To Nicholas and Alix

Today you are uniting your lives through a ceremony and going to become husband and wife. When I first met my wife I told her about one of my beliefs. A relationship is like a rope made of many strands. Each strand is something that we share, do for each other, like about each other or even compromise about for each other. The more the strands, the stronger the rope.

Alix, you are someone that is fully committed to making Nicholas happy. I see how from the little things to the big things you are always behind him supporting him. You truly believe that taking care of your man makes you a better person and that is a rare thing in today’s “me, me, me” world.

Nicholas, you are one of the youngest wise man I have ever met. The way you talk about Alix and how much you love her is inspiring. From the little details to the big ones you are never afraid to show love or emotion for Alix. That truly shows that you know what being a man is all about.

You are both excellent friends to each other, and I am so glad I can call you both friends. I am honored to be a part of this joyous day. I know much happiness is coming your way, because I know what it is like to be married to my best friend! Waking up next to someone that supports you makes you feel like a million bucks every single day.

Today a new chapter of your life begins, and even though I am glad that I get to remove the “to be” after I call Alix your wife from now on, the reason I am so excited for you guys is that you are uniting your lives in marriage, even though you guys are already a family. My best wishes to both of you!

Productivity Tip

Luigi, one of my coworkers was redoing her list of todos yesterday. One of those lists is so clever that I thought I would share it here. She called it a ‘get back to me’ list. She records all of the people’s names that she communicates with and expects a response from, then checks them off. I can remember several times where I began communication with someone, but did not get a response and ended up getting bit on the butt by it. So there it is, I share the best productivity tip I have gotten in a while… got any?

Posted in IT

The Great Outdoors

I grew up around mountains and went to school outside of my city. Even though I grew up in an urban area in Colombia, I had fruit trees in my backyard and there was plenty of green around. My Dad would take us to the river or the pool almost every weekend. While he played soccer we would get to swim.

I love domesticated animals, and admire the beauty of the wild ones. Pictures and movies ala national geographic are the closest I like to get. I don’t enjoy Zoos or any place that captures animals for display. I will go to them because I do think it is important to support those places so they can keep the animals alive, specially the ones that could not be reintroduced into the wild.

I just heard about chiggers and how in this its not really advisable to lay on the grass for star gazing. My supervisor recently had some kind of blood disease thanks to a tick that he did not find until a day later after going fishing. He was pretty ill for a week, but thankfully he recovered, but what he went through I don’t wish on anyone.

I like spending time in the outdoors, but the weather has to be just right. This weekend I got to play some golf with some friends and the weather was nice. Even though it was hot, there was a breeze and it was not uncomfortable to be outside for hours.

I realized that besides going to the Powell Gardens recently, where are portion of the visit was climate controlled, this was the most I had been outside for an extended period of time.

Air Conditioning only happens in certain places in Colombia, maybe offices, stores and banks. Most living places are not air conditioned and you get used to live with the weather. A fan or a thick blanket are what you use to be air conditioned. Here in the US I have always lived in places that have at least some kind of winter, you have to be able to protect yourself from the elements.

I need to spend more time outside breathing other air than the recycled air I get at home and work. It feels good to open the windows at home and let fresh air in, but there is probably no replacement for the open air.

Congratulations Daniel!

I started blogging to make my writing a little better. One of the biggest side effects is the awesome people that I have met. One of them is Daniel DeGuia, the best writer I know!

He just made it into the writing team over at

Join me in congratulating in this achievement :) I think its awesome. And of course check out his blog if you have not been enticed by the whole chicken thing (see sidebar).

Knock, Knock… Who’s there?


I am an immigrant to this great country, but I did become an American. For a long time I have been telling people how much better the education system is in Colombia compared to here, but people always gave me a puzzled look and moved along.

I am not sure if it is the National Geographic specials in India’s and China’s economy, or having read The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman, but the topic that worried me the most about globalization is education. It seems I am not the only one since this morning I listened to a radio add about the topic.

A young voice starts saying the name of countries, at first I started to think of the Olympics, but then then a voice over beings saying that America ranks 21st amongst developed countries when it comes to education. Nothing shocking to me yet, but then the voice over continues to sound the alarm saying that with education, jobs go. This is a harsh reality that we all have to face, unless our education system improves, we are going to have a generations of under qualified people, if not many.

Research is one of the fields that worries me the most. While the ethical and moral debate on stem-cell research is happening in this country, Germany, China and Japan are moving full steam ahead with not just research but human trials. Yes, in China you can already get stem-cells implanted.

Just the other day I was discussing the illness of an acquaintance, then I mentioned something that to me was common knowledge, but it was brand new to them. Germany has some of the best medical research in the world. Everyone thinks of the top place in medicine to be the Mayo Clinic or Harvard have the best in the world, but that is old information in today’s reality.

Talking with my wife about Colombia made me very sad. If instead of having to fight a drug war for the past 20 years, Colombia would have invested on taking education further, we would be in the same position as South Korea. It is a place where technology and intellectual growth has catapulted an emerging nation.

Space research was something that NASA pretty much had cornered. In today’s world, a lot of countries have a space program. Heck, even Colombia has its own satellite. The US is not the only one in the game anymore.

The U.S. is still an economic giant, but we should be concerned when just today it was announced that Mainland China is now the biggest importer of Japanese products. Just think of the acquisition power they now have with an emerging middle class… and that is not even thinking of India.

Watching the Olympics my wife said, wow, Beijing is such a beautiful city. I agreed, but then I immediately thought of the preconception that many people have that everywhere but the US is just underdeveloped jungle. How many people think that huge metropolitan areas are not exploding around the world. While this brings us another big questions which is the natural resources in the planet to sustain the growth in population, I still think the immediate issue for the U.S. is education.

Another trend that is kind of scary is people getting an education in the US at a high level, and then tanking those brains somewhere else. While there are some people that via telecommuting are working from a sunny beach most of the year, what worries me is the best innovative minds in the world not being here in America.

Don’t continue to think the rest of the world does not matter. Wake up call people, we drop down our education standards, and we will lose the skilled jobs of the future.