Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: March, 2014 (150) Currently Viewing: 81 - 90 of 150

March 18, 2014 at 7:36am

5 Things To Do Today: German operas, cheap fish-n-chips, "Detroit Unleaded," Terry Gilliam hug and more ...

Robert Schumann had a similar life experience as you.

TUESDAY, MARCH 18 2014 >>>

We are deeply saddened by this morning's tragic KOMO News 4 helicopter crash in downtown Seattle. Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved and their families.

1. We've all been there. You met her when she was a young teen, then you two nurtured a growing romance over the next several years despite the objections and outright bitter legal battles with her father. When you finally married, you composed a great deal of romantic lieder describing your feelings for your wife. Hear Robert Schumann's version of your story along with Richard Strauss' Zueignung and Hugo Wolf's Der Tambour when Opera tenor Thomas Harper performs a selection of musical works by German artists at the next Music @ 11 event at 11 a.m. in Kreielsheimer Hall on the Saint Martin's University campus.

2. The Grand Cinema's Tuesday Film Series hosts a more romantic variation on Clerks. The film Detroit Unleaded charts the budding relationship between Lebanese-American gas station owner Sami - compelled to take over the family's Detroit-slums business with ambitious cousin Mike after his father is killed in a robbery - and his beautiful cousin Naj. Catch it at 1:45 and 6:40 p.m.

3. Ivar's Seafood Bars and full service restaurants are once again paying tribute to beloved flounder Ivar Haglund and his would-be 109th birthday with a deep-sea deal. Today, all Ivar's fans who purchase one regularly-priced entrée and wish Ivar "Happy Birthday," will receive a second entrée of their choice for $1.09 off a special birthday menu. In addition to the birthday discounts, Ivar's will also treat the first 109 guests to a sweet slice of birthday cake.   

4. Accountants-turned-pirates, a daydreaming bureaucrat from a dystopian future, folklore-collecting con-artist brothers, a fantastically lying baron, and an ill-fated attempt to bring Don Quixote to the big screen. These could all be among the topics tonight as Saint Martin's University presents "The Films of Terry Gilliam" as part of their Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series at 6:30 p.m. in Harned Hall on the Saint Martin's University campus. Jeff Birkenstein, Anna Froula and Karen Randell lead a discussion of the Monty Python alumnus' cinematic works based upon their book The Cinema of Terry Gilliam: It's a Mad World. A screening of the Gilliam classic Time Bandits follows; the trio will then present an analysis ofthe film - perhaps clearing up once-and-for-all the mystery of how Horseflesh, the supposedly-deceased seventh dwarf, ends up on the side of Evil. Or the nature of Vincent's "problem" which he needed fruit to cure.

5. Lakewood Historical Society celebrates Women's History Month by hosting a panel of local women writers - Dorothy Wilhelm, Nancy Covert, Carol Neufeld Stout, Meg Justus - at 7 p.m. in St. Mary's Episcopal Church.

LINK: Tuesday, March 18 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

March 18, 2014 at 10:14am

Nerd Alert! Hellboy turns 20 and "Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?" screens at The Grand Cinema

Everyone grows old.

March 21-27: Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?

This is precisely the type of movie that is built to kill at an art house, but would go unseen at any other theater. Here's the elevator pitch: Restlessly inventive French Director Michel Gondry animates a conversation with linguist and logician Noam Chomsky. Fun, right?

Gondry has always been a curious director, but an inefficient writer. His adaptations of Charlie Kaufman screenplays (Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) were low and high points for the writer, respectively. While one film hinged on the burgeoning feature director's abilities (paired with a middling story), the other found writer and director enhancing one another. Meanwhile, Gondry's own excursions into writing and directing-with the ruthlessly prickly relationship drama of The Science of Sleep and the cartoonish broad comedy of Be Kind Rewind - were decidedly uneven.

What cannot be denied, even if we decry Gondry's command over ideas, is his command over deceptively simple visuals. The solution to this problem of visuals lacking meaning? Combine Noam Chomsky's fascinating and maddening philosophy with Gondry's imaginative animation to create something of a mashing together of art and ideas that amounts to more than these two men can do, individually. Seems intriguing. The Grand Cinema, Friday 2 p.m., Saturday 8:45 p.m., Monday 6:30 p.m., Tuesday 8:45 p.m., Thursday, March 27 4:15 p.m., 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma, 253.593.4474

Saturday, March 22: Hellboy Day

I will never get over the disappointment of Guillermo Del Toro bailing on directing The Hobbit. Here is a director that made his mark by putting way more effort than necessary into Hollywood fluff. This is a trend that started with Blade II, which had no right being as good as it was. After that, we found ourselves looking at the Hellboy (soon-to-be) trilogy, which managed to take a bunch of goofy characters and imbue them with a sort of surreal majesty. Del Toro is an absolute master of monster creation, and Peter Jackson is more or less a hack of his own creating. A Hobbit trilogy under Del Toro's rule would've been a punk rock ode to everything that fantasy could be, if it could just let go of the orcs and move on the batshit Cthulhu parade.

This is all a long way of letting all you nerds know that Mike Mignola's Hellboy comic book series is turning a cool 20 this week. What amounted to the quintessential '90s comic book - self-aware, stylized, coolly violent - has come of age in a time that has largely failed at adapting comics of the kind. Punisher, Spawn and The Crow have all been blessedly forgotten failures as adaptations. Come rejoice at the victory of the comic form as Olympic Cards & Comics celebrates with a sampler comic of new Mignola stories. Olympic Cards & Comics, 10 a.m., 4230 Pacific Ave., Lacey, 360.459.7721

March 18, 2014 at 12:30pm

Doyle's Public House to serve Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Though it has "beer" in the name, ginger beer is generally non-alcoholic - thankfully, Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer has corrected this grave mistake ... now in orange flavor.

The spicier, more potent cousin to ginger ale, ginger beer originated in England in the 1700s, but now is heavily associated with the Caribbean cuisine. The name "ginger beer" is actually a misnomer, as most commercial ginger beer is a soft drink and contains no alcohol. The beverage's potential for throat-scorching can make drinking it straight unpalatable. Trust me, it ain't Schweppes or Canada Dry. Therefore, most temper it with dark rum, à la Dark and Stormy cocktails, which always brings to mind pirates and Bermuda.

Ginger beer will not get you a buzz, but Crabbie's alcoholic ginger beer will, and fans of a spicier drinking experience will be able to find it in Tacoma starting next week.

Thursday, March 27, Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer (4.8% ABV) will hit the wooden bar at Doyle's Public House in Tacoma's Stadium District. From 6 to 8 p.m. Doyle's will offer Crabbie's Original and the new Spiced Orange, which recently became available throughout Washington, served chilled over ice with a slice of citrus, for $4 and in a special cocktail - The Ginger and Jamey, Crabbie's Ginger Beer and Jameson Irish whiskey - for $7.

"Doyle's has been an incredible supporter of Crabbie's since it became available and the first spot in Washington to carry the new flavor, Spiced Orange," says Phil Clarke, general manager of St. Killian, the exclusive U.S. importer of Crabbie's, in a news release. "We look forward to our Crabbie's party and we hope to meet new friends and fans and enjoy these delicious drinks together."

The ginger in Crabbie's is cold steeped for up to six weeks and then combined with four secret ingredients. Crabbie's Spiced Orange offers the same refreshing taste as the original but with a lighter ginger profile and an orange flavor.

For guests who'd like a bite with their Crabbie's, the kitchen will prepare a special dish for the evening - Crabbie's Ginger Wings for $4, to complement the ginger beer.  

March 18, 2014 at 1:33pm

Steve Earle to perform with Shawn Colvin at Tacoma's Urban Grace Church

Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin

The traditionalist and the rebel, on the surface, may seem like natural enemies. But they often can be friends, and sometimes they're even one in the same. Country singer/songwriter Steve Earle is a case in point. Earle has been a rebel within the country music scene, upfront about his battles with drugs and the law, recording with a punk rock band and generally keeping his music free of the Nashville gloss. Yet by doing all these things, he holds up the country music tradition better than anyone on the Nashville scene has in ages.

His occasional forays into bluegrass also demonstrate Earle's rebel/traditionalist personality. Aside from the odd song here and there, his first significant bluegrass recording was "Train a comin'," which, despite the Beatles covers and the attempt at Jamaican hillbilly, was too subdued to succeed. At times, it seemed Earle thought he was doing the tradition a big favor by subduing his inner rebel. Then he recorded The Mountain with the Del McCoury Band, which was 100 percent pure bluegrass, and, more important, lived up to the tradition without sacrificing Earle's personality.

Earle does an exceedingly good job of writing songs that stay within the tradition. But there's still plenty of rebel fire in the music and a hint of a sneer in his voice. The tunes sound as old as the hills, and they're also intensely personal. Lousy jobs, broken hearts and people who only want to do you wrong have been around for ages, but that doesn't mean you hurt any less or that you shouldn't be angry. I enjoyed Earle's "Little Emperor," a bluegrass kiss-off to George W. Bush, off his 2011 T Bone Burnett produced country album, I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive.

Jumping forward to this year, Earle will join fellow Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin for a night of "Songs & Stories" May 17 in Tacoma's Urban Grace Church. The two musicians will song swap, sing duets, tell stories and sing their own awesomeness.

SHAWN COLVIN AND STEVE EARLE, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 17, Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St., Tacoma, $49-$85, 253.591.5894

March 18, 2014 at 1:51pm

Army and Air Force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord teamed up Monday

For the first time since 2006, the Air Force and Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord partnered this week for a joint training on the rapid air deployment of the Stryker.

About 25 Strykers were flown from McChord Field on C-17s to the airport at Moses Lake. The Strykers were then driven to the Yakima Training Center for a three-week exercise.

"The bottom line is this is a great opportunity," Maj. Reed Burggrabe said, a battalion operations officer in the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. "And it can only be done at this location."

With the military's mission focus shifting from the Middle East to the Pacific, JBLM's preparedness for moving an early entry force becomes a focus. That requires being air mobile, a readiness to load and ship armored vehicles.

"To be an early entry means you have to be air mobile," Burggrabe said. "So, we're able to deploy by air to get where we need to go. It gets us in quickly."

It's a concept that hasn't been practiced because the armored vehicles in the Middle East were already in position for use.

"Our focus has been on OIF and OEF for a long period time," Burggrabe said. "Now, we're moving our focus to the Pacific and this is an opportunity to work those roles and build the relationships."

The partnered training Monday and Tuesday at JBLM prepared soldiers and airmen for rapid deployment in support of the Pentagon's shift to the Pacific Theater of Operations.

"This is something we haven't done in a while," Burggrabe said. "Each day we're getting better and better."

The 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the 7th Infantry Division and the 62nd Airlift Wing partnered in this training.

Depending on how much other equipment is loaded, a C-17 can carry two or three Strykers. Since the state DOT requires two Humvees to escort a Stryker on the highways, about 50 Humvees were also transported.

"You can learn it in a classroom," Burggrabe said. "But you can't actually do it until you do it."

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 19, 2014 at 7:51am

5 Things To Do Today: Improv comedy, B&I photo show, beer tasting, Vokab Kompany and more ...

Something Wicked comedy troupe / photo courtesy of Harlequin Productions

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19 2014 >>>

1. Christian Doyle was voted Best Actor in the 2014 Best of Olympia issue. "You may remember that show for his lovable impersonation of Charlie Chaplin, easily as dead-on as any Little Tramp at Universal Studios. More recently, he's distinguished himself as a fine rock wailer, fight choreographer, and ad-lib impresario," wrote Weekly Volcano theater critic Christian Carvajal in the Best of Olympia issue, describing Doyle's latter role as manager of Harlequin's improvisational troupe, Something Wicked. Doyle has made one thing clear from the start: every show will be completely different. Doyle and the other 10 wicked minds are primed to deliver another show at 8 p.m.

2. Gary Lappier received a camera for his fifth birthday, which is around the same time he made my first visit to the B&I Shopping Center. It was a technicolor buzz full of goodies and amazements. A crown jewel in a city full of promise named Tacoma. Since a young age he had fantasized about documenting this unique place and the variety found within. As he grew and developed his craft, the B&I aged and declined. "Sent from Somewhere Else" at Fulcrum Gallery is the photographic result of this exploration. See it noon to 6 p.m.

3. A group of Tacomans determined to "Save Hilltop" Tacoma will voice their opinion during the Tacoma Planning Commission meeting at 4 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The group wants to keep low-income/affordable housing on Hilltop Tacoma.

4. Pint Defiance hosts Denver's Great Divide Brewing for a tasting from 5-7 p.m. The beer store will pour tastes of Lasso, an IPA brewed with a robust roundup of Columbus, Centennial and Cascade hops; Nomad, a spin on the classic Bohemian Pilsner; and the 9.5 APV Pablo's Espresso with its vanilla oak character, intense roasty maltiness and bold hop profile.

5. The Vokab Kompany is a San Diego based hip hop/soul/electro act that is gaining notoriety in the south California scene. With bigger than life stage presence and dynamic studio work, including collaborations with national acts, such as: Killer Preist (Wu Tang Clan), Lateef the Truth Speaker (Blackalicious, Latyrx), they are crossing genre lines up and down the west coast, including Jazzbones at 8 p.m. 

LINK: Wednesday, March 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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 11:59am

Lakewood City Council approves contract for joint land-use study at JBLM

Monday night the city of Lakewood took a major step in charting the region's future growth and development with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, at least according to the news release.

On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council awarded a contract for professional services to AECOM Technical Services, Inc., to assist the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership (SSMCP) in completing a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for JBLM and surrounding communities.

The purpose of the JLUS is to create a long-term planning partnership that balances the protection of the health, safety, quality of life, and economic prosperity of local communities while ensuring the continuation of the military missions of the area. The study will emphasize ways to promote coordination, maintain the positive economic impact of the installations, and preserve critical civilian and Department of Defense investments.

The JLUS is a cooperative process among state, county, and local governments, the public and JBLM. The study examines land use, growth trends, and civilian and military activities in a region that hosts a diverse range of critical military operations, highly urbanized and growing population centers, and uniquely valuable environmental assets. The study area consists of portions of Thurston and Pierce Counties, the cities of Lakewood, Tacoma, University Place, Roy, Yelm, Lacey, DuPont, and Steilacoom, the Nisqually Indian Tribe Reservation, JBLM, and Camp Murray.

The project will officially begin in April 2014 and will include multiple opportunities for public participation and comment. The projected completion date for the study is September 2015.

March 19, 2014 at 1:08pm

Judging by the Trailer: "God's Not Dead" and "Muppets Most Wanted"

This sequel finds the Muppets inadvertently caught up in a heist.

Recently, I wrote about a movie called Last Ounce of Courage. It was a Christian film about the War on Christmas (trademark), wherein the villain was a politician who wouldn't allow Jesus to be celebrated in a public square. Such is the case with Christian-produced films - the atheist is a fascistic enemy, blind to faith and morals and lacking in any kind of empathy, holiday-related or otherwise.

So is the case with God's Not Dead, the latest in the line of religious movies that seem to be permeating the theaters in 2014.

Look, I've already written about the aforementioned Last Ounce, as well as Son of God, so there's no use rehashing those discussions. What I want to make clear in this writing is that, despite how negative my feelings toward the Catholic church may be, I am not the robotic scold that these Christian films tend to make atheists out to be. I am a living, breathing human whose life has been shaped not by the teachings of Jesus Christ, but by the innate intuition one feels to do good. I may fail sometimes, in that regard, but I am never subjected to the ever-present danger of finding myself in some ring of hell. I make decisions to do good on my own, and my punishment for not doing so is my conscience, which frequently finds itself wracked with guilt.

Anyhoo, God Isn't Dead is a polemic starring Kevin Sorbo (TV's Hercules) as an atheist professor whose wicked ways are righted by a Christian student. It looks terrible. It will get money from its audience.

Let's, instead, look forward to Muppets Most Wanted, which looks entirely pleasant, despite its unfortunate release date, as its Eastern European themes only bring images of a bear-riding Vladimir Putin and a charred Ukraine.

Boy, there's just now way to not be heavy this week. Join me again, next week, when our film will be Noah. Aw, shit.

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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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