Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pizza Debate

I was over at King Tom's blog and he was talking about pizza and that got me thinking. I've not lived near a great pizza place in years. Then again I was spoiled for three years in college with the selection at Bowling Green. Even to a lesser extent Ironton had it's own strange style, but since then I've been in a pizza void.

Lets start this from the beginning of my pizza experience, I grew up no where near the "Mecca's" of pizza; Chicago and New York, the biggies. So all I had growing up was franchise pizza and then there were two small pizza places Skeetos and Giovanni's. Each were completely different; Giovanni was closer to the New York style, a big flat pizza, the oen thing about it was as a kid you use to roll it from the point to the crust and eat it that way. The pizza was so greasy it would drip out the end of the pizza roll. As a kid, it was great, but since I've left at best it is OK. Yet, every once in a while I will think about Giovanni's and want a pizza roll.


Skeeto's I did not find out about till I met Wilson. It's not in Ironton, but a couple miles outside and to be honest the pizza was OK, it was the Pizza sub that rocked! If the pizza was ordered I'm not going to complain, but I loved the thick sauce that did not appear to be from a can. Mmmmm Skeetos.


After high school I went to what I am calling the pizza center of Ohio, Bowling Green. Three places are known for their pizza; Campus Pollyeyes, Myles and Pisannelo's. All three are at the top of their game and each are completely different. I'll start with number three in my book, Campus Pollyeyes. It's a good pizza, but to be honest I was not a huge fan, their big draw for me was their stuffed bread sticks. They would make a cheese and peperoni filled bread stick. They would give you a cup of sauce. As a pizza not my fav, but in the fore mentioned break sticks it was nirvana! Maybe something happened to the sauce when they baked it, but I loved the bread sticks.


Next is Pisannelo's, in college this was my favorite and my sister Julie loves it still. It's a solid pizza, the sauce is nice, they give you enough toppings and the crust is great. With some pizzas you have it too thick or too much on the ends. Pisannelos got it right. All around great pizza. the other factor was it was better the day after. The other two BG establishments lost something over night, but after a night of drinking I MEAN studying hard, I always liked finding a box of Pisannelo's. I should open up a Pisannelo's down here and promote it as "It's even better the next morning."


Myles I would say is the campus favorite and I have come to appreciate it a lot more. It's the sauce and the cheese. I don't know what is in the sauce, but it's like freaking crack! It's sweet and spicy, yet not. It's like Gandolf came down and made a sauce. Only wizardry could explain this sauce. Then there is the cheese, they burn a little of it. There is a slight burnt taste, but that's what makes it great. Also there is like a mountain of cheese on there. With the fact I love cheese, makes this freaking awesome. My favorite is a normal pizza with chicken... to die for. This is how good the pizza is; while working at The Network a reporter and I (also a BG grad) were passing near (15 minutes out of the way) ordered sit down. Then we had left overs and everyone who knew of Myles were practically begging for a slice.


Then there was a drown of pizza, don't get me started on West Virginia, but the only slightly good pizza in Columbus was Giammarco's. It's a good pizza but nothing great, The In-Laws love it so any time they had pizza it was ordered.


The big problem with Columbus pizza was Donatos, holy crap that was a bad pizza, but people loved it. It was a thin pizza cut into squares and I don't know why, but anytime I ate it I always felt a little ill later and had awful gas (I know you all wanted to know that). To make matters worse The Network would ALWAYS order it for special breaking news. It got to the point where I would debate about going elsewhere for food, but I worked at The Network so free food was better than spending money.


Just like most things in the Raleigh area, it's mostly all chain food stores, and the pizza follows suit. There are a few exceptions, well two Anzio in Rolesville and Mellow Mushroom. When we moved into the house we got a few "Welcome to the neighborhood" flyers and one was for Anzio's. The problem is, it's in freaking Rolesville a good 20 minute drive. We suck it up because it was for a free pizza and to be honest... best pizza in the triangle. They call it a New Jersey style pizza, it has a good sauce, good amount of cheese, the crust is nice and if I lived closer we would only order Anzio's. Instead it becomes a special treat.


Finally we have the regional chain Mellow Mushroom. It's one of these specialty pizza places, but unlike most they actually took time to make the pizza good. When I go into one of these specialty places it always they feel like they spent more time thinking up names for the pizza and whether they should have goat cheese as a topping option instead of making the pizza good. Mellow has a great sauce and a diverse amount of toppings, they even have pine nuts... hey don't knock it till you tried it. There has been a rumor that a Mellow is coming to Wake Forest and I keep asking WHY IS IT NOT OPEN NOW!


In each area I am probably missing some places or just left them out (Like Moon Dogs or I Heart NY Pizza) but this is a list of my personal favorites.... discuss.

Friday, November 28, 2008

BG Hoops

Living in North Carolina, I do not get many chances to see many BG sports, so when Julie the sister told me that the BG women are going to be in Greensboro I was in. I know what a lot of people are thinking... really, women college basketball? First of all it's BG, second, they play a pretty exciting game. Three, if it was not for BG women I would not be the shooter that I am today and finally my sister does a highlight reel every year (the reason why I am awesome at shooting sports).

It's an easy hour fifteen to Greensboro from Wake Forest and it was strange to see BG there. Also it was almost a home game. I kid you not at the start of the game it was about 50 BG fans and 9 other people. By the end of the game it was 50/50 (because UNC Greensboro was playing next).


The woman played a good bad game. They would have moments of greatness and then flatten out and bottom out before another moment of greatness. They are a pretty young team and are still learning to play together. They play Saturday against UNC Greensboro and hopefully won't have too many bad moments.


Because of this I missed BG beating Toledo. Sorry Greg Brandon, I guess I'm a bad BG fan for see the women play instead of rolling the dice and seeing which team in what half would show up.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

Happy Turkey Day, eat some turkey and pie. Mmmmm pie!

Friday, November 21, 2008

State Of Panic

While working a live shot last night for the 6pm show, I heard weather guy say, we were going to have flurries. For the norther states this is nothing new, but immediately groaned and knew stupidity was about to arrive.

Five to ten minuets later I get a text message warning us (all photographers) that we maybe called in from 2AM-10AM to shoot snow. Seriously, we were wanting to go nuts over flurries. I know we had a little flurries the other day and a couple of us got some video, but to panic this much is ridiculous. When The Wife woke up she noticed a dusting of snow, but by the time I woke, it was all gone. We freaked out for this? Well it's because I'm in North Carolina... WRONG!


I open up my iGoogle page and I noticed that WSAZ out of Huntington, WVa had breaking news! I know it sounds odd that I have a Huntington feed, but it's the only station that I can get a reasonable amount of news from Ironton. So what was the breaking news "Slick Roads Causing Problems." What, who ever heard such a thing, slick roads means I might have to be cautious while driving? That you WSAZ! I know I'm being a little cynical over this, but why is that breaking news. Breaking news is like the town of Poca is on fire or the Governor just freed all the prisoners at South Central Correctional Center not the roads are slick.


We need to stop this freaking people out over the sublime, if you want to do a story about slick roads warning people to drive slow that's fine, just don't throw out the all caps BREAKING NEWS.


Back to North Carolina, I understand people freak out over the littlest of winter time weather, but we don't have to encourage it. If we say flurries, treat it like that. Tell the morning crew to shoot a little and if it's still going on have the day siders shoot some. I'm getting to cynical for TV news.

Joke Time

Did you hear they cancelled the Ohio State Michigan game?

Yeah Michigan couldn't get past Toledo.

Also GO BG beat Buffalo even at 5-5 (3-3 in conference) BG has a chance to win the MAC East, yet Central Michigan 8-3 (6-1) has almost no chance at the MAC West. That's funny, take that fat punter.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Might Want to Rethink That Design


I have to thank Dan Lee for finding this link. What better way to celebrate Christmas than a glowing cross on your lawn, oh wait... it looks like is on fire. I've seen this before... where is it... I don't know*.


I understand what the American Family Association was going for, but you can't sell a burning cross. Good intentions, bad follow throw.
*Still frame from O Brother Where Art Thou

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Free Golf

One of the greatest things about working in TV is the chance to get free stuff. This past Friday I got a chance at free golf at 12 Oaks in Holly Springs. I've mentioned a few times about my golf game or the lack there of, so what better way to see how bad I suck than going to a new course that is not even open. Oh yeah and it's suppose to be one of the toughest in the state if not the south. I kid you not I brought 20 extra balls so I'mnow packing 45 balls and I'm thinking I'm losing most.


We get to the course and we are actually doing a story on the course so I load up my cart with my clubs, camera, tripod, extra battery and hip pack full of cables and microphones. We start out and of course my first shot... straight into the woods, left me restate that hooked into the woods.


For the story we have to keep acturate score and I'm playing with Justice and I do not think he has ever kept an accurate score in his life. After the first hole I shoot an 11 and Justice gets an 8. Penn the sports director I beleive got a 6 (he's the ringer in the group). The next hole is a little par three and my first shot is a nice one... straight into the sand. I hate sand traps and this one is 5 feet below the green and it takes me 7 shots to get out of the sand and I finish the par three with a 12. This is going to be a long day. To make things worse it starts raining, and it's getting colder. Penn wusses out after three holes and Justice and I struggle on.


After Penn left I started to hit the ball better, and by better I mean I'm no longer getting 11 or 12 I'm getting 7, 8 and 9s. The rain lets up and we start feeling better, then it pours. It was like that all day, I finally get fed up with pulling my rain jacket on and off and I leave it in the cart, I'm already soaked why bother. We get to the dreaded 6th hole it's suppose to be the hardest hole, there's this swamp grass crap all over the place and you have to get over some of it off the tee. Look at the video below, I actually got over the stuff and got a 7, my best score of the day.


We get through 12 holes before we decided to call it off, we were just too wet and cold to play off. I don't want to know my score, but I had to be over 100 and the most important score is the balls lost. I lost 12 balls, but I did find 4 so it was an 8 ball day. Not too bad for a crappy golfer like myself. I was asked by Penn if I would go back and play the course again. My answer was yes, was the course tough... yes, but fair and I could have fun there. If I could afford the membership fee (we are guessing it has to be over $10,000 a year) I would sjoin, but since the membership fees are probably going to cost me almost the same as my mortage per month, I'm going to pass. Unless everyone out there chips in and gets a membership for me... come one people, it's for a good cause.

video
video

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Welcomed at Moe's

On Thursday of last week I walked by the assignment desk and saw a press release from Moe's Southwest Grill. Their Cary store had sold over one million burritos and they were giving away free burritos for a year to the first 50 people. If I were to rank my favorite burrito places it would be



Chipotle

Cosmic Burrito (If they had more than one location or a location not in Durham it would be number one.)

Salsa Fresh (Another single store, but they have awesome authentic tamales.)

Qdoba

Moe's

Shawn on the other hand has Moe's at the top of his list and I'm not going to turn away a chance at free burritos for a year. We decide to leave Wake Forest at 8:45 and get there a little after 9:00. We see long line and know it's going to be close. We get out and get to the end of the line and find out that we are around 60th in line. Crap, but there are some small kids and the sorts and maybe the contest will be only one per family. Then the other problem were the majority of those at the front of the line... drunken college and high school students. Holy crap, these guys were drunk of their asses. I'm not talking about a little tipsy, I mean screaming obscenities and from what we heard in the middle of the night the cops were called out because they found a dumpster and were throwing people in it and shoving it down the parking lot.

We started to get a little down trodden but then things got worse. Someone from Moe's came out side to take names of the first 50. All of the sudden a mass of humanity started filing out of cars and jumping into the line. They had people saving spots for them and so we were shoved even further back. A manager type guy was walking around and another dejected soul asks him about the line jumpers and what about us. We know we are not going to get the free year, but at least we deserve a free burrito because of the line problems. He says he will see what he can do and then never comes back. The dejected soul gets a little mad about being ignored goes up and asks again. We are out of luck, we might get a T-shirt or something called Moe's bucks, but nothing else.

Shawn and I leave, Moe's did a really bad job at this promotion. I don't think they realized that people would camp out over night in a driving rain storm for burritos. Nor did they realize that most of them would be drunk and probably underage (How do I know they are underage, they were talking about what high school they will have to transfer to next year). No organization was thought of and now they have a group of about 50 that are mad because they were shafted by this disorganization. I know Shawn will probably go back to Moe's, but I will think twice. I'd rather go burrito less than have to think about the stupidity of that morning.

Happy Birthday

This past weekend Lucy turned 1. So we have now had her for 8 months and what an interesting 8 months it has been. It doesn't feel like 8 months, I can still driving up to the house of the lady that had Lucy and seeing her run onto the porch. Back then she was about 22 pounds and as of her last check up she's now 54 pounds.

The best thing about having her is when I get home from a bad day at work and she is so excited to see me she wags her entire lower half then I have to lean down so she can lick my nose. I know we have had some issues like, Oh I don't know eating our couch and destroying things. We figured out part of the problem... anxiety, Lucy only gets really destructive on Sunday mornings when we both leave early and don't get back home till around 1.


Then I took some flack when people thought I was calling Lucy stupid. I wasn't calling her that, but I have learned she is very smart. We took her to PetSmart for puppy training and the trainer helped us get Lucy under control a little and we also found out she is very smart. She learned to play dead within an hour, the trainer has never had a dog learn play dead that fast. She also can spin in circles and we are half way to learning to leave treat on her nose.


For all the destroyed couches and stuffed animals, I can not imagine what it would be like not to have Lucy. Hopefully we will have her from a very long time.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Changeling

OK, I've been in a funk and it doesn't help that work is having me bring back the sports blog (plus multiple other things). When I get home I don't want to write anymore, the ideas are in my head, but the will is forcing them to stay in there. The Wife and I finally got out and went to see a movie and I had to write about it.

Changeling is one of the best movies I have seen in years. From start to finish it was a quality movie were the plot did not fade nor did I lose interest half way through. The basic premise of the movie is; in 1928 A woman loses her son and the police try and help, but instead of finding her son they give her another child. I will try and not give too much away, but if you want to see the movie I'd probably stop reading and come back to this post afterwards. The story too many strange turns at one point the police threw Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) in a mental ward.


I've had many mixed feelings about the acting skills of Angelina, but she did an outstanding job. Then you had Jeffery Donaovan, who The Wife loves from the TV show Burn Notice, the way I can tell if someone does an outstanding villain role is if The Wife hates the actor after the movie. She now despises Jeffery Donovan. He played the unapologetic and manipulative police captain to a tee. His arrogance and undercutting of Christine Collins was wonderfully done. Rounding out the major cast was John Malkovich, he played Reverend Gustav Briegleb and minister who wants to expose the sins of the cities police department. Early on you get the feel he wants to help and for me in the middle I got the sense he did not care about the plight of Christine and was using her to take on the city. Yes, he was fighting for a noble cause, but his intentions were not true. He did end up helping and causing change within the system, yet he could not have done it without Christine.


I made the statement that this was the best movie I have seen in years, and honestly that is not a hard statement to say. I feel we have fallen into a blackhole of crap with movies. Most are not complete and missing some key element. For some reason we take the phrase "independent" and make it grander than it is (Juno, Little Miss Sunshine), or a big budget "Oscar" movie as of the past few years have fallen short, either the story wasn't great but the acting made it better (There Will Be Blood) or it was "ground breaking" yet there was no real substance (Brokeback Mountain). Looking at the list of past nominees Changeling rivals Crash and my favorite (post Lord of the Rings) Finding Neverland.


It appears most critics are giving Changeling either an A or a C. Most of the C are based on technical merit and how the critic yearns for the old Eastwood days. Honestly I loved this movie, maybe this could be the start of Hollywood coming back to its senses and will start to give us substance instead of the drivel that has been forced upon us.