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

Mid-June 2004 Edition

after rush out

I am back in my bedroom at the folks' house. Almost all of my stuff is moved in, although much of that is still boxed.

I sorted a large number of my books. I culled five shopping bags full of books that will make their way to the Bracken Library's Circulation Department. More are on their way, since I have several boxes I haven't gotten to yet.

After I left, Erin moved in, and the house now looks just like it did before I moved in two years ago. Erin brought three new cats: two black cats (one of which looks mangy) and one cat who hides himself all the time.

Erin says I don't have to mow the lawn, but I don't know how she will do it, or even if she intends to do it. The gas-powered lawn mower does not work. She probably won't touch my push-reel lawn mower. And she will mow that lawn at least once every two weeks, lest the querulous neighbors across the street get her in trouble with the town council.

the new job

On the eighth I got the call from Ball State's Bracken Library, offering me the part-time temp job with the library's information systems technology (LITS) division. The job, as I described before, "deals with formatting library information for wireless handhelds by means of stylesheets." I accepted the job.

On the Thursday after the call I visited Ball States human resources department to fill out a series of forms. On the fifteenth I reported for work to my new boss, Brad Faust, who is LITS' manager and holds the title of assistant dean.

I really like the job so far after the first week. My tasks--learning Visual Studio Professional (esp. the Mobile Controls) and researching a wireless content provider--are not difficult. And my new co-workers are an amiable lot, although I see only half a dozen of them regularly: Stan (whom I work with on the wireless project), Darlene (the boss's assistant) and her student assistant, Tim (a programmer who works in the same area as Stan), Kirk (the hardware guy) and Jeremy (the network guy).

Brooke Bauer

I was walking back to my car after work. This time I decided to take a long detour through the athletic buildings. I ended up in the concourse (outer hall) of the arena. I looked inside the big empty space where the basketball court in the middle. I noticed the seats were plastic and looked not nearly as comfortable as those cushy ones in IU Assembly Hall. Evidently when your alumni are teachers and small businessmen, that's all you can afford.

Anyway I noticed metal plaques on the walls along the concourse: A Hall of Fame, each plaque of which honoring a Ball State athlete. I thought: Brookie's an excellent athlete. Let's see if she has a plaque of her own. So I strolled down the concourse looking for a plaque with her name. I found it near one of the west-facing entrances to the arena. The image was hard to recognize at first because it showed Brookie wearing longer hair than I remembered. According to it Brookie was chosen in 1996 to be among the first female athletes for Ball State's athlete Hall of Fame.

Brooke Bauer was a student from Glenview, one of Chicago's northern suburbs, who was a diver on the swim team. Indeed, she was one of Ball State's best divers: She still holds the 1-meter diving record, set in 1982, for the college athletic conference Ball State is in.

Brookie had this really spun-golden hair, sad eyes and a very charming smile. I really liked Brookie—enough to do the (for me back then) unimaginable act of sending her a get-well card when she came down with hepatitis. But I lost touch with Brookie when I left Ball State for a year to get myself together. I don't even remember when Brookie graduated. I think she graduated in 1984. I'm sure it was before I did in 1987.

Evidently after graduation Brookie returned to metro Chicago and trained to be physical education teacher. I have found (according to a Google search) that Brookie now teaches physical education at a high school in the exurbs north of Chicago, and is a member of a bicycle club in her free time. And she has changed very little in twenty years.


The Ruby language web site came back up on the fifteenth after being down for two weeks.

Some company backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has launched the first privately-built rocket plane into space. It reached an altitude of a hundred kilometers (62 miles) and stayed just above the atmosphere for 210 seconds. If the plane can do that again within two weeks, the builders will win the Ansari X Price, worth ten million dollars.

I sometimes wonder why the United States bothers to have computer and information-technology industries when its Senate keeps trying to criminalize them, using the excuse "will someone please think of the children!" First it was Exon of Nebraska; then it's Hollings of Disney South Carolina; now it's Hatch of Utah! This is the sort of thing that makes me believe that good intentions are the most evil of all.

Copyright © 2004 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 22 June 2004.