As you may know, this kinds of talks from your boss rarely mean anything good. And this time did not make an exception. Or what do you think about lowering your salary by 30%, rising the rent of your apartment by 500 Euros a month, and doing voluntary work some evenings and weekends for your boss? How about that?
But was he kind when telling me this. He even told me that I'm hard working and that I do my work well, but we are talking about profit, we're talking about money and I should understand that. At the point when he started to realize that I'm not actually gonna swallow this deal he got angry and rolled a giant millstone over and over me again back and forth making it clear that without him I will suffer and end up in ditch and die poor and lonely.
I'm a self employed person, running a one man business with multiple sources of employment, so he can do that. This company I'm talking about was the biggies source of employment for me and very important. Even my home was apartment owned by that same company. But literally I was not in employment relationship to this company. So what can I say, maybe I was just little bit too much tied to it?
Well, shit happens. He can keep rolling his millstone over whoever he wants, he can yell and he can rage out, but I walked. I definitely walked.
So, I think I need a new job. And new home. But the next thing I need to do is pack my stuff. I feel that now I have a wonderful opportunity to get rid of all old stuff that I'll never have any use for. Actually, I was planning to do this, but not now, not yet. I was planning to go through this when I get on the ultimate road trip, so this came as a surprise and a tad before its time. But when writing this post, I have already started:)
When you start digging your old stuff, what do you expect to find? I found a ton of ultimately unusable things and ten tons of memories. And a steam engine, confederation flags and a cannon. Who wouldn't...? I decided to carefully pick up those things that actually have some precious meaning to me and save them for future "needs" and all the rest I'm gonna burn. I just can't dump them into garbage can. That would feel like dumping my own history into garbage can. Burning feels more ceremonial, ha ha :D While separating the things to be saved from those to be burned I photographed few things in order write about them here. Not sure if you guys are really interested about them, but maybe they tell a story about who and what kind of person Vallu the author is.
Cannons and the Confederation
You know, I'm Finnish. A Finland native to the bone. I have no roots nor relatives in the good old south, but if I have to chose either to fly the Confederation flag or Stars and stripes, I definitely pick the Confederation one. But my preference in this case is not tied to history or political views, but simply to the fact that Rock'n'roll subculture, an underground scene uses the Confederation flag as one of its emblems, a token. At least here in Europe. You can see them everywhere when there's the rockin' people around!
But maybe, just maybe, there is more to it. When I look at the Confederation flag, things like Robert E Lee, rights of sovereign states, Martin Luther King Jr. and individual freedom comes to my mind. When I look at the Stars and stripes, George W Bush, Wars, NSA and massive surveillance state penetrates my consciousness. Pick yours. Although I must admit that I definitely don't support any forms of slavery or segregation performed or protected by the machine, I think the southern states had right for secession and constitute the Confederate States of America. I believe they did what they believed to be the best possible solution for them at that time. The union sure did not like it and the crisis eventually led up to the civil war. But it is obvious that freeing the slaves and abolition of slavery was not a war goal in the first place, but was named as such in 1863, almost two years since beginning of the war. As if freeing slaves was not a war goal it didn't came as surprise that slaves were not freed during the war nor after it. In letters of law, yes, but in practice, no. Negroes were not equal to whites and segregation stayed alive.
The union did not fight for equality and like Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1963 "one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free", no equality was found. Negroes were not freed until they started to fight for their freedom on their own which eventually led up to both legal and moral liberation of the colored people in America.
It was not the Union to free the Negro, but the people to free the people. The Union betrayed the Negro just like it betrayed Indians in later times. War followed after another destroying native American population almost to the last man, nuking down two civilian cities in Japan without any real need to do so, but just because it's nice to some see some mass destruction once in awhile. Vietnam were destroyed and poisoned with bombs and chemicals and then in turn was some war in Afghanistan and Iraq and then some mass destruction in Manhattan, NY, which eventually led up to another war tour in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention Patriot Act. and insanely increased intelligence and surveillance both in America and abroad that badly violates our fundamental rights for privacy and individual freedom and jeopardizing all confidential information, including diplomatic correspondence and corporate secrets. And all in the name of freedom and democracy. Just few to mention.
I believe... Among many others, that slavery would have end in the Confederate States soon without the war anyways. Opinions were turning against slavery globally and even in the C.S were lots of people supporting abolition of slavery, including many powerful slave holders like Robert E Lee. We must remember that times were very different back then and value of humanity were not so highly respected in general, anywhere in the world, but times were a-changing rapidly. C.S economy relied mainly on exporting of agricultural products like cotton which were often produced using slave labor. Prompt and total abolition of slavery would have generate extreme and long lasting economic and social crises in the C.S. Just like it did after the civil war, for next one hundred years. But less than 10% of white population were slave holders, not too much to put the blame on all the Confederate whites...
Union's victory did not generate more freedom nor equality for most. I'd like to think that Southern States would have found much more peaceful and constructive way to abolition of slavery on their own. This is what I believe, I don't know if I'm right with that. But invasion of the Confederate States was in fact invasion of independent states, with their own declaration of independence, constitutional law, elected president and functioning government and own money, the Confederate Dollar. Civil war was nothing but inroad against sovereign nation. And for both sides it was a huge tragedy that no nation should go through. But the invaders did not stop there, but from ever since Union's history have been written in blood.
I believe in equality. But I don't believe it is something every women and man can be forced into. I believe it will arise from cooperation, knowing and understanding rather than artificial equalization that some call "positive discrimination" which is, if fact, nothing but another form of racial segregation. And will only widen the gap between groups and individuals. Nor do I believe equality means acceptance of everything. But Martin Luther King Jr's speech "I have a dream" definitely gives everyone something to think about. He dreamed about society of brotherhood among all.
That was that what I think about the Confederation and its flag. Maybe a tad off topic, but my honest personal views though. And I must admit that I love you american people. I've been to States many times and liked many things down there, I like the American atmosphere and the glorious (idea of) freedom, triple whopper and American music and, of course, the greatest automobiles ever rolled down the highways... You see, I don't like to divide thing to absolute bad and absolute good. There just happen to be two sides in a coin.
Sic semper tyrannis.
Oh yeah, the cannon! I made it in school secretly behind my teachers back :D I think I was 15 or so...
I've been told Punk is not dead. I've been told and I think I agree. Last summer I saw a person, probably a girl, perhaps a woman or something like that. She was wearing a black leather jacket with all kinds of provocative tokens and expression and metal rivets, spikes and chains. On her back was text "systeemi kusee" it is Finnish language meaning something like "the system is leaking " or "the system sucks". It being very true I found it funny too. Btw, I have noticed a funny phenomenon that people who most aggressive ways criticizes our government are often those who are most dependent on it. Alcoholics, junkies and unemployed left-wing radicals and anarchists whining pockets full of welfare checks, that the system is enslaved them. I don't know. Maybe I missed something.
Once upon a time I was dating a Punk girl. She never was my girlfriend de facto and that episode didn't change my life much. We were dating for about two weeks or so until she decided that she don't want anything more. Or anything at all. She was terribly wrong kind of person for me anyways, so breaking up was the only possible outcome for us.
It was a long time ago. I'm not sure how long, but over ten years ago. I forgot her quickly after we screwed up and haven't think about her ever since, but that punk girl I saw last summer reminded me about her. Some cable were connected in my head to some part of my memory where she apparently were still saved. I don't remember much of her. Not even her name or age. But I do remember how we met and how we broke up. I remember where she lived, the street and the house and that she was playing some instrument (probably guitar...) in some unknown basement punk band named Punky Lee.
When I was digging my old things I found a CD. I swear I didn't even know I have it or that she ever gave me this!! So, this is an album from Punky Lee, ominously named "my wrists". On the cover is a girl showing her insicioned wrists and dragging her past around her ankle. When I found the CD the cable were plugged in again, but I still don't remember her giving me this. Of course I had to put it in my CD-player to listen couple of songs. I listened all of them. What can I say... The whole album is backed with good ol' basement tone sound and teen angst smelling teenage sweat, menstrual blood and beer. Judging by the song names, I assume the language on the record to be English. Understanding the lyrics is impossible and even detecting the language used is mostly challenging. In a song named "Bateful mom" I can hear her singing "..No one never told me..." and that is pretty much all I can understand. But hey, this is punk! It was never meant to be understandable! Punk is not my thing, but I have heard worst music than this in my life. Entire production from a Finnish band called "Ultra bra", for example
I would rank "Bateful mom" as my favorite track on this album. But not because it has the only understandable sentence of this record in it, but because it also has recognizable melody :D
After some reminiscence, I ended up to a conclusion that I got this CD on 2003. I remember I was driving a flat black Dodge Aspen in those days and I remember where I was living when we were dating. It must have been 2003 :)
460 meters of music
So, I like the sound from LP's. But it being fragile and fairly impractical I haven't listened LP's for, what can I say, over ten years or so. When separating my stuff with my brother we found my good 'ol LP player inside one of the boxes. Along with a billion LP's that I used to listen to when I was a kid or young adult. My brother asked if we could play couple of songs, but I told my home stereos don't have LP interface in it. See, LP player need a RIAA equalizer to be connected on conventional "Line in" RCA socket. With out RIAA equalizer it won't do you no good. Most older amplifiers has it, but my "new" digital crap don't. Also, some LP player have it "build in", but my Pioneer from the stone age don't have it. No can do.
After about five seconds of disappointment I saw something surprising!! A RIAA equalizer was in the box! The one that I cannibalized from some junk stereos over twenty years ago!! Still there!! I think I was facing this same problem back then, long long time ago and finding the solution to be this "home brewed" Frankenstein of all RIAA equalizers. It is simply a piece of electronic circuit board that I cut off from some junk stereos board. With all necessary components and connection on it, I only had to solder on needed cables and provide 12vcd current feed, and ta-daa!! Let there be music and there was music. I build the gadget when I was not more than 15 years of age, probably less.
It was time to hear some real music from some real record format. We thought we will listen to one ore two tracks just to hear what it was alike back then. But it sounded surprisingly good and we kinda had to listen to one more and one more and one more and eventually we listened almost all my LP's :D I can tell you some, when you listen to LP's it is completely different experience from any digital format and remote. When you put the stylus on the record and the record start to spin... And you don't have a remote to skip or repeat you'll gonna listen to whole record from the first track to the last one, just like it was meant to be listened. They often have some certain theme or story or mood that is build from the songs following each others.
Here is a sample video what we listened. Wonderful, wonderful music in deed...
It's almost two o'clock in night, so this one is gonna be short... When I was a kid I liked everything old. I liked history and I was very interested about old time technology. ( I guess I have not changed much from those days...) Some of my interest were steam engines and locomotives and ships. I think did read at least a dozen different books about Titanic alone... Anyways, it was my birthday and I shopping (being dragged around town..., ha ha) with my mother when I saw this model steam engine. It was love at first sight. It was expensive and I really had to do my best to get my will through! But eventually I did. Thank mom:) If my memory serves me right, the price was 350Mk, Finnish mark and the year was '91. But I might be wrong about both...
I would take a video of this functioning model steam engine in work, but it uses a certain fuel what I don't have any left or even know where to buy these days... So... just pictures here...
That was that. Most of furniture I gave out for who ever needed em, my precious stuff is now packed in plastic boxes for storage and those that I felt to be too precious to throw into garbage can, but not precious enough to be saved, I decided to give them viking funerals and burn them.
Now I'm virtually homeless, unemployed and flat broke. Well, I don't worry because something is bound to come out, that is certain sure:) And I was gonna go through this anyways when leaving for the ultimate junk car road trip, but this happened a tad before it's time. But you never know, maybe this leads to something new and exciting! At leas I can say that there is one barrier less on my way to my dream, alea iacta est, the ultimate junk car road trip!!