Sunday, 30-Nov-03 23:36
Horsin' around

Glxblt. Can hardly think straight anymore, and I have to actively try and focus my eyes to the screen, or else I can't make out the characters. I've had the most wonderful weekend, during which I have done things I don't want to even talk about, things that I would like to sing about, things that have made me glad, and things that have made me sad. I have found new things, rediscovered some old things, forgotten about some others, been reminded of some things, and reminded others of some others.

Just a few highlights:

  • Saturday morning breakfast
  • The discovery that yeah, blue can go with red if they are both striking enough and everybody else is wearing a tuxedo =)
  • You can't mix Black Cat with 4 other alcohol drinks and expect it to be good
  • Riding is good fun, but you need to have narrower boots than hiking boots, and tie down your trouser legs somehow
  • You can squeeze four games of Amplitude in the 20 minutes before the bus leaves, if you eat a lighter breakfast =)
  • DVD players are really cheap these days
  • Taxi trip from the west side of Vantaa to the east side costs 30€ (ouch)
    • Corollary, you can actually get a taxi by chasing one down, like a dog.
  • Avoiding branches can sometimes be difficult on horseback
  • Note to self: don't get daughters, only sons. Much, much cheaper.
  • The Two Towers, extended edition is a far better movie than the movie version; the pace is calmer.
  • Ground loops can occur within home environment, too.
  • My sight has not grown any worse during the past 8 years. Yay!
Sunday, 30-Nov-03 00:30
Left, right, right, right, left, right, right, right

Despite of all of the cool and wonderful things that happened today, and all of the cool and wonderful people whom I met today, whenever I close my eyes I see blue octagons containing notes flowing towards me, ready to be shot.

I was introduced yesterday evening to Frequency, so I promptly went out today and bought the sequel: Amplitude. I seem to be unable to stop playing it.

This is so sad. /me shakes head, just before plunging into another tunnel to hunt for that pesky bass track.

Friday, 28-Nov-03 15:52
Portality

Hum. Someone emailed me with about me being a portal, and jokingly commented that I should have a "make ~ButtUgly my home page" button.

Got me thinking.

How many people actually *do* use prominent weblogs for their "portal" pages? I could imagine that content-heavy and fast updating sites like boingboing, or scripting.com might make pretty good portal sites if they allowed for a bit more user configurability (like add my favourite links and so on).

Hm. A new job for a WikiWeblog?

Friday, 28-Nov-03 13:45
Got me pussycat

Yeah, my Panther arrived finally, after two unsuccessful attempts. It took me two tries to convince Apple that "yes, I actually would really, really like to have the International English version of the OSX", as they kept being very helpful and trying to send me the Finnish version.

Not that I really mind, the Apple support people have been very helpful and responsive all through this trial; they just seem to think that it is unfathomable that anyone in their right mind would like to use Mac OSX in some other language than their own. I know Mac users are in general considered to be drooling non-techie morons, who need hand-holding and pats on the back all the time so that they don't panic at the sight of a surprising dialog box, but still... :-)

BTW, I love Expose. It's not yet a replacement for proper virtual desktops, but it does make working on a single desktop a lot more productive and pleasant. Also, the fact that there's now proper app switching with Apple-Tab instead of the Dock thingy is really a boon for a hardcore keyboard user such as myself. So far it has easily been worth the 30€ I paid for it.

Oh yeah, and I still can't connect to my home Samba server. In 10.2, I just got a strange error number; Panther just gives me a "the original item cannot be found" message. WTF?

Thursday, 27-Nov-03 23:42
DD

Watched Dungeons & Dragons today for the third time. It is still a pile of bats droppings.

Well, at least I wasn't alone.

Thursday, 27-Nov-03 09:47
What is your digital IQ?

My Digital IQ is 210. They have some dumb questions: I don't use no stinking portals, I *am* a portal. And I don't use eight-character alphanumeric passwords, I use passwords that look like line noise and are impossible to type without two hands, and I have not installed the Google toolbar because I do not use IE. If I interpret the questions loosely, I score 220. Nyah.

Via Visa Kopu.

Thursday, 27-Nov-03 09:35
Ben Franklin must be rolling in his grave at 12,000 rpm

From Wired Magazine: Congress Expands FBI Spying Power

Under the Patriot Act, the FBI can acquire bank records and Internet or phone logs simply by issuing itself a so-called national security letter saying the records are relevant to an investigation into terrorism. The FBI doesn't need to show probable cause or consult a judge. What's more, the target institution is issued a gag order and kept from revealing the subpoena's existence to anyone, including the subject of the investigation.

Hel-llloo? Anyone intelligent still in home in US? Do you really, really trust your authorities enough to allow them to essentially a free reign without any publically reviewable control whatsoever? Sheesh, and then people are worried about some compulsory ID number...

I don't know about you, but the US Department of Justice website on why Patriot Act really is a good thing does not exactly comfort me either.

Wednesday, 26-Nov-03 17:01
Wiki stuff and integration

SnipSnap people ask:

Someone could write a Blojsom or JSPWiki ~FileStorage.

Wouldn't it be far more interesting to have a WebDAV storage system for Wikis?

(I was BTW also looking at the possibility to make JSPWiki Radeox-compatible. Shouldn't be too hard, actually. You just need one adapter class and that's it.)

Wednesday, 26-Nov-03 12:14
"Would you terribly mind if you bent your knees a bit and groveled, please? Thank you so much, dear."

What kind of porno would you star in?

Bondage movie! You're into BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Submission & Dominance) and chances are, you're fond of whips, chains, harnesses, and tight leather outfits. You like to mix a little pain with a LOT of pleasure, baby!

Oh, okay then. No worries. What a good coincidence, I was just wondering if and how I should revise the contents of my garderobe. Luckily the internet is full of these tests that will help you to figure out what and who you really are.

How wonderful.

"Now, my dear, could you please extend your tongue towards my shoe? No? That is quite all right, darling. Perhaps I might interest you in some tea and bisquits?"

Tuesday, 25-Nov-03 19:37
Death at 27, kitchen psychology at 11

Masaaki Hatsumi, the head of the Bujinkan tradition says that he died at the age of 27.

Sounds strange, doesn't it? It sounds like something who actually is the head of a long tradition of budo masters might say, in the spirit of the best martial arts movies.

It suddenly dawned on me that I did kinda the same thing at 27, quitting practicing the aforementioned tradition almost overnight. I started to think about it, as a 26-year old friend mentioned that lately, she has started to think that what she used to think she wants are no longer the things that she really thinks that she wants, and she no longer knows what she thinks, or wants. Err. Something like that anyway. But it did strike a chord somewhere in my jaded guts.

Perhaps 27 really is the age where the idealism of the youth dies; the strong opinions, feelings, and habits picked up during your teenage years no longer carry you beyond that point, and the real world hits you. Usually, at the same age, people (academic people anyway) also leave study life and they have to actually, completely to start to take care of themselves. There are no more safety nets, no more teachers and guides, nobody to tell you what to do with your life. So you reinvent yourself.

Or perhaps it is all just a part of a larger conspiracy.

Tuesday, 25-Nov-03 00:12
Cruelty, intolerable

In a desperate attempt to use all of my discount movie tickets I went to see Intolerable Cruelty, which certainly had its moments.

It seems that I do have a weak spot for romantic comedies. Though, I should probably stop inviting my male friends with me, as they don't always react too well :-).

Oh yeah... Random moment of the day: You know you have been living in one place too long when... the local hobos start to greet you.

Sunday, 23-Nov-03 18:39
Sweety

Went to see Whale Rider. It was not as good as I had been told (and frankly, unless you have a habit of stuffing parsley in your ears regularly during movies, you should be able to guess the plot within ten minutes), but the execution is still rather flawless, and it actually manages to be sentimental and touching without being surypy.

And I finally learned how to make passable gyu-don today! Woo-hoo! My menu for the next week is set!

Saturday, 22-Nov-03 10:54
Surprising day, and it's not even noon

I surprised myself today by colouring my hair. I guess there are worse ways of spending an early Saturday morning than having a woman paint and massage your head; in fact, the experience was rather relaxing.

I was also somewhat - but only somewhat - surprised to find that I am the #1 hit for "masturbation among teenage girls" on MSN Search. While the idea in itself is very commendable, I am afraid I know about the subject about as much as a singing hippopotamus understands about space travel. I would not trust MSN Search as far as I can throw it.

Saturday, 22-Nov-03 01:27
Back to speed

It has been a while since my last scientific experiment, and I am the first to admit that the only reason has been my own laziness. People have started to give me some nice ideas, some of which I might actually implement some day. Especially the one involving whipped cream and naked bodies was rather interesting.

However, in order to help others to have their own social lives, I decided to show just how one can liven up ones life without having to resort to duct tape, just by using ordinary household items - i.e. dirty laundry. The result is not very scientific, though.

Ecyrd Heavy Industries presents: Things you can do with your laundry but probably should not.

Friday, 21-Nov-03 18:38
Holy Schmoly
With Synergy, all the computers on your desktop form a single virtual screen. You use the mouse and keyboard of only one of the computers while you use all of the monitors on all of the computers. You tell synergy how many screens you have and their positions relative to one another. Synergy then detects when the mouse moves off the edge of a screen and jumps it instantly to the neighboring screen. The keyboard works normally on each screen; input goes to whichever screen has the cursor.

Brilliant! Exactly what I have been lusting after.

(Via #joiito.)

Friday, 21-Nov-03 15:37
"What about her poor neglected left nipple?"

Wouldn't you like to have your own Ebichu, the friendly cleaning hamster?

(Now, where did I put my BitTorrent client? This one looks like a must-see :-)

Update: Of course, the Bitter Orange Snail looks rather interesting as well. Via Lorem Ipsum.

Friday, 21-Nov-03 14:30
Wikitized pr0n

We had our first porn ad on jspwiki.org today. I feel like a proud dad; my child has finally reached maturity and general acceptance.

(And yes, I do need to get out more often. Thank you for asking.)

Wednesday, 19-Nov-03 23:44
Pissedy

OK, I would now like to state for the record that I do NOT like the following things:

  • stupid games that you play in a group so that you would feel better about being just a dumb part of a group (you know: "hey, let's all pretend to be submarines and do weird stuff.")
  • accordion music
  • waking up very early so that one gets to listen to two hours of interesting presentations and six hours of not-so-interesting presentations ("look, we can make this phone ring." "Whoa.")
  • being so bloody tired during all of this
  • not having GPRS connectivity
  • emotional rollercoasters
  • not being able to read one's mails (I suddenly started receiving many emails that I actually have or want to respond to.)

Glxblt. I'll just crash now, thankyouverymuch.

Wednesday, 19-Nov-03 12:38
Generousy

Ah, university food. I used to be much skinnier when I was working for the academic world.

Monday, 17-Nov-03 16:32
Annoyancy

OK, so I'm in this meeting, and I am looking at a slideshow, and suddenly I get these wonderful ideas, no, THREE wonderful ideas. But I don't want to interrupt the conversation, so I decide to quickly jot them down and comment on them later.

So I start whacking the FN key of my Windows laptop.

And I wait for it to wake up.

And then I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del to log in.

And then I wait. Everybody else continues the conversation, of which I am missing most.

And then I type in my password.

And then I wait. "Chatter chatter", go the others.

And then I get a desktop, and I start Word by hunting a rediculously small icon from my toolbar.

And then I wait. The conversation has already shifted focus twice during this, and I have completely lost track.

And when I finally get an empty document, I stare at it.

And I have no idea whatsoever what my ideas were anymore, because it takes over 30 bloody seconds for the bloody computer to bloody wake up and give me bloody Word.

I guess my ideas weren't that wonderful after all.

(Seriously, a computer should be "instant-on". My Mac wakes up in about two seconds, which is about the absolute maximum I am willing to tolerate. Most PDAs are faster, even.)

Monday, 17-Nov-03 12:58
Creepy

Wanna send an email after your death? My Last Email is here to serve you.

I have to say that this service fascinates my eclectic sense of humour. I have sort of been planning to build a "if you don't log in at least once a month, I will assume you are dead and fire off a bunch of emails" -kinda system myself, but it does have some obvious drawbacks (like forgetting about its existence, and being woken up at 3 am by a bunch of people who have been scared shitless by a cron job).

(Via Roland.)

Saturday, 15-Nov-03 14:16
Switchy

OK, so I've been a Mac user for about three weeks now, and here are some more opinions and impressions; mostly collected on my trips.

  • What felt light and small back home, looks so big and clunky in Japan =).
  • I just hate the stupid idea of putting an enter key exactly where the right alt key should be. How can I remap it?
  • Why the hell is the "back" key different in each application? In some, it's Apple+up; in some it's Apple+left, and in Help it's Apple+[. The button looks the same. Why does the shortcut have to be different?
  • Apparently, burning a CD-RW on a shaking Shinkansen train, on battery power while starting and stopping applications is a breeze to OSX. Way :-).
  • Why does Apple say "Suitable for Powerbook G4" when it in fact isn't? I bought a mini-DVI to Composite adapter, and it turns out it only fits the earlier model of Powerbook G4; not my newer model.
  • It really is very easy to accidentally tap the touchpad while typing, especially with the way I use the keyboard.
  • Burned CD-RWs are in HFS+. This is not too good if you want to share your iPhoto albums with others...
  • The battery performance and measurements is really good and accurate. I find it that the 4.5 hours that Apple promises is with display set to minimum brightness, no apps running and Bluetooth and WLAN both off. But hey, I still get easily three hours while doing actually something useful the whole time.
  • There are still some stability issues: this machine has crashed on me three times now; every time while waking from sleep and attempting to do something.
  • I would really, really, really like to have the backlit keyboard on the 12" model.
  • The Apple phone service is really up to date, friendly, fast, and generally a joy to deal with. However, never before have I had the need to talk to any customer service about my computer before =).
Friday, 14-Nov-03 15:28
Googly

Cool. Not only I am the #1 Janne on Google (or #2, depending on the sun spots, it seems), I also seem to be the #1 hit for "dumb tests", not to mention "butt-ugly". Hooray. Welcome all googlers, and especially the one who hoped to find "naked pictures of RuPaul". WTF?

My main ambition in life is to become #1 for gxblt, though.

Update: well, that was fast :-). So, can I be #1 for glxblt as well?

Friday, 14-Nov-03 15:05
...and to say nothing of the dog

(Skipping the y-theme for now; I am disappointed that nobody pointed it out.)

Went yesterday (finally) to see Lars von Trier's Dogville. I had heard rave reviews from friends whose taste I usually trust, so I tried to empty my mind of any expectations as I entered the darkened theatre...

For the first fifteen-twenty minutes I did have trouble with the fact that there were no sets, just a big garage with the layout of the city drawn on the floor. I always figured it was a gimmick, something new that Trier is trying, as he usually is. About half-way to the movie I realized that the removal of all sets was an integral part of the movie; and it would not work as well otherwise. The simple lack of everything extraneous, and having only things that are really needed forces the viewer to concentrate on the actors and the story - a terrible burden I am sure. As Mikki pointed out, this is the antithesis of Matrix - all character, no frame.

But they all perform so superbly that it is hard to describe. At one point I was laughing my ass off, the next minute I was ready leap to the screen and start killing people. I ended up with my jaw on the floor, repeating softly "they can't do that, no way can they do that", refusing to believe my eyes and ears. That does not happen often.

Dogville could have gone horribly wrong in so many ways. It didn't. Give this movie a chance, it deserves it.

Thursday, 13-Nov-03 18:17
Part-Y!

Joi Ito wants to throw a world-wide New Year's Party. Any geeks in Finland wanna join in?

I'll be in London for the New Year's in another kind of party, but I'll try to join in if possible.

BTW, any JSPWiki users in London? I'll be there from Dec 27th to Jan 4th, and I would love to see some of the better whisky bars :-).

Thursday, 13-Nov-03 18:01
Presenty

Tom Coates lets us know that Secret Santa 2003 has started!

The idea is simple: you make yourself an Amazon wishlist, submit the URL to the Secret Santa site, and on the 10th of December you'll get someone else's wishlist - pick something and send it to them! Everybody gets a present! And since it's a global thing, you could get gifts from anywhere =).

Sounds cool; sign me up! However, what I really want is a sample of the local food; every country has their own weirdosities, and I like tasting those. Hum. Let's see if I can add a specific wish...

Thursday, 13-Nov-03 16:17
Gloomy

Ah, found this wonderful site that explains what Gloomy bear is.

Gloomy. The name itself is already wonderful: perky, yet filled with doom; cute, but strange, and it fills completely the Japanese fascination with the letter "y".

Gloomy rocks. I want more Gloomy.

Wednesday, 12-Nov-03 16:56
Socialy

what kind of social software are you?
YOU ARE USENET

You remember when alt.lemur.frink.frink.frink and alt.2eggs.sausage.beans.tomatoes.2toast.largetea.cheerslove was distributed on reel-to-reel tape strapped to a carrier pigeon.

Err...

So what if I do? But I do sometimes feel like a vast number of voices flaming each other in my head, interleaved with large binary pictures of people's sexual organs at close contact, trolls fishing for attention, endless emacs-vs-vi-vs-pc-vs-mac-vs-amiga-vs-swedish chef-vs-tolkien -debates, and gigantic piles and piles of spam. So yeah, perhaps this test is more accurate than most :-).

(Via Matt Jones).

Wednesday, 12-Nov-03 14:51
Trippy

Created a specific page for Trip to Japan 2003 for easy access. I have no doubt in mind that nobody else than me is interested in it; but at least it'll be now archived properly by Google and others.

Wednesday, 12-Nov-03 12:13
Ignoramously

BBC News reports on plans to force all UK citizens to have ID cards, with biometric (such as iris and fingerprint) information in a national register.

This, while very worrying, is not the main issue. This one is:

Mr Blunkett claimed independent research showed eight out of 10 members of the public backed ID cards.

But his Lib Dem opposite number, Mark Oaten, suggested that 5,000 unfavourable consultation responses had been not been counted as they had been submitted through an anti-ID card website.

WHAT THE PROVERBIAL FUCK?

"We are not counting negative votes because they come from people who oppose our plan. Besides, they use the pesky internet, which - as we well know - is filled with pirates and child-porn dealers, so their votes cannot be counted."

What kind of a democracy is that? Just ignore the grassroots movements because it's convinient?

Tuesday, 11-Nov-03 16:21
Blimey

"Terry asks if there are countries that block Google results. Their first answer: the United States. "The United States has the Digital Millenium Copyright Act [...] there are probably a handful of sights -- maybe a hundred web pages are blocked for that reason. [...] In France and Germany there are some rules against Nazi sites [...] a handful of sites are blocked."

Yup. The good thing is that Google is not forbidden to talk about what they block. The bad thing is that the blocks are there. And the scary thing is that they are needed in the first place.

(Also note the interesting rumors that Google has been sending spiders to IRC channels.)

Via the Google Weblog.

Tuesday, 11-Nov-03 12:24
Smileysy

The Smiley Toolkit allows you to configure and generate your own smileys. Via Universal Rule.

Tuesday, 11-Nov-03 10:18
Scripty

Whee, now even iTunes knows how to ping this weblog with the currently playing song, thanks to a nifty piece of Applescript from Matthew A. Haughey. Now I have full integration from Windows (~WinAMP), Linux (XMMS) and Mac OS X (iTunes)!

MP3 and weblogs bridge the operating system gaps more powerfully than anything else :-).

Monday, 10-Nov-03 21:39
Poetry...y
If they told you I'm mad, then they lied.
I'm odd, but it isn't compulsive.
I'm the triolet, bursting with pride;
If they told you I'm mad, then they lied.
No, it isn't obsessive. Now hide
All the spoons or I might get convulsive.
If they told you I'm mad then they lied.
I'm odd, but it isn't compulsive.

(Which poetry form are you? And of course, this all is again due to Merten, the man who tests himself more than your average mad scientist. And this all brought to you with a table-less layout :-).

Monday, 10-Nov-03 20:19
Contradictiony

Fun things abound today. Apple very nicely sent me a copy of invoice to my Powerbook, so I can get now get the Panther at a reduced price. Yay!

I had a good, solid, 8-hour day at work, got things done, got home at a decent hour, and while I'm still generating snot and mucus at an accelerated rate, I'm generally feeling better.

Something extraordinarily weird also happened today, and I'm kinda... confused. Blogging about it is probably the dumbest thing I can do... So, what do you say to a wonderful lady you meet online, who suddenly turns out to be someone you once knew - and you fail to remember her?

Sunday, 09-Nov-03 13:11
Slippy

Today, I threw a banana peel in the dishwasher, and nearly put my breakfast plates in the trashcan. I have no idea why; it just seemed to be the logical thing to do at the time - they both are, after all, things in which one can put other things.

I'm sure everyone else does this, too. I think there's even word for it, but I'll be darned if I remember it.

Todays enlightenment: Lately, many ISPs have been having serious email cloggage, and it's hard to tell when your emails are really working and when they are not. However, spam is the lifeline! As long as you are getting your regular dosage of spam, you know your email works! There are some more ideas on how to use spam positively on Joi Ito's Wiki.

Saturday, 08-Nov-03 12:10
Fally

The Hietaniemi Cemetery at an autumn dawn. It kinda looks South-European, doesn't it?. Unfortunately this picture does not do justice to all of the wonderful autumn colors, encircling this old chapel.

These places reminds us of those people who died during the War. While it was a long time ago, there still are old people who remember, and places like these help us to remember it too.

Friday, 07-Nov-03 18:53
Emaily ranty

I've been using '+' -addresses to register to different places. You know, my email address here is "jalkanen+jspwiki@ecyrd.com". For random companies I am "jalkanen+randomcompany@ecyrd.com". This has a couple of advantages:

  1. I can see if anyone has sold my contact information, even though they told me they wouldn't.
  2. It is rather easy to filter the incoming messages.
  3. It works transparently on most MTAs, no config required.
  4. It confuses most spambots - I can just trash all messages to "jspwiki@ecyrd.com", because email harvesters in general do not understand the "+" -notation and just imagine that "jalkanen+jspwiki@ecyrd.com" is really "jspwiki@ecyrd.com" Yay!

However it does have some negative side effects as well. The most annoying are the moronic web masters and web page coders, who think it's really, really useful to check email addresses for typos. This wouldn't be so bad, except that they think that "+" is not a legal character in an email address. Well, guess what, it is. And now I can't renew my IEEE membership because the incredibly helpful system thinks I am a moron who cannot spell his email address...

Gah. These are exactly the kind of failures you don't want to see... I mean, I can stand my Mac crashing every now and then, I know how to prepare for those incidents. Cars break down sometimes, no worries.

But imagine a car which thinks that you cannot sit on the drivers seat because you are wearing the wrong pants? "Sorry, these pants are not compatible with the color of this car." Or an operating system which says that "your name cannot be Janne, since there is no such name in English language, and you have bought an UK operating system."

Ngh. Being annoyed and having a flu is not good for your health.

Friday, 07-Nov-03 10:06
Meaty

Since everybody else is linking to the Meatrix, I should too. Good campaign, good thoughts.

On a more positive note, I feel almost like a complete human being this morning. I did have the most disturbing dream though: I kept dreaming that I was awake, and only the slightest oddities kept me wondering whether I am really asleep or not. No major things, just some really, really small things that were quite not there, so to say. For example, my room does not have a blue, glass flowerpot, but I kept trying to remember whether I actually had bought one. As often in dreams, remembering past things is difficult.

Thursday, 06-Nov-03 16:58
Sicky

Brain still mush.

So, let's recap... I've got a flu, a dead aunt, I was invited yesterday to *four* different places, all of which I would've loved to have gone but couldn't because of the flu, George W. Bush continues to be a moron, I am missing an important and highly interesting seminar at work, I managed to scare off a potential new friend, my place is a complete mess, I managed to botch both of my tapings of Xena (don't ask), I'm likely to miss tomorrow's cooking class which was supposed to be really great, I've managed to misplace all of my thermometers, and I also seem to have thrown away the receipt for my Powerbook while feverish, so I may have to pay the full price for Panther.

Somebody, give me good news, quick. Anything goes.

Update (two minutes later): Well, that didn't take long. Way to go, Suvi!

Wednesday, 05-Nov-03 09:43
Überconnectivity

I just noticed that I can receive FOUR different WLAN networks in my apartment, including my own.

Wow.

There really is little justification these days to hard-wire your apartment anyway. WLAN is too cheap and simple to set up...

Tuesday, 04-Nov-03 20:32
Morbidity

This is probably just some statistical fluke, but...

Almost every time I go abroad for at least a week, someone I know dies.

This time, it was my other grand-aunt. May she rest in peace.

(If you know me personally, you should start getting worried around New Year's.)

Tuesday, 04-Nov-03 12:46
gxblt

Tired. Flu.

My throat feels like someone had been gleefully pumped a bottle brush up and down it during the night. My brain feels like a three pounds of slightly rancid tofu, and my shoulders feel as if I had been arm-wrestling a 300-pound gorilla AND its entire tribe.

What joy it is to be back in the dark and dull Helsinki, where we have now entered the "dead" season; a season between autumn and winter, during which the most interesting thing outside is the howling wind. It's dark (no snow yet, but Sun still sleeps most of the day), cold, wet, and all people look miserable.

Monday, 03-Nov-03 17:48
Some day, somewhere above Siberia

Don't know what time it is, and I only know where I am by the virtue of a smallish white plane on a green map that is shown on the displays. I know I probably should be sleeping, but my internal clock is still probably somewhere on Hawaii on vacation. I hope I get a postcard.

It turned out that Monday was actually a holiday in Japan. This meant that all traffic was on Sunday schedule, and thus we cut it very close getting to the plane... I always do that. Note to self: Always reserve four hours to travel to Narita.

Monday, 03-Nov-03 17:47
Sunday evening, during a lull in packing frenzy

The Faithful.
Whee, I got to watch a go professional match from the TV this morning! O Rissei Judan was taking on Yamashita Keigo in a 30 second/move television cup series. It's amazing how simple moves pros make, and how much they emphasize good shape in fast games.

Anyway, we finally went to an area unknown to me called Odaiba, which has apparently grown to be a big entertainment area in the past few years. You get there on a very sci-fi, driverless train traveling high above the Tokyo Bay, and then you see rows and rows of shopping malls, gaming malls (!) and amusement parks (with a complete WW2 bomber).

Our main target was the "Venus Fort", a shopping mall which has been designed to mimic 17th century Rome, and targeted at young women - including shops like Barbie clothes for adults (yes, really, for wearing). We ended up in a Jean-Paul Gaultier shop, where I saw a wallet which I simply had to get. Heli got a bag, and Erik got nearly a coat, but was saved by the fact that there were no proper sizes available.

The rest of the evening we spent in Hirajuku, which is filled with gorgeous stuff - stuff that would make any goth weep with joy. After the shops closed, we went to Shibuya for a quick bite. I - again - had to pay a visit to the statue of a dog that is right next to the Shibuya station. It is a popular meeting place, and the story is that this dog escorted his master every day to the train station as he left for work, and always came back in the evening to welcome his master back home. Then one day, the master died, but the dog would keep coming every evening to meet the train; every day it would come, until it died, to wait for his master who would never come back.

For some reason, seeing the statue and remembering this beautiful story always brings a tear to my eye. Bah, damned romantic me.

Monday, 03-Nov-03 17:46
Sunday, after the hardest day so far

Hydrogen was the cool thing in this picture. Honest.
Heli arrived early on Saturday morning by bus from Sendai. After we managed to wake Erik up four hours later, we hopped on a bus and left for the two-hour trip to Tokyo International Motor Show near Chiba.

The show is full of concept cars, pretty girls, normal cars, pretty girls, strange cars, pretty girls, cool motorcycles, and pretty girls. There were also some pretty girls displaying the warez, so to speak. I managed to fill two memory cards and use up two batteries of my digital camera...

Not entirely unsurprisingly, the biggest stands and the biggest crowds were drawn by the Japanese manufacturers. Especially Toyota's concept cars with many blinkenlichts were nearly impossible to get near to, but old hats like Ferrari and Lamborghini were doing pretty well, too. My personal favourites were the Jaguar stand (the best looking cars) and the Subaru stand (the best looking... aw, forget it).

Cometh evening, and my feet were hurting so bad, I could sometimes feel flashes of pain starting from the sole and going up to my buttocks.

Monday, 03-Nov-03 17:45
Friday (or to be exact, Saturday)

OK, let me repeat myself here: Imagine a bar. You know, your average theme bar where for example you are handcuffed at the entrance and "guards" serve drinks in miniskirts. Squeeze it down to your kitchen. Stack six of these on top of each other, connect with a stair case.

Put ten in a row.

Put ten rows in ten columns.

Now, imagine 50 blocks of those, packed tightly.

Decorate with blinkenlichts, populate with 200,000 drunken people.

Roppongi.

It's Another Place.

Oh, by the way... I thought I was completely immune to shopping sprees, as it is really difficult for me to actually buy stuff. Not so.

In Harajuku (a place where the young people go hang out and do strange stuff) me and Erik walked by a Japanese toy shop. We just dropped in to see if there was anything interesting, and walked out with bags bulging with stuff; including things like extremely cute stuffed animals, "Gloomy" -bear strappu, puzzles and all sorts of other stuff we really don't want you to know about.

Then we hit the shopping streets, filled with so many cool clothes that even I felt my jaded heart to move. It was impossible to really move, since every shop looked interesting and we wanted to buy IT ALL! YES! STUFF! IT MUST BE MINE!

It was not a shopping spree. It was a shopping rampage. The combination of Akihabara and Harajuku is simply something nobody can resist. We stopped the rampage at Lamborghini Roppongi, which ... slightly exceeded our budget.

(I hear you ask: "What is Gloomy bear?" Well, Gloomy is a fluffy bear with big eyes who just simply likes to eat people and rip their guts off. But only in an adorable and cute sort of way, so it's okay. It also has rockets on its feet so it can fly.)


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"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.

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