Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2006 > End of Summer Vacation 2006 Edition

End of Summer Vacation 2006 Edition


Last week was my second vacation, in which I used up my vacation days before they expire at the end of this month. No, it is not an efficient way to use vacation days; but since last November I was so busy getting used to my new job that I did not give the idea of a vacation a single thought until the summer approached with the reminder to use my days while I could.

Heat Wave

I have been couped up inside my house this past weekend and the weekdays that followed. The weather has been unbearably hot and humid, with temperatures around 35°C (95°F) and with humidity making it feel hotter. I have had to leave the door to my room open to take full advantage of the hallway air conditioner and the central air from the basement. I only go out in the early morning to do chores; and even then the air is warm and thick with moisture.

It seems odd that the cats do not feel the heat as much as we do. But then cats have higher body temperatures than we.

My sister Vickie got it worse because one day this week her air conditioner conked out. Madre prodded her to call the hardware store to send someone to check the device. Amazingly they arrived in a half-hour. They found a short in the condenser wiring and fixed it. She now has A/C.

Anyway the heat died down later that week. By Friday it was bearable enough to drive out to the Who-Net meeting.


Tuesday morning Madre drove me to St. Vincent's in Elwood for what is euphemistically an expedition. I will not go into the details except that instead of one big item (as was found on the last expedition six years ago) four small items were found. Hopefully the items are harmless as the big one was. I slept off the Demerol the rest of the day.


I want to get the expedition done and paid for. This is the main reason I have delayed looking for a house.

East central Indiana has never really participated in the so-called "housing boom" because of the cloud of economic depression that has hung over the area for so many years. This has made houses more affordable (many are less than $100,000). That same depression has also kept the young adults away, since there is nothing for them to do here: Fairmount has one of the oldest populations in the area.

Anyway I have worked out a list of good and bad points about getting a house in Fairmount and getting one in Muncie near my place of work. I will list it elsewhere on this site.


I had planned to take the Microsoft exam for Windows XP Professional this Friday with Thompson Prometric at some testing place at Carmel-By-The-Road. But other events have intruded, forcing me to first postpone the test to this Friday, then to cancel it altogether.

Not to worry, though: I have learned that Pearson VUE offers the same test at Ball State's Lucina Hall. I don't have to miss more than a half-day of work to take it. I will give myself another month to study WinXP Pro and give the test a shot in September.


The old doctor's office next to the local museum caught fire during the ice storm in January 2005. The house is mostly brick but with a wooden kitchen in the back. When the power was restored to the house an electrical outlet in the kitchen sparked and caught the wood on fire. The family renting the place got out in time, but they lost their pet cat in the smoke. Since then the house has laid gutted.

Then about a month ago the museum people got some people to work on the house. The house is being rewired. A new backside and modern roof have been added. Repairs have been slowed down by the heat wave, but I figure it will be finished by the next Museum Days. Once the repairs are done the house will be rented again.

Council Trouble

Something is wrong with the town council.

They want to build an annex to the town hall with a dropoff box to deposit bills from a car, like what banks have. I don't know why. Anyone so invalid that they can't walk into the town hall to the clerk's office can't drive a car to the dropoff box.

Building an annex involves a cycle of posting bids, accepting the cheapest bidder, floating a bond issue to cover the costs, closure of part of the town hall, building the annex, and then the unavoidable uproar when it is found that the construction is defective and the cycle begins again to affect repairs. And, as the treasurer pointed out in the one council meeting this year that I attended, the town does not have the money. Nor may the town be able to float a bond issue for the same reason the library board can't: The school board burned its district badly several years ago on a massive (and to many unnecessary) expansion of the middle/high school, making the town skittish on any further hikes in property taxes.

Yet the council also want to stop paying rent to the local ambulance service's location at the Masonic Temple, claiming the place is a dump. But the rent is only $600 annually; the EMS does not think of the place as a dump; and the Freemasons have been (acc. to the EMS) reasonable landlords.

By this action the council has insulted the local Freemasons, who are an influential bunch around here. Also, the council has not given any affordable place for the EMS to move to (there is no room in the fire house itself for an ambulance); so if the council succeeds in evicting the EMS it will likely disband. This will make the town dependent on ambulance services further away, making the town liable to lawsuits if someone dies on the way to the hospital in Marion.

As one of the EMS folks (in a letter to the local paper) noted, if the town council won't foot the bill for such a small rent, then the town is in worse financial shape than its citizens realize.

I wonder if it is possible to just paralyze the town council into inaction for the next fifteen months, after which it can be voted out and more reasonable people can be voted in?

Zombie Doll

I have seen a picture of that statue of a certain New York senator in front of a museum in New York City. It looks like one of those mannequins for a medical college. You know, if you want to make a sexy statue of a woman you really ought to make it look like it has some skin. You should not make her look like all her twitching muscles are out in the open. It looks more creepy than sexy. It makes you think that there is something really wrong with New York City, and it has nothing at all to do with sex.

Copyright © 2006 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 7 August 2006.