Thursday, December 28, 2006

In Every Death There Is a New Beginning

As is the case with the late Riviera Hotel Portrayed in the previous post.

Now that I too have migrated to this new blogger I should utilize the label system. 90 or so posts to label afterwards does not sound too thrilling but sooner or later I will do so.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Great Pharaoh and His Harem

Every once in a while there are things that I wish I didn't see. And no, I am not talking about the pharaoh, his costume is actually rather hilarious. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

It has been a year since I kicked up this little photoblog of mine. 86 posts, couple of more photos and few comments… That just about wraps up everything there is to tell. Anyhow I think I am going to bore you with little statistics, even though my StatCounter hasn’t been doing its work for a year yet, that’d be in a month or so.

As of November 26th 17:21 EET (+2 GMT) there have been 1618 visits to my blog which is actually quite nice, since I haven’t gone around and advertised my blog anywhere. Thank you all, even though I would like to get more feedback. Tell me what you like about my pictures, please.

Most of the visitors have been from Finland (41,94 %) with a fair share of US and UK visitor too (19,35 and 16,13) of which the latter country is probably due to a friend of mine who moved to London. Cheers mate!

Quite surprisingly 17,2 % of the visits have taken over an hour, did someone forget their browser on or what? On the other hand majority (62,1 %) of the visits were less than 5 seconds. Guess the Google search didn’t have the wanted results.

42 % of my visitors have used Internet Explorer 6.0 to browse my blog, while 36 % have used Mozilla Firefox 1.5 and 13 % have used Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and the rest 9 % is shared with Mozilla (5 %), Firefox 1.0.7 (2 %) and Opera (9.00).

Little over half (50,52 %)of the visitors have used 1024x768 resolution and 34,02 have used 1280x1024 resolution. There have been larger and smaller resolution too, but those are quite marginal, largest resolution being 1600x1200 (4,12 %) and the smallest being 800x600 (1,03 %) and then there is the ~6 % of unknown resolutions.

By far the most popular OS has been Windows XP (76 %) and Mac OS X is at second place with 14 %. 6 % of users have been running Windows 2000 and 4 % some unknown OS.

Judging from the number of returning visits I have some devoted readers. There are two (2) people with 10+ returning visits, one with 5-10 and 9 1-5 returning visits. 81,8 % of visitors have been first time visitors. Ok, I know that this data is quite unreliable since it is based on a cookie. If the same person visits my blog regularly but does that from different comp every time (s)he is always counted as a first timer.

I think this is enough boring data for now. Here is a picture to end this post. This is one of the oldest pictures I have taken. It certainly isn’t my first, but one of the oldest that have survived. It was taken on a beach of Rhodes summertime around 1990 or so can’t quite remember the exact year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Rise and Shine!

There was a magnificent sunrise here the other day. I have missed these for quite some time. In both meanings of the word, I would presume.

I tend to sleep long in the mornings, mostly because I go to bed relatively late and because I need more sleep than the average person does. Therefore I get up too late to see the sunrises.

Thankfully winter is coming and the sun will rise later so I am more likely to see the rising sun more often. That is one of the few things I like about winter. And because I have missed the sun rises by waking up too late I have begun to miss seeing them. I think I am over explaining here.

Nevertheless breathtaking sunrises are a more important thing for me than the equally breathtaking sunsets, just because I see fewer of the sunrises. And now I miss the sunsets too…


Finally, after a couple of weeks with the Internet connection cut off due to "slight"(* troubles from our new ISP, I am able to post again. Thank you for your patience.

(* It turned out that no one hadn't been to our building basement and switched the cable from the equipment of our previous ISP to the machine of our current one. Way to go!

Also I have had troubles publishing... Every time I have tried to the progress meter stucks to 20 % and never finishes. That kinda sucks. As of now it is 24th of November, I wrote this entry back in October 31st...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Feeling Tired? Take a Nap!

Sometimes the pace of this world seems way too hectic. Everyone seems to be in such a terrible hurry to somewhere that no-one remembers to take it easy anymore. I for myself have noticed that when ever I go to the town with a schedule the time always just seems to run out. “Oh heck, I gotta run to get in time to these other places!”, “I’ve been here for too long!” and “Now I won’t have enough time to go to that one place anymore!” seem to be very common thoughts then. But when I go out to town to just stroll and visit the same places without any kind of schedule I have no hurry to anywhere. And still I manage to go to all the places I had intended to. Funny isn’t it?

So when I saw this little koala I was kinda envious of him/her. I mean, (s)he looks like (s)he has no worries what so ever. No obligations, no hurries, no pressure. Then again (s)he is caged in a relatively small space, so maybe I am the lucky one after all.

But you people, remember to take it easy once in a while! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Path of Tranquility

Eventhough this picture is not taken from any japanese garden it still radiates the aura of zen garden.

The exact location where this picture was taken has faded from my memory, but I can remember that much that it was taken in Copenhagen, Denmark. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Power Of Thy Sword

Lord of battle I pray on bended knee conquest by the rising sun
I'll wait for thy command with flame and blood at hand
glory and a broken sword.

I'm the master of the world I have no fear of man or beast
Born inside the soul of the world
Riding hard breaking bone with steel and stone
Eternal might I was born to wield.

Let us drink to the battles we've lived and we've fought
Celebrate the pain and havoc we have wrought
Great heroes charge into the fight
From the north to the south in the black of night

The clash of honor calls to stand when others fall
Gods of war feel the power of my sword

Drink to the battles we've lived and we've fought
Celebrate the pain and havoc we have wrought
Great heroes charge into the fight
From the north to the south in the black of night

Fierce is my blade fierce is my hate born to die in battle
I laugh at my fate
Now pay in blood when your blood has been spilled
You're never forgiven death is fulfilled !

The clash of honor calls to stand when others fall
Gods of war feel the power of my sword

The clash of honor calls
I will stand when others fall
Open magic doors
The will know the power of my sword

There is blood in my hands there is blood in my eyes
With blood in my voice I scream as you die
Thirsting for vengeance and mounds of the slain
Shaking the forest onto the plain

Fierce is my blade fierce is my hate born to die in battle
I laugh at my fate
Now pay in blood when your blood has been spilled
You're never forgiven death is fulfilled !

The clash of honor calls to stand when others fall
Gods of war feel the power of my sword


Lyrics by Manowar Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Some Notable Features

Lion's mane:

Cheetah's spots:

Keen eyesight:

Leather wings:

Rhinoceros' horn:

Tortoise shells:

Zebra stripes:

Crocodile jaws:

Panda's thumb:

Camel toe:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Two of Us

Time to upgrade the hardware?

In the computer gaming world there is a way to increase the fps rate by adding a fog to the world. This way the drawing distance is lower and the stress on GPU is lower and thus the game runs smoother.

The fog on games starts to bug after a while even though it sometimes is realistic to have ridiculously low visibility. Unfortunately on some games, especially the older ones, the fog is there 24/7.

Nevertheless it is pretty neat to experience such a fog in real life every now and then.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Just don't stand there!

'Nuff said. Thus in Vienna Austria.

It wouldn't occur to me go standing there. Take a shortcut through? Nah.

But hey, better safe than sorry!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

No More Summer?

So it is autumn already it seems. Where did the summer go? Oh, right, it is September already after all. As a true friend of summer and warmth I am always a bit disappointed each fall when the temperatures start to fall. Autumn in itself is still ok. The colors are beautiful, the crisp air enjoyable and such.

But the arriving of autumn always means that the winter is around the corner. And I am not a big fan of below +15 °C temperatures. And I just about hate the temperatures below +0 °C. Oh well, I got to live with it, after all I do live in Finland.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Prior to Storm

On St. Stephen’s Day in Hungary there were all sorts of entertainment for the masses. It was the national day of Hungary, the founding day of the kingdom and a public holiday. A Red Bull Air Race was held over the Danube and after that there was a grand fireworks display.

Not only that, the nature herself put up quite a show. A heavy thunderstorm was rising and I managed to snap a picture of one of the lightning strikes.

Unfortunately the storm did induce a panic in the crowd. The heavy rain and strong winds snapped branches off the trees and tiles from the roofs of the buildings. The result being a couple of deaths and a whole bunch load of injured people. Very unfortunate.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Many Faces of Budapest (part VII)

I don’t have the faintest idea what this building is. It could be a hotel, conference center or something like that. It has “Johann Strauss Cafe & Caviar House” on the second floor, some shops on the first floor (or so it seemed when I peeked through the front door). What ever is the purpose of this building, I can tell you it looks amazing! Well, I guess you can see it yourself too.

If anyone with the knowledge of this building happens to read this, would you be kind enough to leave a comment and enlighten me a bit?

The Many Faces of Budapest (part VI)

On my recent posts about the looks and the state of the buildings in Budapest I have focused on the side that is not too obviously visible. That is the sad truth about the city, but luckily there are plenty of beautiful and renovated buildings too. Some of the buildings are covered in advertisements but as long as the ads are of this quality I don’t mind.

For your information, there is no corner in the middle of the building, the wall is flat.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Take a Swim on the Danube

The Danube might not be the cleanest river in the world, nor the dirtiest for that matter, but I would not recommend you to take dip there. And when the river is flooding its current is pretty strong it isn’t the safest swimming place on that perspective either.

But these ingenious Austrian people have managed to get a workaround for that matter too. In Vienna I saw this barge that was transformed to be an outdoors swimming pool. Now the people can go and take a swim on the Danube, which is without a doubt wiser than taking a swim in the Danube…

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blogger’s Block

Every picture needs a story. Otherwise they are just some random pictures from random places at random times. Totally uninteresting.

Every picture has a story. But is it a story worth telling? Does it tell anything to anyone else but me? There’s the problem I am having right now. I have plenty of pictures I would like to post but I have nothing worthwhile to write about them. For example the earlier post about Leroy… I barely got myself to publish it. Too little of a story there.

How about this one then? The poor picture was just about randomly selected to accompany my rant about writer’s block. It is a fine picture and would deserve more but what can I do? If I don’t have anything decent to write then I don’t.

This is getting pretty frustrating. Both to write this particular post by force and to have nothing to write about anything.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Experiments with Exposure

I have tried several times tried to take a picture of the moon at night. All of these have ended up as overexposed pictures where the moon in nothing more but a bright sphere on the sky. Yet again I decided to experiment a little and dug out my tripod.

After a couple of shots with more or less automatic settings I decided to switch to full manual. All of the pictures below have been taken with ISO100 and aperture size 5.6.

The exposure times are from top left to bottom right as follows:
1 s, 1/4 s, 1/20 s, 1/60 s,
1/125 s, 1/250 s, 1/400 s, 1/800 s,
1/1250 s, 1/2000 s, 1/3200 s and 1/4000 s.

Personaly I think the moons 6-8 are the best ones.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lerooooooy Jeeenkisahhh!

No real purpose with this picture, the banner just made me laugh. Either you get it or you don't. If you do, you do. If you don't then maybe you should play more WoW (or check this site out).

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Fishermen's Bastion at Dusk

During the three months I spent in Budapest I came to the conclusion that the city is actually very photogenic. At night. Or at least late in the evening when there isn’t that much light to see and spot the numerous imperfections the city has. I mean, the buildings in Budapest are, were, beautiful but are in miserable shape. The facing tiles are falling off of many buildings; the stone arcs of some buildings have totally crumbled leaving only the supporting frames visible and so on. Sad thing to look at really.

But when the night comes away goes the miserable details and in comes the beautiful silhouettes. And the spotlights. And the decorative lights. And everything else that captures the attention. Like this setting sun behind the Fishermen’s Bastion, pretty much everything in Budapest looks better in night time than during the day. Well okay, this is bad example in such a way that the Bastion is actually kept in good condition. As is the Buda Castle which, alas, was pretty much covered in campaign ads and such during the time I stayed in Budapest. But nevertheless they became invisible during the night time, unless it happened to be at beam of a spotlight.

For all it seems I can quote a Hungarian traveling companion of ours considering the sad state of the buildings: “The Hungarian people just don’t seem to care.” Too bad.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Bridge That Once Was

It is somewhat amazing how I find myself wondering over things gone. The Roman ruins of Aquincum (and more here) were a place of marvel to me. The old towns of Rhodes, Vienna, Tallinn, Kotor and so on are the exact same thing. I see some glimpses of things that once were and in my mind kind of rebuild them.

Through my minds eyes I saw the buildings of Aquincum still standing and the streets full of life. As do I see this here bridge still standing. This bridge is located just outside the old town of Kotor, Montenegro. Right alongside it is a new bridge but the remains of the old bridge have been left lying in the stream. And what a beautiful, clear watered stream it was. Further downstream, closer to the bay itself there were some small boats anchored. At first it looked like those boats were levitating on the air, I just couldn’t see the water until I got closer.

Such beauty I so rarely see.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Picturesque Sunset

As I said in my earlier post, sunsets come and go. They do, but every so often the sunset is something spectacular. This time the orange-red clouds and turquoise sky made a really unusual combination. The black mountains cropped the pale blue part of the sky in the horizon leaving only the most vivid colour visible.

It was truly magnificent. The outside temperature was well over +25 °C even after the nightfall so you can probably guess just how much I wanted to just go to the near by grass field, lay back and just admire the sky.

Too bad I was in a moving train…

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

...Always an RPGamer

And this here is an old Hungarian castle on the bank of Danube. Or for the most of the people it is. For me it is pretty clearly a place where my character based on Saint Jerome, portrayed in the previous post, just might live.

It is located somewhere remote on a river bank on the island of Hârn, in the fantasy world of HârnWorld. It is simple yet quite complex and it does have somewhat of a mysterious aura to it, for real too. For me that isn’t just a ruined old castle but it is so much more too.

Just like this castle or the statue of St. Jerome, I see more in the things around me as an RPGamer that what I would see as a regular guy. For most of the people an abandoned old factory is something very dull but for me… I see an inspiration for a RPG scenario or two. Some people see old statues of people long gone, I see inspiration for characters. Some people see clearing in woods with a fallen tree, I see a camping site for adventurers, maybe even the camp and campfire too.

For a couple of years I didn’t register these. Everything I saw was just that, what I saw, nothing more, nothing less. That was because of personal worries of my own and worries about my wife who was depressed, drowning to her work, got burn out and her appendix became infected and she had to be operated. On top of that I myself got incurably sick. So no wonder I myself got quite depressed too.

But now my imagination runs wild once again.

Once an RPGamer...

If you are an RP gamer then I am sure you know what I am talking about here. Ever since I started playing pen and paper (PnP) Role Playing Games (RPG) I have looked the world around me very differently. For example this statue here, as you can read from the base it portrays Saint Hieronimus, a man who translated Bible from Greek and Hebrew to Latin. This here statue can be found at St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, which in itself is a sight to see.

But I digress. What I was going to say was that when I saw this statue the first thing that came to my mind was that “man, some day I will make a RP character based on this statue. That man has the looks of a mage!” And that I will do. Most likely as a non player character (NPC) in my HârnMaster campaign. Or maybe I’ll let this statue represent a NPC already created. Who knows. One thing is certain though, I will implement him in some way.

Monday, August 14, 2006

In Tonight’s Episode of Raw Nature: Exhibitionistic Flying Fox!

We were at the jungle house of the Tiergarten Schönbrunn, the Zoo of Vienna and found these large bats hanging from the ceiling there. All of a sudden my wife started to giggle and pointed at one of the bats “Is that a boy or what?”

Yes, he was a boy indeed and quite randy one too. For a long time he hung with on leg only and covered himself with merely his other wing leaving him half exposed. And then all of a sudden he stretched his wings wide open. The sight was quite something different. I mean the sight of the bat with his wings spread wide open making him look big was astonishing while in the same time his private parts… Well they just launched the little boy and girl reaction in both of us. “Look a penis!” Tee hee hee!

Oh for crying out loud, Batman! Cover yourself!