O.o

Totally freaking confused! Well, actually more thankful than confused, but still.

Dan is someone I admire in many levels. I always want to say that I want to be like him when I grow up, but I should not be calling all someone that just complemented me so much, old.

Now he goes and freaking does something like this… and what I am to fraking do? (sorry, Bea and I are watching BSG from episode one)

Friends like Daniel, Nuke, and Travis who have always appreciated what I share and have told me by either refuting a point or just letting me know themselves that what I write has value; makes me feel awesome about having this space to share ideas with. Now this dude supposedly Gone Mild, went wild and posted something like this. Thank you Dan, truly !un million de gracias!

Unsaid

One of the qualities I admire on people is the capability of thinking before they speak. Being and open and frank person I’ve had to learn how to think before I speak and pick it up as a skill. Culturally the word prudence is used in the context of what you say back in Colombia. I always think back to the phrase “the master of what you keep, and the slave of what you say.” which is one of those things that has helped me cope with a lot. This post is about the complete opposite though, and how simple phrases can change a relationship or even a life.

I love both of my parent’s deeply and surprisingly enough, after they got divorce I was closer to one more than the other. My father did not restrain things he felt at the time and hurt our relationship for a while, thankfully we worked through it and got it patched up. I was close to my Mom, she was a stay at home mother for most of my life, but after the divorce we got a lot closer. We went beyond the routine conversation to a different level of really communicating. I got to know her a lot better and realized that she knew me a lot better than I thought she did. As I get older I respect some of her decisions a lot more even if I still don’t agree with the way she handled some situations in the past. However, through great communication we got a lot closer.

Hearing her say that she was proud of me for the man I had become made my life more meaningful. Her praise as I navigated through life and encouragement that I had really grown as a person really made my quest for self improvement that much more rewarding.

After she experience someone very young and very close to her pass away at the young age of eight of a very rare neurological disease both of our lives changed. We realized that our lives are short, and can be cut even shorter. We learned to tell each other “I love you” in another level and it gave both of use a lot more faith. Our relationship got even stronger.

One of my aunt’s and I don’t get along all that well. I think primarily because we are both very stubborn when it comes to certain things. Even though she means well when she shares her opinions, at times they are a little misguided. As I got older and she got more opinionated we kind of stopped talking as often as we used to. I am very protective of my sister. Even now as a grown woman with a husband and two kids, I still see her as my little sister. A comment about her really drove a wedge between my aunt and I, and living far away made it even easier to just not have that relationship.

My aunt never apologized for the things that she said. I have been told that she does feel bad when she realized the gravity of what was said, but she never came forward and said sorry. What most people say does not hurt me, but when it comes to someone I care about, their opinion and words are what shapes my life. No matter how much we think that what those around us don’t shape our self image, they do… and I am not just aware of that, I embrace it. Her words really made me feel like she did not care who she hurt. In turn I felt like she truly did not care all that much.

Recently my mother told me a little conversation she had with my aunt. For the longest time I honestly did not even want to bring up the subject in conversation, but this time I let my Mom continued. She started to tell me what my aunt’s opinion of me was, what she really thought of me. I was surprised, very surprised of what she actually though of me, most importantly what she had observed about my life. She was not only calling me loyal, but responsible with what she was saying. My aunt actually did know me better than I gave her credit for, but she just never said it. The words I’m proud of “who you are or what you are doing” were never spoken.

I always think about of unspoken words in the literary sense that a lover never gets to tell that other person how much they care until the other person dies tragically in some accident; or maybe the person that even realizing fault never speaks up to say I’m sorry. The thing that I never though would shape my life so much would be the “I am proud of what you do, or who you are.” or I recognize that you have excellent work ethic. If you admire something someone next to you does, praise them for it. If you are proud of someone around you, specially someone you call friend or family, say it. At least for me, it has a great effect on my quality of live. And NO, this is not a “fishing for a compliment” type of piece of writing. So please leave comments only related to how a compliment has changed your life :) nothing about me!

Narnia The Exhibition

Union Station and I got to a rocky start when the post I made about bodies revealed created some discussion. I still hold my stance on that topic, but when we were invited to a sneak peak into the The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition I had to give it a try.

The first thing I want to say about Union Station is that I am sorry that I did not visit it earlier. Because I commuted into downtown Chicago for a while, I though Union Station was pretty much the same thing. I was very wrong. Union Station has Science City and a Planetarium. It also includes the bar/restaurant hang out area that I was expecting, just like the Union Station in Chicago.

Parking is very convenient and cheap, heck if you time it correctly you can probably park for free. I do warn you, like most exhibitions it ends right into a gift shop with tons of cool stuff that kids are going to want, budget accordingly.

I do have to do a little disclaimer and say that I love the writings of C.S. Lewis, so that might have made the experience a little better for me. They had some of his stuff there to see, and they do talk about him in the beginning of the little tour. Who would have guessed that he was an Einstein fan. ;)

The exhibition is very well put together and has Disney written all over it, but in a good way. I can imagine kids being extremely excited not just to be there, but to be able to touch some of the props they have from the movie. While most of the tour is geared towards fun for the kids and fans of the movie, there is a lot of learning involved too.

If your kids have seen the movie, this is a perfect thing to take them too. Prices are great, specially for groups. I think a mini movie marathon before going to the exhibit would make a kid super happy! Now that kids are out of school, this is probably the perfect way to spend a fun filled day.

Internet Experts

I’m a knowledge junkie. I love being a student and don’t ever want to stop learning. I love acquiring knowledge from other people and if possible experience it. That was the most fascinating part of working as a consultant and working with process improvement. It was my job to learn how something worked and then see what technology made it better. It was geared towards document imaging and workflow and it made me learn a lot about how some aspects of the insurance, health care and automotive industries operate.

My Dad worked for Pepsi down in Colombia. He was the general auditor and I got to spend a lot of time in the bottling plant. I have taken tours and even did a couple of research paper on how the sugar got from the field to the bottle. I learned quite a bit about how that company operated and was even allowed to do data entry when I was very young… it was a green screen computer, but darn it I was working with a computer!

I know a lot of “experts” on their jobs, but a trend that I dislike about the internet is that now people think that reading wikipedia or something online makes them an “expert.”

Sure I do the same thing sometimes when I find a subject I know little about, but I always think of it as my opinion on a subject and not a fact. Not enough to call someone else a liar or wrong because the internet told me so.

The word expert is defined in webster as

- having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.

Most of the time when I am going to talk about a quote, I put it first… this time I want to put it right in the middle… mostly because Tom Hopkins gives a couple of great quotes on this subject.

“An expert is someone who knows a lot about the past.”
- Tom Hopkins

“I never take advice from anyone more messed up than I am”
- Tom Hopkins

A while back someone said something about one of their close friends and just that single instance made me think twice about the advice I took from others. The person said, “I like that person a lot, but I would never take their advice.” I looked back and I had seen myself and some of my friends taking advice from people that were nowhere we wanted to be. They were not great moral compasses in our young lives or anything, but still they were “experts” in life telling us how to live and they did not have anything we really wanted in life.

The internet makes a lot of people experts, and in politics, religion and other subjects that were never brought up at the dinner table now everyone is an “expert.” We all talk about the economy, law and finances like we actually know something about. I think that is great, we should be interested and willing to learn. Why I don’t get is calling someone else wrong when you have nothing to back you up in the form of experience.

I wish I was more into drama, but high school was so long ago and I just don’t like to argue if I am not going to learn anything from it. Sometimes though I want to just tell people, you are so wrong is not even funny… but heck, they might be an internet expert.

GPS on a Plane

Listening to the news about the French plane that went down over the Atlantic it came to light that there are no radar stations keeping track of your location once you get a certain distance from land. I thought the routes that were flown were always pretty close to land or islands that still kept radar contact. Then what troubled me is that the aviation “expert” said that the technology we use is still WWII era type of equipments. I immediately was baffled.

I know a jet mechanic for a private firm that has four private jets. They have their own hangar and travel all over the world. This mechanic was in charge of all operations and would sometimes travel with the planes when they were going overseas. Each plane pretty much always had a mechanic in the crew, because when overseas they did not trust anyone to fix their planes. I had a chance to learn a lot about these planes thanks to my friend.

I had never been inside of a private jet, or a private hangar for that matter. It was amazing how different they were from commercial planes, the equipment, the amenities. Heck, it made me even dream of someday owning a plane. He also told me about the history of planes and how much they had changed… and how much they had not changed. He liked the subject and I was pretty receptive to learning more about planes.

My interest for planes picked up a lot after I read the Michael Crichton’s Airframe because it had to be more fiction than actual. I mean the dude did bring dinosaurs to life and oversimplified quantum physics, he could not possibly be this spot on with the air travel industry, could he?

Then the “expert” on the news added insult to injury. We have GPS in our mobile phones and cars, but most planes don’t have GPS. That is when I fell robbed by the knowledge that my friend gave me. I had assumed that airliners had better technology, or at least updated technology than a private plane. I know hindsight I should not have assumed that, but technology wise, how easy is to add GPS to a plane or even simply send off a signal that records simultaneously what the block box records?

Five years ago I would have said that the amount of data being recorded was too much, but after visiting the AMC Main Street and now knowing that terabytes of data are being moved so quickly and efficiently made me question why the air industry is not moving faster than the entertainment industry. If internet access is already being offered in some planes, why aren’t companies installing systems to have constant data communication with a plane?

I am not thinking of just after the fact studying the reasons for the crash either. My train of though is more towards being able to rescue people from the middle of the sea by knowing their exact location after a catastrophic failure.

From what is known about this crash it is possible that lightning might have been the culprit here which would have taken out the electrical system. I think that if the systems in planes were better from a technology stand point, we would not be wondering where the plane went down (or if the plane went down) like we were initially. I seriously think that technology has to be a priority for airlines, specially if they are flying over large bodies of water away from radar.

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