Enter Camp Logtar

I have always been very honest with my thoughts, often told I am too honest. I know I sometimes piss people off because they think I am giving them a “how you should live your life” instead of a “hey, this is how I feel or would react to this situation.” It made my life tons easier, because I don’t have to check the multi-personal-guesser-widget before I say something. I don’t care what most people think of me if I say something, and I only stop when I think (or I am made aware of) the respect line has been crossed with someone. In a blog it is pretty easy, quit reading me already. In other interactions is a little more difficult. You either take me as I am or move along in your merry life. I will seriously not miss you. There is less than a handful of people that have left my life for one reason or another and I would want to catch up with them again. I have reached out to most of those anyway.

This for some reason has made people call me arrogant. (Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.) Which is totally bizarre to people that truly get to know me, because I don’t think I am better than other people in plenty of ways.

While I think it is due to a lot of people having severe inferiority complexes, I have tried to explore that notion and found little evidence of it. I am not better than anyone else at living life, I just think I am awesome at living my life. I like being happy, I like being the idiot in the office that smiles every day… and guess what, when I don’t smile people ask… some people even care.

Its funny to me when people think I am someone they can step all over because I am “a nice guy.” I am friendly, I do enjoy getting to know people, but I don’t want everyone to be my friend or aspire to be liked by everyone. I think it is a privilege to be my friend, but only because I think that everyone’s friendship, every connection in life is a privilege… you don’t want that connection, it sucks, but from my point of view it is your loss. I don’t think I am awesome out of self importance, I am awesome because the people that I have around me enjoy my company most of the time.

Lets take a simple subject for example. Gay marriage.

I am all for it. What you do in the bedroom is YOUR business, not mine. I also think that you don’t chose to be gay, you are BORN THAT WAY. I am pretty set on that belief. I really don’t care what you think about the subject. That does not make me arrogant, just confident on what I believe. The gay people I know did not chose the way the feel, the just do. I have asked them flat out if they chose to be that way or if they were born that way, and so far I get 100% of them agreeing with my point of view. If you think different, I don’t hate you, belittle you or think you a lesser human being. We just disagree. We might agree on 87% of your other views, but for this one I am confident I am right because most of the people that have tried to “change” this point of view don’t even know any gay people.

Travis and I have been friends since college, for many reasons, many little strands make that relationship a pretty solid rope. (Not the many hooks I am leaving there, shinny for the taking) He knows me a lot better than most people, we have shared plenty of history and will probably continue to share and make memories in the future. We disagree so much is not even funny, he thinks I am wrong all the time and hates the fact that I don’t see a lot of things from his point of view; even when I completely understand his rationalization for the opposing view. He knows me like not many others do because he is one of the only people that understands parts of my way of thinking and has seen me grow as a person through the years. We played video games together in college, he knows how good I can be a strategy based games. I know I can not ever beat him in any Nintendo game. The reason I think he knows me as well as he does (besides him being just brilliant, lol) is that he has listened to me and asked me about the reasons for my beliefs instead of assuming really anything. He got to know me instead of trying to judge me. That is what a true friend does.

He is not the only person that knows me to this level either, I have connections like that with Daniel, Mike, Phil, Jon, Tom and now Golden, they are some of my best friends. I hate the fact that they are spread all over the country because I would love to be able to hang out with all of them more often, or BBQ in our back yards every weekend… they would all gain entry to CAMP LOGTAR (my private compound if I ever won the lottery).

If you think I am arrogant, you don’t know me

Boycott Colombiana!

So I guess as a Colombian I am supposed to be pissed about a movie that looks so kick ass I cannot wait to see it.

The name of the film is Colombiana… and here is a snip of the movie plot…

Zoe Saldana plays a young woman who witnessed her parents’ murder as a child in Bogotá and grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. She works for her uncle as a hitman by day, but her personal time is spent engaging in vigilante murders that she hopes will lead her to her ultimate target: the monster responsible for her parents’ death

My Mom, Bea and I discussed the film over dinner on Saturday. We laughed and concluded that it will be cool to see a “Colombiana” portrayed as an all kind of baddass assassin.

I have always tried to be careful when Colombia is portrayed in a public light. I even saw the Colombian coffee growers being sue happy over a cartoon as somewhat of a publicity stunt. Boycotting a movie over the use of the name of the country and location seems ridiculous. As ridiculous as a Mexican saying that they would not see “El Marichi” with Antonion Banderas.

Zoe Saldana is all kinds of cool. You might not recognize her, but she was the main chick in avatar and also played the crap out of Uhura. However, I though she was cool since she played Eva in Center Stage… don’t hate, watch the movie is actually a good movie. I want to see her more as an action Hero than Angelina Jolie… and she was one of my favorite actresses in the past, but I think Zoe will be awesome as an assassin. That she is Colombian is no big deal to me at all.

I have come to expect Hollywood to portray Colombia as a place that you have to ride with chickens and pigs both in the plane and public transportation to get around. Heck, even “Colombian-Americans” think that way the first time they go visit the country if they are going for the first time.

If anyone watches this movie and it cements for them their view of Colombia, well, we are dealing with the same level of intelligence of someone that thinks every Russian is in the KGB and thinks that Meesha was in Argentina simply looking for other secret operatives.

Its a movie people, go see it if you like action. Try to be entertained by it. I am going to see it, I don’t expect anyone with half a brain to ever think of Colombia as a one dimensional place that is all about violence. Isn’t that place Mexico now? I keed I keed!


And…here we go!

1. It’s fun to ride a roller coaster.

2. A mess is easy to make.

3. I like to be active.

4. The reason so many people love drama, I will never know!

5. Something I’m very much excited about is taking ASL classes with Bea.

6. Buying a juicer and a magic bullet was well worth it.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to watching TV with the wife, tomorrow my plans include taking my Mom out to eat whatever she wants and Sunday, I want to hopefully be outside if the rain is momentary!

Moments that Define Your Life

I try not to dwell on the past, I also try to live a life of no regrets. We all have moments that define our lives, some are easy to spot. The moment we first feast our eyes on that person that we know we will spend the rest of our lives with. Like when I saw Bea walking towards me at  O’Hare airport; I will never forget that moment. I am sure everyone has the moments that are easy to put in this category, getting married, having a kid, etc. Your brain cherishes those moments like jewels.

I had this post sitting in draft mode for a while, probably in my head since it happened. I could not get it out for several reasons. Interestingly enough, today is going to be one of those days that houses a moment that will probably define my life. Today is not the day to share the current event, however it seems like the perfect time to share the last one.

I have moved for jobs before, a lot. Working on large systems for companies has allowed me the luxury to actually get paid to move to different cities. My heart has always been back in Chicago and I was often reminded of how much I talked about Chicago. I did come to love Kansas City and miss Michigan, but it’s more because of the people and not because of the cities themselves. Chicago as a city, in my opinion, is second to none.

During one of my first jobs I had made the mistake to buy a house in an area that had no other redeeming qualities than being really close to work. That taught me a valuable lesson when I ended up switching jobs and having horrible commute times. That is probably one of the things that made it very easy to start moving around quite a bit. I promised myself that I was not going to buy a house solely on it being close to work ever again.

Fast forward to years later and I finally was in a mental place where I wanted to once again sprout roots somewhere and buy a house. It was a tough choice, because even though I liked the job that I was doing I was dealing with a boss that was extremely emotional. I am not delusional enough that there is a perfect job, but I thought that when you counted all of the chips, the “angry” boss was trumped by good work, awesome coworkers and overall a great atmosphere when the boss was not around.

As time progressed the angry boss became even more and more obsessed with control. What time are you taking lunch, who you talk to during the day, how long you stay after five. I had experienced this kind of behavior before and it’s very common amongst entrepreneurs that built a company. They start to feel like nobody works as hard as they do for the company they built, or nobody can do as good of a job as they could. They have a hard time letting go.

The perfect storm came together one afternoon as the angry dude came back from lunch. That day I had decided that I needed to make a move, and like in poker, go all in. I was going to make a commitment to be permanent not just at the position but to that city. So since I had finished the current task I was working on I opened up the web browser and looked at some houses. My plan was to seriously start looking for a house to settle down in that area.

Not even two minutes into the search, I had not even clicked on an actual properly to see details the angry dude walks into my work area and start grilling me about my current task. I did not even have a chance to answer because his verbal abuse started. His diatribe went all over the place, but the part that struck a cord once he moved on from grilling me about the task that was already complete; “Why are you in the internet? You know what? I don’t even care, you should be coding…”

That moment defined my life. I knew then and there that even though I can code software and enjoy the finished product, I needed to move up from programming to doing more process and business analysis. More importantly, I knew right then and there that I could not work for that guy or that company anymore. The chips had started to stack against staying there altogether. I ended up not buying a house and not sprouting roots. I will never forget that day. It might not have been a sign from God, but it was definitely a sign.

Making Blog Comments Social Again

Ever since I started to get serious about posting in the blog again I am faced with the problem that made me stop doing it as much as I used to… all the comments go elsewhere.

While it is easy to get a post into facebook for example, it is another story to get the people to come and comment on the actual blog.

I have been looking at plugins and alternatives, and it just does not seem to be simple. Part of it is that my facebook is not public, and only some people have adopted google+

While the blog still has readership besides the ones that I have that also use facebook, it seems that the vocal ones have moved on to that platform.

The other issue is the stream. Some people ride the twitter stream all day… I just never got a surfboard for that one. Mostly it is because it requires a lot of time, and depending on the number of people you follow, it can quickly get cluttered. Facebook’s stream seems a little easier to follow, but it faces the same issue other streams do, you miss the boat and you are last hours post.

Our internet usage seems to have a very quick attention span, so topics gets lost quickly and even though I really never cared about how many people read my blog, I do care that those that do get to interact with one another via comments. All of that is lost when the comments become fragmented between social media and the blog itself.

I guess I won’t worry about it too much, in the end what I want to do with most of the posts here is make people think, and if it does not spark a dialogue I can deal with that. I am going to keep my google+ pretty open for now (I am having fun with the circles features) and maybe I can figure out a way to merge comments without them being hosted somewhere else like discus. Let me know if you know of anything that can accomplish the daunting tasks of creating a seamless streams for the comments to be a attached to an actual post.