Sunday, September 30, 2007

Desera

Hace unos años encontre en ManerasDeVivir.com un disco "copyleft" de una banda llamada Desera. Con el tiempo me encontre con otras canciones de la banda, como "El Punkarra" o "Que dificil es seguir"... La primera es de las favoritas de mi hermano ;-)

El otro dia me alegro ver que esta genial banda valenciana ha publicado su primer disco "Matices". Lo he escuchado y suena de puta madre. Han incluido las canciones anteriores, de su maqueta en copyleft, y esa es la unica pega que le pongo... Las canciones viejas sonaban genial de la forma anterior. Al regrabarlas para el disco nuevo han incluido variaciones que en mi opinion han hecho cambiar el sonido mas autentico de las originales... Bueno, que me rayo... Nada, que son un pedazo de grupo y ojala que tengan suerte y este sea el primer disco de muchos!!

Disfrutad de su primer video!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Miniaturas de Warhammer



These days at home made me come accross many memories... it is amazing how fresh, and at the same time far, objects evoking memories look like... However far you run away and try not to look back on your past, memories will always end up finding you. It is not you look for them or come accross them, they finding you instead...

When I was at school, I used to play RPG such as HeroQuest. After some years, my friends turned to hardcore role games such as WarHammer or The Call of Tchulu and I decided to quit, as I didn't find them attractive. However, I kept the hobby of painting small miniatures from these kind of games. I found in my bedroom, two of them which I really liked: a dwarf and an elf. They have been painted for so many years... but they still look cool... I feel happy I could create something like that so many years ago (around 15 years ago now...)





Friday, September 28, 2007

My 25th birthday

My youth starts coming to an end ;-) and maybe my 25th birthday was the beginning of the end... hehe

Well, the only real thing is last Sunday 23rd September was my 25th birthday and I was in Almansa, my hometown, willing to celebrate it with my family and friends! Saturday night was spent with my friends downtown and on Sunday, I stayed in my countriside house with my grandparents, parents and brothers.

Saturday night started with a visit to our official Chinese restaurant, that restaurant to which we had gone so many times during High School and University...



After enjoying the marvelous taste of chinese food, we moved to another of our official places ;-) Beltran's grandmother's house. There we talked and drank some sangria to start the night in a happy mood!



Later, after 3 am, we moved to the pubs, to La Cabaña and El Codigo, to enjoy rock and punk music of all kinds. It wasn't hard to convince my friends... we are getting older and these places start being attractive for people of our age... hehe



As it is typical in Spain, we came back home early next morning... after a great night with all-time friends!

Next morning, I took my car and went to my countriside house were we watched MotoGP races and prepared for lunch with my family. My grandmother prepared Gachamiga, a traditional dish which doesn't look very nice but tastes superbly!! Thanx yaya!!



Of course, there was a cake and the typical candle-blowing and photos with my brothers and family!





And presents!!



Actually, it was extremely nice to come back home for such an occassion!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Post #100!!

This blog was born on 14th November 2006, but I consider 19th April 2007 as the official birth date for my blog. This was the first post: El tiempo vuela... Since that date, I have kept my promise consisting of updating it often and in only a few months, I have reached the number of 100 posts!! Nice!! I have covered my trips to Finland, US, ESOC in Germany, within the Netherlands, to Belgium... or even by bike!! And of course, my adventures in Japan and ISU!

I have commented on music, politics, hobbies and ellaborated philosophical thoughts...

After all these 100 posts I am happy I started it over again! Now it looks nice and there is people who I know check it quite regularly! The total number of visits is almost 5000 now with a peak of 234... Who is reading this blog regularly? Leave a comment now!

To end this "important" post, a video shot during my birthday party in Almansa with my friends. Thanks Ramon for the idea!!

video

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Utrecht

After the visit to Brugge on Saturday, we were a bit tired and decided to take it easy on Sunday. Therefore, we watched Formula 1 and after lunch we made for Utrecht, just around 50 minutes away from Leiden.

I had never been there, so I wanted to go as well. From Utrecht, I only knew some peace treaties had been signed there and that this city is the city of Miffy, the rabbit-character designed by Dick Bruna.

Just after our arrival we could notice Miffy's influence. Have a look at the top of this building.



After that, we went walking around, just sightseeing. There were a couple of nice buildings and the highest tower with bell in the Netherlands! Of course, as any Dutch city, there were canals everywhere... Have a look at the pictures. ;-)









And after the walk downtown, we took a rest at a tapas restaurant down in the main canal. It was so relaxed and pleasant! A nice experience!





PS: Tomorrow I will come back to Spain for my birthday (23rd Sept!). Therefore, I won't write here at least until the weekend! Ciao Ciao

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Brugge


My brother and his girlfriend, Rocio, have been in the Netherlands since last Friday (that's the reason why I am not updating the blog often this week). Last Saturday, we went to Belgium, to Brugge (Brujas in Spanish).

This city is quite famous and known as the Northern Venezia. Actually, Brugge in Flemish means Bridges. Therefore, you can figure out what the city looks like: canals plus bridges plus old pintoresque houses. Add all that together and you have Brugge. As my friend Jorge said it looks like an open-air museum.

As I feel a bit lazy and don't know the names of the places, have a look at the pictures to get to know the city.















Apparently, local ladies used to do bobbin lace (encaje de bolillos... in spanish ;-)
That tradition is now another tourists' attraction.



We had to travel more than 3 hours by train to get there and the same to come back but it was well worth it!! I am sure we will never forget our visit to Brugge!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Aggrolites

Last Thursday, I went to Amsterdam to a live house which I start to go to quite often: Melkweg. Well, the Aggrolites were playing and I decided to go and see them. I was going alone but finally Jorge Alves joined me.

The evening was really nice! The show started at around 9 o'clock and
continued for one hour and a half with once break in the middle. It was really good quality reggae and the band tried to involve the audience in the music. The result, a lot of fun! Have a look at some photos I took of the band.





And this is me and Jorge.



The member of the band came to the pitch and we could talk to them for a while. This was the bass guitarist with us.



And this is a sample of their music:



See ya in the pitch!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Japanese Caligraphy

My boss at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Takata-san, invited me to his house for a whole weekend last summer. There he exposed me to real Japanese culture: Japanese caligraphy, go and of course, food(temakisushi, takoyaki, okonomiyaki...)!

Caligraphy was the thing I enjoyed most! It was really nice! Takata-san's daughter, , taught me how to do it! She had won some high-school awards in caligraphy, so she was an excellent teacher!! This is me struggling with the paintbrush to try to get something decent out of the experience!



And this is my teacher writing SAKURA (cherry tree).The final result is amazing!!

< video

Finally, the following photo shows the result of a whole morning of practice!



You can notice easily which are mine and which are my teacher's! Anyway, it was an unforgetable experience!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shinjuku. 35 YearsTime Lapse

I found this amazing video via kirai. It shows how one of the most important city centers in Tokyo evolved in the last 35 years. It is 35 years in around 10 seconds... Simply amazing!


ESOC Main Control Room

If I had to highlight something from my trip to ESOC last week, I would not hesitate a second. The coolest place we went to was the Main Control Room from where the LEOP phase (Launch and Early Operations Phase) of any European mission is supervised. I already posted some photos, but today I will post a video so you can see how cool this place looks like!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mars Express better than what?

Seen at ESOC!

ESOC

These last days, I have been to Darmstadt, Germany, for a professional visit to ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre. I didn't plan to go to this place, but Friday last week I came to know that an association within ESTEC called Young ESA was organizing a visit to our colleagues in Germany. The train tickets were paid and we were sleeping in the houses of people from ESOC. Therefore, I decided to join!

The trip to go there was long (5 hours 40 minutes) but there was a cafeteria in the train and we spent most of the time there talking to friends and drinking some beers. Once in Darmstadt, we met our hosts in the train station and went to a mexican restaurant and to a club later.

Next morning, we visited ESOC. We listened to some interesting presentations about the work carried out in this ESA site and visited the main places of the site. In general, ESOC looks so much smaller than ESTEC!



In spite of its size, ESOC has one of the coolest places in the Agency: the main control room from where the launch and early operations of satellites and probes are supervised. Yesterday, there was no lauch and we could walk in freely!



Then, we visited other control rooms for remote sensing satellites and for interplanetary missions and could see these guys' job is really different from ours.


After lunch, I visited my host's building and after taking some souvenirs we left ESOC. This is the building where Juan, my host, works.



And this is us:

Finally, we visited the city in a special guided tour for us and then came back to Leiden by train. In the train, we created the club of the Thirsty Travellers and as in the outbound train, we spent most of the time in the cafe...

It was a short, intense, nice visit! Very good innitiative from Young ESA! I hope there are many more like this.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

新幹線

Shinkansen (新幹線) is the japanese name for the bullet train. These trains are really expensive but so fast and comfortable that they are well worth it. I only took one during my stay in Japan, to go from Hiroshima to Tokyo in my last day in Japan and I don't regret it. The distance between these two cities is something like 1000 km and it only took 2 hours 40 minutes, stopping at least 5 minutes in the main stations. The only drawback was the price. I paid around 19000 yen for one way... that was around 19000/140 = 135 euros!



During the time I was waiting for my train in Hiroshima, I took photos of the different kinds of Shinkansen which were at the station. Don't ask me for the names...







And this is how they look like inside:



Shinkansen, a nice experience!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Party in Tokyo

It is a very long time since the last time I wrote about Japan. Last year by now I was already back in Europe... but I had had such a nice time in the country of the rising sun. So much fun...

A very nice night was the third time I went to Tokyo. I met Mic and Paolo there, my friends from ISU, and Yuuka, A-chan and Konosan for the first time. We had okonomiyaki for dinner, visited gay town in Shinjuku, went to an izakaya and ended up in a karaoke. Of course, the gaijin (foreigners) we went to a manga kissa to sleep (Mambo in Shinjuku, next to Don Quijote).

Some photos here ;-)

Here, Juuka teaching Mic how to prepare okonomiyaki



And the final result!



After dinner in a typical Friday evening packed JR train



Juuka and A-chan in an izakaya



And all of us!



And finally, Paolo and Mic in the karaoke where the night came to an end...




I miss these crazy nights in Tokyo!!

Tomorrow or some of these days I will explain what happened to Mic at the end of the night ;-)