Dec 06, '14 : Top 10 list

Filed under: Lighter side

Top ten things that tell you that you may be dealing with a Finn:

Finland, Finland, Finland.

10. After twenty minutes at the dentist’s waiting room, you realize there’s been another person sitting in the corner all that time.
9. Tell her that you like a Finnish hockey player, and she’ll be so happy she’ll give you a firm handshake.
8. His title is 83 characters long, and takes up both sides of the business card.
7. He thinks knows Santa Claus lives in Finland, and he’s ready to wrestle you for it.
6. He wears his best, and only, pair of Speedos - and only Speedos - on a walk through town.
5. [More silence]
4. He will proudly tell you there are over 200 words for “hangover” in the Finnish language – then gladly suggests you work your way through each one, and takes a sip of Finnish beer.
3. Her [expletive] speech is [expletive] profanity-laden and so [expletive] what, you got a [expletive] problem with that?
2. On December 6, he sits glued to the TV, watching the President of Finland shake hands with decorated Finns, criticizing the Independence Day gala guests’ looks – while sitting on a couch in his underwear.


1. He’s that one silent-when-not-swearing, hockey-loving friend that never left your side.

Oct 11, '14 : University of Hockey

Filed under: Lighter side

TORONTO – OMNI Television is offering new Canadians the opportunity to create their own hockey traditions with “Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition”, “Your Hockey” weekly segments, and “Hockey 101” …[that answers] basic questions that many new fans may be too afraid to ask, such as “What is icing?” and “What is holding?”
– Rogers media release, September 24, 2014

Dear student of hockey,

Welcome to Hockey 101! We’re thrilled to tell you that you have been accepted into the OMNI program in which we’ll study the game of hockey, and look for answers to questions you may have been too afraid to ask.


» Continued

Jan 01, '14 : Year upgrades to 2014

Filed under: Lighter side

NEW YORK – It was worth all the hype. Just hours after its launch, “2014”, the latest version of Year, a life experience interface, has collected over seven billion users, making it the most popular Year in history.

Year has managed to add new users in most of its existing markets, a feat not many analysts thought was going to be possible. Also, while Year has dominated the global marketplace, it hasn’t always been embraced by the Chinese, leaving one of the biggest markets untapped, but “2014” seems to have broken that barrier.

The new Year is built on the same platform as the previous version, the “2013”, but users now can make slight modifications, such as opt for better nutritional and workout habits, a feature that the 2013 also initially had, but that disappeared mysteriously in early February in what is suspected to be an attack by the Anonymous.

» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

The Tale of the Four-Eyed Medicine Man
By John H. Watson (MD)

What I am about to tell you is a true story, and the fact that I am here to re-tell it to you, is sufficient proof of its authenticity if a gentleman’s word isn’t enough.

As my practice has dwindled away in recent years, and with a gold-digger of a daughter-in-law circling around my humble house like a vulture, I have decided to do what I vowed I would never do. It is with a very heart I reach deep, deep, deep down to my archives, and dust off the last remaining stories I have buried there.

While I dislike bringing too much attention to myself, bear in mind that I do this only for financial gain, so pray send me a pound or two upon finishing these tales. After all, memories of Holmes are all I’ve got.

Yes, Sherlock Holmes.

Mr. Holmes, I presume.

» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

Dear friends,

A few years ago, world’s leading scientists realized that due to some cosmic changes, our astrological signs weren’t valid anymore. At least one sign was missing completely and there was some confusion about the Sun’s place in the house.

We at IKEA, as you know, can’t stand any confusion in any house. According to our new strategy, we will become the “Google of the analog world”, and will help you organize, systemize, and simplify your life.

That’s why we’re proud to introduce to you the new, improved horoscopes, or IKEALOGY. No longer will you have to figure out the cutoff dates between two signs, because for simplicity - one of our key values - we kept the number of Ikealogical signs at twelve, but the new signs will align with the calendar system we’re so used to anyway.



» Continued

Feb 04, '13 : Lorem Ristom

Filed under: Lighter side

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit! Duis elementum neque in sem scelerisque quis dapibus diam adipiscing - very adipiscing. Pellentesque mollis arcu ac enim tincidunt volutpat. Sed facilisis dapibus convallis.

Romanes eunt domus.

I got nothing.

» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

Here's a quick recap of the year 2012 - a collection of first lines of stories published in the New Yorker throughout the year (not including fiction).

Happy new year!

» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

I’ve known you all my life, and I’ve always been very fond of you. Well, mostly always. I’m not very happy with you now and that’s why it’s time we have a little chat. Quite frankly, I’ve been putting this off long enough, and I do appreciate everything you’ve done for me in the past, so don’t think I’m going to enjoy this.

Ahem. You need to shape up. You’re a little too loose these days. I liked you better when you were wound up tighter. It’s like you used to care but now you just let it all hang out in the wind. I think you’re not even trying anymore.

I’m looking at you, face.

Just another pretty face.

» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

In the name of full disclosure, I am not a Swede. I’ve retained my Finnish passport, citizenship, and most of the values in my 12 years in Stockholm but I have also added many new ones. Values, not citizenships. One of the things that hasn’t changed, though, is my appreciation for the Swedish Chef, which is why I was so surprised to see this story about Swedes being tired of getting asked about him. Or that, gasp, he wouldn’t be funny!

This past summer, my two kids, my beautiful Swedish wife, and I have watched a half a dozen movies together: Ice Age 4, Madagascar 3, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, The Muppets, and Alvin and the Chipmunks 3. And which ones are the kids talking about afterwards? Mary Poppins, the Oz, and the Muppets. Which songs have been in heavy rotation all summer? The ones from the Oz and the Muppets.

And whose picture is on my son’s wall?

The Swedish Chef’s.


» Continued

Jul 11, '12 : My friend Smiley

Filed under: Lighter side

In just a few months, on September 19, the character combination known as “smiley face” will turn 30. I’m sure it’s going to be a wild and crazy party full of interesting characters. Maybe even & and * will turn up, even though it was exactly those two that Smiley pushed aside thirty years ago.

Of course, it’s not just Smiley that has its birthday because Smiley’s sad twin brother, Frownie, was born just seconds later, making its first appearance a mere two lines later in that email message Scott E. Fahlman sent his Carnegie Mellon college colleagues.

Smiley’s come a long way from being a pain in the neck - or at least causing pain in the neck when people were told to look at it sideways - to being our best friend, the trusty sidekick that knows exactly how to convey our feelings, when words aren’t simply enough.

Seeing the original Smiley still makes me smile, but these days mostly because it’s like seeing an old friend. I don’t really use his services anymore, because I often use the more streamlined and faster version of the Smiley. The Noseless Smiley: :)

In fact, you can tell a lot about the person you’re interacting with just by looking at the smileys they use. Here’s a quick guide to the most common ones:

George S.

» Continued

Jul 08, '12 : Summer special, Part IV

Filed under: Lighter side

Summer: GÖK

Life was perfect. Our home had become exactly the kind of haven of peace and tranquility in the world of stress and chaos we had wished for. Agnes was going to take a sabbatical from work, she wanted to go back to school and study something. IT, I think. And I loved my job, to be honest. In other words, everything was so great that I started to worry about the future. Something was going to happen.

This just couldn’t last, that much was obvious. And if things couldn’t get better, they’d have to get worse.

Nothing ever stays the same.


» Continued

Jul 07, '12 : Summer special, Part III

Filed under: Lighter side


Our next trip to Ikea was a true case of hit and run. We had already decided on which bed we wanted. Agnes was supposed to just walk in and buy it, and since she already was going to be in there, maybe grab a pack of napkins and candles. There couldn’t have been many left at home anyway.

I was driving the getaway car. My job was to sit in in our rented van at the gas station across the street and I would only get involved if they did have the couch in the warehouse and some muscles were needed.

Who were we kidding anyway? We didn’t really need me in the purchase process.


» Continued

Jul 06, '12 : Summer special, Part II

Filed under: Lighter side


Our first visit to IKEA hadn’t gone unnoticed by our friends. Agnes’s friends almost fainted when she told them. After all, we had gone to the fantastical furniture house after just three months of dating. And not only that, we had also bought something together. Something big. Something real.

As far as the Swedes I knew were concerned, we were practically engaged. Agnes would have the right to half of everything we had ever bought from Ikea. In our case, that meant 50 percent of everything in our apartment.

That’s right. Our apartment. We had just moved in together.


» Continued

Jul 05, '12 : Summer special, Part I

Filed under: Lighter side

Hey, I found an old story in the archives, and I thought it'd make a nice summer story. I'm on vacation with Wife, probably riding our bikes around town, stopping for cups of coffee, reading good books, and hanging out. Below you'll find Part I of the story that will be published in four parts in the next four days, but automatically - at 9 am CET - so I can, you know, stay on vacation.

Summer: FAKTUM

At IKEA with the missus. He he he”. That’s the message that marks the public start of our relationship. While my Swedish, pigtailed girlfriend was checking out a blue kitchen cupboard, and measuring it with her eyes to see how it would fit in my apartment, I was leaning on a wall some 10 meters away, sending text messages to my friends.


» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

I know that people laugh at me these days. They call me “Old Hat” behind my back. But I don’t care, I know who I am.

The hat and 200 dollars in my pocket were all I had when I first came to this town. I am the hat.

It is I.

» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

Dear world,

Jimmy didn’t do it. He didn’t steal those billions of dollars. Trust me, I know. I am his grandmother and he was with me that whole week a couple of years ago because I had a sore throat and I needed love and attention. That and Jimmy’s special tea with honey. That usually cures any sore throat in just 24 hours. That time, however, it took me a whole week to get better.

Unlucky woman.

» Continued

Jan 04, '12 : Best Year Ever

Filed under: Lighter side

NEW YORK – It was worth the hype. Just two days after its launch, “2012”, the latest version of Year, a life experience interface, has collected over seven billion users, making it the most popular Year in history.

Year has managed to add new users in most of its existing markets, a feat not many analysts thought was going to be possible. Also, while Year has dominated the global marketplace, it hasn’t always been embraced by the Chinese, leaving one of the biggest markets untapped, but “2012” seems to have broken that barrier.

The new Year is built on the same platform as the previous version, the “2011”, but users now can make slight modifications, such as opt for better nutritional and workout habits, a feature that the 2011 also initially had, but that disappeared mysteriously in early February in what is suspected to be an attack by the Anonymous.


» Continued

Dec 24, '10 : End of countdown

Filed under: Lighter side

Number one!


July 9, 2010 » Interlude
So, who do you think will win the World Cup?

Oman… I don’t know. I like Samoa.

Click here for full story

Dec 19, '10 : Seis!

Filed under: Lighter side

A little linguistical joke there with the headline. See, "seis" is number six in Spanish, but it also means "stop" in Finnish. And, so, I thought ... well, you get it.

Counting down to Christmas here, peeking behind number 6.


March 23, 2010 » Open Letter to the Renovation Guys
Welcome back to our humble home. It’s not always this humble, but ever since the tiny water damage in the upstairs bathroom, we’ve had to make some adjustments.

Click here for full story.

Oct 14, '10 : Self-made King

Filed under: Lighter side

“Great athletes never have lousy names. If your name is Frederico Trepalano, you are not going to be a great ballplayer. Michael Jordan is a great name. Easy to remember. Seven letters and six letters. Usually, if they combine to thirteen, they're good names. I'm into numbers.”
– Larry King, Esquire, August 2010
Easy for Larry to say, isn’t it? Larry King is the perfect name, nine letters and all. The “L” kicks it off nicely, then there’s wide, American “arr” that makes your face really work, the “y” ties the “arr” to the hard “K” perfectly, with the ringing “ing” as a radio stinger, leaving audio ripples in the air, a pause that you don’t want to break when you hear the name so you just sit there, in awe.

S-u-s-p-e-n-d-r-s. Nine letters. 3 x 3 = 9.

» Continued

Jul 12, '10 : Another caption contest

Filed under: Lighter side

So, what's going on here? Write your suggestion in the comments section.

"Talkin' to me?"

Filed under: Lighter side

The 117-year-old star in character, Vanity Fair style:

No Flat Stanley.

Jun 28, '10 : Jackson Cage

Filed under: Lighter side

Matti Vanhanen sits in his kitchen and makes coffee. It’s early, the clock’s not yet six, but Vanhanen has already been up for a good half hour. He’s showered, and fed the few animals he keeps on his farm. Four cows, a few pigs, and a camel.

The man in the mirror

» Continued

Dec 31, '09 : All new

Filed under: Lighter side

Happy New Year ... and remember these words: A new law »

May your shoes be soft all year.

Sep 22, '09 : Honk if you like honking

Filed under: Lighter side

Where I live, honking is a lost art. I’m not going to tell you where I live, out of paranoia, but I will tell you that it’s getting pretty dark pretty early around here these days. And that people are polite and fairly quiet, and don’t wave their arms and hands when talking.

That’s why honking is often interpreted as something hostile, like a rude gesture, or a shove in the back. An elbow to the ribs in a crowded elevator.


» Continued

Jun 19, '09 : In Twisto news: Beatles

Filed under: Lighter side

Beatles’ lost tweets uncovered

LIVERPOOL – Jimmy Sutton, Chief Support Engineer at Clean-IT Ltd in Liverpool, England, recently made a discovery that changed his life. Called in to repair damage after a networking company’s server crash, Mr. Sutton discovered a compressed file, apparently not accessed in decades, and containing hundreds – maybe thousands – of Twitter messages.

"All my tweets, I will send to you"

» Continued

Jun 03, '09 : Coyotes

Filed under: Lighter side

Oh, to have the power of the sports execs.
The Coyotes went bankrupt, prompting the idea of relocating the team to Canada.

Jun 01, '09 : Classified

Filed under: Lighter side

Lost and found:

IMAGE: Previously a part of a highly successful seven-man ensemble, in a supporting role, now wants to attempt a solo career.

Mar 03, '08 : Bloopers

Filed under: Lighter side

Relax. Take it easy. Put your feet up and enjoy. NHL Bloopers.

Here's the link. The embedded version was annoying some very important people.

Filed under: Lighter side

Here's another one from I'll file it under "lighter side".

» Continued

Jan 28, '08 : Mr. Happy

Filed under: Lighter side

My son is working on a magazine of his own, and you know what? I made the cover! We had the photo shoot last night. Here's the cover shot:

Risto on the cover of a magazine - click here

Having seen that, I must say that I am a little curious to see what he did with the interview.

Jan 14, '08 : Free fallin'

Filed under: Lighter side

Freelance, noun: 1 a person who earns their living in such a way, 2 historical (often free lance) a medieval mercenary.

My name is Risto Pakarinen, and I'm a freelance journalist. A mid-evil mercenary. Judging from all the emails I get every day, many of you dream of being freelancers, too. "How did you get your very own blog?" people ask me. Well, let me tell you.

» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

A local businessman was stunned to realize the meeting he attended at lunchtime required no input from him whatsoever.

"I think this proves one of the oldest economic theories wrong. There is such a thing as free lunch," Kenneth Adam, CFO, said. "I just had one."

The meeting with a local tax consultant was arranged by Mr. Adam's PA.

"I did nothing but eat: my PA fixed it all, I didn't buy anything, and I was totally texting with my buddies all through the lunch, like I always do. I'll even bill somebody for my time," he said.

"Frankly, when my business school professor said there was no such thing as free lunch, I believed him. This is mind-boggling."

Filed under: Lighter side

AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini misses the next Champions League match, a quarterfinal game against Bayern München, for disciplinary reasons, the club announced today.

» Continued

Filed under: Lighter side

David Beckham, former England captain, announced today the acquisition of the English national team. “There’ll be some changes,” Mr. Beckham said at the press conference.

The terms of the contract were not disclosed, but according to our sources, Beckham is said to have paid 200 billion pounds for exclusive control of the national team for three years.

» Continued

Feb 05, '07 : The Lonely Guy

Filed under: Lighter side

I'm in Finland for the Finnish Custom Publishing Day, and staying at a hotel. Every time I eat alone in a restaurant - and that happens regularly on my numerous visits to the old country - I think about this movie: Steve Martin, The Lonely Guy.

No spotlights on me tonight, though.

Jan 17, '07 : White & nerdy

Filed under: Lighter side

Weird Al gone bad. Well, no, he did "Bad" a long time ago. Here he is, white and nerdy.

Lyrics after the jump.

» Continued

Jan 03, '07 : Silent Star Wars

Filed under: Lighter side

This hilarious silent movie version of Star Wars off of BoingBoing:

Nov 07, '06 : Days of Thunder

Filed under: Lighter side

This is a blog entry I wrote for the NHL Blog Central, but, well, I know that not everybody visits every day like I do. So, here it is.

A Swedish newspaper reported that the NHL is in talks with Jerry Bruckheimer about having the Hollywood blockbuster producer bring some marketing spark to the league operations. Bruckheimer’s movies have grossed over 10 billion dollars, so the man sure knows how to get some butts in the (movie) seats.

"You can always play on my wing"

» Continued

Aug 10, '06 : Finnish humor

Filed under: Lighter side

circa 1985

Yes, I file this under "humor." Spede, the star of the video, was a comic genius, but in English, this is funny on yet another level.