Natural Disasters

I have been thinking about all the natural disasters we have experienced lately. Since the tsunami, which was one of the biggest disasters in our lifetime, I think we have all been a little more sensitive to what nature can do. It has bothered me quite a bit to hear people speak about the disasters as “Acts of God.” I am sorry but I think that way of thinking is both irrational and it actually hurts religion.

Growing up I experienced a couple of earthquakes. Neither of the quakes were devastating, but I got to feel what the power of nature is all about. Also, I remember two big natural disasters the volcano eruption in Armero and the earthquake in Popayan. While I am not a “survivor” of either of those, I don’t think God was trying to “clean” either of those cities like some have suggested the New Orleans disaster was all about.

I really hope that those fundamentalist people get their act together because the only thing they are doing is breeding hate. I am starting to dislike them more and more because they are spreading poison. Natural disasters have been happening since the beginning of time, and they are not stopping now, nor are they a sign of the end of time. As a Christian I believe that the message of God and Jesus is one of love, not one of; ‘lets exclude as many people as we can out of “salvation”‘. I am ashamed of people that profess that kind of hate, and then act like Islam is a hateful religion.

My heart goes out to all the people that have perished in our latest world natural disaster, the quake in the Pakistan and India border.

Football vs Soccer

Version en Español abajo!

Ok, so yesterday I wanted to talk about soccer, a sport I love. Ever since I moved to the US I became interested on American Football. At first I was very confused by it, to the point that it was almost painful to watch because there are a lot of rules and so many player positions. It was hard to keep up with who does what, let alone figure out who was who. Then there is the whole NFL vs. College ball difference, not to mention the complexity of who plays who when it comes to college. Then I started to become a Chicago Bears fan, and little by little I began to understand the game. I love the game now and think is excellent. This is a by no means a lets put down American Football, however in a worldwide point of view, soccer is king. Therefore I can call Soccer the real football.

American Football has a lot of depth both from the strategy side and the physical aspect. At times it can be a game that requires a lot more knowledge of the rules to truly enjoy it. It makes it seem almost too complicated to pick up in one afternoon like you can do with other sports. I think this really taints the American audience and at times turns the game from sport to spectacle with all the stop and go and little to no flow. Comparing Soccer to Football at times seems unfair. It is like matching a kitten against a lion, they both have claws, they are both felines, but only one of them can kill you. To compare to soccer to football in an sports realm seems to me like comparing Tennis to Ping Pong(or table Tennis). I am sure this will be controversial to some people but hear me out.

Starting from the athlete side of things, I don’t care who the strongest football player in the NFL is, who fastest player might be, or even who the most talented or gifted for the game is; because in the end you will not be talking about the same player. Soccer however is a lot more straightforward when having a number one player, a lot of times who the person wearing that number 10 shirt might be. You could argue that the quarterback is all of that, but I would disagree, while during the history of football we have had players like Pele and Maradona that were brilliant at scoring goals, you also have Valderrama that while not a striker was the best player to come out of Colombia during my generation. Football has its idols too, and almost every position has someone that you can remember if you have followed the game, but show me if you can come up with one name that everyone in the world would agree was the greatest player ever (except for Argentineans of course). Ask that question to a soccer fan, and he will tell you Pele was the best player that ever lived.

While there are stars in the game of football, and most of the time they are quarterbacks there is no overall best player that encompasses the whole range of what the game entails. There might be a player that can play both offense and defense, even special teams, but not consistently. A lot of the players are conditioned according to their position and team and for example a lineman and a receiver can have two totally different body types. Soccer players have for the most part the same constitution and athleticism. Soccer players all posses the same basic skills that are fundamental to the game. Football in the other hand is opposite, a lineman might not even be capable of throwing the ball ten yards, while every single player in a soccer team will be able to make a long pass.

One of my biggest complains about Football is how it consumes its players. Partly because of the ferocity of the game, some players are injured for life. I also blame the NFL for not taking better care of their players’ health, the weight that a player gains during its career to me is alarming. While soccer is also a very physical game, it is not the norm to check for an injured list after every game like it is costume if you follow football. I am sad to hear a lot of times that many of the players from the NFL die young and of problems directly related to their weight gain, not to mention forgotten. I feel that the NFL should be more responsible for keeping people healthy after they have given the best years of their lives to the sport. Conditioning your body for soccer will not be detrimental to your health so this is another point that I think soccer has over football.

I have a lot more to say about this subject. I really don’t want to elaborate on the obvious points beyond just mentioning that soccer is global. Also that anyone can play soccer, while playing football requires money. Sure you could say that you can pick up a football and just play with a group of friends outside, but in reality without the protective gear required if you play tackle football you will get hurt. I cannot wait to hear your ideas on why I am so wrong :)

Para la version en Spanish Read more Football vs Soccer

Clan Futbolero

Soccer, the real football is my favorite sport. While I love motorcycles and watching motorcycles races, this weekend the family and I should be watching road racing Live, I cannot call road racing my favorite sport. That place has been occupied by soccer almost since birth. My Dad is a huge soccer fan, one of the biggest ones I know. He has the knowledge of the game from both playing it his whole life and also being an avid fan.

I was part of the soccer team in High school and have played here and there since those days but I am pretty much only a fan now. I like watching soccer and in my attempt at reconnecting with the sport was to join the Soccer Clan (Clan Futbolero) over on the open list sometime last year. I don’t follow soccer, I kind of let my Dad follow it for me and keep me updated. This weekend however the Colombian national team is going to play an important game that will either give more hope or kill it completely when it comes to them making it to Germany 2006.

I moved to the US in 1994 and was lucky enough to watch a lot of soccer when I first moved up here because of the world cup. Also being a fan of the still in its infancy league, the MSL has made me feel like I have not lost the sport completely. I have not gotten to a Chicago Fire game since I moved to Midland but I do plan to in the future, they are having a new stadium built and I cannot wait to see it. While I have not played it lately and today I am playing the other Football with some friends, I will always have it as my favorite sport. It is an almost universal sport because all that is required to play it is a ball. While soccer is gaining popularity in the US I don’t think the World Cup will ever get more viewers than the super bowl, but who knows… maybe some day the sport will get the respect it deserves here in the US.

Por Que Somos Colombianos?

You are Colombian if…

Version en Spanish abajo :)

I got this as an e-mail joke from my family, it is pretty funny for anyone that is Colombian but what I am going to try and do is translate and explain the humor behind it. Some of the stuff might see super weird but is part of our culture and idiosyncrasies as Colombians, some of it might be something you also do, and maybe we are not all that different after all.

The following are some reasons why Colombians ARE Colombians.

– In your house you have Spaghetti with white Rice as a meal.
This is so true, we mix two base carb foods together, it is mostly because we eat rice every day but we might go as far as having even bread with the meal.
– You clap when a plane lands.
Not sure if any other group of people does this but when a plane lands in Colombia we just break into applause, is kind of funny.

– In your house you have Postobon bottle crates.
This is somewhat universal where everyone in the world just keeps stuff like maybe milk crates here.
– When you are hung over you eat Tamal.
This one is probably pure Colombian since the Colombian tamal is different from the Mexican or Puerto Rican, and it is a yummy meal if you are hung over.
– You drink water directly from the faucet.
Even though I do drink from a glass most of the time, I do however once in a while drink directly from the faucet by cupping my hand. Also not sure if just a Colombian thing but I am sure most Colombians do this for some reason.
-Suck on chicken bones.
Not a fan but I have done it.
– You shave with soap.
I do, even thought there is a little upgrade, liquid soap.
– In your house there are magazines from the 70’s
Well, not really but Cielo does have some old Rolling Stones
– You call your clients pet names, like “love” or “hunny”.
Not professional, I am to serious at work for that… but people in Colombia in professional settings still do that.
– You always take home cake from the birthday party wrapped in Aluminum paper
Yes, this does still happen.
– Your Mom used to push you to get more times at Piñata time at birthday parties
Nope, but this does bring memories.
– You have something from this brands Pat Primo, Caribu o Luis M. Sarmiento & Mireya Fashion.
Not anymore since it has been 11 years since I lived in Colombia, but I can relate.
– In your neighborhood there are kites stuck to power lines.
No, but I do miss kites.
– You still call women “chicks”
Kinda, during conversation… it was the closest translation that I found of a word commonly used in Colombia but the literal translation would be Sardine.
– You eat leftovers or soup for breakfast.
I am still very Colombian for this, still eat leftovers for breakfast!
– You go to the store on flip-flops.
Done it, but its not a habit.
– You have a tiger pattern comforter.
Nope, this used to be quite popular I think. Cannot remember.
– You buy milk in a bag.
Ah this one is hard to explain… In Colombia milk is distributed in sealed bags, not sure what to compare it to… if I find a picture I will post a link, I do miss that.
– You have a calendar with a religious icon in your wallet.
Nope but I do have a Virgin Mary little card with a prayer in the background that is always in my car.
– You have a pimped out Renault 4-6-10.
Renault is a popular brand of car in Colombia, some people might not even heard about it here in the U.S.
– You have a steering wheel cover.
Nope. :)
– You take the extra arepa from breakfast to the office.
I have a post on Arepas coming up, keep look forward to it… but no, I don’t think I would do that here.
– You have a toilet paper cover made out of crochet or wool.
Nope and now that seems somewhat unsanitary.
– You have been to a Jorge Barón concert.
I have no idea who that is.
– You make a ball of soap with the remainder of all bar soap.
My family has done that. I don’t think I have… I do try to keep the little piece and kind of attach it to the next bar.
– You have traveled with boxes sealed up using rope.
I honestly cannot remember doing that.
– You break pieces of bread and put the in your coffee.
I have been looked at like I am an alien for this one, but it is totally a Colombian thing and it tastes good.
– You use the free toothbrushes that sometimes come free with the toothpaste.
– You have a fried or relative living illegally in the US.
No family but I do think a friend.
– You get your car fixed at the local mechanic and not the dealer
Hey thanks to Cielo I am more Colombian… I use Cielo’s mechanic now.
– You stand in line at the free sample places.
– There is arroz con pollo at family gatherings.
– Put your old batteries in the freezer to get more life out of them.
I wonder how true that is.
– Your women gives you a haircut.
Again Cielo is making me more Colombian.
You call “Papi” your boyfriend or husband.
Cielo does :)
– You blow your nose in the shower.
I am not the only one… wow did not know this was a Colombian thing… it grosses Cielo out so I have cut down.

Those are all the ones I found amusing, informative or that could be translated… I hope you had at least a smile and see how weird us Colombians can be.

Aqui esta el Post en Spanish :) Read more Por Que Somos Colombianos?