Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: June, 2014 (102) Currently Viewing: 81 - 90 of 102

June 24, 2014 at 3:35pm

Nerd Alert: Ready Player One and Creative Colloquy

New York Times Best Selling author Marissa Meyer will read from her work at B Sharp Coffee House June 30. Press photo

It'll be left to the nerd history books to unravel just what went so catastrophically wrong with X-Men: The Last Stand (though, let it be said, The Last Stand looks like Citizen Kane compared to X-Men Origins: Wolverine). What we know for certain is that Brett Ratner did no one any favors when he brought his clunky directorial style to the proceedings.

Far be it for Ratner to take all of the blame, however. There was a man named Zak Penn lurking behind the scenes. As the writer for The Last Stand, Penn should shoulder a bit of the blame. But, as you may be thinking, what's one clunker? Everyone makes mistakes! Ah, but, a cursory examination of Penn's IMDB page paints a more disturbing picture. Penn was also the man behind Elektra (which, ugh) and the Inspector Gadget movie.

Still, there's a time for redemption with all of us, and it may come for Penn in the form of his adaptation of Ready Player One, a film that's been long in the gestation process. It's based on a well-liked, breezy, young adult novel about a futuristic world wherein all of mankind lives in a virtual online game. If Penn wants to wrench his nerd cred from the clutches of mediocrity, now is his chance.

Monday, June 30

In local nerd events, Monday sees the arrival of June's installment of Creative Colloquy. In addition to being a literary website, Creative Colloquy doubles as a monthly writing showcase bringing local authors together to read their works for an audience. Previous participants in the live readings include this fine rag's own Christian Carvajal, as well as Nick Stokes and L. Lisa Lawrence, including many others.

This month's edition will focus on works of young adult fiction. Writers featured on Monday include New York Times Bestselling Author Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles), Michaela Eaves (42 Sketches), Brook Ellen West (The Blood Keeper's Prophecy), Karen Harris Tully, and the winner of Creative Colloquy's Youth Writer Contest, Hawwa Alam.

For fans of the written word, as I should hope you all are, this is a great way to discover new talent and get exposed to local voices. The literary scene in Tacoma is one that could use some nourishing, and that's thankfully coming more often in the form of stuff like Creative Colloquy and Post Defiance's upcoming reading silent reading series, SHUT IT (AKA "Silent Happy Uninterrupted Time for Intoxicating Texts") at the Hotel Murano.

In short: read a book!

CREATIVE COLLOQUY, 7 p.m., B Sharp Coffee House, 706 Opera Alley, Tacoma, no cover, 253.292.9969

June 25, 2014 at 8:03am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Many vets died, Air Force decisions, Seth Rogen vs. N. Korea, cereal milk game ...

Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, threw coffees on range 21 on Forward Operating Base Ramrod, Afghanistan. Original photo by Spc. Jacob Warren


Sen. Tom Coburn: 1,000 vets may have died over VA misconduct.

Militants attacked one of Iraq's largest air bases and seized control of several small oilfields as U.S. military experts arrived to set up an operations centre to help Iraqi security forces counter a mounting Sunni insurgency.

In Iraq, former militia program eyed for new fight.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected calls to create a new national unity government that the Obama administration has been pushing.   

Questions rebels use to tell Sunni from Shiite.

The White House will soon send the Pentagon's 2015 war spending request to the US Congress.

Air Force generals will face off over difficult budget, job cuts.

By not letting the Air Force retire the A-10 aircraft, however, Congress is going to instead force the retirement of bigger fleets of F-16 fighter and B-1 bomber aircraft.

The Air Force's B-2 Spirit is receiving a technological upgrade to allow the service's bat-winged, nuclear capable bomber keep flying through 2058.

The proliferation of armed drones could lower the threshold for conflict.

New leaders tapped for ISAF, SOCOM and NORAD.

North Korea calls new movie The Interview, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, an act of war.

10 hidden details in your city and what they mean.

Learn how OK Go made their new video.

The Knack's "My Sharona" is 35 years old.

Quiz: Can you match the cereal milk with the cereal?

Finally: Joan Jett is starring in a Lifetime movie.

New awesome tech trend ...

More Office Workers Switching To Fetal Position Desks

LINK: Original photo by Spc. Jacob Warren

June 25, 2014 at 8:08am

5 Things To Do Today: Jim Beam dinner, beer events, Bill Colby, wine dinner ...

Chef Tom Pantley will pair dishes with 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey tonight.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25 2014 >>>

1. Do you remember all those career-placement tests you had to take in high school? The endless guidance-counselor appointments taking up your free periods? In all that time, did anyone ever happen to mention the possibility of becoming a professional whiskey taster? At 6:30 p.m., Jim Beam Distillery is sending one to Toscanos Café and Wine Bar in Puyallup. Toscanos will host a summer whiskey dinner pairing Chef Tom Pantley's creations with cocktail and whiskey samples from Jim Beam, such as Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey, Jim Beam Signature Craft Whiskey and 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey. Reserve your spot at 253.864-8600.

2. The Red Hot will move into its new space today ... if they get a 30-day Temporary Occupancy permit signed this morning and the inspector to sign off. As we have watched the progress on Facebook, the popular Tacoma tavern has moved its hot dog and craft beer operation next door into a space three times larger on the corner of North Junett Street and Sixth Avenue, formerly occupied by The Wedding Bell. Along with the additional space, the new location will offer more beer - about 25 handles, up from 15 - and a slightly revised menu. Fingers crossed!

3. Cycling through themes inspired by nature, Bill Colby has been creating art for six decades. His work is displayed at schools, museums, galleries and businesses, including the Library of Congress, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Henry Gallery at the University of Washington. At noon, Colby opens "Water and Rocks: A Journey: Prints and Paintings 1956-2014" at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College. "The joy of nature is within all of us and in my art work," said Colby in his artist's statement. "'Water and Rocks' has been an evolving theme from 1956 to the present."

4. OK, back to drinking, Puyallup River Brewing and its Ale House (120 S. Meridian, Puyallup) hugs it out with visiting Narrows Brewing Co. over beers, giveaways and raffle prizes from 6-9 p.m. A Pucker Party will go down at Pint Defiance (2049 Mildred St. W., Tacoma) featuring special sour beer draft releases 5-7 p.m. Expect Oude Bruins, Berliner Weissebiers, Krieks, Sour Blondes from Petrus, Lost Abbey, Jolly Pumpkin, Cascade and many others.

5. OK, let's keep it rollin' ... The Swiss Restaurant and Pub hosts Dusted Valley Wine at 6 p.m. for a four-course, six wine dinner. Expect roasted red pepper bisque, certified Angus beef ball tip sirloin, raspberry chocolate lava cake and more. Tickets are available at the bar for $40.

LINK: Wednesday, June 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 25, 2014 at 11:19am

Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival headed to White River Amphitheatre

Aziz Ansari, Chris Hardwick, Demetri Martin, DJ Trauma, Hannibal Buress, Jeff Ross, Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman and other comedians coming to Auburn.

Live Nation and Funny Or Die welcome Funny Or Die Presents Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival 2014 to White River Amphitheatre on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Tickets are $35 to $117.90 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 28 at Ticketmaster outlets, LiveNation.com and 800.745.300.

Here's what Live Nation has to say on the matter. ...


Filed under: Comedy, Concerts,

June 26, 2014 at 7:37am

Thursday Morning Joe: No Bergdahl evidence, Militants near Baghdad, $60 billion military, Artic Army, Amazon takeout food ...

B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment throw coffee to conceal their movement during a platoon live-fire certification at Yakima Training Center. Original photo by Spc. Kimberly Hackbarth


The U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan says one of its servicemembers has been killed in an attack in the country's south.

Militants take Iraqi gas field town, close in on Baghdad.

There is no evidence that during the five years he was held captive that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl helped the Taliban.

The White House will ask the US Congress for $60 billion to fund military operations in Afghanistan and other global contingencies.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia to disarm separatists in Ukraine within "the next hours" as the European Union prepared to discuss deeper sanctions against Moscow.

History's Warning: A U.S.-China war is terrifyingly possible.

More than six in 10 people believe the captured Benghazi attack suspect is an enemy combatant who should be tried by military commission. 

Veterans who suffered brain injuries while in the service were more likely to develop Alzheimer's decades later.

Two more high-ranking Veterans Affairs officials announced plans to step down from their leadership roles.

Libya has become a "magnet" for terrorists since the U.S.-led ouster of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Artic warriors summit Mount McKinley, put Army gear to test.

The commandant of the Marine Corps pushed back on criticism of the Marines' amphibious combat vehicle, calling development of the vehicle his top priority for the remainder of his tenure.

The military is about to get new spy glasses.

Moto 360 Hands-On: This smartwatch will make you swoon.

Read a paper's lengthy apology to David Bowie.

The A.V. Club is holding a "Tournament of Episodes" where, say, Breaking Bad goes up against Community.

Amazon is launching a food takeout service.

Finally: An anatomical chocolate skull for sweet-toothed cannibals.

Greet every personwho walks into your office today with the Red Tail Hawk Scream!

LINK: Original photo by Spc. Kimberly Hackbarth

June 26, 2014 at 7:57am

5 Things To Do Today: Yelm Prairie Days Parade, Read and Eat, Live at the Auricle, Landon Wordswell ...

Yay! Parade!

THURSDAY, JUNE 26 2014 >>>

1. Like the residents of Yelm, Washington, United States of America, we're super-psyched for the big and annual "Yelm Prairie Days Parade" which strolls down Yelm Avenue at 7 p.m. and has all the great parade stuff, marching bands, drill teams, fire trucks, old cars, various community organizations, girls wearing white gloves, Joint Base Lewis-McChord represent, farm animals, open-topped cars with like "Miss Yelm" and "Jr. Miss Yelm" and stuff like that, marching-band people carrying bigass drums and horns and whatever, and, of course, nutty guys with the tiny cars The parade kicks off Yelm Prairie Days, which runs through the weekend at Yelm City Park.

2. When the weather starts to turn warm, there's nothing we love more than to spend a night with a great book and spicy stir-fried fiddleheads with chile paste, sesame oil and walnuts. OK, maybe we also enjoy a little company, but where to find someone with the same weaknesses? Consider heading to The Commons at Fertile Ground at 6 p.m. for the Olympia Food Co-op's new Read and Eat book and potluck club. This week, the book they will discuss is Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, Novella Carpenter's story of her move to an Oakland, Calif., neighborhood plagued by gang violence and her decision, despite the circumstances, to dive headfirst into urban farming.

3. The Copper Door in Tacoma's Stadium District hosts Double Mountain Brewer's Night featuring the release of the Hood River brewery's Cluster Single-Hop IPA with pineapple and orange flavors, dewy herbal character and a lovely floral note at the top. Also expect the Homestead, Rusty Zipper and free swag beginning at 6 p.m.

4. Tacoma poet Luke Smiraldo presents another Live at the Auricle performance, this time experimenting with word and sound and a loop machine at 7 p.m. in the B Sharp Coffee House. Smiraldo will create an instant collaboration of accapella voice, song and rhythm. Drunken Telegraph winner and Moth second place finisher Jim Kopriva will anchor the second set with a story linked to the loop theme.

5. Hailing from The Rose City, Landon Wordswell combines enthusiasm with sharp craft and delivery on the microphone. Billed as Wordswell's "Return To Olympia," and joined by his homie Mo Stafa, they picked Jezebels Bar and Grill for their return, with a flock of local openers including Dr. Roks, Syncopated Knock, Mistervits, MC Swamptiger, Soulless Kings and Krucial Bars at 8:30 p.m.

LINK: Thursday, June 26 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 26, 2014 at 9:48am

Olympia Double Shot: New Olyphant and TUSH! burlesque summer show

TUSH! burlesque troupe is ready for the summer. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Olympia seems to swell in the summer: kids come home from college, out-of-towners pay a visit and the normal rainy day recluses that inhabit the town seem to flourish come the long days and hot nights.

It's not surprising that we can't pack all the excitement Olympia has to offer into our print paper, but thank Publisher Pappi Swarner for the Walkie Talkie Blog, where we can spew as much as we want.

This week is especially full, and I want to direct attention to two Oly happenings.

First, Olyphant Art Supply & Framing is hot in the middle of its indiegogo campaign to assist in the transition to Olyphant Art & Media, located in a sweet new spot next to the 5th Ave Sandwich Shop and the upcoming Captain Little toy store (formerly Wind Up Here).

And, just so you know, the totally affordable $15 contribution gets you an adorable elephant tote bag, plus there is a 65-percent off clearance sale going on at the 117 Washington St. location until June 28.

The soft opening is at the new location, 119 Fifth Ave., from July 15 to 31. 

Anyway, here are the deets, according to Olyphant hype:

Fundraising via Indiegogo.com will serve to help with the costs of moving, downtime and website development while introducing new Olyphant artwork with the sale of t-shirts printed by DNT STP Printing--an Olympia based silkscreen operation. Original, custom-framed psychedelic posters from the 1960's and giclee prints of original artwork by local artist and part-owner Nick Baldridge will also be available.

Olyphant Art & Media will specialize in paints, brushes, pens, markers, inks, journals and obscure art & culture magazines. Framing will no longer be available. In addition, Olyphant is currently developing a website that will afford Olympians the option to buy art supplies online while still shopping locally. Prices will be competitive; customers will have the option of in-store pick up, shipping or local delivery, and the inventory will offer merchandise not available in the brick and mortar store. Nonprofits and educators will be able to create an account with special pricing. Website is estimated to be live by Oct. 1.

The idea is to combine the convenience, prices and the expansive inventory of an e-commerce store with a brick and mortar establishment downtown--providing a variety of basic supplies as well as reference materials (i.e. magazines, books), artwork, stationery and locally printed T-shirts.

And speaking of Olympia seeming to swell, here's the second thing I'd like to share with you - the TUSH! performance, Slip into Summer, where burlesque and boylesque meet for a night to remember.

From the mouths of babes, aka TUSH! hype:

Warm breezes tickle your fancy as you Slip into Summer with TUSH! Burlesque! It's hot outside AND inside this June 28 at the Olympia Ballroom.

Why not make it a romantic date ... slip into something fancy and have a lovely dinner at the Urban Onion, then come upstairs for a spectacular evening of Burlesque and Boylesque entertainment. Songs and comedy round out the night but leave you wanting more. Come early and dine before the 7 p.m. show, or come to the 10 p.m. show and unwind with a fabulous cocktail. (20 percent off food at the Urban Onion with your show ticket.)

TUSH! will delight and excite you in this summer soiree, and are pleased to present Paris Original, Seattle Boylesque Sensation and "Poetry in Motion." Also joining our cast is Miss. B. Haven, a local chanteuse who brings vintage charm and beauty along with some incredible pipes!

Tickets available now, $15 in advance at brownpapertickets or at the Urban Onion, $20 night of show at the door (cash only).

SLIP INTO SUMMER WITH TUSH!, 7 and 10 p.m., Saturday, June 28, Urban Onion, 116 Legion Way SE, Olympia, $20, $15 advance, tushburlesque.com

Filed under: Olympia, Theater, Arts,

June 26, 2014 at 10:10am

Judging by the Trailer: "Transformers: Age of Extinction"

“Age of Extinction” depicts a new era in the life of the Autobots, as the cars-that-turn-into-robots are joined on screen by the Dinobots, robots that take the form of dinosaurs. Nothin’ but hard-nosed realism as far as the eye can see.

All right, enough, everybody. Just, enough! I don't know who to blame for the Transformers franchise, but surely there's some dark puppet master somewhere in the center of the earth that's pulling the strings for this ongoing series of car wrecks. I'm inclined to blame BuzzFeed, for their unending tour of millennial nostalgia, but I have the distinct impression that BuzzFeed only scratches the sinister surface.

We've somehow made it to the fourth Transformers film, which does have a pretentious subtitle, but I refuse to give it the dignity of typing it out - because, honestly, if this thing isn't called Trans4mers, I don't even know what we're doing anymore.

If we're in the business of doling out compliments for the Transformers franchise - which, I assure you, we are not - then that compliment shall come in the form of finally ridding known plagiarist (and suspected sociopath) Shia LaBeouf from the proceedings. In his stead is Mark Wahlberg, who hilariously makes a reference to being from Texas, even though his voice can only be believable when saying something about parking his car in Harvard Yard.

From then on, it's a parade of Michael Bay-isms - non-stop Dutch angles, obnoxious filters and ominous intonations about the fate of Transformers, as if they weren't just stupid toys. I don't know if you need special eyes to follow the action of a Transformers movie, but that would explain why I can't see these robots as anything other than what would happen if a junkyard somehow got food poisoning.

Should we somehow find ourselves in a dystopian world where we've reached the 10th Transformers movie - years after Michael Bay has used his weather machine to coerce the planet into giving him our every resource - please let me be long dead. Barring that, let me be the man to take on a Valkyrie-esque mission to bring Michael Bay's reign of terror to an end.

June 27, 2014 at 7:04am

Friday Morning Joe: Drones over Baghdad, NASA into space, more US weapons, Don Cheadle as Miles Davis ...

Company E, 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division throw coffee during the Patrol Lane portion of the Expert Infantryman Badge testing at Fort Campbell, Ky. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Todd Christopherson


The U.S. military began flying armed drones over Baghdad in the last 24 hours.

Orion, NASA's newest manned spaceship, is being prepared for its first mission in December. In future missions, it will journey into deep space - to Mars and beyond - farther than humans have ever gone before.

The treaty banning anti-personnel landmines was signed by 161 other nations, but not the U.S.

California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier wants Congress to give millions in lost separation pay to service members dismissed from the military under the old "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Ukraine signed an historic free-trade agreement with the European Union that has been at the heart of months of violence and upheaval in the country. 

The U.S. will urge China to resume discussions on cyber security that were abruptly suspended after the Americans charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets.

Obama has requested $6 billion for new military aircraft, drones, vehicles and bombs as part of his $60 billion request to fund the war in Afghanistan and other contingency operations in 2015.

The White House is asking Congress for $500 million to train and equip vetted pro-Western Syrian opposition groups.

Sen. Bernie Sanders implored House lawmakers to pay for a Veterans Affairs overhaul bill through emergency spending, not budget cuts.

New Drone Report: Three misconceptions about drones.

Marines won't take the beaches head-on any more.

The U.S. Air Force awarded Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin a $1.3 billion contract for the Combat Rescue Helicopter program.

The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have halted all F-35 flights after a fire damaged an Air Force F-35A during takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base.

The stone fish is the most poisonous fish in the sea and one of the most dangerous in the world.

If you think about it, the battle for control over the lands of Westeros would totally still make sense if it were set in the 1980s.

Project Tango Hands-On: Computer vision is so much cooler than you think.

The largest movable machine in the world.

Johnny Depp is doing Chinese reality TV.

See video of Don Cheadle prepping to play Miles Davis.

Happy 25th anniversary to the B-52s' Cosmic Thing.

List: Best/worst acting performances by musicians in film.

It's Friday!

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Todd Christopherson

June 27, 2014 at 7:13am

5 Things To Do Today: Taste of Tacoma, Pride Film Festival, Downtown Music Crawl, Experimental Music Fest ...

Taste Cooks and funny hats return to the Taste of Tacoma today through Sunday at Point Defiance Park. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, JUNE 27 2014 >>>

1. It would be hard to determine what Tacoma tastes like. For starters, where would one sample the soil most indicative of the City of Destiny? Commerce Street? Or would the most-telling turf be found at higher elevations such as Hilltop? And what would that flavor be like? You can be sure the topsoil would smack of scandal - but it would probably also taste a bit like Pacific Brewing Co. Deeper down, there would be traces of salty prospector tang. Then, there'd be all that fossilized dinosaur crap to contend with. When you think about it, Tacoma would probably taste pretty disgusting. Fortunately, the good people at Taste of Tacoma do the thinking for us, presenting a more palatable annual survey of the city's best cuisine from 11 a.m. today through at 8 p.m. Sunday at Point Defiance Park. The Taste of Tacoma hosts 29 restaurants, 17 food product booths, six entertainment stages, comedy club, beer and wine gardens, wine tasting, carnival, more than 50 hand-crafted artisan booths, the poplar culinary demonstration stage and more.

2. Early summer in the South Sound means changing warmer weather, adding a boa and checking out the pride festivals. In conjunction with Olympia Capital City Pride event last weekend, the Olympia Film Society presents the 2014 Pride Film Festival, opening today at the Capitol Theater. At 6:30 p.m. PAS and To Be Takei will screen as well as other festivities.

3. Tonight will see round two of the confluence between small businesses and indie music performances in a moment of synergy that won't rub you the wrong way. Dubbed the Downtown Music Crawl, the event will feature three downtown businesses showcasing three brief, consecutive concerts. Starting with the Wheelies at 6:30 p.m. in Bleach, moving on to Novel Nature at urbanXchange, and ending at 9 p.m. with The Cloves in Anthem, the event is designed to reward those who do the crawl and hit all three stores. If you attend all three concerts, you'll receive 15 percent off at each store.

4. Olympia has maintained its status as a hub of musical experimentation. It should come as no surprise that they hold the premier South Sound festival for exploring the farther reaches of musical expression. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Olympia Experimental Music Festival and, as much as the music remains an intangible wonder, the festival itself remains comfortably in the same niche that it established for itself two decades ago. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the Olympia Experimental Music Festival in the Music & Culture section, then catch Elliott Sharp, Peter Randlette, Dead Air Fresheners, KnotPineBox, J.D. Helwig and Big Tom the Lithuanian at Northern.

5. Sometimes, with this arms race of who can nail the heaviest stoner rock to the wall, things can get muddy in a way that interferes with the visceral thrill promised by these tectonic riffs. Gladiators Eat Fire bring it with the massive sound, but they have smarts enough to parcel things out in more digestible bites. At their heaviest, they even approach some demonic heavy metal, but they always back off before they totally blow their wad. Catch the band with Death By Stars and the Lion in Winter at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, June 27 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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