Archive for April, 2002


Friday, April 26th, 2002

Listening to music at work, I am willing to declare that the song Soma from The Strokes’ CD Is This It? is one of the most perfect guitar rock songs ever recorded. Great use of two complementary guitar tracks, not to mention the use of silence in the bass part. Just wonderful.


Wednesday, April 24th, 2002

I think I slept really well last night (from about 10:30 till 7 this morning) but I’m quite tired. Two reasons: one being that I was at the gym yesterday morning and it always seems to require more sleep to get over. Secondly I had tons of really vivid dreams all night, which left me feeling like I’d been through the wringer. Nothing coffee can’t fix though.

in the lab

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2002

Working on a big project at work right now – there are a bunch of us in a lab. It’s good – a bit more intense than being at a desk as there are people all around all the time. But there’s a good atmosphere, and I’m finding that I’m getting a lot done.

Another couple of good bonuses are that there’s more natural light here, and also that I have a nice IBM machine – 1.5GHz P4 with 523,568 KB RAM (it says here). And the flat screen monitor is excellent, much easier on the eyes.


Monday, April 22nd, 2002

We had an excellent weekend. Friday night we went out with a couple of friends after work. On Saturday morning we came into town for coffee, and to take advantage of our favorite wine shop, Haskells, as they were having their annual Nickel Sale. You buy one bottle of wine and get a second bottle for 5 cents. We got about 20 bottles of good things for ourselves, mostly nothing too fancy but a couple of more expensive things, and also a couple of cases of champagne for a party we’re planning. Our thinking being that it’s not going to go bad, and we’re going to drink it anyway – spending money to save money.

Then on Saturday night we went to see the Beta Band at the Quest in downtown Minneapolis. Excellent band, excellent show – much smarter and more musical than most groups around, and cool images and videos running at the same time. As it was an early show, starting at 7ish, we went for excellent pizza afterwards.

Sunday was snow, as mentioned in another post, so a good day to do a little grocery shopping and housework. We ended the weekend with a delicious meal and of course a bottle of wine.


Monday, April 22nd, 2002

Well, the weather outside was frightful yesterday (sorry, I don’t want this to be a weather blog, but it was a big deal to get 6.2 inches of snow after all the hot weather earlier in the week). I was complaining about it at choir yesterday morning in earshot of one of the altos. She’s a very nice Chinese lady who has lived in the US for a few decades now. She told me:

April showers bring May flowers.
April snow brings June toad.

At least I think that’s what she said.


Thursday, April 18th, 2002

I just had a bite of lunch – a sesame seed covered bagel with cheese and smoked turkey. Very tasty, but it raised two questions about the seeds:

1) Why can’t they get the sesame seeds to stick to the bagel? The floor under my seat is now littered with seeds.

2) Where do sesame seeds come from? If my desk happened to be over a patch of earth and the sesame seeds grew, what would they grow into? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sesame plant or sesame flowers. If you know, please leave a comment at the end of this post.

the problem with warmer weather

Thursday, April 18th, 2002

There’s suddenly a profusion of guys around the office (and out in the street) wearing gray polo shirts. I’m not sure why this is the new thing – a couple of years ago I suppose it was khakis and blue shirts – but there are tons of them around. There are at least two main problems: firstly they’re all a pretty vile shade of dark gray, sometimes with black pinstripes, that look like they’re either about to be heavily sweat-stained or already have been. Secondly most of the guys who wear them have large paunches, so you can see their belly buttons, especially as all the people who wear these have the shirts tucked in.

Oh yes, and most of the shirts have golf logos on them, and I hate golf.

Rant over. For now.

hooray for where we live

Thursday, April 18th, 2002

Emma and I sometimes talk about if/when we might buy a house, but this report from The Onion helps to make me comfortable with our apartment-renting downtown existence. Suburbs – yeuch.


Wednesday, April 17th, 2002

Although I’d really like not to have to rely on a car at all, it’s kind of impossible here in Minneapolis. So I may as well have something nice. When I moved here I got a Saturn which is decent enough but was a bit of a change from my MG in the UK.

We paid off the car loan just last month, and are beginning to look at new things. Emma’s keen to have something higher off the road than a regular car (especially as there are so many huge trucks around) so we’ve been looking at a few over the last couple of weeks. A couple have been real disappointments, like the Toyota RAV4 (lovely design, rubbish engine) and the Mazda Tribute (too truck-like and uncomfortable). To our surprise, the one currently on top is also a Saturn – their new VUE SUV. We tried out the V6 on Saturday and it was excellent, very comfortable and smooth ride, felt safe and was big but not too big. Unfortunately the dealer didn’t have a non-V6 model available so we couldn’t compare the front wheel drive model. It sounds promising though – as well as being a whopping $5,000 cheaper, it has better fuel economy than most cars, which is important to us. So hopefully we’ll head out tomorrow after work and give it a test!

not in the living room

Tuesday, April 16th, 2002

This is how I’m going to speak to my kids one day. I bet they’ll love it, and may even appreciate that it’s very funny indeed.