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.

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!

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.

steve jobs, 1955-2011

I never had a “computer” at home. Many years ago, a friend offered my mother one as a Christmas gift. I knew a machine was coming, I just didn’t know which one would be. When we opened the wrapping, we found a first generation iMac. I immediately hated it, as I longed for a PC and the chance of playing games at home  and exchanging them with my friends. Now I just had that flashy, useless big thing.

After those negative first impressions, we all had to get used to it. And we did it so well, that we – myself, my brother and my mother – never owned another brand of computer since that date. It has been a lifetime of Apples.

Yesterday, the man that masterminded the company behind this keyboard died, after a long fight against illness. His legacy, however, is and will be around us for many years, both in the products Apple keep conceiving, as in the example of entrepreneurship, vision, and daring spirit, inspiring the crazy ones to keep thinking different.


Steve Jobs, R.I.P.

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.

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.

tantlinger, the other part of the equation


Keith Tantlinger, 1919-2011

Malcolm McLean is many times quoted as the inventor of the container, without any credit given to Keith Tantlinger. But it was Tantlinger who fine-tuned McLean’s vision and engineered essential concepts that allowed the box to be used in a standardized way, kick-starting productivity boosts and universal usability of the container as the cornerstone of world trade and globalization.

Keith Tantlinger died today and there are many publications recalling his achievements and contributions. Here is Marine Insight’s one, which I’ve chosen for you.

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!