far far far far far and away

Yo! Flying down to New Zealand today, y’all!

Memo to mad scientists: please invent the teleporter soon…

I do plan to blog my way out of NZ too, so stay glued, superglued and gorillaglued. You might read about how I crash into oncoming traffic, or become mates with a cool penguin. Come what may, it must surely be worth hearing about!

Peace forever and see yous later, diamond dogs!

apple and i

Nokia’s worst nightmare turned to reality yesterday, when Apple finally released the iPhone. As for me, I think I’m releasing buying hormones.

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If you know me, and have used a mobile phone by another brand than Nokia, I am very sure I have slagged it off at one point or another, most usually several times, and probably rather harshly. I was the Noksta No. 1, always defending the Finnish export, never intending to get another brand.
Easy it was, too, as the connecting people reigned supreme over second-rate quality and craftsmanship, not to mention giving everyone a lesson in classic design.

Then the King of Finland, Jorma Ollila, left the company, and now some guy called OP Coleslaw is running Nokia. Ok, that is Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo for you, but who cares – and knows? Besides, he has the look of a man permanently chewing on sour coleslaw!
Then, times two, Nokia forgot about sacred Scandinavian design. They went from sleek and timeless to Chris Bangle – bloated and tasteless.

By now, I was planning a departure. Yesterday, I saw the future.

Egosensibly, it even starts with an “i” – which must mean “me“.

[And eventually also “mine“.]

yankee doodle

How often do you get a car for free? Never, you say? Well, littlest bro JFP [pronounced JeyEffPey – see, it has to rhyme with JFK!] just got almost six meters of American steel and chrome for just that – FREE! While it most certainly is a display of great and unbridled generosity, I’m inclined to believe he must have done something right in an earlier life.

Behold the street-blocking V8 behemoth:

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Dudes and dudettes, that is how they made apple pie in Detroit in 1984!

[I wonder if my Porsche fits in the back of it?]

Anyhoo, this oil tanker goes by the name of Chevrolet Caprice Station Wagon, and it is the softest ride south of the water bed. I just want to eat jelly donuts in it every time I see it.

Rollin’, in my 5.0“… the car may be in need of a little gentle TLC right now, but the quasi-legendary message of Vanilla Ice is undoubtedly the more appropriate cap-off.

swedish meatheads

Last year, the police in Eskilstuna, Sweden, stopped a 23-year old man driving under the influence. The police also found he was carrying a knife. The man tried to escape by running away. The police caught up to him. There was a bit of a ruckus. The man tried to hit the police.

Later, one sued the other. And here, the particular Swedishness of it all enters the event. Lo: the 23-year old man – the violent drunk! – successfully sued the policeman for calling him a “jävla fitta“…

Candyass Sweden makes me so fucking angry. Uuuh, look, I swore too… so sue me, suckers!

dream theatre #1

I’m starting a new wacky series called Dream Theatre. Let me boldly explain: I dream a lot, and not only during the day. No, when night falls and the pillow dents, I go to la-la land. There, the strangest things happen.
Funkily enough, I usually remember them vividly, and have the easiest of times tuning back onto the right dreamlength, if I wake up in midst of high interestingness.
Bizarrely, I’m sometimes even able to prolong a dream beyond sleep, to the extent that I’m fully aware that I’m awake, but still continuing the dream without forcing the issue. This is particularly practical during weekend mornings when you have the extra time to indulge.
If that was not enough, I also dream in color. For example, the purple color that Dream Theatre #1 ends with, was so strong that it all but engulfed me.

I may suck as a sleeper, but I’m an elite dreamer.

Nightmares? Remarkably, a very rare breed, the big exception being: Two years ago I couldn’t dream about anything else than falling towards earth at breakneck speed, aboard a motorcycle, knowing I was going to die – but about a year ago, these violent episodes finally started drying out. [I had feared they’d go on forever!]
Indeed, regular nightmares, like someone/something chasing you, rarely take place. If they do, they’re lame, and sometimes turn into comedies – or, I realize I’m dreaming, and turn the tables on the assailants. [Very convenient, if you know how to do it!]

I don’t plan on doing the Dream Theatre too often, thou. Frankly, an unproportionately large amount of my dreams are sensationally pornographic, and I’d rather keep them to myself. Other dreams are incomprehensible at best, and challenging all known limits of sanity at worst. But once in awhile, when I hit the sweet spot of weirdly funny, I may serve up a slice from la-la land.

So, without further impossibly unnecessary ado, here’s a mildly mad one I had a few days ago:

A party is taking place. Thumping music. I am among friends, we’re revolving on the floors, but I don’t know their names, and I can’t see their faces properly. I must be abroad. Everything about this scene feels American. Suddenly, I find myself behind the turntables, taking over the show. Hey, the crowd loves me, people keep touching me, patting me on my back, and everyone is booming and shouting.
On second thought, these are not turntables, but my own computer, with my own music from my own iTunes archive. And I’m looking so hard for a song I want to play. It’s by Queens, but I just can’t find it. I’m getting desperate. I’m fumbling, struggling, sweating. What’s the name of the song? Why is this so hard? Artists are arranged in alfabethical order – it should be right here, on Q. Help.
The music just dies, but from somewhere a background band immediately starts drumming softly. I start to sing. It’s ‘I Want It All’ by Queens. I sing the refrain to the song. I listen to myself. It sounds absolutely great. I lose track of the crowd. I sing more. Man, I’m great!
Suddenly, a black person stands in front of me. He’s dressed in white – all white, shiny. It’s Puff Daddy. He smiles. God, such white teeth! We don’t say anything to each other, instead switch watches. I try on his big diamond-encrusted one, with a lightblue and white strap. Oh, the strap is too damn long, and I get tangled up in it. First it goes around my head. Then it goes around my waist. Should I wear it like a belt? Where do I buckle it? We laugh, switch back. My watch is tiny. We become friends.
Next day we meet again. We are walking together; it’s warm, there are palm trees, green lush gardens. He says he will get a haircut, but I notice his hair is absolutely perfect. No, it isn’t, he says, like he heard me. Next he says we will both get our teeth bleached. We approach a beauty salon from the garden. It’s very early in the morning, and the half-sleeping doorman is slouched on a chair. He is startled when we walk past him. Mornin’ Puffy, he manages, scared and whimpering before Puff Daddy’s awesome might. We wear crooked smiles.
We enter the beauty salon. In the foyer, a bunch of big black men stand huddled around something, ignoring us. They seem totally fascinated. What is it, I wonder. I have to peek. It’s an ugly brown cockerspaniel, squatting, taking a poo on the floor. I don’t see the fascination. Why do they circle the dog like that? I don’t like these guys.
Puffy wants to show me something else, and he leads me to a room nearby, where a salesman stands alert, greetings us, smiling extremely broadly. He seems ready to fall into a welltrained sales pitch, which he does, and then proceeds to open a big flat package for us. The package is dark grey, and it takes ages to open it.
Finally. It’s a purple cloth, I see. Aha, a huge purple scarf is revealed. So purple. That’s for you, Puffy says. For me? Thanks, Puffy. But it’s so big. It will cover all of me. It covers all of me.

I wake up.

[OBSERVE: I exert no control over this. Dream Theatres are as accurately depicted as possible. I write them down the morning I had them. Any superficial words or attributes have been peeled away. I do not analyze, judge, or question; I just write it as I saw it.]

kandy-kolored tangerine-flake streamline baby

Tom Wolfe would have said so. But I will, for once, let the pictures do the talking. Ah, happiness equals a red sportster…

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PS: Winter tyres have been ordered. But could not wait. Impossible. I-m-p-o-s-s-i-b-l-e. Took it out on the road today. Wooohooo. W-o-o-o-h-o-o-o. Times two. Times three. Times trillion. Thing flies like the bat out of hell!!!

road trip

I had had eyes on a new car for very long, but not until a few days before xmas had I found what I was looking for. My two options were: a reasonable and reliable Mercedes-Benz C220, or the adorable classic called Porsche 944. Of course, as so often is the case with me, heart prevailed over head, and I fell for the Porsche like it was a hot naked girl. This is how it went down…

It was always going to be the Merc. Practical, rear-wheel drive, and money-looking on 18 inch wheels, what more could one want? My great German connection was scoping out the scene down there, digging up suitable candidates for import.
Somewhere along the line of nettiauto.com I stumbled upon a gorgeous Porsche 944, whose price tag even matched my numbers. Would I dare buy into the legend? I wasn’t sure what to do, and tried to look the other way. I spent a few days surfing the vast German supply of Porsches. It quickly became clear that this holy and hallow brand is what God himself drives when he travels in Germany, and they are thus priced accordingly.

So I looked back. The Porsche 944 is so underrated here in Finland, that it would be criminal not to take advantage of the situation. Soon I was deep in negotiation. I managed to get the price down a bit, and when I learned that the car had been religiously maintained by furious pedants, green lights were flashing all around. It had a full service history, guaranteed miles, and an amazing excel table pointing out every single thing that had been done to this car – down to the littlest wax jobs. Even more so, every single receipt had been saved!

All said and done, it was easy to make up my mind. There was only one snafu – the car was in Kuopio, and since it has not been used in winter before, it was sitting on summer tires. Heck, I’ll drive it back anyways, I told myself, and set a date with the owner to come and check it out. However, Father Frost was not co-operating, much as usual, and left me with little choice but to borrow my uncle’s big Mazda pick-up truck, to which I hooked a huge car trailer I rented for the day.

Now, I like to be on the road, but this was easily the worst road trip I ever did. During the darkest day of the year. Along these elk-infested roads that cut through the blackest forests. In slippery conditions, half-wet, half-iced, fully fucked. Oh, I kept waiting for the trailer to overtake me. There was the absolute bare minimum of visibility the whole way halfway to the North Pole, and I was all alone, if not for the the company of Bruce Springsteen’s every single studio album.
I got up at 2:45 AM to be in Kuopio at ten in the morning. By the time I got there, I had experienced near-death at least half a dozen times. The snow, the darkness, a jumping trailer and wandering lorries conspired to drive me to the brink of insanity. This had better be worth it…

As the friendly owner pulled the covers off the Porsche, I instantly knew that it had, indeed, been worth it. I knew that I was buying it. This was my new car. It was just so low, so fat, so full of attitude, resembling a horny toad, or Gordon Gekko ready for another hostile takeover.
Sure, I went through the motions of disinterest, kicking tires and pointing out tiny flaws in the paintwork in hope of getting the price down further, but eventually I just said “I’ll take it“.
I had bought a Porsche without even getting out of second gear! Yeah, we took a spin around Kuopio town centre, with me at the helm, but we were more sideways than straight. Wide and worn-out Pirelli P-Zeros offer little grip in snow…

Little boys pointed and stared. I was them some twenty years ago.

Papers were signed, a pile of money was counted and recounted, then we sealed our separate destinies with the sacred handshake.

One dream delivered. Check that box.

Reality came far too quick when it was time to get the car up on the trailer. I had just bought a shiny red Porsche, but it was so wide there was not a hair more than two centimeters of room on each side to park it on the trailer. I despaired! Was I going to scratch it already?!
Well, here goes everything. And the rear wheels just spun on the snow. It very rapidly became apparent that I had to reverse it up the trailer. Great – like that was going to make it any easier…
Instead of breaking down and weeping like I wanted, I grabbed the car by its neck, did a donut on the snow, backed it right up the fucking trailer like I was going down the empty autobahn on an early Sunday morning. Woooohoooo!

How hard can a heart pound before it explodes?

The former owner, a terrific guy on his own, helped me tie down the car, and I promised him once again to take care of it like it was my first-born. He had just bought an old 911, which had forced him to sell this 944, but I felt sorry for him when we bid our farewells and took to leave. I watched as he walked away. He turned to look back several times… god bless.

The first part of the road trip done with, the second commenced. There was still a few hours of daylight left, and I wanted to make hay. The Porsche key was bulging in my pocket, but I had to patiently steer this diesel-draining Mazda train all the way back to Karis. Darkness came uninvited, and all too soon. The Christmas traffic was in my headlights. The bastard child of snow and rain was dropping from the skies. Vision? What vision? And the wet roads started to freeze over again. O-h n-o. Not again.

Thankfully, the weight of the car calmed the trailer down, and only a few almost-fatal incidents occurred. Can you imagine the relief when I drove the Porsche off the trailer in Karis, unscathed?

Just the mere sight of this car on my driveway was worth the undisclosed sum. But right now I’m waiting harder than anyone to drive it in sweet anger.

Pearly pictures will follow soon.

seek sneak peek

My favorite Santa Claus – he has the same name as I do – bought me a very nice present this year. In fact, it just may be one of the nicest things this guy ever got for me. It is certainly one of the coolest. [Or should I say küühlest?]

It was delivered yesterday, but since Christmas is not until Sunday, I can’t unveil the splendid indisch rot surface yet – but I will go so far as to offer you a taste of the sheetmetal in form of clues. If you can unwrap this mystery, you will know what it is.

[Oh, it hurts, the restraint I must muster! Oh! Ah!]

It is most absolutely negatively positively not a soft package. It is also too big to wrap in gift paper, so this magnificent beast is sleeping on the driveway as I write. This contemporary classic was built in Zuffenhausen, Germany, in 1985.

By now, some of you – most likely anoraks of the male persuasion – may be more hot than cold. But let’s throw in some more coal and bring the rest of yous into the warmth; the holy brand name starts with a P.

And if you add the three numerical letters of the model moniker, they amount to 17