Friday, 30-Jul-04 02:06
Notes to self

Note to self: I now know an excellent recipe for chocolate cake (thanks to Varo Vaan), but it is very sweet and heavy. Very.

Note to self 2: Bubble Bobble is still a bloody addictive game.

Note to self 3: The hand is a very effective thing to grab in Super Bomberman II.

Note to self 4: Blogging before you drink yourself silly is smart.

Note to self 5: Be careful in what you say, because it might end up being blogged. Especially if you manage to lure a blogger between your bedsheets.

Note to self 6: Wallets don't go into the fridge.

Thursday, 29-Jul-04 00:16
Oulu meeting

Yup. The Oulu meeting is over, and - if you do some creative maths, and have a very strong sense of denial - it was an enormous success. We had 67% more people coming than we were aiming for!

Well, okay, there were five in total, out of which only three actually lived in Oulu. But the original target was just to meet pnuk, so we were positively surprised to see Aaltoneito arrive with a very large backpack and a short-haired companion, which had apparently tagged along from Turku. But he was a blogger, so it was okay :-).

The discussion ranged from blogs to movies, from certain bloggers to some other bloggers (wouldn't you all like to know who they were...), from food to beer, and a few mentions of the upcoming Finnish Blog Awards... The evil scheming and plotting is afoot.

All in all, good fun. There are still so few bloggers over here (and the Pinseri Top-list being the combining factor) that we can still - to some degree - speak about a Finnish blog community. This will obviously wane away as more and more bloggers join in (and I am sure some would already argue against it), but so far, from my personal experience, it seems that there is a connection between bloggers. It may be because many of the bloggers share things like common interests, similar education, or just the fact that if you're a blogger, your friends stand a better chance of catching the illness as well.

However, my hope is that in the future we get far more varied blogs - senior blogs, junior blogs, activity blogs, journalistic blogs, publicist blogs, celebrity blogs... And this will eventually mean the disappearance of that feeling. Oh well. I think I'll still have variety over a blogistanic feel-good hug-o-sphere anyway ;-).

Wednesday, 28-Jul-04 15:42
Lucky me

You know the gap there's always between the tunnel and the airplane? The one you can see the airstrip from, five meters below you? And the small gangway that you step on?

I've always had a slight fear of dropping something and it would go into the gap and shatter to a thousand pieces after a long drop.

Yesterday it happened.

I dropped my phone, just as I was entering the plane and BANG! It hit the gangway, and broke into three pieces: The innards flew right into the aircraft; the cover flew backwards into the tunnel, and the keyboard strip was left on the gangway. Nothing fell through the gap. I gathered the pieces and managed to get the phone whole and running again, but for a moment I felt a primitive terror grasp my heart.

Losing one's phone is tantamount to losing one's connection to the world. It would be awful. It would be so hard to live without one right now, that it's scary.

When did we suddenly become so reliant and dependent on these small gadgets? Or is it not the gadgets, but the connectivity to other people that is the dependency-inducing factor?

Tuesday, 27-Jul-04 22:52
Sigh

Eating at restaurant Mecca. Friendly staff, excellent lamb.

Three hours to go.

Tuesday, 27-Jul-04 04:05
A running man

Yeah, it's nearly four o'clock, and I'm writing this entry. It's been the first day of my four weeks of vacation, and I spent much of it carrying things from one place to another place, and in general putting things on top of other things. The members of the Society would've been proud. But it was good fun; plenty of exercise and fresh air.

The reason I am not yet asleep is that I've spent the past eight hours in the Ropecon after-party, which - all as con workers know - is the true reason why anyone works for free for three days: the chance to eat food, drink beer, talk, go to sauna, play games and really have a few hours to feel good about what they have just accomplished. No pressure, no shifts, no deadlines.

I did miss the annual nude wrestling competition this year (again), but for good reason: Erick Wujick gamemastered an impromptu game, with a few really nasty twists. My character ended up as a hermit somewhere in Colorado, hiding in the forest, shooting at people, and being very, very afraid of the moment when he eventually dies. Not bad for an hours game. Plenty of fun.

Tomorrow it will be even busier. I gotta apologize to some people who I know read the blog: I haven't had time to answer any emails, and I probably will not have the time tomorrow either, but I have read them, and answering your emails with oneliners would be a tad impolite.

Monday, 26-Jul-04 02:08
John Kovalic

Brief notes from John Kovalic's (the creator of Dork Tower) speech:

  • My first game was edited by Steve Jackson. Little did I know he would become such a horrible, horrible figure in my life.
  • Physics classes would go much faster, if you sat in the back drawing cartoons.
  • My influences are my mom (a columnist) and Charles Schulz
  • Roleplaying games in high-school (loved creating my own worlds)
  • Liking "Traveller" is not a good reason to go study astrophysics
  • "I'm very bad at the games I drew. I've never won a game of Munchkin - even when they let me draw my own cards at a con in Cork, Ireland."
  • "I'm a complete mercenary - I work for anyone who is not a babykiller"
  • "I got a call from someone in Hollywood making the Dork Tower movie." *The audience erupts in laughter*
  • Chez Geek characters were taken from actual University of Wisconsin students - John spent a lot of time drawing them :)
  • "Are you here, honey? [Referring to wife] Good - then I can tell this. I introduced her to gaming via MtG. I used Call of Cthulhu to introduce her to role playing games. Big mistake! Don't do it!"
  • "People ask me to draw Ginny naked. People, I draw them with three fingers - what do you think I would do with the rest of their anatomy?"
Sunday, 25-Jul-04 17:18
Finish

The con is slowly rolling towards the final line, and all that remains is garbage.

Sunday, 25-Jul-04 13:48
Turning thirty

Kolibri has had a sudden anxiety attack over turning thirty. I, having passed that mark long ago, realized that there is very little I can say.

At some point you start to think of your life, and generally feel bad or good about it.

Thirty is as good as age as any.

Our society attaches certain labels to certain ages, and thirty is one of the ones where you are supposed to finally turn into a responsible adult (in case you hadn't done it before). I don't believe the exact age matters, but I think it is necessary for people to pause at some point and reflect. It's even inevitable. It's a part of growing up. So one should not feel too bad about it; in fact, one should welcome these moments of self-reflection. They are good.

My life changed at 27, and realized I am not who I thought I was. It took me a few years to get to grips with the fact that I am still, even at 34, at a complete loss as how to I should lead my life. It's like the more I learn, the less I know. And I guess that's how it should be. People who are older than me, feel free to correct me.

All I can do is to rely on some things that I think I know now. But I'm still "waddling through the swamp with leaking boots, in the dark with no light, and having no clue where to go; just trying to find firm ground; and not to drown."

Sunday, 25-Jul-04 00:51
Alone among many

It's late evening, and I'm ready to go home. I say good night to people, and step outside into the cool summer air.

There are many people enjoying the night outside. I buy a lörtsy (a sort of an apple pie; Karelian delicacy) and sit on a rock, next to a group of three. The man is half-naked, and he plays the guitar, with a soft touch. A girl wearing feathered wings comforts the other girl who is dressed in dark, weeping.

I hear the sounds of the con around me. People chattering away, meeting people, talking to friends. Everyone is nice to each other; very few people are drunk; nobody is angry.

I swat at a mosquito, and munch my lörtsy. And I suddenly feel alone, very alone.

Good people are around me; and friends are just a short walk away. But I would still rather have A Certain Someone sit here next to me on this warm and light Finnish summer night.

I miss her.

Saturday, 24-Jul-04 21:49
Finally...

...a bit of rest and a beer. And of course, a meal.

Saturday, 24-Jul-04 19:57
Erick Wujcik - the history of role playing games

Here are some quick and unstructured notes from Erick Wujick's talk (the designer of Amber).

  • First, individuals characters were introduced to strategy games to provide things like "what if Gandalf had been fighting with the Allies"
  • Magic was originally a form of artillery
  • "People tried to kill me because I was trying to take their dice away from role playing when I was talking at Gencon about Amber"
  • "Zen and the art of roleplaying"
    • Removing everything that is not absolutely necessary - turns out that almost everything can be removed (dice, combat system, game master, players) => a role playing game has no essential components
    • "I have no idea what a role playing is, even though I do it 30 hours a week for 20+ years for a career"
    • "Every hour you are playing a role playing game YOU're paying for it - thus it's stupid to fall asleep (as in not being aware)"
  • You can only create an experience if you try something new; not repeat what you have already done
  • We have to break the rules - do things we've never done before

Random change of subject: Computer games

  • 2003 US game market worth about $20 billion USD - more than Hollywood + all TV
  • 2008 global gaming market worth about $46 billion (est)
  • Games not that different from 10 years ago - technology is only better
    • Moore's Law
    • Every second of a movie takes about two hours to fix by one person
  • In a few years, the game industry is movie quality. Where do they go next? So far the designers have not been an important part of the team - graphics people and programmers dominate the field.
  • To which designers should the game industry go to?
  • Example: Starcraft sold 3 million copies - 500,000 of them to South Korea
    • One person installed them in all Internet cafe's - all computers could play Starcraft
    • All copies were legitimate, hence plenty of money generated
    • Own level generation and creativity became a huge thing among kids
    • Government support for game industry starting at 1999: $500 Million USD support
    • 1$ Billion revenue in 2003, 80% of it from South Korea
    • Major game studios opening in China in the next couple of years
    • Not a lot of creativity in Asia, though, due to education system (no mistakes, too much time used for learning to read/write. They are afraid to do stupid and bad things. Correctible through training.)
    • At the age of 18, most Western kids know 500 games. In Asia, they know 40.
  • In role playing games, you are not following anyone else's script
    • Until you put your own toys together, you don't really understand toys (if you've never played with Lego...)
  • Small countries lose their own culture under the pressure of the big ones
    • What happens to the culture within games?
  • In Gencon, 20 new game companies every year => always new stuff being produced. US gaming culture is thus protected because of the inability to understand that most companies fail ;-)
  • Small countries should dip into their own strong culture and mythology and history for creativity
  • Computer games are only narrow slices of the RPGs
  • GTA III is actually closer to roleplaying than FPS-games - it allows you to "go anywhere"
  • Computer game designers do not understand games - they understand technical issues, but they do not understand the fundamental differences between multi-player and single-player games. Most MMORPGs are FPS -games, expanded to just multiple players.
  • How do we create games that allow for complete immersion
  • Last 10 years of published RPGs have been going to the wrong direction
    • Game designers are too good in creating rules that are perfect (too well balanced, "something for everyone")
    • It's a dead end
  • Difficult part in gamemastering is challenging players until they want to "get out of the box"
  • "I once ran a really horrible game. Then I saw Alien 4, and was glad - because my game was better, and I didn't spend 100 million dollars in doing it."
  • "I know how to run a perfect game. I've done it a hundred times. But it's not transcendent. Many of my ad-hoc games are better. Because I take risks and confront the possibility of failing. When I don't know what is happening."
  • Part of the problem of computer games is that they are making other people rich - licensing only makes the IP owner richer. The future of RPGs is about creating IPR.
  • "Most people who say they did roleplaying and are now in the games industry only played mechanical combat simulations. Very little character gaming." They replicate their own good moments in game industry(?)
Saturday, 24-Jul-04 17:30
Cthulhu-in-a-box

What the hell is a "medium Cthulhu"?

RUN!

Saturday, 24-Jul-04 17:16
Notes from Mike Pohjola's talk

"If Clint Eastwood played Aragorn, that would be the ultimate in fantasy coolness."

"My role playing game is challenging. It does not have an index."

"My next game might be a bit like Sopranos meets West Wing."

"Finns are no longer afraid of confessing to being role players - people even put them in their CV's. It's become acceptable, even a positive thing in art and culture circles. It's considered as a performance art."

"The threshold for publishing role playing games is lower than novels in Finland."

"My game helps teenage boys. You no longer have to explain dice rolls to girls when they ask 'what is role playing?'"

Saturday, 24-Jul-04 08:38
Good morning!

It's 8.30, and I'm heading home to catch a few precious hours of sleep.

Tonights worst and the most untranslatable (and incomprehensible) joke:

Miksi Otto pitää japanilaisista teinitytöistä? Koska Otto on lonkero...

(If you got that one, you should worry. Seriously. Your geekiness would be at an alarming level. Not to mention your morale.)

Saturday, 24-Jul-04 04:57
Badgerbadgerbadger

At 5 am, the whole info desk sings and dances BadgerBadgerBadger. We get only one funny look, from a guy who has fake vampire teeth.

Three hours to go.

*grin*

Saturday, 24-Jul-04 02:50
We fix everything

So far the Info desk has been fixing everything from soft swords to broken hearts.

Nothing alarming is happening; the mandatory ambulance has already visited the con. The police have not yet, and neither has the fire brigade. But the night is young...

Friday, 23-Jul-04 22:42
Go players...

...they cannot be avoided. :)

Friday, 23-Jul-04 20:39
Food

Of course, one must eat. We're celebrating Kolibri's birthday, and this fine fish comes from the kitchen in restaurant Vespa.

Friday, 23-Jul-04 17:38
Ropecon!

It's on!

Three days of constant chatter and weirdosity...

Friday, 23-Jul-04 15:52
Blogger meeting in Oulu

Encouraged by the recent successes of the Kallio and Tampere meetings, we figured it would be fun to have an Oulu blogger gettogether as well. I'll be in Oulu for the most of the next week, and at least Naamioiden takana and pnuk will be present.

The place: Cafe Milou (Asemakatu 21)
The time: 18.00, Wednesday, 28.7.2004.

And then the Finnish version (ja sama suomeksi, kiitos):

Kun nyt Kalliossa ja Tampereellakin tapaillaan, niin miksei Oulussakin. Päätimme siis järjestää Pnukin ja Outin kanssa ystävällishenkisen tapaamisen. Tsingis-kaanilta perityllä organisaatiokyvyllä päätimme despoottisesti ajaksi ensi keskiviikon kello 18, paikkana Cafe Milou (Asemakatu 21). Trio Erektuksen perintöä kunnioittaen paikalla lienee myös lievästi humaltuneita go:n pelaajia jokunen, mikä ihan varoituksen sanana lausuttakoon.

Tervetuloa kääntymään ja katsomaan millaisia naamoja siellä blogien takana vaikuttaakaan. :)

Friday, 23-Jul-04 11:23
Who says blogging is not useful?

Ropecon is upon us again. So I dig my old notes from last year's con and realize I nearly forgot my camera. Yah! Blogging is so useful as a notepad to yourself :-)

Thursday, 22-Jul-04 19:23
Complainmoanwhimperwhine

Why is it that always just before the holidays begin you are suddenly overloaded with work? There are many things I should do right before I go, and I have three emails labeled "URGENT" in my inbox.

On the other hand it's great to be still working in July, simply because there are not too many people around. No meetings that you have to grind your teeth through, no "I just popped by to see what you were doing and interrupted your complete train of thought" -events, and only about a hundred emails a day. One can really work without being interrupted every ten minutes.

Yeah. But I'm still at work. Over an hour late from the Ropecon info meeting, which is near-mandatory, and completely over. Bugger. My info shift is from midnight till 8 am on Saturday, so I'll be completely tired and completely clueless. Yet again.

Tomorrow is the last day of work. I'll survive. And be throw into the abyss that is known as "vacation": My holidays are so fully booked I have to use a calendar to manage all the events - it's even worse than during the busiest time during September. For example, I have three meetings, a plane trip and a hangover scheduled for next Tuesday...

(But at least I get to see Outi. Mmmm...)

Thursday, 22-Jul-04 11:44
Peer-to-peer actually increasing record sales?

A new study suggests that Peer-to-peer music sharing has zero impact in record sales, and in some cases it may even be positive, says The Guardian. Not completely unsurprisingly, the music industry is now really pissed off at even the mere suggestion.

To me it makes sense: I have bought several CDs just simply because a friend recommended something to me, and then sent me the MP3. Then I just rip the CD to Ogg Vorbis and dump it in iTunes... I actually never listen to the physical CD these days anymore; most of the CDs are used just once to get the data onto a hard drive. But I still keep the CDs as backups.

My digital music collection is my music collection. My CDs are my backups. I don't even have to burn them.

(And BTW: My CD player refuses to play about 10% of all the CDs I've tried on it lately. But my PC can rip 100% of them. So it's easier for me to actually rip the music than it's to play them on my ancient DVD player. So much for "copy" protection.)

(Via #joiito)

Wednesday, 21-Jul-04 00:11
Ph34R MY N3W 3l173 R1D1NG B0075

A couple of friends took me to a local riding shop, and I just couldn't help myself. Well, if I find that riding is not my thing after all, I can always play Herr Otto Flick of the Gestapo. *grin*

Oh, BTW - if you ever wondered what Google would look like if it had been invented in the 1960s, take a look. (Via J-Walk)

Monday, 19-Jul-04 23:45
Moments of transition

Had my last riding lesson today. I'm going to Iceland in three weeks, so I'm taking a short break before that. Darn, one gets really attached to those horses. Even though I only was there for six weeks, I strangely enough already miss them. Especially these two. *sigh*

The syrupy moment of the day: When Outi was here last week, a friend of mine brought us lollipops - heart-shaped, of course - but they were forgotten in the bags. So, today, we chatted on IRC and enjoyed those lollipops, knowing that the other person was doing the same thing far away.

I'm degenerating rapidly, and decomposing into sugar and honey. Whee :)

Sunday, 18-Jul-04 10:58
Breakfast at Tiffany's

Sunshine + nature + freshly picked strawberries + champagne + friends = A pretty good breakfast moment.

Ain't summers brilliant? They're just like winters, except a lot warmer... ;-)

Friday, 16-Jul-04 21:50
Geeking out

This weekend is dedicated to role playing games. We are in a summer cottage, far, far away from civilization, and are doing some serious role playing, barbeque, and sunbathing.

The world is good.

There is only one thing that I miss right now. And she's 800 kilometers away. *sigh*

(Geek note: For those who are following JSPWiki development, check out the latest CVS version - it fixes a problem with the ~DefaultPermissions thingy; the permissions of the page and the actual default permissions of the wiki are different now. I think I should start a separate JSPWiki development blog.)

Thursday, 15-Jul-04 13:42
A-choo!

Bless you. The Finnish summer combined with an air-conditioned office is not really good for wearing just shorts and a t-shirt.

Yesterday, we went to the Linnanmäki amusement park, and had an impromptu blogger meeting (with Naamioiden takana, Dragon & Kolibri, and Elokuvia ja Valokuvia -Blocks. Even KatjaW made a surprise visit). I hadn't been there in ages, so it was fun to rummage around some of the old goodies, as well as some new ones.

We joked about having a roller coaster relationship, as we went to the roller coaster for the third time (essentially quadrupling my visits to that machine ever - and it really seems to be true that you get a rougher experience if you sit at the back of the cart). We even dared to go to the Space Shot ("Raketti" - a thing that shoots you up in the air and drops you down in free fall), but even there the waiting is worse than the actual experience.

Oh well. I guess that's true in many things: Expecting something to happen is usually more intensive than the real experience. The same with movies: Saw Spider-Man 2 with Mikki, and while watching a man being grabbed from a subway train by a metallic tentacle to be saved just in time by Spidey's web is very entertaining, I doubt I would enjoy it in real life.

Our world is now so filled with wondrous inventions and creativity, that it sometimes becomes hard to separate reality and fiction. Someone once told me that they did not fall in love with a person, but the idea of being in love with that particular person. I don't blame her - one of the most difficult things in this world is to know what's true and what's false - what's real and what's not. What is, and what is not.

Our imagination and intuition are powerful tools when applied correctly. The thing I've learned is that even they can be trained. To have a good imagination or intuition is a skill, not something that people either do or don't have. Some people have a knack for it, but still - it's something that you can learn.

There's a relationship between Truth, Reality and Knowledge (in Finnish: Totuus, Todellisuus and Tieto - the three T:s), which I haven't quite yet figured out. I guess Intuition plays a part in there somewhere. :)

Tuesday, 13-Jul-04 11:40
Hooked on blogosphere

She's here. We eat breakfast. We talk. We gaze deeply into each other's eyes. We hold hands. We do all the things that people infatuated with each other do, things that make most people nearby go "ewwww", and "get a room!"

And we read blogs on the laptop, while munching on the cereals, trying not to drench the keyboard completely in milk.

Are we geeks or what? :-D

Monday, 12-Jul-04 17:31
Plunging headfirst

You know, when you start getting random scared looks from the people you meet on the corridors, you know that your new haircut might not be entirely successfull.

Unless, of course, that was the impression you were aiming for.

Monday, 12-Jul-04 16:57
A surprise move

It's as if I'm living two lives now. One is here, where I do the same things that I've done before. I go to work, I ride, I code, I read, I meet friends, I watch TV. I sleep alone.

The other life happens online or over the weekends. I - no: "we" - do completely different things than in my other life. It's as if I'm a part of her life; but she's not of mine. We meet her friends, live in her place, take care of her mice, sit on her toilet seat. It's fun, and wonderful, and exciting - don't get me wrong - but still. Our lives are still separate, yet already intertwined in some complex and fragile web of coincidence, passion, caring, and laughter.

Tonight, she's coming over for a few days, and my two lives will finally meet. I hope they both survive. I really, really do. Because I no longer know which one I would choose, if I had to.

Make a wish - make a move
Make up your mind - you can choose
When you're up - when you're down
When you need a laugh come around

--Shania Twain: Come On Over
Monday, 12-Jul-04 06:34
Six euro breakfast

Note to self: don't eat at Oulu airport.

There's a flying machine waiting to take me back to Helsinki. *sigh* Weekends like these just don't happen, you know... ;-}

Sunday, 11-Jul-04 17:27
Hello neighbours!

Her first SMS message to me was "You're doomed." I laughed at it.

I don't really read my email, I don't read the blogs, I don't surf, I don't code, I don't chat, I don't SMS... (well, once a day, perhaps). I'm not connected. We just sit on the couch, listen to music, talk about our exes. Cook together. Meet her friends. Shower a lot.

Not being connected is not normal to me. And you know what? It's not really that bad. In a way, I am connected. Connected to a wonderful person, sitting here in the same room now, pulling socks on (we're going foraging for food, ugh). Looking absolutely adorable :)

I am no longer laughing at that message. I have it well hidden in the "Saved" -folder of my cell phone.

Saturday, 10-Jul-04 04:41
"Hey, this is not my sock!"

I slept for three hours. I had a riding lesson, and all my muscles were sore. I got the tickets to the last flight to Oulu. And even then, the flight was late.

But I don't remember any of it when the door opens, and she's there, smiling. There's tea, and fresh pulla, and we eat and laugh and drink; and snuggle to watch stupid late night programs on the TV.

It feels so good, so natural. It's as if we had been married for years already. It's almost frightening.

Except for one thing.

Friday, 09-Jul-04 19:15
Jittery longing

Six more hours to go.

It seems unreal. The third actual, physical meeting. Our second date. It's as if the countless kilobytes of text, the many hours of phone calls amount to nothing, when it again comes to being there.

I feel like a teenager.

Friday, 09-Jul-04 04:59
A fun (yet testosterone filled) evening

I like cooking for friends. Even if the friends drag me out to the Finnish summer night to celebrate afterwards. But there was still something that nearly (but only nearly) made me sad this evening.

I don't really go out much these days. It never was really my thing, you know. But for the past week or so, I've felt rather happy and willing to party, so I was easy prey for beautiful ladies, who wanted to dance and party with me. So we danced, and talked, and drank, and had fun. When the inevitable and dreaded no-more drinks sign arrived, we stood next to the dance floor, feeling generally good. Then a man, taller and more handsome than me, approached us.

"You know", he says to me, "you are far too fat."

For a second, I am speechless. Then I just squeeze the two lovely ladies next to me closer and say firmly: "Yeah, I know. But it works for me." And grin heavily.

"You should really lose some weight", the man continues and turns away.

I let the smile of victory to spread on my face. The short manly fight for power has ended in me (us) winning - something that rarely happens. It feels good, in some primitive sort of way. His words cannot really hurt me: I know what I am and who I am, and that cannot be taken away from me with mere words. Especially with the words of a drunken nobody. From his simplistic (and probably very drunken) point of view I had two women, and he had none. So the only thing he could do was to try and hurt me somehow.

So bloody sad.

Thursday, 08-Jul-04 11:10
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZÅÄÖ
A farmer had one old horse that he used for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and when all the farmer's neighbors heard about it, they sympathized with the old man over his bad luck. "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?" said the farmer.

A week later, the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?" said the farmer.

Then, when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone agreed that this was very bad luck. Not the farmer, who replied, "Bad Luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and forced every able-bodied young man to go fight in a bloody war. When they saw that the farmer's son had a broken leg, they let him stay. Everyone was very happy at the farmer's good luck.

"Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?"

-- An ancient Chinese story

The above letters constituting the Finnish alphabet can be repeated and arranged in an near-infinite number of ways. Only a very, very, very small percentage of these ways make any sense.

Yet, someone far away can do it right every time. Each word she writes makes me grow more fond of her, makes me long for her even more. I stay up each night until 3 am, devouring each and every one of them, not willing to let go. Then I finally crash and sleep a few hours and wonder at myself every morning.

This is slightly scary. How can someone walk right through my carefully constructed defenses - as if they did not exist - and touch me like this? Did I do something wrong? Did I make a mistake somewhere along the road? What am I doing?

How will all this end?

Thursday, 08-Jul-04 01:01
Japanese Ice Cream

OK, here's one of the reasons I love Japan: The way they have no inhibitions about what might go together with something else. How about Spinach Ice Cream? Or Seaweed Ice Cream? Or how about the Raw Horse Meat Ice Cream ("with chunks!")?

The Wackier World of Japanese Ice Cream

(Via Boing Boing. Of course, it's incredibly lame to refer to Boing Boing, because everybody reads it already, but... well. I just find this one interesting. :-)

Wednesday, 07-Jul-04 02:04
Two things

I got really pissed at myself and released JSPWiki v2.1.103-alpha, even though it's not yet complete. But there are some significant changes to the APIs, so you might want to check it out.

And for the second thing: I'm flying to Oulu again next weekend. It don't think that my brain has caught up with my heart yet. It's as if it is being dragged screaming and kicking into something it has not quite comprehended yet. Dragged by a stubborn heart, holding an image of a particular pair of eyes.

Poor thing.

Wednesday, 07-Jul-04 01:22
The Search for Validation

Smart Mobs links to an interesting article on how the teenagers are using blogs. The following two paragraphs make me raise my eyebrows in not completely unlike Spock -manner:

What's consistent throughout is the search for validation. Though most say they write entries for themselves, it's a disappointment if no one responds. One Evergreen student recently posted a message pleading for feedback. "it makes me sad that no one leaves me comments. . . . i write like these huge entries . . . about so much stuff . . . and no one even says anything in return. and i go to all of your xangas or whatevers and ALWAYS leave a comment.

...

Most teens abide by an unwritten code of the blogosphere: What happens online stays online. Many have digital friendships with classmates but never socialize in real life "because we don't hang with the same crowd, as one Evergreen student explained.

The first one I've heard from many people also in the Finnish blogosphere. Feedback is what keeps many people writing, though some are still happy just to organize their own thoughts, and don't really care if someone reads them or not.

But combined with the second one... It's amazing how naturally the teenagers consider online life a completely separate arena, one that has nothing to do with the real life. It makes me actually wonder about things like the Finnish blog awards, or the blogger meetings that are occurring everywhere. It is strange to meet fellow bloggers, indeed: many people write only of a single aspect of their life online, be it their angst at being alone or their hobbies, or their day-to-day life. Very few people pour all aspects of their life into the internet, and even then the "compression" of the bandwidth is very lossy: you only see some things, with the less interesting bits removed.

Many people have told me that they like to read their own blogs. I like to do it myself, sometimes (then again, I'm not very critical at myself :). This is not really very surprising, as it most probably is the kind of text you like to read - and also because it makes your own life to look more interesting. It's kinda like doing social pornography on yourself - something that all of us do anyway. It's no more different than looking through old photographs, or resting your eyes on your own furniture (you chose it, so it must be pleasing).

Who are you blogging really for?

Why do I write online?

I guess there is no simple answer to that. Part of me yearns for validation: the "Hey, I read your entry the other day and I liked it" -moments. Part of me is narcistic: I want to be known, scream out that my life has not been in vain. Part of it is simply about the engineers built-in desire to change things, to have impact on the world - nibble away at the corner of a huge statue so that it becomes more beautiful. Part of me wants a place to store my thoughts in some coherent order, and an important part of me just needs to write.

But I guess the most important thing are the people. Weblogs allow me to share things with the people I love, allow other people to discover me and perhaps - if I'm lucky - they become friends. What I write is only a small part of me, but it is the part I want you to see. They are things I consider important, or things that move me. Or things that are just silly and make me laugh.

I like bloggers. Blogging is not yet tainted by rampant commercialism, nor big corporations saying "we want this", or "we monetize that". Blogging is about creating something new, be it in the form of your life, or just repeating old things but in a new order. Bloggers have their own voice, some of them beautiful, and some of them not so beautiful. Still, everyone should be entitled to their voice. To (mis)quote Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Fah. What a complicated rant with no point.

Monday, 05-Jul-04 19:24
Limits of technology

Even with our seemingly limitless ingenuity, technology can only go so far. We can be disembodied voices across half of the world with just a few buttons; we can send letters to faraway lands in less time than it took for the Victorian mailman to mount his horse; we can even see what is happening in distant places; huge machines can fling us across the sky. "Connecting people" says one company.

But seeing someone on your screen is not the same as touching her hair.

Hearing someone's voice is not the same as a gentle kiss.

Laughing with her in chat is not the same as a tight embrace.

Even with all our advances, there are still things to be said about physical presence. Many beautiful things.

Sunday, 04-Jul-04 16:49
An absurd problem

The first kiss. When you see it coming, you sort of want to make it memorable. (Yeah, I'm a romantic. Sue me.) It's even worse, when the other person is equally romantic: you both want it to be just right.

So we circle around each other for hours, probing, thinking, wondering about the perfect moment, and how to realize it without breaking the fragile feelings you think you are sharing. Then, with common, wordless agreement, we take a long, romantic walk in the middle of the nightless night, go to this beautiful spot by the lake, laugh and take over a play field, play in the swings for the first time in ten years. Then, on a beautiful bridge we stop - and get immediately attacked by a huge swarm of mosquitos. So we swat them in vain and run away to stop in another beautiful place.

And again, the angry insects force us to leave an unvoluntary donation to the Breed More Mosquitos -fund and we escape barely with our lives.

Frustrated, we return indoors. The perfect moment seems to be gone forever.

We gaze at each other, uncertainly and apprehensively. I can feel her thoughts: she's thinking the same thing as me, but neither knows how (dares?) to go on. Then a spark of something flies across the room.

"Oh bugger, let's just do it", we say in unison and laugh out our surprise.

And then the moment is just perfect.

Saturday, 03-Jul-04 02:58
Speechless

Beautiful night. Beautiful company.

Beautiful life.

Friday, 02-Jul-04 16:59
Sudden burst of insanity
                                                                  MATKA-
 MISTA/MIHIN      LENTO  LK PVM   LAH   HINTATYYPPI  VOIMASSA     TAV ST
 
 HELSINKI         AY0355 X  02JUL 1855  XFPAY1M       02JUL 02JUL PC  OK
 TERMINAALI:1
 OULU                SAAPUMISAIKA 2000
 TERMINAALI:-
 
 
 OULU             AY0368 X  04JUL 1735  XFPAY1M       04JUL 04JUL PC  OK
 TERMINAALI:-
 HELSINKI            SAAPUMISAIKA 1835
 TERMINAALI:1

I have no idea what's going on... No idea.

Friday, 02-Jul-04 10:27
Oooooops

How probable it is that batteries die on both your alarm clock and your cell phone during the same night?

An hour late. Not good.

Friday, 02-Jul-04 02:11
Being nondescriptive

I'm so drunk it's hard to say anything useful. Luckily T9 corrects must your typos :)

Friday, 02-Jul-04 00:36
Is sometimes good...

...to work for a big company. The company premises work so well ;)

Sauna in the middle of Helsinki is a strange but weird feeling... But at the moment, I'm too happy to care. It might not last, but... to quote a friend: "How can you miss a touch you've never felt? How can you miss a kiss you've never experienced?"

How?


Private comments? Drop me an email. Or complain in a nearby pub - that'll help.



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

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