Friday, July 18, 2008

Well, it is the eve before our long trip to the USA. I am looking forward to spending time with family, catching the latest movies that don't hit Europe for a year, eating some unhealthy fast-food, and attending my 20 year high school reunion should be quite entertaining.

Jolyn and I had the opportunity to attend an event called the Basel Tattoo. No, this was not the tattoo event where people were getting their bodies painted. We are talking about the original meaning of the word:

Here are a few pics from the event:

Bret with the Rhein river in the background

Jolyn making her way through the crowds

One of the bands in formation

It was nice to do something a little different than what we normally do!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Well, what an eventful weekend. We have been down to Italy numerous times in the past and always seem to just drive by Milan on our way to some other destination. We decided to make a weekend excursion to see the famous mural painting "The Last Supper" at the Santa Maria delle Grazie and do a little bit of shopping in one of the most renowned world capitals of design and fashion.

Day 1: Shopping
The shopping went according to plan. In other words, there was a lot of looking and little buying - whew! With the likes of Gucci, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Fratelli Rossetti, Etro, Loro Piana, Luis Vuitton, Prada, Valentino, Cartier, and Tanino Crisci, one could get into a lot of trouble financially. We had a riot people watching at all the various piazzas. We are sooo not in style. :)

Day 2: Church
We went to church today but not to our usual one. We were in the Santa Maria delle Grazie where "The Last Supper" and the lesser known "Crucifiction" by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano are. The funny part leading up to seeing these works of art is that unbeknownst to us, there are a zillion churches in Milan and the surrounding area named Santa Maria delle Grazie! The navi took us to some obscure church were we all thought that there was no way that the paintings were located there. Well, we were right and late for our pre-booked tour. A good, rather great Samaritan ended up driving and we followed him to the right church. We gave the staff the explanantion and they whisked us inside. We were amazed at the high level of security and the sectioned off doors leading to the 2 murals. Only 25 people are let in at a time, and you only have 15 minutes to admire paintings that you could study for days. It was a wonderful experience nonetheless. The painting is rich in symbolism with a multitude of references to the number 3 (Holy Trinity), from the 12 Apostles in groups of 3, to the number of windows in back of Christ. With the various detailed expressions depicted as a result of the news that one would betray Him, da Vinci makes "The Last Supper" a sight to remember.

My recommended links are:
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci in high definition
The Crucifiction by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano

Our drive home proved to be quite entertaining as well. Instead of going through the Gotthard tunnel, we basically went on top of the Alps through the Gotthard pass, which coincidentally is not open for very long in any given year. With the traffic backed up for miles before the tunnel, the pass proved to be the right decision. It also turned out to be much more scenic - duh - a straight, dark tunnel through the Alps versus a windy, open road over the Alps.

We uploaded many pictures from the trip, which can be found by clicking here!

Friday, July 11, 2008

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Confessions of a Sesame Street addict. Yes, I still love to spend time meandering through youtube during the late hours of night seeking old vintage clips from the early days of Sesame Street. Nothing beats those psychedelic days in the 70's. I don't really care for today's version of Sesame Street. Check out some of these classic clips:

Oh the memories...

Yes, I confess. I was in love with these girls and the lady's voice who sang that song!

This one used to "trip" me out!

Geez, who made this stuff up?

A stick of budd'a anyone?

Crazy memories!

The ladybugs' picnic...

This is how I learned to count to 12!

The cool, little 7th son!

One of my favorites... :)
Just wanted to check out the functionality of this blog site. A little test from a pic I found in storage from my youth.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Jolyn's 33rd birthday and my 80's nostalgia. Today, my wife turns 33! I've got the fat free cake thing going already, since she won't eat anything else. Love you baby and happy birthday from me!

Since hearing about my 20 year high school reunion (yes, I am that old), I have been thinking about the greatest decade of music to ever transmit over radio. So here is my list of the 10 best songs of the 80's (the love ballads are for you Jolyn; I have converted her):

Someday - Glass Tiger
Your Love - The Outfield
What Does It Take - Honeymoon Suite
Boys Of Summer - Don Henley
Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners
Africa - Toto
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Tarzan Boy - Baltimora
I Ran (So Far Away) - A Flock Of Seagulls
Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard

Geez, I have a lot more songs in mind. These are just what quickly came to mind. I will definitely have to revisit this subject. I don't even have Rick Springfield, Richard Marx, Bryan Adams, Alphaville, Hall & Oates, Men At Work, Depeche Mode, Howard Jones, The Police, Duran Duran, Dire Straits, Tommy Tutone, Air Supply, Jackson Browne, Survivor, Van Halen, Kajagoogoo, and the list could go on, and on, and on.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Although I have been setup as a blogger since early 2006 to corner the market on the name "pobanz," I still have yet to blog until now. Let me see if I can change this! What better day than on the birthday of my birth country, the USA. I even figured out how to add a cool map to show what countries I have been to. Check it out:

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