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Interview with pauloaguia (25. December 2008)

Do you snorkle?
I guess you're asking because of my picture?
Short answer - No, I don't snorkel. I like to be in the ocean very much tough I don't even know how to swim!
Long answer - It's actually me in that picture but it has a funny story behind it. It was taken on a tourist trip I did to Brazil. In the program was a trip to a platform in the middle of the ocean. People got to snorkel and see the fish. My plan, since I don't know how to swim, was to have a life vest or a floater with me (I had been told that they had them in the platform) and just hang on to the ledge of the platform and do all my fish-watching that way. When we got there, however, there was a girl asking who wanted to do the first scuba lesson. A friend of mine convinced me into it (despite all my objections because I didn't even know how to swim). The girl said that there was no problem because all I had to do was breathe and shake my legs to propel myself - the diver that went along with us would handle all the rest. So, we equipped, and did all the respiration practices and went under water. I ended up pairing with another guy I didn't know, but we were down for almost half an hour. I got to feed the fish, hold a small octopus in my hand, look at the reefs up close, etc. It was amazing! When I got out I looked for my friend that had convinced me into it to ask what he felt like. Turns out he got out of the water when we were doing the respiration exercises because he was getting to cold. So in the end me, who don't even know how to swim, ended up having a great story to tell while my friend, who convinced me into it, got to see nothing
Back to the picture: I like it because of this story. And maybe because it's me, without being me - you can't see my face properly yet it's really me... and I'm doing something I'll probably never do again.

What pets do you keep?
None. I live in an apartment and I don't think I could ever raise a pet in there. When I was a kid we had a canary at my parent's house. And my father had some pigeons outside but they weren't exactly what you'd call a pet... especially considering pets don't end up on your plate. And I remember, a very long time ago, my grandfather used to have a cow - there was always fresh warm milk in the morning, when we went to visit. But then again, a cow is no pet either...

What hobies do you have OFF the internet?
I go out sometimes with some friends and my telescope to look at planets and nebulae.
I like reading a lot. I read mostly science fiction and fantasy books.
And I try to go to the cinema at least a couple of times a month. It's a good way to pass a couple of hours, especially when I get free invitations for the previews.
Then there's hiking in the country - I'm from a small town in the country and it's always refreshing to go there on occasion and just walk around all those places that I've known all my life and keep in contact with nature at the same time. And then there's also just walking around the city, looking at those little details that tourists always found fascinating but locals never seem to enjoy. It takes some effort but it's always nice to walk around your town like if you're seeing many of the things for the first time - and eventually you'll end up seeing many things that you really had never noticed before. I also like to travel abroad and know new places for that very same reason.
Come to think of it, there's still a lot of things I do offline these days

Now, I'm just imagining how long the list would be if you had asked me about my hobbies online!!!

How did you end up taking over the "interviews"?
In the beginning there were no interviews. Then harley assumed the responsibility to organize them. She looked at what she had created and she thought that it was good. So the interviews section was born. Then harley got away for a while and, when people started asking about more interviews, Reza took over. Then Reza got away too. And the rest of the story is here.
Making the story short - I volunteered, nobody else did and I got the "job"

Since you "nominated" yourself for the interview...Is there a specific question you wanted asked? If so, what is the Answer?
Actually, I didn't nominate myself. Some people, when sending me suggestions for future interviews, asked why hadn't I been interviewed before. Come to think about it, nobody nominated me because they never actually used my name, they just said "you" . I was actually kind of reluctant to do it because I didn't want to "steal" anybody's turn. And so I came up with the contest for an interview. Maybe I'll use that formula again in the future.

As to the questions, all I really wanted to see was the regular questions that I keep posting at other interviews. I didn't want those to be left behind just because I can't ask questions on my own interview. I see Tuesday took care of those.
Oh, and at least a question about my country. I ended up talking about traditional Portuguese foods which is rather on the subject too.

Do friends an family trust you with secrets? if so,share some
Yes they do, sometimes. And because I want them to keep doing it, I can't share any.

Have you ever tried to convince a child that Santa doesn't exist?
Of course not. But then again, I've never tried to convince them otherwise either. I don't have any children of my own but I take parenting rather seriously - if parents feel they need to tell their children that Santa exists, why should I try to go against that? They'll grow up to understand otherwise naturally anyway - there are so many versions of the story that when kids talk about it at school they just take their own conclusions that it can't at all be possible... but they don't want to disappoint their parents and so they keep to the story

Are you friends with Andre Faria? One of my fav people btw.
There's only a very small group of people I consider eligible to be called my true friends and I don't know Andre well enough for him to be in that group. Come to think of it, I hardly know anyone around here good enough...
This said, in a broader sense of the word, I think you could say that Andre is my friend. I've added him to my public friends list because of that. He's rather witty and often a joker, though he's sometimes misunderstood. But he also likes to wreck havoc on purpose sometimes. From all of the portuguese speaking players, he's among the ones that have been here the longest and does many things to support the site and the community that has formed in the meantime.

How did you find about BrainKing? What made you stick around?
I was talking to a friend of mine one day about how hard it was to find online checkers with the Portuguese rules. Most of the time we just got American checkers but it's not the same thing - flying queens give much more interest to the game than the slow paced kings, in my opinion. He told me of a site (this one) where they had those rules. It was called Czech Checkers and, aside from the board position, it seemed the same. Turns out the rules weren't exactly the same (there are some differences in the priorities of captures) but, by the time I figured that out, I had been hooked already.
I think what made me stick around was the friendly environment that I found here (and that still exists) and the fact the Fencer was so participant in the forums and always addressed people's requests. This part has changed lately, though I understand perfectly - the site is much larger than it used to be in those days and much more complicated to handle.

If this was your site what would be the first thing you'd change? (if any)
Probably the pages' source code. I mean, the site looks very different from its early stages after it was revamped a couple of years ago. But I tried to do a personal stylesheet when that possibility came up but there are just to many <tables> that should be <divs> and other stuff like that. It's not easy to get away from what already exists... and then there's always the risk of Fencer changing things in the page's code that make me have to start it all over again.
But the source code seems to be more stable and browsers are more standards compliant these days so maybe I'll pick up on that project again someday.

You look young in your big pic, but I wondered if you have any regrets in your life so far.
Age is rather relative. I'm 31 years old. For some that will be young, for others I'm getting older.
I regret doing some things at times. Everybody does, I think it's only human nature. But there's not a thing in particular I can say I am very sorry of. I think I am who am I today because of what I've done in the past (both good and bad things). Since I like the way I am, and I believe most of my friends do too, I can't regret anything that much. If I had done anything differently I might have ended up being a very different person.
Generally speaking, I don't like when other people get hurt because of something I did. But even if that happens, it's usually better to try and help them get better than to just sit and regret what I've done.

What's your fav foods?
This is actually a very hard question for me to answer since I'm rather easy with what I eat - I like lots of different dishes, most from the traditional Portuguese cuisine. I like Alheiras very much, especially the variant made with partridge. My mom makes the world's greatest Feijoada and I "stole" from her the sauce she uses on the Salada Russa and that all my friends like whenever I cook it for them. Like every good Portuguese, I also like many of the cod dishes (bacalhau) like Bacalhau à Brás, Bacalhau com todos or even Roupa Velha which we usually eat on Christmas day made with the leftovers from the day before. Speaking of Christmas, a very traditional dish on Christmas night is Arroz de Polvo (octopuss stew), another of my favourites.
Oh, and being from Porto myself, I couldn't miss the Francesinha. And now I'm getting so hungry I won't even talk about the sweets and desserts because then I would be here all day, we have the most delicious conventual desserts .

Sorry about all the Portuguese pages and all but it's hard for me to translate many of those names to English to make a proper search in Google. But if you want me to translate any of the recepies, just ask (except maybe for the cod dishes. I hear it's very hard to find properly salted "bacalhau" outside of Portugal and Brazil).

What is your favorite type of cheese? And which one would your offer to a tourist if you had to pick one from the Portuguese varieties?
Actually I don't like cheese. I mean I eat lots of foods that have cheese like pizza or francesinha (read the foods question) or some pastas, but cheese alone or in a loaf of bread is something I don't really like. So I wouldn't know where to start when recommending. But the Queijo da Serra (sheep cheese from the area of one of our tallest mountains) and Queijo de S. Jorge (from Azores' cows) are very famous, so I'd recommend trying to get one of those if you like to take some cheese. Another option is the white fresh cheese that you can find in lots of places and is also very appreciated but you can't store it for a very long time or it will go sour...

You seem to provide a lot of support to user questions and act as a global mod. What's in it for you? Do you get paid by BK for providing this support?
(looking back, above my own shoulder just to make sure) Who, me?
Well I don't think I've ever acted as a glob. As to helping other people I've been doing it less and less often, I'm afraid - I've moved some of my online time elsewhere and I don't have so much time to hang around in discussion boards.
As to being paid: Sometimes I do - sometimes I get a "thank you" or other nice things said to me. Other times I get nothing. Actual money is definitely not in my mind when I post something in reply to someone's questions. Just handing out a helping virtual hand to someone who has a doubt or needs some help, that's all.
The only thing I do around here that could eventually deserve to be rewarded is the Portuguese translation. When Fencer first started asking for translators, aissi and I translated the whole site in 3 days during the weekend (it was much smaller then, but it was still a record time). But even that I do out of the kindness of my heart, so to speak, because I think that it's an important task (it's one of the most used languages on the site) and these days it hardly gives me any trouble at all (often there are several weeks in a row without new translations). Some give food to the poor, some keep older people company, some give away money... Besides all that I also contribute like this, it's really no big deal and, like I said, it comes out naturally, I don't actually think about it as providing support...

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