Category: Blog

Jul 12, 2024

The Friday Five for 12 July 2024

The Friday Five for 12 July 2024

Answers to today’s questions over at thefridayfive @ DW

1. Are you good at fixing things?

I’m good at fixing and upgrading computers and laptops. I’m also pretty good at software problem solving, or figuring out how to do some thing on the computer that I want to do – such as make screencaps from 4K HDR videos, or way back when, figuring out how to deinterlace DVDs with minimal loss of quality while screencapping them.

I can also muddle through simple repairs on my clothes – fix holes in socks and shorten pants but that’s about it. I’m also hampered by not owning a sewing machine so things like shortening pants always require a lot of planning because I have to go over to my Mom’s to use hers and I only have to do it like once every 5 years so I’ve always forgotten most of it, so it’s not routine or even very familiar process to me. As far as clothes repairs go… the operative word is muddle!

One of the reasons I can’t try and learn to fix things is that I don’t have the proper tools. A big reason why I can do the computer stuff is that I only needed to buy a few small screw drivers that didn’t cost a lot. All the tools like a sewing machine or a drilling machine with all their required parts cost hundreds of euros that I either don’t have, or am reluctant to use my little tax return on them just because I might need one like once every four years. I’ve heard that libraries have sewing machines to loan now (or is it that you can go use one in the library?)  and that’s interesting, and possibly good option. But if they’re as heavy as my Mom’s, you’d need a car to transport it – it’s too heavy to transport by bus. And I don’t have a car. So that’s a minus. But it’s something I’ve kept in mind for the next time I’ll need a sewing machine.

2. What kinds of things can you fix?

I’ve upgraded RAM, hard drives and SSD drives to my laptops. When I had a desktop computers, I did all those plus also added cd-rom drives, dvd-drives and secondary hard drives to my setup. I wanted to upgrade the mother board on my next-to-last desktop computer too but that would have meant upgrading all the other parts as well and getting a new chassis and I wasn’t entirely sure I would know to choose parts that all played well together; I didn’t have quite that much knowledge/experience. So I ended up just buying a brand new desktop instead because the old one was starting to be too slow to easily run my programs such as Photoshop.

3. Is there anyone in your family who is good at fixing things?

I’m not sure but I think my Dad was – he was good in math and spatial thinking, I think is the word, and he built some few furniture for our camping needs. I think being able to build things like that probably meant he could fix them as well! And in the 1980s our family’s car was a Lada – I do remember Dad doing everything the car needed himself as far as he could but that was something everyone did because cars back then were built in a way that you could do much yourself. Oh, and Dad was a welder so I’m sure he could have fixed a lot of things!

My Mom’s SO is also good at math and spatial thinking – until recently, he literally always had some project under work! He’d build a brand new thing or fix a thing needed fixing, such as a sliding door that refused to slide smoothly. For me, when I had a mouse problem, he took up the floor of kitchen cabinet where the trash bin etc. is because the mice came up from somewhere under there, and did… stuff… there that blocked the mice from coming in. It’s been about 20 years and the fix is still working! He also built a sturdy, wide wooden step for my back door – the drop to ground was too high without so built one in a day! Until recently, Mom’s SO always needed to have a project either in planning stages or actually under work – it is actually one of the reasons why they have never lived in a apartment building because he couldn’t have projects there and he’d go stir-crazy. It’s also one of the reasons why they had a summer cottage for many years – the SO could always have a project to improve it, and they both loved growing potatoes, carrots, onions etc. and having a lot of different berry bushes the products of which they’d either make into a juice or freeze for the winter. The SO is now 84 and has been diagnosed in early stages of dementia, and while he still likes to do stuff, he tires too easily to do like before and has to rest a lot.

4. Has anyone ever taught you how to fix things?

A little, I guess. I taught all the computer stuff to myself. But I know the sewing etc. classes at school had to teach us how to mend clothes but I don’t actually remember any of it. I mean I know some things, but I can’t remember where/who I learned them from? I know Mom taught me how to shorten my pants.

I really wish my Dad had been alive when I moved on my own. He would have taught me things like drilling a hole in the wall to hang things etc. He was a good and patient teacher (he taught me math because the match teachers failed me at school once we went beyond the fundamental arithmetic operations). Mom’s SO is good at building and fixing things, but he doesn’t really like to teach and also he speaks unclearly – I only started to understand everything he was saying after he retired and started to be at home much more than until then so I saw much more of him and my ears could get used to his way of speaking (he worked a three-shift job a couple of towns away and was away at work at least half of each month altogether and those years I wouldn’t even see him every month depending on how his schedule was). And anyway, our relationship isn’t one I could have asked him to teach me.

5. What was the last thing that broke in your home?

The last thing I remember for sure, was the washing machine a couple of years ago. It was 25 years old already so we didn’t even think about fixing it but bought a new one outright.

I guess one of the last things to “break” is the lock nest in my bedroom door. One of the screws has a tendency to become loose and stay in place just by a thread or two. I screwed it back in, like I always do.

Jul 11, 2024

Bathroom Renovations + Health Update

Bathroom Renovations + Health Update

Been meaning to write this up for a month and here it is finally…

My housing co-op is having a bathroom renovation done in all the apartments, and actual work on the bathroom of the first apartment began a month ago on Monday. They start on 3 new apartments every week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). My bathroom started on July 1t, and my bathroom/sauna/toilet has been out of commission since then and will be for another 2 weeks! Washing machine too because it’s in the bathroom. Each bathroom is out of commission for 4 weeks if things go as planned, but if there are any surprise findings such as the humidity measurement shows humidity in the (concrete? whatever is underneath all the tiles etc.) then that might and will prolong the renovation. So far I haven’t heard that there’s been any surprises like that. I did hear that apparently the company doing the repairs has to fix some walls on the apartment side even though they haven’t caused anything to them, because they are made of surface material (the one on top of the concrete) that cracks easily. We have heavy busses going by a few meters away every 7-10 minutes, so a lot of walls have cracked more or less. I heard this “the company has to fix the walls” on Tuesday, but nothing since. The plan as I heard then was to fix it all so that the wall and the bathroom are finished at the same time.

My housing co-op is doing this as an co-op project rather than individual home owner projects that may or may not get done. There’s 5 buildings and all were built in 1997-1998. Just over half of the apartments have the original bathrooms still, with the others’ owners have renovated since 1998 but even of those, the renovations are getting to be 10 years old and a few apartments the co-op had renovated because of water damage from the leaking ceiling (error made during the building so the apartment owners didn’t have to pay the renovation). The original bathrooms are about at the end of life, so the we co-op owners decided to renovate all to get some discounts and ensure no bathroom water mishaps because things start to leak etc. simply because of age.

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Jul 10, 2024

Music Loves: Doctor Who – The Greatest Story Never Told

Today has been one of those days when nothing but River Song’s Music will do. I have listened to nothing but The Greatest Story Never Told today! I remember watching Forest of the Dead live and having to sit on my hands once this River scene with this music came on in order not to replay it immediately right after just to make it to the end of the episode. Fabulous scene and fabulous music. Murray Gold outdid himself composing this one. I have accomplished much today and I did all listening to this one!

Jul 5, 2024

Friday 5 for July 4: No intersection

Today’s questions over at


1. When did you last read a physical issue of a magazine?

It’s a toss up between a newspaper in the library two weeks ago or the customer magazine my local grocery chain releases every month. One or the other.

2. If someone were going through your wardrobe, which item or items would give the person a good idea of your age?

No idea. My clothes are all pretty much timeless and general because I don’t follow trends or styles or anything. And I don’t care about clothing or fashion to guess what might tell what other people about my age – my likes and dislikes, yes, but not my age. I also think it depends on that other person’s interest in clothing and fashion as well!

3. What is your favorite song released in 2024?

I… don’t know if I’ve even heard a single song released this year! I certainly don’t know the release years of the songs I listen to… mostly I just remember “this is from my childhood, this is from around 2010 and I it heard in The Vampire Diaries first, The Piano movies was made in early/mid-90s. this singer was active in the 1970s…

What I can do is give you my favorite song from all the ones I’ve discovered this year: Night Of The Dancing Flame by Róisin Murphy. I discovered that one last week from Evil episode 4×06 How to Dance in Three Easy Steps and I LOVE it.

Also saw this on YouTube and loved it:

4. What non-food item did you last put in a zippered plastic bag?

Non-food… I can’t think of one. I don’t use zippered plastic bags (I don’t think they’re a thing here) but freezer bags and such are closed with a knot or a clip. Either way, I don’t remember! I use them a lot for food items, but it’s been too long to remember what the last non-food item was!

5. You may know that in Japan there are cafes where you can play with bunnies, cats, hedgehogs, reptiles, owls, and many other kinds of animals. Assuming one hundred percent good faith, which would mean the animals’ safety and mental health are completely assured and the animals are rescues, making it unsafe for them to be released back into the wild, which animal cafe (whether it exists now or not) would you most like to spend time in?

Dog cafe, definitely! I like dogs a lot, and if I could look after a dog the way they should be taken care of, I would have one! So I’d definitely go to a dog cafe.

But I’d also like to go to a bunny or a cat cafe, just because I’ve never have interactions with them in real life… no one I’ve ever known has had a bunny, and a few had cats but cats disappeared whenever there were visitors around, so I never got to interact with one.

So I’d check out a bunny and a cat cafe, too!

I’ve heard that there are at least one or two cat cafes in Finland, but whenever I hear one mentioned, it’s always in a bad way – abuse, breeding etc. Just a week or two there was a minor scandal about a cat cafe chain where lots of outright abuse and just bad habitat situation took place.

Jun 28, 2024

The Friday Five for 28 June 2024

The Friday Five for 28 June 2024

Answers to today’s questions at thefridayfive@dreamwidth

1. Have you gotten everything done that you had hoped to do during the first half of 2024?

Most of it, but there’s one thing still unresolved. Namely the I’m-one-of-my-biological-father’s-heirs-but-shouldn’t-be-because-my-adoption-as-a-baby-in-1975-was-supposed-cut-all-legal-and-otherwise-ties-to-my-biological-family-completely-but-law-was-changed-5-years-later-and-we-didn’t-know-until-he-died thing. It’s still unresolved, and there’s a question mark about whether my bio siblings have done the death bureaucracy things they said they have and are required by law. Although I can’t imagine they haven’t, because they too will face consequences down the line if the things required by law aren’t done. But I can’t trust what my bio sister the executor says – she’s promised to deliver the appropriate papers after claiming she has delivered them to the tax office, but so far hasn’t delivered to me and has gone silent. And the tax office says there’s no perunkirja in existence. So it’s all unclear and I’m still having to work on this fucking thing, made difficult because it’s a rare situation so finding pertinent information is hard and I have zero money to hire a lawyer or something. These bio family are all people I have never met, I have no idea of what if anything my bio father left behind if anything (was told he was a drunkard and had debts), and I’m not taking their word any more.

I haven’t seen any papers or signed anything, and I don’t know what my legal status regarding this fucking thing is. I have to talk to the tax office to see if there was an error in the way I worded my information request, and maybe apply to free legal aid just to find out what the current situation is and then go on from there. I did talk to a free lawyer advice meeting, but that’s only for quick things that take about 15 minutes and she guided me to contact the tax office to get a copy of perunkirja (which tax office said doesn’t exist when I did). And she said that while extensions are given to create the perunkirja, 1,5 years is too long and unlikely to happen. 

This is the one thing I hoped in general to be done with at least a year back now and certainly by now.

2. Did anything exciting or unexpected happen to you during the first half of 2024?

Nothing unexpected. But participating in AKSE in April and May was exciting, and we formulated in collaboration the next steps in regards to my chronic illnesses re: unemployment and general functional ability.

3. What big plans do you have for the second half of 2024?

Because of AKSE, there are now options and directions that I can try and take steps towards. Something good may or may not come out of them, but at least I’m not hanging in limbo and waiting for nothing right now. It’s been years of that! There’s something to look forward to after a long while, a possibility of more clarity. Probably will take until late fall or even later to start on most of them because I may have a hysterectomy surgery coming up (at least I very much hope so!), depending on what the university hospital doctors think about my gynekological bleeding and dropping ferritin and hemoglobin. I myself I’m completely ready for it – I’m so fed up with problem periods and bleeding and iron infusions and iron tablets. But in any case, lots of medical and rehabilitative things that will hopefully improve my basic functional ability are planned for my near(ish) future. But really does depend on that possible surgery or whether the doctors figure out the gynecological bleeding thing as well as how quickly I can get all the needed doctor appointments, how quickly KELA will process the applications after the things they need from me and my doctor(s), and when a suitable rehab would start.

The rest of the year is looking interesting, all in all!

4. Have you taken, or are you planning, a vacation this year?

Nope, and nope. I don’t work or study so I’m “free” all the time. And I have no money to make a vacation of any sort. I’ll just enjoy fresh strawberries, ice cream and new potatoes as much as I can!

5. Have you ever wanted to be one of the people writing and posting these questions?

The thought has occurred to me once or twice.