Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Approaching Storm

A storm passed over my apartment today, it came from the Ionian sea and exited in the direction of the Adriatic Sea.
 Strom out over Taranto.
 Some clouds passing over my apartment.  This is not as crazy as a typhoon in Japan, but still kind of dramatic.
 Strom approaching TAG Airport.
Storm over my apartment....

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monteiasi and TAR Airport

My second bike ride was round the Taranto-Grottaglie Airport.
My office is located at this airport, it took me about 15 minutes to bike to my office from my apartment.  For now, it's still to hot to bike to work but  maybe later this year I can do that.
 This is Papafico's, a morning coffee and afternoon sandwich shop.  I go here a few times per month, papafico sandwich is great and only 3 euro.
 This is downtown Monteiasi during 'nap' time.  It's quiet here but in the evening this place becomes alive, people everywhere.
 I was lost until I found 'Via Roma'
 As quickly as you enter Monteiasi you exit Monteiasi.  This is the sign as you leave on 'Via Roma' through to SP81.
 View looking north'ish on runway 35.  Taranto-Grottaglie Airport is important in the history of World War II, the United States Army Air Force used this airfield.  Today it is used by limited commercial and Italian Military use.  I want to get a telephoto lens for my Nikon camera, from the view of my balcony I can see planes taking off and landing at this airport.  These planes include the Eurofighter Typhoon, which is kind of cool.  It's like a weekly air show.
Wind-sock, during my bike ride wind was to my back!!!
 Large planes also use this airport. AN-124 and 747 LCF's.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Starting a BBQ

This past weekend I had my first roof top BBQ at my apartment in Grottagle.  My landlord, who is also a butcher, gave me this BBQ, now I need to figure out how it works.
 This is the Barbecue Ferraboil Ledro Art. 149, very popular grill in Italy.
 In America typically you use lighter fluid to start a BBQ.  In Japan people tend to use cardboard and paper to light up charcoal blocks.  In Italy people use ITAL FOCUS, it's a block of white something that smalls like petrol.  Directions on the back say: GB: IDEAL FOR FIREPLACE, STOVES, BARBECUES AND OUTDOOR FIRES. Place one or more pieces of FOCUS on the hearth. Ignite it and wait until it is burning well; then cover it with desired fuel (wood, coal, charcoal, etc.) without extinguishing the flame.
 This was how the the kindling started, small flame.
 But a few seconds later the fire started to rage.  This made the following the instructions on the back of the FOCUS box difficult.  Next time, charcoal first, light the white blocks second.
 This is an Italian bag of Charcoal, Fochista BBQ.
 Turns out the FOCUS starter works very well, it took a while to get the coals on-top of the starter but once I did, no problem.
 I wanted to get fish, but the local supermarket only had beef, pork and chicken, so I got beef.
BBQ worked out well, if you are ever in town please stop by for dinner!

My second BBQ, I put charcoal over the starter, not really following the directions that were on the Focus box.
 I position the charcoal over the starter such that a little bit of the starter was visible on the ends.
Yeah, this worked well.  Much safer.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bike out of Grottaglie

One of the last things I had in storage and need to put back into service was my green folding bike.  Today I took it out of the folding bike bag, filled the tires with air and checked all the bolts were tight.  Bike passed inspection.
 My plan was to bike to Francavilla Fontana, a town east of Grottaglie and I made a route to get there.  But it turns out that the route I made had a dirt road half way to Francavilla Fontana, so I decided to skip the dirt road and return to Grottaglie.  The white sign with red line through the word 'Grottaglie' means you are about to leave the GRT.   One advantage of this bike is that it does not have a kickstand.  This makes keeping-it-real easy.
 Between GRT and Francavilla Fontana is basically farm land, grapes and olive trees.  I'm not a farmer but it seems like these grapes are ready to pick, turn into wine or raisins.
 All over southern Italy are solar panels and wind turbines.  Very ECO.
 My total trip was 9.6 miles, to avoid to direct sun light I started my trip at 5pm.   August is way to hot for biking during the day, I can't wait for next month when the sun is not so strong.
 One thing I could not figure out, the wall below seem kind of new.  But who ever made it decided to cement in plastic bottles along the top of the wall.  I was wondering why the bottles are there.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mayor of Grottaglie

For the past five years I have lived in Nagoya and before that a couple of other cities.  Not once did I see or meet the mayor of the city I was living in.  I have lived in Grottaglie for about two weeks and have seen and been near the Mayor twice already.
 Not the best photos, but the guy in the red and white stripe shirt is the Mayor, according to Wikipedia his name is Ciro.  Next time I see him walking around I hope to meet and confirm his name, make sure wikipedia is correct.