Thursday, June 30, 2005

Summer Vacation???!!!!

No! There will be no summer vacation for me. It seems there is good news and bad news today. The good news is my boss and the Italian bosses reached an agreement on some issues that have slowed the work I was doing down. The bad news is that means I’m should be busy for the next few months so there will be no summer vacation for me. Last year in August the plant closed for 2 weeks. I spent one week in Corfu and the other in Sardinia. Both were great trips but nothing like that this year. I had thought that I would be back in Indianapolis but not now.
The more I think about though the better this is. There are many good sides to this, like my plants and my Italian will benefit if I stay here. Also this should make it easier to get time off later in the year when people come to visit me and when I go home for my cousin’s wedding. I saw that there’s going to be big pizzica, pizzica (a local dance) festival in August. August is full of stuff like that because everyone is on vacation and it’s too hot to be inside. All this good stuff but I still would have liked to get back to the States to see friends and family but I guess that will have to wait until November now. September I have friends coming to visit but October is still available on a first come first served basis!! This weekend I’m heading to Rome. Play and little Ultimate and maybe I’ll go to the “Live 8” concert. I guess you’re not going to have any sympathy for me when I say things like this. No summer vacation…well boo hoo hoo for the guy going to Rome for the weekend. OOHHH Maybe I can finally see Star Wars in English….

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Corner Cafe

This cafe has to have one of the best little corners of Amsterdam. I need a caffe`... Posted by Hello


One of my favorite pictures from this past weekend. This bridge was covered with old people painting this scene. Some of them were pretty good. Posted by Hello


Here’s one for the record book. I’ve had two parking tickets since I moved here but now I have to add my first speeding ticket. This is how it went down. I received a fax from my lease car company and it seems that on September 4, 2004 I was doing the horrible speed of 96 km/hr (59 mph) in a 90 km/hr (55 mph). What a frickin joke!!! A speed camera caught me and yes it took almost a year for the ticket to get from the police to the lease car company to me. The lease car company automatically pays the ticket and then I pay them with a little more added in for the trouble. I’m a little upset. I find it incredible with the speeds people DO HERE ALL THE TIME. But if you look at when and where this happened then it all makes sense. Evidently this little speed trap is designed to get foreigners and someone should have warned me about it. Well now they have!!! Thanks guys… It’s on the road between Lecce and Gallipoli because you see there is a great beach near Gallipoli and the superstrada ends in Lecce. So they set this camera up every summer to catch out of towners (including Northern Italians) going to the beach and I imagine it’s pretty effective especially if they send you a ticket for going 4 mph over the speed limit. So the bottom line is people can go twice the speed limit down the street that I live on and almost kill little old ladies crossing the street but I can’t go 4 mph over the speed limit on 4 lane divided highway. Now I have to pay the lease car company 58.51 euro for this stupid ticket with 33.61 for the actual ticket but then there is a 12.91 postage charge and then 12 euro for the lease company. The only good thing is that it’s no points on my license because it was less than 10 km/hr over the limit. It was just like my parking tickets when the meter ran out on me. Hey, at least I park in a space instead of abandoning my car wherever I feel like it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Amsterdam di nuovo (again)

Hey, guess what everyone. I went off to Amsterdam this weekend. Another fun filled trip to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Don’t worry this is the last time I’ll be going there for a while as Paola won’t be there much for the next few months. The weather was incredible for Holland, low 80s and not a cloud in the sky. You know this doesn’t happen much because on Saturday the parks were full to the fences with pasty white people sunbathing. So again we stayed away from going in the museums, instead we walked the streets and along the canals enjoying the weather. The thing I really noticed was the sun didn’t set until very late. Without clouds there was still light after 10:30 PM. I just checked a weather site and sunset in Amsterdam is 10:06 PM with a sunrise at 5:16 AM (…that’s why I was so tired). Also related to the weather was the incredible numbers of boats on the canals. Last time I was there it was cold and rainy and the tour boats had the canals to themselves. This time it seemed anything that could float was a boat and it was chugging down the canals. Some of them had people with food and drinks and they were just out for a cruise. All the restaurants and bars had tables outside and that’s when it hit me how much beer they drink here. Granted a lot people are tourists but living in Italy I’m just not used to walking by a restaurant and seeing a big pint of beer in front of every person at every table. In Italy it will be wine, or small glasses of beer, or even coke. That’s some of my observations on this weekend. Maybe I’ll post a picture or two or maybe not. Some of them seem the same as the last time.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Ostuni by Day

Ostuni today. I know, "Not another picture of Ostuni", but today the air seemed clear and the city looked whiter than usual. Laura, I used my real camera to get this shot too. Posted by Hello

Fake photo

A sunset shot near Oria. These new grapes have a good setting with the trullo and olives all around. I doctored this photo to take out an object. Does something look off? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Power Play

There have been some strange electrical occurrences here in Brindisi the last few days. This weekend the power went out for the whole town around 11:00 PM (I can’t remember what night). I could see from my apartment that the whole area was dark. Then yesterday during a rain storm the power went out at work. I know this affected the whole town because I came home and had an ABC (Annoying Blinking Clock). Now today the weather is perfect and the power has just gone on and off several times. None of these power outages have been for more than a few minutes and none have occurred at the same time of day so there is no pattern to this. If I wasn’t using a laptop I would be very upset at work. I haven’t lost anything but everyone else has. Also it hasn’t been a problem at work because there are plenty of windows and sunlight so it’s no big deal when the lights go out. You know I feel we should get a discount when the power goes out. We pay to have it available so when it’s not they should pay us for the inconvenience.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Mystery Fruit Contest

What is this fruit? Seriously, I don't know what it is. It's like a blackberry or rasberry but not as sweet and white. Help me identify this fruit and maybe you'll win a prize.... Posted by Hello

Weekend Update

This weekend I didn’t do much but it was still a good weekend. No traveling to exotic cities or countries but ho visto Star Wars Episodio III: La Venditta di Sith. I say it that way because it was in Italian. It was difficult to understand but I knew enough of the story that it was easy to know what was going on. My biggest problem with the Italian version was when they changed the name of Darth Vader to “Darth Fenner”. I’m sorry but Fenner just doesn’t have the fear factor of “Vader”. Don’t get me started about Yoda. His Italian voice has no character to it. Anyway that was the highlight of my weekend. Part of the fun of the movie was when I found this “American Bar” attached to the movie complex in a nearby town. It was a like an American sports bar so I thought I would have a small Miller GD while waiting for the movie. The beer was positively awful. I don’t know if my taste in beer has changed of if their beer was just off. I guess I won’t know until I come home and try some there. I did some other not so interesting things like go to the beach, buy some new Italian clothes, and such.
Summer Fashion UpdateI think I have seen “the style” for men’s t-shirts this summer. It’s anything that has the word “Datch” on it. Last year it was anything with Brasil or San Paulo (usually green and yellow). I noticed this after I bought what I thought was a cool green and yellow t-shirt with random writing on it this year. I’ve always been amazed at what I see people wearing. Their t-shirt could say Cincinnati Reds but carry no logo that looks like the baseball team and be orange and blue or some other odd colors. There is also a growing number of t-shirts that say “Who the f*** is Dolce & Gabbana?” and they don’t use asterisks. That’s this week in fashion.