Paris Gibson graduation ceremony

Governor Schweitzer and Jag! Attended the Paris Gibson graduation ceremony last night – it was cool to see so many happy, proud kids (and families!). The guest speaker was Governor Schweitzer, which was neat. Best of all – he brought Jag! While Schweitzer was speaking, Jag just curled up on the gym floor next to him and took a nap for the duration of the speech.

When the governor was done, I hustled to get a picture of Jag; the governor stopped and asked if I wanted a picture, and I said, “Well, yes…but of Jag!” The governor kindly obliged. I’ve met the governor before, but seeing Jag – well, that’s just downright cool.

Another cool thing about the ceremony – all of the graduates were presented with three roses, and they were then instructed to give them to three people in the audience who have made a difference in their lives. There were lots of hugs, and of course some tears.

And it was the last formal graduation ceremony for PGMS principal Cosgrove; she made a brief speech about how much she has loved working in education, and she fought back tears as she told the crowd that she has loved coming to work every single day of her career. She got a huge round of applause, and I heard from several students that they adore Cosgrove. Very nice.

And I put together a slide-show of the pictures from the event using the “Gallery” feature of the new KRTV content-management system, and included it as a link in the Paris graduation story. Give it a try, let me know how it looks/works!

Messages From Afghanistan

One of my friends from my Malmstrom days, Nancy, spent the better part of her last year of AF service deployed to Afghanistan; she’s an amazing lady, and now she’s published a book about her experience. She retired from the Air Force a few months after I did, and now lives in Fort Benton. Here’s the e-mail explaining more:

I recently published a book about my time in Afghanistan called MESSAGES FROM AFGHANISTAN. It is a compilation of the emails that many of you received during my deployment. It includes some additional material and many pictures. The proceeds from book sales will be used to help build a school in Afghanistan in memory of my friend who lost his life during my deployment. I have included the website below; I’d appreciate if you would check it out; if you like it, feel free to recommend it to friends and family and to forward the info to anyone you know who might be interested. Thanks Nancy
http://www2.xlibris.com/BOOKSTORE/bookdisplay.aspx?bookid=61672

Go Snow!

Woohoo! Our weekend snow is one for the record books – not the biggest snowfall in Great Falls history, but in the top ten! Check out this info from the National Weather Service:

…SNOWFALL INFORMATION FOR JANUARY 22-24 2009…

THE RECENT WINTER STORM DROPPED SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOWFALL ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA.

SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2 AND 3 DAY SNOW TOTALS FOR JANUARY ONLY AT LOCATIONS IN THE AREA…

2-DAY AMOUNT RANKING FOR JANUARY ONLY
GREAT FALLS 10.3 INCHES…THIRD GREATEST TWO-DAY AMOUNT
HAVRE 8.5 INCHES…SECOND HIGHEST TWO-DAY AMOUNT
NEIHART 16.0 INCHES…THIRD HIGHEST TWO-DAY AMOUNT

3-DAY AMOUNT
GREAT FALLS 13.2 INCHES…FOURTH HIGHEST THREE-DAY AMOUNT
HAVRE 10.0 INCHES…SECOND HIGHEST THREE-DAY AMOUNT
NEIHART 17.2 INCHES…FOURTH HIGHEST THREE-DAY AMOUNT

AT GREAT FALLS…THE SEVEN INCHES REPORTED ON THE 23RD WAS THE SIXTH SNOWIEST 24-HOUR PERIOD IN JANUARY. THE 20.5 INCHES OF SNOWFALL SO FAR IN JANUARY IS THE 6TH SNOWIEST JANUARY TO DATE.

Read the full report here.

Great Falls Talk Radio

When I’m zipping around town, my radio is always on – not too much into CDs or MP3 in the car. For music, I usually listen to 1310 KEIN or SAM 107.3, with some Q-106, 92.9, and NPR thrown in occasioanlly.

But for talk radio in Great Falls, you have to go to 1450 KQDI. Here’s the lineup:

Morning – Laura Ingraham: fair to middling. Not great, but she’s got personality and can be somewhat funny.
Morning – Voices of Montana with Aaron Flint: awesome – Aaron does a great job talking about Montana, takes calls from all across the state, and features a good variety of guests.
Mid-day – Rush Limbaugh: good stuff. I agree with him on many things, and he is very entertaining, to boot.
Afternoon – Sean Hannity: meh. Even though he’s often right about most things, his reasoning isn’t always solid, his manner is very off-putting, and he is so dang repetitive. He’s also not good with callers – too often he cuts them off, doesn’t let them complete a sentence, etc. More annoying than he’s worth.
Afternoon – Jerry Doyle: probably my favorite overall radio guy. A good blend of conservative, libertarian, and humor & entertainment.
Evening – Michael Savage: awesome. Agree with him on about 75% of things, and am just wildly entertained by the rest. Love his accent and his background.
Evening – Jim Bohannon: not bad, and very good with callers, although he does seem to talk too much, even for a radio host.
Overnight – Coast To Coast: thankfully, I’m rarely listening to the radio when this is on.

Weekends are a bit more eclectic, with Kim Komando (computers), Dr Michio Kaku (science), Barry Farber, and such.

So – do any of you ever tune in to talk radio here in GF? Got any favorites (or un-favorites)?

Winter Returning?

The new year has been pretty mild, weather-wise, but it looks like we’re about to get some appropriate winter weather!

Friday: A chance of snow in the morning…then snow likely in the afternoon. Accumulations possible. Highs 30 to 35. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.
Friday Night: Snow. Accumulations possible. Lows 15 to 20. Northwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.
Saturday: Snow. Accumulations possible. Highs 20 to 30. Chance of snow near 100 percent.
Saturday Night: Snow likely. Accumulations possible. Lows 15 to 20. Chance of snow 70 percent.

Get your shovels ready!

RIP, Teddy Pendergrass

When I heard that Teddy Pendergrass had passed away this week, I was very sad – arguably one of the best voices ever in the R&B world. And a passing that, to me, closes a special chapter in American music. Marvin, Luther, Isaac, Barry, James, and now Teddy – all gone now. But since shutting down my original Better Living Through Blogging site a while back, I’ve limited my official blogging to, well, Great Falls, so I wasn’t able to really blog about Teddy’s passing. After all, there isn’t much of a direct connection between Great Falls and Teddy Pendergrass. And I had to console myself with YouTube videos of Teddy’s music, since there’s no R&B radio station in Great Falls.

But on Friday night, we decided to head on over Goode’s Q & Bayou Grill: me for the out-of-this-world Q burger, and she opted for the triple-play sandwich. As we approached the restaurant, it occurred to me – very briefly – that it would be very nice to hear Teddy playing when we entered. It’s the only place in town that regularly plays soul/R&B music, so I figured there was a chance.

Sure enough – when we walked in, “Turn Off The Lights” was playing. And then “Love TKO.” And then “Close The Door.” Yep – Larry and the crew were playing a Teddy Pendergrass greatest-hits CD. Thanks, Larry. Continue reading