TNET 45: Baelin’s Route

This is a kickstarter funded short film made by a group of New Zealand actors.

It is not the mostest originalest story ever written and it does contain a lot of fanservice to fans of their Epic NPC man series that probably does not resonate with audience outside that particular circle.

But I liked it and maybe some of you will too.

Open thread, talk whatever you like, just do not be an asshole.

Previous thread.


  1. Gelaos says

    Oh hey, never thought I’d see Viva La Dirt League content here. I stumbled upon this channel just a month ago and had a lot of fun. The Epic NPC man series is about videogame mechanics or gaming in general. I don’t know much about the NPC man, only that he says “Mornin’! Nice day for fishing, ain’t it? Ha ha!” a lot :)

    There are also few videos, e.g. Female armor in games, that adress (albeit still in a funny way) how the videogame industry and players can be often sexist.

  2. says

    Heya, I’m home today as the second vaccine shot apparently knocked me out. I got really bad nausea, which hit while driving, which is no fun. I then sat in school for an hour for my stomach to calm down and then carefully drove back home.


    I’m not sure which smells worse, cow manure or dried and pelletized chicken manure (which is the most common commercial biofertilizer here). Any way, an old saying here is: “Manure is the lord of the field.” (Sonta on pellon herra.*)

    I got the pelletised chicken shit as well. It stinks, but it decomposes quickly. I always laugh and think of my gran who used to rant that people would buy “shit in a nice bag” when something was really unnecessary and/or bad quality, because it’s exactly that (though not unnecessary)

  3. lumipuna says

    Giliell -- Sorry for your side effects. Since I explained my own longterm health issue in a recent comment, I was given an appointment for a vascular specialist on 30 August -- two days after I’m due to my second vaccine shot. Now I wonder if I should reschedule the shot.

    The chicken manure quote is from Ice Swimmer (not that it matters). Speaking of chickenshit, a month ago Finnish public broadcaster ran this story of a local environmental disaster in Pobeda, Russia. The top photo is a literal shit creek flowing from a field where a soviet-era chicken farm has dumped thousands of tons of chicken manure over the decades. People living in the village 1 km away suffer from the smell and polluted groundwater, and the leaking nutrients end up polluting the Baltic Sea.

    The story says there are many of these gigantic animal farms (esp. chicken farms) near St. Petersburg, to supply the city’s consumers, but not enough farmland the distribute the manure. The village of Pobeda is located about halfway between the city and Finnish border, formerly known as Finnish Kanneljärvi (“Harp Lake”). The places in that area were given new Russian names after WWII, of which Pobeda (“Victory”) is very historically symbolic.

  4. lumipuna says

    Yesterday’s top temperature at my nearest weather station was 31.6 C, which must be one of the highest ever recorded in June. Last night’s minimum was 22.6 C, which might be the highest ever recorded in June locally, if not nationally. Today, we seem to be staying just below 30 C, while there’s a big thunderstorm underway in parts of western Finland. Some places have reportedly had 3 cm diameter hail.

    Cooler weather can’t arrive soon enough.

  5. lumipuna says

    My brain is melting. I typed an update on the weather, then clicked “refresh” instead of “post comment”. That’s how the weather is here.

  6. lumipuna says

    We did have 30 C again, in early evening. One place in southeastern Finland had 33.6 C, when the national all-time record for June is 33.8 C.

  7. says

    I am barely able to function right now, I am getting severely depressed again. And not without a cause.

    The prospects of me making knives do not look well, for I am in a bureaucratic gridlock. My little workshop is perfectly OK and legal as long as I do not try running a business from there. Once I try that, some additional rules start applying (like an obligation to have running water) that are simply not possible to fulfill for me without investing serious money to completely re-wamp the whole building. I am reading up on the issue before I visit the business registration office next week. As far as I can understand the law, if they are forthcoming, I can be OK. If they are pissy and pedantic, I am screwed.

  8. lumipuna says

    Sorry for your workshop, Charly. Bureaucracy sucks.

    Speaking of which, we’ve just been told that mail order deliveries from the outside into the EU will be congested this summer, because the custom system will be adjusting to the new requirement of making custom declarations for each and every 10€ Chinese buttplug. Last week, I was told by the doctor I need to wear the compression bandage on my leg until I get the custom made compression socks from a manufacturer in Switzerland, which seems like lengthy processes even without mail delays, and assuming I can achieve some reasonable wound healing first.

  9. lumipuna says

    I’ve never seen the Finnish meteorological institute post so many warnings/advisories at once as today. There’s heat warning, and separate advisories for impending thunder, possible torrential rain, moderate wildfire risk and UV radiation.

  10. lumipuna says

    The storm is here -- just starts to rain with huge intensity. I’m home and just closed the windows. Thus far, more rumble from the wind than thunder. Half dark, first flashes.

  11. lumipuna says

    The storm is over, apparently with no major damage. Finally, the weather turns reasonably cool. We had almost 30 C before midday, now it’s below 20 C for the first time in days.

  12. says

    Oh fuck, Charly I’m sorry to hear

    We’ve been having thunderstorms and heavy rain here for the last days. Though I’m glad about the water and it should also have put an end to the severe plague of harvest mites we’ve been having.

  13. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 8

    That sucks. I’m wishing you can find a loophole and the officials are not in the mood to be assholes.

    lumipuna @ 10 -- 12, Giliell @ 13

    The storm started quite dramatically here, huge gusts of wind, dust and water in the air and then thunder and torrential rain. I think the Capital area escaped with very little damage. The rest of the Finland less so, there were/are blackouts in rural areas (at one point 100 000 households without power) and earlier this week a previous storm killed one person in Oulu, when a tree fell on them.

  14. Jazzlet says

    I hope the officals are reasonable, and so sorry starting your busines is proving to be less simple than you hoped

    Sorry to hear about your skin problem. Mr J has a recurrent problem with ulcers or more usually with will-be ulcers-if he’s-not-very-careful, but he’s 62. The compression socks do help and you get used to wearing them, though I don’t think it ever gets pleasant. Do you have a specialist ulcer service? Not to disrespect your doctor in any way, but he has had a lot of useful advice from the specialist nurses who would come and dress his ulcer if he let it get to that stage.

  15. voyager says

    Oh, Charly
    I’m sorry things are not working out as you hoped.
    I’ll hold good thoughts about the bureaucracy and your home shop. Maybe you’ll get someone who’s feeling kindly disposed.

  16. lumipuna says

    Jazzlet -- Ah, ulcer is the word I was looking for. I was looked at by a couple different skin specialists at a public hospital, and they instructed my neighborhood public clinic on how to dress the ulcer -- I have to go there 2-3 times a week for maintenance. They also referred me to see a vascular specialist on August 30.

  17. Jazzlet says

    If Mr J’s experience is anything to go by the people doing the dressing may know more about the day to day practical care of your ulcer than the specialists; the specialists are great at diagnosis, but don’t look after the relatively mild, small kind of ulcer. I know keeping the area well moisturised once it has finally sealed over is vital, and also that the healing can take an awful long time. I hope the vascular specialist will be able to do something so this won’t have to become part of your life!

    There have been a couple of deaths of young trees, one in our garden the other in next-door-but-one’s garden, both conifers. Our neighbour who has lived here longer than us says it’s honey fungus, which would explain the death of the green gage we put in, and the state of the cherry. It’s not awful, there are trees and the walnut we put in at the same time as the green gages and cherry is doing very well, but we’ll have to give anything new we put in a lot of care to have a chance of getting it past the really risky age.

  18. lumipuna says

    My browsers (Chrome and Edge) keep clogging/crashing even after I cleared their memories from junk. Any ideas of what gives?

  19. lumipuna says

    This June’s mean temperature has been officially the warmest ever measured in Helsinki, and much of Finland. The June high temperature record was probably broken early last week in many places, but not quite nationally. Some models predict the relatively warm weather will continue into August.

    Crip Dyke just wrote on how the recent record-breaking heat in western North America has also largely broken the local society’s heat adaptation capacity. I might not experience that kind of truly extreme heatwave in my lifetime (that is extreme by local late July standards; statistically it’d be even more freaky if same locally extreme temperatures actually happened this early in the summer). However, heatwaves like the one we had last week will be increasingly common, and regular hot weather will be increasingly regular in summertime.

    As I approach middle age, I increasingly feel like even mildly hot weather is seriously detrimental to my comfort, productivity and freedom. I find I structure my whole life around staying cool, and keeping my home as cool as possible. It’s not a matter of life and death, but of avoiding discomfort during increasingly extensive periods of time. I increasingly wonder how people living in hot climates (with their traditional cultural adaptation, but traditionally without air conditioning) manage to get anything done in their regular hot weather.

    Recently I’ve started seeing talk on how climate change could make world’s hottest areas truly unlivable for humans, beyond any cultural adaptation capacity (other than using lots of air conditioning). I must presume that, well before that point, the heat should severely restrict human life, happiness and economic productivity.

  20. Oggie: Mathom says

    Hello, all.

    Just some updates.

    As of June 29th, I am retired. That Saturday was my last day as a National Park Ranger. Now I am on the roles of OPM. Of course, I will be remaining on OWCP, but I am retired.

    Which is mindblowing. I am 55 years old and rerired. I spent 30 years as a park ranger — tours, ed groups, bus groups, talks, walks, illustrated programs, programs with props and artifacts, compiling statistics, writing grants, justifying the continuation of grants (hint — the term ‘underserved communities’ is very helpful in that), directing traffic, teaching first aid, CPR and AED, responding to injuries, finding and killing and removing paper wasp nests, graphic manipulation and preparation for publications, exhibits and signs, staffing road blocks at federal incidents (including checking vehicles for bombs at the Javett’s Center after 9/11 and keeping a short battalion of National Guard ‘safe’ after Katrina) and forest fires, managing the security component fires and incidents (one fire at which I was SECM (Security Manager) was 1.2 million acres and I had 31 people with 34 vehicles (it can get weird — a couple of earlier security people kinda forgot to turn in rental trucks)), and basically enjoying a dream job which, after husband and dad, was my life. And now it is over.

    Which feels wrong.

    Oh, well. I shouldn’t complain. Lots of quality time with the 2-year-old twins. Who I have to go help control dinner time.

    Love to all.

  21. Oggie: Mathom says

    And I forgot collecting fees, taking reservations for train rides, telling people where to go (and how to get there), dealing with co-workers etc.

  22. says

    I’m still going to wish you a happy retirement. I know from family members that adjusting can be hard, especially when you really like the job. And I bet the twins are a great distraction.

    Yay, my wound management has been downgraded from bandages to band aid. The wound is healing nicely and the stitches will come out on Monday. What is still giving me trouble is the nerves. The finger is pretty numb and a wrong movement will send up a jolt of pain, but not where the wound is. My GP says that it’s probably pinched in the stitches, which had to be pulled real tight because I nicely severed a larger blood vessel. I can tell you, feeling your hand lie in a nice warm puddle of your own blood is an experience.

    Weather here was cool and rainy, but not the catastrophic rainfall they had in some parts of Germany.

  23. StevoR says

    The power and beauty of the human voice :

    (For so many years I mistook this song for Chinese not Welsh whatever that means and is worth,)


    (17 minutes long. yet low, deep tones & known remembered mythology such power.)


    (The Doctor -- & not the Fremantle one of cricketing fame. Tho’ given th scope of his travels..)

    Fictional all but such emotional power. For me anyhow.

  24. StevoR says

    Then the music that vibrates inside you bones (well mine anyhow) :

    The highlight of my day as a kid once. Seeing this, hearing this.Sad maybe. True.

    Also this surreal old Greek gods in space turned into SF manga / anime :

    Then for something completely different and satirical and true as F :

    Scott NoClue. Also best use of the pause in a while..

  25. says

    @Giliell, if you have severed the nerve, all is not lost but it will take years to recover. I really do hope the nerve is just constrained by the stitches and that you will get better really soon. If the knife was really sharp, the wound will heal better.
    The tip of my left middle finger that I have injured with a hatchet over two years ago (how the time flies) is slowly starting to feel normal again, but still is not fully recovered.

  26. lumipuna says

    IDK if this is a severed nerve issue, but I have a numb spot on the inside of my thigh, presumably from the hernia surgery I had 10 years ago. It took me a year or two to even notice it, so it’s not really a problem. However, the support net thingy they installed in my groin has since unraveled, and I feel somewhat frustrated about the prospect of getting another operation.

  27. Ice Swimmer says

    Oggie @ 23-24

    Happy Retirement, Oggie!

    Giliell @ 25

    Hoping for the best with your finger and nerve.

    lumipuna @ 31

    Could the orifice through which “tyrä rytkyi” have become tighter or less elastic, or will it be necessary to get a new support net?

  28. StevoR says

    Interesting article here :

    Via Slate and also another good Slate unterview one just seen here :

    Also, in totally unrelated news, our daytime star has flared up again :

    Which may be good news for any aurora-seekers here..

  29. lumipuna says

    Ice Swimmer:

    will it be necessary to get a new support net?

    Probably, though I haven’t consulted a doctor on it. In any case, it seems a second surgery would be more complicated than the first one. My hernia is basically only a mild inconvenience, and a cosmetic issue (though no one sees me naked anyway).

  30. Hekuni Cat, Social Justice Ninja, MQG says

    Giliel -- I got the package. They are beautiful!

  31. says

    @Hekuni Cat
    I’m glad to hear! Sorry it took me so long.

    Well, the stitches are out. The outer side is back to normal again, the inner side is still numb. But I can wash my hands again. At least I noticed how much into the habit of washing my hands I’ve gotten.

  32. Jazzlet says

    Yay for stiches out and being able to wash your hands (and everywhere else that hand would have washed) again. Nerves do grow back, I think how fast may to an extent depend on how important the feeling in the area is, so longer for places like lumipuna’s inner thigh, and the half moon area (pelvic bone straight across to pelvic bone curving upwards to tummy button) above my hysterectomy scar which took maybe ten years, but shorter for thing like fingers. I hope so, I have an operation on Friday to remove the strange hard lump from my left ring finger, the lump itself has interferred with my nerves so the feeling above is as if I was wearing a glove. I don’t think I’ll have any feeling there after, they’re doing a skin graft over the area as the lump removal will apparently leave too large a hole. The lump is only 15 mm by 8 mm at it’s longest and widest, I’ve had holes that large heal perfectly well (ok with some scarring) but they weren’t across a finger joint. Anyway I hope your healing continures to go well and that you have full sensation back jolly soon!
    Incidentally what do you look for in dried petals for your resin work?

    Congratulations, I hope you find enjoyable things to occupy your time when you are not helping with the twins.

    That is frustrating, I hope if you do need further surgery it fixes the hernia for good.

    The weather here has been deeply frustrating, June was so dry I’m not sure we will get any garlic at all despite watering it, the onions are a little better but I don’t think it will be a good crop. Who knows about the poatoes, except now that it has rained every day for over a week, and heavily on many of those days I’m sure some of the potatoes will be split. I suspect everything will be somewhat delayed.

    I have been able to see my SiL and a friend which was fantastic, but I’m not/wasn’t allowed to see anyone from Monday when I had a PCR test to after my little operation on Friday -- they really don’t want patients bringing in COVID, quite understandably.

  33. lumipuna says

    It’s midnight here, and temperature at my nearest weather station just dropped below 25 C -- the Finnish meteorological threshold for a “hot summer day”. This might become the warmest night ever recorded in Helsinki. We’ll likely break the record for the number of hot summer days this year, too.

  34. lumipuna says

    The overnight minimum was 21.9 at my station, 22.4 in city center. Probably not a local record, but very close. IIRC the highest overnight temperature recorded in Finland was about 25 C, somewhere in south coast islands.

  35. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 41

    Have you been able to sleep well in this heat? I’ve found that taking a shower and going to bed while one’s wet makes it easier to fall asleep or continue sleeping if you wake up. The skin dries fairly quickly but the hair and the beard are wet for much longer, helping to keep cool for a while.

  36. lumipuna says

    My sleep schedule is extremely broken. Thankfully, I don’t need to leave my home much, especially during daytime. Today, I took a nice walk at 4 AM.

  37. says

    I mostly look for nice structure and the ability to keep its colour.

    Aaaaand just when I got my finger mostly healed, my spinal prolapse is back with a vengeance. Went to the ER yesterday and they were very much not very helpful. I was advised to take more of the pain meds I’m already taking. I think I got pegged as “drug seeking” and not given anything more effective. Dude, I’m a public school teacher. If I want drugs, I ask my students…

  38. Jazzlet says

    Oh no, it is so frustrating that women’s reports of pain aren’t taken seriously by far too many doctors. I hope you manage to get some relief from the pain killers you do have.

  39. says

    I mean, do they even listen? So I went to my GP today, who looked at the letter from the hospital and said “so you have back pain?” and I was like “no, I most emphatically don’t have back pain. I have a spinal prolapse which manifests in an inflamed nerve down my leg”
    “So I can push here and here and here” and yes, you can push there until I bruise. Just don’t make me sit or stand for longer…
    But it is a lot better already, thankfully not as bad as the last time, when I spent a week in hospital.

  40. Jazzlet says

    Glad the spinal prolapse doesn’t seem to be as bad this time.

    Honestly it amazes me on occasion how people don’t read what is in front of them especially when they should know about it. When I was given my discharge letter on Friday, after the operation on my finger, there was a handwritten note on the top -- OPDA IJM clinic [time and date] -- I asked where this appointment was still being a bit whoozy and the nurse assured me it was at my GP’s practice. It wasn’t until I got the ‘letter’ link on my phone that I realised it meant Out Patients Department A [consultant’s] clinic, but that really ought to have been obvious to the nurse or if not she should have asked instead of giving me the wrong information. Grrr.

    And I’m beginning to think I should give up on touch typing, I’ve only got the use of my left index finger, but that and all my right hand seem to type better than all both hands.

  41. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 46

    Ouch, but good that it’s subsiding. The society can be so fucked up about pain meds. Too stingy for some people while others get them without much asking.

  42. says

    Heya, just in case anybody saw the images of the severe floodings in parts of Germany, I’m fine, my area lots of rain, but nothing as severe. A colleague’s village got flooded, but she’s fine, too. I hope Avalus and his family are OK, they’re in the same general region.

  43. lumipuna says

    I just saw the news of flooding in western Europe. Scary.

    The jet stream has been bent out of shape for weeks, with a persistent heat dome (or whatever) stuck in northeastern Europe and corresponding rain front in the west. Today we had 31.7 C, and tomorrow will be about equally hot. However, there’s a dawning promise of seasonally normal temperatures next week. Still no rain, though.

  44. Jazzlet says

    Thank you, (it was last week) the operation went well, the dressing was changed yesterday so I got to see the wound which is looking good. I got finger exercises which for some reason make me laugh.

    We’ve got sun, but I’ve been thinking about you and hoping all of you are safe, and stay safe, the power of water is terrifying. That so many lives have been lost in a developed country like Germany gives us an awful foretaste of what we all have to fear.

  45. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 52

    I’m glad the operation went well. Finger exercises do sound like they fit in the same category as “trigger finger massageur” (in one of the popular sketch comedies here, a long time ago, there was this gangster sketch in which a purported high-level gangster had a trigger finger massageur, a thing which struck fear in lesser crooks.) But yeah, I can see that the execises are useful.

  46. StevoR says

    Not sure if I’ve mentioned this event here already but tomorrow, well, technically today now, marks 8 years of ongoing indefinite wrongful imprisonment and torture for refugees who came by boat seeking asylum in Australia but have been locked up in offshore jails ever since. To commemorate and protest this there’s a Refugee Rally on in Adelaide starting 2 pm from Tarntanyangga / Victoria Square. Details :


    Event by Adelaide vigil for Manus and Nauru
    Tarntanyangga / Victoria Square Adelaide
    Duration: 1 hr 30 min
    Public · Anyone on or off Facebook

    ** Indefinite Detention Is Torture – 8 Years of Harm **

    8 long and destructive years will soon have passed, since when on 19th July 2013, Kevin Rudd announced that all asylum seekers coming by boat would be sent offshore, and never be settled in Australia. Over 3500 were subsequently taken offshore by force. Many of these people continue to this day to be detained, without charge, indefinitely. Quite possibly to the end of their earthly life. For 13 that has been the case, with death in detention by medical neglect, suicide, and murder. The Australian parliament (LNP with Labor support) has recently changed our laws to allow indefinite detention, without any charge, to continue. It is a law that does not apply to ‘us’, but to ‘them’. Over 1000 are still waiting for settlement – enduring and despairing. About 230 remain offshore in harsh conditions, in Port Moresby and Nauru; 70 in oppressive locked detention in Australia, 500 in community detention, and 500 on a 6 month ‘departure visa’ with nowhere to go.

    The Royal Australasian College of Physicians states:

    “Australian held (locked) detention is harmful to the physical and mental health of people of all ages in the short and long term.” *

    We have seen the expected harm unfold year by year.

    Indefinite detention without charge or trial should be anathema to anyone who has any concern for others as fellow human beings. In Adelaide on Sunday July 18th, we will remember and stand with those still suffering ongoing indefinite detention – 8 Years and still increasing. We will meet 2pm at Tarntanyangga / Victoria Square, and walk to the Vietnamese Boat People Monument (next to the River at the end of Kintore Ave), with speakers telling of the unjustifiable harm being done. Will you join us in opposing the appalling harm of indefinite detention and calling for a home for these vulnerable and suffering people?

    Source : Yes face book, sorry folks but still :

    Plus for the Physicians statement :

    There’s also been this song created by Anthea Falkenberg for the occassion :

    8 Years Of Trauma; 20 Years Of Shame

    They came across the waters,
    They came from far and wide;
    They trusted Australia
    Simply to be kind.

    8 years of trauma,
    20 years of shame.
    Uncage Australia’s heart.
    People all need the same:
    Freedom! Safety! Future!

    Each person seeking safety
    Is just like you and me
    But born in a place and time
    That threatened their safety.


    Imprisoned on offshore islands,
    Rejected from our land,
    These women, men and children
    Suffered pain no-one could stand.


    Some have been settled safely
    But a thousand still need hope.
    Please take the time to feel
    How you would in the same boat.

    8 years of trauma,
    20 years of shame.
    Uncage Australia’s heart.
    People all need the same:
    Freedom! Safety! Future!
    Freedom! Safety! Future!

    Source :

    I know a few others from Adelaide do read this blog so, if folks can, please come along and help us.

  47. says

    Yay, my contract got renewed, so now I get another year of mortgage paid. I didn’t realise how tense I was until I got it in the mail this morning and started crying with relief.

  48. lumipuna says

    Giliell -- Congrats!

    In personal news, my ulcer seems to be healing, albeit very slowly, like Voyager hinted.

    The weather has turned reasonably cool, with actually very low humidity. Next week will be again hot, though perhaps not super hot. Vegetation is really dry, and there likely won’t be much rain until the summer is gone.

  49. says

    I hope the healing continues.

    Rant incoming
    Sigh. I love Mr, and we hardly ever fight, which makes fighting even worse, but some days there’s really no alternative.
    We’ve been having problems with the pool this year. Too cold to go swimming, but very humid weather, made algae grow like mad. So he bought a biocid, but it was too late and we decided to replace the water. Only… I’d trusted him to have checked beforehand, but it turns out that when you add that stuff you can no longer just let the water soak into the ground (though I’m also blaming labelling, which should be required to say “once you put this into your pool, you must not let the water soak into the ground”). And living next to a water reserve, I take such things very serious.
    And thus started a fight in which I said “I showed you five articles now, one from the environmental organisation you’re a member of, that say you must not do this!” and him repeating that he had thought that since the stuff was heavily diluted and had already failed to kill all the algae, it was ok to pour it into the ground.
    Rinse and repeat. He’d started with a faulty premise, without checking, and when reality collided with the faulty premise he decided to keep repeating it.
    In the end we bought a pump to get the water up to the sewers. Which he has now decided is a good thing anyway because with heavy downpours becoming more frequent it’s not a bad idea to have one. WE don’t hold grudges (life’s too short for that), but it does take an emotional toll.

  50. StevoR says

    So. Today. A record amount of Greenland melted :

    We saw X-ray flash echoes from the supermassive black hole at the core of Zwicky 1 a galaxy 800 million light years away.

    Plus a year after arriving the Perseverance rover is about to take its first Martian samples -- but will still take 11 days to do so :

    Among so indefinitley near infinitely many other things.

  51. StevoR says

    In other astronomical news whilst most volcanoes on Earth are silicate ones, a small metallic asteroid may well have had iron based eruptions as Phil Plait explains here :

    Meanwhile in the sporting bubble that is F1 its statistically greatest driver who is mixed -race and dark-skinned gets booed despite getting ideal results incuding a record 101st pole as he strives for a record-extending 100th Grand Prix win by racists because, of course. :-/ :

    Oh & Aussies have been talking about this for over a hundred years :

    yet our appalling excsue for a government is yet toact on it stil

  52. StevoR says

    So Formula One is its own weird (not-so?)little bubble of a world and this may or may not have even been intentional on these driver’s parts yet for this :

    For Sebastian Vettel, Lance Stroll, Carlos Sainz and Valteri Bottas as good human beings versus the homophobic Hungarian regime. Respect. New and more respect. One of those pictures say more than moments ..

  53. lumipuna says

    I just received my fancy compression socks and got rid of the compression bandage. Thanks to summer holidays at the disability aid shop, it took 7 weeks instead of 4 or 5. OTOH, summer weather has been generally easier than winter would have been for this kind of hassle, in terms of dressing and wearing socks and shoes. Also lucky that I was already working/hiding at home during this time.

  54. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 64

    Congrats on getting the compression hosiery at last. It seems that the summer holidays make it difficult to get many disability related things.

    I think the shop for the sight-impaired/blind people has also been closed for the summer. Luckily my blind friend has had some luck with his white cane and hasn’t needed to get a new one (even though they’re made of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic, if someone steps on the cane or trips on it, it is highly likely that the thing breaks enough to lose its ‘feel’).

  55. Jazzlet says

    Iumipuna @64
    I hope the compression socks make life easier for you.

    I know it takes a ridiculous aount of time for Mr J’s compression socks to come, he has particularly large calves and only one German brand make socks large enough. I find the whole thing rather odd as there is clearly a small market for these things yet he often waits weeks for them -- and this is in normal pre-COVID and pre-Brexit times. My guess is that the market is small so they only run the machines to make that size once a month, and if they run out you have to wait for the next run, but it seems an odd way to run a business, when the delays happen so regularly you’d hae thought someone would say “let’s up production a bit”. It annoys our pharmacist who checks the new lines of the other manufcturers periodically as he’d really like to find a more reliable source.

    My finger is now bandage free and the wound fully closed. the area around the wound is quite sensitive as for some reason all of the tough top surface of the skin around the wound area has peeled off leaving relatively tender skin that I’m trying to harden up. I have more feeling at the top of the finger beyond where the lump was than I did before the operation, which is good as I was warned I might have less feeling. The combination of the two things is making me aware of my finger in a way you aren’t normally, it’s just a little odd noticing it doing things.
    TL:DR My finger has healed well, it just feels a little odd as it’s more senstive than I am used to.

  56. lumipuna says

    Yay for all the healing fingers in the community.

    My socks are custom made to size, so I guess 7 weeks isn’t too bad. Also, publicly paid expenses etc.

    The socks fit really well, but getting them on and off takes some effort. Can’t recommend them for people with mobility issues or hand disabilities*. I even had to buy rubber-skin type gardening gloves to get a proper grip of the socks. They’re also quite warm, but thankfully the weather is now cool, and fall is coming. I look forward to skipping the socks during future summer heatwaves.

    *Or people who are extremely clumsy and accident prone. As a kid, I once somehow managed to injure my left middle finger while pulling on a regular sock -- don’t ask me how it happened. I’ve improved somewhat since then.

  57. says

    Yay for stockings!

    Yay for quick healing.

    TL:DR My finger has healed well, it just feels a little odd as it’s more sensitive than I am used to.

    It’s funny that I’m doing the same thing, just in the opposite direction: getting used to a less sensitive finger…

  58. Gelaos says

    Safe Sweden faces up to wave of women’s killings or Denmark passes law to relocate asylum seekers outside Europe. I always considered Scandinavian countries to be in the top tier regarding immigration policies, etc. But in last few years, I became more worried about possible long-term consequences of such large-scale immigration (per-capita), especially to Sweden. Not to say that immigrants aren’t used as scapegoats by lots of a**holes, but the future doesn’t seem very nice nevertheless.

  59. says

    Denmark and Sweden have been two big disappointments. Denmark by applying Nuremberg style laws, forcing people to move out of their neighbourhoods because they’re the wrong ethnicity, and Sweden by letting Covid run wild.

  60. lumipuna says

    I got the second vaccine shot yesterday, eight and a half weeks after the first one. I was initially given an appointment at 11 weeks, but they recently made it possible to reschedule it earlier, since there weren’t too many takers for first shots any more.

  61. chigau (違う) says

    I woke up at 4AM in a panic because I was convinced I had a term paper on Saddam Hussein due today. Really my last term paper was over 40 years ago and I never took a course that included him.
    What the fuck does my subconscious want?

  62. Jazzlet says

    Give it time, nerves take a long time to grow back compared to other tissues, but they do. After I had my complicated hysterectomy I had a half moon of skin, hip bone straight across to hip bone curving up to just under my tummy button, where the surface was numb, if pressed hard it felt like I’d got a double layer of thick duvet on top of it. By around three years after the operation most of the feeling was back to normal, by five years it was all back.

    Yay for getting your second jab, hope you don’t get any side effects.

    No idea, I still get the occasional dream involving the school I left nearly forty five years ago and I’ve no idea what they’re about either.
    My finger is pretty much back to normal now which is nice.

    I am being subject to heavy breathing, by Jake. He thinks it is time for his supper treat of fish skin chew. It is not, not for another fifteen minutes, I will not give in to any amount of heavy breathing.

  63. lumipuna says

    University of Helsinki has just updated its Covid-19 guidance, as semester will begin in a couple weeks. Here’s some background:

    During last summer, after a strict spring lockdown, any office workers were still required to work almost entirely remotely (when not on holidays), even though infection rates in Finland were very low in June and July. Meanwhile, people were going to bars and restaurants quite normally, and by August, infection rates were again creeping upwards. As a result, the university cautiously delayed its partial opening, which was planned for late August. Teaching started almost entirely remotely, and remote office work continued.

    At the beginning of October, partial on-site teaching and working resumed, apparently because someone at the top had realized the covid situation wasn’t going to get any better during the whole winter, so the extremely cautious approach was dropped as unfeasible. Around this time, masking finally became seriously recommended in Finnish public spaces, including at the university.

    Then, at the end of November, a surge in infections forced the university to backtrack its partial opening anyway. Masking became mandatory in university buildings. Meanwhile, restaurants remained open, albeit with various limitations, until there was another, even higher infection surge in March. Spring semester passed under lockdown, although we did manage to teach some labs.

    Around June, infections were again briefly quite low. Restaurants opened and, by July, infections began duly creeping upwards. The university’s security level was downgraded at some point, but office work was set to continue almost entirely remotely until late August. Then, we were supposed to resume partial on-site teaching and working, while probably still maintaining the mask mandate. Sound familiar?

    In recent weeks, infections have increased hugely, although since high risk people are generally already vaccinated, the situation is only mildly alarming thus far. Some mild limitations are being imposed on restaurants. Apparently, there’s hope (?) that the infections become much more easily controllable once we finish vaccinating young adults over the next couple months.

    To my slight surprise, the university now still plans to partially open on-site teaching at the beginning of semester, though office work will continue remotely. There’s the mask mandate, but anything like a vaccine mandate at the university isn’t going to happen in foreseeable future. At least last spring the university also recommended that teachers use a face shields during labs, which IMO is entirely pointless if everyone is already wearing a mask that will catch the larger droplets.

  64. Gelaos says

    Someone once said: “It happened so fast that we didn’t even had the time to be astonished.” I think this quote fits current events in Afghanistan perfectly. Out of all the 2021 bad things so far, this one is probably the most depressing. Initial succesful supression of radicals, 20-year occupation, billions of dollars, thousands of both civilian and non-civilian casualties, hopes for at least by a tiny-bit better country -- all for nothing, as everything crumbles in a manner of weeks. USA and NATO look like fools, EU is (like usual) just helpless bystander and Afghanistan is on the course back to middle-ages.

  65. lumipuna says

    We’ve had enough rain to end the drought, for the remainder of the growth season, but the rainy weather pattern seems to have just gotten started.

  66. lumipuna says

    In June, I mentioned getting the first vaccine shot exactly when 50 % of Finns were past that line. Now, nine days after my second shot, 50 % are fully vaccinated while almost 70 % are (presumably) on track to get there within a couple months. The authorities initially flouted 70 % of total population as a rough threshold for the herd immunity goal, but that was taken back long ago. With Delta, we can apparently only expect to get a partial herd immunity from hopefully a very high eventual vaccine uptake.

    Vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds has just gotten started. We should get close to 80 % if nearly all school age children (7-15) and a few of the remaining adults get the vaccine in near future. However, vaccine uptake in young adults (who are the most efficient spreaders of the virus) seems to be stalling at around 70 %. This is despite the recent surge of infections in young adults, who either are or could be partially vaccinated already.

  67. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 79

    I think the “stalling” is pretty much due to the high amount of second shots that are given and the limited a supplies. Yesterday there was about 150 000 doses available in storage, which is enough for ca. 3-4 days. They give about10 000 -- 15 000 1st doses and 30 000 2nd doses daily (7 day running average).

    Today, about 430 000 doses are available in storage, so there must have been a Pfizer delivery. This means about 280 000 -- 300 000 doses for next week. The number of second doses could be around 25 000/day next week, which would give around 15 000 first doses/day. If the 15 000/day fails to happen, a glut of vaccine doses should be developing, but so far I’ve seen no signs of it. I’m not sure how many people get their second doses early.

    Over 400 000 doses/week should be perfectly doable if there were supplies. Two 400 000+ weeks could be coming (next week 460k doses and then 425k doses), but after them, the two next weeks are going to be only 225k/week.

  68. says

    In Germany it seems like 70% is pretty much the current limit. Vaccination for kids 12-15 has only now been recommended, and the stupid hesitation of the responsible people, combined with lots of talk about “long time risks” have confused many parents and also made them hesitant. You cannot keep talking about how Covid is no big deal for kids and young adults, and how risky the vaccine is, and then be surprised when young people aren’t getting vaccinated.

    I think the “stalling” is pretty much due to the high amount of second shots that are given and the limited a supplies. Yesterday there was about 150 000 doses available in storage, which is enough for ca. 3-4 days. They give about10 000 — 15 000 1st doses and 30 000 2nd doses daily (7 day running average).

    Germany actually has a surplus now. We’ve already made a pass at the latest delivery of Moderna, leaving them to other countries. There’s walk in vaccine centres at Ikea. We’re still not making much progress with first shots.

  69. Jazzlet says

    The UK government in it’s great wisdom is only recommending that 16 and 17 year olds along with vulnerable younger teens get vaccinated.

  70. says

    Older daughter got vaccine shot #2. Younger daughter still has 2 months to go until she turns 12. But I’m really proud of #1 and how she’s handling the whole thing. You know she’s on the spectrum, and a couple of years ago she’d rather not have ice cream than talk to the person selling it. Now she walked in there, even chatted and joked with the person vaccinating her.

  71. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 83

    Nice to hear that she has found ways to be social.

    What you told reminded me of one thing I did or actually not did. I remember being about 12 and bicycling (1 -- 2 km) to a farm to buy some fresh milk and turning back from the door since I couldn’t bring myself to open the it and go inside to ask for the milk. We were at our family’s summer cottage with my dad, who then had to take his bike and get the milk. I had visited the farm with adults, and knew the people to some extent, but still it didn’t feel right. It has made me wonder sometimes if I’m somewhere in the spectrum.

    On the other hand I had at that point been traveling by bus alone for years (to my grandparents’ places, the cottage and back) as well as gone to shops and cafés alone and attended two (all-ages) rock gigs alone (it was this band).

  72. lumipuna says

    Something curious I just noticed when looking at the contact information of the Russian embassy in Helsinki (don’t ask me why):

    There’s a staff list that names about 50 staffers (almost all men) and their spouses (excepting a few who probably don’t have one). About 12 of the spouses are named Elena, including the wife of the ambassador and three other most important people on top of the list. IDK how many Russian women in general are named Elena, but anecdotally it doesn’t come up nearly this much. Must be a workplace in-joke.

  73. Ice Swimmer says

    I talked about not seeing a glut of vaccine doses developing @80. Now I’m seeing signs of it. There are about 600 000 unused doses now. Unless the number of first doses given starts to rise quickly among 20-somethings, I’m starting to agree with lumipuna @ 79.

    lumipuna @ 85

    There are probably proper statistics in Russian about the popularity of names in Russia, but from some decade-old tourist propaganda I got the info that Elena/Yelena* is among the ten most popular female names.

    As for the contact information, you must have known the street, but yeah that isn’t enough for most purposes. For the non-Finns out there, Tehtaankatu** is the street and it is a well-known metonym for the Russian embassy. During the Cold War, it was politically beneficial for a Finnish politician to have good relations to Tehtaankatu.
    * = The transliteration Yelena is probably more phonetically correct.
    ** = Factory street, which despite the name has had very few factories. The western end of the street was supposed to go through an industrial district, but the plans changed and Eira became a residential district.

  74. lumipuna says

    I talked about not seeing a glut of vaccine doses developing @80. Now I’m seeing signs of it. There are about 600 000 unused doses now. Unless the number of first doses given starts to rise quickly among 20-somethings, I’m starting to agree with lumipuna @ 79.

    I was basically just looking at how few first doses were apparently given between late July and mid August, without considering how many were getting their second shots during that time. I heard there was some glut of vaccines in some places in July, but then they allowed people to re-schedule the second shot earlier and that probably caused a rush in second shots over the following weeks. Also, I seem to have misread the news because the portion of twice vaccinated is still below 50% of population.

    * = The transliteration Yelena is probably more phonetically correct.

    Makes sense (now that I think about it), though the list was presented in English, possibly written by someone who normally transliterates Russian to Finnish.

    Oddly enough, the embassy’s actual website has no English language section, just Russian and Finnish. Some parts of the Finnish section are just links to English translations of relevant documents, while the news/statements from Russian Foreign Ministry are also sometimes in English (otherwise in Russian). Then there’s some boilerplate information about Russia in quirky Finnish translation, and some Finland specific info. It was mildly interesting to see the official wordings and framings as relates to historical Finnish-Russian relations.

  75. says

    Today we went to my friend’s flat to look through some things, pick memorabilia and useful things.
    Turns out she had started hoarding stationary. I mean, if it had just been Harry Potter and Game of Thrones notebooks you could put it down to collection but there are like hundreds of standard college blocks and packets upon packets of post it’s. I have no idea how long that has been going on. She didn’t do that back when we still lived together.

  76. StevoR says

    Just in case things weren’t already cheery enough, sorry :

    Authorities in Cyprus are monitoring an oil slick that originated from a power plant on Syria’s Mediterranean coast and could soon affect the island.Syrian state media said last week there had been a spill from the plant, which is inside the Baniyas oil refinery. Satellite imagery showed that the slick spread north along the Syrian coast before moving eastwards towards Cyprus.

    Also rather worrying news although it is in the ISS’es oldest module and seems it can be fixed :

    In better still news (?) this new technology seems to have potential :

    Certainly seems like a step up from plutonium fusion to me albeit still not any “silver bullet.”

  77. Ice Swimmer says

    I had a online job interview today and will have another tomorrow.

    So, to recuperate, I went to this public sauna. The owner has a small dog, that likes to come to the hot room (he’s small enough to fit under the door). The dog did just that, hopped on second-highest bench and started to lick my (sweaty) legs (between the knee and the foot) and then proceeded to lick other guys’ legs. Apparently this happens regularly, but for me this was a first. I’ve never been licked by a dog in a sauna.

    As I’m slightly afraid of dogs, I’m a bit apprehensive (besides, he’s getting a bit too touchy-feely for my Finnish human sensibilities), but definitely not freaking out, even if I had a hard time suppressing the laughter as the tongue tickles my ankles.

    So, I was a salt lick for a diminutive canine. How was your day?

  78. says

    Ice Swimmer
    Good luck for the job interviews. The encounter with the doggie sounds adorable, though the owner really ought to ask people if they’re ok with it. Alas, I’m always of two minds: I love doggie snuggles, but I also want dog owners to make sure their dogs don’t approach strangers (because not everybody likes doggie snuggles)

  79. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 91

    Thank you! I guess the interview went quite OK today, we’ll see how the things will turn out.

    I don’t know if the owner will tell about the dog to new customers. Regulars and people who frequent public saunas (I’m in the latter category) know about the dog, but of course, tourists and others probably not. When the owner asked if I’ve visited before I said I have. However, the dog hasn’t been as exhuberant with his tongue before. I didn’t hear what the owner said to the foreign guy who was in a sauna for the first time in his life.

  80. says

    Ice Swimmer
    And thus it became lore in a small remote village that Finish saunas hasn’t a small dog and that to be licked by the dog is considered a sign of good luck.
    20 years later the third cousin of the original guy travels to Finland only to find out that the custom had sadly been lost.

  81. lumipuna says

    And thus it became lore in a small remote village that Finish saunas have a small dog and that to be licked by the dog is considered a sign of good luck.

    Good luck or bad luck, depending on whether you like that kind of thing.

    This summer, when it was super hot I tried to sleep naked, but there was also a housefly hanging around in my home and it kept coming to lick my apparently tasty skin and it was tickly and super annoying. These are the kind of flies that are very difficult to swat because they dodge so quickly.

  82. says

    Now we get somewhat normal weather, not too hot, not too wet. Now, when the growing season nears its end. These last few years the weather is completely out of whack, it is either boiling hot or it is cold and it pours and pours without end.

    @lumipuna, I had to sleep naked too when it was very hot for a few nights in August. I had no problem with flies, but it got drafty in the night, my right shoulder got cold despite the heat and it hurts still to this day. One of the boons of getting older, I guess.

  83. says

    We’ve been having amazing weather, just as school started again. And since the government is giving us a few scraps, we could hire a guy who does nature pedagogic so I got to spend the day with two donkeys, a puppy, and a ton of excited kids in the woods and will get to repeat this three times more.

  84. StevoR says

    Via BBC a big worry even afor a tough gargantaun fire-adapted tree :

    Plus news of an updated International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species here :

    Plus ona personal note I’ve now completed after overa dn year and a half 500 Endangered Species of the Day with the last being the Giant Panda and how many folks knew they also came in a (sometimes) brown and white Quinling sub-species?
    See :

  85. says

    Is anyone else here using mozilla? Suddenly some FtB pages display with bold font for me (Stder, Oceanoxia, Affinity) but others display normally (Pharyngula, Mano). I have not changed anything on my end

  86. says

    Oh. That is officially weird. After I restarted the PC, all sites show normal again. I have encountered a fair number of odd things when it comes to computers, but this was a first.

  87. says

    Landlords are scum. My friend’s flat used to be our joined flat, so the first lease was in her and my name. After #1 was born I moved out and my BIL moved in. Some years ago my BiL moved out and she lived alone. When we moved in the landlord was an older guy. Apparently he died in the meantime, his daughter inherited and her husband manages the property.
    Now i look after the flat once a week and found a note fro him to please contact him. I passed it on to Uli’s sister. The guy claims that she would have to remove the carpet because that was not there when we moved in (bullshit) and that no deposit had been paid. Bullshit as well. Unfortunately I destroyed my paperwork some time ago and we cannot find Uli’s. My BiL will look for his once he returns from his holidays.

  88. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 103

    That kind of shit just sucks big time. As for the deposit, was it just cash or did you put it in an escrow account in a bank? Landlords here like to cheat by not returning the deposit with some shaky pretext, but at least with an escrow account they will leave a trail of evidence if they take the money.

    I’m not criticizing you for things that happened 20 years ago, I’m just curious and also, if somebody moving away from home for the first time is reading this, there may be ways to make it the for landlord less convenient to screw you over, depending on the jurisdiction.

    As for problematic landlords, there can be many kinds. A friend of mine’s mom had a landlord that started to have advancing dementia and AFAIK had no next of kin who was in contact with them. They lived in the same building and the landlord was getting more and more erratic. She managed to end her contract and move out before anything serious happened. I don’t know what happened to the landlord.

  89. says

    Ice Swimmer
    I had all the documents, but I think I threw them away when we last moved. Obviously you don’t expect to need paperwork from a flat you moved out 10 years ago. I actually forfeited on my part of the deposit (which my BiL then had to pay again) because I ruined the stupid carpet the bastard is now claiming that we had put there. As if I would put carpet somewhere!
    Anyway, Uli’s sister can call on a dozen witnesses that the stupid carpet was there already.

  90. Ice Swimmer says

    A tangent: For me, carpeting is associated with car/passenger ferries (to Stockholm or Tallinn). In them almost every indoor floor surface is carpeted. I don’t know if it’s vomit-proof carpet or do they change them after the inevitable drunk Finn* has vomited out their shrimp, salmon, roast beef and whatnot from the smörgåsbord buffet.

    Carpeting was all the rage in 1970s and 1980s, but I’ve never wanted to have such a thing, having been brought up to dislike it. Besides all the people I know who had carpeting removed it after starting to suffer from chronic respiratory syndromes. Wooden or smooth plastic floors and rag rugs are much easier to keep clean.
    * = Stereotype, but somewhat true, especially in the past. I don’t remember any vomiting onboard in my past, but I did drink too much Viru Kange (Estonian cheap and strong vodka, 58 % ABV, the name means Virumaa Strong) on multiple occasions on the way to Tallinn.

  91. Ice Swimmer says

    Ok, I’m a bit under the weather. It’s some sort of flu/bronchitis, but no covid-19 (i got tested on Monday). I’ve got some temperature, runny nose and cough/sore throat. I think I’m reacting to this disease way too much like a stereotypical man, but luckily nobody else is here to hear my whining, just my cursing (saatana perkele helvetti vittu jumalauta*) if I phone somebody. It sucks to be ill, but this shouldn’t be too bad.

    * = I’m illogical, the second-to-last is the only one that’s real and it isn’t actually evil, just something I don’t have.

  92. says

    Get well soon, Ice swimmer!
    Doctors say that there’s some “catching up” effect with regular colds. After a year and a half our immune system got lazy

  93. Jazzlet says

    How frustrating, and how would the current landlord know what ws there anyway?

    Ice Swimmer
    Get well soon!

    We are continuing to be quiet and wary, although most of our fellow citizens seem to think everything is just hunky dory. Paul has joined Manchester Train Museum as a volunteer and had both his first face to face work meeting since this all began, and his first volunteer session with MTM. He has only just left to go to the sttation so I suspect he enjoyed his volunteering. I went shopping with his sister, we both rather enjoyed the novelty of seeing something and just buying it! Nothing we wouldn’t have bought anyway, but all the same it was good.

  94. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 108, Jazzlet @ 109

    Thank you!

    I believe, I’m “catching up with regular colds” indeed.

  95. StevoR says

  96. says

    What a week!
    Mr caught a cold, too, I’m thankfully still healthy, Though my fucking spine will probably need surgery in the future. Fuck bipedal walking and getting old.

  97. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 113

    Get well soon, Mr G!

    Hoping for the best for your spine!

    The flu has subsided into mildly runny nose and slight cough, which given my asthma and allergies is almost indistinguishable from normal.

  98. StevoR says

    Rather cool APOD here flipping the famous reflection here :

    To reveal this view :

    Meanwhile here’s hoping the religious extremist Perrotet does NOT actually tajke over NSW ..

    We’r ehaving a worrying number of Christianists here..

  99. Jazzlet says

    Sorry about the colds and particularly sorry about your back, continuing pain is hard to live with.

    Ice Swimmer
    I hope you are by now as well as you can be at this time of year.

    I am waiting to go on holiday, on the fourteenth, waiting with bated breath as this is the third attempt at this particular holiday. Locally the COVID-10 rates are still high, in fact they’ve been increasing, which isn’t terribly surprising given what I see when doing the necesssary shopping, but is never the less worrisome. We are continuing to take all precautions besides not going shopping for food.

  100. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 117

    I am. Well enough to go to sauna again. I have also managed to repair my sleeping cycle to some extent. I still use a mask in public transport (but not in sauna, I think that 80 -- 100 ℃ air will air-fry most germs and I go outside to cool down.)

    Hoping for the best for your holiday.

    Here, just about all indicators apart from covid patients in intensive care and fatalities/week have become worse and and especially the last 15 -- 30 % of people under 50 are sluggish in getting their vaccines (overall, 74 % have had one dose and 63 % 2 doses, the number of people/week getting their first doses now could be vaccinated in just one day easily). Still, we could have it worse.

  101. lumipuna says

    A random note:

    I just read a university newsletter regarding the extensive renovation of our campus library building. I haven’t been in the library much in the last couple years, due to the renovation and pandemic, and not at all in the last 12 months. I had almost totally forgotten what the library building’s name is.

    Everyone calls it the “info building”, but the official name, which sometimes shows up in formal communication, is *Korona*, as in crown or halo. Since I last saw that name, it has become a ubiquitous nickname for the novel coronavirus disease. I had a small double take.

  102. StevoR says

    For anyone reading this in Adelaide, South Australia & pretty sure I’m not the only one from there here, we have our Weekly Refugee Vigil on tonight 5 pm in Rundle Mall & could really use some more people. Details :

    Nine years of ongoing indefinite imprisonment and torture of people who committed no crime continues. As does our Refugee Vigil opposing that horror and national disgarce. On tonight in Rundle Mall starting at 5pm. Please come and join us, all welcome. Details :
    Adelaide Weekly Vigil for Manus and Nauru #256
    Event by Adelaide vigil for Manus and Nauru
    Rundle Mall
    Duration: 1 hr 15 min
    Adelaide Vigil members invite you to join us for this week’s vigil.

    This week, the Australian Government announced its plan to abandon the 124+ refugee men remaining in Papua New Guinea, having detained them there, illegally, since 2013.

    Today, from 5.00pm, we will meet at the intersection of Rundle Mall and Gawler Place, to stand publicly in support of refugees now in their ninth year of detention or immigration limbo, prevented from achieving safe resettlement despite their ever increasing need for it. We will stand together for the following 75 minutes, distributing updated information about the situation of those who were originally taken to Manus and Nauru detention centres by the Australian government. We will maintain social distancing and Covid_19 awareness and safe practice.

    Please join us in standing for the freedom, safety and human rights of the refugees the Australian government wants us to forget, with hundreds still being held in inhumane conditions after 8 years of punishment on #Manus, #Nauru and now also PNG and Australian Immigration Detention.

    The only laws that have been broken in their seeking of asylum are those which Australia itself has an international obligation to uphold, through its signing of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention.

    See also on this issue :

    The system the Australian government has designed for refugees and people seeking asylum, has a kind of evil and devastating effect. It can ruin the very inner strength of human spirit. To the outsider, Fariborz took his own life , but the truth is the system took his life. There is no alternative explanation, and we must hold

    the Australian government accountable for this action.

    …. It feels like it is Australia’s ultimate goal to put every vulnerable refugee and asylum seeker into an inescapable corner…We have now lost seven lives from the hell of Manus and five from Nauru. All were full of life. I don’t know how many more lives they want in the name of this policy.

    – Imran Mohammad, a Rohingya refugee once in PNG, now living in Chicago, 20 June 2018 (Writing Through Fences)

    From 2018 but not much has changed & stats and more info here :

    Latest news isn’t good -- Nauru refugee prison & de facto torture facility being extended whilst others face that or being abandoned forever in Papua New Guinea -- no real freedom and very poor choices.

    A small group of us has been holding these vigils for a long time now.

  103. Ice Swimmer says

    The picture in this article is taken by an automatic border camera on the Finnish-Russian border. Mommy and four cubs, one of which probably has a different daddy. They will probably soon go into their winter den and start sleeping.

    The article states that border guards have seen bears going to eat on the both sides of the border. Also an expert on carnivores say that bears tend to start their winter sleep on average in October 12th and that female bears often mate with multiple males. The reason for mating with multiple males could be that males will not kill their own cubs while they may kill cubs that are sired by others.

  104. Jazzlet says

    Hah! That reminded me of my university’s main eateries and bar complex which was called the Vauxhall Dining Centre, colloquially refered to as the VD Centre, which was thought to be very appropriate by many of the students as the food operations had an appalling reputation. The other obvious kind of VD Centre in English would, at the time, have been known the Venerial Disease Centre, ie where you went to have sexually transmitted diseases treated. The poor reputation was not unfounded, a friend of mine got food poisoning after eating there so badly that he ended up in hospital for a week. I worked in the bar there for a couple of terms and although we kept the bar as clean as we could we did see evidence this wasn’t done elsewhere in the building. The worst was the night we were locking up and after finishing in the bar went down to the entrance hall where a crisp packet started to *move* … it was full of cockroaches. Urgh!

    Ice Swimmer
    Awww the cubs are so sweet looking, though is it really four cubs? The last in line, the farthest away, looks a lot bigger than the ones in front of it and seems, from what you can see, to have a more adult shape. I hope they all survive.

    I an jealous of you sorting out your sleep cycle, I’m still struggling with mine, every time I think I’m getting it uner control I have an episode of pain that my drugs aren’t adequate to control which keeps me awake, often all night long. I am doing better than I was so those episodes aren’t sending me back to square one, but it’s hard not to get frustrated, and hard not to be angry with myself.

  105. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 122

    It could be three little cubs and an older one or an adult. Bears aren’t supposed to mate every year, but maybe she did and has an older cub and three little ones.

    Re university dining: I’ve always considered Otaniemi (where Aalto University is) to be quite good in that respect as there are multiple competing cafeterias (some are run by corporate giants, others by student organizations), but the prices (and to some extent, the contents of the meal*) are regulated by law and decrees (because student meals are subsidized by the State). This makes quality and taste the main ways to compete.
    * = The meal has to be sufficiently nutritious and healthy and contain a main course, salad, beverage (milk or juice), bread and spread. There is a Subway restaurant that serves subs as student meals and they have to offer also milk, bread and salad with no extra charge in addition to the sub filled with what’s basically salad.

  106. Jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer
    Student meals in the UK don’t have either a subsidy or any nutritional guidelines sadly. The student run eateries were far better quality than the ones in the university’s VD Centre, even the one that served the basic “greasy spoon” menu, so heavy on pies, sauages, beans, that sort of thing. The salad bar was really good and where I ate most often, a three salads, a sandwich and a pint of beer came to under £2 if I remember correctly -- this was a long time ago, certainly it was very good value for freshly prepared food.

  107. lumipuna says

    I suppose basic hygiene at eateries is also officially regulated in both Finland and UK, though it may not always work out in practice.

  108. StevoR says

    So.. anyone watched the TV SF (not really anything like HG Wells 1898 original) series ‘War of the Worlds’ & intrested in discussing it? So, I’ve now seen the season (series?) final (thankyou SBS on Demand) of that new TV series version of ‘War of the Worlds’ and whilst it had its moments and was very powerfully atmospheric and often chillingly memorable stuff, it also leaves & raises so very many questions and frustrations and is problematic in many ways with so stacks of issues I also dislike & find unsatisfying about the way it ..finished?


    So what is the deal with, well, pretty much everything here?

    Ok I’ll put this in rot13 code :

    if that’s ok and please let me know if you want this put back in decrypted language & I will buut for now… So :

    Jr unir trabpvqr ba gur hygvzngr fcrpvrf-jvqr fpnyr orpnhfr jul ntnva?

    Bs crbcyr va gur cnfg ol uhznaf bs gur Ebff 128 shgher orpnhfr gung znxrf frafr ubj ntnva naq gubfr crbcyr jrer sbhaqrq ol gur jbzna jub unq gur ivehf yrnguny gb ure crbcyr ohg boif fheivirq gung -- be qvqa’g fur -- naq ol gur crefba jub jnf n fbpvbcnguvp xvyyre jub fur ungrq qrfcvgr univat frk jvgu orpnhfr ivfvbaf gbyq ure fur jbhyq naq .. ?
    Gura jr unir fnyingvba (?) guebhtu chfuvat n oyvaq tvey bss n ohvyqvat gb ure qrngu engure guna gehfgvat ure naq gnyxvat gb ure juvpu nyernql jbexrq va na nygreangr gvzryvar jurer fur cebirq urefrys vagryyvtrag naq oenir naq jvyyvat gb or frys-fnpevsvpvat naq gurer jrer bgure nygreangvirf naq guvf vf .. bx? Vf vg?

    Jul qvq gur Ebff 128 uhznaf qrpvqr gb pbzzvgg tybony trabpvqr engure guna whfg fnlvat gurve rdhvinyrag bs xvyyvat be fgbccvat Uvgyre jnf gur jnl gb tb? Orpnhfr Ovyy Jneq jnf gurve rivy svther, gur bar gurl arrqrq gb xvyy ohg gurl pubbfr gb trabpvqr NYY bs Uhznavgl ng gur gvzr vafgrnq nf vs gung znqr frafr, yvxr hf tbvat onpx va gvzr naq jvcvat bhg rirel ynfg uhzna orvat orpnhfr ..Uvgyre .. be tbvat onpx gb gur 12gu Praghel & jvcvat bhg nyy Uhznavgl naq ercynpvat vg jvgu shgher uhznavgl orpnhfr .. Tratuvf Xuna? Be jvcvat bhg nyy Uhznavgl va 2016 orpnhfr Gehzc, Zbeevfphz, OW, Obyfbaneb, Qhrgregr, rgp.. Vtabevat (abg xabjavat? Lrg gurl xarj bs uvz? Ubj zhpu gura qvq gurl xabj /abg xabj?) gung gur bayl ernfba Jneq jnagrq gb jvcr gurz bhg jnf, npghnyyl yrtvgvzngr-vfu va gung gurl jrer gehyl gelvat gb trabpvqr hf naq xvyyrq nyy uvf snzvyl -- na rkphfr Uvgyre, Gehzc, Tratuvf Xuna, Fgnyva, Cby Cbg, rgp .. nyy ynpxrq.

    V’q ernyyl unir yvxrq gb xabj fb zhpu zber nobhg gurz, gubfr shgher uhznaf bs Ebff 128; ubj gurl tbg gurer orlbaq gur yvzvgrq erirny gung jr tbg. Jul gurve zbgvingvba, ubj gurl erfbyirq be gubhtug gurl’q erfbyirq gur “tenaqsngure cnenqbk” gurl arrqyrffyl perngrq sbe gurzfryirf ol jvcvat bhg, jryy, l’xabj, hf gurve terng gvzrf _???_ tenaqsnguref naq tenaqzbguref naq ubj Rzvyl pnzr gb or bar bs gurz va gur svefg cynpr.. jul ure (& sbe gung znggre Fnpun) va cnegvphyne?

    Gurl arrqrq fgrz pryyf? Onovrf gb svk gurve trargvp qrsrpgf naq tvir gurzfryirf n shgher. Bxnl, fher. Jul abg nfx, ort, obeebj be fgrny? Jul gur “arrq” sbe trabpvqr & jul qvq bayl n gval unaqshy (2 anzrq) bowrpg gb gung?
    Jul abg ercrng gur “Nggnpx” zrpunavfz gurl fgnegrq gurve trbpvqr jvgu nsgre gur svefg gvzr n srj zber gvzrf engure guna hfr gurve tebhaq-onfrq “zrpunavpnyf” obeebjrq sebz Obfgba Qlanzvpf?

    Jr bayl fnj n srj bs gur abg-fb “nyvraf” lrg vg vf vzcyvrq gur trabpvqr jnf tybony fb .. ubj znal zber bs gurz jrer gurer naq jung ryfr unccrarq ryfrjurer nebhaq bhe tybor? (Frrzf fpbcr sbe n ybg zber fgbevrf sebz Puvan, Vaqvn, Vfenry-Cnyrfgvar, Vaqbarfvn, Bm, Vprynaq, Creh, Nagnepgvpn naq ryfrjurer…

    Jung nobhg gur ahpyrne & aba-ahpyrne fhoznevarf fuvryqrq sebz gur nggnpx haqrejngre? (Juvpu jbexrq sbe Ovyy Jneq jvgu whfg n srj zrgerf vs gung ng gur fgneg fb ..? Cyhf uvf gnkv qevire qvrq ohg vs ur’q yvirq gura?)
    Gur qrpnl bs gur pbecfrf vf jnnl jebat, fb V tngure & unir orra gbyq, gvzrfpnyr~jvfr naq lrrrfu jbhyq gur pvgvvrf shyy bs qrnq obqvrf unir fghax & grljrer rngvatj nug, whfg sebziraqvat znpuwvraf seb 6 zbaguf cyhf.. lrg gung tbrf haerznexrq hcba &unf srj vs nal pbafrdhraprf nqrdhngryl rkcyberq va zl ivrj..

    Hygvzngryl, jr unir cnfg uhznaf naq shgher uhznaf pbzzvggvat trabpvqr ba rnpu bgure orpnhfr ..?


    It just .. yeah.. nah.

    Full series (both seasons) can be seen here :

    If folks can e-watch SBS on Demand..

  109. says

    Hey! I aten’t dead, I just look the part. I’m sorry for neglecting you. But in good news, we got vaccine appointments for the little one. Just two more weeks and on the morning of her 12th birthday she’ll get her first shot.

    I’m pressing thumbs (as we do in Germany) for the holiday. Right now I’m seeing the effects of vaccines here in real life. Throughout the pandemic, my state always had higher rates compared to the rest of Germany. We are tucked away between France with the Grand est hotspot and Luxemburg, with thousands of people commuting every day, and a generally older and poorer population. But now we also got much better vaccine rates: over 70% fully vaccinated as compared to the rest with just 60ish %. And our incidence is now 20 points below the national average. But it’s funny how we’ve all simply accepted this shitshow. Last year an incidence of 35 cases per 100.000 per week was considered “high risk”. Now we’re happy at 40 cases (it seems to be plateauing at that level)

  110. Ice Swimmer says

    A random blast from the past:

    In the 1980s, Soviet-built Lada cars were in the top 3 best-sellers in Finland. They weren’t held in a high regard, but they were cheap to buy. This is an ad film made for the largest Lada dealership (owned by Soviets) in Finland. What the narrator is saying is normal marketing speech, positive words about Lada and their services. The narrator also states that you could get custom upholstery, alloy wheels or a turbocharger for the Lada from them. Some of the visuals are somewhat unintentionally funny* or “>things that wouldn’t even be legal today.

    * = At that moment, the narrator is talking about their b2b and leasing services.

  111. says

    Ice Swimmer
    I have fond memories of Ladas…

    Uff autumn break, finally. To start it off with the worst part, I took the kids shopping today. As much as we all hate it, we got to do it twice a year. I absolutely feel for people who have to constantly do that because they need to watch for special offers and sales. It’s horrible.

  112. Ice Swimmer says

    Yesterday was a culture day (and no, it didn’t involve any yoghurt). First, I went to see a student matinee concert of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki Music Centre. Then, after eating a late lunch/early dinner, I went to the oldest public sauna in Helsinki and I was there for about 2 hours, but returned to the Music Centre to see another free concert, in which the students of the professor of classical violin, Réka Szilvay* performed. They played, apart from Bach, Mozart and Sibelius, also Paganini (La Campanella) and Ysaye (Sonata Nr. 6 “Quiroga”). They played the pieces very well.

    * = She’s of Hungarian descent, her father and uncle moved to Finland to teach violin playing to Finnish kids using their version of the Kodály method. She (at the age of 7) was one of the kids in her dad’s extremely popular children’s TV programme “Viuluviikarit musiikkimaassa” (Wee violinists in Musicland) in 1979.

  113. StevoR says

    Where are Antigone & King Priam when you need them? How is this remotely justifable even granting Israel its right to exist and defend itself and the possibility this teenager might be the next Osama bin Laden or even Hitler? (Plus of course he probly wasn’t & who knows could have been their opposite had he lived.).

    Of course this isn’t new ..

    At all whether fictional or real :

    Stll so fn wrong. Eeven granting Israel its right to exist and defend itself and every other claim?

  114. Jazzlet says

    The holiday happened! All seven days of it for four of us and Jake, sadly only three days for the person that really, really wanted to go to Bute (a small Scottish island). It was rather damp for most of the week, but with enough gaps between the mizzle and rain to get out, peaceful in a lovely place with a huge garden some of which was very overgrown with splendid trees. It’s nice to be back home.

  115. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 135

    It’s nice to hear that you were able to have the holiday!

    I went to another public sauna yesterday, the second oldest still in business in Helsinki. When I arrived it was fairly quiet, but around 8 pm, a lot of people popped up all of a sudden. The sauna was as full as it had been in pre-corona Fridays, but luckily that particular place was still relatively quiet and peaceful, no rowdies.

  116. StevoR says

    Bad news from the Arctic where even the thickest sea ice of yore is now breaking apart :

    Better news story from Space dot com where the new NASA moon rocket for a human return is taking shape albiet slowly and for just an unmanned first Test flight but tangibly building up to something I’ve been hoping to see my whole life :

    Another article there suggest the flight will actually happen in February next year so there’s still a while to go.

    Finally, now this is a fish :

    A giant Sunfish to be precise & thankfully it did get away okay it seems to live so it can grow even more.

  117. lumipuna says

    Health update: I had my bottom left wisdom tooth removed today. It was somewhat more difficult and expensive operation than the tooth removal I had a year ago, though also a testament to the magic of modern dentistry. The tooth in question already had a very difficult to fill cavity several years ago, and my dentist warned me then, “this filling may not work in the long term, so be mentally prepared to have the tooth removed”. This year, the tooth began gradually feeling sore by early autumn, and by early October I had figured out what to expect.

    This occurred about the time when my previous health problem was just getting substantially better. The ulcer I had on my left ankle began reluctantly healing in July, with the help of modern state-of-the-art dressings. By early October it had finally fully closed, leaving a small patch of scarlike tissue, on which I’m still applying topical medication. I got the fancy compression socks in early August, and in late August I finally got an appointment to a vascular specialist. They immediately diagnosed me with a malfunctioning vein in the left leg, which can be apparently cauterized with some minor high-tech surgery. Then the circulation of my leg should be directed via other, healthier veins, which may or may not help prevent the development of future ulcers. I just recently got the surgery appointment; it’s a couple weeks from now.

    Considering how fragile my health has been in recent years, it’s very nice to have a) modern healthcare and dentistry b) with affordable access c) almost unaffected by a dragged-out disease pandemic d) that I’ve also easily avoided thanks to vaccines and socioeconomic privilege.

  118. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 139

    Good luck with the surgery! I’m glad that your ankle is better now.

    As for the wisdom tooth, ouch, but also yay for modern dentistry. Hopefully, the hole in your gum will close quickly! I think my wisdom tooth at that location is still inside the gum, so it’s somewhat safe from cavities, but it’s also almost horizontal. Mammalian problems…

  119. lumipuna says

    Ice Swimmer -- Thanks. My gum isn’t bleeding at all by now, but the whole left side of the jaw is moderately sore.

  120. says

    Hey folks
    I had a busy holiday so far. Last week it was the little one’s birthday (with bonus first dose of vaccine!) and like lumipuna, I’m having my share of health issues. The good news is that the specialist I went to this week does not recommend surgery on my spine at the present, b3ecause I have no neurological issues in the leg and pain is okish at the moment.

    I’m glad the holidays happened and were nice. I really want to return to Scotland some time in the future.

  121. StevoR says

    @ lumipuna : Ouch. GetBest wishes for as smooth and speedy a recovery as possible.


    @ 138. Jazzlet : No idea and it seems unknown but wiki says :

    Ocean sunfish may live up to ten years in captivity, but their lifespan in a natural habitat has not yet been determined.[25] Their growth rate remains undetermined. However, a young specimen at the Monterey Bay Aquarium increased in weight from 26 to 399 kg (57 to 880 lb) and reached a height of nearly 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) in 15 months.[26] .. (snip)… Newly hatched sunfish larvae are only 2.5 mm (3⁄32 in) long and weigh less than one gram. They develop into fry, and those which survive can grow up to 60 million times their original size before reaching adult proportions,[23] arguably the most extreme size growth of any vertebrate animal.[15][36] Sunfish fry, with large pectoral fins, a tail fin, and body spines uncharacteristic of adult sunfish, resemble miniature pufferfish, their close relatives.[24][37] Young sunfish school for protection, but this behavior is abandoned as they grow.

    & this source :

    says :

    Current best estimates for Mola mola and Masturus lanceolatus are approximately 20 to 25 years to attain their full size.

    Which seems surprisingly fast to me and also doesn’t really answer the question. A lot of fish we’ve found can be extremely slow-growing and long-lived even hundreds of years eg. the Orange Roughy can live 250 years and the Greenland Shark can live 500 years apparently making it the longest living of all known vertebrates.(Wikipedia -- & old River Monsters / Jeremey Wade TV doco.)


    This really shouldn’t still be news, it especially shouldn’t be a first -- its taken this long? Really? However this :

    & partiuclarly the supportive repsonse from his teamates, media and public generally is a good news story still.

  122. StevoR says

    Sorry, that’s : “Best wishes for as smooth and speedy a recovery as possible” -- started typing get wellsoon then changed it to that but stuffed up. Mea culpa.

    Oh & in other lifespan related news, my lovely good natured old kelpie Chokko turns 13 tomorrow… slowed down so much but stilla very happy and spoilt, old dog.

  123. says

    Could you please not? I’m the last person to defend Israeli colonialist and settler policies, but denying the right of Israel to exist is just a step too far. Just think about it, how would Israel cease to exist if not via a repeated genocide against Jewish people?

  124. lumipuna says

    StevoR -- Thanks for the well wishes.

    Regarding ocean sunfish, it’s such an absurdly weird animal you just have to give it respect. It just casually swims in the ocean, entirely unaware of its own weirdness, which is so overwhelming and visibly displayed you’d almost imagine there’s some kind of pride, or perhaps spite, in it.

    At a time on We Hunted The Mammoth, there was a commenter named “Mola the Ocean Sunfish”, and I thought this nym has certain boldness that’s hard to explain. It’s entirely out of nowhere, just like the animal itself, and the subtle redundancy in simply stating the animal’s name makes it sound calmly assertive. It’s kind of like, “Fuck you, I’m an ocean sunfish and you can’t do anything about it!”

  125. Jazzlet says

    I hope your mouth is fully healed now, and that the leg surgery goes well too.

    I guess it’s good that you aren’t losing function, but in the meantime there is all the pain, you have my sympathy, it’s a hard thing to live with.

    Jake has a poorly paw, nothing serious, but quite a lot of “look it’s poorly” waving of said paw, but whisking it away if you even look as if you are thinking about touching the sad paw. It’s very difficult not to laugh outright when he does this.

  126. chigau (違う) says

    I’m watching Sound of Music.
    I♥ Maria’s leaving-the-convent outfit. I could *rock* that look.

  127. StevoR says

    @ 145. Giliell : Noted. I certainly didn’t mean to deny Israel and its people the right to exist and live in peace.That wasn’t how I intended that to come across and I apologise. FWIW. Both Israelis and Palestinians are human individuals the same as the all other humans and both groups equally have historical and culturally valid claims to that inflamed splinter of Southwest Asia. Neither of them is going away and both will have to find a way to live together peacefully.

    Just an eyes up in case people are interested, there may be a potentially good comet in the skies in December – Jan (C/2021 A1 Leonard) although comets are notoriously unpredictable and prone to fizzling out too. Sono guaranteees but worth notinga nd ckeeping your eyes out for as this develops. Excellent informative talk on this by expert comet hunter Michael Mattiazzo (The Comet Man) here :

    Which is Australian and focused on our hemisphere but northern hemisphere also gets a mention of how this comet will appear from there too at the 45 minute mark onwards for my friends on the opposite upside down side of the planet.

  128. lumipuna says

    This weekend should be a great chance to see the aurora, due to a solar storm a couple days ago. However, tonight here in Helsinki will be mostly overcast.

  129. Jazzlet says

    Well we’re doing great, just back from a trip into Manchester to see Richard Thompson play … except it isn’t today he’s playing, it’s tomorrow. It did remind me why we don’t go into Manchester on Saturdays if we can possibly avoid it, so I suppose that was something. Then the Co-op didn’t have any milk, we have enough to last until tomorrow, but it’s frustrating that they didn’t have such a basic product.

    Oh and it’s firework season here *sigh*

  130. StevoR says

  131. says

    Heya, I hope you had a nice Halloween. We did, the kids got some sweets, we got rid of about all the sweets I’d bought, and we got to spend a nice day with friends.
    On the downside, our washing machine is acting up. It keeps blowing the FI switch, but not always. just as I finished paying for my teeth, thinking I could now put some money aside for emergencies……

  132. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 153

    I haven’t had a Halloween as such, but I saw some people have a Halloween party in the pub/sauna we were visiting for a short while (about five hours 8-). The Halloween party people seemed to have good clean fun with their while drinking wine and dining. We enjoyed the sauna and food (I had an eggplant-halloumi open sandwich, my friend had smoked salmon with funnel chanterelles).

    Re your washing machine and the tripping RCD*, the machine is dangerous 100 % of the time it’s plugged in, as you probably know. Make sure you or your family don’t conduct any of the fault current through your bodies! I know I’m kind of mansplaining here, but there’s no way I’m not warning you about the electric shock hazard you have. The RCD may save you, or you may get enough current through your heart to throw the heart off the rhythm to ventricular fibrillation.

    * = Fehlerstrom-Schutzschalter

  133. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 153

    Also, it sucks when you have replace or have repaired stuff like that. I’m hoping you can get the thing fixed or replaced at a reasonable cost and effort. As the machine vibrates and is in more or less humid conditions, I’m guessing there are many ways an intermittent insulation leak can occur.

    BTW, are the wiring to the wall outlet and the outlet itself in order and dry? (It’s more likely that the fault is in the machine, but who knows.)

  134. lumipuna says

    Giliell -- sorry for the washing machine.

    As for the holidays, I always forget or neglect to stock candy for either Palm Sunday or Halloween (these are both somewhat popular candy collection days for Finnish children nowadays). My home is pretty secluded from random children’s collection tours -- typically there’s only about one collection group at my door during the whole day. This Halloween, there was a group consisting of two little boys, without costumes. Since I happened to have my pants on, I opened the door and tried some friendly banter along the lines of “what kind of trick do you have on offer if there’s no treat?” The boys were shy and polite and not probably very clear on what the “trick” part is even supposed to mean, so it was awkward and brief until they slipped away.

    It was overcast all weekend, so I didn’t see any of the predicted aurora storm. Yesterday and today there was some delicious sunshine, and stars at night. Tomorrow, the forecast is rain all day.

  135. Jazzlet says

    Giliell intermitent faults are so frustrating, at least when my washing machine died it just stopped working one day so there was no doubt about it, plus a quick search provided no repair option, and it was over twenty years old.

    When we were in Manchester on Saturday the placed was rammed with early Halloween revellers, Paul had to drive* extremely carefully as several staggered or tripped or just wandered into the road. Sunday there were fewer but rather better costumes from what I could see.

    The concert was wonderful, but I got rather a shock as an ex-close friend turned up around eight rows in front of us along with some of her family and another old friend. I haven’t seen any of them for well over five years -- since before Paul had to have his kidney and appendix out, no big blow up, I just stoppped making the effort to phone or go over to see her and it turned out I wasn’t important enough to her for her to make the effort. I was hurt at the time, but also not surprised as she never did make much effort, and she couldn’t handle people with long term illnesses, she stopped going to see my BFF shortly after he got his MS diagnosis, and the one time she did she had this article that BFF “just must read” about some whacky cure for MS. He was not impressed, apart from being very much a science based person it is an incredibly insulting thing to do, as if the person with the disease hasn’t bothered to do any research themselves. Anyway one of them noticed us during the interval and they all trooped back to say hello which was nice for the most part, but weird with the formerly close friend who seemed obsessed with asking if we had had COVID and nothing else, but neither she nor any of the rest of her party were wearing masks**. I got quite tense, and frustrated with myself that she can still upset me after all that time. Still I got the number of the other friend whch is good. And the concert really was wonderful.

    * we drove because the last train is early enough that we would have had to miss some of the concert to catch it.
    ** Nearly everyone else in the venue was wearing masks, as were we.

  136. Jazzlet says

    I forgot to say that one funny side of all these old friends coming up to say hello to us in turn was that after they had all gone the woman sitting next to Paul turned to him and said “Who are you?”. She and her party were convinced by the number of our old friends coming up to say hello that we must be some kind of celebrities!

  137. lumipuna says

    I had the vascular surgery thing yesterday, then spent the evening and this morning hanging out with a friend at my home. There’s some soreness in my left leg, but not much.

  138. lumipuna says

    Thanks for the well wishes. The lower part of my left thigh was slightly more sore on Friday and Saturday, but now the soreness is practically gone.

    There’s a palm sized numb area on the side of my knee, presumably due to collateral nerve damage. It’s not a major problem or anything, but I’d hope it’s not permanent.

  139. StevoR says

    @ ^ lumipuna : Good. Glad to hear and also hoping its not permanent and you recover quickly here.


    Breaking cricket -- & culture I guess -- news here :

    & here :

    Which is bad that they sent those in the first place (& Paine had that hanging over him all the time -- did they know at the time & put him in as skipper regardless?!) but good that they’ev been called out now and it has consequences for them i guess?

    On another happier note, a species survival story :

    WARNING : Spider references and pics for any Arachnophobe shere.

    Of the Aussie arachnid variety. Albeit Zephyrarchaea austini still incredibly vulnerable and in trouble.. but at leats still around.

  140. says


    Glad to hear your surgery went well, lumipuna

    The washing machine was fixed at a reasonable price, it now looks like the dishwasher is ready to die. This will be replaced, if it does, because at 14 years a repair is economic madness.

    Yes, the situation with Covid is as bad as you hear. Probably worse. I’ll try to get my booster asap, though I’m at least lucky in having the heterologous combination Astra Zeneca + Biontech.

  141. lumipuna says

    Giliell -- so sorry that you have to be struggling with health problems, dying home appliances, high-level pandemic stress and November at the same time.

    Here in Finland the pandemic is also slowly but steadily getting worse, while authorities are reluctant to crank up restrictions. Shortly after I got my vascular operation done, the public health system in Helsinki area began postponing some non-urgent surgeries. My university just announced a return to mostly remote working, though I haven’t been there much anyway during the few weeks that we were supposed to be working normally.

  142. lumipuna says

    Today, a professor at my uni sent this email around (quoting part of the original English message):

    Dear all, maybe someone has seen a small FedEx box hanging around somewhere?

    We were supposed to send a package last Friday to Canada. FedEx claims that their couriers (or any of their subcontractors) have not picked the package from A-building reception desk while the porter claims that it has been picked although it is not visible in the FedEx tracking system.

    Meanwhile, in Alabama:

    An Alabama sheriff was on Friday trying to figure out how hundreds of FedEx packages ended up dumped in the woods.

    An estimated 300 to 400 packages of various sizes were found in a ravine near the small town of Hayden on Wednesday, the Blount county sheriff said.

    It wasn’t clear why the packages were in the ravine, the sheriff said, but he hoped to have some answers soon.

    “The security of our customers’ shipments is a top priority and we are committed to treating our customers’ packages with the utmost care,” the Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx said in a statement.

  143. says

    Reminds me of the time I couldn’t find a package that was listed as “delivered”. I finally called the service and they said their tracking system said “on the garbage bins”. Well, we have a nice little shed to hide our garbage bins and the delivery guy thought that it was perfectly hidden in there from potential thieves. Well, it was also hidden perfectly from me…

    Well, root canal session one done. Sigh. Me and my very bad teeth…

  144. lumipuna says

    Giliell -- Well, I guess it’s good that a) the delivery worker had written down a description of the delivery site and b) correctly identified the site as garbage bins so it could be located, while c) the was no garbage collection round during that time.

  145. lumipuna says

    Update: Now it’s showing yesterday’s weather data, which is what it’s supposed to do when current data isn’t available.

  146. says

    @Giliell, my sympathies on your teeth.

    Regarding deliveries -- I have ordered a vacuum chamber in the spring and on the day it was due to be delivered the bell did not ring for the whole day. So I thought it must have been delayed. I checked the website and that said: “delivered”. Full of dread, I went in front of the house and I found the package tossed near the trash bin, upside down. Luckily the contents were not damaged and I live on a dead-end path in the middle of a meadow, so there are literally no passers-by who could steal it. But I did not order a delivery by that particular service again.

    I see that new comments are not appearing in the sidebar. I shall start a new topic tomorrow or the day after, depending on how time allows it.