Kolfinnia Kokokoho?

Finland! Finland! On the Baltic Sea! Finland! Finland! Also known as Suomi!

Ah, busy week, busy week.

Not only have I been co-ordinating our efforts to go to the Supanova convention tomorrow (I have four tickets in my hot little hands right now which mean we’ll be able to go straight in rather than queuing) but we’ve got a new employee at work. His name is Lasse and there are a number of interesting things to note about him…

  • He’s from Finland
  • His birthday is February 29th, making him only 6 years old
  • Ummm…

Well he’s only been with us for a week so there are no doubt plenty of other interesting things that shall be revealed in time.

(Oh, and I know he’s not really 6 years old, but it’s such a common joke about people born on the 29th that it shouldn’t really require any explanation).

We asked him about the Estonian message from last week. It turns out that as similar as Estonian and Finnish may appear to us Indo-Europeans they’re actually mutually incomprehensible – although there are a few well known similarities such as the Estonian for “milk” meaning “sour milk” in Finnish, and the Estonian for “Wedding Day” meaning “Trouble Day”. This is no doubt a great source of amusement among Finns, probably of much the same calibre as the Australian/Kiwi “Fush and Chups” πŸ™‚

I was tempted to ask him about the famous “Kokoo kokoon koko kokko” but figured it’s probably as annoying to Finns as “You chop a tree down then you chop it up!” is to English speakers, so I let it be.

I also caught up with Katie over dinner on Thursday night. We wandered around Subiaco looking for somewhere to eat, but everywhere was either stupidly expensive, closing or Indian (I have nothing against India, but I just can’t abide Indian food). We ended up at Cafe Ecco where we had a potato and rosemary pizza – which is a lot more delicious than it sounds. We then adjourned to Gelare for ice cream. A good night overall.

Today I headed over to the Galleria for groceries and a haircut. I figured I could do with a haircut before tomorrow as while the odds of Jewel Staite spotting me in the audience, falling madly in love with me and us living happily ever after in a flying castle are ’round about fifty billion to one, they’re bound to be slightly better (say forty billion nine hundred and ninety nine million nine hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine to one) if I’ve got a decent haircut. Or at least any kind of haircut at all as opposed to the rather unorganised mess that was sitting on top of my head. So I got one. Any kind of haircut that is. I don’t know if it makes me look any less geeky, but at least it looks a bit neater.

Continuing with preparations for tomorrow I’ve spent the last hour or so fashioning a Pringles can into an insulated Red Bull can holder. You know, if I feel the need for a quick caffeine hit. The only problem (apart from my apartment now being littered with styrofoam scraps) is that it looks a bit like a pipe bomb, so I’ll need to be careful with it. Hope there won’t be any bag searches πŸ™‚

Finally a FreakAngels Google Earth update. After the interlude last week the story is back in full swing, with Jack seemingly about to get into serious trouble. The GE file has been fully updated – including the exact location of “Camping Etc.”, which I managed to track down by dint of a lot of zooming around studying intersections (I could tell you where it is, but you’ll just have to download the file and see).

That’s it, early night before tomorrow’s festivities πŸ™‚

True Tales of the Gallery Benches

A tale of mystery

Many years ago (around the early nineties) I was meeting up with a couple of friends in the city. We’d arranged to rendezvous outside the State Art Gallery, which is just across from the main train station and linked to it by a wide pedestrian overpass. It was a bright, sunny day and (as is usual on bright, sunny days in the city) the whole parade of human life was passing back and forth between the gallery and the station, the public benches opposite the main gallery doors being an ideal location to both meet friends and discretely people-watch at the same time.

I arrived first and took a seat. After a short while one of my friends turned up. We sat around talking our usual brand of nonsense while waiting for the third member of our group to arrive. He was running a bit late and we had ample time to study and comment on the people passing back and forth about twenty metres in front of where we sat.

One passer by in particular caught my eye. He looked like a typical businessman with his well pressed business suit, designer sunglasses and briefcase. What particularly caught my notice however was the wire running from his briefcase up to a pair of earbuds. This may be a common sight now but in the early nineties it looked slightly eccentric, so I drew the attention of my companion to him and facetiously commented “You see that guy? I reckon he’s got a microphone in that briefcase and he’s listening to everyone’s conversations”.

The man stopped dead. His head swung around and he gazed at us for a few moments with a look of barely concealed horror before rushing off at an extremely brisk walk, glancing back at us once or twice before vanishing around the entrance to the gallery carkpark.

My friend and I looked at each other in mute shock for a few seconds before breaking into gales of hysterical laughter.

True story.

You learn something new every day

Staite and Statitability

I had no idea that Estonian was Finno-Ugric!

(Discovered after someone sent a flower order through our system this morning with a message in what I initially thought to be Finnish)

Quite busy at the moment co-ordinating a trip to the Supanova convention next weekend. There is the possibility that I may be able to get some free tickets which (along with the fact that Jewel Staite is going to be there *g*) seems to have motivated the guys to want to go. What’ll happen if I can’t get any free tickets will be interesting.

One odd thing I’ve noticed over the last week of emailing back and forth about the event is that I have terrible trouble typing the word Staite. I always seem to type statite instead. The fact that I even know that “statite” is a word is slightly worrying.

Later: Water ice on Mars! W00t!! πŸ˜€

I think I’m better than Chuck Swirsky!

Max Headroom! M-M-M-Max Headroom!

So, it’s the 22nd of November 1987. You’re in Chigaco Illinois, and you’re settling down to watch the late night showing of the Doctor Who serial The Horror of Fang Rock. Fifteen minutes in, this happens…

How could I not have heard of this before? It’s awesome!! πŸ˜€

(I’ll try and blog a bit more this week – work’s been insane)

(Oh, and the link’s probably not safe for work – or at least any work that values good taste)

The Tale of Hamish

Odd weather we’ve been having lately…

Early one morning Hamish woke up and looked out his window. He saw rainbows, moonbows, virga, waterspouts, tornadoes, St Elmo’s fire, a partial lunar eclipse, thunderheads, meteors, sundogs, arcs, haloes, lightning, firebolts, a parade of clouds in the shape of serpents, tigers and galleons, arorae, coronae, fata morganae, glories, an array of planets and asteroids, a swarm of comets shaped like swords and dragons, the heiligenschein, the Brocken Spectre, a rain of stars, a rain of fire and the Zodiacal Light.

“Bah!” said Hamish, and went back to bed.

The D.P.Wyrm Plan for a Guaranteed Best Seller

Well *I’m* not going to write it!

You know, there’s an idea that’s been floating around in my head for some years, and now that I have the means to write blog entries quickly and efficiently, I figured I might as well write it up (oh joy!).

So. There are a number of popular, well known songs that have fairly interesting histories. I’ve been thinking that someone with some decent writing skills (ie: not me) could do a lot worse than to write a “popular history” style book telling these stories. Divide it up into one song a chapter, give it a snazzy title, get it on Oprah and you’d be on the New York Times best seller list in no time!

Suggested inclusions…

The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Originally written and performed as ‘Mbube’ by Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds in South Africa in 1939 this song went through a tortuous number of twists and turns before morphing into one of the most recorded songs in history. And (until comparatively recently) Solomon Linda’s family didn’t see a cent for it. There was actually a lengthy article about its history in Rolling Stone magazine some years back – a good jumping off point for this theoretical book.

House of the Rising Sun – Originally recorded as “The Rising Sun Blues” by ethnographers working in the Appalachian mountains in the 30’s (trying to preserve America’s folk music heritage before it was homogenized by the arrival of radio). It too went through a number of adaptions before turning into the version we know today.

Amazing Grace – The official story is that a slave trader named John Newton had a religious revelation on the deck of his slave ship one night, wrote the words, and immediately quit the slave trade – becoming a passionate abolitionist. It didn’t actually play out like this in reality – he remained in the slave trade for another six years at least and didn’t speak out against it for another 30 years – but it still makes for a fascinating story.

So there we go, add in five or six more songs with interesting histories and you’ve got yourself a best seller! Just be sure to send me appropriate royalties πŸ™‚

Fun Facts You Never Knew!

If you believe any of this then you seriously need help.

1: Larry Gelbart – creator of TV series M*A*S*H – based many of the show’s characters on inhabitants of Allerton Illinois, the town where he grew up. Frank Burns was based on a neighbour who yelled at him for stealing apples, and B.J.Hunnicutt on an escaped circus hound that lived at a nearby junkyard.

2: The Gnu is not (as often assumed) an antelope. It is a species of warthog that evolved to fill the ecological niche left vacant by the schiessbok antelope when it became extinct around 12,000 years ago.

3: Most post offices are legally entitled to accept fingers in lieu of 10c stamps. Given steep rises in postage costs it is vitally important to make sure that one has correct change before attempting to send packages through the mail.

No TV makes Denys something something…

I’ll need a plastic bucket…

Go crazy? Don’t mind if I do!!

Well OK, it’s not quite that bad. But it’s still having an effect. Last night for instance I had the most appalling trouble falling asleep. I didn’t drift off until the early hours when I took the measure of snuggling up to some spare pillows and making believe that they were Alison Mack (Awwww, how sweet! And vaguely disturbing). I think I’m beginning to see why any extended period of TV deprivation should be preceded by a (Twitch City style) Pon Farr.

But seriously, the issues I’m having have less to do with TV deprivation and more to so with autism. We autistics have a natural tendency to organise our lives into rigid routines, and when those routines are suddenly forced to change it tends to mess us up badly. Having no TV in the evenings is a major change to my daily routine, and I’m suffering the consequences (mainly ill focused general anxiety). But sooner or later I’ll adapt – probably just in time to get my TV back, and start all over again πŸ™‚

Ain’t life grand?

Close Bitnami banner