Jules Thin Crust (as in Pizza)

If you want to control your carbs, go gluten free, and still enjoy excellent Pizza, head to Jules Thin Crust in Doylestown, PA, USA. This place serves the best thin crust pizza I’ve had to date, and that’s no small sample. Stroll up to the counter and here’s what you’ll see:

jules_counterThere is a wide variety of pizza on display, everything from a “Greek Salad” to “meat lovers” to “margarita” and so on. Let’s take a closer look at two of my favorites.

jules_pizza1Sort of your regular sausage on the left and meat lovers on the right. Here’s two more.

jules_pizza2The one on the left in the photo above is three cheese, extra garlic, and sauce. On the right you have that sort of Greek Salad one. I’ve never had anything but excellent food and service here at Jules. The ingredients are stunningly fresh, the crust cracker thin yet flavorful, and to have only two pieces is a crime. So, triple or quadruple your order! For fun here’s a look at the seating area.

jules_seatingPlenty of room for your family and friends inside as well as outside now that the weather is getting better. Finally, check out the menu. I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

jules_menuThere you have it: Jules Thin Crust, Doylestown, PA, on Main Street where you can’t miss it.

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Just lucky… nothing more.

I’m frequently amazed by what passes for intellect. This is not a new phenomenon for me. I’ve always paused after hearing a politician, college professor, or other anointed sage after hearing or reading their take on things. Perhaps this is because I’m a blue-collar guy with a white collar education. The vast majority of people I know are not the ivory tower type. And yet, I find more wisdom in what might be called “common folk” than I do in the geniuses of record.

For example… today I read a piece in a famous newspaper, written by a professor of economics who teaches at the graduate level. This chap makes the stunning point that successful people (as measured by their incomes) are simply lucky. They’re the product of good breeding (genetics he calls it) and in a nurturing family environment (something I think is better summed up in my previous term, good breeding). Thus, successful people can make no MORAL CLAIM to their success. The subtext here is that the success wasn’t earned, but rather happened upon through simple luck of the draw. Thus, successful people are something akin to charlatans, or perhaps “posers” is the modern term.

Really? Seriously, does the chap think I’m supposed to swallow this hook line and sinker? He gives a few brilliant examples, claiming that some no-talent lip-synching boy bands make tons of money as do stupid financial managers who reap millions by risking their clients fees in sub-prime mortgage investments. Okay, valid points. Then he goes on to lament the third-world master craftsman jack of all trades who can do more than McGiver but will never make the same money as some slob of a lazy American because the master was born in the wrong place. Now I see where this is going and he drives the point home with a quaint little quote about the luckiest of the lucky, stating that they are born on third base and think they hit a triple. Finally, he claims that financial people should think of themselves as lucky to have to pay higher taxes because, you guessed it, they lucked into the privilege of paying those higher taxes to support so-called services for the less lucky. Wow, I am in awe at this logic.

Well, if you’re one of the many dozen people I know who are quite successful, you know this is too much bull for the barn. Yeah, if you’re born a goat herder in the Andes your options are slim. Unless… well… unless you have the internal realization that life does not begin and end with goat herding in the Andes. Now before you tell me I’m stretching your patience thin, I ask you to consider that success is a philosophy. If you think like a loser, you are a loser. If you think you are a prisoner of your circumstance than the bars are very strong indeed. Sound charming? It is, because there are countless examples of people who break out of their circumstances through the self-realization that things can (and dare I say, MUST) be different. They live in awful countries, have abusive parents, and maybe they can’t do advanced calculus. However, they can apply themselves to the steady and continued progress of improving their lot in life. AND there are many, many more examples, of people who simply don’t want to work that hard. They prefer excuses to effort. After all, it’s not their fault; they were just unlucky.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of my point can be made by looking at the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. These people were born into a colonial backwater. They were not the up and comers of British Society per se. Sure, George Washington had his big farm as did Thomas Jefferson and a few others. However, Ben Franklin, one of the greatest minds the world has ever know, was essentially self-taught, and had to escape his apprenticeship to his brother of all people. Old Mr. Franklin could have thrown in the towel and faced facts that he was just unlucky and doomed to be a ink smudger. He went on to become Doctor Franklin, celebrated in pre-revolutionary British society because he made himself a scholar, a scientist, and a philosoper. Likewise, George Washington, on another level entirely, could have faced his reality that his farm was at the edge of the empire and subject to the whims of the king. He could have paid his taxes (unjust as they were) and limped along in genteel style. Literally hundreds of thousands had to make the leap that life could be different than what they knew as service to the king. If that is not an intellectual leap, than I am hard pressed to find another. Within each of the Founders’ lives you’ll find stories of success through less luck and more self-reliance than the other way around. They actually embodied a nation with the philosophy that you should defy your breeding (genetics, royalty, all that nonsense) and strike out for success by creating it yourself in whatever form you fancy.

No, this may not lead to a windfall the way it did for the members of that boy band or the guy who bought the right lottery ticket. In fact, some may achieve only a modicum of financial improvement. Just the same, to claim that they are simply unlucky and doomed is to surrender before trying. And to assert that success begets obligation to those less so is to punish the very admiral qualities that produced it. The vast number of successful people in my experience have not been lucky. They have been perceptive, hard working, relentless, and tireless. The fruits of their ethic rewards them well into the future not to mention the positive effects distributed to those around them. To attribute this to randomness is intellectually dishonest if not outright balderdash.

Please, would someone check if the people who proffer such pablum have opposable thumbs. Thank you.

Published in: on April 26, 2009 at 8:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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One Small Room

Imagine yourself living in one small room. This is your bedroom, your bathroom, your kitchen, your laundry… every function of your existence, with the exception of your employment, takes place here. I forced myself to consider this possibility while working on a new character for a story idea that’s been rattling around inside my head.

There are stories of such people, sometimes many people, crammed into a room in dire circumstances. However, in the course of this story, the character chooses to live this way. He has a room in a building and he makes it his home with all the functions described above. Furthermore, he has the place crammed with odd things he collects from time to time. There are books, slips of paper, pieces of cartons and boxes, a few bottle caps, a few glass bottles, a broken necklace, various torn shoelaces… on the list goes. All these things from building blocks of this character, revealing different things about him in his pursuit of someone else.

This has been a fun exercise, considering what it would be like living in not much more than a box. What you could do without, what you wouldn’t give up. Give it a try. It will make you think.

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 12:38 am  Comments (1)  
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Shredded!

In light of recent actions taken by the United States Government and words spoken by too many pundits, journalists, and outright fools, may I suggest a reading of the following document, Page 1 shown here the other three available upon request.

constitution_1_of_4_630In particular, I heard only moments ago, a person speaking with the host of a popular financial show say that people involved with the recent Tea Party protests were akin to her complaining about Nieman Marcus raising the price of her lipstick. You know, some people simply don’t get it and this lady is one of them. She thinks that your money isn’t your money. She thinks that your money should go into a common pot so that it can be spread around according to the whims of a bunch of tyrants not much better than the tin pot dictators of yore or the pseudo-marxist red shirts of today. People of this woman’s ilk hold the rest of us in complete contempt. They like to refer to us a “complainers” unwilling to “do our part.” Well, the last time I checked, millions of people in this country are doing their part, paying taxes, providing goods and services to their fellow Americans, and raising their children appropriately. However, there is a growing class of people who refuse to do this. They’re the sorry complainers of this nation, the ones who think that nothing is fair, that they shouldn’t be held responsible for any of their bad decisions, and that they should be given whatever happens to be the handout du jour. They rely on political largesse and lap it up to the tune of billions if not trillions of dollars.

The last time I read the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence for that matter, I saw nothing about empowering the government to spread the wealth around. Thus, to the good lady mentioned above, let me respectfully ask her to keep her sticky fingers out of my wallet. An American keeps his money by right, not by privilege. Furthermore, the right to redress the government is one of the things mentioned in the Constitution and I happened to visit a few of those Tea Party rallies yesterday. Those people were universally doing just that: letting their government know they are not pleased with the direction they are taking. So if the good lady wants to mock them, go right ahead. Keep it up. Keep denying the reality that the forty percent of the people who still pay taxes in this nation are tired of giving it away to the other sixty percent. This is her idea of democracy: six men and four women are in a room, a vote is held and the resolution passes by six to four that the men can rape the women.

Just remember one thing ma’am. You don’t know how to get the job done, whatever it may be. You don’t know how to create wealth, only how to destroy it. You couldn’t run a lemonade stand on a hot July afternoon on a busy street. Before you hold the earners in contempt, I recommend you get out of that Nieman Marcus store, roll up your sleeves, and do something productive for a change. You’d be surprised the level of anger you feel after working hard, earning a few dollars, and then watching it drain away according to the edicts sent from on high in Washington.

Finally, if the good lady is offended by the previous paragraphs then it only uncovers her internal denial of her own philosophy. After all, it is she who wants to roast the golden goose to have a fine dinner tonight at the loss of all those golden eggs in the future. But boy oh boy, doesn’t that goose taste good? Too bad hers is the one being cooked.

Viva la revolution!