Related products

As I’ve noted before, the Amazon recommendation engine frequently suggests rather surprising related purchases. Today I got this trio of books suggested:

The book that triggered these? The Buckley-class Destroyer Escorts. Possibly reading naval literature is a sign of decreasing mental faculties which may cause your partner to leave you, in which case you are reduced to public speaking as a source of income. Or something.


Anti-submarine warfare

Completely coincidentally, in these days of submarine anniversaries, I found the site Indicator Loops on Allied harbour protections against submarines. Apparently there was one of these just next to the grounding site at the time, one wonders if they are still around or if they have been dismantled.


Is this the little girl I carried?

The Only-Begotten Daughter and the Love of Her Life didn’t let go of each other’s hands and eyes from the moment the walked up the church aisle to their exit in a cloud of rose petals and soap bubbles. Their loving looks could have lit up the hall all by themselves. The couple had clearly spent the last year planning every smallest detail of the wedding, achieving the effortless smoothness of practice. The solo performance by one of their friends of “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her” was the idea of my daughter, I am convinced.

A bus was waiting outside to take all wedding guests to the manor in the city where the wedding dinner would be served. I realised Långholmen indeed is quite a long island. The wedding cake was eaten and then we were sent out on a quiz-walk in the brisk autumn afternoon while the dinner was laid out. Merrily picking choices we found that details of academic titles can be quite complicated (as if I didn’t know).

The dinner was served in a very church-like room, which however was the billiards and music hall of a previous owner. Each seat had been supplied with a leaflet giving brief but spot-on descriptions of all guests, so that everybody immediately could start conversations with unfamiliar faces. The catering staff had apparently memorised each person’s dietary requirements as they efficiently served the courses through the evening. We parents of the brides made our speeches during the entrée. I believe I managed reasonably well, but the heart-felt and witty speeches of their friends brought what tears had not yet been shed. That they both had retained so many of their childhood friends tells something of their loyalty and indeed at one point the OBD interrupted the proceedings to honour the birthday of one of these friends. The dinner ended with everybody lustily joining in in “Chiquitita”.

Another interlude during which the tables were cleared to open the dancefloor. The bridal waltz turned out to be “Graceland”, which I hadn’t realised was so danceable. My mother jitterbugged as if age didn’t matter, but eventually we took her home and went to sleep, letting the young folks dance on. The baton has now been passed to the next generation.


Ship spotters

Reading up on aircraft carriers, I ran into scores of codes indicating the convoys the carriers were protecting. I could distinguish certain patterns, but the full information is of course available at ConvoyWeb


The waterfall method

I have been to Hepoköngäs, which is one of the more easily accessible waterfalls in Finland.



Some advertising burns itself into my brain, while I remain totally ignorant of who is trying to sell what. One example is these two hilariously clueless gentlemen, whom I probably resemble more than I want to recognise.



Today the OBS absolved the public defence of his PhD thesis. My grandfather went to school because they served lunch, saving his mother a meal. My parents received secondary education. The OBS has been in education since preschool.

One of the professors in the grading committee I knew from when we were sprightly Young Scientists, with hair, in the 1980s. Already then we had set out on our respective research tracks. We’ll hang along for a little while, but the next generation is waiting to take over. And that is as it should be.