Wabbit season, duck season, conference season, soccer season

I missed Vloggercon and Bloggercon. Gnomedex was too far away. The World Cup – also a bit of distance to cover (Yeah, so we were in Italy for most of it, but who’s counting.). Okay, that wasn’t a conference, and I did manage to watch quite a bit of it, including the final (Forza Azzurri!).

Here’s the off-topic riff on the final: It was really fun to sit at the pub and watch a bunch of Americans who had been pulled onto the root-for-France train by the easy Zidane-the-hero story get the air knocked out of them by an Italian team with a story that’s probably more compelling, but much harder to tell. The biggest Italian star, Francesco Totti, was invisible for most of the tournament, assuming you weren’t reading an Italian newspaper. Something like 10 Italians scored their 12 goals. Plus there’s the backdrop of the match-fixing scandal at home, but maybe American eyes glaze over at the phrase “could be relegated to Serie B,” so that was mostly just alluded to as a possible distraction.

Here’s the end of the rant: Zidane was silenced, even with chances in front of the Italian goal, and then completely tarnished the happy little legacy he had built himself with an as-yet inexplicable head butt to the chest of Materazzi, who, incidentally, did manage to put the ball in goal today without needing a penalty kick to do it. What was Zidane thinking? That he’s going to leave that head butt as his defining last touch on the soccer world? Not a bright move. Italy wins, breaks the penalty kick spell, for what that’s worth, and the referees have four years to think about what they’ve done this month.

Back on topic: There are at least a few useful gatherings coming up in the Bay Area.

  • SJPizzacast – July 27th in San Jose – Bloggers, podcasters, students, professionals, amateurs, faculty, freaks, geeks, pizza, and beer(?).
  • BlogHer – July 28th and 29th in San Jose – In a little over a year, BlogHer has gone from concept to conference to community, and now the second conference promises to be a by-women, of-women, for-everyone event. Here’s Jay Rosen’s notes on last year’s event. Bonus fact: co-founder Elisa Camahort is an SJSU alumna.
  • The AEJMC convention – August 2nd-5th in San Francisco – All the best in Journalism & Mass Communications research. Wednesday looks like lots of fun for me.
  • WordCamp – August 5th in San Francisco – A one-day free conference for WordPress users and developers to party together. WordPress is the free, open-source software that runs this here blog.

So, um, stop hitting refresh on that ESPN Gamecast page. It’s over. Italy won. You can go back to ignoring soccer for four years. (Note to self: get some sort of expensive cable package that involves full coverage of the Italian, Spanish, and English leagues.) (Ed. note: It’s not going to happen.)

And we’re back

It’s going to take another night of sleep before I can make much sense, but we got back from Italy late Saturday night. I’m working on uploading the rough edit of pictures right now. Video will come later. Exhaustion is the word that keeps coming to mind.

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My wife, her grandmother, mother, and brother. Napoli.

A few highlights: Quiet swim in the sea at Falerna Marina, several walks in and around St. Peter’s in Rome, the chaotic drive through the Spanish Quarter in Napoli, spending time with Zia Rosaria in Sicily, watching the US battle Italy to a 1-1 draw over beer and pizza in Pietrelcina, never needing a jacket, visiting the farm in Raddusa (more on that later).

I’m not going to pretend that I have time to catch up on what’s gone on in the newspaper/tech/media world the last few weeks. Apparently, some companies were bought and sold, and some conferences were held. People made speeches, redesigned sites, and started new jobs.

Speaking of which, my internship starts Wednesday. I’m still not sure how much I’ll write about that here, if any. I’ll probably just link to the stories I write, and then make a big fuss when I hit the front page.

😉

A pizza a day

It’s a modest plan. When we went to Italy two years ago, I’m pretty sure it was a gelato a day, minus the one time we substituted some fantastic pastries. That could happen again, but the odds are good that I’ll be consuming, at minimum, either a pizza or a gelato every day of the 16 day trip that begins tomorrow.

Oh, and we’ll see some places and people and things, too.

The point is, expect a bit of quiet here until sometime around the 4th of July, and I’ll be a bit busy starting then, anyway. I’m sure I won’t be able to resist posting some pictures and video when we get back – but I don’t have any set plans to do anything from the road.

Leaving the laptop behind means my news sources will be RAI (translated by my wife as necessary) and the International Herald Tribune (as we walk by newsstands). I don’t think I’ve gone on that serious a no-media diet since starting grad school. If you desperately need to contact me for the next couple weeks, don’t hold your breath.