The Functional Hermit

musings from a homebody

Archive for March 2009

When cheese, sauce and dough become pizza

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There’s a new inadequacy plaguing the food industry. It is currently a major threat to one of the very foremost foundations of the American palate: the pizza.

I’ve noticed this happening seemingly across the industry. It’s happened at my favorite regional chain here around Atlanta and also has seemed to have infected the basic assumptions of the current generation of pizza makers. This problem is the undercooked pizza.

It seems that the new current standard of what is or what is not a pizza is simply melted cheese. Nothing could be farther from the actual truth. Pizza is not pizza simply when the cheese melts and no longer resembles the individual shreds or blobs of cheese that have been spread upon it. Pizza becomes pizza when the cheese cooks and melts until pools of sauce bubble up through the cheese. When those glorious droplets of sauce make their appearance through the cheese, that is when you no longer have individual heated ingredients but rather an ensemble of flavors that you can then call pizza.

Join me. Stay silent no longer. I’ve crossed the asshole threshold a few times now and explained to people exactly what I want and expect from my pizza. The more people who join this cause the sooner we can all rest easy at night, comforted by the notion that the next time we order a pizza that is exactly what we’ll get.

Until then, I’ll just consider myself a sole ambassador of pizza excellence…

Written by the bee dub

March 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Daily Happenings

LOST: Plain and simple

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To put it bluntly and somewhat mildly, the show just pretty much sucks now. The plot twists they’re using just aren’t interesting anymore. So some people got sucked off the plane into the past? Others are still in the present? Jack’s dad is alive and well. Benjamin Linus has brought Sayeed a sandwich while still a child. Kate, Jack and Hurley are going to pretend to be new recruits and join Dharma?

Who gives a fuck?! I’ll be tracking the episodes just because I still want to know what happens. I need the final answers about the island and whatnot. But if I wasn’t so invested from watching EVERY SINGLE EPISODE up to this point, I would clearly be walking away. Too bad, this show was really something for a while.

Written by the bee dub

March 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Posted in TV Thoughts

Life on the Road

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I spent most of last week at our biggest client for work. Came back on Friday and am heading straight back up on Monday. For some reason I’ve never been able to sleep well in hotels so traveling like this always leaves me a bit drained. It rained all weekend at home so it was a perfect time to just chill and relax on the couch before heading back out on the road. Life’s pretty uneventful up around where our client is. The Hampton Inn is the best hotel in town, there’s one really good restaurant and then a bunch of chain-type or family-owned places.

One pleasant surprise…I had the very best pizza I’ve ever had in the South. I’m a pizza snob and definitely prefer thin-crust, NY-style pizza. So we’re in Salisbury, NC, a small town about forty miles north of Charlotte, and we try out this place called the Salty Caper. Whoa. Fucking awesome. Perfectly dry yet chewy crust and perfect balance of sauce and cheese. I chatted up the owner about it and turns out they make their crust in NY and then have it trucked down. That makes a lot of sense as the NY water is the secret to their pizza and bagels and is the sole reason neither of those taste the same anywhere else. They also had Fat Tire Ale which I’ve never found anywhere east of the Mississippi. I could eat there every night we’re there, which is a lot, and be happy.

Written by the bee dub

March 15, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Daily Happenings

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Clueless at the ATM

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There’s a new public menace afoot and I can’t stay silent any longer. It’s the ATM Squatter. They take a few different forms.

The other day I went to a drive-up ATM. There was one car ahead of me. Waited. Waited. Waited. Finally I peaked my head out to see what the hold up was. The guy at the front had a stack of ten or more ATM cards in his hand and was conducting separate transactions for each. I can only assume these were not simple cash withdrawals as he was probably averaging about fifteen button pushes per card. I kid you not. This struck me as in all probability, non-legitimate transactions but admittedly, I’m jumping to conclusions.

On to the ATM that’s inside the bank. There’s one person at the ATM. She’s pressing a lot of buttons. I waited for a while and finally got curious and took a peek to see if I could tell what she was trying to do. She was trying to withdraw $120. She kept getting a message saying “Your withdrawal exceeds your available funds.” She would then simply restart the whole procedure, again trying to withdraw $120. ATM’s are really uncooperative if you’re trying to withdraw more money than you have in your account. I must have watched her do this three or four times until I couldn’t take it anymore.

So I gave up and went to an ATM that was in front of the bank. Huge line. You could immediately sense the annoyance of the people in the line as the person in front was having a lot of trouble. This is the one person I’m going to cut some slack. She was pretty old. She looked old enough that the majority of her life was lived prior to the prevalence of ATMs. That makes ATM cluelessness acceptable. If you’ve done the majority of your banking through vacuum tubes, you get a break from me.

But to the rest of the world, think about what you want to do at the ATM before you get there. Much like the person who gets the front of a big line at Starbucks only to realize they have NO IDEA what they want (let me give you a clue: coffee), remember the whole idea of the ATM is to make things quicker than it would be with an actual bank teller.

Some of us are eager to return to the safe confines of our abode. Please be considerate.

Written by the bee dub

March 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Posted in Daily Happenings

Burn Notice: This season flew by

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I didn’t realize they were only doing a half season. It sure flew by quickly. This show has become my favorite guilty pleasure on TV. There’s not much substance to it. It’s highly stylized candy with sprinkles on top, served on a doily.

The season finale was remarkable in a number of ways. It was one of the best episodes. (A couple of them from this half-season were pretty weak, but that’s to be expected from any show.) Michael has Victor, his nemesis, secured and wants answers, only to find out that they’re basically two different operatives who have been put in the same situation. They then join forces and take on Carla.

It was way more explicitly violent than usual. Much like the A-Team of yesteryear, the usual amount of death and injury seems puny compared to the massive amount of gunfire, explosives and general, old-school pounding on fellow human peoples. It also marked a possible end to the overriding/continuing plot line of who burned Michael and why.

To be honest, I wonder if the producers realized it was starting to matter less and less so they’re leaving their options open. Especially considering they really didn’t explain it much, all the sudden you just had John Mahoney playing a mysterious higher-up of who knows what.

It was definitely surprising to see Fiona pick off Carla with a sniper rifle and then see Michael finish off Victor with a shot to the chest, at Victor’s request. After all the nebulous appearances in many different episodes, I was sorry to see him go.

This episode was really nothing more than more of the same. And sometimes, if that’s all you really ask from this show then my bet is you’re going to be happy for at least another season.

Written by the bee dub

March 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm

T.O. has B.O.?

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TO finally comes to terms with his body odor

TO finally comes to terms with his body odor?

The Dallas Cowboys have finally parted ways with the talented, unpredictable Terrell Owens. Now begins his search to find the fourth uniform to suit up in. He’s clearly got a few years left so it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

A few seasons ago, there was a Cleveland Browns fan who put up an end zone banner that read, “T.O. has B.O.” Now T.O. clearly has talent so I have to wonder, maybe teams keep cutting him because he simply smells. You never think body odor is that big of a deal until you have to be in close proximity to it day in and day out. Then every whiff starts having a cumulative effect; the five-hundredth whiff becoming monumentally more offensive than the first.

To date, for the unofficial record, it is alleged that he has called out his first quarterback as gay, his second a stool pigeon to management and his third a conniving offensive-coordinator wannabe who creates secret plays for preferred players behind closed doors. I only wish he was also a methamphetamine-fueled womanizer and dog-fighting baron to give the madness more depth and dimension.

If nothing else, I for one want to thank Terrell for giving this football fan something to read about during the offseason. There’s only so much pre-draft hype a man can read without another subject to break the monotony. Besides, if you’re a Giants fan like me you know all this pre-draft buildup only results in the G-men drafting a defensive back in the first round, like most every other year.

Written by the bee dub

March 5, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Posted in NFL Ramblings

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LOST: Fun while it lasted

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lost-logoI’m done. I’m not saying I won’t watch the show anymore but I don’t own a DVR so for me, it’s either catch it at 9pm on Wednesday nights or catch up later online – which is a totally different, lower-intensity experience. From now on I’ll be watching online.

They’re finally done with the time shifting but not in a way I’m psyched about. Now they’re stuck in the 1970’s for good and become part of the Dharma Initiative? Sawyer’s now called LaFleur and is head of Dharma security? What the fuck? Sawyer and Juliet are now a couple…gee…did anybody not see that coming? That’s about as surprising as Hugo Chavez getting elected dictator for life in Venezuela. I mean, who votes against a dictator and lives to tell the tale?

Now weeks will go by while Sawyer, Jack, Juliet and Kate will all pine for the one they’re not with. This is what passes for a storyline? I think the only way this show becomes as interesting as it once was is to switch the format to serial porn. They all just start banging each other with bad dialogue. (Oh wait, I guess we don’t have to wait for the dialogue part.)

I tried to remember the last episode I thought was just simply awesome. I have to go all the way back to the episode where the mercenaries stormed the island and killed Benjamin Linus’ daughter. There may have been one after that, in fact I’m pretty sure there was but that’s the last one that comes to mind. That’s a long, long time ago.

I have to hand it to the people responsible for LOST for creating some of the best TV I’ve ever seen on a big-four network. The first two seasons were some of the most compelling TV ever created in my opinion. Since then, they’ve kind of faltered but always came back strong. The show must be a bitch to conceptualize and write. They did a great job for many seasons and now, it seems to have grown into something they can no longer control.

The one season-finale where they have all the flashbacks and only at the end do you realize they’re all actually fast-forwards was just amazing, can’t-miss television. Maybe they can get there again but I’m tired of waiting for that to happen.

Thankfully, the internet makes it easy to keep up without keeping a commitment.

Written by the bee dub

March 5, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Posted in TV Thoughts

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