The Dysmey Blog
The personal weblog of Andy West.
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11/09/09
Hectic Indian Summer 2009
Filed under: General, Work
Posted by: Andy @ 10:17 pm

yard work

I raked the back yard once more. It was about eight in the evening, and already dark, when I finished the last batch of leaves from the maple trees. They are quite bare now. And their leaves, which I piled up along the street, have been vacuumed by the town street department. Later I gave the lawn one last mowing before the warm November days come to an end.

sick kitty

Speaking of my sister’s cats, I lend her my cat carrier, so that she could take one of her cats to the vet. The cat, whom I call Chitlin, is her oldest cat now. I knew him when he was a very active kitten back in the mid-1990’s. Anyway, the cat turned out to have a mouth cancer, which hindered his ability to eat. I do not know whether the tumor was removed, but my sister has to feed the cat via syringe for awhile. I visited the ‘patient’ last Saturday. It was one freaky looking cat, with one side of his face all swollen; but Vickie is giving him pills that should reduce the swelling. Otherwise, Chitlin is his happy, purring self.

ĉe la dentisto

I got my teeth scraped and fluorinated for the next six months. It was more hectic than usual at the dentist’s because he had to break his schedule to treat a little girl, who ran into a metal pole and busted her three front teeth. The strange thing is that the girl did not cry when she was examined, shedding only a single tear when the dentist tested a tooth to see if its root was still firm. I myself, at the girl’s age, would have cried. That is some brave girl!

pricer notepads

I realized that I was running out of those Levenger notepads with the annotation columns and the headers, so I bought two more packs of them. I used to be able to buy five pads per pack. Now the packs have three for the same price. Levenger is falling on hard times, evidently, when it cannot even provide cartridges for the pens it used to sell. I had to go to another pen-and-ink site for more cartridges for my Lamy fountain pen.

à bas Comcast

My folks switched over from Comcast to Frontier this week. The switchover includes satellite television, with a dish antenna that was placed on the southwest corner of the garage, near the door. During my one visit since the install, Madre was thrilled with the choices she now has on the three-month trial, including a view of the Earth from the satellite itself. I myself am impressed by the greater variety of channels they now have for the price they have been paying Comcast.

This leaves only my sister the teacher with cable television. My sister the editor dumped it years ago, and I gave it up early this year. Indeed, it seems that a lot of people in town are giving up on Comcast, either getting satellite television or having antennae erected.

gnomologia

A cat may look upon a king. As if the king has a choice: Cats, being what they are, may look wherever they want to look. Indeed, they can just as easily look up your skirt! That is such a stupid quote.

I am looking at the Gnomologia, a collection of sayings collected by one Thomas Fuller in 1752 and said to be the source of the sayings in Ben Franklin’s Poor Richards Almanac. It is the source of most of the clichés in our own speech. I have noticed that the gnomological formula A φ may ψ is better translated today as Even a φ can ψ; so that the phrase above comes out today as Even a cat can look at a king. But it is still nonsensical.

This saying makes more sense: All cats alike are gray in the night. Unless they are black to begin with, then they are invisible but for their eyes. Anyway, in a different language and form, it is the motto of my sister the editor’s blog: la nuit, tous les chats sont gris.

macs

The installation of the new iMacs in the Reference area two weeks ago did not go as smoothly as they seemed. But I fixed the problems that cropped up, and the iMacs now work as intended.

There are only two major differences in the new imaging of the iMacs.

Any other changes are upgrades to existing software.

The result of all these changes seems to be the disappearance of the Active Directory fix. Last Friday, two weeks after I have ran the dsconfigad -passinterval 0 (extending the Active Directory password indefinitely) on the reference iMacs, users reported being unable to log on them. In the end I rebound the iMacs in the traditional way, but I am not looking forward to having to do this every two weeks. Something changed in the way Active Directory is handled on the campus servers, as I have found nothing in the Apple updates to indicate a change in Active Directory.

acsp test

A couple of Wednesdays mornings ago I took, and flunked, the Apple Certified Support Professional test. I went to the test center inside the Ivy Tech Marion campus. After a few preliminaries, like showing two photo ID cards and signing my name a few times, I got on with the test. I wore ear plugs and headphones at first; but I had to remove firs the plugs and then the headphones, as the room was getting too hot and the background noise was more bearable than the noises in my head.

To make a two-hour test short, I can’t reveal the details under the terms of the test, but I did fail — getting a 62, below the pass threshold of 73.

I did badly in install/config, user accounts, network config and peripherals. I know I was getting stuck with FileVault, Keychains, account recovery, network configurations and Print Utility. I have never had to deal with any of them. I do not work with Mac staff workstations, where these sort of things mattered. I work on public Macs, where students are not supposed to monopolize the workstations, and any problems disappear with a reboot thanks to Deep Freeze.

I plan to retake the test in December, and will read up on my deficiencies to get a passing score, now that I know where I am ignorant.

oh, noriko!

The singing talent of Sakai Noriko graced such animé as Gunbuster and Video Girl Ai, especially the latter, whose manga author was a big fan of hers. And it is easy to understand why: Ms. Sakai is pretty, engaging and talented enough to branch off into acting later in her career. Alas, that was in the 1990’s.

I have found it hard to believe when I saw the BBC feed headline Japan pop star trial draws crowd, and followed the link to discover the pop star in question is — wha? you’re kidding! No, you are NOT kidding! Ahh, why her?

Yes, that pop star was Ms. Sakai, now on trail on the charge of drug possession. The State wants to plug her into a cell for eighteen months; Ms. Sakai, if she ever makes it out of the courtroom, wants to give up acting altogether and start a new career in hospice care.

Perhaps it is just as well. Ms. Sakai is pushing forty. While she is still lovely, her features are not as smooth as they once were. Neither, evidently, is her stamina as in her youth, hence the need for the uppers she was caught with.

What has surprised me is that all this has come about for the past several months — it was during August when Ms. Sakai fled, causing a media sensation in East Asia, only to surrender herself to Tokyo police — yet I had discovered this only a couple of weeks ago.

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