DIARY 2001















Thu, May 31

<13:55> Current status of the exams: 2 down, 2 more to go. I thereby declare a branch of physics to be called 'pervodynamics and sadistical mechanics'.

Mon, May 28

<16:38> The blazingly hot weather continues, even after a week now. Too bad for revision and the exams.. just had a tea in a medieval church, a good escape from the heat. They had a book sale as well - three Star Trek novels for £1.50 was not bad. Now I'll probably get out to do some reading, it would be a criminal offense to stay indoors working. ^_^

Tue, May 22

<12:00> André was here yesterday to see some of us old friends from last year. He's going to London right now, but that's just OK for my work.. so yesterday we hung out at Clown's, went punting, did yoga and meditation. On the night out, we got both weird and nice looks from people, as I had my kilt and André was a stunning German in his Lederhosen. Pictures for proof, though on film, will get them scanned at some point I hope. We had a lot to talk, not surprisingly about philosophy, future and women :-). It was a great sunny day for punting, and also good exercise for post-exam celebrations. Also we planned to meet in the summer while I'm staying in Geneva. Maybe go to the Oktoberfest in September -- dunno if that makes sense, but then again we have the May Week in June. Kind of makes sense that both parties are shifted closer to the summer.

<22:51> Posh, black tie dinner at Trinity. Doesn't immediately sound like something I'd fancy. But as a new committee member I had a good reason to attend the Founders' Dinner of Scientific Society. Ended up meeting lots of interesting people, mainly NatSci students :-). The guest of honour was Prof. Günther von Hagens of Plastination fame. His talk about his past experiences in the communist DDR, imprisonment and escape, was fascinating, especially in the candle lit Old Kitchens at Trinity. Might meet him again tomorrow at a panel discussion.

Sun, May 20

<03:35> Just to mention that I've just upgraded to XFree86 4.0.3. I know X 4 has been around for ages, but only now that I'm using Mandrake it became easy to install it. The configuration took a while, though, until I realized I can use the same Modeline as before. And it's worth it, it does rock compared to 3.3.6 which was painfully slow with multiple browser & terminal windows.

Sat, May 19

<19:07> Willow updated HDD to a 12 GB IBM found on Excite auctions. Of course I had to install a new system. After many trials, I settled for Mandrake because it allowed a ReiserFS root and worked around the flaws in Willow's FDD. The graphical candy of the installer and the bootup were annoying, but the latter were easy to remove. This seems otherwise a rather decent distro, so I wonder why they had to include things like Aurora, a framebuffer frontend for a visual output of init scripts (yuck). Anyway, I'm quite pleased with the distro now and would recommend it to anyone :-)

Fri, May 18

<01:41> I should go clubbing more often. It's hard to describe how positive and calm I'm feeling now. Maybe it's because I can hardly hear the background noises that are usually so annoying :-).

After the concert, I felt an urge to go for a walk. I'd sensed the same today afternoon, the air was like some magic nectar beckoning for an endless trek. I did go /home to grab some juice and change some clothes, but I felt so comfortable with the kilt that I kept it on. OK, in a way it was a bit warm in the concert, it's thick wool, but on the other hand there's built-in A/C, so the overall effect is more comfortable than any kind of trousers, even shorts. (If you ask a Scotsman what's worn under a kilt, he might just be quiet and that would be his answer. ;-) After the walk, I did some yoga and had a shower. Now I'm thinking of staying up the night and working a bit, because I slept so late today, but I'll see what happens. Better not to plan things too much, just trust what you feel. (Time management? What's that? Who need that? ;-)

Thu, May 17

<23:22> Guys, you've just missed one hack of a pardey. L. No spin, just the _______ angular momentum. In concert here @cam tonight. 8-]

There was one guy absolutely k3w1, totally orbital. He was dressed up as a nuclear facility serviceman, wearing loose, white, hooded overalls with the radioactivity sign on the back, white shoes and safety goggles. Made my cyber-scottish self feel totally inane. ;-]

Sat, May 12

<02:03> They say it's a switch broken due to a power failure. I don't buy that. Got a conspiracy theory. One Queens' student has lately been warned that his mail & computing accounts may be terminated because of some politically sensitive mailing list he'd been involved with. Bet the network is now down as _they_ are installing a new Big Brother. ;-)

Fri, May 11

<21:52> Extracts from Ilmiöitä (Phenomena) by Ultra Bra:

"Pojat tahtoivat kuulla että tytön kesähameen alla ei ole alushousuja, ja juuri sen tytöt halusivat sanoa." (The boys wanted to hear the girls had no pants under their summer dress, and that's just what the girls wanted to say.)
This is to be inverted referring to what Highland item I wore today ;-)

"Vastarakastuneet kyllä ärsyttää: vaikka kuinka kutsutaan, eivät he suostu kavereita tapaamaan." (New lovers piss me off: no matter how much you call them, they won't go out with the guys)
OK, a bit of exaggeration perhaps but I hope this isn't predicting anything ;-)

<22:20> There wasn't much of a party today - the engineers finished their exams but everyone seemed to have something else to do after all (even the eng's with their project work). Nice to get to Eraina and out again, though. Agreed to go to Grantchester tomorrow. Punting would be great :-), better make up some protection for Sohail's digital camera :-|.

Being without the net is terrible still. Today I got the 12GB hard drive I found at Excite auction for £80 (i.e. cheap for a laptop), but it's no use until I get to backup stuff to Lauri's zany (sic) server and download a copy of Mandrake. Disappointed with both Redhat and Debian, that might be a nice choice.

Thu, May 10

<22:55> Weird feeling without speakers or network. In fact I took the speakers to warranty repair last week, but this morning Queens' network went dead. They say a central switch was broken by a power failure.. UPS anyone?-) The only good thing this serves is showing how addicted I have got over the time :-/

Sat, May 5

<17:29> Last night was a hell. Found a high end digital camera on Yahoo auctions, Canon G1 at £350. What a bargain. Won the auction, woo hoo. But it turned out a scam by some Romanian that had done it many times before on Yahoo and other auctions. Fortunately the email I got from the person was too obvious, as I saw a page on Yahoo by some previous victims. No money lost, but that G1 sure would have been nice.

Thu, May 3

<16:27> Finally managed to do some physics. :-) Not that they were that difficult, it's just been laziness :-/

Tue, May 1

<21:22> Thanks to Lauri for reminding me to update this page today. It seems with this page I'm starting to have responsibilities beyond personal fun. But anyway. As I was walking home this afternoon, I thought of beginning this entry with the words `O Bliss'. Such was my mood and physical state at that point. So now just a brief recap of how we got there - I'm feeling funny after a long nap ;-)

Must begin by some terminology: The Finnish term `ylioppilas' that describes someone past their A-level equivalents i.e. qualified for university study, can be literally translated as `überstudent' so I shall use that. It is funny enough for the occasion, and, yes, we are quite proud of it.

Last night around 6 pm, quite a few Finns gathered at Clare College MCR. Maria had arranged for us to tend the pub, so we could play some hideous Finnish pop even to the foreigners present. We started off WAPPU - the students' and workers' May Day celebration - with some sparkling drinks and decorated the room accordingly. Then off to a pub for some snack, after which it was time to cap the statue. This is a huge tradition in Finland, to put an überstudent cap on the head of a certain statue in Helsinki, but of course nobody here knows what it was about. Some of us hesitated and even mentioned the possibility of being arrested. So what can a true überstudent do? Go and do the honours, prkl. Photo evidence will be available some time.

Then on to our nice, small party at Clare MCR. Working at the bar was more fun than expected. The British seemed to like some of the Finnish songs, but those may have been just the Beatles covers :-). Had to shut the music by midnight, but we had two hours left in the MCR, so some of us started singing and kept on til the end. My throat reports I was one of them, but that is a lame joke as I was sober all night :-). The experiment went well, I doubt it would have been more fun with booze.

<21:55> OK, continuing now... there seems to be a bug with, but a silly one. Whenever it starts a new month, the page seems disappeared. So it is just that the link points to the new month's file but the file won't be written until the end of entry. So back to the morning..

Even with the Finns only, the picnic was by far the best we've had in Cambridge. But the cherry on the top was to have so many Brits there as well. Some of the Finns had made great specialties just for the day, such as Maria's lingonberry curd, which deserves a special citation as she almost forgot the ingredients in the MCR. :-)

After that I felt like some Sauna - traditionally you're not supposed to shower or change clothes during Wappu - so that would be a nice ending. Which it was. Riku and Jaakko joined me there. Then as I walked home everything seemed perfect, with the mind and the body nourished. Now back to work really - gotta fix that whatsup script. :-)

<22:58> Thought I fixed some bugs here -- including the one mentioned above :-)

Risto A. Paju