Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Zoom, Zoom

The kids and their scooters. Kent is doing his best to catch these speedsters with a digital camera. Not easy to do with the delay those cameras have.

Water, Where's the water?

Nello has a new game where he will play with water as it's coming out of the tap. It seems he could play for hours then he sits and waits for it come on again. It's a good game for the hot weather and a thirsty cat.


This is a good artistic shot Kent took of Valiero's Vespa outside the store. I'm not sure who that is in motion outside.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A bad day at the beach....

is better than a good day at work. Well maybe… A good day at work is never painful. Well, I was very eager to show Lori and Kent how great the beach was when you can go swimming. In the past they have only been here when it’s too cold . So Saturday morning we go out to Torre Gauceto. We get everything setup and then Lori and I go out snorkeling. We were observing all the cool fish, sea urchins and etc while looking for an octopus. The water was pretty calm and clear. I was taking a rest on the rocks when a jellyfish stings me. Now it hurt pretty badly but I made the situation worse because when I reacted I scrapped my leg on the rocks AND I stepped on a sea urchin. So I struggle back to the beach to see one heck’va welt on my side, a good cut on the calf of my leg, and pieces of black sea urchin spines in my foot!!! Not a good day at the beach. We stayed for a few more hours trying to get just enough sun but not too much (I felt a little burnt Saturday night). We threw some Frisbee and I think people were paranoid the whole time that we would hit them, but we didn’t. Come on people! We’re professionals! Can’t you tell by our cool catches and smooooth throws! One thing we noticed was that Saturday morning is family time at the beach. There were a lot of parents with kids, and then they would go home for lunch and a lot of older kids moved in around 3:00 PM. So on Sunday we went around 4:00 PM and had a much better time. No new aches or pains and the sun was a little lower and not so inclined to burn us. We threw the Frisbee with some of my friends and even met a few new people that were pretty good throwers right off the bat. I was impressed. Last night was a pretty good concert in a town down the street. This afternoon is the Italy game and hopefully I’ll get to take them to my gym after the game if it’s open. Forza Italia!!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


EEEGGGHHHADDSS!! I mentioned summer arrived in my last blog and I wasn’t crazy. The high temperature today is predicted to be 38C, for you Americans that’s the big 100F. Also still there is no sign of rain in the forecast. Although, this is good for the olives from what they say. You need a good blast of hot and dry weather to make them right. At least that’s why the Greeks say their olives are better.
Well the sister and brother-in-law arrive today and Italy plays its most important World Cup game so there is a lot going on, but none of it at work. I plan on leaving after lunch because the game starts at 16:00 and I need to clean the apartment up a little.
Other news, I owe my “gommista” a coffee. I went in yesterday to see if the rental car company “approved of” the idea of getting new tires on the car. He was having computer problems so me and another guy tried to help him out. I wasn’t much help but the other guy got it all set up perfect for the gas station. It was another one of those crazy situations I get myself into. I’m in the backroom of the gas station (well it’s at least a gas station, tire place, car wash etc…) trying to help get the guy connected to the Internet so he can see the email from the rental car company about my car. No response about the tires but I did get a fuse changed in my car and my air conditioning system checked. That station is hilarious. When you start talking and you never know what will happen. I have to go there from now on. It kind of reminds me of the gas station from “The Andy Griffin Show” only bigger with a lot more going on. It’s complete with a very dirty dog that I can’t help but pet. Oh and I owe him a coffee for the fuse.

Monday, June 19, 2006

No one is out yet!!!

So the soccer world is crazy right now. Italy and the US tied on Saturday, which makes the group wide open. Right now whoever wins their game on Thursday goes through. Italy has the lead in points so they have the added advantage that if Italy ties the Czech Republic then they still go through. But if Italy and the USA both win then they both go thru to the next round. That would really amazing. So everything is waiting until Thursday when the USA and Italy both play at 16:00 so I’ll call in "sick" to work that day (but I can’t watch the USA game). Hopefully the next day I’ll be “sick” too…
I didn’t do much this weekend. It was very hot and I felt really lazy. I should have gone out to the beach but I’m not really in any hurry. I know there will be plenty of chances to go and the water is probably really cold. I’ve headed out early in the season before and the water was too cold to stay in and beach was an inferno. In the end I was burned out on the beach by mid-August last year. This year in August I would like to head to Northern Europe to escape the heat and beaches for a while. I think by then I will want some cool air and see some places I’ve never seen before like in Scandinavia or Russia. We’ll see. It’ll depend on work and Nello. It may be impossible to find someone to watch him if everyone’s on vacation at the same time.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Summer arrived yesterday!! Yes we’ve been whining and complaining about how cool and wet it has been and I think summer heard us, finally. It’s hot today and they are predicting 90s this weekend with no sign of rain. That sounds like summer. So now at work it’s hot just sitting here. Incredible. The sea is still going to be cold this weekend but if it’s in the 90s then I’m in the water.
Also today I notice the heat more than ever. I rode my bike to work. You know how I mentioned the road construction appeared to be done, well I was wrong. There is one more street to do and yesterday they closed it (but just in one direction) creating a huge traffic jam. People couldn’t understand why they couldn’t go down the street like they did yesterday, myself included. So after taking a long way around last night I decided to ride my bike today. I think I can actually get to work faster by bike then by taking a car. It’s also less dangerous to ride my bike because all the cars are sitting still on street.
There have been a lot of birthdays lately. Last night it was Andrea who is the opposite of me. He is an Italian who rides a Harley and I’m an American who drives an Alfa Romeo. I think both combinations are pretty rare. So he wears Levis and Harley clothes while I wear “Baci e Abbracci” and Dolce and Gabbana. We were talking last night and I want to meet his parents because they live on a farm where they grow all their own food. We’re not talking just fruits and vegetables but meat (pigs, goats, sheep, and rabbits) and they make their own cheeses and who knows what else. Sounds like a lot of work so I’m interested to see how they do it in this day and age. Does modern technology help?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Last but not least an olive tree that needs a little help. I think I remember where this is. It's not far (maybe 15 minutes) from out in the country. Posted by Picasa

Quante colonne?

Now I'm pretty sure I haven't put this up. There are actally 4 corner towers still standing. I just didn't pick my spot well. This is now a restuarant. What's left that is (it's called "Le Quattro Colonne"). Posted by Picasa


Another classic but I may have put this up before. This is out at Torre Gauceto. I remember when I couldn't spell Torre Gauceto much less say it right. Posted by Picasa

Lecce, di nuovo

I feel I need some photos up so I pulled this one out of the archives. It's the bell tower of the Duomo in Lecce. I believe it's the tallest south of Rome (in Italy). Posted by Picasa


Well it’s begun. The World Cup. Last night the USA lost it’s first match getting killed by the Czech Republic. They showed some skills but we are still years behind. I had a bunch of friends over for the Italy-Ghana game and it was a blast. The game was much more entertaining with the Italians winning 2-0. Tonight was big Brazil-Croatia game and I was looking forward to it because I know so many players from he Brazilian team but they were a big disappointment, despite winning 1-0. I was actually pulling for Croatia at the end because they were playing so much harder but every shot was right in the middle of the goal where the keeper was. In fact the only shot that was good the whole game was the one by Kaka that scored the goal. All the other shots were wide or right in the middle. Maybe I’ve seen too many commercials with Ronaldino. I was expecting more but even the announcers were saying that they were disappointed.
I’m dreading the USA-Italy game. Whatever happens I’ll be getting **** after. Well I’ve missed two nights at the gym watching games so I’ll try to better and only watch games that really matter. OOHH Germany plays Poland tomorrow!!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Che peccato!!

The first Monday back and that’s when things start to fall back into place after a trip to the USA, but there is trouble right here in Brindisi provincia! The biggest problem of the moment is that “Alla Corte di Bacco” is closed. I forgot about this or chose to block it out until it happened while I was gone. Ottavio is working on a new place but somehow I thought “di Bacco” would stay open. It is a huge crime as it’s my favorite place to hang out not just because I know everyone there but I like the whole setup of the bar. A long bar on one side with plenty of tables and even a little balcony section because the ceiling is so high and of course “volta a stella”, which means arched in two directions so you get kind of a star shape in the middle of the room. The place is so good it even has endless outdoor seating because the back of it opens up to the farmers market (that’s empty at night), that’s why I can’t believe the owner is going to let it sit idle until September from the rumors I here. In the US there are too many capitalists like myself that would never let that happen. Oh well, I hear Ottavio’s new place will open soon so I’ll let you know what it’s like when I see it.
The weekend was pretty good but a little cool. We should be heading to the beach by now. I hear I missed a false start to summer two weeks ago. Everyone went to the beach while I was sweating away in the USA. I did go see Sud Sound System in Lecce last night and I didn’t get home until 2:30 AM but it was worth it and I’ll catch up on my sleep tonight.
More bad news this weekend though, the niece of Gina (the lady that cleans my place and sells me fruits and vegetables), was hit and killed by a truck as she was crossing the street. It is a terribly sad story as she was 32 and had a 5-year-old daughter. I think I may have met her once in the store but I’m not sure. I haven’t seen Gina since it happened.
On a brighter note, it looks like all the construction on the roads in town is complete. It made for one interesting day when all the streets that had changed directions were changed back to their normal state. I hope it stays like that.
Also on the brightest note it appears that my contract here will be extended another 2 years!! Most of you already know. I haven’t signed anything but my host company is happy and we are starting to get work done so there is no reason to change what’s working. It would throw a big wrench in the system if someone new were to come in now. Also hanging out with Marco and friends has made for some of the best times here. I’m doing things that I wish I were doing 2 years ago when I got here. I have to thank Nello for that. Getting that cat has kept me in town more and so I’m around to hang out with friends on the weekend. You can’t make friends if you’re not around.
Enough for now…

Friday, June 02, 2006

Back Home

The backyard garden at my parents house. Most of the plants have lost the spring flowers by now. I bet all that phlox looked good. Posted by Picasa

Nice view

The view from my hotel window in Indianapolis. I was on the 16th floor of the newest hotel in town and I must say it was really nice. Now I want a 42 inch plasma TV like the one in the room!! Posted by Picasa
This is the Sunday before Memorial Day and we had a great Bar-B-Q at my cousins house. We had beer, hamburgers, hot dogs, fishin' , cornhole and sun which is more than enough to make great day. This picture is his garage, the house is behind me and a little hard to get a good picture of with all the trees. Posted by Picasa
Indy Car preparing for Pole Day at the Indy 500. Yes I got to into the Pit area. Posted by Picasa