There’s barely any milk product that you can’t get lactose-free in Finland! We bought [pseudo-Emmentaler](http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/photos/v/holidays/tre2k6/CIMG3814.JPG.html) cheese yesterday, and there’s Gouda too, as well as all sorts of ice cream. Generally, most Valio products are [lactose-free](http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/photos/v/holidays/tre2k6/CIMG3806.JPG.html). Finland is like some sort of fairyland happy-place for lactose-intolerant people, only with considerably less fairies and more beer.
Happiness is me!
I’ve started putting my holiday pictures into [an album](http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/photos/v/holidays/tre2k6). No drunken Finns in any of them yet, but I do have some snapshots of the amazingly scarce resource that is Finnish woods!
Random trivia: Took about 3 hours by plane from Zürich to Helsinki, where I had a [salad](http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/photos/v/holidays/tre2k6/CIMG3717.JPG.html) with Jon. Later I found low-lactose cappucino at a [Robert’s Coffee](http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/photos/v/holidays/tre2k6/CIMG3721.JPG.html) at the Helsinki train station. Quite yummy! From there I took the train to Tampere, another 2 hours or so.
I think the next 200 or so pictures will be of 1. GameCube gaming sessions, 2. drunken people and 3. trees. So if you have a vivid enough imagination, you won’t even have to look at that album anymore 🙂
I’m jumping on the plane to Helsinki in a few hours, then it’s off to the Santa Fé restaurant for a plateful of dead bovine animal. After that, happy trian ride to Tampere!
And I’m taking the GameCube with me. With games. Mwahaha.
I’ve picked this up from a bargain bin because it was bestickered with good review ratings. It seems rather short (I’m 76% through the game after three not-so-long sessions), but I’m having a huge amount of fun.
It’s the successor to the spiritual successor to the successor to Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins. Everyone complained that the first part was too hard, so this sequel has a save function that’s accessible rather freely, more lives and less frustrating platform passages.
In essence, it’s like God of War, but with some substance instead of just graphics, and with less silly puzzles and dumb collision detection. You swing your sword, do your combos, slice through different enemy types and feel sort of oldschooly. Also, the music is surprisingly well made in some levels (am I hearing half an orchestra? Why, I am!) The story is totally forgettable, but that’s to be forgiven. At least you won’t have to endure hours of unskippable dialog.
Replay value? Not much, unless you want to get 100% on all items and all secrets in all levels.
I saw this on the American eBay site for USD 5 and on Germany’s for EUR 9, and it’s still in bargain bins here around that price. It’s an action-platformer that won’t require your undivided attention for several weeks but is still wholly satisfying. If you remember how games used to be and feel an urge to say “that, please, just more prettier”, give this one a spin.
I’ve asked Zweifel, the company that makes Switzerland’s most popular potato chips and snack products, whether they know how much lactose is in their food. Huge surprise: they know! Many companies don’t like to give you numbers, though, so I was very pleased to receive an e-mail from Zweifel/Pomy Chips’ Roland Zimmerli. He had gone and asked the specialists at Zweifel for their input, and they compiled a list of lactose percentage of *all* their products. Teh amaze!
I’ve [attached the list for all to see](http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/blog/files/Laktose_in_g_pro_100g_Fertigprodukt_05.07.061.ods). This won’t do you much good if you’re not in Switzerland, but if you’re a visiting lactose intolerant from a place such as “Foreign”, it might be helpful.
Yay for Zweifel!
Ai dschast ritörned from mai Sörtifikät of Profischänsi in Inglisch exäm. Ai sink ai did werry well! Ai prooft sät ai nou Inglisch a lot! But säif se kongretuleischns for Ogust, bikohs dät is wenn ai get se risults.
My [mirror of The GIA](http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/mirrors/thegia) is now complete, as far as anyone can tell. It’s not entirely my work, though. My old copy was only about 2 GB in size, but someone in the USA managed to track down an 8 GB copy and send me the files by snail mail on two DVDs. Thanks a lot 🙂
I’m currently trying to make .torrent files for it. If that’s successful, I hope to be able to offer the entire thing through Bittorrent soon. That’s *in addition* to the normal, web-accesible mirror of course.
Yay for the GIA!
Time (or is it TIME? They seem to insist. If so, what does the acronym stand for?) was given the honor of sending one of their writers to Kyoto to sample Nintendo’s Wii. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink.
Here’s Lev Grossman’s fairly interesting [Time.com article](http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1191861,00.html). While he’s a bit inaccurate with some of the more obscure details, I’m surprised to see an article of this depth in the mainstream press. I hope the plan is working out and this gets Nintendo where they want to be; I suppose this kind of coverage is all part of the Wii plan.
As [hinted at earlier](http://terror.snm-hgkz.ch/blog/articles/2006/03/10/hope-for-a-complete-gia-mirror), my GIA mirror might soon be complete thanks to the help of two people who between them own a copy of the entire site, on a bunch of DVDs 🙂
The discs are in the mail now, and I will post something as soon as they’ve had any impact on the mirror.
Coop is taking an active stance and has released (this week) several new lactose-free products. Among them:
– 3 different flavors of ice cream
– Cottage cheese
– Whole milk
– Skimmed milk
– Vanilla-flavored milk
– Chocolate-flavored milk
– Curd cheese
– Various yoghurts
This is great news for lactose intolerant people (including Asians and Africans of course) living in Switzerland! Coop has so far been very quiet in this sector, but Migros recently released a new line of soy-based products like puddings and chocolate drinks. This was a response to high demand from people on a vegan diet, but those with LI also profited from the move. That coop targets us specifically with this new line is fantastic. The products are made out of processed dairy milk, no soy involved (in case you’re worried about soy allergy).
Some small manufacturers, such as Breisgaumilch from Germany, already produce lactose-free cream for example, but that was a niche product only available in select stores in Germany. This is the first time such a product makes it to a Swiss mass-producer like Coop, who is present in nearly every larger town.
I will try some of the stuff to see if it tastes like mold or toothpaste or newspapers.
Source: A Coop employee posting at the [Libase.de forum](http://www.libase.de/thread.html?threadid=13270&boardid=14).