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.

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

snow in boulder

i know i’ll miss this.

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.

colorado is one of those places on earth where you can’t say, for instance, “it’s a sunny day“. you can’t, not the day part. because on a single day, it may rain, hail and even a flooding may ocorre. and still, it might be hot and sunny by the time you have to go out.

if you don’t like the weather here, stick around, it will change” they say, and it couldn’t be more true. colorado is where being a weather man is about knowing a bit of black magic and where making plans for outdoor activities is a bit tricky.

nonetheless, i’m getting used to it; the everage summer day here is sunny and warm*, with temperatures rising up fast very early in the morning and followed with an ocasional thunderstorm by tea time which doesn’t stop having warm, but always dry, nights.

* meaning: hail, intense rain and floods can occur any time, in a just matter of minutes. really.

china town from all aspects i could stand out from my trip to san francisco, clearly the most relevant one was visiting chinatown. not the tall buildings with all the concrete and the mirrored windows. not the bay and it’s infamous golden gate bridge. not pier 39 with alcatraz closeby. not even the very sloppy streets that gives the city it’s strong character along with the victorian houses. nop, it was chinatown.

right in the middle of a crowded city a completely different one; like if the crosswalk had a teleportation property, and suddently, everything is different. different people, different stores with different articles, different restaurants, different culture, different music, even the smell was different. different.

– did you grep the cvs diff patch for the 7200 and the 3745’s sev4?

– yes, and for 1700’s too. now, the dns and tftp csc’s about ttl on vrf will make this pi ready for rpc and rcp/rsh pdu’s on all uut’s.

this is how (my) technical team meetings sounds like: as if someone was trying to start world war three by launching hundreds of acronyms over the table.

and poor of the guy who decides – god forbid – to expand one single acronym: he will have a whole room of raised eyebrows. like if he was speaking in some cryptic and incomprehensible language.

dois portugueses a viverem numa cidade americana de 100.000 habitantes durante 4 meses, sem nunca conseguir avistar qualquer outra alma lusitana; e o que vão encontrar depois de chegar ao aeroporto de são josé (california), logo no primeiro semáforo? um açoreano, de camisa cabas ao volante de um mustang amarelo e com vários símbolos do sporting pendurados no espelho retrovisor. é bem, é bem; e eu nem sequer sou do sporting.

mas ainda assim, há que admitir: tem muito mais charme ser 50% da população portuguesa de uma cidade.

a couple of days ago, during an airport check-in, i found out that yahoo travel had been kind enough to sell me two (e-)tickets for the price of one; that would be really cool, if they weren’t both for that same exact flight. anyway, it wasn’t a too serious mistake, until my flight companion (we booked together) found out that yahoo didn’t got any ticket under his name at all. he was not very fond of that.

and me neither, when the same exact thing happen to me on the return trip. hurray to e-tickets.

ps: san francisco was great though: more on that soon :)

mas que tinha eu na cabeça quando me lembrei de ir a um museu de arte contemporânea nos estados unidos? e ainda por cima, no colorado.

three months later and the line between strangeness and difference is finally thick. dryness and high altitude quickly turned to be trivial details and, instead, trying to understand the other sides of things became the real deal, as expected. with 6 months more to go here, life is finally going under my own pace, rather than dominated by the constrains of a just arrived foreign with no luggage or a place to call home to. after some initial hurdles, new goals are set, and i’m making my way to them.
having said that, i hope to continue posting on a regular basis again from now on. here are some bits and pieces to catch up.

  • boulder has revealed itself as a cozy, beautiful, living city; in general, people are nice and friendly, and with a relaxed attitude. it’s completely away from the concrete madness, and makes the best out of it: it’s calm, full of green spaces and places to ride a bike or just for a stroll. people here keep repeating to me that boulder is not a good sample for the country, on a good way that is – i start to believe that.
  • work has reached a new phase now: time to take a full breath and take the best out of the few months i’ve ahead; more than the present, my future depends a lot on how good i use my time here. must use my head on this one and not let the boat float it’s own way down the river.
  • the postcrossing project has celebrated its first anniversary a few days ago. yep, 365 days of postcard sending and smile firestarter around the globe. but 365 is just one of numbers on this equation:
    • 2 times the bbc network mentioned the project;
    • 3 different servers;
    • 49 users believe their gender is ‘other’ than male or female;
    • 106 postcards were sent to me congratulating for the project anniversary;
    • 125 countries joined the project;
    • 2968 replied emails to users questions;
    • 10500 scanned postcards and displayed at the flickr gallery.
    • 11764 users are participating in the project;
    • 135000 posts in the forum;
    • 163073 postcards were successfully received;
    • 965121098 kms were travelled by postcards;

    needless to say that i’m still amazed how big this grew. how many times did i say this anyway? well, that’s just another number.