No More Dead Bulls

At least in Catalonia. But wait, what about that burger you are about to eat, isn’t that a dead bobine too?

Bullfighting is a violent sport, just like boxing or martial arts the attendants watch and cheer as blood is spilled on the middle of the scenary in a spectacle of pure animalistic emotions. We have explored this subject here in the past and found out that it all comes down to how much you value life… some value human life more when its someone they know, and not so much when they are a world away.

While Catalonia’s motivation for banning bullfighting might be more about politics and separatism it still sends a strong message. Even a province inside of Spain where bullfighting is still popular (even though not as much as before) can chose to do the less barbaric thing and stop the spectacle. I am sure they are not quite banning meat yet, but is that where we should head?

I enjoy mixed martial arts. I am not sure if that feeds some kind of human bloodlust inside me, but it is exciting to watch in a roman gladiators kind of fashion as people beat the crap out of each other. I liked boxing, but think that MMA are more entertaining even when they get as close and almost as fantastic as the wrestling can be.

If the world was free of violence and nobody eat cows I could see how we can draw the conclusion that ending bullfighting is the civilized thing to do. I think modern society is still very rooted into the, hey if I don’t see it, it does not touch me.

I am almost indiferent at the ending of bullfighting as a sport, however I do hope that the running of the bulls never stops. I get a lot of enjoyment from reading of the tremple count every years, specially when the ratio of non-spaniards is higher in the injury list. I mean, you have to be a genious to come up with an event that becomes world famous and you eventually become just an expectator when other idiots come and become your bull’s pin cussions.

Colombia haz Fazt interwebz

One of the most annoying misconceptions about Colombia, beside the whole drug thing is that we all live in huts and the concept of cities or a mall is only an American thing. Anyone that has travelled outside of the U.S. knows that while it is vastly different, there is civilization and big cities everywhere.

Within minutes of arriving at my Mother in Law’s house we have a router hooked up and all of our devices were wirelessly connected to the web.

One of the things that Colombia has over the US when it comes to cellphones is that you don’t get charged for “airtime.” Only the person that initiates the call has to pay for those minutes. So you can get an inexpensive cell phone with little minutes and it will last you the whole trip. People will call you and you will not use many of your minutes. This pay model was even present when there were only land lines, and if you initiate the call, you pay for it… whoever gets it pays nothing.

The broadband market still not as big as in the US but it is widely available. The price is still prohivitive to most of the pupulation which makes the whole concept of internet cafes a lot more viable here vs in the US where it died as soon as computers becames just as common as TV sets in the US.

We are lucky enough to have broadband availalbe and it gives me the flexibility of being able to call back to the US using VoiP. I also can upload any pictures I take with the phone directly to facebook when I get home at night. There are still many things that technology wise are not available to everyone, but if you have the money you can get it. Like netbooks and iphones.

So far with everyone that I have talked to, facebook is the site… twitter is not really used. Social media is in full force here and many businesses big and small are really getting into the whole facebook page thing.

We had the pleasure of traveling with an editor of one of the local papers and talked about the impact of the web on the printed media, but he felt like they were years away from being replaced. I told him about how many local papers are closing or being downsized considerably there, but he explained that even though the availability of technology is there it is still not widely used. I guess the penetration is more along the side of 3DTV and Blueray, than just computers.

We still have a lot to see and visit, but so far being here has not made me feel disconnected at all. I am still playing online games and using the computer to the same capacity that I can in Chicago. There are a number of sites that do see your IP range and deny you content, like TV sites and Netflix. Other than that everything is pretty available and at a very decent speed.

Two Day Trip

When I booked the plan tickets I had many options for traveling from Chicago to Miami… but there is only one American Airlines flight to Cali a day. It leaves Miami at 4:40 almost on the dot every time, but I always forget that they start boarding almost an hour earlier.

I figured 2 hours between flights would be plenty even if there was a delay or congestion in Ohare, but in relaity I should have chosen an earlier flight. When we arrived at the gate in Chicago the plane was already there which is a good sign of leaving on time, until the gate agent announced that they had to perform some “maintenance” on the plane.

The waiting game started and almost an hour later the words equipment change made us start wondering if we would be able to catch our connection. I was hopeful until we arrived at the gate and the plane was still there… the close to the tunnel was not closed yet, however the plane door was… there was no way we were getting on that plane.

I wondered why with the computer systems they have now they cannot arrange for the plane to wait for passengers for an international connecting flight (there was four of us). When I started thinking of the logistics though, we could have boarded the plane on time but what about the bags. In reality switching from one plane to another takes time, so in the future when the flexibility allows for it I will sacrifice sleep for arriving in the day I plan.

It is frustrating to have to cut your vacation a day short, but better that going down on a broken plane. We did end up with paid meals and on first class on our last leg of travel… I had travelled in first class before, but American Airlines first class is pretty awesome.

We are safe, sound and rested in Palmira, Colombia.

Selfish

“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”
-Mother Teresa

I think that envy is one of the worst feelings in the world. I think selfishness and envy can feed of each other and corrupt people to their core.

Growing up I went to a private school. Even though my Dad had a good job and he could afford a good education for me, we did not have enough for me to compete on the ratrace that some of my other classmates used to partake on. I could not get the latest Reeboks or Levis, I had to wear knock offs that were often made fun of. Back then I used to hate that, but it taught me a lot of life lessons.

We are not what we wear, what we drive or how much money we have in the bank.

I consider myself a very giving person. I really don’t get too attached to personal possesions (*excluding the ones that have personal sentimental value like the gold necklace that my Mom gave to me.) I have been in sutations where I either had no money, or lost a lot of personal posessions. That also taught me that you don’t need things, and little by litte I understood the difference between the need and the want.

Being sucessful matters little if you don’t have anyone to celebrate that success with.

I constantly see how people are very attached to “things” to the point that they forget about the really important thing, which is people. The fact that we can share both accomplishments and things with others is what makes them really sweet. I will never understand a hermit. I believe that when we interact with other people with true freedom, envy never enters a relationship. We are then able to be truly happy for what others have or achieve.

The biggest lie that envy tells people is that they are above the person they feel jelous about.

Envy comes from feeling inferior to someone else… the problem with this starts when instead of feeling equat and trying to attain the same thing we desire, we start to look for flaws in that other person and try to put them bellow us. That is where I think people begin to give into selfishness. When you start feeling that inside of a community it creates issues, but more important, it messes with your inner peace. I guess I am a little crazy for thinking that strong relationships with other human beings is what makes me rich, rather than the money in the bank or the zip code I live in.

Pillars

Besides the pieces of our personality that are innate, we start to gather tons of things from people around us from the moment we are born. The models we use to shape who we are; were referred to as “espejos” (mirrors) by my Mom. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to speak with people that saw me grow up and it has really impacted me that who I am today is directly related to so many of the people that I grew up around when I was a kid.

Harry Potter has the mirror of Erised which materializes that which we desire the most. What if people were also like that mirrors, and when growing up those adults are the things we model ourselves after.

Human have many flaws, but when we are growing up many of the adults we see appear to have none. From our parents to our teachers none of them seem to have any issues and its only later in life that we start to see that there are humans behind those sturdy armors. Funny thing is that even as an adult I have met many people that really never lost their armor and did not end up looking as flawed as everyone is supposed to be.

Those people are the pillars of my life and who I have been able to model many of my personality traits after. I am positive by nature, but having people growing up that lived a life of positive thinking made that easier to develop. Seeing that people can live their life truly happy despite their circumstances is empowering. What also helps is to see how unhappy and empty is the life of someone that digs for a flaw on every person or every situation.

In recent years I have been able to curve my paranoid nature when it came to many aspects of my life, and it has been liberating to not feel like the other shoe is about to drop. Being in contact with some of those strong pillars in my life makes it easier to see that the life I chose to live is completely sane. Either that or I have found a nice group of crazy people… they are my little bee’s nonetheless.

Its rough to know that my strongest pillars is not with us anymore, and I miss him so much… however, he was a big mirror to me growing up and I hope I can be at least a little bit like him. I will continue to seek truth and good relationships like he always did.

I guess in the end we all get what we seek.

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