Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2004 > Thanksgiving Day 2004 Edition

Thanksgiving Day 2004 Edition


Thanksgiving was here. I could smell the turkey late in the morning. And the sun was shining outside.

We had turkey with sage stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce. Eating it were the folks, my sisters Vickie and Tina, my two nieces Megan and Erin, and Megan's friend Ash. It was a good meal.


It was a dark, wet and windy day. I just managed to arrive this morning with everyone else. Then I found the room to my desk locked; the usual student assistants have already fled the campus for Thanksgiving; and the campus network is down, so I couldn't clock in.

On the good side, the replacement assistant was pretty; I got to clock in at eight anyway; the library network was still up, and most of what I had to do today doesn't require the campus network.

Even better, the campus network came back up at 8:30am.

I will in time assume the development and maintenance of the mobile on-line public access catalog (MOPAC). Basically it is an interface between a mobile device (a cell phone or PDA) and the library's electronic card catalog system. Stan, one of the other temp programmers, has written the code for MOPAC, and his office expires next month, so I will get to work with it (although Stan will be available if something goes wrong).

The code is written in C# on Visual Studio — appropriate since Ball State is a Microsoft shop.


A couple of weeks ago I went to a job interview at University Computing Services. I had to schedule the interview that very morning at the front desk of LITS.

I discovered that afternoon a part of the Bell Building I visited only once before in my whole life (but I don't remember in what context). The job, similar to my old bank job, is at the technical support section of UCS. This is in the Bell Building, on the same floor as the English Department, but separated from the rest of the floor by a winding corridor.

The interview itself was a team effort by my possible supervisor and three co-workers. I think it turned out very well, despite my evident verbal trouble, but you never know with things like that.

Lastly I had a short talk with Todd Phelps, who runs the technical unit. He is the husband of Lynn Phelps, who was head of human resources when I was hired at the bank. I got along well with her, even though she angered a lot of other people and eventually got the boot herself. She now does real estate and (as Todd tells me) does very well.

credit card death

I put my gasoline credit card to death. It's true that I skipped September's bill, but then I didn't get September's bill. That bill was stuck at Tina's house due to an unchanged address. I didn't get it in my hands until two weeks ago — after I paid for September and October plus a late charge and interest. If that wasn't bad enough, the oil company hiked my annual percentage rate from 19% to 34%! That's for skipping one month! For that I will cancel my gas card and pay for my gas in cash from now on.

As for the other card, I always strive to pay at least half the balance when it is due (and never just the minimum). And I always keep a little in the balance so that the credit card creature can feed off the interest, even if the interest is a dollar or two a month. If you pay off the whole bill every month, the creature may well spit you out, canceling the card.


Kerry did not win. I'm not at all surprised.

We are stuck with another four years of Bush and his band of incompetent brigands. The only good thing coming out of this is that the chief brigands, Cheney and Rumsfeld, are old and sick and might die before they're a year into their terms of office.

The effects of their policies are already being felt with the drop of the dollar against other currencies. Why? We spend too much, we import too much, we save too little, and we export jobs instead of goods. Worse, we borrow too much for war and corporate welfare while depending too much on foreigners to buy our government debt. Those foreigners are becoming more and more reluctant to buy that debt.

I still think that social and cultural issues are still irrelevant. There's a whole lot of bad stuff that Americans do today, that their ancestors wouldn't dream of doing in their worst moments. They've been doing that stuff for decades. They will keep doing that stuff even if the courts and the media and the schools forsake their fond delusions. They will keep doing that stuff, and there's nothing Bush can do about it. The gist of the "stuff" is that Americans will now do anything to sate their desires, even if it meant a future of poverty, oppression and misery for their kids and grandkids.

Yet, despite their moral weaknesses Americans in general do want a better world; and they know they won't get it from the Democrats, whom they instinctively feel are deeper down the skank pit than they. That's why the Republicans did so much better in the polls than anyone predicted: "[T]he Republican Party is a weak vessel, with lots of movers and shakers who seem to care only about greed; but now, on the broad array of social issues, it is the only game in town." (John Leo, USN&WR, 15 November 2004.)

The Democrats and their kind don't see themselves as being in a skank pit, let alone deep down inside. Democrats believe themselves to be beacons of enlightenment over the simple ignoramuses of that benighted country, which they never visit but which they fly over between visits to stroke each other. As long as Democrats show this open unrelenting scorn for the majority of their fellow Americans, they will never regain the White House or Congress.

You Brits, Europeans and other people of the world: You will have to live with that. We don't expect you to like it.

Copyright © 2004 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 27 November 2004.