Thursday, November 30, 2006

Old phots from Italy

I was transferring photos from the PC to the mac when I came across some photos from our trip to Italy with Roy and Tif. I picked out two from Venice that I like. Then I found the picture of the bag of biscotti that was wicked good. Lucky for me, mio fratello wants to know what kind of biscotti to bring back for me and now I have a picture of the yummies!! Jeffo, see below.
This a view from the Doge's Palace looking out of the canal. I developed a fancy for lightposts while I was over there and I particularly like this one.

Some of you may recognize this picture of the door and canal because we have it blown up and hanging on our wall. We had it printed on canvas so it looks like it could be a painting. Our friend Lincoln Castricone has a professional printer for this sort of thing. Unfortunately he moved away from Athens so we can't use his services as easily.

Thanks to Tif for taking this picture. Jeff, this is it. I know it won't pack as well as the some of the other brands, but if you could bring back a few bags, I would be grateful. Grazie!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Photos from South Carolina

Here is one of those amazing Charleston homes we saw along Battery Park. Not a bad little crib.

Sunset at Edisto Beach.

Another house in Charleston.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

South Carolina

We are in Edisto Beach, South Carolina visiting the Butlers. It's been a great trip so far. We had turkey and football on the greatest holiday ever. (See Jeff's blog for more info on that) Yesterday, we drove into Charleston, South Carolina and spent the day walking around. Very beautiful town. The houses are amazing. The history is fabulous. And the weather was perfect. We'll post pictures later.

After Charleston we had dinner at Folly Beach and watched the sun go down. Then we went to see a christmas light display at a local state park. Here are some fun pictures we took there. The R2-D2 picture is part of a gingerbread constant. I guess the kid won third place in his division. Of course, if you know us, that kid would have won outright. I don't know who these judges are, but they obvious don't kow a smart, creative, thinking-outside-the-box kind of kid. So a stick to the judge and a carrot to the kid.

This is a fun picture of Kent.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bye Bye Baker

This is Baker Center, known to OU Alumni as the student center. Here you could find a friendly coffee house with open stages, a rec room with pool, ping pong and air hockey, and office and meeting space. Most importantly, there is the Baker Center Ballroom, where we had our wedding reception. Well, all this is going, going, gone... OU has built a new and improved (it has an escalator) student center. And this building will eventually we torn down. Sad. yes. Progress. I guess. These students today demand higher quality than those of yore. We were happy with a crumbling building with no A/C and heat that barely worked. It's charming. But that won't do anymore. There must be moving objects and fancy lights to awe and inspire.
This is the new Baker University Center. Notice the slightly different name. It sits at the end of South Court Street (that would be the very top left) and Bird Arena (which would be off to the right). They had the foresight to include some parking too. As mentioned before, this building will house the only escalator in Athens county. Maybe all of southeast Ohio. who knows. This picture was probably taken from the Richland Ave. bridge. I don't know because I didn't take it. But my housemate probably did. He's the university photographer. I could ask him but he's not home right now. He probably took the other photo too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Few more autumn photos around Athens

This photo is a somewhat blurry, but I love this grocery store. Seamans is locally owned and they have great amish cheeses. Supposedly their meat selection is devine, but I wouldn't know.
Another fall color shot for all you out there who enjoy such things.
This is the Athens County Courthouse in the setting sun.

College Football

What a week for college football. Some big games starting today. WV is playing Pitt tonight. That's a shout out to my friends the Prudiches (in Athens and abroad), who I know follow the Mountaineers. They were winning last I looked. yeah. Then there is OSU-Michigan this saturday. blah blah blah. That might actually be an interesting game. And of course, the OU-Akron game going on right now.

I just came home from the OU-Akron game. Oh it's still going on. I left after half time. It's a long standing tradition at Ohio. You leave after the band plays. However, OU was winning at half. In fact, if they win this game, they could go to a bowl game. The bobcats have come a long way in the past 15-20 years. I guess they're kind of good now...but I still go to watch the band.

While walking home I saw a funny sight. It was a dark and stormy night...really it was. And I turn the corner onto Rardin Ave. and there in the window is a christmas tree. All lit up and decorated. It's November 16th for crying out loud. The funny thing is, is that the jack-o-lanterns are still rotting on the front porch. Clean up from one holiday before you start the next people. So that's my rant for today.

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Weekend Update

Sunday, 6:45 PM and I am pooped. We had a busy weekend and we didn't even leave Athens. But we got a lot of stuff done around the house. On Friday, we attempted to put up an antenna on the house in the hopes of getting one of the big three from Huntington, WV. We were unsuccessful, but did manage to get PBS out of the station half a mile away. Wahoo. Antique Roadshow, here I come. Other weekend events included cleaning the house, putting up plastic in the windows (cause it's frickin' cold now!), and going to OU Volleyball games. OU won again and again. They are so sweet. Something new to the games this year is the OU marching band alumni that still live in the area are playing during timeouts and between games. They still do the dances and everything. Very fun.

This is Kent with the new bobcat mascot "Rufus". Not sure what I think about it yet. The old one was kind of dumpy looking but this one looks like it's going to kill you with its evil laser eyes.

We also went to the final show at the Front Room in Baker Center on Saturday. OU has built a new student center and it opens next quarter therefore Baker Center as we know will no longer exist. The Front Room used to be a bar, but was downgraded to a coffee house around 1988 when the drinking age was raised. It had a stage and quaint setting where open stages were held every friday night, and concerts on Saturdays. Yesterday, people (mostly locals) packed the house to watch some of their favorite bands who have performed here. Our friend, Tony Xenos, played. This is him below.

It was a fun show and Tony rocked. Too bad Plastic Pie couldn't reunite one more time for the show. No one can resist singing along to Flipper the Dolphin. oh well, I guess I'll always have my memories.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The German Experience

This is the Mosel River Valley in Germany. It is well known for its wine. It also reminds me of Cincinnati, with the hills and the river. We stayed in Traben-Trarbach which is the next picture.

T-T is two villages that was incorporated into one city/town. I don't think it qualified as a city to the Germans because of its age, which is hilarious because there were buildings that dated back to the 1500's.

We spent a day and a half here with our good hosts, Dietrich and Ingeborg. I found this lovely couple through couchsurfing dot com. Couchsurfing is a site that allows those with accounts to contact others with accounts in the hopes of securing a place to stay in their particular part of the world. You can offer a couch, pull out bed or even entire guest room (if you have it, which they did). You can type in the area in which you are visiting and (hopefully) a number of hosts come up. You then read their profiles and select someone who may have similar interests. We chose this couple because they seemed low key and not into partying. (Most users are in their twenties.) Dietrich even volunteered to pick us up at the airport. On the way to T-T, he gave us a tour of the area and mini history lesson. We visited 2 castle ruins which overlooked the city and then walked around the town a bit. We even visited a friend who owns a winery. All this before lunch. Dietrich then proceeded to take us to his house. This is when it got interesting. You see, Dietrich is an Ayurvedic Doctor at a five star resort spa. (This is not on his profile.) So we pull into the gated community with thermal spas and tennis courts. We unload our stuff and go to the hotel for lunch and a short tour. Now is a good time to mention that this is only our second day in Europe so we are still a little jet lagged not to mention, it had probably been a day or two since I showered. Considering we packed very little, I was wearing (and I think Kent was too) zip off pants and a lime green t-shirt. Not five star material. But hey, I'll never see these people again right?!! So here we are having lunch with other employees of the resort. A few spoke english so we could converse a little. (Plus mein deutsch est zehr gut.)

The whole Germany experience was amazing and we couldn't have been happier with our guests. They were both delightful and insightful to all things German. The next day, they treated us with a traditional German breakfast and a very nice dinner before we flew off. We also enjoyed a bike ride in the afternoon. We visited another town where they had a friend who just opened a natural foods store. (we bought chocolate, the natural kind)
Dietrich and Ingeborg on the ferry we took on our bike ride. The ferry only takes bikes (and people) across the Mosel River. I think it cost 1 euro.

We would love to explore the Mosel River region again sometime. Maybe on bikes, as there are bike paths connecting the cities. It is very beautiful and green and clean. We highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I wanted to see how a panoramic shot would look on the blog.
A rest stop along the Ring of Kerry in Ireland.

Ride at Lodi

This is a photograph taken in the city of Lodi which is in the Gargano Peninsula in Italy. My King's Island pals will recognize the fuzzy image as a ride known as the Zephyr. In Lodi, we happened upon a community festival celebrating some saint or another. And no festival is complete without dizzying rides. Now, the Italians have added a new dimension to this fan favorite. That is, the ribbon. You may be able to make out a little pink fuzz in the upper left hand corner. It is indeed a ribbon and the object of the ride is to grab the ribbon and you get a free ride. So here we are, kids are enjoying the ride, swinging around in circles and maybe grabbing the ribbon. Well, these kids have it down. They work in pairs where one kids holds the other's chains and puts his feet on the seat of the swing. This kid gradually gives more and more push to the other. With the right timing, the pusher swings the other kid out (while still holding on to the chains) with his feet. The grabber kid grabs the ribbon. The same two kids kept winning, but they had plenty of competition. They kept winning because, the pusher was wearing thick gloves which enable him to hold on to the swing. It was quite enchanting as we watch this for a good 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election day

Go out and vote!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Hey everyone, it's Jeff's birthday on November 6. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to Jeffo. Happy Birthday to you. (pretend like it's Nonna singing into your answering machine. That should make you smile.)

Weekend Update

We had a very busy weekend. Friday night we had dinner and a play with our good friend Carol. We saw "A Comedy of Errors" at the OU Theatre. It was very well done. If you are in Athens this weekend, go and see it. Saturday morning, we awoke early and drove to Cincinnati. We met my Mom at the Contemporary Art Museum. Two of the 4 floors were closed, so it kind of sucked. Too bad the website didn't mention that. Not to waste a trip downtown, we walked down to the square and over to Carew Tower. That place has changed alot. Then we went up to Findlay Market to buy yummy cheeses and olives and a cookie. On our way out, a guy with one bag of salad left sold it to us for a buck. Dyn-0-mite. That was a sweet score.

That night we went to a play with the folks. We saw "1776", stage managed by Nicola Romelli Burgun and starring Kevin Kunz. Another enjoyable production. We didn't think they could make the signing of the declaration of Independence into a musical but anything is possible. And we came out knowing a little more about our nation's history.

Sunday, we got to spend time with Tracey, Joe, JT and Aunt Cheri. We hadn't seen the Novotni family in a long time so it was nice to catch up with them. Plus we got to spend time with Nonna too. All and all a great weekend.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Gym

I managed to find my way back to the gym Wednesday. The weather here was cold and sour. I was not very motivated to run outside. I guess that my body and mind have not yet acclimated to the frigid wind that accompanies winter.

Yes, it is November in Athens. A month which is similar to March. A mixture of nice sunny days, which are cold in the morning and pleasant by afternoon. A cold spell hit us this week, but we are likely to experience some more good weather next week...60's, I hear.

While at the gym, I mindlessly hopped aboard the treadmill to pound away the time. As I was running, in-place, I thought how odd this whole experience is. Although I have done it many times before, it had been a while and seemed foreign. The machine that I had hoped to use was broken, and all of the other cool, new, heavy duty treadmills were occupied by walkers and joggers. I am a serious athlete. I want to use serious equipment. Yet I was forced to succumb to use the piddly, smaller, older, sorry treadmill. The one that looks like the gym purchased on sale for $ 12.99 from some back-woods yard sale.

So there I was, knocking out the miles, on this happless machine....and I felt inferior as I looked around me....the other joggers and walkers towering above me on their bigger, fancier, cooler treadmills. I tried not to notice. I attempted to distract myself by viewing the tv. Unfortunately, I only had two TVs to chose from. One was tuned to some sports talk show, and the other one had the news on. Both TVs were absent of volume. My focus wained. I looked around the room....trying not to make eye contact for fear of being labeled a starer. But this is nearly impossible because the other workout machines are all on top of each other, staring at me.

After 20 minutes on the treadmill, paying my dues, I jumped off. Have you ever noticed that those first few steps on solid ground feel so weird? I felt as if I was floating, or that if I so desired, I could do the moon-walk better than Michael Jackson. Ahh, the gym. Good for the mind? Good for the body. - KENT

Shameless Plug

I was listening to the BBC this morning and they were talking about overfishing. This reminded me of an organization that Pam works for, National Coalition for Marine Conservation. It's website is Check it out. This is another good one,

Thursday, November 02, 2006

a request

Yes, we do take requests. Marco asked us to write about our trip to Italy in which we met some amazing people. We spent 4 weeks this summer in Europe, and 3 of those weeks were with Jeff in Brindisi.

This is a picture we took one night outside the famous gelateria "Vertigo". Marco and I are getting the bunny ear treatment. Italian-style. Kent is in the back row, 2nd from left next to Jeffo.

Walking around Brindisi with Jeff is like walking around Athens with Kent. He knows everybody. And everybody knows him. He should run for mayor. We stop at the pizza place outside his apartment to chat about the soccer game. We run into people from work while walking the passengata (sp?).

Since this blog entry is inspired by Marco (the Russian) Russo, we will share with you, the reader, some of our fond memories of Italy.

We are by no means experts on Italian culture, however, we know what we see, and what we like!!! ....and boy, do we like Gelato!!!! which is the Italian version of ice-cream. Summertime in Italy means gelato, going to the beach (spiaggia) [or as they like to say, going to the sea], free outside evening concerts and World Cup Soccer (this year). We were fortunate enough to enjoy watching the world cup games, in Italy, with Jeff Gromen, and his Italian friends, who we now joyfully consider our friends as well. Forze Azzurri !!! Spending time in another culture is fun, exciting and a wonderful learning oportunity. It can also be a bit humbling when you cant speak the language very well. Having said that, Please (per favore) and Thank-you (grazie) are a good start and is usually well received.

One of Lori's favorite memories is when we were hanging out at the Vertigo around midnight (the Italians love to spend late evenings as the night cools off during the hot summers) and Alto Marco was attempting to teach Kent the word "merde", which means "shit". In order to pronounce the word correctly, one must learn to rollllll the R. What made it more difficult to pronounce was the huge grin on Kent's face. It is nearly impossible to say the word merde or to roll the R with a smile. After a few minutes of Kent trying unsuccessfully and everyone laughing along with him, he broke down and shouts out "Va fon cula (sp?)", which we cant translate for fear of censorship....and that our mothers read this blog.

The Va fon cula response seemed to deliver a favorable and spontaneous laugh out of everyone. Alto Marco noted jokingly, that his English is as good as Kent's Italian. Not so good. Capisci.