V Ol Blak

V Ol Blak

A Monkie with an Attitude Problem

Must Have Bike Gear | Planet Bike Super Flasher Rear LED Light

bikeplanet superflash biketaillight 01a Must Have Bike Gear | Planet Bike Super Flasher Rear LED Light

When I finally decided to buy an electric bike to replace my car, I knew I would need some powerful LED lights to keep me safe at night. I started with the basics, the tail light. Most of the time, when your on a bike here in Los Angeles, you have cars whizzing right past you just a few feet away and coming at you from the rear. That means the most important light is that rear tail light so it better get the quickly approaching drivers attention.

When I started looking around, most of the tail lights where all the same. Under powered and not that eye catching. Yes, they where LED lights, they where red, some flashed, but none of them screamed, look out. That was until I found the SuperFlash Stealth by Planet Bike. This light was different, it had a 1/2 watt Blaze LED light with a shaped lens and 2 Extreme LEDs with a visibility of up to a mile. When this thing is on, people can’t take their eyes off it. From the rear, it’s near blinding and from the side, it looks like a fireworks show. So, I bought two. One for the rear of my A2B Electric bike and one for the Wike Bike Trailer. The other cool thing about the light, is that its clear when off. It doesn’t standout or look ugly on the bike.

bikeplanet superflash biketaillight 02 Must Have Bike Gear | Planet Bike Super Flasher Rear LED Light

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Spicy Cheesy Kale Chips Even A Monkie Can Love

vblak kookiekarma cheesy kale chips 02 Spicy Cheesy Kale Chips Even A Monkie Can Love Photographer: V Blak (CC)

What do you think, time for a follow up to my Double Down Spicy Cashew Cheese post. I know, I am a one recipe skipping record kind of guy. This time, its Juli Novotny’s (kookie karma) famous spicy cheese kale chips. I made them the sameday I made the first patch of cheese, but I never got around to posting the photos or the how to instructions for the kale chips, so today is your lucky day or maybe not.

If you have never had a Kale Chip and think the whole idea of turning a green leafy lettuce into a chip is a bit odd, I am right there with you. The first time I heard about Kale Chips, I thought… what come on. A dried up leaf? But when I got my first bag of Juli’s chips, I was sold. WOW… I mean.. they were just great, but maybe they shouldn’t be called Chips. They are nothing like a corn or potato chip. They are more like a dried leaf or if you don’t fully dry them, they have a texture of a light jerky. Anyways… they are great in their own way. I would eat them any day over potato chips. Especially the cheesy version.

They are more like a dried leaf or if you don’t fully dry them, they have a texture of a light jerky

Now lets get into the how to make them part. The batch I made was enough for 8 people at a party or one hungry Monkie. The hungry monkie being me. I didn’t share any of them. In fact I ate them all within a day I think. I know… what a piggy monkie. But that is okay, it was my first batch and I earned the right to suck them all down and hey I live alone, so who am I going to share them with anyways? Basil the dog? I don’t think Cheese Kale Chips are something that should be on a dogs menu anyways. Carrots, definitely, heavy cashew cheese… hell no.

For this recipe you will need to make the Double Down Spicy Cashew Cheese before you start on the Kale. Follow the link to the recipe. Then follow the instructions below. Plus you will need a dehydrator or a really hot sunny location outside to sun dry thee chips. I am using a dehydrator by Excalibur. Oh and I have added step by step photos to the instructions after the jump, for all you Flesh Monkies out there who are completely new to this thing called Raw Foods. Lets get started… so exciting, right? Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

How To Make The Very Best Grilled Teriyaki Seitan From Scratch

grilled seitan teriyaki garden greens 01 How To Make The Very Best Grilled Teriyaki Seitan From ScratchPhotographer V Blak

What is seitan? Well, technically it’s made from flour (just the gluten part), so I guess it’s a type of bread or noodle, but mentally it fits into the meat category for me. I have been a vegan now for about 13 years, I don’t crave meat or anything, but I do crave the textures, the sauces and the spices used to flavor meats. That is where seitan comes in for me. It’s a good substitute for chicken or I guess even pork.

The only way to really get the most out of seitan is to make it yourself from scratch. Most store bought seitan, just plain sucks. It’s tasteless, shaped badly, has a rubber texture and just doesn’t look good. In 13 years, I have only seen a freshly made version once and it was sold at Whole Foods in the Venice / Santa Monica areal. So, if your going to make a seitan dish, please try this recipe out and make your own fresh seitan.

This recipe is so simple to make, even a monkie can do it. Plus it only takes about two hours to complete. I know, your saying, only two hours, that is a lot of time. Yes, it would be a chunk of time, if you only make one batch, that is why I make 2 to 3 batches at a time and save the steaks in the refrigerator to use throughout the week. Also, this recipe requires making your vegetable stock to simmer the seitan in, which gives the seitan it’s flavor. I normally save the stock and make a quick soup with it. So don’t toss it. After I made my seitan this week, I made a black bean vegetable soup with miso and soy sauce. It was great.

Here is what I love about this recipe. The final seitan steaks are juicy, warm, have a slightly crispy skin and are packed with flavor. The trick is after you simmer the seitan in the vegetable stock, you re-coat them in a olive oil and teriyaki sauce, salt, pepper and then grill them. This seals in the flavors and takes the steaks to a whole new level. Try it, I bet you like them. A word of warning, seitan isn’t the healthiest food option and since it’s pure gluten, some people might have issues with it. I am not one of those people :)

Let me know what you think.

grilled seitan teriyaki garden greens 05 How To Make The Very Best Grilled Teriyaki Seitan From Scratch
grilled seitan teriyaki garden greens 03 How To Make The Very Best Grilled Teriyaki Seitan From Scratch Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Eskmo “Cloudlight” Ninja Tune

Sometimes I stumble onto new music or visual which just move me. I don’t have any insightful or witty thing to say about them, they just spark something within me and before I know it, I am abusing my position here at G Living to pass that exciting something on to you. That is exactly what these two videos by Eskmo have just done to me. Two seconds ago, I had never heard of Eskmo, two seconds ago, this was just another day. Now… mmm

Okay, your it. Suck in a little Cloudlight Ninja, digest it, and then when your ready, pass this little feast on…

“For his new album entitled “ESKMO” (Ninja Tune), Brendan has abandoned the strictures of making tracks for the dance floor and the strictures of the 12” single format, and followed his visionary muse. “Before Warp and Planet Mu I kind of fell into the game of making tracks to get released on smaller dance labels, having to cater to ‘dance’ formulas,” he explains. “Over this past couple of years, I feel I’ve let go of that, and just writing the songs I want to write. I got back to what excited me about making electronic music when I started out, creating these little universes with sound and writing songs.”

The album was, he says, written over a six month stretch “in the middle of a whole bunch of personal relationship-type stuff, a lot of deep life-experiences happening that helped the music just bleed out of me. I just poured all those feelings into the music, it’s very cathartic. This is the first full body of work where I’m singing all over it, and allowing myself to get over that furlough of expression has been really liberating.” He goes on to say “Just like anything, I’m sure some people will connect and some won’t at all, but that’s not what this is about for me. Sound has always been a grounding purpose in my life. If you don’t dive into yourself as deep as you can, then what are you doing it for?“

The first release on the label following Ninja Tune’s 20th Anniversary box set signals a brave new chapter for this artist, and for electronica itself. Dreamy, haunting, full of ghostly funk and inventive sonics, Eskmo serves up electronica with a most human heart.” – Ninja Tune

Eskmo Video Land and Bones, after the jump. (official video)

eskmo music brendan angelides 02 Eskmo Cloudlight Ninja Tune Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Which Cars Are On Your Mind These Days? For Me, It’s The Chevy Volt

chevy volt 01 Which Cars Are On Your Mind These Days? For Me, Its The Chevy Volt

If I had to be honest and come up with a list of cars I would like to own, the list would be really small. Here is the deal, I still want a stylish well made vehicle, but I would like it to be more like my electric bike and less like my SUV. I want to plug it in, charge it up (quickly). But here is the catch, if I need more power on the go, I have to be able to get it. Cars like the Tesla Roadster just make no sense to me with my small budget and no desire to own multiple cars.

My life is pretty simple. I don’t need to spend a ton of money on a car. I work at home, shop for food and other stuff all within 10 miles of my house and once in a blue moon, I pack up my Land Rover with photo gear and head to L.A. A very long three hour trip there and back.

Yes, I said I have a Land Rover, its a Discovery 2 and it gets a whopping 12 miles to the gallon if I am lucky. Love it, hate it. Love it for what it can haul, it’s functionality and my vegan fake leather seats. Hate that it sucks gas like a cheap drunk sucking down their 3rd box-o-wine. But since I own it (no payments) and only drive a few times a month, I haven’t been willing to buy a new ecoish type of car.

When I feel the urge to get out, I jump on my A2B electric bike. If I think I am going to need cargo room, I simply attach my wike bike wagon and off I go. I am serious. I use my bike like an SUV if my destination is close. I bought my two Apple 27 inch LED computer screens the other day and carried them home in the wagon. The Apple employees thought I was beyond cool… no really they said so. They all wanted my bike and so did half of the people shopping in the store. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people stop me to ask about the bike. Everyone from kids to senior citizens love the idea of the electric bike. But I haven’t seen many on the road.

My point is, my next car doesn’t need to be a V8 Beast that can do everything. No, I need a well designed, well built, comfortable, high milage, electric or some alternative powered vehicle, which doesn’t cost a fortune and will last forever. And for the first time, I am really thinking about buying American. The car which has been on my mind lately is the Chevy Volt. I haven’t seen one in person, but the design concept and photos of the car are really hitting home with me.

Los Angeles Times Chevy Volt Video Review.
0 Which Cars Are On Your Mind These Days? For Me, Its The Chevy Volt

Here is my like list: 1st: The battery runs the car, period! If and when you need more electricity, you have two options, plug it in, just like my bike or pour in a little gas and let the onboard electric generator create more electricity for you on the go. 2nd: 20 to 50 miles pure electric driving before you need to charge it. 3rd: I like the styling (I think). 4th: There is cargo room for my gear. 5th: It has a USB port for my iphone and an iphone app which tells me things about how the car is running. 5th: It’s priced about right $350 a month or around $40k. Look my electric bike and wagon cost me almost $4k, so $40k for a whole lot more tech isn’t too bad.

Here is my dis-likes: 1st: It’s a Chevy. 2nd: It’s a Chevy. 3rd: The interior dashboard materials have that we might be crappy look. You know, that cheap plastic which might look cool, but feels like it will break or discolor any second and usually does. My point is, I have never liked the styling, logo badge, quality or functions of a Chevy, Ford, or any American car designed car. And yes I know Ford owned Land Rover for a while. American cars have always seemed cheap, clunky and un-attractive in my opinion. I don’t know why. We Americans know how to design, look at Apple products. But for some reason our cars have always sucked. What the hell was the Hummer all about?

What do you think? Will you be buying a Volt or has something else caught your eye? More Volt review and behind the scene videos after the jump.

chevy volt 02 Which Cars Are On Your Mind These Days? For Me, Its The Chevy Volt
chevy volt 03 Which Cars Are On Your Mind These Days? For Me, Its The Chevy Volt Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

The Perfect $4k A Week Hobbit Style Swiss Bunker Prison, I Mean Villa!

swiss bunker modern villa 01 The Perfect $4k A Week Hobbit Style Swiss Bunker Prison, I Mean Villa!

Looking to spend a few winter weeks in the Swiss Alps skiing, eating, hot tubing and oh yeah, living underground? Fantastic, I just found the place for you. An ultra modern designers military bunker wet dream of a villa which sleeps 10 hmm un-comfortably. Yes, the Villa Vals has opened up their hill for you by designing a very eco-earthen dwelling, with all kidding aside, isn’t to bad. I love the circle entrance, but it’s just the concrete cold hard interiors which are throw me.

The location couldn’t be more stunning, why design something with such hard interiors? Couldn’t the designers some how bring in the coziness of nature or at least make it feel open and spacious? Some of these photos remind me of a hip MTV style Juvi Center. I am just saying. Would you fork over $4000 a week to live a Swiss underground bunker? Is it just me?

Maybe in person it has that seemingly missing homy feeling and for some reason the photos just can’t represent it accurately. If any of you flesh monkies out there in “G” land end up doing time here, please share your thoughts and experiences. Oh and photos if you got them. Also, let us know if you spent some time in the Third Reich, which might explain your preference for this underground kind of thing.

The dutch house was designed by Bjarne Mastenbroek and Christian Müller, respectively of the architectural offices SeARCH and CMA. Lots of photos after the jump.

swiss bunker modern villa 02 The Perfect $4k A Week Hobbit Style Swiss Bunker Prison, I Mean Villa!
swiss bunker modern villa 03 The Perfect $4k A Week Hobbit Style Swiss Bunker Prison, I Mean Villa! Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Donate to Charity Water For My Birthday

what will money do Donate to Charity Water For My Birthday

My birthday is coming up on Sept 19th.. the big 43, and of course you guys know, I have received more than my share of life changing gifts this year. I am beyond blessed with all of the happiness in my life. I have found true love and complete happiness with beautiful Aria. And of course, we are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of our son, this coming Nov. If that wasn’t enough, we also have adopted, not just one, but two happy dogs. Basil our little buffalo and now baby Louie the love bug. Louie joined the family last week and I think he is a keeper!

So, for my birthday, if you have a spare $10 bucks or so.. maybe you could give it to Charity Water. They are raising funds to buy a new water drilling rig which will be used in Africa. Once they have the new rig, they will be able to provided fresh water to over 40,000 plus people each and every year. Think about it… and thank you in advance. Hope to see everyone soon.

V

I started it off by donating a $100

You can donate here or anywhere on the site: http://mycharitywater.org/gliving

You can learn all about the fund raising campaign here: http://www.charitywater.org/september/

And there is a great video about Charity Water and everything they are doing here: http://vimeo.com/27693696

Louie The Love Bug!

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Filed Under Monkie Journals Tags

I Love My iPad! Now To Fill It With A Little Digital “G”

vegan recipe ebooks love them or hate them 011 I Love My iPad! Now To Fill It With A Little Digital “G”Photographer V Blak

Like any well behaved Flesh Monkie I follow my masters orders and when Master Steve Jobs told me to go out and buy his latest gadget, I didn’t ask why I just did it. I promptly strapped on my latex (nature) pants, pulled on hangman’s black latex hoody, and slid my feet into my favorite 6 inch faux leather KIZZ Boots. Okay, I am sorry that last part isn’t true. I don’t have faux leather KIZZ Boots. Now you know what to get me for xmas, just saying. Alright back to my story. After getting dressed I ran out the door, jumped onto my electric bike and headed to the nearest (only) Apple store to get my very own iPad. I am happy to report, it’s been true love ever since.

Yes, I have an iPad and I love it. But the ipad in itself isn’t really something to fall in love with. Yes, it’s slick, well made, cool to the touch, nice to look at and comes with some great basic apps. But to really fall in love with the iPad, you need to get busy adding some serious “G” digital stuff. What is “G” digital stuff? I am glad you asked. “G” digital stuff is defined as anything you can load on to your iPad which inspires you be “G’er”. You know…. eat greener, dwell in a cave, stop buying printed things, eating more greens, never leave your home, consume more G Living post, and of course digging up your yard and planting a espresso powered veggie garden. Your basic “G” lifestyle stuff.

To get you started on your own love affair with your new ipad (I know you have one, admit it), here are a few digital “G” finds you might want to tryout

For today lets start with Recipe eBooks and Apps.

The Photo Cookbook is an app taking the cookbook to a whole new level. This is my favorite food app so far, but sorry to say it has a limited Veggie recipe selection right now. Lets hope that changes as they new recipes. The Photo Cookbook is like a private cooking course in your own kitchen with an experienced cook, who clarifies the preparation. Beautiful photography, which is displayed in high resolution especially on your iPad, illustrates every step.

vegan recipe ebooks love them or hate them 03 I Love My iPad! Now To Fill It With A Little Digital “G”vegan recipe ebooks love them or hate them 04 I Love My iPad! Now To Fill It With A Little Digital “G” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult Club

espresso that garden 012 Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult ClubPhotographer V Blak

Gardeners, farmers, green thumb people, who can’t kill a plant if they tried, and those composting know it alls.  You know the type.  Always smiling as they guide you through their indoor forest of house plants.  Yeah, those people. I think they are all part of some secret club, maybe even an underground cult.  It’s just too suspicious… how do they know how to keep plants alive?  How do they get seeds to sprout?  How come they never have brown crusty leaves covering their house plants?  Come on, really, their orchids don’t turn belly up and die a week after they buy them?  

I will admit it, this Evil Dark Flesh Monkie is definitely not a green thumb cult member.  To prove it, I kill plants on a regular basis. I burn them alive, I kill them through dehydration and my favorite method is over watering.  Drown them in their own pots.  Yeah, I kill plants.   I have the boy scout patch and eerily empty pots to prove it. 

I don’t want to be a killer.  I was just sadly born this way, you know like Dexter Of course I have my fairytale dreams of joining the cult, learning the secret hand shakes and eating lunches with dirt under my nails.  Hell, I fantasies of indoor house plant forest, acres of gardens, a home surrounded by edible plants consisting of everything an Evil Vegan could ever want to digest.  I am drooling even as I write this.  Yeah I have dream! 

I also have an addiction. I’ll admit it. An addiction to that dark rich smooth warm drink called espresso. Better know as heaven in a cup. I am having one now.  My girlfriend even turns on the machine first thing in the morning and places a fresh mug in the receiving position, so I only have to walk up and push the two shot please button to get the ball rolling.  Lucky for me, I have one of those magic machines which grinds the espresso beans, filters the water, tamps the grounds and makes a perfect cup of espresso all with just a touch of a single button.  You have seen him ( the machine) on some of the shows.  Everyone calls him Joe.  He is my best friend…  He has also become my ticket into the that green thumb cult.  Yeah, I am sneaking in with a dark brown thumb.  Well that is my plan and so far…. Master Joe is proving to be a very wise indeed.  

Okay I know, V what the hell are you rattling on about?  We are going to stop reading this thing if you don’t get to a point. Okay I am getting there. Everyone who follows my post religiously knows I attempted to start a garden back in June.  I was all ADD kid excited. I found myself at the local gardening center buying hundreds of dollars of seeds, hoses, seed starting soil and those plastic sprouting trays.  Fast forward a month and guess what… no sprouting little plants in the clear plastic dome sprouting trays, no lush rows of plants and no sign of any cult membership forms in the mail. No, the perfect little seed starting soil I bought for $15 each didn’t work. The seeds seem to look at me as if I  was holding them hostage.  They even had the nerve to scream as I kindly put them out in the direct desert sun in the middle of July.  How was I to know it was going to get 150 degrees under that plastic dome? 

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The World Of Selby Fills My Eyes With Pleasure

Todd Selby 01 The World Of Selby Fills My Eyes With PleasurePhotographer: Todd Selby

Are you a creative soul living within the walls of a wacky crazy world of your own creation? Or are you just another beige dwelling number crunching McSomething sucking drone monster? Okay there are other options, you may just be the most awesome flesh monkie on the planet, living in a master piece of design and style. That last one wasn’t you? Hmmm, I am running out of descriptions. Let me get to my point. Do you ever wonder how that first group actually lives. The creative wacky world type. Well, wonder no more. Welcome to the world of The Selby.

Todd Selby is a portrait, interiors, and fashion photographer and illustrator. His project The Selby offers an insider’s view of creative individuals in their personal spaces with an artist’s eye for detail. The Selby began in June 2008 as a website, theselby.com, where Todd posted photo shoots he did of his friends in their homes. Requests quickly began coming in daily from viewers all over the world who wanted their homes to be featured on the site. The Selby’s website became so popular—with up to 35,000 unique visitors daily—that within months, top companies from around the world began asking to collaborate.

Todd Selby 02 The World Of Selby Fills My Eyes With Pleasure Photographer: Todd Selby Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Escaping New York / L.A. & Shacking Up With Some Chicks

escaping new york raising chickens 01 Escaping New York / L.A. & Shacking Up With Some ChicksPhotographer V Blak

The title of this post is really my own little person fantasy. As of now, I have just baby stepped out of L.A. and I am about to baby step into New York City and I already have one chick, but she isn’t the egg laying type. She is the egg eating type, if you know what I mean. In the near future, I would love love love to take a big step out of NYC / L.A. and land somewhere in the world, where having a bevy of chicks calling my name wouldn’t seem that unusual to the local folk.

For all those chick/canning dreamers out there, I present to you, two books sent to me out of the blue. Keeping Chickens and Canning Preserving with Ashley England. Two very well written and designed books about you guessed it, raising chickens and canning your own food for the urban dweller who thinks about escaping to a simpler life.

The author Ashley turns out to be a recent escapee. She is on her own adventure figuring this modern homesteading type of life out for herself and the books are a way of sharing that adventure. She even has a blog (small measures) and a few videos if your not the reading type. Her series of books which go for $14 each, would make a great gift. I thought the books were really well done. I give them two monkie stubs up…

escaping new york raising chickens 04 Escaping New York / L.A. & Shacking Up With Some Chicks
escaping new york raising chickens 05 Escaping New York / L.A. & Shacking Up With Some Chicks Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Fin Oslo / An Organic Fashion Brand Or A Dream? You Decide

I am in the process of deciding on the look and feel of a documentary I am making. I have been spending countless hours researching and watching anything that might inspire me. Anything that might help me create a stunning dramatic film. Well to my surprise, I just stumbled upon something pretty awesome, which also just happens to be from an organic fashion brand. (something I can post on G Living YEAH!) A short film by Fin Oslo called FIN Feline. Beautiful dramatic visuals of a model, a cat, a horse and some water. Oh and yes organic clothing.

Is the fashion line a must have? I don’t know yet, but the video stopped me in my tracks and definitely makes me want to know more. How about you? What do you think? Aria said… too slow.

Behind The Scenes – FIN Feline shot on Phantom HD Gold

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