Northwest Military Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: February, 2014 (155) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 155

February 1, 2014 at 8:29am

Saturday Morning Joe: DoD hugs Europe, Marines in Africa, al Qaeda's resurgence, Super Bowl beer battle...

Valhalla Coffee on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue has installed retro furniture.

GRAB A CUP & READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 2.1.14 >>>

Throughout the next 60 days, senior Air Force leaders will re-examine the way ahead for the Air Force's nuclear mission.

In a changing security and fiscal environment, the Defense Department will seek to collaborate more closely with European allies, especially to help build the capabilities of other global partners, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said this morning.

Four afghan soldiers killed in ambush.

Syria talks end first round, government not committed to return.

Marine units that specialize in crisis response could be based in Africa in coming years as military leaders work with host nations that have shown interest in the U.S. posturing troops in their countries.

The state of defense is solidly ill-defined and in flux. And the brass knows it.

Two House committees are holding hearings next week to examine al Qaeda's resurgence.

Report: Russia surges in global arms sales.

Joe Biden took a lot of grief for suggesting Iraq should be partitioned. He might just get the last laugh.

The Defense Department will provide security and entertainment for Sunday's Super Bowl at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Army is expanding its resilience training to include teenagers in military and civilian Army families.

Air Force singer headed to Hollywood stage on American Idol.

When two Dakar-based photographers recreated with some familiar on-screen moments,they created a response - and a backlash - they never imagined.

Turner Classic Movies' "31 Days of Oscar" screens Oscar-nominated flicks like Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington uninterrupted on TV - and that's just on the first day.

The heroic Bill Murray flew into the Late Show with David Letterman dressed as Peter Pan.

The 10 albums you need to hear in February.

Think stakes are already high for this year's Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks? Two craft brewpubs have made the game even more interesting.

What's best to drink with pizza and football?

See a street legal Little Tikes Car that can zoom up to 70mph.

Get ready for frustration!

February 1, 2014 at 8:36am

5 Things To Do Today: Candle Lit Show, Olympia Intuitive Arts Fair, Tapmaster, Wimps, "My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg" ...

Star Anna headlines the Candle Lit Show tonight at Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SATURDAY, FEB. 1 2014 >>>

1. What began as a collective of people working to make a sustainable venue out of the old brick-and-mortar warehouse down on Court C has transformed into a production company that specializes in bringing unique shows to unusual places. In this regard, the Warehouse has been an unequivocal success. Helmed by Adam Ydstie, Katie Lowery and Doug Stoeckicht, the Warehouse has grown in such a way that the mere mention of its name dredges up an association - you know what someone means when they say there's a Warehouse show coming up. And there is a Warehouse show coming up ... tonight at 8 p.m. when Star Anna, Josiah Johnson with Carleigh Aikins, and Bryan John Appleby gather inside the Immanuel Presbyterian Church for the "Candle Lit Show." Read Rev. Adam McKinney's interview with Doug Stoeckicht for the scoop on what the Warehouse has in store for the new year, including the Candle Lit Show Feb. 1.

2. Every time we have our tarot read the Nine of Swords always turns up. It's the charming picture of a woman in bed; there are nine swords hung on the wall behind her and she is sobbing. Coincidence? Or a chilling presentiment from the other side? To find out, we will stop by the Olympia Intuitive Arts Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Urban Onion to chat with energy healers, clairvoyants counselors, tarot readers, astrologists - anybody, just so that woman stops her damn crying.

3. Bars aren't just for getting drunk anymore. These days, South Sound pubs offer more activities than a cruise ship. Tides Tavern wants to make it crystal clear its 11th annual Tapmaster program isn't about chugging yards of beer then taking a flying leap off the dock into the harbor. Instead, the popular watering hole in Gig Harbor wants you to enjoy its 16 taps through the month of February. Get to know each beer. Ask the beers questions. Ask the bartenders questions. If by happenstance you drink all 16 beers in the 28 days, the Tides will give you a nifty T-shirt and add your name to the wall of fame. No big whoop.

4. My Brother Kissed Mark Zuckerberg is a one-man play featuring writer-performer Peter Serko.  A true story, the production tells the tale of Peter's younger brother David's life and eventual death from AIDS at age 32. By incorporating voices and memories from those closest to David, the show paints an audiovisual, multilayered portrait of a stricken hero, the vibrant New York scene he inhabited, and the epidemic that failed to defeat either one. Catch it at 7 p.m. at the Dukesbay Theater, 508 S. Sixth Ave., in Tacoma.

5. Wimps play gloriously giddy punk music that comes in 2-minute fits and starts - and that giddiness landed their song, "Repeat," on a recent episode of This American Life. Grave Babies, signees to Hardly Art, make moody post-punk that provokes as much as it envelops in gauzy noise. The two bands join Full Moon Radio and Wild Berries at 8 p.m. at the Jive. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's interview with Java Jive booker Brandon Rowley and Rachel Ratner of the Wimps in the Music & Culture section.

LINK: Saturday, Feb. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area


February 1, 2014 at 9:49am

6 things to do during February 2014 in the South Sound

February is going to be mirror lickin' good in the South Sound!

Although February is a month of cold weather and hyper-awareness of being single (shout out to those celebrating Single appreciation Day on the 14th!), don't worry. There are six happs to keep you warm, keep you entertained and possibly hook you up in the South Sound.

THURSDAY, FEB. 6: SISTER CITIES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Anyone who believes that Tacoma is still a blue-collar backwater town with few ties to the outside world had better stay away from the 12th annual Sister Cities International Film Festival running Feb. 6 through April 3.  The experience might just shatter everything that you poor souls hold to so misguidedly. Tacoma is an international city in every sense of the world. The city of Tacoma's Sister Cities program pulls together movies from each of its sister countries and offers nights of all things cultural. This year's run will showcase films from Kitakyushu, Japan; Kiryat-Motzkin, Israel; Biot, France; Fuzhou, China; Gunsan, South Korea; Taichung, Taiwan; Alesund, Norway; El Jadida, Morocco and Cienfuegos, Cuba. Films will play every Thursday in the Tahoma Room at Commencement Hall on the corner of North 13th and Lawrence streets, with the exception of Feb. 27, when the film will be held at the Kilworth Chapel. All films will run free of charge.

FRIDAY, FEB. 7-SATURDAY, FEB. 8: WALKING PAPERS

Pure blues rock 'n' roll, executed with the nimble fingers, creative minds and a sixth sense of boys who have been around the block, Walking Papers sold out its Feb. 7 at Jazzbones. No need to walk away. Jeff Angell, Duff McKagan, Barrett Martin and Benjamin Anderson have added a second show Feb. 8. So, if you enjoy a lyrical lean toward rock 'n' roll nostalgia and a seasoned view of the world, with advice and hindsight strung throughout with the occasional token bad-luck-with-women story, tickets are $15 advance and $20 at the door.

SATURDAY, FEB. 8: MARDI GRAS

If you haven't spent much time in Louisiana, you may not be too versed in Mardi gras, aside from those "Girls Gone Wild" videos. While the March 4 holiday is as far away as paved Tacoma streets, first annual Key Peninsula Mardi Gras Music Festival is on the books for Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Key Peninsula Civic Center in Vaughn. The festival will rock with Filé Gumbo, The Kim Archer Band, Gabriel and Merrilee Rush, whose song "Angel of the Morning" was a #1 hit in 1968. An authentic southern dinner provided by Murph's BBQ, best guest costume contest to crown of King and Queen of the parade, and signature Mardi Gras cocktails will keep everyone hopping until midnight. Tickets for the 21 and older event are $30 in advance or $35 at the door; your ticket price includes in/out entry and meal. 

TUESDAY, FEB. 11: POETRY MEETS MUSIC

Here comes Valentine's Day.  You're freaking. Clinicians have conclusively established that heart-shaped candy stamped with flaky messages causes dyslexia in lab rats.  Wasn't it Wordsworth who said poetry was "intensity recollected in tranquility"?  Get with it, Willy. Write your sweetheart a poem. First, go nourish your brain. William Kupinse, Tacoma's first Poet Laureate and associate professor of English at University of Puget Sound, and composer Greg Youtz, professor of music at Pacific Lutheran University, will host the performance Poetry Above the Roar: Erin Calata Sings Songs of Gregory Youtz. The free public event will run from 8-9:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Mary Baker Russell Music Building, Room 306, at Pacific Lutheran University. Erin Calata, mezzo-soprano and 2008 alumna of PLU, will sing a cycle of 10 pieces of music composed by Youtz, with words from Kupinse's collection of poems Fallow (2009, Exquisite Disarray).

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 12: SOUTH SOUND IMPROV COMEDY FESTIVAL

Some say much great improve comedy stems from unhappiness. Happy people may be fun, but they're not funny.  Consider this when you catch the first annual South Sound Comedy Festival, hosted by Harlequin Productions' new improve troupe Something Wicked. All the comedians in the show will be secretly very, very angry. Wacky improvisational antics and celebrity impersonations could so easily mutate into something darker, deeper and much more dangerous. You better laugh. But you probably will anyway, because according to pre-show hype, the night will feature "the best and brightest comedy troupes from around the sound in a comedy battle royale that will never be seen again (this year)! "Sweet! The hilarity happens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Historic State Theater in downtown Olympia. Tickets are $10-$25 at 360.786.0151.

SUNDAY, FEB. 16: MILEY CYRUS

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! We're going to see Miley Cyrus at the Tacoma Dome! Slapping pleasure zones! Restless Tongue Syndrome! Jiggle! Wobble! Shake! Oh my God!

Filed under: Events, Music, Tacoma, Screens, Word, Comedy, Olympia,

February 1, 2014 at 1:34pm

Photo Hot Spot: 2-75th Ranger Regiment train at Fort Hunter Liggett

A U.S. Army Ranger assigned to 2-75th Ranger Regiment, moves across a ridge line during Task Force Training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock

As you read in the After Action report in this week's Ranger newspaper print edition, the Rangers from the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, are conducting a military training exercise at Fort Hunter Liggett and neighboring Camp Roberts, of the California National Guard. The exercise runs through Feb. 5, and includes units from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, from Fort Campbell, Ky., and Air Force Special Operations Command from Hurlburt Field, Fla. Rangers are being tested on their combat skills in a simulated urban environment similar to those they may find during combat missions. This is a routine military exercise conducted periodically to maintain a high level of combat readiness for the Rangers.

The U.S. Army has uploaded several photos of the 2-75thRanger Regiment at Fort Hunter Liggett on its Flickr page.

>>> U.S. Army Rangers, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, advance toward their objective during Task Force Training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. Rangers conduct rigorous training to maintain their tactical proficiency. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock

>>> 2-75th Rangers prepare to provide suppressive fire for an assault element advancing on the objective during Task Force Training on Fort Hunter Liggett, Jan. 22. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock

>>> 2-75th Rangers exit a cleared building after a live fire exercise on Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Jan 23. The dry climate along with the intense training was the cause of this Ranger's nosebleed. Photo credit: Spc. Steven Hitchcock

Click here to see more awesome photos of the 2-75th.

LINK: Walkie Talkie Flickr

February 2, 2014 at 8:14am

5 Things To Do Today: Alex's Hands, theater, cello and piano, Super Bowl, and more ...

Alex's Hand: You won't drop your beer during their shows. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SUNDAY, FEB. 2 2014 >>>

1. Few things tend to evoke more viscerally polarized reactions in music lovers than this series of words: "they're like a progressive jazz-fusion band." At that point, you absolutely know whether you're in or out. All of those obnoxious people who claim to be into "all kinds of music" - throw that one at them and see how quickly they backpedal. Alex's Hand is a band that can be described as such, though their brand of progressive rock lands more on the Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart side of things, as opposed to Happy the Man or Gentle Giant (shout out to my dad, that prog-rock-lovin' son of a gun). That is to say, this is progressive jazz-fusion with rough edges, a sort of blend that refuses to let the listener hypnotically drift along. Alex's Hand wants you to feel every hard corner they turn. Catch the band with Trash Heap at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. It's Super Bowl time! That's always exciting. The Seahawks are playing! That's even more exciting. Unless, of course, you don't give a crap about football. The local theater companies give a crap. They have moved their 2 p.m. Sunday matinees up two hours so afterward we can race to the nearest bars and root, root, root on the home team. Tacoma Little Theatre will stage To Kill a Mockingbird at noon. Lakewood Playhouse has also moved Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to noon, which closed today.

3. If you are a South Sound resident and you're feeling deprived of classical music, you're clearly not paying attention. Look under any bush in this region and you're likely to uncover a virtuosic masterwork for cello and piano concert, such as the one Sunday in Schneebeck Concert Hall. David Requiro, a University of Puget Sound artist in residence with a string of prestigious cello performances and prizes to his name, will give a faculty recital with New York-based pianist and guest artist Solon Gordon accompany him. The 2 p.m. performance at Schneebeck Concert Hall will include Pierre Jalbert's Sonata for Cello and Piano, Frédéric Chopin's Sonata in g minor, Op. 65, and Zoltán Kodály's Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 4. Both of these chaps have awards and prestigious performances up the ying yang.

4. Super Bowl Sunday could be the biggest holiday in Washington state history. When the Seattle Seahawks face off against the Denver broncos today, the South Sound will be awash in blue and green jerseys, seven-layer dips and, of course, lots and lots of booze. Whether you're throwing a party, or just watching the game with some friends, the South Sound bars are an option. Click here to find the nearest bar.

5. In celebration of Black History Month, the University of Puget Sound will screen The Butler at 7:30 p.m. in the Rausch Auditorium at McIntyre Hall. This film tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man's life and family.

LINK: Sunday, Feb. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area


February 2, 2014 at 11:46am

Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead

Philip Seymour Hoffman, R.I.P.

Philip Seymour Hoffman has died from an apparent overdose. He was 46.

Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday afternoon in his New York City apartment, a law-enforcement official said.

The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is working to determine the exact cause of death. The official said Mr. Hoffman, 46 years old, was found dead at his apartment at 35 Bethune St. in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Filed under: News To Us, Screens,

February 3, 2014 at 7:06am

Monday Morning Joe: Seahawks win Super Bowl, Army suicides drop, super parachute, free U2 song...

The Starbucks at 11th and Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma has a hidden chill space in the way back.

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 2.3.14 >>>

On Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, Carroll's old-school football produced an old-school Super Bowl beatdown, something that was common in the 1970s and 1980s. The Seahawks won their first NFL championship by dominating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.

At Munich Security Conference, Secretaries Hagel and Kerry, as well as NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Breedlove and others wrestled with how to deal with Syria and other hotspots at a time when the public is growing weary of the war in Afghanistan.

Read more...

February 3, 2014 at 8:22am

5 Things To Do Today: "I Like Rocks," Kristin Giordano, Monday Jazz Jam and more ...

Chad Gunderson, "Specimen 23," at Kittredge Gallery in Tacoma

MONDAY, FEB. 3 2014 >>>

1. "Lego bricks, eight-bit video game sprites, and vintage Tupperware, along with his abiding interest in geology," influence University of Puget Sound Assistant Professor Chad Gunderson's vibrant, sculptural "rocks," as he says. Gunderson ceramic experiments have produced solid-glaze objects with pitted surfaces which reference vesiculated igneous rocks (such as pumice), ancient Chinese scholars' rocks, and the brightly colored surfaces of plastic. Step back and imagine assembling odd shaped Legos of clay, injecting highly saturated colors and molding them into pop culture references, and you'll appreciate the unique spirit and intention of each electrifying shape in the ceramicist "I Like Rocks!" exhibit, which may be seen from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Kittredge Gallery.

Read more...

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Music, Tacoma, Arts,

February 3, 2014 at 10:03am

New Army Tuition Assistance program rules

New year, new rules. The Army's Tuition Assistance (TA) program will be streamlining eligibility and making some cutbacks in 2014 and nearly 160,000 officers and enlisted soldiers across active duty, reserves and National Guard who have been pursuing college degrees with TA support could be affected.

Read more...

Filed under: Army, Schools, Benefits,

February 3, 2014 at 10:41am

Veterans Promise Coffee helps vets secure their financial future

Veterans have an opportunity to run an automated self-serve coffee kiosk such as this one at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Courtesy photo

As more servicemembers transition out into the civilian workforce there will continue to be a need for corporations and businesses to hire veterans, unless of course that veteran wants to own their own small business, like the opportunity being offered through Seattle-based Veterans Promise Coffee.

According to statistics on VPC's website, it is estimated that 250,000 veterans will be transitioning out of military service and entering the civilian job market and small business community every year through 2031.

Read more...

Filed under: Veterans, Military, Business,

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