Postcard for Jeroen


Playa Platanales near Ilo, Peru

Yes I know it’s 2018 and it’s a terrible thing that I would put a picture of a girl on the blog just because she’s cute. Spare me your righteous lecture and hear me out:

  • My second cousin Jeroen is an only child. He’s a military man who hasn’t started a family yet.
  • Jeroen’s mother is an only child.
  • Jeroen’s 95 year old grandmother is the only living family member of her generation (ie. my grandparent’s generation)

So you might imagine if there was ever a guy who’s under some external pressure, my poor cousin Jeroen is that guy. Jeroen needs to fly out to Peru and find out who’s in that picture.

Peru’s constitutional crisis explained

  • The President is corrupt, incompetent and does not act with the best interest of the country in mind.
  • Congress and the Judicial branch are corrupt, incompetent and do not act with the best interest of the country in mind.
  • 60% of people working in public service are incompetent, corrupt and do not act with the best interest of the country in mind.

Why don’t cameras have an “inebriated” setting?

Look this is the least bad picture from Mamacita’s birthday bash, eat the cake moment. Whatever the picture taker person tried to do obviously didn’t work. The camera has an “auto” setting but inebriated people don’t use “auto” settings any more than middle age guys ask for directions. Hey Kodak & co, don’t be a bunch of stiffs. Add an “inebriated” mode to your products already and preserve millions of happy moments for future generations!


No good pics but the party was a blast, take my word for it 🙂

Dear Google

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I do not give a cuy’s behind what you think my web site should look like. The whole freaking internet is starting to look “the same” because every web designer and their sister are scared that Google won’t show their pages in search results if they don’t follow Google’s design guidelines.

Rant over.

Yes, Eric is a singer

Picture this: we’re developing an application that calculates residential heating and cooling loads, for building code purposes. We’re a week or so away from releasing this puppy after 18+ months of proverbial blood, sweat and tears. For testing purposes I like to use known addresses, my own home, some friends’ homes, and a few addresses from popular culture, say the House of the Rising Sun. I’ve used 461 Ocean Blvd many times because it’s a real house, works good for testing, and it’s in Florida, a big market for us. I’ve probably used the address 40+ times in testing.

Today one of our developer happens to be listening to Melissa on Spotify which has a special meaning for me because an Allman Brothers & Lynyrd Skynyrd concert was the reason I fell in love, got married and moved to Peru.

I’m not all into popular culture but Duane Allman was close to Eric Clapton and together they revolutionized electric guitar playing, 2 lead guitars complimenting each other instead of the traditional rhythm + lead guitar. While “Melissa” was playing in the background our newest developer needed an address for testing. The subconscious works in funny ways.

Developer girl: “Which address?”

Me: “Eric’s house, 461 Ocean Blvd”

Developer girl: “OK. Is this Eric guy like a singer or something?”

Me: “I quit my job, moved to Peru, got a wife, 3 kids and a dog because I went to an Allman Brothers concert and you’re asking me if Eric is a singer or something ?!?”

The sad reason the Odebrecht scandal is so big in Peru

PPK is likely out as President of Peru very soon, due to fallout from the Odebrecht scandal. That’s quite a stunning turn of events in that most observers probably had PPK pegged as the least corrupt president of Peru in a very very long time – which may still prove to be accurate regardless.

The sad, scary reason why the Odebrecht scandal is probably bigger in Peru than anywhere else, except maybe Brazil, the home of Odebrecht?

Because Peru was happy to have Odebrecht.

Odebrecht built useless roads to nowhere in pristine jungle, gas pipelines through mountains where many people still have no running water or electricity, and Lord knows what other mega-dog projects because Peru wanted them to. The Odebrecht style mega projects serve to obfuscate the fact there is no investment in local communities, no local expertise in areas like engineering or organizational behavior, nor promotion of a strong local business community that might eventually generate such talent and expertise as is needed in a modern society. The level of bureaucracy and incompetence is so bad in Peru that things simply don’t get done. Basic infrastructure, education, security, science, you name it – it doesn’t get done. So Peru was happy to have Odebrecht come in and do something, anything, corrupt or not.

While other large multi-national construction companies decided to sit out Peru for fear of corruption and local expertise is not available, Odebrecht was the only thing left and Peru was happy to have them. Were it not for Odebrecht’s conviction in the US, Odebrecht would still be in Peru and Peru would still be happy to have them here.

Update 12/16: Judging by local media PPK is now more likely to stay on as President of Peru for the foreseeable future than even 24 hours ago. Anything can still happen but although PPK appears to have lost personal support in his inner circle, the Lima establishment knows full well if PPK leaves it essentially means ushering in the next era of Fujimorismo, which is not a choice of the establishment. There are more and more calls for due process and some commentators are even calling the current political crisis an Odebrecht/Fujimori coup d’etat. So as much as the establishment and even his own inner circle has soured on PPK, they are even less excited about the alternatives.

FWIW my rant before the last elections that a Keiko Fujimori presidency is not good for Peru at this time.

Lest we forget

On the 11th day of the 11th month, if you read only one thing today: Ann Laure Decadt laid to rest.

I’ll translate the quoted part from her husband’s eulogy:

Look at me now, on Nov 11. How could anything be more symbolic than having to lay my beloved wife to rest on this Armistice Day? Ann-Laure became a victim of how modern wars are fought. I’m afraid the idea of a world without war has never been more elusive than today. Ann-Laure always stood up for the weak and the marginalized in society, she volunteered both at home and abroad. That it just had to be her who was brutally murdered by someone weak or marginalized, makes the tragedy even more painful.