Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Anthony is doing so good. He only cries when he's hungry, And his Mom is awesome.

I am tired though, My routine went out the window the minute he was born, I guess it is going to take a while before we settle into a rythm.

It sucks that I have more stuff I'd like to write but don't have much time.

More later (hopefully)


Monday, September 26, 2005

Things are going great. He's doing really good so is his mother.

IBM has been really good to us. Thank you guys.

I have taken a lot of pictures, but I've noticed they are repetitive. He closes his eyes when the flash comes on. So it's really hard to get him with his eyes open, since when he's not sleeping he is eating or crying, there has been a few good moments, but I never have the camera near. I think that he is getting better looking by the hour. Last night he was up most of the night. I did my best to get some sleep, but I heard him. I am tired, but is not that bad. I should be back to my regular work schedule soon.

Life is good


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Baby Anthony is home now.

Here are some pics for ya'll

Today Anthony comes home with his Mom. Will post more pictures later.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

So, this is the first day of this great adventure called parenthood.

This has probably been said a bunch of times, but seeing a person's birth is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Wow, It is incredible. I saw him come out and his eyes were open. He took his first breath right in front of my me. He cried for like ten seconds, but then he was so quiet, he was looking around the room taking it all in. It was a beatiful thing. I can see he has his mother's nose, but his face reminds me of my Dad. He has a lof hair as you can tell by the picture.

I only slept 5 hours last night, even though I went home at 1:30 AM, I just couldn't sleep. It's so overwhelminly exciting.

Man, Life is Good.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Anthony has just been born!

At 8:05 Central Time. 7lbs 8ounces.

Son, we love you so much

Wife is in labor Right Now.
We are so happy!
More news later


Thursday, September 22, 2005

"Crab Canon" by M.C. Escher (~1965)

Here's an small section of The Eternal Golden Braid. It's a Dialog based on J.S. Bach's crab canon.

Crab Canon
by Douglas Hofstadter

Achilles and the Tortoise happen upon each other in the park one day while strolling.

TORTOISE: Good day, Mr. A.

ACHILLES: Why, same to you.

TORTOISE: So nice to run into you.

ACHILLES: That echoes my thoughts.

TORTOISE: And it's a perfect day for a walk. I think I'll be walking home soon.

ACHILLES: Oh really? I guess there's nothing better for you than walking.

TORTOISE: Incidentally, you're looking in very fine fettle these days, I must say.

ACHILLES: Thank you very much.

TORTOISE: Not at all. Here, care for one of my cigars?

ACHILLES: Oh, you are such a philistine. In this area, the Dutch contributions are of markedly inferior taste, don't you think?

TORTOISE: I disagree, in this case. But speaking of taste, I finally saw that Crab Canon by your favorite artist, M. C. Escher, in a gallery the other day, and I fully appreciate the beauty and ingenuity with which he made one single theme mesh with itself going both backwards and forwards. But I am afraid that I will always feel Bach is superior to Escher.

ACHILLES: I don't know. But one thing for certain is that I don't worry about arguments of taste. De gustibus non est disputandum.

TORTOISE: Tell me, what's it like to be your age? Is it true that one has no worries at all?

ACHILLES: To be precise, one has no frets.

TORTOISE: Oh, well, it's all the same to me.

ACHILLES: Fiddle. It makes a big difference, you know.

TORTOISE: Say, don't you play the guitar?

ACHILLES: That's my friend. He often plays, the fool. But I myself wouldn't touch a guitar with a ten-foot pole!

(Suddenly, the Crab, appearing from out of nowhere, wanders up excitedly, pointing to a rather prominent black eye.)

CRAB: Hallo! Hulloo! What's up? What's new? You see this bump, this lump? Given to me by a grump. Ho! And on such a fine day. You see, I was just idly loafing about the park when up lumbers this giant fellow from Warsaw — a colossal bear of a man — playing a lute. He was three meters tall, if I'm a day. I mosey on up to the chap, reach skyward and manage to tap him on the knee, saying, "Pardon me, sir, but you are Pole-luting our park with your mazurkas." But WOW! he had no sense of humor — not a bit, not a wit — and POW! — he lets loose and belts me one, smack in the eye! Were it in my nature, I would crab up a storm, but in the time-honored tradition of my species, I backed off. After all, when we walk forwards, we move backwards. It's in our genes, you know, turning round and round. That reminds me — I've always wondered, "Which came first — the Crab, or the Gene?" That is to say, "Which came last — the Gene or the Crab?" I'm always turning things round and round, you know. It's in our genes, after all. When we walk backwards, we move forwards. Ah me, oh my! I must lope along on my merry way — so off I go on such a fine day. Sing "ho!" for the life of a Crab! TATA! ¡Olé!

(And he disappears as suddenly as he arrived.)

TORTOISE: That's my good friend. He often plays the fool. But I myself wouldn't touch a ten-foot Pole with a guitar!

ACHILLES: Say, don't you play the guitar?

TORTOISE: Fiddle. It makes a big difference, you know.

ACHILLES: Oh, well, it's all the same to me.

TORTOISE: To be precise, one has no frets.

ACHILLES: Tell me, what's it like to be your age? Is it true that one has no worries at all?

TORTOISE: I don't know, but one thing for certain is that I don't worry about arguments of taste. Disputandum non est de gustibus.

ACHILLES: I disagree, in this case. But speaking of taste, I finally heard that Crab Canon by your favorite composer, J.S. Bach, in a concert the other day, and I fully appreciate the beauty and ingenuity with which he made one single theme mesh with itself going both backwards and forwards. But I'm afraid I will always feel Escher is superior to Bach.

TORTOISE: Oh, you are such a philistine. In this area, the Dutch contributions are of markedly inferior taste, don't you think?

ACHILLES: Not at all. Here, care for one of my cigars?

TORTOISE: Thank you very much.

ACHILLES: Incidentally, you're looking in very fine fettle these days, I must say.

TORTOISE: Oh really? I guess there's nothing better for you than walking.

ACHILLES: And it's a perfect day for a walk. I think I'll be walking home soon.

TORTOISE: That echoes my thoughs.

ACHILLES: So nice to run into you.

TORTOISE: Why, same to you.

ACHILLES: Good day, Mr. T.

Notice that the converstation ends the same way that it begins and that it is reads the same if you read it forward or backwards. This is a property called "crab canon" in music and it happens in Bach's work, Escher's painting, and in Nature as well , some DNA segments have this property, such segments are called 'palindromes'. So this is part of what I've been reading lately, this book is fascinating, I am reading it slowly because I don't want it to end, also because I can only process it a bit at a time. Reading this book is an adventure into the world of patterns and Mathematics, the languange that God used to write his creation. Well it's about more than that actually, i probably don't understand it fully, I have reread some sections and I keep finding hidden puns and jokes within the lines.

Ok, gotta get back to life, will be back with news about the baby soon!

Well, no baby yet.

You know, I have a pretty cool sister. Caro I wish you could come up to Minnesota so you can meet your nephew and so we could hang out. You will be surprised, there are so many things to do here in Rochester, things like...well, you should come anyway.

Minnesota is not that bad,the worst thing is the complete absence of any good Latin Restaurants I don't mean Mexican but Venezuelan or Cuban or Colombian you know, the good stuff.

Here if you speak Spanish you are Mexican automatically, doesn't matter if you're from Madrid, Buenos Aires or Caracas, to the Gringos here those are all villages somewhere near the Mexican border.

I am getting used to it though, heck I may even start playing broomball, if you have to ask what that is, you are not from Minnesota.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

All these hurricanes are unbelievable,Rita a Category 5??!! Damn.

My Mom's flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Minneapolis is supposed to stop in Houston, I don't think that's going to happen, We'll see how that goes, a lot can happen in 3 days..

I truly hope that the Folks down in Texas take the Warnings seriously, and get the heck out of town. Please. Don't be a bunch of Floridians and go surfing or something. Get out! Why are you still reading this? Turn off that computer and evacuate!

I hope my Mother can make it here this weekend, I haven't seen her in months, I can't wait to see her, she wants to visit but she doesn't want to see me, all she cares about now is her first Grandson. That's ok. I still Love you Mom.

Martha is not too perky these days, I asked her how she was doing and shot me a glare that could melt ice. I call it The Fallujah stare. I can't blame her, I am glad men don't get Pregnant. I would have had a C-section like 5 months ago. How they do it is beyond me. Then again, Women are strange. That's what's going on over here. All I can say is....

Rita: If you are reading this blog. Please take it easy on Texas. I heard the beaches are nicer in Mexico anyway.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My Son's due date is Sept 22. We were expecting him to get here sooner. But that's not the case. I have a feeling that the Doctors are going to end up inducing labor on my wife. Yesterday we had another false alarm. This pregancy is been full of lessons, It's amazing that we think we are in control of our lives, when in reality, we are just victims of circumstance. There are many things that science can tell us with certanty, but a baby's birth date is not one of them. Medicine does not know what causes labor, to this date, that remains a mystery. Interesting. We know the code of life embedded in DNA, we Know how to do organ transplants, but we can't know what causes the Uterus to start the chain of events that brings us to life.

I am not a patient person, but once again, I am learning to wait. I guess I am curious, I want to see his face, I want to know what his personality will be like. I need to start planning how I am going to ground him. How will he be? What kind of person? What will he do? Will he be President? a bum? A Politician? Pilot? Marine? Scientist? Painter? Actor? Garbage man? Will he be a Homo? How will I react to that?
Will he be shy? Outgoing? A Jock? A nerd?

Most likely he will have many traits from his family, chances are he will be stubborn like his Mom AND Dad, I hope he is smarter than me and good looking like his Mom.

One thing I can say is that I am not scared anymore. I get a little nervous when I think about it, but I feel ready.

I hope that he gets to know his family in Florida, Venezuela, New York and Costa Rica. I look forward to all those trips.

Ever wonder How I managed to get accepted in Florida Atlantic University?
well, the secret lies in my Application Essay:

3a. Essay:
In order for the admissions staff of our college to get to know you, the applicant, better, we ask that you answer the following question:
Are there any significant experiences you have had, or accomplishments you have realized, that have helped to define you as a person?

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets. I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a Mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not yet gone to college.

Ok, Ok, I admit I may have stretched the truth a little bit, but it's the effort that counts :-)


Monday, September 19, 2005

September 19 and No baby yet!

I am getting impatient. The due date is this Thursday and we can't wait.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

So I've noticed that I am not posting as much as I used to, I have been busy these days, also, I've been completely engulfed in the book I am currently reading. This one is a life-changing book. It talks about anything and everything. I don't know how to put it.

The name of the book is Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.

This book is a profound analysis of Human Thought and creativity, It talks about the way the works of Bach, Escher and The Mathematician Godel connect, more like shadows cast in different directions by some central solid essence.

The first part of the book talks about the story of Bach's Musical Offering, then it talks about self-reference, the ideas behind Godel's theorem of Imcompleteness and Escher images, it touches on Artificial Intellingence. Chapters I through III deal with abstract Mathematical concepts, that are kind of hard to grasp, but they explain Godel's work much better than any math book, I already know more about sets by reading one page in this than I ever did in whole semester taking discrete mathematics.

This is one example of Escher Work. I never thought that philosophy and mathematics could unite like this, but this is exactly what happened.

Anyway, besides being lost in this book and trying to figure out the ways of the world, my son hasn't been born yet, My wife had what they call "false labor" on Sunday, we were pretty sure that this was it, but her contraptions just went away, so, I will probably be a Father by next week. I can't wait. Also, it is getting a little cooler here in Minnesota, which is fine by me, If I was in Florida I'd still be experiencing the hot humid days until like, November 20, when it finnally cools down to 90. Here it is 70 and people are saying is hot. My wife has made some Minnesotan friends in our church. Oh yes! I'd like to write about church one day. But writing anything in a clear way takes me a lot of effort, and I am the laziest person in the world, so maybe soon...


Sunday, September 11, 2005



World Trade Center, NY
Pentagon, DC
Flight 93


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Blog that caught my attention.

I see a lot of good blogs all of the time, but this one gets the cake. To be human is to have secrets. Ever thought of getting rid of yours without getting humiliated? At this blog they turn it into an art. PostSecret features postcards sent in anonymously from people across the entire country. Each card is different, some are handcrafted, meticulously conceived art pieces that portrays a twisted emotion or a burdening secret, some are the stoure-bought kind. You will laugh ("I dance in Vacant Elevators") You will cry ("I'm sorry. We were so young. I think about-and regret-it everyday" ) You will be inspired ("What are you waiting for") You will keep coming back for more.

What's your secret?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I am full of radiation today,

I am taking part in this study given by the Mayo Clinic, this is why I haven't been posting, I have been over there in the morning and working in the evenings. They gave me food and radiactive milk and made me eat until I could eat no more. Then they would take blood, scans and who knows what else. Funny the things I do in the name of science and a few bucks.

Baby Anthony is not here yet, my wife went to the Doctor today for a regular apointment, everything seems fine, They are both healthy.

Today I finished reading Ayn Rand's Philosphy: who needs it.
I like some of the stuff she said, but not the way in which she presents her arguments, I should be a little more specific, but i won't, I'd just say that I strongly agree with the concept of making choices based on Reason, not faith or emotions. To me that is a powerful concept.
I read The FountainHead and Anthem and really enjoyed them, I bought Atlas Shrugged but did not finish it, It was during a period of my time in which I did not have time to read anything outside of school (full time student, full time job, AND a wife) I forgot to bring it with me to Minnesota, otherwise I would have tried to read it here. But this book was a disapointment, it is a collection of essays and letters, I guess she is better at fiction.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


Cronologycal order:

#1. 1986, Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.

When I was seven years old my dad took me to the pool. It was the one in the country club my Dad belonged to. It was very nice, I remember it as one the happiest places in my childhood, we used to go there pretty often. This one day it was only Dad and I. I was already wearing my swimming gear. He told me that he was going to the bathroom to change and told me to stay there! and don't go in the pool! So what did I do? I went to the diving board, even though I was 7, didn't know how to swim, and had never been in the deep end of the pool, but somehow I thought that it would be a good idea to jump in the water while Dad was away, so I did, and I remember going in the water and not knowing how to get anywhere in the water. I was drowning! I swallowed a lot of water and felt the terror of realizing at a very young age that I was going to die right there at that moment. Just then the I felt the lifeguard pulling me out, He asked me if I was ok, I was coughing up all the water but apperantly I was not in such a bad shape, since he let me go. The whole thing lasted like 2 minutes, I went back to the chair where Dad put all his stuff and waited for like 5 more minutes until my unsupecting Father came out, he saw me all wet but didn't say anything, I don't think I ever told him.

#2 10:59 pm, June 22, 1997 Savannah GA.

I am at the Airport, came in five hours ago from the Delta flight from Ft. Lauderdale, this is the moment I've been waiting for more than a year. I am in a single file line about to get in the bus that will take me to Parris Island, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, then it hits me all of the sudden, I will never forget that moment, as i look around I see all this young men that I've never met before, I see this bus, and I become aware that my life is about to change. Life as I know is history and a whole new future is in front of me. I become terrified. I am so scared because I don't know what's next. Is this the right choice? Do I have what it takes to be a U.S. Marine? Will my high school sweetheart break up with me? (she did)
But, to be honest, this moment lasted less than 2 seconds, I never regretted enlisting in the Corps, not that I was happy everyday, but I'd do it again, maybe if I could start over I'd be an officer.

#3 Summer 2000 Mediterranean Sea, Somewhere off the coast of Italy (not too sure could be Spain)

As a member of Company G 2/2 Boat Company we trained in this little rubber dinghys, we were trained to get to our target in different modes of transportation, and if they needed marines by boat, we were it. We trained in beach landings, river raids, (insert your favorite NAVY Seal commercial with the motivating music) etc, etc, anyway, we were playing this game of going really fast and then making a sharp turn to see who could hang on or who will fall off, we were being Marines of course. So I get thrown off my boat, no big deal, but I did one mistake, I opened my eyes inside the water, we were about 30 miles from the coast, so it is pretty deep out there, and I see the Ocean in all its immensity with the sunrays going in and getting lost deep down, and I'll be dammed if that didn't completely freak me out. But of course I tried not to show it. I just got back in that rubber boat as soon as I got a chance. I did not feel confortable being out in the water with who knows how many hungry animals.

#4. Sometime late 2003, Ramadi, Anbar Providence, Sunni Triangle, IRAQ

I'm sleeping. Not Anymore. Lights on, Just heard 3rd platton got ambushed up by the ramadi hospital, and that they were the Reaction Force that responded when the Observation Post relief got hit by an IED. The need people ASAP, without thinking I say,
"Where do you need me Sarg'nt?" I ask.

"Sgt. V. Man the .50 cal in the Deuce."


So I roll out with 1st Platoon wich is not even my platoon. I volunteered to go out there with no plan, as we are driving in the direction of all the commotion we hear the all-too-familiar sound of AK's vs. M-16's M249 and M240Bs. The radio is filled with urgent pleas for backup. I suddenly realise that I am on the top of a very big slow truck manning a heavy machine gun with absolutely nothing to protect me or at least hide me, I am literally standing with all of my body exposed, and I am driving towards a firefight, a bunch of people who want to kill me will have a very good chance to do it. As I hear all the gunshots I tell myself to stop being a fucking chicken .I am supposed to be a freaking Sgt so if I get scared I will mess up everybody around me. So I completely turned it off. Damn, I wish I knew how in the hell I did that. because that brings me to:

#5. Right now, Rochester, MN

I have a son on the way, he is going to be born this month. My first son, and I am as terrified as all four moments mentioned above. I know my life is about to change. I know I am diving in a unknown pool of experiences. I know that if I think of the deep Ocean of decisions I will have to make that will shape another human being's mind, Knowing that I am going to be a Dad in this crazy world scares me. I don't know how I did it that one time in Ramadi, but I wish I had a little Courage=On switch I could flip so I could stop being scared. I just want to be a good Dad. But don't know how. I don't know what's coming. But I have been lucky so far, I didn't drown, I made it trough boot camp, I did not get eaten by a shark, I did not die in Iraq, I guess I could be a Dad right?