The Dysmey Blog
The personal weblog of Andy West.

September 2008
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No Lollie For You, Wall Street!
Filed under: Politics
Posted by: Andy @ 4:49 pm

Wall Street welfare ends with Congress, folks! I said that the Democratic election victory for Congress two years ago would result in paralysis, and that paralysis would be a good thing. I am proven right. In fact, this time around, the Democrats had help.

The lower house of the US Congress has voted down a $700bn (£380bn) plan aimed at bailing out Wall Street.

The rescue plan, a result of tense talks between the government and lawmakers, was rejected by 228 to 205 votes in the House of Representatives.

About two-thirds of Republican lawmakers refused to back the rescue package, as well as 95 Democrats.

Those Republicans who refused to play among with El Dubya are finally sick and tired of being played for saps by El Dubya over the past eight years. I guess they figured this was the time to stick it to the Man and hear him squeal.

That bailout is not in the best interest of the nation, unless that nation is China or Japan, the holders of our debt. But the average American citizen, and that includes myself, would be screwed whatever the outcome. If passage fails, our savings evaporate, so the plan’s supporters whine. Yet if it passes, the expense would cause inflation to explode, and our savings will become worthless, anyway. We lose either way, so what does it matter?

If El Dubya thinks that he is going to leave office with the victory garland of a Wall Street love package for allowing the banks and mortgage finance companies to con Americans into buying more house than they can afford, then to stiff them blind once their mortgage rates jump, then to get away with stiffing the rest of us — that man and his minions are fools!

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Museum Days 2008
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 7:11 pm

our festival

Every year during the final weekend in September my town holds its town festival, Museum Days, celebrating the life of that actor, who was the only one from here to got more than the Warholian fifteen minutes of fame. Over the years the festival has also evolved into a celebration of the 1950’s, during which was the whole of that actor’s career.

The festival itself came out of our town’s museum, which in turn came about in the mid-1970’s to preserve the memorabilia of the old high school. That stuff had been stored under the school’s auditorium stage; but when the auditorium was sealed off as unsafe in the early 1970’s, some of the townsfolk came together to save the memorabilia. Those townsfolk became the first board of the Fairmount Historical Museum. It bought an apartment block that was once the home of a prominent town doctor and remodeled it to hold the memorabilia from the school and later of the actor who graduated from that school.

From my perspective the festival means I cannot go downtown except if I want something there, like an elephant ear. An elephant ear is a deep-fried crepe smeared with butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. It is very messy but very tasty. I usually find among the numerous food vendors at least two who make these. There are lots of other vendors there as well, selling everything from kitschy trinkets to T-shirts to replica ninjatô.

Another thing I do during the festival is help with the book sale held by the Friends of the Library. For this sale we get most of the group’s money, which is used to assist the library in its outreach programs like the summer reading program for kids. I usually help during Saturday afternoon, so I end up missing most of the big parade that passes by the museum on its way to the park.

The book sale is held in a tent in front of the library, as in past years. It was supposed to be held in the current library building itself after we were to have moved to the new library this month. But delays in getting an Internet connection for the new building and in getting parts for the book stacks shelving meant a delay of at least one month.


The festival tends to disrupt my weekly schedule, as I had to speed my routine to get it out of the way for the weekend. I found I need not have bothered.

I had planned to mow my lawn on Thursday evening, and do my laundry on Friday. Usually it would be the other way around, except I wanted to get the outdoor stuff out of the way before the Festival starts. But I had to help my sister the teacher lay out yellow tape to ward off people from parking in front of her house. (She lives only a block from the park, where the car show is held.) Then I had to go to the folks’ house to confirm that it was they who drove through my back yard (more on this below). By the time I was done, the sun had gone down, so I decided to resume my regular routine, and do the mowing first thing Friday morning.

Friday was the first day of the festival. All I have seen of it was in the early morning after I mowed my lawn. Then, just after nine, the vendors were either closed or just setting up shop. I had business at the bank at that time. After that I walked down Main Street, which was already closed off. There was the book sale tent with the banner in big red letters. There was also the screen and the bleachers in the parking lot of the new library.

Later I had to leave town for a doctor’s appointment. After that I visited a Petsmart store to get a proper scratching post for my cat Isis. I bought her a carpeted platform on a post wrapped in sisal rope a couple of weeks ago. It did not work out: The post turned out to be too short for her; the platform was in her way, so she could not reach the post; and she did not know what to do with the thing. So I foisted the platform on my sister the teacher (who has cats small enough to appreciate the platform) and got another.

My folks visited my house while I was at work to borrow a floor fan. Madre could not find the fan: It was in my closet. In leaving Padre managed to freak out my neighbors by driving his little silver convertible through my back yard. I found the tire tracks in the thick grass when I came home, and learned from one of the neighbors how they got there. I would have returned them the fan in any case, as I have found over the summer that the furnace fan and registers are as good as five fans. Anyway, they got their fan back Friday afternoon.

In the evening I walked to the book sale to see how it was doing. It was doing well for a Friday. I bought a couple of books: A book of phrase origins, and one called How To Deal With A Neurotic Cat.


This morning I walked down to the Methodist Church, where they have their annual public breakfast. They serve scrambled eggs, biskets and gravy, sausage, pancakes and juice or coffee for six dollars. It is worth the longer walk, and I get to see people I usually do not see the rest of the year.

The afternoon was spent at the sales table of the book sale. Saturday was the bag sale, where you could fill up a shopping bag full of books for five dollars. We had a lot of people come in, look around, and full bags of books they wanted to read. As the sales from Thursday and Friday were enough to pay for the tent, the Friends of the Library made all profit from the sales of those bags.

The parade started at two, but I had to watch it from the table, which was positioned so that whoever sat there could see the parade from the big color screen at the new library parking lot. The rest of the time the screen displayed cars at the auto show in the park.

I left the sale to get more shopping bags from my house, as well as some books I no longer wanted. I found myself locked out; went to the folks for a spare set of keys; found myself conversing with my sister’s classmate from her Purdue days on his Linux setup (he was trying to boot Linux from what turned out to be a bad external hard drive); got back into my house for the bags and books; and made it back to the sale. It was not so much the time but the distance: Two miles total. And I grabbed an elephant ear on the way back.

Later I left to eat Madre’s chili before returning around eight to help close the sales tent.


Nothing for me on Sunday but eat Sunday dinner with the folks, my sisters, my niece and her guest Kimie.

I stayed at the house for an hour after dinner because the cleanup at the book sale tent was at two. I found an old travelogue that I used to read as a kid, with two thousand pictures of places to visit throughout the country and throughout the world. The book dates from the 1950’s: Back then some of those places, like Ceylon/Sri Lanka and Africa could be visited. The pictures of places in the USA are quaint: The Indianapolis 500 was raced with cars that look like they were built for a Cub Scout Pinewood Derby; and Purdue’s Hovde Hall was called the Executive Building. But the pictures of the arches at Arches National Monument (now Park) are as I remember them.

I went to the book sale tent at two to help move the unsold books and tables back into the upper floor of the library. We have done very well this year: The new banner and the open space in front of the tent helped immensely.

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Start of Fall 2008
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 9:49 pm


Museum Days, my town’s festival, is coming this weekend.

I expect to eat the customary elephant ear (large crepe deep-fried and topped with butter, sugar and cinnamon) and Saturday breakfast at the Methodist church. I will also spend Saturday afternoon at the book sale tent for the Friends of the library. There will be a parade, but I will be at the book sale when it passes by the museum, which is across the street from my folks’ house.


I already have taken a vacation this Friday so that I can get my Saturday chores out of the way. Part of it will be to visit my doctor, for which I had the original appointment date moved from last Friday. I have had trouble keeping my weight and my sugar down to acceptable levels. The problem is the choice of food I have available. I do not have time to fix a sack lunch in the morning. The vending machines on campus sell salties or corn-fructosies. The food at the Atrium and the Village is of the fatty or fried variety. And the campus seems to follow the traditional dietician idea of healthy food, in which healthy really means barely edible.

Not helping my diet, I suppose, is the reopening of the Giant Bar And Grill near my folks’ house. At least the new owners are skimpy on the fries, so that helps the waistline, I suppose.

At least the lawn is keeping me exercised, now that it is getting enough rain to get the grass growing again. And the trees are starting their seasonal leaf shedding. The goldenrods have burst into golden flower and are now wilting as fall officially gets underway.


The print server at work is working as intended. Some of the public workstations, however, do not seem to realize that, because students cannot send double-side print jobs from some of them. That will be fixed, even if that means another round of reimagings.

I have found that it is possible to deploy the latest foundation software (as opposed to old but stable versions) under EPrints for Windows, our repository software. The experiment is not quite ready for production until the issue of warning-spews out of the epadmin command can be fixed.

After all the work I have put into the library Macs, I think it is time for me to get certification from Apple. I got a lot to brush up on, so I ordered three Mac OS X books from O’Reilly Media this week. If I can apply what I have learned to what I read from those books, I could win myself certification as a support provider in the next month or two.

The one thing I want to learn from those books is how to keep the Macs from unbinding to the campus Active Directory, which the newly imaged Macs seem to do every week or so. I tried a trick using the dsconfigad command, but it only lengthens the time between unbindings rather than removing them entirely.

spectacle ignored

I have been steadfastly ignoring the election news. I already know whom I am going to elect. I am getting tired of the financial news as well. I have no sympathy for all those banks and mortgage companies. They have been preying on the poor and the stupid for years — there has been predatory lending since the late 1990’s, to which the banks have turned a blind eye. And although I may well suffer, it will be well worth it if Congress balks at El Dubya’s and Cheney’s latest lollie to his business buds.


My high school class will have its thirieth reunion in late October. Unlike the last reunion, it was well planned in advance so that it will be neither far away nor at the same time as Museum Days. It will be interesting to see what a generation will have done to my classmates. I have already seen some of them over the past several years. Time has been cruel to most of them, as it has not been kind to me.

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Virtual Saturday
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 11:11 am

My work on the print server last Saturday, plus a lot of after-hours work during the week to clean up the problems caused rebuilding the same, earned me a day off on Friday. During that virtual Saturday I spent it shopping for miscellaneous items in the shops of Noblesville and Fishers, including a new scratching post for my cat.

Fall is coming, and as the weather is reflecting that, I have put away my floor air conditioner until next summer. That in turn got me cleaning around the house.

But I also got me a DVD of the short films of Pixar, from their days as a part of Lucasfilm to the shorts based on Disney films. Basically the DVD traces the history of Pixar and the technology of computer animation.

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Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 10:50 am


It was a good thing that I did mow my lawn this past Thursday. It promised to rain from Friday through this weekend. In fact, it rained a little Friday, with the bulk of the rain not showing up until the remains of hurricane Ike passed through the state today. That’s okay with me because it had been dry and waterless for weeks, and my lawn could use the rain.


I sent Saturday morning and early afternoon at work, getting the public printers up and running again after the library print server was rebuild the evening before. Permissions on certain folders were the main cause of the troubles I had in getting the printers up. But at least the public workstations that have not been printing for the past several weeks are printing now.

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A New Beginning
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 4:13 pm

I cordially welcome all of you to a reborn Dysmey Blog.

I have given up on LiveJournal,
the first host of my blog, for reasons that some will doubtlessly regard as irrational. We will see how irrational my rationale proves to be as the country of LiveJournal’s new owner (since the start of 2008) continues to be more and more hostile to the United States.

I want to thank my Web site host, Hostway, for also providing WordPress as the means by which I can set up a new home for my blog.

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