Archive for the ‘general’ Category

“oops!… i did it again”

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

for those who don’t keep an eye on my synapse bar on the right side, i’ve been working on this last months on relocating to shanghai. after my abroad experiences in the netherlands and in the united states, the obvious step is… asia: my mom and i don’t exactly agree on this detail though.

holding hands with my special one, we’ll be flying this weekend to the largest chinese city. besides the new jobs, a cryptic language, new foods, new habits, a whole new culture waits for us. that and a city that has almost twice as much population as our home country.

perhaps because the cultural chock will be bigger than ever, this time there wont be an upper bound on the period i’ll be there. more importantly maybe, there is a lower one: 1-2 years. this should not only put things in the right perspective, but also be enough to properly evaluate this step and not make decisions on first impressions.

i’m going there to explore and to learn, to grow.

strange vs different

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

it’s so easy to classify something as strange. or odd. nothing is wrong with the act itself, but i’ve learned through time, that strange is most of the times, simply different. and that’s not the same. specially, when you are in a different country.

please don’t mistake me: i’m not about to explain the way the world works or anything. actually, the concept is very simple, i believe. but if it’s not obvious for you, bare with me a bit more.

from the couple of long term abroad experiences i had, it has become more clear to me that when one arrives to a different country he immediately goes through the this-is-strange phase. everything out of ordinary is strange. an uncommon habit, strange. an exotic food, strange. a weird bloke, strange. even the laws can be strange. it takes a while for one to realize that strange is frequently a strong and inadequate word. some never don’t.

go to a country with a closed mind, and everything will look strange, awkward if not offending. but if one does some effort to learn the why’s and how’s, the this-is-strange phase will slowly shift over the time to a this-is-different phase. and that’s when you can take the best out of that experience.

don’t mistake what i’m trying to explain with simply getting used to what is initially weird. it’s more than that actually. i believe that most of the times, it’s the tiny little bits of how a society works that explains it. all the unwritten rules, all the nuances that make a country more or less different than all the others, all the things that  the unwary tourist doesn’t know about. it takes time to fully understand a different society or culture and it’s something one can hardly learn only from books. you really have to see it from close and sometimes, live it yourself.

to sum up, there will always be goods, bads and different points of view in each society and it’s up to us to take the best out of that. i believe that by understanding those differences, one has the best opportunity to question himself about some false dogmas and prejudices in himself or around the world and to learn from that. i truly believe that this makes us better persons.

sim, claro.

Saturday, February 10th, 2007

muito se tem dito em relação a este referendo. dito, discutido, gritado, mentido, ignorado, insultado, enfim: polémico quanto baste. nesta altura já todos vimos os vários pontos de vista possíveis – e até alguns impossíveis; alguns numa tentativa de esclarecer, outros tantos apenas baralhar. isto, de ambas as partes.

para mim, este voto é bastante óbvio: sim. sim, porque a mulher tem direito a uma decisão de consciência. sim, porque a mulher não é uma criminosa e deve ter condições quando precisar interromper a sua gravidez. e sim, porque abortos todos sabemos que haverão sempre, mas só uma das respostas pode prevenir mais mortes: e essa, é o sim.

how do you change the world?

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

some people use their 15 minutes of fame to change the world in a positive way. the kind that has the nerves to stand up and shout to those who are blind, making the world step forward in a better direction. even if that can be dangerous to their own life. wafa sultan is one of those persons which i can only admire.

others, just use their share of fame to spread their own mind numbness to others.

and you? how will you use your 15 minutes of fame when you’ve the chance?

my acronym is bigger than yours II

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

snapshot of what i’m studying this days:

Step 5. Routers exchange DBDs listing the LSAs in their LSD by RID and sequence number.
Step 6. Each router compares the DBD received to the contents of its LSDB. It then sends a LSR for missing or oudated LSAs. Each router responds to its neighbor’s LSR with a LSU. Each LSU receives an ACK.

sigh. could be worse… right?

american elections results

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

someone stop him

milky moon

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

“I feel like if they could be easily explained in the space of an interview, then there’s no reason for them to be songs, you know? There’s a reason they’re confined by that particular creative space, it’s like they have to be songs, you can’t explain them that way.”

joanna newsom

here is how i try to describe her: get a mix of björk and kate bush voices, the sweetness of a lisa ekdahl and add an harp to the plot. yes, an harp – forget the orchestral and medieval sides of it: joanna newsom puts much more value into it creating a whole new music style with the blend of an harp and her voice.

at first, her voice makes you giggle, and it’s likely to raise an eyebrow. and then, you are simply addicted. at least that’s how it was with me back in 2004, when she released her first album milk-eye mender;and last week i was lucky to see her live, singing & playing songs from the upcoming new album ys, to be released this nov. 14th – it overcome all my expectations.

if you like alternative styles of music, please consider trying some tracks by her.

european what?

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

the other day i found a coffee shop in town that had a sign saying:

share the table – european seating’

it's cold outsidenow: i don’t know any coffee place in portugal where people share the table with strangers. moreover, i don’t think that it happens anywhere in europe for that matter – please let me know otherwise. so, i inquired a local about it and the explanation was a bit surprising; it seems that, for an average american – at least in this part of the country -, if you want something to look stylish or modern, you just have to add the ‘european’ component to it – people will immediately associate it with something that has to be cool. even if it’s just a label in the name.

anyway, seating apart, if you exclude the lousy espressos served sometimes in huge tea mugs with soup spoons, there is something i have to love on american coffee places: free wireless internet. i find it so useful, and luckly, there are a few of those in town where “working from home” has a new meaning. specially, with european seating.

fresh paint

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

this past week snowed two times. more than enough to bring up my kid smile.

snow in boulder

i know i’ll miss this.

you’ve got mail!

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

from all forms of keeping someone busy, a computer is probably one of the most successful ones. put together a internet connection and you can keep pretty much anyone who knows how to use a computer, entertained for a very, very long time; games, music, news, information about, well, anything basically, are just some of the possibilities.

having said that, i’ll add just another one to the list: email. why? well, because i’m addicted to it. now, one could say – but you created postcrossing, you can’t be addicted to email – not email! well, i am.

it’s nothing new really, but it got a lot more obvious to me today when i bumped into an article about email addiction. and… ok, it’s not like i’m worried about it or anything – i do believe email can be both a really neat work tool and also source of fun. oh, and no, i’m not in denial. or at least that’s what i think :)

so i thought of sharing some facts about my email to better picture my, cof, addiction, cof, and putted together some numbers about it. if i exclude my work email, my messages are distributed between 3 different accounts. between those, i sort my email into a total of 253 different folders. i rarely delete any email i receive – unless is spam of course -, so the consequence, is about 44k emails – 4 years worth of email to be precise.

do people write me a lot? well, not that much – it’s mostly mailing-lists i subscribe. if i get to read all those? well no, of course not – some mailing-lists i just skim through the messages subjects and that’s it. but, still, i did send all the 7000 emails archived on my sent folders so i’m bit prolific on that subject too i suppose.

but, maybe more important than the numbers, is actually the considerable amount of time i spend with it – thus the self-classification as addicted. i do spend a reasonable amount of my time every day reading, sorting or replying emails, when not just checking for the sake of it. and if i happen not to have access to it for a few days, i tend to get nervous and worried – some will say that’s normal, some will find it ridiculous.

either way, for all those that have put up with me and my email rant, here’s a useful link – a repository of all those emails that are forwarded ad infinitum from mailbox to mailbox: some funny, some interesting, some useful, some neither imho. but maybe it’s the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to finally ignore that boring ex-coworker and still be on top of the latest and greatest forward-to-all-address-book-once-again email messages.