Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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January 31, 2014 at 11:31am

Stay frosty!: Thor chills out for America's heroes

The 32-page Thor comic features Thor defending New York City from the fearsome Frost Giant, Ymir, in a new adventure by the creative team of writer William Harms and artist Tom Grummett.

Marvel "true believers" grew up thrilling to the adventures of the mighty Thor, a Norse demigod who bashed supervillains from the Nine Realms with his Asgardian war hammer, Mjolnir. Later, millions of young geeks volunteered their services to the American armed forces, but some never lost their childhood love of comic book heroes.

For the last eight years, Marvel Entertainment has given back to the military community by offering limited-edition comic books exclusively to servicemembers through the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. This year, in 32 action-packed pages, writer William Harms and penciler Tom Grummett advance that tradition by launching Thor into battle against the bloodthirsty Frost Giant, Ymir. This special issue, "Deep Freeze," features a cover by Walt Simonson, a legendary artist whose efforts on Star Slammers, Thor, and Fantastic Four have been collector favorites for decades. Its frozen battleground: Stark Tower in New York City. Its all-too-mortal protagonist: former British airman Edwin Jarvis, now employed as a butler by that stalwart band of heroes, the Avengers. Excited yet?

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service offers quality services and merchandise at low prices, while funding operations in support of military morale, recreation, and welfare. "All of us at Marvel owe a debt of gratitude to our real heroes, the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces," Marvel editor Bill Rosemann acknowledges. "(This is) the least we can do for the men and women who bravely fight for the freedoms we all hold so dear." Thor: Deep Freeze is suitable for kids six and older, and available free of charge to service members and their families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Movie sequel Thor: The Dark World arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 25.

January 28, 2014 at 1:49pm

Marissa Meyer "Cress" release party coming to Pacific Lutheran University

Tacoma author Marissa Meyer / photo credit: Kali Raisl

Best-selling author Marissa Meyer has captured our imaginations in the first two books of her Lunar series. She uses her craft to weave together classic fairy tales with science fiction suspense in Cinder, a cyborg princess adventure based on Cinderella, and Scarlet, a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and her journey with a street fighter named Wolf. Book three of the series will introduce Meyer fans to Cress, a brilliant Rapunzel-type hacker and perhaps the world's last hope against an evil Queen. All three tales, though separate, share intertwining paths within the same futuristic universe. 

The release of Cress will be celebrated Feb. 4 at Pacific Lutheran University and is not to be missed by Meyer fans. The author will be on hand to sign books and tell a fairy tale or two as only she can do.


January 28, 2014 at 8:18am

5 Things To Do Today: "God Loves Uganda," Comics and Pizza Club, British Export, Deep Tuesdays and more ...

"God Loves Uganda" examines the far-right's role in fomenting violent homophobia in the African nation

TUESDAY, JAN. 28 2014 >>>

1. God Loves Uganda is an advocacy doc through and through; unlike so many films that try to disguise their bias, this one has the grace and courtesy to announce it from the get-go. It's a powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to change African culture with values imported from America's Christian Right. The film follows American and Ugandan religious leaders fighting "sexual immorality" and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow Biblical law. Catch it at 2 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.


January 21, 2014 at 12:13pm

Nerd Alert: Three awesomely nerdy things to do this week in Tacoma

Mr. "Too Soon?"


Even before Gilbert Gottfried's Comedy Central roast appearances became the stuff of legend, he was always a comedian with a uniquely skewed point of view. He combined an acerbic manner with a clearly very deep affection for the structure and melody of a well-crafted joke. As evidenced in his early days doing half-hours for HBO briefly joining the cast of Saturday Night Live in those doomed '80s years, Gottfried had a talent for taking even rote gags like impressions and putting a deliberate spin on them.


January 21, 2014 at 8:14am

5 Things To do Today: The Abigails, "After Tiller," Clayton reader theater and more ...

Trip on SoCal psych-rock tonight at The New Frontier Lounge. Photo courtesy of Facebook

TUESDAY, JAN. 21 2014 >>>

1. The Abigails are fixtures in the Southern California psych-rock garage scene. Thomas has been a member of bands like the Growlers and the Grand Elegance, and fellow Abigail Kyle Mullarky has been in the Starlite Desperation - all bands that occupy a sort of LSD haze. Additionally, the Abigails are members of Burger Records, the epicenter of SoCal psych-rock. Read Rev. Adam Mckinney's full feature on the Abigails in the Music & Culture section. Then, catch the band with MILK at 8 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge in Tacoma.


January 13, 2014 at 8:11am

5 Things To Do Today: Fine art postcards, C-SPAN hug, "Selected Druckworks," Dean Reichert and more ...

Last year’s Fine Art Postcard People’s Choice award, "Palm Tree" by Roxana Caples / courtesy photo

MONDAY, JAN. 13 2014 >>>

1. Sadly, it appears that e-mail has killed the art of the postcard (Good Lord! we sound more like our grandfathers with each passing day). It appears that we'll need to get our postcard fix elsewhere. Just in time to satisfy this itch, South Puget Sound Community College's annual "Fine Art Postcard Exhibition" returns, opening today with the theme, "It's the Water." The exhibit features 76 artists who submitted nearly 300 pieces (which means somebody had a lot of friends), using a vast range of materials.

2. The Evergreen State College Gallery kicks off the New Year with Selected Druckworks, a multi-media survey of the work of Johanna Drucker, renowned artist, writer, typographic poet, scholar and critic. This exhibit focuses on book art, a field which Drucker pioneers, showcasing typographic, literary, and visual art through a series of intricate, hand-made books. See it from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, Comcast and the Washington State Historical Society will welcome C-SPAN to Olympia at 3 p.m. in the Washington State Historical Society's State Capital Museum Lord Mansion. C-SPAN is in Olympia to record and feature the city's history and literary life. C-SPAN representatives will reveal the stories and segments that will be explored by the national network during their week-long stay. The event will also feature a traditional Native American blessing ceremony. 

4. Dean Reichert's soulful voice carries in it the history of American popular music: There's the down-home rhythm and testifying punch of gospel-based R&B, the snarl of the blues, the mournful rumination of honky-tonk, sultry jazz and the up-front sexuality of funk. Oh, and he's a talent guitar player, too. Reichert heads to The Swiss at 8 p.m. for the Tacoma joint's longstanding blues night.

5. Want to feel like a rock star without all the pain and annoyance of having to be a  fire-breathing demon that bleeds from the mouth? Then hit Jazzbones at 9 p.m. for Rockaraoke, where you can belt out songs such as Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again," Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You" and enough INXS tunes to make you feel like you're on a reality show, and other hits from the days when you made mixtapes by recording the radio, all backed by a live band.

LINK: Monday, Jan. 13 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 11, 2014 at 9:10am

Aviation films vs Seahawks game

And don't call me Shirley!


You'll be the first to admit you're a total movie snob. It's a rare breed that chooses to hang out at a museum and discuss aviation films rather than watch the Seahawks playoff game.

What's tougher to admit, though, is the fact that your girlfriend is so not one of those people. Maybe you should have screened her better before you went and got all emotionally attached and sentimental.


Filed under: Screens, Books, Sports,

January 9, 2014 at 8:19am

5 Things To Do Today: Green Drinks, locavore chat, The Shy Boys, comedian Matt Braunger and more ...

Green Drinks Tacoma welcomes you to meet new people and discuss environmental issues tonight over, well, drinks.

THURSDAY, JAN. 9 2014 >>>

1. Green Drinks Tacoma, known locally as Tacoma's Green Happy Hour, is a monthly forum for business owners, students, academics, entrepreneurs, and members of the public to meet, exchange ideas, and grow their level of sustainability. It's a get-together for Green people - No, not individuals from other planets, but rather those interested in the environment, conservation and sustainability. Green Drinks kicks off 2014 at 6 p.m. with an informal get-together and brief discussion lead by Tacoma Power regarding its energy conservation efforts and programs at The Office Bar & Grill.

The locavore movement is real. It's in the Oxford Dictionary. So are the words doughnut hole, red velvet cake, panko, bibimbap and affogato. The English language has never stopped and will never stop evolving. Same with the locavore movement, thanks to authors such as Whidbey Island resident Vicki Robin. Her book, Blessing the Hands That Feed Us, is loaded with practical tips on adopting your own locally-sourced diet, in a candid, humorous, and inspirational voice. Grab a hold of Robin's views and tips at 7 p.m. in Orca Books.

The Tides Tavern has been an anchor in Gig Harbor nightlife scene. If the waterfront watering hole wants to have its New Year's kickoff party on Jan. 9, who's to argue. Appropriately Gig Harbor '70s and '80s acoustic rockers The Shy Boys will be the entertainment from 7-9 p.m. Happy New Year!

4. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Now that's what we call a play. Three acts of two married couples screaming and crying into the existential void of Cold War America. Nice. Catch the pay at 8 p.m. in the Lakewood Playhouse, and pay-what-you-can.

As you read in this week's Nerd Alert! column, Rev. Adam McKinney has been following comedian Matt Braunger. "With a boisterous and animated style reminiscent of Brian Regan, Braunger has been receiving a lot of attention for the past couple years, culminating in the release of his 2012 Comedy Central special, Shovel Fighter. Coming out of a remarkably fertile scene in Chicago that also nurtured the careers of peers such as Pete Holmes, Kumail Nanjiani, T.J. Miller and Kyle Kinane, Braunger is a comedian still on the rise, and one that seems poised to keep getting better as time goes on." Catch him at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club.

LINK: Thursday, Jan. 9 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 3, 2014 at 8:09am

5 Things To Do Today: The Mama Rags, Puyallup Home Show, Monster Jam, Blackberry Bushes String Band and more ...

The the day with The Mama Rags at Le Voyeur. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, JAN. 3 2014 >>>

1. Seattle's the Mama Rags are a group of Northerners taking on Southern rock with gleeful aplomb, combining the rousing barroom ditties of the Band with the streak of sweaty melancholy that colored Creedence Clearwater Revival (who themselves were the bayou by way of Berkeley, Calif.). While the Mama Rags are a very new band, it'll be exciting to watch them progress and anticipate their debut EP, which is supposedly forthcoming. Catch the band with Ice Teeth at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. It's winter (duh!) and flower lovers have a bad case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. For these folks, artificial won't do; it's just a countdown to spring. Ah, but there are a few plants that flourish indoors during the cold months to keep you smiling - and they're not plastic. Green thumbs hanging out at the Puyallup Home & Garden Show today through Sunday know which plants flourish indoors. The show will feature displays and vendors, such as new furniture so you can gaze at your pathetic plants in comfort. If you're mad about keeping up with the Joneses, then this congregation of home and garden exhibitors from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. will inflame those covetous inclinations.

3. The Olympia Timberland Regional Library hostsListen Here: A Lunch Break Story Time for Adults from 12:10-12:50 p.m. at the Olympia Timberland Library. Corey Snow, a professional audiobook narrator and voice actor, will read two short story selections: The White Silence by Jack London, and Saki's The Music on the Hill.

4. The Tacoma Dome hosts the enormously popular diversion Monster Jam this weekend for a screeching, smashing round of vehicle-crunching monster-truck competitions featuring, among others, champion truck Gravedigger, and its amped-up mechanical opponents, such as: Northern Nightmare, Monster Mutt Dalmatian, Metal Mulisha, New Earth Authority, El Toro Loco and Captain USA and Double Trouble - driven by Gig Harbor brothers Travis and Tyler Groth, respectively. (Keep in mind that while the drivers are important, the trucks - gargantuan bundles of concentrated horsepower that can fly up to 25 feet in the air - are the real stars.) The action begins tonight at 8 p.m. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on the Groth brothers in the Military Life section.

5. The Pig Bar has gained reputation as a solid music source in Olympia, providing quality, free music every weekend. This weekend is no exception with The Blackberry Bushes String Band tonight at 8:30 p.m. and The Pine Hearts Bluegrass Band Saturday at 9 p.m.

LINK: Friday, Jan.3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 2, 2014 at 8:05am

5 Things To Do Today: McKinneyoake, "Global Perspective," JFK chat, OlyBlues and more ...

Regular Gillian and host Rev. Adam McKinney often sing duets Thursday nights at Puget Sound Pizza. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

THURSDAY, JAN. 2 2014 >>>

1. Every Thursday night at Puget Sound Pizza, the Volcano's music critic Rev. Adam McKinney hosts a karaoke session showcasing a Tarantino-like mix of downtown denizens seriously singing Bill Withers and glasses-wearing gals squawking out punk rawk, plus appearances by local rock stars. McKinney, always looking dapper in his sportcoat, has a mellifluous singing voice, perfect for "Disco 2000" by Pulp, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" by Tom Lehrer, "Little Green Bag" by the George Baker Selection, "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)" by Squeeze and his standard closing song, "Bottle of Wine" by the Fireballs. Get in on the party beginning at 9 p.m.


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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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