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Long time journalist and familiar radio personality, Mick Holien provides introspective and thought-provoking insight, observations and opinions on a wide variety of topics every weekday on 750 KERR! 750AM and 93.9 FM


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A Little More Time

While she had a terribly restless night and several times managed to arise to reposition herself, Skyy is with us and made this Vox a happy camper.

It is not that I expect here to keel over or not wake up – which at her age could happen – it’s that once a large animal goes lame it is just torture to see them struggle.

And if during her groaning if she whined or showed outward signs of pain it would be a no-brainer.

But today she again started to use both rear legs, is having less problem getting up and continues to show joy when I arrive.

This is not the first time I have had such an occurrence with my nearly 14-year old yellow lab.

But I think this hitch in her get-along may well have occurred because she slept wrong on the limb, had some bothersome cramps or at the best just saw an opportunity to get more people food than usual and convince me to join her of the floor.

But whatever it is, at least for now, I guess she has decided to reserve a place in front of the Big Screen and watch bucketball as it is time for conference tournaments.

And with the usual parity it should be something else.

Talking to my pal Billy Bob last night – a hoop expert I might add – prognosticators sometimes have to change up their predictions because of the upset taking place on the screen behind them as they are speaking out.

Watched quite the insightful interview with Gonzaga coach Mark Few last week. He doesn’t say much and seldom does in-depth interviews, even often sending his assistants to do halftime and post game.

I didn’t see it all but I was interested that he addressed his team about being undefeated pointing out that they now are on the verge of a single weekend – two games – from finishing the league season unbeaten.

Not only has no one ever done that but all another team can do is equal their mark. They would accomplish a record that cannot be broken.

I wish the Zags would have been beaten by someone. Now they have every target on their back.

No. 1, Unbeaten, overrated tag because of the WCC schedule – you name it.

There’s little doubt this is the best team in school history but every game from here lends to further credibility.

I just do not know

How do you know? I require the written word today as I fear the time has come. But again how do you know?

I’ve spent the last couple of hours on the floor with my aged yellow lab, Skyy.

She awoke to her usual routine – mine that she has trained me for – not hers.

But coming out of the bedroom a bit later in the day she couldn’t hardly walk, heavily favoring her rear left leg and when she finally made it to her mat in the living room, she held her leg straight out and wasn’t interested in moving further.

I guess it would be easy to give up on her and just send her on the path to the Rainbow Bridge.

But spending the time on the floor with her today she responded with clear eye contact and tail wag and nothing wrong with her appetite, at least if it is the people food I have spoiled her with.

And while believe me I asked, she gave me indication that she was uncomfortable and concerned – grunting as she moved – but not whining or appearing to be in pain.

How do you know?

I realize there will be those that don’t understand at all the deep feelings we develop for our animals. My goodness I have had marriages that lasted less than the time she has spent with me.

And there undoubtedly will be those who believe I delay for my comfort and not hers and I have to say that may well be accurate.

But ironically just two nights ago, she came to the foot of my recliner late in the evening or early in the morning whichever is your preference, and coaxed me to play with her like a puppy, bounding up and down back and forth until heading down the hall to the bedroom.

Was that her idea of a last hurrah? How do we know?

I probably won’t decide on my dilemma before this airs and I was hesitant about even writing it before I made a decision but since the written word always has provided me peace and solitude, I found myself at the keyboard with you.

And again dear listeners and readers how do we know?

Almost Tournament Time

It is days away before the season takes the turn to March and the countdown to the spectacle of madness starts proverbially separating the men from the boys.

Coined March Madness but carrying well into April it would be astounding to discover just how much work time is wasted, delayed or forgotten once speculation begins about just how the NCAA Championships shake out.

He smarter of employers just embraces the competition – Why fight it they theorize.

How can even the no-sports fan not get caught up in the story lines that during the season mostly remaining in the locker room but with journalists hovering becomes headlines as the games begin

When Montana defeated Nevada in the first round in Salk Lake City, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe, who I have become slightly familiar with because of the National Sportscasters-Sports Broadcasters Association yearly meeting, clung to head coach Larry Krystowiak discovering early on that Krysko was different than most head coaches and usually rolled out a noteworthy quote.

Some tournament idiosyncrasies abound and while the event’s organizers do an amazing job some of it is over the top.

Remembering prior to the first-round practice in Salt Lake, I was not allowed to enter through the team door after departing the bus because of had the wrong color pass.

That sent me around the corner of the building – equipment intact now – and up about 20 long concrete steps just to get to the main level, only to enter and then co me all the way down the stairs to the floor.

I discovered early on to befriend security or ushers near our broadcast spot since the governor could hardly reach me for a halftime interview at one facility as the usher – I know just doing his job-refused to raise the red rope necessitating handing the headphones over to where he could stand.

The one-hour practice session preceding the first round is closed, manning I even had to sneak in but when I watched a New York Times reporter being sent up the tunnel lacking the proper credential, I had to intervene.

Running him down up the tunnel he said he wanted to interview Mike Chavez as the only Native American player in the tournament.

Such an opportunity rarely arrives and I quickly put the two together to necessitate getting that in a prominent spot in the Nation’s paper of record.

Such opportunities are rare but I still cherish this time of year.    

An Uber Ride

Well it didn’t take long-yes it happened but maybe not how I might have envisioned. I know the suspense is probably darn hard to handle on the first day of the week.

The secret I have held pretty close to vest for the past couple of weeks has been revealed and you are the first in your neighborhood - well maybe not - to discover that In My Opinion is an Uber driver and even better than that my first rider took a short sojourn safely to her home Saturday night.

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Soups On Fundraiser at Polson Elks

The customary annual fundraiser for a Polson soup kitchen has involved a variety of people sleeping in a Teepee outside the facility until reaching a monetary goal to keep the lights on and provide a daily lunch for a couple of hours four days a week.

But participants in Saturday’s effort to benefit the community kitchen can be assured they won’t have to encounter sub freezing temperatures.

But that certainly won’t diminish the amount of enthusiasm.

You can enjoy a spaghetti dinner and shake a leg at the Elks Club to the sweet sounds of the Halladay Quist Band all while helping an effort that in filling the need of the hungry has served close to 62,000 meals since its inception.

But it is not just food that Soup’s On provides but also fellowship and conversation and just maybe too that all necessary helping hand.

Debuting in 2009 the kitchen is located at Journey Be-Wander Inn at the southwest corner of First Street and Seventh west, 101 Seventh Ave W, across the street from Dempseys.

They also provide a community dinner on a Friday night during each month.

Dinner for ten bucks Saturday night starts at 5 p.m. with music slated at 8 p.m.

And in addition there’s a live and silent auction.

One of the things I have noticed since moving to the Mission Valley more than a decade ago not only is the number of worthwhile fundraisers but the continued benevolence of those that live here.

There just isn’t any lack of worthwhile causes and it simply is impossible to participate in all of them but also to promote or even mention them all.

But recently when I have had the opportunity to talk or emcee a recent event I have taken the opportunity to call people out to focus just a bit of their time on public service.

It often seems to me, like last week at Ronan’s Rural Fire Department’s annual meeting that I’m preaching to the choir because obviously volunteer firefighters along with their training and emergency calls dedicate plenty of time.

But there is that element of folks who either don’t think about getting involved or maybe they haven’t been asked.

Take this as your invitation.

Just sayin’


Be My Late Valentine?

I’m sure some kind of romantic. Here I am writing up today’s edition only to find that I totally missed Valentine’s Day.

Now justifying my oversight to myself, I theorized I had an especially busy week with seemingly an obligation penciled in about every day for the last week.

But really what kind of world do we live in where all those commercial efforts to prompt me to make a romantic purchase.

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A Bowling Weekend

As much as things change with the time, some things just remain the same...and that is indeed not all bad.

And how about if I can talk a bit of about that without leaning in the direction of politics or religion.

It was what I would term a weekend that didn‘t has enough hours but that’s OK.

Usually my Monday program is done pretty early in the weekend – in fact often before the weekend starts but should I say mid-week I lost both computers and my cell phone.

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Robin in Polson Wednesday

I have been through it and maybe you have to-Looking forward to not having to be anywhere at any given time, sleeping in, staying up as late as you want with repercussions – Yes it’s called retirement.

Dropping a call to the venerable one a couple of weeks ago and finding him maybe a bit bored paid dividends for me and as it turns out for Lake and Missoula County and maybe elsewhere as well.

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Outside the Super Bowl

Politics has been so entertaining I mostly spent my Super Bowl pre-game either watching the taped Sunday programs, some for comedic relief, or switching through the channels seeing who or what I might have missed.

So I didn’t consider taking in the hype rather watching bucket ball.

And it’s time for a respite from the gridiron.

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Not Dog Tired

A snowy yet somewhat pleasant Saturday afternoon and a clogged secondary road near Polson that hadn’t yet seen a snowplow was perfect incentive to head downtown to take in an early matinee.

And while I vaguely recall someone saying there was some controversy surrounding one of the star canines featured in “A Dog’s Purpose” while I might be compelled to search the info out after the movie, seldom would such commentary influence whether or not I would attend.

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Make the Most Out of It

Missoula kicked it off with an early afternoon affair while Polson held a first-ever and Kalispell closed out the evening festivities as the 2017 crop of football signees to the University of Montana received public accord Thursday.

And the full compliments of Griz scholarships for the first time in the Bob Stitt era included a strong Montana prep contingent.

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A little Nat King and the Griz

The Grizzlies look to recharge, rebound or be competitive just how you chose to look at it as it’s Griz-Cat hoop Saturday afternoon and evening at the Fieldhouse.

And unusually the shoe’s on the proverbial other foot when IMO continues.

Mick Holien back on your radio and the hard-luck Lady Griz, rife with injuries and any kind of bad luck a team can endure; hope to somehow take some magic out of the Dahlberg Arena faithful in the afternoon.

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Go Pats

No matter which team you are pulling for Sunday if you were listening to a question answered by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady this week, it just had to cause you pause.

And given the bravado and ego around the Super Bowl it is a good thing I had saved the interview on my DVR because I probably would not have believed it.

The record setting Brady seemed temporarily off guard when he was asked “who was your hero.”

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Griz and Tech get Polson Football Signees

Far-flung teenage dreams become reality today with the announced signings to football national letters of intent.

And for the nation’s coaches the hours of evaluations, recruitment, film and convincing conversation sometimes come down to a signed 8-by-11 sheet of paper igniting a fax machine at the appropriate time.

Polson’s top two athletes, Tanner Wilson and Matthew Rensvold, however will make it official as they officially commutate to play for the Grizzlies at a signing party at the Polson Elks at 5:30p.m.

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Neal and Gary Cooper

So who you say was Gary Cooper? No that’s the wrong Cooper. That’s DB who jumped off an airplane into my home country of Skamania County Washington with a load of ransom never to be seen again.

This Cooper, cut in the cloth of John Wayne and other leading men of his time, was a Montana native whose father eventually was a Supreme Court justice.

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Think About Your Will

I waited, made up excuses, delayed some more, prioritized and always came up with a bundle of excuses as to why I didn’t have a will properly secured in a lockbox somewhere.

But I finally decided – I admit some of it prompted by an impending health challenge – that I just needed to bit the bullet and get it done.

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A Movie Lovers Weekend

The quaint two-screen theater in downtown Polson isn’t quite the Treasure State - aka - Park City Sundown Festival but if the three-day Flathead Lake International Cinemafest continues its growth curve who knows what lies in the future.

Seemingly every genre was represented and word of the event’s growing success both in films and attendance seems bound to continue to substantially increase its popularity.

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What's Up Doc

I know you’re thinkin’ my deep thinkin’ from yesterday’s program about bullying made me who I am right?

Nope not today.

You see I have the pulpit and well I’m just not in the mood to talk about that but we’ll get back there.

I see a physician so often I thought maybe it would be interesting to examine what we guys don’t tell our Docs.

But listen up gals because you might be the lynchpin.

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Didn't Want to Be treated Differently

I guess I was bullied in high school and since I’m old enough that I don’t believe the term even existed, let’s just say I was picked on.

And so I hold a special affinity for those that are treated really in any different way.

But call it what you want I hold a novel view so having faced somewhat of that attitude when barely a teenager, when my daughter told me she felt my grandson might be badgered in such a manner I certainly was immediately sympathetic.

But first how in my mind the different way I feel I was treated.

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What Without Our Animals

What would we do without our animals, be they domestic or otherwise.

All one has to do is skim through the daily barrage of videos to see how, let’s start with dogs and cats, provide companionship and really a host of other things.

And the negative situations that surface simply are heart breaking and often send us to our checkbook.

We have to start with my Vox canine who I swear just like the moniker Vox can talk.

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