The light from the screen glows on his face as he surfs the Web, listens to music or "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and waits for inspiration to strike. Sometimes, it requires a couple of shots of Maker's Mark, and then he's off.
"So bourbon is the key to loose fingers, at least for me," he writes. "Finally turned off the TV and am listening to the music I've saved here on my computer. Just turned on Mastodon, who are full on metal. I have this fantasy of me being a singer in a metal band sometimes. You know the one, with the long hair flailing during the guitar solo and growling into the mic."
Hutchison is the author of the blog "Surly Pump Monkey: Joys, gripes and idiocy of the service industry life in a mountain town. And other random things."
The name "Surly Pump Monkey" refers to a slang term for people who work at gas stations.
"We're called pump monkeys," Hutchison said. "There are a few things you learn working at a gas station. First, there is this group of locals who think just because they've lived here a long time that they should get a discount on everything. Second, you learn to spot an underage kid trying to buy cigarettes."
He originally started the blog as a way to write about his job at a local gas station, but soon he found himself writing about music, local color and his bad luck with women.
Hutchison is a Steamboat entry in the blog revolution.
The word blog is a shortened version of the phrase Web log. Anyone with access to a computer can broadcast his or her thoughts and opinions to the entire world.
In contrast to magazines and newspapers, blogs are personal, and most are not controlled by advertisers or editors.
"I think we are competing with the mainstream media in some ways," Hutchison said.
There are countless Web sites set up to help people blog. Hutchison chose Blogger.com. The service is completely free. It is owned by Google and makes its money from advertising.
The majority of bloggers are teenagers.
Hutchison made his first entry Feb. 11. He wrote about "earworms" -- songs that get stuck in your head. Hutchison said he had a different problem. Words get stuck in his head, he wrote. On Feb. 11, "defenestration" was stuck in his head. Now, the world knows. Or at least the people who read Surly Pump Monkey.
Since he started tracking in March, Hutchison gets an average of 17 hits a day on his site.
"I'm an Internet geek," Hutchison said. "I was on the Internet before there was the World Wide Web. In 1990, I would read newsgroups and played MUD (a kind of electronic role-playing game) on the Internet."
He has been reading other people's blogs for years,ostly political sites. His favorite was a site called Cowpun, now called Political Animal. But on his site, Hutchison stays away from politics.
He only mentioned politics once to rant about the Terry Schiavo media fiasco.
Hutchison tries to post on his blog at least once a day and sometimes he posts several times a day -- whenever an idea strikes.
Visit Surly Pump Monkey at http://surlymonkey.blogspot.com.
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