Manuela's blog

Hi, I'm Manuela, and I finally decided to start writing a blog. I like flowers, cooking, and unsolved mysteries. My secret dream is to travel to the other side of the world, like my father supposedly did.

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Name:Manuela María de la Rama Villanueva

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Never ever would I dare to guess that so many people will contact me to get the puzzle papers. I'm starting to feel more and more involved in this "hunt". And somehow I can't get rid of the feeling that this is all according to my grandfather's elaborate plan. Who knows ;)

By the way, I'm starting to get the hang of all the puzzles, too. Now I only need to find someone (not involved in the competition, of course!) who will help me to give some names to the things I found in "random noises" :)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Solving all the puzzles

At first I considered it impossible, but I actually managed to solve some of my grandfather's puzzles. It was quite a surprise, as I don't speak Slovak too well, but it turned out that it's not really necessary for some of them. Try this one: maze1. It's really easy, you can solve it without even knowing what the answer means in Slovak. On the other hand, I have absolutely no chance at all to solve this one: book. I barely understand the text, something about the Russians and Englishmen sailing on some ships.

For some of the puzzles I wasn't really sure whether my answer is correct, and so I registered a team and tried to submit them. Only afterwards I realized that in this way I might have revealed my existence. My first impulse was to rename the team and hide it -- what if someone happens to notice it and...

But then I realized -- why bother? Laissez faire... Qué será, será. Nejako už len bude.

P.S.: If you are interested in the puzzle papers Abraham sent me, drop me a line: manuela at alpertron com ar

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Puzzled -- twice

After I spent two days locked up in my room, and the next few googling, I now know a bit more about the entire issue. My Slovak grandfather was apparently a practical joker. Instead of dying quietly and leaving his family to argue about his legacy, he hid it somewhere. And not only that. There seems to be a huge set of puzzles that supposedly contain clues to where all the money (or whatever it is) is hidden. You can find out more at, provided that you speak Slovak, of course. Anyone can participate and get a chance to grab all the good stuff Grandpa had hidden.

But there is one thing that is far more important than all this odd stuff. I have a new family. I know who my father is.

I'm not really sure what to do. I read each of the family blogs line by line for something like ten times. It is clear that if Abraham really is my Grandpa, then Dusan has to be my father. He is still alive, and it seems that he's doing just fine. In fact, more than that. He is married, and I have two step-siblings.

And I'm convinced that this is really the case. I haven't been able to find Dusan's picture yet, but with Lenka (my step-sister) I had the feeling as if I always knew her -- both her looks and her way of thinking. How similar are we? If I grew up in Slovakia, would I be like her?

THE question: What shall I do now? Shall I announce my existence to the entire family? Contact Dusan only? Or just let them live in peace? What would be the best solution for all of us? Is there any best solution?

I don't know. I just don't.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A coin and three papers

I finally went to the post office, and imagine my surprise when I saw that the envelope´s origin was Slovakia. I ripped it open, and a small Slovak coin fell out. Apart from it, the envelope contained three papers. One of them stated that my grandfather (I never saw) is dead. The letter said nothing more about him, not even the point I was interested in most of all: how did he know about me???

The other two papers were... let´s say strange.

I´ll write about them later, now I need to lay down for a while and think about this. I´m excited, scared, and confused at the same time.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Some people are so lazy!

Laziness can really make me angry!

This evening I went to pick up my mail from my mailbox (the real one for a change :)) . I found a note from the postman saying that I received a letter to be delivered into my own hands, and that he wasn't able to reach me. The point is, I was working from home for the entire day. The postman didn't even bother to check whether somebody's home, he simply dropped the note and went on. Now I'll have to drag myself to the local post office and pick it up. I wonder when am I supposed to do it, my schedule for the next few days is pretty full.

Monday, August 07, 2006

My favourite comic series

For quite a while I've been addicted to several webcomics. First, there is Megatokyo. The story has quite diverted during the years, and it is developing at an incredibly slow pace, but somehow I can't stop reading it. If only to find out whether Piro "gets the girl" in the end.

Then there are some "professional" comic series: UserFriendly, and CtrlAltDel. Both are oriented on IT readers (well, CtrlAltDel is more a gamer comic, but still it counts), and they both make me laugh quite often. Oh yes, and I shouldn't forget to mention TheNoob, the ultimate roleplayer's webcomic. I did read some Dilbert, but it didn't really catch my heart. Hackles was close to the top of my list, too bad it's over now -- but still it's worth the read!
And from a slightly different heap, I mustn't forget to mention the Bunny Suicides. They are (sadly) not available online, but you can buy the books at Amazon... and they are worth every penny! (Some of my female friends didn't share this point of view. However, most of my co-workers did.)

Happy reading, fellow addicts! :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's a rainy day...

... but the sun will shine -- at least so go the lyrics of one song from the eighties (or maybe nineties?). During my whole sick leave the sky was heavenly blue, and now that I recovered from my sickness it won't stop raining. Maybe there's some truth in the Murphy's laws after all ;)

As I couldn't splend much time outside yesterday (without getting soaking wet), I went to the movies with a friend of mine, and finally saw The Dead Man's Chest. It was... Umm... the first half of the movie? The overall atmosphere of the movie was great, and I'm still glad I went to see it, but the story didn't really catch my heart. Now I have an urge to pick up one of the old Monkey Island games, they have both the atmosphere and a story I will never stop laughing at. And they even have a zombie pirate captain! :)