Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

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Don’t Miss the Oscars this Sunday, March 4, 2018

This Sunday, March 4, 2018 marks the 90th anniversary of the Academy Awards. Starting at 7 PM CT airing on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel will return as the host for the second year in a row. The Shape of Water is the most nominated film this year, with 13 nominations. Other nominees include: Dunkirk for Best Picture, Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread for Actor in a Leading Role, Frances McDormand in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri for Actress in a Leading Role, and Mary J. Blige in Mudbound for Actress in a Supporting Role. You can find all the nominees on the Oscar website.

So, is it the Academy Awards or the Oscars? Well, it is both. The golden Oscar statuette has been significant since the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. According to the History Channel, the trophy is of “a knight holding a sword and standing on a film reel with five spokes, each representing one of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ five original branches: actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers.” It was originally known as the Academy Award of Merit and was later nicknamed Oscar in 1939. The History Channel states, “It’s uncertain exactly where the nickname came from, although credit often is given to Academy librarian Margaret Herrick, who upon first seeing the statuette reportedly claimed it looked like her uncle Oscar.”

You won’t want to miss the biggest night in film as it airs this weekend on ABC. If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to know what services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative would be happy to assist you.

Congratulations to Our Community Service Award Winner – Dave Aten

Each year, Great Plains Communications is honored to recognize a Community Service Award winner. This is a person that goes above and beyond as a volunteer in their community. As a company, we are proud to give back to the towns we serve, but even more so to our employees that give their time to better the communities around them. We open it up to all employees to nominate someone they feel deserves the recognition. This year, we would like to congratulate Dave Aten, the Facilities Maintenance Technician at the Blair, NE office!

Dave has served on the Blair Volunteer Fire Department for 22 years. He has held all fire ground leadership positions, including Captain, Assistant Chief, and Fire Chief. In 2017, Dave served as Assistant Chief where he was responsible for safe and effective fire ground operations and training for 46 firefighters. Dave also responded to 250 fire and EMS calls in Washington County, many of which he was the Officer in Charge. His service to the community typically exceeds 10 hours a week, resulting in more than 500 hours in 2017.

Please help us in congratulating and thanking Dave for his time and dedication!

2018 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony – When to Watch


The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea is quickly coming to a close. The closing ceremony will take place this Sunday, February 25. Like the other events, including the opening ceremony on February 9, live airing times are affected by the extreme time difference of South Korea and the United States. We have included viewing options below to ensure you don’t miss a minute of the show, as it is anticipated to include beautifully elaborate choreographed routines and the exuberant beat of K-pop is sure to be featured.

Live Start Time: 5 a.m. CT

You can watch the live coverage of the closing ceremony on NBC, which will not have any anchor commentary. Another option is to livestream the coverage through NBCOlympics.com or the NBC Sports app on one of your devices. With the livestream, you still must be a cable customer to access the content, and will need to provide authentication.

Prerecorded Air Time: 7 p.m. CT

NBC will air the closing ceremony Sunday night with Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir as the hosts for the United States.

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn more about the services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Sunspots this Spring

If you have ever watched a lightning storm, you know that it is both a beautiful and alarming experience. The power a thunderstorm emits in an abrupt flash stabbing through the air is definitely something to notice. Many people aren’t aware that the sun too can create a magnetic disturbance similar to lightning. When the energy from the sun expands, solar flares are created, better known as sunspots. For around two weeks each fall and spring season, you might notice some channels periodically showing a fuzzy signal, sparkles, or even a total loss. Typically lasting 5 to 15 minutes, the sunspot activity should not cause any worry as it will pass.

So, what exactly causes the disruption in your channels? As the satellites orbit, they eventually will align between the earth and sun. As a result of the mini-eclipse the satellite has formed, the sun’s rays overpower the transmission from the satellite. It is important to note that the effects brought on by sunspot activity is not a cable outage and there is really nothing Great Plains Communications or any other cable provider, is able to do. The sun outages are often country-wide, and the only thing we can all do is wait for it to pass. Luckily, after 5 to 15 minutes of disruption, your program should air as normal.

If the problem has not subsided after 20 minutes, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 so that one of our technicians can look into the issue. For more information on sunspots and the current level of solar activity, visit NASA’s website at https://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml.

2018 Valentine’s Day Recipes

Are you looking to skip the expensive restaurant bill and long wait times this Valentine’s Day? If so, Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite love inspired recipes from our cable channel Food Network. No matter if you are looking for something to spice up the night for you and your babe or if it’s a single-ladies-only event, these recipes are sure to please the

Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Mozzarella Hearts

Get the night started off with these sizzling hot Flamin’ Hot Cheeto Mozzarella Hearts. Everything you crave in a mozzarella stick but with a kick from the spicy cheese-flavored snack we all know and love, these are sure to get your taste buds warmed up for the rest of the meal.

Ina’s Engagement Roast Chicken

The infamous Engagement Roast Chicken has been rumored to make knees drop, including this most recent Royal engagement as Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle while the couple were at home roasting a chicken. Ina Garten tweeted, “Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan! I always knew roast chicken had magic powers!! I’m so happy for both of you!”

Giada Lobster Linguine

Add some decadence with this Lobster Linguine. Lobster is a rather expensive ingredient, so stretch a dollar by adding it to pasta rather than giving each person their own tail or claw.

Love Letter Valentine’s Day Cookies

Looking to get a little creative this Valentine’s Day? Skip chocolates and make these adorable and customizable cookies. This would also be a super fun activity for a Galentine’s Day party.

TV Viewing Guide to the 2018 Winter Olympics

As just a few events have started, and everyone begins to enjoy the action of the XXII Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, you might be wondering where you can catch all the events. Great Plains Communications has the guide for you on where and when to watch so you don’t miss a thing.

First off, the channels that will be airing the Olympic events are NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA, and new to Great Plains Communications channel line-up, the Olympic Channel. However, it is only NBC who will be broadcasting the opening ceremony tomorrow, February 9. The live coverage of the ceremony begins at 5 a.m. CT and then will air (taped) again at 7 p.m. CT on NBC.

What many might not know is that the only way to watch the Winter Olympics in the U.S. is through NBC. And this year NBC is changing things up a bit, and live streaming almost every event, broadcasting around 1,800 hours of live coverage. Due to the time difference between South Korea and the U.S., there will be a lot of events airing throughout the night.

Which Channel is Showing Which Olympic Sport?

  • NBC has 176 hours of coverage: Opening Ceremony (Feb. 9), Medal Ceremonies, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Short Track, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding, Luge, Alpine Skiing, Speed Skating, Biathlon, Cross-Country, Nordic Combined, Skeleton, Bobsled, and Figure Skating Gala, Closing Ceremony (Feb. 25)
  • NBC Sports Network has 369 hours of coverage: Curling (Mixed Doubles, Men, Women), Alpine Skiing, Luge, Cross-Country Skiing, Short Track, Ski Jumping, Snowboarding, Speed Skating, Biathlon, Figure Skating: Olympic Ice, Hockey (Men, Women), Nordic Combined, Skeleton, Bobsled, and Figure Skating Gala
  • USA Network has 40.5 hours of hockey: Hockey (Men, Women)
  • CNBC has 46 hours of curling: Curling (Mixed Doubles, Women)
  • The Olympics Channel has 24/7 News Coverage: Victory Ceremonials, Olympic Channel News, and Winter Olympic Daily News

For the full details, go to NBC’s TV Schedule.

If you are looking for ways to stream, NBC Sports app is available on Android phones/tablets, iPhone/iPads, Roku devices, Fire TV devices, as well as Apple TVs. If you are a Great Plains Communications cable customer, you will be able to find our name from the list of service providers to watch the streams from NBCOlympics.com or the NBC Sports app. If you do not currently have cable, NBCOlympics.com will allow you 30 minutes in the first session of streaming and 5 extra minutes per day after. If you would like to sign up for cable with Great Plains Communications, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative will be happy to assist you.

Team USA 2018

This Friday, February 9, 2018 men and women from around the world will enter the Olympic stadium in PyeongChang, South Korea as the 2018 Winter Olympic games opening ceremony begins. Great Plains Communications has highlighted a few interviews with athletes such as Mikaela Shiffrin, Ashley Caldwell, and pair Madison Chock and Evan Bates. Meet some of Team USA below.

Alpine Skier Mikaela Shiffrin

 

Aerials Skier Ashley Caldwell

 

Ice Dancers Madison Chock & Evan Bates

 

Watch our Facebook on Thursday for a blog on how to watch the opening ceremony, how to stream and more!

2018 Game Day Commercials

We have covered recipes for your big game day party, but how many of you are primarily there for the commercials during the game? Great Plains Communications has found a few of our favorite commercials you can expect to see this year between the Patriots-Eagles action.

Amazon – “Did Alexa Lose Her Voice?”

 

Budweiser – “Stand By You”

 

Stella Artois – “Taps”

 

Doritos & Mountain Dew – Blaze vs. Ice

 

Don’t miss the big game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots this Sunday, February 4 at 5:30 PM CT on NBC.

2018 Game Day Recipes

This Sunday is the big game day as the Philadelphia Eagles take on the New England Patriots! What are you most excited for? Watching and representing your team, watching the commercials, or maybe it is enjoying all the delicious food at the party. Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorite game day recipes from our cable channel, Food Network’s Eddie Jackson.

Bacon-Cheese Pizza Bombs

Think garlic knot mixed with your favorite childhood pizza pockets topped with bacon. Not only are they portable, making it easier to mingle with your friends and enjoy a cold beverage but they are elevated nostalgic flavors everyone is sure to enjoy.

Sweet Chili Chip-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Chicken fingers are another portable classic that not only the adults will enjoy, but are sure to entice the kids at the party as well. This is a recipe that you can truly make your own from the chips you crust the chicken with, to the add-ins for the dipping sauce.

Toasted Coconut Brownies

Any good game day party has something sweet to break up all the savory snacks. These brownies allow you to make large amounts at once and provide a bite of decadence from the chewy chocolate base with texture from the almonds, to the toasted coconut flakes softly embedded into the frosting on top.

Throwback to the First Winter Olympics

Thamas, Bonna, and Lanvik in the 1924 Winter Olympics

It’s a throwback Thursday to January 25, 1924 as the first Winter Olympics began at Chamonix in the French Alps. The games were originally known as the “International Winter Sports Week,” involving six sports. According to the History Channel, “Norway won the unofficial team competition with 17 medals,” while “the United States came in third, winning its only gold medal with Charles Jewtraw’s victory in the 500-meter speed-skating event.”

The original Olympics was formed in 1896 called the Nordic Games and only Scandinavian countries competed. Similar to the modern Olympics, it was held every four years, but always in Sweden. “In 1908, figure skating made its way into the Summer Olympics in London, though it was not actually held until October, some three months after the other events were over,” History.com says. It wasn’t until 1925 that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) formally created the Winter Olympics, making the event at Chamonix the first.

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games is coming up, so watch for more information here on our blog as the February 9, 2018 start date quickly approaches.

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