Archive for October, 2001

america expects

Friday, October 5th, 2001

It’s a strange thing that after the September 11 attacks we (American citizens and residents) are being encouraged by the government to live it up as much as possible. I knew that during the World Wars Britain had to become a very frugal place, and there’s a second-hand bookstore along the road from work where they have American WWII posters with similar messages – save food, cycle rather than drive, grow your own veggies etc. But it’s all very different now, we’re being encouraged to spend on travel and consumer goods, and invest in American stocks. Emma and I are doing our best at both of the above (while making sure we also have decent savings, of course).

first snow!

Friday, October 5th, 2001

It seems like only a few weeks ago I was writing about the temperature being in the 90s, and combining with humidity to give a heat index of over 115. How things change. This morning saw subfreezing temperatures, and the first snow of the season, on the Canadian border. Brrrrr.

A Man Who Pricked His

Thursday, October 4th, 2001

Tomorrow sees the awarding of the Ig Nobel Prizes. You can see a list of past winners here

so many things

Thursday, October 4th, 2001

I just don’t know how to introduce this story. It has it all – piercing mating calls, caffeine spray, and frogs being compared to lawnmowers. Read it yourself: Federal government approves use of caffeine to combat noisy frog problem in Hawaii


Wednesday, October 3rd, 2001

I upgraded my home machine to Windows 2000 on Monday night – it (the PC) is two and a half years old now, and had been on Win98. All generally fine, and I suppose it had done quite well – I’d never had to reformat the drive or reinstall the OS. However, lately things have been crashing more than usual, especially Hotmail for some reason (Emma thinks that the computer is jealous of her and hates her). So it was time for a change.

I have to say I’m very impressed so far. At work I had the same upgrade done a couple of months ago – I guess I use quite intensive applications here, and 98 was crashing four or five times a day which was not good. Since getting Win2000 it hasn’t crashed once which is excellent. However I was nervous about running the upgrade myself at home, with no access to a helpdesk. But it all went well on the whole. I liked that it produced a report saying what may cause problems, and then told me that it would do its thing for 70 minutes, so I could go and cook dinner. It’s also running much better, faster and stabler than before, especially using MS Money. I think even Emma likes it more. However I should have read the report more closely – there are a couple of things which it said may be a problem and should be uninstalled under Win98 before upgrading which sure enough are not working right now and I can’t get rid of them. Me and my impatience. If anyone’s reading this and knows how to uninstall in these kinds of situations, let me know.

the weekend

Monday, October 1st, 2001

We had a very nice weekend. Friday night we toddled along to the Women’s Club of Minneapolis to see Sigur R�s who were excellent. Very atmospheric, excellently played music. The audience were very polite while they were playing, and gave a great ovation at the end, which was good to see as it’s not the most accessible music ever. High points were the sound of the guitar – tons of reverb and when it was played with a violin bow it just sounded incredible with all the resonance and harmonics. Potential for being very prog rock, but I think they pulled it off and managed to stay cool.

The weather on Saturday was wonderful – after a couple of hours for coffee with our friend Hans we ran some errands, and then had a really nice walk around Lake of the Isles. It’s nice that it’s still sunny even though it’s now Fall. We also made the most of the weather on Sunday, when a few of us came downtown for lunch and sat outsite The Local for a couple of pints.