Towse: views from the hill

June 18, 2006

Potrero … yes it really is a … Hill

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 10:31 pm

Loved this.

June 16, 2006

Bassano del Grappa

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 7:30 pm

Bassano del Grappa is not just the epicenter of Grappa, it’s also a place scarred by wars.

Battle scars.

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Plaque honoring Americans you may have heard of …

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The covered Ponte Vecchio (or Alpini Bridge) over the Brenta, redesigned by Palladio in 1569 and rebuilt, rebuilt again after a flood in 1748, and again after being blown up during WWII, and again after the floods of 1966.

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The WWI memorial on Monte Grappa. Twenty-five thousand Italian and Austrian soldiers are buried in this war memorial and mausoleum. Far more soldiers were killed as the Italians and their allies fought three major battles during 1917-1918 to keep the Austrians and Germans from advancing.

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The view from Monte Grappa

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Turn, turn, turn. …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 6:41 pm

12 November, meet 16 June.

Sunrise 12 November 2005 6:53 a.m. PST

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Sunrise 16 June 2006 5:57 a.m. PDT

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Back in November, the sun was rising over Alameda, behind the Bay Bridge. This morning, it was rising over Berkeley, behind Treasure Island.

Ah … the seasons turn in California.

Turn, turn, turn. …

Tim B-L on ‘net neutrality’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 4:41 pm

Tim Berners-Lee, as some of you know, is my hero. If I were making a list of people who allz on their own have created change, great change, in the world as we know it, he’d be on the list. Seems to be a nice guy too.

Back last month, timbl commented in his blog about Neutrality of the Net.

Among other things, he says,

When I was a child, I was impressed by the fact that the installation fee for a telephone was everywhere the same in the UK, whether you lived in a city or on a mountain, just as the same stamp would get a letter to either place.

To actually design legislation which allows creative interconnections between different service providers, but ensures neutrality of the Net as a whole may be a difficult task. It is a very important one. The US should do it now, and, if it turns out to be the only way, be as draconian as to require financial isolation between IP providers and businesses in other layers.

The Internet is increasingly becoming the dominant medium binding us. The neutral communications medium is essential to our society. It is the basis of a fair competitive market economy. It is the basis of democracy, by which a community should decide what to do. It is the basis of science, by which humankind should decide what is true.

Hear, hear.

June 15, 2006

Sal hasn’t poasted for a while, sed Paula.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 6:08 pm

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We went east for a couple and a half weeks. Spent five or so days in Venice.

Followed by eleven days walking in the Veneto where, amongst other activities, we visited assorted Palladian sites.

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This one ‘ere is Villa Capra AKA the Rotunda in Vincenza.

Thomas Jefferson, we were told, was highly influenced by Palladio and his designs and writings. Monticello reflects that influence, as does The Rotunda, at the University of Virginia.

Did I mention we walked. … and walked … and walked?

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… and walked …

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Paid homage at Petrarch’s tomb outside La Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta in Arquà Petrarca.

Everything seems to be there but his skull. Researchers discovered the skull in the tomb was not Petrarch’s but a woman’s skull when they were doing a bit of investigating a couple years ago while gearing up for his 700th bday celebration. Ooops!

We also paid homage to Canova in Possagno, Treviso. Visited the modest parish church he designed for his hometown.

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Venice is a place I’d love to return to and spend some serious time. Churches. Museums. History. No cars — just walking, and water buses! My kind of place. For those who love to shop, there’s plenty of that too. All I brought home from Venice was a Venetian flag and a pair of black post earrings from Murano which set me back 3.5 Euro.

The walking trip in the Veneto was beautiful and memorable. The trip was masterminded by Peter Watson of Duende Travel. Watson is an erudite Oxford graduate in Modern Languages. Peter’s inimitable and charming brother-in-law Ben Littlewood aided and abetted and fixed picnic lunches when he wasn’t sharing his knowledge of things art history-ish and architectural. Our itinerary was full of food and wine and educational and cultural nuggets, plus enough exercise to make us sweat, enough exercise to offset most of the food and wine.

Trips with Peter are always a treat. This one was our fourth. Prior Duende walking trips were in Andalucia, Sicily and Provence.

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The trip was tempered by my fussing The trip was greyed a bit by my inability to stop fretting about things happening back home. His nibs would say, let go. You can’t do anything from here. Let go. Like a Bozo Bop punching clown, the fussing wouldn’t stay gone.

My dad’s memorial is this Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. Family is arriving from all over. Family dinner for the out-of-towners Friday night. Saturday’s service will be outside, down at the nearby county airport where Dad did so much flying and CAP volunteerism for the past forty-five years. The service will conclude with a missing man fly-by and Taps, followed by food and reminiscing.

We’d blocked out the major decisions before I left. My siblings took care of the detailed planning while I was gone. Thanks be. I’m sure the planning went far easier with me out of the picture and only two opinions to deal with rather than three.

I’ll be here and gone for a while. Back after Saturday.

Sunday’s Father’s Day. If your dad’s still on this earth, give him a call if he’s far away, a hug if he’s nearby. I’ll be thinking of mine.

[Updates: as noted. Also links to “missing man fly-by” and “Taps”]

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