Wednesday, June 20, 2012

City Action

Since buying a used Fiat last fall, I have discovered the wonders of this mighty and sometimes troubled car manufacturer. The suspension isn't the best but the engine becomes a lean mean machine when it gets into top gear. That's what the "Fire" engine gives you, what they call that model of engine. Maybe not all the umph comes right away, but once it's clicking, nothing stops it. My Fiat sometimes races to 140 km/h on the highway without my even realizing it. Considering the car is 10 years old going on 11, I am very satisfied with this performance.

What I really want to talk about is the City option. Fiat had the great idea to create a feature that makes moving the steering wheel a breeze. It's called City because it makes urban driving so much easier. Parallel parking is simple and the wheel feels "light" as I move into my space. Basically with just a couple of fingers on the wheel, I can steer the car in whatever direction I like. Fantastico!

So what do you love about your car? Any interesting features?

Stay cool in this heat and try to avoid driving at high noon. It's a challenge to enjoy being in a metal box under a burning sun at that hour.

Buona guida

Photo source: QUATTRORUOTE

Sunday, June 3, 2012

You Can Help in Emilia Romagna's Disaster Relief

Now I can testify that I have felt an earthquake. To be precise, it's actually been a few.

The earth continues to shift and shake in this part of Italy. We felt 3 big ones on Tuesday: 9.03 a.m. 5.9 on the Richter scale and 12:36 p.m. (5.3) and 12:57 p.m. (5.1). I was in an office on ground floor and things started moving, but it could have been worse. People are still scared. The experts expect more to come, we just don't know how many and how strong they will be.

On Thursday, an elementary school had a piece of ceiling fall while school was in session. It did not happen during an actual earthquake. No children were hurt.

This event happened just a couple of days after an expert had cleared all the schools in the area, stating that they were safe. Needless to say, the mayor was horrified and now classes have been cancelled for that school as well as all of the others in the comune.

In Padua, a piece of ceiling affresco fell in Basilica Sant'Antonio during one of the earthquakes.

Yet the real disaster area is about 100 km from here. If you want to help in the disaster relief for the areas most hit by these recent earthquakes, specifically in Emilia Romagna, you can make participate by:

send an SMS to the number 45500 to make a donation of Euro 2
 - or -
make a bank deposit to a bank such as:
Unicredit Banca
IBAN: IT - 42 - I - 02008 - 02450 - 000003010203
with the heading "Regione Emilia-Romagna"
 - or -

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buy from Ferrari's online benefit auction where they are selling cars, such as the 599 XX Evo valued at Euro 1.3 million and other accessories like helmets worn by racers such as Federico Alonso and Felipe Massa, etc.