Note to posterity: in April 2010, my five day work trip to San Francisco was extended to a fortnight because of a volcano eruption in Iceland.
Note to posterity: in April 2010, my five day work trip to San Francisco was extended to a fortnight because of a volcano eruption in Iceland.
We’re organizing a trip to Storås Festival again this summer. I can hardly believe this’ll be our fourth year — time flies!
While I’ve never really been all that into rock festivals (and there’s plenty in Finland!), Storås has always been different. It’s somehow hard to break it down: there’s the trip there, the people you meet, the warm spirit of the festival, the cooperation and the absurdity of it all. And it’s been a great experience, every year, and each year in new ways.
One of the fun (and, I admit, a bit stressful) parts for me is the effort of putting the trip together. Working with Elexa, Sveinung, Janne, Aleksi, and, this year, Jyri, has been a blast.
One thing I’m really proud of is how the people I’ve cajoled and arm-wrestled into coming have also had a great time. Every year I’ve been a little afraid that people will hate it — luckily this hasn’t happened yet! A testament to the uniqueness of the trip has been how people have become big Storås-converts. It’s almost cult-like!
Selling the trip hasn’t always been so easy — convincing people to come on an eight-day trip to Norway to a festival they’ve never heard of (not to mention sit on a bus for almost thirty hours) tends to take some effort. The only thing we’ve had going for us has been the enthusiasm of everyone who’s been there.
It’s amazing how a heterogeneous group of twenty to fourty people can bond together in such a short period!
Anyway, if your up for an adventure, and can handle traveling thirty hours to a festival in the middle of nowhere in Norway, I hope you join us! We leave from Helsinki on
Sunday the 27th Monday, the 28th of July, and will be back on Monday, August 4th. (You can also get on and off the bus in Turku.)
M&M: Grand One finalistit julki. Oli hauska kertoa hyvät uutiset perjantaina.
So I’ve officially resigned from Kielari, the company I’ve been at for the past two and a half years. It was a wild ride — quirky, fun, but ultimately stressful — and I’m glad it’s over.
I made the decision to leave before the lastest series of upsets, and now it looks like the old ship is finally going under. Then again, we’ve been expecting it go bankrupt for two years now, so until it actually happens, I’m not sure I’ll believe it.
China’s a strange place. It was cold inside and out, scary to cross the street, annoying to try to get service, bafflingly innocent, rich in haggling, surprisingly familiar, challenging to tell the taxi driver where you wanted to go, and impossible to form a line.
We’re moving, it’s official. Well, it was official already last month when I gave notice for our apartment, but yesterday we signed the lease for the new place. We’re staying in Kallio, which we wanted to. We’re also soing a little remodeling on the new place, which was something Roosa really wanted to do.
Most of the places we looked at were fairly recently repainted or wallpapered, so the landlords didn’t welcome Roosa’s idea of dark blue and light gray walls. The new apartment is next to the Kallio library, and I saw it for the first time when we went to sign the lease.
We don’t have the keys yet, but we should get them on Friday, at the latest.
One strange thing I noticed about Textmate’s Textile conversion is that it doesn’t “curl” quotes or apostrophes.
We’re off to Norway early early tomorrow morning. I can’t believe my mom is going with us to a rock festival. Back late July 31st.
A week since I got back. Leaving California didn’t hurt; nearly two weeks in one place after almost a month on the road will do it for me. Returning to work wasn’t that easy, though. I was pumped up and all ready to go, but my first day saw no work done, and bad news on the horizon. We shall see how it all turns out.
I brought back a bottle of Shine On Georgia Moon corn whiskey, mainly because I got a kick out the bottle. And while I was going to be selfish and keep it myself, I gave it to M.S. as thanks for all the hard work he did doing my job while I was gone. But being the selfish guy I am, I maybe M.S. promise he’d only drink it with me.
When we opened the jar on Wednesday it became clear that we won’t be fighting over Georgia Moon any day soon.
Not that you’d miss me—or even notice it based on how often I update my weblog—but I’ll be away for five weeks, starting next Monday. We’re flying to San Francisco, renting a car, and driving to New York. And then back again. See ya!
The card reads, in Finnish:
“What was your boyfriend’s age again?”
Now I’m not even wrong any more. Congratulations!
I didn’t know that the “shimmering” compression disturbance around edges in MPEGs is called mosquito noise. Is the mush in highly compressed JPEGs also called mosquito noise?
I expect this and other compression signatures will start showing up as intentional special effects.
Roosa is starting her own business, and this morning, at 9 AM sharp, an insurance company called, offering their services. This is how she found out that her company is now incorporated. Another insurance company called just now. Roosa wasn’t nearly as receptive.
Returned from Copenhagen last night. Fun trip, though tiring. It’s good to be home.
We stayed at Hostel Belaegningen, which was nice, if a little far from downtown Copenhagen. It’s walking distance from Avedore Station (A or A+ S-trains), and the bus 1A goes even closer from the Copenhagen central railway station many times an hour.
Elias’s website. Elias is an old classmate of mine who’s studying music composition in Boston. I was hoping we’d be able to visit him this May when we go to “tour” the States, but as luck has it, he’ll be in Finland when we’ll be on the East Coast. (I put tour in quotes because we’ll be driving from San Francisco to New York and back, not actually touring like, say, a band.)
Today I watched a man stuff a wooden desk into the garbage compressor behind my workplace’s office building. A desk! Into a garbage compressor!
When he turned the compressor on, the desk started slowly pushing itself out of the compressor. The man stood there, looking at it inch out, its legs grasping for something to hold on to.
After the compressor had run its cycle, the man pushed the legs back over the lip of the compressor’s maw, and the desk fell all the way in with a boom and a sigh.
Last night we went to Tavastia to see Blake. I felt a little guilty for not spending the evening with Taneli, who’s only in Helsinki for the weekend, but Roosa and I’d planned to go see Tuomo play already a month ago. Tuomo’s been a visiting bassist for Blake for the last few months, and we’d been waiting for Blake to play in Helsinki for a while now. We’d both just forgotten it was last night.
So, despite the fact that both Roosa and Vane had to get up early today for work and school, respectively (yes, on a Sunday!), me being a little sick, and one of my best friends being in town, we braved the rainy wind and blackness, and made our way to Tavastia.
I’m glad we went. I’m not too big on metal, but I can appreciate it. The first three songs I really enjoyed. Then I got tired, and just kind of waited for the gig to be over. To my untrained ear, I thought the band was pretty good. The singer had voice that reminded me a lot of Monster Magnet’s singer’s, and the face of an evil monkey from hell. He made terriffic impression. And, though I rarely pay any attention to the drummer, I thought this one was really good. Like always, I wondered what it takes to make it as a band.
There were two other bands yet to play, but we weren’t about to stay for them, so after Tuomo came to say hi, we left. We did see the first song and a half of Stam1na—an experience I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m still smiling at the memory� It was one of those things that I couldn’t understand in the least, and for that reason found thoroughly absurd and silly. Maybe I should take back my claim of being able to appreciate metal�
I remember seeing The Omega Man (1971) when I was a kid, and being really scared. It seemed to me then that the world of the future would be a permanently overcast wasteland desolated by nuclear apocalypse.
So yesterday Marko Samuli, Janne, Roosa and I ended up going to Tikkurila to my parents’ place and grilling hamburgers. Judging on Roosa’s reaction, this wasn’t the first time she’d seen me eat home-made hamburgers. “How do you get them so big?” she asked, meaning basically “how can you make such a big mess?”
After dinner, Marko Samuli tried to get my dad’s computers to see each other in a network. Meanwhile I fixed Mom’s Mozilla mail client. This is the fourth time in the last 18 months that Mozilla lost all her mail. (Actually, it loses the association between her browser profile and her mail files. I have no idea why this keeps happening.)
Joel and Lona came home later on in the evening. It was nice to see them. I heard Joel’s going to be working at Valio until October, so that means he’ll be living in Tikkurila till then. he was accepted to some school in Vantaa, but he won’t starting it until next year after his military service.
All in all, a nice evening. We got invited back again sometime soon. There’s still more work to be done on the computers.
Oh, it’s the 4th of July! I only just noticed. Usually we go to my parents’ house and have home-made hamburgers. Last year we grilled hamburgers in our apartment building’s courtyard — I think it was the first time we grilled there. I don’t know what we’re going to do this year.
Ever since I bought Dave Eggers’s AHWOSG, Amazon has been recommending memoirs to me. Well, why not? I like memoirs, I guess. But every time Amazon sends me an email recommending a memoir — like today, for Oh the Glory of It All (not interested in the book, though I really like the cover) — I end up reading a bunch reviews of them, one after another. This doesn’t work. This just makes me feel full, like I’ve eaten too much.
You can tell that MobileMonday hasn’t quite hit the blogging scene in a major way yet by looking at Technocrati’s mobilemonday tag. While many Mondayers do blog, MoMo’s aren’t on the radar in any distributed way — the blips that are there are in effect shouting out their existence rather than just showing up.
So, now it’s over. The event itself went well, but the high point for me was the afterparty. The Mondayers from around the world and some other people (Tero Lehto, Christian Lindholm) gathered at Zetor, a faux-rustic tractor-themed bar in downtown Helsinki. I was part of the hockey-watching contigency, but I did hang out in the smoke-free side long enough to meet Mike of the Bay-area MobileMonday. We talked briefly about the interesting stuff going on with small and often independent Web apps and services (eg. del.icio.us). It occurred to me while we were talking that it’s probably the dream of every small tech company in existence today to create something like Flickr or 43 Things.
When I feel overwhelmed by the concept of inventing something truly new (and thus worthwhile), I try to remind myself from time to time of the Google adage: the major changes in technology haven’t been sparked by the development of unique technology in itself, but by making it usable.
I also talked a bit with Christian about Lifeblog and the openness of the blogging world. I told him it’s been strange and exciting to watch the Lifeblog/Movable Type scene unfold over the last year. Christian recommended that I get a copy of Lifeblog so that I can get a firmware update of my 7610.
And I can’t believe Finland tied 0–0 with Latvia.
Ah, well, Tuesday night (a week ago today) went well. The turnout wasn’t very good, but we had a nice time and did, in the end, come out ahead. We learned quite a few things about organizing fundraisers and parties in general (mostly don’ts). The benefactor will be presented with his stipend as soon as possible.
Thanks to Jyri, who did all the work! You did an amazing job. And thanks to everyone who came: I hope you all had fun! Who knows, maybe this will become a yearly event.
Benefit concert (entrance 5 euros)
Tuesday, May 5, 2005
from 20.00–02.00, bands start at 21.30
at Dubrovnik (Eerikinkatu 11)
There were ticket inspectors at the Sörnäinen metro station today, and the metro was full of crazies.
Battlestar Galactica was a childhood favorite of my sister and brother and me. We loved scifi and fantasy, especially space operas. While I found out later that the Galactica film we had watched so many times had been edited from a TV series, I have never seen any other episodes beyond what was culled from the three-part pilot.
Last Wednesday, I found Mission Galactica: The Cylons Attack at the local movie rental shop. The Cylons Attack consists of episodes 12 and 13, titled “The Living Legend,” of the original 1978 series.
Roosa has never seen Battlestar Galactica, so I started looking around the Net for the original pilot movie. Easier said than done. There’s now a new Galactica series running, and of course all the search results are inundated with episodes of the 2003 series.
My search continues (and I’m afraid it could become a minor obsession to find and see the whole original series). But I discovered another interesting fact, one that makes perfect sense in hinsight. There’s a reason I have such a clear image of what “the decayed future” looks like. There’s a reason why the spaceships in Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars are so similar — they all share the same father, Ralph McQuarrie.
But wait! There’s more. I’m a big fan of John Williams. (I suspect this is a standard nerd thing.) He’s the composer of the theme songs of not only Star Wars, but Indiana Jones, and Superman, to name a few. However, I had no idea that he’d written the theme of Battlestar Galactica. It seems so obvious now.
The fact that Williams’s work is so recognizable is probably a clue that his music is not exactly high culture. But I suggest that his influence is staggering. I’m willing to wager that most kids who grew up in the 80s and 90s and watched American movies feel a pull at their heart when they hear the swell of a Williams theme.
I’m looking for an easy-to-use, easy-to-setup project management application. If it runs in a browser, good; if it can installed on our own server, even better. DotProject is unintuitive and seems overkill for our three man team.
I’d love to give Basecamp a try, but I’m afraid we’re not going to be afforded that kind of a budget when other open source alternatives are available. (Our boss probably does consider our time to be worth nothing*.)
So far, I haven’t found anything interesting. I’ve been avoiding Sourceforge and other code repositories, but I suppose I’ll have to trawl them soon enough.
We saw Skate Mosh at Liberté last Friday. Not at all like Ovali Virta. After the first song (requiem: “wigga—mother fucker!”) I was afraid it was all going to be a big over-arty joke. But no: it was good.
It’s so strange to meet young Americans abroad, and to hear them speak of their future so openly.
A typical American I’ve met traveling. We’ve already exchanged the basics: names, residence, and duration of travels. Around then, it comes:
“So, what keeps you busy in your real life?”
“Oh, you know, the usual.”
“The usual? You mean work or school?”
“Yeah. I run these bars with a couple of friends. I was gonna go to school but first I wanted to see the world.”
“Right, right. So what’re you gonna study?”
“I’m thinking either nuclear physics or music. I play the guitar in a band. I thought it’d be cool if we could start touring.”
“Oh. Nuclear physics� or music? That’s — diverse.”
“Yeah. I was also online looking at this bar tending school in South Africa. I might become a U.K. citizen. DUIs are on the rise in Texas.”
Belinda’s photos of Elexa in Sweden. It sucks that Ofoto makes you grant permissions to each gallery separately.
I ordered four books and two zines from CrimethInc. today. They ship internationally by global priority mail only, so the cost of shipping four books is the same as two. (The shipping for Days of War, Nights of Love, the book that got me shopping in the first place, would have been the same price as the book.)
Elexa’s been talking about Days of War, Nights of Love for about a year now, but the one she read, she passed on to another friend. I’m looking forward to the zines, too.
The nice thing about media-savvy counterculture organizations (Adbusters, Yomango) is their ability to use design to their advantage and pull off really neat publicity stunts.
I turned in my database project yesterday. Three minutes before the deadline. But it’s done. Another item crossed off my list. I’m on a roll.
And I’m not going to Mexico. Elexa called me on Sunday and asked if I’d come with her and Elice and two other friends. “Flight leaves Thursday from Stockholm. We return two weeks later, on the 30th.” Yesterday I spend all day arranging my sudden, Christmas-busting trip. Then Elexa goes to buy the tickets only to find that the offer has ended. What I way to make the holidays seem worthless. Oh well, easy come, easy go.
My mom told us when we were little that it was possible for men to lactate. My brother and sister and I, we believed her. Later on, I told my biology teacher about it. He didn’t believe me. So I asked my mom where she’d read about it, so I could show the book to my teacher. She didn’t remember, but she said she’d find it someday.
Later, my sister told her teacher about it. He didn’t believe her, either. My mom still hadn’t found where she’d read about it. She said she’d find it someday.
Ten years later, my mom sends me this link. Thanks, Mom.
Tänään DNAlta tuli tekstiviesti, jossa ilmoitettiin, että Onni-liittymän kuukausimaksu laskee 0,66 euroon. Jippii! Kokonaiset kolme senttiä vähemmän!
Mitä järkeä tässä on? Johtuuko muutos siitä, että Elisan vastaavassa tasahintaliittymässä kuukausimaksu on 0,68 euroa? Meinaako DNA seurata perässä kun joku muu operaattori laskee hintansa 0,65 euroon?
Elias on Suomen nuorin bloggaaja. Eliaksen isä on vanha työkaverini. Onnea vanhemmille!
Yesterday’s databases exam went well. Today I have a hangover. I’m dying for a cigarette, but my throat is still burning from all the smoke I swallowed last night. Markku’s parents are back from the States. They brought Trader Joe’s Honey-roasted Peanuts, which Markku hates, and I love. We spent the weekend in Märjamaa. Fun, as always. This was my fourth time there. Eemeli’s parents sure are nice. Can you believe I misspelled the last name of the one person who needed his business card the most?
Yesterday evening was maybe one the worst evenings I’ve ever had. Rating things as the worst or best in my life is not the way I think of things. This is a first.
Yesterday, I skipped my automaton exam because there was no way I was going to pass it. Then, today, I fucked up my operating systems exam. Ten to four, I am nervously smoking a pre-exam cigarette in front of the main university building. At four to, I’m standing in front of the door to the main auditorium. There’s not very many people there. I don’t recognize anyone. I pull out my calendar, check the date of the exam. Yes, it’s today. But I haven’t written down where it’s held. Fuck. It can’t be at the Kumpula campus. All my other exams are here. Where can I find a computer with net access?
Sure enough, the was held in the main auditorium of Exactum, the CS and math building in Kumpula.
On my way back home, I ride right past S�rn�inen. I get off at Kulosaari and catch the next metro back to S�rn�inen. What is this? I’m not absent-minded. I don’t forget things, or ride past my stop. I don’t even need a calendar. At least I didn’t use to. Who is this person I’ve become?
The Concurrent Systems course that started this week has a reputation of being difficult. The lecturer said the faculty can’t quite figure out why. Rumors hold that it took some poor soul nine tries to pass the course. “It’s not the worst of the compulsory courses, though,” the lecturer consoled us. “That record is held by the Models for Programming and Computing course, at eleven tries.” My Models for Programming and Computing exam is on Tuesday.
The Concurrent Systems course is full of real life analogies. There’s dining philosophers, sleeping barbers, banker’s algorithms. All three of the problems have animations to illustrate how they work (the dining philosophers animation is kind of hard to follow).
I once described to my sister how a file system sometimes rejects files after a system crash. This happens, when the file’s size changes and the computer crashes before this change has been updated in the file system. When trying to repair itself, the file system rejects the file, just as a mother bird rejects a baby bird that’s fallen out of its nest and smells wrong (if been touched by a human, for example).
A friend of mine is performing tonight at Club Naurava Kulkuri. I’ve seen Joni do standup once before, and he was great. It also strikes me as funny that Joni was always the class clown. Tonight’s the comedy club’s first night. It starts at 21.00 at Pacifico.
Olen ehkä kohtuuttomankin tyytyväinen siihen, että Helsingin Sanomien kunnallisvaalikoneen kymmenen mielipiteitäni läheisintä ehdokasta ovat vihreitä. Epäsopivimmista kolmesta kaksi ovat kristillisdemokraatteja, ja yksi kokoomuksesta. Tuntuu siltä, että arvoni ovat jotenkin kohdallaan. Mikä onkin aika hassu tapa ajatella omia poliittisia näkemyksiään. Tiesin tosin jo ennestään ketä aion äänestää. “Ku sillä on niin makee korviski.”
Elias has put up a homepage. Elias is studying composing in Boston. Elias and I used to go to school together. He’s the only guy I know personally who’s composed, recorded, and self-published his own solo album. (I also know of others. I don’t count famous people.)
I’m using ChangeNotes to notify me when Elias publishes a new chapter of his travelogue.
The Cigarette Lady from across our courtyard has apparently moved away. She lived one floor above us and had a perfect view into our living room from the window she used to smoke out of. We counted at least two other women who used to lean out that window, smoking, but they were at least ten years younger than Cigarette Lady, and we never could figure out if they were her roommates or ladyfriends or what. Either she’s moved away, or she and her friends have all quit, or then they’ve changed windows.
Jason, the over-friendly, very creepy Newzealander who lives in the groundfloor studio apartment below Joni, Matti and Lauri has stopped playing loud music. It also appears that he’s successfully quit smoking. Good for him, good for us. Markku isn’t woken up by his music, and I don’t have to be afraid that he’ll see me in the yard and invite himself up to our place to use my computer.
There’s a new girl living in the commune on the first floor of our building. She’s frequently seen in the yard smoking with a friend. Today Marika and I almost knocked her over with the outside door as we were taking out the trash.
The couple from the apartment below us moved out yesterday. On Friday night the man threatened to “come through our door” if we didn’t quiet down that minute. “There’s a pregnant woman down here!” he screamed at Karkki through the intercom, and shook his fist at Roosa, who looked out into the hallway.
I passed the man four times on Saturday as they were moving. Both of us pretended we didn’t see each other. I was deeply ashamed. And also a little amused that he didn’t want to meet my eye. There’s Finland for you.
On Saturday we were at the house warming party of Sami, Inari, Gerome, and Pervilä. They have a beautiful—and huge—apartment on Mechelininkatu. The party was rather quiet (as parties go with these guys), but it was fun. There’s photos. I met Jarkko, who, as he basically introduced himself, is behind the bathroom reviews at the Kallio neighborhood weblog.
Seeing Janne was yet again sort of disappointing. His only days off his internship work at Demo are Sundays and Mondays, and these days he’s either too tired to do anything, or inevitably, spends them with his dumb old new girlfriend. I’m jealous.
On Friday we were first at the new computer science students’ party at Uusi (nothing going on there, but the beer was only an euro a bottle), and then later at NRJ’s (the radio station) birthday party at Vanha. Invites from Jyri again, of course. While the party was lame (no free booze this time, or then we came too late) and the performers were horrible, it was nice to spend some time with my brother and his fiancé. They live in Turku, and when they do come “home,” they rarely make it to downtown Helsinki.
Markku and I snuck backstage (well, actually we just walked in) and went up to the artists’ area. To our disappointment, there were only four ciders left in the fridge. We took those, and went to find Jyri in the VIP area. The girls tried to join us upstairs, but they were stopped at the entrance we had come in. And Roosa could’ve even gotten into the VIP area legitimately, had she been able to call her boss. Unfortunately, her phone was in her purse, which was in the coat check, and I had her coat check stub.
I love the fact that on the first slide of the first lecture of my Models for Programming and Computing course it says that the significant concepts covered in the course “were developed between 1930 and 1950.” The first electronic computers were built in the 1950s.
“We found that it's a lot easier for us to research a topic than it is to take experts and teach them about game development.”
Maybe this is why I’m studying computer science instead of anything else.