Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Life. Don't talk to me about life.

I have reached the stage where my eyes are glazed and I don't react particularly fast when people talk to me and I see nightmares about sitting in a shithouse that has Tapestry code on the walls and trying to fix the code while going about the normal shithouse business. I also get annoyed with most sounds and sexually aroused while reading XML parser code.

All of the above does not really indicate a dangerous level of stress, but I clearly need a vacation.

The Earth spins on. Robert Wise died, and so did Simon Wiesenthal. I am sure other people will write or have written about them, but I did not feel like leaving them without mention.

Scientists repaired spinal cords in mice by injecting human stem cells. A new hurricane is approaching Florida Keys. Iran's democratically elected terrorist gave a "please bomb us" speech to the UN. North Korea, OTOH, tries to come at least to some kind of agreement.

Eduskunta is waving its collective hands over the copyright law. Jukka Liedes, the official from the Ministry of Education who was overseeing the writing of the law draft, does not consider it a conflict of interest that he sits of the board of two organizations that protect the rights of the copyright holders.

Otava has by some technical error omitted a passage from Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Neitsythäkki. By some bizarre and, I am sure, inintended coincidence this turned out to be the same passage that they had previously asked - and not received - permission to omit. The world of publishing is mysterious.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Life is bad for blogging

For the next four weeks or so I expect life to interfere severely with my blogging. I might write every once in a while but there will be no regular updates.

I would love to say that this is because I am having a wild orgy every night, but so far I am just struggling with Tapestry and XML parsers.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Holy Shiite!

Al-Zarqawi has declared a war on Iraq's Shiites. All of them.

OK, did I get this right: a Jordanian terrorist moves to Iraq in order to fight against the infidels who attack a Muslim country (OK, also because staying in Jordan became unfeasible, what with the death sentence and all) and ends up declaring war on more than half of the population of that Muslim country?

Sucks to be an Iraqi, I guess: first they have a Stalin-wannabe for president for many years, then come Americans, try to bomb them into democracy and drag them kicking and screaming into the Century of the Fruitbat, and now their fearless jihadist defender declares a war on over half of them.

No rest for the wicked

Haven't written much lately. There is too much work to do, and some of it will have to be done this weekend. Damn Tapestry.

On Tuesday went to the park with Anu to see aurora borealis. We froze our asses off and didn't see any aurora, but at least we saw the stars. A moon could've been nice but did not bother to show up.

Downloaded the Hitchens-Galloway debate from the Net but did not see it yet. The words "battle of wits with an unarmed person" come to my mind at the very thought.

Read Pratchett's new book, Thud. Pratchett is always Pratchett, but in comparison with the last couple of books this one wasn't very good.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The mean bitch

Since I tend to use this blog as an outlet for sarcasm, I probably usually sound very mean. That's just an illusion. In real life I am warm and fluffy. Really.

Volunteer work in faraway countries

A friend is (or was?) considering doing some volunteer work in some (I assume) undeveloped country. This got me thinking about how those things (workcamps and suchlike) work, and I can't think of any way in which bringing in untrained volunteers from all over the world could be more cost-efficient than hiring some cheap local labor. Unless, of course, you also collect a bit of money from the volunteers, which seems to be what these organizations basically exist for.

Some of the workcamps seem to exist just for talking about peace and global solidarity with other participants from various countries. Bugger, and I thought that we have Usenet for that.

"We want to join in the Holocaust too"

A council on Muslim advisors to Tony Blair advised him to rename the Holocaust Memorial Day as the Genocide Memorial Day, since having a Holocaust Memorial Day makes Muslims feel all excluded on account that it does not mention Palestine, Bosnia and Chechnya. This idea is of course backed by the Muslim Council of Britain. Anyway, Blair did not agree so the Holocaust Memorial Day remains.

Putting aside all the very rude jokes that immediately come to my mind as to why they would like to be included in the Holocaust, and on whose side, the choice of places is rather interesting. I am not even asking how come they did not mention the massacre of Armenians by Turks. I would like to know how come they didn't mention the massacre in Bangladesh in 1971. It was indeed an event of Holocaust proportions, and while Hindus were especially targeted hundreds of thousands Muslims were murdered. Hmm, could that forgetfulness be because the perpetrators were Pakistanis and the Muslim Council of Britain does not want to piss off its constituents, or am I just being cynical again?

In fact having an additional Genocide Memorial Day might not be such a bad idea, except that it would have to have a list of massacres ranked by the numbers of victims, which would cause no end to bickering. Somehow, however, it seems to me that Blair's advisors might not appreciate the idea just yet.

In the meanwhile, they can remember the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and later SS Gruppenführer Amin Al-Husayni, and feel included, in a way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The critters just keep crawling out of their holes

The left-wing nuts, right-wing nuts and Islamic nuts who have said that Katrina was a punishment from God for homosexuality, Christianity and Republican party have been joined by a Jewish nut: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the chief ayatollah (oops, I mean "spiritual leader") of the Shas party, has said that the hurricane Katrina was a punishment to the US for supporting Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and also for general godlessness.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Evil malls with evil toilets

Went shopping to Kluuvi and Kämp Galleria. Or rather tried to. Problem was, needed to piss.

Both places are now featuring toilets that ask you for a card that you are supposed to get from a business where you are a customer. This is just mildly annoying in some reasonably quiet restaurant. In a mall - you gotta be fucking kidding. Do you mean that I am supposed to either stand in line or fight through the line in H&M in order to ask the cashier "auntie, auntie, may I go on a potty?" Yeah, right.

I don't even see a point. Do they want to limit the toilet use to real customers? Doesn't work: pretending to be a customer of a clothing store is quite trivial. Do they want to limit it only to customers who actually buy something? I am sure everyone who wants both to piss and shop will just happily browse through the racks of clothes and keep hoping they manage to find something appropriate, try it on and buy it before they really need to go.

Bugger them. Went to Aleksi and Stockmann, which have normal toilets, and shopped there.

Weekend: still very tired

Still very tired from the lack of sleep, but managed to do at least some things during the weekend: went to the Russian bookstore and then to an ice cream place with Panu and by some miracle managed not to buy any Russian books. Next time should also try not to buy too much ice cream. Lactose intolerance is no fun.

Had a very fun if somewhat short game session on Sunday, and then went to Nelonen to brush Jari. Jari and Riitta took their braids out and somehow Jari's hair managed to develop dreadlocks at the roots. I think we got the job done. After having used unbelievable amounts of detangling foam on him I have a newfound respect for anyone who manages to detangle real dreadlocks.

Brushing my own hair this morning somehow felt a lot easier than usual.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Wine, more wine, and losers

Went to the Mikä Viini wine-tasting event both Wednesday and Thursday. The full report is forthcoming, but in any case none of the wines I tasted there were bad, and some were quite good.

Yesterday we went for a drink in Teerenpeli after that with Anu and Ebu. They have pretty good lingonberry cider now in addition to the blueberry one.

We sat outside and at some point two losers came and one of them wanted to sit with us. I told him to go sit at another table, especially since he was smoking. He did, but still tried to interact with us, mostly by reaching over and pretending to grab my breast, and later by grabbing Anu's purse, at which point he expressed some displeasure at the fact that I was holding on very tight to both our purses in his presence.

We had been talking about violence just before that, and Anu and Ebu started warning the loser that I was dangerous. Who, me? By that point I had just been considering using harsh language.

The other (more sensible) loser first lent some support to this one, but later luckily dragged him away as their tram was coming.

I wonder what was the loser's problem, apart from too little brain matter. Did not seem very drunk either, although obviously more drunk than is good for him.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The unspeakable in pursuit of the unattainable

Eduskunta is trying to make some really bad changes in the copyright law. (HE 28/2004) Read and weep.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Really tired

The workers in our building started making really loud noises, and the noise made by my air cleaner is not enough to prevent it from waking me up in the morning. It's so bad that it is physically painful to be in the stairwell without earplugs. Luckily it looks like it is coming to an end in some observable future.

So, I am sleepy and unsociable, and also not very efficient at work. Still managed to finally make one difficult thing work. Go me.

Also have no energy to exercise, therefore have a sore ass. The ass is always sore in the same place. Exercise is good for me: with it, my ass is usually sore in a different place every day, which gives it a pleasant variety.

No good deed goes unpunished

Gave some money to Red Cross a few months ago (must've been drunk or something). Now they keep sending me annoying snail mail saying "give us more money". Very encouraging, I am sure.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Trash crawling out of various holes

The disaster on the US Gulf coast made all the kinds of contemptible creatures crawl out of their holes and say excruciatingly stupid things:

Left-wing nuts who said it was all Bush's fault. People, the man is indeed a lot more religious that most of us are comfortable with, but that doesn't exactly make him a god.

Right-wing nuts who said that the hurricane happened to punish the gay and otherwise immoral people of New Orleans.

Islamist nuts who said that the hurricane happened because Allah wanted to punish the infidels.

In the news: NOLA, Rehnquist and the Yorkshire islamist

New Orleans is finally being properly evacuated. Better late than never. The Superdome has been evacuated; rescuers are searching for people house-to-house: some of the assholes who were shooting at people for fun have been shot themselves.

William Rehnquist died. Even Bush will have a problem finding anyone quite as conservative to replace him.

Mohammad Sidique Khan, a Yorkshire teacher, family man, model citizen and islamic terrorist, has made a tape before blowing up himself and six other people on a subway train.

"Until we feel security, you will be our target. Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight."

Bugger. I did not know Britain bombed Yorkshire.

"We are at war and I am a soldier," he said.

Now what was it that they do to soldiers caught behind enemy lines in civilian clothes?

The weekend: tea and sparkling wine and zoo

Went to Maija's and JP's place on Friday. Their new baby looks like Churchill, and also a little bit like JP. Had a very nice evening, and a lot of tea.

On Saturday went to the park with Anu and had some sparkling wine there. It's funny how there are so much fewer people drinking in a park in September than in summer, even though the weather was lovely.

Yesterday went to the zoo with Killeri. The leopard and one of the lions have kittens (separately, obviously, and not together), and they are awfully cute. Also the bears were cute. One of them was just sitting there on his ass scratching his balls, and occasionally waving his front paw at people, just like some politician.

The newest Pratchett novel, Thud, is finally here.

I have very little energy lately, I don't understand why. I am not particularly overstressed at work, not doing anything else, and am not physically sick (AFAIK). Either I am not getting enough sleep, or am overdue for a vacation, or most likely both.

Not getting enough sleep is due to the construction work in our yard that wakes me up every morning. When will they finally go away?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Getting worse

New Orleans is a disaster and getting worse. Authorities are trying to do what they can. There is plenty of blaming going around, from the mayor blaming the feds (don't know whether they deserve it or not) to the FEMA director blaming the people who chose to stay in the city (for a reason, but now is not the time for it).

A large explosion happened in the city. Nobody had any clue what it is.

Looting is all over. I think it's normal that people steal food and drink, what with all the stores being closed and there being no water. I can even understand, though not approve, thieves taking advantage of the situation and stealing jewelry, but what is the deal with all the people stealing TV:s? I understand that the kind of person who would steal a TV set would generally be on the wrong side of bell curve, but I thought that even they might figure out that there is not much to do with a TV set when you have no electricity, no home to put it in and no transportation to get it out.

People are also shooting at each other, hospitals and rescuers (in the misguided hope that the rescuers will come and rescue the shooters first - don't you always come running when somebody is shooting at you?), raping and setting fire to things. Now I sort of understand why travel guides advise one to be careful there, and why even in the peacetime NOLA has a murder rate 7 times that of NYC.

Anyway, the violence is so bad that the rescue efforts are pretty much halted because it's not safe for the rescuers. They are trying to get the army in, and hopefully they'll do it fast, before more people die.