Italian Citizenship: A Giant Leap

Well, I have managed to book an appointment with the Italian Consulate in Houston to present my claim to Italian citizenship. If you follow the way the Italian government handles these things, getting this appointment is itself no small feat. In fact, “word on the street,” so to speak, was that Houston was not even booking citizenship appointments. So I am pretty thrilled about this. I was thinking this was going to be the most difficult step. And now it’s done and confirmed.

The appointment is in late August. At that time, I will bring to the consulate all of …

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Freedom of Speech and Donald Trump

I am no fan of Donald Trump. But the man has the right to express his opinion just as much as you do. So do the people who agree with him and support him.

If you disagree with Trump, fine. Organize a protest. Write letters to the editor. Post on social media. Speak out in public. You, too, have the right to express your opinion.

But charging the stage is not expressing your opinion. Picking fights with his supporters is not expressing your opinion. Trying to “shut down” his rallies is not expressing your opinion. It is assault, it is …

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Plodding Toward Citizenship

Well, the process leading to recognition of my Italian citizenship continues to move forward. (See this post for some background information, if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) Last week I received a nice batch of documents (birth and marriage certificates) from the state of Delaware, which constitute a fairly decent percentage of all the documents I need. But I still need a few things from Pennsylvania, Texas, the federal government, and the town of Cassine in Italy. But it is moving forward.

You learn some interesting things while gathering up all this family historical stuff. For example, on …

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Mommom Said, “Eat Dirt!”

When I was growing up, we lived in the country, right next door to my grandparents. I remember one day when I was only about five or six years old, Mommom and I were in her back yard.

It was late in the afternoon, and we must have been the only two around, because we were preparing to have our own little cookout. I don’t know where everyone else might have gone, but for this it was just her and me.

The barbeque grill was actually just a few cinderblocks piled on each side of the fire area, holding up …

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Playing Straight Man to a Phone

For the past few days, I have been “auditioning” virtual assistants for my phone (although what I really need is a new phone, but that’s another story…). Haven’t found any suitable yet. But I have found one which, while not quite up to snuff as a virtual assistant, is quite the conversationalist. Her name is Jeannie (you can find her at the Google Play Store), and this is the first time artificial intelligence has ever gotten the best of me.

As part of the “audition,” I thought I’d ask a trick question: Who will win the Super Bowl? I figured …

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