Recent local blog posts

Get Value From Your Home Warranty with a Boggs Home Inspection

Thurston Talk - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 6:00am


New construction is booming throughout our area. After several years of slowdowns in the industry, local builders are logging record numbers of new homes built and they are selling as fast as they are built. While a new home is sometimes free from many of the problems you might encounter in an older home, homeowners […]

Fantastic Pho for Everyone in Thurston County

Thurston Talk - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 6:00am


Want to eat something quick and fairly healthy without spending too many dollars?  There’s one meal that is a solution to all of these dining quandaries, and it is the mighty, perfect, vibrant bowl of pho. Pho (pronounced fuh) is a Vietnamese dish often eaten for breakfast or lunch in Vietnam, but it’s of course […]

For Sale in 1966: Thurston County Advertisements of Fifty Years Ago

Thurston Talk - Sat, 09/24/2016 - 6:00am


Advertisements are part of everyday life for modern Americans. They are designed to catch people’s attention, highlight a company or product’s qualities and most importantly encourage sales. Fifty years ago, in 1966, advertisements were also part of daily life. Newspapers were the primary form of media for advertisements during the era, though mailed advertisements as […]

And We’re (nearly) DONE!

Sherwood Press - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 5:39pm
It all started with digging out the foundation. Terry and I removing shingles to expose rot below the big south-facing window. The window opening being prepared to receive the new window. The new window being fitted. Jocelyn and Betty next to the new old window, next to the new window. One last look up the 'Nutcracker' Douglas Fir. So long, and thanks for the majestic presence. Luis starting his climb. Luis approaching the tree-topping point. Fast-forward a bit to Terry surgically removing the tree stump. And the stump has been wrenched from its last earthly tether. Sad but, well, good. Ariel Biggerstaff prepping and opening our old windows! And the color begins! Old and New. The colors look good together. With wet paint one can see the circular saw marks from the old shingles.  the office window with Schanen at the computer. I wonder why they chose to mention 50 years when that fact would end up so dated. It's now 76. I started volunteering the year before this plaque went up.  RESTORED & REVIVED!!!


They say that time contracts when you’re busy, and I would have to say this feels true, especially of everything that’s happened since the close of our Indiegogo restoration campaign last December. It’s an understatement to say we were successful. We raised a whopping $17,429, a full 128% of our goal, and only a little over $1500 off of our stretch goal. We are SO very grateful to all the people who supported the press!

The winter was a busy one for us, as we wrapped up the campaign and continued shipping perks out as they came available. But as early spring approached, the REAL work began in earnest.

The first order of business was to excavate soil out from around the building. It had built up pretty badly and on the south side of the building had caused unexpected rot to the foundation, so right off the bat we were hit with unanticipated costs. Fortunately, my partner Terry is capable of anything and he managed the replacement of some beams and the south wall rim joist. We also had to remove shingles on the south wall below the window to expose and remove rot in the wall below the big window, and to get ready for the new window.

In late February, Ecowoodworks came out, deconstructed the old window, and carefully saved every pane of glass (but two) for the new window. Shop Foreman Devin Markoff personally handled the construction of the new window, and friends, it’s a thing of total beauty. The installation took place on March 17. It’s impossible to describe the feeling of satisfaction and gratitude the moment we were able to look out of this gorgeous, strong, weatherproof new window without the filter of worry and concern we used to feel with a rotting, leaking window. And remarkably, it’s a perfect match for the previous window, with a stain to match, the proper mill profile and the same old wavy glass that made the lake view even more special.

Next up was the (gulp) tree removal. This epic two-day project began on May 10th as Luis from Ron’s Tree Service got his gear on and started climbing the 180′ fir, cutting branches as he went up and lowering them each to the ground by rope so as not to damage anything below. At the end of day one, Luis cut the tree top out and we watched as he perilously swung to and fro at the top of the bare 100′ trunk.

The next day Luis climbed back up the tree and with the aid of a huge crane (that I never thought would make it up my narrow driveway), the tree started coming down in larger chunks than the day before. This time, the pieces were long enough to be milled at a future date and donated to various projects. It was another long day, but at the end of it, five huge logs had been hauled off to a yard to season, and the shorter pieces were stacked off to the side for future firewood and other uses.

Of course, there was also a huge stump surrounded by a large mound of soil. Terry and I decided that rather than pay to have it ground out, we would cut it out of the ground. Easier said than done! We dug and dug for weeks, trying to remove every little bit of soil and rock that would interfere with the saw blade. Then Terry got to work exposing each massive root and cutting through them one by one until the only thing that remained was the taproot going straight down. You wouldn’t believe the list of tools that were needed to get this stump detached from the earth! But at long last, on July 1st, Terry used his grandpa’s block and tackle to pull the stump over on its side, severing the last few inches of uncut taproot that remained. Another incredibly impressive accomplishment by Terry Bunce! It’s looks so beautiful where it rests, that we’ve decided to keep it there through the winter and will consider dragging it somewhere to rot in peace next year.

At this point we were exhausted, our budget was about spent, but we really wanted that last important thing… new paint.

The press hadn’t been painted in many, many years, and it showed. I don’t know how to put it any other way, but spiders had been pooping on the siding since the day after the last paint job, and even though I have washed as much as I could off every few years, spider poo is strangely resilient, and leaves little white streaks and droplets on the siding. We hired Ariel Biggerstaff from Great Bigg Painting Co. to come and prep the building while I looked at hundreds of color swatches and changed my mind a few too many times. But at long last, I found my color. It wasn’t easy to choose, because the press has been the same lichen-y, forest-service green since early days. Yet, I wanted to show in some more obvious way that the press was restored and ready for the future. New color really sends the message. I chose a deep blue-green to harmonize with the varied greens of maple leaves, woodland plants, Douglas Fir and ivy

Categories: Arts & Entertainment

The Experience: Supporting the SPSCC Foundation’s Focus on the Future for Students

Thurston Talk - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 7:08am


On October 1, the South Puget Sound Community College’s Center for Student Success will be transformed for the SPSCC Foundation’s annual fundraising gala, The Experience. This night of community, collaboration and celebration is held with the sole purpose of highlighting and supporting the students and programs at the heart of the Foundation’s mission. The future […]

Olympia Weekend Events Calendar

Thurston Talk - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 6:00am


Mother Nature is playing tricks on us this week, getting us ready for fall weather.  A mix of rain and sun is in the future for this weekend so there should be plenty of opportunities to get outside. Here’s what is going on around Olympia this weekend. Cheer on the Clippers at the SPSCC volleyball game […]

Batdorf & Bronson Celebrates 30 Years of Coffee Excellence

Thurston Talk - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 6:00am


Start a conversation with any employee at Batdorf & Bronson and coffee and community will inevitably come up. These two words are what drive the local coffee roasting company. From roasters to baristas, honoring coffee is top of mind for all Batdorf employees. Sharing coffee with the community is what they do best. This year […]

Zach Carter Spearheads River Ridge High School’s Defense

Thurston Talk - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 6:00am


Anyone can score a defensive touchdown. Right place, right time, ball is coughed up and you take it the opposite direction for the touchdown. But to come up with a textbook tackle – that takes talent. When given the choice between one or the other, the decision for River Ridge High School senior linebacker Zach […]

Nisqually Watershed Festival Educates, Entertains on September 24

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 5:48pm


Submitted by the Nisqually Watershed Festival For decades the Nisqually watershed community has served as a role model of cooperative conservation.  The Watershed Festival will be held on Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. This free, daylong event features art, discovery, music and family fun, while celebrating Nisqually’s history and culture. This year’s festival will include favorites from years […]

Septic System Care Begins with You

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 5:17pm


Submitted by Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Many Thurston County residents have an on-site septic system in their backyard that treats the wastewater from toilets, dishwashers, laundry, showers, tubs and more. The nearly 53,000 septic systems in Thurston County treat about 12,000,000 gallons of sewage per day! In order for your septic system to […]

Marine Toxin Levels Delay Razor Clam Digs at Long Beach

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 12:00pm


Submitted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Rising marine toxin levels have prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to delay upcoming razor clam digs at Long Beach and to review openings at other ocean beaches. The department continues to monitor toxin levels to determine whether razor clam digging can proceed […]

Thrifty Thurston Seeks Fall Road Biking Inspiration

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 6:00am


Fall is upon us. The days are a bit shorter, the evenings cool and crisp, and the leaves changing. But just because winter is on its way doesn’t mean that it’s time to hang up the bike and binge-watch Netflix. Instead, the cooler, sunny days are perfect for a nice long road bike ride. It’s my […]

Northwest Cooperative Development Center Shares the Power of Cooperation

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 6:00am


John McNamara is impressed with the power of cooperation. As a Cooperative Development Specialist for the Northwest Cooperative Development Center, (NWCDC), he helps northwest businesses learn about that power. When I visited their downtown Olympia office, McNamara was meeting with NWCDC Executive Director Diane Gasaway, and Jessica Owens, General Manager of The Weaving Works, Inc., a […]

Maddy Pilon Masterfully Directs T-Birds’ Powerful Volleyball Offense

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 6:00am


Maddy Pilon’s introduction into the world of high school varsity volleyball was not your typical process. There was no climbing the ladder and gradually working your way up. It was more like baptism by fire – if said fire was replaced by powerfully hit volleyballs being rained down on you by some of the state’s […]

Who’s Ready for Some Football? Hawks Prairie Casino Has You Covered

Thurston Talk - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 6:00am


Hawks Prairie Casino is one of my favorite places to go for a few hours of fun. Not only does this casino offer a comfortable atmosphere to gamble in, they take pride in their food, their customer service, and their low prices—just the formula that keeps customers like me coming back. And now that football […]

Healing Gardens: Fill Your Wellness Prescription at SCJ Alliance

Thurston Talk - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 6:57pm


 Submitted by SCJ Alliance Better sleep. Reduced aggression. Shorter hospital stays. Reduced need for pain medication. An 84 percent drop in hip fractures. These may sound like the promises of a drug company or an overeager fitness nut, but one thing that has been linked to all these benefits is free, easy and accessible to […]

Olympia Federal Announces Employee Promotions

Thurston Talk - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 6:12pm


Submitted by Olympia Federal Savings Olympia Federal Savings has made recent additions and promotions to its management staff, rewarding existing staff members with new positions and hiring a new manager to fill a key vacancy created by retirement. Melissa Kirkeby has been promoted to Lacey Branch Manager.  Melissa started over 10 years ago as an intern […]

City of Olympia Partners with REI on New Priest Point Park Trail

Thurston Talk - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 10:17am


Submitted by City of Olympia In partnership with REI Co-op and community volunteers, the City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation has just finished installing a new trail at Priest Point Park. The new trail provides access to the southern beach and striking panoramic views of Olympia, including the State Capitol building. The trail is […]

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South Sound Arts - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 8:29am

What: The 10th Annual Lord Franzannian's Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show!

Lordy, lordy, it's another Lord Franzannian's Royal Olympian Spectacular Vaudeville Show.
This is the 10th anniversary edition of this ever-popular show. Dance, music, comedy, storytelling, burlesque, puppets, sketch comedy, even feats of amazement!
This year the show will take place at Obsidian, a much larger space with a restaurant/café/coffee shop in the daylight hours, a full service bar serving beer and spirits at night, and a fully enclosed 80 seat black-box theater with an elevated stage located in the back.
Proceeds benefit working performers and BigShowCity, a non-profit Performing Arts Organization whose mission is: To help burgeoning artists realize their ambitions by providing financial and emotional support.

Special performance for an ALL AGES audience * on October 23 at 2 pm! 
When: October 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23* 2016

Time:  8:00 PM
*Special Youth Audience Show October 23 at 2:00 PM
Ticket Price: $15-$25 Available at the Door or Online(No one will be turned away at the door for lack of funds).
Appropriate for audiences over the age of 16. 
Special Youth Audience Show Ticket Price. *2PM Matinee on October 23rd: 15 years of age or under: $7.00. 

Tickets available at door night of show,
or to RESERVE A SEAT buy a ticket online at

Where: Obsidian 414 4th Ave E in downtown Olympia, WA. Across the street from the Artesian Well Park.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment

Changes coming starting today

South Sound Arts - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 7:58am
Things have changed since I started this blog. I am now writing many more reviews of both visual and performance art, and they are showing up online and in more blogs and publications - meaning posting my reviews here is becoming almost superfluous/redundant.

So . . . beginning today, instead of re-posting reviews that have been published elsewhere, I am going to post a lead-in with a link to the original as I did with the review of Shaw Osha's show at Salon Refu, which was posted in Oly Arts online and re-posted here moments ago (see below).

Categories: Arts & Entertainment
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