One of the best decisions we ever made


As a palm tree-worshipping Puerto Rican, I am not crazy about Minnesota winters … but this bitter season does sometimes trigger fond memories.

It was during a deep-freeze January that my wife, son and I moved into our current St. Paul home, which turned out to be one of the best decisions of our lives.

“That was five years ago, right?” I asked my wife today.

“No, dear,” she replied, “Seven.”

Wow. Time flies when you’re having fun.

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I find my favorite childhood sci-fi novels

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Book day was perhaps my happiest time in grade school, when I was so awkward and shy I was all but unable to make friends. Books were my buddies.

On book day, boxfuls of Scholastic Corporation volumes arrived to much rejoicing all around. The tomes I had painstakingly selected and ordered were at last in my possession, often with profound effects that linger to this day.

This is how I learned to love books … and certain books in particular.

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Just a few words about ‘Force Awakens’


I just got back from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (on my birthday, no less) and I’m unprepared to render a final verdict.

I have to let this one percolate for a while, as with other films that feature treasured pop-culture icons like “Star Trek” and Superman. In fact, I will need to go see the new “Star Wars” movie at least once more, maybe twice.

I am a bit crestfallen, though, at how little “Force Awakens” thrilled me to my core on an initial viewing.

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Apple and Android Pay, meet Ojezap Pay


I made another of my periodic guest-host appearances on the Minnov8 Gang Podcast with Tim Elliott, Graeme Thickins, Phil Wilson and Steve Borsch … who, as per usual, are a bunch of weisenheimers.

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I’m Julio Ojeda-Zapata, a nerd, boricua and tech writer living in St. Paul, Minn.
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Julio's bookshelf: read

MacArthur at War
liked it
This sweeping account of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Pacific exploits during World War II is heavy on the minutia but nonetheless thrilling. This isn't an adoring account, either, but a warts-and-all tale.
The Menopause Book
My wife pulled this out and jokingly asked me if I wanted to read it. Challenge accepted. I learned a lot.
The Wedding Heard ’Round the World: America’s First Gay Marriage
really liked it
Decades before Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage, the authors (who are a couple) pushed boundaries. A good read.
"The Last Starfighter" with a twist, this grabbed me more than the author's earlier, better-known "Ready Player One" (which I never finished).
Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists
it was ok
I had a hard time getting through this disjointed narrative. It's in some ways a rehash of the authors' earlier minimalism manual. Not impressed (but I like their blog and podcast).