Tailored shirts

I never thought that I would buy custom tailored clothes. All my life I have submitted to the idea that I will never find clothes that actually fit. I am little bit shorter than an average man, and because I am pretty corpulent at the moment, it is really hard to find clothes that fit. They are either too long from the sleeves/legs or too tight. Either way, I have had to order my clothes from Mark & Spencer and other stores.

This changed when a friend of mine recommended a tailor. I had noticed earlier that he had pretty nice shirts with good quality fabrics. He seemed always stylish and classy, even though there wasn’t anything peacocky about him. When I talked about it, he said that he uses a tailor, so the clothes actually fit perfectly. It didn’t take much effort to lure me to try the tailor too.

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Why I stopped playing StarCraft 2

It pains me to say this, but I just suck in SC2. I love the game and all, but it is just so painful to play competitive game when you hit the physical and other limits.

Main reasons:

  • I just don’t have the time. Having a kid (and second one on the way) and a company to run takes just too much time for anything more than a 1 hour a day (and even that is a random thing). That amount of hours is never going to be enough in SC2, even in the gold league.
  • I am too old. It is a reality, that after 25 years physics just go downhill. And I don’t mean just muscles, metabolism, regeneration of cells and stuff. My reaction times are getting slower and slower, and sleep deprivation (see bullet point 1) just slows you down more. You just cant make it above the gold league without a reasonable APM.
  • SC2 just doesn’t feel fun. This one is hardest to explain. When I played StarCraft 1 with my buddies (ancient history), every game was very different. There were no progamer videos on YouTube (no YouTube!), no build orders on the internet (well, there was an internet, kinda). We just figured out how the stuff worked. Sometimes someone came up with a hilarious strategy, and he rotflstomped the rest of us. Now it is just hectic standard builds with proper responses and counter builds. I loved the SC2 beta, though. Everything was new, and you could actually explore new possibilities and strategies. Now everything is explored and figured out.
  • Retarded laddering mechanism. For example, in some competitive games there is a global rank, so everyone knows their exact rank compared to the rest of the world. It may seem discouraging at first, but it is way better than the SC2 division model. There is just no way of knowing how good you are compared to the rest of the community.
  • Guaranteed dose of losing 50 % of the games. WTF is that? I understand that the game algorithms are trying to match players about equal skill levels against each other. But consider this: who in their right mind would want to do sports, if the system would enforce you to always compete some random dude that has a 50 % chance of winning (chosen from the global pool of players)? On top of that, the matchmaking and ladder promotion system is obscured on purpose, so that there is no way of knowing why the opponent was chosen. I ended multiple times to play against diamond players when I was on bronze. So, even when my ”place” was in bronze, system matched me against wayyy better ranked players. It felt that the system decided that I needed to lose more. How fun is that?

My best rank ever on StarCraft 2 was Diamond league, division rank 2, and I am proud of that achievement. Above that, it would have been in Masters. I know that I will never going to achieve that (unless I just ignore my family totally or something). It makes me sad, but at the same time, I feel relieved. You see, after Masters, I would have wanted to climb to Grand Masters, and so on. And that would have been even more demanding and hard.

diamond2

StarCraft 2 is a highly competitive e-sport, and I just cant dedicate enough time and energy to achieve my goals. From now on, I will just play some easier games like the other old timers do (I tried Dota 2, which is a quite competitive too, but I don’t think that I will get too deep in that, either).

It was fun as long as it lasted. Awesome game overall.

Leica M8 experience, some additional thoughts

After using Leica M8 for a some time it is time for some additional thoughts.

  • It is nice to use. Rangefinder takes time to master, and most of the shots I take are crap. But those that doesn’t fail… well, they are very nice.
  • Leica M8 is a tank. Even DSLR’s seems bigger, they usually feel like plastic. Leica is like a hammer.
  • I hate the brick (charger). It’s cumbersome and fugly.
  • Leica M8 is a bit unstable sometimes. I have managed to crash it more than once.
  • It is too easy to switch the camera for self-timer or continuous shot.
  • I would hope that the rangefinder would be more brighter. Now it feels like watching through smoked glass.
  • I like the simplicity of the controls. It feels like I am in control. If I fail the shot, there is no one else to blame. :)

All and all, I love the Leica M8. I am pretty sure that I will buy some newer version as soon as I have the cash for it, but this will do until then.

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Above: my precious drool monster.

Leica M8 and Summicron 35mm f2.0

50785_model_huge_fb1d5c784b1Almost a year ago I bought a Fuji X100. I shot some pretty nice photos with it, and it has been a joy to use. But, I knew from the beginning that Fuji X100 was a substitute for the Leica.

So I bought one.

I bought the most affordable secondhand M body (M8) and a nice little 35mm Summicron f2.0 lens to go with it. I decided that I rather get a good lens than a best possible body. Lenses are more important anyway, and Leica lenses are pretty durable. This particular lens has been built 1985 and its awesome even now.

The good:

  • It’s Leica.
  • Colors are awesome (thanks to the Summicron 35mm, no doubt).
  • It’s easy simple to use. No predefined programs and gazillions of different knobs and buttons. You actually feel like you are in control.
  • True rangefinder. This isn’t everyones cup of tea. I like it, though.
  • Size. M8 in combination with a small 35mm lens is a way smaller than any DSLR camera combination I know of.

The bad:

  • M8 needs an IR filter. Luckily my Leica reseller had some affordable secondhand filters. See example image below.
  • Shutter noise is a bit loud.
  • LCD is horrendous. Chimping is for noobs anyway.
  • It’s expensive.
  • Friends wont talk to me anymore, because I just ramble about Leica.

Most of the issues that I have with M8 has been fixed on later revisions (M8.2, M9 and the M), but you have to pay some serious cash for those. I will upgrade the chassis later if/when I have the money for it.

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Top: image taken without an IR filter (Leica M8 with 35mm Summicron f2.0). The sofa is actually dark grey.

One of the most important things with the Leica M8 is the overall feeling of simplicity that comes with it. I wouldn’t call the feeling serenity, but it is close. For some reason shooting with Leica doesn’t feel so serious as with an DSLR.

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Professional photographers say that nearly all Leica lenses are perfect. Pictures are sharp as hell, even in low light.

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So far, Leica feels awesome. I just hope that the spring comes soon, this time of the year is damn dark in Finland.

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