simple rule

This is a very easy and simple rule: when you have to do something that you don’t want (like) just do the first little step!

I am a freelance translator among other things. And sometimes I get to translate documents that I really don’t feel like translating. Nevertheless the deadline is agreed and the clock starts ticking (sometimes real fast).

I am working from home office now that is at the same time our kitchen, dining and living space. And we recently adopted two adorable cats. And I live in a very beautiful and touristic and welcoming town where sun always shines. So, you can only imagine how difficult it is to put my head on translations.

Today was one of those days. Really, really hard to get started and stuff continued to come up – travel to organize, calls to make, e-mails to answer, comments to make, news to watch, papers to read, coffee to make, cats to educate…non-stop distractions..

So what I did – I just did the first little step – which was to open that one file and the word. And it already felt better! Even if I did not too much. Somehow the fact that job is started makes the engine work I guess. 

And here I am – 2:26am (my computer is still on Riga time) and I am doing what needs to be done!

good night and good morning to you all, smbs


things to learn from CATS

We could learn things from cats:

Stretching after just waking up (and from time to time during the day)

Having a structured day plan – eat, drink milk, play, sleep a good three hours per day, eat again, drink water and play

Be curious about things around us – they can sit and admire just a shadow of a tree or flower or fix on a flying mosquito for un bon moment

Keep ourselves clean at all times

three cats I love stretching
three cats, I love, stretching

Sharpen our nails every day (well, maybe not every day but often enough to be ready to use them if need be)

Be friendly and nice to each other (at least my little ones – brother and sister are very kind to each other except of course the play time when teeth and nails are used quite a bit)

Stay calm just to relax without sleeping – stretched on the floor when it is really hot or sitting in a comfortable position 

Avoid trouble – mine are trained and know that the Trouble is on the table (where all our documents and electronics are) as well as n our bedroom (where they are not allowed)

To curl up and sleep (or just relax eyes half-open)

And last but not least – keep things simple!

paris – good to be back

visited Paris for 5 days and it was amazing, amazing to be back and feel like home again! things have changed over last 10 years of course – but all in all – Paris is my hometown and I hope to be back soon.

more observations and photos about Paris 2000 and Paris 2011 soon here but for the time being just a nice hotel suggestion for you: in 17ieme – very close to Arc the Triomphe.

lots of good wishes to all your projects (and let it be not too hot – not as hot as in Riga – over last weeks over +30 C)


ERA and T/D and I/D research evaluation

One thing that I am working on right now is – to find out what are the problems with ERA and transdisciplinary (T/D) and interdisciplinary (I/D) research projects evaluation at present?

Any ideas? Please, feel free to comment and direct me to articles or studies about this issue. Thank you very much in advance! I will be very happy to hear your personal experiences as well!

I have of course some of my own observations – mainly regarding EURAB analysis of the situation and the latest developments withing the political documents of the EU. However the political side of the issue is not the most important one, even if it influences everything else – implementation, money attribution etc.

What I really would like to understand is – what are the real issues and real problems of the scientific community in Europe (or worldwide) once they decide to move towards more T/D and I/D research approaches – is everything there for them to implement and be productive in those fields – no matter would it be biotechnologies or medicine or space related applied research projects.

I promise to up-date you on my findings as I am getting ready for a more serious analysis and my policy paper.

wishing you all a very productive day,


Latvia and ERA

Today on 23rd of May 2011 I happened to visit this EU website on Green Paper consultation progresss. Great page and lots of interesting opinions from various (most of) EU countries.

And of course – no surprise – one of the few countries that has not submitted anything yet is – LATVIA!

Once again – the proof to the fact that the decision to cut the position of the Science Attache in Brussels in december 2009 was more that foolish! But then again – why should I care…  

It is the country who decides, more precisely – few officials in the Ministry of Education and Science who decide for the whole scientific community. Just a thougth – was research community in Latvia consulted when the decision to cut the Science Attache position was taken? As far as I know – the answer is ‘”no”. I am not surprised, because I know what they would have said.

And I thank them all from all my heart for being so supportive and appreciative for my work. I do hope that our cooperation was helpful and there were several practial things that got improved or changed. (I hope these are not all lost in vain as of 2010.01.) 

Good luck and have a great week!


P. S. …if the country keeps dealing with ERA issues like it is done now – there will be no serious place for our research in the ERA pretty soon..just a concern of a true patriot of Latvian Research… hoping that there will be someone who will listen and take the right decisions soon…

how to deal with heavy/bad situations?

Finally as promised – post about on of my solutions – how to deal with heavy/bad situations?

First, let me clarify that I am just sharing with you some of the approaches I use or I have used in the past. And of course you have and will be using yours. So, I will be more than glad to read and learn from you.

But here is the deal. Bad/sad/heavy/problematic situations happen to all of us and may be even every day. If this would be a scientific paper first of all I would have to define what I mean by “heavy/bad” and “situations” and “to deal”. But I am happy that this is not the case of looking for proofs and the only right way to approach the problem.

hotel view
very good place to let the time go by


So therefore here are just some points and ideas on how I would do it:

– With time passing by I have realized that the best way to deal with something difficult is of course – the time. Even if the saying that “time cures all the wounds” might sound primitive it is indeed working and you all know that.

– The second quite opposite way – is to face the problems/dramas/losses as they come – to live them – kind of really be inside the whole deal and not to try to cover or forget or not to think about it.

Being inside might involve – to look for solutions right away – and the most important is then to have the whole picture – as many elements as possible gathered in front of you. And then to analyze everything – the facts, the observations, the feelings etc. and if possible to talk with somebody about it… talking is not necessarily looking for advise, but more like a sounding board option.

Of course the person you would use (not a really nice word, but I cannot find better one right now) must be “the Master” of listening. It is true that it is not easy to find somebody like that. You could for that purpose go to therapist (involves reasonable amount of funds) or record yourself talking or even better just write the whole rubbish down on a piece of paper. Preferably some nice and “welcoming” notebook or the most fancy letter paper and using your favorite pen or pencil (this just to make you feel better with this difficult task at hand).

– Once the facts are on the table, it is much easier to see the situation as if from a distance. I even try to look at the facts and see the funny side or better yet ironic side if the case is related to some problems at work, or with how other people react to what I do. It really helps – from feeling like crying and being desperate and sorry for yourself – most of the times I turn to having a good laugh and even imagining how the whole situation might look in a movie script format. It helps. Believe me. Especially the laughing bit.

– And then if there is nothing you can do about the situation to change it or solve it or improve it – then there is nothing you can do – and the next most difficult step is to “put a lid on it” and really do nothing.

– If it turns out that while having fun you think of something that might be done, write it down – all of the craziest ideas – from “let’s send him/or her a nasty e-mail and tell him/or her everything that I think about him/or her” to much easier one – “let’s just forget about him/or her” or even better one “let’s leave it be and come back and think about it tomorrow”. Writing down helps for those like me who have difficulty just sitting down and contemplating about things.

– So, when your are done with the list – either pick the best one of all the options and do it (still preferably next day) or keep the list – don’t do nothing, come back, check after some time and then decide whether you will be acting upon it or not. Just the fact that you have the list somewhere will calm you down in cases if the “bad situation” meant that you were really angry and ready to explode.

– Finally as I said – time in these cases is the best friend – and that of course is more likely to be the best solution. But nothing must be left suppressed deep down somewhere – no anger, no sadness, no feeling guilty, or betrayed or having lost something – all of these must come out – be faced and only then put away.

I hope this might help and you enjoyed reading it! Of course Sunday would not be the best day to do none of this but if you have to – then you have to – go for it! And remember to have fun if possible – not to cover up anything – get the facts together – see what action take or not to take – and then put a lid on the whole deal and start enjoying your day! I hope the sun is out because as I was writing here before – the sun helps to feel better no matter what!

With greetings SMSB

coffee helps
this is how your morning coffee should look like


one solution for being very happy with where and how you work is – to make sure that you office is in the sunny place of the world 🙂 i know it is not always possible to apply this as a solution for your problems, but… I did had the chance to do so! And I am very very happy with my decision even if it was taken in a rush and it was may be not the best way to decide about where to live and work… However – I followed my instict and once again – it was the best thing to do!

wishing you all to be able to hear your inner YOU 🙂

this is sunny side of life

This the view from my window today in the morning 🙂

easter is over (long time ago)

just a quick hello-post to say that easter is over, but you have of course noticed that! and that I am planning to prepare more posts on problem solving “smartbsolutions style” as promissed when I started this blog.

one of the things with life and blogging is that not always your blog turns out the way you planned it to be, and I hope that I am not the only one faced with this problem. but then again – i did not really have a clear idea and actually started posting here just to check out – what is wordpress and how it works. and I must say again and again that I am very happy with the result; and the time spent here, at least for me, is not a waste – I have found lots of interesting blogs that I promiss to add to my blogroll soon.

and just to let you know that i am very happy to finally be in the real sun and to be able to enjoy this very important thing called “LIFE” 🙂

about wordpress

The weird thing about wordpress blogging is that once I have logged in my account and even have nothing to share everything is so easy and inviting that you start thinking about a post to post. This is really cool – thank you wordpress for making blogging so easy.

The Sun in Riga changes the mood totally from being tired and stressed it kind of got easier to make it to the meetings and do what had to be done without any postponing. Well I hope it stays that way. Or I will have to move South with more sunny days.

continuing to do the little things and the dinner as well, bon appetit!

some asian food by Ben