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?)