Thursday, February 11, 2010

Even more snow and a castle

It' actually quite amazing -there is more and more snow every day. It really is like I remember the winters of my childhood. And nowadays the kids still seem to have similar interests as quarter of a century ago. (Jeez, that's long ago...)

I was already spying on this snow castle the last time I wrote an entry with some wintery photos. But, I decided to wait and see how grand it would turn out to be =). This is a design by two approximately 10-year old girls, I suppose. Not bad... I remember how me and my best friend used to construct things quite similar to this and the time just flew away. And our parents used to worry since we didn't show up at home after school (nor in the school every day either, for that matter).

The castle, model 2010.

Oh yeah, see those two boys on the background? They were very talkative and wanted to know to which school I go to. I admitted that I used to go to the same school in Hurttala as they (just to the right from where this photo is taken). In their opinion this elementary school is bad, because the stuff they have to do is strange. I confided to them that it was just as strange when I was there =) -Somehow I doubt that I managed to make it any better for the boys, what do you reckon?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cheeky chipotle & co

On a perfectly ordinary day, during perfectly mundane and deadly boring grocery shopping trip to a local supermarket, Citymarket to be exact, I just cracked up seeing these:

Such witty steak sauce bottles, hundreds of them nicely aligned on shelves. All stating matter-of-factly "Pain is good". I'm convinced, even converted.

Mild and Medium.

It says on the label: Wimpy mild! =)

For a deeper culinary dive: Original Juan

Snowy Impressions on a sunny afternoon

Finally the weather agreed with me and produced some sunshine. So I went shooting some snowy photos in the neighborhood. It's so beautiful here right now!

The wintery face of the most important landmark of Hattula:
The Holy Cross Church
the eldest brick church in Finland dates back to 14th century and is famous
because of it's mural paintings in the interior.

Small cottage just nearby the church all covered with white stuff.

New trendy head-piece for a lamp post: turban style?

Yo, Man! More laid back version...

Nobody home.

Depeche Mode, Helsinki 02.02.2010

It's been something like 14 years since I last went to see a really big name in concert, that being Deep Purple on Summum stadium in Grenoble, France. Although I fully enjoyed that, somehow I've missed the big events since. Hmm. Anyway, Depeche Mode is one of my absolutely favorite bands, so it was high time to end the silence.

Some time ago I suddenly remembered that Depeche Mode is gonna play on Hartwall Areena in Helsinki. Once I had finally confirmed my arrival to Finland, it was time to see if I can still land a ticket to this particular event. To my delight there was quite bunch of them on sale in (sort of national Ebay in Finland), so I could even choose.

I got a seat pretty close to the stage -so, with bit of imagination, I could reach out and try to touch Dave =)

The Act
So, how it was in the end...? It was cool. Having never seen the guys live before, it struck me as a quite energetic act, although you can sense that Gahan is not youngest of men anymore. But he gave it his best effort and the audience really bought his show. That was probably the best part of the whole show to see how all of the audience was singing along, clapping and waving their hands to the music. It gave me somehow strange sense of community even though a was sitting in the middle of total strangers.

The sea of raised hands - Personal Jesus.

The tunes were mostly the old faithful ones and included more or less all my favorites also. The band played pretty exactly two hours. The general mixing levels left me wanting bit more precision and the sync was also bit wavering time to time, but then again, it's supposed to be live act and not brain-surgery-level-perfection. Couple of the feed-backs I could have lived without, though. All in all, it was very entertaining experience and some of the melodies really rocked, like "Wrong" and "I Feel You". Some of the slower tempo ballads didn't fit so perfectly into the mix, but they gave nice breathers in between.


It also looked good, albeit not really revolutionary new. The highlight of the set was humongous LED-screen with a half-sphere extension "bubble" in the top-middle. Both live-stream from 7 cameras and pre-designed videos (by Anton Corbijn) were projected to this surface during the show. Read the whole concept on manufacturer XL Video's press release.

They also had four movable trusses, which were sort of arc-shaped and hinged, so with chain-hoists they can be moved both vertically and bent in various angles within one unit. These trusses were equipped with six moving heads each. This you can see from the video clip below. (I'm so sorry about the dreadfully bad sound quality.) I was sitting on the side, so the stereo sound was probably far from perfect for me, but I imagine that the movement of the trusses looked cooler from this angle than from straight front =)

A little sampler of "I feel You"
-just for technical aspects, of course =)

Set list

In Chains
Hole To Feed
Walking In My Shoes
It's No Good
A Question Of Time
World In My Eyes
Insight (sung by Martin)
Miles Away / The Truth Is
Policy Of Truth
In Your Room
I Feel You
Enjoy The Silence
Never Let Me Down Again

Encore #1
Dressed In Black
Behind The Wheel
Personal Jesus

Monday, February 1, 2010

Helluva lotta snow / lunta / schnee / neige

Is seems to be a record-breaking winter all around in Finland. I was told that there is lots of snow, but I really didn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.

This reminds me of the winters of my childhood, when you could really build humongous snow castles, snow horses, snowmen, basically all imaginable out of snow...

When I came to Finland last week, it was pretty much colder, hovering somewhere around -20*C. Now it's quite agreeable just little bit below zero. So, no more freezing my butt off.

Irjala, Tampere last Sunday afternoon.