Small World!

You may have noticed there’s a new reporter at KRTV named Alex Grubb – he’s off to a great start, and he came to us from Tucson, Arizona. Heh…he arrived here just in time for our sub-zero blast. When Alex came up to apply for the position several weeks ago, I mentioned that I have Arizona roots, too; born in Phoenix and spent the first six years of my life there, although I have very few memories of it.

Alex said that his grandfather has owned a car dealership in Phoenix for many years, and I said it would be cool if my dad and his grandfather knew each other. Even though my father left Phoenix in 1973 to join the Air Force, he was a pretty prominent guy in the “Valley Of The Sun” back then, being an original partner in the Phoenix Suns and owning a minor-league football team.

So I e-mailed my dad and asked him if he knew Lou Grubb, and sure enough, I got this reply back:

I sure do. Lou was a good friend – he and his wife joined us when we went on a two-game Suns road trip to Chicago (Bulls) and Milwaukee (Bucks). We lost in Chicago – but beat the Bucks, who had Lou Alcindor playing for them (who later became Kareem Abdul Jabbar)!

Small world, indeed!

Weekend Update!

Great weekend, albeit a bit chilly 🙂 It was nice seeing Dona and Grant at 3D on Friday night, and we were lucky to grab the last crab leg dinner (and some tasty grill, natch!) for dinner.
Saturday we headed to the City Bar for some sandwiches and of course we each had a Tom & Jerry (have you had yours yet?). Then it was off to get a Christmas tree from the lot on 10th Ave South at 32nd Street – a nice Douglas fir.
Watched the “Meet The Natives-USA” episode where the Tanna villagers visited Montana – very cool. They didn’t come to Great Falls – spent their time down near Belfry and Billings, apparently – but they really seemed to enjoy the “cowboy” state.
Happy Monday, everyone!

Tom & Jerry in Great Falls!

Furnace Fiasco

Our story so far: on Monday night, when the temperature outside was around -24 and still falling, the furnace died. We didn’t know it at first – we heard a strange “whining” sort of sound around 10 pm, figured it might have been someone’s brakes outside; a few minutes later, we noticed a strange smell – almost like an electrical fire. We raced around the house, trying to locate the source, checking outlets, unplugging things, etc. Nothing. So out of an abundance of caution, we called the fire department, and they quickly dispatched a team of very nice firefighters who examined various nooks and crannies. The verdict: no fire danger, but the furnace had died. They explained that the strange aroma was likely the smell of furnace death.

So we began calling furnace companies, and got two wildly different responses. The first place we called was Central Plumbing and Heating, who offer 24-hour service, according to their ad in the phone book. The dispatcher transferred us to the on-call repair man; we explained that we needed someone to come look at the furnace and give us options for repair or replacement. His reply: sorry, we only do 24-hour service for “preferred customers.” Click. Um…geez. He didn’t explain what a preferred customer is, how we could become a preferred customer, or what the benefits of such status confer. Wow. They lost a chance to sign up some potentially very grateful customers, all in the span of about sixty seconds.

So then we called Central Solutions, also advertised as offering 24-hour service. Friendly as can be, and the on-call technician (Jason?) was at the house within 30 minutes. He examined the furnace and explained our options – repair or replace, and he also told us the pros and cons of each option, including estimated prices and times.

We slept at the house that night, but when we woke up on Tuesday morning it was about 48 degrees inside…brrrrrr! The folks at Central Solutions came by mid-morning and dropped off some space heaters – nice touch – and said that they could install the new furnace on Wednesday. Kudos to Central Solutions – friendly, helpful, and quick (given the circumstances!).

Too Cold?!

You guys all know how much I love winter — more cold, more snow, more often! After years of being a cheerleader for cold weather and snow, however, even I have to admit: this morning it was just TOO cold! That sentiment may have been triggered by our furnace giving up the ghost last night…or seeing the trusty temperature gauge read -35 around 7:45 a.m. this morning…or standing outside for nearly two hours at the “Day Of Giving!”

-35 in Great Falls!

BRRRRRR!

So…any of you finally starting to feel a little more of the holiday spirit, now that it’s sub-zero and we have snow on the ground? In my 7+ years here, we’ve had slightly colder temperatures than this – but never this early in the season! Right now – around 7:15 p.m. on Monday night – it’s about -18 degrees. Coldest actual temp I’ve seen here was last year on December 21, when it hit -31.