Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2002 > Birthday 2002 Edition

Birthday 2002 Edition


The ribbon in the headline is gone.

The Taliban are scattered. Osama bin Laden is in flight. Afghanistan has a new government of uncertain future, whose people need a lot of international help to survive the winter.

The rubble from the World Trade Center is cleared, and plans for rebuilding a nearby destroyed skyscraper are in the works. The sniffing and groping of air passengers' luggage is now a Federal mandate. And the media are still milking the attack for all its worth.

But as for myself the attack and its aftermath may as well be over, four months after it happened. Its effects will be felt for decades to come.


Yesterday was my birthday (I'm now legal to drink twice over). I got birthday greetings and cards from coworkers and family. I went to the Olive Garden for a personal birthday dinner (the family birthday dinner is not until next Sunday). No presents, but I did get some money.


I have been doing a lot of traveling myself lately. During this month I have been all over between Warsaw and Muncie, repairing or replacing computers. This is especially through at the Marion branches.

I've also been moving computers in the main office. As people on the newly-remodeled second floor find they do not like were they are, there is a second wave of relocations. (And the first wave is not even done!)


The DSL equipment arrived earlier than stated. I could not make it work with my router, so—following the advice of FrontierNet techies—I plugged it into the WinXP box. It worked! I now have an Internet connection comparable to the partial T-1 line I have at work.

Of course the only real way to test the DSL is to make the following streaming video work: A Cure for Serpents off the AtomFilms site. Do not even try to view this film if you have a dial-up connection.

Of course, a DSL connection is always open; and with WinXP's vulnerabilities (some unique, some inherited from WinNT) you do not want your WinXP box exposed to all the crackers and script kiddies of the world. Here comes ZoneAlarm and VirusScan to protect the by-itself unprotectable.

With my DSL connection I inherit an account from FrontierNet. I am still smarting from that event from last September, when I lost my Internet access. Still, I think the new web site I now have is a good place to put a page of links.

Appalachia School Of Law

I first heard about this place, when some human reject went on a killing spree yesterday at a place called the Appalachia School of Law in westernmost Virginia. The school's dean and two others were killed before the killer was wrestled to the ground.

The school was founded:

…to ease a shortage of lawyers in the coalfields of southwest Virginia, help change the region's image and foster renewal in Appalachia.

My ancestors came from that general area (my paternal grandfather became a railroad brakeman to escape it), and quite frankly I can't see how flooding the area with lawyers is going to renew Appalachia.

I bet the place already has enough lawyers, but that most of them are of the English solicitor variety: dealing in real estate and milking corporations of fees for the land. My great-grandfather Henry made his living that way. Evidently this makes it a shortage to East Coast people, since these lawyers do not represent the common folk.

Still, the rationale of founding a law school to pump more lawyers into an already impoverished region is beyond understanding.

Lawyers neither grow food nor dig out minerals nor make anything useful nor teach others how to do them nor even lend the money to let others do these things. They are good only for lawsuits, which can only grow when the first lawyers out of ASL begin their practices.

Yet forcing others through the courts to support the impoverished of Appalachia will only make their poverty and the region's reputation worse.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 30 November 2003.