Monthly Archives: December 2007

They Don’t Like Me

They don’t like me, I just know it . . . Actually, maybe they do or maybe they don’t. Does it really matter? They have to put up with me every day either way.
Today, I had my camera at work to take some photos for our upcoming Newsletter, so I decided to make a short video strutting around on the East Side of Alcobendas.

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El Retorno de Rose Superstar

Rose Superstar Don Piso.JPG

Después de mucho silencio sobre mi querida Rose Superstar, vuelvo a abrir esta sección con el paradero actual de nuestra crack. Al dejar el Barça por los problemas económicos y estructuarles del club que le obligaron a cerrar sus puertas al baloncesto femenino, Rose ha decidido pasar el año en el Don Piso de Girona. Además Ryan Air tiene vuelos directos a Girona y como es una ciudad muy bonita e interesante, ya me verá la Rose Superstar en el Palco en breve!

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Christmas in Madrid

Yesterday afternoon, we took a long walk through Madrid to look at the Christmas decorations. The Plaza Mayor’s Christmas market was full of the traditional Nativity Scene (called a Belén meaning Bethlehem) figurines, but there were also many other non-Christmas articles that could be purchased like Elvis wigs and other more Halloween-esque costumes. Don’t ask because I don’t have an answer.

Then we walked back towards the Puerta del Sol, down towards Cibeles, up to Colón, then towards the Glorieta de Bilbao, and finally to Chamberí. The streets were more crowded, almost unbearably so, than I have ever seen before either during navidades or any other time of the year.

As promised, I made this low-budget video to compete with Paris’ Christmas lights. Yes, that’s Elvis singing “If Everyday Was Like Chrismas”. I also snuck into the video two local images from local bars: hundreds of legs of Jamón and the typically Madrid snack of Bocadillos de Calamares (squid sandwiches).

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Recycled Post of the Week: The Faith of the Heretic

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Christmas time is here and that has its ups and downs. There is the mad race to finish off the year with the work-related and present-shopping stress. There is also all of the corporate and commercial pressure to make sure that we meet those aforementioned obligations. And for those of us who live abroad or far from our families, we can’t forget the Holiday season highway and airways traffic. It’s almost enough to forgoe of Christmas altogether.

It is almost a cliché that the Christmas spirit of the young saviour’s birth has been prostituted to corporations. For me, though, it is not the saviour’s birth that makes this time of year special. The more and more I think about it, Christianity as a religion has had little intrinsic value to offer. Christianity’s claims to be centered on forgiveness and sacrifice, on a new altruistic concept of love, and on a superior morality are simply unsustainable in history, scripture, philosophy or even in comparative religious studies. In that vain, I dedicate this Recycled Post of the Week to one I wrote in September 2006, entitled “Walter Kaufmann: The Faith of the Heretic“, about an essay of the same name written by Kaufmann precisely on how he rejected Christianity as a child. It is definitely worth a read.

Having said this, I do believe there is something very special about the way children feel during the season that justifies it all, and that is the special something that keeps getting me excited about Christmas every year. It’s not about presents, it’s about “having yourself a merry little Christmas” where those dear to us are near to us and our troubles seem far away. It is about everything that is special about being a child, a parent, or a grandparent. For the moment, I am still into being a child and a grandchild. It really is Christianity’s saving grace.

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David Allen on FC Barça and Strategic Management

Zizou Ronaldinho.jpg

My former Strategy professor and co-worker, David Allen, has a very insightful post on his blog entitled “Frank Rijkaard, ‘Self-management’, organizational ecology“. Professor Allen’s post is not only interesting because it discusses the present state of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, Frank Rijkaard, and Ronaldinho, but also because I think it is a nice catalyst for reflecting on the management environments in which we all work or interact. Continue reading

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(Kind of) A Winner

I have written before about my trials and tribulations with the Lottery. Well, guess what? I just won €89 (that’s $130 for those who still use antiquated greenbacks). Out of five numbers and two stars in the Euromillions, I correctly guessed three numbers and both stars. Because I didn’t get all of the seven digits on the dot, I didn’t win the €15 million. I used birth dates and ages for choosing the numbers, but I guess am still missing two people with the right data.

So where does that leave me? I suppose I should celebrate with my small bounty, but I still kind of feel like Marlon Brando’s character in On the Waterfront, “I could have been a contender, I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum.”

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Christmas Lights in Paris

I suppose it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I made this silly little video of the Christmas lights on the Champs-Élysées on Saturday night. I guess I did it as an excuse to play this Frank Sinatra rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas“.

Hopefully next weekend I will have a chance to do another meaningless video of Christmas decorations in Madrid. I think Madrid’s mayor, Ruiz Gallardón, is trying to convert Madrid into a city known for its Christmas “look and feel”. As a matter of fact, Madrid’s holiday lights are actually much more attractive this year than those in Paris. Of course, if Spain is far from complying with Kyoto, I seriouly doubt that the extra electicity needed to light up the town for the holly jolly season is going to help.

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