tiistaina, marraskuuta 29, 2005


Lähtö alkaa kolkuttamaan ovella. Viisi yötä jäljellä. Tämä viimeinen viikko kuluu loppuvalmisteluiden ja hyvästien kanssa. Illat menevät ylettömään juhlimiseen; jotenkin juuri tälle runsaalle viikolle on osunut suuri määrä erilaisia juhlia. Eipä ainakaan tule tylsää ja voin rauhassa hyvästellä kaverit. Vielä vuosi sitten en olisi uskonut, että minun tulee ikävä kavereitani, jos lähden ulkomaille. Viime kesänä opin, että välitän muista ihmisistä; sitä aiemmin olin kuvitellut vain haluavani välittää. En oikeastaan tiedä milloin muutos on tapahtunut, mutta se on tapahtunut ja olen siitä iloinen. Se tuo muutoksia elämääni; vielä on liian aikaista sanoa, minkälaisia. Voittopuolisesti hyviä, toivottavasti.

lauantaina, marraskuuta 26, 2005

T-8 tonight we're going to party like it's 1699.

Kahdeksen päivää lähtöön. Kaksi mahdollista kämppää, joista voisi saada vuokrattua huoneen. Tänään läksiäisbileet Nelosessa, viinakaappi tyhjentynee kovasti. Kovalla kiireellä yrittää tavata mahdollisimman paljon kavereita ja ystäviä ennen lähtöä. Onneksi kiireisimmät asiat ovat alta pois, nyt ehtii hetken verran rauhoittumaan ennenkuin pakkauskiireet iskevät.

keskiviikkona, marraskuuta 23, 2005

T miinus yksitoista

Yksitoista päivää ennen lähtöä. Lennot varattu, lähtö sunnuntaina 4. joulukuuta klo 7.45. Matkasuunnitelma melkein kirjoitettu. Professorin allekirjoitus puuttuu. Alivuokrapaperit tekemättä. Asunnon etsintä San Diegosta käynnistynyt, vielä ei onnea. Lentopallokertoja jäljellä 1-2. Tämän tajuttuani ensimmäistä kertaa tuli olo "ääk, mä olen ihan oikeasti lähdössä". Paniikki, paniikki. Trallalaa.

Ensimmäinen tuttu San Diegossa bongattu. Tim, työkaveri SSH-ajoilta on siellä ilmeisesti Nokialla töissä. Ainakin yksi tuttu naama pitäisi kaupungista löytyä.

sunnuntaina, marraskuuta 20, 2005

T minus fourteen

Fourteen days left.

Yesterday I was too busy to write. I went to choir practice from 9am to 3.30pm. After that we had a quartet examination for Sulasol perusmerkki (basic level quartet singer). Had one beer with all eight of us that attended to the examination (and Eki and Maria). Went to Osakunta to sing a few songs at Karjalaisen osakunnan praasniekat. Had some sparkling wine and sang some more. Got back home and went to bed tired but happy.

Today I'm leaving to bake some and then we have a concert at 6pm in the crypt of the Helsingin Tuomiokirkko and then to the after party. And I still have some work to do before tomorrow noon. Embassy interview is tomorrow morning 9.05, so can't continue after party for too long. Hope I have everything done and ready.

perjantaina, marraskuuta 18, 2005

Tired and busy

I'm dead tired. Lots to do this weekend, not only lots of choir, but also a presentation of a conference paper and some project related stuff that needs to be accomplished this weekend. I don't know how I'll manage. Hopefully I get some sleep and can make it to the after party of our choir concert. Hopefully I don't fall asleep there.

I hate needing to sleep, why couldn't somebody fix it?

T minus sixteen

Tired. Dead tired. Yesterday was a long day after a row of nights with a little bit too little sleep. This night I think I got about 8 hours, which was great, but not nearly enough. So dead tired is todays word. And I won't be getting really good night sleep tomorrow or day after tomorrow (no, not the movie, but Sunday) either.

On a bright note, volleyball is today. And today choir singing, tomorrow choir singing and on Sunday - a concert.

torstaina, marraskuuta 17, 2005

T minus seventeen days

Seventeen days. Time is running out and I still have so much to do. I just got back from Stockholm having flown there this morning. Did my presentation and it ended up good. The crowd liked and had lots of questions DURING presentation. It's so much fun talking to crowd like that. I even thought it went well myself, which is rather amazing.

Several things to do before Monday and the interview at the US embassy. I need to find a computer that can print directly from Adobe Acrobat to fill out the forms. Oh, the joy of trying to find a computer with actually working Acrobat + printer combo. Oh, the joy of working in the one place where these things are not to be taken for granted.

In Finnish we have this saying "Suutarin lapsilla ei ole kenkiä".

Early morning catches the

Got up at 5.15am. Had a shower, breakfast and finished my presentation. Now time to get out and to the airport. Stockholm awaits. I feel kind of funny traveling to another country and getting back home during the same day. It isn't something that should be happening, or so my brain tries to tell me.

keskiviikkona, marraskuuta 16, 2005

Psyche of Id

Whilst supposedly preparing presentation, I learned a few things about myself. Or more like put together a few pieces of a puzzle I've known for a long time. Today, I decided to stay at home and work on my presentation to save the half an hour it takes me to get to work. A busy day today.

When I went out for a lunch I was feeling sad, or perhaps melancholy. It's not really such a bad feeling, it just makes me want to wallow in the feeling and do nothing else. Earlier, this is pretty much what I would have called autumn depression. Autumn, it is still autumn here even though it's already mid November and yesterday we had a big storm. Going out for a walk in Ruoholahti with Iiro was definitely worth it, even though I didn't have the right clothing for such extreme sport.

So going about my lunch business, I was melancholic and I noticed that the feelings actually comes from not moving around enough. Stretching myself, walking about a little in the fresh outdoors made me feel much better. So I'll have to remember to go down to the gym, or a walk even on days I work from home. Makes me feel much better.

On a side note, still have much to do to finish the presentation. So back to work it is with a brighter mind.

Busy - sort of

I should be preparing a presentation for tomorrow. An important one at that. But instead I find myself staring at a blank wall, reading my email box for a thousand and a second time and writing to my blog.

sunnuntaina, marraskuuta 13, 2005

Being outsider

One of the most persisting constants in my life has been a feeling of being an outsider. I never really had friends, or a group with which to do things before getting to university. And even in university I found it rather difficult to connect, to find people who would want to spend time with me and with whom I'd want to spend time with.

Nowadays I rarely get that feeling after all I do have quite a few good friends and know many, many people. But sometimes things happen, which make one relive those feelings of inadequacy and of being disliked. In the circle of people I know and hang out with, the problem seems especially made harder due to a few things. First of all, I used to be rather inept at social situations and did spend a few years being rather unpleasant person. Combined with my problem with facial expressions which disturbs some people, every now and then I find out that there are people out there in the circles I frequent whom I don't know, but who seem to know me and want nothing to do with me.

Since being disliked by everyone was the story of my life for the first 20 years, it's rather hard to relive those feelings when I run into a problem where people dislike me and I have no idea why. Luckily it doesn't happen often, but even once is a bit too often for me. I know it is my problem. Other people are quite free to dislike me and I don't presume to know why they do that. It is not my position that they shouldn't either, though I think they might be wrong on who those people believe me to be. The feelings are my feelings and I need to deal with them, but I do wish that people who dislike me and don't want to have anything to do with me, would come forward and say that to me directly. I think it would be a nice thing to do and it would make me appreciate them quite a bit more.

It hurt me, when I couldn't join an rpg game, because another anonymous player did not want to play with me. It hurts me, when a close relative of mine has decided that there is something irreparably wrong with me and it is no use trying to know me. It hurt me, when many, people I know and care about put up their own irc-channel and then removed themselves from those channels I used to see them in and did not invite me to join. I understand their reasons for not staying, things were getting ugly in the old channel (though I do not think I was one of those to blame - if I was, please tell me so that I may learn something from it). I can't speak for those people, but I guess and believe that they had good reasons for getting out - and that they had good reasons for not inviting me. But it still hurts, especially as the feelings of inadequacy and of being somebody whom no one would want to know resurfaced as a result. Feeling of being shut out. The feeling is mine and comes from my own insecurities and thus the responsibility is not theirs, but mine.

To be truthful, I never really knew many of those people. Partly the hurt feelings, I think, come from the fact that they were people I wanted to know and people whom I thought I would get to know now that I had actually gotten to a phase in my life when I was capable of getting to know people. And believing I had a place in that crowd. In my insecurity, though, I never really believe it.


Päivän luku 21.

Lähtöön on 21 päivää aikaa. Vieläkään ei oikein tajua että on lähdössä. Tänään oli läksiäispäivällinen perheen kanssa. Hyvää ruokaa ja mukava ilta perheen kanssa. Voin suositella Piccolo Mondoa ravintolana.

lauantaina, marraskuuta 12, 2005

Boikotoin Sonya

Sonyn rootkit-juttujen tultua pinnalle päätin ryhtyä boikotoimaan Sonya. Lisätietoa aiheesta muunmuassa täältä, täältä ja täältä. Liittykää tekin mukaan boikottiin JA kertokaa Sonylle päätöksestänne.

Itse lähetin seuraavan viestin Suomen Sonylle ilmoittaen asiakassuhteemme purkautumisesta. Kerron täällä lisää aiheesta, jos he vaivautuvat vastaamaan viestiini.

Arvoisa Sonyn Suomen edustaja.

Olen pitkään ollut Sonyn kiitollinen asiakas. Omistan Sonyn tekemän
kannettavan tietokoneen, kameran, mp3-soittimen ja olen kuluttanut Sonyn
tuottamaa musiikkia ja elokuvia vuosien varrella runsaasti. Tuottamanne
tuotteet ovat olleet hyvin tehtyjä ja vastanneet varsin hyvin niihin
tarpeisiin, joita minulla on.

Nyt olen joutunut tekemään sen valitettavan päätöksen, että en enää ole
asiakkaanne. En tule siis omista tuloistani kantamaan enää senttiäkään
Sonylle, vaan asioin tästä lähin muiden yritysten kanssa. Syy tähän on
Sonyn suhtautuminen kuluttajan oikeuksiin tekijänoikeusasioissa.
Erityisesti SonyBMG:n harjoittamaan lobbaukseen tekijänoikeuslain kohdalla
ja Sonyn harjoittamaan haittaohjelmistojen levittämiseen 2. sukupolven

Valitettavasti, vaikka tuotteenne olisivat kuinka hyviä tahansa, en voi
tukea sitä, että musiikin varjolla minun tietokoneeseeni asennetaan
haittaohjelma ilman lupaani ja olen pettynyt myös Sonyn asenteeseen asian
tultua julki.

In an interview with NPR late last week, Sony BMG's Global Digital
Business President Thomas Hesse downplayed the recent DRM fiasco saying he
objected to terms such as malware, spyware and rootkit. "Most people, I
think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about
it?" he said.

Sony on pettänyt minun luottamukseni asiakkaana niin monella tavallla,
etten voi enää ostaa tuotteitanne. Olette siis menettäneet yhden
pitkäaikaisista asiakkaistanne ja tulen suosittelemaan samaa kaikille
ystävilleni, jotka harkitsevat tuotteidenne ostamista.

Kunnioittavin terveisin,

Mikko Särelä

torstaina, marraskuuta 10, 2005

Oil price fixing

This time another thing that people tend to forget. Oil pricing and price hikes in the face of Katrina caused people to wish for government to step in and to put a cap on the prices. Many arguments against this have been made - mine adds one that I have not seen before elsewhere.

The hurricane season was with us this year, it will be with us next year, and the one after that and so on. Each year Gulf of Mexico may see hurricane as bad as Katrina which may cause disruption to the oil refining industry.

If prices are allowed to fluctuate freely in the face of this disaster, companies and people will have confidence in the government not to meddle in the prices when the disaster strikes the next time. This allows people or companies to better prepare for that possibility. Some companies might decide to buy extra reserves for the hurricane season in order to sell the gas at a profit, if a bad thing happens. They are taking a risk, spending money to build gasoline reserves to gain a benefit, if the risk of a bad hurricane happens. These actions by companies and individual people increase the amount of gasoline in the market and thus mean smaller price hikes in the future.

Thus, for the benefit of the future, the right solution was not to commit to price fixing, but instead commit to allowing price mechanism to do its job.


Tämä on testiviesti. Blogger on toiminut epävakaasti viime aikoina (mm. syönyt posteja).

keskiviikkona, marraskuuta 02, 2005

Uutispäivä tuo, uutispäivä vie

Tällä kertaa kuulen Hesarista tutun kaverin suunnitelmista. Jimmy Wales nimittäin suunnittelee Wikipedian julkaisemista kirjaformaatissa.

Ihan hauska idea. En ole varma toimiiko se, mutta pidän peukkuja pystyssä projektille.

Peruspalveluministeri Hyssälä haluaisi nostaa väkevien viinojen veroa 5% vuodessa

Peruspalveluministeri Hyssälä haluaisi nostaa väkevien viinojen verotusta viisi prosenttia vuodessa. Hyssälä ei täsmennä kuinka monena vuotena putkeen veron nostojen pitäisi jatkua.

Miksi ihmeessä valtion pitäisi verottaa vielä nykyistäkin enemmän sitä, että nautin lasillisen viskiä kotonani? Tai tarjoan konjakkia kaverilleni, joka on käymässä?

Alkoholiverotusta pitää säätää alaspäin, ei ylöspäin. Ja viinit ja väkevät pitää saada ruokakauppaan. Nih.


It seems that Serenity won't be coming to theaters in Finland. A shame, though I would not have been here to see it anyway. Some of my friends are planning on making a trip to Tallinn to see it. I would too, were I to stay. I hope I'll be able to find a movie theater in San Diego that still plays it - I'm not too hopeful though. It had its premier at the end of September (I think) and it'll take a month before I'm in San Diego.

I'm still thinking what to do about Serenity. I'm currently boicotting copy protected material, so I don't want to buy the dvd. I can't get into the theater to see it and I won't download it from the net, because that would be so wrong to Joss Whedon and the actors. I'll have to think whether I allow myself to rent movies, or not - that might solve the problem.

Note to myself: I have to start finding necessary links for surviving in San Diego area. At least movie theaters, route planners, apartment rental places, local news paper, etc. Suggestions on other resources that I need links to appreciated. Also other ideas how to prepare for living abroad (never done that before) truly appreciated.


Today I would like to correct one mistake about economy that is cited quite often. It is what I call "too much competition" fallacy. The argument runs that the competition is driving prices too low and is thus preventing companies from innovating and creating new technology and is thus hindering growth. The latest sighting I have of this monster is talking about broadband market in Finland.

The argument runs that the companies are competing so hard that they don't have enough money to spend on new technology and thus too much competition hinders growth.

What those who argue do not see is that research and new technology are an investment. An investment is only good, if it produces more than it costs. Thus, no matter hard competition, investments that are profitable will be made. Investments that are not profitable should not be made in any case.

So is there anything that changes? Can a hard competition make some new technologies unprofitable? The only case where it could, is if the new technology had great one time costs and could be easily, fast, and cheaply copied elsewhere. Technological knowledge has these qualities; so might this not mean that competition in fact stifles technological innovation?

Not necessarily. In our current world, patents exist to artificially make it more expensive for others to apply the knowledge you have created. In addition, the company that creates the new knowledge will be the first to market and will enjoy a monopoly power for a short while (which enables it to charge more from those customers that really want the new tech and get the investment costs back).

In addition, hard competition gives those companies the necessary incentives to do things as efficiently as possible. Many people forget that inventivess in business logic and company internal logistics/operations is an important part of what makes a company a success.

Lastly, is it really so that this particular company is the one who should do the innovating and research? Perhaps, for example, broadband companies should leave much of the technological and scientific research to others and concentrate on buying the technology they need from others. On the other hand, they could push for business innovations - new ways of doing old things, or ways of doing new things that customers want. Perhaps in cooperation with some of their more technologically oriented providers.

Thus, competition is not bad for technological innovation and progress. Instead it gives consumers more money to spend on things they want.
The fallacy comes from not understanding why companies spend money on research and new technology.