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! :-)