January 28, 2007

Press it

My newest simple pleasure is the discovery of the enjoyment of the ritual of making a cup of coffee with a French Press. I'm generally speaking, not a coffee drinker. I've always gotten my caffeine needs fulfilled via the courtesy of Mt. Dew. This isn't about waking up, but rather the leisurely enjoyment of something. I'd guess most of us are in a rush in the mornings. Hurry. Hurry. We go to and fro, rushing through the house. Bathe, brush our fangs, primp the hair (or whatever your daily routine might entail).

The act of putting on a teapot to stoke on the stove. Waiting for the rising pitch squeal signaling the water is hot enough to pour over the fresh smelling coffee grounds. The low gurgle in the french press as you pour the water over the small mound of russet grounds waiting their hot soak. The light froth on the top as you give the mixture a light swirl to ensure proper blending.

Set a timer for 4 minutes. Prepare the coffee cup with a small bit of natural sugar and perhaps some mocha if that's the course for the day. Prepare a bagel with cream cheese (or is that the other way around?) add a few capers for a different twist. Beep Beep. The timer signals stridently. Beep Beep. Ah, the Press. Once the grounds are deep in recesses of the bottom of the press we are ready to pour the morning salvation.

Add cream, a light stirring to blend the sugar and the habitual blowing on the steaming brew to lightly cool that first sip. Taste buds peaking in anticipation of flavor as the coffee moves over the palate. Even, smooth, rich and delightful. Have a cup on me.

January 27, 2007

It's in the bag

Lately, I've been contemplating bags and luggage and what I need to keep and toss in my collection of bags that I travel with. I did a fairly good job of buying bags that are useful and tossing those that were damaged or not so useful. None of my bags match though. I don't have that nice set of matched luggage. (Nor do I have the redneck collection of Piggly Wiggly bags wither.)

I have monster duffels for casual trips, a clean line garment bag I rarely use. A hard sided suitcase of which the interior has seen better days. A ballistic nylon, wheeled overhead bag which is my primary companion when I travel in Europe and weekend trips here in CONUS (Continental US). I bought a bag on my last trip to Europe to carry crystal home and found it to be a fun suitcase to own. It's bright orange with hard sides. I have a ballistic nylon laptop case which although functional is boring boring boring.

I also have a Tatanka backpack that I bought in Germany more than 10 years ago. I have to say this is my absolute primary bag. Despite is lack of elegance, it is the right size for just about any job. My Tiny toughbook fits in one of the compartments. I can seal the top from the bottom to make it easy to find gear inside. And it's freakin' durable. Seriously, I've taken this bag all over the world, I've abused it to no end and it still is in great condition.

However, sometimes you see something that you want just because. This is one of those days. I've been eyeing these bags for awhile, but I just can't bring myself to buy a bag that I can't fit my 17" laptop in. Oh well, I'll share the love anyway. Perhaps you will find your next bag here.

January 25, 2007

Take that

Did you ever wish you had a cold and could sneeze on your hand before you walked into a meeting so you could shake hands with a particular person and give them your cold? I'm not saying I've ever done this or would do it, but as I was driving to a meeting the other day, the thought popped into my head. Why not share the love with people that deserve it for wasting your time?

January 20, 2007

DIY Munkey Boy

I've never considered myself handy with tools. I didn't even hang my Elfa Closets myself (I relied on Parker to do it when I moved.)

So, despite this, I figured I could but a new cold air return grill vent into my living room without any assistance. You know the idea. Think small. Start small. Grow as you learn and become more self confident. I ordered a wooden grill vent and had it delivered. It arrived and I was super psyched to start the project. After the vent sat for a week, I wondered if I was ever going to start the project. Breathe. Take a moment and examine the project.

Get the tools out (I had everything I needed (I think). I removed the old nasty metal vent. This was easy. I used a drill on the long screws until I realized that they weren't held in by anything. The drywall around the screws had been destroyed from multiple prior removals. Then I scraped off the monstrous amount of caulk that the rebuild contractor had used to make the vent flush with the wall. (I discovered that the vent was not however level to the floor (or gravity for that matter).

I measured twice and marked the parts of the wall I needed to cut away. Then I looked inside the wall and measured inside the studs and framing. Uh-Oh. The frame built inside the drywall to the HVAC system was too small for the 12x24 vent I'd purchased. Was my project derailed? Nope. I whipped out a hammer and pounded the bottom frame down and the top frame up and proceeded to cut the drywall with a six inch drywall saw. Hole complete, I slid in the frame for the new grill. Nearly perfect fit.

After vacuuming up all the debris that the sawing had left behind, I replaced the frame inside the wall and mounted the actual wooden grill. Awesome. Not only does it freakin' fit, I did all the work myself. Tomorrow's project is to take out the grill and paint it the same color as the wall. I may also search to see if Home Depot has some kind of epoxy or glue that I can mount the interior frame to the dry wall for a more flush fit on the finished job.

So the end result? I feel more confident with tools and taking on home DIY projects myself. Just because you never tried something before, doesn't mean you can't do it. Nor does it mean you have to beg your DIY experienced friends to help you. Hmmm... I smell more DIY in my future. Wish me luck.

January 17, 2007

Worth a 1000 words?

I went to BK today to grab a salad for lunch. As I pulled up to the drive-thru menu, I noticed a sign at the bottom that read, "Picture menu available at window". Now, I'm may not be a genius, but people. If I need a picture menu, do you think I can read the sign? At what point in the process do you suppose someone objected to the sign and was shot down. "No, we need to inform our customers that can't read english that there is a picture menu available." Or is it for regular customers that may not know what a hamburger is?

I'd like to know how you visually see the difference between a chicken sandwich and a crispy chicken sandwich. Are the pix actual size or is there little text: Burgers may be larger that photo portrays. I didn't get fries or onion rings, but I'm wondering what happened to the days when fries actually stuck out the tops of the boxes? The idea you were getting a lot from a little container. Gone like the cassette tape.

I wish you all luck with the picture menu. I myself will pass. I know what a hamburger looks like.

January 15, 2007

Fresh ink

In Oct. the day I left Rio, I managed to get a new tattoo. In true Munkey form, I somehow persuaded the artist to open his shop on his day off and do a tattoo for me. I didn't suggest it, and he was booked out for a month. It was the only way to get it done. I would have walked away without ever suggesting he open on his day off. So, what did I get?

That requires a little background. I spent a week trying to decide what I would get for a tattoo. I generally let the artists do what they want. They then are more motivated to actually do a great piece. They have near total freedom. So, being in Rio, I thought about all the things in Rio and what I wanted to remember from visiting there. I collect a lot of Graffiti in my travels and Rio has some of the best Writers in the world. I settled on tryiing to draw a script for Munkey. Yeah, I'm not a writer. lol Then, a tree frog jumped on me and stuck to my arm. Thus an idea was born.

Meet, Munkey and the Tree Frog.

The color is closer in the second pic, but it's not as good an image. This is on my entire left calf.

Random thoughts

We have this thing we do to ourselves. We think we should be perfect. That if we don't meet our own expectations that we are failing somehow. We give ourselves no quarter. No room for surrender. How unfair. We are human after all. That means we are fallible. There is room to second guess and re-decide.

January 14, 2007

Spoon me

I have spoon issues. I have a complete set of spoons just like I have a complete set of forks, knives and soup spoons. However, I'm continually out of regular spoons. Before I run every dishwasher cycle I have to pull spoons out and hand wash them. What gives? Do I eat too much spoon food? Too much stuff in need of stirring? Help!

Can I buy extra spoons that match my set? Can you buy individual spoons? I doubt it. I wouldn't even know where to look. Maybe I can find my silverware on eBay and buy another set and throw out everything but the spoons. That would be rich. Or better yet, put the set back on eBay sans spoons. haha I bet could find someone to buy it too. Poor SOB would be out there looking for his own set of spoons. I might just have to do that.

I can already see the CNN headline. Man starts rush on spoons. Manufacturers rushed today to increase production for spoons in anticipation of demand for more spoons in the residential setting. While most people have 8 place settings, Mad Munkey started a rising trend by buying up all the spoons he could find that match his set. Mr. Munkey theorizes that he has nearly 40 spoons that match his set. "You know, I just got tired of handwashing spoons all the time. You should never be spoonless." Indeed, where would we be without the spoon. The utensil the was the basis for the almighty Spork.

January 11, 2007

Playing with words

If you've read much of my blog, you know I enjoy finding word combinations that sound interesting together. Since my mind is fairly scrambled today, I've decided to share an experiment. This isn't a poem or a a cohesive thought. Just some words strung together.

The acid forest reclines with quiet reserve

Contemplate fate within the window of another's soul

Mourning silence of whimsical fate

Sweet harmony of discord and malcontent

Malfeasance lingers through the stillness

Ripcord shorn in eager hands of clammy perception

January 09, 2007

180,000,000 years

It took 180,000,000 years to make (or at least discover) and probably took 10 minutes to slice into a little piece. Well, not so little. 14 inches across and an inch thick. In the Triassic period, trees were trapped in sediments that would eventual reach as much as 400 feet deep.

The layer of sediments is known today as the Chinle Formation.

This particular piece will look great holding cocktails in my living room. Sacrilege. Blasphemy. I'm sure that's what Rock geeks would think. After all, this is a museum quality stone. Or more properly, museum quality petrified wood. I'm sure it took more than a few hours to polish the face. Perhaps it is sacriledge to use it to prop up drinks, but honestly, its a thing of beauty that comes from the earth. I can't think of a better tribute that to keep it inside and have many deep heavy conversations around it.

January 08, 2007

Lazy nation

I was at the supermarket tonight and contemplated the way the parking lot was laid out for this particular strip mall. Set in a loose U or 3/4 ovoid shape, this isn't your regular parking lot. It's divided several ways and includes multiple dead ends. The developer was surely on crack when they laid out the parking zones. Either that or a visiting maniacal child seriously rearranged the design.

I'm writing to complain about the design, but rather to discuss the laziness of the American populace. I watched no less than three people wait and block the lane to get a 'close-up' parking space rather than drive an extra 30 meters to the empty parking spaces. And we wonder why we have a 70% obesity rate in our country?

I saw a bumper sticker the other day... I don't recall exactly what it said, but the gist of it was Lose weight, park further away.

I don't mean to imply that I'm better than anyone else. Just two weeks ago, I found myself guilty of driving across a Home Depot parking lot to get a cup of coffee. Seriously, how effed up is that? Am I really in that much of a hurry that I can't walk across a parking lot and back again? Apparently, I am. Damn.


And Blogger is now telling me that my blog has characteristics of a Spam Blog. How nice is that? MFer. I have to do Word Verification just to post. What kind of bullshit is that?


It was time to bring a different face to the table. Same brain behind the glass though. If you have like the show in the past, chances are, there is a reason to light up your cell phone and hold it to the sky. Chanting "Munkey" over and over might win you an encore as well. But don't hold your breath.

January 07, 2007

Take it to the limit

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

What does next year have in store for me?
Children of the Damned - Iron Maiden (that I am)

What does your love life look like?
She only gets that way with me - Toby Keith (score)

What do I say when life gets hard?
Big me - Foo Fighters (i don't like this, but playing by the rules)

What do I think of when I get up in the morning?
Looking for love - Whitesnake (lmao)

What song will I dance to at my wedding?
Not Fade Away - Rolling Stones (I got nothin')

What do you want as a career?
Shake a leg - AC/DC (hmmm stripper - Nice)

Your favorite saying?
Great day to be alive - Travis Tritt (so true)

Favorite place?
Round and Around - Pink Floyd (heh heh)

What do you think of your parents?
And the cradle will rock - Van Halen (too bad it didn't rock out the door)

Where would you go on a first date? (SuhWeet)
Smokin' - Boston

Drug of choice?
Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast - Pink Floyd (just a little dust...)

Describe yourself.
I need to know - Tom Petty (tell me now)

What is the thing I like doing most?
Strange Days - The Doors ('nuff said)

What is my state of mind like at the moment?
5150 - Van Halen (I shit you not)

How will I die?"
Evil Angel - Breaking Benjamin (how apprapo)

The song that will be played at your funeral?
Don't Go - Andre Visior (a trance song - go figure - party up people)

The song you'll put as the subject?
Take it to the limit - The Eagles

January 04, 2007

Erect this...

So, while I was out shopping, I saw this little erector set that has a sidecar motorcycle and a ATV 4 wheeler in it. Ages 8-15. I hadn't put together anything like that in years and thought it would be fun to set on my desk. Purchase quantity 1 (one). Yesterday I started putting together the motorcycle and sidecar. The two kits together have 170 parts, so this thing isn't all that complex right? I mean, they wouldn't create something an 8 year old couldn't build would they? Well...

I ended up taking it apart three separate times because I built it wrong. And yes, I was consulting the directions. Seems the directions were designed to make you think and actually make decisions. In other words, they aren't brainless. It takes some thought. Also, my fingers are not 8-15 year old sized. This means that the tiny bolts are hard to grasp in my adult sized fingers. We won't even get into the tiny nuts that the bolts screw into.

Four hours pass.

I finally get the thing together properly (I think). Here is the thing, I was totally engrossed in putting it together. I wonder if I found a new kind of stress relief. I know I finally found something to collect in my office. I'm going to buy the other 5 kits in this set. Then once I've mastered those, I'm going to move onto the really complex ones that have 600-850 working parts and motors. Some even build remote control vehicles.

I can't seem to send links for specific sets, but look under the Metal, then Design, Multi-Models and Special Edition for a refresher course. :-)

January 03, 2007


Two immovable objects collide. What happens?

Are our minds so intractable? So set that we become an immovable object never bending and ultimately breaking under the strain? What if we try to bend and the wind grows stronger? Is the creaking and cracking going to lead to the innevitable break no matter how hard we strive?

Branches thrashing in the stress of the wind. The rustle of the leaves a wicked laughter as they twist and churn against each other? Perpetually in motion. Limbs dancing like marionettes in an unskilled hand.

Mindthink. Mindfuck. Mindsink.

January 01, 2007

Up mine?

Gee, I'll bet everyone is just bursting with energy and raring to rip on their New Years Resolutions. My comment to New Years resolutions? Up Yours. Sincerely, Me.

I mean get real people. Do you think just because it's a new year that you can just flip a little switch and suddenly you are going to be hitting the gym 4-5 times a week for power sets with Rog, the grunter? Yeah, didn't think so. Or that you are really going to quit eating whatever is your weakness and lose that 'freshman' 15 that has turned into the 'creeping up on middle age' fat tire 'round your belly? Or that you'll just up and quit smoking because it's a glorious Monday that just happens to fall on the first day of the current 'Western' calendar?

Again, don't think so, but if sweatin' to the oldies is what it takes to wake your ass up to the reality of the new year, then so be it. Personally, the new day that will be dawning shortly isn't big enough news in my mind to shake a stick at. However, that didn't stop me from celebrating like a rock star and spending a ton of money on it. (Probably not quite as much as some other folks however.)

The reality is this. You have something you want to change in your life, change it. Whip it, smack it, beat it, lick it, pound it, suck it... whatever, just get on with it already. You've wasted enough time. Why make a resolution out of it at this late stage? Just get on the stick and imagine that wish fulfilled. Then wake to reality and figure out how you are going to make it happen. Go forth conquer as no other possibly could. Then smack someone else on the ass and tell ..hem that it's their turn. Saddle up little cowpokes. It's time to make the wild mustang dance. Six-gun ready? Draw Bitches.