Take a good look at this monkey. This may be the last time you will ever see him.
His filename mentions he’s more than just a monkey; he’s a skating monkey, though I see no skates. This makes me think that many years ago he was torn from some larger and older artwork, but to tell the truth, I don’t know his full story.
I only know he was last saved on July 6th 2003 and since then, has occasionally filled in whenever someone needed an arbitrary Alibi-branded image but didn’t want to bother the art department. For the last couple years, he has served as a default OGP image for Alibi stories or blogs which otherwise lack an image.
Today he retires from that job, handing over the reigns to a more professional and well-groomed Alibi representative, which I hope will be less distressing to readers. You see, there’s a problem with monkeys. Though he may appear innocent and happy, I think we can all agree that monkeys symbolize many evils (which the monkeys pretend to neither hear, see nor speak of):
1) Racism. You know that whenever white people mention monkeys, it’s really code for darker skinned people, don’t you?
2) People's callous disregard for the suffering of animal test subjects at the hands of the cosmetics and aerospace industries. Whenever someone uses monkey imagery, that’s practically advocacy for consuming more mascara and weather satellite photos, whatever the cost to our innocent Gaia-mates.
3) Science’s rejection of the special status humanity once enjoyed, prior to 1859 when a godless communist suggested that life could be shaped by processes which could be understood, like everything else in the world.
4) Perhaps this is just my own personal monkey-demon, but some friends once used to “point” a small stuffed gorilla toy (gorillas aren’t monkeys, but let’s not split hairs), such that its sideway stare was directed specifically at me. The monkey was watching me. I hated it. No matter how intimidatingly I stared back, it wouldn’t flinch. If my friends ever left the room, I would grab the monkey and hide it, in order to escape its relentless gaze.
5) Tell us your complaint about monkeys. Hey, we all know they’re bad, but exactly how? Monkeys are just like bananas, in that their imagery always means more though we pretend they’re merely themselves. Let’s just cut through the bullshit right away, and get down to how monkeys bother you.
Gregory Dale Hayes, innocently preparing for the zombie invasion, is sentenced to 15 years on firearms charges.
Dale Price runs a joke into the ground, mercilessly beating a dead horse beyond death into undeath, thereby making the unfunny become funny. Sometimes that’s the only way to salvage the situation. Don’t you agree?
Hard cider was mentioned in today's Daily Word and the email quoted below appeared in all the Alibi mailboxes this morning, almost simultaneously.
If it’s a conspiracy, I say give into it. This is the day for drinking and discussing the fruits of the fruit.
The cyser mentioned below is very dry; all my ciders and meads are dry except for one gimmicky cyser/braggot hybrid I've got maturing. If you're feeling like something sweet, my favorite is the one we just call “Scrumpy's,” and I just can’t figure out how they do it.
Cyser is a variant of mead, where the water is replaced by apple squeezin's, thereby adding even more sugar to feed the yeasties (and of course some flavor).
I made this one in February 2010, as a cheap and experimental batch to evaluate Wyeast's 4632 "Dry Mead" Yeast strain, to see if I would want to use that yeast later in the fall when it would be time to make the "real" stuff.
I am very pleased with 4632 and will use it again (though perversely, I ended up not using it in my fall 2010 batches which you'll be tasting another 3-9 months from now, but that's another story). It matured rapidly, and I thought this stuff was good enough to drink within 3 months, all the more exciting because of its mundane ingredients. (It just blows me away that more people don't make meads, hard ciders and cysers; it's so damn easy compared to beer, and can be so yummy.)
The base cider was 6 half-gallon jugs of Trader Joe's Gala apple juice mixed with 2 half-gallon jugs of Trader Joe's McIntosh apple juice. The honey was 9 pounds of "Mrs. Crocket's" honey from CostCo. Nothing exotic here at all.
Came out smooooooth and mellow and dangerous; a sip of this and you'd never guess it's somewhere in the mid teens % ABV, unlike my 2008 cyser which still tastes like rocket fuel (which is why I haven't brought it in). A 12 oz bottle is a good two servings, and your old Swirl, Swish and Swallow glass is the perfect thing to drink from. As usual for my stuff, this is unfiltered so may have some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. You might want to handle and pour the bottle carefully and leave it behind, though for this batch I have just been drinking the whole thing.
It would be really nice if you could rinse and return the empty bottles to the sixpack holders at my desk. I sorta expect people to take these home rather than drink 'em here (AHEM, Adam), so if that's too inconvenient, don't sweat it. But if it's not a lot of trouble, please give 'em back.
Oh, and if you're under 21 then please forget everything you just read. These bottles contain something very bad and gross.
14 other people had voted before me (ignoring absentee/early-voting ballots). Today is a good day to call bullshit on people who whine that their vote doesn’t count.
“Ninety percent of life is showing up.” -- Woody Allen. No, wait, he said 80 percent. Or was it just 50 percent? And wasn’t it success, not life? Oh crap, I give up. No, I’m sure the quote was about showing up, not giving up.
This coming and the following Saturdays (August 21 and 28), from 8:00am to noon, you can experience what it's like to be a manual laborer on a farm, except instead of getting paid to do the work, you then have to pay for the produce that you harvested by hand.
Huh? What do you mean by "that doesn't sound appealing?" Oh! I forgot to mention what you'll be picking and how much fun you'll have. This is about hops, grown right here in New Mexico in Bosque Farms. On top of that, they're even good hops and with some characteristics other than the usual fare normally available. I've used these hops before and they're delightfully aromatic. I'm not going to say "Forget the Northwest" but De Smet has definitely put New Mexico on the map. Sure, you might be able to find some beer made with these hops at High Desert (Las Cruces) or Blue Corn (Santa Fe) but there's just nothing like doing it yourself, with ingredients that you took right off the bine.
Michael De Smet (the farmer) says everyone and anyone who is interested in hops is invited. If you arrive after the crowd and there's no one to greet you at the gate, just walk through the farm (in the direction toward the river) and you'll find the hops at the back.
Bring insect repellent, sunscreen, and some cash (don't worry, the price is absurdly low, at least by homebrew supply standards, call it the "but I did some of the work!" discount). Meet a bunch of grinning brewers who are all ecstatically sniffing their hands for some reason, and the farmer who thinks it’s not quite as fun when you smell it day after day after day after day after day after day. Get your George Orwell on. Learn.
2405 McNew Rd, Bosque Farms, NM (From Albuquerque: South on I-25 to exit 215. Take highway 47 south, thru Isleta reservation into Bosque Farms. Turn right onto South Bosque Loop, then follow it feft onto McNew Rd. You will pass Bonita Dr. and then look for a farm on the right, with a De Smet Dairy sign on the gate.) This is a dog friendly outing (duh, it's a farm!).
Ronnie James Dio was struck down yesterday by the same thing that took out H. P. Lovecraft: stomach cancer. Dio didn’t invent the horns but you should rock out and give the sign today anyway. Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll!
What was I talking about .. impressive names? No wait: impressionists!)
This Sunday through August 8, the Albuquerque Museum is showing Turner to Cézanne, a collection which includes many impressionist paintings. Among these is a Venetian scene titled “Palazzo Eleanora Duse” by Walter Sickert. Crime novelist-turned-Ripperologist Patricia Cornwell says that Sickert was Jack the Ripper!Was he?
While in the parking lot of the Kull O’Brien show, we spotted Ron E Howard, the adventure story author who turned TV actor who turned movie director. Ol' Two-Gun Opie graciously took some time away from pimping Backdraft 2: Black Stone of the Fire God to answer your top three questions.
How did you meet Andy Griffith?
I met Andy at a boxing match. He towered over me and had a wicked left with destruction writ all over it, but I mauled him pretty good with my twin sledgehammers. The bout became a lifetime bond, and I was honored when he asked me to play his son on his TV show.
What did you think of Fonzie's jump over the shark?
I despise people who tease animals. They are the scum of the earth.
Has your film success helped your writing career?
Success!? When the studio showed me the first draft of Apollo 13, I could scarcely believe it. There wasn't a single fight scene. This was supposed to be a story about cunning men of action in the face of annihilation, and all these characters are just sittin’ there taking it. I begged Universal: at least let's give Tom Hanks' character a sword, so that he can do something about the Picts’ rival lunar mission. They said, "oh, we hadn’t thought about that" and then took out the Picts. Don't even get me started on what they did with the screenplay adaptations of my own stories. Cowboy Coccoon, Da Vinci’s Codex Mortis, A Beautiful Axe, Frost/Conan: they still let me direct, but the movie plots are so butchered that I still can’t really think of them as “mine.”
It wasn’t until Backdraft 2 that I’ve finally been able to do things My Way. So we’ll see how it goes. Ask me again next year.