To those who ask how my vacation is 
Tuesday, 21 .June, 2005, 19:42 - English Entries, Thoughts

When I ate the Pizza Quattro downstairs in one of the four Pizza places around my home, there was a seagull sitting on a car and looking as if it owned it. Most likely the seagull did, just the guy who parked the vehicle there did not know. That happend while the sun was shining, the Pizza hot and the beer good. Amazing how many things are going on in parallel - pedestrians found the time to walk by, grass was growing on the other side of the road.


Is it a bird? Is it a ...


Soon we will have two holidays in a row, i.e. all shops will be closed. I wonder what would be worst to run out of during that time. There is always the filling station around the corner, I know, but maybe all oil resources get used up until Friday and the filling stations have to close down. I am sure they can still survive by selling milk, bread and other food for prices higher than chemical stocks, but let's don't make the thought too complicated and just assume I would run out of chocolate, coffee or yoghurt. I am meditating about this question, that at the moment - with two holidays coming closer, as said - seems of existencial importance.

In order to proof to me that I am not completely paralized by fear, I went down to the supermarket and bought all three goods in heavy overdozes, just to ensure that I will face the problem only mentally but not physically. Although the White Stripes say: "The problems at hand are lighter than at heart" I would not like to try.

Now the coffee is brewing, just one more cup of coffee. I opend all windows and a bee or something like that flew in. It stopped in the air. Waited. Flew a straight line down to the left. Waited again. Flew a straight line up left. Waited. Always when waiting it was moving its little wings very fast and tried to look like an electron, of which you can either know the position or its speed, but never both at the same time - blurry and impressive. It flew some more straight lines before it left - in a straight line. What I really regret is, that I do not remember the geometrical pattern it drew into the air, with the heavy green leaves of the birch (koivu) trees as a background. Maybe it was message. Something like "Don't let your coffee brew too long, else it will taste bitter" or the coordinates of the planetary system, from which the insect origined.

It is deep in the afternoon, the sun will be out another six or seven hours. My brain leans lazy on the top of my spine and the music sounds beautifully destructive. And the grass is still growing, listen to it!


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Lake Espoo and Espoonlahti - or: the Elk Trip 
Monday, 20 .June, 2005, 19:41 - English Entries, Helsinki, Finland, Cycling

I did some smallar cycling trips during the last days, but today I wanted to see more of Espoo, so I started West. You can see the trip from the map below.


The Elk trip

It took me quite long to go through Läppävaara, Kilo and Kauniainen. The map that I use is very good for that region, but there are too many streets and so I had to stop every few minutes and find out which way to go. Still it was beautiful to go there, especially as long parts of the journey went through wood and green.

Close to Bemböle is a big street crossing - it must be a festival for highways. There is also a Kahvila (Cafe) close to the crossing, but somehow it manages that to give you a quiet atmosphere, even when sitting outside, eating a sandwich and drinking a beer, as I did.

After that break I went around Lake Espoo, which I did not see too much of. The road went through the woods and gave me the joy of hills nearly all the way - which was really fun. Besides trees there are also golf courses in that area. Most likely they breed them there and lots of people with "handicaps" too. That is not an insult! A handicap means something different in Golf-language, but don't ask me what. I know some golfers, they are good people and I always wonder how they could end up with that sport.


Lake Espoo

There is a little beach at Oittaa and they also have a Kahvila there, which I can very much recommend. I took half a liter of water, coffee and a chees cake and did not believe the lady when she said "Kolme E-uro" (that's three Euro). It was really true. Ok, the chees cake was not too big, but it was good. Besides that the beach is small and there are only normal people and children - nobody tries to show off. I sat on a wooden terrass in the sun and planned the next moves.

Down to Espoon Keskus where I lost my way, as the merciless map shows. But only for a few minutes, then back on track to the Southern part of Espoo. Shortly after Espoon Keskus is a large park area that is worth seeing. Most of it is wood, there are some lakes and meadows with violet flowers, of which I do not know the name (did not even make a picture ... stupid me).


Smaller Lakes on the way

I followed the indications to Espoonlahti, which I should not have done. They lead me to the town center of Espoonlahti and not to the sea. Also this is obvious from the map, as I drove one part twice from West to East (see lower left corner). But I finally made it to the shore. The whole are there reminded me of Tegernsee, a place close to my home town. A lot of not-so-poor people seem to live there, which one can see from the houses and the ships. If you go there, you will understand them - it is again beautiful.

Somehow I feel like I have to apologize for only seeing and talking about beautiful things. Please wait until Winter, then you will read other content here.


In Tapiola

The way back was easy after some food ("Mega Dog" - the Fin-Esso version of a hot dog, don't forget to stress the first syllable of Mega - it is not Meeeega it is _Me_ga) and ice tea it was just like rolling home.

Before I took the bike out of the cellar I was not aware how green Helsinki and Espoo are, although I lived in Espoo for a while and was aware that it is more a collection of settlements with forests and meadows inbetween than a real city. As there are so many recreation areas there are never too many people at one place. It is quite easy to find a smaller lake where you can sit alone for a while. After that while it seems strange that only several hundred meters away are the two biggest cities of Finland.

Now look a the outline of the trip. It looks like an elk or a reindeer. That was not my intention, but somehow my subconcious must have take part in that.


Anybody interested in cycling there together?

One more thing on the mega dog. The guy who gave it to me asked "do you want also the spicy sauce" and usually I say no, but this time I tried it. Daring. The he asked if I want the normal or the spicy sausage and I went for the spicy one as well. Very Daring. The effect was zero. The Finish version of Spicy not only leaves your stomach lining intact (German: Magenschleimhaut), it also does not jump on your tongue. It is the silent (spicy) way of this country.


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Seen: Star Wars Episode III 
Saturday, 18 .June, 2005, 19:40 - English Entries, Movies

There would be lots of things to say about this movie, but I think all of it has already been said. It is a more than worthy ending for this great adventure - Lucas really did it all better than ever before.

Episode I and II were disappointments to me, although the ending of II had already some scenes in it where the spirit (or the force?) came alive again. It was the first time we saw Yoda fighting and I felt as excited as I felt when he, many many years ago, in another galaxy, taught "young Skywalker" to be a Jedi. And this time? He enters the room to confront the source of all evil and when two of the guards want to make a move for him, he just lets them break down by a little hand gesture, not even looking at them.

Everything is it the peek of strength in this movie, the legend shivering with power and within all that we have a real story. The big question "how could Anakin turn Vader" is answered in a more complex way than I have thought. No no - it is not an intellectual thriller this time, it is still the good old straight-forward star wars, but there is a reflection of Goethes Faust in Skywalkers eyes when he is listening to the messenger from the dark side.

The movie starts high up in the sky, spaceships batteling - and ends in the black and red hell of a vulcanic planet. Symbolism all around, but most of the time it is done so well that you think it is the story you are watching, not the message. And still there are jokes, the movie is making fun of itself without going ever too far (at least in I & II they went over the top).

It gets 9 out of 10, because I did not like how Palpetine was played when he showed his dark side. Everything else was what it should be: legendary.

-- original date: June 18th 2005 --

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Vacation Started 
Friday, 17 .June, 2005, 19:39 - English Entries, Finland, Travel, Thoughts

This evening at 18:00 I left the office and went by bike from Pitajamäki to Töölö, where I live. During that ride my holidays started. Two weeks in Finland, no plans, no too big tasks, besides reworking my part of this for the second edition.

On Wednesday I was in Bonn. It was my first visit there and as it was work related I did not see too much. I arrived there already Tuesday evening, but the hotel was too far from city center to go for a walk.


Is this a sunset over Bonn or a power plant blowing up?

During Wednesday lunch break we took a walk along the Rhine, the sun was up and 30 degress Celcius were hanging around in the park. I saw the bulding in which the members of parliament once worked (Abgeordnetenhaus - der lange Lulatsch) and also the exciting tower of Deutsche Bundespost - both on the other side of the river.

At least I made it at some point in my life to the capital of the country that I have lived in 20 years.

In Helsinki the summer has settled to stay for a while. The whole week was sunny, temperatures up to 20 degrees Celcius and the forecast looks similar. Soon it will be midsummer, the longest day. Now it is 22:22 (10:22 pm) and over the roof of the neighbour building hangs a light blue sky with a growing moon on it.


Finlandiatalo from across Töölönlahti
Picutre taken at 03:30 in the morning

My neighbours have to listen to the song "Deiche" of Kettcar - a powerful rock song with good German lyrics. The right thing to start vacation.


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Shred of Doubt 
Tuesday, 14 .June, 2005, 19:37 - English Entries, Music, Politics

Michael Jackson was found not guilty during this night. It was night in Europe when he walked out into the California sun as a free man. I watched it on BBC world, thanks to a hint from a friend (kiitos kittos).

Do I care about the outcome of the trial?

It seems I do, else I would not write about it here. I have not followed the trial during the last weeks actively, but some news were unavoidable when looking through German newspapers on the web.

There are several things that crossed my mind during yesterdays TV coverage. The jury members made an calm and very thoughtful impression. It seemed they all went on very well with each other. During the two hour bla bla, that BBC showed us, the press conference with the jury was one of the most interesting parts. Unfortunately they cut it at some moment and showed Uri Geller (if you do not know him be happy, because if you know him you'll regret it).

Also the interview with the district attorney was interesting to see. His answers were clear and straight, they were politcally correct and kept out all the emotions that were visible from his face. In a way it was good that neither Jackson nor one of his lawyers said anything - what could they have told us?

The defence lawyers last words to the jury, before it left the court room to find the verdict, was, that they must not find M.J. guilty if there is "a single shred of doubt". It seems that influenced both the media and the jury, although it should be obvious in a court trial that nobody can be found guilty if his or her guilt is not proven beyond any doubt.

I never was a fan of Michael Jackson, although I think it is good to have some people like him around that split the public mind so clearly and that keep an eccentric life-style. He is more a symbol than a personality and found guilty or not would have added to the meaning of this symbol. Now he is reflected as a winner and some people seem to think that he is definitly not guilty.

That is wrong - he just could not be proven guilty. If he did what he was accused for, or at least some things out of the ten accusations, then it is cruel for the vicitims that he can now go free. They most likely now seen as liars in some peoples minds. It was not the trials aim to find them lying or not, there is still the same possiblity as before that they tell the truth. Everybody has to judge by her- or himslef, how high this possibilty could be.

The only thing that we can say for sure is: We cannot know. And those who say they know forget about the shred of doubt. There might be a list of things that I could bring forward why I think that the USA are a strange country and could improve on some issues, at least from my little European view, but the outcome of this trial showed to me that their law system works better then I thought.

Don't worry, I will not buy any album of Michael. He can climb up to Olympus and throw lightning from there - I will still not pay him any attention as an artist.


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