Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Rubber Boots

An impulse buy the other day. The Finnish rainy season (some call it summer) is approaching and I figured that a new pair of rubber boots would come in handy. I decided to purchase a pair of Nokian Hai in dark blue.

Nokian Footwear has been manufacturing rubber boots since 1898.

This makes my second pair of Nokian boots. I have another pair that I wear when fishing and gardening.

The Kontio Classic first came on the market in 1973. Like all Nokian boots, they are made of natural rubber.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

one more cup of coffee

This is an older painting, dated 2000. The subject is my brother with coffee and cherry pie.

one more cup of coffee
acrylic on masonite
private collection

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Finnish Assimilation Lesson #4

If you want to assimilate yourself into a new culture, one of the first steps you should take involves submerging yourself in the music of the target culture. Even if you don't understand the lyrics, listen. This exercise will give you a cultural reference point and assist you in your task. The desire to fully understand a particular song can give you a subliminal reason to do a little extra language study. You will learn something without even realizing it.

Paratiisin Pojat consists of J. Karjalainen and Veli-Matti Järvinen. They explore the possibilities of Finnish-American folk and blues.

This particular song is Hieno Mies Albertti (Albertti-A Fine Man). The Paratiisin Pojat (Paradise Boys) will be playing at Tanssisali Lutakko in Jyväskylä, next week, Wednesday.25.February. By the way, its a free show.

Singer-songwriter Ville Leinonen performing his version of Oravanlaulu (The Song of the Squirrel). Tuomas Luukkonen-one of Finland's greatest living guitar players is handling the harmonica work in this performance.

The text is from the Aleksis Kivi novel Seven Brothers. Ville will be performing at Baari Vakiopaine in Jyväskylä on the 3rd of April. Tickets go for 5 €.

The music of Leevi and the Leavings is a neccessary part of any attempt at assimilation into the culture of Finland.

Gösta Sundqvist, songwriter and vocalist for the band avoided the public eye, and although Leeving and the Leavings never performed before a live audience, they have earned a place at the top of the Finnish music heap. The song in the video is titled Pohjoisen Taivaan Alla (Under the Northern Sky).

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

tarja halonen

Just found this photo of a painting that I did a few years back of Tarja Halonen, who is the current president of Finland.

Tarja Halonen
acrylic and paper on canvas
Private Collection

Monday, March 16, 2009


My lovely wife came home from the market a few days ago with a particularly tasty treat: ryynimakkara - a type of sausage. Ryynimakkara is different from other sausages in that one of its ingredients is oat groats, placing it in the same food group as haggis. It is also related to black pudding.

Ryynimakkara is best served with lingonberry preserves.
The sausage in this photo was produced by Makuliha Oy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

La Rhumerie

Founded in 1932 by Joseph Louville and operated today by his descendants, La Rhumerie, located at 166 Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris is a great place for lunch.

Get there a little bit later than everyone else and avoid the rush if you don't like crowds, this place can be packed.

I had L'Assiete Antillaise. A nicely spiced blood sausage (boudin créole), some super-tasty fish cakes made from salted cod (accras de morue), achard des légumes-a mix of pickled vegetables, féroce-a blend of avocado, salted cod, and manioc,crab stuffing (farci de crabe), and something refered to as "flaked white fish delicacy" (chiquetaille de poisson).

The service was warm and friendly, the atmosphere relaxing, with big window views of Boulevard Saint-Germain passing by.

Apparently this place is pretty well known for its Jazz shows in the evenings. I didn't have a chance to check this rumor our though...