Sunday, September 27, 2009


Every Sunday, Daniel and I have to head back south to Tigre. Its a dangerous route. People drive too fast, take stupid chances, and sometimes end up in the ditch like this guy. We saw two roll-overs today. Nuts!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tumba de Bello Today

Went for a ride today and took a few photos. This is probably the best one. Not too bad for a Canon point-and-shoot.
Hope to ride tomorrow, but need to fix my rear tire. Tumba de Bello should be called Caminos de Espinas (Trails of Thorns).

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My friend Andrew posted these on facebook...

Me exploring the White Mesa NW of Albuquerque circa 1989. I was skinny back then. Wool tights, heavy red polypropylene shirt, Mountain Smith fanny pack, Lycra-covered Avenir helmet (didn't like that helmet), and my first pair of Lake shoes (non-clipless). My bike then was a 1988 Fisher ProCaliber.
The Albuquerque mtn bikers circa 1994 or so on the John Dunn Memorial ride. John had been killed the week before when he was T-boned at an intersection while riding his Ciocc road bike. His family had given us about 1/4 of his ashes, so we had them with us. We spread them on the ride.
Note the bikes, all rigid forks. Looks like the guy on the far left has red Specialized with a Specialized suspension fork. I have my Merlin #1 due to the color of fork (black). I am on the right with the yellow jacket and the zebra striped Etto helmet (I liked that helmet). Check out the red bike on the far right and the 36 spoked front wheel.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Equinox Experiment

Happy Equinox!

Note: If I would have done this experiment right, I would have done it right at high noon, instead I spaced it out did it about 12:15 local time, so the sun was already past its zenith a couple of degrees.

My experiment is simple, have a meter stick vertical and measure its shadow. The tangent of the angle should equal my degrees latitude north.
19 cm/100cm = 0.19
cotangent 19 = 10 degrees, 45 minutes N.

According to Google Earth, our location is actually 8 degrees, 53 minutes N. So the 2 degree error corresponds with the sun being across the zenith a couple of degrees. Also error could have creeped in anywhere, e.g., was the meter stick vertical, were my measures accurate, etc.?

Anyway...just goofing around.

A Generation Passes

Got word that my great aunt died yesterday. She was 96 years old when she passed and was my grandmother's little sister.
At her sister's (my grandmother) funeral in February 2009

She was a sweet woman. I last saw her in 2002 when I took my wife to New Mexico to meet my mom and grandmother. She happened to be there on a rare visit. She showed genuine love and affection for my wife, even though my wife is quite different from the rest of the family; in language, culture, and skin color. That did not matter to my aunt, she loved my wife for who she was.
Always kind.

Its the end of a generation in my family. Kind of sad.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Get the Message

I stole this from another blog. Anyway, get the message...

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Trip Through Barcelona, Venezuela

I am trying to get back into blogging on a semi-regular basis, and the whole point of the blog is to write about "my stuff". This is a trip through the city of Barcelona, Venezuela. Daniel and I make this commute every weekend when coming in from a week in El Tigre.
This city is gritty, dirty, and has too many cars for the narrow streets but still it is an interesting place for me.

Pardon my Spanish spelling...

Start: Redoma de Pajaros. (Traffic Circle of the Birds)
Landmark: Happy burra. This poor burra (female burro) has been repaired numerous times. Her ears are always broken off.
Corner: Building details.
Traffic: Narrow streets.
Street: Garage entrance.
Street: Sports complex.
Street: J.Lo. (I bet she doesn't get royalties on this)
Street: Mystery fist (its blue...does that mean something?)
Transport: Typical "micro" (small bus [privately owned public transport])
Transport: Armored truck
Today's journey took about 2 hours to go about 8 kilometers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Experimenting with Macro on the Canon SD1200IS

Warning: This is a Geek post.

Lately I've been enjoying my new camera more and more. I am discovering new features and what it is capable of doing. Here's an experiment I did yesterday with a screw on a ping-pong table.

Photo 1: Normal macro mode.
Photo 2: 2.3x Digital zoom + macro mode.
Photo 3: Cropped from Photo 2. Not much pixelization.
Conclusion: Not bad quality out of a camera of its size.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lights Out!

Been having electricity rationing or just electrical grid breakdown. Hard to say which is which, but I think it is both, which includes government meddling, incompetence, and arrogance.

Here's some pics about the problems we've been having.

No electricity at school. This really interrupts the flow of things. Most of our classrooms do not have windows, so it gets really dark. My room is one of the few with emergency lights.

One of my students has resorted to carrying a flashlight with him. always Other students have BlackBerry devices that have built in LED lights.

Finally people are starting to get mad and upset. Last night I heard pots and pan banging, a Latin American way of protesting, for the first time since 2003. The Assembly National (AN) passed a law banning such types of protests.

Another form of protest is the burning of tires. This was a couple of blocks from our apartment complex so we went over to take some pics. Crazy stuff!

The McDonald's in the background has its own power plant.

Yesterday lights were out from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM, 5:00 PM to 6:10 PM, 6:49 PM to 2:15 AM.

Today lights went out at 10:15 AM to 3:15 PM. Today a parent is loaned us a 100 kW power plant and patched it into our electrical system. We were able to have class as usual (almost).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Favorite Photos (from this weekend)

This weekend went better than last. Tania got the A/C fixed, fired the old plumber and hired a new one who finally finished the job that the first one did not. I got out, (including riding my bike) and took a few pics.

Messing with the macro setting on the camera. I like how this turned out.
Storm coming. This was taken from my living room window. I like the fact that it was taken with the camera set on vivid color but it still came out basically in gray-scale.
Jacques at the top of Acuario. Neat pic!
Goofyness descending the pavement.
Rainbows and Motos.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


My martian cutie...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Visit to the Past: The Four Corners of my Old Classroom

Today I was at the old ELA building moving stuff. This is the school is where I have spent the longest period of time at one location, from 2001 to 2007. This is my old science room.

View 1: from the doorway. The dolphin mural was painted by some Norwegian students I had back in 2001.
View 2: from the dolphin back to the door. The new counter with sink is visible. This was a luxury. I only got to use this set-up one year or so. For many years I taught science in this room (good science) with nothing but creativity and innovation.

View 3: From the corner to the whiteboards. I spent most of my time in front of the whiteboards during my lecture periods.

View 4: From the whiteboards to the corner. Another look at the counter with underneath storage.

I had fun in that classroom.