Thursday, January 31, 2013

The reflection is its own blurred dream

I expected that I would be sore today after the exercise yesterday, but it wasn't so. In the morning there was no soreness in the muscles, and only a little bit appeared later in the day. So far so good, although sometimes it is so that sore muscles appear not the next day but the day after.

Yesterday I didn't take any photographs, and today while commuting by bus I didn't take any either as I forgot the LX5 home. But after dinner I got itchy feet and went out for a walk with the camera. It is rather wet, as the temperature is above 0 °C and snow is melting.

(Posting title is from the poem Winter Journal: Fish Rises, Dark Brown Muscle Turns Over by Emily Wilson.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I want to go to the other bank

I commuted by bicycle today, although maybe I shouldn't have. There was a forecast of snow for today, but the big amount of snow was estimated to start after 5 PM, so I though I would have good time to get home before that. But it started snowing in earnest already after 2 PM...

And it wasn't so easy in the morning either. Well, most of the way was quite good, 1-3 cm of snow on top of hard and relatively even surface. But then there were parts which were bad, in places really bad, 5-10 cm of wet snow and snow slush.

The worst bits were those where the road was covered by hard packed snow but some of it had partway melted so that the ride was a rollercoaster, especially the sideways slips. Well, after a while I got used to this and could even relax a bit while riding the bicycle. However, at one point I relaxed a bit too much and run into a roadside pile of snow, but that was ok, snow was soft.

However, when returning home I ran into additional difficulties, as snow was sticking to the bicycle and there was so much of it that it started to hinder the tires from turning. Brakes were not working properly either, but that wasn't a problem as I was riding so slowly in any case.

At one point I debated whether I should walk and push the bicycle, riding was so slow. Some people did that, and at one place there were three people pushing their bicycles one after another.

However, there were exceptions as well. In a road crossing, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, I watched how on the other side a guy on a bicycle was riding around in tight circles in 5-10 cm of snow slush. Apparently he didn't want to put his feet down and stop, so he rode in circles.

It took 70 minutes to commute to work, and 80 minutes to get back home, both are new records. And at home I had to do some snow shoveling, making the total amount of exercise for today almost three hours. A bit too much for one day...

I didn't take any photographs today, but here is one from yesterday. I try to avoid logos and company names in my photographs, but this was an intentional exception, as I recently stopped being a customer of this particular bank. I have been a customer since I was less than 10 years old. At that time the bank was called Postipankki, which turned into Leonia, which turned into Sampo-pankki, which turned into Danske Bank.

In fact I switched banks about 15 years ago already, when needing a loan and another bank made a better offer. But I still was a customer at Danske Bank. When I switched most of my banking elsewhere I got a big revelation on how well their web-based banking system worked compared to Danske Bank. It was (and is) a pleasure to use.

The Danske Bank's impossible web interface was the last straw. They are using Java (not the same as Javascript), and this has caused problems one after another. So, a week ago I cut the last straw as I couldn't stand the situation any more, it was a nightmare to try to do anything with their Java application. Farewell!

(Posting title is from the poem The Boundary by Bei Dao, translated by Bonnie S. McDougall.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Can these bones walk

Wet got some wet snow, and maybe a little bit of rain as well, and the temperature rose to +1 °C. I'm planning to commute by bicycle tomorrow, although I'm not sure how good the road conditions will be, it may be quite bad if the temperature goes below freezing during the night. There is a lot of snow slush to freeze up.

(Posting title is from the poem slaveships by Lucille Clifton.)

We must unhumanize our views a little

I took these photographs on Monday, while returning home from work. It was snowing, and warming up, about -3 °C. We will be getting a little bit of snow during the next few days, and the temperature will hover around 0 °C, so the roads will be slippery.

(Posting title is from the poem Carmel Point by Robinson Jeffers.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wind rises, clouds arrive

I took these photographs on Sunday, while cross-country skiing. It was a rather gray day, thick clouds above, no sign of sun. But skiing was great, even though some muscles were a bit sore afterwards.

Today I got my bicycle back from service, it should be ok. I'm not sure whether I will commute by bicycle tomorrow, as I have some chores for which the car is needed.

(Posting title is from the poem Nine-Panel Yaak River Screen by Charles Wright.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

This most pleasant to me

I went cross-country skiing during the weeked, with my youngest daughter who is rather keen on skiing. There is something relaxing in skiing, perhaps it is due to the rhythm of skiing, or perhaps it is because it is such a natural thing to me by now, having done thousands of hours of skiing during the years.

In my teens I did 15 km of skiing per day during the winter. We didn't have lighted ski tracks then, so I had to ski in darkness except when the moon was visible. You develop a rather good balance when skiing in the dark. (Remembering in every detail the way the ski track goes helps as well.)

(Posting title is from the poem Naked in the Ditches by Richard Owens.)

Whether or not it is to be believed it is

I'm still behind in going through my photographs. I took these on Friday, after sunset. I commuted by car, and was tired, but also I felt rather restless, so I went for a walk late in the evening. That proved to be a good thing, walking cleared the nose and seemed to help with the headache as well.

(Posting title is from the poem Love by Ariana Reines.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

No one must know of this. . .

Yesterday I commuted by car because of meetings. It seems that what ICT has enabled is a very efficient means of generating extra work for other people to do. And I was mostly in the receiving end... Though I'm of course as quilty as anyone for this phenomenon.

(Posting title is from the poem Statement on Energy Policy by Carter Revard.)

All this will never be again

These photographs were taken on Thursday, when I commuted by bus. It was good, as I was able to read a book in the bus, reading 40-50 pages each time. I have read more and more documents on the iPad, but still a printed book is more convenient in many situations.

Today I finally had time to take my bicycle to a repair shop for rear wheel truing, and for the inner tire to be replaced as it got a leak. I should get it back on Monday, so I might be able to commute by bicycle once again. However, it seems that there will be snowfall next week, and slippery road conditions thanks to the weather warming up.

(Posting title is from the poem The Wheel Revolves by Kenneth Rexroth.)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Acceptance as side dish

These photographs were taken earlier this week. I have almost 600 photographs waiting to be culled, but I'm just too tired to go through them today.

I have had a headache for some days, occasionally it has gone down but then it returns. It may have something to do with the flu symptoms I have had, though there hasn't been any fever so far. But today I have been feeling a bit better.

This morning there was a meeting in which I was sitting for more three hours without a break. When standing up afterwards, I felt quite bad, it isn't good to be in the same position for so long.

At the ministry I have been using a standing desk for working with the computer, and it is a good thing indeed, as it doesn't allow one to stay in one fixed position for very long. Actually it is a desk that can be raised or lowered by pressing a button, but I'm mostly using it in the up position. Highly recommended!

(Posting title is from the poem Therapy from the Garden by Glenn Morazzini.)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

To cross the sea of desire

I'm still rather behind in going through photographs taken during the last few days, this is a sampling. I have had some flu symptoms, but no fever so far, so I'm hoping this will go away soon.

(Posting title is from the poem Playthings by Rabindranath Tagore.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Under the evening moon

We have had rather nice winter weather recently, temperature between -4 °C and -9 °C, sunny days although sun is usually below horizon when commuting to work or from work. But that is changing, slowly, as we go towards February. Today length of day is 7 h 14 min, about 1 1/2 hours longer than at the shortest.

(Posting title is from the poem Under the evening moon by Kobayashi Issa, translated by Robert Has.)