{babble}

An Instance

With some extra time on my hands, and not enough time at the same time, I'm looking for things to do when I'm allowed a break from baby duty.

An idea crossed my mind, stayed there for a couple of days. I couldn't scratch that itch in any other way, so I caved in. I went to mastohost and got myself a Mastodon instance.

I don't need an instance, not by a long shot, but I really wanted to see one the way the administrators see it, and thought it would be cool to have a domain name I own on my Mastodon username.

My relationship with instances is an odd one. I have an account, my main account, at the mothership, Mastodon.Social, the one I created ages ago. I wanted to move to Fosstodon, or Writing.Exchange, but couldn't take my old toots with me, so I stayed at M.s, but still have accounts at the other ones. Some instances fade out after a while, but I'm not scared M.s will meet the same faith, hopefully this would be the last instance to go, so I don't have that excuse either.

I'm still posting mainly at @maique@mastodon.social, as I'm afraid I'll just give up on my own, can't justify paying for this toy, money would be better spent elsewhere. But I couldn't NOT do it.

Feel free to say hi, if you'd like, you can find my at my brand new place, @maique@maique.xyz.


This is day 009 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

Busy, busy, busy...

  • We've had a (small) fire in the kitchen
  • Trying to write a (very) long post
  • Cleaning up the fire damage
  • Getting new pacifiers for baby
  • Taking care of said baby

No time left. Sorry.


This is day 008 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

Stay-at-home dad.

A couple of days ago I posted something on Micro.blog, and a conversation started with TimeAffluent that got me thinking about a lot of things, but at the beginning of the exchange I thought about Marco.

A few years back, seven to be precise, I went to Luxembourg on a press trip. One of those in and out in three days things, running around the place trying to get to as many landmarks as possible in each of those days. Usually they're put together by the local tourism board, so they make an effort to take you to the nicer spots, eat at a couple of fancy restaurants and stay at an upscale hotel. One thing they also set up is a local guide, greatly responsible for the success, or not, of the whole trip.

This time we were lucky, Marco was assigned to our group.

Marco was in his late fifties, and he had a voice that could be heard a mile away. He spoke with a tone that made you stand in attention, and this was (as usual) a group that did not like standing in attention.

He was very knowledgeable about the whole country (it's not a big country, but still) and had a dry sense of humor that quickly won us over. We liked Marco.

When we got to know him a little better, or as well as the three-days-in-and-out routine would allow, he told us part of his life story. He hadn't always been a guide, you see ?

Grown up life for Marco had started drawing projects in an architectural atelier. He got married and soon he became a father. When the time came for the couple to decide how things would work out in the future, they decided he would stay at home taking care of the baby, and his wife would go back to work. He spent the following eighteen years doing that, taking care of their children.

When they went away to college he decided to get a job, and found out drawing was all done with computers by then. He didn't particularly like computers, so he thought about finding another occupation. He became a tour guide. He liked history, he liked walking, he liked talking, so why not ?

I had never thought about becoming a father by then, and both my parents had jobs while I was growing, so this issue never crossed my mind. It's not that i assumed the mother should stay at home, I didn't, or even thought she should, I didn't, I never thought about it, that's all. Now that I was confronted with this, thinking about it for the first time, I found this to be a very interesting idea.

I quickly went back to my old self, not giving it a second thought, for the same reasons as before: didn't really matter, since I was not going to be a dad. One less thing to worry about.

And here we are, covid lockdown, stuck at home with a new baby, no work for months. I discovered I don't mind it that much. It's great being able to spend all this time with my wife and the baby, not worried about having to leave early tomorrow, or the day after, on some assignment. Sure, the money situation is not perfect, money has to come from somewhere, but, in a perfect situation, I wouldn't mind spending a few years doing nothing else. Just caring for them.

Waking up in the morning, knowing she, they, will be ok, maybe better than if they had to spend the day on their own.

Knowing that I will be ok because I can spend every minute of the day by their side, watching the baby grown, learning how to care for her a little more every day.

Marco was right, and I should have known this already. Babies are better than work.


This is day 007 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

Brother-in-law.

I never had a brother-in-law before, and I'm close to 50 years old by now.

I got married for the first -and last- time a couple of years ago, after meeting the woman who made me change my mind about marriage, fatherhood and, in the end, about life.

More about that later, but for now let's focus on my brother-in-law. I actually have two of them now. I like them both, they're really nice guys and I feel lucky that my wife has a pair of such cool brothers. This, however, is about one of them.

Loves movies and TV shows, he's a geek at heart, building his own computers, he edits video, he plays the piano and guitar with amazing skill, he's intelligent and kind. Has a sharp sense of humor too!

We've been on very good terms ever since we met and he got used to having my tattooed, bearded and older self dating, and then marrying, his sister.

When the pandemic came, and my wife was pregnant, we decided to move into the huge house where he lives with their parents, my in-laws. He has a kind of private apartment, a whole floor connected to the rest of the house, but with a separate entrance it he wants to use it.

I'm sure we would have managed, but having this kind of support during the lockdown seemed like a great idea, so we left our home and found ourselves living in this house, the five of us at first, six when the baby came, plus a dog and one cat that is seldom home.

I had spent some time with my brother-in-law, obviously, but I had never lived with him. It quickly became one of my favorite parts of the arrangement.

We were put in charge of the food runs, going to the supermarket became our thing. We are now pros at this, shopping has never been better. The drive there and back is filled with talk. Sometimes deeper, most times just the kind of disposable conversation that feels so good, about this and that. Talking seems to have become more serious in mood since the pandemic started and I missed the old throw-away talk we used to get before, when we were care free.

We're driving around in his new car, when we need to go to town, or the doctor, or anything else. He had just bought it before all this crazy mess and, by now I've done more kms on that car than he has. Bonus points: first time I have a car with CarPlay, so I'm enjoying it even more. Our own car is parked outside, but his is more comfortable for the baby, and he told us we should use it whenever we need it.

He's also our barber, and has a surprisingly good technique. He's been doing our hair since March!

As he keeps really odd schedules, he sometimes sleeps through the day and has a snack at 2AM or 3AM. A few times already we met at that time, both of us the only ones awake in the dead of night, and talk a bit more.

Whenever Baby Clara is feeling cranky, we go down to his place, and he'll sit at the piano, or pick up the guitar, and play for her. That always gets her to sleep. She loves her uncle's music.

One day we'll move out, back to our place in the city, and we'll leave all this behind. And I already know this is one thing I'll miss.

I feel he's not a brother-in-law anymore, he's my brother.


This is day 006 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

Manjaro Day. Or hour.

Less personal this time. I have a couple of posts I want to write, but they'll take longer, there's just no time right now to focus on those topics and write for an hour or two.

So I decided to get the old SSD disk out of the bag and leave macOS for a day, trying to manage things on the Linux side of life.

Five minutes later I was ready to move back to the cosy side. System was a bit out of date, since I haven't used it for a few months. Updating was not working, some dependency issue. Found a way to fix that, and was smooth sailing afterwards, but 30 minutes had already passed. Half an hour is not a lot but, at this point in life, it is.

Things I missed instantly:

  • Micro.blog client
  • Drafts (this one I miss a lot!)
  • Goodlinks, now that I moved away from Pocket
  • Tot – I keep my Flickr tags there and other stuff I need daily

The list would go on, but I just gave up.

I could find replacements for some, but don't really want to. And there is no app that replaces Drafts.

In the end I gave that up pretty quickly.

I like tinkering with Linux, and finding new apps, solve little issues I might have, discover new ways of doing things. But that's when I have time. And, at the moment, I just need things to work on the limited time I have available. So it was a pretty short stay on Linux, and I'm back where I began, writing this one on Drafts.


This is day 005 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

Micro.blog, and the state of the internet. My internet.

For years I've been doing the same, as far as social media goes. My main network is Instagram, where I've posted thousands of photos, and they're crossposted to Twitter.

I've been on both these sites for over a decade, and have a ton of real life friends there, as well as acquaintances and people I call friends, even though we haven't met yet, and a lot of people I don't know, but I'm happy to talk to.

Can't leave these, they still play an important part on both my professional and personal life.

Don't have an account on Facebook for a while now, the only thing I miss is having people's birthdays on my calendar. Now I have to input them manually, like an animal, or just miss them altogether. Result: a lot of folks are not getting their birthday messages.

I used to blog back in the day, and I have no idea why I stopped. I don't even remember how I came up with so much stuff to write about, it seems I had an opinion about every single topic, and I couldn't wait to share it! But I stopped doing that. I'm still very opinionated, I just don't share it as often.

I was sharing my life, my thoughts, and I was doing it for myself. Never thought about who was reading it, if anyone was reading it, or what they might think about it. It was very liberating. Somehow that feeling went away, and the freedom to write went away with it. Maybe that was part of the reason why I stopped.

Anyway, we get to 2020, and I miss those days. I missed not writing more when I married movieStar, when we were living in Príncipe, when we did our Asian Tour, when she got pregnant,... I missed a lot.

tinyMovieStar was born, and I found that an excellent excuse to get back into it. I started looking for a place to do it, and came across Micro.blog. At first I thought it would be a nice, easy place to lay those thoughts down, smaller ones and the not-so small, and then I realized it came with an added bonus: a community. And one that reminded me of the old days at Twitter and Instagram: a community of amazing people from all backgrounds, with an incredible array of interests, and the nicest group of people you can think of.

There is very little ego there, only people who go about their lives and share parts of it online. And what a pleasure it is to read about that, and share what I'm going through with them!

I wished the whole of the internet was like that corner where I now spend most of the time!

Most things I share there still get posted to Twitter, and now Mastodon (more on that on a later date), but I'm spending a lot less time with Instagram, and I have a couple of things going on at Write.as, where this post is being published.

I'm having fun online again, with no follower count, no idea how many people are reading this, how many of them like it, or stop following me because I shared one too many silly stories about what I'm going through as a new dad.

It feels great.


This is day 004 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

On friends.

The thing I miss(ed) the most during the whole pandemic/lockdown period, as I guess most people did, were my friends.

I don't have a lot of them, but I'm really grateful for the one's I do manage to keep around. They are the best. The absolute best, much better than I deserve.

All through life, you meet people, befriend them, and some of them just stop being a part of your life after a while. That's how things work, obviously. Friends from school, friends from your first job, your second job, online friends, your wife's friends, they all join the friendship circle, and some stay longer than others.

Some stay. I would say those were the ones who were meant to stay.

After almost 50 years hanging around this planet, I should by now have the friends I deserve. But somehow I feel I don't deserve the ones I have.


This is day 003 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

There is a lot to learn. A lot.

TinyMovieStar is now a day short of two months, and this has been a ride.

We can count ourselves lucky, she's perfect and extra quiet, but it's been the adventure of our lives. Figuring out everything, even with a healthy baby, is an incredible experience. One I never wanted to have, until I found the right woman, quite late in life, but one I'm embracing and loving with all my heart.

These two months have been full of wonder and doubt, happiness and sleep deprivation, and I don't even want to look forward and think about the worries I'll have, the moments when I'll have, yet again, the feeling that I have no idea what I'm doing.

Because I really don't.


This is day 002 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

I don't have a lot to say. I don't. I do have a lot on my mind, though.

Maybe some of them should be written down, I'm sure most should not. They're of no interest, only matter to me, or they're too personal and I'm still shy about setting them free.

We'll see what, if something, comes out of this.

I find the idea interesting but, as usual, the interesting part might wane tomorrow, or the day after.


This is day 001 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

No {micro maique} = sad maique

Waking up and realizing Micro.blog is having issues and is down, for hours now.

The place where I go first thing in the morning, I quickly grew fond of the people hanging out there. It’s as far as it can get from the endless discussions on Twitter, and I’ve been posting there regularly. It’s where I’m documenting my life, as it happens.

I already miss it. Please come back soon. Hang in there.