Thursday, February 25, 2010

Best I've got time for HNT

I'm not sure how it happened, but things have been unexpectedly busy in the land of Os. Well, that's not quite true...the failings and miscommunications of others has a lot to do with it, and of course it all gets to trickle down on me. I'm not sure if I like it when others trickle on me. Actually, I'm pretty sure I don't. But I've strayed from the path here...

I'm currently writing this during a quick break at work. I don't even have a picture taken yet. I was up until about 2AM last night fixing the aforementioned miscommunications. To have ready for a 9AM staff meeting. Naptime won't be taken today. Symphony moves, rehearsals and performance through Sunday. Then a quick turnaround for our March concert.

No time to chat--I think some of my regulars think I've abandoned them. No time to get some personal things taken care of. No time to enjoy the near springlike weather we're beginning to get. Unfortunately, I sort of thrive on it. Still, I miss my peeps...

Apparently, I'm not the only one busy this month. Sorry--no Mystery Guest this week.
But those who like to show a bit more of themselves found the time! Some newer people showing up over at "...the Other HNT". Be sure to check them out, and leave them some comments, OK? Of course, NSFW!
I certainly hope that most of you come back here after a day or two and check out the late commenters for HNT. If not, you're missing out on some great posts/blogs! You won't be disappointed!
On a more solemn note...BTExpress has posted a small tribute to his girlfriend's (Lori's) dad, who died last week. Be sure to stop by and check it out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter Olympics HNT

Once again, I pick a theme that seems like such a good idea. Right up to the point where I have to come up with my own. In spite of growing up in Montana, I don't do any of the typical winter sports, namely skiing, skating, or hunting. Snowboarding wasn't invented yet when I was a kid, and hockey is sort of an unknown around here. Needless to say, my lack of winter play sort of implies that I really don't have any winter sports gear, either.

Then it hit me! Back in the dark ages of TV, BCTV (Before Cable TV), we were able to get programming from Calgary. Can't remember the call letters, and it appears that they might have changed them. But it was like the early WTBS, but from Canada. Broadcasting to all of Canada and nearby states. We could watch the Calgary! And there was wrestling. And roller derby!!! But every Saturday afternoon, we would sit entranced and in awe, watching curling!

Ah, curling... Sort of like bowling--you can drink beer, anyone can play, and the facilities needed to house the sport are generally huge. In this case, cold, too. The sport is thought to have originated in Scotland, at about the same time that golf appeared, too. There are those who would argue the "sports" aspect of it. Granted, I doubt that many curlers spend hours upon hours in the weight room. But by the same token, there are numerous sports that don't require strength as much as they do precision, strategy, a light touch, teamwork and relatively inexpensive equipment!

We don't have much in the way of hockey rinks in this state, let alone curling centers. So if we want to attempt curling here, we have to do it the old fashioned way. Say, clearing the snow off the back sidewalk, exposing the 4 inches of ice that have formed underneath. Which is easy to do when your sport requires a broom (I miss the days of using actual brooms, rather than the high tech squeegee they use now...). Of course, in Montana, we generally have to do it at night, seeing as how we play it half-nekkid (gotta keep the shoes is damned cold!!)!

"She ain't into wine and roses
Beer just makes her turn up her nose
And, she can't stand the thought of sippin' champagne
No Cuervo Gold Margaritas
Just ain't enough good burn in tequila
She needs somethin' with a little more edge and a little more pain
She's my little whiskey Girl
My Ragged-on-the-edges girl
Ah, but I like 'em rough..."

Whiskey Girl ~ Toby Keith

Truth be known, this week's Mystery Guest is actually a big fan of beer, beef jerky, and has an affection for aƱejo tequila. But that doesn't change the fact that she's smokin'! A cigar, even! She'll be revealed on Thursday afternoon, but if you know who it is, be sure to stop by and hi!

BTW--I don't have anyone lined up for next week...

This week's MG is the fun-loving Roxy over at Westcoast Weirdo. Stop by to say hi (hint!--click on her HNT tab at the top of her page)!

Some good submissions over at "...the Other HNT" this week. Definitely NSFW. Be sure to stop by and support your fellow HNTers with some comment lovin'!
I don't think I mentioned this before...I had my 3-month appointment with the doctor last week. Basically, in my condition, there's three main things that I need to have under control--blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol. Well, my BP is good, my glucose levels are excellent, and the cholesterol is excellent! Other than that whole diabetes thing, I'm as healthy as a horse! Actually, I need to work on the weight and exercise, but even at that, I'm doing more for it than I have ever have before! So it looks like I'll be sticking around for awhile!
Symphony concert coming up next weekend, meaning all sorts of meetings and rehearsals until then. I might be sparse over the next ten days...nothing personal!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I have to admit...I've already watched more of the Olympics than I thought I would, and pretty much more than I ever do. Some notes:
  • Interesting that, back in August of 2008, I wrote this as part of the Summer Games opening ceremonies in Beijing: "Bob Costas is an ass." Certainly hasn't changed. Of course, this is NBC, who has kept Jay Leno around far too long too.
  • Glad that that NBC broadcast the luge accident, and equally glad that they have chosen not to show it again. Should be easy to find on YouTube, but the spammers are fully aware of it. Severely low class...
  • REALLY upset that even though I'm only one time zone away, we're not get the live broadcast. So as everyone cheers and is excited on Facebook, the surprise is shot. Of course, if I wasn't on Facebook, I wouldn't know, would I? Glad I'm not on Twitter!
  • Didn't realize that there were two (at least) Montanans competing. I'm sure there's probably more, but I find it interesting that there's been virtually no mention of them in the local media. Or maybe there has--I so rarely read local news...

I guess there was a basketball game and a car race today too. Neither of which I could care less about.
I was highly disappointed in the "We Are the World" remake. Yet that would imply that I had any sort of expectation. Really...Barbra Streisand? The only country artist on the official roster was Zac Brown. Carlos Santana, who should have been on the first one, was kept in the sound booth. About 60 people who I've never heard of. Brian Wilson was on the list. I think they kept him in the back row with the old farts. Speaking of old farts, Tony Bennett was there, but he's cool again, so that's OK. It was good to see Jeff Bridges playing the role of Dan Aykroyd this time around. The first time around, they raised over $60M for African relief. I doubt they'll hit $20M this time.
THEME ALERT! - Don't forget that next week will be the Winter Olympic HNT theme! For those of you who worried about not having snow for pictures, I think that's been taken care of... If you still don't have snow, you could always opt for indoor skating, or medal ceremonies, or something along those lines. Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with! Canadians--I'm looking forward to some real national pride!!!

Someone made mention on a comment somewhere how "adorable" it was to see all the southerners posting pictures of their snow. Yeah. That's the word I'd use!
Apparently, when one is snowbound by the 5 inches of snow outside, they spend time playing with Photoshop. Q sent this to me. Pretty much the story of my life... thanks Q!

Happy Valentine's Day!

This isn't the version I was looking for, and neither of these guys individually do I care for, but this song is, by far, the finest Valentine's Day song ever. Extremely intimate, a tad humorous, and one of my favorite songs of all time. If you're interested, you can check out the Michelle Pfeiffer version (surprisingly good!), the Tom Jones version, the Miles Davis version, or the Sarah Vaughan version. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cupid's Helper HNT

I think I might be the only male on the planet who actually likes Valentine's Day. Of course, being a life-long, card-carrying member of the Bachelor's Club might have a lot to do with that. I don't have to send cards, flowers or chocolate to anyone if I don't want to. Nor have to worry about the consequences by not doing so. Yet, I've been known to do such things, because deep down, I'm sort of a romantic.

Strangely, I've had so few special VDays, but there's only one that sticks out in my mind. I answered a 'help wanted' ad in the local paper to deliver flowers on Valentine's Day. I put on my reddest shirt (avoiding the urge to go the full Cupid route) and headed to the florist early that morning. For over 8 hours that day, my fellow delivery guys and I ran all over town, delivering roses to nervous, expectant ladies. Fill up my van, head to the downtown office buildings, deliver maybe a dozen orders, and go back to do the whole thing all over again.

Never in my life had I felt such love and contempt at the same time. The anticipation as I walked into an office area. The hopeful look in their eyes. The daggers in my back as I passed desk after desk, to deliver them to the back of the office. The leers and pure hate I felt walking back out of the office. Sometimes I'd have to go back to the same office with a different order. And the forgiving eyes, then the anticipation, daggers, and leers. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat.

It was a great day. My van smelled like roses for days. I'm curious what sort of reaction I would have gotten if I went the Cupid route. Fortunately, not that curious... Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Please Hear What I Am Not Saying

"Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.
I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well
as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet."

Charles C. Finn
September 1966

The mystery will be revealed late Thursday afternoon. Be sure to come back--it'll be a surprise!
I'll assume that you noticed that there might be double Mystery Guests this week (hint: mouse rollover). Our Guests are Barefoot Dreamer and Morning Glory, who's also doing a guest stint at her site! Be sure to stop by and say hi!

My mini-rant from last week regarding the lack of comments for "...the Other HNT" seemed to work some. Now keep it up! Your fellow HNTers appreciate it! Oh, yeah...NSFW!
THEME ALERT! - Don't forget that next week will be the Winter Olympic HNT theme! For those of you who worried about not having snow for pictures, I think that's been taken care of... If you still don't have snow, you could always opt for indoor skating, or medal ceremonies, or something along those lines. Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with! Canadians--I'm looking forward to some real national pride!!!
Ending with bullets...
  • I have no sympathy for those of you who are enduring the snow back east. In the similar fashion that no one had great sympathy for us here when we were deep in the frigid sub-zero temps. But after seeing the news tonight, I CAN say that I'm glad it's not happening here. In fact, I saw a robin the other day. Don't hate...
  • Congrats to the New Orleans Saints! Mardi Gras should be a good time this year!
  • Getting used to the new changes that Facebook made this week. Not a big fan, but it's not too bad. Still seems to be working a bit on the wonky side.
  • REALLY not a fan yet of Gmail's Buzz. Do we really need Twitter-like behavior there?? Or worse--connecting Twitter to Buzz??? Please, no. I'm going to give it a couple of days, but there's a nice link at the bottom of your Gmail page that says "turn off buzz". Probably going to do just that!
  • Had the most bizarre dream last night. Can't quite describe it, other than I was a game piece on a board that was a hybrid of Tetris and Words with Friends. Yes, the dementia rolls on unabated...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Wasting Away HNT

This week's HNT is sort of a result of last week's click-through. I haven't talked much about the weight loss due to my pissing it all away last year. At my first doctor's appointment, when I was officially diagnosed, I had dropped about 50 lbs. from the middle of the summer. It was fairly sudden, though looking back on it, happened over the span of many weeks. While I was still having to digest what lifestyle changes I had to make, I was somewhat happy with the fact that I lost weight, regardless of how I did it.

My four days in the hospital were spent pumping all sorts of fluids in me, which added about 10 lbs back. And made me healthier. Since then, part of my goal to get off the insulin is to lose weight. And there's been progress, though slow. I haven't lost it as quickly as I'd like, but I've been losing, and I consider that a step in the right direction. I'm back to about 50 lbs less than this summer, but 50 lbs is also relative. Everybody goes ooh and ahh when they read about a man who once weighed over 1000 lbs and has lost 600 lbs. But he still weighs 400 lbs. Not that my numbers are remotely close to that, but the story is still similar. I'm still a big guy.

I don't let that bother me at all. At my heaviest, I never really let it bother me. But I have to admit that I like how I'm feeling/looking. Which is a nice motivation. Yeah, someone who's never met me might have one image of me; others who have followed me through this are noticing the weight loss. And I'm determined to keep it coming off. I might even join a gym (though nobody should hold me to that...).

Where it's been most noticeable has been my face. I've noticed it. Many of you have noticed it too. That's where last week's HNT comes into play. I knew there were some other pictures of me playing Michelle. It's an interesting comparison. So here I am in 2005, 2007 (during Mahler's 3rd--I can guarantee I'm blowing my brains out!), and just last week. Yeah. I'm losing weight.

"May you have warm words
on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill
all the way to your door."

--Traditional Irish blessing/toast

This blessing goes out to this week's Mystery Guest. She has moved into a new place, away from her kids and their father to start a new chapter in her life. As part of that new chapter, she's also moved her blog to her own domain. Not just a figurative move, but a financially strategic move. But she needs your help. So, in a different twist on the "mystery" part, I'm revealing her now, so that you can get over to read her post and help out. Now head over to "Having My Cake...and eating it too!" She'll appreciate your help!
I have a little gripe regarding "...the Other HNT". Lord knows I'm not a comment whore. I used to get down when comments were lacking. I checked obsessively to see what my stats told me. I worried that I wasn't doing something "right". But that was when I was young and foolish.

I've noticed over the past few weeks that the comments over at OHNT have fallen drastically. I checked my stats, and there's still the same number of people visiting. But almost no one is commenting. What's up with that?? Your fellow HNTers are stepping out over there, and I'm sure they'd like some feedback, even if they're anonymous! So go check them out and leave some lovin'! Of course, it's NSFW, but you already knew that!
Theme Alert! - The Winter Olympics will be in full swing in two weeks, so why not celebrate your national pride with a Winter Olympics HNT? Even if you don't like the Winter Olympics, I'm sure that many of you have experienced some snow this year! That should get you in the mood! And if you're good, you can even incorporate some of it in your HNT! The Olympic theme worked well two years ago for the Summer Games--this one should do as well! So pull out your toques, lace up your skates, or whatever you need to do! Winter Olympics HNT in TWO weeks!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Snot Factory Running at Full Speed...and other news

Just thought I'd share...

DORKS 'R' US - I scored MAJOR 'cool uncle' points last week! N1 and I got together for dinner and beers before "Jesus Christ Superstar". And I love being able to say that! And she drinks dark beer! She makes her uncle proud (tears starting to form in my eye...). The show was phenomenal, as I expected. Mostly a different cast than when I saw it a couple of years ago, but Ted Neely (the award winning actor who played Jesus in the original movie) was still plugging away. The voice/stamina/enthusiasm are all going strong. Helping with the 'cool uncle' points was the fact that I scored two front row tickets. Center, of course. She was so impressed that she started checking out the movie clips from YouTube the next morning! All in all, a great evening!
Dementia is setting in - Follow me on this... Our bill for dinner and beers came to $30.90. Quite reasonable. I did a quick calculation in my head as to what a 15% tip would be. Just a hair over $4.50, so I rounded up to $4.80. And here's where the dementia raised its ugly head...I signed the slip for an even $48.00. A $17.10 tip on a $30.90 tab. That's 55%. The worst part...the waitress was average, and not even hot... Unfortunately, I did a similar thing when dining with Moose once. But quantities of wine were involved that night.
Mahler - The symphony concert went quite well, but not without accidents. Since you were wondering. Slipping on ice, jamming shoulders, not being able to lift my right arm without helping it along with my left. But no blood, and the show must go on. The little bit of solo that I had was played splendidly, of course. Actually the whole concert was pretty splendid, but I'm glad it's over!
Don't you have a blog? - The tear-down went pretty quickly, so I headed to the nearby steakhouse for a beer where many of the orchestra members had gathered. I found myself sitting next to the executive director of one of the other orchestras in the state. We aren't three breaths away from introducing ourselves, and she said, "Don't you have a blog?" Yeah. She was familiar with it.
Delayed - Still didn't get around to all of last week's HNTs yet. Hope to in the next day or so.
Badass - Have you seen the trailer for the new John Travolta movie? Vinnie Barbarino has gone severely badass!
Sad News - Most of you know Rachel. She's been my beer-drinkin' buddy for years, helped start HNT, and is my tour guide for Glacier National Park. Her dad died Sunday afternoon, after declining health, and a few days in the hospital. Keep her and her family in your prayers this week.