Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Lack of alcohol

There might soon be shortage of alcohol in Finland.

At least that is if the of the employees of the Finnish Government monopoly alcohol shop, Alko, are going ahead with their threats about a strike. As 85% of all employees in Alko are part-timers, they are paid less than full-timers and thus also having fewer benefits.

A strike closing down the Alko shops would probably be more devastating on the Finns than the nurses’ unions’ strike with their mass resignations that are likely to be effective later this month. The nurses having signed the lists have received a letter from their employers about their personal point of view of the resignations and 300 of the 12.800 nurses having changed their minds so far. The union is at present making new lists to replace the old ones for their mass resignations in order to obtain better pay for their performed job.

Considering that about 25% of al casualties in Finland are either direct causes of alcohol consumption or side effects with accidents such as falls, fights and so on, so having the Alko shops closed at the same time as there is going to be a shortage of nurses and health care staff due to their strike with resignations would be well timed. 25% less casualties requires 25% less medical staff, does it not?!?

Anyway, I wonder how to avoid getting the winter blues. Now with last Sunday’s turning back of the clocks into regular winter time the sun sets earlier and darkness all of sudden prevails earlier than we are used to.

Now we are in desperate need of some light and warmth. Cuddling up under a warm blanket on the sofa drinking hot cocoa in the candle light is not always enough to do the trick. At least not in the long run, but soon will be Xmas time and then the days begin to grow longer again.

Depression as it happens is the most frequent reason of disabilities to work and for retiring because of health reasons here in Finland, and the more north up you are the more common it gets. Less sun hours means more darkness and I suspect that a winter night going on for several months can not be very good for you. Neither can a summer day that goes on for as long the winter night, for months and months.

Anyway, tomorrow is the real Halloween according to Celtic tradition, the night when the veil between the worlds is the thinnest, when the ghosts come back to speak to us and also the Celtic New year if I have not got it all wrong.

The trick and treating of Halloween has not yet got as popular here in Finland as in the Anglo-Saxon countries over the world. Even as it is not a tradition originating from the Nordic tradition still many kindergartens and schools have some festivities like costume parties in order to celebrate Halloween.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Power shortages?

If the coming winter is a cold one there might have to be power cuts even in households and not just in the industry.

A very cold winter might stretch Finland's energy resources past the breaking point as Finland does not produce enough power of its own. There is a risk for power cuts especially during the peak season of Christmas when the traditional Xmas sauna is heated up at the same time with the traditional Xmas ham cooked in the ovens. At present power is imported from Russia accounting up to ten percent of Finland's energy needs and the Finnish power supply company Fingrid now says that with Russia turning down its output in order to meet its own power needs there might not be any power left to sell to Finland.

The worst case scenario is that even household power would have to be rationed, this meaning cut of for some time, and the power supply company now hopes that the households will economize the amount of power used during a cold winter. Some electricity is also imported from Sweden but with a cold snap there at the same time as here in Finland, there would be no additional electricity resulting in shortages. As last winter was an exceptionally mild one apart from a couple of short cold snaps Finland didn't experience any power shortages although they were already then expected to happen.

An electricity shortage or rationing of the same will surely make the electricity prices sky rocket.

As I am no sports fan I to my great surprise yesterday found out that The FIS Ski Cross Country Worldcup began its’ season 2007/2008 in Düsseldorf, again, and this for the 4th time.

Snow in Dusseldorf at this time of the year?!?

End of October a mild autumn, in the middle of the Old town down by the river Rhine? When the leaves still are green? Becoming curious I googled the event and found the official site and read on.

What a waste of energy and resources!

The event was proud to on their official site announce that they are the only event of the cross country season to have a 100% guarantee for snow. The needed 3000 cubic metres of snow for the track is made out of 1500 cubic metres pure drinking-water without any chemical additives. The same amount of water to fill a common 50m swimming pool and the manufacturing of the snow is begun 100 days ahead of the World Cup and the track itself is handmade.

Okay, cleaning the water, making it freeze, storing it cold in order to have the needed amount, moving the snow into place of the track, hand making the track, how much does this cost in energy resources?
Or money for that matter?

And there is lack of pure drinking water in many areas of the world!

I have been feeling bad about it as there is no alternative when showering living in apartment in Finland as the municipalities supply you with water and it is all pure drinking water but this unbelievable wast of resources.

One thing comes to mind though, they are absolutely right, good that the water used is pure and does not pollute the river Rhine in any way as it is quite polluted already. No more additional pollution of the water except for maybe some substances washed down by the melting snow on its’ way down the banks into the river below.


You can check out the facts out yourself at the provided link to the official cite of The FIS Ski Cross Country Worldcup in Düsseldorf at: http://www.worldcup-duesseldorf.de/index.php?id=35&L=1

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Red nose

Comic relief, red nose day campaign, originally created in 1988 in the UK, was now on Friday held for the first time in Finland.

1, 6 million euros were gathered for charity in the work against child labour. The other of the national TV stations Yle broadcasted 6 hours of special red nose program issues for the charity campaign during the night in order to collect money.

The idea has been to buy you a red nose and do something funny you have always dreamed of doing with the idea of doing something fun for charity. I wonder if Rudolf the red nosed reindeer joined the fun.

And I just got mine absolutely free, the offspring has cursed me with the flu and nobody has bothered to make me any soup. Thank God I had some ready salmon soup in the freezer to heat up !

Friday, 26 October 2007

Recycling is not easy

To be able to follow up your electricity consumption, a dozen of households in the capital area have been able to get the meter readings real time by their home computers on the net and as the pilot project try out has turned out so well this is soon going to be reality for all Finnish homes in order to save electricity.

I am looking forward to be able to see in real time what turning off some home appliance will do to the electricity consumption, maybe this would spur even the offspring into doing something about their lights being turned on even when nobody’s in the room.

A lot of TV programs today in Finland are about the issues of how to become more environmentally conscientious. We are taught how to choose the clean form of electricity, how to shop making the proper choices, what produce are environmentally good, what produce have been manufactured in ways thinking of the environment and we are also made believe that recycling is good. Well it would be good if there were enough capacity to recycle all the household waste in an easy way sorting all your waste instead of just chucking it all in the dustbin, which seems to be the general way of treating your garbage.

Sorting your own metal scraps, paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and so fort is hard at present as there are no separate containers in each building, you always have to take the car to do the sorting somewhere centrally, like by the local supermarket.

How hard can it be to have more containers available for the households to do the sorting ourselves at every house?

At present there normally is just is the ordinary bin, one for composting materials, another for recycling of paper and a third one for cardboards. All glass bottles and jars, old batteries have to be taken else where and the hardly exist any recycling of plastic materials or metal from households today. And the left over medicines are to be taken to the pharmacists for extinction.

I am quite confident that in due time people will range their own waste, if provided with the proper facilities in for recycling and the municipalities can stop complaining about not having enough resources. Collecting the garbage several times per week, or maybe even keeping it in separate containers on the trucks could do the trick. As it is now the paper and the household garbage is collected on separate trucks.

I guess it might be time for all of us to begin to act in environmentally good ways on all areas of our life.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Sunday shopping

With Finland being a Christian country with a traditional Sundays rest seems a bit off in today’s urban society when Sundays happens to be the day when people have time to go places being off work, so the shops Sunday closing has seemed a bit strange. Now there is going to be a change in that and even hardware stores are going to be taken in consideration for Sunday openings in the new law proposal. According to a recently done Gallup households with children would appreciate the Sunday openings the most.

Anyway, I was shocked to by accident find out that my blood pressure has skyrocketed with out no apparent reason at all. A blood pressure going from normal this spring into 140/100 now and staying need some serious research done as no apparent lifestyle changes have been done, no radical weight gain as anything else in order to point out the reason for it. As it happens we do have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity in my family but no one has had this high blood pressure as I have been discovered with. So now I am going to have some blood test done to be able to make a second doctor’s appointment in order to hear the results. I always thought I held a healthy life, with a well balanced diet even though I have been lazy about getting enough exercise due to the arthritis in my right knee, which has developed over the years after a skiing accident in my youth.

But maybe it is not always the choices we make of our own that determines how health we are, maybe the genes have an even greater role in this as well than thought before.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Freedom to not speak

Freedom of speech is something that is taken for granted in the so called Western world, and so here in Finland as well, but apparently with a little twist to it.

According to the Finns I have recently been discussing the issue with, here in Finland it seems that the meaning of freedom of speech here is; (which normally is considered to be that you are allowed to express your own opinions), “the freedom of leaving out to mention about things you should talk about”.

And this has been practised to its’ best extent at least when the late president Urho Kekkonen still lived with some remains still prevailing in today’s politics. The eastern neighbour has ever since been talked about in a hushed tone of voice, some things were best not to talked about aloud at all, and president Kekkonen was according to the information I have found on the subject a mastermind on balancing on a tight rope between the western world and the eastern then great neighbour, The Soviet Union.

Anyway, I never seem to cease to be surprised about what information is freely available on the Internet, like finding a distant relative or a second cousin really, currently living here in Finland and studying at the University of Helsinki!

I have not as yet got any answer to the e-mail I sent this morning but am hoping to receive one soon. It would be very nice if we could meet up, if not at least be in contact by e-mail even though we have never actually met before, just our respective parents that are first cousins as our family is not the very best at keeping in touch and we are spread all over Europe together with a couple of other continents as well and no family reunions have ever taken place. Maybe that is one thing we should take up doing in the future as with age one tends to all of sudden become more interested in one’s family and relatives.

By the way, why do they say that flowers are best captured in backlight?

Monday, 22 October 2007

Tough races

Kimi Räikkönen has become the third Finn to win the Formula One World Championship after Keke Rosberg in 1982 and Mika Häkkinen twice in the years 1998 and 1999.

Räikkönen won his championship in the in the last race of the season yesterday, the Brazilian Grand Prix by a long-shot chance at the title as he was seven points behind the season leader and his victory has been well celebrated through out the country.

The Helsinki Horse Show is the biggest indoor sports event in Finland and this year it was held for the 23rd time throughout Thursday until Sunday. More than 40.000 people visit the show at Hartwall Arena annually with 40 top international riders this time, the best home riders and around 100 super horses participating. In this years suspense killing highlight the Rolex FEI World Cup in Helsinki, only three horses out of 39 went clear on the course and nine horses just had one fence down as the course was very technical and especially the combinations were said to be highly challenging. Especially happy news was that for two Finns on 7th and 11th place, with of course the horses doing most of the work, having for the first time got World Cup points in the same class.

Surprise visits are not always pleasant ones but all the same surprising, things you could not plan ahead and they have begun to occur more and more frequently these days. Friends you have not heard from for years all of a sudden turn up on your footstep as they are visiting town in business from abroad. One family even came during their summer vacation but unfortunately as we were not at home at the time we did not hear about it until later when they had returned back home after their holidays. A pleasant visit we just missed.

Well how to prepare yourself? Stuff the freezer full with goodies you can just whip up into a three course dinner with wine in no time at all, replace the offspring to their respective friends for the night and enjoy the moment, in best case. What if the person that turns up uninvited is someone you would rather not see? I guess you just abide your time and try to survive, make the best of it and try to make your guest understand you have previous appointments you can not cancel, at least not this late time anymore. Well, this particular visit was actually planned in the near future, just turned up one day earlier which actually was better as it suited our timetable as there was a concert yesterday evening that was not to be missed, at least according to my dear spouse.

Friday, 19 October 2007

More drunk than before

It must be years if not decades since last time a Russian diplomat has been called back to Moscow from the embassy in Helsinki for some misdemeanour, but yesterday it happened again. This time the diplomat was called back home for making statements differing from the official Russian policy about Finland joining NATO.

Anyway, the soup days seems to have come to stay for a while as some planned outings were cancelled with the flu having hit hard with a bad cough and fever. Guess this was to expect as the first signs of warnings of a runny nose were not taken seriously enough, so mummy has been busy providing the offspring with some hot soup, sweet corn soup this time to be more specific and it turned out quite well, as a matter of fact too well as I have had to make some more already after the first batch this morning.

One thing I have been wondering about in the news is the fact that Finnish alcohol consumption has increased to a 26.3 million litres converted into pure alcohol sold during the first 6 months this year and it has never earlier been this high according to the National Product Control Agency with the sales of long-drinks and light wines having increased particularly. Once again I have to ask the same question, as this not adjusted into per capita, what the Finns drink per person, no consideration of that the population is bigger than before or maybe there were more tourists visiting the country.

I just love statistics!

And now the hospitals have made up their minds about the mass resignations from their staff nurses that are members of the Finnish health care union. The resignations are to be considered to be effective and real and no guarantee is made that they are to get back their jobs when the union eventually makes a deal about their pay rises.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Socially secure

17th of October has been the homeless’ night in Finland since 1996 when the tradition first began by having a sleep over at the foot of the steps of parliament house.

Yesterday there were activities on numerous places all the way from the largest cities such as Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Oulu and even Rovaniemi. A petition was also yesterday handed over to the politicians on the issue, stating that by building only 2500 more apartments this problem would be solved.

Apparently about 2000 of these live in the metropolitan capital area. Out of a million inhabitants there are 2000 that have no place to live without a proper place to spend their nights, no matter the reason they have no apartment, living their lives out in the cold with freezing temperatures. Finland has been so proud of being a so called welfare state, having net of social security for everyone. Free healthcare, dentalcare, education and social benefits as aid if you get into trouble, well where is human rights for all these homeless persons?

And you think for yourself, it will never happen to me. What if it did happen to you?

What if you became an outcast and had no place to live? Instead of being socially secure?

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Mass resignations?

The Finnish health care union has announced that it is going to use the means of mass resignations for almost 13.000 employees in the public health care sector effective in about a month’s time in order to obtain their demands of a pay rise. Their wages are considered unreasonably low for the workload they provide and have not followed the over all trend in pay rises.

Now the question of whether these mass resignations would be lawful has risen, as a document with only names listed is no way to resign according to the law. It would depend on what kind of data is printed on the lists, but a personal note of resignation might be required in order for it to be effective instead of the name lists gathered by the union so far.

Ordinary citizens in general do not seem to be worried the healthcare might deteriorate or be worse than normal during the strike, but there is now great concern from relatives for the elderly and for their care taking when an acute need would arise.

Anyway, fall break always is annoying as well as a hard time for me and so is this week too with the offspring being home from school. With the offspring having turned to their teens, they nowadays come and go uncontrollably, taking charge of kitchen utensils without a warning in no way taking notice of mum’s possible need of them. TV sets and PC are occupied all day around, music played on stereos on loud volume and their friends drop in unannounced. Normally at this time of the day I am home alone enjoying my solitude with our cat, but now I am seriously considering fleeing from home going shopping or just anything to get away from all the noise. At least I am absolutely up to date with the latest popular music!

It is not the noise, or the offspring itself being at home, it is the irregularity and havoc that prevails I am trying to avoid. I am not a very orderly person, I like my own kind of organized disorder, I know where the things are just as long as nobody moves them and there has been a lot of moving around my stuff going on these past few days. I like to get things done in my own time, at the time of my own choosing and here I am now queuing to get on-line to post my Blog, which normally is among my morning routines. A cup of tea with morning TV and blogging after having watched the news for some fresh ideas.

So now I at least I get to write my post, when I get to publish is an entirely different matter that nobody seems to care about at the time being.

As the offspring and their friends are not very sociable, at least to old dinosaurs like someone’s mum, I get pretty much ignored and just walked past in the hallway without even a hello. I am home alone in a crowded house until the time when dear spouse of mine comes home the going calms down a bit. Fortunately some outings have been planned by the offspring and are effective to take place commencing today.

By the way, I was worried about having to stock up with some groceries as the Finnish Service Union had warned about a strike for warehouse workers, which would have halted deliveries to most of the larger food chains. The walk out was planned to be effective today at 2 PM but the union reached an agreement with their employers about their pay rises in the early morning hours.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

New ways

According to the news The Finnish National Public Health Institute has been taken by surprise by a study carried out at the Harvard University in the US which conclude that children may five times more likely develop bone cancer if they ingest fluoride added to their drinking water and if Harvard's research holds up to more scientific scrutiny Finland should re-examine the quantity of fluoride it adds to public drinking water, as it is added into drinking as it is believed to strengthen bone structure.

Well, well, here we are once again. Something that was believed years ago to be good for you no longer might be and that we really don not have a choice to say no to as there was no other option. The tap water we all are drinking with out even thinking about what I might, or might not contain. Or the filling in our teeth containing mercury that are bad four our health but would be too expensive to remove.

Have you ever been on a diet?

Well, a lot of us have especially when growing older and becoming more comfortable and the pace slowed down than in the youth when you were still “going places”.

Anyway, why is it that when you are on a diet just one failure, once wrong step always ruins it all and then you think you have a good excuse just going on eating in the wrong way for the rest of the day, and get an even better excuse to continue eating that way for the rest of the week as you are filled with your feeling of disappointment, self-loathing and guilt. Why not just accept the fact you made a mistake after having eaten your chocolate bar or what ever and continue as nothing had happened after having eaten it?

It is just like all these New Year’s resolutions. You might honestly mean it when you make them, but sticking to them is hard as hell. Dieting, or quitting any bad habit like smoking, is a question of a change in your lifestyle, to change your behaviour and normally that is not an easy thing to do. It is not made just out of the spur of the moment’s inspiration; you have to adjust into a new way of thinking and acting, and that normally takes time…anyway, just back on the waggon again asap after your error.

God, I need some more tea as I really don’t know where I am going with this today!

Friday, 12 October 2007

Cake from hell

Birthdays are always nice, and I am especially fond of little children’s birthdays.

The small children show their feelings with absolute honestly in opposition of grown-ups who always pretend liking their presents instead of stating their opinions. Even when you are asking and saying you can get it changed into something else they still pretend to like something that you obviously can see was no to their liking in order to be polite. Where as a little child really cares about the gifts and begins to play with them at once, ignoring the rest of the presents is reluctantly persuaded by its' mother into taking part in opening of the rest of the presents.

Anyway, here we come to the cake part. I am very fond of cooking and I enjoy my fair share of baking as well but I am not too fond of eating cakes and avoid them. And avoiding eating them has become an art form for me which most hostesses are completely aware of in advance and they do not insist on me having any cake. Well so did this hostess as well, and she did not insist on me having cake, she was loudly telling me to eat it in front of all the other guests. Afterwards I kept wondering about why she did it, as she has been aware of my eating customs for years and came to the conclusion that she was making it a show.

The occasion itself was quite dull with all the respective grandparents present and a handful of friends to the family and in my mind I got stuck on the paternal grandfather having repeatedly been on about how “only stupid people get fat”, that it is only “a matter eating too much with too little exercise” and with this referring to his daughter in law who has just quit breastfeeding the younger one a while ago after having had two children with only one year in between.

When asking about it on the phone she told me her father in law has been nagging her about her weight ever since she got pregnant with her first child and nobody any longer pretends to hear his remarks on the subject and that she snaps back at him when given the occasion. Hope she does not get into baking a special cake for just her father in law…

Thursday, 11 October 2007

First snow

I have been following the career of the rock band Nightwish with great interest as they were among the first Finnish rock bands to become world famous. With MTV it has been made easy and I an especially fond of their latest promotion video for their song Amaranth. In the video there is a living replica of one well known Finnish painting, the wounded angel and I think this is a nice way to honour your own heritage.

The Wounded angel painting was first painted 1903 by artist Hugo Simberg and is today to be seen at the Ateneum Art museum, the Finnish national Gallery in Helsinki. The painting has also been repainted as a mural in the Tampere Cathedral with small variations in order to replace the painting to the vicinity of the city.

Anyway, two not so fun events took place today. And that is never fun in one single day.

I do not consider visiting the dentist as fun, at least not when having cavities to fill and even worse is when you have to remove and old filling in order to replace it with a new one and having to tell your optician you need new glasses to replace the ones you were given last week is not an easy thing to do. Well this time it all went with less difficulties than I had anticipated, the optician was just amazed at the ability of my eyes to lie, to adjust to their uttermost resulting in a renewed prescription. But the dental work done was then harder to cope with, the work was done swiftly enough but the after pains have been agonizing despite heavy painkillers and have kept me up all night.

And today the first snow for this winter is expected to fall upon southern Finland, which is much earlier than it has used to be during my years here. At least it will only be a swift encounter as the ground still is fairly warm and the weather is expected to turn a bit warmer again.

And strikes are expected in many industrial areas, the food workers union is planning an action around the country to protest against something, and the nurses in the university hospitals around the country are considering whether to hand in their resignation en masse or what they will do and I am beginning to review my thoughts about the Finns not being as strike prone as in some other European countries.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Trying hard

Already more than a century ago people used to place personal ads in the newspapers to find company, to find a suitable spouse from another part of the country, and so it also used to be the way here in Finland.

In the modern society of today this has moved on from the printed newspapers and transformed to personal ads the net or as here in Finland many ads are seen on the TV most of them night time. I always wonder how many of these people, how many of the ads are seriously looking for someone to love and not only to cheat the ones they already have at home.

Looking at the pictures can say a lot about the persons but on most of the pixs you can hardly detect the looks of the persons as they are taken either out of focus or too far away with the person turning out small in the middle of the photo.

Sadly enough many ads have pixs with unrecognizable features, maybe to avoid being recognized be their respective spouses, but what sticks to my mind is the frequency of looking for under aged company. They were not many at the agency I was looking around at, but there they still were, both gay and “so called” straight ads.

I am not sure of when you are of age to have sex here in Finland, if it is when turning 18 as you come to an legal age, or if it is earlier as in many other countries, but an older person looking for young company must be paedophilia, is it not?!? So is this really legal?!?

Anyway, I am really impressed with one of the major food chains, Valintatalo, which would be translated into about “House of choices” in English. They are not the big supermarkets but are a bit bigger than the usual corner shop and they really try hard. They have special offers with frozen scallops and mussels, fresh artichokes and spinach when in season and they also have my favourite, duck frozen which is not what I would expect from the ordinary corner shop not to mention even a bigger supermarket.

But the best thing is that some of the Valintatalos are even open on Sundays as they are small enough to be allowed opening hours on Sundays which comes in handy as I sometimes tend to forget about having to shop for the Sunday dinner as well, as the shops used to be open for the summer Sundays and they will be open again for Xmas season.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Negotiations between the unions and their employers have been going on lately about a pay rise and as some have struck agreements on their wages the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals who have not, are now threatening to go on alternating strike or even to mass-resignations from their jobs in protest. If I have got it right, altering strike would be to work and to be on strike on alternate days and mass-resignation would be to resign many at the same time. Wonder about the chances to be rehired after such a measure. This would be a great opportunity to get rid of unwanted and difficult personnel for the employers. Also the Union of Salaried Employees issued a warning strike effective in end of October which would affect several technology companies if no agreement is made.

Another thing that has been on the news is the difference in prices for haircuts for men and women and some hairdressers are now threatened to be fined by the Ombudsman for Equality here in Finland. The question is why men’s haircuts are valued differently from women’s? Women’s hair is more difficult to cut, more time-consuming, women are more picky, men come in more often as the average man has shorter hair?

Anyway, this would be the first time in Finland any company would face financial penalties based on the gender equality law, a law that has been effective for more than 20 years already.

At the same time we might want to ask why women are expected to be properly made up with their hair done as men can go unshaved for weeks. Women are essential to national economy as they spend so much money on their outlooks in addition to all clothes they buy, money spent on workouts, hair products, cosmetics etc

Women earn less money but still have to spend more to stay smart and good-looking. Men just need to get gray hair and a thick wallet to be someone to keep in mind. Where’s the equality in all that?

Monday, 8 October 2007

Specs trouble

A tradition that dates back centuries, the traditional herring market opened for this year in Helsinki this weekend. There are quite a few fish markets around the country and most of them have their market days twice a year, one weekend is normally in the fall and the other in the spring and there are large amounts of delicacies to try on place or to buy home apart from the smoked herring I am so fond of eating on rye bread. Dear husband of mine has his preferences of many of the pickled herring varieties and I think he has tried it in any way they pickle it in addition to the many recipes I have tried out here at home. Some with great success, others to great disappointment of the hungry ones and the offspring unwilling and reluctant to even try.

Anyway, with age most of us get poor eyesight and in time we have to get ourselves an aid to be able to cope with daily chores, simple things like reading. For me this already occurred years ago in my teens and I have since then had many glasses and now it was time to get new ones again.

One thing I do dislike is being obliged to change opticians as it always turns bad in the end and so this time once again to no surprise, at least to me now afterwards but I tend to forget about it during the years it works out as it should with the “old and familiar” optician.

Out of some peculiar reason the new opticians never really listen to what I say about my eyes being able to adjust and pretend to see, if you know what I mean. My eyes are for a short period of time, able to make the impossible, that is to pretend almost perfect eyesight and that is just about the time it takes to make the test and after a while it all becomes a blur again and happily the optician prescribes the wrong glasses for me. So this time and here I now am with new specs that are completely useless to me as I can not read with them, not to mention being able to judge if the photos I take are good or bad.

Another thing that went wrong this time is that my eyes do not have the same prescription, as I have poorer sight on my left than on my right and as I have always been farsighted I very much doubt my sight ever improves as these new specs would suggest as they are not strong enough for me to be able to read. And these new ones are the same strength both of them. The thing I hate most about this is not getting the wrong glasses but it is to go back and tell someone whom I am absolutely sure did their best but still failed, it’s the having to “question their professional skills” part that I hate. We all make mistakes but like most people in general neither the Finns do like to be told they are wrong, and as paying customer I am entitled to have what I am paying them for and that is new specs I can see with instead of such I could have used years ago. Guess this is a time I should not be trying out any new, untried food recipes as I might get it all wrong as I might not see what it says in the recipes.

Friday, 5 October 2007

More work done cheaper

Recently it has been all about pay rise and wages negotiations in the media here in Finland.

Employees threatening to walk out of their jobs, threatening strikes in order to get a pay rise, demands for more money working overtime and after the negotiations between the unions and employers, companies and municipalities are now beginning to complain about having to raise the taxes in order of being able to afford the pay rises.

At the same time there still is a big unemployment rate in this country and many of these are women. Well they say women even when doing the same job as men are paid less, it was something about 1 Euro for men would be 80 cents or something for women still when doing the same job. So what is there to do, both to get more people into working life maintaining the cost efficiency in companies? Employ more women as they are cheaper and still do the same job as men. How does this sound for equality?

Companies are not as prone to employ women as they have children and stay home when they are ill, well women still normally do more than a man’s work, if you know what I mean.

Employing a second woman to replace the other being on her maternity leave should only make the business even more successful, getting rid of the men costing a fortune and never doing a woman’s job anyway and employing more cost-effective women. They are cheaper according to all research done and work harder in order to keep up in pace with the men, to be able to advance in the same time. Women not only have to work more and harder in order to receive the same benefits as men just are handed automatically, they have to prove they are worthy in working life in opposition to men. Men just are and what you see is what you get, and frankly, sometimes that is not much.

It is just a shame that the taxes and all other social costs are the same for both men and women. Maybe we now would need a change in this as we now have solved the national economy of this country. Getting more work done for less pay.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

10% lefties

Did you know that about 10% of the population of the world is left handed and whether you are destined to be right- or left-handed is destined by our genes? They say that left-handed people are no more accident prone than right handed, well if I were left handed I night change that statistics. The scientists further say that the same inherited gene most certainly causes left-handedness but it also determines whether you might become schizophrenic or not.

Anyway, I have lately been very busy writing, well obviously not this Blog of mine, that you might have guessed already, but this children’s book of mine that has been planned now for years is now finally well on its’ way into becoming reality.

We are both working hard at the moment with the book, both I and my illustrator, and we hope to be able to have the book ready and available for sale by this Christmas. And as it is a Christmas story, about a little cat and the Christmas-tree, it would be quite appropriate too to have it released just in time before Christmas.

Right now I just feel I am running out of time so I will get back to my re-writing after a nice cup of tea.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

What’s the use of viruses?

On Sunday was the International Heart Day; and heart disease is one of the top causes of death here in Finland.
On Monday was the International Liver Day which for the first time was celebrated here in
Finland this year.
Liver cirrhosis happens to be the most common cause of death for men and the second most common for women causing the death of 1000 Finns every year and this number has doubled since the year 2000.

Maybe today on Tuesday it should have Brain Day following by all the major organs in the body, we could have celebrated anatomy of the human body for weeks! I really wonder what these different International days of this do a difference. I guess they are supposed to raise our consciousness on issues but I really doubt about the efficiency of it.

Anyway, every time your PC begins to do some monkey business the first thought you get is that there is some kind of virus or some spyware that has got into your system. And all his we have all the spammers of the world to thank for.

So it always begins with checking your system for viruses and spyware and so also this time but nothing has still been found, and the problem is not caused by lack of memory which is the second thing that comes into mind.

I have for a long time been wondering about the use of making viruses, the kind of ladybug that used to walk across your screen was cute enough and I would actually enjoy having that one but I doubt it is compatible with modern day systems. As a private suspicious citizen weary about the good and bad about globalization, it brings to mind that I might myself not be opposed to attacking a ruthless multinational company with viruses, or hacking into their databases in order to get to get back on them for the evil they do, or have done. A vendetta against a company for the wrong they have done distributing dangerous medicines around the world, or making money on people’s misery, polluting the environment or what ever.

I can also accept if you want to get back on some person that has behaved badly towards you personally, that I get, but I still can not understand is the joy and fulfillment it brings a hacker, or virus programmer to infect the PCs of ordinary people. Personal revenge I can understand, but this impersonal type of just doing bad" to just anyone" just for kicks beats me.

So the search still is on, what is the matter with this PC of mine and it seems such a strange coincidence that it all began when I moved my Blog here…