I want to be an astronaut

Actually, when I was a kid I really wanted to become a marine biologist. Not sure if it was Flipper or Jacques Cousteau that sparked my interest, but I dream of one day studying whales and sea turtles. Then little by little the grown ups around me started to discourage me, first by saying that I had to go to a remote place to truly study (back then I had no sense of how cool those remote places really are) or how there would be no money on that field. That made sense back then, there could not be two Jacques Cousteau.

The U.S. is in big trouble. Global warming is not just knocking at our doors but actually sitting down in our living room having a drink, but not before leaving the fridge door open so that our ice melts. However, I think that we have a way bigger problem facing us. The latest generations could care less about science.

When I was looking for a career I actually got admitted to the pre-med program at Loyola University in Chicago. I had taken a couple of college credit courses in high school and did quite well in Physiology. I just did not have the stomach for being a doctor, my physiology teacher made us dissect a pig for weeks and the smell of formaldehyde did not leave us for months. We got to see cadavers and that was not too bad, but ultimately having someone’s life in my hands was something I was not willing to do.

I chose Computer Science as a career for many reasons. I have always loved computers and especially video games. It was also the thing to get into in the 90’s. It is sad that so many people jumped into that bandwagon only to fall off of it and hit the floor pretty hard. I remember so many people that did not have the patience to look through pages and pages of code to find that misplaced comma, or the people that simply did not have the troubleshooting skills to find a bug. Must did not graduate, the ones that did ended up working in the field for a couple of years and then quickly burned out.

We just watched one of the biggest sport spectacles in the world. The SuperBowl is an event that millions of people watch in the United States. I then think about how our kids are more and more having their dreams being dictated by the media and how much money a career is going to give you. Ask a teenager what he would want to be when he grows up and I bet that a high percentage will pick professional sports start before they pick scientist.

We are in trouble people, most scientist in our universities right now are of foreign. In this post 9-11 era must do not want to go through the naturalization hassle and end up taking all of that brain power back to their countries. If we forget sciences we are not just going to lose some of the best advances on science to other countries, we are going to lose them all. America is the land of innovation; we are supposed to ones the ones with the big ideas… the automobile, the personal computer, the iPod… what happens when the next big thing comes out of India or China… What happens when we lose our biggest asset?

I am very proud that all of these countries are moving their economies and education forward, but I live in the US and I want it to continue to be on top when it comes to ideas. I know that one of the biggest points that I am going to be looking out for in the next election is what the candidates going to do about our kids not having the dream of being an astronaut anymore.

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Sapo Verde To me

The Bears lost, and even though I have been trying to believe in Grossman the turd did not deliver. I was very sad to see that the rest of the team played like champs and he just deflated. I even forgave him for saying that he did not prepare for the last game of the season against the Packers, but now I am just upset. Before I go any further into my rant I want to say that the Colts deserved the championship, they played very well. I had been giving Grossman and chance, but now I think that the Bears should replace him and think of another future, one where Grossman does not lose a Superbowl for us.

There are many reasons to blog today. Yes it is my birthday, and even though this morning I did not even remember it when I first woke up, it has already been a wonderful days with the birthday wishes I have gotten. I am getting closer to 30 now, like my Dad told me this morning. It really does not matter much to me. Age is just a number, how you feel inside is a lot more important.

Some days I feel really old, but I think it is more being just out of shape. However this year is going to be full of more activities. I have the opportunity to join a soccer team and I have to start getting ready for that so I can actually do a good job out there on the field. Mentally I feel just about my age. Even though bills and just life in general take a toll sometimes, I still have the capability of be a kid and be entertained by the silliest things… not to mention I still dance around like a fool at every chance I get.

Go Chicago Bears!

A Bears fan is like no other fan. The monsters of the Midway are a lot more of a football team, they represent what the city of Chicago is all about. Hard work, CAN DO attitude… the second city (which has nothing to do with being second to any other city, but with the city coming back stronger after the Chicago fire.) is the city I call my hometime in the United States and being an Chicago Bear fan is something I am very proud of. No it is not just that today they are playing in Super Bowl XLI, or that they are an excellent football team… they have been my team since I started following American Football and represent the city I love, and what they represent is exactly what I believe, that hard work will take you very far.

Grossman, Benson, Hester, Jones, Moose, Tillman, Garcia and Urlacher are going to win this game! GO BEARS!

Friday Feast

What was one of the fashion fads when you were a teenager?
Starter Jackets were all the rave when I was in high school. I had a University of Michigan Jacket and had never even seen a game from any of their teams… come to think of it, even had a hat when I was like 12 with the Wolverine. I would have never imagined I would live in Michigan and hate living there.

Name one thing you think people assume about you when they first meet you.
This is a hard question to answer, I am not sure what people just assume about me when they first met me. I guess most of what people assume ends up being right, because nothing comes to mind… I am thinking more of things that people assume and are not right… I have had a lot of people assume that I have spoken English all of my life because of my vocabulary. Someone recently even told me that they thought I had grown up in England, not because of the accent but because of the words I used. Wow, now I remembered something else, something people do assume is that I use words to be arrogant, in Colombia it is very important to have a good vocabulary, and therefore I have tried to know all the words I know in Spanish in English too. People assume that the use of big words is an attempt at arrogance.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how hard do you work?
I work at a level of 10 most of the time. I always work at 10 under pressure. I used to work really hard in all of my part time jobs, but there is a couple of past jobs that did not get a 10 out of me but it was for various reasons.

Main Course
If you were given a free 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl to sell anything you currently own, what would you advertise?
Probably my house back in Michigan, but hopefully it will be sold soon.

Fill in the blank: I love to ________ when it is _________.
I love to ride motorcycles when it is warm outside.

E-mail addresses

Barry posted an excellent entry about instant communication. He asked the following questions about e-mail:

What is your email etiquette?
At work, I try to keep my e-mails as professional as possible. Once in a while I will have a somewhat informal conversation with a coworker, but if they become a friend I try to switch my communication with them to my personal e-mail. On personal e-mail I tend to write long e-mail responses and also try to respond to every e-mail I do not consider spam. I also consider spam chain mail and surveys unless they are my space stuff… I am not sure why but the medium there allows for a little more informal stuff.

How many email accounts do you use regularly?
I use 4 regularly. One for work (and only for work e-mail), one for serious professional communication, one for my friends and blog buddies, and an old one for pretty much everything else (registration on sites, auto e-mails from message boards and my site.)

How quickly do you check it? How quickly do you respond?
My work e-mail stays open at work and gets checked once a night almost every day. The rest are probably checked about 4 times a day.

Do you handle work emails and personal emails differently?
Yes, I try to write in a professional tone and be as prompt responding as possible to work e-mail. The other e-mails are secondary to other tasks, kind of if I have a chance I will check them… sometimes I do not check e-mail over weekend.

I used to be very addicted to the instant communication that e-mail provides. I used to be even more addicted to instant messaging. I have stopped both of those because they took too much of my time and attention not just to work but just to life in general. Anything done in excess I believe becomes a habit and at times a bad habit. Must of my friends have my cell phone number and if they need to get a hold of me right away they have that to talk to me. I have also realized that a phone conversation carries information and feelings better than e-mail.

I believe in having more than one e-mail address and separating e-mails by importance. I wrote about it on my password entry and I think that you should guard your e-mail by changing passwords constantly and using good passwords. Professionally I think that e-mail is a great place to keep track of tasks and communicate understanding after a meeting or a conversation with a coworker. E-mail trail is very important and it helps me remember what I was doing on what day. I now prefer my cell phone as my most instant way to communicate.