Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2006 > Late July 2006 Edition

Late July 2006 Edition


The weather has been broiling through the month of July. The air conditioner for the upstairs hall has been set up, and it makes my room somewhat bearable. It has cooled off this weekend, at least enough for a trip to Fry's in Indy.

Book Database

I am slowing starting to work on the Liber book database that I have been puttering with off and on for the past few years. I am basing it on my blood-glucose database, which has been showing good results for the past two years.

Brit Chair

There is a type of two-cushion chair where you sit on one cushion and your shins rest on the other. The idea is to relieve stress on the spine by giving it the proper alignment. Most folks call this a kneeling chair, even though you don't put your knees on the lower cushion. I call it a Brit chair because I read that it was first developed in Britain.

One of my co-workers had a Brit chair at her workstation. She was desperate to be rid of it: She can't use it herself anymore (her knees are shot), and none of her co-workers want it. So I took it off her hands. It took some maneuvering but I got the chair in my room and in front of my computer.

I owned a Brit chair myself once, and after a week of sitting I now remember why I got rid of it. It is hard to adjust it for comfortable sitting. It makes my knees and shins ache, as well as the bones in my butt, so that I have to get up and walk about after thirty minutes in it. But I will persevere with it.

The Maturation of Animé

This is the best title I can think of for the end result of the popularity of Japanese animation by the general public. Or maybe I should call it the overripening of animé. Several cable channels (esp. Adult Swim) are broadcasting animé, and Disney is a distributor of the works of Studio Ghibli. Some of my favorite titles are out on DVD (Weathering Continent, Video Girl Ai), as well as some really good stuff (FLCL).

On the other hand, other favorite titles are either vanishing or never make the transition from tape to DVD. KOR is going out of print (and it's a good thing I got the remaining titles in time) as AnimEigo slowly evolves from an animé distributor to one that sells chambara movies. And most remaining new animé falls under the "90% of X is crap" adage; Miyazaki Hayao himself has complained about this, and Anno Hideaki has forsaken animé altogether.

This is not a happy time for animé.

Tape Conversion

This problem, and the need to convert some of my Caitlin Clarke material to DVD, compelled me to buy at Fry's a means of converting tapes to DVD. I have not gotten it to work so far because the main piece of software keeps asking for a serial number, and rejects the one that comes with the kit. I contacted the company that made the kit for some help.


Welcome Back

One of my co-workers is no longer the night technician. His hours have shifted from 7 p.m. – 3 a.m. to noon – 9 p.m. Under the old hours, he shows up two hours after everyone leaves. Evidently my boss is tired of trying to communicate to him via e-mail, esp. since he has a lot of programming stuff that the boss needs to keep tabs on. The genial fellow himself is not exactly sure why he has been moved.


For some reason a lot of Ball State employees are retiring, or at least it seems that way. My inbox has been getting at least a retirement or departure announcement every week.

One such is the office supervisor, Darlene, who leaves after Monday the 24th to assume a secretary's position in some local elementary school. There is nothing to keep her here: Her daughter has graduated, and she wants a schedule to match that of her husband, a gym teacher. But she is the one who keeps the unit in some semblance of order, and it will be chaotic when she is gone.

Staff Lounge Working Group

I don't visit the staff lounge often; it's where the cataloging folks go. But it will soon get a lot crowded once the public lounge is turned into a small café. The vending machines are already in the lower level.

I found myself volunteering for an ad-hoc working group on what to do with the staff lounge. It seems nobody cleans the place. The lounge's kitchen has a sink, a stove and a new refrigerator. The sink is groddy; the stove is unused; and while the frig is relatively clean, it is feared that it won't stay that way (tragedy of the commons and what not). The three microwave ovens are even worse: They don't quite look like the one in the public lounge, but they do get groddy.

Anyway, the first two meetings have been to write up a document on a permanent working group, who gets to join, how volunteers are chosen and what they do as far as cleaning the lounge goes.

The Long Vacation

Most of the staff in my unit have been burning off their vacation days to get them used before the cutoff date of August 31st. I have been doing this myself. My first summer vacation began after work on the 23th of June. Basically I did nothing during my vacation. Well, okay, I did do these:

The fireworks on the third were a lucky fluke given how stormy it was that day. In fact it was still so wet that the firefighters had trouble setting off the fireworks; we were witness to four "domes" of fire when the fireworks went off on the ground. And the fireworks flag fizzled after lighting halfway up. But the show was impressive anyway.

Stuff happened in my absence: Some of the vending machines were moved from the Bistro to the lower level; new datajacks were approved to be installed later this summer; the latest major upgrade to Mac OS X was released; and I learned that iWeb is not all it claims to be.

The second vacation starts this coming Friday. It will not be quite as long, and I will visit the hospital (the reason for the blood and take-home tests) during it.

Copyright © 2006 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 24 July 2006.