Northwest Military Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: January, 2014 (156) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 156

January 1, 2014 at 8:05am

5 Things To Do Today: Polar Bear Plunge, guided hikes, ice skating, movies and more ...

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 1 2014 >>>

1. One glance into their eyes will tell you that winter weirdness has consumed them. While most folks snowshoe the backcountry around Mount Rainier, soak in hot springs or hibernate by the fire with a pile of unfinished books and a cupboard full of cocoa, a few freaks laugh at the Snow Meister's work and jump into icy-cold sea water. Consider this the Ultimate Hardass Competition. at 11:30 a.m., join them and take the plunge into the icy waters of Commencement Bay. Once you emerge  - and you will, though your skin might be slightly blue  - you can warm your bones next to a heater while sipping free hot drinks. Weirdo.

2. In the spirit of the new year, Washingtonians are encouraged to start 2014 with a healthy hike and connect with the diverse natural resources and recreation opportunities found at state parks across Washington today. Fifteen state parks are offering guided hikes ranging from interpretive strolls through military batteries and Puget Sound coastal forests, to snowshoe walks in the Selkirk and Cascade mountains.

3. If you have yet to check out the ice skating adventures in currently being offered in Tollefson Plaza, today might just be your chance to do so. The Franciscan Polar Plaza, located on the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 17th Street, is a covered outdoor rink is about half the size of a hockey rink. It sports real ice and holds about 150 skaters at a time. And it's pretty awesome. Skate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

4. Nursing a hangover? Find your way to The Grand Cinema in Tacoma for a great movie in a dark room. Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Philomena and Saving Mr. Banks are currently playing. In Olympia, the place to hit is the Capitol Theater, where A Perfect Man and The Fifth Estate are playing.  

5. There's a ton of football on today. New Year's Day is synomous the pigskin. Browse our bar listings and find the perfect place to watch whatever game interests you.

LINK: Wednesday, Jan. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area


January 2, 2014 at 7:30am

Thursday Morning Joe: Madigan doctor just does it, weather, exploding rubber duckie and more news ...

Rikki Long, a shift supervisor at the Lakewood Starbucks at Highway 512 and South Tacoma Way, has a cup of joe for you. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

GRAB A CUP & READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 1.2.14 >>>

The "Spartans" of 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), have once again come into the mountains of Afghanistan, because they are bad asses.

Air Force Col. Richard H. McBride wants all service members to be part of a new arms race. And by arms race we mean he wants service members to roll up their sleeves and donate blood to help their fellow service members and their families.

A lot of people start the beginning of every year making a bunch of empty promises to themselves, but it doesn't have to be that way.  A doctor at Madigan Army Medical Center in Joint Base Lewis-McChord has made a sound resolution backed by promoted by the surgeon general of the Army.

The U.S. has transformed a boat into a super drug sniffer with a high-tech system that can neutralize lethal chemical weapons such as nerve gas with water and bleaching compounds ... and it's going to set sail for Syria.

Skype, the popular Internet phone call provider, is not just for conversations with your easily amused parents or faraway best friends anymore. It's also for bad guys in the Syrian Electronic Army.

They were called the Stern Gang and it catapulted British MI5's involvement with counterterrorism during the Cold War.

The new year got a little happier for one Iraq War vet. He made the first pot purchase in Colorado.

But hey, happy new year! Let's all look forward to the year of the horse, the salamander, the e-engagement, the modest sheath dress, family farming, Luigi, the haggis, vertical downspacing and 48 other things proclaimed by writers all over the world.

Did you know calendars repeat periodically? Yep! The year 2014 has the same days and dates as 1975. Therefore, Morning Joe crew will live this year by the 1975 Marvel Comics calendar.

Where are they now? There were 16 overlooked deaths from 2013, including the crazy person who gave us "Wild Thing."

Oh, the horror! The giant rubber duckie that has been going around the globe for the past few months - bringing peace and joy to all of humanity - has exploded in Taiwan.

January 2, 2014 at 8:05am

5 Things To Do Today: McKinneyoake, "Global Perspective," JFK chat, OlyBlues and more ...

Regular Gillian and host Rev. Adam McKinney often sing duets Thursday nights at Puget Sound Pizza. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

THURSDAY, JAN. 2 2014 >>>

1. Every Thursday night at Puget Sound Pizza, the Volcano's music critic Rev. Adam McKinney hosts a karaoke session showcasing a Tarantino-like mix of downtown denizens seriously singing Bill Withers and glasses-wearing gals squawking out punk rawk, plus appearances by local rock stars. McKinney, always looking dapper in his sportcoat, has a mellifluous singing voice, perfect for "Disco 2000" by Pulp, "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" by Tom Lehrer, "Little Green Bag" by the George Baker Selection, "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)" by Squeeze and his standard closing song, "Bottle of Wine" by the Fireballs. Get in on the party beginning at 9 p.m.

Read more...

January 2, 2014 at 9:33am

Today in We Bet You Didn't Know: 8 Arms Community Bakery

Six buns from 8 Arms Community Bakery / photo courtesy of 8armsbakery.com

WE SHARE THAT IT SHARES >>>

Ever eaten a one of those fantastic buns clasping the juicy burgers at Darby's Café, picked up a pastry while visiting Orca Books, or snacked on a scone from Evergreen Stae College's Flaming Eggplant Café?

Then you've enjoyed artisan-baked goods from 8 Arms Community Bakery. Since 2007, 8 Arms has been mixing and baking for the South Sound.

With 28 locations throughout Thurston and Mason counties, including co-ops, coffee houses, farmers markets and bookstores, 8 Arms bakes traditional, vegan and gluten-free goods made from natural and local ingredients.

In addition to the storefront locations, baked goods can also be procured through the baker's community share program, or "share session." The eight or 20-week sessions range in size and cost to suit your needs, and can include items like slicing breads, specialty breads, granola and desserts. Drop locations are conveniently located in numerous locations around town. The next share session runs Jan. 8-May 21.

8 ARMS COMMUNITY BAKERY, 413 Decatur St. NW, Olympia, 360.754.6894

Filed under: Food & Drink, Community, Olympia,

January 2, 2014 at 10:51am

4-2 SBCT soldiers fire support certification training

Soldiers with 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division set up a lightweight laser designator rangefinder during fire support certifications at JBLM. Photo credit: Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth, 4-2 SBCT, 7th ID Public Affairs Office)

In early December, soldiers of 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division participated in fire support certifications at Joint Base lewis-McChord. According to Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth, "The certification tested soldiers' individual fire support specialist skills based on the training circular for field artillery gunnery including hands-on evaluations of radio proficiency, map reading and use of the M2 compass."

Read Sgt. Hackbarth's full story "Fire support soldiers certify on FO skills".

January 2, 2014 at 11:08am

For those all-you-can-eat pancakes resolutions

IHOP launches its "All You Can Eat Pancakes" promotion today through Feb. 9.

From January 2 through February 9, 2014, guests can order one of IHOP restaurant's delicious combos featuring eggs any style, crispy hash browns, and a choice of pork sausage links, crisp bacon or ham - all with a plate of two delicious signature Buttermilk Pancakes, or they can order a stack of five Buttermilk pancakes as a main course. Either way, when those pancakes are gone, guests can get an additional serving of two pancakes. And when those are gone...they'll keep on coming as long as the guest can keep eating them!

We're sure that's going to mess with New Year's Eve resolutions.

Filed under: Food & Drink,

January 3, 2014 at 7:26am

Friday Morning Joe: Military compensation, Mandofun, weather, duck soldiers and more ...

Alice Olsen is proud of the coffee and food served at Primo Espresso, located at 8404 Steilacoom Blvd. in Lakewood. Military members - retired, active duty, Guard and Reserve - and college students receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases.

GRAB A CUP & READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 1.3.14 >>>

The Department of Defense announced yesterday the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Sgt. Jacob M. Hess, 22, of Spokane, Wash., died Jan. 1, 2014, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Hess was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26, Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The commission that could trigger historic changes to military pay and benefits system was granted an extension and will not conclude its work until February 2015, which means the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission is not likely to influence this year's budget negotiations and decision-making on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon.

The 14th annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played Saturday in San Antonio, and the festivities include Army soldier mentors battling in a Dream Challenge.

The U.S. is pulling more personnel from the U.S. embassy in Juba, South Sudan, as the security situation there continues to deteriorate. Two KC-130J aircraft assigned to the Marine Corps' crisis-response force have responded.

An Air Force report says a mechanical malfunction that started in a fuel leak caused the crash of an Ellsworth Air Force Base B-1B bomber during a training exercise in August over southeastern Montana.

The military has been unwilling to spend the time training their troops to use pain rays and stun grenades, even for situations where they hypothetically could help.

Futurist David Brin uses pattern recognition to suggest that the 21st century really begins now, in 2014.

Geoffrey Ingersoll of Business Insider shares "31 Phrases that Only People in the Military Will Understand," including the fun "Mandofun" - short for "mandatory fun."

The Wolf of Wall Street appears to have set a record for the most uses of the f-word in a single film.

Truth is stranger than fiction: A Florida man who won a raffle to watch the series finale of Breaking Bad with the cast has been charged with running a drug distribution operation.

Here comes the duck soldiers...

January 3, 2014 at 8:09am

5 Things To Do Today: The Mama Rags, Puyallup Home Show, Monster Jam, Blackberry Bushes String Band and more ...

The the day with The Mama Rags at Le Voyeur. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, JAN. 3 2014 >>>

1. Seattle's the Mama Rags are a group of Northerners taking on Southern rock with gleeful aplomb, combining the rousing barroom ditties of the Band with the streak of sweaty melancholy that colored Creedence Clearwater Revival (who themselves were the bayou by way of Berkeley, Calif.). While the Mama Rags are a very new band, it'll be exciting to watch them progress and anticipate their debut EP, which is supposedly forthcoming. Catch the band with Ice Teeth at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. It's winter (duh!) and flower lovers have a bad case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. For these folks, artificial won't do; it's just a countdown to spring. Ah, but there are a few plants that flourish indoors during the cold months to keep you smiling - and they're not plastic. Green thumbs hanging out at the Puyallup Home & Garden Show today through Sunday know which plants flourish indoors. The show will feature displays and vendors, such as new furniture so you can gaze at your pathetic plants in comfort. If you're mad about keeping up with the Joneses, then this congregation of home and garden exhibitors from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. will inflame those covetous inclinations.

3. The Olympia Timberland Regional Library hostsListen Here: A Lunch Break Story Time for Adults from 12:10-12:50 p.m. at the Olympia Timberland Library. Corey Snow, a professional audiobook narrator and voice actor, will read two short story selections: The White Silence by Jack London, and Saki's The Music on the Hill.

4. The Tacoma Dome hosts the enormously popular diversion Monster Jam this weekend for a screeching, smashing round of vehicle-crunching monster-truck competitions featuring, among others, champion truck Gravedigger, and its amped-up mechanical opponents, such as: Northern Nightmare, Monster Mutt Dalmatian, Metal Mulisha, New Earth Authority, El Toro Loco and Captain USA and Double Trouble - driven by Gig Harbor brothers Travis and Tyler Groth, respectively. (Keep in mind that while the drivers are important, the trucks - gargantuan bundles of concentrated horsepower that can fly up to 25 feet in the air - are the real stars.) The action begins tonight at 8 p.m. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on the Groth brothers in the Military Life section.

5. The Pig Bar has gained reputation as a solid music source in Olympia, providing quality, free music every weekend. This weekend is no exception with The Blackberry Bushes String Band tonight at 8:30 p.m. and The Pine Hearts Bluegrass Band Saturday at 9 p.m.

LINK: Friday, Jan.3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area


January 3, 2014 at 9:37am

Tonight: The Remex Resolution at Northern

Talk to the hand tonight.

There are not enough all-ages events in the South Sound. Not even close. Youth events are often the first to receive the budget cuts ax - at the expense of youth enrichment and development. Crazy. If I see an important all-ages program - such as OHI Recordings' The Remex Resolution - then shout it out I will.

The Remex Resolution is a melding of hip-hop and dubstep/EDM cultures. It features a medley of 360lympia-area artists, such as Cauze N Effect, Thalo, Easy Evil, Q Parris, Namzu and Zikki, and Ill Defined. Hosted at Olympia's award-winning all-ages venue, Northern, the price tag is a comfortable $5.

Oh, and this show isn't just for the kiddies. Old fogies who enjoy quality music will dig it, too.

THE REMIX RESOLUTION, 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 3, Northern, 414 1/2 Legion Way, Olympia, $5, olympiaallages.org

Filed under: All Ages, Music, Olympia,

January 3, 2014 at 10:57am

Cool Kids Friday: Big Cadet, Little Cadet

Clover Park High School JROTC cadet Athziri Macias helps Park Lodge Elementary second-grader Elia Aguilar during the "Big Cadet, Little Cadet" after-school mentoring program. Courtesy photo

Keeping schools safe and creating positive learning environments for Lakewood children are critical concerns. Keeping Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps active while they wait to get their first planes is essential, too.

Wouldn't it be cool to kills two birds with one stone, so to speak?

The Clover Park School District has figured it out.

Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps sit with CPSD elementary students, helping the youngsters read, accomplish homework tasks and play games. Called "Big Cadet, Little Cadet," the JROTC troops base their operation out of Park Lodge Elementary School, as part of the Lakewood Family YMCA after-school program.

"It's really fun to work with the students," said sophomore Athziri Macias in a CPSD press release. "They may not have someone at home who can help them with homework."

Besides dealing with fraction equations, the cadets also stress the importance of volunteer work and community to the kids.

"It's really a win-win for the cadets and the elementary students," said Lt. Col. Gary Roberts, CPHS JROTC instructor, in the same release. "The students benefit from a having a positive role model and the cadets learn how to work with younger students."

Win-win, indeed.

Filed under: Air Force, Schools, Lakewood,

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