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Showing posts from July, 2008

My Birthday

Wednesday Jun 4, 2008. 11:20 p.m.
Song “Another Day in Paradise” – Phil Collins.

Today was my birthday. Early in the morning my parents called me, and they gave me birthday congratulations. Angela, Esteban and Luciana called me too, and they sent me an electronic birthday card saying how much they miss me. I miss them so much. My facebook page was full of messages from friends and I was surprised by some of them. Finally, my friends Liliana, Claudio and Natalia invited me to dinner in a Venezuelan restaurant. I ate a lot because this food is similar to the Colombian food, so I enjoyed the food and company very much. Despite the weather, this day was a good day.

Fore.

San Francisco – Google Developers Conference

Saturday May 31, 2008. 8:32 p.m.
Song “Some Guys Have All The Luck” – Robert Palmer.

The last week was crazy. The weekend I went to Washington and then I went to New York. On Tuesday, I had to travel to San Francisco. The reason: to attend the Google Developers Conference. This conference was a three days event where Google presented to software developers around the word the new advances of different products of Google. My developer team and I attended different sessions in order to cover the majority of the topics.

All the sessions had technical presentations about developing software using different tools from Google (Maps, You Tube, Google Apps, Gears, and much more). I had the chance to met people from other countries and I made some business contacts with other developers. At the end of the first day of the conference, Google had a big party for the developers. This party was crazy. A lot of free food, free drinks, games and a concert with a music band called “Fight the Concords.” …

New York City – Part II

Monday May 26, 2008. 3.46 p.m.
Song “Summer Son” - Texas

Yes, I went to New York City again. This city is beautiful and the last time I missed some important attractions. So taking advantage of Memorial Weekend, I decided to go back. This new trip had two principal goals. The first one was to climb the Empire State Building and take pictures from the top of this building. The second goal was to go to MOMA and the American Museum of Natural History.

After two hours in the line inside of the Empire State Building, finally I took the lift to the top. In the top of the building I took pictures of the city from the four cardinal points. The sights of the city from this point were amazing. I could see Central Park and its magnitude. I could see the Chrysler Building and its height. And finally I could see south Manhattan and Liberty Statue. The next goal was to visit the museums. We started going to MOMA, but we decided only enter to the store because the time left was so short.…

Washington D.C.

Saturday May 24, 2008. 1.00 a.m.
Song “Come Back Darling” – UB40

Washington D.C., the capitol city. This trip was an activity organized by the ELC staff. We arrived to Union Station at 11.12 a.m. The weather was perfect, a sunny day with a nice temperature. In Union station we took lunch. I ate sushi. Then we took a lot of pictures in Columbus Circus. After that, we picked up a local professional guide and started the circuit of the most important touristic attractions of the city. The first attraction was Capitol Hill, but it was closed because the Memorial Day celebration. We took more pictures from the facade of the building.

The next attraction was United States Supreme Court. This building has the characteristic columns of the Greek architecture. In front of this building we met two women with their mouths taped with a red tape as a protest against the abortion. Then we walked to Grand Memorial. At this point we ridded the Drexel bus again and we went to Lincoln Memo…

Kooza, Cirque du Soleil

Friday May 23, 2008. 11.00 p.m.
Song “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” – Darryl Hall and John Oates.

I bought the tickets for Kooza (the new show of the Cirque du Soleil in Philadelphia) two weeks ago, and finally the day of the show arrived. Always I have liked the shows from Cirque du Soleil. In Colombia, I have ten DVDs of different shows of the Cirque, and two years ago, I had the chance to go to Orlando (Florida) to attend a live show called La Nouba. This kind of shows combines live music, acrobatic performances and clowns always supported by a story. The story of Kooza is about a young guy, about his fears and his illusions. The show is divided in nine acts. Each act represents a small part of the whole story. This show has an innovative combination of acrobats, clowns, contortionists, and tightrope walkers. Off course music is the principal actor during the show. I enjoyed the show very much. I hope the next time; I should have the chance to attend another show but in…

Trip to Scranton

Sunday May 19, 2008. 10.31 p.m.
Song: “Never be the Same” – Christopher Cross”

This trip was different than the NYC trip. Scranton is a little town in the country side of Pennsylvania. This town is well known in Pennsylvania for its coal mines and its Victorian architecture houses. Kevin (my American friend) lived and grew up in this town. He wanted to visit his parents, and he invited me to join him on the trip. In Scranton, I could spend some time talking with his parents and his wife Johanna. The first day was raining all the day, so we decided to stay at home. At night, we went out, riding a quad (ATV – All Terrain Vehicle) in order to see deer. I didn’t know that these animals go out at night and sleep during the day. I could see four deer running near the house. Also, I could see some rabbits, one groundhog, and one turkey. Saturday, the weather was good and we went to a lake (I can’t remember the name) to have breakfast. It was my first time that I had breakfast onb…

Trip to NYC

Sunday May 11, 2008. 8:40 p.m.
Song: “Baby I Love You Way – Big Mountain”

My trip started from China Town in Philadelphia. It was on Saturday, at 8.05 a.m., I took the Chinese bus on the route to New York City. The fare of this bus is really cheap. It’s only 20 bucks round trip, and it took two hours only.

My first stop in New York City was the “Brooklyn Bridge”. This bridge was very crowded, full of people walking, running and biking. I could hardly walk over the bridge and was pleased about the view of the city from the other side of the bridge. Then, my second stop was Wall Street. I was walking through little streets in Financial District. I had the chance to take pictures from the Federal Hall, Trinity Church, New York Stock Exchange, and Ground Zero. Next, I took the ferry to Liberty Island. It was my third stop. Unfortunately, the line to aboard the ferry took much time and when I arrived to the island, the pedestal observation deck was closed, and I could not watch …

U2 movie 3D

Saturday May 10, 2008. 2:05 p.m.
Song: “Beautiful Day- U2”
“It's a beautiful day. Don't let it get away.”

U2 is a music band from Ireland. They have been playing music since 1976. I know their music since 1986 when I was in high school. At that time, the first record that I bought was the “Joshua Tree” album. In my opinion, this record is the best album of the band. A few days ago, a friend of mine told me about the U2 new movie. So, I did a little research on the Internet, and I found the place in Philadelphia where the “U23D” movie is in exhibition. Yesterday, I went to the Franklin Institute to watch the movie. The film was really amazing. It was recorded during the Vertigo tour in South America (Chile and Argentina). The creators of the film used the 3D technology to put the viewers within the emotion of the concert. I was excited because the show is fantastic. I really felt the excitement of a concert. I had the feeling almost like I had been there (In the rea…

University City 5k Run

Saturday May 3, 2008. 7.44 p.m.
Song: “The way you make feel – Michael Jackson”

Today, I ran the University City 5k run. Despite the cold morning, this run was very good. I improved my time. I spent 23 minutes and 29 seconds to finish the circuit. I’m so happy because I reached my goal to run 5k in less than 25 minutes. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of this run. Yesterday, I asked help from Liliana for taking the pictures, but we had a misunderstanding. I have a semi-professional camera, but it’s a little heavy. That was the reason I didn’t carry my camera to the run. Liliana didn’t carry her camera either because she thought that I would carry my camera. The result: I don’t have pictures to show. After the run, we took a BBQ lunch, and then, I went back to my house to sleep. Fore.

Update:
This is the official time and result of the run: #44, Jorge Forero. Time: 23:29 minutes. Position: 129/600 participants.

Fore.

One month in Philadelphia

Friday May 2, 2008. 12.50 a.m.
Song: “Music - Madonna”

Yes, the time goes so fast. I’m not really sure if three months is enough time to improve my English, but I can’t extend the period of study because I must go back to work. Thus, I’m doing my best to take advantage of these courses. I think my listening is better, but I’m still having some difficulties to improve my spoken English. In the next days, I will do additional work on this matter in order to get better.

Today, we went to Dave & Busters. For me, it was a kind of celebration of this first month living in Philadelphia. First, we ate in the restaurant. The food was a little expensive but it doesn’t matter too much because I was celebrating. Then, we went to play. Although, I don’t get enough tickets to trade for an interesting price, I enjoyed the moment and I had a lot of fun.

Fore.

Liliana’s Birthday party.

Tuesday April 30, 2008. 9.40 p.m.
Song: “Stuck in a moment – U2”

Liliana is getting older. If she could read this part she would be mad. Ha Ha. Vannesa planned the birthday party for Liliana. The party was in Maria’s place. Maria is a Spanish girl who lives in center city. She is an ELC student too. She has a very nice apartment with a spectacular view of the city. In addition to celebrate the Liliana’s birthday, the idea was to prepare some food from our countries. Maria cooked a cake made with potatoes and eggs. This dish is traditional from Spain. Also she prepared “chorizo”. It’s a special kind of sausage very famous in Spain. In Colombia, we have the same dish but the taste is a little different. Vanesa cooked some vegetables with a sauce composed by soy and some species from China. I couldn’t cook anything because in Philadelphia it is hard find a Colombian store with products from my country. So, my solution was to buy strawberries, and I prepared a dessert with …

Visit to Penn’s landing & Independence Seaport Museum

Saturday April 26, 2008. 10.27 p.m.
Song: “Waiting in vain – Bob Marley”

Like every Saturday in the morning, I went out to run. Despite the weather, the run was really good. It’s my way to forget everything doing healthy work out. I don’t know exactly the distance that I was running, but I think it is a least 10k. At noon, I went with Vanessa and Liliana to visit the Independence Seaport Museum. Vanessa comes from China and Liliana comes from Colombia. In the museum, we did the tour through the history of this port, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and I learned some things about ships and boats. As usual, I took a lot of pictures especially to the ship models. Esteban (my son) likes big ships very much, so the visit was the perfect excuse to take pictures in order to share them with him. I uploaded some of the best photos, and then I called him. He was so excited seeing the photos. I felt so happy too sharing this experience with him.

Fore.

It’s time to party

Saturday April 26, 2008. 12.04 a.m.
Song: “Close to me – The Cure”

Last night was a party in the Drexel International House. Some students of the ELC live in this house. Most of the people living in this house come from Asian countries, and they planned the party. This party was around the Asian food. It was so interesting because I had the chance to eat food that I didn’t know before. We had a lot of fun. First, we danced to tropical music. It was so funny because some of them have no idea of how to dance to this kind of music. Then, we played cards and other games. Last, we played the guitar and sang some songs. I liked the party because I tasted new food, and I spent some time talking with people from the ELC who I barely knew. Fore.

Teleconference with my business partner

Tuesday April 23, 2008. 7.12 p.m.
Song: “If you love somebody set the free – Sting.”

Eight years ago, Andres (my business partner) and I started our company called “Eforcers.com.” It’s a small tech company, and basically we develop software using web technology. Eforcers has no many clients, but our clients are very important companies in Colombia. In the United States, we have a few companies as clients, and the last year, Eforcers became a Google partner. One of the reasons that I’m here taking intensive classes is to improve my English skills in order to manage the business relation with Google. Every week I have scheduled a meeting with my partner. He makes me a summary about the past week, and we discus some details about the clients and the becoming business. Thus, I can be in touch with him and the company.

Yesterday was the birthday of my younger brother, Diego. He is 26 years old, and he is an electronic engineer. Last night I called to congratulate him, and we talke…

Video Chats with my family

Monday April 21, 2008. 9.59 p.m.
Song: “We are the champions - Queen”

Sometimes, it’s difficult to live in a strange city and far from your home. Sometimes, I think how would this experience be without an easy way to be in touch with my family? I can’t image it. I can’t image to be far from my home, and don’t have an immediate way to talk with my wife (Angela) and my children (Esteban and Luciana).

The Internet makes this kind of things easier. You can use another way to communicate with people in other countries. You can use your cell phone, but it is so expensive, and you have only voice. You can use mail to send letters, but it’s so slow. Using Internet, you can send image and voice at the same time in real time. It’s amazing. It’s like having my family in the next room. I can see them, and I can talk with them. I can feel them, and almost I can touch them. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we have a “video chat meeting.” Every video chat conference is a happy momen…

My first 5k run in Philadelphia

Sunday April 20, 2008. 2.53 p.m.
Song “Everywhere – Fleewood Mac”

I like so much to run. I prefer the 5k or 10k runs. In Bogota, usually I run 5k every Saturday. Many people in Philadelphia run every day, so I’m trying to do the same here in this city.

Yesterday (Saturday 19th), I went to run near the Art Museum of Philadelphia. Apparently, this museum is the perfect place in the city where some runs start and end. When I came to the museum, one 5k run was just starting, so I decided to join this run. I was feeling so good (no too tired) and I did the registration. This run had the purpose to have a cleaner air in Philadelphia, and I think it is a good cause. Finally, I spent 30.09 minutes to complete the circuit. I think it is good preparation for the University City 5k Run. This run is organized by Drexel University, and it will be next Saturday May 3, 2008. Obviously, I will be running in this competition.

Fore.

My bike was stolen

Saturday April 19, 2008. 8.18 p.m.
Song “Get up, Stand up – Bob Marley”

I have a friend called Kevin. He’s an American who I met a few years ago. He is the husband of my best friend (Johanna). They lived in Florida. Kevin studied near Philadelphia in the Villanova University. The last weekend, they were here in Philadelphia visiting me. It was great. They showed me the city, and he had a really nice surprise for me. He lent me his bike, and I was so happy about this “gift”. The last week I rode my bike everyday to go around. It was a good thing because I could save some money while I was doing some healthy exercise.

The last night, I locked my bike (as usual) to one column in the front of my house. This morning “my bike” wasn’t there. My bike had been stolen. I was a shocking surprise for me. I supposed that kind of thing only happened in countries like mine, but it’s not true. I’m so disappointed about this situation. I only had the bike for one week. It’s unb…

Windows Vista

Friday April 18, 2008. 11.28 p.m.
Song: “Cosmic Girl - Jamiroquai”.

Yes, I had the “brilliant” idea to update my computer to a newer version of Windows vista. Actually, I bought this newer version called Vista Ultimate (some reviews called this version “the most reliable version of Windows vista”). It was a really bad idea. I had wasted 2 hours updating the system to this new version, and there are things that don’t work anymore (like the webcam, the touchpad and the sound devices). This is a nightmare. Right now, I’m looking for the cause of the problem on the Internet and there is no clue about this problem. I can’t believe it. I’m thinking about going back to the previous version and pray for the camera and the other things to work again.

Update: One hour later, I finished the installation of the older version of Windows Vista. Finally the webcam works again. Really, I waste almost 4 hours of sleeping and 30 dollars for nothing (yes, only 30 dollars because I bought the u…

The conversation Network

Thursday April 17, 2008. 9.41 p.m.
Song “Human Nature – Michael Jackson”

Free pizza! I went to the first conversation network meeting with my friend Sergey. He is a Russian Guy that I met in the ELC. He is a very nice guy, and I like to talk with him about different thinks like life in USA, bikes, cultural differences and business. He rides his bike to go to the ELC. The conversation network is a network designed to help students like me to meet American students with a special interest in learn foreign languages (in this case Spanish) while the ELC students have the chance to practice the English language with English speaker.

During this first network’s meeting, we played some games (like the usual “Human Bingo”) and I met some Americans with interest in learning Spanish. In the second part of the meeting I had to present to the group a guy named Xin. During the presentation, I forgot his native country, and I made a mistake saying the wrong country. So, all of the people w…

My first baseball game

Tuesday April 16, 2008. 1.23 p.m.
Song: “She drives me crazy - FYC”.
Additional song: “Ironic – Alanis Morrisette” – “… and Isn’t it ironic… don’t you think?...”

I’m living in a home stay house. My new “parents” are Matt and Kate. Yesterday, they invited me to my first baseball game. So I was so excited before the game, and I told to everybody in my family about this new experience. The experience started going to the stadium using the subway. Although, I have stayed in Philadelphia for two weeks, it was my first ride on the Philadelphia’s subway too. The subway was so crowded because a big number of Phillies fans went to the stadium in order to watch the game. Before the game they invited to a restaurant in the stadium. I ate a pork steak with French fries and I drank one beer, off course. Inside the stadium we found our seats. Those seats were located near to the Phillies Dugout, so during the game, I took a lot of pictures of the players, and I almost could touch …