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Hobbies

I've tried all kinds of things at least a little. Here are some thoughts and memories of different activities.

Poker

All in all I was on the winning side, but we used rather small bets. Our gang doesn't meet anymore, but the poker tables at the Helsinki casino were fun to try.

Betting at horse races

I'm developing a system that combines artificial intelligence with traditional mathematical methods used by professional gamblers.

Chess, othello

Games of perfect knowledge, such as chess and othello, where the situation is fully visible, but you have to calculate future moves, don't really suit me. In these games I don't so much contemplate the future, but try to find familiar patterns.

Magic tricks, card cheating, practical jokes, con arts

Everybody should know some basic things about fooling people. Take a look at my card trick.

Blind dating

Blind dating is like traveling in that you get to broaden your horizon. It is fun to spend an evening exchanging ideas with some girl who is totally different than you and totally unsuitable for you.

Cooking

Gazpacho and sushi are dishes I use to impress people, but I can do anything.

Brewing beer

Its quite potable, but in the future I hope to produce something really delicious, because I've been told some secrets.

Nature, aquarium, hamsters, Patrik the dog

Piranha aquarium would be really neat.

Fishing

I stopped fishing when I got so good that the fish no longer had any chance against me.

Gardening

Peas, strawberries etc. etc. Did you know that chlorophytum comosum removes a great deal of impurities from the indoor air? For example 86% of formaldehyde according to study at Nasa. It is also one of the easiest houseplants to grow, although I've already killed four of them.

Spanish language and culture

Warmth, light, low taxes, low prices, cool lifestyle. At the beach in the morning, two hours later skiing in the mountains. What are we still waiting for?

Japanese language and culture

Sports, food, movies, anime. I even studied the language, but one has to get exposed to a language to learn it. Well at least I eat popcorn with sticks.

Stock market

So saving money at the stock market can be a blue collar hobby too. My strategy is "buy and forget".

Reading

Mainly sci-fi and humour. I read a lot of biographies or otherwise reality-based books, because they can teach you how the world really works. Some personalities that I have books on:

  • Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman
  • con artist Frank W. Abagnale
  • Volvo CEO Pehr Gyllenhammar
  • con artist "count" Lindgren
  • Ford and Chrysler executive Lee Iacocca
  • writer-director Quentin Tarantino
  • warrior-philosopher Xsenofon from ancient Greece
  • Finnish sister Benedicta Idefelt who worked in Vatican
  • renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini
  • KGB-executive Oleg Gordievsky
  • Casanova
  • Soichiro Honda
  • president's main man Arimo Raeste
  • Apple CEO John Sculley
  • Finnish runner and Olympic hero Paavo Nurmi
  • creator of Linux-kernel Linus Torvalds

Writing

Short sci-fi stories and some others too. Some stories were published in a magazine and one in Finnish national radio by radio theatre. I rather write scripts than prose because in my opinion Finnish grammar rules are designed all wrong.

Movies

Lady at the ticket counter asked if I was in the right place, when I went to see a children's movie in my leather jacket.

Comics

Some of my stuff has been published in small publications. Scriptwriting is more my thing than drawing. Some comic magazines in my collection have tenfolded in value since I bought them.

Music

Playing the piano was never a real hobby for me, whatever the aunts and uncles think. Sade is my long time favourite artist. I only have a few dozen music CD's. Three are by Gloria Estefan because I study Spanish from them.

DX-listening

I've already sold my radio (Grundig Satellit 1400 Professional). A lot of radio people have moved on to computers. They were the pre-nerds before there were real nerds.

Computing

My machine is an i Book G4 with 640 megabytes of memory and bluetooth. My previous machine was a PowerMac 5400 with 80 megabytes of memory (at the time machines usually came with 16 or 32 megabytes). Lately I've been experimenting with 3D-modelling; some examples.

Why do I use a Macintosh instead of Linux, which is the other operating system one can seriously consider? Both have their weaknesses. Difference is that Linux has a sturdy interior design, on top of which a shaky outer layer has been built. Mac has some problems with its internals, but the user sees a well functioning outer layer, that's what matters. It will be easy to build anything on the good internals of Linux, but in the meanwhile I will use what is available now. But I'll be watching the situation...

Programming

There's always something on the works. One little thing even earned me some money.

Internet

I remember a time when there were three million users in the world. That means I was out there rather early.

Jogging

One summer I dealt newspapers every morning for three hours. I ran the stairs of tall buildings so that I almost fainted when I got up. In addition I ran seven to nine kilometres every other day. When autumn came, my rest pulse was forty-one! That was a long time ago though.

Judo, aikido, kick boxing

Varying amounts of each. I've also tried a little bit of krav maga and tai-chi on a weekend course. Things like garots, tetsubishis and bokkens are fun.

High jumping

Tommi my neighbour had the gear, so there we jumped all summers. In school they never teach or rehearse anything in gym class, they always go straight into competing. I improved my result immediately by 25 centimetres, and later some more by learning a proper style from a book. That's when I realised that sports require brains too.

Roller skating

I used to wish that the whole route to school were frozen in the winter so I could skate there. Sometimes it almost was. Now I could do it in the summer!

Paddling

So far only on a wintertime course in a swimming hall.

Swimming

I was the last to learn to swim in our class, but six months later I was the fastest in 25 meter freestyle. I've even managed to dive over 50 meters. Our gang was always the first at the beach in the spring, and last in the autumn.

Someone might now mistake me for an athlete, but in reality I always had an average grade in phys ed because I didn't like football or ice-hockey. But at least I've found the sports that I enjoy.

Snowboarding

I wish... Well I did take a weekend course, but for the most part I came down the hills on my ass.

Donating blood

It's like an extreme sport for me.

Boating

I've got a degree in non-professional navigation, and I'm intending to learn how to sail. I admire sailboats built in Finland, like Swan and Nauticat. I even once got a tour at the Siltala yards for a birthday present.

Stamp collecting

Whatever got me into this, I'll never understand. I'm over it now. However I keep all the euro coins with different national backsides.

Collecting Spanish red wines

In reality my collection diminishes faster than it piles up.

Video games

My nickname "POP" is often in the first place in high score table. I will buy a console when Descent is published on one of them and it can be played against others in network.

Searching for extraterrestrial intelligence

My screensaver used to crunch radiotelescope data downloaded from the Internet. Take a look at SETI homepage, if you wish to join.

Megazone

I tried it once and got totally hooked. The next day it moved out of the town where I lived at the time, but now it's back. Can you imagine what it feels like when your laser sight wanders on the back of some unsuspecting opponent? Or when he doesn't know where the hit came from, because you've already disappeared in the shadows? Hahaa!

Reasonable vices, not including smoking

And that's not all yet...


My YouTube-videos:

Playing poker
on television.

One hand
shuffle.

Hamster toy.