We are planning on going to northern Finland for the first week of August. Yesterday, we spent a few hours trying to hunt down an inexpensive rental car with air-conditioning — yes, you may need it even in Finnish summer.
Everybody seemed to be fully booked. Rental agencies have rented out everything and the gas stations providing rental service have zilch. The reason seems to be a rally race in Jyväskylä during the first full weeked in August.
Update Sep 7th: check out Recent and repeat visitors in ShortStat for even more additional functionality.
I recently installed latest version of ShortStat from Shaun Inman, www.shauninman.com.
The system is nice, but you can always improve. There were a few things that bugged me: no monthly stats, no information about unique hits in weekly stats, funny order of modules in the stats page and too much information in the browser section. The modules were easy to reorder to get the most useful information at the first glance:
- Hits: All, this month, today, last week
- Recent referrers and Repeat referrers
- Resources and Search Strings
- Countries and Languages
- Browsers and Platforms
The next step was to hide the browser versions. Shortstat v0.34b had something along these lines, but it still showed the version. I decided to write a new function, SI_getSimpleBrowsers() and use it instead of SI_getBrowsers() in index.php. Worked like a charm.
The unique hits for weeks were quite easy. I copied the current week stats function and renamed it to SI_getUniqueWeeksHits(), added one column to the table and one counter in the query. That’s it.
The last, but not the least, task was adding monthly counter. I wrote four functions for getting total and unique hits for the current and the previous month. The exercise was easy after figuring out the proper PHP functions to calculate the first day of the current month as UNIX timestamp. Unfortunately I have data for this month only, so I’m only 99% sure about its validity.
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As said last week, we visited Stockholm during the weekend. We rented Smart ForFour from Helsinki and drove the king’s road to Tammisaari. We visited Raasepori castle ruins — I didn’t know that there have been a castle in Uusimaa — and thus we had to ditch plans to visit Hanko. Maybe next summer, with a boat trip to the tallest lighthouse in Scandinavia.
King’s road was a scenic route, lot of bends and a few Swedish speaking villages. The Raasepori castle seems to be located in the middle of nowhere, the sign just popped up and we decided to visit the castle.
The castle was built on 14th century and it was abandoned on 16th century. It was left alone for a long period and now it has been restored to some extent. Nobody really knows how the castle should look like, so no further restorations are done.
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I’ll be visiting Helsinki for half a day, in transit between London and Stockholm… The trip in London was nice, except that the reception in Strand Palace was sloppy and I could only visit GAP before the shops were closed. Fortunately found good pair of jeans from the first store. From some reason I don’t seem to find clothes from Helsinki anymore. Maybe I have grown too classy for my own good…
I slept one night in my own bed before heading to Turku and then onwards to Stockholm. The travel agenda is quite packed: First we rent a Smart ForFour (from AVIS), head to Hanko through a semi-scenic route, check the city and then continue the journey to Turku. Then we’ll spend a couple of hours in Turku with lil’sister and then head with her and her husband to Stockholm on Silja’s boat. The boat sails across the gulf during the night, we have a few frantic moments of shopping and lounging before dosing off.
Agenda in Stockholm is not fixed, but at least we’ll visit Moderna Museet, and do some half-serious shopping. We try to find a trendy, but inexpensive restaurant before going back to the ship. Back in Finland, we’ll drive to see Sanna’s brother and their ‘mansion’. Though, but fun.
After this trip we’ll have two weeks pause from travelling, and then we are on the road again.
I didn’t remember how bad airplane food can be at its worst. Finnair scored full minus points with a minced meat steak and potato cubes that didn’t taste much anything and looked disgusting. On the side note, Guardian readers have voted Finnair the best short-haul carrier. This may be due to the infamous English kitchen.
This reminded me of our flight from Caribbean to Paris with Air France. The food and the service were both outrageously bad, and I had just read from Air France inflight magazine that they are herald of French cuisine… Yeah, right! I was so furious that I decided to write a complaint to Air France, but the food trays were not collected for two hours, and thus I couldn’t take my laptop from my bag that was stowed under the seat. When they were finally picked up, I didn’t have anymore enough steam for writing the letter. Most probably they wouldn’t ever answered the letter anyhow.
I’ll be visiting London for a day, leaving today at 16.00 — just enough to do some basic shopping today evening, have a good meal in certain Japanese restaurant (or go to Burger King, as we don’t have them here in Finland — how lame is that?), and spend tomorrow with business matters. Flying back tomorrow on the last plane, landing Helsinki at 23.00.
As said last week, we took a scenic route when coming back from Northern Carelia to Helsinki. The world’s largest wooden church was near the route, and we had a short glance. I and my lil’sister have been there before as kids, but I had totally forgotten how huge the church is.
Note the size of people at the bottom of the image and compare them to the church… The church can accomodate 3,000 people sitting and 2,000 standing.
I don’t have any decent pictures inside the church, as there were weddings going on and I didn’t want to disturb them too much.
After visiting the church, we drove one of the most beautiful routes in Finland, over the ridge in Punkaharju. The views are partially calm and partially breath-taking, but unfortunately not very photogenic, due to amount of trees. So no pictures there.
I just got back from another trip to Northern Carelia. Good weather, good people, good food — life is good.
I learned how to make glowfried salmon, a true Finnish delicacy. With no practice at all, I had to make seven of those… My mom’s cousins were having a get-together, and I was charge for the main course. Fortunately everything went fine and the salmon was delicious.
The recipe is simple: take fillet of salmon, soak it into salty water (use sea salt) for a couple of hours, nail the fillet onto alder plank with wooden nails, and let it stand next to fire for two to three hours, until it’s nice and tender.
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