Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: July, 2014 (93) Currently Viewing: 41 - 50 of 93

July 14, 2014 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do Today: Seth Freeman, Tacoma Pride Film Series, The Abigails, Ground Score Willie ...

Seth Freeman will play a roots based, passionate show tonight at The Swiss.

MONDAY, JULY 14 2014 >>>

1. Seth Freeman has played the guitar since the age of 4. He has spent time in both the city and the mountains of Arkansas, in the heart of the South in a large, and very musical, family.  When you hear Freeman play guitar, you quickly realize these are not the same old licks. At 23, he opened for Jonny Lang, Wes Jeans, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Damon Fowler and Devon Allman. Today, he spends most of his time on the road, gigging with Chris Duarte, Wes Jeans, Damon Fowler, Michael Burks, Lance Lopez and Jeff Lang, when not fronting his own band, which brings its driving blues, Ozark Mountain bluegrass and sweet tender ballads to The Swiss for the second time this year, this time for Monday Night Blues at 8 p.m.

2. When you read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, does the book provide a secret passageway to Narnia? Flipping through Chitty Chitty Bang Bang does it frustrate you the car can't fly? Pop-up books are endlessly fascinating. Being able to conjure up a three-dimensional world just by pulling a tab never gets old. Also cool are handmade bookbindings where a simple blank journal can become an elaborately illustrated storybook complete with 19th century photographs, old quilts, cereal boxes and vintage record albums. In conjunction with The Puget Sound Book Artists "4th Annual Member's Exhibition," the group presents the panel discussion "The Artist's Vision: From Idea to Completion." From 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Collins Memorial Library, Suzanne Moore, distinguished calligrapher and book artist, will ask Pat Chupa, Lucia Harrison, Mari Gower and MalPina Chan to explain their complete artistic process.

3. This past weekend Tacoma's gay community hits the street and celebrated its identity. But thanks to the The Grand Cinema, some of that out-and-proud celebration will take place indoors. The Tacoma Pride Film Series kicks off today at 2 and 7 p.m. with Lilting, the story of a mother's attempt to understand her son after his untimely death. Her world is suddenly disrupted by the presence of his lover. Together, they attempt to overcome their grief while struggling with not sharing a language.

4. L.A. dark psych-country band The Abigails will perform their stoney slow jams off their new album, Tundra, at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge. Garage rock duo Pecos opens.

5. Improvisational rock group Ground Score Willie will take you on an "unpredictable ride through danceable grooves, dirty riffs, ambient sweetness, lyrical gems, sparkling harmonies, and daring loop-a-whirls that may result in motion sickness, possibly dry heaves (although we take no responsibility as we DID warn you not to drink the whole bottle)" at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Monday, July 14 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 14, 2014 at 9:24am

253 Weekend: Tacoma's Art on the Ave

Nolan Garrett, in his typical style, grabbed the crowd from his first song and didn't let go. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Tacoma's Art on the Ave really underscored how, at our cores, we really just are animals on the hunt for our next place of gratification for all our cravings, hungers (Grub Crawl, corn dogs), hobbies (art projects, pole dancing), thrills (carnival rides, palm readings), and addictions (yes, drinking in the sun can be considered an addiction when half the year is spent in pissy weather). And like most simple creatures, no matter what degree of civilized they may be, when we hear great music, we can lose our cool, which we lost many times including Amadon, Rust on the Rails and Nolan Garrett, to name a few.

Yesterday one of the busiest streets in Tacoma was Sixth Avenue - a nine-block span between North Junett and Sprague - where from noon to about 7 p.m. the free, family-friendly event offered food vendors, artists, roller derby girls, one drone, bands and herds of people stopping every five yards to chat with someone they know.

Though body paint and roving packs of teenagers often lead to a damn good time, the Weekly Volcano has a strict "no sticky kids" policy - so we stayed clear of the "Cirque du Tacoma" carnival area at Jason Lee Middle School. Not surprisingly, our day was spent soaking up the 89-degree weather in and out of vendor booths and beer gardens - listing to the bands on the neighboring stages and catching up with friends.

The 16th annual Art on the Ave housed five stages and more than 120 arts and crafts vendors. Here is a tiny portion of what we enjoyed. ...

LINK: 253 Weekend festival action for Saturday July 12

July 14, 2014 at 12:21pm

Nerd Alert! - Sex Tape, new TV shows, Into the Wormhole, Monty Python Live (Mostly) ...

Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) in Columbia Pictures' "Sex Tape." © 2013 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thanking Morgan Freeman our old (VHS) sex tapes predated the Cloud, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes made $73 million domestic this weekend; so, clearly, some of you caught it. Back me up on this: it's terrific, from stunning production designs to Andy Serkis' soulful, mo-cap performance as Caesar to that signature shot on a tank turret. Thanks to clear dynamics, urgent acting and a mature script, this is one of the best action movies we've seen in a long time. Special kudos to New Zealand effects shop Weta, instant frontrunner for this year's visual-effects Oscar, but all those digital simians wouldn't move us without a solid story foundation beneath them. You can skip the 3-D. Aside from that, these damn dirty Apes are well worth the cost of an evening ticket and bathtub-sized bucket of popcorn.

The biggest movie opening this weekend is Sex Tape, an allegedly raunchy comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and their gym-perfected naughty bits. At time of writing, critics have yet to see any of that. There are two possible reasons for this. One, the movie is guano. Two, the studio is thoughtfully trying to delay the inevitable rush of captured JPEGs to the Internet. Both, of course, could be true simultaneously. Feel free to judge for yourself starting Friday the 18th, or you could save 30 bucks and shoot an allegedly raunchy comedy of your own. Maybe start with a Vine!

THURSDAY, JULY 17

This week's telly news includes the premieres of two FX comedies in Thursday's 10 p.m. hour. First, there's Married, starring the sexy and talented Judy Greer. You won't recognize Greer from her motion-capture work as Caesar's hairy mate Cornelia, nor will her voice work as Cheryl/Cherlene on Archer be much help. You might, however, know her from The Descendants or a ton of other features and TV credits. She's a pretty big deal, so get to know her before upcoming appearances in Jurassic World and Brad Bird's Tomorrowland. At 10:30, You're the Worst stars Aya Cash and Chris Geere as two awful FBs who meet at a wedding. (He catches her stealing one of the gifts.) Parents, if you don't know what FB stands for, ask your kids. These follow Sunday's premiere of Guillermo del Toro's vampire series The Strain, which was grody and awesome and stupid all at the same time. I loved and rolled my eyes at it and couldn't wait to scoff at it again. Also: the hottest CDC epidemiologists ever, plus Samwise Gamgee!

Season 7 of Face Off, starring that weird makeup guy who's laughably trying to copy off Rob Zombie, launches Tuesday the 22nd. Wednesday the 23rd brings the season finale of Into the Wormhole. I don't get the Science Channel, though, so I can only guess Morgan Freeman will say something deep about the universe in that voice that reminds us of warm maple syrup. Ah, Morgan Freeman; he's the dreamiest. Hey, did you guys know I was in a scene with him once? It's true! It was cut way the hell out of Deep Impact. Hell, it didn't even make the deleted scenes on the DVD. I checked, because I'm pathetic! It's one of the tragedies of my life, because that guy was Easy Freakin' Reader. Respect for bibliophilia, yo.

SUNDAY, JULY 20

"Wink wink ..." If you immediately responded, "... nudge nudge," then have I got an event for you. All three surviving members of Monty Python, plus the desiccated, pulverized corpse of Graham Chapman, will be performing slightly modernized versions of their greatest TV sketches at a live event broadcast to, as they say, "select cinemas worldwide." One of those cinemas is probably near you, so put on your best Gumby gumboots, grab a partner for the fish-slapping dance, and ALBATROSS! ALBATROSS! ‘Course you don't get bloody WAFERS WITH IT! (If you memorized a spicier version of that sentence, or was tempted to add, "It's bleedin' seabird bleedin' flavor," then you're thinking of the version from Live at the Hollywood Bowl. My point is, I may not have kissed a lot of girls back in high school.) ALBATROSS!

MONTY PYTHON LIVE (MOSTLY), 11:30 a.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Regal Martin Village 16, 5400 Martin Way E, Olympia, $16-$18, 800.FAN.DANG

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may your nipples explode with delight. Bouncy bouncy!

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens, Olympia,

July 15, 2014 at 7:20am

Tuesday Morning Joe: F-35 cleared, border crisis, new US defense model, "Enlisted" returns? ...

U.S. Marine Corps Combat Logistics Battalion 4 throw coffee to signal an incoming MV-22B Osprey on Forward Operating Base Jackson, Helmand province, Afghanistan. Original photo by Sgt. Logan Pierce

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 7.15.14 >>>

F-35 cleared for flight.

Lawmakers warn President Obama is shortchanging the military by calling it into action at the U.S. border without providing a boost in funding.

Cease-fire ends as Israel resumes attacks in Gaza.

Report: Benghazi suspect found dead in Libya.

89 Killed in suicide blast in east Afghanistan.

Special Forces teams have finished sizing up the Iraqi military and now await decisions on possibly moving into an advisory role.

Iraq army launches Tikrit offensive, politicians elect speaker.

Kerry: Wide gaps persist in Iran nuke talks.

Why the world's armies don't want U.S. tech anymore.

Qatar will buy U.S. Patriot missiles for the first time in a major arms deal worth $11 billion.

VA cites progress on backlog; Congress disagrees.

Sgt. Bergdahl returning to active duty with administration job.

Toward a new U.S. defense model.

Want to fix retention? Start by making the military a real meritocracy.

Researcher leading PTSD-pot study loses job.

Army Performance Triad app now available.

"Game-changing" device gets veteran back on his feet.

First, she made headlines in 2011 by taking Justin Timberlake to the Marine Corps ball. She did it again when she became a professional mixed martial arts fighter upon leaving the Corps in 2012. Now, Kelsey DeSantis has her eyes set on winning a beauty pageant.

Could Fox's Enlisted be brought back from cancellation?

Blink-182 is releasing a new album.

Watch Tacky, "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody of Happy.

Are seductive abs really worth more than Netflix?

Must-see: "Giant dead parrot unveiled in London to pay tribute to Monty Python."

Finally: 10 greatest Han Solo moments.

Hello awesome summer!

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. Logan Pierce

July 15, 2014 at 7:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Catching Fire, Documentary Week, Pride film, Brightside ...

It could be said "Catching Fire" suffers from middle-book syndrome: The story is wayward and rangy, on its way to being something, maybe, but not adding up to much by itself. Discuss tonight.

TUESDAY, JULY 15 2014 >>>

1. The World Cup is over, which most likely eliminates crazy dudes wearing soccer ball hats screaming weirdness at Doyle's Public House, the home of Tacoma's Banned Book Club. The book club will be able to chat about books shunned by uptight people without having beer spilled on them. At 7 p.m., Suzanne Collins' book Catching Fire has the spotlight. Yup, Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen in this second book of the Hunger Games trilogy. We imagine kids killing kids could be the reason why some folks have banned this book. 

2. When it comes to documentaries, it's nothing short of the Wild West out there. There are just so many, from theatrical to television to stuff that just shows up on Netflix or Hulu one day in your recommended list. And while we're a bit perturbed Pink Hearts! Yellow Moons! Orange Stars! Green Clovers! White Toe Tags! didn't make this year's list, The Grand Cinema does have quite the Documentary Week going. Check out today's screenings here.

3. This past weekend Tacoma's gay community hits the street and celebrated its identity. But thanks to the The Grand Cinema, some of that out-and-proud celebration will take place indoors. The Tacoma Pride Film Series kicks continues today at 2 and 7 p.m. with Appropriate Behavior, the story ofShirin who is struggling to become an ideal Persian daughter, politically correct bisexual and hip young Brooklynite but fails miserably in her attempt at all identities. Being without a cliché to hold onto can be a lonely experience.

4. You are getting sleepy, v-e-r-y sleepy. Now, go see the hypnotist show at 8 p.m. inside the Red Wind Casino. Whether a skeptic or believer, the show will be sure to entertain with its comedy, rock and roll and outrageous hypnosis, like people sneezing and having orgasms(!) when Ron Stubbs, the man behind the magic, utters the word "pepper."

5. Olympia's all-ages venue Northern hosts the Brightside CD release show at 8 p.m. with The Dirty Nil and Noise Brigade opening. The Olympia indie rock band Brightside will showcase Common Decency

LINK: Tuesday, July 15 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 15, 2014 at 10:34am

Fun, friends and learning at the 446th Airlift Wing's Family Day

About 3,200 people took part in the day for reservists at Heritage Hill on McChord Field, July 12. Photo credit: Gail Wood

It was a day for having fun, meeting new friends and finding help.

That's the focus of the 446th Airlift Wing's annual Family Day symposium and picnic. With an emphasis on fun, it was a mix of kid's games, a tasty barbeque lunch and a morning of hearing about support programs for families.

"It's one of our ways to say thank you," Lt. Col. Anna Sullivan said. "These families put up with so much."

About 3,200 people, from parents to grandparents to kids, took part in the day for reservists at Heritage Hill on McChord Field, July 12.

There were three pieces to the event. In the morning, there was a spouse flight around Mount Rainier in a C-17. Then there was the education piece in the morning that worked as a conduit, connecting families with helpful programs from health care to counseling to employment.

The free picnic, which was catered by Dickey's Barbecue, and games, which included a bouncy castle, paper airplane throw, ball toss through a hoop, jewelry making, putt-putt golf, ping pong and volleyball, put the fun into the event.

"This is also a good way for all the families to get together," Sullivan said.

There was information on programs that covered airmen and family readiness, military family counseling, fitness and employer support for those in the Reserves. There were symposiums on 13 different programs, which included Air Force Aid Society, Hero 2 Hire and the Wingman Tool Kit.

Another program was Yellow Ribbon, a congressional mandate that has a mission to tell reservists about employment and connect them with potential employers. It's for pre- and post-deployment. To attract families to Yellow Ribbon, an expense-paid trip to Disney World for the reservist's family is offered.

"It's bait," Sullivan said.

The objective is to find employment for the reservists.

"If they work here, they stay here, and we don't have to get other people, that helps keep everyone happy," Sullivan said. "We want them to be happy and employed. Lots of the programs are good to our people."

Representatives from these different programs gave presentations to show the resources available to them.

The day was also about reservists getting a chance to bring their family to the picnic and introduce them to co-workers.

"Typically, we're coming out one weekend a month or coming out on our annual tour," Sgt. Minnette Mason said. "What we do each year is set up an event that is family friendly."

It was mission accomplished. The food and games, which was coupled with a beautiful sunny 90-degree summer day, was certainly crowd-pleasing.

"Today is about the families of our reservists," Mason said. "It gives the airmen a chance to come together and get to know the families. They're the ones who allow us to do our job."

Michelle and Daniel Faust stood in a long line with their children waiting to get a hearty barbeque lunch.

"It's fun, but the lines are a little long," said Daniel, a reservist in the 446th Airlift Wing.

The lines were about 300 people deep. Michelle was among the 40 spouses who took the airplane ride in a C-17 around Rainier in the morning.

"It was a wonderful day," Michelle said. "It's a fun, fun day. It gives you a chance to connect with the other families."

July 16, 2014 at 7:27am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Senate panel says, Iron Dome, Super Hornet, rocket launch game, best 2014 beers ...

Recruiting and Retention Battalion, 60th Troop Command, throw coffee over a wall, the last task in the stress shoot event at Fort Jackson, S.C. Original photo by Sgt. Mary Junell, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 7.16.14 >>>

Pakistani security forces captured a key Taliban commander linked to a 2003 assassination attempt on former President Pervez Musharraf as a U.S. drone strike killed 15 militants near the country's border with Afghanistan.

Fighting raged in Ukraine's east today when separatists tried to break through the lines of government forces near the border with Russia and a tentative step toward agreeing conditions for a ceasefire failed.

U.S. Senate panel proposes keeping A-10, 11 aircraft carriers with $547.9B defense bill.

Senate derails Army bid to take Guard helicopters.

Senate panel backs 1 percent pay increase.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James: Top 3 Air Force tough money choices.

Senate Defense Bill doubles Obama's request for Israel's Iron Dome.

Iron Dome - savior or sales job?

Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., called on the Pentagon to shift dollars from its war spending accounts back into its base budget.

The F-35 joint strike fighter will not be flying at the Farnborough International Airshow, to the disappointment of attendees, program supporters and partnered militaries.

Navy tests stealth-like features for Super Hornet.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the U.S. chief of naval operations, met his Chinese counterpart, Adm. Wu Shengli, commander in chief of China's navy, for talks aimed at improving cooperation between their fleets following concerns over regional territorial disputes and potential armed conflict.

The U.S. Air Force's top civilian said she wants $100 million in funding this year to hold a rocket launch competition.

The Defense Health Agency is launching a pilot program Friday that will allow Tricare to pay for some medical tests developed by laboratories.

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Tuesday called on the Senate to pass legislation to prevent soldiers from being given notice while serving in a combat zone.

DARPA's $40 million plan to save soldiers' brains.

Futurama in 3D is absolutely stunning.

Newly discovered species could be the last one standing on Earth.

We wish we had a magical shadows pop up book when we were kids.

Marvel's Thor is going to be a woman.

The cast of The Wonder Years reunited on Good Morning America.

Here's a list of the best beers of 2014 (so far).

A banana pudding donut sounds too good to be true.

The Cave Singers play Tacoma's New Frontier Lounge Sunday. Click play and go about your duties.

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. Mary Junell, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment

July 16, 2014 at 7:55am

5 Things To Do Today: Sunset Market, Jessica Jane Julius, Lakefair, Ian McFeron ...

Wednesday nights in Puyallup just got more tasty. Photo courtesy of Facebook

WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 2014 >>>

1. Farmers markets come in all sizes, shapes and vibes, but the atmosphere of the Sunset Market is definitively about fun. Right off the bat, it turns the tables on the usual early-morning affairs we're used to by hosting its vendors in the evenings, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. - a Puyallup version of Tacoma's 6th Ave Farmers Market if you will. The Sunset Market focuses on local farmers, growers, processors, artisans, downtown merchants and food vendors accompanied by live entertainment, demonstrations and more. The farmers' party continues every Wednesday through Sept. 17.

2. Starting at 10 a.m. and running the next five weeks, the Museum of Glass will feature women artists working in the Hot Shop. Today, Jessica Jane Julius will experiment and explore new directions in her art. She currently teaches at Tyler School of Art, and her work was recently featured in Craft Spoken Here at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

3. While it's easy to quantify Oly as just a hippie, college town - that's only partially true. A large portion of the population is proudly blue-collar. The most amazing part of all of this is the two demographics - shoeless hippies and hardworking grunts - come together every year for Lakefair, meshing farmer tans with hacky sacks, and creating a fairly unique event disguised as just another summer festival. Think carnies, cotton candy, live music, volleyball, fireworks and all the usual trappings - Olympia style. It runs from noon to 10 p.m. around Capital Lake and Heritage Park, Fifth and Water Street, in downtown Olympia.

4. There will be an Army invasion tonight in Steilacoom when the U.S. Army Band enters Pioneer Park at 6:30 p.m. The show is free. 

5. Ian McFeron, whose lyrical prose has been compared to Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams and David Gray, will perform roots-oriented American music at 7 p.m. in Olympia's Sylvester Park.

LINK: Wednesday, July 16 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 16, 2014 at 2:17pm

On The Trail of a Killer: Going dark for "Olympia in Obscura"

Lights, camera, action, Olympia!

Thanks to a vacation and last-minute commitments, it was well after sundown before I could set up a phone interview with David Caulfield, director and co-creator of web series Olympia in Obscura. Perhaps that's as it should be. It's a series that evokes darkened alleys and, as the Shadow once knew, the evil that lurks in the hearts of men.

In this Oly-set yarn, Colin, an erstwhile cop turned narcoleptic private investigator (oh, that old story, right?), is on the hunt for a serial murderer, the Chehalis Trail Killer. In order to nab Obscura's "big bad," Colin will need to overcome personal demons, elude the charms of a wily femme fatale, and, one suspects, order late-night eats from Quality Burrito. The first series will unfold as a half-dozen ten-minute webisodes, to be shot over three months this autumn.

Caulfield spelled out his vision for the series. "We're in pre-production right now. We start casting next Friday at TCTV (Thurston County Television). They're open auditions. We gotta find our leads! We wanted to take cool locations here in Olympia and make them the backdrop for a crime noir, taking classical elements but adding twists to them, taking people we're used to seeing in a certain classical sense but giving them a modern twist. Each segment will end in a cliffhanger, to hopefully leave people wanting more. Put together, it'll be about an hour and 15 minutes. It'll work like a pilot to a television show, but people will get to see a beginning, middle, and end. We're definitely pushing the envelope visually. We've got a lot of surprises in store."

I can believe it. With co-creator and director of photography David Goodman overseeing a variety of moody visual effects, the team is well-prepared for its coming adventure. "I've made two micro-budgeted crime movies," Caulfield explains. "I just finished the second one, called Spaced Out: An Intergalactic Crime Saga. That's a science-fiction, action-adventure piece we did on a really low budget. We were able to shoot a fun movie for about a thousand dollars. My first movie, Smothered, is on YouTube, and we have a website called SpacedOutMovie.com. People can see the first eight minutes there to see what I'm about."

I've watched those eight minutes of Spaced Out. Say what you will about it, it is absolutely, beyond question the finest movie I've ever seen that begins with a Dune shout-out followed by a Volvo approaching a wormhole in space. The visual effects and kinetics are engaging and snazzy. If Caulfield & Co. can apply what they've learned to craft a darker, more layered aesthetic, then Olympia in Obscura could be something truly memorable. Lights, camera, action, Olympia: Goodman's cameras will soon be pointed at you.

Just be careful. Don't step too far out into the dark ... not, at least, until Colin has cornered his lethal prey.

Filed under: Screens, Olympia,

July 17, 2014 at 7:39am

Thursday Morning Joe: Truce after terror tunnel, Putin TV, war funding, Air Force reduction, Slip N Slide skydive ...

European Regional Medical Command engages a target with a practice coffee during the U.S. Army Europe Best Warrior competition in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 7.17.14 >>>

Kabul International Airport takes a beating: Militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked Kabul International Airport in the Afghan capital in one of the most audacious assaults on the facility, used by both civilians and the military, in a year.

Residents of the Gaza Strip rushed out of their homes today to take advantage of a five-hour "humanitarian truce" between the Israeli military and Hamas militants, a respite that began just hours after Israel bombed what it called a "terror tunnel" under the Gaza border.

Rocket War: You wouldn't know it from the images of Israeli jets bombing Gaza. But for Hamas, the current war has produced a significant victory.

Today on Putin TV: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned new sanctions the United States imposed against Russian businesses a day earlier will backfire against U.S. companies operating in Russia.

5 things to expect from Gen. Dunford's confirmation hearing today: Duh, forces in Afghanistan is one of the things.

Lawmakers appeared gobsmacked by a request from the Obama administration for $60 billion in war funding next year, with several accusing the Pentagon of seeking a "slush fund" to use for other purposes.

With just two weeks to go before the August recess, House and Senate negotiators are struggling to reach a deal on legislation intended to improve healthcare services through the Veterans Affairs Department.

U.S. House Armed Services Committee leaders struck a skeptical - and bipartisan - tone about a $5 billion counterterrorism program proposed by President Barack Obama.

In the wake of an engine fire that grounded the F-35 fleet, a U.S. Senate subcommittee wants senior Pentagon officials to consider reviving an effort to develop a second power plant.

Need more F-35 news? How the F-35 dominated Farnborough, without ever being there.

Take this F-35: The British Royal Air Force plans to finish upgrades to as many as 59 Tornado aircraft by 2016.

The next big thing in aviation is small: Hummingbird-sized drones.

Things Vice President Sheikh Mohammed Bin-Rashid al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and minister of defense, says on Twitter: "Today we announce two epic projects in our history: establishing UAE Space Agency and sending the first Arab spaceship to Mars by 2021."

We love you but you got to go: The Air Force will soon begin offeringincentives to reduce its workforce by nearly 3,500 employees.

Chris Kyle vs. former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura continues: A former Navy SEAL testified he saw military sniper Chris Kyle punch the former wrestler.

Afghanistan Fabulous: The Army has altered its government-owned Scorpion camouflage pattern to look almost identical to MultiCam, the trademarked pattern the service has been using in Afghanistan since 2010.

Sgt. Major of the Army Raymond Chandler III recently issued guidance to help clarify the Army's position on commercial-off-the-shelf combat boots.

The world's first family robot could be like HAL in your home.

Mysterious giant hole suddenly appears in Siberia.

I was hidden in this guy's hard drive for six years.

Bowie Wowie: More new music from David Bowie could be on the way.

Smashing Amazon: Billy Corgan is angry at Amazon.

Fund the million dollar podcast: These joke Kickstarter campaigns are getting out of hand.

Feast your eyes on the trailer for Ouija, a film based on the Hasbro board "game" that enables players to communicate with the spirit world.

Why did Jason Segel quit Twitter? It involves a burrito ...

Finally: Here's a list of underrated Seinfeld episodes.

More summer Slip ‘N Slide fun ...

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra

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

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