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Some winter thoughts

Today when I woke up the indoor temperature was about +12 °C. I lit a fire in the stove to cook coffee, and noticed that the waterhose was not frozen. Good! This is survivable. During the night the outdoor temperature was nearly -20 °C, and previously such temperatures would've dropped the indoor temperature below +10 °C. So all the renovation projects have made things better, not dramatically yet noticeably.

Oh well. I know I'd tend to just cope with these temperatures, thinking that I can make throug the winter just wearing more clothes indoors, and soon it will be spring and then summer... Although, the downside is that my writing and programming productivity falls when it the indoor temperature is below +16 °C - and I'd really love to get a bit more programming stuff done sooner instead of later. Then, few of my friends said they'd like to come for a visit towards the end of February. I started to think that I'd like to have my house a bit more comfortable. Now it isn't that much about adding layers of thermal insulation - the next crucial thing is the actual source of heat. Now it is just the stove and a few small electric radiators. My plan is to have another fireplace, one with enough mass to preserve the heat long after the fire is out. But I decided not to tinker with the chimney in the middle of the winter - better leave such work for summer when the chimney is not in use. So a temporary solution is adding more electric radiators. But the problem with that is that at the moment all the electricity in the house is basically just branching from a single extension cord. And there's a limit to how much load you can have on a single cord before it will blow the fuse. Well, an alternative would be buying a portable gas burner, but I don't want to do that just for this winter as I see little future use for a gas burner. But some electricity I need anyway. So, properly installed power sockets, then! In itself that won't be a lot of work. But the thing is that before installing those sockets I'd like to have a finished wall surface first. Some panelling, then!

Modern panels, they are straight and fine. But the inner side of the old log walls are irregular, uneven and curved. My plan is to first attach vertical boards on the walls, and then horizontal panels nailed to the boards. Those supporting boards will be about 55 cm apart, and the space between them will be filled with a sheet of flax wool. So that there won't be empty space in between the old logs and the new panels, but the flax wool will adapt to all the irregular shapes of the logs. I'll write a blog post with picture when I get to implement this plan. So far I've just doing some preparations, and pondering if I have enough money to buy all the materials needed, or if it would be better to postpone this until the summer so that I can save some money. But then I thought about the last year, when I had to buy a new car and a new chainsaw despite being very low on money, yet I managed it with borrowing money when necessary and paying back later on. Maybe I need to do something like that again, I don't know yet - I just decided to start the project relying on my gut feeling of things will work out, one way or another.

I think having my friends visiting has had a positive effect on my wellbeing. And seems like something changed in 2017. Sure, I've had friends visiting before, but all of my old friends are scattered here and there, all busy with their own lives so that they don't have time to visit so often. But last year I made new friends at Tampere, and there's like a whole sphere of friends. I often see them when I visit Tampere for music events or such. Also, I've myself learned more and more to relax in presence of other people, to really be myself. And I like the atmosphere this bunch of friends has around them. Last time they visited my yard was left with a snow horse one of the friends made. Now, every day I see the horse and it reminds me of the warmth and joy of friendship, and how good it is to surround oneself with beautiful, creative, silly or funny things (or preferably, all of these combined). And now as they asked if they can come to visit again, that sparked me with some extra energy to advance with the house renovation project, to make things more comfortable instead of just shivering and surviving.

In other news; Finnish Emma-awards were announced yesterday. (It's like the local equivalent of Grammy; a yearly gala to award achievements in music industry.) In addition to the ordinary "The album of the year" and "Best New Artist" etc. there also is a category "Critics' choice". The winner in that category was Litku Klemetti's album Juna Kainuuseen. A bit before the Emma awards Juna Kainuuseen hit the official top 40 chart of album sales in Finland - about a year after the album was released. Not bad for a band operating with their own small-scale DIY record label, practically with zero budget for promotion. In this case one can say that the band and the album have been gaining attention mainly because of the quality they deliver; not because of heavy marketing, not because of big distribution labels calculating to maximize their profits by selling what they think will sell the best. No, it is just a posse of indie musicians creating everything from composition to album covers with a shoe-string budget. As I might have said earlier, I don't care that much about charts and awards, for the very idea of ranking music feels a bit alien to me. But I totally loved Litku's reaction to winning the Emma award. In the band's facebook page saying like "If they liked us, they'll like you too. Let's have more indie bands appearing in TV and radio, getting more exposure for all the bands who are working for love of music, not for maximizing profit." So, instead of portraying her band as better than others, she wanted to share the publicity with the fellow indie bands. And when it is the Litku posse, this is not just mere talk, for they are going to do something themselves, too. Litku has said they're planning to start their own little talk-show and cultural program, probably to be aired in YouTube. So that they can interview the bands they like to interview, to play the music they want to play, and to do all of that away from the big polished studios of the mainstream stations - bringing the action down to the places where the indie bands feel themselves at home. It will be interesting to see how that will turn out!

Oh well =) Be it a snow horse standing on a private yard, or an album or a talkshow produced by an indie team, I think therein lies something essential; using your own hands to create something nice and beautiful.

A few days ago it was snowing
A few days ago it was snowing
but today was a sunny bright day.
but today was a sunny bright day.
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That's a nice hors' u got there in ya' yard friend =)


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