Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Another Brush With Italian Governmental Efficiency, a Trip to the Team Doctors, an Import Kicker and a Good Practice


Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Italian Bureaucracy

It started off as a bit of a slow day as I had another meeting with the amazing Barbara who continues to toil ceaselessly to get all of my work visa paperwork finalized.

She picked me up at 12:30 for Round IV of Skorpions vs. the Government of Italy.

 We were off to the Venegono Superiore
Post Office to file our paperwork

After I signed the necessary forms and turned then in to the clerk, we were set to then get our final appointment at the Varese Questura to finish all of this red tape.

Surprise, surprise, we actually got the much needed and vital work visa appoint almost instantly!

Of course, I was given the earliest possible appointment to complete this task.

My appointment at the Questura is for June 15th, the day I fly home to Camarillo.

Italian Bureaucracy . . . Don't Leave Home Without It!

A Trip to the Doctor

It has been two weeks since Dr. Rehder in Camarillo removed a cyst from my arm that required eight stitches. Today was the day to remove them.

Thus I was off by train to Varese to meet with Enzo Petrillo who would take me to the Skorpions Team Doctors to get the stitches removed at no cost.

 Of course I had to stop at this
Venegono Inferiore bar before
boarding the train

A good, strong Italian coffee and a brioche made the trip a bit more comfortable somehow.

I had the chance to meet the outgoing, positive owner of the Le Due Isole bar who hails from Sicily.

His name is Francesco, like the Pope he said.

"I am Giorgio," I said, like the big church in Venegono Superiore. He called me San Giorgio for the rest of our visit.

Papa Francesco told me that he hails from Catania and I responded that I coached the Elephants in Catania in 2008 and 2009.

He then confessed that he was not actually from Catania but from the suburb of Aci Reale. I told him that I lived in Aci Castello, another Catania suburb that borders Aci Reale.

SMALL world!

GREAT coffee and brioche!  

 Papa Francesco's
heart is still in Catania, Sicily

The train ride was predictably smooth and amazingly on time. Train travel, so far in Italy, has improved greatly in the last decade from what I've seen and experienced.

Seen while waiting for Enzo at
the train station in Varese 

OK Enzo, what is it?

It is a high tech Italian radar device to help control speeding issues on the roads of Varese.

Enzo was not sure if they actually work. He seems to think that most people believe they don't but the minor belief that they might actually work keeps people from speeding.

Either way, objective achieved!

We quickly arrived
at this nice building

Yes, this was the place

The two doctors that I met were both former basketball teammates of Enzo's back in the day and now double as Skorpion Team Doctors.

The procedure only took a few minutes, I didn't cry and the doctor offered me a chupa-chup lollipop for being a brave boy!

I politely declined his kind offer.

My New Car?

Before heading on to practice, we needed to make a stop at Enzo's mechanic to give him a couple of parts to repair the car I will soon be driving.

I was hoping to get to drive
this Italian Classic

A 1950s-ish Fiat Nuova 500

It was not meant to be which is sad as I would have looked dashing touring the countryside in this vintage auto!

On to practice!

U16 and Senior Practices

U16 Flag Team

Our U16s practiced from 6:30 to 8:00 tonight.

5-on-5 Flag football at its finest

This group does a good job balancing having fun with hard work and passion for the game.

Then our Seniors were up
from 8:15 to 10:30

We had over 30 players tonight and I saw marked improvement over last Thursday's practice.

We are heading in the right direction from I can see.

P.S., "Just say NO to Crack!"

Skorpions' HUGE Signing

University of Georgia Kicker
Rodrigo Blankenship

There are not supposed to be any imports in Italy's DII but the Skorpions are testing the rules by signing this excellent Georgia kicker who played in the NCAA DI Championship Game earlier his month against Alabama.

Many of you know about my love of the Kicking Game/Special Teams and adding a kicker of Rodrigo's ability will make my life much easier in 2018.

At least I think that this was
Rodrigo Blankenship at
practice tonight

I could be wrong . . .

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