Apr 242004

Reversed the order of entries. Unnecessary scrolling is evil.

Added new purchases to record and dvd listings. They are generated from text files via stupefyingly unreadable perl-scripts, ought to upgrade to xml/xslt, which was surprisingly painless to use in the Don Rosa comicography. However, as the listings need to be sorted and otherwise mangled, a pure format translation isn’t enough, some business logic is needed on the side as well.

Also. Ought to store information on books and comics as well. A couple of bookshelf-managers exist (bookcase and Alexandria), but neither fits the bill 100%. Time to experiment with them and seek out additional ones. Both use sensible save formats, so committing to either is not a dead end if the tool proves inadequate.

Apr 222004

Got a package from amazon.com. Splurged on ordering Neal Stephenson’s Confusion (must get all books in the trilogy from the same publisher) and ordered some other books on the side (Lonely Planet guides are ~third of the price in Finland).

The package arrived in a week, which is plenty fast – even though it was shipped using normal channels (ie. no pricey couriers involved) and arrived via germany (came in a worrisome blue Deutsche Post bag big enough to conceal hobbits in).

In the words of Agent Cooper: Damn good service… Rewarded the company by propmptly ordering season 4 of Babylon 5 from .de.

Apr 152004

Saw Jan Kounen’s Blueberry.

It’s worth every piece of abuse heaved towards it. The movie begins in a decent fashion, apart from the protagonist having unexcpectedly turned into a french louisinian, but the plot is completely lost to incoherent inner-space exploration around the half-way point. Vincent Cassel never fits the boots of Mike Blueberry, and Juliette Lewis just simply hangs on, there simply isn’t much to build on. Michael Madsen puts on a decent show by acting the same character (Mr. Blonde, Budd, etc.) once more.

Some nice outdoor shots, too many matrix-esque CGI-shots attempting to depict the effects of mescaline. Quite simply the worst movie in many years I paid money to watch.

Apr 122004

Meme attack

Time to behave like a sensible blog author and participate in a meme.

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says:
    "This file contains two python print statements, which simply print a string."
    O'Reilly's Learning Python, 2nd Ed.
    Line 4 is actually a line of sample code, this is fourth line of real text.

Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?
    Nothing.  Shelf full of CDs.

What is the last thing you watched on TV?

Without looking, guess what time it is:

Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
    Garbage's G.  Computer hums.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
    Walked a mile by taking a scenic route home from bus stop.

Before you came to this website, what did you look at?
    Hotmail account.

What are you wearing?
    Threadbare beige denim shorts, shirt with Leonardo daVinci's signature
    and a couple of his inventions depicted.

Did you dream last night?
    Nope.  Not that I can recall.

When did you last laugh?
    Commenting my strangely-named neighbor's family relations to my sister.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?
    Bookshelves with tons of books.
    CD-shelf already mentioned.
    Wall-long cupboard with sliding doors.
    Lonely Planet calendar.
    Dreamcatcher from Vancouver.
    Lithograph of Kaj Stenvall's 11th Wave.

Seen anything weird lately?
    Been a while.

What is the last film you saw?
    Bowling for Columbine on dvd.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?
    A really expensive dinner at Chez Dominique for a select crowd.

If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics,
what would you do?
    Well, anything big (like sensible politicians) is going to backfire
    in a horrible way.
    Hence, I'll take a timeout on this.

Do you like to dance?

Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
    Haven't really thought about it.

Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?

Would you ever consider living abroad?
    Rest of Scandinavia would be OK, as would select bits of north/middle Europe,
    current #1 target is Canadian pacific coast, some US States (pacific coast
    again mostly) would be livable as well.
Apr 122004

Indeed, what a lazy easter it’s been. Been chilling the whole weekend. Eating well, sleeping a lot and recharging batteries for the upcoming week. Finished Barabasi’s “Linked”-book. Started the new Pratchett, seems decent. Played around with taking digital macro-pictures (things closer than 20 centimeters), seems that a tripod, even a small one, would come in very useful in this. Saw the lost chopper-cops from Tampere circling around downtown (supposedly sizable drug bust in Kallio on friday).

Virus killer’s been dying out on me for the last couple of hours. It insists that it’s indeed the most “up-to-date” version. Not very promising, not promising at all. Got it cheap with the computer, so no big economical damage is incurred, if replacement is needed.

Chelsea lost and drew this weekend. Fortunately the Champions League does not continue next week, so they’ll have a decent shot of finding their mojo again.

Signed up for hattrick. Yet another sports franchise simulator where Haagan Hakkapeliitat can face insurmountable odds. This is purely a game, and not based on real players like the ones available at Yahoo. Tried quite a few this season: football (2nd – lost the bowl game), ice hockey (8th – thought that nabbing Kariya, Selänne and Lehtinen in the draft was a good thing), basketball (in progress – AK-47 produced, Kidd and Dampier also until they got hurt).

Apr 072004

Go Blues.

Chelsea finally snapped the 19-game losing stretch at Highbury. And at what a time… The premier league may be lost to the wan^H^H^H gunners, but a champions league semi-final slot is a great achievement. Especially when english teams (apart from United) haven’t really shone in that field.

This will make rest of Ranieri’s season a bit easier to handle, but replacement still looms over the horizon. Unfortunately, since he’s had a great season at the helm – despite unrealistic initial expectations he’s done a great job. Welding together a winning team from such a huge number of purchased players (60 M£ and counting) has been a great achievement, but not as instant success as the most optimistic fans (and the free-wheeling owner) wanted…

And I bet they’re still kicking themselves for loaning out Forssell for the season. He leads all Chelsea strikers in the goals- statistic. Before Hasselbaink’s hat trick at Wolverhampton Mikael had scored as many times as Jimmy and Hernan Crespo combined. At a fraction of either’s salary. Sweet deal for Birmingham, indeed.

And to rub it in from the underdogs’ perspective, the high and mighty Real Madrid also fell from the champions league. To AC Monaco, on away goals.

Now if only Millwall could beat Manchester United in the FA cup finals. That’s a long shot if any, but united’s defense has not exactly been watertight this season.

Apr 062004

Fell for a duplicate for the first time. Bought U2′s Fly-single. And was reasonably happy with the purchase, since copies of it do not exactly crowd the shops. Until got home and discovered that it already resides on the shelf. Note to self: keeping a list of records is NOT a write-only process.

Also bought Ozric Tentacles’ new album: Spirals in Hyperspace. Like all previous Ozrics’ albums, this isn’t exactly an easy record to come to grips with. Mostly reliable reports indicate that the band is coming to Helsinki this spring, and playing a gig with Hidria Spacefolk at Makasiinit in early may. This would be their second time in said location, the previous concert a couple of years ago was marred by the length (4 bands altogether), temperature (chilly) and utter lack of any kind of organization. Oughta be a better occasion this time around. Missed them at Imatra Big Band festival in 2001 due to a spectacular summer flu, so a high time to see them again.

Apr 062004

Bought a Palm Tungsten t3.

The trusty old IIIc wasn’t broken or anything, just figured that I need a more up-to-date PDA. And this baby seems to have quality in spades: bluetooth (though haven’t yet tried pairing it to my trusty mechatronic taco yet), very decent screen (320×480), large memory (64 MB), a quick CPU (400 MHz XScale, kinda leaves the old 33 MHz Dragonball in the dust) and an abundance of software all over the web.

A severe demerit is the adoption of a new “script”, replacing the old Graffiti with a brand new one. And a way worse one (at least on initial use), actually had to look up several characters from the reference card to be able to write my own name. Not good, not good at all. However, multiple hacks for old-school users exist, TealScript seems to be the most productized one.

Local computer store seems to be chronically out of SD-cards, so haven’t yet experimented with the requisite virtual machines (ScummVM, Z-Machine and whatever Magnetic Scrolls’ one was called). Reports in due time. As of other needed software.

Apr 042004

West wing’s fifth season started on channel 4. Quite stealthily, there was no mention in the morning paper.

Not too bad. But I guess the first episodes are just coasting on the storylines Aaron Sorkin left hanging at the end of season 4. Anyway, it does not yet seem worthy of the criticism it has received, but time will tell whether the show has indeed already “jumped the shark”.

Attempted to go see stand-up comedy at we got beef, but the bar was sold out. Unheard of, especially on a sunday night. Have to give the show more than 15 minutes margin the next time around.