Archive for August, 2002

it pays

Thursday, August 15th, 2002

We’ve been getting final things together for the house, like insurance and all those fun paperwork items. It’s kind of tricky though as I’m not 100% sure I’m going about things right. So I’ve relied on the power of the internet to help me out, and there are some excellent resources (The Motley Fool is one of my favorites).

One consistent message I’ve seen is that it pays to put in a little extra work and shop around. Especially with the insurance thing, this seems to be very worthwhile. Recently you may remember that I’m now saving over $500 a year on car insurance, and now I’m fairly confident I got a good deal on home insurance too. I’ve called a bunch of different insurers and seem to have the best price with American Express. Most other providers were around $200 more, and the highest is my former car insurer, asking for over twice what Amex quoted. So I think we’re looking good. Plus when I called the mortgage broker to let him know, he thought that was an extremely good deal too, and I guess he knows about these things.


Wednesday, August 14th, 2002

It appears that I have been rebranded. Take a look at this story from the BBC. When you scroll down to the bottom you will see reader’s comments. The one from “Ed, England” looked suspiciously familiar to me – possibly because the first half, about Enron formerly being called Enteron, was posted to them by me. Word for word.


Wednesday, August 14th, 2002

Our friends Paul and Claire came over last night, with their 18-month-old Lauren, who is loads of fun, to take advantage of Domino’s Pizza 2-for-1 Tuesday deal. After calling and being on hold for a while Paul and I decided it would be quicker to go down to the store and get the pizza take-out rather than waiting for delivery.

Once we’d placed our order and told it would be 20 minutes (rather than one and a half hours they were quoting for home delivery) we thought we’d kill time by walking a few blocks to the liquor store – after all pizza isn’t really pizza without a couple of beers too. As we approached the intersection of Hennepin and Franklin Avenues we noticed a loud and rhythmic chinging. It took us ages to work out what it was – a dodgy car at the lights? The lights changed, all the cars drove off but still the chinging. Someone walking by with bells on their clothes (you get some colorful people in that part of town)? No, people walked by but still chinging. Eventually I worked out that it was the noise of people taking a class at the belly dancing school, no doubt practicing their mini-cymbal technique.

sound and vision

Monday, August 12th, 2002

We had a quietish weekend – it was still hot and humid out which Emma is not dealing with too well at the moment. Friday night however was beautiful and well timed as it was Em’s work dinner – a paddlboat (or perhaps steamboat, I’m not sure) cruise up the picturesque St Croix River, which runs along much of the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin before merging with the Mississippi. Very relaxing start to the weekend and nice to meet her workmates too, they seem like good people.

On Saturday evening we got the DVD of the Royal Tenenbaums, a richly atmospheric movie which we very much enjoyed. Gene Hackman in particular is incredible in it.

I took the DVD back to the store last night (I walked, thinking it would be a nice cool evening when it was in fact 85 degrees and very humid) and took my walkman radio. I tuned in to the start of one of my favorite programs, This American Life to experience one of the best pieces of radio I’ve ever heard. It was about a group of felons in a maximum security prison who were performing Act V of Hamlet – the premise being that Hamlet is considering killing someone when these men had in fact done that very thing. I highly recommend that you put aside 45 minutes or so to listen to it.


Monday, August 12th, 2002

My friend Richard noted today a new site called which maps weblogs and which sites they were inspired by. As it was his site which made me want to start doing this I though it only fair to give due credit to him.

day off

Friday, August 9th, 2002

I had to take yesterday off work – I seemed to be getting a cold and I thought that it would be much more productive to take a strategic day at home rather than trying to work through it and eventually being off for a week. So far that seems to be a good move, I feel much better today and quite enthusiastic about what we’re doing here at work. Very busy, catching up with stuff but that’s OK.

new sport

Wednesday, August 7th, 2002

Tomorrow night Emma is going to try out a prenatal yoga class, which she’s looking forward to. I think it’ll be a good way to get exercise and relaxation, plus strength for the birth which I’m not going to think about too much here.

So in the spirit of adventure perhaps I should also be taking up a new exercise. What with my new project at work using Extreme Programming methodology (which so far I’m enjoying a lot), Extreme Ironing seems to be the sport for me.

floodgates of suck

Thursday, August 1st, 2002

I just love the opening line from this review: ‘”The Master of Disguise” opens the floodgates of suck.’