turkishThingsThisWeek #78

    blue mosque.

    Merhaba, nasılsınız? We just got back from a full week in Turkey, plenty to report, as you might have guessed. Different format, I tried to go day by day. Some parts will have a bit more detail, others less. A journal of sorts. As this was written on the go, some things might miss detail, other opinions might have changed on a later day.

    Day Zero (Home)

    ✅ Things we needed to do on the last day at home: book Istanbul hotel, purchase Holafly eSIM, arrange for transfer from the airport in Istanbul. Pack bags. All done. We left booking the hotel in Cappadocia for Turkey. Loaded iPad for the little one. Purchased LP Turkey, epub version. Not perfect on iPhone, but that’s what we have.

    🌧 Both our moms sent links to reports on TV, letting us know that Istanbul had worst rain in 50 years.

    Day One (Friday/Istanbul)

    🚕 Bolt ride, arrived on time. Having a toddler is awesome when the time comes to go through security at the airport. Airplane late. Not much.

    an out of focus airplane.

    🍿 Jerry & Marge Go Large. A five hour flight is barely enough for an hour and a half movie.

    ✈️ Good flight. Good food. Thanks, Turkish. Airports in Turkey couldn’t care less about the fact that you’re travelling with a child. Same line for everyone except, oddly, a huge one for people in wheelchairs. There were a lot of those.

    a girl looks at bright lights in the night.

    🚕 Long drive into the city. Crazy fast drivers. Classic hotel. Touristy area. Dinner not cheap. Feels like Morocco meets Algarve. Plenty of light, neons, menus on display, convenience stores, all the stuff we’re used to (and more), coupled with the insistence of the restaurant touts. On the way into the city I got Vietnam vibes. And it’s HUGE. Over 15 million people call it home.

    Day Two (Saturday/Istanbul)

    🤒 tinyMovieStar still feverish. Waking up late, as we’re still on Lisbon timezone. Three hours is not much, but makes a difference.

    ⏰ Waking up in Turkey for the first time.

    hagia sophia

    📓 Reading the Lonely Planet guide, and finding stuff like

    Hazards: These include Turkey’s notorious road-hog drivers, rotten road edges and, out east, stone-throwing children, wolves and ferocious Kangal dogs.

    does make you appreciate the calmer children we have back home, and those cute, non-Kangal, dogs we call pets.

    💰 This guide, by the way, in the latest edition, suffers from an incredible lack of accuracy when it comes to prices. Often we’ll find actual price 10 times over what’s stated in the guide. Turkey is a lot more expensive than we thought.

    🥐 Breakfast looking at the Blue Mosque on one side of the terrace, and the Bosphorus on the other. People talk about the (very obvious) fact that the city has both a European, and an Asian, side, but it is very cool to have breakfast and think “oh, look, Asia, a whole different continent, is right over there. I might pop over before lunch”. Awesome.

    🚬 There are a lot of smokers here. We still smoke heavily back home, but this is almost Asian level smoking. Oh, wait, Asia is right over there, have I told you that?

    🔐 Trying to book an hotel with Booking is impossible without a VPN. It does not work in Turkey. Luckily we came prepared.

    🚶🏻‍♂️ Quick walk around the block while the little slept/took her medicine/slept again. People think I look Iranian, must be the new, shorter, beard. We’re in Sultanahmet. It’s nice. Then back to the hotel, movieStar goes for a walk around the block, and I’m in the room, looking out for the little one, still asleep. Repeat. Until 2:30PM, when she finally woke up. With 3 hours of light left in the day. What a hellish day. We managed to do the same but I did in the morning, but took us longer, of course. Five times longer. Touristing with a sick child is not fun, and it’s the second time we’ve done this.

    🤯 The Hagia Sophia line is IMPRESSIVE. Hours long, throughout the day.

    great bazaar

    🛒 Great Bazaar. It’s a bazaar, it’s great. I had to carry tinyMovieStar on my shoulders, so no photos. Just a little back pain. Impressive place, yes. But we’ve seen others that are not that far behind, if at all. Marrakesh came to mind, and that one has motorcycles and donkey carts thrown into the mix.

    🍕 Pizza for dinner. Takeaway. Also beer. Strong beer. Had to wait around for the pizza to be prepared, in a very tourist-oriented place, where the staff asks the patrons to join in on the fun, by dancing with them. “No, thanks. No. No, I REALLY mean it”. movieStar then had a brilliant idea, and we ate the pizza on the rooftop, where breakfast is served. It’s empty in the evening, and it was great.

    🏪 Convenience stores all over, stocked full. Nice to have around. Also a chance to try local bands of chocolates, and stuff.

    😭 Chouriço is gone. I retraced our steps back to the Great Bazaar, in the dark, but he was nowhere to be seen. I don’t think this is a city that returns lost toys, and I dislike it a little now.

    📱 Tech-wise: Holafly working as intended, Wise (affiliate link) account too. Contactless is a thing here, so I’m using the iPhone to pay most of the time. I did get local money out of a machine, for smaller purchases, and public transportation.

    Day Three (Sunday/Istanbul)

    📢 Woke up at 5AM. One and a half hours later I heard the muezzin blasting away for a full ten minutes, from the Blue Mosque. Heard the alarm on the room next door go off a handful of times (what is up with that, people??). Heard the cats fighting outside. Heard someone moving furniture on the room directly upstairs from ours. movieStars? Fast asleep.


    🥞 Breakfast, as in the day before, happened in turns. The little one sleeps through it. I’ll go first, movieStar second, and brings up some food for our baby girl. The river is a mighty sight while I’m eating my omelette.

    🇯🇵 Throwback to Japan, we got a couple of canned coffee late yesterday, and we had it today.

    😅 tinyMovieStar waking up, looking out the window: “We don’t need to go for a walk, we can see everything from here”.

    📷 And then we walked. And walked some more. And a bit longer.

    🍭 We went by the Egyptian Bazaar (the spices bazaar), and bought some candy. Before that we had to find a toy store, and find a replacement for the missing toy. Nothing will replace it, of course, and the little one still thinks it will show up, but…

    ⚓️ We got on a boat to cross the river at the narrowest point (yay), and had a nice lunch at a fish spot right on the pier.

    fish restaurant

    🤪 We then carried the little one up the hill, until we got to Galata Tower, a crazy spot with SO many influencers, and photographers offering their services. Incredible. Silly. We bought a balloon, checked in with a friend, and walked to Beyoğlu to meet her. Hipster town. Lovely place. Plenty of street art.


    🍺 We had a quiet(ish) beer, walked a little, found a playground for tinyMovieStar, walked a bit longer, up to a rooftop on a classic restaurant for another beer and sunset. We had dinner at a kebap place outside, where we were the only foreigners. This turned out to be the nicest experience in Istanbul. When we were done we got a taxi, and he took us to our hotel. Did not try to scam us.

    Day Four (Monday/Istanbul)

    💸 We still needed to book the hotel for Cappadocia, we were traveling the following morning. Booking has been made. We’re still using the same MO: pick an hotel on the apps, and then get in touch directly with them. Most here even have a WhatsApp account, so it couldn’t be easier. We usually get the discount they would give away to the app, so that’s nice.

    🤬 The taxi thing. I hate this side of the country.

    🥙 After all that, we had lunch. Kebab in a classic, very local, spot. Busy busy, but no foreigners. Yummy.

    hahia Sophia

    🕌 Still touristing, walked a bit more, stopped at a hipster cafe with a super tasty cookie, and moved on to the Mosques. Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque. Finally walked in, after walking by a few times. Rushing, as tinyMovieStar is, with her sickness, a tiny pain! The mosques are both gorgeous, but so very different. One very very old, dark, cavernous. The other lighter, happier.

    night in Istanbul.

    🍗 I would be back in the area later, getting money and food. The little one cannot handle meals at restaurants when she’s feeling so down. I got an Efes Xtra from the convenience store. We ate in the room.

    Day Five (Tuesday/Istanbul-Goreme)

    🥖 Breakfast in bed, courtesy of tinyMovieStar. She finally felt good enough to have breakfast out of the room, and decided she would have it with mom, while dad could sleep a little longer. She’s sweet.

    🥰 She also noticed how everyone in the street seems to love her. A lot of people come up to her and touch her cheeks, while calling her “princess”. At first we were all a bit shook by this, but got used to it and now just smile. “They love me”, she says.

    🏎️ Crazy drivers. We have nothing on them, and we’re pretty deranged ourselves. Lunatic level speeding on the roads, whenever the road allows it. It’s either that, or gridlock. Nothing in between.


    🗺️ Flying again. Internal flight, Istanbul to Kayseri. “Ladies and gentlemen, and dear children”. On the map, the flight map, just ahead of us, we can see a lot of places we’ve heard about, for not so great reasons: Syria just over there, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Gaza to the side. All very close.

    🔊 Rant alert: Turkish people (from Istanbul so far), like the whole country, feel a lot like my own country back in the 80s/80s, before the whole EU thing turned us into a civilized nation. They are, for lack of a better expression, very rough around the edges. Common courtesy is unheard of, and any kind of pleasantry is reserved for the little one. We only get a smile if they see any profit in it.

    😍 What a country! The part around Kayseri, and the drive to Goreme, is incredible! At sundown, no less! We shared the van with two other couples (no kids), and tinyMovieStar slept the whole time. The most beautiful landscape so far, and we thought to ourselves: we’re bringing a 3-year old into this lunar landscape, it feels a little like the end of the world. From a documentary set in Iran, or Mongolia,… It feels very cool, distant.

    Art in a box.

    🎿 Goreme is a kitschy Alpine resort town. We checked in, and left to find some food, and supplies for the night. Found them at Fat Boys, and at a convenience shop across the street from it. Also visited the pharmacy. Everything, and thousands of souvenir shops, within walking distance.

    Day Six (Wednesday/Goreme)

    🥶 Waking up to 1 degree. It’s cold here.

    🫥 Breakfast at the nice hotel “restaurant”. Super breakfast, tasty, plenty of options, but see no reason to call this a restaurant, since this is the one meal they serve. Also, our room was not cleaned today. I guess we won’t be telling people to pick the Secret Hill when they visit Goreme. Plenty of other options. Room is super nice, but that’s it. You can surely find other options, even closer to the center. All hotels looks very similar here. It’s strange.


    🤠 City feels SO odd. Almost empty at the moment, can’t imagine it in peak season. They have a Wild West thing going, with wooden shops and restaurants, making it look like a western movie set at times. A lot of vintage cars, big ones, scattered around, ready for photo opportunities with Instagrammers. Instagram is, in fact, the reason why Goreme has grown this big. Once these influencers started coming, other followed. I can’t shake this feeling, that it’s overgrown, and not very sustainable. Lots of people now depend on them coming.

    😅 Walk to Goreme Open Air Museum. It’s a nice walk, around 1K. Harder with a toddler on your shoulders, but the landscape is great all the way there. Once you get there, you realize Lonely Planet is SO wrong when it comes to prices. SOOOOOOOOO wrong about it, on their last guide. It’s impressive. Anyway, around 15€ per person later, we’re in. This is unlike anything we’ve ever seen, truly. Worth the visit, and I guess it’s worth the money. When we think about it, we spent almost the same amount on a silly 5 min pony ride for tinyMovieStar. They know how to milk you. The Turkish, not the pony.

    parked beetle.

    🍔 For lunch and dinner, it’s Fat Boys again. All day. We are back in Bagan, food wise. We liked a restaurant on day one, and never tried another one. People are so nice here, and the food is great. We’ve been back, and will come again until it’s time to leave. After almost a week here, it’s awesome to feel they’re not trying to upsell anything. It’s refreshing. As a result, they will get all of our meal money. Maybe others should learn something.

    🌅 movieStar went to one of the sunset spots, but it was cloudy. No sunset. I suspected that much, so stayed behind with the little one.

    Day Seven (Thursday/Goreme)

    🎈 Woke up early to see the hot air balloons.

    🚍 Woop Woop Travel is located right in the center of town. That is the reason we picked it for our tour. We walked in because it was sitting next to the cafe, and we soon found out a Portuguese speaking girl was taking care of tourists. She had studied in Portugal. We booked it, and lucky we did. It was Red Tour day. We had the company of a small group (three) of Spaniards, and an almost empty van. The guide was super nice, and spoke pretty good Spanish, so that was ok with us. He appreciated the fact that we could speak the language, and he could skip doing the whole thing in Spanish and English.

    a cowboy.

    🤩 We went through the list of locations, all of them very cool. Two other open air museums that we found even nicer than the one in Goreme, with old churches carved into the rock, and houses as well. We had the museums mostly to ourselves, in the sense that we would be the only ones at times, but still plenty of people in this very low season. Can’t imagine how crazy it gets in the summer.

    🥗 Lunch break happened at the nuttiest place of the day. A food emporium, the mega buffet where all the vans and buses stop. When we thought all the roads lead to small towns, we found ourselves in Avanos, home of the tourist traps. Huge buildings dedicated to separate as much money as possible from the growing number of tourist’s wallets. This is the place where you realize there are still quite a few people coming here in the winter. From all over.

    🏺 Mandatory stop at a pottery family owned workshop, that turns out to be a bug industrial thing as well. Hate these stops on these tours, and do not make the slightest effort to be anything but grey anymore. tinyMovieStar had a blast, of course. Being the only children she got to try her hand at pottery.

    a heart.

    💞 Final stop before we headed back to Göreme: Love Valley. A very rickety, very rundown, way to try to capitalize on the landscape. A few swings, some hearts, the most depressing Instagram spot I’ve ever seen. They even had a 360 rotating camera, overlooking the valley. People just didn’t care. They stepped out of the buses, onto a camel, quick shot, and down again. Quite gloomy. These things look even more depressing in the low season, as the locals are still manning their shops and stalls, but there’s no one around. The tourist/local ratio is off.

    🇪🇸 Since the others in the bus came from Spain, when the time came to look at a lot of camels, tinyMovieStar went “La fiesta de los camelos”, so they could understand what was going on.

    🇹🇭 Dinner at Fat Boys, where else? Another good meal, and yet another chance for tinyMovieStar to impress, by ordering a soup in English. Also impressed, a Thai couple who then had a huge slice of chocolate cake delivered to our table!

    🛏️ Settled the bill at the hotel, and early to bed.

    Day Eight (Friday/Goreme-Istanbul-Lisbon)

    🌙 Early (very) wake up, coffee on the run, van ride with the little one asleep on my lap. Airport packed, but dawn is finally here. A huge bus full of Chinese tourists (how we missed those, right?), and a severely overpriced BÜFE stall. Only one available in this small airport, so they get to pick their price point.

    mountain view from an airplane.

    ✈️ Older 737-800, with vintage entertainment system. We get used to nice things very quickly. This one felt like we were flying in the 70s. We had the same plane (not same same, of course) on the flight home. We feel like we were spoiled on the way over, as both flights were on newer aircraft.

    💨 We got the “Last Call” up on the board in Istanbul, while we enjoyed our Shake Shack Burger and ice cream, and Slim Chicken tenders. We ran. A lot.

    💺 Four flights in a week, always same seats: 10A/B/C. How come?

    🍿 Bullet Train!! Haven’t seen this one show up on streaming, and was about to pirate the thing. Took me almost five hours (all flight) to finish. Still like the book better.

    And we are back home. It was not an easy one, mostly because sickness kept us busy for more than half the trip. As far as everything else goes, Turkey is an easy destination. Tourism has been big there for a while, and infrastructure is in place to make moving around, finding a place to stay, or eat, an easy affair. If you have deeper pockets, even better.

    And that’s the one thing I don’t appreciate, in Turkey, and elsewhere.

    I believe the same happens to people who visit our country: workers in the hospitality industry (and what a stupid name that is to start with, as one should exclude de other) are probably the same. People are seen as wallets, and Get That Money is the name of the game. I hate that. There are, of course, lots of nice people in the country, or countries. Most of them do not work in the tourism industry.

    Even so, it’s a brilliant destination, and a huge one. We only scratched the surface.

    thingsThisWeek #77

    One baby Jesus image from a nativity scene made out of salt.

    Final preparations for TurkeyTour, editing a lot of photos so we could leave without a worry (didn’t make it to the end), taking care of last minute purchases. tinyMovieStar sick for a few days. Busy week, all things considered. Not a lot going on, and still a lot going on, if that makes any sense.

    • 📷 What. A. Saturday. Salt nativity scenes. Craft beer. Good food. Long day, but a very fun one. Back to the in-laws for a birthday party (got there late, of course), a short night, and the drive back to the city. tinyMovieStar still had her temperature a little higher than she should. Damn, Winter!

    • 🤒 The week started (on Monday, as they do) with the little one still battling her fever, and cough. Waking up much later than usual, and staying at home with us. That meant movieStar couldn’t work normally, as I was running around town doing errands. movieStar’s passport was picked up, with no delays. We got to Wednesday with the little one still a bit sick, temperature down again, but not to normal level.

    • 👩🏻‍⚕️ We did go to a doctor, on Wednesday. The cough became too much, tinyMovieStar threw up her lunch, and we made a last minute appointment. Busy day for the doctor, so we had to wait hours before we could see her. In the end it was a throat infection, some crazy virus to blame. Medication, and she should be fine. We ended up sleeping at my in-laws, while movieStar had the big bed at home all to herself.

    • 🇹🇷 We’ll make it! Tomorrow we’ll fly to Istanbul, hopefully. This one was published a bit early, as I’m not sure how/when/if I’ll be able to write that much in the coming days, but I would love to get a special, Turkey themed, edition out when we’re back.

    • 🤣 Tik Tok has SO MUCH stuff! So far I’m happy to have found socially inept in there, among other things. As someone pointed out, some/most of the videos are available as Reels on Instagram as well. But not all, not by a long shot. And navigation on Tik Tok is much nicer, as well as the discovery. Search/suggestions seem to work a lot better too. Music, movie clips, comedy, tv,… Everything is in there!

    • 📺 TV has been replaced with Tik Tok this week.

    • 🍿 Movies have been replaced with Tik Tok this week.

    • 🎙 Podcasts have been replaced with Tik Tok this week.

    • 📚 Books have been replaced with Tik Tok this week.

    • 📬 Back to trying Mailbrew. It still works, and it’s still a good way to get an automatic newsletter out without a lot of hassle. Must look into this a bit more, after we get back.

    • 📦 Arq Backup. Do I need this? On one hand, my laptop is so old that a failure might actually happen. On the other hand most of the important stuff has a backup already, iCloud is taking care of that. The cost is not too high, though, so…

    thingsThisWeek #76

    Top of a building, looks like it has eyes.

    This week I was back on the road. Closer to Turkey trip as well. A lot closer. When I looked at the calendar, it was already Thursday. Almost no time for TV, movies, podcasts, or reading. Also busy Saturday ahead, so this was posted very early this week. Sorry about that.

    • 🌟 Weekend was good. We made it to my in-laws, were joined by one cousin only on Saturday, had the fireplace going all day long. It is getting colder here. Father-in-law building stuff with tinyMovieStar, mother-in-law keeping her busy with drawing, dancing, baking,… She is a very demanding granddaughter. On Sunday we were joined by a few more cousins, and brother-in-law-number-two & wife. Happy day. Since most of the closer family was there, the xMas present lottery was arranged, and I now know who I have to buy a present for. Kinda like a Secret Santa, without the secret part… I got my father-in-law. movieStar came up with the perfect gift already, I know what I’m getting him: a pair of headphones. He keeps watching annoying videos on his phone while we try to talk/watch cartoons on TV with the little one, so these will be a godsend! Thanks, movieStar.

    • 🇹🇷 TurkeyTour preparation is ongoing. Thinking I might take missQ with me on the trip, it’s been a while since I’ve had a proper camera while traveling, and it should be dark enough to use one. It is trickier !!!!! Winter light would be better handled by it, I’m guessing. The other HUGE decision, of course, as always, is what watch to wear on this one. Feel like this subject always takes up an oddly long time to settle. I cannot pick one, and be done with it. Planes are booked. Hotels still need to be arranged, but it’s super extra mega low season, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

    • 📷 On the road, for close to two days. Don’t really enjoy these anymore, not as much as I did. Away from the girls, can’t help but feeling guilty for leaving them without help. They manage, of course, but still… How things change! I wouldn’t give it a second thought before leaving town for a month, I even welcomed it, a few years ago. And now I can’t even enjoy a couple of days away. Adding insult to injury, this trip wasn’t even that far from Lisbon, we could have spent the night at home. We do get to eat a lot of awesome food, and I was even extra lucky and had wonderful beer waiting for me this time. The team is super nice, and we always end up having fun, on top of meeting really interesting people. We even had a picnic! But… no movieStars for two days. And the editing that comes from shooting over 2000 photos in two days? Yeah, that’s not too nice either.

    • 🧂 Another, rather odd, thing needed shooting, this time for the paper. Luckily, this time around, it was close to my in-laws, and on a Saturday, when we’re already there. I’m writing this the night before, going tomorrow.

    • ⭐️ I’ll often browse the Discovery timeline on Micro.blog, and come upon some great photo, or post. If it’s from someone I’m not following, I’ll obviously consider doing so. I then check their profile, trying to figure out the amount of posts I might find interesting. What I’m really doing though, is checking if they interact with other users. If there’s not a single reply over there, I’ll 99% not follow. Silly, sure, but I won’t.

    • ⚓️ SimpleBits have a sale going (run!), so I just closed my eyes and got Ships Whistle. I love the studio, really like the fonts, and I’m sorry there’s not enough cash at the moment on my digital wallet to get the whole collection. Anyway, it’s done, and working. I once tried to get a physical item from their shop, but gave up when shipping costs were added to it, more than doubling the cost. Glad I finally got something from this wonderful company. I found myself editing CSS files on the go, while almost falling asleep during our days on the road, but I’m quite happy with the way things look. New toys, that’s what we need! Site name, longer post titles, footer, and H2. That’s where you can find the new font at the moment.

    • 🖼 Follow up to the exhibition that opened a couple of weeks ago: there will be another show, with bigger prints, on a nicer gallery. Only 12 of the 70 photographers were invited to be a part of this one. Somehow my photo struck a chord. A new print, 120cm wide, will be made, and shown at this new venue.

    • 📺 007: Road to a Million, the first couple of minutes only. I shouldn’t even have this here, but I want to get back to it, so itvwill act as a reminder. Hopefully. I got to watch another episode of Paolo fromTOKYO on YouTube, one of my favourite things to have on while editing photos. This time it was Day in the Life of a Japanese All-Night Izakaya Restaurant Worker. I love this Day in the Life series. We still have the new season of The Crown to watch, and have been unable to do it!

    • 🍿 Spy. That was about it. And it didn’t even get my full attention, as I watched it while editing photos. We did watch Ratatouille as well, but that was a rerun, and we were playing and having dinner at the same time, so…

    • 🎙️ Podcasts also took a back seat this week. Days on the road, with company, aren’t great for podcast listening. At home I didn’t get that much free time as well. I have HemisphericViews, Core Int, Underworld, Smartless, Hacked, and a couple of Portuguese ones on the list… When will I find the time?

    • 📦 The Dropshare conundrum. I don’t use it that much, but would love to have it available for when I do need it. The price of the iOS version is ok, even the lifetime unlock, but I’m having trouble with the cost of the macOS app. I’d be stuck with an older version (that supports my OS version), and I find it expensive. Even with Black Friday’s promotion, and an extra discount for purchasing parity (really nice idea, btw). I guess it means I don’t really need it that much. Blaming numericcitizen for this one, he’s brought up Backblaze (10GB B2 Cloud Storage for free) and Dropshare this week. Still, incredible support from the developer, it took him two whole minutes to get back to me with a link for an older version of his app, one that works with Catalina. Decisions, decisions…

    • 👾 Tik Tok. Decided to give it a go. It’s awfully addictive. That’s what I’m prepared to say at this point.

    thingsThisWeek #75

    Rainbow socks by the fireplace.

    • 🎉 We enjoyed part II of the movieStar Birthday Extravaganza. Family, friends, pets, all gathered around the fireplace, in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and outside. There was a lot of people and, easy to guess, a lot of food and drinks as well. By the end of it she was exhausted, and couldn’t wait for it all to end. It was not easy, considering we went out a bit later the night before. We are not getting any younger, that is so easy to see. These late nights are harder to come back from.

    • 🎄 We also got a xMas tree. A fake one. First one we ever got. I’m now researching easy-to-make decorations, so we can do those at home, and hang them side by side with the normal, store bought, ones. We started working on the tree on Friday, with a friend tinyMovieStar loves. She asked for her, specifically, for this matter. We all picked her up from kindergarten, slowly made our way home, assembled the tree, had dinner, and she had to go. We were left behind with a crying toddler. She is in full Drama Queen Mode, poor thing. We had to ask Diana (our friend) to drive by our place the following morning, after swimming class, so the little one could see her for a moment. She did.

    • 🥰 tinyMovieStar had a cool Monday, and a crazy week (see previous point). The little one was exhausted after a weekend of partying, and a little cold. She needed the rest, so we let her sleep in on Monday morning, skipping the morning part of kindergarten duty. She joined the kids for lunch, like a boss! A nap followed that, and I picked her up soon after, and piggyback-ed her to ballet class. Pizza for dinner, to end this fun filled day! On Thursday, she woke up in a very strange mood. She’s usually a very relaxed, smiling, happy, kid but was furious on Thursday. Not sick but, as Alex and Luke suggested, probably just some growing pains. She was ok a couple of hours later. Still felt very powerless, unable to make her feel better.

    • 🍺 Managed to meet my best friend for a couple of beers this week. That was it as far as my social week month went, but felt great.

    • 🇹🇷 Trip update time, although I’ve been updating throughout the week pretty often, sorry about that.. We thought about it for a long while, and decided to go ahead and not skip the Jordan part of our upcoming trip. We’re going to Jordan! Tickets were purchased. Then, came Tuesday evening, movieStar said we needed to make a decision regarding travel in the country, as we only had a short window in Jordan (we tried to cram a lot into a week). I double checked the reservation email, and it was not pretty. We had screwed up the flight times. We would fly into Jordan very late on a day, spend two days, and leave as the day turned. That would make the whole thing crazy, as we wouldn’t even have time to properly visit Petra. Barely doable for both of us, but we don’t feel like dragging Clara behind us, running around like mad men. She would not love it for sure, and we would feel the same, with guilt on top. We’re not going to Jordan! Lucky us, one of the legs was rescheduled, and we were able to request a refund! Turkey it is, Jordan is out. We then proceeded to add Cappadocia to the itinerary. How’s that for ups and downs?

    • 👋🏼 One of the things that I enjoy when using a new service, any new service, is digging through the feature set, the FAQ, the manuals. Finding out what I could use it for, best ways to go about it, and new things I might have missed entirely. Where am I getting this fix this week? HEY. Setting up things just the way I like it is a big part of the fun. I’ll try to keep these HEY updates to a minimum, but still having fun. Particularly on the web version, the extensive keyboard shortcut support is very nice, makes navigating the whole thing as easy as can be. Love the fact that the actual key is discreetly placed next to the action. Didn’t remember this detail, but it’s great for this part of the process, while my brain is still getting used to the new shortcuts. Also, enjoying the stickies, and that’s something I didn’t think I would.

    • 🌹 Still on HEY, I feared the worst, when the time came to send an email to 144 parents at kindergarten, as part of my duties in the group that is setting things up for the Christmas event. I got a message saying that my account had limitations for the two first months, something that is not written anywhere. I was annoyed, considered asking for a full refund, again, but instead sent another mail to their support team. A few (lot) of hours later, the limitations were lifted, and I was able to proceed. Christmas surprise is ON. Support came through, it was a very welcome surprise, they now have some karma points in my book.

    • 📺 The Billionaire, The Butler, and the Boyfriend. Three episodes only, so that was quick to watch. Incredible story.

    • 🍿 Tried to watch Focus, but couldn’t. It promised fun, but I found it very boring. Old Dads was the second one I gave up on, and rather quickly as well.

    • 🎙️ Podcasts took a back seat this week. Other than the nightly listen, my sleeping pill routine, I didn’t get to a lot of them this week. Ruminate 173 - Should This Be a Blog Post?, Abstract Development #56 - Oh, I forgot to mention tinylytics.

    • 🎵 Thanks to Jack, I listened to Andre 3000’s new album. Flute. Cool flute.

    • 📚 Added a few books to my list, well aware I haven’t read a single line (in a book) in over two weeks. Should change that.

    • 💸 I subscribed to Kagi’s Starter plan, the yearly subscription. My 300 monthly searches were gone after 3 weeks, and I did not have a way out. Couldn’t pay for an extra package. It was either upgrade to the unlimited, $10 a month, tier, or get this one for half that. I’m aware the allowed 3600 searches won’t last a whole year, curious to see how far I can stretch them. On their Discord the announced a new mail service is being developed, and also they’ll start charging VAT. Darn. Paying for search is not something I did without seriously considering the cost, and adding 23% on top of that will probably mean I’ll skip it after I’m done with this year. I figured the starter plan will not be enough, and I can’t really afford the unlimited plan, with VAT on top of it. There are much better ways to spend that kind of money.

    thingsThisWeek #74

    A birthday cake.

    Posted a day (or two) earlier, fearing the weekend will be messy. Long, rambling.

    • 🍕 Mandatory cry behind us, we made our way back home. Weekend we had the usual family gathering, with plenty of food and entertainment. Got home with no mood for cooking dinner, so walked to the neighbourhood pizza place, and took two pies home. Everyone was happy. We are really privileged to have so many great choices within walking distance. We’d have the chance to eat out a lot this week…

    • 🎂 Birthday week. movieStar had her birthday party parties. First one on Friday, a dinner for friends; and again on Saturday (hopefully, as this update is out before that one), a family one. We got a babysitter for tinyMovieStar, and she was OVER THE MOON, as it was one of the girls from kindergarten, one she simple adores. She spent the whole week telling us that she was having a pyjama party with her, and eating lots of strawberry ice-cream. It was good. We went to a really nice shop in the area, one that sells a ton of cool stuff, from very expensive items to really small things. I told tinyMovieStar to go wild and pick something up for mom, and we came away with… three small sponges with sparkles. Yes. That is what her mom got as a present. We love her to death, so I guess that counts for something.

    • 🇺🇸 Jonathan was in town. A friend we met on the island. He’s a super nice journalist from the US (currently San Francisco, previously NYC), and he’s visiting the country on assignment for one of those luxury type magazines that sends you around the world to try out nice hotels. That’s how we met him, in fact. He spent a couple of days in Marrakesh on the way over, and came to visit an hotel in town, and another one down in Comporta… I drove him there, and picked him up two days later. He spent the final night with us at home, and flew out before we were even awake.

    • 🚌 Bus Monday, Bus Tuesday, Bus Thursday. Doing laps this week. Monday saw me picking up a stray jacket from the in-laws, and a quick drive by my mom&dad’s place, before getting back home. Tuesday I had work in the city, but on the other side of it, on a place not easy to get to with the available transit options. After that I had to drive our US visitor to Comporta, close to an hour and a half out of the city. And, come Thursday, I was back at it, picking Mr. Jonathan up, and driving him to the city. That turned out to be the nicest lap of the week, as the scenery is just gorgeous, and we drove through it in the daytime, ferry crossing thrown in for good measure.

    • 🖼️ Show opening. I’m not one to spend a lot of time talking, or thinking, about these so I’ll just leave it here: this year’s edition of Limited Edition is on. It’s a photo exhibition, and one of my photos is in there. We went to the opening of the show. I had to carry tinyMovieStar on my shoulders the whole time, and I was dead when we got back home. Got an incredible Thai massage from Jonathan. I kept going “Ouch, ouch,…”. Sweet tinyMovieStar was worried, and couldn’t get him to stop, as she was speaking Portuguese, and he wouldn’t understand that. So, finally, she went “STOP… Daddy”! I loved it SO much that she tried her best, and succeeded, to find English words that would get the message across. She does not speak the language, but found a way to do it.

    • 📷 Small assignment on Tuesday, and that was it for the week. Not a brilliant one. I had to say no to another last minute one, as I had already committed to the drive south with Jonathan. On the other hand, I got paid for some stuff I did earlier, so things kinda evened out. I did not work, but felt like it.

    • 📬 Installed Mailmate again. Saw it mentioned a couple of times on the Defaults List Robb is kind enough to be compiling with all the replies (over a 100 by now!) to the HemisphericViews prompt. I bought a license a couple of years ago, but gave up after a while, not even exactly sure why. I will try for a couple of days, but it just seems overkill for my needs, and a bit… well… ugly. So I gave up again, in a couple of hours. Wanna know what is now nagging me on the back of my mind? Again? HEY. Damn! Vincent and Gabz kept mentioning it, from time to time, over and over… Then I remembered: it’s extremely overpriced before taxes, stupidly so after VAT is added, I’d still have to pay for Fastmail (and I love that service), as I’d be using it as an email client. I would like that, but it’s still not worth €123 per year, not for me. Still, wouldn’t you know it, it’s installed again. Yeah, it’s confusing. I’m actually enjoying it again, very much, so I might just do something crazy and spend some money on this thing I can so well live without. I’m calling this a Dominik. EDIT: I did end up signing up for a year.

    • 🌐 RSS feed list. A couple of weeks ago Paweł Orzech asked about other stuff I’m subscribed, after Tokyo Times was shared in a post. I started looking for other feeds people might find interesting. Turns out I don’t have that many subscriptions to share. I follow a ton of Micro.blog blogs via RSS, those make up a large part of the feed list, and then there are a few classic follows, ones that everyone already knows about, a lot of app company blogs, and not much else… Anything Craig Mod makes: Roden/Ridgeline, kottke.org, of course, miniature calendar, On my Om, NEXTDRAFT, A Better Computer (YouTube), Werd I/O. Seems like I could use some help, I would appreciate suggestions of sites I could add to my Feedbin account. Feel free to email them. I do have a new email service I have to use, right? There is a “Reply by Email” button right there at the end…

    • ⭐️ Home page now has 10 posts. I decided to cut Tiny Theme’s default in half, trying to make it a little less data hungry. Footer now also displays the avatar of the Tinylytics webring blog you’ll visit if you tap the clover. Still pondering if I’ll keep it that way, I thing it spoils the surprise a bit. And, noticed the shoutouts embed was hard to read in light mode (sorry about that), so changed that as well. The whole blog feels a bit different, truth be told, now that I’m sharing a few more links than before (thanks, @jarrod), and the whole sticker spotter stuff is now included as well. Messier, but… Well, it’s my place, so… Sorry anyway, if that is bothering you.

    • 🍿 Could not escape a screening of Shalako, as my father-in-law was watching it, and I was in the room when it started. Boy, is that a BORING movie. I saw the movie included Brigitte Bardot, and Sean Connery, so I expected a lot more. But it was painful. It got to a point where we were just thinking about how much time we’d invested, we might as well see the thing through. Cyberbunker: The Criminal Underworld, later in the week.. Even so, it took me three days to watch this one. Not too interesting, so I guess that’s one reason.

    • 📺 Slow week, TV wise. Didn’t even watch anything until Wednesday. The news took over.

    • 🎙️ Swindled, an episode of What a Day, with a very cool clip of Obama (boy, do I miss this one!) on the current Hamas-Israel war, Darknet Diaries 139: D3f4ult. And the first episode of O Encantador de Ricos, about Pedro Caldeira, a famous Portuguese stock broker who ran away with millions. This would be a cool Swindled episode as well. As I drove so much this week, mostly on my own, I still had time to listen to one What It’s Like To Be… episode, and another one from Stuff You Should Know. Jan Erik Moström mentioned The Photowalk, and turns out one of the most recent episodes is a conversation with Craig Mod. That was it, I started listening to that one as well, but couldn’t make it to the end. Next week!

    • 🧶 Speaking of email, xMas Thread is ALIVE. Again. Let me explain: every year there is a birthday party in the kindergarten. The teachers have a full program with the kids. And, every year, parents are supposed to have something, a surprise, organized as well. The teachers have no idea about this, until the party day. There is only one person from the school staff that is included in the whole project. As you can imagine, setting this up, with every single parent, requires a lot of emails going back and forth. A LOT OF THEM. Usually we kinda sat back, nodding yes, or suggesting small tweaks. But, this year, we were selected to be a part of the organizing group, and that is not good. We’re in for a bumpy ride!

    thingsThisWeek #73

    A drawing, made by a kid. A face.

    One day off, threw the whole week off balance.

    • 🇯🇴 We’re a month away from our trip to Turkey/Jordan. Everything is a little hazy. I’ve been avoiding this subject because our trip means little compared to the chaos that’s going in the region. But we’re still debating if we should keep the Jordan part of the trip, or just skip it and stay in Istanbul the whole time. We’d be willing to go, if not for tinyMovieStar. Don’t want to find ourselves in a sticky situation with our baby girl. On the other hand, we don’t think it will spread to Jordan. And, already, she keeps talking about Jordan at school, according to the teachers. This week, and before that, missiles were fired from Yemen, rather far away, targeting a city that is right on the border with Jordan, next to one of the cities we’d be visiting. Worrying.

    • 😫 Remember that pesky DST change last week? Yeah, my body does not. As usual I’m now waking up an hour before I have to, thanks to the miracle of “why the hell do we have to go through this every goddamn year”!

    • 🎃 Halloween happened. Still not used to this being a thing here, but I’m now well aware it is. Kids went trick or treating, in our street. First time I’ve seen it live, and I’m over 50! We also have a day off (a religious holiday), and have to find something to do with the extra time. We went to the movies, as tinyMovieStar kept seeing the Trolls 3 ads on the side of buses while we walk to school, and it was hard to escape. We had pizza, watched the movie, and walked back home, just in time. Rain poured right after that. We spent the rest of the day at home, playing.

    • 🇲🇽 A couple of days earlier, as we were walking around the block while tinyMovieStar was having her ballet class, killing time, we came upon a new Mexican grocery store. In our old neighbourhood. It was a surprise, since we walk by often, but a very welcome one. Came away with two bottles of our favourite habanero sauces (La Anita), and the promise to go back for some beer, as they were out. It might not seem a lot for folks living in the US, but Mexico is a loooooooong way from here, so this felt really great.

    • 👩🏻‍🎤 There’s another new cool venue in town, also in the neighbourhood: Casa do Comum. A lovely place, part bookstore (with beds!), part bar, part music hall. It belongs to an incredible woman who used to teach at tinyMovieStar’s school, and her brother. The took their late father’s dream, and made it a reality. The inauguration happened this week, five days of non-stop partying. One of the musical guests is the music teacher at their school, and the kids got to attend. He asked me to shoot some photos, and I did it with enormous pleasure. Love it when I can work next to tinyMovieStar. Does not happen often. It was a fun show, and the venue is really great.

    • 🏴‍☠️ The Flag Game. Tinylytics lets you see the countries where people visiting your site come from, you even get a nice emoji country flag to go with it! And you can share that with your visitors. I’ve been stuck at 47 flags (bottom of the page) for a while now, and looking for new ones is one of the fun reasons I keep checking Tinylitcs. When will someone from another country come upon this little blog?

    • 🖼️ There was something missing on maique.eu, and it was a lightbox. Thankfully @jsonbecker made a wonderful plugin, so that lightbox is missing no more.

    • 📥 This was also supposed to be RSS Week. It all started with a left swipe to mark all as read. And a custom font. I have both things on my current RSS reader, but I wanted to see if I could skip paying for Fiery Feeds (I’m VERY happy with it). Go back to Reeder, the old friend, or maybe some other app. Almost all apps support Feedbin, so there’s plenty to chose from. This week I tried, most of them for a second time, Lire, Reeder, NetNewsWire, and Unread. All of them lack something, a feature or other, and seems like I’ll be sticking with Fiery Feeds for another year, when the time comes. It’s SO configurable, I have it set exactly as I want it, and it does have the incredible left swipe I’d miss. Seem little, but it has grown on me. Next week I’ll try to implement RSS Club, Pedro Cora was kind enough to help me out. Must also finish a sample of my RSS feed list. Next week.

    • 📺 Patriot. The end. I couldn’t stretch this one any more. I will surely watch it again.

    • 🍿 Nobody. If Bob Odenkirk is in it, there’s a very likely chance that I’ll watch it, and love it. This one also features Christopher Lloyd, and it’s been ages since I’ve seen him in a movie. Small part, but nice to see him. If you like extreme violence, or at least don’t mind a bit lot of it, you might enjoy this one as well. If you don’t, skip it. It has nothing but violence. Pain Hustlers, with movieStar. We had to do this in two sittings, but we made it to the end. Trolls Band Together, in a movie theater. Funny thing, I did not expect to be back to this form of movie watching, as I’m perfectly happy with doing that at home but, like with so many other things, having a daughter makes you go back on your reasoning all the time. She likes to go, so we go.

    • 🎙 It was a good week for podcasts. Starting with Smartless and tennis… JohnMcEnroe came to the show, and what a great one it was. Also, out of the blue, two of my favorite podcasts had a baby! Hacked and Jack Rhysider, from the awesome Darknet Diaries, got together, for an interview. Brilliant. To end the week in glory, HemisphericViews had another great episode (aren’t they all??), 097 - Duel of the Defaults!. That sparked a number of people to reply with their list of apps and, obviously, I had to join in. Robb has a list of all the replies, if you’d like to check them out.

    • 🐘 In Mastodon news, I’m giving Ivory a rest, trying to mend things with Mona. Not sure how long that will stick.

    • 🕵️‍♂️ Small note to say that my Kagi trial is going very well, thank you. It’s impressive how quickly one gets used to finding what one is looking for on the first line of the search results! Starter plan will do for now, probably. If it had 100 extra monthly searches, I’m sure it would be enough.

    thingsThisWeek #72

    Empty frames hanging on a wall. There’s a table and chairs next to the wall.

    Slow, then quick. That’s how this one went. Plenty to report: family, work, web stuff.

    • 🩰 Ballet class on Monday, and I got to pick tinyMovieStar up from school and take her there, no mom this time (she was working late). I love these moments we get, just the both of us. I believe she does as well.

    • 🥰 Every single day, when bed time arrives, tinyMovieStar will go to bed with her mom, listen to a story, request my presence, and a baby bottle with warm milk. I’ll prepare that, carry it over, and move to the room next to her’s, where I lie down in my bed. A few minutes later, every single day, she’ll come over, and say “Papi, you’re very lucky. I’m here to sleep with you, for just a little while. Then I’ll go back to my bed”. Most of the time she’ll stick around for a minute, two tops, before she steps down, bottle in one hand, teddy on the other. Looking back at me, in the dark, she’ll say “I love you”. I’ll say it back. We repeat that multiple times, until she’s out the room. When I’m really lucky, she’ll get to the door, turn around, and ask if I’d like her to stay a minute longer. When I’m SUPER lucky, she’s so tired that she’ll ask for a story, and fall asleep next to me.

    • 🛴 My brother gifted tinyMovieStar a scooter for her birthday, over six months ago. She never paid any attention to it until last weekend, when she suddenly fell in love with it. It was parked at my in-laws, but we brought the darn thing home. It is now used to commute from the bedroom to the living room, on top of the usual bedroom-bathroom route. And, as added bonus, we now must explain why she cannot ride the thing to school, every day, adding precious minutes to our morning routine.

    • 🎂 Mom’s birthday was Friday’s highlight. The 84th. Yup, Mom turned 84. Hard to believe. We went out for the mandatory birthday dinner, as weekday lunch is impossible to set up. We ended up at a Brazilian Rodízio place we like, but ate too much. I was then up all night, cursing myself for still thinking I’m 20. I also still think my mom is 50.

    • 🎃 Halloween, that centuries days old tradition in the country! We now must celebrate it, of course. Kids cannot escape the constant Halloween references. Cartoons, stores, even at school. So, grandpa got a pumpkin, and carved it with tinyMovieStar. We do celebrate the holiday, but on a more traditional way: people use this day to visit their departed loved ones at the cemetery. A lot like Dia de los Muertos, but with none of the singing and being merry. Just the depressing bits, in fact. My father still does that, meeting his brothers (the ones still left), and visiting the other ones, in what we call The Graveyard Tour. We have skipped the day for a long time. This year we actually considered joining them, so that tinyMovieStar could meet some cousins, and the place where grandpa was born, but it’s a very long drive there (and back on the same day), and the crying part would probably leave her with very bad memories. We scheduled a visit for Easter. Happier times.

    • 📷 Work has been slow for a couple of weeks now, but got two days (three in the end) in this week. Had to go to Estoril, for a conference. Enough to keep me entertained. Not much else. Still, on the first day there, by a very unfortunate glitch in communication (despite the mandatory WhatsApp group that was created for the event), I showed up hours in advance! Second day was a lot more interesting, but there’s a certain someone on the client’s team that I cannot stand, even from the safe distance of a WhatsApp group. I just stopped replying to their messages or, even worse, being a little passive aggressive. The rest of the people involved are already used to talking one-on-one, and skipping the group chat for most of the day. Other than that, it was good. I enjoyed the train ride there and back on the second day.

    • 💨 Last minute assignment for the paper on Saturday, so I had to leave Halloween Weekend at the in-laws, drive back to the city, shoot a concert at a new (for me) venue, get in the car, drive back in the middle of the night, and get some sleep before waking up after a DST change, and editing the photos from the gig. Uff. Of course that, being the accomplished professional, I forgot part of the kit at home, and found myself cursing my brain the morning after, when I found out I did not have access to RAW files, and was stuck with JPG. Not ideal for this particular assignment.

    • ❄️ DST ended, yes. We’re back in sad Winter Time. Hate it.

    • 📥 Migration of sticker spotter is done. Well, almost. The photos are all here, but they are not tagged yet, so you can’t see them all when you visit that URL, or the tag. Imported 1200 of them, that’s how many I have to tag manually. Who believes this will be accomplished? Anyone?

    • 🚀 And yet another step towards consolidating the entire array of maique’s online properties in a single place was taken! I’m now posting the occasional link I come across on the blog, instead of sharing it via the mrBatsu social.lol account. Hope no one objects to that. They will have the rocket emoji, and a “links” category, attached to them. There is one account that is still out there, alone. The photography quotes bot, on Mastodon. It will remain like that. I’ll add a few more quotes in the coming weeks. There are hundreds already, but it never hurts.

    • 🍀 Vincent is always adding stuff to his apps, and Tinylytics has yet another cool feature: a webring. I had not yet enabled this one, so it was about time I took care of that. Followed the very well written documentation, and I was ready in no time. From now on, if you’d like to visit one of the personal sites that are part of this particular webring, look for the clover at the bottom of every page on the blog/site, and tap that. Enjoy.

    • 🔎 I can still see myself throwing some money at Kagi, in the same way I did with Hey, back in the day. It’s something I definitely don’t need, but would be cool to have for a year. If I have to pay every month, I’ll soon give up. Probably. But if it’s already done, no way to turn back, I believe I would enjoy it. Hey did let you get your money back, and so I did. I don’t think the same will happen with Kagi. I’m not there yet, though…

    • 🌍 Since I’m doing this test where I went all-in with Kagi, I’m also giving Orion a second chance. I kinda like it, but not as much as Kagi, so far. It does feel snappy, and allows both Chrome and Firefox extensions, supposedly. But I couldn’t get the first (and second) extension I tried to work. Even getting the supported 1Password extension to work involves a number of extra steps. Not the nicest experience. Also has the oddest shortcut ever to show/hide sidebar, at least on my Portuguese keyboard. Other than that, it’s a browser. It works.

    • 📺 Patriot, as in the past couple of weeks, has been the one show I have watched. We’ve been watching a lot less tv these days, in fact. A lot less.

    • 🎙 Managed to listen to a couple of podcast episodes, as I drove around on my own a bit this week. Manton was on The Vergecast: the poster’s guide to the new internet, so I listened to that one. Also Underworld, and Smartless, the Rachel Maddow episode, a nice one. Still time for an episode of Ruminate, 171 - The Aforementioned Jason. Core Intuition was on the playlist as well, with episode 574: Curating All the Answers.

    thingsThisWeek #71

    A man walks by, on a dramatically shaded narrow street.

    Work, meetings, weather, family, web stuff. What one would call a very normal week. A good one. Plenty to write about too.

    • 🌧️ Weather is finally catching up with the calendar, and the rain is here. Not perfect when one has to work outdoors, but… In a week we got hit by Babet, Aline, and Bernard. Ouch.

    • 📷 After a big resting period, we went back to a vineyard, and got some photos/videos for the shop I shoot for once in a while. Of course the night before had to be a rough one, so I was in a very good mood waking up. A couple of coffees later, I was on my way to the meeting point, got on the Tesla bus, and we drove to the Alentejo, far far away from the city. Spent a few hours with a Danish-American-Portuguese girl who’s running a vineyard, had lunch, drove back to the city. The mandatory battery charging stops are a pain, as they add hours to an already long day. When I’m lucky, I get some photos. Added, fun, bonus: on the way back we drove by David, and he spotted me. I did not, as I was texting him. Kids, get off your phones!

    • 🌧️ Thursday was an odd day. I had a meeting, and that was postponed for weather-related issues. I did mostly nothing. Had to send a receipt, did that. Not much else. Spent a while thinking about the sweetest hug my adorable daughter gave me the day before at dinner time. Found a theme for Kagi I kinda like. Watched the news. Waited for the time to pick the little one up.

    • 🧰 Thursday’s meeting ended up happening on Friday. A work meeting, a friend needs help with her store’s social media, and website. I might be able to help. Not sure if I really want to get into this, but would like to try. I feel my skill set is almost up to this, so… Let’s see how things progress. This would be a big change of pace for me, a non-photo related job. Putting all the hours I have spent at the computer to work, whenever I have no actual photos to do.

    • 🍰 The weekend came, and the whole family got together for dinner, on movieStar’s side. Both brothers, their wives, Mom&Dad. Auntie joined us. It was a blast. And SO much food, again. Next week Auntie’s son is joining us, just back from Japan. Her kids as well, So tinyMovieStar will have her cousins to play with, and not only her uncles. We could also get back to Saturday lunch with my parents, as my mom is by now fully recovered from the cataract surgery. Every weekend is a party!

    • 🥰 tinyMovieStar keeps on being awesome, and being a Papi is still my favorite part of the week, every single week. She’s now enjoying her swimming lessons a lot more, but not even close to how much she loves her ballet ones. She’s doing great at school too. We’re still the ones who pick her up earlier, and most of the time we both manage to do it. We’re at home, working on something, counting the minutes until we can go. We just love having her around, she’s great company. She has an imaginary friend, for a while now, and I should have mentioned him before. He’s the most imaginative imaginary friend imaginable, of course: his name is Jovedine (I have never heard of this time), and he comes from Guiné Bissau (of course, why wouldn’t he?). He has a severe disability on one of his legs, and he limps, and he’s missing an eye. He needs a bandage change every day. He has traveled the world with tinyMovieStar (Myanmar, Vietnam, Russia, …), sometimes as a friend, others as a husband, or even son. From time to time she’ll show us how he walks, and she’ll limp about, one hand covering her eye. She’s crazy. I love her.

    • 📺 Still on the Patriot train. Still odd, still enjoying it. Finished season one, taking a small break before season two. The Juul story is on pause, I was getting serious “I need a smoke” vibes from watching it. We tried an episode of the new Lupin season, but were so tired, we gave up. Not sure we’ll make it through this one.

    • 📚 Haven’t updated lately on what I’m reading because, well, I’m not reading a lot. Whenever I have some free time, I’ll just check the news, or Feedbin. That’s it. Books are “open”, on the app, but I’m afraid only a couple of pages at a time are read. Still, these are the ones I’m trying to go through: The Last Resort - Sarah Stodola, Please Scream Inside Your Heart - Dave Pell, Unreasonable Behavior - Don McCullin, Three Assassins - Kotaro Isaka, How to Avoid Being Killer in a War Zone - Rosie Garthwait. I’m putting it out there, maybe that’ll force me to get back to them. Also, I have been looking at Kobo, maybe I need a new ebook reader, now that movieStar seems to have kept mine forever. Reading on the phone is only possible if I turn on the sleep focus mode, where all notifications are off.

    • 👀 Gaby started it, and I tried it: shooting b&w for a while. He promised a month, I lasted a couple of hours on the first try. One photo, a single one, and then I was back to colour. Gave it another go. It doesn’t come easy for me. And I kinda cheated as well, as I posted a LOT of photos in between, photos from the archive, colorful ones.

    • 🕵️‍♂️ Kagi, Kagi, Kagi. It’s been going on for a couple of weeks now, I kept seeing the engine mentioned everywhere I look. And I’ve been doing what I’ve read some others did as well, carefully wondering if I should use Kagi for a specific search, saving those precious trial searches, not getting into it as I should for a proper test. So, I transferred $10, and am now ready to give it a go. By Wednesday my free trial had ended, and the first $5 were used for a month of Starter plan. I might need over 300 searches a month, but not ready to pay $10/month for a search engine just yet. I’m happy with Kagi. Not sure if pay-for-me happy, but really happy. Since I turned it into my default search engine, and stop caring if every search was worth spending one search token on it, I have been using it everywhere, and I’m really happy with the results I get. Usually there’s not a lot of scrolling when I search, as the thing I’m looking for is at the top of the list. I guess that means it’s a good search engine, right? The summarize function is pretty cool as well.

    • 🔩 Adding a button to a site shouldn’t be that hard, but this particular one did take a while to figure out. Thankfully Sara came to the rescue, as I was about to give up. CSS can be SO tricky! Anyway, you can now find a “Reply on Mastodon” under every post on the blog. Of course someone took it upon themselves to create a plugin minutes after the whole thing was finally done (thanks, Otávio), so now everyone can add the same feature, with a lot less trouble. The community part of both Micro.blog and Mastodon (social.lol in particular) keeps on being awesome. Happy to be a part of these two.

    • 📥 On Drafts… Greg posted about Drafts Web Capture, and this is even better than Mail to Drafts, a feature I mentioned last week. Thank you, I am now using it often, whenever I’m using my Mint install.

    thingsThisWeek #70

    A bunch of plastic containers wait for pickup.

    A lot less work, a lot more fun. It was that kind of a week. Not a bad one.

    • 🩰 Second ballet class for the little one, I made it this time around. She is SO happy to be there, it was the first time we heard “You two can go, I’ll stay here”. Ever!

    • ⭐️ M.b meetup in Lisbon, with Mr David. By now It’s a regular thing, I consider him a local already. In fact, when I think about it, I see David more often than some people who live here, next to me, all year.

    • 🎨 We visited Joana Vasconcelos exhibition at the MAAT museum this week. The show is there until March, but this is one of those things where we just have to go, and not postpone. We know ourselves. Anyway, we got the car, picked the little one from school, and drove there. It’s a ten minute drive, but as we got there it felt like we were entering a parallel universe. The weather went from sunny and warm, to foggy and chilly in a second. Odd. We went it (the show has pieces on both buildings) and had fun, as one does on her shows. I like her work, and it is perfect for kids too, we found out. tinyMovieStar wanted to touch everything! I’d seen one of the pieces already, many years ago, in Macao. It felt a lot grander there, in the MGM lobby, with a gigantic aquarium, and much taller room. Still loved the show. We all did.

    • 🥰 Fun with tinyMovieStar is now a constant thing, as she’s turning into quite the companion. Chatty and smart, cute and funny, she’s a super company when walking about. movieStar had a hairdresser appointment this week, we all walked there, and then the both of us kept busy walking around, touristing, while she had stuff done to her hair. We went shopping, visited the tourist spots in the area, walked by the brewery owned by one of our friends, people watched, and went back to pick up movieStar. We were having so much fun, she was done by the time we got there!

    • 👨🏻‍🏫 On Friday I drove to Setubal, for a photography class. An old friend is teaching a course there, and asked me to join him, for a special appearance. I did, of course. Packed a bunch of photos on a USB drive, and showed those, along with a few stories about the old days. Every time I do these I can’t help but to feel privileged. I did have an incredibly rich professional life, and it’s kind of sad that no one is now able to do what we did. We were very very lucky back then. I try not to bring their dreams down too much but, for kids just getting started into, specifically, photojournalism in this country, things don’t look very bright.

    • 🍛 The weekend was a bit different, as we didn’t meet my parents. Mom had eye surgery (everything is fine), she couldn’t host the usual lunch. On the other hand we had cousins visiting from the UK at my in-laws, who were joined by a few more who live around here. Fun times for everyone. Over eating, again, but the food is SO yummy, I can’t help it.

    • 🚚 I moved (am moving) sticker spotter around. It’s is now part of the maique.eu conglomerate! Muahahahahahah (evil laugh!)

    • 📺 New week, a few more episodes of Patriot. Still finding it entertaining. We watched the four episodes of Beckham. Really nice, came out of it liking the guy a lot. Started watching Big Vape: The Rise and Fall of Juul. Mostly because I enjoy these documentaries, but also because I LOVED my Juul, back when I smoked. This is what I was smoking when tinyMovieStar was born, and I’ll always remember that. (It’s been over five months since I last smoked, by the way. Still going!)

    • 🤓 You probably know already that I love Drafts, that I spend a lot of time on Drafts. And still only use a few of the hundreds of features the app provides. This week I booted Mint on the laptop again, and was struggling to find a good way to have stuff I write there available on iOS/macOS. I was already considering Standard Notes (why the hell is this one so incredibly expensive? Don’t get it), Joplin, or other solutions. Even a simple draft on Fastmail… Then it hit me! Drafts Mail Drop! It’s perfect. A draft on FastMail, and I just send it. It’s available immediately, on iOS, and whenever I get back to macOS. Awesome.

    thingsThisWeek #69

    An orange emergency phone booth, on a bridge.

    Again, a busy week. We had a national holiday thrown into the mix, and had to sleep away from the girls. Work to do in the city during the weekend, and it would be unfair to them to force them to stay behind, and miss out on all the weekend fun. They got on a train to the beach, then a lift to the countryside, and I picked them up after the weekend work was done.

    • 📷 Another week, another batch of assignments. Slower week this time around, I got two days off! Starting with a lifestyle thing, the worst possible thing you can have me shooting! I thought I was going to shoot glamorous photos of bacon and avocado, pancakes and kombucha, for a brunch place, and found out two days before that they were presenting a new line of skin care products AT a brunch place! Not very cool. Anyway, I did it. I also learned about skinfluencers, a special kind of influencer. Later in the week it was marathon time, and I mean a real marathon, with runners. The yearly Lisbon Marathon even was upon us, and I would be shooting for one of the main sponsors, like last year. This time I also shot a little video, with the phone. Not my favourite thing to do, and the reason why I had to do it is pretty shitty as well (smaller budget, no money for proper videographer), but I do get paid extra, and they don’t seem to mind the subpar video quality. As agreed beforehand, if I can’t do both anytime, I’ll stick to photography. I do love the marathon assignment, though. Fun times, fun people. Waking up too early, but riding that convertible double decker on bridges, and getting infected by the energy of thousands of runners, is a good way to spend a few hours. Also plenty of opportunities to get a few shots on the way there and back.

    • 👯‍♀️ First ballet lesson for tinyMovieStar, and I was away, on the silliest of all assignments. Darn! movieStar told me that parents are not allowed inside while the class is happening, but… Next week, next week I’ll be there. Outside, but I’ll be there.

    • 😢 Speaking of tinyMovieStar, she’s going through a phase where she will cry every day, when we’re dropping her off at kindergarten. Every day. She’s fine a couple of minutes after we leave, but it hurts to see her going through these moments. I’m now taking her alone, no mom, as we hoped it would be easier for her, but she’s doing it with me as well. It breaks my heart. She literally climbs to my arms, and won’t let go. A good ten minutes later she will finally relent, I’ll leave, and get a message from school saying she’s happy as can be, playing with her buddies. Even before getting back home, and it’s only a 15 minute slow walk.

    • 💬 I feel I’m posting a lot less than I used to. August is the usual culprit, as we’re busy on the road, vacationing and working at the same time. Lots of things to do all day long, lots of people to talk to. September came, and went, we took some time off and we’re away as well. Just now getting into the rhythm of things in town. I try to keep up with M.b, and Mastodon (usually just my 🦄 list, and social.lol local timeline), but it’s hard. Mostly lurking, still reading a lot of the posts, but not posting as often.

    • 🍿 Quite a few movies this week or, at least, a lot more than I usual watch. The Sisters Brothers. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. , delicious. Bottoms, very fun, loved the different take on the high school genre (Thanks, @sod). The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring. Sue me! I was browsing HBO, this one came up, I’d heard about the case before, and watched the movie while doing stuff around the house. I did miss Paw Patrol, The Mighty Movie. The movieStars met a few cousins and went to the nearest movie theatre for that, but I was… you guessed it, working.

    • 📺 This Fool. A couple of episodes, maybe it will stick. The Morning Show had another episode, so I watched that too. I actually wrote the previous sentence before finishing the episode, and had to force myself to watch the darn thing. I believe I might be dropping this one soon. Also two episodes of Patriot, on Prime. It has a cool IMDB rating, so it seems, and that was enough to talk me into watching an episode. Liked it. A spy show with a few odd twists, and SO many familiar faces on the cast.

    • 📱 Tested Holafly. I didn’t have to, of course, but I wanted to check the service out, since I’m planning on using it on our next trip. Not cheap, but handy. This week I had the Marathon event, and that means a lot of images, and videos, being sent from the phone, on the fly, so why not test the unlimited data this way? eSIM are just an awesome idea, and I’ve been a fan since the first time I tried it, on the French island. Since then I swapped my physical SIM for an eSIM, and then I actually changed mobile operator, after decades with the same one, and all this without leaving home. Made possible by this great feature. The idea of Holafly (and many other services) is also great, as it allows you to always have a connection, jumping from operator to operator, always finding the strongest signal. No local number, true, but you’re not stuck with a single company in the country, you get to use them all. Other services have marginally cheaper plans, but the “Unlimited Data” on Holafly’s offer really appeals to me. The test went beautifully, I had a super fast connection anywhere, and didn’t have to use a single byte of my limited data plan. For this kind of days-long assignment, with the new to transmit from the venues, it’s probably a good idea to start including this expense in the budget.

Older Posts →