Monday, December 31, 2012

The Highs and Lows of 2012 - The Highs

I actually found 2012 to be a pretty good year. When making these lists, I found more "Highs" than "Lows", and that's a good thing! Nothing surprising or earth-shattering though. Be sure to read the post below this one first!! It's my "Lows" list. Makes the "Highs" list much better (most have links back to posts).
"The 10 High Points of 2012"(from less high to highest of the high)

10. Symphony - I noted earlier this year that, in spite of my bitching about symphony stuff, lately it was about production glitches (and frankly, those have declined).  But none of my bitching had anything to do with the actual performances.  That's because we have been having great concerts!  I can't think of any performances over the past year (or longer) that we came out of feeling like we hadn't nailed it.  Without our really realizing it, our performances have been off the charts!

9. New Bathroom - I took far too much joy in this, but after six months of dealing with management about a leaky ceiling, it got repaired.  And because the carpet in the bathroom (yeah--ewww...) was ruined, I got a whole new floor!  It's the little things that please me.

8. iPad - A bout of late night web-surfing in January found me as the winner of a new iPad2.  I'd report about how wonderful it is (it really is), but I've found that I don't use it as often as most people probably do.  That would be due to the proliferation of other Mac/Apple toys around.  Still, I did become one of the cool kids that night!

7. Mahler 8 - I included this separately from #10, because it was an event all its own.  Mahler's Eighth Symphony is one of the largest-scale choral works in the classical concert repertoire, and is often referred to as the "Symphony of A Thousand".  We didn't have that many, but there were a total of about 450 singers and instrumentalists that performed this in May.  In my Symphony position, I was in charge of all sorts of logistics for this, while at the same time, working on producing the summer concert (see #3).  When all was said and done, our production team was praised for how smoothly things ran, as well as anticipating any problems that might arise.  Praise is a wonderful thing!

6. My 55th Birthday - I'm at that point in life where age is just a number, and as that number increases, it bothers me less.  But as I hit 55, I found out that there's numerous "senior discounts" that kick in!  I'm lucky enough that I don't look 55, so if I want to use them, I have to ask for them.  But that's OK.  A small price to pay to save a buck or two!

5. HNT - I believe this is the only thing that appears on both lists.  While I lamented the collapse of the community down below, there's no question that HNT provided plenty of opportunities to meet friends.  And with its retirement, I found that I had more time to do things in the middle of the week.  I really hadn't realized how much time it took to get OHNT posted, or finding ideas for HNT, or actually taking the pictures!  On the other hand, this week's HNT reunion was a nice bit of reminiscing.  All in all, HNT was a good thing!

4. TV Shows - For as little as I watch TV, especially network TV, I found that there were a couple of outstanding things that I could not miss.  First off would be "The Walking Dead".  I am hooked.  I have not missed a single episode (speaking of...Season 3 is on all night tonight!).  I even bagged Sunday night football to watch TWD!  Another bit of wonderfulness was "Hatfield & McCoys".  A fine little mini-series.  Neither of these could ever be found on network TV.  A few other dirty little secrets would be "Hoarders", "To Catch a Predator", and even a bit of "Intervention".  Always good to keep my own self-esteem high!
3. Summer Concert - This year's "Symphony Under the Stars" was a turning point for me.  It's the first one I've been involved with that didn't find me on stage playing.  Instead, I was the project manager.  The producer, if you will.  It was my show.  My decisions.  My organization.  A big-name guest artist, 17,500 audience members, a concert budget approaching $100K, and questionable weather conditions leading up to concert day.  Without tooting my own horn, so to speak, it all came off flawlessly!  Well, to the public eye, anyway.  There were a couple of things that happened that weren't quite the way I envisioned them, but that just gives me the opportunity to fix them next summer!  And yes, I'll be in the same position next year!

2. Yellowstone Park - I was reading something on Facebook in June, and come to find that BFD was going to be vacationing in Yellowstone in June!  That was only about 2-1/2 hours away!  In the state of MT, that's like a quick jaunt to the store to pick up a six pack of beer!  So I imposed upon her to see if she wanted to meet up for a quick afternoon, and after my asking her hubby if that was ok (it was like asking her dad for a first date), I met up with the family in the northern part of the park.  We hiked, we talked, we did all the stuff that normally happens when I meet bloggers.  She was everything I expected, and she's got a kick-ass family too!  The only thing that kept this meeting as #2, is that it was far too short.   

1. OsTour '12 - OsTour '12 took me west to Portland, OR.  It was a much-needed break from the summer around here, and particularly after the summer concert.  I headed out with no real timeline, and not idea how long I'd be away.  In the first days of the trip, I got to meet up with a couple of my very first high school students, whom I hadn't seen in thirty years!  Once I got to Portland, I met up with my best friend from college, and then a series of meets with HNTers, including the Bipolar Diva, Emmy, Addict and Audra!  I left Portland by heading up the Pacific coast of Oregon and Washington, then headed through Bigfoot country east of Seattle.  Other than meeting with the Washington State Police regarding my lead foot, it was a much needed break, and easily ranked as the best "high" of 2012!

There you have it. My "Highs" for 2012.

Many of you are probably already at parties as I'm posting this. I'm staying home and watching "The Walking Dead" all night. I hope that everyone is having a safe but fun NYE! Looking forward to a great 2013!!

The Highs and Lows of 2012 - The Lows

Once again, it's time for my annual recap of the year. In the greater scheme of things, this year was really pretty good. This is my eighth year of doing this, and as I've found in the past, it's hard to come up with ten real "lows". In fact, this year was easily more full of positives than the prior three years combined!  Of course, there were some terrible things that happened in the world, but I won't list those.  This list is filled with things that affected me somewhat directly. They don't necessarily mean they were bad things, or that life as I knew it changed. In fact, you'll probably consider many of these fairly petty.  That's the problem when you had a pretty decent year.  Just things that brought me down or perturbed me during the year. These are what make my "lows" list (the "highs" list can be seen above...):

"The 10 Low Points of 2012"
(from least low to lowest of the low)
10. "New" Blogger - I started blogging in 2005.  Blogger was in its infancy, and had plenty of bugs associated with it.  Enough to drive many over to Wordpress.  I, on the other hand, stuck with Blogger as it turned into a pretty decent and stable platform.  At some point, the geeks at Blogger/Google decided that they needed to make a major overhaul.  For those who were relatively new, it wasn't that big of a deal.  For old-timers like me, it was a fight to the death.  Finally, the last hold-outs were switched over to the "new" Blogger.  Was it a big deal?  No.  Bothersome?  Somewhat.  A pain in the butt?  Most definitely.  After all these months, I still don't like it...

9. Balcony remodel - OK, this one is just frustrating.  The owners of my apartment complex decided that all the balconies needed to be replaced.  Actually, there's some merit to this.  However, the final results are far less than adequate.  There's real problems with the lack of a roof on the top ones, and ceilings for the lower ones, making them fairly unfunctional.  Add to it the shoddy workmanship, and the property value plummets.  And I've found out this winter that the bottom of the door frame to my balcony door was damaged when they ripped out the original flooring.  I now have a half-inch gap where the sub-freezing temps and snow can all blow in...

8. Big Soul - That's the name of the soul band I've been playing in since 2010.  The band itself isn't the downer here.  It's the lack of playing opportunities.  One of the problems with a nine-man band.  Rehearsal scheduling is difficult too.  Sadly, we haven't played since March, and there's nothing on the horizon...

7. The Neighbors - Fortunately, I don't really have to deal with them.  The only time I really see them is when the fire alarm goes off.  Which happened three times this year.  Due to the poor cooking abilities of someone on the first floor.  What I've learned is that I now live in a white trash building.  I believe I might be the oldest tenant.  I know that not everyone who lives here is paying rent--there's more than one family living in a couple of the apartments.  And the ones upstairs have a toddler who has learned how to run.  From one corner of the apartment to the other.  Over and over and over.  Loudly.  An added bonus--I've heard this same running around from the kid at 2 and 3 AM.  Unfortunately, the rent here is some of the cheapest in town and it's not worth it to try to move...

6. Davy Jones - I found myself far more affected by his death than I expected or should have.  It made me reminisce about my youth, my musical influences, and the deaths of celebrities I grew up with.  More deaths are going to come--each one marking a spot in the road map of my life...

5. Health - Not really something that I blogged much about, but my health still consumes more of my time than I'd like it to.  The diabetes is being controlled, though it's a pain in the ass.  I'm in the midst of switching over to a different brand of insulin, so there's the accompanying tweaks to that.  My vision is not as good as it used to be, but that's probably more due to my advanced age.  In addition, my knees are causing all sorts of problems.  I think it's the arthritis that has been genetically passed down from my dad's side of the family.  Some days are good, some are painful.  It's bound to get worse, too.  All I can really do is neutralize the degeneration.  There are days where I wish I would have taken better care of myself...

4. Death of a Friend - Over the past couple of years, I've had to deal with deaths in the family, and the death of a close blogger friend.  This year was pretty free from that sort of thing until I learned that a high school friend had died in late October.  And not just any friend, but an old girlfriend.  And not just an old girlfriend, but the one that I learned about the boundaries of first, second and third base with (nope--no home run).  We hadn't actually spoken to each other in decades, but this news really caught me off guard...

3. Football - I'm rather embarrassed to admit that this one ranks so high (so low?) on the list.  In 2011, the Griz played in the FCS semi-finals, the Saints played in the NAIA Championship game, and my high school alma mater were the state champions.  This year?  The Griz had their first losing season in 20 years, missed the playoffs and lost to the Cats.  The Saints didn't win their conference for the first time since 2000 and missed the playoffs.  The Bruins backed into the playoffs but lost their first game.  It was a painful year as far as my teams were concerned, and sort of put a dark cloud over Helena...

2. HNT/OHNT Retirements - Interestingly, this ranked #2 last year, too.  But for different reasons.  Last year it was because of the unknown.  This year it's because of what was missing all year.  Many blogs I thought I'd continued visiting disappeared.  As did their writers.  Many people I thought I'd still be chatting with after a year disappeared.  Many people I thought I was closer to, I found that perhaps I wasn't.  Being the optimist, I'll take some of the blame on that part, but overall, the HNT community scattered to the winds, and I don't know if I'll ever experience anything similar...

1. Politics - Man, was this year a banner year for bad politics.  Negativity permeated the news at all levels, and social media wasn't spared.  Many FB friends were unfriended by others.  My Facebook friends list didn't take a hit, since I don't really care about the political stance of any of them.  But this meant that my newsfeed was filled with posts from the loonies on the left, the loonies on the right, and the loonies that didn't have a clue what they were talking about.  I saw more misleading graphs, quotes and polls that supported their points of view--even the same info supporting both sides!  The ignorance that was spewed by friends, friends of friends, links to "news"--it all was pretty sad to watch.  Outside of the internet, the commercials that ran for far too long were so full of lies that I couldn't possibly watch them anymore.  All in all, it was a disgusting display from all sides.  Sadly, it's bound to continue.  The MT Legislature convenes in a week, and there's already controversial bills being written up.  I can't wait...
So, that's the downer list for 2012.  Mostly not so bad. But as I said at the top, the year really wasn't monumentally bad. Fortunately, there were lots of good things that happened too! You can check those out in the "Highs" post above this one. Go. Now!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Over a quarter of a century ago, I attended my first class reunion.  Our ten-year reunion.  There was a lot of hesitation, excitement and anticipation going into the weekend's activities.  Looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up.  Dealing with all the babies that had been born.  Remembering the small handful of classmates who were no longer with us.  Seeing how much we'd all "grown up" in the span of ten years.

As the weekend hit, expectations were pretty much thrown out the window.  Many of the people I expected to see didn't attend.  As I remember, the "committee" did all they could to contact people to let them know about it.  I remember that the popular cheerleader chose not to attend (even though she lived in town) because she felt she'd put on too much weight (which none of us could see).  I remember that one of the shy, quiet nerdy girls showed up and we hardly recognized her--she had blossomed quite nicely over the ten years.  We had a couple of people travel thousands of miles to get there, including and Air Force captain who arranged leave from Germany to be with us.  And there were plenty of other similar stories.  Of those who couldn't join in; of those who refused to join in; of those who did all they could to be sure they could attend.  We even had a couple who crashed that reunion--not sure how they knew about it, but I remember that we welcomed them with open arms.

So while it wasn't as well-attended as we would have liked, those of us who were there had a great time!  We all enjoyed seeing other, and catching up with those whom we'd lost touch with.  I tried to talk with everyone there, but time caught up with us, and some people were missed.  And frankly, there were a couple of people I didn't know that well in the old days--I might have avoided them, too.  For those I did talk with, it was a great reunion.  We reminisced about the good old days.  And we wished that many others would have shown up.  But there were no regrets, and I think everyone was glad they joined in!

Reunions--they are funny things...

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

HNT...One Year Later

So I had this idea.  To ask people to post half-nekkid pics of themselves online.  Back in 2005, it was just a silly idea that I didn't anticipate lasting more than one or two weeks.  But what would happen if I were to ask again, seven and a half years later?  To be honest, I'm not really sure...

Things have changed quite a bit since last December.  I think that retiring HNT at that time was fortuitous.  I have no doubt that if it had continued, it would have withered away unceremoniously.  It could not have fully functioned for another year.  Yet, when I made the suggestion that we bring it back for a day, the feedback was pretty darned positive.  So we'll see who planned ahead, and who waited until the last minute and did/didn't join in.  This could be a great reunion or a big flop.

Two things have jumped out at me over the past year.  (well, three--I do miss seeing some of you half-nekkid)  First off--where did any of us find the time to do it on a weekly basis???  I have loved having my Wednesdays back (when I did most of my HNT work), but I still find myself with not enough hours in the day to do anything.  It's probably too much time on FB, but I used to juggle those two pretty well, back in the day!

Secondly, and more sobering--the loss of the community.  There are no two ways around it, the community is gone.  Sure, many of us are still in contact with each other, but just as many have disappeared.  Blogs have been neglected.  Blogs have been abandoned.  Blogs have been deleted.  This, in turn, has affected how the rest of us participate on our blogs.  It's discouraging to have so few comments, or comments from the same people time after time.  This is not said in a "comment whore" way--we'd all love to get at least some feedback!  There's a few who continue posting pics on Twitter (the toy of the devil), some who occasionally will post on their blogs, but for the most part, the novelty of posting half-nekkid pics has fallen by the wayside. 

Could HNT have started today?  I don't think so.  It was borne in a fun, innocent time when blogging was just beginning to take off.  I just don't see that it would take off like it did.  It was luck that made it all come together.  It was luck that unending friendships could be made through it.  It was luck that it lasted as long as it did.

Be sure to check the comments to see who's up (and if you're up, let us know!).  And also check OHNT to see who joined in, even though their blogs no longer exist (their names will be included with their pic).  And from me I hope you all have had a great 2012, and will have a greater 2013!!

When I suggested having a one-day return, one person immediately asked if we'd have a Mystery Guest as well.  Honestly, I hadn't even thought about it.  So of course, I was more than happy to take her! 

Since her last turn as MG, she's turned her attention towards horses, excelled as the mother of The Two Evils, and continued to fight the fight for the right.  And all the time, maintained her natural princess-like beauty!

If you haven't figured out who it is, she'll be revealed on Thursday afternoon.  And if you do, you know where to stop by and say hi!

Not much of a mystery here.  The MG is, of course, GucciMama!

Just for this one day, submissions to OHNT were accepted as well.  Be sure to stop by there and check those out!  There's also a couple of HNTs from people who chose not to do it on their own sites because they've been closed or just didn't want to do it on their own site.  Leave some comment love for them!

I'll hopefully get another post or two in before the end of the year.  I've done a 'best of' and 'worst of' post every other year, so I'm sure to get those in.  Maybe even more!!  Be sure to come back and check!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Stole this...

...from one of the many who have done it.

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Neither are good for me anymore, but I buy some eggnog when it shows up in the stores.  I can have it (moderation, people!).  Even better with a touch or two of bourbon!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set the under the tree?
In my youth, he pretty much dumped them under the tree.  He started taking the time to wrap them all after awhile.  Anymore, I'm lucky to get them in the UPS box he ships them in...

3. Colored lights on the tree/house or white?
Only colored.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
I haven't in years.  However, when in college, I'd pin some to the roof of my car above the driver's seat.  Generally was effective until about April!

5. When do you put your decorations up?

If I put any up, it's usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I'm generally busy with concerts during the first part of December, so if I don't do it then, I won't get it done at all.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Dinners tend to be nothing spectacular, but my family knocks themselves out with appetizers (usually making dinner unnecessary)!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

Watching/helping Dad put tinsel on the tree.  ONE.STRAND.AT.A.TIME!!!  And playing the same stack of LPs of Christmas music, over and over for days.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Don't really know exactly when.  I didn't ever 'learn' the truth.  Then again, I never really got the 'birds & bees' speech either.

9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?
My sisters always did, but being the oldest, I would resist temptation.  Obviously leaving more for me in the morning!

10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him?
Santa doesn't get cookies or anything else when he comes around here.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
A white Christmas is preferable to the brown Christmases we've been having recently.  However, it really doesn't have to be windy too!

12. Can you ice skate?
Not since I was in middle school.  Weak ankles have never been my friend.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Sadly, I don't.  I'm sure there was something stunning at one point, but I couldn't tell you what.

14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Family time.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
Povitica.  Google it if you need to.  The finest povitica I had come from an old lady in Butte who would spend 12-16 hours a day, every day starting in mid-November to make enough for everyone who placed orders.  When she died, part of my Christmas experience died with her.  Sure, there's other old ladies in Butte who make it, but hers was the best!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
In my college days, it was going out with a bunch of musicians and playing Christmas music on the streets.  Preferably near a bar...  More recently, it's been playing brass music for Midnight Mass, then driving around town at 2AM to check out the Christmas lights.

17. What tops your tree?
An angel that a student gave to me over two decades ago.  It used to light up, but they don't work anymore.  Still, it looks good up there!

18. What do you prefer… giving or receiving?
Giving, when I can.  Depends on cash flow each year though.  As for receiving...not really a major concern for me anymore.

19. What is your favorite Christmas carol?
"Angels We Have Heard On High" or "Joy to the World" for a carol.  For a Christmas song, I'd go with "Sleigh Ride" or "Carol of the Bells".

20. Candy canes…yum or yuck?
Not a big fan, but I don't dislike them either.

21. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Not that I remember...

22. Favorite Christmas movie?
"White Christmas".  Or "Christmas Vacation".  Sort of depends on my mood.

23. Do you have a nativity scene?
I've got a beautiful crystal one that hasn't been put up in ages.  Might have to pull it out still.

24. What is the most annoying thing about this time of year?

People trying to one-up each other--decorations, gifts, food--whatever.  Causes far too much stress!

OK--it's 11:59 PM right now.  Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Three Christmas Wishes (non)HNT 2012

OK, boys and girls! ONLY ONE WEEK UNTIL THE RETURN OF HNT! And really, even less than that, with Christmas just before then. In other words...plan ahead! Remember--if you're no longer blogging, or don't want to post anything half-nekkid anymore, I'll be opening up OHNT to host pictures. Just don't wait until the last minute!  And a personal request--if you want to send in stuff for OHNT, if you could get pics in by the end of the weekend, it will help me time-wise.  And if you're inclined to send in a regular OHNT (anonymous) pic, I'll be running those too!

In spite of the absence of HNT during the year, the Three Wishes theme deserves to continue, now for the EIGHTH year!  The premise was simple (or so I thought)--pick three bloggers/HNTers that you'd give Christmas wishes/gifts to, with unlimited means and resources. The catch--don't pick three of your closest blogger buddies. You'd be sending them ecards/chats/texts/emails to send your Christmas wishes anyway. No, the hard part here was to pick three that you might not even read, other than on Thursdays. Three that struck your fancy enough to let them know they're a hair above the rest of the masses. It also required a bit of research into that person's blog so that your wishes/gifts were at least appropriate. This was a whole lot easier in the old days when there were so many doing HNT.
That was the old days.  It's so much harder now, since so many HNTers/bloggers have abandoned their blogs.  So, since it's my theme, I can adjust the concept as necessary.  Ah, it's good to be Os!  So here's my three (in no particular order):

DaisyGirl - She's had less than a spectacular year on the relationship front.  It's been tough, and frankly a little painful to read about over at FB.  Even though there's plenty of friends online that love her to death, it isn't the same thing as having the flesh & blood version to wake up to.  So my first wish is that her knight in shining armor shows up this year.  Preferably unexpectedly and in storybook fashion.

Aughra - Back in 2005, Aughra was the recipient of one of my wishes.  For most of the year, we read about her unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, so my wish for her was that her husband's swimmers and her eggs would all get along and make a baby.  Lo and behold, her son was born 9 months later!  I hadn't realized that I was that good!  So this year, I figure it couldn't hurt to send her a wish again this year.  In late July, she was diagnosed with cancer, requiring fairly immediate surgery.  But being the badass that she is, she's not letting this get her down.  Hell, she was walking on her treadmill three days after surgery!  And she's already run a 10K and a 4-mile Trail Run since then!  Even after her rounds of chemo, she's still more fit than most of us!  But my wish is that the cancer is totally gone by this time next year.  And that you pick out a great set of new boobies! (I was going to wish a subscription to Playboy so she could shop for the right ones, but apparently her hubby has already been contacted about that...)

Autumn - Autumn has been really busy this year, heading her local cancer Relay For Life committee, and raising her two boys as a single mom.  She posted in May that she had to face that unenviable moment when puberty and grown-up activities collided head-on.  As a never-married old guy, I can't even imagine what that moment would be like, but I had great faith that she and her ex would be able to navigate those troubling waters.  Then just last week she posted a picture of her oldest boy (15) and his date to the school dance.  Oh, man, is she going to have her hands full!  He's a very handsome young man, and he's going to have beautiful girls dripping off of him for years!  So my Christmas wish for her is a complete set of fly swatters to beat the girls off of him.  Multiple colors so that each girl will have their own designated swatter (always have to think of hygiene, you know!).  I'll work on upgrading them to the digital versions by the time the younger son gets to that age, so you can keep track of how many swats it took to get rid of each of them, how often you had to use it, etc. 

So there you go.  As for the rest of you that actually come by anymore, you get the wish of a very Merry Christmas!!  And don't forget to come back next Thursday to check up on the HNTs!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

10 Days to Go!

OK, boys and girls!  ONLY TEN DAYS UNTIL THE RETURN OF HNT! And really, even less than that, with Christmas just before then. In other words...plan ahead! And remember--if you're no longer blogging, or don't want to post anything half-nekkid anymore, I'll be opening up OHNT to host pictures. Just don't wait until the last minute!  And a personal request--if you want to send in stuff for OHNT, if you could get pics in by the end of the weekend, it will help me time-wise...

I had a whole post in mind about the shootings in Connecticut.  But what can be said that hasn't already been said.  Over and over and over...  Frankly, the misinformation from the media; the vitriol shown on FB between friends on both sides of the gun control issue; the ridiculous postings of Morgan Freeman's "quote" that 1) was not his quote, and 2) somehow seemed more noble because he supposedly said it; and the fact that it happened so close to Christmas--all these things have taken a toll on all of us.  I've got nothing more to add.

Except three things.

--I went to a Christmas brunch this morning with all the family.  To my pleasant surprise, the CT events were not discussed AT ALL.  Not even a request to not discuss them.  But I caught myself watching a little girl following her mother into the next room where Santa was holding court.  Cute as a bug, wearing her Christmas best.  And it hit me--she was probably 6 or 7 years old.  A sobering moment for sure.

--For as horrific as this was, the age of the teachers and probably most of the parents is under 30.  And to an old fart like me, they're still kids too.

--For the really old-time HNTers around here, you might remember Spinning Girl.  She's a junior high teacher in CT.  Whenever I hear about anything about CT, I automatically think of her.  So I emailed her on Friday, to let her know I was thinking about her as a fellow educator.  She replied that she actually attended grade school at Stony Hook Elementary, and the principal that was killed was a close friend of hers.  Sorta brings it home...

Christmas cards are coming in!! With any luck at all, I might get to reciprocate!

I think I'm going to do the Three Wishes non-HNT this Thursday. Just because we're not half-nekkid anymore, doesn't mean I can't make some wishes! I'll probably re-post the Favorite Christmas Movies and Music lists with updates. I can feel Christmas coming at me full force!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

T minus 3 weeks!

I can only say that for the next few minutes though. That's right! ONLY THREE WEEKS UNTIL THE RETURN OF HNT! And effectively, even less than that, with Christmas just before that. In other words...plan ahead! And remember--if you're no longer blogging, or don't want to post anything half-nekkid anymore, I'll be opening up OHNT to host pictures. Just don't wait until the last minute!

Just part of the 2011 donation to Toys For Tots!
Don't forget to head over to Ashly's "Toys For Tots" drive.  The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has been around for years.  Ashly is in the fourth year of soliciting donations for this great event.  She's taking in donations until the 15th, and then heading out on her shopping spree.

The accompanying picture here is one of the many that she posted from last year. She photographs all the toys she purchases, so you know she's not just pocketing the money.  I know it's hard to just send cash to someone you barely "know", if at all, but if there's anything I do know, it's that she doesn't keep a penny of donations for herself!  She's also an avid participant in the process, spending plenty of her own money too!  Click on the link to go to her site and read her post.  She's got a donation link there, as well as lots of pics from the past three years of toy-buying.  Any amount helps--she's very good at balancing quality and quantity!  If you want to feel good this holiday season, donate a few bucks!  Or lots of bucks!  Go.  Now.  Do it!

I love just about anything written by Tchaikovsky. I love playing just about anything written by Tchaikovsky. I cannot put into words how happy I am not to be playing "The Nutcracker" this season! Sure, there's a financial hit I'm taking, but the lack of stress and enjoyment of the season is easily outweighing that concern!

My tree is up and lit and decorated! No presents underneath though. But it's the gifts that can't go under the tree that are the most important, right?

I've been looking back through my archives. Lots of surprises there! Did you realize that the first OsTour trip to Nashville happened SEVEN years ago this month??? Seems like yesterday...

Still trying to take care of the bet I had with Gucci on the Grizzly/Bobcat game. I won't back out of it. Just lacking inspiration...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No time...

I finally have some stuff to talk about, and no time to actually type it out. In other news--don't forget about the one-day return of HNT on Dec. 27th!!