A great email in broken English….

If any of you have gone through the public photos on my site, you may have stumbled across the pictures of the World’s Best Chicken, a little roasted chicken place in Castelvolturno, Italy (near Naples).

Well today, I got an email from Giuseppe (Peppe) who owns the restaurant that had just a few words in broken English:

“Hallo Mike,
I have see photo my pizzeria, are beautyfull. Many tank. If you want you can see my site in the web. The andress is: www.ristopizzadomizia.it

I had many great meals in his restaurant on my trips to Naples and will always remember him, Mauritio (his maitre de/waiter) and the food. Lots of great memories with wonderful people. His email was a pleasant reminder of the good times.

Grazie Peppe! You made my day!

We aren’t all so lucky….

OK, maybe being first generation Irish American makes me think today is my day, or at least more so than all you wannabes 😉

So anyway, just about every other day of the year I display an American flag and a US Navy flag on the front of my house. But on this one special day, I break out my ‘heritage flags,’ the flag of Ireland and a Green and Red County flag for Mayo, the county of my Mum’s birth.

Well last year I had shared a picture of the Green and Red flying at my house with Mike Baynes from the Tweed Centre in Castlebar, Ireland. Although Mike and I have never met, we have exchanged emails after he saw my Ireland movie and I was actually in his store the last time I was in Ireland. Mike figured that my Green and Red may be a bit tattered so he sent me a new Mayo flag. Even though it came to the States via my Uncle Peter, to my Mum in Florida, and then through the US Postal Service, it arrived just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and I was so excited I decided to put the flags out a day earlier this year.


To Mike B., thanks so much for your kindness. Your gift is a truly welcome addition to my annual heritage celebration! I only wish I could be over in Ireland tomorrow so that I might buy you a pint to return the kindness.

To everyone else, have a wonderful holiday! No matter who you are or where you’re from, we all share this holiday. Be careful out there.


I’m going to be the Devil’s (2) Best Man….

It’s true, but not exactly what you think. I have two friends I met through the Navy that I have known for years. The three of us, me, Mike G, and Dave, are more commonly referred to as ‘The Devil’, ‘Splash’, and ‘The Devil(2)’.


Me, Mike, and Dave at LobsterFest in 2005.

Splash nicknamed himself. Being the only black man that puts up with our antics and still hangs out with us anyway, he dubbed himself our ‘Splash of color’ and it stuck. Dave nicknamed me the Devil because whenever we hang out and he gets into any trouble, he says I caused him to do it. I realized the same goes for him and I, he being the root cause of the evil I get into to, so he has been labeled the Devil2. Not any real trouble mind you, more like childish college pranks like the time Mike and I drank shot after shot of water as we fed Dave shots of tequila, you know, stuff like that :).

Well after years of abuse about his bachelorhood, Dave has actually met a woman willing to marry him. I have joked many times throughout the years that if he ever managed to do that, I might consider being his best man knowing all along that he wouldn’t choose me. He has brothers and other friends that live right there near him (he lives near Pittsburgh and I am out here near Dayton) who would be more obvious choices for that illustrious position, he had even said so in the past.

Well last night Dave popped the question… not to the woman, she had already said yes, but to me about being his best man. I was floored, literally, and if I could be serious for a moment (I know many of you wonder that too), his asking actually brought a tear to my eye. I of course said yes… I am truly honored that he chose me.

I wonder what mischief the Devil can bring to a Bachelor Party.

New Friends and Chinese Food

I love to travel, and because of the Navy I have had plenty of opportunity. The one thing I dislike about travel is traveling alone, which is another thing I have plenty of opportunity to do. During the work day it’s not so bad, but going out to eat and sightseeing is just depressing if you do it alone, Read more