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January 27, 2008

small world!

One of the reasons I have enjoyed Slow Travel, and now blogging and reading blogs, is the opportunity to get to know people from all over the world. It has always amazed me how we can all be so different but also have so much in common.

Recently, while visiting bleeding espresso, I discovered a new blog, .italiaball. I was pretty excited to find this blog as it is about Italian baseball. I started reading a few of the posts and noticed that there was a post mentioning how the blogger just returned from a trip back home to Boston. I posted a comment on the blog about my love of baseball, the Red Sox, and Italy. The following day, I received a nice email from Lango. He mentioned where he was from and asked where I was from. Well, I grew up right on the border of the town where he grew up. How amazing is that?

After reading a few of Lango's posts, I checked out a couple of blogs that he had listed on his "Check 'em Out..." list to see if there were any other blogs about baseball in Italy. I noticed right away on the bici vecchia: an errant in italy blog that the blogger's name was Fango and that he also lived in Codogno, Lombardy, Italy. Hmmmm, Lango & Fango? I then read a few of the posts and learned that Fango also grew up in the same town as Lango. This was becoming quite a mystery. My first thought was that perhaps Lango was running two blogs. I then wondered if they were twins. I even asked Lango this in my email back to him. Meanwhile, I was determined to figure out the answer to this mystery. I continued to read more of his posts. Finally, I found the answer. They are friends who have known each other since Kindergarten.

I have now discovered two bloggers, both living in a tiny town in Northern Italy and both from the town located right next to the town where I grew up. It sure is a very small world indeed!

February 6, 2008

a bookish meme

Thank you softdrink for suggesting this fun topic :-)

Don't forget to check out softdrink's bookish meme.

Rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

I am not going to tag anyone in particular, instead, I will leave this idea for as many bloggers as are interested, to use as an idea for a post sometime in February.

I also will not tag anyone in particular, leaving this idea for as many bloggers as are interested, to use as an idea for a post sometime in February.

My Book: A Thousand Bells at Noon, by G. Franco Romagnoli:

"For you, my dear!" said the duke. Father and daughter were duly impressed; the duke's gamble worked and he gained a wife and a dowry. Rome (legend true or false) gained a splendid fountain.

But now the integrity of the rione that survived persecutions, wars, famine, and plague is beginning to break under the attack of the new affluence.

Can anyone guess the fountain being discussed? I will give you a hint...
The subtitle of the book is: A Roman Reveals the Secrets and Pleasures of His
Native City.

I am surprised at how these three sentences on page 123, sentences 6-8, turned out to be a perfect mystery question for all the Italy lovers out there. I have confidence that someone will be able to answer this question without peeking in the book. I will post the answer here in a few days, after everyone has time to guess.


*Edited to add the answer - the Turtle Fountain in Piazza Mattei
turtle%20fountain.jpg

March 13, 2008

my blog in Korean & Russian!

Last night, after I published my “countdown post”, I went back to edit my post. After I finished, I checked out my sitemeter to see if anyone was visiting while I was making the changes. I had one visitor during that time period, my first visitor from Korea.

Like Jerry and Jill, I have also been curious as to how people find my blog. The details of this visit indicated that the person found my blog by searching "focaccia col formaggio" on the Korean version of google. I went to the Korean google site and then clicked on my blog link. It took me to my blog post - but in Korean!

Computer snapshot of part of my "focaccia col formaggio" post in Korean:
blog%20in%20korean.png

I not only checked out the page that was searched on google, but I also clicked on my blog name at the top to check out the home page of my blog in Korean and even clicked on a few other blog links to see even more blogs in Korean.

I obviously have no life and much too much time on my hands. Either that, or I am procrastinating on more important things I should be doing.

This morning, I was surprised to find my first visitor from Russia! This visitor also found my blog through google, searching for "Are you an early bird or an owl?".

Computer snapshot of part of my "early bird or night owl - which are you?" post in Russian:
blog%20russian.png

I of course then had to check out the home page of my blog in Russian.

If you too have no life and/or too much time on your hands and would like to see what your blog looks like in Korean or Russian, you can either search your blog through the Korean google site by clicking on the link to the photo of my blog post in Korean or search your blog through the Russian google site by clicking on the link to the photo of my blog post in Russian.

It has been quite amazing to me that people from all over the world have actually spent time checking out my little blog. So far I have had at least one visitor from each continent except for Africa and Antarctica. I am betting that I will probably get a visitor from Africa long before I will ever...if ever get a visitor (and this a LONG SHOT) from Antarctica.

When looking at the specific countries, most of my visitors have been from the United States, followed by Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. I have a regular visitor from Israel and I have had at least one visitor stop by at least once from quite a few other countries, including Poland, Germany, Brazil, Singapore, Korea, and Russia.

Sitemeter is the cool little gadget that has been providing me with the information regarding the locations of my visitors. Because I installed the free version of sitemeter, only the last 100 visits (not the last 100 locations) are displayed. I did not think about keeping track of the various countries until recently and so I cannot remember them all. I also have only had sitemeter on my blog for the past month. I have no idea of the locations of my visitors previous to mid-February.

There is a catch however to sitemeter. The location is not always accurate so this may not be "accurate scientific data". When I have personally been on my blog, sitemeter has shown me as being in a state somewhere in the Kansas area of the US map instead of in Hawaii. There are also a few "unknown" locations displayed on sitemeter.

August 8, 2008

blog my blog

I was just over at Michelle's bleeding espresso blog. She is playing a fun game on her blog (which I am copying...thank you Michelle). She calls it "blog my blog". She got the idea from the blog, An Island Life. Interesting how this is coming full circle - Hawaii to Italy to Hawaii!!

Here's how it works:

I will start with a question.

The next person answers the question and then asks a new question.

The next person answers that question (the question the second person asked) and then asks a new question. And so forth...

The questions can be general questions, fill in the blank sentences, a “tell me about a time when,” etc.

If you are still confused, check out Michelle's blog my blog post, and even if you are not, check out her blog! She is a very talented and entertaining blogger. Her blog was one of the first I started reading a couple of years ago.

Here goes...the first question:

If you were given only one day to spend in your favorite place in the world, what would you do? (Oh I guess this is sort of two questions since you will have to also say what your favorite place in the world is).

*Click on comments to play along...

Happy 8-8-08 and Happy Weekend!!

November 12, 2008

blogs about Hawaii

I would like to share a couple of Hawaii blogs...

The first is Honolulu Daily Photos.
I discovered this blog a couple of years ago in a round about way through some of the daily photo blogs and then again through City Daily Photo, a blog which posts entries from various daily photo blogs from around the world. The Honolulu Daily Photos blog does not post a photo daily anymore, but the photos that are posted on this blog are always fabulous. They represent many areas of Oahu and not just the city of Honolulu. If you have some free time check out this blog.

The second is Beat of Hawaii and Beyond.
The full name of this blog is: Beat of Hawaii and Beyond: Travel Deals, Tips, Events, Culture - A Travel Chronicle from Hawaii. I discovered this blog through Pauline's Slow Europe blog last spring. The Beat of Hawaii blog shares lots of great travel deals and tips as well as other interesting information related to Hawaii. If you are planning to travel to or from Hawaii in the near future or just want to learn more about Hawaii, check out this blog.

March 31, 2009

fab-u-lous blog award

Both Palma of Palmabella's Passions and Candi of Candi's Corner: Wanderlust and Passions have awarded me this "Fab-u-lous Blog Award" last week.

fabulous%2520blog%2520award.jpg

Thank you Palma and Candi for giving me this award :D You are both FAB-U-LOUS!!


I have decided to go a different way in taking about things that I think are fabulous. I am in the midst of planning my 10th trip to Italy. I have been thinking a lot about how planning has changed in the past 10 years and how much more convenient things are now that the internet has become so popular.

So here goes...


5 Fabulous ways the internet has helped me with trip planning and travel:

1. Slow Travel. I cannot say enough about how my travels have changed since I discovered Slow Travel. Not only has Slow Travel become an important community in my life, but it is also a site where you will find a wealth of information on trip planning, hotel and vacation rentals, restaurant reviews, and experiences from other travelers. If you need to plan a trip, Slow Travel should be your first stop. One of the my favorite links on Slow Travel is Slow Travel Talk.


2. Blogging. Before being asked by Kim to start a Slow Travel blog (Kim you are Fabulous!), I created yearly trip blogs to share my travels with friends and family. After starting my blog, shave ice & gelato, the world of blogging changed. I began to get more comments, I started becoming brave enough to leave comments on other blogs, I made many fabulous friends through blogging, and I became part of a blogging community. Through this blogging community, I have found fabulous travel tips, ideas, recommendations, and even places to put on my wish list (if I ever can tear myself away from Italy).

I do have to give a special thanks to Dana of Stresa Sights for inspiring me to go to Stresa this year and for taking time out of her vacation in Stresa to check out a couple of hotels for me and to Kim of What I Really Think for asking me to start my blog and for coming to the rescue whenever I have had a blogging problem. There are so many other bloggers I also need to thank (too many to name) for helping me with my trip planning. Check out my sidebar where you will find a list of many fabulous bloggers/blogs to help you with your travel plans (listed under both "Blogs" and "Italy Blogs").


3. Hotel Booking Sites: There are many fabulous hotel booking sites out there that have made booking hotels a much easier task. These sites provide information about hotels, hotel reviews, and secure connections for your credit card information. Three of my favorites are: Venere.com and Booking.com and WorldBy.com.


4. Trenitalia. Trains have been my main means of transportation while in Italy. I would not have been able to plan my Italy trips without access to this very informative site. If you can read basic Italian, you might want to also check out the Italian version of Trenitalia, where you will find more train information. Because of the many train strikes in Italy, you will also need to keep informed about possible train strikes in order to travel successfully. The second most important train travel website you will need is a Strike (or Sciopero) website. Summer in Italy provides Italy strike information on not only trains but on all transport strikes taking place in Italy that may affect your travels.


5. Google. I know I have mentioned Google before, but for all other travel needs, google is the first place I go in search of websites and travel related information.

So there you have it, 5 Fabulous ways the internet has helped me with trip planning and travel.

I am supposed to also give a Fabulous award to 5 more blogs. I am having a difficult time choosing just 5 so I am giving my award to all the blogs on my sidebar. I think they are all FAB-U-LOUS!!

June 10, 2009

playing around with online photo editing programs

I am trying to find an online photo editor that allows you to resize the dimensions of a photo and also change the resolution or photo size so that I can possibly add a few photos to my blog posts while in Italy this summer.

I am pretty sure that the resolution needs to be at 72 and not 180 in order for photos to upload on this blog or at least that is what I do when editing photos using Adobe Photoshop Elements. I need to find a program that does not need to be downloaded onto the computer as I will be using hotel/B&B computers. I also am looking for a program that does not require registration. My other concern is making sure that my original image won't be permanently modified.

After doing a google search, I started out by trying ResizeImage. This is a very basic editing program. It basically just resizes images to a few set sizes and crops images.

I continued to search and found Pixlr. This photo editing program has quite a few more features but it did not seem very user friendly to me.

Then I tried FotoFlexer. I found this photo editing program to be very user friendly. The only problem I found with this editing program was that again, I was not able to change the resolution size.

I searched some more and found Picnik. This program seems very similar to FotoFlexer except it also allows you to change the photo size (not just the dimensions) of your photo, which I believe will solve the resolution issue so that I can upload photos to this blog.

While trying out Picnik, I played around with a few of the other features and created this photo. Pretty cool, huh?

playing%20around%20photo.jpg

Does anyone know of any other good online photo editing programs that are easy to use? Any tips on how to do this without modifying my original files?


**Editing to this post to add: Thank you Jonas for your comment pointing me in the direction of Pixlr Photo Express. It does just what I am looking for - adjusts the dimensions and changes the resolution size.

To use this program, you click on the Open image from computer folder to upload a photo, then click on Basic, and then click on Resize. Make sure to rename the photo when saving it so that the original file will not be affected (very important step)!!

Now that I have this problem solved, as long as I have access to computers with usb drives available, I should be able to add a photo or two to my blog posts (when I have the extra time). I guess this means I need to stop procrastinating now and start preparing for my trip!!

**Editing to this post again to add: Thanks Kim for the clarification that photos don't have to be reduced to 72 ppi. They can be 180 or 300 but will just take longer to load.

November 29, 2009

a word cloud of my recent blog posts

blog%20word%20cloud.jpg
*To see a larger version, click on the word cloud.

To make your own word cloud, click here. Thanks so much Marta for your help with the pop-up :)

March 5, 2010

abc italiano

I woke up and found out that I won an ABC Italiano children's book:

bookcover-400x400.jpg
(Clicking on the book will take you to the Italian Baby Book site.)

Joe, who writes the blog Italyville.com. featured this book in one of his recent blog posts and also highlighted the author, Sonya Caruso. He gave away three books and I was one of the winners! Please stop by his blog when you get a chance to read all about the book and author. He also has a link with a promotional code of 20% off the book in this blog post.

Every time I go to Italy, I always spend time in the children's section of bookstores looking for great children's Italian books to bring back with me. This looks like a fantastic beginning Italian book! I am looking forward to teaching my children along with the Kindergarten class we visit the words in this book.

Thank you Joe!!

January 29, 2014

moving...

Hi everyone!!


I am moving! Well, sort of...

I have decided to move my blog over to a new site.

At this point, I am not sure what will happen to this blog. I may continue to blog here when I travel, which was the original purpose of this blog, but for now I will be doing all of my blogging over at my new blog and I won't be checking comments anymore on this blog.

So stop on by and check out my new blog (same name): shave ice & gelato ~ (part 2).

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to shave ice & gelato in the blogging category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

baseball/sox is the previous category.

bugs & creatures is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.