Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Italian Consulate and Another American Football Weekend

As my take-off date for Italy continued to come closer, there were many loose ends that needed to be tied up.

Not the least of which was the need to apply for an Italian work visa so that I had a legal right to stay inside the European Union for more than the normal 90 days that tourists are allowed to stay.

Thus, I was off to the Century City neighborhood of Los Angeles for my appointment, thanks to the Varese Skorpions mover and shaker known only as Barbara.

I had been trying in vain to get an appointment for about a week when I asked Barbara to see what she could do and . . . voilà I had one for the next day!

When queried about how she was able to do this so quickly from her office in Italy, she simply replied "I know someone."

THAT my friends is Italy summed up in three words.

An impressive shield
at the Los Angeles Consulate

The flags of Italy and the
European Union

The lovely lady who worked with me was 100% Italian, efficient and helpful. We got through the process in about 30 minutes and I received my official work visa in just two working days!

Of course, parking for about 40 minutes in ritzy Century City cost me $17.60.

It was time to celebrate my successful trip to the Italian Consulate with a hearty American breakfast.

But where . . .

Bobby's Coffee Shop in the beautiful
San Fernando Valley!

It was only about 11:00 a.m.

Serving breakfast all day long is a great idea.

Bobby at the grill with mountains
of delicious hash browns

The NFL's Wildcard Playoffs were this past weekend and after years without a team in Los Angeles much less a playoff appearance, our Los Angeles Rams were playing.

The Alanta Falcons were the opponent

Would Goff and Gurley be up
for the challenge?

Two games on Saturday and
another two on Sunday

Of course, the Falcons-Rams game was the only one of interest.

Our kitchen table would soon
be full of good things to eat

Mike, Jacob and Mary
joined my in all out support
of the Rams!

Mike and Jacob
doing a few 1-on-1 drills
during pre-game warm-ups

So how did our beloved Rams do . . .


The Falcons were clearly the
better team today


On Sunday, the Italian American Football League's Division II structure for the 2018 season was announced.

There will be 24 clubs competing in DII this season.

FIDAF, the governing body of DII, has grouped the 24 teams into six geographically oriented Groups of four clubs each.

Every club plays a home and away series with their three fellow Group members plus two non-group games against two teams, one home and one away, for a regular season total of eight games.

The exact dates of these games have not been announced as of yet.

Our Varese Skorpions will be in Group C with the same three cubs as last year.

Our three Group C members are:

Busto Arsizo Blue Storms
7-1 regular season, 8-2 overall in 2017

Cagliari Crusaders
0-8 regular season, 0-8 overall in 2017

Varese Gorillas
3-5 regular season, 3-5 overall in 2017

Our two inter-Group games are with these two nearby clubs:

From Group A
Sant'Agata Knights
It will be our home game
2-6 regular season, 2-6 overall in 2017

From Group F
Sarzana Red Jackets
It will be a road game for us
2-6 regular season, 2-6 overall in 2017

Monday was NCAA National Championship Game Night.

The Georgia Bulldogs (13-1)
The Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1)

Jacob was suited up in his
best Herschel Walker jersey
to support Bulldogs

Jacob running on to the field
with Georgia . . .

. . . just like this

Alabama won an overtime, all-SEC game 26-23.


On Tuesday, I had lunch with good
friend David Lassen

He is seen here on a recent trip through the Panamas Canal.

It is always great to see David who now lives in Wisconsin.

Reading Is FUNdamental

"As the ancient cogwheel train clawed its way up to the dizzying incline, Edmund Kirsch surveyed the jagged mountaintop above him."

Another excellent read from Dan Brown that was made even more interesting to me due to its locale in and around Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao.

"He noticed the woman
on their way to dinner."

Venetian Commissario Guido Brunetti never disappoints me.

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