Welcome to the Monty Wolf Blog!
Here you will find random bits of me

Thursday, November 29, 2007

who's the turkey?

thanksgiving was not what i expected it would be.

not entirely.

originally, we were going to go out for dinner; i’m not sure where.

then, around a week before, susie decided she was going to make dinner; roast a turkey; make dressing; all the traditional trappings.

come tuesday night (that would be the tuesday just 2-days before thanksgiving) i learned that what susie meant by roasting a turkey actually meant that she was buying a roasted turkey from whole foods.

she had not, however, yet ordered it.

so, wednesday morning i ventured into the hell known as whole foods to buy one of these fabled roasted turkeys.

there were none, as i suspected. there also were no fresh, or even thawed, previously frozen birds.

without haste, i left whole foods, and the chaos of neo-hippies, brain-dead liberals and wealthy idiots who seem to congregate to be seen by the other neo-hippies, brain-dead liberals and wealthy idiots, and drove around the corner to the monte vista market.

the monte vista is known for, not only the workplace of the original melvin (pronounced: mebbin) and his magnificent barbeque work, but the best meats on the peninsula; unless, of course, you are a neo-hippie, brain-dead liberal or wealthy idiot.

i set out looking for a 12-pound turkey; i had to settle for a 15-pound free ranger sans hormones.

on the way back to the castle i stopped off at save-mart to grab a few other provisions, spices and necessities.

have you figured it out yet that i’m now the chief thanksgiving chef?

i’m a smart guy; i should have known when i heard that susie was going to make dinner that i was going to be doing the cooking.

but, not being much of a fan of traditional thanksgiving foods, i find it difficult to get geared up to preparing those foods. but, i decided to give it my best effort.

i slipped some fresh herbs (sage, thyme and rosemary) and ground pepper between the skin and meat, popped a cut-up onion, a few cloves of garlic and some celery tops into the cavity, dry-rubbed ground pepper and salt over the skin and put the breast-down turkey into a 450° oven for 20-minutes before backing the thermostat down to 325. after a couple of hours i tuned the breasts-up and took off the foil-tent to let it brown.

i was given a sit-down-to-dinner-time of 2:00 (why is it that thanksgiving dinner comes so early?). but, when my bird was already out of the oven and resting, ready to be taken up to the dollhouse, i got a call telling me that i would get a call in about an hour to bring the turkey, gravy fixin’s and candied yams; susie needed more time to finish her part of the dinner.

by 4:30 i gave up, packed up the dinner and headed to the dollhouse.

when i got there susie was just beginning to prepare a whole foods version of stovetop stuffing and mashing potatoes, her contribution to dinner. oh, and a can of cranberries (it’s no wonder that people hate cranberries if all they have had are cranberries out of a can).

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by 5:30 we sat down to eat my turkey dinner that was ready 3-and-a-half-hour earlier.

well, you can’t have turkey without stuffing, right?

but, we couldn’t eat until ron told us a thanksgiving story.

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despite the tardiness: the turkey was still moist!

and, since it had the chance to “rest” for such a long time, it carved (even with one of the dollhouse's not-so-sharp knives) easily and neatly.

knowing that i would be facing the same situation for christmas dinner, i have already volunteered to cook the entire dinner.

i’m such a fool!

Monday, November 26, 2007

the hobby habit

it’s been a while since i’ve updated my blog; i’ve been staying busy with a couple of new hobbies.

the first one began from getting ron’s radio show, “wheel talk coast to coast”, reformatted and back on the air in los angeles.

in the past: ron did his show live over the phone at each station that carried it.

we are now recording it in our studio. this not only gives me a chance to put a little spit-polish on it, i can also put music behind it. but, i’m limited to music that is royalty-free.

which means i had no musical options.

so, i started poking around the second disk of my adobe audition audio editing software and began putting little tunes together from the loops (some :12 seconds long while others measure out as single drum-beats) that are included.

at first, i practiced with loops that were made to go together, which is kind of like a paint by numbers method of making music.

i’ve tried to link directly to each of the tracks i have below, but the loop-site won’t let me do that. so, you’ll have to click “play” on each title from my catalog of tracks. just scroll down a bit to see the listings. find them here.

make sure you turn off the music on the playlist before you play the loops.

my first attempt is called “technoblo.”

i have since graduated to making my own drum loops for each song.

the first example of my own drum loops is a little jazz track is call “funky for helen.”

another free-er form of freeform jazz can be heard on “sosso.”

“wheel talk coast to coast themes” has the intro, interludes and outro themes from ron’s show.

these loops are a lot like playing a video game. it is also that infectious.

now, i go to several websites to get my samples.

i’m working on a series of loops for a fishing show that we syndicate.

my other new hobby isn’t really a new hobby; it’s photography.

ron just bought the company a new digital slr camera. which means: i have a new digital slr camera to play with.

it’s a canon rebel xt and i’m already loving it!

i have yet to use any of the “creative” features (except for the repeat shot) and am just using the basic features until i get used to it. but, i intend to experiment with it the more i use it.

the pictures i've attached to this blog were taken at "our beach" using the continuous shooting feature.

if you look in the right sidebar of this blog you will find a link to my online photo album. the latest pics are in the file "11/24/07". there, you will also find a bunch of pre-digital pics.

i’ve shot about 75 images so far. but, despite just coming out of the highest tide of the year, the waves have been less than spectacular since we bought the new camera. of course, the day before we got it, the waves were raging! and, until today, it has been very sunny. so, it has been to bright for a decent picture. i’m a patient man. i can wait.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

afmazing

the morning after we got back from vegas, i ran ron over to the monterey airport so he could go to the american film market for a day-and-a-half, leaving me at the castle to operate the business and organize our event with bob lutz, the head of general motors, which takes place next week.

ron returned on saturday, november 3rd for the make a wish foundation fundraiser, which was put on by clint and dina eastwood at tahoma country club, which happens to be owned by mr. eastwood.

i drove ron and susie up and back in the 700 series bmw, which was an adventure in itself. just to get to the clubhouse you have to pass through two guarded gates and dodge dozens of deer roaming freely on the roadway.

the best part of the night, as ron tells it: he and susie got seated with some high-dollar prostitute from las vegas whose breasts wouldn’t stay in her dress.

the following morning we were heading down highway 101 for the second-half of the american film market.

video

being a person who never wants to do things the easy way, ron wanted us to stay all the way down in fountain valley with an old friend of his. jim and patty and jim’s mother are wonderful people and i’m really happy i got to meet them and truly enjoyed their hospitality and hot tub!

afm was a zoo!

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i don’t know where to start or how much i really want to say about it.

it was held at two hotels on the beach in santa monica. we were in loew’s hotel just down the coast a few hundred yards from the world famous santa monica pier in a suite with david heavener, stan derain and greg berkin. all three have film projects they were shopping around and greg also was there to promote his new mobile movie platform for smart phones and palm devices, which he developed and ron and i are trying to help promote.

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besides spending $18 for 2 bottles of water and 2 cokes (all of them 8 ounce bottles), i was able to sneak off for a few minutes with ron to find my first socal, and ron’s first ever, geocache. i did, however, only find the velcro that, at one time, held the cache in its former place.

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i also hung out with one of the actresses in one of david’s new projects: a tv show called “chronicles of an exorcist. you may remember lee benton from “mickey spillane's mike hammer” who played jenny the bartender.

on tuesday we headed out to the valley to have lunch with ron’s former-girlfriend, alison freebairn-smith, and ron’s former-houseboy, billy marich, who is a producer at hgtv.

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i’ve been hearing about both alison and billy for years. so, it was nice to finally have an opportunity to meet them.

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from there were all too quickly back on the road and heading back to the castle.

all in all, i’d have to say the trip to vegas was more fun but the trip to socal was a real eye-opener and certainly introduced me to some very interesting people!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

sema gooda thinga to do ata the time

FLASH!!

ron just left to go pick up the shitzus. he thought he was just going to the groomer’s but as it turns out susie left them at the day spa.
well, you can imagine the cruelty involved in taking them to a regular groomer.
on his way to get the dogs, ron is stopping by to rent a new bentley as the day spa doesn’t allow anything less than a car of that price to carry away any of the animals they groom.
i hope the poor things weren’t rushed to quickly from their soak in the hot tub.
# # # # #
i have spent much of the past couple of weeks out of town.
it started with a trip to las vegas for the sema show and ended with a trip to santa monica and the afm show.
since i intend to add a few videos, i’ll probably do this in a couple of installments.
my trip to vegas began early sunday evening, october 28 when helen (who doesn’t want me to write about her, so just pretend you didn’t read her name) picked me up here in pebble beach. after a cruise around the coastline we headed over to cannery row for an unremarkable dinner at one of the area mexican chain-restaurants before driving north to san jose.
early the next morning we left youknowwho’s place for breakfast and then a quick jaunt over to the heavily congested san jose airport; what a mess that place is!
despite the craziness my flight got off on time and, for most of the trip, followed hwy. 101 as far as ventura before heading out to sea.
we began our approach to orange county’s john wayne airport with a sweeping turn over catalina island giving those of us on the starboard side of the aircraft a great view of the isle.
as we made our very graceful landing, we passed a b-25 and b-17 bomber, two c-47s and one reconnaissance (black, of course) aircraft that i could not identify that were parked on the tarmac. hopefully, they are all flight-worthy; it would be such a waste to see them rest as static museum pieces.
within moments i had my baggage in my hand at the carousel and walked to the “white loading and unloading zone” to meet my longtime and dear friend alan. he greeted me with a really pretty charcoal grey mustang he was attempting to diagnose a problem with a computer, which alan says is the first such problem he has seen in the model. he also told me that, in his opinion, which i would have to value being he is fairway ford’s technical service manager, the mustang is the best car ford is making at this time. this only served to make me want one even more.
we circled the airport and headed over to a little, very noisy place for some really remarkable fish tacos and a chance to get to talk, albeit loudly, face-to-face for the first time in about 5-years.
in far too short of a period, alan took me back to just across the street from the airport to meet ron where he was having a luncheon meeting with some of the roex folks.
before long we were headed northeast, across the mojave desert, to sin city and our suite at the luxor.
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we checked-in, unpacked and trammed/walked over to the mgm grand for the first of the several parties we were invited to attend, one devoted to electronic devices intended for use in cars.
there was a seemingly unending supply of interesting and delicious foods to enjoy and rivers of upper-top shelf liquor (“knob creek, please!”) pouring from the three open bars as beautiful spokeswomen charmed and flirted with those of us in attendance.
our reason for being at sema was to recruit sponsors for the western automotive journalists media days 2008 in april. so, this party was a veritable gold mine of potential sponsors.
besides making some great contacts both ron and i walked out with brand new gps-receivers courtesy of magellan. neither of them appropriate for geocaching (like most magellans). but, both are wonderful for navigational purposes sporting features like address-to-address navigation and traffic detour routes. mine will find its way into the deathmobile and later into the mustang if things come together with the big project ron and i are working on.
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after a cab-ride, which we seemed to wait for forever, the entire following day was spent on the floors and parking lots of the convention center schmoozing more potential sponsors and mugging with attractive spokescreatures of every flavor imaginable.

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that night we attended a party put on by honda where the food and liquor continued until, assumingly by the way the crowd seemed to not waiver, far after we left.
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before leaving, however, i noticed somebody sitting near our table who looked very familiar. i was certain he was a former bonneville official named bob, but for the life of me i could not remember his last name. finally, i approached the gentlemen and asked: “have you ever been to the bonneville nationals?” “only every year since 1961!” he replied. by then i was close enough to see that his i-d badge read “bob mcmillian.” bob mac, as i always (except for the previous 20-miuntes) remembered him.
bob was always one of my most favorite bonneville-people and it was great to see him that night! his friend, john, grabbed a picture of the two of us and i gave bob one of my business cards, so i hope to have a picture it in my online album before too long.
in further proof that this really is a small world: bob was not only at laguna seca for the american le mans, described in a previous edition of my blog, but was also in the audi vip suite! what a trip!
from the honda party we walked about 50 feet to the next pavilion to the nissan party, which was much more exclusive in as far as invitations went, but not nearly as fun as the others. but, the free makers mark poured freely in the form of a triple; my last drink of the night, of which i only got about halfway through before deciding i had had enough.
we took the monorail across town to the mgm grand and walked/trammed back to the luxor.
video
the next morning we were on our way back to pebble beach bright and early with a brief stop at david heavener’s movie-ranch in tehachapi.
more on david in the story of the afm in santa monica in the next blogisode.
we made it back to pebble in time to greet the first of the only 4 or 5 groups of trick or treaters to dare approach the castle gate.
# # # # #
FLASH
i just got an email from bob mac, which included this picture:

monty and mac

bob has been busy since i saw him in vegas: the nhra finals; el mirage exhibit at the wally parks museum and off to el mirage tomorrow for the lakes meet.