Weekend Fun!

If you hear someone complain that there isn’t anything to do in Great Falls, you can do one of two things: bonk ’em on the head in frustration, or simply direct them to this blog entry (or e-mail it to them!). There is always something to do in and around Great Falls, never more so than during Summer. Check out this weekend action!

    Friday evening is Alive @ Five, this time being held on Friday (instead of the usual Thursday) in order to coincide with the Montana HOG Rally! It will be held on Central Avenue at 1st Street, roughly, and promises tons of food, lots of music, games, prizes, and happy people! The festivities kick off at 5:00 pm and will run until..well, as long as folks are enjoying themselves!
    As noted above, there will be lots of motorcycles in and around Great Falls this weekend. The reason: the Montana HOG Rally! Yep, that noise you hear this weekend will probably the sound of Harley bikes & Harley people as HOG members enjoy a three-day “pirate” adventure in Great Falls!

And if you’re looking to enjoy a little drive outside of Great Falls this weekend, you’re in luck:

    Saturday, June 28: Vaughn Community Garage Sale Summer Celebration Day! The stores & bars will all have specials going! Great Fun! More details over at ReAnn Rothwell’s awesome blog!

So. What are YOU doing this weekend? Tell us!

Malmstrom in Lockdown

Malmstrom Air Force Base is in lock down. Not sure why. Been over an hour so far. Nobody in, nobody out of any building or entering or leaving the base.

UPDATE @ 4:29 pm: the base has been removed from lockdown. Apparently someone spotted a person with a rifle somewhere near the base housing unit. Here’s the press release from the Malmstrom Public Affairs office:

Malmstrom Air Force Base security forces personnel have secured and cleared the area where an individual suspected to be carrying a rifle was spotted on-base today.
The individual was not found and there are no suspects related to the incident at this time, however base officials are conducting a thorough investigation and have asked base residents to report any information to base authorities.
In response to the sighting, Malmstrom officials directed the base populace, including those in on-base residences, to shelter-in-place at approximately 1:45 p.m. Following an extensive search, the restriction to shelter-in-place has been lifted, however base personnel are asked to remain on a heightened level of vigilance.
There have been no reports of further sightings and Malmstrom security forces personnel will continue heightened patrols as a precaution.
Malmstrom officials contacted the Cascade County Sheriff’s Office for assistance, and members of the Sheriff’s Office have responded to control traffic and monitor activity off-base.

Hm. If any of you have any information about what happened, give the folks at Malmstrom a call or let me know.

MORE: One of the reasons that the military doesn’t take chances when it comes to possible shooters is because of the “Melberg” incident that happened at Fairchild Air Force Base (near Spokane) back in 1994. In that case, a disgruntled former Airman who had been discharged came back to the base hospital and began shooting, starting with the psychiatrist and psychologist who had been treating him and recommended the discharge. Six people died, more than 20 were injured. Here’s an eyewitness account. Melberg was shot dead by an off-duty security forces member before he could kill anyone else, thank goodness. But if anyone is grumbling about being trapped on base for several hours yesterday, or about the traffic jam to get off base (up to 30 minutes) when the lockdown was lifted, stop and think about it: if it HAD been a real shooter, that lockdown order might have saved your life.

Goode’s Q & Bayou Grill

We enjoyed dinner at the new Goode’s Q & Bayou Grill this evening. Here’s the Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, in reverse order:

The Ugly: we had to wait an hour from the time we entered until the time our food was served. The reason: the place was PACKED – not an empty seat to be found! Granted, it is a small restaurant, but I’ve never seen that building so full. Everybody was in the same boat as we were – it took a while for everyone to get their food, but no one really seemed to mind. And in the first week of serving dinner, I understand that the crew was still trying to find their “rhythm.”
The Bad: well, there wasn’t really any bad, except that they had already run out of crawfish. And it was sorta Bad that it was hard to choose from the amazingly large menu! Seriously – there’s something on there for everybody: cajun, seafood, vegetarian, brisket, chicken, prime rib, appetizers…you name it, they’ve probably got it.
The Good: the food! I (duh) sampled a bacon cheeseburger – usually my initial sampling at any new eatery, as it is usually a decent indicator of overall quality. I was not disappointed; three stars out of four. And Krista enjoyed the seafood gumbo, and said that it was definitely worth going back for! And the staff was quite friendly and helpful, albeit a bit (understandably) harried.
I poked my head into the kitchen a couple of times and saw the Goode brothers and their staff working hard, but they looked like they were in heaven; these guys love what they’re doing.

Overall: we were impressed and will be back to sample more of the “Q” grill!

Goode’s Q & Bayou Grill
613 15th Street North; 406-761-5855
Sunday thru Tuesday: 6:30 am to 2:30 pm
Wednesday thru Saturday: 6:30 am to 8:30 pm

Which reminds me: I got a very nice e-mail from Patti the other day:

Thanks to your blog, a few of us are going to try Goode’s restaurant tomorrow. We intend to be regular visitors to your site – keep up the good work! For some of us, we may never have learned of your site without Josh. And, for that – amongst other things – we will always be thankful to him.

First, thank you very much, Patti – it really means a lot to me that people appreciate my blog. And second, we look forward to hearing what you & your crew have to say about Goode’s Q & Bayou Grill!

Greatest Hits 2008

As part of the site redesign a few days ago, I installed a plugin that highlights the blog entries that have generated the most comments, and thought you might enjoy the list of “greatest hits” so far in 2008.

Local Flavor: focusing on the eateries around Great Falls that are cherished by GF natives, but not necessarily by transplants (think Taco Treat). 28 comments so far.

RIP, Joshua: the condolences entry for Joshua, the mascot of the Triple Crown Motor Inn. What a pup – it’s wonderful to see how loved he was. 26 comments so far.

Health Food Cafe Logo: this one generated a lot of heat as commenters talked about the art itself, possible copyright infringement, and even a visit from the owner of the Cafe. 22 comments so far.

Downtown Albertson’s Closing, the June Snow entry, and BOLO all have 12 comments so far.

And finally, the mystery of the “We Make Contact” signs and UFO videos around town and online sparked plenty of speculation, and lots of comments. We Make Contact – With What?: 22 comments so far; Analysis Of The Invasion 18 comments; More Contact Intel 15 comments. Taken together, the “Invasion” series is far and away the winner with 55 comments, albeit spread out over several blog entries.

Believe me, comments are the lifeblood of a blog, and you guys make this fun with your smart, funny, touching, and even snarky comments. I can sit here and ramble, rave, and rant day after day, but without you guys stopping by and leaving your opinions in the comments, it would be a pretty dull place. Thanks for making this so fun, everyone!