The Dysmey Blog
The personal weblog of Andy West.

May 2009
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Pentecost 2009
Filed under: General, Work
Posted by: Andy @ 8:26 pm

The green push-reel lawn mower had a right wheel that would not move when I pushed the mower.  I disassembled the wheel to find the source of the damage, but could not find it.  Giving up, I bought a new push-reel from Lowe’s and, at Madre’s suggestion, gave the green mower to my sister the editor.

Well, she and my brother Bill, who was here this Sunday for lunch and to take one of his cars home, found that adjusting the strike plate fixed the mower.  My sister is keeping the mower, anyway.  I have no need for it, as the new mower works well.  And I know what to do when the new mower sticks.

I have gotten all the iMacs reimaged this past week.  I have found that the image I made for the Reference iMacs also works for the ones in Educational Resources.  Now I can work on the MacBooks as soon as I replace the kiosks for the CardCat system, and the new wireless printing system.  That should take a couple of weeks this coming month.

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Sick Week
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 10:31 pm

It was supposed to have been a productive week after my vacation. Unfortunately on the last day of that vacation I came down with the worst cold I have had in a long time. I had to take a half-day off Monday; I came in the afternoon, but I was a mere physical presence, although I do remember helping a student get a print job to get past a release station. Tuesday was so back I ended up taking a full day off. The rest of the week was spent recovering from that cold.

During the week I got the call from the vet hospital that Isis’ ashes were ready to be picked up. Her ashes were put in a dark blue can with a card that read ‘Isis, beloved companion’. They also came with a heart-shaped piece of paper impregnated with wild flower seeds. You are supposed to put the heart in soil and water it for the flowers to come up. I have not tried it yet.

Meanwhile I have a new version of the University Libraries toolbar for Firefox ready for release once I have word that everyone is pleased with it. I also have the new Printeron wireless printing lashup to work on this coming week.

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Spring Vacation 2009, Part II
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 9:15 pm


In the morning I moved the rest of the furniture back into the bedroom. I used the opportunity to move some boxed junk (mostly old school papers and magazines) from my bedroom to the upper room. Then I cleaned out stuff from the living room, especially under the staircase, and vacuumed the carpet.

In the afternoon I visited my dentist to have my teeth cleaned. I dropped off some library books at the Bracken. Then I visited Lowe’s for some stuff to use in fixing the back gutter, only to discover that I did not bring my debit card with me. Argh!

I fixed the downspout end of the new gutter anyway, by lowering the brackets and drop outlet by between ½ and one inch. I also put in some new plastic shims on the problem slip joint. This time I tested the gutter by pouring water from a bucket into the far end of the gutter to see how the water would drain. The rain this evening will provide a further test.

Also in the evening I moved the furniture in the living room so that the half next to the staircase was open. Then I shampooed the carpet in that half of the living room so that it would dry overnight.


I shifted the furniture out of the other half of the living room, the half closest to the street corner. This half I shampooed in the morning. After I finished, I returned the carpet cleaner to the folks.

The weather kept threatening rain, but I decided to mow the lawn anyway. It was a two-hour job, made that way because the grass had gotten thick during the rainy first part of the week.

But, before doing so, I decided to investigate the big silver moving van parked in front of my house. It turns out that my ex-neighbor had come back to get his remaining things from the house next door.

This evening I drove to Indianapolis for my first Whoosier Network meeting in months. Afterwards we went to a small pizza place called WB Pizza on 62nd and Allisonville. It was really good pizza.

Pizzeria Uno’s, the place the WhoNet folks ate at when I last attended, had fallen out of favor with them. And they tried Greek’s — once! Evidently one of the WhoNetters was harassed by the management, who accused the guy of theft.


I shifted the furniture in the living room almost back to where it was. The telephone cart went to the bedroom while the old record cabinet is now the new telephone cabinet, after I cleared out the back issues of TV Guide. I needed the space at the front window cleared for the air conditioner this summer.

I wanted to do something on my vacation that resembled something that I would do on my vacation. So I went to Muncie and ate at the Olive Garden. It was my only major meal of the day, given how much I ate. I was lucky to have gotten a table: It was graduation day at Ball State, and the place was packed with ex-students and their parents and relatives celebrating the happy day.

Before going home, I bought some items at Lowe’s, including a hutch for my dresser and a network cable conduit for the cables from my DVD player.


I opened the windows in the living room, bedroom and upper room in order to air the rooms out. The air smells of a combination of Febreze (fabric deodorant), carpet shampoo and some remnants of cat urine. To do this I had to turn off the furnace because the air outside was cool.

I installed Vista 64-bit Home Edition on my main computer. It turns out not to be such a pain in the ass that I had thought it would be. All the programs I use on the main computer installed without any problem except Adobe Reader, which I had to reinstall, and some audio-dependent programs like Winamp and Bioshock. Installing the drivers for the audio and Intel chipset did not help. In the end I had to set the shortcut to the Bioshock program so that it ran in Windows-XP compatibility mode.

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Spring Vacation 2009, Part I
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 9:43 pm


Monday was very busy.


It promises to rain tomorrow, so I put up the new gutter on the back of the house this afternoon.

I had wanted to start this morning, especially as the folks let me use one of their vans to transport the gutters and downspout and other items needed for assembly. The gutters and downspout are ten feet long, and would not fit in my car, hence the need for a van. Even then, the gutters fit in the van only just.

I could not start the project until noon because I spent all morning trying to get the folks’ damnable new router (a) to communicate with the Internet at all, and (b) to communicate with the wireless printer. I could not do the latter, so it had to be put to the side until I can make time for it later this week.

I gathered the following parts for the project from Lowe’s in Marion:

gutter 3, 10 ft catches water from roof and channels it to drop outlet
downspout 1, 10 ft catches water from gutter and channels it to ground
drop outlet 1 catches water from gutter into downspout
slip joint 2 connects two gutters together
outside cap 1 caps open end of gutter
inside cap 1 caps open end of drop outlet
bracket 13 screwed to fascia, supports gutter
elbow joint 1 diverts downspout water away from house
connector 1 connects downspout to elbow joint
downspout bracket 1 clamps downspout to wall of house
wood screw 25 secures brackets, slip joints and drop outlets to fascia

Just like in any other project, things go wrong.

In the end the gutter came out more or less the way I wanted it. The only exception was with a middle slip joint, which was lower than the rest of the gutter. Not wanting a repeat of the original metal gutter, I rescrewed the joint a quarter inch higher. It rose the gutter, but not all that much. I got a shim from the folks and used that to push the joint up until it was level with the rest of the gutter.

The test of the new gutter will come on Wednesday, when it is supposed to rain.

The gutter project made me fifteen minutes late for the monthly meeting of the Friends of the Fairmount Public Library.


As I wrote in a past entry, Isis had to be put to sleep because she had lost all control of the back of her body.

This loss of control meant that I have had to clean the carpet in my bedroom, where Isis spent almost all of the time during her final days. I borrowed a carpet cleaner from the folks, figured out how to fill it up and work it, and cleaned the carpet in the afternoon after moving all the bedroom furniture to the living room.

I also cleaned all the cat’s stuff — food and water bowls, cat box, and carrier — and put those away for the next cat I will probably get.

I talked with my new neighbor next door. He is the brother of my former neighbor the carpenter; both of them grew up in that house. I had thought that the carpenter’s wife and kid would live there until July; that was what she told me. But evidently the plan has changed: Wife and son will live in a rental until the son finishes school, then move to Kansas to be with the carpenter.

The carpet in my bedroom was still wet four hours after the shampooing. It is dry enough to allow me to reassemble my bed. The other furniture can wait until tomorrow.

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Isis Is No Longer With Us
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 4:51 pm


For the last week or so, until Tuesday morning, I have been giving my cat Isis some different meds. The meds were more pain relief than anti-inflammatory. The meds made her a happy kitty for awhile.

However, the meds did not relieve Isis’ condition. That was getting worse. It had been difficult for Isis to walk for the past several weeks; but by yesterday it had become almost impossible for her to walk on her back legs. She could bend the legs, but could not move her hips to lift herself up, let alone walk. The condition also made for a messy utility room, for although Isis did make the effort to reach the cat box, sometimes she did not make it.

I took Isis to the vet hospital in Anderson Wednesday morning. It would be her last trip. I was told the vertebra that was causing Isis’ distress was inoperable.

At this point I had no choice but to ask that Isis be put to sleep. I was there when she passed on.

Isis was one of a litter of four kittens born about seven or eight years ago. After her mother unsuccessfully tried to cross a newly-paved main street, Isis and her sister Thyme were adopted by my niece Erin. I would take care of her when I was housesitting during summers when my sister the teacher was away.

Isis was an affectionate cat, even when she was living at the house of my sister. My sister did not like Isis (she had a habit of barfing on her books and papers), so when I moved to the new house, the cat was dumped on me.

Isis settled in quickly in her new role as indoor house cat, snoozing on the bed, sitting on my lap in the armchair, watching me from the window in the upper room as I mowed the lawn or next to me on the table as typed away. She was a very happy kitty. In return I put up with having to clean the carpet or table when she barfed on them.

The barfing stopped when I put Isis on the Iams restricted diet the local vet gave me. And she did lose several pounds, and would have become a healthier kitty if not for that tumorous vertebra.

I will miss Isis.

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