Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2004 > Early June 2004 Edition

Early June 2004 Edition

rush out

I may assume that my niece Erin will return to Fairmount after her graduation this coming weekend. My sister Vickie promised her work.

That means that I must do the following this week:

I did not expect to do this until late July. Tina wanted Erin to stay in Bloomington and get a job there until the first of August. It is turning out otherwise, though. That ticks me off really bad!

This angers Tina even more. With me here until late July she gets another month's rent and the utility bills paid. With me gone she gets no rent and will have to pay the utilities (through Erin) on top of her payments for the flat in Bloomington. See how that works?


I did two interviews Thursday, both at Ball State.

The morning interview was for a part-time temporary programming job at the Bracken. It deals with formatting library service information for wireless handhelds with stylesheets. I will need to catch up on wireless technology if I get the job, but that's no problem. I talked with three people, including the Dean of University Libraries and the Assistant Dean for IT.

The afternoon interview was for a help desk job at the computing center, where I got to see the back areas of the Bell Building for the first time. I was interviewed by a committee of three people, including my potential supervisor.

I think the interviews went quite well. I should hear from them this week one way or another. Due to the problem mentioned above, I had to give both parties my folks' phone number.

in memoriam

Ronald Reagan is dead at age 93 after a long life as a sports broadcaster, as a Hollywood actor, as governor of California, and as the President of the USA during my time as a student at Ball State.

Reagan was the guy who cut taxes and social spending, which caused the Left to weep and gnash their teeth. He also raised spending on military defense and research. This forced the old Soviet Union to spend itself into collapse, but not before it signed a missile-reduction treaty with the USA. It also multiplied the national debt.

Reagan started out in a sea of hostility. The Left was screaming in outrage that he was ever elected at all. His policy of updating tactical missiles with nuclear warheads in Europe touched off an anti-nuclear movement. The harsh tightening of credit by the Federal Reserve under Volcker (Greenspan's predecessor) to rein in the hyperinflation of the 1970's caused a recession that won Reagan the White House while it closed factories and brought about a wave of foreclosures of family farms.

Reagan's was an era of sharp dealings by his corrupt underlings. The Iran-Contra scandal was the most well known. The INSLAW incident, where a profiling software package was stolen by the Justice Department under Meese and given to the Israelis, is less well known but just as underhanded. But it's likely that, like Warren Harding in an earlier era, Reagan had no idea what his drones were doing.

It was also the (probably last) time when, to the horror of the Left, Christians of various types entered politics and became involved in social issues in order to stem what they saw as the moral corruption of American society. The angry reaction of the Left to this forsaking of Christian quietism resulted in a low-intensity conflict that is still going on.

It was also the time when punk rock matured into "new wave" and spun off alternative and indie rock; when the Internet was in illo tempore, a realm of academics, researchers and programmers where TCP/IP and e-mail matured; and when Caitlin Clarke had her most fruitful years. All these were good things which came out of Reagan's era.


The website for the Ruby programming language, www.ruby-lang.org, was cracked on 28 May, and all its services, including its web pages, were brought down. It's still down when I checked today.

The transit of Venus, that rare event (it last happened in 1882) when its shadow travels between us and the Sun, is coming this Tuesday morning. Unfortunately it will end just after the sun rises where I live.

The Cassini probe will reach Saturn this month. It will examine the rings, moons and surface of Saturn; then on XMas will launch the Huygens mini-probe to study the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Copyright © 2004 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 6 June 2004.