Monday, July 28, 2008


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.


seraphim said...

i am told by an "expert" that the ford focus is "deceptively spacious". and i'm glad that someone who is quoted on facebook as having said "i'd be abe lincoln's bitch!" now has some firsthand experience on building a log cabin!

Patrick said...

I totally forgot I said that! It's true though, I would be Abe Lincoln's bitch.

I now know never to shop for a log cabin in the Pennysaver.

Sarah Marie said...

Wow, that was really interesting about the disassembled log cabin. Too bad it was a bum deal. I think the fact that the rotted beams were not with the other, good beams was part of the seller's plan somehow!

Patrick said...

I agree. The guy who was selling them actually bought them for himself but "decided that he didn't want to build it." That may be true, but you should at least have some sense to store the logs so they aren't ruined. He knew what he was doing.

Heikki figured that if he sold all the logs as firewood, he could still make about 800 Euros.