Friday, June 18, 2004

Car hunting update

Part of my trip to Boston is to tap into my older brother's expertise in cars so that I may decide which one shall I buy once I get back home. Before coming here I did extensive research on my own (with the help of other experts back home as well) and I had narrowed down the list to a few before coming here: the VW GTI 1.8T, Mazda 6s, Mazda RX8, Acura RSX, Sentra SER VSpec, and the Civic Si. It took him 1 min to mow down that list to just two, though (through a slight bias, even though he won't admit it ;)) the GTI is his pick. I'll be test driving the r32 tomorrow and figuring out whether I might be able to ship it home. Regardless, I have many other details that make my personal choice the Mazda 6s....even though my research has not concluded yet. Just to document them, what I need in a car is:

1. Room, Room, room - I need to be able to fit in there, with space to spare in all directions. And even if its not everyday, I want to know that I can fit in a lot of people to go party in my car or to go to the beach. My passengers need to be as comfortable as I am.
2. Handling over power - it needs to hug the road, even if some or other car drives by, I need to be able to catch them where it maneuvring skill.
3. Creature comforts - I am extremely picky when it comes to where things are in my car, how they look and how well they work.
4. Customer service - I need to feel that if something happens to my car, someone has my back at all times.
5. Show AND Go - People that see my car (even if just just half a second) have to look at it, the exterior must exude "Ramphis is doing fine" from all angles (basically so I can answer all questions of "Why did you stay in Puerto Rico?" with "Look at my car"....please leave the "Oh..but you could've bought such and such in the states" argument at the door....newsflash: I won't be in the states. Words to live by for those folks: Same game, different rules ;) Remember that.) But it also has to outperform every other car in its class...period.

So far, two cars fill that fills it to the T (at least personally) and the other is right up there....though it smacks with the "been there, done that" or a "me too" flavor, I'm trying to avoid as best as I can.

We'll see how it goes.

Touching base...

So I'm here in Boston for the next few days as part of my bi-annual "Life Research" trip. It's basically a time to synthesize all that've learned over the past 6 months, and compare notes with the leading minds on life research (read: anyone and everyone that's lived through something I haven't, but I'm on the verge of experiencing). It is humbling to really see how much I've yet to learn, but its very very encouraging at the same time to realize that I'm not as behind on a lot of topics as I personally thought, and that I'm light years ahead of any of my peers and/or contemporaries. One of the best parts of such trips is being able to make the previous comment, and know that its not me talking or just my perspective, but I'm just channeling the wisdom and insight bestowed upon me by others who have seen and done more than I have. More than a so called ego boost, its more of a reaffirmation of what I already knew about myself. And although the motivation for such studies might seem personal in nature on the surface, the real motivation is far more complex, yet paradoxically simple at the same time. Perhaps I'll be able to comment on such motivations in a future entry, yet, on a personal note, it's very exciting to know I have such strong motives to do what I do [even though 99% of my work goes completely unnoticed or at least no feedback is channeled directly back to me....but for matters such as these, great philosophers of yore have the wisdom to understand such situations...

Inasmuch as his victories are gained over circumstances that have not come to light, the world as large knows nothing of them, and he wins no reputation for wisdom. -- Sun Tzu
...such is the world we live in :)]

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

So I'm an Engineer now...

...or so says the piece of paper I got at my graduation yesterday ;) Its pretty interesting actually. I remember a few years back during my brother's graduation..."damn I wonder how I'll feel when I graduate. It must be so exciting.". Seeing everyone gathered there just for them, celebrating their achievement and thinking to myself how cool it must feel to have all the work you've done to get there behind you. To reflect on all you've been through and to silently thank all those that helped you get there; thinking that must be a real humbling experience. But the truth is, it's difficult to appreciate what you are or what's happening to you as it's happening. I mean, you don't magically turn into what you want to be; and as you work towards something, you sort of just become that. You don't think, "damn I'm rich" or "I'm famous" or just are. So, you are sort of robbed of the excitement of accomplishing what you set out to do. Right now, I look back at everything I've done, and no single expresion can do it justice, I've changed so much over the course of my college life it's impressive, even to me (which might sound silly heh, but its true). To me, graduation was not about becoming an engineer, it was more about acknowledging what I've individual that has passed all the hoops needed to be eligible to become a full member of society. I guess that's a whole other topic for discussion.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Evo 7 Rocks!!

I just took a ride on an Evo 7....I just have to write it down...WOW. I was a hardcore fan of the AWD sports car series (read: Impreza) until I drove it last November when I went to vist my brother in Boston. I wasn't too fond of the jerking motion when shifting due to the AWD transmission and the smoother suspension. Well, the evo 7 still had the jerking motion...though the blowoff valve stole my attention away from it 9/10 times...and the suspension was just right...near perfection. I must say...I think I'm an Evo 7 convert :S

Ramphis Update

Wow...a LOT can happen in just one week. I guess that's just my motto at work: "Learn as if you're going to live forever, live as if you're going to die tomorrow"....I know I know, its awefully dramatic, but you guys get the point, and it definately gets the job done. So what exactly have I been up to? Well, from sightseeing across the island, to bodyboarding in different beaches (on all four coasts), and living up (read: partying) my "vacation" out here in Puerto Rico...not much. A few days ago I was on a job interview in Manati (at a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary). Met up with some buddies that graduated before me. The job they fulfill as part of the IM (Information Management) division of J&J looks very interesting and challenging, but its support nature was not what I was looking for. I enjoy having internal clients, but I look forward to working closely with external clients as well. I used that trip to Manati (top part of the island) to visit a "friend" (long story) in Arecibo, and then took the PR-10 down through Adjuntas (right smack in the middle of the island) to Ponce and then back home....all in all, close to a 200mi drive through and around the island (the real trip, from my home to Humacao to Mayaguez and back is close to double that) in one day. I plan on doing the real round trip very soon. It has to include stopping for drinks and food at 4 or more locations.

Went to a party to meet up with a few buddies that came in for vacation on Saturday @ San Juan. Arturo's home (the guy that got me hooked on paintball) had an awesome terrace with pool and domino tables. I fell on a couch somewhere around 7am....woke up at 10am to drive back home. I felt remarkably refreshed. One final thing...when a "game" inhibits the communication such a soiree is supposed to promote, I suggest lightening up on the seriousness of the gaming or banning the game altogether. There are a few people that actually prefer serious domino playing to catching up or discussing any current event with old friends.../shrug. Such behavior is beyond my comprehension, I mean, if the game in question is NOT what everyone goes there to do...then why make is such a focus of the night? It has gotten a lot better (I bring up the issue for discussion a lot when I'm around least to have SOMETHING to talk about ;)), but I wish it could be the way it was before...

This post has gotten long enough...I'll the rest of the update later today.