Friday, September 20, 2019

Living in Rome


This summer we moved to Rome, Italy. I first visited Rome way back in 1995 when I was living in Moscow, Russia. I later visited northern Italy quite a number of times while we were living in Croatia. We finally visited Rome as a family in 2013. But now we get to actually live here, which is awesome!

I have always been a huge history buff, and ancient Rome was always my favorite. If you have never read the Rome series by Colleen McCullough, it's the best historical fiction I've ever read. I intend to re-read the series now that I'm living here.
View from our apartment

You can see the balcony of our apartment
Our apartment is right in the historical center of Rome, not far from the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.

Monument to Emmanuele II and the Capitoline

Walking anywhere around the city center is simply amazing, blending so many historical styles.
Spanish Steps
Even my new place of work is gorgeous. The hallway below is just steps away from my office!
It's going to be a fascinating three years here!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Summer Move

This summer we moved from Nassau, Bahamas to Rome, Italy. In between we spent about a month and a half back in the US. We visited family and friends, but mostly we drove all over the western United States. We started in Phoenix, Arizona and went through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and back to Arizona. It was exhausting but fun.
Me in Yellowstone Park
I last visited Yellowstone Park when I was four, so it was great to see it again. I even had a deja vu moment where I realized the spot we were in must be one that I had been at as a four year old.
Visiting Seattle
I hadn't yet been to Seattle, so it was nice finally getting up there.

We visited the Museum of Pop in Seattle, which had nice sections for Pearl Jam and Nirvana, but strangely had nothing for Soundgarden or Alice in Chains.
One highlight was stopping by the Seattle Library (due to its amazing architecture) and noticing that they had one of my novels! Later I checked in Portland and their library system had two copies.
Crater Lake
On our way down through Oregon we drove through Crater Lake, which had the bluest waters I have ever seen.

I loved spending this summer with my wife and younger son, though we missed having our eldest with us, since he was doing an internship for college.



Monday, May 6, 2019

Rockville 2019

My family all went to Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville, Florida two years ago to see some of our favorite bands playing at the festival, including A Perfect Circle, Soundgarden, and Alter Bridge. This year the kids couldn't make it, sadly, since they are in the middle of finals at college, so only my wife and I went. The only real reason we went (other than to get to spend some rare quality time with my wonderful Aunt Jan and her family in Jacksonville) was to see Tool. I hadn't gotten to see Tool live yet, and not only was this a chance to fix that, it was also a chance to see them unleash a couple of new songs from their forthcoming album that no audiences had yet gotten to experience.
My Aunt Jan with Victoria and me
We didn't go to the first two days of the festival, since none of the bands really appealed to us, so instead my Aunt Jan showed us some cool places out and about in Jacksonville.

Victoria and me at Meshuggah

Then on Sunday we finally went to the festival. We got there in time to see the last couple songs by Meshuggah, then whole sets by Papa Roach, Bring Me the Horizon, and Incubus before the grand finale with Tool.


Tool

Tool did their two new songs, which was nice, and they played well. I was a tad disappointed at some of the song selection, as I didn't get to hear some of my favorite Tool songs, but still it was a great experience.




Saturday, April 20, 2019

First Article Published on Chessbase

I'm really proud that I got my first article published on the largest chess news site in the world, Chessbase.com. I've been published in Chess Life in the US before, but Chessbase has a global audience!
Nathan Smith, photo by Gurth Smith

https://en.chessbase.com/post/focus-on-bahamas?fbclid=IwAR0pM6D7NxMZKzlknBAQzvZiekdYDVR4wm5jPJt3hm3ULJave4yfQskD_KA