Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vengeance (spoilers)

Read Vengeance by George Jonas. That's the story of Israel's operation Wrath of God - revenge on the terrorists who massacred Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. This is the book that the movie Munich was based on, and quite a bit more interesting than the movie. More details, some of the such that I would consider them unrealistic if I ran into them in a role-playing game.

A note to self:

If I ever choose the retain the services of an assassin, even a reasonably decent and upstanding assassin, I shall not:

1. Try to force him or her to work after he or she decides to resign,
2. Steal his or her back pay,
3. Threaten his or her child.

I find it incredible someone would do all that to an assassin. In fact I can't imagine doing all that even to a gardener.

Yes, I realize that the book was written based on the personal account of Avner (the assassination team leader), and by the time it was written he was pretty disgruntled, but if I had an assassination team of my own, I would certainly make sure that the leader and the rest of the team are pretty damn well gruntled.

Monday, June 18, 2012

My mom, the nature lover

"I don't think there is a lot of birch pollen here. Might be linden or maple or whatever. Are you allergic to them?"
"Like I know what they are..."
"You must know maple. It has leaves like that."
"Wow, that looks sort of like the Canadian flag, doesn't it?"

"Look at the exotic bird! Wow, look at the tail! It's long and kind of bluish!"
"It's a magpie."
"So that's what they look like! Haven't I seen one before?"
"Yeah, last year in China."

"Look, look! That dog stretches, just like a human! I didn't know they could do that!"

For those who don't know: she has lived all her life in places that had both maples and magpies. And dogs, too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What do the following organizations have in common, once again?

The previous one is here.

The list is as follows: Arabikansojen ystävyysseura, Aseistakieltäytyjäliitto, Helsingin Sadankomitea, Helsingin yliopiston Sitoutumaton vasemmisto, Irakilaisten pakolaisten kv-federaation Suomen osasto, Irakin naisten yhdistys Suomessa, Irakin ja Iranin työväen kommunistisen puolueen Suomen osasto, Kommunistinen nuorisoliitto, Loviisan rauhanfoorumi, Lääkärin sosiaalinen vastuu, Maan ystävät, Naiset rauhan puolesta, Naisten kansainvälinen rauhan ja vapauden liitto - Suomen osasto, Pand - Taiteilijat rauhan puolesta, SKP, Sosialidemokraattiset nuoret, Sosialistiliitto, Suomen demokraattiset lakimiehet - DEMLA, Suomen kristillinen rauhanliike, Suomen rauhanliitto - YK-yhdistys ry, Suomen rauhanpuolustajat, Vasemmistonuoret, Vihreät nuoret ja opiskelijat.

These are the groups that have organized the big demonstration against the war in Iraq in Helsinki on 15.2.2003.

Now I decided to find out how they feel about the current carnage in Syria. Judging from their web pages, they don't give a flying fuck, except for Arabikansojen ystävyysseura who at least mentioned it. Not that really I blame them, I don't either, and I don't see what the Green party or the people who are against the conscription have to do with foreign wars anyway.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Back from Germany

Been on a much-needed vacation (you know you really need a vacation when you passport picture starts crying after looking at you). Berlin and Cologne, primarily, but also Potsdam, Dresden, Lübeck, Hamburg, Aachen, Düsseldorf, Koblenz and a bit of Rhine valley on day trips.

Sorry about not visiting any of my German friends, and not-German friends living in Germany. It was just not possible with my parents on a mission to see all Germany in two weeks.

Germany is still very pretty. Rhine valley especially so.

Berlin is not pretty at all, ugly as hell in fact, but a very pleasant place to be in, pretty much the only place in Germany where I just want to hang out and not look at the historical monuments. German architectural neo-Classicism sucks ass. OK, let's face it: everyone's architectural neo-Classicism sucks ass. There is just too damn much of it in Berlin. Still loved the city, though. Especially Prenzlauer Berg and Hackescher Markt. Gonna visit there again.

Potsdam was pretty but blah. Dresden was much lovelier than its pictures. Lübeck was just as lovely as the pictures of it. Whatever I saw of Hamburg was nuce, but I didn't see much. Cologne has the loveliest cathedral ever, and really nice romanesque churches, and a small but very pretty old town. They also have a philarmonic hall build underground by some morons, and people telling other people not to walk on top of it during concerts - I am not kidding. Aachen was great, Düsseldorf old town nice, and Koblenz good too. The Rhine valley was wet, and so, I suppose, was the Rhine.

Saw our local relatives. They have changed a bit, especially the one who was 2 hen I last saw him, and is now 26. Was nice to get reacquainted.

In Germany trains rarely ran on time, and waiters forgot to bring stuff all the time. I am surprised - it didn't use to be like that. Also, they are somewhat short on internet, very few free public hotspots. A local SIM card helped a bit.

Been to a wine festival in Cologne. Lots of nice sweet wines, dry wines didn't impress me. Neither did the beer. OTOH, all the weird shandy-type drinks in Berlin were a really pleasant surprise.

Gonna have some shandy now.