Sunday, February 22, 2009


Last week I went to San Francisco to attend the most important conference in the world related to electronic circuits: ISSCC.

The conference was held in Marriott Hotel in downtown San Francisco. I attended it from Monday to Wednesday, when there were presentation sessions. Several people in my lab presented papers (4 in total).

The level of the presentations was quite high. For me, still new to this world, it was interesting to see what people are researching and the rivalry between universities and research groups.

The last day, we had some free time and I went with some friends to one of the few places I did not know in San Francisco: the Golden Gate Park.

After three days up there in chilly San Francisco, Pasadena was quite warm!! ;)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

NOFX at the Music Box (Hollywood 02/07/09)

After working all Friday evening and night, I guess 12.30 am is a good time for a break and to start describing my most active week in the last month! ;)

On Feb 7th, I went to Hollywood to watch a punk rock show by one of my favorite bands: NOFX. Hollywood is just 15-20 minutes by car from Pasadena, so I just worked until the last minute in Pasadena and arrived to the show just in time for the first band.

I was a bit late, so I could not get the name of the first band... at least I took a lousy photo of them. ;)

This is the place where the show was: the music box at Fonda Theatre, Hollywood CA.

After almost two hours listening to the first two bands (the second were the Dispensables from Santa Cruz CA), NOFX started with their show. From the beginning, you could notice it was going to be a special one! Fat Mike was kind of drunk and doing a lot of talking as usual. They started with some of their most famous songs: Linoleum, Bob... so everybody in the theater went crazy ;) They played a lot of songs in a bit more than one hour and a half, including some new ones that will come in the new album.

Fat Mike was in the spot light all night: he was already drunk but continued drinking, resulting in a break after the first hour. After the break he said he had taken a cold shower and it would be better from there on ;) He also paid 100 dollars to a guy so he left the show. The guy was showing Christian symbols at him and he did not like that XD The guitar player in Penniwise also started some fight in the backstage... And in the meanwhile, great music. Some songs were perfect and some not so much, but that is what punk rock is about.

In the end, Penniwise guitarist jumped into the stage and started fighting Fat Mike! That guy is huge and went nuts... he started pushing away everybody and running around. In the end he jumped onto the drums!!! The result can be seen in the photo below. As you can imagine that was the end of the effective show. After that, Eric Melvin played the accordion for a while, repeating the same tune once and again (the tune in the song when they present all the band... I do not remember the name of the song... it is in an old album...). And then, some impersonations and mocking... Quite interesting! They are so good that their show is a real SHOW, not only music! ;)

This show was a nice experience and I will try going to Hollywood more often for nice shows!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What a week!

Hey, sorry for this long absence. This last week has been crazy, with a lot of traveling for work and pleasure and work at Caltech. Since my last post, many things happened:
- Sunday last week, I went to a punk rock show by NOFX in Hollywood: AMAZING!
- From Monday 6am to Thursday 1am: drive to San Francisco and conference there: ISSCC 09, the largest solid-state circuit conference in the world.
-Thursday and Friday: one mid-term exam and homework
Friday at night to this morning (Tuesday): trip to Florida (Key West, Miami) and day-cruise to Grand Bahama.

Now, much homework due and two midterms at the end of the week... Dangerous! Time to work!!

During breaks, I will post photos and comment all of those activities/trips/conferences...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The smallest Hard Rock Cafe in the world

This is the smallest Hard Rock Cafe in the world. It is in Cozumel Island, just next to Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, in the Caribean sea, not too far from Cancun. I was there in November 2008.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

4 years out of Spain

Today, 4th February is four year since I left Spain. Everything started with an internship at Alcatel Space in Toulouse (France). From there, I went to International Space University in Strasbourg (France), where I enjoyed one of the best years in my life and got a MSc in Space Studies (my second degree so far). For the completion of the master, I performed an internship in Japan, at the Japanese Space Exploration Agency, JAXA, where I met great people and enjoyed great times in a country I will forever be in love with. Back in Europe, I worked as a graduate trainee for two years at ESA, in the Netherlands, where good times went on and I met great friends. I also did quite some traveling while I was there! :)

From last year, USA. I started my graduate studies here in Caltech, where I am working towards a MSc in EE which I should get at the end of the course. Let's see what new possibilities there will be in the future!! Future is always uncertain and that is what makes it interesting! (Current plan: PhD, some weeks/month from now... who knows... XD)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Some sports in a busy period

Once again, busy time... Now, I am starting getting familiar with the idea of many sleepless nights working in my apartment or at the lab. Yesterday, I finished late and that was good for me to watch a bit of the final of the Australian Open of tennis: Rafa Nadal vs. Roger Federer, the two best tennis players in the world in the last years. The match was amazing once again. It was really long, so I slept around the middle. When I woke up I checked the results and a satisfaction smile appeared in my face... Nadal had done it again, he had defeated Federer once again. And he had become the first Spaniard who had won the Australian Open. Nice!! And in the celebration, when Federer started crying, Nadal behaved as a real gentleman.

This afternoon was time for the SuperBowl, one of the most important events of the year in the United States. I did not know it was held today, so I was a bit surprised when I saw a party starting after lunch! I asked and they told me about the event. I was too busy to watch it, but I could go to the Rec House just for the last half hour. It was the first time I watched American football seriously, and actually, I liked it. The final minutes were amazing. In a couple of minutes, the team winning changed a couple of times! And Pittsburg Steelers won with a touchdown around 40 seconds before the end of the game! A nice first exposure to American football, or simply football for them... ;)