Archive for the News Category

Whoa, it’s that time of the year already?!

Posted in News, Self-improvement on January 7, 2010 by Fax

Hah! Happy New Year!

Alright, real quick: nope, I’m not 15kg heavier, but I am 7kg heavier :) Considering I only started taking it seriously (read going to the gym and following a nutrition plan) in September, it’s not reeeeeeeeeally an epic failure ;)

The rest of the stuff I listed as resolutions… baaaaaaaaaah, forget all that, I did a ton of cooler things ;) No, seriously, I did!

Resolutions for 2010? Um… Carpeing the diem more than ever ;)

Yup, I’m feeling fantastic! And so should you :)

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Halfway-through assessment

Posted in Career, News, Self-improvement on June 5, 2009 by Fax

Can you believe we’re already halfway-through 2009? Holy macaroni.

Time to do an assessment over my Resolutions for this year. Oh dear, just looking at them makes me go eeek… OK, here we go:

  • Gain at least 15kgs of weight: uh oh, epic failure on the horizon. I’m at the exact same point I was half a year ago;
  • Medium goal: I’ll leave this one for later :-);
  • Read at least half an hour a day: Nope, I haven’t. I’ve read more so far than in the past couple of years, that I’m sure of, but not at this pace;
  • Travel: So far so good – I did go to Berlin, and I’ve done some tripping in Portugal as well. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes, I’m not so sure I’ll be able to visit the US anymore;
  • Psychology: Hmn, I didn’t look into it any more seriously than I did before. I’m reading a really good book on body language at the moment – not that it fits into the psychology category, but my point with psychology is really to understand us better so… yeah;
  • Social circle: Right-o, I’m on it! I have to anyhow, more on that in a bit;
  • Set up a steady business in SecondLife: bah, no, I want to spend my time in there – which has become pretty short – having fun and meeting people. If a good (great) idea does come up I’ll probably elaborate on it, but I won’t be forcing something out.

That doesn’t look too good, does it? What have I done then?

Well, remember the medium goal? About taking charge, doing what I wanted to do? I did that.

I wasn’t happy with the work I was doing. I (humbly) refused an offer to keep doing what I was doing. I spoke out, I was heard, and I was offered a different kind of job. I liked it, I took it, and I love it so far!

Also, it made me move. I’m in another town now, baby, and guess what – I like it!

Also, I’m living “alone” (technically I have flatmates).

Also, it’s making me get off my ass and meet new people.

In fact, it’s time to go do just that, so I’ll just publish this without more thought. It doesn’t really need a conclusion anyhow. Later, gator!

Hypocrite alert, hypocrite alert

Posted in News, Vegetarianism on May 17, 2009 by Fax

Almost a year past since my decision to stop eating meat, I’m proud to say this: haven’t touched it meanwhile. But, but, there’s a catch.

I still eat fish. Rationale: oh well since I’m back to my parents’ it’ll be too much trouble for them to make two special meals for me (they usually balance with a meat lunch and fish dinner). Guess what happens out of thinking that way – I’m no longer at my parents’, and even though I’m in total control of what I do or do not eat and have options, I’ve been eating fish nonetheless.

So I’m on the train back “home” and decided to watch another one of those “shock and awe” videos on animal abuse, similar to the one that made me open my eyes to all this in the first place, but this time oriented towards sea animals. Check it out at goveg.com, “Top three reasons not to eat fish”, or follow this link. I have to say I’m skeptical in what concerns all the mercury hype – I’m obviously not saying it’s not true, it just sounds hypeish, I’ll need to look into it – but it doesn’t really matter anyhow, the video had me at reason #1. It’s just cruel.

Ok, so what am I going to do about it? Simple – no more fish eating when I have the choice. About time to a) cook ;-) and b) start sucking up those mushrooms. And when I don’t have the choice? Oh I’ll use that opportunity to make some propaganda.

Goodbye, codfish and the likes. You were good.

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Posted in Career, News on September 27, 2008 by Fax

Guess what guys: I’ll start working next Monday.

Or as I usually put it, I’m going to become a real person next Monday.

You know me (well, maybe not, but I know you want to :-)), I’m pretty calm and cool about things, and this is no different. Yet I’m really curious about everything that is about to change. Or is it really?

I guess the only major difference is the fact that I’ll have a monthly pay-check. I will stay in Porto at least this semester – I will only move out again, either some place else in Portugal or in the World, when I can fully support it myself. Financially, that is. Other than that, there will be a few changes in terms of organisation perspective, responsibility, and my daily routine.

Before I hop on I’ll just mention that it is still an internship I’m doing to finish my degree. I’ll be doing my best in order to have a shot at staying in the same company afterwards, for reasons I’ll explain in a second. The company I’ll be working for, Critical Software, creates highly dependable technologies. I’ll be working on tools that help making sure that… well, that everything goes right during the development of such technologies :-) I am so glad I have people other than engineers reading this, and still I almost forget to adapt my writing accordingly ;-)

Now why did I choose this place? Well, the company has been growing impressively, expanding to new markets every time they sense an opportunity. They have seized opportunities very well so far – they seem to know exactly what they are doing. They are especially concerned with quality in everything they do. They have high-profile clients all over the globe, and have contracts in a sector, among others, that I nurture a particular interest in: the aerospace industry. There seems to be something happening all the time. And that’s it

… I want to be immersed in a dynamic environment. I want challenges, I want to beat them and to be beaten sometimes. I want to learn as much as I can.

I don’t want to sit down and get well paid for doing the same thing over and over. Well not yet, at least, and not for a long while, I believe.

I’m young ;-)

Right now is the perfect time to go crazy. So to speak. I won’t want a vibrant job full of risk and travel when I’m trying to raise kids. Neither do I want a stagnant job while I still have yet to do a lot of things I want to do and have more than 90% of the world to see.

So yeah, hold me back, hehe :-)

An old thought came to mind when I visited the Ferreira Port wine cellars yet again, earlier this week while my French friends Aldric and Lise were visiting Porto. One of the previous times I’d been there, years ago, I thought it would be a good idea to spend some of my first pay-check on two or three bottles of a Vintage Port. No, no, not for the first-pay-party, I wasn’t even much of a drinker back then. The idea was to let them age until certain very special occasions occur. I don’t know if it’s any sort of hypnotic induction by the tour guides, but I still think it is a very good idea.

The problem is… how many bottles? ;-)

I know what you did last summer

Posted in Erasmus, News, Travel, Vacation on September 1, 2008 by Fax

Hey guys,

I’ll start out by telling you about what I’ve been up to lately – vacation!

Less than a month after I arrived from Bristol, I was already hopping on a plane to get back there. The plan was to fly there on the 30th, taking my big suitcase empty, and then come back there after the vacation trips, pack the rest of my stuff and for the last time (this year) (yeah, I’m optimistic about it :-)) fly back from Bristol to Porto, on the 20th.

Throughout the year I got myself convinced that Bristol would be completely empty in the summer, since all the students should go somewhere else. Well I was wrong – there was pretty much the same lively atmosphere, both during the day and during the night.

Actually, if anything, there were more people. But that was only because the Bristol Harbour Festival was going on. The city was absolutely crowded. Check these out (photos from my phone):

Millenium Square during the Harbour Festival

Millennium Square during the Harbour Festival

Pero's Bridge during the Harbour Festival

Pero's Bridge during the Festival

There were all sorts of weird stuff going on. Like here, a row of people throwing water baloons at another row of people:

Catch!

Catch!

Fun! And it wasn’t only the Millennium Square, Queen’s Square was the same or even better, with concerts going on and inflatable parks for kids. Wow!

Well I had other plans anyway: on the 2nd of August I flew to Pau, in the French Pyrenees, where Hubert would pick me up to take me to Bayonne, where the Ferias (huge) party was going on. Again sorry and thank you very much at the same time for the trouble of driving me that night, Hubi! There I also met Felipe, Lorenzo, Marion, Nico and Tim, great to see you guys again :-).

Bayonne is located in the Basque Country, so if you think “Hey, you are dressed just like the people in Pamplona!”, now you know why. The party was immense. If you are Portuguese, imagine Queimódromo in the alleys of a city. Same thing. That was during the night – young people having fun “their way”. During the day, they were all sleeping :-) and the city was taken by older people and children, having fun “their way” as well. The place was really lively and happy, I have to go back there with more time.

Bayonne Ferias

Bayonne Ferias (photo by Felipe)

I say I want to go back with more time because after all I was only there for two nights and one day. On the second day we (Me, Felipe, Hubert, Lorenzo and Tim) packed our things and got in the car for a loooong trip all the way to Italy – we basically did the whole south of France!

The goal for the first day was Antibes, where Tim’s brother kindly provided us with space to sleep at his place. We stopped in Carcassone, half-way there – it’s a beautiful and well preserved medieval city.

So we spent the night in Antibes, and in the morning Tim showed us a nice walk on the rocks by the Mediterranean.

With time for a swim

With time for a swim

Then in the car again we go. A cheer as we cross the border, Italy! Tunnels and bridges along the Mediterranean, until we arrive in La Spezia. We have dinner with Lorenzo’s family, our hosts for those days, and it doesn’t end very well… some high-tension scenes, but hey – in the end the dinner was for free :-).

From La Spezia to Portovenere it took only 20 minutes. My words, stepping out of the car: “this is beautiful”. Lorenzo told me to “wait until you see it by day”. What a wonderful place.

Streets of Portovenere

Streets of Portovenere

Portovenere

Portovenere (photo by Felipe)

The views were absolutely amazing, I could make a photo blog out of them.

Well there we spent a bit more than a week. Each day was usually comprised of waking up around 12 (or later :-)), eating something between a breakfast and a lunch, and then hopping on Lorenzo’s boat and going to a different place around there, for a relaxing afternoon in the Mediterranean. Absolutely relaxing indeed. Just sunbathing while being rocked by the can’t-really-call-them-waves on the boat, going for a swim, exploring little islands, eating peaches, fishing… there was actually an ice-cream boat, just in case you went “ah, if I had an ice-cream right now, I’d be absolutely perfect”.

Afternoons in Portovenere

Afternoons in Portovenere

When it got around 7 we’d weigh the anchor and go back before the supermarket closed. We’d have dinner and go out, usually to a beach party nearby. Great times :-).

When we didn’t go on the boat for some reason, we’d explore the city or other places nearby. After all, the Cinque Terre are so close people usually think Portovenere is one of them. So we visited four of the “Five Lands” (only leaving Corniglia for next time) – Monterrosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore. These were beautiful villages as well, all by the Mediterranean. Between Manarola and Riomaggiore is the Via dell’Amore (“Walk of Love”) – if you are considering impressive places for kneeling in front of your soul-mate and saying the M-word, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore

Time flew. Soon it was time to wish to come back (Lorenzo, I’ll be your neighbour one day! Thanks again mate!) and then catch another flight, this time to Paris! Marina, who had joined us in Portovenere a couple of days before, joined me in this one. Ed had arrived that day as well, and broke a sweat running after our train – I’ll never forget that, mate! A long trip ensued. Train, bus, airport, airplane, another bus and trains and metro, and none of us was able to sleep. But even when absolutely exhausted, Paris is an amazing sight. Very open streets, bright buildings, iconic places, I liked it a lot. My local friends Roxane and Sahir were brilliant tour guides, thanks a lot again girls :-).

I was too tired to believe I was there!

I was too tired to believe I was there!

Again, I must go back with more time. After all this second French leg of my trip only lasted for four days, two of them in Paris. Another day was spent visiting very impressive châteaus in the Loire Valley, and the last one, a nice lazy Sunday, walking around Chartres, a nice little city dominated by its magnificent cathedral.

Château de Chambord

Château de Chambord

Alas, time to go home. Not without stopping by Bristol first, as planned. Everything packed, empty room, and this time not taking the key with me, I was ready to go. Well, more or less :-). But it’s definitely more than time to move on.

Stay tuned for what’s happening next!

Alrighty then

Posted in News on August 23, 2008 by Fax
That's me not so long ago

Welcome!

Hello everybody,

Welcome to my new blog.

Those who know me and my blogging tendencies are probably thinking “here we go again”. If you’re new here, I’ll explain: on the right you’ll find links to my previous blogs, one about my Erasmus experience and the other about my disgust with animal abuse. If you explore them (thanks for reading, by the way), you may notice they weren’t updated very frequently. Sorry about that. But…

… three things. The first, I will no longer update them, except for a post redirecting people to this blog. The second, as you may have assumed from the first, I’ll be posting exclusively on this blog, even when talking about Erasmus or animal rights. The third, I will be posting about pretty much anything in this blog – specialised blogs are prone to long idle periods, general (but tidy) blogs are (hopefully) updated more often.

Well, not such a great start for a blog, huh, already making excuses and promises? Bear with me. I never believed in good starts anyway. A bad start in a journey is just like a bad moment in the middle – as long as there is no bad ending, it doesn’t really matter.

So here I will be talking about anything that I find in my path of development. If I write something it’s because I think someone may find value in it, so if you do, I’m a very happy man!

Feel free to comment, actually, please do! Feedback is always appreciated. I’m afraid I’ll have to set the comment moderation on, but it’s only to avoid spam (the amount of which I receive in one of the other blogs is impressive).

Thanks for reading, wish me luck, and come back often :-)