Shopping Challenged

Am I the only person who can spend a week in Florence, Italy without finding something to buy?

My daughter and I walked for miles every day past shops full of shoes, suits, ties, leather jackets, scarves, and every plastic iteration of “The David” imaginable. It wasn’t until we found an ancient cavelike shop full of leather-bound sketchbooks that my credit card began to twitch. Oh, she’s a beauty. (more…)


I’m in Florence, Italy, reunited with my daughter who has been studying at an art school here this semester. She’s wrapped up her work, turned in her key, and she and I are having a great time, toodling around Florence, seeing her world, poking around her school, the Christmas market and all that. For the first time in years, Florence has snow and it’s amusing to watch the unfamiliar locals wiping out on their bicycles and trying to shovel the snow in front of their shops using brooms and buckets. (more…)

Jim and the Colonel

You'll be seeing some Zits reruns in a few weeks which allow Jerry and me a couple of weeks of not-particularly-hard-earned vacation each summer. Jerry generally uses his having various body parts surgically reorganized, but I like to travel. This year my wife and I went with a group from the Cincinnati Zoo to Tanzania to see the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti.

Wildebeest shmildebeest, fast forward to our arrival home after 32 hours of airplanes to a quick nap and a seven-hour drive the next morning to take our youngest child off to college. Highlight of the trip – besides, of course, seeing our son happily ensconced in a nurturing college environment "nurturing college environment" [see wildebeest migration…] was breakfast in Corbin, Kentucky at the original Kentucky Fried Chicken

Yes, this was the spot where Harlan Sanders first set up a small motel and figured he needed to feed the people on their way to the Best Buy down the street. I've always had a soft spot in my otherwise-corroded heart for the Colonel and was pleased to express my devotion in the fabled redneck Mecca.