Monthly Archives: January 2012

Montana License Plates: The Numbers

I learned pretty quickly that Montana license plates have a “pecking order” based on the relative size of the counties – according to population data from decades ago, that is.

Fechter.com explains it (and has a handy map): County numbers were originally assigned based on most populous to least populous counties; sequence numbers were assigned about 1930 and have not changed since then. A plan was proposed in the 1999 Legislature Session to change things, but it was defeated.

I absolutely love that Butte/Silver Bow has retained the coveted #1 spot, even though Butte’s days as the largest town in Montana are long gone. Butte “made” Montana in so many ways, and it earned that #1 plate.

And I love that Cascade County – home! – is #2, despite falling behind Yellowstone, Missoula, Flathead, and Gallatin counties in recent years, population-wise.

Here’s the list of license plates by county; you can read more at BPRLicensePlates.com.

1

SILVER BOW

20

VALLEY

39

FALLON

2

CASCADE

21

TOOLE

40

SWEET GRASS

3

YELLOWSTONE

22

BIG HORN

41

McCONE

4

MISSOULA

23

MUSSELSHELL

42

CARTER

5

LEWIS & CLARK

24

BLAINE

43

BROADWATER

6

GALLATIN

25

MADISON

44

WHEATLAND

7

FLATHEAD

26

PONDERA

45

PRAIRIE

8

FERGUS

27

RICHLAND

46

GRANITE

9

POWDER RIVER

28

POWELL

47

MEAGHER

10

CARBON

29

ROSEBUD

48

LIBERTY

11

PHILLIPS

30

DEER LODGE

49

PARK

12

HILL

31

TETON

50

GARFIELD

13

RAVALLI

32

STILLWATER

51

JEFFERSON

14

CUSTER

33

TREASURE

52

WIBAUX

15

LAKE

34

SHERIDAN

53

GOLDEN VALLEY

16

DAWSON

35

SANDERS

54

MINERAL

17

ROOSEVELT

36

JUDITH BASIN

55

PETROLEUM

18

BEAVERHEAD

37

DANIELS

56

LINCOLN

19

CHOTEAU

38

GLACIER

 

 

UPDATE: longtime blogger ZenPanda has a Flickr collection of ALL 56 PLATES! Here’s a sample – check ’em all out here!

Windy, Eh?

This has been windiest few weeks that I can recall in Great Falls…and today seems likely to take the cake.

Wobbly sign forces Baja Fresh to evacuate…trees and power poles down…power outages and traffic signals out…blowing dust from Gore Hill causing big dust storm…

UPDATE: here’s a picture from my friend Chuck (not his house); click the image to see a photo gallery of more wind damage at KRTV.com.

Jack Horner and “T-Rex” Thomas

The Bozeman Magpie reports that Jack Horner – arguably the most famous paleontologist in the world – recently took a bride: Vanessa Shiann Weaver, 19, of Ohio.

And speaking of Horner…here’s a neat story from a few years ago, when I was still serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

The Wing Commander at the time was Colonel Everett Thomas (now a 2-star general); like most high-ranking leaders, he had a nickname – “T-Rex.”

When it came time for Col Thomas to transfer to another base, each of the organizations on base, as is custom, came up with neat little gifts to wish him well. Such gifts are often “location”-specific, to remind the departing person of their time in that assignment.

As the “exec officer” of the Medical Group, I was tasked with trying to come up with something unique to present to Col Thomas on behalf of the medics. I figured it might be cool to get him something T-Rex and Montana related, so I emailed the folks at the Museum Of The Rockies, explained that our base commander was awesome, etc, and would they possibly be able to send me a T-Rex book from Dr. Horner, possibly even autographed? I offered to pay whatever they deemed appropriate. I hit “send” and didn’t hear back from them…

…until three weeks later, when I received a package in the mail – sure enough, it was an autographed copy of one of Horner’s books, personally signed for Col Thomas!

And they didn’t charge me, which was pretty nice of them, too. So kudos to Jack Horner and his MOR crew!

Trailer Gypsies

The Trailer Gypsies spent some time in Great Falls – not sure when, but it was back when Cool Beans was open. Here’s what the gypsies had to say:

We have a love/hate relationship with Great Falls. We enjoyed our visit but found that: (1) it’s windy … turns out that Great Falls is the fourth windiest city in the U.S; (2) it’s overrun with bars and casinos … no wonder billboards remind the locals that Montana has the highest drunk driving rate in the nation; (3) it’s economy appears to be teetering on the razor’s edge … Wal-Mart is the city’s third largest employer and (4) it is Ground Zero … some 200 long range nuclear missiles are buried in silos outside of town. Putting all these negatives aside, we enjoyed the historic downtown, green parks, museums and fascinating Lewis and Clark legacy.

Well…some truth to the criticism – it is windy, and their are lots of casinos – but “teetering on razor’s edge” is a bit much. Still, some good pix at their site.

Grrrr.

If you happen to recognize this vehicle that was in the Starbucks drive-thru on Sunday morning at about 10:30, and the four young people who were in it (probably between 17 and 22 years old)…ask them if they are the ones who tossed and broke a bottle into the parking lot, and if so, why they felt it was necessary.

SEAGOOSWAN

This doesn’t technically fall under the category of “Great Falls,” but since it does reference geese, I’m ruling that it is indeed fair game for posting – namely because it literally had me in tears (of laughter).

It started as a goose tangent over at AskeMeFi and sort of snowballed. Kudos to griphus for the laugh.

QUESTION: How do I best prepare a meal of swan and goose for me and my homeless friends?

ANSWER: SEAGOOSWAN

Ingredients:
1 Goose (live)
1 Seagull (live)
1 Swan (live)
1 Discarded coffee filter
3 Discarded cans of pet food (wet)
2 Loaves day-old bread from behind the deli
Asstd. vegetable peels

Preparation:
Prepare stuffing by mixing equal parts day-old bread, pet food scrapings, coffee grinds and vegetable peels.
Preheat empty garbage can to “on fire.”
Have goose, swan, seagull fight to death over one loaf of the day old bread.
Pluck, skin and remove entrails.
Stuff seagull with stuffing.
Stuff goose with seagull.
Stuff swan with goose.
Throw seagooswan in garbage can along with entrails for 1hr.

Serve!

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