Food and Deserts

(Posted August 2011) Just to revisit the entire reason and purpose of this blog. To aid me in my job search. This blog came into existence in part due to a frustrating, unending job search that has brought me to Finland. In my mind I feel I am qualified. I mean, if I could handle…

Finnish course over, Dentist appointment, Door locked.

(Originally posted August 2011) I took my final exam today. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, yet I’ll be surprised to learn what my score turns out to be tomorrow. The Finnish course turned out a bit tiring, but in the end my basic knowledge has greatly improved. If I had…

Taking a Page from my Brother

Being told 1 in 20 students in Helsinki manage to grab a job during their studies is a bit disconcerting. Knowing the current job market in Finland is not much different then the rest of this world, I’ve decided to start experimenting with the sale of Finnish goods over international waters. My brother did something…

Settling in

(Posted July 2011) Anyway, I’ve been here for a couple weeks now settling in, taking care of practical matters, paying bills, etc. I haven’t been overwhelmed nor bored. A nice balance. I couldn’t imagine what it might be like to do all this if I were to arrive right before the beginning of classes. Right…

State Department: FSS

Search “Foreign Specialist blog” and this guy is the first to pop-up.A lot of good insight is provided for anyone who is thinking of joining the Foreign Service. My interview with the State Department was actually my first “real” interview. You know the kind with a suit, a tie, nice shoes and all those fancy…

Around Helsinki for the First Time

(Posted July 2011) I’ve been around for about four days now. It’s been exhausting,but very nice. Just taking care of all practical maters. payed all my accounts, signed my apartment contract, turned in enrollment paperwork, and met with an old friend. I was bit disappointing with the apartment I received from HOAS (the student housing…

Kentucky

Originally posted June 2011 Leaving from Santiago, Chile Staying in Kentucky for a one week lay over. Who knows when will be the next time I’ll be back around these parts? (I would take another visit five years later in 2016)

Back online!

As mentioned, I am posting old posts from an old dead site. This was posted May 2011 After having trouble with Movistar, we decided to see what CTR had to offer us. We called their offices on a Monday, and by Wednesday a sales executive was here in person. She explained the entire process very…

Getting an education

So. The list goes on. Accepted to the Universities of Helsinki, Oulu, Jyvaskyla, Tampere and Vaasa. After visiting each of these Universities during the past winter and even haven spoken to a few programme coordinators, this was not an easy decision. The opportunity to study in Russia via the University of Helsinki’s Cross-Border University programme…

Waiting for the day I become a Tourist

Posted back in May of 2011 “Can I ask you a very personal question… how do you afford to travel?” In the Americas any discussion on personal finances is often considered a quite sensitive matter. Personally I’m of the opinion that wages and benefits should be publicly known, at least among employees in order to…

No service from Movistar

Originally posted May 2011. Spanish version below (Version en Español). Movistar, formerly Telefonica, is one of the largest residential telecommunication companies in Chile. Here in Carahue they have been for some time the only provider of broadband internet to the region. Being a generally rural and impoverished area, it is clear that economically we have…

Finland, Expensive?

Originally posted May 2011. Pricing may be out of date. Finland has introduced tuition fees for foreign students since, as well as tuition in the US rising. Looking online, reading through forums, and hearing stories, Finland sounds like the most expensive country to live in. With people warning that a single year of studies can…

A little closer

As mentioned, I’ve been transferring some old content and posts to my new site. Originally posted way back in may 2011.   It was a good feeling, to already be accepted to all but one of the dozens of Finnish universities I had applied to. I made my choice, and would be looking forward to at…

Return to Chile

Originally posted from March to June 2011 Flying from Santiago to Temuco you get this view of the Andes Mountains. This is the small town of Carahue in Southern Chile, where I would stay while waiting on my Finnish University applications. Panoramic shot I took of Puerto Saavedra. The sea is never far in Chile….

Making low end computer systems work

While looking through old files I found this little post I started writing about a decade ago. I’ve decided to revisit and complete it, if for nothing else than for the sake of documentation. It briefly revisits the technical challenge I had putting together and donating old hardware in rural Chile. The Start Way back…

Unlocking the Nextar GPS W3G-01

Many years ago I had picked up a cheap Nextar GPS. The included software was pretty bad, and in search for a better solution I figured out how to install custom software on the device. This use to be by far the most popular page on my old site. At this point many sites have…

European Job Seeker: Goodbye EU – part VI

Time passed by and my 90 day limit was coming to an end. I would take one last trip to Finland before heading to Chile. What a long flight. London New York and finally… Chile! At least here I don’t need a Visa to work legally, nor can I overstay 😉 . So now what?…

European Job Seeker: Hungary – part V

Finland is expensive. I could no longer afford to stay around. As my situation changed I headed on the next 8€ flight to Hungary. I was not able to land a single interview here, but time was not wasted. I still took time to visit old friends throughout the country. At 2€ a night, I…

European Job Seeker: Finland – part IV

The job interviews I experienced in Finland were some of the nicest I experienced in Europe. Very friendly, easy going and practical. Yet my Finnish language skills leave much to be desired, leaving me short of the competition. At this point I was in the midst of the Finnish winter and had decided to travel…

European Jobseeker: Netherlands – part III

I’m sitting in the Netherlands making the same calls, and oh, what’s this? An interview. With that I relaxed a bit, held off on the e-mails, stopped calling and took it a little easy. Did the interview, felt good about it, and stopped in Utrecht for dinner with an old friend. I did feel that…

European Job Seeker: Ireland

Continued from the previous post. Within a week I was in Dublin. Searching for a job in Ireland during a time of economic hardship. I already knew the near impossible outcome of such pursuit. As they say, if you don’t try you get nothing. That is for sure. I have to say, my friends here…

A Job Seeking Tour Through Europe – part I

As mentioned in the previous post I’d be bringing back old posts from an old website. This starts off my story of how I would ultimately make Finland home. This story starts back in December of 2015. What am I doing here? Well, back in Finland a friend I was staying with suggested I start…

Bringing back the old

I’ve been working on recovering posts from my old website. The upcoming posts will be a look at the past. The first post had been this photo I had taken of a praying mantis.

Cheating at Groceries

So, every couple of weeks I post on here a bi-monthly shopping trip that amounts to two weeks of food for two at 50€ a person. The idea is just to see how this budget progresses through the year. Personally,  I’ve noticed improvement in the quality and nutrition of goods we get every month. But…

Penny Auctions Target Elderly and Disabled

Penny Auctions sites are unfairly targeting the most vulnerable in our society. Penny Auctions, although not classified as gambling, share many similarities. The addictive nature of landing the one chance to “win” an item at all costs leads many to overpay bigtime. There are many penny sites out there (DealDash, BidFun, Madbid, Quibid, beesid, etc.)…

Another round of two for two under a hundred

This time I sloppily separated the image into categories in paint. I had received a couple comments asking where’s the meat? With one vegan there is bound to be less, but without a doubt it’s still there. Fish sticks are probably not best meat around, but for a euro it’s junk food I can live…

Why LinkedIn Profile Photos are Controversial

(Article Posted for LinkedIn) Your LinkedIn Profile You’re likely reading this on LinkedIn.  If so, I would have to guess you have built a profile for yourself. With that profile I am almost sure it is accompanied by a profile photo.  It’s that first impression you use to convey to others who you are. It…

Passport Renewal: A Decade of Travel

It’s been a decade, which means it’s time to renew a couple of passports. The US embassy in Finland seems to be in a bit of a slight time warp. Their mail-in application for passport renewal requires a check. Yes, that’s right, a bank check for payment. A relic of the past, no different than…

Yet again. 2 for 2 under 100

Keeping the posts going, albeit a bit late, here is the latest two weeks for two people under 100€. This time around we managed to fit in a bit of ice cream for dessert, pears, sweet potatoes, mushroom sauce and some spices and sesame paste for adding some flavour to our food.

Nociception: The sense of pain

This is the last video on my intro to haptics series. In relation to haptics, it’s unlikely we will see pain anywhere in the near future. Yet it can have its useful uses. For example. light pinch to remind you of an important date.  Hope you learned something. Next up, who knows. Maybe one of…

Another two weeks of food

With left over ingredients from the last two weeks we came under budget this time around at a total of about 90€. These posts are to show off what 50€ per person (100€ for two) gets you for a two week period in Finland. At some point I was planning to add recipes, but I…

A look behind Finland’s job market

six-weeks vacation, decent working hours, and a stress free work environment Finland has created sounds great right? Unfortunately, the reality has become quite different. Unpaid overtime, extended work weeks, and never ending trial periods are a recent and growing phenomenon in Finland. Before coming to Finland I had a decent degree and some work experience…

Haptics: Understanding the Senses of Touch

I’ve been working on converting the following text I have written into video: Intro to Haptics: youtu.be/9FifA6rSkyg Thermoception: youtu.be/pi3jgGcFD24 Mechanoreception: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj0XMJAGs_U Nocioception: Coming soon From mobile phones, video game consoles and personal computers, users are interacting with a multitude of interactive technologies on a daily basis. Interaction through touch is what we call haptics. Most of us likely…

Pancake dinner: Planning an Event

I have always enjoyed participating and organizing events wherever I’ve been. Back in Kentucky I had organized computer equipment donations throughout the region, and video-gaming activities for youth. In Chile I use to dress up as Santa to hand out gifts, and in 2010 when the earthquake hit, I provided network assistance wherever I could…

Wire your Network, Secure your Wi-Fi

It’s not unheard of for a family home to have a dozen networked devices. Home networking devices have been around as long as I can remember, as a kid I remember setting up a caching proxy server in order to share a slow dial-up connection. These days it is easier than ever to take advantage…

Finland Shuts Down: The Power of Unions.

Old article I wrote about the power of Unions in Finland: This Friday Finland will essentially shutdown. Flight traffic will stop, trains will no longer run, buses won’t be an option, the metro will stand still, and even the harbor will be on strike. Furthermore, Police and emergency services will run on minimal personnel, many…

Why is owning a car cheaper than public transportation? (Helsinki)

In any city that is trying to ensure quality air, reduced noise pollution, and alleviate heavy traffic, public transportation is part of the solution to these problems. Not too long ago a plan was proposed to eliminate traffic in the city center of Helsinki within ten years. Public transportation in the Helsinki region is very…