Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to nought
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I'd something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells

Flight of the Conchords

Now, Facebook might be spawn of Satan, but it has just totally redeem itself. Thanks to it, I ran it to this. "Business Time" by "Flight of the Conchords". That has got to be one of the most funny and ingenious performances I have seen in a long time. And imagine my joy when I discovered that YouTube is filled with their acts. Stuff like "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros" (Gangsta-folk crossover), "Jenny", and "The Humans are Dead" (any song that has a binary-solo gets instant thumbs-up in my book).

I need to get more stuff from these guys!

Humour me

I like humour. And, if you ask various sources, I like my humour weird. For example, I like off-beat humour like Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal or Fingerpori (sorry, Finnish only). The Mrs. hates them. She finds the jokes "too weird" and characters "horrible".

Then, on the opposite side of scales, I also like Jeeves and Wooster. I find the humour intelligent and the English and mannerism impeccable. Often the humour is low-key and subtle. Of course, the Mrs. hates that as well. She finds it "boring".

Between those two extremes is the a bit more "normal" humour. Things like The Simpsons, Futurama, Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy (<=== It's free to discussion just how "normal" Hitchikers is...), Seinfeld and the like. However, I have a nagging feeling that the Mrs. doesn't care about those either, for various reasons.

I'm not saying that the Mrs. has a strange sense of humour. What's more likely is that _my_ sense of humour is strange... And we DO have some similar interests in the field of humour, stuff like Viivi & Wagner, propably because that strips deals quite a bit about relationships. Reading V&W-strips sometimes feels like looking in to the mirror, which is propably why both of us find it so funny.

Whats the point of all this? No idea, just some random stream of thought or something....


We (as in Mrs. and me) got out first Christmas-present few days ago. Well, there was no official declaration that it was a christmas-present, but the proximity of the holiday, combined with the decoration of the box it came in made me firmly label it as christmas-present.

It was socks for both of us. And not just any socks, wool socks. And not just any wool socks, personally hand-knitted socks just for us!

Now, I might be a weirdo, but I like socks. Well, not the normal socks that you wear during weekdays. Those are functional, they arouse no feelings in one way or the other in me. But when the weekend arrives, I like to slip on a pair of wool socks and enjoy a lazy weekend. And those socks do make a difference. Normal socks keep you warm, yes. But they lack that warm and fuzzy feeling. Wool socks simply _feel_ better. And I'm a big fan of coziness and comfort.

Now, speaking of socks: I have an issue with my everyday-socks. I own maybe two dozen pair of socks or so, all black (or almost black). The problem is that while I do have several pairs of identical socks, I have lots of "one-of-a-kind" pairs. Matching those socks with their pairs can be tedious. those socks are not easily recognizable from each others, since by and large they are about 90% similar.

I have been thinking about getting rid of most of my socks, and start over fresh. I could walk to a shop and buy two dozen pairs of identical socks in one go, and the problem would be solved. But then again, I hate the idea of tossing perfectly serviceable socks away. And, deep down, I feel that the time I spend pairing those socks is somehow therapeutic. It's just me and a pile of socks, and I go through them one by one.

I DID say that I might be weird!

"For science!"

Japan is again sending their whaling-fleet out to sea. Their goal is to "collect" 950 whales "for scientific purposes". What "science" are they conducting with these animals? Seriously? Does it really demand killing of hundreds of whales every year? I would have guessed that whatever they are researching, they would have figured it out by now...

I guess the thing they are researching here is "what is the optimal preparation of whale-meat to make it most succulent for human consumption".

Officially weird

Few years ago I met a total namesake of mine. He was a telecom-specialist for Sonera (the local operator) who came over to our office to install some hardware. It was an eerie feeling when he introduced himself to me and my coworker.

Few minutes ago I received an email to my gmail-account. From myself. It was a test-message with some random letters in it, sort of test-message I would send myself. I kept on looking at it, thinking "have I sent any test-mails recently? I don't think so...". Then I checked the details of the message, only to find out it has been sent from an address belonging to a company that specializes on sales, installation and maintenance of networking-hardware. My total namesake strikes again!


Well, as you may or may not know, there has been a serious case of school-shootout in Finland. There's not much to say about the tragedy itself, since words would be pretty pointless.

What I can talk about is the reaction of the media and people to the event. "Disappointed" doesn't even begin to describe my feelings. Where to begin...

First of all, media is telling how "we may never know the reasons for his crime". Well, apart from the lengthy manifesto he posted on the internet? Now, his motives are obviously screwed up, but they are nevertheless his motives. So we do know. We do not agree with them, we might not understand them, but we know what they are.

Second, we get the usual comments in the media that "did he practice the killing in videogames?". Um, no. Aiming with the mouse and clicking the mouse-button does not in any shape or form prepare you to fire an actual handgun on a living, breathing human being. And even further: the dude specificly said that games, movies, music, his parents or his friends are not the reason for his actions.

Third: we get bunch of people telling how we should "ban handgun". Well, banning handguns would not change the fact that this person was homicidial psycho. The gun was just a tool, not the reason. Had he not had a gun, he could have used a knife (like the killer in Japan did in 2001), or pipe-bombs, or Molotov cocktails instead. Guns are very rarely used for killing others in Finland, even though we are one of the most heavily-armed nations in the world. Usually people use knives or something similar.

What I find lacking is real discussion to the reasons for this tragedy. What could have been done to prevent it? What could we do to prevent future cases? What we DO get is pointless discussion about videogames and banning guns. Since knives kill a lot more people than guns do, why isn't anyone insisting that we should ban knives while we are at it? Instead of intelligent discussion, we have a moral panic, where people talk about the easy things: guns. Guns are easy to blame. But they are not the reason, they are merely a tool. They are easy to blame, but they are the wrong thing to blame. What they do not talk about are the hard things we should be talking about instead: why?


This is for the Finns out there, but it's in English so others can understand my rant as well.

I always thought that my language-skills (in Finnish that is) are nothing extraordinary. I do make occasional typo and some other random errors, but usually my text is correct. And, IMO, that should be the default. OK text that is not painful to read. If you can write beautiful text, great! But at least don't write crappy text.

But as I thought that I'm more or less average in this area, it's starting to seem like I'm in the top 5% or something. Not because I'm great, but because there's metric assload of people who's text is downright atrocious. I just read a piece of text in an online messageboard. The text consisted of seven sentences, and in that space the person who wrote the text had managed to squeeze in EIGHT grammatical-errors and/or typos! Come ON! And that's not really uncommon.

The one thing that seems to be causing people problems are compounds. Why? They are not THAT hard! But people still make loads of errors with them. "tietokone" turns in to "tieto kone". Goddamit people, get a grip! Were you asleep during your Finnish-classes or something?

If we wish to communicate with others in a civilized manner, we need to master the language. No, something that kinda resembles correct grammar and spelling does not cut it! And it's not like you are asked to do differential algebra in your head, you are just asked to write correct Finnish. You know, the language you hear everywhere around you, the language you think in, the language you read every day? Is it REALLY that hard?

The Mrs. speaks...

The Mrs. finally read my blog (well, not all of it). She had two comments:

a) Good lord, our entire lives are in here!

b) How do you have the time to write all this?

Problem with email

I'm having an email-dilemma. My main-address is getting somewhat swamped with spam. So I decided to move to another address. I also have a third address at Gmail. I was quite happy with my decision to switch addresses, but just today I noticed that Gmail is moving to IMAP, and that was one of my primary reasons why I didn't select my gmail as my new email (other being spam. my new address is 100% spam-free, I'm still not sure how well Gmail fares in that area).

The problem is that I had already told few people that I'm moving to a new address, and I gave them the new address. If I now moved to Gmail permanently, I would have to tell them AGAIN that I'm moving addresses... Well, there's no acute problem so far, all my addresses still work, and I only have handful of people to notify no matter what I do with my address...

Goddamned vandals...

So I was sitting in the commuter-train heading back home after work. I was sitting in a secluded area right at the beginning of the train. Across the aisle were this guy and girl, maybe about 17 years old or so. Suddenly I notice that the girl had a black permanent marker on her hand, and she was drawing on the wall I looked at her for a second, and then this dialogue took place:

Me: "Excuse me, but could you please stop making a mess with that marker?" (that sounds a bit nicer than I actually was, but still).

Her: "Well, excuuuuse me, I don't see how this concerns you in any way!"

Me: "Well, as it happens, I get very annoyed when idiots screw around and make a mess everywhere they go" (yes, I called them idiots)

The guy then made a comment to her about me having a "stick up his ass", but I let that pass. She did put the marker away.

The one thing that I REALLY regret is that I missed the conductor when he was nearby. Had I noticed him, I would have turned those morons over. This kind of selfishness REALLY pushes my buttons! They obviously thought that the world is their personal playground where they can make a mess just for shit and giggles. And rest of us have to live with their "artwork". Idiots.

When the revolution comes, people like that will be first against the wall. Along with their opinion, which is of no consequence at all.

A slice of steel and glass

My gadget-lust got the best of me again. I tried in vain to struggle it, but I had to submit.

I bought an iPod touch.

Yes, part of me feels bad about it. It keeps on reminding me that "instead of buying that thing, you could have saved that money". And while that is true, fact remains that every time I hold the iPod in my hand, I'm in awe. How did they manage to make something like this? It's so thin, it's so understated. The device feels like something straight out from Star Trek. Plastic? There are tiny amounts of that stuf here, but mostly it's steel and glass. It looks and feels superb.

Yes yes yes, I have handled lots of handheld devices over the course of years. And while some of them have been better than others, they have all felt... mechanical. They have felt like old technology that has been refined, and refined and refined. And while there's nothing wrong with that, it makes those devices feel "old". Not so with the iPod touch.

The touch (and iPhone, since the two are closely related) feel like first devices of the future. This is how devices will work in the future. It's not just a question of _what_ the devices do, it's _how_ they do it. The touch has no trace of the clumsiness or old technology that plagues phones and other mp3-players. It feels like a device that has been transported from the future.

Now, out of the box, the touch is a fine mediaplayer. It plays music, videos, photos, podcasts, and it does all that really well. It also has a great web-browser. Last weekend the touch was practically my only internet-terminal. I could have used the computer instead, but I had no need, since touch did such a good job. The Mrs. (who, after seeing the touch, asked me to buy her an iPhone) thanked me, since se had the computer all to herself.

But, there's so much more the touch could do. In order to differentiate iPhone and touch from each other, Apple was stupid and crippled the software on the touch. Even though touch could run all the apps iPhone does, it does not. That includes things like editable calendar, notes, email, Google Maps-client (you can use the website, but there's no dedicated app for it) and so forth. Bummer. But, some industrious folks have hacked the touch so that it runs all those apps. And mine does exactly that.

End-result is that I have a tiny device that fits in to my pocket. It's an excellent mediaplayer. It's also an excellent web-terminal. It handles my email. It has my calendar. It has all the maps in the world. It contains contact-information of all my friends and relatives (did I mention that if I click on the address in contact-information, it open the Google Maps client, and shows that address in there?). I can see myself carrying it with me everywhere I go, even if I had no intention of listening to music or watching movies. It's just so versatile and small that taking it with you is a no-brainer.

Touch is an expensive product. It's te most expensive iPod available. Yet I feel that this was one of the best purchases I have ever made, if not the best. This is the kind of stuff future will be built upon. Everything else looks lame in comparison.

Philistines with computers

I ran a piece of editorial few days ago, that was about "problems with computers". It was basically a story by the editor on how she had problems with her computer and/or internet-connection at home. She mentioned how the manual of her WiFi-router said that "user needs to master his/hers computer and the operating-system that runs on it". Rest of the text was about her struggles to fix the problem (a local nerd fixed it in the end). She then told that "expecting people to master their computer is too much to ask. After all, nerds don't know how to bake bread either!".

Well, yeah. Nerds don't know how to bake bread. Which is why they don't try to do it in the first place. But on the other hand, we have these users who insist on using computers while possessing next to zero knowledge on how to use computers. Can you see the difference here?

I was about to write an email to the editor, but the Mrs. used her executive veto, and denied it...

Fried udders

1 egg
1dl breadcrumbs

Clean the udders and cut them in half. Put them in slightly salted water and boil them until they are soft. Cut the utters in to smaller pieces and brush them with the whipped egg and roll them in breadcrumbs. Fry them in butter or margarine until they are nice and brown all around. Serve hot alongside potatoes and vegetables.


I don't know about you, but I'm sick and tired of stupidity. It seems that it surrounds us, no matter where we go. Here are few notable things I have encountered recently:


A while ago Finland banned smoking in restaurants and bars (hooray!). Of course the decision was preceded by the typical "if you don't like smoking, stay at home!" and/or "this is a violation of smokers rights!". Now the talk has moved on to smoking in balconies. Should it be bannable or not? And, of course, the discussion follows familiar paths: "If you don't like the smoke, you can always close your windows!" or "this is a violation of smokers rights!". Well, boo-frigging-hoo! Yes, this might be a question of "rights". But what rights are we talking about here? Whose rights are more important: smokers right to actively poison their surroundings, or non-smokers right to breathe air that is NOT filled with carcinogens?

Hell, by that logic, we could complain because the law denies people the right to punch strangers in the street in the face. After all, if they don't like to get punched, they can always stay at home, right? Why is it perfectly OK to pollute air with tobacco-smoke, whereas it's strictly verboten to punch people? Why is anti-smoking-laws "trampling on the rights of smokers", whereas anti-violence-laws are NOT trampling on the rights of violent people?

One of the politicians in Finland (who I normally dislike) floated an idea that I actually like: Finland could ban sales of tobacco in around 2030 or so. Smoking itself would still be legal, it would just be illegal to sell the stuff. I think that's an interesting idea, but why wait so long? Ban sales in 2015, along with total ban on smoking in public places. If someone still wants to smoke, they would have to do it somewhere where it absolutely would not bother anyone else. Besides, if you want to smoke, you can always stay at home, right?

Religious stupidity

So far, Finland has been quite spared from the religious stupidity that seems to plague large parts of the world (I'm looking at you, USA!). But we still have our share of crackpots.

One of the fine elected members of city council of Espoo (member of Christian Democrats as it happens) somehow managed to make it so that schools can no longer take the pupils on a field-trip to one particular museum, without parents explicit permission. Why? Well, that museum has a collection of artifacts that had been used in various pagan-rituals in South America (among other places), and the council-member is concerned that those items have "magical powers" that could harm the children. What the f*ck?

If I were a resident of Espoo, I would be up in arms about this. I would do everything in my power to have this person kicked out of the council, due to the fact that she seems to be insane. Who the hell votes for these idiots?


Again, this seems to be something that we have been mostly spared so far. But still: we have our share of idiots. This isn't a major issue or anything, but it's very annoying because it demonstrates lack of thinking. Few days ago I ran in to the age-old argument by creationists: "Since theory of evolution doesn't explain everything, and evolutionists disagree with each other over some details in the theory, it means that evolution is a lie and creationism should be teached in schools alongside evolution!". No, you damn idiots, it does NOT mean that! Sheesh! Hell, do creationists agree on everything, and do they know (or claim to know) everything? If they don't, then doesn't that mean that creationism is a lie as well (well, it is, but for other reasons)?

And yes, creation-theory IS teached in Finnish schools. But it's teached in classes that handle religions, myths and philosophy. Evolution is teached in biology-classes, and that's the way it should be. And anyone who tries to cram creationism in to science-classes will immediately make it to my "list".

Web 2.0

I feel like I'm the "man in the middle" when it comes to the Internet. There are the grandmasters who were online and emailing since the eighties. Then there are the young whippersnappers who have lived and breathed Internet since they were five year old. And then there are people like me. I got online at around 1994 or so. I was about 17 or so.

Now, kids (and some other power-users as well) these days are crazy about "Web 2.0". Blogs "like this one) are old skool, but they of course have at least one blog. Besides blogs they have accounts in Facebook and MySpace. They also use Twitter, and their IM contact-list is 200 names long. they spend their time on YouTube posting videos and commenting other videos (through video-responses in YouTube, naturally) What about me? Well, I have an account in LinkedIn, but I don't really use it. No MySpace or Facebook. And I have no contacts in IM. I do like YouTube, but I don't comment nor do I post videos.

I guess just about only "web 2.0"-thing I do is occasional edits to Wikipedia and subscribtion to few podcasts. But other than that, nothing. I wouldn't be surprised if I get called "grandpa" by 10-year olds pretty soon.

OK, I do have this blog, but that's about it.

Well, a while agoI took yet another tiny step in becoming "master of Web 2.0": I subscribed to two video-feeds in YouTube. First one is HotForWords (I know what you are thinking. Yes I do), and the other one is Pat Condell (Some people might not like him, but I found his comments to be insightful and funny. Please don't kill me.).

What's the point of this blog-post? No idea. I guess I had a plan when I started typing it, but it got lost somewhere. And as I re-read what I have written, it seems that I'm not as old-fashioned as I thought. I participate in Wikipedia, I have a blog, I do podcasts... Maybe I'm allright in the end.

Dark Passion Play

In the end of 2005, at the height of their popularity, Nightwish kicked their iconic lead-singer, Tarja Turunen, from the band. Many people, including me, thought that it would be the end of them. It seemed obvious that the band could not recoved from the ordeal, even though they put on a brave face. They started looking for a new lead-singer, but it seemed like re-arranging deck-chairs on the Titanic.

Fast forward over 1.5 years: Nightwish just released their new album, featuring their new vocalist: Anette Olzon. The album has been talked and talked about for months before the release. This is the album that will tell whether the band has future after Tarja.

If this album is of any indication, Nightwish will be with us for next 20 years. They deliver. They really do. "Dark Passion Play" is a truly great album by any measure.

The album starts with a 14-minute tour de force: "The Poet and the Pendulum". It seems that the intention was to start the album with a bang, and they succeeded. Although it must be said that it's quite risky to subject the listener to a 14-minute song right at the beginning. Luckily the song is one of the finest songs Tuomas Holopainen has created, if not the finest. While being a very personal song, it also seems that the band wants to tell the nay-sayers that "No, you are wrong". The opening-track is an indication that the band has confidence in themselves and on their new record.

The album is also used as a tool to work on the splitting of ways between the band and Tarja Turunen. "Bye bye beautiful" is aimed squarely at Tarja, although the song is not really malicious. It would be extraordinary if the split between the band and Tarja would not show on the album, and "Bye bye beautiful is one of the two places it shows in". The other is "Master passion greed", which is targetted at Tarjas husband Marcelo Cabulli. The band blames Marcelo for the split, and it shows:

Who the hell are you to tell me
What to do, why to do, why bother
Leech in a mask of virtue
Such waste, to ever think of you again.


Not only are the lyrics aggressive, the whole soundscape of the song is very menacing. It's propably the most aggressive and dark song Nightwish has ever released. It's also interesting that Anette does not appear in this song (apart from some backing vocals), it's performed by Marco Hietala. It seems like they want to keep Anette outside of their fight with Cabulli.

All in all, those tracks are very effective tools of underlining the fact that the music is not created by "a band", but by real people why just happen to form a group called "Nightwish". Bands do not have feelings, people behind bands do.

What about the album as a whole? The songs cover wide area stylistically and thematically. But it still doesn't seem confusing or undetermined. There is a method behind the madness. Well, "Last of the Wilds" seems like an odd song, since it's instrumental. It's a good song, but it's a strange song amidts songs with strong vocal themes. Well, I got the double-CD version which contains instrumental version of the entire album, so it might sound perfect on that version.

You reap what you sow

So I was just watching this piece of news about inuits in Alaska. This one village is about to face destruction, since the global warming is melting the ice and raising the ocean, so the village is about to be washed away (literally). Now, as tragic as their story is, I could not help but notice few things:

a) Everyone (and I mean everyone) in the village drove around with ATV's. The village had a diameter of about 500 meters, so they _could_ have walked instead

b) they seemed to eat their food on disposable plates

So, as they were talking about the tragedy they are facing, I kept on thinking "but you yourself are partly to blame for this"... Yes, they would still be having these problems had they lived more eco-conscious lifestyles, but still. They polluted like crazy, and then complained that global warming is ruining their way of life.

...not with a bang, but with a whimper

It's done (well, I'm cheating a bit. There's still some minor things left, but they are just that: minor. They will not prevent us from actually living like normal human beings). No more renovation. Yesterday was spent hanging lights to the ceilings and putting together the guest-bed. On Saturday we removed all protective papers and plastics from the furniture and the floors. Our apartment looks like almost normal apartment with minimalist decor right now, instead of looking like a scene from the Book of Revelations.

The end was quite an anticlimax. Me and my mother in-law were running some errands, while the Mrs. and father in-law wallpapered the remaining wall in the livingroom. After that was done, we packed the tools, and went to have some evening snack at our in-laws place. And that's it.

As the renovation is winding down, we have been able to pay more attention to other things. Like our garden. What to do with it? There's this large Thuja in the backyard, that we were thinking about cutting down. But then we noticed that the local squirrels like it. They might be living there, but at the very least they use it's cones for food. So we can't cut it down (well, we could, but we like the squirrels. Yes, the squirrels are making a mess in our garden, but still.) So the Thuja stays.

We are still missing few lights (one in the livingroom for example), and we need to figure out how to handle it. Since we have already spent too much money on paint, wallpapers, turpentine, ceiling-lights, new carpets etc., I would really like to save some money and use one of our existing lights, instead of buying a new one. it might not be a perfect match for the livingroom, but money is money.

While the renovation itself is done, there's still work to be done to turn the place in to a proper home. we still need curtains. We still need to hang the paintings to the walls. We are still missing few pieces of furniture. But all in good time.

...almost there.... almost there....

On wednesday, me, the sister-in-law and my father-in-law put the wallpapers in the guestroom. It only took until 1am. So that room is now finished, just need to move in the furniture. Yesterday me, the Mrs. and father-in-law wallpapered one wall in the livingroom, this time we managed to finish at 00:30am. So at this moment we have one wall in the livingroom, as well as the paintjob in the library-ceiling still left to do. The wallpapering should take maybe three hours, and the paintjob maybe 1-2 hours. After that all that is left is just putting everything in place. Related to that: we are going for some furniture-shopping tomorrow.

3.5 hours

that's how long the our housing cooperatives shareholder-meeting took. And that's pretty long. In our previous cooperative it took maybe two hours, and it was a lot bigger than our current one (24 apartments vs. 6). And this was a second meeting this year, usually there are only one meeting per year. And still they managed to spend that much time on it.

The main reason is that the board of directors consists of three persons, one of them is my father in-law, and another one is the previous owner of our apartment. And both of them like to take the long road when discussing things. So they talked and talked, pondered every option and talked s...l...o...w...l...y.

Well, since one of them (the previous owner of our apartment) is no longer a shareholder, he resigned his post. And I took his place in the board of directors (no-one else was willing). It sound glorious, but it isn't.

Since yesterday was spent talking about changes to the garden and what should we do with all those trees, renovation did not proceed at all. Damn. I REALLY want to get this thing finished ASAP.

and it proceeds....

Yesterday we (as in I and father in-law) painted the livingroom-ceiling. We also installed the light to the kitchen. On Saturday we got the curtains for the bedroom. So we are few steps closer to the finish, again. Although the mother in-law and the wife decided that we need to pain the ceiling in the library as well. So that's a bit more work, but it's one of the easiest task around.

Hell, we just might get this project finished this week!


Bedroom is finished. Well, there's still no mattresses or curtains, but there's no more renovating to be done.

Guest-bedroom has been painted (ceiling and two walls), we just need the wallpapers for the two remaining walls, which should arrive on monday. When we get this room finished, our library will become order of magnitude more pleasant place, since we are currently using it to store items destined for the guest-bedroom. We still need to get few armchairs for the library, but after that, it's finished.

Kitchen and the hallway has been painted. Next stop is the livingroom-ceiling, with wallpapers following up a bit later. Once those are done, we are officially FINISHED.

Yesterday we removed the protective papers from the staircase and second-floor hallway, making the place a lot more pleasant place to live. It feels weird, but there's actually end in sight. There's still lots of stuff to be done, but at least I can identify the tasks that remain to be done, before it was just a confusing mess of random tasks.

That iTunes-thingy....

...in the sidebar? Yeah, it's nifty, and I decided to give it a shot. The only problem is that it's not working properly. It's missing half-a-dozen or so individual songs I have bought plus it's missing "Dark Side of The Moon" in the albums-section.

Beaten up

No, not literally, but that's how I feel. I feel like I have been beaten with sticks for the entire weekend. My every muscle aches.

Status-update: About 90% of our belongings have been moved to our new place. All major items and pieces of furniture have been moved, some minor items remain unmoved. Few items (large furniture mostly) are in their final places, rest are waiting for their final placement. Kitchen is finished. What has been the worst things to move? Let's see....

It might be my old 32" television that weights 60kg and has no handles of any kind. Just smooth rounded corners everywhere (engineers at Sony: what were you thinking?!). I was actually hoping that we would break it, because I could then write it off in my insurance and get a new one instead. Alas, that was not to be.

Or maybe my couch? it doesn't weight as much as the TV, but it's a lot bigger and doesn't properly fit from the doorway (yes, we did manage to get it in). Also, it too is lacking in handles.

The washing-machine is another contender. Not quite as heavy as the television, but no handles. Plus it had to carried to the second floor on a narrow staircase. Not fun.

The fourth contender is our antique drawer. You could get a good grip on it, but it too had to be carried to the second floor.

Looking at the four, I think the television is the winner. Just looking at that thing makes we want to punch it...

Still no internet-connection. I tried looking for open wireless accesspoints but no luck. I found few networks, and one even had a generic-sounding name, "WLAN", but it too asked for a password. Damn you security-conscious neighbours!

The apartments needs more or less total surface-renovation. That is, new wallpapers and paintjob. Our future bedroom was painted already (both ceiling and the walls), but wallpapers have not been selected yet. The Mrs. is working on that. One complication in this thing is that the ceiling is at worst about 7 meters high, so painting it takes some ingenuity.

All in all, things are "progressing", whatever that means...


Last Monday we sold our home. The preceding weekend was spent carrying our belongings out of it (related to this: every time I move, the amount of stuff that needs to be packed up and carried away seems to double). Our belongings are now scattered in cardboard-boxes between my sister in-laws as well as father/mother in-laws place. Few pieces of furniture are in our future home. Some stuff is currently in my car because they simply would not fit anywhere. Lots of stuff was discarded, and lots of stuff was donated to charity.

Yesterday it occurred to me: we do not have a fixed residence at the moment. Closest thing would be my in-laws apartment where we are staying, but we are not officially living there. If some government pencil-pusher asked for our address, we wouldn't really know what address to tell them.

If we manage 'till next week, then everything will be OK. Just few more days....

A momentary lapse of reason

Apple and/or Emi obviously read my blog, since The Dark Side of The Moon re-appeared to iTunes Store. Currently listening to "The Great Gig in The Sky"...

Sun is the same in a relative way, but you are older

I occasionally get that "Why are they doing this?"-feeling when dealing with companies. Last month when Apple and Emi announced that they will start selling DRM-free track on iTunes that even have higher quality than DRM'ed songs, I jumped on the opportunity and downloaded "Wish you were here" by Pink Floyd. Whole album (even though price of individual songs was increased somewhat, the price of albums didn't change, so it makes more sense to get whole albums now), 256kbit/sec, DRM-free. And after spending some quality-time with that album (yes, it really is one of the greatest albums ever made), I decided that it's time to take one step further: Next download would be "The dark side of the moon".

Yesterday I decided that this is the time, and I launched iTunes. First sign of trouble: TDSOTM is indeed for sale in iTunes, but next to it are words "partial album". Um, did they run out of ones and zeroes, so they can't have the whole album in there? Why else would they be missing "Great gig in the sky" and "Us and them"? And not only that... There's no way to actually buy the album! What you CAN do is to buy individual track from the album, at 1,29e a piece. No, you can't buy the album for 9.99e. Not even the partial album.

And... Why do I get the feeling that the whole album WAS on sale not too long ago? And even if it wasn't... Why are they doing this? They have Pink Floyd in iTunes. All their albums. Except the one they are most famous for. How do consumers benefit from this crap? Seriously, answer me that!

What will I do now? I'll probably go to the library, loan the damn CD, and rip it to my computer. And I actually WANTED to buy it! But if think that they encourage me or others in to buying that album by omitting certain songs from it, and making us buy it one song at a time (so it will cost more) they are sadly mistaken. I will get it for free instead.

Here's a novel idea: Provide consumers with quality products for good price and people will pay for them. Screw them over and... they will not.

Yes, I'm now few moments older, and I spent that time cursing this crap.


It's interesting to see how same products are marketed in different regions. For example: I have a Canon Eos 400D DSLR-camera. And in Europe (and some other places as well) it's known as Eos 400D. What is it called in USA? It's Canon Digital Rebel XTi. Before 400D we had 350D. In USA it was called Digital Rebel XT.

Why do they do that? Obviousy because different people (in this case, Americans vs. Europeans) respond differently to branding. But I can't help but feel that the Eos's branding in USA is... silly. It's like they had Gillette handle the branding. I wouldn't be one bit surpised if Eos 450D was called "Digital Rebel XTi Turbo" in USA.

Related to this: reality does mimic fiction. It even has two strips!

Censorship or not

So Amnesty warns us about censorship in the internet. And while they are telling us that censorship is bad, they are also saying that some censorship is OK. According to Amnesty, it's OK to censor racist websites and the like. So... who exactly decides what is OK to censor and what is not? Governments (like in China)? Corporations? Some organisations (like Amnesty International or.... Aryan Nations? What? Why the former but not the latter?)?

So, are they against censorship or not? If they are against it, they should accept the fact that some people might say things that they disagree with. You are not really opposing censorship, if you are basically saying "you are free to say whatevery you please, just as long as you say things I approve of". And here we have Amnesty telling us that online-censorship is bad. Unless they are censoring things Amnesty opposes, then it's suddenly OK. I'm sorry, but it doesn't quite work that way.

If we agree that censoring racists and revisionists is OK, then we are basically turning them in to martyrs. And is censorship ever the right way to promote progress? What if the person we are censoring happens to be right, but his opinions and thoughts just happen to be not politically correct? No, I'm not saying that David Irving (for example) is right, but is it right or smart to say that "there is to be no discussion about the Holocaust. It happened, and everyone who disputes it will be thrown to jail!". The cynic in me could start thinking "why are they so serious about that? Are they trying to hide something?".

The best way to combat prejudices and ignorance is through facts. Yes, there are people who dispute the Holocaust. No, trying to force them to shut up does nothing to change their viewpoint on the matter, quite the contrary. The way to do that is through facts and open discussion. After all, if the history we know is true, what do we have to worry? We can just present the facts to the opposition. It's the same with racists and other weirdoes.

Speaking of laptops....

Apple just released their new MacBook Pro's. And I want one. No, I _desire_ one. I could go for the cheapest of the three models (with increased HD-space), but I'm still researching it. the price-difference between the low-end and middle-model is 400e if they both have similar hard-drives. For that money I would get 200MHz more CPU-speed and twice as much VRAM. I'm not sure that is it worth it, propably not.

Yesterday-evening I was at the Apple online-store, with my mouse-cursor hovering over the "Add to Cart"-button. But no, I need to wait a while longer. I have the money, I have been saving for it. But I must resist for a while longer...

Receding technophilia

I admit it: I'm a technology-whore. I love gizmos and gadgets. I love all kinds of cool new stuff. And knowing all that, it's even more astonishing that I have been this patient with the current gizmos I have.

First of all, my computer is a Mac Mini. When I bought this computer over two years ago, it was the cheapest and slowest Mac available (not including used hardware). And it has served me well, even though new and cooler computers have been released (by Apple, naturally) since I bought this one. It has just felt that this computer is... good enough, and there's no need for something better. Well, that will change this summer when I will move to a laptop. Besides, I need more power since I have started shooting huge RAW-files with my camera. The Mini simply does not cut it anymore.

What about the display that is connected to my computer? Well, if I remember correctly, it's three years old. LCD, true, but nowhere near the state of the art. Again, it has been "good enough".

How about my iPod Mini? I bought it two years ago and it has served me well, even though new and better models have taken it's place. But it too will get replaced this summer. I want the ability to watch videos and pictures, and I'm running out of space on my device.

But, as things are, it seems that my technophilia has been giving way to more rational thought. I haven't bought new stuff just for the sake of them being new. I have actually kept on using my older stuff (although some might dispute the notion that two-year old computer is "old") since it has worked just fine. And now that I am replacing them, I'm doing it because I have clearly defined needs which are not met with my current devices. Could it be that rationality and level-headedness is creeping in to my geek-paradise?

Of course, as I replace my devices, my old hardware is recycled to good use. Mrs. will propably get the iPod Mini, while my Mac Mini will either me turned in to a household-server, donated to relatives or sold away.

Children of Men

I finally watched "Children of Men" last weekend. I actually missed in when it was playing in the theaters (or they never showed it here at all), so I took a calculated risk and bought the DVD when I saw it for sale. And I wasn't disappointed.

It's a good sign when you read the comments in IMDB, and you have bunch of people telling how the movie is "racist", while you also have a bunch of people telling how the movie is "left-wing propaganda that glorifies immigrants". The movie obviously evokes strong emotions in viewers, and that's a good sign. And looking at the ratings it has received (currently 8.2/10 in IMDB), most people like it. No, the movie is not racist. It just depicts a society that suffers from xenophobia, but that does not mean that the movie itself suffers from it.

The movie is set in to near future when women have stopped having children. Last child was born 18 years ago, and mankind is slowly moving towards extinction. Most of the world has descended in to anarchy, while the remains of civilized society try to hang on. And the "civilized society" isn't really that civilized anymore.

While the world is coming to an end, it isn't going away with a bang, it's fading away. People still go to work, they still buy their coffee from coffee-shops, they still watch their news. And still, there's the constant feeling that mankind is doomed. None of the individuals are doomed as such: there is no nuclear war that is going to wipe them out, there is no disease that is going to kill them, nor are they waiting for radioactive cloud to kill them all. There's just a bunch of people living out their lives, with full knowledge that after they are dead, there will not be others to take their place. It's a society of silent (occasionally not so silent) resignation.

Actors do a good job thorough the movie. There's no poor performance to be seen, and Clive Owen does a solid job at the lead. So the story is interesting, and the actors are good. That gives a good foundation to build a great movie. And this movie delivers.

There's one thing in the movie that is truly superb: cinematography. The scenes are long and jaw-droppingly outstanding. And I'm not talking of scenes with just dialogue, I'm talking about action-packed scenes as well. They seem to go on and on. No, they do not drag on, which would be bad, they flow naturally. I'm not sure how they did it. Maybe they somehow digitally stitched several scenes together, and if they did, they did a superb job at it. If they really just shot long cuts, it is a real testament to the skill of the actors and director. Either way, the end result is simply stunning.

The filmmakers also did a great job at creating the remnants of human civilization. I don't think I ever saw any bright colors anywhere. Everything is muted and gloomy.

"Children of Men" does not suffer from the curse of Hollywood, where everything is explained to the viewer. We are given bit and pieces of the backstory, but things are not explained in detail. The ending is open, and it's up to the viewer to determine what happens next. In short: it forces the viewer to think. And that's always a Good Thing (tm).

A damned fine movie if you ask me!

Be a sheep: wear trendy clothes!

I hate fashion. The more I think about it, the more I realize it goes against everything I believe in. What do I believe in? Well, among other things, I believe in personal liberties and freedoms. What does that have to do with fashion? Quite a bit as it turns out.

What annoys me is the way this whole fashion-thingy works out. Basically, there are bunch of people who decide what is fashionable and what is not. They decide that "next year, red is in". then we get bunch of magazines telling us what is in and what is out, and then mindless drones wander to the stores to buy new clothes so they could be "trendy". How about buying clothes that you actually like? Clothers that feel comfortable? Clothes that are practical? Forget that crap, we need to be "trendy"!

What happened to people buying clothes that they like? Sure, lots of people do that. But the very idea that we actually have a bunch of people deciding what is fashionable and what is not, is what really pushes my buttons. Instead of companies selling certain types of clothes, and people buying whatever suits them, we have the fashion-elite telling us what we should be buying.

And what is the other thing that really pushes my buttons? The fact that there's a metric assload of people who actually care what the fashion-industry is telling us. They rush to the stores in a desperate attempt to be "trendy". They proclaim their individuality and independence while wearing clothes that someone else told him to buy.

No, I'm not saying that we should dress purposefully in an unfashionable way. What I AM saying is that we shouldn't decide our appearance based on what some other people decided in a committee. If the clothes you happen to like become fashionable, go ahead and keep on wearing them. But don't change your look just because something else becomes fashionable. Don't switch from jeans to spandex just because spandex becomes fashionable.

What does this have to do with personal liberties? I mean, no-one is forced to buy anything. But it's still very annoying to think that there are some people who feel that they have the power to decide what we should be wearing. And I get very annoyed whenever someone tells me what I should and should not be doing or thinking.

And it gets even more annoying when you realize that for quite a few people, they do have that power. "Yeah, I'm wearing pink bikinis and bell-bottoms because I heard they are trendy".


That's the new lowest temperature I have experienced so far, and I guess it's pretty safe to say that I wont experience anything colder, ever. -110c is almost twice as cold as it is in the South Pole in the winter.

Me and the Mrs. spent some time in the Haikko Manor. Besides manor, they also have a spa. And in addition to the normal activities you can have in a spa, they have what they call "Super Cold Cryo Treatment". It consists of three rooms, first having the temperature of -30c, second is -60c, and the last one is -110c. You walk through the first two rooms (so your body can adjust to the extreme cold) and then spend three minutes in the last room. And you are wearing just slippers, gloves and your swimsuit.

Let me tell you something: that temperature is something totally unreal. I don't know how they make it so cold, but it apparently involves liquid nitrogen. When I first heard that you only spend 3 minutes in -110c, my initial thought was "What if I want to spend more time there?". But 3 minutes is the longest period of time you could do. I actually thought about leaving sooner, but since I had told the Mrs. that I can do it easily, I stayed there. Man can take the pain, but not the shame. Well, I got a diploma to prove that I did it.

They instructed us to "breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth". And that worked for about 20 seconds, then my nostrils started to freeze. So I had to breath in through my mouth. But you can't really breathe air that is so cold, so you just gasp for some air and hope for the best. It was so cold that it actually felt like burning. It was like million needles sticking in to you at once. I could feel and hear my heart pumping. You can't really move that much, since that would make the air move, and that would make it even colder. You just stand there with adrenaline pumping through your veins.

All in all, it was a great experience, and I'm looking forward of doing it again.

And speaking of conspiracies...

There seems to be a conspiracy against me. Every time it seems that I could save some extra money, "something" happens. For the last few months I had been paying back my credit-card bill, few hundred euros a month.No, I'm not a big credit-spender, I usually just the credit-card for online-shopping and to even out some bigger purchases I make. So last month I decided to
repay all of the credit back, figuring that "if I do that, I'll "earn" few hundred euros extra every month, since I don't have to worry about the credit-card bill anymore". And it _seemed_ to work. But no. So far this month I have been hit by two electricity-bills (100+e each), my broadband-bill (150e) and I had to buy new set of summer-tires (380e). Previously whenever it had seemed that I might actually manage to squeeze some extra money to the savings-account, I've been hit by magazine-bills or something. There's ALWAYS something unexpected just around the corner, waiting to drain me from my hard-earned cash. But whenever I have some big-ish monthly expenditure (like, the credit-card) I wont get those "surprises".

A revelation

I realized something a while ago... I realized that I hate Dan Brown. No, I don't hate him personally, I just hate his books. Well, with all due honesty, I have only read "The Da Vinci Code", and even that, only halfway through. But as I read the book, there was something in the book that kept bugging me. I still don't know what it was actually, but it was there. Maybe it was the time wasted telling all those useless details about the people, places and actions? Maybe it was the annoyance because _everything_ seemed to have some hidden symbolic meaning?

As I read the book, I did see why people were crazy about the book. But still, it somehow rubbed me the wrong way. I haven't read "Angels and Demons", but I heard that it's very similar to "The Da Vinci Code", so the guy isn't even original. And looking at the plot-summary on the Wikipedia, I see this: "Angels & Demons follows Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, as he tries to stop what seems to be the Illuminati, a legendary secret society, from destroying the Vatican City with the newly-discovered power of antimatter". Really? How did he come up with THAT?

Oh, the movie about the book was crap as well. Pure, 100% concentrated crap. That's two hours of my life I will never get back.

What about his other works? Well, there's "Digital Fortress". And it apparently is filled with technical inaccuracies. True, those wouldn't matter to 90% of the readers, but for those in the know, it would make the book seem... Silly. Yes, it's only fiction, but suspension of disbelief only takes you so far. For better alternative, go read Neal Stephensons "Cryptonomicon". I would encourage that book to just about everyone, not just those who are interested in technology and encryption.

Maybe he's ready to move on with his career? Drop this stuff about conspiracies and secret societies? Well, not yet at least. Apparently his next book is about the Freemasons. The horse is dead, but let's just keep on beating it.

A review...

I went to see "300" yesterday. And I don't think I have ever seen a movie that is so full of macho-bullshit (Dirty Harry might come close), muscular men (Conan might come close), spraying blood (Ummmm.... Kill Bill is a contender here), people getting killed (there are a number of movies that compete in sheer volume of corpses, but I'm not going to start going through them here) and general mayhem. I can understand if some people absolutely loathe this movie, truly I can. But I loved every second of it.

First of all, the movie is beautiful. I think it's the first movie that is filmed (more or less) entirely in front of a greenscreen and (again, more or less) entirely in slow-motion. Some might say it looks cheesy, but... It doesn't.

Second: I really liked the soundtrack. Yes, it was kinda weird of watching an epic movie that is set in ancient Greece, with soundtrack that has electric-guitars (or their electronic counterpart), but it works. The music has balls, and it does a great work at making those gargantuan Spartan brass-balls be even bigger than they are in the movie.

Third: There's something strangely satisfying in a movie that basically consists of hordes of men and beasts hurling them against the spears and swords of muscular Spartans. Is it "intellectual"? Hell no! And it doesn't have to be. One of my coworkers described it as a "two-hour action-scene", which is quite close. Well, there are the moments when the story progresses outside the battlefield, but those are relatively few and far between. And even those scenes usually consist of muscular Spartans being macho.

Fourth: This is a 100% guy-movie. But those unfortunate women that have been dragged to the theater by their husband/boyfriends at least have something to look at. That's right, those muscular Spartans. And even though this is a guy movie, there's relatively little gratious female-nudity in the movie. Well, there is some nudity, but it's not like they used every possible moment to show us naked women. Almost, but not quite.

The point I'm making here is that "300" is not a "good movie" like "Citizen Kane" or "Godfather" is. What it is, is a 100% entertaining movie that is pure joy to watch. And in this day and age, that's quite a good accomplishment. Don't expect to see a movie that makes you think or makes you ponder the meaning of life. What you will get instead is a movie that is just oozing with coolness and kick-ass action. And balls. Huge balls. Made from genuine Spartan brass.

Elections: the day after

Well, it's two days after, but still.

So, what changed? Well, all in all I can be pretty happy with the results. My candidate got through, and Greens managed to get one more seat in the Parliament (15 seats). The Coalition (the mainstream right-wing party, they have been in the opposition recently) got a whopping 10 extra seats. Which is good, since I considered voting for them ;).

Social-Democrats were thoroughly beaten, losing eight seats. Which is good, since the party and it's leaders were arrogant and obnoxious. And they were just about the only party that resorted to mud-slinging in their campaign. They won't be in the next government, that's more or less certain, thus ending their 12 years in the government.

The biggest party is still the Center Party, but they lost four seats when compared to previous elections. They currently have 51 seats out of 200, whereas the Coalition has 50. So it's pretty tight. Social-Democrats plummetted down to 45.

So it seems that we will get a Center-Right government, aided by the Swedish People's Party (they are ALWAYS in the government) and propably Greens. Not too shabby.

Other relevant things: There are more women in the parliament than ever before. 42% of MP's are now women, up from 37%

Space-debris and elections....

...what do they have in common? Both are happening in Finland.

That's right, I saw some space-debris falling from the sky! I was just stepping out of a bus, when I saw something in the sky. Thinking it was just a passenger-jet (which are numerous around here), I didn't think much of it. But when I saw it, I instantly thought "If that's an airliner, it has disintegrated mid-flight". It looked like what Columbia looked like when it disintegrated during re-entry. But, as opposed of being white, this war yellow/red (like flame). There were several fragments visible, and the whole spectacle lasted for just a few seconds.

Other thing going on over here is the elections. Yes, politicians suck, but all in all, things aren't as bad in Finland as they could be. I mean that we have several parties to choose from, instead of being required to pick between "evil" and "incompetent". There are three major parties, representing mainstream right (The Coalition), center (The Center Party) and left (Social-democrats), each with around 20-25% popularity. Then we have the a bit more radical left with around 10% popularity, and the Greens with similar figures. Then there are few smaller parties with around 5% popularity (a bit more radical right, the Swedes and the Bible-thumbers). The category "Other" has maybe combined 2% popularity and it includes parties like "Independence-party" and "Liberals". It also includes three left-wing parties.

And here's where it gets interesting. We have "The Workers Party", "The Finnish Communistic Workers Party" and "The Finnish Communistic Party". Um, does any of that make any sense? What's the difference between the three? Is it like one is communistic, whereas the other two are merely socialistic? Or are they divided along whether they are Leninist, or Marxist-Leninist? Is it really so that the leaders of Communistic Party and Communistic Workers Party (the Workers Party is a new party, haven't seen them in previous elections) never thought about merging their parties? And the weird thing is that the left-wing party with 10% popularity was actually formed in late-eighties/early-nineties by merging the socialistic and communistic parties in Finland in to one. It's like when one left-wing party gets "eliminated", two parties sprung up to take it's place.

EDIT: I just checked. It's actually "The Finnish Communistic Party" and "The Communistic Workers Party". Making the situation even more strange that it was before. I changed the names to the post.

Check the settings!

It was snowing a bit yesterday, so I decided to go take some pictures outside. Besides, I had bought a stand for the camera and I wanted to try it out. I only took half a dozen pictures, before heading back in. And no, the pictures were not any good. But I did notice that you can turn a crap picture in to a bit better picture with some cropping and tweaking. But the fact that your white balance is off doesn't really help. You see, I have the tendency to take the camera and take some pictures, only to notice afterwards that the white balance-settings were all wrong. Note to self: ALWAYS check the settings on the camera before you take any pictures! And if it's snowing, take an umbrella so you could at least try to cover the camera from the snow!


Work has been pretty good. Busy, but good. It's great when you get a relatively complex task to do, and you singlehandedly do it. I was asked to arrange some Excel-training. I have done it before, and it's a good thing to see that practice does make one better. Before it was quite tedious and difficult to arrange, but this time everything just flowed in to place. I got the trainer, I got the location, I got the hotel-room for the trainer, and I got the participants.

The problem with people....

...Is that they lose all common sense when they panic. The second problem with people is that they panic way too easily. They start running around screaming "Oh my god, we need to do SOMETHING!".

Bah, humbug!


So, a while ago I complained that the winter in here feels more like autumn. No snow anywhere, and it's not really cold at all. Well, all that changed with a bang (*! We are having around -15 to -25 degrees of coldness in here and there's snow everywhere. And it happened quite fast. Hell, just few days ago we were told in the news that power-companies are lowering their rates, because warm winter has caused energy-consumption to go down. Yesterday we were told that previous records of energy-consumption have been broken due to the coldness. They have actually turned on the reserve power-plants to cope with the demand. All in time-span of few days.

* = Yes, it can get cold with a bang. When temperature drops enough, the water inside trees freeze. When that happens, the trees start making this banging noise, as the frozen water in them expands. The trees do cope with it just fine though.

Yes, I'm keeping my eye out for the pillars of light. No luck yet, though.

The sound of silence

So, now that I'm no longer sick, the Mrs. is. It's apparently a infection of the trachea. it was very painful few nights ago, and she (nor I) didn't sleep much. But she now has antibiotics and strong painkillers, so she's managing.

One of the things the infcetion has caused is that she can't talk. She can manage a faint whisper, but that's about it. So she communicates through writing and signs instead. So our household has been quite silent recently.

Related to this: I'm quite pissed at my mother in-law right now. She was the person who gave this to the Mrs. And she also infected her grandfather as well. Quick note: if you are ill, don't go marching around infecting other people! I would guess that the Mrs. has better things to do that to lie in bed crying because her throat feels like it's burning.

Cool words of the day

Few days ago I had a revelation. The Finnish word for "month" in "kuukausi". "Kuukausi" is composed of two separate words put together: "kuu" and "kausi". "Kuu" means "Moon", and "kausi" means "cycle" (as in time-period or something, not bicycle). So "kuukausi" means literally in English "A cycle of the Moon".

Related to this, I realised that the Finnish word for "Earth" is "Maailma". "Maailma" is composed of two separate words: "maa" and "ilma". "Maa" means "ground" or "land, while "ilma" means "air". So "Maailma" is "ground-air" (or "land-air") in English.

Who came up with this stuff? It's brilliant!

Off-topic, but... I have been sick the last few days. And although I'm back at work today, I'm still not 100% OK. But I'm getting better. I know that I should be sending some email, and I will do that ASAP.

Let's enjoy a Wii!

As I said in my previous blog-spot, I bought a Nintendo Wii. Idea was to expand the possible activities me and Mrs. could do together (we have also took up swimming recently). And of course, I really liked the idea behind the machine. Mrs. hated the idea, and has told me for the last two months how "gaming sucks" and how she does not want a console in the home. But, I went and bought it anyway, confident that she would change her mind. Yes, I like living on the edge.

Few things about the machine first: It's beautiful white and refreshingly small. It has that feel of high quality around it. I like to just hold the controllers in my hands because they feel just right. The machine is also very silent.

So, has the machine vindicated itself? I kept telling the Mrs. that "They designed this machine to appeal to people who don't normally play games". Well, that's the theory. That's the thing I kept on telling myself. And the funny thing is... it actually works. Soon after I had set the device up, the Mrs. was having great time playing tennis on the console. She was really enjoying herself.

The real test took place on sunday as my in-laws were visiting. I showed the console to my father in-law and gave him the controllers. After two minutes, he was having a blast playing boxing. He's not a gamer. He simply does not play games, on computer or console. But it took about two minutes to get him hooked on the Wii.

So, both the Mrs. and the father in-law having great time playing games on a console. Hell is freezing right about now.


I have been out of control lately. I have been spending money of all kinds of things. I guess it started around October (IIRC) when I bought the new camera. It cost me quite a bit, but it was one-off thing. Soon after that I got the new car. Well, I took a loan for that, but still. You could say that that's a one-off purchase, and a bigger purchase that was required due to the circumstances. Then came the Christmas, and I spent money on presents. But that too is a natural thing to do, right? Last weekend I bought a Nintendo Wii (comments about Wii will follow this blog-entry). No, there's no excuse for that one, apart from "I really wanted it". Just another gadget for the home. Rationally, what I should have said to myself is "You have already bought all kinds of things lately, give it a rest already". But I didn't.

So, I'm making a promise here and now: I'm going to start saving money. Yes, even through this spending-spree I have managed to save money (There's a fixed amount of money set aside every month), but my cash-flow has been negative. Yes my "savings" have gone up, but the amount of cash I have has gone down. It's time to become cash-flow positive again. And still, there are things that I would like to get. In short-term there's a scanner/printer/copier that I would like to get. Printer is a good thing to have, and it would be convenient for printing photographs. We shall see. Fact is that I have managed without printer for several years, so I could manage in the future as well. Maybe the Buddhists are right, the root-cause of suffering is desire?

It's beautiful

The Apple iPhone being demonstrated as we speak is the most amazing piece of engineering and design I have ever seen. I'm literally at a loss of words here.

Give the gift on knowledge

As the Good Doctor reminded me to do, I just made a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation which runs Wikipedia. I urge everyone else to do so as well. Wikipedia is one of the greatest projects in the web, and it deserves our support.

My 15 kilobytes of fame

Our recruiting-coordinator asked me if I wanted to appear in our firm-website in the "Meet our people"-segment. No, not the intranet-site, the internet-site. So anyone visiting our website and looking at that particular segment will see my picture (well, there would be others besides be, but still), along with short interview (or something). It's basically meant for people who might be interested in joining the firm. And they think that I would make a good poster-boy for our recruiting-efforts. Uh, OK...

Of course I could have said no. But I didn't.

Wikipedia: The best website... EVER!

I absolutely adore Wikipedia. I go there every day just to look around. Often I check their featured article, and while I'm reading it, I click on the links to their other articles as they come across. Soon I have maybe 20 tabs in my broswer, all pointing to different Wikipedia-articles. I go through them one by one, opening even more articles as I come across links pointing to them. And before I notice it, I have spent maybe two hours going through Wikipedia.

Yes, Wikipedia has it's share of problems. But I still love it. I currently have articles about "Life", "Death", "Artificial Life" and "East Germany" opened. No, I have no idea how East Germany got there next to articles about various aspects of Life (or lack of thereof)....

New Theme

So I decided to experiment with a new theme. I'm not yet sure that will I keep it, but still. I have always liked black. I will propably start preferring something else than black the moment they invent a color that is even more black than black. After looking at the new theme for 10 seconds my first thoughts were "my, that sure is black".

The end is nigh

So, it's january. We are SUPPOSED to be in the middle of the winter right now. Temperatures should be around -5 to -20 degrees celcius, maybe even lower, and there should be snow everywhere. Well, let's just say that things are "slightly" different this time. First of all, there is no snow. None. Nada. Haven't been in months. We had some snow in november, but it's long gone. Temperatures are around +5 degrees.

This is not january. This is not winter. This is more like september.