Northwest Military Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: March, 2014 (150) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 150

March 1, 2014 at 8:17am

Saturday Morning Joe: Sequestration to stick around, Riverines to add women, Army wants a laser truck, new "Matrix Trilogy"? ...

The Black Bear Frozen Yogurt and Espresso hut in Lakewood serves Northwest-based Family Direct Trade Coffee plus a rewards point system.

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 1.1.14 >>>

Russian President Vladimir Putin asked parliament today for permission to use the country's military in Ukraine.

Al Qaeda's leader in Afghanistan is plotting a comeback once U.S. and NATO troops leave the country.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee says sequestration isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

President Barack Obama's recent statement of willingness to let Afghanistan's next president sign a critical bilateral security agreement may give hope to Afghans who feared NATO-mission troops would withdraw from the nation by Dec. 31.

Barring a last-second roadblock from Congress, the six women already assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron 2 will become the first official female riverines in March.

The U.S. Navy is preparing to house its first squadron of MQ-4C Triton drones in Guam by the end of 2017.

Senators slammed the National Security Agency after reports that its surveillance program capture images from users' webcams.

The Army wants you to build them a laser truck.

The Air Force announced adjustments to the promotion opportunity and selective continuation process for the lieutenant colonel Line of the Air Force and colonel, lieutenant colonel, and major Line of the Air Force-JAG Central Selection Boards convening in March.

Assuming it's not an elaborate hoax, would you eat a salami made from lab-grown meat grown from tissue from the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Kanye West, James Franco and Ellen DeGeneres?

The author of "American Psycho" writing a Manson Murders TV series directed by Rob Zombie? You can't make this stuff up.

An insanely detailed infographic of every character in True Detective.

The perfect microwave listens to popcorn so it never burns.

Finally: Lightsaber barbecue tongs.

Rumor: New Matrix Trilogy potentially in the works.

Stupid, stupid kitty

March 1, 2014 at 8:55am

5 Things To Do Today: Big Wheel Stunt Show, Sustainability Expo, Olympia Dance Festival, Rippin' Chicken and more ...

Big Wheel Stunt Show takes one last ride tonight at The New Frontier Lounge. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SATURDAY, MARCH 1 2014 >>>

1. In early February Big Wheel Stunt Show announced announced they would disband, and they're making good on their promise at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge. But this is no time for hankies. Anyone who knows what these guys can do live won't be crying, but rather headbanging and singing along with merry glee. Guitarist and frontman Evan Nagle and drummer Justin Gimse bid bassist Jake Melius a fond farewell. Melius found a great job in Arizona, so the five-year relationship ends, with three albums on the mantle and a Bob Rivers Show interview yesterday morning. Few bands have rocked, we mean flat-out rocked this area harder than BWSS. They will be missed. So, with one peace sign in the air pumping along to the music - and the other hand flipping Melius the bird (just kidding) - let's help BWSS go out with a bang and celebrate one last time.

2. The South Sound Sustainability Expo at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center will, once again, bring "green" to the masses. According to yearly hype, the South Sound Sustainability Expo is "intended to provide residents and business owners in the greater Tacoma metropolitan area a place to discover services, products, companies, and agencies in our region that address sustainability needs in our community." As part of that goal, instruction and information on everything from urban chicken cooping to waste minimization and recycling will be discussed. Transportation alternatives will also be covered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

3. Top dance groups from the Olympia area perform in a cavalcade of dance that celebrates the South Sound's talent - from Irish dance to ballet, classic to contemporary - at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

4. The Clinton Fearon and Speaker Minds show is gonna be killa dilla! If you're not familiar with Portland's Speaker Minds, the hip-hop group takes fun to the next level with female vocals and righteous instrumentalists. Of course, Clinton Fearon is the word in Northwest reggae. Catch the all-ages show at 9 p.m. in The Olympia Ballroom.

5. Seattle band Rippin' Chicken plays a greasy brand of funky, bugaloo and soul jazz, executed with creative ease by three funky brothers from different mothers. Check out this soul-food organ trio gone rippin' at 9:30 p.m. inside Doyle's Public House.

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

March 1, 2014 at 11:37am

Words & Photos: A taste of Smoke + Cedar in Tacoma

The foyer at Smoke + Cedar in Tacoma warns fun will be had inside. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

There are a couple things to know right off the bat about Gordon Naccarato's new Smoke + Cedar restaurant, which opens tonight. First, for the next week, it's dinner only by reservation. Chef/owner Naccarato, Executive Chef John Louderback, Sous Chef Kristen Lyon and the staff take deep pride in their new playful Northwest restaurant at Allenmore Golf Course and strive for perfection. They'd like to control the environment for its inaugural week. Second, it's fun. The Northwest "lodge" interior design comes from McVey Oakley Design Studio, the same firm that designed the interior of Pacific Grill, and includes whimsical antlers, smoking elk stag artwork by Tacoma artist Chuck Knigge, modern lighting and colorful carpets. Third, the 165-seat restaurant also sports an 80-seat patio to the south side, which undoubtedly will jump during the warmer months. I can envision as many people standing as seated in a party atmosphere. Last, and what a wonderful surprise, Dino Shivers, he of a longtime stint with Tacoma's Crown Bar, is running Smoke + Cedar's bar operation, which includes a long bar to snuggle up to his creations.

Read more...

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

March 1, 2014 at 1:39pm

Night Moves: TBASA, Captain Algebra, American Wrecking Company, Twang Junkies, Judy Fjell...

Fingers Crossed

LIVE MUSIC SATURDAY, MARCH 1 IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

Bob's Java Jive Tacoma - Central. Death By Stars, Elbow Coulee, French Letters, TBASA. 9 pm.

Read more...

Filed under: Night Moves, Music, Fife, Olympia, Tacoma,

March 2, 2014 at 8:25am

5 Things To Do Today: Oscar parties, author Glen Retief, The Esoterics, Howie Mandel and more ...

We snuck into The Grand Cinema's Oscar Party VIP room last year.

SUNDAY, MARCH 2 2014 >>>

1. The Academy Awards are tonight. There's plenty of speculation about who's likely to win, along with conversation about who's worthy of the awards. Team Walkie Talkie has our money on American Hustle or 12 Years A Slave. Speaking of the golden naked dudes, there are not one but two local venues at which you can put on your Oscar Sunday best and savor the festivities with hundreds of other cineastes. The Olympia Film Society rolls out the red carpet at 4 p.m. in front of the Capitol Theater. The Grand Cinema opens its Oscars party at 5 p.m. in Tacoma's Theatre on the Square

Read more...

March 3, 2014 at 7:21am

Monday Morning Joe: Washington vs Russia, Pentagon budget jitters, Academy Awards recap, Apple's CarPlay...

Warning: The Starbucks at the Lakewood Towne Center is closed today. It will reopen tomorrow with a brand new look.

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 3.3.14 >>>

American military commanders have a sizable amount of firepower at their disposal in Europe as the crisis deepens over Russia's incursion into Ukraine - but Washington has no plans to use it.

When the Russian parliament authorized the deployment of military forces in Ukraine, sending black-clad gunmen into the former Soviet Republic, it might have been expected to touch off yet another battle between the White House and congressional Republicans. Instead, there has been a conspicuous absence of saber-rattling on both sides.

Some 13,729 Afghan troops killed, 16,511 wounded during war in Afghanistan - higher than previously reported.

The Pentagon will unveil its 2015 budget proposal this week, beginning a contentious fight with Capitol Hill over the military's spending priorities.

Hagel defended administration plans to downsize the military in its new budget proposal.

Chuck Hagel, with his first budget plan as U.S. defense secretary, has managed to do the unthinkable: He has united Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Air Force secretary has placed a $41 billion bet that Congress will ease off on the mandatory spending cuts in the sequester process.

Booming sales of aircraft are squeezing suppliers, spurring brutal competition between Airbus and Boeing, which are demanding better deals from the companies that make billions of parts the factories need. 

Sweden - three years after selling its national submarine-maker Kockums to Germany's ThyssenKrupp - is now fighting to wrest control of its indigenous sub-building capability from the German giant.

Here's a recap of the 2014 Academy Awards in 38 words: Beautiful people were beautifully dressed. Jennifer Lawrence fell - again. Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie that ricocheted around the Twitterverse. That crack-smoking mayor from Toronto even showed up. Also, some people in the entertainment industry won some awards.

Cool: Bill Murray's spontaneous Harold Ramis tribute.

Here's an interesting list that ranks all 85 best picture Oscar winners.

Apple has announced its new in-car iPhone integration system: CarPlay.

Apparently B-flat is the alligator equivalent of Barry White. Who knew?

"Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT."

Prince is taking over The Arsenio Hall Show this week.

Patton Oswalt shows us "The Indie-izer."

What if John Lennon and the cast of Stand by Me were covered in tattoos?

Here's the Godzilla trailer, in case you haven't seen it already.

This is scary! This is awesome!

March 3, 2014 at 7:48am

5 Things To Do Today: Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery, polar bear photos, Seagull Invasion and more ...

Indiana-based Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery embraces an Americana-based sound: a genre that is well-known for lyrics infused with both strong storytelling and togetherness.

MONDAY, MARCH 3 2014 >>>

1. Look, at this point the Pacific Northwest - not to mention the current pop landscape in general - is choked with folk-rock revivalists. Bands like Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers and even American Idol winners (good lord, Phillip Phillips) have taken to appropriating folk and bluegrass and imbuing with a palatable sheen. While I'm not enough of a scold to say that there's something inherently wrong with this (appropriation is almost synonymous with pop music by this point), but it can get somewhat tiring. Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery aren't reinventing the wheel, in this regard, but there is something to be said for a band that sounds as vibrant as they are capable of sounding, even in this tsunami of banjo-ified pop music. You know what you're getting with Joshua Powell, but that's not always a bad thing. Catch the band at 7 p.m. in Tacoma's Metronome Coffee.

2. Joe and Paula McHugh present "The Green Fields of America," a journey through history using storytelling, folk music and paintings to make a rich and complex saga of America come alive at 4 p.m. in the Lacey Timberland Library.

3. Enjoy traveler Pat O'Connor's pictures and stories from his recent trip to Manitoba at 7 p.m. in the University Place Pierce County Library. He photographed polar bears as they prepared to depart on the ice floes of Hudson Bay for the winter. 

4. Seagull Invasion list their music as "funk slip slop slurp," and that's as good a place to start as anywhere. From the rubbery first beats of their song, "Oop," it's clear that Seagull Invasion are approaching everything from a skewed angle. Drum machine clatter is engulfed in elastic guitars and synthesizers, creating a manic energy that flirts with dance and funk, but somehow comes out the other side as weirdo pop. Elsewhere, Seagull Invasion temper their mania and approach ambient electronica, but they're never far away from some glitchy detour. The bill they're on is packed with art-rock provocateurs, from the industrial surge of Doctor Sleep to the queer freakout of Hot Fruit and the performance art freak folk of Mary Ocher. It'll be a show where leaving preconceptions at the door will be a necessity. Check it out at 8 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

5. The New Frontier Lounge isn't The Five Spot on Cooper Square. Then again, it doesn't sit in the East Village of the 1950s either. But, grab the corner bar stool on a Monday night at The New Frontier, nurse a double bourbon, close your eyes and let pianist Nate Dybevik, bassist Arneson Cameron and drummer Peter Tietjen take you to the famous New York City jazz club over the din of the drinking Tacoma crowd. It as it should be: hearing a cool jazz jam in a comfortable, no-pressure environment. It launches at 9 p.m.

LINK: Monday, March 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

March 3, 2014 at 9:47am

Tacoma Beer Week 2014 launches today

The Red Hot on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue tapped the Neo Noir Black Belgian IPA yesterday. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Tacoma Beer Week begins its run today.

Well, check that. It technically began yesterday when The Red Hot tapped the Neo Noir IPA, the Black Belgian IPA brewed earlier this year during a group hug by brewers from "Narrows Brewing Company, Engine House No. 9, Pacific Brewing and Malting Co., Harmon Brewing Company, Tacoma Brewing Co., the Ram Restaurant and Brewery and Wingman Brewers."

Well, check that. A chap from Engine House No. 9 says the historic brewhouse didn't really have anything to do with it.

Anyway, the Neo Noir was an inspiration behind Tacoma Beer Week, with a big push from Narrows Brewing Company & Taproom, the birthplace of the Neo Noir. Around 20 kegs have been produced of the collaboration brew. Tacoma drinks; which means the kegs most likely won't be around during the week's closing ceremonies - although one is being held back for Pacific Brewing & Malting Co. for the day it finally opens in downtown Tacoma.

I toured several Tacoma breweries and pubs yesterday to grab a handle of Tacoma Beer Week. The weeklong celebration is a modest affair with local taverns and bars tapping the Neo Noir IPA, hosting Tacoma brews and will include special beer releases by Tacoma breweries.

>>> Beer words of wisdom found yesterday at Narrows Brewing Company & Taproom.

The official kickoff will be held at 2 p.m. today inside the Narrows Brewing Company & Taproom at the historic Narrows Marina. The celebration will last until it closes for the day. All pints sold during today's kick-off event will be priced at $4, with $1 from each pint sold going to benefit the Emergency Food Network. Be sure to toss non-perishable food items in marked bins too.

What can you expect at the 2 p.m. opening ceremony? A local dark beer fest featuring Tacoma's Neo Noir, of course, but also Darc Marc (Cascadian dark ale from M.T. Head Brewing Co.), Cross Pollination (imperial coconut porter from Harmon Brewing Co.), XLVIII (Narrows' oatmeal stout tribute to the Super Bowl), Narrows' Black Saison and others.

You don't have to wait for 2 p.m. to get your Tacoma beer on. The Red Hot, Parkway Tavern and Doyle's Public House will tap the Neo Noir today. Maxwell's Speakeasy, The Swiss, Puget Sound Pizza, Meconi's Pub & Eatery and Pacific Grill had Neo kegs delivered too.

The Red Hot will take the Tacoma beer experience one step further today hosting one beer from all Tacoma breweries at the same time, beginning at 11 a.m.:

  • Tacoma Neo Noir Belgian Black IPA
  • Harmon Brewing Cross Pollination Honey Coconut Porter
  • E9 Brewery Belgian Pale
  • Wingman Brewers Miss B'Haven Triple
  • Narrows Brewing 48 Oatmeal Stout
  • Tacoma Brewing Co. Coffee Infused IPA aged on Sugar Maple
  • RAM Tacoma Apollo Double IPA
  • 7 Seas Depth Finder IRA
  • M.T. Head Mr. Gravity Barley Wine

For a schedule of Tacoma Beer Week events, check out Jackie Fender's preview story here.

See Also

Tacoma breweries collaborate on Black Belgian IPA at Narrows Brewing Company

March 3, 2014 at 10:44am

Air Force Assistance Fund launches at McChord Field

Col. David Kumashiro (left), 62nd AW commander and Col. Tony Davit (right), 627th Air Base Group commander, sign their Air Force Assistance Fund forms as part of the Team McChord AFAF kick-off event at the McChord Field Chapel Support Center, Feb. 28.

For the next five weeks, the Air Force Assistance Fund will give the men and women serving on McChord Field a chance to contribute to the greater good of their branch.

"The most important thing to know is that the AFAF contributes to four foundations and organizations and they all do things for the entire Air Force family as a whole," stated Senior Master Sgt. Erik Johnson, a program leader for 2014.

The AFAF exists to provide assistance to members of the Air Force, regardless of rank and whether they are still serving or retired. Active duty airmen, Air Guard partners, reservists are eligible to make contributions, though anyone can contribute by making direct contact with an Air Force representative or one of the four foundations/organizations.

Each individual who donates must select which organization they donate to; AFAF representatives do not endorse one over another.

The first option is the Air Force Village (AFV), a retirement community dedicated to caring for retired Air Force officers' widowed spouses who need financial assistance. The AFV, founded 50 years ago, provides a secure, comfortable environment where widow(er)s are surrounded by friends in a home they cannot provide for themselves.

Similarly, the Air Force Enlisted Village (AFEV) was established in 1975 to ensure that surviving spouses of retired enlisted airmen are not living in less than desirable conditions or homeless. AFEV also serves the mothers of active duty and retired airmen and provides temporary housing to surviving spouses of enlisted members who die while on active duty.

Next, there is the LeMay Foundation, founded by General and Mrs. Curtis LeMay, which awards grants to the surviving spouses of both enlisted and officer retirees. In 2012, LeMay Foundation gave over $464,838 in assistance that benefitted widows with monthly grants to augment incomes that fall below the poverty line and it also provided one-time grants to assist with needs like hearing aids, dental care, and minor home repairs.

Finally, the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) has provided worldwide emergency assistance to airmen and their families since 1942 and sponsored educational and proactive community programs to help improve their quality of life. Whether the emergency is a death in the family, a car repair, or basic living expenses, AFAS can step in. There are also $6 million in needs-based education grants available to eligible spouses and dependent children.

In 2013, AFAS direct assistance totaled over $17.4 million across the Air Force, which equaled approximately 75,000 assists to airmen and families in need.

According to Johnson, 2013 donations earmarked for the AFAS from McChord Field were tallied at a little over $5,000; in turn, McChord Field airmen and families received close to $160,000 in assistance that ranged from community programs to dental care.

"Our goal this year is to reach and contact 100 percent of the eligible contributors," said Johnson, who is part of a team of more than 30 airmen working on the fund. "We are all working together to make this a successful year."

The Air Force Assistance Fund campaign will run from now until April 11. To donate or get further information, contact Johnson at erik.johnson.2@us.af.mil or Master Sgt. Leda Weslow at leda.weslow@us.af.mil. Each unit also has unit project officers who can help.

March 3, 2014 at 11:34am

Chicago and REO Speedwagon coming to Washington State Fair Sept. 9

REO Speedwagon!

Heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard Chicago and REO Speedwagon will perform at the Washington State Fair Sept. 9, 2014.

The Chicago and REO Speedwagon concert is part of the Washington State Fair's 2014 Concert Series, Presented by Columbia Bank. Tickets are $80 - Golden Circle, $50, and $40 with reserved seating, and include Fair gate admission. Tickets will start selling on Saturday, March 8 at 10 a.m. on the Fair website, http://bit.ly/1bQ9Z41 or by phone (888) 559-FAIR (3247) daily, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m. PST. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Washington State Fair's Box Office at 9th Ave SW and Meridian Street on Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., and a $1 per ticket service fee will be charged for on-site purchases.

Filed under: Concerts, News To Us, Music, Puyallup,

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