Saturday, July 31, 2010


  • Back to School commercials already?? (well, not so bad now, this post has been collecting dust for over a week)
  • I heard from a friend that they saw Halloween candy displays up already. I mean, really?
  • Big party coming up. Only 4 days before I leave. You'd think I'd start thinking about packing or something.
  • August will be another busy month. All those songs I had to write in June? I have to do the same for our gig at the end of this month.
  • Two different bands rehearsing on most weeknights now--my HNTs will have to auto-post for the next few weeks.
  • Symphony requires some staff meetings on the nights without rehearsals. I think August should be a "responsibilities-free" month.
  • Ten days from now I'll be attending my HS class' 35-year reunion. Yeah, I'm just that old.

Can I see the Carfax?

To be honest, it was one of the least stressful things I've ever done.

Tuesday afternoon, the car gave notice it had maybe one or two more drives left in it. The minimal problem would have been a leaky head gasket. At worst, a cracked head, and a piston that was about to cause problems. The car was almost 12 years old, with 136,000 miles on it. Not worth spending a huge amount of money fixing, while waiting for the proverbial "next shoe" to drop.

I grabbed my dad's car, and went trolling through the car lots. Looking for something not too old, low miles, good mileage. And either something like a minivan, so I can move some music equipment for myself or the symphony, or something small and compact. Lord knows I don't need to worry about hauling the kids or their friends around. So what do I find?

If you clicked on my HNT down below, you would have found a picture of the new purchase! A 1996 Ford Taurus LX. The 'wagon' version of the Taurus. I was a bit concerned about the age. It was three years older than the one I was getting rid of. But it's only got about 85,000 miles on it! And 65K of those were put on in the first 2 years (it was a commercial lease vehicle, so it had great regular maintenance). Meaning it's only been driven 20,000 miles in 12 years! The interior is immaculate. The exterior has a couple of very minor scrapes, and you have to look for those. All in all, a pretty nice vehicle!

And the old car? It cooperated enough to be driven to the lot (thankfully, it was a straight shot, downhill, and I coasted most of the way). The asking price was $3995, and they gave me $295 as a trade (which they'll likely break even with when they sell it at auction), so my total was $3700. Not too bad!

The good news is that, after three days, everything that's supposed to work works, nothing has fallen or broken off, and it runs! Woohoo! Quick and painless. And much better than I had anticipated! And for those who might ask...yes, the back seats fold down!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hot Summer Meltdown HNT

Well, that's probably a little misleading.

As mentioned not too long ago, I've been having car problems. They have somewhat come to a head as of Tuesday night. I was lucky that I could even get the car home. And now that it's there, I'm not so certain I'll be able to get it out under its own power (realistically, all I need to do is get it to the top of the hill and let it coast down to its final resting place...)

So I've started looking at used cars. I have no money to spare to deal with this. For a variety of reasons (for those who think that canceling the trip to BTE's pool party--that was all paid for many months ago). I think I've stumbled across something I'd like. It's a '96, but with low mileage. It's relatively inexpensive, and if it runs well, I'd like to be over with it as soon as possible. I don't want to haggle. Just give me the bottom line! I really don't care if it's not a chick magnet, and I don't really care about a lot of options. Doesn't have power windows? I grew up with a rotary dial telephone--I don't need no stinkin' power windows!

As I was out trolling the car lots last night, I ended up in one where there was a salesman still around (at 9 PM!). He chased me down to hand me his card. Then he mentioned the deals and sales they were having. He was throwing out things like "only $16,000" and "the price is slashed down to $17,500!" I smiled and said I was looking for something substantially less expensive (never say cheaper!). So he hemmed and hawed and said that he had a couple of cars that he could let go for about $8500. I smiled and said I'd give it some thought. And as I was driving out of the lot, my thought was that I could do far better than that. So this is what I did while at work today. Checking out used car prices. This might be harder than I had hoped...

Update!--That wasn't as hard as I thought! Details in the near future!

"I shall take all the troubles of the past, all the disappointments, all the headaches, and I shall pack them in a bag and throw them in the River."

~Trygve Lie

pics by Jon H.
Sometimes the MG isn't so much of a 'Mystery'... This week it's the river girl herself, Barefooted Dreamer. Go see some other river pictures at her site!
A bit lower in numbers this week at "...the Other HNT", but certainly not lacking in quality! Stop by to check out your fellow HNTers! And by's NSFW!
A mentioned above, the big pool party is less than 10 days away! Still time to let him know if you're coming. There's Texans coming, and a Jersey girl or two, and some assorted New England bloggers (hopefully). And a mystery guest!
Be sure to check the adventures of the OsShirt! This week features the time spent with 13 Messages and his lovely wife!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Opulence. I has it.

Tiny giraffe. I wants it.

Friday, July 23, 2010


My weekend is about to start.
I have no idea what I'll be doing.
But it's only 73° at the moment.
Might have to dig out a sweater...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Battle Scars and Tramp Stamps HNT

As mentioned in earlier posts, the big concert was a huge success. As I pretty much expected. No major glitches, and I'd dare say that it was one of the best summer concerts we've presented! And while there were no major injuries like years in the past (such as nearly snapping my leg in half in 2007), I didn't come away from the weekend totally unscathed.

There were four "biggies" this year. I started the week scraping the back of my leg on Friday afternoon. Caught on the edge of a riser. Not terribly deep, but it bled pretty well! The second was from Saturday night--a splinter in my pinkie. Sure, it doesn't look so bad, but it went deep, and I'm not totally sure I've gotten it all out.

The third would be the massively large bruise on my shin. I took a picture of it, but it hasn't really gotten the good color I'm hoping for yet. So my leg just looks like I haven't washed it in a week. So use your imagination.

The last injury, and the most painful, happened Saturday night. My work crew consisted primarily of high school and college theater students. God bless 'em...we couldn't do this without them. Hard and eager workers, but perhaps a bit too zealous. Even though we wanted to clear the stage quickly, they needed to be reined in at times. Slow down for safety's sake. And when you're being paid by the hour, let it string out for a bit! Anyway, while loading the equipment truck, one of these kids speared me in the back with the corner of something. It was dark and cramped, and I didn't take it out on him or anything, but I could immediately tell that this one was going to draw blood. And it did. So if you want to see my tramp stamp, click here. It actually looks worse now, but it looked pretty good a few nights ago when I took the picture. Proceed at your own risk, and I apologize in advance. Tony--don't click.
With all the work I had this past week, I spaced out lining up a Mystery Guest. So I made a couple of contacts, and had a couple of people step up to the plate!

This week's MG is celebrating an anniversary this week. One year since moving into her current flat alone. It was a big step for her, but has proven to be a liberating one. Allowing her to run around nekkid whenever she wants, and letting her work on her yoga and exercising whenever she feels like it. And occasionally taking a picture or two for our benefit! She'll be revealed Thursday afternoon, but stop by to say hi if you think you know who it is!
The MG this week is the lovely Cake. Be sure to stop by and congratulate her on her first year of independence!

I'm not sure why, but we've got both quality AND quantity for "...the Other HNT"! One can never complain about that! Be sure to stop by...there's something for everyone over there this week! And of course, it's NSFW.
BTExpress' pool party is just over 2 weeks away! If you live in the NYC area, or even a few hours away, you should come! Stop by his site to find out more info, or email me. Already some great people lined up to show!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Concert weekend...

  • Wonderful weather all weekend--mid-80s for the concert, with a perfect hint of a breeze, and not a cloud in the sky.
  • Which means a healthy sunburn for me, particularly my nose (as always), but in a new nearly bald head. A sunburned scalp is a very interesting sensation!
  • Every joint in my body below my hips is in pain. I'm getting old...
  • No glitches all weekend!
  • Blood was drawn on a couple of places on my body, and I should be sporting a pretty good looking bruise or two within a day or two.
  • Musically, it was probably one of our best summer concerts ever!
  • Thanks to a great work crew, we tore down the actual orchestra set-up in 40 minutes. A new record for us!
  • At least 15,000 in attendance. Probably more.
  • Very tired, very sore, but very happy with a weekend free of hassles, troubles and good music!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

By the numbers...

My weekend has arrived.
  • 3 rehearsals
  • 1 stage raising
  • 120 minutes of music
  • >15,000 people
  • 90° temperatures
  • 5 mph breezes
  • 0% chance of rain
  • 14-16 hours on-site each day
  • $5,000 worth of fireworks
  • 3 minutes in which to shoot them all off
  • All this, done by Saturday night!
I'll be back here sometime on Sunday. All of you behave yourselves. Or take pictures!

Spam I Am HNT

As I mentioned last Sunday, my gmail account was hacked or something, and hundreds of you were sent spam links in my name. Well, it happened again on Monday night, or at least with some of you. While I was at rehearsal. I couldn't really do anything about it at the time, but once I got home, I found all sorts of supportive notes from you guys letting me know about it.

I'm not sure what I can do about it. I'm sure that Google already has me on a watch list of some sort. Next time it happens, I might have to declare war or something. In the meantime, I'm keeping the enemy under watchful eye...

"All you really need this time of year
Is a pair of shades and ice cold beer
And a place to sit somewhere near water..."

~"Water" - Brad Paisley

This week's beach lover will be revealed late Thursday afternoon. Be sure to come back and find out who it might be!
The MG this week is that reluctant princess ~m! Be sure to stop by and see her at the clothing optional beach on her site!
A good selection of pics over at "...the Other HNT" this week (as usual!). We even get to see the birthday girls (if you've been astute with your HNT surfing, you know who I'm talking about!). Be sure to stop by and leave lots of comment love! NSFW, as usual.
The big summer concert is this Saturday. I might get a post out before then about it, but if not, check my mid-July archive from the past few years to get a sense of what's going on. I do know that I'll be completely away from a computer all day Friday, and probably all day on Saturday. Carry on without me!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

'Beavis and Butt-head' to return with new episodes to MTV -

'Beavis and Butt-head' to return with new episodes to MTV -

Do you realize there's an entire generation of kids who have never experienced B&B??
This is some of the best news I've heard in a long time!
I can already feel the economy improving, the environment cleaning and my medical bills being taken care of!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Short and sweet

Going with the concept that shorter is better (blogwise, anyway), I'd just like to say that some people's husbands are controlling, manipulative, insecure, distrusting, and a real pain in the ass.

Hmmm...that was fairly satisfying!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I've resorted to making notes on scraps of paper to remember little things to post about. Now if I can just actually post them more frequently... I think I'd like to try posting the way that Maggie does. Usually just one thought. Short and sweet. Not my style, but I might give it a try. However, until I start that, here's my brain dump--

Thursday afternoon was a particularly sucky one in the land of Os. At about 1:15, I started receiving a flood of "email undeliverable" or "delivery failed" sorts of replies on my gmail. For the second time this summer, my gmail account was used to send out spam and/or viruses to all my contacts. Somewhere in the 950 range. The flood I got were the spam filters that kicked it back to me. Or the dead email addresses. Or the numerous people letting me know that I'd been hacked. The upside? I heard from people that I hadn't heard from in a few years! Plus a couple whom I have no idea who they are...
Then I went to retrieve my car from the shop. My engine temp light has been coming on within a short amount of driving. Spent $65 to have a guy do a cooling system check. By all indications, things were fine. I didn't make it halfway home before the light came on again, so I went back to see him. He checked a little more and couldn't find anything wrong, so it was probably a sensor. I left it at the dealership the next day to get that replaced. When I picked it up, I got the bad news... At the least, it's a leaky head gasket. At the worst, and most probable, a cracked head. Boiled down, it means either replace the engine, or look for a new used car. Doesn't really matter...I don't have the money for either option. Fortunately the situation is in urgent mode, not emergency/desperate mode. It will hold together for awhile for getting to work and back. But it will fail on me...that's pretty much guaranteed. I'm hoping to talk my sister into letting me use Ray's truck until I find something. Or I might talk to her about buying it.'s a bit of stress that I really don't want to deal with. I'm glad that almost everything has been paid for regarding BTE's party, otherwise I'd be backing out of that.
I will say that my mood brightened considerably later on, thanks to a couple of chats and texts that I had. You know who you are...many thanks!
Speaking of the party...Only a couple of weeks away! I understand there's another confirmation or two from attendees! If you're in the NYC area, you really should consider coming! Just email BTE for details!
In one week, our big symphony concert will be history. The ten-day weather forecast calls for sunny and temps in the mid-80s. There's no forest fires anywhere near (hmmm...that might call for its own post), so the skies are fresh and clear. The concert's theme is "Spanish Nights", which curiosly, will feature no Spanish composers... Everything points to a fantastic evening, with possibly our biggest crowd ever. We expect no less than 15,000 to show up with their blankets and lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Rehearsals started yesterday, and the orchestra seems prepared. There's that tiny voice in the back of my head that says we're forgetting something, but I'll be damned if I know what it could be! More to come...
It's been 6 weeks since anyone's asked me a question in the formspring box over there. I think it's served its function. It will probably be coming down unless there's some new activity in the next week.
Saw the final dance scene of "Footloose" last night. Good lord, the 80s were an embarrassment! I'm curious though. In a town where dancing and rock music were banned, where did the breakdancer and the robot guy perfect their moves? Especially in Podunk, UT???
More thoughts from watching TV--
  • Saw something that made me check YouTube, which got me into watching a marathon of old Johnny Carson videos. Damn, no one will ever replace him.
  • The KIA ads with the rapping hamsters (or guinea pigs? what's the difference?)--disturbing, fun or a sad statement on the state of advertising today?
  • Finally! A reason to bother watching the MLB All-Star Game! You can vote on the finalists for the new band for! Doesn't mean I'll watch the game just for the chance to see the finalists, but I think it was a great move on their part! Who really cares about the game?
  • I think the World Cup finals are going on as I'm typing this. Eh...
  • I was watching CMT's Top 20 Countdown, as I usually do on Sunday mornings. Are you aware of what rock band has been in the Top 20 since June 4th? Nickelback. Yeah...that Nickelback. I suppose if Kid Rock and Uncle Cracker can do it...
  • Also caught the CMT Crossroads concert with Kenny Chesney and the Steve Miller Band. This show is actually one of the best things that any of the music channels has come up with. As I was watching, it dawned on me. I think that 9 out of 10 people would not be able to pick Steve Miller out of a line-up. The guy whose greatest hits album of 1978 is one of the top 50 best-selling albums in the US. He's never really bothered with the video aspect of music once it became such a major part of marketing. He sold that many albums because of the music. And not due to the flashy videos. Ah...the good old days...
  • I've determined that I need to move to Nashville. At the end of the above-mentioned concert, they took the cameras and followed them to Tootsie's (pictured)--an insanely small honky-tonk just down the hill from the CMT studios and the Ryman Theater. The standing room only crowd of about 100 patrons got to see these two give an impromptu concert on the equally insanely small stage in the bar. The way music should be experienced. Where else, other than Nashville, does that get to happen on a regular basis?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Badass HNT

It's hard to be badass when you're squinting into the sun...

...a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F,OH)2.

...crystallizes in the orthorhombic system and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces. colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities. passionate. A little nutty. And trying to be faithful.

This gem of a Mystery Guest will be revealed late Thursday afternoon. Be sure to come back to find out who it is!
If you made the rounds, you'd know that the MG is Topaz! If you haven't been by, congratulate her on her new job!

There's another good batch of submissions over at "...the Other HNT" this week. Be sure to stop by and leave some comment lovin'!
BTExpress' pool party is one month from today (7th)! Food, drink, fun (and varying degrees of half-nekkidness, I'm sure!). If you live near NYC, you should come out! But let BTE know--he needs a decent head count...
I don't want to get too terribly mushy, but a dear online friend is celebrating her birthday on Thursday. But she's tied my hands by not letting me post any old pictures of her, or showing her face. Then again, I could tell you that you might be able to find her in her birthday suit somewhere... Happy Birthday, BFD! Hope you have a great day and an even greater party!
Hope you've stopped by the OsShirt site recently. The final leg of the short Canadian trip is there, and that leaves the past couple of months yet to do. From what I understand, it's been a great spring/summer so far!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Hodge-podge. No bullets.

Hmmm...seems like all I do here is either do HNT, or apologize for not posting. Gonna have to work on that.

Summer hasn't quite hit yet, which is disappointing. While some of you are sweltering in heat and humidity, we have been above 80° only once so far. While it hasn't been exactly cold, we haven't broken any heat records either. We'll be stuck with highs only in the mid-70s until the weekend maybe. However, next week is forecast to be in the 80s. Just in time for the big summer concert!

Speaking of the big summer concert, it's less than two weeks away and I haven't done a damned thing in preparation for it. Partially because I can do all this in my sleep now. It's a well-oiled machine at this point, but damn, it's less than two weeks away!

Ooh! Did you see there's a new "Predator" movie coming out this weekend? Damn, I'm a sucker for those movies! (as I'm watching "Alien vs. Predator" right now...).

Had problems with both my car and computer this weekend. The car is overheating, and I don't know why. I'll need to take it in this week to get it checked out. The computer, on the other hand, was an easy, but time-consuming fix. My iTunes just decided to not work anymore.I uploaded the latest version, but that didn't help. Every time I restarted it, it would load the library, then "unexpectedly quit". I also tried to start an old program that apparently was having issues with the computer ( a Classic application, for those Mac users who know what that means). So I bit the bullet and reinstalled the OS. It seemed to work, though it's not a quick fix. Hopefully I won't have to do it again any time soon.

Due to the weather, and my less-than-reliable car, I opted to stay home to watch the fireworks. One of the perks of having a balcony and a hillside apartment. The big ones I would have been at could be seen (but without the impact of being close to them), and I got to see what everyone else in the valley was shooting off. I never realized there were so many people who shoot off the bigger fireworks, but they were all over the place! Might consider sitting on a bare hillside next year and take in all of them that I can!

Got some good news on the symphony front. Apparently everyone concerned was so happy with the way I ran the opera in April that I've been asked to run our production of Nutcracker in December. What that means for me is bigger bucks, but possibly not actually getting to play. I have a feeling that the money will win out. :-)

The Big Soul Band was enough of a hit that we're looking for more opportunities to play. Unfortunately, in a band with so many members, it's a task to find an open weekend for everybody. Looks like the end of August will be our next gig. Time to write more music!

BTExpress' pool party is one month away!!! Those of you close to NYC should consider going! Check his site out to get details!

"Words With Friends" -- you should be doing it! Figure out how to find me!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

She's Gone HNT

Moose left for home this morning, bright and early. It was good to see her again. The whole "playing house" thing worked fairly well, and I'm so impressed with Operation Scrubdown that I might actually try to keep my place clean now!

The thing that was nice about her staying here is that we didn't have to worry about offending each other. We already know just about everything there is to know about each other. So the belching was tolerated. Scarfing down pizza and dripping beer on shirts was the norm. Stinking up the bathroom was accepted. Not an eye was batted when the farting started. I, on the other hand, avoided doing any of that, being the gentleman that I am.

I had a great upskirt shot of Moose as she was stapling a dollar bill to the ceiling of the York Bar. She deleted it on me, so I offer the next best thing from the night. Me in a spare pair of goofy looking sunglasses, and Moose after her Caesars and a Patron.

Once again, the man behind the camera shoots all his favorites -- beautiful wife, blues semi-hollow body guitar, and -- with a click -- a favorite view. Or rather, one of his favorite guitars and views. There is, after all, only one wife. ;)

This week's Mystery Guitarist will be revealed late Thursday afternoon, in case you want to know who it is!
Our lovely guitar model is the not-so-average Ivey Lane! Check out her wonderful pictures and posts, and stop to say hi, too!

"...the Other HNT" continues to bring in some wonderful pictures! Be sure to stop by and support your fellow HNTers! Yeah, it's NSFW.
It's Canada Day on Thursday! Be sure to stop by the OsShirt site to check out the Canadian leg of its travels!
Formspring box is over there in the sidebar, just waiting for you to ask me a question!
As a public service, I once again offer a video of a guy shooting a bottle rocket out of his ass. And in the sense of gender equality, one of a girl doing the same thing. (NSFW--language) I hope none of you do this over the weekend, but if you do, be sure to take videos, or at least some pictures!