Friday, January 27, 2006

FAU Vista #002

The library

From 2nd Floor East looking west. so many hours spent there...

FAU is not like your typical school in Florida, 80% if its students work, the average student age is 25. A lot higher than other schools I suppose. 92% of our students commute. One thing I have noticed is that admission is getting tougher since every year more and more people apply. This used to be a safety school for slackers in West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, not so much anymore.

The one thing I don't understand is how come no one has ever heard of this school. We are constantly overshadowed by UM, (University of Miami) UF, (University of Florida) FSU and basically everyone else in South Florida. (FIU, Nova, UCF, USF) But with twenty-six thousand students in eight campuses and an excellent staff of very smart professors (some of which can actually teach) it is hard to ignore my little ol' FAU.

Even though you make me mad all the time, I still love you FAU.

Go fighting owls!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Beatiful China

For your viewing pleasure. See more here.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

FAU Vista #001

Boca Campus

This is FAU after Hurricane Wilma. You would walk this way if you were going from the Physical Science Bld to the South side of campus.

This is the first many to come. The plan is to show FAU through the eyes of an everyday student.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Even though the days go by fast, and it seems like a lot, I must say that I enjoy college, I love what I am studying, I guess I am lucky to be able to say that I love what I do, my only regret is that the day is not long enough to do all the things I want, besides learning about computers I happen to enjoy the company of my loved ones, and my good friends. The previous post was my way of explaining why I may not call, or why I don't visit anymore, does not mean I don't care about you.



Catching up

With homework, work, bills and such.
It sucks not to have time for the little things that bring me happines, such as talking to relatives and good friends.

Mama y Papa, los quiero mucho, sorry I don't call as often.

Life is going fast.

Get up.


Drive to FAU.


Go to class.


Do Homework.


Take time to enjoy my family.

Do more Homework.



Monday, January 23, 2006

While I was gone...

Mi amor made her own blog.

Life's Treasures.

Life is Good.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Gone for the weekend

Have to do my Monthly weekend drill, but I'd like to leave you with this article so you can ponder upon how good we have it in this country.



Drink Good Coffee

Even though I come from a family of coffee additcs conoussiers, I was not introduced to the Java goodness until late 2003 while doing all-nighters on top of a building equiped with a radio, a team of four guys, a sniper rifle, an a thermo full of concentrated coffee. I experimented with it when I went back to school, but I was doing it wrong, I was drinking coffee at night to help me stay up the way I did back in the war, the problem is that after a certain time (usually 11:30pm) my brain refused to retain new information, therefore studyin was impossible.
I was disapointed, then I re-discovered an old wedding gift, the expresso machine, learned how to use it, and now there's no looking back. The secret is to make a good cup first thing in the morning, then ride the Java train all day, repeat as necessary, do not drink after 5:00pm.

It turns out, I am still doing it wrong, after reading this article, I see that I have been missing out all along, I can say that Moertel is right about freshly grounded coffee, since that's how they do it at my parent's or at least that's how they used to do it. Back in South America that's THE way to make coffee. Gotta remember that before they discovered black gold oil, Venezula exported coffee and cocoa beans, so they should know a bit about coffee.

Sincerely Wired


Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Blog everybody!

I started a new blog. Engineering Design 1. It should be interesting, at least to my Teamates. I have to tell them about it though. If they object to the blog it will have to go, sorry.

I have not gotten any feedback on my random quotes! People,it is a rather complex system. I hired three assistants to work around the clock, whenever they detect a person typing my blog's url, they type up a new quote before it gets to your computer. If you hit refresh then they have to type up a new one really, really quick. They are extremely fast and reliable, I think I should raise their salary to $1.78 a week.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Got Code?

This page has a bunch of Math Programming problems that are interesting to look at. The first one was ok, If I had the time I would try them all.

If you really want to test yourself, try these questions by Joel Spolsky.

These problems are hard. But, To say that programmers solve this type of problems everyday would be a complete lie.
Maybe it's different at Google, but I doubt it.
The only skill I'd say is necessary would be the ability to simplify problems, not complicate them. The divide and conquer aproach works wonders. Some geeks like to show off their smarts by asking questions like this.
I admit I am not a code guru, I've got a long way to go before I can lay claim to that status, but I like to look at these things just to try to keep the mind sharp.


Monday, January 16, 2006


5 jobs I've had

Bank Teller
Sergeant in the Marines
Math Tutor

5 Movies I would watch over and over

Full Metal Jacket
Fight Club
The Matrix
Ocean's eleven
Old School

5 places I've lived

Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela
Lauderdale Lakes, Florida
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Ramadi, Iraq
Rochester, Minnesota

5 TV shows I love to watch

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Mind of Mencia
MTV's punked
Family Guy
The Simpsons

5 places I've been on vacation

Margarita, Venezuela
Orlando, Florida
New York, New York
Paris, France
Rome, Italy

5 Favorite foods

Arepas con carne mechada (it's venezuelan thing...)
Bacon Cheeseburguer
A bloody steak
French Onion Soup

5 places I'd rather be

As long as I am with my loved ones (Martha and Anthony) then:

Here, I am fine. Not complainig.
In Caracas with my family over there there.
Having Dinner with Mi Amor at a Champ-Elysees avenue in Paris.
In Rochester, MN.
At the beach, anywhere in the Caribbean.


J.V. I'm A Programmer, Not A Computer Guy

This is a good article I read today. I sort of feel the same way, with a few exceptions (I live in Florida, not California) I could say the same thing about the profesion.

Just thought I'd share.




1. An unpleasant sensation occurring in varying degrees of severity as a consequence of injury, disease, or emotional disorder.
2. Suffering or distress.
3. pains The pangs of childbirth.
4. pains Great care or effort: take pains with one's work.
5. Informal. A source of annoyance; a nuisance.

There is a lot of pain associated with love. Pain, unlike fear, does not heal with information. Time is the best painkiller. Time. What a concept. The only thing man can't stop. We think is relative, we think we understand, but we don't. Not really.

Anyway, My Mother's sister ( mi tia ) in Venezuela has been in a comma since Wednsday last week. To say that she is my auntie does not sound the same. She was my Mother's best friend. I know how bad it is, but I cannot tell my Mother. There is enough pain in her life. Life is so fragile, I remember realizing that in Iraq, when one moment you are there, the next one you may not be. Every day, every hour, every waking moment counts as being alive. My Auntie knew that, before her surgery she dyed her hair, went to the beach to get a tan, and then went under to get surgery done on her hip. She has not come back yet. Where is she? Is she there? Her heart is pumping blood, her lungs are taking oxygen to her blood. Her brain is not responding.

Tia wake up.

We love you.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

previous post has been edited

I changed the previous post "Yummy Brain Gravy" to make it look like a literate person wrote it.


Yummy Brain Gravy

I added Michael's blog to my list of good blogs because, um, I think it's a good blog. I meant to do this a while back, but always forgot to get to it. I seem to be doing other stuff lately, like working and studying and all that crazy stuff that grown-ups are supposed to do these days.

If you cared to know

I went to a Florida Panther's hockey game last night, Thanks to the Bank I used to work for (BankAtlantic) I got some awesome seats, Thank you John!! Couple of things I noticed:

1. The NHL has changed, Columbus Blue Jackets? What the hell? Columbus? is that in OHIO?
2. New rules, there are no ties anymore, there is a shootout if no teams score after a 5 minute overtime.
3. The Office Depot Arena is now the BankAtlantic center, which is cool, ever since I stopped working for them they seem to be doing good, Coincidence?
4. The away team wears white jerseys, boy that was confusing.
5. If you own a Lexus you park for free, if you have a account at BankAtlantic you get free tickets if you wear red on Fridays (or something like that)

I was a good game, we were eight rows back behind the goal keeper, (or whatever they call it in hockey), If Jay Bouwmeester's slap shot hadn't hit Nathan Horton's stick and gone in with 46.9 seconds left in the third period, they would have gotten nothing against Columbus, the NHL's second-worst team.
Horton's goal forced overtime, where the Panthers lost to the Blue Jackets 5-4 on David Vyborny's goal with 12 seconds left. The Panthers, who started the game five points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, had won eight of their previous 10 at BankAtlantic Center.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

On Philosophy

My Friend Kamran has written a wonderful essay stating a Problem with Modern Philosophy, and what philosophy ought to be. Excellent read, I could not agree more.

I once read a marvelous novel called "Sophie's World" that would probably get me laughed at by a Philosophy Ph.d yet I would say that it is the perfect book for someone curious about philosophy and life in general.

Remember, Thinking is free.

Thank you Kamran.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Have you hugged your Linux machine today?

“The day Microsoft makes something that doesn't suck is the day they make a vacuum cleaner.”

This quote was copied from Uncyclopedia, so I don't really know who wrote it. The article about Microsoft is pretty funny.

FL GUARD Painting in the Pentagon

I will not believe this until I see it with my own very eyes, and even then I will still be skeptical, but the mighty powers that live in our nation's capital in their infinite wisdom, are thinking about hanging this painting depicting soldiers of the 1st Battalion 124th Infantry doing a raid in Ramadi, Anmbar providence, Sunni Triangle, Iraq, APO AE the halls of the Pentagon! Now, I don't believe it yet. Why would they care about the Florida Guard? In the Army it's all about the Rangers, the 82nd Airborne, the 101st, the green berets, etc. etc. We were just a bunch of part timers that got called up, it's amazing how we did it. Average guys that made the best of what we had. I am proud of you, 1/124th.

I like this painting, even though it makes me feel very old, like all of that happened 60 years ago instead of just three. I have almost forgotten Iraq.

Except in my dreams.

But those don't even visit me anymore, I have not had any Iraqi dreams in a long time, ever since before I watched the movie Jarhead. This is good, I suppose.

By the way I added "Top 5 Most Frightening Moments of my life" to the list of favorite posts up in the upper right hand corner. I looking back is funny how scared I got right before Anthony came to this world. Fear is how we react to what we don't know or don't want to know, it just caused by ignorance, information is the cure for it, that and plain old guts I guess, if anyone has that one figured out please send me a message because I'd love to know. Until then I will just play it by ear and live every day the best I can.



*editer later:

If you wish to read more about the 1/124th read this article by Newsweek magazine published Nov 2003, a picture of my ugly mug is there,( my five minutes of fame) I got a lot of flak for having that picture in there, all because I wrote that I loved my wife on my helmet.
Disclaimer: I was in Bravo Company but not in the Ghost Squad, and I was not the first or only one to write on my helmet, the Puerto Ricans started it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A good read for all you "concerned" citizens

How can anyone resist an essay that begins like this:

I am going to challenge you today to revise your thinking, and to reconsider some fundamental assumptions. Assumptions so deeply embedded in our consciousness that we don’t even realize they are there.

Hopefully this will spark some thought, specially to all my friends that lean to the left. Read this. Think! And if you don't like it...well, life is tough.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thinking about a New Blog

I can see that ED1 (Engineering Design I) is going to be an experience worth blogging about by itself. In the next couple of sememsters my group and I are going to
a) Come up with a project
b) Design it and write the specs
c) Build it
d) Make it actually work

Since many of my friends have been through this class before I already know that the biggest challenge is step d. This is why I think this will something interesting to write about.

This class is so important to the Department that they actually have 3 proffesors and a Full-Time TA assigned to this class. The classroom was filled with, If I remember correctly: 12 Mechanical, 14 Computer and 14 Electrical Engineers, oddly enough there are no Civil, and no Ocean Engineers in it, what's up with that?

I did a poor job of selling myself, we had to introduce ourselves to the class, I was one of the first ones to go, and I did not want to come across as an pompous arrogant jerk, something like "I work for Eye Bee Em, therefore I are smarter than thou" So I said something like, Hi, My name is Jose, I have experience in Hardware Design..

Meanwhile the rest of my classmates kept on getting better and better at presenting their skills, picking up on what the person before them did wrong, by the time we got to the last row, we were getting pretty interesting introductions, "Hi my name is John, I am a computer Engineer and I hate computers...." was a good one. The purpose of this was to get to know each other so we can pick our team members. This is a crucial step, since the success of the project depends on having a good Team. I don't know if I want to work with friends since that does not necessarily mean we will get work done. I'd rather get with the super smart group that's building a lunar-rover-cell-phone-email-gps-photocopy robot made out of a cerial box and a casio watch. That's the group I am looking for so all I have to do is write a Assembler program for it and let them do the Engineering. Well, maybe not. I do want to get something out of this.

I am not going to lie, I actually look forward to this project thing. I don't know who my Team mates are going to be, or what exactly we are going to make, but it already sounds like a lot of fun.


Quote of the Day

"The unexamined life is not worth living for man."


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ok, I am back

After a long absence I am trying to get back to normal life. School started yesterday and wow, was that a rude awekening. I am working and studying full time, and with the baby it is not easy. But Blogging has been such an awesome experience I am not going to give it up. I think that my posts will get a lot better since I will only have time to write what I really feel in my heart that it's important. So don't give up! if you are one those few that read this blog, I am not giving up my little voice in the web, especially since more and more of my friends and family are reading it. You know who you are, Thank you. Especially my familia in Venezuela. Los Quiero y Aprecio Mucho.

Well, just to give an idea about how busy I am, besides a full time job (40 hours a week) a lovely wife and beautiful baby my schedule looks like this:


This looks like is going to be my favorite class, it relates directly with my job, it would have come in handy if I took it before I started working. But it's ok. The teacher seems like a cool guy.


This is just a fancy name for good ol' Statistics and Probability. The teacher seems firm but fair. The class is only like 6 people. This is the last Math Course I have to take in my undergraduate degree. But according to the teacher, this is one of the most "troublesome" courses. gulp.


Ok, So I never liked chemistry when I was in high school, so I waited until my last year in college to take it, this is it, can't really procrastinate any more. This is a freshman course, it's in auditorium with 400 freshmen, 368 of which are girls in skimpy outfits who want to be Doctors or Nurses 70% of which will switch to International Business or Education after they fail this course. It sucks because the teacher does not really have much time to talk to you since he is tired of listening to the same stories time after time. This will be fun. I already had a bad start since I was 30 minutes late to the first lecture. All homework is done online, and all test are taken at the same time. Lovely.


Designed to deprive seniors of all sleep and sanity this class aims to bond engineers from all fields together by working on a project that harmoniously includes all the engineering disciplines. It just never works that way. But students come out a lot wiser from this course. After two semesters working on the project the proud graduates are left with an invaluable lesson: "Should have picked a Finance Major"


Being only one credit, this class packs more punch than Mike Tyson, applied labs on circuitry and all that good geeky stuff. We'll see how that goes.


This is the lab for Chemistry, three freaking hours doing I don't know what.


Once a Month I have a Workshop to teach you how to dress for an interview, how to apply for Graduate school, work in teams, etc. It is pretty good. It's really an scholarship, but the condition is that you must take this class, which benefits you anyway, so it's a win-win. Not a bad deal. I get one credit for this.

Also, I get a credit hour for doing an internship, this is my third semester doing that so that takes care of an elective class. Pretty neat heh?

Well, I better get going. I think the teacher is talking to me, something about a laptop.


Thursday, January 05, 2006


American Airlines
General Electric
General Mills
General Motors
Lockheed Martin

All of them looking for Hispanic Engineers. So many people. Miss my family. No sleep.
Great time though.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Quote of the Day

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Why Doesn't Anyone Aks Who Actually Runs MySpace?

Another article I found interesting. I was wondering about that site, (since I have profile there) but did not look into it as I have many other things to do. But who the heck are these people? And why doesn't Kamran ever update his blog?

Life is full of mysteries.

To stay or not to stay? Many South Floridians choose not to stay

Besides reading about it in this article, I have noticed that people are changing their mind about Florida. I know some people that are moving out of here. Heck, chances are I might move to a different state after graduation. And who can blame us? S. Fl is too expensive, too crowded and local jobs don't pay that well. Yet, this saddens me. I have grown attached to this piece of land. This is home. I love South Florida. There are so many nice things to say about it. Too bad I am not even a halfway decent writer, otherwise I'd be able to fully describe the vibrant mix that Ft. Lauderdale is. How can I put Las Olas Beach in words? How can I describe the view from the A1A between Oakland Pk and Sunrise Blvd? Or, Breakfast at the pier in Deerfield Beach? No Bookstore in the world matches the Borders in Sunrise next to the Galleria Mall, No Mall like Sawgrass Mills (sorry Mall of America, you are only bigger thanks to Camp Snoopy, this one has more stores) nothing can replace an evening at the Oasis, or Riverfront Park. How can anyone give this up? Not to mention the Florida Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Florida Marlins, University of Miami. The Ft. Lauderdale Art Museum. I wish I was good enough to write about this places that will forever hold so many fond memories. Even after all its drawbacks, I love this place. This is my home.

Some Random Thoughts

Thank you Bellsouth

After 15 days of waiting,(no exageration there) and working from my parent's house, bellsouth decided it was time to install DSL in my house, but in it's infinite wisdom, it thought it was best to not to rush things, so I can only connect through the phone jacks downstairs, if I want to have a connection upstairs, I'll have to get the "luxury package 2010" I will only pay $1.99 per byte per second. They are so nice.

Going to Orlando!

Yep, The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (shpe) is having their National Technical and Career Conference in Disney's Coronado Spring resort. It is going to be rough, I know, but I do whatever to get the job done. If hanging out with my FAU buddies in the middle of the best vacation spot in the world is what it takes to put food on the table, I will make the sacrifice. All in the name of work.

Go Fighting Owls!

The best public university in all Palm Beach County. Yeah baby.

Weird Dream

Dreamt that it was snowing in here. I must be having Minnesota flashbacks.

By the way

The weather here is awesome. In case you were wondering.

What's wrong with Coldplay?

Bad, Bad Coldplay, When will record companies get it? You can't win customers by restricting them. That's not, what do the business people call it? Good PR.

That's all folks! We'll be here all week.


Monday, January 02, 2006

It's Official

2006 is the year of the Froyd.