Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A day in the life of a Floridian Engineer

05:00 Cell phone alarm sounds, hit snooze button
05:34 Roll out of bed, get ready for work.
06:00 Tell Martha that I love her, while she still sleeping, her answer is some mumbling that could be interpreted as "me too"
06:04 Go to work.
06:05 Come back in the house...can't find car keys.
06:09 Go to work for real
06:35 Get to the Motorola site plant, run 2.5 miles on tread-mill (sp?)
07:15 Shower (short workout today)
07:45 get to my cube
08:00 Read pages of documentation, code, etc, etc (work)
09:00 Prepare strong (expresso cuban style) coffee at my cube
09:15 People come over for fresh Costa Rican coffee brew, (Martha brought some from her trip)
10:00 Boss stops by and gives me more work. Basically I have to become an "expert" in this particular chip that we have to program, for those of you technically inclined, it's a chip that converts analog signals from the air into digital signals that the CPU can process.
11:59 Go to lunch with Co-workers, topic of conversation? Embarrassing dating moments, to protect the innocent, I will omit details...but it was good times!
12:59 Get back to work, Make more coffee, a guy came by my cubicle to introduce me to an engineer that's a Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Reserves, this guy is totally the opposite of a Marine Gunny stereotype, I imagined some crusty old guy with a coffee mug attached to his hand, but not this dude.
02:00 Meeting. Listen to managers talk about the schedule, and talk briefly about my role in the project. Rest of the time spent drawing intricate triangle shapes in my notepad.
02:45 End of meeting.
03:00 Read code. lots of it.
04:45 More reading.
05:25 Leave work
05:45 Home, take out trash, fetch the mail
06:00 Go outside talk to the neighbor, who also happens to be a former Marine, he deployed attached to my old Battalion a year after I got out.
07:00 Have Dinner, Anthony managed to get spaghetti in every part of his body imaginable. Yes, there too, no, don't ask me how he did it.
07:45 Give Anthony a bath.
08:00 Put Anthony to bed.
08:30 Write blog.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cats do the darnest things

The cats, Moha and Amirah, know how to open doors, and it's downright annoying. We'll be sitting there watching TV and whatever when suddenly the door opens and it's one the freaking cats walking up like the own the place.

Amirah would kick my ass if I even think about opposing her. Moha is a little more laid back, but, I
think the inmates are running this ayslum here.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Jose 1, Ipod 0

Ha! I got my Ipod to work!

The solution? Pure magic of course, I just left the ipod plugged in before going to work, and when I got back, voila! my whole music library was in it. No kidding.

I'm sure there's a rational explanation for this, I just don't know it.

Book Crisis

Ever since I finished reading Brothers Karamazov I have not been able to finish any book I start, I tried reading Code Complete, a book about Software Engineering, it's a good book, but I can't get into it, it's hard to read it like I read a good novel. Then I tried doing a junk read just for the heck of it, I tried Michael Crichton's State of Fear, I could not keep reading it. Next I tried a science fiction novel called Ringworld, I got 100 pages into it and then lost interest.

Today I got two new books from amazon, hopefully they won't suffer the same fate.
I have Sam Harris' The End of Faith, and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel. They look promising. More later.

My losing battle with Ipod

I am a music addict.

I've been a recreational ipod user for the last two and a half years. I first got into mp3s back in Iraq, I mean, everyone was doing it and I saw no harm in it.

Two years ago I was given an Ipod. I was happy and I thought I had it under control.

Then about a month ago, I dropped and killed my ipod.

The withdrawal symptoms are horrible. So I went out and tried to fix the problem. The thing is, Apple Inc makes fixing an ipod as painful as possible so you just give up and get a new one. Which is exactly what I did.

I figured, hey, let's get the upgrade. Not so easy, said apple inc. I spent 3 hours last night trying to get this thing to work, Itunes sees my ipod, downloads a song or two and then freezes. I tried every single step in the support web page, no lie, I restarted my computer at least 10 times. Deleted and reistalled Itunes twice, messed with local settings, hidden files, windows services, the whole works, and yet, it still acts up, I was up until 40 past midnight trying to get this thing to work. I am late for work this morning and pissed as hell. Why can't stuff just work?

So, I am an ipod addict, but Apple is failing at giving me my fix. Whose fault is it?
Them for giving me a faulty product or mine for buying it in the first place?

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Anthony has just shocked the hell out of both of us. We're sitting there having breakfast, and Martha tells his 17 month butt to stop playing around and Anthony, get this, he replies by telling her to shut up!

He is so young, that I don't want to be too strict, in the other hand, his personality is so strong, if we don't put our foot down he will be driving us.

Parenting is so hard, because basically you only get one shot at getting it right.

Anthony is more than a handful, now he can kind of talk. Oh man.

We'll see how it goes.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Oh Boy

There's controversy coming our way. James Cameron has made a documentary where he claims he has found Jesus' Tomb...apparently, he's done his homework, rounded up a team of experts, and it's going to hold a press conference to reveal the news.

I can see that he's doing this to get the publicity, and who can blame him?

What makes me uncomfortable is that it is going to spark a lot of debates, and people are going to start saying stupid things.

Myself I don't take the Bible literally, I am not a religious person, or a man of faith. I read the Bible often, but I don't agree with a lot of "Christian teachings" furthermore, I don't believe there is a God, not in the way that most people believe.

I don't like to think of myself as an Atheist, that only says what I don't believe, not what I do believe. I like to think of myself as a Secular Humanist. I believe that we can better understand our Universe through reason, without the use of Supernatural explanations. Furthermore, I believe in having compassion for our fellow man, I am against human suffering, and I don't need to fear a hell to do what I think is right.

I believe this is the first time I mention my beliefs (or lack of) here.

Awkward silence

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, let's greet this with an open mind. The first thought that came to my head when I read the news was: FAKE.

But I want to hear the facts, and make my own judgment. I know that even if they can proof beyond any doubt that they have the body of Jesus H. Christ Jehova Jr. Social Security Number, DNA and what not, is not going to stop Christian people from believing, never. Even if God himself showed up and told us to stop believing in him, I think that we will. We want to, we need to. Life is too empty without a meaning, we don't want to accept that this is it. There's no afterlife, there is no heaven or hell, just today.

I understand why we want to believe in something, facts and reasons will not get in the way. I know. I get it. I've been there.

I don't know what I am trying to write here, it's late, we just finished watching a movie. (The Departed, Two Thumbs up!) but I feel the itch to write to the net.

So I think I know why we believe, I think I know enough to make my informed opinion.
I used to be afraid of letting people know how I feel about God, especially since I have a Christian upbringing. My uncle is a Pastor, my Mother works at a Seminary.

But, I can't help it. That's the way I see it folks. I don't want to lie anymore. I am not afraid anymore. I am not what I believe in. I am still the same person.

I've told my sister, and I've told two of my cousins, I need to tell my parents, and I need to tell my uncle the Pastor. I want to get this out of the way.

I love my Christian family. I love many things about the church, but not enough for me to defend it. I am not on their side. I don't have any hard feeling for any believer either.

I am going to stop right now. I need to go.

Good day.


Thursday, February 22, 2007


It's so funny that now there never seems to be a good time to write on my blog, I am at work most of the day, and I can't blog from there, and whenever I get home there's always so much going on.

The sad thing is, I have a bunch of things to write about, and I don't simply because I don't have the time. It's a shame.

Like tonight for example, we found the most charming, little wine shop not far from where we used to live back in Coral Springs, near the Mall, apparently it's been there for two years now. The owner was there and she was so nice, I bought the best bottle of wine I've had so far, and it was only $14.00. Which is a lot less than the crap you can get a Publix.

So after we put Anthony in bed, I lighted some candles in the living room, popped a CD to soften the mood, and had a glass of vino with my fair lady, she only had a sip because she's pregnant. But I was able to simply sit back, relax and savor one full glass of the red gold.

Everything was perfect until I tried to get up, I guess I did it too fast...I managed to hit furniture that wasn't even in the way. I am the biggest lightweight on this planet. "A cheap date" is the way I see it.

I am going upstairs to sleep it off. That was one strong glass of zifandel.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Windows, Unix, and other bad ideas

I feel like a total traitor, back in my old IBM days, we used to get everything done with perl scripts, I lived in the AIX Unix enviroment and the only time I ever got close to anything resembling MS, was a windows emulator we had so we could check our email (Lotus Notes didn't run on Unix back then). We were develping with VHDL, but we hacked everything with Perl, sort of like God himself. Doing so used to give me that smug feeling that's so common among the Condescending Unix Users.

Now everything has changed, Motorola uses Windows for everything, we have a code repository that's Unix, but everything is synchronized with Windows almost seamlessly, and now all I do is click, click all day to get things done, gone are the days when I had to write handy little scripts to do get things done.

The thing is, I feel like I am more productive in Windows (gasp! OMG! I just did computer blasphemy!) but it's true, with windows I just DO stuff, I don't have to sit there figuring out how to do my job. I am actually spending my time solving engineering problems, instead of trying to figure out which command to type in the prompt. I know is different for everybody, that's just me.

As a result, I just don't use Linux at home anymore, I don't feel like playing with it anymore. I am tired of things not working, I don't feel like using my spare time trying to figure out a cranky Operating System. So, I drank the Kool-Aid and stayed with Windows. How sad.
However, I embrace being pragmatic over being dogmatic.

Speaking about Dogma, I recently discovered David Plotz's Blogging the Bible series. Good reading.

Today Martha and Anthony come back from Costa Rica. More later.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I can't believe Anna Nicole Smith is dead

Poor thing, she was only 40. Sad ending to a sad life.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


The past four days have been all about sports in South Florida for me. Thursday Night it was the NHL's Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Arena, Friday I saw FAU's baseball opening game against Mississippi Valley (Won 8-1) Saturday night we saw the University of Miami's squad lose against Mercer, and today I watched the big football game at my friends. I wanted Chicago to win, but, oh well, I lost my $10. You owe me, Chicago!

As you may know, I love baseball, not as passionate as I used to be, but, I go to games whenever I can. Now that I have a little bit more time, I plan on splitting time between my Alma Mater (FAU) and the ranked Miami Hurricanes, it's two completely different experiences even though it's the same damn sport.

FAU has a small baseball stadium, they need to get a bigger, better one, but, since nobody goes to watch them, they won't be getting one anytime soon. But, I still like it, the hot dogs are the best in this side of the galaxy, and the atmosphere is very laid back. We actually chatted with the Head Coach before the game, they are so cool.

UM has a decent stadium down in Coral Gables, and of course since it's UM they have a fan base, and more people go, but, they are not nice down there, it reminds me of New York fans, you know, the type that cheer went the visiting team does something bad..
but, you can't beat a nice Saturday evening watching top notch baseball.

When I was in high school, I dreamed of playing baseball at the University of Miami, but I never got recruited,well, I did get recruited by a different organization, but I didn't play any sports for them.

Brothers Karamazov

I finished reading it the other night. Wow. It was not the type of book that I usually read, but I feel it was worth the effort.

Many things are peculiar with this book, the whole story is narrated from a third person's point of view, and even though the story is "serious one" the tone of the story is light, I laughed out loud in some parts, of course, my wife no longer thinks I am sane, but, whatever.

The other thing, I think Dostoevsky covered the whole range of human characters, he was able to portray so many different ways of interpreting life so convincingly that I can't tell whether he is an atheist, Christian, Communist, conservative, or what, the only thing that I can see is the effect the loss of his 4 year old child has on this book. The last chapter specially made me feel the pain he must have felt more than a hundred year ago.

You can tell a good story when it transcend the time and place that it takes place. This is a prime example.

Well, It's way past my bed time. So I will go now.