Friday, February 09, 2007

Spring? ...LOL...It's -25°C in Madison!!!

It ain't over until it's over! :)
I was granted a new life experience ... -25°C !!!
Leslie, Jerome and I went for a walk on the frozen lake - Mendota.
After no longer than 15 minutes of bravery I ran to the car, because as one learn quickly...
stretchy jeans don't really keep you warm, and one is about to get frost bite!
Good bye my dream of going to the South Pole...
Good bye my dream of dancing with the Penguins...
Good bye my dream of being at the bottom of the world...
LOL... :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Spring is in the air

I love all seasons. For different reasons. I love spring for the hope it brings. The hope that we will wake up one more time for life. The hope that beauty will return. The hope that colors will prevail. This spring's color is purple. Like the crocuses that poke through the snow, like the candle holder a dear friend gifted me, like the lavender smell that reminds me of the comfort of my parent's home ... I wish web-pages were able to carry scents as well...
Spring is in the air... I spring for all I hope for!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


According to Wikipedia...

Stonehenge is a Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monument located near Amesbury, about 8 miles north of Salisbury. It is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones and is one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world. Archeologist think that the standing stones were erected between 2500 BC and 2000 BC although the surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986. Stonehenge itself is owned and managed by English Heritage while the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.

According to a satellite meteorology scientist (a.k.a myself)...

Stonehenge is at 51°10'44''N , 1°49'35''W

And according to my friend Jason's children...

...what Stonehendge???

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sahara dust discusssion - A NON-SCIENCE BLOG

The year started well!

An interesting discussion took pace over the work e-mail network. My Boss sent out to everybody the photo above - it is from the cockpit of an AF plane flying through a Saharan dust storm. We study the effect of Saharan dust on hurricane genesis.

The photo triggered an "interesting social experiment". Almost everyone that got back to my Boss had the same response: this has to be touched up, or "Photoshop!", etc. Below is part of the e-mail tread that followed.

"Are we getting to the point (or have we already passed it) that nothing out of the ordinary is for real anymore? Or believable? The wonderful Internet and media communications of today brings us more and more "things" to see and absorb, but technology has also brought us more ways to "manipulate" those things to the point we are not sure if these are real. Given this trend, are we doomed to a future of virtual reality, where the real and the manipulated world we see are blurred, in many cases intentionally? Will "seeing is believing" be a phrase of the past? Seems at least on the Internet, it already is. "

"I can't speak to this specific case (I haven't even viewed it yet!), but I do know that EVERY time a friend or relative has forwarded a "cool" or "amazing" photo "that a co-worker personally took", I was ALWAYS able to find a reference online (e.g., on to that exact image either being a hoax or else being egregiously mislabeled (e.g., a supercell in Australia being labeled "Hurricane Rita as it makes landfall"). As a result, I automatically assume that any cool images forwarded to me (no matter by whom) are hoaxes unless proven otherwise. Alas, proving a negative often takes more effort that I'm willing to invest. "

"...this is exactly my point. It has become "guilty" until proven "innocent". In my opinion, a sad turn for our younger generations attempting to discover their world, and for communication in general"


"On the other hand, I believe an important part of education is learning how to be a skeptic..."

My personal insight:
It's easy to be a sceptic in 2007! What's much harder is to be a believer!
I consider myself lucky to be working for my Boss!
Because despite the occasional disagreement on the color scheme of a poster,
we seem to agree on the bigger picture...and that's what actually matters!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

To Claudia and Joana

First is a quick thank you to Joana - she helped me set the blog in a new way so that I can add photos!

And here is us together - me and my Portugese friends - with a few other
Claudia, Joana, Sofia, Nicolas and I !
We are having fun! It was a great year (2005) living with you in Urbana, IL!
Miss you!!!

Seeing the world with new eyes

Do you happen to own a copy of Paulo Coelho's 'The Pilgrimage'?
Yes, just like the one shown on the left!
Have you ever paid attention to the side of the book?
No? I haven't either until tonight, when it just so happened that under the sadness of the moment I had lost my life direction and said...WHATEVER!!!
I always believed that one have to embrace his or her life 'as is' in order to find the strength to move on...well, right when I had nothing to hope for and I let myself to just be...I noticed the typo ... :-)

Yes, look at your copy of the book and I'm sure some of you will find 'The Pilrimage', instead of 'The Pil[G]rimage'!!!
Quite a coincidence may be, but yes, one has to alsmot give up on everything one believes or expects to see in order to see the world with new eyes!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Webpage update

Hey! If you haven't been on my webpage lately, here is the news -
I am moving my 'Life on the go' notes to this blog, it's easier to update, and hopefully you'd hear from me more often. The blog is offering a link to my webpage too because it will be updated as well, but only when my art muse visits :)
Links to all available photo albums will be listed on My Webpage. I appreciate it every time you leave a comment, so please do so. Of course, you are welcome to leave comments here too :)
Have fun reading & picture browsing!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

August 2, 2006

It is hard to believe that it's been almost a year since the last time I had updated this site.
Well, I can tell you that much, I have not been wandering around with spare time on my hands.
Here are some of the highlight from between now and then...

December - heavy on travel. I first visited my Spanish friends Maria and Almudena in Virginia. We spend a weekend exploring Norfolk, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and the area. Very relaxing!!! Most embarrassing moment - it turned out Pocahontas was a woman...what was I thinking!?!?! Next, I flew to Seattle to spend Christmas with family and friends. It felt nice, but it was way too short a

visit! And finally, the New Year 2006 found me in the French Embassy in Washington, DC - party time!!! The first hours of the new year were spent driving around the city, enjoying the night charm of the Washington Monument, The White House, The Capitol, and the Potomac River. The first day - a getaway to Annapolis, MD. The weather was glorious! We walked the waterfront and winded down in a coffee shop, with cake and a game of backgammon. Dorothy won! :) Oh, well...

The new year asked for a new job too. I was awarded an NRC Fellowship with NOAA-NESDIS, and so I moved to Wisconsin! It was a fast-paced move, but I made it - in two days I was packed and out of my apartment in Urbana, drove to Madison, and the next day moved in into my studio. Tiny place, but cute, with European looking bathroom, a city view, and only a couple blocks away from such important hallmarks as the Capitol, State Street, Monona Lake, etc. etc. Also, only a mile away from work, so I can walk, bike, take the bus, or drive (on a very lazy day!)... :)
Working at CIMSS is the best! My head might be in the clouds, but I really like my new job!!! Cool people, fun projects, ...what else could one ask for! Living in Madison adds to a good deal! I'm happy with my life here!

Shortly after I moved to Madison, I had the incredible chance to go to a conference in China! Lifelong dream come true! Maybe not the perfect timing for a trip to Asia, but life is like that! When you had just moved to a new city, started a new job, barely settled in a new place, the last thing you feel like is the extra 'life stir' of going to a country where you won't be able to say nor understand a word! Well, but the spice is not in the jar, it's in the attitude! So I took another deep breath, stretched a brand new smile on my face, and let life show me its next surprise. And that is the beauty of having no expectations - then things start happening on their own and out of sudden you realize you have it better than if you'd have planned it! All I have to say about this trip was a trip of a lifetime! And just like a few years ago, Japan did that to me, China too applied its "Asian magic" and made me see the world in a new refreshing way - I was caught again unaware of the desire for life in my genes, so that one emerged and everything becomes colorful again.

The months after China seem a bit uneventful, but that's what Summer is for, to relax and unwind. Bike rides, gathering at the Terrace, fine dining, photoshoots, going to the Farmer's Market on Saturday, reading books, BBQs - these are the colors of my first summer in Madison. I have posted some pictures on my webpage to give you an idea of how my life has been passing by...

Well, there was one more week this summer that was very special - the week of the AMS meeting in Madison. Many former colleagues showed up in town, friends I have met at other conferences years ago were here was amazing! And also of interest are the "Almu adventures" :):):) Almu arrived from Spain on the weekend and first, we went to Chicago! The week to follow was needless to say "sleep-deprived", but who cares when the fun is rolling :)

And just so that you don't get totally jealous of my cool life I should admit that it had some gray shades too. But what doesn't break you makes you stronger, so let's say I'm stronger now and I'm moving on... :)
Hope you all are having a great summer!

Monday, October 30, 2006


This last weekend we gave up one more time on the Daylight Saving Time and reverted to Standart Time. For an hour we were in no one's time...Curious what I did in this extra time?

For a little bit I thought of the silliness of the concept to have time, as in hours, minutes, seconds... Who started the madness of having to live in a grided space?
A day late with a payment and you get charged extra for your bills, an hour late for work and you get called into your boss's office, a minute late and you miss your flight... 'Time management' is the new skill we are 'lacking' if we decide to go with the flow and ignore the clock. And the sad fact is that Google will return 6,130,000 entries for 'stress management' versus 15,900,000 for 'time management'...
I chose to put my bets on 'stress management' , and for the rest of the 'gifted hour' I enjoyed my rabit story reading 'Watership down'.