The Dysmey Blog
The personal weblog of Andy West.

January 2010
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Spring in January 2010
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 9:03 pm

the back roof leak

The weather outside is wet, but I am not complaining. It is warm … pleasant. I would walk about if it were not so rainy. This is a nice contrast to the weather during the past three or four weeks: Bitter, miserably cold, with icy roads that make you drive at 40 MPH tops if you did not want your car in a ditch.

During this weekend I decided to take out a scraper and dig into the dark, wet spot over the back door. I scaped out wet stucco and wallpaper and drywall to the wood underneath. The wood was wet — and crawling with ants! After fixing all that (detailed here), I planned to call a repairman this coming spring to see if I can get the leaks fixed once and for all.

The ultimate cause is that the house was built just after World War II, as anyone can tell by viewing the asbestos wall singles underneath the vinyl siding. The house was minimally remodeled in 2005 before it was sold to the guy who, two years later, sold it to me.

bioshock 2

I pulled my single Bioshock 2 page to pieces and turned the pieces into separate pages. The main page is now largely a bunch of link arrows to various aspects of the game: its marketing site, the characters, the weapons, the plasmids, provisioning, et alia.

For months I have been avidly following the marketing site Something In The Sea, although I have not had the patience to do the puzzles. I do not know why I am so excited about this game, except that I love the original Bioshock — but not its DRM, which kept me from installing it on my then-new computer back in the spring of 2008 [], [], [], []).

I do not intend to buy Bioshock 2 right away, but will wait until late February or early March. Partly I want to see how the fen react to it and its DRM, which this time has the miasma of Microsoft hanging over it. Evidently Bioshock maker 2K decided it did not want to mess with DRM customer support any more, so it gave the problem to Microsoft, which is far more difficult to deal with.

Also, I am trying to make time to study to take the ACSP Mac OS X Support Essentials 10.6 test next month, and the game will almost certainly interfere.

BTW, Jordan Thomas, the head of development for Bioshock 2, is evidently a Whovian. He admitted as much, although he seemed to be weaseling around it, during a Cult of Rapture podcast on the creation of psychiatrist Sofia Lamb, Rapture’s version of Mao Zedong and the game’s antagonist. He would have to have watched the series to have known about Fenella Woolgar, who played Agatha Cristie in the fourth-season episode The Unicorn and the Wasp. It is Ms. Woolgar who provides the voice for Dr. Lamb.

web site

Now that I have two years of blog entries under the Hostway version of the Dysmey Blog, I have created separate folders for each year’s group of entries, just like on the original Dysmey Post (which was not a blog, althrough it has been called one).

timmy has left

The folks no longer have Timmy the Duck and his chicken pal for company. Their presence was a mixed blessing. Timmy was a friendly duck and a likeable mallard. But he was most incontinent, and you had to be very careful walking the sidewalks and steps around the folks’ house.

Up until late last week the weather was bitterly, miserably cold. Normal ducks would fly south for warmer lands during the winter; but Timmy was too domesticated for that. The best he could manage was to fly to the nearby creek with its warmer water.

Anyway, my folks persuaded the next-door neighbor, who owns Timmy and his chicken pal but who was hardly at home enough to properly care for the birds, to find another home for them. So a poultry farmer got the birds. At last report, Timmy has become a chicken herder, keeping an eye on the farmers’ chickens and herding the flock like a sheepdog.

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Andy’s Birthday 2010
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 10:29 pm

My long birthday weekend is about over.

I spent my birthday last Saturday first getting a swine flu shot, then visiting the local library, then visiting the Bracken Library, then shopping at Fry’s and Best Buy in Fishers/Noblesville, and finally driving through a thick fog.

I read about the swine flu vaccine clinic in the town hall. I let it slip out of mind because I had intended to go to Muncie very early for some blood work. But I got out of bed late. I remembered the vaccine clinic only because I was mailing a water bill and noticed what was going on.

My visit to the local library was to replace a library card that I left in the pocket of a shirt which in turn went into the washer. This time I got the card laminated. And I had to sign a form conforming that I am secretary of the library board for another year. One day the board will find someone else who is not arthritic, but until then I do my duty.

I did not do much at the Bracken Library besides typing out and publish my belated New Year 2010 entry and then taking a catnap in an out-of-the-way corner with a book on Easter Island on my lap. After that I had a birthday lunch at the Olive Garden: Chicken scampi with zuppa toscana, and torta di chocolate for dessert. It was my only other meal for the day.

I visited Fry’s and got parts to turn my Isis box into a functional system, as well as Resident Evil: Degeneration on DVD. I could find a decent monitor at Fry’s (shame on them), so I went to Best Buy to buy an LG Flatron W2361VG for my main box. The Isis system, which I assembled in my bedroom, gets the Viewtronic I got from my folks.

I also got a Linksys Wireless-G USB dongle for the Isis box, so that I can link it to my local net. That meant going back on my sworn oath not to use wireless, which was the reason for the conduit project last summer. But there is no possible means to wire the bedroom, so I had to reactivate and secure the wireless part of my router. In the end the Isis system works as intended.

Finally I drove home through a fog so thick I could not see beyond two meters from the front of my car. I had to drive at forty miles per hour until I approached the intersection of state road 37 and Madison County road 600 N. The shadows of cars and a tanker truck silhouetted in the fog-dispersed light of stopped cars in the other direction showed me that something bad had happened. In the fog the scene was so freaky, but evidently someone went off the road into a deep ditch. I waited for about fifteen minutes. When it became clear that the traffic was going nowhere and that the police had the scene in hand, I drove into 600 N and drove slowly to state road 9.

I got my birthday lunch on Sunday: Pork roast with fennel, mashed spud, beans (both green and baked), and German chocolate cake with cocoanut icing. Among my gifts is an AARP magazine to remind me how old I am now. I spent Sunday doing more work on the Isis box.

Today I washed off my car as much as I could in this cold weather; and I installed a new magnetic strip to my shower stall to keep its door from popping open.

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Happy New Year 2010
Filed under: General
Posted by: Andy @ 1:49 pm

Let me wish all of you a belated happy new year.

The first two weeks of the year were very bitterly cold. Not until yesterday was it warm enough to melt the snows of the past fortnight. I had to take the interstate to work most mornings because Wheeling Pike was too dangerous for travel. That in turn ate into my travel time (Wheeling is the shortest route) and gas. And yet, my new car is holding up very well so far.

The XMas tree is back in the closet, and the humidifier is back out of it. The constant cold has made the air so dry that I decided to use it for the first time in a couple of years. That means buying distilled water for the thing, because the tap water in my house is mineral-rich and would trash the humidifier in no time flat.

I have no big projects planned for 2010. I intend to have the furnace cleaned out. I want to have the back roof inspected. And maybe I want some gravel put on the driveway and along the street, since it is starting to look like the weeds are winning over them. And the deck will need to be worked on, since the winter weather is really hitting it hard.

The first thing I did on my three-day weekend, now that I am paid up on my Web site for another year (and on for another two years), was to set up a new primary e-mail address. One of my subscriptions, TechBites, got its address list cracked a month ago. Now the spam is pouring in, mostly prescription scams. Now that my e-mail address is ruined, it is time to abandon it. The new address is already changed on the sites I visit the most; the others I may as well let drop.

While I was doing this I discovered that my sister the editor had created a profile of the local library for LibraryThing. It was evident that the profile was written before the move to the new building, so I had to bring it up to date. [Fairmount Public Library] Come to think of it, I should update this as well; now that over a year has gone by, it is not all that new anymore.

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2009 In Review
Filed under: General, Politics, Work
Posted by: Andy @ 12:35 am







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