Being Single is OK!

That coming from someone that is currently married and has not been single for very much in his life sounds hypocritical, but a lot of the happiness that I have found in my relationship comes from that part. I am ok with being alone. I chose to be with my wife and share our life together.

I have written many love letters to my wife both public and private. The strands of our relationship include a lot of admiration for her, she is brave, she is extremely intelligent, eyes that I could stare at forever and smells wonderful… I wake her up in the middle of the night when I crawl into bed after gaming and love to just hug her. Yea, it would suck not to be able to do that, but before we were together I had to be ok with. I had to learn that when you live alone and have a big bed, picking a side sucks so sleeping in the middle is better.

I had to be ok with having a meal on my own, or learning to cook just for one. I had to learn to take care of my own clothes and rebuild my finances. I had to learn about independence both emotionally and in the real world. There is nothing wrong with being dependent in a relationship, but there is a certain power that comes from knowing that you are doing it as a choice and not because you feel you have to.

Dates like today make for great conversation. They are often hard for those without a significant other (or those that have lost one forever.) because the “ghost” limb effect is right there more than ever. I am not one to celebrate this or other “hallmark” holidays, but there is almost no choice. All around you there will be flowers, pink, red and cake.

So if you are single, call you friends, call your family and tell them that you love them. It is never a bad time to do so. Also, when you are single; remember you are not alone. Sometimes having good friends is more therapeutic than any other thing you can do.

Relationships are hard work, and even failed ones come with tons of lessons that will with time make your life better. So hang in there single people, eventually you will find someone that puts up with your bad jokes, your inability to put stuff away, your geekyness and love you for it.

Oh BTW, Bea got a new domain, she still will blog personal stuff in Betizuka.com, but her diabetes related stuff is now over at CrankyPancreas.com.

Eduardo Antonio Sanchez

Luchador es una palabra que se le atribuye a muchas personas, pero mi abuelo fue la definición de ella. Desde los diez años perdió a sus propios padres y empezó una vida de trabajo. El no tuvo la suerte de estudiar, sino que solo, preguntándole a la gente con periódicos que recogía, aprendió a leer. Llegó hasta el punto de aprender enfermería y obtuvo suficiente conocimiento para tener su propio negocio.

Aunque no creció con la familia y oportunidades que muchos hemos tenido, siempre valoró mucho la familia que él construyó. Tuvo cinco hijos, diez nietos y seis bisnietos.

El proveyó para toda su familia con su farmacia, “La Drogeria Eduas.” Así le llamaba mucha gente, Eduas. Fue ya cuando había emigrado para los Estados Unidos que yo entendi cuan importante fue mi abuelo para ese barrio en Colombia. Nuestra identidad se formó un poquito por el orgullo de ser el nieto de “Don Eduas.”

Mi abuelo me enseñó a jugar ajedrez, y según cuenta mi mamá yo le decia cuando pequeño que yo iba a ser el heredero de todos sus frascos.

No es fácil ver como los años golpean a una persona, pero como siempre lo hizo, luchó hasta el final. Quién sabe cuál de los dos es más terco, pero como dicen por ahí, lo que se herada no se hurta.

Adiós Abuelito. Siempre estaré orgulloso de la familia que construiste y que sacaste adelante; gracias a ti yo tengo la oportunidad a una mejor vida. Que estés contento en algun lugar donde te dejen comer toda la carne que quieras y tomarte todos los whiskeys que tanto te gustan.

Fighter is a word that is used to describe many people, but my Grandfaterh was its true definition. Since he was ten years old he lost his parents and started to have to work. He did not have the luck of going to school, instead, he would pick up used news papers and ask people what they said, that is how he learned how to read. He went as far as to eventually become a nurse, he eventually adquired enough knowledge to open up his own business.

Even though he grew up without family and the opportunities that many of us grew up with, he always valued the family that he built. He had five kids, ten grandkids and six great grandkids.

He provided for his family with the pharmacy he owned, “La Drogueria Eduas.” That shortening of his name is what many people called him “Eduas.” It was later on when I was a little older and he had already emmigrated to the USA that I understood what my Grandpa meant to that neighborhood back in Colombia. My identity was formed a little by the pride I felt that I was “Don Eduas” grandson.

My grandpa taught me how to play chess, and my Mom tells me that when I was very little I use to tell him that I was going to inheret all of the little bottles in his pharmacy.

It is not easy how age beats people up, but like he had always done it, he fought until the very end. Who knows which one of us is the most stubborn, but there is a saying, that what you inheret is not stolen. (Its a Colombian saying geared more towards personality traits and not posessions.) I definatly inhereted some of his stubborness.

Good bye Grandpa, I will always be proud of you for the family that you built and propered; thanks to you I have the opportunity of a better life. I hope wherever you are you are eating lots of steaks and that they are letting you drink all the whiskey you liked so much.

My Bucket List

I’ve had the 100 things about me page for quite some time. Every once in a while I update it and if you want to know more about me, it is there to be read… however, for a while now I have been wanting those 100 things to be goals for the future rather than just tidbits about life.

The last thing I read that I said, dam, I need to really revisit that page was Nerd Fitness. Daniel has shared that site with me a while back and I am signed up to their newsletter. The fitness part of it I think is right on par with what works for me… the nutrition part, not so much. I think the Paleo diet is too extreme and not really realistic (at least for me) to maintain for the rest of my life.

The best part of that site though (in my opinion) is that the dude set out to do what he wanted to do at a macro level, and it is doing it. Even if you don’t care about the fitness part, check out his EPIC QUEST. I think part of that process is to put down some goals.

So look for the 100 list page to change a little… or maybe a lot, lol, it will be a work in progress. :)

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.

Logtar’s Next Phone

I now have a history with eating crow when I make a strong stance on some technology. I remember my disdain for the XBoX when it came out and the horrible design of their first generation controllers… what do you know, they came out eventually with superior controllers that were completely wireless and just awesome… to make it worse, I have a modified remote for the xbox that we use to watch digital content so I don’t even know if the actual controllers are even charged right now.

I have called the iphone many things. I don’t hate apple, I actually enjoy their products and one of my best friends is a developer that has many times suggested that I leave the whole windows development world and try the green pastures of awesomeness that it is to develop for apple.

When my wife got her first iphone I hated it. It seemed to hate me back. I could never quite get the hang of typing on the on screen keyboard. I stuck with my conviction and entered the smartphone market first with a blackberry that I loved, and later on with an andriod… who I have mixed feelings about. Even though it has a slide down keyboard, I now use the on screen keyboard almost exclusively.

My wife then upgrade iphones and her old one became an itouch by all intents and purposes and I started using it. Little by little the reconciliation with the device begun and I started to play with it more, and more and more. I use the thing more than my android now.

The thing that pisses me off the most about smartphones is battery life. Even after all the hacks you can do to make them waste less energy, they all end up drained after heavy use. And guess what… we have like 3 different iphone plugs around the house and even in the car, so when thinking about my next phone it is a consideration that I have plenty of places to power the device back up.

I looked at the latest android devices and the next entry for motorola is not even 4G… its almost like waiting for a device that is outdated before it is even released. The other option would be an LG with an android OS… but apple is just making a better product.

Then I read an article about how much of the iphone does apple really make. While the article is almost taking a shot at apple for basically not “building or putting together the hardware” which is mostly manufactured by samsung. The real reason the iphone is successful is because it has a superior OS.

No matter how much you love the android OS, apple’s user experience is more intuitive. Even after being an android user primarily, things just happened a lot easier when it came to using the android. Getting music into the device, downloading podcasts, getting games, even web surfing sees easier on an outdated iphone.

So I am getting ready to cook that crow and probably make an iphone my next smart phone choice.

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