Archive for March, 2004

Barbecues, orchids and blogging

March 29, 2004

While you may think I did not blog at all this weekend, I actually did, except the result is in the orchids section, where I posted a few pictures of new flowers. I actually had a nice weekend, working on orchids and taking pictures of them. I actually had to take them a few times because they would not come out right. Digital photography ahs turned me into a reasonable photographer if you see my orchids. The instant feedback of digital photography makes a lot of difference, particularly with pictures of flowers where a slight change in angle or lights may change the color, the hues and the tones to the point that you no longer recognize them.


On Sunday, my mother, brother, sister  and their kids  came over with Sumito Estevez, one of the best Chefs in Venezuela who is a good friend of my brother’s and also a fellow physicist. While I love to eat, I am a terrible cook except for my famous or infamous barbecues; however, after seeing how a true cook does a barbecue, I realize what a lousy amateur I am. But I will not stop doing it anyway. Sumito is an extremely nice guy, Mac addict and superb cook, of course. Just in case, here is a picture (courtesy of the Tyromaniac) of the high strength cholesterol we have at barbecues here in Venezuela, as well as a picture of Sumito himself.


 



 


I actually wrote two articles for my blog this weekend and disliked them both when they were finished. One was a mock letter of Fidel Castro to the People’s Ombudsman which was meant to be funny, but when I was done, I simply did not like it. Some days the flow is just not there, I guess.


 


I also wanted to write about the opposition and the regional elections, but the subject can be so confusing, much like the opposition and Venezuela itself. Today I am taking another stab at it, hope that it works. I need a vacation and next week is Easter week when all of Venezuela shuts down, I will too. I plan to go to the beach, read, swin, relax and hope nothing happens here next week. If it does I will post remotely which is not perfect, but works.

Barbecues, orchids and blogging

March 29, 2004

While you may think I did not blog at all this weekend, I actually did, except the result is in the orchids section, where I posted a few pictures of new flowers. I actually had a nice weekend, working on orchids and taking pictures of them. I actually had to take them a few times because they would not come out right. Digital photography ahs turned me into a reasonable photographer if you see my orchids. The instant feedback of digital photography makes a lot of difference, particularly with pictures of flowers where a slight change in angle or lights may change the color, the hues and the tones to the point that you no longer recognize them.


On Sunday, my mother, brother, sister  and their kids  came over with Sumito Estevez, one of the best Chefs in Venezuela who is a good friend of my brother’s and also a fellow physicist. While I love to eat, I am a terrible cook except for my famous or infamous barbecues; however, after seeing how a true cook does a barbecue, I realize what a lousy amateur I am. But I will not stop doing it anyway. Sumito is an extremely nice guy, Mac addict and superb cook, of course. Just in case, here is a picture (courtesy of the Tyromaniac) of the high strength cholesterol we have at barbecues here in Venezuela, as well as a picture of Sumito himself.


 



 


I actually wrote two articles for my blog this weekend and disliked them both when they were finished. One was a mock letter of Fidel Castro to the People’s Ombudsman which was meant to be funny, but when I was done, I simply did not like it. Some days the flow is just not there, I guess.


 


I also wanted to write about the opposition and the regional elections, but the subject can be so confusing, much like the opposition and Venezuela itself. Today I am taking another stab at it, hope that it works. I need a vacation and next week is Easter week when all of Venezuela shuts down, I will too. I plan to go to the beach, read, swin, relax and hope nothing happens here next week. If it does I will post remotely which is not perfect, but works.

A stunning letter in vcrisis.com

March 27, 2004

vcrisis has a letter from the person pleading for help to clarify the cirscumstances of his father’s death during during the protests on March 1st. After reading it, all I can do is post it for everyone to read, sad and stunned with what is happening in my country. Meanwhile, the Minister of Justice is still playing dumb about what happened, repeating day after day, that there are no formal accusations of deaths and torture.

A stunning letter in vcrisis.com

March 27, 2004

vcrisis has a letter from the person pleading for help to clarify the cirscumstances of his father’s death during during the protests on March 1st. After reading it, all I can do is post it for everyone to read, sad and stunned with what is happening in my country. Meanwhile, the Minister of Justice is still playing dumb about what happened, repeating day after day, that there are no formal accusations of deaths and torture.

From huge to small

March 27, 2004



Lots of flowering right now. The top row shows a fairly dark variety of Cattleya Skinneri from central Amrica. The plant on the left is huge, I bought it as a 2 inch seedling. Most years it has flowered a lot but not at once like this year. It still has two bucnhes of buttons that have not opened. On the right you can see the flowers up close, they are really delicate and nice with a little fragrance.


The bottom row shows on the left Encyclia Cordigera. This is not the Venezuelan variety, this is the darker Central American form. Very, very fragant. On the right there is a shot of tiny flowers of Aerangis Citrata. These are small slightly above a quarter of an inch with a long spur coming out of the flower. These are African, found in many countries, including Madagascar.

From huge to small

March 27, 2004



Lots of flowering right now. The top row shows a fairly dark variety of Cattleya Skinneri from central Amrica. The plant on the left is huge, I bought it as a 2 inch seedling. Most years it has flowered a lot but not at once like this year. It still has two bucnhes of buttons that have not opened. On the right you can see the flowers up close, they are really delicate and nice with a little fragrance.


The bottom row shows on the left Encyclia Cordigera. This is not the Venezuelan variety, this is the darker Central American form. Very, very fragant. On the right there is a shot of tiny flowers of Aerangis Citrata. These are small slightly above a quarter of an inch with a long spur coming out of the flower. These are African, found in many countries, including Madagascar.

CNE announces petition results for 24 opposition Deputies

March 26, 2004

The CNE announced that it had completed reviewing signatures gathered by pro-Chavez forces to ask for the recall of 24 opposition Deputies. Only two of these efforts  were successful. Curiously, one of them only made it by a single signature.  Of the other twenty, fifteen failed, as not even with the ratification process the required signatures were collected and the other five will go to the ratification process.


There were eight Deputies that the Chavistas were not even able to gather the number of signatures required, even if they had all been valid. The percentage of signatures under observation averaged 25% with the Presidents’ recall having a 33% rejection rate. The high was 70% for Alfonso Marquina. The low was Jose Luis Farias with 12%. Amazingly enough, the only valid recall was in the least populous state Amazonas. Primero Justicia members did quite well, as did Alejandro Armas, Ernesto Alvarenga (the lowest percentage of all) and Felipe Mujica.


 


If enough signatures are ratified for the five, then there will be referenda against seven Deputies of this group. The CNE did not give a breakdown of how many signatures of those set aside for the ratification process were of the same calligraphy . Obviously, it would have been interesting to know it as a way of seeing how many were affected by the change in rules. I am sure some people will argue that this shows the process was “fair”. No way, the rules were changed on the way, just to make sure Chavez’ referendum is stopped. As a matter of fact, it was the Chavistas who “invented” the concept of helping out people filling in their data since their voters comprise more people from poor backgrounds who may have difficulties writing clearly.


 


It will be interesting to compare the results for those of the Chavista Deputies that the opposition is trying to recall. Those numbers should be out at anytime.

CNE announces petition results for 24 opposition Deputies

March 26, 2004

The CNE announced that it had completed reviewing signatures gathered by pro-Chavez forces to ask for the recall of 24 opposition Deputies. Only two of these efforts  were successful. Curiously, one of them only made it by a single signature.  Of the other twenty, fifteen failed, as not even with the ratification process the required signatures were collected and the other five will go to the ratification process.


There were eight Deputies that the Chavistas were not even able to gather the number of signatures required, even if they had all been valid. The percentage of signatures under observation averaged 25% with the Presidents’ recall having a 33% rejection rate. The high was 70% for Alfonso Marquina. The low was Jose Luis Farias with 12%. Amazingly enough, the only valid recall was in the least populous state Amazonas. Primero Justicia members did quite well, as did Alejandro Armas, Ernesto Alvarenga (the lowest percentage of all) and Felipe Mujica.


 


If enough signatures are ratified for the five, then there will be referenda against seven Deputies of this group. The CNE did not give a breakdown of how many signatures of those set aside for the ratification process were of the same calligraphy . Obviously, it would have been interesting to know it as a way of seeing how many were affected by the change in rules. I am sure some people will argue that this shows the process was “fair”. No way, the rules were changed on the way, just to make sure Chavez’ referendum is stopped. As a matter of fact, it was the Chavistas who “invented” the concept of helping out people filling in their data since their voters comprise more people from poor backgrounds who may have difficulties writing clearly.


 


It will be interesting to compare the results for those of the Chavista Deputies that the opposition is trying to recall. Those numbers should be out at anytime.

Google geeky Nirvana

March 26, 2004

I feel like I am in geeky Nirvana. As you can see on the left, I have incorporated my favorite tool Google in my website. Thanks to my brother Alfredo, the book <A href="“>Google Hacks and some stubborn trial and error on my part, there it is! You can search my blog with Google now. The problem was that my url is a directory of blogs.salon.com, so the Google code would not work and I did not know how to fix that. This will be good for everyone if they want to search for something, but particularly for me to cross-link stuff.

Opposition rebuffs claims of no political prisoners

March 25, 2004

The legal counsel for the Coordinadora Democrática, which groups the opposition, expressed its amazement at the People’s Ombudsman for saying that in Venezuela there were no political prisoners, but politicians in prison. Delsa Solórzano said there are eighteen political prisoners in Venezuela from the events of February 27th. to March 4th.


Solórzano counted them saying there were nine at the La Planta jail, four at the El rodeo prison, three at Tiuna Fort and two at the headquarters of the political police DISIP. She said this does not include those jailed in Tachira state for the events of April 12th. 2002, nor General Carlos Alfonzo Martinez who is in the military prison of Ramo Verde.


 


Solórzano asked for respect playing with the words Pueblo (People) and Puesto (job) mocking Mundarain by saying “What we have is a Puesto without Defender and not a People’s Defender (the name for the position in Spanish).


 


She said that Chavez’ Government wants to deny the political prisoners and also that there were deaths in the demonstrations. How sad she said. A political prisoner is a person who is defending their political and constitutional rights. Ms. Solorzano asked for respect for those in prison.


 


One of the most curious side stories of this episode is that one of the best known political prisoners is Carlos Melo. Melo, a grassroots activist, was sent to the “El Rodeo”  prison for common criminals as a sort of “punishment”, believing that he would have a rough time there. Melo has sort of become a leader for the prisoners and has begun organizing them to improve the facilities at the prison. The Coordinadora Democratica is now receiving donations of materials to improve conditions at that prison and has now also started a project to improve the emergency medical facilities at the La Planta prison.


 


 


The legal counsel for the Coordinadora Democrática, which groups the opposition, expressed its amazement at the People’s Ombudsman for saying that in Venezuela there were no political prisoners, but politicians in prison. Delsa Solórzano said there are eighteen political prisoners in Venezuela from the events of February 27th. to March 4th.


 


Solórzano counted them saying there were nine at the La Planta jail, four at the El rodeo prison, three at Tiuna Fort and two at the headquarters of the political police DISIP. She said this does not include those jailed in Tachira state for the events of April 12th. 2002, nor General Carlos Alfonzo Martinez who is in the military prison of Ramo Verde.


 


Solórzano asked for respect playing with the words Pueblo (People) and Puesto (job) mocking Mundarain by saying “What we have is a Puesto without Defender and not a People’s Defender (the name for the position in Spanish).


 


She said that Chavez’ Government wants to deny the political prisoners and also that there were deaths in the demonstrations. How sad she said. A political prisoner is a person who is defending their political and constitutional rights. Ms. Solorzano asked for respect for those in prison.


 


One of the most curious side stories of this episode is that one of the best known political prisoners is Carlos Melo. Melo, a grassroots activist, was sent to the “El Rodeo”  prison for common criminals as a sort of “punishment”, believing that he would have a rough time there. Melo has sort of become a leader for the prisoners and has begun organizing them to improve the facilities at the prison. The Coordinadora Democratica is now receiving donations of materials to improve conditions at that prison and has now also started a project to improve the emergency medical facilities at the La Planta prison.

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