Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2003 > Early May 2003

Early May 2003 Edition

feedback form problems

I did not get any messages through the feedback form lately because the latest version was buggy. I'm sure you don't want to know what version of PHP is being used at Hostway. Anyway, I got the code ironed out, and it tested OK. I'm sorry for any problems the form may have caused. And props to kitsune (my sister) for letting me know there was a problem with the form.

I wouldn't need such a form in the first place if not for those damnable spammers and their address-harvesting software. I've already had two e-mail addresses become spam magnets, and one looks like it's on its way to becoming one, too. As a preventive measure, I hide my webmaster address behind such feedback forms.



For each of the three evenings I watched a Miyazaki film on DVD.

Friday: Castle in the Sky.
Saturday: Spirited Away.
Sunday: Kiki's Delivery Service.

I had thought that Disney would be squeamish in releasing Castle in the Sky because that castle's name, Laputa, looks like a Spanish obscenity. But the subtitling is satisfactory although a bit, um, gingerly in spots (esp. in handling Muska's coarse language).

As of now all the major Miyazaki films have been released on DVD, either by Disney or by others, except for Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.


I went to Muncie to shop, mostly for groceries. I bought a kettle to give making tea a try, and some stevia to sweeten it. After getting groceries I had to drive home with the air conditioner on because the weather was so warm. The tea and stevia came out OK. That was how uneventful the day was.


I went to Purdue this morning, and stayed until mid-afternoon.

It is the last week before final exams, so there were lots of students milling about. Some of them were very pleasing to the eye. There was a volleyball game in the main mall, and a picnic, too. Strangely enough the groundskeepers were driving about nearby, spraying for weeds. Would you care to connect the two?

The computer science department is still in the converted gymnasium, and its proposed new site is still a parking lot. Evidently the department hasn't yet raised the matching funds for the new building's construction. I guess we can hold little hope that there will ever be built, given the poor economy and the state's fiscal troubles.

How the electrical engineering building came to double as a art gallery on its lower floor is a mystery. I like most of the prints, though. I wish the department would do something about their larger atrium: it's a weed field in there.

The remodelling of the humanities/social sciences library in the Steward Center is complete. I am impressed with the way the new floor looks; but then I am partial to blue, which is the prevailing color.

I shopped first at the University Bookstore (no clothes this time) and then at Von's. I got no book comics this time: I brought no credit card and that part of Von's accepts no checks. In the book section I bought two books on theater. I want to try to understand more of what Ms. Clarke's career is all about.


One of the cats that hang around the folks' house developed a cyst in his good ear, so the folks took him to the vet to get it drained.

I tried to make the Debian Linux server and the Gateway box work with each other. In the end I lost dial-up capability. I had to wipe the hard drive (after backing up my work), and restore Windows XP and drivers. The new GWSCAN program cleans out even the bigger drives within a half-hour.

Padre moved his flatbed trailer, so I mowed the grass underneath; then I burned the grass and some of the branches in the back corner. Hopefully I will get rid of that pile of branches this summer.

Daria: Is It College Yet? arrived on DVD. I saw it originally on MTV at the start of 2002, when the series ended after five seasons. I love the speech Daria gave at her graduation; it is a lot in my line. The DVD, like all subsequent showings of the movie, leaves out a lot of stuff I remember from the original.


I visited the doctor's to find out about my blood test. My blood has turned out much better (7.4 now, as opposed to 10.3 back in early March), but the doctor decided to hike my metfo intake.

Indeed, my weight has turned out much better since I started on the diet and metfo. Last year my weight was as high as 235#. In January during the company health screening it was 222#. Now I am down to 210#. I also lost three inches off my waist.

I swapped a 13-GB hard drive in the linux server, and reinstalled Debian Linux. I will probably do it again tomorrow now that I see that the Apache server is version 3.1.x. I want the 2.x version. That means I will have to do the reinstall manually. Ditto for Samba.


It was a cool, windy and drizzly day. Upon confirming that I got paid, I gave my sister her rent and the telco their payments. I also got my new metfo prescription for five times the price because I forgot to present my health insurance card. (D'oh!)

I had lunch with Debbie at the Olive Garden in Muncie. She is done with all her classes, and has only her thesis to do. This involves studying the mineral content of the glacial deposits at eight separate sites, and comparing them with those at a control site in Ohio. The slide preparation and study will take up most of the next two months.


The day was sunny and comfortable. I spent the morning mowing the lawn.

It was Caitlin Clarke's birthday today, and as the custom for the past eleven years, I have a steak dinner. Because the area Ponderosa and Bonanza steak restaurants have closed, I had to go to some place called the Sirloin Stockade. The food in general was good, but I did not care for their 'waffle fries', mainly because there were too many of them.

Then I drove to Border's in Castleton to buy a book on regular expressions, which are rules used to look for patterns in text. Most modern languages, including Visual Basic .NET and the three main scripting languages, use them. So I needed to know more about them.


The day reverted to cool and cloudy. After lunch Vickie drove me back to the house and took a look at the pipe to the outdoor hose faucet. She suggested putting a cap where the outdoor pipe connects to the water main under the kitchen sink (after turning off the water, of course). I will consider that this week.


The Iraqi War is over.

For a war that has caused a lot of pants-wetting by individuals, music bands and nations, it was remarkably brief and bloodless. It lasted less than a month, and the only real casualties are Saddam Hussein and his followers, France and El Dubya's reputation outside his own country (he did sidestep the UN, you know).

I hope you folks out there are still supporting our troops, who are hard at work hunting Saddam and trying to maintain order in Iraq. Given that they fought out the war in so short a time, they deserve our respect. And they will still need our support for as long as they are in Iraq.

Nonetheless, remember that in any hierarchy, no matter how well the lower layers work, the one at the top of the heap can still be a perfect fool. And if that person is an MBA, it's most likely so.


The real catfights will now begin over how Iraq will be rebuilt and by what group of multinational companies without ties to France. There is a lot of money to be made in rebuilding the country that Saddam has run into the ground with war and neglect.

What kind of state Iraq will have is uncertain. But in the long run it will not likely be a western-style democracy, which can't flourish in Islamic soil. And it certainly will not be a Shi'ite theocracy like in Iran—the Americans will see to that!

The one good thing coming out of the war is that, with Saddam out of the way, American troops are leaving Sa'udi Arabia. There is no longer a reason to keep troops there. And when the troops are gone, so will be the original reason for the existence of al-Qaeda—to expel the infidels from the holy soil of Islam. Mind you, al-Qaeda will still attack Americans as it is carried along by inertia.

france (for the last time)

Something else coming out of the war is that the average American has realized just how much the French hate our guts. Now the French are paying in lost exports and tourism for the hatred and ressentiment they have felt for us all these long decades.

As for the Doonesbury cartoon last Sunday: I grant that the 'freedom fries' thing is stupid, and I said as much weeks ago. However:

Nice try, Trudeau. :p

I am getting tired of France and French-bashing, so I will drop the subject.

Copyright 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated on 07 May 2003. Contact me.