Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: May, 2009 (205) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 205

May 1, 2009 at 4:10pm

Unemployed in Tacoma


Down-and-Out-art Oh lord, it’s finally happened. We have a pandemic to panic about. The swine flu is in full effect, Tacoma. And everyone is freaking out. Especially people who don’t have health insurance or health care. When I heard about this pig thing, it sent me into a spiral of paranoia and grim contemplation. What happens if I get swine flu? Where do I go? What happens to the thousands of people who have no health insurance and no income to pay medical bills? Does AFLAC cover swine flu? What about Washington State Basic Health?

The more I thought about this, the worse it got. So I decided to stop panicking. You shouldn’t panic either, according to Miranda Hitti at WebMD. So far, swine flu has only hit 141 people in the United States, and 331 people worldwide, according to the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Those numbers will obviously rise, but we’re not at a point where we should lose it over swine flu. A poll from the Harvard School of Public Health shows that 59 percent of people responding are washing their hands more often and using hand sanitizer to protect themselves. That doesn’t sound too crazy. But poll also shows that 17 percent of respondents are avoiding Mexican restaurants or grocery stores and 13 percent were pretty sure they could get swine flu from eating pork.

For the record, both of those notions are really dumb.

To put things in perspective, WebMD offers the following soothing facts.

First, most swine flu cases haven’t been all that severe. The worst cases have been in Mexico, and most people infected have recovered without having to go to the hospital. Most cases of swine flu have been pretty much like the regular old flu, sharing symptoms and severity. Honestly, you should probably be more concerned about the regular flu, which kills about 36,000 people per year, and hospitalizes close to 200,000 people per year.

Next, we’re not as defenseless as the evil media would have us believe.Wash your hands, don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, and stay away from sick people, and you’ll probably be O.K.

Also, we are about as prepared for a flu pandemic as we ever have been. The whole bird flu scare a while back sent government agencies, health care organizations and citizens into prep mode. That means "the world is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history," according to a statement issued by World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan.

Also, pandemics aren't all deadly, apparently. The term pandemic is about how far and wide a virus spreads, and not how many people it kills. This isn’t the movies, and we’re probably not facing any kind of biological apocalypse. Sorry folks. Maybe a really good virus will come along soon so we can live out our favorite Hollywood apocalypse scenarios. Until then, take some simple steps to avoid exposure to this flu or any of the others floating around, and avoid buying into all the hype. It will help you avoid doing stupid things like buying an iPhone app to track swine flu cases.

Yeah, there really is an iPhone app out there. Any sort of mass panic tends to draw profiteers and scheisters like flies to a pig.


May 2, 2009 at 12:55am

5 Things To Do: Saturday


Point-Defiance 1. Point Defiance, who will have a new album out in June, will headline Hell's Kitchen's seven-year anniversary bash tonight at 9 p.m.

2. From Pulitzer Prize Winner August Wilson comes this 8 p.m. staged reading of Gem of the Ocean, the masterful first installment of the epic 10 play chronicles August Wilson's Cycle at the Washington State History Museum.

3. Tacoma Musical Playhouse stages The Producers tonight at 8 p.m.

4. Having just released a debut full-length, Petits Fours, Violet Clark and Frank Black, together Grand Duchy, will be (believe it or not) making a stop at Jazzbones in Tacoma tonight.

5. Portland's one-man, beat-based, performance-art inspired Boy Eats Drum Machine will inject the New Frontier Lounge in Tacoma tonight with enough electro charm to send most into a robot like, rhythmic convulsion.

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Arts, Music, Tacoma, Theater,

May 2, 2009 at 7:01am

Grand Duchy!


Grand Duchy
Can you fucking believe I interviewed Frank Black?

Yeah, me either.

Check it out here.

Frank Black and his wife Violet Clark will be in town tonight at Jazzbones with their new project Grandy Duchy. The Nightgowns will open. The show is almost certain to be amazing.

Filed under: Matt Driscoll, Music, Tacoma,

May 2, 2009 at 7:46am

7 years of Hell's Kitchen


Point Defiance Flyer Has it really been seven years? Time flies when you’re drunk. Since 2002 Hell’s Kitchen has been like a rock in Tacoma’s music scene â€" always there for us, through thick and thin, offering up chances to pound PBRs and headbang around that crazy ass pole â€" not to mention go blissfully deaf to our area’s best rock. Tonight the Kitchen will celebrate seven years of existence with a show sure to send scene stalwarts tripping down memory lane. Point Defiance â€" who will have a new album out in June â€" will headline â€" making it a lot more like 2002 inside the Kitchen on Saturday right there. Reminds me of the time I saw Point D frontman Lamar Stilwell at an IHOP, but that’s probably not important.

[Hell’s Kitchen, 7 Year Anniversary with Point Defiance, the Outfit, At:1, Before Crisis, 9 p.m., $7, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003]

Filed under: Matt Driscoll, Music, Tacoma,

May 2, 2009 at 8:19am

Boy Eats Drum Machine


BEDM Flyer Boy Eats Drum Machine. Sounds like a nasty, if not danceable, accident, doesn’t it?

Well, Bobble Tiki is here to tell you it’s not. Portland’s one-man, beat-based, performance-art inspired Boy Eats Drum Machine â€" also known as Jon Ragel â€" will inject the New Frontier Lounge in Tacoma tonight with enough electro charm to send most into a robot like, rhythmic convulsion.

And that’s a good thing, by the way â€" even if it sounds bad â€" much like Boy Eats Drum Machine’s moniker.

Earlier in the day, around noon, Boy Eats Drum Machine will appear on 90.1 KUPS FM.

“I never know what to expect. It seems like every show is different. It just really depends on the night,” says Ragel. “I make sure and play the music, first and foremost, but I also like interacting with the audience. I like to incite dancing, if they want, but sometimes when people are seeing me for the first time I understand they just want to sit back and watch. That’s ok too.”

To read the full article, click here.

Filed under: Bobble Tiki, Music, Tacoma,

May 2, 2009 at 8:31am



The Fucking Eagles Flyer Warning: The Fucking Eagles are known by the state of California to cause drunken stupidity in listeners. Warning: Do not listen to the Fucking Eagles while operating a motor vehicle. Your neck will involuntarily do that weird goose thing and you’ll forget you’re driving a Corolla â€" not that Nova you had in high school. You’ll try to lay a patch at a stop sign, lurching away with a futile squeak to the total embarrassment of your girl. If you’re pregnant or nursing, ask your doctor before listening to the Fucking Eagles. If new hair growth appears, discontinue use immediately. If you experience an erection lasting more than four hours, induce vomiting. (Eight or so beers ought to do it.)

Tonight, the Fucking Eagles will destroy Doyle's.

[Doyle’s Public House, with Blanco Bronco, 9:30 p.m., no cover, 208 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.7468]

Filed under: Music, Tacoma,

May 2, 2009 at 9:20am

Week in Review


Saturday morning has arrived, which means it’s once again time for the Volcano’s Week in Review â€" an almost entirely flippant look at the week that was.

Sitting in my robe, enjoying the morning and smoking cigarettes through my swine flu mask, I’m ready to roll.

So let’s get this thing started.

Monday, April 27

A little bit like that goldfish you won from the Puyallup Fair back when you were a kid â€" you know, the one that lived in that sorry little plastic bowl and swam around in its own shit for far too long until it inevitably died and got flushed down the toilet by your mom â€" Pontiac seems to have breathed its last breath.

It was announced on Monday that GM will cut 21,000 jobs by next year, close 13 plants and slice its network of dealers in half â€" all in an effort to stay viable. It will also cease production of the Pontiac brand â€" which some news outlets have gone as far as to call “storied.”

Here’s a little taste of that story.

Tuesday, April 28

Surprising almost no one, the Tacoma City Council on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to shovel federal money, in the form of a loan, toward the construction of the LeMay Museum â€" which (according to longstanding plans) will someday sit next to the T-Dome.

Council members were fast to emphasize â€" in the face of opposition from constituents â€" that the money (that might be) given to LeMay will not actually be Tacoma’s. The council simply gave the OK for LeMay to apply for a loan through the federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 108 program. Apparently, the LeMay folks are looking for $3.5 million.

While the council only gave the go-ahead for LeMay to apply for the federal assistance, judging by LeMay’s reaction â€" and the pomp and circumstance of it all â€" all parties involved are playing the situation like it’s a done deal. And I’m sure it is. You’ve got to love power and bureaucracy. You’ve got to love Tacoma’s scrawny council having the power to give away $3.5 million in federal funds. Or give the go-ahead, um, er, to apply for. Or whatever. ...

Commercial Break

Wednesday, April 28

So, my wife is a master’s student at UWT. The other day she was trying to call the financial aid office, but her efforts were thwarted. Budget cuts. Seems the financial office doesn’t open until noon now on some days.

Get used to it.

On Wednesday, UTW officials announced a $3.85 million reduction in the school’s operating budget, meaning layoffs, hour reductions, position freezes and higher tuition for students.

It was not a good day to be a student at the school, and it was an even worse day to be a UWT employee, I’m sure.

Here’s the official press release:

State budget reductions force layoffs

TACOMA, WASH. â€"â€" As a direct result of severe cuts to its state-funded operating budget, the University of Washington Tacoma today announced reductions to its workforce. Affected employees were notified earlier today that their jobs would be either eliminated or reduced to part time, effective July 6.

UW Tacoma’s share of the overall University of Washington budget cut is $5.1 million. After applying $1.25 in tuition revenues, the remaining budget gap is $3.85 million, or 16 percent of UW Tacoma’s base budget.

UW Tacoma was able to identify budget cuts amounting to approximately $2.4 million in operations and maintenance funds, but those were not sufficient to offset the funding cuts. Affected employees across campus include eight who will be laid off, six whose positions will be reduced to part-time and five who volunteered to reduce their hours. In addition, four to seven FTE equivalent lecturer positions, totaling $340,000 in salaries and four tenure track faculty positions that were frozen or vacant will be cut.

UW Tacoma Chancellor Patricia Spakes said the layoffs are unfortunate, but unavoidable. “I’m personally very disappointed that we have had to take this action, which does not reflect on the talents or commitment of these valuable employees,” she said. “In making this difficult decision, we have protected our mission of educating students as our highest priority.”

Laid-off employees have been given two months’ notice and will receive support in preparing for job searches, including workshops and counseling.

In the capital budget, the state Legislature approved $34 million in funding for Phase III of the UW Tacoma campus build-out. Most of that will be used to renovate the Joy Building. Demolition will commence as soon as the new fiscal year begins. The Joy Building is expected to be ready for classes in fall of 2011.

Later that day, I got a call from Captain Obvious, who had this to say about the situation:

“Seems kinda questionable and bass-akwards to be handing out $34 million in funding for the Joy Building, but then cutting teachers and screwing students at the same time. Wouldn’t you think preserving the quality of the education and experience would be more important? But what do I know? I’m only Captain Obvious.”

Thursday, April 30

100 Days of Obama.

Fox style

Friday, May 1

We all died of swine flu. Each and every one of us. It was a viral apocalypse. It started at Lakes High School, but by late Friday night even the chicks in skimpy clothes shaking their asses at Masa were dead. It was chaos. Hell. Pandemonium. Babies ate babies.

In other news, this guy was at the T-Dome talking about racing BMX with Jesus.

Have a wonderful weekend!

May 2, 2009 at 10:08am

Nosh Pit: King Corn, farmers markets


The-Red-Hot-rectangle-11260 Lots of wine tastings today

Think radishes should just be salad garnish? Think again.

It's Kentucky Derby Day: Check out Epicurious' guide to making the perfect julep, + menus for before, during, after race.

Today's South Sound Special

Centered around the book Tacoma is reading â€" Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: The film King Corn will screen at The Grand Cinema at 2:30 p.m. followed by a discussion.

Visit A Farmers Market

Gig Harbor Farmers Market: Fresh flowers, produce, food, wood crafts, jewelry, handcrafted items, food, entertainment and more, through Sept. 26 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat (Kimball Drive Park and Ride).

Proctor Farmers Market: Nursery vendors, meats and cheeses, bake goods, crafts, produce, weekly demonstrations, live music, fresh food, kids booth and more, through Nov. 21 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sat (North 27th and Proctor St.).

Olympia Farmers Market: Fresh produce, plants, flowers, crafts, clothing, food and live music, through October 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thurs-Sun (700 N. Capitol Way).

South Sound Restaurant Guide

May 3, 2009 at 8:42am

Nosh Pit: Harbor Lights, Star Chefs


Broadwaycenter_webad At Harbor Lights, the menu recalls a simpler time.

Plan your Tuesday dining out options.

12 healthy foods for every pantry, from the NYTimes

Today's South Sound Special

STAR CHEFS ON BROADWAY: The Broadway Center will host 300 people for a cocktail reception and formal dinner and auction featuring signature dishes from El Gaucho, Maxwell's, Brix 25 and others tonight to benefit its education program. The 5 p.m. party costs $150 per person. Reserve your spot at 253.591.5439.

Visit A Winery Today

Wine tastings, 1-5 p.m., $5, Medicine Creek Winery, 947 Old Pacific Highway S.E., Olympia, 360.701.6284.

Wine tastings, noon to 4 p.m., free, Madsen Family Cellars, 2825 Marvin Road N.E., Olympia, 360.438.1286.

Wine tasting, noon to 6 p.m., complimentary, Walter Dacon Winery, 50 S.E. Skookum Inlet Road, Shelton, 360.426.5913.

LINK: South Sound Restaurant Guide

Filed under: Food & Drink, Nosh Pit, Tacoma,

May 3, 2009 at 11:37am

Look Rigt: Tits Up


Look Rigt- Tits Up Send your photo here.

Join the Weekly Volcano Flickr Group here.

Filed under: Look Rigt, Photo Hot Spot, Tacoma,

About this blog

News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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