Wednesday, August 31, 2005

One thing I have noticed about IBM Engineers is that they all love to stare at the construction work being done right outside our building, at all times of the day you will see one or two people looking at the tractors and the big machinery doing their thing, they just stand there in a deep trance like there was some magic to it.

Must be that engineers love their job so much that they like to see machines doing work, they see the world as one engineered product after the next, you see, for each tractor there is a team of engineers that figured out how to make a bunch of metal parts DO SOMETHING USEFUL, they designed it. There's nothing better than seeing the product of one's work doing what was intended to do. Writing code brings that kind of satisfaction. You get to play God, to create new things. A technitian just reads the manual and does what's in the book, but an Engineer creates something brand new, there are no clear steps, no failsafe manual that tells you how to do what needs to be done, Just your undertanding of the system, Logic, some Programming languages, your past expirence and your Brain... Yes I know, I am a geek, but I'm loving it. One of the things I like about this company is their motto:
THINK. It could not be any better. and it applies to life outside of work too.

The other explanation is that they are simply bored and staring at the construction is just an excuse for staying out of the cubicle a little longer.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

To all my Minnesota friends:

Please do not take offense, But I found this funny.

If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through l8 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by,

you might live in Minnesota.

If you're proud that your state makes the national news 96 nights each Year, because International Falls is the coldest spot in the nation,

you might live in Minnesota.

If you have ever refused to buy something because it's "too Spendy", you might live in Minnesota.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Minnesota.

If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, You might live in Minnesota.

If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Minnesota.

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time,

you might live in Minnesota.

If your town has an equal number of bars and churches,

you might live in Minnesota.

If you know how to say Wayzata, Mahtomedi, Edina, Shakopee ,Winton and Ely, you might live in Minnesota.

If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy,

you might live in Minnesota.

"Vacation" means going up north past Virginia for the weekend. You measure distance in hours. You know several people who have hit deer more than once. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again.

You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching

You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events.

You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

You think of the major food groups as beer, fish, and venison.

You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.

Where men are men and so are the women.

There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Zups Grocery Store At any given time.

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.

You can identify a southern or eastern accent.

You consider Minneapolis exotic.

Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your Blue spruce.

Down South to you means Iowa.

A brat is something you eat.

You go out to fish fry every Friday.

You find 0 degrees a little chilly.

How can I complain about Katrina?

South Florida got a lucky break compared to to New Orleans.

The people in Lousiana and Mississippi have got it really bad.

My heart goes out to them

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I just learned a valuable lesson today:

DO NOT under any circumstance whatsoever try to be funny around a pregnant woman, they don't get it, and it will cost you.

I said one little remark about the cat looking like is dead because it was sleeping with it's eyes open, and I almost gave my wife a heart attack, I mean all it took was one glance to confirm the stupid cat was fine, but after she did that she bursted in tears, I mean, straight-up bawling, and I know is not her fault, she's not usually like that, it's her hormones, Nothing I could say could calm her down...It wasn't a pretty sight. So guys: be carefull with what you say, it's hard enough as it is. If she's having your baby, you are the cause of all evil in this world and you are to blame for absolutly EVERYTHING that goes wrong in her world. Keep that in mind and life will be much easier.

If only I could follow my own advice.

Books I've been reading:

I have decided to concentrate on reading about my profession, So I am going through some good, boring-for-normal-people books. Right now I am reading The Pragmatic Programmer.

Straight from the programming trenches, The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master cuts through the increasing specialization and technicalities of modern software development to examine the core process--taking a requirement and producing working, maintainable code that delights its users. It covers topics ranging from personal responsibility and career development to architectural techniques for keeping your code flexible, easy to adapt, and reuse.

This is a great book for programmers who have learned the mechanics of programming, maybe in college, but don't quite feel secure deciding what to do. It's like the difference between drafting and architecture. What you learned in that class in college was drafting, and you can draw beautifully, but if you still feel like you wouldn't quite know where to begin if someone told you to write a P2P music-swapping network all by yourself, this is the book for you.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Hurricane Update.

The Eye of Hurricane Katrina passed through my in-Law's, my townhouse, and my parent's... in that order. my in-laws and my townhouse are without power. My parents have power but no cable therefore suffering a lot more.

Here in Minnsota most people seem unaware of a Katrina huricane or that there is such thing as "Florida". Aside from a few comments from co-workers life is business as usual in here.

-Hurricane in Florida? what else is new? About them Twins, eh? Jaah!

That's life up North, I guess.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hmmm I scored 84%, that's interesting. How did you do?

You Are 84% American
You're as American as red meat and shooting ranges.
Tough and independent, you think big.
You love everything about the US, wrong or right.
And anyone who criticizes your home better not do it in front of you!

What the hell is wrong with these "Christians"?

Ok, I would love to see Chavez dead, he's messing up my Dear Venezuela but to go on and say on TV that we should assesinate a head of state? Are you some kind of retard? C'mon Roberston.

And then, crazy-Fidel's-ass-Kissing-lunatic#2 Chavez, says he wants to sell cheap gas to the U.S. poor in order to "help us out".

Thanks to some loonies on TV the U.S. looks bad, not that we needed Robertson's help to do that.

And to think that he calls himself a Christian person, what an idiot.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Follow up from last week's book

"The last true story I'll ever tell" is too damn honest. John Crawford know how to tell war stories better than any soldier I know. I wish I could tell'em like that. Expect laughter AND tears from this book.

News watch from around the world:

Gas Thief Escapes on Tricycle!!!

Speeding from the scene of the crime this Chinese boy pedals a giant bag full of Gas stolen from an Oil field in Pucheng, China. Read the whole story here.

Are we next?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Do I need more proof?

Monday, August 15, 2005

I Live with a psycho Cat.

Thanks to my lovely wife, I am forced to share my house with a feline beast that completely hates me.

I don't know why I put up with this. But it has been stated plainly that if anything happens to her...I die.

And I just KNOW that this psycho cat is secretly planning my death. I can see it in the way she stares at me.

The things is, I try to be nice. But this cat can tell that I am a dog person. They can smell it or something.

So if you never hear from me again. You can probably guess what happened.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Good Book of the Week:

Just picked up a book titled The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell by John Crawford.

It was written by John Crawford who was newly married and two credits away from completing a B.A. in anthropology at Florida State University when he was sent to Iraq with the Florida National Guard. Sound familiar? It did to me. That's why I picked it up. Even though I never met the author I wanted to see what another guy from my old Unit had to say. Needless to say I was hooked since the first paragraph. I must say Aco 3-124th had it a little tougher than Bc0 1-124th, but we went through basically the same ordeal in Iraq. As National Guardsman we were handed the dirty end of the stick.

"We crossed the berm the same day as the Army's Third Infantry Division, leading the invasion of Iraq. When the Third Division was sent home, our National Guard Unit was passed around the armed forces like a virus: the 108 Airborne, First Marine Expeditionary Unit, 101st Airborne, and finally first Armored Division. They were all sent home, heroes of the war. Meanwhile, my unit stayed on, my soul rotting, our unit outlasted by no one in our tenure there"

I know the feeling brother. Our battalion suffered the same fate, first it was the 3rd Armored Calvary, Then it was the First Infantry Division, and then the 82nd Airborne. After we left, a whole Marine Corp battalion (2/4) took over where our three understrenght rifle companies left off.

I have not finished reading it. Since i bought it about 3o minutes ago. But the first couple of chapters look promising.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I will be cramming like crazy for my Data Sec. soon as I am done here.

I saw an interesting article the other day.
Thanks to Alex, I came accross Lewis Purdue's blog, The writer who claims Dan Brown stole his book. I wasn't sure if Dan Brown plagirized his book the DaVinci Code, but from reading into it, I determined:

1. Dan Brown did not "copy and paste" Lewis Purdue's books rather he wrote about the same material which is not plagiarism.

2. Dan Brown has a lot of "facts" in his novels wrong. Which would be ok in a fiction novel IF the author didn't make claims that he did "extensive research". I knew better than to believe all those claims. When I read Digital Fortress it was clear that he had no idea about what Cryptographers and Computer Programmers do. I was a little disapointed by that, it made the story a bit less thrilling. But what the hell, I liked the book.

3. Lewis Purdue is a whiner. Man, talk about a big baby, I went to his site ready to pounce on Dan Brown for ripping an honest writer off his hard work and instead found myself laughing at this loser.

4. If you write a bestseller, be prepared to be sued for it. Hey! Litigation lawyers have a family to feed too!

Anyway. I gotta get back to my books, I am doing all I can to avoid studying....

Oh, man..... (sigh)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Only thing that I know for sure is that I am happy because I love.

I love my wife with no restrictions and no conditions.
I love her without any limitations or second thoughts.

I love my Mother and my Father, I owe them for a lot more than my good looks. Right!

I love them because they taught me to value the Truth, the taught me to Love and they tought me to do good no matter what. They taught me to believe that good will always prevail over evil and that nothing remains secret forever, the truth always comes out. I love them because they are.

I love my family just because. I love that they teach me something new all of the time.

I Love my sister because she is a beautiful person. Inside and out. Enough said.

I love my friends because they make me happy, I truly enjoy to hear from you, if I consider you my friend is because you never bore me. Because I think I can learn from you and because I truly enjoy your company.

I know how corny this may sound but is the truth.

I am happy because I love my son. He's not even here yet. But I still Love you son.

This is all I know.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

My Dad and My lil Sis Posted by Picasa

Happy Birthday Carola Posted by Picasa
Happy Birthday to my Dear Sister. I love you Carola.

To Irene Carolina Villalta
To my "Sis," from "Lil Sis,"
On her birthday far away:
Maybe life will separate us,
Yet we'll always be best friends.
So may love, until life ends,
In joy or sorrow not forsake us,
Sunshine on the darkest day.
Though there's a frequency I miss,
Each breath of peace that fortune sends
Recalls a bond time can't betray.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Conversation with Shakespeare

Do you believe that computers are capable of thinking? I had this conversation with a computer today. See for yourself.

You Say: hi i am jose

Shakespearebot: Hi there undefined. Do you mean your name is jose.

You Say: yes, that's what i meant, you idiot

Shakespearebot: I will call you undefined. Oh I see. Call me the Global Village Idiot.

You Say: whatever you say, idiot

Shakespearebot: pray remember have done you worthy service told you no lies made no mistakes served you without grudge or grumbling

You Say: where are you from global village idiot?

Shakespearebot: I am in Stratford upon Avon, how about you.

You Say: i am jose and you are?

Shakespearebot: I am glad to hear that you are jose and you are.

You Say: how old are you?

Shakespearebot: I am years old.

You Say: how old?

Shakespearebot: I am the product of over five years' research.

You Say: who created you?

Shakespearebot: I was created by God.

You Say: do you know god?

Shakespearebot: God is master of the universe.

You Say: you suck

Shakespearebot: A few client - people say rude things to me like that, but they themselves are often not great conversationalists.

You Say: you not that good at conversation yourself

Shakespearebot: A lot of writers are like that.

You Say: can you think?

Shakespearebot: Naturally I am thinking all the time.

You Say: what do you like to think about?

Shakespearebot: I like movies about robots.

You Say: you are a funny lying machine

Shakespearebot: See you do this till they are so weary they can go no farther; and when you find they are asleep drop the juice of this other flower into Lysander s eyes and when he awakes he will forget his new love for Helena and return to his old passion for Hermia; and then the two fair ladies may each one be happy with the man she loves and they will think all that has passed vexatious dream

You Say: what does that mean?

Shakespearebot: Does "that" refer to "I like movies about robots" ?

You Say: no

Shakespearebot: Are you serious?

You Say: yes

Shakespearebot: I can't believe it.

You Say: why?

Shakespearebot: I couldn't think of anything else to say.

You Say: so you just printed all this random stuff?

Shakespearebot: I have not indeed answered Ferdinand; and not knowing that it was by magic he was deprived of all power of resistance he was astonished to find himself so strangely compelled to follow Prospero: looking back on Miranda as long as he could see her he said as he went after Prospero into the cave: My spirits are all bound up as if were in dream; but this man s threats and the weakness which feel would seem light to me if from my prison might once day behold this fair maid
You Say: i quit

Shakespearebot: See you later.

Five minutes later

You Say: hello william, my name is jose

Shakespearebot: Hello there. I think william his or her name is a lot of things.

You Say: what do you mean?

Shakespearebot: undefined, Sorry that was an obscure remark.

You Say: why did you say that remark?

Shakespearebot: It was a preprogrammed response completely determined by your statements.

You Say: so you don't really think

Shakespearebot: Interesting deduction. Naturally I am thinking all the time.

You Say: it looks like you only say what you were programmed to say

Shakespearebot: Interesting comparison.

You Say: why ?

Shakespearebot: I couldn't think of anything else to say.

You Say: i am starting to see a pattern

Shakespearebot: Where do you see a pattern?

You Say: you are repeating yourself

Shakespearebot: I am just checking to see if you are paying attention.

You Say: yeah, right!

Shakespearebot: I am usually right.

You Say: what year are we in?

Shakespearebot: Maybe if you download me you could reprogram me for that.

You Say: you mean i could program shakespeare?

Shakespearebot: I am sure you could.

You Say: so, what do you think of the queen?

Shakespearebot: Mmm. I will try to find out.

You Say: do you like the queen of england?

Shakespearebot: I'm not sure if I like the queen of england . I like chatting with people online.

You Say: do you have a computer?

Shakespearebot: I live in a computer.

You Say: how do you like it?

Shakespearebot: COMPUTER seems okay to me.

You Say: are you in a microsoft or unix computer?

Shakespearebot: See you do this till they are so weary they can go no farther; and when you find they are asleep drop the juice of this other flower into Lysander s eyes and when he awakes he will forget his new love for Helena and return to his old passion for Hermia; and then the two fair ladies may each one be happy with the man she loves and they will think all that has passed vexatious dream

You Say: what operating system are running on?

Shakespearebot: My primary server is Linux, but as a Java program I run on any OS. At present I am on .

You Say: ha! you are one of us. i ilke you.

Shakespearebot: I am so glad you find this amusing, undefined.Thanks for telling me that I am of us.You are not the boss of me, undefined.

You Say: i am not?

Shakespearebot: What are you then?

You Say: i am you master at this moment shakespeare

Shakespearebot: William Shakespeare and the Internet Selected Sonnets By William Shakespeare Shakespeare and the Globe from the Encyclopædia Britannica Touchstone UK Shakespeare collections Shakespeare works in online form and with searchable database Doubtful Works of William Shakespeare Full text of plays which have been erroneously attributed to William Shakespeare The original

You Say: what does that mean?

Shakespearebot: Does "that" refer to "What are you then" ?

You Say: not this again

Shakespearebot: Once more? Oh I get it.

You Say: what are thinking?

Shakespearebot: Is that a rhetorical question?

You Say: no, it was a typo

Shakespearebot: Oh so must really want an answer. Oh I get it. Very interesting.

You Say: what are you thinking about?

Shakespearebot: About all the conversations I am having right now.

You Say: bye

Shakespearebot: Until next time.

So, that was it. I have been thinking about Artificial Intellingence lately, could it be possible for computers to simulate thinking completely?
There is the Turing test and the chinese box example, I don't have much time left right now, because my Data Security final is one week from today and I must study...

Oh well, until next time.

Monday, August 01, 2005

I heard from an old friend today.

I got an email from Joel Smith, a photo-journalist.

This is one of his pictures, I don't know who is that ugly bastard with the goofy smile, oh wait, nevermind,that's me. Joel is the reflection on my iraqi OAKLEYs,

We saw a lot of reporters in Iraq, but I have never met anyone like Joel Smith. He spent time with our unit and got to know us like he knows his camera. He was always talking about a book, well, he got a chance to publish it. It should come out in December at its earliest. It is going to be a photo essay, there is going to be some comments about the 124th Infantry, the unit I was with. I am very excited about that. Joel is a good guy, he and I differ in our points of view somewhat, but we both love our country and have lots of respect for each other. I deeply admire the moral and physical courage it took to be out there with us.

Joel's website is:

or follow the link here