Friday, June 07, 2013

DIY guide: moderation

and welcome to one of those ever-popular DIY guides of the Most Exciting Blog in the World. Today I'll teach you how to be moderate.


the quality of being moderaterestraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.
the act of moderating.
moderations, British the first public examinations at Oxford University for the B.A. degree inmathematics or in classics.
in moderation, without excess; moderately; temperately: to drink in moderation.

There is excess, and then there is lack. Or possibly pettiness. The correct term for the opposite of excess depends somewhat of the subject matter at hand. Anyway, too much is too much, and too little is too little. In between, there is moderation, and that is the key to happiness.

Examples of excess:

  • losing all of your funds in online poker
  • going on a bender for a week without telling your loved ones of your whereabouts
  • banning most of the things that make life worth living in the name of religion
  • lying motionless on the sofa in the name of ecology because doing something would increase your carbon footprint. 
Examples of the thing that is the opposite of excess:
  • never trying out Facebook because someone said it might be addictive
  • telling your partner not to have a 4th glass of wine even though they would like to and it's not even late
  • not going out for a bike ride because it might be dangerous
  • not living because it might be fatal.
In between of these things there is moderation and that's what you should strive for. The actual steps for striving for moderation might vary from situation to situation, but, hey, that's life. Just strive for moderation, to the max, and you shall be rewarded. 

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Beer review by a commoner

A couple of blog posts back, in the wildly successful Motörhead wine review I promised to review a case of lager. I'm a man who keeps his word, so here we go, although it will be lot of work. Yikes. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. The same sentence in Swedish: Göran måste göra vad Göran måste göra. And it's been only... let's see... WHAT? 2011? I wrote that almost two years ago? And no blog posts whatsoever in 2012? What the hell did I do in 2012? Can't remember. Good thing I never promised to update regularly. And besides, it's the quality that matters. When every single thing that you publish is a genuine instant classic internet viral hit, it doesn't matter if you only publish every couple of years. Ask MC SpandX. Because I don't know.

On to the review. Here's the beer I intend to review:

Olvi Sandels from Iisalmi, Finland. 4,7%. 18 pcs of 0.33 l cans. Ingredients: water, barley malt, barley starch, hops.

When it comes to beer, I'm no coinnosseur. Some guys, and possibly, gals as well, like to review all kinds of fancy beers. Yes, I like to review all kinds of fancy beers as well, but I also like to get a case of common lager from the hypermarket and review that. I love the taste of beer. I know I love it partly because it contains alcohol, and alcohol is addictive, and I've kept on enjoying beer for some 20+ years now. So, if I'm not addicted to alcohol, I'm at least conditioned to it. But I maintain that I also love the taste. Yes, the taste of bulk lager of the hypermarket. I'm a commoner, I've a relatively bad sense of smell, I've ruined my taste buds with too much chili. I do love good food and different tasting sensations, but basically, I'm a simple guy. I like salty things, chili, and beer.

Oh, now, enough of the boring stuff. Notice I finally changed the title of this blog to The most exciting blog in the world. My wife thought it would be a good idea and improve the quality of this blog. Like she would know, because she hasn't read it so far. I hope she doesn't start now. Because it would just reinforce her view of my alcohol consumption as unhealthy. But anyway. To the review.

1st can of Sandels: 

Well, actually, it's the 3rd now. Did you think I would write this much without having any? Nonsense.

Bouquet: beery, I guess. My nose is kind of stuffed. And keeps running. I don't think that I've caught a cold, instead there's some kind of annoying thing that keeps on itching in my left nostril. Don't know what it is. I've tried to check if there's some kind of super-long, sharp-pointed nostril hair, and cut some suspicious candidates away with scissors, but still it just keeps on itching.

Taste: very good. You can really taste the, uh, the thing that makes beer taste like beer. Hops and barley, I guess. There's hop growing at my parents' place. I don't know if it's the same thing that they put in beer. Actually, it's a funny thing: hop is "humala" in Finnish. Intoxication is also "humala" in Finnish. There must be some kind of a historical relation here.

MC SpandX: Performance
Beastie Boys: To The 5 Boroughs

BTW, in that picture, my hand looks very wrinkly. Like an old man's hand. It must be the lighting or something, because in reality, I'm still young. I am, I swear. There's some black, grimy stuff underneath my fingernails as well. Sorry for that. That's grease from bicycle maintenance. I've been maintaining bicycles a lot lately. The neighbours are getting to know me as the bicycle guy. I maintain my bicycles on the front yard (I own only three), they see it, and some of them ask me to maintain their bicycles as well. So I fix bicycles on the front yard nearly every evening. It's a kind of a landslide effect. I like fixing bicycles almost as much as I like riding them. Unfortunately, I can't fix everyone's bicycle. If I could I would. There's two things: I'm not good enough a bicycle technician and there's not enough time. You've got to prioritize.

Damn it, now I got a sneezing fit. I've got some kind of a physical defect. It's impossible for me to sneeze just once. If I sneeze once, then I sneeze at least 15 times. I can't understand people who sneeze once in a middle of a conversation, then just continue living. I can't do that. There's something wrong with my nose.

Oh no. Now this beer review has been more about my nose than about the beer.

Fjord can of Sandels:

Bouquet: excellent. It's good I can still smell even though my nose is blocked from all that sneezing. Why is it that beer smells good when it's fresh and you're the one drinking it? When you smell a can the next morning it smells bad. Or if you're not having any, the breath of a beer drinker smells bad. Is there some kind of a chemical reaction going on, or is it somehow subjective depending on the level of sobriety, hangover or... damn, I've got to piss. I've had some four beers and haven't pissed yet. Actually, this happens often... ooh, the pain... when I'm at work... my bladder... as I was saying, at work, when I'm programming & drinking (coffee), and having a "flow" moment, I often forget to go to the bathroom and just keep on coding even though my bladder is about to explode. As it is right now. But I... can't... go... just... yet! One... ouch... more... help, I can't hold it anymore!... word... and sip of beer... dammit, now I forgot what I was about to say... funny, why does tapping of one's foot make it easier to hold urine in? Oh yeah, when you're deep in your thoughts, and need to go to the bathroom real bad, you just sometimes kind of snap out of it in the bathroom and think "wow, I'm in the bathroom, and pissing, good thing I'm here because when I was that focused I might have just gone in some corner of the office and let go"... or...

Ahhh... the relief. I finally went. Where was I?

Taste: refreshing. Liquid. Timeless.

Cut City: Exit Decades (excellent album)

BURRRRP. I will not be able to review all of this case at once. Now it's 23:32, I'm having the 5th can, and there are 13 more to go. I guess I can stretch it to 0:00 at most, then I have to go to sleep. It might be possible to sleep to 8:00 next morning. I don't want to ruin tomorrow by having a hangover or too little sleep. I guess I'll have to continue this review later, until the case is finished.

Oh, now the album Exit Decades by Cut City finished. Now there's an excellent band that you didn't know about. I don't know anything about them, except that they're swedish, they've clearly drawn influences from Joy Division, The Cure, Interpol etc. and they make excellent music. Or made. I don't know if they still do. I don't have time to check all the things that I would like to know. Even though it's so easy these days. Just ask  Google, and mostly, the answer is there. I'm fortunate, in a way, because I mostly work on the computer. Whenever something pops into my mind, I can just check it out immediately from Google or Wikipedia or something. Unfortunately, all kinds of things keep popping into my mind all the time. For instance, some exemplary pops from today:

  • how do the lyrics to Hey F*ck You by Beastie Boys go exactly?
  • what would they write about Adam Yauch on Wikipedia?
  • how are the brake pads in Avid Juicy 3 brakes installed?
  • are there TV programs that I think should be recorded today (but will probably never be watched by me)?
  • what is the balance of my bank account and are there some bills to pay?
  • how do I weasel out of paying the bills once again because there's not enough money on my bank account?
  • is the funny fake interview with Roger Waters regarding his famous quote "I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it is stupid" I remember reading several years ago still online? (unfortunately, it wasn't)
  • how is the PL/SQL procedure converttoblob used (oh wait, that's work, so that's one thing I should be thinking about). 

Cypress Hill - Insane In The Brain
Cypress Hill - A To The K
Cypress Hill - Break 'Em Off Some

Oh no. Now there's only one minute left of this review before I have to push the publish button, dictated by the rule I just dictated half an hour ag

Friday, December 09, 2011

The eternal struggle: excellence vs. mediocrity

I don't mean to brag, but I've accomplished a lot so far. To name but a few of the things, in a rough chronological order, during my lifetime, I've learned
  • to breathe
  • to eat
  • to scream
  • to walk
  • to talk
  • to trust
  • to oppose
  • to use the toilet for business
  • to ride the bike
  • to make fire
  • to draw
  • to read
  • to write
  • to count
  • to question authority
  • to climb trees
  • to fish
  • to carve wood
  • to know lots of trivia, parrot-style
  • to drive
  • to play guitar
  • to drink alcohol
  • to question the meaning of it all (= 42)
  • to burp real loud
  • to socialize a bit
  • to fall in love
  • to fall out of love
  • to carve wood better
  • to do mathematics
  • to understand computer science
  • to commit
  • to really ride the bike
  • to understand children a bit
  • to understand relatives a bit
  • to know some of the aforementioned trivia better
  • to cook
  • to socialize slightly better
  • to not worry so much and to not fear life in general.
Of course, there's a lot that's excluded from that list. There's a lot that should be included. Some things I might have understood for a while, then forgotten them again. There are dark periods in my life I'd rather not think about.

There's a huge number of things that everybody has to learn just to survive in the modern society. Even dropping out of it requires one to know of several complex systems.

What I'm trying to get at is that I'm a general purpose guy. I'm good or adequate at a lot of things. I can survive OK in the modern society. I cook pretty good. I do well by doing whatever the hell it is that I do for a living. I can mow the lawn, I can plow the snow, I can raise my kids according to the modern standards.

It's just that I'd like to excel in something. During the fifty years or so that have been my life I've already wanted to be a kick-ass
  • scientist
  • veterinarian
  • interpreter
  • architect
  • guitarist
  • composer
  • hobo
  • programmer
  • writer
  • Mad Max
  • parent
  • bicyclist.
You know, I'd really like to make a mark. I'd like to be in history. Even though I think that typically, the life of a human is the life of a worker drone, I'd like to be really good at something.

But there's a conflict of interests here. In order to do well in the society, and to be a good parent, I have to be a general purpose guy. In order to be really fucking good at something I'd have to devote myself to it. Then there'd be no time for anything else, and everything else would be blatantly disregarded.

I'm not even sure of the criteria based on which excellence should be defined, because there are several. For instance, when can I consider myself an excellent programmer?
  • If I manage to make lots of money?
  • If I get worldwide recognition as an expert?
  • If I get a relatively small, but very devoted following?
  • If I get mentioned in Wikipedia?
Ok, any one of these would do. In fact, what I'd like the best would perhaps to become (not too well) known as the inventor of some small thing. An algorithm or sumt'n. Like the Duff of Duff's device. And it wouldn't hurt to make a lot of money while doing so. I guess that would make me happy, at least for a while. It's just that you can't force invention. You either invent something or you don't. It's pretty much like composing music. You just tinker on with something, and suddenly, something materializes out of thin air, and after lots of further tinkering, may become something worthy. So, while waiting for that something to materialize out of thin air, I'll just have to go on tinkering away on everyday stuff just like a regular nobody.

Oh well, this turned out to be a mediocre blog post. Hopefully, excellence will ensue, if I just practice enough, so please, bear with me.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Meta-blogging & free associating

Some five years ago, I wrote the first post of this blog. The situation then was nearly identical to the one I'm in today: the family was away on vacation, I was at home alone, and after cleaning up the household thoroughly, I did what free, wild bachelors do: listened to 80's heavy metal music in my underwear, drank beer and sat down to write. Well, today I've cleaned the household only superficially, and I think that five years ago I drank red wine instead of beer, but anyway, deja-vu.

Back then, I think, I had a couple of days to myself. Now, I have about a week. In between, I believe, I've been alone at home for more than one day perhaps twice. Parents of little kids probably know how I feel right now: *pop* (that was the sound of the cork of a champagne bottle opening). I feel like a cow let out to pasture at spring. Well, I'm not jumping around, actually, anymore, I'm sitting on the couch, but you know, metaphorically speaking. It's amazing to actually hear your thoughts, being able to decide on your own what to do next, to do what you feel like.

What I felt like doing after escorting the family to the airport:
  • taking off pants (the outermost ones)
  • listening to essential 80's heavy metal recordings of such artists as Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Mötley Crüe, Anthrax, Van Halen etc.
  • setting up the sound system so that I can listen to the aforementioned music from Spotify on the laptop via the home theater, loud
  • drinking beer
  • cleaning up all the toys etc. lying around the household
  • wiping the stains off the kitchen horizontal surfaces
  • eating two hamburgers
  • going to the sauna
  • connecting the computer to the TV so I can use it on a bigger screen 
  • writing a blog post.
All of these things I did, excluding the last one, which is not completely done yet.

I also thought of boasting about my newlyfound freedom in Facebook, but couldn't make up my mind about how much boasting is just enough and what might be considered vulgar, and then didn't.


If, for whatever reason, I really would become a bachelor at this point in life, I guess I would install several huge screens around the living room, connect them to several computers, and then just live on the sofa, in the dark, on whatever free time I would have (kind of like this guy). Of course, I would go out for sports a lot. No way I would go out chasing chicks in the night clubs though. 


I think that in writing, absolute honesty is required. If you're going to tidy up your opinions in fear of annoying someone, you're going to end up writing bland crap that will be of interest to nobody. Then on the other hand, there has to be a certain level of judgement on how you can say things, so as not to be repulsive. Perhaps the secret key to good writing is balancing on the thin line between these two things.


Also, I find that absolute honesty works well in life as well. That doesn't mean, however, that one has to instantly blurt out everything that comes to mind. Some discretion will keep you out of trouble. But in order to become a true Zen master, one has to do what one feels like.


Well, exactly like on the "vacation" I had five years ago, I've got to go to work tomorrow as well. Tomorrow's Saturday. These vacations are kind of hard, when there's so much to do, and relatively little time. There's several months worth of cleaning & working & drinking & renovating & exercising & listening to heavy metal, piled up to do in just one week. But it doesn't matter, you know. I'll endure. From the possibly greatest book of all time, The Rider by Tim Krabbé:

"Velvet pillows, safari parks, sunglasses: people have become woolly mice. They still have bodies that can walk for five days and four nights through a desert of snow, without food, but they accept praise for having taken a one-hour bicycle ride. ‘Good for you.’ Instead of expressing their gratitude for the rain by getting wet, people walk around with umbrellas. Nature is an old lady with few suitors these days, and those who wish to make use of her charms she rewards passionately."

Friday, August 05, 2011

Wine review: Motörhead Shiraz 2009

Although I've covered nearly every aspect of human existence in this blog (haven't I?), I haven't done a wine review yet. I'm running short of ideas. That's why there are so few blog posts. Next I'll probably review a case of lager. Mmm... lager. Consider it done.

Anyway, this here is a bottle of red wine, Motörhead Shiraz 2009 from South Eastern Australia. 750 ml. 13,5%. Some 15 €.


If I'm not totally mistaken, I think I can sense a distinct aroma here. It's... you know... familiar somehow. Beer? No... I'm nearly certain that this liquid smells like red wine. It also smells good. I'll give the bouquet four stars: **** (this really is just stars, not an expletive).


Very stylish. This must be the most awesome label on a wine bottle I've ever seen. Definitely more awesome than the one on the Whitesnake wine. In fact, I predict that there shall never be a more awesome label on a wine bottle. After all, Lemmy is God. Five stars: ***** (not to be confused with 5 Star).

Taste (1st glass)

Tastes good. I like wine. Although, with Motörhead, you'd expect the taste to be more brutal. Now it's kind of just very slightly brutal. But hey, it's wine! Four stars: ****


Not a cork cork, but of the other kind, you know, with threads. One made out of METAL. Very fitting. Five stars: *****

Taste (2nd glass)

Still god. I mean good. Possibly even better. For some reason I'm beginning to feel euphoric.


Awesome. Of course, I'm listening to Motörhead while reviewing. I like this reviewing stuff. I wonder if one could make a living out of reviewing things in a blog. Anyway, Motörhead is common knowledge, and therefore should not be taught in schools. Because kids resent the music taught in school. At least I did. Unless music lessons of today are like in the movie School of Rock. Then it perhaps could be argued that they should teach Motörhead.

But wait a minute because I've got to review the Taste of the 3rd glass: yep, still good. 5 stars: *****hiccup.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the music. Listening to Motörhead on the free version of Spotify kind of tends to spoil the mood though, because in between every other song there are annoying advertisements. Like for something called Pitbull. Is the bald, white guy the Pitbull? What kind of youth music is that supposed to be: of the street credible, hard kind or the sugary, night club lover kind of crap? I can't tell. In fact, I don't even want to know.

Perhaps I should start paying for my music, and get rid of the ads though.

Taste (fjord4 glass)

Excellent. This wine definitely ages well. I'm giving 6 stars: ******


Did you know that Motörhead also holds several world record titles, such as "The Loudest Group On Earth", "The Awesomest Singer Ever", "The Awesomest Bassist Ever", and my favourite, "The Hardest Metal Video Ever". The last one was awarded, of course, for the video to the song Sacrifice:

I believe that the video is exactly what Lemmy wanted. I have no idea what the hell it is about, but it frightens me for real. (In case you insist, the 2nd Hardest Metal Video Ever is Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse by Dimmu Borgir, which also frightens me slightly.)

Taste (yet another glass)

Oh well. I'd planned on going for sports in the morning, but I'm not sure if I can after all this Motörhead. You see I can type prettty well still though so it can't be too bad though some sentences might be incohomprehensiblehibly... well... whit the punctuation and whatever...

I'm not erasing anything though, and when there's so little Motörhead left, I'm not going to bed either until it's finished. Consider thsi a human experiment, on real human.

The taste seems rather excellent. Perhaps there really is a difference between the more expensive wines and the cheapest ones that I usually drink. Or then there's the chance that my judgement has been compromised. Either way, I just thought of an interesting criterium for a wine review: do your teeth get less coloured by a more expensive wine? I'll just go to the mirror to see.


What? Sorry, forgot to check the teeth. I just automatically pissed in the bathroom. Please, bear with me.


Yes, I just checked the teeth, as well as the lips, and it does in fact seem that they weren't coloured too much by the wine. Perhaps oh fuck

Taste (final half glass)

There's only half a glass left? Such a pity. This wine is so good that I might have consumed even more. On the other hand, I have consumed much larger quantities of wines of lesser qualities. Therefore, it might be argued that the quality of the wine consumed corresponds in no way whatsoever to the quantity consumed. And I hear, that in the supposedly civilized countries, they spit out the wine while tasting. What a horrible waste of perfectly good wine.

Just one beer to follow up

Luckily, there's still beer in the fridge. Martens Gold III, you know, the cheapest one they have in the local markets these days. Tastes like any other lager though. Five stars it is: *****

Perhaps I should review the hangover next. Although it might be hard to distinguish which part results from whichever drink.

Also, I just watched the Sacrifice video again, and I'm scared. War is hell. If I have nightmares it'll be my own fault.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Men's hair

At about thirty years of age, everything changes for the male part of the population. Your hair is no longer significant. Before, you could signal to fellow human beings your inclusion in a specific subculture by styling your hair in a certain way. It mattered. It could very well be the factor that enabled you to get that tiny chance, in a crowded nightclub, full of young people, all loaded up with hormones, to get to the situation that really mattered; the particular intercommunication between opposite sexes in which it is possible to engage in the activity that may result in the biological act that contributes to the continuation of the human race. Conversation, that is. Conversation with a chick. And that may lead to sex.

But afterwards, when you're a father, with a mortgage, busy climbing the ladder at work, what with all the political problems both home and abroad, you don't have time to stand in front of the mirror and do your hair no more. You don't go to the nightclubs. Most likely, you're stuck happily off in a relationship with the chick that spotted the awesome, multi-coloured construct on top of your head years ago. You can't be bothered to use hair styling products anymore. You forget about dyeing. You begin to find it a nuisance to go to the barbershop every N weeks. Anyway, you only go out to push the perambulator around the neighbourhood, and to get groceries from the store nearby. And when you do, you wear a woolly hat anyway, because it always seems to be winter. There's hardly any point in constructing a gravity-defying post-modern sculpture out of your hair, or washing it and then spending hours to make it look like you just woke up in a frozen pool of barf, like you used to.

If you're lucky, like I was, you begin to get bald at that point. Then it's relatively easy to make the decision to cut the most of it away. You could cut all of it, but IMHO it's better to leave a couple of millimeters. That way you don't have to shave it too often. And you don't look too shiny either. I, myself, prefer to have a stubble on the chin too, at all times. I'm hoping to look like a friendly kiwi fruit.

Then there's the long hair. In a way, having a long hair is a no-hair. You've accustomed to it, you don't have to maintain it, you mostly have it ponytailed up. Therefore, you might as well shave it off, it's just dead weight.

In my experience, there's a limited number of groups of men over 30 that really need a hairstyle:
  • Heavy metal musicians: it does look cool when a group windmills their hairs in unison.
  • CEOs: everybody knows that you need a thick, silver hair to become a CEO. It's exactly the same with gorillas; the silverback is the leader of the troop.
  • Clowns: the clown hair signals the audience that you're supposed to laugh at everything the guy does and says. Take this clown for example:
  • Fabio: the hair is where his power resides in.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Near non-existent pulse on the lifeline

What with all the other activity, it's been ages since I've wrote anything in this blog. As a faithful reader, you should already know that I lead a busy life, having some 17 children, being a political activist, writing blogs for a living, and having a part-time job as a programmer, to make a few quick extra bucks on the side.

Also, I've been somewhat employed writing my post-humous autobiography beforehand. It's best I put it all down before forgetting everything. My earliest memories, from about 3 years and so forth, are already getting vague. Beware, kids, alcohol will ruin your memory. On the other hand, alcohol will make you want to reminisce about the good old times, thus improving your memory. Go figure.

So, here's a few (non-bicycling related) thoughts I've been thinking about lately. (The bicycling-related thoughts are in the other blog.)
  • Dimmu Borgir. While I think that it sucks that they kicked out ICS Vortex (and to a lesser extent, Mustis), the new album kicks ass.
  • Peter Hook. He's coming to Helsinki to sacrilege the classic Joy Division album "Unknown Pleasures". Which is good. I don't mind the sacrilegion, I just want to see my idol and witness if the strap on his bass is indeed as lengthy as they tell me. I'd pay money if he sat on the stage and drank beer.
  • Rush. They're coming to Helsinki this spring, and this time we'll have a party! (I don't know what happened the last time. I suppose I was depressed. As were most of the people in the audience.)