Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Breeze HNT

Sort of continuing on with last week's summer solstice theme...

In less than three weeks we'll be doing our annual summer concert. For those of you new around here, its a free symphony concert, attended by well over 15,000 people (probably closer to 20K these days). It costs us an arm and a leg to present, but the president of the local college where we perform at, and the conductor are very good at getting sponsors to foot the entire bill. It's the largest non-sports function in the state, and we get people from all across the country to be a part of it. Are they there to enjoy the music? That's probably third on the list, to tell the truth. I think it's the chance to be part of the large crowd that we've developed, and to spend a nice summer evening under the stars with a little food and wine and friends. Oh, there's the fireworks, too!

The theme of this year's concert is "Harlem Renaissance". That insinuates jazz, and when you think of jazz and orchestra, you think of Gershwin and Ellington. We're leaning heavily on the Ellington this year, as we did a Gershwin concert a few years ago. And the music is TOUGH! And not for the regular reasons.

Let me go off on a tangent for a moment (really? me??). Jazz musicians and classically trained musicians read the same music. There's nothing different in the notation. But the thing that makes jazz "feel" like jazz is that a jazz musician instinctively knows how to perform the notes in a jazz style. Giving it the accents and note lengths and subtle inflections that make "jazz". The most basic concept is that a series of similar notes of a similar rhythmic value are not of a uniform length. In a string of, say, 4 eighth notes (do the British still call them quavers?), the first and third will be slightly longer that the second and fourth, which makes the second and fourth slightly shorter in length. Jazz musicians see that, and automatically play it correctly. String players--no so much. It's a concept that's lost on them. Of course, they have been trained all their lives how to play in a classical style, so it's not really their fault.

Back to the concert...we got the music last week, and as I said, it is TOUGH! Because whomever arranged from the composer's score, wrote them in a way so that the string players will be able to read the long-short-long-short rhythms as mentioned above. It's not a perfect system however, and there's all sorts of unnecessary notation to slog through. It forces the player to have to think about what they're playing, rather than allowing them to play the music. Way too much thinking. So bad in fact, that the last person who had one of my parts actually penciled in the corresponding "jazz" rhythm above the written part. Which makes it so much easier.

So how does this relate to the summer solstice? Very little, other than the fact that I've been enjoying the evenings on my balcony practicing my parts, with ever-so-gentle breezes, the grill cooling down after dinner, enjoying a cold beverage, and Michelle looking hot by my side! I hate practicing, but if I have to do it, this is the way I prefer!

I wanted to get a picture with the view of the valley,
but the lighting just wouldn't work right, so click on the pic to see that...

OK, it's two weeks in a row now without having a Mystery Guest. I might develop a complex if this keeps up!
Definitely NSFW this week over at "...the Other HNT". And the boys stepped up this week! Stop by and support your fellow HNTers!
This weekend couldn't come soon enough! In years past, we would have a 2 or 3 night gig at a bar out on the lake, but it's been awhile since we've gotten to do that. I miss it. I might head out there anyway. Or I'll head out to my sisters' place on the other lake. There should be a good crowd out there to party.
Friday night, though, will find me at a concert here. One of the most successful bands in Montana music history will be playing a benefit, and I know there's a lot of friends coming from out of town for the weekend. Then on Sunday and Monday, there's a hip-hop festival going on here. Yeah, you read that right. A two day festival. Hip-hop. In Montana. There's a roster of almost 30 performers "scheduled to attend". The only two names I've even remotely heard of are Tech N9ne and the Kottonmouth Kings. They must be playing the white people's tour this summer. They just did the same concert in Magna, UT, and will be headed to Bismarck, ND and Aberdeen, SD after this. Who'da thunk they could make any money up here???
Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends, and Happy 4th of July to you funny American friends! Be safe, don't drink & drive, don't blow off your hands by holding your firecrackers too long! Be sure to come back on Friday to see my annual bottlerocket videos!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Solstice 2011 HNT

The change in the weather around here has been incredible. May and June were cold and wet. Lots of flooding. Not much sunshine. Too many gray days, both meteorologically and psychologically. But as of yesterday, that has all changed.

I’m currently sitting in a city park, stealing wi-fi from somebody. It’s 81° with a slight breeze, and it's going to get warmer. There’s only a couple of small harmless clouds in the sky. I’ve got two squirrels sneaking up on me, hoping I’ve got something to feed them. With plenty more around playing tag. There’s a group of kids from a nearby daycare who have just arrived with their…(I’m drawing a blank as to what you’d call these girls—babysitters?). The tennis courts across the street are full. Mostly kids just screwing around, but there appears to be an intense battle between a husband and wife. Ooh, look! A bug on my screen!

Up the hill comes the parking police in his hunter orange vest. Other than being outside, walking the entire downtown area all day, I don’t think I could do that job. Fortunately he’s turned down the street towards the tennis courts. I’ll have to keep an eye on him. You guessed it—I’m illegally parked.

It’s a grand and glorious summer day in Montana. Not too hot, even by Montana standards. It’s green all over. Good thing I don’t really suffer from allergies! The sky is amazingly clear. I can see the mountains that form a wall on the north side of the valley. Thirty miles away, and yet they look like you could just reach out and touch them. I’ll have to make a trip out there soon.

Sadly, I rarely take the time to kick back and absorb days like this like I am today. Maybe I was compelled to do it after reading Britni’s post about her lazy day in Boston last week. A carefree, relaxing day which she dearly needed. I’ve never lived in a big city where one has definite places that are carved out of the urban jungle for just sitting back and unwinding. Around here, that’s pretty much everywhere. Perhaps I’ll force myself to do this at least one afternoon a week. Maybe hitting a different park each week. Maybe do some arrangements for the soul band while I’m at it. Or even, Lord help us, practice my horn! All in all (despite the bad year last year, the lack of any real money, no love life, a chronic disease, and the fact I just dumped a swig of Diet Coke down the front of my shirt), life is pretty good. It’s a good thing I don’t complain much!

Yesterday was the first day of summer. It looks like it’s going to turn out pretty nicely after all! Every year I force myself to get up before sunrise (which officially was at 5:34 AM yesterday) and take a picture of me and the sunrise. This year was no exception. Click on the pic to see what the first day of winter 2010 looked like at sunrise!

And for shits and giggles, sunrises from prior years too! Gotta run—I see a hunter orange vest headed back my way…

2010 & 2009
(I apparently don't change my "crack o' dawn" look much, do I?)

No Mystery Guest this week, and you know what? I’m OK with that. For today. Don’t let it happen next week though, OK?
Summer always brings out the best for “…the Other HNT” too! Stop by and check them out. Leave some comments. Support your fellow HNT buddies! NSFW, as usual…

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Was up this morning to watch the sunrise, as is my yearly ritual on the summer solstice. Would be much more excited for it if I hadn't gone to be at around 1:30AM...
On a positive note, the weather gods apparently got the memo that it's now summer. Supposed to have all sorts of nice weather for awhile now! Temps in the mid-70s for the most part, and NO rain!
Mom has been in Vegas for the past few days. Haven't gotten the phone call saying she won a million bucks, so I'll assume she'll be home shortly.
Just picked up my music for the big summer concert. I seem to be way out of the loop this year. I'm hoping it's because things are running so automatically after all this time that I haven't needed to BE in the loop... For those interested, the theme of this summer's concert is "Harlem Renaissance". Lots of jazz, Ellington and Gershwin!
Bought the new Mission Mountain Wood Band CD last week. Not terribly interesting for many of you, but it's their first album since 1976, I believe. Great music! I've memorized the entire first album--now I can work on this one!
Today has been a good day so far. Got an email from an old friend. Got a toy in the mail (not one of those girlie-type toys--this is a geek toy!). Bought a roll of quarters for tonight's laundry duty. Life is good! Keeps getting better! Got an invite this afternoon from a former college gf for a dinner date in August!

Didn't mention the lilacs here. They bloomed with a fury over the first weekend of June (same weekend I got sunburned). All the rain we'd had in May really made for really huge blooms. And it wasn't just my observation. Everyone made note about how they'd never seen the lilac bushes so full. Of course, the heavy rain and winds during the next week stripped them bare, but for that weekend, I was in olfactory bliss!
Unless someone steps up at the last minute, I won't have a Mystery Guest for HNT this week. (hint, hint)
I think that catches me up!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Meet the Family HNT

It's been an unexpectedly somber week or two around the land of Os. Three things that are to blame--the anniversary of BIL2's death, my dad's birthday today (Wed.), and Father's Day this weekend. Add in the gray skies and rain, and gloomy would be the best description of things.

Among the reminiscing about Ray and Dad this past week, Mom broached the subject of my will. Rather, my need for a will. Now, I'll be the first to say that I don't have much that I have to worry about in that regard. No property, no secret savings accounts, no kids to divvy up. A few hard drives that will need to be destroyed (or sold at a special HNT auction...), thousands of CDs and LPs that will have to go somewhere, as well as all the musical instruments I have scattered about. Some that should be scrapped; some that should be sold. But I suppose that a will would be a good thing to get taken care of.

I also took the time this week to head back to the cemetery. It's one of many in town, but one of the two largest. It's a Catholic cemetery, where the priests and nuns are buried, but I'm not sure if one has to be Catholic to be buried there. All this will be talked about in a later post, but I wanted you to meet my relatives who reside there now (if any of this helps you with internet stalking me, have at it!).

(Click 'em to big 'em!)

First off, my great-grandparents. The O'Hearns. My mother's maternal grandparents. While they died before I was 14, I have definite memories of both of them, particularly her. I don't know where any of my other great-grandparents are buried. I know I met Mom's paternal grandfather once (his wife died a few years before Mom was born), but I was pretty young. I never met either set of my dad's grandparents. They were all were dead long before I was around. I suspect I might have one, possibly two sets of great-great-grandparents buried here, but I'll need to do some investigation...

Next, my grandparents. The Kalls and the Retzes. Both of the Kalls died within a year of each other, as well as Grandma O'Hearn. Not a good year for the family. My maternal grandfather was cremated and had his ashes spread, so there's no gravestone (which I find a tad odd for a funeral director--or maybe not). My grandmother and a brother are buried in the same plot as their parents, and her sister is buried nearby with her husband (who happened to be the first one-armed man to break into minor league baseball!). One other brother is spending eternity in Seattle.

Finally, the most recent tenants--my dad and Ray. Dad's cremains are resting in a columbarium, also somewhat nearby. Mom will be placed there when the time comes. And they already know most of their fellow "neighbors". It's good to know who you'll be placed next to during eternity. Interestingly, three of the other names in the columbarium picture are the parents of high school classmates. Lastly, Ray's gravestone. The only one that's not flush to the ground. I'll admit, the first time I saw my sister's name on the stone, it was a bit unnerving. I don't know if S3's family has made any plans yet, nor S1's family. I know I haven't. It's probably one of those "responsible" things I need to work on. Like a will (see how I can bring it all full circle?).

Anyway, a different sort of half-nekkid for you this week. I'll do another cemetery post in the near future (I do love cemeteries, and I do love history!).
Sorry--no Mystery Guest this week. If you're interested, in being the MG, just ask!

At the last minute, a particular former HNTer who happens to be celebrating her birthday tonight stepped up to the plate! Gotta love someone who is proud to wear her Muppet Babies t-shirt for the MG shot! (Or is this Fraggle Rock? I really grew up too late to know the subtleties involved...)

She'll be revealed Thursday afternoon, but for some of you, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out!
For those who don't know, our birthday girl MG is the freakin'ly awesome Ashly Star. Stop by to say hi!

Lots of nekkidness over at "...the Other HNT", as usual! NSFW, but stop by (I know you do!) and leave some comments!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Learn The Rules Before Starting...

I've been to hell, and I have survived.

I did some grocery shopping last night. I like going on Sunday nights, because there's generally no crowds to fight, no kids running in the aisles, and I can play in the produce section without worrying about funny looks from the prissy housewives. But I digress...

Because Sunday nights are generally slow, my local Albertson's store was down to a skeleton crew, including only two checkers. That's OK. Usually there's no need for more. I have a specific route I follow, based on years of going to the same store. I headed down the first aisle (deli, beer, wine, pop, eggs and juice). As I turned to go down the second aisle, there they were. The coupon people! EEK! Mom, Dad, daughter in her young teens, and two young kids--a boy and a girl. Four carts, mostly loaded to the gills.

Mom was in charge, complete with with the 3" 3-ring binder with about 40 tabs, and all the coupons neatly arranged. Dad didn't look like he was enjoying things, but quietly did what he was told. The older girl seemed to be the most into it, and the two young kids (seeing that no one would be supervising them) chased each other in and around the aisles. Four carts, three drivers. And moving down the aisles in an almost side by side fashion. Mom seemed miffed that I would consider moving down her aisle, meaning she had to move her carts out of the way rather than seeing if there was a coupon for virtually everything on the shelves. I was fortunate to get past the one aisle they were in, and I managed to avoid them for the rest of the evening. Until checkout...

I was so traumatized by the accidental meeting earlier, that I somehow missed that there were actually TWO families doing their couponing. On family had already taken the express lane (less than 10 items, please--which really is non-existent on Sunday nights), and "my" family had taken the second checker. It appeared that the second checker was making quicker progress, so I got in line.

I didn't realize that I had committed a faux pas, at least in the Mom's eyes. She still had two carts left to check through, and I had the gall to cut in. She had placed and separated everything up to that point into the money-saving piles that she needed to, and paid for each pile separately. Then it happened. The Mom said that she was new to couponing, and this was the family's first time out. I glanced at the checker, and noticed her demeanor change immediately. Like she knew what was coming. And it did...

Mom's meticulous work was biting her in the ass. Primarily because this store (and probably others) didn't offer to double her coupons. Or something like that. Of course, this was somehow the checker's fault. Her manager could tell Mom the same thing, but he was still on cart #4 of the other family. This, of course, frustrated Mom even more, but the decision was made. Pay for what had already gone through, and have the rest of the family return the other two cart's worth of groceries to the shelves. Minus the coupons. By this point, there were two other people behind me waiting to go, and one other person behind the other family, and still only the two checkers. I wasn't going anywhere. Fortunately, I've got some retail experience, so I have a lot of sympathy for service workers due to the crap they have to put up with.

My checker apologized profusely for the wait, and I told her that she didn't need to do that. Because of her frustration, she did let loose with some comments that I'm sure the management would have preferred she didn't share with me. I think she appreciated having an ally, and by the time I got through there, she had a smile back on her face.

I now have to decide if Sunday nights are "safe" anymore. Granted, it's better to see them out during slow times, and I suppose I just need to have an escape plan ready to go if necessary. But the whole couponing thing escapes me. I buy what I need, when I need it. I'm not ready to spend $20K to build an extension on the house to store five years worth of drain cleaner, or use the kids' closets to hold six different types of BBQ sauce. I've watched the shows on TV, and am of the belief that these women (and it's almost always women) are the ones who either had sons that they couldn't enter in a beauty pageant, or are a more upscale version of the fun people we see on "Hoarders".

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Dry and Wet HNT

Today is one of those days where I didn't quite know which way to go for HNT. My initial thought last night was that, since I've been bitching about the constant rain around here, I'd take a picture of doing something outside, looking like a drowned rat. Of course, as soon as I decide on that, the rain lets up this morning. Time for Plan B...

Which didn't take long to come up with. As of this morning, my weekend sunburn decided to start peeling. Ooh! Opportunity! Unfortunately, it hurts like a sonofabitch. You know that scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? Where Spock delivers his "I have been...and ever shall be...your friend" speech? And his face is peeling off because he stuck it in the radiation from the main energizer (or whatever the hell it was....)? Yeah...that's how my face feels today (be sure to click it for the full effect). None of the skin graft size though. More like flakes of dandruff. Regardless, it's not terribly appealing, I'm sure. And the scalp line is particularly sensitive. It might even start bleeding...

Then I got home, and the rain started back up! So I figured I could go back to my original plan. Unfortunately, when one's hair is as short as mine is these days, the whole "drowned rat" look doesn't quite work. Trust me--I was soaked! Ah, well. You can see that everything's nice and green behind me (be sure to click again for better details). And the water's backing up along the curb to the parking lot. And lots of gray sky (grey sky, for you Canadians). And a zillion or more dandelion stalks left over from the incredibly poor mowing job done by the guys that my apartment rent help pays for.

So you get a double dose of me this week. Hot and peeling. Cold and wet. Surely there's got to be something here that someone will like!
"I have had a fun run with HNT and even though my blog sits untouched and without update, I still hang around the web. I haven't abandoned the blogosphere, I have just been too busy to do too much. Getting an engineering degree and planning a wedding can do that, y'know. *wink*

I have been MG once before and rather enjoyed it. This time around, however, I'm not just a random blogger. I come to you as a bride-to-be! Today is June 9, 2011. This time next week, I will be on a beach in Hawaii, soaking in the sun and rolling in the sand. This Saturday, June 11, in a simple garden setting, I will marry a man I met through blogger and through you guys; it was a mutual blogger that set us up and pushed us to meet. We thank her and her "mothering" push to hook us up.

I have two dresses, neither of which he has seen yet. You get to see one of them first (aren't you special?). This is my wedding dress; the reception will be a month after the wedding (don't ask, it just is) so I can't show you that dress yet. This is just after it arrived, tags still in place, and not completely zipped (there is only so far a woman's arm can twist to zip up a dress by her lonesome self!). Click through for a peek at the diamond he gave me!"

This June bride will be revealed late Thursday afternoon, so be sure to come back to find out who it is!
She's got a couple of different names out here, but most would remember her as Triple L. Her blog is a bit idle, but you can visit her FB page or Twitter. Charisse Lyn - and twitter:

Quality, not quantity, over at "...the Other HNT" this week. But still NSFW! Stop by and check out your fellow HNTers, and don't forget to leave lots of comment love!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Hot Dogs, Graduation, Rain -- Must Be June

I'm currently amused by the sanctimony expressed by conservative talk radio hosts regarding the whole Weinergate thing (I refuse to call it a scandal). Should he resign? I don't think so, though I doubt he'll be re-elected. Did he do anything wrong? Again, I don't think so, as far as the actual picture sharing goes. How many of US are guilty of that? And it's not like he indiscriminately picked someone from his followers list to send them to. Is he guilty of poor judgment? Absolutely! It's a great example of what happens when the wrong head is doing the thinking.

The press is eating it up though. Granted, his name alone provides more fodder for them than they could have prayed for. But they're appalled by what he suggests in his sexting. It's like they've never heard of such a thing! What's happening is no different than what goes on everyday, everywhere, by everyone, and has gone on for decades--in this case it's happening with the current technology.

Back to the sanctimony--"this is a disgusting act"; "he should have resigned immediately"; "think of those unsuspecting young women"; ad nauseum... I don't believe that, out of the current 535 members of Congress, he floats to the top of the indiscretion pool. Possibly not even in the top ten. In the end, he's just a horny guy who did something stupid, got caught, tried to deny it to curb his embarrassment, and then admitted it without dragging it out for months. Might not be the guy you want to represent you in Congress, but then again, perhaps he is the best example of representation of his constituency. And don't let the media try to convince you differently!
As mentioned over the weekend, I went to my youngest niece's graduation on Saturday morning. After weeks of clouds, cool and rain, the weekend was spectacular. And right on cue, the clouds, cool and rain came back on Monday. I did pick up a pretty decent sunburn though. My nose always gets it first, then the rest of my face. This time though, my scalp took the brunt of it. Even after three days, it almost feels like the whole top of my head is bruised or something. And before I get scolded--no, I didn't use any sunscreen!
The constant rain is really beginning to cause problems around here. We finally went into flood emergency mode around here. A bit different than floods in the midwest--we don't have the big ones that that look impressive on the news. Ours are more of the rising water table type. But all that water has to go somewhere, which is the Missouri River around here. Which picks up steam as it heads east, and then connects with the Mississippi River. Which is where the big-time flooding happens. So in essence, it all starts around here. You can thank us later...
Still have my $400 ticket voucher from Delta that I need to use by the first week of August. Anyone desperate to have me come to see them? I still have a plan in mind that I haven't acted on yet. But I could be persuaded to change the plan!
Remember the problems I had with my laptop replacement screen? The place I bought it from didn't appreciate the "neutral" feedback I gave them and offered me $5 for my troubles. I'm not sure if I should be appreciative or offended... On the good news front--it's still working quite nicely! Can't believe the amount of screen that I've been missing out on for all these years!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Class of 2007 2011

The third (and last) of my nieces graduated from high school this morning. An outdoor ceremony on the FIRST sunny day we've had this spring. A gloriously wonderful day. I managed to get a raging sunburn on my face, as those damned football bleachers are such a good reflector. But since we were facing south, and the sun came from the east, only the left side of my face caught the brunt of it. I look like Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters".

Anyway, I remembered the post I wrote when N2 graduated, so I re-post it here. I didn't come away with the same sense of 'whatever' this year. It all seemed a bit informal to me. Can't quite put my finger on it. But my niece enjoyed it. Her parents have been beaming all day. And now there's only one more left to worry about.
Yesterday, on the hottest day of the year to date (87° F), a few thousand friends, family and staff crammed the un-airconditioned PE Center at the college to watch the 33rd commencement ceremonies for one of the two local high schools. The significance, you ask? To watch the second of my nieces graduate.

I have gone to my share of high school graduations in my lifetime. I can write out all the instrumental parts to "Pomp & Circumstance" from memory. There are certain things that you find in every commencement ceremony (though, now that I think about it, there wasn't any sort of benediction...). What I discovered yesterday is that I really enjoy the whole process. Even though I only knew my niece, and maybe 2-3 others, I was struck by the whole unabashed naïveté of the entire graduating class. The attitude that they were going to conquer the world that we, their elders, had left on there doorstep. These kids, who know FAR more than I ever did at that age, have a sense of being invincible. Invulnerable. Unconquerable. And every class that I've seen receive their diplomas has thought the same thing. The theme of the valedictorian's speech, jointly given by the seven who received a 4.0 GPA (btw--the smart kids don't fit the "geek" label like they used to), was "success" and "no regrets"--be successful at whatever you do, and hold no regrets about doing it.

The other significance came from the numbers of faces that I recognized in the gym. A number of my classmates had kids graduating. A number of friends of my parents who had grandchildren graduating. The principal, who greeted me by name in the hallway. He was a young social studies teacher when I went to the same school over thirty years ago. In fact, I was part of the very first graduating class from that school. Our class is responsible for the godawful school colors of brown and gold. In a two-school town like this, it's the community of events like this that are special.

It also got me to thinking of the past HS graduation ceremonies that I've been part of. Two of them stick out in my mind. Those would be the first and the last ones that I was involved as a faculty member. The first was in 1980, less than two weeks after Mt. St. Helens erupted. School had been cancelled for the rest of the year, due to the huge amount of ash that was still on the ground and floating in the air. No finals! But the administration felt it was important to hold graduation on schedule. So the ceremony was held in the gym, with a fine layer of dust coating every inch of the bleachers, percussion equipment, hallways, etc. But did anyone notice? Not in the least! (Ironically, it's the same gymnasium used in the movie "Dante's Peak" - a volcano movie - where they have a town meeting and all hell breaks loose!) The second memorable one occurred 10 years later. I was also one of the senior class advisors (and oh, what an excellent class to work with!). One of the class officers, who was also in my band, asked if I had any music from the year that most of them were born (1972). Well, of course I did. So she and I came up with a mix tape of music from 1972, and decided that rather than a stuffy recessional piece played by the band, they'd march out to the first song of the tape, which "happened" to be Alice Cooper's "School's Out". Of course, she and I were the only ones to know about it. I caught hell from the administration, but I had numerous parents commend the decision. And rather than file out, the whole class just stayed on the floor, hugging and high-fiving. Took the entire first side of the tape before people started to head out. A perfect way to end their school career.
As the senior class was filing across the dais to receive their diplomas and a congratulatory handshake from strangers they didn't know (school board members), my brother-in-law leaned over and wondered aloud which one of these kids' "success" meant a highly productive meth lab. Or getting married quickly, only to become a wife-beater. Or getting to a good college, only to piss away their parent's hard earned money by partying every night and flunking out. He said it semi-jokingly, but he had a point. Among this class of 2007, there's going to be violent/sex offenders and drug dealers and scam artists. There's also going to be a handful of them dead by the 10-year reunion. Hell, there may be a couple dead within a year.

But every year, the hope renews, because in that same class will be successful businessmen, philanthropists, doctors and teachers. And it's that hope, and that naïveté, that is what makes me like these things every time I go to one.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


I hope that all of you in areas that have experienced the wierd, wacky weather today are OK! Guess I'm not going to complain much about the cool weather here!
There's times when my age catches up with me here. When the simpler times of my youth meet up with the technology of today. That happened this weekend. It wasn't intentional. It just happened while shopping for a graduation gift for my niece.

Now, many of you would not find this as exciting as I do. After all, there's probably a significant portion of you who have never owned an LP. Or even know what that means. Think of a CD (I think it's safe to say that most of you still have a few of those around). But made of plastic/vinyl. Black, and 12" in diameter. And actually, nothing at all like a CD. But I digress. I, on the other hand, have about twelve to fifteen hundred of them in storage that haven't seen the light of day since 1990. Oh sure, I've pulled out a handful of them over the years when in a nostalgic mood, but a vast majority of them have been sitting in boxes, stacked in a closet in my back room.

Honestly, I don't remember most of what's in there anymore. I know that there's some albums (that's what we used to call them) that still haven't been opened. Don't ask why. And there's some that I know I have no idea why I purchased them. And I know that a good majority of them have not been released on CD. So imagine my elation when I found what I found!

And what was that, you finally ask? A USB turntable! With sound conversion software included! Now, I've had the ability to record LPs to my hard drive in the past, but the hassles involved took the enjoyment out of it. This thing is almost as easy as a point & shoot camera. And the resulting sound isn't bad at all! It's not a high quality piece of equipment, but I'm not concerned about that. The included software allows you to really clean up the pops and hisses and noises, but frankly, I haven't needed to use it yet. Another feature of this turntable is that you can plug in a cassette deck and transfer tapes to mp3 too. I know there's a large collection of those laying around here somewhere...

Am I a little over-enthused about this? Probably. Am I going to lock myself in the back room and transfer everything to mp3s? Probably not. But I will be going through the boxes soon and picking out the albums that I remember spending hours with. Then transferring them to the mp3 format. Then probably turning around, taking a technological step backwards and burning CDs of them. After all, one can't have enough versions of one's music!

"I can wear a hat or take it off, but either way it's a conversation piece."
--Hedda Hopper

Come back Thursday afternoon to find out who everyone's talking about. Of course, if you know who it is, go wish her a Happy Birthday!
I hope you've been over to Gucci's place to wish her a Happy Birthday! It was yesterday, but I'm certain she'll celebrate through the weekend!
Once again, it looks like this week's participants at "...the Other HNT" got in touch with each other and came up with a theme! Butts, bums, asses, hineys, bottoms--however you call it, they've got them! Not all of them though. Stop by to check out your fellow HNTers and leave them some comments! NSFW, as usual.