Friday, 7 December 2007

Jamaican beer and Durango Tequila

Kingston is the second most horrible place I've visited (only topped by Port Au Prince, Haiti).

There, I got to taste Red Stripe beer:

Red Stripe beer is a lager brewed in Kingston. It is light, but tasty. Not special, but not offensive.

What else I got to see in Kingston? Well, in John R Wong Supermarket (nope, no Wal-Mart or Target crap there, John R Wong is THE REAL DEAL) I decided to go to the liquor section. To my dismay, the only available Tequila was... [sound of expectation]


DURANGO!

Durango??? What the heck is that????

Then I decided to read the label... bad idea. Tequila Durango is bottled in some city in Minnesota, USA.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

4 weeks left...

to close de business year... and I'm lacking 60% of my forecasted billing!!! =(

If you happen to be my client, please:

Sign that damn Acceptance Test Plan

and/or

Sign that damn contract

and/or

Send me the damn purchase order


And get a free beer in my next visit to your company!!

Friday, 16 November 2007

Procrastinate Safely

Thanks to another blog (which I don't even remember) I fell on workfriendly.net ... and I have to say it takes the Piero's "Internet Service of the Year Award".

Why? Well... how many times has your boss appeared over your should right when you are on some other blog, buying concert tickets, checking your personal email, modifying your hattrick team, or doing anything else that definitely doesn't turn into money for the company that pays you? 50 times a week? probably more?

Well... workfriendly.net helps you to procrastinate freely.

For instance, today I was browsing in fsmex, an aviation related forum that I thoroughly enjoy. Had my boss appeared over my shoulder, he'd have seen this:



Instead, thanks to workfriendly.net, he'd have seen a dull Word document. Dull enough to be confused with a Functional Requierements Specification or a response to a Request for Proposal.


All you have to do is to enter the website of your choice and it will be turned into an ugly word document. So ugly you'll perceived productivity will skyrocket!

It's perfect. Use it.

Cya soon.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Quinceañera Chiva

La verdad es que tengo sentimientos encontrados sobre esta foto:


Quinceañera chiva


1) Es admirable su amor por las sagradas Chivas Rayadas de Guadalajara, el equipo más grande de México. Realmente da gusto ver este nivel de compromiso con el único equipo del mundo que lo merece.

2) Sin embargo, transgrede la barrera del buen gusto. ¡¡¡Es ñerísimo!!!

En fin. Arriba las Chivas... hoy y siempre.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Xmas Present Suggestion

If you're planning to buy me a present, this is the top choice:



Bad Motherfucker Wallet!!!!


You can buy it @ BMF Wallets (BMF, of course, stands for Bad MotherFucker)

Friday, 26 October 2007

Hate List update

Hate lists are evolutive stuff. Things come, things go. This is the first update to my Hate List:

Leaving the hate list:

1. TACA. They now serve pretty decent free food, and I've found their legspace to be very comfortable against, say, Copa.

2. Copa is now part of SkyTeam. For that reason I'll keep the silver status in Air France!

3. Guatemala airport. Very nice update!


Joining the hate list:

1. Sony ET for replacing The IT Crowd with some crappy animated series.

2. Stupid iPod auto synchronize feature, which deleted my iPod after connecting it to another computer.


Items I hate even more than I used to:

1. Andrés Manuel López Obrador

2. Maná (damn I can't believe how much I hate Maná!!!!!!)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

El ranking oficial de Cervezas Centroamericanas y del Caribe by Piero











10. Port Royal - Honduras. Está muy fresa, pero la otra opción se llama "Salva Vidas", así que no pueden culparme por beber esta. Port Royal y su casi imperceptible sabor se llevan el décimo.










9. Pilsener - El Salvador. También está fresa, pero al menos su nombre y su botella son decentes.







8. Toña - Nicaragua - Es una XX Lager. Suficiente para sobresalir en la región sin ser particularmente recordable.









7. Victoria - Nicaragua (no confundir con la Victoria de México). Fue una sorpresa. Sabor fuerte, con presencia, en una cerveza clara (pero no taaaan clara como una Sol -yuck!-)










6. Prestige - Haití. No estoy seguro de esta mención... Pero imagínense en una zona de guerra: un guarura inmenso fue por ustedes al aeropuerto, los hizo firmar un documento en el que se hacen responsables de su muerte si salen sin él, en el camino al hotel ven 5 tanques con soldados de la ONU y pasan por 3 retenes. Además, el man de la recepción no habla inglés, obviamente no habla español, y tu jefe francés tiene problemas para entenderle en... ¡francés! Entonces, llegas al bar y pides una cerveza. ¡Obvimamente te sabe bien! Nunca sabré si realmente es buena.






5. Stag - Trinidad y Tobago. No es dulce como la Carlsberg, tampoco es amarga como la Heinekken. Es una clara bien hecha con un sabor para hombres (5.5 grados baby!!).









4. Gallo - Guatemala. Al menos en Guatemala se esfuerzan un poco más en diferenciarse (no es "yet another pilsner central american beer"). Esta tiene algo más. La versión oscura que venden en Superama es recomendable también.










3. Bucanero (Fuerte) - Cuba. Como su nombre lo dice, es fuerte... sabor robusto... muchísimo nivel. Además la puedes comprar y beber en la vía pública mientras maldices en silencio la propaganda castrista (y ahora chavista también) a 35°C. Enorme.











2. Imperial - Costa Rica. Me recuerda a la Victoria de México (que es buena). No la tomo desde 2005 pero la recuerdo con cariño. Y desde hace unos meses la venden en Superama (este fin voy por un six!)










1. Presidente - República Dominicana. Esta es la mejor Pilsner de este continente que he probado. De color claro, pero con personalidad en el sabor. La recomiendo ampliamente... Soy fan.

Realmente sólo recomiendo las 5 primeras. Si las entremezclara con las mexicanas quedaríamos así:

1. León
2. Montejo
3. Presidente (featured here)
4. XX ámbar
5. Pacífico
6. Imperial (featured here)
7. Bucanero (featured here)
8. Indio
9. Victoria (la de México)
10. Gallo (featured here)
....
Somewhere here (10-15) iría la Stag.
......

Notas importantes:

- La cerveza panameña es una basura, pero si ya están ahí, pidan Atlas o Balboa (las dos saben igual, no sé por qué el nombre distinto) por encima de Panamá o Soberana (las dos saben igual, no sé por qué el nombre distinto).

- Todas las cervezas aquí listadas están por encima de las gringas. Sí, también por encima de la Miller.

- Pero no de las canadienses. Prueben Alexander Keith's si van.

3 Notas 3 sobre el concierto de The Cure del domingo

1) Robert Smith se puso bien cerdo... ire usté (no es del concierto pero así se veía):


(aun así tocó y cantó genial, no sabía que su voz sonaba tan potente en vivo)

2) El concierto estuvo poca madre (aunque faltó Friday I'm in Love que es mi favorita personal)

3) Pude notar que una gran porción del respetable era de edad considerablemente mayor que Ojos y yo. ¿Cómo lo noté? aparecieron los encendedores en las canciones lentas. La verdad es que desde el concierto de Bridges to Babylon de los Stones, todo lo que había visto eran celulares. Ver encendedores fue como viajar en el tiempo.

Monday, 8 October 2007

What are you passionate about?

Reading Ojos' blog I remembered I can easily get hyped with tons of stuff. She says I'm "passionate", I think I have a problem with defining myself and what I like.

In the last 2 years I've been passionate about Scam Baiting (2 months), near death experiences (1 week) and anti-peje activism (6 months). However I could hardly say these were real passions.

There are also politics. I've always liked them. But I don't think I'm passionate about them...

After giving it some time, I think I only have 3 passions:
  1. Tennis
  2. Formula 1
  3. Commercial Aviation (I recommend MAYDAY, awsome TV Show!)
Commercial Aviation is actually giving me a hard time. At 25, is it too late to leave everything behind and learn to fly*?

Whatever, at this point it should be obvious for you that I'm lacking inspiration...

* Learn to Fly is a great song by the Foo Fighters

Friday, 28 September 2007

?

Llega Piero a Guatemala...

Camino al aeropuerto observa que la gente está como loca, sacando la cabeza de las ventanas de sus autos, gritando, tocando el claxon, y la gran mayoría están ebrios.

Sabiendo que eso no es normal entre semana, decide preguntar al taxista:

PIERO: Disculpe ¿hay alguna fiesta nacional o algo?
TAXISTA: ¿Pues que no sabe que CARLOS ganó el LATIN AMERICAN IDOL?
....
....
....
PIERO: Chale

En ese momento... mientras un automóvil pintado con la leyenda "Ganó Carlos" pasaba a su lado... Piero supo que estaba lejos, muy lejos, del primer mundo.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

T-Shirts I want to own

The shipping fee, and the incompetence of DHL representatives in charge of taking the items out of the airport without increasing their price in 50% because of taxes, make it impossible for me to buy them (click to view bigger):

1. Binary People. A geeky classic:

2. Animated Retro Table Tennis Shirt:

These 2 are from ThinkGeek (stuff for the smart masses)

3. Procrastinators: Leaders of tomorrow (this one rocks hard!)


And finally, #4. "Shakespeare Hates your Emo Poems".


These 2 are from threadless (nude no more).

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Angry Little Girls

Soy muy fan de Angry Little Girls!!!!!

http://www.angrylittlegirls.com

Muestra (dar click para agrandar)

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Memory Flight (starting today)

Well, I have started my flight memory, taking advantage of a business trip to Sto Domingo (where I'm right now, drinking a Presidente beer by the pool).

I'll have this banner in the website, with miles and hours flown:



It links to the complete data (including airplane models, registration, airlines and stuff).

I can't help thinking my fascination for aviation is getting creepier and creepier.

Best regards,
Me

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Links para perder productividad

Luego de bajar ilegalmente y escuchar el nuevo álbum de Collective Soul, Afterwords, quedé deprimido. Me parece un álbum "bueno"... a secas... débil... nada que les permita obtener nuevos fans, ni complacer a los actuales y mucho menos recuperar la gloria de antaño.

Para aliviar mi depresión me puse a ver otros blogs y links interesantes. Recuperé algo de mi ánimo, pero perdí horas valiosas de trabajo y ahora tendré que quedarme hasta tarde.

Con el ánimo de hacer pasar a mi audiencia por lo mismo, les dejo los links:

1. El Blog de Rulo. Sí, el locutor ex-radioactivo (ahora Reactor). Muy buena prosa, interesante y gracioso (recomiendo el tag "things that make you go 'chale'"

2. ¿Por qué me retiré del vicio? Aquí caí por leer el blog the Enrique y el de las Trendy Procrastinators. Es muy muy bueno y muy extenso.

3. Leyendo Churrumais, llegué al blog de Plaqueta. También es un gran blog (aunque perredista).

4. Airliners.net Los nerds de la aviación disfrutamos de esta cosa. Para los que no son nerds pueden saltárselo o checar las fotos más populares de todos los tiempos, donde hay muy buenos shots.

5. TheOnion.com Es un noticiero falso que se burla adecuadamente de la clase política y sociedad norteamericanas.

6. Pearls Before Swine. Es mi comic favorito junto con Dilbert. Es justo mi sentido del humor. Lo que hago (y recomiendo ampliamente) es dejar que pasen un par de semanas sin verlo para darme unos 20 minutos y leerlos todos juntos. Generalmente lo hago regresando de una larga, tortuosa, frustrante y aburrida junta en Telcel... es una buena terapia.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Collective Soul - Hollywood - Video

Helo aquí. El primer video del Afterwords de Collective Soul, Hollywood.

La canción es bastante pop para la historia de CS. Pero me parece buena. El video también me gustó, excepto en la parte en la que sonríen como si fueran de Mercurio, Menudo o una de esas cosas.

Nota: Hay que darle play, no inicia solito.










Ya no puedo esperar por el disco. Aunque falta ver cómo lo voy a conseguir.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Lista de Súper (for moving in with girlfriend)

Como uno de mis dos lectores sabe (creo que no le he dicho a Mich), estoy próximo a mudarme con Ojos. Cuando eso pasa uno debe comprar una serie de cosas para sobrevivir. Cosas que uno siempre ha visto en su hogar, pero que nunca se ha percatado de que deben comprarse, como si se hubieran generado de forma espontánea...

Desde luego no se incluyen en ninguna proyección financiera, y por tanto se van directito a la tarjeta de crédito.

Lo relevante de todo esto es que nunca fui al súper de tan buen humor y tan ilusionado como esta vez.

Como dato cultural y para apoyar a quienes estén por hacer su lista de súper pre-mudanza, aquí está un resumen de lo que compré:
  • Ganchos para ropa
  • Pinzas para ropa
  • Escoba
  • Recogedor
  • Trapeador
  • Sacudidor (con estática)
  • Cepillo para el baño
  • Destapacaños
  • Cubeta con una vaina para exprimir el trapeador sin agacharse
  • Bolsas de basura
  • Lavatrastes marca Dawn *
  • Maestro Limpio multiusos *
  • Maestro Limpio para baños *
  • Kleenex
  • Detergente ACE *
  • Ariel Hidroactivo *
  • Downy (suavizante de telas) *
  • Papel higiénico Charmín *
  • Servilletas Charmín *
  • Extensiones (este es especialmente tricky, me siento orgulloso de haberme acordado)
Desde luego faltan cosas para cuidado personal y utensilios de cocina. Estas dos categorías deben comprarse con el absoluto consentimiento de la pareja, pues deben ser "bonitos". Nadie espera belleza en un destapacaños o en un recogedor, así que puedo comprarlos. Pero los utensilios de cocina son una cosa completamente distinta.

* Artículos de P&G, empresa donde Ojos labora. Si uno va a llevar a procterianos a la casa, es IMPERATIVO que los artículos de la misma sean de dicha empresa. Los procterianos son seres pasionales en lo referente a la defensa de sus marcas.

Cuando vaya por los artículos de cuidado personal, estos serán desodorante Old Spice, pasta de dientes Crest, jabón Camay (o Escudo o Zest), shamóo Pantene (o Pert o Head & Shoulders o Herbal Essences o Daily Defense)


Mi madre y su novio nos regalaron un juego de cuchillos y un mini-capuccino-maker de baterías que se complementa bien con nuestra sumamente classy cafetera.

Cambiando abruptamente de tema, ayer jugué muy buen tenis gracias al overgrip y al reencordado de mi Yonex RQS11 (la raqueta oficial de Martina Hingis). Esa raqueta es tan buena que se merece un post aparte.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Go to hell, Amazon and Target

I tried to purchase the latest Collective Soul CD (Afterwords) from Amazon (featured by Target).

After filling the form, the folowing message came up:


"This item can't be shipped to the address provided"

Bastards.

Will Piero be able to purchas an Afterwords CD from Mexico??? Will he need Michel to buy @ Target and wire him the money?? Stay tuned.


Tuesday, 14 August 2007

My Flight Routes - 1993 to Date -

I found a nice service: My Flight Memory, which is basically a personal flight log. It has a lot of fields you can fill apart from origin/destination like Airline, Airplane type, Airplane registration, cabin class, among others.

In order to honor simplicity, I didn't include every single flight, I just posted the routes I have travelled since I care (1993 when I did MEX-MAD). In total, I've flown 53 routes since 1993. 95% of them due to my job =).

Here's a map (click on it to view properly):


What that bunch of lines and airport codes mean is that I've flown 53 routes that I won't list here because it takes time and nobody cares anyway. The map looks like crap because most of the time I fly in central america / caribbean and thus most airports are too close to each other.

Even when nobody cares, I can post simpler data like:

AIRLINES USED
#Airline

1 Mexicana

2 American Airlines

3 Air France

4 Copa

5 United Airlines

6 Continental Airlines

7 Aeromexico

8 TACA

9 TAM Brazilian Airlines

10 Iberia

11
United Airlines


12
Interjet



And AIRCRAFTS USED
#Aircraft

1 Airbus 320

2 Boeing 757

3 Airbus 319

4 Boeing 737

5 Airbus 300

6 Boeing 777

7 Boeing 747

8 McDonnell Douglas-88

9
Airbus 340


10
Airbus 318



And I'll throw some others of my own:

BEST VISITED AIRPORT - Paris De Gaulle (Panama takes over if you're in shopping mood)

WORST VISITED AIRPORT - Port Au Prince (special mention to Guatemala - La Aurora)

BEST AIRLINE(s): Air France and AeroMexico

WORST AIRLINE: A no brainer. American Airlines is the WORST airline on Earth by FAR

BEST AIRPLANE: Boeing 777 (AeroMexico and Air France)

WORST AIRPLANE: Boeing 747 (Air France and Iberia): no individual screen for a 10+ hour flight should be considered a murder attempt. Honorific mention to the A300 flown (of course) by American

Best looking crew (before feminists start complaining, let me say that this statistic is confirmed by male and female coworkers): TAM Brazilian Airlines by far.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Ban Comic Sans

Ban Comic Sans!!!!

The following extract was taken completely from bancomicsans.com, a website putting special emphazis in the alarming growth of the Comic Sans typefont usage.

"Since its creation in 1995, the typeface Comic Sans has enjoyed immense popularity among numerous digital type users including librarians, human resource managers, Powerpoint presenters, and Disney advertisement designers. The typeface has recently become so popular in fact that it has attracted the attention of several important typographic institutions, most notably the Foundation of National Typographers. A recent study by the FoNT foundation reveals some remarkable trends for the fledgling face."


Comic Sans usage projection
"These projections are based on a scientific survey of long-term type usage trends and include a standard margin of error. The report finds that Comic Sans usage has steadily increased since 1995 at a geometric rate and is well on its way to becoming the most universally used typeface surpassing even Helvetica and Times by approximately 2018. Even more astonishing is the typographic event horizon predicted for the year 2027. The FoNT foundation has determined that according to these trends the only typeface anyone will use by the year 2030 will indeed be Comic Sans. "


Should this trend continue, we are in the risk of seeing the following changes in our fragile world:

Comic Sans Dollar by 2022!
Or:

Comic Sans Hollywood Sign!!!

This is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE!!! Please join the effort of eliminating Comic Sans from Earth:

- Do not use Comic Sans for publishing.
- Do not use Comic Sans on corporate templates.
- Do not use Comic Sans on business material: business cards, restaurant menus
- More over, a bunny will be punched every time you use Comic Sans:

I'm not part of this movement, but I absolutely support it. Join them at their MySpace site.

Now you know what to do. Boycott Comic Sans today!

Regards,
Coller


Sunday, 5 August 2007

10 years later... it's just not the same!!!

Today I played Basketball with Giles and Silveyra, my 2 best friends from high school.

Back in High School we used to play up to 3 hours of continous basketball. Today... we only managed to play 1 hour (and we had to take breaks at minutes 20 and 40). I play tennis every saturday and really thought that was keeping me in good condition... Reality, horrible reality.

Not only my body suffered with age... but also my game. After scoring with one of my traditional "Pieranchos", Silveyra told me "I remember that move, but at a completely different speed!!" LOL, I'm slow and rusty now.

BTW, Giles and I defeated Veyra and Rich 21-18. As a rematch, we have decided to play against poverty in Somalia in 2 weeks.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Travis Concert

Travis performed at the "Sports Palace" yesterday. Tickets were a gift from Laura :) and Enrique joined us for the gig.

It rocked.

At 20.30 Jumbo started playing. They were... uhm... well... they were there and played. Yeah, that's a good description.

But at 21.30 Travis came to scene, walking through the crowd to reach the stage on boxing robes (with Rocky background music, of course). The band was really cool to the crowd. Francis Healy makes a great frontman: good voice, good guitar skills, cool attitude. The band is very fan-oriented, they even left a message on their website's forum thanking all for the gig!!

This is the first time I step into a concert (well, taking out that Belanova one) in which I know less than 3/4 of the setlist. But Travis sounds so good live that I didn't care!

The played everything they were supposed to: All I wanna do is rock, Turn, Why does it Always Rain on Me, Side, Flowers in the Window, Sing, Closer, Beautiful Occupation,
Love will Come Through, Selfish Jean... AMAZING!!!! They also played an AC/DC's Back in Black to finish a nearly perfect more-than-2-hour-long gig.

The band playing "Flowers in the Window" during the encore

SETLIST

  • Selfish Jean
  • Eyes Wide Open
  • Writing To Reach You
  • Love Will Com Through
  • Big Chair
  • As You Are
  • My Eyes
  • Pipe Dreams
  • U16 Girls
  • Beautiful Occupation
  • Quicksand
  • Side
  • Re-Offender
  • The Line Is Fine
  • I Love You Anyways
  • Driftwood
  • Good Feeling
  • Closer
  • Sing
  • Battleships
  • All I Want To Do Is Rock
  • Turn

    Encore 1:
  • Happy
  • Baby One More Time (yeah, the Britney Spears' one)
  • Slideshow
  • Blue Flashing Light

    Encore 2:
  • 20
  • Flowers In The Window (acoustic)
  • Humpy Dumpty Love Song
  • Why Does It Always Rain On Me?
  • Back In Black

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Simpsonization

I entered Simpsonize Me and uploaded this picture (due to its high contrast):



And it came up with this:

Is it a good Simpsonization? Please let me know.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Collective Soul - Afterwords - August 28th

Finally a release date and album cover!!! Afterwords is coming out on August 28th.


It sucks to be a Collective Soul fan in Mexico, because they'll only have hard copies for sale at Target, an American supermarket that doesn't ship to Mexico through their website. And as for downloads, I bet it will be only be in iTunes, which means I'd need an American Credit Card (and by American I mean billed INSIDE the USA), which of course I don't have.

Sum up that there's no chance they're coming back to Mexico anytime soon and you get the conclusion: "it sucks to be a Collective Soul fan in Mexico nowadays".

Of course I can always beg Michel to buy it at his nearest Target shop and wire him the money... Mich? :-P

Collective Soul is also touring with Live and Counting Crows. If you're Yank, you should go... 3 great bands for ~50 dollars.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Sentencia

El viernes llegó la sentencia de divorcio de mis padres. Abracé a mi madre y la felicité. Realmente me alegra, aun cuando es sólo un simbolismo -pues tiene ya 4 años en esto-.

El sábado, sentado junto a Ojos a la mitad de una fiesta -para celebrar el evento- la leí de nuevo, y me llegaron las preguntas. Años tarde:

- ¿Es normal irte, así sin más, luego de 23 años y con dos hijos -uno menor de edad- para ni siquiera intentar acercarte en 4 años?

- ¿Qué tiene que pasarte para hacer eso? ¿una near death experience o algo así? ¿tendré la oportunidad de saberlo?

Y luego fue el miedo...

- ¿Es hereditario? ¿estoy destinado a perder la razón así?

Y entonces me dí cuenta de que sólo me dejó las malditas dudas. Triste herencia.

Friday, 6 July 2007

My Results from The Simpsons Personality Test




You Are Mr. Burns



Okay, so you're evil...



You have big plans to rule the world, and you'll destroy it in the process if necessary!



You will be remembered for: the exploitation of the masses



Life philosophy: "One dollar for eternal happiness? I'd be happier with the dollar."

Structured Procrastination

Often... very often, I post here in order to avoid more important things (like a functional specification or a RFP response).

I didn't know it was an identified behavior called Structured Procrastination.

YEY!!!

What is Structured Procrastinarion? John Perry defines it as the art of making a good trait out of putting off important things to do.

What's the key? Identifying top priorities that 1) Seem to have very clear deadlines (but actually don't) and 2) Seem awfully important (but aren't). That way you can do less important, yet more interesting things and be recognized as a valuable member of your community.

The whole article by John Perry is here, and I got it from The Trendy Procrastinators Blog, where I got thanks to Kike's blogroll.

I'm going to stop procrastinating and get back to finish that Functional Specification for Mobile Banking. But first, a nice reflection:


Visit despair.com!

Monday, 2 July 2007

8 things you didn't know (and didn't want to know) about me

OK I couldn't resist to post this either. The thing goes like this: you post 8 unknown facts about yourself and your readers are supposed to do the same on their blogs. It's like mail chains -that I hate- but this time I couldn't help it. Here I go:

1. I hate Mana. I'd rather listen to El Puma.

2. I watched every single episode of Mexican soap opera "Mirada de Mujer".

3. I like Gilmore Girls. Not because of them really, but because I find the dialogues smart and funny -you may start making fun of me now-

4. I love dancing Salsa. I'm not very good (Ojos has made me a fairly good dancer), but I like it.

5. I'm a capitalist pig. I voted for Calderon and would do it again. PAN is the party that most suits me.

6. I miss programming (not enough to work on that again, at least not under mexican employment conditions, which are terrible for programmers).

7. I'm a huge fan of Martina Hingis. There was a time in which I maintained a website dedicated to her. I'm a regular poster at hingis.org

8. Even though I studied Computer Science, and that most Computer Engineers will crucify me for this, I think Microsoft software is overally GREAT (except for the media player).

Sunday, 17 June 2007

6 Airports in 3 Days

1. Santo Domingo "Las Americas" International Airport (SDQ), Friday 5am (GMT -6)
American Airlines (the worst airline in the planet) announces the cancellation of their flight to Miami (that would eventually take me to Mexico). I was listed for the afternoon flight, meaning I'd get to Mexico around 9.45PM, and I didn't want that. After negotiations with AA staff, they offered me to take a Santo Domingo - San Juan - Orlando - Mexico route that would put in Mexico at 7.30pm. Enough time to finish packing and take my 11.30pm flight to Paris.

2. San Juan International Airport (SJU), Friday 7.20am (GMT -6)
I got to San Juan around 8.20 local time after flying in business class for the first time in my life. Unfortunately it was in an American Airlines' business class, which is like any other airline's economic class. After clearing inmigration and customs I left my bag and proceeded to my next flight (to Orlando).

Half an hour before boarding they announce the flight was completely full and they'd give $300 USD to the first five volunteers willing to spend 4 hours of their life waiting for the next flight. I volunteered, but sadly, not fast enough.

3. Orlando International Airport (MCO), Friday 1.00pm (GMT -6)
First time in this airport. It's some sort of a Disneyworld extension. Fat yanks with Mickey Mouse ears all over the place. A Disney store every 20 meters and a Burger King in every single terminal (5 BKs total). I decided to have a Whopper, no onions.

I was relieved to know that the final flight was going to be operated byAeromexico. A much better airline than crappy AA.

At that moment something terrible happened, my laptop stopped working. I could only use it (still do) on "safe mode". And that made my doubt of my luck. At that moment I called our travel agency to push my Paris and Marseille flights one more day. At the end it was ok because I got to see my brother before and right after his surgery.

4. Mexico Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) Friday 19.30 (GMT -6)
Home sweet home. It had been an awful day. After spending my whole day in airports and airplanes I was home for the following 24 hours. First thing I did was rush to see Ojos.

5. Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), Sunday 7.10am (GMT -6)
Short stay at home it was. I spent Saturday morning at the Hospital following up on my brother's surgery. Everyting turned out to be okay so I went home to finish packing and took Ojos to see my brother.

My flight to Paris was OK and we arrived 14.10.

During the flight I watched "Music and Lyrics" with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. I found it cheessy and predictable. I spent the rest of the flight knocked (don't know if I was tired or the movie was really that bad).

6. Marseille International Airport (MRS), Sunday 10.15am (GMT -6)
I arrived to Marseille at 17.15 and rented a car (well, my manager did) and drove to La Ciotat
where I'll spend this week at a Seminar. I just took dinner and I'm off to (try to) sleep. Damn Jetlag

So that's it. 6 airports, in a less than 3 days span, and I'm a tired man.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Landing at Tegucigalpa

For sure, the scariest landing I've experienced was at Tegucigalpa (Tonconting Airport).

For those who haven't lived the experience, let me describe it. It starts with the plane approaching to a mountain, it then turns left to approach the runway... and keeps turning left while it goes down... and then after some seconds... the thing is still going down and turning.

5 seconds before touching ground it finally stops turning left and lands. It's a unique experience.

To illustrate it, please find below a footage of an American Airlines Boeing 757 (largest plane that can land there) taken from a nearby mountain. Enjoy.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Diversity

"True diversity comes from people who look different". That seems to be the slogan for any NYSE-listed company. Being diverse means you hire some latino, asian or black person once in a while.

I hate to enter the "about" section of any corporate website and find something like this:

From this kind of pictures I also understand that true diversity makes people smile like idiots.

And for some reason, most companies need to come up with a "Diversity policy" that says something like:

"Diversity is both embraced and encouraged at [INSERT COMPANY NAME]. We strongly believe in the value of diversity in the workforce. We are committed to providing an environment of fairness and equitable treatment of everyone, regardless of race, religion, color or creed. Embracing individual uniqueness brings creativity and vitality to our environment BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH" bottom line "we hire black, hispanic or asian ppl once in a while"

Thursday, 24 May 2007

New Collective Soul album!!!!!

I'm a HUGE Collective Soul fan. They're my favorite band since 1994 when "Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid" came out, with Shine as their first mainstream single.

It's been a long run since! and 13 years leater they're coming out with their seventh album. I'm very excited!!!

The first song is "Hollywood" (which BTW is also the album title). Here's a video of the band playing it live:



First I thought it was too much pop. But since the second time I heard it I've been hooked. Collective Soul bloody rocks!

Monday, 7 May 2007

Cuando Brozo era Brozo...

Gracias a una entrada del blog de Mich, caí en prauprau.com, una bonita colección de videos de los tiempos de Víctor Trujillo en IMEVISIÓN.

Fue sensacional toparme con la Beba Galván en sus inicios, con clásicos cuentos de Brozo como "La Verdadera Historia de Alicia Pacheco", "Anselmo y Greta" y "El Gato con Botas". Todos grandes, enormes, sublimes... "lo más" dirían en la Argentina. Me impresionó ver cómo ha cambiado Brozo en voz, talla, peluca y hasta nariz.

También me topé con "La cascarita del siglo", aquel partido en el mundial del 94 entre los equipos de Ponchito y Brozo, formado por los mencionados personajes y comentaristas de TV Azteca...

En fin... una agradable experiencia que recomiendo ampliamente.

Como menciona Michel, falta el cuento de "Los 3 Reyes Magos". Si alguien lo encuentra ¡¡por favor repórtelo!!

Friday, 27 April 2007

The Stupid Test

According to the Stupid Test I'm "Pretty Smart" (only 14% stupid). You get a nice little graphic after finishing the test.


Hope you can take it (without cheating!) and proudly tell us your score (and put the image in your blog)

Besos y Abrazos
Yo

Monday, 23 April 2007

Yank questions found on Australia Tourism Website

These are real questions... (and then they voted):

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain
on TV, how do the plants grow? (USA).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around
watching them die.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female
population is smaller than the male population?
A: Yes, gay nightclubs

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Virginia killer listened to "Shine" over and over again

... and it sucks, because that song is the biggest hit from my favorite band, Collective Soul.

Now it ay never be played in Virginia again, thanks to some asshole, who woke up one morning, decided to end it all, and thought it necessary to take some innocents down with him.

One of my favorite songs ending up with Beatles' "Helter Skelter" (Charles Manson's favorite) and KMFDM's "Son of the Gun" that was listened by those Columbine dudes as a crime-related theme. Sad.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Salary (un)increase notification

It goes something like this:

Dear employee:

I'm happy to announce [happy??? what kind of machiavelic being can be happy about announcing such a thing???? Please avoid talking at funerals!!!] that for this year you'll receive a salary increase of [infamously little amount]. Your salary is now [virtually the same it was the last year]

Thanks for your contribution blah blah blah blah blah

Best regards,
HR Manager.


=====

Anyone got a nice increase??? Let me know and take me out of my depression.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Rastro de tu Sangre en la Nieve

In Spanish, because there's no way I'll reference García Márquez in an english-written post.

Hoy por la mañana, mientras hacía mi maleta para venir a La Habana (tristemente, no de vacaciones, sino de trabajo), me corté un dedo. Lo anterior no tendría relevanca alguna de no ser porque recordé aquel magistral cuento de Gabriel García Márquez -que lleva el título de este post- en el que una mujer se desangra tras espinarse el dedo con una rosa.

Tras el accidente, y aún sin controlar la hemorragia, decidí traer conmigo mi libro favorito: Extraños Peregrinos, 12 Cuentos, en el que viene el cuento en cuestión... y como me encantó aun más que la primera vez, les dejo una liga al mencionado texto, cortesía de bibliotecasvirtuales.com

Rastro de tu Sangre en la Nieve

Saludos desde La Habana.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Pearls Before Swine

In a perfect world all comic strips would be like "Pearls Before Swine". It's the best comic, perhaps side to side with Dilbert. Everything is perfect... starting with the characters: a megalomaniac rat who complains about the strip itself and about all living things (it's the best character), a naive pig who is incompetent and isn't aware of his true surroundings, and other minor characters (a fraternity of retarded crocodiles, a zebra trying to survive them, an ultra-smart goat and a hiper agressive duck who serves Pig as bodyguard).

But well... I really don't want to bore you with blah blah blah... so here are some strips from Pearls Before Swine (CLICK ON THEM TO MAKE THEM LARGER):




Thursday, 29 March 2007

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Hate List

From the top of my head, in no particular order:


Club América (Mexican Football Team)
RBD
WTA tennis coverage in Latin America
Trash pop music (Thalia, Britney, etcetera)
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Stupid HR Management
Stupid Management of any kind
ITEM REMOVED DUE TO A CLASSLESS AND COWARD ATTEMPT TO COMPROMISE MY CAREER
Anti Hingis tennis writers
Anti Schumacher F1 writers
Guatemala Airport
Arrogant academic ppl and arrogant MBA graduates
G&D, Incard, Oberthur Card Systems, Xpon Card ;-)
GNU undocumented software
RPG games
MEXICAN CONGRESS
ITEM REMOVED DUE TO A CLASSLESS AND COWARD ATTEMPT TO COMPROMISE MY CAREER
Baseline, raw power based tennis (Williams sisters, Sharapova, Roddick)
TACA Airlines ($5 for a sandwich!)
American Airlines ($4 for cookies! $2 for headsets!)
Copa Airlines still not being part of Sky Team
99% of spanish-speaking bands (Vaquero and Cafe Tacvba being exceptions)
Pancita, Pata and food with similar texture
Mexito city's traffic
Mana. I HATE MANA. I BLOODY HATE MANA

Monday, 26 March 2007

inDUHviduals

Working on technology is usually not nice: you work until late and everyone is pointing at you when something bad happens (that's when it's not big, when it's big they insult you)...

However, when it comes to free, spontaneus fun, technology is the best workfield. The reason?? Clients!!!! Some companies don't like to spend a lot on people. That means the people they tend to hire aren't always smart... let alone smart... they aren't always... unstupid.

The following are jewels I've got to hear or see from clients :)

- From a SEPOMEX IT MANAGER:
"How much is a PIXEL in CENTIMETERS?"

- From a Televisa code:

'Set x at 0
x=0
'Ask if x is 0... like if there was any other choice, you just set it at 0!!!!
IF x=0 THEN
'So if it is 0 -which by the way is the only reason you could have make it to this line, make it be '0... just to make sure
x=0
'And now end the code block. The first line was good enough, thank you.
END IF

- From a member of Telcel's engineering department:
"So, this token thing, is it like a ringtone?"
The presentation was about the tokens you probably use to enter internet banking.

- From another member of Telcel's engineering department:
"Can you tell me what my requirements are?"
And a week later:
"I didn't understand what my requirements are? Can you explain it to me in great detail?"

- From a Client in Panama:
"Can you give us the name of your competition and their data?" I need them so I can invite them to fight you for this project"

If you have any tale from inDUHviduals you'd like to share, please post a comment :)

BTW, the inDUHvidual concept was stolen from The Dilbert's Blog

Friday, 23 March 2007

Río Boat Party!!!!

My last day at Río was by far the best!!!! (starting with the fact I didn't have to spend 12 hours at the Gemalto office over there).

I woke up around 10, went through the checkout process (a very stressing one since I didn't know if the credit card payment I made the day before had gone through). Once I was done with that I made another useless attempt to ask for a cab in portuguese.

I got to the Marina Da Gloria at 12.30 (almost missed the boat!)... The Casablanca boat departed half an hour later with everything ready... Caipirinhas -get the official recipe here!-, Beer, guaraná and two bottles of tequila -courtesy of Thomas, a Mexico-based Technical Consultant who happened to be there for some other event-

(BTW, Gustavo, who holds the same position as me, but based in Brazil, was the birthday guy)

At some point the boat stopped and we were all supposed to go down and swim. However, water was so bloody cold that nobody stayed more than 2 minutes. (Quick question, why most brazilians swim in girly bikinis?)

Music varied from electronic... to electronic... and some zamba and those brazilian songs they put at weddings (at least in Mexico) - Braaaasilllll, nanananananananaaaaaaa- -a e i o u- etc etc... (I hate them).

Well, just in case you were curious, this is how you end up after 3 caipirinhas, 8 glasses of beer, and one shot of Cachaza Germanica (R):


The picture is also evidence of the 2+ kilos of meat, 2 kilos of seafood and many, many litters of Chopp I had.

Once the boat got back I hurried to the international airport, where TAM managed to scare the hell out of me by starting to board an HOUR LATER than planned. I arrived to Sao Paulo half an hour before the Aeromexico flight was about to depart. I was lucky to find some proactive Aeromexico staff who dispatched me real fast, and got home safely.

So... my portuguese doen't work, my diet isn't working either, but it was still worth it. Brazil rocks :)

Now the nicest part was to pick Ojos at the airport the following morning. She's back from Miami where she had a shopping frenezi (that included clothes for me yey!)

Friday, 16 March 2007

Nao posso falar ainda

Well my portuguese is still useless in Brazil.

But instead of complaining I'll make a friendlier entry about Río. I'll talk about the food because Río is THE place to eat!

DAY 1 DINNER @ MONTANA GRILL
Churrascarías are like every man's dream. You just sit there and wait for waiters to show up with all kinds of meat. At Montana grill it is perfectly cooked and it comes with rice, farofa (toasted manioc -yuca in spanish-with ham, spices and some egg).

There is a salad bar, but a true man doesn't eat salad when there are loads of meat. ;-)

DAY 2 DINNER @ MARIOUS
Marious is the same concept, but they serve seafood instead of meat. It's just GREAT.

Lobster, all sizes of shrimps, salmon and a salad bar. For my taste, Marious features one of the best prepared caipirinhas on earth.

DAY 3 - DINNER @ GOURMET PLAZA
This is just a buffet with loads of food of all kinds. You pay a fixed fee and attack.

I guess such concept wouldn't work in Mexico. I can perfectly picture people armed with tupperwares stealing food for the rest of the week...

DAY 4 - DINNER @ BELGIAN BEER BAR
Everything was Belgian about this place... encluding the services... that sucked big time.

Other than that it was all great:
- I had Guinness (the best beer on earth) and a Stella Artois.
- Fried mussels (moules, mejillones). It's the best. A pot of mussels on a beer-based sauce. Delicious.

Of course after this trip I've gained some pounds. I'll become vegetarian for the next week and run every morning starting next monday.

Best regards,
Coller.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Nao posso falar portugues!

Today I realized my portuguese classes (the 10% of them I have actually attended) aren't enough to survive in Río. I always end up speaking in Spanish -or even english- after crossing two words in portuguese... A normal conversation would be something like this

PIERO: "Bom Día"
PERSON: (part of the conversation not understandable)
PIERO: (start of english or spanish block)

I'll keep you posted about my progress (if any) that occurs this week.