Coming and Goings: Travels and Visitors, Spring 2006

Enrico returned from Barcelona on May 15th, just as a slew of visitors arrived. My aunt Harriet (mother’s sister) stopped by for a few days on her way to join a university tour of Italian and French gardens. At the same time, blogger JD Lasica and his family stayed with us for two days out of their whirlwind tour of Italy (including a visit to TVBLOB). As I expected, everybody liked everybody and a good time was had by all. Harriet came along to a dinner given by Italian bloggers in JD’s honor, where she immediately found two Spanish-speakers to talk to (she and my mother were born in Cuba, and Harriet also speaks German and French – so she can follow most Italian as well), and her company was much enjoyed.

The blogger dinner was fun for me – a chance to meet some Italian geeky types other than my colleagues. One guest was Fausto Gimondi, who had been my editor back when I wrote for Italian computer magazines. I hadn’t seen him in nearly 15 years, and learned that in the meantime he been one of the founders of Virgilio, an Italian Internet portal which was bought out by Telecom Italia – upon which he was able to retire! Now he’s back in the publishing business, funding a new company which is publishing (among other things) the Italian version of JD’s book “Darknet”. The company specializes in putting on paper material that originated on the web. I should talk to him about my site…

I’ve been busy at work, testing and helping to refine software in preparation for TVBLOB’s presence at the big Computex show in Taiwan this week (in spite of a low-bandwidth connection on that end, we have successfully videocalled between the show floor and the office – cool!). We’re almost ready to start rolling it out to beta testers as well, and I’m eager to see how “real people” respond to it. What we’re doing is very difficult, both in the technical stuff under the hood and the interface; to see it actually, finally in the hands of end users will (I hope!) be rewarding.

School ends on Saturday – though it seems that Ross has hardly been there in the last two months. Her school, though private, is used as a polling station (I assume because it’s the only school in that particular neighborhood), so there were no classes for the Monday (April 10th) that polling was still going on and the Tuesday when ballots were counted. That was immediately followed by a long Easter break, then a national holiday on April 25th (liberation from the Nazis) and another on May 1st (Labor Day).

Last week the school was again closed on Monday and Tuesday, for local elections. June 2nd was another national holiday (Republic Day – commemorating Italy’s post-WWII vote not to have a king), and the school decided to close Saturday as well so that families could enjoy a three-day weekend.

this story continues with Pursuing a Dream of Italy

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