Daniel Santos

Week 09, 2024

Last Monday I had the opportunity to do something I really enjoy, which is mentoring people. There’s a couple of new interns working with us since January, and Monday I was in a remote meeting with them, after they asked me to explain our team’s activities and processes in detail. When the invitation came I felt very honored for being chosen.

Initially, it was supposed to be an one-hour meeting. But we all had some extra time to spare. This gave me the chance not only to speak about our work processes and goals, but also to listen to the girls' questions. Many interesting questions, by the way. It’s so nice to be there for someone who’s new in the job when they have questions… everyone should try that out. After all, everyone needs a lending hand, specially when we’re newcomers, isn’t it?! 😊

It’s been sometime since I bought a lifetime subscription of Bear Blog, a very simple and lightweight blogging solution that had me from the moment I came across the service. It’s simpler than many of its alternatives, such as Micro.blog, Write.as and Weblog.lol, just to name a few of them I’m familiar with. The only reason that keeps me from using my weblog there is my own… indecision.

You few people who follow my weeknotes and occasional posts already now that I’m always changing my mind in terms of what to do in my web address. I’ve hosted blogs in all three blog services mentioned above here, I’ve hosted a Perl based blog and wiki engine for a little more than a week, a Wordpress blog and (at least now, while I’m writing these notes) a wiki based on Dokuwiki. And, believe me or not, I might still change my mind… 🤦♂️

Well… this week, Herman, the one man behind Bear Blog, announced that his service now supports multiple blog creation in the same account. This caused me some itching — the possibilities of being able to create more than one blog at a time, like Write.as allows you to do with their premium subscription, and WriteFreely, which I also tried out in my site, also does, would probably allow me to have a wiki+digital garden combo — something I’ve looked for a long time now, without having found it. The itching came to the point where I redirected my Bear Blog to a subdomain and changed its theming and fonts. I guess it looks nicer now.

To close the Bear Blog chapter in this week’s notes, I found Yee Chie Tu’s approach to implement Mastodon Reactions on Bearblog. All he seems to use is JavaScript, and I confess I’m really tempted to try his solution, as I like the idea of adding webmentions to my site. With some tweaking, I believe, it is probably possible to use the same code with Dokuwiki, for which so far I haven’t found a proper webmention implementation.

Counting from yesterday, March 1st, my son is only one month away from traveling to Japan so he can start his college scholarship. His classes are to start by the second half of April (if I understood it well), and that is the reason his trip was schedule to April 1st. And no, that is not an April Fool’s prank. Besides his plane ticket reservation information, he’s also received a pre-arrival handbook with, I must say, a very organized list of frequently asked questions prepared by the college.

The thing is, this proximity of my son’s imminent departure hit me hard. Here in Brazil there’s this expression, “cair a ficha_”, used to express that one finally realizes something really happened — or, in this case, is _really going to happen. Like, the penny is dropping. My son’s going away for quite a long time and I’m feeling this strange, mixed sensations of fear, anxiety, happiness for him and sadness for myself, for realizing he won’t be physically near us, all at the same time. But I’ll hang in there. I stand by my point of knowing that this is the best that could be happening to him: after all, he did practically everything on his own: dedicate 3 years of his life to learning the Japanese language; identify the MEXT scholarship; prepare for the tests and interviews; take a JPLT test and reach the top, N1 level. It’s amazing and makes me proud as his father. 😊

I was listening to the radio yesterday, as I usually do when I go pick my (younger) son at school. Around noon there’s this variety show that airs in my favorite station, and, among other things, they usually tell the listeners some curious fact, in pure “did you know_”, or “_today I learned_” fashion. I guess because 2024 is a leap year and we’re just past February 29th, one of the announcers said that, in the eighteenth century, February 30 existed in Europe. However, when her show partner asked her _where exactly that was, she said she didn’t know because that information wasn’t written in the text she was reading. And the show went on.

Now, as it usually happens with any radio station, the one I was listening to counts on the participation of its listeners. When I was younger, in a time without internet, this used to happen by having people call in and talk to the announcers live. Nowadays, it mostly happens with people texting in, and sending audio messages through WhatsApp. February 30th existence made me curious to the point of doing a quick Google search about it, from which I found the above linked site.

I wrote two small paragraphs commenting my findings and sent them to the radio station via a WhatsApp text, and mentioned I did that just out of curiosity. Minutes later, the announcers actually read my text on air, and I learned I had just entered their daily prize draw, competing for a pack of their famous craft beer, cleverly named StereoBeer. Which I won! I never win draws, raffles or anything, so that made my day. While I’m writing these notes, I haven’t yet picked up my prize, but I have five workdays time to do so, and I’ll probably drop by the station on Monday…

And to wrap up this week’s notes (impressively longer than I’d expect, to be honest), I’ve gone to the soccer stadium again. This time, instead of watching a São Paulo match, I took my son to watch our city’s local soccer team, São José Esporte Clube, play against Portuguesa Santista, in a match valid for the state’s second division league.

As it happened recently with us in a São Paulo match, this one also finished in a tie, 1x1. I even told my son I’m starting to believe that I can’t go to stadiums to watch games live — they all tie 😂! Regardless of the result, though, it was lovely to take him for this experience, the first time he went to our city’s own stadium, and my return to that place, decades later. He loved the ride and me too.

What a week! I hope yours has been good too, and may we all have a nice week ahead, reserved to us.

#english #weeknotes