O Dinis - Portuguese Food from Heaven

It all started as a quick day trip…

My wife participates on online auctions, where she finds great deals for stuff that we need for the new house.

She’d told me at the beginning of the week that she put a bid on dresser to replace the one in our room. It looked fantastic and it was the same brand and style as her dresser, so we could not let it pass.

What she later found out, was that the auction was to be held in Easton, Massachussets!!

She politely asked if we could go, and I saw it as an opportunity to spend more time with her on a quick day trip.

I plugged the address on my GPS and away we went to Easton MA.

The day was beautiful and traffic was very light, so we were cruising through Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachussets.

!22 Miles later, we rolled into a gated community where we got our dresser and a night stand.

We loaded the two pieces of furniture on my car and we were immediately on our way back home.

As it was almost around lunch time, we decided to stop at a Portuguese restaurant in Rhode Island that I had researched online before the trip.

O Dinis Portuguese Cuisine

O Dinis Portuguese Cuisine

When we got there, we had a hard time finding a parking spot as it is not really a big place and parking is on the street.

We knew that the fact that there wasn’t any parking spaces, meant that the restaurant was pack and that were not going to be disappointed.

Not too big, not too small…

Not too big, not too small…

We sat by the window and ordered a couple of Portuguese beers and a Chouriço Grelhado (Grilled Portuguese Sausage) as an appetizer.

The beers were nice and cold and the sausage was delectable. As always, my wife said that she was full even before we got to our main dishes!

She went for the Carne de Porco Alentejana (Marinated pork and fried potatoes with steamed littlenecks). I told her that was a big dish and that I though that it would be too much for her…

Carne de Porco Alentejana

Carne de Porco Alentejana

I decided to go for the Bife á Casa (Panseared sirloin steak in a beer and garlic sauce served with French fries, fried egg and rice)

Bife a Casa

Bife a Casa

Both dishes were probably some of the best food we have ever eaten around the New England area. The Alentejada was so flavorful that I almost kicked myself for not ordering that. My steak was juicy and cooked to perfection. I had a hard time finishing the dish but I wasn’t going to tell my wife about it.

As I though, my wife was not able to finish hers and we asked the nice waitress for a doggie bag.

She came back and asked if we wanted some coffee or some dessert. We were so full that we were about to decline, but I asked for a list anyways. She started going down the list and we had to stop her when she got to the Passion Fruit Moose.

I didn’t take a picture of the dessert as it was gone in a few seconds. It was that good!!

We told our waitress that we had come all the way from Connecticut and she was kind enough to give us some cordials on the house. She went as far as to give us a kiss as we were leaving (a very Portuguese tradition).

What a great dinning experience!!

APC_0253__1920px_blog.jpg

We definitely have to go back some time in the future. The only regrettably thing is how far it is. I wish they have a franchise around our area.

We left Rhode Island with a full belly and a warm heart. I love O Dinis!

The Elegance of Technology

I don’t pretend to know everything. I don’t even pretend to know a little. I am humble like that…. 😃

I always admit when I don’t know something.

The thing I think I am most proud in my personality is the fact that I have an inquisitive mind; a thirst for knowledge and for finding answers or scratching the surface of something new.

I think that is why I love technology so much.

I also don’t pretend that technology holds all the answers.

I does not… just because there are new things invented/created on a daily basis and what was an answer yesterday finds a different response today or tomorrow.

That is the nature of innovation.

The interplay of light and shadow at Yale University

The interplay of light and shadow at Yale University

I took this picture in 2009 with my then new, Nikon D80. It was during a photowalk around Yale University in New Haven Connecticut.

It was languishing in my hard drive together with all the other pictures that me and my son took that day (he wanted to be with his dad, so I told him he could go with me and I gave him my old Canon G9 so he could take pictures as well).

I have come a long way in my post processing and one of the things I love to do is go back into my libraries to reprocess old images and see what new treatment I will give to the images that I have not process or that were not worthy of a second look before.

One kind of finds some jewels with the help of new techniques and processing software.

I think the image was ok in color, but that interplay between the columns and the light was clamoring for a Black and white treatment.

In color it was ok, it Black and White it was awesome!!

I think is a lesson that says: “Don’t throw away your images, you never know when technology is going to catch up to your expectations and creative endeavors”

Oh Affinity, I couldn't have Done Without You!!

So my father is writing a book about our family name…

Salomé

I know that is book that he has been planning for a long time (His capacity of planning is truly admirable) and I know that as preparation for it, he interviewed all his aunts and other family to get the gist of the genealogy tree.

One of the things he is including, are old pictures of relatives. Some of them people that I probably never had the pleasure or I was too little to even remember.

One such people, is my great grandmother, on my father side, Salomé.

So he had this picture of her that was in pretty bad shape. Looks like it when to war with some humidity and it lost the battle!

He was here visiting and he said that he was going to send it to me to see if I could do something with it. I didn't think he was going to send me the actual physical picture but he did. It took almost a month to get here (via snail mail, of course) and it got here the day of the big storm.

The manila envelope was wet and I though: “Oh, great, just what I needed, a family heirloom ruined by rain!”. Thankfully, it was ok. The envelope took most of the brunt of the rain (like the photo needed more humidity).

I immediately scanned the photo using my Epson Workforce Printer (My Canon scanner is nowhere to be found since the move) and decided to open the photo in Affinity Photo.

First thing I did was turned it into Black and White to remove the red color from the humidity stains and decided to save a Work in Progress (WIP) version and work on it later.

At night and before I went downstairs, I decided to copy the WIP to the cloud, to see if I could do some work on my iPad. Affinity Photo has, to everybody’s pleasure, a iPad version that is fully complete.

As I laid down in my bed, I was able to work on the photo with a level of detail that I had never achieved using photoshop. The combination of Affinity Photo, the iPad, the Apple Pencil and some Ghost of Paraguay music, made the restoration a breeze and a joy!!

I was able to complete 95% of the work last night, something that took me days on Photoshop on a previous restoration. Oh Boy! I am totally hooked on the Affinity Products.

What you see here is not the finished photo (I reserve the right to only share that with my father, for his book) but what I had completed on the iPad last night. The before and after can tell you that I could not have done it without the help of Affinity Photo.

What an incredible fast workflow!! I can see myself working more like this.

Affinity allows you to connect to any cloud storage (in this case I used iCloud, but I have worked on Affinity Designer using other solutions like Tresorit) contrary to Photoshop that tries to force you to only use their stupid cloud solution as part of the Creative Cloud Subscription.

If you are not using the Affinity Products, give yourself a few days, download the trials and believe me when I say these will change your life. They have Affinity Photo (Photoshop like Editor), Affinity Designer (Illustrator like Vector based Editor) and now you can even download the Beta version of Affinity Publisher (InDesign like Layout Program).

There is a learning curve involved, but nothing you can get over easily using Affinity Vimeo channel with plenty of tutorials.

I can’t wait to play more with this wonderful suit of applications. Thank you Affinity by Serif!!

The Fantastic Voyage

The Fantastic Voyage

The Fantastic Voyage

I still remember the first time I saw the movie “Fantastic Voyage”... 

As a science fiction fan, it was the from the on-set a classic!

It made me want to learn more about the human body and I distinctly remember we were learning anatomy in high school around those years, so the concept was absolutely fascinating. 

I was watching some videos on the Affinity Photo Vimeo page, trying to learn to use the iPad applications, and somehow this came out of that effort. 

It transported me to that year when I first saw humans boarding a submarine to be shrunk down and injected onto a guy’s neck.

We are all traversing through life in a Fantastic Voyage...