Seen in Ayutthaya

What's in my bag? Version 2018

I use to keep the tradition about "What's in my bag?". Mainly since I started to travel with ultralight packing, a milestone in my trips. Optimizing is always a process. See evolution from last year here where I explained the main philosophy.

For this 2018 I carry a 30-32 liters backpack as the only bag. It weighs 6.9 kg with all belongings inside including laptop (and except the clothes on).

My bag posing in front of a colorful door in Colombia.

I've noticed the notebook is getting fatter every day and now it weighs almost 400g. Anyway I reduced the writing tools to only one small case, the one besides the notebook in the photo.

I missed nothing during the trips which could be a few weeks or months long, it doesn't matter.


Hi Elements. You look taller.

When I went back to Hong Kong I saw Elements (ICC building) much taller than in my first visit in 2007.

Me: Hi. Nice to see you again.
Elements: Oh! You are here. Welcome!
Me: I saw your birth. Now you look so tall. You have become a king.
Elements: Thanks :)
Me: See you in 10 years.

I had the chance to climb up to the top of the building. Amazing views, feeling and experience. Good moments. Hong Kong is a great place. A beautiful historical anomaly.


About Stratego and strategic board games

Do you like Stratego? I'm quite obsessed with it lately.

I rediscovered Stratego since many years completely forgotten. Great game, one of the best ever. I used to play when I was a kid, just for fun. Now I appreciate its complexity and enjoy much more going deeper in the details. I could describe it like a mix of chess and poker.

I consider really important to play these kind of games, same as chess or similar board games. In the same way people can be split between who read and who don't or other many criteria, I realized it's same for games. Those who use to play complex games develop a higher sense of administration of resources, balance risks, manage time and chances, etc. So useful in real life: Economics, negotiations, decisions, etc. That's why I suggest playing games, specially in early ages. Funny and improve some superpowers.

I played with friend and neighbor using the version made in the 80s. Actually the game was his property and time later I did my own version, home made and super low cost. Those days when TV or toys magazines added the note:

 "Alert: More than 5000 pesetas (30€)!"

For a kid's mind that meant forget about getting it.

Unfortunately the current version is a shame. Stickers on cheap plastic pieces and horrible characters design. Immediately I thought about creating a new version. And that was the seed for bigger idea: Creating a whole new game based in the same mechanism but adding new key points. Whether it goes well or not the creative process is fully fascinating and it opens the door to new ideas coming in the way. But that's another story.

Btw, Stratego is an evolution from old Chinese game Dou Shou Qi, which also hocked me in the last weeks.  I'm making an aesthetic version, but again that's part of another post coming.
New released based in version from 80s. Photo from Amazon.

What? Dark character man playing the role of spy disappeared and it's is a woman instead in the version based in the 80s version (not the one with stickers).


This is a love letter to Asia

 Asian people are so stylish. Thank you all for being my still models for a moment!


Miscellaneous notes

Some weeks ago I crossed Bermuda Triangle and I wonder if I got any superpower...

About jellyfish

Jellyfish are quite magical. We could never imagine this kind of being, much weirder than any imaginable alien (made of mass, not talking about beings made of energy, antimatter or whatever). I think they are the key for something...

Nature creates similar shapes, in case we accept nuclear bomb is created by nature since it’s created by us, who are created by nature.


The dots poisoned mushrooms

Mr. Likespain wakes up early every day and go out to look for mushrooms. The ones he eats grow in the top of a mountain which Mr. Likespain has to climb, with pain. He collects some mushrooms and come back home.

Alert! Mr. Likespain has to filter carefully the mushrooms since half of them are poisoned. It’s like so: Mushrooms with odd number of dots are ok. Mushrooms with even number of dots are poisoned. The problem is these mushrooms have A LOT of dots, a time consuming task for Mr. Likespain. And risky.

At the end of the day he manages to cook the good ones. Actually Mr. Likespain doesn’t like mushrooms too much. They are just ok.

And all like that. Same as in life. Life could be incredibly complex if you choose that way.


Some views from Colombia

I visited Colombia during last weeks. Probably the place where fewer photos I took due to high delinquency levels and therefore carrying the mobile was not recommendable (even less taking it out of your pocket).

Anyways I lived good times and valuable memories. ¡Gracias Colombia!

Here some photos:
 This neighborhood San Antonio is quite stylish but most of the time looks like a war scenario. I felt something was going to happen all the time. And nothing happened, which is more worrying.
 Views of Cali. Do you know Cali is between mountains and it's not flat at all? Don't trust this beautiful image:
 And here some mountains in the magical sunset. Performance every day.
 Streets in Manizales were more full of people. At least people.
 Salento is a nice place. Feeling of security and relaxing atmosphere.
And near Salento, Cocora valley. A nature show (not for us as humans because it was there much earlier than our existence).

Bonus: Mannequins seen in a shop.


The Handmaiden

What a discovery. I'm completely in love with this movie. 100% visual poetry and a pleasure for the senses. Each frame is and artwork.
I already know the South Korean director Park Chan-Wook from Oldboy, also an amazing movie. Genius.

The characters are such a perfecto models. And so obedient. I just click on PAUSE and they still as much as I need to drawing them.

I watched this movie 4 times in the last days. Well, te first one I missed the subtitles and I understood nothing about the also great story.

"The house shows the passion of the owner for Japan and England."


El Sistema

Existe un orden que define la estructura social, económica y militar. Ese orden está perfectamiente estudiado. Este orden se aplica. Pensar lo contrario sería ingenuo. ¿Acaso no se estudian en profundidad los dealles microscópicos en cada área de conocimiento? Una gota de agua acumula interminables estudios por parte de gente sesuda. Las células, las migraciones, las propiedades del silicio, las señales del espacio profundo. etc. Cómo no va a estar estudiado algo tan fundamental como el poder. Su aplicación durante siglos se ha afinado. ¿Hay una persona poderosa en la punta de la pirámide moviendo los hilos mientras acaricia un gato? La respuesta es irrelevante, pero el hecho es que “como si lo fuera”. No creo que haya una única persona o grupo de personas en lo alto, sino un CONJUNTO DE FUERZAS IMPERSONALES. La nube etérea es el conjunto de muchas energías que convergen en intereses comunes y que son reflejo del ansia humana de acaparar. Analizar el funcionamiento del sistema, o al menos intentarlo, es tarea fundamental. El sistema es poderoso y a estas alturas está bien atado y engrasado. Mantiene privilegios en un conjunto de humanos y oprime a muchos. No creo que la opresión sea deseada por los que mantienen el poder sino que es consecuencia del reparto de recursos a su favor. Después, a distintos niveles, se teje una jerarquía de poderes locales que hacen funcionar en engranaje. Legiones de estómagos agradedidos participan en esos falsos poderes moviendo ls ruedas pero no deciden lo importante. El faraón ya no necesita bajar a dar latigazos; basta con convencer a uno de los esclavos para que lo haga. Una vez estudiado el sistema y sabiendo que intentará someternos sin piedad lo siguiente es defininir qué actitud tomar. Llevar a cabo acciones sin un análisis correcto puede ser una estrategia fatal. Puesto que el sistema es poderoso y un solo individuo no puede vencerlo solo quedan dos opciones: organizarse para aunar fuerzas o protegerse . Quizás algunos consigan lo primero pero mientras tanto hay que tomar posiciones y defenderse. Si un individio se pasa de la raya y ataca al sistema, éste se volverá con todas su fuerzas y el individo quedará aniquilado fácilmente. Sin embargo, de momento la fuerza la ejerce sobre las masas, como la pata de un elefante aplastando la hierba sin cuidado ni moral.

Conclusión y acción: tan malo es no analizar como hacerlo y no actuar; en ambos casos uno acabaría aplastado o subyugado. Queda espacio para moverse en los huecos que dejan las pisadas. No destacar pero tampoco comportarse como masa. Infiltrarse y seguir observando.


Orange Time Capsule

I decided to create a time capsule just for fun. An easy, kindergarten level but pending little project I had in mind for so long. However it quickly became a huge and complex task when I went in deep. Fascinating anyways.


A lot of questions appeared, most of them of high relevance:

What’s the main goal of a time capsule?
Where and how should it be stored?
How many years? 10, 50, 100, 10000 years? 
How to know if someone has acceded to the capsule?
How to prevent someone to open the box early?
Is a ritual required?
Should the capsule be announced in public? Or maybe is it a secret?
Who will be named a guardians?
Should I create a treasure map?
And, of course, what to include inside?

Each questions opens the door to hours of thinking. I will write about some ideas behind each one.

What’s the main goal of a time capsule?  
I reached the conclusion the most important use of a time capsule is to establish a communication with the future, probably with someone who hasn’t been born today. This is a superpower! Other tasks are the possibility to transcend or a way to keep some of the creations in time. Everything will be dust at the end, but before the end hopefully something remains. There is the risk some person found the capsule and it’s not interesting to his eyes so he could discard it. What a lost. Due to this reason it’s necessary to create a cute, full of quality and valuable box in order the future owner to fall in love with it. An award inside for him also will help.

Where and how should it be stored?
Since there is not a 100% safe place maybe the optimum place to locate the capsule could be in the space, orbiting for ever and ever. This option could be really complex to develop so I discarded it (by now). Underground is the most typical way to store a treasure since it’s safe from fire and the location is almost impossible to find due to the huge quantity of ground in the planet. However it’s exposed to rain which destroys everything unless a proper structure is built. Keeping it inside a house is other option. I will not say which one to avoid the vulnerability this information brings.

How many years? 10, 50, 100, 10000 years?
Let’s fix the date in 200 years ahead: 2217. Number or years drives the materials chosen for the capsule. Wood will not last too much. Plastic could keep water away but it will degrade with time. Metal will face corrosion problems sooner or later. Maybe glass is the best solution.

How to know if someone has accessed the capsule?
Setting a trap inside the box will alert is the capsule has been opened. But how to know it even without checking the box? I found a solution, at least while there is someone alive to do the check.

How to prevent someone from opening the box early?
Informing there is an award inside available only if the capsule is opened at the right time. Otherwise, if capsule is opened early a spell will attack that person for, let’s say, 5 years of bad luck. This scares a lot and definitely it works.

Is a ritual required?

Oh, definitely!

Should the capsule be announced in public? Or maybe is it a secret?

I think it will be a pity if the capsule survives for years but nobody notices it. So when announcing the capsule has been created at least some people will know it exists and it’s somewhere.

Should a guardians be named?

Yes, and they will have the responsibility to know the capsule exists. They will be notified by email. If you are reading this, you are also a guardian of my little capsule.

Should I create a treasure map?

A treasure map is as important as the capsule itself, unless the map points to a place which is not accesible. A treasure map map is also good as a backup.

And, of course, what to include inside?

Be sure it includes surprises.

Even it the capsule never become real, which is not the case now, the theoretical exercise to think about these questions is worth. I enjoyed the process a lot.

One more question: Who knows where my little orange time capsule will end from now on?


Chinese calendar for 2018

What a stylish calendar! It's mass produced and even so it feels so full of quality and good design. And of course 100% Chinese looking.

Btw, this 2018 is Dog's year.

Airplanes in which I have worked

I worked as aeronautic engineer for (too many) years. Mainly as designer in big passengers airplanes by Airbus. Despite the monotonous daily work in an office it also had peak and vibrant moments. 

Days in South Korea

Hi Korea!
I use to enjoy most of the countries I visit during my trips but only with some of them I receive great feeling from minute zero. This is literally. When someone in the airplane provided me the immigration form I was surprised by the quality print and paper. The surprise was bigger when I saw there are glasses to fill the form in case you need them. That's a little example of a country where civility,  respect, order, cleaning and progress are evident. I highly appreciate these attributes.
Here some photos of my days in Seoul, Jeju island and Busan:
Baseball is a very popular sport in Korea.
Me in Seoul.

People are wonderful, friendly and respectful.
Seeing couples wearing like a mirror is quite typical. I've never seen that in any other place.

Women's typical clothes.

Colorful clothes always create nice contrast.

Ewha Woman's University in Seoul. Atmosphere and surroundings are more than amazing. 
I love South Korea and I can't wait to come back and enjoy more this lovely and valuable culture.


Extra-extra-fine tools

Not long time ago Micron Pigma 005 was extremely fine to my eyes. Now using Rotring Isograph 0,10 is in another league. Scary needle tip.

I will like to post about the results and comparison. Actually I still love Micron since it's easier create textures and it's disposable.