Monday, September 29, 2008

Pontification Rock

Why didn't they have that as one of the Schoolhouse Rock songs? Hell, what am I talking about? I'm too old to have watched any of that. But I've digressed, and I'm only on the fourth sentence...

Two burrs under my saddle today. The first--misogyny. Go ahead. Look it up. I'll wait...

It's maybe a strong word, but there's alot of misogyny going around HNT these days. I find it quite disturbing that new HNTers, whose first ones are a hand, or a belly or an ear, find it necessary to preface their post by saying that "next week will be better", or "sorry, this is all I could do this week". WTF?? Why should they feel they need to say that? Primarily because they think that's what HNT is all about--the boobies. Because they've been "recruited" to HNT by misogynists with the hope that that's what they're going to show. Misogynists who have no concept of what HNT is all about. Sure, I like the boobies as much as anyone else. But that has nothing to do with what makes HNT. And if the pressure out there to show them is so strong that newbies feel that they have to apologize, then maybe it's time to end HNT. Mysogyny. I don't like it. (Though I like typing the word. And I've learned that when you learn a new word, you should use it as often as possible...)

Secondly, and much more disturbing to me, is the current crop of trolls, stalkers and general assholes that are leaving comments around the community. In particular, two of my favorite bloggers have had nasty comments recently left for them. Comments that serve absolutely no purpose. Comments that elicited an attempt at rebuttals, with no discernable effect. Primarily because it's like arguing with a 2 year old. The two year old will always win. Or like the nerdy kid on the debate team--arguing just to hear themselves talk.

We've also had to watch a handful of bloggers close down sites, or move them, or change names, or go private--all because someone feels like stalking them. I can think of no fewer than six who have had to do that in the very recent past. That is simply inexcusable. Whatever happened to civility? Common courtesy? Good manners? What makes some people go to the lengths that they do to seem "anonymous"? What is so important to leaving a nasty comment that you would set up a fictitious blogger account with no information to reply to? Why would someone feel that a public display is necessary, when an private email exchange would be the mature thing to do?

It's times like this when I wonder if it's worth it to keep blogging. But then I realize that I've never (surprisingly) gotten nasty comments. Knock on wood. And if my friends that DO get them can get past them and continue, then I suppose I can too.
On a happier note--as I wrote this post, I was watching "West Side Story" on AMC. Good God, what a wonderful musical! Leonard Bernstein was totally on his game when he wrote the music for this! We'll be playing the symphonic suite to this for our March concert. We've seriously got our work cut out for us that month!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New things!

You might notice a couple of changes around the Back Row. First off, there's a new poll up in the sidebar. I have pretty much avoided weekly memes throughout my bloglife. I've decided that I should maybe do one, but I don't know which one to choose. I've listed most of the current popular ones. The poll will stay up through Saturday. I'll go with what you guys decide! Vote early and often (you'll have to cheat to do that)!
Second thing below the poll is a table showing the three main football teams that I follow around here. Montana might not come to mind as a football power state, but it's a big deal around here. Maybe not as nutso as Texas. After all, opening day of hunting season around here still trumps a football game. But those three teams have consistently won championships in their various classifications. My former high school, Capital H.S., is the two-time defending champion in the largest classification in the state, and have won 9 championships and 3 times as runner-up in the last 30 years.

Carroll College has won 5 of the last 6 NAIA Championships, and are favored to win again this year. The University of Montana Grizzlies hold the current longest regular season home winning streak in all of football (25 and counting). They also hold the FCS (formerly 1-AA) record for post-season appearances. They have 2 national championships under their belt, as well as 3 or 4 appearances in the championship game.

I have always maintained that small college football is far superior to the FBS (NFL Lite). A division where a losing team "expects" to be able to appear in a bowl game, and a champion can't be determined on the field, is nothing I want to get excited about.

More importantly--I built that little table over there FROM SCRATCH! You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! I've never taken a course in HTML or CCS or any of those other letters. Just a bit of investigation and trial and error!
Don't forget that Boobie-Thon starts up on October 1st! There's going to be plenty of links, so you don't have an excuse not to go check it out!
Also--time is running out to claim a day on the NYC Sex Blogger's Calendar (link is a couple of posts down). If you want to buy a date, it needs to be done by Wednesday, due to printing deadlines. Click the link to get more details!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

End of the Week

If you've never used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, I highly recommend trying one! I've got things clean and shiny that haven't been that way since the day I moved in (think mid-90s)! I dare them to come by for a walk-through! As long as they don't go into the bedroom...
Big honkin' birthday wishes to one of our favorite blue-eyed girls! Behave yourself this weekend!

Walk Thru HNT

I walked out the door of my apartment, and there it was. A white piece of paper, 8 1/2" x 11", taped to my door. This rarely bodes well. It means a raise in my rent, or some silly new regulation for the complex, like no cigarette butts in the parking lot, or quit feeding the deer, or whathaveyou. Or sometimes, you get the one that I got yesterday morning:
A realtor is going to do a walk thru of all the units on Friday, September 28, 2008 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and noon. You do not need to be home for the visit.
I HATE these walk-throughs. I could leave everything as is--I'm a bachelor. They can deal with it. But can I? I'm thinking not. Even with people whom I'll never meet, I want to be thought of in the best light I can manage (gosh, could he be referring to his bloglife, too???). Which means that, in the next two days, I have to clean my place to within an inch of its life. Sandblast the bathroom. Try to pick up all the crap I have in piles in the living room. Vacuum/dust the entire place. I have NO idea what to do with the bedroom. So here I am. Phase One. They probably won't even come through my place...

The interlocking forms, separated and assembled incessantly by the company, evoke a multitude of abstract landscapes, from mountain to city. Giant, monochromatic, seemingly implacable, they particularly bring to mind urban images from Fritz Lang or kafkaesque themes, as the dancers handle, mount, straddle, slip between them, and are ultimately trapped between or under them. They demonstrate the human power to overcome obstacles with cunning in addition to physical strength, and perhaps above all with a commonly directed energy.

This couple will not be revealing themselves this week.

Continuing to get new people to submit to "...the Other HNT"! It's definitely NSFW, as usual. Please stop by to check them out! These ARE your HNT friends!
Another mention about the NYC Sex Blogger Calendar. If you're interested in reserving a day, I think they need to have you purchase it by Oct. 1st (printing deadlines, and all...) Tess, over at Urban Gypsy, wrote the following:
About a month ago a little bulb went off in my head. A blogger calendar, thought I. A SEX blogger calendar. A NYC SEX BLOGGER CALENDAR! To benefit a good cause? Yes! Enter Sex Work Awareness, which will receive all profits made from this idea that birthed a calendar.

You can purchase the calendar at their site, New York City Sex Bloggers 2009 Calendar. You can even (for an extra charge) sponsor a day! Details are on the site. Give it some thought!
The 7th Annual Blogger Boobie-Thon starts up in SEVEN days, not the 11 I said yesterday! Starts Oct. 1st. You'll hear more about it here, but if you're interested in showing your boobies for a worthy cause (fight against breast cancer), check it out and submit a picture or two! (for those of you who participated last year, did you get any sort of invite or notice from them?)

Has anyone had problems getting onto Wordpress blogs today??
I was going to mention this earlier this week... Gas prices fell over 25¢ in the span of a week. Twelve cents in one afternoon! From $3.89, to $3.63 as of today. What the hell is up with that?? I know that many of you have lower prices. That's not what the complaint is about. It's the arbitrary drop in price, by such increments. I really hate the way the game is played...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Stuff

Had to start the morning with a staff meeting for the symphony at the Civic Center. I generally don't mind them, as we usually DO accomplish some things! But this morning sort of ran on a bit too long, and too much "discussion". I wasn't mad or upset, but there was just a feeling that I didn't want to be there anymore. When it was finally over, and I was trying to avoid the headache that was wanting to come to the front, I saw this little guy outside the window of the hallway. Four of his siblings/cousins and a chaperone were quietly munching on the foliage along the building. He and I stared at each other for about a minute before I thought to pull out the cell phone. It was obvious he could see me through the window, as he would follow me as I moved from side to side. Shortly after these pics, he wandered down the bushes. And I left for work. I have to admit--the rest of my day was pretty good!

You may have already seen this on another site or two. Tess, over at Urban Gypsy, wrote the following:
About a month ago a little bulb went off in my head. A blogger calendar, thought I. A SEX blogger calendar. A NYC SEX BLOGGER CALENDAR! To benefit a good cause? Yes! Enter Sex Work Awareness, which will receive all profits made from this idea that birthed a calendar.

You can purchase the calendar at their site, New York City Sex Bloggers 2009 Calendar. You can even (for an extra charge) sponsor a day! Details are on the site. Give it some thought!
It was brought to my attention that the 7th Annual Blogger Boobie-Thon starts up in 11 days. You'll hear more about it here, but if you're interested in showing your boobies for a worthy cause (fight against breast cancer), check it out and submit a picture or two!
I really like the weather these days. Cool (cold) nights, and sunny, warm days. We're still on track to get a few days in the upper 70s, and maybe even up to 80. It may be fall, but it's the best time to be in this part of the country!
Law & Order: Criminal Intent. With new cast member Jeff Goldblum. This should be great!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


On this first day of autumn, I offer bullets...
  • Put a dollar in the vending machine, made my selection, and got my dollar back! I love days like that!
  • Watched alot of football this weekend. My three main teams are all undefeated. Rah!
  • Haven't heard from her, but I'm guessing that Moose, her dad and the three neurotic cats have made it to Fairbanks.
  • Jessica is traveling too! She's in San Francisco, and will be moving up the coast on Monday. All these travelers!
  • "Knight Rider" starts this week on NBC. Who decided that this needed to be remade??
  • Got to sing a midnight rendition of "Happy Birthday" to one of my favorite (and dearly missed) bloggers Saturday night. Ended up keeping us both up too late!
  • I like the Sonic commercials on TV, but the nearest one is 300 miles away from me, so I've never been to one. Is it any good?
  • Trees seem to be turning this weekend. I had hoped to get into the mountains to get some pics, but it was too hazy to get anything that I wanted, so I didn't get out. :-(
Ummm... Not much else. Sort of a boring weekend. I hope to do better!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pit Stop HNT

As mentioned previously here, and on her own site, Moose is on her way to the "Last Frontier" (Alaska, for those of you born when there's always been 50 States). Driving the entire way with her dad and three neurotic cats (dad's not neurotic, from what I could tell). They stopped here last night to get one more bite of calamari, and one more drink of local brew before driving the next 2500 miles over the next 4 days to Fairbanks. Before getting to the HNT, here's some interesting facts about our 49th state:
  • Alaska's coastline, 6,640 miles, is longer than all the other states' coastlines combined. It is the United State's largest state, measuring 1,400 miles long and 2,700 miles wide; Rhode Island could fit into Alaska 425 times.
  • Alaska has more inland water than any other state, 20,171 square miles.
  • Alaska accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States.
  • The Trans-Alaska Pipeline moves up to 88,000 barrels of oil per hour on its 800 mile journey to Valdez.
  • Most of America's salmon, crab, halibut, and herring come from Alaska.
  • The term Alaska native refers to Alaska's original inhabitants including Aleut, Eskimo and Indian groups.
  • The state motto is North to the Future.
  • The jade is the official state gemstone.
  • The four-spot skimmer dragonfly is the official state insect.
  • Alaska has been called America's Last Frontier.
  • Every four years Alaskans elect a Governor and a Lieutenant Governor to four-year terms.
  • The Alaska State Legislature is made up of a Senate and a House of Representatives.
  • Twenty senators are elected to four-year terms; forty representatives serve two-year terms.
  • Nearly one-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle.
  • Alaska Highway was originally built as a military supply road during World War II.
  • State boasts the lowest population density in the nation.
  • Alaska is a geographical marvel. When a scale map of Alaska is superimposed on a map of the 48 lower states, Alaska extends from coast to coast.
  • Alaska is the United State's largest state and is over twice the size of Texas. Measuring from north to south the state is approximately 1,400 miles long and measuring from east to west it is 2,700 miles wide.
  • Agattu, Attu, and Kiska are the only parts of North America occupied by Japanese troops during World War II.
  • Alaska's geographic center is 60 miles northwest of Mount McKinley.
  • Tongass National Forest is the largest national forest in the United States.
  • 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are located in Alaska.
  • At 20,320 feet above sea level, Mt. McKinley, located in Alaska's interior, is the highest point in North America.
  • The state's largest city is Anchorage; the second largest is Fairbanks.
  • Alaska Range is the largest mountain chain in the state. It covers from the Alaska Peninsula to the Yukon Territory.
  • Juneau is the only capital city in the United States accessible only by boat or plane. It is also the largest US city covering 3,108 square miles. Los Angeles covers only 458.2 square miles.
  • More bald eagles gather along the Chilkat River than at any other place in the world.
  • There are more than 100,000 glaciers in Alaska and about 75% of all the fresh water in the state is stored as glacial ice.
  • There are over three million lakes in Alaska. The largest, Lake Iliamna, is the size of Connecticut.
  • Malaspina Glacier, at the foot of Mount Saint Elias, covers an area larger than Rhode Island.
Hopefully you've learned something! It was wonderful to see her again (and to meet her dad!). It's going to be awhile before we see each other again, I think. Just wish Rachel could have joined us. Maybe next time! Here's Moose and I playing a little pattyfinger behind my beer. Yes, that's a slice of lemon floating on top. Deal with it! it!

“I think that when we look for love courageously, it reveals itself, and we wind up attracting even more love. If one person really wants us, everyone does. But if we’re alone, we become even more alone. Life is strange.”

--Paulo Coelho

Look for the reveal on Thursday afternoon!
This week's MG is probably new to most of you. It's Macabre Girl, and you can find her over here. Stop by and say hi! She's already revealed herself over there!

Another good week for your fellow HNTers over at "...the Other HNT"! Leave some good comments!! As always, it's most decidedly NSFW!
Lecram notes that, with the end of summer next week, it's time to say "Sarong to Summer"! While it's not an "official" theme, if you want to show off your sarong, next week's HNT is the time to do it! But be sure to leave him a comment that you're doing it to! You can see the fun that was had in 2006 and 2007. You should check his site out anyway. He doesn't HNT on a regular basis anymore, but when he does, he does it well!
Some of you old-timers might remember Heather, from Canada. She's pretty much had to give up her blogging due to her jewelry business taking off. That's her over there on the left, displaying some of her handiwork! She's been selling her wares primarily wholesale in Canada, but has just opened up an online site to sell to the masses! Click on her link below and check out what she's got to offer. I hate to use the "C" word here, but it's only about three months away!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm baaaaccckk...

Wow. I've been away for awhile, haven't I? I've been busy. Lots going on, and lots of stuff in my head. I did get to check some of your sites, but not alot. I've got some catching up to do...
Why have I been gone? Symphony, of course! I've been in rehearsals, stage set-ups, or performance since Thursday. But it was well worth it. The performance was as about as good as we could have asked for. Perfect? There is no such thing as a 'perfect' performance. But I would put our performance up against any other orchestra's in the region. And the really good news? No injuries during set-up or tear-down. Other than the arthritic knee. And the bad back. But that's why God invented ibuprofen!
I found a little time to check out what Ike was doing over the weekend. Glad it wasn't as bad as expected, but amazed that it can angle off through the midwest and still cause problems! Hope those of you in his path get things back to normal soon!
I'm not sure whose site I found this on, but you should go check this Youtube link. I'm not a Craig Ferguson fan, but his almost 9 minute rant/monologue regarding the presidential campaigns, the media, and the right to vote in this country is probably the most down-to-earth presentation of what most Americans probably feel. It's weird to hear it in his Scottish brogue, but it's still a great rant!
Two disappointments in the area of fast food. I stopped off at McDonald's to get the McRib. While it's still as finger-licking messy as I remember, I'm thinking that the sauce is a bit different. To be fair, I bought another one a couple of days later. Still didn't do it for me. I don't know if the sauce has changed, or if my tastes have. Domino's now offers oven-baked sandwiches. I ordered the Chicken Parm. Again, to be fair, I'll order one of their others, but I'm not holding out hope that I'll be thrilled.
Watched a new documentary on the History Channel last week. "102 Minutes That Changed the World" gives a new look at the events of 9/11 through photographs, videos and radio recordings from the NYPD, the FDNY, the Port Authority, professional journalists and amateurs. No narration, no script, and no fancy editing. Just a very subtle soundtrack that you probably won't even notice.

The various videos are spliced together somewhat chronologically. It gives a view that the news stations couldn't. Personal vantage points. Video of the chaos on the streets, and in various buildings. Some from inside the WTC buildings, to as far away as Hoboken. Perhaps the most intense scene is from the NYU students who are just a couple of blocks away in their 32nd floor apartment, hearing the comments in disbelief that they are seeing people jumping, rather than chairs falling out. Or their horror as they see the second plane hit the towers. And the sheer panic to get out of their own high-rise. Or perhaps it's the husband and wife telling each other in disbelief that one, then both of the towers had collapsed, and telling their little girl to go back into her room and watch her movie. Or seeing the same little girl telling her baby brother that the towers are "all gone". To fill out the two-hour block, the remaining 18 minutes feature the actual people whose videos were used. Talking about what they saw, why they taped it, and how it's affected them over the years.

Of any 9/11 documentary I've ever seen, this is one that should not be missed!
I was asked if my week slows down, now that this first concert is out of the way. For the most part, it does. Rachel is in town visiting family, and after a bit of a glitch, Moose is going to be here on Tuesday on her way to Alaska (driving. with 3 neurotic cats and her dad!). Beers will be consumed. It will be the last time the three of us will be together for awhile, I'm afraid.
That's about it for now!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tearful HNT

As I mentioned in my 2nd "100 Things...", I tend to tear up to alot of things on TV or the movies. Real life will do it to me too.

I won't bother saying anything about the events of 9/11, other than I lit a candle (a Yankee Candle, but a candle nonetheless) the other night, said a prayer and shed a tear. A few of them, actually.

Let us never forget.
Ramblings and rumblings,
Stammerings and stumblings,
Yammerings and bumblings,
Glamourings and grumblings,
Hammerings and humblings.

This is what this week's Mystery Guest writes about.
With an occasional time-out to tan!

She'll be revealed Thursday afternoon--be sure to come back!
Most of you figured out this one. Sometimes my clues are a little TOO obvious! This, of course, is M, from over at Rumblings and Bumblings. Stop by and offer to kiss her bruise!

Another good showing by your fellow HNTers over at "...the Other HNT". A little something for everyone over there! Be sure to leave some comments! As always, NSFW!
The first symphony concert of the season is this weekend. Those of you who have been around know that means I won't be around much until Sunday. Not a terribly difficult concert for me personally (Beethoven Triple Concerto and Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 - trombones don't play the Beethoven, and the Sibelius is just lots of loooonnnnnggggg loud notes for us), but there's some stage logistics that will be stressing me out this weekend. Probably more than necessary, but this is my blog, so I can complain! Somewhere in there, I have to watch my football too! So much to do, no time to do it all!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Footballed out?

I refuse to allow myself to get fanatically excited about football, but it was a good weekend to stay in and watch games all weekend. Both local high schools won handily. Carroll College continue their winning ways, and are favored to win their 6th NAIA national championship this season (they hold the current longest college winning streak in the nation--any level). They also have some ridiculously insane record of winning 48 out of their last 50 games or something like that. My #5 Montana Grizzlies won their opening game of the season Saturday with an exciting win over #11 Cal-Poly SLO. My only team that lost were the MSU Bobcats, who went Kansas State and were blown out 69-10. Ah, the things some athletic programs will do for money...

Not terribly interested in the NFL, but I didn't shed a tear to hear that Tom Brady got hurt. I do have an interest in Miami this year, as their rookie kicker is a local boy and a former Montana Griz! Wasn't terribly upset to watch Indy get beat by Chicago either. But Seattle sucked it up big, dammit. But kudos to the Saints! We'll see how excited I get through the season.

While I was watching this weekend, three things kept playing in my mind:
"Isn't your sister lactose intolerant?"
"It's back!"

Thursday, September 04, 2008


It's back!!

Grooming HNT #2

Sometimes you people surprise the heck out of me. I never would have thought that my "Grooming HNT" from last week would elicit so many "I love watching a man shave..." comments as it did. So we'll see what happens this week!

Those who have been around for awhile know that my dad is a retired dentist. I definitely remember a variety of images and smells from my youth, and Dad's early days in practice. I don't recall why he was doing it, but I would watch him for hours at home as he used to sculpt wax molds over the plaster casts of patients' teeth (presumably for dentures or partials). The odor of the Bunsen burner, mixed with the smells of his Lucky Strikes and Dentyne. His deft use of various dental tools as he moved from flame to wax to hand towel, and back to the flame. Of course there were the smells of burning tooth enamel as he used his drill when preparing a tooth for a filling. Memorable, but not quite as nice.

Of course, we all had to brush our teeth twice a day, without fail. Nothing worse for a dentist than to have one of his kids with a mouthful of cavities! And for as long as I can remember, the toothpaste of choice was Crest. Back when there was only one version of Crest. Not the various flavors and specialties that any of them come in now. And while I've "explored" other toothpastes, I always come back to the one that I grew up on! For the record, I'm one of those who was taught to squeeze the tube the correct way--from the end!! And rolling up the end as it's squeezed out the top. Though you can't do that now with the new-fangled tubes they have now. but I digress, as usual...

So here I am, in the second phase of my daily grooming. I'm not a messy brusher. I don't have the foamy mouth, or look like a rabid dog, nor do I drip foamy spit down my chin. Don't worry, there won't be a showing of any further phases. That would be wrong on SO many levels!

This Shiraz has a deep, rich ruby red color with notes of plum and berry on the nose. It is robust and full-bodied on the palate with nice fresh fruit.

Food pairing:
Pairs well with grilled meats.

Grape Varietal: SYRAH
Type: Still wine

This week's Mystery Guest will be revealed Thursday afternoon. Come back to find out who she might be!

This week's was probably a tough one! The lovely Mystery Guest is the one and only Honey! Go check her and Mickey in pink!

Lots of new people in "...the Other HNT" this week. Be sure you stop by and leave a comment for your fellow HNTers! As usual, NSFW!
Those of you who play in fantasy football leagues might be interested in this article from the Wall Street Journal. The short story--you can now plunk down money to play a weekly fantasy football team for weekly payouts in the State of Montana! And you're not stuck with the same team each week! Play as much as you want, with as many different fantasy teams as you'd like to form! Not sure yet if I'm going to play, but it's certainly more fun than the lottery! If you want to check out the site running the sports action, go here!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Oh, little did I know...

In spite of the title of my previous post, I didn't expect THIS! Yes, that's snow up on that there hill. While it hasn't actually made it as far as town, it's disappointingly close. The mountains around here are all covered in white, and there's vehicles around town sporting up to 2" of it, having come down from their various mountain homes. I don't know what the low was this morning, but it was 39° at 9AM, and it's all the way up to 41° two hours later. Hope you're all enjoying YOUR Labor Day!

BTW--I'm posting this from work. Some of us have to do that, ya know...