Monday, October 31, 2005

the final few

photo from flickr
savouring
Originally uploaded by payl.



I uploaded a few more photos from Friday. Click on the photo above to see them.

a calm before the storm?

My eyes hurt, i'm a bit feverish and it has been a pretty good day in other aspects, too.

As you could expect, nobody at school gave two rusty pennies about us having just come from vacation. That is the problem with school nowadays, nobody holds any traditions sacred no more. They dont care whether we have been going to school for a minute or a week or a month, it is all the same. They still expect us to work our asses off.

And as of lately, i have become to realize that, in theory at least, choosing the humanitarian biased class over the realities-biased one might have been a good idea. In practice, i know that the differece between the schedules is only a lesson or two per week, though. Our education system has a lot of space for development where flexibility is concerned, and i hear that our school is quite well off on the flexibility scale considering all the languages you can choose to learn or not to learn.People that go to other schools do not often even have those choices, i gather.

Today i found myself thinking "i wont ever need this after i graduate" in multiple lessons. Maths, biology, physics and chemistry, are the subjects, namely. There might be some value to them in the aspect of mind and memory training, but who really needs all that advanced stuff. I suppose some of the stuff we're dealing with at school would be better left off to be taught to the very enthusiastic at universities, but the border is infinitely debatable, it seems. Not to mention that the estonian system of regulating anything could have really debate anything to desirable results as of late.

And this seems to end my rant for today...

I had really intended to say something about how i felt i was going to mad yesterday, but then i figured i had nothing to say. And the Mad Girlz kept themselves at bay today, too, mostly, wich is nice.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

churchyard shadows

photo from flickr
churchyard shadows
Originally uploaded by payl.



I and my family took a quick trip around the countryside. I took a few shots. Click on the above photo to see them in flickr.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

k's party photos

photo from flickr
vampire
Originally uploaded by payl.



I uploaded a couple of photos from yesterday to flickr. Go and see by clicking on the above photo.

I might upload a few more once i run out of anything else to post.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

trip photos

The photos from the trip you can see here.

Edit:
most of the photos are now up at flickr and the link reflects that.
Should you have any problems, check the gallery here. There might be small inconsistencies between what photos are displayed where.

ghetto solutionz

Now consider this situation. You have a waterpipe (internationally known as the shisha, i believe). You want to smoke it, but there are two knitting rods (i again apologise for my lack of crafts-related vocabulary) and the pole of a small souvenir-type flag in it. Describing exactly why those said things were in there is beyond the scope of this post so ask M for details.
So you have this pipe with three things stuck in the main pipe and making it quite impossible for anyone to smoke it because they block all possible airflow from the coal to the water (and from there to the hose and to the inhaler).
Previous testing had told us that the two knitting rods were not a problem because we had been able to smoke the pipe with two of those in it. So any rational person correctly concludes that the problem is the flag-pole. Albeit small for it's kind, it can still be a nuisance, as we see.
We had tried to get it out countless times since M inserted it there, but all our efforts had failed. When it got stuck in the first place, an end of the flagpole stuck out from inside the pipe, but M in his courtesy took the liberty of somehow breaking off the end of the pole so that it was completely inside the copper pipe with a diameter of about 1 cm. You might or might not be able to imagine what it is like to get a wooden rod so fiercly wedged into the copper pipe that two grown men pulling from either end didn't get it out when there was still some pole outside the pipe to hold on to out of a copper pipe.

M tried to burn it out but all that did was scortch the end even further to make gripping it even harder.

So yesterday we gathered here with the pipe and the stuff lodged in it and started work on it. I will now spoil your anticipation and tell you beforehand that we did indeed succseed.

For that incredible feat, we needed:

2 corkscrews,
1 long screw
1 screwdriver
1 very sharp knife
1 bread knife
1 pair of wire cutters
2 pairs of tongs
1 broken LARP sword
1 piece of old russian skiing pole from inside aforementioned sword
1 roll of tape
4-5 fellows to cheer you up and help with raw physical force when necessary

The workflow is loosely as follows:

A corkscrew of type one is screwed into the upper portion of the flagpole to pull out about a half of it. Even though this is good progress, there is still no airflow. A different, longer type of corkscrew is now used to try and get the rest of the pole out using the same method, but all tries fail because the copper tube is too narrow.
Then a long screw is brought from M's place to try and screw it into the wood and pull it out. Not much effect, only bits and pieces of wood come out.
Next, a very sharp knife is used to cut up an old LARP sword. From the handle of the sword, a very long and quite monstrous screw is taken and screwed into the tube for all it's length. The screw is then pulled out with major force, ripping the copper tube in half. (You can't imagine the strength K's ass can have.) This enables for the removal of all the wood that is left, the knitting equipment still stays in position, but as discussed before, this has no effect.
Now a bread knife is used to cut a suiting piece of old skiing pole wich is taken from inside the same LARP sword. Said piece of ski pole is then taped onto the end of what is left of the copper tube.
The pipe now works again but has a nasty side-taste and resists airflow too much.
The whole contraption was then taken apart one last time to use the other half of the broken copper tube instead of the ski-pole piece and everything worked fine.

So all in all, if you have a broken waterpipe, i can probably fix it, but i will not guarantee you will like the results.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

im not telling you

photo from flickr
im not telling you
Originally uploaded by payl.



A few new photos at flickr. Click the above photo to see them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

think

photo from flickr
think
Originally uploaded by payl.




New stuff @ flickr. Click above photo to be taken there.

Yes, K, your nipple shot is also up.

Monday, October 17, 2005

one lives while one learns

Look what i found. I had no idea that page existed before i started boredom-surfing instead of doing my homework, that's for sure.

Would someone please motivate me to create my rate account before i turn 18?

a doll's house

After 5 seconds of googling:

A doll's house, thorough analysis and review.


Just in case anyone was in trouble with what i'm in trouble with. And google around.

lemon stare

photo from flickr
lemon stare
Originally uploaded by payl.



I upped a couple of new shots again, shot today in school.
Click the photo above to be taken to my flickr account.

one step closer

I had to leave school today after the fourth lesson, and 'twas a good thing, too. I had to take a driving lesson (at the car school, you know) first and then take an exam on theoretical traffic. Fancy name i invented for it, eh?
I dont think i would have lasted much longer at school anyway. The Mad Girlz, obviously. I mean, it probably sounds like i'm exaggerating a lot as to write and complain about it every day but i'm not. It is that bad.
Today wasnt anything grand, just the small details. I am glad to note that i can not really bring any examples. You do know about what they say about the tendency of the brain to forget bad memories and such. I think that without this buffer i'd be braindead already.

Henceforth a shout out to all the Mad Girlz. Including Nipple Cream Lady. (You can forget about NCL, mkay.)

And yeah, i passed the exam. So i've got 3 major steps to get my driving licence now. Faint hopes of getting them by my birthday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

posing

photo from flickr
posing
Originally uploaded by payl.




Some new photos in flickr. Click above to see.

science

During extensive scientific testing yesterday, the combined group of international researchers concluded that having two of the kind of rods one uses for knitting stockings have no adverse effects on the quality of the smoke of a waterpipe if inserted therein. The effects of said rods turned out to be positive, if anything.

Later, it was also tested that Guinness still tastes good.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

waterpiep olympics

Yesterday was a friday night quite to my liking.

We spent time in a modestly small circle of friends discussing many different things and smoking many different water(or milk)pipes. We (that being M and i) realized that we have much to learn yet.

Let me just say that putting one's finger up one's arse didn't escape very close scrutiny in the discussion topics throughout the evening.
Something in the world has been changing in that aspect. It used to be that such topics were only discussed at lunch in my own family circle and all other (read: normal) people didn't really discuss said finger-arse relationships or heating of outdoor lavatories during winter with that great enthusiasm, but it seems that the trend has spread outside my family.
Of course i'd be overly moderate if i denied having any influence in the spreading of interest towards these very interesting and rewarding themes of discussion, but still i don't think i am the only reason for the recent popularity of said issues.

I can but conclude that society, with the fall-apart of the russian empire and all that, has emancipated enough to feel free enough to talk about this.

A good sign indeed.

Friday, October 14, 2005

busy day

photo from flickr
m
Originally uploaded by payl.



It's been busy today. First school, and then we went to see the Jaani church in corelation with our art history studies. So a few photos from today are up at flickr again. Click on the above photo, as always.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

school's out

photo from flickr
autumn light
Originally uploaded by payl.




Being at school from eight in the morning to six in the evening isn't humane.
I got home, laid back in the armchair while waiting the toast to be done, tilted my head back and it felt like a hot sack of sand had fallen on my face. Couldn't get up for a while.
And i've yet to study a very nasty chemistry test, too.

As for news about the Mad Girlz, the fun thing we discussed today was how one can revitalise oneself using Dr. S.M's wonderful technique of putting one's finger up one's arse. A nice long discussion it was, too.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

slide it

photo from flickr
slide it
Originally uploaded by payl.



A few new foxination photos uploaded to, as always, flickr. Click on the photo above to be taken there.

zee new kaubamaja

First, the random Mad Girl quote of the day:

"Paul's sleeping right now so i cant do any excercises."

It was when our maths teacher asked my deskmate why she wasnt doing anything. Pretty ingenious, no?


Yes, i too saw the new Kaubamaja today.
It had just so coincided that i had to run some errands in town (wich included scouting for some new shirts) and my mother had a day off before her night shift at the hospital and so we drove around for a bit visiting some shops.
The first (and almost only) thought i had in the new building was "why didn't i bring my camera along?". I'll never forgive myself for that for there won'b be another day in the history of the new Kaubamaja building when it's going to be so crowded. There were queues for the elevators and stairs and everythithing. Saw at least one or two (depends on how you classify them) Mad Girlz, too, not to speak of other classmates.
It would have been the perfect opportunity to get some original shots, or so i think. Next time they're opening something in town, i'll be wizer. I really didn't know i was going there when i left home so it's somewhat excusable, too.

And on another note, i could probably start manipulating certain people through my blog. Today i noticed that what i write tends to have certain effects on certain people. So beware.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

practice makes perfect

photo from flickr
practice makes perfect
Originally uploaded by payl.



By popular demand of Mast, you now have the leaf photos up in flickr. For your viewing pleasure.

Yours Truly.

at a lighter pace

Today at school showed some aspects of the Mad Girlz again. (In, fact, every day does, but today i feel like letting you people know about it.)

First, i spent a lesson sitting next to one because my usual deskmate was absent as he usually is. I noticed that i got way less work done in the lesson than i usually do. But nevermind that.

Do any of you have an idea what we talked about in literature? Well, by now, most of you can form some kind of an inkling towards what i'm going to say next. You are most surely right if you thought it wasn't anything about literature. I mean, it never is. And that is common not only to me and the Mad Girlz, but everyone else too, with a few exeptions now and then. I mean, even i am not completely cut off from the lesson, but i 've noticed that literature is a subject wich allows for a number of parallel ways of occupying oneself besides the actual subject matter of the lesson itself.

So today we discussed an upcoming birthday and who were going to be there etc. My point was that when such boozeheads as the Mad Girlz are present, you'll never know. And it still remains. Of course, they were all like "aww, naww, we dont do that do we?", but i know i've never slept behind the door in a corridor. Of course, there are things i have happened to do, but most of those were due to unfavourable coinciding of circumstances anyway.
I was arguing that it's not safe to go to a birthday when most of them are going to be present. I've seen enough, you know. Seen enough in Otepää, seen enough in Edinburgh, seen enough in most other places. But damn me if it aint hilarious. With one exeption - that is in the case you have taken (or have been forced to take by circumstance) responsibility for their actions. But that's another story.
They denied everything, of course and said that everything was going to be completely safe. I know better, but i still want to see what happens. It's never the same, but it's always the same. You never know what they will do, but you know there's going to be something.

It's been, rather, um, substance-related lately, hasn't it? We're not that bad, really, you know. Well, maybe the Mad Girlz, yeah, but not me...

Monday, October 10, 2005

something new again

photo from flickr
where's charlie?
Originally uploaded by payl.




So i took photos of our classmate L. Some photos are up at flickr (click the photo above).
She needed the photos for something she is doing and so i thought why not help her out and learn something in the process.

And indeed when i sucked the photos into the computer from my camera, there were lots of mistakes to analyse. As there always tend to be. But i hope i'll be the smarter next time i get to do something like this.

Thanks for the opportunity, L.
I enjoy doing stuff like this.

only in our school

Only in our school can you come from the nearby shop with your lunch in hand to see a bunch of fellows discussing something as young men of that age usually do. You might think they are talking about the last football match, rally event, chemistry test or something of that sort. But then you gouge another pirogi (yes, i checked, it is a real english word) from your baggie and step closer to hear and perhaps participage in the discussion. But as it tends to happen, you have to shy away from saying anything because you know very little of the subject. It's another fine monday morning and the fellows are discussing psychoactive substances not 10 meters from the window of the headmaster, not to say anything of the main door of the school. Who ate, snorted, or otherwise administered what quantities and amounts of different substances, what effects those substances had when taken in combination with yet other ones, and how they felt about it.
And to say that their voices would be hushed or manners cautious would be a plain lie, too.

You have just witnessed an usual morning in our school. Welcome to the club.

Yes, of course, i admit that this probably is a very popular topic not in only our school but any Estonian school, but witnessing it today made me percieve it as a phenomenon very characteristic to our school.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

fashion show echoes

For one thing, i really enjoyed taking photos at the fashion show. Got me thinking that doing something like that for a living would be neat as hell.
But, (as i may have said before) it was a new experience for me and i didn't really have much opportunity to practice before Mad Girlz came onto the catwalk. Considering the whole fleet of models was made up by Mad Girlz and then some two-three older models, it's not something to be surprised about.
I didn't really have time to play around with different flash settings and finding the best focal lenghts and points and so on.
But i hope i'll be invited to such happenings again and i'll be able to practice, for yes, i enjoyed it.

What M predicted and i didn't argue about was that the girls would be demanding more photos. I mean, i took some 70, but as always, no more than 10 of those can really take any criticism. Generally, all this just creates a sticky situation where all the girls know i took photos of them and i know they won't be seeing them because there is nothing to see.
I suppose that shedding some light on my methods of creating images would be a good thing to do sometimes. So bug me about it, will you.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Smug

photo from flickr
Smug
Originally uploaded by payl.




Here are some of the (better) results. I had never shot in circumstances like that and it indeed was a new experience.

chickn

photo from flickr
duplicated?
Originally uploaded by payl.




Most of you were here anyway, but maybe someone that wasn't is interested in what we were up to yesterday.

It seems to be becoming a tradition now for me to invite the Mad Girlz and some other people i know (mostly from our class anyway) over when i have the chance (read: my parents arent home) and cook a little something for them.
Usually, chicken has been cooked, but that is just due to my being a novice cook. When i develop my skills in the field further, you might be expecting something else, but that can take a couple of years. And as i didn't really hear anyone complain about the chicken very much, i don't see a problem. We don't really do it as often as for it to get boring, anyway.

So yes, i made a bit of honey chicken with lemon and stuff and K made pasta and assisted in making the breads with tomato and salad. Thanks K.

All in all it was a nice evening and i intend to repeat it some day.

As for my other plans, i'll be going to shoot a couple of photos at a kind of fashion show some of the Mad Girlz will be taking part of. I don't really know that much about it yet besides that i have to be going soon. I do suppose you will see some photos, if i manage to take any good ones.

And speaking of photos, i uploaded some more to flickr. So go see if you are interested.

Friday, October 07, 2005

rainbowjazz and teacher's day

I went to see a rainbowjazz concert yesterday. I wouldn't probably have gone or even known about it, had somebody i know not offered me a free ticket.
Even though i knew i had a russian test to study for, i went along. More about said test later.
The concert turned out to be a wonderful experience and had i known so beforehand i could have been persuaded to pay quite a lot for it. But seeing it for free made it all the beter. I'm sorry to note, though, that the hall was half-emtpy so i don't know how happy the organizers felt about it.
The first and one of the best performers was the Vilnius School of Music Big Band. I mean, i could hardly read or write when i was nine, but these people go travelling abroad giving concerts. And most of them were aged nine to fourteen or something like that. The bongo (and conga if i got the name of the drum right (wich i probably didn't)) player had to raise his arms above his head to reach the drums at some points.

But the big band wasn't at all the only thing worth seeing and hearing. All the performes were wonderful. The stars of the evening were the russian a capella group Acapella Express, and they did good stuff. Really good stuff. You'd have to have been there.

So indeed. A succsessful evening in all.

Of course, i did have some doubts about it this morning before the russian lesson for i was pretty sure of my failing the test. Fortunately enough, thanks to it's being teachers day and the accompanying tradition being that the 12th formers give lessons and the teachers are students for one day, the lesson was preceeded by two girls from the 12th. This, as fate would have it, meant that i and my deskmate could cheat to our hearts' content. And that we did.

Concerning another aspect of teacher's day, we had to perform at the festive meeting held on the occasion. As usual, every class had to perform with something. Other classes had singing and photo presentations and joke telling. We were different (again). As it so happens that when we go to a small shop near school during lunch break, we get the silliest ideas when we talk about things. It's just the aura of the group of fellows, i suppose. Experience tells me that many of those ideas get to be realised and today was no exeption.
So it happened that i performed on stage, representing our class. The performance was fairly straightfoward. I went on stage, took a bow, moved my hands about for a bit, announced that i was going to do it faster, and then did so. Then another bow and i left the stage accompanied by furious applause.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

electric moon

photo from flickr
electric moon
Originally uploaded by payl.




I added two photos from yesterday's walk to flickr. Click on the above one to go and see them.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

me read it pan di net, man

I was just taking a walk, cooling my head after countless hours of intense studying, taking a few photos when i encountered a bunch of kids surely not old enough to be going to school yet.
They were walking along the street, discussing something about sledging. Even though it's october, i wonder if it's a bit early for that, but they were, we needn't doubt them.
They were discussing who of them weighed the most (and an avid sledger knows it's an important aspect to sledge safety) when one of them asked how much a specific type of sled cost. "Ah, about 490 to 500, i read it on the net" another said.

Talk about emancipation.

masters at work

photo from flickr
masters at work
Originally uploaded by payl.



I added some photos to flickr, to anyone that might be interested. Just click on the photo above or on any other photo you see in the blog. All will take you to my flickr page.

hair on ya neck

Leet Haxor Style™ is proud to bring to you another episode of Mad Girlz:

I think this was in the physics lesson but i might be mistaken but it doesn't really matter anyway. I was just quietly (okay, maybe not techically entirely quietly, but compared to the girls around me im stone dead all the time anyhow), minding my own business when i noticed the girls behind me were laughing even more than they usually do. Probably because i had nothing better to do (for one tires quickly of physics exercises), i looked over my shoulder to see what was going on. At just about the same moment G (i think it was) told my deskmate to lean back. I suspected no more than i usually do, wich can still be quite an amount for with these girls you never know.

I suppose you might have your own ideas about what happened and why she had to lean back over her chair, but worry yourself not, i'm going to tell you.

You see, they needed to know how much hair she had on her back. Just figures, no? So they lifted her hair up and looked at her neck. I'm not sure if this sounds as absurd (i hope it probably does) as it was when i witnessed it, but rest assured that combined with all the giggling that accompanied it, it seemed quite odd enough indeed.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

sea

photo from flickr
sea
Originally uploaded by payl.



more h100

In lack of anything better to write, here is a photo of (don't say you were'nt expecting that) yours truly in haanja on october the 1st. These of you that have been reading this blog for a longer period of time or know me through other channels might know the circumstances that caused my being there at said time.

Do take time to browse around the gallery, too, for there are better (quality-wise) photos near the end.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

haanja video

Here is a 115 mb (16 minute) video of a test ride of the haanja 100 track.
It should give you some idea of what we lunatics are up to, but without the pain so besides the wait time, there's nothing bad in seeing it, is there?
Of course, watching a nice good climb on video isn't the same as actually riding it and thinking wether it'd be wizer to fall away to the left or to the right should you happen to pass out.

But, y'know, i still think it's worth seeing if you can manage the wait.

apple replaces scratchable nanos

To all of you so thrilled (or not) about ipods. Yet another mishap from apple:

Apple agrees to replace iPod nanos with cracked screens.:

Apple Computer has formally acknowledged that the screens on some of its new iPod nano units are prone to scratching and cracking. The company has agreed to replace units with a cracked screen free of charge.[read more]



Also see nanoscratch.com.

mini meet photos

And even more news from the field of photography:
The photos i took at the mini meet have been up for some time now but i forgot about you lot lately.

It's unfortunate that i've gathered many of you don't actually care as much about photos in a blog than you do about text, but i'm afraid that's just something you'll have to live with if you are to continue reading (or viewing) my blog. It's not mandatory, of course.

new material

photo from flickr
k
Originally uploaded by payl.



I uploaded some new stuff to flickr (click the photo above). Some better shots taken during friday.
Of course, there are more than just the six on flickr, but how and where you will be able to see thosw will be solved in the future. But rest assured, you will see them.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

haanja aftermath.

I am now back from the dreaded haanja 100. Good thing, too. I dont think entirely sane people do that sort of stuff themselves. I'm proud to be "special". Back at the starting line next year for sure.

I got up at 6 (never try this at home, folks), and got to the Kubija hotel in front of wich the start/finish are was just in time.
First thing i did was i got my starting number. 103. I was impressed. It seems that they somehow favoured people who had also participated in last year's race. It came out the number didn't really matter anyhow as the starting corridors were labelled something like "real tough dudes", "though dudes", "less tough dudes" and so on and everyone could choose their own corridor. Makes sense, come to think of it.

A bit about the race itself, too. And only a bit because, y'know, i don't want to talk about painful memories.
Everything was more or less okay till 50 km. And then all hell broke loose. Between kilometers 50 and 60 i was constantly on the verge of passing out and was afraid i'd have to quit. Fortunately two packs of sports gel (bread in a bag, pretty much) helped and from 70 onwards things got slowly better and by the time i finished i was quite enjoying the beautiful estonian nature in 18 degrees. And it's october...

And i even had some brake pads left to brake down my speed after the finish so i didn't have to crash into anything at all. Not that crashing into something at 3 km/h would actually hurt much.

So yeah. 6 hours 34 minutes 6.7 seconds to negotiate 100 km. An average speed of about 16 km/h, if my calculations are correct.

I presume i can walk again in a couple of weeks, so it's not bad.