Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: July, 2014 (93) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 93

July 8, 2014 at 1:13pm

Thurston County Veterans Court celebrates anniversary with speaker series

In July the Thurston County Veterans Court will mark its five-year anniversary and in order to commemorate the milestone month, the public is invited to join in the celebration each Wednesday in July during the normal, weekly Veterans Court proceedings. Special guest speakers, Veterans Court staff and Veterans Court graduates and their families will be on hand throughout the month.

When the Thurston County Veterans Court program was introduced in 2009, it was the eleventh such program in the nation and the first in Washington. Since then, veterans court programs have grown and there are now more than 160 nationwide.

"I feel we have an obligation to servicemen and veterans, to help them," said Staci Coleman, Veterans Court Program Manager. "This is our chance to give them an opportunity to heal, get back on their feet and resume being engaged and productive community members."

Thurston County Veterans Court combines rigorous treatment and accountability to veterans and active duty military personnel with legal troubles. It offers a chance at rehabilitation to veterans who, due to service-related mental health issues, find themselves facing legal charges; cases pertaining to sexual crimes or illegal use of weapons are not eligible.


Filed under: Veterans, Community, Military,

July 9, 2014 at 6:51am

Wednesday Morning Joe: VA apologizes, North Korea launches, Israel bombs, McCain accuses, tiny hedgehog eats cake ...

Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, throw coffee down range during Lava Viper in Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii. Original photo by Cpl. Demetrius Munnerlyn


A top official at the Veterans Affairs Department says he is sorry that VA employees have suffered retaliation after making complaints about poor patient care, long wait times and other problems.

North Korea launched two projectiles this morning into the sea off its east coast.

Israel bombs more than 100 targets overnight in Gaza.

U.S. Sen. John McCain is echoing a House Democrat's warning that the Obama administration is flying blind in responding to a violent Islamic group's destabilizing advance in Iraq.

The Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad.

Iraqi officials discovered 50 bodies, many of them blindfolded and with their hands bound, in an agricultural area outside a city south of Baghdad.

If Baghdad falls: Lessons of Vietnam.

The number of Afghan civilians, including children, killed in violence rose by nearly 17 percent in the first half of this year.

The creative process of an Oscar-winning screenwriter.

Spoiler: Game of Thrones is fake!

10 movies that show how great editing can turn movies into masterpieces.

Here comes a tiny hedgehog.

Courtney Love will appear on Sons of Anarchy next season

Bring It: Universal Classic Monsters 30-film set

List: Best motion-capture characters in film.

Finally: Video shows a bunch of actors who were on The X-Files before they became famous.

Think outside the box today ...

LINK: Original photo by Cpl. Demetrius Munnerlyn

July 9, 2014 at 7:17am

5 Things To Do Today: History of PNW cuisine, Raspberry Festival, 133rd Army Band, Double-Double Feature ...

Can anyone guess who this is? Hint: He is one of Oregon’s wine pioneers. Find out at 11 a.m. inside the Washington State History Museum.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9 2014 >>>

1. Author Marc Hinton visits the Washington State History Museum to share the history of cuisine in the Northwest - from the time of the mastodon to the molecular gastronomic revolution of today. Hear how chefs have used our region's bounty to create our local cuisine and how winemakers and brewers have carved out their own traditions in Oregon and Washington. Expect to taste samples from Hinton's book, A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy, beginning at 11 a.m.

2. The Berry Festival is a summertime tradition at Pacific Lutheran University; each monthly lunchtime concert focuses on one delicious berry and features summery desserts and free live music and entertainment. From 11:30 to 1 p.m., raspberries will be the focus with live music by the Funaddicts, in PLU's Red Square.

3. The South Sound's popular young adult author Marissa Meyer will hang at the Puyallup Public Library at 6 p.m. as part of the library's summer reading program. She'll discuss her Lunar Chronicles, a book series of futuristic fairy tales made up of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress.

4. The 35th season of Music in the Park opens with a rousing performance from a crowd favorite - the 133rd Army Band from 7-8 p.m. in downtown Olympia's Sylvester Park.

5. The Something Wicked improvisational comedy troupe presents an evening of ad-libbed shenanigans, performing a movie to your specifications. It's called Double-Double Feature; and if you can imagine it, they can bring it to life before your very eyes. They'll even throw in a couple of jokes at no additional charge. But wait. Now you have to think of something original? On the spot? Making movies is haaard! Check it out at 8 p.m. inside Harlequin Productions' home.

LINK: Wednesday, July 9 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 9, 2014 at 9:43am

Nerd Alert! - H.P. Lovecraft and the Beatles

Onscreen and on record, they're this young forever. Photo credit: Janus Films release, (C) Bruce and Martha Karsh

For several years, Mexican auteur Guillermo Del Toro has been working his way through the Hollywood studio system, and has been mostly successful in bringing his unique, artfully grotesque vision to the likes of the Hellboy franchise and Pacific Rim. Still, the purest expression of Del Toro's style is perfectly distilled in Pan's Labyrinth, a beautifully visceral spin on fairy tales. It is this form, presumably, that Del Toro has been struggling for years to bring to his proposed adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's novella, At the Mountains of Madness.

It's almost a foregone conclusion that Del Toro and Lovecraft are a match made in heaven, with their shared love of insanity-inducing god-monsters. But, the filmmaker has yet to realize this adaptation, thanks to Universal refusing to grant him the R-rated cut that he desired. Recently, however, Del Toro has admitted to the Wall Street Journal that he would be willing to give a PG-13 Madness a shot. While the outcome is still up in the air, Lovecraft fans should breathe a sigh of relief that Del Toro is back at the helm.

Personally, I'll never forgive the Del Toro for backing out of The Hobbit - thus extending our inexorable exposure to Peter Jackson - but I'm willing to let him win me back with a flurry of tentacles and psychotic destruction.

YOU KNOW I FEEL ALRIGHT: The Fab Four in A Hard Day's Night

Roger Ebert summed it up just about perfectly when he said that A Hard Day's Night was "one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies." In terms of pure joy, nothing quite matches up to the Beatles' film debut. For any unfortunate souls who have yet to see this classic, it's so much more than a vanity project for a band that attracted hordes of screaming girls.

While there's a requisite amount of fast-motion goofing off, there's also plenty of delightfully dense dialogue and clever wordplay. One scene, in particular, stands out to me: John Lennon is backstage at some sort of show, when he runs into a woman who seems to recognize him. "Are you ..." she starts, before Lennon tells her no. Back and forth they go, with neither saying who the other one is talking about, in a bit that borders on Abbott and Costello level comedic timing.

A Hard Day's Night is a must-see, especially if you have the opportunity to catch it on a big screen, which you now have.

A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, 1 p.m. Friday July 11 and Sunday, July 13 and 7 p.m. Thursday July 17, The Grand Cinema, 606 S, Fawcett, Tacoma, $5-$9.50, 253.593.4474

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens, Books, Music, Tacoma,

July 9, 2014 at 11:28am

Coming Attractions: A swarm of summer Tacoma spectacles

Dukesbay Productions' encore presentation will see new staging, set design and one new actor - Robert Puett as Daisy's son. Photo credit: Jason Ganwich

It should be a measure of my love for theater that when I take a break from reviewing South Sound plays, I head to Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival to see a few of theirs. I've had my vacation booked for months, so of course this is the weekend several local troupes elected to debut their latest offerings. We simply can't see them all, so here are two shows we can only preview optimistically.

First, remember last autumn when Dukesbay Productions opened Driving Miss Daisy, and it was such a crazy pre-holiday weekend that I didn't have time to see it? Well, Dukesbay is now reprising that show with the very talented Syra Beth Puett in its title role. Malcolm West returns as chauffeur Hoke Colburn, and Miss Daisy's son Boolie will be played by ... wait for it ... Robert Puett. The critics who did see Driving Miss Daisy last November were very fond of it, so I can only imagine it'll be even better now that everyone but me has the chance to enjoy it. Such is life on the way to the Piggly Wiggly.

DRIVING MISS DAISY, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, through July 27, Dukesbay Productions, 508 6th Ave. #10, Tacoma, $15, 253.267.0869

Second, when the press release for a play, in this case Jean Genet's classic one-act The Maids, describes it as "infamous and sexy," it tends to capture my attention. Then, when I see that show is helmed by one of our most detail-conscious directors, Marilyn Bennett of Toy Boat Theatre, I start kicking myself for not taking my Ashland vacation a week later. This'll be an especially interesting production, as it's staged in the back of King's Books after hours. Apparently its script is such a carnival of sexual and gender perversity that it earned raves from Jean-Paul Sartre. I mean, that's not only French and intellectual but kinky! Sold! You'd better act fast, though, as the show will have only four performances with limited seating each night.

THE MAIDS, 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through July 19, King's Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, $10, 253.272.8801

Between Joann Varnell and myself, we are taking in an Oz-themed The Tempest at Olympia Little Theatre and Young Frankenstein at Tacoma Musical Playhouse. Watch for reviews of those productions soon.

In the meantime ... "Pu'in' onna Riiiitz!" Sorry. Had to get that out of my system.

Filed under: Theater, Tacoma,

July 10, 2014 at 7:22am

Thursday Morning Joe: ISIS vs U.S., Benghazi discovery, Pentagon nuclear review, Emmy nominations list ...

3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment throws a coffee during small unit leadership training at range 105 held aboard Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. Original photo by John Clary


Two different sets of fighters were possibly involved in the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans.

Under sequestration, the Pentagon faces $500 billion in cuts over the next decade.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Sunni fundamentalist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) poses a threat not just to the government in Baghdad, but to the United States as well.

Israel launches deadliest strike in three days.

Gen. John Campbell, the army's vice chief of staff and nominee to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan, defends flawed intelligence system.

Gen. Daniel Allyn, the top general at Forces Command, has been nominated to be the next Army Vice Chief of Staff.

Army leaders, including Campbell and Odierno, have circled their wagons around the Distributed Common Ground System.

The Pentagon is finishing up a major review of its nuclear forces and Hagel will soon issue his recommendations.

U.S. Navy to Congress: We can't guarantee a safe nuclear fleet.

Teams aboard the MV Cape Ray have begun neutralizing Syrian chemical materials.

Soldiers test changes to Army's mobile network.

1st Cavalry female leads crew to historic "Top Gun" gunnery title.

Marines open infantry training to hundreds more female officers.

Why the U.S. Navy should build smaller aircraft carriers.

How hot the nation's cities will be by the year 2100 if climate change goes unchecked.

A shoulder bag cooler that can keep ice frozen for days.

Emmy Nominations 2014: The Complete list

The New York Times reviews Morrissey's latest record.

Beck has announced a Song Reader album with contributions from Jack White, Jeff Tweedy and others.

Watch the latest trailer for Terry Gilliam's new movie, Zero Theroem.

See an extended preview of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Flavorwire lists 50 essential cult novels.

Finally: Seinfeld emoji are here.

Miss the 1980s? Here you go ...

LINK: Original photo by John Clary

July 10, 2014 at 7:37am

5 Things To Do Today: Summers reds tasting, Widmer Brewer's Night, Jazz Under the Stars, Spamalot ...

You'll walk away from the STINK Tank with a good idea what red wine to pair with your summer barbecue.

THURSDAY, JULY 10 2014 >>>

1. Since really wonderful summertime food comes off the grill, the idea that chilled white wine is a good general summer drink becomes nonsensical. More often, room-temperature red wine should be the libation of choice. The marriage of a delicately gamey grilled leg of lamb with a complex yet fruity Pinot Noir, or a perfectly charred hamburger, smothered in caramelized onions and chased by a robust, peppery Zinfandel: Well, isn't this what life is worth living for? Dorian Woodson from Cru Selections knows. He has the scoop on tasty summer reds, which he'll reveal 5-7 p.m. in the STINK Tank wine bar. For $5, you may taste five summer reds, enjoy summer snacks and chat up why sweet, cold and white should stay away from your grill.

2. The second Thursday of the month, the downtown Gig Harbor community skips floating around on their yachts to host a party. The galleries stay open late, artists hold demonstrations, refreshments are passed out and the music goes live from 5-8 p.m.

3. While Van Halen was telling everyone to "jump," brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer opened their brewery with $50,000. It was a slow start. In 1986, the Widmer Brothers introduced their Hefeweizen to America. The rest is history. In 2008, Widmer and Red Hook merged to form what would later be titled Craft Brew Alliance, the ninth largest brewer in the nation. The Copper Door hosts a Widmer Brothers Brewer's Night from 6-9 p.m. Meet the brewer, chat beer history and drink Citra Blonde, Upheaval IPA, Sason de Fleurs and "other secret squirrel beers."

4. We always enjoy a Big Dipper after tight harmonies. And thank the heavenly bodies, Pacific Lutheran University will, once again, make our dreams come true. The college hosts Jazz Under the Stars, an outdoor jazz concert series followed by rare public entry into their Keck Observatory. The series, a different band every Thursday through Aug. 14, kicks off tonight with four-piece Luigi LaCross in the Mary Baker Russell amphitheater from 7-9 p.m. Ah crap, the observatory is open only for the July 31, Aug. 7 and 14 shows. Well, we'll wish upon a star tonight that someone changes his or her mind.

5. Lakewood Playhouse never seems to disappoint and their most recent production is no exception. People who don't like Monty Python humor, also known as fuddy duddies, might want to skip it but for everyone else, Spamalot (books and lyrics by Eric Idle) will have them laughing, whistling and singing even after the show. Director John Munn's brilliant cast and crew could not have done a better job. Read Joann Varnell's full review of Spamalot in the Music & Culture section, then catch pay-what-you-can show at 8 p.m.

LINK: Thursday, July 10 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 10, 2014 at 11:17am

Tiki Logic: Tacoma Fire Dept. music video vote, saxophonist Paul Sawtelle Kickstarter, Nolan Garrett Single Scavenger Hunt

Listen to Nolan Garrett's music and win a prize!

If you're anything like Bobble Tiki, then you're about halfway done healing after having been on the wrong end of a dangerous, though admittedly riotous, prank involving a bratwurst bun and three-dozen bottle rockets. Sometimes patriotism hurts.

While resting in the burn ward of the secret smart-person hospital that Bobble Tiki prefers, his iPod never stopped. There was the Replacements for bed-pan changes, Motörhead to amplify doctor visits, The Ramones for throwing crap at the guy next to Bobble Tiki, Tom Waits when things got weird, the Police to get all weepy and nostalgic over high school with, and more often than not, rock ‘n' roll singing-songwriting genius John Hiatt.

Bobble Tiki has always been able to identify with rock lyrics whether or not he agrees with their stance. But Hiatt's music Bobble Tiki can physically feel. They're true.  They sting.

Since he has all the time in the world, Bobble Tiki thought he'd mention a few musical notes from the South Sound. ...

Tacoma's Fire Department Station 12 has paired up with local filmmakers to create a music video for Good Morning America's 5-Alarm Firefighters Challenge. Your vote today by noon can help them win $10,000 to be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Operation Warm Coats for Kids.

Watch the video here and vote by clicking on the poll Tacoma button on the right side of the page.

Tacoma saxophonist Paul Sawtelle is using the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter to raise funds for his first solo CD, Virtual Insanity. Notable names include guitarist Eric Tingstad, keyboardist Brooke Lizotte and vocalist Jessica Lynne.

All proceeds go to Ted Brown Music (TBM) Outreach, a 501c3 nonprofit that works to put instruments in the hands of kids who can't afford to play in school band.

Visit Paul Sawtelle's Kickstarter page here.

Guitarist Nolan Garrett will release the first of six singles at 4 p.m. Sunday July 13 at the Jazzbones Stage during the Art on the Avenue Tacoma community festival on Sixth Avenue. The single, "I Don't Know," is part of a summer campaign of singles, which he calls the Single Scavenger Hunt. The singles will come out on download cards only and will complete a map that will lead to the grand prize when the final single is released at the end of the summer.  

"I Don't Know" is basically a song about the uncertainties of death and not knowing what happens when you die. I wrote this as kind of a letter to my family members that have died ... most likely, one of my grandmas," states Garrett in a news release. "The song is saying that the older I've gotten, the more uncertain I am about death, and I'm asking my passed on family members for some kind of answer."

Grab a download card Sunday at Art on the Ave.

There's probably more local music news, but Bobble Tiki doesn't really care because he doesn't even know you, and unless you want to give Bobble Tiki a post-blog-post rubdown, he's sure he doesn't want to meet you. Besides, it's time for him to close this laptop 'cause there's a telemarketer on his Blackberry he'd like to get to know better.

Filed under: Bobble Tiki, Music, Tacoma, Contest,

July 11, 2014 at 7:33am

Friday Morning Joe: VA overhaul savings, Veteran suicides bill, Army tattoo backfire, climate-controlled neighborhood ...

3rd Company, Commando Battalion, 11th Iraqi Army Division throw coffee during an exercise at the Muthanna range at Joint Security Station Old Mod. Original photo by Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger


A rocket attack by pro-Russian rebels on a border post on Ukraine's border with Russia today may have killed as many as 30 soldiers and border guards.

A fourth day of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed 11 more Palestinians, raising the death toll in the coastal enclave to at least 96.

Demand for Air Force spy planes, fighters and bombers from Eastern Europe to the Far East is spiking.

A U.S. Army general defended his service's decision to buy 100 Airbus UH-72 Lakota helicopters for pilot training.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a bill to help prevent veteran suicides and reform the way the Veterans Affairs Department treats those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released a new score for a House bill to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department that is dramatically lower than its previous estimate.

The blaze on an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that grounded the military's fleet might be an isolated incident, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer told lawmakers Thursday.

Months after the Army implemented a more stringent tattoo policy, recruiters say they are the ones feeling the pinch.

The U.S. Army conducted flight testing of an unmanned airborne electronic attack capability known as NERO, or the Networked Electronic Warfare Remotely Operated.

Air Force officials announced the Total Force Commissioning Process.

The Army has started migrating all its enterprise applications and systems to designated core data centers.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is exploring the possibility of partnering with the private sector for projects involving America's waterways and ports.

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command launched a new centralized recruiting program.

Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Army surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, hosted the first Army Medicine Virtual Town Hall on Facebook

World's first climate-controlled neighborhood to be built in Dubai.

Scientist find that 80 percent of all light in the Universe is missing.

171 reasons why the Matrix Reloaded was crap.

15 music videos filmed in one shot.

How many more Seinfeld 25th anniversary pieces do you need? The answer is actually: just this one, which lays out why Elaine Benes is a feminist icon.


LINK: Original photo by Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

July 11, 2014 at 7:44am

5 Things To Do Today: Dudley Taft, Therman Statom, the Beatles, Wolves in the Throne Room ...

Dudley Taft will perform bluesy head bangers tonight at Jazzbones. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, JULY 11 2014 >>>

1. Dudley Taft may well be the best white, Cincinnati-based blues artist you've never heard of, despite the fact that he toured with Seattle's own Alice in Chains and Candlebox. But wait, you say, Alice in Chains and Candlebox aren't blues bands. You're right! Now wipe that smug look off your face. Nobody likes a know-it-all. Dudley Taft has mastered both hard rock and electric blues, and his new CD, Screaming in the Wind, delivers a paint-peeling firestorm of both. The album and its debut single, a Skip James cover called "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" and accompanied by an awesome Star Trek-themed video, came out in May, but it's new to you so let's just call his 8 p.m. appearance at Jazzbones a CD release party. Trust us, this guy can rock you like your back ain't got no bones.

2. One of the original Artists in Residence at Hilltop Artists, as well as an art education advocate, Therman Statom will be featured on the Museum of Glass's Hot Shop Live from noon to 1 p.m. This Hot Shop Live webisode will not only highlight Statom's artwork and community service, but also his relationship with Hilltop Artists. Executive Director Kit Evans and Mayor Marilyn Strickland will join Statom for a discussion during the webisode. The show is open to the public and is free with Museum admission. For those who cannot attend, Hot Shop Live can be streamed here.

3. Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the classic Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night. The Grand Cinema proudly showed three select screenings of a newly restored print of the film to celebrate the occasion. Due to the film' s overwhelming popularity, tickets sold out almost immediately and a lot of Beatles fans and Grand patrons alike didn't get a chance to see it. That's why The Grand is screening three more showings this week, including today at 1 p.m. Read Jared Lovrak's thoughts on the film here.

4. Remember last autumn when Dukesbay Productions opened Driving Miss Daisy, and it was such a crazy pre-holiday weekend that I didn't have time to see it? Well, Dukesbay is now reprising that show with the very talented Syra Beth Puett in its title role. Malcolm West returns as chauffeur Hoke Colburn, and Miss Daisy's son Boolie will be played by ... wait for it ... Robert Puett. Catch it at 7:30 p.m. in the old Corina Bakery spot at 508 Sixth Ave. in Tacoma.

5. Like a crow that is dark, intelligent and resourceful - schooling its children in the ways of life, so do Wolves in the Throne Room school their listeners in the ways of earthy black metal. Sometimes ambient, sometimes thunderous, always with radical environmentalism in mind, Wolves will remind you of the very roots and rock and flesh to which we all belong. An alpha and omega, if you will, of everything black metal, Scandinavian, doom and crust. They throw an amazing, angry and skilled respect to all things elemental through their use of voice, thrash and drums. The band plays at 9 p.m. at the Capitol Theater with Nommo Ogo and DA Terence. This is the band's first stop on a mini-tour down the west coast celebrating the release of its new album, Celestite, on Artemisia Records.

LINK: Friday, July 11 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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