My name is Jason. These are my thoughts.

Masquerading as Life is: Food. Music, film, technology. Maybe a book or two. Very infrequent updates.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


As I've said before: Crust is everything. I had found many recipes for pizza crust and tried about 6 of them. The one I liked the best is the basis for the final tweaked version I came to after several weeks of adjusting the ratio of ingredients, and adding and subtracting sweeteners. Here's the final version of the crust I've been using regularly and getting consistently stellar results. This will make 3-4 pizzas, depending on how big you want to to make them:

• 4 1/2 cups of bread flour (not all purpose flour)
• 2 teaspoons of salt (I use garlic salt, but that is not crucial)
• 1 teaspoon of yeast (or one 'packet')
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 2/3 cups water
• 1/3 cup olive oil

mix warm water with yeast and oil.  Put it aside while you mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Metal bowl works best for me.
Mix wet to dry. I use a hand mixer with dough hooks, but you are welcome to go for it: man up and try it by hand if you dare. Either way, when you're done, it should stick to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides. It seems to help the dough if you mix fully for a solid minute or two. And.... done.
No.  Not done.
Divide the dough into pizza sized portions and work over into dough balls, basically, just get the dough into a nice round shape..  Put each one into a pre-floured container at least 2x it's size.

In all cases, when the dough it fully mixed, it's crucial to cover the dough loosely, and let it rise completely for at least 45 minutes. An hour if you have the time. Overnight for even better results.

Let me spell it out.  Leave the dough on the counter for at least 24 hours and you will have amazing pizza crust.  any earlier, and it's your loss.

Some notes:
Keep the dough in a round bowl after you cut it up into pizza sized portions. This will ensure that the dough stays rounded and ready to easily press into a round pizza. When making the pizza crust, have flour (all purpose flour is ok for this part) on hand to dust the surface with, and to keep your hands and the dough dusted. This will ensure the dough doesn't stick to stuff when you're working it out. Hold the dough in one hand and let it fall over the fingertips of the other hand to stretch the edges, then let it fall over your knuckles. If you are not really sure, or you want to get very serious about your dough, you can watch this video to see how it's done the proper way. This lady is crazy hard core.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

February 14, 2005 The Day The World Changed

February 14, 2005 wasn't that long ago. Unless you're under 25. Then it probably seems like a lifetime. But for the rest of us, we remember the day with stark clarity. February 14, 2005 was the day YouTube launched. In just seven short years, YouTube has utterly changed the face of the world wide web, and everything that has happened in our world since then.
On a personal level, In late 2004, I had an idea. I would write and create very short episodic tv shows, around 9 minutes each. They would be specifically tailored to live on the web. They'd have action, and young women doing cool action type stuff. And there'd be an ongiong story that would keep the viewer coming back. Sound familiar?
Of course, back then, the word 'webisode' didn't exist (well actually it was coined in 1995, but wasn't in wide circulation just yet). Most people thought I was crazy. Like, really crazy. But somehow I found an investor who saw the vision, and we started moving forward.
At the time, unless you had venture capitol to build your own server farm (which some of the early pioneers managed to do), iTunes was still the only real place where video content could be delivered with any reliability, and so my investors and I made moves to make a deal with iTunes. I had a season plotted, and several episodes written. We hired a line producer and a budget built. A production company was singed on. I got a director I loved to shoot the first set of episodes. I started casting actresses for the lead roles. The investors were excited. It was all set to go. It was about to happen.
but then.... it happened.
Well, really two things. My investors got cold feet and decided to put their money into a different business (which sadly folded a few years later). Then just a few months later, YouTube launched.
Within mere weeks, people were creating weekly series for web-only release on YouTube. The media covered the new website like wildfire. The floodgates had opened and almost instantly, the entire persona and content of the web changed. Just like that.

While my web series never saw the light of day, YouTube continues to hold a leading edge position in the world of on-line video. Even Facebook, the new bully on the cyber-block, still has yet to even come close to getting a foothold in YouTube's near monopoly on user created content.

So, next time you shoot a little 1080p HD, edit it, add music and titles - all with your phone - and then upload it directly to YouTube over the 4G network and instantly tweet it to your friends, try to remember that just seven short years ago...that shit was impossible.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jenn Wong • Hosting Sizzle Reel