Thursday, April 19, 2007


Muutama vuosi sitten kuollut mummoni (isän äiti) oli aika kuuro elämänsä loppuvuosina, mikä varmaankin johtui osittain fyysisistä syistä ja osittain harjoituksen puutteesta. Sen oli varsinkin vaikeaa kuulla mitä ihmiset, varsinkin naiset, sanoivat puhelimessa. Kerran soitin sille:

Minä: Moi! Tässä on Vera.
Mummo: Kuka?
Minä: Veeeeraaaa!
Mummo: Kuka Lena?
Minä: Eiku Vera.
Mummo: Petja?
Minä: Eiku Vera.
Mummo: Masha?

Pitkän arvaussarjan jälkeen:

Minä: Si-nun po-jan-tyt-tä-re-si Ve-ra!
Mummo: Kuka? Anja?
Minä: Vittu saatana perkele jumalauta!
Mummo (iloisesti): Aaaah, Vera!

En tiedä miksi koko tää juttu tuli mieleen juuri nyt.

The shooting: guns

Been wondering about the technical details of shooting in Virginia Tech (and feeling faintly guilty about it).

The news reports say that the guy had a Glock 19 and a Walther P22. I keep wondering how many rounds of ammunition he has fired. Killing 33 people and wounding about as many with two handguns takes an awful lot of ammo. How many did he fire? How many did he have? Were they in preloaded magazines? Was he using the extra-large (33 rounds) magazines for the Glock?

The whole thing just seems like such a lot of work... If I were a psychotic killer intending to shoot 60+ people, I'd buy at least 500 rounds, start preloading all of them, lose my enthusiasm for the project at about round 100, and after loading 150 I'd say "bugger it, my hands are really sore, I need a beer", and postpone the whole thing indefinitely. (Note to self: psychotic killing is obviously not your thing.)

Why did he file the serial numbers off if he intended to kill himself? And considering that he did file the numbers off, why did he keep the receipt?

Oh well, he was a deranged mass murderer, which probably explains a lot.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia tech shooting

A nutcase shot 32 people and himself in Virginia tech. He was a loner, was obsessed with violence, and left some notes blaming "rich kids" and "debauchery" (that is, disapproved of other people having more money and getting laid more often than himself - which is a rather common human emotion, but most people don't go postal because of it).

The university is being blamed for not acting fast enough on the day of the shooting. I don't know if they should be blamed for it - I am sure an investigation will find out, one way or another - but what I would like to know is how come the university did not do anything after the guy harassed a few women and set fire to the dorm. (Maybe there is some good answer to that, too.)

The man has also written two plays that the readers found very violent and highly disturbing. Here they are. I have read them and have not found them particularly violent or disturbing: they are rather violent, but I and people I know have written worse without shooting anyone, and they are quite angry in a teenagery way, but nothing really out of ordinary. They would not have rung a warning bell with me. I wonder if that's just me being desensitized to violence, or the people did not really see anything scary about them earlier and are just having a flash of hindsight now, or do the creative writing teachers and students see warnings much more efficiently than ordinary people like myself.

There was a lot of conversation of gun control after this. I have no strong opinion on gun control one way or the other, at least as long as it does not interfere with my pistol shooting hobby (and currently in Finland it doesn't), but after seeing several people in the US point out that the gunman could have been stopped earlier if any of the students or teachers had a gun on them, and several of my friends on IRC make fun of this argument, I must say that those people in the US really do have a point:

I don't, generally speaking, believe that an armed society is a polite society. It's a tradeoff: on one hand, if you outlaw guns only outlaws will have them, on the other hand it might well be safer when only the serious outlaws have guns than when every teenage hooligan has them.

However, if we already are in a state where people are allowed to buy and carry firearms freely, banning guns from a small area like a university campus really will lead to a situation where everyone who is up to no good can have a gun, and no law-abiding citizen will. The worst of both worlds.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Can't even scream (sleep paralysis)

Sleep paralysis sucks.

(People are normally sort of paralyzed during REM sleep, but sometimes there is a bug somewhere and they continue to be paralyzed for a few seconds or minutes after waking up.)

I was seeing a particularly nasty nightmare last night. Not sure what it was about but in the dream my hands were slashed and bleeding and I was running around like that for about 24 hours because there were some people I needed to ask for some information before I'd go to a hospital to get stitches.

Anyway, at some point in the dream I started screaming and woke up to realize that the muscles of my mouth and throat were not obeying me, or any other muscles either. It was a very unusual sensation: not totally numb, like a lip can be after dentist's anaesthesia, or like I would expect a paralysis to be, but with sort of more-than-normal feeling: I felt myself trying to move my muscles, but at the same time felt them not actually moving.

The problem disappeared in about two seconds, but was not conductive to a good night's sleep.

I hate sleep disturbances. This one has never happened before (and hopefully won't ever again), and lucid dreaming happened only once, but I often get that sensation of falling down from my bed when falling asleep. Ugh.

The weekend

This was an exceptionally catty (in the literal sense) weekend: out of two parties and two moves available, all four contained cats.

Was planning to go to two parties and help one set of friends move, but ended up going to only one party and then heading home. The party was full of scary religion studies people (nothing really scary about them, just a lot of strangers and almost-strangers in one place), nice food and cats.

Apart from one initial beer I was not planning to drink any alcohol, and remembering some old conversation in Janka's log, I decided to count and record how many people would notice that I am drinking only water for 4 hours, ask or comment. Nobody did. (For the curious: there is no real "interesting" reason behind it: I am not pregnant or sick, I did not buy a car, and I did not decide to become sober.)

On Sunday helped a few friends move. There was a lot of stuff, but a lot of people as well, and it went rather smoothly. Their new place is in the middle of nowhere but very nice. The cats moved before them and were banished to one room for the time of the proceedings, where they meowed all the time: "meow! meow! food!".

I ain't dead, but nothing much to see here for the next three weeks

Real life is interfering with my blogging again, and most likely I am not gonna write anything particularly thoughtful for the next three weeks or so. Probably will mostly write just things about life, like "ouch, my ass hurts again".

OTOH, you never know.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tyhmästä päästä kärsii koko ruumis


After one day and two nights of pain and sleeplessness I was lying in my bed this morning, considering calling in sick (or dead), and suddenly I realized that a) muscle pain creams have been invented and b) I own at least three diffrerent ones. I crawled out of bed, found a tube of Mobilat, used it and am in a lot less pain now.

I do that every fucking time when I do something cruel and unusual to some muscle: suffer silently (or, more often, loudly, whining on IRC and in my blog) for a day or two before I even remember these things exist.

My dear readers: please, next time I start complaining about some muscle pain somewhere, can you remind me to use Mobilat or something? Because I definitely won't remember by myself.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Somebody has borrowed my rather small and neglected abdominal muscles during the night and has grossly misused them. Shit, this really hurts. Getting up from the bed hurts. Getting up from a chair hurts. Laughing hurts.

I wish I could blame it on Islam somehow, or at least on Communists, or at the very least on Bush, republicans or democrats or Keskusta, but I don't think I really can.

In better news: I got a new chair at work. And Killeri said "Vera got a new chair" on IRC precisely at the moment when one of the bosses rolled the chair in. The timing was so good that I actually looked around for a hidden camera.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Al-Hihhuli is entertaining the world again

Only last week Sheikh "cat meat" Al-Hilali got accused of mishandling the charity funds meant for the Lebanese victims of Israel-Lebanon war (more specifically, of giving at least $12,400 (Australian) of said funds to Sheikh Bilal Shaaban, an Al Qaeda supporter).

Apparently not in a lot of hurry to come back to Australia and explain himself, he has visited Tehran this weekend, and urged the Islamic world to stand in the trenches with the Islamic Republic of Iran which possesses the might and the power.

Upon hearing that a number of senior Australian politicians have publicly expressed hope that Al-Hilali would remain in Iranian trenches or anywhere outside Australia indefinitely. The police, OTOH, look forward to seeing Al-Hilali in person and asking him questions about the money.

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils refused to fire Al-Hilali from his position as the grand mufti, but stopped paying his salary. Good luck getting monthly bank transfers from Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Masturbation day (300 spoilers)

I've been very tired and sort of overstretched lately. Too much to do (not just work, fun stuff too) and not enough sleep (been sleeping badly). So I decided to take it easy this long weekend:

- one Exalted session, where we went to an elf court (my character really does not like elves) and there my character sexually abused an elf just to prove she could do it. The elves started with "what can you do to prove your bravery?" Tinel (my character), fine, honest and upstanding pillar of Blessed Isle society that she is, answered "every time I try to prove my bravery tends to generate dead bodies, are you quite sure it's a good idea?", and they were. Not wanting to generate too much bodies, she challenged one of them to a S&M scene, and in the end the challenge was won, and one elf had a really sore anus. I had a good time; the character, being a bit too high on compassion, probably didn't.

- one party, which had a most amazing creature present. She was sort of a Siamese cat, but much smaller, was in heat for the first time in her life and meowed in a most teenagery way: "Meow! Meow! I hate you all! I am so horny! Nobody understands me! Where the hell are all the male cats?"

- saw 300. I did not expect it to be very historical, but orcs and Gollum were a bit too much, really.

- spent two evenings drinking with friends,

- had a day when I did not do anything at all: a designated Masturbation day. A Masturbation day is where the plan for the day is just to stay in bed and masturbate all the time, and that's what I was gonna do all Sunday.

Eight hours and two sore wrists later I switched to other activities: learned to rip DVDs and extract mp3s from .avi files, checked a year's worth of receipts against my credit card bills, did my taxes and found a few objects I've been looking for for weeks. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you decide not to do anything. Everyone should have a designated Masturbation day at least once a month.

I realized how tired I'd been lately only after finding those few objects: I found them exactly in the places where I'd looked for them before, which means I had looked right at them and did not see them.

But maybe I should go to bed now. Try to sleep or something.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Blogging is good for you

A few days ago I wrote that my company-provided cell phone is a buggy shit (Nokia 6600), and one of my bosses (the nice one, of course) read it in my blog and gave me a much better one.

I should try this more often: I want a raise! And a new chair, eventually, because some kind of stuffing keeps coming out of my current chair. I also want more tea, but I am afraid that the guy who buys the tea does not read my blog.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

History is offensive! Let's stop teaching it!

A UK government-funded study by the Historical Association says that some schools avoid teaching the Holocaust to avoid causing offence and for fear of raising anti-semitic sentiment among Muslim pupils.

The same study also says that some schools also avoid teaching about slave trade (so as not to alienate white and/or black children) and Crusades ("because 'balanced treatment' of the topic would have challenged what some local mosques were teaching").

Yeah, I am sure that if schools stop teaching them anything that contradicts the teaching of the local mosque, they will totally integrate and achieve enlightenment and multicultural tolerance. They might even stop denying the Holocaust if they have never heard of it.

The article does not mention any actual complaints from actual Muslims.

I am wondering whether it is becoming a trend in the UK: try to avoid doing anything that might ever offend Muslims. Not that I blame people for assuming that the Religion of the Perpetually Offended would become offended at anything, but wouldn't it be wiser to wait and see? (I am thinking of the case a few weeks ago in the UK where organizers of a school show about three little pigs decided to remove the pigs in order to avoid offending the Muslims. The actual Muslims said "Huh? WTF? There are not actual pigs involved, so what's the problem?".)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Al-Hihhuli in the news again

Sydney's Lebanese Muslim Association is trying to find out what happened to the $US38,000 ($A47,000) in donations that Sheikh "cat meat" Al-Hilali was supposed to distribute to the victims (the Lebanese ones, I assume) of the Israel-Lebanon war.

"Sheik al-Hilali appears to have used those funds to simply big-note himself throughout Lebanon," was the educated guess of Assistant Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Teresa Gambaro.

Right now both the receipts and the grand mufti are missing in action, but they still hope that the man will come back from abroad and clear the matters up.

Puukko and lingonberry jam

I am planning to spend part of my summer vacation in Israel, and have asked the relatives there what to bring to them from Finland. One guy wanted a puukko (a traditional Finnish knife); almost everybody wanted lingonberry jam. I am planning to take so much lingonberry jam that I will probably be arrested at the border as a clandestine lingonberry jam dealer, and I seriously think that somebody should sell lingonberry jam there commercially.

One interesting thing I noticed:

When the first relative ordered the jam, I asked "don't you have it there"? He answered "but of course not, lingonberry does not grow in Israel". Anu's reaction was pretty much the same.

Funny. I strongly suspect that pineapple does not grow in Finland, and I have still never had a problem getting it from a store. Ditto for bananas, mangoes, pomegranates, kiwis, and god knows what else. But Anu and my relative are right: the fruits and berries are exported from the south to the north a lot more than the other way around. You can probably get lingonberry jam in well-stocked specialty stores in southern Europe and in the US, but you get pineapples and bananas in every corner grocery store in northern Europe. Why is that?

Probably on a related note: the absolute worst (both by variety and quality) selection of fruits I've ever seen in a western country was on St. Martin.