Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Following wildlife is strange, and you who have been following my blog have read about the hedgehogs outside my window.

They have been fun to watch and they had big gatherings early in the summer but then all of a sudden they all disappeared in August, just one single hedgehog was then seen a couple of nights and since then nothing. Not one single sighting of a hedgehog. They just seem to have disappeared.

Is this maybe a seasonal change in their behaviour I have not yet been able to determine, or did some disease kill them off all, a pandemic spreading only amongst the hedgehog population?

I can not believe that all 12 of them would have been road kills, that would be too improbable. Or was it the neighbour who fed them dry cat food, pouring it straight from the box on to the lawn in a heap, the poor hedgehogs eating too much of the dry food, not knowing the need of water and not finding enough water to drink and dying of dehydration?

I would hate to live next door to a hedgehog mass-murder...

Anyway, I have been to the licquor shop Alko buying wine and debited it on my credit card, and paid in bars with it. So is this right or wrong then?!? As according to the law selling alcohol on credit is prohibited here in Finland, at least so I have been told.

My neighbour, the one I suspect of hegdehogecide, seems to have had an awful long summer vacation this year, have not seen him sober one time since, well, ever actually. Wonder if he gets his drinks with cash or on credit...

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

To fund or refund?

The election campaign funds are currently the hot topic here in Finland.

The topic hit off with the last parliamentary elections but has stepped back in time even to the last presidential elections and "to dare to fund or have to refund is the question" so to say.

So far there seems to have been few rules and guidelines to apply to in Finland and since the last election the topic has hit the roof turning even ridiculous. The hot potato is the reform for the election fund raising on its' way, what to change and what to allow and which party, or who personally in so many cases, has to refund what money and to whom. Someone paying for you birthday bash or a vacation trip abroad for that matter seems an awkward bit too much like bribery to me.

I personally can not see why money donated years ago should be paid back now, unless there was something illegal about it back then. The persons in question having made the mistakes, giving donations wrongly should take the fall. Nor can I see the for reason it being mandatory to find out about the donor when receiving money. Until now you have been able to anonymously donate funds, at least up to a certain amount of money, if I have not got it wrong.

If a state owned corporation, or maybe a charity fund, donates money to some politician for their campaign, and the politician in question happens to be a member of the board of the corporation, or charity fund in question, it should be illegal. Which it seems is not, at least not yet, and money has been refunded to where it originated from at the same time resulting in some members of parliament resigning from their posts.

Logical would be for worker's unions to support their parties, which, at least presumably, should be some parties on the left wing of politics, and for employers to support the right wing of politics in correlation to their political interests. This might be illegal too soon, as well as banishing private donations...

So what way would there then be to support your party, if you're not personally involved in politics here in Finland?!?

One thing is for sure, all donations should be public for anyone to see, who paid what to whom and when.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Lay offs and re-hires

The worldwide economical decline is said to ease next year but still people are being made redundant or temporarily laid off but in some lines of business they are still going strong and just hiring more workers.

People are still needed and apparently hired in the social services sector, well, that's only a matter of supply and demand. As people get laid off and redundant from their work their accessible funds decline, resulting in less purchasing power. In sad cases it means having to rely on social welfare to get by in daily life, this resulting in more paper pushers to answer to the demands as the current time of handling applications of living allowance in most municipalities is longer than the given time according to the law.

The health services of course need more people, and are hiring more staff. People are more prone to depression in a economical depression, and then there is the coming of the flu later on in the fall. Is it the "Pig flu" or the "Swine flu"? I do know that it is called the "Mexican flu" in Muslim world. Anyway, as the flu is expected to hit the health care personnel first, there need to be more personnel to step in when the big flu wave hits the country. Currently there are 176 confirmed cases of the flu. The number is likely to be higher as many cases are so mild they have not required any medical care and are not accounted for.

The paper industry in Finland has been having hard times lately but now finally there seems to be a glimpse of light, a sun ray, to see through the cloudy skies. A mill that was closed down about six months ago is to begin running again as the demand for their products is on the rise again and the workers laid off will get their jobs back, if this is on a temporary basis or not I do not know.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Instant misery and poverty

Instant loans became big business a couple a years ago here in Finland.

You could, at the beginning when these cash loan firms established themselves on the market, apply for a cash loan, instantly paid to your account in the middle of the night sitting in a bar to settle your check.

This is no more the case, now there are some rules these instant cash loan firms have to apply to, but it seems to me these loans are more like tickets to instant bankruptcy, as the the interest rates are higher than they should be allowed to be, at least according to the law, as profiteering is not allowed here in Finland. You lend 100 Euros for a month, that is 30 days, and you pay back 144 Euros. And what is that in yearly interest rate?!?

At least according to me that makes very much a bigger yearly interest rate than I would even want to think about, just a waste of money...and lending once and not being able to pay it back, you have to lend more to pay and there it is, instant misery and poverty and you did have fun, once long, long time ago.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Smoking prohibited in your own car

Finland is going to prohibit smoking in cars when children under the age of 18 are present some day in the near future.

This has already been done in some other countries I do not remember currently, which seems fair enough, we have to protect our children, but what bugs me about it is that you won't be fined or charged with anything if you smoke in your car here in Finland

Prohibiting smoking in cars will be just as useless as talking on your mobile when driving, which also is prohibited by law, but who bothers to use a hand-free appliances when driving anymore, as nothing is done about it?!?

Smoking in restaurants just was banned, you are not allowed to smoke on the premises anymore but still when you are in a restaurant, you are still allowed to smoke in the outdoor decks and terraces. Or is that not on the premises?

Just another useless law, just ordinary paper pushing again to keep the politicians occupied. People will still smoke in their cars, and talk on their mobiles, when matter whether it is against the law or not.

At least they have not been able to ban people to smoke on their own balconies yet here in Finland, but seems likely that day will come too.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Nothing on TV ?

There just ain't nothing on TV ever.

I have so far not lived nor visited a country where the citizens have been fully satisfied with what has been shown on TV. And when something interesting is on, of course it is on at the same time as something else you would like to see. Of course you can record, or save it on your hard drive, the other program I mean and if it is a series this will continue until either series is discontinued, which quite often happens here in Finland, or the series ends.

So the discontinuation of a catching series becomes then a problem, if you get addicted to watching it, as might happen to even ordinary sane persons, like me for instance, hypothetically of course. You look for the series elsewhere, get it and watch it. Then, after having seen the whole series you discover that there is a second series that was aired at the same time with the other one. And that one you have not got of course, as you had no idea about it even existing so you have to have that one as well, waiting for it to be sent to you, collect it...

Yes, I do understand people might download things, even illegally, over the Internet...

Friday, 18 September 2009

Joys of workmen

Well ain't it grand to wake up early in the morning to the sounds of workmen banging on nails and carelessly sawing wood with electrical saws?

Is there really any point in having rules in housing associations as they are never kept in the end? You can complain about your neighbour playing their music (that probably would be me) too loud in the middle of the day, but they can begin their re-decorations and renovations in the middle of the night, even before the Kindergarten next-door opens their door! I really feel like going down there and nail the neighbours feet to the floor, or maybe saw off a head or too!

In the rules it is said that silence should prevail between the hours of 10 p.m and 7 a.m, and no loud work is to be done after 8 p.m. So how it is okay to begin them half an hour before dawn? I really think that at building sites it is okay to begin earlier as the houses then are not lived in, but lived in housing apartments work should not be allowed in until at the earliest 8 a.m.

I really hope nobody messes with me before I have had myself a nice cup of tea!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Teachers missing table manners

With the economical downfall everything is done to try to save some money by cutback, both in companies, the state and municipalities.

It has so far been customary in Finland for the teacher's to eat with their pupils in the lunch room, at least when they are in an early age, a meal that has been a taxable benefit for the teachers, and thus considered as work as they have been advising and teaching their own class how to behave properly at the table and how to eat.

Now the city of Tampere has decided to cut back on the teacher's lunch benefits resulting in teachers having their lunch in the teachers lounge in future.

Well, I personally think they could do this more commonly, as the off-spring has only been corrected in faulty ways by teachers resulting in many disagreements home at the dinner table. Or the teachers should at least themselves be taught how to eat and hold a spoon properly!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

"Chicks not ground alive"

Yesterday you could read in the newspaper that male chicks ground alive, as they are of no use in the egg industry.

Today the Finnish poultry farmer union denies that they are ground alive, as the chicks are first stunned with carbon dioxide gas. Well, according to my knowledge they are still alive.

Bottom line still is, it is completely legal to grind chicks alive here in Finland. No wonder people turn vegetarians as animals are not treated humanely when grown industrially as livestock, for food.

Anyway, as animals are not human, so then why should they be treated humanely?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Chicks ground alive

We all eat eggs, but do we know where they come from?

I just read that little chicks if they hatch before the eggs are packed for distribution and selling, the chicks are ground alive to become animal food. This also happens here in Finland, and there is an outrageous video to see how it is done in the US.
The Finnish bureau for food safety is aware of this, but claim to never have seen such machines, but states at the same time that chicken also are ground alive after first having been stunned unconscious.

I am absolutely outraged, or maybe mortified, just to try to define my feelings...
Where can you find chick friendly eggs?!?

Here is a link where you can watch how it is done:

Monday, 7 September 2009

Municipal re-elections

In the last municipal elections this spring some of the municipalities were test pilots in e-voting, that is voting on-line on the Internet, but as it turned out to not work in the expected way, the elections were voided and the polls were carried out again last weekend.

Candidates were the same as in the void polls previously, but it seems that the interest in voting again were even much lower than earlier. This has been a sad trend, the only voring you could actually make an impact in are the municipal polls, as you pay most tax to the town, or municipality you live in, than to the state.

At least one valid reason to vote in your home town.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Finnish Catholic bishop

Finland got it's first Finnish catholic bishop this year for the first time since reformation, and he was inaugurated this Saturday in Turku Cathedral. And for the first time since the reformation the Cathedral was used for the purpose it was built, for catholic mass.

Having only the opportunity to watch the festivities on TV some things came to mind, the clapping of hands felt a bit strange even though it is considered as a sign of acknowledge and of joy. The catholic church consisting only of male priests it felt odd to see a female Lutheran priest wait in line to be blessed by the new bishop as non-Catholics are not allowed to partake in the catholic communion. The TV broadcast cut just there, so I had no chance to see what happened. Would just have been interesting to see what happened and how much wine they must've had in store to serve all.

Anyway, I really wonder about how people were let in to the church, as not all had the room to enter the cathedral and some priorities must have been made among foreign dignitaries and of the state, guests of honour from other churches in an ecumenical spirit, devout Catholics from the Finnish parishes and common peers just wanting to see...

Friday, 4 September 2009

Hard time for women

The sales manager of a foreign made car has resigned since he made derogatory remarks about women in general in an interview for a women's magazine, his resignation having been the right thing to do according to both his superiors and the Finnish minister in charge of equality issues.

And poverty in Finland has increased, but as poverty in terms of income has not been defined it really depends on how you count. Today more than 700.000 people earn less than 1.100 Euros per month, with a third of them being single moms.

Now having in mind that women together with minorities are treated unequally in working life, according to freshest report on how human rights actually are carried out in Finland, it is no wonder that most women retire out of working life for health reasons with the main reason being depression.

Conclusion, this may not be the easiest of countries to live in, especially if you are a female and a foreigner.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Running out of paper?

Many blogging ideas have popped into my mind lately, but I have not had the real urge I used to have earlier to get them posted, still some ideas have been bugging me for some time now and I guess they'd better get posted, or I'll die with them spooking around in my mind.

In the very early days when I first started blogging we had this long paper Union strike in Finland, a strike that has over the years showed having huge impact on the paper industry as well as the forest industry in general in this country. Of course other things such as the worldwide recession also has paid its' respects to running down the industry in question.

What surprised me though, is that the same company, one of the major companies in Finland, that has plants and mills in other countries, has been running down mills and cutting down on personnel, is doing so well abroad their mills running on full around the clock.

I read somewhere some statistics that most magazines and newspapers are now printed on Russian paper as it is more cost-effective. Well, using the same wood must be cheaper and turning it into pulp and paper in Russian, instead of importing them to Finland and having to pay import-taxes on the wood on top of the higher costs in wages and transports in and to Finland
is much cheaper so the paper industry, that used to earlier be so important for the Finnish economy, seems now threatening to die out completely.

One comes to wonder about ulterior motives though, about what trade unions really are about, when one hears that leading union representatives are members of boards in companies, that own parts of the companies they are union representatives for, the same companies that now are closing down.