Jun 272004

Went to the Dali expo in Wanha Satama.

A sales show, with prices ranging from ~2000 euros to “please inquire”. Around 200 paintings or equivalent and a dozen or so sculptures.

Selection is eccentric. Some famous paintings (Voltaire’s bust), but mainly series: 12 tribes of Israel and Dante’s Inferno. Of which the latter had some excellently disconcerting images.

Finnair frequent flyer card would’ve gotten two people in for the price of one. Too bad the lobby was deserted when I went in. The program is not expo-specific (Dali’s life condensed to 20 pages – no art depicted), and definitely not a steal at 10 euros. But the expo itself is worth the amount.

Jun 262004

Surprisingly few sausages eaten.

Too much pinball played. Lemmy bought two last week and invited to play.

My favorite board ever, Pat Lawlor’s Twilight Zone is in excellent shape (though the paddles are a wee bit loose), and still as hard as ever. Scored a pitiful 291M, and had too hard a time hitting both the slot machine and the player piano.

The other game, Star Trek: The Next Generation was never a big attraction for me (coincided with too many other quality boards), but it also has stood the test of time well. Had a good time learning the board and missions, some shots still eluded at the end of a long session (delta quadrant). Came off with 566M. In a game that records scores over 10G, it’s not a world-shattering score by any means.

Jun 242004

Trusty old T23′s hard disk died.

Died as in “tries to boot with PXE, and does not see the disk.”

Died as in “it’s gonna cost us 4000 euros to recover this. or 3500 if we can wait a week. And it’s by no means guaranteed to resurrect a single bit, y’know.”

Died as in “there’s likely something wrong with RAM too. Or the motherboard.”

Loss of MP3s did not hurt. Some newly updated documents did not make it to repository. Which hurts plenty.

Anyway, Mr. IBM, put a T41 my way, now. Next week preferably.

Jun 242004

Two games. Two perfect picks. And correct pick of Ruud van Niistelroy as top scorer. Indeed, shared third place in the competition is mine.

No damage from company summer party apart from being rained on multiple times. Paula Koivuniemi was surprisingly painless. And did Apulanta’s “anna mulle piiskaa” as an encore. Again the old jungle proverb, “it’s not the location that makes the party, ‘s the people” holds true. But I’m glad these things occur only annually.

Jun 212004

No, not a persistent cookie that leaks out valuable data of my whereabouts. Quite the opposite. soccernet.com seems to be utterly unable to remember that I’m still european, every single time I surf to the site. No matter which OS, no matter where I am, and utterly indifferent to what browser I happen to use. Schtupid.

Should take a look at the relevant cookie and extend its expiration time till Finland makes it to the world cup or something equally world-shattering occurs.

Jun 212004

SpaceShip One made history today. Being the first private spacecraft. Now rinse and repeat, within two weeks to claim the 10 M$ prize.

Which is, of course, peanuts compared to what is really accomplished with this. Spaceflight is no longer only governments’ playing field. This can only speed up the stagnant field.

Jun 202004

Yes. The light’s decently powerful and allows reading and such.

Czech team beat netherlands 3-2, totally screwing up my pick (2-2). But a great football game nonetheless, pace, threats, great passing and some unexpected shots.

Jun 192004

Also bought an electric rechargeable lantern to extend the usability of balcony as a flat-extension in the summer.

Not yet dark enough outside to see whether it makes a real difference.

Jun 192004

Ended a month-long dvd-drought by splurging on some that were on sale (Summer of Sam, Jurassic Park III [figured it was worth it at 5 euros], Chronological Donald) and one that wasn’t (first season of the Office).

Turns out that the Disney-disc is way lamer in Europe than in the states. They have a real tin as a package, we have tinfoil in a standard plastic cover. But this was a steal at 16 euros, the R1-import would have set me back close to sixty.

Bought the newest issue of hohto, the best movie magazine in Finland. Still haven’t managed to subscribe to it, but as they now give a gift-dvd for subs, and the selection is good, time to rectify that. Gave Fahrenheit 9/11 5 stars.

Hohto’s second only to Empire in quality, and at times surpasses it. But that magazine sets a high standard indeed. 150-odd pages monthly, useful web pages in addition and truly excellent online quizzes to test your film buffness as well (23/90 in the original, 25 in the sequel).

Jun 192004

Following the surprisingly swift loss to Pistons in the NBA finals, the Lakers team immediately collapses on itself.

Phil Jackson, the coach quits. Kobe wishes to opt out of his contract (possibly to seek fortune elsewhere). Shaq wishes to be traded out. Karl Malone states he’ll quit unless he’s fully healthy. That leaves just Gary Payton of the original all-star line-up. And that’s not what the Glove expected, I bet…

Whoo. Can’t recall a bigger instant implosion right now.

Jun 182004

Went to see the G3-guitar fiesta in the old hockey stadium. Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Robert Fripp playing to the most predominantly male audience I’ve ever seen.

Of whom I’d never seen any live, and not listened to any much either. Have Crimson King’s debut album, but nothing from the others.

Entered the hall at seven pm, and the gig was already on. (No queues this time, thankfully). All seats, even on the floor. Had an excellent seat in the first row (thanks, Kari). But a seat that had Mr. Fripp completely concealed behind a spotlight. He played unmoving, from a rear corner of the stage. Weird, ambient-type soundscapes. I think I was close to falling asleep at one point, and kept eyes closed as it was probably one of the least visual shows ever (close second to 22-pistepirkko at a university party ages ago still reigns supreme on top).

Steve Vai took the stage after 40 minutes of Fripp, and the show moved to a vastly different direction. He brought a band (including Billy Sheehan and Tont MacAlpine, both seasoned veterans of their own) and was much more a showman. Too much at times, even. Came on stage, with a triple-necked white guitar that would not have been out of place in Spinal Tap, part 2… After abusing various stringed instruments in aurally pleasing ways for ~70 minutes, Mr. Vai left the stage, vowing to return “to jam” soon.

Joe Satriani took to the stage as the last performer, and was quite different from Mr. Vai in both appearance and output. Dressed in torn jeans and a beanie (as opposed to Vai’s frilly shirt and precision-positioned fans). Did not recognize any of the band members. Rockier stuff than Vai’s.

Evening finished off with a jam, all three guitarists (Fripp still in a rear corner) and Satriani’s band. Played for half an hour, including a rather powerful version of good ol’ Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World.

And then it was over. Close to four hours of music, with just one real break. Decided to skip Magyar Posse’s gig at Tavastia. Which was probably a Grave Mistake, as Aaro raved up the gig quite high.

Jun 182004

Shock, horror! Had forgotten grouping rules in regular expressions, and ignorance was made public upon an innocent query by a co-worker. Dug up relevant documentation, this site and a resolve to re-learn the syntax.

Off to see three guys and probably two dozen guitars now.

G3 is in town.

Jun 172004

Nope. The pool isn’t going good. I’ve vastly overestimated the productivity of the offenses. Apart from Sweden’s, whose 5-0 decimation of the poor bulgarians is the finest display of attacking power thus far.

Francesco Totti proved that the distance between global adoration and utter vilification is just a couple of ccs of human spit. Have an Italian jersey with #10 and his name on it, it’ll be a while before I wear it again. Italy as a whole seems to be very much on the whiny side (rough socks is worthy of “excuse of the week”-award). I don’t think that the Kontraband clip of their training methods is totally accurate, but not that off the mark either.

Jun 142004

Didn’t watch SUI-CRO bore-fest. No points in office pool.

England – France, on the other hand, was quite another story. After a very iffy display (shades of goalless 2002-games) France comes up from behind, carried on ZZ’s shoulders. Amazing finish. And Barthez’s denial of Beckham’s penalty also will make it to the highlight reel. Full five points in office pool (three for result, one each for amount goals scored by the teams).

Jun 122004

Not an auspicious start for the home team. A trouncing by the upstart greeks. Some bad luck (and good goaltending), but also a lot of sloppy play. Occasional flashes of brilliance, which we ought to see more in the forthcoming games. Zero points from this game in the office pool. Spain, on the other hand, seemed to play a decent game. Only saw the second half, where some changes to the team had already been made. Valeron scored in a way all subs dream of (first touch is a goal). Four points in the office pool.

Jun 122004

Two records from old favorites. Beastie Boys and Velvet Revolver (which is not exactly an old favorite, but an Axl-less re-factoring of Gn’R).

Former’s new offering “To the 5 Boroughs” seems to be a very very complicated record. After two listenings, I’m still in awe of the content (more oldskool-y than 1999′s “Hello Nasty”), but also aware of the fact that no single song has really struck a flame. It’ll be an interesting week, going through this repeatedly…

After the eyebrow-raising “Set Me Free” and “Money” (off Hulk and Italian Job soundtracks, respectively), I had semi-high hopes for the latter’s “Contraband”. However, it neither is also not an immediate grab-you-by-the-throat roaring success. While there seem to be occasional flashes of old genius in the songs, it’s on the boring side on the first listen, and the vocalist Scott Weiland dominates things and makes it sound like a new STP-record… So, this baby deserves several more sessions before a real verdict.

Jun 112004

Sponsored by employer, our group trudged to Peacock-theatre to see UIT’s Hei Me Tervataan (Let’s tar, referring to stillborn EU-resolution to ban tar as an unhealthy food particle), a mainly musical collection of scenes having to do with finnish politics, pop music, outsourcing to China and everything inbetween.

Decent, not great by any means. Best skit had our less-than-beloved speaker of the house belt out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. And it’s never a bad idea to make fun at people from Turku (Åbu Nidal, indeed). But somehow the production seems rushed and uneven – some scenes drag on and on, and some (like the aforementioned Turku-fundamentalism one) could easily have been extended.

Jun 092004

So, the childhood icon turns 70.

Celebrated by a nice double-header issue. Barks’ “Mad Chemist” and a birthday-specific Vicar story form the best parts of the “normal” issue, but the real treat is the special 24B-issue: Barks’ Golden Helmet. One of the greatest Duck-stories ever. And this time without the misguided italian “edits” so prevalent in the giant “I, ” books from the seventies.