Portugal

“Empurre ou puxe” — which one of those words means push and which one pull? I have noticed a lot of confusion around these two words, especially since “puxe” is pronounced “push-eh”. As you might have guessed “empurre” means push and “puxe” means pull. So, if you stand in front of a door that you are trying to push open and a Portuguese person behind you helpfully says “puxe”, don’t push even harder because they are actually telling you to pull.

The Portuguese have a couple of extra snack meals, which will suit some people I know. :-) There’s one in the late morning, called “lanche da manhã” and one in mid afternoon, “lanche da tarde”. Each meal is usually accompanied by coffee. People drink a lot of coffee here and it is almost always espresso. In Lisbon a café, or espresso, is also called “bica”. Some people think that bica could be an acronym for “Beba Isto Com Açucar” – drink this with sugar – but I don’t believe it. I also learned that in Porto the same coffee is called “cimbalino”. Interestingly bica is feminine while cimbalino is masculine.


“Bico” (masculine) means spout. An espresso machine has little spouts out of which the coffee flows. That could be the origin of “Bica”? That which comes out of the coffee spout…

Moka + Saudade

I am sitting at my table, next to a fan because we have a heatwave, and am having my morning coffee. I followed Matt’s suggestion (in the comment section of this post) and boiled the water before adding it to the Moka pot. I think the purpose of this may be to make the extraction happen more quickly. What it made me realize is why the original design has those edges. I believe they make the pot more grippy. What I found was that I could not tighten my round pot enough while holding it with a towel and when pressure started to build up vapor escaped where the top and the bottom are screwed together. It is interesting that the designers of newer and stainless Moka pots didn’t figure this out! The coffee was good though and maybe I’ll try again with a silicon hot pad that affords more grip. For now I will switch back to adding room temp water.

Today the second single from “Bare Wood 2” was released on all streaming services and digital outlets. I use UnitedMasters for the digital distribution of my music. For each album or single UM autogenerate what they call a Master Link, which is supposed to make it easy for people to click on the logo of service they subscribe to and listen to the music right away. I guess it is considered too labor and time intensive to use the search function of any streaming service to find the piece. Okay. This is the master link for the new single “Saudade”. You will notice that there is a pop up that declares “I wanna get to know my fans better. Shoot me your info and I’ll add you to my contacts.”

Pause. Well, that’s not something I would ever say, is it. And I can’t figure out whether I can kill the pop-up altogether. It’s the reason I have never used the master link before. I did figure out that I can change the wording of the pop-up – but what should it say? (It’s probably also why I am not good at social media or promotion… most of the tools make me cringe…)

Let me know what you think of the master link. Useful? Bogus? Honestly, I don’t even know where that info goes, should you add your name and email to the pop-up. UnitedMasters database? Go ahead, I dare you! Also cookies… don’t you hate THOSE pop-ups? We don’t use them on this website. However, we will have to use them to make a subscription platform work better… so you don’t have to sign in every time you visit the page.