Archive for August, 2001

left and right doesn’t cut it

Thursday, August 16th, 2001

I’ve thought about this a few times but not in a very focused way (as I think about most things) but it’s good to see a website actually deal with more than just the old “left wing-right wing” political ratings. Instead they’ve come up with The Political Compass where you can (anonymously) run through a questionnaire to find out where your political views lie. I turned out to be just between where they plotted the British politicians Tony Benn and Simon Hughes – economically slightly left, and more libertarian than authoritarian.

This all makes sense, especially here in America where the more right wing Republicans are highly authoritarian in issues like the death penalty, abortion (although sadly not gun control) and the slightly less right wing Democrats are more libertarian on the above issues, but again, not on gun control.

Anyway, the quiz is worth doing – as they explain in the FAQ section they deliberately didn’t put in a “don’t know” option as they wanted people to consider difficult issues. Makes you think.

maybe tomorrow

Thursday, August 16th, 2001

Darn, I meant to be up early to go to the gym this morning, but didn’t make it. I’ve been trying to get into the early morning thing lately, with some success – not only do I feel much more awake during the day, but with all the evening things I have going on it’s hard to schedule a decent time there. Plus it means I can eat before 8pm. So I walked in extra-fast, which should do it. I promise I’ll go tomorrow.

Tuesday night was good – we went to Paul and Claire’s to watch O Brother, Where Art Thou? which I hugely enjoyed, and Emma was able to let us know some info about the Homeric elements of it – she used to teach Classics (amongst other things, and when louts weren’t throwing chairs at her – grrr). We also went for the Tuesday night Domino’s Pizza two for one offer – marvellous.


Monday, August 13th, 2001

An excellent weekend, thanks for asking. Started off in lazy style with coffee and a muffin at Dunn Brothers, then up to the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market where lots of good things were very cheap. Em and I spent the next hour or so making tomato sauces, which are now filling our freezer – yum. In the afternoon we went to the Uptown cinema to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch which was a bit odd – excellent music and acting etc, but kind of like sitting through someone’s therapy session. But worth seeing, for the wigs if nothing else.

Sunday was fantastic – more perfect weather, and we went with our friends Paul and Claire (and their baby, Lauren) down to Northfield, Minnesota, which is a lovely wee college town. On the main street they have a British pub, the Contented Cow. Take a look at their list of beer! They had Old Speckled Hen on tap, which was like nectar. So we had a few happy hours in the sun with our beer, then went a couple of doors down the road for a yummy curry. Pretty much a perfect evening.


Monday, August 13th, 2001

OK, I’m sorry. You’ve probably noticed the extra ads at the top of this page. It’s a long story, but basically my old ISP has hiked its rates by 120%, so I’ve been casting around for new, reasonably priced deals. I happened to notice that are doing pretty cheap connections, so we’re trying that for now, although I’m not sure about the extra ads there too. Ads everywhere! Anyway, I’ve also had to move this site to a free space provider – now at (although will automatically forward you, as I’m sure you’ve already noticed). I must say I’m pretty impressed – free 50Mb of space, and it’s fast and easy. So I hope the ads won’t get in your way too much and you’ll be able to continue enjoying or otherwise my site.

very little to add to this

Friday, August 10th, 2001

Couple Dies Off Florida Keys in Sex-Plane Hijack except that it’s an incredible country where you have to use an excuse like that to disguise the fact that you want to go to Cuba. Or indeed that you might want to work as a pilot on one of those planes. Marvellous.

she did it

Friday, August 10th, 2001

There’s no going back now, Emma had her long-awaited appointment to get a tattoo yesterday! Two butterflies at the top of her arm. I must admit I wasn’t sure about whether I’d like it or not, but it does look good. Pictures will follow – watch this space.

certainly not planning to do this

Thursday, August 9th, 2001

I solemnly swear that no matter how involved in keeping this weblog I get, I will never cut off my feet online or otherwise.

vacation … as if

Wednesday, August 8th, 2001

Emma got a phone call last night (while I was out) from a telemarketer who asked to speak to me. Em said that I was out, but offered to take a message, being polite and everything, so the telemarketer asked to speak to my wife. Repressing the urge to say, “who the hell do you think I am?” Emma continued to be polite and said that it was indeed her (for it was she). The marketer asked whether we are interested in vacations in Wisconsin, which Em silenced with “I’m sorry, but we’re vacationing in Europe this year”. La-di-dah, but judging by the silence on the other end, pretty effective.

Sigur Rós

Tuesday, August 7th, 2001

Excellent news – I saw in Rolling Stone yesterday that Sigur Rós are coming to Minneapolis in September, so first thing today I tried to get tickets. It turns out they’re playing in the Women’s Club of Minneapolis, which is a small venue just a couple of blocks from our house – very handy. Ticketmaster of course charges extortionate fees on top of the ticket prices, but I managed to avoid them by going direct to the box office – I’m so thrifty. It’s good that I got in when I did, as they’re pretty much sold out. I also found out that Yes are playing in town tonight! I used to love them when I was younger, and have seen them a couple of times. They did have some tickets going, excellent seats too, but at 75 bucks a pop it was good to have the excuse that I’m actually busy tonight.

What else? Continuing mad heat – two record highs in a row. I think it was a bit less humid last night which meant I got a good night’s sleep and was refreshed enough to get to the gym before work, which felt really good. The forecast says there are just a couple of days of this to go – I really hope it’s true.

heat and babies

Saturday, August 4th, 2001

Guess what? Still baking hot here. The heat is unrelenting, and more on tap for tomorrow, so we’re spending a lot of time indoors with the air conditioning up to full. I believe things are going to cool off a bit next week but maybe not for long. This also must be getting boring to read about.

This morning Em and I wandered over to Dunn Brothers for coffee as we often do of a Saturday morning, it’s a very nice way to ease into the weekend. Then a quick zoom around Loring Park as there’s a small art fair there today. Some nice paintings, photos and sculpture etc but nothing that really rang our bell – apart from anything else it was too hot to think about buying things, plus we’re getting a bit heavy on pictures in our apartment of late, as we’ve had a lot of things as gifts. There’s a huge art fair going on in Uptown, but the thought of being there in the heat and crowds doesn’t appeal.

This afternoon we went to see our friends George and Ruth whose son Joshua is one year old. There were a bunch of us out in their garden, in true British style being far too hot but just getting on with it. Joshua’s a great kid though, and it was nice to be there for them. Tonight Paul and Claire are coming over for barbecue with their daughter Lauren, who must be 7 months old by now. Babytastic. I did bake some bread to be rolls for the barbecued things, but it didn’t come out quite as I imagined (although exactly as Emma imagined) – a bit too solid to use as burger buns. Still, it’ll be good with soup or something tomorrow.