Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bad Concrete?!!?

Yes it could be true. Last weekend we had one heckva’ storm here. It was our own little hurricane just north of me. They had a year’s worth of rain in 3 hours in Fasano (it wasn’t that bad here in Brindisi, but close)!! So, it wasn’t a hurricane but 7 people died when a bridge collapsed up there and the cars fell into a “temporary” river. There are no real rivers in Puglia (it’s that dry). Also a train derailed as one of the concrete storm drains was “weakened” by the rain and then collapsed when a train went over it. All this has lead to 2 investigations, according to the Brindisi Quotidiano, about the quality of the concrete used to make these structures and how they were built. While this was a really bad storm the bridge and the storm drain should not have "disappeared". You look at the photos in the paper and there is nothing left in either case. The entire bridge is gone and in other case there are only train tracks and railroad ties with nothing below it. You have to ask how was it anchored and made. I’ve seen some amazing pictures of rivers right up to bottom of a bridge and they hang on. My engineering side says this shouldn’t have happened. It will be interesting to hear updates on this. Other then that I won’t make any comments on concrete in Southern Italy. Well, except to say that the longest span suspension bridge is due to start next year to link Sicily to the Italian toe. Two areas where the mafia is…influential!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Expedia, my $#%#!

I say to never use Expedia to actually buy anything!! I was looking for a hotel in Indianapolis and the hotel that I wanted was full according to Expedia. I went to the hotel’s website, Marriott, and found there was no shortage of rooms and they were $20 cheaper a night. Now I expect Expedia to charge for their service but $20 a night is a little steep. I’ve also heard that you get the worst rooms through Expedia but I thought I would at least get a room. That’s my big whine for today. I know you can find deals on Expedia but I think that same deal is always someplace else too. I use Expedia to find a hotel or airline that has the service I need, then I go to that company’s website and make the reservation myself.
That problem aside, now I can think about coming home. I’ll be coming home after one of the longest stretches away (7 months). The funny thing is that my next trip should be home for Christmas so that could be one of the shortest times between trips.
A lot has changed for me in 7 months. I’m working more than ever. I’m busy chasing one woman, instead of many (and that works so much better to chase only one). And of course I just brought home Nello. He’s doing much better and grown so much he can’t get under the sofa anymore, and he doesn’t need to. He’s finally so comfortable that you give him a ball and as long it doesn’t get stuck under something he’ll play until he’s exhausted. Oh yeah, and my hair is a lot longer. That was part of reason for posting that photo of me yesterday. My hair is pretty long so I didn’t want to scare anyone who hadn’t seen me in long time. Well that’s about all for now. I have some serious Christmas shopping to do. If I can bring some gifts home now it will make my bags in December much lighter. I also want to get a new suit for Travis’s wedding. I haven’t bought a suit in a long time.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Me, because most of you haven't seen me for a while!!!

Here's a picture of me taken this weekend by Paola's friend Simone. His pictures have a way of making you look better than you are. Maybe he got my good side. I'll have to remember which side that is. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 17, 2005

Il Gatto

Now everyone has seen the picture of Nello, my new cat below. After 2 years in Italy I finally felt the need to have an animal for company. I don’t know why I want to complicate my life with him, but why not. The first night I was convinced he couldn’t stay. I knew he would feel scared and out of place for a while but I had no idea it would be so bad. But then a funny thing happened. Friday there was a strike at the plant. The day off work gave me time to bond with the little guy. I was very amazed at the progress he made in just a few hours. He still cries a little when we are separated and he tends to run at first when a big person approaches him but he is getting so much better. He now knows how to follow me and he knows that when I sit down to eat that I will have my hands occupied so he is free to try to jump up in my lap. And of course he knows he should not be on the table so he is determined to find out what goes on up there! I now realize why it’s so nice to have doors everywhere in the apartment. I can easily limit his access to rooms he doesn’t need to get into, like the kitchen!!!In the end I hope this is the start of good relationship. Nello seems to be the type of cat that will be very affectionate and a pain in the a**, but that’s part of experience.

Friday, October 14, 2005


Well look at my latest addition to my family. A friend at work said he needed a home and I volunteered mine. I may call hime "Nello" unless I can come up with a better Italian name. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Under the Old Olive Tree

Here is myself, Chris, and Emily taking a tour of the olive orchard then on to the factory that makes olive oil. Posted by Picasa

Cellphone Camera

This picture is a new era for me. I took this with my new cell phone. It has a 2 MP camera in it. Oh, the picture is Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Posted by Picasa