Saturday, 30 November 2013

Nano finally meets Soilwork

I got to know this band in the year 2000 after purchasing a compilation album in a web-store (ok, it was Amazon) named "Identity 6: Behold Another World". This metal compilation album contained many nice metal tunes from bands like Sentenced (Finland), Shadows Fall (U.S.), Krisiun (Brazil), but one specific song attracted my ears more and it was entitled 'The Chainheart Machine' by Swedish death metal band: SOILWORK!
I then followed the band for long 13 years until I could attend their concert in Wrocław, Poland on 25.11.2013!

The photo beside shows Bjorn Ingemar Strid (a.k.a. Speed) the lead vocalist of the band and me on the right. I was lucky to meet him after the concert and I had to wait long until the venue was almost empty on that Monday night.

The concert was part of the 'Living Infinite Tour', which promotes the album with the same name. In the setlist there were mainly songs from this new double album which is a great success! But they also played classics like 'Distortion Sleep', 'Late for the kill but early for the slaughter'(which is probably the best death metal song ever) and 'Chainheart machine'.

I could sing the refrain of their hit 'Rejection Role' even though I couldn't be as loud as Speed and it is hard to hear my voice but I was there, bitches!!! I'm part of the metal history!! :)

The video is here:


I'm sure attending a Soilwork concert again in 2014!!! Metal!!! :)

Thursday, 28 November 2013

West Side Trip

Who ever wanted to drive in the famous Route 66? From L.A. to Chicago? Well... the route 66 is nearly 4000 km long and I rid through it just for a couple hundreds of kilometres when going from Los Angeles to Arizona but still, that was enough to feel "the spirit" of it. If you listen to Chuck Berry's song: "Get your kicks on route 66", you will know what I mean.

The trip plan was to visit the best places in the United States' west coast, so, I thought that Los Angeles, Grand Canyon(Flagstaff, AZ), Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park (Oakhurst, CA), San Francisco and Disneyland(Anaheim, CA) sounded like a good plan for a 2-week trip. The map beside shows our route, ordered from A (start point: Los Angeles) to H (last city: Anaheim).

Travelling from Europe to California, flying over Iceland and Greenland can be very pleasant including a stunning view to Greenland's glaciers. The flight took more than 11 hours if I'm not mistaken and the timezone difference was -9h.

Few photos from inside the Lufthansa's B747-400:

  

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the capitals of the world. It is residence for many of these people we see on TV (assuming you have cable TV). 

Being in L.A. area, there are many things to see and do like, for example, going to Disneyland in Anaheim (which is quite near), do shopping in Beverly Hills and perhaps see a famous actress just passing by, to visit the Hollywood sign, the famous Rodeo Drive and walk on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame".

People may prefer to live in L.A. instead of San Francisco due to better geography and climate. Easier to drive in there too.

Some of my photos:




Grand Canyon

Well, a canyon is the opposite of a mountain and the feeling is the same the only difference is that one needs to look down instead of up to make some photos! :P

The Grand Canyon national park in Arizona is one of the top attractions in the USA! If the photos you see can already make you say "wow", imagine seeing it by your own... definitely a must-see attraction!

A family-car ticket to get inside the park costs 25 USD, and you can check all the view points and make really beautiful photos. I tried making some with my modest 8mpx mobile phone.

Click to enlarge:



Las Vegas

Las Vegas is and always will be a one of the top prestigious city due to its fame, glamour and, of course, its night life with casinos, clubs and adult entertainment. Just my one golden rule for people coming from Europe (which may give a time zone difference of 8 or 9 hours) is: Try to avoid visiting Las Vegas in the beginning of the trip. The "jet lag" of 9h is annoying and a person coming from Europe will feel very sleepy around 20:00, so it will be really a challenge to go enjoy the casinos and parties nightly.

I recommend to see the famous Bellagio fountain, which is close to the Caesar Palace hotel (the one which was used in the movie "The Hangover") and apart from that: Casino! Just try not to lose all your money in the roulette, because it may be really addictive.

Click to enlarge: 


Yosemite National Park

The visit to Yosemite national park was a contrast in this trip after visiting cities like L.A. and Las Vegas. The Yosemite park is a big green region with mountains, big sequoias and a main valley and a waterfall (which is flowing mostly during the spring). It's is perfect to go with a recreational vehicle and stay for few days. My only advice is: bring your own snacks since there is nearly no place to buy food or groceries inside the park.

Click to enlarge:


And video:



San Francisco

San Francisco is quite a unique city, it is characterized by its steep street and very irregular geography, apart from that it also has a micro climate which gives a weird fog almost every day, causing the impression to be walking on clouds. Another basic characteristic of San Francisco is that it is full of homeless people. In every corner there is a homeless person carrying a sign asking for help. So, if you think of San Francisco as a romantic or glamorous city: forget it.

The main attractions are the Golden Gate, the prison of Alcatraz (in which the gangster Al Capone was doing time) and the old tramway which is still being used, but mostly for tourists doing sightseeing.

Few photos:  


Thanks for reading!  

Next trip soon! :)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

No Reduction's pandora box finally open

Nano performing in the band "No Reduction"
Few days ago, something really good happened and I would like to share my happiness with you all but first of all I would like to write a bit about how everything started back in the 90's so it will make more sense for the reader. :)
Back in 1999, my friend Bruno and I decided to form a metal band 'cause we were quite excited after we got our guitars and we wanted to play some tunes together.
Bruno had his blue Washburn stratocaster guitar and I bought a Cort which has a slightly modified stratocaster design made of a good maple but with not so good hambucker pickup, unfortunately.
The first jam sessions we used to make at Bruno's home or at mine's. We were too few to go to a studio room by then, so we started going to studios only when we got our drummer Rafael, so we could have proper amplifiers, microphones and effects.
It was hard for us to find a bassist but we managed to get Vitor to fill the role. He is a good one, but he didn't have a bass guitar as well as Rafael didn't have the drums, so we had a quite difficult beginning when we had to borrow drum kits and a bass guitar to carry on with our jam sessions.
We enjoyed several weekends having fun playing cover songs in the studio, mainly songs from the Metallica's cover album "Garage Inc." such as: "Whiskey in the jar" (originally recorded by "Thin Lizzy"), "Die die my darling" and "Last caress" (both originally recorded by "The Misfits"), Blitzkrieg (Originally recorded by the band with the same name). But our favourite song was actually a true Metallica song, entitled "Fade to black" released by them in 1984.
We still didn't have a vocalist, but we could count on Leandro for lead vocals in some of our rehearsals (he did pretty good) before we got Thiago as our main lead vocal. The band was finally set and we named the band "NO REDUCTION".

Bruno (blue guitar), Vitor (bass), Rafael (Drums), Thiago (Vocals)

We started then looking for an opportunity to play in some student's music festival or event and we heard about the event named "Maquina do som" (Sound machine - translated from Portuguese). The date was August 16th of the year 2000, over 13 years ago!!
My brother was filming it with the best video camera we could get back in 2000 and it was the only piece of memory we had from that unique moment in our lives - It was our first live performance! 
The time slot given to our band to play was very small since there were several other presentations that day, not only of bands but also dance groups and solo singers. We could choose to play a medley of 2 small songs or 1 big song. We decided to perform Metallica's 7-minute song: "Fade to black".

Backstage photo of us with other random musicians

Everything was taped by my brother and we had it converted to digital format to keep some backup of it in the computer but the backup DVD we recorded was data-corrupted and the video couldn't be retrieved from the DVD anymore and we had the original tape erased. That was our doom.
I tried few recovering tools back then but I never succeeded. I kept the disc anyway with the hope that one day I could recover its data.
That 'one day' has come and the "pandora box" is now open! Thanks to the Linux application named dd_rescue, I managed to bring the footage back to life and I'm so glad to share it in here. 
We were no professionals, just a high-school band. I was a mere 17-year-old boy trying to perform one of Kirk Hammett's most beautiful guitar solos live and I hope I didn't disappoint him too much. The theatre was crowded and everyone felt the thrill of performing in front of a live audience! :P
If I could vote for the best player in that performance I would vote for Rafael, who nicely played the drum part for this classic song.

So here it is, our rare footage of our very first live performance: 


My advice for all of you intending to assemble a rock band is the following: Keep in mind that it's a looong way up if you wanna rock'n'roll! As I wrote in this post we had very tough time in the beginning with lack of proper equipment and difficulty on finding musicians. So, just don't give up too easily. The experience may be awesome!

I found a quick guide for you: How to form a rock band

Good luck and thanks for reading. :)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Český Krumlov

Before you ask: It's in Czech Republic!

This is a small medieval town in the south of Czech, close to the Austrian border. I got to know of this town when I watched Eli Roth's horror film 'Hostel' released in 2005. Most of the outdoor scenes were recorded in there and the torture museum shown in the film is still there.
By the way, don't watch this film if you don't have stomach for strong and explicit torture scenes. I have.

Apart from the castle which is the main attraction of the town, there is also the Vltava river cutting this town and it is possible to rent a inflatable boat for a nice ride even to a neighbour town and return the boat in there. Nice experience that I couldn't try since I went there IN MY NEW CAR. ;)

Only 29km from Český Krumlov, in the town of Česke Budejovice, it is worth visiting the brewery 'Budweiser' which is not the American Budweiser that you may think of. It's the Czech one! The brewery tour takes 1 hour and you can taste some non-pasteurized version of the beer (which is not sold in the market). The tour is not expensive, but I don't remember how much it costed.

The European Union patent regulations give the local brewery in Česke Budejovice the right to use this name since it is physically located in the city carrying its name (Česke Budejovice in German is Budweis). Now you know. :)

But that's nothing! In Český Krumlov, there is a local brewery called Eggenberg which is even better! I tried dark beer with smoked taste and with considerable amount of hop in it. For me, it was the chest of treasures located in the very end of the rainbow. If you ever see such bottle like this below, just buy it a lot:



The weather was nice, so few photos here (click to enlarge):



Better than Czech Republic probably only Slovakia. ;)


Monday, 19 August 2013

My Audi

My car! It took some time but it came, eventually. The present which I decided to give myself as compensation for years of 'suffering' driving low-powered cars in Brazil!
Can you imagine yourself driving a 55-hp car? That's crap! I always dreamed about a Fiat Marea Turbo which had a 2.0 L5 turbo engine but it was out of my financial range back in the early 2000's and this car is no longer produced.

Things have changed! I'm no longer a young boy trying to borrow dad's car for a joyride and now is the time to take my life back! I've gotta have my voice be heard and bring meaning to this life. It's time for an Audi!
It's time to feel and enjoy the thrill of driving a 2.0L turbo-engined car with dual-clutch gear box, BOSE sound system, leather seats and AUDI Magnetic Ride system.

This photo depicts my car, a second-generation (Mk2) Audi TT with 17 inches alloys, 225/50 tyres. 0-100 km/h in 6.1s according to its original specs for this gear-box (because it switches gears in 0.2 seconds - See the video).

I've travelled with this car to Czech Republic (where highways are speed-limited to 130 km/h) and at a certain point I had to overtake three trucks at the same time, so I stepped down (all the way down) the gas pedal and the auto gearbox understood very well my intentions 'cause it reduced its gear instantly from 6 to 4 and overtook all three of them very 'healthfully' and then I noticed my navigation system warning me to slow down since I was riding 180 km/h (without even noticing it).

Definitely, my next car trip will be to Germany. Leipzig perhaps. :)
I'll keep you posted! Bye!

One more photo:



Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Belgium

Keeping up with my world conquest, the country I 'conquered' was Belgium! I spent 5 days in this amazing small country famous for its good beer and rich culture. The kingdom of Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, German. Being 'French' the most popular one and mostly used in its capital Brussels.

The first two days I visited Brugge (Bruges, in French) which is the cosy town famous for the film 'In Bruges' starring Colin Farrell. In the main square market one can see the tower (depicted in the photo beside) from which one of the gangsters committed suicide in that film for the price of 8 EUR (It used to cost only 5 EUR before that film went out). The town is quite calm. Even with a tourist crowd it is always possible to find a quiet spot to sit down and talk. So, it's not as messy as Prague. =)
In Bruges, there are few old churches and water channels. I really recommend the 15-minute guided boat ride for 7 EUR and I also recommend having a big bowl of mussels in the city centre for ~21 EUR, it's very popular in there! If you'd like to go there, don't plan more than 2 days. I think 2 days is quite enough to see the best of Bruges.
Following to Brussels, I could say that it was much more impressive than I imagined! The buildings in the main square are so sumptuous that ripped out a 'Woow!' from my mouth! I made few photos in the main square, see below:


The European Union parliament was just close and, by coincidence, they were having some 'open doors' event, so I could see inside it. I felt almost like an European! ;))
Brussels is considered the capital of European Union but some other core buildings are also located in Luxembourg and Strasbourg.
Belgium is not only famous for its beer but also for its variety of good chocolate! Many small shops produce their own chocolate, so one can taste a high-quality fresh chocolate in there! But since I'm a beer guy, I was more focused on the local beer! I tried many of it:


I recommend the wheat beer 'Brugs', the blond 'Delirium' (the one with an elephant on the label), and Westmalle (dark). =)
After having all these tasty beers, it made me think of Czech beer as a joke. ;)

See ya!!!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Conquering the world

Last week I reached a milestone in my long road to conquer the world: I was granted the status of permanent resident of the European Union, which gives me certain rights, similar to those of an EU citizen. This makes it easier for me to move to another EU country in order to work or study, for example. 

Now I think I became a better candidate for jobs within the EU, since there is no need for employment sponsorship and/or work permits.

So, what now? I don't know yet! Perhaps a post-graduation course in Artificial Intelligence (which I always wanted to do) somewhere in Scandinavia? Or some better job in the Netherlands? -- Time to open-up a good beer and calmly decide what to do in the upcoming months! I'll keep you posted! :)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

30th birthday

Three decades have passed and I keep growing mentally and physically (especially the triceps! LOL!).
Some people say this age is 1/3 of a lifespan, some say it's 2/5.  

What kind of life can one have at the age of 70? Ask Mick Jagger(69y)! He is still rocking! ...or better yet: Ask Mr. Hugh Hefner(86y)! He is still f***ing!. :)

I split my 30 years in 2 "halves": 
  • My 25 years lived in Brazil
  • My 5 years lived in Poland
But why? It doesn't look like 2 halves, right?
 
If you try to figure out how much life experience one can collect in five years being a latino immigrant in a culturally-closed Slavic country, you would see that it's as hard as learning how to walk and speak! Practically, I had to learn how to speak again. :)

Similar achievement was done by my friend Peng - who emigrated from China to Slovakia and has been living there for more than 5 years. Sounds even more hardcore. :)

I strongly encourage everyone to stop behaving like a tree: If you are not happy or satisfied where you are right now, then move your ass to find your own promised land! There is a whole world outside the door to be conquered!

Happy birthday, Nano! :)

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Back on the snowy hills


Hej! I'm back on track after more then one year break (last time skiing was on 5th Feb 2012). I felt so good and since it is not so easy to describe the feeling, I tried to make a HD video (and I did!) to share the sensation with you - the reader, but I couldn't combine two videos without downgrading the quality to 480p. -- Call me lame if you want! :P

I wanted to catch the most beautiful snowy path between two ski tracks. Such a nice and quiet path just before the steep descent. :)

This ski station in the black hill (in the border between Poland and Czech Republic) is considered to be the second best Polish ski station (1st one is in Krynica-Zdrój).

Few photos:

  

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Brazilian bash in Wrocław

A nice event in WrocLove! Probably one of the biggest (if not the biggest) Brazilian meeting in Wrocław, counting with more than 10 canarinhos eating beef and drinking beer together.
The idea was to have a big feijoada and a big churrasco(barbecue) for a total meltdown evening! We could count on Valmir to handle the feijoada and Alexandre to handle the beef whilst me and Felipe were rolling the 'Gorilla fingers'. Full Brazilian synergy that night!
The photo beside shows the core of the Brazilian clan (from right to left): Felipe (SP), Wanderson(SC) and Alexandre(Barroso/MG). Were also present: Gustavo(MG),  Elciane(PE), Valmir(SP), Marcos(RJ), Tatiana(SP) and few other interns of AIESEC projects whose names I don't remember. :)

Good bash! I hope for another one some day soon! :)

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Happy 2013

Wrocław, Market square
This was my first time spending new year's eve in Wrocław after 5 years living here! Previously: 2007 Prague, 2008 Vienna, 2009 Santiago (Chile), 2010 Prague again, 2011 Demanovska Dolina (Slovakia).

2013 is a reality, so what now? - New goals, new dreams! Try to do as I do every year: write down on a paper your personal goals to be achieved in 2013 and... just go achieve them!! :)

Happy new year to everyone! Always remember: The words "dream" and "impossible" have a totally different meaning! -- Seems obvious,  but people just don't get it! :)

PS.: The new year's bash in Wrocław beats the one in Prague!! By far!!