About Me

I am a 45 year husband and dad, currently adjusting to life back in the United States after living in Italy for a little over two years. I love spending time with my family, cycling, model railroading, mosaics and watching TV and movies.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Acccording to a news post"Strong overseas sales put fizz in Coca Cola's 4Q" I'm afraid I may be partly to blame for that. Since we moved to Italy my consumption of Coca Cola has increased significantly. I am not proud of this, but it is fact.

What do you do when the skies are cloudy and there are light snow flurries? You pull out your bike and go for a ride, of course. It really wasn't any colder than many rides I've been on this winter, but I think snow flurries is a first for me. I did my usual ride to Lurago di Erba and back, this time on my Burley. It was sitting out on the balcony looking like a friend who was feeling blue from lack of attention. Or maybe it was the cold and lack of attention? Or maybe the bike is just blue.

Anyway, I rode the Burley today and continue to be amazed at how different it rides. The Pinarello is like a Ferrari. It wants to go fast and it demands power for its racing gears. Some of the steeper hills cause me to get out of the saddle and hammer my way up. The Burley is more like a Cadillac - a sporty Cadillac. It gives you a nice smooth ride with smaller gears for the hills. It likes to breeze up the hills in a nice smooth fashion, all while I just sit and enjoy the ride. It's not slow by any means. There is power in its gear ratio, but its a more 'gentle' power, unlike the raw power of the Pinarello.

I am planning to buy a couple of books on bicycle repair while we are in Corvallis. One for my road bikes and one for my mountain bike. I'd like to give my Jamis mountain bike some tender loving care before summer. It's like the forgotten child that waits patiently for attention. It needs attention so that I can ride with Brandon this spring and summer. Brandon and I are at our best when we ride. We are free to wander, chat and have fun with few restrictions and few boundries. We both share a love of riding. I'd love to nurture that love a bit more so that he can eventually join me on bike rides in Corvallis, and even some organized rides like the Monster Cookie. He could totally do that ride with the right bike and some miles in his legs. He is a good cyclist and I trust his skill.

Brandon and I had a pretty good Italian lesson today. We did some reading from a basic Italian reader book, then translated for Rosella. She also asked us questions about what we read. This kept Brandon fairly engaged.

Apparently McDonalds has caused a stir in Italy. You can read about it here.

Speaking for food, I made Pesto di Pistachi for dinner, along with brocolli and some red wine that Katrina's manager, Michael, gave us when he visited a few weeks ago. The pesto meal got three thumbs up. Here is the recipe:

Pistachio Pesto

1/2 onion finely chopped, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2/3 cup peeled pistachios, 1 clove garlic, 4-5 tbsps freshly grated Pecorino cheese, salt, 12 oz small penne pasta, coarsely chopped pistachios to garnish

Saute the onion in 2 tbsps of oil until softened. Remove from the heat and let cool. Process the onion, pistachios, garlic, remaining tbsp oil, and Pecorino in food processor until smooth. Season with salt. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Add 1 tbsp cooking water to the pesto to achieve a creamy consistency. Drain pasta and serve with pesto, adding more water as needed. Garnish with chopped pistachios. Serves 4

Katrina and Brandon spent part of the evening building a Lego for Brandon's ever growing town of Legono. Last night Katrina built a hospital. The night before she built a police station and jail.

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