Nov 14, '14 : Foppa, Sudden, and me

Filed under: Random

When I moved to Sweden in 1998, I stayed the first week in an apartment that belonged to a friend of friend, before moving into another apartment that I rented from a future colleague. Well, she was already a colleague, but only for a few days. My first week there, I didn’t have any furniture so I spent my nights lying on a borrowed mattress in the kitchen, reading under the kitchen hood light.

No surprise then, that I didn’t have the right cable package to watch the hockey World Championships three weeks later, although I did have electricity and a couch at home. I followed the tournament in the papers, and did watch half of one game in a bar with another new colleague of mine, but didn’t see the final games between Sweden and Finland.

Sundin (left) & Forsberg

» Continued

Jun 07, '14 : Like a rubber ball

Filed under: Random

There are two schoolyards in the world that I know better than most, despite the fact that I never went to those schools. One of them is the the schoolyard of Son’s and Daughter’s school in Stockholm, and the other is an elementary school in Joensuu, Finland.

The school was right next to our local multipurpose arena: a gravel pitch where we played soccer and Finnish pesäpallo in the summer, and hockey in the winter. The school was just 200 meters from our house, but went almost completely unnoticed by me the for first two years I lived in Joensuu. However, when it was time to go to high school, and ride my green Peugeot to town, the schoolyard was the perfect shortcut, and saved me at last ten, maybe fifteen seconds on my way to school.

She shoots..

» Continued

May 28, '14 : My girl

Filed under: Random

“So, anyways, I’ve met someone…”

Two.

» Continued

May 14, '14 : All the world's a stage

Filed under: Random

The other day as I was going into the sauna, I walked right into a boy’s shirt that was hanging from the door on the inside. On the shirt, there’s a note - in Son’s handwriting - that says: “Costume #2, “Dad”, sophisticated Q725”.

Son has always been making all kinds of plays. He’s gone to a drama school for five years, he’s been in a movie, and he’s currently in a comedy show, but he’s always liked to tell stories and jokes, and perform. My mother bought him a microphone stand when he was two, and apparently, that was his thing. (After a joke, he’d press a button with his tiny foot to start up the laugh track).

I.Am.A.Robot.

» Continued

Jan 27, '14 : Make plays, not war

Filed under: Random

I don’t remember ever having been fascinated by war. I was never that kid with a big plastic bag full of toy soldiers, or the kid who wore camouflage pants weeks on end. I knew both those kids, and I also knew a third kid, who wore camouflage pants when he made short war movies, and taped firecrackers to his toy soldiers.

But not me.

I only had three toy soldiers, and mostly I made toiler paper parachutes for them, and threw them down the balcony. Or, to be honest, I threw them from my parents’ bed, but I always wanted to throw one down from our second-floor balcony to see how they’d fare. I knew I wasn’t supposed to throw stuff from the balcony so I didn’t. The only did I ever threw down was a brown, six-month-old Xmas tree which I didn’t want to carry down the stairs, but instead I just lifted it over the rail and let it drop onto the backyard parking area.

By then, I was already almost thirty.

This is what I think a professor of Soviet history looks like.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for using Santa Claus™ Global Services (SCGS). We hope you had a Santastic™ experience, and that we’ll see you again soon. Before that, though, we’d kindly ask you to fill in our customer satisfaction survey so that we can make your next experience even merrier.

The survey takes only three minutes to complete. Thank you, and ho, ho, ho.

Everything we do is dedicated to improving your customer experience

» Continued

Filed under: Random

BRUSSELS – A big step towards world peace was taken today in the capital of Europe, as world leaders began the process of planning a special peace summit to discuss important matters in a wide range of topics, from financial to geopolitical to educational to philosophical and moral matters. Those unable to participate can join for parts of it via Skype, and those without a broadband Internet connection, can take part in the conference in spirit.

According to the confidential reports leaked to this reporter, representatives of all parts of the world, of all religions and faiths, and of all races and cultural enclaves will be invited to be in attendance.

The UN.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

They say we learn something new every day. Even I say that every once in a while, mostly when I realize I really have learned something new, often an unexpected fact. Then there are the things you learn and keep telling forward even though you really can’t explain them, not really, and even though you can’t be really sure if they’re true.

I have two such stories. I still keep telling them to people, even though I have no idea if they’re true or not, and if pressed, would probably guess that they’re not true.

In fact, I told one of them to our neighbors just the other day. We were sitting at a restaurant on the ferry to Finland, having met there by coincidence, and as we talked while the kids were in the playland, the ferry moved sideways a little. Not as if in a storm, but just a little so that people stopped walking on the decks, and grabbed a hold of the tables in the restaurants, leaning back, trying to figure out if the problem was the ferry or their heads.

Noooo!

» Continued

Aug 27, '13 : Lessons in style

Filed under: Random

If Richard Nixon could leave the White House for the last time in style, looking like a winner, after he’d been run out, forced out, after he’d lied to the nation, and had faced impeachment, you can emerge from your little adversities looking like a winner, too.

And that’s more than half the battle. If you look like a winner, you are a winner.

(Of course, results may vary).

Here are a few examples of situations you may find yourself in, and the proper response.

1. You go to an all-you-can eat tex-mex buffet, and just as you’ve loaded your plate with nachos and salsa, and guacamole, and cheese - a lot of cheese - and meat and beans, and just as you’re about to get some more nachos with your right hand, while balancing the tray with your left, you realize you forgot to get a glass, so you take a few steps back, then trip on the bag you left on the floor, and while trying to hold onto your food and the glass, you fail miserably at both, and drop everything on the floor.

As you get up and see the entire food court staring at you, you stand up, brush the nachos and the cheese - a lot of cheese - off your shirt, and you do this:

Nixon.

» Continued

May 31, '13 : You've got nail

Filed under: Random

Last weekend, I gave Son a task. A job to do. It was one of those bogus jobs you give to your kids so that they’d stop listening to mindless Minecraft parody songs while building Harry Potter scenes out of Lego, come out of their room and say hello to the sun. You know what I’m talking about.

So, I asked him to hammer all the nails on our porch stairs, and the deck, and make sure none of them stick out. (This, obviously, turned into a power struggle between Son and Daughter.) Just as obviously, Son was fast, and even more obviously, once the feeling of the honour of being chosen by Father wore off, he got bored.

He decided he needed a bigger hammer, so he ran back inside, and rummaged through the toolbox we have. One look at the toolbox would tell you that I’m not much of a handyman – if the fact that I told Son to “ask Mom” when he couldn’t find a hammer wasn’t already a dead giveaway.

Here he is.

» Continued

May 08, '13 : El Guano

Filed under: Random

Right now, if I lift my eyes off the screen and stop typing this, I’ll see one of the most beautiful views over Helsinki. I’m sitting at an outside café on a hill, overlooking the bay, with the National opera, the Finlandia Hall, the National museum, the House of Parliament, the museum of modern art, and my old gym to my right.

And one lonesome swan slowly swimming across the bay from north to south.

Finlandia.

» Continued

Feb 20, '13 : Awkward non-silence

Filed under: Random

When I was a kid, and home alone after school, I sometimes stood in front of the mirror in the hall holding another mirror, and gaze into the mirror tunnel I saw in front of me. I used to stand there and think it was an entrance to another world.

Decades later, when I was a single man living the single man’s life, it sometimes happened that on a Sunday afternoon, while watching a rerun of “Friends”, I realized that I hadn’t spoken with another person since Friday night when I had left the office.

Now, that didn’t mean that I hadn’t spoken at all, or opened my mouth one bit. I’d most likely been singing along classic 1980s hits, or laughing out loud - back then nobody LOLed - and speaking to the talking heads on TV, even arguing with them.

Esa Pakarinen. No relation.

» Continued

Dec 01, '12 : Names and numbers

Filed under: Random

Last week, I was back at the Joensuu rink that was my home rink for four years in my teens. It’s been 25 years since I moved from that town to go to college in Helsinki, and most of my old friends have moved somewhere else, too, but if there’s one place I can see familiar faces, it’s at the rink.

Also, the rink pulls me back. I’ve walked around it hundreds of times, I’ve run around it as many times. I’ve jumped up the stairs, I may have eaten hundreds of sausages and chocolate bars there, and I’ve spent countless hours in the cafeteria – that is no longer a cafeteria.

I walked around the rink and climbed up to Dad’s old seats, way up in the stands, at the red line. I sat there for a while, watching the game, and noticed some familiar names on the backs of the sweaters, the names of my former teammates, now on the backs of their sons’ sweaters.

Then I looked for number 17, because I always do that.

17.

» Continued

Nov 13, '12 : One poem, two messages

Filed under: Random

First in Swedish:

Finns kiss?
[Not.]
Finns fart.
Hit … Ned.
Hit … Faster.
Rita bad.
Slut.


A poet.


And now in English:

Finns kiss?
[Not.]
Finns fart.
Hit … Ned.
Hit … Faster.
Rita bad.
Slut.

Sep 18, '12 : A buddy movie

Filed under: Random

“So, d’you think we’ll just sit here like two zombies on our way back, staring ahead, all silent, all out of talk?” I asked Leppä as we sat down in our seats 5E and 5D on the plane.

He looked at me and laughed. I laughed, too. Like we’d ever shut up.

That's us in the middle. The shadows.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

A few months before my class was about to graduate from high school, our biology teacher told us to enjoy the time we had left there. Those were, she said, the best days of our lives.

“And remember, you will never be as smart as you’re right now,” she said.

We all laughed, as I guess we were supposed to. After all, we did know everything about everything, like all 18-year-olds everywhere in the world. We also knew that we’d just get smarter and wiser, and that there was no stopping us.

If you start digging here, you'll end up in Helsinki.

» Continued

Jun 08, '12 : Driving like crazy

Filed under: Random

Besides the phone line you could call to find out answer to any question that I invented in 1986 - remind me to tell you this story - there’s one other big invention I’ve been working on for decades now. Car-to-car communication.

I remember sitting on the bus to school, in high school, watching the boring short ads and one-sentence news run across a ticker, when I got the idea. What if we put those on all cars, so we could send short messages to each other in traffic.

“Excuse me, coming through.”

“Need to get to turning lane”

“How YOU doin’?”

Always funny. He he.

» Continued

May 30, '12 : K-I-S-S

Filed under: Random

Want to1 hear2 my3 life philosophy4? Here5 goes6: Keep it7 simple8,9 stupid10.

Keep it stupid simple.

» Continued

May 25, '12 : Hi there, kiddo

Filed under: Random

Webmaster here. I'm probably going to get fired for this, for "invading his privacy" or whatever, but I found these photos on the desk of Risto Pakarinen and I just have to share them. See what he did now? He actually went back to his old track, took a photo of what it looks like there now, and then pasted an old photo on it. He must have copied that from somewhere - probably here - but that's not my point.

Look at his hat! Oh, boy. Oh well, enjoy.

Eltsu then and now

» Continued

May 08, '12 : Soundtrack of my life

Filed under: Random

I don't know for sure what goes through Mikhail Grabovski's mind when he scores for Belarus, besides general feelings of happiness and pride, but I wouldn't be surprised if a part of the mental images his brain produces are of a Belarusian man, named Yas, let's say, out on the field mowing clover, dreaming about Yanina, a hardworking girl!

That's what I will be thinking about, anyway, now that I've learned what the Belarusian goal song, "Касіў Ясь канюшыну" (Kasiu Yas' Kanyushinu) is all about. Now, I would have known that earlier had I understood the title of the song, which is, in short: Yas mows clover.

Hit it, boys.

» Continued

Apr 26, '12 : Graphic info

Filed under: Random

You know, I was thinking...

Do you want to know a secret?

Mar 17, '12 : Heartbreak Hotel

Filed under: Random

Stuck On You

They’re playing Elvis in this coffee shop. The barista behind the counter is singing along, and when the song reached the end, she was really belting it. Don’t look now - I can’t - but I know she’s even doing the moves.

This must be the best coffee shop in Stockholm, this “V. Street Coffee” almost across the street from the main station. It’s small, but it’s got character - like you know who - like all the cool coffee shops in the world. It’s not a franchise, not a copy of somebody else’s idea, it’s its own thing. On the walls there are posters from the 1950, the price list looks like it’s from the 1970s.

And of course, the barista knows everybody.

This is what Street Coffee be like on Monday.

» Continued

Mar 10, '12 : Cover me

Filed under: Random

Hey, wanna hear me speak Swedish? Talk about Finnish cover songs?

You're in luck.

Click here.

Mic.

Feb 14, '12 : A birthday card

Filed under: Random

Today, Valentine’s Day, is Wife’s birthday. This morning, Son woke me up, then woke up his sister while I went downstairs to prepare breakfast. And we walked into the bedroom, singing, carrying a tray, and presents. Son and Daughter had made birthday cards, too, but I forgot mine. So here it is. (I centered it so it’d look like a poem).

What would I do if you walked by this coffee shop right now?
I know what I’d do.
I’d smile.
I smile when I see you walk home from the gym,
and I smile when I see you sitting behind your desk when I come to visit your office.
I smile when you get home from work each day
and I smile when you call me and I see your photo on the screen.
And when I watch you stand in line for a rollercoaster ride, and again
when I see you walk back to me from the rollercoaster.
I smile because seeing you reminds me of a story I want to tell you.
I smile when I watch you sleep. (Not the creepy way).
And I smile when you drop me off at the airport,
and when you pick me up,
and when my subway train takes off from the station and
I look out the window
and see you walk the kids to school.

I smile when you smile.

Did you just walk by this coffee shop?
Or was it just the thought of you that made me smile?


And sometimes I laugh.

Feb 13, '12 : Cart tricks

Filed under: Random

Last week – or, six days ago, to be precise – I was, once again, walking to the gym listening to a hockey podcast, like so many times before, when I suddenly noticed something out of the ordinary in front of me.

There, parked by the side of the bike lane, was a shopping cart.

A #%#€”& shopping cart, I said to myself, under my breath, naturally.

I looked around to see if I could find the culprit, but it was as hopeless as my efforts to memorize the face of a seagull shitting on me. And yet, when that happens - it’s happened to me twice in the last ten years - I always look up, wave my fist, and point a the bird with my finger, as a warning.

Not this one.

» Continued

Feb 08, '12 : Toy story

Filed under: Random

I'm one of those unlucky people who had a happy childhood.
– Jonathan Coe, author
“Risto always says he didn’t have any toys when he was a kid,” Wife told the three other people gathered around the table, and around the birthday cake with a big number 1 on it.

Then she laughed and the others laughed, too. He’s such a joker, she said, and we all agreed, but for different reasons. Maybe the others thought the idea of somebody having no toys was really funny, ridiculous even, but I just happen to think I’m a pretty funny guy and a fine joker, generally speaking.

And I do tell people I didn’t have any toys when I was a kid. Or, at least Wife and the kids, and my mother.

Because it’s true.

Yeeehaaa!

» Continued

Feb 01, '12 : A funny thing happened

Filed under: Random

Here's the year 2011 as chronicled in the opening lines of stories published in the New Yorker throughout the year. What a year!

One recent afternoon.

» Continued

Jan 15, '12 : Back in time

Filed under: Random

First time you feel it, it might make you sad
Next time you feel it it might make you mad
But you'll be glad baby when you've found
That's the power makes the world go 'round
In the winter of 1985, JVC handed out free tickets to see a movie about a young kid traveling back in time. I had read in the Rolling Stone that Huey Lewis and the News had a couple of songs in the movie, but didn’t know much else. I didn’t even know that JVC handed out free tickets, but when my father asked me if I wanted to go, I said yes.

It was a special afternoon matinee, starting at 4.30, which was perfect, because it meant that I would still be able to make it to the hockey game the same night. The game started at 6.30 so if I ran or walked briskly, there was still a chance to make it to the rink before the opening faceoff.

You're the doc, Doc.

» Continued

Sep 18, '11 : Keep pushing

Filed under: Random

I know exactly when I knew that I probably wasn’t cut out to be a major league hockey player. Not that I really had thought about it much. When I was a kid, I just loved to play so I just moved from one age group to another, as simple as that.

Of course I had dreams, and of course I would have wanted to be just like Valeri Kharlamov, or Wayne Gretzky, or Hannu Kapanen, or Matti Hagman, or Frank Neal, all my big idols at one point.

People like this totally undermine my credibility as a father, as I keep telling Son and Daughter that they're NOT allowed to sit down on the floor in a public place.

» Continued

Sep 07, '11 : Time after time

Filed under: Random

A friend of mine is a synesthete, a person with a “neurologically based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway”. What it means in her case is that when she sees or hears a number, she sees a specific color.

To her, four is always blue.

And here I was thinking that I was special for always connecting the number 2 and the letter A.

For some reason, though, my view of the calendar is a bit skewed. I know it’s easy to connect the 12 months of the year to the 12 hours of a clock, but in my brain, the connection isn’t a straightforward “1 for January, 2 for February” one, even though my year does start at noon.

Noon is the New Year’s Eve.

Then we have the spring, and at 3, the summer strikes. It’s all nice and easy, hanging out in the sun, until seven. That’s when the summer’s over, the autumn falls, and the school starts. From 7, I work my way up towards Son’s birthday, around nine, to my birthday, around ten, and to Xmas at about 11.30.

Right now, my mental clock calendar is 7. That also means that the hockey season is about to start.

The Stanley Cup parade at four.

Jul 16, '11 : Tears are not enough*

Filed under: Random

“I’ve never seen you cry”
– Son, a few months ago
Well, he’s just not been there because I do cry. Ask Wife. I cry when the world treats me unfairly or when my kids do yet another wonderful thing and the emotions are just too much for me to keep under control.

I cry out of pride and I cry out of pain.

Different kinds of tears, I know. They even taste different.

Here it is.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

Part I: Urinals

1. As soon as you have located the urinals - a task that may be difficult when entering a rest room for the first time - you should position yourself at the first available one. Note: available. If the closest one already has an individual occupying it, the first available one is not the one next to him, but the one next to that one. Only when there are only two urinals in the restroom, should you place yourself right next to another person urinating.

Which one would you take?

» Continued

Jul 13, '11 : Guest entry

Filed under: Random

By Son.

Genius.

Jul 05, '11 : Summer town

Filed under: Random

In another time, some time ago, even before I used sugar water to comb my fair like Fonzie, and before I had a crush on Julie on Love Boat, back when I used to play cowboy, this town was my summer town where things were done a little differently than at home.

This is it

» Continued

Filed under: Random

“You used to be great at giving those speeches”
– Wife, the other day
Now, first off, it should be noted that I am not much of a speaker.

My first public speaking experience took place in a church. I was nine years old and I had been chosen to read the gospel at school. Never in the history of mankind have Joseph and Mary got so fast from Nazareth to Bethlehem as they did in my recital.

The clothes were enough to make anybody speechless.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

The elevator at my hotel in Bratislava was the kind that have doors on both sides so that you never really know which way to face. And as I got in, the people in there had already figured out that the front of the elevator was on the other side, which meant that when I entered the car from the back, I found myself staring at Vyacheslav Bykov’s neck.

I was a little disappointed because I had expected to be able to jump in and practice my Blue Steel look without an audience.

Armstrong.

» Continued

Apr 30, '11 : Pockets of coolness

Filed under: Random

I always feel lost when I’m traveling. Not because I don’t find my way around the city, because most of the times I do. But because I lose my pocket system.

Like many men, I don’t carry a bag with me. No messenger bag, not a back pack, and no man purse. Whatever I think I’m going to need, I carry with me in my pockets.

Cover me.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

I used to be able to fit a hockey puck in my mouth. Sure, it took some pushing, and I had to pull my lips over with my hands, but at least on that one sunny, spring day, I could do it, and I have witnesses who can back me up.

Well, you may not think that’s anything special.

Tongue twister.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

Unlike Groucho Marx, I’d be happy to get into a club that would have people like me as a member. As a kid, I started numerous clubs, and always designed membership cards for each of them: Tarzan club, Pecos Bill club, Tex Willer club, and Woody Woodpecker club. They were ultimate anti-Groucho Marx clubs, because most of them had just one member: me.

I didn’t care about not having any other members in my clubs, that wasn’t the point anyway. The point was the card, the official badge that I could flash whenever I felt like it. The cards had my name, my membership number - “1” - and the club logo on them, often “a stamp” of the main authority. Me.

I'm with me.

» Continued

Apr 06, '11 : My musical map

Filed under: Random

I've been thinking about this for a long time, but haven't got around to trying to make one. Anyhow, you know how certain songs always take you back to a certain place? Like, for me, Bruce Springsteen's "Night" always takes me back to that one winter's night when I was in high school, and Dad stopped at the traffic lights and then the drums kicked off "Night". I know exactly where we were.

And "Heaven's on fire" makes me think of Terry, and how he would rest his feet on our dog while watching music videos.

I was sitting, resting, at the gym at the Orillia Y when that summer's big hit, "Brickyard Road" was playing and I remember hearing the lyrics clearly for the first time, and how sad I thought it was.

So, here's my attempt to create my historical musical map. I'll update it as new songs pop into mind.


See a larger map on Google.

Filed under: Random

I read a great story in the paper this morning, about a Guldsmedshyttan hockey team that was getting ready to put the finishing touch on their Cinderella story in Sweden’s under-16 national championship tournament.

The team hails from a 3000-people strong village of Bergslagen and had beat big Swedish clubs, such as Djurgården, Linköping, and Leksand, on their way to the Final Four, against all odds.

» Continued

Mar 08, '11 : Tweet, tweet

Filed under: Random

I've been playing around with Twitter short stories lately. So, if you're on Twitter, you can follow @finnjewel*, and get these 140-character stories delivered to you. (And yes, it's surprisingly easy to follow a story with 140 characters.)

Ristweets.


Here they are, in no particular order:

» Continued

Feb 21, '11 : Who are you gonna call?

Filed under: Random

Today, I watched Ghostbusters 2.

I loved the original Ghostbusters movie when it came out. I loved the title song, and I thought Bill Murray was the funniest and coolest guy in the world.

Buster becomes the bust.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

The commuter train that I take from downtown Stockholm to our idyllic Sollentuna is probably about 100 meters long. Maybe a little longer, maybe 150, even, because it takes me a good minute to walk from one end to the other.

It may not sound significant, but choosing where to get on is a big decision, because it practically also seals my decision to either walk home, or take the bus.

Front of the train: bus. End of the train: walk.

It’s an 11-minute walk in the winter, and a 9-minute-walk in the summer.

The drive in the picture is innocent. This time.

» Continued

Filed under: Random

Driving north on Sankt Eriksgatan in Stockholm, at the intersection between the said street and Rörstrandsgatan, there’s a no-left turn sign. I see it every day, when Son and Daughter and me are driving home from school. (It's here.)

We’re always on the left lane because the right one is only for those turning right, and the traffic is always easier on the left lane anyway. I pick up the kids, on average, four times a week, but for argument’s sake, let’s just say I’m in my car, driving north at Sankt Eriksgatan and Rörstrandsgatan three times a week, sometime between 3 and 3.30. (Singing, talking, playing car games, refereeing a backseat argument, or, just quietly listening to a podcast while Son and Daughter listen to a CD).

It really is a no-no.

» Continued

Jan 18, '11 : The meaning of meaning

Filed under: Random

“If you find a job you really love, you'll never work again.”
– Winston Churchill
I’m listening to “The Upside of Irrationality”, by Dan Ariely, because I like to hear how stupid we people are. I like books that take down things that we’ve been taking for granted, like for example, that the bigger the bonus, the better the performance. (According to Ariely, a moderate bonus works best, and a huge bonus actually makes people choke, or lose focus).

He also writes about the importance of meaning in work, and cites several of his experiments as proof of how not only money, but the meaning of the work we do, matters. “Even a small amount of meaning can take us a long way,” he says.

A meaningless photo.

» Continued

Jan 07, '11 : Walk like a snowman

Filed under: Random

I was walking home from the gym - after a nice hour of sauna if you're curious - listening to music - Bruce Springsteen, and The Promise, if you really want to know - and had just walked through the underpass when I saw something that made me stop: two sets of footprints in the snow.

Who?

» Continued

Dec 10, '10 : A teachable moment

Filed under: Random

FADE IN.

GROCERY STORE – INT. – DAY
A man is standing at the sausage counter, trying to choose which one to have as a younger man appears behind him, with two children in tow.

This is the other guy.

» Continued

Nov 04, '10 : Duane's world

Filed under: Random

To You Pakarinen
I am DUANE COKER, the Personal Attorney to a Foreign Contractor, who
worked with a Multinational Oil Firm here in Cotonou Benin republic.
On the December 25, 2003 , my client,Engr. B. J Pakarinen ,a national of your country,an oil Merchant /Contractor with the Federal Government of
Benin,He died along with his entire family of a wife and two children in
airplane Boeing 727 ghastly Air-Crash.
For more about the Air Crash you can visit the CNN web news.
Until his death few years ago on one have call me or ask me anything as his Brother or Sister,
Before his death, he had an account with the bank valued at five Million Five hundred thousand dollars ( 5.5 M USD) at his Bank in Benin here.

Damn you, BJ!

» Continued

Sep 09, '10 : Know your customers

Filed under: Random

Walking back from Tallinn, Estonia downtown to the ferry that would take me back to Helsinki, I stopped at a … shopping place. Too shabby to be called a mall, but enough of a building not to be called a square, it was simply a place where entrepreneurial Estonias sell everything under the sun.

... or if you don't want to picture it, here's the picture.

» Continued