Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2007 > Late January 2007 Edition

Late January 2007 Edition

Farewell, Jake

I swear to God I am so out of it.

I go to the Giant for a double-cheeseburger and fries every Thursday night (although that will change after that last bout of sweats and nausea in the early hours). For awhile the skinny guy with the long hair and the short beard, whom I usually see working behind the counter of the One Stop gas station and who always wished me luck on my lottery tickets, was working the bar and grill at the Giant. Then, two weeks ago, the woman he replaced was back at the Giant. The last time I saw him was on Thursday the 11th. I figured he may have left or was dismissed — although I could not imagine the latter happening because he was such a nice guy.

I don't visit the One Stop much anymore, but I did this Saturday. There I learned why that skinny guy had left: It turns out he was dismissed — from this life.

I have found that the guy's name was Jake; and that he died in a very nasty car accident on the road south of Fairmount early Sunday morning during the King Day weekend.

I also found Jake left the One Stop to work at a bar in downtown Muncie, then came back to Fairmount to work at the Giant, which was why I saw him there lately and not at the One Stop.

I am not the only one who thought he was a good guy. Others attest that Jake was the nicest guy anyone had ever met. I will miss him; there is not enough people like him in the world, and his loss will hurt.

King Day Weekend

Ball State University celebrates King Day, so I got a three day weekend to celebrate my birthday. With an Amazon gift certificate from my sister Vickie I got some DVDs: Idiocracy, The Corporation, and the first season of Pimp My Ride! The fifty-dollar bill from my folks I deposited in my local bank account after taking a good look at it; it's not every day that I get to see the new red, orange and blue behind that portrait of General Grant. But I spent its equivalent on a oil/lube/rotation at Miller Tire; a hair dryer at Target (winter is finally asserting itself, and it is not good to go outside in the bitter cold morning with a wet head of hair); and a good meal at the Olive Garden. Later I got a wide-screen ViewSonic flat screen monitor.

Growing old does not bother me as much as it used to. When I was thirty-five, I was really depressed because I was approaching middle age with no future prospects. (That I no longer had student debt — thanks to a eighteen-month factory job — seems unimportant.) Now I am twelve years older, with a job I love and thinking about buying my own house. I am not even worried about the gray hair, because in my family gray hair comes early, like in my middle to late thirties.

Home Box

The big problem with my home box is that it spontaneously reboots or shuts down, particularly after heavy or prolonged use. By heavy I mean running SimCity 4 (Doom 3 just crashes after the first cutscene); prolonged means running the computer with Web browsing or DVD viewing for hours and hours.

I have taken the box apart and tested the memory, the video card, the hard drive, and the BIOS settings. I boosted the memory to two gigabytes. Nothing works. I tried to reinstall Windows XP; the install program crashes. I ordered Windows XP Professional 64-bit (due to the Athlon 64 processor, it should run) and tried to install that; it, too, crashed. In the end, my suspicions focus on the processor itself. But I will just send back the WinXP Pro and leave the computer alone. It does run well for almost all the things I do, and that is good for me.

Local Library

The last library board meeting included a public hearing on the grant application for money to buy and renovating a nearby building as the new library. The grant writer talked and answered questions for an hour. During the meeting itself I was elected as secretary (it's no longer pro tempore now) because I was the only one on the board whose fingers were not afflicted in some way with arthritis. I am an official officer now. That will be a help on my work evaluation in a month or so. The bad part (apart from the constant writing once or twice a month) is that if something bombs with my name on it, I am in big trouble.


web repository

The work on the Web Repository, which forms part of the Ball State Libraries' Digital Commons project, is almost complete. The Kansas University library on request blessed us with their repository, but in a form under which it would be hard to move to MySQL, if there were a publicly available MySQL service to use. Thus I decided to use the form provided by the Kansas library. The presentation part looks decent; the update part keeps presenting problems that I have had to code around. I will have to work on it still, but the presentation part is complete and should not detract from the official Digital Commons rollout on the last Monday in January.

staff lounge

As part of the staff lounge working group, I felt it was a duty to set an example and sign up to help clean the staff lounge, so I signed up for this month. I was the only one at first, but after several days someone else signed up to join me by making sure the lounge was ready in the morning. That is good because she could arrive early enough to get the water into the hot-water urn; if I did it, the water would be tepid when staff need it most for their coffee/tea.

As the mornings are covered, I do the evening work of cleaning out the microwave ovens and scrubbing out the urn. The ovens get pretty grungy by the end of the day, so I spend most of my lounge time cleaning them out. And calcium collects at the bottom of the urn because Muncie water is rather hard, so I have to scour the bottom with a steel wool pad.

The lounge looks a lot better now, and I have heard compliments on how I and my co-worker have kept the lounge clean.

The Outer World

We are talking political paralysis here, folks. And given all the well-intended but foolish and harmful things being proposed

the control of both Congress and the Indiana General Assembly by Democrats is a good thing. There will be loud battles and kicks and screams, but nothing will be done. And that is a good thing.

Copyright © 2007 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Written on 28 January 2007.