Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Raising a greener dog

Papu eats a lot of canned food with her kibbles, but since she's so small, one 400g can lasts for three days. I used to wrap the cans in small plastic bags, but soon I realized that it's not going to be so environmental friendly. One plastic bag in three days makes 122 plastic bags in a year. That's a lot of waste, so I just had to find an alternative.

I saw silicone lids in Modern Dog magazine, and I knew that would be a good solution. There was just only one problem: I couldn't find them from the stores near us. I searched through them all, but nothing. Eventually J.R. had some business in Helsinki and found some from Stockmann:

They come in a set of three.

And gosh aren't they handy! They are really easy to use, a lot easier than plastic bags, and they fit perfectly. I can be sure that Papu's food will stay as fresh as possible. And they look nice too:

Yes, there is a digital clock and a plush cow in our fridge.

Papu likes the lids too.

I don't know if the lids are really a greener alternative, because I don't know how much environmental resources it takes to make them, but at least we make considerably less waste now. That got to help something, right?

Papu has also found a new hobby. She figured out how to see out, and now she's watching our neighborhood all the time. It's kinda cute actually because she seems to take it quite seriously. I don't mind that she has activities like that, since she doesn't bark when she does that. She just guards.

What's there, my friend?

PS: There is actually a blog about how to raise a green dog.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Been there, done that. Now I enjoy my cup of tea.

I was once an intellectual girl. For example, I loved art. I used to visit art galleries "just for fun" and I often got VIP invitations to see new exhibitions in advance. And I wasn't picky; I enjoyed all art, I liked modern installation artwork as much as I liked old classics. I also enjoyed classical music, especially ballet music by Tchaikovsky. And do I have to mention that I loved opera and ballet too? I saw my first opera when I was about eleven, because I wanted to see it. My family thought I was crazy, but for me it was like the best thing ever.

I was also very into reading. I read basically all the time. I did read the same silly juvenile books as my friends, but since I was a fast reader, I was able to throw many classics into the mix as well. I read the Egyptian when I was a fifth-grader. That book is about as thick as the bible. I read Wuthering Heights, some D.H. Lawrence, books after books after books. And I seriously wanted to become a novelist. I wrote stories. I wrote poems. Miraculously I even got some of my writings published and I kept planning my great debut novel.

But look at me now. I'm far from being an intellectual. I can't stand serious novels anymore. Last year I read Anna Karenina and it was such a waste of time. I hardly read any books nowadays, and if I do, the books I read are usually far from being "quality": if there's no romance in it, it's not worth it. I prefer glossy fashion magazines over books. Cheesy pop tunes over great composers.

And I confess: I'm addicted to reality TV shows. I may have watched some quality TV series, like Lost, in the past, but now the most serious show I watch is Desperate Housewives. I just like the reality of the reality shows, if that makes any sense? If I want fiction, I watch movies. I don't have patience to follow series that are completely made up and never seem to reach the end. In most of the reality shows you can count yourself when it ends: ten competitors left, nine competitors left, eight competitors left... And then the great finale. Works for me. When the rest of the Finland was excited about Flash Forward, I was excited about True Beauty. It's just my reality.

So I do like silly, simple things. They make me amused. I don't think that watching reality shows make me stupid. Nothing actually makes people stupid. I think it's impossible to become more stupid than you already are, you can only become smarter. I just hate to be so ashamed for my choices. What's so bad in chick lit? Why going to a romance section of the library makes me feel like second-class citizen? This is who I am. I shouldn't be ashamed and I shouldn't let people make me feel that way either. I know I'm smart.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One cursed laptop, one craptop and one thing completely new

I got a new laptop. Like, FINALLY. I ran into several crucial problems with my old laptop. At first the screen started to flicker and cast strange shadows, and then some serious memory problems occurred. All in the very short period of time. OK. The laptop was send to Sweden and back. The process took weeks. When it came back after the first "repair", the laptop started to experience some odd occasional paralyzes. It just stopped working for several minutes, which was really frustrating. The laptop was sent back to Sweden again. And guess what? All they did was some lousy Vista recovery that solved absolutely nothing! And soon after the second "repair" my laptop simply died. It didn't boot anymore. And they said there were no problem in the first place. They knew nothing...

Sigh. After another trip to Sweden, I got my laptop back again and it worked fine for some time, but then the screen decided to duplicate itself in a very abnormal way. This time the laptop was sent to Holland instead of Sweden and the Asus people finally admitted that my laptop was no good and offered me a new one. Hooray! And second hooray for the fact that my old laptop wasn't manufactured anymore, so they had to offer me a better one! I'm not even bitter about all the weeks I had to wait for my laptop, since the new one is so much sweeter. And by the way, I'm still pretty much convinced that my old laptop was somehow cursed and this new one will work without problems.

And what did I got? First of all, one seriously big screen for a laptop. My old laptop was quite big-ish for a laptop, but my new one is even bigger. I don't carry my laptop around, so the 18,4-inch screen was very welcomed. And it's like HD if that changes anything. I don't care so much about the specs, since I believe that most of the current laptops would satisfy my web surfing needs, but it's sure that everything has been upgraded now. We were just mostly concerned about the graphics card, since many laptops have really lousy ones. Luckily Asus offered me a laptop that had a better one than in my old laptop, and the old graphics card was pretty decent too. The Sims 3 looks still nice.

There's actually only two things that have dramatically changed with this new laptop. The keys of the keyboard are really big and it took some time to adjust. I don't know how much bigger they are, but at first they felt really big. And the second thing is the look of the laptop. My old laptop was quite nice looking too, but the new one is seriously sleek and stylish. I love silver with black and thin stripes and swirls!

We have some fancy curtains, haven't we?

The thin stripes don't really show in the picture, but on the other hand, the swirls don't show in a normal light either. I noticed them for the first time after I took the pictures! It was quite bizarre actually to discover the new details. They're were like hidden for me to find. Anyway. If you wonder why there's some crappy book under my laptop, it's my trick to make laptops more "ergonomic" for me. I've discovered that the front edges of laptops hurt my wrists when I write, so I tilt the laptop a bit to stop the hurting. Simple, yet effective. Mmm... Now I just hope that the new laptop fits to my old laptop case.

That's all I wanted to say about my new baby. Now I can move on to the very important lesson I have in store for you: Don't get rid of your old laptop just because you got a better one. It feels really good to have a backup laptop when the newer one lets you down. No matter how crappy it might me, it's still better than no laptop at all. My backup laptop is so crappy that I call it a craptop, or "luuska" in Finnish, but it has saved me countless times from total devastation. I'll never get rid of it. (By the way, it's not Asus...)