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Getting my doctorate in homemade pizza

I've had a fixation on making good pizza since the COVID lockdown. I, like many other people, decided that the best way to weather a pandemic was to bake bread, so I made a sourdough starter and quickly had to find ways to use up the discard. There are a lot of ways to do that — I've experimented with banana bread, pancakes, waffles, and cake, to name a few, but my favorite way to use it is pizza, because pizza is good.

I am now a real pizza connoisseur and can no longer deign to get takeout pizza because the homemade stuff is just so much better. But I'm also a generous pizza connoisseur, so here's what I've learned after obsessing over pizza for 4 years.

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The Platinum 3776 did my laundry and bought me lunch

I like Platinum pens. I have a few, and they've all been great and reliable and I use them very frequently. The greatest thing about them is that they can be had for under 20 US freedom dollars (about 7 bucks for the Platinum Preppy and 18 bucks for the Platinum Plaisir)!

Recently, I have come into possession of a Platinum 3776 Century, a pen that costs more than 10 times as much as the Plaisir: two hundred and eight (208) dollaroos before tax. You might be wondering how I got into this situation.

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The Lego bugs are my friends

I'm not an adult Lego connoisseur by any means, but I've received a handful of the adult/collector sets as gifts over the years. I like that they're relatively complex but still come together out of the box (as opposed to, say, Gunplas, where you need to spend some time disassembling the parts and sometimes fiddle with tight fits). I've done a few of the automobile models, which are super fun to build, but my favorite ones to display have been the realistic plant models.

You can only imagine how delighted I was to see that they released a collection of realistic insect models (a Chinese mantis, a Hercules beetle, and a Blue Morpho). I agonized over which one to buy first for months and finally marched into the store intending to buy the beetle... until I found out that all three came in a set. No agonizing necessary. So I ended up taking the whole set home with me (for $80, which isn't a bad deal at all for three figures).

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This season's hottest and most controversial ink

If you like fountain pens, you have definitely heard about LAMY Dark Lilac. If you don't like fountain pens, you might have heard about it anyway because somehow it ended up getting a story on the New York Times. Granted, the Times publishes many stories that hardly qualify as news or factual information, but regardless, "limited edition fountain pen ink controversy makes it onto national news publication" is not something I had on my 2024 Bingo card. The crux of the apparent "controversy" is this: company permanently rereleases 8-year-old limited edition ink color, but now the color is different.

As it happens, I bought a bottle of Dark Lilac 2: Electric Boogaloo, so now we get some unsolicited commentary about both the ink and the circumstances surrounding its release.

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