The world didn’t end, but the year 2012 is about to, Mayan calendar or not.  It’s fun to look back.

And we’ve had more fun than anyone should be allowed to have at work on WDAZ News @5 again this year.  Part of that fun is talking with some very cool guests in 2012.

Olympic Medalist Gabby Douglas chatted with us just the other day.   So did “Sons of Anarchy” star Kim Coates.

Authors David Baldacci, William Paul Young, Mitch Albom and Anthony Fields of the Wiggles all told us about their writing.

Paulette Carlson of Highway 101 fame sang a tune for us.  So did our old friend Tom Brosseau and a friend of his (and now a new friend of ours) Gregory Page.

We talked with singers Della Reese and Jordin Sparks,  and from London with Jonathan and Charlotte.  Frankie Avalon joined us, as did trumpet great Chris Botti.

Fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi told us about his new line of clothing.  We also talked with Mondo Guerra of Project Runway.

A first for us, Japanese Ambassador (now former Ambassador) to the U.S.  Ichiro Fujisaki talked with us and even sang a chorus or so of “The Red River Valley.”  We’ve never had a real, live ambassador on the program before, much less a singing one.

We chatted with actors Billy Bob Thornton, Cuba Gooding Jr., Josh Duhamel, Roma Downey, Deidre Hall and Alan Thicke.

Soccer great Mia Hamm, Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno and tennis legend Billie Jean King all spent time with us.

Comedians Brian Posehn, Jay Mohr,  and, of course, our old friend Bob Zany all stopped by.

We skipped rope with Cirque du Soleil performer Adrienn Banhegy and we dribbled with Harlem Globetrotter Handles Franklin.

Greg Rixen from Happy Harry’s Bottle Shop in Grand Forks poured and Stacie and I tasted beer, wine and spirits.  Greg has been with us weekly now for nearly three years.  We look forward to visits.

All of this falls under the category of work, somehow, and we’re glad it does.  It’s also a reminder of just how blessed we are.  As our money guy Bill Haug likes to say, it’s better to be lucky than good.  (At least I think that’s what he likes to say.)

Wheeler’s weather is never wrong @5, by the way.  Go ahead, check.

Anyway, Stacie and I are looking forward to meeting a new batch of interesting people to talk with in the new year, including designer Tim Gunn in a few days.  Hope you’ll come along with us for the ride weekday evenings at 5 in 2013.

Speaking of Stacie, one of the best things that happened this year is being  joined on News @5 by Stacie Van Dyke.  She’s smart, enthusiastic and funny.   Stacie makes work a little easier and a whole lot more fun for me.

Of course, we wouldn’t have anything to do if we didn’t have viewers.  So, if you do, thank you for watching WDAZ News @5.  If you don’t, remember you’re not too old to change your viewing habits.

Holidays, y’all.

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