Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hope you like posts about MMA and the back of pizza boxes

-Dumbass comment of the week (and probably month): The Fortress Keeper has it for you. It's nothing he said--he's a pretty reasonable dude and I always liked his blog.* I'd just link directly to it here, but TFK's comments are well worth reading. So follow the links and report back here (or to the Fortress Keeper's blog, or to your own blog or wherever) for discussion.

*If it's survived all my recent RSS purges, I must think pretty highly of it. I don't mean that as an egotistical statement, like "if I like it then it must be good." I just kind of have a low tolerance for stupid blogs. But you already knew that, didn't you?

-My terminology is spreading. Excellent.

-To those who are more familiar with the Urusei Yatsura TV series: does Ryuunosuke eventually take over the series? The episodes featuring her have been pretty grating, and a little disturbing (I'm referring mostly to her relationship to her father). They're interesting from a historical perspective, in that her character seems to presage characters and themes which would appear in Ranma 1/2 (Ukyo in particular), but her presence seems to have adversely affected the entertainment quotient. Which is too bad, because I thought the series was pretty close to peaking before she showed up--the Gatcha Gatcha Balls, Lum's space cold, and especially Ten's Valentine's Day. But the episodes featuring Ryuunosuke seemed to grind all momentum to a halt. Any reassuring words from anyone on this subject?

-Trader Joe's section: Not a review, but a curiosity this week. My wife and I both like one particular variety of the TJ frozen pizzas, the kind with goat cheese and olives. I was reading the back of the box to remind myself of the correct oven setting when I glanced at the French and Italian instructions. If you've never bought anything from Trader Joe's, you might not be aware of their rather pedantic approach to cooking instructions; nearly all their frozen food specify "at least 10 minutes" of preheat time. This always makes me wonder what the copywriters at Trader Joe's think of their consumers. Have there been complaints from dissatisfied customers unfamiliar with the nature of preheating?

What's interesting in this case is that I'm pretty sure the Italian and French instructions suggest only five minutes of preheating. I admit to knowing absolutely no Italian, and my French is beyond rusty (I struggle mightily with Les Petits Riens and usually concede defeat). But I'm pretty sure I recognize the digit "5" when I see it. So what gives? Are European ovens that much faster at preheating? Are they using metric minutes? Do Trader Joe's continental customers prefer their pizza a little cold in the middle? Are there any French or Italian customers for Trader Joe's? If so, do they actually buy these frozen pizzas?

More disturbing yet is some notation about how long these foods will stay fresh in the refrigerator vs. the freezer. This warning is completely absent from the English instructions. Hopefully that's a mistranslation on my part. I'd provide a scan, but my wife threw away the box before I could do so. And my scanner's broke. And I don't want to scan a pizza box, cause I think that sort of behavior is a precursor to complete mental breakdown.

-And as long as I'm not talking about comics (don't blame me, things are pretty dead out there), here's the main sentence on last night's WEC show: Frank Mir and that other guy are a couple of homers, aren't they? Plugging the stars (as Dr. Z would say), ignoring the controversy in the Filho-Sonnen fight, ignoring the boos raining down on Jens Pulver (not that they were justified, but some acknowledgment wouldn't hurt). Mir's also got a case of the Bas Ruttens--commentary centered around telling the audience what the fighter should be doing rather than telling the audience what the fighter might be thinking. Admittedly, this is far less annoying coming from Mir or Rutten than Stephen Quadros, but still.

All the same, it was a pretty good night of fights. I'm always happy to see fights from the lower weight classes, and last night was no exception. Especially exciting to see a German suplex in the middle of a legit fight.


hilker said...

Was the oven temperature in the English instructions 375F? That's equivalent to "5" on a European oven.

Dick Hyacinth said...

Good news! The box wasn't in the trash, and I was able to read the back. My findings:

1. There's a reference to 250 degrees (Celsius, I presume), and "pendant 5 minutes."

2. Cook times, however, are the same.

3. The stuff about how long the pizza will keep says 24 hours in a refrigerator, 72 hours in a freezer.

4. It's clearly marked "Product of Italy." But it still has the Trader Joe's (or Trader Giotto's) logo on the front.

New hypothesis: Trader Joe's slaps its name on these pizzas, which are made fresh in Italy and distributed domestically and to France and/or Switzerland as well. The pizzas sent to America are flash frozen, so the spoilage warnings are a little less dire.

This leaves two possibilities for the difference in preheat times:
(1) Trader Joe's thinks that French and Italian consumers are impatient, and thus places different cooking instructions by region. I'm not sure exactly how a French or Italian consumer would acquire the Trader Joe's-branded item. Maybe they were sold in three packs by unscrupulous frozen good magnates.
(2) The copy writing is done in Italy by someone who laughs at Americans' insistence on convenience. So said copywriter put different preheat times on the package as a joke to his fellow continentals, and possibly to confound the .00001% of Americans who would notice such things AND think about them for more than 30 seconds.

At least I didn't scan the box....

Brack said...

Ryuunosuke doesn't really dominate proceedings. There didn't seem to be much inclination to write original material involving her, so generally her major roles are in the stories adapted straight from the manga.

Even in Movie 2, where Oshii has deliberately distanced himself from the sci-fi elements of the series, she doesn't really have much of a role to play.

Todd C. Murry said...

No, I think it's in metric minutes. That's definately the answer.

Lambo said...

Is Mir worse than Rogan? I always wondered why Rogan was the analyst, but he does have a brown belt in BJJ, according to Wikipedia at least.

Dick Hyacinth said...

Mir was reminding me of Will Ferrell's Harry Caray, the way his head was bobbling and he kept shouting stuff out. I always hear people saying they like Mir's commentary, but I think he's far worse about plugging the favorites, and the PBP guy just follows his lead. The Faber praise was over the top.

I like Rogan because he's enthusiastic, more or less knows what he's talking about, and doesn't presume to tell the fighter what he should do. A lot of people don't like him (a friend of mine keeps saying he has "smoke coming out of his eyeballs"), but I've never had any problem with him.

My all-time favorite color announcer is Jeff Blatnick, but that's not a real popular opinion anymore. I actually thought Kenny Florian did a pretty decent job the other night, but he's many years away from retirement.

Brigid said...

When I lived in France, I used to buy pork roasts that had cooking instructions in both French and English. But only the French instructed me to serve it with cabbage. Perhaps they assumed the British eat cabbage with every meal?

There are no refrigeration instructions in other languages because the pizza won't fit in a European refrigerator anyway.

Matthew J. Brady said...

To steer things back toward comics and whatnot, I am flabbergasted by Scipio's insistence that Westerners only read manga to seem "worldly". Man, that guy really wears the superhero blinders, doesn't he? I'm definitely a fan of American comics, but the manga I read I get quite a bit of enjoyment out of; it's definitely not because I want to look cool or something. And I'm sure the kids who are barely aware of superhero comics are even less cognizant of that idea. It's like the guy can't admit that people have real reasons for reading comics that aren't part of the "one true genre" of superheroes. Oy.

Oh, and what the hell are they talking about when they say manga doesn't convey a sense of motion? I don't understand that at all.

Greg said...

I was going to mention that about Scipio, Matthew. He's mildly amusing, but he really has a narrow focus - not only superhero comics, but specifically DC superhero comics. That's not the dumbest comment I've ever seen, but it's pretty stupid.

Joel Bryan said...

I usually don't say things like this... or maybe I do and I'm conveniently forgetting... but yeah, that's the stupidest thing I've read all week. I wrote a longer response about it at the Fortress Keeper's blog.

To summarize it- I feel sorry for people who arbitrarily limit themselves to a narrow field of enjoyment. But not so much for people who make absurdist reductive statements dismissing the genuine likes of a great mass of others in order to bolster dumbass ideas.