Archive for January, 2008

January 20th, 2008

Family weekends

As you can probably guess from my current update frequency, I’ve been busy for the whole beginning of the year. Fortunately in a good way. This year looks good for business.

While I’m busy at work, I try to focus on my family, too. Weekends have been safe havens that I try to keep uncluttered. There are certain things that spill over from the weekdays, usually web gigs. Also my hobbies include mostly computers, so Sanna can’t always tell whether I’m busy with work, hobby or wasting my time in front of computers.

Last weekend was really exceptional in the family perspective. First, I bought Super Mario Galaxy on my way home. And also on Friday, I got permission to buy a huge Lego Technic set for Aapo and myself — a black tow truck with pneumatics and tons of other cool features.

I spent the Friday evening building it, and continued early on Saturday — Aapo woke me up in order to get it ready as soon as possible. I spent six hours just building it, so I was pretty happy to see Aapo so joyful with his new toy.

We towed a ton of other cars and trucks during Saturday. When Aapo was sleeping, I played the game for a few hours while Sanna was watching it and talking with me. Aapo participated watching on Sunday, too. I couldn’t guess that a game console would bring family together in such a way.

Sunday was an active day, as we spent two hours in HopLop kid activity park. I escorted Aapo in all kinds of climbing area that looked like miniature scaffolding filled with kids. It has been designed for people under ten years, so sometimes I felt quite crammed there. But I had a lot of fun, too.

Both days were rainy, so no football playing this time.

This weekend Aapo has been sick and thus we have been mostly inside. The regimen has included Skype calls to grandparents, jigsaw puzzles and some Super Mario Galaxy — it’s getting quite hard and I’m only halfway through.

These shoes are made for walking

Camper, the Spanish shoemaker that focuses on both comfort and style, has opened its own boutique to Foorum shopping center in very central Tallinn. The shopping center is located a block from Viru Hotel, and thus is worth visiting for even in shorter trips in town.

Camper store in Tallinn, Estonia

The store itself is very similar to other Camper stores I’ve visited around the world. Shoes and boots are put on display on aesthetically pleasing way and you can see in one fast glance whether there is something worth trying for. The prices are also international, so this is not the cheapest shoe store in the town.

www.camper.com, Narva Mnt. 5 (in Foorum shopping gallery), Tallinn, Estonia, +372 6 640 437

A bit bland Italian

On Vene street in Tallinn old town, you can find Italian restaurant Toscana. We visited it on a sunny day and had a late lunch on its patio. The location is a couple blocks from the old town central square, so the atmosphere is less medieval and also less hectic.

Toscana in Tallinn old town

The menu looked excellent and authentic, but also a bit pricey. Our pastas were ok, but not magnificent and not value of the money — when compared to selected restaurants in same price level in Tallinn. I got an impression that all pasta dishes had the same base gravy, so you ended up eating tomato sauce whatever you ordered. Further, the dishes could have been bigger — on the other hand, maybe we should have eaten other courses instead of being cheapskates.

The service was nicer than in general in Tallinn, and the food arrived rather quickly.

Toscana (www.davincifood.ee), Vene 6, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 645 0045

January 6th, 2008

New year: looks busier than ever

The first week of year 2008 is almost over (writing this on non-lazy Sunday afternoon) and currently the year looks very promising, especially in the business front.

I’ve been very busy around Christmas and New Year for several years. This is due to being a partner in a couple of companies and also because the autumn semester ends. Christmas itself creates a separate burden for a father.

The current period has been busier than ever before; this is now the first time in about a month that I’ve been able to sit in front of my computer and focus on something not business related for longer than half an hour (now clocking 45 minutes and counting — Aapo just woke up, I can hear him from the upstairs — so this time is limited, too).

Being busy is a good sign, phones are still ringing and emails flowing. I’ve experienced the silence in 2001, when the telecom slowdown hit my employer. It is no fun, I can tell you. Hopefully the phones will continue to ring…

On personal side, we are going to have our second baby this month — so my spare time will be most probably limited to short sessions that probably take place in toilets (that seem to remain the only space that one can own completely for the period of visit).

These shoes are made for walking

Camper, the Spanish shoemaker that focuses on both comfort and style, has opened its own boutique to Foorum shopping center in very central Tallinn. The shopping center is located a block from Viru Hotel, and thus is worth visiting for even in shorter trips in town.

Camper store in Tallinn, Estonia

The store itself is very similar to other Camper stores I’ve visited around the world. Shoes and boots are put on display on aesthetically pleasing way and you can see in one fast glance whether there is something worth trying for. The prices are also international, so this is not the cheapest shoe store in the town.

www.camper.com, Narva Mnt. 5 (in Foorum shopping gallery), Tallinn, Estonia, +372 6 640 437

Estonian art

Kumu (Eesti Kunstimuuseum) is a recently opened biggish museum complex located in the outskirts of the city. Easiest way to get there is to take a taxi, just remember to negotiate the price beforehand or make sure that the taxi has a meter on. Walking is another option, the Kadriorg park is fun place especially during summer months.

Interiors of Kumu art museum in Tallinn

Designed by Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori, the museum both blends in and strikes out in the park. If you have some extra time, walk around the museum to see it from different sides — the experience changes all the time.

The permanent collections focus on Estonian art and most (if not all) artists are unknown to non-Estonians. The works of art are still a pleasure to watch, and one can see the international influences of various eras in the paintings. There is a separate Soviet Estonian collection that has striking contrast to the art before and after the Soviet rule.

The museum has a nice café that serves also small snacks.

www.ekm.ee, Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1, Tallinn, Estonia, +372 602 6000