Northwest Military Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: June, 2014 (102) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 102

June 1, 2014 at 8:26am

5 Things To do Today: Back to Beale Blues, Mother Earth News Fair, big band, comedians ...

Brian Lee and the Orbiters are one of 13 blues bands that will perform at Jazzbones today.

SUNDAY, JUNE 1 2014 >>>

1. It's become tradition in our area - a yearly blues-blowout local music fans look forward to for the quality it draws. And, like clockwork, it's back. From 2-10:30 p.m. at Jazzbones, the preliminary contest of this year's South Sound Blues Association sponsored Back to Beale Street 2014 Blues Competition goes down, offering a chance for competitors to earn their way to the heralded International Blues Challenge in Memphis in early 2015. Schedule to perform before three judges are Clover Creek, The Julie Duke Band, Phat Daddy and the Zone, Pacific Drive, Aaron Jones and the Way, Thai Barker Band, Rafael Tranquilino Band, Palmer Junction, The CD Woodbury Band, Blues County Sheriff and Brian Lee and the Orbiters. Those in the know recognize four of the bands represent the Puget Sound Music for Youth Association, which is cool. 

2. The Mother Earth News Fair returns to the Puyallup Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The family-oriented sustainable lifestyle event will features hands-on workshops and demonstrations from experts from the leading authorities on renewable energy, small-scale agriculture, gardening, green building, small-scale livestock, green transportation and natural health.

3. In 2001, wife-and-husband team Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen conducted interviews with more than 40 exonerated Death Row residents, then condensed some of those interviews into a direct-address theater piece, The Exonerated. Their play won numerous awards and was adapted into a star-studded telefilm that aired, appropriately enough, on Court TV. Director Don Welch has assembled an impressive cast of a dozen undergrads plus one soulful saxophonist (Sean Lindemeier) for a passionate, provocative, poetic 90 minutes of despair and redemption. It's terrific. And it ends today at 2 p.m. at the South Puget Sound Community College. Read Christian Carvajal's full review of The Exonerated in the Music and Culture section.

4. Rich Wetzel's Groovin Higher Orchestra will drop in on Stonegate Pizza to perform a rockin' big band jazz dinner show from 5-8pm.

5. Five of the best up and coming stand-up comedians - Aaron Kirby, Monica Nevi, Tyler Smith, Tyrone Hawkins, MC Mike Coletta - will perform for $5 at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club.

LINK: Sunday, June 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 2, 2014 at 7:07am

Monday Morning Joe: Dangerous Iraqi dust, both sides of Bergdahl, VA health bill, Star Wars countdown ...

Bravo Company, 445th Civil Affairs Battalion, fires an M203 COFFEE launcher down the range during tactical range training at Normandy Range Complex, Basra, Iraq. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Chrissy Best

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 6.2.14 >>>

New research links Iraqi dust to sick soldiers.

The release yesterday of former prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, after a years-long international effort to free him from nearly five years of captivity in Afghanistan, was an important day for U.S. troops and for the United States.

Those who worked for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release face mounting questions over the prisoner swap that won his freedom.

The Afghan president is angry at being kept in the dark over a deal to free five Taliban leaders in exchange for a captured U.S. soldier, and accuses Washington of failing to back a peace plan for the war-torn country.

Some of the veterans and soldiers who served with Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl call him a deserter whose "selfish act" ended up costing the lives of better men.

The chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs committee has released details of a refashioned bill to address the problems plaguing the federally run veterans' health care system.

Al-Qaida has decentralized, yet it's unclear whether the terrorist network is weaker and less likely to launch a Sept. 11-style attack against the United States, as President Obama says, or remains potent despite the deaths of several leaders.

The Defense Department is pushing for more transparency in providing information on international drone strikes in countries such as Yemen, while still not releasing drone strike data for its continued operations in Afghanistan.

The U.S. defense sector is having a remarkable year on Capitol Hill. In fact, it is batting 1.000 so far, with three of four congressional defense panels protecting weapon programs and adding funds to buy platforms the military didn't even request.

A U.S. House of Representatives panel that oversees defense spending has added funding next year for EA-18 electronic warfare jets, but not A-10 attack planes.

As his West Point speech reaffirmed, President Obama doesn't have his own brand of foreign policy.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's go-to weapon system is not found on any base, in any hangar or aboard any ship. It's a review.

MacArthur Leadership Awards go to 28 officers.

Air Force Academy grad follow sisters - alums of West Point and Annapolis.

Can "Spidey Sense" be taught?

Star Trek is hilariously ridiculous when you eliminate the camera shake.

How to take eye-popping pictures of tiny bugs.

Sad News: Ann B. Davis (Alice from The Brady Bunch) has died.

Only 564 days to go to Star Wars Episode VII.

Cameron's house from Ferris Bueller's Day Off sold (for less than expected).

Arsenio Hall's show has been canceled.

Good morning!

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Chrissy Best

June 2, 2014 at 7:21am

5 Things To Do Today: Dukes of Swing, Civil War lecture, Maia Santell & House Blend ...

The Dukes of Swing are at Rhythm and Rye tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

MONDAY, JUNE 2 2014 >>>

1. The Dukes of Swing, official stage band of Elks Lodge #593 Aberdeen, first played at lodge functions during the late 1940s. Over the years, the Dukes have been the featured band for many National Elks Convention Grand Balls. Under the watchful eye of bandleader Dave McCrary, the Dukes have expanded their repertoire to include more modern arrangements, but their book has plenty of the classic tunes from the '30s and '40s. Catch the band at 8 p.m. in the Rhythm and Rye club in downtown Olympia.

2. The Civil War, as anyone with access to a history book can tell you, got its official start on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked the U.S. military base at Fort Sumter, S.C. Earlier, seven states had declared their secession from the Union in advance of the March inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln, whose Republican Party had campaigned against expanding slavery beyond its then-current boundaries. Although we often forget that the American Civil War involved the entire nation, not just "the East," people in Washington Territory were deeply involved in its issues. Should nonwhites live in Washington? Should Washington become a separate nation? How should the government deal with political dissenters? Join historian and speaker Lorraine McConaghy for an interactive, living theater program that reveals the varied opinions voiced during our state's own Civil War history at 1 p.m. in the Lacey Timberland Library.

3. Get out your dancing shoes and join in the whimsy of a country western shuffle dance, hosted by the Evergreen Country Dancers. What is a shuffle, you say? It's the country western version of polka - the primary difference being that the style of shuffle is less hoppy than the polka - and there's nothing wrong with that. The feet hit the Olympia Elks Lodge floor at 6:30 p.m.

4. Jazz and blues band Maia Santell & House Blend will perform at 8 p.m. inside The Swiss.

5. Remember back in the day when you were in your first apartment and spent a memorable night with your friends just blaring the record player and singing along to random selections from your album collection? Toss in a pitcher of PBR and extreme lighting and that is 9 p.m. karaoke at Bob's Java Jive.

LINK: Monday, June 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 2, 2014 at 9:38am

Phantogram headlines 107.7 The End's Summer Camp 2014 concert

Phantogram headlines 107.7 The End's Summer Camp 2014 concert. Photo credit: Doron Gild

This just in from Entercom Seattle's 107.7 The End (KNDD) headquarters. ...

Seattle, WA - Entercom Seattle's 107.7 The End (KNDD) has unveiled the lineup for this year's Summer Camp, the station's premiere summer festival. In its 6th year hosting Summer Camp, 107.7 The End curates a day of popular and up-and-coming bands alike for a full day of entertainment and music discovery. Along with headliners Phantogram, bands confirmed for the show include Bleachers, Bear Hands, Wild Cub, Skaters, Sir Sly, The Orwells, Thumpers and Bad Suns.

Read more...

Filed under: Concerts, Music,

June 2, 2014 at 11:52am

Nerd Alert! - Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, Space Junk, final Cosmos ...

Groundhog D-Day: Tom Cruise stars in the sci-fi blockbuster "Edge of Tomorrow." Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

Refighting its battle each Monday, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

After bluffin' with her muffin last Wednesday, Lady Gaga rescheduled her KeyArena Artpop performance for Aug. 8. You should wait before compiling your meat dress.

FRIDAY, JUNE 6

Spoiler alert for the faint of heart: I'm about to say complimentary things about Tom Cruise. Deal with it.

Shia LaBeouf, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keanu Reeves - I find it interesting to note which actors draw the most Internet ire. We give Woody Allen and Alec Baldwin passes for odious behavior, then dump our collective loathing on Katherine Heigl. (Actually, I'm OK with that one.) Perhaps the least deserving public piñata is one Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, the diminutive adrenaline junkie who taught us all how to bounce on couches, rock out in our tighty whities and run with blade hands. Yet I know people who refuse to see any Cruise vehicle, and they're missing out. Cruise has exceptional taste in directors. Thanks to J. J. Abrams and Brad Bird, the last two Missions: Impossible were awesome. His performance in Magnolia and unrecognizable appearance in Tropic Thunder were justly lauded. While he was miscast as Reacher, the movie itself was pretty good. Hell, I even liked Oblivion. If that doesn't convince you to give Edge of Tomorrow a shot, did you dig The Bourne Identity? Swingers? Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Two episodes of I Just Want My Pants Back? Then you have director Doug Liman to thank. At time of writing, Rotten Tomatoes lists a mid-90s score for Edge of Tomorrow, which boasts the additional selling point of not being a remake, reboot, sequel, threequel, prequel or ripoff. Maybe that alone should be enough to recommend it.

If, however, you're of a more literary bent, and/or you're a 15-year-old girl, you're probably hip to the publishing phenomenon that is John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. After numerous recommendations from critics and friends, my wife and I listened to the audiobook over the course of a drive to coastal Oregon. It blew us away. I bawled as if Fantine had beaten up my mom before both died of consumption and high notes. The point is it's a really great book. It takes the tried-and-true genre of romantic weepie and elevates it to what Time's reviewer called "damn near genius." I say there's no need to qualify its praise. Now, whether that means the movie will be good is anyone's guess, but folks I admire are involved (Mike Birbiglia, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Green himself). Its early June release speaks to the studio's pride. But if you haven't read the book first, well ... that's on you. Bring your best crying face. Oh, and local cinemas will live-screen the movie along with cast interviews on Thursday, June 5, under the title "The Night Before Our Stars." Awww.

Or you could stay home and fire up a new season of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. Bitches gots to learn, n'est-ce pas?

SATURDAY, JUNE 7

Friends, are you trapped in an orbital station 22,000 miles above the earth? Did George Clooney give his life to save yours, as you drifted in a terrifying shitstorm of visual effects?  Is your helmet filling with carbon dioxide and regret for starring in All About Steve? Then IMAX is here to help, or at least to explain why you're getting perforated with aluminum bullets. Pierce College presents a first come, first serve screening of the Tom Wilkinson-narrated documentary Space Junk. It's free, but BYOBB (Bring Your Own Barf Bag).

SPACE JUNK, 3:20 p.m., Pierce College Science Dome, 9401 Farwest Dr. SW, Lakewood, free, 360.786.9484

For only two nights and five bucks a ticket, Olympia Little Theatre presents a minimally-staged reading of a 2011 script called Good People. And you should care why? Its playwright, David Lindsay-Abaire, is the creative talent behind Fuddy Meers, Rabbit Hole, and Shrek the Musical, and his newest effort was nominated for a Tony for Best Play.

GOOD PEOPLE, 7:55 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia, $5, 360.786.9484

SUNDAY, JUNE 8

Cosmos completes its Spacetime Odyssey with an episode titled "Unafraid of the Dark." The Midnight Society could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, June 12, is my 46th birthday. I enjoy ice cream cake, AMC gift certificates, boob pics and the collected works of Iain Banks. In lieu of those, try to win me a role in Star Wars, Episode VII: The Phantom Lens Flare by donating to UNICEF here.  I appreciate it.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you never win a Razzie for All About Steve.

June 2, 2014 at 12:10pm

Rep. Derek Kilmer to meet with Tacoma veterans about health care

This just in from Rep. Derek Kilmer's office. ...

Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) will join local veterans at a Tacoma VFW post to listen to their experiences with the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system in the wake of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation last Friday. The listening session is part of Rep. Kilmer's ongoing dialogue with veterans in the region.  

The meeting will take place at VFW 10018 Narrow Bridge Post on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. Kilmer was invited by Post Commander Mike Hopper to hear from veterans about issues they face getting the care they need.

Read more...

June 3, 2014 at 7:15am

Tuesday Morning Joe: $1 billion security, scary Chinese missiles, Bergdahl investigation, D-Day anniversary, OS X Yosemite ...

A soldier fires a Mk-19 40-mm coffee launcher at a crew-served weapons range during the Special Forces Basic Combat Course-Support. Original photo by Army Sgt. Dayan Neely

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 6.3.14 >>>

President Obama said he will ask Congress for $1 billion to bolster security for Poland and other nations in Europe in light of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Report: Chinese cruise missiles could pose biggest threat to U.S. carriers.

The Department of Veterans Affairs official internal data show it failed to treat three out of five veterans within its 14-day target period for care.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey said today that the Army may pursue an investigation that could lead to desertion charges against Bergdahl.

The White House defended the release of five Guantanamo detainees in exchange for a US soldier held by the Taliban, as many ordinary Afghans criticized the deal for emboldening the militants.

When throngs of people converge along the beaches of Normandy, France, to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, U.S. soldiers will be there, in dozens of ceremonies and many of them in the most dramatic spectacle on the calendar.

The Air Force announced two major awards, awarding Lockheed Martin the contract for its Space Fence program and Raytheon the winner of its Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T) system.

The Pentagon has ambitious plans to develop a prosthetic for the brain that would restore memory functions.

Computer security experts from academia, industry and the larger security community have organized themselves into more than 30 teams to compete in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Cyber Grand Challenge.

Military fast food fans will benefit from the easing of new Labor Department wage rules that threatened to cause the closure of many such eateries on installations.

Solar roadways will not happen anytime soon.

Roller coaster ride looks like a trip out of this planet.

Nice one, nature!

The brand new OS X Yosemite is perhaps the most dramatic redesign of Apple's operating system to date.

List: Bands that make more than $50,000 a show.

What?: Pamela Anderson appears in Morrissey's new spoken-word video.

College radio is dying - and we need to save it.

Preview Dave Grohl's new HBO series, which coincides with a new Foo Fighters album.

Spin names the best albums of the year so far.

IFC's Garfunkel and Oates series premieres in August.

Gangnam Style broke two billion views on YouTube ...

LINK: Original photo by Army Sgt. Dayan Neely

June 3, 2014 at 7:36am

5 Things To Do Today: "Watermark," two farmers markets, Supper with Sinatra, The Americas ...

"Watermark" is a docu-essay that looks at how water and life are entwined, and what risks come with our poor stewardship.

TUESDAY, JUNE 3 2014 >>>

1. Earth is 70 percent covered in water. The atmosphere is so thick with water vapor that water periodically rains from the sky. All life on this planet requires water - directly or indirectly - in order to survive. Lastly and perhaps most importantly: Super Soakers. Is it any wonder we have such an affinity for H2O? In Watermark, Canadian directors Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky explore humanity's history and current relationship with water around the world. This goes far beyond our simple physical necessity for water in order to sustain life, but also the various roles that water plays in sustaining our way of life. Read Jared Lovrak's review of Watermark, then catch the film at 2 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the city of Lakewood launches its thris annual farmers market season. Running each week through September 16, the Lakewood Farmers Market will provide the community with locally sourced fresh produce, baked and canned goodies, handmade gifts and entertainment at City Hall.

3. Olympia's Westside is happening, but that's not news to those who live up on the hill. If you want proof, drop by the West Olympia Farmers Market from 4-7 p.m. In addition to an awesome selection of local vendors, this season features live music, raffles and special events. Drop by for fresh produce, baked goods, pastured poultry and meats, flowers, veggie starts and crafts.

4. Ron Bates has performed '40s tunes since the '80s. He knows Sinatra's songbook inside and out. Catch him at 6:30 p.m. for a Supper with Sinatra show at the Red Wind Casino.

5. Chico, Calif. Band The Americas will bring their singular, frenetic brand of twisting songs-within-songs-upon-songs to Olympia's Le Voyeur for a 10 p.m. show with Ghostnote.

LINK: Tuesday, June 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 3, 2014 at 2:57pm

Farrelli's Pizza to install a new play set at JBLM's Fisher House

Farrelli's Pizza family, Fisher House staff and even Harmon Brewing Co. staff pictured at the Fisher House at JBLM. See caption below.

Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza is all about family, and the popular local restaurant chain is doing its part to help military families living at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fisher House feel a little more at home.

In the next few weeks, volunteers from Farrelli's will install a new play set in the backyard of the home, which is located just down the street from the Madigan Army Medical Center on JBLM.

Since Fisher House families reside at the house while an ill or injured servicemember undergoes treatment at Madigan, it is understandably a very stressful time in their lives. They stay at the home from a few days to several months, and staff and volunteers do what they can to help make it a "home away from home."

There is a cozy living room complete with a TV, toys and books as well as a spacious kitchen, laundry facilities and backyard grill and gazebo area. There is also a beautifully landscaped garden and a fenced play area so the littlest residents can burn off some steam.

A few weeks ago, several members of the Farrell family and its management team visited the home to formalize a fundraising partnership with Harmon Brewing Company. While on a tour with Manager Jodi Land, they noticed that the play area in the backyard was in desperate need of new equipment.

The company - which in 2010 won the National Restaurant Association's National Neighbor Award - knew what it needed to do. "We saw an opportunity to lend a hand," said Clayton Krueger, Farrelli's director of marketing and communications.  So Margaret "Mama" Farrell went out and purchased a large new playground, which staff will install and assemble in the coming weeks.

"This new playground will give children staying at the Fisher House an outlet and an opportunity to get outside in a safe, secure environment," said Land. "The new equipment was badly needed, and we are thankful that the Farrell family not only donated the materials, but also that they are going to install and assemble it for us."

The family owned and operated restaurant chain, which started in Lacey in 1995 and caters to families, has always supported and honored its military neighbors. "The military is the glue that holds our community together," Krueger said. As a show of the company's appreciation to its military neighbors, service members returning from deployment get a free meal at both of the family's Farrelli's and MacNamara's restaurants.

To learn more about Farrelli's, visit farrellispizza.com. For more information about Fisher House, visit fisherhouse-jblm.org, call 253.964.9283 or stop by the home, located at 9999 Wilson Ave. on JBLM.

PHOTO CAPTION:

Jodi Land (Fisher House), Jesse Holder (Harmon Brewing Co.), Clayton Krueger (director of Marketing & Communications), Jacque Farrell (founder & COO), James Mickelson (director of Project Management & IT), Rob Rasmussen (director of Design & Promotion), Margaret Farrell (founder), Lizz Farrell-Lewis (director of Guest Satisfaction) and on the bottom row — John Farrell (founder)

June 4, 2014 at 7:14am

Wednesday Morning Joe: Khameni nukes vision, Putin vs N. Korean, B-52s to Europe, saving Bowe Bergdahl, amazing bowling tricks ...

Sailors toss training coffees during Army Warrior training at Fort Dix, N.J. Original photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan David Chandler

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 6.4.14 >>>

Ayatollah Ali Khameni said in a speech he believes President Obama will not use force to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Putin looks east to bolster ties with North Korea.

The U.S. Air Force plans to temporarily deploy heavy bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons to Europe one day after President Barack Obama announced he would increase the U.S. military presence in the region.

Video: A dazed Bowe Bergdahl is led by two militants to a Blackhawk helicopter in eastern Afghanistan ending his five years' in captivity.

The hero who died looking for Bowe Bergdahl.

Prisoner swap blows up on White House.

An internal military investigation found that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl intentionally sneaked away from his forward operating base in Afghanistan just before he disappeared in 2009 - and that may not have been the first time he left the post without permission.

Senate Republicans said they would offer legislation to allow veterans to go to any hospital within 40 miles of their home to get healthcare.

An armed Russian fighter jet flew within 100 feet of a US Air Force RC-135U and taunted the intelligence-gathering aircraft with an aggressive maneuver over international waters north of Japan.

Terrorism is and remains the top threat to the United States, Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence Mike Vickers said.

NSA Chief: Snowden "probably not" a foreign agent.

Report: Blue Angles boss tolerated porn, lewdness.

From 1914 to 2014, here's what a hundred year difference looks like after the siege of Antwerp.

The New York Times has a piece about anonymity on social media.

TMZ has posted 22 more secret behind-the-scenes photos from the Star Wars Episode 7 secret production studio in the UK

Amazing bowling tricks.

Stream Jack White's new album on iTunes.

Finally: Comic book movie comment section bingo

The FCC does not like John Oliver. The reason why below ...

LINK: Original photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan David Chandler

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