Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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November 7, 2012 at 4:32pm

Local "Jeopardy!" contestant invites you to cheer him on

"JEOPARDY!": Was John Hines dreaming of delicious wings when he posed with host Alex Trebek? Photo courtesy of Jeopardy Productions, Inc.

WHEN WINGS AND SMARTS COLLIDE >>>

John Hines, a teacher at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way, is one of 15 contestants competing on the JEOPARDY!Teachers Tournament, vying for the $100,000 cash prize. Hines's episode airs at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Nov. 8, on KOMO 4 TV.

To celebrate his upcoming match, Hines invites the public to watch the episode, and chow down on big piles of wings, tomorrow at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar by the Tacoma Mall. Hines has added a fundraising element to his television viewing, asking folks to help support the Foss High School football team, which he coaches.

If Hines wins his quarterfinal match tomorrow, he will advance to the semifinals and then to the two-day finals. If he loses, he'll take home $5,000. A loss in the semi-finals will nab him $10,000. However, Hines is a coach. He only sees W's — although the $50,000 second prize and $20,000 third prize aren't shabby paydays. Any one of those dollar amounts will buy more shoulder pads than a towel boy could carry.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS GRILL & BAR, THURSDAY, NOV. 8, 7:30 P.M., 4219 S. STEELE ST., TACOMA, 253.473.7699

November 6, 2012 at 7:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Election night parties, Mexican takeover, The Breaklites and more ...

THE BREAKLITES: Funked-up white kid hip-hop at its best.

ELECTION DAY, NOV. 6, 2012 >>>

1. If you have saddled up to one of Moctezuma's giant margaritas you know what it's like to be taken over at the Tacoma Mexican restaurant. Today, Metro Parks Tacoma's Specialized Recreation program will reverse the situation and takeover Moctezuma's grabbing 20 percent of money spent on the joint's food to support programs, scholarships and field trips for individuals with disabilities. Sadly, no one can take over its alcohol. Moctezuma's, 4102 S. 56th St., Tacoma, 253.404.3950

2. The Brotherhood Lounge in downtown Olympia bar offers election returns on its 9-foot screen beginning at 4 p.m. with happy hour until 7 p.m. 119 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 360.352.4153

3. It's Tuesday. You know what that means: MindTap Trivia at The Swiss. Two bucks a person; teams up to seven. Winner keeps all the cash. 7 p.m., The Swiss, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.2821

4. Derek Kilmer hosts a bash to watch returns for his run for U.S. Representative Congressional District 6 with the Washington United for Marriage, Pierce County Democratic Party, Restore Transit Now!, Pat McCarthy, Eric Herde, Laurie Jinkins, Lauren Walker, Jeannie Darneille, Ann Dasch, Connie Ladenburg and Steve Kirby beginning at 7:45 p.m. at the fancy Hotel Murano.

5. The Mix bar in Tacoma's Triangle District is throwing an Approve R74 party and celebrating the belief that that all loving couples, including gay and lesbian couples, deserve to marry the person they love. The Mix also approves of The Breaklites busting out some rhymes around 10 p.m. The Mix, 635 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.4327

LINK: Tuesday, Nov. 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

April 26, 2012 at 9:24pm

LEGOs come to life at Tacoma studio

Andrew Parker sat and sorted through hundreds of multi-colored LEGO bricks as he contemplated building a re-creation of the ancient city of Troy.

"I began to play with LEGOs when I was three years old," the eighth grader said as he worked in a studio at City Blocks, located on the lower floor of Freighthouse Square.

At the entrance to the studio, there is a large table full of thousands of LEGO blocks, and everyone is welcome to stop by and create art.

"I like the creativity, and I can build what I want to," Parker said.

Comprised of one-of-a-kind businesses and a large number of ethnic restaurants, Freighthouse Square is located at 440 East 25th Street in downtown Tacoma.

City Blocks is the 11 year-old creation of Dan Parker, an energetic individual who happens to be one of 13 certified LEGO artists in the country.

Along with other area LEGO enthusiasts, Parker has fashioned meticulous creations made from tens of thousands of different colored LEGO blocks. One of the biggest he helped to create was a life-sized Nativity Scene comprised of more than one million bricks, which took more than four months to build.

When asked how many LEGO bricks he thought he had in the studio, Parker chuckled and said, "Three million give or take 100,000."

Comparing the plastic LEGO bricks to musical notes, Parker went on to say that the bricks are the fundamental bits of creativity.

These bricks of creativity began in 1932 when Ole Kirk Christiansen started making wooden toys in the village of Billund, Denmark. Two years later, Christiansen's little business adopted the name LEGO.  The word comes from the Danish word "LEg GOd," which means to "play well."  Ironically, the word LEGO means "I put together" in Latin.

The first LEGO blocks were made of wood.

During the 1940s, the LEGO Company began to make its blocks out of plastic, and in March of 1955 the company launched the "LEGO System of Play" with 28 sets and eight vehicles. In 1958, the present day LEGO stud-and-tube coupling system was patented.

Today, the fun of creating with LEGO bricks is making a renaissance across the country.

"The Washington, D.C. area, the Great Lakes area and the Pacific Northwest are centers of LEGO artists," Parker said as he packed Batman themed LEGO creations to take to a weekend birthday party.

While true, there are very few LEGO clubs in the area, and none were found at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"Working with LEGOS is a pushback against electronic games," Parker continued.   "It's the opportunity to work with your heart, head and hands."

City Blocks creates centerpieces for use at corporate events and fundraisers.  When not making LEGO creations for clients, Parker and his associates travel to summer camps and festivals to display their talents.

"We also host birthday parties here in the studio, or we will come to your home," Parker added.  "We will show up with tubs of LEGO blocks and play with the kids."

City Block's studio is open Mondays to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For more information, call (253) 632-9407 or visit www.facebook/cityblocks.

Filed under: Games,

April 2, 2012 at 11:28am

NERD ALERT!: The week in geek chic diversions (April 2-8)

"AVENGERS VS. X-MEN": OMG yes!

Welcome to the first in a semi-recurring series of Spew blog entries devoted to all things nerdly. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

Monday, April 2

Westeros hangover. Take it easy and drink plenty of fluids.

Tuesday, April 3

Technically issue #1 of Avengers Vs. X-Men doesn't street until Wednesday, but Nick Fury expects you to be better prepared. The Avengers movie is only a month away, so stifle your raging nerd boner by burying your nose in the glorious work of industry legends Brian Bendis and John Romita, Jr. Gabi's giving away free swag to early purchasers, so stick it to the Phoenix Force (and that smirking douche Cyclops) once and for all ... at least till issue #2.

I've never met a geek yet who didn't love a few hours of drunken trivia. Tuesday night is Quiz Night at The Swiss, and yes, that means cash prizes. The game room boasts foosball, an antique shuffleboard table, and an HD console hunting game called Big Buck Safari. Let's face it, fellow geeks: that's the closest we'll ever get to real danger. I still have PTSD from Atari Jungle Hunt.

  • The Swiss, Quiz Night, free, 7 p.m., 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.2821

Friday, April 6

Look, you can celebrate the vernal fertility rite however you want, but for my money, the Anglo-Saxon dawn goddess Eostre all but demands you join Lacey Parks & Rec at the Third Annual Adult Flashlight Egg Scramble. (My wife received the gift of an adult flashlight at her bachelorette party, and let me tell you, it enlivens any occasion.) The event boasts an over-40 field, a ladies-only field, and if things get crazy at the punch bowl, a clothing-optional field. Good Friday indeed!

  • Regional Athletic Complex, Adult Flashlight Easter Scramble, $5, 9 p.m., 8345 Steilacoom Rd. SE, Olympia, 360.491.0857

On the other hand, I've seen Hell's Belles, the all-female AC/DC tribute band; and their guitarist, Adrian Conner, will blow your face bones clean out the back of your skull. This represents a Class Five "missing this event is not an option" type situation, so ... sorry, Jesus and Eostre. We'll catch back up with you on Sunday.

  • Capitol Theater, Hell's Belles, $10-$15, 8:30 p.m., 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia, 360.754.6670

Spoiler alert for next week: Radiohead plays Seattle next Monday. Why, yes, I can sing OK Computer from beginning to end from memory! ... which makes me even sadder than Thom Yorke.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Olympia, Tacoma, Books, Music, Games,

March 22, 2012 at 9:20am

5 Things To Do Today: 100th Monkey at TAM, Kareem Kandi, OlyBlues Dance Night and more ...

Kareem Kandi

THURSDAY, MARCH 22, 2012 >>>

1. 100th Monkey is set to invade Tacoma Art Museum tonight, offering a chance to mingle and bear witness to the Hide/Seek exhibit at TAM. Described as and, "ongoing artists' schmoozefest," 100th Monkey events are always a good time. Even better, according to hype, "Claudia Riedener, Lynn Di Nino and Di Morgan-Graves are creating a limited edition of tiles on the theme of "gender identity and sexual orientation" to be available for $5 each the night of the ape fest."

2. Catch jazz saxophonist Kareem Kandi, who recently composed and recorded the new CD, See What I'm Saying, tonight at the SOTA Theater.

3. It's OlyBlues Dance Night at the Eagles Hall! Head to the third floor and be ready to have some fun. Find more info here.

4. For the all-ages crowd, Lo' There Do I See My Brother, Code Red, Drag Me Under, Merciless and Blunt Force will play Tacoma's Red Room this evening, plugging in at 7 p.m. There's an $8 cover charge.

5. The Ram Restaurant and Brewery on Ruston Way hosts the Geeks Who Drink pub quiz, which consists of eight rounds of eight questions and is played in teams of up to six people. Questions are read aloud by the quizmaster; teams write their answers on provided sheets and turn them in at the end of each round. The team with the most points after eight rounds is the winner. Oh, and there's drinking involved, too. The fun begins at 8:30 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound happy hours

March 21, 2012 at 9:56am

5 Things To Do Today: Late Night Karaoke, Kim Archer open mic, Shrouded Strangers with Apache Chief and more ...

Kim Archer hosts an open mic tonight at the Harmon Tap Room.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2012 >>>

1. Shrouded Strangers is a garage-pop band that stays true to the tropes and sounds of a band labeled garage-pop, while also incorporating deliriously psychedelic elements. Nominally, the band draws influences from the more experimental side of the Beatles, among other British invasion acts. When they get weird, there's always an undercurrent of pop that keeps the lunacy grounded. Tonight the band plays The New Frontier in Tacoma with Apache Chief, Solomon and Tummler.

2. If it's classic rock you're looking for, Tatoosh will be holed up at Stonegate Pizza on South Tacoma Way - playing good ol' fashioned rock starting at 9 p.m. It's all part of what's now known as the Tatoosh Hump Day Jam at Stonegate. That's hot.

3. Wednesday night is always good for getting quizzical in the South Sound. The Harmon Brewery hosts Trivia Night with Gordon Adams, Doyle's Public House offers Knowledge Night team trivia with awesome prizes, and out at the Steilacoom Pub and Grill Steilacoom catch "Trivia with Dave." Find all the info you need right here.

4. The newly musical Harmon Tap Room on Tacoma's St. Helens Avenue welcomes local-favorite Kim Archer tonight, along with the open mic she's hosting. Should be awesome sauce.

5.There may be no better venue in Olympia to belt out the hits as the China Clipper on Fourth Avenue, which hosts Late Night Karaoke every Wednesday for the hard-drinking, hard-singing crowd. You should see this spectacle.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

March 19, 2012 at 10:07am

5 Things To Do Today: Alysia Wood, Poetry Night at al Forno Ferruzza, Tap Room Trivia and more ...

Catch comedian Alysia Wood tonight at Stonegate Pizza.

MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2012 >>>

1. Comedian Alysia Wood remembers getting her start at the house emcee at Tacoma's Comedy Underground. While these days Wood lives in L.A. and is prepping for the release of her debut comedy album on Standup! Records, Princess, she returns to the Northwest tonight for a celebratory (and sure to be laugh-filled) show at Stonegate Pizza. Produced by Grammy award-winning producer Dan Schlissel, Princess may well be the start of even bigger and better things for Wood.

2. As a popular poet once noted, "Makin' your way / in the world today / takes everything you've got." Yes, it's back to the coal mines, tired already from late partying at the BroHo. You need something to soak up that beer, and an artist with mad flow to screw your head on straight. We float you home, Gentle Reader, on the soothing cadences of Poetry Night at al Forno Ferruzza. That's right, it's a full-on poetry slam, slathered in delicious mozzarella. Your lingering hangover demands this. An offshoot of a beloved Portland pizzeria, al Forno offers hearty calzones and pies, a range of wines at $7 a half-carafe, and now, THE KNOWLEDGE. Preach it.

3. Catch rising Tacoma band Death By Stars tonight at Magoo's as part of Showcase Monday. DJ Pocket Square will also be in the house, with the action kicking off at 8:30 p.m.

4. Tonight at the Swiss drink beer and behold Dakota Bob & The Businessman Band, starting at 8 p.m. and featuring absolutely no cover charge.

5. Drop in on Tap Room Trivia tonight at the Harmon Tap Room on St. Helens Avenue. Look for a $50 cash prize for the winner of each round and too much fun to contain - running from 6 - 8 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight in the region

March 7, 2012 at 9:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Tatoosh, Gypsy jazz with Blue Grit, trivia everywhere and more ...

It's time again for Rock N Roll Bingo at the New Frontier!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, 2012 >>>

1. Drop on over to everyone's favorite neighborhood bar, Magoo's, and check out Gypsy jazz by Blue Grit tonight. There's no cover charge and the fun starts at 8 p.m.

2. If it's classic rock you're looking for, Tatoosh will be holed up at Stonegate Pizza on South Tacoma Way - playing good ol' fashioned rock starting at 9 p.m.

3. Play bingo with those not just killing time before the Grim Reaper calls their number. Every Wednesday at The New Frontier Lounge, players are treated to a rather boisterous evening of number-calling. The music rocks, the prizes are craptastic and there's something very satisfying about yelling "It's not a tumor!" when B-9 is pulled from the hopper (Schwarzenegger anyone?). Sessions are free with $2 margaritas and $4 Cuervo Gold shots during bingo. Every Wednesday night is also Taco Night with $1 beef, $1 black bean and $2 chicken in soft or crunchy shells.

4. Holy crap! Hump Day already? That must mean it's time again for Masa College Night. Expect flesh.

5. Wednesday night is always good for getting quizzical in the South Sound. The Harmon Brewery hosts Trivia Night with Gordon Adams, Doyle's Public House offers Knowledge Night team trivia with awesome prizes, and out at the Steilacoom Pub and Grill Steilacoom catch "Trivia with Dave." Find all the info you need right here.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

March 5, 2012 at 9:48am

5 Things To Do Today: Science!, Metal Monday, "Late Night Karaoke" at the China Clipper and more ...

Science! tonight at Charlie's in Olympia. PHOTO CREDIT: Patrick Snapp

MONDAY, MARCH 5, 2012 >>>

1. Catch Olympia's "best new band" as voted by the readers of the Weekly Volcano tonight at Charlie's Sports Bar and Grill. The acoustic jams kick off at 9 p.m

2. Throw on your best aging t-shirt and limber up your devil horns, because Monday means it's time for yet another Metal Monday at The New Frontier Lounge. The head-banging starts at 9 p.m.

3. Monday night is trivia night at the Tacoma Comedy Club on Market Street. There's no cover to get in, and the questions kick off at 7 p.m. In addition to the general thrill of victory, cash and prizes are also advertised.

4. Speaking of trivia, one of the best trivia nights in the area goes down each Monday at the Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma's Stadium District. It runs from 6 -8 p.m., with the winner of each round a $50 cash prize according to hype.

5. Common sense might suggest getting loaded on a Monday night and singing your ass off at the China Clipper's "Late Night Karaoke" might be a questionable idea. But screw common sense. With the karaoke starting at 9 p.m., we suggest sucking down a couple of the Clipper's notoriously strong drinks and then letting it all hang out.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

February 29, 2012 at 7:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Exchange your stuff, blind IPA tasting, live painting at The Mix, rock and roll bingo ...

Exchange At Embellish MultiSpace Salon: Someone will want this.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 29, 2012 >>>

1. Join the Tacoma Convergence for its second Exchange from 7:30-9 p.m. at Embellish MultiSpace Salon. Here's how it works: Everyone has old books, CDs, clothes, knick-knacks, chotchkies, and other stuff that they don't need. You bring your stuff. Other folks bring their stuff. Then, you take the stuff what you want. Others take the stuff they want. And all the stuff is free.

2. STINK Cheese and Meat in Tacoma will host a blind tasting of five IPAs from 5-7 p.m. for $5.

3. A good man in a G-string is hard to find. Sure, it's reasonably easy to persuade someone to pose for a drawing, but even if an artist's friends and loved ones are willing to pose in the name of art, they'll soon find that it takes exceptional patience to remain frozen in place for hours on end. Life painting is one of art's most time-honored traditions, though, and there will always be a stream of aspiring Renoirs and Vermeers eager to give it a shot ... including tonight at The Mix. Artist Julian Peña has organized a live art session at 8:30 p.m. inside the gay-friendly bar in Tacoma's Triangle District. Expect local artists of all skill levels painting and sipping cocktails.

4. Beginning at 6 p.m. the bicycle-themed neighborhood joint The Hub serves $3 Sex On The Beach, Sex On the Bar and wells every Wednesday. Yes, those naughtily named cocktails, so beloved by bachelorettes, frat boys and others who are but a few years beyond drinking age, are tasty cheap.

5. Every Wednesday at 10 p.m. inside the The New Frontier Lounge, bingo players are treated to a rather boisterous evening of number-calling by the lovely Brooke. The music rocks, the prizes are craptastic and there's something very satisfying about yelling "It's not a tumor!" when B-9 is pulled from the hopper (Schwarzenegger anyone?). Sessions are free with $2 margaritas and $4 Cuervo Gold shots during bingo. Every Wednesday night is also Taco Night with $1 beef, $1 black bean and $2 chicken in soft or crunchy shells.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

LINK: South Sound Happy Hours

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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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