Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2003 > Mid-September Edition

Mid-September Edition


This is wonderful pre-autumn weather: warm days, cool nights, fogless mornings (unless you wake up really early). Mars still shines bright and high in the September sky. And Isabel is far away and doing its patriotic duty by keeping Washington closed for a couple of days.

half-day off

I work this weekend, so I got a half-day off Wednesday morning as comp time. I mowed the lawn...well, spent half the time mowing the lawn and the other half fighting off hordes of hungry mosquitos. Yeah, I can't wait for the first frost to kill them all off.

After washing up, I took the elder cat, Baby, for a ride in the car. Unlike most cats, Baby likes to ride. She looks outside at those other cats who have to walk.

sick kitty

Thyme (the little gray cat) is sick. She lies in dark corners all day. And when she moves, she is slow and stiff.

I started worrying about Thyme early this week. Usually she greets me on top of the covered bookcase when I come home from work. When I first noticed she was not there, I looked for her for an hour. She was in the dark bathroom.

Realizing she was sick, I gave Thyme boiled milk to drink and open some windows to let in some fresh air.

Wednesday evening I took Thyme to the vet near Alexandria. The vet examined Thyme and found she was feverish with a viral infection. He gave Thyme a shot and had me give her a milliliter of an antibiotic liquid twice a day.

It's tough keeping Thyme still and take her medicine until I found I could give it in the side of her mouth. She does not like it: she takes it, whizzes on the counter, and runs. At least the counter is easier to clean than (say) a rug. And it's only for a week. And she is starting to feel better already.


The governor did not recover from his double stroke. He passed away Sunday.

His successor is now governor, and will serve only through next year.

old middle school

A chain-link fence surrounds the old middle school (old high school to older citizens), and a thick tarp is laid on the roof of the bell-tower half. Reconstruction is now underway.

one crisis after another

The county that includes Fairmount has just past a budget that is several thousand dollars in the red as it recovers from recession, slowness in property reassessment, and past accounting blunders.

One of the 'cost savings' came from cutting health insurance for public defenders, who are lawyers paid by the county to represent in court poor people charged with crimes.

But, as health insurance is the only thing that draws lawyers to be public defenders, all eleven public defenders in the county have resigned. And, without health insurance, it is unlikely that the county will be able to hire replacements unless they are Lionel Hutz types or fresh out of law school.

The county could set up a public defender board for establishing wages and standards to become eligible for money from the state; but as my county's public defenders were among the most poorly paid, the extra money will make no difference if the health insurance is not there.

Thus the bind:

  1. The county cannot offer health insurance again to public defenders until next year.
  2. If no one is replaced, the county will have to hire defense lawyers who charge by the hour. That will in time create another budget crisis.
  3. If the county hires subpar public defenders, any poor defendant who feels cheated at his trail can sue the county; any one suit can bring about another budget crisis.

This is an obvious example of the phrase 'penny wise and dollar dum'. In any event, the county citizens will see their taxes go up.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 19 September 2003.