Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy new year

That's all I'm going to post today. A whole new year is about to start (or has already started for some of us), so let's just forget everything and celebrate. It's well known that learning to leave some things behind and moving on has a lot of benefits and very few to no drawbacks, so... Enjoy 2007!

Saturday, December 30, 2006


So today I was going through my junk mail on Yahoo when I saw a very exciting ad. It featured a newspaper reproduction with the following headlines:

Homeless man beats the stock market
Michael Parness turns $33,000 into $7 million... going from a park bench to Multi-Million Dollar penthouse.

Now wait: if you are homeless how can you get $33K to turn into anything? What is a homeless person? Someone that can't buy their own house? That I can understand - you can't really buy a house in some parts of the country with less than 50K (well, you technically can, but maybe you shouldn't - but that's a whole other post).

Anyway, it was odd... Maybe it reflects well what this year was about: oddness.

Monday, December 25, 2006

So Christmas is over... What is the tally?

It was a major loss to everybody, I fear. Reality set in to some people and it wasn't nice. Of course I was one of these people. Let's explain:

1) Yesterday I was tired of staying home and decided to go driving around. Amy and I got into the car and drove down to Gig Harbor, a neat town in the South Puget Sound. We walked around a little, enjoyed the little shops and art galleries but... It was just raining all the time and we couldn't really enjoy the view (my camera got out of home, but I didn't take any pictures).

2) Today I was home in the afternoon and wrote a list of things I could do. The day was sunny and my camera was asking me to use it finally, but I didn't. I went downstairs, to the darkest place in the house and worked on my never-ending recipe reader project. As always, I've stopped working with a new list of things to buy in order to continue the work. As it was Christmas, the list was everything I was able to do.

3) Tonight there was a delayed Chanukah party to go. So I decided to open my Brazilian cookbook and see what I was going to do. I decided on empadas, wrote down the ingredients I needed from the grocery store and went there. I arrived at 3 pm and... they closed at 3 pm. I ended up going back home and making pasteis with what I had. Fried things is not my favorite thing.

But I did do some interesting ones:

- Poached pear and gorgonzola cheese
- Caramelized onions, pears and sheep cheese
- (and a two cheese one, just to make something simple)

Not too bad, but...

4) I've talked with a good friend of mine yesterday and found out that his wife is pregnant! He was very excited about it, and me too! I just feel sorry for the kid whenever it comes (August?). This friend is just a good spoiler. Where is the loss here? Oh... You should understand.

5) Yesterday I had a terrible headache. In the middle of all the medication I took I didn't realize that one of the ones I had was not non-drowsy. And I figured this out when I fell asleep watching Sherlock Holmes on the TV and when I tried to stand up after the movie was over I almost fell down. Good that I didn't take this one while I was driving!

6) And what about the world?

- Chaos in the air system in Brazil: there was a series of systems having problems - overbooking and then air control. Exciting times.
- I have to add too all the chaos in Denver. It's interesting that although it was only one single airport, I have heard of at least 3 people that I personally know that were directly affected by it. Odd... What is there about Colorado?
- I could be like Fox News and repeat that now more Americans died in Iraq than during 9/11. That's what a war is about anyway...
- Consumer spending this year in the US for holidays rose only about 6.6% comparing to last year's 8.7%, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal. Yes, I'm to blame for it. I didn't buy pretty much anything during the holiday season this year. I wanted to buy some things, but I just couldn't figure out what these things really were (apart from a Wii, but this I can continue to wait until it's easier to find around).

Enough bad news. Time to get ready to go to sleep. Tomorrow is a working day.

Friday, December 22, 2006


So if nobody shows up at least I have fun. It's what I've decided to do lately. It is certainly very common for me to just concentrate on the hundreds of things I have to do and think and just forget what is going around me. Actually, lately I've been observing that I haven't been even reading the news. But I finally realized it and decided to turn it around.

No, it's not that I'll start going to all parties I've been invited to, watching TV, subscribe to all newspapers, it's just that I'll at least try to look around more often. Try to read something and maybe post on my blog about it. Like J.K. Rowling announcing the name of the last of the Harry Potter books, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (yes, even Amazon already has the book and lots of discussions about what the title means)

I have to also mention that there are still people around here with no power! Yes, it's been officially a week since the great wind storm and there are thousands of people still without power. And now they are even trying to name the storm! Quite amazing!

And just to end the list of links, this is not that interesting, but it goes with my "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" calendar: How to write worse and improve your Spinnish.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Crazy Yahoo Mail

I went out for a couple of hours to watch "Constant Gardener" (great movie, by the way - and I know you've probably already seen it, it's been out for some time) and when I get back I have 11,110 (neat number) unread emails. Yahoo decided to resend all my emails since time immemorial (that's mid-2004, before that I deleted all the emails from my Yahoo web account). It's amazing now my process of deleting them all, especially because they are mostly copies of what I have and I can't really sort them by date or anything.

Anyway, things that happen to keep you busy.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


It is interesting how much you depend on electricity and internet. At least how much I depend on it. Then came the great storm of last Thursday, December 14. It was mostly just a lot of wind. What do I mean by a lot of wind? Well this table gives you a good idea. It was quite windy - not as much as some days in Oklahoma, but clearly much more dangerously so. It's different to have a lot of wind in a place with few trees and not too many people, and when it happens in the middle of a place that was just not ready for it.

The power at home went out in the middle of the night between Thursday and Friday. Fortunately I was prepared and recharged my cell phone on the day before and had set it to be my second alarm to wake up in the morning. Fortunately, after I got back home, power was already back.

But then came the second dependency: cable was out, and with it my internet! And it was like this until the afternoon today. But now everything seems to be back to normal here. In many parts of the city it still isn't, though. I still have many friends that don't have electricity. Medina, one of the most expensive towns in the greater Seattle (where Bill Gates lives), is all dark (except from some houses with generators).

One of these friends were my girlfriend's parents that asked for refuge in our house last night and are staying at a hotel tonight. They also own a music store and it's without electricity in the single most important weekend of the year. Somebody is not very happy about it.

But life goes on and the cold is back.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The awareness that truth brings

Sometimes it's easy for people to take things for granted and forget that there are things happening around you that you don't have full knowledge. But suddenly when you are confronted with the truth, you realize that life can be much different than you have expected. Words acquire a different meaning, actions behind the shell of half-phrases and manipulations.

But eventually people do wake up and are startled to see that the world has changed. They can decide to go back to their shell, or face it as captains face storms. You look at it and try to adapt to the changes and always looking for the places where the changes are not as great, not that deep. And then the storm will be eventually over and you will have enough time to count the dead and attend the wounded.

Time... It's all a matter of having enough time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

And I thought it was dead

The other day I was observing that I haven't heard anything from Ruby on Rails for some time and was wondering if all its momentum was gone. But today, when I received the list of developer things coming for the Mac OSX Leopard I saw that the server version will come with Ruby on Rails pre-installed. Interesting move... Maybe I really wasn't paying enough attention to what is going on out there.

This weekend one of my plans is to dig again things about scientific programming in Python and see if I can find tools to quickly and easily analyze data and present results in a graphical manner. There are two projects that I'm working right now that would benefit immensely from that. I remember in the past that it was very complicated to install and run, but I've learned a lot about manually making things work in the last couple of years.

Finally, I'm tired. Today has been an extra-tiring day for some reason I just can't completely explain. So I got home earlier than usual (it was about 8:30pm) and now I'm trying to relax a little. Listen to some music, maybe watch a movie...

The world goes around and what is left is you

It's very interesting how often you have to amaze yourself with how some things around you never change. You can't then convince yourself that actually what doesn't change is you. A person grows older, but it's still the same person with the same crazy ideas about the world.

Yes, that's sometimes good, because that means you get all your life to apply your crazy ideas (and not just short spans of craziness that most probably won't change a thing). But that's sometimes bad when it keeps reminding you that you are something else.

Anyway, I shouldn't try to make much sense in 2 minutes before leaving to work. At least I post.