Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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January 15, 2012 at 12:42pm

FREELOADERS: Outside Edition

FREE EVENTS JAN. 16-22 IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

Snow prompts Bobble Tiki to think that the All Mighty, while he may not shoot craps with the universe as Albert Einstein said, at least has a sense of humor. She makes existence uncertain by conjuring up sea-level snow every now and then, but at no apparently regular interval, and throws in a few earthquakes, ice storms, floods and the like now and then just to let us know who is boss.

The trouble is Bobble Tiki never sees it coming.  Skier/ Kayaker/Mountain Explorer Jeff Renner and other weather suits can barely tell us which way the wind is blowing. Yet, they still get the coin. Thursday, Bobble Tiki thought is was a brilliant idea to create a list of free outdoor activities for this coming week. Today, it seems like a ridiculous list.

Anyway, here it is - a list of free things to do outdoors this week in the South Sound.

MONDAY, JAN. 16: Washington State Parks says its cool to visit a state park for free Jan. 16. Yes, you don't need a Discover Pass, which is normally required to access lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

TUESDAY, JAN. 17: When was the last time you hung out with a pack of wolves? If you're anything like Bobble Tiki, the closest you generally get to wildlife is when you're forced to smoke outside. Helen Thayer traveled to the virtually untouched Canadian Yukon Territory, above the Arctic Circle, to live within 100 feet of a wild wolf den. She spent a summer observing and documenting the daily lives and behaviors of the pack and returned in the winter to study the wolves' interaction with the polar bears on the northern sea ice. Come hear stories and view photos detailing the remarkable story of wolves at 7 p.m. inside the Olympia REI. You must RSVP here for the free event.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 18: The Tacoma REI offers a free introductory Avalanche Awareness class at 7 p.m. The Friends of the Northwest Avalanche Center will provide information on where to find avalanche reports, how to interpret the reports, assess avalanche risks and learn about the gear needed for avalanche terrain. RSVP here.

THURSDAY, JAN. 19: The Tahoma Audubon will lead a free walk through the Adriana Hess Wetland Park in University Place from noon to 1:30 p.m. No registration is needed.

FRIDAY, JAN. 20: Soon you will be able to spend time outside during the day without risk of hospitalization. You should join the Tacoma Mountaineers right now, just to celebrate.  Right now.  Riiiiggght now.  OK, fine, you want to know something about them? They hike, they bike, they climb, and yes - they mountaineer, too. (And rockin'?  Hah! - parties, too.) In short, indoors is out. Outdoors is in. So get out by getting in. Or something like that. The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch hosts an Open House with special guest speaker Washington state guidebook author Craig Romano Friday from 7-9 p.m. Drawing from his new release, Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge, Craig will be sharing tales from the trails from Ridgefield, Wash. to Boardman, Ore. Oh, because of a clubhouse renovation, the open house will be held at the Pierce County Library Processing Administration Center at 3005 112th St. E. in Tacoma.

SATURDAY, JAN. 21: Go Get It Gal, a website aimed at adventurous women, will hosts a party from 3-6 p.m. at Joy Ride Bicycles in Lacey.This event, obviously aimed at women, will include comedic live music, food, community vendors, prize giveaways and a sale on women's bicycle gear and products. The keynote will be an interview with Olympia cycling legend and nine-time Hawaii Ironman finisher, Louise Taylor, who will share her secrets of longevity in athletic pursuits.

SUNDAY, JAN. 22: You need to join the Swiss Sportmen's Club of Tacoma right now. Sunday morning the club will host a free shotgun shoot in Bonney Lake. Shooting shotguns with the Swiss. Yo ho-lee ho-o-lee hol-la-lee-ho!

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

January 9, 2012 at 9:48am

FREELOADERS: Morbid Edition

FREE EVENTS JAN. 9-15 IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

Bobble Tiki suggests that you start ducking and covering now. That's because it's this week's Freeloaders column - Morbid Edition. What in the Tim Burton is that, you ask? This week's column starts weird, with dark, morbid funhousey opening credits a montage of images happening in the South Sound this week and ends weird, with Crispin Glover singing the column's love theme, the Jackson 5 hit "Ben." If you are not a rat-o-phobe and end up reading this whole column, Bobble Tiki hopes you stay for the closing credits to hear Glover's bizarre, almost pretty take on the song, but like many reading this column right now, you may pack up and leave before it's ove...

For those still here, rub Pond's cold cream on your face and enjoy the following free morbid-ish events this week in the South Sound.

MONDAY, JAN. 9: The geeky Graphic Novel Book Club will discuss Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 by Tim Hamilton at 7 p.m. inside Hilltop Tacoma's book-themed 1022 South lounge. Hamilton's consistently muted color palette of grays, blues and blacks sustains the overarching gloomy mood and renders the bright flashes of red and orange flames all the more startling in contrast.

TUESDAY, JAN. 10: Rev. Colin co-hosts the wacky Tacoma Cult Movie Club, screening mini-skirted astro-vamps to folks of questionable character at The Acme Grub Cage. When Rev. Colin isn't behind the projector, he's behind the microphone hosting karaoke Tuesday through Saturday. At 9 p.m. Tuesday night Rev. Colin sets up camp in Puget Sound Pizza's lower level. In keeping with the Morbid Edition, Bobble Tiki suggests you sing, "There Is a Light That never Goes Out," "Girlfriend In a Coma," "The Eternal" and "The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 11: The Tacoma Classics Book Club is a classic. It's been lurking around Tacoma since 1994. At 7 p.m. inside King's Books, the club will discuss the uplifting The Plague by Albert Camus, a carefully crafted political allegory about an epidemic of bubonic plague that takes place in the Algerian port city of Oran.

THURSDAY, JAN. 12: There's always one member of the family who takes it upon him- or herself to document every branch, twig, leaf and bud of the family tree. Sate this person's taste for amateur genealogy by dragging him or her to the Olympia Genealogical Society's monthly meeting at 7 p.m. in the Thurston County Courthouse, Building One, Room 152. The topic of this month's meeting will be obituaries. Awesome.

FRIDAY, JAN. 13: OK, this might be a stretch, but it's free and a lot of people are killed. Once Sold Tales Bookstore Outlet in Kent will screen Bourne Identity at 7 p.m., or what Bobble Tiki likes to call "Run, Damon, Run."

SATURDAY, JAN. 14: An informal discussion on family caregiving sounds depression to Bobble Tiki, but it's a fact of life. If you need resources, tools and skills to help care for a loved one, the Sumner Public Library offers a free class at 11:30 a.m.

SUNDAY, JAN. 15: Like Kenny Rogers says, you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. So put on your poker face and test your holding and folding at the free Texas Hold'em Tournament at 2:30 p.m. inside Halftime Sports Saloon in Gig Harbor. And remember, there'll be time enough for counting when the dealing's done. ...

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

January 1, 2012 at 12:23pm

FREELOADERS: See The Light Edition

FREE EVENTS IN THE SOUTH SOUND JAN. 2-8, 2012 >>>

The folks in the Freeloaders-land R&D Department have been diligently working to find new ways to improve this column, and they think they've outdone themselves with their newest innovation. Just in time for the shorter days of winter, Bobble Tiki's column will soon glow in the dark! Are your children afraid to sleep at night? Just use Freeloaders as a comforting nightlight!  Read it in darkened rooms, use it to send signals across the Narrows - the options are nearly limitless! In celebration of this new development, Bobble Tiki will shed light on this week's free events that will help you see the light. So sit back, leave that lamp off for a few more minutes and enjoy!

MONDAY, JAN. 2: The Stevie Nicks landslide has brought Bobble Tiki to a life of corked, isolated displeasure.  Heartily aware of his divergence from productivity some 25 years ago, he nonetheless goes on, still picking at shag carpets for the cheap and banal and crying all the way to the bank. Not to be overly dramatic but Bobble Tiki has the feeling that the end is nigh.  He says this because he's starting to notice something extremely dire in his day-to-day swish through life, equal parts fabulous and scary, and therefore necessarily apocalyptic: His life is becoming just like the color of his hair. Bobble Tiki needs answers.  He needs them now! So he's stopping by the free Psychic Buffet that offers "a tasty treat for the soul" every first Monday of the month inside the Urban Onion Restaurant in downtown Olympia. Psychic Lisa Holm and crew offer energy healing with intuitive readings and numerology at 5 p.m.

TUESDAY, JAN. 3: As counterintuitive as it might initially seem, if you own a Nook or Kindle or a device with the Kindle app (iOS, Android, PC), you can learn how to download free e-books to your device from the folks at Pierce County Library.  Yes, students that includes Cliffs Notes, if you've managed to seriously drop the ball on homework.  As part of its "How To..." Month at the Summit Library, a librarian will teach you how to download for free at 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 4: If you're anything like Bobble Tiki you need to work off all the holiday cookies. If you are truly like Bobble Tiki than you know that's difficult because you have a spring instead of legs. If you do have legs, then Bobble Tiki suggests you hit the Cushman Trail in Gig Harbor.  It's quite lovely. Even more lovely - Sound Vista Village, a retirement community close to the trail, will serve complimentary cocoa, tea or coffee fireside during January.

THURSDAY, JAN. 5: Isabel Wilkerson's mesmerizing book The Warmth of Other Suns shed slight on the mass movement of six million African Americans from the south to the north in the middle decades of the 20th century - told through the lives of three people who joined the exodus. The Fireside Bookstore Book Group will discuss the book at 7 p.m. inside the historic Hotel Olympian in downtown Olympia.

FRIDAY, JAN. 6: Do you know about the case of Leonard Peltier? In 1975, two FBI agents were shot in a gunfight on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Peltier, as a representative of the American Indian Movement, was convicted of their murders in spite of a government case dependent on coerced testimony and suppressed evidence.  Robert Redford produced and narrated a documentary shedding light on the incident with an original musical score by John Trudell and Jackson Browne. Redford made the film in the hopes that Peltier's story, when it became more widely known, would make people demand his freedom though he has exhausted his legal appeals. Catch the film for free at 6 p.m. inside King's Books in Tacoma.

SATURDAY, JAN. 7: Saturday is just an artsy kinda day, isn't it?  Which is good, if you're an artsy kinda person.  And artsy kinda people need good days, because their lives are difficult. Oh, you chortle, but the price of Ramen has gone through the roof lately. But Saturday is an artsy day because Saturday is the first Saturday of the month, which means the Gig Harbor Monthly Art Walk is on.  Take a free, self-guided tour of the galleries along the Gig Harbor waterfront from 1-5 p.m. See other people's work and become inspired.

SUNDAY, JAN. 8: For weeks the newspaper ads have been catching Bobble Tiki's eye: "Psychic Readers Network - Work at Home - No Experience Necessary." If no experience is necessary, then anyone could be a telephone psychic, Bobble Tiki figures - even Bobble Tiki. He's determined to try. He has seen the late-night television commercials that portray psychics gleaning the innermost secrets of amazed callers. But before he takes the plunge, Bobble Tiki will do a little homework. He'll check out the Intuitive and Healing Arts Fair noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Crystal Voyage in Tacoma.  Psychic readers in palm, face, tarot, angel card and past life promise to enlighten for free. Right now, the only thing Bobble Tiki can predict is last night's winning lottery numbers.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

December 26, 2011 at 4:09pm

FREELOADERS: Old Things Edition

The Spinners will perform a free concert New Year's Eve at the Emerald Queen Casino.

FREE EVENTS THIS WEEK IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

Ugh. Bobble Tiki thinks he's officially reached middle age. Old and tired. Bobble Tiki used to do things like go to New York for Christmas or stay out dancing all night. This year for Christmas, one of Bobble Tiki's best friends gave him a toilet tank, and Bobble Tiki was in bed by 10 p.m. Ah well. Bobble Tiki will just keep on laughing to keep from crying. In the meantime, here's a quick look free events happening this week in the South Sound centering around old things - just like Bobble Tiki.

MONDAY, DEC. 26: Free Christmas tree collection and drop-off opportunities are available in Thurston County after the holidays. It is important for the safety of the crews and machinery that Blackwater ornament, pickle ornament, Frosty the Blow Job ornament, lights, tinsel, nails, wire, garlands and stands be removed from the tree. Bobble Tiki's rule of thumb is to take your old tree to the recycler in the same condition as he would find it naturally in the forest. For more information, click here or see the website below or call 360.754.4398.

TUESDAY, DEC. 27: On the way to the bathroom at 5 a.m. to pee for the fifth time of the night, Bobble Tiki's foot caught the cord of his old Apple 3400c and the laptop got slammed to the ground. He can still use it for word-processing, but the modem and floppy drive no longer work, meaning he has no way to transfer information off the computer. It's time to get rid of the thing. SBK Recycle at 10733 A St. S. in Tacoma will recycle it for free from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. SBK will take old computers, laptops, monitors, printers, scanners, televisions, VCRs, telephones,

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 28: For a generation of youngsters raised in a world of electronic convenience it's hard to understand how people survived before the advent of cable television, the Internet, video games, Kindle Fires - much less electric lights and air conditioning. For them, The Job Carr Cabin Museum is like taking a step back into time, specifically in the mid 1800s. The museum itself is actually a log cabin, a replica of the one Job Carr built in 1865, less than two blocks from its original location. Check it out from 1-4 p.m. before it closes for the month of January.

THURSDAY, DEC. 29: How does the simple act of planting trees lead to winning the Nobel Peace Prize? Ask Wangari Maathai of Kenya. Back in 1977, she suggested rural women plant trees to address problems stemming from a degraded environment. Her tree-planting mission, which grew into a nationwide movement, has been documented in the film Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai. Community Cinema Olympia will screen the film for free at 7 p.m. inside the Washington State Capital Museum.

FRIDAY, DEC. 30: The Delbert McBride Ethnobotanical Garden, located on the grounds of the State Capital Museum, displays more than 30 species of Northwest flowers, shrubs, and trees that have been used for food, tools, and medicine throughout history by the Native American tribes in Western Washington. Check it out from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

SATURDAY, DEC. 31: The best album of all time is the Spinners' Pick of the Litter. (Of course, number two is Gino Vanelli's Storm at Sunup, but that's another Freeloaders column.) All five musicians grace the silver cardboard with sexy smirks and checkered bell-bottoms. Bobble Tiki has heard lots of people say they don't like album covers that contain a picture of the band, but the Spinners do it differently. The five men can be cut out in paper-doll fashion and then glued to Popsicle sticks for your very own Spinners Puppet Show. (Disclaimer: Singer Pervis Jackson is squatting in the picture, so cut out Maurice White from Earth, Wind & Fire's 1973 release Head to the Sky and have the two sumo wrestle). The '70s may always be remembered best for bands like Journey, Foghat and the Bee Gees, but the Spinners remain one of the few bands that unfairly slipped through the cracks. Bobble Tiki's glad that more than 35 years later, as he dances before them Saturday during the band's free concert at the Emerald Queen Casino, he finally can look over at his friends and ask, "Can you dig it?"

SUNDAY, JAN. 1: Bobble Tiki and his creaky bones will run hysterically down the Point Defiance Marina into wintery waters of Commencement Bay in the hopes of a fresh start for the new year. Santa Claus has all the cold details here.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs this week

December 18, 2011 at 10:20pm

FREELOADERS: Community Hug Edition

FREE EVENTS IN THE SOUTH PUGET SOUND DEC. 19-25 >>>

Well, the spirit of Christmas is lurking around the Freeloaders column, giving Bobble Tiki a wedgie. Bobble Tiki has already seen It's a Wonderful Life three times and the Christmas cartoons are making him cross-eyed. And Bobble Tiki loves it! The stockings are hung and the egg is nogged. And in that spirit, Bobble Tiki has a lot of love and free event announcements to give, gentle reader, so sit back, pull that Santa hat up from your eyes and join the community for a free group hug.

MONDAY, DEC. 19: So the tree and the fairy lights are up, you have enough booze and unhealthy snacks to sink the Titanic, and your television is about to explode in a flurry of consumerism and romantic schmaltz. But there's something missing. That's right, folks: it just wouldn't be a happy holiday without some singing about God. And for that, there's no beating Handel's "Messiah," a piece for choir, orchestra and soloists that has delighted audiences worldwide for more than 250 years. As 18th-century music historian Charles Burney once said, "Messiah" has fed the hungry and clothed the naked, fostered the orphan, and enriched succeeding managers of Oratories more than any single musical production in this or any other country." Bobble Tiki isn't totally sure what that means, so check it out yourself - for free - at 7:30 p.m. inside the Washington Center in Olympia when the Student Orchestras of Greater Olympia, Conservatory Orchestra, Anna's Bay, Olympia Choral Society, Opera Pacifica, Olympia Chamber Orchestra and other community groups present a community "Messiah" Sing-Along.

TUESDAY, DEC. 20: You've heard of the grandparent phenomenon - Kids are always 10 times cuter when you can send them home to mom after you've ramped them all up. Well, apparently now Lakewood City Hall wants to get in on this. City Hall will ramp the 6 and older kids with attention and the film Polar Express for free from 10-11:30 a.m.  It's enough to make the most frazzled, suffering-from-post-holiday-exhaustion parent smile. So exhale, tired parents, right now the employees of Lakewood think your kids are way cuter than you do. And they'll continue to think so right on through to the point they return them to you.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21: One of the best things about the holiday season is the way people and neighborhoods go all out with the decorations. The South Puget Sound area is known for its dramatic light displays. You can walk among the flickering bulbs at Point Defiance Park, drive through a wonderland at Spanaway Park, stalk the Hilltop Tacoma house on Ninth or ... run through the Sky Island neighborhoods. Yup, Fleet Feet running store in Bonney Lake hosts a free 5K run the neighborhood. Bring non-perishable food for the Bonney Lake Food Bank. There will be a raffle too. Meet at the Bonney Lake Pierce Transit Park-and-Ride at 7:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, DEC. 22: Volksmarching is something else. It's leisurely walking with a little sightseeing along a planned route. But wait: That's not all! A volkswalk has the added bonus of record keeping for the obsessive-compulsive CPA in all of us. No OCD? No worries! Volkssporters don't have to buy the event - and/or distance books to log participation: They can just walk with a purpose for fun and exercise. The Capitol Volkssport Club will walk the hell out of downtown Olympia, leaving the Bayview Thriftway at 10 a.m. The 10K route will lead walkers around Capitol Lake and through the South Capital neighborhood.

FRIDAY, DEC. 23: Today is the last day of downtown Olympia's 12 Days of Free Parking promotion. As a thank you to shoppers and diners for buying local and supporting downtown Olympia the city has allowed free two-hour parking in the pay station areas of downtown since Dec. 12. Head to Olympia for your last-minute shopping.

SATURDAY, DEC. 24: Capital Christian Center as they present He Is, a night of acting, music and celebration from 4-6 p.m. inside the Washington Center in Olympia.  If He is anything like Bobble Tiki, He is frustrated he can't find Shania Twain's Down-Home Country Christmas at Thong Beach in the local record stores.

SUNDAY, DEC. 25: Look for Bobble Tiki at Denny's. In the corner. All day. Weeping and slightly drunk.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Santa Says Blog

December 4, 2011 at 10:19pm

FREELOADERS: Lesser-known Holidays Edition

Celebrate Mallard Day this Friday.

FREE EVENTS IN THE SOUTH PUGET SOUND DEC. 5-11 >>>

Feeling disenchanted this holiday season? Well, there's a holiday for that. A Festivus for the Rest of Us, created by Seinfeld character Frank Costanza who thought the holidays became to be too much: too much buying, too much stress, too much glitz. Costanza's Festivus holiday included a Festivus pole, feats of strength and the ritual airing of grievances.

What other holidays take place during this time of year?

Bobble Tiki found seven local, lesser-known holidays this week, all without an admission charge.

MONDAY, DEC. 5: "Roadiem"

  • Wake up a noon
  • Watch Spinal Tap three times
  • Drive to Ted Brown Music and discuss replacing heads and sandbagging hardware with the employees until they want to kill you
  • Hit the free Percussion Ensemble concert at 7:30 p.m. inside the Schneebeck Concert Hall at the University of Puget Sound
  • Stay up until 4 a.m. building and dismantling an Erector Set

TUESDAY, DEC. 6: "Pretendus"

  • Admit the biggest damper on holiday cheer is your adulthood
  • Banish grown-ups
  • Catch the free 10:30 a.m. Caspar Babypants show at the Tacoma Public Library in downtown Tacoma
  • Make a fort in your living room
  • Fall asleep to Shake It Up

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 7: "Heat Miser Day"

  • Sing the song, obviously
  • Turn the heat dial in your car to 90
  • Gather up your greener friends and head to the Joy Building on the University of Washington Tacoma campus for Ellen Moore's free 12:30 p.m. lecture titled "Feeling The Heat: How American Mainstream Media Cover Environmental Issues."
  • Make fun of the people working at Baskin-Robbins
  • Fall asleep with your electric blanket on

THURSDAY, DEC. 8: "Waterstock"

  • Turn on the oven
  • Tune in KZOK
  • Cook a burrito
  • Eat the burrito in front of The Dancing Lights Show, a computer-animated light show with music, featuring a 50-foot yacht decorated with more than 15,000 lights that turn on around 7 p.m. at the Olympia Yacht Club
  • Think about dropping out, but instead play Angry Birds on your phone

FRIDAY, DEC. 9: "Mallard Day"

  • Gather your entire extended family at the first annual "Duck the Halls Caroling Competition" at 6:30 p.m. at the Market Square in University Place. Bring food for the food bank.
  • Put the younger generation in uncomfortable duck costumes
  • Invite your Allstate agent because Aflac reduces ducks' humanity
  • Eat bread pudding

SATURDAY, DEC. 10: "Brass Knocks"

  • Put on your David Titterington black turtleneck sweater
  • Watch every brass and organ concert on television
  • When there isn't a brass and organ concert going on, talk about brass and organ concerts you saw over the last 10 years or are about to see with everyone around you
  • Submit your brass and organ players to your fantasy league commissioner
  • End the day with the free 7 p.m. Brass and Organ Christmas Concert at St. John's Episcopal Church in Gig Harbor

SUNDAY, DEC. 11: "Wonder Year Day"

  • Start your day with a bowl of Quisp
  • Attend the free 2 p.m. book and slide presentation by Paul J. Stein on the 1962 Seattle World's Fair inside the Tacoma Public Library in downtown Tacoma
  • Ride your bike accross town then call someone on a pay phone to pick you up
  • Don't wear a seatbelt on the ride home

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Santa Says Blog

November 27, 2011 at 11:23am

FREELOADERS: Space Edition!

FREE EVENTS IN THE SOUTH SOUND NOV. 28-DEC. 3 >>>

Oh man, Bobble Tiki loves outer space, UFOs, lizard people from the 5th Dimension walking among us and everything X-Files. Many times Bobble Tiki has hopped around the Arizona desert, searching for clues and bunkers and spacecraft wreckage and secret codes written on tablets of transparent zirconium. And look! Northwest expert James Clarkson is lecturing this week. Righteous. In his honor, Bobble Tiki presents a week of free outer-space-ISH events in happening in the South Sound.

MONDAY, NOV. 28: Every Monday DJ Melodica spins punk, post punk, New Wave and early electronica tunes during Micro Mondays at Magoo's Annex in Tacoma. Bobble Tiki can only assume Melodica will spin "space" music by Aphex Twins, Thomas Dolby, Enigma, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, and, of course, "Space Age Love Song." The free music begins at 8:30 p.m.

TUESDAY, NOV. 29: Once Sold Tales Bookstore Outlet in Kent allows those 18 and younger to take home free five books from 60,000 titles from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. as a way to encourage reading in the next generation. Bobble Tiki expects The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System, The Sky Is Full of Stars, Binky The Space Cat, Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space and Colonization Of Psychic Space: A Psychoanalytic Social Theory Of Oppression and to be among the choices.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 30: Yes! James Clarkson, a career investigator and UFOlogist will discuss cases of unidentified flying objects in the Northwest and ideas on the nature of non-human intelligence for free at 7:30 p.m. inside the Olympia Timberland Library. Is anyone else suddenly picturing Gillian Anderson in a black dress with a white duster?

THURSDAY, DEC. 1: This might be stretching this week's theme but Bobble Tiki believes mediation is an attempt to build on your inner consciousness so that you have an enhanced awareness of both your valid existence and your rightful relationship to the infinite cosmos. At 7 p.m. inside The Nalanda Institute Dharma Center in Olympia, a free class will be held on "Contemplative Science, Dharma Practice from a Research Perspective," These teachings are based on recent collaborative research studies between Buddhist scholars/meditators and western researchers.

FRIDAY, DEC. 2: Space is the place. The Future Bass maestros of intelligent electronica descend upon the Tempest Lounge for a cover-free night so intense that mere dancing is not sufficient. DJs BROAM, Bobby Galaxy and Sound Selector E.S. present the latest and future of electronic music while immersed in a lush environment of projected video and live visuals. The spaceship takes off at 9:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, DEC. 3: As Hollywood's bottomless recycling bin continues along the dark path of rebooting, relaunching, CGI-ing and 3D-ing an entire generation of young executives' childhood memories into franchise-ready properties, Jim Henson's iconic creations have hit recently returned to the big screen with The Muppets. In celebration the Lakewood Pierce County Library will celebrate The Muppets with Muppet movies, including Muppets From Space, beginning at 1:30 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: 2011 South Sound Holiday Happenings

November 20, 2011 at 2:24pm

Freeloaders: Early Holiday Edition

Local artists and crafters will offer their wares Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Gritty City Gift Fair in downtown Tacoma. Admission is free.

FREE EVENTS FOR THE WEEK NOV. 21-27 >>>

Well, the spirit of Christmas is lurking around Freeloadersland, giving Bobble Tiki a wedgie. Bobble Tiki has already seen It's a Wonderful Life three times and the Christmas tunes are making him cross-eyed. And Bobble Tiki loves it! The trees are decorated, the stockings are hung and the egg is nogged. And in that spirit, Bobble Tiki has a lot of love and news to give, gentle reader, so sit back, pull that Santa hat up from your eyes and enjoy these free events this week in the South Sound.

MONDAY, NOV. 21: Ahh, Thanksgiving. Picture Bobble Tiki's festive holiday scene in your mind. Mom and dad are fighting over the giblets, again. Grandma's working on her 12th vodka gimlet and grandpa has followed Aunt Ho into the bathroom with the video camera. Downstairs, the kids are fighting over who gets to break the wishbone. Sure, it's 87-year-old Uncle Milikona's fragile collarbone, but now that television has supplanted actual parenting, no one cares. Well Uncle Milikona does, but he's already signed the will giving everything to some (gasp!) charity so no one will come to his aid anyhow. Meanwhile, there's a catfight a-brewing in the kitchen as the women in the family pick sides (well, except Aunt Ho, she's still in the bathroom) to fight to the death over who has the damn Tupperware. Every year someone brings Tupperware to collect leftovers and every freakin' year it disappears. Well this year someone's gonna die unless Bobble Tiki's entire family attends the 10:30 a.m. Avoid Those Holiday Blues Class at the Mill Ridge Village Retirement Community in Milton.

TUESDAY, NOV. 22: When Bobble Tiki thinks of stained glass, he thinks of Bruce and Peggy of Walden Designs. The Olympia couple has a showroom inside Sanford and Son Antiques displaying their centuries old traditional techniques of stained and kiln fired art glass - holiday style. Head for Tacoma's Antique Row and check out their handcrafted holiday show.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 23: Doyle's Public House hosts its annual Bad Sweater Party Wednesday night giving away prizes for the ugliest holiday sweaters. Santa has the details here.

THURSDAY, NOV. 24: Bobble Tiki can picture it.  First the turkey, then the stuffing, and of course the cranberry sauce . . . and you won't be able to resist the sweet potatoes with the little marshmallows. Afterward, you'll be collapsed on the couch with your pants unbuttoned, swatting helplessly at the bottle of Tums on the table. Bobble Tiki has a suggestion for you. Wake up Grandpa Joe, grab yourself an Everlasting Gobstopper, and burp your way over to The Acme Grub Cage for DJ Aaron Mack's "Thanksgiving Escape Plan," beginning at 8 p.m. He invites everyone over for a night of music and drinking - cover free. Mack is even willing to spin your music.

FRIDAY, NOV. 25: Every single one-day-at-a-time day is a struggle, particularly around the holidays - specifically during Black Friday. Bobble Tiki knows there are seven habits to becoming a highly effective person, 50 ways to leave your lover and 12 steps to sobriety. But after years and years as a recovering believer in Santa Claus, Bobble Tiki has to ask, "When will it end?" He can't let it go. And there's no better place to get into the holiday spirit than the brand spanking new Franciscan Polar Plaza in downtown Tacoma. Opening Nov. 25, and running through Jan. 2 at Tollefson Plaza, Polar Plaza gives the community an opportunity to come together and make memories to last a lifetime. The center of the holiday festivities is an outdoor ice rink, which costs money and doesn't have a home here in Freeloadersland. At the heart of Polar Plaza will be music, special holiday events, decorations, Christmas trees, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Just go, hang and get in the spirit.

SATURDAY, NOV. 26: America seems to have no real idea who the hell we are anymore, or what it means to have a humane and thoughtful national identity, and therefore we happily scratch and claw and fight our way into giant fluorescent-lit hellpits for a chance at a $31 DVD player and some crappy plasma TVs and a pallet of heavily discounted spatulas. Enter the Jada-Moon Gridley-created Gritty City Gift Fair, where local artists and crafters will offer their one-of-a-kind fairs - plus music and refreshments - from 3-9 p.m. at the 906 Broadway space in downtown Tacoma. Santa has more details here.

SUNDAY, NOV. 27: Olympia's Downtown for the Holidays is a day filled with fun and entertainment, from noon to 4:30 p.m. Most activities are centered in and about Sylvester Park, which will include free horse-drawn wagon rides with Mrs. Claus, a holiday parade (3 p.m.), and a tree-lighting ceremony.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Santa Says Blog

November 13, 2011 at 10:25pm

Freeloaders: Writers Edition

"Y The Last Man: Book One" will be discussed Monday night at the 1022 South lounge on Hilltop Tacoma.

THIS WEEK'S FREEBIES NOV. 14-20 >>>

Contrary to popular perception, writing is actual work. No matter the frivolity of the piece, even if it be a mere Freeloaders column, you can rest assured true blood, sweat and beers were spilled during its composition. Perhaps not as much blood, sweat, etc, in a Freeloaders column, as say in a novel, or a poem, or an essay, or a radio jingle, but. ... This is not the point. The point is that now it's time for you to meet the men and women behind the magic, and learn about the craft. The following are FREE opportunities to learn about the craft, discuss it or actually participate in it.

MONDAY, NOV. 14: New to the graphic novel game? An old pro? It really doesn't matter - Tacoma's Graphic Novel Book Club, which meets on the second Monday of every Month at 1022 South, has something for everyone. And guess what!?! It's the second Monday of the month! The GNBC dives into Y The Last Man: Book One by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra and José Marzán, Jr., the gripping saga of Yorick Brown, an unemployed and unmotivated slacker who discovers that he is the only male left in the world after a plague of unknown origin instantly kills every mammal with a Y chromosome. Y, this club is perfect for U.

TUESDAY, NOV. 15: The queer Banned Book Club meets at 7 p.m. to discuss banned books, why the books are banned and specifically, the club's November read, Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez over cocktails inside the Tempest Lounge. The book follows the lives of three gay high school seniors, each with their own struggles. The story addresses very real, and very serious issues that many gay teens face: suicide, friendship, coming to terms with one's own sexuality, coming out, HIV, family, and homophobia.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 16: While it takes some English professors an entire semester to analyze one Robert Frost poem, Doug and Anne Hoppper will cover Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice in about 90 minutes. What Bobble Tiki calls Cliff's Notes for Christians, First Presbyterian Church's "Great Truths from Great Books" explores the spiritual meaning of some of the world's greatest books. This week, it's all about mercy, intolerance, and revenge in the South Chapel at 7 p.m.

THURSDAY, NOV. 17: Tacoma's Poet Laureate Josie Turner summoned Tacoma poets to converge on the Proctor Art Gallery and go dactyl, enjambment and free verse on what they saw. The poetry is on display by the art that inspired it in what the gallery calls "Poetry in Response to Art." It runs through Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

FRIDAY, NOV. 18: At midnight on Nov. 1, 250,000 people around the world set out to become novelists in a month with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The Yelm Timberland Library, an official NaNoWriMo participant site, will provide support, hosting a 7 p.m. to midnight write-in. Refreshments and additional support will be provided. Go NaNoWriMo!

SATURDAY, NOV. 19: Writing good nonfiction isn't something that comes naturally to everyone. Maybe there's help: the Pacific Northwest chapter of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981 meets at 11 a.m. inside King's Books. Both members and non-members are welcome to attend. Writers are invited to bring two pages of double-spaced copy to read, or you can listen and be part of the critique process.  Nonfiction writers of history, politics, economics, biography or family history are especially encouraged to attend, but those who write about kittens are welcome. Bill Johnston says you better pre-register with him, or else he'll write something about you.

SUNDAY, NOV. 20: While major publishing houses are suffering sliding scales and have axed jobs, e-books have been a perennial Next Big Thing - except to authors without name recognition or comfy advances. But you don't care. You just want to know how to work the damn thing. The Summit Pierce County Library will offer a free 1:30 p.m. class on how to operate e-readers and other devices compatible with Pierce County Library's e-book resources and download and install the software needed to get started.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Free Tacoma restaurant app

Filed under: Books, Word, Freeloaders, Tacoma, Arts,

November 6, 2011 at 5:11pm

FREELOADERS: Old Edition

Check out the grey nurse shark feeding Saturday mornings at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

THIS WEEK'S FREEBIES NOV. 7-13 >>>

Hey, what happened?  Bobble Tiki was just traipsing happily through autumn, watching the leaves turn pretty colors and fall into someone else's yard, when it suddenly turned cold!

When the cold arrives is when Bobble Tiki begins doing his old man thing: puttering around the house. Bobble Tiki walks around turning lamps on and off, makes coffee, calls to see which checks cleared overnight, visits the porch to see which plants he has killed and, well, just putter. Anything you read on this page must be taken with a grain of salt, because Bobble Tiki can't remember what it is he's supposed to be doing.

But don't fret, gentle reader, because Bobble Tiki sends you another fresh Freeloaders column to keep your tootsies toasty. This week, Bobble Tiki will focus on free events centered on things that are old. Like Bobble Tiki. 

MONDAY, NOV. 7: Tacoma playwright C. Rosalind Bell presents a free staged reading of her screenplay about blues guitar legend Robert Johnson at the Toy Boat Theatre in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood. Twelve professional and community actors will bring to life the African American blues artist who, in the 1930s south, developed a sound and approach that was to influence the entire genre of rock and roll music, before his untimely death at 27 after being poisoned by the husband of a woman he was wooing.

TUESDAY, NOV. 8: For some reason, the history books concentrate on the presidents after the adoption of the U. S. Constitution. However there were 14 presidents prior to the U. S. Constitution, eight of which served under an earlier constitution, The Articles of Confederation. The 14 Presidents Prior to George Washington exhibit - on display at Karpeles Manuscript Museum next to Wright Park in Tacoma - will discuss history during these 14 presidential terms. As always, admission is free.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 9: Emile Zola's epic Germinal was published in 1885: the year Freud arrived in Paris to study hysteria, and the year the miner's son, DH Lawrence, was born. Psychologically, socially and politically, Germinal was a trailblazing fiction set in the 1860s in a mining community in northern France. Meeting in Tacoma since 1994 - the year Bobble Tiki was beat up by his construction site buddies after Bobble Tiki said he preferred anti-folk, no-wave and some math rock over country music - the Classic Book Club will discuss Germinal at 7 p.m. inside King's Books.

THURSDAY, NOV. 10: For the past 25 years investigative journalist David Barsamian has altered the independent media landscape with his weekly audio series Alternative Radio, a one-hour public affairs program carried by over 125 radio outlets in the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond. In September, he was deported from India for his work on Kashmir and other revolts. At 7:30 p.m. Barsamian will give a free lecture on "Uprisings: Form Kashmir to Egypt to wall Street inside the Washington State Labor Council office in Olympia.

FRIDAY, NOV. 11: The Washington State History Museum will admit active duty and retired military and their family free admission on Veteran's Day. At 2 p.m. the downtown Tacoma museum will commemorate Veteran's Day by reading aloud a series of recollections written by or about military service members past and present. Members of the public are invited to recount, in 500 words or less, a personal experience related to the American armed forces or a memory of someone who is or was in military

SATURDAY, NOV. 12: What was life on Earth like in the years between the dinosaur extinction and the rise of human beings?  Bobble Tiki was thinking it must have been pure bliss.  But no, there were dangers a plenty, which you may witness if you drop in on the shark feeding at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium at 11 a.m. 

SUNDAY NOV. 13: Remember how sweet life was before everyone was addicted to TV and the Internet?  When situations weren't created for you - you actually had to use your imagination to spice up life? Shake the dust off your brain, and listen to Dr. Lorraine McConaghy discuss her newly released book, New Land, North of the Columbia: Historic Documents that Tell the Story of Washington State from Territory to Today, at 2 p.m. inside The Tacoma Public Library Main Branch. Historian McConaghy has traversed the state and sifted through the files of three dozen archives to cull the 400-plus documents that bring to life Washington's last 150 years.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Nightlife It List

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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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