Friday, December 12, 2008
Congratulations to our great friends Gaby and Esteban for tying the knot last weekend. I have to give a shout out to two people that we are forever indebted to.
From almost the moment we landed in Buenos Aires, Gaby and Esteban were a big help. They met us that first week and gave us the lay of the land and advice on how to navigate the new and foreign city we had landed in.
They gave us advice on the best neighborhoods to live in and escorted us to countless apartments showings when we were looking to buy. They always had connections to handle what ever we needed.
If a medical emergency erupted, Gaby would drop everything and hop a cab to meet us at the hospital to translate for us. That happened more often than we expected, and Gaby was invaluable in making the situation as stress free as possible.
But most of all, they were great friends and we enjoyed their wonderful company over many great meals.
There is no question they have a bright future together. Salud and falicidades!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It appears that Maradona (and over 100 other Argentine celebs) has gone to the courts to force Google and Yahoo to stop serving up websites in their searches that Maradona doesn't like. Time Magazine has a great story on the issue. Yahoo has complied while Google is waiting for an appeal.
Time makes the point that suing Google for search results is like suing the newsstand for having newspapers you don't like or forcing them to rip out pages of magazines that you don't like. If Maradona and others don't like what comes up when you google your name, sue the offending site—not Google or Yahoo! That is, if their is legal grounds to sue a site. Free speech is free speech. Libel/Slander is a different story.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
There are a lot of great photographic treasures being made accessible on the internet every day. First, there was the creation of the The Commons on Flickr which showcases treasures in the world's public photography archives like the Library of Congress and The Smithsonian.
Then came the news that Google has made available the photo archives of Life magazine including some of the most famous photos in American popular culture. The one above is my favorite. Check out the whole series.
And you think kids grow up too fast today? (Thanks to gruber for pointing it out.)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Today, my four year old and I were outside enjoying the cooler weather with his brand new nerf football—an orange and white Texas Longhorn football of course. In between running plays, he blurted out, "OK daddy, you be the Texas Longhorns and I will be the Boca Juniors. Cause that is your favorite team and Boca is my favorite team. OK?"
Gotta love him!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Was Paul Kennedy right over twenty years ago when he predicted the decline of the United States (and Russia) vis-a-vis China, India, Japan? (ok so he was wrong about Japan.) In 1987, Mr. Kennedy published, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. For those unfamiliar with this very important and influential book, it is worth a read now more than ever.
The book examines all of the great powers starting with the Ming dynasty and works it way up through the 20th century. Kennedy looks for the root causes of both the rise and fall of these super powers over time.
The main cause for the falls? Military over-extendedness. Eventually, all great powers over extended themselves militarily around the world—especially relative to their economic growth and ability to sustain those endeavors.
With the super-power over-stretched, weaker tangential players took advantage of technological and/or economic advances and gained the upper hand.
Many critics faulted Kennedy for a number of years after the book was written. They claimed he over simplified things and did not take in to account the peace dividend of democratic nations. Democratic nations now fight in the marketplace not on the battlefield.
But, at the time the book was published, the Soviet Union was in the start of its rapid decline—a decline so rapid no one would of guessed that the US would be left as the world's sole super power in just a few short years. That is, because the Soviet Union quickly crumbled, it no longer pulled us down with it in a never ending arms race. The cold war over, we were able to reinvest in our industries not the military. Kennedy was not in a position to predict that in 1987.
But then came 9-11 and a the US found itself caught up in a never-ending war on terror. It is no secret our military is now over-extended almost to the breaking point.
Recent critics of book were still quick to point out that we continued to have the worlds most enviable economy producing wealth at an unprecedented pace. The exact kind of economic prowess that has saved other powers in history from an untimely decline.
Well, not anymore. Our economy is now in freefall. Mr. Kennedy may of been right after all.
So who will sit atop the world in the next 100 years as the dominate player? Or, can the US regain the upper-hand? Thoughts?
Friday, November 7, 2008
While the whole country seems to be celebrating and dancing in the streets with hope streaming out in tears—there hasn't been much celebrating here in Texas. The mood of most of the country seems to have passed us by and instead I am left scratching my head at the acts of my fellow Texans.
It started with friends from all over the globe teasing me about a new poll which found that 24% of Texans thought that Obama was muslim. I naturally took this as good news since well over 65% of the state gets their news only from the Fox News Channel. So by my reasoning, less than 1/2 of those people aren't believing what Fox is telling them.
Other's emailed me surprised at how big McCain was projected to win Texas. Well this is a solid Republican state home to a lot of big business and a lot of bubbas. It is no accident that George W. proudly calls this state his home.
Those two items are not what has me shook up about my fellow Texans. It is something much worse.
First, there was a report out of Baylor University (the large Baptist University in Waco) that on Wednesday morning a hangman's noose was found attached to a big Oak tree in the center of campus. Apparently one of the students wanted to send a sick message about how he felt about the election of our first black president.
I thought we as Texans had gotten past that kind of thing. Sadly, I grew up in a small town that was still proud of its history of hanging black men that were caught traveling through town after sunset.
Even up to the early 80's while I was in high school, there was not a single black family living in our town. My junior year in high school, a black engineer from California moved his family to my town and his daughter was in my Trigonometry and Physics classes. (As you can tell from reading my blog, I was not in the advanced English class with her.) We were all blown away with how smart she was.
This was not something out of the Jim Crow era and Klu Klux Klan heydays of the 50's and 60's. This was in the 1980's! A time when the rest of country and Texas had moved on from that kind of ignorant hatred. Or so I thought.
But surely after the election of Barack Obama, even small-town Texas was ready to bury its racial past. I wish I could say it has, but that kind of news hasn't stop.
Mack Brown,, the coach of my beloved Texas Longhorns, announced that they have terminated Buck Burnette, our backup center, after it was discovered that he posted a racial slur on his Facebook page and something to the effect of "Hunters should get their guns because a COON broke into the White House."
Maybe it was just a stupid copy and past of something he was sent. A stupid thing done in haste by a stupid kid. He has since apologized. But, the damage was done. Mack did the right thing in canning his ass. But, the scary thing is the number of people defending him on the Bevo Beat blog.
So the rest of the world, keep dancing in the streets. I wish I could join you, but I'm too depressed.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Fall has finally reached us here and I forgot how beautiful North Texas can be. Sometimes it takes moving away before you can appreciate what you had.
Fall means temperatures in the 70's (low 20's Celsius) with some leaves turning color. It is our short window of opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors before it quickly turns bleak and dreary. These few weeks are a welcome relief from the 90 to 100 degree temps of summer.
This pic was taken on a hike along the banks of the Trinity River at River Legacy Park. This wonderful park is less than 1/2 mile down the street from where we live now in Arlington.