Medical adventures (Part 5)

25 02 2009

I am a bit behind on telling the latest developments on the medical issue. A week ago I went back to the Ambulatorio to get my x-rays and see the orthopaedist again. For all of you who follow ER, Dr. House, Scrubs etc…. here is your chance to state your personal diagnosis (simply comment on this post….)

Happy feet

Happy feet

The result of it all is much less spectacular than the process of getting it:

The doc said something with the geometry of the bones in my left foot is not o.k., but it is a genetic condition so no repair works needed / possible. He wrote me a prescription to get insoles and additionally some laser therapy in case I felt I needed that to make the pain go away faster (it is gone now anyway).  One day after that I went to an orthopedic shop, they computer-scanned my feet and are now preparing the insoles for me, which I can pick up in two days.

Institutions visited so far: 9

Thereof with tangible result: 8

Money spent: 86,60 Euro

Time invested (appr.): 3.30 hours

Days passed since first decision to go and see a doctor: 27





Venice carnival

24 02 2009

Now here is my lttle Venice carnival story… on Sunday morning we took the 09.00 train from Bologna to Venezia S.Lucia. Already in Bologna the train was so full that some people could only stand, and on the way in Ferrara, Padova and Mestre there were more and more and more.

Little surprise, in the city of Venice it was the same: People and more people! We fought our way into the heart of the city to reach San Marco, where most of the events were taking place and most of the people with very elaborate masks were promenading. We watched the competition for the most beautiful mask for a little while – I even captured the winner on a short video (Click for link, at 0:30 seconds)!!

Venice carnival impression

Venice carnival impression

(Click here for the full picture gallery!)

I am glad that I went to see it, it was a nice experience although I don’t think I will become a Venice carnival regular.

The way back then proved to be difficult enough. We tried to reach the 18.00 train, but only came to the station five minutes before six. So we decided to have a coffee and go to the platform at 18.30 in order to get a seat on the seven o’clock train. What we did get at that time was a place in a big crowd in front of the platform, that was sealed off by police in order to keep people from storming the train, that was already packed with people. After the seven o’clock train had left, the police opened the platform for just some minutes so the people that would crowd themselves into the 20.00 train could stand there and wait…





Austrian stocks and banking… is there a crisis? (updated)

17 02 2009

ATX down 9% today… what more is there to say. I put an image here so no one will be able to say at a later point in history that “it was not really all that bad”.

ATX on 17.2.2009

ATX on 17.2.2009

10-year government bonds at a 1.34% spread over the german Bund (Italy 1,56%)  and an article in derStandard.at reports that CDS spreads for Austrian bonds are even above those for Italian ones – and Italy has twice the public debt that Austria has and one or the other structural problem…

Is there anyone out there who would like to come with me and open up a bar in a tropical place where one can watch the sunset (and drink to forget, when needed)? I just don’t feel like going back to a banking-industry job.

Some links:

Manager Magazin (german, very sarcastic)
http://www.manager-magazin.de/unternehmen/artikel/0,2828,604619,00.html

Business Prof explains subprime crisis (english, very funny)
http://www.imd.ch/news/IMD-Professor-Arturo-Bris-simplifies-sub-prime-crisis-in-video-presentation.cfm?bhcp=1

And a very weird one – found it today on a Google search for some Austrian banking law:
http://www.offshore-services.biz/offshore-banking/austrian-bank-account/
(If you need an Austrian bank account, just email me, I will get you a better deal than those guys…)





Another victim of those Austrians…

17 02 2009

One of the streets in the heart of Bologna I use often is named after Ugo Bassi, whose statue you can see at the picture below. Two things attracted my interest: A street in a very prominent place named after someone I had never even heard of before and the statue showing that he was a priest yet at the same time indicating he was a freemason – not such an obvious combination.

Ugo Bassi

Ugo Bassi

His story in short words: He decided to be a priest at 18 after an unhappy love affair (how is that for a start), became famous for his eloquent and enthusiastic preachings and for helping the poor. During the Risorgimento he became a follower of Garibaldi and supported the freedom fighters by tending to the wounded during and after the fights, getting wounded himself in battle. He did never bear any weapons, yet when he was caught he was accused of just that before a court martial and consecutively executed in Bologna on August 8th 1849 at the age of 48. (Click here for the full story on the online Encyclopedia Britannica)

About his affiliation with the freemasons I could not find anything searching the web, however a LinkedIn profile from a gentleman working at the European Commission appeared.





One word in favor of globalization…

17 02 2009

…even in times of the crisis.

PROST!

Beer from my home region (found at local discount supermarket, they also have Gösser!)

Beer from my home region (found at local discount supermarket, they also have Gösser!)





How to realize spring is coming to Bologna

17 02 2009

My low blog visitor statistics suggest that it is time for some new stuff here… ok, here we go. Last Saturday I went running in the afternoon (no, the foot issue is not resolved, next episode will take place tomorrow!) and realized that spring is showing its first signs. So for future or less experienced Bologna inhabitants, here is how to tell spring is arriving:

– suddenly there are many people in the streets offering to clean windshields at traffic lights

Not in Bologna...

Not in Bologna...

– there are less people in the streets wearing jackets that make them look like they live in Siberia
– not only hardcore smokers but also non-smoking young couples sit outside in parks or street cafes
– the parks (and my jogging route) are not only populated by cold-defying dog owners but also by people going for a walk or doing sports





Mountain days in Madonna di Campiglio

8 02 2009

A great weekend in the mountains lies behind me. Two days of so much snow as never seen before and one day of magnificent weather and fantastic views of the Brenta Dolomites. After thinking about what to write,  I finally decided to simply let the images speak for themselves.

So, here is the link to my complete picture gallery (two examples below):

Dolomiti in the clouds

Dolomiti in the clouds

Snow & sun

Snow & sun

And there is also a video channel on youtube!!! (Click for link)

Finally, some thanks goes to our accomodation at the “Kaiserkrone” in Dimaro.  The rooms were very nice, the people were friendly and the breakfast was… let’s say “typically italian” – and everything at a reasonable price. And they really have had Austrian Emperor Franz Josef I. (aka Cecco-Beppe, in Italy, thanks Jacopo) as their guest some years ago! Check the “History” section on what might be the worst looking homepage in the country (click here)!