Archive for May, 2002


Monday, May 13th, 2002

One aspect of quite a busy weekend (including our first meeting with our excellent Realtor, singing a concert and two services and generally zooming around) was that we had to renew our car’s road tax. Fortunately the dealership from which we’re getting our new car (one of these days…) has agreed to refund us – we didn’t want to be paying for new tax on a car we’re about to trade in.

But anyway, in Minnesota you get a sticker for your front and rear license plates which indicates the month and year your tax expires – when you get new tabs you simply stick them over the old year. However this time when we paid the renewal fee, the guy in the government center gave us new license plates too. It seems that every seven years your car gets new plates, which seems very strange to me – in Britain the plates stay with the car for ever unless you get them personalised. It was kind of fun changing the plates, like I was a gangster preparing for a heist or something.

clever boy

Sunday, May 12th, 2002

I checked my friend Richard’s weblog today – he had a thing about a British national IQ test which the BBC ran yesterday. I don’t think I’ve ever taken an IQ test, so of course I was curious to find out what my score is. Turns out I’m at 130 which I was kind of pleased with. I wonder if it’s better or worse because of my slight alcoholic overindulgence last night.

It would have been easy to cheat on some of the harder questions – memorising addresses would have been a cinch if I’d typed the information into a Word document or something, and the arithmetic would also have been easier if I’d just used a calculator – but I just managed to hold myself back. There wouldn’t have been much point in doing the test if I was faking it, would there? Although maybe I could have got extra points for initiative.

careless indeed

Friday, May 10th, 2002

This is a somewhat scary story, especially as Emma’s and my bedroom is at ground level (although we have some trees between the road and the window). A couple of things about it – what an insane way to be woken up, and I can’t believe the driver was done for “careless driving”. It’s verging on close to homicide as far as I see it.


Thursday, May 9th, 2002

I’m currently listening to Wilco’s fantastic new CD. It’s somewhat out of the ordinary but at the same time accessible, a good cure for lots of other mediocrities. Maybe I like it because it seems they’ve also been listening to American Music Club and Radiohead, while also remaining tuneful and tender. A bit like me really.

looking up?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2002

I’m wondering whether the economic climate is beginning to perk up. As well as the news saying that it should be, I got home last night to a voicemail from a recruiter saying that he had some opportunities for me in Minneapolis. In the good old days of 1999/2000 my friends and I used to get at least one call every couple of weeks, but there haven’t been any for some time. Is this a sign of good things around the corner?

Having said that, I am really enjoying my current job and things seem to be going well, so I’m not particularly in the market for a change. This makes me worry slightly that I’m not being adventurous enough, but if things are going well I think that’s OK.


Tuesday, May 7th, 2002

One of the guys at work is a coordinator for the Corporate Fitness program, where the company will pay an participation fee for local sporting events. In a couple of weeks is the American Lung Association of MN – Thai Two On 5K, and Marc’s been trying to get people to sign people up for it. I haven’t run for years – I used to run at school but mostly as an excuse to get out of doing “real” exercise – but last night my friend Hans came over to take me out for a run. He does lots of running and I was worried that I would be able to keep up, or would just collapse. However I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, and we had a nice jog around the neighborhood. I’m sure he was going much slower than he would have wanted to and was just being kind when he said I did quite well. I’m not too sore today either, maybe this could be a good thing to get into.

So to my slight alarm I’m signed up to run on the 18th – wish me luck.


Tuesday, May 7th, 2002

From time to time I get online surveys sent to me – in fact I’m the member of a couple of panels. They’re mostly kind of fun and quick and there have been a couple of times when I’ve won money, which doesn’t hurt.

This morning a survey was about abdominal medical conditions, something fortunately I have never had. But the final questions were about medication for these conditions. Imagine my alarm when I was asked whether I have ever had an “over the counter enema”.

new car

Monday, May 6th, 2002

You may remember that about 3 weeks ago we had chosen and signed up for our new car, but it was taking ages to be made and get here from the factory. Well today I found out that it was shipped on April 30th, so could be here by the end of the week. Pretty excited about that. One of Emma’s friends at work made the following picture in celebration:
our new car

extra sensory

Friday, May 3rd, 2002

Last night I remembered a strange thing which happened to me a few years ago. In my former home city of Glasgow there is an excellent museum of Religion. When I went to visit it, I got a piece of music stuck in my head as soon as I went through the door (Haydn’s Little Organ Mass, as far as I recall). I spent a long time going through the exhibits, and by the time I was six rooms through the building I noticed a small TV showing various worship forms of the world, including Native American, Hindu and Christian ceremonies, about a minute of each. The Christian ceremony was from Wells Cathedral, and featured the choir singing the Haydn piece which had stuck in my head. I’m still amazed by this – the TV was on very quietly and was six rooms away from the entrance – no way it was in regular hearing range.

a glass or two

Wednesday, May 1st, 2002

Ray, the conductor of the Cathedral Choir and a fellow Brit, came over last night for a beer sampling evening. The selection included Fuller’s London Pride (like nectar), Fuller’s 1845 (slightly more agressive nectar but still good), Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, and some Dutch Trappist beer that Ray took round. It was one of those 9% mad monk things, but surprisingly and dangerously smooth.

Anyway, it was a pleasant evening, something to be done again.