I’m off to Algarve for a few days with the family (all the brothers will be there at the same time, which is something of a rarity). I hope to relax, read, walk the beaches and play some golf.
I also hope I still manage to pull off the reservations for the ski trip for February or March. I was really undecided as to wether go for it this year or not and so I left it to the last minute. If everyone can make it we’ll be a sizable group, which is a first for me and it should be a lot of fun.
Well, I’m off to finish packing and then I’ll hit the road.
Long time no news. Had to take care of my back problems, and that took quite a while and caused me to miss two concerts I really wanted to attend. Bummer. On a more positive note, I ended up having to take the train to work instead of driving (driving in slow-moving traffic is killer to my back and I wasn’t able to do it for quite a few days) and now I’m doing it out of pure pleasure.
Feels just like college days again, it takes around the same time as driving (at this time of the year at least, in the summer things are much different), but I get to read and enjoy the scenery during the train travel, something which I found out I sorely missed!
Christmas shopping was a mess though, having lost two weeks with the no-driving situation and so I ended up doing it in the middle of the hordes of other shoppers —which sucked big time!—, but in the end I managed to get everything done and wrapped up with a few days to spare (even if I had to end up skimping a bit on what I had planned to get people. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts).
Christmas this year is not a very cheerful occasion for me (and I’ve actually been scolded for this, go figure!), but I must say I did enjoy sending my friends their christmas cards —very much indeed. I sent them right after I got back from London, in the very first days of December, so people who wanted to send cards back to me already had the address when they got around to it (moving has more drawbacks than one thinks off at the beginning).
Having delayed the traditional viewing of the Nightmare Before Christmas (I was foolishly waiting on a miracle which, obviously, didn’t happen), I must say it was a delight to do it this evening, especially after installing the most expensive cable I have ever bought (my old HDMI cable was screwing up the DVD-to-TV signal rather badly). The picture quality in my system is now at it’s top and I am indeed pleased with it.
By now I’m actually able to sing along to almost all of the songs from the movie and it was really rather fun to curl up in the sofa, with a nice fresh pot of Earl Grey and let me get carried away to that most strange place. Good times!
Oh and this morning I felt like trying to run (more like jog, actually, I’m not that fast a runner) to see if my back could take it already and I was pleasantly surprised that I was actually in pretty good shape. I ended up doing about 10Km (twice up-and-down the Estoril beach walk)! Listening to Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” (one of my most recent purchases on CD) helped. That album still has it after all these years. Pure energy!
I’m also trying to stay active in other fronts and so I’ve released another episode of the Undercover Songs podcast. Thirty-six episodes (thirty-seven if you count the pilot) and counting…
And I miss my shows. The Writer’s Guild strike is messing things up pretty badly. I find myself missing “Men In Trees” for crying out loud! And it was just nasty, leaving things on such a cliff hanger. The guy is lost at sea, how long can he last if the story doesn’t move forward?! :-)
There’s this old song by Kenny Rogers, called “The Gambler” which has a chorus that goes along the lines of
You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em
Now I’m not a fan of Kenny Rogers by any means, but I caught this song playing on the radio (the iPod battery does run out sometimes, unfortunately) and by a conjunction of wild factors it got me to thinking about the following:
We all have our… systems (for the broadest possible interpretation of the word) in our lives and we all know that a system will, inevitably, seem to break down and fail sometimes.
When this happens there are a few ways to deal with it and different people have different ways of reacting to a system failure or break down —some will stop and re-assess it, others will just turn their eyes away and pretend everything is OK, others will think long and hard about how to fix things up and others still will just quit it and be done with the whole thing.
While giving up may be the best course of action on occasion (and it may seem to be the easiest way many times), those who preserver and stick with things when it all seems to be breaking down will sometimes reap huge benefits later on, when things get back on track, and their faith and effort are rewarded with a fully-functional, proven and even improved system. Their work was well applied and they get a better system than they had before. Sometimes these people are the great winners.
But then sometimes the system is just bust and recovery is impossible. There is just no way to get it to work better (or at all), and people who stick to their guns are just wasting their time, clinging to a false hope that everything will turn out all-right in the end. These people will then have to contend with the fact that they lost all of that time and effort betting on the wrong horse and gaining a reputation of being pig-headed and unreasonable. Heart break (again in the broadest sense of the phrase) will ensue.
So my question is (ye gods, I’m sounding just like Marin Frisk here…), how do you know when to fold ‘em? When is it best to just give up on the system and move on to some other thing?
If you quit something now, that may be the right thing after all (but is just going through a trying time), you will loose. Maybe loose big.
But, on the other hand, if you stick with it for too long and it just gets you nowhere, you will never get that time and effort back, it is just lost forever, together with lots of other things you could have been doing with your time and effort all along (yes, I’m talking about opportunity cost here).
Knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em is indeed the big secret to a happy life (career/project/whatever), but while some people seem to know it all and have all the right answers, I believe most of us are (at least a bit) lost in the dark most of the time.
PS- This question obviously has no right answer, it is just here for the sake of asking. That’s why it is in the “thoughts” section, after all.
Acabei de vir do Hospital de Cascais, onde fui atendido nas urgências por causa de uma lombalgia aguda (ou seja, uma distensão muscular nas costas).
Quando entrei mal me podia mexer e respirava a muito custo com as dores (aliás, para ir ao Hospital é porque estava mesmo muito mal).
Fui atendido quase imediatamente (OK, isto foi sorte, não havia muita gente à espera nas urgências), tratado e mandado embora com a receita. Tudo muito rápido e eficiente.
Tive é direito a duas injecções —uma de relaxante muscular e outra de soro analgésico— o que para quem, como eu, odeia agulhas é realmente um jackpot, mas aí não há nada a fazer.
Tendo morado (quase) toda a minha vida no concelho de Cascais esta não é a minha primeira experiência com as urgências deste hospital e desta vez, tal como na esmagadora maioria das outras, o tratamento foi rápido, eficiente e as pessoas atenciosas e competentes.
É muito frequente ouvir-se queixas do serviço de urgências deste hospital e algumas histórias que se ouvem são, efectivamente, de arrepiar, mas eu tenho de admitir que tenho muito boa impressão deste serviço.
Sinto que quando realmente preciso (como foi o caso hoje) posso dirigir-me lá e serei atendido e tratado da melhor forma.
Claro que poderá haver algum percalço e já os houve comigo, mas em geral sinto que posso confiar neste serviço. E isso é extremamente importante.
Porque também importa mencionar as coisas que funcionam bem.
Two potentially great shows are coming up this week, and this time I already have tickets. Hah!
So this week I’m attending:
I’ll probably have something to tell about these shows afterwards, so keep watching this space.
Just got home. The flight was OK, but the two-and-a-half hour delay I could have lived without.
Luckily my new phones and The Economist served me well in the wait and during the flight back home.
The house is colder than it’s ever been since I moved in (I didn’t remember to program the heating to turn on before I arrived), so I’m colder here than I was in London! But then Pedro and Joana’s house was always really confortable.
They rock, by the way. Truly!
The notes I took during the talks are on-line on the “Notebook” section of the site, but this time they’re even more sparse and cryptical than usual —they’re really just notes I’ve taken for myself.
Anyway, even if it was a great conference, the thing I valued most was meeting with the people there. And attending the announcement of the new leader of London.pm, which was great fun.
Keeping up with the rate of beer drinking at the pub, after the conference, turned out to be basically impossible, but then that’s hardly news for me, the brits take their b33r very seriously indeed! :-)
These are a few notes I’ve taken during the presentations I attended at the 2007 edition of the London Perl Workshop.
catalyst.pl Project- very basic…
Catalyst is basically just a component loader and a URI dispatcher
DBIx::Classmay be helpful)
:Chained-> powerful enough to implement almost everything else…
HTML::Template(too simple for most stuff?)
Day two and the parks had it —Hyde, Green and St. James. Also the south bank of the Thames and the Soho, again. I have walked countless miles, but I’m as happy as can be! :-)
Now I must run to take a shower and go out to the pub to meet the geeks for the pre-conference b33r session. After that the plan is to go out with a couple of friends and explore London’s night-life. I wonder if I will make it. Maybe if I just don’t stop and sit for too long along the way…
So here I am in London town again, with the perfect excuse of coming to attend this year’s edition of the London Perl Workshop (which is really more of an pretext than an excuse as I will attend and enjoy it).
Roaming the streets of this city on a glorious sunny day is always soul-cleansing for me. I hung around the west end shopping zone and did all the shopping I had to do (so everyone who asked me for tea, jams and so on may rest assured whatever you asked for, you’ve got it coming to you, pun intended). I even lost my mind and after some 3 years of lusting after them I finally caved in and got myself a set of QuietComfort 3 headphones (3 years ago I was lusting for the QuietComfort 2, not the 3), especially for the flight back home! :-)
It’s really kind of fun meeting friends here, it makes wonder (harder) whether I really could live here… Oh well, it’s almost time to go meet the guys and get to the pub.
Tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain too heavily: the parks!
OK, my iPod has been acting up and it seems like it is ready to go to the big electronic garbage can in the sky any day now.
Last week the drive on my home server died on me.
Today the drive on my work laptop is dying on me (I’m trying hard to get my home directory out before it fails completely).
What the heck is wrong with my electronic equipment?
You’d better watch out if you see me getting anywhere near your computers these days. You never now what sort of weird electromagnetic fields I might be emanating.
A Paula achou por bem perguntar-me por cinco filmes de que eu goste particularmente.
Embora nunca tenha participado em nenhuma destas cenas de correntes e tal, acho o tema engraçado e vou listar aqui as minhas escolhas.
Antes de mais um aviso à navegação: eu não sou de todo um cinéfilo inveterado, nem sequer um conhecedor de “bom cinema”, por isso as minhas escolhas vão necessariamente ser um bocado “frouxas”. É a vida! :-)
Para fazer as escolhas optei por um critério muito simples: cinco filmes que, por uma razão ou por outra, acabo por ver e rever repetidamente e não necessariamente os cinco filmes que ache “os melhores que já vi” (até porque essa escolha seria ainda mais difícil).
Os “nomeados” são então:
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
É uma tradição minha ver este filme por alturas do Natal (está quase na altura!), todos os anos sem falta. O ambiente, a história, as músicas, tudo se conjuga num filme que acho particularmente delicioso. É comum dar por mim a cantarolar algumas das músicas que constam nele em qualquer altura do ano.
Já agora, não esquecer a versão da “Sally’s Song”, interpretada pela Fiona Apple que foi lançada numa edição especial da banda sonora. Verdadeiramente genial!
“Everyone Says I Love You”
Sendo um fã incondicional de Woody Allen tinha de ter um filme dele nas minhas escolhas, claro. Agora que foi difícil escolher um de entre eles, isso foi!
Mais um musical, mas com todos os jeitos e trejeitos que adoro no Woody. Uma história simples, sem grandes pretensões, mas um filme que me deixa muito bem disposto e que volta e meia dou por mim com vontade de rever (apesar de não ser, definitivamente, o melhor filme dele);
“Lost In Translation”
Nem sei muito bem o que mais me atrai neste filme. Acho que é todo o ambiente ligeiramente depressivo e a sensação estranha de que toda a gente anda completamente perdida no que diz respeito à vida e ao que quer dela. Há alguma coisa naquele desespero silencioso, na sensação de que algo está profundamente errado na nossa existência e que falta algo de muito importante, mas não sabemos bem o quê, que faz muito sentido para mim.
A banda sonora também tem um papel muito importante, com músicas que fizeram parte da banda sonora da minha própria juventude, todas elas muito bem escolhidas;
Música. Escolhas. Listas. Relacionamentos falhados.
Adoro este filme por todas as razões e mais algumas. Por um lado identifico-me de forma assustadora com partes da história e dos personagens —a música é uma das partes mais importantes da minha vida, as mixed tapes que me levavam tardes inteiras a fazer até ficarem perfeitas, muitas delas com objectivos bem definidos, a obsessão pelas listas de músicas com determinados temas…—, por outro lado a ligação da música aos eventos relevantes da nossa vida, em particular aos relacionamentos que vamos tendo, é uma constante da minha própria vida até hoje.
Definitivamente um dos meus filmes preferidos de sempre;
“Four Weddings And A Funeral”
Bom, se descartarmos o final feliz, este é um filme que me atrai particularmente.
Nesta altura penso que o Hugh Grant ainda não era assim tão conhecido como isso e o seu ar de Britânico resignado com as vicissitudes da vida era bastante credível.
Relacionamentos falhados, histórias tristes que acabam mal, um filme que também “roda” regularmente em tardes frias e chuvosas.
E pronto. Foram os filmes que me vieram à cabeça assim de repente. Por um lado ainda bem que não estive muito tempo a pensar nisto e que não estou em casa com a minha colecção de DVDs à mão, senão iria ser impossível escolher (só de pensar nisso lembro-me, por exemplo, do “Ladyhawke”, do primeiro “Batman” (o do Tim Burton), do “Ghost In The Shell”, do “Dead Man” e… é melhor ficar por aqui mesmo). :-)
Ah! pois, sendo isto uma corrente é suposto eu “passá-la” a mais algumas pessoas mas olhem, tenham lá paciência, mas não vou nomear ninguém em particular. Quem lêr o meu blog e quiser seguir já sabe: escolha cinco filmes de que goste muito e liste-os no seu próprio blog. Divirtam-se! :-)
Lots of stuff to yap about, little time to do so, so this is a link-less post.
Backups of my music collection are underway. Brackup has been happily encrypting it and sending it over to Amazon’s S3 service for a day and a half now. I estimate another two full days for it to finish. Thank goodness for incremental backups!
Went bowling (for the second time or so). Lots of fun. The fact that it happened during a company outing and the drinks were essentially on the house surely helped… :-)
Played golf for the very first time ever (OK not “played” exactly, just shot a few balls on the driving range). Contrary to what I expected, it actually seems like a fun activity (notice I don’t say “sport”). My brother was right about it, of course. Only thing wrong with it is that the amount of money you have to spend to play it in Portugal is utterly obscene, so this is not an option for me at all;
On the very same day we “went golfing” I introduced my brother to squash and that is a sport. Even with him being way younger than me and all I still killed him on the court. Killed him physically, not in the game itself where he beat me 2-1. And I did have to kill myself to do i too. Ah, the joys of being young and having a job that keeps you fit… ;-) Did I mention he was an ace tennis player a few years ago? Yeah, I just thought I should mention that;
Dead Man (the one with Johnny Depp) is a great movie. Hadn’t watched it in years and I’m really glad I bought it on DVD;
“Trois Couleurs - Blanc” is also a good movie. Not as good as “Trois Couleurs - Bleu”, but then I already expected that;
Had a little memory lane trip and indulged my trigger finger for a while with OpenArena (the open-source version of QuakeWorld). I don’t care how many new FPS come out each year, QuakeWorld still rules for being ultra fun as a multi player shoot’em up;
The Big Band Reunion are playing again, every Thursday, at Onda Jazz. Yay!
Friends who go against their own advice and don’t even warn you about it suck;
Doing chestnut puree is very easy (if you use frozen chestnuts and don’t mind ending up with the stuff all over the working area, but then that may just mean that I’m really not that handy with the mixer) and it tastes really, really good. I think it was the sugar and honey that did the trick;
Must brace myself for the eventual demise of my good old 60GB iPod photo. It is getting kind of hard to fit my music collection in it anyway, and I already had to take a selection out (which is something I hate to do), but I’m quite attached to it. Still, signs of it’s impending breakage are there for me to see and hear, which means that I must now look at the most recent models with their huge disks. Maybe I’ll go nuts and treat myself to a new laptoy while I’m at it,
$DIVINITY knows my 900MHz G3 iBook has taken more than it’s fair share of abuse…
Going to London for the upcoming London Perl Workshop would be a very nice excuse to finally get a decent (and especially small) point-and-shoot camera and a set of noise-canceling headphones (Bose maybe?). Hum…
Also, must remember to bring back loads and loads of tea, ‘cause who knows when I’ll be back. Just the usual trinity: Darjeeling, Assam and Earl Grey, probably from Whittard.
Oh what a fruitful weekend… Not only did I try to enjoy all the sun and good weather we’re still having (it might not last long!), but I also managed to take care of some things which were nagging me for quite some time now (and still are, but now I’m doing something about them).
Here, then, are the most fruitful activities of the past few days, all condensed and filled to the brim with geek detail.
Spent part of it going over the data on my computers and disks and finally doing something serious about backups.
The thing is that, since I’m currently outsourcing many things in the digital realm anyway —my mail is currently handled by Gmail, comments on my site are handled by HaloScan—, I decided that my backup strategy should also take that route and essentially leave that to someone who knows how to do it better an has better means to deal with the problems that it involves.
So this weekend, apart from burning the obligatory CDs and DVDs with my the latest few months worth of photos (it still frustrates me the amount of time it takes to burn a single stupid DVD full of data), I also tidied up the contents of most of my computers (still have one to go) and started to do the same to the major shared disk at home, in preparation for using Amazon’s S3 service, which comes with all the obvious benefits of scalability, reliability, geographical distribution of content, etc, etc.
The math behind proving that this is the most cost-effective solution for a long-term backup strategy are trivial and I won’t go into that here, so I am now considering how best to go about it on more practical terms.
The computer quick backup part is easy enough, just leave it to Brackup to deal with everything from spotting changes to breaking everything into pieces of the appropriate size to encrypting all the data before sending it (and decrypting it after getting it back). Just do a little command-line configuration and setup a cron job on each machine and you’re done. Nice and easy.
As for the storage of material which I won’t have on-line on my computers (old photos, movies and suchlike —the long-term storage of things which I don’t use very often), I’m not really sure how to deal with that right now.
Brackup is great for PC backups, but for data that isn’t on-line at the source of the backup there is the danger that I will want to issue a
brackup-target amazon prune or a
brackup-target amazon gc and it will destroy my backups. Of course I just have to remember not to do this for some certain backups while I do it consistently for others (the PC ones) but it is obvious that in there be dragons.
Encrypting these files myself and sending them over to another storage bin at Amazon would be easy, but then I’d have to deal with verifying, restoring and all the other stuff I want to keep well clear of…
Still have to figure that one out.
Even with all the file sorting, media burning, time spent trying to catch all the sun I could and family events, I still found some time to do other stuff like reading.
And so it was that I started reading “Music by Philip Glass”, a book written by Glass himself, describing the evolution of his musical career from the beginnings through to (and this is the part I most yearn to read) the composing and presentation of his operas —”Einstein on the Beach”, “Satyagraha” and “Akhnaten”. Now I’m not a biography fan, never have been and I don’t remember ever having read one, really, but this one seems like it will be really fun and entertaining. I’ve barely started with it and already I have made notes of more than a couple of other authors or works I will want to check out later.
While I’m on the subject of reading, Rui brought this article to my attention and I found it too hilarious not to mention here.
The title is “The Nerd Handbook” and one of the winning passages in it is this one:
[The nerd] sees the world as a system which, given enough time and effort,
is completely knowable. This is a fragile illusion that your nerd has
adopted, but it’s a pleasant one that gets your nerd through the day.
It’s fun and, on some respects, strikingly true for many a good nerd (or, as I prefer to call them: geek).
Other than that, I got through a pile of podcasts I had been collecting for months and which I had been actively ignoring (mostly music-related ones), fretted over not having produced another episode of the Undercover Songs podcast, thought about contributing to the Contrast podcast but decided against it (shuffle just didn’t appeal to me…), gave a first cursory glance at the photos I took in Morocco and knew I will never get them all processed (must put my harshest inner editor at work to select as few as I possibly can), got through quite a few episodes of the TV series I’m semi-following (none of them on portuguese TV, so I have them all pilling up on my PVR) —still didn’t start with the second season of Heroes, though— and listened to some new music (new for me,that is, but mostly stuff that is not that new, like Jan Garbarek or Alla Pollaca).
But the most satisfying thing that happened to me this weekend was finding out that people are already starting to shy away from going out to the beaches and beach-walks and so it is now possible to go over for long walks by the sea and not be worried with all the slalom you have to do to get through the crowds.
Soon now it will get to the point when it is raining and cold and I’ll be mostly alone on those places, with just the occasional sea nut (like me) walking by the shore, lost in thought.
Yes, there definitely are some advantages to winter and cold rainy days!
A quick recap of my latest forays into the arts and entertainment realms, lest I forget about these things as time goes by:
A couple of weeks ago I went to the movies to watch “A Outra Margem”, a portuguese film which caught me by surprise for being quite good. The cast and the soundtrack are great and the story, although not terribly original —apart from the main setup, the transvestite part and so on— is interesting enough. I had a real nice time watching it.
Then, last week, I went to a more mainstream title —”Elizabeth: The golden age”. This one is also an interesting film, but I must confess I didn’t find it as gripping or as satisfying as “A Outra Margem”. A bit too Hollywoody to lend credibility to the story being told, I guess. But even so, I did enjoy it, even if I could just as well have watched it on the telly on a Sunday afternoon. Which I never actually do, but you get the idea;
Also (and I have to admit this with some reluctance) I’ve finally decided to start watching Kieslowski’s trilogy “Trois Couleurs” (yes, I know, I’m almost 15 years late), which I’ve had on DVD for maybe a couple of years, but which I hadn’t felt up to, until now. I started with “Trois Couleurs: Bleu” and I’m hooked. I’m not sure whether the other two movies will be as good as this one, and in fact I’ve always felt I would like this one better —given what little I know of the plot and the actors—, but I’m looking forward to another quiet evening at home to get to the second one!
Other than that, on the music front, I’ve been pretty idle lately and the only thing I’ve done that’s noteworthy was to attend Rufus Wainwright’s concert last evening. Now I wasn’t (and still am not) a true connoisseur of his work so I’m not in a position to go deeply into the line-up chosen for this particular show, but what I can say is that he sings exceptionally well, with a range and intonation that could put many performers to shame and a most powerful voice. On the entertainment department (which is a major part of the show), well… I guess you have to like his type of show to fully appreciate it. Me, I wasn’t all that thrilled with his jokes and stories, but I didn’t hate it either. Let’s just say that the music was great, but the show overall was not my cup of tea. Still, I’m glad I went to see him perform live just this once.
Oh! and I’ve started my NaNoWrimo novel from scratch three time now (which is what you get when you don’t plan and decide on a plot ahead of time) and I’m still making headway into it. Long gone is the chance of making it to 50.000 words by the end of November but then I never really expected to make it anyway, so no great loss there. :-)
And not only that, but I’m going a couple of days earlier (I’ll have time to walk around London again, as I’ve been craving to do for a while), I’m going with friends (party!) :-) and I’m staying at a friend’s (no hotel fee).
Heads up everyone sending me Email: I’ve moved my mail to the Google Apps account I’ve setup for my domain (nunonunes.org) and today I’ve turned off the scaffolding I still had on my previous server in order to get any stray mail there was coming it’s way. So if there is any funkiness with my Email and I don’t seem to be answering you back, please try again (or contact me any other way you wish) and let me know what’s up.
I finally have a decent webmail interface for my Email and also IMAP access to it. Sweet!
This year’s London Perl Workshop will be on December first.
Tempting, very tempting… I wonder if I could find somewhere to crash for a couple of nights for free… Hum…
Lots of little things have been happening around here and while I do broadcast some of them over at twitter (which I feel should end up in the sidebar of the blog someday, as a kind of “micro-blogging”), here’s a wrap-up of the last few days.
Yesterday was a holiday and since the weather was rather nice I decided to go over to the beach at Guincho and take the book I was reading (which I finished right there on the beach incidentally) for some sand, sun and mind traveling.
It turns out it was so good out there that I ended up going for a swim. At Guincho. On November the first.
This is the same beach I was cast out of numerous times during the summer, by high cold wind and icy water.
Something is definitely off-whack here but hey, I’m not complaining!
And yet it is most definitely autumn now as I was painfully reminded earlier in the week, when a friend asked me for advice on the best time and location to watch the sunset on the Estoril coast. This particular friend knows quite well how I’m into that sort of stuff and I was more than happy to help, but I completely forgot about the daylight-savings hour change a few days back and I ended up telling her to be there an hour later. Luckily she was going for a stroll in the general vicinity and ended up watching the sunset on a nice place anyway (though not on the spot)…
This friend was taking the afternoon off, strolling around and catching some sun because she had just turned in her master’s dissertation so congratulations to you! :-)
I never did get a master’s degree, but I remember full well the time when I finished the last project at university and the relief I felt. I was working full-time at that time (just like my friend is) and I remember how great it felt to be able to live my life without the studying (or the guilt over not studying. After all, not only was I working, I was also recently wed by then…) ;-)
In other news, NaNoWriMo 2007 has started and, just today, I decided to take part in it. Which means I have to come up with a story idea and do some writing to catch up with the two day delay I already have.
Don’t know what NaNoWriMo is? Well, I suggest you go over to the site and check it out, but just as a quick recap, NaNoWriMo stand for National Novel Writing Month (although it is not specific to any particular nation or country) and the goal is to have people from all over the world write a novel (one each, mind you) of at least 50.000 words from November the first up until November the thirtieth.
Yes, 50.000 words as a novel is debatable, but that’s just a technicality.
No, you won’t get much good writing done with that kind of a deadline, but that’s really not the point. You see, since you will be writing like crazy to meet a word count deadline, you will not have time to go over the stuff you’ve written again and again and edit it until it is just perfect and so you (hopefully) just let your creativity flow and get your ideas out on paper (heh) as fast as you can. Then, after NaNoWriMo is over, you may go over and re-visit your novel and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find you have something worthwhile, a first draft of a great story. If not well, you just had fun participating and writing like a madman. Or madwoman, whatever.
Yes, it is do-able, 50.000 words in 30 days comes in at roughly 1.700 words a day. It is hard, but still doable, and the winners of the NaNoWriMo are all those who can deliver the 50.000 words by the end of November, regardless of quality (in fact you are assured that they will not ever read your material, just word-count it.
No, I don’t really expect to be a winner (i.e. get to 50.000 words by the end of November), but I do expect to jump-start my life-long semi-project of writing something on the broad genres of fiction and/or romance.
Yes, I do expect it to be fun. And I have the time after all…
Although other things have arisen lately to rob me of said time, namely, it looks like there’s something fishy with all the books and accounts at the condo I live in and I ended up moving in smack in the middle of a massive (and somewhat unpleasant) change in the administration company. So now it looks like I’ll be “drafted in” to be part of a committee to oversee the work of the new administration.
I’ll never know just what they saw in me that inspired their trust… ;-)
My friends are all either marrying (the “late” ones) or having their kids. Two of them have spawned their child processes this last couple of weeks.
Congrats guys (and gals). I may be getting older, but you lot are taking giant steps to out-perform me on the ageing department. Hah! :-)
I came back from my vacation only to find out that new sentient life forms have evolved, of their own accord, inside my fridge. Apparently I hadn’t quite finished out everything I had in there before shipping off and now I’ll have to struggle with whatever has grown in there, even if the smell is discouraging…
Have gloves, have spatula; will fight!
While I was away I missed the God Is An Astronaut concert, which happened to have the Allstar Project as an opening act, but at least (thanks to a friend who was lucky enough to go to the show,) I got the Allstar Project’s latest CD —Your Reward… A Bullet— which was released to the stores a couple of days after the show, and it rocks!
Do go over to the Allstar Project’s website and download the free track —Lasers Go Through Monkeys—, it is an excellent demo of the album and a great song to boot.
Yesterday, instead of staying at home and sleeping (like I needed to), I went instead to the Monty Python’s Best Sketches show. Great fun (even if I did feel myself dozing off a couple of times during the performance…)
I am actually quite a Python fan and did know most of the sketches and I confess that I was more than a bit worried about having the whole thing translated and adapted to Portuguese, but in the end it all went rather well and the trust I placed on the person who did the adaptation and on the performing artists payed off rather nicely.
And oh yes, I did make it into episode 81 of the Contrast Podcast, and with Bob Dylan’s “Most of the Time”, no less. Yay! Like I said on the intro, that song’s lyrics are absolutely brilliant, I’m just overjoyed that I got to pick it to be played in the show.
And now back to business as usual, the vacation is over, life goes on, soldier on, and so on and so forth…
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Erm… Right, OK, a while ago, I talked a bit about moblogging and how I wished the media posts were handled and so on. After that I didn’t really think much about it, but I did keep on doing what I always did as far as posting things “on-the-go” was concerned and thing kept evolving.
Now on my recent foray I used and abused of my mobile phone to do what can only be described as moblogging. Namely, I routinely posted small text snippets into twitter, pictures (taken with my phone’s camera, so the quality is not brilliant, but passable) into flickr and I did not (because my phone’s video capture is rubbish) but could very easily have posted videos to youtube.
All of this I did (or could have done) with MMS messages. The email interface would have given me even more options about what to do with the stuff I posted and how to categorize it, but on a country such as the one I was in I was lucky enough to have GPRS as it was.
And that is precisely the point, when you get to a stage where you have this kind of connectivity on a country such as Morocco, you truly are able to moblog to your heart’s content easily, with a (nowadays) more or less run-of-the mill phone.
The issues I alluded to on the old post are taken care of by default (you just have to use different email addresses for the pictures in order to specify their privacy settings, for example) and many people are now able to understand how to do all of this stuff easily.
If you want you can even use a service such as, for example, ShoZu to make even more sophisticated stuff with your media, but it really is not necessary.
The only thing I couldn’t do so easily was to post to my regular weblog, but that is a result of my decision to use a proprietary platform. If I were using any “normal” blogging platform out there it would be easy as pie to do it too.
Apparently everything is sorted out and so I’m almost off to Morocco.
This two day delay will only cost us one day of the trip as we’ll be coming back a day later, so not all is lost on that front.
Meanwhile I won’t be posting here, that’s for sure, but I’ll try and put up some pictures and/or even videos (depending on having MMS capabilities, patience and so on).
If I do put anything up, it will be on my Flickr account —the photos— and on my YouTube account —the videos. The video part is highly doubtful, though, and if I do put something on-line it will be recorded on my cell phone, not my DV camera, so you know what to expect.
Contrary to what was supposed to happen, I’m still home. Murphy insists on being present and this trip (which has had far too many ups and downs in the planning stages) has now been delayed for a couple of days. Still waiting to see how we’ll manage everything, but I’m not exactly holding my breath. What a mess!
Still, I got to play a little bit of Wii last evening (for the first time) and I did like it a lot, although I must say I’m probably not buying one anyway.
So today I decided to make the most of the extra time I gained and I’ve already sent in my submission to the next episode of the Contrast Podcast, by the theme of “Time”. I chose a song which I really love and I’ll be quite happy if I make it into to episode.
Now to look for something to do tonight. Can’t say I’m thrilled by the prospects, though, (musically-speaking). Movie anyone? :-)
So here I am, tidying things up at the office, ready to leave on a little vacation down on the Kingdom of Morocco.
There will be little activity here on the site (OK, let’s be honest, there will be no activity whatsoever on the site) until I get back.
I will only leave Friday morning and I’ll be back by Sunday the 22nd and I hope to get a tan, put my sleep back in order (this is the most important part) and maybe even rest. The mind, that is, the body will probably not rest all that much, but that’s OK. :-)
If I’m a good little blogger I may even put up some pictures when I get back…
And now to get out and try to catch a concert before going home. Tomorrow I’ll have to take care of everything I need for the trip, so I’ll have a busy day!
Não posso deixar de transcrever aqui uma frase de um amigo sobre o que é ser pai.
Não tendo experiência própria, não pude deixar de admirar a maneira como ele encara a coisa…
Ter um filho é como ter um projecto de software que corre muito mal,
as specs estão sempre a mudar, e o hardware é trocado a uma
velocidade alucinante. Ter dois, começas com problemas de rede,
protocolos incompativeis e não documentados.
E o tcpdump não funciona.
Mais uma receita fácil, para principiantes quase completos (como eu).
Desta vez a receita foi inventada um dia que estava a olhar para o que tinha em casa para fazer o jantar. É rápida de fazer e embora eu liste os ingredientes que utilizei, é muito fácil alterar para incluir o que houver à mão.
Também foi uma óptima maneira de estrear o meu wok novinho em folha! :-) Mas é óbvio que pode ser feito em qualquer outro utensílio do género.
A quantidade que fiz foi para um. Ou melhor, deveria ter sido, mas não se pode dizer que tenha acertado muito bem com as quantidades e acabei por comer por dois!
Bater um ovo para fritar mais tarde.
Lavar bem os cogumelos e cortá-los em lâminas.
De seguida dar-lhes uma entaladela no wok (esta é uma descoberta recente minha: dar uma entaladela nos cogumelos significa passá-los numa frigideira —ou semelhante—, com algum sal, até eles perderem a sua água), com cuidado para não abusar do sal!
Pôr os cogumelos de parte, deitar algum óleo no wok e deixar aquecer bem.
Fritar um pouco o toucinho fumado, fazendo-o perder um pouco da sua gordura e colocar de lado, junto dos cogumelos (retirando com cuidado de modo e evitar levar óleo junto).
Deitar o ovo no wok e mexer rapidamente, garantindo que ele fica todo “desfeito” em pedaços.
Retirar cuidadosamente os pedaços de ovo (para evitar levar óleo) e colocá-los junto dos cogumelos e do toucinho.
Entretanto (ou depois de tudo o que se fez acima, caso seja muito complicado estar a fazer tudo ao mesmo tempo —eu declaro-me culpado!) ferve-se água suficiente para cobrir toda a massa que se quer fazer e enquanto ela ainda ferve despeja-se por cima das massas.
Espera-se 5 minutos (ou o tempo indicado no pacote, mas geralmente é muito pouco), mexendo com um garfo no final, para ajudar a desembaraçar, até ficarem al dente.
Passado este tempo, escorre-se bem as massas e, enquanto elas escorrem, aquece-se de novo o óleo e coloca-se as “coisas” no wok para fritarem mais um pouco em conjunto (se não se tiver deixado arrefecer muito os ingredientes não é necessário dar muito tempo a esta fritura).
Quando as massas estiverem bem escorridas e as “coisas” quentes no wok, acrescenta-se as massas ao wok e deixa-se fritar (sim, é suposto fritar as massas) mexendo sempre muito bem.
Remexer e misturar o melhor possível, evitando partir a massa toda.
O “truque” de misturar tudo atirando a comida ao ar dá um aspecto de “cromo da cozinha”, é muito giro e ajuda realmente a misturar melhor as coisas, no entanto se por azar se falhar a recepção, pode correr muito mal e dar aso a uma bela noite de limpezas, a tentar lavar o óleo que saltou para todo o lado.
Com o wok a coisa é mais fácil e eu, até hoje, não tenho experiências negativas com esta brincadeira, mas tudo depende da coragem e jeitinho de cada um.
Eu avisei! ;-)
Quando a massa estiver dourada e/ou estivermos fartos de mexer, pode-se acrescentar um pouco de molho de soja (cuidado que o prato já deve ser algo salgado, não abusar deste molho) ou, no meu caso e porque não tinha molho de soja, um pouco de Worcestershire sauce (vulgo “molho inglês”) serviu perfeitamente —como disse no início, isto foi inventado com o que tinha à mão…
E, se tudo correu bem, o prato deve ficar bem limpo.
Finalmente, para acompanhar eu pessoalmente recomendo um chá forte (pois o sabor destes ingredientes é também bastante forte). No meu caso um Assam bem escuro caiu muito bem.
Todas as fotos podem ser vistas aqui no flickr.
Olha, o Hemingway à tarde é casa de chá. Que fixe! Não fazia ideia.
Como será que a selecção de chás? E os scones, serão bons?
Já tenho missão para um fim-de-semana destes.
Last monday I recorded another episode of the Undercover Songs podcast but I didn’t get around to writing up the blog entry and collecting all the links and stuff right away, so I ended up procrastinating it until today! Shame on me… But, anyway, episode 34 is up and while I’m not sure all of the regular listeners will enjoy it (this is a pretty quiet show) I actually like the way it turned out.
Friday I put up the blinds in my kitchen, which means I can now cook at night and the neighbors across the street won’t be able to watch me doing it (and learn all of my culinary s3cretz). Four months into it and I finally get some privacy in my kitchen. Yay!
Now I need to take care of putting in an additional counter, so that I have some decent cooking space and somewhere I can keep the bread toaster and the tea kettle always accessible and I’m all set as far as the kitchen is concerned.
Got my first squash racket yesterday. No need to leech off my friends’ gear anymore (not on that department, at any rate).
Also got a few CDs, including the oldie “Pyramid” by the “Alan Parsons Project” —which I always though was a better album than “Eye In The Sky“— and also something which I’m really looking forward to having the time to explore in greater depth —the three CD set “A Story Of Jazz” by Blue Note. It is now looking like I’ll have the rest of the day to myself (something wis is turning out to be quite rare —not that I’m complaining—) and since I don’t feel like picking up another book (having finished “Kafka On The Shore” just yesterday I’m still “digesting” it) it’ll be either a movie or this CD set.
While I’m on the subject of music, I’m looking for a CD which I can’t find and I was wondering if someone out there can help me out: I’m trying to get my hands on a copy of Rui Veloso’s “Ar De Rock”. Yes, it’s a really old record and while I’m guessing there must have been a CD version launched at one time or another, I can’t seem to find any on sale anywhere. Now the problem is that I must have listened to that record dozens of times, but the LP wasn’t mine and I can’t really remember who it belonged to, so I can’t even track that person down and ask him for it so that I could digitize it.
So if someone knows where I can get a CD (or even if someone has the LP in good condition and wants to sell it) please drop me a line, or leave a comment. I’d love to be able to listen to the whole album again.
It seems strange to me now, but I’ve only found out about Murakami’s work a few weeks ago. Since then I’ve learned that everybody and his mother has been into it for quite a long time.
But anyway, my first encounter with this author was (as recommended by a friend) with the book Kafka On The Shore.
I usually like to read books in the language they were originally written in but in this case I did have to make an exception (sadly I don’t read japanese at all). but it wasn’t all that bad because as I found out in the mean time, Murakami is not only a writer but also (among many other things he does) he is a translator —especially of novels and literature— and he either translated or oversaw the translation of most (all?) of his novels into english, this one included, I think, so I’m quite sure that what I read was as close to what he wanted to write as possible (given that you can never have a perfect match, of course).
So what’s the book like?
Well, I can definitely see why there are so many people who love it. The story is interesting, with a really great pace and easy to follow. Up to a point.
Of course there are some things which are quite alien to me because of culture differences, but those don’t really bother or take back from the pleasure of reading the book —quite the contrary.
So I liked the overall experience and read up the whole thing rather fast.
My only complain is that the very ending feels rather rushed-through, as if he somehow got to a point where he just had to finish up the book in a set number of pages and since he had gotten carried away before, he was now pressed for time and space and had to quicken up the pace quite a bit and also leave a few loose strands that never got quite tied up.
It felt like finishing up the story was a bit of a rush job and I was expecting a few things to fall into place which didn’t and I also felt like a few other elements were introduced right before the last chapters that could —and should— have been explored a bit further, but that just got lost in the rush to close everything up.
Of course, I might just be needing to read it again and see how the pieces fall together now —something that the author recommends doing anyway. Maybe I will do it someday and update these musings then…
In the end I found it a pretty entertaining read. It is not heavy reading or full-blown “serious” literature, but it is a good book that guarantees a few good hours of quite pleasurable entertainment.
Lately I’ve been honing my (or should I say picking up some) m4d c00king skilz.
Just last evening I cooked myself a nice bacon, mushroom and black olive quiche. And it was not bad really, just a bit on the overstuffed side (I knew I should have listened to what my friend said about the quantity of eggs and cream to use, she knows what she’s talking about, but it just seemed so little when it was still uncooked…) and murderous on the cholesterol count, but rather nice on the tasting department. So that’s one to go for again, next time using less eggs and maybe replacing the dairy cream with soy cream.
I’ve been slowly porting my old wiki to this site and since I’ve recently brought the recipes into the notebook section, I guess I’ll start putting some of the stuff I like to cook best on-line (in Portuguese, though, I don’t think it make much sense to take notes on recipes on a language other than the one I’ll be buying my ingredients in).
One thing that’s been happening that has made me really happy is that I’ve finally started to read again.
I’ve taken up some real, honest-to-god novels and I found myself engrossed by them to the point of forgetting myself and loosing huge chunks of the day/evening, reading away to my heart’s content, just as it should be.
For quite some time now I haven’t been able to immerse myself in the books I read the way I usually do and I was sorely missing it (as much as I love short stories, I was getting rather tired of reading nothing else) and it feels really good to be able to live all those stories once again.
Now to make up for all this time and get that “to-read” pile back to an acceptable size (that pile, by the way, comprises mostly books I’ve never read, if I throw in the must-re-reads it gets much more interesting).
On a not so bright (relatively speaking) note, it turns out I’m not going to attend the God Is An Astronaut concert this month. But at least it will be for a good cause, as I’ll (finally) be taking some time off and going on a small trip, getting some vacation time away from everything —to the point where I’m not even sure I’ll have any kind of GSM coverage at all for most of the time.
I’m still feeling a bit lost (OK, a lot lost) so I may just as well get really lost in a new place to try and match things up a bit. :-)
I’ll probably have more to tell about this upcoming road-trip later on, but for now that’ll do.
So… Is it really impossible to fast-forward a couple of years in our lives?
What about just one then?
Really, no chance at all?
The whole You Are The Quarry album is close to utter brilliance, but some songs stand out from among the others. In fact this one is, for me, the quintessential Morrissey song. A gut-wrenching ballad about a poor soul who has lost all hope of love (and, therefore, of happiness) and is resigned to remember that which he has lost “for evermore”.
This kind of song could easily get away from the singer and turn into some sort of Celine Dion-like piece of overly-sentimental garbage, but not with Morrissey, oh no. As usual, he pulls it off in great style and is able to bring all of those poor, wretched, tortured soul kinds of feelings to bear and make it all work like a charm. This, to me, is Morrissey at his finest.
And then there’s also the fact that lines such as “Drinking tea with the taste of the Thames, Sullenly on a chair on the pavement” or “Under slate grey Victorian sky” fill me with such a sweet sense of nostalgia that I cannot help but feel a desperate longing to get back to dear old London (so yes, the song is incredibly effective as far as I’m concerned, I do feel like going back to Camden. And no, I’m not English and I’ve never lived there). :-)
And now I do hope you forgive me the futility (you will, this is my weblog, remember?), but I really feel like transcribing the lyrics of this soul-tearing ballad.
There is something I wanted to tell you,
It’s so funny you’ll kill yourself laughing
But then I, I look around,
And I remember that I am alone,
The tile yard all along the railings,
Up a discoloured dark brown staircase
Here you’ll find, despair and I,
Calling to you with what’s left of my heart,
Drinking tea with the taste of the Thames,
Sullenly on a chair on the pavement
Here you’ll find, my thoughts and I,
And here is the very last plea from my heart
Where taxi drivers never stop talking
Under slate grey Victorian sky,
Here you will find, despair and I
And here I am every last inch of me is yours,
Your leg came to rest against mine,
Then you lounged with knees up and apart
And me and my heart, we knew,
We just knew,
Where taxi drivers never stop talking,
Under slate grey Victorian sky
Here you’ll find, my heart and I,
And still we say come back,
Come back to Camden
And I’ll be good, I’ll be good, I’ll be good, I’ll be good
Isn’t it just amazing that we have songs like this in our lives?
So I’m uploading some pictures to my flickr account and I decide to fire up my IM client to check if a friend is on-line to try and give her what will probably be one of the first “virtual rings” she’s had, right?
Then this other friend sees me on-line and asks me to call him on his mobile phone, which I do, but try as I may I can’t get through to him. Apparently his brand new phone is dead, he can’t make or take any calls.
Now the thing is that his girlfriend (who is near the end of her pregnancy) is away in some god-forsaken corner of the country and is expecting his call. She’ll be worried if he doesn’t call her and he definitely doesn’t want to do that to her.
So naturally I volunteer to call her but… She doesn’t know me (probably never even heard of me) and it will probably freak her out a bit if a total stranger rings her up saying that her boyfriend asked to tell her everything is OK, so we decide that I’d better call another friend of ours (whom she knows) and ask her to call the girlfriend explaining what’s up.
So I call the third friend, she calls the girlfriend, but the phone is unavailable and all she can do is leave a message in her voicemail.
A few minutes later the girlfriend calls my friend.
As it turns out, she was on a spot which had no coverage, but as soon as she got the message and checked her voicemail she immediately tried to call her boyfriend and, lo-and-behold, it worked!
Apparently my friend’s phone is just too darn picky about which calls to take!
Now who needs fiction and soap-operas with stuff like this happening in real life? :-)
(Oh and the original friend? Well, she wasn’t on-line. A shame really, she’s just the kind of person who would appreciate the humour if I told her what had just happened.)
During a brief excursion on my reference sites to find out what was going on this week, I came across a few things that piqued my interest (there’s a lot more going on all over Lisbon and elsewhere, this is just what caught my attention). I’ll probably not attend everything but I will try (and if I miss anything it probably means I had something better to do anyway). :-)
Wednesday there is the customary jazz session at Lux and this week the Santos/Melo Quartet will be playing there. I’ve never heard them play before and unless I can get an idea of their sound before then I’ll probably skip this one. (They’ll also be playing at the Hot Clube the previous night, but I do prefer going to Lux as the Hot Club is just too damn smoky for me. Yes, I know a jazz club is supposed to be smoky, but I really don’t like being forced to smoke other people’s cigarrettes in order to be able to listen to good music.)
Thursday Elle will be performing at OndaJazz. I’d never heard of the band before, but listening to the samples at their MySpace page I got the feeling I’ll probably enjoy it a lot (especially the cover geek in me. And the female-smooth-jazz-voice geek.)
Then, on Saturday, Bernardo Sasseti will be playing at Culturgest in what I think is probably the most unmissable event this week (although I was just about to miss it because of a birthday dinner of a friend, which got moved —thankfully!— to Friday!)
And finally, on Sunday afternoon there will be a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie at Jardim da Estrela, which is part of the Pleno Out Jazz series of concerts. I’m not sure who is playing this tribute, but then I already have an appointment at this time so unless it falls through I’ll probably miss it too. No biggie, though, I’ll just play my Gillespie records at home and pretend I’m at the park. Maybe… :-)
And that’s about it. As I said in the beginning, there’s lots more going on right now and this is but a small selection of candidates for my musical week. Lets see how it turns out in the end.
This was somewhat of a strange weekend…
Started out Friday evening when I was suppose to have the first sax lesson after the school vacation, which got canceled (the teacher is having a string of concerts on Friday evenings at the Casino do Estoril, so it is for a good cause), then I had plans for dinner with a couple of friends, which also got scrapped. Then I had a total of three concerts planned for that night (well, not planned exactly, but I did think about going to each one of them), but with nothing to do until it was time for any of them I was thinking about forgetting about the whole thing and going home to get some sleep (hey, it was a really rough week…)
And then another group of friends got wind of one of the concerts I was thinking about attending and we ended up making plans for “dinner and a show”, which did come to fruition.
But even that was weird because we’d all seen at the site that the concert was scheduled to start at 00h30 and so we had to burn lots of time at the restaurant and when we finally got tired of being there and went down to the venue it turned out that they had made a mistake on the site and the concert had started at 22h00! We still got to listen to half an hour of it, on the room next door, but I was really disappointed because I’d have loved to watch Donald Harrison play live and I have no clue when he will be back at Portugal.
Then yesterday I finally had the sax lesson and it rocked! We got to have the lesson on the big room, with the stereo, and basically we put on a play-along, the teacher gave me the “directions” about the song we were going to play and taught me the melody and after that we just played it through a few times and jammed a bit on top of it. Great fun!
The rest of the day was a bit more “normal” and I decided to bite the bullet and start to put all the papper work in order. I hadn’t touched my pappers since the divorce and the pille was getting so big it was scary, so I ended up having a nice(?) quiet afternoon/evening playing sokoban with piles of paper. Hey, it’s got to get done and I do feel better for having had a first go at it. Still need to buy binders and boxes for it all, though.
With the weekend drawing to a close, I decided at the last minute to go out to Guincho and watch the sunset and, as it turns out, this was an excellent decision.
Guincho is traditionally an extremely windy, cold beach with ice-cold water. But this evening there was only the slightest of breezes —and a warm breeze at that—, and the water was actually very nice. So nice that I got my jeans all wet, even after I had rolled them up. It was just so nice feeling the sea water in my feet while strolling along the beach, listening to good old Stevie Nicks and watching the sun burning down into the sea in one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve witnessed here (and I have watched quite a few of them since moving here three months ago).
Each day I’m happier with my choice of location to live.
Autumn is finally here. But as a friend reminded me Friday, this means that we’ll soon have yellow and brown leaves all over Sintra to go and photograph. Yay!
Há já bastante tempo que se sente o Outono. O mar já não é “mar de verão”, os dias são mais frios, mais pequenos, a luz é diferente, o sol não é sol de Verão, cheira a Outono, “sabe” a Outono…
Apercebi-me hoje (ai esta cabeça…) de que há uma boa razão para isto —o Outono começa oficialmente dentro de 3 dias.
Dia 23 de Setembro. Um dia especial de várias formas. Também é o dia do equinócio do Outono.
Normalmente gosto muito desta estação. Este ano não estava ainda preparado para ela.
Bolas. Lá vai ter de ser…
Just last week (Wednesday in fact) I discovered that Massive Attack were playing at the Coliseu. I don’t quite know how this could have slipped under my radar until the last minute, but I’m not complaining: I got to attend the show and had a rather enjoyable evening and that’s what counts.
I like Massive Attack quite a lot —in fact I own almost all of their albums— but I can’t say I love them. I like the way they sound but I do find it a bit… tiring after a while.
Having said that, I’m a sucker for live music and this is a reference group in my personal music history and background, so I didn’t think twice about going and boy, did it pay off!
As in most cases (where good music and good bands are concerned), I found them to be way better live than in studio.
They weren’t able to pull off a huge sound quality on this particular performance (I guess that kind of music requires a setup that must be ruinous to consider on concerts on such small venues), but even so the sound was really powerful and I think it worked great.
Also, the mood they created was really great even if, strangely enough, this was one of the few concerts I ever attended in Portugal where the crowd was not hugely responsive during the show. But then this kind of music does lend itself more to introspective listening than to heavy dancing or screaming, so all in all I think it went down rather well.
It was also a good thing that they played lots of songs from their older albums and had guests from their previous line-ups —Elizabeth Fraser (yes, her from the Cocteau Twins!) and Horace Andy— to sing a few chosen songs. I’m actually not sure what the current line-up of the band is, so there may have been more guest musicians in there.
So, in short, I had a really good time at the concert and it has definitely rekindled my fondness for the band.
It’s like I was saying a while ago to a friend, I’m still from an age when a band was either good live or it wasn’t a band at all, and Massive Attack passed the live test with flying colours.
Should they ever come back to Portugal, I’m definitely going to see them again!
I edited this post because I found out that it wasn’t Shara Nelson singing with the band, it was Deborah Miller. Still, the thought remains: what … a … voice!
Just a quick note to mention that after a break of almost 8 months, I’ve finally released a new episode of the Undercover Songs Podcast.
Episode 33 is up at the site and while it is not the most inspired one to date, I still think it is quite decent.
Check it out!
After last weekend’s sun extravaganza (a week ago I got to spend a whole day at the beach with some really fine weather, yay!), we’re back to business with less than stellar days and so it made for a more homely couple of days. Which was rather good actually, because I got to do loads of stuff around the house, even cook great food (a true “fada do lar” if you can read Portuguese) and, most importantly, I finished up a couple of projects I’ve been working on and which I’ll try to release in the next few days. After that I’ll finally have some time to devote to PyTalker (I hope…)
Last week I also discovered a new band (actually a one-man project) by the name of Moorlandt. Marado showed me a couple of songs —enough for me to order a CD— and I’m really glad I did order it. Very cool music, check it out!
The… thing (it’s not theater really, but I can’t quite define it) at Regaleira was very interesting and I quite liked it. I got to carry a huge standard for a while so what’s not to like? :-)
Still, the friends I went with told me about something similar they attended a while ago in Convento de Cristo in Tomar, where the troupe performed the story of The Name Of The Rose and on those premises it must have been awesome!
Now that school vacation is almost over I’m getting back to my saxophone classes this week and I’ll pay dearly for the slacking off I’ve been doing this past weeks. But even so, I can’t wait to get started again!
Tal como tinha planeado, fui há duas sextas-feiras atrás ver os Miosótis a tocar ao vivo.
Ora eu já tinha ouvido as músicas que eles têm no site para ter uma ideia de como seria a banda ao vivo e tinha expectativas altas para este concerto, mas devo confessar que mesmo essas expectativas foram ultrapassadas!
O facto de ter sido uma noite algo especial (e agradável) ajudou, claro, mas a banda em sí surpreendeu-me bastante pela positiva.
O som é muito bom, nota-se que a banda é coesa (embora aqui seja uma questão de opinião, a minha companhia discordou um pouco neste ponto) e o estilo fazia-me lembrar uma data de bandas e músicas mais antigas, tipo dos anos 70-80. Havia algo naquela sonoridade que me era muito familiar —embora eles tenham uma sonoridade muito própria e as músicas deles sejam bastante originais.
Ao ler a biografia deles percebi logo o que era: a banda existe precisamente desde o final anos 70, como banda de garagem, e apenas há relativamente pouco tempo começaram a editar os seus discos, inicialmente com composições dessa altura. Está explicado!
No final comprei o CD novo da banda, o Risco e depois de o ouvir algumas vezes em casa confirmo o que já me tinha parecido: os Miosótis são mesmo uma banda interessante, quer em estúdio quer ao vivo, e ouve-se a música deles com muito prazer.
E para finalizar tenho de admitir que o facto de a vocalista (para além de para além de parecer extremamente cativante e simpática) ter uma voz fenomenal também ajuda. Sobretudo ao vivo!
This coming weekend I’ll be performing a thorough cleansing of a Windows XP PC which, by the description that was made by the users, is probably filled with spyware and maybe even some viruses (despite the fact that it has Norton’s Antivirus suite installed and —I’ve been assured— religiously updated).
Now I know that this will most likely end up in a complete re-install of the system and since the users have dutifully been doing their backups to an external hard drive I should be able to just leave it at that but… The backups have got to be infected with some viruses so I will have to clean some stuff up no matter what.
Also, I would really rather not go into the fresh install thing because it will just mean a lot more trouble with all the apps they need.
So what I need is to find out what the cool kids are using these days to rid their PCs of the vermin. I haven’t done windows in ages (and I mean years thank goodness) so I’m really out of the loop here.
The last time I had to do something like this I found out an article entitled “How to fix mom’s computer” or somesuch but I can’t seem to find the article now and besides, it was a long time ago so it is probably outdated.
So in short, Dear Lazyweb, can you tell me what I should arm myself with in order to get all those nasty bugs out of the system?
Thanks a bunch!
Nuno ‘Lazy’ Nunes
So I ended up going out to Lux to check out the Tora Tora Big Band, as I had planned and it turns out that it was not really my cup of tea. You can’t win them all, I guess, I was so pleasantly surprised by the TGB performance the other day that this time I was a bit under whelmed. Not that they don’t play really well —they do!—, but it just wasn’t my kind of music.
And then there’s September the first, Saturday. The day when everything happens, all at once!
First there’s the Red Bull Air Racing event happening at Porto.
Then there’s the Lydie Carell’s quartet at Onda Jazz and the Ben Stapp Trio at the Hot Club.
But me, I’ll be at neither of those, because that’s the evening I’m going over to Regaleira to attend the Mistério de Uma Noite de Pentecostes.
I was also trying to arrange a full day out at a faraway beach for that same day, until I realized what day it actually was and dropped it (I’m now planning it for Sunday, so I’m expecting rain for that day, but it won’t matter all that much as long as there are enough margaritas or morangoskas at the beach cafe!) :-)
Squash is in season again with people trickling in from their vacation and willing to play and we were actually lucky that the club we play at during our lunch break is keeping the courts open during August.
Oh and the geeks are definitely up to something, so expect to see some interesting news in the next few weeks or so.
In the mean time I’ve also been trying to finally come to grips with this python thing in order to lend a hand in the development of PyTalker. The lead developer kept harassing me to help out and so I decided to give it a try.
Which reminds me, if you speak Portuguese and you like the whole talker scene you can find me most days (during the day-time) at the jungle, most probably in the guise of either a white rabbit or a golden-brown squirrel. Come by and see if you can find “Gambuzino” around. I’m usually at the Clareira.
Last Friday I went to Hot Club to listen to Sara Valente singing the songs of her new CD “Blue in Green”.
It was a pleasant evening, with some nice cool jazz. I think her voice isn’t quite there yet (maybe it is because the tour is just starting, maybe she was just not particularly inspired that evening or maybe I was just expecting too much), but I think it can get better. Also, the band was awesome and I find myself (surprisingly) admiring the work of jazz drummers more and more.
This was also an opportunity to finally see Nelson Cascais playing, after having read so much abot him, and I was really impressed with his talent (even if I don’t get the bass all that well —still have to grow into that I guess).
Then on the weekend I finally got to catch some nice sun in Alentejo. Not yet a solid beach weekend (or even day… or half-day…) but the temperature was high and the pool was refreshing so being a beggar for so long I can’t really be that much of a chooser.
Oh and I found out, to my utter amazement, that my dad (of all people!) reads this blog so “Hi dad!” :-)
Today I’ve become a (paying) subscriber of last.fm. Not that I couldn’t use the services they provide well enough with a free account, but they do give some interesting perks to paying subscribers and it feels good to contribute to something which I use so much and that gives me such a good experience.
In the mean while, the geeks are afoot with a new project which might just turn out to be a lot of fun (if we end up actually going forward with it). More on that later (maybe?)
Speaking of geek stuff, yesterday evening I had the pleasure of attending yet another one of Damian Conway’s talks, this time around it was about quantum physics, as applied to programming… Sort of…
The guys at LOG have (again) done a bang up job bringing Damian to Portugal and they were generous enough to allow access to this talk to anyone interested.
Always a very interesting (and incredibly funny) experience. If you are into programming (or science) and the opportunity ever comes along, I heartily recommend attending a talk (any talk) by Damian. You won’t be sorry!
Finally, the second half of August is upon us. Not that it shows, the weather is miserable and even yesterday the day was mostly rainy. Really nice on a national holiday…
Anyway, I was still able to catch a little bit of sun late in the afternoon when I took a book with me to the beach (I like reading in the sand, even if I’m not actually “at the beach”) and I found myself having to take off the shirt as there was actually some sun there. Go figure…
Before that I made good use of the rainy day by watching (for the N-th time) Woody Allen’s Melinda And Melinda. Always a nice choice.
In fact I’ve been slowly going over my collection of Woody’s films and strangely enough it has been a rather effective pick-me-up. Who would have thunk it?
But then I still have a long way to go on that front (the man has quite an impressive filmography) and I’ve been picking the lightest films so far…
Also, I never did have all of his films and now I only have half of what I had, so I need to fill in the wholes. Ahh, consumerism…
One thing that’s definitely nice about the second half of August is that some of the places around here start to open up after the vacations and so life starts to seep into the smaller music (mostly jazz) venues.
Speaking of which, just yesterday I had a really nice surprise when I went to see TGB playing at the Lux Jazz Sessions.
Now I had read a few good reviews of their music and so I was expecting something interesting (and of course the whole concept of a band consisting solely of a Tuba a Guitar and Drums is interesting enough to begin with), but I must say I was really blown away by what I saw and heard.
Their original work is very good (parts of a few songs reminded me bit of that Fishermen Tittot’s sound I’m so fond of) and the… well, I’m not calling it “covers” because they’re so much more than that, so the adaptations of songs from other bands and artists are just so much fun to listen to!
Also their execution is practically flawless and in a small space such as the one in Lux, we were so close to the band that we could feel the joy they were having while playing and it was just fantastic to be there and to be able to share that moment with them. I’ve definitely become a fan of TGB.
Can’t wait to go see the Tora Tora Big Band playing there next Wednesday!
The worst part of it still being August is that even the few friends I had left around here are now going away for their vacations, so now I don’t much in the way of company (or even squash partners at that).
But it will end soon enough, all this “vacation” folly. It will! :-)
Originally posted here.
Hoje foi um dia estranho.
Este ano ainda não consegui fazer praia.
Por uma razão ou por outra tentei poucas vezes e daquelas que tentei, fui corrido de lá pelo vento brutal e acabei sempre na piscina.
A excepção foi ontem à tarde em que ainda consegui uma horita ao final do dia e que me soube incrivelmente bem.
Claro que hoje estava todo lançado para passar a manhã toda na praia, mas claro que com o tempo horrível que esteve de manhã tive de arranjar um plano B.
Então lá peguei na máquina fotográfica e fui passear por Cascais a ver se ainda me lembrava como se fazem fotos. Ainda não vi o resultado.
Mas de tarde dei mais um passinho na minha independência (como diz a minha mãe) :-) e lá aprendi finalmente a pregar botões e coser aquelas partes de lado das calças cujo nome já se me varreu (se calhar não prestei assim tanta atenção como devia, mas eu juro que ainda me lembro como se faz isso: ponto à frente, ponto atrás, etc.).
Não é que eu não soubesse pregar um botão se fosse necessário, claro que sabia —e ele jamais caíam de novo—, mas agora sei fazê-lo sem deixar uma batata enorme de linha por trás do dito botão.
E meias! Aprendi a coser as meias quando se esgaçam na ponta ou no calcanhar.
Já tenho o meu kit de costura e tudo. Tão prendado que eu estou…
E mais ainda, coloquei finalmente o suporte para o chuveiro na casa de banho do quarto.
Dois meses, dois! que eu levei para fazer isso e é uma daquelas coisas que se usam todos os santos dias.
Fiz mil e uma coisas na casa desde que me mudei para cá, mas pendurar a porcaria do chuveiro levou todo este tempo.
Sou mesmo um tipo estranho…
Ah e quanto ao título, lamento mas é uma private joke, só mesmo para ver se uma certa pessoa lê isto aqui (e se se vai acusar mesmo que leia). ;-)
Os amigos não se declaram, demonstram-se.
Na amizade, como em muitas outras coisas na vida, as acções falam mais alto do que as palavras e são infinitamente mais importantes do que estas.
As desculpas manhosas matam a amizade. Quando é “não” é não e pronto. Os “nãos” não estraga uma amizade, mas as desculpas manhosas, essas sim, são incrivelmente corrosivas.
Perder um amor é
f… tramado, mas perder uma amizade verdadeira é incomparavelmente pior.
E tenho dito! :-)
I’ve just put online a new page on the site with a kind of zeitgeist of the content I am producing around the web.
Isn’t this just sooo web 2.0-ish?
The design isn’t all there and the page sometimes hangs if any of the providers of the badges are slow or completely off (del.icio.us has been acting up just this evening as I was putting the page together), but then that’s why I put everything on this single page instead of sprinkling those elements across the whole site on sidebars or something along those lines.
And now it’s late and I’m calling it a day.
Life has been happening all around, as it tends to do…
I’m still trying to get used to life in “single-mode” but this is not exactly the best time to do it, as we are right in the middle of the silly season.
Anyway, today was a notable day in the sense that I’ve finally taken care of all the paperwork related to the new home, last year’s tax-return (sigh…) and some other stuff that was nagging at the back of my mind for quite some time now and so I’m left with this weird feeling of having finally closed up a chapter of some sort. And I’m not sure if it a good feeling or a bad one. But anyway, on to a new life! :-)
In the mean time I’ve taken up squash and I must admit I like it a lot! It is similar enough to tennis that I can use much of the muscle memory I developed when I was young and played it a lot, but it is different in many crucial (and fun!) aspects.
It is way faster for starters and then you get a huge satisfaction of beating the bejeesus out of the ball (which is something that if you did in tennis, was guaranteed to provide you with a nice afternoon hunting down all the balls you threw out all over the neighboring regions of the court).
The concert scene is essentially over for now and the festivals have mostly migrated to other parts of the country so that’s basically it for music until September (although I do intend to try out some of the few Jazz clubs that will remain open).
In fact just today I plan on attending the final performance of the Big Band Reunion at Onda Jazz, right before they close up shop for their summer vacation. And one of the guys that are going with me has already taken care of the plans for the food (and related) matters of the evening, so everything is setup for a great time tonight!
It feels really weird not having been on vacation so far and not having plans to do so in the near future. It seems that everyone is either away now or going to be away soon and you’re missing something that they all know and you don’t…
Also work has been rather more hectic than usual for this time of the year (which is always especially busy in the best of times) and I’m starting to feel really tired with everything that’s been happening in my life and at the company, but I really can’t complain right now because it is actually very good that I’m so busy during the daytime.
And then, next year I’ll have tones of vacation days to spend. Hah! :-)
Este fim-de-semana foi passado fora, no Alentejo, com a minha família (quase) toda.
A pretexto da comemoração do aniversário do meu irmão, fomos todos para “o monte” no Sábado e por lá ficámos até Domingo.
Tive direito a dose reforçada de Diogo (o meu sobrinho de 3 anos), sol, piscina, escorregadelas na relva (é incrível como marmanjões adultos como eu e os meus irmãos se podem divertir a atirar para uma manga plástica molhada em cima da relva, e a deslizar sobre a barriga até saír disparados do outro lado. Uma coisa tão simples e baratinha e tão divertida!)
Tive direito a isso tudo, mas como a casa estava cheia que nem um ovo não dormi no meu quarto, deixei-o para os meus avós. E ainda bem, ainda não voltei lá desde que ele deixou de ser “o quarto do casal” e não sei bem se ia ser boa ideia passar lá a noite sozinho.
Seja como for, o fim-de-semana passou-se, com momentos melhores e outros piores (para o resto da malta o pior foi certamente a prática de sax reforçada —a escola vai entrar de férias daqui a duas semanas e o meu professor vai-me dar duas aulas esta semana, tenho de estar em forma!).
Mas a surpresa (agradável) veio no final de Domingo, ao chegar à minha zona.
Ainda parei em S. Pedro, para comer um belo bife passado na esplanada da praia (sim, porque independentemente de onde eu estiver a morar, essa será sempre a minha zona também!) e depois segui para casa e…
E pela primeira vez desde que lá estou senti que estava efectivamente a voltar a casa.
Já me mudei há um mês e meio (mais coisa menos coisa), mas as circunstâncias da mudança e a envolvente psico-afectiva nunca me deixaram sentir que realmente estivesse em lado nenhum. Sempre me senti meio perdido, estava ali porque calhou, mas podia estar em qualquer outro lado. Não sei como explicar isto melhor.
Mas desta vez não, desta vez entrei na garagem e senti-me bem e quando abri a porta e entrei no hall, com a luz a dar em cheio na sala através das ripas dos estores, respirei fundo e senti que estava na minha casa, no meu espaço.
Arrumei tudo rapidamente, acendi as velas, pus o Coltrane a tocar e saquei do sax para o acompanhar (as opiniões aqui dividem-se, há quem diga certamente que foi para o torturar; eu recuso-me a comentar…) ;-)
Na minha cabeça houve uma voz doce que me sussurou um “bem vindo a casa”. Hoje dormi bem.
Sometimes things just slip right by us for a while and then, suddenly, we open our eyes and there it is, a whole beautiful new world right under our noses.
This has happened to me, musically speaking, with the whole post-rock movement.
I’ve always loved music of a certain kind which I could not exactly describe. Bands like Mogwai, Saxon Shore or even Sigur Rós (well… OK I’m stretching the genre a bit here) have been on the top of my list of favorite bands quite some time now, but although I knew they had something in common and I liked that certain “something”, I didn’t know they had a common designation.
Well, now I do.
Just last week I was turned on to the whole post-rock scene by a friend and discovered right off the bat such great bands as God Is An Astronaut, 65daysofstatic or even the Red Sparowes, whom I haven’t heard yet but who come highly recommended and I’m quite sure I will like.
Of all the mostly instrumental-based musical genres I listen to, post-rock is probably the one that reaches deeper into me (apart from some classical pieces which are, of course, the ex-libris of soulful music).
And now back to our (i)regularly scheduled programme, which you can see here.
PS- Oh and I’ll definitely try not to be an idiot again and not to miss the upcoming God Is An Astronaut concert, which happens to be scheduled for a day with some significance for me. Life’s full of those little coincidences…
Ontem ofereceram-me um cacto.
Foi a primeira vez que recebi alguém na minha casa nova.
Boa comida (hum? qual modéstia?) e conversa ainda melhor.
Depois de acabar a noite fui para a cama com um sorriso nos lábios e os fantasmas não apareceram. Dormi até tocar o despertador. Já não me lembro quando foi a última vez que o tinha feito.
O cacto foi uma cortesia, mas o presente que recebi ontem foi (um pouco de) paz de espírito. E essa, neste momento, vale mais para mim do que qualquer outra coisa no mundo.
Por momentos a descida ficou um pouco menos acentuada e pude respirar fundo.
Como é que se agradece isto?
Because I’m an idiot sometimes, I wasn’t able to make it to the Nouvelle Vague concert in Oeiras. When I finally got around to buying the ticket it was sold-out. I didn’t quite expect it to be that crowded so I just got lazy. A shame that, I’d really like to see them perform live.
Hey! last.fm has been serving me with songs from my Recommendations’ playlist and it just played “The End” by the Doors! God, I hadn’t heard that song in ages, it felt really good! It’s a shame that I have so many problems with last.fm’s streaming at my workplace. Since Pandora stopped streaming music to Portugal, this has been the best jukebox around by far…
In other news, after not having done any kind of exercise in a long, long time, yesterday morning I felt the imperative need to exhaust myself early in the morning and decided to go for a (very long) run along the coast of Guincho and on the beach itself (one of the advantages of living where I live now is that I’m at walking distance —albeit a long walk— from Guincho). All nice and good, except that I was on that fake “good form” you get when you haven’t done any serious exercise for a long time and didn’t feel any kind of warning regarding over-straining myself, so not only did I run half of the way under rain (which was just bad luck, of course), but I also over exerted myself and now I’m walking stranger than Donald Duck (or feeling like it anyway).
Uma porta aberta pode dar acesso a uma série de coisas boas. Pode-nos permitir a passagem para a felicidade suprema, por exemplo. Ou então pode levar-nos a um local feio e escuro e não dar acesso a nada de bom, mas o que interessa é que uma porta aberta dá sempre acesso a qualquer coisa e isso, só por sí, já é positivo. Quem escolher entrar faz as suas opções depois.
Uma porta fechada pode-nos escudar de coisas más, ou pode-nos impedir de obter as coisas boas que queremos e assim trazer-nos infelicidade. Mas pelo menos está fechada e nós sabemos que por ali não se passa mais. Com a infelicidade uma pessoa lida (melhor ou pior).
Mas portas fizeram-se para estar ou abertas ou fechadas. Entreabertas é que não!
Com uma porta entreaberta nós não sabemos se podemos ou devemos (e muito menos se queremos) tentar entrar e ver o que está do outro lado.
É que podemos ter uma boa surpresa e encontrar algo que nos traga a tão almejada felicidade, ou podemos levar com ela na cara quando a vamos empurrando, a medo, para espreitar o que se esconde por detrás dela.
E como uma porta aberta pode sempre ser fechada (facilmente) e uma porta fechada pode sempre ser aberta (embora raramente o seja e não seja nada construtivo esperar que tal aconteça) faça-se como dizia o outro “decidam-se, decidam-se!”
Ontem levei com uma das tais portas entreabertas na cara. Não foi uma surpresa, mas foi doloroso como o raio e até algo cruel. E apesar disso pode ter sido exactamente o que estava a precisar. (Ou pelo menos assim o espero. Daqui a uns tempos saberei).
Veio tarde, muito tarde, andei demasiado tempo às voltas da porta que supunha entreaberta (mas que afinal estava fechada, com uma pintura tromp-l’oeil a fingir-se de aberta, a malvada!).
Acho que devia ter sido mais bruto logo de início (ou melhor, no fim) e ter logo gritado um “feche a porta se faz favor!”
Mais uma lição de vida. Mas irra! Porque é que essa gaja é tão bruta a dar as lições?
P.S. — sim, são 9h27 num Domingo e estou a escrever um post. Tal como fiz ontem. E já estou acordado há um bom bocado. Começo a ficar farto da minha companheira nocturna… Tantas razões boas para não dormir (e com tantos nomes bonitos) e logo eu tinha de ficar entalado com a Insónia… :-)
What a ride…
What with the whole moving and setting up a new home and life I hadn’t yet setup all the A/V paraphernalia and I was (and still am actually) running late with regards to my TV shows. Now given that I don’t watch broadcast TV, that means my shiny new LCD TV isn’t getting all that much use, but I digress.
I’ve just finished watching (after a really late lunch) episode 10 of the Doctor Who show —the Blink episode— and my, my, what a show!
It is the middle of the day, I’m watching the show as I’m eating, it is bright and sunny and so the room is perfectly lit and yet I got scared watching this episode. I really, really did!
What a fantastic show! This single episode (which is a stand-alone) with very little action from either The Doctor or Martha Jones got me riveted to my seat, actually straining my eyes, trying to avoid blinking at all. My eyes hurt after the episode (and that’s how I found out I was keeping them open)!
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! This episode alone would make this season worthwhile (and it has been a fairly good season so far, I must say).
Good ol’ BBC. I sure will be a little sad when Russell Davies leaves the show as announced, but I have high hopes that they will find someone suitable to replace him.
Dizem que com a chegada da manhã, com a luz do sol, tudo se torna mais claro. Bom, devo admitir que face à minha companheira habitual da noite, a que me deixa acordado às horas mais impróprias a pensar as coisas mais disparatadas .oO(…ou então até nem tão disparatadas assim…), a chegada da manhã é realmente um acontecimento bem-vindo. E em certas ocasiões extremamente iluminador. O clarão até pode cegar!
Hoje foi um dia desses e agora que tenho alguma luz, já consigo ver um pouco mais à frente. Mas ainda assim, alguém me diz onde raios está a saída? É que eu quero mesmo saltar fora, mas da porta de saída “civilizada” nem rasto e eu não quero utilizar a das traseiras, é feio fazer isso…
Since I’ve stopped being able to use my Mac @ work a while ago, I reverted to using Linux (in one distro or another, which is beside the point here). Now being used to having spotlight at the tip of my fingers (so to speak) I found it hard to adjust to what there was available for indexing and searching at Linux-land.
The best bet there was at the time (and until recently actually) was Beagle and even if it did have some of the features I required I could never get it to work properly on my desktop. I’ve been using Macs for a while now and I just can’t be bothered with all the hassle my friends and co-workers go through in order to get something like this running (and note that I said “running”, I didn’t even dare to go so far as to say “running smoothly“…)
Now I’ve recently been attuned to the Linux version of the Google Desktop by a friend and after using it for a couple-three weeks I must say that even though it doesn’t compare with spotlight (blessed are those who never knew anything better than what they have now), it sure beats Beagle by a long way.
The Dead Combo concert at Santiago Alquimista was a good show. I quite liked it and I’m glad I went, even if I’m not truly enticed to go see them play live again. The music was good and the atmosphere was pleasant enough, but I don’t think it warrants a repeat.
Anyway, I did get their latest record (vinyl-only edition, yeah!) and I find it pleasant enough to listen to at home.
Pictures (cell-phone only) here.
Oh! and an anecdote about the show: I found out about it via last.fm. It said there would be a concert on that day and that’s all. I then went to the Santiago’s site to find out more and there, also, it was only mentioned that they were going to play there, so I hooked up with a friend and we went there on the night of the concert.
But then when we got there we found out that this was a political campaign event (for the local elections soon to be held in Lisbon, and for which I cannot even vote) and that while it was free (as in no charge), we would have to have invitations to attend.
Luckily they were really great people and when we explained that we didn’t actually know about this and we’d only gone to see the band they let us in all the same.
Also lucky was the fact that there was hardly any political campaigning and the concert began as soon as the band got there (almost an hour and a half late, of course).
Quem inventou o termo “montanha russa emocional” teve realmente um rasgo de inspiração raro. O termo é perfeito e descreve absolutamente o estado.
E o pior é que quando uma pessoa é apanhada numa dessas não há grande coisa a fazer a não ser agarrar-se ao (pouco) que a consiga prender dentro do carrinho, fechar os olhos e gritar. Gritar até ficar anestesiado.
Depois é só esperar que a viagem termine e rezar a todos os santinhos para não acabar num sítio ainda pior.
Mas o que não se deve fazer, em circunstância alguma, é cair na malvada tentação de acreditar que se pode refazer o que foi irremediavelmente desfeito (ou, pior ainda, tentar fazê-lo). Isso dá direito a uma descida brutal, daquelas em que o estômago fica lá em cima e que parece que nunca mais nos vai apanhar e ainda por cima , como estávamos distraídos a pensar/fazer coisas estúpidas, nem sequer nos agarrámos bem e vamos assim, completamente desamparados, em direcção ao chão.
Nestas alturas a palavra optimista toma um outro significado — estúpido.
E potencialmente, um estúpido esborrachadinho no chão.
Odeio alturas. E não faço a mínima ideia de quanto tempo a viagem dura.
Considering that it was mostly dark, I wasn’t always right there at the front and they were taken with a phone-camera, some of them are actually pretty good (if I do say so myself).
And now off to get some dinner and get to the Dead Combo concert.
Super Bock Super Rock, is over and I still got in to see the last day, which was great!
So what did I catch yesterday?
The Gossip: Only caught the last 3 songs from their act and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t know them beforehand but they sounded like a fun band with a clean and powerful sound. Very nice;
TV on the Radio: For these I had some expectations, having heard so many good reviews in different places. I must say I was slightly disappointed by their show, they did nothing for me. Not exactly bad, but nothing special either (for my tastes, at least);
Scissor Sisters: Of course it was not comparable to their previous concert in Coliseu de Lisboa, but a really good time anyway with lots more people dancing and enjoying it than I expected. A good festival band;
Interpol: Everybody loves Interpol. I didn’t know them. The first few songs really caught my attention and I liked them quite a lot, but then… The whole rest of the show was just one song after another —very similar— song, with barely any interaction with the public at all. They may be a good studio band, with great records, but as for a live one… Not so good. Not so good at all. A bit of a disappointment there.
Underworld: What little I knew of Underworld suggested that I would either love them or loathe them in concert and I wasn’t especially sure which way it would go. I even considered leaving the festival just before they came on due to the terrible tiredness and aching legs (have I mentioned before that my 20’s are long gone?). Now I’m really glad I didn’t go. It was a superb show, only made better by the fact that not many people appear to like them and so we had ample space to move around and dance to the frantic and thoroughly fun beats they put out. A real treat this last concert of the festival and now I fully understand my friends who came from Porto especially for this last day —for this band in fact— and went back home the same night, after leaving the show at 02h30.
All in all I enjoyed the two days of the festival I attended, it was great fun, with music ranging from “please, please, make them stop” to “this is bloody brilliant”.
Having said that, I’m also glad this festival only comes around once a year. It will take me some time to recover properly! :-)
While my apartment is still getting painted (4 weeks after the initial dead-line date, don’t you just love contractors?), I’m now on the verge of planing and installing the home network.
I still loathe cables and I have to connect two separate network segments so I’ll have to look at what’s out there in terms of Ethernet over the power infrastructure (again) and wireless bridges.
I sure would love to go with a wireless bridge, but I’m not really aware of what there is in the portuguese market right now that could possibly allow me to do a cheap (or at least not ridiculously over-priced) simple ethernet bridge. I have my Linksys wireless ADSL router, so I would be most happy to find something that could plug into a hub and extend the network from the Linksys to that segment.
I’ll have to see what I can find. Not in the mood to waste a lot of time on this though…
Other than that the last few days have been interesting… I’ve been to the Super Bock Super Rock festival last evening and it was pretty great.
I’ve also been driving a small Ford Fiesta since last Wednesday (when my car went into the shop for a routine maitenance and ended up being sequestered there for what is now a full week!) and I must say I had forgotten (again) how utterly fun the Fiesta is to drive.
On another happy note, last Friday I went to my first sax lesson after a full month of not even touching the thing and it actually turned out pretty well. Kudos to the teacher for helping me get up to speed again (as much as possible), but his choice of method was really great: he put on a few CDs and we’d just play along, following the tunes or even improvising, going over the stuff we had already covered before my dive into moving and home-repair hell. And instead of being another one of those awful “gosh, I haven’t practiced or studied this at all for this lesson, I’m screwed and this will be a complete waste of time“-type of situation, it ended up being great fun indeed!
I managed to attend day one (or should I say evening one?) of the festival, as planned, and the recap is pretty simple:
The Gift is not all that good on a festival such as this, they’re definitely more of a small-venue kind of band. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that good either and I think the choice of songs and arrangements wasn’t particularly fitting for this context;
Klaxons is OK, not exactly my cup of tea, but I’ll keep an eye out for them in the future;
Magic Numbers is bad, mkay?
Bloc Party is ok-ish… Again not my cup of tea, but they do put on a good show and play really well;
Arcade Fire live is something that has to be experienced to be completely understood. This was probably the best rock live show I’ve seen in a good while (although yes, I’ve been attending other kinds of shows lately) ;-). I really liked that band before, but after last night’s performance I’m a total convert to their cause. Absolutely brilliant show!
If I were to go to the festival this evening I’d go in just to see the Jesus and Mary Chain and probably stay to check out the LCD Soundsystem’s show, but I’m not betting on it happening.
After having missed the Glass concert in the most ignominious way possible, I’ve only just now looked around to see what is going on this summer that might interest me. At least on last.fm which is where I’ve looked so far.
The outlook is not to bad and I’ve managed to get a good head start already.
Last Saturday I went to the Sieben concert in Sintra and I quite enjoyed it, except for having to sit on those awful chairs for the hour-and-a-half that the concert was delayed.
Then I managed to miss the Gotan Project’s concert in Oeiras, but that’s OK because someone who went told me that it was very much like the previous show they did in Coliseu a few months ago and I did go to that one!
Today I’m planning to go to ACT II of the Super Bock Super Rock festival and maybe I’ll also go on Thursday. Or maybe not, I’m not 20 any more and I’ll have to see how I’ll cope with the working day (tomorrow) and then decide wether to go again this week. :-)
But then there’s still lots more to come, such as the Estoril Jazz Festival (near the place where I now live, Yay!), the Dead Combo concert next Tuesday at Santiago Alquimista (a venue I particularly enjoy), The Nouvelle Vague will come to play in Oeiras the Sunday after that…
Lots and lots to choose from and, like I said, that’s just what cropped up on last.fm.
It will be a good summer for music, I guess.
I am an idiot.
Well… OK, maybe not quite an idiot, but how could I miss the Philip Glass concert the previous Friday?
Oh wait, yes, I was in the last leg of “the move from hell”, but even so…
I thought I would have the concert just after the move and so I went on
about my life and today when I came in to the office again I was all good and
ready to check out the real date for the concert and get the ticket when I saw
that it was already gone by.
Sure enough, it would have been after the move, had it gone according to plan (plus 50% off for delays), but since it got even more delayed than that I just missed it.
Now I wonder if I’ll ever get to see him play live. Rats!
Five days after moving in to the new apartment. Still eating out every day (or ordering in pizza and eating it by hand), still not able to use the kitchen (damn contractors, but the appliances are supposed to get here today and should be installed by monday so I’ll be able to store perishable foods and cook by then —joy!), still no blinds on the windows…
But at least I’ve had music since day 2 and I’ve now found the time to at least turn the laptop on and check out a few things I needed to. Obviously I couldn’t resist sending out an “I’m alive” message.
In a week or so I’m hopping to get something resembling a life going on again.
I’d post pictures of the state of the apartment, but right now that’s just much too time-consuming and I’m not all that much into horror stuff anyway.
Oh and I decided to go with TMN’s wireless broadband offering (UMTS-based) due to coverage issues in my area. So far so good, let’s see how it goes on when I get the first bill to pay.
I’m right in the middle of the renovation works in my new apartment. Will move in next Monday and obviously things are running a bit behind. Chaos.
Even so I did contribute to the latest episode of the Contrast Podcast under the theme Seas, oceans and all things marine and I thoroughly encourage you to listen. Mind you this is a recommendation based on the principle of the thing, seen as the episodes usually rock, because I haven’t listened to it yet.
When I move I’ll take some time off work to get my stuff together and so I’ll be cut off from the world (as in without connectivity at home and not coming in to the office) so I’m considering purchasing some kind of USB-based wireless broadband thingie. Right now I’m considering both the TMN and the Optimus (Kanguru) offers, but I’m not sure how well the Kanguru works with a MAC so the TMN one is looking pretty sweet at this time.
I could, of course, just give up the Internet for the next two weeks, but I’m not seeing that happening… At all.
A couple of days ago (and I do mean a couple) I decided to order a VOCO clock and today I came home to find it waiting for me here. (Well done guys, two days to deliver from the UK to Portugal is really not too shabby!)
So from now on I’ll be waking up every day like a Lord. My mornings can only get better now.
Mental note: don’t ever, ever go to the sax lesson (or any other instrument’s lesson for that matter) without having practiced a least a bit previously.
It is such a waste of both time and money!
It’s been really hard to find the time to practice, that’s for sure, but last night’s lesson was a (not so) gentle reminder of something I learned a long time ago about going to the lesson unprepared.
Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve been through this time and again since I was pretty young. I’ve “learned” this with the flute lessons, the guitar lessons, choir practice, piano lessons and now I’m doing it again with the saxophone lessons.
Maybe I’m just a bit thick… … Naah, I guess I’m just an optimist at heart!
Anyway, this trend is likely to keep up until, at the very least, the middle of June and then in late July the school will close for the summer hollyday.
Which just means, of course, that when it opens up again in middle September I’ll be in tip-top shape, with loads of practice under my belt and I’ll blow the teacher away (no pun intended) on the first lesson.
Only to be given such radically new material that I’m going to go back to n00b status just like that.
Oh well, such is the way of music learning.
Time flies by and I barely notice it…
I’ve been really distracted from pretty much anything else with all the preparations for the move. All the process of selling my house, buying the new one, getting the estimates from a number of sources for all the work I want to get done on the new apartment, picking out and buying new furniture… Like I said, time goes by in a blur.
And the money too, of course. Furniture, appliances and so on can be pretty expensive, but the estimates I’ve been getting for the renovations in the apartment are nothing short of barbaric. Much as I’d like to do it, I don’t really see a way to go with a “do it all” company and get a single contractor and I’m now steadying myself to start to go after painters, carpenters, etc myself. What fun that will turn out to be…
Why must the big contractors be so damned expensive? I guess I’m seing an opportunity here: if someone would like to step in this field and just provide the simple service of having the connections with all the construction people (and derivatives thereof) and then coordinate all of them and make sure things get done on time without taking a fortune to do so I for one would sure appreciate it.
I mean seriously, I’m talking roughly 100% to 130% above the price for all the smaller workers/contracted put together!
Still, the new home is likely to be really great once it is all fixed up and the time is nearly here.
Other than that I haven’t been focused on much anything, my sax practicing is getting by the wayside as I spend more time boxing stuff up for the move and making plans for all the furniture I will get and juggling the budget to get everything I’d like to (which is already an impossibility, of course).
The only thing that I still manage to get done is to attend some concerts once in a while (a man must have priorities after all) and last week I went to the final show of the Scissor Sisters’ European tour. What a show, great fun indeed!
Anyway, as I tend to forget to write about the concerts I attend nowadays (and will probably continue to do so, especially right after the move when I’ll be a while without connectivity at home), I should point out that I’ve been trying out last.fm for a while now and I do try and keep a record of the gigs I attend there, so if you’re at all curious you can check that out.
And while I’m on the subject of on-line services, what I do sometimes use as an off-the-cuff type of thing is twitter. Who’d have guessed that I’d ever adhere to such a thing, me the great sceptic of all of these web 2.0 social-mumbo-jumbo… I guess it was the off-line (as in mobile phone) integration that got me hooked on this one. But I still do have to turn it off sometimes as some of my friends tend to get way overboard with it from time to time… :-)
And that’s about all the babbling I have time for now so ta-ta!
This year’s ISAF sailing world championships will be held in Cascais, starting in June.
It appears that the organizers’ official website doesn’t have anything in the guise of RSS feeds with news relating to the event or any form of subscribable calendar on-line, which is a shame. Still, I’m hoping that there will be lots of other (probably international) sites with these things available when the time comes.
This could not have come at a better time: I’ll be moving to Cascais in the beginning of June (if all goes according to plan) and I’ll actually be in walking distance of the marina (OK, a vigorous walk, but very doable anyway) so I’ll take this as a really nice “welcome to your new home” celebration.
If time and mood permit I may be posting some photos or even videos of the event as it unfolds. Assuming I will have unboxed my computers by that time. And my photo and video gear. And I’l have setup my home network. And I’ll have Internet access and… :-)
18/04/1998 - 04/04/2007
The good part was heavenly. The bad part was really not so bad. All in all, I’m really sorry it has ended.
When the dust settles, in a couple of months, this website will return to life.
This page aggregates content that I’m producing on other sites.
Because it depends almost entirely on those external websites to be displayed, there may occasional problems with it.