Back From Chicago

Cielo, Ty and I went to Chicago this weekend to help my family celebrate my niece’s 5th birthday. The party was at a ChuckieCheese kind of place called jeepers, but it actually had a couple of amusement park kiddie rides, which Ty took full advantage of. Ty had a blast and Cielo and I had fun watching him have fun. Here are the pictures from the Party :)

Colombia Tierra Querida

Colombia is the country where I was born. It is time and time misrepresented in the eyes of the people that do no live there. I am not just talking about people in the United States, but all over the world people think that my country is just a hot spot for drugs and guns.

I have always ignored people’s ignorant remarks about drugs. I tend to react to it with humor of some sort, and then try to explain how I grew up a city that is just as cosmopolitan as a big US city like Chicago is. Cali and Chicago are similar in a lot of ways, they are both the 3rd most popular city in their respective countries. Chicago after New York and Los Angeles IMHO, and Cali after Bogota and Medellin. Chicago people are just as proud to be from there as people from Cali are. In the future I will devote a post completely to showcasing Cali for all that it is but for now I have something else in mind.

I want to change people’s perception of Colombia in a bigger way. I want to start educating people on how beautiful my country is, but it is a daunting task. I have beem thinking of opening up Proyecto Colombia (The Colombia Project), is not there yet but the more and more I think of the idea the more I like it The site is now there, but it is still under construction.

I had initially wanted to open a reconnection side for people that had been adopted from Colombia and did not have a resource to learn about their country. Colombia’s web presence it still in its infancy and well, resources in English are at times hard to come by or not easy to navigate. I want to go a little further though, I am tired of people thinking that Colombia is a country with towns where chickens run wild and pigs fly as passengers right next to you on the plane ride there. We can thank Hollywood for that. So do I have any volunteers?

Also, for all of my non Colombian readers, could you post what you think of when you hear the word Colombia… and maybe some questions about the country, don’t worry I won’t take anything personal I just think that if I build a site, an FAQ is a nice start. Thanks in advance.

Gaming and Cheating

Cheating is probably one of the most controversial subjects in the gaming community. I am against cheating, but then I remember that when I used to play Contra back in the NES days I did use “the code” (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A). “The Code” lets you to start the game with 30 lives instead of 3. This little feature can be considered one of the first attempt by a videogame at adjusting difficulty levels. It allowed me to learn the game, and by the time I was done playing Contra I did not need to enter “The Code” to finish the game. I would say that something that is part of the software for the videogame is more of a feature than a cheat. There are also bugs that are exploited that might not be intended to be there, those in my eyes lean more towards cheating.

Today’s cheating is a lot different than back in the good old days. Today’s cheating involves people actually building software to modify the way a game is played. MMORPG’s (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) might have cheats to get more money, or bots (software that runs on top of the game) that perform different tasks for you, like picking up items faster than a human could click. FPS’s (First Person Shooter) have bots for aiming and other software hacks that allow you to get a lot more kills per round. While I felt that the “the code” in Contra helped me get better at the game, I don’t think any of the cheats that are being used right now will ever help me in any way.

I play games to have fun, not to impress others but to just have a good time. I believe that cheaters really don’t have fun in the end. Sure they might get the best stats or gain some kind of level of popularity, but in the end they will know that it was not accomplished via skill, or practice but just by cheating.

We live in a society obsessed with winning. There is nothing wrong with a winning mentality; I love the idea of capitalism. I just feel that somewhere the notion that you should win by working hard and truly being the best at something got lost. Winning by any means has become the norm for some people. I don’t agree with the statement that the end justifies the mean.

Playing a multiplayer game with a cheater can be a very frustrating experience. It is also so sad that cheating is so rampant that skilled players are not always recognized, but rather have to receive insults and accusations that they are hackers just because they have exceptional skills at a given game. While we could go the easy route and say that immature people are the ones cheating, I think the problem goes beyond that. Cheaters are people without integrity, and the sad part is that some of them don’t even care. Is a game community without cheaters too much to ask for?

The 40 Year Old Virgin (***)

This was a very scary movie, not because of the content but because of the people in the theater. I am not sure what it was but it seemed like the other 40 year old virgins were coming out to support the character in the movie. I mean he is their hero, he eventually does gets some.

It is hard to really describe this movie, while it is hilarious, it also points out a lot about what is wrong about dating in our society. While the movie does have its human factor and I understand that it was meant to entertain and not educate, it still leaves the question in your head, can there really be someone like this guy. I am not sure, I do know some people that are 40 and are still virgins because of their religious beliefs, I also know some people that are really geeky but they are getting some. While I do think some of the people in the theater might have been in one of those two categories I don’t think a human being in our time can encompass all the qualities that this guy did.

Thoughts of sadness and compassion for someone in this guys position melt away after you see his monkey suit. One of the best comedy sequences in movie history comes thanks to this poor guy being waxed for the first time. I cannot wait for the DVD to see if how this scene was done because from what I could tell from my tear filled eyes from laughing so hard, the scene was all done in the same day and his reactions were genuine. If you see nothing else, just skip to the chapter in the movie once it comes out for DVD and I am guarantying you will laugh.

The acting was excellent, I had seen must of the actors before but they all fit their roles perfectly on the movie. Steve Carell has the capability of looking at someone with complete innocence in a way that is almost too good. His eyes truly have the look of a 5 year old when introduced to a brand new subject.

Overall I liked the movie, I would not go to a theater to watch it because of the scary audience but rent it for sure.


buy at Amazon.com

The 40 Year Old Virgin.
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GuestMap

Well, I saw a really cool guestmap on someone else’s blog and signed up. I loved it and their little icons and was ready to start using it… turns out they grew too fast and now their servers are choking… but I cannot give up on the whole guestmap thing because I have wanted it for a while… so I broke down and used bravenets… so here for your signing pleasure is the guest map I present…

Logtar’s Guestmap.

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