TNET 46: In a Highlander’s Shoes

I do not know why the algorithm recommended the Fandabidozis channel to me, but it did. I think (although I am not sure) that it first recommended one of the videos in which he shows the crafting of some of his historically accurate-ish equipment.

I have enjoyed his videos in which he explores 17th-century equipment of the Scottish highlanders and this one is probably his biggest and best video project.

Open thread, you can talk whatever you want, just do not be an a-hole.

Previous thread -click-.


  1. Bruce says

    Maybe the show can inspire you to make some sorts of knives that would sell well to fans of Highlander things. You could do something unique and still earn a high margin on such work. Good luck.

  2. StevoR says

    So our state Liberal (meaning conservative, more right-wing party here) Environment Minister Speirs basically being a troll here :

    For the record, I’m probly one of those “Greta Thunbergs” he’s whining about having been part of a local action group that stopped him turning a large part of Belair National park into a soccer club with multiple ovals. Also encountered him on social media where he lied and threw a screaming, sobbbing fit over being called out on those lies. Take all Speirs says with a glacier of halite. (Yes, salt glaciers are apparently a thing.)

    Meanwhile at the Federal level of politics here in Oz :

    One in three. The PM,Scotty the Liar said he wasn’t surprised -- and, of course, the Trumpian bully, misogynist and fraud didn’t say how he planned on changing it.

    Lessons not just on the pandemic but also about the economy too.

  3. StevoR says

    Meanwhile in other better news :

    Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog on the great ne wmilestoen discovery in strange spiral galaxy NGC 7727.

    This new Attenborough doco looks promising, thought-provoking and includes 1 min 36 sec trailer

    Plus Comet Leonard is looking very promising here for this and the next few months too :

    seems liek we have another Christmas comet coming..

  4. says

    @Rob Grigjanis, he has a shorter video specifically about Sgian Dubh of his own design. He sold several pieces to his fans. I do not plan to make Sgian Dubh anytime soon, but I probably will, at some point, make one just because. There are so many different knives that I want to try to make, I won’t manage to make them all even if I lived a hundred years.

  5. lumipuna says

    Hello, everyone. Winter has arrived here, with a relatively stable cold spell and occasional glimpses of sun. No snow to speak of, yet, but I’m making ice lanterns on the balcony.

  6. lumipuna says

    I just got the seasonal flu vaccine -- I’m not remotely eligible for a covid booster yet. Flu season is said to be bad this winter, though it’s not entirely clear if that’s supposed to be in comparison to last winter when there was almost no flu going around.

    I’ve often taken the flu shot in years before covid pandemic, because it was easily accessible at the university campus, though as a non-employee I’d have to pay for it. Normally I’d also have to pay at a public clinic, because I’m not high risk group. Last year, I didn’t bother getting the shot at all, because it seemed I was going to hide at home all winter anyway. Also, last year the doses ran out quickly because lots of people wanted to get vaccinated “at least for flu”.

    This year, there’s apparently more supply and less demand, because authorities are now urging people to take the remaining flu shots. As it happened, I procrastinated just long enough to get my shot from a public vaccination station for free, since the city of Helsinki waived the fee this week.

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 8

    I think the flu epidemic could be worse than normal because people have less cross-immunity from last year’s flu virus.

    I got my flu shot last week, on an appointment and for free because I have asthma. There were no side-effects and the shot was less painful than it is usually. City of Espoo has concentrated the vaccination stations to a few places, of which the one in the shopping mall in Matinkylä is easiest to access by public transport (the Metro station is under the mall), so I went there.

    I’ll get the second covid vaccine booster near the end of December. I’m guessing you could be getting yours six months after your second shot.
    * = The link goes to green politician (who was a statistician before his political career) Osmo Soininvaara’s blog because he expressed his trust and admiration for Nohynek’s logical thinking and intellectual honesty and was asked to elaborate on why he thought she was spot on with her analysis of the best possible vaccination prioritization, so he published this chart she had made.

  8. Ice Swimmer says

    And then removed some things about the prioritization between second boosters and the primary series of covid vaccination, but not the footnote.

    What I was saying was that one of the leading experts on vaccinations here, Hanna Nohynek, had calculated how much more effective the primary series is at preventing hospitalizations due to covid than the booster after that. The graphic is here and AFAIK, she has based it on the data found here.

    Of course, I’m not saying that one shouldn’t take the third shot, but I do have slightly mixed feelings about it. Using the doses on the primary series would make more difference, but on the other hand, with time the weakening immune response could prove fatal even for us who have got the full primary series of vaccinations.

  9. Jazzlet says

    I get my booster this Thursday, I need to ring up the pharmacy to see if I can get a flu vaccination at the same time. Boris is continuing to say Christmas parties and gatherings are on, though the public seem more divided with many firms cancelling Christmas parties. He is yet again not following the scientific advice which is calling for not just the masking that has been reintroduced, but getting people out of offices and back to working from home. None of this is a surprise, but it is depressing tht he and his colleagues seem incapable or unwilling to learn from their previous mistakes.

    It has been unseasonal here, we had snow at the weekend, and it’s been unusually cold since. We rarely get snow just here even when all around us do, in the eleven years we’ve been here I’ve not seen snow outside of January and February, even then it’s not every year. It’s been cold enough that we have needeed to increase the temperature on the thermosat during the day, even though both of us are wearing cosy clothes.

  10. says

    Sorry for, well, dropping off the edge of the world again. Things have been buy, busy, busy, and I really don’t know for how long we’ll be able to keep things running. The dishwasher broke and got replaced. my husband did not get killed during the installation, which is a marvellous show of self restraint by yours truly (how can you think that putting the new dishwasher into the kitchen before you’ve taken the old one out is a good idea?)
    I’ll get my booster some day next week, finally

  11. StevoR says

    @ ^ Giliell : Ouch and fair enough and no worries. Life at times just ..yeah.

    Some gloomy environmental news here -- preparing for the worst quite literally :

    Plus via Oceanoxia here :

    & meanwhile there’s an American connection here with the worst of our and the USA’s far-reichwings :

    Not just the disgusting (& retriring) Christensen but also one of my states senator’s and deplorable Trump fan Alex Antic.

  12. StevoR says

    Also discovered -- via radio quiz this classic old song by Kev Carmody :

    Whilst in better modern news for our Indigenous People specifically the Kaurna one whose stolen land I live :

    Meanwhile as a palate cleanser as Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy blog) used to put it :

    Doesn’t get more Aussie than this -- and the Echidna that stopped the biggest motor race in the nation lived!

  13. StevoR says

    @15. chigau (違う) : My condolences. Sorry to read that and thinking of you.


    Nearly 130 specie s added to the threatened with extinction list in Australia alone.

    Meanwhile in Afgahnistan, wells are drying up, land desertifying and Glonal Overheating destroying much of what remained after decades of war and occupation :

    In better if predictable and recently breaking news -- Trump loses yet again :

  14. StevoR says

    EVENT ALERT : On the unlikely (?) off chance any other folks in Adelaide, South Oz read thsi intime & withapologhies fro theshort notice, there’s an anti-Aukus nuclear subs deal protets tomorrow (Sat 11th Dec) rally on at Palrt House steps, 2 pm details here :

    They also have an fb page. WE could really use the numbers her e and allwelcome so please come if you can.

  15. lumipuna says

    Now, a random update on Covid-19 boosters. A couple weeks ago, Ice Swimmer responded to me:

    I’ll get the second covid vaccine booster near the end of December. I’m guessing you could be getting yours six months after your second shot.

    At the time, Finnish authorities had just announced that people over 40 will be eligible for the second booster (ie. third shot) six months after their previous shot. That is, aside from the immunocompromised and some other special groups who either were already eligible or would be at five moths. I’m not yet 40 (I just turned 39 a couple weeks ago), but it’s easy enough to predict that the guideline for us younger folks will be eventually also set at the same “six months minimum”. For me, that’ll be in mid-February. Few people under 40 will reach the six month minimum before February, so there’s no hurry to announce it yet.

    Oh, but did I say I’m not 40 yet? Just recently it occurred to me that, if I understand correctly, when 2022 rolls in, I’ll be officially counted in the 40-44 age group because I turn 40 before the end of that year. In other words, I’m already officially on track to be eligible in mid-February. I’m aging straight into vaccine eligibility. How time flies during a pandemic!

    Not that it makes any practical difference, though. Right now there’s talk about tightening the booster schedule due to the rapid emergence of Omicron variant, but vaccine supply is a rate limiting step. Already, it seems that some middle-aged folks here in Helsinki who should be eligible by the national guideline are not eligible by the local guideline because there’s not enough vaccine. Boosters were given out sparingly in October and November, and now it’s too late to boost many people before Christmas gatherings. Most of these people missing the booster (including the four family members I’m supposed to meet) will be five or six months past their previous shot, so not in their prime immunity any more.

  16. chigau (違う) says

    Here’s a thing.
    When you get a cold call and they say,
    “How are you today?” and you say,
    “My mother just died.”
    they mostly cannot deal
    my Mom would be laughing and laughing and laughing

  17. Jazzlet says

    My mother died when I was at university, and most of my fellow students were terrified I’d break down into tears if they said the wrong thing, so they didn’t say anything. I once stopped all conversation a large tea gathering by saying, into the kind of silence that happens from time to time when a lot of small groups of people are talking, “oh millionaire’s shortbread, we had that at my mothers funeral tea!”. The embarrassed silence was broken by a friend who had lost her brother when she was 21 and he 18, who understood that I didn’t need any direct response, but also that none of the others present had the faintest idea how to respond -- “Well now we know how to shut them all up!”.

    chigau your mother sounds like she had my kind of sense of humour.

  18. Jazzlet says

    Our anniversary holiday in January has beeen cancelled because the property had a tree fall on it during storm Arwen and the damage is more extensive than they at first realised, they are not expecting repair work to be complete until August. Probably for the best given omicron, but still sad.

  19. says

    My grandpa’s funeral was a grey December drizzle and my sister and I emphatically agreed that nobody could have dragged grandpa out of the house that day unless he were dead.

    Sorry about the holiday. But yeah. The horror when you realise that 2022 means 2020-TWO. One thing I’m grateful is that none of my friends and family are Covid deniers. Sure, Uli and us had fights about what to do, but we agreed on the basics.

    We’ve got three more days of school, which is a crime. If we’d sent them off on Friday families could have been sure their kids are safe or not come Christmas, instead of having a potentially infectious kid while meeting grandma and grandpa.

  20. Jazzlet says

    Missing threee days school to be sure you are not infecting your grandparents or come to that your paents is just stupid, especially with how extremely infectious omicron seems to be. I hope you all manage to stay well.

    My fully vaccinated and boosted BiL has COViD-19, seems to be a mild case, but he’s over seventy so we’ll see. Fully vaccinated and boosted SIL has aparently got a cold but with aches and shivers, I’m not convinced, she had a negative lateral flow test, but they are not that reliable, especially when it comes to negative results. Fretting rather. Fretting rather as she is getting continuing retment to keep recurrent breat cancer at bay. Fortunately they live in a large house and are able to keep to seperate rooms, so if it really is a cold she may yet avoid a COVID-19 infection.

  21. lumipuna says

    Happy winter/summer solstice!

    Here in Helsinki it’s a beautiful bright and cold day, still no snow on the ground but expecting to get a light dusting by Friday. Recently there was some icy slush and freezing rain, but luckily it melted before the current freeze.

    As I sit at my home “office” table on rare sunny winter days, just before midday the sun shines briefly between nearby buildings and into my eyes. Today, on winter solstice, it raises just barely enough to peek over the treetops some distance away. Two months from now, weather permitting, it will rise over the nearby buildings and start warming my glasshouse balcony.

  22. StevoR says

    @ ^ 33. Happy Solstice! Here, in Adelaide, South Oz, it’s a warm day with our daytime star burning down from overhead most of the day although not as hot -- into the mid-30’s and 40’s Celsius -- as it has been or will be. La Nina means a cooler and wetter Summer for us which is very welcome as far as I’m concerned. The local creeks have now dried up apart from a few deep and muddy waterholes which my old Kelpie delights in finding and splashing around in when out on walks..

    Oh & just booked my covid booster vaccine for a few weeks time.

  23. Jazzlet says

    Well not surprisingly my SiL also got COVID-19, both cases seem to be/have been mild. both are getting better.

    I have a numb right jaw, I managed to break a filling on an unexpected piece of walnut shell, and it was repaired this morning. I’m not sure there is much left of the tooth that the filling fell out of, but the dentist managed to patch it up.

  24. lumipuna says

    I’ve seen this inaccurate claim circulating before, but now it comes from a famous science popularizer:

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Both male & female Reindeer grow antlers. But all male Reindeer lose their antlers in the late fall, well-before Christmas.

    So Santa’s reindeer, which all sport antlers, are therefore all female, which means Rudolf has been misgendered.

    It’s been noted before by some cheeky progressive commenters that this could be evidence of Rudolf et al. being transmasculine characters, rather than “actually female” characters. Other than that, several people responding to that tweet assert the unusual properties of magic flying fantasy reindeer, and generally accuse NGT of being a point-missing killjoy. Someone noted that Rudolf has been historically often depicted without antlers -- and in my own note, not looking remotely like a reindeer anyway.

    It was also pointed out -- in a serious well, actually -- that male reindeer do in fact often retain their antlers past Christmas. This is briefly described in Wikipedia, and corroborated by the link below, as well as some Finnish literature I’ve seen. Mature males usually drop their big impressive antlers in late November -- early January. Young males (and also some less endowed mature males) retain their small antlers longer, often until late winter or early spring. Same happens with castrated males, as they are hormonally more female-like.

    Castration was also brought up in the replies, and someone linked to this:

    Reuters story

    This winter is definitely difficult for the reindeer ranchers up north, while they’re also still recovering from a difficult winter two years ago. BTW, international press often frames reindeer husbandry specifically as a Sami tradition, which is somewhat misleading. While in Norway and Sweden reindeer husbandry is legally reserved for Sami people, in Finland many reindeer ranchers are non-indigenous, and in Russia numerous indigenous peoples other than Sami keep reindeer.

    Reindeer-pulled sleds used to be a real transport method until they were replaced by snowmobiles. In 17th century Sweden they were first brought to the attention of the “civilized” world, and thus eventually became associated with Santa Claus, who was also said to be from the “far north”. There are some reindeer rides as tourist attractions in Northern Finland, but husky rides (which are not traditional) are more popular and easier for the tourists. Traditional castration of male reindeer went out of fashion with the demise of sled transport, though apparently it’s still common in Siberia. I suppose a good modern solution would be an androgen-blocking injection.

  25. Rob Grigjanis says

    lumipuna @36: Not the first time Tyson has been wrong about Rudolph. A few Christmases ago, he said that Rudolph was a good choice as lead reindeer, because red light penetrated fog better than other frequencies. Spectacularly wrong, and an astrophysicist should know better.

  26. StevoR says

    In the off-chance and hope that some reading this are in South Australia and able to attend tonight :

    Different day – tonight Weds 29th Dec & start time – 4.45 pm but same location – the Gawler Place intersection near the Pigeon sculpture in Rundle Mall & same Weekly Vigil for the refugees wrongly imprisoned on Manus and Nauru here. Please join us and help try to end this needless, unjust torment of innocent people who did us no wrong and pose us no threat.

    Details from the Adelaide Weekly Vigil for Manus and Nauru facebook page :

    Event by Adelaide vigil for Manus and Nauru
    Rundle Mall
    Duration: 1 hr 15 min
    Public · Anyone on or off Facebook

    Adelaide Vigil members invite you to join us for this week’s vigil – a different day and slightly earlier time this week.

    A few months ago Australian Government announced its plan to abandon the 110 refugee men remaining in Papua New Guinea, having detained them there, illegally, since 2013. That is about to happen as of New Year’s Eve, in a few days, and is causing much anxiety. A new Memorandum Of Understanding has been signed with Nauru, enabling the continuation of Australia’s offshore human warehousing to continue there, into the future. Following an extensive Covid_19 outbreak in the Melbourne detention hotel where 46 medevac refugees are housed, this week there was a fire, and the resident prisoners were not even evacuated, merely moved around the building, despite their justifiable fears.

    This Wednesday, from 4.45pm, 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.

    FWIW This Refugee Vigil is a weekly event which is usually (but NOT this one week) held on Friday nights from 5 pm, same place In Adelaide city centre.

  27. says

    Well, happy new year, I guess.
    It was a weird two days. We had a good new year’s eve, with our traditional 5 continents in 5 courses (pics will follow) and then the clock struck 12 and January 1st started and that’s Uli’s birthday, so me and my other BFF spent the first 10 minutes crying. I guess that’ll be our new tradition.

  28. Ice Swimmer says

    Happy New Year!

    Had a quiet New Year’s Eve and went to visit my friend on New Year’s Day. We drank coffee, ate some cookies and dallaspulla* and played cards.

    Because of the current covid restrictions, public saunas are closed. Fuck the covid! I’m hoping the omicron variant and vaccinations will make the epidemic “burn out”, but without a lot of people having to be hospitalized or dying. The number of infections is through the roof, doubling or tripling weekly. This will probably result in everybody here being either vaccinated or getting covid by the end of January.
    * = Which has nothing to do with Dallas, Texas. The developers of this thing just came up with a name they thought would fit a rich, quark-filled pulla roll.

  29. Ice Swimmer says

    Some reindeer news. Sort of. For reasons that are unclear, there is a (tame, mountain) reindeer on the loose in Helsinki suburbs. The police are trying to find out who the animal belongs to. The video seems to be taken under the Pohjois-Haaga railway station (which is on a bridge). The reindeer has no antlers, which is normal for this time of the year, but which probably makes it more difficult to catch the animal (AFAIK they are often lassoed and handled by their antlers). Mountain reindeer don’t really belong in Southern Finland, they are adapted for a cooler climate.

  30. Ice Swimmer says

    Ok, the reindeer has been caught by the police and they’ve handed it over to Helsinki Zoo. Still no info on the owner.

  31. Jazzlet says

    You’d have thought someone would notice they’d mislaid a reindeer around there …

    It’s raining again here, we had about 24 hours of colder weather, with snow on the ground, but we’re back to rain and mud.

  32. says

    Maybe the owner of the Reindeer does not know that it is missing yet, if it escaped from a herd in an open-air enclosure and wandered into the city from afar.

    Escaped tame reindeer roaming the streets of a major city is not something happening here in central Europe every day. Or at all.

    We have finally true winter weather, which nevertheless makes me feel rather under the weather. I really do not respond well to cold and overcast winter days and long dark winter nights. I also may have caught some cold or a chill -- yesterday I got sniffles and sore throat, but it subsided after a day in the warm indoor. I have spent the day by purchasing a domain and making my web page and webshop. I do hope to finish that soon and I also hope to get enough money out of it to not have to get employed next year.

  33. Ice Swimmer says

    Charly @ 46

    The Zoo vet isn’t sure if the reindeer is a tame mountain reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) or a wild forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus). It’s a last spring’s calf, and it should be still following its mom. AFAIK, nearest populations of forest reindeer are about 200 -- 300 km from Helsinki (reindeer herding zone begins ever farther away, something like 600-700 km north of Helsinki).

    If the reindeer is tame/semi-wild and has been a part of someone’s herd, it should have received the earmarks (which are cuts on the edges of earlobes), but I can’t tell if there are any marks on the ears of the calf. Each reindeer owner is required to register their combination of earmarks.

  34. lumipuna says

    I rather suspect the Helsinki reindeer was kept without proper permit (and probably abandoned) by someone who now doesn’t want to be associated with it. In the unlikely case it turns out to be from an endangered wild population, it’s certainly worth the effort of rescuing and keeping alive.

  35. lumipuna says

    Re 50 -- DNA test is still pending, but now it seems the (likely) same animal was photographed in the wild weeks ago, some 150 km north of Helsinki.

    In other news, I just ran across this archive animation clip I remember from a Finnish publicly produced children’s show I watched as a little kid in the 1980s:

    It’s a visual instruction on how to avoid treacherous ice and how to rescue (ideally) someone after they fall in the ice. The two main characters, a teddy bear and a gender-ambiguous child, are traveling “back home to studio” at the end of a day, when the teddy decides to take a shortcut across a frozen lake. There’s no dialogue other than the rescued teddy saying at the end (very somberly) “Watch out for weak ice”.

  36. Jazzlet says

    Awsome work indeed, and so cool that rats that are light enough they will not set off landmines can be used, so the animal is safe while it saves humans.

  37. StevoR says

    The upcoming date of Jan 26th is officially and controversially -- and most Aussies I think now do want to change the date -- called Australia Day / Invasion Day but few people seem to realise that the first ship of the first fleet actually arrived today (18th Jan, okay now technically yesterday already in Oz sicne past midnight here even for Perth) -- 234 years ago. Namely the brig HMS Supply whose captain was Henry Lidgbird Ball, and which was also commanded by the Master / Commander David Blackburn and carried surgeon James Callam.

    They were far from the first Europeans to set foot in Australia, many previous Dutch and other explorers having charted mainly the western and northern coasts and two mutineers from the shipwrecked real life horror story that was the Batavia already having been marrooned permanently on what is now the West Australian coastline.

    However, this marked the beginning of the first permanent European settlement in Australia. The following weeks, months and years would mark the founding of the penal colony of New South Wales -- which then extended in concept from what is now Victoria to what we call today Queensland (where NSW was actually named following Cook’s repair job on the Endeavour after hitting the Great Barrier Reef) -- and the start of the Frontier Wars and the Dispossession of hundreds of Indigenous Peoples in Australia.

    The First Fleet carried aboard vials of smallpox and soon after the Fleet’s arrival, an outbreak of that deadly disease broke out devastating the local population although there is no official -- or other -- known record of whether and if so how and by whom those vials were used.

    Related informative ABC video -10 mins long here :

    Informative webpage here :

    Chilling artefact and surviving wooden -- & rope -- relic of that time and a mysterious fusion of Indigenous and European -- indeed the Supply‘s commander’s history here :

    WARNING : Potentially disturbing material.

    Parts of my nation’s history that seems toofew of my nation’s people know, appreciate and wish to acknowledge.

    Also part number 1,001 (approx -some hyperbole) of why Jan 26th isn’t the right date to have the “celebration of the nation”” as the old bicentenial song once went.

  38. StevoR says

    Excellent article -and set of poll questions here albeit you may need to go through a bit of a rigmarole to access it. Please skip through and read it and answer here because it does make for interesting informative reading. Of course, personally, I voted yes Pluto is a planet and also Eris and Ceres too though not our Moon with my preferred definition for planet being an object that’s gravitationally round so not a comet or asteroid, never self-luminous from core nuclear fusion so not a star or brown dwarf and not directly orbiting another planet so not a moon.

    FWIW as of now votes are :

    67% say yes Pluto should be a planet again of the 92,498 readers that voted.

    For Eris (I voted yes too) yes = 10%
    no = 29%
    What’s an Eris = 61%

    Of 75,857 readers.

    For Ceres -voted yes there too.

    Yes = 12%
    No= 44%
    Never heard of = 43%

    59,076 voters.

    Final question on Earth’s Moon being a planet, voted no here myself

    Yes = 6%
    No = 94%

    So far 51,281 people voted.

    History question didn’t have figures -- or include Aristarchus of Samos arguably even more correct than Copernicus.

    Final question -- I answered everything round that directly orbits the Sun FWIW though would have a slightly diferent personal definition of not a star, not a Moon and round excluding orbit apart from orbiting a planet.

    Current definition -- but leave space for Planet 9 = 63%
    Everythig round that directly orbist the Sun = 24%
    Everything round including large moons = 2%
    Retire the word planet = 10%

    Out of 23,925 voters as of 10.50 am 19th Jan local (South Oz) time.

  39. lumipuna says

    Re 50 -- The Helsinki reindeer turned out to be a wild forest reindeer, according to the DNA test. It’s currently recovering in a zoo holding enclosure. I expect they’ll release it in the spring in some area where wild reindeer live.

  40. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 58

    Yeah. Now I’m wondering what was it that brought it to Helsinki? Maybe it tried to find food (lichen and shoreline plants) but wasn’t all that successful and pretty much ran out of land when it was progressing southwards. Talvipuutarha (where it was caught) is just north on the bay sticking into the Helsinki peninsula (Töölönlahti) and the southernmost parts of Helsinki peninsula are a short reindeer pissing* from there.
    * = A reindeer pissing (Finnish: poronkusema) is the distance a tame reindeer can be driven when pulling a sled before it has to stop and pee (they aren’t supposed to be capable of peeing and running at the same time). The maximum is about 7.5 km. In this case, the distance is 4 -- 5 km.

  41. says

    I’m having a sick day at home. Though I’m mostly recovered from my bladder infection. I’m pretty proud of myself for having said that yes, please, I need sick leave.
    The rest is complete chaos. Just like in the USA, the new government has decided to just let us get Covid. Seriously, their most impressive deed so far is disappointing me, even though my expectations were extremely low anyway. At school there’s currently three classes in quarantine and two colleagues being out sick despite being triple vaxxed. I guess the solution will be to abandon quarantine…

  42. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 60

    Wishing for a speedy recovery! Bladder infection doesn’t sound fun at all.

  43. lumipuna says

    Also wishing a speedy recovery for Giliell. I Covid related news,

    Recently, Finland bought 6 million covid home test packs to be used by schools -- or rather by the families of schoolchildren. Better late than never, you say? Now, before the tests were even delivered into the country, testing and quarantine guidance of school students was drastically stripped down and school officials are saying they might not find meaningful use for all the packs that will be distributed in the coming weeks.

    Also, I got the third vaccine shot today. I was able to reschedule it a couple weeks earlier since the city has been cranking up vaccine delivery capacity. Yesterday I got a public text message informing me that supply is outstripping demand, and I was reserved a slot for the next morning. Feeling slightly more achey and chilly than after the two first shots -- all were Comirnaty.

  44. Jazzlet says

    I hope you are fully recovered, and well done for taking a sick day!

    Our government is continuing it’s insane course of pretending everything is alright by removing all resttrictions, so no more having to wear masks in shops or on ublic transport. But the odious Johnson is at last being investigaed by th police for extensive and repetitive breaking of lockdown rules, it certainly is “one rule for them and another for us”. Although it did result in one of his defenders saying he hadn’t had a party on his birthday, he was just “surprised by a cake”. Who knew cakes were so active?

  45. lumipuna says

    Jazzlet -- There must be some circus clown routine where the clown prepares to blow the candles of a birthday cake and just then the cake blows up or gets thrown at his face.

  46. says

    @Giliell, I hope you get well soon.
    @StevoR it looks that racism is truly well and alive in Australia. Not that I am surprised. It has sort of Rennaissance this last decade or so, getting more visible and overt all over the world. Trump and Brexit gave bigotry and open hatred the last “nudge” the racists needed to again feel secure enough to voice their repulsive opinions in the public and pretend like they are rational.
    @Ice Swimmer, thanks for introducing to us a new SI-derived unit. I will add “poronkusema” to my dictionary and I will spring it on my friends as soon as I get the opportunity to go on a walk with them :-).
    @Jazzlet, BoJo does seem to make a real circus out of the whole UK. It really baffles my mind that there apparently still are people in the UK who think Brexit was a good idea, despite its massive negative impacts being visible already. Here in the good ole EU Brexit is rarely in the news, and when it is, it is to point out some UK whining about being treated the same way as other non-EU countries. Covid response, unfortunately, was not that much better here than in the UK, although it was, on average, slightly better than in the UK.

    Omicron seems to go through the Czech republic like a hot knife through butter. The daily infections are record high and still rising. There is a hopefully good sign in there though -- despite the infections rising since January 7-th when Omicron started to surpass Delta, the deaths continued to decline until today. When delta was surging, the deaths peaked just about a week after the infections did (December 6-th and December 1-st). The fact that for Omicron the deaths are still in decline three weeks after the wave started is a good indicator that Omicron in significantly less dangerous than previous variants. Also for Omicron it happens more often than for previous infections that people are being admitted to hospital for something else and are found to be Covid-positive during admission, without having any or just very mild symptoms.
    When I look at Germany, there the data are very similar -- cases increase drastically with Omicron, but deaths do not follow as they did with previous variants.

  47. says


    When I look at Germany, there the data are very similar — cases increase drastically with Omicron, but deaths do not follow as they did with previous variants.

    I’m not that optimistic yet. First of all, normal hospital wards are filling up again. Intensive care is still emptying, though unfortunately most cases seem to leave ICU via the basement and a hearse. If ICU stays empty in two weeks, I’ll start being mildly optimistic. But the massive amount of infections is a problem as well. When I went to the GP last week, there was exactly ONE medical assistant left, all others were home sick. Today two colleagues, both triple vaxxed tested positive. And we see lots of reinfection. And every infection is rolling the dice for a new, probably worse mutation…

  48. Jazzlet says

    I got that quote wrong, Johnson was in fact “ambushed by a cake” …

    I worry about all the infected people all over the world providing nice breeding grounds for new varieties of COVID-19. It is insane to me that our govenment is still against sharing intellectual property and technical know how to poor countries. The rights of companies’ to make profits is more important than the health of the whole world. It is madnesss.

  49. StevoR says

    FWIW. Incase anyone’s interested, the Adelaide Refugee Vigil has resumed physical meetings from this evening /arvo -- corner of Rundle Malland galwer Place 5 pm.

    Also for fellow Adealideans (& Aussies) theGreen Planet doco by Attenbrough ison tonigt C9, 7.30 pm.

  50. says

    Central Yurope has been hit by extremely strong winds. I have slept less than four hours over the last 36 hours and that sleep was scattered into short naps. I have a serious case of brain fogs now.
    We had a short blackout, so for several hours, I had to carry manually water out of the cellar so it does not get flooded (after an earthquake several decades ago, we have a running spring in the cellar each winter). And the wind has damaged my greenhouses again after they were OK for several years. Hopefully, the damage is not too great and I should be able to repair it tomorrow or on Saturday.

  51. Ice Swimmer says

    Ouch. I’m hoping you can repair the greenhouse without too many problems.

    I read “brain fogs” as “brain frogs”. Maybe I should also go to bed.

  52. says

    I see that comments in TNET no longer show in the sidebar. I will make a new thread soon, but not today. Yesterday were repaired the greenhouses and tonight the wind damaged one of them again. We also had several hours lasting blackout and all that time I had to carry 100 l of water out of the cellar every hour. I have not slept well at all, I am tired and the wind is still howling, so I must be on guard in case of another blackout.

  53. says

    Urgh, I hope you get some rest tonight, Charly.
    We were thankfully mostly unaffected. I just wished my husband and his wife were a bit tidier, so I wouldn’t have had to spend an hour picking up things in the rain on Wednesday

  54. says

    @lumipuna, that sounds extremely painful and worrying. I do hope he does not suffer any permanent damage. I must say though that he seems to be a bit daft because it happened to him once already. One would think that after it happened once he would take more precautions next time.
    I do not care one iota about the Olympics, but skiing in any form has a special place in my heart -- I hate it with a truly fiery passion.

  55. lumipuna says

    Reportedly, I first learned to hate skiing (with the help of my parents) at the age of 3 years 2 moths. Later in school, I found skiing tolerable, but quite nonsensical in a suburban environment. Instead of using the skis to get around in a snowy landscape in traditional fashion, you have to carry the skis and go out of your way to find a suitable place for skiing. I was also terrified of going down any significant slopes.

    My current neighborhood actually has some flat, open park landscape very near my home, and I’ve sometimes considered getting skis and skiing shoes (they’d need to be unusually large for my adult self). It’d allow me to enjoy the outdoors in some places that aren’t accessible for pedestrians during deep snow. Lots of people here seem to like skiing on ready-made tracks, competing for space with pedestrians, while almost nobody seems to go off track.

    This winter we had a relatively deep snow, then it recently melted into slush and froze so hard you can actually walk on it with regular shoes. However, today there’s a real blizzard bringing another thick layer of fresh snow. It will be incredibly wet and slushy when all this ice and snow eventually melts.

  56. Jazzlet says

    It’s just wet and muddy here, very wet and very muddy. We had three named storms in the space of one week, and are waiting for Gladys to turn up with yet more rain and strong winds. Lots of flooding and trees down and buildings damaged. But right this moment there is a small streak of blue sky visible.

  57. says

    Hmmm, we got your leftover storms, Jazzlet. We were lucky here, the worst that happened was that I had to get out at 1:30 to catch the “recycling*” wheely.
    *Germany has this “the green dot” system where your plastic packing allegedly gets recycled. We hit an extra bin for those and while they’re voluminous, they’re not heavy.
    All in all this February was too warm. I mean, that’s a new normal, but often you’d get a really cold spell in February.
    Today the weather was great and we produced almost 23kw/h of energy.

  58. says

    Yeah, those leftover storms did no small amount of damage to my garden.

    The greenhouses were, luckily enough, repairable and are already repaired. Again. But I run out of one kind of spare part doing so. Currently, I am doing my best to improve the structure. The improvements from last time have proven insufficient, although they did help massively even so. Last time one of the two greenhouses got completely smashed, this time I only had to put back three window panes.

  59. lumipuna says

    All in all this February was too warm. I mean, that’s a new normal, but often you’d get a really cold spell in February.

    In my area, it seems that February in particular has been often freakishly warm in recent years. Winters are overall milder than they used to, but it’s largely because of the February anomaly. Traditionally, February used to be the one month with quite reliably wintry weather.

    Today was indeed wintry and beautiful, because it was calm and cold and the sun was glowing through a thin cloud haze and we have 30 cm of new snow on top of the frozen slush. By morning, the next storm leftover should be here. Nothing dangerous, but it will be again windy and murky and mild and perhaps rainy, with more ice accumulating on the walkways.

  60. says

    Ahhh, the joys of being your parents’ child. Forever
    Yesterday we spent the day at our friends ‘. In the afternoon I get a phone call from my dad’s mobile (the guy hates mobiles and still doesn’t have a smart phone), making me fear that something is wrong.
    Well, apparently there was.
    “We’re standing on your doorstep, with dome Krapfen*, and you’re not at home!”
    Like, yes, I know. I was there when I left the house.
    I’m 43, I’m married, I have two kids, a house and a mortgage, but apparently I still need to ask my parents for permission before I visit friends.
    And yes, they complained to my sister about us….

  61. StevoR says

    Quoting for truth – Chase Strangio on twitter :

    I would rather my kid change their sense of gender 200 times before puberty than die before they could live. Your anxiety over young kids claimimg a truth of who they are is about you not them, not medicine, not some grave threat. Deal with your shit and let others live


    Typed out from meme shared by friend, any typographical errors mine.

    My view FWIW :

    Staggers me that anyone wouldn’t.
    We’re all individuals.
    All ourselves.
    Who else should decide for us, who and what we are?
    We’re all people, people.
    We can all treat each other with kindness and respect and allow each other to be each other, can’t we?
    Think and be kind.
    I will never tell anyone else what gender they should be or are, what sexuality or orientation or life they should live as.
    Because that ain’t my choice. Its theirs.
    As long as it isn’t hurting me or others.
    Which it won’t be here.
    How is this hard or not obvious as F?

    Too basic?Too hard? I just .. fucksake…Just this.

  62. chigau (違う) says

    In most of Canada Daylight Wasting Time ends over the night tonight.
    Let the Savings begin!

  63. says

    Still not dead, still too stressed out.
    I’m pretty quiet right now because even though I really like arguing, everything is too serious. Just trying to do right by the people I can do right by. Rather being a helper than right on the internet

  64. Ice Swimmer says

    I’ve got a job, starting soon, one in which I can use my education to the full. I’ll have to move to Tampere. I’m hunting for an apartment there now.

    It was about time to get a job. The 400 (work) days of better unemployment benefits are almost over and I was getting somewhat desperate on my lack of success in finding a job.

  65. Jazzlet says

    Very pleased for you Ice Swimmer, I hope you find a reasonable apartment in plenty of time!

  66. lumipuna says

    Congrats, Ice Swimmer! I could scarcely imagine getting a real job if I eventually graduate.

  67. lumipuna says

    Speaking of my PhD studies, my first scientific paper (as in first author) was just published online this week, after legendary amounts of procrastination, polishing, more procrastination, a couple rejections and some substantial revising.

    I guess my paper was de facto accepted in October when the latest journal we submitted to requested revisions. I submitted those in January, then gave some copyediting feedback as requested in early March. Then I missed a notice of acceptance that was sent just a few days before the paper went online.

  68. lumipuna says

    In other news, I got myself a Twitter account (ät lumipuna) since the bird site appears to have recently gone members only. I might show up in people’s replies, or even “follow” someone (in a non-creepy way), as the kids say.

  69. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 93 and Jazzlet @ 92

    Thank you!

    As for the apartment, I found one. It’s small, but in a good location, it has a balcony and it isn’t on the ground floor. The view is a wooded steep slope.

    I’ve already moved some stuff there, but most of the stuff that’s going to end up there will have to wait. I’ll have to get some boxes and so on for the move and also get rid of any unnecessary things. Luckily there’s plenty of time to do the move (almost 2 months). Most of the stuff will be moved in one big removal, but there’s plenty of time to prepare and to clean up afterwards.

    lumipuna @ 94

    Congrats! I would’ve liked to remain in the university and do my D.Sc, but it was not to be. OTOH, many of the guys in the research group I was in have moved into the “real world” after their D.Sc. or a stint as a postdoc. But that’s the way in tech.

  70. lumipuna says

    Ice Swimmer -- Thank you, too.

    I almost forgot my degree will be formally titled in English as “D. Sc (name of field)” or in long form “Doctor of Science (name of field)”. I gather in English “PhD” is a generic shorthand for a doctoral degree, while nobody would actually write it out in ancient fashion as “Doctor of Philosophy”.

    In Finland and Sweden, “Doctor of Philosophy” is an actual formal title you get in various theoretical fields of science. One time in The Guardian they interviewed a Swedish volunteer firefighter who gave his occupation as Doctor of Philosophy (ie. unemployed scientist), and some people in the comments mistook him for a philosopher.

  71. lumipuna says

    A late blizzard is getting started in southern Finland right now. The weather has been nice and sunny for a while, occasionally even warm, but now it’s going to be chilly days with wind and snow/sleet/rain. At least the walkways aren’t icy any more, generally speaking.

    My glasshouse balcony has been very warm already on the recent sunny days. There are several mason bee nests, and some of the young bees have already hatched. I try to keep the glass panes closed and feed them sugar water, because it’s too early for flowers and general outdoor survival, but the bees seem very intent on flying away into the wide world. Currently, one is sitting on the balcony floor, too cold and stiff to even drink the sugar water I dropped in front of it. I guess it still has a better chance of survival than the ones that already flew on their way.

  72. Ice Swimmer says

    The blizzard really hit Tampere with a vengeance. The trip to work tomorrow will be interesting… (Telecommuting isn’t currently in the cards.)

  73. Jazzlet says

    Ice Swimmer @96
    The apartment sounds good, a view like that is wonderful. I’m lucky enough to have a view over our garden -- the house is half a storey above ground level at the back -- which is itself surrounded by well tree-ed gardens to a small hill of mixed fields and woodland. Most of the large trees on the hill are oak and show the passing of the seasons beautifully, especially as I’m looking east at it so we get some glorious evening light playing on them. I’ve lived with a variety of urban or suburban views over the years, but this one is by far the best. Plus we get plenty of birds both in and beyond the garden. I am very lucky.

    lumipuna @94 and 97
    Congratulations on your first author published status!
    You are correct in thinking you would be a PhD in the UK at least, I’m not sure if the rest of the English speaking world follows our somewhat antiquated styling. It of course goes back to the days when science was still part of natural philosphy, and before that of philosophy alone in the years sufficiently long after our oldest universities were founded, when they introduced degrees other than Divinity (ie religion). As newer universities came along, although they changed the stylings of their undergraduaate degrees to varying extents, they all kept the prestige of awarding PhDs, so to a large degree (ha!) it’s a matter of snobbery.
    We too have had a change from sunny to colder, and in our case wet weather, all to the good I think, it is not so cold as to damage any native plants or creatures, and spring shouldn’t be too dry here.
    I was out shopping on Saturday, a big food shop so I had the car with me, when I started the car to come home the dashboard had almost totally died, just the engine light worked, no speedometer, no rpm, no indicator lights, nothing. I debated whether I should drive home, but couldn’t face having to wait for “assistance” so I did, but boy was it an uncomfortble drive, I was very glad we chose a geared car as I think you get more information using gears, and I hadn’t realised just how much notice I took of the speedo in paticular. I supppose it’s good that I do, but it was really unpleasant, even on roads I know well enough to know exactly where I’ll change gear. Anyway apparently its a known fault, a unit has to be sent away for repair, so it will take at least a week. Just as well I’d bought all the heavy food we’ll need, especially the dog food!

  74. Rob Grigjanis says

    lumipuna @97:

    I gather in English “PhD” is a generic shorthand for a doctoral degree, while nobody would actually write it out in ancient fashion as “Doctor of Philosophy”.

    “Doctor of Philosophy” is written in ancient fashion on my degree. But there is a tradition that “B.Sc” stands for “Bullshit” (ignore the ‘c’), “M.Sc” stands for “More shit”, and “PhD” stands for “Piled higher and Deeper”.

  75. Ice Swimmer says

    Rob Grigjanis @ 101

    I’m only a M.Sc. in English. In Finnish, I’m a DI (diplomi-insinööri). I wonder what they have in German for the corresponding Dipl.-Ing. (Diplom-Ingenieur)?

  76. says

    Yay for the good news for our Finnish fraction here.
    Weather has been cooler again here as well, but at least we got some rain.

  77. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 103


    I’m wishing your stress will subside into manageable or low levels. I’m planning on some “stress management” in sauna today.

  78. Oggie: Mathom says

    Ice Swimmer:

    Conga rats ululations to you.

    I have to admit I have mixed feelings when I hear of people switching jobs, or getting a promotion, or finding a job after a protracted search, or complaining that their boss is hounding them for not doing the job assigned while still expecting him to keep doing the job he used to have at the college. (my brother-in-law). Part of me is happy/sad/appropriate response for the person (again, great news, Ice Swimmer), but I am also so very detached from it all now. Oh, right, work. I remember that. Even miss some of it.

  79. Ice Swimmer says

    Oggie @ 105

    Hi and thank you! Life is mixed, you know. I think I have my own mixed feelings. I’m anxious about being up to the task, but hopeful that I can manage. I have a lot less time for hobbies, but the time I have for them isn’t haunted by the guilt of not having done enough of job hunting.

    However, the part that I hate is packing, throwing away stuff and moving. There is a lot of legacy stuff I have to get rid of, that I should have got rid of during the last move seven years ago.

    I’m wishing you all the best!

  80. says

    Hi Oggie,
    I’m just happy to see you. We all aspire to reach your level of “yes, work, that happens to other people”

  81. Ice Swimmer says

    Today I lived up to my ‘nym. In Lake Näsijärvi. Also went to sauna, seemingly everybody who wasn’t watching ice hockey*, but lived in Tampere were there. Apart from humans, (wild) ducks were enjoying a sunny spring evening sitting on ice and swimming every now and then.
    * = Both local teams had important games. Both are in playoffs. I’m not too interested, but it’s hard to miss, many locals here are rather vocal about which team they support.

  82. lumipuna says

    Thanks to covid home testing and the general responsibility in my family, our small Easter gathering was canceled at the last minute. I just dodged a major exposure.

    Thanks to covid vaccines, my parents probably won’t be in danger or too much discomfort despite infection in their household. My mom has been able to enjoy some social activities (dad doesn’t care to) without really endangering them both.

  83. avalus says

    @lumipuna: Best of luck for your parents!

    Sorry, bit of a rant but I am furious!
    Flatmate 1 got the Cov on tuesday despite triple vax, the poor guy. Thankfully so far it is just like a strong cold but still very taxing on him. Flatmate 2 on the other hand just seems to want to turn our flat into a superspreader by inviting people *wants to scream obscenities in his _____ face* and probably will not relent even if I whack him with a printed out version of the covid laws. Because ‘freedumbs’ and ‘yeah rules are not for him’. ‘You need to live, you know?’ ‘Chill!’ *wants to scream more obscenities*

    We (me and 1) actually think of just calling police next time, he invites friends over. Ans of course they all wear no masks (we do). *obsceneties*
    The fucking brainless selfishness is incredible. Why are people like that? ARG!

  84. says

    Wishing your parents a speedy recovery.

    I feel you. So many people acting like Covid was over. And I must say, doing the big grocery run, I noticed that people between 14 and 40 tend to be the worst. No masks, no nothing, like they are immortal.
    We do meet friends and family again, but we all always test. Sure, it’s not a 100% safety, there never is, but at least have some precautions.

  85. lumipuna says

    We had a very nice video meeting with the family on Easter.

    I heard something funny that happened to my sister and BIL a while ago. They found a bottle of German wine they liked, and tried to write up the name from the label for future reference. Turned out what they wrote was German for “dry”.

    That said, my own understanding of wines is practically non-existent. After my 2013 conference trip to Geisenheim, I went to a liquor store here in Finland and asked them to recommend me a wine from that specific area. I was going to visit the family, and thought a wine bottle would be a nice gift/prop while showing off my photos of German vineyards. I later realized the cheap German white wine they sold me is actually known as a very cliche, bog-standard “cheap booze” type wine here in Finland.

  86. says

    I absolutely like wine, but not white wine, which means that I don’t drink the excellent wines my own region produces.
    Uli’s brother in law actually served us some of the “best German wines*” and while it was kind of nice and I’d drink it in summer in the garden, I’d still prefer a gin tonic.
    *he actually wrote and manages a computer program that optimizes sales for the quality wines and gets paid in more wine than they, can actually drink.

  87. lumipuna says

    Giliell -- I expect climate change will soon bring you some locally sourced red wines? Here in southern Finland first vineyards are just popping up, and presumably eventually they’ll stop looking exotic to me.

  88. avalus says

    @lumipuna: I like white wine but I can hardly taste a difference between most cheap and expensive wines. And if it is not to their liking, it is always a good cooking ingredient ;)

    Over 10 years ago I was joking with a finno-german friend from school, in how many decades we will see finnish wine (instead of vodka). Well, joke is clearly on us.

  89. lumipuna says

    avalus -- I wouldn’t say the aforementioned wine was bad but I was hoping to get something that wasn’t super “basic” and familiar as such to my parents.

    AFAIK there’s already a very small niche market for Finnish wine but it’s sold as “grape beverage” because Finland isn’t yet certified as a “wine-producing country” as per EU standards. Generally. people here drink beer, cider and wine rather than vodka nowadays.

  90. lumipuna says

    In other news, I just had my karyotype checked in public healthcare. There was recently some suspicion based on my physical appearance (which is perfectly normal, I used to think) that I might be XXY, but actually I’m XY. The gender crits or Taliban could’ve predicted this from looking at my junk, and saved a lot of taxpayer money. I’m still waiting for my “certified male” card to arrive in the mail.

  91. says

    @lumipuna, of course those simpletons could save teh taxpayur a lot of mahney, They knows bests than thoze uppity scientititss in they eywory towahr’s. And gendur is most definutilely by-nary.

  92. says

    Oh, Germany does have red wines, I just think they’re terrible. They’re not bad quality, I just don’t like them. I absolutely love the heavier, richer French, Spanish and Italian wines.

  93. says

    @Anne, that is a lovely project, I do like the colours on the “night” side. I am not sure I understand the purpose of the box with two journals in it though. Or to put it another way, I am sure I do not understand it :-).
    Fingers crossed for the booster. For me both boosters were unpleasant, and the covid that I got despite them was just as unpleasant as said boosters.

  94. says

    Charly, I don’t understand the design either, it just looked like fun to do. I’m catching up on things that got set aside during my dad’s last year. This was a free class offered by someone I’d enjoyed another online class from. It’s just taken me over 20 years to actually do it.

    The last COVID shot just gave me a really swollen sore arm, so I’m hoping for the best.

  95. says

    It’s a lovely project. As for the design, it looks like something you would find in a fantasy book. A ritual object, dedicated to two aspects of a god/dess, a universal principle…
    Fingers crossed for the booster. I had a widely different reaction to all three shots, though I also had three different vaccines…

  96. says

    ARGH, does somebody want a Father in Law? Stubborn, rash, and really bad in all things money?
    Some time ago he bought an e bike. Of course the battery didn’t last too long, so he needed a replacement. He came to me saying that he’d tried to order it online, but it hadn’t worked, could I please do it for him? Sure. He told me where to look and what to buy and sat next to me while we ordered. A couple of days later he sends me a message if I could please cancel the order? I tried, but it had already been shipped. So we tried sending it back, but because of the dangerous substances it is excluded from being sent back, which we apparently agreed to when we ordered. Checking the site again, yes, that’s what it says on the site.
    So I called him again, told him that we couldn’t send it back and asked him what was wrong with it. Well, apparently he HAD ordered it when he tried and he asked me to cancel the order when the first one arrived. Me: let’s see if we can send that one back! Him: no, I’m already using it! Like a fucking kid with the planning ability of a dead oposum.

  97. says

    Giliell, thank you! I do draw on a lot of fantasy and myth and metaphysical stuff when I do these things. Sometimes I just do it because it makes sense at the time, heh. I have a small library of books on crystals and the tarot and symbols and so on that I use for inspiration.

    The booster went well, my arm and shoulder are sore and achy. I can live with that. The project manager said that he’s seen several pairs of identical twins come in for their COVID shots. Sometimes one has very little reaction and the other is really hit hard by the vaccine. Interesting.

  98. Jazzlet says

    Anne that project is gorgeous, though I can see why you are not as satisfied with the day side, it’s not that it is in any way bad, but it doesn’t have that extra something which makes the night side so special.
    Glad you are not suffering too much after your booster.


  99. Jazzlet says

    I need more Tramadol as I am using them at a higher rate than I was, I have had problems before with GPs that are new to the practice, who haven’t really looked at my medical history, getting sniffy about signing my regular prescription so I am concerned that getting more will be a problem. I phone the practice and explain to the receptionist that I need more Tramadol fairly urgently and am given a phone appointment for later that day. When the doctor rings it is a new to the practise GP and my heart sinks, but I explain a little of my medical history, and ask for more Tramadol. The GP say “How many do you want?” . . What. The. Fuck?!?!!!! He increased my presciption from sixty to a hundred every twenty-eight days, which is enough for now, that is until I can get an appointment to see my regular GP. Gobsmacked.

  100. lumipuna says

    Re 123,

    I did receive a written statement of what I was previously told on the phone. A man card, if you will.

  101. says

    Yay! I hate it so much that the medical establishment still sees pain as not worth treating in and on itself. I know exactly that the last time my spinal prolapse fucked up and I ended up in the university hospital emergency orthopaedic care, the dude there thought I was drug seeking when I asked for something stronger than diclofenac. I was very tempted to day “dude, I#m not seeking drugs. I’m a teacher, if I want drugs I ask my students”.

  102. Ice Swimmer says

    Jazzlet @ 133

    Yay from me as well.

    lumipuna @ 134

    Sort of congrats!

    I celebrated the May Day by going to see freshman Technology Students being dipped into Tammerkoski (Tampere rapids, the short river flowing through the isthmus on which the city centre and some other parts of the city (including where I live) are located connecting Näsijärvi in the north to Pyhäjärvi in the south*). They had two cranes and baskets with pontoons, each which was filled with a dozen students in their student overalls, wearing their tech student caps. and a bottle of sparkling wine (which they would open in the basket, spray and and pass around), raised high in the air and then lowered to the river to get their “baptism”, shedding their freshman (fuksi) status and gaining the status of a teekkari (a proper technology student). After being lowered into the water, the basket was brought back to the dry land. I think they had a sauna tent and probably a place to change into dry underwear. The MCs of the event interviewed the students on PA after they had been dipped. Every one of them claimed that the water wasn’t cold, but many complained that they didn’t manage to get the sparkling wine bottle open quick enough to spray while in the basket.

    Myself, having watched the spectacle for a while, met some friends and hung out briefly with them. Then I took a bus to one of my favourite places in Tampere and spent about 3 hours alternating between swimming in a hole in the ice (in Näsijärvi**) and going to the hot saunas. The lake water was refreshing and the sauna relaxed my back muscles nicely.
    * = Both lakes are still mostly frozen, but the river has no ice anymore.
    ** = The hole has grown significantly of late.

  103. Jazzlet says

    Thank you, it was a huge relief. I did wonder what he would have said had I asked for 1,000 he was so relaxed about the request! I subsequently discovered he was a locum, I’m not that surprised as he sounded older than the new to the practice GPs tend to be.

    I am now having problems getting an advance appointment to see my GP and it’s all the fucking Governments fault. They have promised that anyone who needs one will be able to get an appointment on the day, but that has the side effect of fewer in advance appointments being available, and as some of those are set aside for doctors wanting to see patients again in two/or whatever weeks it means there really aren’t that many for patients. I asked on the day I got the phone appointment a Tuesday, but the advance appointments weren’t up “ring on Friday”. The advance appointments were going up s I speak on Friday so “ring on Monday”. Somehow on Monday the advance appointments were still not up “ring on Friday”. On Friday they were all gone, I may have had a little bit of a (polite) melt down, so my case has been refered to the practice manager. Part of the problem is that they don’t have a day when those appointments go up, so you end up ringing time after time then finding they are all gone. I could theoretically ring at 8am and get an on the day appointment, but that wouldn’t guarantee I got an appointment with my GP, plus if I’ve not slept overnight due to the pain I wouldn’t be safe to drive, at least with an advance appointment Paul can block out the time so if it’s necessary he can drive me.

    @ lumipuna
    I doubt many if any of the MRAs have proof they are men ;-)

    @ Giliell
    The lack of belief is one of the reasons I want to see my regular GP, she knows I haven’t just guzzled as many pills as I’m given, but in the early days didn’t always us all of especially the stronger ones. New-to-me doctors have to go through the whole history of disease as well as looking at the prescribing history before accepting I’m not drug seeking. It isn’t the best start to a doctor patient relationship.

  104. lumipuna says

    I responded to a telephone “consumer research poll” that turned out to be screening marks for a relatively manipulative telemarketing scheme. Teaches me right to not answer any polls just because I have a few minutes of spare time.

    I clearly declined to buy anything, but I did it fairly politely, so we’ll see if they send me an electric toothbrush and a 40 euro bill anyway. These sort of marketing geniuses might (not entirely incorrectly) interpret politeness as a sign that I’d be reluctant to litigate a 40 euro bullshit purchase.

  105. Ice Swimmer says

    lumipuna @ 139

    Was it an overly energetic dude (more likely a recording), that will just blast on no matter what you say? I just hang up and block the number. I’ve had to do it at least twice. Both times they called while I was at work.

  106. lumipuna says

    Re Ice Swimmer 141:

    On the first call, there was a polite dude who just asked “one minute” for some sort of “market research poll”. I honestly expected it to take several minutes, but there were only two questions. On the first one, I said I wouldn’t be interested in getting some 200 euro new technology whatchamagic electric toothbrush for “test use” for 40 euro.

    On the second question, I said I would be interested in it if the toothbrush were already in common use (“100 000 or more users in Finland”). I thought of it as a faint but plausible long-term possibility, while the poll only recorded a binary yes/no answer. This second question turned out to be tactical goalpost moving, since a couple days later a woman called me and announced that I had indicated interest in this new toothbrush that she claimed had 100 000 users in Finland already.

    That’s when my bullshit meter went off, but I didn’t yet have enough awareness to try to be uncharacteristically blunt in my rejection. I said something like, I’ll consider it when my current e-brush wears out. She suggested I look up the brand’s website. The more I think about this, the more obvious it becomes that this is a scammy product I should never consider buying.

    The second question had marked me as someone who is slightly interested in electric toothbrushes (I recently started using a cheap model) and also doesn’t like saying “no” to people all the time. If I’d missed the goalpost moving and been generally more susceptible to manipulation than I already am, I might’ve agreed to the offer. It’d have also marked me as someone who likely won’t complain if the product turns out to be less impressive and more expensive than initially suggested.

    I didn’t initially consider what the “test use” is even supposed to mean. I thought, maybe they’re recruiting beta testers for a new product. The obvious answer is that I’d have to either cough up the full 200 euro or return the device after a month’s use or so. Except scammy companies typically make it difficult/impossible to return products or unsubscribe services after a free testing period. Also, considering this “poll” turned out to be predatory telemarketing for some obscure company, one should be extremely sceptical of the claims that the toothbrush actually features 200 euros’ worth of new technology, is recommended by dentists etc.

  107. lumipuna says

    Update: The two calls mentioned above came from slightly different numbers. Since yesterday, I’ve gotten two calls from a third, substantially different unknown number (I don’t usually get much calls). Both went unanswered because I happened to be busy, and the caller didn’t wait for very long. I think it’s probably some unrelated spam.

  108. avalus says

    Yay! for Jazzlet getting more pain medication!
    And Boo! for telemarketers.

    At the moment, I have “Liar, liar, pants on fire: flatmate edition” with boldfaced lies and lots of fake indignation about the poor sod being forced, I say, FORCED, good people, to clean up his shit (and yes, in one case, literally that).
    Yet, he steadfastly yells into our faces that it *clearly* is not his $stuff (who cares, if only he has/eats $stuff or same colour and type of hair that clog the bathroomsink) and we are big spießbürger and general killjoys. And also freedoms and rules of living together don’t apply to him, really. Along with assorted slurs and some really hammy faked outrage to boot.
    He is really a great example of “only I matter, you are all unimportant peasants”. (I bet there is a term for that).
    I wonder what his upbringing was like, if he considers this adequate interpersonal etiquette.
    The thirteen days until he is finally gone from our flat can’t go by soon enough -- urrg.

  109. Jazzlet says

    Lumipuna I was looking for a new e-brush for Paul and was bemused by the options available. Why would you want your toothbrush to be “internet capable”?!? Oh and I can see the recent comments from here too.

    Avalus it sounds like you will be well rid!

    I got to see my GP who pointed out that some of the pain I am getting is in a new place, further up my abdomen, and that I’ve lost weight without trying, so I’ve a round of tests coming up. I’ve had the CT scan, I need to collect samples, give samples, have cameras up and cameras down, and a chest x-ray to top it all off. I am so glad the NHS is still functioning. Though I did feel a little frustrated yesterday, after the call booking the CT scan I thought it was at 7pm, but Paul pointed out the letter said 8.40 am, so I dragged myself up early enough to consume the required water and set off through the delightful rush hour traffic. Turned out the letter was wrong, my appoinment was at 7 pm, but as I was there and they weren’t busy they saw me straight away, and complimented me on my jumper too, which was nice of them.

  110. lumipuna says

    Update: Turned out the two missed calls were from a home utility business that’s been planning the installment of an air conditioning unit in my apartment. I’d totally forgotten about them because, in true practice of home renovation industry, they’d been dead silent for weeks.

    The whole planning process is proceeding in what seems like a half-assed manner. They keep contacting me for the paperwork, instead of contacting the landlord (ie. my parents). My contact info was initially written down as the primary contact, and it wasn’t apparently corrected after there was some confusion earlier. Then the guy responsible for the coordination fell ill (quite seriously, sorry to hear that) and the new guy they assigned for us was again confused by the wrong contact info (plus the accidental difficulty of reaching me by phone).

  111. says

    Good riddance to that guy.

    I have an “emergency phone”. It’s got a proper SIM card, BUT, nobody except me has that number. I regularly get SMS telling me that “my delivery will be here soon, just click that link” or calls from god knows where. Not to mention the regular calls from “Microsoft” on our landline. By now they even got people who speak heavily accented German. Imagine studying a language as hard as German to become fluent in it and then having to use that skill as a phone scammer.

    Be still, my heart.
    On Friday the little degus escaped Degustan and went exploring in the kid’s room (thankfully she always, always closes her door because of that possibility). We caught Sky pretty easily, since she’s both bold and tame, but Lulu? Lulu had hidden away in the darkest, least accessible corner of the room: behind the bed/desk/wardrobe behemoth and wasn’t willing to get out at all. The problem is that the behemoth cannot be pushed completely into the corner because the heating pipes are running along the wall inside a boxy cover about 5cm wide. Perfect for a small degu (Candy would probably have her difficulties), hard to reach. We tried everything from making noises on the other side, putting out treats, trying to push her out with a broomstick… No way. In the end we had to push the behemoth farther away from the wall (very, very carefully) so the little one could reach into the gap. I don’t even know if it took 15 minutes or an hour. I’m just not cut out for this. My heart instantly attaches to them and I worry myself sick. I think my next pet needs to be larger and less sensitive. Maybe a stone with goggly eyes or something like that…

  112. Jazzlet says

    Giliell, you do already have two stone pets, in your front garden if I’m remembering correctly! Glad Lulu was eventually got out of her redoubt. Is there any way of blocking the entrance to the gap, at least at the bottom, so she can’t hide out there the next time they escape?

    Jake has been unwell, he is doing better now, but he freaked the vets out (as well as us) -- his liver enzyme results should have been 140 ish, they were over 4,000. “We’ve never seen levels this high, we need to run more tests”, as the tests were scans, x-rays and more blood tests we agreed. Results are inconclusive *sigh*, his liver is too small, his gall bladder is too big, but his liver enzyme results were “better” over 400 before food and “only” 2,000 or so after food. His gall bladder has been sampled and we are waiting for the results. He is 12 which is a good age for a German Shepherd, but now he’s got over whatever it was that defintely was making him ill he’s back to walking round the field, barking at dogs that use “his” pavement, frantically barking at cats that use his front garden and playing tug with SiL, then sulking when she leaves. I am not sure anything they diagnose will make a huge difference in how we treat him because he enjoys all of those activities and I wouldn’t want to make his life miserable, but we’ll see.

  113. lumipuna says


    I have an “emergency phone”. It’s got a proper SIM card, BUT, nobody except me has that number. I regularly get SMS telling me that “my delivery will be here soon, just click that link” or calls from god knows where.

    Huh. I’ve lately gotten some SMS about new documents in my ebank. Apparently it was nothing urgent, and it took me a while to actually visit the ebank. The timing of those SMS didn’t seem to match actual documents appearing in my ebank, so I was slightly confused. Only now I realize they were phishing attempts. This particular method is something I know about, but don’t always remember.

    Luckily, I never use my ebank from offered links, and my old dumb phone isn’t even cabable of that. However, at work I notice I’ve gradually become less paranoid about clicking email links over the years.

    Not to mention the regular calls from “Microsoft” on our landline. By now they even got people who speak heavily accented German. Imagine studying a language as hard as German to become fluent in it and then having to use that skill as a phone scammer.

    They haven’t learned Finnish yet, but perhaps they’d only need to memorize a few rote lines. One time I whimsically asked, “Do you have, like a Finnish language service?” Someone seriously pretending to be customer service would say “no” in some flourish way, but the woman on the line didn’t respond at all -- she just robotically repeated her request that I do soandso. Clearly, this isn’t high level con artistry.

  114. lumipuna says

    (The following is something I wanted to write about a while ago, but forgot until now)

    It can be annoying when you’re 39 years old and they ask you to show your ID at the grocery store checkout. That is, especially when you’re buying a non-alcoholic wine, and were hoping to be spared of the hassle, what with pandemic masking and all.

    Even before the pandemic, I never developed a comfortable adult routine for buying alcohol (see my comment at 116 upthread). I just wanted to buy a bottle of something fruity and fizzy and perhaps mildly alcoholic to celebrate my first published paper (see my comment at 94 upthread) with my supervisors at the university.

    At the local supermarket, I found a surprisingly cheap yet nice-looking beverage that was 0.8 % alcohol. I vaguely remember that under Finnish and EU legislation, less than 1.2 % alcohol could be sold without age restriction, and even advertised as a non-alcoholic version of whatever. However, I forgot that Finland’s leading retail chains have a recently adopted, PR-driven policy to age-restrict anything with a measurable (that is, 0.1 % upwards) alcohol content.

    According to signs posted at the store, the usual policy with alcohol is to check the ID of buyers who look relatively young. However, it appears that If you buy age-restricted products at those newfangled checkout automates, you always need to call a staff member to verify your age, because the machine can’t see you’re already past your physical prime. That is, even if you’re not wearing a mask. Luckily, there was one young clerk guy standing next to me. I was confused enough to complain a little, and he then explained in the classic apologetic-but-weary customer service voice about the store’s one-drop alcohol policy.

  115. says

    @lumipuna that does sound a bit annoying. The last time someone requested an ID from me was when I was buying Playboy in Idaho. I forgot my ID, and the clerk refused to sell, tough luck. I returned the next day, and the same clerk sold the magazine to me without asking for my ID. And only after I paid did he remember me from the previous day.

  116. lumipuna says

    Update: Today I went to an actual liquor store to buy a bottle of sparkling dessert wine, to celebrate the upcoming Midsummer weekend with my parents, sister and BIL. This one is a real wine, far too alcoholic (at 11.5 %) to be sold at regular stores in Finland. Just to be a bit whimsical, I chose one that was German and labeled “dry” (see my comment 116 upthread).

    The clerk didn’t ask for my ID, presumably because I looked my age. I had even pre-emptively skipped mask-wearing for the occasion.

  117. says

    I can’t remember to ever have been asked for my ID, but Germany has a notoriously ax approach towards kids and alcohol. Honestly, with my parents and my culture, it’s a wonder I didn’t become an alcoholic by accident.

  118. lumipuna says

    Finnish drinking culture for much of the 20th century used to be focused on getting drunk efficiently, for the sole purpose of being drunk. Naturally, this was deemed legally and socially inappropriate for minors, and normal adults wouldn’t drink on most days either. There’s still some of that culture left, and a lot of legal and institutional control. Nowadays it’s fairly normal for teens to practice social drinking under their parents’ supervision. A real problem is when some parents give their kids liberal amounts of alcohol for unsupervised use. Quite often, kids also find random adults to buy them booze.

    Some 20 years ago or so it was legal to sell drinks up to 2.8 % without age restriction, but that eventually caused a legal and cultural backlash in Finland. I think it was found problematic, because teenagers started having more money and freedom for unsupervised drinking, and businesses had introduced soda-like mildly alcoholic drinks that were pretty much designed to appeal to underage drinkers. Hence, the law was tightened while all the major retail chains went even beyond that.

  119. lumipuna says

    In other news, it appears that the horror movie title Midsommar goes trending on Twitter (labeled as “entertainment”) every June when Swedish speakers start tweeting about Midsummer holidays.