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End Of February 2003 Edition

the winter dude returns

We got dumped on by the Winter dude on the night of Saturday the 22d. After the snow let up, I went out at midnight and shoveled out my sidewalks. My car was trapped in a hugh mount of snow left by the town snow plow. My next-day morning attempt to dig it out simply made it stuck. I had to wait until the afternoon for the warmth of the sun and wind to melt the snow enough to shovel out my car. Then in the evening came more snow: not enough to rebury my car, but enough to make the roads slick.

The rest of the week was clear but very cold, except for one day that was warm enough to melt the snow...slightly. That is worse than no warm days at all: the slush, shaped by the warmth and the cars driving over it, refroze into winding bumps that make for rough driving. I have had to take the interstate to work, for Wheeling Pike and all other county roads into Muncie are an unplowed mess.

And now I am told by my boss' boss that I must be at work at 8:00 to 8:15. That means I must leave at seven! What an annoyance!! At least I'm not alone: my co-workers have been told the same.

And the weather forecasts all promise more of the same cold for the coming fortnight.

It would be a good thing to remind oneself that spring is coming. But I'm starting to feel with George Orwell in the last years of his life, when he felt more and more each year that spring would never come.

health screening

On Wednesday the company held its annual health screening. I had to come to work earlier than usual (a real pain given what I just described above). Fortunately the screening folk were running late for the blood sampling I had to do early in the morning. I fasted for twelve hours prior to the blood screening. The screening reported unacceptably high levels of glucose and triglycerides (soluble fat). It was strongly urged that I see my doctor, and I will do so on the first Monday of March. In the meantime I will have to cut back on the Coca-Cola to less than a liter a day.

It is my consumption of so much sugar that had made my triglyceride and glucose count so high. But I don't like aspartame because it tastes terrible in drinks that are not sour, and it is said to be injurious to the brain. I may have to start drinking green tea with stevia.

the motorists of muncie

Driving to work on Friday the 21st, the first thirty minutes of my trip through the countryside down the ever-winding Wheeling Pike go without a hitch.

Then I approach Muncie.

Ah hahahaha…ho, boy.

This morning some fool slid his pickup off the road on Wheeling Pike just as you enter Muncie. His pals tied his truck to back end of another pickup with a length of cloth.

Seeing that reminded me at once of something I read in a Dilbert newsletter about some jerk towing another car in that way…at high speed. When he had to stop all of a sudden, the towed car didn't, and both cars got crushed in the collision.

I almost had a crash of my own. Seeing the opposite lane clear, I drove into it to get around the scene…just as the towing pickup began driving into the road. I had to swerve to miss the idiot; and as Wheeling at that point was icy (which was why the other truck was in the ditch) I almost slid myself.

I got away from that foolish scene without a scratch on my car or myself, but you other folks watch yourselves when you drive to Muncie. Those native drivers are gormless wackos!

ah, if imaging were that simple

Making an exact copy of a hard drive for storage or transfer to a new hard drive is called imaging, and the copy itself is an image. Some of the more advanced computers use a form of imaging called RAID, which involves two or more hard drives. If one hard drive dies, a new one can be swapped without loss of data.

Imaging has figured a lot in my work, as I swap hard drives on a series of Gateways, whose original hard drives fail with irritating frequency. Two such drives I have swapped this weekend, loading the images the old hard drives onto the new ones. As these images are exact copies, the users should come in Monday, turn on their computers and not notice the difference, right? Nope. The IP settings disappear! So I have to reset them Monday morning.

when i catch a cold, pop music comes out my nose

Alternative and indie rock have faded into the past. If you want to be historical about it, they died with the self-death of Kurt Cobain. It hurts, but I know that they were fads which come and go. I coped when the mind-rock of the late 1970's and early 1980's (Kansas, Rush) faded out, but because punk and new wave (not as good, but I liked them) came to replace them. Yet after alternative/indie rock left, nothing appeared to take its place.

Most popular music has become derivative crap sung by a variety of bimbos and boobs and played on radio stations that hike the tempo on the songs to cram in more commercials. There's nothing like ear candy made from ancient Beatles music overfermented in the West Coast sun to make you want to throw your radio out an upper-story window. Worst of all, that ear candy—bubblegum rock—has at long last won the war for rock and roll.

That's why I don't listen to the radio much anymore: NPR for news during my drives to and from work. And even that is getting sparse: Hearts of Space and most of the other interesting stuff on WBST (the Muncie NPR affiliate) got thrown out because the station couldn't get any money out of the stingy Muncie bourgeoisie.

And then the music industry complains that their sales drop, and blames file swapping on the Internet. In fact it hasn't sold much because there is nothing out there worth buying anymore. And the nothing is expensive, esp. compared to DVDs, which at least have interesting stuff to go with the movies.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 27 February 2003.