Note: The older the entry, the unlikelier outside links are to work.

Apr. 30: Fun & games
By: Jani | Archives

Well, first time I didn't update for two weeks, and immediately I got an email saying that I should update more often. Looks like someone at least keeps coming back for more, which just makes my day. It isn't that much of a surprise since, after all, that counter at the bottom of the page has topped 500 already. Of course a big portion of those are probably just me trying to get my updates and improvements to work, but they definitely do not cover all of them. So thanks for visiting and check back often!


This page is becoming increasingly one to find things to do when you're bored and at a computer. But remembering my last summer, when that was a perfectly accurate description of my summer job, I'm sure there are people who are doing it at this very moment, and actually making money by it, at least according to Tero. If that's indeed what you're doing, then here's a couple of more suggestions:
One of the good places to play online games is at Excite. Although playing Hearts is a bit slower online than on your Windows, it's still much more entertaining to actually play against other people. And if you're into Cribbage, this is a place where you can actually find other people who know the game.
For some brilliant puzzle-action, check out Joe. In its simplicity, the game is a masterpiece which will keep you busy for hours. I enjoyed the game enormously (I've now played through all the "official" levels, and the user-submitted ones are usually pretty stupid) and if you're into brainteasers, so should you. Highly recommended.


I got a note from my server provider that the server will be down for about 30 minutes some time tomorrow. Statistically, this shouldn't matter (with an average of 11 visits/day, there's just one visitor every two hours). Nevertherless, you've been warned.



April 26: Vappu is almost here
By: Tero | Archives

The 1st of May celebrations are upon us, and in order to get ready to have a good time, I recommend our friends from Finland go visit the following website, where a number of good songs can be found. Eika olekaan mikaan ihan turha laulukirja!


If spring cleaning or work, or anything else is stressing you out, take a break and watch a fight.



April 19: Making money by killing time
By: Tero | Archives

The internet is indeed a good method for killing time, or wasting it as some might say. This site has the ultimate purpose which is, and I quote, to "lower the United States GNP by 4.9 percent this year". Through wasting valuable company time I suppose, which is exactly what I am doing right now. Perhaps sites like this are the actual reason for the recent economical turmoil in the United States...? Anyway, unless you have something better to do, have fun killing time.

And while you're at it, make sure you read The Onion for the most updated news on the net.


Flipping the coin over, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Greenspan and the U.S. Federal Reserve for keeping my hopes up of ever becoming a succesful stockmarket investor by cutting short-term interest rates by a half-percentage point. As a result, the share prices generally bounced upwards and all who have seen their portfolios nearly disappear within the last 6 months are jumping with joy. Well, I am at least.

Now, check this out! What confuses me is that me wasting valuable company time (at the U.S. based company I work at) seems to be directly related to the poor U.S. economy and thus to the necessary rate cut and further to the increase in the value of my investments. In other words, by wasting my time at work, I make more money. It seems there is light at the end of tunnel after all for us hopeless bums. Or maybe it's just this rotten hangover...



Apr. 17: Backstreet Boys Bashing
By: Jani | Archives

For some reason, I got hold of two Backstreet Boys bashing links one just after the other. The first one lets you blow some steam by shooting the Boys with a paint gun. Although quite amusing for a while, it doesn't beat this hilarious remake of the song "I want it that way" (Thanks to Antti S. for the link). Once you're done with those Pulp Phantom episodes (I'm on episode 8), you should definitely check these out.


Why does something happen to other sites the moment I use them on my site? I wrote about the thing with the Planet Alumni before, and now I just noticed that ihatebillgates.com, from which I blatantly "borrowed" the Gates/devil morphing on these pages before, has mysteriously disappeared. So either someone's taking action after reading these pages, or it's just a coincidence. One more thing like this and I don't believe in coincidence anymore. I'm onto you, buddy!



Apr. 16: Diplomacy
By: Jani | Archives

This update is meant to the tiny minority of people out there who know what the board game "Diplomacy" is about. Without going into greater detail about the basics, it should suffice to say that it's THE best board game ever created. I played the game for the first time about seven years ago and we ended up playing it almost every weekend with a group of friends. After that there was a long pause when I didn't play the game at all (actually, in the last five years I've maybe played the board game once or twice). One of the problems with the game is getting seven people together for a weekend, which is how long a decent game lasts.
But last summer everything changed, when I found out about e-mail Diplomacy. How that works is that there's a server (a "judge") set up somewhere to process players' orders and messages, and there's always a few day's deadline to get your orders in. Although this makes playing a lot slower (the first game I started in the summer is still continuing), the game is always played to the end. Using maybe one hour a week you really get to enjoy all the pleasures of a good game of Diplomacy. Highly recommended!


Some sources of Diplomacy-related information on the web:

The Diplomatic Pouch is the most comprehensive source of information on playing Diplomacy on the web. They also have a decent introduction page to Diplomacy.

Onesite.org provides an online map tool, by which you can see the positioning of units on the map at any time. For example, check out the current map of the first game I started last summer.

The server-judge system can be a little confusing, which is why some people are working on a web-based system for playing Diplomacy. Although it's still in test-phase, it works already. If you want to play without learning the syntax for judge games, you could sign up at Redscape.

And of course there exist variations to the regular game on the net. I just started one with 11 players, where one player gets "voted out" every two years. Big Brother/Survivor meets Diplomacy...



April 11: Match meeting
By: Tero | Archives

I am sure we all remember a certain individual called Mahir Cagri, the Turkish "I kiss you" guy, who became incredibly famous thanks to the internet and millions of people who visited his rather interesting website. Ever since, the original webpage of Mahir has disappeared, but has been thankfully replaced by many parodies such as this with Neil Diamond. Well, I believe Mahir might have met his match when you look at this fellow. Although he might not be as popular as Mahir, he sure is ten times as mentally challenged.


Somebody else beaten this week was Prince Naseem Hamed, the self-centered boxing smurf, by Marco Antonio Barrera. Well done Marco!



Apr. 10: Saving the environment, without chain-emails
By: Jani | Archives

As you've probably read by now, George Dubya has rejected the Kyoto Protocol. Maybe it wasn't the best possible paper that could have been written, but at least it's a step in the right direction. So in an act of solidarity, and just to annoy Bush, I sent the formal protest email that can be found on the web. If you're into that kind of stuff, you can do it too. You'll get a nice autoreply, like the other 70000 people that have sent an email so far. Won't accomplish much, but at least we've tried.
I've also received lately a couple of times a chain-email about the rainforests in Brazil being in danger. That I've deleted right away, without really bothering to read what it's about. I admit there seems to be a discrepancy in action here, but my rationale is that chain-emails are just annoying as hell, no matter how noble a cause they're putting forth. If all chain-emails could be gotten rid of, the world would be that much better of a place. The most annoying ones are the lovey-dovey kind, which this letter parodies very well. Funny stuff.



Apr. 9: Further education
By: Jani | Archives

I've had formal education in my mind a lot lately (for why, see the Jani page). Wouldn't it be nice to study without having to worry about getting a degree at the end of it? It seems that university education especially is so concentrated on manufacturing those degrees that it matters little who's actually receiving them. If universities had nothing to do with getting better jobs or more pay in the future, but were provided simply for the pleasure of education, how many people would actually attend them? At least the experience would be more enjoyable for those who did, who wouldn't have to suffer from having colleagues who have no interest whatsoever in actually learning something, but just want to pass and get that much-coveted degree (I'm speaking from extensive personal experience here). Such people should just get a degree from UBS and get it over and done with without the actual hassle of attending a school. I recommend you check out that site, it's spectacularly funny.
I have to say I'm interested in attending another university, just to see whether there's something exceptionally wrong with the one I'm in at the moment, or whether the same kind of disinterest towards learning is more universal. I have to say I'm a bit pessimistic about it.


Just came across some jokes by Willy Brandt, a former chancellor of Germany, having to do with Germany's past. I thought they were pretty good, so here's some of them:

When is the world a better place? When Franco's widow tells Stalin on his deathbed that Hitler has been assassinated at Mussolini's funeral.
Heard in a trench at the close of the war: "After the war, I'm going to bicycle around Germany." "And what are you going to do later in the afternoon?"
An American comes to Prague in the fall of 1968, goes to a taxi and asks: "Are you free?" "No, I'm Czech!" comes the reply.
Julius Caesar, Frederick the Great and Napoleon discuss East Germany in the afterlife. Caesar: "If I had had Stasi at my disposal, Brutus would have been caught." Frederick the Great: "If I had had the people's army of DDR at my disposal, I would have conquered the whole of Europe." Napoleon: "If I had had the party newspaper Neues Deutschland at my disposal, the world would still be unaware of my defeat at Waterloo."

I also like jokes about Soviet Union, I might get back to those later.


Hey, today's my brother's birthday, send him a congratulatory email! It's also my sister's birthday, so do the same to her! And no, they're not twins.



April 6: Something for the Weekend
By: Tero | Archives

Friday is upon us once again, so thank your god (or your relevant object of worship) for that. The only antagonizing question left then is what will I do during these two days off? Well, here is a suggestion. First of all, I need to ask you something.
Do you like Star Wars? Yes? Good. No? Don't panic, wait. Ok, if you don't like Star Wars, then perhaps you like something of the other extreme, shall we say Pulp Fiction? Yes? Good. (No is not an acceptable answer at this stage.) Now, how about if you like BOTH of these movies? Do you? Well, if you do, then how would you like to see the result when you merge one with the other? Sounds crazy? It is. Pulp Phantom will hopefully entertain you for the whole weekend. Have fun!



In case you are a more business oriented person, then we would not want you to waste your time with nonsense such as mentioned above, stuff that turns normal couch potatoes on their sides (they don't move much do they).

So, have you ever felt like a fool when other people begin to talk about the stockmarket and on-line trading? Does it all sound like jibberish or accented Finnish to you? Well, it doesn't have to be this way. Here is your chance to become a real fool.



Apr. 5: More Microsoft Bashing
By: Jani | Archives

I had to buy a Microsoft Press book for a computer class, and not only is it annoying enough that any program or application they suggest to use with the book is made by Microsoft, the book has the following dedication at the beginning:

This book is dedicated to the homeless mentally ill persons of America. Why do we lavish health care dollars on victims of other, less debilitating illnesses while condemning these unfortunates to the streets and gutters?

WTF? I understand if you want to dedicate your "developing web databases" book to your wife (although that makes little sense as well), but this? When did this programmer/author become the conscience of us all? And I'm sure he gives 50% of everything he earns from this book to homeless mentally ill persons, just like his boss Bill. Makes no sense, that's all.


But ol' Bill has a lot less to donate to charity nowadays. It seems like it didn't help him too much that I made my pages only IE-compatible: he's lost about $40 billion since the stock markets started going down a year ago. But before you start feeling too sorry for him, remember that he still has another $40 big ones to survive with. I guess he'll just have to start halving all his expenses to get by.


Oh yeah, the April fool's thing... What can I say? Gotme. But I will be prepared next time. Promise.



Apr. 3: Aprilís fool
By: Tero | Archives

Well well, there is always one that falls for it. This time, as is my tradition on the 1st of April or on April foolís day as some like to call it, I chose my victim to be my own brother Jani. In general it is better to fool somebody of your own family, for this improves your chances of ever being forgiven (in other words, they don't have a choice - after all, family is friends you're stuck with). All in all, and for those who still donít get it, the letter from Matti was actually from me.

If you want to fool somebody in person or as somebody you always wanted to be, go visit the fakemail site where you can send messages to anyone as anyone. Check it out, it is pretty neat.

My brother might disagree.



Apr. 2: Return of Matti!
By: Jani | Archives

Some of you might remember me mentioning Matti Nykänen earlier on these pages. Well, it just so happens that he didn't seem to like my comments much! I never thought you could make a difference through the Internet, but here's living proof of it: a message from Matti Nykanen himself:

Rakas Jani,

Nimeni on Matti Nykanen ja varmaan muistat minut kuuluisana makihyppaajana. Luin tekstisi webbisivuiltasi ja en tykannyt yhtaan siita savysta milla minua kuvailit.

Haluan julkisen anteeksipyynnon ja muuten tulee suksesta!

Matti Nykanen
Freelance Idiootti

For those of you unskilled in Finnish, here's a rough translation:

Dear Jani,

my name is Matti Nykanen, you must remember me as the famous ski-jumper. I read the text on your web site and I didn't like the way you described me at all.

I demand a public apology or I'll hit you with a ski!

Matti Nykanen
Freelance Idiot

Is that cool or what? My lousy little home pages, which I thought didn't show up on any search engines yet, attract the world-famous ski jumper. Too bad he wrote through an anonymous mail server, I'd love to write back to him. But Matti (I'm sure I can call you that after all we've been through), if you're reading this: I'm soooooooo sorry.


Not that you'd notice, but I cut out the early writings on this page, and put them in the brand-new archives. Because I was too lazy to make a new button for them, I added a link next to the e-mailing link at the top of this text (and will add it to future texts as well), rather than at the top of the page. If you keep forgetting what I wrote on the 22nd of February, the archives are for you.



March 2001 February 2001