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About Me

Just in case you want to contextualize my comments, here's some information about me. I'm a Software Engineer working in Silicon Valley. Married, 2 kids, 2 cats, 1 dog and a stick bug (though it's not clear how much longer the stick bug will be with us).

I'm from Argentina originally and I've been a US citizen for a while. I desperately tried to become one to vote in the 2004 presidential election. I made it, but my vote did not make any difference. An unfortunate consequence of being a liberal in California and the winner-take-all electoral system. I talk about politics all the time. My Facebook profile lists me as "extremely liberal".

I'm passionate about public education. My parents made it a point to send me to public schools in Argentina as I was growing up and I'm doing the same for my kids. The public schools here are much better than the schools I went to growing up, but unfortunately the funding reality in California is making them worse with every round of cuts. I'm involved in our local PTA and have been on the board of the Redwood City Education Foundation, and hence I'm very familiar with the funding issues.

I play the guitar and the piano, listen to a lot of music, read a lot of stuff and play video games on the Wii. I also watch lots of films, with a preference for foreign/independent/art films. It always bothers me that critics don't tell you their top 10 favorite movies before giving you any review at all.

I play soccer and tennis and enjoy watching both. I insist on watching Argentina games in the World Cup live and tell my employers at hiring time that I will be taking off at strange times of the day when that time comes around every four years. With DVRs I can now watch many games after hours, without disturbing my family life.

I do not write about myself in the third person.


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High Def, Low Def and Now Ultra Low Def TV

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I claim that the video quality we get from TyC for these Argentinean soccer games is lower than Low Definition. Games look, really, really bad, much worse than low definition games you see on ESPN or even Univision. I don't know why, but here's the evidence.

What follows is snapshots of my LCD TV, with signal from DirecTV, comparing High Definition to whatever this other thing is. I used my digital camera, taking pictures at max resolution.

First, a snapshot of this weekend's Barcelona Vs. Osasuna game.

Very pretty. Now here's the capture of today's glorious Boca Juniors victory over Huracán.

To highlight the differences even further, I took a picture …

Should I move to Redwood City and send my kids to its Public Schools?

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I have a 2 year old daughter and we're considering buying a house. Redwood City is more affordable than other communities, but I'm worried about the public schools. So, should I consider moving to Redwood City?
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One thing I did not enjoy was the focus of the ending on the lotteries that would decide whether the kids we had been following would get into their respective Charter schools, schools that would be the difference between success and failure. Dramatically the scenes work and we're on the edge of our seats waiting to see if they make it in (most do not!), but the emotional kick from these scenes undoes a very important point the movie makes about Charter schools: just like normal schools, some …