Author Archives: mike d.

Pandora’s Pizza Box

My folks got me a book for my Birthday: The Pizza Bible, by Tony Gemignani.

Particular is an adjective that does not do this book justice. The book is exhaustive in its detail and calls upon you, the reader and self-proclaimed Pizza aficionado, to practice painstaking attention to detail.

It starts simple:
Weigh your ingredients.

Okay, sure that’s good practice.

Your scale must have 0.1 gram precision

Uh, okay. Seems overcautious, but fine.

The dough must be made two days in advance.

Whew, I guess I can manage that.

But really, it should be made four days in advance with a Poolish starter. Anything less and you’re a disappointment to your Italian heritage.

Yowsa.

There are TONS of recipes, and they are written with a fastidiousness that I have come to greatly respect. Jen and I have been making a pizza about every other week since June. This doesn’t seem like much, but each recipe feels like a spiritual pilgrimage. Over Labor day weekend we explored one particular recipe which was dressed to impress: a Fully Stuffed Chicago style behemoth.

Enjoy this pictorial exploration into the pizza’s creation. In order of appearance it’s: Lower crust, Mozzarella, Meatballs, Pepperoni, Hot & Sweet Sausage, Onions & Mushrooms,  Red Peppers, Pecorino Romano, Shredded Mozzarella, Provolone, Top crust.

You can practically taste it through the screen.

Top it with some tomato sauce, ricotta, and garlic oil? Scrumptious.

Busy

I have a lot to share. It’s like a lake of words has collected behind a dam of time deficiency. Between high demands on the work front, chores circling J.Atlas and his daycare debut, and my unquenchable pursuit for self improvement, each day turns into a game of optimization. Most days I lose this game. As this blog admittedly lies low on the scale of criticality, it’s been often abandoned resulting in waves of guilt surrounding the neglect.

Things I’m happy about:

J.Atlas is the best. This week he learned how to say “water.” Although with his undefined ‘t’ it’s more like waawaa.

I got two new board games this week: Magic Maze, and Love Letter. Both are uniquely fun. Try ’em out.

I am podcasting like a champion: 2x speed to and from work. It’s exposing me to so much INFORMATION. I love it.

Meditation. Yeah, I’m trying it. So far it’s going poorly.

Reading: Is there a book that fundamentally changed the way you look at the world?
Give me your recommendations! I need to formalize my list.

 

 

Little Man Update

J.Atlas continues to be pretty awesome. He’s mostly sleeping through the night now (two thumbs up!), is able to manage a fork for the most part, and seems to enjoy just about everything.

I’M ON A BOAT!

This summer is infinitely easier than last and I would venture to say that the later half of the summer was easier than the first. I’m defining ease mostly by his ability to sleep and the amount of parental intervention required on a moment-to-moment basis. I mostly expect the difficulty levels to increase as he develops a greater ability to voice his preferences.

We were able to get some real vacation time in this summer. We went to a snazzy family resort called the Tyler Place in Vermont, hit up Cape Cod for a week, and have been pretty aggressively using our weekends for local beach visits, bicycle rides, and adventures like the aquarium.

FISH!

J.Atlas can confidently say three words: “Hat”, “Mama”, and “Dada.” Though in the case of Dada, I’m still curious if he’s referring to me, the avante-garde art movement of the 1920’s, or something else entirely because he uses the word indiscriminately when pointing at any number of random things.

JAtlas on a Pony

Being a Dad is different than I had expected. It’s a very busy time.  Though in a way, I suppose I revel in being forced to be more productive. You know that good feeling you have after you get a lot done? It’s kinda like that all the time with an extra bonus of being surrounded by a tiny person that loves/is loved unconditionally – it’s pretty spectacular. Sure, I wish I had more time to practice guitar, exercise, and be crafty. And right after he goes to bed there’s a big sigh of relief in knowing that you finally have some time to breathe. But it’s unquestionably worth it for the fun of exploring the world through a tiny person’s eyes.

A trip down MSPaint Memory Lane p.2

The MSPainting that Patrick was referring to in his comment on the previous post was this one:

Legit, Patrick. Totally Legit. This was also one of my favorites. The only thing that I think could have made it better yet would be if the chess board showed white with Checkmate.

Another of my favorites? Mike D made entirely out of eyeballs drawn by Sander for a Halloween contest:

This must have taken an obscene amount of time.

A trip down MSPaint Memory Lane

In light of the upcoming death of Microsoft Paint, I am reviewing a few of the best MSPaintings from MikeDiDonato.com

Undeniably, the MSPainting that I am most proud of is my rendition of Picasso’s Guernica.

BOOM:

It took forever to make this. The painting itself is amazing. I think the Horse is the most impressive bit. Notice the incredible tiny dots of its hide, the spear piercing its side, and the awesome hooves. Copying this took hours and hours and hours. While the MSPainting does not much stand against Picasso’s actual work, my labor-hours certainly pays pretty good homage.

Ahhh MSpaint. You shall be missed.

The End of an Era

Despite winning MikeDiDonato.com’s prestigious “Best Digital Art Program Ever” award for over 20 years straight, Microsoft is rumored to be eradicating Microsoft Paint from windows in the upcoming upgrade.

Admittedly, since the disappointing upgrade for Windows 10 that removed so much functionality by adding features, MSPaint has been in a sad downward spiral. The only uplifting part of the news was the plethora of emails, texts and phone calls that I received from friends and family sending their condolences to me. In fact, I think more people offered their sympathies on reading about MSPaint than celebratory messages offered on my Wedding day. Ha!

Thank you to all for your solemn offerings of support in this troubled time.

Perhaps we will take a trip down memory lane and explore a few of the most glorious MSPaintings that have graced this website since its debut so many years ago. It’s perhaps most appropriate to start with Cupcakezilla – Drawn by Roland in England as part of an MSPaint contest. It was one of very few designs that ever transitioned from MSPaint to Silk Screen. An epic display of pixelation.

Dismantling of a Box Spring

If you ever have to choose between dismantling a box spring and purchasing a truck so that you can bring a box spring to the dump? Buy the truck.

Yesterday as I prepared the House of Rock for a new tenant, I found myself with a box spring that needed to be discarded. “No sweat,” I thought, my ruminations saturated in overconfidence, “with tin-snips, a knife, and hammer I bet I can knock this out in 20 minutes!”

It took two hours – and I was INDUSTRIOUS.

The concept is simple enough: Cut off the fabric backing and the mattress pad, remove the springs or spring assembly from the frame, dismantle the frame, and roll the spring assemblies to fit inside one or two of those big black garbage bags.

Conceptually, that’s exactly what I did. But each step was a labor of Hercules. Wrestle and slay the Nemean lion? No sweat. Try rolling a matrix of metal into a cannoli.

Anyone who dismantles a box spring deserves an Olympic medal.

News.

The noun ‘news’ tickles me. Let’s take an adjective ‘new’ throw an S on the end and consider it a noun.

I kinda wish that after a defined period of time post publishing, news would be reclassified as “olds.”