Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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March 19, 2014 at 11:38am

Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers forming in Olympia

Ladies get a grip in Olympia.

Jaws clenched, muscles flexed - a furious battle of brawn ensues, until one woman's grip and strength pulls the other woman's arm down in a feat of victory - followed by a case of the giggles and high fives.

This was the scene as I arm wrestled Marueen Maples, a lady about town known for her creative sparks that have led to the formation of the first Oly Rollers derby team, to The Dragon Lady Bazaar, to Pistols and Petticoats, an all-female gun club.

Inspired by photos on Facebook, the next chapter in Maples' life is the national Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers, or CLAW, which she's forming a chapter in Olympia.

The idea is to create a persona, explains Maples, to "put your own stamp on it" and have fun with characters and entertainment. It's less about who wins and more about the charities and a chance to have fun.

"Olympia has more creative talent than anywhere I've lived," explains Maples. "It's a place to showcase in a way that gets a lot of community involved."

In similar ways roller derby players come up with badass names and costumes, so will the ladies of CLAW. Maples has her eyes set on being a juggalo.

"I kinda want everyone to hate me," she laughs. "You need a villain."

Maples has reached out to other CLAW chapters around the nation. She has a clear outline of what to work toward. She says she needs 8 to 16 women to be contenders, each with their own entourage of supporters.

Based on the new Oly CLAW Facebook, which already has more than 30 members, this shouldn't be a problem.

"I encourage other people to join the group too," says Maples. "There is room for everyone. Not just arm wrestlers ... organizers, fundraisers, entourage, theater people. ..."

A meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 25 at Le Voyeur, 404 Fourth Ave., in downtown Olympia.

Filed under: Sports, Olympia,

March 19, 2014 at 7:14am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Russia storms Crimea, Army is camo shopping, Obama's NCAA picks, Captain America 2 first 11 minutes...

The Forza Coffee house in Tacoma's Westgate area has a crazy drive-thru exit.


Russian troops backed by unarmed volunteers stormed Ukraine's naval headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol and raised the Russian flag, as Moscow tightened its control of the Black Sea peninsula.

Ukraine and the art of crisis management.

Officials might not know for years whether Snowden divulged war plans to China and Russia.

Of the three primary missions the Defense Department expects to tackle in the coming decade - protect the homeland, work with allies to increase global security and prepare for a major conflict  - at least one is being cornered by U.S. Special Operations Command.

The Pentagon is making another deposit in its surge to build an arsenal of long-range missiles aimed at breaking down the defenses of potential adversaries, such as China and Iran.

A senior Pentagon official fired back at House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon, who rejected the U.S. Defense Department's latest military strategy review earlier this month.

B-1B, F-16s could be next if Congress blocks Air Force plan to retire A-10.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has told the Navy in no uncertain terms that he wants a second opinion on the controversial Littoral Combat Ship.

Disagreements over fees for MultiCam, a top-performing contender to be the Army's main camouflage pattern, have emerged as the main reason the Army has gone in search of a new pattern.

A Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet is due to fly for the first time with an active electronically scanned array radar later this year.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III discusses the impact sequestration has on the Air Force and why certain choices are being made to achieve the required savings.

The Grunts: Damned if they kill, damned if they don't.

Abby Martin speaks with host and founder of The Young Turks, Cenk Uygur, discussing why he left his job at MSNBC, the corporate media's superficial coverage of news events and the recipe for success in alternative media.

With great power, comes great responsibility. ESPN is touting President Obama's bracket picks for the NCAA basketball tournament.

Wow. Marvel just released the first 11 minutes of Captain America 2: Winter Soldier - which will premiere on April 4.

J.J. Abrams has revealed a few more details about the new Star Wars movie.

Is anyone watching Lindsay Lohan's show Lindsay? Apparently it's quite good.

Bob Balaban isn't the most famous person in Hollywood, but as you can see when connecting the dots of the many "crews" he's been a part of, he might be the best connected.

Seriously, what is Lollapalooza anymore?

Yar, there be Medieval Barbie to slay said dragons!

Finally: Taco Bell socks.

What's that definition of insanity again?

March 15, 2014 at 11:00am

Military Appreciation Weekend at The Summit at Snoqualmie

The Summit at Snoqualmie offers a weekend of celebration and appreciation for the military, past and present, as well as their families. Photo courtesy of The Summit at Snoqualmie

The Summit at Snoqualmie is one of the Seattle-Tacoma area's top ski areas - and one that's perfect for everyone. Advanced skiers and beginners alike will find terrain to suit their skill levels, as will those who want to do other snow sports such as tubing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. From about early December until late April, The Summit's four mountains, 1,981 acres of skiable terrain welcome in snow fiends - but if you're a servicemember, the best dates to hit the slopes are March 21-23. On these dates, The Summit at Snoqualmie will host Military Appreciation Weekend. 

To honor and celebrate active and retired military, the ski area will offer special deals, live music, prizes, as well as other fun and fanfare. Special deals dominate the celebration and range from 10 percent off food and non-alcoholic beverages with your military ID, to a $5 cheeseburger/fries/soda combo special, to snow sports discounts - a big deal for a sport that is often a pricey way to spend a day.

  • Lift tickets are normally $66 for ages 13-61 and $46 for youth and seniors, but for Military Appreciation Weekend they will be $35 and $25, respectively.
  • If you need to rent gear, an all-day ski and snowboard package is available for just $26 for adults and $20 for kids ages 7-12.
  • You also can't beat deals on ski lessons. For those 9 and older, the More 2 Learn Package is discounted from $99 to $45, while the Kids Club half-day lesson is also knocked down from $99 to $45.
  • And if you're not a skier, but want to play in the snow anyway, two-hour tubing sessions are just $15.

You'll also receive 20 percent off in all the gear and gift shops at The Summit.

The ski area recommends reserving sessions in advance at their website. All deals require you to show your military ID, whether you reserve in advance or not.

Directions? Click here.

Filed under: Military, Benefits, Sports, Deals,

March 14, 2014 at 5:17pm

Words & Photos: Washington National Guard St. Patrick's Day 5K Fun Run/Walk at Camp Murray

The Camp Murray streets were full of wet and crazy Washington National Guard runners the morning of March 14. Photo credit; Gary Lott

It was a wet, green morning at Camp Murray.

And I'm not talking about Mother Nature ... unless she wore green and ran with the Washington National Guard during the second annual St. Patrick's Day 5K Fun Run/Walk.

Yes, it was wet this morning at 7:30 a.m., but spirits were high.

"In the Guard, we don't have as many opportunities to conduct physical training collectively, so it was important to us to facilitate an event that would impact the morale of our guardsmen in a positive way," said the G1's 1st Sgt. Michael Berndt.  "Additionally, every penny raised during the event is donated to the Minuteman Emergency Assistance Fund (MEAF), which directly helps our soldiers and airmen experiencing financial hardships," he added.

The event was once again held to "pay it forward" by the G1 Directorate, who is responsible for National Guard human resources information.

"Most of the G1 staff is involved, in one way or another, because they know the event will benefit Soldiers and Airmen for months to come," said Berndt. "Both the support staff and participants will play an active role in building our professional relationships and strengthening our community."

>>> 1st Sgt. Michael Berndt kept the Minutemen Emergency Assistance Fund silent auction running smooth. It raised $1,022. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Col. Jeffrey Sabatine thanks the National Guard Association of Washington in front of members of the Washington National Guard before the start of the Camp Murray St. Patrick's Day 5K Fun Run/Walk. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Maj. Gen. Bret Daugherty, Washington National Guard adjutant general, lists the priorities of the Guard and thanks all of the attendees for supporting the Minutemen Emergency Assistance Fund. Photo credit: Gary Lott

These types of events are important because teamwork and soldier care are at the core of Guard's values. This event covers both.

"The 5K event promotes physical fitness and strengthens our team building skills," said Berndt. "By supporting the Minuteman Emergency Assistance Fund and supporting one another, collectively, we are building resilience in a number of different ways."

>>> The iconic "Fred" The Minuteman statue kept a close on on the craziness. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Joint Services Support Directorate (JSS) even had their Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness and Resiliency (CSF) class participate in the run.

"We are always glad to see our Fit and Resilient classes coincide with the many fun runs that take place on Camp Murray," said the CSF program manager, 1st Lt. Kyereme Blanding. "It's great to show our class participants the importance of team building, building morale and motivating one another to become more resilient, especially with the cold weather."

Several of the Washington National Guard's Major Subordinate Commands, to include the 81st Brigade Combat Team, 96th Troop Command, 66th Aviation, 205th Training Regiment, JSS and Joint Force Headquarters, spent their own money and donated a variety of themed baskets and other items to help raise money for the event. The National Guard Association of Washington donated all of the food.

"It was awesome to have more than 150 people show up and raise more than $1,000 ($1022 exactly) for the MEAF," said event POC Staff Sgt. Susie Lopez. "We were worried the rain would affect the amount of attendees, but obviously we still had lots of green on Camp Murray today."

>>> Washington National Guard G1 singed the St. Patrick's Day Fun Run banner. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Joint Services Support Directorate's Fit and Resilient class was in the house. Photo credit: Gary Lott

March 13, 2014 at 7:41am

5 Things To Do Today: 100th Monkey, Tacoma Runners, Ancient Victorys, wine tasting and more ...

Scene from a previous 100th Monkey Tacoma party held at the Tacoma Art Museum. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

THURSDAY, MARCH 13 2014 >>>

1. One of Tacoma's most popular events makes an epic return today. If you've never been to a 100th Monkey bash, here's what you've been missing: wine, food, art, wine, entertainment and, uh... did we mention wine? Participants bring the food and drinks - including non-alcoholic beverages, as this is an all-ages event - but the rest is provided. The Kim Archer Band supplies the music, and monkey tiles, created by artist Kristina Vallery, will be available for $5 a piece. Get in on the party from 7-9 p.m. at Freighthouse Square's Rainier Ball Room.

2. Proctor District's favorite wine bar Pour at Four hosts complimentary wine tastings. It's a beautiful thing. From 5:30-8 p.m., you may taste six Spanish wines.

3. Think running and drinking don't mix unless there's a K-9 unit involved? Not true. The Tacoma Runners - a group of T-town pavement pounders - meet ever Thursday for a 3-mile loop at a "social pace" at one of Tacoma's favorite watering holes. Tonight at 6:30 p.m. is appropriately the Runners' St. Patrick Day outing - based at Doyle's Public House. Wear green and make a damn fool of yourself.

4. The quarterly Ancient Victorys Open Mike brings back some of the 3,000 acoustic music performers from open mikes run by Chris Lunn in this state and California from the 1965 through 1990 to the Antique Sandwich Co. at 7 p.m. 

5. We've enjoyed Rebecca Lea McCarthy's performances before, most recently in Arsenic and Old Lace at Lakewood Playhouse. Turns out she's an author, too, and her second book, Writing the Diaphragm Blues and Other Sexual Cacophonies, was released in 2012. Her stage play's an adaptation of that work, described by one online reviewer as "(p)art memoir, part feminist scholarship...with just enough dirty jokes to keep it a guilty pleasure." Where the chickens fit in, we have absolutely no idea. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on Singing the Diaphragm Blues in the Music & Culture section, then catch the performance at 8 p.m. in the 4th Wall Players Theatre in Puyallup.

LINK: Thursday, March 13 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

March 5, 2014 at 4:41pm

JBLM receives $20 thousand donation from NFL and USAA Million Fan Salute

This just in from Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs office:

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - JBLM commander, Col. H. Charles Hodges, Jr., will accept a $20 thousand donation on behalf of Joint Base Lewis-McChord from the NFL and USAA Million Fan Salute at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Hillside Teen Center on JLBM Lewis Main.


March 5, 2014 at 7:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Jessica Lynne, Lunch & Learn, hoop tourney, Diane Cluck and more ...

Jessica Lynne has a new album, "Calling Me Home," about her love for the Pacific Northwest. Press photo


1. The music typically coming out of Denmark leans toward art punk, power electronics and cold synth pop. Jessica Lynne, who grew up 60 km south of Copenhagen, sings country music. Country Music Television had an effect, as did rural life, with cows outside the church windows. Whatever, Lynne relocated to the Pacific Northwest to be with family, and has struck up a relationship with local label Maurice the Fish Records. We found her Spiritual Cowgirl release on Spotify to be lyrically rich and melodically pleasing. Catch her at 8 p.m. with The Moss Brothers and Tin Man in Jazzbones.

2. Have you ever wondered what happens to your mind when you look at a piece of art? How a particular work can stir an emotional response? Artist David Andresen discusses how our perception changes in unexpected ways at 11 a.m. as part of Tacoma Art Museum's Lunch & Learn series. 

3. Basketball teams from throughout the Northwest will convene at Saint Martin's University's Marcus Pavilion as the 2014 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament begins today.

4. Contemporary painter and art teacher Shaw Osha will speak about her work and show images of her art at the Olympia Timberland Library from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. Osha's recent series, "Soul Train," freezes images of screen shots of archival Soul Train videos in loosely gestural paintings on paper. An homage to the romantic, expressive and, at times, transgressive 1970s soul culture, she uses oil paint to give a sense of collective rhythm and sensuality.

5. New York City neo-folk musician Diane Cluck released a new album, Boneset,yesterday, and will perform tunes off it at 8 p.m. in Northern. Sondra Sun-Odeon and Eleanor Murray will also be in the house.

LINK: Wednesday, March 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

March 4, 2014 at 7:30am

Tuesday Morning Joe: Putin things straight, N. Korea fires up, blasts hurt ears, best Chinese takeout, Travoltify ...

Classic Coffee on Custer Road in Lakewood serves tasty Dillanos Coffee out of Sumner.


Russia does not want to take over Ukraine's Crimea region, President Vladimir Putin said today, but he showed no signs of backing down on Russia's presence in the region despite Western pressure.    

South Korea said North Korea fired seven suspected artillery shells into the ocean today.

The Defense Department has "put on hold" military-to-military activities with Russia.

Study: Nearby blasts may cause lasting damage without symptoms.

The U.S. military has failed to upgrade the discharges of Vietnam veterans who developed post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting in stigma and loss of benefits, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday.

When it comes to a new round of base closures in 2017, lawmakers are split between lukewarm support, vehement opposition and general uncertainty.

The U.S. Defense Department will likely continue asking Congress for war funding separate from the Pentagon's base budget accounts and not subject to federal spending caps even if all American troops leave Afghanistan by the end of the year.

As the defense community waits to see whether the U.S. Air Force's Combat Rescue Helicopter program will be funded in the FY 2015 budget, producer Sikorsky's price proposal is set to expire by the end of March.

The Japanese military plans to create a force of about 3,000 troops modeled after the U.S. Marine Corps and capable of rapidly launching amphibious missions.

Boeing Co. won the U.S. Defense Department's biggest contract last month, a $2 billion award for more P-8 Poseidon surveillance planes.

Fred Smith served two tours in Vietnam with the Marine Corps, earning the Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Heart medals.

Seriously? The Air Force Academy is investigating 40 freshmen for allegedly cheating on a Chemistry 101 lab report assignment.

He shoots - he scores! Say that a few dozen times. That will give you a sense of how many points LeBron James scored in leading the Miami Heat past the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night.

The Daily Show has named a new correspondent.

Preview the season finale of True Detective.

VH1 is launching a Rico Suave docu-series.

List: best Chinese takeout in America.

Use this widget to Travoltify your own name.

Finally: Star Trek Captain's Chair pet bed.

Miniature maestro

February 22, 2014 at 8:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Dockyard Derby Dames, "Mid-Winter Soiree," Vagabond Opera, Ben Union and more ...

Head to Pierce College tonight to see seriously bad mamma jammas who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty in roller skates.

SATURDAY, FEB. 22 2014 >>>

1. We couldn't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night than on a hot date with ourselves listening to loud rock and roll and watching tough-as-nails roller derby chicks knocking each other on their asses. Yes, our Saturday night will be spent with Dockyard Derby Dames characters such as Anita Hit Sum Won, Booty Trapp, Sass E Smaxx, LocoComotion, Hit O' Honey and Brat Capone crammed at the front of the flat track jumping around, screaming my lungs out, picking fights and hocking loogies. Being up close and personal blows away watching the action on television. Hell, with a beer garden, girls in fishnets, funny announcer guys, mascots in full-body spandex  - this is entertainment at it's fullest. The whistle blows at 6 p.m. in the Pierce College Health Education Building. After the bout everyone will head to the Fan Club Sports Bar in Lakewood.


February 21, 2014 at 5:09pm

Words & Photos: Joint Base Lewis-McChord hockey shootout today - U.S. vs. Canada

The Royal Canadian Air Force won the Joint Base Lewis-McChord hockey shootout Friday, Feb. 21 at Sprinker Recreation Center. Photo credit: Gail Wood

It wasn't the big show - the TV telecast of the Winter Olympics hockey match between Canada and the United States. But this version - the Royal Canadian Air Force hockey team versus the NORAD Western Air Defense Sector - had the same opponents. And this Canadian-U.S. hockey match was just as important to the guys skating on the ice.

"It's all about bragging rights," said John Austin, a master sergeant with NORAD. "It's a pretty big deal."

Friday, about the same time the Olympic version was occurring, the local rendition had a similar result. Canada won. In the 20th edition of this annual Joint Base Lewis-McChord hockey shootout, Canada -  home of hockey and winter sports - has dominated the series.

The overlap of the Olympic and JBLM hockey matches was significant to the players.


About this blog

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

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