Spray of The Falls

Rich Ecke (yay!) is back with another “Spray of The Falls” column in the Trib. Usually entertaining column, such as this one’s focus on brushes with Oscar greatness (such as), although some slightly more serious stuff this time around: the return of both himself and KRTV weatherman Fred Pfeiffer following surgery (one for an appendix, one for prostate cx); both recovering nicely, thankfully. There’s also a mini-tribute to Robert Speck, who was a key figure in our community’s parks and recreation development and management. And then Rich veers into (arguably) partisan politics with this bit, sparked by a letter from a nurse practitioner in Sand Coulee:

Lack of health coverage is a gaping hole for millions of Americans. Maybe someone can figure out how to insure all of us, as virtually all other developed countries do.

Surprisingly, I have not seen any Forum comments on his piece yet.

Photo-Mapping

I love Flickr. Not only can you use it to display your pictures – complete with titles, descriptions, and comments from others – but you can also place your pictures on a map, just like this:

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If you click on the picture above, you’ll be taken to the GreaterFalls.com photo-map; once there, you can click on any of the red dots (the number indicates the number of pictures taken at that location) to see pictures that I’ve taken at that location. Pretty cool!

What’s For Dinner?

Wow – looks like the subject of dining out really got everyone’s attention! Thanks for all of the additions – knew that I was missing some, and you guys really helped. And speaking of restaurants, check out the Wheel Of Food site: you enter your ZIP code, type in “lunch” or “dinner,” or a type of food such as “steak” or “mexican,” or just simply “food,” and the wheel will appear, spinning, and come to rest on a particular place here in town (or Spin Again). If you don’t like the results, you can use your mouse to set the wheel in motion again. The site uses Yahoo! Local listings, and it does have quite a fair number of our local spots, such as Ford’s Drive-In and Ryan’s Station. Give it a spin!

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Crossing The Line?

Once in a while I check out the Forums over at the Trib site; not nearly as engaging as blogs, but still occasionally entertaining at least. One of the most prolific posters over there is “Captblackeagle” with over 390 posts to the Forums, which is about 12% of all posts. Like most bloggers, he has strong opinions about lots of things, but one of his comments jumped out at me today. The topic is the story with this headline: “GOP kills governor’s budget, promises alternative”

Captblackeagle posted the following: “rats…at first I thought it said the GOP had killed the Govenor (sic)” Another member, robingay, chastised him for his attitude, and he responded, in part: “Im still upset at the headline….I like it better my way

Sometimes there’s a fine line between aiming for a laugh and crossing a certain line of civility. What do you think – did Captblackeagle go too far with his comments?

On The Menu

For anyone who might be moving to Great Falls, one way to gauge the size and “type” of the community is to compare it to your own. So here’s a tally of some of our “chain” restaurants to give you an idea of what you’ll be getting into. Bear in mind that this is only the chain-style places; we have plenty of local and regional (McKenzie River, anyone?) restaurants that – believe me – are as good or better than anything else out there. But you’d be amazed at how many people that are new to Great Falls complain that there isn’t an Olive Garden or IHOP or such. Sure, it might be nice to have some more of the chains here (Chili’s for me!), but we do just fine with what we’ve got.

We have:
5 Subways (yes, 5); 4 McDonald’s; 3 Burger Kings; 2 Pizza Huts; 2 Hardee’s; 2 Taco Bells; 2 Quizno’s; 1 Tony Roma’s; 1 Applebee’s; 1 Wendy’s

We do NOT have:
Chili’s; Macaroni Grill; TGI Friday’s; Jack In The Box; Olive Garden; Outback

If I missed any, let me know.

There are usually some rumors floating around that Hooter’s is coming, or the Cheesecake Factory, or Denny’s, but such talk usually is just that. Which reminds me: does anyone know the status of the Boston’s The Gourmet Pizza that was in the news months ago?

UPDATE, May 2008: Great Falls now has Chili’s and Macaroni Grill!

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