Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing day spring clean-up

Today I cleaned up my Mac and my mailboxes. Speaking of boxes, I finally got some time to upload pictures of the Nomadic Museum at the Santa Monica Pier by Shigeru Ban. On my trip back to NZ, I spent all my day in L.A. walking through Santa Monica... there were no "bay watch" girls in sight. Sorry! The Nomadic Museum was first set on NYC on the Hudson River Park's Pier. Because it is made out of steel cargo containers and recyclebar materials, it can be taken anywhere. The museum hosts a very interesting exhibition called Ashes and Snow by Canadian Artist, Gregory Colbert.

We met Mr. Ban in Monterrey. My wife worked as coordinator for the "Luis Barragan Chair" at ITESM. It was really an honour to attend his conference and discussion panels. I think, that he is in deed a strong candidate for a Pritzker Prize in the near future. After his visit, inspired by his work, my students developed products for refugees like : hospital beds, pharmacy dispenser, cages for pets and farm animals, children's playgrounds, a wheelbarrow to transport debris or other stuff, etc. You can see those projects on my website.

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Meet Pukeko

Sandra was saving some money to buy a new car. The same day I came back to NZ, we went to Mission Bay for a walk, and it was love at first sight. She liked this SAAB 9000 CSE turbo. It's not as small as the mini-cooper that she wanted. In fact, we had a deal: she gets the mini cooper, I get a mini-mac. So I guess this means, I'll get a G5 instead!

Pukeko are (almost native) NZ birds. Sandra likes the way they walk, like : "excuse me, comin' through... comin' through..." With a big red car like this, she'll drive like a Pukeko. There are more pictures of Sandra and her Christmas gift at my yahoo pics and also at

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Light on a wineyard

I uploaded new pictures of San Juan de Dios and Guadalajara to my yahoo pics. I am not in a christmas rush, but I havn't got time to resize and upload the pics from Santa Monica and write something about that. Speaking of Santas, today we went to the mall, but not on a buying spree, just browsing. We were lucky not to find the evil Santas!

Anyway, we tried to find some small lights for our decoration. We have a traditional mexican nacimiento, but the lights were 120V, so we need to replace them for 240v. But the NZ lights are too big to fit inside our nacimiento! Last year we bought 3 or 4 different boxes of lights that didn't fit. This time we searched for small LED chain lights... but had no luck either.

Next year, maybe I'll try to fit these LED "Designer Emulator Kits" by Mark McKenna. They are based on some classic designs by Ingo Maurer, Achille Castiglioni and Richard Sapper. A couple of lucellinos would look like some angels on our nacimiento, don't you think?

Merry Christmas everyone!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Entren Santos Peregrinos

Our friends Sara and Paolo just launched their new CD called "Peregrinos". They are now living in Nelson (ha, ha). If you live or travel through the south island, you may want to check the dates of their live performances on their website. Congrats!

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Back home

Finally, after almost 5 months, I'm back home. The nicest thing, was to see my wife once again. After breakfast and some unpacking, we went out for a stroll through Mission Bay. We found a very nice 93' Saab 9000 and we are going to check it out tomorrow. I'll tell you later about the final (stressful days) in Mexico and my trip ... but I have some duties to acomplish first.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

It stinks!

Tonight my sister stood me up for dinner, so I went alone to vips for some enchiladas suizas after a very busy day (or month). Anyway, the waitress gave me a table cloth with yesterday's newspaper... or at least the front page of last day's paper. It was printed on actual newspaper paper... it had that horrible newspaper smell, and worst of all, you know how the ink gets on your fingers just by looking.

Bad design idea / good idea

I asked her to bring me a normal table cloth, or at least the one for children... with riddles and some crayons to draw on it! She brought a normal offset table cloth with pictures of 3 kinds of enchiladas... to melt anyone's mouth. That is a good idea! If you go to a restaurant you don't want to get your hands dirty, or eat on a piece of (old) newspaper, or eat with that horrible smell... it's preferable to look at pictures of delicious dishes to get your appetite running.

Good idea is to have copies of TODAY's paper for some customers to grab if they want to. That happens usually during the morning coffee, not at 23:00 pm with yesterday's news! Gosh! I miss a nice bowl of flat white at the chocolate boutique in Parnell!

Well, this may be my last post from Guanatos... it's time to go home.

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Friday, December 09, 2005

This is Soccer...

Just when you think that televisa can't sink any lower... this is soccer, according to their advertising experts. I never liked TV azteca's comments when they talk about the mexican national soccer team as "seleccion azteca". What about Huichol, Purepecha, and other mexican indians? I mean, I don't think that all players are Nahuatl descendants only.

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hay que mover el bote...

We're almost one month delayed with the standers. Outsourcing (maquila) was not easy to do. To find good, reliable and cost effective maquiladores was not an easy task, specially the metal work. Anyway, I had to do some of the work myself, like sanding and correcting some pieces (specially rectifying threads and bores). Last saturday we were ready to assemble the first one of the first series. After weeks of stress, we had (almost) all parts ( without the sanding and rectifying)... so, we couldn't wait to see at least one of them assembled.

I was desperate to see it... and the last part was a small plastic cap that had to be cut in 2. So, I took a saw and went to the garden (the plants are getting a good dose of aluminum)... I was holding the piece in my hands, because I had no working table or surface to cut on... and... well, you know.

I didn't go to the hospital immediately. I only washed my hands and took some pictures of the finished stander with just a kleenex on my wound. I knew they were going to put some anesthesia and bandages, so that it was going to be difficult to take pictures later.
I almost fainted when the doctor put the anesthesia... I haven't eaten the whole day, and my pulse went crazy. I'm not usually disturbed by wounds, blood or needles... but this time it was too much for my stomach. I was going to take some pictures of the doctor putting 4 stitches in my hand... but I was too busy trying not to throw up.

My main problem after the hospital was a big pain in my butt (because of the injections!) and to decide what to eat with only one hand. I had craving for tortas ahogadas. I guess when you can't do something, the desire to do it gets bigger. I had some quesadillas and then spent all afternoon with Choquis and Co.

7 days of total inactivity... 7 more without strain on the hand. Ha!Ha! Today we hired a person to sand all aluminum pieces and I couldn't help to get my hands dirty... So really dirty, that I had to change bandages 5 times today. We were just about to leave... when Alejandra and her mom came to their factory... They caught me with my red handed (actually, black handed) full of aluminum dirt and they told me off, totally deserved!.

Only one week to go.

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Accidents happen

I'll tell you later about my accident... which left me handicapped for one week starting today. That´s to be in style with Teleton.

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hasta la vista

Here they are: the miniature christmas trees. This was the last exercise of composition 2 at ITESM. The idea was to use a christmas tree as media to communicate "what does industrial design mean?". The results were some clever explorations about packaging, recycling, evolution, problem solving, retro-design, etc.

To close this semester, there was a nice surprise. Mark Wood, former head of the architecture school and now campus director in Hermosillo, was here in Guadalajara. So we went to have dinner at "el italiano" a class 3B restaurant (bueno, bonito y barato). Alejandra, Raul, Mark, Jose Antonio and I solved all world's problems, and talked about the old times over some exquisite italian food and wine.

My days here are counted... only 15 days left here in Guadalajara and we're more than one month behind with the standers, and there's still of course a lot to do. The pressure is high, but I think we'll manage to get at least the first series this week. The metal workshop guys are our weakest link (I'll tell you the anecdotes later, right now they only give me stress).

Stressful was a small scare with... Remember the famous hinge? Well, I decided to use a flat, normal 2x2" Truper hinge. All hardware stores have them (at least I thought, because they all sell their products)... but they all ran out of them! I started to panic! because the platform (which was water cut) and the metal counter-piece are ready and are matched exactly to that hinge. Today I went to the main Truper distribution centre, which is right in the middle of the red light district. I tell you this because I had to park 10 blocks away and walk through that zone! Anyway, they told me they also ran out of them, but when they checked to order some... they had 30 in storage... and the next shipment from Hong Kong will be on dec. 19th . Oh boy! That was a close call.

OK. Bye for now, I have to get ready for another stressful day...

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