Lake Travis non stop

September 18th, 2006

In almost five years in Austin I never rented a boat on Lake Travis, but this summer I made an effort to catch up and yesterday was my 5th time going to the lake!

It was Olimpia’s goodbye party because she is going back to Poland on tuesday, but I’m sure she’ll come back to Austin soon, and we’ll have another excuse for a welcome party!

Take a look at the pictures

Austin, Texas 1973-2006

September 13th, 2006

33 years ago my parents came to Austin for three months because my dad needed to take an english course before going to the University of Michigan to obtain his Masters. Back then photography was one of his hobbies and I remember growing up watching several times the slides of the pictures he took in those two years they spent in the United States.

Back in 2001 when I knew I was going to move to Austin, I remember looking back at the pictures from Austin, but since I’ve never been here before, the pictures were not that interesting.

A few months ago, while having a conversation with my friend Justin who also loves photography, I mentioned the pictures my dad took in Austin 33 years ago and Justin told me that he would like to see the pictures. So a few weeks later when my mom asked me if I wanted someting special for my birthday I told her that if she could scan and send me the pictures that would be a great present.

She then scanned the slides and sent me around 100 pictures from Austin. I was a bit dissapointed because most of the pictures were from the important buildings in Austin like the State Capitol, the University of Texas campus, the Saint Edwards campus, and those buildings haven’t changed much in 33 years. But I did found find 3 pictures that showed parts of the city that I recognized and that have changed a lot.

One saturday I uploaded the three pictures to my camera and headed downtown where the pictures were taken. My goal was to find the same spots where my dad took those pictures 33 years ago and take the same pictures.

The first location was Congress Avenue and 10th St. facing south. It wasn’t very difficult to find the exact location, but I was having trouble to take the picture from the same spot. It seemed that my dad took the picture standing in the middle of Congress Ave. so I had to wait for the pedestrian light to be green to take it. I took several pictures to then choose the best one.

The second location seemed to be Guadalupe St. and MLK (18th St.) but I couldn’t find the same buildings and I gave up on that one.

The third picture was also from Guadalupe and 24th St. facing north. It seemed that my dad had better zooming in his camera because the pictures I took look more distant. I also had to use the pedestrian green light to take the pictures from the middle of Guadalupe.

Enough talking: here are the results of my little experiment.

Photograph: Congress Ave. and 10th St.

Video: Congress Ave. and 10th St.

Photograph: Guadalupe St. and 24th St.

Please leave your comments about the pictures. Do you think they would make a cool poster?

Colombia: Superpower in Speed Skating

September 7th, 2006

No, I’m not joking. Colombia has won the last few world championships of speed skating and it is very close to win it again this year in Anyang - South Korea.

It really amazes me that Colombia can beat countries like the USA, Italy, Spain, France, New Zeland, among others. I really can’t understand the reasons for this situation. I know that speed skating is not an olympic sport and that might be the reason why other countries do not invest much into it and maybe Colombia realized that it had a shot into becoming very good at it and it did it.

Congratulations Colombia!

Water Skiing at Lake Travis

September 5th, 2006

Marcos posted some good pictures of this adventure!

Confesiones de un ex-fan de Maná

August 21st, 2006

Odio a ManáHoy voy a confesar algo que me causa verguenza contar, pero que igual lo comparto con mis lectores para que vean que el errar es humano:

Confieso que a la edad de los 13 o 14 años fui con mi hermanita y sus amigas a un concierto de Maná. Fué mi primer gran concierto y en su época lo gocé mucho. También confieso que en las fiestas poníamos Me Vale y poguiábamos esa canción como si se tratara de Smells like teen spirit… confieso que me gustaba Maná… y me averguenzo completamente de ello.

Pero todo esto es parte de un avergonzante pasado. Hoy digo con orgullo: ODIO A MANÁ!

No los soporto. Escuchar una de sus canciones me produce arcada. En Austin existe una emisora dedicada al pop en español (104.9) y le decimos ‘Radio Maná’ pues pone canciones de Maná frecuentemente. La emisora es un asco. Ellos participaron en la organización del concierto de Café Tacvba en el show de TV Austin City Limits y recuerdo que uno de los organizadores cuando estaba haciendo la fila para el concierto me llamó a un lado, y me señaló una van que se encontraba estacionada a unos 50 metros de la cual estaban saliendo unos 5 muchachos con pinta de músicos y me preguntó: “Esos son Café Tacvba?” y yo lo miré con cara de: “Eres un imbecil! Ni siquiera sabes como son los Tacvbos” (para mí la mejor banda de Rock mexicano y top 5 en el rock en español en general), pero muy amablemente le respondí “No, esos no son”. Que tristeza, este señor probablemente si hubiera distinguido a Fher o a Alex.

Maná es un asco, tocan un estilo de música desabrido, repetitivo, con patéticas letras y melodías.

Lo que más tristeza me da es que Maná tiene una muy buena maquinaria de marketing y promoción con la cual han logrado hacer crecer su popularidad. Me ha sucedido en varias ocasiones que amigos gringos me dicen que les gusta Maná. Yo simpre les digo que Maná es un porquería y les sugiero escuchar verdaderas bandas de rock en español (Soda Stereo, Café Tacvba, Aterciopelados, Héroes del Silencio, Los Tres, Molotov, Plastilina Mosh, por solo mencionar unas pocas)
Afortunadamente no estoy solo en esto.

English version


Seriously if you think Maná is a good representation of latinamerican rock, I urge you to check the following bands:

Soda Stereo, Café Tacvba, Molotov, Aterciopelados, Los Tres, Charly García, Fito Paez, Los Toreros Muertos, Los Prisioneros, Illya Kuriaky and the Valderramas, Plastilina Mosh, Jumbo, La Unión, Bersuit Vergarabat, La Mosca Tse Tse, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Los Enanitos Verdes, Los Amigos Invisibles, etc…

Hearing loss poll

August 14th, 2006

With age we lost the ability to hear high frequencies. I’m 28 and I cannot hear frecuencies above 15KHz.

Here is a ringtone called ‘the mosquito’ which young people use for their cellphones to prevent adults from noticing that their cell phone is ringing. The ringtone frecuency is at 17KHz.

I’m curious to know if you can hear this ringtone or not: Please leave a comment on this post with your age(*) and let me know if you can hear it.

(*) If you are a young, single, sexy female, you can also leave your phone number. :)

You can learn more about the mosquito ringtone here.

Mom! I’m on TV!

July 29th, 2006

Mamá triunfé!

Here is my first short film that I did using my friend’s handycam (Sony DCR-HC46). Ok it is not a short film, it is just me showing you my house in Austin.

Sorry but I speak spanish in the video.

The video format is MP4 (requires QuickTime), the size is 22 MB and the lenght is 10 min.

My first story on AgoraVox!

July 10th, 2006

I was contacted a few weeks ago by AgoraVox, a news web site based on blog entries from authors all over the world. They wanted me to join their community and since all it was required from me, was to allow them to use content from my blog I accepted and joined them.

Today I got an email from them saying that they have published the entry I posted last night about the World Cup final.

Cool! :)

World Cup 2006 - Jogo Feio

July 10th, 2006

Another World Cup is over and that only means that we have four boring years ahead!

Today the Italians won their 4th World Cup 24 years after they won their last one back in 1982. I must say that the Italian team was very compact and well organized in defense. They played very good as a team and they had their top match against Germany. I think Germany, Argentina and Spain were better teams but Italy had other elements playing in their favor like the referees always favoring them and the luck of playing weak teams in the finals (Australia and Ukrania).

If the Brazilians are the masters of the ‘Jogo Bonito’, Italians are the masters of the ‘Jogo Feio’. It is sad that they use so many cheap tricks when they have enough talent to win games fair and square. Today in the final Materazzi used his big mouth to insult Zinedine Zidane and the french lost its cool and attacked the Italian with his head like a bull. None of the four referees saw the incident and the Italian goal keeper Buffon asked the 4th referee to check a video replay of the situation. Then the 4th referee explained the incident to the main referee Horacio Elizondo and he pulled a red card on Zidane. FIFA has never allowed the use of video replays during soccer matches to make decisions, so I think it is terrible that they allowed this rule to be changed on the fly on the most important game of the World Cup. Shame on FIFA! I think it was horrible what Zidane did, but since none of the referees saw the incident nothing should have happened.

Anyway, I have this feeling that neither Italy, nor France deserved to win this World Cup. I think Germany should have won it. But again, Italy beated Germany fair and square, so I guess they did deserve it at the end.

Update [07/10/06 - 11:52 a.m.]

FIFA is now claiming that video replay was never used to pull the red card on Zidane. I hope this is true.

See the story on BBC News.


July 5th, 2006

Here are the final numbers comparing both confederations:

CONCACAF: P:13 W:1 D:3 L:9 Pts:6 (0.48 points per game)

CONMEBOL: P:16 W:10 D:1 L:5 Pts:31 (1.94 ppg)