The name of the big black lady flight attendant on my last leg of my journey was named Goddess. I swear! I don't know the name of the flamingly gay male flight attendant on the DWF to Denver leg...
  • If you look out the window of an airplane at the ground below, it looks just like Google maps. Without the names of lakes or highways.
  • You know how Texans are proud of how big their state is? Well, there's a reason for that--it's freakin' HUGE! The Dallas/Ft. Worth metro area covers a vast amount of land!
  • Texans really do say, "y'all". Some even say "yeehaw!"
  • Until late Saturday night, I thought all strippers were basically the same, other than age. I saw some poor to mediocre strippers (looked really uncomfortable onstage), and some really good ones (smiling, interacting, entertaining). The one with the hot pink shorts and matching hair was really good!
  • I was going to lament the numbers of bloggers that didn't show up, but I've decided to enjoy the memories of those who did. No bad feelings towards those that couldn't make it...
  • Many thanks to those who sent ecards, emails, texts and phone messages my way, as well as those of you who did some sort of post. My access was not full-time, so I don't know if I caught everyone or not. If I didn't leave a comment, I might not have, so let me know. Thank you one and all for your kind wishes!
  • I'm very much behind on keeping up. Even remembering a routine. It's like the morning paper--there's certain blogs I go to first, before even considering looking at others. I'll get there though!
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Days 3/4: Os' New Girlfriend/Strip Search

    After the night's activities to usher in my new old age, it was about 4AM again before I got to bed. I had hoped to see Lindsey, who was coming up from Houston, for lunch, but she had to bail on me. With the afternoon free, I went back to doing the relaxation thing. Dinner was going to be happening soon enough. We had booked reservations at the Magic Time Machine for late afternoon. Of course, most of us were late...

    The Magic Time Machine is a funky, theme-based family restaurant. Food is served by professional actors and improv comedians, dressed in a variety of characters--the Big Bad Wolf, the Tooth Fairy, Snow White, and everyone's favorite, Cap'n Jack Sparrow. Each room is themed differently. We were taken to the school bus. Or, as Stealth noted, the short bus. Waldo (as in, "Where's Waldo?) was our waiter. Totally irreverent (as most of them are), but very consistent in keeping our adult beverage requirements taken care of in a timely manner. He brought his buddy Joe Dirt by to meet us, too!

    Most of us ordered the same meal--the "Roman Orgy". Primarily, nothing more than meat. And lots of it! And drinks consumed, and presents presented--sense a theme here?

    We had new people join us this night. Avery's Mom came with her husband and the two kids. Immediately, I grabbed Avery (my new girlfriend), Tara grabbed her little bro, and the maternal hormones filled the bus!

    Eventually, it was time to go. We were fully gorged on the "Orgy" and drinks. But it wasn't the loud (well, sometimes), obnoxious evening like the prior two. This was much more laid back, which was a nice way to be ending the weekend.

    Even though I had to get up at an ungodly hour to attempt to get home, I still hadn't seen the city of Dallas! So Stealth and I headed down, just to see the skyline and say that I'd made it there. We ended up in the West End--the older part of downtown and home to the artsier side of Dallas. Even on a Sunday night, there were people milling around and restaurants open. A little music heard from the rooftops, nice evening temps, and a definite calm, compared to the hectic activities of the weekend. We left the area and inadvertently found ourselves driving past the grassy knoll! That was sort of weird, but cool. No spotlights, or "X marks the spot" or anything like that. But it definitely had a deja vu sort of feeling!

    The next morning was filled with all sorts of anxiety. With the numerous changes to
    my prior flights, I wasn't at all sure that I had a ticket for home! I was quite pleased to find out that all was well. To a degree... I got as far as the TSA guys, and as I was walking through, the nice gentleman (and he really was--sense of humor at 5:00AM is a rare commodity, especially in their job!) informed me that I was tagged for the "big" search. The one they reserve for the really suspicious ones. No, not the strip search--that would have been the icing on the cake. But the one where they check every article in my carry-on stuff to sniff out bomb-making residues. I did get patted down by a large black man. I suppose it was better there than out on the streets. The reason for the VIP treatment was, of course, because I had so many changes to my ticket. Apparently terrorists change their tickets to cover their tracks...

    From that point on, the trip home was fairly bland. I have to admit that the plane from DFW to Denver was quite nice--lots of leg room, seats that accomodate those of us who are a bit on the large side, and an incredibly smooth flight. The rest of the trip was on schedule and hassle-free.

    The bad part now--it's symphony week. I'm going to be pretty busy, but I'll try to catch up with all that I've missed.

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    Day 2: Debbie Does Os

    Not many of us got up before noon on Saturday. Including myself. Too much fun from the night before. I haven't seen anything of Dallas yet. It's been too cold (well, Texas-type cold), too windy (tornados), and this area is HUGE! I looked on Google maps to see how close everything was. It's a lie. Nothing is close to anything around here!

    We started out last night at Stealth's. Actually, at the clubhouse of the condos where she lives. Gifts and cards were given, food and drink, and everyone generally had a good time.

    Again, we had those "you're 50, you're old, that must suck...) party things. Including these suckers.

    No, not those suckers. The grape-flavored lollipop kind...

    Eventually it was decided that I needed to be taken to a strip club. Reluctantly, I went, along with most of us to Baby Dolls, a nice family establishment. Well, maybe not family. But we certainly helped out the local college kids! Of course, no pictures. There may have been a lap dance. Or two. We got back a little earlier than the night before. A few more gifts, and then I spent my first night as a 50-yr. old man.

    Today we'll have an early dinner, and then maybe a little drive around "town". I have to go to bed early, too. My flight leaves at 6:45 AM tomorrow. Maybe...

    Saturday, April 14, 2007

    Friday the 13th

    OK--I called it yesterday, didn't I? I got up at 3:30AM so that I could be at the airport at the prescribed 2 hours before departure. This is me in the long-term parking area at 4:15AM. Don't I look happy?

    This is what I found when I got into the terminal, 2 hours before departure:

    Literally, not another person in the entire building! The ticket counter opens, I get checked in, I have a few minutes to kill, so I get online quick to check the United Airlines site. Flight to Denver delayed due to weather. To make and extremely long story short--I got switched to Delta, thanks to a couple of very nice ticket agents, and will never fly United again, thanks to a 54 minute phone call with a man with a heavy Indian/Pakistani accent who ultimately told me there was nothing he could do for me. Probably 45 minutes of that were spent on hold....

    Once I got in the air, things seemed to be pretty good. No turbulence, no hijackers, no problems. Meeting me in Dallas at the airport was Stealth!

    I checked in to the hotel, Stealth, her neighbor and I ran off to drink a couple of beers, came back to get ready, and met up with TaraTaintonand her partner.

    Before heading up to Shumpy's for the first night of activities, we were stuck at the hotel, WAITING FOR THE TORNADO SIRENS TO END and avoid the SOFTBALL-SIZED HAIL! We ended up about two hours late, and were the last of the guests to arrive. Shumpy had the BBQ set up in his garage, and BTExpress and Lori and all the others had already started without us.

    There was plenty of food and people, but you'll get more pics of that later on. These are just the preliminaries! I must make note of the plates/napkins that No One In Particular brought to the party. They brought a tear to my eye.

    So day 1 ended. Day 2 has been spent recuperating (home after 4AM--I went 24+ hours without sleep!). Stealth is hosting tonight, and we have more of these to look forward to---

    BTW--it's 48 degrees here right now. It's 70 back in Helena...

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Let the Games begin!!

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    texas interruptus

    Here was the basic itinerary:
      Depart Missoula for Denver
      2-hr. layover in Denver
      Depart Denver for Dallas.
    Simple, right?

    I'm at home. In Helena. After driving 115 miles W to Missoula to catch a flight to Texas for the weekend. Apparently, this afternoon's flights into/out of Denver were cancelled.

    To the poor girl's credit, she tried. There were 20 other frustrated and angry travelers behind me, but she spent 25 minutes trying every alternative to get me to Dallas tonight. Since this was a late afternoon flight, the rest of the country booked all the available seats for direct flights to DFW. There were possibilities of going through Seattle, LAX, Minneapolis, O'Hare, Phoenix--but all of them had to go through Denver. So we came up with a new solution, that won't make me drive another 115 miles again. But the itinerary isn't quite as simple:
    • Depart Helena for Great Falls (90 miles NORTH) on Alaska Airlines at 6:10AM. Change planes.
    • Depart Great Falls for Denver on United at 7:15AM. Change planes.
    • Depart Denver for Dallas-Fort Worth at 10:10AM. First class!
    • Arrive DFW at 12:57PM CDT. Let the games begin!
    With all this changing around, you just KNOW that the baggage won't arrive. After all, tomorrow IS Friday the 13th...

    I'm Outta Here!

    Look for updates!

    Early Birthday HNT

    In uncharacteristic fashion, I haven't made a big deal about this coming weekend. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I, Osbasso, will be turning 50 years old. Half a century. AARP-eligible. And if you estimate that the American male lives to be 75 years old, I'm leaving middle age, and entering old age.

    The good news, of course, is that I don't feel that old at all. The common reaction I get is that I don't look that old. I like that. I certainly don't ACT that old! I think that the years of high school and college teaching has kept me around a younger crowd. Young at heart and all of that.

    "You're as young as you feel..." Not sure about that one. The body doesn't do all the stuff it used to. Some of it does stuff I don't want it to. Not that I was ever a great physical specimen, but I'm in better "shape" than many of my classmates. Clean living, I guess!

    My family celebrated my birthday last weekend. A combined Easter/birthday thing. Nothing outrageous--just family. Except the ones who were out of town. We had to do it then, because I'll be out of town this coming weekend. I've alluded to it a little, and I'll fill you in soon, but I'm celebrating!

    So here's parts of my celebration. Lots of black balloons and over-the-hill party favors. I even dressed in black (didn't even think about it!). First picture is Mom. Looking as good as ever. And the other one is of my nieces and nephew. They get their good looks from their uncle, of course! And the mess on the table? That nasty confetti stuff that we'll be picking out of the carpet for months...

    For any of you who were caught unaware that my birthday is almost here, and are scrambling for a birthday gift--the "Collection" would be a wonderful place to contribute! Yeah, I may be getting old, but I've got a one-track mind!

    Sometimes you get a Mystery Guest that you'd like to have week after week after week. This is not her first time as the MG, but she snuck in because I didn't have anyone else to use. She doesn't do HNT on a regular basis anymore, but from time to time, she'll surprise us! She's not going to reveal herself (anymore than she has here in her Fruit of the Looms--or does she?), but I think she'd probably cop to it if you emailed her and asked!

    "...the Other HNT" enjoyed a great anniversary celebration last week, and seems to have re-energized the submissions. We even got someone who hasn't been around HNT for over a year, and a series is completed! As always, NSFW!
    I'm going to be running a contest in May, which I'll give you details about next week (assuming I live beyond the weekend...). I'm in need of a prize, though. Any suggestions?

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    Musical Monday #16b

    Someone thought that I could have done better with my Musical Monday selection.

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    Musical Monday #16

    I have a mysterious Musical Monday selection, though some of you will catch the meaning right off the bat. Lots of things going on this week that I'll be bringing you into, but nothing right now... Happy Monday!

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    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    Happy Easter to All!

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    Stuff That's Been Swirling In My Head

    I was going through some old pictures in iPhoto, and realized that I never posted any pictures from my last days of the Caribbean cruise. There's only one that I really wanted to post. That would be the picture of "Big Black Dick" on Grand Cayman Island. I've seen one or two other sites featuring his picture as well. There's a whole explanation of who he was over there on the right side. Click it to big it to read it. I haven't posted a picture of a Big Black Dick until now. Enjoy!

    I promised earlier to post the goth-ish version of "Jesus Christ Superstar". If you're familiar with the original, this should prove to be interesting! It's recorded by the Slovenian experimental group Laibach.
    Why did no one tell me about this?? I was in the store today, and passed the Easter candy. I, of course, went looking for the Cadbury eggs. And there, between the Cadbury Creme Eggs and the Caramel Eggs, sat the newest addition to the Cadbury line-up: the Orange Creme Egg! Oh, my! MG--you MUST try one of these!

    Remember all my legal problems from last summer? All stemming from the expired license plates? Tuesday afternoon I was walking towards my car (my very DIRTY car) and noticed that someone had run a finger across my equally dirty license plate, exposing my current tag. WHICH EXPIRED LAST MONTH!! I renewed Wednesday afternoon...
    Many thanks to all that congratulated me on "...the Other HNT's" anniversary. It's you guys that do it, not me! Congratulations to you!

    Thursday, April 05, 2007

    Celebration HNT

    This first half of April is full of celebrations this year. We (as in those who do) celebrate Easter this coming weekend. And a certain someone we know will be turning 50 soon. You'll be hearing more about that in the coming week. And "...the Other HNT" celebrates its first anniversary this week.

    So what does that have to do with my legs? Absolutely nothing. The pictures were from a series taken for my 365 Days project on Flickr. And to answer someone's specific question--no, I wasn't wearing any pants.

    OK--the first thing to remember about today's Mystery Guest is that the HAND belongs to the MG. Not the shapely behind. The HAND. This gentleman has been involved with HNT for quite awhile. He is legendary for some monster parties, and can get girls to pose topless at the drop of a dime, it seems (and bottomless sometimes!). Someday, I hope to learn from the master. He enjoys his sports teams and his music. He very well could be the twin brother I never had. Out of respect for his MG partner (remember, he's the HAND), he's not going to reveal himself. Though he'd probably admit it if you asked him. Thanks to the HAND, and the impression that he leaves!
    As mentioned above, "...the Other HNT" is a year old this week. To celebrate, many participants from the past year have joined in this week. Some who have been "regulars", and others that have only submitted once or twice. In any case, there's quite a variety over there this week, and as usual, it's NSFW. Morning sunshine and shower related pictures seem to be popular this week! If you're interested in seeing what the very first week was like, check it out here!
    For those of you who only stop by on Thursdays--have a Happy Easter! The rest of you will be wished later in the week!

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    It's a Celebration!

    As I was putzing around with my desktop files, I came to the realization that this Thursday marks the 1st anniversary of "...the Other HNT"! Are you kidding me?? It's always amazed me that HNT lasted more than a couple of months, but for this one to last a year? Incredible! There will be a bit of a celebration over there. Many previous participants have contributed something for this week. If you're interested in joining in as well, please get something to me ASAP! Send it to There's always room for more!
    Did anyone catch this little gem about Keith Richards? Might explain a great deal...
    Is anyone upset with Hardee's Buffalo Chicken Sandwich commercial? With the dog "choking" on a chicken wing bone? Wrong on so many levels.
    I was watching "House" tonight (damn you, Andi!), and there was this quote (or something close to it): "...I think each week we should have Naked Thursdays." Do you think they might have heard of HNT??
    Didn't watch the game, but congrats to the University of Tennesse Lady Vols and their head coach, Pat Summitt, the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history (men or women) with 913 victories. They defeated Rutgers, 59-46, for their 7th National Championship. Go Lady Vols!

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Musical Monday #15

    In spite of my golfing views of Holy Week (see post below), it really does hold a place in my heart. The entire Biblical story of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and Resurrection--all of it was a big deal to my Catholic grad school upbringing. And it sticks with me today.

    I clearly remember then, back in 1970, when my mother bought the album "Jesus Christ Superstar". I just knew that she was going to go to hell for that. She tried to get me to listen to it, but I'd have nothing to do with anything so blasphemous. At least while she was around. For you youngsters out there who know nothing of the rock opera (and SHAME on you!)--it's based on the last week of Jesus' life. Holy Week. And set to rock music!! Well--I was hooked. I still have the original album (stole it from her and have never returned it). I also have a number of different versions on CD--movie soundtrack, 25th anniversary edition, a couple of other different cast soundtracks, VHS and DVD of the original movie, and a DVD of a newer production from about 6 years ago.

    In late 1997, the theater dept. at the college where I worked part-time held auditions for their production of JCSS. I was excited. I knew that I'd be conducting the pit orchestra/band. The only thing that would have made it better was if I could be playing as well. Since I would be doing the music end of things, I came to help with auditions. Short story--there was one role that just couldn't be filled by those who auditioned. We were all sitting apart so that we couldn't influence each other, but it was fairly obvious as to whom was getting which roles. All except King Herod. Sure, he only shows up in one scene, but his vaudeville-style song is the comic relief in the midst of the entire opera. What would we do?? There just wasn't anyone in the theater that had that comedic aura, look or voice. Well, there was one person--me. Yes, even without audition, I was chosen to play King Herod! It was simple enough--the band was actually on stage during the show, so all I had to do was step out from behind a beaded curtain (early 70s, remember?), let the band go off on their own, and I would sing and dance my way into everybody's heart. And I was a hit!

    I have a video of one of our performances. I go back from time to time to relive that. I also will, at some point this week, watch both DVDs that I have. For Musical Monday, I give you two of my three favorite songs from the opera (there's really not a bad song in the entire thing). I couldn't find the actual song "Jesus Christ Superstar" at Radio.Blog.Club--other than some bizarre goth-type version. I might add that later just for variety. But I did include "Simon Zealotes", which is probably my favorite, and then "King Herod's Song". Enjoy!

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    Sunday, April 01, 2007

    It's Holy Week!

    Yes, it's that time of year when pilgrims make the trek to the holiest of all lands. To where the dogwoods and magnolias are in bloom, where the grass is greener than imaginable, and the gods put on feats of skill that defy repetition. I'm talking about, of course, The Masters. Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

    This, to me, is the beginning of spring. To see an immaculately manicured fairway, impossibly fast greens, and a course layout that is as familiar to a real golf fan as their own home course. The memories of years past--Nicklaus' long putt on 16 in 1975 that sealed victory #5. Nicklaus' entire back nine stretch of 1986 when he became the oldest to win the title (#6). Tiger Woods' amazing putt on 16 last year which gave him the lead and eventual victory (#4). Local native Larry Mize's chip-in in sudden-death, Greg Norman's numerous runner-up places. Phil Mickelson's long-sought championship. There are very few sporting events that etch such memories into a fan's mind.

    Someday I'll get there to see it. It's always held within a week of my birthday, and I can think of no better bday present. But there's a decades-long waiting list to get tickets. A certain Ladybug friend of mine could have gotten me in last year, but we found out too late. Of course, my BIL2, who's a club professional, will be there again. Apparently, if one possesses a Class A PGA card, you just have to flash it at the gate and walk in. For free. No tickets required. He'll have access to parts of the clubhouse the the public doesn't. He'll be able to rub elbows with professional golfing's elite. Sometimes it makes me wish I worked harder on my golf game...