Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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September 16, 2014 at 4:59pm

Nerd Alert! - Destiny City Comics, Wolf in White Van, The Trip to Italy

Michael Fitzgerald will offer a daily 15 percent discount on all graphic novels at his Destiny City Comics, opening Oct. 1. Courtesy photo

Destiny City Comics

The first day of October will find a welcome new resident to the Stadium District: Destiny City Comics. Located near Tacoma's foremost hub for literature, King's Books, Destiny City Comics will be starting out of the gate as one of the city's premier spots to find illustrated creativity. The shop will be joining newcomers such as zine-distributor the Nearsighted Narwhal in bringing more independent and varied sources of the written word to Tacoma.

Wednesday, as comics fans know, is the day when new arrivals appear at stores, waiting to be pounced on by hungry readers. The first day of Destiny City Comics falls on Wednesday, Oct. 1, so plan on coming early and often to nab product from your favorite major or indie imprint.

Wolf in White Van

In other literature news, John Darnielle has released his debut novel, Wolf in White Van. As the frontman (and often sole member) of The Mountain Goats, Darnielle has been delivering devastating indie rock for more than 20 years. For those familiar with his work, the idea of Darnielle eventually releasing a novel is far from unexpected - one only wonders why it didn't happen sooner. As a lyricist, Darnielle excelled at painting beautifully heartbreaking pictures that hinted at characters' long, deep backstories. He creates worlds with his music.

Now, for the legions of frighteningly devoted Mountain Goats fans, there is a chance to see what Darnielle can do with a more long-form expression. Already garnering overwhelmingly positive reviews, Wolf in White Van follows Sean Phillips, a man who deals with the agony of his own life by creating a sort of endless, by-mail role-playing game with players around the world. Reviewers have been mum about the lengths that this scenario might descend into the psyche, but it seems clear that tight-framed idea extends far beyond its boundaries.

Plus, role-playing games? How could Nerd Alert not cover it?

The Trip to Italy

In less intense nerd news, The Grand Cinema will be bringing The Trip to Italy to its theaters, this Friday. A sequel to the beguiling comedic travelogue, The Trip, Italy finds us once again in the company of British comedy legends Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as they tour through Europe, tasting food and trying to prove which one has the better Michael Caine impression.

The Trip was a supremely funny and laid-back quasi-documentary, perfectly content to ride the wave of its two stars' remarkable affability. Simply put, the movie is basically just watching two funny dudes being funny together in beautiful locales. What's not to like? This is what a sequel should be: you want to spend more time with these guys? Well, here you go.

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

September 16, 2014 at 8:04am

5 Things To Do Today: Never Young, "Beyond The Edge," The Lost Abbey, Pablo Menendez and Mezcla ...

Don't adjust your computer screen. It's Never Young.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 16 2014 >>>

1. Have you ever listened to some good, punky emo and wondered where all the sci-fi sound effects were? Wonder no more! Hailing from Oakland, California, Never Young have oddly decided to plant their feet in the netherworld where space-age wonder and full-throated, anthemic punk meet. Catch th eband with Trout Stream and Whatfunlifewas at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. At 11:30 a.m., May 29, 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest at 29,035 feet, the highest point on earth. The Beyond the Edge filmmakers gathered the journals, photographs, stories and interviews with the climbing expedition who were a part of this monumental achievement, and visually recreated it. Catch the film at 2:15 and 6:20 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

3. The ParkWay Tavern isn't calling it good after its recent massive IPA Fest. The North Slope Tacoma pub hosts the San Marcos, California, Belgian-inspired brewery The Lost Abbey and its brews at 5 p.m. We have no idea what will be poured, but our guess the beers will be high in alcohol and at least one named after some poor chap who forgot it was his turn to drive the plague cart.

4. A patchwork of agricultural lands, booming border towns, and fast-growing cities line the United State-Mexico border. Teams of border patrol agents cruise the landscape in white and green jeeps, hoping to stem the tide of illegal immigrants seeking to cross into the United States. Against this backdrop, Peg Bowden, a retired nurse, volunteers at a migrant shelter in the Arizona borderlands, a sort of third country, with one foot in Mexico and the other in the United States. Bowden has stories. She gathered them into a series of true stories and personal reflections: A Land of Hard Edges: Serving the Front Lines of the Border. Hear her stories at 7 p.m. in Immanuel Presbyterian Church.

5. One of today's foremost ambassadors of Afro-Cuban msuic is Pablo Menéndez and his band, Mezcla. Known for their fusion of Cuban jazz, Afro-Cuban rumba, and Cuban rock and son (salsa), the guitarist and his band have been influencing the Caribbean music scene since their formation in 1985. Renowned musician Carlos Santana once described Mezcla's music as "the cleanest, freshest water I have ever tasted." enjoy the band at 7:30 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall at the University of Puget Sound.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 16 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 14, 2014 at 7:55am

5 Things To Do Today: Jazz LIVE at Marine View, Dayclub, Groovin Higher Orchestra, Stand-up Truth or Dare ...

Saxophonist Mark Lewis and his quartet launch the Jazz LIVE at Marine View series tonight.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 14 2014 >>>

1. Jazz LIVE at Marine View is one of the best jazz series in the South Sound, and it isn't even in a club. The venue is actually a church off beautiful Marine View Drive in Northwest Tacoma; it also happens to host a treasured music series for free. The series starts up again at 5 p.m. with Mark Lewis Quartet featuring guitarist Milo Petersen who has been honored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and the Seattle Arts Commission. Petersen has performed with a wide array of artists including Eartha Kitt, Ernestine Anderson, Julian Priester, Cedar Walton and Mose Allison. Saxophone and flute master Mark Lewis, bassist Chuck Kistler and drummer Brad Boal.

2. The Social Bar and Grill's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watch condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, tables mean nothing as resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This quadruple threat of delicious food, booze, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub." Today marks the last Dayclub of the season. Mr. Melanin says it's going to be off the hook.

3. A Most Wanted Man is a taut, tense spy thriller, a fitting swan song for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a poignant reminder of why he was a most wanted man in Tinseltown. Read Jared Lovrak's review of the film here, then catch it at the Capitol Theater at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.

4. Rich Wetzel's Groovin Higher Orchestra will drop in on Stonegate Pizza to perform a rockin' big band jazz dinner show from 5-8pm.

1. You mooned Bus #37 outside Oakbrook Elementary School in 1978. You depantsed Sid at Lakes High School in 1981. You streaked down Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma in 1983. You skinny-dipped at Owen Beach in 1985. You went to law school in 1988. You have had a life-full of truth or dare games. May we suggest the Stand-up Truth or Dare game at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club. Jubal Flagg hosts five comedians who will perform stand-up, then spin the Wheel of Terror to find out their fate. The other comedians get to come up with questions and challenges, and the audience gets to decide what they have to do. It should be old school for you.

LINK: Sunday, Sept. 14 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 12, 2014 at 7:15am

5 Things To Do Today: "And Then There Were None," Park(ing) Day chat, "The School for Lies," Girl Trouble on film ...

"And Then There Were None" opens tonight at the Lakewood Playhouse. Artwork by James Stowe

FRIDAY, SEPT. 12 2014 >>>

1 Whodunit? Criminal mastermind Agatha Christie's 1943 And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians) - based on her best-selling novel of the same name - is a mind-bending murder mystery that asks that very question. And the Lakewood Playhouse production will keep you guessing, beginning at 8 p.m. Ten strangers are trapped on an island resort and one of them is eliminating them one by one until there are none. If there's a dude wearing a striped shirt and metal claw in the show, our money is on him.

2. Spaceworks Tacoma is excited to announce the latest Spaceworks Creative Enterprise to open its doors, The Blue Octopus on Pearl. Grand opening festivities are set for from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., plus a reception from 6-8 p.m., at 5013 N. Pearl Street in Ruston. Nationally recognized artist Kerry Cole, owner of The Blue Octopus, offers painting parties, an art gallery, and a painting studio at her new location.

3. Holy Leslie Knope! Can you imagine Tacoma without Optimist Park? Without Ursich Park? Without anywhere to take your dog off the leash and let her run? Even in dense, urban areas, open space is a calming force, giving us a place to sit, lie, tag zombies or walk amidst the birds and the trees. National Park(ing) Day - the annual global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into "PARK(ing)" spaces: temporary public places - invades Tacoma Sept. 19. First, we need to discuss it. Three speakers will present concepts in Pecha Kucha format (20 slides, 20 seconds each) followed by a discussion on the topic of public space and "parklets" (or mini parks) from noon to 1 p.m. at UW Tacoma (Joy Building 215).

4. In its first full production, Tacoma nonprofit theater Working Class Theater Northwest presents contemporary playwright David Ives’s farce The School for Lies at 8 p.m. in the former Deltan Club space at 733 Commerce. Directed by South Sound theater alum Tom Sanders, with a local cast of six men and three women, the farcical, fast-paced and scintillating comedy runs modern variations on Molière's The Misanthrope.

5. Isaac Olsen, the acclaimed Tacoma filmmaker who gave us Quiet Shoes (2010) and Ich Hunger (2013), is related to the Tacoma band Girl Trouble by blood. He's also the guy our readers named Best Filmmaker in 2014. His new documentary, Strictly Sacred, delves into Girl Trouble's archive of historical treasures. "Girl Trouble is a vastly creative band," Olsen explains, "who have brought all their artistic talents to the fore in the pursuit of pure entertainment experience. They were early pioneers of DIY. ... The other unique aspect of Girl Trouble is that they were avid chroniclers of their own story. ... It's almost as if Girl Trouble has been generating biographical material for the express purposes of a comprehensive film." Strictly Sacred opens Friday at 9 p.m. in The Grand Cinema (voted Best Movie House every year) for a week's run. Olsen will lead a discussion after the film.

LINK: Friday, Sept. 12 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 9, 2014 at 7:54am

5 Things To Do Today: Classical Tuesdays opens, "Tosca's Kiss," Elvis, Jars of Clay ...

Miho Takekawa and Diego Coy perform at Old Town Park tonight.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 9 2014 >>>

1. For classical music fans that want to hear something other than the 12,655th performance of Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony," the Classical Tuesdays in Old Town series every second Tuesday offers rousing performances of accessible music by classical guitarists, sitar musicians, hip young string players and opera in the Slavonian Hall and other Old Town Tacoma venues. "Sounds of Japan and Latin America" will feature duo Miho Takekawa on the marimba and Diego Coy playing the quena, a traditional Andean flute, perform distinctive warm, natural wood sounds as they take listeners on a musical journey from Japan to South America at 5:30 p.m. in Old Town Park. The duo have produced four CDs covering music of the Andes, traditional South American folk, Brazilian, Japanese, jazz and Latin jazz music, as well as original compositions.

2. Tosca's Kiss is a 1984 documentary on the Casa Verdi, the home for retired musicians in Milan founded in 1902 with a bequest from Giuseppe Verdi. Among the performers interviewed are Sara Scuderi, Giuseppe Manacchini, Leonida Bellon and Giulietta Simonato, though director Daniel Schmid seems less interested in them as individuals than as walking metaphors for the frailty of the flesh and the permanence of art. Catch the film at 2:15 and 6:30 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

3. Science Café is back from its summer hiatus focusing on "Sounds of the Amazon Pink River Dolphins" at 7 p.m. inside Orca Books. Since 2007, David Bonnett and his wife, Dottie, have recorded the underwater sounds of these dolphins, and will fill you in on their discoveries.

4. Usually when you go to the casino you just lose money - but tonight could be different. Danny Vernon's Illusions of Elvis will be at the Red Wind Casino. Travel out to Yelm and have a great time with the King's likeness, starting at 6:30 p.m.

5. For those who haven't dusted off the Good Book in a while, Jars of Clay takes its name from 2 Corinthians 4:7, which speaks of God's gift of grace to mankind, which holds "this treasure in jars of clay, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." Formed in 1992 when the members were in college, a few songs cooked up over spring break in 1994 led to a triumph at the Gospel Music Association's national Spotlight 1994 talent competition, which led to a label deal and a tour playing to youth groups across the country. This series of breaks eventually resulted in the 1995 release of the groundbreaking Jars of Clay, which bore the crossover single, "Flood." The band is still rocking today, with 10 studio records - three of which earned Grammys. Jars of Clay will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 9 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 8, 2014 at 5:02pm

Girl Trouble: A "Strictly Sacred" fiercely Tacoma gallery and movie house crusade

Bill Henderson's watercolor sketch will be on display at Fulcrum Gallery Sept. 11-14.

"I live in Tacoma, and I'm proud to say it's my hometown!" Quick, can you name the band who sang that? Chances are, the answer is no; and that, my friends, is a crying shame. Would your angsty curiosity be aroused further if we told you that song, "My Hometown," includes the lyric, "Don't get off the bus, 'cause there ain't nothin' for ya here?" No, it ain't Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, it's the Gritty City foursome known (to the unfairly narrow extent they are known, that is) as Girl Trouble.

If that moniker doesn't match the mental real estate you've allotted to such artists as Neko Case or the Sonics, it may be because Girl Trouble resisted the advances of major labels. They've recorded with K Records, PopLllama and Sub Pop but stubbornly avoided dissolution into the mainstream. That's no mere pose. The band's resolutely independent, crafting all their own album covers and promotional materials, even their own zine, since their inception three decades ago. Their sound, a dance-friendly variant of surf punk, evokes beach-blanket bacchanalias while retaining its own insistent pulse. If any local outfit is years overdue for a wave of adoration, this be them. It appears their day of glory has arrived at long last.

Isaac Olsen, the acclaimed Tacoma filmmaker who gave us Quiet Shoes (2010) and Ich Hunger (2013), is related to the quartet by blood. He's also the guy our readers named Best Filmmaker in 2014. His new documentary, Strictly Sacred, delves into Girl Trouble's archive of historical treasures. "Girl Trouble is a vastly creative band," Olsen explains, "who have brought all their artistic talents to the fore in the pursuit of pure entertainment experience. They were early pioneers of DIY. ... The other unique aspect of Girl Trouble is that they were avid chroniclers of their own story. ... It's almost as if Girl Trouble has been generating biographical material for the express purposes of a comprehensive film." Strictly Sacred opens Friday at The Grand Cinema (voted Best Movie House every year) for a week's run.

>>> Colored pencil drawing by Bon Henderson, on display at Fulcrum Gallery Sept. 11-14.

Oh, but that's not all; Olsen and Girl Trouble also collaborated on a gallery exhibition to accompany the film. Continuing a theme, your pick for Best Gallery, Fulcrum, hosts the exhibit, with an opening-night gala Thursday from 6 to 10. It highlights T-shirt art by guitarist "Kahuna" Henderson, paintings by drummer Bon Von Wheelie, a dress worn by octogenarian dancer and Girl Trouble superfan Granny Go-Go, and a massive store of art and arcana from a band that's still happily banging away.

The movie's soundtrack album packs 39 tracks into 79 minutes of booty-shaking mayhem. "My Hometown" made the cut, along with "Neko Loves Rock and Roll" (Ms. Case, a former Girl Trouble go-go dancer, identified the band as one of her three greatest influences), "A Brand New Tacoma" and "Viva Tacoma." So start that attraction! For more deets, check out Girl Trouble's DIY website, Wig-Out.com.

"STRICTLY SACRED: THE ART OF GIRL TROUBLE," Sept. 11-14, opening night reception 6-10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11 ($5), Fulcrum Gallery, 1308 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Tacoma, 253.250.0520

STRICTLY SACRED, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12-Saturday, Sept. 13; 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14-Monday Sept. 15; 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16; 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17; 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18; The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma, $5-$9.50, 253.593.4474

Filed under: Music, Arts, Screens, Tacoma,

September 8, 2014 at 2:57pm

Nerd Alert! - Ghostbusters, Pluto, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Red Band Society ...

"Red Band Society': A dramedy with all of the snarky teen attitude of "Glee" and none of the musical numbers.

Deleting its iCloud account, 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.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 11

Thursday's screenings offer a last round of chances to catch the 30th-anniversary re-release of the 1980s' most essential comedy, Ghostbusters, on the big screen. Mother pus bucket! Many Shuvs and Zuuls will know what it is to be roasted in the depths of the Slor this day, I can tell you!

SATURDAY, SEPT. 13

It was a tearful ordeal in the geek community when Pluto, erstwhile friend of Interplanet Janet, was downgraded from full-on member of the post-Copernican pantheon to trans-Neptunian dwarf planet in August 2006. Some of us still haven't gotten over it, despite the fact that Pluto isn't in the ecliptic and has a larger cousin, Eris, farther out in the Kuiper Belt. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson was obliged to write an entire book, The Pluto Files, in defense of the International Astronomical Union's decision. One little girl, Madeline, actually wrote Tyson to say, "Some people like pluto (sic). If it doesn't exist then they don't have a favorite planet." Madeline added, "Please write back, but not in cursive because I can't read cursive." Awww! So bring your wee ones out to the plane'arium, learn more about frigid little Pluto out there in the solar 'burbs, and have fun explaining to your wide-eyed progeny why small things are undeserving of equal treatment in an ostensibly ethical society.

PLUTO, THE FORGOTTEN PLANET, 2 p.m., Pierce College Science Dome, 9401 Farwest Dr. SW, Lakewood, free, 360.786.9484

SUNDAY, SEPT. 14

Speaking of Dr. deGrasse Tyson, Sunday marks his first of two appearances at the Paramount in Seattle. Be sure to bring your psychologically wounded children, a busload of Flat- and/or Young-Earthers, tinfoil helmets, and a full trunk of easy-light torches along with your signable copy of The Pluto Files. The avuncular Cosmos host and Spacetime Odysseus is eager to hear your proofs that the Moon landings were a hoax, the first three chapters of Genesis constitute a science textbook, and DNA is a myth.

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON, 7 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Monday, The Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle, $31.25-$71.25, 877.STG.4TIX

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17

After the demise of ER, I bet you thought network television and Steven Spielberg would never barf up another prime-time dramedy set in a hospital staffed with hot doctors. Well, you're wrong! You are so wrong! And everyone loves The Fault in Our Stars, so will this new show be full to weeping with sick, witty teenagers? You bet your sweet vat of Proactiv it will! Ugh, I'm losing my will to live just by writing about it. Anyway, the premiere of Fox's Red Band Society airs Wednesday at 9. If you stuck it out through Extant or this year's season of America's Got Talent (break a leg, Quintavious Johnson!), then those finales air tonight, too.

As this episode of Nerd Alert hits the Web, Apple is probably announcing the rollout of its new product, iWatch, plus two smokin' new models of iPhone with larger screens, faster WiFi, NFC, and A8 processors. I was unable to reach Siri for comment, as I'm still dejectedly rocking my iPhone 4.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may your junky old iPhone fetch a decent resale value on Gazelle.com.

September 2, 2014 at 8:04am

5 Things To Do Today: "Life Itself," Saving the USS Olympia, James Alfred Wight, Farmers Market Dinner Series ...

Ebert

TUESDAY, SEPT. 2 2014 >>>

1. As part of its Tuesday Film Series, The Grand Cinema will screen Life Itself - a look at the life of iconic movie critic Roger Ebert, directed by Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame - at 1:45 and 6:35 p.m. Based on Ebert's titular 2011 memoir, the film delves into Ebert's storied career and partnership withGene Siskel, following him through the last months of his life. The film is at its most powerful when it hones in on his experience with the cancer that ultimately claimed his face, his speech, and his ability to eat. Yet, despite all this, Ebert reflects on his life with wit, candor and an unflaggingly positive attitude.

2. Washington's history is multi-faceted, reflecting the different interests of Washingtonians, and the Washington 125 program series celebrating Washington's 125th Anniversary has something for everyone. In partnership with the Office of the Secretary of State, the Washington State Historical Society has created a series that continues until the big celebration Nov. 11 at the State Capitol Building. At noon, another program segment at Tugboat Annie's in Olympia. Author Les Eldridge will discuss "Saving the USS Olympia," with a lunch option.

3. Embracing the bounty of gardens and farms, harvested locally and prepared at home, the idea is to eat mindfully while celebrating the connection between the farmer, the cook, and ultimately, the eater. When you're seated at a long table in the middle of a farmers market, you know at least a few of the dishes sport ingredients that just recently had the bugs and dirt rinsed from their roots. The Olympia Farmers Market hosts its final Dinner Series at 6:30 p.m., focusing on summer's riches and autumn's harvest. Aqua Via and Waterstreet Café Executive Chef Will Taylor will present six courses of late summer flavors from the Olympia Farmers Market, paired with wine from local wineries.

4. If hearing the sound of your own cackling voice echoing off the walls of your shower stall has you craving the sound of something a bit more harmonious, check out the local songbirds at Victory Music Open Mic at the Antique Sandwich Co. from 7-10 p.m. It's guaranteed to be jam-packed with gorgeous sounds and humbling verses, as the South Sound's greatest up-and-coming acoustic musicians bare their souls impromptu-style.

5. James Alfred Wight always enjoyed writing. But when he finally started chronicling his experiences as a country vet, prohibitions against advertising in the veterinary profession meant he had to publish them under a different name. Every surname he thought of all ready belonged to someone else. Then, one day, he was watching a soccer match and was taken with the name of the goalie. He hastily thumbed through the list of veterinarians. It wasn't there. And so James Herriot was born. The South Sound Vegan Meetup Group will discuss Herriot's name and his book, All Creatures Great and Small, during their Vegan Book Club meeting inside King's Books at 7 p.m.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

August 30, 2014 at 8:24am

Saturday Morning Joe: Obama threat, USAF structure changes, Army goes Clemson Tigers, iPhone 6 rumors ...

Marine Corps Recruiting Station Baltimore throw mock coffee pots as part of a relay race during RS Baltimore's statewide pool function at the United States Naval Academy. Original photo by Cpl. Bryan Nygaard

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 8.30.14 >>>

Authorities in Connecticut on Friday were investigating a possible threat against President Obama.

The chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guard navy confirmed in remarks published Friday that a U.S. Coast Guard vessel fired on an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf this week but insisted the incident was not a "clash."

The U.S. does not anticipate following the United Kingdom in raising its terror alert level because of concerns over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The U.S. Air Force's top general said he wants to figure out the balance between the active, Guard and reserve components for the vast majority of his service's programs in time to drive fiscal 2016 decisions.

Massachusetts National Guard officials identified the pilot of an F-15C Eagle jet that crashed in Virginia as Air Force Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr.

Islamic State militants beheaded a Lebanese soldier who was one of 19 captured by hardline Syrian Islamists when they seized a Lebanese border town for few days this month.

U.S. Vs. ISIL: The costs have averaged $7.5 million per day and include money for airstrikes, surveillance and arms shipments.

Six strategies Obama could use to fight Islamic State.

As separatists seized a strategically located town in southeast Ukraine, President Vladimir V. Putin issued a congratulatory message to the insurgents.

European Union leaders are likely to threaten Russia with new economic sanctions over its action in Ukraine but officials said the bloc was not yet ready to order additional penalties. 

President Obama's trip to Europe early next week is designed to warn Russian President Vladimir Putin against "messing around" with the Baltic States.

The new commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, will likely not attend the NATO meeting in Britain next week.

Britain's Defence Ministry will boost its investment in laser research and is preparing to launch a competition that could lead to a technology demonstrator.

An Air Force Institute of Technology alumnus and retired Air Force officer was selected by NASA and the University of Hawaii as one of nine team members to participate in an upcoming simulated mission to Mars.

Nearly five years after earning a Bronze Star with 'V' and a Purple Heart for his actions in Afghanistan at the Battle of Kamdesh, former Army Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez will suit up today to begin his senior football season with the Clemson Tigers.

A former American sailor convicted during the Cold War of leading a family spy ring for the Soviet Union has died in a prison hospital in North Carolina.

The man convicted in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood in 2009 that left 13 dead is asking to become a "citizen" of the Islamic State in a letter to the militant group's leader.

Fatigues to Fabulous will kick off New York Fashion Week with a "Salute the Runway" fashion show.

The Navy built its own indoor ocean to test ships.

iPhone 6 rumor roundup.

10 great movies to stream this holiday weekend.

Believe it or not, 21 Jump Street's Phil Lord and Chris Miller are remaking The Greatest American Hero.

Terry Gilliam on 13 of the most difficult scenes he ever shot.

Five worthy new songs this week.

How Pabst brought a 136-year-old beer back from the dead.

When ads are so cool they make you want to do crazy things ...

LINK: Original photo by Cpl. Bryan Nygaard

August 29, 2014 at 8:05am

5 Things To Do Today: Harbor Days, Afrok, "Frozen," Tela Novella ...

For 900 years the city of Olympia has hosted Harbor Days - a mix of seafaring, food and fun.

FRIDAY, AUG. 29 2014 >>>

1. You poor, tragic thing. Your friends have all but deserted you for a fabulous holiday weekend camping in the mountains, and you are stranded, Banarama-style, here in the South Sound. The only way to exact revenge is to have a better time than those so-called friends. This calls for some quality time at the Harbor Days Maritime Festival and Tugboat Races. Stupid camping. Stupid friends. For 900 years the city of Olympia has hosted Harbor Days - a mix of seafaring, food and fun. While Harbor Days doesn't sound overly exciting considering every coastal town seems to have such a festival, this weekend's event has something unique - tugboats. Apparently, like the swallows returning to Capistrano, tugboats do the same in Olympia.  There are vintage, working and retired tugs to get your heart aflutter. And if that doesn't get your life vest in a bunch, Sunday also features tugboat races up Budd Inlet.

2. Pack your snacks, blankets and lawn chairs and head to the park to watch Norwegian sister save the other from the disco-inspired ice palace she's entombed herself in. Good news, the rescuing lass has helpers - a sturdy young woodsman, his trusty reindeer and a goofy snowman. Metro Parks Tacoma and Click! Will screen top-notch animated film Frozen - with the snow and ice deserving special commendation - at dusk in Steward Heights Park, 402 E. 56th St. Live music and entertainment, inflatable obstacle course, food vendors, face painting and games begin at 5 p.m.

3. There's a dope show at The Artesian Park & Commons from 6-10 p.m. Afrok and guests will drop lyrics as part of the Oly Park Days series. This week features some live singing and performances mostly from amateur artists, but included in the lineup of talent will be the aforementioned, award-winning Afrok along with QP & Legac Jones - all outside under the sun, moon and stars. Check it.

4. Say kids! Do you like the rock and roll? Gladness, Dick Dagger & The C Monsters, Big Idiot, Crack House and Fuzzy Math rock the all-ages venue Northern in downtown Olympia beginning at 8 p.m.

5. They say good things come in threes. Bandolier, People Under The Sun and The Echo Echo Echoes, are celebrating a record release at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge, a trifecta of "Hell yeah!" for Tacoma. But if you've seen your share of these bands, and think you'll just pick up their album online or at the next show, let me give you an extra reason to attend: Tela Novella. Hot in the midst of a huge tour, playing across the U.S. with bands such as Shannon and the Clams, The Hive Dwellers, Mount Whateverest and others, Tela Novella is the perfect band to round out the night. From Austin, Texas, the quartet nails that sweet psychedelic indie pop. Words I would use to describe Tela Novella: sweet, swanky, sexy. Words I would use to describe Friday night: Your ass, live music, New Frontier.

LINK: Friday, Aug. 29 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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