✱ Last Sunday my soccer team, São Paulo FC, conquered the 2023 Copa do Brasil championship title… for the first time! Among Brazil’s soccer championships’ titles, this happened to be the only one São Paulo had been unable to conquer before, so its corresponding trophy was the only one not in my team’s gallery. The final round, consisting of two matches between São Paulo and Flamengo, ended up 2-1 in the aggregate score, thus resulting in our victory. It was amazing to finally witness this feat, and as a long time supporter of São Paulo, this made me very, very happy.

The series’ name as it appears in Brazil

✱ I’ve watched Reporting for Duty, on Netflix. That’s a Brazilian police comedy sitcom suggested to me by Netflix algorithms, which I’ve decided to trust and check out. Comprised of 8 episodes in its first season, it revolves around Suzano, a police chief in the fictional Rio de Janeiro state countryside city of Campo Manso, where he was also born and raised. After inadvertently helping capture a criminal, Suzano is promoted to chief of the 8th precinct in the capital, Rio de Janeiro, where his new officers are not very welcoming. The series’ teaser trailers made me remember the likes of Brooklyn 99, but it was a grateful surprise to find out it had both humor and a plot of its own. After finishing the 8 episodes in two days, I started to wonder whether there’ll be a second season, as for when Netflix is involved, one never knows. I do hope so, though, and a proper cliffhanger for it was at least provided. Something odd, too, was to find out the name of the series in English so I could mention it in this post — in Brazilian Portuguese, the series’ original language, it is called B.O., acronym for Boletim de Ocorrência, or Police Report in English.

✱ I’ve finished 16 more episodes of One Piece, meaning that I’ve left its second seasonEnter the Grand Line, containing the Whiskey Peak & Little Garden arcs — behind. It’s been quite entertaining to watch more of the episodes and I have to admit that it surprised how much has happened in these few 23 minute stories. The imagination of Eiichiro Oda is quite amazing — and I’ll have to read the manga sometime soon in the future. For now, I’m 3 episodes into season 3 — Enter Chopper at the Winter —, where I know, thanks to a little spoiler from my son, that a new crew member, Chopper, will join Luffy and his gang.

✱ The internet is such a big place, isn’t it? It’s amazing to unexpectedly find useful websites in it once in a while. This week I’ve stumbled upon Lunapic, an online image editor where you can add lots of effects to your graphics, such as cropping, scaling, rotating them, but also removing the background, replacing it with another and adding filters. I don’t usually need too many of these features, but from what I’ve tested, it works very well. If you can combine usefulness and free, then, I’m completely sold.

✱ I’ve decided to experiment with digital gardening again, this time by purchasing a Blot.im subscription. I already knew a lot, and had previously paid for a month there, eyeing the amazing support it has for wikilinks, the [[same kind]] used by Obsidian and other notetaking tools. This has made me start to work in connecting both, in a temporary address, where I’ve also imported my weeknotes as a test — two things I must warn you if you decide to check it, though, are that the posts are all in Brazilian Portuguese and that everything is still messy: the dates, the links… I’d also like to mention that while I was deciding whether to take Blot for a second spin, @humdrum‘s The Independent Variable had an important role as he uses Blot and creates one of the nicest sites I’ve seen to date with the tool.

Já tem algum tempo que eu flerto com a ideia de jardins digitais. Acho o máximo a forma que cada jardim digital adquire, porque o conteúdo depende da vontade única e exclusiva de quem está cultivando pensamentos e ideias, e interconectando pensamentos.

Eis que me deparei hoje com o Untitled Presentation, um projeto das irmãs consultoras em estratégia de comunicação, Anna e Kelly Pendergrast, Juntas, desde dezembro de 2018, elas têm construído uma coleção de pensamentos e ideias, como forma de realizar um experimento de pensar em público. E o mais interessante: elas estão usando um deck de apresentações do Google Slides, em que vão acrescentando um novo slide por semana.

Exemplo de slide do Untitled Presentation

A ideia ocorreu às irmãs depois que tiveram contato com duas crianças de 8 anos de idade, que usavam o Google Slides para trocar fotos de carros entre si depois da aula. E hoje já são centenas de slides diferentes.

O que vai no jardim digital delas é exatamente o tipo de ideia que eu tenho, e que tento registrar no meu wiki: ideias que são maiores do que aquilo que caberia em uma postagem de rede social, mas ainda não significativas o suficiente para se tornarem um artigo, ou post no blog.

✱ As I finished my previous weeknotes talking about Luke, I guess there’s nothing better than starting this week by talking about him again. I’ve just bought a dog door in order to make both his and my lifes easier: during the day, while I’m working, Luke likes to keep me company, what, while adorable, also makes me have to interrupt whatever I’m working on at the moment to open my office’s door so I can let him in (or out). I know it doesn’t seem to be much, but the thing is it actually is. So after some consideration I bought this dog door, and while these are normally set up on exterior doors, I’ll be placing mine internally… kind of a weekend project.

✱ I have finished reading Perseguindo Adeline, second book in a duology, making me advance to 12 books read this year — still 8 behind my personal year goal. The two books belong to the dark romance genre, something new for me, where dark, normally disturbing themes are openly treated by the author. I have nothing against dark romances, but I do have a point against badly written texts. The Brazilian Portuguese translation is awful and made me think more often than not about dropping the book. It’s so bad that it looks… either very amateur or totally translated by an automated service like Google Translate. So I can’t recommend the book. Not really.

✱ While I’m speaking about books, this week I’ve come across Why Flying Is Miserable: And How to Fix It, an upcoming book to be released in November by Ganesh Sitaraman, an American legal scholar from whom I’ve read an article in where he speaks about how modern airlines have become more similar to banks than to transportation industry options, all due to detailed regulations. This is a subject which interests me so it was very nice to enjoy the article and find out about the book. Already added to my “Want to read” queue.

41°C would a real heat nightmare… 😞 😞

I’m not the biggest fan of rainy days. But these last days have made me reconsider it a bit as it’s been hot as hell here in Brazil. Temperatures can still rise to over 40 degrees Celsius (104°F) in the days to come, all due to greenhouse effect gases and El Niño combined. I guess I can call myself lucky as I’ve been working from home and I don’t need to be on streets all the time, but still. No fan or air conditioning seems to be sufficing… so either rain coming, or this heat wave going, I’d welcome any.

✱ I had an appointment with my cardiologist this week. First things first, I went through an echo doppler exam to see how things were going after more than two years without undergoing this same exam. It made me very happy to find out that, fortunately, as it happened before, everything is still fine with my heart for my age. Then I’ve run the treadmill for many minutes, while performing an exercise electrocardiogram: this kind of routine usually exhausts me, but there’s something good in it, as for years I was unable to finish the whole procedure due to feeling tired or feeling pain, except when I ran the treadmill two years ago and beat the exercise, although very tired: I did it again this week, that is, completed the treadmill routine again, what was praised by my doctor who said although I still need medication and exercise (who doesn’t need exercise, after all?) I did very good in the treadmill. But the apex of my appointment was when based on these exams’ results, he dismissed the upcoming need of performing an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring exam, the one I hate the most in terms of cardiology as it has you attached to a device hung from your waist during 24 hours in a row, even disturbing your capacity to sleep well. My doctor also adjusted some of my medications dosages and that certainly contributed to improve my well being… 😊

✱ I’ve fallen a little behind my 2023 reading goal — although there’s still time for me to recover. Even so, this week I could finish reading Assombrando Adeline, a book whose details, as a librarian, I’ve personally contributed to Literal.club, by the way. This was the 11th book out of 20 I want to read this year, and it was a story different from anything I had read before. It just didn’t prove better than it was because of the translation errors that showed up… maybe a pet peeve of mine, but still enough to impair the whole experience… still, finishing the book made me start reading the second volume right away (the author told her story in a duet) and this means soon enough I’ll reach 12 books read 📚.

Luke, our lovely doggie friend

Luke really got me scared this week. Normally a very active little Yorkshire dog, always after us and willing to play and keep us company, this week he spent two days whining as if he’d got hurt, yet for no apparent reason. It looked like he was feeling pain in his rear legs. He usually jumps up and down our sofa and beds but he just didn’t during this time. After observing him for some time I even set up an appointment with the vet — only to see him recover after my wife gave him a small spoon with two drops of anti inflammatory medicine, following a previous’ back pain episode he suffered a couple of years ator for which we kept the vet’s prescription. Thank God this made him better. Luke’s been with us since 2017 now and he’s as part of the family as all of us. We all love him and felt very relieved as soon as he came to his old self again. Nice to see you well, buddy.

I found this Mastodon post by user Danie Ware, where she mentions her pet peeve about book reviews quite interesting:

Pet peeve:

A book review is a review of the book. You read the book, and you write down whether you liked it or not.

It is not:

Whether the postman bought it on time
How it was packaged
If it was left out in the rain
Whether your local store had it in stock
The publisher’s selling policy
What kind of paper the pages were…


Why is this a difficult concept?

It instantly got me thinking how I both totally agree and disagree with her opinion at the same time.

On the one hand, one’s thoughts about the storyline, the characters and the writer’s ability to give you the next page turner or the worst thing you’ve ever read is exactly what the core of a written book review is, and that’s the kind of informed opinion I’m after whenever I feel like reading a new book. I look for confirmations and, in that sense, want to know how far my expectations could go if I read a new book.

But, on the other hand, I simply cannot think of a book disregarding its handling and packaging. The quality of its cover, its printing, the fonts used and its adaptation to my language, for instance, if I’m reading a translated work. I mean, how could I fully enjoy my experience with the best plot ever in my hands if the font is horrible or there are typos, translation or printing errors? How less amazing would it be to read a new book when it’s torn or crumpled? I don’t know. Just like driving the fastest car ever made while it is all dirty?

Don’t get me wrong. I totally understand Danie’s point of view. I just guess a book’s review should be split in two parts, say, the story part, plot, writing and author originality included; and the user experience part, embracing shipping, delivery, quality and anything else related.

As (almost) everything must be paid for twice, it is only fair to be able to evaluate both these parts. After all, no matter how well written and innovative a book is, you might not be able to pay the second time for it, that is, engage in the effort and the initiative required to collect the benefits one would have after the reading is done something already hard in itself, only turned even harder due to any book mistreatment.

But this is only my pet peeve, and you’re free to disagree — or not.

Only recently I was able to come across a very interesting article, discussing that everything you buy actually needs to be paid for twice, otherwise that’ll be wasted money — and that this should be a finance lesson taught to anyone in school.

And I couldn’t agree more, even though this made me reflect very deeply on how many things I buy but don’t pay the second price for.

There’s the first price, usually paid in money. This is the usual price you have to pay if you wish to gain possession of whatever that is that you desire to have, be it a book, a new software or a game.

But the thing is, only after we pay the second price will we see any return on the first one. And this second price consists of all the initiative and effort required to gain its benefits — a price that could prove to be much higher than the first one.

In that sense, I quote this passage from the article:

A new novel, for example, might require twenty dollars for its first price — and ten hours of dedicated reading time for its second. Only once the second price is being paid do you see any return on the first one. Paying only the first price is about the same as throwing money in the garbage.

I had never in my life seen things this way. This has made me feel bad and terrible ever since, because — taking only books as an example — I have bought many, many, many of them during my life yet I haven’t had time to read half… no, a quarter of them, and this is all my fault. I know I have linked this post many times here, but, yes, tsundoku. That is an addiction, and maybe I’ll have to live and deal with it, because I love books, even those I haven’t read yet, although bought.

But wait, there’s more. After reading this one article I stopped to think how many streaming services I pay for monthly, even yearly, only to go weeks in a row without watching a single movie or series episode. How many online courses have I bought at Udemy, Coursera or the likes of them, without ever finishing them — without ever starting some. How many games did I buy in Steam and never played (the number would have you scared) only because I thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of their semiannual sale, never finding the will to start a single match.

This is me examining my own conscience aloud. This is a public confession, where I state that I should do different from now on: enjoy what is there to be enjoyed, yes, but cancel services, subscriptions and recurrent expenses whenever although paying for them I’m unable to reap the full benefits because the time to pay for the second price never comes, never presents itself.

I hope I can remember this self analysis later in my life and then be able to say that I’m paying twice for more of the things I wish to possess.

Have you ever considered this? Have you been paying for your acquisitions twice?

Foi em 1994 que o engenheiro da computação Lou Montulli, da Netscape, inventou o cookie. A partir dessa invenção as páginas web ganharam a capacidade de se lembrar de nossas senhas, preferências, configurações de idioma e várias outras informações relevantes.

Quem não gostaria de fazer compras com um assistente ao seu lado, escutando nossas preferências e segurando nossas sacolas enquanto andamos pela loja e escolhemos o que queremos, não é mesmo? Os cookies de Lou viabilizaram essa possibilidade, ou seja, a invenção em si foi revolucionária ao estabelecer a gravação de blocos de dados localmente — isto é, no dispositivo em uso pelo usuário enquanto ele acessar o site — para recuperação posterior, ou seja, em uma visita futura do mesmo usuário a este site. Tudo isso, então, configurava uma troca privada de informações entre usuário e site.

Mas menos de dois anos depois, as empresas que comercializam anúncios descobriram como hackear os cookies para uma função muito menos nobre e invasiva: rastrear o comportamento dos usuários. Estes novos cookies do mal começaram a ser chamados de cookies de terceiros, ou third-party cookies, em contraposição aos first-party cookies originais, que trocavam dados apenas entre usuário e site. Os cookies do mal são como aquelas escutas que são plantadas em filmes de espionagem: captam tudo o que está sendo feito pela vítima, mas só compartilham estas informações com seus aliados. Os espiões podem colocar seus cookies nos sites de outras pessoas, para armazenar o que você visitou e que tipo de dados você informou.

É graças ao trabalho desses cookies espiões que, se eu buscar pelo termo escova de dentes no Google, começo a ver um monte de anúncios de escovas de dentes sendo vendidas por sites que variam desde supermercados e farmácias até a Amazon ou o Mercado Livre. Por mais que alguém possa argumentar que cookies são um mal necessário e que seria impossível navegar na internet atualmente sem esbarrarmos com eles e cedermos nossos dados de navegação, eu acredito que esta coleta de dados é uma invasão de privacidade que torna os antes inocentes cookies verdadeiros monstros da internet.

Ao longo do tempo e durante anos, os cookies foram coletando dados de forma cada vez mais descontrolada, graças à falta de regulamentação quanto a rastreamento e vigilância de usuários online, um cenário que só mudou a partir de 2018, com a introdução de legislações de proteção à privacidade como a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) europeia e a LGPD brasileira, responsáveis, aliás, pela grande quantidade de popups que atualmente aparecem pedindo para você aceitar cookies sempre que visita um site na internet. Não é nem de longe a solução perfeita, mas pelo menos agora é possível termos noção do que cada site quer rastrear e porque, e concordar (ou não) com esse rastreio de informações.

Mas não é apenas clicando e consentindo (ou não) com a utilização de cookies que podemos combater o uso inapropriado de nossas informações pelos anunciantes. Também podemos escolher usar navegadores que desabilitaram totalmente o uso de cookies de terceiros: os primeiros que fizeram isso foram o Safari, da Apple, em 2017, e o Firefox, da Mozilla, in 2019. Já o Chrome, produto do Google que, caso não esteja claro, é antes de qualquer coisa uma empresa de comercialização de anúncios online, acaba de implantar um recurso chamado de Privacy Sandbox, que diz substituir os cookies terceiros mas que, ainda assim, coleta muitos dados pessoais dos usuários, alimentados por um processo de opt-in em que você concorda com a coleta de dados mas apenas porque não o entende direito, ou não consegue evitar.

Se você não está pagando pelo produto, você é o produto.

Em relação a empresas como Google, Facebook e tantas outras, normalmente disfarçadas de redes sociais, nunca é demais repetir aquela velha máxima que diz que quando não estamos pagando por um produto, é porque nós somos o produto: quer um navegador de internet gratuito? Ótimo. Apenas tome cuidado com o que está adquirindo (ou com o que está concordando) ao usá-lo gratuitamente.

One Piece Season 1 poster

✱ I can finally say, 61 episodes later, that I’ve finished One Piece: East Blue Arc, the equivalent to the anime’s first season. When watching so many episodes in a row it is impossible not to deal with filler episodes, such as the Warship Island arc, but luckily One Piece is known to have few episodes like this — little less than 10% of the 1,000+ aired so far. Besides, the story is so amazing and filled with charismatic characters, and all the main ones have solid background stories, what is very appealing. In short, I loved it. And this means I’ll keep on watching Luffy and the Strawhat Pirates’ adventures.

The movie’s thumbnail art

✱ I’ve watched All Quiet on the Western Front, much because of my younger son’s insistence, as he loves history, geography… and war related subjects. This movie tells the story of Paul Bäumer, a young boy who enlists the German Army with his best friends to fight during World War I, only to find that his romantic view of the war — glory and heroism — is soon replaced with the realities of war, that is, deaths, despair and hopelessness. Paul then replaces his dreams of becoming a war hero with his best efforts to survive. This type of movie is not my cup of tea, yet I need to admit that it looks very pleasing to watch, and it narrates war in a way I’ve never seen before, I mean, from the POV of common soldiers, what contributes a lot to its antiwar message. I can recommend it.

An example of a Brazilian pastel

✱ Brazilian food is filled with unique dishes. From brigadeiro to coxinha — both delicious, by the way, there are so many goodies that you can taste here. This week, though, me and a couple of friends from work decided to eat pastel prepared in a street market, something that I hadn’t done for some time. As delicious as difficult to explain in English, its Wikipedia description says pastel is a Brazilian street food consisting of half-circle or rectangle-shaped thin crust pies with assorted sweet fillings and fried in vegetable oil (equal to the picture I placed above). More than the delicious taste of pastel, though, the most important thing to me was to collect yet another good memory with my friends. Amazing.

✱ I’ve accumulated 10 books that I’m currently reading and maybe, maybe not, you’re going to believe I’ve gone completely out of my mind. I also think so… it’s a real exaggeration, I know, but all of this happens because I’m addicted to reading and I cannot keep this impulse of buying and starting to read new books at stake (again, tsundoku). I’ve bought Holly, the newest book from Stephen King — who, by the way, I believe is maybe the greatest storyteller alive — in pre-ordering because I just cannot pass without reading anything he publishes, but ended up buying and reading… Assombrando Adeline, which called my attention for being at the place in Amazon’s psychological thrillers list (a genre that I appreciate reading) and made me debut . I haven’t finished it yet but this decision of reading the book made me debut in the dark romance genre as well. This is not a genre for everyone, as it deals with things like death, mobs, kidnapping and many other disturbing themes. I’m liking it so far — although the Brazilian Portuguese translation of the ebook sold by Amazon is sufferable with all its errors, typos and machine-like translation, making me believe that Google probably translated it —, to the point of having read 80% of the content in 2 days, a real page turner.

Brotato game card in Nintendo eShop

✱ I’ve decided to digitally acquire Brotato on the Nintendo eShop this week. That’s a game I already own on Steam, and that I very much enjoy playing (whenever I have time to). In case you don’t know Brotato, its concept is very simple: you are a potato 🥔, fighting hordes of space aliens and trying to survive for as long as you can while being able to use up to six weapons — one crazier than the previous one — because, as no one had ever determined the total number of arms a potato can have, the devs decided to give them six ones. Now, not only did I buy this game out of knowing and enjoying it quite a lot, but also because at home we’ve come to the feared stage in parenthood where you start to dispute your own computer’s screen time with that of your kids (in this case, my younger son). So as to have no conflicts, why not play Brotato wherever he’s not using the device, right?

✱ At work, this week our director came from the United States, where he lives, to spend some time with the team. He’s Brazilian and whenever he needs to be at his home country, he appreciates creating this time for all of us to spend together. So, 3 whole days were reserved for presencial workshops, team buildings and lectures, all of them always enjoyable on their own. I specially loved two of the activities during this period, and will now say why.

First activity. Listening to one of the scheduled sessions during this week’s time with our director, I got acquainted with The Five Love Languages, a book written by Gary Chapman, an American author who addresses human relationships. I had never heard about the book but, to my complete surprise, many of my coworkers had read it. All of who did highly praised its contents and one in particular even testified that it had changed her relationship with her significant others. The speech we were watching to was meant to demonstrate how four of the five love languages can be applied to a normal, work relationship (thus excluding physical touch) — and through some drills we performed during the time I was able to discover a couple of revealing things about myself and the people I work most closely with, and, as I told my leadership later, this alone would be worth all the workshops’ while; but the thing is I immediately added the book to my “to read” list, as it can be really helpful in strengthening one’s personal relationships, too.

Second activity. This was a guest talk with a personal old acquaintance with whom I had professionally worked before. I didn’t know, though, that he was an expert in mindfulness and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). During almost one hour he took me and all of my colleagues through a real self-knowledge journey. Consisting of three parts, the speech addressed thre principles: what is the most important thing in our lives — mindfulness, that is, clearing out minds by archiving everything and everyone that is not ourselves or isn’t under our direct control to change; concentrating on being the best possible person to whom or what we have archived once our mind is free and in peace; and figuring out that the most important person in our lives will always be that one who’s nearest to us in the present moment. It is very difficult to summarize everything I’ve learned this week in this single paragraph, and I won’t try to do it, but one thing’s for sure: that one set of three principles is certainly life changing.

Some weeks ago I was in São Paulo with my son, as he was going to take the JLPT test. Now, 7 weeks later, his results came in by e-mail: he’s been successfully approved in JLPT N1 level! This has been a very nice way to start the week, both for him and for me. I’m very much proud of yet another positive result in his path towards living in Japan… ☺️

✱ This week, another reason for happiness in our family was my younger son’s birthday — he’s just turned 12. I can’t believe time flies like this, and that he’s just all growing up! We got the family together to celebrate and to make his day even more special with cake, candy and a lot of delicious treats! 😊😊

✱ My sister and brother-in-law moved from their apartment some months ago and we finally could make it to visit their new house. It’s a very nice two-store house with a pool and a fireplace and I could see how much my sister appreciates having been able to move there. That’s the kind of place all surrounded by nature that we all in the family know is what she loves. Besides, we had a meal together and the kids got to meet… the cats. I mean, they met them before, but Nick and Chica are with my sister for quite sometime now, and it was the first time my sons played with them in a while. Quite a memorable, fun night we all had together.

✱ I feel specially worn out this week, and the culprit is no other but work. Don’t get me wrong, I simply love doing what I do and working for the company I’m working for. It’s just that this week, in particular — and I foresee that the next one also, likely —, consumed a lot of energy. In the end it has all paid off, but it required extra work and dedication, not only my own but the one of some good friends. On to learning even more and to mastering these activities. I’m sure every cloud has a silver lining… 🙏

Mnemonic example for katakana テ (te)

✱ In my continued Japanese studies I’ve been experimenting with many different techniques in order to try to memorize what’s got to be memorized. Despite many things that I’ve tried, I hadn’t yet taken mnemonics seriously. But that was before I started to use jpdb.io to learn at least some kanji. Developed by a single developer, it uses a technique similar to that used in Heisig’s hugely popular Remembering the Kanji book to teach kanji, but using different keywords… and mnemonics. And the thing is, after using mnemonics for only a few days, I was successful in learning my first kanjis. That’s when it occurred to me that I maybe could use it to learn katakana. Man, do I hate katakana… they just don’t stick to my memory… but mnemonics could well be the answer… so I’ll try them and see if they work as well as they’ve been working for kanji… yet to be seen.

✱ I’ve watched a couple more episodes of One Piece this week and came to the 25th in the East Blue Arc, the story’s first act. The story keeps very interesting and it’s been nice to find out the past stories of some of the main characters. This makes me want to keep on watching the series. Oh, and I’ve also watched Uma Quase Dupla, an average Brazilian comedy movie featuring Cauã Reymond and Tatá Werneck, both famous actors here in my country. The popcorn I prepared to eat along it, though, proved to be better than the plot.