Archive for September, 2009

Live Updates from the 2009 Great American Beer Festival

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

We will have live updates from Live Talking Monkey Correspondent, Beak, at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado.  Right now he is volunteering at the GABF, living the dream, with more updates to follow soon.













Looks like the popularity of this festival is finally picking up.  They may make it after all.  I’m glad Beak’s looking back instead of forward.










“Um yes, this is my first time here.  Which way to the beer?”










“Doh!!!  What do you mean there is actually no such thing as Duff Beer?”












Here it is, the Great American Beer Festival.  Looks pretty big.















Here are a few of the beers our correspondent sampled…




Mmm.  That looks pretty tasty!













I’d hate to be stuck up there without a paddle…Hope the beer’s good!











Pretty Hoppy?













Atlanta’s in the house!  I believe that’s Kevin McNerney, (formerly of Sweetwater),from the 5 Seasons off of 285 and Roswell Rd.  They have two more locations: One on Old Milton in Alpharetta and a new one farther into Atlanta.  Good to see them represented out West.  I wonder what competitions they entered?





And now for some of the characters attending the GABF…





“Yo queiro mas cervesa, mucho mas cerveza!  Ehhhh, Heh Heh Hehhh!!!”













“Daaa Beers!”













“Okay, I give up.  Where is he?”












3 penguins and Hot Rod???






Let’s check back in with Beak…





I believe our top correspondent has lost his focus.











“Okay, you girls are German.  Who wants to play ‘hide the sausage’?”















Beak’s final report was brief, and summed up the whole night perfectly,



For those of you interested, please check out the GABF’s website…

Dead Turtle Walking

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

I usually stop and help turtles, technically terrapins, cross the road when I see them, but I had to draw the line at I-85.  He was about a quarter of the way across the first of two lanes on the northbound side when I swerved to give him a wide berth.  I watched behind me and noticed the car about a hundred yards back ease over to the right to straddle the little fellow.   I wonder what that’s like for the terrapin, seeing a car barrel down on you, only to zoom over your head at 80 miles an hour.  Does he freak and go into his shell?  Or does he just keep on trucking, balls to the wall?  Well, I guess I should say balls to the shell.  When I went past him he never slowed down, and he was moving much faster than his reputation would imply.  I wonder if he knew the risk when he started this suicide mission, or if he just thought, “Hmm, this is different.”  I think he knew.  From the look on his face, and the effort he was putting into his ‘run’, I think he had an idea of the danger.

The bad news is, there was a large group of cars well behind the one car behind me.  I think he could have beat them to the median if he kept up his breakneck pace…Maybe.  But if he hesitated, well, that would be bad.  I like to think that he knew what he had to do, and he made it across.

As far as the southbound lanes, that’s anybody’s guess.  I didn’t see any turtle remains on the way home, so maybe he’s okay.

Where, Oh Where, can my Monkey be?

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Sorry folks, for going MIA, but it’s been one of those weeks.  It started out with a football game last Saturday.  It seems, I have created a tradition of drinking way too much on the season home opener and making a fool of myself.  I then get the pleasure of paying for these transgressions, the rest of the season.  Last year I made the mistake of having too many libations at the actual tailgate, and the fun ensued from there.  This year I decided to play it safe, and go out with a buddy to my favorite watering hole, then take a taxi back home.  Smart, right?  Noooooooo!!!  Taxi = Freedom to drink extremely irresponsibly.  All was fine until my neighbor at the bar, cheering for the opposing team, decided we should do shots.  Bad Idea!  He and his girlfriend were young and crazy: I was old and pathetic.  Things went way down hill from there, and I will be paying for it for quite sometime.

Move forward to Friday morning.  I was running behind, trying to get out the door.  I grabbed some clothes out of the dryer, or as my wife likes to call it, “the auto-iron”, and rushed out of the laundry room.  It was a narrow opening, due to a suitcase near the doorway, but I was pretty sure I had it cleared as I half-ran through the doorway when I heard a noise, not unlike a baseball bat snapping in two.  There was a white-hot flash of pain and my mind started trying to  process what had happened.  I noticed my momentum had been severely slowed, because my left leg was still behind me.  I had missed clearing the door frame by about 3/4 of an inch, so my pinky toe took the full brunt of the collision, powered by all my left leg had to offer.  There were a lot of choice words said at this point as I hopped to the nearest seat, not daring to look down at my foot.  I had a sock on, and dreaded removing it, due to the horrors I was about to see.  So I gingerly removed my sock, and slowly scanned my eyes down to my foot, expecting to find my toe hanging off the side of my foot.  To my surprise, there it was, my beautiful little pinky toe, right where it was supposed to be!

I was happy it was still there, but I assumed something was broken, so I went to the doc-in-a-box, to do my part to fuel our healthcare for profit system.  They took x-rays and told me nothing was broken, (which I’m not sure I believe, I’ll do another blog about that.  You ever wonder why they don’t give you the x-rays anymore?)  Anyway, only a deep bone bruise, which was very disappointing.  I was looking forward to having a little bitty toe cast, but oh well.  I had to settle for a piece of tape, which made things much worse.  The good news was, since it was only some kind of bruise, I would be fine for golf Sunday, right Doc? 

“No, you should not be ambulatory.”, she replied.

To which I answered, “No Mam, I had planned on driving.  We’ll just see how I feel.”

I mean seriously, a bruise?  You think that’s going to keep me off the course?  YES!!!  Over half of my foot is still blue!  If anybody gets within two feet of my foot, I start screaming.  (Hee, hee…I just noticed that pun.)

Moral of the story, these things plus a hundred others, have got me kind of down and out, and I haven’t been able to complete any blogs lately.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist, (I know it’s hard to believe if you’ve read anything on here), and the more down I am, the harder it is for me to actually finish anything.  The ideas are still flowing, and I’ve got a LOT of unfinished blogs I think are pretty interesting.  I promise I will get to work, and get these up here soon so my readers, all 3 of you, won’t be disappointed.



Wells Banana Bread Beer

Friday, September 11th, 2009

wellsbanWells Banana Bread Beer
5.2% ABV
Wells & Young’s Brewery Co.
Bedford, UK

Hey, I’m a monkey.  How could I resist?

Color-Somewhere between gold and brown, hard to call.

Aroma-Very Banana-ish.

Ok, here’s the deal.  Not telling the whole story is not the same thing as lying.  Therefore, I choose not to review beers that I don’t like.  I admire any brewery going out on a limb and making beer, and who am I to condemn them.  Besides, people have very different tastes.  A buddy of mine, and regular reader, (thanks for reading Mingo), tried a beer I liked a lot and highly recommended, (Lagunitas Brown Shugga’), and he didn’t really care for it.  In fact, he may still have some in his fridge, although I highly doubt it.  Anyway, I digress. 
Moral of the story, this is not one of my favorites, and I love bananas.  It is a good clean, crisp ale, with a pretty overpowering artificial banana taste.  Try it for yourself, but the name and description promised more than the beer delivered.  But don’t get me wrong, I didn’t pour it down the drain.  I never judge a beer completely until the last sip!


5 natural and artificial bananas.

For those of you who appreciate the ‘Duck Joke’.

Friday, September 11th, 2009

So, this bird walks into a store…… Manistee , MI


 A seagull in Manistee,Mi has developed the habit of stealing Doritos from a neighborhood convenience store.

The seagull waits until the Manager isn’t looking, and then walks into the store and grabs a snack-size bag of cheese Doritos.

Once outside, the bag gets ripped open and shared by other birds.

The seagull’s shoplifting started early this month when he first swooped into the store in Manistee,Mi , and helped himself to a bag of Doritos. Since then, he’s become a regular. He always takes the same type of chips.

The Manager thinks it’s great because people are coming to watch the feathered thief make the daily grab and run, and that’s good for business, and especially since customers have begun paying for the seagull’s stolen bags of Doritos because they think it’s so funnyHowever, the Manager did say, ‘This is  Michigan , and if that seagull starts to grab a 6-pack o’ ‘Bud’ to go along with the Doritos, I may have to put a stop to it.’ 

Sweetwater Dank Tank V

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

dank2Big Ol’ Belgian Blue Balls-Dank Tank V
8% ABV
Sweetwater Brewing Co.
Atlanta, GA

Beautiful Golden-Amber color.
Smells kinda like cotton candy, in a barn.

There’s wheat, there’s barley, there’s rye, and there are blueberries, but it tastes like a smooth Belgian Tripel to me. Sweet nectar mixed with Farmhouse Belgian yeast flavor.  Very subtle blueberry flavor.  Good stuff, love me some Dank Tank!


8.7 bananas

The Conversationalist

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

bananasI just saw a guy walking down the street yelling at cars going by and arguing with himself, kinda’ looked like a Perkins.  He would point and yell at the cars, and then carry on the conversation with himself until the next car went by.

It makes me wonder…

-What’s he saying?

-How far am I from being that guy?

Cliff Hanger

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009


You know in an action movie, when there’s a car chase, and a car skids halfway off the edge of a cliff or a bridge, and just kinda hangs there?  And if the driver moves too quickly, or in the wrong direction, the car will slip the rest of the way and plummet down to the ground or water, surely leading to a horribly painful death?

I’m the driver.

Notes from the Emerald Coast

Friday, September 4th, 2009


Things I’m learning on vacation…

It is impossible to describe the look on your daughter’s face, as you take her out into the Ocean for the  very first time.  Sheer terror maybe?  Not really, but it was a wonderful experience to share with my daughter.

A boomerang that doesn’t come back is…
— Just a stick
— Really good exercise
— A great lesson in determination
— A fun show for beach dwellers, I’m sure.

Next time I’m moaning and groaning about things not going my way, I will remember that the giant Jellyfish I elbowed, (while chasing a faulty boomerang), did not sting me.

Colds are much worse on vacation. It’s one thing to tough it out through work while you’re sick, but when it interferes with your one week of the year to relax and recharge, that stinks!  I should be thinking, “8 iron or 9 iron?”  Not, “Musinex or Sudafed?”

There’s not much of a difference between applying sunscreen to my body and putting a rub on a hog for a barbecue.

Alaskan King Crab Legs aren’t any fresher in Destin, Florida, than they are in Atlanta, Georgia

Just because a golf course is beautiful and more expensive than where I normally play, it doesn’t mean I hit the ball any better.  I just get into more exotic types of trouble.

What’s bad in the real world, is still bad here…I just don’t care as much.

Just because Florida Beer Laws are better than Georgia Beer Laws, doesn’t mean that most restaurants down here have a good selection.

McGuire’s Irish Pub  is everything I thought it’d be and more!  How often do you see all these variables come together in one place…
–Great atmosphere-Dimly lit, multi-leveled, cavernous, proudly Irish pub and restaurant.  A perfect mix of a tourist attraction and a huge local hangout.
–Handmade delicious beer, open fermented on the premises.  A collection of Irish and American styles.  (I would have said English too, but it’s nothing to get shot about.)  Also great wine and mixed drinks, if you’re into those lesser beverages.
–Great food!  Huge appetizers, reasonable prices, great authentic Irish dishes, wonderful steaks, delicious Irish Black Honey Bread…You will not leave hungry! 

I’m going back, before I leave.  Make sure you bring a dollar bill and a sharpie, and don’t forget:  After all those delicious brews, you better stop by the restroom before you leave.

(Edit-I went back today to show my father-in-law how cool McGuire’s was.  The brewers, Gary and Tom, were hanging out at the bar.  I introduced myself and told them I was a homebrewer and they went off.  Next thing I knew, we were on an impromtu tour, and Tom was bringing out ‘special’ beers for us to sample.  He said he was going to get us something ‘really strange’ to taste, when I remembered my 2 year old daughter and my father-in-law were waiting patiently for me, so I regretfully made my exit.  If you go to Destin or Pensacola, Go to McGuire’s!”)

When there is no tropical storm banging into it, the Emerald Coast  is a wonderful place to be.  Destin does it right, but it seems like they are hurting.  I guess in tough times, vacations aren’t always feasible.  If you can break loose and get down here, it’s a great place to spend your money.

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

roguejunJuniper Pale Ale
Rogue Ales
Newport, OR

Beautiful dark golden color:  They call it saffron.
Lesson #1-Don’t store Rogue beer bottles on their side.  I did it with two and they both overflowed when I opened them.  I think I may have started another fermentation.  Looking at my perfectly sized glass I found, in our condo, I see yeast dancing around everywhere!  This beer smells like freshly picked hops, thrown into a boiling wort.
Man this is a good, clean, crisp tasting American Pale Ale.  Perfect malt profile contrasted with lots o’ hops, but not super bitter; great balance.  Finishes nice and bitter like any ‘hops forward’ brew should do.  You also find a touch of the juniper in the finish, but you have to pay attention.  As usual, Rogue doesn’t disappoint.  Delicious beer.


9.4 bananas…easy.