Friday, December 30, 2005

My Favorite Posts

I decided to place a link to my favorite posts this year. These posts have a couple of things in common, they all have something to do with Iraq, and they were written in a peculiar manner, I would be home minding my own business and then, I'd get this terrible mind itch, it's like my whole purpose in life is to write about it, I'd sit in
front of my laptop and start typing away, couple of minutes later these posts were born, it was a big burst, like I just trew it up, no edits, no reread, just write the damn thing, add some pictures or some links and there they were. I felt extremely relieved afterwards. It made me feel good.

A Diologe

This is a prime example of that, I just got up a saturday morning, feeling like this conversation had to take place, it had been taking place in my head for a while, so I decided to have the two Jose's have an arguement, I put Jon there because I can be a mean a**hole sometimes.


I never had the guts to tell that brave soldier that lost his arm in Afghanistan and kept on living like nothing happend how much admiration I have for him, not because he lost an arm, but because the way he lives. He is more alive than some people I know. Just thinking about that brings tears to my eyes. Seriously.

My Reaction to Jarhead the Movie

In this post I happily announce the slow death of Jose in Iraq, he is getting weaker and weaker, fading away in the confines of my memory. Good.

Confessions from the War

You have no idea how much I wanted to share this incident with somebody. I could never tell my fellow soldiers, but now anyone in the internet can know.

Well folks, this is it for now.

Happy New Year.
Be Good to each other.


What a strange year this has been

New Baby.
New Job.
New House.
New Friends.

The End of the World?
Who knows.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Student Finds Stolen Thesis by Thinking like a Thief

This is an amazing example of how crazy Graduate School must be. A 43 year old student ended up digging through a dumpster in search of her thumb drive...lessons learned:

1. Back up your data, stupid!
2. Thesis? what the heck is that? It must be hard.

Which brings me to the my next question, what am I going to do with my life? All signs point to graduate school, but I don't know if I should go for a MBA so I can be a manager down the road, or get a MS in Engineering, so I can be more technical and maybe pursue a PHd later? If I ask my Manager he will probably suggest a MBA, If I ask my school advisors they will recommend a MS.

Decisions, decisions...

Some Hard Questions for You to Think about

What is important to you? Why?

Who do you love? Have you told that person that you love them? Today?

What worries you? Will that problem matter in one year? five? one hundred?

What are you doing? Is it important to you? Why are you doing something you don't want to do?

I was about to write that I wish life was simple, but on second thought I don't. I have many problems, many of which you probably wouldn't want to deal with, yet I want life to teach me, to beat me up, to make my laugh and cry.

I don't want to look back and think that I didn't try my best.

I don't want to have regrets when it's my time to check out.

I want my Son to think he had a good Dad, I want my Dad to think he had a good Son.

I want to gain wisdom. Surfing one blog at a time.

What do you want to do?


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Quote of the day

"To forget one's purpose is the commonest form of stupidity"

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Friday, December 23, 2005

Is Kurt Vonnegut right?

Your guess is as good as mine


Quote of the day

"Sometimes the quickest way is the longest route"

-Jose Villalta Jr.

Coined today at the Broward Mall parking lot, talking to my little sister.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Music 2005

These are my favorite CDs that I listened to this year. I don't normally share my taste in music because I think I have generic (aka pop) taste, but then again, who cares?
Thanks to Johny for making the suggestion and for being a friend... all the way from Spain.

1. Un Metro Cuadrado by Jarabe de Palo

This Spanish rock group has always been my favorite band. I've been a fan since 1999 when I first heard Depende, I credit them with helping me get through Iraq with their Album bonito

2. Mi Sangre by Juanes

What can I say? I like Colombian products. No.... not that type of Colomibian products you dirty minded people.

3. Fijacion Oral Vol 1 by Shakira

Another excellent Colombian import.

4. In between Dreams by Jack Johnson

This is my definition of good music. Started listening to it just recently thanks to my trip to Northern Minnesota, thank you Aimless Ego suspended!

And when I am in my Getto moods

1. Barrio Fino by Daddy Yankee
2. M.I.A.M.I. by Pitbull
3. Red light distric by Ludacris


Quote of the Day

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Earth, Water and Air

This is the Atlantic Ocean from the A1A between Spanish River and Palmetto Rd in Boca Raton, FL.


Quote of the Day

"All the problems of the world could be settled easily, if men were only willing to think.”

-Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Invention worth mentioning

I am amazed at the creativity of some people. This is why I still have faith in the human race. To take something that's readily available, like cars passing through a section of the road, and convert it into energy? Great Thinking. Peter Hughes gets the very first STOP. THINK! award ever given for inventing a road ramp that uses passing cars to generate power. You can read about it here.
Thanks to slashdot for pointing it out. Slashdot rules!


The Most Disputed Wikipedia Articles

If you have a bunch of people with different views writing the same article, there will be disagreements. No place like Wikipedia to make people aware of that. Since anyone can edit the articles there will be cases in which there will be attempts to sabotage, or that they will just post flat out wronf info. The good thing is that the users themselves regulate each other. Also, anyone can see the history of an article.
Unlike other reference sources, you can know when you are reading a disputed "fact".
It is possible to make a better decision, or have a better understanding of an issue when you can read the progression of an article. Most times is not so exciting. I guess common sense must be used before you can quote Wikipedia in, let's say, a Research paper. Ummm, maybe that's why I didn't get such a good grade on mine.....

By the way, if you didn't guess it already, I did my paper on Linux. What else? Still, my Proffesor did not like it. I am not sure why, but I am going to get a straight answer, he was evasive when I aproached him, I know that grading somebody else's writing is subjective to the grader's opinion. I know that TA's get overloaded with work and nobody wants to read all 20 pages of "research" on beat-up research topics. But still, I spent all summer making my papter perfect and some guy looked at it for 10 minutes and decided that a C+ was good enough, I am not bitter or anything, anyway, on with the list.

The following is taken out of a Wired magazine article:


Example: Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. Are Ani and Respirator Breath actually two separate characters? When someone decided no and merged the two pages, a Forceful hullabaloo ensued. In time, the Jedi's bio was shortened to just one terse sentence and a link to the Sith Lord himself.

Other contested entries: Should the fiery Balrog in Lord of the Rings have wings? Does the novel/videogame Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire deserve as much prominence as the six films even though it never actually was, you know, a film?


Example: Scientology. Even before Tom Cruise's on-air meltdown, this "pseudo-science" - as it has been called on Wikipedia - has long captivated site regulars. Three separate links are dedicated to -archived discussions on topics ranging from whether it's a cult to which celebrities are followers. Long story short: John Travolta still in, Jerry Seinfeld not so much.
Other contested entries: Is creationism credible? And (yikes!) are there examples of pedophilia that are legitimate relationships between adult and child?


Example: Celebrity birthdays. Nothing gets people's blood boiling like whether J.Lo was born in 1969 or 1970. After some vehement back-and-forth, fans dug up the true date from the police report filed after her infamous Manhattan nightclub shooting incident. (Answer: '69.)
Other contested entries: Was André the Giant actually 6'10", 7'5", or somewhere in between? Should the entry for Al Gore's new Current TV network be allowed to read like a press release?


Example: Ajax (programming language).In August, one user launched an all-out assault on this entry for asynchronous JavaScript and XML. If that is, indeed, what it is. The term was coined earlier this year by engineer Jesse James Garrett, and what it means (or should mean) is still unsettled. Eventually the assailant was temporarily blocked and stopped contributing.
Other contested entries: Is a blog a Web-based application or a static file? And is Web 2.0 old news or a new paradigm? If so, can it be explained in simple English?

Credit goes to Erik Malinowski who wrote the article for Wired magazine, I copied without his permission, I'm sure he won't mind the free publicity.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Save the Chilndren, Switch to Linux

The one question you need to ask yourself besides all the nonsense we worry about endlessly is Have I accepted Linux as my personal Operating System?

I know what you're thinking, I may be preaching to the choir so to speak, but if you have not. Then let me give you a list of reasons to switch. For those of you who don't know what Linux is. Let me just say that Linux is to Microsoft Windows what Wikipedia is to The Encyclopedia Britannica. The only difference is that The Enc. Britannica is a godd product and Windows is, um, not so respectable.

1. Linux is free.
2. Linux is Open Source which means that anyone can look at the code and understand how it works and can edit it to make it better.
3. If you don't care to change anything, that's fine, Linux works well the way it is.
4. Linux is Cool.
5. Linux is forcing Microsoft to compete, which is good for us the end users.
6. Linux keeps getting better thanks to all the new users they get daily.
7. Linux runs faster.
8. There is plenty of help online in countless forums and documentation pages.
9. If you ask a Linux person a Linux question he or she will go to extremes to help you.
10. Switching to Linux will make you a better person, give you self-confidence, you will re-grow your hair, lose weight and your love life will be amazing.
11. Switching to Linux will piss off Bill Gates.
12. You can ask me any Linux question and I will help you, refer to # 9.

the internet gods

They have demanded pictures in sacrifice. I must comply. As soon as I find my camera.
I don't know where half my stuff is, I will be mad if I lost it, but then again Christmas is coming soon....


Friday, December 16, 2005

So much to do

I made it to Florida safe and sound. Working right now. Will write more later.
It feels like I am waking from a long dream called Minnesota into the brutal reality that South Florida is. It's all good, it's a reality that I recognize. I was a little surprised the first time somebody drove 1 3/4 inches from my rear bumper doing 75 miles per hours in I-95 with their bright headlights on. But after a while I got back in my confort zone, and you treat it like an everyday thing because it is. I was saddened to see a lot of street signs torn down, and there are fewer trees around, you can tell there was a hurricane here . But this is home, and I work here. I can work from home, but I have an office in Boca that I can use, I am in that office right now, and I must say that it's nicer than the one I had before. Sorry Rochester, but I got my own window now! haha! I can think of a few people that have been in this company years longer than I that don't have a window in their office.I don't have to put any layers on when I step outside, I almost did that this morning, out of habit. But I will be cured of that by tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005


The only reason why Amirah is still alive is because my wife would never forgive me. She has been a terrible cat this whole trip, there was no way of calming her down, she kept on fighting Mohamed the other cat. Oh, what a trip, a Cavalier completely filled up with our possesions, two crazy cats and yours truly, I have a big scratch on my neck and my right arm. Amirah was very close to being trown off the window..But I couln't come up with a good story.

Honey I'm home!....Cat? What Cat?...I don't recall any cats...This scratch? Oh! this is from the strip club...

I am keeping the damn cats.

So, I'm resting at a hotel in Kentucky, all I have is Tennesee and Georgia to go and then I'll be in Florida.

Wikipedia and Open Source

What does the Register have against Wikipedia?
This article is yet another attack on my favorite website.
I have read the articles, but have not gotten to a conclusion yet.
Can one say that Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information? Or is there an agenda agaisnt it by the online mag The Register.
I was afraid some story like this will show up eventually.

My first impulse is to say that the Register must have something against it. Let's dig into this and see what comes up. There's always a story behind the story.

Ok, that's all I got. Till the next one


Good bye Minnesota

I am leaving now, as soon as I close my laptop I am getting in my car and driving back home. Good bye for now Rochester. I shall return.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Change is Good

Here I am, should be doing stuff around the apartment to get it ready, but I am tired of working, I am stopping soon. I have done enough. I want to see my family so bad. I miss them dearly. I miss my fat talking Monkey.

I have found a new mission for this blog. I want to challenge the people who vist this site to stop and question everything they know. If I can cause that grey matter between your ears to spark an intelligent thought, I have done my job. If I can change your mind about something, not because I said it, but because you THOUGHT about it, investigated it, and came to a Conclusion only after a careful analysis, then my blog has accomplished its mission.

Everyday I learn something new about myself. I have discovered who I am (again) after this trip. I will attempt to give you the world through my eyes. These very eyes that have seen the beauty of the Mississippi headwaters in December, but also the ugly face of despair in Iraq. I still believe in us. I still think that man can be better. I don't believe in any political system. I don't believe in anarchy. I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative, I don't believe in labels either, as a matter of fact, if you were to stereotype me as a Marine you'd be wrong, as a Venezuelan, you'd be wrong too. ditto for: American, Engineer, Floridian, Minnesotan, Computer Geek, insane, normal, hispanic, immigrant. Yet, I have traits associated with all the items in that list. My point. I cannot be defined with a word. Not even my name is unique, I am named after my Dad.

I love to think, I love to read. I love to solve problems. I love to write. I love to accomplish things. I love being happy. Above all I love my family.

Some things are going to change around here. If you don't like your point of view being challenged then I recommend that you type a different url in your browser and don't come back here ever again. If you'd like to discuss your view of the world here in a civilized manner, you are more than welcome to do that here. In fact, you are encouraged.

Oh, about Bemidji, I don't have the balls to publish my first draft of this posts, but let me thank you all for being so nice to me, no one called the INS. You are far too kind.

Froyd and Jon, you rule! Kamran, you can stop telling the abulance story now, I hope that this marks a new beginning for the Jose-Bemidji People relationship. I want to see you all again, next time I am bringing in the Calvary (Martha and Monkey) Amy thanks for going beyond nice. Natasjia, Julie, Jessica, Grubbs, Josh, Emily, Bill and his wife, all the dudes that I played Nintendo with at the froydstravaganza. It was a pleasure. If I said something stupid to you, please do forgive me.

Thank you all for reading this blog when you could be doing something useful. God bless you for that.



Monday, December 05, 2005


Why on earth would anyone want to live in a place where it gets this cold????? It's -8 degrees Farenheit, for crying out loud! This is crazy

President Carter

He just appeared on the Daily Show, he's a good man.


Is making me mad, I have been trying to get my Thinkpads wireless card to work for a long time, see, this is what I love and hate about Linux, everything is a challenge, a learning experience, an oportunity to grow my technical skills, this is cool for a guy who can use those skills to make a living, but when all I want is for my WIRELESS CARD TO WORK! it is not, don't get me wrong, I am all about open source, this post is being edited using firefox browser running SuSe Linux, but, it is frustrating when every little thing has to be a hack, why can't it be easy like Windows?


Lots of it, I have a lot to do, not to mention the fact that I have to pack my stuff and write me reports for school


Florida Atlantic University
Can't wait to go back, or maybe I can, after reading Kamran's blog entry for today, I don't look forward to that.

Fun fact about Minnesota #4465

With all this cold, it's really easy to shock the cats with ecstatic electricy, not like I do it on purpose, but I laugh when Amirah gets mad at me after I shock her. hehehehe! to go.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Food for thought

Have you ever asked a question that goes something like "Why do we do thing this way?" and the answer was "because that's how it's always been done" is that good enough for you? Are you satisfied with that answer?

Do you know why the Enter Key on your computer keyboard used to be called return? Because of the days of typewriters, that was the key to return the carriage to the beginning of a new line. The name just stuck, for years computers have had a return key that doesn't return anything.

Do you know why do you believer what you believe? Do you have evidence for this? Or do you believe it because somebody important, or someone you admire told you to believe it. Do you think that if I am a Christian I am right, but If I were a Budhist or Hindu I was wrong and therefore going to hell? Why? what do you base those beliefs in? Think about that. How do you know what you know? How do you judge what you are going to believe and what you are not?

One last thing:


1. The basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction. See Usage Note at because. See Usage Note at why.
2. A declaration made to explain or justify action, decision, or conviction: inquired about her reason for leaving.
3. An underlying fact or cause that provides logical sense for a premise or occurrence: There is reason to believe that the accused did not commit this crime.
4. The capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought; intelligence.
5. Good judgment; sound sense.
6. A normal mental state; sanity: He has lost his reason.
7. Logic. A premise, usually the minor premise, of an argument.


1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief. See Synonyms at trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.
5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
6. A set of principles or beliefs.

I hope I don't get burned at the stake for this one....



Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Today's Update

Current Status

Today Martha and Anthony flew home to Florida, I am presently sitting in front of the couch, got home 10 minutes ago, would have kept on working but my text editor kept on freezing up on me, it is the first time in my life that my Unix box freezes on me, it was like Windows all over in frustration I drove home to an empty apartment, I've got a pot of Mac'n Cheese cooking,hmmm, yummmi!!! and I've got Comedy Central on TV, right now "Drawn Together" is playing, but I am waiting on Jon Stewart's Daily Show. Got a lot of things to do before I can head home.


My lack of cold weather clothes is starting to get to me. These days the weather is not getting warmer than 30 degrees and all I have is an Army fleece jacket and a little windbreaker, no gloves, no scarf, no nothing, It's starting to suck, but, I still enjoy watching the snow flakes fall, it's relaxing.


Just made a big mess in the Kitchen, on a completely unrelated note: Martha, I miss you so much!!!

This thing is awesome, I've found so many good sites, If I only had more time...

More later


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Going Home Soon!

I can't believe that I am going to be in Florida in less than 3 weeks. That means going back to school, going back to 1 hour commutes each way, going back to Boca Raton the most materialistic place I've ever seen, back to the Beach! The Strip, The Variety, good restaurants, Latin food, Latin music, Latin people being loud, Cuban coffee (aka liquid crack)

Oh Florida!

Oh the mighty Rain! The Road Rage, The Humidity, The People, so cool, so beautiful, some shallow, some smart, some street smart, the 90 year olds doing 10mph on the highway, the ruthless amoral criminals that go by the name of "lawyers", the celebrities, the pro-atheletes, the hustlers, the dealers, the gangsters and the wannabe gangsters, the Cartels, Russian, Colombian, Cuban and Jamaican, The New Yorkers *sigh*, The Cubanos, The Italians, The Haitians, Dominicans, Mexicans, my fellow Venezuelans, the Snowbirds from Quebec and Toronto that come during the winter (I can't blame you anymore, I think I understand you now), the crazy Jamaicans, the Trinitarians, Chinese, Indians from India and from here, All we have in common is that we call ourselves Floridians, (except the New Yorkers, they all claim to be New Yorkers even if they moved to FL when they were Two-year olds) all of us live fused together in the same land we call home, South Florida, how I miss thee, I can't wait to go back...

Most of all I miss my Family and friends, you know who you are, but I will be leaving the new friends I've made in Minnesota. I will miss this place, the least I can say about MN is that I've met some decent people, people who are real, who look at life in a fresh new way, people that Think, Nice people. Minnesota, I have nothing but love for you, but I am going home.



Friday, November 25, 2005

This is Strange

Here's a little list of books that I have started to read, really liked, and for no reason at all just stopped reading them without reaching the end:

  • Tommyknockers by Stephen King

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

  • The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King (Stopped at Vol.V (sorry Caro))

  • Yes, I just put a paranthesis embedded in another parenthesis, got a problem?

  • How to solve it by G. Polya

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenace by Robert M. Pirsig

  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

  • Excuses, Excuses

    I hate not finishing what I start, is just that my life is so chaotic that if something distracs me away from a book for more than a couple of days I find it impossible to get back to the book. This list is strange because these are books that I really enjoyed especially the last two, I'd say they were life changing books, and yet, I can't bring myself to start them over again, I'd like to point out that these are the exception rather than the rule, and I plan on finishing them someday.

    I swear!


    Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    Thanksgiving Plans


    Going to take everyone to the movies, we're still trying to agree on one, so far the votes are SAW II (3 votes) Chicken Little (1 1/2 votes)


    Martha has this Turkey that has been Marinating since last Wednsday, it should be completely dissolved by now. I am going to spend all day being Thankful for being alive.

    Black Friday

    Ever wonder what type of person goes to the Mall on a day like this? My wife is that type, she wants to go to the Mall, not any mall, no sir, the one and only Mall of America, so I will be one those guys that day following their wives while they look at every item in every window in every store of the mall. Thank God for Barnes and Noble, that's where I'll be.


    No idea what I'll do.


    Go to Church, then relax.

    I will probably write more as the weekend progresses. Take care people. Be good to each other.



    Life is Good

    Two things I enjoy about life:

    1. Coming home from work to see my wife and my little one.

    2. Talking to good friends and family, It's awesome to keep in touch those few people who you have known for years and still keep in touch even if it's only once in a while. You know who you are, thanks for making my life better.


    Sunday, November 20, 2005

    Back to the Real World

    Communication is important

    Army life reminds me of the litte things that make a big difference, like being able to get your point accross without room for misinterpretation. I learned that lesson the hard way, of course. In the Marines I had to learn how to listen, and how to talk, in the Army I had to learn how to communicate, I had a Captain in Iraq, who was from Mississippi, I suspect that he was fooled by my heavy accent, and he didn't think I was as capable as a native English speaker, as wrong as his attitude may seem, he may have a point, being able to express one's ideas is paramount if one wants to get anything done as a group bigger than two people. I have tried to master that obstacle to the best of my ability, but here in Minnesota there are many soldiers who can't understand what I am saying, so I get a lot of opportunities to work on that. The best Communications teacher is marriage, oh yes, being married tought me many lessons about that. 99.9% of all our fights have been because of this, one person assumes that what he or she thinks is obvious, while their partner is thinking something completely different, this applies to all aspects of the relationship, if a couple can master how to properly communicate they have mastered most of their issues...if anyone out there can figure out how to do that please let me know, until then I will continue to get pounded in the head with a mullet.

    A true Hero

    I know one person that I admire and respect but that I will never have the guts to say so to his face, He's a personal hero and an inspiration.
    There's a guy in my National Guard Unit who is a disabled veteran from Afghanistan, he was a member of a Special Forces Team (green berets) that got hit with a cluster bomb by accident. Friendly fire is the most accurate fire says Murphy's Law. His Team lost many men, He lost his right arm. But unlike many veterans I know, he decided to live his life the best to the fullest. I admire the fact that he continues to work in the Army even though he was crippled, six months after losing an arm and almost losing his legs, this person was skiing, he still runs, does push ups and can pass the Army's Physical Fitness Test, not only that, but he never complains about it, he just drives on, I heard that he was going to get a job as a ROTC cadre at a college but the instructors thought that a disabled veteran would scare people away from the Army, WTF! I think that was so much BS, but I am glad that our company got him, people like that are true heroes, not because they went to war, or because they got wounded, (after all, it does not take heroism to take a bullet, they kind of come your way automatically) the hard part is how you act afterwards, the biggest enemy is the one within, this individual could have easily cocooned into a self-pity state and who could blame him? it happens all the time, he could have turned bitter, depressed, and those would have been "normal" reactions to his luck, but he decided that he was not going to let that change the way he lived. I admire that dedication. He's an ispiration to me and should be for everyone, what's your excuse for not doing what you want to do? A lot of times we like to put the blame of our misery on God, the devil,our parents, the president, society, the goverment,liberals, conservatives, rich people,criminals, big corporations, etc, etc. But we fail to realise that the biggest obstacle, our biggest enemy is withing ourselves. I am the first one that could use my advice. I have quit doing thigs that I really wanted to do because I thought they were too hard, but it can be done, all it takes is the right aproach to the problem.

    What else is going on

    It's good to be back from my weekend Drill, I am doing good, Anthony is growing up so fast. He went to the Doctor last Friday, he weights 15lbs! That's a big baby. Martha is doing good, we're happy Mayi and Esteban are here visiting. They are fun to be around. I wish my sister could have made it up here, but you can't win them all I guess.

    Ok Everybody, that's all I have, stay tuned for the next installation of The King's Own



    Thursday, November 17, 2005

    Some random thoughts

    Weird Dream Last Night

    Last night had a dream that Anthony was a computer chip. And Martha was yelling at me because He was crying too much, and it was my fault, becuase I programmed him wrong. I think I've been working too many hours.


    Was looking at a map today and I noticed that Bemidji is further North than Fargo! So, now I really want to go, I need to see what is like to live that far up, away from the rest of the planet. I can't wait, I know it's going to be an interesting trip. Minnesotans never cease to amaze me. I am seriously going to miss it when I go back to Hurricane-Land a.k.a Florida.

    New life goal

    As if I didn't have enough things to do, I've found a new calling, the world of Open Source, I've decided to contribute code to the Linux effort, the reasons? Completely selfish ones, I want to prove myself, I want to have the satisfaction that I helped the Linux community. That my name will be in Linux boxes all over the world, would anyone else see my name in there and care? probably not, does that matter? not to me.


    She loves it here, doesn't want to go back to FL. This is the last thing I expected her to say, after all, she's was born in NYC.


    I swear he looks bigger everyday, I can notice the difference when I get back from work. Before I know it, he's going to be asking for my car keys and dating advice.

    So many books, so little time

    Ok, Why is it that I never read the books I buy and I never buy the books I read? I have a serious problem, I can't control my bibliophilia. Next book in my list:
    The Guns, Germs and Steel: Fates of Human Societies If I ever finish the book I'm reading.

    IBM culture

    I want to write a bunch of stuff in here, but time I am running out of time because I have a....

    Sucky weekend coming up

    It's that time of the month....Monthly National Guard training, I'm going to spend the weekend away from home while Martha gets to spend time with her sibbling who are visiting. That reminds me, I have to pack my crap.

    I can't wait to see you Esteban and Mayi! To Everyone else, have an excellent weekend, be good to each other.


    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    It's Snowing!

    Cool beans man.


    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    Weekend Update


    Just got back from the Windy City, I saw Kamran, my old friend from the Marines, and I met fellow blogger Awkward Silence. We visited the Art Institute of Chicago,ate Chicago style pizza and talked about the good ol' days. We walked all over the place, Anthony made new friends, oh man, It was a good weekend.

    Book of the week

    I am reading Eric Raymond's The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the book that helped the Open Source project get off the ground.


    Like this paiting? This is Jason, a friend and a member of my unit in Iraq, through the eyes of Steve Mumford. Yesterday I saw his new book, Baghdad Journal: An artirst in occupied Iraq , and he mentions Bravo Co. 1st/124th Infantry of the Florida National Guard. There's an essay about the Lost Platoon, one of the three platoons in our company. Even though I am not mentioned explicitly it talks about many of my friends. I was impressed by the quality of his work, Steve did not spend that much time with our unit, yet he was able to write a good description of Bravo company's days in Ramadi, and he's a decent painter too.
    The Essay is online, you can read it here

    More updates later. Stay tuned.


    Friday, November 11, 2005


    My wife and I decided to come spend the weekend here....6 hours ago, so here we are, we're going to see the obligatory sites, and then we're going to visit Kamran and his little people. More later.


    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    The Marine Corps turns 230 today

    Speaking of Jarheads, today is the Marines birthday, if you know a Marine, buy him a beer, 230 years is a long time.

    Semper Fidelis


    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    So what do you think about the War?

    I hate war, I don't like the whole concept, The Violence, the uglyness, Loss of Life, etc. I wonder if having U.S. Soldiers in Iraq is accomplishing something in the war of terrorism. But I do Agree with Eric Raymond.

    We must fight Terrorism, Religious fanaticism and absolutism.

    We must Realize that our Civilization is worth defending.

    We must Realize that no adjustment in American Policy will ever stop Terrorism.

    We must not become become what we fight.

    We must use Reason and Truth as our Keenest Weapons.

    This is what I get from reading An Anti-Idiotarian Manifesto I know that these days support for President Bush is down, I don't care, this is what I think it's the right thing to do. Some things are worth fighting for, even if the fighting sucks. But we must be careful to fight the right enemy and not to become what we are fighting. We should be better than that, if we use torture, commit war crimes and hate in the name of stopping haters, what makes us different from them?


    Monday, November 07, 2005

    My Reaction to Jarhead the Movie

    I have a bias

    Liked it a lot. But for personal reasons. It took me back to other times, when I used to call myself a Marine, Devil Dog, Jarhead, Grunt, Mortarman. 0341.
    For everyone else, you'll get the same reaction by watching Full Metal Jacket or Platoon But for me it was different.

    I am one and I am many

    For those of you that know me, you only know a version of me, the Jose that was born and raised in Venezuela, the Jose that you see at church on Sundays, the one that you go to school with, The one at work, Then there's Jose the husband, Father, cousin, friend, None of these versions are fake, as far as I know, they are me. The real me, all of them.

    But there's also Jose the Marine, Jose in Iraq. The Jose that knows the alleys of Ramadi like the back of his hand, the Jose that can strip an M-16 blidfolded, that can recite the nomenclature of the M224 60mm Mortar by heart. The Jose that shot his Rifle at people who he never met before and would otherwise have no reason to shoot them. That Jose is still in the desert. He is still looking out for IEDs and still keeps an eye out for anything that looks suspicious. But, I am glad that Jose is dying.

    When I got back from Iraq I decided to put all these events behind me and never talk about it. So that's what I did, or tried to do, but little by little I told a story here and there, and I noticed that it was liberating. It's like getting a big weight off your shoulders, just getting it out, talking about it.

    The only thing that ever worried me was the dreams, I wouln't call them nightmares because they were not always unpleasant, sometimes I'd be joking around with old pals, sometimes I'd place friends from School out there with me. Sometimes I was just there, like any other day in 2003, I'd wake up not knowing where I was, this used to happen often, but they went away after a couple of months, then they'd go away completely until something triggered it, usually CNN News coverage of the war, seeing a burned out car, or the video of the guy taken hostage would garantee a visit to Iraq that night. The last time I had a dream like that was a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine forwarded a clip of a carbomb going off at a gate checkpoint. It was an umpleasant dream, but I knew it was coming.

    I thought Jarhead would take me back the night I saw it, but it didn't. I went back in time when I watched it, but I did not dream about Iraq. This is good news, it seems like a lot of things are fading away, and it is because I've been getting a lot of things off my chest in this blog. This is my way of dealing with it. My self-therapy, my cure, medicine.

    I have confessed my feeling of guilt, guilt of being alive when others did not come back, my confusion at the validity of this war, my complete respect and admiration for the members of the Armed Forces, particulary the Marines, but the Reservist and Guardman that serve this nation deserve a lot more credit than they get. I have talked about my feeling towards Religion, how fanatism has destroyed lives. But I wish to elavorate on that. I have a bone to pick there. How can we be decieved so easily? I see Religion in a different way now, I was numbed from seeing so much pain and suffering, but I'm starting to get my feelings back, I feel grateful for being alive another day, and I feel good that I live here. I am glad that the Jose that lived in Iraq is just a memory, there's no reason for him to be here, none of you will ever meet him. Because he's not there anymore. I am not him. He is not me.


    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Latest Update


    My parents finally have power, now that they do, they realized that there's no cable or internet. Oh No!!! How can they live like that? I feel for them. I truly do. Also, they tell me that the usual 45 minute commute to work now takes about two hours, due to the total absence of traffic lights, as if South Florida Traffic was not bad enough before Wilma.


    Little Anthony is a fat baby, he eats all the freaking time, his Mom spoils him too much, but what am I going to do?


    I am still employed, they haven't figured me out yet.


    Is looking better every day, today we're hiring a sitter and going out just the two of us. Going to see that movie jarhead, if you're wondering why would I want to watch such movie, refer to my profile.


    Still working on it. Like it.


    I realize that even though blogging is easy, writing is not, I want to put out good stuff, but it takes a lot more time and effort that I'm willing to take away from the other things that I do. Having said that, I still plan on writing more diologes on the subjects that haunt me.

    My Space

    I am having a blast learning HTML, I din't even know I was learning it until I put that link to w3schools , it is so easy, and there are plenty of tutorials out there like the one I just mentioned, just google HTML.

    How to improve your Blog
    Excellent website that list the top ten mistakes bloggers make, I read it and realized that my blog pretty much sucks. But that does not stop me from trying.

    Computers are easy
    Four years ago my little sister knew more about computers than I did, and frankly, I have not learned much in school, and yes, my Major is Computer Engineering, In FAU I learned Math and Physics, that was a little hard, They show you the basics of Programming, but they don't teach it to you, You learn by actually doing it, once you've done it, it is not hard, writing code is easy, being a good programmer is not.
    I read blogs from people like Joel Spolsky (that's where I saw the article on the top ten mistakes) that talk about the Art and Science of Computer Programming, But that's not even what I do, Computer Programming and Engineering are two different things, Programming is telling the Computer what to do, Engineering is creating things that have never being done before, I rather do the latter.To me Programming is just another tool that Engineers use to get things done. I am not an Engineer, not yet anyway, but when I get there, I hope to God that I don't end up in some IT shop in a bank fixing Networks (yawn) I want to be in a company that's going to change the world.

    Funny enough, I have learned a lot of "Theory" just by surfing the net, the links that I think are good enough to share are listed here. The rest I've learned by my limited experience as an intern. My point is this. Computers are easy. A lot of people mystify them to make themselves look smarter, well, it is not that hard, even the complicated stuff gets easy once you have done it a couple of times. Math is hard, Science is hard. Being a good writer is really hard. Computers? Not really.


    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    Love makes no sense

    My Son has kept me up the past couple of nights, well I help my wife out on the weekends since I don't have to go to work...Friday night he woke up at 3:30 and didn't go back to sleep, last night same thing, after spending time changing his diapers, feeding him, changing him, changing him again after I put on his diapers wrong and he peed all over himself, after burping him, and basically being deprived of sleep I feel that I love him more now than ever before, this morning when I took him I went to the living room so his Mom would get some sleep, he smiled at me! Like he knew that he was spending time with Papa so life is allright, it's all worth it, I don't know how, if anyone else on this planet made me lose my dear resting time, I'd wouldn't be saying how much I love that person, but I love my Son so much.

    Wow, I guess sleep deprivation makes me all sappy, hmm, this is dangerous, I better stop before I start writing more emotional, sensitive stuff.


    My Sister is funny!

    She posted this in her space, and I thought it was worth repeating, once again Florida is such a um, "unique" place to live:

    South Florida was battered by Hurricane Wilma this last Monday. Below is some of the wisdom I've gathered in the aftermath of the storm.

    1. If the tree branches are making cracking noises, its because they're breaking, now is not the best time to go check them out.

    2. If one window breaks in an enclosed area, ALL the windows are going...get

    3. Witnessing an enclosed balcony implode is not as cool as the movies make it seem.

    4. The weather man did not lie, the worst part of the storm is after the eye.

    5. Syphoning gasoline out of a vehicle is not as simple as it sounds.

    6. Gasoline burns your mouth.

    7. Swallowing gasoline will make you puke.

    8. If you think cold showers suck, try taking one in the dark

    9. The world is filled with stupid people, and they all come out after the storm passes.

    10. I am not a nice person untill after I have my daily cup of coffee.

    11. Driving with out traffic lights at night is not fun when you have a small car and all the crazies have trucks.

    12. Rode rage comes in handy when you need to get somewhere fast.

    13. A full tank of Gas is priceless.

    14. Having cell phone signal is useless when your battery is dead and you cant charge the phone.

    15. complete meals are overated.

    And most important of all... Having friends and family close to you during and after the storm can give you some of the comfort that you thought the hurricane blew away.

    That was pretty good sister, keep us updated on Wilma.


    What Book Am I Reading Now?

    George's Poyla's Book, "How to Solve it". I heard that book mentioned a lot in the Programming circles, I even heard it was required reading at Microsoft. So I'm checking it out to see what the hype is about.
    It is a little Problem-Solving guide, it's supposed to teach you how to aproach any problem...and solve it, hence the name! the author is a famous mathematician, but the content can be applied to all kinds of problems, in fact, I think that formal leadership training in the Marines includes the techniques described here.
    One old Engineer at work told me that to be good in this business you don't necessarily have to be super-intellingent, you just have to know how to solve problems, I think that applies to life in general. I'll let you know how it went once I'm done with it, so far I give it a thumbs up.


    Saturday, October 29, 2005

    Hurricane Wilma update

    Hurricane Wilma was the worst hurricane to hit Broward county in 50 years. Luckyly it wasn't as strong or slow as other storms that have hit our country in the past couple of years. Nevertheless My parents and most of the people I know down there are still without power, I only know one person that lost their roof, and that's a co-worker whose parents live in North Dade County.

    Things are slowly improving though, Thankfully all my folks are ok, and my house did not get that much damage, for what I hear.


    Sunday, October 23, 2005

    Oh Boy, I am actually a little worried...

    The worse of hurricane Wilma is actually predicted to go trough Broward County, My Townhouse, my parent's house, My In-Law's and about 20 other family members are there, I am praying that they make it through this ok, I know it wouldn't make things any better, but I wish I was there with them. Watching the news from Minnesota actually makes it worse.


    Saturday, October 22, 2005

    What was he Thinking?

    Once again another fine citizen of South Florida makes the news, This guy broke into an apartment, raped a lady, and then forced her to write him a check. He was arrested minutes later two miles from the victim's apartment at a check cashing store. He's probably trying to figure out what went wrong with his fool-proof plan. I wish I din't have to say it, but...Only in Florida.



    A Dialoge

    Two good friends meet in the park.

    Jose: Sgt V.?

    Stg V: Jose?

    Jose: Hey how are you? Man, it's been a while, How's it going? what are you up to?

    Sgt V: Well, I am doing good, I just came back from Iraq, my reserve unit got called up and we went on deployment. And you?

    Jose: You went to Iraq? Holy Crap! Well, I've been in school, you know, a couple of semester and I will graduate. I've been reading a lot about Iraq you know? this is one of those subjects that really bother me.

    Sgt V: Well, I have to tell you, what you see and read in the media is a lot different from what you see over there. It is never the complete picture. Don't be fooled by the bias, every message is biased somehow, even this one.

    Jose: Yeah well, I don't know, you may be right about a couple of reporters, but everyone? I don't think so.

    Sgt V: I think that for the most part you can tell when a certain newspaper or magazine is biased, but I have read stories about my own unit, reporting events that I have witnessed, and those reports don't match my recollection, I don't think that the make those reports wrong, but two different people will percieve the same event different ways, it's always like that. Like we used to say Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder

    Jose: That's deep man, but I think there is one serious flaw with the war, shouldn't we be going after Al Queada instead of the Iraqis? Last time I heard, it was them, not Saddam, the ones that attacked us.

    Sgt V: First, let me tell you that I am not really allowed to critize my commander in chief, it is punishable under the UCMJ. And the last thing I want is to get in trouble...

    Jose: So you are agreeing with me! The war in Iraq is wrong!

    Sgt V: Hold your horses buddy! I have not said such thing. What I said is that I don't want to get in trouble. But I've had a lot of time to think about this, When I was there I wanted to know why I was there.

    Jose: So you questioned the war yourself?

    Sgt V: I wouldn't call it that. But I, like everyone in our unit, wanted to know what we were doing, and what we were doing it for. So of course I thought about it, but you might be surprised.

    Jose: Well, I'll tell you what I think, Our Goverment made a grave mistake going over there....

    A stranger suddenly walks up to them and butts in

    stranger: Of Course Bush made a mistake, he's a f@#king idiot!

    Sgt V: Excuse me stranger, what's your name? Do I know you?

    stranger: Uh, you don't know me, but just call me Jon for the sake of argument, that's not my real name, but that doesn't matter

    Sgt V: Very well Jon

    Jose: Nice to meet you Jon

    Jon: So like I was saying, Bush in an idiot, He's in it for the Oil only, we should get out. At least they should be honest and call the war Operation Tyranny or Operation Cliche Description of a Malevolent Dictator's Oppressiveness, or Operation Earthfucker, or better yet just call it Operation Blow'em'up...

    Sgt V: So is this what everyone thinks? That we are there to blow up people? That we enjoy that crap?

    Jose: I don't know, I guess there's always going to be people that you don't agree with, and that is their Constitutional right. You should learn to respect other people's opinions

    Sgt V: Don't you see! we are over there fighting for this nation and this is the apreciation we get! This is so much B.S.!

    Jose: That's not Jon's point! I am not sure what his point is, oh yeah, that we don't live in a democracy, and that he loves Unicorns

    Sgt V: WTF?

    Jose: Never mind, I was going to tell you that I think we are not putting our efforts in the right theater of operations, We should be hunting down Osama and his cronies instead of some "insurgents" in some nation that doesn't matter anymore

    Sgt V: What makes you think we are not? Remember, just because you don't read it in the news doesn't mean that is not happening..

    Jon: You actually trust this goverment to do it's job! Dude you are defenetly on more drugs than me! I'm jealous.

    Sgt V: This conversation is so unfair, it's two against one!

    Suddenly another stranger walks by and stops

    stranger: This Nation must repent! repent! repent! We must spread the word! Pray for the President! God Loves you!

    Jose: Excuse me sir, but who the heck are you?

    stranger: Well, of course I won't tell you my real name, but you can call me Pat R.

    Sgt V: (to the author) This is what you sent to help me? Jeez, Thanks a lot!

    Pat: You should be grateful son, I want the president of your country dead! We should Kill Chavez! New Orleans had it coming too! That's what they get for being so sinful!

    Jose: Well, I don't think it's right to shove religion down everyone's throat! I have the right to believe whatever I want.

    Sgt V: Jose! you are an atheist?

    Jose: No I am not, I consider myself a Christian, I come from a Christian family, but I think that the state and church should be separate!

    Sgt V: I agree with that, I have seen what happens to a society when church and goverment are the same thing. It is a sad thing

    Jon: Dude You are so right! I am going to take a sleeping pill and write that on my blog!

    Pat: Son, you should repent right now! what happened to your Faith! Is this what Jesus would do?

    Sgt V: Anyway, Jose, we have strayed from the point, let me tell you what I think, you already made your point clear, that a dogmatic arguement for the war does not stand, and that we are going after the wrong group of people, and you have not said anything about the bad image the US has worldwide, which I don't want to get into, but I must point out that the hate EVERYTHING about the states, and that includes the people, not just the goverment, but anyway

    Jose: Anyway

    Sgt V: I think we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Jon: Nope! we should leave Iraq right now!

    Sgt V: I wish we could, but that would make matters worse, I am not a foreing policy expert, but I don't think that would be a good idea,

    Sgt V: When we first got to Iraq we were thinking that we did a good thing, getting rid of Saddam's goverment, and all that, but when the Weapons of Mass Destructions failed to appear...boy was that a blow, then the insurgency...funny enough, things did not get bad until 4 or 5 months after we got there, around September or October

    Jose: What do you mean?

    Sgt V: I think that the outcome of the whole operation was not what we expected and now is too late to get out, we did not get the support of other countries so we are pulling most of the weight, so now the plan is to rebuild the nation and get out as soon as possible, but the nation rebuilding is not an easy task, and of course, security is a big issue, so, I don't see an end to this.

    Jon: I told you, our president is stupid

    Jose: I don't think he's stupid, of course he is not an intellectual either, but the US is facing a hard time, and I guarantee you that he would be critized if Saddam was still there. There were some mistakes made, but I don't think that they deliberatly put us in this position, remember, we did not ask to be attacked,

    Sgt V: Exacly, but we were not attacked by a nation with clear defined borders, we were attacked by a small group.

    Jose: What amazes me is the amount of people that hates the U.S for so many reasons

    Sgt V: I know, I know, and no matter what, nobody can please eveyone at the same time
    I hope that all of those that died over there...Well I want to think that they died for a good cause, but what is good cause to die for?

    Jose: Good question, I mean, to die for an ideology? That is alomst as bad as dying for religion

    Pat: Jesus died for you in the cross! and the Martyrs died in Rome for Him!

    Jose: Also, a bunch of people died in the Crusades for God, and a bunch of people died during the Inquisition and the witch hunts, and during the Great Schism, etc etc
    I would say more people have fought and died for God that for anything else, but what do I know?

    Sgt V: The thing is, Religion is what unites all those extremist that are fighting us, Islam is a rotten disease that is killing our world

    Jose: Oh boy, you just opened a can of worms

    Sgt V: You know what, is getting late and I have to go

    Jose: whatever man, we are not finished here, there's too much left to discuss.

    Sgt V: I gotta go

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    Only in Florida

    A 93 year old ran someone over and drove for 3 miles with the body in the windshield,
    he got a warning from the cops, next time, they said, they will give him a ticket.

    Read the article


    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    Another Hurricane....

    Here we go again, another hurricane going to Florida, I talked to my parents, they seem a little concerned, I have hope that it will not mess up our house and our lives.


    Sunday, October 16, 2005


    I am about to put Linux on my new IBM ThinkPad, the thing is, I don't know what I am doing, so if you don't see any posts in a while, you know what happened.


    Congratulations to Elimir and Jenri!

    Elimir my little cousin had her baby today at 4:00 AM.


    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    WTF? Toyota develops New Plant Species

    Yeah, the japanese car maker. It has engineered a new species of Cherry Sage that "performs" better than the original. Read about it here.

    Is this a good thing? Is it ok to mess with nature to get our goals? We've been doing exactly that for centuries, but each time it looks like we are getting a little closer to...I don't know.

    This plant absorbs pollutants faster than the original, so maybe that's a good thing after all.


    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Anthony is doing good

    I am still amazed at how good Martha handles being a mother. She has the power of multitasking. I am working on two projects at once at work and it takes me a little effort to allocate time to both of them. Martha can take care of Anthony, Cook a full meal and be on the phone all at once, I don't know how she does it.

    During the day I am so inspired to write stories in this blog, I think of at least three different articles to comment on, anectdotes to tell, people to make fun of, all kinds of good the time I get home I am so tired that I can't think straight, and all clever content just vanishes away after dinner. Right now all I want to do is lay down and read a good book. Which is exactly what I will do.

    To all my friends and family who actually read this blog, you know who you are, thank you so much for all the emails and the phone calls, I wish I was closer to home, but soon enough I will be back in good ol' FL. Then you can all meet Anthony and have fun with him.

    Until the next time



    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    Congrats Ross and Jen!

    Today my friend and Co-worker Ross is having his baby, hopefully everything will go well.
    Also my cousin Elimir is due anytime now, My friend Ileana just had her baby, this weekend, man is like everyone I know is having kids.
    Anthony is doing good, I am enjoying every second of it. I can't believe how fast time goes by.


    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    The Yankees Crash

    Now that the Yankees are out, I am left with no baseball team to hate, I am actually sad now, why couln't they fall apart in the World Series like in 03? Oh well, there's always next year.


    Monday, October 10, 2005

    What You'll Wish You'd Known

    I often wonder what my life would have been like if I would have known then what I know now, my outlook in life has changed a lot since the summer of 1997. When I was 18 I thought I was destined to be a Marine Corp Officer. To me there was nothing more exciting than leading people into battle. I had my whole life planned out, I was so sure about it that I never had an alternate plan, I was going to enlist first, since I was not a US Citizen, then as soon as I got my citizenship I would go to college to get my lieutenant bars. That was the plan, foolproof, to me college was just another step towards that commission in the Military.

    Four years in the Marine Corps made me look at things a different way. I saw why it is called "the service" there is much more work involved. Service men definetly give more to the goverment than what they get back. The Marines didn't really promise me anything other than the GI Bill and the right to be called part of one the best fighting forces on Earth. I worked hard and I had pride in my work, but I realized that the lifestyle of an Active duty serviceman is not for everyone, it was defenetly not for me.

    The point I am trying to make is that it is hard to know what one wants to do early in life. Later on I realized that I only went to the Marines because I wanted to prove myself.
    I'm glad I did though.

    This article I read does a good job of talking about the things I wish I had known when I went to high school. I have no regrets about my life. But I could have used this advice.


    Sunday, October 09, 2005


    I have had a busy week, My Mother in law came up to see us, I had to go away this weekend to train with my National Guard Unit. Just got back today.

    I just found out the Red Sox got eliminated, unbelievable....I don't know what's up wiht the Yankees, Martha dressed up Anthony with a I Love NY shirt, hopefully it will have the desired effect.


    Monday, October 03, 2005

    Anthony latest pic

    Anthony is growing a lot.

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    The World has another Yankee fan

    I apologize people. But Anthony's Mother insists in corrupting our only son into liking the most hated baseball club in history. The only good thing is that every time he wears this jersey the Yanks lose. This picture was taken Friday as New York lost to Boston, today she tried again, and the Yankees lost 10-1. Haha!

    I am disapointed in the Marlin's performance this season, they had all the right stuff to get into the post-season and yet, they managed to fall apart when it mattered.

    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...