Amazon Shipping

I’ve noticed something in my recent orders from Amazon, and it kinda bugs me. It’s the shipping. Pay more or get a membership and you get faster shipping, opt for cheaper and you get slower shipping, right? I usually am not in a rush so usually go cheaper, but noticed it wasn’t slower shipping, rather you are paying to get your stuff sooner. Instead of sending the items out cheaper USPS, which sometimes would arrive quite fast, they would hold my order until 2 days before the quoted arrival date, then ship it out 2 day UPS air. So yes, it arrives by the date they said it will, but the freight cost is the same to them. I still order from them, but it doesn’t leave a good taste. Oh, and their packing is usually pretty lame. Pick a box bigger than the item, throw in a few air packs, throw item in, ship it. Its amazing my camera was ok rattling and sliding around in the box. I guess if items get damaged in transit, its nothing to them to replace it.

Domestic Tools – Makita 22″ Cordless Hedge Trimmer


Another domestic tool I picked up, this cordless trimmer from Makita uses the same batteries that my drill, impact driver, demo saw, circular saw set uses. Well constructed and nicely balanced, I’ve used it a few times already. It’s got enough power for consumer use, I have on occasion jammed it when encountering a hard branch so it won’t cut everything that fits within the teeth. With a fully charged 3 AHr battery, I honestly get tired before the battery runs out.

3 out 4 hedging monkeys.

Beer Is Good – Sam Adams Fresh As Helles


Next up in the SA pack is this Helles. Pours a clear yellow with amber tint, light head. Soft floral aroma and mild hops. Even bitter that fades out. Clean finish and crisp mouthfeel. Occasionally a light grain reveals itself in the finish as it warms up. I’m a little undecided on the orange blossom, it does give it a weissen feel, which I like.

3 out 4 hella monkeys.

 

 

Beer Is Good – Sam Adams Coffee Black Lager

Next up in the SA variety pack is this black lager. Pours opaque virtually black, medium light head. There is the roast aroma, but not of fresh brewed coffee. Its a bit mustier with a touch of shoyu. Mixed with some hop aroma. The medium bitterness lingers, carbonation lessens some of the medium heavy mouthfeel. Not bad, but I’d like more malt.

2 out 4 coffee monkeys.

Travel Gear – Patagonia Black Hole Roller + Re:Factor ASO Duffel

 

I’ve had these bags for a little while now, the board roller this is second season. The Patagonia is well constructed, a soft bag with wheels. Hypolon like material holding up to travel. The webbing handles on three sides are designed nicely that they don’t cut into hand. The two little internal pockets are too small to be of much use. The two hooks interface almost perfectly to the duffel, I didn’t use the duffel for travel before because of lack of wheels, but with it hooked to the board bag it worked well. It becomes more like handling one bag. The print blurbs for the ASO claim its carry on sized, I don’t think so. It’s big enough that without all the video gear, it can fit clothes and gear for the 10 day trip easily. The ASO is constructed with top quality materials. It has stowable backpack straps, but I couldn’t use them on the first trip I used it, because I was already using a backpack as my carryon. I instead used one of straps as a shoulder strap. It worked, but was not ideal and if it were longer would have been pretty unpleasant for me.

Anyway, this combo gets the monkey thumbs up.

4 out 4 anvil shaped monkey objects.

Beer Is Good – Sam Adams Noble Pils


Next SA variety pack is a lager pack. This is their take on a pils. Pours clear light amber, light head. Strong hop aroma, pine. Strong bitter and astringent. This is too much like an IPA for my taste without much else for me to enjoy, no matter how noble it is.

1 out 4 noble monkeys.

 

Domestic Tools


I guess finding myself now a homeowner, I’m buying household appliances now. This purchase of a Braun immersion/stick blender was prompted by the need to make whipped cream and not finding the old hand crank mixer we used to have. I also could not locate the electric mixer. Both probably long gone. It appears manual mixers do not exist in stores anymore, there was one at the Kahala cookware store, but it was a horrible made in China affair. If it were an antique it might be kinda cool, as it was constructed like something from centuries ago. So then my search turned to alternatives. I didn’t want to really get a conventional electric mixer as I didn’t see myself using it often, but then looked into stick blenders. After some searching, I settled on this Braun I found in stock at the local Target. It’s a good step above the base cheap models that were more available in the stores. The beauty of immersion blendesr is you can blend and/or mix in whatever container your working with. Aside from the usual blender tip, it came with a whisk and mini food processor attachments, which maxes it multi use. The removable tip design makes cleaning easy too. Continue reading ‘Domestic Tools’

Ashes to Ashes

Last month the sister and family came down to visit and take care of services for my dad. Dad wasn’t much for ceremony so we kept things simple. We didn’t do the full Buddhist ceremony, it was done more as a memorial service for both dad and mom. We decided to have their ashes scattered a few days later. Seems to be not too common a request for Jodo, but we eventually worked it out. The Reverend Nakano met us the MLK morning at the end of Sandy Beach. He has an awesome voice and his chanting of sutras was masterful!

Continue reading ‘Ashes to Ashes’

Beer Is Good – New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA

Yes, an IPA. It’s the one selection in the variety pack that I will have to suffer through. Pours clear yellow, medium head that goes down fast. The moment seal is cracked, can smell the hops. Strong pine aroma, citrus and floral undercurrents. Bitter comes on but is pretty controlled, does linger. Thankfully no skunk (aluminum can FTW?) Did OK with the spicy shoyu poke bowl I had with it. Medium mouthfeel. 7% ABV is sneaky.

Dare I say it, it’s not horrible. It’s not giving me an instant headache. The artwork is cool. I give it 2.5 out 4 voodoo monkeys.

The 1,1,1,1 Ice Cream

Given to me from sister’s mother in law when I visited this past Thankgiving, this simple lemon ice cream recipie that I used with our yuzu. It’s quite simple to remember, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 1 lemon. Mix the sugar into milk until sugar dissolves, easier to use fine sugar. Mix in the juice and zest of lemon, in my case I used 2 yuzu. I also had a vanilla bean that was getting old that I tossed in. In separate bowl, whip heavy cream until it holds peaks. The Braun immersion blender did a good job of that. Combine into the milk and mix, trying not to have lumps but keep the air still in the cream. Pour into container and put into freezer. After it freezes, enjoy! Just had my first bowl, pretty darn yummy! If I were to do this again, I would probably adjust down the sugar, it was a bit sweet.