Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Addiction Does Not Automatically Mean A Problem

I smoke cigarettes.

I have an addiction to it. And I have a problem with tobacco. But they are two different things.

I have an addiction. I probably will be the nastiest person you know if I don't smoke the whole day. But it is not a problem for me. I smoke this special tobacco. Rolling tobacco. And smoke it with these certain papers. It's a hustle to go around the town to find that brand of tobacco that has no chemicals. After a while the other brand available (which would be cheaper but doesn't taste as good) would be suitable, but can be found in even fewer shops where I buy mine. Yet, I always go to the shops, buy about 5 pouches of it, and smoke for one and a half to two weeks from it. I always have a lighter and papers. Never run out on me own.

And since I do enjoy smoking, too, I do not wish to quit. At least, not yet. So smoking is not a problem for me. Sorry, I know this is completely wrong thing to say, since in the modern society I should be ashamed of smoking and all the time repeat the mantra to my friends "I'm going to quit next week." No, I won't. And yes, I do know they are bad for me.

But I also do have a problem with it. The people close to me have not yet grasped the idea, that they actually sell these in shops. I do not have a Tobacco Fairy waving her magic wand and all the tobacco I need just magically appears in my pocket. I actually have to pay money for the tobacco and the accessories. Still every day I have quadrillion people coming to ask for papers and for tobacco. My lighter can't be found after 4 people have asked to borrow it when they go for their cigarette break. If I'm in the smoking break, I don't mind. If I'm working, and you borrow the lighter for your break, and never return it, and I don't remember to ask it (never have to - I have my own!) back, and I go for my break and have to wait until someone comes in I get very annoyed. I do have a problem with that. A huge problem.

And don't comment that I am too nice to lend everything and people will abuse me if I'm too nice. Don't, because I can't come and whoop your donkey. And I haven't hit anyone since I was a minor.

Today it seemed that everyone was out of everything. Suddenly the whole World was depleted of tobacco and related accessories. When I got home from work, I had no papers, small crumbs at the bottom of my bag, and no lighter. No one person is abusing me. But little streams make rivers. I always have, so people must've noticed that and they know that if they are in need, I always have. When a hundred people come, then I am abused. Not by one, but by many. I don't care if you smoke weed while you work. As long as it doesn't affect my work. I do not do that. I'm there to work. But I want my cigarette breaks. The stuff you do with several of my papers is your business, but don't depend on me every day. Get your addiction sorted. Mine is. And I want my lighter back!

A side note: I just put my MP3 player in. I had it at my friend's place a while ago. I do not update my player, since it works, so I do not need a wall charger for it. I forgot my player to a friend's place. Got it back and it has been played with. Had to format it. Lost my music. Then had to put it in a wall socket. Which I don't have. And none of the shops close by. So I bought one. Plugged it in. Got it working. Or so I thought. Now my fruit company program forces me to update before I can put music in it. Thank you. I have all the automated things off, but with this one particular fruit company no automated thing is ever completely off. So after the update I need to put it in the wall socket again. And I just started to write this, because I was planning to put music on it and go for a walk to cool my head. After wasting time for getting the tobacco, because it was the fifth shop that had the brand I smoke, I hoped to go home and get my tripod and go. And during the copying I was planning to write this. So even longer delay. Who wants to walk when there's light anyways?

Monday, January 28, 2008

50 Years Of Lego

Happy 50th birthday, Lego!

I went to check the Lego pages, and noticed under products a new series, Vikings. Under that section was five different sets. All are Vikings fighting Norse mythology monsters. Nice, uplifting toys. (I wish I had them when I was a kid.)

Interesting characters:

Fenris Wolf - Nice little doggy, Loki's son, who grows so large that in Ragnarök he kills and eats Odin.

Wyvern Dragon - Some sort of Saxon dragon. Can't think of any story in Norwegian mythology of anything Wyvern.

Nidhogg Dragon - In Norwegian World-Tree or Tree Of Life artwork, Nidhogg was the serpent who lives in the roots.

Midgar Serpent - Norwegian Ouroboros. Archenemy of Thor and has three fights with him. In the last one, during Ragnarök, Jörmungandr (Midgar Serpent) bites Thor venomosly just before it is killed. Thor takes 9 steps before dying himself, too.

Fafnir Dragon - Dwarf king's son who turns into a dragon and steals a lot of gold. Fafnir story is pretty much the same as Nibelung and Beowulf.

Stop Playing With Computers And Read!

I've been way too lazy reader lately. Have to make a mental note:
1a: Turn the computer off every now and then before midnight.
1b: Read your books. They won't bite. As a matter of fact, they are missing you.

I don't know wether it is a good or bad thing, but instead of turning my computer off, I made a desktop background image to remind me. In the style of Despair, Inc. At least this way I'll remember there's a bookshelf as well.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aphorism Of The Day Pt.21

Wa talking with my housemate again. Again the discussion took a weird turn in a form of one-liners. He said something stupid about love, and the first thing that popped in to my mind was:

Hard core love can't be stopped with a court order.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Aphorism Of The Day Pt.20

Modern day motivational ad's tagline:

Release your explodential!

(Works for IT, Office or Car commercials. Or breakfast cereals... Or innovative camera technic... Well, any modern commercial.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Got Lost On My Way Home

My small pocket camera and me were going home. But I took the wrong ferry to round Ring A10 in Amsterdam and ended up at the rings of Saturn instead.

Here's the pictures.

Joking with Ronsu about these pics:
Me: It's easy to find adventures in your neighbourhood if you just have a good imagination.
Ronsu: Yeah, just like friends, too.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Google Doesn't Like Foreigners

I wrote about the new language thing in programs. Where programs determine for you what language you want to install your programs in. Google has been very very annoying, but they have at least that "In English" button that you have to press constantly. It's missing and/or not working in Blogspot.

Now I was writing a post and was unsure of one word. So I decided to press the spell checker. I don't do it often, but when you need it, it's helpful. Have been working fine. Now almost all words were wrong? Ah... It's checking it in Dutch. Let's change the settings. Blogspot always changes my preferences to Dutch for no apparent reason. What? My settings are in English.

I'm Finnish. I live in the Netherlands. Google doesn't support that. They want that people stay in their own countries. They are very socialistic towards people who stay in their own countries and do not even try to write in foreign devil's language and lose their nationality.

I have no option to change the language. People move around, you know. People may still continue to write in the language they started the blog. I should have some option to choose the language I speak, write and read.

I checked the help. "spell checker wrong language" - three hits. Two contained no replies. One had a link to a blog where there's major changes in the settings of the browser. I do not do that for Blogspot. I want to choose my language with settings inside Blogspot.

Can I friggin' please speak English?

Let's Party Like It's 1929!

The stock markets have been falling around Europe and Asia. Still waiting for yesterdays reports for USA. Let's not call it Black Monday. We already have had couple of those. Something snappy. Something catchy.

Ragnarok Monday!

But we can all party like it's nineteen twentynine! (Again.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

I'm Their Bitch

[expletive deleted]

*plenty of f-words*

I finally cave in. All my friends are in Facebook. Had to open an account. F! FFFFFFFF!

Don't even bother to try to add me as your friend if you don't know me in real life. I won't answer.

LinkedIn has a purpose.

Dear Pope Benedict XVI

If I daydream about things that cannot be proven at my work, I get fired. I understand that in your job that is exactly your job description.

However, the recent schizophrenia about Harry Potter books is confusing. First it was good, now it's evil. I am going to let you in on a little secret.

Although you have never seen your boss, nor heard from him, you belive you have a boss. Even though you never got a message from him that you didn't need to decipher wether this is a random incident or a memo from your boss, you still need to believe in your boss. That's fine. I cannot dispute that fact. Believing in it is your job security. But living your life in this kind of belief may compromise your judgement, and therefore I am compelled to inform you:

Magic does not exist.

Harry Potter cannot fly with a broom in real life. There are no spells and witchcraft. In the books you have to use your imagination to make Harry fly and in the movies it is only special effects. You can find out more about special effects if you check for example Industrial Light And Magic's webpage. (Please note: The "magic" part in ILM's name does not mean they do real magic.) You cannot gather mana and you cannot wave a magic wand and do miracles. Doing miracles is the sole right of your boss, if he exists. Also, there are no Dementors, nor Basilisks. No Thestrals nor Griffins. They are figments of J.K. Rowling's imagination. The milestone in Alchemy, the philosopher's stone does not exist either. You cannot convert lead to gold without the help of science. And our current level of science doesn't even work that well. We can create lighter atoms from heavier ones, like Uranium and Plutonium. And we have the basic knowledge how to convert hydrogene into helium. But we can't even get the latter one to work sufficiently. So don't be alarmed for the philosopher's stone and converting lead to gold either.

I know it is easy to mix up the fictional books, but remember this rule of thumb: Your book tells that it is real. J.K. Rowling has never tried to tell us that Harry Potter really exists. She says the character is fictional and as a matter of fact the book can be found under the section called "fantasy". Please try to separate your book from other books that do not claim to be true, but in fact honesty tell you they are fiction.

While I'm at it, I will hereby inform you that Smurfs don't exist either. So no worries about Gargamel making a magical potion out of Smurfs. There's no Saruman and no Merlin, nor Wicked Witch of the West. Mickey Mouse is an animated character who had been drawn to wear a wizard's apprentice's clothes in Fantasia.

For me Smurfs, the Bible and Discworld books are as fictional. But Smurfs and Discworld have less writing staff. I would recommend that stick to one fantasy land and discard the fear of others. If you play Dungeons & Dragons and immediately after that Nethack, you might mix up characters, as Cacodemon and Floating Eye are actually the same character. As a player that would make a small difference in real life, but as your job is to prove one fantasy-world exists, I would stick to only one, if I were you.

If you have irrational fears of other fictional characters, please do not be afraid to seek help. There are professional people who are trained to deal with people with this kind of delusions.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some Sort Of Carrot-Casserole And Sauce

We didn't have any potatoes. But we had carrots. How to replace potato with carrots?


Something from carrots... I know! In Christmas we eat carrot-casserole. Why not making mashed-potatoes meets carrot-casserole thingie?

Ok, something like ... couple of carrots less than a kilo? Some broccoli, the rest from the fridge. Steam them. Use about 6-7dl of water. Add some dill. When the carrots are soft, mash them. Use the water to boil about a cup of rice. Boil until the water is gone. Mash the rice, too. Add about half a litre of milk and couple of eggs. 4 gloves of garlic, spices, like white pepper and basil and such. When it's a mush, add in buttered (oiled if you're vegetarian - milk replacement comes later - and instead of eggs, I guess some corn flour works?) oven tray and in ... somewhere between 150 and 200 decrees of Celsius in the oven, until the milk has been absorbed. About an hour I'd say.


Big onion. Chop, fry. Add about half a kilo of minced beef. (Potato and/or swede or broccoli or whichever hard veggie you wish can replace meat for veggie stuff. Consistency should be quite hard, though - so no boiling the broccoli too much, you hear?) Spice it up. Pepper mix, white pepper, paprika powder, cinnamon, parsley, chives... what have you. Cinnamon is one of the key ingredients. Add some of that. When it's fried, put it aside. Add butter (or oil if you are vegetarian.) and flour. Do not clean the pan in the mean time. We want all that flavour. When the flour is brown, add water.

Take a sip of beer, and pour some beer in. Chop the rest of your yellow, red and green paprika you find in the fridge in the mix. The couple of red chilies you have left, chopped in to the pot. And about 4-5 gloves of garlic. A tomato pyre can in. Oh, we just used the last of the milk and we have no cream... Hm. Oh, some coconut milk that my housemate didn't use when he made curry yesterday. Let's use that. I guess this goes quite well in the casserole, too, if you don't want to use milk.

A splash of beer, some more spices and a tiny bit more of cinnamon (but don't over-do it), and that's it. Food is ready.

Wow?! That was actually quite good! Have to do this again some time.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I went to take the trash out last night and noticed I got stuck in a comic book.
I took a picture of it:

I think it's time to open a Flickr account.

In the morning when I came home, I noticed Ronsu / Ephelant was still doing the same song:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ronsu Was Doing Music (Again)

My housemate Ronsu was doing some music - again. Too concentrated to even notice I took a picture of him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Multibillion Weapons Deal Between USA And Saudi-Arabia

In the 80's the gallant people of Afganistan had a CIA funded group called Muhajeddin fighting the evil Russians. This group later became al-Qaeda and is a very bad group nowadays. Now that Iraq's resources have been secured, Iran seems to be the next logical evil. To fight this evil USA is making a new advanced weaponry deal of $20 billion. If it would be any other country I would be careful to accept this kind of weaponry, as history has taught us that if you are a friend now and buy weapons, you might be evil later and because of the weapons the seller has an excuse attack.

It also helps if Saudis would bite the hand that feeds by, for example, following Saddam's 2001 example and accepting Euro, which is so evil that Saddam was put in the same group as some Saudi attackers.

But in this case it may not be so. In the case of those Saudi attackers, the blame was on another country. Middle-East is far away and one can easily mix up Saudi-Arabia with Afganistan. As I said, this new deal may not be dangerous for Saudis. They do own several percentage of US economy and it would be dumb for a country to attack its own economy. And I don't believe Saudi-owned companies manufacture margarine, so in oil and weaponry fields the percentage may be even higher.

It is only natural to secure oil reserves, if a country is highly addicted to it. That's why there is no interference for example in Mogadishu, where oil cannot be found in such masses. There is no government there and it is ruled by several clans. Yet, there's no massive bombing-for-peace operation. Middle-East has a lot of oil and sending troops to secure the oil may cost lifes, it is safer to ship enormous amounts of weaponry there and let them kill each other out. When they are weak enough, it's easier to control.

This is not morals, nor approval of actions. Merely observations of the actions. All we need now is the politics to justify it all. Luckily the reasons can be made up also afterwards.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thank You Afrika!

I made some African-style food today.

Sweet potato, fried green banana, rice, white fish and tomato-chili sauce.

Chop a handful of red chili in tiny pieces. (I removed the seed, as they are bitter.)
Add a lot of Blair's After Death sauce. (To get the hotness you miss when you remove the seed.)
Soak the fish in it and let it stay a while.
Fry it last.

Leave fish out for vegan food. Works brilliantly without.

Tomato sauce:
Handful of red chili. Without seed.
Add Blair's Possible Side Effects. Just few drops. (I used only 4-5 drops.)
Backbag full of tomato. Peeled.
I cheated. I used also a bit of tomato pyre.
Had some paprika in the fridge. Threw that in, too.
Spices. (Pepper mix, garam masala -the Indian stuff, kurkuma, cinnamon, stuff like that.)
4 gloves of garlic. This one is not that garlicky.

Boil until it's sauce.

Green banana is just fried in oil. Sweet potato and rice are boiled. (I steamed the potato.)

And you eat it with your hand. Make a cup with your fingers and use the thumb to make the food in a ball-kinda-form.

Echt lekker!

Buy My Anti-Capitalist Product

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I like Legos. Haven't played with them for ... I don't know, 20 years?

A friend of mine had a houseparty. I went there right after work. I start my work usually a bit earlier than others, so I finish an hour before the rest of the city finishes. I went directly to my friend's place. No-one else was there yet.

But there was Legos.

A lot of Legos.

I made a castle. Had to. If you have almost unlimited amount of Legos and they have been sorted that gray and blue blocks are in one box, misc in one, space Legos in one and so on.

It was cool. When the other guests arrived, they had funny faces. A guy, almost 30, is playing with Legos on a small children's chair.

I didn't care.

I like Legos.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Can I Please Install My Programs In English?

I usually don't do automated stuff. Automated updates, express installs, etc.

Today I got home, opened my computer and opened something from Stage6. My Divx player wanted to update itself. I don't do automated updates, but this time I though, why not? Every end-user is using automated updates anyways and they have no clue what they are doing. And the amount of automation means that it probably works nowadays. I do the old way and actually read every Windows update technote and decide what I want to update, but what the heck. I guess it won't hurt to try the normal ID: 10T way. Wrong! Mistake! Error! You fail!

New Divx player went to 97% in downloading. Didn't even start to install yet. ...stayed there. Stayed some more. The clip was playing on the background with no possibility to adjust anything. No pause, no stop, no nothing. Very good updater that doesn't allow me even to pause what I'm doing while it's working on top of the friggin' clip. After about 15 minutes I pressed cancel and thought I do it the sensible way. Download the installation file, stop every other process and install the update manually. Wrong!

Took half an hour to cancel the download. How is that possible if it's not installing yet?

Then it made my whole system to not respond Mouse was moving, but right-click opened some weird menus from programs in my system tray. Regardless where I pressed. Couldn't even get to Task Manager with CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. Couldn't quit programs with ALT+F4. Couldn't open my Start menu. Pressed power button and waited for shutdown. It seamed like it's not gonna come. Then all of a sudden my screen went gray and it finally started to shut down programs.

Got my computer back on, but I have to remove and reinstall Divx Player. What do I learn from this? Never, ever ever trust automated updates. The first one I used and it messed up my player.

This brings me to a thing I have been meaning to rant about for a long time already.

If you code a program and you are so kind that you translate it in several languages, could I please choose the language I want to install it? When XP came, the automated language guesser and enforcer is so very annoying. I have been using computers when the operating system and all the programs were only in English. My operating system is still in English. I do not want to have some programs in Dutch, some in Finnish, some in Swedish, some in English, etc... I want that everything in my system is in the same language. Can I please, friggin' please do that?

If you are a programmer and come from English speaking country, fine. And your operating system is in English and your programs are in English, and your input locale is in English and your regional settings are in English you'll never have this problem. But I've noticed that if you have a Swedish keyboard (same as Finnish, but with a different name), Finnish regional settings and Dutch time-zone, it is a random thing when you install a program.

iTunes checks your regional settings. It would install it in Finnish in this case. Some other program checks your time-zone and picks the most common language in your zone. Another one, like Quark Express will check your default keyboard layout. Not the currently-in-use one, but the default one. This means if I don't have the option to change the installation language, that I would have four different languages in my computer.

If I have my operating system in English, please suggest that language first! Or at least let me choose. iTunes lets me choose after 5 clicks. If, because of my current location, my regional settings were Dutch, I would have to learn that language first, in order to know when to change the language. Ok, I know Dutch enough to know where to change it, but suppose I was in Guang Zhou, China.

Some programs let me choose and some programs just guess what I would like and rule out every other option.

Why do XP have the preferred installation language option anyways? What point it is to set it in English, if no software manufacturer know it exists?

If I am capable of operating English Windows, I think I am capable of changing the installation language to any other language I wish if English is not the language I want to install my program in.

And some of the braniacs (including, but they do have the "In English" link there) code the language options drop-down menu in a way that all the options are in the current language. If you would have to have regional settings as Finland, because you are on a business trip in Finland or send documents to Finland, but are, in fact a German. And if you would install a program and the braniac who coded it translated the names of the languages. And it would recommend the options in that language the installation is currently on. Would you know that you should choose "Saksa" from the menu? German and Saksa sound so alike.

Many webpages, by the way, guess your language preference according to your location. It's cool that you can nowadays make a script that checks your location and displays the page in that language. But give me a clear choice, not a hidden small link and if I choose to view the page in English, remember it. If I visit Milano, I don't understand enough Italian to download latest drivers from Italian site. I want the page to remain in English, if I have so chosen.

So please please pretty please with sugar on top, let me choose the language myself.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! I must stop now.

Can They Read My Brain?

While I was talking with a colleague, doodling 8-bit style space-invaders graphics on a paper - which is rare as I don't normally use the old-skool manual Notepad but our printer's not working (I hate paper copies, too, but at work we need these thin tree slices that were widely in use before they invented computer monitors), switching between, my home country's local newspapers, couple of blogs, my normal info searching webpages and my work related tools I came across with this article about The Nerd Handbook.

F me!

This guy has captured my brains 100% accurately. Usually when I read any post with the subject of "this is what a nerd is" I feel the similarity in most parts, but not all. Not this time. It's right on the nose. Already then when I was living with my parents I was skipping between TV-stations and following multiple programs at the same time. I can cook in kitchen while I'm watching a movie with a friend, since I can follow what is going on just by the sound. - I know when to go to see the screen when a good visual part is coming.

The reason why I work with computers is exactly the fact I love puzzles. When people ask me what I do for living, I answer "I play with toys. ...and the fools pay money for it." For me working with computes is a game, not work.

When we go out with several people and sit in a bar at a long table, I can follow 2-3 discussions at the same time around the table. Internal ALT+TAB is working.

Even the view is absolutely correct. You might catch me standing in front of the window and staring blankly into the void at work. It doesn't mean I'm not working. It means: Do not talk to me, I'm thinking. Puzzle solving parts of the brain work better when you have less stressing stimuli, and more relaxing visual input. Talking to me will only disrupt my Zone. The blank stare that a guitar player's partner might recognise when the guitar player is in his Zone, is exactly the same with a nerd in The Zone.

The inch-deep and 4 miles wide knowledge well is also quite accurate. And it doesn't need to be more deep. When I need to know something, I already organize search keywords in my mind while I'm still listening to the question. I already have made a decision what forum or website to visit in order to quickly find the relevant information.

Nerd's Cave might look untidy, but that's a wrong assumption. My room is in controlled chaos. Don't move anything in "its correct place", otherwise I won't find anything. My CD-r pen is right there where I left it. Just behind my Bushmill's whiskey bottle I use as a candlestick, under that Salakavala - Fractal Fishing CD. You can eat directly from my kitchen table (if you clean up afterwards), but in my Cave, mind your step. The whole interior of the room revolves around the computer.

Only thing I'd add is in his related The Cave -post where he talks about a random collection of comforting nerd knick knacks. It's not only the mint-condition Albert Einstein action-figure in my Cave, but nerds tend to take pride in other things as well:

Repetition progression is one huge area that has been partly neglected in Rands In Repose blog. If the cubicle tidiness is not that strict in your company, you'll see a guy who has at least 50 soda cans built in a shape of a castle on his desk and it grows day by day. You see your nerd friend who hasn't changed his keyboard for ten years. (My old wireless keyboard died immediately after 8 years of usage.) A nerd takes pride in worn out ALT and TAB keys. The shiny surface and worn out text on CTRL, SHIFT and INS keys is a sign of dedication. For those who wonder why those keys - they were the Copy & Paste keys before the Windows era - still work and old habits are hard to kick. 4-5 years ago my Kill Everyone Project's score was in millions.

Personal Computer - PC is exactly what the name says. It's personal and it's a computer. Going through someone's computer is the same as going through all his papers, drawers and that little shoe-box hidden behind his woolen shirt in the closet. It's just disrespectful. A nerd might also have his own toolkit. When you need to reinstall the OS, there are certain tools you always add and configure. Launchy for example. Takes a while to teach all the file types and locations I want to use. I couldn't think about using FireFox without NoScript. My 'Old Lady' - that's right, my computer's name is Old Lady - is configured in a way that DVD drives, memory and legacy ports are not checked when I boot up. All the peripherals I don't need on my motherboard have been disabled. When I boot up, I want that I can log in when the monitor can display anything. If something's wrong, I run diagnostics. If I need to reinstall OS, I do know how to go to BIOS and change that it boots from the DVD drive.

Enough. The articles are well written and very - oh, so very accurate. "Touché." - "Hit, destroyer sunk!" Read them:
The Nerd Handbook
A Nerd In A Cave

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Re: Can a non-vegan and a vegan have a relationship?

This is a reply to my friend Xen for his writing: "Can a non-vegan and a vegan have a relationship?"

Originally I planned to answer to Xen on his own blog, but as it happens more often than not that my reply keeps on expanding, I think I have to answer in my own blog and send a link to Xen. (What a sentence that was.)

My reply to Xen:

Very good writing, Xen. I have dated vegetarians, but no vegans. If I date a vegetarian, as a result my meat eating drops down. One big reason for this is that I like to cook, but I won't cook different menu for everyone who eats. As an omnivore it is no big deal for me to adjust my diet.

I have to admit, even if I eat a lot of vegetarian food, I still crave for meat every now and then. I would not have any moral issues against eating meat, if the conditions were even a bit more humane for the animals. (I'd like to raise, butcher and cook my own meat.) I eat virtually no chicken due to the massively inhumane conditions they are grown in, and try to find bio/free range/non-torture eggs when I buy them. I don't use eggs that often in my food anyways. More over I refrain from eating chicken because of the growth-hormones they use. Of course cow has all different things, including stress-hormones when they sense they are being slaughtered. But chicken is especially bad.

Pork I just don't like because of the taste, unless it is done from good parts of the animal and prepared properly. That's why I don't eat that much pork either. Cow I like. Game I love - any game. Phesant, deer, reindeer... tasty. And they had a good life.

Main reason why I have cut down meat eating is not my morals, although they play a small part in it, but the main reason is the quality of meat. Especially in the Netherlands veggies and meat are mostly water. Spanish strawberries taste like sour water. Oranges taste like water with citric acid. Fry meat (especially minced beef) and see how frying turns into boiling when 50% of the mass is released as water.

I will not go into a discussion about how we, as consumers, are the cause for such crappy products, including food items. In a nutshell: People want everything as cheap as possible, and they want good quality. Price is the main thing. Quality loses. We are being sold brand-stuff as quality products, but in action we buy crap and think it's quality.

If I have a farm-house close-by, like in the previous country where I was living, I buy all my meat directly from the farmer. Morally it's better than super-mega-hormone-monster-cattle in megafarms, but my main concern is the taste. Beef still has some taste, but pork and chicken... they don't even taste like anything anymore.

Enough intro. Back to the original question:

Can a vegan and a non-vegan have a relationship?

I have no clue how to do vegan-food. This would pose problems in the beginning, before I learn. Actually learning to do vegetarian food has been a learning experience for me, too. "How can you make food without food ingredients? Isn't salad something that food eats?" - How wrong I have been.

As I mentioned earlier, I have no problems dating a vegetarian. I can refrain from eating meat in vegetarian company, if they have moral issues with meat. I won't pretend to be vegetarian, though. I won't push my meat to vegetarians, and respect their decision as long as they respect mine. Discussion and pushing ideas are two different things. Vegan as a friend is also no problem. But to be completely honest, I think I would run into problems with a vegan, should I date one. Living apart would be easier, since me eating vegan food is no problem, but as I do want to eat meat every now and then, and couldn't do it home if I'd be living with a vegan. And I do not eat in restaurants that often.

It used to be that you eat out when you want something good. Nowadays I eat out if I'm lazy, and cook home if I want something good. Decent restaurant charges more than €20 for a dish. I cook for days with that money. And in many cases, better food. So living with a full-on vegan (dating or not) would be complicated for me. I would not want to offend, but I want to eat meat. I can cut down meat eating, but I do not wish to stop it. (The reference with human meat was a bit waste on me, since I would try human, if there would be a place where to order it. - Non-German-style, just that all y'all Armin fans know... I just have a personal rule: Try everything. Food is never bad. There's food I don't like, but it's not the food's fault. It's all in my head.)

I know how to cook vegetarian. (First you ask the vegetarian home, skin the vegetarian, chop... Naw, just kidding...) Vegan I could learn. But if my diet is offensive to someone. That would be the complicated part. I could live with a vegan, but I'm afraid a vegan could not live with me. The tolerance would have to go both ways. I would eat more vegetarian food, naturally. But the vegan should tolerate my meat, or other animal products every now and then. Not eating them, of course, but to accept that I do eat meat. I don't see it as impossibility that I'd quit meat all together, and become a vegetarian in the future. At the moment it just doesn't seem that likely, though. Converting to full-on vegan - I just don't see myself in this scenario at all.

On the other hand, if I make 5 litre pot of chili-con-carne by meself, I use perhaps 150-200g of meat in it. And it lasts me a week. If I make 3 litre pot for me and my friends, I have to use something like 500-700g meat in it for the carnivores to be happy. I don't notice the difference that much, as the rest I put in the pot will substitute meat enough for me. This gives me an idea. Maybe I need to practice chili-con-veggie soon.

Hope this blabbering is understandable enough.

Summa summarum:
I have no problems dating or living with a vegan, and would actually in certain extent adjust my own diet to match.
Vegan could have problems dating or living with me, if all animal products would be offending.

Ah... Evelyn Beatrice Hall said that. Thanks. That is one of my favourite quotes of all time. (Another favourite is Einstein's quote about two things infinite.) And I support that idea behind the quote more than 100%.

(Apropo, I'm designing a pizza for you at the moment. Got an idea for one few days ago when I was making one for myself and I just feel like inventing a pizza for you. I'm omnivore meself. If it's on my plate, I eat it. I just need a bit of time to find the internal harmony. [insert sarcastic remark here] The name of the Pizza is Green Katana (reasons for will become obvious later) and I would like to know what can be used instead of cheese - my only animal-based ingredient in this pizza? I thought you were vegetarian, not ovo-vegan. So only animal product you eat is eggs? Not milk... Hm... need to find a cheese substitute.)

Clinton claims victory in New Hampshire

No news, no political debate. Forget it. Read newspapers if you want news. This post is satire.

Top 5 Captions

- I WANT YOU! put it in.
- I will swallow your soul!
- FOOL! (Ha-ha!)
- *shrieeeeeek!* Return Of The Body Snatchers
- You call that a penis?

(Added 15th of Jan) Attempt of a Disclaimer: This image is clearly not taken by me. If you own the copyright and want me to remove this image, just let me know. I usually do not like to copy images from the net, but this was just too funny to pass.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Telegram To Conducător From Salvador Dalí

I was reading about Nicolae Ceauşescu, and noticed Salvador Dalí had sent a telegram to Conducător. I couldn't find any translation of the telegram, and I would very much like to read it. Apparently it was made tongue-in-cheek and the local media published it without understanding the mocking tone, where he praised Nikolae for signing death penalties, etc.

If anyone has a link to a translation, or knows what the telegram contained, please leave a comment here.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Romeo II: Massacre In Verona

My housemate and I were going shopping and were just talking about the Dogtanian I just got. How close to the original story (sans main character's promiscuous behaviour which wouldn't fit into a children's cartoon) the cartoon is.

My housemate said: "Yeah, but you can't really change the story on these classic stories."
Me: "Oh yeah? Like little mermaid where she lives at the end? Besides, how can you have a Hollywood sequel if the main character dies at the end?"
Housemate: "Right. Like Passion of Christ II?"
Me: "Exactly! A Hollywood producer would be like 'wait wait wait! Romeo can't die at the end. That's too depressing. Besides we have already started to make the sequel - Romeo II: Massacre in Verona.' So how do Romeo survive to the second part if he dies? ...unless he turns into a zombie!"

And that conversation earlier today was basically the base idea for this story:

Chapter 1

This journey begins where Romeo's and Juliet's end. You all remember a story about Romeo and his fair Juliet?

When Romeo was bitten by a zombie and he was placed in crypt, Juliet couldn't bear life without him. She surrendered to a Zombie attack, got bitten and sealed herself in the same catacomb as her beloved Romeo. But Juliet did not know Apothecary had already given his last antidote to Romeo. Antidote had knocked Romeo out, rendering him lifeless on the outside. But inside a battle was brewing. It lasted for hours on end.

The remedy finally worked and Romeo began to feel once again. Gasping air as he jumped from his grave just in time to see Juliet turn. Trapped in the crypt and armed only with his trusted dagger he knew this won't end well. "Juliet, my love. Fight against the turning. I try to find a way out!" Romeo shouted trying to unhinge the gate at the crypt entrance. "I'm afraid I cannot. I feel ... it has already... takeeehn my ... ... braaaaaaiiinnnnssshh..."

Trapped inside with no escape Romeo laments. But the time is running thin. Romeo quickly turns his mind and decides he must kill his beloved Juliet. A struggle ensues. Zombies are slow, but Juliet is still in the middle of turning, making her even less hasty. Romeo, holding his tears, slings himself behind Juliet and with a swift move of a blade decapitates her.

Or so he thought. A dagger may cut flesh, but bones are another matter all together. Using both hands Romeo must pull harder he has ever pulled. Romeo holds his lover's head in his hand, staring into the empty eyes. "Don't you even think about saying it!" he hears from the darkness. Recognizing the voice he shouts, "Hamlet, my good friend! How did you ever find me?"

"No time for that now. Back up a tad, I'll shoot the lock." Both men, running upstairs. One handing arms to the other. Hamlet looked grim. "My parents have been bitten. We have very little time. We must find Desdemona." He barely blinked when they came to the light from the catacombs right into the arms of a zombie. *bang bang* he fired his pistol, without missing a step. "But what good is Desdemona to us?" Romeo asks. "She is the one who gave the antidote to Apothecary. She is one of the three witches who know how to brew it. But alas, MacBeth is behind all this. He has killed the other two witches after gaining the secret of the potion. And now he wants to kill her, for then MacBeth is the only one with the antidote."

"We need to get more help. Hamlet, lets go to the Castle of Elsinore and see if we can gather more gallant companions."

In the castle of his father Hamlet sees Ophelia staggering towards him. "Zombie or not zombie, that is the question." says Hamlet. "Wether 'tis nobler without the mind to suffer, or to release this haunted soul. To die, to sleep; no more, and by a sleep to say we end the heart-ache and the craving that her decaying flesh is heir to."

"Stop blabbering, Hamlet! We got company!" Romeo shouts. Zombies pour into the hall. Romeo takes a Beretta and releases the fury. Zombie after Zombie they fall, until Romeo's Beretta cries *click click click* "Yo, Hamlet! I need to reload! Can you start shooting now?!"

"'Tis a consumption, devouring she wish'd. To die, to sleep; in that sleep what dreams may come when I have shuffled off her mortal coil. For I must give us pause, there's the respect that makes calamity of so long life." goes Hamlet on and on, unaware of his surroundings. For only Ophelia is filling Hamlet's universe now..

Hamlet stares in the eyes of his beloved. Ophelia still staggering towards Hamlet raises her arms as to hold him, embrace him. "Graaaaaaa! Brrraaiiinnssshh." she says. *Kabloom!* Sound like thousand thunders when Hamlet pulls the trigger of his shotgun. "Not Zombie." he says as Ophelia's headless corpse falls to the ground.

"Come on Hamlet," shouts Romeo, just finishing reloading his Beretta. "We must get to Desdemona before MacBeth! We need her to make the antidote before your parents are all turned into Zombies!"

Romeo leaps up and tries to run towards Hamlet, who is standing by the gate. One, thought dead, but yet alive - undead - grips Romeo's ankle, knocking him down. "Escape my friend! Should I remain in this world, I shall see you under the bridge leading to Verona!" Hamlet vanishes through the gate after a short pause, a tear and a reluctant nod.

All seems lost for poor Romeo. Zombie holding his leg, unable to move, more coming in. Suddenly, a large blast, flying shrapnel and limbs. A figure in the darkness and smoke. "Richie! How on earth did you get here?" Romeo feels hope rising its head. "I was visiting Claudius and Gertrude, but they are in grave danger. They have been fallen under the bite. I gave some herbs to slow the change, but we must be hasty. Time marches on." With this unforeseen help Romeo is finally outside the castle, heading for the bridge.

"Wait here, I'll go and see if the coast is clear." says Romeo.

Romeo rendezvous with Hamlet under a bridge. Romeo shouts "Hamlet, you made it alive!" But Hamlet was of the grim sort. "And why not death, rather than living torment?" he asks. "To die is to be banish'd from myself; and Ophelia is myself. Banish'd from her vessel, banished from this world."

"But I need you now, Hamlet!" Romeo cries "What fight is fight, if Hamlet be not by? What slaughter is slaughter if zombies be not seen? Unless it is to think they are near. Feeding upon the shadows of our path." Romeo pauses for a moment, only to continue "But I have managed to even the score." Romeo points to the shadows in the shrubbery. "I found Richie, who knows where Desdemona is."

"I see you came not alone. To arms, my friends. We have trapped ourselves under this bridge, and I'm afraid the only way out is now taken over by the Zombies." Hamlet shrieks! "Dagnabbit! I'm all out! A hand-grenade, a hand-grenade. My kingdom for a hand-grenade!", Richie shouts. "There you go, mate." Hamlet replies tossing one. Another huge explosion, and the way has been cleared.

"So how about that kingdom, Richie?" Hamlet asks while they run over the bridge.

...perhaps I'll post the second chapter if I decide to continue with this... Most likely not... Out of ideas now. Perhaps they meet Rosencrantz and Guildenstern on the way, who turn into Zombies and eat each others brains and they have a link between each other. So they see what the other one sees or something.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Interesting Fact About Vietnam War

Interesting little fact about Vietnam war:

Nobel Peace Price of 1973 went to Henry A. Kissinger and Le Duc Tho for peace in Vietnam. (Le Duc Tho didn't attend the ceremony in Oslo, nor accepted the price for moral reasons.)

Vietnam war ended April 30, 1975.

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Great day!

Both, Dogtanian and Dr. Snuggles complete collection boxes have arrived!

A friend of mine is supposed to arrive back to Amsterdam today from Finland. So there is a chance I'll get my Lauantaipussi (Saturdaybag) today.

Ah, nostalgia. To watch old cartoons I watched as a kid and to eat the same candy I ate on Saturdays on my "candy-day". All I need now is some pineapple soda, like I drank in the sauna as a kid when my parents drank beer.

Can it be more great?!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Aphorism Of The Day Pt.19

When you are given black and white paints, why is it wrong to paint in shades of grey?