Category Archives: Rant

To speak or write in a angry or violent manner; rave.

Confesiones de un ex-fan de Maná¡

Odio a ManáHoy voy a confesar algo que me causa verguenza contar, pero que igual lo comparto con mis lectores para que vean que el errar es humano:

Confieso que a la edad de los 13 o 14 años fui con mi hermanita y sus amigas a un concierto de Maná. Fué mi primer gran concierto y en su época lo gocé mucho. También confieso que en las fiestas poní­amos Me Vale y poguiábamos esa canción como si se tratara de Smells like teen spirit… confieso que me gustaba Maná… y me averguenzo completamente de ello.

Pero todo esto es parte de un avergonzante pasado. Hoy digo con orgullo: ODIO A MANÁ!

No los soporto. Escuchar una de sus canciones me produce arcada. En Austin existe una emisora dedicada al pop en español (104.9) y le decimos ‘Radio Maná’ pues pone canciones de Maná frecuentemente. La emisora es un asco. Ellos participaron en la organización del concierto de Café Tacvba en el show de TV Austin City Limits y recuerdo que uno de los organizadores cuando estaba haciendo la fila para el concierto me llamó a un lado, y me señaló una van que se encontraba estacionada a unos 50 metros de la cual estaban saliendo unos 5 muchachos con pinta de músicos y me preguntó: “Esos son Café Tacvba?” y yo lo miré con cara de: “Eres un imbecil! Ni siquiera sabes como son los Tacvbos” (para mí­ la mejor banda de Rock mexicano y top 5 en el rock en español en general), pero muy amablemente le respondí­ “No, esos no son”. Que tristeza, este señor probablemente si hubiera distinguido a Fher o a Alex.

Maná es un asco, tocan un estilo de música desabrido, repetitivo, con patéticas letras y melodías.

Lo que más tristeza me da es que Maná tiene una muy buena maquinaria de marketing y promoción con la cual han logrado hacer crecer su popularidad. Me ha sucedido en varias ocasiones que amigos gringos me dicen que les gusta Maná. Yo simpre les digo que Maná es un porquerí­a y les sugiero escuchar verdaderas bandas de rock en español (Soda Stereo, Café Tacvba, Aterciopelados, Héroes del Silencio, Los Tres, Molotov, Plastilina Mosh, por solo mencionar unas pocas)
Afortunadamente no estoy solo en esto.

English version

I HATE MANÁ!

Seriously if you think Maná is a good representation of latinamerican rock, I urge you to check the following bands:

Soda Stereo, Café Tacvba, Molotov, Aterciopelados, Los Tres, Charly García, Fito Paez, Los Toreros Muertos, Los Prisioneros, Illya Kuriaky and the Valderramas, Plastilina Mosh, Jumbo, La Unión, Bersuit Vergarabat, La Mosca Tse Tse, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Los Enanitos Verdes, Los Amigos Invisibles, etc…

Depenalize abortion

Yesterday the Colombian senate decided to de-penalize abortion in one of the following three situations:

  1. The pregnancy occurred because the mother was rapped.
  2. The fetus is malformed
  3. There is risk for the mother to die during the pregnancy.

The Catholic Church in Colombia announced to be against the de-penalization and threat to excommunicate the senators. I think the Catholic Church is pathetic.

I think abortion should be completely de-penalized. A woman is free to decide what to do with her own body. Neither the state nor the church, should tell her what to do.

However the fact that I support de-penalizing abortion doesn’t mean that I support abortion. If I’m ever asked to decide whether a woman should have an abortion or not, I would say no unless there is #3-situation (There is risk for the mother to die during the pregnancy).

This is similar to my position with respect to drugs: I’m pro legalizing drugs but I don’t use drugs and I never will. But everyone should be free to decide whether to have or not an abortion, to consume or not drugs, and that’s a personal decision that nobody should make for you.

Spanish version – Despenalización del aborto
Ayer el senado de la república de Colombia, decidió despenalizar el aborto si sucede una de las siguientes tres situaciones:

  1. La madre quedó embarazada víctima de una violación
  2. El feto sufre malformaciones
  3. La madre corre el riesgo de morir por culpa del embarazo.

La iglesia en Colombia se pronunció en contra de la medida y amenazó con excomulgar a los magistrados. Creo que la iglesia es cada vez más patética.

Mi opinión es que el aborto debería estar despenalizado completamente. Una mujer es dueña de su propio cuerpo y unicamente ella debe poder decidir si se practica o no un aborto. Ni el estado, ni la iglesia tienen porque opinar al respecto.

Sin embargo que yo esté de acuerdo con la despenalización, no implica que esté de acuerdo con el aborto. Si en alguna situación yo estuviera enfrentado a tomar la decisión de abortar o no, por una mujer que se encuentra inhabilitada para tomar la decisión, a menos que fuera el caso 3 (La madre corre el riesgo de morir por culpa del embarazo), no pediría el aborto.

Es un caso parecido a la legalización de las drogas: estoy de acuerdo con la legalización (despenalizar la producción y el consumo) de estas, pero nunca las consumiré. Creo que cada quien tiene derecho a decidir si aborta o no, si consume drogas o no, y es una decisión personal que a nadie debería incumbir.

Re-election aproved in Colombia

Yesterday the Colombian Constitutional Court has approved the immediate presidential the re-election, which implies that present president Alvaro Uribe Vélez, can be a candidate for the presidential elections of the 2006.

This produces me joy and preoccupation at the same time.

The good thing is that the present president has great acceptance rating in the country. During his mandate he has maintained popularity index around 60-70% being the highest for a Colombian president in many years. He has highest index at the moment in Latin America where there are cases like president Toledo in Peru with a 6%. So I think it is good that a popular president stays in the government. Another reason is that the policies of security of the present government, have managed to reduce the high indexes of criminality, insecurity, drug trafficking and violence that affected the country for many years. The electoral period in Colombia is only 4 years which is insufficient compared with the 40 years that the guerrillas have been around. Thus a period of 8 years can at least be more beneficial.

In general Colombia is better today than for 4 years. People’s confidence in the country is back. Foreign investors are looking back at Colombia. It is not common anymore to see Colombians leaving the country because of the violence. And if we can be better than today in 4 years, wonderful!

The goals for president Uribe, if he gets reelected, must be: total disarmament of armed groups (guerrilla and paramilitary) and eradication of the drug trafficking. If this happens, it is possible to think of electing a more humanist and philanthropic president for the next period. Somebody like Antanas Mokus.

But I also believe that approving re-election is a bad thing. I consider that Colombian democracy is not sufficiently mature to assume the challenges that a re-election implies. Reelect Uribe today is good. But what if Andrés Pastrana or Ernesto Samper has had a chance to be candidates for re-election in their time? What if a bad president has the political and economic machinery necessary to win a re-election? Does this sound familiar to you? (U.S.A.)

I also don’t like the example that Uribe is giving with the whole re-election process. Basically he demonstrated that any president can modify the constitution of the country for his own benefit.

It’s already too late and the re-election has been approved. If it had been up to me I would have done things differently. The president Uribe from the beginning of his mandate should have look for his successor. Somebody who keeps the same line of thought. Somebody with his character and determination. And make sure that Colombians understand that this person would continue the processes and projects initiated in his period. Basically Uribe needed to look for another Uribe different than himself. Worse case if he cannot find another Uribe he could have chosen a puppet as president with him being the puppeteer and publicly recognize it so that people supported his puppet knowing that the president was really him.

But there is nothing to do now. The damage to the constitution is already done so I hope that Uribe gets reelected; that way all this wasn’t done in vain.

Reelección aprobada en Colombia

El día de ayer, la Corte Constitucional Colombiana ha aprobado la reelección presidencial inmediata, lo cual implica que el actual presidente Álvaro Uribe Vélez, puede postularse para las elecciones presidenciales del 2006.

Esta noticia me produce en parte alegría y en parte preocupación.

Lo bueno es que el presidente actual tiene gran aceptación en el país. Durante su mandato ha mantenido índices de popularidad al rededor del 60-70% siendo los más altos para un presidente colombiano en muchos años y siendo los más altos actualmente en Latinoamérica donde hay casos como el presidente Toledo en Perú con un 6%. Así que es bueno que un presidente que es querido por su pueblo, siga en el mandato. Lo otro es que las políticas de seguridad del gobierno actual, han logrado reducir los altos índices de criminalidad, inseguridad, narcotráfico y violencia que por muchos años se han vivido en el país. Sin embargo el período electoral de 4 años con el que cuentan los presidentes, es insuficiente comparado con los 40 años que tienen las guerrillas en existencia. Así al menos un período de 8 años puede ser más provechoso.

En general, Colombia está mejor hoy, que hace 4 años. De nuevo se respira confianza. De nuevo hay interés en el país por parte de los inversionistas extranjeros. Ya no es tan común ver Colombianos huyendo del país por causa de la violencia. Y si dentro de 4 años podemos estar mejor, sería maravilloso.

Las metas del presidente Uribe, si es reelegido, deben ser: desmovilización total de los grupos armados (guerrilla y paramilitares) y erradicación del narcotráfico. Si esto sucede, se puede pensar en elegir un presidente más humanista y filántropo para un próximo periodo. Alguien del corte de Antanas Mokus.

Pero también creo que es malo que la reelección haya sido aprobada. Considero que la democracia Colombiana no está lo suficientemente madura para asumir los retos que implica una reelección. Reelegir a Uribe hoy es bueno. ¿Pero que tal que Andrés Pastrana o Ernesto Samper hubieran podido postularse para la reelección en su tiempo? ¿Qué tal que un presidente malo llegue al poder, y tenga la maquinaria política y económica necesarias para ganar una reelección? ¿Les suena familiar (EEUU)?

Adicionalmente, no me gusta el ejemplo que está dando Uribe con la reelección. Básicamente esta demostrando que cualquier presidente puede modificar la constitución del país en pro de su beneficio.

Ya es demasiado tarde y la reelección ha sido aprobada. Sin embargo yo hubiera hecho las cosas diferentes. El presidente Uribe desde el comienzo de su mandato debió buscar su sucesor. Alguien que conserve su misma línea de pensamiento. Alguien con su mismo carácter y determinación. Y hacerle entender al pueblo colombiano, que esta persona seguiría los mismos procesos y proyectos iniciados en su período. Básicamente Uribe debió buscar otro Uribe, que no fuera él mismo. Y dado el caso de que no existiera otro Uribe en el país, podría haber elegido un títere, para él seguir siendo el titiritero tras bambalinas. Y reconocerlo públicamente para que la gente le diera su apoyo al títere.

En últimas ya no hay nada que hacer. El daño a la constitución ya está hecho, así que solo queda esperar a que Uribe sí sea reelegido, para que todo esto no haya sido en vano.

Review of Motorola V330 and T-Mobile

About two months ago, I decided that it was time to give my old Nokia cellphone a break. I had it for about 2.5 years and it always worked very well. My original carrier was AT&T and then they merged with Cingular. The service with AT&T was always very good. I always had excellent signal reception in Austin, and when I traveled to other cities (Miami, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, NY, Boston, Washington…) it always seemed to work just fine.

Since I was content with AT&T, I tried to see my options for upgrading the phone. I was willing to sign another 2 year contract with them, in exchange for a free phone (and retaining my phone number). But unfortunately, they only offer those options to new or switching customers. I find that bussiness practice totally absurd. Why give a free phone to a new customer, but not to an existing loyal one?

So after calling them a couple of times and visiting stores like Best Buy, I understood that my best option was to switch carrier.

So I call a friend who uses T-Mobile and asked him about it and he told me that T-Mobile was a good carrier. So I went ahead and bought a T-Mobile plan.

Motorola V330

The plan included the Motorola V330 which is a bluetooth camera phone supported by iSync.

I’ve been using this phone + plan for two months and I’m really dissapointed. In other words: T-Mobile sucks!

My phone is always searching for signal. The reception sucks. I don’t receive phone calls all the time. I get text messages 30 minutes after they were sent. I would rank AT&T service with 10 and T-Mobile with 4. So if you live in Texas, don’t sign with T-Mobile!

Regarding the phone, I’m not very happy either. I’m sure that part of the bad reception is caused by the phone, because otherwise I’m sure my friend would never had recommended me T-Mobile. I also like the simple Nokia style better; I don’t like opening an closing a clam-type phone all the time.

I must say that phone integration with iSync worked very well. I was also able to use bluetooth to copy MP3 soundtracks to my phone and use them as ring tones. That is actually really cool. I converted the MP3 song to WAV, croped it to 30 seconds, changed it from stereo to mono, converted it back to MP3 and uploaded it to the phone. Now Connection from Elastica plays everytime the “…vital connection is made”.

Shocking news!

Not exaclty the kind of shocking news you’ll expect:

Yesterday, there was a big thunder storm in Austin. I was at work during it and it didn’t seemed too bad. When I got home, I sat in front of the TV and suddenly noticed that it was smelling like an electrical component was burning. I got closer to the TV and the smell got stronger. It was my AIWA amplifier! I turned it on, but it wasn’t generating any sound. Then I figured that my internet router probably went down during the storm, so I go and check it and both the cable modem and the router where off and the plate that covers the electrical outlet broke in pieces… damn!

Then I try to open the garage door: guess what? doesn’t open either! fuck!

Then I start feeling a bit warm, but noticed that the AC compressor outside was working. So I get closer to the vent that sucks the air and feel no sucking at all. This is too much! the internal AC fan seems to be broken as well! Crap!!!!

Finally I walk close to the subwoofer, and notice the power light is off… shit! is dead too!

I already went to time warner and exchanged the cable modem. Also called the AC repair guys and they can only help me next monday. I hope they fix it as part of the warranty. If not, I’ll have to call the home insurance to see if they cover all the stuff that got fried on friday!

To make things worse: It is saturday and I’m at work doing testing for a go-live installation.

UPDATE

Cable modem
Replaced it with a new one at Time Warner for no cost (you already knew that), but the new modem didn’t worked. Today the TW technician went to my place and fixed the cable. The cable and the filter were fried too.
Cost: None

Wireless router
Looked for the Airport Express and you could get one for about $100. Then I looked at dealmac.com and found an offer for another Linksys router for $35 (after 10% discount + $10 mail-in rebate) . Airport Express is a nice gadget, but I don’t think I need one. The router is on its way.
Cost: $35

AC
After surviving the weekend without AC, finally a technician went to my home today and fixed it. The controller board and the motor controller were both replaced. The pieces were under warranty but they charged me $224 for the labor. 🙁
Cost: $224

Garage Door
Went to Home Depot and a nice model costs $150 + $100 for installation. 🙁
Cost: $250

Receiver and Subwoofer (and DVD player maybe)
The receiver and the subwoofer both died. The DVD player seems to work, but I could not operate it with the remote. I think the infrared receiver is broken. Unfortunately, many features can only be set using the control. If that’s the case, I’ll probably have to replace the DVD player too.
Cost: Receiver ($150), subwoofer ($70), DVD player ($100)

Total estimated loss: $829 🙁

Second Update

Last night a bought a new receiver. It is a very nice one that Cetrulo recommended me. The brand is Onkyo and the model is TX-LR552(S). According to Cetrulo it uses a very good digital amplifier from Tripath.

The best part is that the receiver was on sale at Frys. It’s price tag was $399, but I only payed $149!
Sweet!