Weekender thread for the coffeehouse: pizza critics unite

This was a popular thread on my Facebook page when I posted that I had Tweeted around the horrors of the products produced at chain pizza places and frozen “food” marketed as pizzas.

The discussion didn’t involve the politics of chains (such as Dominos), the focus was on the levels of pizza sucktitude (taste). It’s assumed that you can make better pizza on your own, or find it at a local joint.

Of course there are cities where it’s hard to find a good slice. One commenter on Facebook said he was in the Midwest and he knew the pizza was bad in one place when they asked him if he “wanted ranch with that.” LOL.

I stay clear of pizza most of the time since it can spike my blood sugar something awful. So it’s a treat to just have one slice so it better be good. I prefer plain cheese with spinach on it, NY style. Anyway, here are my assessments of a few:

  • Little Caesars: tastes like a sandy doormat with rubber cheese.
  • Old Dominos (haven’t had “improved” version) Craptastic prefab, awful sauce.
  • Papa Johns: Shoe leather crust, too doughy, sauce too sweet.
  • Pizza Hut: Drywall chew. The chain needs to stop focusing on BS like cheese in the crust and all these variations on the pie and just make a good one.

It must be hand-tossed, no prefab . That’s why frozen pizza is ass. If someone can actually think of anything out of a freezer section that is passable, I’d love to hear it.

My personal local favorite – it actually has good NY style pizza: I’ll take Randy‘s any day.

Share your opinions, and tell us where the best local pizza is (or mourn that your town lacks good pizza).
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Mixed bag open thread: pedophiles, pathetic GOPers, a busted ex-gay therapist, and more

Here’s a look at what I’ve been Tweeting and Facebooking today.

* After Promising To ‘Repeal And Replace’ Obama’s Health Law, Republicans Have No Replacement. Gee, is anyone surprised? Think Progress:

When Fox News contributor Juan Williams challenged [The Weekly Standard’s Bill] Kristol to explain “what are you going to replace it with?”, Kristol told Williams not to worry, because there would be hearings in a few months and Republicans would probably come up with something by then.

* Karen Ocamb @ LGBTPOV: Does Sen. John McCain Owe Gay Servicemembers an Apology?

* Joe My God – This Week In Holy Crimes. So many pious pedophiles – from all around the country – it gives you agita. Just one example –

Florida: Pastor Gordon Libby charged with kidnapping a 14 year-old from a Walmart and then masturbating in the victim’s presence. Libby is the founder of the clergy recruitment firm Pastors4U.

* Is the Black Church Dead? Debate Flares Among African-American Christians. This is about the “prosperity gospel” ministers of black megachurches:

They’re pastors, but they’re really in the Halloween costume of a Fortune 500 CEO. And in the process they’re trick-or-treating the people,” Jonathan L. Walton, an assistant professor of African-American religion at Harvard Divinity School, told an appreciative audience three days earlier at Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta.

* David Badash: Best Palin “Surveyors Marks, Not Crosshairs” Debunking Ever.

* QNotes: S.C. GOP strategist: Gays want ‘special protected class’. Consultant Wesley Donehue:

There are many Republicans in the General Assembly who will flat out try to kill any bill providing more gay rights. They aren’t the problem for the S.C Alliance (sic). Their problem will be the many forward-thinking Republicans who are sympathetic to their cause, but won’t go for putting more laws on the books and creating a special protected class.

Matt Comer of QNotes:

Unfortunately, Donehue is right on one point: Many South Carolina Republicans (and even some Democrats, mind you) will fight tooth-and-nail to stop pro-equality legislation. What’s sadder is that some legislators, like state Rep. Greg Delleney (R-Chester), will also fight to specifically exclude LGBT people from what should be relatively non-controversial health and education legislation.”

* MetroWeekly: A Kinder, Gentler DOMA? News Analysis: DOJ’s continued defense of DOMA may have taken on a softer tone, but it can’t erase the sharp underpinnings of the discriminatory 1996 law.

* Towleroad: Tea Party Holds Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Rally In Iowa.

The marriage debate in Iowa continues to heat up. About 35 people gathered in Council Bluffs, Iowa yesterday as part of a Tea Party sponsored rally in support of a ban on same-sex marriage in that state. Headlining the event was wingnut freshman Republican State Representative Kim Pearson who, along with Republicans Tom Shaw of Laurens and Glen Massie, has helped draft legislation to impeach the remaining four justices on the Iowa Supreme Court.

And this money quote from Pearson:

“The definition of marriage is between one man and one woman. God is our ultimate lawgiver.”

* And how about this great news from across the pond: Christian therapist who claims she can help gay men go straight faces faces being stripped of her psych accreditation.

Lesley Pilkington, 60, will appear before a professional conduct panel and faces losing her accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

…Mrs Pilkington, a devout Christian who says she ‘understands the issues’ because her son is gay, has treated around ten patients using the controversial Sexual Orientation Change Efforts programme over the past decade.

In tapes of her sessions with Mr Strudwick he asks her if she views homosexuality as ‘a mental illness, an addiction or an anti-religious phenomenon’.

She replies: ‘It is all of that.’

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The Blend Sunday Open Thread + updates on Arizona tragedy

There has been a lot of news out there for a weekend, particularly with the tragic Arizona shooting. First, this update on the condition of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition Sunday as investigators attempted to understand what motivated a gunman’s shooting rampage that killed six and as investigators asked for the public’s help in finding a possible accomplice who was still at large.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten told The Associated Press that Giffords remained sedated after undergoing a two-hour surgery Saturday and has not been conscious since the shooting. She said more information will be released at a news conference in which one of the doctors who operated on Giffords plans to speak.

Some other new information since last night (MSNBC).

Right: Investigators said they were looking for an accomplice, believed to be in his 50s, who may have assisted in the attack.

The Pima County Sheriff’s office listed the dead as

  • John M. Roll, 63, a federal district court judge.
  • Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ director of community outreach.
  • Dorwin Stoddard, 76, a pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ.
  • Christina-Taylor Green, 9, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary.
  • Dorthy Morris, 76.
  • Phyllis Schneck, 79.

A 9mm Glock handgun that had what police described as “an extended clip” with 30 bullets was recovered at the scene, The Washington Post reported. Officials told The Associated Press the gun used in the attack was purchased legally. The Post said it was bought Nov. 30 from the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson.

…Law enforcement officials said members of Congress reported 42 cases of threats or violence in the first three months of 2010, nearly three times the 15 cases reported during the same period a year earlier. Nearly all dealt with the health care bill, and Giffords was among the targets.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There is a discussion board at MSNBC where you can leave condolences for the families of those affected by the shootings.

* NYT: Bloodshed puts new focus on vitriol in politics.


* As horrible as the domestic terrorism news in Arizona was to take, look at what is going on south of the border related to narco-terrorism in a city known for tourism – 27 deaths, including 14 decapitated, rock Acapulco.

Feel free to post links to stories out there that may have been missed.
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The eclectic purple shoes news open thread

It’s an open thread. What stories have you been following today? Here are a few headlines I’ve shared over social networks…

“I think people misunderstand the meaning of the word corrupt, and obviously CNN does. Corrupt or corrupted or failure — it’s no different than a disc drive giving you some bits that are wrong,” Issa said.


There’s no special reason for the photo other than what I said on Facebook and Twitter:

Not exactly a bucket list item, but I’ve always wanted to have a pair of purple shoes. These are Easy Spirit Okras; they arrived today. With my neuropathy it’s hard to find any good shoes, let alone neat purple ones. I may not be able to wear sexy shoes anymore, so I have to go with eclectic 🙂

purple shoes

I have a couple of patterned dresses with purple in them, so when I return to work part-time next week I will be stylin’ (in comfort, of course). I still can’t wear regular pants or jeans; my post-surgery abdomen doesn’t like them, so it will be mostly dresses, tunics and leggings for me for a while.

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Open Thread Thursday

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? How’d you do with last years?

Joe. My. God.

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New Year’s Day Open Thread – plus a guide to debating a ‘Christian’

Happy new year everyone — best wishes to all the PHB Baristas, Blenders & peers who make working, writing & fighting for LGBT equality worth it all. It’s an open thread to chat, share links and hand out the java for those who over-imbibed…


A bonus — from the folks at AtheismResource.com, a handy guide to taking on non-reality-based fundies (should you wish to expend any energy doing so).

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Open Thread Thursday

What were your favorite pop singles for 2010? I think it was actually a pretty good year for pop music as the charts returned to being dominated by catchy pop/dance numbers, the scourge of auto-tune notwithstanding.

My top ten:

1. Tightrope – Janelle Monae
2. I Feel Better – Hot Chip
3. Credit Card Babies (Stereogamous Remix) – Men
4. Wonderful Life (Freemasons Remix) – Hurts
5. Amazing Grace – Boy George feat. Ana Lains
6. Rolling In The Deep – Adele
7. Rocket – Goldfrapp
8. Any Which Way – Scissor Sisters
9. All The Lovers – Kylie Minogue
10. Je Ne Sais Quoi – Hera Björk

Dr. Jeff previewed this list and screamed at me for not including any Robyn, but I couldn’t even name one of her records. Minus gay points for that, I was told. And I’m sure I’ll facepalm later today for forgetting something else that I found major at some point during the year. Anyway, now you.

Joe. My. God.

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Christmas Eve Open Thread – Merry Christmas from Louise and Keori!!

Merry Christmas, Blenders! I have finally come home to my hanai family, and am spending this weekend with Louise and Snooky Ookums. I do hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. 

Sometimes holidays are simply another source of stress regarding families, as we talked about last year. The Trevor Project wishes to remind everyone that they are there 24/7. Their hotline number is 866-488-7386. Another resource for anyone needing an immediate open ear is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, also there 24/7. Their number is 800-273-8255.

Last year we were emotional on Christmas Eve. This year, considering the roller coaster we've been on with DADT repeal, let's keep it light-hearted. Please join me in a humorous LGBT-themed holiday video fest and open thread.

It's Christmas Eve in the Coffeehouse! Pass the eggnog!




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Christmas Eve video break and open thread: health update, DADT…and doggies

We wish you all a good (and safe) holiday weekend. What’s on the menu?


It’s a chilly Christmas eve in Durham, NC, but it was warm enough this afternoon to video an update on my recovery from surgery and talk about travel and thoughts about the good news re: DADT repeal.

We spent some time outside with the dogs and recorded a holiday video for relatives that got a little wild…

See the short video with cameos by Casey and Chloe below the fold.
A holiday greeting for our peeps that got a little out of control because of the doggies. 🙂

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Saturday DADT Open Thread: Senate votes no on DREAM, yes on DADT. Next steps…

NOTE: New Blend content is below this post, which will be on top during proceedings today.

The Senate started the session at 9am this morning; you can watch the live feed here. Currently Jeff Sessions, the first the speak today, is arguing against the DREAM Act.


NOTE FROM PAM: You can also join the live chat hosted by Joe Sudbay of Americablog that is up top now as well.

11:30 AM ET: Cloture motion on the DREAM Act falls, 55-41. 60 needed. NC’s Kay Hagan voted NO on DREAM Act.

11:45: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell passes major Senate vote. On to the vote for repeal. Then the Prez and Mullen and Gates have to sign off.

A reminder from SLDN:



? Even after a successful U.S. Senate vote and after the President signs the bill, service members will remain at risk for investigation and discharge. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will still be the law until 60 days after the Commander-in-Chief, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs certify repeal can happen. Read SLDN’s warnings to service members: www.sldn.org/StillAtRisk.


? The President would transmit to the congressional Armed Services Committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:

o (A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.

o (B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).

o (C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.

? “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will still be the law at this point. Service members will still be discharged. Read SLDN’s warnings: www.sldn.org/StillAtRisk.


? After the President transmits written certification to the congressional Armed Services Committees, full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be effective 60 days later.

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