La Falda Winter 2016: Day 3

Today I visited Valle Hermoso, its cemetery and old trains by the ConCiencia museum and the balneario Dique La Isla. Then I went back to La Falda, walked by some really nice abandoned houses and hotels, and cycled up ending at Dique La Falda and the municipal cemetery.

The first part of the ride was quite fast as it is mostly downhill. Before arriving at the cemtery I stopped by the ConCiencia museum. The guy in charge was closing it but gave me permission to look around the property, there are tons of abandoned trains and related machinery.

He then slowly disappeared on a small electric tramway towards his home. How cool is that?

A couple of them are ‘modern’ but most of the interesting stuff is from the steam era.

The trains blend nicely with a dense vegetation

After drifting at the train graveyard I went to the Valle Hermoso cemetery.

There were a couple of workers tending to the grass and building another alcove to house more coffins.

Some places are very well cared but others look like nobody was around in decades. I like that.

Some of the graves were open and you could walk away with the coffin, bones or old relics of yore.

In spite of the age the door locks held better and I wasn’t able to pick any (and having people come and go did not help).

Then I went to Capilla San Antonio. The view of the valley is great. It also had a spreadsheet detailing the church finances, it was a very nice touch, first time I see that kind of honesty on a church.

I walked by the minerals and gemstones museum but it was closed, so I headed to Dique La Isla. It was a bit more dirty than what I like but the water was very refreshing. I sat there playing the melodica for a while then I returned to the main route.

Back in La Falda I decided to visit the dique and municipal cemetery.

A couple of blocks from my hotel there’s this really big and abandoned hotel.

Almost all of the doors are locked, the windows chained and welded. There are signs of people living, according to the neighbors the owner is still there and from time to time allows people to wander inside.

I clapped to no avail (there was a very nice and expensive japanese car parked inside) but no one answered.

The park that borders Avenida Kennedy is very well maintained and people routinely uses it to walk animals.

Just around the bus station on the meeting of Maipú, Chubut and Río Negro there’s a wonderful antique store run by a nice lady called Mercedes.

The enameled sign reads (it’s an ad for a burlesque house, cvs means cents):

Tarifas de la Renombrada Casa de la Tolerancia de Madam Ivonne.

Bucal: 50 cvs
Normal: 90cvs
Media Hora 1.20 cvs
1 Hora Entera: 1.50 Pesos
C/2 Señoritas Juntas: 5.00 Pesos

Agua Jabón y Toalla

Aproveche las ofertas de la casa

I went to the other extreme from Valle Hermoso trying to reach the cemetery of La Falda, it’s past the entrance to Siete Cascadas, most of the way going up.

When I reached it it was past closing time, despite the nice pictures available online it looked a bit unkempt and it’s surrounded by a dumpster. I did not return again.

As of today google street view has pictures from 2013. It’s amazing how everything there decayed in only three years.

The view of the lake is wonderful.

On my way back from La Falda Cemetery I detoured because there was a spot with a wonderful view.

On the floor I found a lot of electronic scrap, computer power supplies, german tv chassis from the 80’s judging by the caps and ‘ausgang’. Chipped consoles. A Pinball table. Some joysticks.

I took some tv flybacks (the ones that look like a pancake and have an external tripler) and some ferrite cores that escaped the fire.

Digging a bit with a stick most of that place was electronic junk and dirt, underneath the grass there was more and more, progressively older the more I dug.

Then I painfully returned to the hotel. It was a short trip at 20Km but the slope of the road killed me. There’s an occupied Mansion at Guemes and Juan José Castro.

The rest of the pictures is here

La Falda Winter 2016: Day 2

(Day 1 I was a bit sick for the travel, just walked around, bought water and not much).

I had to buy a 15mm wrench (the other was waiting at home…) to put together the bike.

I drifted a while then I started to walk upwards on a small water stream that crosses the town and many houses.

It goes then into the mountain, surrounded by tall walls of soil and trees. Ends on the entrance gate to a very big house (looks like a hotel or something like that).

Back on the road there are many small corridors that disappear into the mountain, I took one of them.

From time to time the forest is less dense and there are signs of gatherings, like a love letter or a junkyard. Something curious about it was the vast amount of engine blocks, they are worth quite a bit of money (and really, nobody here asks for the papers if you try to sell them at a scrap dealer). Pity they were hard to get near the main road.


So this happened.

I’m again at this time of the year where I need something to pull me back into sanity. I rented a car and headed to La Falda for a week of biking, nature and relax. (I was going to participate on the Endurance Race but it was cancelled due to weather conditions)

The first day I took Ruta 6 and then Ruta 9, stopping at Villa María for a nap. During the day Ruta 6 is mostly empty and even though it’s a longer ride the time saved by avoiding Capital Federal more than makes up to it.

I slept at Hostel Girando and then very early the next day resumed the trip to La Falda.

The morning was very foggy and chilly. I had to stop at a side of the route for a while as I could barely see the front of the car. After that the temperature rose giving place to a wonderful day, and I took off most of my clothes.

I checked in at the hotel and went for a walk. My head and back where killing me and I needed to stretch, drink plenty of water and breath fresh. I like driving but this one hurted me really bad.

Fixing a microwave oven with a broken keypad

This is by far one of the most productive things I did this week outside of work (at least the one I can write about here).

A couple of months ago my ex gave it to me, it started with intermittent display issues and one day it stopped completely. I picked it up and stored it.

The other weekend I was in a bit of cleaning frenzy and I remembered that it was using valuable space on the shack doing nothing so I set to see if it had any hope of working again. Otherwise I’d take the transformer and dish motor, the magnetron would go to a friend and the rest sold as scrap.

This is the second time I fix a microwave oven and I’m amazed at the amount of grease and acid stench that accumulates inside them.

I bridged the safety interlock pads on the control board and powered it with an isolation transformer. It kinda turned on but was not responsive and only some digits were dimly lit. It was also very sticky.

After that I cleaned it using lukewarm water, detergent and a toothbrush, a scoop with a hair drier and then another bath with alcohol.

Now it works!

The keypad is a mess, besides being sticky and stenchy too the conductive traces were broken, like dissolved, on the connector side. For some models there are still replacements on the market but they aren’t cheap and also what’s the fun on that?

I peeled away the layers, traced it and make a replacement using tact switches. The decal will be glued on top of that. It works fine, there’s less waste (but I’m short of a spot welder) and off it goes to Radio Futura.


Today was quite a lovely morning, not overly chilly despite being Winter. I didn’t consider all the mud so I missed it by a couple of minutes as I had to step out of the bike and walk. The rest of the set is there at flickr.


There was this old lady at our club that used to calm discussions with this adage:

If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t. Unless it’s important.

She was very very quiet.

I have more than enough ranting material but, on the other arm of the scale I have this that makes me feel warm inside and takes away all the pain.

A while ago one of my Best Friends published his first album, Clusterobvia.

We were long out of touch despite living near and one Thursday tagged along for tea and snacks with a mutual Best Friend to catch up (quite a bizarre triangle).
He brought two copies and we discovered that our names appear on the credits with words so nice and heartwarming beyond description.

It’s so wonderful seeing the dreams of a close friend come true. I’m very guilty of keeping feelings to myself and so when reading the booklet there was such a revelation of how much we value each other.


Always look on the bright side of life.

(scheduled to be auto published on June 1st. Probably I’m not around yet)

A lot happened these months.

Earlier this year I was officially stamped as being depressed. The downhill started before but I just snapped around mid January.

I used to live and breath by technology (well I still do but to a less extent), but lately I lost all joy and pride on what I was doing. Standing in front of my computer gave rise to a paralyzing anxiety. I knew exactly what to type, either because it was plain simple or I wrote it before on my notepad on the park, but the mere act of getting to the action part wasn’t working for me. I also spent way too much time doing crappy stuff for others on it, missing on my friendships, health, family and time for myself.

I also have a bad habit of not saying no. Saying yes it’s a different matter, but the net result was a very unhealthy overcommitting.

In a very bold move I decided to cut everything, no halfsies. I stopped answering the phone, every non urgent mail (if it wasn’t something urgent it’s still there, I’ll get back to you. Promise), all the social channels.

I let down a lot of people on the way but it let me really focus on what I care about.

It also gave me a bit of peace, I’m still crippled but not like before. During the last years I did all I could to build procedures, tools, documentation in order to be non essential. The bus factor on many of the things I’m involved with it’s still high but at least I don’t have that much pressure over my shoulders.

I disappeared into a black hole, things didn’t broke (well, most of them) and people somehow got around my absence. Being non essential is great, that feeling of freedom is quite good.

Today it’s June 1st and I am officially back online. I wrote a lot of stuff in this period, I don’t think I’ll ever publish most of that, while being technically correct the form reminds me of emo cries from the 90’s.

Everything old is new again

The other afternoon I saw a dude in his early twenties with a brand new Run DMC shirt and very proud of it. A mainstream radio played at middle morning some songs from the album “Lovelife” by Lush, and not even the popular ones. And I’m back to emo days.


So, I’m facing an issue and the best tools so far (or the ones that are the less worse) seem to involve both php and xslt. And a braindead webservice. Go team.
Not totally unrelated, I’m surprised at the amount of stuff that can be found with “depressed developer”.


So, I had this red lace knotted in my wrist for a bit more than two years now. It holds a lot of meaning to me, I received it in the sweet fifteen birthday of a friend’s daughter (that identified us as able to grab alcohol from the bar). A person I hold very dear tied it to me and I did the same to her.

Why do I still have it? For starters it’s quite robust, I didn’t expect it to last this longer.
On the other paw, I keep it because it remembers me of all those wonderful years we had, when I felt like I’ve found my purpose and place in Life. I look at it and feel warm inside, with fondling memories of all the adventures we’ve been through, how we grew together.

I don’t hold any hope things will be back as they were. I thought I was ready to let go, forget everything and start again from a clean slate but turns out I’m not.

It reminds me of the kind of Man I could be. It points to the north.

I don’t like what I’ve become after we splitted paths. But I know I’m capable of more.

I just have to figure out how to rise up and take control of my life, how to build strength to start again.

Looking back, it appears I hit rock bottom in periods of about eight years. There’s one upside of being so torn inside, the only possible way is up. But when?

Why do I even bother…

I tell you it’s for your own good people but no, you keep doing the same horrible things.

While bisecting a nasty bug I land into a monster commit:

$ git show --stat THE_COMMIT_HASH
commit 123456789A04a0d558749337badc0de9deadbeef
Author: root
Date: Tue Aug 4 09:10:16 2015 -0300

(files changed...)
38 files changed, 865 insertions(+), 657 deletions(-)

And this is one of the smaller ones. It updates vendor libraries, adds middlewares to our api, changes the authentication scheme and does some touch ups to the web frontend. I couldn’t care less that it was committed as root but the log message is murder to my eyes.

How hard is to understand that doing this is bad for everyone? It’s very easy to do this instead of making a couple of extra commits but when things break you come crying asking me to fix them and instead of being a simple task I have to sift through mountains of unrelated stuff.

You are more than welcome.

Not enough.

A very long while ago a Woman told me

I don’t have time for Love

Back then I couldn’t just wrap in my head that concept (she indeed had time for Lust, even written down in her agenda). Until now.

I’m in that situation. I was unable to utter those words but the way we behaved is more than enough.

How hard is to say I don’t love You anymore, I just don’t feel what I used to…

How different things were to be if I had the courage of saying so instead of waiting so long.

How coward.