Friday, January 28, 2005


“No Basket Ability” was a good quote after the first meeting of the Avio employees experiment into basketball. On Monday night Fiorentino, Mauro, and myself took on Fabio, Domineco, and Giuseppe in some “from the street” style hoops action. While none of us had much ability and trash talking was a little weak we did have fun. We got off to a bad start when we arrived at the location and they said we didn’t have the court reserved. After a 10-minute discussion it was agreed that since no one was using it, we could. Then there was only one ball that could bounce and again we were lucky because it was a little smaller than a regulation ball so I think that helped our scoring. The highlight was when I made a 3 pointer and then Giuseppe had to answer with one of his own. Meanwhile Fiorentino and Domineco battled under the basket and showed signs of real basketball talent. Mauro and Fabio should be called “the hackers” so we let them cover each other. Needless to say this is going to be a Monday night tradition from now until the weather gets warmer… Then we’ll go back to playing soccer where we are all a little more comfortable.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Salento Coast

Salento Coast near Torre dell'Orso. Is it goofy to say I like the blues and greens in this photo? Look carefully for the stairs carved in the rock going down to the sea. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Lorikeet at the Newport Aquarium. I needed to add some bright colors to this blog in these winter months. Posted by Hello

Puglia 2005

Well I’m back in Italy and things have changed in the month that I was gone. The biggest change is the no smoking law I mentioned in my last blog. This is good and bad. One of the reasons I would call it a night at the Big Ben was because the smoke started getting thick. Now I have no reason to go home. That could be bad. Poor Ottavio has to go outside his own bar to smoke. On the good side it doesn’t seem to have hurt business. And it is so nice not have to worry about where I sit. I had found a particular place at the bar where it seemed the smoke would go straight up so I wouldn’t get it straight from someone else. Now that knowledge is useless. The bar also now has a computer that they use to surf the web during the slow hours and it controls the music. No more diving thru stacks of CDs looking for what they want to play. Daniele loves showing this new toy to everyone.At my house things have changed too. The island near the wall in front of my building has been landscaped (check it out on the webcam, I gave you the address last year). It has a desert motif with brown gravel, cacti, and succulents. I would say it looks pretty good. Let’s see if it can withstand dogs and people. Also the store in my building has finally opened. It has expensive furniture from India and Southeast Asia. I haven’t been inside yet because I do need some new furniture. The biggest news for me on the personal front is my TV has more channels now. I know you don’t think that’s big. Last year I bought a little box that’s called “terrestriale cable”. Until now it all it did was make the channels I had come in better but now by magic it has about 7 new channels, which makes the total about 13. But of those, one is BBC World. Now I have a channel in English (real English at that). It’s perfect because I can get the news, but it’s not real interesting (I really don’t care what Prince Harry has done this week) so I won’t watch it much. This box also has a card that’s like pay per view. You put money on the card and then put it in your box. When you want to watch something like an important soccer match you select it and it deducts the price from your card. Never a monthly bill, I love that. This card thing hasn’t been available in my area until now. So the next Juventus vs. Inter match means a party at my house…

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Learn something new...

Well I don’t understand this. I was trying to translate something from Italian to English and I kept getting “to drink a toast” for some strange reason. So I typed “toast” in my Collins translator and guess what came back, “brindisi”. I don’t know why no one told me the town I live in means toast (as in a speech given with a drink, not the burnt bread thing). I would have thought that SOMEBODY in Brindisi would have thought that this is a fun fact to share with Americans. I assumed it didn’t mean anything since no one said anything. Also “brindare a” means “to drink to”, now this is something I could use. I’ve tried other town names but they seem to not mean anything, unless it’s really obvious like Alberobello, which means “beautiful tree”. I knew that one a long time ago.
I also want to put this blog up before I’m back in Italy because I have been reading articles about the new law in Italy that prohibits smoking in public buildings (some exceptions for places with sufficient air circulation blah, blah, blah). Will the Big Ben be smoke free? The news articles make it sound like a big deal but I have a feeling I won’t see a difference. I really don’t notice people smoking inside that much. That may be because the weather is normally nice enough for people to go outside and smoke. A lot of them already do out of courtesy for others. I know it’s hard to believe. I guess the streets may have more cigarette butts in them as more people go outside and throw their cigarettes down EVEN MORE than they do now. There are two sides to every rule. I’ll come back to this subject next week.

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Year

I’ve been back in the States a while now and the holidays are over so I guess it’s time to reflect back on what has happened. I went around and did a lot of things I’ve been planning to do. What are the highlights? I mean besides gifts and tons of snow. Let’s see. After Christmas I finally made time to hang out Newport Aquarium and I got to go behind the scenes because of family connections. I’m so cool. Then I had dinner with some college friends and ended the day staying at my brother’s place. It was great and unique chance to hang out with my brother and my future sister-in-law. The next day I went on to my sister’s (and Kent’s) place for a night. We did some light hiking and good eating. I managed to make it back to Indianapolis in time for a New Year’s Party at a friend’s house. You can see photos of this party at I stayed with them rather than drive around late at night after New Years. In the end I was out of hotel room for 4 straight nights so I guess I should have checked out and then checked back in. Now, it’s Sunday and all is calm. Tomorrow I go into work for a little while before heading back. I’m getting antsy to head back to where my stuff is. I guess I’m also ready to go back to Italy because I know I’ll be back here in March for my brother’s wedding. My work visa has already come in the mail so I can go back except for a few things that I need to get done here first.