Life in general has been very very ok. I left my job back at the end of March and have really enjoyed all the free time I’ve had since. Who wouldn’t?

I started jogging a few times a week and was showing gradual improvement, was doing some weights in the garage, a bit of P90X on the side and even 10-12 minutes of “decent quality” skipping each session. I think it all helped a bit but I wasn’t really seeing big results for the two months I was doing it. Having a bad diet is probably the major reason why.

I also started going through some programming tutorials. I have always enjoyed tinkering with programming but never really stayed up to date or even committed to it as a hobby. I have some little ideas I’d like to try out, mostly for fun but if they’re any good maybe for a little money. I also figure that if I want to get some more work in IT in general it can’t hurt to brush up on my coding experience. Sadly I fell into a common trap for me which is to get too caught up going through tutorials and not spending enough time practising and experimenting on my own. I think I’m a bit scared my ideas will demoralise me when I discover they are inevitably more difficult to create than I anticipated. Still, there’s only one real way to progress, I guess.

Then it was June.

Our little family of three flew out to Tallinn via Singapore and Helsinki, as we often do. This time we decided to stop over in Singapore for 2 nights, primarily to give us all a chance to sleep after the “short” 8 hour flight and mentally prepare for the 14 hours of travel coming up. It’s worth it with a toddler, for everyone’s sanity. We stayed in the airport hotel, which was a great decision. Singapore airport is a fair way from the downtown area and we didn’t really want to lug a sleepy, cranky baby that far after the flight. The hotel was pretty deluxe, for us at least, and it made everything simpler. We booked it for our return flight, so there’s the proof in the pudding.

I’ve only been outside Singapore airport once before and that was in maybe 2003 or 2004. I may have even mentioned it on here. Let’s see… Yes, 2004. Fuck, I’ve had this thing a while now. Anyway, it’s still 40°C and 300% humidity there. I thought I was struggling but then I saw how sweaty our kid was and I just felt bad for them. So, I think we’ll just hang around the hotel pool this time.

We survived the trip to Helsinki primarily due to our sound decision to purchase “comfort economy” seats. It’s amazing what an extra 15cm of leg room can do on a plane. It also helps that Finnair have new planes. Finally. Finnally? I’ll pay for that option every time from now on.

Estonian summer was not bad. Perhaps a little cold. We stayed in an Airbnb through June. Cute place.

In July we moved into our new apartment. Woohoo. A nice big one. We’ve been splashing out on decor and kitchens and all those things. It’s nearly complete. It looks good.

So yes, we’re moving here to live. I even got my residency visa sorted out in August. Just in time, because my holiday visa was due to expire after another week. A bit of back and forth with immigration and forms and some stress and phonecalls and meetings and boom… Pink card.

Now we’re here until November. 5 months. Long stay. I’ve been keeping busy by working in the bar from time to time, going to the gym 3 days a week and playing rugby for the local team. I’ve lost 7kg since we arrived, which is nice. I’m really enjoying the gym as I’m making steady progress and after an initial period of crippling pain, I’m loving rugby again.

It took a few weeks for my body to adapt to the physical contact/abuse but now I can actually move about the day after a match. We’ve won the minor premiership on debut in the Finnish league we joined. The semis and hopefully grand final will be coming up at the end of September. Go Kalev!

I’ve even scored a try this season. That means no nudie runs. Phew.


Pardon me, dear. I kind of forgot about you.

Seriously. I forgot this was here for a while. It’s ok now, I think. I’m here. It’ll be alright now.

Life? Life’s been ok. Thanks for asking. Since my last update I believe I’ve gone back to that KFC once, maybe twice. It’s been a while. Both times were reasonable experiences but not up to the standard of the first one. I haven’t had much to eat today so far and mentioning the dirty bird is making my stomach grumble. Let’s move on, shall we?

Tonight we’re going to see the Dead Kennedys for our second time. It should be fun. Last time was a few years back at the Manning Bar and we both really enjoyed it. Not sure what to expect this time around but if it sounds as good as the previous gig we’re in for a treat. The major dilemma I have is deciding whether to drive in and not drink or get drunk and train in. I better check the set times.

One big news item in the gap between posts I suppose is that Marika’s sister got married. We spent 3 weeks back in the isamaa and managed to catch up with shitloads of people, really, before and after the wedding. Even during the wedding actually, as they used the same photographer that we did. Small world, small country.

The other big news is that we bought into a nifty little bar. Yep, Marika and I are publicans. Well, partly. It’s in Estonia and we’re not, so we can’t get sloshed on our own supply unfortunately. Maybe that’s for the best. Anyway. Cool, right? Yes. It’s only relatively new but already popular. Now we just need to take over the world.

It also means we should probably get a real accountant. I even started dabbling in the stock market, although I don’t really intend to invest much. It’s just a curiosity at this stage. Accountants sort all that shit out for you. I think. The website says they do.

Life achievements:

  • We’re well past both year 1 wedding anniversaries. Go team.
  • Air conditioner has been installed in our apartment (pending strata approval, oops).
  • Fly screens have been installed in our apartment windows (pending strata approval but I mean come on) but not on the sliding doors because the doors are retarded and might need to get re-done.
  • I just set up a Sonos sound system so now we can have multi room audio. Well, currently it’s single room plus the balcony if we want but let’s see how far down the rabbit hole we go.

Honourable mention: both Marika and I are able to do proper pull ups now. We’re strong enough now that any risk of injury is more likely to be from the bar falling out of the door frame than of us dislocating our arms from their sockets.

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2014-07-29 19.09.26


On a whim I pissed away a respectable chunk of change on getting some blank keycaps for both of my Duckys. Now I have a colourful yet indecipherable range of input devices to the amazement of all.

Yes, mixed and matched. Sorry if the aesthetic offends anyone.

Apart from these kinds of distractions I don’t really have a lot going on. Both of us are working and I for one don’t have any holidays left. Marika still has a million because she gets spoilt by her company. I’m still jealous.

Maybe I’ll tell you how the concert went next time.

Hello from my extravagant keyboard

Yes, this is a bit of a nerdy post. Not that any of my other entries ever are.

I just want an excuse to write on my lovely new Ducky G2 Pro mechanical keyboard with its offensively loud blue switches.

Mine however does not have black keys. It has dark grey ones, like these (ignore the red ones, I just pinched this image off another website):


Why am I so excited about a keyboard? Well, partly because it cost about $130 but mostly because it feels so nice to type on. I’m a pretty fast typist (probably around 115 WPM on average) so I feel that I have a legitimate reason to want to experience high quality… typing? I’ve come to realise that I’m actually more comfortable typing at my desk at work than on my setup here at home. Unfortunately I don’t really know what I can do about that, as I’d prefer them to be mostly equivalent.

Anyway, yes. Unless you experience it for yourself (sexy keyboards, that is) you wouldn’t really understand. It’s like trying to cut up food with a cheap chef’s knife compared to a high quality one. Sure, the job gets done either way but it just feels so much better when you’ve got a well-crafted tool.

Speaking of carving up food – Marika and I hit up the local Crows Nest Brazilian BBQ restaurant with Howard, Tanya and Al. Yay for social eating. It really was great food and we even scored a few complimentary churros and coffee. That’s how I like it.

Summer is officially over and autumn is midway through. Daylight saving is over so it gets dark quite quickly now. A little bit depressing, but life must go on. I’ve been doing that P90X3 exercise routine. I’m actually on Day 90 tomorrow I think. I’ve skipped a few days here and there but I’m sticking to the actual time frame this turn to see how I end up over the standard course of the program. I think I’ve lost maybe 3 or 4 kilograms in total however I feel like I’ve developed a bit more muscle/tone/whatever. I’m not ripped or anything like that but I can feel and see a considerable difference. I find it easier to get through 30 minutes sessions as opposed to the 60-90 minute ones that the original program offered. Not sure about P90X2, might check that out in the near future. I really like the taste of protein shakes.

I’ve had one haircut this year and it was in the first week (maybe second?) of January. It’s really not looking good. Fucking hair. I always have too much where I don’t want it. Even my ears get big long hairs now. I’m getting so old.

Slayed the dragon, bought a beast

The St George accounts are all cancelled. I even BPAYed the $0.99 that snuck on as the last transaction thanks to the Android Market. I haven’t gotten to the stage where I dramatically cut up my remaining credit cards yet. I’m actually a little worried that now I’ll be removing so many cards from my wallet that the sleeves may be too loose to hold the remaining cards. They already tend to slip out frequently so I guess I’ll just have pad it with fat wads of cash.

So, yep. It’s been about ten years but St George is gone.

Now that our finances are more consolidated, I decided to finally purchase a new PC (ha!). I’ve been creating quotes and reading up on various parts for the past month or two and ultimately got to the point where I just wanted to bite the bullet. It’s a gaming rig and I had to buy basically every single component as new, besides my mouse. That means things like Windows 7, a keyboard, a 24″ screen and a tasteful black tower case. It’s too bad the front fans have bright white LEDs built into them but at least it’s under the desk so I don’t notice. It runs almost silently, even when I’m cranking everything in high detail. Mad PC gamer bonars.

What will happen to my old laptop? It has served me well over the past two years as a good composite machine. I had to rely on it as a desktop replacement and as such it’s a bit bigger, heavier, hotter and noisy than what most people tend to go for these days. I’m considering converting it into a media PC and connecting it to our TV. Since it’s on wifi there’ll be nothing but a power cable and HDMI cable to get it working. I’m a bit concerned that it will run hot, but I think if it’s mostly just downloading/streaming/replaying/decompressing it shouldn’t be too bad. Maybe a few spikes here and there, but whatever. I should probably clean it out first though and get it feeling crisp again. 2 years of dicking around with any home PC tends to lead to a lot of bloat.

In a decisive Sunday afternoon administrative move, I’m backing up my iPod to the new machine. There’s a lot of songs on there and whilst they’re well formatted and tagged (I’m a tight arse when it comes to naming conventions and file management) I don’t think I play that many of them. I’ve had this one for about 4.5 years, since my last one was lost/stolen from the bar under the hostel. Thanks, Dave,  by the way. It’s got a lot of tracks on there that I used to play to set the “mood” in the hostel. To great applause, mind you. I’ve lost track of the amount of compliments I used to receive from my DJing, even just during the day. Probably about 4 people.

Since I hate using iTunes and have purchased all of my songs through different online vendors and formats, I can’t just sync it and pretend it’ll magically work. Manual management it is, then! To be honest it’s a lot faster and I anyway can’t stand Apple software. Fuck off, indeed.

Anyway, I think that having a backup of all these bad boys can’t hurt and it might lead me on another music binge. I definitely need some fresh material even though I haven’t been listening to much music lately. I suppose the only times I have been putting anything on is for things I’ve already heard/know. That’s not adventurous enough, is it?

Slow slow slow

It’s really frustrating having a 100/100 seedbox when your home connection downloads at 1.

Tomorrow we are having a homebrew party. Tonight we have a case of Budvar that was brought back from Czech for us.

Tonight we are watching a show about homeless people before what I can only imagine will be a pleasant screening of Lightning Jack.

Life is alright. Thanks for your attention.

New stuff

So, I’ve been back in the big smoke working at Viru for the past few weeks. Folding bedsheets is tranquil; going to Diletantide Avantgarde (or however it’s spelt) was bad this time, but we snuck in so it wasn’t extra disappointing; Christmas was fun and small but involved a lot of vodka and a visit from Santa; learning Estonian from my exercise book began well and is becoming more challenging; Avatar was pretty but boring; New Year’s was full of fish at a wedding and a late attempt to see fireworks; the last few days has seen my old faithful laptop of the last 3 years fall over on itself.

Now I have a new one.

I have a lot of shit to re-setup. Fun.


I have been invited into the Google Wave beta. It’d be a lot better if I had a reason to use it. Still, it’s fun to toy with.

I’ve moved up to 5NL tables in poker and finally unlocked my deposit bonus from July. It took a lot of grinding but I made it with 2 days to spare. Unfortunately, I think I’m about to receive another $100 bonus that only lasts for December, so I doubt I’ll actually get all of it. Some of it would be good, though.

My poker game is getting more confident. Now that I’m not feeling the pressure of getting my bonus money I think I’ll cut back on tables and concentrate on playing better rather than just pounding out hands for points. I’m still in the nanos but progress is progress, right?

Mr and Mrs Jones came to visit last week. It was nice to catch up with them for the first time in years. I think they enjoyed their stay here. I should really work out the tally for how many friends/school buddies have come to visit me since I got here. It should be quite a decent score, I think.

Marika and I are feeling pretty bored at the moment. We’ve been playing Turakas, the card game, now and then. It’s a bit tricky when it’s 1v1 but we don’t have much else to do. I’m very tempted to purchase some sort of board game but they’re all fairly pricey and I’ve not heard of any of them, apart from Monopoly and Risk, yet I don’t see Marika enjoying them that much and I don’t think they handle 1v1 too well. Maybe we can find some friends to play.

Today we’re going to the 4D cinema. I don’t know what that means. They play a film that runs for all of 5 minutes. I suspect we’ll watch that then walk around Lõunakeskus for a few minutes before stocking up at Rimi. What a life.

There’s no snow here. It’s just wet and miserable. I’m too lazy to even bother going to the shop to buy alcohol for myself as a means to pass the time.

Since I can’t use torrents on the apartment Internet connection here I’ve ordered a seedbox. Unfortunately the guy hasn’t set it up yet and it’s been about 2 weeks. Something’s gone wrong on his end but he has the order, so hopefully we’ll get there eventually and I can actually enjoy… things… again.

Oh, one last thing: I need a haircut.


Quick update:

  • Practically finished the new hostel website. Now we’re just waiting for the domain registration to transfer and for then for the DNS servers to update…
  • I have been listening to live Estonian Idol rehearsals all week.
  • I’ve spent more time in Tartu than in my soon-to-be-moved-out-from flat in the past month-and-a-half.
  • I feel particularly frail and lazy.
  • I need to rob a bank.
  • I’ve had my hair trimmed.
  • I fixed my beard trimmer.
  • Marika is eating a banana.

So, I'm learning a new game or two

“What games”, you ask?

Well, one of them would be… poker!

I’ve spent a reasonable amount of the last week chipping in. I’ve even been registering for free tournaments alongside Tim and Ross. We’re actually starting to do fairly well, considering we’ve only been into it for a few days. I’d say my biggest problem is getting bored and overplaying my hand instead of actually pausing to listen to my instincts (which usually scream “FOLD!”).

I’ve had a go on the cash games and had mixed results. I think that when I develop my patience and kill off the foolishness that I will start to do fairly well. To make this even easier, all the money I have in my accounts have been free gifts from people, so I’m technically up a few bucks already!

Of course, I don’t expect to make any profit from this. Not for a long time if even at all. It’s just fun to play something competitively again and it helps to do it with some friends.

Speaking of playing competitively, I don’t think I’ll be able to run the new RTCW2 even though I really wish I could. This poor laptop is hobbling along like a wounded soldier. Maybe more like a sick dog. Either way, I still have a soft spot for it.

I’m very excited that this game is coming out this month. I still have a hard on for RTCW1 and that’s where I made a lot of friends that I still keep in contact with today. In fact, most of them are coming back to play the sequel. I just wish I could join in the games with them. I’m still going to be involved with the community and that’s a big thing for me, as I’ve been waiting for something like this again for years.