summer break

Hi, there!

After some erratic weeks of posting, I’ve decided to officially call it a summer break. Work won’t stop, obviously, but I’ll use my free time for beach-hopping and catching up with friends that tend to return to this shorline during Summer. Thus I won’t have the time to share my updates with you.

But to do panic. This is just temporary and I intend to be back in mid-September, hopefully reenergized and with more stuff to share.

Should you need to contact me, I won’t be far from the sand below.

Enjoy your holidays and see you soon!

research & the holiday season

Holiday season is great for many things, but I believe research is not one of those things.

Holidays mean more friends available to catch up, better days to stay outside and less people at the office for the same amount of work. These are hardly helpful factors when it comes to arrive home and getting things done with research.

Since I try not to be an easy quitter, I’m trying to balance things but at the end of the day, the effort to sort everything out – the effort to balance – is in itself another disturbing and tiring factor to add up.

But I’ll keep trying.

volvo ocean race

It’s been some days fully dedicated to ports & ships! However, these are a little bit different from the ones I usually dedicate myself at home.

The Lisbon Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race 2012 was a great event, gathering the best ocean sailors in the world and great sailing moments.

rotterdam

I took the opportunity of being around for visiting some friends in good ol’ Rotterdam. Which, again, it’s a port city, packed with research subjects.

I wanted to interview two people – one related to the port authority, the other to a short-sea carrier with multimodal interests – but only the latter was available.

I got very good information about the basics of the business. Plus, I got also some cheese, sun & ice-cream.

sterile update

I decided to make an effort in order to post more regularly, namely e-v-er-y–d-a-y, hoping that would press me to present results / work harder / be embarassed to come here with nothing to tell or no progress to show.

I was wrong. I’m here, but there was nothing read, written or done today whatsoever. Now even recycling my German skills are ahead, reclaiming the place of marathon training.

I shall comeback tomorrow, hopefully with a conference paper half finished. Let’s go.

1h40’18”

In the most rewarding 21,1 km  of my life, yesterday I ran – and finished – Lisbon Half Marathon. Running an half marathon for the first time, I set the goal of finishing and doing it below two hours; secretly, I believed that maybe I could reach something aroud 1h50’00”, preferably one second below that. But I ended up with 1h40’18”, a time I could not even think about when I register for the race. Nevertheless, the best part of it is really finishing it, after running through all those places we only do by car, including the 25 de Abril bridge. It was great fun!

meeting of the research group

Yesterday I was in my first meeting with the research group on Transport Infrastructure, Systems and Policy (NISPT), our unit within CESUR (Center for Urban and Regional Systems) research centre.

The agenda dealt basically with the election of the new group coordinator and the discussion of NIPST’s new strategic guidelines. For me, it was a good chance to understand how the group works, to meet new colleagues and to catch up with friends I already haven’t seen for a while. Furthermore, I managed to snatch a fruitful crash-meeting with my supervisor, which is always a must.

pause?

As you may have noticed, news here have became an endangered species. I was expecting that closing the issue “research proposal” would invite me for a more relaxed period, but I was not thinking about complete stoppage of production. But that’s what has been happening, which on one hand is normal, on the other hand is not recommendable.

I haven’t been working in the thesis nor in the paper I must finish. Apart from work at my office (which has been a lot), I’ve been basically practicing sports, with sailing on Saturdays, basketball on Sundays and running everyday competing for my date. Running is taking the lead, as I’m preparing to run Lisbon Half Marathon in late March. It will be my first attempt at such a long distance, but I’m taking workouts seriously.

For my defence, there must also be said that during January there were still many season events going on, especially lunches and dinners that didn’t fit in December calendar. And theather – I’ve been enjoying going regularly.

Only thesing is missing.

dinner & drinks

Yesterday there was a welcoming / networking dinner with all students from the PhD and the CTIS MSc course, introducing the new students starting this year.

It was a lovely dinner, and drinks afterwards allowed me one of the few relaxed, leisure moments with colleagues. It’s the cost of studying part-time together with living and working away from Lisbon.

back to school

I had my second supervision appointment yesterday, in a Friday entirely spent at IST. It’s good to be back to the school and being able to spend an entire day there, working for the project. It sure was productive.

The appointment went very well and we discussed many questions, including the draft version I had submitted this week. I got very good tips and ideas from my supervisor, which I’ll try to put in practice while preparing the thesis project. Otherwise, I’ll leave them for the research phase, as my deadline is approaching fast and I’m not sure whether I’ll have time to read & write everything I should.

This means I’ll have a busy weekend and busier times ahead – which means a balanced mix of work and sailing must be in place. And since that the weatherman is kind today, a Laser sailing afternoon is already scheduled.

Fair winds and following seas. Have a nice weekend.

version 4.0

After a too long intermission, I finished and submitted today the draft version #4 of my thesis project. It’s very behind schedule and there are still many issues missing, but I’ll try to catch up during September. I need to catch up.

At the same time, it also showed me the importance of keep writing, closing pending issues, submitting versions, etc. It’s the way to feel that I’m moving somewhere and that I must keep moving somewhere. To the right direction, preferably.

news from the western front

Another day that I tried too much and no relevant work appears to be done. Which is not that unexpected, given that working plus studying plus all-family-gathered-and-my-brother’s-in-town is not the way things work more efficiently.

Nevertheless, I evolved in some ‘soft issues’ and hope that can help with the writing. The clock is ticking.

america’s cup world series – 1st stop: cascais, portugal

The America’s Cup has finally arrived to Cascais, now on its circuit format. After a greyish first day, today’s races were fought under a magnificient, sunny, blue sky. Everyone is expecting a week-long competition between the two main candidates, but for this weekend, Emirates Team New Zealand beat their rivals from Oracle Racing. It’ll be a week packed with action and thank God we all know what we’ll have to focus on, right? Yes: on the New Zealander boat. Go, Kiwis!

those useless trees

‘Yeah, the trees, those useless trees produce the air that I am breathing,
Yeah, the trees, those useless trees; they never said that you were leaving.’
Pulp, ‘The Trees’

It’s a place I always come back, I always went back, I always stop by. And I always remember too much of these trees. But they’re there. They’re gone again. And I don’t feel like doing like Jarvis sings at the end. I won’t go & tell it to the trees. Yeah.