Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cortogno Italy Chestnut Festival

This very tall man was a resident of the Cortogno Chestnut Festival in Italy this past weekend. There is nothing better than yummy freshly-roasted chestnuts! There are two varieties there, your normal chestnuts, called castagne, and marroni, which have a thinner, more easily peelable skin, though I found that the meat of the marroni is more apt to crumble easily. Both are quite good, though!

Videos and more photos from the Cortogno Festival can be seen by clicking here!

Rosco the Cat

Remember the kittens born in my sister's home? Well, this is Rosco, a little older but still a kitten. I shot this video of him doing battle with a nefarious clothesline. Too cute!

More kitten videos can be found by clicking here!


This is my second cousin Francesco, son of my cousin Paola and her husband Dario, who I also consider family as much as a blood relative would be. They are salt of the Earth, a wonderful couple and their home is filled with love. Francesco is a lucky little boy.

More family photos and videos can be seen by clicking here!

Honey Man

This is my friend Davide's dad. He's a beekeeper over in Italy and harvests the honey. That's a piece of comb honey he's holding. I thought it was pretty cool so I took this photo.

Marola Chestnut Festival

These ladies were manning ((or is it womanning?) a booth at the Marola Chesnut Festival. I decided to make them world-famous by posting their photos here on my blog. Hollywood, here they come!

More photos from the Marola Festival? Click here!

The Black Hand...Found!

Outside my mother's hospital, I noticed this sign. Now, for those of you who don't know, the organized crime mafia in Naples is also called La Mano Nera - The Black Hand. Though nowhere near Naples, it appears that this hospital has been infiltrated by the Black Hand, if this sign is any indication. Surprisingly, the Black Hand also is telling us that we are not allowed inside unless we're workers. Maybe they're going legit?

Would You Buy This?

So there I was in the hospital, getting hungry, and didn't want to leave mom for long, so I thought I'd hit the snack machine. Special K bars are pretty good and not very caloric, only...why was the next one in line opened and partially eaten? No wrapper, and teeth marks...yum.

Click the photo to see the weirdness in its full glory.

Ideas? Theories?

Osama is Calculating...?

I saw this in a friend's home and looked twice, then thrice, to make sure my eyes weren't tricking me. An Osama calculator? Of course, I know and you know that Osama is a very common name in some parts of the world, and I'm sure this has nothing to do with that other Osama, but I still had to wonder!

Inspiration...For You!

I get videos like this sometimes from friends and normally I just save them for myself for when I need a little pick-me-up, a little bit of inspiration. This one I just had to share.

A Strange Combination

I saw this restaurant in Milan, Italy, this past Monday. I did a double-take. This restaurant serves Chinese and South American food. What? I've never seen that combination in a restaurant. I studied geography in high school, and I'm fairly certain that the Chinese people and people of South America are in totally different areas of the world! They may not even share a border!

I can only imagine the scene: a flight from Beijing to Buenos Aires. In seat 22A, Wenxin starts chatting with Pablo, who's seated in 22B. Pablo tries to tell Wenxin (in Spanish) that he doesn't understand Chinese, to which Wenxin (in Chinese) tries to tell Pablo that he doesn't speak Spanish. They stop talking.

An hour later, the flight attendants bring them their meals. They each notice the other scowling at the airline food at which point they both look at each other with delight - OMG, you're a foodie too and you can't stand bad food! They start walking up and down the aisle, looking for a passenger who could speak both Chinese (Mandarin, naturally) and Spanish (Argentinian dialect). It turns out there are about 50 people on board that fit the bill and so they choose the prettiest among them (I won't say if it is a man or a woman) and they proceed to discuss opening a restaurnat that served both Chinese and Argentinian food. Not good enough, they decide, it has to be food from ALL of South America.

But where to open it? Why, the only fair thing to do is to open it halfway between China and South America - Milan, Italy! So they both decide to learn Italian with bad Chinese / Argentinian accents and open a restaurant. The translator they have found is looking for a job so they hire her (OK, it's a woman! sheesh!) as the receptionist. She didn't really want to move to Milan, though, because her husband has a high-level government job in Buenos Aires, so they decide to use modern technology and let her be a receptionist virtually through a video feed. From the comfort of her home, through a laptop sitting at the reception desk in the restaurant, she greets customers coming in and asks them the usual questions. She then asks one of them to pick up the laptop and turn it around so she can direct them to their table. Once seated, she asks one of them to bring her back to the reception desk.

So far, so good...sort of!

P.S. Sorry about the scaffolding in front of the restaurant. I asked the workers to move it so I could take a good photograph for my blog and they responded by saying I could put the blog someplace. I didn't catch the place.

One Animal, Two Animals, Three Animals There Be

Walking my dog today I came across a strange animal. It's definitely not a mammal, fish insect or bird, so that leaves amphibian or reptile. It has a very hard shell, but it's not a snail. It was able to make its legs, tail and head invisible - like, totally gone! What the heck is it? Somebody told me it's called a turtle, a name that certainly sounds made up to me! They also said it makes a good soup, but I don't think so - it's too small to reach the top of the stove or stir a pot. I don't know what it would put in the soup, but it also looked to be so slow that I would be mighty hungry before it was done cooking the soup.

Anyway, I decided to bring my guinea pigs outside to the backyard to compare the so-called turtle with the guinea pigs to see if the turtle was really a different kind of guinea pig, but I don't think so. Anyway, I gave up. I picked up the turtle and threw it as hard as I could - KIDDING! I brought my guinea pigs inside and then watched this strange creature from my window. It didn't move at all and its body parts remained invisible. I got bored after watching it for 30 seconds and went to do other stuff. An hour later I went back and it was gone - GONE. So it either was able to make the rest of itself invisible or it's also able to fly, although if I could fly, I would want people to see me do it, because that would be cool. So it probably can't fly, it can just make itself invisible. Which I guess is also kind of cool.