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2.0 settling in, 1.0 resurrecting itself in a minivan?

What is it you ask I am doing these days? Quite honestly, I don’t know. Trying to do something else with my life with very little guidance. This is the one thing I’ve truly followed through on. So much so that I can’t stop now. It’s getting real up in this parking lot.

Two beasts in the parking lot of the Bitchen Kitchen

People ask me all the time, how do I get me one of these things? A pizza oven trailer, and I laugh, sometimes just a smile, sometimes out loud guffawing, and I say, buddy, you don’t want one of these, much less two of them! Our new massive pizza oven is great, really working well for me. In the last month we’ve cranked out close to 1200 pizzas, our integrity is still there, the product is generally cooking faster, and we’re serving more pizza. Exactly what I had intended. Go big or go home was the motto, and I think that was the right decision.

Picking up the brand new commercial oven

Now that the death star is fully operational, its time to turn my focus back to the original trailer. It’s been hanging out at Linden St. brewery since the beginning of October. Just this week I went over there to check on it after the last round of rain, and we found a new place for it to live closer to the brewery itself. All the guys down there have been really excited, playing games of “will it bake” and keeping it warm for our Thursday nights. She can still make pizzas, it just shouldn’t be driven around too much right now.

Its fragile, and over Thanksgiving I’m going to get a crew in there to patch it up and see if we can’t get another 5000 pizzas out of it before we retire it completely. If we can make it through Summer and we can start running smaller gigs with that, then I can eventually pop that oven off, and replace it with a smaller version of our big oven. At least that’s the theory. The oven was designed to come off in the event of crumble-age. It’s funny after using the new oven, seeing it on Monday morning with a fire in it I was like, dang, how did we do all of that with this little oven? I’m still amazed.

1.0 Parked in its new spot at Linden St. Brewery

Before all of the last two years happened, and before I found shorty the short bus, I had been seeking the perfect Oven transporter, a minivan with All Wheel Drive, perhaps a Chevy Astro or GMC Safari to replace my Chevy S-10 Pickup. The pickup was a great Little 4 cylinder that I drove the crap out of for 15 years, but it was not designed to tow a small pizza oven around. That became obvious the third or fourth time i tried backing it up the driveway. I now know what bent bumper looks like and burnt clutch smells like…

I was surfing Craigslist every day for a new vehicle. For two months I was watching one Astro van from a nearby dealer with all the options I wanted. When I got the $$ to buy something, finally with capital in hand I ran down there and was told it had just been sold. Really, I just saw it online this morning? WTF? Well lucky for me, the ad for Shorty appeared the next day and that was that. Sold. Minivan put on hold, until last Monday.

$horty Too, the next pizza transporter

For the last couple months I was repeating the pattern, searching once again for the minivan of my dreams to resurrect the original oven and complete the original idea. Looked up a known purveyor of minivans and lo and behold, my lil Safari was parked smack dab in the middle of San Leandro. All wheel drive, tinted window mini cargo van with some shelving already in place. I found myself in San Leandro with a few hours to kill a couple weeks ago and decided to go take a test drive while i waited for Shorty’s new brake system and trailer wiring to be installed. The dealer was just a 20 minute stroll through one forgotten landscape. San leandro is a trippy place to say the least. The 70’s are calling and they want their decade back. I do kind of like it down there, it reminds me of much of the mid peninsula area i grew up in without the benefit of the Silicon valley boom, lying there waiting for a rediscovery.

Painted and awaiting Decals! Photoshop Comp

I bought the minivan and have named it $horty Too. My good mid peninsula friend Pete once again offered to do all the paint work on it, and viola, over a weekend and 1.0 is ready for a rebirth. A close match to Shorty’s stylings, with Flat black side panels, white top, and red grill and bumpers. The decals are coming in the next couple weeks, and we’ll be customizing it just a little more before we roll it out and start towing the old oven with it. New tires, painting the rims red, adding chrome rings, and outfitting the inside with the necessary gear to run a small party of up to 70-80 people. Our compact unit will be perfect for those awkward driveway situations, or renegade neighborhood record store parties, Mac N’ Cheese nights across from the patio at Beer revolution, and who knows what other trouble I can get us into. Stay tuned as we send two fists into the streets of Oakland and beyond!

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