Friday, 28 March 2008

Text messages going public

The Helsinki District Court rejected motion made by the blonde exotic dancer against the planned publication of text messages she has received from the Foreign Minister.

The Finnish tabloid magazine “Hymy”, which would be smile in English, is now ready to publish “a sizable sampling” of the text messages sent by the Foreign minister and they stated on their website that it will be in his favour.
We have come a long way from the usual old fashioned letters black on white.

Anyway, first when dear spouse and I heard of a film called Alien vs. Predator, we thought it was some kind of joke as the idea was presented in such an odd manner, as a film to watch in some kind of comedy concept, so we laughed about it, but then the film was run on the TV so I just had to what the film was like. If it was any better, or worse than or maybe as bad as the previous Alien films and Predator films, and it turned out there had been no development in the plot, just the same old routine. Surprising was thought that the first killed person, or android in the first Alien film was in this film too, the same actor I mean, but this time he was human and he got killed by a Predator instead of an Alien.

The pyramid thing seemed to be nicked straight from Stargate and having set the scene in the arctic was just out of the X-Files UFO encounters, such a worn out idea. Lots of slime around, set in darkness to make the film more thrilling, but the outcome was the same old thing twisted around a bit.

The offspring of course found out I was watching the film so I didn’t have to do it alone.

As it happens, Alien was the very first movie I watched without the required age by sneaking in on a slow Sunday night in the movies. It was quite frightening then and as I was home alone when arriving home after the scary movie I checked underneath the bed. I kept checking under the bed for many weeks to come afterwards so I guess I did pay the prize. Since then I have seen all the Alien films during the years, not because they have been good but more out of nostalgia for the scare the first film gave me, but I can still say that I have seen all the Alien films.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Money on the hold

Two Nordic banks have now joined ventures.

One of the bigger banks here in Finland has been bought up by a Danish mega-banking corporation, it is among the five largest in Europe if I remember it correctly, and lately they now two happily joined banks have been ventured in getting their online banking system into one single instead of the two separate they used to be. This was planned to take place during the Easter holidays and should have been up and running by Tuesday but their thousands of their customers are still not able to access their system with all in all 800.000 bank customers in both countries being affected by the switch over and I guess many must currently have their money frozen into their bank accounts. The bank assures that they will have it up and running in no time at all, but I guess they said it would not affect any banking after the closing down of the system in the first place either.

I am fortunately to not have an account with the bank in question, but mind you, our bank did some updating and alterations on their online banking system that slowed it down for several months and things were either charged to the account weeks later than their original date of debit and some things were even by accident or mistake charged twice, which in fact is what happened to the offspring, being out clubbing. Double charging on a Visa electron of a sum in a bar made the account go null and no more money to be withdrawn from the cash machine either. Fortunately there were some friends along on the tour that could pay for the rest and borrow the needed amount to keep on clubbing, for you can not end it before the clubs close in the morning and things got sorted out in the end between the bank the following week and the money was replaced.

I had trouble getting money transferred from abroad into the account in the time it should have been there, so there for we were a couple of family members that were in a way over debiting our bank accounts and had their money on the hold. The money should have been there, and actually was in the bank but not on our cards to be charged for.

It has become very popular with various kinds of online scams, such as swindling under the pretext of charity and shopping hoaxes or phishing for personal information such as bank account and credit card numbers. Now the Finnish Consumer Agency has launched a website to help consumers detect them with a site lists the most common types of hoaxes and also hoping that consumers can by the website report such attempts to authorities, in order to make them alert of the attempts and be able to take action.

Some of the online scams are “art” performed by professional scam artist, they are so well thought out and meticulously designed and thought out that it is really hard to say what is real and safe and what is not as it looks like. They say what you see is what you get but in this case you can never be sure if it your bank has been hacked into, or a similar homepage has been designed at an alike address as the banks’ in order to get access to you personal info in order to use it maliciously for monetary advantages of the criminally minded. How delicious is that not, plan something that genial and then in the end get caught by the devious law enforcement?

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Vice of snow

Today southern Finland is once again in a vice of snow as it is currently in the grips of a blizzard.

Hard winds blowing of changing directions, mostly from northerly directions though and lots of snow twirling around in the air looking for some place to settle, quite like the blizzard we experienced on 1st of November 2006 when the offspring did not manage to get to school as the city buses did not run and stayed home all day, as school was cancelled to their delight and my personal nuisance.

Fortunately for me, this time the buses run and I am left home alone to wonder at the raging of the nature. Everything you see looking out of the window is white and most of it snow. Snow in the air, twisting and twirling around, snow on the ground and on trees weighing heavy on the branches the time it hangs there before twirling away again in the hard wind. Snow blowing all over, most of the time from right to left.

Another thing I have caught glimpses of has been the neighbourhoods’ old ladies going shopping, or their attempts of doing so. I have wondered do people not look out of their windows in order to check out the weather as to how to dress when exiting in order to know how to dress? Just like checking the thermometer for the temperature before hand.

Anyway, it has but been just a single incident but several of the old ladies, and the one odd old crone who is pestering the neighbourhood with her righteousness acting self appionted neighbourhood police, always ringing the police and parking guards to come and fine any parking offenders, that have come out of the front door of their building, that is the one next-door from ours and backed back indoors again, frightened by the drifts of snow that has gathered round. Quite wisely I would say though and no wonder in that. I had planned an outing myself into town, running some errands that need to be done but fortunately as there are not compulsory ones to attend to at this point, I have postponed my trip to a later date, maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, depends on the snow and when the streets get cleared of the snow. By the way, some areas of the town take their time to become cleared, some never seem to be attended to and it seems no use complaining about it. Smaller off the beaten track streets are not as important as bigger, more trafficked ones to get snowfree, quite natural when you think of it, but such a nuisance to all pedestrians and old ladies with their shopping trolleys trailing behind them.

So I am finally getting back to my point here, it is not only old ladies that have trouble with snow, for you who have been reading my Blog before, you know I am quite accident prone and have made quite a few bad falls in my time, and the reason I am snuggling up in my bed with a nice, hot cup of tea is, I don’t want to take another fall, which I probably otherwise would have done today, knowing my previous history and given the chance, that is going out into the blizzard, as it is not that long ago I did my last, just after a heavy snowfall during the night that concealed the shining, sleek slippery ice beneath.

Later on, in the news tonight, there will be the usual reports of power cuts, unfortunate traffic accidents and cancelled ferry traffic over to Estonia.

So I am just a lady in waiting for calmer weather, as weather is the queen at present.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

A bus to catch

To tell you the truth, the most annoying thing about these long holidays is not always the amount of people being at home at the same time, nor the time they occupy the Internet access, it is more the demands of kitchen chores to be performed. Or space to have in the kitchen for that matter.

How hard is it not to make teenagers empty the dishwasher in their turn instead of lying dead flat on the sofa watching MTV turned on high, or making chocolate mousse for the first time and needing some hints and tips whereas in which order to combine the fluffy beaten ingredients instead of looking it up in the recipe they are at the same time reading as shouting for mums help?

Or the use of pots and pans which at the precise same moment should be available to mum in order to get the Easter lamb ready in time for dinner, which of course has be eaten exactly in time on order for the offspring to be able to keep up with their precious timetables and the numerous parties they have to have time to attend to the same night.

On holidays when there is a lot of cooking I am discounted of the emptying of the dishwasher as I have so much I am cooking anyway, and the pots and pans I wash up by hand anyway so I am more than doing my fair share of it, but then cooking is one of my favourite pastimes, which I enjoy immensely.

Apparently, or maybe at times very much unfortunately, I seem to have passed on these genes of mine to the offspring and that tends to make life, or in this context, cooking difficult for me. There just is not enough room for more than one cook in my kitchen, and it is mine as long as I am standing. Still I have to fight for my space at times with this so devious culinary genius child of mine. This is of course the chocolate mousse I am talking about that was promised to be made for dessert after the traditional Easter lamb. Well, fitting cooking of desserts into busy teenagers’ timetables is not as easy as it should be. And, what use is there to help mum out making the dessert, saving mum for going for some extra trouble of making the dessert when her help still is required to read what is written on the recipe, as it would have been much easier for mum to do the dessert herself?

Okay, then we would not have had pudding made by so devious culinary genius child of mine.

The taste was absolutely fabulous, actually finger licking good if you know what I mean, and the mousse looked exactly as it should have, but it would have needed a couple of more hours in the fridge in order to have had enough time to cool and set properly.

But there was this bus to catch, and another party “must” to be at and once again the nest was empty for the night.

Monday, 24 March 2008

7th most expensive

Helsinki has once again been estimated to be one of the most expensive cities in the world.

This in a global comparison survey of purchasing power called "Prices and Earnings" performed by financial firm UBS and updated every three years. What I wonder about here is that the previous study was published in early 2006 and this ha already been published so are their numbers as flexible as their three years?

Anyway, the most expensive prices in the world in terms of prices and earnings you will find Oslo, Copenhagen and London with Helsinki to follow suite on seventh place.

The study considers prices of numerous products and services, but does not take into account renting expenses for flats in its rankings which probably would have skyrocketed Helsinki into first place as the most expensive city!
Apparently there also has been a considerable shake-up
in the ranking order on the list much due to the drop of the US dollar since the previous survey.

Another thing the Finns are not best at, only 7th best in the world.

At last things will get back to normal, tomorrow finally Easter will be over and done with for this year as well. It is nice to have the family at home, but some holidays tend to be a bit too long for my taste as they interrupt so much of my daily routines, such as blogging to mention just one. Staying in bed reading a good book for a second to mention as there always is someone who desperately is seeking something and needs the assistance of dear mother.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Nouveau traditions

Since moving to Finland our family has acquired some new traditions, some are quite nice and others come out of the necessity to stay sane.

One more annoying one is the ringing early in the morning on Palmsunday, at lest according to the offspring. Some of our neighbourhood's kids are quite early risers and that annoys the most our offspring who would like to stay in bed late. Currently the new tradition is to remember to remove the doorbells cover in order to avoid it from making the ringing noise it produces with the cover on before entering bed early in the morning, or late in the night, depending on how you look at it.

I guess this would normally mean no harm, we would just have less kids ringing on the door, but it does not erase the knocks on the door which I find more annoying. Palmsunday, which is the Sunday before Easter and was last Sunday, is the day for kids to go out and collect sweets going from door to door the neighbourhood all day long and doing a few re-rounds if only possible to the good places they got the best treats.

This particular Sunday it causes us a bit of discomfort with the doorbell out of function as we had some friends coming over for dinner, and them having left home without a mobile phone in order to stay out of touch in order to be off duty we did not know they were behind the door ringing the dysfunctional doorbell. Took a while for them to come to think of the old fashioned but for so many centuries functional way of knocking on the door instead of the ringing wonders of the modern world. Or maybe they were just hungry?

Anyway, today is long Friday, actually not the longest day of the year, that is midsummer’s night this year, right on the dot in the almanac where it should be. Today is the other day of the year when the day and night are equally long. So up from this day there should be a difference to the days really getting longer and longer.

And that not just in the biblical sense.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Boy killed by family dog

Dogs have recently been well discussed in this country, especially Rotweilers.

Last Saturday a ten year old boy was killed in southern Finland when attacked by at least by one of the family’s two dogs, Rotweilers, in their own home yard. There were no eyewitnesses to the incident and the boy died on the spot due to the inflicted injuries and the two dogs were later on put down by the vet. Neither one of the two dogs had previously shown any behaviour out of the ordinary nor do the police have any suspicions of the incident having been set up.

Rotweilers are prohibited in many countries as they are considered as hard to cope with and being “one man’s dogs”. More commonly Rotweilers are bread as guarding dogs and sometimes even brought up as fighting dogs. Here in Finland the breeder's association has taken care to breed a more social type of dog, and a Rotweiler expert at the Veterinarian institute of the Helsinki University considers this attack as quite unusual for Finnish Rotweilers.

Who is to say why this sad incident took place, whether the boy made something that caused the dogs to attack him or the dogs just flipped. One thing is for sure, no matter how friendly a dog normally is, it still is an animal that is unpredictable. Guess that is how life is, things happen and not always nice things, unfortunately.

An acquaintance had a friendly, very sociable little dog when the offspring was small; unfortunately I have no idea of the breed but one of these nowadays so popular lap-dog breeds it was. He was always prancing around, playing with the kids and wagging his tail until one day out of the blue he just snapped and bit one of the toddlers in the face. Must have been the size that was convenient, and unfortunately it was my offspring he attacked and was scarred for life. Anyway, as I was standing right next to the dog and child when it happened I can vouch there was nothing preceding that could have caused the attack. Still it happened. Our family dog instead, a sturdy Basset-hound girl now long ago dead, she only used to growl low, stand up and leave the scene when the offspring got too friendly with her as she was napping the day away.

Still, she did not bite, she never used to, and I always said she hasn’t bitten anyone until this day but you never can be sure. And puppies and kittens are always on the go with grinding their teeth on everything and anything, no matter how much you try to make them stop. The itch must be terrifying.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Minister threatened to death

I must confess that this is now beginning to become ludicrous, with the Finnish foreign minister receiving death threats since his involvement in his second text message affair in two years time.

The Foreign minister has confessed to having sent a couple of hundred text messages to “a blonde erotic model”, or quite frankly, a stripper like an 80 year old friend to the family expressed herself on Sunday. I can agree with her that things should be called their right names as the name of the so called model has already been featured in the media. Mind you, she used to be a dancing teacher of good reputation this friend of ours so maybe her professional pride took a bad blow at the hint of erotic dancing.

Still, the current situation in the text messages scandal seems that both the sending and text messages receiving counterpart has been threatened to death and the Finnish security police has been informed. I assume they will begin their will investigations soon, but so far the foreign minister has not given any details about his threats to the public.

Yesterday a party member foreign minister and fellow MP of the same told one of the evening papers that she thinks the foreign minister is to resign because of him having lost his credibility. According to her the bad media attention caused by his behaviour has hurt his reputation, both in Finland and abroad.

Well, President Clinton of the US stayed in office so why should not one Foreign minister of Finland be able to do the same?

This is just politics.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Culture and arts

The knowledge about Finland and Finnish culture will be boosted in France during the coming weeks with cultural change.

Currently the French cultural week in gong on here in Finland with different activities especially in the capital area and in the Helsinki.

Finland is sending some 200 performing and creating artist to exhibit and perform in around France in order to make Finland better known and to introduce some Finnish culture as it is quite unknown at present in France. The Nordic countries seem to be more known in a bunch rather than as unique countries. Thrilling would be to hear what the French really think of Finnish culture as for example the choir Huutajat, the shouters, are normally experienced a bit frightening.

In the mean time the Finnish National Opera of Helsinki has been ruled to pay fines of 10.000 Euros for without authorization having renewed the choreography of the French ballet Giselle. The original choreography is still unknown as it has been lost during the years and there is no one alive to tell anyway.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Moisture damages

An average of 50% of the schools in Finland suffers from moisture damages, according to recently published information and one fifth of the 6.000 schools have serious problems with moisture and mould.

The same goes for many municipal and government offices around the country. This is a problem the authorities concerned have been aware of for about two decades but decisions apparently were made at the time to do nothing about it.

Today this is a health hazard with an increasing number of respiratory illnesses and allergies in school children and employees working in government and municipal offices and the country will be facing bills of billions of Euros in both health cots and medical treatments of the ill. The houses built in the early 60’s and 70’s and repairs of the same were done with different knowledge and standards than today.

The problem was already discovered two decades ago and the then in charge decided to postpone the needed alterations and repairs of the buildings and it will now be more expensive to mend the situation than it would have been to do it back then. Now they will have to face the medical cost of the illnesses it causes in addition to the repairing of the buildings.

Anyway, old dear friend of mine peacefully passed away yesterday afternoon…

Life will never be the same, but it goes on.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


The Finnish National Consumer Agency has won the first ever EU's consumer campaign award. The award was won for the online game called “Galactor and the Codebreakers” among EU member countries' best consumer campaigns. The game has been developed in order to increase young consumer’s awareness of their rights and obligations concerning online shopping. The game has already sp far been distributed to Sweden, Denmark and Iceland and an Estonian version is also currently under development as well as France has expressed their interest in the game in question.

By the way, now the foreign minister apparently has confessed to having sent text messages to both the blonde busty model and her sister as well saying that it now it is up for the general public to decide upon his credibility. Well why having denied it in the first place to later confess, “doing Clinton”.

So here’s my question of the day;

What is the use of old school photos?

You have never seen your classmates since you quit school and most of them you do not even remember their names neither do you care to but still you keep them as memorabilia and look at them with occasional longing to your youth. Many of them have moved places and changed their names, at least all your girlfriends have, and some male as well. There seems to have gone fashionable in marrying women with more uncommon names and starting using them so even tracing them nowadays is almost an impossible task even with the aid of the Internet.

Strange seeing your offspring go through all the same faces in their lives, and teenage love is no joke! It has to be taken seriously, and it is serious business. No jokes about it, at least so that it shows. How serious wasn’t I back then some decades ago, with first infatuated in this and then that boy.

Fortunately I have the advantage of having lived in a couple of countries during my life I do not bump into old acquaintances or old loves. No hard questions asked and nothing to explain to the offspring. Not that there is anything that could not be spoken of, but I’d rather do it back at home instead of having to air it in the streets like a girl friend of mine the other day. And as this was an old not mentioned about ex-love, well you can imagine the interest it caused in both her child and husband.

Anyway, old photos are utterly useless, just taking space and gathering dust which I happen to be allergic to. There is one single advantage though with them, I can show that I looked the same as they do now, that we were dressed the same as they are today back then, years ago. It shows that the fashion is just like the one back then. One seems to forget how ridiculous the fashions are, cuts, colours, accessories, make-ups and hair do’s. Lucky children with parents that have saved everything from their adulthood and not as me having moved so many times and had them thrown out in the course of time. Still I do remember some “special” garments I used to have with a longing, but would not fit into anymore if I could try them on. I guess this is another sign of the course of time, getting bigger.

And respectable family mothers are not meant to be following the latest trends by the letter so I will stick to my old fashioned classic style. Old, used and boring I am told by the offspring added together with some sweet suggestions of some refreshing ideas for my wardrobe. Sad there is no weddings in sight, just one funeral I am not able to attend to.

Still, maybe I should break my own dress-code and get some new stuff.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Blonde erotic model

The Finnish ministers of cabinet seem to have been quite busy, at least the male ones.

Some male parliamentary representatives were accused of sexual harassment in the parliament not too long ago and
the prime minister just had his previous love affair aired in court after his ex-girlfriend has published a book about their love-affair and now the Foreign minister has hit the tabloids with a blonde.

The foreign minister in said to have sent 200 text messages from his office mobile phone, to a young, blonde busty erotic model, or in some media mentioned as a nude model. This is not the first time the foreign minister has hit the headlines with his text messaging, the previous time was two years ago. The ministers’ wife denies the truth of these accusations and says it just makes her laugh as the media still keeps going on and on about this thing.

The foreign minister on Friday told the Swedish speaking national radio that he is falsely accused and denies having sent the messages. Still the young model claims in the afternoon papers that she has proof of having received them.

It now seems obvious that the pie throwing of politicians, with real or made-up sex scandals, that has for far been non-existent here in Finland, has finally arrived here, and is here to stay.

Strange that no one I have talked to ever has confessed of reading the tabloid press, nor to be interested in gossip. This seems to be another façade you have to put up with living here. At least I can confess that if a really juicy thing hits my eyes I read about it, but I do not but very seldom buy any magazines if ever.

Not that I am any better than any one else, but usually I have no idea of the person in question, who they are talking about, ignorant foreigner as I am.

So it remains to see whether this is another case of ministers in heat totally lacking fair judgment or just an attempt to smouldering his name and getting some “bad press is as good as any press” publicity for this blonde erotic model.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Art or not

An art gallery in Helsinki was a couple of weeks ago raided by the police after a visitor had alerted them.

The police were informed about artwork containing child pornography and some exhibited works were confiscated from the exhibition in the preliminary investigation. The artist in question is now being suspected of having child-pornography in her possession as well as having displayed it in the exhibition, which here in Finland is a serious offence and the prosecutor will now decide whether to press charges against her or not.

Now whether her works are art or not might be the question that comes in mind first and displaying the artwork might be an offence, but if this matter of child-pornography is not spoken out about loud, there will be no public opinion on the issue. And it needs to be talked about!

When mentioning child-pornography everybody seems to be against it, and judging from that there should not be any such offenders. But this is not the reality, these offenders are often the one’s you would the least suspect such as the man next-door, the teacher, some relative or the uncle you hold dear.

Yes it is prohibited by law here in Finland, to perform sex with children under the age, the possession of pictures whether still or moving also is but you can still obtain it from the internet with no difficulty what so ever. And I am for the freedom of speech but in this case I might stretch into strongly being against it.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Religion matters

Friday afternoon the Serbian ambassador presented the Finnish Foreign Ministry with a formal written protest against the recognition of Kosovo’s independence and at the same time calling its’ ambassador back home from Finland.

This is not one singular case as Serbia apparently has recalled all it’s ambassadors from all the countries so far having recognized Kosovo’s independence. So given time we will see whether the Eurovision song contest will take place in Serbia in May as planned or not.

As a strange coincidence sit seems to me that the First World War began in the same area that have for so long been unquiet and visited with war. I have often wondered abut how good an excuse religion can be when people disagree on no matter what subject. Like the European thirty-year war in the 1500’s, a religious war when Catholics fought against the religiously reformed Lutherans who were actually economically supported by the Pope.

Anyway, there is an Internet site where you can end your membership in the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran church. Some 10.000 people have already taken advantage if this easy way to leave the state church. Whether it is done out of religious reasons, or rather the lack of religion, or only in order to ease the taxes you have to pay. In Finland you pay church taxes if you belong to the church, which almost every Finn have tended to do out of tradition and it is easier to do it over the Internet than having to go through the proper paperwork handing it in.

There have for some time now been talks about the secularization of the Western world, with a simultaneous growth in New-Age and pagan religions as well as Islam growing the most as a world religion.

The western world’s economy currently seems to in a downward trend and many of the more wealthy Islamic countries are buying their way into owning the economy of the western world, like for instance the acquiring of the Finnish OMX stocks trade.

Maybe we will soon all have to convert to Islam as it is the common way, even here in Finland and soon there might be an Internet site to convert to Islam.

Or is there already one?

Friday, 7 March 2008

Snow in wrong places

Did you know that in the Inuit language, that is the lingo of Eskimos or Greenlanders speak, there are at least three dozen different words for snow if I recall it correctly. The different words are used to express the various forms of snow all from wet sleet and flaky crystal snow to dry powder snow. Amazing to have so many ways to describe something that to most people on earth just is something white, that they have never experienced and only seen in pictures.

Lately there have been snowstorms in very surprisingly wrong areas around the globe like southern China, Morocco and Greece unheard of, at least in this part of the world. Oh yes there has been snow on high mountain tops on glaciers in countries there normally is but an occasional snowfall but as the glaciers are melting away with the global warming is it not odd that snow begins to fall in uncustomary or should I say the wrong places?!?

And here in Nordic countries there is a lack of it, well has at least been until now here in Finland. Which has been mended lately with snow falling from the sky and the whole country has now finally been covered in this white blanket of beautiful snow.

Still we have had a lack of snow and many skiing event have had to be postponed until better weather and the skiing weather was not particularly good when most of the schools had their winter holidays a couple of weeks ago. Same goes with the world cup in cross country skiing. And as the weather has been unusually warm some skiing events have been moved into big towns to please the crowds apparently in order to make more money on the events. But how good is this for the environment, to make artificial snow, make tracks on the streets in the centre of big cities to get more coverage?

I just saw FIS in the middle of the Stockholm, the Swedish capital, and another was televised from Drammen Norway. At least there seemed to have been some snow in the surrounding countryside as far as I can tell from what was seen on the TV. Btu in Stockholm there was absolutely no snow to be seen except on the tracks.

What does this cost then, regarding the energy it takes to create the fake artificial snow, to make the water that fist has been purified into drinking water freeze into snow. Store the snow cold in order to gather the required amount to build the track, move the snow with trucks on site for making the track of snow in and in time for the competition. And make some more just in case the one used on the tracks melts before the event. The waste and garbage the people attending to see the skiers dispose of freely around them, more seldom into the dustbins acquired for this purpose. The portable toilets to move to site and from site, empty and clean, dispose of waste. The selling of the traditional junk alimentation such as hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, crisps sweets and candy, and beverages like beer and sodas, and you need straws, paper wipes, mugs and wrappers to serve them which create an immense waste mountain to dispose of. And with a bigger crowd a bigger waste.

I am not saying people should not have fun, but if we really are serious about lowering their carbon oxide emissions in order to try save the planet earth, maybe some more consideration should be taken to these matters.

But question remains, is the weather warming up, really like they say, or is the weather just going through its’ natural cycle of heating up and cooling down as it does. How can be really sure that the weather is not cooling down as some experts claim and the weather climates are not just moving around and changing places?

Still according to the Laplanders living up north this is so far the warmest winter in a century.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Lock and key

In Finland there is one big lock manufacturing company whose locks are in estimated 90% of all doors in the country.

Now this company has for two years been scrutinized by the Finnish Competition Authority as they have been accused of charging higher prices as punishment of lock-smiths who have has other products manufacturer’s products on display in addition to their brand. Some so called copy-protected keys sold by the manufacturer now turns out not to be copy-protected after all, and locksmiths certified by the company in question have not been allowed to copy keys of which the copy protection have already expired. As a matter of fact the keys are not in any way protected from copying and the patent runs out in five years and that it then apparently can been copied without any key coder, which is the general consumer is not informed about.

Anyway, a very close and dear friend of mine has for some time been terminally ill and he has now developed multi-organ failure and it is now only a matter of days or maybe weeks if lucky at most and increasing his life quality and making his last moments in life remains the on thing that still can be done for him so he is currently saying his goodbyes to his family and life itself.

I know there is a time to say goodbye, in many ways during our lives, people divorcing, moving away but death is absolutely definitive, there is no more. No chance you might accidentally ever bump into some long time lost friend as he will be dead and gone.

Loosing our dear and near ones is always sad and I will especially much miss this dear friend, as he is one of them who has been there for me through thick and thin for decades, which I can unfortunately not say for all of my “old” friends. Some good friends we seem to miss along the course of time.

This friend of mine has been there for me when he has been needed even now that we live in different countries and the distance is long, and our friendship has lasted undisturbed through ex-wives, ex-fiancés, husbands and even one current very suspicious and extremely jealous wife.

By the way, is he living abroad or am I living abroad?!?

Still my fond memories of our nightly phone conversations going on for hours over the years will remain with me for as long as I live. The two of us have celebrated many things and life in general together with hundreds of kilometres apart with the aid of one spectacularly innovative invention, the phone with the aid of some wine to make the occasion even more festive. And as our phone calls have been free of charge now for some time with the ever so useful Internet they have been able to go on for much longer than they used to when either of us still had to pay for them.

It is sad that I can not be there with him, to see him one more last time now, but we have already said our goodbyes some time ago but I still feel very sad as this is a definitive one, one goodbye for ever long.

I can’t say I won’t be sad when the time finally arrives, nor that I won’t cry, and a lot if I know myself at all but at least I am as prepared as I can possibly be for the inevitable thing.

Dear friend of mine, I will miss you and our long conversations…

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Singing in the snow

Finland had it’s final in the out take for their representative to the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday.

The winners by far were the heavy metal band called Teräsbetoni, which in English would be “steel concrete” and they will be representing Finland in the contest in Belgrade, Serbia this May.

This means that Finland will give heavy rock music another shot this year, with the hosting of the contest last year after Lordi’s victory and having the first Finnish Idol winner representing in between with something not quite as heavy. Maybe the song contest is too lame, but hey it is called song contest and traditionally the songs have been quite boring and mellow, at least to my own personal taste. Maybe the future of this competition lies with in rock instead of folk music, ballads and songs.

I have been wondering about how the song contest will work out in reality in Serbia as the neighbouring country Kosovo just recently declared its’ independence as former part of the country and Serbia has not acknowledged it as they consider Kosovo as a part of their country, as one of their counties. Many of the countries partaking in the Eurovision song contest have already acknowledged the independence of Serbia and I wonder how this will affect the general atmosphere on site. But there still is some time for things to either calm down, or flame up fully.

Anyway, the southern part of this beautiful country of Finland is today experiencing yet another day of snow chaos, the record for snow set this winter this morning by 10 cms, the former being just 8 cms. The snow fall has meant a lot of snow shuffling on car parks and brushing off cars early this morning for all using them to get to work. On the 22nd of February it was the warmest day with a record high 8,5 degrees Celsius measured in the month of February over a ten year period. So the winter really doesn’t know which way to go this year as the temperature is falling once again.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Celebrating 2nd anniversary!

This is a year of surprising joint holidays like Tuesday in Lent or Shrove Tuesday on the same day as the Finnish Runeberg’s Day or Mother’s day on the same day as Pentecost or Whit Sunday as it also is called. May day is on Ascension Day and even Midsummer’s Day falls on the same day with summer solstice the actual real Midsummer day and not the to a Saturday transferred holiday it nowadays has become.

Somehow I had the impression that the full moons and such were not to join with

Then we have a leap year this year or an inter-calary year as it also sometimes is called, it makes the whole year one day longer than usual and a family acquintance just celebrated his 12th birthday this Friday. Strange imagining you only can celebrate your real birthday every four years. I must’ve been really hard being a kid even harder than having been born on Christmas Eve or Xmas Day.

Anyway, I was yesterday proud to celebrate my second anniversary as a blogger. It has been a thrilling experience and I am not as yet considering to quit as it has become a habit of mine to think about what to blog about today, even though I am not always able to post my thoughts right away out of family reasons, that means someone else is occupying the internet access at times and as it is not yet a matter of life and death for me to get my thoughts posted on the Net, it can wait and that lately my blogging and posting has been quite rare out of both professional and personal reasons, but I hope for this to pick up as things will slow down as from today. Sometimes life just seems to drain all the juices from you and in order to stay sane you have to prioritize.

I also about six months ago moved my blog here to Blogspot in September 2007 and as a downside I seems to have lost some readers lost in the course. Together with the rising number of laptops in our family I have not been able to get access to the net as often as I would have wanted to. Up to this date the PC’s in this family have so far been used only as an aid studying but I suspect that some late studying nights running to early mornings also might consist of some games played on-line, not to forget about all friends needed to stay in touch with by messenger of course and dear husband of mine paying bills. I have declared that I will have to have access when ever I want to, but I guess nobody listens to mum as usual.

Maybe I should take the example of the offspring and use some blackmailing in order to achieve what I want to when ever I want to.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Minister’s talks

The Finnish minister of defence last week seemed to have had to change his mind.

This regarding “Russia being Finland’s biggest challenge when visiting Washington DC not long ago as he now emphasises quite the opposite as Finland now should joint operations concerning crisis management especially concerning naval safety in the Finnish Gulf . This is an issue he informed the public this week that he will be addressing to the Russians when visiting Moscow in coming April, and according to the Finnish minister of defence only a couple of dozen militaries would take part in these “in office” exercises at the head quarters.

Quite a handy way to just turn your coat around and change direction completely to the opposite in the hard gushes of winds of diplomatics and politics.