Cleaning House

Let’s do a recap of the last few days, weeks, whatever.

Last week i was in the Czech Republic, in Prague. I was there for a conference, and stayed at the Hilton. In all it was a great conference, the hotel was superb, and the food, drinks etc. was totally awesome. The city was great. I had somehow connected what i saw in Poland last year to how it would be like in Prague, but oh boy was i wrong! I was confronted with a very modern city, not unlike Helsinki. The cars were modern (sometimes even luxurious), the infrastructure and the buildings were in good shape etc. I can’t speak for the country side, but Prague looked great!

Some notables was the Networking Dinner at Zofin Palace, a sort of mansion, maybe?, by the outskirts of downtown. A stately old building which had big ballrooms, stages and a great garden. The food was so-so, but the location was superb. There was a view of the river (Vltva i suppose?), and since there was no snow, everything was beautiful.

The hotel i stayed in saw some action on Thursday when the prime minister of Israel decided to drop by. This caused great commotion to the tune of armed gunmen, dogs, and an entire closed 8th floor (which was in use as the executive lounge during the conference). Local law enforcement were patrolling the outside of the building, mostly armed with MP5K’s and an alarming amount of spare magazines (also they had the taped magazines-deal going on, so you can just flip the mag and keep shooting), each guy carrying like 5 mags. I suppose the prime minister had his own security detail, because these guys were of an entirely different caliber. Huge refridgerator sized fuckers with translucent earbuds and black Pelican-cases, probably containing even more alarming weaponry and equipment.

The last evening we spent up in Cloud9 (i chuckled at the various pop-culture references), where i enjoyed an excellent Romeo y Julieta Short Churchill, along with a glass of fine Martell X.O. cognac. It had been a while since i last smoked, and even a longer while since i smoked inside, what with the new smoking laws in Finland. It was great looking over the city, the river and the nightlife while puffing my cigar and sipping my cognac. Felt luxurious. Then i noticed the sniper.

On the rooftop was a sniper, maybe police, maybe Israeli security, no idea. He was peering through a rather powerful scope, probably looking at other buildings, doing counter-sniper duties. That kind of freaked me out at first, but then it became cool.

Any time the prime minister left the Hilton, he was followed by a huge entourage, consisting of a dozen cars or more. You could probably see that convoy from fucking space. I guess he is not the most popular man on the planet, and as i understood, no Israeli prime minister has visited the Czech Republic since 1948. But i guess all was well.

One of the Israeli guys had a Pelican 1510, which is a carry-on sized Pelican case, which was tested on Tekzilla a few episodes ago. It took 8 hits from an 8 pound sledge-hammer to trash the contents inside, and even then the case itself sustained only minor damage. The case retails at over 200 euro here, (it’s sold by Verkkokauppa at least under the “Peli” brand), but i’m thinking of getting one. You can get it with- or without the foam padding inside. If you get it with the foam padding, it comes in small cubes, so you can put in just the amount you need for your gear, and keep everything in place. The fact that Israeli (probably) security trusts the thing makes me even more eager to get one..

Other mentionables from the trip include the Airbus A321 that Finnair used to fly us back on friday. The plane looked fairly new, and the 321 is basically an extended 320. Anyway, the pilot announced the plane was experiencing “minor” avionics issues, and that our takeoff would be delayed. A moment later he announced that he had to “take down the electrical system and then put it back on”, but the inner geek in me started laughing, because i could imagine the situation in the cockpit:

  • This god damn diagnostic check will not complete!
    • Well just reboot it, that usually works!
  • Okay, i’ll do the anouncement…

Shortly thereafter we were able to taxi and take off, our issues apparently resolved by the reboot. Another cool new feature i haven’t seen on any plane before was the nose camera. During taxi, take off and landing, they showed video from a camera, mounted somewhere in the nose-cone, or beneath it. This was very cool, seeing the acceleration on the runway etc.

On the home-front…

We’re considering moving to a smaller place with H. S moved out due to some internal conflicts of personalities, and the 100 sq. meter apartment is simply too big (and therefore too expensive) to keep for the two (sometimes three) of us.  We’re looking at 60-70m² apartments, but the outlook isn’t good at the moment. Either it’s a shitty location ont he east side of Helsinki (basically this is mostly shitty ghetto), or it’s too expensive. But something will happen on this front in the coming months. I’ve begun giving out hardware and throwing out shit that i don’t need. I’m probably going to keep doing that in the coming weeks to trim down the amount of crap that we have to move.

We are selling our 250 liter aquarium, so if you know anyone who would be interested, give me a heads up. It’s in good shape, but the filter makes an annoying sound, so you may want to replace it at some point. It’s not a nice thing to move around, and the current apartment is the last one i will have moved it to. Even when emptied, the fucker is heavy as hell and clunky to move, because you have to watch the glass everywhere you go. You can get it cheap if you want it.

Ah, this is getting long. And i’m getting tired, so i’ll continue in a later post. Maybe.

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