Friday, June 20, 2014

WINE TOUR ITALY

Discover and learn about the regional wines of Italy, get my app Wine Tour Italy, for Android. Then send me a note about what you liked or didn't like about it so I can make it better.  I will appreciate the help and you will enjoy using it.  The price is low only $1.25.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Yes I'm Still Here and Facebook Comments

It seems that Facebook is taking over the online life style these days and I confess that I am somewhat of a victim, thus the lack of posts here.  But lately I am tending to move away from Facebook.  It's just that it tends to present too much of an artificial view of those who post on it.  And it tends to sort of remove people from real communication.  On Facebook everyone's life is wonderful, their kids are beautiful, families are united, pets are cute, their diet is healthy, and the food they cook must be shared by all.

Best of all everyone needs to know about their political views, their organic diets and their veganess.  The whole thing is just way too artificial. 

When it comes to family and friends, pictures are nice, but to tell the truth I'd much rather get a single phone call or even better a video conference with Skype than see 50 pictures.  And I'd rather hear about the reality of a friend's or family member's life than the artificial one presented on Facebook.

In defense of Facebook, I do like the fact that it keeps me a bit in touch with old classmates, casual friends, new Facebook friends, and others that are not really part of my closer relationships. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The week from auto mechanic hell.

Sunday I left to take Julia and 3 girlfriends to the beach for a couple of days in the camper.  We were not 30 minutes away when I heard a bang and smoke coming out of the left rear wheel.  We stopped on the Autostrada and eventually made it to a garage where the owner said he would fix it for the next day.  Next day Luisa took me Julia and two friends, one dropped out, to pick it up and we departed again after paying 215 euro.  Another 20 minutes or so down the road the other side did the same thing.  We limped off the autostrada and found another garage in a small town.  We ate lunch waiting for it to open.  Then the girls and I spent the day inside the camper inside the garage waiting for the owner mechanic to fix it only to be told at 5 he could not do it until the next day.  So beach trip canceled and Luisa had to pick us up again.  Next day paid another 400 and drove it home thinking all was done.  The day after I decided to give it a bit of a test drive and discovered that the cable that controls the hand brake was loose. 

I should mention that the reason for all this trouble was that during the bi-annual check up we were told that the rear brakes were bad.  So we paid about 400 euro to have them completely replaced.  And the cause of our problems was that when installing the new brakes they tightened up the nut holding the bearings on too much, causing them to self destruct. 

Now comes the really fun part.  I went back to the original  brake installer to ask for some money back.  They denied that anything could have been their fault.  After an hour or so of arguing back and forth the father at this father and sons operation angrily told me that if one independent mechanic told me it was his fault he would pay me back the money I spent. My next move was to take the camper to a mechanic we knew to fix the loose cable and ask him what he thought.  He was too busy so he recommended another who it turned out was also too busy.  Finally the third one was available.  This company named Bristot was highly recommended by a friend but I had never used them as they are a bit outside Belluno.  So, we left the camper there thinking they would fix the cable and check over the work done by the others.  And also each of the three said that it was obviously caused by the first mechanic.

So back I go to tell the dad that it was agreed by not just one but three others that it was caused by his work.  Then of course he said it was not really his fault because there was wear in the other parts causing them to inadvertently make the nuts too tight.  But after a long "discussion" he did give me back 300. 

Now I get a call from the final mechanic telling me to come over and discuss the problems they found.  Well, it seems none of the other mechanics that fixed the problem did the job correctly and to top things off the original mechanic had put on the completely wrong brake sets, which is why the hand brake cable came undone.  So after some discussion the head this other father and sons team Mr. Bristot agreed to go with me to find the original brakes that were removed to see for sure which of a series of brake sets were the original equipment.  We found them in the presence of the owner of this first garage and he finally realized that they had really screwed up.  I suppose that also in the presence of another mechanic he had no choice but to face the truth.  He agreed to pay for all the work to put things right again.  And when we went to pick up the camper after it had finally been properly repaired we happened to see him leaving having paid the bill in full. 

Now we are preparing to leave for a couple of weeks in the camper and I have to confess to having a bit of fear that something else will go wrong.  But at least I am confident in the work done by Mr. Bristot, it's just too bad that he told me will retire soon.  I just hope his sons are as good as he is. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What's Wrong With Italian Business

A part broke on our campers electric step.  A camper company in the UK helped me find what I needed, and quoted me a price.  In order for them to give me the best price they had to have it shipped from Germany to the UK then ship it to me.  OK, so then I asked a camper company an hour from here for a price.  You can guess what the result was.  The price from the company in the UK was still 5 euro less than the price from the dealer in Italy.  So the part will be shipped to the UK then shipped to me from there.  In another example some time ago, we needed a new fuel tank for the camper.  The Fiat dealer quoted me 600 euro, I bought one from Germany for less than 150 delivered to my door.  Is it any wonder business is in the crapper here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hochdorf

Carnival in Switzerland, they take it seriousaly.

Castello di Soave

We stopped here for the night on our way to Erin's house. There is a nice parking area for campers with electricity for 5€ a night.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some of my Pots

I took pictures the other day of all the pots that I have made over
the years which are still surviving here at home. So here are some of
them.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Become a Consumer to Save the World

That's right, think about it.  If we only buy what we need most of the world's population will be out of work, because the amount of labor required to produce our basic needs is very little.  It's all that stuff we don't really need that provides work and creates thriving economies.  So get rid of the old and buy the new.  But this does not mean we can ignore the environmental impact from our activities.  Recycling and developing low carbon sources of energy for example can all be part of the cycle.  Increased government income from taxes in a growing economy can be used to clean up the environment whereas in a stagnant economy the money for this is not there.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cook Book Italian

Well I have mentioned this a few times but I have to keep trying.  If you are willing to help us out a little go to the book site blog - http://booksbyhelmmelacini.blogspot.it/ then click on one of the Amazon sites.  If you are a registered Amazon client you can just click like to give us a little boost in the ratings.  But of course you could also buy one.

John Wayne "The Alamo"











Here are a few fun pictures taken during the making of the movie "The Alamo".  My grandfather was a cameraman who started way back as a stunt man and driver.  He later became a director of photography.  He worked most of his working life for Warner Brothers but he was friends with and often invited by Wayne to work independently on his films.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Little Italy

Check out this video of Belluno.  They call it Little Italy, but what they mean to say is Italy off the beaten path, the cities most tourists don't know about.
http://vimeo.com/54659308

Julia's Next School

We had a little visit to the school Julia will probably attend next.  It is the scientific high school in Belluno.  The first two of the five years is at another school and the last three at this one.  I was favorably impressed with the program, the teachers and the president of the school, but the facilities, the building, were something out of a third world country.  Really sad to see.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What we are up to

Things are quiet here, it's too cold to do much outside even though we have clear skies.  There is no rain in sight and no snow in the mountains.  I have finished my two cookbooks and made another little one on how to make a book using Microsoft Powerpoint.  The how to book is based on what I learned in doing one myself without any instructions.  I also included a section on how to turn the paper version into a Kindle version. 

Also last week I finished the first go around on a little remodel project in California, it's nice to be able to keep working there even if I am in Italy.  Thanksgiving was a total loss this year as we don't have the day off, the kids were all busy with school and we don't really have any local American friends.  I may cook a turkey or part of one in the next few days just to get some idea of the feeling. 

This coming week I will also finish my review of VectorWorks 2013 and send it off to interested publishers, as well as post it on my architecture blog.  And then Luisa and I will focus on starting the organization of a children's museum in Belluno.  It is an idea we have had for a long time, but now we have the backing of the city.  They don't really have any money for it, but why let that stop us.  Donations will be accepted.

Giovanni and I continue our karate classes but he is out for a couple of weeks with a broken toe.  He broke it running around the gym at last weeks Sunday karate class.  It had nothing to do with karate really, he was warming up running and stubbed it when a kid stopped in front of him. 

I am thinking that maybe I will pay more attention to the blog for a while instead always posting on facebook.  And by the way, how about clicking on those google ads you see here.  You might find something interesting.  You would be doing me a big favor as well.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Have a look at our book site

I have organized a blog for our books. Please have a look and maybe order a book or two. They make great Christmas gifts. Scroll down to find the latest one about how you can make your own book and publish it on Amazon. I include instructions also for making the Kindle version: http://booksbyhelmmelacini.blogspot.it/

Monday, October 29, 2012

We have just created a new version of the cookbook aimed at a more general audience and probably a good Christmas gift for your friends who like Italian food.  It is based upon the Camping book with added recipes.  It can be found on these sites:

If you are in the US check out this site first and buy it there,

http://tinyurl.com/8fn734h      United States

http://tinyurl.com/8hpvny4      United Kingdom



http://tinyurl.com/9cv64ey          Italy

http://tinyurl.com/9ngyxaz          Spain

 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The addresses below give direct access to the book locations on Amazon, no need to search.

In the US, unless you are an Amazon prime member with free shipping, order it from this site as it is the one that benefits us the most due to our own efforts at advertising.


Otherwise use any of the fallowing Amazon sites depending on your location:

http://tinyurl.com/9cs5byj   United States

http://tinyurl.com/9gu3z54       United Kingdom




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Buy My Cookbook


Search for this title on Amazon.com  "Camp Cooking Italian Style"

It is a book born from the idea that good food can be cooked even while camping, but it is not just for campers.  Below you will find the sites where you can order it. You will also find the Kindle version.

In the US unless you are an Amazon prime member with free shipping, order it from this site as it is the one that benefits the author most due to his own efforts at advertising.


Otherwise use any of the fallowing Amazon sites depending on your location:

www.amazon.com  United States

www.amazon.co.uk United Kingdom

www.amazon.de      Germany

www.amazon.fr        France

www.amazon.it        Italy

www.amazon.es       Spain

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Recent Visitor

We had this visitor yesterday in the yard. Seems the same guy who was
here a couple of years ago.

THE COOK BOOK IS FINISHED


Camp Cooking Italian Style

It is a book born from the idea that good food can be cooked even while camping, but it is not just for campers.  Below you will find the sites where you can order it. You will also find the Kindle version.

In the US unless you are an Amazon prime member with free shipping, order it from this site as it is the one that benefits the author most due to his own efforts at advertising.


Otherwise use any of the fallowing Amazon sites depending on your location:

www.amazon.com  United States

www.amazon.co.uk United Kingdom

www.amazon.de      Germany

www.amazon.fr        France

www.amazon.it        Italy

www.amazon.es       Spain

Friday, September 21, 2012

From the cook book


Milanese veal or chicken chops

Fish soup

Chicken with green sauce

Chicken cooked in white wine

Veal or chicken marsala

Pasta with fresh ricotta sauce

Fried cheese

Pasta with uncooked tomato and herbs

Fresh mussels with cream sauce
 
A few of the pictures in my cook book. Look for it on Amazon.com Search for "Camp Cooking Italian Style".  In the US click on this:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

15 pictures for you

A visit to the park in Valle Sella where there is a walk full of
sculptures made from natural materials.