“Our Media Has Failed Us”

Wow. This is one of those “What the heck?” comments that just absolutely baffle me.

This person posted on the KRTV Facebook page:

Why is it that these days elections are seemingly kept quiet until the election has passed.We should be hearing from those that wish to govern US for weeks beforehand.This way WE can make A good and productive vote. I did not even know we had an election and I am disabled and watch TV all day long???These elections are as shady as the people in them. The only way to have an effective election is to have EVERYONE know the FACTS. OUR MEDIA HAS FAILED US once again.I guess WE are to only know the results of elections NOT the CONTENT nor INTENT. This is sad because there are 2 News stations in town. Ch 3 KRTV Great Falls and Ch 5 news.

Where to begin?

Well, first of all: dude, you’re ON FACEBOOK, which means that you have the ability to visit the websites of KRTV, the Great Falls Tribune, and KFBB, and read the many articles about the primary election and the candidates. You also have the ability to visit the Facebook pages of the news outlets AND the candidates that have profiles pages. You also have the ability to visit the websites of any candidates that have such.

Second of all: ALL media outlets in Great Falls have run articles over the last few months about the election. KRTV has aired several stories, the Trib has published several articles — including candidate profiles, and all of the information was posted online, too.

In addition, the City of Great Falls website has posted information about the election.

And this bit: “I did not even know we had an election and I…watch TV all day long???” Um…what were you watching?

If you think “OUR MEDIA HAS FAILED US once again,” you are just plain wrong. YOU have failed to pay attention.

For instance: KRTV aired and posted an article on July 1st stating that the filing deadline for the election was approaching. Last week, KRTV aired and posted an article telling people that there was just one week left until the primary election.


And here’s a screenshot of the Trib site showing some of the results for “candidate profile” search; the Trib did a good job with the profiles. Granted, the Trib hides stuff behind a paywall, but if the election is so important to Keith, then ponying up a few bucks for access shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. There is also the option of actually buying a dead-tree newspaper; I’ve heard that you can even have it delivered right to your front door.


The Burger Bunker

Remember a few years ago there was a “hot dog war” in Great Falls? There were three hot-dog themed eateries in town, all fighting for your hard-earned dollars. Sadly, the best of the lot — the Downtown Dog House — didn’t survive, and hot dogs overall seem to have been relegated to the bottom rung of the food-chain ladder in our fair community.

But! There’s now a battle of the burgers in Great Falls, of sorts. Several weeks ago, the Roadhouse Diner opened, and its star attraction is an ever-changing menu of tasty burgers and home-made fries. It’s a kick-ass place, full of energy, good cheer, and delicious food — although I think their breakfast offerings are even better than the burger menu.

The Burger Bunker

The Burger Bunker on 2nd Avenue North

And about two weeks ago, the Burger Bunker officially opened, and it is good, good stuff. It’s in the community rec center on 2nd Avenue North, in the space that used to be the Good Eats restaurant (which is relocating to the Columbus building next month).

The Burger Bunker is a military-themed restaurant, and the menu reflects it, with burgers called the Panzer, the Malmstrom, the B-52, the Desert Fox, and such.

Mack is the usually the guy who will greet you and take your order — super friendly, big smile, and always ready with a quip or joke.

Of course, I always opt for a plain cheeseburger — with bacon, if available — and I am happy to say that the Burger Bunker delivered a direct hit (get it?). I’ve been there (don’t laugh) four times since they opened, and have been very satisfied each time. In fact, the burgers have actually gotten better on each visit. My wife really enjoyed the Panzer — it’s basically a Reuben squeezed into a burger.

The french fries aren’t quite as good as the burgers, unfortunately — they are OK, but not great. Certainly passable, but make no mistake: the star attraction is the burger. That’s in contrast to the Roadhouse Diner, where the burgers are great, but the fries are phenomenal.

Also of note: they have something called a “cooler” on the menu — never heard it called such, but it’s basically a thin milkshake in your choice of cola, root beer, etc. I’ve had a cola cooler on each visit, and it is absolutely heavenly.

Another bonus: the Burger Bunker is open from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. AND you can have it delivered, via Cafe Courier. In fact, on my last two visits to the Bunker, they were doing more delivery business than in-house business — at one point, they had two Cafe Courier drivers in there picking up orders.

Overall: hell yes, get down there and try a burger.

Also: read what Vernon had to say.

Burger Bunker: Website. Facebook.

And now for the pictures:








Just discovered a few days ago that my (awesome) Droid Turbo can create animated GIFs — here’s one featuring a few photos from things I’ve seen on the job in the last couple of weeks.


I also learned that my Turbo also has some fun video-editing tools — one of which I applied to this brief clip from a recent trip to the dog park:

KFC: The Bucket Is Back

I’m happy to report that the new KFC on the west side of Great Falls that opened a few weeks ago is off to a good start.

Kentucky Fried Chicken in Great Falls re-opened in June 2015.

Kentucky Fried Chicken in Great Falls re-opened in June 2015.

I boycotted KFC in Great Falls about two years ago after far too many encounters with surly employees, dirty stores, and being told that they were out of chicken (!).

In April 2014, both locations closed, and while a lot of people in town seemed upset that they wouldn’t be able to chow down on the Colonel’s famous herb-n-spices, I heard from TONS of people who echoed my sentiment about dirty stores and poor service.

But after two trips to the (literally) new and improved west-side store since it re-opened, I can tell you that both the service and the cleanliness have skyrocketed.

On my first trip, about two weeks after it opened, I had to wait about 15 minutes to place my order — the place was PACKED. But the staff was very friendly, the store looked spotless, and the food was good.

Went again last night, and the crowd was smaller, but the service was again great — lots of smiles from the staff, and quick service.

The redesigned lobby is pretty nice — a little generic, but fine. And how ’bout that lounge seating (shout-out to Dana Joe!).

Granted, with only a few weeks under its belt, it’s not too surprising that the store looks pretty clean and the crew is friendly — but it’s a very good indication that the owner took all of the negative feedback from a couple of years ago to heart, and is working to make the store live up to the standards that customers expect and deserve.

Some cool retro advertising inside; it’s a shame the new “Colonel Sanders” in TV commercials is so poorly-done; whether it’s intended as parody, homage, or whatever, the (gifted) Darrell Hammond just isn’t striking the right tone.

One nice touch: store employees are sporting black shirts with the Colonel on them — the shirts call him “The Original Celebrity Chef.”

I also ordered a double-cheeseburger from the A&W side of the store, and it was pretty good, too.

I didn’t realize that they made their own root beer — I snuck a small cupful while I was waiting, and it was indeed very tasty. Might have to swing by later today for a root-beer float!

Tiki Time!

When I first arrived in Montana back in 2002, I noticed a lot of bears. Not real bears – the carved wooden bears that adorn so many porches and patios and front yards. Adorable!

In all the places I lived and traveled to, I never saw such a display of state-specific art at so many homes.

Of course, I had to get one for my front porch, and before long, I had doubled-up.

But last summer, my wife had a brilliant idea. We both love tiki-themed stuff — home decor, music, etc — and she wondered if someone could create a tiki for us.

Lo and behold — we found Fallis Family Wood up near Fort Benton, and they created this marvelous piece for us.


They even delivered it and put it in place.

Total cost: under $200.

They make all kinds of carvings — awesome stuff.

Fallis Family Wood

Fallis Family Wood

Check ’em out on Facebook.

Category: Fun Stuff, montana

Hello Alexa!

Finally — my Amazon Echo arrived today! I ordered it months ago, and was originally told it would be delivered in late June or early July, but last week I got an email saying it would arrive on June 16th.

Amazon Echo - aka Alexa

Amazon Echo – aka Alexa

So far, so good — does what it says on the tin. Not the most exciting product to watch in action (but cool circle-y lights!), but I think it will be handy for quick bits of information and maybe some streaming music.

It’s not (yet?) as powerful as Google Now, which is perfect for calling up info on something I’m watching on TV, but it looks like there’s some nifty If This Then That recipes that might enhance its capabilities.

Hey, for $just 99, it’s already paid for itself in novelty alone.

Here’s a short video of Alexa in action — telling me the weather, playing a tune, setting an alarm, etc:

Category: Techie | Tags: ,
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