Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2004 > Mid-February 2004 Edition

Mid-February 2004 Edition

First off, to cut costs on my web site, I have adopted the CGI e-mail scripting provided by Hostway, my web host; abandoned PHP entirely; and had my host plan downgraded. There should be no noticeable change to the site.

The Esperanto pages are back, and they are now exclusively in Unicode. This is to avoid using PHP to switch between fonts to conform to a visitor's browser. Unicode is the wave of the future, and all modern browsers (IE5+, Netscape 6+, Mozilla/Firefox) can read them. If your browser can't, you have my apologies.


The last week of January has been so bitterly cold. The temperature has never gotten above 20°F (-7°C) and the nights were sub-zero (around -20°C). Several area people have actually died from the cold.

It also snowed, although not very much. I didn't have any trouble digging out my car or my sidewalks.

The first two weeks of this month have been pleasant in comparison. There has been snow, but not all that much. There was freezing rain, though, and a lot of roads, streets and sidewalks were iced up.

natural gas

The gas bill had come, and the padding I accumulated over the summer was gone. I am fairly sure I can hold out until spring if the rest of the winter does not get as cold as the last week of January.

The bill was not as bad as it was last year because I have kept the thermostat set to 64°F (18°C). The cats have adjusted to the colder house by lounging on the higher shelves, where the warmth gathers. Of course, I can't do that, so I have to wear sweaters all day.

groundhog day

Groundhog Day was blissfully warm compared to the previous week. I could walk the Ball State campus with only layered sweaters and a windbreaker for just that one day.

As for that day, you know, it is a good thing that the Germans who brought that tradition to this country couldn't find the animals here that they customarily use to gauge the weather. Otherwise we would be calling the second of February Hedgehog Day.

clinic and a new doctor

The Fairmount Family Medicine clinic is now closed. I was told the records would still be there for another few months, but I don't see how the owners of the building will allow that.

Anyway, I went to Alexandria last Friday morning to meet the doctor there. Dr. Mueller seems a friendly soul, and competent enough after I told her about my ongoing condition. So I decided to set an appointment with her.


It's a minor certification, but the Microsoft Office Specialist for Word 2002 (XP) adds to my resume. I passed the test for it Friday afternoon. The only question I couldn't answer was how to add a watermark to a document (something I usually associate with laserjets of the HP 41xx type).

Realizing that my current experience is insufficient for network tasks, I decided to study for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam. If I can do that, and add a MCSA (Microsoft) or CNA (Novell), that will make me more employable.

I have toyed with the idea of taking thirty-six credit-hours at IU for a master of library science degree. The Bracken is always needy for MLS folk to fill its ranks. But the cost of a master's degree is prohibitive.


Some of the more odious bills in the Indiana legislature, esp. township abolition and caps on state college tuition, have died the death. It is a good thing for township abolition to die. The fact that urban townships (like in Marion and Allen counties) put out more than they take in is not a cause to abolish townships everywhere. Oh, did I mention that Fairmount Township took in more than it spent?

It looks like full-day kindergarten will also fail for a lack of any acceptable way to fund it. There isn't even a consensus on whether it is effective.

Daylight savings time has reappeared, and it's more popular than ever now that it comes with a proposal to shift almost all of Indiana back to Central Standard Time to sync it with Chicago. Only the southeastern counties near Louisville and Cincinnati stay on Eastern. The television stations don't like it, but they're the only ones who still look to New York for their bread and butter.


Sen. Kerry is a stooge on Hollywood's payroll, with the backing of Fritz Hollings (D-Disney). Kerry wants to ruin computer storage equipment and to make network administration and computer repair virtually a crime. Why? So that Disney and the rest of Hollywood may make big profits off crufty content. I don't care if everyone says that Kerry's the Democrats' best chance to beat El Dubya, who truly does need to be kicked out of the White House. The American technology industry suffers enough due to recession and outsourcing; Kerry in the White House will be its kiss of death. If it were my choice, I'd pick Wesley Clark if he were still running.

media hypocrisy

I didn't watch the Super Bowl, as I had lost whatever interest I had in football when the Colts lost to New England. As for the halftime show, why should I care? Janet Jackson looks too much like her mutant little bro; hers is too small to be worth notice; and it's only a matter of time before all that crufty content from cable television (where Kim Cattrall is the poster babe and which the FCC never complains about) sloshed into broadcast television. That is why all the outrage over Janet's endowment (and the Super Bowl halftime show as a whole) is so hypocritical.

Copyright © 2004 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 14 February 2004.