Friday, October 31, 2008

My running track

I already told you one of my main hobbies: running. At university in Spain, running was my main outlet and a nice way to stay in good shape. Little by little I started liking it more and more and it became an addiction. Afterwards, in Toulouse, I tried to continue and I went running a couple times a week in a canal near my appartment there. Strasbourg was different. My life changed radically and I literally stopped going out for nice runs. I just went out a couple times and it was so cold... I had to quit. And I lost a nice habbit. In the Netherlands, it was hard, but little by little, I started again around Leiden and this nice habbit came back to my life. I used to run around the city in this track. Now, in Pasadena, running conditions are optimum. A warm weather and huge distances between places :) I have started running quite seriously again. Now, I run along this course:

It is basically Caltech's perimeter and it is several km long. My whole path from my house in South Catalina Avenue, along Del Mar, Wilson, California, Hill and back to Del Mar twice is around 5.6 km and I am running that 3-4 times per week in less than 25 minutes; which is not bad for a start. This time, it is not a temporary thing... I feel comfortable running and I enjoy. The old vice is back. I know i will suffer at some point of the path (there are some slopes), but the craving is more important than any detering factor :)

Little by little, I will try to increase the distance I run, by decreasing a bit my pace. Later on, when I can run around 10 km quite frequently, I will work on speed again. I don't have any objective by now, but some half marathon can be a quite realistic objective in the near future. I will try to keep it up!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gasol, Ruddy and Sergio

Now some photos of Spanish players...

Ruddy Fernandez adjusting his shot before the game. It apparently worked! He scored quite a lot of 3s and nice long shots.

Sergio Rodriguez:

Pau, this guy needs no introduction!

LA Lakers' big three: Bryant, Gasol and Bynum.

Ruddy defending a counter-attack.

Kobe Bryant. People love this guy! and he deserves that love! ;)

Gasol and Bynum, warming up...

Famous people in the game

A Lakers game is one of those few places where you can see quite a lot of famous people together: actors, sportmen, politicians... Everybody wants to be there.

Yesterday, for the opening game of the season, there were several of them in the Staples. They appeared in the big screen and we looked for them until we found them! These are the photos I took! Quite a paparazzi ;)

Jack Nicholson:

Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwartzeneger (right spelling?) and Denzel Washington.

Denzel Washington saying hello to David Beckham... or maybe saying farewell now that he is going to Milano!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lakers - Blazers. Intro Video

This is a video I just put together with fragments of the game intro. Quite a show as you can see!! Also some cheerleaders' dancing during the game has been included.

Evening in the Staples Center

Today, the 2008-2009 NBA season started and I went to the Staples Center to see the first match of the season in LA: LA Lakers - Portland Trail Blazers. That means that I have seen my first NBA match today!! and it has been Lakers!! One of my all time dreams has been accomplished today!

An NBA game is like a show. Every break, there are many games, cheerleaders shows, videos, etc. It is quite entertaining. The Staples Center is an amazing sports center. It looks more like a shopping mall: lots of shops, fast food restaurants...

Coming back to sports, today, it was the first match of Rudy Fernandez in the league. His game was amazing! 15 points (I think) and in my opinion, the best player in his team. Pau Gasol did play really good and as Lakers were comfortably ahead in the scoreboard, Phil Jackson decided to give him a rest during most of the second period. Tomorrow, they are playing again!

Some photos now!

As you could see, these photos are from the pre-game. To see photos during the game and with Gasol, Rudy or Sergio Rodriguez in them, come back tomorrow! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kids and Heroes. Bouncing Souls

Toulouse... such a long time ago...

I have been looking at very old photos (I mean around 3.5 years ago) and so many memories arise... I don't realize but I have been out of Spain almost 4 years now!

These two photos are at Alcatel Space Toulouse, where I carried out my master thesis on Multipactor effects on antenna filters. My first professional experience and my first time out of Spain. After that, many more cities came across in my life: Strasbourg, Tsukuba, Leiden and now Pasadena. Almost 4 yours, 4 countries in 3 continents...

Monday, October 27, 2008

San Diego. Marina and Sunset

As I told you yesterday, San Diego really made an impact on me! It was really nice, and the main reason was the short 1.5 hours I was in Mission Bay, a nice area of the city with islands, beaches and a nice marina. The sunset was one of the best I have ever seen. Quite impressive! I think photos are enough by themselves. No need for commenting them :)

This one is from San Diego Downtown, not Mission Bay!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

San Diego. Old Town

Today, I did some homework and took an exam at home and realized I was mentally dead! So, it was time to make a break! I ate some ramen for lunch and got my camera and my car keys and started driving. The final destination: San Diego, the southernmost city in California, just next to Mexico. It turned up to be a 2h15m drive from Pasadena, so it is not that bad.

The place was incredible. A really beautiful city. It is a very typical SoCal city, small downtown with high buildings and huge neighborhoods where people live in low houses. But the beach was really nice. This is the California you see in the movies!! It is not LA, but San Diego!! Tomorrow, I will post some photos from the marina and the incredible sunset I saw today. Now, I will show to you what the old town looks like.

The old town is originally Spanish/Mexican and it is much bigger than El Pueblo de los Angeles in LA. It is also very well preserved. Most of that zone is only for pedestrians and it is a nice place to go back to the past :) It looks like some western movies!

This is the general view of the Old Town: small old Mexican houses.

Mexicans will be celebrating "El Dia de los Muertos" really soon! So they started preparing the decoration.

The church:

The market:

A caravan? That's been put there for tourists, right?

And a typical big house:

Do you know California flag? Have you ever seen it? Well, this is it: the Republic of California's flag!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A photowalk in Caltech

Two weeks ago, I decided to go around campus in a free half-hour I had to take some photos of some of the most interesting spots in Caltech. Therefore, some interesting places are still missing!

This is the most recognizable building in Campus: the Beckmann Auditorium, used for conferences, talks and important presentations.

Just before getting to Millikan's pond.

Millikan's pond (maybe officially called Millenium Pond?):

Millikan's library, the tallest building in campus:

A wannabe Japanese pond nearby :)

And the famous canyon... It is from the Spanish-American war to take over California and has been part of the series of pranks between Caltech and MIT. MIT stole it from campus last year! and proudly exhibited it for a while in Massachussets!

One of the undergraduate houses whose name I simply don't know...

The Atheneum, kind of a theater... also used for etiquette dinners and other presentations.

Terrace at Chandler's Cafe. A nice place to relax in spite of American coffee.

And walking back to my lab. Check out how many trees and vegetation there is everywhere! Too much for this to be the end of the desert.

And finally, Moore Lab, my lab. Here is where my lab is and I will spend the next years of my life!

Next time, I will show you the Beckmann Institute, Catalina appartments, etc...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My last weekend in the Netherlands

It is almost 3 months since I left the Netherlands and I must admit I miss many people from there! The weather was terrible, that's true, but people were nice! I have just come accross some photos I took during my last weekend in Leiden in July.

I went out with Felipe and Cynthia on Friday, to have the last good Leffe biertjes in Leiden:

And there was time even for creativity! :) Felipe's work!

On Saturday, we enjoyed a great sunset in Bloemendaal. A nice beach area near Harlem.

So, this is dedicated to everybody I met in the Netherlands. I miss you!