Monday, July 28, 2008

Free Comic Books.

If you are interested in reading the latest Batman or Alan Moore's Watchmen but don't feel like paying for them, check out You can download zipped scans of tons of different comics for free! If you are using Firefox, I would recommend installing the Adblock Plus extension before visiting the site because there is a lot of annoying advertising.



I haven't blogged about what I've been doing in a while so here it is in a nutshell.

Earlier this year, Heikki and Eija (Heikki's wife and one of my collaborators) bought a lot on a small island near Oulu. They plan on building a summer cottage there and recently came across a newspaper ad for a disassembled log cabin. Two Saturdays ago, I went with Heikki, Eija, Heikki's son Ollie, and Ollie's friend to a cottage on a lake south of Oulu to examine, stack, and prepare the logs for shipping to the island. It was a two hour drive with five of us crammed into a small Audi (about the size of a Ford Focus). We got there and proceeded to stack and tie down immensely heavy logs for at least 5 hours while fighting off extremely persistent mosquitoes and biting flies. Ideally these logs would have already been stacked correctly by the owner who was selling them. Instead they were essentially thrown into a pile with some rocks underneath to keep them off the ground. Some of the logs were also missing the all important letter-number identifications needed to be able to put the cabin back together correctly. These things could be overlooked though since the logs we saw were still in fairly good condition (i.e. they weren't wet and rotting) and the price was low (it's my understanding that purchasing logs for a cabin is very expensive).

When we finally finished with the last of the logs, I found out that another set at a different location needed to be stacked and bound as well. Needless to say, I wasn't too thrilled about that. When we arrived at the second location we found that the final logs consisted of the critical, and ridiculously large and heavy, floor beams and attic support beams. These logs were in terrible condition. They were completely wet and rotting from not being elevated off the ground and from a shoddy tarp covering them. After seeing the condition of these logs, the deal was called off and all that labor was for naught. From what Heikki told me, the logs could only be used as firewood now, since the key logs are very expensive to replace.

Overall, it wasn't a bad experience though. I got to see a part of Finland that a lot of people don't get a chance to see. I got to hang out with Heikki, Eija, Ollie, and Ollie's friend, who are all very nice people, while taking in some beautiful scenery. I met and had a good conversation with a really nice German guy who was visiting his friends for the summer. I even learned something about log cabins. Not too bad.

Moving on, last Friday Becky and I went to Q-Stock in Oulu. She beat me to the punch and already wrote something about it on her blog here. It was a lot of fun and there were some good bands that I haven't heard of before. We managed to hear the end of Blue Frequency's set and they sounded pretty good. We also saw Entwine and they were a really rockin' band.

Here I am enjoying the weather and a beer at Never Grow Old in downtown Oulu before heading to the concert.

Today, Becky and I left work early to go see The Dark Knight. I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for this movie to be released since the day I saw Batman Begins in the theater. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed. It was a great film and Heath Ledger's Joker was outstanding. He was truly frightening and every bit as intelligent and psychotic as in the comic books. For me at least, Heath Ledger's Joker stole the show.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I read the Watchmen graphic novel because it won some awards and it was considered by many as a great and pioneering piece of work. I wasn't terribly impressed.

The movie, however, looks AWESOME! Maybe I should read it again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where do you stand?

Err, it's a little big. Sorry. You can take the quiz here.

Social Liberal on political map

Friday, July 18, 2008

Superhero Creations.

Here are a couple of characters I've made.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Daylight (not the Stallone movie).

The amount of daylight in Oulu is steadily decreasing (since we are past the summer solstice) and it's kind of a bummer. We are now down to less than 20 hours of daylight. It looks like we lose about 5 minutes of daylight per day. If you want to track our sunrise and sunset times along with the number of daylight hours we have per day, go to this site. The numbers are directly below the Oulu 5 Day Forecast.

More Super-Nerdy Procrastination.

The best thing about role-playing games was always creating your character (Seraphim can back me up on this). They always had so much potential... until they were immediately killed by dysentery or a squirrel with a +1 Acorn of Bludgeoning. Well now has a similar online experience where you can create your own superhero.

Here's one I created:

Let the time wasting begin...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Drunk History.

Thanks to Brooke for sending me a link to Drunk History. Here's Vol. 2, my favorite.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


In case you missed it, Steven Colbert was running for president in the 2008 election, but dropped out in November of 2007.

In the Marvel Universe, however, he is still in the race. Check him out:

Check out the NYC subway advertisement as Frank Castle, a.k.a. The Punisher, battles a doppleganger:

For more Colbert Easter Eggs go here.

I plan on supporting another candidate in 2008 though:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm not condoning it...

If you happen to be a fan of music and don't want the RIAA on your case for sharing your favorite tunes with friends using Limewire or another p2p network, check out Mp3gle. I may have posted about G2P, which is a site that uses "crafty googling" to find music on the web. Mp3gle seems to be a similar, but far superior, website. Search for a song or artist on Mp3gle and just click download. The file does not save to your computer with the .mp3 extension, so you have to rename the file with that extension. Easy as π.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Have They Done Anything Good?

Who isn't interested in stories of Nazi war crimes? The brutality and inhumanity just boggles the mind. I mention this because I just read this story on BBC News.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The First Weekend in Oulu.

We made it to Oulu! Our bags arrived the next morning though.

Our first few days here have been great. A friend of Raine's is letting us borrow a bunch of furniture and dishes, so our apartment (which is pretty big, by the way) is much more comfortable now.

On Friday we went to the Rotuaari Piknik, where they block off the walking street downtown and set up a stage to have some bands play. I was an idiot and decided that I would be fine in just jeans and a t-shirt. Well, it got cold pretty quick and I ended up going to the nearby department store and buying a jacket. I actually got a really nice fleece Columbia jacket for 40% off and I'm wearing it all the time now! After that we headed to my favorite bar in Oulu, 45 Special. It's a bar that plays nothing but rock music. The "basement" plays some older music like The Cure, Nirvana, Van Halen, etc. The middle floor, where you enter, is just a sitting area with a bar. The top floor has either a live band or plays more modern rock like Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Fall Out Boy, etc.

Last night, we tried out the sauna. It was really nice and relaxing. I'm really glad that we have one in our apartment.

As for work, Heikki doesn't officially return from vacation until next week, but I plan on going in to so some stuff before then. I have to revise my final dissertation paper so that I can resubmit it and I'm hoping I can finish that before I start something new.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Time to go.

The day is here! Today we fly to Oulu, Finland. Our bags are packed and I think we are ready to go. Our flight is scheduled to depart at 10:20pm and we arrive at 7:50pm local time tomorrow.

Stay tuned for blogs from Oulu.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Our flight from Detroit leaves at 10:20pm tomorrow and we arrive at about 8pm on July 3 (local Oulu time). I'm both nervous and excited about the trip. I also feel like there just isn't enough time to properly hang out with everyone before I leave.