Friday, May 19, 2017

Rest In Peace Chris Cornell

by Michael Strickland

I still remember the first time I heard Outshined by Soundgraden. I was so amazed by the vocal range of the lead singer that I could barely believe my ears.

"Taking their love of melody from The Beatles and merging it with the down-tuned misery of Black Sabbath’s earth-shattering riffs," writes Remfry Dedman of the Independent, "the Soundgarden amalgamation was an extraordinarily intoxicating blend."

That is part of why I was in so much shock when I heard this news:

The death of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell has been ruled a suicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. "The Medical Examiner has completed the autopsy on 52-year-old Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden musician who died last night in Detroit," the agency's statement read. “The cause of death has been determined as suicide by hanging. ... Spokesman Brian Bumbery told the Associated Press that Cornell was found in his hotel room at the MGM Grand Detroit following a tour date at Detroit's Fox Theatre with the reunited Soundgarden, the band he'd fronted for over 30 years. 
My heart sinks with sadness when I ponder the fact that that Cornell was in such despair. Singer Alice Cooper called him "the best voice in rock and roll." Sir Elton John said he was "a great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man".  According to his website: Cornell had "also become involved in philanthropy, using music to support causes that help foster change. The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation is currently raising funds and partnering with charitable organizations to mobilize support for children facing tough challenges, including homelessness, poverty, abuse and neglect." The singer had three children.

While Nirvana's Nevermind is the biggest known artifact of the grunge movement, Soundgarden was the spark that caused the genre to explode in the public consciousness. Cornell and Soundgarden were the principle architects in the ascension of grunge.

Badmotorfinger, released on October 8, 1991, is still my favorite heavy album ... one of my favorite collections of all time. His vocals were, and will always be, legendary.

If anyone feels suicidal, please remember that there  there are support systems. Suicide hotlines are available in every community.  Reach out for help.

Finally, I offer gratitude to you, Chris Cornell, for the music of my youth that I still love today.


Photo Credit: By christopher simon - originally posted to Flickr as IMG_0126, CC BY 2.0,

Monday, February 20, 2017

Support Holly Cook and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

by Michael Strickland

I always marvel at those who have the energy to rise and excel in the professional world, while balancing family and community activities. When I first met Holly Cook, I was impressed by her charisma and willingness to really make a difference.

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm," wrote Sam Levenson, in One Era & Out the Other. "As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others!"

That is why I support this initiative by Holly who is extremely passionate about the noble efforts of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society that help to improve the quality of life for those fighting blood cancers, including promoting progress toward cures for Leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Myeloma.
Support Holly in her fundraising efforts during the next 10 weeks of Man and Woman of the Year!
“Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul like you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Public policy advocacy is also a passion of Holly's, and she seeks to help create potential solutions to problems such as out-of-pocket medical costs through LLS. Holly's largest goal is to raise awareness and funds for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to continue the growth of efforts that benefit families affected by blood cancers.

"Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed." - Matthew 8:5-8

Here is a great chance for you to help with badly needed healing.

The world is a better place because of people like Holly. Will you donate today? 

Follow Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Idaho and Montana Chapter on Instagram at @lls_idaho_and_montana

Read more.

Friday, February 17, 2017

What Makes the Mrs. Premier World Pageant System Unique and Valuable?

Mrs. Premier World  Janice McQueen-Ward
What, another pageant?  I have heard this question several times in my years of covering, writing about and judging in the pageant world.

Fortunately, my travels have allowed me to come across the stellar work of Kristen Jones Rossow.

The following are some things that are unique about Kristen's Mrs. Premier World Pageant system:

1. They have non-comparative numerical judging. The judge will score you 1-15 at the end of your presentation. In other systems they won't score you then. Instead they'll bring you back on stage as part of a group and at that point they will then score everyone, comparing you against everyone on the stage, especially those standing next to you. In our system you get an actual score. Panel interview 1/3 Fitness in Swimwear 1/3 Gown 1/3 From there the finalists will be selected and all scores set to zero. In finals On stage Question 1/3 Fitness in Swimwear 1/3 Gown 1/3 Because it is an international pageant interviews will be conducted in front of a panel of judges to accommodate language translators.

2. Delegates champion their own platform, not an organization's.

3. They're looking for the complete package, no age limit.

4. You get two shots at a crown, US (or other country) and World.

5. The Executive Director Kristin Jones Rossow has been a regional director previously had state pageants which were televised twice AND they are currently looking for sponsors for national and international telecasts.

Click Here for more information about how to register!