"Do I look like a fucking people-person?!"

I just got back from vacation, and I already feel that I need to do something else than work. ANYTHING. I just checked my draft timesheet. Normally every two-week period has about 80+ hours in it. Right now it looks like mine has 117 hours. And that's the minimium number, it might go up by few hours.

So I have been working long days, and long weeks. But 117 hours is still doable. It's the type of work that is starting to show it's toll. Take today for example. This day has been constant work and running around. People call me every five minutes. If I go see someone who is having some problems, I'm stopped by about three additional people with more problems problems. When I'm finished with those, Even more people come talk to me about their problem. When I get back to my desk, my phone is ringing with even more people having problems. And in the middle of this, I need to re-image a laptop for one user, and train a new employee to our system. All while more and more people come talk about their problems.

Well, I have the weekend to look forward to? Well, not quite. Next weekend is our IT-conference in Copenhagen. All though the weekend. There's some work, but mostly it's "fun". So it's not that bad right? Well, in a way it is. I value my free time. I really do. If I have to go to Copenhagen for entire weekend for work-related "fun", then that's not really my free time, now is it? It's someone's idea of "fun", and it might even be fun, but it's NOT free time. And it also means that I need to sit in a plane for hours. And we all know how much fun flying is, right?

So it might be that my real "free time" will be almost two weeks away. Between this point in time, and my free time in the future, is work, work and more work. I could take the work, if I had free time coming up. But I don't. All I have in front of me is work. I could work long days if I knew that I had free time just around the corner. But when all you see in front of you is an ocean of work...

I do know that there are lots of people in the office who really appreciate what I'm doing for them, so it's not as bad as it could be. I could be working my ass off, and not receive any recognition for my work. Luckily that is not the case. But there comes the time when too much is simply too much.

Am I a bad employee for feeling like this? My boss does even more work right now, and while he does complain, he does do it. But he's doing a kind of work that he feels passionately about. I don't have that passion about my work. I love IT, but there are many kinds of IT. I'm good at what I do. But I wish I could do something else.

I'm not the person I have claimed to be...

We all have secrets that we might want to keep to ourselves (after all, they are secrets). I have such a secret as well.

I actually like Manowar.

Yes, the music is silly. The lyrics are megalomanic and.... silly. It's not intelligent music by any stretch of the imagination. What it does have is that primal energy which appeals to the "The Man inside the man" (yes, it's masculine music, both in good and in bad). It's energetic and the band really knows how to play their instruments. So it's not THAT bad in the end. We have zillion people listening dime-a-dozen pop (Paris Hilton?!?!). My excuse is that Manowar is still a niche music.

I finally did it...

I just became a paying customer of the iTunes Music Store. I bought "Private Intentions" and "Road" by Don Johnson Big Band.

"How does it feel?! How does it feel to be part of the mob?!". Prerry good actually.

According to news....

35% of Finns do not believe in evolution.


Russia: Love it or leave it!

Every country has it's bane. And it seems that one of the banes Finland has to endure, is Russia.

I could go on about history, and mention the various times they tried (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) screw us over. But why do that when there are more recent events to use as an example?

Russia, it seems, is having a slight problem with forest fires. And since they are right across the border, the smoke drifts to Finland. And it's not just the border-areas that are affected, the smoke has reached western Finland as well! So we are not talking about slight amount of smoke here! Helsinki is covered with haze and you can really smell the smoke. People with asthma are suffering, and people are not feeling well.

As soon as this became a problem, I knew exactly how this will proceed. And so far, Russia has not disappointed me. What we have here is a cycle of excuses. It goes like this:

1. "The forest-fires? They are about to be put out". AKA "we are handling it"
2. "The forest-fires will be put out later this week" . AKA "We'll do it ASAP"
3. "We are trying to put out the forest-fires, but the forests are filled with mines and unexploded artillery-shells from the war, and it's causing
us some delays". AKA "We are doing our best, but because of reasons unrelated to us, we are having some problems"

And then then big one:

4. "It's not our fault that the forests are burning! The ones to blame for this are those Finnish tourists who keep or burning down the forests!".

I shit you not. Those are real comments made by Russian authorities. They are not to blame, the blame always lies somewhere else. And this is not the first time they have done this. Last year Finnish government contacted Russian authorities and expressed concern regarding the mistreatment of the Mari-people, who are related to Finns. What did major, government-owned newspaper report of the incident? "The Mari-people are not being mistreated. Rather, what we have here is a plan, where Finland, Estonia and Hungary are planning to create a greater-Finland, and the Mari Republic would be a part of that country".

Really, you can't make this stuff up!

I for one find it quite disturbing that authorities and newspapers that are connected to the Kreml are spreading such a misinformation. And quite a many Russians will believe them, since they will not hear the opposing viewpoint. So according to Russian authorities, Finland is an imperialistic country, that sends people across the border to burn down Russia. Afterwards, Finland will simply annex the western half of they country.


Overtime sucks. There, I said it.

We are in a middle of a major project at work, and that means overtime. Combine that with the post-vacation backlog of work, and you get more overtime. Add to that, a server that broke down in an explosion (don't ask....), and you get even more overtime.

Normal working-day is 8 hours. This week I have usually worked 10 hours a day. Yesterday (friday of all days!) was a straight 14 hours! And the work I was doing was boring beyond belief (calling about 200 (I'm not kidding!) different phone-numbers around the world). And today (saturday) I'm again at work!


Yesterday, I got an email from a headhunter. I have no idea how they got my email-address, but there it was. No, it was not spam as such, it was addressed to me personally, with request that I give them a call. Whoa, I'm not looking for work, the work is looking for me!

"You could spend hours doing this stuff!"

Here's a tip for those dreary days when you have nothing to do. HAve you noticed how digital cameras give those generic names to pictures (for example: DSC02641.JPG). They do follow a pattern (I believe the letters are based on the maker of the camera, whereas the number increase sequentally when you take pics). You can use those names for hours of fun!

Take a look at some of the digicam-pictures in your collection. Make sure it has that generic name (IOW: you haven't renamed it). Copy/Paste that name in to Google, and search for images. It's funny what kind of pics you can find that way.

When life gives you lemons... it fucking throws them straight at your face!

Yesterday was the last day of my summer-vacation. Which means that today is my first workday in four weeks. Which is a bummer. Mrs. and I were heading back home yesterday from the "countryside". We decided to split our trip back home to two days so "we don't have to spend the last day of our vacation sitting in a car" (to quote The Matrix: "Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony"). So we drove few hours in saturday, and few hours on sunday.

At least, that was the plan.

As we were cruising along the freeway at nice 130km/h, something happened. At first, we felt a kinda of jolt. We both noticed it, and I instinctively reduced the speed to about 110-120km/h. I thought that it might be the wind that caused it. Nothing else seemed to happen, so we just drove on. About 1-2 minutes later, this horrible screeching noise fills the car. It sounds like the car is screaming in agony. Whoops, signal to the right, reduce speed, drive to the embankment, stop the car, and turn on the emergency signal. As the car stops, this horrible smell of burning fills the car. Not good, not good at all. I always thought that things like this happens to "someone else, but not me".

Anyway, I'm a card-carrying member of Automobile and Touring Club of Finland, and I called their helpline. After a bit of juggling around, I'm patched through to a nearby "road-service dude". He's currently busy with other project, but he does give me technical advice. I can turn on the engine without any problems, and clutch seems to work. I can even put in a gear, but if I try to drive, it seems like it's trying to move (the revs drop, as I release the clutch), but the car simply wont move. Then I notice that I can't put the gear back on neutral. After a bit of struggling I manage to do it, so I can put it on reverse and take out the keys from the ignition (in Saabs, you need to put the gear on reverse in order to take out the keys). No idea yet what the root-problem is, but the car is not moving anywhere.

I also did the traditional "pop the hood, and take a look inside", even though I knew that I have no idea how to fix engines, let alone spot any signs of trouble. I guess that's just one of those things you are supposed to do when your car breaks down.

During this, the Mrs. had called her father, and he was on his way to pick us up. we were about 140km from home at that point. And the road-service dude (who also had a towing-company) agreed to pick up the car during that day, all we had to do is to deliver the keys to him, and he would handle the rest. He did pick up the car, at around midnight. If he had wanted to, he could have just gone home to sleep, but he promised us that he will pick up the car, and he did. All in all, we sat in the car for about two hours, before being picked up by the father-in-law.

This morning I called the road-service dude and asked about the car. The verdict: The gearbox is totally destroyed. It took him quite a bit of time and effort to "collect" the car, since the front wheels would not move an inch: the gearbox was totally fused. Crap.

Well, as bad as this thing is, there are good things to mention here as well: Thanks to my father-in-law, we managed to get back home in a reasonable time. The service from the Touring Club was outstanding, easily worth the 45e I pay every year (they do help non-members as well, but I feel that this is a service worth paying for). And last but not least: the "road service dude" went above and beyond the call of duty in order to help us. Not only did he collect our car in the middle of the night, he's also replacing the engine and the gearbox (it's easier to replace them both, than just the gearbox) for a very reasonable sum. And the "new" engine has 100.000 kilometer less on it than our current engine. I'll make sure to recommend his services to everyone I know, he provided us with outstanding service! My father-in-law was also so impressed, that he's going to join the Touring Club as well.

"Bambing away"

Recent discussion I had with the Mrs.:

Mrs.: "Bambi 2? They made a sequel to Bambi? What is it about, Bambi has children?"

Me: "You got that right. I saw the whole ad on TV. There was Bambi, and then there was a Mrs. Bambi, and they were bambing away. Then they showed a bunch of little bambi's running around"

Mrs.: "They did not!"

Me: "Yes they did! I couldn't believe it myself when I saw it. But there they were: bambing away. They actually used real live deer for that scene, instead of animated deers."

In related news: back home

Yep, me and Mrs. got back home from Budapest. Trip was great, people were friendly (Hungarians love Finns), weather was nice most of the time, although it was pretty darn hot. Bought myself some genuine Hungarian salami, and 5x5x5 Rubik's Cube ("Professor's Cube". haven't seen those in Finland). Apparently the inventor of Rubik's Cube (Ernö Rubik) was Hungarian (thank you Wikipedia), which explains why there were Rubik's Cubes everywhere in Budapest.

Other in thing in Hungary seems to be Spongebob Squarepants. Don't know why.

I also had the "Official Weird Moment of The Vacation"-moment. We were visiting the "Museum of Fine Arts". I decided to take advantage of the "facilities" there. As I was entering the bathroom, I swear to god, I saw Ron Jeremy stepping outside! Not that I have seen any of his "works", but he has that sort of face that is very recognizable.

Anyway, we have now been back home for about 4 hours, which has been spent resting. Vacationing can be pretty darn exhausting!