Oct 162008

#106:  Finnish tightrope
This week’s photo thursday takes its inspiration from a seventies’ thriller: Desmond Bagley’s Tightrope Men, translated as Suomalainen nuorallatanssi (Finnish tightrope dance) back in the day.

Decided to go for a concrete image this time, and chose the closest high wires around – a very visible part of the power grid over Pikkuhuopalahti. Haven’t seen any aspiring artists atop the pylons, and certainly no-one in their right mind would attempt to cross the bay using the wires.

Oct 142008

I bought a new toy today.

A CCD-based barcode-reader that hooks up to the USB-port.

“Why on earth”, I hear the collective cry of perplexed millions.

The answer is simple, I’m going to catalogue my books.

Indeed, I’ve been a paying member of the fabulous librarything for a while now. The social network / collection site boasts a decent interface and easy means to export the data (one of my main beefs with the otherwise interesting Delicious Library).

Even when the site boasts a very nifty ISBN-based book adding mechanism, typing the ten+ digit numbers is both a chore and error-prone. Hence the reader, which emulates an external keyboard perfectly.

It will be a while before the contents of the shelves have been fully documented, and I’ll definitely keep up commenting both the site and the progress.

The Marson reader itself is a solidly built piece of plastic, whose only unfortunate feature I’ve discovered thus far is its eagerness to let out a piercing beep upon successfully deciphering a set of parallel bars.

Oct 142008

Got swept for the first time this season, both teams lost their games. Neither with a worrisomely big margin, but even a single point counts, that’s been seen before. Both teams are now 4-2-0, which is not a bad place to be, considering that there’s still eight games left in the regular season.

The loss for Hakkapeliitat was dealt in Monday Night Football. Browns’ offense finally got going, and Braylon Edwards had his first good game this season – 150+ yards and a touchdown do not bode well for a tight margin. Hakkapeliitat executed themselves unevenly – Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings continued the Green Bay’s unexpectedly good aerial attack. Sadly, last week’s hero, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, was very subdued – that’s easily explained by working in front of a substitute quarterback, though. The worst managerial decision of the week was benching Cowboys’ Marion Barber, after a quiet game last week, his output would have guaranteed a victory. Oh well, next weeks he’ll definitely be on the gridiron, since the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo will be sidelined with a broken finger and it’s likely that the ground game will be featured a lot more heavily.

Niners lost to a winless team, stumbling to a halt behind yet another well-executed game of Drew Brees. Neither the receivers nor the running backs mustered much of a game. Especially the thus far productive rookie squad (Tim Hightower and Jonathan Stewart) did not pound the ground much. I traded for Brandon Stokley last week (upon hearing how thin the Broncos’ receiving corps had been pruned), but stupidly forgot to slot him in. He scored once, but suffered a concussion, thus making the job for the offensive coordinator even harder. LT’s scoreless days continued. And while Nick Folk kicked a mighty 52-yard field goal, his scoring was lower than expected, as was the ball-capturing ability of the usually reliable Bears.

Bring on week seven.

Oct 142008

The first week of hockey turned out to be a nova-bright start for Hakkapeliitat.

The opponent was swept off his feet – 10-0, a solid victory in all categories, propelling the team to the very top of the standings.

The groundwork for victory was laid by the duo of goalies, behind the five victories, one shutout and an excellent stopping percentage, the first three points were pretty much lowest-hanging fruit in a good while. Offensively, the greatest damage was done by Coyotes’ Shane Doan, but the week was a low-scoring affair on both sides.

Bring on week two, and inevitable fall from grace.

Oct 142008

The brightest scoring prospect of the Hakkapeliitat defensive line, Marek Židlický seems to be suffering from a mysterious ankle ailment. Considering that the entire scoring power rests on rather meek shoulders right now, I’d certainly want him back on the bench and on the ice, subsequently, as soon as possible.

Oct 132008

I just subscribed to my first ever blog written in swedish.

No, I don’t have a sudden need to have a meaningful discussion using Finland’s second official language. Just felt like a good idea to get exposed to swedish more often than accidentally once a year.

And yes, my swedish is indeed hopelessly rusted up, and it takes considerable effort to make sense of the entries.

And there’s probably something seriously wrong with the title of this post, but I couldn’t let a perfectly good Balle Ramstedt-impression go to waste.

Oct 122008

In the long list of “why wasn’t I aware of these things before?”

  • Blacksad is a beautifully drawn graphic novel that replaces men with animals (cats, dogs, reptiles – the gang’s all here) in a seriously noir environment. Wind in the Willows mixed with Philip Marlowe.
  • Grand Magus is an old school heavy metal band that is not ashamed of its ancestors nor reluctant to expand beyond the traditional. Black Sabbath meets Candlemass.
  • Château d’Yquem is officially the finest white wine I’ve tasted. Sweet, obviously, but just the thing to accompany a carefully picked glob of Roquefort.
Oct 112008

Cloverfield posterBought J.J. Abrams-produced Cloverfield dvd from Stockmann’s crazy days at a very reasonable price and found the film worth the five euros spent.

The movie mixes 9/11 imagery, Blair Witch Project, Lovecraftian monsters and awkward acting to an effective eighty minutes of cinema.

There’s no incidental music. No big-name actors. No explanations. And ultimately, no pulling of any punches.

But there’s plenty of panic. Plenty of futile military action. Plenty of bad dialogue. Plenty of plot devices that fail to convince

Not everybody’s cup of tea. Especially if you’re prone to motion sickness. The camera twists and bounces fiercely in Cloverfield.

But it’s a nice short ride for a boring evening.

Oct 102008

Chinese Democracy is almost upon us.

Though the exclusivity given to best buy is very worrisome, there’s no reason to doubt a simultaneous proper international release. Or failing that, the album’s imminent arrival in a convenient p2p site.

Today is also the release date for a second new song (possibly off the forthcoming album): If the World is played during the credits of Body of Lies. The first song was Shackler’s Revenge on Rock Band 2 earlier this fall. And obviously, Oh My God was on the 1999 End of Days.

Oct 092008

This week’s photo thursday challenge once again commands participants to continue from a picture. This time the source picture is some sort of radio telescope or radar array.

#105:  Continue from a picture

Clearly such a massive piece of equipment needs a good reason to exist. I bet their mission is to figure out why the moon is twisted in the sky.

The picture is taken on the southern hemisphere, and there the moon is indeed hanging upside-down.

Oct 092008

This is by far my favorite license plate, as requested by thursday challenge.

Thursday Challenge 9.10.2008:  Favorite

We actually discussed the existence of the “CO 2″ plate a month ago over a coffee at work and came to the conclusion that it’s either used on a monstrous SUV or one of the very few hybrids rolling on the finnish roads. Happily enough the car carrying the plate turned out to be the latter – a Toyota Prius.

Oct 082008

There are now 5 months / 271 entries left in the effort to move all blog content into WordPress.

And a definite need for some category-shuffling once the content is all snug and safe in the database. I’m not thoroughly happy with the categorization right now. Some of them have grown way too big, and it’s time to slice and dice their entries into carefully divided subcategories. And correspondlingly there are some pairs of groups whose division inbetween seems very artificial (and the categories themselves have not gathered that much content thus far).

Some examples:

  • Games will inherit at least “video games” and “computer games”. Possibly a couple more.
  • Music shall give birth at least to “concerts”.
  • Movies will beget “movie reviews”.
  • Sports will be shaken up a lot – sport-specific division will be added, and the cup-specific categories folded into “soccer”.
  • Food and Restaurants will be combined.
  • As will Drink and Bars.

And some entirely new categories might appear as well: such as liveblogging (even though those events are rare indeed).

That’s the plan. And it will still take a a while to implement.