Hurty Hurty Schnipp Schnipp!

Mid-week check-in here. News? Well . . . I understand Paul is heading for Warwick tomorrow to see Clare in “West Side Story.” Charlie was home for the weekend and the family went to see “Rat Race.” Hadn’t heard of that one so have added it to our Netflix rental queue.

Nick and Paul, you are so good at HabHumour. It takes me at least a week to come up with something, and then nobody ever votes for me 🙁 BTW, if any of you come up with some good pictures for that page, please e-mail me the links.

Check out this link. And try in Swedish Chef dialect. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp!

Hot off the press: Just received another essay from Nick (at 2:30 a.m. GMT). Good Lord, I’m still wading through Clare’s. Anyway, Nick’s on the home stretch (lucky dog) and a good mark on this paper will account for a large part of his finals.

An ugly problem

MLG is 35 years old today and has $100,000 saved for retirement. MLG expects to save $5,000 per year at the end of each of the next 25 years, except for a five-year period beginning on MLG’s 46th birthday, during which MLG’s child is expected to be attending college. MLG plans to retire at age 60. Assuming a life expectancy of 20 years beyond retirement, how much money can MLG withdraw at the end of each year from the retirement fund? MLG also plans to leave an estate of $300,000 to heirs. Assume an 8 percent annual interest rate throughout the entire period of time.

Now if any of you are wondering what I’ve been up to for the last week, there’s a tenth of my excuse above. My Finance professor gave us these on the FIRST day of class and said he expected us to be able to solve problems like that in 12 minutes or less. And this after six weeks of no school wrapped around turkey and Christmas? Puh-LEEEZE. So, here we go again. Don’t you hate those classes that build on the previous ones? When you’ve been attending University for nine years it makes it even more difficult.

Anyway, as I was going to say, has gone quiet. The Pope/laptop caption will be replaced sometime this week, so put in your last-minute entries before the voting starts. I am also planning on setting up a forum where everyone can post messages. Be patient, though, I’m still working on that problem above. It has involved digging up notes from a class I took 18 months ago.

Website Additions

Thank you, Nick, for the latest HabHumour picture. The Blair contest is now closed. Please go to the archives and vote for the winner.

Hope everyone’s week has started well. My classes at UH begin tomorrow so it’s going to be a busy week. I am taking “Options and Futures,” and “Corporate Finance.” Ricky, you may have to help me with my homework. I’ll be posting stuff on the website when time permits — have an interesting family tree from David and — wonder of wonders — a recipe! Stay tuned.

The Jigsaw

We’re having a blast doing this jigsaw. It’s called “The Tessellation Jigsaw Puzzle,” has 507 strangely shaped pieces, and is a picture of 54 cats drawn by someone called Kevin Whitlark. We’ve completed about a third of it so far.

Can’t say what a relief it was to get our internet connection back. John likened being without it to “going camping.” If there are any internet geeks in the family (and I think there may be a couple) I think you can probably relate to that.

Tomorrow after work I’ll be posting a new photograph (supplied by Nick) in the HabHumour section, so sharpen your pencils. Some great contributions to the Blair photograph — I think Nick’s caption made me laugh the loudest.

Well well well, the wonders of the internet. I’ve just found a picture of our jigsaw puzzle. Check it out at

Lord of the Rings

It’s 1:25 p.m. and — miracle of miracles — our internet connection came back. We made it through 27 hours! Looking back on those hours, they weren’t that painful. We even started a jigsaw we got for Christmas and I was starting to see another side of John. The bossy side. Here’s me, been doing jigsaws all my life. He’s done maybe two. He immediately takes charge and tells me which corner to work on and to do this do that, etc. Well, we’ll have to get back to it because it’s taking up the entire living room table. First things first, though, answer some e-mails, check on the world, and upload my “diary” to

E-mail from Clare who has now also seen Lord of the Rings:

“A very good film which I recommend to everyone (who has an imagination and can stand such things as elves and orcs!) Very cleverly made film, but one of those films you wouldn’t see more than once I think! (Well once was enough for me, I would certainly start getting serious bum-ache and nightmares…looong film and I get scared very easily!)”

Hmmm… how many times did you see Titanic, Clare?

RoadRunner and Moses

We called Time Warner yesterday afternoon to tell them our RoadRunner connection was down. They said a repair man would be over on Friday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday?! What is this? Frome? Sometimes when it’s gone down it’s miraculously come back an hour later, so we’re hoping. However, our cable TV reception is a little fuzzy so we’re thinking that maybe a squirrel has pulled out the plug somewhere outside.

Anyway, we weren’t too worried yesterday as we already had plans to meet friends at Rudz last night and listen to a band called Moses Guest. Good sound — a little rock, a little country, and what I thought was a little Steely Dan. Terry (friend) compared them with Grateful Dead. He’s promised to lend us some Grateful Dead CDs which our collection is seriously lacking. It was a good evening and there were some interesting people watching the band. One was a man in his 50s with a long beard and long hair wearing a tie-dyed teeshirt and . . . wait for it . . . an ankle length patchwork skirt! His woman was the same age, also wearing a tie-dyed shirt but jeans to go with it. He danced the entire time and was great entertainment.

It’s now 11:20 a.m. on Sunday. It’s been over 24 hours since I checked my e-mail or uploaded anything to my website or chatted with my fantasy Baseball friends. I wonder if anyone’s getting worried about me or John? It’s scary. I may have to go out and buy one of those dead tree newspapers soon or turn on the ‘phone and speak into it on a weekend. Oh God!

Ten minutes and twenty feet away

Saturday morning, January 12th, 2002

We decided to go to the 11:00 show of Gosford Park this morning. At 10:30 John was wrapped up in some programming work and begged off. “Let’s go tomorrow instead,” he said. I wasn’t mad, I wasn’t upset. Just a little disappointed. Pulled some laundry out of the hamper and put it in the washing machine. Around eleven I checked the movie schedule and discovered that the movie was showing on two screens and another was starting at 11:45. I decided to go alone. John was disappointed but we agreed that Saturdays and Sundays are the only days of the week when we are completely free to do what we like. We even turn off the ‘phone. So I headed downtown on my bicycle. When I arrived at the Angelika I noticed that another movie, Shipping News, was starting at the same time and decided to go to that one instead, thinking we could both see Gosford Park together tomorrow. Spent an enjoyable two hours with my popcorn (extra butter) and headed home. John wasn’t home, nor was his bicycle. I checked my e-mail to see if he’d left me a message, but Roadrunner (our internet connection) was down. “Aha,” I thought, “no internet connection so he’s taken the opportunity to go to Kroger to get groceries and is going to fix me a late lunch.”

He arrived home about 15 minutes later. Did you guess? He’d changed his mind about the movie and pedaled furiously to the Angelika. He even parked his bike right next to mine on the rack. And he bought a ticket to the 11:45 showing of Gosford Park, and a bag of popcorn with extra butter for me. Of course, he couldn’t find me in the theatre. He then thought that maybe I’d gone to the 11:00 showing so headed to the other room. It was dark, of course, and he got a lot of strange looks as he wandered around trying to find me. In the end he went back to the 11:45 room and got more strange looks. He spent the entire movie looking around for me, eating popcorn with too much butter, and watching the door to see if I’d walk in. When I left I never even noticed his bicycle was right next to mine.

Okay, I guess I’ll embarrass him a little. He gave such a good reason for changing his mind. He said that after I’d left he got to thinking that he spends his whole week wishing I was home (he works from the house) and then when I left he realized it was just like another week day.

So that was the story of our morning. I guess we’ll rent Gosford Park when it comes out on DVD.

(update: I did finally rent “Gosford Park” on DVD and didn’t even finish watching it. It annoyed me!)