Bringing Colombia to KC?

On our last trip to Chicago we had the chance to eat at Las Tablas for my sister’s birthday, easily one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago. It made me a little sad to know that the Colombian restaurant here in KC is kind of in limbo. We have been back and the food is good, but we are not sure if it is going to stay open or not.

Having lunch at one of our friends house this weekend, the conversation turned to our countries of origin. They are from Peru and told us about a store we did not know anything about. There is a store that carries South American products here in our neighborhood and we did not know anything about it. After we left our friend`s house, we headed over to check it out.

Sure enough, the store did carry products from Colombia. Most of it was frozen stuff, but it is still very tasty. They also carry Colombian pop which is nice to have close. It was a nice feeling to find a little piece of home so close to our house.

This had me really excited and thinking that KC had hopes to support its Colombian community. Then a bigger surprise came. I walked into one of the local Mexican restaurants where I get a kind of Tamales that are very similar to the Colombian ones because they are wrapped in plantain leaves instead of corn husk. I was very surprised to see Colombian products all over, flour to make pandebonos, masamorra, and other native dishes.

I immediately asked about the products and was surprised by the response. We have a lot of Colombians that come over to eat here so we are in the process of turning half of the restaurant into a Colombian restaurant. As karma would have it, a Mexican restaurant will start serving Colombian food. So KC is getting a little more Colombian.

Naming your computer

If you would have asked someone a couple of years ago the name of their computer they might have looked at you funny. Today we have more and more home users that have home networks with multiple computers. The moment you want to share files between them the fun of finding out what the computer name begins.

For most people this is an easy task, they don’t even have to look, the list auto populates for them letting them know what the computer is, but what if the computer is named XP993809 and the are 3 others like that. The person that is not computer savvy might have to call some kind of tech support. Finding the name is actually not that difficult in most operating systems. The questions is, what should we name them?

In a corporate environment I have seen almost everything. From Simpsons characters to Godzilla adversaries, I have seen some colorful names. I think this is the wrong way to name servers unless you have less than 10 or you are the only one that needs to know like Mike @ gaucho soft. He recently implemented some new servers for his weather solution Seasonality with names that mean something to him.

I believe that is the approach that everyone should take at home. Make the computer names something that is easy to remember and means something to you. If everyone in your family has a laptop, then name them accordingly. If you only have a couple of computers and many people use them, use the location of the computer or a physical characteristic.

In the end this seems like a very trivial thing, however, like always remembering to back up and changing your password, it will not seem trivial once you actually need it and it might save you some time.

Seven Years Later

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

I have written about 9-11 before, and actually started a series of comments with some of the usual suspects. I wish that Solid would visit more often. I know another attack of that magnitude has not happened again, but my simple point about that day is that it should not have happened in the first place.

I am not pretending that we ever forget what happened, that for our generation would be impossible, but rather to take the positive that come out of that horrible day and continue with it. We came together as a nation to support each other, we showed solidarity and true feelings.

The U.S. helps the world in many ways, and like the quote above the most effective are the humanitarian efforts, however even with those we are not recognized or loved by the world as we should be. I sometimes wonder if all of those efforts should be concentrated in here, with our people or even our close neighbours and we should let others step up around the world.

To quote my mother in law, “You will gather more bees with a drop of honey than with a bucket of vinegar.” Simple acts of kindness make a difference and make our days better. So today, to remember this day shake the hand of someone you see every day but don’t talk to besides pleasantries, ask them about their lives, ask them where were they the day this country lost its innocence. United We Stand.

What is the right direction?

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction”
-Winston Churchill

I huge percentage of my friends are republican. The responses to my last post were just as expected. People are very polarized by the current state of things, some people think that everything is fine while others think that this is shaping out to be the worse of times. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but even the most studied political analyst does not have the full picture. I doubt if anyone has the full picture.

Vision is a word that is often used when talking in the corporate world. Visionaries are always respected people that have a clear view of the road ahead. What happens when that visionary is looking down the wrong road?

I would argue that when it comes to driving I have never been lost, just learning new roads. I know Chicago probably a lot better than people that have lived there all of their lives, I am getting to know know Kansas city little by little. When I do go somewhere I am not afraid of using my GPS to get there. I am also not beyond stopping and asking for directions when I am not getting to where I need to go.

The first time I went back to Colombia as an adult I grew up a lot more. I got to see what I left behind and how some decisions affects more than one life. I think what impacted me the most is how we see things so differently when we are older. I always thought growing up that I knew everything and then getting older and wiser was something very gradual. That trip taught me that single situations can change the course of your life or change your view on things. One second can change a life.

Change is a good thing, but it is even better when it is done when everyone affected by that change are taken into account. As the politics of this country keep on moving forward to the upcoming election we have to see who is promising change, and if that is the direction that we want to go.

Better listener

Most of my life I have felt that I am a very good listener, but lately I think that my understanding of the term is a little more complete. I am always quick to give advice and come up with a solution to problem I am given, but more often than not, when listening to others, it is more about those seeking advice figuring things out on their own than actually seeking any input.

Vocalizing an idea is very powerful. Things seem to make it a more sense in our minds once we put them into words. Just like you learn better when you actually teach someone how to do something, talking things out is a good way of solving a problem.

I have made a conscious effort to start listening to other people complete their full trains of thought before forming an opinion. It is a tough thing to do at first, but it has been very useful. While I still value discussion and debate, I think the older I get the more I want to take a step back and see what others have to say.