Jun 29, 2013

Glutenfree and dairyfree

There's a big supermarket about 3 km away, in a direction opposite to where I usually go. It's not very easy to get there by bicycle as there are a lot of crossings and the cycling road ends before the store parking lot, making it a bit hard to know, which route cyclists are supposed to take. Because of that, I haven't been there for months and didn't really know what the current selection is like. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I went there today. First, all the glutenfree food stuffs were in one place, which is always good as you don't need to wander around trying to find them. Second, I found the products shown in the photos below.

Usually anything with apple flavor turns out to be very bland and not that good, but this time I was in for a surprise. These are exceptionally good, both in taste and texture. The sweetness is just right and they're sort of soft and crunchy.

These looked good and they are all right, but nothing special. The problem is that the crust is too dense and doesn't really taste of anything, so it's up to the jam to fix things. Of the two, the ones with red berries are better.

I love chocolate, so it was a pleasant surprise to find the cocoa filled bars, but strangely enough, the ones with red berries turned out to be better again. And they're really good as you can clearly taste the berries. The problem with the cocoa version is that you can't really taste the cocoa.

This is a totally new brand to me and fortunately all the products seem to be dairyfree as well. That's always the problem with glutenfree stuff, the sentence "may contain traces of milk" in the ingredients list.

The final problem, which really goes without saying, is that all these were expensive. The apple bars were most expensive, €5.99 for a box of 6 bars. However, that can't be avoided and one just has to be happy that the products are available, because the only other option is to do entirely without.

Jun 21, 2013

Midsummer Eve

This morning I got up at 4 AM and went out cycling at 5 AM. The weather was cloudy, but warm and there was no rain, although it had rained during the night, so the air was clean of pollen and dust. I decided to head to another direction than on my earlier rides this summer and went to Kyrkösvuori. Its name says it's a mountain, but it's actually just a rock. The way up is a bit tricky when the ground is wet, because there are mosses and loose debris on wet rock.

On top, there is a bird tower and I was surprised to see that it had been fixed. The lower stairs were missing the last time I went there.

The sign on the pole says this point is 101 meters from sea level, so it isn't really that high.

Still, the view is nice. Here is a panorama showing the view to the lake. It's an artificial lake and there's a power station on the opposite side of it.

The ground was wet, so my shoes got wet and I needed to be really careful that I wouldn't slip, but it wasn't an entirely bad thing. I had to take about a dozen photos to get one that was in focus.

When I was cycling back, the sun started shining and the flowers on the side of the road looked really nice. This Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) and later in summer, it will have the kind of small pea pods that I used in the story Clueless.

I don't know what this one is, but it is a very common flower.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is even more common.

After I had taken pictures of flowers I suddenly noticed that there was a big board on the other side of the road where an even smaller dirt road than the one I was riding on went into the forest. I remember seeing the road before, but I don't think there was a map then, so this was the first time I realized I didn't need to go back the same way. I always prefer taking another road back. The best part was, every major crossroads on the route marked in the map had the same map showing where I was at the moment, so I ended up taking a few detours as I was in no hurry to get back.

I didn't notice this in the first couple of boards, but finally I looked closer. That's a clever idea, giving the coordinates, so you can give those, if you have an emergency, and the help will arrive sooner as they will know exactly where you are.

At one point, I realized I was really close to the road I cycled when going to Kyrkösvuori. It's there in front of that building you can see behind the trees.

In one place along the route, there was a replica of a war time bunker and a small stretch of trench. This was close to the military obstacle course I found a couple of years back.

When I got to the bridge close to home, I saw this. Judging from the structures that had been built on the river bank, this boat is going to be here all summer, probably serving as a restaurant. Or maybe it's just for the farmer's fair at the beginning of July and the Tango festival a week later.

I've always thought that the designer of the pedestrian bridge was really clever, adding these ledges. There's another one on the other side and another two in the other end of the bridge, so you can stop to admire the scenery without being in the way.

Jun 19, 2013

By the market square

Many of the old houses in the town center are either gone or going. Last October, I took some photos of one demolition process. Two old houses by the market square were demolished to make room for a new one.

The first photos are from October 19th, when I walked past the site and noticed that something was going on.

I went back on October 25th to see how things were progressing. The second house was still recognizable as a house, although the timber frame was all that was left of it.

A couple of days ago, I saw a newspaper article saying that the fence between the market square and the still empty plot would be left standing. I went back to see what, if anything, was going on in the plot. The billboard is still there, but there are no signs of any construction starting any time soon.

More sets transferred

All Muppet Stories sets and the first two Kitty and Riddick sets are now on my web site. In addition to transferring old stories, I have shot a new one for the Fantasy Villa Stories. The story is in Flickr and starts from this photo.

Jun 12, 2013


I had been wondering about the name of the street between blocks 10 and 11 for a long time before I finally decided to find out about it a couple of years ago. The name of the street is Verkatehtaankatu (broadcloth factory street) and it is very short, just 300 m. I checked that on the web site of the National Land Survey of Finland. I can't show the map due to copyrights, but the link opens it, showing the street marked with a blue line.

The explanation for the name was really simple. The street used to go to the light gray building you can see near the top of the map and that was the factory. It is actually called "Kalevan navetta" (Kaleva cattle house), although it has never served as a cattle house, but has been a factory. The building looks like this:

The photo is from this morning as I went for a little walk. I got a slight surprise when I got there. This is a photo I took in February 2012:

As you can see, there is a building to the right of the factory building and even a fence around it. (Actually, you can see that building in the map, shown in dark purple.) This is how that area looks now:

All that is left of the other building is a chimney and piles of rubble and tiles. There were no fences and no signs saying "keep out," so I went to take a closer look.

The other building has been demolished to make way for new houses. There is a large billboard by Vapaudentie showing the plan for the area:

The street going from left to upper right is Vapaudentie and it goes past our house (one of the three in the upper right corner, on the left side of the street). It goes from north (left) to south (right). The red brick houses with green roofs are the new ones to be built where the chimney is now. The factory will remain behind them as I think it is a protected building. Of the three houses in front of the red brick houses, right by Vapaudentie, one looks like the one already there:

But it looks like the yellow building on the left in this photo will have to go. The old building nearest to the intersection is already gone.

Of the two big white office buildings with a circular building between them, only one has been built so far:

One problem in making the area (on the east side of Vapaudentie) a good place for people to live is that the only way for pedestrians and cyclists to get to the center is over the Vapaudentie bridge (where I was when I took the photo below), which means having to take a detour. The straightest route to the center would be between the bridge I was on and the one to the east of it:

I have read about plans to build a pedestrian bridge. It'll be interesting to see how long that'll take. I know I wouldn't be interested in buying a home in the area, if there was no bridge, but the building of the bridge may not be seen as justified until there are some houses there, so it's a sort of a catch 22. I guess the first buyers will be people who own cars.

Jun 11, 2013

Muppet Stories

I have moved the first two Muppet Stories sets from Flickr to my web site. The second set had about 350 photos and it was quite a lot of work to transfer all those to HTML pages. One thing that increases the time required for the process is that I take screenshots of all the texts under the story photos in Flickr. At least Windows 7 and 8 include a cutting tool that lets you select a part of the screen to be saved as a PNG image.

The reason I'm doing this is to be able to check later the exact text I had under the photo, if necessary. I do have everything in text files on my computer, but sometimes I have made changes to the text later in Flickr without updating the corresponding script file.

Jun 8, 2013

The change of view

As I was going through the photographs, I picked a few that show how the view from my windows has changed since I moved to this apartment.

The first photo is a combination of the first two photos I ever took of the view, on May 2007. I actually moved in June, but the deal was made in May, so I got the keys then.

The first change was the building of the third house on the lot beside our house. The empty lot in the corner was used for the building site offices. The photo was taken in June 2008.

Next summer, in June 2009, the offices were taken away. I can't remember for sure, but I think the third house was finished at this time.

A year later, in May 2010, the building of the house in the corner lot was well on its way.

Here is a stop motion video of building the house during October 2009–December 2010.

The next change started in April 2011, as a crane was being set up in block 12. Block 11 is the one on the other side of the street and block 12 is behind that.

The houses to be built there were advertised in a newspaper.

In September 2011, the first house was already visible behind the trees.

The house on the corner lot was finished by the end of 2010. This photo is from February 2012 and you can see the house in block 12 looks quite ready, at least on the outside.

In November 2012, the corner lot on block 11 was being cleared and the old buildings on the lot were torn down. A construction company had acquired that lot, but after it was cleared, nothing else has happened on it so far.

In the direction seen on the right side of the first photo, nothing much has changed in all this time, except that a few new houses can be seen in the horizon. There have been quite a few cranes visible at that side of the town at one time or another during the six years I have lived in this apartment.

A change in block 11 is expected as soon as the construction companies get their grubby paws on the lots on which those old wooden houses reside. I understand it's not for the lack of effort, the owners just don't want to sell. And I think there's also a problem with the town plan.

I tried to look for the plan for block 11, because, naturally, I am interested in what kind of a view I can expect to have within the next 10 years or so. It seems that there was so much disagreement at the time the plans for blocks 11 and 12 were to be decided that they only decided the plan for block 12 (where the new house in the middle in the above photo is located) and left the plan for block 11 open. I think I should actually check again to see, if anything has changed.

Jun 7, 2013

This looks bad

I've been wondering about the rumbling outside, so I decided to open the stormtracker to take a look. This is how it looked:

I am there on the west side of that thick group of yellow marks near the center of the image. Not sure which direction the storm is moving, but it doesn't sound too bad yet, and it's not raining.

Transferring the stories

I have moved some more of the 6th Scale Stories to my web site. They can all be found here. The transfer is turning out to be easier than I thought, due to the page templates I'm using.

I have a basic template that contains the start and end of a page with the layout I'm using on my site. The actual content of a story page, which has a small picture linking to a larger one, is done with the following code (click the picture to see it larger):

Usually, a page using small thumbnail pictures has this piece of code 20 times (numbers running from 1 to 20), but if a story has for example 30 pictures, I prefer putting 15 pictures on each page.

The pictures are named so that they all have the same beginning, for example, "photoshoot" and a running numbering. The larger ones are the "b" files and smaller thumbnails "a" files. When all pictures are correctly named, I just run a few Find/Replace operations.

This example is from the page "Photoshoot":
  • The title of the photo: picture name -> Photoshoot
  • File and folder: filename -> 04shoot/photoshoot
  • Alt text: picture text -> Photoshoot
That gives a page with all pictures in place and then I just insert the texts between the paragraph start and end codes under the picture code.

Even that can be simplified a little by opening the text file containing the script in Word and using Find/Replace to insert a "/br" line break code before every paragraph break, so when the required parts of the text are copied into the HTML page, there will be line breaks in correct places.

I think Find/Replace is probably one of the most useful functions ever in a text editor. The editor I'm using for the web pages, Notepad++, takes it one step further. As it is designed for this sort of editing, it has an option for finding and replacing text in all open files. That's useful, when a story has several pages (I have templates for pages containing pictures 1-20, 21-40, 41-60, 61-80).

Still, even with all this, it is going to be a lot of work to transfer the Kitty and Riddick stories, which are mostly in sets of over 300 photos each.

Jun 4, 2013

Some photo sets moved

I moved the Plastic 52 photos to the photo story site (page 1, page 2). The Schizo Show photos will remain in Flickr for now. The photo sets, which were complations of parts of 6th Scale Stories, are also on the site now (A Ghost Story, Nikki's and Jet's past), and I created one new one, Claire and the reapers, for Claire, Freya and the "scythe dude." There will probably be a couple of more, maybe one for Caroline and another one that collects together info on feline customs and habits.

Jun 2, 2013

New stuff added and old stuff moved

It's been a hot weekend and I've spent it mostly by my computer. I added several pages to my web site, which had been in the plans for quite some time.

First, there are new pages for certain dollhouses:
I went through all the Miniature Scenes photos and moved the best ones to the story site. I also went through the Dolls set, but those photos will remain in Flickr, I just divided them into new sets based on doll size or type or some other common characteristics.