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London, November 2007 - Wrap-up

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, 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! :-)

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Originally written on Dec 02, 2007 @ 19:59
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London, November 2007 - Day 2

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! :-)

Once more I’m putting stuff up on a real-time basis with pictures here and text here.

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…

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Originally written on Nov 30, 2007 @ 19:29
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London, November 2007

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!

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Originally written on Nov 29, 2007 @ 17:35
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Morocco, October 2007 - take two

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.

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Originally written on Oct 13, 2007 @ 14:28
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Morocco, October 2007 - getting ready

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!

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Originally written on Oct 10, 2007 @ 22:09
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All packed up, ready to fly

Everything is packed, all the gear is checked, I’m all set for tomorrow’s flight to London, England.

I’ll be spending Monday and Tuesday in London with my wife —Tuxa, then I’ll leave her with her brother Tuesday evening and catch a train to Birmingham where I’ll attend YAPC::Europe::2006. I expect to have lots of fun there.

Then Saturday we’ll both catch our trains to Stratford-Upon-Avon and we’ll linger around for a few (hopefully) nice and relaxing days, before heading out to London where we’ll catch our plane back to Portugal on Wednesday.

In the end it was actually a lucy break that I booked the wrong flight into London, as it gives me an extra day there to wind down before heading out to the conference (that and the fact that we’re celebrating a kind of anniversary of our own, Tuxa and I, so we’ll just extend the celebrations to cover our days abroad). ;-)

Anyway, I’m all set here, so I’ll just have the rest of the day to geek out a bit (Tuxa is having dinner with a few of her girl friends which leaves me home alone tonight) and to set me in the right kind of mood to get through all of the utter nonsense I expect to be put through tomorrow at the airport and during the flight.

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Originally written on Aug 27, 2006 @ 18:43
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Absent-minded me gained an extra day in London

I’ve just realized that when I booked all the flights and hotels for the upcoming UK foray I made a slight mistake.

I booked a hotel for me for the duration of the YAPC::EU conference in Birmingham, another hotel for my wife and my brother-in-law for their stay in London during the conference, a B&B in Stratford-upon-Avon for me and my wife for our mini vacation after the conference and the flights to and from London.

All well and good, except…

It turns out that I booked our flight to London (my wife and mine only) one day too soon!
We were supposed to fly over on a Tuesday and I booked the flight for Monday. My brother in law who booked his own flights is going over on Tuesday as scheduled.

And, as it turns out, re-booking the flight would be so damned expensive that I just settled for booking an extra day at the hotel in London before leaving for Birmingham.

Oh, what a disappointment this turned out to be, a hole extra day in London with Tuxa. Tsk, Tsk…

It wasn’t on purpose. No really, it wasn’t! :-)

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Originally written on Aug 20, 2006 @ 21:02
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Barcelona photos

I’ve posted the first batch of photos from the recent vacation in Barcelona up on Flickr.

For now they only cover part of the first day but the rest will follow soon enough.

The photoset is here and the slideshow version (flickr’s) is here.

As usual, it is best viewed on a Mac, on a PC the colors are rather drab.

Barcelona 2006

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Originally written on May 04, 2006 @ 09:03
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Skiing closer to home

I found a place to ski nearer to home, in Spain, which looks very promising.

Contrary to Portugal’s only offering (Serra da Estrela) which has several drawbacks —most importantly the miniscule nature of the trails— this one appears to have decent skiable slopes and is only about 5 hours or so from Lisbon.

I’m trying to set up a weekend trip there to test it out. It seems I may stop being constrained to one week a year of snow fun. Yay!

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Originally written on Mar 07, 2006 @ 22:44
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Venice - the day after

Well, here I am, back home.

I’ve kept quiet about my views on Venice so far because quite frankly I don’t quite know what to say.

The town, for all it’s (former) beauty leaves a bitter-sweet feeling about it and I’m not actually sure how to put it into words.

So I won’t. Not for now at least. I’ll post something about it when I figure out exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it.

In the mean time, photos will be up in flickr in a few days and daily life will return to normal about now.

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Originally written on Apr 26, 2005 @ 12:24
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Off I go

After a rather chaotic week, I’m on vacation!

Both dancing examinations went surprisingly well (or so I think anyway, since the grades and comments will only be handed out when we return from our trip, which is sure to make me and Tuxa very popular among our classmates…) ;-) Oh and I finally found out the name of the entity which made the international examination this afternoon: it’s the U.K.A.. So, for the record and for me to remember later, the quarterly exam in the class covered the Waltz, Jive and Quickstep and the U.K.A. exam was a simple start to star and covered only basic Waltz and basic Cha-Cha-Cha.

And now I’m going to try and sleep real early because I have to be at the airport at around 4h45 (that 4h45 AM!) to catch the flight to Amsterdam and wait there for about 4 hours to catch the flight to Venice. That’ll definitely be fun…

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Originally written on Apr 17, 2005 @ 21:28
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Weekend wrap-up

Another interesting weekend.

Went to the gym saturday and caught up with all the IT Conversation podcasts I was falling behind on. Not bad that.
While I was there I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in an obscene number of years and the conversation that ensued was… well, I can’t think of the right adjective now but it was something along the lines of (him to me): “So, we seem to be growing along the same general lines here: we’ve both grown beards, both come to the the gym in the weekend, both with visible spots of grey hair, both with an extra 10Kg!”.
Nice… (grr)

The rest of the saturday went well enough, we bought some nice things for our home (you may notice I’m actually trying the flickr thing for good, even became a paying member), made all the arrangements for our wedding anniversary getaway (what a great excuse for yet another trip! If only we had some better choice about the dates… But we have a dancing exam the day before our anniversary so we must fly out on the exact day. Still we will be able to dine in Venice which is not too shabby at all) and we finally made a list of re-decorating to-dos.

We thought about moving a while ago but decided against it because, quite frankly, we haven’t spent enough time in our current home and we haven’t made all we can make out of it and it would be hard to leave so soon.
So instead we decided to go ahead and actually go through with some of the projects we’ve had since we moved in. We have made a list, checked it twice and made a (rather sketchy) plan to go about every item in there.
I’ve taken some pictures of the areas we are going to change more dramatically so that we can post some “before and after” pictures after the deed is done. It will be some time though, so if anyone is actually curious, please don’t hold your breath over this one…

Also on the topic of changes, I’ve decided once and for all that I no longer wish to maintain my huge (and noisy) home server (especially now that I’m about to move a major part of —including Nowhereland— out of it), and so I’m going to buy me a Mac mini to host the sites I want to maintain at home and do the old file/streaming/whatever-server around here.

Back to the weekend, sunday was also a good day, we did everything we had planed for today in the list, I’ve done some work on and I finally took the time to learn a bit more about photoshop’s actions and, especially, made my first photoshop droplet: a Canon RAW to JPEG converter.
Now this is something that is rather heavy on a machine, so it is exceedingly cool to see it churn away at a huge number of pictures while I edit this and listen to my MP3s and not feel a hint of a slowdown.
The iMac G5 rocks.

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Originally written on Mar 14, 2005 @ 00:33
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The next trip

Just made all the reservation for our next trip. Did I mention I love traveling? :-)

So this time we will enjoy a week in April in Venice, Italy.

I’ve never been to Italy and I expect it to be great.

We booked a hotel on the beach, near the Lido instead of in the city centre, as this is supposed to be a relaxing vacation and not a full fledged city raid as we usually do. So we will be staying in Villa Beatrice and we hope to enjoy the beach a little.

Our initial plan was to do a 5-day trip but we’ve extended it to a 7-day one so there should be plenty of time to get to know the city, catch some sun (if there is any that time of the year) and do some heavy-duty relaxing.

Oh and the trip has a theme. The dates were chosen so that we will be able to dine in Venice on our wedding anniversary.

Can’t wait to go!

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Originally written on Mar 12, 2005 @ 21:10
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Off to the snow

And so it is that after a particular tough and frustrating couple of weeks I’m off to this year’s ski trip.

And not a moment too soon I say.

This year there are two friends coming along so I’ll have some company on the slopes.

The CDs have been burned, the relevant waypoints have been downloaded into the GPS, the bags are packed… It’s road-tripping time! One and a half days to get there, 5 days of skiing and another day and a half to get back.

I do wish I’d live nearer to ski-able country but you’ve got to go with what you’ve got.

This year I’ll really try and come back without anything bandaged or in a cast. I really will. Honest!

Oh and the plans for the 14th of February are coming along nicely. The reservations have been made for Caldea have been made and there’s just a few more details to take care of. Things are looking good.

Anyone in Andorra care to make me an offer I can’t refuse to stay there, by the way? ;-)

I don’t expect to have Internet access in the hotel there (I’ve never had it in the past) and I can’t be bothered to lug the laptop around into town just for that so I’ll talk to you all (yes, you and you) in a few days. Be good while I’m away now…

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Originally written on Feb 11, 2005 @ 23:51
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Geocaching - the logs

Since I am stuck at home waiting for a friend to come and give me a lift to work (I have no keys to my own garage… Don’t ask), I decided to finally log my cache hunts this summer: LandMania and As pozas de Riocaldo.

Look for the log by gambuzino.

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Originally written on Sep 30, 2004 @ 10:26
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