Monthly Archives: September 2009

Night and Day

A 1960 slide projector

There’s an old saw about only having one chance to make a first impression and it got to be that way because it’s true.  It never failed to surprise me when companies would come calling with their sales pitch and it was obvious in the first three minutes that they hadn’t done their homework.  It was also sort of surprising that in many cases they’d do a lame job and expect that you’d have them back another time to make amends after they got blown up in the discussion period. Continue reading

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The Wisdom of Barbers

Bugs Bunny forces Elmer Fudd into a barber's c...

I’ve been getting my hair cut by Tommy the barber for a long time.  Tommy is old school and I’ve written about him before. In all candor, he doesn’t give the greatest haircut but he is among the greatest of guys so I’m with him until the day he quits which, since he’s around 75 now, should have been about 10 years ago.  He won’t quit because, as he puts it, other people (his staff and customers) are depending on him.  This customer depends on him for philosophy as much as I do tonsorial expertise. Continue reading

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Winners

Winners store in Halifax, Nova Scotia

I wrote this before sundown yesterday so I wouldn’t have yet one more thing for which to atone. Given the rainy Sunday here in Connecticut, I spent the day watching a lot of sports. Then again, I send most sunny Sundays watching sports but it’s usually after I play golf. In any event, as I’m writing this, the Yankees have clinched another title, so have both Phil and Tiger, Jimmy Johnson, 4-time NASCAR champ has won yet another race, The Giants and Pats both won and all of that makes sense. They’re winners. Continue reading

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True, true

italian food

Fridays are for food in this space and I’ve just come back from what I consider the greatest food country on the planet, Italy.  I’m not going to dwell on my usual themes of great ingredients simply prepared although we were lucky enough to have many meals done exactly that way. Rather, what struck me on this trip was how true the entire culinary culture of the nation has remained to itself. Continue reading

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Back, sorta

We returned from 10 days in Italy this afternoon.  One might think that the hard part is adjusting to the 6 hour time change or the very different takes on food here vs. there.  For me, neither of those is a huge issue.  Sleep deprivation has been a way of life for me, as it probably has been for you, since high school and while I have written a lot about my love for Italian cooking as it is done in Italy, the real hard thing is to adjust to getting good service, honest pricing, and the occasional sincere smile back here in the USofA.  Sometimes that grass isn’t always greener!

I’ll write more about this next week since I want to think about it a bit more. It’s always great to be home in your own bed, while I will be for a night and then on to out-of-town meetings.  I just wanted to post something now that I have web access to let you know that I appreciate those of you who’ve come to the blog in my absence.  I’ll try and reward your diligence with the usual daily posts.  Grazie mille!

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La Dolce Vita

A pretty interesting thing happened to us yesterday.  As we were driving back to Praiano from Pompei, the Amalfi coast road was closed due to falling rock.  Apparently the intense rain storms we had loosened the ground enough that some rocks tumbled down the cliffs and onto someone’s windshield.  Talk about ruining a vacation!  Anyway, we ran into a police roadblock in a little town called Piano di Sorrento.  The police were busy yelling atchatting with all of us who had climbed out of our cars and were trying figure out what was going on.  At some point, he got tired of the verbal abuse (and Italian is SUCH a great language for this) he was receiving for delaying everyone’s trip and told us “due minuti” – two minutes.  A big cheer arose , we climbed back in our cars, and hurdled forward down the narrow road.

In another due minuti, we ran smack into another cop who was at the pile where the rocks had indeed fallen.  Two guys were climbing up a pretty steep hill to inspect the state of the remaining rocks and no one was passing.  We ended up going back almost to Pompei and taking another route home and as of this morning the road still isn’t open.  Only two hours delay.  Non che problema.

I write this because clearly the first cop decided it wasn’t his job to get abused so he’d pass the Euro on to the next guy.  The only one whose situation he fixed was his own.  You may have thought he was trying to be helpful but he wasn’t.  Any cops like this in your business?

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Where’s Waldo?

I know you’ve come looking for today’s words of wisdom and I’m working very hard to put them together. However, I’m doing so on the Amalfi Coast in the midst of a brief break so the posting will be a bit more irregular, especailly since Internet access is sporadic.  Please do come and check back to see if the sun has completely fried my brain or if I’m almost as cogent as usual.

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